Avlis Campaign 1, Part 1
|Avlis Campaign 1||The "Jade" Campaign||Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6|
|Avlis Campaign 2||The West End of Time||Part 1, 2, 3, 4|
|Avlis Campaign 3||Vanoviel and The Godslayer||Part 1|
|Avlis Campaign 4||Rune Quest||Part 1, 2|
|Avlis Campaign 5||The Western Underdark||Part 1, 2, 3|
The party right now consists of a female half-nymph fighter/cleric, a male tiefling sorcerer, and a female elven fighter. Through their own personal histories, the PCs wound up in the M'Chekian village of Blandenberg.
Andrinor is the tiefling. He woke up at an inn in the small village a few days prior, and he has no memory of where he came from.
The noble Lady Aratelda Ringthon decided to strike out on her own to see the world, and to get away from her grandfather who wished her to learn the ways of magic... something she was unwilling to do. So, she asked leave from her father. He allowed it and entrusted her with the family sword, which has been used by the Ringthon family for generations. Ever curious about the war between T'Nanshi and M'Chek, she soon found herself in Blandenberg.
The lovely Vanoviel Niltaurwen (Van) was raised by a loving elven father. However, when her father found out his daughter was not of his own blood, but rather the product of his wife's indiscretion with a male nymph, he casted her out of his noble family. After finding her real father and realizing she could not live his type of lifestyle, Vanoviel sought out her elven step-father again who was gracious enough to entrust her to his friend Andreon, a cleric of O'Ma. Andreion enrolled Vanoviel in basic training to be a templar of O'Ma to guard missionaries in their quests. As soon as her training was complete, they both set out for Blandenberg.
After a few days of business in Blandenberg, the town was soon overrun by a small army of orcs at high noon. The three heros were knocked unconcious. When they came to, they found themselves on the deck of a ship, in a cage, stripped of their belongings. It was there that the fateful band introduced themselves to each other and set about the business of getting free, but to no avail. After a few days at sea, the more well-behaved slaves on the ship were rotated into ship duties with their orcish crew. It was on one of these rotations that Aratelda, or Arie, spotted a ship on the horizon. Not long after that, the orcs spotted the ship too, and sprang into action. They immediately placed all the prisoners back into their cells.
Not knowing what was happening, Van, Andrinor, and Arie strained to hear what was going on. With her fairly good command of the orcish tongue, Van was able to piece togethor that the orcs feared whatever ship was out there, and that they were thinking of lightening the load of the ship to gain speed. This frightened the heros, and once a crew member came down into the slave hold to check on them, he was quickly neutralized by a sleep spell from Andrinor. That gave them just the time they needed to secure the key to their cell and to hide the body. At this point, the heros did not know what to do, but this decision was made for them when they saw a pair of booted feet coming down the stairs into the hold. With lightning speed, Vanoviel felled the orc in one swoop, and Andrinor used another sleep spell to neutralize the other three. After dispatching the force, the party found a key on one of the bodies and opened up one of the slave cages, freeing the slaves. Soon another party arrived, and it was killed much more easily using the weapons found on the last party. The third party, suspecting something amiss was a little more careful, and the first orc to come down the stairs managed to somehow avoid Van's deadly blow.
A problem arose at that point. The ship that was on the horizon was now right upon them, and the adventurers could hear sounds of battle up on the deck. The orcish crew did not have the manpower to spare to quell the slave uprising in the hold. Only the four orcs guarding the entrance to the slave hold managed to stay behind and parley with the heros. Soon, that four was two because two of them were needed above. Eventually, Andrinor found a dagger on one of the corpses of the previously killed orcs and hurled it at one of his captors, hitting him square in the chest. This triggered a battle that eventually ended with the last two remaining orcs being dead. Finally, after a small amount of snooping around, the heros met their saviors... a large wemic named General Borrr'Gorak.
The general declared that all the slaves were free and that he would be putting them into port at the City of Andarr, one of the small city-states that makes up the confederation known as The Seven Cities. The general divided his crew between the two ships and stayed with the slaves on the newly captured galleon. The port was five days away at this point, and within that time the adventurers got to know the general. Seeing that the party was fit and intelligent, Borrr'Gorak decided to ask them if they wished to take some revenge on the slavers by helping him find their operation, located most likely within Andarr.
Andrinor, having nothing better to do quickly agreed, as did Arie, because she was determined to recover her heirloom. Van consulted with her mentor, who was also captured on the ship with them. He bade her to go, for it was the will of O'Ma and only he knew what was really planned. So she agreed to go as well.
Borrr'Gorak told the adventurers that he had a contact in Andarr named Derot Slimshadow. They were to go to him and get information on what he knew about any possible slaver operations in the city. When they found Derot at the Mainmast Inn in the Docks District, he informed him that his guild, The Grey Dirk, had given him the task of uncovering the slavers too. The Grey Dirk felt that they were not getting a large enough share in the profits, which was their right. Derot told him that he was having a hard time finding the slavers unfortunately. For three months he had been searching to no avail. But he had two leads left. The first lead was a suspicious blacksmith shop, Blythorne's Smithy, run by Blythorne himself. The problem with the shop was not really a problem at all: he paid his "protection money" on time, every time, NEVER missing a beat. Being desparate, Derot felt that this may warrant an investigation of the shop because the smith may be paying on time just the keep the thieve's guild at bay so they don't see him hiding anything. The other lead was a noble in the city by the name of Lord Hargon. Spies in the guild have reported that Hargon had very quick servant turnover. He would purchase servants, and shortly after, they would disappear.
The heroes decided that they would check out the shop, and so they did. Derot investigated Hargon. When a brief face to face discussion with Blythorne didn't pan out, they decided to stake out the place. It was then that they discovered some oddities. There were an inordinate number of orcs around the shop... not too uncommon in Andarr, but it might be something. But the second thing they discovered gave them cause for much suspicion. Two individuals entered the shop, and three individuals left. This happened a couple of times while they were watching. Hargon himself was even seen entering alone, and leaving with two straggly looking human female teenagers. This prompted a late night inspection of the shop from the sewers below that night. (Of course, this was after a small argument between Van and Andrinor on how to conduct the operation.) The inspection revealed a tubular shaped tunnel emanating from the smithy into the sewers and below, but the tunnel could only be entered from inside the shop. So, the heroes, quietly as they could, entered the shop through the chimney (after checking for fires!) and in that room they found a tapestry. Behind the tapestry was a door in to the tunnel. The tunnel sloped down below the level of the sewers and opened into a very long, wide, tall tunnel... guarded by some orcs and some goblins.
After dispatching the ragged bunch with a few blows from Van's new flail, the party continued down the tunnel. They found various things... some stored household items recovered from raids, as well as stolen weapons, and a few sleeping orcs.... That battle didn't go so well. Van was badly injured and needed to fall back. Andrinor and Arie jumped to her rescue and held the orcs at bay until Van was recuperated through her own healing skills. By this point, Andrinor was unconcious. After remedying that, Arie was getting hurt, and that too was soon taken care of. By that time, the orcs had perished, and the party continued down the tunnel.
At the end of the tunnel was a door that opened up into a wide open plains area near the ocean. Off in the distance, about 30 yards, they saw a building guarded by two orcs. While deciding their next plan of action, the heros found themselves being approached by four soldiers wearing tabards with a burning sword on a blue background. The heros hid in the tunnel and ambushed the soldiers. By questioning one of them, they found out that the soldiers were part of Crullath's army. Crullath is the arch enemy of Borrr'Gorak's master, Lord Joral Arvanos V. The soldier confessed under torture that Crullath himself was in that building, and that that building was indeed a slave compound. Having heard enough, Andrinor "took good care" of the soldiers and merrily saw them on their way.... to the abyss. The other heros started wandering back towards the city to report to Derot and then the general.
Derot found them in the tunnel, and they relayed everything to him. Derot in turn informed them that Lord Hargon was indeed buying slaves, but only to later free them after they posed as his servants for a short while. He felt he had no muscle to combat the problem, so he would combat it with money.
After locating the base of operations for the Andarr slave trade, the party reported back to General Borr'Gorak and Derot Slimshadow of the Grey Dirk guild.
Derot informed the party that a noble named Lord Hargon had been buying slaves from the local trade in order to free them only days after their purchase. Vanoviel relayed that she had seen Hargon on one such excursion to buy slaves while she was staking out Blythorne's Smithy.
The general was very pleased at the new information, and he immediately dispatched spies to gather more intelligence on the matter. He informed the heroes that as a reward, he would give them some money and free passage back to M'Chek where they came from. However, he said that before engaging on that journey, the slave bunker would have to be wiped out. So, after a small amount of negotiation, the adventurers agreed to help come along on the operation.
Borrr'Gorak's top aide, Captain Garrack, assigned the party a special job in the operation. He told them that intelligence reports found that there were two doors to the slave compound.... a front door facing the City of Andarr, and a back door facing the nation of Brekon to the north. The main attack would occur mostly from the front door, and the back door would be the site of a diversion set up by the newly hired party.
Garrack showed them to a room onboard their main ship which contained all they would need for a diversion: smoke powder kegs, metal tubes, clay stoppers, rope, various biting arrows, grappling hooks, weapon black, body black, etc. A new member of the team, Orianna the halfling rogue from the Grey Dirk, was somewhat proficient at the use of smoke powder and weapon black. She helped the party come up with a plan.
The attack would be at dawn. The adventurers sailed a small ways up the coast with the small army and disembarked towards the compound from the beach. After briefly scouting the area, they laced the back door with various explosives which were timed to go off in four successive detonations after a main explosion designed to take out the back door.
When it came time for the battle, the army gave a signal and the explosives were unleashed. The door flew inward into the compound and the other smaller explosives began to go off. Just at that point, some shady characters on the roof were alerted to the presence of the adventurers. They threw down a rope and told the party to quickly climb it. It turns out they were capitalizing on the battle at hand, and they were having a hard time penetrating the roof of the compound. They requested that in return for a share of treasure, the adventurers could lend them some explosives to speed the process of breaking and entering. Orianna, Van, Andrinor, and Arie gladly agreed.
They blew a hole in the roof and dropped down into what appeared to be an office occupied by two very suprised captains bearing Crullath's heraldry. After a brief fight, the foes were vanquished and Van settled down to the task of plucking various daggers and bolts out of her back and hip. (Andrinor and the thieves were not so adept at firing missle weapons into melee.)
As the room was being looted, in walked a very large man with a flaming longsword. He was furious that his office had been invaded, and after cleaving a thief in two with one fell swoop, he retreated from the battle via a ring of teleportation. As it turns out, the rest of the compound was being quickly overrun by Borrr'Gorak's men and the Grey Dirk.
Documents recovered from the office were brought to the general who was disturbed to find out that they spoke of the MAIN slave encampment being located in Brekon. This compound was evidently just a staging area to facilitate the transport of slaves from Andarr up to Crullath's lands in the former Kurathene Empire. Crullath planned to use the slaves as conscripts for his wars against Borrr'Gorak's Lord Arvanos. The general broke the news to the adventurers that their journey home would be delayed in order to take out this encampment.
According to the information on the captured documents, the journey to Brekon would be about a 4 or 5 day sail northward along the coast. Because of the delay, the general proposed payment for the adventurers for their further company before heading back to M'Chek. He assigned them the task of scouting the compound and reporting their findings in order to attack at dawn the next day. During the battle their task would be to concentrate on freeing the slaves.
Thus, the compound was scouted by the adventurers. They reported on the layout of the land, and the outer appearance of the compound. There was a portculis in the south face of the area, and the nort face housed a slave trade marketplace.
When the attack began, the party headed for the marketplace to try to gain secret acess to the compound. After getting help from Borrr'Gorak's archers with the guards in the towers, the adventurers entered the compound through a small slave tunnel where they are normally brought through for display on the market. At the end of the tunnel, they enountered resistance from a group of orcs. The party retreated back into the tunnel to try and lure the orcs in. However, a veerbeeg decided to join the battle. He stood at the other end of the hall and noted their strategy. As he was noting, Andrinor managed to get lucky with a vial of greek fire. The now angry flaming veerbeeg charged mercilessly and rushed the adventurers, hitting Arie square in the chest and taking her off her feet. The move would be his last, because he was promptly hacked to bits afterwards.
Slowly but surely, the adventurers worked their way through a group of orcs and came to a room filled with caged slaves. After fighting the warden and his assistant for the cage keys, Orianna began to unlock the cages while the rest stood guard. Van and Arie were quickly confronted by two suprised Ogres who walked down in to the cage room. After a few blows from Van, one Ogre fell. The other took a little longer, but eventually succumbed.
By that time, the slaves were freed and the party beat a hasty retreat out the way they came. The battle for the compound raged a bit longer before the slavers fell to Arvanos' men and the newly arrived reinforcements from the land of Arvanos itself.
After dismantling the slaving operation in Brekon, the two ships carrrying the rescued slaves and the adventurers left once more for the City of Andarr. Once arriving in Andarr, they dropped off the former slaves.
At that point, General Borrr'Gorak took his leave and said he had business to the north back in Arvanos. He left one of the ships in the care of Captain Garrack to continue the journey southward towards M'Chek.
Before leaving, the general's mindbender informed the adventurers and their crew that tensions between Arvanos, Crullath, and Dagroth were high. Lord Arvanos, upon hearing of the slave trade in Brekon and the Seven Cities, publicly accused Crullath and Dagroth of illegal activity. Both of the offending Lords vowed that they would take revenge to clear their names.
Thus, the crew sailed southward under these ominous circumstances. It wasn't long before they were attacked by one of Lord Crullath's galleons. Once the ships were grappled, Arvanos' crew surged toward them and quickly dispatched them. Their ship was stripped of its ballistae and any provisions, treasure, and spare parts it may have had. Then it was scuttled with the help of Orianna and her skill with smokepowder.
Heading southward, the crew was more aware of their danger. So when they saw another galleon alledgedly belonging to Lord Dagroth of M'Chek, they were more cautious. When that ship got close in an attempt to grapple, its mainmast was struck by an explosive bolt from Arvanos' newly acquired ballistae. The mainmast did not fall, but it did catch fire however. Efforts to put out the fire were hampered by a darkness spell from Andreion. He placed the spell on a crossbow bolt and sank it into the mainmast just above the damaged area.
With the ship slowed down, and damaged even further from a second explosive ballista bolt, it was no match for the adventurer's ship. They easily outran it despite losing a main sail to a fiery ballista bolt sent in retaliation from Dagroth's ship.
Having left those dangers behind, the shipmates settled into a routine again. That routine was boring, but one day it was noted that some of the crew were not only bored, they were comatose. The comatose state also happened to be spreading from bow to stern among the crew. Van took note of this and called out a warning, but it was too late. Nixie bandits were already attacking.
So, a fierce battle took place between twenty nixie bandits and the seven crew members that hadn't been charmed. Near the end, a group of O'Ma Nixies came to the rescue. They apologized for the inconvenience and dispelled the charms. They said the Nixies who attacked were Titanean nixies... followers of Titanea, the fairy queen. They were attacking because of encroachments on their territory. O'Ma's nixies could not put up with slaughter of innocents, so they came to rescue. After that brief encounter, they retreated back down to their ocean homes.
Not so long after leaving nixie territory, the crew came upon a derelict ship. They noticed that there were people on board and that the ship was smoldering a bit still. Once they got on board they realized the people were not people, but instead they were zombies and another curious kind of creature. The creatures were corpses too, but they were not decayed at all, and they did not smell. Their skin glowed with a pale white light, and they were able to move very fast.
After a brief battle on the deck, the adventurers searched around. They found the hole on the deck which was smoldering and they saw it contained a swirling mass of black and white energy. Perplexed, they searched the deck further and found other scortch marks. About 20 minutes later, the creatures that they killed rose up again and attacked once more, this time joined by some more creatures from below.
Orianna suggested that they beat a hasty retreat, and Van, Andrinor, and Arie agreed. They rested up and got help from three of Garrack's men (wearing red shirts) to go back to the ship and investigate. With their new help, they cleared the deck, and some more creatures on the deck below. The adventurers figured out it was best to pitch the creatures overboard once they were killed, and this was done by the red shirts.
Arie entered a door she found. The room had a zombie and a corpse creature in it. There was also a ritual setup in the room containing a silver chalice with a stone balanced on its edge. When she entered the room, she roused one of the zombies and the zombie came towards her, knocking the stone into the chalice. A woooshing sound came from outside but no one noticed it.
Meanwhile, Vanoviel entered the other door that was visible across from Arie. She found a ruined library, and the heart of the energy disturbance. After checking behind another door, she came back to the library and sat down to read.
Back at the ritual room Arie instructed the red shirts to remove the bodies and pitch them overboard. They came back and said that they couldn't, because the ship was now surrounded by a force field. They were trapped!
Everyone then met at the library and started to sift through tomes. Van found a diary written by a necromancer named Kilneihn. She found that Kilneihn was a mage who owned a tower in the Negative Energy Plane, aka the Negative Material Plane. He wished to destroy his rival Rifeiln who lived on the Positive Energy Plane. The easiest way to get to the Positive Energy Plane was to go through the Elemental Plane of Water, where he knew of a permanent portal to the Positive plane. So, Kilneihn entered the Prime Material Plane at the City of Redgate and journeyed to the City of Andarr where he commissioned a ship to take him to the Nixie settlement of Qwandovia where they guarded a permanent portal to the Plane of Water. The journal ended with Kilneihn testing his new portable entrance to his tower on the Negative plane, which he had set up in the ship's cargo deck where he kept his library.
During that time, Oriana and Arie found some phantoms who had been sailors on the ship. They told them that they were going about their business sailing, when a man materialized in mid air off the bow and threw a ball of fire down onto the front of the ship. The fireball incinerated a bunch of crewmates and scorched the deck. Apparently, they came under attack.... someone was after Kilneihn.
At that time, two ghostly figures appeared in the library. One was a shadowy robed figure, the other was a brightly sparkling robed figure. They were Dorlarath and Terach, Kilneihn's apprentices. The apprentices told the crew that they were helping their master open the mini portal when they came under attack by Rifeiln. The enemy mage casted some sort of spell which disrupted the magic of the portal and caused an explosion which obliterated both mages and their apprentices. It also created some sort of rift, apparently between the positive and negative energy planes.
The adventurers also asked the apprentices about the force field now surrounding the ship. They knew of it. They told them it was a defense mechanism, should the ship ever come under attack. A force field spell was casted right up until the last step, which involved dropping a rock into a silver chalice. That way, the field could be quickly raised if it was needed.
The one thing that puzzled the ghostly pair was that the field needed a power source, usually a magic item. However, it seems that all the magic items on the ship were destroyed in the blast. They believed that the force field was now drawing its power from the rift itself. The rift was also responsible for the regenerating of the zombies and sadiks.
Terach and Dorlarath told them that undead get their life force from the negative energy plane, and that neverdead get their life force from the positive material plane. When the rift was created the crew was killed, and half turned into zombies from the negative energy, and the other half turned into sadiks from the positive energy. Terach himself was a spectre, and Dorlarath was an anti-spectre. They were turned into spectres because of their proximity to the blast.
They said that more info on closing the rift and taking down the force field would be found in Kilneihn's library back in his tower. They thought the tower could be reached through the rift.
Upon inspecting the rift, Van found that she was able to see an entrance to Kilneihn's library appearing and disappearing at timed intervals in the swriling energy. Van and Andrinor promptly entered and dispatched two ghouls waiting in the library.
While Andrinorwent crazy looting everything in sight, Van searched the library for useful information. She eventually found a tome of Arcane Planar Abnormalities, and a tome of Force Transmutations.
The pair then went back to the ship. In the tomes it was found that the force field could be manipulated, but not directly taken down without destroying the thing which it surrounds. The rift could also be closed by destroying the place in which it was housed, i.e. the ship.
The party needed to destroy the ship, but they were trapped on the ship by the force field. To take down the force field, they needed to destroy the ship also. It was a problem. But eventually they decided to use a spell found in one of the tomes to extend the force field about 15 feet out from the ship so they could jump in the water. Then, they would burn the ship.
Thus, they pulled it off without much of a hitch. Once the ship started to break apart, the force field cracked and buckled, and the rift closed. The suction of the sinking ship almost took Andrinor with it, but he was saved once more by Van.