Ascendancy

Session 21-22: End Game

Assault on the Fellnight Realm

Excerpt from Jana’s adventure journal

The deed is done, we’ve won. The queen is dead and her realm has been sealed once more. We’ve returned as heroes.

It was a few days hike from the portal into the fellnight realm. the army was with us and we fought more than one skirmish until the battle of the faengard wall. While the army battled the fellnight army, we snuck around with the wardstones to repair the wall. The Conclave and Andoran armies did their job well as we encountered only a token force of about a half dozen spriggians and two invisible sniping pixies.

Tenzekil Braybittle was there too. It was a tough battle, the gnome sent his bees to guard the break in the faengard wall and his giant bee animal companion to harass us while he rained down druidic magic. Through the battle as he was loosing, we could sense he was becoming more and more resentful of the queen for taking everything from him. We helped him realize the futility of his efforts and he surrendered before I had to kill his beloved bee companion.

Tenzekil joined our party then for a short while. With the faengard wall repaired, he was unable to cross it. He told us a great many things over the next few hours while we walked toward the castle. He told us after Elyin beat him at the honey contest, his little world was shattered and he began the bleaching. The queen took advantage of his tender mental state and offered him a way to cure him if he did a few minor services. Steadily, minor services became bigger until he became the full out traitor. What’s worse is instead of helping him with his bleaching, the Queen was actually hastening the process. When he finally figured it out, she placed a geas upon him to keep him under her thumb.

Tenzekil isn’t the only one under a geas we learned. That last night, before he passed away in his sleep, he told us about Merrick. The queen had taken advantage of Merrick his entire life. She sent the shadow people to kill his parents, she increased his desire for revenge, and in the end, she placed him under a geas too and forced him to became her spy in the Conclave. Merrick was supposed to murder us in the shadow cave when we least expected him to, but he found a loophole in his geas when he killed himself. Hopefully his sister will find some comfort knowing her brother didn’t kill himself for nothing.

It is clear the queen had a complex plan that took her decades if not centuries to gradually bring into fruition.

On the way to the castle we encountered another strange creature. I don’t know what it was, but it was clearly a creature of the Shadow Plane. It told us more of the queen’s plans. Early on she tapped into the shadow plane to enhance her magic, we all knew this. However what we did not know is she planned to combine the First World with the Shadow Plane. The creatures of the Shadow Plane were working for her up until they realized her mad plan and then those that could, left her service. By this time, her powers with the shadow magic was such that she did not need the help of the shadow creatures any more. However, the creature did tell us exactly what ritual we would have to do to seal up the fellnight realm and where to do it.

Fully rested, we moved toward a secret way into the castle Tenzekil revealed to us the night before. We found this cave opening in a large tree. We were harassed at first by a mushroom man trying to protect his mushrooms, but after we bloodied him up some he decided to acquiesce to our demands of surrender.

Next we found a set of doors that lead to the dungeon. After some careful searching, we found Nevarr’s master tied to a rack and two humans being held prisoner in cells. Redcaps were torturing the frog sage. The head torturer, a fellnight satyr had the power to use fear magic. He used his fear magic to keep most of us panicked while Jeriel battled them all alone. When he’s not whining, Jeriel can be really good at what he does. Unfortunately, he was a bit over matched and was being damaged up a lot. Though this time he didn’t get knocked out by the time we overcame the fear magic and rejoined him to finish the job. I’ve got to do something about fear magic. This is the second time I’ve been separated from my pistols by fear magic.

After healing the frog sage, freeing and arming the two other guys, the rest of us started moving up the stairs into the castle, leaving the men and frog sage behind for now. There wasn’t very much resistance in the castle above. About a dozen sprigs spread out throughout two levels and two more shadow satyrs in the kitchen. We managed to take one group of the sprigs while they were sleeping in their bunks. Eventually though we made it up to the top level where the queen was.

There we met a peculiar elf tailor who claimed we were honored guests of the queen. She commissioned him to make us all some nice clothes. After some persuasion and some magic checks, I decided to go ahead and accept the gift. I figured us accepting the gift would make the queen feel more overconfident and perhaps give us a bit more of an advantage. As usual, Jeriel whined, but that’s what he does. Eventually everyone followed my lead and nothing bad happened. I think the effects of this realm are making me more short with him. His continuous whining is really getting on my nerves. When asked what he thinks we should do, he is indecisive. When I try to lead us in a direction, he opposes me. Even though my lead usually works out alright. Honesty, I usually don’t care what option we take in most situations as long as we don’t stand there bitching about the downside of the options before us. I look forward to the end of the mission when we can finally part ways.

We next entered a long wide hallway that lead to two doors; one big double door that obviously led to the throne room and another door off to the side. There were no guards visible which I found odd. I went for the side door because I never trust the obvious entrances and found the armory. I decided to confiscate some of the queen’s resources in hopes it would also draw out some of the hidden guards. It worked. Guards popped out of the trees in her hallway and we were able to deal with them before getting to the queen. Fighting them and the queen at the same time would have been far too difficult.

Now it was time for the final battle with the Queen herself. We cautiously entered her main audience chamber where she greeted us like guests. The round chamber roughly a hundred feet in diameter. There were more of those tree columns the guards popped out of in her hall, but they were a bit different. I expected more guards to pop out of those tree things when the fighting started, but it wasn’t yet time for battle, it was time to talk. I strode forth and accepted her greeting as she sat there on her throne. She proceeded to tell us how futile our efforts were and how we would do better to just accept our gifts and be on our way. She tried to convince us she just wanted to gain control of the first world and she wasn’t interested in our world.

While she was still yammering, I nodded to Gina. Gina charged for the queen and tried to take her staff, the very staff we needed to end this once and for all. I don’t know why I was surprised, but Gina’s hand went right through her. The queen was an illusion and now she was angry. Battle began. Nessa could tell the queen was close by in that room from the gem, but she was hidden and the only place I could think she’d be was in one of those tree columns so similar the ones her guards popped out of. I started chopping down the columns one at a time, Gina helped. I asked Jeriel to help too, but he thought I was an idiot and preferred to stand about complaining. Another queen appeared by the window and Gina raced to grab the staff. This too was an illusion but it was a special illusion in that she could cast her spells through it.

We were thinking of running upstairs thinking she was not there, but then she decided to appear. Nessa could confirm it was really her from the gem. I was right, she was hiding inside the tree like columns. There were six still up at this point an she could jump between any of them like a set of magic doors. With the queen out of hiding, Nessa begain using the more offensive capabilities of the gem. The queen’s bluster and confidence was shaken the first time she felt the touch of that gem.

She retreated into one of her trees and sent out a some more spells through her illusions. I did my best to keep chopping at the trees, but I was alone. Gina was stuck to a wall by her own shadow and Valarr was nauseated from some fog cloud the queen cast on us. Jeriel was busy trying to keep Nessa healed and Lem was trying to heal himself and get into some cover. It wasn’t going to well. This is when the Queen turned on her magic mirror so our allies could see us in our difficult state. However, in my experience, it is usually darkest before the dawn.

Nessa turned the fight there. She used the gem in a way it wasn’t really designed to work. She funneled her feeling of vengeance through the illusion at the throne and that caused a shock of shadow energy to arc between the two illusions and then arc to one of the tree columns and drive the queen out into the open and stun her for a short time. It was the break we needed. Lem was quick in seizing this opportunity and summoned a swarm of monkeys that swarmed over the queen and took her staff. It was a sight, the high and mighty queen covered in tiny chattering monkeys. Glorious. Lem and Nessa really made a monkey out of her!

We pressed the attack and she fled. The first stage was done. She was injured and so were we. After a short pause to heal up, and some incredible work by Nevarr to help free Gina out of a some magic force bubble she was trapped in, we proceeded upstairs to finish the job. In the circular room above her throne room, we opened the door to reveal a stinking cloud waiting for us. Lem used his innate wind powers to blow it away then Nevarr tossed a smokestick to give us some cover. The queen struck next casting a wall of fire down the stairway we were all crouched in. We had to rush into the room or burn. Lem went in next and destroyed three of the five illusion queens and exposed the real one with a well-placed fireball. After that blast, I rushed in and hit her with two shots and a taunting insult. I wanted to draw her fire away from Nessa, Jeriel, and Lem and I succeeded. She turned me into a small bird and I don’t remember what happened next. Gina tells me Lem popped the two remaining illusions with a magic missile while Gina rushed in to destroy more of those tree columns the queen could hide in.

Nessa continued her assault with the shadow gem, weakening her and strengthening the gem. It was a tough fight, Jeriel and Nevarr were seriously injured, but eventually they wore her down and Jeriel took the final hit, crushing the queen’s skull. We won.

Ding dong the witch is dead. We return as heroes with bags full of what we pillaged from the Queen’s castle.

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Session 20 - Assault on Thorndome

Excerpt from Jana’s adventure journal

Yesterday, we successfully attacked the thorn dome covering the portal to the fellnight realm. We are currently camped on the other side of the portal in the shadowy realm. There is a coldness about this place, a coldness not of temperature. It feels like my very will to live is being sapped out of me and every shadow holds some creature ready to pounce. None of the men were able to rest well, but we managed.

The battle yesterday went as well as we could have hoped, though I’m lucky to have survived. At the border of the dome, we fought the Bramblemaster. He was covered in a wind spell that made ranged attacks useless and he was under the effect of a air walk making melee attacks useless to those who couldn’t fly. He mainly rained lighting down at us. I was told he was a creature known as a Woodwose. Vinroot tried to attack him, but creatures and weapons made of wood could not go near him.

It was the new guy, a ranger who joined up with us the other day, Valarr Dasanio who was the hero of this battle, though Nevarr made a very good effort. Valarr had a hippogriff and was able to fly up to the Bramblemaster and smack him hard enough times with his shield to do some real damage. After i realized Gina and I couldn’t do anything to the Bramblemaster, we stood back and kept guard over Devarre, Corsei, and Aripha while they used their magics to make a hole in the thorn dome.

All in all it worked and we made it through to the hillock with the portal. There we saw Corsei’s mother who looked withered and shadowy evil. She had this aura of pollen around her and any who came near got a serious case of hay fever. We had to keep Devarre, Corsei, and Aripha safe while Devarre maintained his own barrier around the hillock and the other two got on opposite sides of the corrupted Warden and sent a beam of positive energy into her.

As they worked, creatures emerged from the portal. Gina and Jerel guarded Aripha while Lem, Me and Nessa kept near Devarre. Varlarr, his hipogriff, and Nevarr were sort of near Corsei, but they weren’t really close enough to guard her properly when a giant corrupted lightning treant came through the portal and smacked Corsei. Nevarr at least put himself between Corsei after the first hit but Varlarr and the hipogriff were tangled up in some conjured weeds and couldn’t help much.

I knew what I had to do. Corsei couldn’t take to many hits and maintain her spell and my bullets were doing shit against the treant’s tough hide. I had to get his attention. I rode out, grabbed my hatchets in my hands, and flanked with Nevarr. I climbed up onto the treant and started chopping at his joints, eyes, and any other place I knew would do the most damage. I seriously chopped him up good, I even got two lucky hits that split him deep right along the wood grain. However, the treant had a bit of luck too. I didn’t see it coming nore did I feel it. All just went black.

I should have died, but it seems my luck is stronger than the treants. I woke up a little while later buried deep in a hole with Nevarr applying healing magic to me. Apparently while I was out, the others forced a shade of Roswen out of the Warden and destroyed it. Sadly, the stress upon the old warden was to much. She gave us a gem that could lead us to Roswen and protect us from the worst of her power then said good by to her daughter and died.

Tomorrow we are going to use that gem and find Roswen. We need her staff to complete the seal on this realm and I suspect we will have to pry it out of her cold dead hand.

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Mai's Story

Mai’s story

It was a rainy day on the road to Bellis, thunderstorms covered the sky and it was the sixth time the wizard had to change caves. Bear fighting was not his strong suit, he finished prestigitating his clothes made sure the cave was secure and heated up a few rocks like a light less campfire to last him for a while. The black silvanshee Mai followed suit with the prestidigitation.

“Well, it would appear this trip keeps getting worst and worst.” Lem repeated as he shivered using the heated rocks for warmth “Perhaps it would have been better if I didn’t let you talk me into you being the navigator.”

“Well at least I know what way north is.” Mai scoffed “Not my fault the map got ruined in the last cave.”

“Well now we will complete what I’ve started and we will probably die out here.” Lem stated silent tears fall down his cheeks “It’s hopeless, I knew I shouldn’t have done this. I don’t think I was meant for this life.”

“Would you can it.” Mai sensing the hopeless in his soul, being able to feel every ounce of it “Hey kid, stay with me here alright? I got a story for you.”

“Story? What kind of Story?” Lem asked “What kind of story could possibly have to better this situation.”

“How about Mai story.” Mai snicker as the play on words rolled out “I wasn’t always a cat.”

“Then what were you?” Lem asked

“I was a cleric of two patrons, you know one since you follow him. The other was a side gig with Shelyn. Let me give you the bits and pieces I remember.”

“I don’t remember the time but I remember growing up around Lastwall, a mighty fine place that was. Bastion against one of the most evil liches to exist. I remember tending to fields, having fun with other children the smell of the grass in springtime. Nature was at a beauty then, Naturally my first job was as a waitress in a bar. Didn’t like it but it paid for a bit until this beautiful woman dressed in the most elegant clothes walked in, she radiated with a beauty no one has ever duplicated. I knew two things at moment, I wanted to be her and I wanted to know where it came from.

Her name was Davia Windyl, a priestess of Shelyn who had come for a wedding ceremony. I must have spent weeks around her at first trying to understand but she had an aura that calmed people. Many would come to her for council in marriage and helping them to understand love. When she wasn’t she would be in the tavern singing songs about it or painting. A very classy woman indeed. Somehow I ended up in her entourage which took me to a temple.

There I became a cleric or priestess of Shelyn however my calling was not complete there. As a means of goodwill between the church of Shelyn and some Caydenites I also took on roles as a traveling priest. From there I learned to bestow love, art, beauty, music, freedom, ale and courage along the road.

From what I remember it was a nice life, an easy and relaxed one as well with both its ups and downs. It took me a long time to acquire power but that wasn’t why I did it. To me it was truly about the calling of spreading the tenets of my deities. So along came the day when a calling of the utmost importance came to me. A dream showing lovers in shackles, one as a prostitute and the other as a slave.

I don’t remember getting there but when I did I located them both and while I bought the mans freedom his wife was still enforced to do her job for the nobleman, a sick twisted one. I did as any good priest would, I broke her free. Of course this didn’t blow over so well. I remember the running, sprinting. I wasn’t good at fighting and too old to anyways at that point. Finally it came to me or the girl and deciding I would have the better chance she ran. Kid I was good back then but not good enough.

The last thing I remember was a white light and being asked if I had any regrets, the only one I could think of was not seeing that those were taken care of and could live happily ever after as Shelyn had wanted them too. The next was the laugh of a man asking if I still wanted to work and that’s when I found out I was in Nirvana as a freaking cat. Point of the story, never give up on the tings you want kid.”

Lem sat in silence thinking this story over and over.

Mai on the other drank the last of the ale… as she would be known for down. The Cat boozglar.

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Session 18 - The Battle of Bellis

Excerpt from Jana’s adventure journal

War. As I look around the battlefield at the endless lines of dead, I feel sick in my heart. I know this battle wasn’t over politics or resources, but over our right to exist here in this land. The enemy were monsters who would have slain every one down to the last helpless babe had we not fought. We had no choice, so I tell myself. We made plenty of mistakes in these past few days, I made plenty of mistakes. Thankfully the gods granted us enough luck and skill to overcome those mistakes and pull off a victory. It was a costly victory, I don’t know how many died, but to many died as heroes.

There were many small encounters for us. First one was with those plant gargoyles who tried to drop some magic fish who swallowed a whole lake of water and who knows what else. Lem took care of that fish with an ingenious combination pit spell and wall of force. Squished the fish flat before the harpies could burst him and release whatever was inside.

Next encounter was inside the honey wall. A squad of spriggians were bursting open the bee hives while a druid disguised as a small bird whipped the bees into a frenzy. It took us to long to spot the bird, credit goes to Nevarr who put us on the track with that bird. Lem had to fireball the massive swarm they were whipping up. Sadly we killed about a third or more of all the bees in Bellis. Honey production will suffer but should recover in a few seasons.

Our next encounter was one that never should have been. The redcap we captured prisoner had escaped from jail thanks to some fellnight pixies. The redcap and his liberators went through town carving up militia and civilian alike. We tracked him down at Winmede’s Remedies where he murdered the injured and helpless who had been taken there. I sent Gina up to the roof to go in the second floor while the rest of us went in the first floor. I don’t remember much of that battle since i was hit with a sleep arrow, but they tell me Gina nearly died in there but was kept alive thanks to Mai’s repeated healing support. In the end, she choked him to death as Tom and the rest cleaned up. Winmede and his daughter were the only survivors.

The final encounter was in the town square. The Bramblemaster himself made an appearance. He blocked off both ends of town with thorn walls while a squad of elite spriggians popped out. The spriggians for the most part fell quickly, but their commander wore heavy armor. He nearly sliced me in half and he killed Tom. I finished him off, but I blame myself. If I had not kept Gina from attacking him directly, he would have fallen before Tom died. Jeriel also blames himself for not protecting Tom better. Who is to say which if us is to blame or if any of us are? Tom died a hero, one of many heroes who died today.

Devarre and his druids showed up soon after and forced the bramblemaster to flee. He got away to fight another day.

With this victory the war is going in our favor, but it’s not over yet.

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Session 17 - Blackgold keep

Excerpt from Jana’s adventure journal

The Mire Lord lent us a guide to lead us to the keep who led us to the a very tall and impassable wall of thorny vines. The wall itself was made of other shambling mounds who kept guard. Our guide seemed to speak to the guards in the wall and we were permitted to pass with no trouble.

Beyond the vine wall, the land was dead; touched by undead energies that rotted the land. I can see why the Mire Lord would hate this place much more than Bellis. It took us a good thirty minutes to an hour to walk from the vinewall to the keep. When we arrived at the keep, I wanted to climb over the outer keep wall rather than go in the obvious entrance. As I learned from a very young age, obvious entrances are obvious traps. Of course, no one listened to me and they paid for it with blood and pain.

There was a haunt in the crumbly entrance that panicked Jeriel and threw large rocks at Nessa, Jeriel, and Tom. Their wounds would have killed most people and beat the three half to death. However, did they heed my advice after that? no. They went back for more and tried to fight the haunt only to have more rocks thrown at them. Nessa told us all we needed to know about haunts. They were not really ghosts but after effects limited to one place, sort if like traps that react to certain conditions. Even with see invisibility, they could not see the haunt because it didn’t really exist as an individual being.

Eventually, the master of the keep showed up and scratched deep wounds into Nessa then fled back inside before we could do any real damage. The master was a spirit Nessa called a Bhuta. He was the angry spirit of the Consortium chief who died over thirty years ago when the Mire Lord murdered everyone in the keep. I decided to try a bit of diplomacy and a bluff. I told the spirit we were from the Consortium with orders to reopen the keep. The bluff worked as he invited us inside to chat. The bhuta turned off the rock throwing haunt and Gina and I carefully went inside. The others followed after curing their wounds.

Nessa, for her part was invaluable. She knew everything there was about this creature including its weakness to cold iron. She knew about the haunts. Her songs also helped us resist some of the fear magic later on. This entire mission would have gone much less smoothly without her sage knowledge.

After a few tense moments of creeping through the thick mist of the courtyard, we saw something that surprised us. Hung in the misty courtyard we found our lost friend Devarre. He was in really bad shape and the spirit was there next to him, sucking some blood to heal the wounds we gave it. I tried to play it off like I didn’t know Devarre. I continued with negotiations. I was beginning to think I could talk our way out of the battle but I was wrong. The creature couldn’t control its thirst for blood and suddenly attacked Jeriel who was the most wounded at the time. We first secured Devarre and formed a circle around him while Tom worked on the druid’s wounds. The spirit attacked then fled inside using an incorporeal and run strategy. The only thing to do against that tactic is to stand ready to attack as soon as he appears.

Suddenly two marsh zombies attacked. We attacked them but they were just a diversion. The spirit appeared after we had spent our attacks and clawed me deeply then fled back inside. I let Gina deal with the zombies while I and the rest of us waited for the spirit to come out again. He did come. He couldn’t control his thirst for human blood. This time he began sucking my wounds. When he did, the others were ready and nearly destroyed him before he fled into the mist. This is when he played his trump.

Suddenly from the mist hundreds of spirits appeared. Elves, men, halflings, all seemed to be in torment and under some control of the spirit. We were doomed until the most unlikely thing occurred – Nessa spoke to them in a diplomatic tone! She actually convinced them to help us too! The spirits pointed to a small building in the courtyard. Inside the well locked building was the keep’s armory filled with row after row of cold iron weapons!! There was also this magic rod Lem identified as having plant seeking powers. We started to pack up the cold iron weapons. When Nessa touched the rod, the bhuta popped out of no where and clawed her deeply. Mai was ready and laid hands upon the spirit and finally destroying it. With the Bhuta’s destruction, the other spirits looked at peace and drifted away to their rightful rest and the mists cleared in the keep. Victory was ours once again.

We searched the keep, collected all the valuables then left to complete our bargain with the Mire Lord. The Mire Lord was good to his word. He gave us the stones and promised to destroy the fellnight army within his lands. The Bramblemaster was to powerful for him, but he assured us the others would fall. Devarre took me, Jeriel, and Bluebell back to the Conclave while the others went back to Bellis via boat.

The Conclave meeting went well. With Devarre’s stirring support, everyone agreed to help Bellis, some more begrudgingly than others. Now is the time for the final battle to begin. In the morning, I’ll be heading to Bellis first thing. May our luck continue and may the gods be with us.

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Session 17 - Twisted Mire

Excerpt from Jana’s adventure journal

We’ve arrived in the Twisted mire. I expected it to be a bit humid, dirty, and bug infested, but damn, it feels fifteen degrees hotter here than in the rest of the forest. I expected to be cold and wet. Perhaps the extra heat comes from all the rotting vegetation. I suppose being hot and constantly annoyed by swarms of biting insects is better than cold and wet. I passed out the vermin repellent to the gang and that helps a bit, but not enough. The smell of the repellent mixed with the bog odor is nauseating.

We found Serin’s corpse. Poor guy was riddled with thorns and bleeding wounds. We also found Bluebell and Gribble, but they were alive. it seems Deverre came with Serin, Bluebell, Gribble and Nevarr’s master. I had thought they would come with more woodland lodge druids, but apparently not. From what Bluebell says, they were ambushed by an entire army as soon as they arrived. Serin and Deverre held them off while the others tried to escape. Serin died a hero’s death, but his loss will still be missed. We collected his belongings to return to his kin. He had some large cold iron arrows on him, maybe we can make use of them as short spears. I might keep those for that purpose.

We met up with the mire lord, the creature was smaller than i would have thought. While his shambling mounds are all the size of ogres, he is about the size of a man. He’s like a man sized shambling mound only more humanoid in appearance. Considering how much nature is supposed to hate the humans who logged in the mire, why nature would try to emulate human form in creating the mire lord is perplexing. Though perhaps nature simply used one of the dead loggers as a template for their creation? Who knows. While he seems to want to remain neutral in our conflict, he had agreed to help harbor the a creature called Bramblethorn and his the fellnight armies in this area and keep the ward stones safe if they promised to destroy all the humans in Bellis.

We convinced him of the fellnights wish only to twist and corrupt the natural land with their fell magics. We have successfully negotiated a favorable deal with the mire lord. If we clean out the undead in Blackstone keep, an old Consortium keep in the mire, then he will eliminate the fell night army in his lands, give us the ward stones, and help us find Deverre. Its a deal too good to pass up.

Next stop, Blackstone keep.

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Session 16 - Return to the Conclave

Excerpt from Jana’s adventure journal

We used the last charge on the staff to return to the Conclave. Unfortunately, Nevarr decided to let go just as we were materializing out. It seems he decided to go in alone to look for his master in the Twisted Mire. I wish him luck and pray we meet him again alive. Eagle Knight Seynthia Whitevale and Elyin Ursage agreed to come back with us to the Conclave to plead for help in the upcoming attack on Bellis.

Surprisingly Gorn was there too. We had thought him dead. Orieus sent him and his men off on a suicide mission. It seems he survived and directly challenged Orieus for leadership. Not one of his own people would stand with him in this challenge, but thankfully, it was permitted for Jeriel to stand as Gorn’s second in the battle. It was a bloody fight, but Gorn and Jeriel won in the end. Orieus’s second had the good enough sense to surrender just before he lost his life, but Orieus was killed. Now we have a strong ally in the Riders and I believe the Riders have a much wiser leader.

Nearly immediately after winning his challenge, Gorn rescinded his people’s alliance with the Greenfires and called for an immediate vote to have them dismissed from the Conclave. The vote was half and half with my vote being the deciding. As much as I dislike those Greenfires, I’m forced to see the bigger picture: I’d rather keep them close than have them join up with the Fellnight Queen and add to our growing list of enemies. I voted to have them stay, though I really hope this was the right call in the end.

The Conclave meeting was called to order shortly there after. I delivered the bad news about the woodland lodge group and about the forecasted attack on Bellis. I tried to convince the Conclave to help. Elyin and the eagle knight were permitted to speak. They were moving and convincing, however the tree giants, fey court, greenfires, and treants refused to vote without the woodland lodge present. Thankfully, the blink dogs and the centaurs agreed to help regardless of what the Conclave decides. So we do have some help, but we really need to rescue Deverre if we are to get the remaining help.

The unicorns have offered to teleport my group to the Twisted Mire to start the rescue attempt. Kira the harpy will be coming with us and I’m hopeful Bluebell will come to. If Nevarr is going to the mire, then it will take him half a day to get there. With the unicorn’s help we might be able to get there ahead of him or about the same time. I pray we are in time to rescue our friends.

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Session 15 - One of Two

While the group was deciding their next moves, Telnarn arrived and bid them a dire warning; his divinations revealed that the Fellnight force would attack Bellis in mass in three days time. He urged them to seek an alliance with the Conclave, citing their current experiences would make them the perfect go between the them and the Andorans.

While this conversation took place, Lem conducted a scrying upon Devarre and found the druid beaten, injured and captured by spriggans within the Twisted Mire, the news of which disturbed Nevarr greatly.

Shortly after, Thomas met with the vile Ulfas Blust, the ranking magnate of the Lumber Consortium in Bellis. Within his luxurious office within the Consortium building in town, the man revealed to Thomas that he was hired by the Consortium for his magical abilities and skill in battle. Before Thomas lost his memories, Ulfas hinted that he was a cruel, no-nonsense individual who took pride his work, having once pulled the wings off of a sprite just for fun. Appalled by this apparent information, Thomas nonetheless attempted to reason with Ulfas and steer him in a direction the fey of the Verduran could tolerate, if not respect. Although at first the magnate rebuffed Thomas’ ideas, he eventually conceded that he’d ‘have the accountants run the numbers’ and then make any recommendations necessary. Lastly, Ulfas pulled two cards from his sleeves; a contract indicating Thomas time as a Consortium employee has six more months before completion, and he has named Thomas the Consortium’s official “representative” while this whole Fellnight mess is going on…if he’s not available, that is.

Thomas further found more clues regarding his past; one of the bankers of the Forester’s Endowments approached him and ‘reminded’ him of a withdrawal appointment he made some time ago. After some diplomatic expediency, Thomas was given the withdrawal; a sack of gold from his bank account and a strange black & red ring with a note attached to it in Aklo:

“Don’t let the voices drown out your soul. Tap the power only when you must, lest your eyes become forever red.”

Meanwhile, the rest of the group convened a council session in Bellis and convinced those present that an alliance with the Conclave was necessary for the town’s survival. Telnarn of course concurred and the council decided to send Elyin Ursage and Seynthia Whitevale to the Conclave (along with the characters) to ask for assistance with a verbal agreement.

The intrepid heroes then had one of two choices; immediately travel to the Conclave and beseech their aid, or immediately travel to the Twisted Mire and look for Devarre. After much deliberation and soul searching, the former action was chosen, much to Nevarr’s disagreement.

The group and their new traveling companions went to the nearest faerie-ring outside of Bellis and transitioned to the Conclave clearing. At the last moment, Nevarr slipped away from the teleportation and remained in Bellis, his focus upon the rescue of Devarre.

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Session 14 - In Bellis

Excerpt from Jana’s adventure journal

Arrived in Bellis and were quickly whisked into an impromptu council meeting where we were debriefed. We told them all about what we been doing, except we didn’t mention the ward stones exactly by name. I’m not sure if that’s something the conclave will want known to much. Most of the council seems nice and helpful, but of course there’s always one jerk. This jerk is named Ulfas and not to shocking he’s the head of the Lumber Consortium in Bellis. Thankfully it seems his word carries little weight with the other council men and he is often in the minority of opinion.

Spent the next few days in Bellis, relaxing. I had an idea to try and start up a lumber plantation, and went poking around for information on the lumber industry. How much lumber is produced, the cost to produce, revenue, expenses, that sort of thing. I did find out Bellis ships out about a hundred thousand logs each year, but I’ve not been able to find any of the financial figures. I might have to resort to more sneaky methods to find that out.


Second day in Bellis, the troops have arrived. 250 experienced solders from the Eagle Knights and regulars. However, despite this influx of troops, Telnarn’s divination reveal it might not be enough. What’s worse, is we haven’t heard from Deverre and Telnarn’s divination reveal the ward stones might be lost. Well, I received the bird token we gave him, but it had no note. I’m not sure how to interpret that.

We had an emergency council meeting to discuss the divination. It looks like the council is willing to come to terms with the Conclave and negotiate for their help. Elyin and an eagle knight will be coming along to negotiate on behalf of Bellis and Andoran. The conclave will not be happy when they see these two others appear with us through their fey line network.

Lem is attempting to scry on Deverre and the druids. We might have to go save him first before heading back to the Conclave. It would make negotiations go a lot smoother if we had the last wardstones in hand when we negotiated. It would also make the fight easier without all the mist around Bellis. Let’s hope this route is still possible.

We have three days until the attack and plenty to do in that time.

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Session 13 - Return Trip

Excerpt from Jana’s adventure journal

We returned to the Conclave with the second group of wardstones. We were greeted by Aripha. We told her about everything that happened and then informed her we would be heading back to Bellis next to follow up on what we heard about the Taldorians coming into Bellis. She wasn’t pleased with us wanting to go to Bellis.

The girls and I had a nice bath that evening. We talked for over an hour and I got to know Lessi well for the first time. It was very enjoyable by all.

Soon, we went before the Conclave and made our report. I decided to avoid telling them we were wanting to go to Bellis without actually lying to them. Of course the witch made a big deal about it and tried goad me into anger. It didn’t work. We learned the elves and tree giant villages were attacked while we were gone. They repelled the invaders, but there were many casualties. There was also a report of a strange man being found and captured by the Conclave. This fellow had a talking cat familiar and was asking for Lessi. We took Lem with us back to our camp and had a chat with him. He was Lessi’s twin brother whom she never knew existed.

Later that evening a creature showed up from Lessi’s home and she had to go with her. Lessi needed to run the family or something and they left Lem with us. Lem’s a mage too, but is more socially awkward. His talking cat, Mai, seems to have all the personality in the two, as the cat is very forthright and doesn’t care about being rude as long as she gets her point across.

We went to sleep and our dreams were invaded by a nightmare spell. The queen sent a night mare of the Conclave grove being attacked, Aripha being cut down, and the rest of us dying to an overwhelming number of her creatures. It was very disturbing. In the end, after we died in the dream, she bade us a warning to leave the forest and no longer interfere with her plans. It was clear to me she was getting desperate."

Tomorrow we will head to Bellis while Deverre tries to gather the last stones from an acquaintance of his named the Mire Lord, a greater shambling mound creature who rules over the Twisted Mire. We were going to go in his stead, but at the last minute, Deverre decided it was best if he went first to try and reason with the Mire Lord. I wish him well.

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