A future unknown

First Session
Crash Landing

A passenger zeppelin chartered from CITY to CITY crashed within the Valley of the Mists when calamity and bad fortune struck. It smashed at last on top of a hill, with only three noted survivors following the crash. The zeppelin itself, as well as its cargo, was a total loss.

The survivors three are:

  • The dragonborn Guldiornonkmet Tamara, a Black Mountain guardswoman tasked with general guard duty and a noted order to protect the ship’s cargo,
  • The dwarf Thordek, an outlander and sharp-eyed survivor,
  • The halfling Nor.

Despite efforts made to look for survivors, Tamara had to conclude that no-one else had survived the crash. Well before the zeppelin went up into a blaze.

Under the watchful guidance of Thordek, the survivors of the crash made their way through the Valley over the course of two days, until they finally came across a small settlement of sheep herders. While initially the shepherd that found the group, Willem, was a little caught in fright on seeing Tamara in particular, the group was eventually led to the settlement.

There, they were given a meal, a bit of hospitality, and Willem and his wife besieged the group of well-equipped survivors to hear their own plight. A particular beast stalked the sheep of the thorp, devouring the livestock. Fearing for the fate of other livestock, or worse, Willem asked for the troupe to put an end to the beast that stalked the area.

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Second Session
On the trail of hound, suddenly ruins

The group decided to keep watch of the thorp’s sheep stock. Tamara was the first to keep watch, and thanks to her experience as a watchwoman, noticed the beast stalking the thorp’s animals killing one of the sheep. She drove the beast off, leaving enough of a trail for tracking purposes well enough alone. She and Thordek investigated the blood earlier, but both decided that the track best be followed the day after, and that no more guard was really needed.

That’s alright with Nor, of course. No guard duty for him.

The next day, the troupe set out to find the beast. Under the tracking expertise of Thordek did they travel deeper into the undergrowth and wlderness of the valley, not at all losing the beast they hunted. For a day and a half they traveled, until they came across an overgrown and deserted stone ruin. The grassy undergrowth hid plenty of dangers, as the beast they stalked was making its hideout in the ruins.

Imagine their surprise when the beast turned out to be a large two-headed canid who’s touch and blood caused the very plants around them to wilt. Ultimately, with shock and awe tactics and sheer numbers, the trio overcame their trial, killing the two-headed abomination.

They entered the ruin, figuring to at least get some information about the valley. They would not be disappointed.

The area was not so much in a state of disrepair as it was just abandoned and left to the elements. What wasn’t devoured by animals or the tooth of time indicated some pretty interesting things. In one of the chambers of the ruin, Tamara found some books in (probably) elven script.

The party came across a statue of a woman at the ruin’s lower level, arms held down in supplication, which Nor later managed to disentangle and activate. The statue rose up a level and into the ruins, turning towards an open vista with its arms spread out. Amazingly, some of the thick mists seemed to have parted. Tamara did find out the statue held some sort of divine magic.

Thordek found some flowing symbols next to some closed doors which did not seem to radiate magic. Tamara could confirm they probably were not.

In a hallway, several doorways were found. Opting to follow the smaller door first over the giant double doors locked and barred from the outside, the group found a study of sorts with signals of habitation and stashing of gear. Tamara found a secret door from a facade in a book case. Nor was the first to dash down the hallway behind this secret door, which turned out to be trapped with magical fire. It nearly killed him. Tamara discovered Nor’s lost eye quite shockingly.

Thordek took to caring for Nor’s wounds, leaving Tamara to explore the hallway. She avoided the trap (provided it did not already expire), and found a room with shelves and a shut case. The shelves were lined with small bags and small gemstones. With ample application of the Mage Hand spell, Tamara looted the bags and gems without risk, and carried the items all back to Thordek and Nor, sharing the booty evenly and openly.

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Third Session
Death and fucking up

The great barred door in the ruins was opted to be opened, with Nor taking charge to scout ahead. Thordek and Tamara stayed behind, waiting for him to return, and to bar the door in an emergency.

Many sarcophaguses were set deep within the chamber that Nor uncovered, dusty and abandoned. The furthest one, however, glittered in the torchlight, with gold, or glass or something reflecting the light. In particular, a blue gemstone was set into the hands of the figure inscribed onto the lid of the sarcophagus. Nor managed to pry the gemstone from the lid. He did not expect the other coffins to bust open with skeletal undead ready to claw his throat out.

He fled for the doorway, calling for the others to close the door. While Thordek closed the first door, Tamara waited, if only hoping to buy Nor time as the skeletons advanced. She did not, however, figure Nor not being able to flee.

In arcane fire springing from her hands, she burned Nor and the skeletons. But where the skeletons stood mostly unharmed, Nor had been incinerated entirely. Closing the doors in a panic, and the skeletons barred inside, Thordek and Tamara fled the ruins.

That’s pretty much where breakdown occured. Thordek was appaled at Tamara’s actions, while Tamara was in a daze about ‘[how] he didn’t dodge; why didn’t he dodge?’ She vowed never to let those flames spark from her hands again, and left a marker of gems in Nor’s name and his memory at the foot of the statue in the center of the ruins.

The group, dazed and tired, headed out for the thorp. That night, however, they found it ablaze. Blue goblins torched and ransacked it, and had killed everyone. Thordek and Tamara spread out to thin the herd of miscreants, hoping to find survivors. But after mopping up several of the attackers, and Tamara having to resuscitate and stabilize Thordek, the duo found no survivors. They worked in the night, with the houses burning around them, to find the bodies of the dead and bury them. It wasn’t until the day after that they set out to leave the thorp, and the valley, knowing they only had so many resources for travel.

They set out to travel towards Trilar, due north, for five days, crossing a great chasm and a stone, unsupported bridge, in which the mists seemed to pour. Across the bridge, they also found a merchant’s cart, a dead man, and a very much butchered horse, no doubt the tradesman that the thorp had relied on before, killed by goblins. He, too, was opted to be buried along the road. The group did take a small lockbox with them from the cart. They did not manage to open it.

He was the first of many more to be found along the way towards Trilar, with small farming settlements and other travelers having been murdered and left for the crows.

Six days of travel, with next to no supplies left to their name, Thordek and Tamara arrive at Trilar, the city of Dark magic.

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Fourth Session
Trilar is death

Tamara and Tordek both arrive in Trilar at the height of Ascension Week, a celebration of the magicracy, and to find a patron to gain access to the wizards’ inner city. Between celebration, there is self-improvement and training, and getting some gold for the loot found within the ruins in the Valley of the Mists. For the most part, they stay within the northern half of the city, in an elven-run inn known as the Leering Pegasus. While they’re not the most welcome of guests, they pay, and thus stay as long as they can.

Tamara meets an up-and-coming magical student, the dashing man known as Roderick, both looking to perhaps prove themselves for the Ascension Week – Roderick, to reattain a position within the inner city; Tamara, on a lark. When Roderick and Tamara head to meet with Thordek, they find Thordek arrested by the local guard known as the Ruby Swords, an all-elven militia. The charge: murder. Since Tamara cannot rightly bring up an alibi, the elves consider the case open-and-shut: Thordek is to be hanged in eight days.

The next day, Tamara investigates Thordek’s story in person. That is to say, in prison (or rather, a small, single cell), at the central offices of the Ruby Swords. Thordek got into a fight with a drunken son of a tailor, knocked him out in a back-alley, and was very swiftly grabbed by the Swords for the accusation of murder. The young man was, indeed, very dead.

Roderick, for his part, finds out about a series of deaths around the northern section of Trilar, almost all involving the deaths of merchants’ sons except in one case where the merchant, himself, also died. Additionally, he comes across a closed baker’s shop where both baker and son died.

With names and identities and establishments in mind, Roderick and Tamara head out, that evening for the baker’s shop, the most recent location of murder after the one at the Leering Pegasus. They find a fleeing, dark-dressed woman running from them through town and guards alike. The two take chase, with Tamara not slowing down at all and capturing the woman in her iron grip. They deliver the woman to the Ruby Swords, after getting a confession out of her about her role at the baker’s shop – she was responsible for killing the baker, and wanted to steal a keepsake from him that very night.

The next day, however, the Ruby Swords come to Tamara and Roderick at the Leering Pegasus at the break of dawn, pretty much finding the two wearing little to nothing at all. They come delivering ill news. Thordek was murdered in the cell where the woman was delivered to as well, with no sign of the woman-thief. Tamara explodes in indignant rage, holding the Ruby Swords responsible for his death. The leader of the Swords dismiss her, ultimately stating she and her companion are no longer welcome in this part of town.

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Fifth Session
Revenge to no Avail

Events happened. I’m kinda at a loss of what happened.

Roderick and Tamara found themselves back into exploring the Gold Tree Park, following a warning from a woman telling Tamara she saw a suspect person wandering the grounds. Roderick eventually uncovered a hatch in the northern section of the park, leading into the ruins of a layer under the city. It was almost impossible to tell how old they were, but they were likely to be the very foundation of Trilar proper.

Under the city, the duo found a copse with an old tree guarded by a dryad. Using her magical wiles, she lured Tamara and Roderick over, enchanting them both into at least being friendly towards her. The dryad entrusted Roderick with a seed of her tree the size of his fist. She requested him to plant it where trees grow outside of Trilar. She also entrusted him with the knowledge of someone ‘foul’ being deeper in this stretch of the ruins.

Sure enough, the ruins were not entirely deserted of human life. Within an old shop lit by candles, the duo approached a woman talking to a figure in a doorway. The woman, dressed in black, matched the description of the murderer of Thordek, Annette.

Tamara pretty much blazed into the area, exploding the room with thunder, and knocked the murderer prone. No sight of the second party remained. Through Roderick’s keen use of spells and presence, he let Tamara take charge and absolutely hammer away at the murderer until she was subdued.

That’s about when a devillish figure entered the room, praising the show and the restraint Tamara showed, while absolutely doubting how she could stay like that, openly describing her transgressions of spellcraft in killing Nor in the Valley of the Mists. Or how she failed to keep Thordek safe by even leading Annette to his cell. He killed his servant while Roderick and Tamara were absolutely frozen in place by fear or magic or both, and left with a promise of looking forward to see ‘her fall’ and to deliver Nor’s lucky dice in front of the Dragonborn woman. The paralysis ended soon enough for her to lash out with magical fireballs, but her magic flew right through the devillish figure.

Tamara is left mourning. Roderick, meanwhile, takes his time to look through a journal pretty much describing every act of malice Annette committed out of misplaced love and then love scorned. The two recover, and return to Trilar’s surface.

Roderick shares the journal with the captain of the Ruby Swords. That pretty much means someone screwed up.

Things happened.

Roderick and Tamara eventually meet with a dwarf with a bit of a temper and a bit of a bad reputation in a tavern, Roderick eager to set out for the Valley of the Mists for monetary and spellcraft gains.

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Sixth Session
Into the Valley of the Mists

With supplies bought and packed, Roderick and Flint mount the dwarf’s cart. Tamara heads out with them on foot. And so the three companions set out to the Valley of the MIsts beyond Trilar.

Outside of Trilar, they are attacked by goblins and a pack of trained rats, which are very quickly dispatched. They still manage to hurt Flint’s horse, as well as severely hurt Roderick with an arrow through his arm. Still, no survivors, and Tamara makes a point of taking some of the rats along for a meal later in the day. During setting up camp, two more goblins attack, who very quickly find out that someone hates goblins particularly.

Spoilers, it’s Tamara. There were no survivors, after all.

On the next day, the group travels to the bridge over the chasm with the valley’s mists pouring into it. They are attacked by two groups of goblins from both sides of the bridge. Tamara is quick to fend off two of them at the front, while Flint and Roderick contend with two more. Ultimately, all four goblins fall to combined muscle and spell, leaving only one surviving goblin to yelp about the dangers of a man, a dwarf, and a dragonborn.

In the valley, the group sets up camp once more. On the night watch, a lone zombie stumbled across them, with Roderick waking up Tamara in a timely fashion for them both to bring down the relentless dead body. It is chopped down, and stabbed through its neck once more for good measure, before it’s tossed aside. Not even Flint was aware of the danger, left to sleep in the melee.

The next day, the group moves deeper into the Valley. They find the remnants of a small thorp, which Tamara sadly recounts to be the place where she and her companions stayed until the people were slaughtered by goblins. Now the people, man, woman, children alike, shuffle about aimlessly; every single one turned into zombies. Too many zombies to even contend with, and too many concentrated in the remnants of the burned down thorp, the group decides to follow Tamara’s directions to a ruin she and her previous companions had moved through by chance.

The group explored the ruins again. With Roderick in tow, there was at least someone available to translate the Elven texts within. This included a warning about how ‘betrayal’ was responsible for a locked door that Tamara was very vocal about keeping closed, and them exploring the remains of the burial room. Of which the doors have been absolutely broken down, and no signs of loot, booty, or even a glowing gemstone in particular, were in sight.

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Seventh Session
Disease of the Elves

Trekking through the mists, the group tries to find its way towards the direction of the previous ruin’s central statue was aimed towards. In so doing, they come across more goblins, which meet terrible ends involving axes and spells alike. Roderick almost fell to an arrow, but he’s been healed by a healing potion Tamara had on hand.

Within the woods, however, the group comes across a weakened local, an elf afflicted by some manner of disease. It also doesn’t help that the elf doesn’t seem to speak the Common trade tongue at all. He introduces himself as a hunter, but who has become too weak to travel back to his home village. The group decides to take him along, and under Roderick’s translations, trail him back towards his home.

The home of the elves in the valley is situated in front of a massive tree, taller than any of the troupe has ever seen before. All the local villagers are weakened and afflicted by disease, and seem very much hopeless when their ranger returns empty-handed. Distraught about the situation, and overcome with sympathy, the troupe decides to stick around, if only to help the elves. Initially, that means staying the night, hunting and foraging for food, and trying to find out what has happened with the language barrier separating the group somewhat. Though with these strangers willing to help them, hope seems to blossom in the weakened populace.

Apparently, the local priest is holed up within the tree, a massive temple of sorts, but which will only open at the next full moon of the month. Weeks away, it would seem. Sometime during the day, however, another divine statue rises from the soil and the ground, much similar like the statue at the previous ruin, but somehow not quite yet clearing the mists in the area. The elves fall prostate before the statue, begging their goddess for help.

Roderick mostly sticks around to investigate the nature of the disease and where it came from, finding very little answers.

Tamara, angry about the lack of divine answers, mostly tries to break into the temple the next morning, unsuccessfully.

Flint is being Flint.

The group finds that the water is being contaminated by something upstream, and decide to investigate. They find a morass, corrupted by rot and rats alike, with signs of goblin infestation besides within a cave. Having grown sick and tired of fucking goblins, the group is unanimous in their approach – hard, fast, weapons drawn, they slaughter their way in past initial goblin guards and trained guard rats until they find themselves opposed by more rats and goblins than is rightfully healthy for them.

Flint and Tamara suffer heavy harm in the melĂ©e, but manage to kill pretty much every rat and goblin and their leader. Their reward is a right treasure trove of coppers, silver and gold alike, as well as a floating, chattering, giggling skull offering the group a riddle. Its riddle was cracked by Tamara. Following that, the skull explained that the valley promised power to the wielder of six gemstones in hand – gemstones Tamara realized Nor once held, and which the skeletons that escaped the tomb in the previous ruins may now keep.

The troupe investigated the area further. There were signs of this old cavern being a mine if the old, worn skeleton of some manner of humanoid with broken mining tools nearby were any indication. The skeleton of the humanoid was buried with some reverence. Following that, the group set out to try and clear the miasma away from the spring of water, before they returned to the elves’ home, weakened, but wiser.

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