The Realm of Joroin

Taunting is Bad, Mkay?

The Mad Lich

Vecna adventure med

Descent into Darkness

OOC: I was a little bored, so here is something.

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The Dragon's Daughter

Daughter.

The word rang out through the fog of the dream-state Aria found herself in. She last remembered meditating in front of the two godly articles that had come into her possession, Vecna’s Phylactery and Tiamat’s Key of Fate. The Phylactery was new, but the Key she had born so long at this point it could be considered her key as much as Tiamat’s.

She didn’t remember falling asleep, but as she blinked her eyes, all that surrounded her was a never-ending white fog, odorless and sensation-less, obscuring all beyond the reach of her hands.

Daughter.

“Who’s there?” she asked.

I am your father.

“My father is dead and you sound nothing like him,” she replied, trying to stand up and get a feel for her location, only to find that she couldn’t. Some force was holding her in place in this empty realm.

I am his father too, and his father’s father, and his father’s father’s father, and so on down the line, so very far down the line.

“You are…you are what, then? Bahamut? This is an odd way to seek my worship; I won’t bow down to you here just as I won’t in the real world.”

Bah. I am no god, daughter. I am… I was as real as you; I ate, breathed, slept, lived, and loved, just as you do. Now, I am just a lingering memory of myself…but I have slept too long, far too long.

Two glowing pinpricks of light appeared deep in the fog, then, as it took on a darker, smokier texture.

“Then who are you? How am I your daughter?”

You are the last of my children. All the others have died off or become too…separated…over the gulf of time. I had given up on any of my children ever awakening again, but you, you have reclaimed that within yourself. Your blood has called to me. My hopes now rest in you.

“What hopes?”

The points of life grew bigger as they moved closer. There was the occasional odd glint of light and the faint hint of a large skull behind them, a sense of sharpness and fire. Aria was sure the darkening in the fog looked like smoke wreathing its way around some great head.

That I would see the Dark Bitch dead and gone from this world.

“Tiamat?”

The shape thrust forward out the fog, then, a head as big as Aria herself. It was covered in shiny, golden scales which looked polished to a high sheen even in this foggy realm. Two giant eyes met hers above a mouth filled with sharp teeth the size of daggers. Smoke curled out from this mouth, and she could feel the heat and see the dull reddish glow coming from deep within the dragon.

I fought her. I fought her for my lord, Bahamut. I fought her dragons, and I killed them. I raised my children to fight her, and their children. I made it my purpose, my only reason for living, to see her dead. When she slaughtered my children, when she cursed my line because it amused her to do so, my lord did nothing. He offered no aid, no succor, not even compassion. He let it happen and he left me to die as she sent her armies at me. I burned them all; I scoured the fields to the very rock beneath the soil, but they had done me too much harm. I died there, and even though it had cost her all of her forces, she didn’t care. There were always more minions. She had ended me and my lord had done nothing in return.

“This…this feud goes further back than I ever thought.”

A great clawed hand reached out from the fog and wrapped itself around Aria, lifting her up as the head rose to its full height. She could make just make out the outline of the rest of this colossal dragon, and it was bigger than any other dragon she had ever seen.

You are my last hope, daughter. Together we can end her. I swore off of gods when my lord abandoned me, but I will not let her atrocities stand anymore. I offer you my help in ending her reign. Do you accept?

“I…yes, I do.”

My name is Gaulier’Ix’Vaeros. Remember it, for this is the last time it will be spoken. It was nice to have met you, daughter. I am…happy, for the first time in longer than I can remember.

A second hand emerged from the fog and wrapped around her. She was brought in close to the dragon’s chest, feeling the intense warmth emanating from the great body. The dragon’s scales started to shine brightly, reflecting the light from some unknown source. The light increased in intensity until there was nothing else.

Two voices now spoke out as one.

We will bathe our talons in her blood. We will tear out her throat with our teeth. We will end her. I fight not for gods nor men. I fight for the honor of my line. I fight for all of my children who have fallen. I fight for those who suffer at the whims of capricious gods, for those who can’t fight for themselves. I will fight until it is done.

The eyes that opened did not belong to Aria anymore. What looked out from behind them was something very old, but also something brand new.

“This I swear,” she said to the items in front of her. She picked up the Key of Fate and held it close to her face, studying it with her gaze. “I am coming for you. You may throw your armies at me, all of your pets, and I will kill them all. I will not rest until you are dead at my feet. So swears Aria Ix’Vaeros.”

She gripped the Key so tightly that its sharp edges drew blood from her hand. As she released her grip, she noticed that her talons had left deep scratches in the surface of the key and she smiled.

“Run, Dark Bitch. Run far and hide and shake and shiver in fear with the knowledge than you will never be able to run fast enough or far enough. Your doom has come.”

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Descent into Darkness

Xenophanes the Deceiver, Archlich

Lich

Descent into Darkness

OOC Note: The picture above is now what Xenophanes looks like. I’ll describe in the story.

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The Lair of the Lich King

The City of Suckmor or The land of the Dead as most refer to it these days was originally constructed by dwarves in the days of the first gods, then loosed from its mountainous perch and reset at the base of the Black Lake by the whims of Simon the Eternal. Vecna’s agents claimed the city in his name on the day Simon and the new gods fell, almost two years ago now. Divine blood was spilled in the cities center and to this day that blood fuels the tyrannical dragon avatar of the fallen god of undeath.

Traveling by land is reported to be impossible with the surrounding farms and villages overrun with mindless zombies; while an attack from the Black Lake would be just as unwise as its one time dragon turtle protector has gone insane and sinks any vessel it senses on the water’s surface; and the tunnels below the city are even worse… unmapped, confusing, and rumors say magically change position as needed to trap would be assailants in their depths. The only option left is air…

After a few days of searching, bribing, and even a bit of blackmailing, the location of the changeling assassin, Dajani, is found. He controls an invisible flying sphere, the size of a small carriage… and despite multiple previous near death encounters with him the group is able to gain his assistance by informing him of the price on his head, set by the Frost Giants and their allies.

Dajani agrees to take and drop off the group at the outskirts of the city proper – but he will not wait around as he must find his way to the Frost Giants to remove the price on his head… or remove their heads as the case may be.

The trip from Dauos is swift while riding in the sphere, taking only just over a day. Dajani is able to bypass a few aerial guards, and find an area north of the city, in the old dock region, that was safe to land and off load. Stepping out of the sphere and into the city is sickening. The air, thick with decay, threatens to chock your life away while the maggot and gore soaked ground sucks at the soles of your boots, trying to slow your already arduous journey.

Bones and rotting flesh have replaced broken doors, windows, and even walls. Stretched and distorted faces watch as you silently move from shadow to shadow working your way to the obvious center of town – a twisted black and green spire of crystal that towers three hundred feet in the air. Once closer the spire appears to have risen from the ground itself and is covered in millions of tiny pulsing black veins around the vilest of green crystals.

Guards in this section of the city are prevalent and their dead bodies litter your path from this point to the tyrant’s gate. The closer you get to the spire the more obscene and degraded the minions become… twisted and cursed undead that no sane man would conjure in their worst nightmare. The stench of decay is constant and the slicks of gore make even walking treacherous, but after most of the day you are able to crash the gate and make your way inside…

The grand chamber is oddly pristine white marble walls and floor. The ceiling, one hundred feet over head, is carved blood stone with gold filigree patterned to emulate the inside of a sarcophagus. Dozens of balconies peer into the six sided chamber from different heights, some with enough room for just a few spectators and others with full seating for twenty or more. A grand staircase climbs the back wall at an impossible angle leading to the largest of balconies, eighty feet from the floor, this one covered with a flowing black curtain that seems to breathe on its own.

Welcome to the Lair of the Lich King.

Vecna avatar

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The Decision.

No one would have thought that the icy wind at their back would be such a welcome feeling, but it was just the same. Sitting around the magical brazier in the newly repaired tent, the group looked over the item taken from the chest of the Jarl.

The crystal sphere, slightly blue in color, seems to resize itself to fit into the palm of whoever is holding it. It is warm to the touch but not so much as to be uncomfortable, much the opposite… it feels good, so good in fact that it is difficult to put it away at time – especially in this sub-freezing weather. After caressing and prodding the sphere the group is able to determine that it is an ‘Orb of the Usurper’ (lvl 23).

Rolled up scrolls turn out to be plans, battle plans to be exact, and a letter. The letter reads;

His Magnificence, King Snurre, commends your efforts.
However, he grows impatient with the tactical raids and
demands that you prepare the next major offensive
against the human settlements and dwarven clanholds.
Also, we have nearly exhausted our stock of slaves
and require more prisoners. See to this at once!

Obmi, Advisor to the King

The plans show and detail the routes and tactics for attacks on trade routes, small villages, and even Drusett – giving the giants a point to then attack Plagea and Daous… The only problem with that plan, as mentioned in the scrolls, is passing through (or near) the ruins of Saddle-Brook… Tiamat’s land. It appears that King Snurre is not ready to take that step yet.

~

After a few days at sea Rikki Cooper is able to navigate her way back to the village and help the group supply up for their trek back to the outskirts of Sukmur (where your gate that brought you here lies).

Travel out of the elemental plane of ice seems to take twice as long as it did coming in, constantly fighting off ice demons, drakes, and more often undead… undead that have crawled their way out of the ice itself hunt down the group.

Finally escaping the realm of ice, the group makes their way back to Obanar the Sage – who promptly assists in activating the gate he guards, allowing the group quick passage back to the Church of Pelor and Lia.

~

Over the next few days the group rests and recuperates from their recent ordeal. Overjoyed that time had not run rampant while they were gone, in truth it seems that time moved at the same pace in the realm of ice as it did in the rest of Joroin.

The group and Lia decide that two options are basically available; Vecna or King Snurre. It is obvious that both must be stopped and soon… and Lia leaves it to the group to decide who they want to go after, while Lia and the Legions of Dragonborn that she has bartered to command handle the other one.

OOC-

1. You decide. I need votes PM before Friday or you don’t get a vote.
2. Everyone advance to level 21 (report to me your choice of epic destiny)
3. Everyone advance all items to +4 (where applicable)
4. Everyone pick 1 common or uncommon item of level 20 or lower to add to your character. If the new item replaces an old item, discard the old item and consider it a trade in.
5. Everyone pick 5 consumables of level 20 or lower (nothing rare).

Sorry for the much condensed version of what I wanted to do, but work is actually busy and I am having actually work… :(

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Bat Out of Hell

Frost

1

Exit Stage Right

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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

Delirium

Delirium

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

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Blackguards Are Easy

If you want something done right… Kerrin sighed as he slung the wire around his neck like a priests stole. It glowed for a moment and then faded from sight. How’d that old song go? Kerrin hummed a tune off key while his ghostly body slide through a wall and across the inns common room. He phased through a fat merchant eating dinner and the patron choked on his bite of turkey leg, suffocating as Kerrin rolled his eyes and passed through the ceiling to the room above. The commotion below was dimmed through the floor and the two men in the room paused their conversation. “Did you feel that?” the one by the window said as he wrapped his cloak tighter. “It’s here, I can feel it!” He said as he drew his short blade with a shaking hand.

“Be still.” The other said. He kneeled next to the bed, his long blade laid across it still sheathed in is silver chased scabbard. The older knight pulled a rosary from within his faded purple shirt and left it dangle from his fist. “Swords are no use against this spectre.” The squire looked away to hide his shamed eyes and slid his guard back into its sheathe.

“Expecting me were you?” Kerrin said his voice coming from the shadows while his ghostly form was invisible in the candlelight. “Well…I hate to keep a loyal servant waiting.” He said and slid behind the squire in the space only a ghost could fit in between the trembling man and the open window. The knight mouthed the words to a silent prayer and bright light burst from the relic in his hand casting deep shadows across the room. Kerrin slipped sideways to the nearest shadow and chuckled in the squires ear who shouted in surprise and stumbled forward. “See, light just makes better places for to hide. I’d thought you’d have understood that by now.” Kerrin said and drifted toward the squire, fading into the comfort of the mans shadow like it were his own. “And the best place to hide? Right in plain sight.” Kerrin said, the last words spoken from the squires mouth as the shade that was kerrin slipped from the youths shadow into his soul.

He stretched his neck and cracked his knuckles. “Hey, free advice.” He said to the worried knight. “Don’t take your body for granted. Never know when you’re going to lose it. Is that still hot? I’m starving.” He said and walked on awkward legs towards the knights forgotten dinner. “Excuse the stumbles.” He said between mouthfuls of bread. “Always hard to walk when you first jump in.”

The knight lifted the rosary above his head and the light shone as the noonday sun. “Foul spirit, leave that man! You do not belong here. Pass on!” He shouted.

Kerrin/Squire blinked and squinted in the bright light. “Hey!” He said and raised his hand to block the light with a hunk of bread. “I’m a very clean spirit. Hard to get really dirty, anyhow. Sure you’re not going to eat this?” He said and picked up a chicken leg.

The knight glared at Kerrin/Squire and the rosary shok as a wave of force slammed into Kerrin knocking him into the wall. He looked down at the dropped food. “Probably still good.”

“Spirit, you have haunted this inn and town for too long and your wicked deeds have further stained your corrupt soul. Leave this man and accept the peace of Pelor.” The knight said and stepped around the bed.

Kerrin/Squire shook his head and licked his fingers. “Actually, my ‘wicked deeds’ haven’t done any harm to my soul.” He said and then paused. “Well, not recently. Not important. All those murders you’re referring to, they were placed squarely on the slate of those whose body I was borrowing at the time.” He said and the garrote shimmered into the visible spectrum. “See, I’ve got a trick. This lets me pass any old wicked deed I choose on to them. Every innocent acolyte or aspiring squire I’ve possessed? After your merciful brothers and sisters gave them ‘Pelors Peace’ their souls went somewhere else than beside Pelors side.” He said and winked as the pointed to the floor. “Here’s a hint. They’re not exactly singing with the angels.”

“Wretched villain!” The knight bellowed and rushed forward, slamming the relic into Kerrin/Squires forehead. His skin began to smolder and he tried to slip away but was locked in place by the knights conviction. “Release their souls!”

Kerrin/Squire squirmed under the knights wrathful eye and smiled. “Certainly, since you asked so nicely.”

The knight frowned and in the moment of confusion his concentration wavered and Kerrin/Squire disappeared from his grasp and appeared reclining on the bed. “But nothing’s free. You want their souls, I want something in return.”

The light from the rosary dimmed to torchlight. “What service?” The knight asked. “Take care spirit, I am not in a flippant mood.”

“Be at ease, noble knight. I’m giving you the opportunity you’ve always wanted…to die in service to your god, sacrificing your life so that others, others so ignobly imprisoned may be set free. It’s for a good cause, really.”

The knight kept silent.

“It’s simple. You accept my ‘peace’ and I’ll trade your soul for on of those below.” *Kerrin/Squire said. *"No, not one. All of them." The knight replied. “Every soul you’ve tricked and sent to serve penance for your sins.” The light from the rosary flare once and them went dim.

Kerrin/Squire wave a hand. “Fine, fine. Yours is worth ten of theirs anyway. Or is that your strength? I can never remember.”

The knight stepped forward and dropped his hand holding the rosary to his side. “Done.”

“Here, let’s trade.” Kerrin/Squire said and took the garrote from his neck and handed it to the knight while taking the rosary from his hand. “Just put it on.”

The knight held it as if it were a snake ready to bite and laid it over his shoulders, each end of the glowing wire dangling free. “No, no. That’s all wrong.” Kerrin/Squire said and moved behind him in an instant. “Like this.” The ends of the wire jumped to his hands and he pulled tight. The knights eyes bulged and his fingers clawed at the wire digging into his neck. Kerrin hummed as the knight struggled, then dropped to his knees and fell over on the ground. “Fits much better that way.”

When the knights struggles had nearly ceased Kerrin/Squire held the garrote with one hand and brought the rosary up to his face. “When I call for you, remember His light.” He whispered and a more of dull color flee from his mouth and landed on the rosaries sunburst insignia. It flared once and then sunk into it. Placing the rosary around the dying knights neck he releases the garrote a moment before he breathed his last.

The knight opened his eyes and shadows fled into them, lurking in the corners out of sight. “I lied.” Kerrin/Squire said. “Now get up. We’ve got work to do.”

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Elsewhere pt1

While the heroes are off in the Elemental Chaos searching for Venca’s Phylactery the world continues to turn…

…an unknown location…

“Sit the fuck down!” bellows the demon kings voice… the sound of pure evil, death vocalized. It makes Kerrin’s skin crawl and what is left of his heart beat heavy. Kerrin has learned, slowly and painfully, that when Bane speaks he obeys.

Now sitting, Kerrin looks up just enough to see the monstrous red dragon across from him… parts of its flesh missing, its wings in tatters, and an enormous burn around its neck from the chains that once bound him.

“My lord, what can your servant do to please you this day?”

“More must die. Your work has been excellent but slow. I need them all to die. They must all die now!”

“I see my lord; might I receive the aide I requested last we spoke… it will allow me to more quickly dispatch of those who oppose you… those who cause you such pain.” It is hardly noticeable but Bane picks up on the slight pleasure Kerrin has when he says the word… pain.

“Fine. Use it as long as it will let you, but know that it may consume what is left of you and your final payment we agreed upon may no longer be available to you.”

“A risk I am willing to take to further your cause. Death to Pelor and all who see his light!”
The dragon laughs slightly at the assassins fervor and with a wave dismisses Kerrin back to Dauos to play with his new toy.

Alone in his ‘office’, Kerrin looks over the slender wire… he sees the distorted faces of all who it has slain stare back at him… “Use me servant of Bane. Use me and I will show you powers you have never dreamed up”

Kerrin shakes his insubstantial head, as if it will help clear the newest voice added to the sinister choir that sings to him daily, and makes his way into the shadows to start working with his new toy.

…a small farm just north of Drusett…

“MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY…” the screeches pour in from the yard as a worried mother runs outside, grabbing her daughter up by the arm, and speeds them both to the cellar doors. Swinging them open with one hand and sending her daughter down… THUD.

Looking up at the sound the child is covered in a shower of warm blood as an amorphous pod punches though her mother’s chest and rends the body in two… dropping the pieces onto the now silent child.

…the riverside graveyard, Dauos…

“I need your help. Not today, not tomorrow, but soon. I know why you stand here day and night, and I do understand. Some days I wish I could join your watch. I cannot. I must act, and I must act soon. You do not know the way, but I will show it to you when the time is right my friend. You are stronger than you know and many will lean on that strength. The battle the gods are preparing for will rip this world apart and I must prepare for that, even if the one I follow will be a cause of the destruction.”

A small tear drips to the dirt below.

“When I call, know it is my last resort… and until then keep your watch vigilant over these graves old wolf.”

After a moment of silence the High Priestess of Pelor takes her hand off the low hanging branch and walks back to her guards… they continue their daily tour of the common district, helping and healing as it is needed.

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Against the Jarl pt1

“Why do you fight me?” The deep dying voice of the skeletal giant bellows as his sword swings down on the werebear’s shoulder. “What do you seek to gain?”

With a pain filled growl Lorgrim answers “The Jarl, we seek his amulet” his axe buries deep in the now buckling knee of the giant.

“Mortals, next time just ask…” The giant grunts as he steps back and lowers his sword, his wolf backs down, still growling, and the puddings slink back into their icy depressions. Reaching up, the giant removes his helm, displaying a huge cut that nearly splits his skull. “This is what he gave me as he took my throne and cursed me to wander these caverns… I owe him no loyalty… I can show you the fastest route to his keep… as long as you swear to kill him so that I might be released to my ancestors.”

The group as a whole is taken aback, not sure if they can trust the undead behemoth, but after a short parlay they agree that taking his offer is best and they then head out along the path he set (short rest only).

Following small hidden pathways, not wide enough for a giant to travel but plenty wide for a white warg, the heroes travel for half the day until the icy roof overhead gives way to a blue haze as the light from above filters through the frozen fog that hovers in this huge cavern.

Ahead two features stand out as expected. A set of thirty foot tall metal doors set in the side of the glacial ravine, and a semi circle wall of ice that stands roughly half that height. The lair of the gate guards is all that is between them and the Jarl’s keep.

Knowing what they face they grimace and walk slowly toward their fate…

(We start at this point on Monday night. Please advance to level 18. No changes to equipment.)

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