Earthdawn: Leaving the Kaer

And Back to the Kaer

The team travels deeper through the tunnel, M’lo is in the lead looking for traps with Teledon close behind in case there is a combat threat. M’lo finds the first pit trap and is able to lead the rest of the team past it and then keep his eyes peeled for more. At some point Teledon begins marking the walls so that the team would know which way to go if they had to move through area at speed. After 2 or 3 hours the team takes a break and are able to rest and perform their Karma rituals. Once these are complete Karabus re-casts the the Mage Armor and Astral Shield spells for everyone.

Still traveling through the tunnel M’lo finds yet another pit trap and then tunnel opens up in to an area containing a pair of cadaver men and large multi-headed creature with no eyes, but many teeth. Karabus risks using his Astral Sight on the creature and determines that it is some sort of Horror touched critter and it has to be killed. All of the creatures have turned towards the light carried by the team, but none of them have advanced.

Teledon asked Karabus to verify if they were illusions or if they were really there. Karabus reports that they are in fact all real. M’lo moves into the room prepared to back up Medea. Mazrol takes aim at the Beast and shoots it in the chest causing a grievous wound, it writhes and screams. At this point Mazrol successfully sees through the illusion. Mazrol tells the team his belief of the beast being an illusion. Teledon, is not certain that Mazrol is correct and steps into a defensive position in front of M’lo. Medea true to form charged the beast and attacks it with her claws wounding it further.

The first cadaver man steps forward and attacks Medea, but it’s claws are match for her armor. The Beast then attacks Medea, just then she notices that it is an illusion, but to the rest of the team it looks as though she is being shredded. She does call out, telling everyone that it is an illusion. The second cadaver Man steps in to attack Teledon and its attacks bounce harmlessly off his shield. Karabus, who still sees the Beast as a danger, steps up and casts Mind Dagger at it.

Teledon engages the cadaver man and hurts it. M’lo is able to see through the illusion of the Beast, and then moves behind the cadaver man that is fighting with Teledon takes a swing and cuts off its head. Karabus attempts to cast a spell at the cadaver man fighting with Medea and the spell does not land. At the same time the cadaver man attacks Medea, she side steps the attack then spins on her target and swipes its head off. Everyone in the team now realizes that the Beast is an illusion and no longer concerns themselves with it, the fight is over.

M’lo then moves up to the front again and begins looking for more traps. Teledon then steps ahead of everyone, including M’lo and suddenly is in a hallway all alone according to his perception. Given that everyone on the team can still see him, it is determined to be another illusion. Medea picks up the body of a dead cadaver man and lays him across the line of the illusion, so that it appears to be half in the wall. This way, if the team needs to escape quickly, they will hopefully be able to find their way through this illusion.

M’lo looks around the area and says that he thinks they may be somewhere in the Deeps. Sylphis will look around as well and concur with M’lo’s opinion. M’lo then suggests that Medea should see if she can pick up any sort of the trail or tracks, given that Leldrin seems to use this route to get to the City. Medea looks around a bit and decides that North is the way to go. The team has a quick chat and votes to go North. They travel a bit further and eventually find themselves at the border of Okoros. At this point there is a discussion between the team and mentors. The mentors are going to go to a hiding spot that Sylphis knows of still in the Deeps, where they will rest and recover, meanwhile the team will head for the Council Hall.

The team moves through the streets of Okoros and notice that the citizens are paying special attention to them and whispering amongst themselves. A Troll steps up and boldly asks why the team isn’t still in prison. It seems that they have been branded as “Gate Cultists.” The team tries talking to the group of citizens in a calm and civil manner, however it seems that what the crowd hears are vile threats of violence. Karabus casts his spell “Dazzling Display of Logic” with the intent to resolves this conflict peacefully. Unfortunately, his spell-casting is received as him speaking in tongues and attempting to make use of his vast and terrible spell power.

M’lo attempts to lead the team away Gracefully from the situation, unfortunately he was unsuccessful. Karabus then attempts to dispel magic in the area and is not successful. Teledon puts himself into a defensive position to protect the rest of the team. Mazrol runs away. Then the angry mob attacks Teledon and Karabus. Teledon is able to block all the attacks made at him, unfortunately Karabus was hurt. Medea, M’lo and Karabus all head between a pair of buildings onto a parallel street. Mazrol, then changes his direction to catch up with the rest of the team. Meanwhile, Teledon leads the mob away in another direction. M’lo in the lead, the team heads back to the Deeps, where they notice that the angry mob is not willing to enter the Deeps. They stop there to make a better plan.

Mazrol takes out the arrowhead and hopes that he might be able to us it to locate the direction of the mentors, unfortunately it does not work this time. M’lo suggests that Karabus might try Dispelling Magic on the team. Medea volunteers to be the first cast upon and Karabus finds that there is one more spell on her than he can account for. Karabus then cast his Dispel upon the rest of the team, followed by casting Astral Sight and making sure that the team was no longer en-spelled. That done the team then ponder how an additional spell may have been cast upon them. A plan is concocted to have one of the team members to go and speak with the crowd while Karabus watched from a hiding place.

Teledon volunteers to go out and speak to the crowd. Karabus once again en-spells the rest of the team and they all move in to position to watch Teledon’s encounter. The mob has become even larger and has broken into groups seeking across multiple streets. Rather than going into the street to talk with the crowd, Teledon knocks at a window, in an attempt to get one of the residents of the home to speak with him. “If you repeat this back this sentence , I’ll give you a gold coin.” An Orc opens the window, repeats back the sentence and claims his gold.

M’lo then offers to guide the team via his Stealthy Stride, to the get to the new target location. They are able to slip past the first groups of the mob. Medea and Mazrol are going into Upendils Hammer to speak with owner. While they are inside the mob spots the rest of the team who is waiting hiding in an alley. M’lo once again attempts to take everyone with him with a Graceful Exit, unfortunately it is an abysmal failure, resulting in a full scatter.

Inside, Harg is behind the counter working when he is approached by Medea and Mazrol. They initiate the conversation with code words used previously and he takes them into a back hallway. Once back there, they tell him about the outside being clean and Horror free. They then tell him about the City and the “Heroes” and about how they have been smuggling Elves out of the Kaer. When they take a breath Harg asks them if they have any idea why Leldrin would have come back into the Kaer. After a bit more conversation, they decide that it will be safe to bring the rest of the team into the shop Once inside, Teledon tells him about the Mad Passions and then offers conjectures that the Elves killed the Dwarves and then went off to the build their city. Then the information about the cadaver men is mentioned and Harg had no idea about those being around. He offers to take the team to the Council Hall, via the tunnel and make first contact for them. Before Harg leave, he is also told that the team has rescued the Mentors, but that they are wounded and healing in a secret location.

Harg and M’lo head to the Council Hall, Harg then speaks to Joran briefly about something needing to be seen in the shop. Joran is surprised to see the whole team waiting to speak with him. The team gives him the debrief of all things seen and done after leaving the Kaer. Throughout the report Joran grows more and more angry until Leldrin is mentioned and he growls “I knew it!”

The team along with Joran begin making plans to capture Leldrin. The plan is to call him to a Council Meeting, which will also contain their allies.

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Down the Rabbit Hole

Aftermath

The Watch Commander falls upon the stairs between the assault of Teledon and Medea. The final guard, caught in the middle of everyone, surrenders after a token battering. The team then takes the opportunity for some healing. M’lo administers the Healing Vial to Medea and she heals to some extent. Teledon is then passed the vial and he uses it on Karabus, who heals completely. Mazrol drinks one of the standard healing potions and Medea drinks another and was then healed completely. Teledon then reactivates Woodskin.

Once all the healing was complete the team was ready for the next stage. Following the directions from Titoo, they head to the Tax Collectors office, to the right of the entrance. M’lo makes short work of the locked door. The office is full of paperwork and records, but no valuables. In the back of the room, there is a reinforced door with a more complicated lock. After a few tries M’lo gets it open as well.

Behind this door, as expected, there is a spiral staircase heading up and down. They know that the cell holding their mentors is below, likely behind Adepts of the Watch.

Outside, they can hear the guard dogs in the backyard barking a warning. The witnesses outside are growing in size and noise. While there are no alarm bells ringing through the city, it’s only a matter of time.

Council Hall Cellar

At the bottom of the stairs, they see four guards, Teledon charges the Warrior. Even as Teledon is running forward to engage the enemy Mazrol leaps over the rail of the stairs and fires his bow as he lands shooting one of the Watchmen. M’lo follows Teledon into the fight and takes a swing at the Warrior as well but misses. Karabus casts a spell at the Swordmaster, who manages to successfully slip the spell. With the opening salvo ended the enemy begins fighting back.

Teledon is struck, but not with enough strength to pass his guard. The Swordmaster then turns on M’lo attempting to harm him with cutting words, which have no effect. Seeing his words having no effect he steps in and used steel, missing with his main hand but striking home with his second weapon. The Watchman paired with the Swordmaster also takes a swing at M’lo but missing cleanly. Sensing that her teammate was in trouble, Medea moved to M’lo’s side and swung with her claws at the Swordmaster. She missed him but her attack was enough to distract him from attacking M’lo. With the Swordmaster having spun around to face Medea, M’lo needed no further invitation and stabs him in the back while attempting a taunt of his own. Having been stabbed in the back the Swordmaster shifts away from M’lo and swings at Medea missing her.

Mazrol surveys the room and decides to shoot at the Watchman he had hit previously, attempting to help M’lo and Medea. Sadly the Watchman dodged the arrow via his movements from the melee. Using the distraction of an arrow flying through the melee, Medea takes a swing at the Swordmaster and misses, but once again manages to Distract attention from M’lo.

Once again Teledon is engaged with two opponents, in a swirl of shield, blade and armor. Each moving, hoping to gain some advantage, ultimately all three swing at each other, with little or no effect. Mazrol once again takes a shot at the same watchman, this time bouncing an arrow off his armor. M’lo then maneuvers behind the Swordmaster stabbing at him and missing as he stepped forward at just that moment to attack Medea harming her. Karabus refreshes the Mage Armor on the team through their Wizard Marks. The watchman on the side of the fight stabbed at Medea as well, hurting her badly.

In the other fight, Teledon took a swing at the watchman, unfortunately the sword was torn from his grasp. He chose to follow it, and managed to place himself back to back with M’lo. Medea then moved herself so that her back was to one of the stout wooden doors, while also taking another swing at the Swordmaster. Mazrol takes another shot at the watchman engaged with Medea, causing him to miss her. The Swordmaster then changed his focus from Medea to M’lo, once again failing to taunt him but stabbing him slightly. Meanwhile, the Warrior stabbed at Teledon, who’s movements mirrored his enemy was not wounded. Teledon then struck at the watchman in that fight, forcing him out of the combat. Karabus unleashed a spell at the Swordmaster, Wounding him. Still staggered from the damage of the mighty spell, the Swordmaster never saw Medea step into deadly range and he paid with his life, as she ripped his head off dropping at the feet of the watchman ordering him to surrender.

Karabus then casts at the Warrior, doing a bit of damage, then Teledon moves in to attack the Warrior stabbing him with a solid blow. M’lo moved in on the Warrior as well, sadly his strike missed. Mazrol moved in order to get a clear shot at the watchman fighting with Medea and hits him, but not significantly. Karabus, sensing the beginning of the end casts Iron Hand to help his teammates wrap up the combat. Medea, then attacks the watchman who had been nipping at her heels and takes him out of the fight. With all opponents but the Warrior defeated or dead the team made quick work of their final enemy.

Freeing the Mentors

With the fight complete, M’lo started searching the belts and pouches of the fallen enemies. When asked what he was doing he responded that he was looking for keys, keys being the most efficient way to get passed locks. In the end both the Swordmaster and the Warrior were carrying keys. M’lo then suggested that Mazrol use the arrow head to determine which way to find the Mentors. Mazrol uses his Mystic Pursuit Talent, and points to the door on the right. M’lo goes over to the door, inserts the key in the lock and opens the door.

In the next room is a large cage containing the mentors. They are all bound, and badly beaten. Sylphis the Thief is near death from the Councils ministrations. Both Windlings are drenched, their wings useless, and T’Schrrt Zru’ul is blindfolded. M’o moves up to the cage, examines the lock and then with some effort picks it.

The team then moves into the large cell and begins freeing their very confused mentors. “Why? How? You, shouldn’t be out of the Kaer.” The pupils answer the best they can, recounting the invitation to go search for their missing mentors as well their journey to the city and their own branding as slavers. Sylphis suggests to M’lo that he search for a secret door, that must be down here. Unfortunately M’lo can’t locate it, so Karabus steps up using his Astral Sight and finds it at the far end of the treasure room.

The Secret Shrine

Now with the location of the secret door noted, M’lo moved to it and examined it for traps and finding none he opened it. In the room behind the secret door, they found a shrine of Raggok. It was covered in blood stains, Namegiver bones, insect corpses, and living spiders weaving webs. A rams head was prominent over a ringed cross. The ringed cross caught their attention, Karabus saw that it had more astral magic signature than the other items. Upon closer inspection, it seemed to have been crafted from 5 different materials, and inscribed with runes by different hands. It appeared that this was a Talisman, possibly the core focus of the creation of a Group Pattern. It was determined that more time will be needed to decipher and examine it closer. They also gathered up 2500 Silver Coins (Throalic mint) and 500 Gold Coins (Kaer mint).

Behind the Shrine, another untrapped secret door was found and was opened with minor difficulty by M’lo.
Opening the heavy door revealed a dark passage, a long tunnel winding through the earth. Two light quartz hanging at the walls were taken up to illuminate the way. Beyond there was a long passageway heading into the darkness. It went on, with only minor twists and turns, for miles. Behind them, they heard angry shouts of the guardsmen echoing down the stairs.

With any luck, this tunnel will take them all back to the Kaer.

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No plan survives first contact

After a bit more planning the team decides that at the very least they need to take the night to heal and rest off wounds. In the morning, Ferhaan informs them that the guard and more likely the Council are not wasting any time, it turns out that they were the subject of the Morning Crier’s announcements. He shows them the wanted posters. A new plan is suggested for the distraction, inspired by the wanted posters. Instead of lighting multiple fires around town, Ferhaan will hire multiple illusionists to move around town changing their faces to look like the team and draw attention that way.

The team continues to discuss the best way to get into the Council House. Without coming to a solid decision, they move through town and get within a block of the Council House and scope out the guards at the front and back doors. Then realization sinks in that they don’t have any way to get guard uniforms, so the plan to sneak in a guards who arrested a couple of the team members is scrapped in favor of fighting in through the front door. After waiting a couple of moments for Karabus to cast Quickened Pace and Wizard Mark on everyone, they put their new plan into action.

M’lo moved around a corner where he can’t be seen and enters his Stealthy Stride and begins moving to get into position behind the nearest guard by the door. While M’lo is maneuvering into position Teledon activates his Wood Skin. While this is going on Medea approaches the other guard with the intention of distracting him, by flirting with him, however he does not appear to fall victim to her charms. Meanwhile, Karabus and Mazrol approach the guard that M’lo is sneaking up on and attempt to distract him. Karabus begins asking “How would I schedule a court date?” and Mazrol begins asking for directions to random locations around town. The guard appears to be confused by the duo enough that M’lo is able to start the fight by stabbing him in the back. It was not enough to take him out, but the follow-up attacks by Karabus and Mazrol take the guard out of the fight. On the other side of the door, Teledon realizes that the guard is not falling for Medea’s flirtations and steps up and strikes him with his sword, following his straight forward lead, Medea grows her claws and strikes the guard as well taking him out of the fight.

With both guards down and out of the fight, they are bound and gagged and left out of the way. M’lo moves up to the door and tests it to find it locked. The door and lock are both impressive and M’lo is able to pick the lock on his second attempt. M’lo then moves out of the way to let Teledon and Medea do their job and enter the room first. When the open the door and move in they see two watchmen on the stairs and on the first landing there is a Captain and a Magician.

Teledon charges into the room to the stairway on the right side and engages the watchman, there is a clash of blades on shields as both warriors take the measure of the other. Mazrol, fires an arrow over Teledon’s shoulder, which is blocked by the watchmen. Medea moves in on the watchman on the stairs on the left side of the room. Her dazzling display of claw fighting action passing his guard and hitting hard. M’lo once again using his Stealthy Stride, also moves in the direction of the left stairs where he will either strike the guard or move passed and make his way up to the Captain and Magician.

After the initial burst of violence the Captain begins shouting orders to his people. Teledon and his watchman opponent continue swinging at each other with Teledon getting the better of the exchange. The Captain begins moving to go and help his man who is fighting Teledon and manages to mostly block the arrow that was shot at him by Mazrol and the Magician cast a spell at Medea striking her with a green beam of energy hurting her quite a bit. M’lo continued moving in on the left side and seeing damage caused by the Magician determined that he had to be his main target.

Teledon is now pressed fighting both the initial watchman and the Captain. It is a swirl of blades and shields, if anyone is hit it is nothing worth noting at the moment. Mazrol once again lines up on the Captain and fires into the swirling melee and manages to hit his target, only to have the arrow defeated by his armor. On the other side of the fight Medea strikes her opponent takes him out of the fight. As the guard slumps down the stairs Karabus is moving into the center of the room and hears the Magician begin to cast again and realizes that he is an illusionist and shouts that to the room. Medea, who will no doubt be his target looks him the eye and smiles as the now anticipated illusion harmlessly cascades over her. M’lo moves past the slumped and bleeding guard and maneuvers himself behind the Illusionist. Heartened by the revelation that the enemy caster is an illusionist, Medea charges him and hits him with a solid strike as he casts another spell at her. However, this time it was a true combat spell and not another illusion and she is hurt once again. With the spell barely past his lips, he screamed in pain as the very patient M’lo, finally in position stabs him in the back causing a serious wound.

Realizing exactly what a dangerous position he was actually in, the Illusionist moved and put himself back to back with the Captain and the other watchman and then cast another combat spell, this time at M’lo wounding him. Medea follows the Illusionist and takes a swing at him and ducks out of the way. Teledon and his opponents continue their swirling dance of steel, blades ringing off shields, with the addition of Mazrol once again shooting the Captain with the arrow once again bouncing off his armor. Just when it looked like the fight was wrapping up two new watchmen burst in through the main doors. Medea took the distraction offered by those guards making their entrance to take a swing at the Illusionist, tearing his head off and sending it bouncing down to the first floor, which caused one of the guards to stumble over the head and drop his bow. The other new watchman side stepped his comrade and shot Karabus, who was still standing in the middle of the room.

The stumbling guard finally gained his footing and drew his sword and took a swing at Karabus, hurting him slightly. The guard who still had his bow, elected not to fire into the melee combat where his comrade had engage Karabus and instead turned his attention on Mazrol and fired at him, who was also shooting at him. Both archers skillfully side-stepped the others arrow. Medea and M’lo decided to help Teledon and moved into the previously mentioned swirling dance of steel, Medea the obvious threat was the target of the watchman who missed her, but in doing so left himself open to M’lo’s attack. Teledon likely thrown out of his pattern, now only having to fight one man is struck and wounded by the Captain and only strikes his shield.

The scrum on the stairs continued, lots of swinging and blocking and dodging, no one gaining the clear advantage. Both archers continued their duel of firing and dodging. It finally broke when Karabus cast a spell at the Captain driving him to his knees. The team seems heartened by this turn of events, Teledon avoids the errant swing from the Captain, Mazrol dances out of the way from the sword wielding watchman on the first floor and then shoots him with an arrow taking him out of the fight. Clearly feeling left out of the engagement the archer shot at Mazrol only to waste yet another arrow. M’lo swung at the watchmen and distracted him long enough for Medea to strike and kill him as well.

The fight now is the Watch Captain vs. a wounded Teledon, a wounded Medea, and a wounded M’lo and a Watchman Archer vs. Mazrol and Karabus…

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Meeting with the Thieves Guild
Planning, planning and haggling

The party stands on the street discussing what to do next and finally decides to go to the Thieves Guild. Everyone looks to M’lo, these are “his people” so it’s up to him to go and make first contact, though Karabus goes with him. The initial conversation was a bit of a rough start, but eventually M’lo managed to convince the people at the look-out spot to take him to the boss.

The new contacts led the party into Hangside, to the modest estate of the local Master of Thieves Ferhaan. There is a very long conversation and information is shared from both sides. They tell him about how there are members of the city council that are believed to be dead heroes of their Kaer. They also mention that they suspect a secret alliance between these council members and the leaders in the Kaer to allow both sets of them to maintain their power.

Ferhaan, gives them some history of the city. How it had begun as a small outpost but gained notoriety after the defeat of the Skull Whargs in 1491. After that the location became more famous and a favorite stop for merchants, which brought a boom of prosperity. According to legend, Argethiel had acquired the fire canons, which were the main weapon used to defeat the Skull Whargs.

Ferhaan confirmed the names of four of Council members that had once been the heroes of the Kaer. Argethial, is the leader of the Council. The other members are Errin, Jania, and Mangalin. He also informs the party that Mangalin hasn’t been seen in public in some time and it is suspected that he may be either already insane or heading there quickly. It is however expected that he is still alive, because the regular food deliveries are still being made.

He also mentioned the First Theran War, which took place about 20 years earlier. As well as how the city was raised from a settlement and has been recognized by the Kingdom of Throal as an independent city.

Later as the conversation continued Ferhaan told us about a group of people that matched the descriptions the party’s mentors that had recently been arrested outside of the city and charged with Slavery. That was the moment when the multiple suggested plans were dropped and all energy was focused on rescuing the group of mentors being held in the Council Hall. Ferhaan informed the Party that while he understood why they wanted to break into the Council Hall, no one has ever successfully done so. He then thought about it for a couple of moments and came up with the name of an individual that had a map of the Council Hall and had tried to use to break and barely managed to escape being arrested or killed. Unfortunately, this individual a young Adept named Titoo had brought Ferhaan’s son along on the caper and he had been killed by the guards.

Titoo has been keeping out of sight since that day, but if the Party could locate him, it was possible Titoo could be convinced to give the Party the map and talk about what to expect inside. Titoo was described as a very small human, who looks much younger than his actual age. He uses his appearance in order to cause people to underestimate him or take pity on him…whichever is the most applicable at the moment. Additional information is that he is believed to be a Adept Thief of Second Circle.

A deal is then struck between the Party and Fehaan. The guild will cause a distraction in other parts of the city drawing the guards away from the Council Hall. They will also work out getting the Party into the Council Hall as well as preparing an escape route via the water. All this for the low low price of 800sp, Ferhaan was however willing to lower the fee to 400sp if the party we willing to hand over Titoo, once the information on the Council Hall was obtained. The Party offered 200sp as a down-payment to get the work started, while they went hunting for Titoo.

The party then began asking Ferhaan several questions about Titoo, in an attempt to come up with their best guess for where in the whole city a young thief adept who doesn’t want to be found might be hiding. Between the best efforts of all members of the team, Titoo was finally spotted moving in a crowd in a Landside marketplace. After a brief foot chase the Party corned young Titoo in an alley and set about questioning him for all the Council Hall information he had.

- end of session -
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Ardanyan Town
Why those little...

Stubbing in the Log. Info TBD

  • Temple of Garlen – Gathering info on the town.
    • Learn that the year is 1505, and the Kaer evidently fell out of sync.
  • Wandering the town, seeing strangely familiar names.
  • Questioning Argethiel’s Apprentice, and learning the “Horror of Ardanyan” was a ruse.
    • Learning that the ‘Elven Plague’ was also a ruse.
  • More digging into the betrayal of the ‘Heroes of Kaer Ardanyan’.
  • Becoming wanted fugitives.
  • Plans for escape.
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Onwards and Upwards!
Leaving Kaer Ardanyan

The Mines

The party rebuffs, and then opens the door. Beyond the door is a series of mine shafts, heading in several directions. The first shaft explored ends in a makeshift wall. Karabus uses Astral Sense to look beyond the wall, and sees a swarm of 50 worm/bat-like creatures that seem to nest in the chamber beyond. Medea identifies them as Krillworms. Everyone decides to explore in another direction.

Two sealed doors are found, and generally left alone while the party explores the open passages. M’lo finds a new portcullis built into the ceiling. He helps the group pass through without triggering anything, and finds a large nest in the chamber beyond. Medea recognizes the creature the nest belongs to is a Brithan, described as a ‘large bear, crossed with an angry elemental’. The creature roars at the party, and Medea recognizes it as a challenge. So, she walks over and slashes the bear with her claws, knocking it over. It gives up, acknowledging her as the Alpha, and wanders off.

Outside at last

Beyond the bear creature, is the opening to the outside. It’s night, and a good bit of time is lost just staring at the outside world for the first time. The mine itself is on a cleared hill, NW of a walled city residing on the cross-point of a road and a river… right where the Village of Ardanyan should have been a few hundred years ago…

Mazrol tries to use the broken arrow to track his mentor, but fails. The party decides to sneak down to the city to see what they can learn, and is hoping to find some sign of the missing mentors.

While moving through the woods, the party is attacked by several archers hiding in the trees. Some of the party is surprised, and Karabus takes an arrow, getting a wound. M’lo hides, and begins maneuvering to sneak attack the archers. Telodun runs over to the first archer he sees, another elf, and starts yelling at him in elven for attacking the party.

From there, things devolve quickly. M’lo takes an amazingly placed shot while almost in position, and gets knocked over. Medea tramples one of the archers with Blitz. Telodun masters the art of whiffing for several attacks. Karabus blows one of the archers up with a massive Mind Dagger in the eye. Medea goes on a trampling spree, raiders dodging everywhere.

Mazrol fires a perfect shot, knocking out one of the elves without killing him. The trampling continues. The Adept elf merges with the shadows and flees. One of the raiders dies, three are captured. While the party binds the wounds and ties up the unconscious elves, Karabus uses his magic to question the one elf who surrendered.

Questioning reveals that the elves are the locals, and they have ‘an understanding’ with the bear creature on the hill, so when they heard its challenge call, they came to investigate. They saw the Mentors pass by, but their leader, Farathiel, chose to leave them be. They attacked us because the party looked like more opportune targets. The party decides to drag them to the town and turn them over to the guards.

The sun rises as the party approaches the walled town. Several caravans are in line, waiting for inspection before being allowed inside. When it’s their turn, the party is greeted by a guardsman, “Welcome to the Town of Ardanyan!”

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Out the Gate!

The group has a sizable debate about forming a group pattern before they depart the Kaer. After a long discussion, the decision is to form the group, named ‘The Seekers Beyond the Gate’.

The Caverns

The party passes through the Gate. The first obstacle they find is a fast-moving river, seeming to be diverted by a pair of Water Elementals. Next to the water is the kaon-ma device to telepathically speak to the people inside the Kaer. Nearby is a staircase leading into a larger cavern. M’lo notices some runes on the stairs, and Karabus deciphers them, noting that they’re the incantation to make the Water Elementals divert the river.

As the party is searching the cavern, the Elementals stop diverting the river, and what was an empty riverbed becomes a large, swift-moving river. Crossing the river becomes somewhat comical, as Telodún pitches straight into the river, looking like a drowned rat when he scrabbles to the other side.

In the next chamber, Medea notices movement near the ceiling, revealing the Shadowmant before it can ambush her. It attacks, missing. Karabus rips into it with a Mind Dagger, Blitz gores it, and then Medea rips it’s stinger off, knocking it unconscious in the process. Mazrol then dispatches it.

A second Shadowmant attacks Medea, hitting her with its stinger and injecting its poison into her. Medea retaliates, riping its tail off while Blitz tries to gore it with its horns. Mazrol shoots it, knocking it unconscious.

Medea suffers from the poison while digging out the poultice Ghandjoon supplied to stop poisons. The poison continues to rip through her even after the poultice, so a second attempt is made. Telodún gives her the dose from the Healing Vial, healing her only slightly. The tails are wrapped in cloth and stored for later.

The Great Hall

There is a fair it of upward-heading passage that goes by without event. The group searches around anyways, until M’lo notices some pressure plates near a turn, and a keyhole in the wall. M’lo tries the key, but notices it fails, as it seems to lack anything to engage with. He then moves on to disarming the pressure plates. M’lo tells everyone to go, as it won’t stay disarmed for long, so Telodún goes forward and triggers the blade trap a few feet further ahead. M’lo then goes slowly forward, disarming multiple traps as he goes.

After a hairpin turn filled with traps, the passage opens up to a chamber with a brook flowing through it. Everyone stares at it warily. People eventually begin jumping the brook. On the far side of the brook, another passage leads on clearly, eventually coming to a fork, where the path continues on, and a staircase heads off to the right.

The party ends up in a large chamber with several columns supporting he ceiling. The center of the room has a large, glowing crystal in it, which catches Medea’s eye, drawing her closer. Everyone else averts there eyes, as Medea doesn’t look so good. Karabus moves out of line-of-sight and attempts to look at the crystal with Astral Sight. The crystal affects him anyways. Medea heads forward, with Blitz resisting. Karabus shakes off the effects, and Mazrol and M’lo try to tackle Medea. She shakes them off, and Karabus Dispels her.

Free of the crystal, the group explores the chamber. There are several side rooms each with a shaft leading upwards. At the base of all of the shafts, save one, there is rubble. The last has a rope ladder. M’lo climbs the ladder, and finds a chamber and a door. Everyone decides to take this path, so Karabus uses Levitation to get Blitz up the shaft.

The Mines

Karabus takes about 10 minutes to rearrange his spells and re-buff the party. While waiting, M’lo spends the time studying the trap. As he studies the trap, he realizes the door and trap are new. They are definitely very recent construction. This is a Banded Oak door, so it wasn’t built by the Mentors.

Karabus figures that we’re in the old Ardanyan Town’s Mining levels, and the other shafts were how they moved the detrius of the Kaer’s construction out of the way. The door, however, made no sense.

M’lo makes short work of the trap, and then tries the Kaer Key, just in case. It doesn’t even fit in the lock. M’lo then picks the lock. Telodún then opens the door…

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Reporting in, Training, and starting up the Hunt
Let's get this started back up!

The party returns to the tavern in Khar Rhuz to report in to their Mentors. M’lo does most of the talking as the mentors slowly become more horrified at what they’re told. The Mentors confirm that Cadavermen are a type of Horror Construct, and are now very concerned about the condition of the Wards.

There is much debate about what the group found and what it means. The only clue that keeps coming up is the Nethermancer’s Grimoire. It is sugested that we bring the grimoire to Ghandjoon and see if she can learn anything from it.

The party then goes to speak to Ghandjoon. Medea stops to get her a present, in the hopes of keeping her friendly toward the party. After some discussion, she is able to give the party the Nethermancer’s Name, Silverbrow. Ghandjoon trades a Spell Matrix Item for the grimoire, which she can use to train an apprentice.

10 days are spent in training. The Mentors offer to train the group for free once again, including strengthening one’s stats.

Once the training is complete, the group moves on to tracking down information on Silverbrow. Initial research shows that Silverbrow had a checkered past. This leads to questions asked in Okoros among the less savory types.

It’s learned that Silverbrow was friends with Mad Angius (The Rogue with the ‘Shortsword of Slaying’). That trail leads to a set of rooms where an amulet of Mynbruje is found. There is blood on the amulet, which brings to mind an incident during the Earthtime Festival, where the dwarf Questor of Mynbruje was found dead in Okoros.

Research into the Questor’s death leads to information that he was likely killed for digging into information on the Gate Cult.

Solace 1, 10 days after training ends, the Mentor’s Group gathers for the procession in which they’ll attempt to exit the Kaer. There is some ceremony, and then the inner gate is opened for the Mentor’s group. Once they’re through, the gate is sealed behind them. Karabus keeps watch on the Astral, to make sure nothing sneaks in.

Shortly after, the Tavern-keep offers to put up the party until the Mentors return.

Five days later, Ghandjoon arrives at the tavern, seeking the group. She then scares all the extra people out of the room. She asks if the group had any word from the ‘travellers’, and upon hearing no, tells the group the following:

There is a place in Okoros called “Upandal’s Hammer”, on the Artisan’s Mile. Once there, ask the patron for the “Special Offer”.

Mazrol retrieves the Mentors’ backup plan, and the group heads to Upandal’s Hammer. Once there, the party finds that the shop is a Tool/Mining Shop. M’lo asks for the ‘Special Offer’, and the shopkeep closes the shop. He then leads the group into the basement, and then through several secret passages, eventually getting to a chamber where two Kaer Guards are waiting for the party. One of the guards leaves and returns with Joran Hardhelm.

Joran tells the group that he has had no contact with the Mentor’s group. They had a means of communicating with the Council, and should’ve reported back by now. The Council is tied up on what action to take next. Joran wishes us to ‘sneak out’ and find out what happened to them. The Mentors went out to slay the Horror. Our ‘unofficial’ job is simply to locate them and learn their fate.

The group starts a list of needed supplies to prepare for their excursion. Requests are mostly rations and backup equipment. Karabus gets time with a Grimoire to learn more potentially useful spells.

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Let's try that again...

The night is lost with the party recovering as best they can. The Nethermancer, Ghandjoon does what she can to piece them all back together.

While recovering, plans are made. Mazrol comes up with a plan involving barrels of oil-soaked hay, in order to smoke the cultists out of their base. There is much debate about this plan, and while the specifics are being argued over, Ghandjoon interrupts, offering several potions and poultices to the party, so they don’t need to “visit quite so often”.

Eventually, Mazrol decides that in order to get enough oil without arousing too much suspicion, he’ll need help he can trust. He knows of another guard apprentice who’s likely free of the Cult’s influence, an elf named Telodún, who could be convinced to help.

Mazrol and Karabus head out to find Telodún, while Medea and M’lo head back to report to their Mentor’s all that transpired.

Mazrol and Karabus find Telodún as he’s coming off-shift from guard duty. After a rather dubious discussion where Mazrol tries to be vague about what’s going on, while also trying to ease Telodún’s fears that this whole circumstance will get him kicked from the Guard and arrested for his involvement. Eventually, enough of the details come out that Telodún agrees to help.

Meanwhile, Medea and M’lo find their Mentors, still recovering in the inn where they were attacked. After filling in the elders who are still present, they learn that the mentors, as a group, had been persuaded that it was time to mount another expedition through the Gate, to see if it was safe to open the Kaer. The attack came right as they had finished performing the Life Magic ritual to form their Group Pattern, and the stolen bowl was the item that held the bond to that group pattern. With that bowl, there were many things the cultists could do directly against any of the bonded Mentors.

The party, now including Telodún, regroups at the entrance to the Deeps, and drags their barrels of oil and hay down to the place where the cultists had their base. M’lo scouts ahead, seeing several hunched forms dimly backlit by a Light Crystal at the end of the passage. Everyone forms up, and Mazrol launches his flaming barrel into the huddled pile, setting one ablaze.

From there, the fight erupts, but there’s something wrong. It appears that all of the cultists, as well as the party’s lost member, Iian, have been turned into Cadavermen!

The battle erupts anew! Telodún and Medea form a defensive line, so that Mazrol and Karabus can fire missiles and spells into the Cadavermen without worry that they’re going to get clawed to death in the process. M’lo sneaks past the group, seeking for the bowl.

The fight goes well until one of the Cadavermen notices M’lo. As the one Cadaverman gives chase, Telodún and Medea try to roll the others against the wall so they can’t pursue. Mazrol and Karabus split targets, trying to give the other three support. The fight goes slowly, but evenly, and the party mops up the Cadavermen while not losing anyone.

A thorough search of the area reveals that the bowl is long gone, and the Cadavermen were all of the cultists that they had previously fought. The missing two cultists are eventually found to be the shredded corpses that the Cadavermen were feeding upon.

There is a good amount of treasure and supplies that were left behind, as well as a pile of questions. Where had the bowl gone, and who turned all of the cultists, as well as Iian, into Cadavermen? Why was Iian’s sword also missing, while everything else was left behind?

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The Grand Chase
The WIPE!

As the cultists flee the scene of the Mentor’s gathering, the party gives chase. Their path leads them into the Deeps, heading far down into the maze of mining tunnels into their secret base.

The party engages the cultists in battle, trying to use the tight hallways to their advantage. Things seem to be going well until the cultist’s rogue comes out of hiding and skewers half the party with his “Shortsword of Slaying”. Karabus dies, M’lo nearly dies. Everyone else gets chewed up pretty bad. Medea sounds the retreat, while Iian rushes the Nethermancer, trying to cover the other’s escape.

The remainder of the party limps their way back to the Head Nethermancer, in the hopes that Karabus can be revived. Iian’s fate is unknown, but looks pretty grim…

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