Campaign of the Month: May 2016

Mysteria

A hunt for the Howlers
Adventure Log by Dragathorian

d16ba763993889a4c2ac4af06cc30539--wolf-mask-writing-inspiration.jpg

Rumours were abounding, blasphemers were hunting the chosen of the Gods within Siwal. A blasphemy without bounds nor seeming reason. The name, or perhaps title, Howling God began to circulate in hushed, fearful whispers. Perhaps this was the beginning of darker things to come, the slaying of Clergymen a herald of a far more sinister end.

The Oozes had decided to investigate these dark deeds, in no small part, as an end to the tale might grant Arcael a greater inspiration on his next ballad about his mighty deeds. May-hap finally crush Peter and his lesser Dumplings on the musical stage and as such banish their fowl mockery of music forever from his divine life!

As the Oozes passed through the marketplace on their way to the great library to research this cult, a mysterious assassin passed by Xavier who was at the head of the party and stabbed Saabu. Fortunately, due to both his cat like reflexes and hardy constitution the wound was not a fatal one and the mysterious liquid oozing from the blade could not overcome him. Unperturbed by the results the assassin left at a run, proclaiming that the Howling God had come for Saabu’s life. Xavier took off after the perpetrator at a run drawing his blade and demanding that the surrounding civilians clear him a path in the name of justice. Three lowly thugs failed to heed his warnings and had the audacity to even draw blade and swing at the furious warrior. One was sent to the ground, however the other two successfully barred his path, allowing the assassin to melt away into the bustling streets. Arcael a tower of wroth at, what he saw as a personal slight to himself, sent a flaming ball of death at the three, incinerating them instantly. A short interview with the guards later and the group were back on their way towards the halls of knowledge.

The group found out from an elderly ex Paladin, Qusay abd R’ad, that the Cult of The Howling God was ejected from the great city of Siwal some twenty years ago due to the deplorable ritual of human sacrifice used in their worship. Also, that he happened to be one of the people to originally oust the group in the first place. An important part of this story, that he’d forgotten, was to be revealed later with somewhat tragic consequences. The group surmised from this information that the killings may then be some part of a grand scheme of vengeance towards certain groups of priests and that the Ex paladin may be on that list of targets. The man was now a judge for the poorer parts of the city, this would put him out in the open and thus vulnerable. So, the Oozes decided to play the waiting game and observe R’ad at work hoping the assassins may strike at him granting the perfect opportunity to pounce. Alas no attack came and even worse news another priest had been slain, Jafsa daughter of Yusra a priestess of Aten, a woman also normally surrounded by guards slain at her prayers. The group found little at the scene of death.

Back at the library an acquaintance of Saabu, Wasimah the Eldest, had learned of an artefact held by the Howling Cultists. The Bottle of Madness, that apparently contained a djinn or a demon or some other monstrosity that would serve its wielders and that the man to ask about this terrible artefact was none other than theex-Paladin they had just left. Slightly annoyed by this the party returned to the man. Seemingly a strong magic was placed on this bottle to prevent its opening but there was a bloodline flaw that (apparently) allows the seal to be broken by the blood of a priest of Aten and unfortunately a priest had just been slain.

Arcael went to the The House of Mehmet to put out feelers in the underground for the poison the assassins were using while Goran went to see a man about a dog. Memet promised that his cousin Ishmael al-Turk would try to find out more about the Cultists within the caravanserai. While Goran received some information that the Howling Cultists may well actually be operating out of, or at least through, the House of Memet. He also received a tipoff that there was a gathering of the Cult taking place a short way out of town by a local oasis. Arceal decided that should Memet or anyone else for that matter betray him, his entire family and operations would be forfeit in a sea of fire. Having little else for the moment to go on, the group followed up on the secret oasis meeting.

What they found was a group of cultish looking people howling every so often during a rather strange sermon. The original plan had been to take a couple of them alive for some ‘gentle questioning’ however as these things go only one was spared the brutal massacre that commenced, with a possible unseen second fleeing the scene. From this unfortunate soul one, Anwar el-Iblrahim, a fanatical cleric of Aten known to Saabu Theet, they learned he’d come to hopefully watch them die in recompense for killing a god. The Oooze handed him in to the church and later learned that the “secret cult meeting” was all a ruse to lure the minstrels to their death. Luckily, The Oooze are not so easily killed.

View
Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon

Sunday_Afternoon.jpg

Four friends meet for coffee at one of the quality spice shops in The Minarets of Ancient Dust. Their names are Dulpha, Andos, Ali and Grubba.
Dulpha: “Hey Grubba, I didn’t see you at the Puddings gig on Saturday night…”
Andos: “Yeah, where were you, you sneak?”
Grubba: "I went to see Arcael and the Oooze at the Bluewater Inn."
Dulpha: “You’re not supporting those God Slaying Lizard Lovers, are you?”
Ali: “God Slaying?”
Dulpha: "Yeah. Everyone knows. Why do you think they wear turbans all the time?
Andos: “What God did they kill?”
Dulpha: “Who knows….some ancient God that nobody believes in anyway. But they’re cursed, I tell you.”
Andos: “And they are Lizard Lovers. I’ve seen them walking around with that horrible dragonkin creature.”
Ali: “So what were The Oooze like, then….?”
Grubba: "Pretty good. They had a lot of magical smoke and lights, and that Arcael has got some voice on him."
Dulpha: "Aw, but Man! You should have seen the Puddings gig. Peter and Finrod Halfelven performed a double lute solo while Zahrah al-Zaina did a full body dance. It was amazing!"
Andos: “I hear those Ooozes also caused a bit of trouble in town on Sunday…”
Dulpha: “Yeah, blasted three citizens with a fireball, right on a main road on Sunday afternoon.”
Ali: “What? No, never…. and they’re still walking around?”
Dulpha: “Apparently claimed that someone attacked them. Tried to kill one of them.”
Andos: “Anu-Akma, they should give that guy a medal. Pity he failed.”
Dulpha: “Anyway, they’re filthy lizard lovers alright, but don’t mess with them, or you’ll turn out on the wrong side of a fireball.”

View
A God is Dead!
...and the tomb of the elephant god lies plundered!

A_God_is_Dead.png

Thanks to information by Gravebinder Panshal al-Marhji in gratitude for them saving his daughter, Arcael and The Oooze were first on the scene after a recent sand storm uncovered the hidden resting place of Maraut, the Elephant God.

Key events in this story include:
the destruction of a group of wights led by a Dreadwight,
the utter defeat of an elite kobold sleeper unit, resulting in the death of Bartiman Greenbough (raised by Saabu Theet),
the defeat of Herutob, fiendish water naga,
the defeat of a Devouring Mist and a Sacrificial Spirit,
overcoming several deadly traps,
the defeat of resident and summoned SHADOW DEMONS,
the defeat of swarm-filled skinstitches and gibbering allips,
the defeat of a hellwasp swarm,
despatching a belker and two blood golems,
the destruction of THE ELEPHANT GOD, Maraut, resulting in the death of Goran (restored by MIRACLE performed by High Priest of Anu-Akma), and the subsequent PERMANENT marking of each character as “GOD SLAYER” by an immovable tattoo on the forehead of each party member.

View
Wishing

King_of_Jackals.gif

After the excursion to the Tomb of The Elephant God, where Goran died upon the destruction of the God Maraut, and all other party members were marked with the eternal symbol of “God Slayer”, the noble Cleric Saabu Theet received a DIVINE DREAM, informing him that nothing short of a Wish or Miracle would restore the party’s rogue to life – a seemingly difficult task to achieve in a city not very well populated by 17th Level Clerics or Mages. Xavier could offer no help. Arcael and Bartiman Greenbough asked their contacts in Siwal and both suggested that the best hope was to approach the Church of Anu-Akma, Lord of the Dead.

On gaining an audience with the High Priest of Anu-Akma, the old man asked the party: “Does the recipient have a black ear?” The party nodded, not sure what this meant.
“Then, I have a scroll prepared!” the priest proclaimed triumphantly. “Leave the body here, along with a small token of 35,000 Gold Pieces, and you may collect your friend tomorrow.”

When the party returned to Anu-Akma’s shrine the next day, Goran met them at the fountain. He still bore the symbol of “God Slayer” and still his ear was black. But he was alive!

View
Song of the Siren

Nakresh.jpg

Khors, wearing the bright mask of Aten, sat in a large circle at an elite performance of the travellling musicians who played under the name Peter and the Puddings. In a large private tent in Nuria Natal in honour of the birthday of Abdul Bashir, Siwal’s trade ambassador in the Capital City, the Divine Son of Svarog appeared human to all but one in the crowd, and listened carefully to the music of the young bard La Fayette. A singing style no doubt enriched through practise and devotion, but even more wondrous, the dextrous mastery of the lute in his hands.

Khors’s eye caught that of a beautiful woman who sat opposite him, yet closer to the singer. From across the circle, she winked at him knowingly. Any other person in that tent would have been beguiled by the seduction of that wink and smile, but Khors was not fooled.

Nakresh,” he realised, understanding immediately the divine Patronage lending its power and influence to the young singer in the centre of the circle, and yet it was not pride that Khors saw in that smile. It was something else. Something more sinister. Something malevolent. Something befitting the wiles of the Many Handed goddess. Something terrible was happening. He felt sure of it…..

View
God Only Knows

Eye_of_Horus.jpg

Those who say they know the gods say that Horus, the Desert Falcon, sees all that happens in The Sarklan. A desert eagle flies high above the wispy cirrus, where once a winged camel soared. Its piercing vision spies the temple opening and yet there is no prey in that arid land. But, he who used the raptor knew its import.

Memories stirred in the very heart of The Majestic One of a long lost friend, cursed by the Serpent, crushed by Divine Power, yet not devoid of hope. Resurrection? Could a DEAD God live? Not his place to intervene. All in the hands of mortals now.

The eagle turns and flies away. Ever searching. Ever hungry. But the Eye of Horus fixes its gaze upon the ancient temple, seeing all that can be seen. No other God but one has had its eye upon this place, and He that did would not intervene. Would Anu-Akma be called by the passing of a soul? Even Horus knew not this. He must wait. Like Providence, the fate of one once noble balanced tentatively on the sharp point of a deadly knife.

View
Redemption Song

Selikk_Aman.jpg

Selikk Aman, Desert Disciple and High Lieutenant of Ogun flew over the dry winter Sarklan on his winged camel, Nagritte. There were no sand dragons aloft today, which pleased the Wind Lord greatly, for he despised such creatures and endeavoured at all times to keep such evil monsters away from civilized people.

On the dry lands below, a few caravans struggled across the slow terrain, and in the distance his divine ears heard the smooth swish of a Siwal sandship as it made its way through the Sands of Sorrow. But this was not his calling.

Flying over an oasis, he saw two merchants arguing, their hands on their daggers, their wives and servants wild eyed and pleading for peaceful resolution to whatever trivial disagreement they contested. But this was not his calling.

As Selikk swerved westward on his winged beast, away from the Hariek Hills, he noticed a group of dead reptilians, their life essence ripped from them, their bodies already decaying in the warm winter sun. But this was not his calling.

After a short time he descended to a vile pool at the foot of a short ridge. The recent storms had blown away tons of sand and had revealed an ancient temple of the Elephant God, Maraut, so old that even Selikk Aman had not been born when it was built. This was his calling.

Leaving Nagritte outside with instructions not to approach the pool, Ogun’s Servant strode through the maze of passages on the edge of the ethereal plane, being careful to avoid triggering the powerful magic preventing interdimensional travel within the temple. Deep into the dungeon he ran, past desecration painful to behold.

Avoiding a large room guarded by the souls of wretched priests, he strode through a series of tombs and through a dark passage leading into the most vile room he had ever entered. Black was its essence, putrid its stench. Mortals engaged with demons in fierce contest. He would pray for them when he left, but he was not sent here to battle demons, just to eject one from the body of a loyal follower.

Dispel Magic was a simple spell for Selikk Aman, and he cast it with pleasure, forcing out the horrid demon from the body of the unwilling barbarian. “A fairer contest now,” he thought, and turned whence he came. He could have stayed to help the mortals against such demons of shadow and disgust. But that was not his calling. And it was unfair to leave Nagritte alone in such a terrible place.

View
Smoke gets in your eyes

Devouring_Mist.jpg

A group of scholars sat around an low round table in a favoured tea palace of Siwal. Their tutor was a visiting gravebinder from the great city of Nuria Natal, one Alaine de Djanot. They were discussing the powers and effects of Consecration and Desecration on a sacred temple. One scholar asked: “What sort of things might linger after severe descration of a Holy Place, even after thousands of years, if that is even possible?”

“Possible?” de Djanot grunted and shook his head at the student’s shaky faith. “Severe desecration of a Holy Place may last for an eternity …. and longer!” The Gravebinder’s beady eye roved across his students as he contemplated but some of the horrors he could imagine.

“Consider a vault of secret rooms, filled to the brim with the spilled blood and offal of a hundred castrated priests, dripped dry of their life source while being reviled with Unholy words by an antipriest of opposite faith, their hands bound, their eyes peeled open by hot tongs to witness the raping of their priestesses by demons of dark horror. After death, their bodies ripped by hyeanas and the excrement of the slain beasts smeared upon the walls of their tombs, closed up and buried for thousands of years in the deep desert. What horrid creature might transpire from such terrific deed?”

“Perhaps a mist. A deadly devouring mist. An evil undead creature in several parts, compartimentalised in separate tombs, unable to congeal, unable to act, or even think, but willing its own existence, even though it has none. Nothing to give it substance but the hunger for more blood and offal and the nebulous desire to take vengeance on any living thing. If that tomb were ever opened to adventurers thousands of years later, would that spirit have enough Undead force to bring itself together and to coalesce into a shadowy mist of death, aching with hunger for blood and the life force of those who discovered it? Would it have enough strength after thousands of years, to bring itself into existence and exact horror on the living? Well, many would say that it would….”

View
Asleep in The Desert

Small_but_Fierce.JPG

Travelling through the Sarklan Desert on their way to The Tomb of the Elephant God, Arcael and The Oooze stumbled upon an ELITE KOBOLD PATROL See Below and, without so much as a nod or a wink…or even a friendly Draconic gesture, engaged in good old fashioned COMBAT!

The two kobold rogues, Snaretoe and Eggrunner moved close to flank their enemy but Eggrunner fell foul of Goran’s invisibility and paid the ultimate price. Xavier, the barbarian took some well aimed arrows from the five Gearcobbles and some channelled energy damage from the flying cleric, Crooktail; and started raging. With his own hovering abilites, Arcael delivered a deadly fireball into a crowd of archers, killing three and wounding two more Gearcobbles and their protective Oracle, Grubgrinder, but the leadership remained at the rear, with Sorcerer, Bentfinger setting up a Minor Globe of Invulnerability for himself and his Dragonkin escourt, Silverscale.

Goran and Saabu Theet charged forward and Snaretoe tried to snuff Goran out with the aid of one of the Gearcobbles, but he could not score a hit against the deadly rogue. When Arcael dispelled magic on the flying cleric (thwarting Bentfinger’s prepared counterspell), Crooktail moved back behind a Gearcobble, who moved to help Snaretoe the rogue, opening up the cleric to the terrifying charge and grapple of Bartiman Greenbough in HUGE bear form.

From his vantage point at the rear, Bentfinger was already considering raising the white flag but it was too late. Goran, Saabu and his summoned cheetah and Xavier all moved in to attack his flanks and he was swiftly killed. With the Cleric, Crooktail, screaming in the death throes of a huge bear hug, the mighty Dragonkin warrior, Silverscale, advanced, and with a mighty critical sweep of his greatsword, ended the life of the shapechanged druid, Bartiman.

But Silverscale was now alone. Just as Saabu’s surrendered Oracle prisoner fell foul to the intercepting blade of Xavier, so too did Silverscale fall the to combined fury of the group, and for Arcael and the Oooze, music is only their SECOND favourite activity…

But the great Bartiman is not destroyed. A Raise Dead scroll and two Resurrection scrolls cast by Thoth’s servant, Saabu Theet, brings him back into the game.

Travelling through this desert is thirsty work indeed!

Note on Kobold Sleeper Unit: During the wars with the Mharoti Empire about 40 years ago, when the dragons knew they were going to have to retreat, some of them dropped off highly trained kobold sleeper units to dig themselves into the ground and wait for a time when the dragons could return in a second wave. Bentfinger’s was such a group. Disturbed from their hiding place by a recent earthquake, they have been roaming around the desert looking for a new hiding place and just happened upon Arcael and The Oooze before they could find one.

View
A hard day's wight

King_of_Jackals.gif

In the great halls of Eternal Darkness that are the chambers of Anu-Akma, a minion of the God of the Underworld sits at the Midgard Communication Station, listening for prayers, promises and cries for help.

From the Deep Desert about a day’s travel outside of Siwal, a Dread Wight (and ex cleric of Aposis) calls out for help as his body is savagely torn apart by Arcael and The Oooze!

“My Lord,” cries the minion, “Will you hear the plea of a recently departed soul – a scion of evil, a lord of Undead, exiled from his home graveyard by a zealous church, and cut down in his Undead prime by a bunch of human murderers posing as musicians….Will you hear his cry, Lord?”

Anu-Akma does not even look up from his holy book. He simply utters a single phrase that seals the Dread Wight’s fate:

“Nah! Fukkim!”

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.