Avlis Campaign 3

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Campaign Title Part
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

Introduction

This campaign was being DM'ed by Vanoviel. All subsequent entries from Avlis Campaign 3 are from him. This campaign would have been interesting had it continued. It took place 500 years after current server time. At a server time rate of 2 minutes RL = 1 in game hour, our servers would have to be up for 16 RL years to approach this event.

Vanoviel is long dead since the end of the Second Fairy War. Elysia is still up and running, and though the surrounding countryside may have seen quite a few disturbances over the years it is still largely unchanged from Vanoviel's time. Buildings have come and gone, and sections of the city walls have been built and rebuilt, but all in all it has not been fundamentally altered over the lifetime of an elf. Granted, some of the national geography has changed slightly, like the appearance of the bustling city-state of Blandenberg which is not far away.

In this campaign, Orleron was player (Koriel Kray) rather than a DM.

Chapter 1

Hello, Intrepid Readers. Our story is set in the fair city of Elysia on the banks of Lake Eridanus. The scene is joined as our six heroes have independent encounters with a band of rogues. The scenario is the same each time; the hero is new to Elysia and is walking the streets of the warehouse district. The hero is bumped into by a "child" and soon each hero realizes they've been pickpocketed. Each of the heroes set off in chase of the "child". The chases lead each hero through the alleys of the warehouse district and when they finally caught the "child" thief, they were greeted with a slash of a dagger from the "child" which was actually a Halfling. The original thief was joined by two compatriots and things looked bleak for each hero. Each of our six adventurers handled the situation in a different way. The burly human fighter, Lucius, barreled his way through the lead Halfling. The pomfy psionicist, Devon Byrne, spider climbed a nearby building and started firing away with his crossbow. Elrik, the monk, stood and fought even with the stench of last night's drinking on him. The serene and even handed cleric, Koriel Kray of Mikon healed his wound and attempted to talk his way out of the situation. The half-elven bard, Lorelian, climbed the building and fled across to find a Champion to report the crime. The woods-loving elf maiden, Idril Numenesse, drew her sword and engaged. In each situation, the Halflings turned out to be an illusion and each hero was greeted by an elderly nearly bald, blind elf who stated that he was impressed with their ability and requested they join him at the Shining Light Inn the following night. The heroes all agreed.

The heroes all took the rooms arranged by the mysterious stranger and were summoned to a back room the next evening. The stranger introduced himself as Nohik and asked if anyone had noticed anything odd happen in the city. The heroes mentioned that the Champions of O'ma seemed uninterested in policing the city and that crime was increasing. Nohik proposed that the group help him discover what is happening in the city. He thought it best that it not be he who made the inquiries as he is known by too many in the city even though he has been away for a long time searching for an old companion. Nohik left the adventurers to decide after conjuring a shimmering door of light through which he left. After a time Nohik returned and was informed by the adventurers that they would help discover what troubled the city. Nohik thought the best course of action was to see Sarmon, head of the Champions at the Council Chambers. He explained to the party as he handed them a blank writ that they would need the signatures of three council members before they could gain entry to Champions Keep and the Council Chambers. He also informed them that the dockmaster is always a council member.

The heroes returned to their rooms and meet the next morning to find the dockmaster. After a few inquires they found him and requested his signature for their writ. Instead of his usual request for a hot meal, he asked them to investigate the recent series of disappearances including most recently a young girl from the Parks District that had been happening since an aboleth was slain in the lake. The party questioned the dockmaster and discovered that all of the disappearances happened near sewer grates. The heroes went to the location of the most recent abduction and found the grate barred from the inside and requiring a special tool to open it from the surface. Befuddled the party returned to the docks, at which point the cleric dove into the clear blue waters of the lake and returned saying the party should proceed to the sewers north of the city. When asked how he knew this he stated that his people were in tune with nature and that the water tasted funny in that direction.

The heroes headed for Dwarfgate and followed the wall around the sewer outflow pipe, where they discovered that the bars over the entrance had been bent allowing for a humanoid to enter. The heroes entered the sewers and were assailed with the odor of decaying waste and other assorted foulness. Much to their delight the sewage was only ankle deep, which kept it below the boots of all the adventurers except Elrik who was barefooted. He simply took along pull from the bota bag he never seemed to be without and he then seemed unaffected by the sewage creeping up between his toes. The party continued up the sewers when someone felt something touch their leg, it turns out the party was not alone and soon found themselves in battle with an enormous snake. The battle was bravely joined by all except Devon who climbed the wall for safety. After the battle the party continued further into the sewers. Another few hundred yards in the floor disappeared from beneath our heroes’ feet. The quickest of the group avoided the fall, but the unlikely found themselves falling into a deep pool of filth. The party quickly learned to avoid the cisterns that were located every hundred yards in the sewers. The group was so focused on the location of the cisterns that they failed to notice the set of eyes just above the surface of the water approaching them. Elrik felt a terrible pain in his leg and the next thing the party knew he was being dragged under water in the death roll of the attacking crocodile. The party fought valiantly and managed to defeat the croc and prevent the death of Elrik. Further along the group trudged and upon turning one fateful corner they came face to face with some odd fish humanoids. The party slew the "merman" aside from one they tried to interrogate. Koriel cast a spell and communicated with the beast. It turns out the creatures were fleeing from their master, the aboleth. They were using the kidnapped people for food. This sickened the party and they proceeded with all haste deeper into the sewers. The stumbled upon the skums’ lair and defeated the last of the creatures and saved the kidnapped girl. They returned the girl to her mother, but it turns out the girl’s father had gone looking for her in the sewers. The party returned and found his hand and the girl confirmed that her father had indeed been eaten. The party returned to the docks where they got the first of their three signatures. The dockmaster sent them to the Forge District to find Troka Ashbeard, another councilmember, to get his signature.


Chapter 2

By now you've probably figured out the gist of our first couple adventures, and are pretty amused. I'm sure that in classic Avlissian style, things will start light and gradually get into deeper and deeper shit. But, at 2nd level, that's a little rought to attempt.


The party found Troka's shop and for his signature he wanted the party to guard a caravan carrying a special item heading south from Deglos. The party headed north out of the Dwarfgate and proceeded north towards Deglos. They finally found the burnt out remains of a caravan, there was also evidence of orc tracks leading into the woods. The party began to follow the tracks and soon was beset by orc archers atop stands in the trees. The battle was waged from both sides and soon the party climbed the trees also, they climbed to higher heights than the orcs and gained the advantage in the battle until an orc mage cast a darkness spell on the party forcing them to descend from the trees in a darkness darker than the blackest night. Once out of the darkness the party found that the remaining orcs and the orc mage were gone. The heroes quickened their pursuit and soon came upon the orcs camped in a clearing. The three wagons were arranged in a defensive triangle. After much thought and deliberation and some inventive use of Devon's psicrystal to spy on enemies, the party decided on an attacking at night using the archers to take out the sentries before they could raise the alarm. The plan was well formulated but during the course of the battle one of the wagons was set on fire. The other two wagons were able to escape before the heroes could stop them. After futilely attempting to interrogate the remaining orc, the party took off after the wagons. After another day of travel the heroes came upon a wooden fort at the foot of a five hundred foot crag located somewhere near the Ferrell-Deglos border. The fort was in a clearing and the heroes decided the safest approach was from the crag. After a climb up the crag in the black of night, the plan was to light the main building on fire with alchemist’s fire and use the cover of fire to have the archers take out the guards in the towers. The first attempt at lighting the main building was a horrid throw by Koriel and resulted in a secondary building being ignited. The fortuitous result was that it was the barracks that were on fire. This lead to general confusion in the camp and allowed the ranged attackers to slay the guards. The battle proceeded to the compound and the remaining orcs were slain. The door to the main building was slammed shut and barred. The half-orc inside said that if the party left he wouldn’t have to kill them. Lucius, having enough of the villain’s bravado, kicked in the door. He immediately was struck in the chest with a glowing green arrow. The party entered the structure and stood face to face with two orcs, a strapping half-orc, and a female orc dressed in robes. The party engaged the two guards and unleashed ranged attacks on the mage, not before Lucius was struck again in the chest, although this time it was glowing blue arrows. After the party dispatched the guards and mage the half-orc battled mightly until he finally fell to Idril’s sword. A search of the domicile revealed an ancient dwarven double axe, which the party assumed was the weapon in which Troka was interested. The party returned uneventfully to Elysia returned the axe to Troka and received his signature. Troka also suggested visiting the Temple of Gorethar as their Headpriestess was the current council member.

The party rested then entered the Temple of Gorethar and after a lengthy discussion about the ills of the city and the Order of Gorethar taking over patrolling the city for the Champions, the party agreed to investigate the undead that were rising in the graveyard. They went directly to the graveyard and even though it was the middle of the day they were assailed by skeletons. Koriel commanded one of the skeletons and the party quickly dispatched the rest. They proceeded to the oldest portion of the cemetery and began to examine mausoleums for signs of activity. Some of the mausoleums were empty, some contained skeletons, and some contained zombies; none of which presented a problem for the adventurers. After exploring nearly a dozen mausoleums the party finally came upon one that had evidence that the sarcophagus had recently been moved. After attempting multiple combinations they finally stumbled upon the correct order of buttons to open the secret door. The sarcophagus slid back to reveal a set of stairs descending into the darkness. The party cautiously descended the stairs and found a secret lair. They were faced with a hall way with three doors, one to each their right and left and another straight ahead. After exploring the right and left doors and finding a library and a bedroom. They entered the third door and were set on by a skeleton unlike the previous skeletons they had faced, this skeleton appeared to have battle skills and the party was hard pressed to defeat it. Koriel used touch attack healing spells to damage the skeleton and the skeleton returned the favor to Koriel by striking him down with a mighty slash of his bastard sword. Devon managed to pull Koriel from the battle and give him a healing potion. Koriel then completely healed himself and then he healed the skeleton to death.

After the battle, the party noticed another door in the room. When they passed through the door they saw an altar to Maleki and the cause of the undead problem, a cleric of Maleki raising an undead army. In the classic villain way the evil cleric yammered on about the foolish weaklings not being able to stop him or disrupt his plans. It was at this point that the party, having heard enough of the self-aggrandizing villain speeches, attacked. Unfortunately, there were four fast moving zombies in the way. The party engaged the zombies and the evil cleric using some harmful spells of his own nearly killed both Koriel and Lucius, if not for the quick action of Elrik in getting behind and flanking the villain and Lorelian singing to inspire everyone the battle might not have been won. After slaying the evil cleric, the party returned to the Temple of Gorethar and got their third and final signature and proceeded to their long-awaited meeting with Sarmon at the Council. But fair readers, that is a story for a different day.


Chapter 3

After getting the third and final signature on their council writ, the adventurers made their way over to the doors of Champions' Keep. A rather uninterested guard reluctantly summoned his commanding officer to inspect the writ. The officer subsequently summoned the seneschal to have a look at it, and after much more reluctancy, the writ was approved. The seneschal told them that the council meeting was to convene in one week, and that they would be allowed in.

Realizing that they now had a week to kill, the group members went back to the Shining Light Inn to recuperate some more and make some errands for supplies. They then started to do some more investigating into what was wrong with the Champions in the city. Walking through the streets, they noticed that the Champions were seemgingly going through the motions of their jobs with no thought or feeling. Devon was able to pass his hands in front of one of the Champions' faces without any notice. Far worse than that, the Champions were also oblivious to any crime in the city, which was accellerating beyond control and was barely abated by the Gorethites and the Maidens who began taking over their duties. Lorilean played the taverns at night and determined that the personality break happened about three months ago and occured quickly, but no other odd events happened around that time.

The heroes wondered if this affected the clerics of O'Ma in the city as well. They made their way over to the Temple of O'Ma and found sure enough that the clerics suffered from the same effect. Koriel got himself a guest room in the temple as a courtesty to a fellow man of the cloth, and proceeded to inspect the area. All of the priests and acolytes acted the same way.

A couple nights later, Lucius, Devon and Koriel followed an acolyte to his bedroom as he was retiring for the night. They watched him mechanically lay down and sleep. Approaching the sleeping acolyte, Koriel used magic to command him to awaken, which the acolyte did. However, he only stared straight ahead while awake. Neither Devon nor Koriel could get him to engage in any conversation beyond simple questions and answers, which were never useful.

At that point, Koriel told Lucius simply to pick the acolyte up and heft him over his shoulder, which Lucius did. The three of them then carried the acolyte back to the Inn. On the way to the Inn, the acolyte straightened up and stiffened like a board, mimicking the motions associated with going to sleep. That required two of the men to carry him.

When inspected by the rest of the party, they could not figure out what to do. The party decided it was best to take him to the Temple of Gorethar to ask them what Troka thought. That night, however, the guard to the temple told them Troka would not see them until morning. They waited around with the sleeping acolyte until she awoke, but precisely at sunrise, the acolyte woke up and began to struggle. Luckily, he had been tied up and could not move very well.

After some more tests on the acolyte, like seeing whether or not he can cast spells, which he could, the party was met by the high priestess of Gorethar. Unfortunately, she did not know the answer, but she was aware that not only were the Champions in that automaton state, so were all those who received spells from O'Ma. This troubled everyone, but on the side, Lucius, Devon, Elrik, and Koriel came up with a plan.

While Idril and Lorelian were not looking that evening, Lucius and Devon took the acolyte into an alley and killed him. They then brought him to Koriel who was waiting outside the Temple of Dru'El to bring the acolyte into the temple. Once there, they found the high priest who raised the acolyte after some discussion about where they found a body of an O'Ma acolyte. "Someone must have mugged and killed him. We don't know."

When the acolyte awoke, he was himself again, though he had no memories from the past 3 months! The last thing he remembered was the mid-summer fair. When told of his friends and associates' condition, he wanted to see them immediately, so he was taken by the party to the Temple of O'Ma. Deciding that he needed to pray over the matter, Koriel sympathetically allowed him to come back to his Inn room and pray over night. The cleric awoke the next morning just fine, but when he prayed his morning devotions, he came out of them an automaton once again. He then got up and walked back to the temple. Koriel sadly let him go.... and he was just beginning to like the guy.

This distressed Koriel greatly. He explained to the others that something must be wrong with their god, O'Ma, to produce symptoms like this. He had no idea what, however.

Making their way to the Keep to attend the council meeting, the heroes were ushered in by the guards after the same lengthy checks on their writ. After waiting in an antechamber, they were shown to a room with Sarmon, the head of the Champions! Unfortunately, he seemed to be an automaton like the rest of O'Ma's people. The party realized this wasn't going to be easy.

They pleaded with Sarmon to see that things were greatly amiss, and it took several tries to get through to him. Finally, Sarmon seemed to come out of a trance for a brief second, which caused him to struggle internally. His polymorph seemed to waver a bit, and his hand gained a slight dragon-claw-like appearance briefly. He then went into a grand seizure and raked the back of his neck wide open with the claw. Blood spurted out everywhere and he screamed. Dropping to the ground shaking, he managed to scream a seires of words before dying, "O'Ma is in trouble! The world is in great danger! Seek the heir of Tupaia! Vanoviel will know what to do." Then he stopped breathing and lay bleeding on the foor.

Unfortunately, the other Champions picked that moment to stream into the room, apparently awakened from their trance just in time to see the party standing over Sarmon's dead body. Immediately, they were accused of Sarmon's murder and thrown in a jail cell. The next day, the Champions who imprisoned them once again were automatized.

In the jail cell, the heroes had no way out. However, Devon found an air shaft about 60 feet up on the ceiling of the cell tower they occupied. He was able to spider climb up the wall and go through it. Retrieving the party's stuff on the other side, they made a quick escape down through the sewers to the Temple of Gorethar.

Troka listened to their story and told them they had to get out of Elysia. The heir of Tupaia, she believed, was the Arch-Druid of Dagroth Woods, and they should go see him. She gave them directions and they made their way over.

Going through the woods, the party noticed that the animals were running amok... some attacking them out of nowhere. Falling through a sink hole, the party landed in a small cave complex where there were many spiders who had a curiously hard rocky looking skin. Fighting their way through these spiders in the cave complex, they came across a very large pile of boulders by an exit. Making their way to climb over the boulders, they were stopped by the biggest spider they had ever seen.... easily 10 feet in diameter. The spider spoke to them. It said not to climb over the "body of the father". Evidently, it was rumored that Tupaia had a pet dokofu spider from Khanjar Kuro and the rumors were correct. This "body of the father" was the carcass of that spider, long dead of old age. The spiders in the cave were his hybrid offspring... and they were hungry, so the spider talking to them mentioned.

It came down to a pitched battle against the spiders, and after nearly dying a few times, the party won out. They made their way back into the woods and rested for a day there.

Making their way over to the grove, they finally found the druids of O'Ma and the heir of Tupaia, a handsome man with streaks of violet in his hair and some other slight dryadic features. Unfortunately, he was in the same state as Sarmon. So, bracing themselves for what might come, the heroes told him the story.

The results were the same. The Archdruid went into a fit and stabbed himself in the back of the head with a daggar. With his dying breath he stated, "Vanoviel can save O'ma, Seek a deeper cause. The companions can show you the way." The party was immediately surrrounded by a grove full of druids, powerful druids, and attacked for the murder of their leader.

The battle was going badly. Rains of hail and lightening fell around the heroes. Spikes rose up from the ground. Flaming blades of magical energy sprang to life... and that was before they even got attacked. Just when everyone was about to die, however, a powerful blast of magic dispelled all of the enchantments in the area, including many of the enchanted weapons carried by the party. Clearing the air, the party saw the druids surrounded by no less than 60 Champions....

The Champions claimed the party as their prisoners for the murder of Sarmon, and took them from the druids, who gave them up without a blink.... they were then thrown back in the same cell as before, except this time the air shaft was warded and magical protections prevented spellcasting and psionics from within. Thinking they were only delaying their death, the party hunkered down for a long night.

Just then, a flash of light cleared the air and the cell door blew off its hinges. Standing in the doorway was Nohik, the man who gave them their original mission to find what the Champions were up to. Unexplainedly, he took them away from there with a teleportation spell and listened to their retelling of events.


Sources

Ch 1 notes

Ch 2 source

Ch 3 notes