Characters: Avria, Gronja, Indus Ederix, Konang, Llewelyn Fel, Nevyn Verulai, Vondulyth Grimtoken
Game Date: 30/11/14
- The heroes cut Indus down off the wall and bring him back to his senses. He last remembers walking in Jordan’s Crossing after spending the evening with an ‘unspecified’ friend. He had been researching a dragonborn city for days and was exhausted when somebody rendered him unconsciousness. The abused rogue has been stripped of all equipment and now has an inexplicable fear of kuo-toa. The party give him all their daggers for comfort weaponry.
- Llewelyn takes note of a large mural in the room which depicts the Great War that took place between the gods. He notes that this version is biased from a dragonborn perspective. An image of the jewellery they have come here to find, the Star of Tanuviel, is also featured. Indus has some ideas on how to interpret the mural as a map, but keeps them to himself for now. He has a hard enough time trusting his own companions, let alone a strange new bard.
- The party moves to the rooftop of an adjacent building and takes a long rest so that both Indus and Vondulyth can recover from their travails. They take turns watching over the mural building for any comings and goings, and possibly the creatures who captured Indus in the first place. The heroes sleep in shifts but awaken in turn after each has a prophetic dream. If Avria and Indus had a foretelling dream of their own, they keep it to themselves.
- Gronja dreamt of being Ehlonna, the mother of her own worshipped god Wenta, but fighting in the Great War. Konang dreamt that he was fighting in the Great War as well, but tirelessly searching the battlefield for Gruumsh, god of orcs. Vondulyth wakes up in searing pain, as if his scar has been freshly made. The paladin dreamt of being Araleth fighting Vecna during the same war.
- During the paladin’s dream, the god of secrets had just laid hands on Araleth and seared his flesh. He was about to follow up with a killing strike, when Trithereon intervened, saving Araleth by using his body as a shield. Trithereon died beneath the withering attack of Vecna for his heroism. This version of events flies directly in the face of everything Vondulyth had been taught about Trithereon, which claims that he’s still alive among the gods.
- Vondulyth pours water onto his old scar until the pain subsides. Nevyn is cagey about his dream, but agrees that the Great War of gods may have ended differently than was written. The paladin posits that Vecna may have replaced Trithereon, unbeknownst to most of his followers. Gronja wanders off in search of a shuffling sound. She raises her lantern in just enough time to spot a fin dart behind the building on which they have been resting.
- Avria approaches Vondulyth to tell him something important, but seems apprehensive. The paladin gives the cleric his undivided attention. Gronja returns to warn the party that they may be under attack and punches Vondulyth in the arm as he stares intently at Avria’s eyes. Konang charges to the ledge of the two-story building on which they have camped out and spies a one-eyed humanoid starring back at him.
- The heroes spring into action as they are assaulted from all sides by creatures who climb up and over the building-side. More one-eyed humanoids arrive, along with creatures that are definitely troglodytes (based on their stench alone). They are shored up by oozes and the strangest looking insect the party has ever seen. Llewelyn identifies them as ‘fire-beetles’ and seeks out high ground to fire down at the enemy from up high.
- The oozes lash out at Konang’s armour and weapon, scarring both with acid, but takes out the one-eyed humanoid he spotted earlier and clears a path for himself. Gronja tries to identify the fire beetle, but is convinced that Llewelyn is correct. Indus likewise comes to the same conclusion. Vondulyth can’t reach the battle and casts Moonbeam instead, immolating their opponents in a column of radiant light.
- More troglodytes and ‘fire beetles’ sneak up on the cleric and paladin. The divine pair protect the flank of their comrades. Vondulyth smites the troglodyte harrying him, consuming him in the wrath of Araleth. He then sinks his blade into the fire beetle beyond. For a brief moment, the carapace of the creature tries to corrode his ancient sword, but the magical energies of his blade resist the effect. “These aren’t fire beetles!” he yells back at his party, who now realize they are also facing rust monsters.
- Gronja loses control of herself as the incorporeal entity plaguing her mind takes over again, coercing the barbarian to attack friend over foe. She bites into Nevyn with her axe and turns on Vondulyth to do the same. The paladin turns to face Gronja. He can’t believe that the woman he has come to know intimately would do such a thing of her own accord. Indeed, both of her eyes have turned darkly pupilous. Vondulyth steps inside of Gronja’s reach, grabs her bodily, and plants a kiss on the barbarian.
- Gronja is shocked out of her undead possession, but retains no memory of attacking her comrades whatsoever. She pushes Vondulyth aside and mutters that battle is no time for such affections. Indus manages to get a bead on the whole interaction. Nevyn transforms into a giant spider and webs the rust monster going after Avria. Gronja rushes past Vondulyth, rages to hide her rising blush, and chops the vermin in half, dulling her mundane blade.
- The last surviving ooze appears out of hiding to a hail of readied arrows, spells, and spider mandibles, ending the battle. It’s only at this point that Avria confides in Vondulyth. She tells the paladin that his posited theory, Vecna replacing Trithereon, is unequivocally correct, but won’t say how or why she knows this to be true.
- Deciding what to do next, Indus admits to having already deciphered the mural room. He has a pretty good idea that it leads to a hall with an otherworldly portal, which the Star of Tanuviel unlocks. According to the scrolls he has been earnestly studying, the original dragonborn inhabitants of the city escaped the Great War through this portal. As such, it may well allow Vecna to enter the world.
- The party agrees that while they don’t want Vecna to enter the world, they should destroy the portal that ‘might’ make it possible. Everybody follows Indus through the dragonborn city, finding his armour, equipment, and weapons along the way. He confides in Vondulyth during a quiet moment that, after speaking at length with Lewelyn during their rest, the man is not who he claims and should be treated with suspicion.
- Vondulyth shares this information with Nevyn, who then shares the finer details of his lucid vision. The wood elf admits the he was actually Vecna in his dream and remembers wounding Araleth during the Great War. He was about to strike the young god down when somebody else intervened. “And that’s when I killed Trithereon,” Nevyn says in a perfect moment of silence which everybody in the group overhears clearly.
- Arriving at a massive hall, Indus doesn’t find any traps, allowing the group to safely approach the sundered portal ahead. Large support columns are spaced out on either side of them, inscribed with prayers to Trithereon that Vondulyth recognizes. The paladin asks Avria to hang back with Nevyn and keep an eye on Llewlen.
- Right after that, however, the bard casts Invisibility on himself, claiming (as a disembodied voice) that he is only being cautious. Gronja, Indus, Konang, and Vondulyth approach the broken portal and spot a control panel nearby with the Star of Tanuviel hovering above a surface. Vondulyth fears that the bard will snatch the dragonborn jewellery for his own nefarious purpose and runs to the panel. Gronja, fleeter of foot, gets there first.
- Her hand passes through an illusion. Llewelyn already snatched the star-shaped component and replaced it with a false image. That’s when the bard lets out a blood curdling scream. He appears in front of the broken portal. It’s Lewelyn one moment, Trithereon the next, and Vecna after that. Finally all three visages are replaced with a large black dragon, the chest of which is embedded with the Star.
- Gronja, standing before the winged reptile, may have soiled her leather skirt a little. Vondulyth charges the dragon and strikes the beast twice, calling on the wrath of Araleth. The dragon flies over his head and targets Indus with claw and teeth, fixing to tear him apart instead. His attacks ineffectually pass through a Silent Illusion of Indus. The arcane trickster is already one step ahead of the reptile.
- Nevyn summons eight fey panthers around the dragon and turns into a brown bear to join them. The black dragon turns to Vondulyth and exhales a gout of acid. The paladin looks back at Gronja, wondering if she will be the last person he sees alive. The concern in her eyes for his well being inspires him to survive. Vondulyth turtles behind his shield. The acid miraculously splashes around him, leaving the paladin completely unscathed.
- Gronja and Konang are swarmed by kobolds, keeping them out of the dragon fight. Avria helps her half-orc companion while Vondulyth helps Gronja, surprising nobody. Nevyn commands his pride of panthers to pursue the dragon while loping after the reptile. Indus hides behind the prayer pillars for protection (perhaps missing the irony) and shoots the airborne dragon at every available opportunity with his hand crossbow.
- The dragon curses the gods that each hero worships as he is indignantly wounded bv their attacks. The kobolds are cut down in short order, allowing both Gronja and Konang to focus on the winged reptile. The Star of Tanuviel glows bright on the chest of the dragon as Avria hears chanting echo from elsewhere in the great hall.
- Sensing defeat, the giant reptile that was once Llewelyn flees for the only exit in the massive hall. The same doors through which the heroes emerged to find this sprawling chamber. Vondulyth summons the roots of Nature’s Wrath up through the floor and ensnares the dragon, preventing his escape and giving all his companions a chance to surround the creature.
- Gronja rages through her fear and slices into the reptile’s hide. Konang eviscerates the dragon with dizzying speed. The winged reptile breaks loose from Vondulyth’s roots, but the paladin bashes the dragon prone with his shield and smites through his scales. Nevyn bites and swipes at the reptile as his surviving panthers do the same. Avria unleashes a powerful Guiding Bolt and Indus takes advantage of the glowing effect, sinking a bolt deep into the dragon’s belly.
- The beast roars in defeat and tears itself away from the body of Llewelyn, forcing the two to split apart. The dragon files towards the ceiling and crashes through the roof, flying away to parts unknown. The bard raises his hands and begs for mercy. Nevyn is tempted to chew off one of his hands, but the party questions him instead. Llewelyn claims that Professor Swanson hired him, but the heroes aren’t convinced. Indus charms the bard and finds out that it was Palimar communicating to him, magically projecting messages directly into his mind.
- The party can’t bring themselves to kill Llewelyn, who claims that he was merely a host for the dragon. The bard freely admits that he was never a good scholar. His goal was to ingratiate himself to the academics at King’s Landing by finding a rare dragonborn artefact. The party truss Llewelyn up so that he can’t cast any spells. It’s only at this point that Indus shocks everybody by confiding in his party members. Not only does the rogue admit he has heard a voice in his head, but that he thinks it belongs to Palimar as well.