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Session 14: Stacking the Deck
With the skull card drawn, Valindra encircled her allies in a protective ward and made hasty exit through the portal. The party was left to deal with the undead menace. They would not do so alone, however, as Tyro Jimmel chose to stand with them.

It was a bloodbath. Jimmel fell first; his spirit releasing in anger as a new wraith. William suffered greatly at the hands of the creatures. His fightin style was unaccustomed to dealing with apparitions. Before long, he struggled to stand and succumbed to the necrotic energy warping his soul. He, too, would rise again as a wraith.

Ebaark, on the other hand, appeared to take great joy in the battle. His valor kept the wraiths at bay while he unleashed furious retribution upon them. More often than not, his morningstar connected. As the miniutes continued on, his smile began to fade. No matter how many times he swung, Ebaark could not bring down his foe. He watched as Jimmel and William fell, helpless to save them. The warding circle was broken by Pelias, but Ebaark refused to abandon them. Then, too, fell Pelias.

Helge continued loosing arrows at his targets, but even his precision was duped by the insubstantial nature of the wraiths. One look at Ebaark was all he needed to run for the portal. As he ran out, he remembered his card. He drew, but had not yet looked at it. Overturned in his hand was the moon card... "William, return to us", he whispered, guilt filling in his gut as the spirits of Pelias and Jimmel advanced upon him. With a quick jump through the portal, Helge found himself on the main floor of the keep. Ebaark was soon to follow.

The moon card vanished in a flash of light, leaving a confused and fear-stricken William standing before them. So sudden was his appearance, a gasp was heard from behind a shelf. Out stepped a young hawkmask William called "Pip". He had been worried about Wiliam's departure from the guild and was keeping tabs on his friend. Before they could exchange welcomes, a shout came from outside the walls.

"By order of Lord Theronall, exit the ruins and surrender, villains!" Sabine had returned with a garrison of soldiers, hell bent on capturing the party. William quickly handed the crown to Pip and told him to get out quietly. The party barred the doors and headed for the rooftop.

The heroes leapt from the keep to the wall and quickly scrambled into the city, with Sabine hot on their heels. They spread out in the maze, hoping to lose the guards, but ended up both surprised and dismayed to be routed by hawkmasks...
Session: Session 14 - Sunday, Apr 15 2012 from 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM
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The Skull Card
"What does that mean?" Pelias asked, staring at the skull-faced tarot card. At once a thousand souls shrieked in anger. "You chose...poorly", Valindra chuckled, as she drew up a circle of protection. Shadows along the walls elongated and had begun to move freely from their corporeal counterparts. Ebaark readied his morningstar. Still more shadows stirred. William looked at his shadowblades, uncertain of their effectiveness. The shadows took form...

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Session 13: Many Things...
With the blue star adept in tow, the party continued exploring the maze-like crypts of Sanctuary keep. Though the keep had not seen activity in the depths for many years, there were still dangers to avoid, such as crystalline spiders who find their way in the dark underground in search of light sources to snuff out. Their glass-like webs were particularly dangerous for the party, causing many bleeding wounds. Said encounter also drew forth a hulking zombie--some long-forgotten prisoner stretched out on a rack, left to die but animated during the cataclysm. The freakish beheamoth stalked the halls in search of it's former tormentors.

After surpassing those challenges, the party would stumble upon a host of aberrant worms William would later refer to as grick. They swarmed the party from all angles, hoping to snag one of the members as food. However, between William's quick thinking and Pelias' poison, the creatures were quickly turned away. In their burrowing escape, the grick caused a tunnel to collapse, blocking their exit from the crypts. The Tyro, Jimmel was physically exhausted and Ebaark lay unconscious on the ground. Pelias located a small store room they could secure themselves in for a few hours.

Once Ebaark had rested long enough, the party continued their search for the crown. Ebaark found a tomb that housed the Sons of Sanctuary, while Pelias located a secret passage that went deeper into the crypts. The party opted to look for the crown in the tomb, first.

Inside, they found five sarcophagi with ancient rankan inscribed upon them. Each were named. Uther-Sol, Titus-Sol, the Dawn Celebrant, Raylos, and Kal-Dawn-Sol. William explained that these were five of the seven "suns" of Pelor; his vessels in this world. In speaking their names, each of the spirits rose from their tombs. This was a holy place, and only the blessed may enter. Jimmel prepared a fireball but the others quickly moved to the altar and knelt in respect to the legendary heroes. William, in reciting the proper prayers from his childhood, was granted the blessing of Pelor. The spirits said he would need it when confronted by the sevenths Sun, Tempus.

The spirits also saw in the heroes the potential to save Sanctuary. As such, each were gifted a powerful item to assist them in their task; Raylos offered his valor, Kal-Dawn offered his arm wrappings, and Titus-Sol offered his cloak of Zu. The party accepted the gifts and made their way to the secret passage, and the confrontation with Tempus.

The lavish tomb was a sizeable temple of Pelor. As they entered, the statue burst into flames and the angelic visage of the greatest Lightbringer stood before them. Only William was allowed to cross the archway, as only William was blessed. Before he could, however, Jimmel opened a portal and allowed Valindra access to the tomb.

Oh snap, she's a lich!

When the blue star adepts emerged, Tempus became enraged. His holy light eroded the illusions surrounding the blue star, showing Valindra for what she really was, a lich. The party was ready to destroy her, despite her very honest warnings that they would all succumb to domination and crontrol for trying, when she made her offer.

"I simply ask that William take what the angel is really guarding down here. You see, Tempus keeps Baba Yaga's Tarot Cards within this tomb. Those very cards were used by Baba Yaga when she tricked the Raven Queen into releasing Yaga's soul. If you retrieve the cards for me, and take part in a small ritual, I will be on my way. If not, well, I do not wish to fight you, but I will to get what I want."

Valindra, like many blue star, feared death, and sought ways around it. She belived she could use the cards to cheat death as well. Despite William's misgivings, the party did agree, and took part in the ritual. William was allowed to leave with the cards, and Tempus could do nothing to stop it. Ebaark, Pelias, and William each drew three cards from the deck and accepted the reward and ruin as they came. Valindra then left with the cards and the party was free to go.

Ebaark was richly rewarded, gaining vast knowledge and wealth, while Pelias was able to resurrect Nygel before being assaulted by creatures from beyond... William, however, fared the worst. In his defiance of both Pelor and the Raven Queen he earned the emnity of both the Sun god and the goddess of death.

Tempus readied his weapons and summoned forth archangels, while someone else has a far more wicked plan for him...

Angels with Filthy Souls
Session: Session 13 - Sunday, Mar 18 2012 from 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM
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Session 12: In Search of the Crown
Despite the heroes' recent victory, news of Nygel's death was a sigificant blow to the morale of everyone. The Son's of Tempus wanted blood and the Eastwatch leaders struggled to keep the alliance together.

Ebaark had little time for despair, however, and urged the party to move on the keep. After a quick recon job, they confirmed no hell hounds to be present, but were suprised to find the keep guarded by a Yssge warband.

The Broken-Axe clan were under orders to keep any would-be dungeoneers out of the keep; not by their warchief, but by a blue star adept who recently made arrangements with their warchief. This angred the storm shaman who presided over the warband. He goaded Ebaark into a contest of strength. If he won, the storm shaman could still feel powerful, and if he lost, he was no longer beholden to the blue star's commands.

As with all challenges met before Ebaark, he stood victorious in th end. And to the victor come the spoils; Thunderstrike, the mighty morningstar wielded by the storm shaman was now his to command. With his newfound weapon, Ebaark lead the party into the keep and down into the crypts.

Inside the crypts, the creeping madness was overwhelming. It confirmed their suspicions that the place was not simply haunted, rather that it was corrupted by the chasm. The madness assaulted the party, making it hard to concentrate or even trust eachother. Because of this, William passed right through a magical trap he should have spotted. The ensuing explosion left Ebaark, William, and Helge barely conscious and strewn about the place.

Following the explosion came another obstacle; corrupted, undead rats. The rats swarmed over the party, gnashing and clawing at any open flesh. It took a combined effort from all to bring the beasts down. Before they could rest, however, they could see the bodies slowly beginning to move again... The heroes made quick effort in escaping the reanimating rats, only to find themselves in a much more dangerous situation.

In a large, magically lit chamber, were a number of make-shift desks. On the desks were scrolls and texts from throughout the keep. Studying over these texts were a cabal of Blue Star adepts, lead by a Quorum master, Valindra Shadowmantle. She was surprised to see them, but not hostile. Rather, Valindra was quite helpful. Seeing as they were focused on their mission, she saw potential in aiding the Eastwatch. As such, she provided the heroes with some magical healing and sent her Tyro, Jimmel to accompany them in the deeper crypts...
Session: Session 12 - Sunday, Mar 04 2012 from 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM
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The ending is just the beginning.
At the mention of the new position regarding Theronall, the only visible change in William's face is a slight narrowing of the eyes and a small crease running across his forehead, long ago William learned the value of keeping your true thoughts and desires hidden safely away from the world. The normal cheer gone from his voice Willam turns toward the door, "Do you remember that you once asked me if when I grew up, would I want to be you? And at the time I said that I had no interest?"

Pausing, William takes the silence as an invitation to continue, "I told you that I had no interest in games of power and playing human chess. You laughed at me and told me that is why I could fill your shoes perfectly someday. I didn't understand it at the time, I was young, ignorant and angry all the time. Frankly, I don't know if that has changed, but now I think I understand the question, if only a little bit. I know that I owe you for what you did for me, but I also know that you did it for your own ends."

William stops to steady his shaking voice and steel his resolve, "After this one, I'm done Jubal. No more favors, no more debts, I am leaving this part of me behind. I'd like it if we can meet again as old friends or heck, even distant family, but I can't go on like this, I just can't anymore. I have something I have to accomplish, and that is the path I have to walk...even if it kills me. This life you gave me, it has to amount to something. The other day at the pit, they were cheering for us, for me. I've...I've never felt like that before, but I think I liked it.

William turns the handle on the door and taking a deep breath, takes the first step towards his new life. Just over the threshold he pauses and gestures goodbye with a simple flick of the hand, "Goodbye Jubal. Thanks for everything, no matter how things turn out."

Just around the corner outside of Jubal's room Nimouet is leaning nonchalantly against the wall, "What leaving without even a goodbye?"

Pausing only to glance sideways at her, "Last time we really talked you told me that I was nothing but a self centered rake, whose only worth was to be pointed at a target and told to 'sic 'em'. In fact, since it seems so fresh in my mind, I also recall that you slapped me across the face and told me you hoped I'd 'get what was coming to me'. With things as they are, looks like you'll get your wish after all."

Nimouet stood in shocked silence at the outburst, used to only honeyed words, sweet nothings, and innuendo from William. 'Hmph'ing, William takes off towards the door again, "Nothing to more to say about that then? Not even a goodbye or a thank you? Shouldn't really have expected much since I'm 'just a rakehell' anyway. So long Nimouet."


After parting ways after escaping the burning ship in the bay, William spent the next few days gambling and drinking heavily. Finally, he found himself and Nygel drinking alone together. William had played this game all to many times before. He wasn't an assassin that comes in the deep of night. No, he always prefers to come straight at his target. It's all to easy really. Get someone pissed off enough to either challenge you to a fight, or say something that you can demand satisfaction for.

Nygel never stood a chance. One thing led to another and soon he found himself fighting a duel against William out in the dirty and neglected street. William, the better swordsman by far (and not nearly as drunk as he had been acting) easily batted aside Nygel's clumsy attacks waiting for the perfect opening. It came all too soon.

Slipping his blade cleanly through Nygel's rib cage William held onto Nygel's sword arm and pulls him close, almost as if he were embracing a dear friend, "I am so sorry Nygel. I promise you that I'll see Sanctuary free again or die trying. You'll have to wait for me in hell before I can make this up to you though. Goodbye friend."


A couple gold in the right hands and a message is off on quick feet to find its recipient...

Captain and Lady Arryn Sung:

I deeply regret that our previous duel was so rudely interrupted. Hopefully you will be able to forgive the intrusion by the less refined. Being a swordsman of such skill and prestige, as well as a fine and upstanding member of the nobility of Sanctuary, I know that you surely would take the opportunity to prove your skill with the blade, regain your honor, and reclaim your forfeit blade. I propose that we engage in a fair rematch to truly match our blades. Although this is highly unusual for the winner to offer such a rematch, I must admit that I found our dance (although regrettably far too short) quite intriguing.

If this invitation is agreeable to you, meet me at the inclosed location. Attempting to set up anything as dishonorable as an ambush will only cause you to further forfeit your honor, as well as your blade. I hope you will not disappoint, and am already eagerly awaiting this next dance.

Lord and swordsman extraordinaire:

"Figures that the first thing I do for myself is something as stupid and such a long shot as this gambit, but I have nothing but my life to ante with...guess it's good motivation to go all-out when you're all-in with your life." William shrugs at this own line of thought and heads off to stake out the duel location in case Lady Sung doesn't have as much pride as a swordsman as he thought.

"I suppose there are worse ways to go then death by a pretty lady," William smirks as he takes to the darkness leaving only the quiet echo of his all-too-cheerful whistling behind.
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Eventually, Every Job Becomes Work
Once alone, Jubal continued speaking with William, "I must admit, William, I did not think you would fall in with them so eagerly. You were always a bit of a loner. I think it is good you have found like-minded individuals. Without friends, well, one becomes too focused, I think." Jubal chuckled as he finished his wine, "Ahh, nevermind, that's just the drink talking."

"Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, the job... I have two orders, actually. The first regards Dagult Theronall. Certain...agreements have been made. The hawkmasks will no longer interfere with the Lord of Sanctuary. Rather, for the time, we will support him in his endeavors." Jubal studied William's face for a reaction, then continued, "Second. A hit is required to secure our agreement. A Sanctuary watchman, Nygel Tunfel. He continues to voice his opinions against Theronall and regularly raises support amongst other citizens. I believe you have knowledge of this man? His death should be quick and public, though not as a hawkmask. Our support of Theronall must remain silent." Jubal stood and turned toward the door, "You have your orders, William."
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A Personal Apology
Toram was not finished with apologies. Once wounds were healed, the leader of the eastwatch took Helge aside for a more personal request of forgiveness.

"Helge, I owe you more than words. Not only have you restored the Son's leader and began healing the rift between them and the Eastwatch, but you also returned Cymril to me. I have sinned against everything we believe in, for I doubted a brother's words. That will not happen again. There is no apology I can give that would be worth your time to listen, and even less that you should consider forgiving. But know this... I swear on my dead relatives - and even on the ones who are not feeling too good - I am your man forever!"

With that said, Toram turns to a ranger and nods. The ranger produces a carpet with something rolled inside. Toram unwrapped the carpet and produced what appeared to be a bow, though it had been severely burned at one point. "Legend tells of one of our greatest rangers and the story of this bow. It felled a mighty Wyvern in one shot. The blood of the vile Rathamon was spilled with arrows fired from this bow. Dragonsbane is who we aspire to be. When word of his death reached the rangers, many were dispatched to find and recover his bow. It was found on an isle just west of Azuria, blackened and burned." Toram handed the bow to Helge before continuing, "It still carries the fire of Dragonsbane's resolve. I give this bow to you and so name you Fyre, for you have within you the fiery resolve of Dragonsbane."

The heat of the bow scars and burns the arms of Helge-now called Fyre. Yet no pain is felt, as he is master of this mighty weapon.
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Session 11: The Fire Inside
The heroes were happy, albeit concerned, to see Locus return from beyond. His sudden appearance at the barracks startled everyone, though that would pass with a few drinks...supplied by Nygel and the House of a Thousand Faces. Off they were to the tavern for drink and song, though their merriment would not last.

Upon entering the tavern, Grendel was spotted by none other than Toram, leader of the Eastwatch Rangers. He drew down on Grendel, calling him by his real name, Helge, and challenging the party's honor; a challenge they all too eagerly accepted. In the rain-soaked streets, the heroes beat the eastwatch leader and his allies into submission. Even with a blue star adept, the eastwatch were sorely outmatched. Spitting blood and teeth onto the ground, Toram yeilded. Not before calling out Helge as the coward and turncoat they suspected.

Afterward, Helge explained how he ended up in Sanctuary, with the Eastwatch, and how he was expelled from their ranks and marked a traitor. He was present when the Sons of Tempus leader, Cymril, was ambushed by Theronall's hellhounds. During the fight, Cymril turned against her allies and cut them down, but not before suffering a mortal wound, herself. The rangers believed Helge to be involved, seeing as he was the only survior and wove a tale of betrayal. He stayed in Sanctuary hoping to clear his name when he fell in with the party. Alas, the trail had gone cold and there was likely no way to clear his name. No way, that is, save for calling in a favor.

Jubal was not displeased to be helping the party once again, as they seemed to get things done. He offered up some information on a very strange shipment leaving Theronall's private ship later that evening. Suspicious that a ship leaves port the very evening that the Eastwatch Ranger leader arrives. William hung around a little longer to discuss private matters with Jubal, while the rest of the group prepared for a little boat ride.

The party commandeered some rowboats and made their way to the anchored ship. On deck, they found far too many armored soldiers for such a late hour. Quickly, they set to dispatching the guards before reinforcements were called. Unfortunately for them, Helge fired one of the ship's ballistae directly into the deck, alerting those below.

From below deck came General Sabine and her lieutenants, along with a battle-ready Cymril! The realization of her being alive shocked the party, leaving them open for surprise attack--for Cymril she was not. Rather, a Yuan-ti skin-changer had assumed her appearance and used it to befuddle the party during the assault. It was mostly successful, as she used her powers of deception in convincing Pelias to attack Locus while William held off Sabine.

What seemed like an eternity was over in minutes. The skin-changer lay dying while Theronall's men abandoned ship. Sabine made her escape while the party was distracted, only leaving her sword behind. Below deck, Helge found the real Cymril alive and safe. Strange, considering she had been a captor for at least a year.

With the ship burning in the bay, the party made their way back to shore. Waiting for them was Toram and his rangers, both thankful and apologetic. The rangers took them to a safe-house to bandage their wounds. Once there, Cymril explained Theronall's plan. She was the last descendant of Emperor Kafen Theron. By faking her death, the insurgents were left leaderless and separated, giving him time to prepare her for a wedding in Ranke. With sufficient wealth and power backing him, Theronall could marry Cymril to legitimize himself as Emperor.

Despite their ruining of Theronall's plans, Cymril warned the party against resting. If he could locate the lost crown of Theron, he could use that as a tool for legitimacy, as well. Accepting inclusion into the Eastwatch, the party swore they would find the crown first...
Session: Session 11 - Saturday, Feb 25 2012 from 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM
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Long after everyone else in the barracks had fallen asleep, Pelias sat in a lotus position on his bed, meditating, trying to clear his mind.

Of late he had found it difficult to steady his mind and achieve his normal level of calm. Too many thoughts and images were present to distract him. Worry for his clan-brothers hiding in the forest; the horrors he had witnessed in the chasm; what he had seen just before Locus had disappeared forever in the portal. And beneath it all, the eery music that had haunted him since that day. The music was most important to shut out; Pelias suppressed a shudder as he remembered how he had almost succumbed to it and killed william.

He silently repeated the matra he had learned as a youth: You are diamondback, heir of the Yuan-Ti, sharp of fang and cold of blood. Know no fear and all shall fear you. Slowly the the competing thoughts faded, one by one, until Pelias found himself floating in a sea of silent tranquility.

Suddenly the tranquility was shattered by an unearthly scream. His eyes snapped open. No one else in the barracks had been disturbed from their slumber; had it just been in his mind?

Somehow Pelias knew that the scream had been real, and who had uttered it. "Locus."
Session: Session 10 - Sunday, Feb 12 2012 from 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM
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Herald of the Damned
Within the void, a level of peace existed. A surreal existence of a true outsider, with the ability to watch events virtually undetected. No responsibility existed, no insecurities or people to judge you. For some this could be viewed as the perfect afterlife, a place to forget who you were, moving through the void living vicariously through other people’s lives. Yet Locus could never forget who he was, they would never allow that.

Even without a body, or a true mind to speak of the voices found him. In fact they had never left him. It became quickly apparent to Locus that with his first death they had somehow fused into his being, into his essence. The fact that they did not disappear with his second death proved that they were not a defective part of his once fleshy brain. His insanity had been disproved.

This revelation would be the only thing that saved locus’s life. He knew he was meant for something greater, and he could not allow himself to remain in this state.

When locus finally formed a body out of the shattered chasm crystal the shadows responded with him. From his essence they pooled their being into this newly formed crystalline body. The shadows bore themselves deep within the crystal staining the true color of the gemstone. Tendrils coursed beneath the crystal skin like ever moving black veins. This was their mark, a proof of their existence to others beyond the voices that only Locus could hear.

They marked Locus’s forehead with the symbol of their mother. Like his deformity in life that could never go unnoticed, this new brand would have a similar effect.
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Helge: The Message
Helge woke in a cold sweat, another nightmare. He's had the same 'dream' since he found out he was in those woods for a year. He dreams that Aislynn did not wait for him. That she married, and his child never grows to know him.

Helge knew what he had to do. He had to tell her that he was alive. But how? A message, thats the only safe way. He couldn't go himself, but he would send word. "Who would take it? Pelias? No a besybian would never be welcome in Tir Amarion. William maybe? No, we'll all need to stick together for whatever happens next. There's only one person to contact. Jubal. Jubal knows everything about everything that happens in Sanctuary, maybe the entire continent."

"I have to find Jubal." With that thought Helge got out of bed and began to dress in the dark. it was still a few hours until daylight but he could start spreading word.

Helge made his way out into the street looking for someone who might be able to help him. After walking for what seemed eternity he found it, the place where beggers go to hide.

Helge approached them cautiously not wanting them to run away. "You there, i have a message for Jubal, tell him I'm looking for him." The area went quiet, everyone looking at everyone else and back to Helge. A woman looked up from her fire and said "Who is looking?" Helge thought for a moment, "If word gets to him, tell him that Grendel would like a word. and if that doesnt work..." Helge paused for a moment, not wanting to say the rest, but knew if anything got Jubal's attention, this would. "...tell him that My name is Helge Egorsson of the Eastwatch Rangers. and I'll make it worth his time."

Helge turned in place, and not looking back he walked to his room. He knew he'd have a meeting that day and he needed to get some sleep. This was going to be a day of days.
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...Consciousness comes to you in an instant. What was nothing is now something again. That something is pure psychic energy given no physical form. It screams as the tower crumbles around it, but it feels no pain from the crushing rocks.

It has no physical body to feel pain.

As the chasm falls, its friends make their escape. It cries out for help, but no voice is heard in a vacuum. It has been forever that since it was denied physical form...

...What seems like an eternity passes while it wanders throughout limbo. It is strange to have no senses, and yet have them all. Smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing all around its being. As euphoric as the sensation is, it longs for a physical body...

...As it becomes more comfortable in the void, it finds it is possible to move from place to place... for a time. Something keeps it drawn to the chasm, however. On one particular venture, it came across a meditating Pelias. Screams were heard during his focused state, but it took too much effort and it was pulled back to the chasm before it could communicate any further...

...It then realized the futility of existence. Trapped between life and death, much like that of its dark mistress. It existed but could not be. The painful truth of limbo sent a shock through its very essence as it howled into the abyss. All at once it was calmed. The truth.

That is not dead which can eternal lie
And with strange aeons even death may die

The Raven Queen was not dead, and she was not alive. Her existence mirrored its own. A being both dead and alive. And if Clariburnus attempted to resurrect the dark mistress, the balance would be destroyed, once again...

...Only it could stop the Night Lord. By focusing intently on a broken shard of smokey quartz, it were able to draw out other pieces of the crystal from within the chasm. The crystals liquified and melded together, becoming larger,
until you could form a hand.

You continued this process until a body was formed. It looked in all ways as Locus before his first death. No longer was there a scarred and broken face. Rather, in its place was a flawless smokey quartz sculpture. In the forehead was the Raven Queen's symbol, made out of that piece of tiger's eye you once held.

As you entered the body, thought became physical motion. It was not your body, yet you could experience things as if it was. Your joy broke your concentration and the body shattered into a million pieces of crystal... This was going to take some time.

After numerous trials and failures, you were able to sustain the body for an extended period of time. Movement became easier, and you found that because your scythe had been joined with the ice and quartz crystals, you could sense it beneath the rubble. It was not impossible to draw it forth.

Finally, it was time to attempt a climb out of the chasm. As you slowly made your way upward, however, your new senses picked up on something...something dormant. The music. The symphony of madness was not yet destroyed. Deeper than the chasm was something ancient...something primal. The sovereignty was down there. Your crystalline face smiled. They were not aware of your presence, and could not know that you were aware of theirs.

All you need now are some clothes.

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Session 10: The Symphony of Madness
"Do you hear that music?" Locus mused... Not to anyone in particular, rather speaking to the darkness. The others felt it, too. Well, all save for Ebaark. He may have been disturbed by this place, but it wasn't affecting him on a psychic level.

The heroes made their way toward the giant crystal spire while avoiding patrols of reavers. Upon closer inspection, the base of the crystal tower was made up of some organic fleshy lifeform. It smelled as bad as it looked and sounded, creating an atmosphere of unease amongst the party. As they silently stalked the corridors, they found numerous egg sacks hanging from the walls and floors. Before they could examin the sacks, however, William walked into a large moving mass of mucus, which then caused the sacks to burst with reaver spawn!

They're coming outta the walls. They're coming outta the goddamn walls. Let's book!

The gelatinous mass attempted to consume the party, while the reavers infected the party with madness. Being so affected, Locus nearly killed William. He snapped out of it in time, however, and the party was able to focus on the mass while Pelias took care of the remaining egg sacks.

There's always room for Jell-O!

It became apparent to all that Ebaark's immunity to the effects of the crystal also granted him some measure of power over the place. In here, he could open portals, close passageways, and hide their passage from patrols. He was even able to locate his former master, Grimalkkyn, though seeing his master being slowly consumed by the tower was painful for the powerful cleric. After dealing with some crystal golems, Ebaark ended his master's suffering and the party found their way to the top of the tower.

In the uppermost chamber was a pool of what appeared to be brain fluid. Floating in the pool was some sort of fish-like demon. The creature seemed to know Ebarrk--a fact that sent the barbarian into a rage--and sent its minions to capture and consume his friends. While the party dealt with the monsters, Pelias found Garrett's son, being prepped for addition into the walls of the tower.

There's something fishy about this guy

Once the beast was felled, the tower began to crack and crumble. The party made a quick dash to the portal with the child in tow. As each went through, they found it was no longer easily controllable, and they were teleported to the top of the tower, while it was falling!

Pelias used his kusari-gama's endless chain to swing to the floor while William went from stalactite to stalactite until he could climb down the walls. Ebaark attempted to stabilize the building using his willpower, allowing him to run down the floatind debris.

As they reached the bottom safely, William asked where Locus was. Pelias saw him teleport into the portal, but he never came through the other side. They had little time to mourn, however, as the cavern was collapsing without the power of the Aboleth to keep it intact.

Once they were safely out of the chasm, the party could see the destruction they caused. The chasm was nearly twice the size as before, encompasing much of the quarrantine zone. The hell hounds and guardians of the wall were all around them, standing at the ready. When they saw the party through the dust, cheers erupted across the battlefield. Apparently, the reavers were trying to escape during the battle, so Sabine had lead a charge to keep them contained. They witnessed the fall of the chasm first hand.

Garrett was overjoyed at the return of his son, and the party were treated as champions. All was well in Sanctuary, for now.

But what became of Locus?...
Session: Session 10 - Sunday, Feb 12 2012 from 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Viewable by: Public
Session 9: Into the Chasm
Following the prison break, our heroes returned to defense on the wall. Not only was it a great place to hide from General Sabine's investigation, but they felt good defending the people of Sanctuary. After a particularly dangerous assault from the chasm, the heroes stood triumphant, with the other defenders rallying around Ebaark's impressive strength. Unfortunately, the reavers' succeeded in part of their mission.

Garrett, the requesition officer, arrived at the wall in a cold sweat, screaming for Ebaark. Some reavers had found a way through the wall and kidnapped his son. Ebaark was ready to send in the cavalry, but Sabine ordered the hell hounds to stand down. There was too much at stake to send all of the soldiers down to the chasm. She did not stand in the way of the party, however. If they died, she didn't see that as a problem.

The party made haste to the deep chasm, only to be waylaid by winged aberrant beasts. The creatures appeared to be sentries for the denizens of the chasm; something the heroes had not seen before. Before the shrieking creaturs could alert others, however, they were quickly subdued.

apparently,there are few options for the working woman in a fantasy world

The journey down the chasm was much more difficult. Fire erupted from the walls and just as quickly froze. Earth melted into water and blew away as wind. The primal spirits were in a state of chaos, here, and as such attacked any intruders. It was not easy for the party to battle off earth, fire, and ice elementals while hanging on the sid of a rocky, yet unstable wall. Yet, somehow they managed to beat the creatures into submission and continue their descent. Locus even found the heart of an ice elemental, using it to imbue his scythe with elemental power.

Reaching the bottom of the chasm, Locus started humming a strange tune. Ebaark could see he was scratching at his arms. The madness wsa beginning to affect them. The party made haste to find the boy and get out of this place. What they found surprised them all.

Salvatore's gonna sue someone over this

Deeper in the chasm, guarded by reavers was a giant crystal spire, pulsating with dark energy. The reavers surrounding the crystal acted differently, here. Gone was the completely random attacks and beast-like strategies. Down here the reavers acted tactically, as if some greater mind was crontrolling them.

Greater mind or no, the party slew the creatures and made their way toward the crystal...
Session: Session 9 - Sunday, Feb 05 2012 from 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Viewable by: Public
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Session 8: Prison Break
Sabine was less than pleased. All evidence pointed to conspiracy by the party to conquer Farron's Guard. Arresting and executing them would play well with the populous. Lord Theronall, however, saw it differently. There was nothing beyond a simple coincidence that they were involved, and Ebaark was still seen as a hero to the wall watchmen. As such, he thanked them for service and sent them on their way.

The heroes were quite confused, but happy to be released. William was mostly concerned with getting his monthly pay for the last "years" service. Unfortunately, that business would have to wait. Nygel had a job for them. The unnamed greycloak leader needed their help in breaking some stepsons out of prison--not the barracks guard; Lord Theronall's private dungeon.

The four Sons of Tempus were quietly arrested and placed in Theronall's dungeon below his keep. They were scheduled for execution in three days. The greycloak offered the party 200gp for each stepson returned. Despite the overwhelming chance of being caught, they all agreed. Before they could put a plan in motion, however, the party's presence was requested by the leader of the hawkmasks.

Are birds actually that big here?

Jubal had heard about their plan to free the stepsons and offered to sweeten the deal. A hawkmask, three fingers, was also being detained in the private dungeon. Jubal offered a favor if the party freed her, as well. William gladly accepted, and plans were drawn up.

After dropping some coin and making a few "illicit" purchases, Pelias had acquired a s'danzo passkey and the necessary materials to forge honor guard disguises. Meanwhile, William and Ebaark spent the better part of the evening getting the requesition officer, Garrett, drunk in the hopes that he'd spill valuable information. And spill he did. They knew how many guards to look out for, when the shift changes were, and how best to gain entrance. All was in place.

The break-out itself was quite easy. The party used Garrett to gain access, along with Pelias' disguises, and made short work of the guards in the prison. All would have been extremely easy were it not for the captain. Her fighting style mirrored Williams; something that surprised everyone, as she was a noble of Sanctuary. Strange that two people of very different stature would utilize the same skillsets. There was little time to discuss form and stance, however, and Ebaark struck a surprise blow from behind, knocking the captain unconscious. William stole her sword, a nice blade, and the prisoners were freed. Three fingers planted a kiss on William and laughed at how slow they were, before darting away.

The party's exit was as quiet as their entrance, and they were back on the wall before anyone was wise to their plan. All in all, it was a good day. Some money changed hands and some friends were made. Heck, they even learned that Lord Theronall agreed to backpay them for services rendered!
Session: Session 8 - Sunday, Jan 29 2012 from 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Viewable by: Public
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