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Kel'Morde Part 1
And so the adventure begins...

The party walks into the entrance hall of Kel’Morde. The floor is made of the finest polished marble, and white marble pillars rise high up to a deep vaulted ceiling. Chandeliers of glowing crystal shine blue and white light down into the hall below, casting everything in cool tones of blue and purple. In the center of the hall is a large ornate fountain, also made of marble. Water flows down from the fountain to rest in a pool at the fountains base. A soft glow emanates from the fountain.

After tasting the water of the fountain, the party finds that the fountain provides the effects of a Heal spell to any who drink it, refreshing and revitalizing the person. The fountain not only heals the character back up to full, but also refreshes them as if they had just taken a full rest. The water from this fountain can be carried but it loses its potency away from the fountain source.

The party continues east into the second room. In this room, they see a swarm of spider-like automatons frozen in midair and along the ground and ceiling, clearly in the midst of an attack. Their target appears to be a young Aasimar man holding up a glowing golden orb high into the air, a shout of victory or defiance on his lips. A thin mostly transparent and slightly shimmering field separates this scene, seemingly frozen in time from the players. The only visible exit from the room appear to be behind the field.

Naddle postulates that it is some sort of time altering effect, but can’t know for certain. Scott’s character spots a similar orb to the one that the Aasimar is holding, discarded on the ground away from the shimmering time field. With Naddle, James and Cat in tow, they begin to study the orb only to inadvertently activate it and trap themselves in a similar time field. This also has the unfortunate effect of nullifying the other field, releasing the swarm of spider automatons and Aasimar.

Reacting quickly, Ryan goes on the offensive, saving the Aasimar from a quick and brutal death. The Aasimar (Steven’s character) thinking quickly, reaches into his pack and produces a small device, which he lobs into the swarm of automatons, causing a massive explosion which destroys the vast majority of them. It is a simple mop up afterwards.

Steven introduces himself. He was once apart of a party of adventurers who had entered Kel’Morde after discovering they keystone to the entrance deep within the Royal valuts of a kingdom that had once existed in the area. Steven asks what the current date is, and is shocked to find hundreds of years have passed. Everyone he knows and loves is likely dead, even the more long lived races.

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Into Kel'Morde

With the events of the previous day out of the way, life in Shepard’s Rest returns to normal. The party, with nothing else to do and with some newly found magical loot to offload, decided to head into the capitol city Faradyn.

After several days of travel, the party arrives at Faradyn and is immediately assaulted by the noise and stench of the city. The city itself is in a rather poor state, with the once populous and bustling market places reduced to a few stubborn food vendors and hawkers. These merchants look like they are struggling to get by, and it seems doubtful that they would have the coin to purchase any magical goods.

Ryan, a once proud member of the local thieves guild, knows of one place that often traded in magical artifacts and devices. The party soon finds themselves in a small cul-de-sac tucked away back behind some side streets off the main stretch of road from the city gates. At the back of the cul-de-sac is their destination, a shop by the name of Curious Curiosities.

The proprietor of this shop is a halfling wizard by the name of Naddle Spritzkowitz, an eccentric character with a taste for ancient history and Galarian artifacts.

Naddle, upon seeing the markings on the magical items the party is trading determines them to be of Galarian make. After questioning the party on where they found the items, Naddle gives them a proposal. He doesn’t have the gold to directly purchase any of the party’s items since he hasn’t made a sale in months due to the poor economy, and there being very few adventurers active these days. Instead, he proposes that he fund an expedition to the ruins where the party discovered the magical items.

As they are negotiating details, someone else enters the store, a young Monk who is there to inquire about a magical rock that he found in the Northern wilds. Naddle determines that the rock is a Galarian keystone, a magical device that can open sealed Galarian Vaults. He determines that their meeting must be destiny, and the party is convinced to take on the expedition alongside Naddle.

The party once again ventures forth into the wilderness, with two new companions, Naddle and the mysterious young Monk who had brought them the keystone. After two weeks journey, the party returns once again to the Galarian ruins they had liberated from the goblins and gnolls.

On their return, they encounter a pack of Dire Wolves with a powerful Winter Wolf alpha. The party does battle with the Winter Wolf, grievously injuring it. The Winter Wolf, a sentient magical being, surrenders to the party when his defeat is assured. In return for sparing his life, the Winter Wolf agrees to give the party information as to the whereabouts of a hidden Galarian Vault in the ruins of the city.

The Wolf leads the party to a vast mine shaft situated within the canyon walls surrounding the city. There is a set of spiral stairs leading hundreds of feet down in the shaft until a magical crystalline lift is found. The party parts ways with the Winter Wolf and rides the lift down into the shaft until the light of the sun above is but a tiny pinprick of light.

They find themselves on a stone landing, standing before a massive stone door, flanked on either side by hundred foot tall statues of mighty Galarian Templar. The keystone begins to glow and pulse, affected by the presence of a Galarian Vault Door. Using the keystone, the party unlocks the doors and are met by a blast of foul miasma and a deep voice.

“How interesting…Insects come to play in my home? Enter if you dare.”

The party, steeling themselves for battle, enter the Vault of Kel’Morde, uncertain as to what dangers may lay within…

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Gnolls, Bugbears, and Goblins! Oh My!

It seemed like any other day in the sleepy little town of Shepherd’s Rest until Roland Avery stumbled into the Crooked Crook Tavern bleeding and beaten and screaming about bandits kidnapping his sister.

The party rushed to his aid and began a systematic search of the surrounding area. Jessica, being a Ranger well versed in tracking and woodsmanship quickly found a trail leading north into the more unexplored regions of FaelĂ­n.

After hours of searching the party stumbled upon the corpses of the bandits and Roland’s poor sister. All of the bodies were missing their ears, as they had obviously been cut away as trophies.

A new set of tracks was found entering the copse of trees where the party found the bodies and exiting again to the north. Jessica recognized the tracks as being made by goblins, which was consistent with the wound patterns found in the bodies. Deciding that such a threat so close to Shepherd’s Rest could not be left unchecked, the party decides to follow the goblins north.

The party soon stumbled upon a large overgrown canyon with what looked to be old Galarian ruins of some sort of town nestled within. Seeing no other option, the party made its way down the canyon walls as stealthily as possible. James, the Wizard, decided to Feather Fall to the bottom, reaching the floor much faster than anyone else.

Deciding to scout ahead, James comes upon the remains of the town’s outer defensive walls. They are made of old stone crumbling with age. Deciding that it would be better to have the goblins come to them rather than have the party sneak into town and try to take the goblins in their home territory, James knocks over a section of wall with a well placed spell.

However, James failed to notice the sleeping bear, whose den was made in a cave by the outer wall. The bear woke up, startled by the noise and immediately reared to attack, but not before James, acting quickly came up with an audacious plan.

Slapping the bear across the face to enrage it, James bolted through the large gaping hole in the wall and ran with all speed towards the center of the crumbling town. The goblins had already been alerted by the sounds of the breaking wall and the roars of the shocked and angry bear, and so were already running towards the disturbance by the time James had made it through the wall.

But this was all according to plan. Barely staying ahead of the bear, and on a collision course with a small battalion of goblins, James leaped to the side, but not before casting Grease on the ground. The bear and goblins stood no chance and hit the grease slick at full speed, slamming into each other at maximum force.

His foes, tangled in a heap of greasy limbs and fur on the ground, presented an easy target as James cast a fire spell into the fray, lighting all opponents on fire.

At this time, the rest of the party had made it down to the canyon floor, and immediately rushed towards the sounds of battle. With very little effort, the party dispatched the rest of the goblins who had not been killed by the incredibly hot grease fire, putting the poor unfortunate bear out of its misery in the process.

With the goblins dead, the party entered into the center of the town. Ryan, not wanting to battle any remaining goblins if he did not have to, decided that he would intimidate any survivors into surrendering. Chopping up goblin bodies and bathing himself into sticky and highly pungent goblin blood, Ryan demanded the immediate and unconditional surrender of any goblins in the area. Sadly, his performance was for naught as all of the goblins had been slain.

The party moved to search the building which James had seen the goblins funneling out of, and found what appeared to be a camp or home within. Everyone began to search the goblin camp for any loot and the party stumbled across a hidden switch. Upon hitting the switch, both Cat and James fell into a hole in the floor that had opened up, and were quickly swept away by a torrent of rushing water.

The water appeared to be part of an ancient plumbing system, powered by magical runes. Mandy, using her detect magic was able to pinpoint where these pipes connected with the rest of the town, finding they all lead through the center of town in a large building that seemed to be some sort of town hall, or perhaps an old temple.

Searching the building, the party found a hidden staircase leading down into a sewer system below the ruins. Proceeding with caution, the party dealt with patrols of Gnolls and bypassed many traps before finding the spillway where all trash in the pipe system ended up. The spillway was protected by a room of goblins with a single gnoll commander.

Listening to their banter, the party was able to find out that two people had been pulled out of the water some time ago, and had been taken away for the boss Gurg to question. Not knowing where to find this “Gurg” the party decides that the only thing to do is to take out the room and question one or two survivors. Sneaking in through the spillway, Ryan is able to sneakily deal a critical blow to the Gnoll commander. With everyone in a panic, Isaiah is able to rush into the room and cast a powerful AoE spell to take out many of the goblins before they have a chance to even pick up a weapon.

There are two survivors, Blork and Splork, brother goblins. Blork is quite intelligent for a goblin, and cuts a deal. Blork will lead the party through a series of hidden tunnels that lead directly to Gurg’s chambers in exchange for a bit of coin and he and his brother’s assured survival, though mostly his own.

The party is lead through a series of secret passageways, bypassing many goblin and gnoll patrols, and end up in what appears to be the town’s gaol. There are dozens of prisoners, victims of goblin and gnoll raids along the surface. The keys to the prison are being held by Gurg, who according to the prisoners is “entertaining” guests, some fresh prisoners that had just been brought in.

Knowing that they might be too late, the party rushes through the gaol to Gurg’s own personal quarters within the warden’s offices. Gurg, a massive Bugbear, is in the process of “interrogating” a prisoner, not really caring as to what they had to say, but enjoying their squeals of pain and agony as he cuts their flesh from their bodies. Luckily, James and Cat have not been subjected to Gurg’s sick games as of yet, though they have been beaten quite badly and have been strung up on the wall, awaiting their turn.

Seeing as how Gurg is occupied, the party sneak attacks him from behind. Gurg puts up a mighty struggle, nearly killing Ryan with his powerful blows. Luckily, the party is able to put him down before he kills anyone, and Cat and James are rescued, along with the rest of the prisoners. The party escapes from the sewers, but not before looting Gurg’s own personal treasure stash.

Ryan offers a “job” to Blork and Splork, and both goblins readily agree to come with the party, not wanting to be around if the others find out that they sold out their boss.

Making it back to Shepherd’s Rest, the party gives Roland the unfortunate news about his sister. Saddened by her loss, Roland nonetheless is determined to keep his and his sister’s dream of having a successful homestead alive. Ryan secretly slips him a bit of gold when he’s not looking to help get him restarted.

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The Story So Far...

Our story begins with 9 individuals who have joined the Adventurer’s Academy in the Kingdom of Astoria. These 9 men and women worked their way through the academy to eventually graduate and join the Adventurer’s Guild who are responsible for the protection of the general populace.

In the middle of a seemingly normal day, couriers arrive at the Academy bearing gravely important news. The Tower of Akris has once again reached a state of threshold where many of its most dangerous monsters go into an extended hibernation, leaving the rest of the tower open for conquest.

The Guild, who has been seeking a way to end the war they have been continuously fighting in the south, sends an expedition made up of many of its most powerful members in an attempt to reach the top of the tower in hopes of slaying the dark god Akris, and taking the ultimate treasure laying atop the tower for the Guild, to use it to end the war.

The Players at this point were low ranked members of the guild, still too green to send south to the war, but strong enough that they could be of use. As such they accompanied the Tower Expedition as escorts and were to be assigned to the Guild garrison in the city of Veritus, that resides at the base of the Tower of Akris.

The Players however were not content to merely sit around in Veritus while the Masters of the Guild entered the tower, risking their very lives. So, defying the Guild Master’s orders of staying in Veritus, the party entered the Tower.

The first obstacle in their path inside the Tower was a massive ziggurat known as Kazrax. Kazrax was a veritable death trap filled with deadly puzzles and monsters. Fighting desperately through Kazrax, the party finally made it through, but not before acquiring a sentient book known as Morsma.

Morsma claimed to have once been a god, and that he will aid the party in their quest of reaching the top of the Tower so that he can find a way to finally free himself from the confines of the book.

In Kazrax, two of their number fell, and the 9 adventurers were reduced to 7.

After having traveled days through the twisting corridors of Kazrax, the party arrives at the second level of Tower of Akris, an enormous grassy plain known as the Plains of Sar’lochan. Hanging above the plains are enormous chunks of rock and dirt known as Sky Islands, or Earth Motes.

Through speaking with other adventurers climbing the Tower, the party discovers that there are 6 tiers to the tower, and that to reach the third tier, they must travel upwards many miles traveling from Sky Island to Sky Island. However, they also find out that they have 6 weeks before the path to the third tier opens up, as its entrance only reveals itself for a period of 3 days once every 6 weeks.

The party travels through the plains, discovering an enormous temple in the middle of a lake. After exploring the temple and defeating its guardian Mordan, the party makes their way up the sky islands and reaches a small settlement, known as the Garden. This settlement is like a small town surrounded by a magical force field. The players enter the town only to be discovered by the Guild Masters.

Though the Guild Masters are angry with the party for disobeying orders, they realize that there is nothing that can be done at this point, and decide to make the most out of the situation. Thus, the Masters give the party a mission to go back out into the plains and gather a precious mineral that the people of the Garden need to keep their force field powered.

The party agrees and heads out to a location known as Frostfire Citadel where a Lich named Laryl has made his base of operations. Laryl is known to have distilled the mineral that the party needs so they execute and infiltration of the citadel where they eventually encounter Laryl and are forced to fight.

The party emerges victorious and return to the Garden with the mineral (and a lot of treasure too). Though they have the mineral, someone has sabotaged the arcane device that powers the force field and disabled it. As this knowledge comes to light the Garden suddenly finds itself under attack by a horde of flying demons. The party and the towns inhabitants manage to fight them off, but the party must now find another source of the precious mineral as the last bit they found will not be enough to last the Garden due to the need of reactivating the field.

One of the party fell to the demons and so their numbers were reduced once more to 6.

Thus the party finds their way to the Dragonstone, an enormous series of tunnels and caves dug into the wall of the Tower itself. They fight their way through the Dragonstone and meet its ruller, an ancient vampiric dragon named Vazkrilinar.

Vazkrilinar tells the party that he has been watching their progress through the tower and that he will gladly give them what he seeks if they can defeat him (though he says being immortal he will not likely stay dead for long). The party along with other Guild members who had come with the Guild Masters fight Vazkrilinar and after a long and arduous battle, emerge victorious. Vazkrilinar having “recovered” from the party’s fatal blow gives them what he promised and reveals to the players some of the history of the tower.

With their objective complete, the party returns to the Garden. At this point 6 weeks have passed and the party can now make its way to the third tier, and area known as the Xerathi Swamps.

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