Arulia

Onward to Illgard
Ill guarded in Illgard

Attacked on the rail platform, the party bravely fought off some dark agents of the alien force. Creatures bathed in shadow, and linked to that realm by some mysical means.

The party then boarded the dwarves’ massive achievement of mechanical engineering and infrastructure: the Vurin rail system.

They arrived in the capital city of Illgard. After getting the lay of the land, they found an acceptable upscale inn at which to stay, and put forth some effort to getting an audience with the Archduke.

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Humantown Ho!
And other things you should never say to a dwarf.

The party arrives in Humantown, and immediately seeks out the local militia. They share Korbinen’s observations of the tower, which the guards dismiss as Korbinen involving tourists in his delusions.

However, the party learns that their home country of Venn has been invaded by an army commanded by the prince of Orden, Ilrael, who is also the husband of King Athrimas’s daughter.

The party splits up in various ways. Priya makes contact with the local branch of the Hand of Sleadren, then goes off to see the sights, and begins collecting spoons. She fails to get into a fight.

Chance slips off to his own errands, vaguely shadowed by Karl, who observes him disappearing into the offices of a Dwarven trading cartel, the G’Mel Trading House, for purposes of his own which are not disclosed.

Braun searches the local temples of Nyan for new and interesting prayers.

Jay wanders off to the trade district to get gems appraised and sell unused treasure that the party had gathered in their adventures. He also found a temple of the Kai and looked into becoming a Heart of the Kai, a specially appointed devotee with special abilities and a mystical connection to the god and goddess.

Kismet walks through Humantown and observes the interesting architecture and cultural fashions of the area. She gathers information from the locals about what happened the night the stars fell from the sky.

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Wait, Why Would We Do That?

Spying the mixture of stone and wood homes a few miles away on the mountainside, Chance stopped the party’s invasion plan at once.

“Wait! Why are we going in there? One of us could get hurt. Let’s go tell the authorities in that town over there.” He pointed to the settlement.

“That’s Humantown,” said Korbinen. “I told them that there was something strange going on. They told me to stop making up stories and get off to some real work defending the homeland.”

“Oh… Well, they’ll believe us – we’ll corroborate your story.”

And so it was that the party passed by the occupied watch tower to travel on to Humantown, the border between the surface world, and the vast underground dwarven duchy of Vurin.

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Illithid With a Spear Oh No

Kismet immediately took shelter from the direct line of sight of the dwarf hidden in the trees. She called to Karl to get down. She snuck up on their observer invisibly and subdued him. He was there to observe the people going in and out of the hut, because he suspected dark forces were at work.

The dwarf struck the party as being very young to be out away from the Dwarven settlements. His name was Korbinen, and he was a ranger, with his trusty wolf companion Lorga. Korbinen told the party that he had seen some communications between the fishing hut and a watch tower just outside of the dwarven city. He noticed strange behavior and some cloaked shadowy beings going in and out of the tower at night.

The party decided to follow Korbinen to the tower, and at sunset along the way they were confronted by a horror from their worst nightmares. A figure in a cloak, carrying a spear, leapt up high into the air and came down in a fighting stance just before the party. They were fixated by the sight of its great milky white eyes, the glistening slimy purple skin, the tentacles surrounding its mouth… Then the party felt a wave of psychic energy erupt from the creature. Half the party stood stunned, unable to move as the creature streaked among them, slashing and attacking, its spear flaring with flame with its strikes.

The remaining party members, those who were not stunned, managed to slay the creature before it could do lasting damage to them, but they were still shaken. Chance knew this creature from his studies of the horrors of adventurers’ logs in the Collegium. It was an illithid, a mind flayer, but using abilities unheard of in the stories he’d read before. What was its connection to the strange goings on of the tower and the fishing hut?

Before they could fully resolve these issues they discovered the tower. They observed its goings on with Korbinen. He explained his observations and the party settled down to develop a strategy to attack it. Kismet flew overhead invisibly to see what was on the roof, and saw its defenders. The party reasoned that surprising the rooftop defenders and going down through the tower was the best strategy, and they began to prepare to attack….

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Last of the Hut

After defeating the last defenders of the hut, the party discovered a room that contained ovoid globes containing a green viscous fluid. One had been shattered in the fight and the fluid covered Priya. She felt the eerie touch of another spirit upon her own. They also discovered a couple of pendants with a green gem, which glowed in the presence of the green fluid, and also in the presence of some of the party members (Kismet, Bella, and Jay).

They determined that this green fluid was quintessence, and had been distilled from the victims of this den of aberrant spies.

Brahn found a suit of armor that fit him so well it was like it was made for him. Bella found another construct in a supply closet and she dispatched it with her magic.

Everyone felt like they had learned valuable lessons in this encounter, and they were confindent they could take their abilities to the next level.

After sweeping the hut for more threats and ensuring the area was clear, they emerged into the sunlight once again. Kismet and Karl felt they were being watched, and saw a dwarf mostly hidden in the nearby trees, watching them intently.

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You've Got Halfing On You

After the fight in the room with the firepit, the party continued to explore the fishing hut, albeit far more cautiously.

They encountered a number of constructs hidden within the hut, as well as other dwarves, halflings, and even a goblin, which had been dominated by some sort of monstrosity, which caused some of them to sprout green tentacles or fire poison darts from their mouths. They fought past these foes and found hidden within the fishing hut the strangest of arcane equipment.

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The Fishing Hut

After traveling upstream for two more days, the party reached an area where the ground leveled out and the river widened into a natural pond. Beside the pond, on a leaf-covered slope of ground, the outline of a stone doorway was seen. A dwarf emerged from the semi-buried hut and introduced himself as Morn Bodroggon. He invited the party in.

Beyond the doorway was a fairly extensive hut, with a firepit, kitchen, storage, work room, and quarters for several dwarves. The party began to become suspicious when Morn reacted, in their opinion, strangely to the news of the constructs. When taken into the supply room, the party noticed that the fishing equipment in this fishing hut hadn’t been used in weeks. They soon realized they were being maneuvered into being surrounded by the residents of the hut, and a fight broke out.

In the fight, one halfling seemed to take a wound, but after the wound healed, the place where the flesh sealed continued to grow, and the halfling’s body expanded, as the halfling fought on, and eventually exploded, blasting nearby party members with ash and gore. Chance determined to study Exploding Halfling Syndrome in the future.

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Up the River

Returning to the river to find the remaining construct, the party found that it had disappeared overnight.

Lady Tuala mentioned having to reimburse the famer’s council in town, because someone collected on their reward posting for finding out what was stealing livestock. Some Tiefling woman had apparently dropped off a broken construct at their meeting and claimed to have solved the mystery of the disappearing cattle, collected the reward, and left. A little while later, someone from town ran up to the manor house and said the farmers were getting unruly. Tuala and party went into town, and the townsfolk were yelling about having given away money to a lousy tiefling. And about how their problems never really started until they started hanging around town. And that guy with a demon on his shoulder (Chance) showed up a day or two before all the trouble started. And then Kismet jumped up on the table and started calling for order, and started to say she was going to introduce Priya as a defender of the people. But the farmers were pretty surly, and yelled things like “Hey, Kismet, why don’t you defend me up a drink?!” She chose the better part of valor and withdrew to the manor house, where everyone decided they should kind of leave town.

Tuala agreed with Chance and Braun’s idea that they might perhaps do better to get out of town on an official mission, and she blessed their idea of an envoy to the dwarven Duchy of Vurin. The party set out that night. They decided to follow the river upstream to the mountains where it went into Vurin, and from there, they would go to the Duke and appeal for help to fight the invasion.

Following the river, they were attacked by owlbears that had been infected by the cruciform parasites. The alien-looking beasts nearly killed Jay before he was able to react, but Priya saved him, and Jay in turn healed Priya as she was attacked. The creatures seemed very hard to hit and also proved resistant to spells, but the party eventually prevailed.

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Does Anyone Remember Kechner?

After teleporting back to Kechner from the temple of Anrahd with the exorcist, the party conferred with Maldred and Elverion. They quickly set to work experimenting on the charmed giant. After a ritual lasting several minutes, the exorcism caused the embedded tentacle beast to writhe free of the giant’s form, to be attacked and killed by the party fairly quickly. This left the giant cured, but still charmed. HE was left to the ministrations of Maldred, and the party returned to town to see the progress on repairs.

Karl went into town alone, and realized he was being trailed by a shadowy figure in a cloak. Lurking around every corner and waiting for the figure to catch up, he came face to face with a female tiefling, who greeted him with a sneer, and said she was surprised to see him trying to fit in with these imperfect beasts of townsfolk. She recommended he take his rightful place as a predator on these pathetic humans, and Karl denied her any foothold of her argument. He dismissed her and said he wanted nothing to do with that.

Tuala and Elverion returned to town and dispatched several servants to dispose of the items they had taken from the overwhelmed hill giant village. They reported that the entire village had been destroyed by the creatures that came from the meteors.

Maldred’s search of the cave has turned up the remains of a nesting site, but no active creatures. He has determined that they have left the site and wandered off in various directions, but tending to head to the north. The local wildlife is reduced to the smallest creatures. All the predators, such as wolves, bears, owlbears, have disappeared.

A call went out for help to find a missing local man. Strange lights had been seen in the river and a fisherman disappeared last night. Staking out the river, the party was able to surprise the two metallic constructs that emerged from the water and attacked the town. They took one of the destroyed carcasses to Maldred for research.

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A Lovely Dinner With the Pelmers

The party finished off the dungeon by fighting the spider-thingy (see aforementioned log entry), and rescued a rich young man, Cobin Pelmer, from the spider’s webbing in the next room over. Karl and Kismet fought over a magical vest. Kismet ended up with it.

After being returned to his home, young Cobin Pelmer had his parents send an invitation to the inn the party was staying at, which was the only inn on the road where they shoe horses. The Horseshoe Road Inn. They went to dinner at the Pelmer estate, even though they knew they’d have to get back to Kechner really fast, and it was a 3 day ride back. The Pelmers gave Jay Wyvern a gift: An old style of musical book, which had been in the family for years, with some strange instructions for singing in a forgotten style that adds a layer of resonance to it. None of the Pelmers were ever adept enough to learn it, they hoped he could make use of it.

Before dinner, the Pelmers, very active patrons of the arts, had some entertainment brought in, and then had their daughter play for the guests, and then asked Jay to sing for them. During his song, Lady Pelmer made flirtacious faces at Jay, and young Miss Pelmer adjusted her bodice to temptacious advantage. At dinner, Miss Pelmer touched Jay’s foot with his own and signalled for him to sneak off with her out of the room. He declined. Later, Cobin rubbed Jay’s shoulders, suggesting they go relax together in his chambers. Jay opted to stay with the group. After dinner, Lady Pelmer begged the adventurers to stay the night, telling them “We’d love to…” sending a significant look at Jay, “HAVE you.” Everyone got a good night’s sleep, except for Jay, who was awakened four times during the night, once by each member of the family, and then woken early by the party, exhausted and disheveled.

Shortly after leaving the Pelmer’s estate, the party returned to the Horseshoe Road Inn and gathered up their gear, and a wizard came by from the Collegium Chapterhouse to teleport them and the exorcist back to Kechner.

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