The 13 Masters of Evil

The Eighth Session
The Tower of Eyes

The party visits the Red Onyx’s treasure, the Tower of Eyes.

The party warns the monastery of a coming army, and the arrival of a new dark one – the Wolfen.

The party’s offer of assistance is rebuffed, and they off alone.

The party encounters a group of abandoned goblin women and children, and decide to leave them alone.

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The Nineth Session
The Party Fights a Dragon, Waits out the Day of the Shadow, and Enters GateQuest

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The Fall From Grace

*This is the DM’s account of the events from the ninth session.

This place of Gatequest, sure it had some history but really how much of that could be true. Gods, prayers, and the like, who would really think such a thing in a place such as this. It’s a small quaint place far away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger town and located in the middle of the forest, so why would the gods decide on a place like this to give their holy blessings too? How could the gods even think that this place would be more or less important then any other place? If the gods were going to indeed contact the mortals why not do it in Duntroon where the masses lay in wait for a sign. Why do it all the way out here in the middle of nowhere?

But all of those questions went away and its history changed in a matter of moments when the adventures heard that Gatequest had been destroyed; supposedly attacked by darkones none the less. Sure they heard those rumors but now a month has gone by and from what the adventures have seen they didn’t doubt those words anymore. Darkones attacking without cause, a dead demon coming to life in front of them, the hand of god reaching out of the blackness, an army of evil marching on civilization. Sure this was all a dream growing up but suddenly they are thrust into these very moments. These things that people make up, these ghost stories, to give children nightmares are suddenly very real.

So it was decided by the six brave adventures to travel to this place, to see for themselves what exactly might have happened. It seamed a better idea then spending time in the mountains with the day of the shadow approaching soon, and if they left now they could make it there with a day or two to spare.

The journey went by without much issue, just a red dragon wyrmling who challenged them before it fell to their power and hidden within its lair some items they could use to help protect themselves in case danger did come on the Bloodmoon – not a bad trade off they thought to themselves.

But their glee turned to dismay when they finally did finally arrive at the former town of Gatequest, for as far as the eye could see burned builds littered the grounds. Some of the remains were still smoldering, sending up thin black smoke that creased over the skyline. Whatever happened to this place the creatures make sure nothing would remain standing.

The great temples of Thorax, Eliathandriel, Shadas, and all of the others were burned to the ground; only part of them still had walls that were crumbling down upon itself. A once proud place of the gods left in shambles.

The banguard from Duntroon where securing the town and keeping an ever present watch over anyone coming or leaving the town. From their vantage point the adventures could see a walled outpost to the southwest and the flying banners of the griffon. On the other end of the town another small outpost was flying the banner of the dwarves and the symbol of the crossed axes.

Even though this happened over a month ago there were signs of civilization coming back to this place. People were milling around the town, some in tattered clothing and showing total dispair, while others were gathering what they needed to start the rebuilding process. They could see merchants and vendors trying to sell what little wares that had and they could hear the sounds of hammers ringing everywhere. One such shop has a blacksmith working on a set of armor, while his small son worked on fastening some ropes around wood trusses that held the roof over their heads.

The place had a lingering smell of death all about it, bodies that had yet to be gathered were bloated and filled with maggots, some were even the choice food of scavengers. If not for the freezing cold nights these bodies would have repelled even the hardest of people. There were holy men walking around almost in a daze as they looked at the carnage, some in utter tears as they see their life’s work totally destroyed. Some were praying to the gods for vengeance while others just prayed.

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The Tenth Session
The Party Splits, and an Old Friend Reappears

After exploring GateQuest and learning what they could of the situation, the party realized they needed to settle down for the night, as the morning would bring with it the Day of the Shadow. After considering finding a room in either the dwarven or human camps, they instead chose to spend the night guarding the still-active teleportation circle which Teleria had found in a boarded up building in the center of town.

After a quite night passed, the eerie light of a Day of the Shadow dawn showed that heavy clouds had gathered in the sky, looking as if a mighty storm was coming. Kriv, Kerial, Davan, Quellen, Teleria, Maethius, and Tosk warmed their breakfast over a small fire, and discussed how they should proceed during this dark day.

Unfortunately, Kriv, Kerial, and Davan had sad news for their companions. After viewing the sorry state that GateQuest found itself in, Kerial and Kriv felt that their deities were calling them to leave off the search for the Dark Son cult, and to instead aid in the rebuilding and reconsecration of GateQuest. Since GateQuest had been one of the most holy sites on Naramos, they felt it was their duty to help restore it to its former glory. As Davan had sworn to protect Kerial in her travels, he to preferred to stay behind. The three took their leave of their companions, and headed towards the temple of Thorax to be assigned where they could do the most good.

The remaining four adventurers decided they could not spend the day holed up, even though Teleria kept muttering about not wanting to be rained upon. The clouds above had darkened further, and now it seemed that they were swirling above the city of GateQuest. Maethius studied the teleportation circling that they had spent the night guarding, and after a few hours was able to determine a way to close it. With the city now safe from further incursions from this site, the party chose to examine the temple of Shadas, as their investigations of the previous day indicated there may be a clue there.

It was nearly 10:00 in the morning when the four adventurers arrived at the site where the temple of Shadas had once stood. As they surveyed the site, it became clear that no one remained alive inside the temple. It had been razed to the ground, and it seemed as though the Dark Ones who had stormed the city had concentrated their attack upon the temple. It appeared their search for clues had come to an end.

Suddenly, the ground began to shake violently. Large spires of rock began to grow from the ground, while in other places the ground fell away completely. The adventurers struggled to keep their balance as the ground around them heaved and spasmed. Beneath the center of what had been the temple, the earth sank down nearly ten feet, and in the middle of the sinkhole the mouth of a large chasm yawned. Then, as quickly as it had begun, the ground stilled.

As the party turned their eyes to investigate the new cavern that had opened nearly beneath their feet, a bright light from the north-eastern sky drew their attention. It appeared that a meteor had emerged from the center of the black, swirling clouds, and it was heading towards the city. As the four watched the meteor descend, the shape of the bright, white light seemed to coalesce into the form of a man.

As the object falling from the sky landed with a crash somewhere on the northeast side of the city, a dark and gravely female voice like rolling thunder seemed to boom from everywhere and nowhere, “This is what happens when you do not follow me!”

As a group, the four adventurers ran towards the crash site. Though they ran as swiftly as they could through the remains of the city, they were not the first to arrive. By the time they found the place where the object had landed, a small crowd of soldiers, priests and onlookers had already arrived. However, the fallen thing was clearly visible – a male half-elf of otherworldly beauty lay broken and bloody within crater. Great gashes rent his glowing skin into shreds, and it was obvious that whoever the man was, he no longer lived. Suddenly, a wail went up from the clerics of Shadas within the crowd – their connection to their god, and all the powers he granted to them, was suddenly gone. A shiver ran through the crowd, as it became chillingly clear that the man lying dead at their feet was none other than Shadas himself, somehow cut down and tossed from the heavens like trash.

As the holy men began to argue about what to do with the corpse of the god, the soldiers gathered formed a protective circle around them and the body. It was clear to the adventurers that they would be unable to learn more at the crashsite in a timely manner. The thought of the dark cavern that had opened under the temple of the now dead Shadas returned to them, and it seemed clear that was where their path lay.

Teleria, however, was reticent to enter the cavern so quickly. She counseled that they should instead take some time, even if only a few hours, to try to recruit some assistance. Maethius and Quellen, however, both expressed concern that time may be short, and pressed her to go to the cavern as quickly as possible. Tosk was about to weigh in on the matter when a familiar face caught his eye.

“Brother Ivan!” Tosk called out excitedly, waving to the blond dwarf that had come into view through the churning crowd. “It’s me, Brother Tosk! What are you doing so far from the monastery?”

“Brother Tosk! Good Greetings!” the heavily built dwarven monk replied. “Lo-Kag, my companion, and I had felt called to GateQuest by the rumors of a Dark One uprising. What a surprise to see you here!”

The dwarf and his Goliath companion moved up to join the adventurers. Tosk quickly made introductions, and the two monks compared their stories of recent events. As Tosk explained the need of the party for some additional strong arms to join them in investigating the cavern that had recently opened up in the southwestern part of the city, the sounds of screams and the clash of metal rose to the south.

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The Tenth Session, Continued
New Bonds are Formed, and a Puzzle is Solved

With the sounds of battle rising from the human camp on the southern side of GateQuest, the four adventurers felt that their window of opportunity to explore the cavern under the former Temple of Shadas was closing. Much to their relief, Ivan and Lo-Kag understood their concerns about the cavern and decided that they would join the group in exploring its dark depths. They realized they must move quickly, and began to run through the streets of GateQuest towards the temple in the southwest.

They saw glimpses of Dark Ones and strange, red skinned beasts fighting groups of men between the broken buildings of the city. As they moved further south, the sounds of battle became louder, and the fights they could see grew more frequent. Quellen climbed a pile of rubble to get a better look at their destination as the drew closer to the temple. He reported that hundreds of the red skinned beasts, along with Dark Ones, were pouring out of the very cavern they wished to enter.

Quellen jumped down from the rubble, and the group continued their approach. Turning a corner, they were surprised to see a group of three goblins walking with two of the red skinned creatures.

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The Eleventh Session

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The Twelfth Session
A Prophesy and a Dreamscape

16th Renewing Spring through 27th Renewing Spring

At the suggestion of the human army’s commander, Lord Doltre, the party travels to the human encampment at the Meeting Place. The journey is uneventful, and after three solid days travel they arrive at the army’s encampment at the edge of the lake of the Meeting Place. From the shore they can see the island in the center of the lake, and 6 stone cabins upon it. The island seems to glow with a strange purple light.

They rest that night in the camp, and the next morning, the 19th of Renewing Spring, they meet with the camp’s commander. They are instructed that they will meet with the Six that evening for their prophesy. In order to prepare for their task, the Six need access to a personal item from each member of the party. Quellan hands over a family ring, while Ivan produces his family’s seal. Maetheus gives the commander one of his crystals, and Davan chooses to provide his shield. Teleria seems reluctant, but eventually produces a delicate iron rose from the depths of her pack and places it in the commander’s hand. He assures the party that they will receive their items back.

As the sun begins to set, its dying light seeming to set the lake afire, the commander’s aide summons the party to the lakeside. The commander instructs them that they are about to meet the Six. He warns them that they must not speak a word while on the island. He then points them to a small boat helmed by one of his soldiers. The soldier rows the boat over to the island, waits for the party to disembark, and then signals that he will be back to get them after their time with the Six was over.

The party files into the circle of stone cabins, within which they see a ring of six stones. They had been instructed to sit in a circle within the the ring of stones, and so they quickly take their places. Each of the stones is surrounded by a whirling mist. As the party watches the mists around each stone seem to form faces, or other body parts which quickly melt back into the roiling vapor, only to form some other shape.

Not long after the party sits down, the five of the Six open the doors to their cabins and step out, each standing behind one of the stones. The Six, so names because there are six of them, appear to be beautiful young women with long blond tresses. As they step up to the stones, the mist is pushed away as if repelled by them. The party hears an odd sound, almost as if the mists were screaming, as they snap back into place over the stones. The women stand motionless behind the stones, as calm and composed as a ring of statues.

Finally, the last of the Six steps out of her cabin. She walked around the entirety if the circle, and as she passes each stone the odd noise grows louder, and the motion of the mists become agitated. She reaches the spot where she began, and stand behind the last stone. She then begins to chant, her sonorous voice rising about the screams of the misty spirits.

The lady, clearly the leader of the Six, chants first in a language which none of the party understands. After a while, she switches into Common, and the party understands that she is commanding the spirits to obey and answer truthfully her demand for information. She then intones:

I can sense that you have seen many things in the recent past that haunts your minds, it divides your souls, and it all leaves answers within your hearts. I can sense that your on the right path but your journey will not be an easy one. You come here seeking answers, but know that the answers you seek will only lead to more questions.

The man from your past and the one causing so many questions was once called Priest Holick and was part of the order of Eliathandriel, a wise and honorable man. He found knowledge that wasn’t meant for mortals and this drove him to the point where you now know him. He changed many things about himself including his name when he was ex-communicated from the church and kicked out of Gatequest for being a traitor to the races of men. His wife, his two sons would not even know him anymore from the man he would become.

He left Gatequest and went to seek guidance at the temple of the gods but his heart was unfilled so he left and traveled many days to the lands of spitfire where he found his answers and completed his transformation. He then left and completed his journey at the temple of Seven Storms. But to become the man he is today could not be done with the help of allies and for this he has gathered many. His power has grown farther than even we can determine outside of the world. For this he has given something to those who help him, something of great importance.

The things that have been set in motion are not done by accident and the man from your past will also be the man in your future, but know that he comes not alone.

Your journey will take you to the hills that are broken where you will find an old friend as well as an old enemy. You must go there because this is where you will find your path to travel. Once you follow your path know that the poison that breeds is also the poison that can take away. Your choice is always your choice, but know that the enemy will find you no matter where you go because the gods are watching you and while some try to protect you others will try to defeat you. You are important even more then you know because someday within your group one of you will possess the power to stop the next invasion from happening and defeat the evil that shall rule over the lands. While the rest of you will sacrifice yourselves to allow this to happen and in the end shall fail in your quest.

Soon your dreams will become a nightmare all too real.

War will be coming again after many years of peace, but as of yet the combatants are still to be determined.

She then falls silent, and the screaming of spirits trapped in the stones slowly fades to a whimper. The Six then walk slowly back into their cabins, leaving the party alone on the dark island to contemplate what they have heard.

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The Thirteenth Session
New Friends, Old Friends, and a Broken Hill

28th Renewing Spring through 19th Darkening Shadow

The party talks with Lady Arerein after the battle in the Dreamscape is finished, and then wake up. They sleep the rest of the night peacefully. At breakfast, they meet Valkournad (Wilden Shaman) and Napenthe (Eladrin Warden), who are also headed for Brokenhill.

The now-larger party departs for Brokenhill. After 3 days of uneventful travel, they find a cave and wait out the Day of the Shadow(4th Darkening Shadow). The next day, they discover a patch of Shadowscarred land. While investigating it, they come across a deformed, wolf-like aberration. They manage to kill the aberration, but Napenthe and Quellan are bitten during the fight.

The shadow-wolf’s bites cause Napenthe and Quellan to get infected with some sort of disease. The party continues to travel, with Valkournad caring for the sick. After a few days under his care, they recover with no ill effects.

The rest of the journey passes uneventfully, and the party arrives in Brokenhill in the evening of 20th Darkening Shadow. After getting an inn for the night, the party members go their separate ways the next morning. Teleria visits the telormar of Master Alvar Battlebeard to make her greetings and catch up on guild news. There she was told that the party’s former companion, Tosk, had left a message for her. He had been in town for about 3 weeks after trailing some members of the Dark Son cult, and had news for the party.

After dinner, the party went to the Brown Dragon Inn to meet with Tosk. He told them how he had followed a small group of cultists to Brokenhill, and after spying on them was able to infiltrate their group. He had gathered intelligence on the activities of the group in the Spitfire Lands and had even been able to turn a member of the cult, a human named Aragog, away from their evil ways.

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The Fourteenth Session
The Party Leaves Brokenhill Under Persuit, and Fights some Ogres

19th Darkening Shadow through 26th Darkening Shadow

Maetheus finds he is being pursued by someone from his past

The party hides, but is unable to evade the pursuer, and must flee the city in the middle of the night, 8 hours earlier than intended.

The party arrives at the first mountain range separating Brokenhill from the Spitfire lands, and enters a cavernous pass through the mountains.

The party hides like scared rabbits in a side passage of the passage to wait out the Day of the Shadow, and avoids something large and noisy that may have been after them.

The party arrives at a mechanical bridge over an underground chasm, and attempts to pass. The bridge is now controlled by three Ogres though, and they end up fighting their way through.

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The Fifteenth Session
Nightmares, an Assassin, and an Undead Fortress

27th Darkening Shadow through pre-dawn 1st Forever Sky

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