Dragonrealm

Fire and Brimstone
47th Session

After defeating Azul, the dreaded dominator of minds, the heroes were invited to the Merwyrm castle for celebrations. One of Azul’s thralls, a wise sage of the Merwyrm, knew of a Nexus path to Daemonis and could provide the directions to it. But before they left, Carric asked the Merwyrm about something Azul had tempted him with: A way to turn back time and see his mentor again. According to all arcane knowledge, such power was impossible, but the sage did mention a legend of a pearl that could turn back time: The Time Ebb. But without any further information but the name, the Party continued on.

Pausing only to briefly explore a haunted underground ruin, the Heroes of Dusk Coast found the Nexus path: A cramped tunnel that angled upwards, through the mysterious swirling Nexus to a smell of fire and brimstone: Daemonis.

An inhospitable plane where black stone and glowing lava battled for dominance under a blood-red sky, Daemonis offered the Party their next challenge: What next? Without any further guidance, except the hiding spot of Beligandir’s escape tunnel, the Party sent Khava flying up to find any landmarks. He found only one place that seemed to suggest some sort of life or civilization. With only that direction to go, the Party set off into the heat.

After some difficulty with a heated crystal, the Party found an observation outpost, manned by 3 winged demons. To gain more information, Khava and Althaea, under a spell of invisibility, went closer to investigate. Not getting anything relevant out of the demons’ discussion, Althaea decided to try the oldest trick in the book: A flying rock. One of the demons took flight and did investigate the disturbance from above. Remembering that Althaea could change her appearance, Khava concocted a plan: He lured the scout out of sight where he and the elven bard stabbed the demon to death. Then Althaea musicized her appearance to that of the demon, intent on covert interrogation. But the tiefling’s plan failed; Althaea couldn’t create the creature’s wings.

Before they were discovered, Althaea used her dimension door to teleport herself and Khava to safety. There they performed another, more familiar interrogation: They spoke with the demon’s corpse. From that brief questionnaire, they gathered important information: The name of the Spawning Pit nearby, Muralca and its leader, Maril. They also found out that they were enemies with Beligandir.

But as their activities were attracting attention, they decided to continue to Muralca from another direction. Khava managed to find a narrow canyon that led the group to the Pit of Muralca; A round pond filled with organic sludge, surrounded by spartan, stone-hewn platforms and ledges. But alas, their approach was noticed, and the Party emerged to a trap of demons at the ready, demanding them to drop their weapons. Everyone complied, except for Edessa, who was made invisible by Carric and the sorcerer himself. His refusal to give his staff was met by a shower of spikes from the tails of the guardian demons and the sorcerer fell. Thanks to Althaea’s quick healing, his wounds were not fatal.

Now disarmed, the group were paraded in front of an entire city of demons into an arena in front of the Pit itself. The jeering crowds fell silent as a winged, pale woman, clad in black and red platemail emerged, demanding to know who had walked into the heart of her domain. Dulkan answered, telling that they were as what they seemed: A group of planar travelers and asked her name in return. The woman chuckled, answering that she was Miral, the Pit Lord of Muralca.

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The Mind Dominator
46th session

Exul was an aquatic, alien monster, yet intelligent and cunning. It spoke to the Heroes with a telepathic link, cruelly informing Khava that the favour had lost its value due to Edessa’s newfound high demand. Exul demanded a bigger favour; The King of a nearby merwyrm castle. Thoroughly disgusted by the creature and its demand, the Heroes faced a tense moment: To deny Exul’s offer was to invite trouble and conflict.

But Carric figured out a plan: He accepted the deal to bring the King to Exul… But under what circumstances, he purposefully neglected to describe. Exul, surprised but pleased, gave the Heroes a direction and let them go. After a short, uncomfortable swim, the Party found a small air pocket cave where they discussed their plan further. They would invite the King to play along so that they could then attack Exul and kill the beast, hopefully with support from the King’s soldiers. With this plan in mind, they headed on.

Soon enough the Party found the merwyrm kingdom: An impressive coral castle inside a huge stone bowl, illuminated by luminescencent pearls and fish. With Lady Antinua’s noble heritage the Party secured a meeting with the King… Only to find that the merwyrm accused Khava of kidnapping one of theirs to Exul! He was to face trial for his crime, and the Heroes agreed to defend him. As time was of the essence, the trial was organised very soon. While they waited, Khava described what had happened:

As he had been travelling Umbra, Khava discovered the smashed bodies of a couple of merwyrm, along with one who was badly injured. Going against his better judgement, he decided to try to help the wounded one, carrying her towards hopeful safety. He followed some lights and discovered Exul’s lair, where the creature attempted to dominate him with his mind. But Khava resisted, impressing the monster who in turn offered him favours should he hand the merwyrm to it. Not wanting to confront the creature, Khava agreed, stating that he would return for the favour later. As Exul did not object, Khava left, intending to never return unless the situation was dire.

Called in front of an elder of the kingdom, the Party gave a spirited defense against the prosecuting family member of the kidnapped merwyrm. They defended his actions and his character, both of which were called to question. In the end, their words saved their tiefling friend, whose judgement was to swim through the Clear Tunnel and be cleansed of his past actions. Khava did so, clearly affected by the experience… somehow.

Now they could discuss their plan towards defeating the evil Exul. The King was on board, seeing an opportunity to ascend into a legend as the king who defeated the evil monster in their border. The Party would take the King, rendered unconscious by a potion, to Exul. Carric would use his spells to pry the location of the entrance to Daemonis from the creature’s mind and after that the Party would attack it, while the merwyrm would seal off the exits from its lair.

The plan worked flawlessly. With spells and arrows the Party attacked the beast furiously and despite its best, lethal efforts, Exul fell. And best of all, Carric had the location of the Nexus path to Daemonis…

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Umbra
45th Session

The Detritus was chock full of people of the planes. Mingling with the crowd, the Party managed to find out that the tower they were heading to, Gimmerwald, was experiencing tower quakes and the people were evacuating, crowding the neighboring towers. Regardless, they needed to go. After resting away the harrowing escape from the replicators, the Party began to collect equipment for their trek through Umbra, where Khava was leading them to.

In Umbra they would have to dive a long, long way to find Khava’s contact. While according to the tiefling breathing wouldn’t be a problem for the heroes themselves, Renee, their lucky pony, was a different matter. He couldn’t use the same method to breathe and he couldn’t dive properly. But the Party had a partial solution; The ring they found in Assarna would allow the pony to swim and one of Carric’s potions would allow him to breathe. Now they would just need to get the ring to their equine friend’s hoof and they would be set.

While Dulkan, Khava and Edessa bartered for goods, Carric, Antinua and Althaea went to the Well itself to see if they could create some object to help in their predicament. As the Party had rested, Carric had perused the tower’s small library and found a travelogue of the planes, by a gnomish adventurer. One of the gnomes, the most numerous people of Forgewell, had told Carric that the Well was a place where everything invented is created. The sorcerer was eager to test that theory. While his tests are futile, the mages did use their magics to fish some objects from the well. Along with some trinkets and a gem, they managed to get an armour made from magical seashells. Their success allowed them to trade for a gnome craftsman to attach the ring to Renee, which was a success.

Thus equipped, they left for Gimmerwald. The long bridge journey was too much for Carric and Khava, who were still tired after the events of the previous day. Dulkan, relishing the challenge, took Carric to his back while two spears and a tent became a stretcher for the tiefling as the two slept soundly. Althaea eased the dull monotony of the kilometers long bridge with her songs. At the apex of the bridge Gimmerwald’s problems became apparent: The bridge was cracked in the middle, yet still solid enough to walk on. Hurrying forth, the Party found a couple of diehard residents still living in the otherwise-abandoned tower. Khava, now awake, led them to a discreet side corridor that eventually ended in a room with a gang of gnomish thugs who demanded payment for the hidden gateway. Parting with some trinkets, the Party headed through a door, just as another tower quake rocked the room.

On the other side of an ethereal, floating pathway was another dome of Umbra, this one empty. Not wasting any time, the Party followed Khava as the tiefling swallowed a tall seaweed and dived into the water. Renee, now able to breathe underwater with Carric’s potion, nearly managed to escape in his panic. The Party attached themselves to him while Althaea attempted to control the pony. While she eventually managed to calm the beast, he had pulled them off-course. Khava, now in unfamiliar waters, led them to a gargantuan reef where they found some sort of sunken ship… and sharks. Racing away and blasting behind them with magic, the Party managed to escape the predators, yet they were lost again.

Before all hope was lost, a group of merborn, dragonborn with fish-like tails instead of legs, approached. Sympathetic towards the curious band of land-dwellers but wary of their goal to reach Khava’s contact, they led the group back to their proper path. Galloping towards their goal before Renee began to drown, the Party witnessed a great shape stalking them just at the edge of their vision and a group of other merborn escorting them towards another dome.

With only minutes to spare, the Party surfaced in a bleak but impressive underwater dome, with an ornamental staircase leading to Khava’s contact. Visibly worried about his meeting, Khava gave the Party the option to remain near the pool while he talked. But even as he ascended the slippery stairs, the Heroes of Dusk Coast followed, eager to meet this… Exul.

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Forgewell
44th Session

The Party pondered how they would get to Daemonis, as the planes held many lessons and secrets that they were not privy to. Khava offered a solution: He knew of an information broker who owed him a favor. The broker had their lair in Umbra, a plane of water, but a more landlocked path went through Forgewell. Not willing to get wet, the Party decided to use the Cubic Gate to travel there.

Forgewell was another plane of strange beauty: The skies above were dark and the gently curving ground below was a roiling, fiery ocean. Shafts of light rose from the surface towards the skies, bringing with them matter, objects and plain stuff. Round towers, kilometers high, were built around these “wells” as the denizens of the planes called them, connected to each other by thin, unfathomably long bridges.

The Party emerged in a balcony overlooking the mesmerizing landscape. After getting his bearings, Khava brought them good news: They were very close to a tower called Gimmerwald, from where he could guide them to his informant. Now they would just need to find a bridge to the tower.

The interior of the tower, haphazardly but very sturdily built from the random construction that the well spews forth, was curiously devoid of life. Their planar guide was worried, telling the party a story of replicants, small beings that infest the towers and use everything they find to build more replicants. With a possibility of a new threat, the party kept moving.

After navigating the ascending tower interior and using their wits to overcome obstacles both mundane and magical, the Party came upon the center of the tower itself: The well. A stream of objects of all kind streamed quickly upwards, impacting to each other and hitting the already-damaged interior wall of the shaft. After wondering and researching the well, the Party started shimmying along the interior towards their ultimate goal: A bridge to another tower. However, halfway across they awakened a small group of cat-sized stuff-spiders: Replicants. Carric and Althaea easily blasted the things to pieces, but the commotion awakened the rest of the replicants. Which numbered in the hundreds, maybe even thousands. So the Party ran.

Using their magic and the grim knowledge of their fate should they stop, the Party reached the bridge and began running across, drawing after them a veritable sea of the scuttling replicants. After a grueling run they nearly reached the safety of the next tower… But there was a final obstacle in the way. A single humming copper rod, surrounded by broken pieces of replicants. Their suspicion was confirmed when Dulkan tossed a piece of bread towards the rod and it was met with a crack of lightning. It nearly seemed that the Party was trapped, but a solution finally presented itself: Their foldable hole could accommodate a lot of people, along with their lucky pony. So the Party climbed into the hole and Althaea used her dimension door song to move herself beyond the troublesome turret.

And with that the Party was safe. The turret began performing its function and blasting the incoming horde of replicants with lightning and the Party could walk to the tower. There they were greeted by a gnome with a lot more humour than the party after their harrowing flight who, after introductions, let the Party into the tower. There they headed to an inn with the name of “Detritus” for some well-earned rest and a promise that they could finally explore the strange plane of Forgewell.

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Carric's Curiosity
43rd Session

Carric, more liberal with his curiosity than his compatriots, browsed the Citadel of Secrets. A lot of what he was searching for were information about magical knowledge, which were things the Citadel did not collect.

But this search led the sorcerer to Ixthoth, the lich. Desiring to know where he resided, Carric discovered a ruined castle somewhere in Snogaard where the lich had set his workspace. Another important secret was the fate of Ixthoth’s phylactery: The lich had placed it in a lead box and sunk it in a stone cylinder whose destiny was apparently a ship. As that was the last secret about the phylactery, maybe it’s eventual resting place was in the bottom of the sea somewhere. The last secret that Carric allowed himself privy to was that of a young boy, bringing stolen wine to a outcast drunkard, asking him to bring the boy’s cat back.

Next was Thivaraxia and her dealings. The only worthwhile secret that Carric discovered was a glimpse into her most recent plans: Healing in her lair, Thivaraxia was coming to grips with the fact that she most likely had lost the Party. They were either dead or not coming back to her aid. But since the Dragonslayer was growing in power somehow, she would need a new ally. And she happened to have narrowed down the location of a powerful undead wizard…

After exhausting her list of important figures, Carric went to his personal memories. He seeked out his father’s feelings when Carric left: He was glad, but for himself or his son he could not say. The only thing he was missing was his human wife, whose hectic life made existence interesting.

And finally, Carric wanted to know what Edin, his mentor and teacher, thought. Edin held only one secret from the sorcerer: That he wanted to love him more as a lover than a father. But that was a secret he took to his grave.

Despite the temptations to find out more secrets; Of his companions, his family and others, Carric pulled himself away and returned to the entryway and the party could consolidate all the information they had found. They also decided on their next path: Towards Daemonis, where they had a meeting with Beligandir…

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A Champion's Ancient Knowledge
The Divine Essence

A woman clad in fine, yet utilitarian clothes sits in an old study by candlelight, reading an ancient, frail journal. The study looks like it has been only recently inhabited, cobwebs swept in corners, dust gathering in some places. Her thoughts, following the lines on the book echo in the room.

Why do some people lead and others follow? Why do the tyrants inspire such fear, how do the veterans survive such fierce battles, why some sorcerers reach legendary powers while others can only cast the simplest cantrips? Some call it fate, others chance, yet others self-made superiority. I believe these are all correct interpretations of the same phenomenon.

Time passes. The study is more clean, the candles more numerous, the woman more engaged in the subject.

Based on my observations, and the descriptions offered by the Divine Canon, I have come to the conclusion that there exists a force in the world that allows us to bend our fate. This force works in ways that are difficult to directly observe: A chance meeting with someone who can help in one’s work, a correct thought, a tiny slip in your foe’s defenses that brings you victory. But when you know what to look out for, you can start determining patterns that do not exist with people who do not contain this force…

Again time passes. Now the study is filled with books pertaining to arcane matters, scrolls and parchments. The woman sits by a floating ball of light, reading the journal further.

I finally have chosen a name for this force: Divine Essence. It came to me when I was reading on the birth of this world, when Io created their children: Tiamat and Bahamut. In the text it was said that ”Io bled his life into his children”. This was the key that I had been missing, this was how the Essence seemed to collect into a few individuals, like dew that collects into the bottom of the windowsill. The Divine Essence cannot be taken, it can only be given. Respect, worship, love…

Time passes again. Now the study is dark, only illuminated by a single candle. Dressed in traveling clothes and a thick cloak, the woman writes a letter on the table, next to the journal and the candle.

It is with great sorrow that I about a terrible accident at the Ser estate. As you know, Lady Thera was reclusing herself into her books more and more. Well, the reason was that she was practicing wizardry. On the 23nd day of Ascension, her spell misfired and started a blaze most terrible. I attempted to help her, but to no avail; The manor burned down and I barely escaped alive. The Lady’s final words and screams will undoubtedly haunt me to my grave.
As you undoubtedly understand, I do not wish to testify about this matter further, as I know the fate of those who assist wizards in their matters. So for my sake, I hope you will not try to find me.
Your friend,
James Kessynder
Butler of late Lady Thera Ser

The woman sprinkles a handful of sand over the letter, allowing the ink to dry. Then she folds the letter to her shoulder bag and with a sigh tips the candle over to the journal. As the paper catches fire, rapidly spreading throughout the study, she raises her hood and exits the study.

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A Dragon's Dying Wish
Khariss' demise

Khariss felt cold. She attempted to lift her wings, her feet, her head, but did not have the strength. It felt like she had lain there for years, bleeding on her lair’s floor. The only thing stronger than the pain was her rage.
”Why won’t you let go?” A voice, a thought came. With immense effort, Khariss opened her eye. Everything was blurry, the only thing in focus was a dark, majestic dragon.
Because I can’t die.
”Everything dies. You are only delaying the inevitable.”
I cannot die like this! In my lair, slain by some human.
”That was not just some human.”
Khariss closed her eye. The effort was too much.
Is it still alive?
”Yes.”
This cannot be allowed. I want vengeance!
”That is beyond your power.”
Khariss mustered a snort. No matter who or what the figure was, she refused to believe it. So she clinged on, aware of the presence who awaited patiently.
An eternity passed. Then a sound, a tremor, a feeling pierced through the dark, cold mist.
What was that?
”Your tribute.” The presence said, directly into her mind. So the yearly tribute had arrived. A show of fear. Respect. Maybe even… honor?
Will they avenge me?
”That is unlikely.” Yes… of that the figure was correct. But Khariss realized that she did indeed not have much time. She could not feel her body anymore. Soon she would be gone. This was her last chance. She forced herself back to the pain, to the coldness to become aware of the beings in her lair. She could feel their steps on the stone through the cold, could hear their distant words through the silence, smell their smells through the blood.
You are my champions now. I will give you my everything I have… for the chance that you will avenge me. You are my legacy now. Go with my blessings.
With the effort spent, Khariss felt empty. She had done everything she could.
”Are you ready to leave now?”
…yes.
Finally, Khariss allowed herself to die.

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The Citadel of Secrets
42nd Session

The lights that the Party had seen was an invisible village, filled with invisible beings, all using dots of lights to communicate and mark objects. Using their magical resources and cunning, the Party decoded their completely light-based language. They found out that the village was preparing for a monster horde that was going to pass through it. Unwilling to head towards places unknown, the Party rested in the safety of the village and decided to stay and protect it.

Indeed, a monster horde passed by, consisting of dozens, if not hundreds of flying brain-like monsters that attacked with wicked tentacles. With a spirited defense by the Party, the monster attack was deftly handled and the villagers suffered no casualties. The beings were jubilant, giving the party an invisible gift and showing what affection they could. The Party asked the grateful beings about the Citadel of Secrets, and as providence would have it, one of them led the Party to a portal deeper in the valley.

The portal took the Party to the edge of a humongous crater, inside of which was an impressive citadel, with a single tall bridge leading to it. Apart from an encounter with a magical device that transformed them to cats for a stint, the journey to the doors of the citadel was uneventful.

A stone dragon above the citadel doors awoke, warning the Party that for every secret taken from the Citadel, one would be left there, from the memory of the user. Knowing this, the Party thought about the secrets they would want to find out. Each one of them, par for Khava who did not wish to head into the citadel, took one and entered the misty interior.

Althaea took the cylinder’s message: Seek the Dragon’s dying wish. As she thought about dragons, the mist solidified into the visages of many different dragons, enticing her with their secrets. But there was only a few dead dragons Althaea knew, so her mind went to Khariss. As the dragon who started this all entered her mind, she found herself on a corridor with many doors, each leading to a singular secret of Khariss. One of them was about her death, so that was the one Althaea stepped in. Inside, she found an exchange between dying Khariss and a mysterious entity… A Divine, perhaps?

Lady Antinua sought a way into the Celestial Sea. She found herself witnessing a tower inside an air dome of Umbra. A dragonborn, clad in robes, took several scrolls to the turret, remarking in his head that the planar protections spells are safe in this room. The seal in the spells, a swirl inside an octagon, was a visible clue to what the place was and who the dragonborn was.

Dulkan, curious about the Champion’s ancient knowledge, thought about great people. Along with heroes of legend, there was the Dragonslayer, a woman clad in a golden mask. Dulkan started looking at the doors to her secrets and discovered one containing a woman reading a book. This vision was one of the greatest secrets in the world, one that allowed a human woman to challenge dragons… And maybe even gods.

Edessa sought a way to Beligandir, so that she could slay the Daemon and free her life. Carric meanwhile found a memory of Beligandir: A moment when the Daemon was afraid. It revealed the merciless politicking that happened even in Beligandir’s court: A close cut moment when Beligandir’s rule was challenged.

One by one the Party returned to Khava, waiting patiently outside. All except Carric.

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Arcanis
41st Session

Time passed, maybe couple of days. Gorn was imprisoned and the heroes installed yet another council to Mox. But the presence of Demons continued to bring worry to the party, and they had to turn their attention back to the task at hand: How to destroy Beligandir. While tackling a Demon was going to be hard, the most difficult part would be to engage him in a level playing field. Beligandir was likely to sit on a throne on Daemonis somewhere, and the least of the Party’s problems was how to get to the plane itself.

But the answer was found in a surprising message: The cylinder the party had received from Umura had stopped moving in Null. The shifting patterns in the surface had formed into a message:

“Seek the Citadel of Secrets
Seek a dragon’s dying wish
Seek a Champion’s ancient knowledge
Seek a way into the Celestial Sea”

While the names in the message had little meaning for the party, par from Antinua who recognized the Celestial Sea as a plane, Khava knew of them. The Celestial Sea was indeed a plane; It was, according to legend, the place where the Divines live. But it was also a dangerous place where no matter existed and where visitors would dissolve into mere ideas and rules.

The Citadel of Secrets was apparently a location in the magic-filled plane of Arcanis. It was Quirion’s repository of all secrets in the world, where one could find any secret for the price of divulging their own. This was an interesting prospect; Perhaps the Citadel would hold the knowledge on how to defeat Beligandir.

Arcanis was their goal, but before they could leave there, the Party needed to make sure that the Cubic Gate worked. They tested it on the beam of light and opened a gate to Arcanis. After making sure that there were no problems, they returned to gather their supplies. But they were interrupted by a message from the Demons, who wanted to speak with them. Deciding to lay a trap, the Party arranged for a meeting where they could eavesdrop on the Demons’ private conversations. But the infernal beings were disciplined and tight-lipped, and once they sat on the table, they asked about Edessa. Dulkan, the primary speaker, could not contain his emotions and reacted to the Demons’ etched image of her. After seeing his reaction, the Demons offered power and wealth for her location, an offer that the party “considered”. After figuring out their approach and how best to use the situation for about a day, the heroes returned to the hunters, but they declined all offers.

Fearing for the worst, the party quickly gathered themselves and left for Arcanis, waving one last goodbye to the harsh city of Mox. The plane of magic was a completely different place: Although it too was mostly dark, the skies had impressive aurorae in multitude of colours. The foliage was exotic and felt alive, the air was brimming with static and magic, and tiny dots of light in all colours swirled in the air. The mages felt the environment all in a different way: For Althaea the air was filled with melodies and music, for Antinua it felt like a dirty glass was taken from her eyes and for Carric the bubbling source of magic was bursting through his skin. Even Dulkan could feel the difference in the air, though for the moment he was unaffected by it.

Without any further direction, the Party followed a path to a valley, taking in the strange sights. They saw a lot of curious things and found a path to a circle, higher up a ridge. From there, Althaea spotted lights in the distance, lights that seemed like it could be a settlement.

Not wanting to rest in the wilderness, the party headed towards the lights. Their trek took them to a more open space, where only a few wide trees were growing. Before they arrived, however, they happened upon a tree, one that was curiously devoid of lights. As he approached the tree, Dulkan started hearing a voice in his head. The voice told a sad tale of a man who was trapped by the tree. Despite the protestations of his companions, Dulkan decided to help the voice by chopping down the tree. Without any proper saws, he used a lantern to burn it, as guided by the voice. But as the smoke arose, the spirit did too. It was a trapped spirit that immediately gloated over the party and stated that it thirsts for vengeance. But Carric, remembering Borel and the Lich, trapped the spirit by a bubble of force. The entire party gathered around and readied their attacks, and the spirit was utterly destroyed when Carric allowed the wall to disappear. It was an unfortunate reminder that not all good deeds have pleasant outcomes.

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A Show to Remember
40th Session

Carric, after briefly acquainting himself with Khava, decided to search for Riedan, the elf from Arhok who had brought the Party to Mox. Avoiding the demons that were searching for Edessa, he followed a trail of witnesses who had seen Rizal walking with guards towards the pyramid. One of the witnesses, whom Carric had to grease, had a worrying statement: Rizal was gone, as had others that the guards were leading. If Carric wanted to find them, he would have to “follow his nose”.

Carric wasn’t long alone with the ominous clue; Dulkan joined him. The swordsman had talked with Edessa, hearing her tale and her new aspiration: To kill Beligandir. Edessa finally felt at home in Null, where her wild magic was gone, and she was tired of running. Dulkan agreed to help, but first they needed a way out of Null.

The duo headed to the pyramid, where they met Gorn. The orc leader had given Antinua and Althaea a place to rest and now made a generous and good impression on Carric and Dulkan, hoping for their co-operation in the matter that he avoided disclosing yet. The pair met with the elves in a spartan but comfortable room, where they shared their knowledge and rested. Except for Dulkan. He headed back to the hiding place of Edessa and Khava, failing to notice Gorn’s minions following him…

After resting, the mages of the party decided to follow Carric’s clue before they would meet with Gorn to discuss his request. Evading the orc’s minions’ stalking, they found a curious smell: Cooking meat. Now riddled with gruesome thoughts, the party found a hidden vent in an out-of- place warehouse. Breaking in the warehouse, they found a hidden underground basement. And in the basement, they found pigs in a sad, dark pigsty: Luxury for a harsh place like Null. Additionally, they found a kitchen and a dungeon, lined with manacles. Shackled to the wall was a grim skeleton and Rizal, who was badly burnt and injured. He was taken to the dungeon by Gorn’s guards and he was angry and hurt that the Party was not there to protect him. But now they were there, and with Antinua’s surprising lockpicking feat they liberated Riedan and took him away, but not before Althaea took the skeleton’s skull, for a purpose that was cooking in her mind…

The party convened in Edessa’s hideout. They agreed that Gorn was a menace and his dark secrets should be shared with all, despite the fact that the orc was their best way out of Null. Althaea devised a plan that they would hold a huge performance in the magic light that would wow the crowds, and in the middle of that show, they would use her ability to interrogate the dead to expose Gorn’s dark doings. The Party agreed, and the plan was formed. But first, they would need to talk with the chief to arrange the meeting.

It turned out that it was an expedient process. Gorn was already anxious to meet the Party and explained his request in a discreet location: He wanted the Party to perform and convince the people of Mox that the refugees from Arhok were a threat to the security of the city. And in exchange, he would grant them whatever they wanted: Access to the magic light, exotic foods… Despite the tempting offer, the Party kept true to their goal and with cunning words managed to veil their true plan.

After nearly a day of practice and preparation, it was time for the performance. Crowds were gathering in the pyramid and the mages were preparing themselves in the light. Dulkan, whose job was to smuggle Rizal in to testify for the crowds, noticed that Gorn, despite his allegations of trust, was preparing for a betrayal with the power of a hidden ballista.

Then the show started. With the grace of a true artist, Althaea managed to direct a magnificent show of magic and music. Lights, illusions, fire and lightning danced on the small stage, in the warmest light of Mox. Lady Antinua raised a shaft of rock from the ground, conveniently to block the shot of the ballista. After the crescendo of Althaea and Carric flying and spiralling through serpentine streams of fire, they began their true show. Althaea raised the skull and asked the memory of the person it once was questions: Who they were, who killed them and what did they do to deserve it. The memory answered that it was a messenger from Arhok who was slain for delivering a plea from his people. As the crowds gasped, the Party took Rizal to the stage to testify about his own mistreatment and the presence of animals of luxury in the hidden dungeons.

At this point Gorn stepped in, accusing the Party of spreading uncertainty and division to Mox. His own boasts of security and fearmongering were no match to the show of compassion and equity by the Party, and he decided to attack them. By his signal a hidden cauldron of oil was dumped on the throne, but this was thwarted by Carric, who used Adalrik’s Protector to shield them from the rain. The liquid sprayed on the people who started panicking away from the pyramid. And once again, a lone dictator was faced with the
heroes of Dusk Coast, and once again that dictator fell to their martial might, as Dulkan knocked Gorn unconscious with a spear. And thus Mox’s journey from fortress into a sanctuary could begin.

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