Joria

Selbina Shattered

The heroes made their way back to Selbina eager to return to Oria and continue their quest. They were shocked to find smoke emanating from the carline canopy and Entrerian soldiers patrolling the outskirts of the small town. After eliminating the Entrerian troops, the heroes searched for survivors amongst the ruined town. Inside the carline canopy they find the bartender’s daughter, crystal, protected from the fire by a badly burned Treant. Crystal informed the heroes that her father Pogar left with the surviving towns guard in pursuit of the entrerians.The heroes treated crystal’s wounds and followed Pogar’s trail. The trail ended at the tundras of axeld peaks. The heroes scaled the icy trails only to find a trail of dead Selbina soldiers and piles of ash. As they picked up the trail, the heroes are ambushed by entrerian troops turned vampire. After dealing with the dark creatures, the heroes managed to catch up to pogar, surrounded by piles of ash. Much to their dismay, the heroes discovered that pogar has suffered bite marks by the vampires and will turn in time.

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Sins of the Guardian

The heroes requested Ignatus’ aid to stop the incoming comet that will devastate Joria. The demi-god, distrusting the heroes, refused to take part in their schemes. Ignatus revealed that he once unwillingly gave his power to a mortal wizard named Nevlim and he has distrusted mortals since. The impatient Baalnir Gorespill attacked Ignatus with a mighty blow. This act proved costly for the heroes. The demi-god let loose unquenchable flames that enveloped the heroes, determined to burn them to ashes. Krul’bei beseeched for the demi-god to give them a chance to prove themselves worthy of his aid. Ignatus was amused with this request and saw an opportunity to rid himself of a dilemma. Ignatus commanded them to slay his warped son Agnaktor, located in the magma chamber deep in his temple.


Agnaktor

The heroes assaulted Agnaktor’s magma chamber and destroyed the beast in a heated battle. With its lord destroyed, the magma chamber’s power dissipates leaving nothing but cool rock and fertile soil. Ignatus, surprised at the heroes’ prowess, bestowed upon them Ignala’s essence and promised to aid them when the time comes. Ilfarren chose to bear Ignala’s gift, which gave him the power of fire.

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Pilgrimage Ignited

The heroes entered the mysterious temple without hesitation. They come across an ancient statue with an expressionless visage and a flaming maw. Upon closer inspection, Krul’bei discovered a familiar moon shaped rune that displayed a riddle in the primordial script. Upon solving the riddle, the statue parted open and the heroes were lead to a staircase that descended deeper into the temple.

Heat began to emanate from the walls as the party descended the earthen staircase. Much to Bori’s surprise, he discovered a vein of a rare ore. Dark Mithril. The staircase lead them into a magma chamber. The heroes were greeted by rock formations and rivers of lava as far as the eye can see.

The party encountered many challenges trying to find their way through the flaming landscape. Poisonous gasses and Searing lava threatened to end their quest. They were attacked by uroktor, lizard like denizens of the magma chamber. After killing most of the uroktor that attacked them, the heroes were able to find shelter at a most unusual cave.
Uroktor

Heat did not seem to penetrate this cave, and an odd ball of light uncovered 3 paths at its walls. The Party decided to take respite where the paths separate and decide which to take when they have taken much needed rest. Ilfarren and Naya were awoken by cries of help in the elven tongue originating from the central path. The two rushed toward the source of the voice only to find a stone door close in front of them. Just in time to catch a glimpse of the a beautiful elven female get burned alive. Her shrieks echoed the halls, however Ilfarren and Naya were unable to open the gates.

With the central path blocked, the party decided to take the left path. At the end of the short tunnel, they discover a shrine of a burning humanoid figure. As they approached the shrine, Krul’bei again discovers a moon shaped rune embedded in the floor. As they examine the rune, its magic activates and began to show an image of a young wizard and a Genasi. They begin to argue about their presence within the temple. The genasi urged for them to leave, however the wizard ignored his pleas and cast a spell. The images disappeared.

The shrine erupts in flames, revealing a humanoid figure with onyx skin with fiery hair. He called himself Ignatus, son of Ignala.

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Bathed in Woodsin

The heroes prepare to depart for the Ashlands to investigate a lead, to find out a way to stop the comet from arriving. The Arcane Council has suggested that they find out why Nevlim visited the Ashlands years ago. Just as the heroes set out on their journey, a familiar face thought to be lost appears. Sareth Fireblood, renowned mage, arrives in Nileer to answer the summons of the Arcane council. Krul’bei, overjoyed to see his old friend, was filled with renewed vigour.

Jarvan was disturbed that his wife Cornelia was overdue from her monthly tour of Gavin’s post. Jarvan requested the heroes to keep an open eye for the lost princess as it was not like her to tarry. The heroes set out on their journey and at Jarvan’s behest, decided to take the most direct route to Gavin’s post.

Half a day into their travels, Iltharen’s keen elf eyes spots a most unusual thing just off the trail. Pieces of broken painted wood littered the ground. Bori, the proud craftsman that he is, was able to identify the pieces were of Orian design that broke apart from a carriage. The heroes followed the trail and it led them to Orcs accompanied by Yuan-ti with Lady Cornelia and her court wizard in tow. The heroes quickly dispatched of the kidnappers and escorted the princess back to Nileer.

Jarvan was glad to be once again united with his beloved and rewarded the heroes with access to his grand Armory. Cornelia also warned the heroes to stay clear of Gavin’s Post for it is wrought with a magical miasma that she has never seen before. The heroes heeded her warning and made haste for the small town of selbina in the Ashlands.

The heroes arrived at the small town and were greeted with hospitality by the villagers. Logan and Bori decided to socialize with the locals whereas Krul’bei and Iltharen immediately began work on finding out more about Nevlim’s visit. The genasi and the eladrin have found out from Pogar, patron of The Carline Canopy, that someone of Nevlim’s description indeed visit Selbina years ago when his grandfather was still patron. Though he could not tell them more as to why Nevlim ventured into Ashlands, he did warn the heroes to abandon this quarry for the Ashlands is now wrought with woodsin.

Much to Pogar’s dismay, the heroes are adamant in journeying to the ashlands for they must not fail in their quest. Pogar, sympathetic to the heroes’ goal, told them of a way to protect themselves from the woodsin. A mask can be forged out of a treant’s heart bark that will repel the magical malady. However there has not been Treants in the ashlands since the curse began. The heroes have found out that Pogar’s daughter crystal is immune to woodsin and ventured often to the Ashlands without a need of a mask. Crystal mistakenly informed the heroes that she has knowledge of the last Treant survivor in the ashlands. Learning of the heroes’ purpose in seeking the Treant, Crystal refused to divulge more information in order to protect her friend. Bori was able to sympathize with the young lady and found out a possible source of the woodsin.

The heroes decided to seek out the source of the curse. Thanks to Krul’bei’s keen sense of direction, the heroes were able to find the source of the dark malady. A dark primordial stone was lodged into the earth, opening the leylines between the shadowfell and the material plane. Obscuring the area with dark mist; Shadowfell energies continuously seeped into the Ashlands, bathing it with dark energies. Ancient words began to form as Krul’bei touched the stone.

Infused with magic, like the water
A common sight, within a slaughter
Held by sky kings, of many complexion
coveted by mortals, for power or poison

Sareth produced a vial of Mekkalath, the red dragon’s, blood from his person and poured it onto the dark obelisk. The stone began to burn like firewood until there was nothing but ash. With the stone destroyed, the dark mist lifted and the heroes find themselves gazing at an ancient temple.

The path to the temple was lined with tall primordial stones carved from what seemed like white marble. As they approached the temple doors, krul’bei spots more words in the ancient text appear on the door.

One must first be willing to destroy
In order to create

Krul’bei thought hard about what the words meant. He thought that the obelisks must have some sort of connection and struck one with his sword imbued with his magic. The obelisk began to glow green and absorbed Krul’bei’s spell. The marble stone lit up in green flames and a beam of light swept through the heroes. Sareth and Logan managed to avoid the Obelisk’s attack, however the rest of the heroes were struck leaving some of their magic items inert. The obelisk’s power began to fade and the temple’s doors slowly parted.

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An Uneasy Truce

Jarvan Lightshield invited the heroes to Nileer to meet with the Triumvirate and discuss Oria’s next move. The Grand Duchy of Entreria have requested an audience with the Orian Triumvirate to discuss a cease-fire and draw up a treaty in the interest of both nations working towards peace. With the Heroes’ council, Jarvan’s suspicions have been ratififed. Jarvan suspects that that the Dukes are merely biding their time to recoup their forces for a final assault into Orian lands.

Rurik fears that the deception delves deeper. During the battle for Direm, he witnessed Evard and Nezlim’s final confrontation. Rurik states that the lich has been gravely injured during the duel and is most likely using this time to gather his strength. The council meeting was then interrupted by a curious elf wielding an unusual sword. He called himself Aldo, a wartrotter troubadour. The council decided to entertain the bard’s intrusion, however the heroes were not impressed. He offered to do a reading of the future for one of the heroes as a sign of good faith. Ilfaren, skeptical of this elf’s power, volunteered to bear witness of the bard’s power. The bard began to sing a ballad, and Ilfaren was filled with visions of his homeland.

Your return to the isles and your people will perish
War and Death, the dark one will Relish
To save them, and flourish you remain in Joria
For if you return, we sing, the eladrin’s last Aria

Ilfaren was content with the bard’s show of power and gave him permission to speak. Aldo warned the council that the treaty must be signed or Oria will be destroyed, they have foreseen it. The bard advised the council to gather their strength for there is something dark that looms on the horizon. With this knowledge, the council has decided that they will sign the treaty to assess the Dukes’ true intentions.

Interlude

Ashlynn Vi Macht was elated to know that her friend Krul’bei had returned to the capital for she longed to see him and had a gift for him. Ashlynn, unbeknownst to her, had ensnared a powerful air elemental in the locket that used to contain her primordial stone. She had learned its true name, Thrae. Thrae took the form of a steed when he is summoned by his master. Ashlynn had given Krul’bei this wonderful gift. He was grateful, yet surprised that an apprentice mage is able to bind a powerful elemental into an item. Thrae was not pleased by his new master.

The bard’s prophecy disturbed the eladrin and needed respite. Iltharen longed for his home in the distant isles and desired to find any semblance of the feywild within the city. He stumbled upon the city’s grove, where wild herbs grow and druids tended to the land. Just as he started his trance, he noticed a peculiar old lady gathering some unusual herbs. He decided to entertain his curiousity and requested for Kilanthras, his animal companion to follow the old lady. Something was not right with her, and Iltharen wanted to know why. After days of investigating, the old lady had nearly worn out Iltharen’s curiosity. Until one faithful night, the haggard woman had brought home a large sack. This bothered the eladrin. Iltharen waited for her to leave her home so he may investigate further. Iltharen was surprised to find that the old woman had been kidnapping children and using herbs from the sacred grove to drug them into a comatose state. Even more disturbing was the discovery of an altar to Lolth, the spider queen. Iltharen quickly called for the town guards and the old lady was arrested and sentenced to death.

Baalnir was bored. He longed to be unleashed back into the world and take skulls for his great god. He decided to wander in the low market looking to sate his boredom.

The gnome Baskel Swifthook was the best thief in town and he was bored. He was known to be the best cutpurse among the thieves of lowtown, there was no-one he couldn’t steal from. He prayed to the pillars for someone new to swindle, a new source of coin. Everything was too easy. He noticed a hulk of a figure clad in ebon armor trailed by two clerics of the sun. “Dignitary, or possibly a savage noble from across the sea! Thank the pillars, this will be fun” he thought.

Baalnir was disappointed to find that lowtown held up to its name, no one in this place is worthy enough to whet his axe. Lost in his thoughts he suddenly heard a clink followed by the sound of someone squirming. A halfling somehow had its finger lodged itself into one of his leg plates. Baalnir roared at the as it pried itself free from the Slayer. Baskel ran as fast as he could but he was not fast enough for the Slayer’s keen axe. The gnome’s innards spilled into the city streets, onlookers looking in horror at Baalnir. The slayer walked on, lost in his own thoughts.

Interlude End

The Heroes, along with Jarvan’s squire, had agreed to escort the Triumvirate on their way to the Entrerian borders and act as witnesses during the signing of the treaty. While the cort├Ęge took respite, they were ambushed by massive Serpentine creatures speaking an unknown language. The band were able to dispatch of the menacing snake beasts but not without casualty. Jarvan’s squire had perished in the battle.

Upon further investigation, the Heroes found an odd insignia on one of the serpent men’s helms. They have determined that this was the insignia of the Sethrian Empire on the east.
The Triumvirate and the Dukes finally met and signed the treaty. Taking their first steps to peace.

The Arcane Council has discovered that the comet has started to move and is headed towards the Ashlands. The mages theorize that the impact alone would be strong enough to devastate the nation of Oria. The mages suggest that they visit the ashlands and investigate as to why the comet is drawn to that place. Aldo has also provided knowledge of a long lost dragonborn civilization that could possibly aid Oria strengthen their forces. The heroes have decided that they will travel to the ashlands and find a way to stop the comet from arriving.

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Jevlin's Gate: Defeat

With the warriors and knights of Jevlin’s gate answering the horn’s call, thousands of soldiers march to defend the wall from the enormous horde of undead Nevlim has finally brought before Entreria. Baron Alistair Yeld personally leads the adventurers and his followers to the wall to issues commands; the first of which is for the heroes to once again defend Jevlin’s gate from evil.

Advance scouts warn of one of Nevlim’s most powerful minions, a Mind Flayer and his Hill Giant thralls who threaten to break down the wall’s supposedly indestructible gate. As the party rushes down to defend the gate, it is suddenly burst open and shattered by the combined might of the giants, and a titanic battle takes place as the two sides engage. The Giants begin by hurling boulders to slow the party down, and as the characters try to maneuver around the difficult terrain, the danger of these foes becomes more and more real.

Unfortunately the Mind Flayer is too powerful with his psychic blasts and several of the player characters fall and are slain. First is Themescalys, who is crushed by the clubs of Hill Giant Smashers. Second is Silver, heroic monk slain by the Mind Flayer as his psychic blasts destroy his mind and leave him a husk. Lastly is the immortal Kala Devi, who leaves this life to reincarnate again in the world. Krul-Bei narrowly avoids death, and Sareth flees from the field of battle; leaving the Giants victorious and Jevlin’s Gate in the throes of death. The city is conquered a day later as there are no more heroes to save the day.

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Jevlin's Gate: The Beginning of the End

Retreating to Jevlin Gate’s royal palace, Baron Alistair Yeld allowed the adventurers to rest of the night. Explaining to the party and several officials of a plan to repulse Nevlim’s horde, the adventurers were called away from their breakfast to confront a second attack upon the market harbour.

Shortly after arriving, they were assaulted by all four elementals and a powerful hag leading them. A mighty conflict took place with several members nearing death. With much wear and tear they were successful, splitting the hag in two and scattering her elemental minions. Recalled to the palace yet again to account for their heroics, the party finds the horns and chants of Jevlin’s Gate rising: Nevlim has arrived. Until next week!

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Jevlin's Gate: Foreshadowing

As the player characters return triumphant from Gardmore Abbey, they find Jevlin’s Gate preparing for war. The undead hordes of Nevlim march upon the mighty garrison city yet again, and the party finds itself hired out by Baron Alistair Yeld to investigate the slaughter of one of his patrols within the city itself.

After some careful examination they are attacked by four monstrous elementals composed of both ice and fire, as well as the two Genasi that lead them. A ferocious battle ensues and the player characters are victorious; left with the spoils of battle and questions for the Genasi before their enemies succumb to their wounds. Until next week!

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Gardmore Abbey: Conclusion

Through the course of two months, we started and finished Gardmore Abbey from the end of November 2011 to mid-January 2012. It was an extremely compelling experience filled with some unique encounters and great atmosphere. The group largely enjoyed the module and we would recommend it to any groups looking for a long, in-depth adventure to keep them busy!

Exploring the Abbey and its grounds took time, so the PCs first confronted and dispatched a large tribe of Orcs infesting the outer villages. Soon after, they entered the Feywood grove adjacent to the Abbey and made dealings with an Eladrin Knight named Berrian, who warned them of a great and terrible danger in the forest’s watchtower. Defeating its other-worldly protector, the PCs emerged from the grove fully aware of what awaited them atop the hill, and as they drove away the monsters and beasts they descended into Gardmore’s catacombs. Facing untold horrors with the help of the Paladin Sir Oakly, the PCs slew a powerful priest of the Eye and eventually came across the Abbey’s true power: Mekkalath. A dangerous conflict erupts and through sheer determination, skill and tactics the PCs emerge victorious. Soon after, they confronted the lord of Winterhaven: Padraig, and after a final vicious battle, the party had the Deck of Many Things in hand.

But, what awaits them next? Joria: War of the Gods continues with its story-driven elements and we close in on Paragon tier with the world closer to peril then ever before!

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Gardmore Abbey: Introduction

Not wasting time, the adventurers make haste south west to Jevlin’s Gate, a large port city behind ‘The Wall’, a mighty construction that has held off attacks from undead since Entreria’s very first days. Hired out by Baron Alistair to ensure Gardmore Abbey does not fall to the encroaching armies of the Lich Nevlim, the player characters prepare accordingly and head north.

Finding sanctuary in the village of Winterhaven, tasks are accepted and preperations are made to begin exploration of an Abbey once devoted to Oren, but now home to Orcs, Ogres and much worse things.

We begin again on the twentieth, where a marathon gaming session on the Sunday will deal with Gardmore Abbbey in all her splendour and danger!

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