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Chapter 11: Stuff Happened
Sanguine murdered a cultist to prove allegiance to a beholder that believed itself to be a god; The party then headed out toward Kalidnay.

Along the way, they were stopped by two strange giants wanting a toll to pass through their lands, but were tricked into fighting with each other, thus allowing the heroes to continue.

While crossing the salt flats, they were ambushed by a crazed Brogh that nearly bested them, were it not for the timely blinding by Solaris.

Finally, they arrived at the ruined gates of Kalidnay and made camp for the night.

We're all caught up. See ya'll this week.
Session: 42 back on Sunday?? - Sunday, Aug 25 2013 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 11: A Brief Stop in Celik
Stealing the wagon and behemoth turned out to be a great move. The party cut their travel time in half, and having a beast like that does wonders to keeping other predators at bay.

In three days they arrived at the ruins of Celik. Quickly, the party made arrangements to sell the wagon and outfit the behemoth with a howdah for the remainder of their journey. And with general purchases made, the party met with Hargo's old friend, Korsun Marneth.

Though the two had a past, Korsun was happy to see is old pal and offered them rest at his estate while in Celik. None really trusted him, and for good reason; any friend of Hargo's is only an enemy once removed. With pleasantries exchanged, the party found a broy-garden and sat down for food and drink.

All was not good, however, as the market place was set upon by savage elemental cultists once the sun set. One even summoned a magma elemental to lay waste to the market and its occupants. The heroes stood where even the poorly paid guards ran into the night. Pak'Cha's flying special annihilated many of the cultists, while Sanguine and Solaris focused on the genasai leader. Crusher summoned the fire within himself and grappled the elemental until the leader was subdued. Scar just leaned across the table and finished off Malla's plate of gorak. The other's had it handled, and she was still a bit peckish.

Crusher figured there was a reward for capture and drug the genasai to Korsun. Before the firebrand could plead his case, however, Korsun's bodyguard beheaded the filthy cultist. Korsun was able to explain the situation, that the cultists have been attacking for some time, and he could use help in dealing with the madmen.

Their temple was hidden beneath the ruins near the old fighting pits. It wasn't too hard for Sanguine and Pak'Cha to find and the party was soon inside the Temple of the Elemental Eye. Unfortunately for them, it was an out-of-the-frying-pan into-the-fire sort of situation. The main hall of this temple was filled with fiery pools of oil and a cultist on guard summoned forth fire archons to deal with the heroes.

The cultist had gravely underestimated his opponents. Believing them to be as susceptible to fire as your average person. The party was made of sterner stuff. Wading through the pools of burning oil, Crusher tackled one elemental and proceeded to beat the light out of it, while Pak'Cha and Sanguine focused their attention on the cultist and his minions. Solaris suffered the most, and even he was barely affected by the fire. Instead, the ring on his hand appeared to burn hotly, soaking up all heat from around him.

Moments later, the guards were dispatched, though the cultist did make way to the southern door screaming for his master before being broken by Pak'Cha and Crusher. With the doors flung upon an aberration not unfamiliar with the party rose from the boiling mud-bath. The eye of flame was not amused, "Your trespass is unwelcome here. Be reborn in my presence, or burn to ash..."

Session: Session 41 - Sunday, Aug 11 2013 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 11: Harbek's Return
Harbek had returned. After escaping the temple of the preservers, he followed the kreen toward South Ledopolus. It was there they were ambushed by the 1st legion, commanded by Praetor Durok. They were forced to backtrack and by dumb luck crossed paths with the party.

Ignoring the obvious solution of fleeing, the party instead chose to infiltrate the 1st legion's camp to assassinate Durok, gather supplies, and do what they could to slow down the legion's advance. The kreen took Hargo, Malla, Kelek and Rhona on toward Celik, and the others prepared their assault.

Scar spent time practicing with her newfound blade; a weapon that Solaris was highly suspicious of. The others didn't seem to care much.

When night fell, the party made their advance. A quick assault on the legion's makeshift watchtower provided them with cloaks and gear to disguise themselve sas legionnaires. Once in the camp, they separated into three groups: Crusher and Solaris went to sabotage the slave tents; Scar and Harbek planned to free and spook the mounts and back beasts; Sanguine made for the Praetor's tent.

All went mostly according to plan. Scar and Harbek caused all manner of chaos with the stormlizards and trihorn behemoths--two of which they opted to keep as mounts for themselves-- while Crusher and Solaris set much of the camp ablaze in the night. Sanguine had succeeded in gaining entry to the tent, but unfortunately set off the templar's alarm spell. He smiled as he summoned his Shield Guardian -- a massive construct made of various furniture and armors laying about his tent.

The others could hear the magical alarm and made a strong push to aid their ally. Harbek and Scar used their mounts to break through much of the tent while Crusher and Solaris occupied the 1st Legion's Prelate, Lanius himself.

It was a mixed battle; while the party was doing well, Lanius and his vanguard were slowly gaining ground. It was only when Durok cast some sort of teleportation ritual that all hell broke loose. The tent erupted in flame and legion dragoons were swarming about the place. A few well-placed distractions later, and the party made their escape to one of the silt-skimmers. They quickly attached the behemoth to the skimmer and made for a ballsy escape. As they pushed away, they could see the destruction behind them. Tents caught afire, one of the skimmers toppled over. Storm lizards attacking all around them. It was pure pandemonium.

Below deck, the party found enough supplies to get the party to Celik with room to spare. It was refreshing to see a plan come together so nicely. A day later, the heroes regrouped with the kreen and their friends. Harbek bid farewell as he restarted the journey northward (or was it southeast?). With any luck, they'd cross paths again...

Until then, The heroes had more pressing matters. The legion would only be slowed for so long...
Session: Session 40!!!!!!!! - Sunday, Aug 04 2013 from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Chapter 11: Went Through the Desert on a Kank With No Name
Anamis Black is dead. Supplies were dwindling at best. The heroes were beaten, burdened, and exhausted. Their best-no, only hope was to scavenge up what they could and push on. That is what they did.

Had any of them believed in the gods, they might have given thanks when they encountered a lone traveler on a rage drake. She called herself Scar, and carried enough supplies that the party could at least comfortably travel for a day or so. She was also an expert at exploration, and provided all manner of tricks to avoid being ambushed, surviving the extremes of the desert, and tracking down sources of food/water. She was less good at spotting ambushers, however. They had Pak'Cha for that.

The dune reapers leapt in from all sides, cutting down any within reach. The biggest nearly killed the kreen, and proved a reasonable match for both Scar and Crusher together. The others focused on killing Solaris, but were undone by Malla and Sanguine's teamwork. When all was dead, the party gained themselves some scavvy and pushed onward, hoping to find a nice place of rest.

One cannot imagine their joy upon finding an oasis in their pathway. Solaris, Pak'Cha and Scar moved to get drinks despite Sanguine's warning... A warning that should have been heeded. The oasis itself appeared to lash out and attack the heroes, while nearby a pair of giant megapedes assaulted them from both sides. It took every ounce of skill, perserverence, and blind luck to survive the attack. In the end, however, Crusher stood over the broken body of one megapede, while Malla and Pak'Cha finished off the other. In a fit of rage, Crusher leapt into the oasis and began striking out at the filthy creatures causing the illusion. When finished, he stood in a muddy slurry over the broken shells of necrotic oasis bugs.

Before they could rest, however, they were set upon by another group of travelers. Harbek smiled as he came into view, "Well, look at these morose mekillot's here."

Session: Session 39 - Sunday, Jul 28 2013 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 10: The Temple of Amut-Ka
The priest of Amut-Ka turned to address the heroes, "An age has passed since the awakening of Amut-Ka. With these two sacrifices, I shall bring forth my goddess and restore the green. You are welcome to witness her revival."

Anamis drew forth his blade as Crusher readied for a fight, "This ritual is nothing but defiling magic, friends. Save Rhona and Kelek! Let's burn this dead priest!"

As tired as they were, the party rallied to save their friends. Malla and Hargo kept the mummy slaves at bay while the others tried to break through the skeletal minotaurs and hellions. It was a bloody, vicious, and destructive battle. The heroes held their ground, but suffered grevious wounds before finally approaching the mummy lord. Anamis and Sanguine focused on the mummy while Solaris used his mastery of the way to disrupt the ritual. When he finally destroyed the link between Rhona, Kelek and Amut-Ka, the temple itself began to buckle and weaken. Summoning up what little strength they had left, the heroes grabbed up their fallen and forced their way out of the crumbling temple. Before they found the exit, however, the entire temple erupted in a deluge of sand.

When the dust settled in the wastelands, all was quiet. Pieces of kank and scorpion lay about the place. Littered on the ground were the spoiled remains of the heroes' supplies. As Crusher and Malla climbed out of the sand, they confirmed the fears that Anamis did not make it. Sandy pulled Solaris free, and the rest slowly drew themselves forth.

When Sanguine saw what became of her companion, she tried to turn him using her blood. repeatedly cutting herself and spilling blood into Anamis' mouth; it was all in vain. Malla simply embraced her friend as the others looked to find shade from the sun.

They were almost completely out of supplies and still in no condition to travel. Solaris set about making camp and the heroes opted to rest until everyone was able to get moving. Nearly two days were spent binding wounds and mending the weak. In that time, Crusher fashioned himself new armor from the remains of the scorpions, while Solaris worked with Malla to gather up what food and water they could find. What started with the heroes trying to determine when they would reach Tyr will now continue with them trying to determine if and who will reach the free city...
Session: Game Session: 38 - Sunday, Jul 21 2013 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 10: Bed Bugs Bite
Session: Session 37 - Wednesday, Jul 10 2013 from 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
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Chapter 10: Brohg Douches & Sunwarped Rednecks
Session: Session 36 - Sunday, Jul 07 2013 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 10: Beneath the Dust
After the narrow escape from Balic's 2nd legion, the party was dropped off at a small trading post on the southern edge of the Estuary. Believing that an ancient seed of life lay somewhere between there and the Southern Wastes, the party gathered what gear and information they could before heading out. Hargo and Malla elected to stay behind and work on getting supplies for their journey to Tyr.

The elf, Vulgar Rex, offered to be a guide for the party, as his knowledge of the wastes were extensive. Meanwhile, Crusher confirmed his thoughts that there were others looking for the seed. A Praetor from Balic was also scouring the region. With Rex's help, however, they were able to easily pass the Praetor and make their way to the location Nettle had discovered during a finding ritual.

Before they could find it, however, the party was ambushed by two haggard looking tembo; a rare occurrence to see more than one tembo in a region, save for their equally rare mating habits. However, these two were being attacked by the very air itself. A sizeable primal storm was keeping the beasts at bay, easily allowing the party to make short work of them. While the heroes fought on, Harbek communed with the primal spirits and discovered the location of the cave. Pulling up a capstone, the party found themselves in a cool and refreshing cavern covered in soft moss.

Inside the cavern was less refreshing. The original protectors of the seed had made pacts to guard the seed long after their death. All that remained were their angered spirits, ready to do battle against anything that entered. The party was more than a match for some old dead ghosts, however, and even the spectral kirre wanted nothing to do with Crusher after only a few moments. And so, the heroes continued on down into the ancient primal site.

As they descended, even more wondrous life was to be found. More and more plant life covered the walls and columns, while water freely dripped from the stalactites into impossibly fresh pools. It was there that the party encountered another group seeking the seed. Chao-ka, a thri-kreen desert talker was leading a band of thri-kreen zealots in search of the seed. They intended to protect if from those of the deep-death (defilers). Reluctantly, they did agree to work with the party, despite Pak'Cha's insistence that they should be torn apart and left to bake in the sun. Pak'Cha was clearly under some stress..

Finally, after further descent into another cavern, the Tree was found. Ancient and dying, it had enough life to produce one seed which hung from the tree, pulsing with primal energy. Before the seed could be reached, however, its caretaker, Avor Firesworn appeared. A defiled undead warrior of considerable skill, he was now a burning effigy of hatred. Summoning the last remains of his followers, Avor attacked. Weapons shattered against bone and flesh alike, and the battle appeared evenly pitched until Sanguine and Solaris unleashed their own powers. Avor was completely dominated, being forced into a flank with the entire party who made short work of the fiery fiend. With his death, the remaining undead fell, and the seed was theirs for the taking. Solaris found Avor's old circlet and claimed it for himself, while Pak'Cha discovered ancient elvish leg wrappings that would help increase his speed.

Following a short and revitalizing rest, Anamis sent forth one of his demon slaves to scout out their exit, confirming what he feared; the Praetor had arrived.

The decision was made to send Nettle and Rex with the Thri-Kreen away with the seed while the party held off the Praetor. It was a simple enough plan and it did ultimately work.

With the seed being spirited away, the heroes set to an insulting display of parlay only to discover that Praetor Durok was in no mood for shenanigans. The party was (expectedly) ambushed by Durok's goliath slaves and a fellow defiler. But it was the salt golem they feared the most.

Harbek, sensing that fear stepped forward and claimed the construct as his victory. It was less than amused (because golems are historically immune to amuse) and began hammering away at the dwarf. Meanwhile, Pak'Cha and Anamis set to killing the rank and file Goliath slaves, leaving Crusher and Sanguine to deal with the defiler and the heavier goliath enforcers. Solaris took stock of the area and tried to gain tactical control of the room, but the goliath slaves were too many. And behind the battle, Durok let loose a torrent of spells to hamper and damage the party. All was looking quite bleak.

Then Crusher took command of the goliaths while Sanguine feasted on those near her. Anamis summoned forth the tentacles of biblios, freeing Pak'Cha to aid Harbek against the golem. Unfortunately, Pak'Cha was blindsided by a goliath enforcer and blow after blow brought the mighty warrior to his knees. Pak'Cha spit in the face of the enforcer--one last act of defiance--before the heavy stone axe was embedded in his still-soft carapace. The "fist" was no more.

Harbek let out a howl of anger, lifting himself up despite repeated slams, and rallied the heroes together. The anger wasn't just his, though -- Solaris was channeling through the dwarf and shutting down his nerves to deaden the pain. He launched into a furious assault at the golem, breaking and cracking the giant's body with the awesome might of whelm. From behind him, however, the other defiler rose to strike, narrowly missing Harbek, but catching Sanguine square in the chest with a lightning flurry. Crusher was quick to answer, and called upon his eternal flame and burned the defiler to a crisp.

Durok could feel the winds change against him and made for the exit; a move that caused the remaining goliath's to surrender. The Golem had no concept of mercy or surrender, and it kept attacking. Harbek sacrificed his body to ensure the creature's attack stayed focused solely on himself. And finally, after what seemed like an age, whelm struck true, causing the golem to shatter across the ground.

Sanguine rushed out of the cave to find Durok making a hasty exit with his Kank. She could also see inix calmly striding toward her. Back in the cave, Crusher and Harbek were standing over their fallen comrade. The fool gave more than he had to keep his clutch safe... Or so they thought. Anamis was certain he could heal the wound. After all, Pak'Cha was only "mostly dead". It was going to take some time, though, and time was something the party was lacking in.

And so it was decided. Harbek would set out ahead and help guide the seed to Ka-la-tak where it would be safe from the sorcerer-kings. They each said their goodbyes, wondering if they'd ever see the world's tallest and fastest dwarf again.

Both session 34 & 35 are compiled here.

Session: Session 35 - Friday, Jun 28 2013 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Chapter 9: The Ivory Dungeon

With Pak'Cha having distracted the guards, the heroes made their way into the inner court of the White Palace. Surprising them all, Solaris' bonding with the athame took them into a dining hall. Obviously not a normal place to find a secret dungeon.

The entrance was hidden beneath the marble table; and what a magnificent mechanical masterpiece it was! As the mosaic shifted into a spiral staircase, the party made their way down into the Ivory Dungeon.

Once in, they set about to finding Hargo and anyone else that might be worth rescuing. After a nasty battle against the dungeon guards--a group of flameskulls, hulking zombies and iron cobras-- the party found Hargo. They figured out how to pick the locks and then located the veiled alliance member. Gendra was her name.

The old alliance member begged to be killed, however, rather than saved. Her death would trigger a magical warning to other veiled alliance leaders. The party refused the kill order and grabbed a few other prisoners; most notably Harbeks old mentor, Nettle and a foul-mouthed elf named "Vulgar" Rex.

As they made their way out of the dungeon, Sanguine heard approaching guards and the party was barely able to hide before crossing paths with none other than Androponis himself! Once he was debriefed by the palace Praetor, the hall was emptied and the heroes once again made their escape.

"Vulgar" Rex suggested the party disguise themselves as Legion guards to make their escape easier. Conveniently, there was a nearby barracks empty of soldiers. While the party changed, Gendra once again pleaded to die. Solaris handed over his carrikal and allowed her the honor of killing herself. Before she died, Gendra tasked the party with locating alliance members in Tyr.

Getting out of the Palace proved to be easy with Crusher in uniform. No soldier was brave enough to question his orders. Anamis magically sealed the gates behind them and they prepared to flee. Unfortunately, they had one final obstacle; Darian Haraxes.

Across the cobblestone road stood Praetor Haraxes, his Justicator braxat, and roughly three hundred of the 1st Legion, including Prelate Lanius. Haraxes ordered the Legion to attack, but Lanius would not acquiesce. He simply stated that he'd always wanted front row seats to one of Crusher's matches. The heroes breathed a sigh of relief as Harbek shouted and charged the Praetor.

It was over in an instant. Magic and psionics clashed while weapons broke and rang out. The 1st Legion stood silently amidst the chaos. Crusher and Solaris focused on Haraxes, while Harbek and Malla kept the braxat off-balance. Anamis drew forth his hellish powers and brought low all of Haraxes' personal headhunters, while landing the killing blow against the praetor. Sanguine was a whirl of blood and shadow, striking at any enemy within her reach.

As soon as Haraxes fell dead, the braxat's mind was free from its prison. The giant beast howled in rage, then fell silent as three hundred spears found their mark. Prelate Lanius nodded to the heroes and took Hargo's athame from Solaris. he placed the sword in Haraxes hand and plunged his own spatha into the Praetor's lifeless body, "It appears we have apprehended the traitor."

Nothing else needed saying. The party made their way to Kaylen's skimmer and off into the estuary they went. Unfortunately, there were three interceptors hot on their tail. "Second Legion skimmers! They're none too happy about us leaving port without saying goodbye!" shouted the captain...
Session: Session 33 - Sunday, Jun 09 2013 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 9: Rescue Hargo Vole
Will Post Later.
Session: Session 32 - Saturday, Jun 01 2013 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Chapter 9: The Prestige
Putting posts in order. Will update all later.
Session: Session 31 - Sunday, May 26 2013 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 9: Drej Raiders
Post up tomorrow.

Session: Session 30 - Sunday, May 19 2013 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 9: Bound for Balic
With successful return to the banks of the Estuary, the party took advantage of their newfound wealth in the port of Samarah. With their purses emptied and their bellies replenished, Sanguine was eager to get the party moving. Jakkin, however, had other ideas.

Since the group was hoping to invest in some cargo for shipping, Jakkin made them an offer they couldn't refuse. Take Shek-mo-Garmin out of business and Jakkin would help supply them with a skimmer full of trade-goods. He would also ensure that Praetor Thalnus was properly compensated for his lack of involvement.

It was a simple job in both plan and execution. Shek-mo-Garmin believed himself to be all powerful in the city. His cart was pulled by trained rage drakes. At all times, he was accompanied by his lady, some sort of psionic. He was ill-prepared, however, for the skill level of the party, and quickly found himself bleeding out in the bazaar with no aid to come. Solaris nodded to a spear on the ground and suggested Garmin fall upon it.

That was the end of Shek-mo-Garmin.

Jakkin made good on his deal to supply the party, though at no loss of wealth on his part.

The party then packed up and set out for Blackroc fort with a full skimmer of goods and friends...
Session: Session 29: Bound for Balic - Saturday, May 11 2013 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Chapter 8: Out of the Darkness
Will Update Later.

Suffice to say, stuff happened.
Session: Back to the Dungeon - Sunday, May 05 2013 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 8: Backtracking
Harbek quickly discovered that their previous path was now blocked. A cave-in, likely caused by Whelm, forced the heroes to find a new path. Thankfully, there were many others to choose from. Unfortunately, one of which was full of dead bodies.

The party chose the path less necromantic, and they made their trek back toward the upper tiers. There were only a few minor delays, and the poisonous air, being expected, was not nearly as dangerous this time around. Eventually, they found themselves back in the room full of strange, stuffed felines, and chose a new doorway. This led them through to a partially crumbled chamber with yet another hostile surprise. An amphisbaena had made its home in the rubble and struck out against the party. Despite having (two) nasty heads, it was quickly dispatched and the party found stairs that took them up.

Their elation was short-lived. Only one door at the end of a passageway was found. What they saw inside brought forth a terrible scream from Sanguine. The chamber was rife with the necromantic aura of the Gray. Harbek reluctantly closed the door, and the party made their way back downstairs. Since that way was blocked, they chose the another doorway. This time, they discovered another primal spirit. An ancient tree rooted in brackish water barred their path. It lashed out and attacked when they came near, but recoiled when it realized Harbek was a primal warrior. Calling itself Xilonen, it explained that it was a tree of life, long since corrupted by Zotzilaha's evil magic. It apologized for the attack, and begged to be destroyed, but not before pleading with Harbek to locate and protect its seed.

They held up in that room for a long rest. Each was too exhausted to continue. They had been traveling in circles with no end in sight. Crusher did his best to calm Malla's nerves. After far too long in the darkness, Harbek struck up a torch and got everyone moving again. They had one final door to check; hopefully it was a way out.

As they entered the small hallway, Pak'Cha grew impatient and moved to open the door, hoping for an exit. His rash behavior once again set off a trap, awakening a number of ancient constructs. The guardians struck hard, but were brittle and easily destroyed. Finally, after all their trials, they had found...

...Another dead end. In this hallway was some sort of shrine; a huge statue of a giant-like creature lay at one end, and a small well of reddish liquid lay opposite. In the moth of the giant statue rested a large feline. Tacked along the walls were the flayed skins of humans, left out to dry... Harbek shook his head, "We should've gone through the gray."
Session: Session 27 - Sunday, Mar 24 2013 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
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