Perihelion

Secret Passages, Sewers, and Caves
Suspicions about Raoden

The heroes completed their watching of Raoden’s house. During the last few nights, they noticed that he had been leaving in the middle of the night by means of a well-hidden secret passage in his den, (which they discovered after he had returned and gone to bed one night). Alloc of Hexham and Laars went into the tunnel while Hassan of the Helmscorch stood watch outside. The tunnel was smooth stone on all sides and led to a locked portcullis door blocking the way.

The heroes then tried to locate the tunnel during the day and found a sewer that ran parallel to the tunnel. They went into the sewer at night and heard footsteps through the wall of the sewer. As Laars was in the sewer, Hassan of the Helmscorch and Alloc of Hexham stood watch and noticed a goblin approach from an alleyway only to run away when spotted. They found a paper that they goblin had dropped that had orders for the heroes to be locked in the sewer. The next day, the heroes went back to the sewer grate only to find that it had a lock on it now.

The next day, on the way to get a new job from the Guild of Honor, the heroes came to the town square where a crowd was gathering. There was a procession of carts through the crowds bringing prisoners to a stage by the fountain. They notice that one of the prisoners is the halfling that they turned over to the priests last time. A high priest then declared that these prisoners were “attempting to start a revolution. Let their deaths and the fountain flowing red with their blood serve as a reminder that the Chancellor Divine is in control.”

After the decapitations, they ran into Dula, (who really enjoyed the executions!), and hatched a plan for him to take the next weeks watch at Raoden’s house to see if any progress could be made in getting through the secret passage. After this, they received a new job from the Guild to go an inspect a cave farm located a few hours walk from Teod. Dwarven tunnelers had been sent to help expand the area of the farm and hadn’t returned in a week. As the heroes arrive, they stumble upon a frightening looking creature giving the command to the now undead farmers and dwarves to “Find him and kill him. Kill for me!” This creature then vanishes after seeing the heroes and a battle takes place. The heroes emerge victorious and return to Teod.

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Trouble in Teod
Mercenaries to the rescue

The Heroes meet at the local tavern in Teod. They are soon interrupted by a fellow group of mercenaries led by the Tiefling, Dula. He tells them that the merchant quarter of Teod, (the section of town filled with mansions, inhabited primarily by the wealthy merchants), has been hit by thieves 6 times in the last 2 weeks. He lets them know that he was just hired by the Guild of Honor to protect a section of the merchant quarter, and that they might want to look into getting hired for a job too.

When the heroes walk into the Guild of Honor, they are told by a priest that a wealthy merchant by the name of Raoden has paid to have his house defended for the next week. They accept this job and meet Raoden, who informs them that he will give them dinner for the week and 1,000 gp in exchange for protecting his house. On the second night, they notice a group of thieves breaking into a neighbors house. Not wanting to leave Raoden’s house open to a break-in, they wait for the thieves to exit the house and try to lure them over to Raoden’s. The group of thieves take the bait and a battle ensues. The heroes are victorious, killing an elf and human, and capturing a halfling. The leader of the thieves , (Vasher), escapes but not before unsheathing his black sword and slashing (Adam’s character name). Right before Vasher attacked, (Adam’s character), and Laars, heard a voice in their heads saying, “Want to kill something tonight? Come on, let’s kill.” The voice stopped once the black sword was sheathed. Vasher then vanished in a poof of smoke. Laars, gave chase and eventually caught up to where Vasher had been; 4 bodies in the middle of the street, Dula’s group. All were dead except for Dula, who Laars healed. Dula said that a man ran into them and threw his unsheathed sword on the ground in the middle of his group. His team all fought for possession of the sword, and whoever got it would either kill another of his team, or kill themselves.

Meanwhile, (Adam’s character) and Hassan of the Helmscorch detained the halfling attempting to get him to disclose any information he has about Vasher. He said that he had only been hired by him the night before. The heroes turned the halfling over to the Guild of Honor, where they learned from the priest there that the only man they ever knew by the name Vasher was a dissident who was captured and executed 10 years ago, and that his corpse was placed in the cement of the entryway to the building so they step on him every time they entered. The priest did tell the heroes where he had been captured.

The heroes investigated the dead man Vasher’s hideout and found wall hangings bearing the royal crest of Teod and of the Chancellor Divine Hrathen.

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Arrival in Hallendren
Step through the portal

After a day spent training in the foothills of Mount Gall in Gallurn, (see Gaia), Laars decides to head home for some well-earned rest. When he crests a hill and looks down at his hovel, for a brief instant, he swears he can see a man standing by the door, but the image is gone in the blink of an eye. Wary of having been found, he approaches with caution. “How could my former master have found me?” After examining the perimeter, he decides it must have been his imagination. He opens the door and steps in… and finds himself in the middle of a bustling tavern. Most patrons take note of his odd arrival, and then go back to their own business. However, a Dragonborn and a Half-Orc who happen to be sitting at a table next to where Laars is standing look up and kick out a chair for him to have a seat. “Ah, a new arrival,” says the Dragonborn, lifting an eyebrow. “Welcome to Hallendren,” the Half-Orc grunts.

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Taking on The Order of Infinite Earth

The heroes must confront the Order of Infinite Earth in hopes of obtaining their crystal.

The heroes have retreated to the surface of the planet. As they rest, they smell something foul a ways away in the forest. They investigate an find what appears to be a garbage dump. It’s a sizable pile of rotting bones, mushroom bits, and sewage. As they’re checking it out, a Grimlock comes out of a nearby cave carrying two large buckets of waste. The Grimlock is blind, but has blindsight out to 10, so he may not sense them. He wears a burlap vest with the seal of The Order of Infinite Earth scrawled on the back. The cave provides a back entrance to the Order’s lair.

Going in that way leads to a kitchen. There’s four Grimlocks in the kitchen, they run away screaming as soon as the heroes enter. The chase leads to a room with an elaborate stone altar in the middle (Altar of Zealotry). There are two Stone Giant Runecarvers there, as well as a total of 8 Grimlocks. A large, locked wooden door is at the opposite end of the room. It’s adorned with a large seal of the Order.

Altar of Zealotry (DMG 92, lvl 15 Lurker, xp 1200)

Grimlock Minion (MM 148, lvl 14 Minion, xp 250) x 8 = 2000

Stone Giant Runecarver (MM2 125, lvl 16 Controller, xp 1400) x 2 = 2800

One of the Runecarvers has the key to the door.

Through the door they find the great hall of the Order of Infinite Earth. A vaulted 50 foot ceiling is covered with ornate runes. In the back of the hall is an enormous stone throne. Seated on the throne is a huge stone giant, at least 30 feet tall. In front of him are two stone giant guards. They attack!

The two guards engage while the huge one hangs back. He fishes a chest out from behind his throne. He opens it a reveals an amber-colored crystal shard. In an impossibly deep voice he bellows, “You weren’t coming for this, were you? BWAHAHAHAHA!!!” He then take a pouch from his belt and dumps a sparkling powder over the crystal. The crystal begins to vibrate and glow in his hand. It then begins to fly and shoot energy rays at the heroes.

Prismatic Shard (MM2 35, lvl 16 Artillery, xp 1400)

Stone Titan (MM2 125, lvl 18 Elite Soldier, xp 4,000)

Stone Giant (MM2 124, lvl 14 Soldier, xp 1000) x 2 = 2000

When they drop the titan, he screams, pounds his chest, and collapses to the ground. This causes an earthquake that breaks apart the chamber. Stones fall from the ceiling, attacking each character (+19 vs. Ref, 2d10 + 5, miss half damage). The floor then crumbles out from under them, and they begin to free fall through the empty interior of the planet. As they hurtle toward the massive ship, along with dozens of boulders, they notice several large bats racing toward them. The bats deftly cut through the debris and snatch up each falling body, conscious and unconscious alike. There’s some scrambling and it takes several long seconds, but bats snatch up each of them just before the smash into the hull of the Terror.

Workers and soldiers on the ship see this happen, and a few Liathonian guards take to the air on giant eagles and begin chasing the heroes.

Slammer was petrified, so he smashed through the ship with the rocks.

TO BE CONTINUED

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Investigating Kigahara

The heroes land on Kigahara, with hopes of finding the massive ship being constructed inside its hallow shell.

Mordecai emphasizes to them that they will need a clear strategic advantage in order to sunder the ship. It’s weapons, defenses, and crew will vastly overwhelm them unless they have a plan.

Studying the plans will reveal that the ship is powered by a collection of three crystal shards. The crystals are described as being both inert and invincible when they are on their own, but when they’re brought together they become highly powerful and unstable. The plans show that the crystals will have a special holder built in the middle of the ship, called the Power Vortex. The plans instruct the builders to keep the crystals out of the ship and away from one another until the ship is complete, at which time they can be loaded into the Power Vortex and the ship will be operational.

The plans also show that the crystals will power the ship’s main weapon, which is some type of ray, but it’s not clear what the ray’s effect will be.

The crystals are described this way:

The Shard of Unending Darkness

The Shard of Eternal Flame

The Shard of Infinite Earth

The heroes land the the surface of Kigahara. It seems to have a solid dirt surface like any other planet. The surface is mostly covered with a dense pine forest. A gray, gloomy fog hangs in the air, obscuring visibility beyond 30 feet. Colors seem duller here, sounds seem slightly quieter as well. Being on the planet feels depressing and draining. While here, the heroes maximum number of healing surges is reduced by one.

Careful investigation leads to a secret door that leads to a series of tunnels built by large humanoids. The see light coming from further down. They find that lower rooms contain windows and balconies that let in a gloomy, bluish light. Looking out, they see the gaping expanse that is the hallow center of the planet. All along the planet’s interior wall are elaborate stone cities, made up of structures that hang from the ceiling, like inverted sky scrapers. They’re in one such building now. Scattered among the buildings are enormous stalactites, some hundreds of feet long. Many are covered in bulbous, milky blue fungi which lets off a faint glow.

There is what a appears to be a relatively dull, small sun floating around inside the planet. It casts a cool, dim light.

When they peer down into the dark center of the expanse, their eyes barely see an impossibly large almond shaped structure. It’s The Terror, the Liathonian super-weapon. They see ships and huge flying bats coming to a fro, ferrying workers and supplies to the ship.

Just as they’re taking in this sight, they’re attacked by Stone Giants and a Liathonian human. There will be the possibility of knocking opponents off the balcony they’re on. This will send them falling toward the center of the cavern, where The Terror hangs in air.

3 Stone Giants (MM2 124)

1 Stone Giant Runecarver

The Stone Giants have medallions with an ancient script. A history check reveals them to say “Order of the Infinite Earth.”

They set it up to look like the giants killed one another by fighting over 1,000 gp. They run to the surface to hide.

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More Undeath in Liathonia!

As they’re dropping their payload on Gaia, they encounter a group of Lithonian soldiers on horseback. They also have a cart that seems to be a hearse. They flee, but cause the hearse to crash, releasing a floating skull from the casket. It attacks Auren and Silence!

Also, level up to 15!

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Something Fowl in Yarlinshire

In the temple in Yarlinshire there is an undead human priest and three Half Elves that have been transformed into greenish undead creatures. The priest wears a uniform that seems to be a mix of military and religious, he seems to be a chaplain of sorts. A few things are curious about his uniforms. One, it appears that the religious symbols, once referencing Avandra, have been defaced. And two, all of his gear seems to be very old, a history check reveals that it’s all antique.

The three heroes were quickly overwhelmed, and retreated.

They return and kill the priest and the half=Elves he’s transformed. They open a cursed tome, some are helped, others are hindered.

After that, they need to get the displacer beast to Thaddeus, the Elvish general. He will give them 15,000 gp. Thaddeus is impressed with their work, and would like them to help with delivering the beast. He’ll give them another 15,000 gp if they successfully deliver it to Liathonia.

“We’ll need you to deliver the beast, but we’ve got another package, as well.” He then shows them below deck in his ship, where he has a large cage with 20 extremely angry gnolls. In another smaller cage are the gnolls weapons. “You’ll need to drop the beast and the gnolls a little ways apart, we don’t want them fighting each other. You’ll have to drop them both in the country, not the city. There’s a small farming village, Windell, not far from Vegolis. Drop the beast and the gnolls on opposite sides of this village.”

“You’ll be able to lower the cages down from your ship, but you’ll have to fly your griffons down there to open the cages. Try not to get hurt. I trust you’ll survive.”

If the heroes try to insist on hitting a military target, Thaddeus will say, “No, you’ll attack the target as ordered. If you drop these creatures into a military encampment, they’ll do some damage, sure, but they’ll be taken out very quickly. We need the beast and the gnolls to disrupt food production, pull troops away from the front lines, and ultimately, hurt Liathonian morale. Do the mission as ordered, and you’ll receive your reward. If not, deal’s off. I’ll be sending Pt. Feavin with you to oversee the mission.”

Pt. Feavin is pretty low level, and he seems it.

The heroes are wary about the target. They get Thaddeus to agree to give them 20,000 gp to investigate and destroy the ship they have the plans of, and they get to speak to the Council once they complete both missions.

As they’re dropping their payload on Gaia, they encounter a group of Lithonian soldiers on horseback. They also have a cart that seems to be a hearse. They flee, but cause the hearse to crash, releasing a floating skull from the casket. It attacks Auren and Silence!

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Massacre at Broladeshire

They travel to the valley, and find the village smoldering. In the center of town is a large pile of bones, they find no survivors. Silence flied in to look for evidence, he notices that bodies not in the pile are not bones, they look like there were killed just yesterday. They all appear to be Brolades. He also notices very fresh graves. He exhumes them, and finds fallen Yarlin soldiers. When he gets within 5 squares of the bone pile, he is attacked by it. He managed to fly away before it can strike.

They kill the animate bones, but they’re rise within a day. In the pile of bones they find a clue. A half-burned letter written in Elvish. They can only read fragments of it.

Silence knows that Yarlinshire is in a nearby valley, just 15 minutes by eagle.

They split up, only three of the heroes go to Yarlinshire.

When they arrive at Yarlinshire they are not attacked, but they find that things are quite tense. People seem to be waiting around for something. Silence recognizes a few faces, and they recognize him. They act wary, but not aggressive, no one attacks.

They talk to Kadon Yarlin, who Silence had traded with as a young man. Kadon says they’re each waiting their turn for the “transformation”. Den Yarlin, the patriarch, has told everyone that due to the threat from the Elvish Council, we must ally with Liathonia to survive. Liathonia has sent a special Priest to give us a blessing that will help us be more fierce in battle. The blessing is called a transformation.

In the temple there is an undead human priest and three Half Elves that have been transformed into greenish undead creatures. The priest wears a uniform that seems to be a mix of military and religious, he seems to be a chaplain of sorts. A few things are curious about his uniforms. One, it appears that the religious symbols, once referencing Avandra, have been defaced. And two, all of his gear seems to be very old, a history check reveals that it’s all antique.

The three are quickly overwhelmed, and retreat.

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A Snag on Charlon

Once they have the beast knocked out, they have a limited time to get it on the ship. While they’re working on that, they’re approached by a Liathonain soldier and a Half-Elf. The Half-Elf wears the crest of the Yarlin family.

The human has a raven perched on his shoulder. It flies off and transforms into a Human wearing a Liathonian sergeant’s uniform with a cap that looks like a raven. He says, “What are you boys doing? And more importantly, what are you doing with that Liathonian galleon?”

They attempt to bluff, claiming that they’re on a special mission from Jolen to capture a displacer beast. Sergeant Raven does not believe them, and shouts, “Bullshit!”

Roll initiative!

When they defeat them, they check out their gear. On Sergeant Raven they find a scroll of Shadow Walk, and a scroll of Eye of Warding. His raven cap allows the wearer to transform into a raven once per day, for as long as the wearer wants, gaining fly speed 6 but loosing all other powers.

The Half-Elf had a +3 Lifedrinker Longsword. Silence notices that this is a “heritage sword,” a very important item passed down for generations through Half-Elf families. Heritage swords are never sold or traded. When a Half-Elf inherits one, he keeps it until he dies, if he can help it. The markings on this particular heritage sword indicate that it’s from the Brolade family, Silence’s family!

Broladeshire, the valley where Silence grew up, is half a day’s journey from here on foot, and just about an hour by airship.

They travel to the valley, and find the village smoldering. In the center of town is a large pile of bones, they find no survivors. Silence flied in to look for evidence, he notices that bodies not in the pile are not bones, they look like there were killed just yesterday. They all appear to be Brolades. He also notices very fresh graves. He exhumes them, and finds fallen Yarlin soldiers. When he gets within 5 squares of the bone pile, he is attacked by it. He managed to fly away before it can strike.

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On the Front Line with the Elvish Council

The heroes have captured a Liathonian galleon, The Trinity, and the plans for a massive battleship called The Terror. Feyrynne is still with them.

They received a +3 Cloak of Survival (PHB 250) from human captain. It’s the skin of a bear’s head that sits on the wearer’s head, and the pelt forms a cloak.

They see the Council fleet, and a ship approaches. On the ship they meet an Elvish general named Thaddeus. Thaddeus is very happy to see Feyrynne alive and well, and immediately gives the heroes 5,000 gp and a +3 Orb of Reversed Polarities (PHB 238). He tells them that there is much work to be done, and the service of such great warriors would be appreciated and compensated. Feyrynne tries to speak for the whole group, saying, “We just want to help the war effort! We couldn’t possibly accept additional rewards for such duty. It is our mission to defeat Jolen and his evil empire!” The heroes may speak up…

Thaddeus offers the heroes 15,000 gp if they capture a fearsome displacer beast that haunts a forest on Charlon. He wants to use it as a weapon against the Liathonians. Thaddeus gives them a vial of milky white liquid. He tells them to pour this in the beast’s open wounds as soon as it falls, and it should stay alive and unconscious for at least 30 minutes. In order to land on Charlon, the heroes will need to fly their giant eagles down. The Trinity is too large to land, but they can attempt to set it in a geosynchronous orbit. To get the displacer beast back up to the ship, they’ll need to drop a long cable attached to a winch, which the Trinity has.

The displacer beast is nursing displacer kittens, and is guarded by a Briar Witch Dryad. Shortly after landing in the area where the beast should be, they find large, six-footed paw tracks, along with some smaller tracks. They come into a clearing and see the beast with the two young ones nursing. Just then, a female Half-Elf (the Dryad in disguise) emerges from behind a bush. She says, “You weren’t thinking of harming this innocent creature, were you? We’re blessed to have such wonders from the Feywild.” If they ask her about the war, she’ll try to play along, but she really doesn’t know anything about it (bluff check). If the conversation persists, it will become more clear that she has no idea about the war, and that she will become violent if they threaten the displacer beast, she may even strike first.

They down the displacer beasts, and the Briar Witch Dryad runs away, saying, “Those were innocent creatures! They don’t want anything to do with your silly war! They way you behave, you’ll destroy us all!”

Once they have the beast knocked out, they have a limited time to get it on the ship. While they’re working on that, they’re approached by a Liathonain soldier and a Half-Elf. The Half-Elf wears the crest of the Yarlin family.

The human has a raven perched on his shoulder. It flies off and transforms into a Human wearing a Liathonian sergeant’s uniform with a cap that looks like a raven. He says, “What are you boys doing? And more importantly, what are you doing with that Liathonian galleon?”

They attempt to bluff, claiming that they’re on a special mission from Jolen to capture a displacer beast. Sergeant Raven does not believe them, and shouts, “Bullshit!”

Roll initiative!

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