Sterling Adventure Company

session 53

Events turned again as with Kharn-Dzul’s demise the spell was broken and the gate was realigned with the abyss and foul things began seeping through. Having none of this the party fought desperately to destroy the gate and ultimately it was destroyed with the party fleeing ahead of the crumbling gate.

Back at Coyote’s Refuge all was thrown into confusion as the inhabitants were thrilled to be delivered from the impending doom, but now all the power structures had shifted and there was no sure winner.

The party went back to the ship and with Windy and his crew completed the last of the repairs. They sailed back to Thunderholme where they were welcomed and honored as the true heroes they were. Bearn took his place on the throne with his spiritual advisor Thunefir ever at his side. The last warrens of and corners of thunderholme were cleansed by the dwarves and a brisk trade was established with House Sterling. Lord Sterling and Aponym cemented their friendship and alliance with the Elves and House Sterling. Aponym returned to his wife, his wandering and adventuring days behind him. Nemanock established a major warlock academy and took his seat as the Head of House Azul. His mother was found, still alive, and freed.

One more mote of light was reestablished in a dark world…

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Sessions 50, 51 and 52

The battle was epic and devastating. A Dragon, a Host of Demons, and the SSAC, all vying for dominance. When Aurgloroasa realized her end was near she turned and leapt through the gate, expecting to die, but hopiong to maybe find some allies on the other side. Kharn-Dzul followed her with his minions and they all disappeared through the gate. They had been too proccupied to notice the Legion Devils that had slowly been appearing around the gate. The gate had been realigned with the nine hells! They surely met their dooms. The party discussed for a moment if they should leave the gate, as Thunderholme was surely saved; their work here was done.

At this point Thunefir spoke and said that as a cleric he could not allow an open gate to the nine planes remain undestroyed, to vomit its filth into the dreams of innocent souls as they slept. It was with firm reslove the party decided to destroy the gate.

A legion devil appeared,looked around, and realizing he was about to die, smiled menacingly and said, “He’s coming…”

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The Gathering Storm Session 49

The party went back to Coyote’s Refuge and partied quite heartily with the local denizens. As the celebration begam Araksis of the scions showed up and invited them back to their room for a little chat. The outcome of this chat was the determination that what they were going to try was to get a copy of Najala’s gate to copy the runes from and then teleport through that gate which should be in the prescence of Dhar-Zul.

The first task what to find a picture that showed the gate and copy the sigils off of that. The best chance they had of that was with the White Lantern Consortium. The leader of which was an Eladrin pariah who Aponym was quite sure wouldn’t help them out, but there was a Lord Kelevan, who Araksis was quite sure would be willing to help them. Sure enough the bon vivant Lord Kelevan was in the tap room whooping it up with the rest of the locals, he motioned them back to the room for a consultation. After a brief discussion he said he’d try and find the picture they were looking for. Several hours later he returned with a proper book and Aponym made a copy. It also depicted the room where it was located, the main ruby hall, and if it was still there this should put them right smack in the thick of things.

In exchange for the information he asked that they write a 10,000 GP note of credit for him to give to his halfling friend who would provision their ship, since it was probably quite damaged after the dragon attack. Each member kicked in 2500 gp from his pocket, and the deed was done.

Such business being done they began rearming and remagicking themselves with Aponym running the ritual machine full tilt and enchanting all sorts of goodies.

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Demon's run Session 48

The Sterling Adventure Company took stock of their situation. They had just killed an adult red dragon and the flensing crew from Coyote’s Refuge was busy harvesting bits of the great wyrm. Then they heard it. The horrible moans and wails. Something very wicked was closing in on them. The hoswls and screams echoed through the vast expanse of the city. They realized that being in the center of a vast open area was not to their benefit so they started moving towards the peeling ululations of the damned. They didn’t have to wait too long, for no sooner had they entered on the main street when the demons appeared. Four great ape-like horrors with huge fangs, deadly claws, and a palpable fury. Undaunted, Bearn charged ahead and met the first three head on. The battle quickly turned into a roiling and churning mealstrom of howling, seething, screaming noise and billowing poisonous vapors. And then the thing, the leader, howled, it hollowed like hell, and even the dwarves were knocked back and to the ground. The Stirling Silver Adventure Company was not a concern so easily intimidated however, and they rallied back with renewed fury as Nemanock and Aponym found their synergistic groove. Thunefir stood all of Dwarven kind proud as he delivered his allies from their many grievous wounds and layed the killing blows on two of the demons. In the end the only Demon remaining was the Rageborn horror itself and Bearn layed it low with a mighty stroke.

The party regrouped around the Dragon Wagon and when the flensing was finished they escorted the wagon back to town with its very valuable cargo (later to be determined to be worth 112,000 GP!) and greatly magnified respect and awe in Coyote’s Refuge. They were to be pressed on all sides by the local powers that be to join them in their pet projects, and for aid in seeing their various dreams come to fruition. But they knew they still had to find Kharn-Dzul and recover the phylactery.

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Tu'narathi Dragon Rider Session 47

In a scene recollecting many old westerns the party marched on the Tu’narathi Dragon Rider and his mount. Feeling invincible the mount and rider only laughed at them. In under thirty seconds both were dead. The fight was over so quickly that even the dragon skinners from Coyotes refuge could barely get there in time. They haggled quickly and came to terms and the skinners began their work.

A half hour later, as they were about half way through the job the Imp announced the impending arrival of four ape-like demons racing towards them. They quickly made their plans and awaited the screaming hairy horrors.

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Tu'narathi Dragon Rider Session 46

The party went to town and found out some important information after asking around. Kharn-Dzul is in fact occupuying the Vor Kurath’s palace called the Ruby Court. Nemanock knows that he is an Immolith Fire Demon. They learned much about this foe and worked out the best way to defeat him. As they were finishing up that there was a comotion outside and they sprang frm the The Dancing Lizard to see what was the matter. Up above a red dragon circled and it appeared to have a rider of some sort. This would have remained quite the mystery, but Nemanock sent his imp up to get a better look. Just before the dragon vaporized him he was able to see a Githyanki rider on its back.
They went back inside to try and determine what was the meaning of this, as did everybody else. Some members of a group called the Obsidian Covenant entered, a Genasi and a human. The Genasi was quite amiable and talked quite openly with Nemanock. Together they were able to determine that it probably was a Githyankee dragon rider and that, in fact, that the Sterling Adventure Company was who he was looking for. Enter the Coyote. The Coyote was there for karaoke night, which he never missed (especially when it was eighties night). The Coyote had observed the dragon fly in and stop at the ship before circling all around the tent city and then high overhead above Vor Kurath. He was pretty sure that it was the newcomers that had incited this visit, so he went to invite them to leave and meet the Githyanki by the ruined city as opposed to his own city. He would have been much ruder about his manner and request, but Thunefir showed him the halfling ring of friendship. He couldn’t really help them, but if they were this halfling’s friend they would certainly hasten from Coyote’s Refuge.
They Girded their loins and walked out towards Vor Kurath.

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Coyote's Refuge Session 45

The party headed east for about six miles and reached a tent city that they later found out to be called Coyote’s Refuge. It was named after a halfling adventurer who started the place as a base for adventurers setting out for Vor Rukoth.

BACKGROUND
Vor Rukoth was one of the jewels of the empire of Bael Turath. Sometimes called the City of Forges, it was ruled over by the emperor’s sister, a human named Lady Najala. During the long and violent war with the dragonborn empire of Arkhosia, the powerful humans of Bael Turath-nobles, wealthy merchants, spellcasters, and priests-underwent a sinister transformation through diabolic pacts. Among the first to swear the oaths to devils and become a tiefling was Lady Najala. Seeing her power and influence grow as a result of her oaths, many of the other nobles of Vor Rukoth lined up for the opportunity to participate.
As the threat from Arkhosia grew more imminent, Lady Najala became suspicious of everyone and began scouring Vor Rukoth’s population for traitors. She called out those nobles who had refused to take infernal oaths, believing they conspired against her, and she erected a gate to Hell to ensure her hold on power. Ultimately, it proved her undoing. As a dragonborn host marched on the city, she desperately threw open the portal to any creatures that would aid her. On what came to be known as the Day of Devils, legions of fiends spilled out from the Nine Hells. They repelled the dragonborn host on the outskirts of Vor Rukoth, but they also slaughtered the thousands who inhabited Vor Rukoth. Najala’s victory meant little, for the city was shattered and left a ruined vestige.
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As they were about to enter the city the encountered a dwarven caravan. The dwarves turned out to be exiled slavers from Thunderholme. Thunefir felt they had no moral high ground since the argument was that slaves were better servants than demon powered machines. They let them go and went another way. when they entered the tent city of coyotes refuge, they found there were only three permanent buildings. The watchtower, the Dancing lizard, and the canteen. The canteen is a general store that the dwarves make regular deliveries of sundry mundane items, and the dwarves were there unloading their cargo.
As they made their way towards the Dancing Lizard (tDC) the door flew open and a brusque dwarf with a metallic Jaw greeted them with a boisterous halloo and brought them inside and bought them a pitcher of ale, He warned them that the only water to be had was at the Canteen and that it was a very expensive and bilious concoction; twas better to drink ale.
Inside the tavern were X groups of folks sitting at tables. One was a number of tieflings affiliated with a group caled the Scions of the Horned Empire who seek to see Vor Rukoth returned to its former glory. Later, Nemanock went to talk to them and the lone red haired woman greeted him enthusiastically as the four other tieflings abruptly got up and left. She said not to mind them and Nemanock quickly noticed that she was not tiefling, but human. She explained that she realized tieflings were the most perfect mortal form. She searches for the Athenaeum of Bael Turath which she believes can transform her into her preferred form. She is willing to trade info with anyone that can help her.
At another table sat an eladrin female and an older (looking)human male. Aponym went to talk to them and the man introduced himself as Lord Kelevar and the lady as Taleen Quirrelle. They are with a trading group called the White Lantern Consortium. They offer to back likely expeditions into Vor Kurath. Aponym was playing his hand close to his chest and did not reveal the parties true intentions and merely stated that his employers were interested in much the same and perhaps they could come to some agreement. They made small talk and parted.
At another table, with one sitting on a nearby barstool was a group of mostly human armed types with a definitely religious bent who were wearing Raven pendants. The dwarves approached this group of Raven Queen followers after buying them a round of ale. Thunefir asked them their business and when he found that they were hunting down and destroying undead in Vor Kurath he enthusiastically applauded their efforts and they pledged mutual aid. The only Lich they knew about was the undead Lady Najala, if she even existed anymore. They hadn’t ever seen her and they certainly have never ventured into the Ruby Court where the gate is rumored to be located. They said they were once interrogating a corpse about another issue and it said that there was a group of devils who were trying to reopen the gate, and that they were living in a tower by the sea. The gate is unstable and demons have also been passing through it and the devils want to realign it so only devils can pass through it. They finished their drinks and adjourned themselves from the table.
Outside the group had one more stop they wanted to make across the street at the other building The Canteen. Inside the canteen they met the tiefling Inferna. She is interested in finding out details about her family which is House Rexia, a noble house specializing in courier and travel services. Are there any left alive inside Vor Kurath? Nemanock exhibited sympathy and concern and she seemed to regard him favorably.
At this point the party decided to go back to the ship. The path they walked on to get to the tent city, while not busy by any means, does have the occasional traveler and they were careful that no one followed them back to the Pond where the ship was moored.
They wanted to ask Windy if the ship was in need of any provisions that they could pick up in town.
They are going to digest and discuss the information they got in Coyote’s Refuge, specifically:
How do they go about finding out the whereabouts of Kharn-Dzul and Aurgloroasa’s phylactery?
Are they willing to risk exposing this information about their real intentions in order to obtain the information they need? What other choice do they have.?
Nemanock informs them that Kharn-Dzul is an Immolith demon.

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On the way to the Dreamscape session 44

The party continued on to their destination, the Dreamscape, with the aid of the Githyanki lodestone. as they approached the dreamscape they saw a crippled ship which they approached with caution. As they began to draw near they felt a bump from under the ship and suddenly grappling hooks appeared on the gunwales. Suddenly they were swarmed by Githyanki and Windy dove below as more Githyanki teleported in down below.

The Githyanki had come with a little more strength this time and the fight was a little worrisome, but Aponyms ability to nerf the psychic damage really hampered them and during one part of the fight everybody’s dailies went off and hit with great effect almost one-shotting the Githyanki. It is unlikely the Githyanki will pursue them any longer as it just seems to mean they give away more silver swords.

The party recovered some nice heacy armor and five astral diamonds worth 10,000 gp each. Also, Windy and the halflings had dispathed eight more githyanki below deck and had recovered eight silver rapiers.

The damaged ship turned out to have been only a ruse and had disappeared soon after the fight started. They continued on through the mist of the dreamscape and eventually came into a barren scrubland with a tent city off in the distance and a larger walled city behind that. Winday and Aponym determined that within the walled city was where the phylactery was kept.

The party decided to check out the tent city first.

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Dreamscape #1 session 43

Our Heroes underwent the Dream Ritual, performed by Thunefir, and went to bed. Well, almost all of them. Nemanock’s imp showed up just before they went to bed and told Nemanock that he had pulled a book out of the wreckage of the Githyanki piratical vessel on the dreamscape. So while the rest of the party went to sleep, Nemanock perused the book.

The three adventurers found themselves atop a massive pillar 15 feet wide by 200 feet long and standing on a sea of lava that could be seen thousands of feet below. Their were three more similar pillars about twenty feet apart and the last one opened onto a desolate plain. Between each of the pillars was a bridge, and these bridges shifted randomly every round. Somehow they knew that their only hope of deliverance ws to cross those bridges and get to the plains beyond.

To up the ante the pillar was also shared with a strange crytalline figure, and five slimy sludge blobs were located at either extremity of the pillar. Their initial intention of parley with the strange creature was set aside as it charged to attack. Also, the blobs began oozing forward. After a quick exchange of blows, and Bearn’s destruction of the nearest five blobs, they leapt onto the bridge and ran across to the next pillar. As soon as they each stepped on the next pillar a new creature was spawned. This time it was five more little blobs and two large blobs. They were thinking of just dashing to the other side, but one of the big blobs struck Aponym and immobilized him. They quickly decided not to advance on to any other pillars until they had vanquished the existing foes. Though Nemanock was missing, his spirit was there, as Thunefir consistenly rolled low, one time rolling three threes in a row. The battle went awry and in the end only Bearn was left as he dashed for the plains. On the next pillar a hydra looking blob appeared and would have been quite an overwhelming foe, but Bearn reached the opposite side and dashed to the plains, whereupon the party woke up. Aponym and Thunefir, having died in their dreams, were short the number of healing surges they had spent whilst on the dream scape and did not recover any of their daily powers that they had expended. Although none too serious, as they were safely aboard ship, this could be seen as a real problem for those who were continually adventuring. The fate of the three hundred Waterdhavian paladins could be imagined.

In conference with Nemanock they learned that they could affect their surroundings to some extent in the dreamscape, because it was all a dream. Bearn had sensed this, but had not affected any change during the brief encounter. Three things determined how successful they could be; one was how major a change they were attempting, two was how adept they were with arcana, and three was how quickly they were attempting to accomplish the task. (in game terms this means that the DC is set by how major the change is, Arcana is the skill bonus to the roll, and it requires a standard action, but the attempt can be made as a move or minor action with an increased DC).

When they travel to the dreamscape in search of the draco-lich’s phylactery they will be a part of another creature’s dream. This will effect the DC and any modification to the dreamscape will probably be felt by the progenitor. Not a problem in combat with said being, but an issue if trying to approach with stealth.

When next on the dreamscape, their dream characters will be at full strength minus whatever the regular PCs have used that day. So if they are again attacked in their sleep the following night, they will be short whatever they have used (Healing Surges and dailies). They can take an extended rest during the day to recover their powers, but if they drift off to sleep alone they probably will be attacked alone, and if they die again in their sleep they will not have recovered any further either.

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Githyanki reclamation project 42

Back at the boat the party rested and Aponym reduced the githyanki swords down to their base residuum. All except one sword that was too high a level for him, and that one they decided to throw into a lava pool.

On the way to the pool they were confronted by a githyanki retrieval party and after a bit of parly the negotiations broke down, basically over the fate of the swords they reduced to residuum. At the outset of melee Aponym cast mass resistance to psychic damage and that one move essentially unhanded the githyanki who fled not soon after realizing what had happened. Their tough tough Githyanki sword recoverer didn’t make it, as he was assaulted by the entire party as the Githyanki tried to disengage.

upon returning to the ship the party was able to ligt off and reenter the astral sea. That evening Thunefir performed the dream ritual and they began their first dreamscape adventure.

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