Vaelor / Thyl'ith / Lotharia Campaign

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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Saturday, August 11th 2012

This session began with Kaelen and Paran debriefing the king and the inner circle about what their liaison, Cador, with the city could inform them of. Following this, 500 light horse pushed through the city to clear the fields to the southwest and to ensure no surprises would come from that direction. Kela and the entirety of the Order of The Rose rode into and secured the city inside the walls for a visit from the king and his staff. The hastily formed city council welcomed the king and asked for food and water. They received water. As well, the following day saw their water sources purified (except the river) and Kaelen and his followers moving through the populace aiding who they could.

On the second day, in the early evening, it was reported that 6 elven scouts had not returned and should have. The king dispatched the Wardens of Steel, along with two cohorts to investigate. They moved east up the river, and then swung wide to the north so as to come into the source of contamination from behind. It was well after dark when Vallatha and Paran both noted a strange island in the middle of the river. Together, they crept closer and discovered a lone man tending the island and that anchored to it was something polluting the water. They collected their friends and the 5 adventurers prepared to unleash some patented Vaelor goblin diplomacy.

This session ended as the heroes entered the dimension door.

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Thursday, August 9th 2012

This session began as the heroes awoke and prepared to begin their march to Castle Tethyr. The march was uneventful and took roughly 8 days. Once reaching Castle Tethyr, the awaiting Cormyrian force from Darrowmar was absorbed into the army groups. The morning after arriving, there was a quiet, but official meeting of very important people. The meeting was conducted by Queen Zaranda, and initially detailed some changes to the future political layout of the kingdom. Her Grace also noted that official announcements and titles/honors were pending true success in the effort. Following the announcements surrounding the shuffling of duchies, Queen Zaranda provided career updates:

Vesen – Lord Commander of The King’s Guard
Baderon – Grand Heirophant of The Kingdom
Vajra – Grand Marshal of The Realm
Foxfire – Lord of Arrows
Myrthul – Lord of Eyes
Kaelen – Marshal/Protector of The Realm
Paran – Marshal/Protector of The Realm

All of those called by name accepted their new positions and duties. After the meeting, the entire army was instructed to rest and relax for the remainder of the day. Kaelen took this opportunity to spend time with the Whitemantle’s, his followers and ultimately try and strengthen his political and personal relationships/alliances. Paran continued with his disciplined training regime, as well as providing guidance to his cohort and followers. This specifically saw Lauryll’ana being directed to carve a small shrine and lead those willing in prayer to Corellon Larethian.

The following morning the army departed Castle Tethyr and began the trek to Myratma. The 7 day march was uneventful, but eerie. The lands were completely vacant of life and the whole region seemed supernaturally still. The heroes, naturally, didn’t like this one bit and remained glued to their liege at all possible times. Finally, the army moved to Myratma after facing no opposition and made contact. Haedrak once again relied upon Paran and Kaelen to make contact with an unknown liaison.

This session ended with Paran and Kaelen debriefing their King and his command staff on the situation within the walls.

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Tuesday, July 31st 2012

This session began with the Wardens of Steel each attending to their own affairs as they prepared to travel south. For Paran and Kaelen, this meant finding temporary lodging for their new and old followers. The influential duo rode across the newly and mysteriously constructed bridge and met with Commander Wilshere. After a brief conversation in the deserted estate, they returned to the bridge and caught the end of Queen Zaranda’s rousing speech which stirred the populace with a renewed sense of hope. Following a brief conversation with Valthalas, which saw the heroes explain that they had a lich captive and needed a quick hand getting rid of it sometime, they joined Duke Whitemantle as he welcomed his fleet to the harbor in Zazesspur. They had just arrived with food and other desperately needed war supplies.

The remainder of the session was a flurry of purchases made by Paran and Kaelen as they sought to outfit their respective camps of followers with necessary supplies and equipment. They both noted that the city seemed empty of even the most basic supplies, and that similar people of note were making large purchases, namely the king.

This session ended with the Wardens of Steel and their respective entourages making their way from the city in order to camp outside the walls in their organized army groups, ready for travel in the morning.

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Thursday, June 28th 2012

Another cleanup session with a number of small issues being taken care of and one big event. The session started with Paran Lotharia returning within the walls after recovering his priceless book collection from the old ranch house. He dispatched his low-level followers to hunt for the King’s table, and ignored the arrival of a new follower – the halfling Kartus.

The PC’s attended a meeting at the request of the King & Queen which featured Valthalas Avaless, Baderon Pellan, Vajra Valmejar, King Haedrak Rhindaun, and Queen Zaranda Star. The King confirmed that Corbenic Jeharaz would be arriving early the next morning and that Kaelen Vaelor and Paran Lotharia would be his escorts. It was also mentioned that the Queen Zaranda Star would be making a speech to the assembled people of Zazesspur from the Iron Fortress.

Kaelen Vaelor was told he needed to choose his successor for the King’s Guard and after much deliberation chose Vesen to succeed him. In addition, he found out that Allana Whitemantle had returned to her family after resigning her commission with the Order of the Rising Sun. Cavil the Just blamed Kaelen Vaelor, but was somewhat good natured about it.

The next morning the PC’s escorted Corbenic Jeharaz to the waterfront and spent 20 hours on duty as they watched their old friend use the Lyre of Building to construct the ancient and forgotten Sea Fortress of Karlag. The PC’s carried their exhausted friend back to the Iron Fortress after the fortress was built, but the Lyre was destroyed in the process. Paran Lotharia headed off to sleep, while Kaelen Vaelor and four members of the King’s Guard remained on duty. Numerous fortitude checks were passed, and after spending close to 30 hours awake Kaelen Vaelor was relieved by the recently awakened Paran Lotharia and his hastily awakened cohort, Lauryll’ana Thandaruil.

The session ended with the early departure of Corbenic Jeharaz that morning. Paran Lotharia and Lauryll’ana Thandaruil had a brief breakfast of dry rations before Paran Lotharia departed to continue his training. Early in the afternoon Kaelen Vaelor awakened. All through the morning the sounds of marching boots could be heard throughout the city as the assembled forces of Zazesspur and Waterdeep began to leave the city.

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Tuesday, June 26th 2012

A brief cleanup session which featured the dispersal of all of the loot which had been identified in the previous session:

Paran Lotharia went outside the walls alongside his cohort and began learning spells as he, Valthalas Avaless and Lauryll’ana Thandaruil stayed at the dilapidated ranch house which also housed the entirety of the royal treasury.

In addition, Kaelen was introduced to a number of his new followers: Kiena, Havil, Lucan, Temitar, Rivoka, Vesund, Kelina, Belkern, Crackle, Korrd.
A new follower for Paran also arrived: Kartus.

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