Posts by ammulder

PrinceCon 43 Overarching Theme Recap

43 centuries ago, thirteen mortals ascended to the heights of power and instantiated their reign as deities over the world of Loqathis. In celestial balance these gods ruled for over a millennia in harmony, but in the eve of the 32nd century before the day of our time, Ronkel, he who has dominion over Death, discovered a means to reap that which had sown the gods’ authority and power, and thus sought dominion over all domains of the world. This year, in claiming the need for the retirement and replacement of the deities, Ronkel, he who has dominion over Death, instantiate the Cycle of the Divine, where every two centuries he would reclaim the godhood of one of the deities so that a new mortal could ascend to power. Needed for the procedure, Ronkel, he who has dominion over Death, was to be the only deity exempt from the process. The first of the cycle was Thoki, he who has dominion over Undeath, and with a turn of the scythe the god’s powers were rend from his form, leaving Thoki to roam the world as but a man. In the time of the descension, no such mortal could be found as the first Thoki, and thus there was Ronkel, he who has dominion over Death and Undeath, though this was unknown to the other gods. Grieved at the thought of the prospect of an empty throne, the second to be reaped, Leo, he who has dominion over War, created a competition such that a person worthy of his position would rise and that his legacy could be passed.

And thus for millennia three the world unwittingly competed to sow that which was reaped. Every two centuries each continent of Loqathis had to produce a submission in accordance to the rules placed by the God to be replaced, with celestial boons and curses granted to the continents for worthiness of each submission. While some competitions raised continents and civilizations to great heights with boons of power and wisdoms, others devastated the world, and as time passed gods’ whose competitions did not yield one worthy disappeared from existence. In the dusk of the cycle, the horror of the competitions eclipsed all rays of hope for the world, as Iniki, she who has dominion over Storms, sought to drown the world and end the once harmonious rule of the pantheon. However, there were ones who saw the day anew, and in the eve of the 16th century before the current day, Ratri, she who has dominion over Secrets, seeing the world scarred from the destruction and distrustful of that which was divine, issued a competition to hide all that which was known Thus the weight of remembrance was lifted from the minds of Loqathis such that the divine could be regarded anew.

Till present date the world thus competed in mystery and awe, marveling at the gracious gifts disposed through marvelous competitions by those deities who bring joy. Yet like a clock’s sweep, the strokes of doom would ring again, and thus it is in the present year that Hione, he who has dominion over Knowledge, sought to enlighten the world to the nature of the Cycle of the Divine, and, perhaps, see it to its end. Thus, inspired from secret love for Danu, she who has dominion over Nature, commanded the continents to construct menageries, full of creatures from across the world. The competition sought to bring mortals places long unreached, persons long unsought, and secrets long unlearned, such that they may learn the terrible ordain of Ronkel, he who has dominion over That Which Is Reaped.

It is on this venture that the noble players were called this year. All hailing from the grand continent of Whiggam, the noble players spread throughout the world to collect creatures and garner secrets of the world. The efforts of the noble players were admirable beyond measure, exhuming curiosity and sagacity to such a degree that one of their own was worthy to serve as successor to Hione. As they captured monstrosities of all descriptions and surpassed even some of the most daring competitors, the noble players revealed much to the world that had been hidden, even uncovering the lost Magus, he who has dominion over Magic, who is embodied by another of the noble players to date. In the end, their efforts awarded Whiggam a glorious boon – the restoration of all knowledge loss to Whiggam, and with it revelations of the great and horrible things that lie ahead.

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Aaron’s Scenario Recap (PCon 43)

Journey into Hione’s Mindscape

A Treatise on Divine Love
& Why the Menagerie Must Be Stopped!

We traveled into the Mindscape of Hione, whereupon we came across a vibrant arboreal forest and a manifestation of Hione named Harry — busy carving poorly penned poetry into every tree in the forest simultaneously. We would later learn the subject was the goddess Danu. Harry attempted to force us to leave but, despite multiple casualties, I stood my ground and learned of Hione’s infatuation with the nature deity.

order-of-the-wyvernThe mindscape allowed us to perform extraordinary feats of physical and arcane prowess, our forms matching out perception of ourselves in the mind’s eye. We were drawn even farther when a flash of blonde, with a green robe billowing, and just the peek of a naked calf. We lost her at a river crossing and were moved to a snowy mountain pass. Once again, we met with Harry, but this time he was the size of a mountain, and he was sculpting the mountain side into Danu’s calf.

After a harrowing encounter scaling the pass with yetis on the mountain, we were thrust into a dungeon to attempt to “impress” Danu. After a series of mind-boggling trials testing both wits and might, we met Danu herself, and conversations of feelings and relations ensued.

She expressed her displeasure with the menagerie as it stands, how animals are being forced into enclosures and trapped against their will. She spoke of how she held no interest in Hione as a romantic companion. Most importantly, though, she told us of her desire to carry the child of Carrunos. Hione’s love is not reciprocated and Danu will not be happy with the gross mistreatment of the many creatures held captive in the Menagerie.

          Think Clearly Adventurers!
          – Tenacity, Order of the Wyvern

Danu’s Dream

Or, How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the animal-riders

After the outcome of Hione’s dream, Whiggam has determined that it is a matter of the utmost emergency to further investigate Danu’s state of mind, particularly as regards to Carrunos and Hione and potential relationships with either (or both!). However, given that Hunters’ Hall has been completely exhausted through the efforts of collecting the Menagerie, the only available team is from the Junior Adventurer’s Guild of Whiggam. Henceforth they shall be dispatched to Danu’s dream, though the precise instructions they are to be given are a matter of the utmost delicacy.

          – Memo to JAG Corps Directorate

“Dang man, so we were like, sent into a dream! A dream! Not just that, but a goddess’ dream!

“They told us to do whatever we could for her, and get this, all she wanted was to find her stinkin’ boyfriend. Or somethin’. She says he’s missing or avoiding her, or whatever. It’s Carrunos, though, so the only way to find him was gonna be to ask the animals.

IMG_1513“We started with the Wolves. Seriously, wolves are awesome, and I totally want to be a wolf rider! They said we couldn’t ride ‘em unless we go on the Great Hunt, in three days under the full moon. Like, seriously? We’re on a calendar?

“Whatever. It was like, not a happening place, so we went to check out the lions. And the King of the Lions would only talk if one of us defeated his Champion in single combat! Ohhhh, yeaaaah, baby! That dummy really tried to do it himself, but we pumped our guy six ways from Tuesday and took that so-called ‘Champion’ down! Not just down but WAY down! Subterranean, baby!

“Well… it sorta turned out he was like, the king’s son. So we healed him right back up. Maybe he’ll practice next time. Anyway, the king was so impressed, he told us that Carrunos was hiding ‘cause he has a secret. But His Lion-ish-ness said it wasn’t his secret to share, and we had to ask the other animals.

“So we skipped out on that dude and tried the Queen of the Snakes. The lions gave us a ride, except they wouldn’t go near the snakes ‘cause they were all stuck in the mud. Derpy jumped in, but it seemed pretty gross to me. I mean, they were so dirty, I didn’t even ask for a ride! I guess they snakes didn’t like it much either, ‘cause they told Derpy they wanted to sun themselves on dry ground. We told ‘em — easy, peasy — go there! But they said the Pigs were there first.

“Well, duh, everyone knows pigs want MUD, not dry ground. We we told ‘em to switch. They just said the Prarie Dogs were in the way. Seriously? We went and told the Prarie dogs to get their butts underground, but they’ll all like, ‘wah, wah, there are monsters in our homes!’

“Dang, man, we’re, like, ADVENTURERS! We went and whooped some monster butt! There was a dragon blocking the entrance (we blinded him and used a nearby hurricane to toss his butt out of the way), some trolls (do you know if you burn ‘em to the ground, you get a lot of whining trolls and then some Troll Dust?), a few Giant Scorpions (which make darn good Poison Javelins when all is said and done), and some Hook Horrors (you know a Poison Javelin can chuck one of those bad boys straight into the Abyss?). Come on, man, give us a CHALLENGE!

“All right, so… we moved the Prairie Dogs back underground, swapped the Pigs and Snakes, and by then the Full Moon rose and it was time for the Great Hunt. Well, you ain’t seen no Hunters like US! By the time we were done, the trees were chuckin’ the prey our way. We had to let ‘em loose first, just so the Wolves wouldn’t be bored.

“Anyhoo, Long Story Short, we impressed the King of Wolves. When he said he’d answer a question, we asked for Carrunos’ secret.

“And GET THIS! He just up and turns into Carrunos.

“You see it right? Wolf — Man — Full Moon. Holy guacamole, dude, CARRUNOS IS A WEREWOLF!

“No wonder he’s keeping a secret. He begged us not to tell Danu. We hemmed. We hawed. We voted. We voted FIVE to FIVE, and had to dice off to decide. The dice said… keep the secret.

“But dude, it was DANU’S DREAM. So what are the odds she doesn’t know now?”

          – Respectfully Submitted,
           Ella Dragonborn
            Secretary-in-Training
             Whiggam Junior Adventurer’s Guild

Finding the cure

…After finding out what losing control under the Full Moon really means

My party sought a way to convince Carrunos to have a child with Danu, but when we came face to face with him, he asked us a favor. Saying that he was expecting us. He asked us to take care of the Orcs who plagued his lands. We complied and went after the Orcs.

Upon finding the Orcs, they attacked the party. As we began to fight, suddenly we all gained Barbarian rage. Except this rage was overwhelmingly bloodthirsty. We ripped apart the Orcs, and when a Half-Orc came out to surrender, we ripped him apart as well, without any control.

Suddenly, we faded back to being in front of Carrunos, and he told us that that uncontrollable urge, that because he was a werewolf and had that uncontrollable attribute to him, that he would never have a child. He would never force such a curse upon his child.

We offer to find a way to cure him, and his information lead us to go to the Temple of Time Reversal, traveling back to long ago, eventually coming to a large library. (Likely the Grand Tory Library).

Upon going inside, we came face to face with the human form of the god Hione, Harry. He assisted us in finding the book for which we sought, but upon finding it, we could not comprehend its words.

Harry, on the other hand, could and was enthralled by the new information that he had not been aware of: How to cure born lycanthropy.

The party was able to bring out both his emotional and logical side, with his human form saying that of course he would end up helping his beloved even if she was in love with someone else. We used complete hypotheticals in order to not seem too suspicious.

We traveled back to the present and went into Hione’s mind. He greeted us and we spoke with him. Not letting him in on the fact that we went to the past and met him, but were able to bring up the lycanthropy issue and imply that he might be able to assist. Eventually, he would concede and tell us to contact Carrunos and tell him to come see Hione. The problem is… upon investigating, we could tell that Hione was ‘pleased’ by something in this moment. Whether it was because he was happy to help Danu by helping her lover, or because he was happy that he was in control of her happiness is unknown.

          – Virago, Order of the Wyvern

Epilogue

On the difference between Knowledge and Wisdom

Though the party was concerned, some days later, Danu and Carrunos could again be found in close company, the issues between them apparently resolved.

The only strange thing was Hione’s behavior at the Judging of the Menagerie. He seemed tense, worried about who might be observing. And the moment that Aerlon White-Eyes was elevated to become Hione, Harry (the former holder of the office) fled with all available haste.

Why might that be?

Some months later… say, about nine… All the beasts of the land flew into a terrible rage. At the same time, it became very, very dangerous to be a librarian.

It would seem that the former Hione did not actually CURE Carrunos’ lycanthropy, but simply relieved the symptoms, TRICKING him into believing he was cured. That lasted until a week or two after the birth of his child, the first time the Full Moon brought out the uncontrollable Blood Rage in the child.

Nobody knows what became of Harry… which is to say that one way or another, he’s never been seen again. Perhaps he’s living out his mortal life in the dusty basement of some library or other, safely out of the reach of natural beasts. (Not to say that he showed that much wisdom any time recently. But perhaps.)

In any case, there are two silver linings to the matter.

One is that time will show Carrunos rising to the challenge he hoped so desperately to avoid, bettering himself in the process — a feat that poor Harry never managed.

The other is that the new Hione has all the knowledge of his predecessor, and seems much more favorably inclined toward his colleagues.

My thanks to all the players who brought this story to life — without you, it was just words on a page. :)

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Aaron’s Scenario Recap (PCon 42)

The Heart of Gold

Backstory: One of Gargravarr’s great promises to the people of Qoin was to tunnel through the center of the disc to create a trade route from Heads to Tails. While nobody has ever reliably reported contact with the far side of the disc, this proved to be an inspiring undertaking, spreading dreams of beautiful fabrics and exotic spices and wealth to be made.

It was certainly popular among Dwarves and Gnomes, for it created the world’s largest demand for mining and machinery. Gargravarr used a vast tunnel-boring machine, built and maintained by the Gnomes, directed by the Dwarves, and supported by mining grunts of every shape and size.

Or course, a trade route was not Gargravarr’s actual motivation…

Run 1: The Mission is Mine

As far as the Resistance is concerned, there’s one big problem with the mining operation, and that’s that it was Gargravarr’s idea. Therefore, no matter how attractive it might appear on the surface, there must be some underlying motive to the detriment of the world. The first party was sent to investigate the mine and find out what’s going on there.

They had some adventures even reaching the glacier at the center of Qoin where the mining operation was located. All shipping capacity was consumed with miners and supplies, and the captains had turned to highway robbery to allow miners or passengers to claim a spot. With strategic bribery, the party lubricated their departure, and found themselves crammed in to a ship vastly overloaded with rough-edged folk. And then the first night out, the ship’s crew abandoned them, taking the money and running (er, rowing the dinghy) out of sight.

The lack of food, water, and elbow room could have proved to be a serious problem, except for the legendary Elven secrets that the party brought on board. (Namely, an alchemist’s jug producing an endless supply of fine wine.) With a little help from one experienced hand, they managed to reach the glacier, and by following another vessel, crash-land on the docks that were the intended destination all along.

Following the crowd, they crammed into wagons headed for the mine. On their arrival they found a vast temporary city — rows on rows of tents — in concentric circles around a vast hole in the ground. Unable to locate a “headquarters” among the tents (it was revealed later that all those in charge lived underground), they opted to take over one of the wagons of tailings, dumping it and returning to the mine for more.

The found themselves rudely directed down a circuitous path by Dwarves, who appeared roundly entertained by abusing the hapless grunts directing the wagon. In fact, a little investigation established that the mine was run by Dwarves and Gnomes, who were thrilled to have the chance. The Dwarves seemed to choose the route and procedures, while the Gnomes operated the vast tunnel-boring machine, and everyone else involved attended to the mundane tasks such as digging side tunnels, clearing the waste left by the boring machine, and resupplying the proper miners. This left the enormous main tunnel, surrounded by a huge number of weaving side tunnels, and a nearly inscrutable wagon route marked only by Dwarven runes etched faintly into the rock.

More investigation and a fair bit of stealth brought the party to a room where one of Gargravarr’s advisors was apparently dictating terms to frustrated Dwarf and Gnome leaders. From the sounds of it the Gnomes were advocating a break for maintenance, the Dwarves were advocating following a gentler route that avoided harder ground and obstacles, and Gargravarr was insisting on a straight-line route. (To the Heart of Gold, of course, though this wasn’t apparent to anybody at the time.)

Before the party could take advantage of this information, a party of invisible Drow attacked, supported by spellcasters in the distance. This turned into a four-way melee, from which no side emerged satisfied. The party lost two members and was unable to secure any of the specific plans or diagrams that had been under discussion. The Drow attempted to carry off Gargravarr’s representative, but were unable to. The representative was ultimately killed, leaving the Dwarves and Gnomes in a tight spot, and Gargravarr assuredly displeased.

Still, the remainder of the party returned with excellent intelligence on the mine, the factions involved, and Gargravarr’s influence.

Run 2: Tails of Qoin

Coming soon…

Run 3: The Enemy of My Enemy…?

Coming soon…

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Steve C’s Scenario Recap (PCon 42)

Steve & Nayla’s Scenario #1: A Fool’s Gold Errand

Funding a resistance effort is not cheap, and someone is stealing gold. Literally out of the pockets of the Resistance. And the bastard who’s doing it needs to be caught.

Our heroes were tasked with protecting a shipment of gold between two hideouts, and the trip will take all night. While beset upon by a distraction, the entire payload was lost, replaced with counterfeits made of brass.

On the face of the counterfeits, however, there was an island that is not on any map, so obviously that was their next step. Upon the unnamed island, they overcome two sea hags with strange clothes and the alchemical symbol for lead on their head coverings –– some of the Immortals from the wheel recoiled at the sight of it. The Symbol of the Hand of Dusk!

In a cave on the coast of the island, they come across a laboratory where some Villain is minting fake gold coins that directly threaten the world’s gold supply. They look quite convincingly valuable, and are laced with magic which allows them to steal real gold coins by swapping them out with fool’s gold copies. 1 then turns to 2, 4, 8, 16… Exponentially growing. Dare I say, as “confounding interest.”

In any case, the the Villian comes home to his lab. However, the “Villain” turns out not to be an enemy, but Tabernaculus, an old dragon from The Wheel. “We’ve heard of him!” Exclaimed some of the party.

His world is dying, and he found a way back to the Wheel, into a place called the Garden of Dusk to try and salvage some clippings of the Tree of Life. However, they do not seem to want to grow in this world – that is to say Quoin – perhaps, he says, because it has an incompatible Heart. So he started experimenting and discovered how this world’s Heart of Gold is being depleted. The gold-stealing coins are a way to try and reverse the damage.

But that doesn’t seem to be working either. He stole back into the Garden of Dusk to try and find a better solution, and found out that the Hand of Dusk was guarding something called the “Seed of Life” – apparently the one last Seed of the Tree, which he stole away. However, the next day he woke up to find that it had sprouted, but apparently the Seedling was more mobile than he anticipated (think Baby Groot) and it escaped.

While discussing with Tab, the players realized that they needed some dirt from The Wheel to entice Audrey out to take root, and where Tab had virtually none they remembered the two bodies of the Hand of Dusk. Those would mulch nicely. Bedecked with flowers and a Wheelian lullaby played by their Bard, they they managed to lure Baby Audrey out and bring her back to Tab without incident. They succeeded. (One player exclaimed something about, “Essentially mulching Nazis in order to grow the Flower of Peace.”)

The Heroes ended this run with Heart-strengthening fools’ gold coins, two pages of the Guide, and the Heart of Oak, itself – Baby Audrey.

Steve & Nayla’s Scenario #2: Everything is Illuminated

“Well, let’s see what happened then, shall we?” said Merriweather.

Why does the party have an headache? And why is everything so loud? It was as if their ears had opened for the first time. And why is there so much wind whipping at their clothing? And why is the ground approaching so fast? Ahhhhhhh! They awake to find themselves falling through the air.

How did they end up here? And what is that book falling along with them?

Flashing back to the beginning of things, they were sent off to retrieve The Book! The Book! Another copy of the manuscript – The Guide to the Multiverse – that held details about what is happening with the Immortals and Gargravarr, hoping that it may give them some clue as to how to defeat him. However, the Guide is hidden away in a tower. It’s all terribly mundane: They get their Quest, they go to the Tower, they dispatch the guard… and suddenly, a strange corrosion demon besets itself upon them and – they all die.

TPK. Whoops.

“No, no that can’t be right!”

That is not how Heroes die! So their story begins again. They get their Quest, they go to the Tower, they defeat the two guards, they head down into the Dungeon below it and find a Goblin who challenges them to a game of riddles. And they strain to best the riddle in 3 guesses…

The corrosion beast shows up again! They remember *everything* just before they die…

“Blast it! Why does this keep happening?”

They get their Quest, they go to the Dark Keep, they defeat the *10* guards, they find the goblin *Riddlesmith,* and defeat him with one try… and…

As you can guess, the story “resets” itself several times, changing a bit with each iteration, becoming more epic, more heroic, succeeding more easily against evermore unsurmountable odds, until they get to the final room and they realize that… it’s simply not there.

Past the door, it dissolves into nothingness, and it feels awful familiar. Like it’s where they started out. And then in a moment of desperation– they break through. Everything dissolves into a thousand threads of gold, and they fall “out,” looking up at two giant Monks of Hione, who are in turn looking down upon tiny versions of the Heroes, sitting upon a page of a manuscript.

It turns out that they are not the Heroes themselves, but how history had remembered them. The manuscript – which was illuminated with literal golden letters – was damaged when the gold was drawn from it by some surviving shard of Gargravarr, and the Monks (Albus and Merriweather) were trying to repair the book along with its illuminations. However, the final portions of it (think, the explosion and falling through the air part at the beginning) were damaged irreparably. So they did what any old Monks of Hione would do: Cast Speak with Book and try and see if the book remembered what happened. They did not expect *this*. :-)

Meanwhile, many centuries before, the real Heroes made their way into the tower – which was little more than a storage silo – searching after the Book. The Book, that could help them. Instead, with the help of the farmer who lived there, they came across a small, but powerful, magical item in the form of a figurine of a Raven. Their source had misheard. The Rook. The Rook was hidden in the tower. Granted, along with some very nice loot that certainly *could* help them turn the tide against Gargravarr.

Where their original quest was quite mundane, History remembered them as True Heroes.

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Wolf’s Scenario Recap (PCon 42)

Run #1: Alcheringa Calling

Starring: Bran Brightwood, Bree Specklefoot, Caeleth Mutewind, Cainin, Dork, Korona Psefdiko Theo, Morti Kustos, Piddles Proudfoot XIV,

The Prologue: All the elves and half elves of Qoin have been having the same dream. The dream was troubling to all the full blooded elves because, elven trances give rest but there are never any dreams. Although the dream seemed garbled some things could be gleaned. Some words were hard to interpret as they faded in, faded out, sped up or slowed down.


The grey statue of the crocodile man stared at his feet while he held the leather-bound tome over his head. There seemed to be bandages around his right arm and the right side of his face. His robes were torn and you could see the stone reptilian skin through the holes. A blue fan and shards of black glass were strewn on the rough floor before him. The dawn lit up his face and a mouth appeared in the upper right quadrant of the book cover.

In a heavy breathed elvish with an odd accent, four mouths seemed to say the following words in various quadrants of the leather bound tome.

“Witness… the end… Gargravarr… stone prison… living place… beginning… divide… reality… peace…”


The Story: Yulga, the seer of Archeringa, an immortal from the world of dreams explained that in order to crystallize and reconstitute the energies being sent from Alcheringa and ungarble the message, there must be nine rods placed around a commonality where physical energy and spiritual energies merge. He suspected he had found a place. The location is atop a somewhat active volcano where the ruins of an ancient elven stronghold sit. It was near the border of Sardalus and the Barrowlands. The Seer of Alcheringa was a double agent working in the Lesser Council of Light and needed to be back soon before his cover was blown. He dismissed his significant other, Jordan, and went over the ritual with the party and told them there would be a ship waiting for them in the morning.

The mission left the following morning aboard the Heir Apparent. Just to be sure the immortals hid below deck as they passed the Isle of Light. They passed the ice flows near the center of the Qoin and Korona tried to convert as many sailors to his brand of religion. They arrived at Bath’s Bay at the mouth of the Iron Way River and sought passage down river aboard an ore barge captained by Lorna a female dwarven devotee to Daglir. She was very flattered by Bree’s advances but due to Bree’s lack of a magnificent beard, the effort was for naught. At each night, Caeleth and Korona, (the two who had elven blood) analyzed more of the dream and determine more details such as the embossed symbol on the books formerly leather cover now made of stone. Bree confirmed it was truly the symbol of Alcheringa, so unless this was a cleverly constructed ruse, the communication was continuing to be sent from Alcheringa, the land long thought dead and gone having been devoured by Gargravarr. Bree was sure because she was from old Archeringa.

The group arrived in Rat’s Mouth, the mining town where there is a dilapidated bridge to the Barrowlands. The bridge was in disuse because the Barrowlands is a dead land where all sentient life died about 300 years ago. The locals say the land is cursed, but the Iron Way River provides a magical barrier from the evil there.

After the group tried a confidence game utilizing arm wrestling in the Tin Swords Inn, they all went outside to investigate the sound of someone getting beat up in the street. Dork, the Aru cleric told three assailants to stop but the two spear men moved menacingly toward her. One of spearmen, named Stabbington sporting a ridiculous mustache must have been at least second level with a name like Stabbington. What should have turned into a small scuffle turned into the party murdering all three brutes and questioning the victim. When they heard the constable’s whistles getting closer, they high tailed it over the crumbling bridge in the dark.

In the morning, they climbed to the top of the volcano and witnessed smoke mephits dancing around a circular pool of lava. Despite the cackling, they trusted the mephits to not harm them. But at the first hammer strike of an iron rod, a lava elemental emerged from the pool and the mephits attacked with glee. After the battle, they arranged the nine rods and imagined them connected with lines creating a network like a dream catcher. The ritual worked by pulling the ghostly spirits of the past into the imagined networks of fiber. Caeleth witnesses the full dream before any other elf. The dream was clear, complete and is in the proper order narrated by the Dragonborn’s precast magic mouths….

“Gargravarr made history and on Archeringa, he ended history. I saw his charismatic arrival. How he spoke of peace but he only sold fear.

“I saw him divide us. I was a witness from the beginning to the end and I am a chronicler of what transpired.

“In the Dindaralu Nation, in the living place west of the Manburi River. In the seventh tower’s hidden vault, where she policed reality,…

“I will wait to be awakened from my stone prison to tell you details of how he did it. Unfortunately, I can wait forever.”

Suddenly, from across the crater, Marti, the human paladin, spied a Halfling witnessing what they had done and little one was, without a doubt, an immortal like many of them. And when the Halfling realized he was spotted he ran and jumped down the far edge of the volcano. And despite his small size he covered the ground as quickly a normal sized person would. They lost him in the brush but understood in order to get back to civilization he must also cross the bridge back to Rat’s Mouth. The party ambushed him and captured him. Under interrogation he told them his name is Charles Tantoes. He went on to tell them that he stumbled upon them and recognized them as immortals when they arrived in town but he did so from the shadows. Knowing their immortal aura sensing abilities would peg him as an immortal too, he arranged with the thieves’ guild (In Rat’s Mouth, called the Butchers) to rough up the rat piper outside their inn to ascertain their capabilities and general demeanor. However, after their display of cold-blooded murder, he definitely tried to stay clear. Despite his newly granted immortality he was afraid of death. He was still in his original body and thought, perhaps ‘this immortality thing’ might not work and he was sure it would hurt anyway.

They returned to Bath’s Bay with the help from Lorna and made their way back to the caves of Hireling Hideout with the rather frightened immortal prisoner of the Lesser Council of Light. And with the reconstituted dream being sent to all of elven blood they knew what must be done with the information. It was time to somehow travel to Alcheringa, the World of Dreams, and awaken the Dragonborn who witnessed Gargravarr eat his world. Maybe then the rebellion could figure out how to stop Gargravarr from devouring the Qoin in the same way.

 

Run #2:  Waking the Crocodile Man

Starring: Annondolis, Belgron, Benzamfel, Craag, gmac, Red, and Vivienne

The Story: The mission was get to the fabled world of Alcheringa, the dream world.   There they would reawaken the Dragonborn who was a witness to Gargravarr devouring his world and possibly find a way to defeat him on the Qoin. 

With the information provided from the reconstructed dream, the party and an odd priest gained a focus on the world called Alcheringa.  He told them that they should take a sacred sash similar to his and do whatever they felt naturally doing with it. For instance, wave it about, hold it on your arm, dance, feel the wave of creativity and when about a minute has passed, repeat the following words three times with conviction “But the end never came. At least not then.”

Then sight down your thumb and open the golden portal and follow the golden Broomway to Alcheringa.  Repeat the same steps to get back but to get back to the Qoin your must repeat, “Don’t Panic!” three times. 

They appeared in front of the steps of an old opera house.  The building was covered in vines practically bursting with small bluish white berries.  As were all the buildings in the area.   They realized they were on a shard of the original planet.  All seven moons were disintegrated and the multicolored dust blew around in the street.  The sun seemed to travel at a very fast speed across the sky bringing 3o minutes of daylight and 30 minutes of darkness before a new day would begin.  As the dream message had mentioned he was in the seventh tower, so as they started moving through the streets, they heard a droning humming sound, as an alarm resonated throughout the dilapidated cityscape. 

They surmised the ‘crocodile man’s hidden vault’ was in the violet tower, one of three towers remaining. (as it corresponded with the last of the set of seven moons of old Alcheringa).  As they travelled through the dust strewn streets they spied two humanoid figures climbing among the foliage of the buildings.  As they craned their heads to look behind them, their spines seemed more flexible and the party was able to see that although they may have been elves at some point, their toothless jaws jutted upward and forward like post-spawned salmon and their left eyes seemed to be missing.  The party was caught between them as they each belched forth a watery mist and obscured the streets.  Many other savage twisted elves using mostly cobbled together armor and weapons joined their comrades in the battle against the party.  Another pair of twisted elves missing their right eyes joined the battle and fought against the first group and tried to scavenge from the dead ones before the fight was even over.  The party showed no mercy when dealing with either groups of denizens of this dying world shard. 

The party found the secret door in the lower levels of the tower and discovered the red waxen walls of the vault which at one point served as the home to one of the Dream Serpents.  And just as expected, the statue of the crocodile man was waiting. Using the blue fan at his feet, they waved air across the still form and it turned back to flesh.  The Dragonborn was named Warrugul Tau, or Tau for short.  He had willingly turned himself to stone to escape what he called the Mind’s Eye plague that was sweeping across the world.  He was a historian and chronicler and expected that Gargravarr was either defeated or had ascended to godhood since fifty thousand years had passed.  But of course that wasn’t the case because it hadn’t been that long.  The giant mirror that had been sending the dreams to the elves across the multiverse was set to count the number of dawns that had occurred.  Tau had not expected the days would slowly get shorter and shorter nor did he expect that his world would shatter without the Jade lattice Heart.

He went onto explain that Gargravarr,in the form of a Dragonborn, had come to Alcheringa and sowed the seeds of discontent among the normally peaceful nineteen nations that were ruled over by the nineteen divinely created Dream Serpents.  The Dream Serpents trusted him implicitly because they could look into his mind and see no falsehoods and only good intentions. When Gargravarr asked for a ritual called the Dream Barrier near the Jade Lattice Heart because one of the other nations was trying to get into his mind and steal his power, they did so willingly.  That shrank the World Heart enough that he could magically devour it.  He killed everyone in the room including the Dream Serpent of the Dindaralu Nation who had cast the ritual, but the badly burned Tau had escaped in the water.  After Gargravarr ate the World Heart, the ‘Jade Immortals’ of his world suddenly died.  In the days that followed, Gargravarr killed all of the other remaining Dream Serpents and flung himself into the vastness of the multiverse to find his next conquest. 

Using the magic mirror in the Dream Serpent’s lair, and the sky projector book, Tau set up the plan to be reawakened when any surviving elves in the far off future would hear the call. 

When asked what a Dream Serpent looked like, Tau said that their forms were so gloriously incomprehensible, that the mind could not truly contain the image.  The memory of their true form would fade immediately when they can no longer be seen, like a tentative dream upon waking up.  But it didn’t matter anymore, Gargravarr had killed all of the celestial beings known as Dream Serpents.  And now no one could possibly undo the Dream Barrier.

On the back of the gigantic stone mirror there were nine elven heads on spikes, each of them alive, preserved by magic in the middle of actual dreaming.  They were sending out the images of whatever the mirror saw at dawn each day.  In this case, it was the repeating message of Warrugul Tau, the ‘Crocodile man’. The party removed the heads and destroyed the mirror for fear that Gargravarr could use the mirror as a weapon against those with elven blood. 

With nothing left, Tau agreed to follow the party along the golden broomway.  It was discovered that the portal could only be entered if one had a sizable chunk of gold on them.  It was also discovered that the reason why the immortals from Qoin could enter easily was because their hearts were truly made of gold when their bodies had formed.  

Once back on Qoin, Tau set up the sky book projector in the main cavern of Hireling Hideout so people could see the glory of the sky from within the normally dark cave.  Among the resistance, Tau looked for those like him but never saw another Dragonborn.  He began to believe he was the only Dragonborn left in the multiverse or, at the very least, on the world of the Qoin. 

Now armed with the knowledge of how Gargravarr devours worlds and his potential vulnerability without a Dream Barrier, the rebels began hatching a plan to defeat him.  No more worlds would fall to Gargravarr!

Hidden Facts:

  1. Once the message was solidified, elves in the Council of Light told Gargravarr about the details of the dream.  Shortly after the party arrived back on Qoin, Gargravarr ‘s team comprised of ten immortals of the Lesser Council of Light arrived to destroy the statue of the Dragonborn witness.   Luckily the party was able to get him out of there in time.  Another pack of Mind’s Eye Plague victims killed three of the immortals before they realied the Dragonborn had been reawakened and taken away.  Then they opened the Broomway to face the wrath of Gargravarr.  If the mirror hadn’t been destroyed by the rebel party it would have broadcast the battle to the elven blooded across the multiverse.  Gargravaar could have certainly found a nefarious purpose for the mirror in the aftermath.
  2. The Dream Serpents seek solitude because their true forms do harm to weak minds and when they appear in another form, it is uncomfortable like wearing clothes one size too small.  Dream Serpents do not need to breathe or eat so solitude is generally easy.
  3. The Mind’s Eye Plague affected the entire population but it was only the long lived elves that survived the thousand years (or so) of scavenger society.  The survivors of the original plague decended into madness as one of their eyes started to migrate to the center of their brains.  For some unknown reason the ones who were missing their left eyes despised the ones who were missing their right eye. The non magical fog that they were able to produce from their toothless deformed mouths allowed them all to have a form of depth perception as things further away in the fog were less clear.  If the fog had been blown away with magic, they would have had a difficult time fighting with any skill (disadvantage).
  4. The Jade Lattice Heart was more than just a source of power to help the population create what they needed with thoughts.  It was also a dream catcher to filter the dreams of the sleeping creation gods who dreamt in the distance.  Once Gargravarr devoured the World Heart, the gods started dying and when creation gods dream in their century long death throws they unintentionally create nightmares in the waking world.  The nightmares took the form of things such as the Mind’s Eye Plague, the disintegration of the seven magical moons and eventually the shattering of the planet.  As the planetary shard floated in the void among the debris it started spinning more and more rapidly causing the days to speed up and throw off Tau’s day counting mirror.  If a cleric visited the Shard of Alcheringa, he would have discovered he had access to the prayer power of the similar gods who were sleeping .  But he would have been stealing it, instead of it being granted to him.  And he would have all of his prayers back at every dawn.  In other words, every hour!
  5. Before Gargravarr ate the Heart of Jade, elves across the multiverse slept like all the other races.  According to Alcheringan memory all the elves were created from a single gigantic celestial pool of soul material that was split and given to individual as each was born.  Its proximity to the gods picked up their dreams so when the gods dreams became unfiltered, elves across the multiverse began to go mad from the nightmares whenever they slept.  The ones who learned the ability to forego sleep and simply trance for four hours a day for rest survived.  The others did not.  Soon the survivors lost the ability to sleep and truly dream.
  6. The world that Gargravarr devoured before coming to Alcheringa was the Fey world.  One of the powers he got from eating that World Heart was the ability split his mind and allow one part of his mind to think of one thing while another part thought of something else entirely different.  So anyone peering at his mind would see exactly what he wanted them to see.  On Alcheringa, when a Dream Serpent would look into his mind, he would see only altruistic motives.  The Dream Serpents had never heard of this ability to have deceptive thoughts.  To a Dream Serpent thoughts were the undeniable truth.  (As a matter of fact a Dream Serpent can not lie in any language. Look up Coutls in the Monster Manual sometime).
  7. The large diamond with flaw at its center was actually a Dream Serpent egg and the flaw was the embryonic form of the last Alcheringan Dream Serpent.  It was waiting to be born into a world where it was safe.

 

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