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The 13 Masters of Evil

The Nineteenth Session
The King of the Towering Wind and a Frozen Lake

Afternoon of 8st Forever Sky through just after midnight on 11th Forever Sky

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The Eighteenth Session
A Stone Tower and an Icy Fight

Afternoon of 5st Forever Sky through afternoon of 8th Forever Sky

After staring a while at the large stone edifice in front of them, the party decided to enter Farstone and see what manner of place it was. The put their horses in the nearby paddock, and opened the thick wooden door.

Inside, they found a large single room, with the base of the stone tower above running through the center. The room smelled of wood smoke, roasting venison, and the stench of unwashed bodies. Older, ragged looking human and dwarven men stood or sat in groups of two or three quietly conversing.

DM’s Post of this event:

As you open the grand doors to this huge building you see one large open chamber, approximately in the middle of this room you see a large square stone structure that obscures all vision beyond it. This obstruction towers right up into the ceiling and beyond and is without a doubt the base to the tower for which this place is named. The base of this tower is made from the same aged stone that you have seen from the outside and only a single wooden door with a thick silver chain shows any kind of entrance into this tower.

As you gaze around you see one large open chamber without walls anywhere, the room is well light by two large firepits along each wall, and an even larger cooking fire on the far side of the room which has a large deer-like carcass cooking over it. The room smells both tempting and uninviting at the same time as you senses pick up the warmth of freshly cooked meat but also the stench of sweaty bodies. In the center of the open space lay several large tables made of oak, placed together in such a manner to allow a large group to gather to eat. Along all of the walls you see the unmistakable remnants of peoples belongings scattered is such a way as to notify others that this space is taken. Hanging for hooks and large nails you see backpacks, ropes, and climbing utensils of all kinds, winter coats, and boots are hung in such a way as to allow the snow to melt off of them and puddle on the floor below.

The loud conversations that you heard upon opening this door were coming from the thirty or so patrons of this place, mostly scattered around the large room in pairs of two or three sitting together at the large tables or scattered around the outside walls rummaging through their belongings. As the cold air streams into the place they all turn to look at who would allow such a thing to happen and infact someone from the far side of the chamber yells out something about shutting the door before they shut it on your head, which gets a laugh from a few of the others.

As you close the door the conversations suddenly become more of a hushed murmur then the insides of a hundred other bars that you have entered. You study the folks and notice most to be a raggedy bunch of older men, most all of them haven’t shaved in a few weeks and many that haven’t bathed in that time either. Besides the normal humans and dwarves there are a pair of dragonborn sitting up against the left side wall and a female goliath who rises out of her bedroll after hearing some of the comments made by one of the older humans sitting at the table with his buddies. The comments wasn’t loud enough for you to hear it over the crackling fires but the others did and are starting to gather towards the tables in front of you carrying items in their hands.

After just a short minute about half of those present in this building are sitting around the wooden tables, eyeing you and watching your moves.

Suddenly, one of the older men speaks up.
“We don’t want your kind around here. Why don’t you take your leave from where you just came”, he says as he points to the door you just entered with his aging finger.
The man sitting behind him then speaks up as well, “It aint pretty around here for the likes of you, we ain’t taking that, so you can’t just be here.”
The older man that first spoke then gets up out of his seat and straights his dark brown winter overshirt with a big hole in the left shoulder, “Quib, I’ll be showing these strangers the door now, if they make any move to stop me then you blast them with your magic wand thingy that will turn them all to frogs”.
As the old man steps forward his momentum is suddenly halted by a hand on his shoulder from behind him. Stepping out from behind the older gentleman a tall, fair skinned, male Eladrin appears.
He speaks in a soft, hushed tone while facing the older gentleman, “Jaric, Quib, I really doubt these ladies…” he takes time to pause and then continues, “and gentlemen are here to out dig you for your yet to be discovered diamonds.
“Yeah, but they…” the old man starts to reply but is cut off by the Eladrin.
“No Jaric, we can’t help what happened before but this is a place for anyone and everyone, for free will and for peace. For those that would endure to make a better life for themselves,” he pauses as he looks at each of you. “No, Jaric, I seriously doubt that these people are here to do anything with diamonds. You secrete spot will stay secrete.”
“Now go back to your own business and I’ll talk with them, if they have a good reason to be here then they can stay, if not then I’ll throw them out myself. That goes for all of you. Get back to your own business.”
The old man grumbles something at you all as he reluctantly walks away while shaking his finger at you.
This Eladrin isn’t much like the other, almost out of place in these surroundings. He shows no sign of a beard and his dark blue clothing are well kept. Through his overshirt you see the faint signs of bulges from leather straps probably holding up some kind of armor. A silver earring plunges deep into his left ear and a small silver inlay is weaved along the lining of his shirt collar which rises high up his neck line. Around his neck is a silver interlace necklace that glistens in the firelight holding the unmistakable holy symbol of Tarasha, a lightning bolt going through a mountain. A strong leather belt with a few small pouches line his thin waistline, while a set of baggy blue pants cover up a set of leathery boots made for the skin of some kind of water animal.

He introduces himself as, Sarvo Calthem and waves his hand towards the now vacated tables before you.

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A Cold Journey
The Party Travels from Tempest Mi to Farstone

*This is the DM’s account of the events taking place between the seventeenth and eighteenth sessions.

Afternoon of 1st Forever Sky through afternoon of 5th Forever Sky

As the light, fluffy, flakes of snow slowing start falling, the party decides to leave Tempest Mi. It’s late in the morning by the time you pay the stablemaster for the horses and saddle up. From the looks you receive from the local folk it’s probably not a minute to soon. The glancing looks over their shoulders, the quite whispers, the staring at you from across the street, it’s all starting to unnerve you. Not that you have done anything wrong but just the fact that you being watched because some of you are — different. Sure you could confront them but it isn’t worth the time it would take to explain to the city guards what happened, and even then you’re not sure exactly what the outcome might be. Sure a day or two in jail normally might not matter but you would rather not lose those days because of peoples predigests. It’s just best to pay for the supplies you need and move on, hopefully to be forgotten and left alone.

The funniest thing about this situation is that you are trying to save their worthless lives and save their way of living for future generations but yet they look upon you as an outcast, a beggar, or something to be brushed into the city sewers. All of the blood, the sweat, the sacrifice that you have made so far in your journey, and to be looked upon by the locals as nothing more than a vagrant makes you question your place in this world. A world that has suddenly gone mad with the possibilities of war, a war between the races, a war between the gods, or even a war between men. If you could just yell those possibilities in the faces of the men that stand before you questioning your loyalties, then maybe they would treat you as you rightfully deserve.

But to sit down and explain things to people, to explain the horrors that you have seen, to explain the evil that you have faced, to explain the complex details of their pitiful lives coming to an end because you didn’t complete your mission – takes time. Time which you don’t have at the moment. What you do know is that you are at least a day or two behind your enemy, and more likely four or five days. Days you can’t spend talking to the citizens or sitting in jail because of something stupid. Time which you can’t take to get them to understand that the next time you arrive in their town you should be treated as a hero not as an outsider.

These are all things you think about as the solid wooden doors to the entrance to Tempest Mi close behind you with a thud. Ahead of you lies an ever growing expanse of ice and snow, the likes of which you have not seen before. The thin covering of clouds slightly hides the brightness of the sun as it starts its assent in the sky and allows the new days arrival of snow to fall all around you. This snowy blanket prevents you from seeing far off into the horizon, which might be a good thing in the long run since you know the length of the journey you have before you reach Farstone.

After traveling for several hours you quickly realize that this place could be a deathtrap for those not prepared or caught without the proper equipment. The wind quickens it pace across the flat tundra and burns into your exposed skin like a knife. Although it’s late spring the weather has yet to change for the better as far north as you are, and hardly a sight can be seen that anything has started its yearly plum. Whatever road or path might be present is covered by layers of ice from the long winter and you’re sure that you have veered from that many miles ago.

As night falls you camp in a bundle of trees, not only to get out of the whipping wind but for your needs to supply a fire with kindle. As usual you spend the time to magically hide the light of the fire, as exposed as you are in these plains it could be seen for miles. Nightly watches are secured and camp setup towards the opening of the trees. Luckily, the gods watch over you, after sundown a large deer-like creature stumbles towards your thicket of trees, probably trying to secure some warmth from the blistering wind. It is quickly ambushed and killed, which will sustain your food needs for several days. Studying the animal, you see budding horns and a thick, grayish, winter coat as its large black eyes stare into the frozen blackness of the night. You remember hearing stories of such creatures, creatures of the north, creatures that are similar to others — yet different. Different because of where they live and the environment they live within. Thinking about it you remember that this creature is called an elk, almost like a deer but different. At least you think it’s called an elk.

The next morning you start to think about the events that unfolded last night, you’re starting to wonder about what you might encounter along your path that might be very different in this frozen place. As you pack up your supplies for your journey you see a lot of stuff that you have never needed before, indeed the supplies that you had just three days ago where totally different than those that lay before you now. You are most likely going to see and experience events, people and creatures that will be as different as the supplies that are needed for this place. As you think about it you’re sure that any people you meet will most likely have different traditions, different outlooks, and different feelings about things than those from Duntroon. Of course they would, they have been treated to a completely different environment and therefore they would have changed, just like the elk changed from the deer.

As you travel throughout the day you think about all of the things that could be different, but you also realize that no matter where you go there will be things that are the same as well— good and evil and their various shades. You weren’t able to find out much about Farstone before you left; a single building in the middle of nowhere, presumably for miners that have traveled to the mountains in search of diamonds. More than likely, commoner without many skills and even less arcane abilities, assuming that the cultist didn’t kill them all off under the direction of Botlashanin –whoever or whatever that might be. Surely, the kingdom would have some kind of guards in this place, at least to keep the peace –right. Really as far north as this, in the middle of nowhere, and if so, which kingdom? And even if a kingdom did send guards, it would probably be old men or young boys on a detail like this. You know in your heart that these cultists have a desperate mission, and if need be, wouldn’t give a second thought about destroying Farstone and everyone within it. Thoughts like this make you quicken your pace, even faster than before.

The next day and a half goes by with nothing but conversations about the events before you and the direction that should be taken to stop the evil plans. Time is spent reviewing the information that you have learned and trying to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together. The sun has finally peeked itself out from behind the clouds to glisten the snow all around you when you see off in the far distance the tops of the mountains. The Reach, as these mountains are known, get their name because of the immense size and scope of this range. Even from the far distance you gaze upon them you can see the white tipped peaks breaking through the blue of the horizon, even the clouds bow before their greatness. Although it will be at least another day before you arrive at their base the sight of them strengthens your resolve. You study the map that you found in the belly of the undead beast and realize that you must travel to the most northern point of these mountains and after a quick glance around you head off in that general direction.

The next day as you approach the mountains, you are enlightened not to see any smoke billowing up on the horizon; this would most surely be a sign of Farstone’s demise. As you make your way across the frozen tundra throughout the day the mountains start to loom larger and larger before you. Suddenly off to the northeast you make out the faint outline of a tower rising into the sky, north of the last huge peak of the impenetrable wall of mountains. This tower sits atop a hilly rise with a steep cliff face on its sides; whoever built it at least had the sense to put it in a very defensible position. Later in the afternoon you are close enough to see that this tower is in itself massive in size, raising a hundred or more feet into the air. It only looks tiny compared to the earthly mass you have seen for the last several days and only when you approach closer do you realize the towers true size. It appears to be square in shape and made from a dark stone, although the stone could just be weathered instead. At the very top you see a dark red wooden structure; most assuredly a lookout platform. It’s not hard to comprehend the fact that if anyone is stationed at the top your arrival surely hasn’t gone unnoticed.

As the next two hours go by, you approach even closer to the immense tower. During this time you have noticed the comings and goings of several birds from the tower pinnacle. You assume they are working with whoever is inside – probably as some kind of scouts. Maybe this place isn’t totally defenseless after all and maybe they actually know what they are doing. After the long journey of the day you get to the base of the hill knowing that only one last steep uphill walk is all that is left to perform and you urge your mounts towards completing this last part of the trip.

Within the hour your mounts have ascended up the sloped pathway to the base of the tower. As you crest over the steep hill to a somewhat flat plateau you see the tower stands not alone. The base of this tower rises up from within a huge stone building. Probably a hundred and fifty feet on a side, this one story building completely surrounds the base of the tower which seems to rise right out of the center of this structure. On the top of this building you see the weathered remains of many familiar flags. Almost like a coronation of disorganization they are strung up in various ways without any purpose or design, yet this sight fills you feel pride. These flags, almost diffidently, flap in the wind —almost like they are straining to show you their splendor and designs. And in this moment, in the frozen tundra of the northern end of the world, there is immense beauty from the simplest of things…

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The Seventeenth Session
The Fortress is Destroyed and the Party Teleports

Morning of 1st Forever Sky through afternoon of 1st Forever Sky

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The Sixteenth Session
Two Battles in the Undead Fortress

Early Morning of 1st Forever Sky

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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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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 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 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 Eleventh Session

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