The Rise of Sellenmar

BB1 Dire Warning
Blood for Blood

Calistril 18, 4715

My Lord! Urgent news from Tatzlford!

A deeply concerned Akiros Ismort, Sellenmar’s Warden, is admitted into Duke Gregor’s solar with the remaining Founders in tow.

This missive arrived by messenger bird an hour ago. When I learned of its contents, I immediatedly gathered your companions and sent orders to muster our militia.

He hands Gregor a wrinkled note from Loy Rezbin, Tatzylford’s mayor. It reads:

‘Greetings, my liege lords! Would that I had the opportunity to contact you via missive in gentler times. Since its founding, Tatzylford has faced many challenges, but recent rumors of a much more disturbing sort abound. A woman has come to Tatzylford bearing warnings that, if they are to be believed, indicate we may face a terrible threat. She speaks of armies of bandits, hordes of barbarians, and worse organizing to the west beyond the Hooktongue Slough. To date we have had no trouble with these elements, but this woman is quite convincing. She tells us an army is marching on Tatzylford. If this is true, we will need your aid in defending our homes. Please come as soon as you can.’

-In good faith, your obedient and humble servant, Mayor Loy Rezbin

Akiros continues, ‘Minutes after we received this message, a group of trappers working the northern reaches of the Narlmarches rode in bearing ill tidings. Two days ago, they spotted a large force, several hundred strong, moving through the forest, headed in the direction of Tatzylford. Before they could get close enough to count their numbers, they stumbled into a scouting party and were forced to flee. Afterwards, they rode hard for Fort Shrike, warning anyone they encountered along the way. In a few days, the the entire country will be set afire with rumors. nevertheless, by their estimate, the force will reach Tatzylford in a day, day-in-a-half at most. Founders, what will you have us do?

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VV27 Back to Sellenmar
Varnhold Vanishing

Neth 12, 4714

The party arrives at the Centaur camp as the celebration continues. The reason was apparent as they were greeted by Xamanthe, who escorted them to her mother, Aecora. Once they were in her presence, the priestess thanked the group for their efforts, and acknowledged their role in assisting Neilis with the rescue of her daughter. She invited them to join the feast in his honor and explained that he was now a full member of the Nomen tribe. As a token of their esteem, Aecora granted Neilis the tribal heirloom bow Skybolt. For their role in the rescue and their defeat of Vordakai the Founders were granted the status of “Allies of the Tribe” to the Nomens. Alex attempted to broach the topic of a formal alliance with Sellenmar, but Aecora was hesistant to ally her tribe with a human nation despite her respect for it leadership. The wounds incurred by the violent history between the Nomen and human settlers cannot be so easily forgotten. However, Aecora did seem to be in favor of formal truce. This truce represents the first successful diplomatic contact between a human nation and the Nomen and is nevertheless very valuable indeed.

The next day, the party started on the long trek back to Sellenmar, declining to stop in at Restov after the waves they made the previous time, and headed direct to Fort Shrike.

Neth 19, 4714

As the Founders return home, they are met at the gates of Fort Shrike by Neilis and, much to their surprise, Gregor. After visiting the centaur camp, Neilis was able to arrange for Gregor’s ressurection, but the experiences scarred the half orc’s mind, causing him to be paranoid of undead. He has developed the odd habit of frequently compelling people near him to drink healing potions to confirm their true life. In short order, the Founder’s release the rest of the Varnhold townsfolk from the soul jars, discovering Ervil Pendrod, Kesten Garress, and a plain but well respected man named Sammuel among the trapped.

Ervil was quickly reunited with his student Jemanda, and Kesten re-acclimated to his dutes, and the party learned a bit more of Sammuel.

Kuthona, 4714

A letter from the Retov arrives, simultaneously praising the Founders for their diplomatic achievements with the Nomen centaurs, and officially severing ties with the kingdom. A formal recall of all issued charters was instated.

Intrigued by more pressing matters, Kolya, Celestia, and Sammuel, attempted to open and examine the Lich’s spell books. Unfortunately, despite an extensive set of magical wards, Sammuel slain by a Symbol of Death inscribed on the interior of the book. But his sacrifice not in vain as the book held and untold wealth of arcane knowledge. Using a portion of the wealth recovered from Vordakai’s tomb, the party resurrected Sammuel and offered him the role as Magister of the kingdom. Eiji was moved into Bei Lin’s old role of Royal Enforcer, and appointed Kesten assumed the responsibility as Sellenmar’s general in the wake of Penelope’s death.

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VV26 Against All Odds
Varnhold Vanishing

Neth 3, 4714 – Neth 12, 4714

After ensuring everyone was healed and ready, the party pushed in past the door, opening to a chamber, the line of water leading to a pool circled by kneeling forms, with a grisly altar to the side. Two alcoves sat near the door, one a true alcove while the other led to a stair blocked by debris.

At the end of the chamber, Vordakai with a giant, blood-red ruby glowing in his eye socket, regarded them from his throne of bones.

“So you have defeated my ceustodaemon’s” he rasps in a deep voice that seems to speak in all languages and none. “You are tenacious mortals, I’ll give you that. It is no wonder you have attracted such powerful enemies. If only you knew…but it is of no consequence, they will one day know my wrath just as you will today. Spare yourselves unimaginable agony and submit. One way or another, you will serve Vordakai.”

Upon seeing the group would not be cowed, the party moved in to face the lich.

“Are you so eager to perish mortals? Very well, I will oblige your foolish whims,” he intoned as the party advanced.

The ancient creature hit hard, and many of Eiji’s, Alex’s and Gregor’s counterstrikes were nearly ineffective. Varelyn attempted to slow the lich with an Obsidian Flow and an Illusory Wall spells, but this created difficulties for her allies, making the ground harder to traverse, and hiding their enemy behind a wall that did not to affect him.

After briefly engaging Gregor and Eiji, the lich started casting a spell. Varelyn, unsuccessfully attempted to counter the magic, and the spell washed over the party. It seemed to have little effect, until Eiji turned and viciously cut down Gregor in cold blood. Thus ended the life of the first regent of Sellenmar.

Confused, the party scattered as Eiji regains his sense and trades blows with the lich, finally driving him off into a dimesion door. Before he escaped, Vordakai managed to drain away much of the samurai’s strength.

Taking advantage of the lull in the battle, the party explores the room. In a back room, rows upon rows of jars are found. Identified as soul jars, Gregor’s brother Kolya is found healthy and alive, if a bit confused when his jar is shattered. As well, the surly brew master of Varnhold, Jasin Blusk and 2 younger girls were freed in this room.

The rest of the party explored around the lich’s throne, finding a large amount of treasure, including Eiji’s lost Naginata, which he recovered in favor for the loaned longsword. Seeing his arrows having little effect, Alex takes up an unidentified flail from the pile as Kolya reclaims his fallen brother’s axe. Meanwhile, Neilus packed a few heavy tomes from the lich’s piles as Varelyn looks at other books. Soon after, the lich, fully regenerated, reappears, and the battle is renewed.

“My patience with you wears thin mortals. Your lives are at an end!” the murderous warlord roars.

Alex finds his new weapon to work better on the lich, while Eiji is able to attack from further back with his favored weapon. Kolya moves in, using axe and spell, eventually simply casting magic seeing the effect it is having. The lich casts a few spells, blinding Alex for one. As the lich moves to start using it’s dangerous touch attacks again, Eiji summons up a hidden reserve of strength, cursing Vordakai name before splitting the lich in three pieces with a stunning display of expert swordsmanship.

The lich’s body turns to dust, all but the red gem used as his eye. Varelyn picked up the gem to inspect it, but then was overcome with the urge to gouge out one of her own eyes. Fortunately, she is saved by Eiji and the gem is knocked free. After this incident, the party decides to carefully store it in a box for transport. While the rest of the party started to reclaim the treasure and jars, Neilus wandered back to retrieve Xamanthe. They could be heard returning to the door outside Vordakai’s chambers, but after a mysterious yelp, the pair vanishes. Concerned, the party starts working it’s way back, taking the three freed citizens of Varnhold with them. Taking a small detour, the party returns to the hidden room with the carving of an eye on the wall. Using the edge of his cloak, Eiji places the gem in the wall, the room filled with a blinding light, as they find themselves back in the room of the inverted eye.

Varelyn casts a Scrying spell on Xamanthe, and sees the pair walking through a snowy mountain landscape, shivering, but making good time. After some discussion, the party decides to rest another night in the island crypt, the casters preparing uses of Dimension Door and Fly to transport the party back outside and over the lake, in preparation for an icy journey home. Once ashore,the remaining group members find themselves surrounded by cold, blowing snow.

With no other means, the party starts the long trek back, stopping to hunt occasionally, staving off starvation before the approach the slightly warmer grasslands. They quickly discover that their mounts are gone. Another days march brings them to the edge of the centaur camp, the sounds of merriment within. While suspecting the reason for the celebration, the party cautiously enters, hoping to find out if Neilis and Xamanthe were within.

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VV25 IT'S MY FAULT!!
Varnhold Vanishing

Neth 2, 4714

As Vordakai departed the chamber, his ceustodaemons moved in to attack the party. One cast Hold Person on Alex, while another moved in to cut down the helpless elf, but not before Varelyn was able to confound the daemon with an Illusory Wall. Neilus pinned down the other two with a well placed Ice Storm as Gregor and Eiji moved in to deal with them hand-to-hand. After a relatively brief battle, all three ceustodaemons were slain, leaving the party to explore the room.

Up in the gallery, the party found a mostly empty room, aside from a door leading deeper into the complex. Neilus, cast detect magic in the direction of the door, and sensed an overwhelming auras of divination and conjuration somewhere beyond. Upon this revelation, he ended the spell early, warned the party and quickly moved to depart viat the stairs leading back down to the feasthall. Deciding to leave the door for now, the rest of the party followed him eventually exiting the feast hall and preparing to enter through the door emblazoned with the supplicants and Charon.

Beyond, they found a long hall with burial alcoves spaced evenly along the walls, empty and appearing to be recently disturbed. At the end of the long hall, the room turned sharply to the left into a shorter hall of alcoves. At the end of this short hallway, the group discovered a recently dead, decomposing body of a human male lying in a corner. After a cautious approach, a cursory search of the body revealed that it belonged to none other than Willas Gunderson, the penner of the journal found back in Varnhold. He had apparantly died in battle, as evidenced by the gaping axe wounds in his chest. While searching the body, a distant whisper echoed through the chamber, gradually growing in volume, until the disembodied voice screeched “IT WAS MY FAULT!! IT WAS ALL MY FAULT!”. At that moment, a shade rose from Gunderson’s corpse and sprang to attack. Eiji took a hard hit that seemed to drain a portion of his lifeforce, but after several good shots of Gregor’s Searing Light and other magic, the shade disappeared, it’s ghastly message delivered, insinuating that Gunderson had done something to draw the ire of Vordakai upon the citizens of Varnhold.

Neth 3, 4714

The party retreated from Gundarsson’s crypt and took a rest before returning back to the unexplored gallery door and the overwhelming magic beyond. Girding themselves in protective magic and proceeding through the gallery door, they followed the passageway into an octagonal chamber vaulting to over twenty feet high. The ceiling was composed of multiple slabs of opaque, white crystal fitted together to form a dome in the distinctive shape of an inverted eye, it’s gaze focused into the room below. The walls of the chamber were covered with arcane symbols, stylized line art, and images of cyclopes. A twenty foot diameter circle was incised inot the stone floor directly beneath the eye-shaped dome. Skirting the edge of the circle the party discovered a door leading deeper into the tomb but not before noticing a single, raven’s feather tucked into a corner of the octagonal chamber. Neilis confirmed that the source of the overwhelming magical auras was the room itself, it’s function remaining unknown. At this news Xamanthe departed the group, fearing to take one more step forward. “I will wait for you in the gallery” she said with a lingering gaze directed at Gregor.

Proceeding through the door leading outside the octagonal room, the group traversed a short staircase leading down into a chamber dominated by a large fountain of sulfurous water, a small trickle running under a large set of bronze doors on an adjacent wall. As the party investigated the room, an enormous, fiendish water elemental rose from the pool, to menace the heroes. A concentrated effort from the group felled the creature, flooding the room briefly as the water elemental fell apart. Working on a time limit with their magics, the party prepared themselves for what lay beyond the door.

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VV24 A Grisly Dinner
Varnhold Vanishing

Neth 1, 4714

Before taking a direly needed rest, the party decided it would be in their best interest to examine the remains of the corpse wizard before retreating to rest. Vareyln used her arcane powers to grant Alex the ability to fly, so that he could cross the boiling tar over to the ledge where the wizard was slain. First, he crossed over to the ledge opposite the entrance to the cavern and discovered a heavy set of stone doors blocking the way through another passage. Then he crossed over to the other ledge and examined the body of the mage. Despite the extensive decomposition he recognized him as Cephal Lorentus, Maegar Varn’s wizard companion and Varnhold’s magister. Gathering up the items that looked to be of value, he returned to the group.

One of those items was an odd-looking short sword that turned out to be Eiji’s cold iron wakazashi. His katana and naginata however,were no where to be found. A set of magical items were also found, including the wizard’s spell book. Away from the group, Vareyln and Gregor open it to see what secrets it contained, only to have the book explode in their faces, due to an explosive rune inscribed on the first page. Despite the destruction, several spells were able to be recovered. After doling out the items from the wizard and Bei Lin, the party disappeared into an extradimensional pocket to rest courtesy of Varelyn’s rope trick spell.

Neth 2, 4714

The night passed uneventfully, aside from Neilis complaining of a dark dream. So troubled was he about the dream that he decided to stay back to meditate on what it might mean. The party headed back to the cavern of burning pitch, and devised a plan to cross the large, dangerous gap.

Using water-soaked cloths to gird themselves against the fumes of the room, the party, enacted their plan to cross to the pool of bubbling tar. Vareyln created a make-shift bridge by casting a Wall of Ice over the gap. The “bridge” held, althought the intense heat of the room caused it to immediately begin to melt, adding billowing clouds of steam to the already foul air of the room. While Xamanthe made it across quickly, she retreated back to the other ledge to allow Gregor, Eiji and Alex through to work on opening the door. It was well stuck, and the fumes still make the group naueous, making the task of pushing the door open a longer one than expected. By the time Eiji, Gregor and Alex got the leverage to push open the door, most of the ice bridge had cracked and fallen away leaving Xamanthe on the other side. Using her arcane powers, Varelyn granted the young centaur huntress the ability to Fly which enabled her to get across the burning pool safely.

Reunited, the party found themselves in another worked stone hall, the sides lined with carvings like most of the rest of the dungeon. Proceeding forward as the hall ascended and turned, the party eventually found themselves before another rune covered arch, much like the one at the tomb’s beach entrance. Varelyn examined the edifice, and attempted to dispel the magical wards anchored to it, but could feel that her spell had no effect. Expecting an alarm, the party prepared themselves for battle, and Eiji took the first step through the arch, hearing a brief hum in his head, then nothing. As he ascended a staircase just beyond the arch, a ceustodaemon appeared in a cloud of brimstone down the hall, spurring him to challenge and charge the vile daemon. Shortly after, a second appeared behind the party carrying a strange looking pole and immediately attacked Gregor, Alex, and Xamanthe who were acting as a rear guard.

The party fought hard against the daemons, eventually forcing them to retreat via dimensional rifts. After a quick period of recovery, the group pressed on, and the hallway eventually ended in an alcove with two sets of doors. One was covered with the eye carving seen many times before, while the other depicted supplicants giving offerings to Charon. The party decided to proceed through the eye door first, opening it once again after some effort, revealing a large feasthall beyond. Thick pillars surrounded a long table, and a grand, winding staircase in the back led up to a large gallery twenty feet above. As the companions entered, they could see people the table apparantly dressed and ready for dinner. However, these unfortunate dinner guests had met a grisly fate, as it quickly became apparent that each had the top portion of their heads removed, exposing their brains to the air. Most of the brains had already been excised but a few scraps remained. To make matters worse, a contingent of dread zombie cyclops were gorging themselves on the remaining contents of the skull’s.

A tough fight ensued with Varelyn leading off with a Fireball and Glitter Dust as Eiji, Gregor and Alex went toe to toe with the zombies while Xamanthe fired on them from afar. One looked as if it had felled Gregor, but pulling on his orcish ferocity, he kept his feet long enough to heal himself and continue fighting, as Alex dogged a blinded zombie with the spear Gordrang and Eiji savagely cutting down the last of their foes.

With their enemies dispatched, the party entered further into the hall to examine the bodies. At the head of the table, the party recognized one of the dinner’s attendants as a very dead Maegar Varn, seated next to an equally dead Caspar Morgarion. It was evident that the rest of the people were likely townsfolk or Varnhold. None of the people in the feasthall were from Sellenmar’s exploration parties nor was Gregor’s lost brother Kolya in attendance. As they took in this sight, a resplendantly dressed, gaunt, undead cyclops appeared in the gallery and regarded the group with a stare of supreme malice through the gleam of a large red gem set in his eye. Speaking in the dark tongue of the abysss, he boomed in a dry, raspy voice “So these are the troublesome mortals? Make an end, my thralls.” Suddenly three ceustodaemons appeared on the gallery stairs as the cyclpean warlord departed deeper into the gallery above.

Battle-weary and running low on resources from the previous battle, the party once more prepared themselves to engage this new threat as the ceustodaemons moved to attack.

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VV23 New Companions
Varnhold Vanishing

Neth 1, 4714

After the debacle with the piscodaemon, the party approaches the door Neilis discovered at the end of the hall, finding it barred. Carefully, they removed the bar, managing to do so with minimal noise, and pened the door into the room beyond. This new room had two distinctive features. A large column dominated the center, while the walls were lined with sturdy, steel manacles. Behind the pillar, they discovered a young female centaur and a large armored Tian man, alive, but unable to move and posed in awkward battle stances. The lumpy and dried remants of a thick brown substance were caked to their chins and chests.

After ensuring the room was safe, the party used Gordrang, the enchanted spear, to remove the paralysis spell from both beings. After inital confusion, everyone calmed down, and told their story. The young centaur introduced herself as Xamanthe, the daughter of Aecora the party had been seeking. She recalled her tale to the party, although she has only flashes of memory. After she was defeated by the dread zombie cylcops gaurdians at the mouth of the tomb she was imprisoned in this foul dungeon periodically visited by other undead cyclops who brought her a foul tasting brown gruel. She has endured pain-filled nightmares and a growing sense of despair. She does say that she has a particularly disturbing memory of a nearly skeletal cyclops with a glowing gem wedged in his otherwise-empty eye socket, who whispered the following to her at some point during her ordeal. “You should be honored to be the guest of ”/campaigns/the-rise-of-sellenmar/characters/vordakai-3" class=“wiki-content-link”>Vordakai, beastwoman. I shall return once your fear and dread drive all semblance of will and self from your mind, at which point you will thank me for these gifts of pain." Xamanthe is relatively certain this hateful creature is the one who paralyzed her, but she knows littl more apart from the fact that the name the creature claimed is the same as one used by her tribe as a sort of ancestral, legendary boogeyman.

The man introduced himself as Shiba Eiji, a ronin samurai from Tian Xia, who came to Brevoy to regain his lost honor, though on a mission to investigate this ruin, he was captured and similarly paralyzed.

The party provides the new comers with weapons and decides to check for a way out. Backtracking to the stone golem room, a ceustodaemon teleported in and moved to attack. The party rushed into melee range, and despite taking a heavy hit from the daemon’s fire breath, Gregor slew it with a savage blow from his axe. Moving on, the party made it back to the flooded room, finding it still flooded and impassable.

After another dead end and more pondering, they decided to explore the last door in the central crypt where they had encountered the soul eaters. The entered, finding a unworked winding stone hallway, leading eventually to a foul smelling, stalagtite filled cavern dominatd by a large pool of burning pitch almost entirely covering the entire floor. Pillars set in a ledge near the cavern entrance look as of they might have once housed a bridge. A similar set of pillars was observed on a ledge directly across the burning lake of tar. A stone door could be seen on the opposite ledge.

Entering the room proved quickly became dangerous, the smell of the burning pitch causing several of the party to become nauseous. Retreating back to the hall, the party devised a plan to try to get ropes across the chasm and form a makeshift bridge. However, as soon as they set their plan in motion they are ambushed by a flying corpse wearing the tattered red robes of a wizard. A wave of nausea incapcitates half the group, as the first salvo of the dread zombie wizard’s spells washes over them.

Caught out in the open in a tightly packed formation, the wizard ensnares them with a forest of summoned black tentacles followed by a storm of blinding dust and a scorching fireball. The party fights back against the highly manueverable flying opponent, with limited success. Varelyn barely manages to survive this onslaught and Gregor is eventually able to destroy the creature with his own offensive magic. Despite their victory, the strangling forest of black tenactles persits, threatening to slay Eiji and the wizard Varelyn. Eiji, with assistance from others, manages to somehow rescue the wizard, barely keeping her alive until the spell fades.

After the rough battles, the party decides to rest, regroup and deliberate on how to handle the rest of this very dangerous section of the dungeon.

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VV22 A Crushing Death
Varnhold Vanishing

Neth 1, 4714

As the party came down from Varelyn’s Rope Trick, they were finally rejoined by Alexander. Further examination of their surroundings revealed a door hidden behind the cyclopean statue at one end of the room. After some work, the party gained access to the door, entering a chamber. At the far end of the chamber was a large and intricate carving of a stylized eye similar to what they had seen on other doors of the tomb, but making them seem crude scratches by comparison. On a whim, Alexander tried placing the ruby from the clay golem in the eye, but it fell out, seeming to not be a fit.

Seeing nothing else of interest, the party opened the other door, revealing a room filled with very vivid frescoes of early Cyclopean life, the colors brighter than expected. After more time investigating, the party decided to head back to the slate-floored altar room for further exploration.

Further inspection of the altars and carvings in the room revealed a bas relief of a dark, obsidian river and the god Charon, leading to the door at the north end of the room between the two altars. The party tried lighting the braziers at each altar, to no effect. Once done, Bei Lin opened the door to move beyond, thinking it untrapped. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a false assumption. As the door opened, the braziers snuffed out and everyone in the room was blasted with a wave of cold, stygian fire. Shaking it off, the party moved into the corridor and small side room beyond. To the left, the party could see a stone door leading to a short corridor and an ascending staircase. To the right, the corridor opened into a small rectangular room crudely carved from the rock. Further down the corridor was another room of unworked stone, a stark difference to the rest of this tomb with it’s detailed wall carvings and bas reliefs. Within this room were arches and pillars going up to the ceiling. As the party entered, a hideous beast closely resembling a cross between a lobster, squid, and humanoid appeared in a cloud of sulfurous smoke. Using an invasive form of telepathy, the creature demanded “in whose name they have trespassed”. Apparantly giving the wrong answer, the beast, which was later determined to be a piscodaemon, attacked.

This formidable foe hit with cruel efficiency, severely wounding Alex and weakening him with a powerful poison. The party quickly retaliated, finding many of their weapons almost useless against this beast, though magic and anything axiomatically aligned to the powers of good seemed to be effective. As well, the piscodaemon had a penchant for teleporting around the room making it difficult to surround. After Bei Lin took a hard, debilitating hit, and the party was massed in one room, the creature teleported into an adjacent room and immediately filled it with a thick, stinking cloud. The party attempted to either lure the creature out, or slay it from it’s hiding spot. After several failed attempts to lure the beast out into the open, Neilus attempted to provoke a confrontation by forcibly teleporting Bei Lin and himself, via a Dimension Dooring into the clouded room. Bei Lin was caught unprepared for this sudden shift in tactics.

Unfortunately, the noxious fumes instantly sickened them both, spoiling their attempts to harm the creature. Neilus managed to stagger out into clearer air beyond, by way of a tunnel leading deeper into the tomb to another door, while Bei Lin moved about the walls, trying to find her way back to the rest of the party. Her efforts were rewarded and she found the way back to her friends. Unfortunately, as she stepped out of the room into the clear air, the piscodaemon ambushed her, viciously attacking with it’s claws. The daemon managed to catch Bei Lin in one of its enormous claws crushing her head like an over ripe melon and killing her instantly. However, the combined sound of the creature’s attack and the hollow squelch of Bei Lin’s head caving in revealed the beast’s location to Gregor, who stepped up and slew the vile creature with a mighty blow from his axe.

As the fumes cleared, the group re-entered the room, reclaiming Bei Lin’s body and healing their wounds before investigating the tunnel and the door beyond. Varelyn quickly noticed that the door was VERY familiar. In fact, it appeared to be the one she had seen when scrying for Xamanthe. Not sure what else they might find behind the door, the party prepared to press on.

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VV21 A Feast of Souls
Varnhold Vanishing

Lamashan 28, 4714

Despite the demise of their friend Penelope, the party decided to press on, leaving Alex behind to mourn over the loss of the mighty paladin. The portal previously hidden by the statue revealed another spiraling set of stairs ascending upwards, eventually opening into a worked stone hall, the walls covered in the same sort of historical reliefs the party had been seeing. At the end of this hall, a pair of doors emblazoned with, again, the same eye symbol stood before them.

After assuring the door safe and unlocked, the party entered a new chamber. Within, three altars could be seen, one at the south end, recessed in a alcove, and two at the opposite end, tucked into the corners. As well, while half of the floor was the granite stone they had seen, past a row of pillars, the floor was slate, though inspection revealed nothing out of the ordinary. An inspection of the altars revealed them to look fairly ordinary, each having a lamp, though the two in the corners also had stone cups with curious brownish red stains. The lamps in the corner altars were also filled while the one in the alcove was not. Two more sets of doors led out from the room, one between the two altars, and the other across from the door the party had entered, Both seemed to be unlocked and un-trapped, leaving the party to decide to head through the door opposite of the entrance. After a turn and a descent down a short flight of stairs, the tunnel stretched a long ways diagonally before ending in a large stone door, emblazoned with the same eye motif.

Bei Lin, after securing the door, opened it to see a pair of soul eaters hovering within. They did not move to attack or even seem to notice the monk, so she shut the door and the party prepared to face the pair of formidable foes. Once prepared, Bei Lin moved to rush into the room and ambush the creatures, only to be thwarted by their quick speed as they darted at her, slashing away at her health and wisdom before flying away and up out of reach. The party employed various methods to attack, Varelyn casting magic missile and other spells, Neilus firing a lightning bolts and enlarging Bei Lin, and Gregor hitting with his axe and healing as he was able. Bei Lin, having issues reaching them even with a running leap, was eventually enchanted with the gift of flight, allowing her to hover over the rest of the party and dispatch the soul eaters as they dove in to attack.

The party searched the room, seeing it to be a mausoleum, containing naught but empty stalls for holding mortal remains. In one, a secret door was found, revealing a small room containing a statue along the opposite wall, a stone bench covered in funerary implements and another locked door. Wary from their recent battle, the party decided to try to rest in the main room. However, during third watch, Bei Lin heard heavy footsteps and a sniffing sound outside of the stone door they entered earlier. Waking Neilus and Gregor, who were fully rested the three prepared for the worst. Expecting an attack from the door, they were all surprised as a daemonic cross between a bull and a bear popped up into the room behind them, catching most of them with his fiery breath weapon. After the daemon’s initial fiery assault, Varelyn woke and the party spread ranks to fight the beast, damaging it heavily before. Realizing it was about to be overrun, the creature cursed at them before disappearing into a dimensional rift that instantly closed behind him. Spurred by this event for a better hiding spot, the party retreated to within the secret room, using Varelyn’s rope trick spell to crawl into a more secure extra-dimensional space. While hiding out in the pocket dimension, Neilus spotted another daemonic bear creature as it briefly appeared in the room. Apparantly not detecting the party it stepped into a dimensional rift thus allowing all of the party to recover fully in preparation for what was to come ahead.

Neth 1, 4714

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VV20 A Depiction of Death
Varnhold Vanishing

Lamashan 28th, 4714

The Founders are faced with a harrowing task, as not only was the room rapidly filling with water, but they were beset by a force zombie cyclops, a very irritated eel, and their only way out was blocked by a sturdy bronze portcullis. As Gregor and Bei Lin attempted to hack down the portcullis, the rest of the party worked to revive an unconsious and grievously wounded Varelyn while simultaneously dealing with the monstrous threats around them. By luck, the eel decided a zombie to be a more interesting target, leaving only 2 of the 3 zombies for the party to handle. Gregor knocked the gate free and the party fled, somehow managing to kill both the zombies in the process. The eel, having just triumphed over the third zombie turned its attention on the fleeing group only to be dispatched by Bei Lin as she helped cover Alex and Penelope’s retreat from the waterlogged room.

Once all were safe, and healed, the party ascended the spiraling staircase leading out and up from this area. At the top, a pair of bronze doors emblazoned with an all-seeing eye symbol worked into the metal blocked their path. After an inspection, it was discovered that the doors were unlocked and un-trapped, allowing the party to enter the chamber beyond.

Within, a long chamber spread before them, the walls flanked by large terra cotta statues of warrior cyclops. At the far side of the room, a fresh-looking clay statue of an emaciated, gaunt-looking cyclopes with a large red ruby set where the eye would be presided over the chamber. It’s clawlike left hand seemed to be stained an ominous red. Behind the statue was the outline of a portal,the way through completely blocked by the clay statue. On the wall above the statue, a triptych set in bas-relief showed three disturbing images: A group of angels being overrun by a host of daemons, a smaller group of captured angels being led to a tall, dark figure standing in a small riverboat, and finally a slain angel at the foot of that robed figure holding a bleeding heart aloft. The party thoroughly examined the room, detecting some magic on the statue with the ruby, but nothing else of interest.

Theorizing the statue might need a heart to be activated or moved, Bei Lin returned to the waterlogged room and cut one free from the eel. The first attempt to place the heart in the hand of the status was fruitless, as well dribbling blood onto the statue. Alex, Gregor, and Neilis stepped outside the room to investigate the eyes on the door, trying blood on them, eventually closing both doors.

As they did, the doors locked with a click, separating the party as a red light from the statue started scanning the room, moving over Bei Lin, Penelope, and Varelyn. It also raised the blood stained hand as if waiting for something. The group within the room searched as the ones outside tried to find a way in. Nothing was found aside from Penelope offering her blood to the hand to a very small reaction. Varelyn put up an illusory wall before the statue spoke something unintelligible aside from ‘Vordakai’, the light eventually dimming and the doors unlocking, allowing the party to reassemble. After more searching the party decided to shut the doors once more, activating the statue. Offering of the eel heart and more blood had no effect, and eventually the statue spoke again, it’s light fixating on Penelope before activating.

With Peneople and Bei Lin enlarged, the party attempted to attack the clay golem, discovering almost immediately that their physical attacks were less effective than they should have been and that it was impervious to magic. The clay golem relentlessly attacked Penelope, felling her in short order, and to the horror of the party, slaying her with a heart-rending coup de grace. Taking her heart, the golem moved beneath the triptych, ignoring the party as they continued to attack it. The golem offered the heart up as if in sacrafice opening the portal the moment it succumbed to the desparate attacks from the surviving party members. The large, ruby gemstone that had once been the creature’s eye clattered to the ground amid the chunks of shattered clay.

The party, grieving for the loss of their friend and companion Penelope, had to decide their next course of action; leave to try to restore life to their fallen comrade, or finish their exploration of this mysterious island.

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VV19 Trouble from the Depths
Varnhold Vanishing

Lamashan 27, 4714

After felling the undead in the room, the party investigated the seemingly dead end. Initial searching found nothing out of the ordinary in the alcoves or around the biers. Eventually, Alex and Bei Lin, found a faint outline of a door behind the rear most bier. After a quick inspection, Alex managed to open the door, leading into a hallway of smoothed natural stone. Following the passage, the party finds the room opening into a large, dark, murky pool, with the faint sight of a tunnel across the water. Stairs descending into the water are spotted, and Bei Lin volunteers to follow them down after Alex and Varelyn are unable to probe them further with rocks and a Light spells. While she delves the depths, Alex summons a hawk to take a lit pebble to the other side, though it fizzles half way across, dropping the pebble short, but showing a bit more of the tunnel.

Bei Lin follows the stairs as they descend and turn, eventually ending in a tunnel deep below the water. Before she can do much else, she feels water shift about her. She quickly surfaces, followed by an Elasmosaurus with fiery burning eyes. Bei Lin flees the water after a savage bite as Penelope gains Water Walking from Gregor and Alex is Vanished by Vareyln. Penelope strikes savagely at the beast, pursuing it from land and out onto the water as Varelyn and Neilus cast spells and summon creatures to attack the sinuous beast. Bei Lin and Alex attempt in vain to harm the beast with arrows as Gregor heals and buffs the party until Penelope fells the beats with a savage strike.

After defeating the elasmosaurus, the party decides to investigate the tunnel in the back of the cavern. The natural tunnel, worn smooth by centuries of use by the dinosaur leads to an exit outside of the stone tower in the lake. Deciding this tunnel to be safe, and tired from 2 hard battles, the party takes an uneventful rest.

Lamashan 28th

Upon waking, the party decides to investigate the underwater tunnel Bei Lin found the day before. She swims out out with Alex, carrying a long rope both for safety and to help lead the party through when an exit was found. 30 feet in, a set of stairs led up into a room filled with pottery. Using the Telepathic Link Gregor has cast, she alerted the party to the exit, with everyone following behind safely. The pottery was recognized to be relics from an ancient Casmaron Cyclops empire. The pottery, although ornate and finely crafted was mostly too large to take, but the party managed to find a couple of pieces that would fit in their bag of holding, knowing there was a collector of Iobarian artifacts waiting back in Restov. Another set of stairs in the side of the room led down into a dry tunnel.

Alex led the way, following the stairs down into a tunnel which turned. He noticed a portcullis hidden in the ceiling, though found no triggers. Two alcoves further in held status, but again, nothing out of the ordinary was found. Further in, the tunnel opened up to a room filled with 12 statues, and no visible exit. The party followed behind, investigating the tunnel and rooms, finding nothing exceptional until Bei Lin noticed a hidden door. Alex checked, and found a mechanism that he thought my affect the portcullis where they entered. He worked to disarm the trap, then opened the door, nothing seeming to happen, but revealing another portcullis behind the door, this one lowered.

As Bei Lin attempted to list if, a click sounded, and holes irised open in the ceiling releasing water into the room, As well, a grinding in the rear of the room sounded, walls opening and releasing more Cyclopean zombies. Bei and and Gregor started working on trying to lift the gate as the party turned to face the zombies. Varelyn managed to strike them with a fireball before being fells by a few savage blows. Penelope, Alex and Neilus began to assault the zombies as Gregor and Bei Lin still struggled with the gate. Giving up on trying to lift the gate, Gregor started striking it with his axe as the water rose about the party. In addition, a large and angry eel fells from above, adding yet another peril for the party to confront.

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