Vaelor / Thyl'ith / Lotharia Campaign

Legacy of Mir - Act 1 - Session 5
Combat, here! Get your combat! Combat, Combat, Combat!

The previous session had ended with the Wardens of Steel locked in combat with a handful of Drow archers just inside the main courtyard of a large chapel complex.

The session began with the continuation of the battle as Vallatha dispatched an archer on the north tower, and Baderon dispatched an archer on the south tower. Kaelen and Lauryll’ana continued their forward rush into the archers at the centre of the courtyard, while the four archers on the tier above continued to rain down poisoned arrow after poisoned arrow.

Kaelen attempted to flank around the side of the archers and came face-to-face with six Drow warriors advancing in formation towards him, backed up by four archers.

“Shit!” he muttered as he ducked back behind the corner. “Ten more coming!”

As the warriors advanced, Kaelen stepped into their path to block them from moving on to his companions. Kaelen was quickly surrounded as another group of warriors moved up to support the archers who were still raining down death.

Paran, still floating in from the north, unleashed a horde of grasping black tentacles directly under the archers and warriors on the tier above. The tentacles rubbery arms flailed ineffectively at the archers and warriors who all jumped down from the tier above to surround Foxfire’s panther animal companion, Lassa.

The brave panther had savaged one archer already and pounced on another, grabbing it into her mouth where she held it to the ground. Now surrounded, she was pummelled repeatedly until she fell unconscious.

Foxfire shouted in rage and continued his onslaught of acid arrows on the archers, each of them being hit repeatedly with dripping acid damage. Lauryll’ana braced to face the onrushing warriors, while Kaelen was left alone to face ten Drow on his own.

Vallatha descended from the north tower and Baderon bounded from the south tower to cross the courtyard to provide support to their companions. Vallatha engaged two auras, one of fast healing for those who were badly wounded and one to reduce damage from incoming attacks.

Baderon called on Tymora’s power and shouted a holy word which deafened and blinded the Drow in the courtyard. He then turned and called on the power of Tymora’s archons to blow a magical horn of force at a group of warriors surrounding Kaelen. Six of them were paralyzed and frozen in place.

Finally arriving at the scene, Paran lined up a cone of cold, and blasted the warriors around Kaelen, smashing cold into their flanks. The power of the blast blew through the outer wall of the compound, which collapsed onto the paralyzed archers below.

In the centre of the courtyard, Lauryll’ana, Baderon, Vallatha and Foxfire continued their steady attacks on the scattered Drow. The Drow began dropping one by one as the heroes seemed to be getting the upper hand. Vallatha’s fast healing aura was enough to restore Lassa to life, and she retreated behind Foxfire for protection.

Kaelen continued his counter attack on the warriors surrounding him, using his defensive training to keep himself alive under the flurry of blows. The Drow began to fall before him as Paran arrived and set down on the ground in the middle of warriors, enacting his protective bladesong.

As the last act of the session, one of the buried and paralyzed archers extracted himself from the rubble and stood up directly in front of Paran, leaving himself exposed. Paran took the opportunity to attack and unleashed a PERFECT strike on the archer. The vorpal magic of the Sword of Auros was enacted and the archer’s head was cut from his shoulders.

The session ended with the Drow in a losing position and the Wardens of Steel well tested, but holding their ground.

Will the heroes be confident enough to explore the compound further? What secrets does the chapel yet hold?

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Legacy of Mir - Act 1 - Session 4
Eagles? Golems? Beholders? Drow? What next?

The Wardens of Steel, hardened from the previous day’s exertions and a little mentally shaken, were physically bolstered by a good night’s rest. The party pulled on their armour, ruffled out the kinks and loosened up for another day of risking their lives.

The group ventured out of the underground complex below the crumbling tower and onto the small island. The swirling dim fog which filled the mythal had impeded seeing anything on the previous day, but now, for whatever reason, Paran was able to see much further than he had been able to before. He could make out the beginnings of a town across the water, with ruined buildings and docks along the far edge of the bank. While to the south, a huge palatial home, a squat tower and a bridge awaited them.

Kaelen was set on visiting the tower and the party set out. The majority waded across the river, except Paran who floated above them, propelled by a spell of overland flight. The party headed to the tower and as they approached saw the first bright and colourful thing they’d seen since entering the mythal – some sort of sign on the edge of the tower. The group approached and discovered that the outside of the tower featured a permanent semi-three-dimensional map of Myth Bellavae. The party hadn’t been sure if this was the fabled place or not, and now it was confirmed.

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Taking some time, they explored the mansion to the west and the squat defensive tower. A few minor items were discovered, but nothing of great significance. The party approached the bridge with intent to cross, but after a quick engineering investigation, realized that they’d likely fall through the bridge. If they fell in the water, it wasn’t too far from a long plunge over the falls…

The plan was decided that they would return to the island and cross back to the east bank at the same spot they originally crossed over from. The party headed back the way they came and returned to the original crossing point and found the north wall of Myth Bellavae. Following along the edge of the crumbling old walls, they eventually found their way to an old abandoned stable and the completely collapsed and crumbled towers of the Singer’s Gate.

The party ventured inside the walls for the first time, eyeballed the destroyed buildings nearby, and turned to the left – headed straight up towards Stilmyst Palace. Half way up the long sloping road leading up the palace gates, Paran and Foxfire spotted a few huge creatures moving in the trees a few hundred feet away. The group froze in their tracks and watched. A few small movements, a couple of loud calls, and a flap of the wing and they knew that they were observing an aerie of giant birds. The only logical conclusion was giant eagles! The party watched for a few moments, but having not yet been attacked continued up the slope and away from the nest.

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Ascending to the top of the hill they arrived outside Stilmyst palace. Paran was able to get a better line of sight by floating a little higher in the air, but little was spotted. The party approached the main gate and as they got closer they began to see debris spread all across the paving stones in front of the gates. Closer and closer, more and more debris, and it all started to take shape: bones. The area was littered with bones and the remnants of corpses.

The party, encamped just twenty metres from the gates spied everything they could within the gates and in front of it. Bones by the thousands, some ancient and withered, others still attached to whole bodies. Amongst the bodies, scaring everyone a bit, were beholders. Whatever was through this gate was killing beholders, and not only them, but drow and Mirran panthers as well.

Paran sparked on to the idea, “Hey… there’s no eagles! I’m going to float up higher.” Paran rose up over the edge of the walls to be able to see inside. A large castle courtyard opened up before him and standing in the centre of the courtyard surrounded by pillars topped with statues was a huge metallic golem. The golem had the curvature of a woman, and Paran felt she had a distinctly elven styling to her armour. But, he didn’t recognize this type of construct – it was some sort of mixed alloy.

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“Hello there!” shouted Paran. “Who do you serve?”

“NONE SHALL PASS!”

With that new information, Paran returned to the group. They continued their discussion, and Paran filled the party in on what he knew about constructs, and what some properties might be of a construct like this one. She stood 16’ tall, was incredibly strong, and seemed to be made of an alloy of mithral, iron and gold.

At a loss on what to do next, and in no way desiring a confrontation with the golem, the Wardens decided to retreat and to search for the three items mentioned in Lord Kallastair’s letter. Brainstorming was done as to the location of the Silverthorn woods, and it occurred to Paran he knew where it was. Evermeet! Clearly, going there was no option at this point in time and they just had to hope that Aenwyn had brought the three items with her on her journey and that those items hadn’t yet left Myth Bellavae.

Paran took a quick tour of the outside of the walls and the palace itself and was able to detect the presence of magic all over. It was protected by Guards and Wards and other spells which were being purposefully masked that he couldn’t decipher. He returned to the party with the new information. Everyone agreed that the only way to go forward was to fight, and no one deemed that to be a good idea.

The Wardens of Steel descended from the palace past the eagle aerie and arrived at the base of the hill. Turning immediately left past a building which would have been impressive once, but now seemed to stand as a monument to the wildness of nature. It was covered in vines and overgrown trees, though the vibrancy of the wildness seemed to have been lost at some point over the years.

The party approached the next building and just as they were arriving at the large estate house, Paran and Foxfire noticed movement in the large walled chapel compound immediately to the south of where they were. The party fanned out into the estate house to hide and watch, while also doing a bit of searching. The searching and the waiting both proved fruitfful. A sigil was found repeatedly scrawled on the building and the party didn’t know what to make of it other than it looked a bit like a diagram of abjuration magic. From searching the estate, a magic scroll in an ancient scroll case was discovered which would allow the caster to create a magic circle against evil. From the surveillance, a scouting party of drow returning to the chapel was spotted and confirmed the party’s fears.

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The party, wary of making the mistake of attacking potential allies, decided to send Kaelen and Lauryll’ana forward to “parlay.” Half way to the compound the arrows began to fly and the fight was on. Kaelen and Lauryll’ana rushed towards the gates of the compound and unleashed a conjoined bull rush manoeuvre. The gates were thrown open and the two paladins suddenly found themselves face to face with over a dozen angry drow.

As the paladins were rushing in under a hail of arrow fire, Paran was unleashing hell. A massive fireball which ignited everything around it went off inside the compound, and was quickly followed by a second, regular, fireball. The drow were badly injured by this exchange and in the battle that ensued between them and the two paladins, plus their slow to join reinforcements, was quick and decisive for the Wardens of Steel.

The session ended mid-combat with the party still being threatened by eight drow archers and their nefarious sleep poison tipped arrows. Will the party finish mopping up the opposition? What else will the Wardens of Steel discover as they climb the chapel?

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Legacy of Mir - Act 1 - Session 3
Aenwyn the Banshee Bladesinger...

The Wardens of Steel, breathing heavily from the recent battle, turned and dispatched the five crawling hands which still bothered the party’s Cleric, Baderon. A series of holy energy channels and healing spells followed as the party healed their viciously bleeding wounds through the power of Corellan, Torm and Tymora. All seven were healed to full health.

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A single door led further into the tower complex and the party slowly and carefully descended down the stairs. When they came to an intersection, a landing to the right which led upwards, they pursued it wanting to leave no leaf unturned.

The tunnel led up to another section of the tower complex where the group discovered a stairwell leading to a secret entrance which opened on to the southern part of the island and a small ruined office which had a floor grate providing a viewport onto a bigger room below… the only place they hadn’t yet explored.

The party returned back to the stairwell and continued down to the largest room at the bottom of the dungeon. Standing like a statue at the back of the room was the skeletal form of an elven bladesinger – she was waiting for the party to arrive.

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As they stepped into the room she charged them and unleashed a bolt of magical electricity which arced through each of the members of the party. The battle was joined.

A chaotic battle ensued as the banshee bladesinger was able to bring her skill at swordplay and arcane arts to bear on the party. Paran, knowing her bladesinger abilities should be ineffectual without her sword, cast True Strike and disarmed her, dropping her sword at her feet.

A mad scramble ensued as the party tried to grab the sword, but she was still as armed and dangerous as before. When the brave Gold Elven Paladin Lauryll’ana tried to grab the sword, the banshee’s glowing skeletal fist punched directly into her throat and delivered a debilitating critical hit which sent Lauryll’ana soaring backwards to land on the floor amongst her companions. She was dead. Permanently dead.

“Nooooo!” screamed everyone in the party in unison. Baderon lurched forward and fell over Lauryll’ana while calling on Tymora. “My Goddess, hear me! Spin a coin for Lauryll’ana, send the breath of your holy radiance to her! Bring her back!”

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The elven maiden’s form shuddered as ragged breaths filled her lungs and she returned to life. The remaining heroes, now fearing for all of their lives, redoubled their efforts to end the menace once and for all. Blow after blow rained down on her skeletal form until at last she shattered. The body which had once been hers in life fell away leaving only the evil spirit, furious and vengeful, with all of her powers brought to bear against the heroes. A shockwave of power crashed through the room sending the heroes careening backwards, with only Paran and Kaelen holding their ground.

Paran, sensing that the party needed a few seconds to catch their breath created a wall of magical force between the banshee and the party. She was trapped on the wrong side! Furious, the vengeful spirit smashed her glowing negative energy fists into the wall and hacked at it with her sword of negative energy. She was having an effect, but there was no way she was going to break through it quickly.

The Wardens of Steel, having caught their breath and healed back to full health, faced off with the banshee once again as Paran lowered the magical wall of force. The combined might of the three front line heroes, and the savage undead slaughtering blows of Kaelen, brought the banshee to her knees and at last she was defeated.

A sliver of the spirit of the bladesinger she had been escaped from the vengeful monster she had become. Her original form lingered on the torture table for a brief moment as she, one by one, looked to each of her killers… and rescuers. Her eyes lingered on Paran as she cried, “I loved you,” she sobbed. “I gave you everything… and you left me here to die. To die alone.” Her spirit, fading from the mortal plane, convulsed. Her eyes stared at Paran as she faded away, “Goodbye… Lord… Kallassstt…”

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She was gone. The Wardens of Steel were victorious, but troubled.

The party scavenged through the room and the belongings of ancient bladesinger and discovered a few items of power and an ancient letter which crumbled when touched – but not before Paran was able to memorise its contents. A brief venture up the stairs and it was decided to camp inside of a rope trick, and on the following day explore more of the surface.

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A somber evening followed as the heroes grappled with their near death, or completely dead, experiences and talked through their motivations and fears. Each member of the party was committed to the quest, but the reality and lethality of what lie ahead sat forefront in their minds as they headed off to restless sleep.

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Legacy of Mir - Act 1 - Session 2
The Wardens of Steel find Myth Bellavae...

The Wardens of Steel had bravely evaded a huge lumbering forest monster by throwing themselves into the river and extra-dimensionally traveling downstream as far as their magic would take them, leaving their ranger’s animal companion to fend for herself and escape into the river on her own.

The desparate escape attempt proved successful when the lumbering forest monster was avoided, and Lassa, Foxfire’s animal companion, rejoined them safely after a long swim down the river.

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The Wardens of Steel continued on their southward journey along the river as the forest seemed to get thicker and thicker with every step. The only blessing they had going for them was the minute amounts of sunshine that being near the river afforded them despite the tangled undergrowth.

As suddenly as the thick forests had began and surrounded them… they opened. The way before the heroes seemed clear as the terrain opened into heavily wooded areas broken by wide meadows along the river’s edge.

On their fourth day heading south along the river the party stumbled across some ancient crumbling ruins. The stonework was so faint, overgrown and eroded that they could barely tell it was stonework instead of just a common rock in their path. The keen eyed Paran was sure it was a sign of long lost habitation and the party felt like they were on the right track to finding their eventual goal – Myth Bellavae.

Another long day of overland travel ensued and towards the late afternoon the party saw a darkness on the horizon. A shimmering wall of greyish fog beckoned to them and filled them with a fear of the unknown.

Paran, the resident arcanist and elf historian, stepped forward using his now innate ability to detect the flows of magic to study the swirling vortex in front of them. After many hours of study he determined that the effect was in fact a mythal. A mythal which was unraveling and failing. Having studied the ebb and flow of the mythal’s magic as far as he could understand it, Paran declared it safe for entry. However, he noted that the original effects of the mythal seem to have changed or inverted over time.

The mythal still provided a boon to elvenkind setting foot within its boundaries, making them more skillful at all tasks. It had the effect of preventing intradimensional travel, but didn’t seem to have any impact on extradimensional travel.

However, a few good effects seemed to have turned negative. A permanent dimness had descended over the mythal improving the ability to sneak within it, but hampering the ability to see and hear. Another positive ability, one which encouraged the natural healing of living creatures within the mythal was now hampered. No living thing was capable of growing or healing within the confines of the mythal itself.

Finally, the last ability of the mythal prevented certain “lesser” races from entering: orcs, gnolls, humans and goblinoids would need to overcome the magic with a force of will to enter.

The Wardens of Steel camped outside of the mythal and prepared to enter on the following day. With their camp set in an extradimensional pocket at the top of a rope trick, the party slept peacefully. The next morning they geared up and descended the rope – they were prepared to enter the mythal. During the night’s watch, Paran had heard wailing coming from a small island in the centre of the river with the crumbling ruins of a tower on it and the Wardens of Steel decided that would be their first port of call.

They ventured directly through the swirling grey foggy wall of the mythal, and though Kaelen and Baderon had to push, all of the party were able to remain together. After a small distance traveled to the south the party crossed over to the island and explored the ruins of the tower and nearby out buildings. Nothing of note stood out to them about the island except for an ancient stairwell descending down into the tower.

The party descended into the tower and were almost immediately frightened by the sound of some slavering monster banging against the door of a small prison cell immediately to their left at the bottom of the spiral staircase.

Before they could fully investigate they were interrupted by a banshee! The horrible undead elven spirit rushed at them with debilitating negative energy drain attacks as the slavering monster, a wild and crazed drow maniac who’d been extensively tortured, attacked them. The banshee used the clustering of the Wardens of Steel to unleash her deafening scream which nearly killed Vallatha, bringing her within an inch of losing her life.

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The party were able to fight her back and defeat her. But, not so easily defeated, the banshee’s spirit disappeared through the stone wall. The PC’s easily dispatched the tortured drow and healed their wounds.

The Wardens of Steel pressed on and ventured into the next room where they were assaulted by another maniac drow. The second drow was far more powerful with long sharpened claws and jagged teeth. It’s vicious rending attacks left the party bleeding and wounded. It took an incredible flurry of blows before the body eventually fell away leaving only the banshee’s spirit! She descended into the floor and disappeared from the party.

The session ended as the group turned to focus on the five crawling hands which had joined the maniac drow and to heal their bleeding wounds.

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Legacy of Mir - Act 1 - Session 1
A new dawn for the Wardens of Steel...

The adventure resumes!

The Wardens of Steel, after three long years of building up the Kingdom of Tethyr from their respective duchies, set out to meet up with each other in the city of Saradush in the far east of the Kingdom. Each Duke travelled with a large baggage train full of followers and aides. The varied processions meet with each other along the way and turned into a massive legion of horse carried riders near Orcridge castle and on to Saradush itself.

The Wardens of Steel met with the Duke of Saradush and prepared a plan of action for descending into the Forests of Mir. The following morning, they would set out with their assorted attendants who would escort them to the edge of the forest, before eventually returning back to Saradush and on to their respective duchies, while the Wardens of Steel would press on into the deepest and darkest parts of the forest looking for the ancient city of Myth Bellavae.

The Wardens of Steel led their men south through the Ithal pass and down to the north eastern edge of the Forest of Mir where they said their good byes and ventured on alone.

The party was formed of eight members:

After traveling a few days south along the edge of the forest, the Wardens of Steel turned west and ventured directly into the trees. At first the going was easy, but harder days were to come.

On the third day of venturing into the woods, while encamped near a small stream to prepare lunch and refill waterskins, the Wardens of Steel were ambushed by a vicious purple skinned outsider – a Purple Tenebrous Worm! The battle was short and the party proved victorious, but suffered a terrible loss. Paran’s faithful…ish mount, “Daeodon” the Daeodon was eaten and swallowed whole by the worm, while the rest of the party managed to avoid the worst of the huge creature’s vicious attacks.

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The Wardens of Steel dismembered the huge worm in the search for treasure and came across the mostly decomposed body of a drow and a magical longbow. The bow was identified and claimed by Foxfire! Sadly, their dear Daeodon had already left them and was left behind beside the worm to rot. The party was down to 7.

The Wardens of Steel continued deeper and deeper into the woods. The forests grew steadily thicker until they were so thick and dark the brave heroes felt like the forest was as dark on the ground during the day as it was during the night. However, after several days of trekking through the hard forests, they arrived at a river’s edge. Foxfire knew that he could use his nature magic to navigate up and down the river the following morning, so the Wardens made camp that night.

The following morning, Foxfire was able to detect ruins far to the south along the river’s edge and the party set out immediately. A few days into their journey, they heard a huge rumbling coming through the forest and dived into the river to avoid it. They were able to detect a HUGE shambling Immense Mandragora, and with careful use of Dimension Door and abandonment of Lassa, they were able to escape the Immense Mandragora without being seen.

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So ended the first session, as the players closed on the lost city of Myth Bellavae!

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Saturday, September 8th, 2012

The session began with the heroes facing off with their hated foe, the Cornugon, for the third time. The heroes watched with dismay as Kela was sent flying from her horse, landing in the melee raging around them. They kicked their horses into action, charging at the terrifying black beast. Baderon was knocked from horseback, and his horse was snapped in half by the huge creature.

A terrible battle ensued as the assembled might of the heroes unleashed wave after wave of blows on the beast. The divine inspiration of Paran’s Paladin cohort, Lauryll’ana, allowed them to actually hurt the monster, cutting through its damage resistance, preventing it from regenerating, and giving them that extra bit of heft required to pierce it’s unnaturally thick skin.

The fight was short and messy, but the heroes stood triumphant. However, the devil’s arrival had completely shattered the Waterdhavian lines and the soldiers were fleeing. The heroes, using a wall of whirling force blades halted the enemy advance as they raced back to link up, they hoped, with reinforcements to stem the tide. They were greeted by the sound of fireballs and the Grand Marshal’s screaming voice, as Zazesspurian reinforcements stopped the enemy advance. With the help of the heroes, the bulge was cut off, and in minutes the enemy forces were fleeing again. A ragged and desperate line was formed as the Grand Marshal sent the PC’s to check on the King and take stock of the situation.

Kaelen, suddenly realizing he may have forgotten to give orders to his personal forces, raced back to camp to find an angry and annoyed group of his soldiers – loyally following Kaelen’s lack of orders with distinction. A short, yet rousing, speech was made and his soldiers scrambled back into their armour and raced off to join the shaky right flank.

Meanwhile, Baderon and Paran acquired new mounts, while the King gave them a “what have you done” look for the explosion which had rocked the battlefield only a short while earlier. The Grand Marshal, Vajra, returned as Kaelen arrived and issued the heroes to the left flank to force that side to crumble. However, their efforts weren’t needed as the cavalry commander on the left was hammering the enemy flanks and they simply got to join in the rout.

During the chase, however, they came across a smoking area of the battlefield. A massive black disk of jet black rock had formed. Perfectly level and incredibly hot, any fleeing soldier stupid enough to step on it was engulfed in flames. The heroes gave each looks of “what have we done” as they skipped past the devastation and aided in the capture and slaughter of the now completely routed army.

At long last, after 6 straight hours of brutal melee, facing off against a Devil twice, destroying an artefact of power, greeting an old friend, and finishing the rout of the enemy army the King’s armies and the heroes stood victorious.

Only Memnon remained.

Immediately as the dust began to settle, the post-battle cleanup began as Kela and Grand Marshal Vajra were sent on with the freshest men left amongst the three armies to lay siege to Memnon, with the King and whoever else he could find to follow the next morning. As the 5000 men marched off the heroes overlooked the day’s wreckage and did their best to clean their filthy bloody belongings and bodies in preparation for the final conflict.

The heroes, as part of the King’s entourage with 2,000 additional men, spent three days chasing the small fast moving army of the Grand Marshal, but arrived at Memnon a full day behind. As they arrived, they could see the city walls were open, and that part of the city was smoking. Screaming and yelling could be heard for miles.

Kela, much to her dismay, told the King & heroes the story. The night they arrived they had set siege lines and had begun making camp when the gates to the eastern bank of the city opened. Enterprising soldiers seized the moment and charged into the city capturing the south bridge and spreading into the city itself. Small street battles followed, but the city was effectively captured sometime in the middle of the night. The soldiers however, having fought for months with no plunder, having seen many of their friends die only a day or two earlier, and spoiling for some rapin’ and stealin’, set about the city.

The King, not looking particularly fussed about the news, ordered small loyal groups of soldiers into the city to stop any raping or murdering. The heroes scouted the city and found the sack in full swing and eventually left – leaving the soldiers to their plunder.

At long last the war was over.

The Queen called an assembly of all the assembled nobility, generals and commanders, common soldiers and quite literally anyone else who could stand and fit into the small beach area near the river’s mouth in Memnon. It was the 22nd of Hammer, 1369.

The Queen declared that the area would have a shrine built to the unknown soldier who willingly gave his or her life for the Kingdom of Tethyr, and ordered that every city should build a shrine like it to remember the death and suffering of the past several months.

The Queen also named a number of new Counts of the realm, and several new Dukes of the realm, including the three principal members of the Wardens of Steel: Baderon, Kaelen and Paran. With her final word, she declared that this day, the 22nd of Hammer, would henceforth by a great festival and celebration day in the Kingdom of Tethyr – Victory Day.

And thus ended The War in Tethyr campaign.

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Tuesday, August 28th 2012

This session began as Baderon, Lauryll’ana and Kaelen smashed multiple combatants into the battle churned earth, outright killing them. The short, yet terrifying free fall had placed them right in the middle of the melee. Paran and Vallatha were both deposited slightly deeper into enemy lines, surprising the enemy they landed amongst. A brief and frantic melee ensued amongst the turgid battle line as the Wardens of Steel desperately tried to rejoin one another.

Shortly after landfall, Paran somehow spoke into the confused and otherwise occupied minds of his embattled friends. He beseeched them to fight towards one another. As the three plate wearers tried to regain their feet, a cacophony of fireballs, lightning bolts and other spells was heard going off from the general direction of the wagon and staff Kaelen had just rendered inoperable. Lauryll’ana summoned her fully barded mount into the melee and used him to great effect, effectively rescuing Paran as he somehow bounded around the melee in an effort to reach his companions. While not as devastating due to their lack of magical enhancements, the heroes nevertheless regained their battle composure in short order and quickly reformed their group posture. Enemy soldiers gave them a wide berth and their comrades were seemingly bolstered by their presence. It was at this point that the heroes chose to withdraw, to find another situation to help with and make a difference in.

In short order, Grand Marshal Vajra and the Grand Vizier were found amongst the swirling dust. Vajra was slightly exasperated at Kaelen’s description and reason for the massive explosion and black energy halo, while Valthalas simply and knowingly shook his head at Kaelen. The Grand Marshal subsequently dispatched the heroes to investigate reports of fast moving cavalry approaching the left flank. The Wardens of Steel headed towards the Cormyrian lines and pushed out past them, stopping to look for signs of mounted attackers. Paran quickly spotted dust clouds and eventually incoming cavalry. It was decided that blade barrier would be relied on to hinder and/or stop this attack. As the charging foes grew closer, the heroes began to notice interesting things. Dire boar mounts with armor plates and spikes, small and bearded creatures atop said dire boars with emblazoned shields and axes/hammers, and they possibly weren’t duergar. As the heroes tried to identify the incoming targets, Kaelen quietly suspected the only friendly dwarves it could be would be Bahlin and his kin. As an attack decision loomed, Paran made contact with the approaching riders using message. As fortune smiled upon them, the heroes learned that it was in fact dwarves and that it was Bahlin and his able kin, spoiling for a fight. Kaelen was overjoyed to learn that his dwarven friend had succeeded in his mission to save the enslaved dwarves the party had encountered in the upper Underdark…and that he had promptly turned around to find the war. The heroes quickly explained where they could most easily find quality fighting, and the dwarves got down to business.

The heroes personally made contact with the Cormyrian commanders and the Grand Marshal herself, to explain the situation as they had soon heard the dwarven cavalry begin to chew through the enemy ranks. The Grand Marshal quickly dispatched the Wardens of Steel to the right flank, as she had received reports of the line faltering and men running in fear. The heroes quickly headed in that direction. As they trotted through the churning dust, they suddenly broke out onto a blossoming fight between Kela and the heroes’ personal foe, the cornugon.

The session ended as the heroes prepared to intervene.

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Saturday, August 25th 2012

This session began at the Wardens of Steel having just been awoken and instructed to meet in the command tent for a briefing. After armoring and arming themselves, the heroes headed to the command tent which was filled to capacity with heroes, commanders, royalty, nobles, dukes, marshals and anyone else who was to a play pivotal role in the days events. As a well coordinated team, Queen Zaranda and Grand Marshal Vajra described their expectations for everyone. The Cormyrians would hold the left flank and use their superior cavalry to roll the enemy at every chance. The Zazesspurian forces would anchor all of His Majesty’s troops by holding the centre and acting as both a pivot and pushing force. The combined forces of Waterdeep and all of the divine casters at the disposal of the war effort were to hold the right flank and be in position to support the centre group when needed. The direction provided to the Wardens of Steel made the heroes happy: kill or contain anything that a relatively immobile army couldn’t – devils, casters, command staff and any unseen threats. Kaelen and Paran simply smiled at one another.

The heroes assigned highest target value to the cornugon they knew would be back, followed by enemy casters, followed by the Empress, and finally anything or anyone else that posed a extraordinary threat. In order to force the devil to the ground, the heroes tied themselves together with a series of silk ropes. Spells were also memorized and prayed for at this time. The two forces arrayed themselves out, ready to join battle. It was at this moment that a literal wild man chose to ride out between the two forces, each foot atop a different stallion as they charged impossibly fast carrying the axe and sword wielding lunatic across the line of battle. Disparaging remarks were issued by Kaelen and Paran, until they were told that the man was Tempus himself. Tempus being the deity of war. This was humbling for the heroes as they realized that they were only small pieces of a big picture, and that the picture was being watched by the gods themselves.

Battle was joined, and after a time, the heroes cornugon foe issued forth from the rear of the enemy army to scout. After a lazily paced recon, it returned to its master. After its suspected report, it returned to the air and made its way to the Cormyrian forces which were finding success. After a strafing run upon the cavalry, the Wardens of Steel used dimension door and placed themselves in the air, in front of the cornugon, at roughly 650 feet. The cornugon ran headlong into the tangled mess of silk rope and armored heroes. The heroes, under the magic of airwalk, acted as a anchor in the air and caused the devil to rotate via its momentum in the ropes. At this point, the fiend met with a flurry of blows to its solar plexus. These attacks were bolstered by divine power via Paran’s ultra-Paladin cohort. The cornugon prudently fled the scene, having been badly wounded. This left Paran and Kaelen unfulfilled.

As they made their way towards the ground, walking through the sky at a downward slope, the heroes turned back to survey the battlefield and Paran and Kaelen’s cohort spotted a wagon under heavy guard near the rear of the enemy force. After closer inspection of the wagon and those around it via the far sight bow, Paran described what he had seen. It was a elaborate staff with a base/receptacle on top of a wagon, guarded by robed men, women and heavily armored men and knights. This led the heroes to consider the possibility of the staff being used to control the enemy army unnaturally, as had been described by the commander of the Black Guard in Myratma (sp). Given that the staff was on the battlefield, and so heavily guarded, the heroes assigned it a high target value. Kaelen briefly explained that he believed the enemy was trying to control their time and resources, and that their greatest strength was acting on their own timetable, towards targets they decided upon. Proactive not reactive. He wanted that staff, and so did Paran. As a group, they agreed to do something about it.

A quick plan was developed whereby the group would use three dimension doors back to back to back in order to place them above the wagon, on the wagon, and then away from the wagon. They decided not to try and fight, rather Kaelen would grab the staff and receptacle, and then they would all flee through their last dimension door before they faced an enemy reprisal. A sounder notion had never been conceived at 550+ feet before! After reaching the wagon, Paran acted before the enemy could respond and used cloud kill to destroy a large number of mounts and cause their riders unhealthy side effects. The two cohorts chose to prepare for their departure, not wanting to get swarmed by the guards. Kaelen reached over with both hands and tried to lift the staff. He felt a probing evil presence within the item and discovered that he couldn’t budge the staff. On gronkstinct, he quickly slid his hands up the stave and wrenched on it with all his might. To his adrenaline shrouded surprise, the staff simply snapped off with an audible crack. Crackling sparks and wispy lines of powerful magic energy began to weave from both fractured ends of the staff as magical pressure in the area grew exponentially. “Oh shit,” issued from Baderon as his mouth caught up to his eyes and Paran instructed Kaelen to “Throw it away, quick!” Kaelen tossed the wrecked item off the side of the wagon as they all desperately filed into Paran’s last dimension door.

They popped out of the dimension door close to the battle lines and, due to their clearly defined cases of post traumatic stress disorder, delayed slightly before running for their lives. Too few seconds passed before they heard (some glanced to see) a snappy explosion and saw a horrific black halo ring of energy issue forth from the area of the wagon. A gasping breath later and they were falling helplessly towards the ground, the magical enhancements from both items and spells gone.

This session ended with the three heavily armored heroes crushing fighting soldiers as they collided with the ground and Paran and Kaelen’s cohort gently falling via spells.

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Tuesday, August 21st 2012

This session began with Baderon, Paran and Kaelen having just watched their cornugon foe fly away. The trio soon were joined by their cohorts and as a group began helping anyone they could, including policing fallen soldiers. Shortly after stabilizing the wounded, Paran spotted a messenger riding hard for the front. He collected his cohort and paced the messenger who informed him the rear was being harried by cavalry. Paran brought this news back to his friends and as a group they made way for the king, realizing that both the middle and end of the column had been hit and that the front might be next. Upon arriving at their king’s side, they learned that the front had indeed been hit – by nasty, evil magics that saw 500 light cavalry become mired and then wilted to death by black rain. (I wonder what the weather is like this time of year in Evereska?) Haedrak was slightly incredulous at hearing the Wardens of Steel had tangled with a cornugon that had attacked his army, but agreed with the report once he learned that Paran and Kaelen had “rode that son of a bitch into the ground.” King NE had received many reports and took this time to fill in the heroes. It boiled down to: too bad we can’t stay baby…but there’s 60, 000 troops headed for us. And cavalry. And casters. And a devil. The Wardens of Steel were ordered to protect and escort the baggage train as Army Groups A, B and C all headed directly east to prepare for battle.

The Wardens arrived at the baggage train to discover it wasn’t making all haste. Kaelen changed the collective attitude with a polite, yet curt directive that the whole group needed to head east, and quickly. After the baggage train was under way, the heroes broke off in order to shadow their charge. Whilst on look out for the roughly 150 cavalry reported in their general area, Paran spotted sign of the enemy far off. The group rode to intercept and managed to find a natural attack point. After some vague, Kaelen-esque attempt at being stealthy, the heroes goaded the enemy into charging…which lead them headlong (and uphill!) into a delightful twin blade barrier, stinking cloud and fireball on top cake. The 100% fatality rate of the enemy pleased no one and the heroes left the scene as quietly as they had witnessed the carnage.

Upon rejoining the army, the heroes saw the queen and grand marshal navigating military politics. They also found their king and Valthalas touring the troops in an effort to stem the flow of positive morale from the situation. Kaelen had already attempted to boost the queen and grand marshal’s morale, and did so again with his king. At this point, Veyra ordered all paladins and clerics to sleep. 5pm. 35C. 76% humidity. Kaelen barely had his armor off before sleep smote him.

The session ended with the heroes being awoken for the plan to the end of all things.

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Saturday, August 18th 2012

This session began with the Wardens of Steel stepping through Paran’s dimension door and stepping onto the odd island in the middle of the river. There was no man, only what turned out to be a devious trap which saw the heroes fall from the material plane into the abyss. It sucked. It’s dark and hell is hot. This saw Paran chew through 18 levels of spells in order to safely deposit the 5 adventurers onto the ground and then back up and through the orange rimmed portal which Paran remarked was slowly closing. Once back on the material plain, the heroes were underwater and drowning in their gear. Some tried to swim, Paran levitated the whole party, and Kaelen attempted to see his body go in different directions with the Rod of Lordly Might. Once free of the river and ashore, the group regained themselves, completed a quick recon and headed back towards Army Groups A, B and C. They made contact with a large elven patrol attempting to find there missing brethren. Wardens of Steel threw in with them and eventually discovered that the elves were snatched away by something overwhelmingly evil. This was unnerving.

Once returned to the army, they woke the king and relayed their story, with each giving their own account. The king ordered sleep to be had by all. The next 4 to 5 days saw training goals being made and met, friendships being worked on, new followers being introduced, cohorts being interacted with and general wartime camaraderie. The early afternoon of the 5th day saw an attack at the rear of Army Group C. Kaelen, Paran and Baderon galloped to the scene only to find men fleeing and being savaged by a horned devil. Knowing that only they were able to act against the fiend, an eager Kaelen and resolute Paran used dimensioned door to land upon the monsters back in order to force it to the ground while stoic Baderon rode furiously to the suspected point of impact. Unable to maintain their intial holds, Kaelen and Paran fell from the somewhat alarmed airborne jerkface towards the ground. The two rolled towards each other and Paran placed them right back upon the fiend’s back. This time, holds were maintained and sword blows began to fall upon the devil. The devil tucked its wings and chose to attack Kaelen who happily accepted the violence as the 1200lbs of devil, man, elf and steel plummeted to the ground. At the last second, Paran saved the falling pair from impact with a spell while their foe smashed into the ground. The three combatants rose and prepared for the Tilt o Whirl. The devil unleashed black flames and then took flight, bringing an abrupt end to a fast and intense exchange.

The session ended with Paran, Baderon and Kaelen helping and directing the regroup and healing of men. The devil flew off into the coastal sunset.

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