The Obsidian Spire

SATHERAS

In Attendance: Josh, Chad, Drew, Jason

Summary: The heroes find that the ritual that the gnolls had begun destabilized ley lines within the Bleeding Crevasse and the entire region was rocked by violent upheavals. They exited the area and after some difficulty in navigating the Borderlands, they make their way to the Keep to finally confront Satheras.

They opt to sneak in via the hidden passage they used to escape weeks earlier. Once inside, they fight a number of undead and make their way up to the main level, where they fight Keller’s Killers and oher undead.

Finally, Satheras reveals himself and offers to have the heroes help him end the threat of Necreus, but made it clear that he would replace the dark lord as the world’s ruler. Not finding that option appealing, the heroes attack. After a long and difficult battle, the heroes manage to destroy Satheras, thanks largely to his weakened condition brought about by the presence of Dawnbringer.

And so ends the threat of Satheras, one of Necreus’ Lords of Malice. With the Black Skull of Necreus within the Arcane Vault, and the heroes possessing the key to obtain it, they now hold a powerful weapon against Necreus. As the shade of the angel Raziel told them, the skull holds the key to Necreus’ escape from the Obsidian Spire and also his grip upon the mortal world. By destroying the skull, they greatly weaken the dark lord. But, the skull can only be destroyed within the fires of the Flame Imperishable, which has been lost. But the heroes also found a clue to it’s possible whereabouts; within the Graven Monolith – the place where Sola was born to the world.

The road before the heroes is fraught with perils. Do they go after the Flame Imperishable or do they return to Winecrest to join the Hawkguard in stopping the invasion and making the Lord Commander Hawkins pay for his treason?

The answer to that will have to wait until Season 2 begins.

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THE BLEEDING CREVASSE

Date: 11/19/11
In Attendance: Drew, Josh, Jason, Chad

Summary: The heroes return to the refugee caves north of Greenvale with the injured Gregory Hawkins. His wife, Lira Mar, cares for him while the heroes rest. During the rest. Lira Mar reveals that the memories she retained from the shadow being that possessed her reveale that the ritual the gnolls were casting would suck the life force out of the gnolls, would destroy Dawnbringer (the weapon the heroes came here to obtain) and would cause havoc on the ley line network that holds the Southland together. When Gregory awakens, Alex catches him up on recent events. He gives Gregory the Scepter of the Flame and it bursts into arcane life when he holds it. He tells Alex that it told him that he was the heir to the Empire of Nerath and that he must seek out the Flame Imperishable in the Graven Monolith -Sola’s sacred birth place. The Lord Warden of Greenvale casts aside the scepter and insists that his priorities are to free Greenvale of the gnolls and then they can plan their next steps, apparenly more interested in bringing the Lord Commander to justice than in seeking some ancient symbol to a long lost empire.

The group goes to Greenvale and find the gnolls have deserted the town. Lira Mar takes them to the portal the gnolls used to raid the town and she opens it to allow the heroes to go after Dawnbringer. Gregory and Lira Mar stay behind to get Greenvale secured and to gather the surviving Hawkguard to plan an attack on the Lord Commander Hawkins in Winecrest.

The heroes arrive in the Borderlands and begin following the gnoll tracks. Along the way they find a scrawny gnoll named Lorat who they convince to guide them to Gnarmak’s lair. Lorat takes the group to the Bleeding Crevasse; a large canyon with a river of magma flowing through it. En route, they pass by large burning holes that Lorat says were created by Gnarmak. The holes erupt and demons flow from them, forcing he heroes to confront and destroy them.

The heroes reach and enter the canyon and find hundreds if not thousands,of dead gnolls throughout. Upon inspection it appears their life forces were sucked out. They continue on towards Gnarmak’s lair and are soon attacked by skeletal gnolls and hyena. Upon dispatching those, they continue on and find the area where Gnarmak’s throne rises from the canyon floor before a large ritual pit surrounded by dozens of gnolls. The heroes enter and attack, fighting the gnolls even as the ritual pit claims the weaker gnolls. Dawnbringer, hanging above the ritual pit, held fast by the arcane power of the pit, also appears to be losing power.

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The heroes face Gnarmak and his most powerful servants and the heroes are hard pressed to hold their own, but as the gnoll priest fights, his control of the forces within the pit wavers and when he is killed by the heroes, the ritual fails and a spectral claw emerges from the pit and claims Gnarmak and his remaining servants.

Now, with Dawnbringer in hand, all that remains is to find Satheras in the Keep on the Borderlands and use the weapon to destroy him before he opens the arcane vault.

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The Ritual

The heroes make their way though the Blacksteel Peaks on their way to Greenvale, when an earthquake similar to what they experienced at the Keep on the Borderland splits the group. Alex, Krim and Azrim find their way out of the mountains and encounter trolls harassing a strange green woman.

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Upon defeating the trolls, they learn that the girl called herself Shallanthra and was sent here by the “earth mother” to repair a ley line node that threatens the ley line network of the Southland. She asks the heroes to accompany her to Greenvale where the node lies so that she may fulfill her destiny. The heroes agree and follow a river south towards Greenvale, where they encounter a group of people who say that Greenvale had been attacked by gnolls that appeared out of nowhere. The people escaped and now plan to take the river to Winecrest and safety, but the heroes tell them of the invasion of Winecrest and tell the people to find shelter with the elves of the Hedgewood instead.

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The heroes travel towards Greenvale, but decide to head towards the caves where the people go in times of trouble and speak to the Lady Lira Mar, the Lord Warden’s wife. They find the caves and convince the guards to take them to Lira Mar. She meets the group and tells of the night time invasion of gnolls and the heroic actions of the Lord Warden that allowed the townsfolk to escape. The heroes listened intently, but when Shallanthra asked why they wee speaking to a shadow entity, they suspected that Lira Mar had been possessed by the same creatures they had encountered elswhere in the Southland. They confront her and she attacks them along with her eladrin handmaidens. The heroes manage to subdue her and when the shadow entity tries to escape, Azrim uses his divine powers to prevent it. From the creature they learn that the vampire lord Satheras sensed the presence of the one weapon that can harm him, the Dawnbringer, and so he sent his shadow servant to make a deal with the lord of the gnolls, Gnarmak, to destroy the weapon. Kroll, the shadow servant, made the deal then traveled to Greenvale, possessed Lira Mar and used her arcane knowledge to open a portal from the town to the Borderlands, which allowed the gnolls to invade without warning. Armed with this knowledge, the heroes decide to head into town and try to stop the gnolls and allow Shallanthra to repair the ley line node.

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Upon arriving in town, they find Gregory Hawkins crucified and nearly dead. They save him and as Shallanthra begins to repair the node, the gnolls attack, hidden from the surrounding builings. As the heroes face the gnolls, a tremor rips through the town and a swarm of demons emerge from a rift and attack. As they face the gnolls and demons, a winged gnoll flies in and joins the battle. The heroes fight bravely and manage to kill or drive off the creatures, which gives Shallanthra the time to repair the node. They then decide to withdraw and recouperate before returning to finish their work.

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A Shared Vision

The trek through the Blacksteel peaks is exhausting and takes a couple of days to complete. During the last night before reaching the Verdant Plains, you and your companions make camp under a clear sky. The cold mountain air is crisp and sleep takes you almost immediately. You quickly realize that you do not begin to dream, rather your consciousness is pulled from your slumbering forms and is drawn to a turbulent storm. Black and purple clouds swirl low in the sky with flashes of white lightning crackling throughout. Your spirit form flies into this maelstrom and you fight to keep from being ripped to shreds. You will yourself to land and you crash down forcefully. You look around and see that you are in a town and you know this town is Greenvale. You look around and see the streets are full of gnolls, cackling to each other in their strange barking tongue. Several dead humans lie in the streets, their bodies torn to shreds and feasted upon by the gnolls. Suddenly a loud shriek comes from above and the gnolls look up and you find yourselves looking up and what you see is a female gnoll with great bat-like wings swoop down from the sky and lands upon a nearby building. It barks at the gnolls below and they jump at her command. A man is brought through the crowd by several gnolls and taken to a large wooden cross being erected by other gnolls. The man is forcefully strapped to the cross and the slavering gnolls step back as the winged gnoll barks more commands. The beaten and bloody man, barely alive, looks up through swollen eyes and you turn to see what it is he watches. Behind you, coming through the crowd of gnolls is an enormous monster of a gnoll and you immediately know this to be Gnarmak. It’s booming bark rumbles through the town and it stomps its way past you as though you weren’t there to stand before the crucified man. The winged gnoll flies down and lands next to the giant gnoll and holds a scabbard out to Gnarmak. The giant gnoll stares down at the sheathed blade, pulls at the pommel and as the sword slides out, a brilliance bursts forth blinding you momentarily. Gnarmak hisses in pain and shoves the blade back in the sheath. He uses the scabbard to raise the head of the crucified human and snarls in his face, a line of saliva dripping from it’s fanged maw. Gnarmak then turns from the cross and moves back through the gnoll crowd towards the end of town. It stops before turning a corner into darkness and barks one more command, then disappears into the darkness. For a moment, there is silence in town with only the sound of the storm above, then the winged gnoll rises up into the air and begins barking out a chant. Arcane sigils burn to life throughout the town and streams of energy erupt from the earth and arcs like lightning through the each and every gnoll standing in town, burning through and killing them. You know the deaths are a sacrifice and that the ritual that you observed in other towns in the Southland has now been activated here using the gnolls themselves as the catalyst. The force of the ritual seems to affect your spirit forms and you find yourselves forcefully ejected from town. You tumble back through the storm and awaken in your camp. You look out into the Verdant Plains toward the direction of Greenvale and see dark clouds forming…

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The Eternal Champions

Date of Session: 08/06/11
In Attendance: Chad, Scott, Jason, Josh, Drew
Session Summary: When the heroes awaken, they find themselves possessing bodies other than their own. They are standing in the courtyard of the Keep on the Borderlands, but the keep is newly built and the courtyard is full of warriors. A woman addresses the crowd and they learn that it is the legendary Sola, savior of Creation. She tells the crowd that the forces of Necreus march through Ryjum Pass towards them and they will meet his army there to stop it once and for all. She creates the Flame Imperishable by filling a golden brazier, fills it with her blood and ignites it with a ray from the rising sun. She tells the crowd that, with this symbol of freedom, the Alliance of Light will prevail.

After addressing the crowd, the heroes are taken into the keep and Sola addresses them alone. She tells them that they have been chosen to be her Eternal Champions, to fight Lord Necreus now and, if need be, through ages to come until such time as he is destroyed. As Sola speaks verbally to them, she psychically tells them that they were killed in the future and her gift of the Eternal Champions allowed their spirits to inhabit their original incarnations. She says that once they die in this time, their spirits will return to the future.

She tells the group that the Alliance of Light cannot stand against Necreus and that she will need to face him in combat. But even she cannot defeat him, but she can take the source of his power from him, what she refers to as the Vile Reliquary – the receptical of his entropic essence. She plans to face him in combat and learn where he keeps the reliquary and then deliver it to the Eternal Champions so that they may immerse it within the Flame Imperishable and destroy it. Doing so will trap Necreus within his Obsidian Spire and make him vulnerable. Only then can he be killed for good.

Attack of the giants

The Alliance of Light marches into Ryjum Pass and find the Army of Darkness marching towards them, outnumbering by 10 to 1. Kings Everflame and Markelhay order the Eternal Champions to take out the giants and titans to bolster the morale of the alliance.

Oh crap

After dispatching the giants Necreus arrives on the battlefield and begins to reap great destruction upon the alliance.

Necreus appears

Then Sola appears and challenges the Dark Lord to combat. The two face off, and though Sola fights bravely, she is clearly out matched by the Dark Lord. Necreus orders the Army of Darkness to destroy the Alliance of Light and then disappears with Sola. The dark forces surge forward and the alliance is hard pressed to hold them back. Then the earth rumbles and from behind the Alliance erupts from the earth an enormous monster…the legenday Tarrasque! The kings order the Eternal Champions to hold the monster until the Flame Imperishable can be positioned to attack it.

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The Eternal Champions manage to keep the Tarrasque occupied and their allies use the Flame Imperishable to collapse the towering cliffs to choke off the exit to Ryjum Pass and to bury the Tarrasque and the Eternal Warriors beneath tons of rock and earth.

Tarrasquerfield

The heroes awaken to find themselves bakc in their future bodies within a dark cavern. They climb out to find that they are in a dragon’s lair. The dragon, who calls herself Pyros, taunts them for a time and then attacks. The Eternal Champions fight bravely and kill the dragon, but realize that the cave belongs to a much larger dragon and decide to leave quickly.

They find tha they are in the mountains north of Greenvale and begin to make their way to that town.

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Seeking the Scepter

DATE OF SESSION: 08/06/11
IN ATTENDANCE: Drew, Josh, Scott, Jason, Chad

The heroes exit the sewers and take on shadar-kai that are rounding up men and putting them in a caged carriage pulled by an ogre. They distract the ogre and shadar-kai as Krim frees the prisoners and a former…acquainence of his that was in the cage (a rogue that calls herself the Black Cat) takes them into the sewers. The party manages to kill the ogre and shadar-kai and then head into the Chamber of the Vine building.

Shadar kai in winecrest

Alley fight

Inside the building, they fight the former Lord Warden Grafire and more shadar-kai. After killing them, they go into the 2nd floor council chambers and find the Lord Commander Hawkins, a shadar-kai witch, a gnoll shaman, and one of the Lord Commander’s sons, transformed into a mindless chaos warrior. All have their attention on a glowing orb in the center of the room and within the orb is the image of an armored man with four children chained to his armor (Rolan remembers a legend of one resembling such a description that called himself the Dread Emperor). The image commands Hawkins to dispatch the intruders and then the image fades.

Fight in the chamber building

The Lord Commander tells Alex that it is futile to stand against the coming threat of Necreus and the only way to protect the legacy of the Hawkins family is to join the Dark Lord. Alex once again defies his father and the Lord Commander tells his new allies to kill Alex and his allies.

Betrayed by daddy

As the fight begins, the Lord Commander departs and exits the building.

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The heroes kill the witch and shaman, but knock Alex’s brother unconscious in hopes of finding a way to reverse the transformation. They search the building and find the Justicar’s vault that holds the Scepter of the Flame within. The iron golem guard obeys Alex’s commands and guards the building as they open the vault and remove the scepter. They also find, within the jail cells, the unconscious and beaten form of Solarus Jalyvar. Whenthey revive her she tells them that the Lord Commander had accused her of treason without leveling any charges and threw her in the jail (after inflicting most of her bruises himself).

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Before the group can rest, they are alerted by the golem of a danger. They step outside to find the black pyramid floating over the building. A flash of dark light erupts from the bottom of the pyramid AND THEN ALL GOES BLACK

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Seige on the Keep

DATE: 07/23/11
IN ATTTENDANCE: Chad, Drew, Jason, Josh, Scott, Mark

SESSION SUMMARY:

The heroes leave the dungeon of the forgotten temple and find a group of mad lizardfolk awaiting them on the surface. The fight is short and the group dispatch all but the leader, who escapes into the swamps. From the tracks found, it appeared that someone left the dungeons and then disappeared at the edge of the ruins.

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Rolan activates the teleporation circle and gets the group back to the keep, where they find that the former lord warden, Brogan Pax, has returned from whatever mission Lord Warden Grafire sent him on. He tells the group that he went into the Forbidden North and found that the ancient evil known as Necreus is stirring again, has formed a massive army and navy and is prepared to launch an offensive to rival or exceed that of the War of Darkness. He tells the group that he leaves to go to Winecrest to warn the Chamber. The heroes tell Pax all of what has transpired of late and Pax believes it all to be interrelated. He shows them a secret way out of the keep and tells them to keep his presence here secret, that the Dark Lord has spies everywhere.

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That evening, as acting Lord Warden Hawkins prepares a group to check on an outpost that had not checked in, they are alerted by the keep’s lookout of a mass of lights forming on the far shore of the mote surrounding the keep. More and more lights flare as a huge horde of gnolls prepares to cross the mote to the keep. The alarm is sounded, but before any defensive action can be taken, a giant bat descends from the skies, bearing a lone rider – the borderman known as Keller, whose eyes are as black as the night indicating his possession by the dark entity the group had encountered before. The giant bat transforms into a humanoid dressed in ancient, ornate armor whose very presence freezes the heroes in place. Unable to move, they can only listen as the armored-one, who they know to be Satheras – the first vampire of Creation, projects his thoughts to all around, telling the entity possessing Keller to kill all in the fortress while he seeks out the Vile Reliquary below. Satheras enters the keep and Keller engages the heroes, joined by his two allies, Agris the dwarf and Ranik the half orc. Realizing the odds are stacked against them, Alex calls for a retreat to the hidden passage, but the impulsive Vaelek charges ino battle. The others come to Vaelek’s aid and eventually manage to put enough distance between them and Keller to get to the secret passage and escape.

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The passage leads out of the keep into the woods a mile to the west, but as the heroes emerge they find a gnoll scouting party engaged in battle with the escapees from the keep. The heroes engage the gnolls long enought to assess their strength, then manage to escape them as well. They head to the Crossroads to consult with Pax on this development and they find the remains of a battle worn Hawkguard contingent camped there. The wounded tell the group of the invasion of Winecrest by the black ships that are led by a massive flying black pyramid with vast destructive power. Sir Pequey tells them that Lord Commander Hawkins took a small force back to Winecrest to try and save the Chamber and his wife and ordered Pequey to take the refugees to safety. However, Pequey and his group were assaulted by a large gnoll contingent, which they routed but with serious casualties. The group decide to go to Winecrest to help the Lord Commander, but also to seek out the Scepter of the Flame, which will unlock the arcane vault in the keep that contains the powerful object the . Krim recalls that the guilds he allied with in his days on the streets of Winecrest frequently used secured sewer passages to smuggle things in and out of Winecrest and suggested they use those to sneak in.

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The group make it to Winecrest, find it had indeed been invaded and see the giant black pyramid floating over the city. They enter the sewers, but encounter two Otyugh and a Black Pudding, which they fight and dispatch. They now rest and prepare to exit the sewers near the Chamber’s offices where they hope to find the Lord Commander and the Chamber alive, and also to seek out the Justicar’s vault where the Scepter of the Flame is probably being kept.

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Interlude

When: Nearly 6 months ago
Where: The isle of Minos in the Serpent’s Teeth isles in the Twisting Deep Ocean

The Nightreaper flies towards the Serpent’s Teeth, driven on by the will of its master, Necreus. It’s form is fluid as it streaks across the night sky, passing a ship and spawning horrific nightmares with the slumbering crew below. The creature spots the island in the distance, the still smoldering remains of the recently destroyed lighthouse drawing it as surely as if it were a beacon of light. The lighthouse was built by the traitor N’Tal, who sought to undermine the Master’s plans by building a beacon to call forth the Star Spawn, and more specifically, the godlike entity of entropy known as Atropus. The Master had learned of N’Tal’s treachery and manipulated a group of heroes from Freeport into confronting N’Tal in his beacon and allowing Necreus’ agent, the Traveler, to enter and destroy the lighthouse. The Master dispatched the Nightreaper the moment the Dark Beacon’s call was silenced and tasked his loyal servant with this very important mission.

The lights of Freeport reflected off of the black waters as the Nightreaper soared above the pirate haven, again sparking unsettling dreams with the town’s citizens. The reaper circles its destination cautiously, searching the isle of Minos for any lingering energies from the Dark Beacon that may be harmful to it, or from the newly restored Tower Arcanis, which has been brought back from the limbo into which it had been dispatched during the Magi Heresy. Satisfied that there was no immediate threat, the Nightreaper proceeds to the island.

The bulk of the lighthouse was destroyed when the Traveler completed a ritual that channeled the power of Necreus through him and caused an explosion so powerful that the tower’s top half was completely destroyed and the remainder of the structure crumbled down and into the ocean. Rubble was strewn across the island and the tower’s base still smoldered with the arcane energies employed in it’s destruction. The Nightreaper floats almost etherically across the surface of the island, it’s black robes fluttering in the sea breeze blowing in from the Twisting Deep. It scans the rubble with it’s dark eyes hidden within it’s cowl, seeking the prize his Master sent it to recover. For hours it searches tirelessly, methodically, when it spots something unusual within a particularly dense pile of rubble; sparkling motes of light, not unlike starlight, coming from the darkness. The Nightreaper approaches the mound of stone and effortlessly removes tons of rubble with a wave of its scythe. There, beneath the pile, the sword called Blackrazor juts up from the earth, impaled like a splinter within the skin of the isle. The sword’s metallic surface black as the void and within that void, sparks of starlight glimmer.

If the Nightreaper were capable of smiling, it supposed it would be now, as it reaches down and grasps the sword by it’s black hilt. The sentience of the blade immediately reaches out and attempts to overwhelm the Nightreaper’s will, as it had it’s last wielder, N’Tal, and it screams out in anger as it is unable to find the creature’s mind. The Master’s voice then emanates from the reaper; “Waste not your energies upon my servant, sword, for it has no will of it’s own, and your power is insufficient to challenge me. You were called from the Black Well by the Dark Beacon to serve it against me, but the orb is now but dust and you find yourself without a master. Know this, sword; I am your Master now. Serve me and the souls of thousands will by yours to feast upon. Defy me and you will find the bottom of a volcano to be a very lonely place indeed.”

Blackrazor raged at the insolence of Necreus, believing itself to be superior to the Entropy Lord, but it quickly realizes that the words were spoken true and that it has no power over this being. Reluctantly, it submits itself to the service of Necreus.

“Good…good…we have much work to do, you and I. But first, we must find you a new vessel. Return the blade to me, Nightreaper, I have just the right vessel in mind…”

The Nightreaper envelops the black blade within it’s black robes and takes one last look around the island. Then it rises up silently into the night sky.

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The Forgotten Temple

Game Date: June 11, 2011
In Attendance: Robb, Chris, Jason, Drew, Scott, Mark, Chad

Campaign Date: 1st day of Sixthmoth, 1,102nd year after the Founding of Nerath

In the Valley of the Magi, the heroes learn through the recovered Orb of Osmosis, that the Prime Magus, the eladrin Andirus, agreed to build the arcane vault found in the Keep on the Borderlands, and gave a key to the Lord Warden Rumis Tuk. The heroes return to the keep to see if they can determine more about this key.

Upon arriving they find that Keller arrived recently from his mission to scout out gnoll attacks in the borderlands, and claimed that his men were killed and that only he survived. The group also finds the Arcane Advisor, Threnval, and Keller are gone from the keep, having left on an unknown task. The group takes this opportunity to use Threnval’s library and find a hidden panel containing the damaged Orb of Osmosis that they left in the dwarf mine and wonder why Threnval had recovered and repaired this. They also learn that Threnval recently visited the keep’s necropolis in the dead of night.

The group go to the necropolis and find that Threnval sought out Lord Warden Rumis Tuk’s tomb. However, before they could investigate, a necromantic rift opened up in the necropolis, animating the corpses within as skeletons and bringing forth a dragonborn undead that claims to have brought the vile item that corrupted him to the keep and that he was cursed to do battle with the “Eternal Champions” because of the item, which was revealed earlier to the an obsidian skull. The heroes attempt to fight the undead but find that the Shadowfell rift rises them as quickly as they are destroyed. They decide to seek out the source of the rift in the crypts below the graveyard and try to close it. Making their way through the graveyard, battling skeletons and the undead dragonborn, the group make it to the crypt entrance, find the rift and close it.

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Inside the crypt they find the sarcophagus of Rumis Tuk, but learn that there was no body to bury and that his if the key to the arcane vault was given to him, it was not buried with him. They do find a journal that explains that the Lord Warden was driven mad by visions that compelled him to take his arcane advisor and bordermen to a forgotten temple within a swamp to destroy the source of the visions. The jounal had a teleportation circle formula drawn out to take the Lord Warden to the temple. The group then go back to the keep and find that Threnval’s teleportation circle has recently been used. They reactivate it and arrive at the forgotten temple in the swamps, finding nothing but a ruined temple, insects and dead lizardfolk bodies lying about. Within the temple, they find steps leading down into the lower chambers where they find two tombs; one sealed. In the chamber they find the skeletal remains of a Lord Warden and in the unsealed tomb they are attacked by vampires – one of which is Threnval!

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During the battle, Threnval reveals that “the Master” turned him and that he has left to seek out the “Vile Reliquary.” Regrettably, they destroy Threnval and the vampires and find that the skeleton does not have the key.

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The group open the sealed tomb and find the essense of a destroyed archangel named Raziel, who served the demigod Sola during the War of Darkness over 1000 years ago. The angel confirms that the heroes are the “Eternal Champions of Sola”, but doesn’t explain what that means. It says that the tomb across the hall belongs to one of the Lords of Malice – servants to the Dark Lord Necreus during the War of Darkness. This one was named Satheras, the father of vampires. During the last battle of the war, Sola was defeated by Necreus and taken to his Obsidian Spire. There, she used the last of her power to take Necreus’ phlyactery, the Obsidian Skull, and give it to her angel Raziel to destroy. Raziel took the skull and fled the spire, but was followed by Satheras. They did battle and Raziel managed to incapacitate the vampire lord, but was mortally wounded himself. A human priest that witnessed the battle took the skull from Raziel and promised to keep it hidden. The priest built the tombs and built a temple above them to keep both the remains of Satheras and Raziel hidden from the world above. The angel warns the Eternal Champions that if Satheras was restored, he will stop at nothing to return the skull to his master to free him from his prison in the Obsidian Spire. The angel also said the Eternal Champions only hope in defeating the powerful vampire is to seek out the holy blade Dawnbringer in the Lost Vale.

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Valley of the Magi

Date: 25TH Day of Fifthmonth, 1,102nd Year After the Founding of Nerath

The heroes return from Ryjum pass to find the Hawkguard, led by Lord Commander Hawkins of Winecrest, camped at the keep. They discover that a Black Fleet has allied with the various Guilds of Eastport to launch an attack against Westport, an ally of Winecrest. The Lord Commander believes the Black Fleet’s next target will be Winecrest, and so he is recruiting men from the Southland to bolster the Hawkguard against a possible invasion. He takes most of the men of the keep, including Lord Warden Grafire, and promotes Alexander Hawkins to acting Lord Warden of the Keep. He also charges Alex with finding the legendary Flame Imperishable, which he believes to be hidden somewhere near the keep.

As the new Lord Warden struggles to keep up with the demands of his office, strange tremors begin to shake the keep and the surrounding lands. Arcane advisor Thenval learns the quakes are originating from Ryjum Pass, but don’t seem to be magical in nature. One particulary strong quake reveals a hidden passage below the keep, within which lies a strange magical vault. Clues on the vault lead the heroes of the keep to seek out the vault’s creator, the archmage Andirus – the last Prime Magus of the Southland Tower of the Conclave of Magi. Through intense research, using information gleaned from the Orb of Osmosis found in the Lost Library, they manage to discover the secret location of the tower, in a place called the Golden Valley.

The heroes depart for the Golden Valley, but along the way they discover gnolls in the frontier village Crow’s End. The townsfolk have been slaughtered and sacrificed in an apparent multipart, mega-ritual that the gnoll warlord Gnarmak has begun to summon a powerful being, perhaps Yeenoghu, demon lord of gnolls himself. They manage to kills he gnolls responsible for the slaughter, but too late to stop their work in this part of the ritual. They do learn that the ritual requires 10 such sacrifices in places where ley lines intersect and that the next one will be in the town of Greenvale. The group send the only survivor of Crow’s End back to the keep to have Threnval warn Greenvale of the threat.

Continuing on to the Golden Valley, the heroes dispatch hungry wolves and enter the valley. They find a wonderous place where islands of earth float randomly about. The Southland tower is gone, only a crater remains where it stood. Two of the four guard towers still stand and the heroes investigate these in hopes of finding information on Andirus and the arcane vault below the keep. At the first tower, they find a breach into the Shadowfell conceals the remains and a lonely spirit of the tower’s security force remains in a perpetual fight against the spectral Soladrin Confessors that haunt him in a nightly reminder of his failure to protect the Magi. He sends the heroes to the other remaining tower to find the Orb of Osmosis, which would have been linked to the Tower Arcanis’ library of knowledge.

The heroes go the this floating tower, manage to climb up to it and fight off ethereal worms that infest the exterior. They search the tower and find that it’s power source has animated into a crystalline golem and taken the Orb to the roof of the tower. They reach the roof and battle the golem, ultimately destroying it and recovering the Orb of Osmosis.

What will they discover upon tapping the orb’s knowledge? Stay tuned to find out…

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