Campaign of the Month: September 2017

Profane Legacy

Session 52
The Old Warrior

The party recuperate after the battle for Tolstoff, resting in the town. Azzainen tells the party that Bloodlord Atherzai’s full name is Helena Atherzai. Rey reads through the journal of an Ulitharid of the mindflayer hive they destroyed. Driselle Black-Spear was freed by a wayward mindflayer named Zellix and this ulitharid, Aurangaul, has apparently pursued him into The Dreadmarshes.
They set out to explore Tolstoff castle, at the insistence of Ghesh and The Spectre. They arrive in the afternoon, seeing the dilapidated castle standing before them. It’s surrounded by a dirt-filled trench, possibly an ancient sign of a moat. The area around the castle is overgrown and unkempt but the castle itself is devoid of life. The group find a way in, passing through the trench which seems to have been filled with bodies recently. The castle itself is partially collapsed, but the corridors are empty of any habitation. Tsuki notices a secret door along one such corridor, obscured by powerful magic. She struggles to get it open, until she utilises her mithral key, expending its powerful magic. Beyond the doors is what looks like a laboratory, with a mirror suspended on the back wall. The group investigate the room, finding a thick, black liquid as well as some blood in vials. Rakshasa finds what look like some syringes used to extract the blood and pockets them. Rey inspects the mirror, uncovering it. As she does so the final of a set of red sigils glows and forms around its circumference. Rey looks in the mirror and sees herself reflected, but with several changes to her appearence. The magic that altered her hair colour is gone, and the angelic markings on her skin are also absent. Rakshasa looks in the mirror too, noticing that both her horns and her angelic markings are gone, as well as her eyes being a different colour. Tsuki sees a complete stranger reflected, dressed in her gear. She sees a human woman with olive skin, black hair, and dark brown, almost black eyes. Sahri appears identical reflected in the mirror, with no clear change in her appearence. The Spectre no longer has his angelic markings and instead of having mirrored silver eyes, he has relatively mundane blue eyes. Ghesh refuses to look at himself in the mirror, believing this magical object has dangerous properties. Rey guesses that this mirror is reflecting an unaltered, non-magical version of their present selves.
Tsuki tests out the black liquid on a lime, seeing it absorbed while releasing smoke.
Rey finds some scrolls and tomes written in a strange, unknown language and tries to see if the mirror will translate them. The mirror doesn’t even reflect this language, nor does it reflect anything written with the black liquid. Rey nonethless makes notes, writing down copies of the examples of this new language she saw. When she holds up a particular scroll, a word or phrase on the first line manifests as a strange distortion in the mirror’s surface. This disortion begins to approximate the silhouette of a human. At this points Sahri decides to throw the blackened lime at the mirror. The lime bounces off, but the black liquid lingers, and begins to spread across its surface. This worries the group, particularly Ghesh, who decides to use Detect Magic to see what’s happening. Anathematic or Demonic energy is suffusing the mirror, radiating outwards. Sahri asks The Vengeant about this mirror and he finally answers, telling her not to enter the portal. With this information The Spectre realises that the mirror has likely become a portal to The Shadowfell. A blood red mark begins to spread across the surface of the mirror now, but Rey uses Counterspell to stop this development, and the portal remains black. The party want to leave, but The Spectre insists that it would be irresponsible to leave an active demonic portal as it is.
Ghesh beseeches Ajaakor to intervene, and he answers his prayer. The Annerian of Air and Water denounces the dark magic and with a flash, destroys the mirror. Sahri leaves a mocking message on the wall and the party continue to explore the castle.
They find an entrance to some catacombs which branch out into a large tunnel system. They explore them briefly, finding bones and signs of inhabitation. It is growing late and the group decide it would be best not to spend the night beneath the earth.
The party have almost returned to the town when they see The Crimson Matron land at the castle. They begin to hurry, but soon The Crimson Matron’s flying right towards them. Helena Atherzai steps out in front of them, with The Crimson Matron at her back. She demands the party return her possessions which the group eventually agree to do. Helena is relatively civil but does not answer a lot of the parties’ questions, she does accept their compliments though. She says that her mirror was an attempt for her to view things how they were before The Scourge and before The Destroyer arrived. Helena flies away on The Crimson Matron, disappearing in a flash of darkness.
That night Tsuki sees The Outsider in their dream, who says they shall be rewarded for all they’ve done. The Outsider explains that they’re working against one of The Anathema, Piro. Piro doesn’t want an item called The Iron Flask to be given to a particular woman in Rzeka, but The Outsider believes that Tsuki could accomplish this transaction. Tsuki sees that both herself and The Outsider have golden strings leading from themselves up to the dark ceiling. Tsuki sees a pair of blue eyes looking out of the darkness at her and with a snap the golden strings attached to Tsuki snaps. The golden threads falls about her, and layer themselves over her face, forming patterns. The Outsider extends their hand for Tsuki to take, and she does.
Tsuki finds herself on the shore of Lake Damaia, in central Svoren in a small camp. She’s holding the outstretched hand of Alexis and can see two more people seated nearby. A heavily covered Sand-Elf, shivering in the cold. As well as a Tiefling seated next to one of the Nemorian Wolves. Alexis introduces the sand elf as The Horizon-Walker and the Tiefling as Quest. Alexis implies that they are in fact The Outsider and says that they will tell Tsuki Piro’s True Name, but only once they’ve received their gift. Alexis tries on The Outsider’s mask, showing their similarity to the form The Outsider has taken when appearing to Tsuki. Tsuki takes the mask from Alexis and tries it on, feeling the form of the golden threads upon their face. Alexis and The Horizon-Walker extend a hand each, which Tsuki takes. She feels power flow through her, improving her confidence, as she becomes The Angel of Freedom. Alexis bids her farewell and says Piro’s True Name: Kilanicoatl.
The next day Ghesh receives a message from Rava, congratulating the group on their success and Angeldom. She says that The Thorn-King wishes to speak to the party and that she’ll transport them to Kodoma at sunset. The party finish business in the town, the townsfolk holding celebrations and thanking them for all that they’ve done. Felicity complains that the townsfolk have been disconnected from the traditions and laws of Meridar’s Church for too long. She seems glad that the party have aided the town so much though, and says The Church will have more say in this town from now on.
The group meet up with Azzainen at sunset and they’re transported to Ajaakor’s Church in Kodoma by Rava. The priests there bow down in reverence at the sight of both of Ajaakor’s Angels, but The Spectre tells them they can stand. Rava explains that The Thorn-King is waiting for them outside the city but that the walk will mean the city-folk will be fawning over them. The group decide they wouldn’t mind being fawned over and walk through the city. Thousands of people come to see them, elves, humans, spell-scales, half-elves, and even some dragonborn. Rey and Rakshasa perform for the crowd, who start dancing and cheering.
Finally, the party reaches The Thorn-King’s tent. He is not there, however, he’s waiting at a fighting ring that’s been set up. Mortimus greets the party warmly, and both he and Azzainen seem pleased to see one another. He says that Sahri has one more test she must pass before she recieves The Vengeant’s Gift and The Manual of Heroes: She must fight him. Sahri accepts and tells Morty that he can use his favoured weapon: The Axe.
Mortimus rises to his feet, his joints cracking as he does so. He takes off his heavy cloak, revealing a well-muscled torso covered with scars underneath. The two square up and begin to exchange attacks. Sahri knows that if she can reduce him to half his fighting strength she will win the contest.
Sahri swings with all her might, barely seeming to scratch the old warrior. Morty returns his own strikes, seeming brutally efficient with his favoured weapon. Soon, Morty enters his barbarian’s rage, unleashing a wave of fire from himself and beginning to glow with internal fire.
Sahri is hard-pressed, as Morty’s strikes hit harder and harder, glowing with fire and radiance. At one point she falls unconscious, but Morty uses Lay On Hands so she can continue fighting. Morty compliments her on her fighting skill as Sahri displays immense prowess with her weapon. Finally, just as Sahri is about to succumb to the fire, she strikes the blow that ends the contest, and Morty concedes.
Morty reveals to the victorious Sahri that he is Mortimus Falkettan, who people name The Vengeant. He confesses the regret he still feels at his slaying of Und so long ago and his hope that his daughter Aliza will return someday. Sahri tells The Vengeant that he made the right choice with the information he had, and Ghesh says that his efforts at repaying Und’s brother Ajaakor have been worthy. Morty says that he wanted to give his shard of Und’s power to Azzainen, but that the vampiric curse that afflicts him means his body would not survive the transformation. The Vengeant transfers Und’s fiery power to Sahri with a burst of flame upon Sahri’s skin, transforming Sahri into The Angel of Fire.
Morty explains that when he slew Und with his mythic weapon Sky-Sunder, it split Und’s soul into three parts and seperated these from his body. Sahri now possesses one shard, Turiel Dust-Born has another, and the final shard belongs to Aliza. Und’s body, without a soul, became The Tarrasque, who still dwells beneath the earth.
Morty leads the assembled group into his tent, where they see the two Nemorian tigers. Mortimus hands Sahri The Manual of Heroes, a Legendry of Great Arms and Fabulous Heroes. He says that Sahri has earned the right to own it, and add her own knowledge to the tome. Rakshasa makes several lewd comments directed at Morty, and Rava eventually escorts her out. Rey hugs Morty, who returns the hug in turn. Morty gives them one final piece of information, telling them that the bones of the ancient fey dragon he slew reside beneath the town of High-Hill and may be in danger from necromancers.

Session 51
The Vampiric Attack

The group see The Crimson Matron circling Castle Tolstoff and soon purple light begins to glow, emanating from both within and without the citadel. The Spectre deduces it’s likely powerful necromantic magic.
The party decide it’s dangerous to stay this close to what seems to be a Demonlord and begin to head back to the town. The party promise Azzainen that they’ll be able to get him into the town.
When they reach the gates they notice that an area north of town is also being affected by the purplish light. They later find out that it was the town cemetery being affected.
Everyone is admitted into the town, resting for the night and Ghesh has a vision from Ajaakor. Ajaakor stands before him and blesses Ghesh’s trinket: a diamond that looks like a lump of coal to everyone else.
The next day the town prepares for the coming undead attack. Rey and Rakshasa create Holy Water projectiles for use in the town’s defense. Azzainen, Felicity, Federick, and the party spend the rest of the day discussing defense, and the dangers posed by the undead.
In private, Azzainen reveals his true nature and history. He was one of the companions of Luciela The True, a great hero of her age. Luciela, Gillian High-Hill, and himself traveled north to Svoren when they heard it was being terrorised by a dragon. This dragon was Mareshao The Frost-Fang, who was once a Dragonlord of Akundin. Gillian was killed by Mareshao after several battles with the ancient dragon. Nonetheless, Azzainen and Luciela pursued her into the highest reaches of Mareshao’s mountainous home. Azzainen explains that by this time he had already become a vampire, tainted in the same ritual that turned Lady Atherzai and Doresain Stritheroi into vampires. By the time Luciela killed Mareshao with her Vorpal Sword he was mad with bloodlust, and began to drink the dragon’s blood. Luciela left in disgust and told the world that he perished fighting the dragon, like Gillian did. Azzainen drank his fill of the once-Dragonlord’s blood and soon found he had no more need for blood, mortal or otherwise.
As night falls, the legion of undead begins to march on the city. The Warriors of The West take command of the town’s defenders and blast at the oncoming creatures with arrows and spells. Their defense is effective, with zombies, skeletons, and even vampires being killed before they can enter the town. Soon however, the elder vampires make their attack, with Bloodlord Tolichlachen The Twice-Bitten attacking the western gate. Several times, a shadow falls across the defenders as the monstrous form of The Crimson Matron dives down to attack them.
art by Adam Paquette
Ghesh illuminates the northern gate with Daylight and heals his fellow defenders when they’re injured by The Crimson Matron or Bloodlord Atherzai, who’s riding on her back. Rakshasa manages to drive off her vampire spawn attackers, causing them to flee the battlefield. The Spectre, Sahri, Tsuki, and Azzainen move to defend the western gates from the bloodlord and his vampiric soldiers, leaping down to engage them. The Bloodlord wields a lifedraining greatsword, and drinks the blood of those who engage him in combat. The Spectre, using his psychic abilties, causes the bloodlord to mistakenly bite his own hand and The Spectre mocks him by saying he will be remembered as “The Thrice-Bitten”. Azzainen sprouts blood-red, bat-like wings and flies down to aid the party.
Sahri finally defeats the bloodlord, cleaving him down the middle, cursing him in the name of The Vengeant as he does so. The Thrice-Bitten turns to mist and begins to flee, but is pursued by The Spectre. Sahri is knocked unconscious by a vampire knight attacking in anger but that same vampire is killed by a well-placed bolt from Tsuki. Azzainen revives Sahri with Lay on Hands while The Spectre dessicates the vampiric mist. The Spectre is almost killed when Bloodlord Atherzai casts Finger of Death on him. The Spectre finally destroys the last of the bloodlord’s life essence and Lady Atherzai curses and flies away into the mountains.
With that, the undead assault dissolves and the severly weakened attackers flee the field, meaning a resounding victory for The Warriors of The West and the township of Tolstoff.

Session 50
The Ghoul King

Having defeated the first wave of attackers, the group catch their breath. Rey asks Azzainen for more information about himself and The Bloodlords. He says that the three Bloodlords are: Doresain Stritheroi The Ghoul King, Lord Tolichlachen The Twice-Bitten, and Lady Atherzai. He says that Lady Atherzai is responsible for the creation of The Crimson Matron, the Demonlord progenitor of the vampiric race. He further explains that Lord Tolichlachen is a young bloodlord, created relatively recently by The Demonlord herself. He seems reluctant to divulge a lot about his past but eventually relents. He says that he, Lady Atherzai, and Doresain Stritheroi are all about 13 centuries old and were the first vampires created by The Crimson Matron.
He confirms that he is indeed The Red Knight of legend and that he no longer needs to consume mortal blood to sustain himself. He claims that early in his time as a vampire he slew an ancient dragon and fed upon its lifeblood. Before he can explain himself further the party notice strange happenings at castle Tolstoff above them. Darkness begins to seep upwards into the sky, like smoke. Eventually the smoke clears in a flash of red and the gargantuan form of The Crimson Matron appears.
The party want to flee back to the town, but Azzainen says that Bloodlord Doresain is not going to let them leave and he is soon proved right.
Another wave of attacks begin, more ferocious than the last, and the party is soon beset once again. Eventually The Ghoul King himself makes an appearance and charges into combat.
The Ghoul king races around the battlefield rending flesh with his claws and cursing Azzainen. He drains Rakshasa and Sahri of blood and throws them to the ground. Luckily Ghesh restores them to vitality in just a few moments. Rey sends her animated daggers around the battlefield, slashing at The Ghoul King and his servants.
Eventually, with the psionic guidance of The Spectre, the party encircle Doresain, battering him with all manner of attacks. The Bloodlord’s form turns to mist and begins to flee towards castle Tolstoff but before he can reach it Rey and Ghesh teleport next him. Ghesh finally kills The Ghoul King using Destroy Water as well as Rey’s holy water, obliterating the last traces of him.

Session 49
The Eastern Road

During the time the party spend in Meridom The Fire Queen visits the city, and the group join the cityfolk in admiring the spectacle. The Fire Queen delivers Sahri and Ghesh their Fire-Rune Armour to them and honours the city and party. Sahri fist bumps The Forgemaster who did the work and then changes into her armour then and there, eliciting some cheers from the crowd.
Soon Rakshasa and Rey finish reading The Book of Exalted Deeds, with Rakshasa absorbing its power and Rey making a copy. The party then speak to Joan Fairhelm about the vampires and she tells them about the township of Tolstoff.
She explains that Tolstoff sits beneath the ruins of Tolstoff castle and that vampires or their servants have supposedly taken up residence in the castle. She says that the mayor is named Frederick and has been reluctant to accept assistance from The Church. Nonetheless, Joan is sending a cleric named Felicity with a small contingent of priests to the town to support it. The party say they intend to go there too, and Joan puts Felicity and the priests under their command. Joan tells the group that an eccentric Dark Elf merchant has been seen on the road and that supposedly the legendary Red Knight has been sighted.
The party set out on the eastern road from Meridom to Tolstoff, with their small force of priests following behind them. On the way they encounter an eccentric merchant named Brutalitops who offers a variety of useful, but unusual, wares. The party purchases several of these items: The Scroll of the Try-Hard, The Red Herring Ring, The Extremely Useful Ring, The Coin of All or Nothing, and a few Potions of Change. Rakshasa unsuccessfully tries to get a discount through sexual favours, much to the amusement, confusion, and concern of the assembled priests. After going through all these transactions, Brutalitops wishes the party good luck and teleports away.
The assemblage reaches Tolstoff a few days later, seeing a fortified town with a slain Bloodwing on the ground. Frederick seems reluctant to let them in until Felicity says they have an Angel of Meridar with them.
The group see a busy town, with people moving about either training in arms or helping to fortify the town. The priests move about the town to assist them while Felicity and Frederick stay with the party.
Frederick tells the group a bit about the vampires, saying they’ve raided the town no more than once a week, and that the last proper attack was more than a week ago. He also mentions that a red-armoured figure asked to enter Tolstoff last night but was denied and Frederick says he went to the abandoned fort north of town. He asks the group to check up on him as he has made the residents nervous. The party oblige and exit the town, heading to the forested north. They find a large black warhorse tied to a tree on the way, with an ample supply of apples nearby. Rey casts Beast Speech and asks the horse about himself. The horse, named Jack, says that his rider is waiting for them at the fort and that he’ll be fine where he is.
The group continue on, finding a knight armoured in rusted plate mail, sitting amidst the ruined fort. He has light brown skin with a close-cropped white beard and he greets the party, asking them if they’re ready for the coming conflict. He says that his name is Azzai and that he lives to slay monsters. He dons his draconic helm and prepares for the coming assault.
Soon, wolves, Ghouls, Ghasts, Swarms of Bats, and Bloodwings attack in waves, striking at the assembled warriors. Ghesh unleashes holy magic, weakening and searing these undead attackers. At one stage Sahri falls, paralysed by the poison of the ghasts, but is saved when Azzai unleashes a Destructive Wave, destroying Sahri’s attackers.
Eventually, the attacks cease, though the party can still hear creatures moving around them. They hear a guttural, angry voice yell out: “You’re mine, Azzainen!”.

Session 48
The Pious Welcome

Sailing on, the party see a small fleet heading north-west, directly away from Lassiades. The Spectre decides to investigate, turning to mist, and flying over to the fleet. He sees that they’re not flying any colours and that the ships are full of people, from all walks of life. He lands on one of the ships and is immediately surrounded by the townsfolk. He tells them that they’re heading towards death, sailing this close to The Dreadmarshes. One of them responds: “We will live forever” and The Spectre immediately flies off.
The party decide to tell Evangeline about this mass exodus of citizenry to the dreadmarshes and she responds that this is happening everywhere.
The party arrive at the cove south of Lassiades and head to the city. The city welcomes them warmly, amazed to see so many angels. Rey and Rakshasa strut and perform as they make their way through the city to Meridar’s church. They’re stopped before they enter by two clerics who ask what they’re trying to bring into the church. Rey leads them on a merry chase of a conversation until she reveals that she has The Black Spear. The gathered crowd erupts in chaos at this proclamation and the group is rushed inside. Evangeline congratulates them on their success and says she’s pleasantly surprised that Rey is the Angel of Knowledge. She explains that The Seer appeared to many people in their dreams and said that her first angel had been born, but did not reveal her angel’s identity. Evangeline inspects The Black Spear carefully before storing it away. Rakshasa flirts with Evangeline but she insists she’s too old for the young adventurer. She gives the group their reward: 65, 000 gold pieces worth of platinum and mithral and says that they should visit Meridom, where Rakshasa will find her “sisters”.
Leaving the church, the party finds the city in an uproar, celebrating the return of The Black Spear. The group join in the celebrations with Rey and Rakshasa performing once again. Sahri finds out that she has fans across Ahlim when several local chiildren approach her with small dolls of her. They ask for the ‘pumpkin story’ which Sahri happily recounts.
The party later say farewell to the b-team, and Meriele thanks them for their bravery and says she was honoured to fight alongside The Angel of Purity.
The next day the party teleport to Meridom, the second-largest city in Ahlim and the capital of Meridar’s Church. They arrive in a beautiful city built at the foot of a mountain, everywhere are signs of devotion to Meridar.
They look for a store to exchange magic items and find a large emporium called Charity’s Gift. It’s run by a devil-blooded woman named Charity and she gives the party some information about the city, saying that the Angels of Meridar can be found at the Great Church, which is apparently the largest in the world. Ghesh sees that she has a Spell Guard shield and asks for Rey to bargain for it for him. Charity proves to be quite tractable to persuasion but especially when Rey reveals Rakshasa as Meridar’s Angel of Purity. She begs for forgiveness for not recognizing Rakshasa and gives Ghesh a good final price.
The party proceed to the Great Church and some of the local clerics recognise Rakshasa and she receives praise and a floral necklace. The group are greeted by a young cleric named Joan Fairhelm who identifies herself as The Angel of Light and embraces Rakshasa like a sister. She leads the party high into the church to a plain room with a meditating figure. She rises, greeting the party, and they see that she is an elderly, but very beautiful woman and The Angel of Art, Celestia. She greets the party warmly as sisters and cousins, and says that Meridar has always been an ally of The Seer.
Celestia leads the group to a mural filled chamber with a beautiful, gilded tome upon a pedestal. The group sees that this is The Book of Exalted Deeds and Joan and Celestia say that the group is free to read it, as they have already done so in their lives.
Rakshasa decides to read it, while Rey transcribes it during the days that the party spends in the city. Sahri spends this time trying to figure out how her mindflayers items work and realises she would have to be a psionicist, a mindflayer, or the thrall of a mindflayer to utilise them.

Session 47
The Stitched Monstrosities

The party continue sailing on towards Lassiades but Rakshasa and Rey get in a fight with Drusilia, and eventually knock her out. Soon, dark clouds appear on the northern horizon and the group see dark flying shapes flying towards them. The group ready for combat as the storm front reaches them. Soon, monstrous flesh golems composed of several bodies each fly down to attack both ships. One of the golems has bolt-throwers grafted to each arm an another is huge, with bladed limbs.
The golems attack the party, landing on the deck and swiping with their claws. The bolt-throwing golem and Sahri exchange fire, with Sahri utilising Ajaakor’s Hangman’s Bolthrowers. Ghesh attempts to destroy the bolt-throwing golem with a blast of lightning, but to his dismay the electricity seems to invigorate the creature. Rey, Rakshasa, and Tsuki fall unconscious under the undead assault and the party hears the cackling laughter of Evangeliza as she sits astride an undead pegasus. The huge golem is eventually felled but Evangeliza repeatedly attempts to revive it with blasts of lightning. Eventually all the undead creatures are destroyed, and Evangeliza, weakened by the retribution of the party, Planeshifts away.
That night, The Seer arrives, stepping out of a portal onto the deck of Ajaakor’s Hangman. She speaks with Rey, saying that Rey has impressed her and is worthy of her gift: Angelhood. Kissing Rey’s forehead and tracing filigree patterns on her face, Rey becomes The Seer’s Angel of Knowledge. The crew look on as Rey speaks to The Seer and Rey asks what quest The Seer has for her. The Seer stops time and explains Rey’s quest. She is to venture into The Dreadmarshes and find an extraplanar visitor called The Grey King. He is distrustful by nature, but The Warriors of The West must win him over. The Seer says that The Grey King has information about a ritual that will “Unmake The Demonlords” and that Rey must retrieve this information.
Time returns to normal and The Seer goes below decks, bidding Rey goodbye and disappearing with Driselle Black-Spear.

Session 46
The Black Spear

The party consolidate their position and go to investigate the holding cells. They find a Kuo-Toa thrall, an infected, unconscious human, and a very much awake Moon Elf woman. Ghesh asks her about herself but she ignores his questions and demands to be released. The party leave her where she is for now, saying that they’ll collect her when they return. Rey realises that the mindflayers can sense the party because of their mental presence and hatches a plan to avoid them.
The party climb into their Bags of Holding, Rey Polymorphs into a giant bat, picks up the bags, and begins to fly towards the centre of the hive. She passes several mindflayer patrols and several rooms with unknown contents before reaching the Elder Brains’ Chamber.
The party exit the bags and move into the chamber, seeing a mindflayer, two thralls, and a large armoured ulitharid defending both the Elder Brain and The Black Spear.
The Elder Brain encloses most of the party in a Wall of Force, while the mindflayers move forward to attack Ghesh and Sahri, tentacles encircling them. Rey, The Spectre, and Rakshasa attempts to blast through the Wall of Force but fail. The Elder Brain assaults Sahri and Ghesh’s minds, stunning Ghesh. Soon, the rest of the party teleport out of the forcefield and begin to engage the illithid forces. Things begin to go badly, as members of the party are stunned by Mind Blasts. Soon, the b-team turns up, adding their strength to the fight. Slade has his brain sucked out by a mindflayer and Drusilia is swatted away by Rey when she tries to grab The Black Spear. Rey transform into a T-rex and starts to devour the brain, while The Spectre absorbs The Black Spear into his body. He then charges his rapier with psychic energy and plunges it deep into the brain, slaying it. As it dies it unleashes a psychic scream which causes immense pain to those nearby and kills the already weakened Drusilia.
Meriele heals Drusilia and Isaac The Incredible faints from fight. Drusilia accuses the party of taking and hiding The Black Spear but her party doesn’t believe her, so she starts desperately searching the room. The b-team return to the ships with Slade’s corpse and the party promptly knock Drusilia out when she keeps causing trouble.
The party go back the way they came, coming across an armory full of interesting carapace armour and survival mantles similar to what they saw on the first mindflayer they encountered here. Sahri collects some of the gear to examine later.
Continuing on, the party find a large library guarded by two stone golems carved to resemble mindflayers. Most of the group are allowed in, but Sahri and The Spectre are made to stay outside. The Spectre accepts this treatment but Sahri resists, and after a brief fight she is knocked unconscious. Ghesh and Rey find a variety of magical items and informative tomes throughout the library and collect as much as they can.
The party follow a stone golem back to the holding cells as it carries Sahri’s unconscious form there to lock up. On the way, the party see the Death’s Kiss who aided them earlier and Rey befriends it, calling it Greg. The party free Sahri, the unconscious man, and the moon elf woman who reveals her name is Madeline. This alarms the group and they head back to Ajaakor’s Hangman.
As they get back on the ship they see that some kind of altercation unfolded, and Jamal tells them that ‘Madeline’ attacked Malik and that he chained her up below decks. The party go below to talk to her, and she confirms that she is, in fact, Driselle Black-Spear. When Lily-tydes asks The Spectre to show her The Black Spear he does, and Driselle immediately magically summons it to her. Grasping her artifact in her hands she starts to smile, but Rey immediately kicks her in the face, knocking her out.
The Spectre makes sure not to let The Black Spear out of his control again and the group put a watch on Driselle. The Spectre sees Drusilia handling an ornate necklace which she drops upon being told to watch herself. Sahri later picks up the amulet but can’t immediately determine its significance.
Victorious, the group begins to sail back to Lassiades with their prize. The next day, deep clouds cover the sun and enclose the ship in fog. This fog coelesces around The Spectre before turning to ice, and then snow. Everyone hears Ajaakor’s voice proclaim The Spectre as his Angel of Water and he feels the power flow through him.
Almost immediately the clouds part and a ray of bright sunlight shines down on the ship, bathing Rakshasa in painful radiance. Meridar proclaims her as the Angel of Purity while Graz’zt chuckles quietly in derision at this statement.

Session 45
The Mindflayer's Hive

Before rowing into the cove Rey tells Jamal to keep an eye on Madeline, making sure she doesn’t try anything she shouldn’t. Soon the group see and hear large shapes approaching beneath the water. Ghesh spots some floating corpses being snatched below the surface by tentacles. Suddenly the rowboat is rocked violently by a gargantuan worm-like creature, throwing Ghesh, Rakshasa, and Sahri overboard. Lily-tydes crew is also attacked by one of the creatures while the b-team rows off, leaving the others to their fate. The worm entity tries to devour Rakshasa and Ghesh but they squirm out of its grip. The party pelt it with attacks before it bursts through the surface and sprays the rowboat with acid. The Spectre strikes the worm with a powerful psionic attack and the creature screeches in pain before fleeing. The parties’ boat is rapidly sinking so they hurriedly paddle to the back of the cove before diving into the centre passage.
The group surface in an underground passageway very dimly lit by dark green light. Tsuki dons her Goggles of Night-Vision and Sahri pulls up her Hyena-Hood, enabling them to see effectively. Tsuki scouts ahead and finds a dirty den full of hulking Quaggoths, rifling through some trash and discarded coin. The party ambush them, quickly routing and destroying the bestial humanoids seemingly before they can raise an alarm.
Rey, knowing the path they should take, leads the group to a heavy curtain. Parting it, the group sees a laboratory filled with living specimens, surgical tools, and a collection of figures. Tsuki sees a group of thralls bullying a large, four-armed gorilla while a strangely armoured mindflayer whips it harshly with a lash. Tsuki sees in one of the glass specimen-spheres, a large, sad, cyclopean creature which seems to want her to attack the mindflayer.
The party spring into action, launching an assault on the mindflayer and its thralls. The wounded illithid teleports away, leaving the gorilla to fight its thralls. The party engage these thralls and the gorilla smashes open the trapped eye-creature’s sphere, freeing it. Almost immediately, reinforcements arrive in the form of mages, thralls, and a pair of mindflayers.
The thralls rush up to attack the party while the enemy mages cloak the party in the darkness of Hunger of Hadar. Sahri slays the gorilla, who seems enraged beyond all reason. The mindflayers assault Tsuki and Rey with a powerful Mindblast, stunning them, before being attacked by the freed eye-creature, which seems to have a thirst for both vengeance and blood.
Ghesh frees the party from the darkness only to see Sahri and The Spectre mind-controlled by the laughing mages, who force the two party-members to attack each other. Finally the reinforcements are killed, but one of the mindflayers manages to teleport away.

Session 44
The Defiled Isles

The party board The Death’s Head ship, with Tolun throwing Lily-tydes and Sahri across. The Spectre is thrown backwards off the ship by the sickly mindlflayer but soon flies back up. Sahri and Lily-tydes engage the enemy crew in melee while Rakshasa weakens them with blasts from afar. The Death’s Head is soon knocked unconscious as Rey sets his armour alight. The Spectre finally kills the mindflayer using psionically infused daggers.
All of the crewmates surrender except for one swashbuckler who challenges one of his foes to a duel for the ship. Sahri takes him up on the offer and the two engage in a close fight on the deck of The Grey Blade. Sahri is eventually victorious, striking her foe down with Tolun’s Axe.
Bianca takes command of The Grey Blade and Lily-Tydes becomes a Commodore, adding a peacock feather to her hat. Ghesh finds a book written in a strange form of braille which Rey and The Spectre realise is a spellbook.
The next day is smooth and clear sailing until the evening when a fierce storm begins. There are fierce winds and soon lightning begins to strike near the ships. One bolt finally strikes a crewmember, Ghesh. He takes no damage from the blast and feels power flow through him. Ajaakor’s voice echoes like thunder and he proclaims Ghesh as his angel of air reborn.

The party continue sailing, now with two ships, passing a cave entrance full of corpses, including a mindflayer. The group see that several islands are alight, burning with purple flames and the sky is filled with smoke. That night Rakshasa sees a dark snake with glowing yellow eyes and she follows it to the deck of the ship. It swells in size before swallowing her, transporting her to a distant island. She hears angry yelling and sees blasts of purple fire coming from nearby. Investigating the source of the distressed yelling she finds a robed human figure, deeply upset, who says that their name is Malik. They were yelling about ‘finding them’ and ‘finding her’ and Rakshasa sees that they’re wearing a mask. He tells her that he’s looking for Driselle Black-Spear who is supposedly alive. He also says he’s being made to do this by Lady Midnight who he says is called Ereshkigal by the initiated. Rakshasa offers to help him search, and he accepts. The two fly over to another island but don’t land, seeing that its swarming with bestial white-haired humanoids.
The pair land on a small island and Malik seems to have given up. Malik removes his mask and tells Rakshasa that he is Meridar’s angel of Purity. He also explains that Lady Midnight is using his nature against him, to control him. Rakshasa hears Graz’zt whisper to her “Tell him you can rid him of his burden”. Rakshasa does so, offering herself to Malik and he accepts, correctly believing that doing so will transfer his angelhood to Rakshasa. They ascend to the skies for a night of passion before resting on the beach below.
The next day the party see that Rakshasa is missing and Meriele scrys, searching for her. The group find her with Malik who reveals that he’s responsible for the burning and that Driselle is not only alive, but is being searched for by mindflayers.
The party continue to search, soon locating the shipwreck that Rey saw in her vision. Seated near it is an exhausted, dirty, elvish woman in ragged priests’ robes. They approach her, seeing that she’s dazed and confused. Ghesh heals her and she claims to be named Madeline and says she was a captive of the mindflayers but was freed by another mindflayer. Rey suspects that this woman is Driselle Black-Spear but can’t be sure and doesn’t press the issue for now. Ghesh and Sahri search the shipwreck, finding a teleportation circle and signs of habitation. They notably find one of the bestial white-haired humanoids Rakshasa saw last night. It’s brain seems to have been removed by a mindflayer and The Spectre realises the creature is a Quaggoth, a thrall of the mindflayers. Madeline says she doesn’t want to go with the mindflayer and that she’ll show the party how to get to the mindflayer hive she was taken from.

Session 43
The Cerulean Sea

Rey and Rakshasa test out their abilities in the Ethereal Plane, finding that they can fly, hover, and create misty objects. Rakshasa creates an ornate throne of limes with The White Swan’s help. Rey contacts The Seer using Commune, asking for information about The Black Spear. The Seer tells her that the spear is extremely dangerous and that she should find whatever allies she can to help her. Rey sees an image of a shipwreck which a hooded figure enters. She then sees a dark cove, which passes through water into a dark green room, and she sees The Black Spear upon the wall.
Rey asks The White Swan about where this ship wreck and cove could be found and after reading Rey’s mind, she draws a radius of search.
The group soon leave the ethereal plane, and spend the night on the hilltop. The group have vivid dreams, and Rey and Ghesh return to the Ethereal Plane, soaring across The Cerulean Sea with The Flumphs. The flumphs begin to turn back as Rey and Ghesh begin to approach a towering, slowly turning column of mist that stretches from north to south. They realise they’re being pulled in towards this hurricane and struggle to turn back. The Seer draws Rey back from the ethereal plane, warning her of the danger. Moments later Ajaakor commands Ghesh to return as well, pulling him back to the material plane.
When the party wake up in the morning they notice that both Ghesh and The Spectre have faintly glimmering golden markings on their faces. Rey realises almost instantly that these are the markings of a fledgling angel, likely of Ajaakor.
The group head back to Lassiades, going to the docks to try and find a ship. Once there, they’re confronted by some Aurorans who tell them that they’re were supposed to return to Meridar’s church hours ago. Someone named The High Inquisitor is waiting for them.
The party rush over, pushing their way through a crowd gathered outside the church. Entering the structure they see the silhouette of The High Inquisitor standing in front of the burning remains of the Revenant. She turns to address the party and they see that she is Evangeline, Evangeliza‘s sister. She’s put off by Sahri‘s chitinous armour but seems amused by Rakshasa’s comments. She asks the party about who they are, what they’ve done, and what they know about The Ravens. Tsuki and Rey tell her, and Evangeline asks for a copy of the group’s Cunning and Subterfuge. Rey eventually agrees and Evangeline drags the body of Chiyo out of the church to the sounds of gasps outside.
The party return to the docks, seeing that Chiyo has been publicly hung as they do.
At the docks they find a captain named Pavel Windrivver who Rakshasa extorts some lime money from.
The group return to Evangeline, receiving some powerful magic scrolls at Ghesh’s request. Evangeline tells the party that if they can return The Black Spear to the church they will receive a sizable reward.
The party set off south, looking for Lily-Tyde’s and The Spectres ship: Ajaakor’s Hangman. It takes them the remainder of the day to find Lily-Tydes’ cove. Approaching the cove the group notice a camp set up on the beach nearby. Tsuki sneaks down, seeing that it’s The Warriors of The North aka “The B-Team”. Returning to the party, she is snuck up on by a humble monk named Jun who asks her if her parents are also dragonborn. The monk soon disappears when Tsuki notices a raven nearby.
The party walk down to the beach, meeting with the b-team. When the group reveal that The Spectre is an old crewmate of Ajaakor’s Hangman they seem disappointed, believing that this has ruined their chances. The Spectre and Slade exchange some rival-like banter.
The party enter the cove, seeing activity on the deck of the moored ship. Tsuki’s parents rush down to greet their daughter and her friends leading to a happy reunion. The party come onto the boat, greeting Jamal the young half-elf, Tolun the minotaur, and Grolingar the ogre. They also see Bianca, an old crewmate who introduces the party to Lily-Tydes The Goldfiend, the captain.
She greets them in a friendly fashion and seems happy to see The Spectre.
Alcohol and recreational drugs are soon produced leading to a night-long party, full of dancing and singing. Rey begins to perform an entirely original piece called “Tsuki’s Mum”, her best yet, which draws the attention of the b-team. Ghesh invites them up to the ship, although Slade and Drusilia don’t take him up on his offer.
Lily-Tydes comes up with an agreement whereby everyone who survives the quest will get an equal share (except for her two shares, of course) and the party set off the next day. The first day is a calm, peaceful day of sailing during which Ghesh cures Tsuki’s Lycanthropy, much to the parties’ relief.
The second day sees a rival of Lily-Tydes accost them, a man named Death’s Head. They board Ajaakor’s Hangman but are either thrown off the ship by Tolun, killed by a crewmember, or flee back to their own ship. The Spectre flies over to the enemy ship, engaging a sick, almost undead looking Mindflayer in combat while Death’s Head yells curses at him.


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