Recap.   Posted by Dragondog.Group: 0
Dragondog
 GM, 767 posts
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 07:23
Recap
It was early fall, five nights before the two year anniversary of the return of the gods. Something that should have been celebrated royally, but with the king's city broken, it would likely pass in silence. The entire nation of Eastlund was focused on rebuilding their capital, once known as the Pearl of the East. Only the palace area had been left standing during the war. Half of the city had been cleared of debris and half of that had been rebuilt.

When those summoned appeared before the king, the queen, by public opinion the most beautiful woman in all of Solamnia, and some bodyguards where with him.

He gave them a charge to find the money he needed to rebuild their city, through exploration or donation. They could themselves keep a portion they considered fair, as the king couldn't control how much they discovered anyway and he counted on their patriotism to make the king/city's portion as large as possible.

The only place that still could hold wealth the king could suggest was the Lyceum, an old wizard school he had visited once, but hadn't had the need, opportunity, or capability to explore fully.

He told them of teleporting gems and corridors that were both straight and curvy at the same time, but all he could provide was the location of the Lyceum, funds were scarce as it was, and some tidbits about the place, like magical door handles, hidden doors, corridors shielded by lightning, and some of its creatures.

At which time a female musician among them took a step forward and all of them were enveloped by fire, with her in the middle. The only two who were unharmed was the musician herself and the queen.

The musician was quickly killed and the queen apparently was able to get the fire to vanish by clenching her fist, not that she was supposed to have any magical abilities nor would anyone believe such claims.

After this the king offered to have their clothes mended for free as well as any injuries suffered during their mission would be healed for free. And the king called upon their discretion in keeping this minor talent from the public. Which they said they would do.

Before they left, the King issued a royal decree, naming the heroes his agents in the rebuilding of Kalaman.

As the city was being rebuilt, the wealthy would have to wait for last. The king rebuilt the city according to need. And what was needed the most was rebuilt first. Though this included a couple of temples, including Paladine, the city's divine protector whom the king served as a cleric, Habbakuk because of his connection to farmers and the city's ever present need for food, Reorx because of the need to rebuild the city.

Some knights brought the heroes to a home where they called upon a young boy to fix their clothes. He did so quickly through the use of sorcery, but he couldn't do anything about how they smelled. This worried the wizard, especially since Vahn Ballard, a former wizard turned sorcerer and godsbringer, was his master.
Dragondog
 GM, 768 posts
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 07:24
Re: Recap
As the heroes headed towards one of the heroes' home, they encountered an 8 feet tall, clawed and fanged, yellow eyed, gray-black furred creature with a howl beyond the canine who dropped a savaged, smaller form to the ground.

As most of the heroes approached peacefully, the beast ran away and all of them hurried forward. The man was dead in a pool of his own blood, his throat ripped away, and no longer bleeding. And as it turned out, it was one of the Mercenary's neighbors. Followed by an argument on philosophy on how they should have dealt with the situation.

With some magical light on the situation, they were able to find the monster's tracks and follow them for a few minutes before they lost them permanently. They then found a watchman and reported the crime. They spoke with him as he looked at their papers and found out that no similar crimes had been committed in the city.

Stopping by at the neighbor's, there's no answer when the Mercenary knocks on the door. It is unlocked though, so they open it and call inside for the neighbor, with no answer. When they explored, they found a baby boy sitting in his mother's blood with the mother's body not far away, her flesh eaten.

Again they report this and having checked the heroes papers, the watchmen are suspicious to find them at the location of a second violent murder on the same night.

Two teenage children and another adult also lived in the apartment, with no signs of any of them. The heroes theorized that they might have encountered a werewolf and they decided to go to a temple to find out more, but a couple of heroes wanted to explore other avenues.

The temple of Reorx, the closest rebuilt temple, was a sight that almost stops your heart, truly a wonder of dwarven craftsmanship. And yet it was nothing compared to the Temple of Paladine. But it was after midnight and the temple was closed. Though an explanation of their need and an appropriate donation opened the doors.

The cleric they were guided to, tried to convince them that they should stay away from the beast. And let those qualified deal with it. But they were still able to get him to confirm that it was indeed a werewolf, someone capable of shapeshifting into one or more wolf related shapes, and perhaps even a powerful bestial alpha werewolf, that apparently was the scariest of scary, and that silver was needed against werewolves.

On the request of being taught how to fight it, the cleric said: “If I teach you, there is no going back. Fear is no longer an option. Neutrality is no longer an option. Freedom is no longer an option. Your heart and soul and mind will be given to one purpose. Your old life will be left behind. And you will pay the ultimate price. So. Do you stand or do you fall?”

Unsurprisingly, the heroes declined his offer. And split up for the night.
Dragondog
 GM, 769 posts
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 07:24
Re: Recap
The Mercenary returned home and he noted that a watchman was stationed outside the apartment door where gruesome things had happened earlier in the night. And he could hear voices from inside.

Though he normally lived alone in his apartment, he was now housing a couple of workmen there, another way he was helping with the rebuilding of his city. But at this early hour, it was quiet.

Unfortunately that didn't last long, for the Mercenary soon saw the werewolf he had encountered previously and again its fangs and claws were covered in blood. Being alone, fear froze him. The night creature howled like before and sunk it's teeth into his shoulder.

The Mercenary drew his knife, but despite his quick attacks, he was unable to hit anything. He was able to withdraw though, as the watchman barged into the room. The werewolfs longer reach allowed him to rip his attacker in half before he was close enough to do anything. One of the seekers followed with a drawn sword while the other blew in a horn.

The Mercenary tried to intimidate the monster into leaving, but instead he past out. When he woke up, he was elsewhere and he felt better. He was lying in a bed and a screen separated him from the rest of the room, but the sounds and the smells spoke of many people in many beds.

After some more time, a cleric of Paladine checked up on him, and told him that he had been healed and because of his services to the King, he didn't have to pay anything. Unfortunately, the other six, three builders, a watchman, and two seekers were dead on the scene.

The Mercenary wanted to leave, as the monster had to be dealt with. He left 4 silvers in donation, even though that wasn't expected of him.

[OOC: Just to underscore how dangerous this creature is, the Mercenary lost 27hp from that one bite and because he was stunned from fear, there was nothing he could do about it.

Watchman = Beat cop. Seeker = detective]
Dragondog
 GM, 770 posts
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 07:25
Re: Recap
While most of the group went to the temple of Reorx for information, one of them went to pick up some things they would need, like horses and a wagon. The Wizard rested and in the morning went to see the highest ranking wizard in the city, Hana Caladen a striking Black Robe in her early 50s, who despite most of the black robes joining with the Queen of Darkness had remained true to Kalaman and helped defending it.

He had to knock on her door for quite some time before it opened, and unfortunately he had awoken her so she was not in a good mood and she was only wearing her nightclothes. She knew she outranked him and that he knew it too and she treated him as such.

He suggested a meeting at some later time, but as she was already awake it was better to do it now. She somehow managed a smile that was both evil and alluring. He knows that this isn't tower grounds, so order traditions won't protect him here, he still follows her into her domain, apologizing for her inconvenience.

She returned dressed in a rich, luxurious black robe and the Wizard told her of a former wizard teaching sorcery, his need of knowledge of both the Lyceum and the werewolf.

She already knew about the sorcerers, but wasn't going to tell him anything until he needed to know. And she was willing to trade favors for information. But before that, he had to give her some of his blood, to show a willingness to do her favors and to pay for waking her up at that ungodly hour.

She told him that there are many kinds of werewolves, but all of them are vulnerable to silver and other night creatures, such as vampires who are their natural enemies. Anvil Ironfist, a cleric of Reorx, knows more about werewolves than anyone else in Kalaman. And he's a vampire.

The Lyceum is a place of magic and secrets. Once accessible to all the Orders, yet filled with traps only magic and the proper keys could pass. In particular in regards to spellbooks. It was tradition before the Cataclysm to protect them in various ways. Sometimes with actual protective spells, sometimes with encrypted writing only understandable by those with the right training and the secret mental or magical keys to open their wisdom, and sometimes by storing them in secret locations.

There are hallways that lead everywhere and nowhere and where a wrong turn might lead you back to where you started or make you totally lost. There were a number of guardians, but the mortal ones will likely be dead by now. The others include elementals and constructs. But the first rule of the Lyceum is magic and secrets. Anywhere. Anytime. Anyhow.

And for that information, the Wizard had to promise to do eight favors for her. One of which could be bringing back all magical tomes from the Lyceum to her.

[OOC: And yes, Anvil Ironfist was the cleric the heroes spoke with earlier.]
Dragondog
 GM, 771 posts
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 07:25
Re: Recap
The heroes went to the Mercenary's home to get started on the new day, but he wasn't there. Instead one watchman was guarding the door to the neighbor's home were disturbing things had happened last night. And another watchman at the Mercenary's door.

After the heroes had shown him their papers, they were told that he had been taken to a hospital in Forge Ward badly wounded. As they went there, they met the Mercenary on his way back home. The Mercenary told them what had happened last night and the heroes shared what information they had found out about werewolves. And the identity of the vampire.

Which set what the dwarf had said last night in another light altogether. Not that the Wizard was sure she had been telling the truth, black robes could be treacherous after all.

Despite the monster, their first duty was to complete the mission they had been given by the king, so they returned to the temple of Reorx to find out more about spirits and elementals. And again needed to give donations to get the help they needed.

Ghosts are only affected by magic, unless you can become insubstantial or travel to the Ethereal Plane. Ghost touch weapons are quite effective and some clerics have powers to drive them away. Spectral minions are also affected by magic, but faith and the Ethereal Plane will not help. But spirits have the same problems affecting the real world, though ghosts have some inborn abilities that allow them to attack anyway. And helping a spectral minion fulfill its duty helps in dealing with them.

Water elementals have no special vulnerabilities, aren't affected by poison or paralyzing effects, they don't eat, sleep, or breathe. And though steel should affect them normally, they don't have any vitals or physical weak spots.

They can extinguish magical fires and become stronger in water, they can even transform to whirlpools then and suck you in. This cleric even showed the heroes a vial of elemental water, aka the remains of a water elemental. He wouldn't mind taking any elemental water of their hands when they returned.

They traveled the rest of the day before making camp. Shortly thereafter they saw a 20' tall giant coming their way.
Dragondog
 GM, 772 posts
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 07:25
Re: Recap
The heroes got ready to fight, but decided to try diplomacy first. And this time it worked. The giant was on a fishing trip as apparently they were in as much need as everyone else after the war. He got excited when he heard about opportunities for work in Kalaman.

The next day they continued on and they came to a village at about lunch time. They stopped at the Blue Dragon Inn. On their way out of the village, they were stopped by a farmer whose children were missing. He suspected that they had been taken by draconians to the Old Place, which apparently was the farmer's name for the Lyceum. And the heroes promised to look into it.

When they got there, they looked for tracks outside and went in to explore. In the first room they encountered four baaz draconians and after dealing with those, they bandaged the wounded heroes. And then they found a secret passage.

Exploring further, they came to a large room with a domed ceiling more than 50 feet above them. There was a statue of blue marble whose head almost reached to the ceiling. One person was in the room, he was dressed in a lightning blue robe, close in color to what a follower of Mishakal or Habbakuk might where, and he was kneeling before the statue in prayer.

This was Estigon, the caretaker. And he was willing to let them take whatever they could carry from the Lyceum if they dealt with the invaders and did a favor for him he would tell them about later. All he would say about it now was that it would not go against a knight's vows. They asked him for directions, but he felt that exploration was half the fun and wouldn't give them any.

Soon thereafter they ran into a translucent trio that appeared out of nowhere, an exotic looking woman and two really tall (over 7 feet) men. As the heroes knew the caretaker's name, they were allowed to open one of the three doors the trio was guarding. As the King had told them not to take the left door, there was only two left. They picked the right one, in both senses of the word, and were rewarded with their first treasure.

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:52, Fri 18 July 2014.

Dragondog
 GM, 773 posts
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 07:26
Re: Recap
The heroes continued their exploration and found a library. Each book protected by a semitransparent force field, making them available only to authorized users of the library. Though some of the books lacked said protection.

At the other end of the library they saw a black robed wizard and four human soldiers from the Red Dragonarmy. The heroes tried the diplomatic route, but there was no reciprocating interest.

They were able to instantly take out the wizard and one of the soldiers, so the other three surrendered. They tied the remaining soldiers up and discussed what to do with them. They found two secret passages. One of the secret passages led to a smaller, private, library. The Wizard, as a representative of the Order that operated the Lyceum, decided that he would take custody of all the books they removed from the structure.

Though others figured everything should be disposed according to the greatest benefit of the country. And giving magical books to the Wizards of High Sorcery, might very well be the best choice, but it wasn't an automatic one.

In the end, they left the soldiers in the library and the wizard in the private, hidden, library. But instead of opening the other secret passage, they continued exploring elsewhere. They were able to pick a few things up here and there as they went along, including a magical halberd and a scroll.

They then returned to the library and opened the second secret door and having past through a corridor, they discovered a magical lab. Being used by a black robe. They told him not to do anything hasty and he turned around compliantly slowly, but with a contemptuous smile. And with a single word of spoken magic, the room and corridor was cast into complete darkness.

One of them turned over the table, leaving experiment and much equipment destroyed on the floor. And they guarded the only door out of the room. The evil wizard's next spell removed sound from the area too.

Fumbling in the darkness, they accidentally hit the wizard with their torch, his robe catching on fire. Some of them had encountered a statue in the room and it had started moving in the darkness.

Unfortunately the black robe conjured water to put out the fire. But there was enough of it that some landed on the Mercenary and other heroes. They continued to wander around in the darkness, attacking just about anything that moved until the darkness vanished and they discovered the wizard already on the ground and several of the heroes quite wounded.

They healed their wounded and searched the room, but the interesting stuff was already destroyed, except what the black robe was wearing. The Wizard removed a medallion from around the black robe's neck and started giving commands to the "golem," finding out that it was called Utrecht and that it now considered him his master.
Dragondog
 GM, 774 posts
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 07:26
Re: Recap
The heroes returned to the trio of spectral creatures, saw a double door that was melted shut, but when asked, she had seen no children. They discovered some cramped rooms with sleeping benches lining the walls and a dead man with a magical two handed sword in one of them.

They also discovered a kitchen, where five draconians were attempting to butcher a kender. And in this case the heroes decided for violence and dispatched the aggressors in a couple of seconds. Followed by liberating the kender, Telbin Shadowchaser, who claimed to be the nephew of famed Acorn Nimblefingers, bard extraordinaire and one of the Godsbringers. And lost a fake eye while dancing to the Bard's rendition of one of his songs.

When the heroes returned outside, to store the loot in their wagon, and camp for the night, the horses were spooked, but were soon brought under control. They sleep and stand guard, but nothing happens during the night.

The next morning, they awoke to a drizzling rain and when they had gotten ready, they returned back inside. They discovered a secret door behind the statue where they had spoken to the caretaker yesterday. They found a way to open it and went down the stairs into another large room.

It was maybe 50 feet wide and as high as it was wide, and maybe two or three times as long. The floor was made of highly polished indigo marble that reflected the light the heroes had brought with them. Divided into slabs that were wide enough for two warriors to fight next to each other on each slab. The slabs were then divided in half by foot wide lines made of what seemed to be a more durable form of mother of pearl.

The walls were covered by carvings that turned and twisted, weaving in upon itself almost as if a living thing. Or as of snakes writhing below the surface. The ceiling was vaulted, supported by gilded plain pillars in the walls every two slabs turning into carved covered arches when they became part of the ceiling. The ceiling itself was of the same indigo marble, but not so polished as the floor.

In the center of the room were three gilded pedestals of curious workmanship. Above each floated a sphere of light unsupported around an object. Closest to the heroes a finely polished black rock was surrounded by a violet ball of light. Over the center pedestal, that was in the very center of the room, floated what looked like an exquisitely cut ruby surrounded by a crimson light. And furthest away was what appeared to be a diamond of purest quality surrounded by a white light. Each of the items were about the size of a human fist.

In the left wall, in a straight line from each of the pedestals, was a door. The imagery on the doors now something the heroes were quite familiar with, robed wizards whose faces could not be seen because of the hood or the direction they were facing and their closed fist formed the doorknob. Behind the wizards were constellations of the night’s sky, each door with a different constellation than the next.

Both the pedestals and the gems were enchanted. As the Wizard tried to find out how, he realized the he might be there for hours trying to figure things out. But that they at least had been enchanted with Find Direction. At that point, the heroes decided to return to this room later and finish their exploration of upstairs first.

Going back to the kitchen, where they had left things off last night, the scent of a stable originated from a nearby room. But instead of horses, they found an enraged griffon.

As the Bard apologizes for their intrusion, the griffon stops in its tracks. He then continued to explain why they were there. The griffon squawked in reply (Magnify the sound of a bald eagle, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIdZTSKLdBs, for size to get something close).

They discussed using gestures to try to communicate with it and when the Mercenary put his weapons away, the griffon approached him, now close enough to attack, and squawked again, though the sound was a little different this time.

As they tried to figure out what to say and what the griffon was trying to say, it just walked past the Mercenary and out into the corridor. The room in which the griffon had been chained to the far wall, by a chain now broken, had not been cleaned for some time and it smelled worse on the inside.

The Bard sang and the Mercenary looked through what was left in the stable, without finding anything. The griffon scratched a door the heroes had not yet opened and the Bard opened it. The door opened up to a large courtyard that once housed a well tended herbal garden, that long ago succumbed to neglect, and now overcome by weeds.

The courtyard was open to the sky and the griffon quickly leapt for the sky and freedom.
Dragondog
 GM, 775 posts
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 07:27
Re: Recap
The courtyard was only filled with weeds, so the heroes ignored it. They then proceeded through a dining hall that hadn't been cleaned up since breakfast.

On the other side was a corridor with some doors and snoring. There were four sleeping draconians behind the first door. Some suggested slaughtering them in their sleep, but the Monk didn't like that option. So the heroes woke them up and allowed them a chance to surrender, which they didn't take. And then they dealt with them. But another three doors opened and 12 more draconians ganged up on them.

Fortunately they didn't reach the heroes all at once, but in the end all 16 came to the same end, most of them as ruble at the heroes' feet. They theorized that the Lyceum, in addition to everything else, might now be some sort of draconian outpost, which wouldn't be a good thing for the kingdom.

Going down the hall to the left, only brought them back to the courtyard. Which left them with three options in exploration. Go to the right, go back and go downstairs, or try to pass the melted doors.

But before they did either of those things, the heroes returned outside with the resources they had gathered so far, only to find that the wagon, with all the stuff they had claimed, and the guards that were with it was gone. Nowhere in sight.
Dragondog
 GM, 776 posts
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 07:28
Re: Recap
Monk is Desidras Rak-Mahl and because his existence is one of the changes between the recap and the actual story, I accidentally forgot to include him in the recap. He should have joined the heroes shortly before they ventured into the Lyceum for the first time.

Bard is D'aden.

Mercenary is Olven.

Wizard is Alexander, who also is a new character, but as previous wizards are no longer here and I needed a wizard to get some of the information you got in the recap, that seemed to be the best way to do it.