Avlis Campaign 2, 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|
A little over a year has passed since Valok's evil scheme was laid to rest. As the dust settled, the heroes began to get on with their lives.
Vanoviel Niltaurwen had begun a large operation in constructing a keep for the Champions of O'Ma one year ago. The wooden structure and initial outlying defense walls were complete, and the arrangements for the stonework were in place. She had completed much, and made good progress.
Politically, things were not as complacent. The war between the elves of T'Nanshi and the humans of M'Chek still raged, and Van threw her lot in with the elves. The reason for this was because of a deal that had been struck between the humans and the fairies of the goddess Titania: that once the humans finished off the elves, they would help the fairies purify their race by destroying all O'Ma fairies and hybrids. Thus, many of the newly trained Champion recruits were often sent to battle on the front lines.
Early on in their fighting, some of these recruits began to send back reports that a new order of holy warriors had risen up at the same time as theirs: The Equalizers of Mikon. The holy knights of this neutral god were seen in all parts of the continent, where in many cases their wishes coincided with Van's. However, in this case, the Equalizers sided with the humans. Their leader, a man by the name of Nimonay Dunster, was a warrior much the same as Van, who achieved status of founder of the order by alerting Mikon to Valok's plan to enter the Prime a year ago.
Though Van respected him as a man, she often didn't appreciate his meddling. But one day, a messenger sent by Nimonay came to the Keep and invited Van to attend a meeting in Mikona for negotiations on the matter. Van liked this opportunity and told him that she would be happy to attend with some of her men.
About that same time, another messenger from Mikona was bringing unfortunate news to Tupaia Dagroth, the druid who was in the process of establishing a new grove near Van's keep. The heirs of House Dagroth had been killed in a major elven offensive on the front. The house has plunged into chaos, and the illegitamate daughter of Dagroth himself is the only one left with any claim to the estate. The messenger was the seneschal of the household come to beg Tupaia if she would be willing to take control of the affairs of the estate. This suprised Tupaia greatly. She knew well who her father was, but she didn't know anything in the slightest about how to run a noble household... nor did she have the inclination. However, she agreed to take up the matter along with some of her acolytes, and after making contact with Van, the two of them set out.
They were joined by Aratelda Rinthon almost immediately. Upon hearing about their journey, she decided to accompany them to Mikona, for in that city there was a very large library where she heard of a reference that contained information on the whereabouts of the last stone for her family heirloom. This sword was a minor artifact in and of itself. It contained spaces for 4 jewels. Each one increased the sword's power and gave it special abilities. Three of them were found on her quest to stop Valok, but the last one eluded her.... until she found a reference in T'Nanshi that said the last known stone may have been mentioned in a book located in Mikona. This reference made her decide to take some time off from her soldierly duties and go seeking again.
Orianna caught wind of the companions' journey to Mikona. Immediately after her ordeal with Valok, she took a short trip back to Andarr and then to Mikona to start work on a new guild. However, her old guild didn't like this new halfling lady known as "Raven" coming in and messing things up. Very quickly it got ugly, and Orianna had a guildwar on her hands. She thought that maybe her friends may help her carve out some new territory in the city. For the last year, she had been returning the favor by giving intelligence on Equalizer troop movements to Van's Champions. She figured it was the least they could do...
Upon realizing that they were all bound for Mikona, Van, Ari, and Tupaia decided to travel togethor. Each of them brought along a small contingent of their respective followers for the journey, which was largely uneventful. By the time they were little more than a day from the gates of Mikona, a messenger was sent forward to contact Orianna and alert her to their arrival. Shortly after that, they entered the city gates and walked directly to one of the local taverns near the docks. They suspected they would be easily found by Orianna's guild there, and sure enough they were. Orianna was already waiting when they got there, and the old friends greeted each other, happy to be reunited.
After ordering their rooms and getting drinks, they set to talking about local affairs and their reasons for the journey. A little ways into this discussion, one of Orianna's men signalled to her that trouble may be coming down the street. When she ordered the man to investigate, she was told that it was an Equalizer of Mikon's holy order, and he seemed to be of some rank. Van deduced that it was probably Nimonay, the leader of the order coming to meet her. This was a signal for the thieves to depart, for it would not be good to see them in league with the Champions. As they were disappearing into the background, Nimonay came in and introduced himself to Van. She in turn introduced her friends to him. He inquired as to why Van had chosen such a seedy place to seek shelter in the city, when she was perfectly welcome back at Nimonay's keep. Van said she was only passing time there and was just about to look for the man. He nodded curtly and asked her if she would accompany him to the keep right then for negotiations to start the next day. She agreed, and the heroes parted ways once more, temporarily. Ari went off to the library to find her reference, and Tupaia went off with her acolytes to her new estate within the city.
At around the same time, a lone man sat on the side of the road not far away from the tavern. He was quite still, and very strange looking. His eyes were somewhat small, and his skin somewhat olive. However, his most striking feature was the clothes he wore. He was garbed in baggy white pants made of cotton, and a shirt modeled much after a kimono. To passers by, he was harmless... just sitting there in fact with his eyes closed..... and the passerby would be right in making the assumption. He did mean no harm, for he was meditating. While lost in meditation, he heard a sound come to the forefront of his consciousness... a splash, and a stifled cry of agony. Being curious, he came out of his meditation and looked around, seeing nothing at first but then noticing that the sound came from a nearby storm drain. Getting up, he went over to the drain, opened it and climbed down into a dark tunnel. There was no one to be found, so he went back up.
A little while later, the man, known as Kung, decended into the sewers again to check out if he missed anything. But this time he was not alone. A small man in dark clothes sneaked up behind him and scared him. He questioned Kung as to why he was in the sewers and Kung told him what he had just heard earlier. For some reason, this intrigued the rogue very much, and the rogue informed Kung that it would really be within his best interest to accompany him to the guildhouse and tell what he saw to "The Lady" aka Raven. Kung agreed (being that he didn't really have a choice) and set off to the house. When he got there, he was introduced to Orianna, and told to relay his information. Orianna listened and decided that he would be kept under "safe guard" because of his valuable information... that and she wasn't sure yet if he was a spy from the other rival guild. She informed Kung that there had been problems in the city lately. People were disappearing, and no one knew why. Right then, a bloodied up and bruised theif walked in. He was out of breath and very hurt. He told them that there was a skirmish with the other guild just now, but it was interrupted. Fleshy looking rotten creatures came in and attacked both parties, killing most of them. The ones that survived saw the udnead minions taking the bodies through a previously unknown doorway to what looked like a lower level of the sewers. Orianna ordered an investigation, and needless to say, anyone who investigated did not come back.
She sent a runner to fetch Vanoviel and the others.
Back at Tupaia Dagroth's estate things were hectic. There was much change needed to the facilities. Tupaia was abhorred at the landscaping, for it did not accent nature, it destroyed it. She immediately set her three accolytes to work to fix it, while the seneschal showed her around the compound. He gave her a bedroom, which she grudgingly accepted and told her that in the morning there would be more business to attend to. She set about to make due with what she had around her.
After many hours of study at the library, Ari was interrupted by one of her soldiers. He said that his fellow soldier had gone missing. They were both outside the front of the library in broad daylight, when his partner decided to head over to the alley for a bit to relieve himself, and he never came back. The elf investigated the area and found nothing. This alarmed Ari very much. She decided to head over to the Dagroth estate and tell Tupaia. When she got there, Tupaia collected her acolytes togethor and found that one of them had also gone missing while collecting some ivy off of a building. Alarmed, they set off to find Orianna and were easily found by the runner which she had already sent out. They immediately went to the guildhouse to talk about their findings.
The next day, Van arrived at Nimonay's compound and began negotiations to see if the Champions and the Equalizers could come to some agreement on their involvement in the war between M'Chek and T'Nanshi. Van was of the position that she did not so much care about who got land in the end, and that in fact she even sympathized a little with the humans for not having enough space to support themselves in their own country. However, she was not pleased with the deals made between the humans and the Titanean Fairies that once the elves were conquered with the help of the Titaneans, the two of them would turn on the O'ma Fairies. The negotiations were stiff, but a friendship was created and the foundation for further negotiations was set, even though no concrete answers came that day. They decided they would continue. However, they were not allowed to continue because the next morning a messenger showed up posing as a loan shark whom Van's men owed money. He secretly told Van that she was needed back at the city because people were disappearing. She agreed to go aid her friends and informed Lord Nimonay that she would be leaving. Nimonay accepted, and invited her back for another meeting when she was ready.
After getting back to the city, Van met with her friends at the guildhouse. Everyone was introduced to Kung, who seemed to be one of the few witnesses to an actual disappearance even though he only heard things. A decision was made that they would go down into the sewers and investigate by themselves, and Kung was told he was coming with them. The best place to descend unseen into the sewers would be the Dagroth estate, so they gathered their entourage and went. After spending the night, they gathered supplies and descended.
The journey to the secret door went fairly well with only minor altercations with chokers and a gelatinous cube. Once they went down, they encountered the problem: crude forms of undead made from assembled body parts assaulted them. But these undead had strange powers. They were almost unaffected by arrows, for the missiles would slow down to nothing before they impacted. They also had the ability to set cloth and skin ablaze in a large radius, and no degree of resistance to magic countered this. Once in a while, they were even seen to unleash minor offensive spells during the battle. But after the initial suprise was through, the party dealt with them accordingly. Kung stated that these undead actually came from his land. They were known as naikimono, and that there was usually a very evil spirit behind their creation. Taking this informaiton, the party trudged its way through the system of tunnels in which they now found themselves. Searching around, they found out that this tunnel system was actually a compound built by dwarves who housed themselves there during the construction of the city of Mikona over 1000 years ago.
Cutting through the naikimono and a few other types of creatures, they came to a large temple hall with statues of the god Gorethar, creator of the dwarven race on Avlis. In the middle of the floor was a huge hole. Looking down the hole they saw that there was a rough cave below, so they climbed down. The cave system was crude, and probably a natural formation. At times it was muddy, and other times it dried up. But it was vast. The caverns there ran fairly deep, and they were just littered with the naikimono. Through killing many of the creatures, the heroes began to recognize the faces and body parts of missing or fallen comrades, and this disturbed them very much. Once these abominations were killed, Van and Ari started to save small pieces of the bodies in the hopes of later ressurecting them.
Going through the cave system was tough, but eventually they encountered the spirit behind it. Kung recognized it as a being from his land. It was an Uraki-Oni... the spirit of a trained mind gone insane with the taint from the evil spirits of the land of Khanjar Kuro. They had little time, for the creature attacked along with an army of his undead. He unleased a bolt of kinetic concussive force right at Van, taking her off her feet and hurting her very badly. Ari charged in with one of her soldiers, and was immediately shocked by a huge current of blue energy shot from the enemy's hands. Van was badly scorched by this, but her soldier was utterly destroyed. Orianna set about killing the undead army with her gem bow, which could unleash spells from arrows depending on which gem was in it. This time she was using a ruby to unleash fireballs in the hopes of burning the creatures up, and she was succesful to some degree. Kung cowered in the corner screaming "Nakimono!!!" to anyone who would listen, but no one did. Tupaia and the other druids helped out with healing as best they could and occasionally got into the fray when needed.
Soon, with great difficulty, the spirit turned gaseous. But still it spoke. It told that it wanted to establish a foothold on this continent to start spreading his taint, but he would need to come back with stronger help. He also took interest in Orianna. He regonized her as the leader of the band of people who supplied him with the most body parts by sending them unwittingly into the sewers. He thought he may be able to use her back home. She didn't understand this, but immediately at that point the spirit rematerilized right behind her and grabbed her!! The party gasped in horror. The Uraki-Oni barked a telepathic farewell and teleported away.... taking Orianna with him...
Stunned from the kidnapping of Orianna, the heroes regrouped and went back to the surface. While Tupaia went to put her affairs in order at the Dagroth estate, and Van went to consult a cleric of O'Ma on the matter, the rest of the party went to the library once more.
This time they had better luck because they had some clues as to what they were searching for. Ari found an interesting book that had references to the continent of Khanjar Kuro AND her lost stone. The book was called the Journal of Yeermayah.
One thousand years ago, during the founding of the city of Mikona, there lived an acolyte named Yeermayah. He was a follower of a great psionicist named Neeldrick Volray. Rumor had it that Neeldrick was very powerful for a human, and was living well beyond his normal lifespan. The journal went on to record that immediately after the time of the giant explosion set off by the orc mages that ended the Great War, Neeldrick found a curious stone. He believed that it once belonged to an elf named Solerion Rinthon, and that it was actually a piece of a powerful sword carried by him. The sword had four stones and this was one of them. Yeermayah the acolyte detailed Neeldrick's frustration with unlocking the secrets of the stone. Solerion was believed to have died in the explosion, although his body was never found, and thus he was unavailable for comment. Eventually, Neeldrick gave up and placed the stone somewhere in his monastery.
A little while later, a thief named Gor infiltrated the monestary. Yeermayah wrote about how he posed cleverly as an acolyte and worked his way over towards stealing the stone. The curious little dwarf-like man seemed to know a lot about the stone, for just as Neeldrick found out his plot, the dwarf recited a command word and disappeared.
Neeldrick was enraged, and he used his psionic abilities to trace the destination of the teleport. He went after the thief and was never seen again. Before he left, the acolyte heard him mumble, "Khanjar Kuro? That's got to be .... 1200 miles southwest..." The rest was unclear.
Having much newfound knowledge, the heroes worked on getting to Khanjar Kuro. In the library, Kung ran into a curious man who seemed to be knowledgable in the ways of magic. He asked the man if he had any magical means to transport several people, and the man responded that he could... for a bit of money, but it would be risky without knowing an exact location. Kung went and told the others.
Orianna found herself in a small metallic room with a cage on one side and some tables and chairs in the other. An arrow slit let in the room's only light. The spirit who kidnapped her told her to drop all of her gear and get into the cell. After she did this, she found the cell had another occupant. He was small and mean looking, with slighly scaly skin, crazy hair, and a small lizard -like tail. She was afraid to disturb him, but when she finally did, she found out his name was Gor. He looked at her with his cat-like eyes and told her that he was the servant of the Uraki-Oni spirit.
After a little while, the spirit left on some other business and the curious little creature known as Gor went out of the cell to tidy the place up. As they talked, Orianna realized that Gor seemed to know her.... even knew her name. She could not figure this out, and every time she pressed him, he would not want to talk about it. He seemed very disturbed and more than a little insane.
Eventually, she worked out that he wanted to escape, just like her. So they made some plans.
While the spirit was away, they made their break for it. Orianna gathered her gear and explored the tower a little bit before leaving. She found some words engraved in the walls in two places. When she recited the second set of words, the tower began to collapse. Luckily, she and Gor were right by the front door and were able to get out unharmed. But when they turned around, they noticed the tower had compaced into a palm-sized cube. Amazed, Orianna picked up the cube and ran off in the direction indicated by Gor.
Along they way they ran into some trouble battling some wayward spirits of the wood, ikiryo. But soon, they were out of the swampy terrain. At this point, Gor took his leave and ran off as fast as he could away from Orianna, deaf to her protests. Stranded, Orianna continued along a road, down which she saw a village in the distance.
Soon she encountered another stranger. He was short, with crazy hair, and very dwarf-like. When she introduced herself to him, he told her his name was Gor, and he would be happy to be her guide to the village and around the area. He was kind, and looked like he wanted to help, so she accepted.
Back in Mikona....
Van found a cleric of O'Ma and sent a message back to her keep about their situation and eventual trip. Then she came up with the idea of scrying on their location. Going back to the library and gathering the party, she learned of the plan to teleport there. With Tupaia's scrying ability, and the hired wizard, the heroes were able to find Orianna's exact location and teleport right to her.
United, and introduced to their new guide, the heroes continued on to the village in search of Arie's stone, and the spirit who was bent on corrupting the rest of Avlis.
With the help of their newfound guide, the heroes made their way to the village of Rishi-do, which lay before them. Gor told them he knew of a place to rest, an Inn.
Upon arriving at the Inn, the adventurers did not feel secure. Orianna mentioned to them that she had stolen a few things from the Uraki-Oni, and that he may be on his way to try and collect them. With grim expressions, Van and Arie made battle plans and assigned rooms to everyone in the group. Then they settled down for what they thought would be a tough night.
They were correct.... It happened in Orianna's room. She was sleeping on the floor, while Arie was in one bed and Van's henchman was in the other. A loud popping noise was heard, and there stood the Uraki-Oni with some of his undead Naikimono creations.
The battle was fierce. The evil spirit went after Orianna with reckless abandon. Seeing this, she thought of only one possible escape: to tumble over her attackers and out the window. The broken glass was everywhere, as were the flames send by the Naikimono in an attempt to burn everyone.
The noise from the fighting woke everybody. Arie was keeping watch and was ready. She began to hack into the Naikimono. Van's henchman made a groggy attempt to get up. It took a while, but by the time the Naikimono were cut down by the heroes, the battle had moved outside.
Desperate, Orianna took out the folded tower fortress she had in her pocket and commanded it to open. With the help of her haste amulet, she was able to make it inside safely before the enraged Uraki-Oni was able to catch up.
Around this time, the city guard showed up. They were samurai in the service of the local Daimyo. Van had jumped out the window, and the rest followed, some through the door, some through the window.
The battle was fierce, and the Uraki-Oni was defeated several times, only to reform. At one point, the Uraki-Oni was able to break away and go for Orianna again, and he was confused to see her standing just outside the door of the Inn. The distraction almost costed him his life once more as Van ripped in to him. The "Orianna" that he saw took the distraction as an opportunity to change back into Kung, the monk. Then everyone ran inside the tower to take shelter against the onslaught.
The Uraki-Oni immediately began to attack the tower. He flew up into the air and started casting spells at anyone whom he could see through the arrow slits. The heroes returned fire from the inside using spells and arrows. On one occasion, the Uraki-Oni used a powerful magic spell to rip the sword out of Van's hand. As he pulled it to himself and grabbed it, it burned his hand, causing him to drop it on the ground below him.
Eventually, the Uraki-Oni succumbed to the spellfire and arrows coming from the inside of the tower. As he dissapated, Van recovered her sword, before he came back again.
A little while later he did come back, reappearing inside the tower demanding the heroes return a stone they stole from him. Confused, they asked him what stone, and he told them that when they took the tower from him, they took his green gem with him and he wanted it back. However instead of giving it back, Van took the stone from Orianna and crushed it. Enraged, the Uraki-Oni teleported away.
Meanwhile, the town guards were confused about what was going on. The adventurers came out of the tower and explained, and the guards told them that they should come see the Daimyo about the matter. They agreed and after paying some reparations for destroying part of the Inn, they left.
They were taken to a stronghold and met by an angry man in pajamas. He was the local lord, and it was the middle of the night. The heroes reiterated their story to him, and after some unfortunate breaches of protocol by Kung, the Daimyo let them know that there has been much trouble with spirits lately. A lot of the local spirits have been behaving in an evil manner, even if they are not normally evil, and even some people have been purported to be acting this way. The people were often changed in appearance as well... leathery skin, bleeding gums, all manners of maladies.
The Mashimizu clan, which the Daimyo ruled a part of was concerned. There was a town a little ways to the west that had a high number of people acting this way, including the local Daimyo over there. However it was improper to ask questions of another lord, and he told them that it would help him greatly if an outsider went in to ask the questions, since the transgression could be forgiven if coming from them.
The heroes agreed to do this because it would lead them closer to the Uraki-Oni, whom they thought knew the wereabouts of Ari's final stone, and they also wanted to stop him from spreading evil to the main continent as well.
So they made preparations and journeyed off. On the way they met a few perils.... an evil female spirit with snakes for arms, a gigantic spider who swallowed Tupaia whole, and a goodly Bisan who needed to be cured of taint. This lead them to another battle with some very evil spirits called Gekido-Oni. In this battle, Kung was forever tainted and suffered a malady whereby his skin is always cracked and leathery.
Arriving in town, the heroes set to work. They questioned citizens in the area and collected information about the place. They found out some interesting things. The local lord of the area was tainted by the spirits, and so were man of his men. He is now sending out even more men to be tainted in the same way, and has just decided to secede from the Mashimizu clan in order to form the new Kuro Mashimizu clan, a dark version of the old. With his new dark clan, he would create counterpart powers of evil for the whole Celestial Order. The heroes were appalled at this, and while they did not find out the whereabouts of the Uraki-Oni, they did find out that he was one of the spirits working on the same goal. Who the evil Daimy and the Uraki-Oni worked for was still unknown, but they suspected some powerful evil force behind it.