Earthdawn: Leaving the Kaer

Beginnings, Part 1
Adventure Log 1

Earthtime, 1500

Council Hall:

  • Elemental Well: The level of the Well hasn’t moved in over 50 years, which is unexpected.
    • The Mages are in debate over what this means.

Earthtime Festivities, Day 1:

  • Stories and Legends are told
  • Newborns are introduced to the Kaer
    • Lots of Orcs, Very Few Elves
  • Many Life (Blood) Magic Oaths sworn.

Earthtime Festivities, Day 2:

  • Remembrances for the past year
  • The previous year’s oaths are fulfilled.
    • Some are re-sworn.
    • The Life-magic Wounds from the successful oaths turn silver or gold.

Earthtime Festivities, Day 3:

  • Honoring the Passions
    • Booths and Displays honoring each of the Passions’ Aspects.
    • Iian gathers an Emblem of Roshomon and leaves it in offering at the ruins of the old Temple.
      • Now known as the ‘Temple of Greed’ and generally avoided.
    • The other ‘future’ party members participate in the games and challenges put up to honor the Passions.
      • M’lo and another T’skrang girl named Lonaha get into a ‘Taunt Off’ competition.

Earthtime Festivities, Day 4:

Initiate’s Performance:

  • Iian displays his forged items, alongside the rest of the Forge.
    • He goes out of his way to play up the works of his forge-mates.
  • Karabus holds a rousing speech about Wizardry, and concludes by walking up the Kaer Wall and firing off some flame spells.
  • Mazrol holds a display of mounted archery, while another Archer Adept called Celemir is also displaying his skills, and they devolve into competition.
  • Medea shows off her mundane skills by holding a shepherding/sheepdog control exhibition, and then holds a martial arts/claw fighting display.
    • A Troll Warrior named Werkog tries to drown out Medea’s display by being loud and swinging around a two-handed spiked mace in one hand.
  • M’lo displays his skills by walking blindfolded through the Archery Contest while reciting something in his native language.
    • Celemir shoots the Blindfold off, and M’lo sells it as intentional on his part.
  • Karabus notices an Orc Nethermancer showing off his skills by having tea with a manifest spirit.
    • The Nethermancer is young, outgoing, and focused on making Nethermancy look palatable.

Initiates Group Competition:
The party is gathered together and brought to a spent area of The Deeps that has been set up for a game of Capture the Flag, with Weapons! Mages have been set up in the sidelines to heal the fallen.

M’lo takes ownership of the Flag, and stealthily sneaks off in the backline.
Everyone else spreads out, looking for the other team. About half a minute in, Mazrol sets off an arrow trap, takes a wound and falls down.
Shortly after that, Medea runs into Lonaha, who makes an awesome first impression and then asks her where the flag is.

At this point, several people engage at range and melee.

  • Iian squares off against Werkog, while Karabus Mind Daggers him.
    • Joril shoots at Iian, but misses.
  • Mazrol gets into a shoot-out with Celemir.
  • M’lo finds a spot to hide the flag
  • Lonaha repositions.
  • Medea goes Flag Hunting.

The battle boils on…

  • Iian continues to square off against Werkog, while Karabus Mind Daggers him again.
  • Joril and Medea reposition.
  • Mazrol and Celemir continue their shoot-out
  • M’lo hides the flag, and then scampers around trying to appear to still have the flag.
    • Lonaha attempts to mock him while seducing him, and fails because that’s confusing.

The fight continues…

  • Werkog charges M’lo, who scampers off.
  • Mazrol repositions, steps on a second arrow trap, and goes down.
  • Medea, Karabus, Iian and Joril reposition.
  • Celemir shoots at Medea, but misses.

To Be Continued…

Beginnings, Part 2

The Battle Rages on…

When we last left our pseudo-party, they were in the thick of the Initiates Group Competition. Things were looking grim for our heroes, as Mazrol was down, and the opposing team had managed to get two members in range to search for the hidden flag…

  • Iian notices Mazrol lying on the ground, filed with arrows from the trap. He heads over and checks to make sure he’s not dead.
    • Celemir shoots Iian while he’s checking his downed teammate, and Iian loses his temper.
  • Werkog continues to try to squash M’lo
  • Medea loops back around to deal with all of the opponents getting close to our team’s flag.
  • Karabus continues forward, having spotted the Nethermancer guarding a corner in their backline.
Wrapping up, Healing and finding trouble
  • Everyone raises a talent (8 hours)
  • Everyone heals with the head Nethermancer watching over them.
    • Nethermancer teaches the party the Group Forming Ritual (Blood Magic for the WIN!)
  • Group attends the Master’s Challenge on the next day of the Festival.
    • Group notices suspicious individuals, and follows them up into the ceiling.
      • Group of cultists trying to drop the main light crystal on the Masters
        • Group stomps them and takes them captive.
        • They’re questioned, but they’re dubs.
Training, Logistics, Research and FIGHT!

Everyone spends a week training up to Second Circle, while using their off hours to catch up on tasks and research the cultists.

The group’s Mentors are invited to a tavern a couple days after the training to meet with the Head Nethermaster, Ghandjoon. She asks each Mentor to bring their ‘apprentice’, the party member, along with them.

The group attends, doing the work that the apprentices are expected to do. The Masters are all up to something in the main room of the tavern. Everyone else is restricted to a small side room.

As the Masters ask Mazrol to bring them a bowl, a gentleman sitting on the opposite side of the common room sneaks outside and then runs off. Upon delivery of the bowl, Mazrol notices that their mentors are joined by Joran Hardhelm and his adviser Leldrin.

There is a small debate about chasing the sneaking man, when everything explodes into violence. Several cultists throw flaming bottles of oil, setting the tavern ablaze. A sphere of magical darkness appears over the Masters as cultists swarm about the room.

Various members of the group start grabbing their stunned mentors and evacuating them from the burning tavern, while fighting off the cultists. One of the cultists yells, “We have what we came for! Let’s get out of here!” and the cultists make a break for it, abandoning their wounded for the party to finish off.

Next time: The chase ensues…

The Grand Chase

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…

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?

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.

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…

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!”

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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