The Ancient Lands: The Sundering

Journey to the Misty Isles (Interlude)
Musician on Deck

The travel to the port city of Ye’Maya, in between the Misty Isles and Jhelai is long and hot. Ramza keeps himself busy. In the day he mostly sleeps. When he’s not he is helping the crew, from a distance, but helping none the less. Playing upbeat music for the sailors. High spirits are kept on deck. Come supper he’s telling wild tales at the table. After dinner his songs turn into melancholic ballads and sad songs. Songs about graves, lost loves, and tragedy. Despite the somber tones the sailor’s enjoy.

As the ship passes by The Fires of the South, Ramza sees something in the distance. Or believes he does. He looks into the fire and it looks back. What should be terrifying isn’t, the monsters at the end of the quest scaring him more than the visage in the distance. In the hot nights he plucks and hymns.

There was a man, a hero,
HIs sword beauty’s dominion.
Thought he could fight shadows,
That darkness crushed him.
The hero battled raging fires,
But flames come from within.
He is haunted by oaths he made,
Specters that wail without end.
When he noticed the vigilante eyes,
Their gaze drowning by then.
Greatest battle was wanderlust,
Forever lost in disillusion.

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Journey to the Misty Isles

Leaving port for their next destination, port city of Ye’Maya, near the Misty Isles, the hero’s took a much deserved break. The hero’s payed their way with the magic of Horatius (Horus), of the Divine Children, which saved many of the crew that oft perish on the trip around the Southern Tip of the Black Kingdoms, known as the Fires of the South.

During the trip around the southern tip, Ramza saw a winged something through the smoke rising from the fiery range of mountains. not wanting to draw attention to it, for fear of attention to it may draw it’s attention to them, Ramza kept quiet about what he saw. The creature, whatever it was, dived into the caldera and disappeared from view.

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Sorcerer's Tower - Epilogue

The group returns to port after a long hard battle. Moments after getting off the ship, multiple being’s appeared on the docs. Each of the creatures reached out, grabbed a sailor or passenger, and ripped them in half. The people around the creatures screamed and scattered, some of them jumping in to the water.

Having gotten the attention of our hero’s, the creatures then focused on the hero’s. Within moments, the hero’s dispatched the creatures, but not before they were able to kill another bystander. Once dealt with, the creatures phased out of existence, as if never having been there.

Ramza and Phi advised everyone that the creatures must have been summoned to phase out like they did.

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Sorcerer's Tower - Finale

Breaking into the main chamber the group finds a chamber with a spherical force-cage holding some sort of rod within it’s confines. Reaching through the force-cage the party was able to grab the rod, but was unable to get it out of it’s imprisonment.

Seeing the symbol in the ground beneath the spherical cage, the party deduced that they would have to acquire the remaining symbol pieces to, hopefully, release the rod.

Leaving out another door the group found a room full of emptiness. Moving through the room the party nearly fell into the pit in the center of the room. The pit is only 10’ deep though. No spikes. No animals. No water. Being a suspicious lot, the group had 1 member of the team climb down and poke around for several minutes. They eventually find a hidden box, and inside that box they discover another piece of the key symbol.

Moving into the next room they find it filled with pools of some red liquid. Using a stone shape they retrieve an item. Continuing on they find a room

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Sorcerer's Tower, Part 2

Myiera looked around and found a 2′×2′ tile that seemed offset. Being lifted up by Oni she shifts the tile and a hole in the ceiling appeared. After some discussion, they send Myiera up first to investigate and then follow themselves after she gives the all clear.

In the center of the room is the piece of the staff they are looking for, floating

Ramza walked up and touched the touchstone

Bra reached out to take the crystal floating in the center and was shocked and thrown back against the wall.

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Searching the Sorcerer's Tower

Having found the center of Sorcerer’s Isle, and the tower that stands there, the party then ventured to gain access to the tower.

The shiny stone yielded no clues how to enter and did not let any magic touch it, bouncing back all magic that attempted to.

Searching the area over a period of 2 days the eventually found a tunnel that ‘may’ lead towards the tower. May, because the forest kept trying to send them elsewhere, so the group is unsure if the tower really is in that direction.

Bra the Barbarian attempted to ascertain if this was, indeed, the entrance. Moving down the tunnel he started to feel week and ill. Then, seeing a steel clad door ahead, started moving faster. Had the birds, laying dead roughly 10’ prior to the door, not given him pause, he might have run full tilt into the invisible wall in his path. Slowing down, he gently grazed it and found there were no gaps past.

Bra then fell really ill, and felt physically ill, and quickly rushed back to his friends. His friends, not fully understanding what was wrong, checked him over just as Bra the Barbarian began to spew forth that the contents of his stomach. His friends helped him and gave him some healing, some of which seemed to negate whatever effect he was under.

Then, trying to determine how to get past, Greg went over his inventory of goods. Finding a scroll of Disintegrate he used it, destroyed the wall, and had the group fly down the tunnel to avoid touching the walls, floor, & ceiling of the cavern.

Myiera searched the door and disarmed it so they could continue onward. The group then found themselves in a cold cellar, storing some fruits, vegetables, and other storable items. One potato in particular seemed to stare at them, sitting there with sprouts coming out either side of the body as well as at the bottom of the bottom. The potato also had 2 ‘eyes’ right were a person’s eyes would be. Their paranoia kicked in and the party sliced the potatoes to pieces.

Searching the larder the found a symbol of a ‘lost’ sect of the Atlanteans. A sect some say were responsible for the cataclysm, at least according to Ramza.

Moving onward the group found a sitting room and a laboratory. The lab was full of alchemical supplies. But the lab had a table full of half full glass vials upon it sitting directly on top of the trap door. Peeking through the trap door, Ramza found a clear area to jump to.

Ramza Dimensional Door’ed through the trap door and appeared in a small area not covered in glass, cleared the area so that the remainder of the party can join him through the hatchway.

Moving past the lab, the came to a locked door. Myiera attempted to open it, but failed, so Greg used Knock to open the door. However, having tried to pick the lock previously, the current occupant of the room prepared herself…

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Whispers on deck

(Decide if your character overheard this conversation or not. Please only 2 characters. Edit yourself into the sentence below if you did.)

On the voyage south, Oni and over hear this conversation.

Horus, “How can you trust him? He’s given his soul to them.”
Ramza, “You and I still worship The Goddess and we trust one another.”
Horus, “Don’t get me started with you!”
There is silence for a moment.
Horus, “You know what I mean. You give your body to that barbarian and that…”
Ramza, “Horus…”
The priest replies, “I’m sorry. All that is under the sun, moon and twilight is The Goddess’ creation. All that she has created is beauty.”
The minstrel hymns along with Horus, “May we understand others so that we may understand ourselves. And through this understanding may we see through The Goddess’ eyes.”
Horus falls silent as Ramza whispers music to himself. Horus eventually chimes up, “He dabbles in the dark arts. He has been fully indoctrinated into their perverted vision of her beauty. How do you know he can be trusted?”
Ramza immediately replies, “I don’t. No more than I can a Liberator of The Goddess. Look he’s my friend. I trust him. And if something happens….”

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Research

After having convinced King Khossus X of Koth, due to Myiera‘s mentioning of ’Letting the Necromancer roam free’, to let them bring in an army of outsiders to guard the Tomb of the Tiefling Kings, they were each granted a token from the king to aid in their quest.

King Khossus X has agreed to allow the Party’s allies (sorcerer’s & holy warriors) from Khorosun into the kingdom to guard the Tomb. Additionally, Oni convinced the King to allow her people to come down as well. Upon agreement, Oni, had Ramza write a letter to her father on her behalf requesting the tribe to come to Koth.

One of the (many) unanswered questions was how Turok & Brendan had gotten into the Tomb without the 3 sword keys the party had acquired. Especially since Brendan was able to ‘easily’ escape from them during the confrontation in the foyer outside of the resting places of the Tiefling Kings. To answer this, they decided to journey to Turok’s home church in Messantia.

Arriving in Messantia, Turok is both comfortable and lost. Little has changed, but certain specifics are gone in the 600 years since he was last here. Heading to the church the party, instead, finds a small keep like structure. Approaching the guard at the gate they ask about the church that stood there previously. The guard gave a rather blank stare back to the party. Ramza then spoke up, seeing Turok getting upset, and asked if they could speak to someone in charge.

The guard escorted them and presented them to Ashim “Prost” Khomu, a local merchant. Prost explained to the group what he knew about location. That after the Zingaran Holy Order pulled back to the other side of the Rabiran Mountains, the local populace, no longer under the direct thumb of the Zingaran’s, revolted, and subsequently destroyed all signs of the Zingaran’s ‘one true goddess’ using some chemical mixture that burned so hot that the shaped stone blocks melted.

Understandably disturbed by the story, the group thanked Prost for his kindness, and then left to search out additional details. Searching out details of the departure of the Zingaran’s, the group visited one of the new small temples. Whilst talking to an officiant of the temple, Ezer, Turok was questioned as to whom he worshipped. At hearing Turok’s response of Ailuros, Ezer reached to the wall, drew weapons, and wheeled around to attack Turok. Oni intimidated Ezer, and thus Ezer pulled his swing, missing Turok. Ramza stepped up, attempted to get more information about Ezer’s response. Ezer reluctantly provided some details of the Zingara’s recalling all their ‘priests and missionaries’, and how they likely brought any documents or records stored within the temples and shrines, and of what had befallen the temples of Ailuros within the confines of this city after they left.

Ezer then advised Turok not to mention ‘her’ name again and told them to never set foot in this temple again else they would likely be punished for their heresy.

Still wanting details they went back Prost to see if they could charter a vessel from him to the capital of Zingara, Kordava. He agreed, at a cost of 25 g per person, for a round trip there and back, with a 3 day visit to change out cargo, sneaked into the city as ‘merchants’, and then, while in the city, change into upper classmen apparel to hopefully avoid drawing attention to themselves.

Then they hired a Paige to take a note to GREG. Ramza signed it in a way that his friend ‘should’ recognize it was him, despite it being several years since they last spoke. Greg did recognize whom sent it and went to visit his old friend at the end of his work day. Ramza explained why they were in town, what they were looking for, and asked for Greg’s assistance in getting them some records.

Greg agreed, went to the archives the next day, did his job, and collected some various books and documents that might have the information Ramza & Turok were looking for. As he was packing up his satchel for the day, he was stopped by his boss and asked a couple questions. Greg, being a horrible liar, informed his boss that yes, he met up with an old friend yesterday and that yes, he was reviewing some documents at home (which was not unusual for him, as he lived for his work).

Greg then met up with the group at The Iron Maiden, a local inn. After spending about 2 hours pouring over the documents, they started to find some of the details they were searching for.

At this time, Bra the Barbarian & Myiera were feeling a chill coming from the room. Bra the Barbarian scanned the room for evil, found the source of the chill, and was subsequently attacked when he reacted to the Dread Wraith he had detected.

The Dread Wraith, angry at being spotted, tried to quickly kill Bra the Barbarian, but failed to do so. Dropping back to his secondary instructions, he tried to weaken the group enough to allow those that summoned him to arrive. It did delay the group some, but not enough, as he was quickly deposed of by the group, who then heard the commotion outside. The party then moved to another room after casting invisibility sphere and silence, and waited until able to safely leave.

Then the group, including their new ally Greg, made their way back to the boat, and stayed below decks until several hours after they left port.

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Riddle Me This

Our heroes, unsure of moving further up without first fully exploring behind them, journeyed back to the entry point and attempted to finish exploring the main level.

The last room they entered contained an Gynosphinx named Missy. When they burst through the door, and saw the sphinx sitting there and realizing it’s size, they quickly back peddled out the door, and in to the limited protection of the hallway. The sphinx simply lifted it’s head off it’s paws, licked it’s lips, and smiled at the fumbling heroes.

Realizing she wasn’t going to pursue, the heroes returned, supped with the Sphinx, and spent many long hours talking with her.

After answering several riddles, the heroes learned of a few different ways to destroy the Tiefling Kings for good. One of which they knew of, Dagger of Carn, one of which Ramza had glimpsed but did not know why or what he saw, and 1 other.

They also found that 2 of the 3 ways, the Dagger of Carn and the Rod, would likely destroy the weilder. Only the third way ( Staff of Hermidas), which would require them leaving tomb once more, stood a chance of not destroying their souls.

They also learned that the quickest way up to the main tomb area is through the lion’s head fountain. So they thanked Missy for her company and for her answers, and departed for the Lion’s Head fountain.

Returning to the Lion Head Fountain, they attempted to get to the next passageway. Oni easily climbed the palm tree, swung the top back and forth, and grabbed the lion head, despite the onrushing current of water. The remainder of the party, not having Oni’s ability to climb, wait while she explored this new level a little bit.

Moments later, she rejoined the group, whom had started to make a rope out of the fronds of the palm trees. It took them several hours and a night of rest, but by morning they were ready to continue.

After climbing to the third level, they started into this new level.

The gauntlet entryway: A 20-foot long corridor runs south from a door and up at a
25 degree angle. There the corridor splits into two 20-foot long corridors 10 feet apart. Both of these corridors end in heavy wooden plank doors with bronze bands. There is writing carved in glowing gold letters set into each of the doors:

Beyond these doors be the tests of the Tiefling Kings. Turn now
from this doom of power and evil from the heartless kings.
Great and awful is the horror beyond these doors.

Ignoring the warnings of peril, the heroes open the door. The corridor they view beyond the doors is very brightly lit, 100’ long, 30’ tall, and 30’ wide. The corridor rises at roughly a 25 degree angle towards the far side. Four flights of stairs connect three 50’ wide by 10’ deep landings. Water thunders so loudly in the room that the party can not communicate verbally while in the corridor. The water passes on both sides of the main walkway up, travelling beneath the landings, but making them quite moist from the spray. At the top landing is a gigantic bronze fist, glistening in the firelight and moisture of the room.

Cautiously moving up to the first level, Content Not Found: sesy looked around, did not see anything suspicious, and then stepped up. Suddenly 4 creatures, roughly humanoid shape, rose up from the steps. These creatures, being made of mud, were slow to respond as Oni, rushed up, slid on the water right up to her first target, and sliced upwards, cutting the mudman in half with her great sword.

The 2 halves of the creature fell, and then rose back up as two slightly smaller mud like humanoids. Bra the Barbarian yelled something about the weapon, but couldn’t be heard, before he charged up the stairs, grabbing his spear by the head, and swinging it like an impromptu staff. Ramza started to sing, and although his companions could not hear him, the presence of Ramza strumming away on his lute, brought courage and inspiration to them.

Without much ado, the group knocked bits and pieces of mud from the creatures they were fighting and into the rushing water, flushing the mud men down the torrential water.

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Further into the Tomb of the Tiefling Kings
Part 1

Our heroes, having escaped the clutches of the Choker, after losing Jalad to the choker and after narrowly escaping the extreme rage barely bottled by their leader, spent some time hunting down the remainder of their party members through the mystifying mist, and regrouped in the Choker’s room. Once together, they thoroughly investigated the room. On one wall Myiera found a compass rose.15314085-Vintage-sun-compass-rose-Stock-Vector.jpg Bra tapped on the wall to see if it was hollow, but didn’t notice any difference to any of the surrounding walls.

Due to the nature of the tomb thus far, finding no markings anywhere up to this point, and wanting to verify nothing is there they asked one of their paladin guards, Bahadur, to smash in the wall with his mace. After a few hits, it became apparent to all by the smooth cracks to the sides of where Bahadur was bashing, that there was something hidden behind the wall. Oni, growing impatient with the lack of quick progress, yanked out her steel bar, shoved it in the crack that had started to appear, and heaved. Her muscles bulged out for a few moments prior to the door crashing to the ground and flinging her backwards onto her derriere.

Behind the secret door they found a set of stairs that ascended. Deciding to follow the stairs, they find an upper viewing room, where one can view down into the room where they just were.

After a few moments of discussion about either moving back down and trying to fully explore the 1st level, or moving forward and exploring this new level, it was decided that they would prefer not to deal with the mist in the hallways, and they pushed forward on this new level.

The first room they came to had several ghoulish looking creatures trying to drain the life essence from someone that was chained down to a cement block. The person that was chained was wearing an ancient set of armor which had protected themselves from most of the bites of the creatures. Once the door was open four of the creatures attacked Bra and Oni. During the fight Oni nearly lost control of herself after Bra was immobilized. She quickly regained control and finished off the creatures, beheading most of them with a single stroke of her blade.

Questioning the person that was chained down prior to releasing him, they find that the man is named Turok, a holy warrior from over 1300 years ago. Turok told the group about the rest of his group, including Brenden, his former friend and party member that betrayed him and bound him here when they came in to try and permanently kill the Tiefling Kings with the Dagger of Carn, also known as ‘Tooth’.

Once free Turok decided to join the group and to aid them in either killing the Tiefling Kings, or to stop Brenden from returning them to power.

Travelling North out of the room they found Turok in they came across a pair of shades in the middle of the hallway. Not having enough light to see the creatures clearly, they moved forward until the shades turned and attacked them. Several times the shades drained life from someone in the party, but the group had difficulty with hitting the shades, as their weapons kept passing through them. One of the Hyrkanian Guards said “I was afraid we might encounter something like this”, stepped up, and put Holy Weapon on Oni’s sword. One of the other guards cast Magic Weapon on Myiera’s arrows, making it so that she could attack from afar. Having the ability to hit the wraiths helped, and shortly thereafter

Moving on, they found a room that was a giant oasis, or garden. It had a stream flowing through it. While the water was frigid, it had some healing properties. The party decided this would be a great place to take a rest and to arm their new companion, Turok. The next room they found had a large rushing waterfall flowing out of the mouth of a monstrously large stone head of a lion. There was more of the oasis here, the start of the stream seen in the previous garden room, and four date palm trees.

Choosing to continue on exploring this level, they came across a room with a skeleton with a cleaver through it’s chest. They then walked in on a group of…

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