Campaign of the Month: May 2016

Mysteria

Secret World
From the Scriptorium of Thoth-Hermes

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A conversation between Mungo al-Gonga (Chief Administrator of The Scriptorium of Thoth-Hermes) and The High Priest (name unknown to most in Harkesh):

High Priest: You have spoken with the leader of this group of foreigners?
Mungo: I have had conversations with the sorceror Arcael. He is a perceptive one.
High Priest: And you have told him what you know of Dragonfall?
Mungo: Some. Some he has gleaned from conversations with his companions.
High Priest: They know of the legend? How?
Mungo: It seems some of them have been having Divine Dreams. The one who follows Ogun knows of the Sword of Shannarah.
High Priest: So Hecate AND Ogun are both in this game. And Thoth tells me that the Dragon Gods may also be watching. Even Seggotan has a pawn on this playing board. What of Serastra?
Mungo: She sides with Hecate. But she is fickle, as you know.
High Priest: And what do we know of our own Servant of Thoth?
Mungo: A Southlander. Saabu Theet. Loyal to the Faith. Loyal also to Arcael. His conscience may be torn. I will pray to Thoth that he be given guidance.
High Priest: I shall also. He has an Emerald Scroll, I hear.
Mungo: Acquired in this very city.
High Priest: And what of the Harkesh Authorities?
Mungo: They know nothing, as far as I can tell. Captain Captain Temujin Khitai has suspicions regarding the group. Accomplices of the rogue Goran were captured on a raid for Shylock, but the rogue’s dark spirit was able to warn the group, and they freed the accomplices before they could talk.
High Priest: Dark Spirit?
Mungo: He is guarded by a Shadow Demon of Serastra.
High Priest: Hmmmn! They are no normal group of vagabonds, this Oooze collective.
Mungo: No, Milord!
High Priest: The Bellwether Brooch will be a great temptation
Mungo: Indeed.
High Priest: We must trust in Thoth.

As ever, all comments welcome!

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Jailhouse Rock

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With Saabu Theet still learning the spells to HEAL Goran, Arcael decided there was no time to waste. Karn Gudin barely had time to prepare a True Strike before Arcael had teleported himself, her and Xavier into the local cell, where Goran’s accomplices were being interrogated. THEY HAD TO GET THEM OUT BEFORE THEY REVEALED GORAN’S IDENTITY!

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Inside the room were two bound prisoners being guarded by five armed dragonkin soliders, and being interrogated by a cruel dragonkin Cleric of AZURAN. Karn was first to plunge a spell-charged halberd into the nearerst guard, using her prepared True Strike ability. A great wound was inflicted, but another guard moved to flank the Dragon Disciple and she sustained considerable damage.

In a flash, the Cleric identified Arcael as the spell user and cast Dimensional Anchor on him, to prevent him leaving. Two guards moved to protect their cleric but Xavier “POUNCED” through them, taking massive damage from their attacks of opportunity, but annihilating the cleric in a single round.

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As Karn destroyed two guards and freed one prisoner, Xavier summarily executed the other three guards, while Arcael Dispelled the Dimensional Anchor spell cast on him. They could all now hear footsteps and voices from the other side of the door, but before it opened, Arcael cast Teleport and they escaped with their prisoners without being seen by any other enemies.

Mission accomplished!

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The Darkest Night

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It was Karn Gudin‘s new kobold friend, Krispy Dacon who brought the wounded form of Goran to The Oooze’s residence in the Triolan Quarter of Harkesh one fateful night, only a month after arriving in the Mharoti Empire.

Uncounscious, and bleeding profusely from many wounds, Goran was laid on the table in the main room for the cleric Saabu Theet to look at him. Saabu’s expression was grave. He looked over at Arcael and said. “These wounds are infected. I’ll do what I can for now, but I’m going to have to learn a Heal spell. It’ll be up to you to keep him alive until then.” Arcael nodded, and motioned for Xavier to help him reposition the wounded rogue into a more comfortable position, where they could tend to him and give him water. Goran’s eyes were closed, and his breathing was light as a whisper.

“What happened?” Karn Gudin demanded of her friend, Krispy the kobold. "It appears he was doing some job for Shylock when everything went tits up! That’s what I heard. Whatever they were doing, someone had the rub on their operation and alerted the authorities. That Captain Temujin Khitai was waiting for them. And he had it all sown up. The whole gang was either captured or killed. Goran should have been killed too. He’s got the wounds to prove it. But from what I heard, some dark shadowy figure wrapped him up and stole him away. Left him outside The Cockle and Clam and knocked on my window. When I came to the door, all I saw was Goran lying on the floor. So I brought him straight here."

Arcael left Goran in the strong arms of Xavier the Barbarian, and turned on the kobold: “Was Goran seen by this Captain? Will they be looking for him?” He didn’t like this kobold. In fact, he didn’t like many kobolds. Too scaley. Too small. Too … inhuman!
“I don’t rightly know, Mr Arcael, Sir,” answered the kobold. “I don’t think the Captain saw him, or knows where he comes from, but he may have a description, and he’s certainly got a couple of squeakers under lock and key.”

“The mission cannot be compromised,” Arcael told the others. “None of us should be leaving the house, but we’ve got to keep the gem stall trading. Karn, you and Xavier take the stall tomorrow. I’ll tend to Goran while Saabu learns his spell. Krispy, can you perhaps find out more about any survivors of the raid and where they may be held. Somehow, we’ll need to make sure that Goran’s identity is never revealed!”

THIS HAS NOW KICKED INTO ACTION ON OUR PRIVATE FORUMS WITH THREE PLAYERS TELEPORTING INTO THE GUARD ROOMS TO PREVENT THE REVELATION OF THEIR ROGUE’S IDENTITY. I’LL PUBLISH ANOTHER LOG AFTER THEY HAVE FINISHED THE SCENE, BUT TO GIVE EVERYONE AN IDEA, HERE IS WHAT THEY HAVE TELEPORTED INTO – Five Dragonkin Guards and a Dragonkin cleric interrogating two bound prisoners:

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A human in the dragon empire. Notes from Arcael's journal.
Logged by Stigandr

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The city has its lights, senses and noises. They all will die in time.

Unlike I.

I will outlast them all, outgrow and destroy those who might rival or threaten me.

And I will destroy those who rise from the chaos of fire and ashes of their destruction too.

Fools build empires for protection. Fools think that power is the greatest legacy one can pass on. The dragons are fools. The undead of the Southlands are fools.

Empires are targets.

Targets for destruction from those with a greater hunger. The hunger to destroy is stronger than the hunger to defend.

To build a small invisible legacy, to control without the attention of enemies, THAT is the way forward.

I will teach my daughters this.

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The end of an agent.
Logged by stigandr

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Kamal Assante lay violently butchered, dead, Thoth’s judgement known, his protector necromancer too. Good. Undead were worse than vermin. Arcael’s arcane vision saw the glows of magic and enchantments upon the corpses, but one enchantment shone brightest…

‘The Scroll!’ Saabu roared, his face shining with wonder, his faith affirmed, knowledge and glory his, a secret of Thoth’s lore held within his hands.

The dark barbarian was cleaning his weapon, weakened from his rage, Goran likewise, cleaned his blades upon Assante’s tunic to write an insult in blood, but eyes alert to treasure. Gudin kicked the necromancer face up, the blade of her halberd ready to strike if the priest rose once more.

“Is it the real scroll? I’m tired of being threatened by kobolds.”

Saabu’s face was alive with religious joy, rapture, “Oh, yes, oh very yes!”

“Can you copy it?”

Saabu’s whiskers and ears were pointed forward, his hackles raised, his pupils huge, like a cat excited at a night, but this was him, alive to lore and magic, “Of course. Today comrades Thoth has truly blessed us.”

Arcael smiled for behind the N’kosi’s back Goran was miming an obscene act, showing contempt for Thoth, while the barbarian smirked.

“Good. Now let’s see how much treasure we can bleed from here.”

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Dock of The Bay
Bribery and Horror in the Port of Harkesh

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The group visit corrupt Night Harbour Master Ransitt Fishwater and pay 1,000 GP in bribe money, and a further 1,150 GP to book tickets on the next ship out to Nuria Natal. Arcael bravely investigates a magical stone on his own to find a monster waiting in disguise. Within seconds, mayhem erupts as Karn Gudin is paralysed and Saabu Theet, Goran and Arcael all start running in panicked terror, dropping daggers, staff and cocoa cup. Xavier, who is unaffected, tries to attack the invisible horror, but finds his weapons flailing without contact in the cool night air.

Saabu Theet uses his granted power of AVOID ANY SITUATION to return to his friends. Xavier picks up the dropped staff and daggers, leaving the smashed cocoa cup behind, and together they all Teleport to safety. Goran and Arcael remain invisible as they run through the town, and eventually all make it back to the house in the Triolan Quarter.

Business goes on, as the group try to locate the whereabouts of Kamal Assante, firstly with Xavier intervening on behalf of Ropemaster, Geddy Lee to apprehend a thief and have him “taken in” by the City Guard, and then with Karn Gudin entering a a sleazily seductive situation to ellicit more information from Ransitt’s brother, Tinky Fishwater during an uncomfortable “bedtime cocoa” episode with Tinky, that Xavier is trying hard to forget, but nonetheless ended up costing 500 GP in favour of a lady’s honour.

At the Guesthouse of Mahershala Ali, the group meet Olive Oil, a trader from Reth-Saal, and old seadog, Peter Popeye. They also meet the housekeeper, Mr Swing and find a secret door. Goran, who is skulking invisibly around the house, decides not to enter the secret door and instead the group retreat to plan a night time return, just one night before the ship for Nuria Natal is about to sail.

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It's True!
The continuing search for Kamal Assante

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After an attack by a group of rogues operating under the name of Free Jambuk, Arcael and Goran managed to establish that the opportunists had heard about them through candle drake spies at The Black Nurian. After answering questions in return for his freedom, aparently, their captive, Nipper O’Neil took his own life to avoid the shame. Saabu Theet nodded. “Must have been a very proud thief,” he thought.

Just then, Truman Click arrived at the scene with the news that the Crimson Worm was in danger of destroying their house and all their gems. [From outside the world, a guy called Graeme spotted a giant plot hook.] Arcael Dimension Doored into the house to save the treasure, while Xavier strode right up to the worm without a fear, being chomped and swallowed whole, and almost dying. [Jeez, that guy can survive almost anything.] Karn Gudin flew into the air to deliver potent acid attacks. Soon, the sorcerer Captain Boris Yeltsin and eight Edjet lieutenants arrived to aid with fireballs, acid and crossbows. The worm was destroyed and the house was saved.

The scroll dealing neighbours, grateful that their house had not been destroyed, gave Saabu Theet some very rare green parchment. He recognised its worth. [Possibly, another plot hook was spotted!} Then, off to the meeting with Shylock. He seemed affable, and gave The Oooze a good descriptioin of Kamal Assante, but like most others they had met, did not seem to know where he was.

Back at The Black Nurian, they engaged with Mustapha Ibrahim while Goran secretly ransacked his room for information. Outside of their world, a guy called Gordon rolled a DOUBLE ZERO on percentile dice!] By the good fortune granted to him by SARASTRA, Goran discovered some highly secret documents, alluding to the fact that Ibrahim was a secret agent of The Emerald Order. Time for a very frank chat….

After discussing the issue with Mustapha, the group learned that Assante already had the scrolls and was waiting for a ship to take him to Nuria Natal. The Oooze decided to visit a corrupt harbour master late at night to try and find out records of when the next ship to Nuria Natal was due to sail…..

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Ouroborous Stirs!
Golden City Devastated by Killer Quake!

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The imperial city of Harkesh came to a standstill yesterday as mayhem erupted in an earthquake of epic proportions, damaging many parts of the city and leaving large sectors of the population dead or injured.

The catastrophe happened around 7pm yesterday evening, ripping large cracks in the ground, destroying many imperial buildings and causing death and misery throughout large areas of our beautiful metropolis. It is thought that most castes, from Akinji downwards, have taken heavy casualties, although thankfully, the largest number of deaths have been among the Jambuka, whose soft skins do not offer much protection against falling buildings.

At least 3,000 citizens have been killed, with over 2,000 of these being Jambuka. Thankfully, no Morza or Urmanli have suffered greatly, although the wing of one of the great Harbour Dragons was damaged by flying debris.

Amazingly, the Imperial Palace of the Eight Elements was left unscathed, and Dread Sultan Ozmir al-Stragul was untouched. “No force of Nature will disrupt our war effort”, he decreed.

To add misery to mayhem, the earthquake also opened the way to an attack of monsters from the Uunderdark. At least five Crimson Worms have been reported, but all of these have been dealt with by our illustrious forces. Other creatures may have come up to the surface and the public are being warned to stay away from any creatures they are unfamiliar with, and to report these immediately to the Authorities.

Deep Dragon Contsable, Temnyy Rystar, says he is patrolling the city and identifying and destroying these entities as he finds them. He says he is in consultation with the Most Glorious Satarah al-Beldestani who has already promised a squadron of her giant guards to help rebuild the city.

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The Black Pearl in Motion
A very busy time...

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The group is visited by Captain Boris Yeltsin and Xavier offers poor equivocation as to the nature of the GOD SLAYING tattoos.
New business venture named as THE BLACK PEARL
Stall set up in The Grand Bazaar
Saabu Theet finds some good scroll dealers but balks at the price of black ink in Harkesh
Some chatting takes place in The Black Nurian
Karn Gudin may have “spooked” Mustapha Ibrahim with some probing questions
Goran takes a definite “WRONG TURN” in Seggotan’s Rear
Arcael finds Mr Tommy Visconti to be somewhat distateful
Krispy Dacon helps to ease tensions with Vasili Volti and Goran is released
Following a lead from a message slipped under the door, Arcael and The Oooze set out for Scallywag’s Alley to find Shylock
Alas! A trap is sprung by “a parcel of rogues”, with the fight interrupted by an earthquake and the emergence of a dreadful Crimson Worm.

The adventure continues….

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Faith
The secretive promotion of Truman Click

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Truman Click had been a faithful friend of Arcael since the early days, in a time even before the others. Oh, how he remembered those first practice sessions with Arcael’s first band, “Schmidt Happens”. Since that time, he had travelled much, and had fought in the Canton Wars of Templeforge and Hammerfell; but always he had served his Goddess RAVA proudly.

Now, as he received his Orcale promotion in the presence of visiting priestess Alltick Linn, and the ever present, Mungo al-Gonga, his pride swelled once again, even though his symbols were decorated in the shapes of AZURAN OF THE NORTHERN WIND. It had taken him a few years to get used to that, but now, the vile utterances of the Dragon God were almost second nature to him.

His new Mystery spell was “Breath of Life”, but for his chosen spell, he neglected “Raise Dead”, feeling that his comrade, Saabu Theet really had that scope covered. Instead, he chose “Life Bubble” – a useful group spell, he thought, although deep down he knew that his times with the group would be limited. Someone had to maintain a presence at the market place.

At the end of the ceremony, Truman Click took out his flute and played. Some say it was the sweetest sound ever heard in the Scriptorium of Thoth-Hermes.

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