Big Damn Heroes

Episode 15: Part Two...Creepy Gnomes
Always watching, always judging...

So the Purple Jewel and her crew made it to Zelargo (sp?). It became very apparent right away that the city was filled with creepy creepy people. They were questioned once they entered the harbor, and every detail about them was recorded. Everyone seemed to watch everyone else, and all the gnomes had a large overly forced happy smile.

Eager to be gone from this town, the crew quickly concluded their sales business. While in town, Lemesh went to the Sovereign Host temples and checked to see if they needed help with anything. Apparently, the whole street was nothing but buildings to various religions. Even the Blood of Vol had a place of worship; a sanguinary. Illeith’atharia had no intention of being seen walking in to such a place, but Jin saw it and decided to go ask what they were all about. Illeith’atharia followed him to make sure he didn’t cheat any of the good people there.

As most of the people there were just meditating quietly over little bowls of their own blood, Jin was mostly dissatisfied and confused. When attendant explained that the ultimate goal was to become a god through tapping the power of the blood, Jin became very interested in the religion. In the end though, he was called back to the party at large by Lemesh. Illeith’atharia snuck her way into an appropriate part of the temple and left an offering of a small bag of gold; it was smeared with a little of her blood to mark it as a gift from a devout follower.

On the way back to the boat, Lemesh was given a message from the House Cannith enclave requesting his presence. The group finished their other business, barely stopped Jin from causing trouble, and made their way to the meeting. Once there, they met with a man named Gordon d’Cannith.

Gordon explained that he was worried about Merix d’Cannith (one of the three contenders for the head of House Cannith). Merix recently acquired the services of Teron d’Cannith, who has been widely suspected of practicing far too many unsavory things for anyone’s peace of mind.

It’s very well known that Merix is quite brilliant, but he also seems a bit too shady for some people’s taste. Rumor has it that he still has a creation forge running. With Teron d’Cannith added to his ranks, some of the other members of the house are quite worried. Teron d’Cannith specialized in creating flesh gollums, possibly to replace his dead daughter. He recently got a hold of Darvichio’s final notes and has been locked in a work shop in one of the highest towers in Sharn. These notes are the same that the crew of the Purple Jewel got for him. Notes they now realize have information about how to bind a soul into an object.

Gordon asked them to look into the matter for the rest of the house. He stated they should use their discretion to take care of the matter, and contact him afterward for payment. Contact should go through animal messenger or House Orien. Given their connection to Teron d’Cannith, as well as Trish’s, the party took the job.

They quickly went back to the boat and made their way toward Sharn…

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Episode 15: Part One...Zombies
Braaaains....

Throughout the rest of the night, the crew alternated between boarding up any holes in the room, killing any zombies that managed to leak in, and trying to figure out what the heck was going on. By some twist of fate, Lemesh and Illeith’atharia turned out to be extremely adept at understanding the intricacies of the arcane theory at play in the necklace. Jin and Shroeder (the actual experts) helped fill in the blanks.

In the mean time, zombies kept getting in. Oak and Shroeder took the brunt of the zombie attacks, and Ur-gyse spent most of his time boarding up the windows. Jin actually managed to fiddle with the necklace enough to attract zombies; after the second try it was taken away from him. Illeith’atharia proved to be particularly good at destroying zombies, frequently filling the hall with an eerie red radiant light.

In the downtime between waves, the group listed to the recordings on the necklace. The last three recordings on the device were made by a man named Fredrico d’Cannith. Fredrico had received the necklace from Darvichio (Trish’s biological grandfather) for testing. The first recording is fairly simple; just him figuring out how it works. The second recording was on the Day of Mourning. Fredrico was horrified at what was happening, and wondered why he was still alive. He speculated it might be the stone.

The third recording dammed Darvichio. He mentioned something about how the stone runs on souls, and how the mist had killed everyone. He said something about trying something out, then the recording ends.

After much study (and much zombie slaying), the group came to these conclusions. The necklace was an Eberron Dragonshard with a soul bound into it. The G.E.M.s that the crew wore were likely made the same way. Because there was a soul in the stone, Darvichio likely put heavy wards on it against Dolurrh to keep the soul in there. After discovering this is what happened, Fredrico some how managed to reprogram the stone to ward a larger area against Dolurrh. The cost was steep though; he powered this warding with his own soul. The stone didn’t quite take all of it. Half of his soul still remained in his body. In fact, the ward seemed to channel the Plane of Light at the cost of sucking Dolurrh into a very concentrated place; thus creating the wight that the crew fought. Once the wight was destroyed, the soul fled to Dolurrh and the warding was broken. Once the warding was broken, it seems to have opened some kind of gate way to Dolurrh.

As the crew was coming to grips with the fact they may or may not have permanently created a land of living dead in Eberron, the sun came up. With the rays of light, the zombies fell to the ground and the crew was free to make it back to the boat. Which they did, and with great haste.

Once on the boat, the group explained what happened to the captain. There was some hesitance to give the necklace to Trish because someone pushed their soul into it. With Edrick’s approval, they did end up giving the item to her.

During the boat ride over to Zelargo (sp?), Lemeshand Illeith’atharia had a little chat. Mostly they mutually assured each other that they both had the safety of Trish, Edrick, and the crew of the Purple Jewel as their priorities. Beyond that, Lemesh guessed a little at what Illeith’atharia’s beliefs were, and she assured him that she was not planning on becoming undead. Illeith’atharia made sure that he wasn’t going to start rallying the crew against her for religious reasons. They agreed to disagree on general beliefs.

In the mean time, Jin had ransacked Lemesh’s room and stole his three books and bed roll. He then discovered that one of the books was a list of ceremony variations. He sto—borrowed some of Illeith’atharia’s clothes and grabbed Oak and promptly began baptizing him. Eventually, Illeith’atharia and Lemesh went to investigate the commotion. Lemesh declared that the book in question was one he gave to Illeith’atharia. Amused, she went along with this. Then she realized that Jin was wearing her clothes…which is when she summoned a ghost to help her flank him. This misadventure ended with the Captain adding another rule to Jin’s book about stealing, borrowing, taking, or otherwise messing with other crew member’s stuff…

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Episode 14: We're On A Boat
Fight-elves mean it's time to repair the boat...again

Just a few days after the gold dragon attacked the boat, the Purple Jewel had almost passed Valenar… Before they could get out of range, the boat was quickly approached by an elf military boat, a cutter. As the crew prepared themselves, three boats of ((wood?))elves made their way to the Purple Jewel.

Two groups boarded the boat. Jin made a special effort to ‘fit in’ and turned into a drow that looked particularly war-like. The captain of the elven war band took in the scene. Her gaze moved from Captain Edrick and Trish and ended with Dak; the minotaur with a huge sword. The elf then drew her sword and declared that there was glory to be had!

Illeith’atharia opened the fight by pulling her fullblade out from under her cloak and knocking one of the elves off the boat. From there the crew and the elves broke out into a melee the likes of which might grace a ride at Disney World. Dirt was thrown, barrels were jumped, and the elven captain was thrown out of the boat two or three times, only to get a fullblade in the face every time she came up for air. Many of the elves went for Jin, apparently anticipating that he was actually a great warrior. They weren’t totally disappointed as Jin managed to get a few good stabs in; after being fairly well stabbed himself. Trish even got in on the action and used her rocket punch to good effect and ended up using it to bash the elves at range.

The fight was a close one, but in the end the crew of the Purple Jewel prevailed; though the elven ship did escape. The Purple Jewel herself didn’t fair so well. The elves had set the sails on fire before the fight was through. This meant the ship wouldn’t make it across the Kracken Bay.

After evaluating their options, the crew decided to skip stopping anywhere in Valenar. They found out from the elven captain (who they took prisoner) that their burnt sails would mark them as worthy fighters. This would only mean they would be challenged again as soon as they were seen.

Their other options were trying to make it around the coast to one of the evil gnome ports in Darguun, or stopping in the Mournlands to scavange supplies. Sadly, the Mournlands turned out to be the ‘safest’ option. The Purple Jewel limped it’s way back to the port it once called home, and sailed into the mist.

After the initial heavy fog, it started to lessen a bit. Thereva appeared on deck and seemed quite intrigued by the whole thing. Everything seemed perfectly preserved, but nothing was living. Some of the crew noticed strange black blotches on items, and bodies still floated in the water. There was no breeze, but everyone was kind of chilled. Illeith’atharia, Jin, Oak, Shroeder, and Ur-gyse left the ship to look for sails. As the group was leaving, they realized that those of the crew who had the G.E.M.S. weren’t effected by the mist as badly as those with out…

While they were out, Ur-gyse brought up an amazing point. If the crew ever wanted him to be able to pilot one of the flying elemental ships, he would need a ritual book from House Lyrander ((sp?)). And in a moment of unprecedented thoughtfulness, Jin suggested we attempted to get a ritual book from House Cannith for Lemesh Taper as well.

Between Oak, Ur-gyse, and Illeith’atharia, the group managed to navigate what was left of the city with no incidents. They reached House Lyrander and obtained sails and a ritual book. After that they decided to go to House Cannith. Once they got there, they realized two things. First, it was almost night time. Second, the House Cannith enclave had no mist in it; probably due to some kind of ritual protections. The whole group seemed to feel it was familiar, but they couldn’t place why.

They searched around and found the center of the protections. It was in the upper floor of an auction type area. As they approached the door, they noticed a strange light coming from under the door. As they entered, they saw the light came from an egg sized dragon shard on a necklace around a corpse’s neck. The corpse, and three others, then sprang to life and attacked the group. It didn’t take long to dispatch the undead, though Jin was somewhat surprised to discover that Illeith’atharia could actually abjure undead. It seems he never realized that she was devout in any way.

After destroying the deathlock and his three zombie minions, the group quickly pillaged the room. They found a ritual book for Lemesh and also took the glowing necklace off the deathlock body. It was marked with the rune of Record. When Shroeder picked it up, it reacted with her stone, though her stone didn’t know why. They turned out to be of similar construction, though the new one didn’t seem to be intelligent. There were three pieces of information recorded on it; one from before the day or mourning, one on the day or mourning, and one three days later.

Not wanting to waste any more time, the group quickly went downstairs and attempted to leave. As they opened the door though, a hoard of zombies tried to get it. It seems the protections were gone, the mist had gotten in, and zombies were attacking.

Oak held the door while Jin and Shroeder tried to get the warding on the necklace back up. Illeith’atharia and Ur-gyse quickly blocked the windows to keep more zombies from getting in. Having beaten off the first wave of the undead, the group was safe for a short time…

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Episode 13: Moving Along
Paranoia increases with every random attack...

Before the group decides to set sail, Lemesh lets everyone in on a separate plan of his. He suggests going to House Cannith and taking a quick look through their records room to find out more about their shady contact in the house, as well as Trish. Great concern was expressed over whether or not this was the wisest course of action. It turns out that he has the Mark of Making on his hand, and that he is also a member in good standing in House Cannith. Having said that, the plan was to simply walk into the local Enclave and request a look through of the records.

After some initial suspicion about Lemesh, the party decided the possibly benefits out weighted the risks. So they went off to do it. It went disturbingly smoothly.

They found out that Teron d’Cannith was researching things like Flesh Gollums; which was likely why he was transferred to the dwarven kingdoms. His entry was updated very recently though. It seems he was moved to Sharn and is now working under Merix D’Cannith. Merix is known as one of the contenders for the leadership of House Cannith. The crew inferred that his rise in status was due to the research in the lock box they got for him.

They also looked into the uncle that once had the lock box, a gentleman named Dar Vichio (sp?). It seems his research involved bindings, intelligent magical items, and dimensional magic. He died at the age of 72.

His son was a man named Vittorio. Vittorio was not dragon marked. It seems he was only mentioned because he had a daughter who was dragonmarked: Trish. Trish’s file was short. It gave her birth date and listed her Deceased as of the Day of Mourning. Jin was particularly pleased to discover her birthday; and quickly began planning a party. It’s on the 21st of Eyre.

With all this information gathered, the group left the enclave with out incident and started heading back toward the ship. On their way back, they were attacked by a group of street thugs. The thugs were quickly dispatched, but the crew was forced to flee rather quickly lest they face the wrath of the city guard. Once they returned to the boat, they discovered that Captain Edrick had readied the ship for departure. It seems he expected them to require a quick leave taking.

The group relayed their new found information to the captain and whiled away the hours of their voyage doing what they normally do; aggravating each other. Part way through their voyage, Oak noticed something large headed their way via the sky. It turned out to be a large gold dragon. The crew readied themselves, but waited to see what the dragon would do.

The dragon landed on their ship, and three tieflings dismounted. After sneering at the crew for some time, the dragon spoke to his fellows in Draconic and simply stated, “Kill them all.” An epic battle ensued which ended in the tiefling’s deaths and the dragon flying away as quickly as his bloody body could carry him.

The crew spent several more minutes trying to figure out why a dragon had attacked them.

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Episode 12: Temple of Doom
Prophecy in a Sunken Temple

With Fence, Thereva, and a whole bunch of rotten fruit in tow, the crew of the Purple Jewel made their way to Newthrone ((that was the name of swamp town, right?)).

The trip went uneventfully, other than the typical ship shenanigans. Upon arriving at their next port, the crew promptly went out and sold what they could then purchased more of what they needed. While everyone was out and about, Shroeder decided to take a look at the library to find out more information on this Death, aka Queen of Death, that Thereva was talking about.

They didn’t see any mention of a Queen of Death, though they did find some information on a Mark of Death. Apparently this mark was found on an elven House that existed around 3,500 years ago; the house name was Vol. The dragons and the elves feared a prophecy that stated a child of both elven and draconic heritage who bore the Mark of Death would end the world. So when such a child was born, the elves and the dragons joined forces to wipe the whole family out. The records state that this was successful.

Seeing as Illeith’atharia is a clandestine member of the Blood of Vol, hearing the house name perked her interested. She continued to research and the whole group found a few more details on the demise of the house. The half dragon half elf child was named Irandus Vol (sp?). And was reported killed, as was her dragon father. There are rumors that some followers of the house still exist; this is a fact that Illeith’atharia didn’t verify.

With all the information possible discovered, the group spent much of the rest of the day shopping. Oak bought materials for a head light, Ur-gyse bought booze, and Illeith’atharia and Jin went clothes shopping. While they were out, Illeith’atharia was approached by a strange man. Who posed a business proposition for them. He noticed what the group was looking in to at the library, and said he knew of an old draconic temple that might have more information on the subject. He said he would give them the location if they would give him a copy of their notes on the place. After some discussion, the crew agreed to check it out; though most of them thought the guy was pretty shady and didn’t deserve a copy of notes.

While on the way to the old temple, the group was attacked by swamp tigers. Everyone was very nearly mauled to death. After a while of searching they found the temple hidden under an illusion. The door said something in draconic about the place being a place of Storms. When Shroedertouched the wall, it opened. Inside they found a large empty round room with draconic writing all over the walls. As they stepped in to investigate, a large dragon monster ((donno the name)) came out of the floor in the middle of the room. After saying something about “testing worth” it attacked the crew. It was a fierce battle, but the crew prevailed. With it’s dying breath, the monster gasped out, “You are worthy.”

After this, Shroeder translated the walls for the group. There were three blocks of text. Shroeder and Illeith’atharia took notes.

The first one said, “If the spawn of Vol and dragons reaches maturity, her Mark will flare and death shall reign across Eberron. Perfection of the Mark will bring Death to the world.” Everyone agreed that this must mean Irandus Vol.

The second wall said, “Armies of Elves and Dragons united reign Death on the House of Death; none shall survive. But from the darkness shall come a mote of Light, and from this mote shall come the Doom of the world.”

The third wall said, “The Light shall shine in the land of Life and it shall bring Death. The Light shall shine in the land of Men and it shall bring Death. And from the Light shall come a child born of Life and Death. The Blood of Life and Death will rend the barriers and Death shall reign across Eberron.”

This caused much disturbed conversation among the group. In the end, they decided that the guy who sent them on this mission was either someone who wanted to murder the world, or someone who wanted to murder a child to stop the murder of the world. Either way, he was too shady for them to deal with. Illeith’atharia continued to state that she felt the guy was perfectly normal, though no one believed her.

Either way, the group went into the hole that the dragon monster came out of, and found a set of stairs. These led to a hall way that also had writing on the walls. These walls said, “The Child of Storm shall come forth and in the Darkness of the world shall find the Light. And it shall bring light to dark places, surpass the limitations of it’s form, and sever that which has been sundered.”

At the end of the hallway, there was a door. On the door was written, “Within shall be found a gift for the Child of Storms.” When Shroeder touched the word for ‘storm’ the door opened, reveling a pedestal with a dragon tooth dagger on it. Shroeder made Ur-gyse go pick it up. Once he did, and nothing bad happened, Shroeder claimed the dagger. Jin left a note in it’s place saying, “Child of Storms, if seeking Gift, please see Lyle Garvan” Finding nothing else, the group left the temple.

There was a much heated debate about how much information to give the shady guy once they got back. Illeith’atharia was in favor of telling him what they found; after all, it’s just some prophecy, the group did make a deal with him, and he seemed like a perfectly normal guy. Jin wanted them to say nothing, and just be about their way; after all, he was shady, and Jin knows that shady people are just out to screw you. Shroeder was ok with giving him part of the information. After much discussion, a compromise was reached, and the party delivered the individual half of the information. Nothing about a new prophecy, only what they thought was the old one.

However, while Ur-gyse was unwittingly distracting everyone by transforming into the dragon monster, Illeith’atharia slipped the guy a full copy of the prophecy; omitting only the information about the gift. Both Illeith’atharia and the strange man were quite stealthy, so the rest of the group was none the wiser. ((Seriously, this is not as bad as bringing a Lich onto the boat!!)) ((We voted on the Lich and agreed to bring her on, and she’s a paying customer, unlike your sketchy uncle friend!)) ((Who also only wanted some random information about centuries old writing, who even warned us there might be guardians, and who only wanted what we agreed to give him in the first place!)) After exchanging pleasantries, the man left and the group went back to the boat…

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Episode 11: Visiting Old Friends
The Were-House is out to eat us...

After the crew returned to the ship with glorious amounts of loot (as well as a demi-god lich), there was a great deal of discussion about what to do next. Eventually it was decided that the crew could sell many of the loot items for a good price over in Sharn (sp?).

In order to get the supplies for such a dangerous trip, the boat stopped at Regalport once again. Edgeport was voted down with a wide margin, much to Jin’s confusion.

Upon arriving in Regalport, the crew quickly went out into the city to buy supplies. For once, they decided to stick together, although none of them were aware that Illeith’atharia was following in secret. While they were picking up various items for the trip, Illeith’atharia noticed they were being watched by a changeling. She suspected that it might be the changeling they ran into the last time there were at this port. As she moved closer to share this with Lemesh, he spoke directly into her mind; disturbing her greatly in the process.

Apparently Lemesh had acquired the ability to link the minds of the group, and use this to help them communicate silently about their follower. Just as the group had finished up their purchases, and had decided to jump the follower in an alley, he left them a note. Much discussion was made about it being a trap before Oak merely walked up and read it.

It asked what the group had gotten him into and requested a meeting at an abandoned warehouse. After dropping off the goods back at the ship and telling the captain that they were headed into an enormous trap, they got too walking into it.

Turns out the changeling ( Fence ) was the one they ran into, and he was being stalked by his previous employers; a shady guy in House Cannith. At which point the surprising yet inevitable ambush happened. A fairly heated battle commenced wherein Fence hid like the changeling he is. Oak was happily surrounded by enemies and slowly continued to develop an inferiority complex from Jin’s continued abuse. Jin was happily swearing at everyone, and Ur-gyse was attempting to see what the ambushers tasted like. Lemesh and Shroeder did what they do best; healing allies and blowing people up, respectively. Illeith’atharia summoned a ghost to eat the souls of her enemies for her, healing her in the process.

After this, Fence bartered for a trip out of town. When they got back to the boat, Illeith’atharia went to debrief Edrick and in the process ran into the Lich for the first time.

The Lich seemed to be looking out over the water, and stated that Death had flickered into this world. No one seemed to be able to quite figure this out; though it appeared that the Captain and Illeith’atharia were still quite disturbed that there was a Lich on the boat. This was also the time that Illeith’atharia mentioned to Edrick that she could summon a ghost to aid them if needs be; at which point the captain was sad about the lich and a ghost on his boat…

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Episode 10: Looking at the Boat
Fixing the Boat...still...

Stole—BORROWED by Jin, from the personal journal of Ur-gyse

Day 2578:

Boat still broke. Got drunk. Was fun. Miss those pirate adventurererers. They had good grog.

Went out to look for trouble, so trouble wouldn’t find us. Killed some gnolls. Nolls? Nowls? Taste dusty.

Nowls had map to find Emerald Claw guys. Went to go kill them. Maybe they have some grog.

Found them already dead. Found an undead thing. Slept a little in the corner. Got woken up when we went back to boat.

Captain looks sad. Keeps saying, “there’s a lick on the boat.” Confused. I don’t see any ice cream.

( strange scrawl that may or may not be a signature )

As read in Jin’s journal:

Today was a marvelous day!

Sure, it started poorly as we ran into some mangy dogmen. Gnolls, I think they were called? Whatever they were, they were hungry and unpleasant, and once again, I was victim to the universe’s cruel whimsy as they assaulted me. Well, not me personally. I mean, Oak took most of the beatings. But at least he doesn’t have to smell them – it was truly awful, a stench like the waste chamber after Dok’s done with it.

After I defeated the gnolls (with the help of the others, of course), I found a journal which pointed us to the tomb of another of the dead Captains who traveled with the late Captain Lazharr. Eager to find out if all of her Captains were bards, I pointed out to the crew that if we went, there was a good chance we could find treasure. They were not entirely impressed, until I further pointed out there was a deadline – the Emerald Claw had nearly beaten us to the first of these tombs that we’d heard of, and as we spoke they might have been homing in on the second. That got those lazy guys to move their legs.

Inside the tomb were, of course, undead, because the number of tombs not filled with the ravenous dead in Khorvarre must be near or equal to zero. This was to our advantage, for once, as the murderous undead had managed to keep the pesky Emerald Claw from making off with my – our – treasure. With ease I polished off the undead (again, with the help of the crew), and we went into the next room, where we encountered the most pleasant lich I have ever met. Well, the only lich I’ve ever met, but that’s a minor detail. It turns out that she found a song to sing which made her immortal, and now she’s been sitting in her tomb hoping for adventurers to stop by so she could trade questions with them. We exchanged information, which was quite pleasant, and then I convinced her that if she wanted to know about the world, she had best come with us so she could experience it herself. She agreed, and offered all of her material goods in her tomb as payment – quite nice! M’lady gave me an amulet to which her awareness was tied, and then she crumbled into dust – apparently she can have a body whenever she would like, but she feels no requirement to maintain one.

Truly, once again, the day had been saved by Jin.

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Episode 9: On A Boat...
Fixing the boat...again

((It’s been a while…this is what I remember?))

With the disenchantment dust acquired, the crew quickly takes the scry ritual off of the boat and gets the hell out of the Dwarven cities. Several days into the voyage, the crew were attacked by fish people ((sp for name?)).

The crew never questioned if they could kill the attackers, though there was a few moments of doubt about if they could do it before the ship sank. After an irritating battle with the followers of The Devourer, not to mention a ridiculous chain of crew hanging off the boat, the invaders were repelled.

The ship quickly was quickly beached on the somewhat nearby shore and the full extent of the damage was discovered. It turns out that the disenchantment dust not only removed the scry spell, but it also removed the enchantments holding the ship together. The crew was quickly dispatched to find materials in the forest to repair the rotting hole in the ship.

The woods there were exceptionally quiet, but eventually the crew encountered a strange circular grove. Illeith’atharia recognized the place as somewhere close to the Fae lands that she hailed from, and Jin supplied a historical explanation that no one was quite sure if they should believe or not.

Eerie whispering in Elven was then heard from the trees as a small group of Red Caps attacked the crew. After a short heated battle filled with Oak being kicked many many times in his otherwise nonexistent genitalia, the crew prevailed. Unsurprisingly, the bodies were quickly looted.

Something like a map scrawled in Elven was found on one of the bodies. After much deciphering, the crew figured out it pointed toward a large heavy rock near the ring of trees. Eventually the rock was moved and the crew was covered in mud. But the crew’s perseverance was rewarded with tiny clothes and other items that were packed under the rock.

With the various loot items distributed and some lumber gathered, the crew headed back to the boat…

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Episode 8: Just Desserts
Visiting a dwarven bank

After coming out the of the basement of the Dwarven fortress, the crew was sent on their way back to port to collect their earnings. Once they were back in town, they met up with Captain Edrickand Trisha at a fairly nice inn.

Edrick had a letter for them. After some initial concern over the possible contents of said letter, it was opened up with no incident. It seems the old paladin they saved from the monastery, Kal’laad, wanted to offer them a reward for their services. The monastery had a bank vault at the Dwarven capital city, and Kal’laad requested that the crew meet him there so that he could give them their choice of the treasure in the vault. The crew quickly agreed that this was a fabulous plan.

Shortly after that, Trish insisted they all come to her room in the inn to show them her latest project. She was tinkering with the extra dragon shards they had, and found a way to ‘fix’ them. With her modifications, the stones would soak up ambient magical energy; this would slowly increase the power of the enchantment modifications that the stone could bestow. While Trish was explaining what she had done, she tripped and dropped an extra dragon shard…which Lemesh Taper caught. Thus the cleric was bonded with the Orange colored stone. What followed was brief explanation to Lemesh about the stones and how the crew got them. This also explained why Trish has a metal arm and the crew as a whole avoids House Cannith. Around this time Lemesh agreed to stay on with the crew for a while. While the group talked things over (and Illeith’atharia and Lemesh got in a religious debate), Trish quickly tinkered with everyone’s stone to upgrade it.

Sometime in the night, Ur-gyse snuck off to meet up with an orc druid. They exchanged information about the siege at the mountains. The orc explained to Ur-Gyse that the siege wasn’t planned. It was carried out by an offshoot of her tribe; one that randomly and erratically split away from the main hordes. As a ‘thank you’ for stopping the crazy ones, the orc woman gave Ur-gyse a set of clawed gloves.

Shortly after Ur-gyse returned from his nocturnal activities, everyone in the upper floor of the inn was awoken by Jin running up and down the hall screaming. He was being chased by a parrot. The crew convinced Jin to stop screaming and running, at which point Jin convinced the parrot to be his partner in crime; together, they would take over the pirate kingdoms… With the screaming stopped, the rest of the crew retired for the night a second time; their eyes now strained by severe rolling. Sometime in the morning it was discovered that Shroeder had acquired a little dragon pet too.

The crew hired a carriage to take them to the capital, and on the way over they discussed the possibility of finding someone to get the scry ritual taken off their boat. Lemesh relayed that he knew someone in House Cannith who wasn’t very popular and might be willing to do some work on the down low. Upon arriving at the capital, the crew checked in with Kal’laad, and then with this contact.

The contact was willing to give some disenchantment dust to us in exchange for a little larceny. After much debate among the crew, and much planning, they agreed. While they were getting their reward from Kal’laad, the crew would rob the vault they were in. The contact tossed in a bag of holding to sweeten the deal (and to help get the safety deposit box he wanted out of the bank).

Even after much planning, the crew managed to pull off the heist, though not without considerable stress and made up distractions. In the mean time, Kal’laad gave a number of nice items to the crew. Oak received a necklace to help him stay up in fights. Dak-o-do Dak-o-da got a falchion with some kind of thundering power; which he tried out right there in an effort to distract the guards from Jin. Lemesh picked up a bunch of generic Sovereign Host gear, and Illeith’atharia was gifted with a ridiculously large sword, built to aid Avenger magic.

Hasty to get out of town, the group left with thanks and turned in the lock box they stole to their contact. After that they quickly left town in another rented carriage. On the second day out, they were attacked by a group of barbarians; the same barbarians that had cast the scry ritual on the boat.

They were quickly killed or subdued. The ones who were left alive turned out to be hollowed out husks of flesh, with their intellect possessed by ‘cousins’ of Lemesh. After they expressed their undying enmity and chuckled over the vast resources at their disposal, they were quickly killed. At this point Lemesh was welcomed as a true member of the crew, and everyone made great haste to flee the current port as quickly as possible…

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Episode Seven: Under the Mountain
The race to stop the orcs

After a short rest, and some concerted effort by those familiar with First Aid, the crew was able to revive the lone surviving dwarf. He said his name was Kal’laad (sp?), and that he was a retired paladin of the Sovereign Host. He explained that the fire and rubble in the basement of the Monastery was part of a fail safe device put in place in case of invasion. It made sure that the orcs couldn’t go through the mountains via secret passageways under ground.

He also mentioned there was a second access point, right under the mountain fortress. This was one of the other dangerous jobs that was mentioned in the Town Hall meeting, back at port. After Kal’laad filled them in on what they should expect there, the crew got the dwarf started on his trip down the mountain and then hurried to the second fail safe. Before they split ways, he gave the group his holy symbol, so that they would be recognized. Jin saw loot being handed out and immediately grabbed it. It was promptly taken from him.

Out side the entrance, they noticed camp marks. Due to the excessive amount of empty ale bottles, it appeared that it belonged to a group of pirate-like adventurers that had accepted the other volunteer mission. These were also one of the groups that took passage on thePurple Jewel (episode 5). As they were looking over the camp, they came across the loan cleric that had booked passage with them earlier ((I still don’t remember greg’s cleric’s name)). No one had heard from the barbarian group, so he had been sent as reinforcements. As he was also a follower of the Sovereign Host, Illeith’atharia gave the old paladin’s holy symbol to him.

After some travel through the steam tunnels, the crew ran into a group of crazed looking orcs. The orcs seemed to be arguing about going into a room. The crazed look in their eye became understandable once half of the orcs started throwing incendiary bombs at the crew. During the inevitable battle, one of the dieing orcs used his last breath to dominate Dak-o-do Dak-o-da. The controlled minotaur quickly walked into the next room…which set off an elaborate dwarven trap. Large weapons dropped from the ceiling and walls and constructs awoke from the back of the hall. Dak was quickly peppered with arrows, taking heavy damage. After the last of the orcs were defeated, the crew made a hasty retreat. With the help of notes from Kal’laad, the group was able to wait for the trap to reset and continue.

The next set of rooms proved to be filled with both orcs and fire beetles. The grisly remains of the pirate-adventurers were also present. These things aside, the crew’s attention was quickly taken up by a large troll. Oak immediately moved forward to occupy the troll while the rest of the group dealt with the orcs and fire beetles. Many of these died fairly quickly, but complications arose when the dieing orcs dominated Dak-o-do Dak-o-da to move into the fire beetles and attack the crew. Things got even more complicated when the troll picked up Oak and used him to bash other crew members. Even with these troubles, the group prevailed.

While others were dealing with the pipes and setting up that stage of the fail safe, Jin and Shroeder got in a brief fight about who got the dead pirate’s eye patch. Jin was very enamored with the idea, but Shroeder got to the body first. Eventually, Jin gave up the fight while Shroeder happily contemplated which eye to wear it on.

As the crew moved into the next room, they realized how quickly time was pressing on them. They were confronted with a large room that had a staircase and walk way circling up the side of it. 90 feet up and all the way around the room, there was a control panel. Orcs began to pile out of tunnels on the side as the group rushed upwards. A quarter of the way up, they noticed a very large orc with a double handed axe come out just ahead of them. While the crew was bogged down with multitudes of orc drudges, this fellow ran straight for the control panel.

The crew put on a burst of speed. Oak and Dak-o-do Dak-o-da began pushing orcs of the ledges while Shroeder and Ur-gyse tried to kill as many as possible. Jin and ((greg’s cleric)) furiously attempted to keep the group healed, and Illeith’atharia simple ran forward; evading orcs when she could, or simply just being hit as she run by.

As she got in range, she Oathed the orc running for the control panel. Realizing that he had been challenged, the orc turned around to make quick work of the meddling avenger. Far ahead of her fellow crew and surrounded by orcs, Illeith’atharia stabbed her Oath target and teleported him off the side of the 80 foot ledge. As he was falling to his doom, she dropped a smoke flare, went invisible, and ran for the control panel. Shortly after that, the crew caught up to the top. Though the double axe wielding monster was grievously wounded and most of the crew was at the top of the stairs, the trouble was far from over. More orcs piled out of the steam tunnels. Illeith’atharia manipulated the control panel in an attempt to fill the base of the room with boiling water, but Ur-gyse had fallen over the edge and was dieing on the floor. ((greg’s cleric)) was able to heal him in time for him to run to a rope Jin had thrown off the side.

In the mean time, Dak-o-do Dak-o-da was destroying massive amounts of orcs in shouts and stomps of rage, and Oak was keeping a whole group of them from attacking Jin and Illeith’atharia. The rest desperately tried to keep the crew from flinging themselves off the side as they were dominated by dieing orcs. Just as Ur-gyse was climbing the rope to safety, Illeith’atharia started the fail safe and the room was quickly flooded with boiling water. The whole crew watched in satisfaction as the last of the orcs were scalded to death, then they quickly headed up a ladder to the fortress above. They emerged in a storage cellar…

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