A Warm Welcome to Arcandia

The Mysteries of Glindenwood - Episode 3
Assault on the mysterious yellow cloaks

Under advice of the Akaala, they were led west to a small house built into several trees deep in the forest. They were quickly beset upon by the cloaked figures who occupied the house, which appeared to be elven made. Fighting indoors, they incapacitated several fighters and realized the cloaks would use a magic word to disappear from combat when they had lost the ability to fight or when things went south.

They found out the source of the magic was contained within the left arm of all the soldiers, and coult be triggered by speaking the word even if the subject was incapacitated. With this in mind, the continued seiging the house, which they found out was home to an elf.

At the top of the house, they encountered a heavily trapped room and were accosted from within by someone telling them to leave and they would be spared. Breaching the room, they attempted to rescue the captive elf but the cloaked figures were prepared to kill him immediately. In the ensuing fight, the leader of the small band cast several unusual illusion spells, and then departed, leaving his comrades to fight.

The room was full of fog, and the last remaining enemy uttered the comand word to flee, assuming his incapacitated partner would be brought with him. Unbeknowst to him, however, Auro had cut the left arm off the incapacitated soldier. His severed arm disappeared, leaving the body – the first recovered corpse of a yellow cloak by anyone in the forest.

Upon exiting the fog, the group realized the illusory spells were directed at them – They were being framed, forced into the same shimmering yellow cloaks worn by the mysterious assailants. Clie showed up soon after the fighting was finished, and although she seemed intent on slaying the remaining group with her accompanying members of Reingar, some careful talking convinced her they were friendly and that they were being set up.

The house turned out to be that of a member of Reingar, who was slaughtered after being unwilling to give up information to the yellow cloaked figures. Clie and Ellie agreed to travel with the party back to Islandi to inform the Empress of what had happened, and what to do next.

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The Mysteries of Glindenwood - Episode 2
Empress Emmota & Islandi

Upon arriving in Islandi, Reingar brought the party to meet with Emmota and beamed with pride and their success. Delivering the verdant boots to her, she thanked them for their work and said they could stay as long as they liked within the city, although she understood if they wanted not to stay long, considering the hostility of the elves to foreigners. She also answered one of their longstanding questions: The member of Reingar Asaverra who travelled with them worshipped a diety who the group could not identify, and so the empress brought them to a being known as Suchlaph, an ascended earth elemental that ensures the health and longevity of the forest.

She informed them that a set of three artifacts are required for an upcoming ceremony that involves the diety. Her Crown of Growth was one, alongside the now recovered Verdant boots and the currently missing Blooming Gloves. She had her best soldiers searching the forest, believing the artifact to still be within the forest walls, but the tracking spell had been removed and so finding the item directly was not simple. Finally, before returning the party to Islandi, she forced them to accept a spell that would bind them from ever mentioning the diety to another.

Upon arriving at their quarters, they each recieved a hand-crafted gift from the queen, and even though they were made over a short period of time, they were immensely valuable pieces that all bore her signature style.

Their first night in the capital, they awoke to a thin layer of ash on the ground along with a small ruby and a yellow feather that they later identified as coming from a bird of a high mountain range in the center of the elven empire. They were instructed to meet with the Empress’ smith Caro, who took a one word direction with which he was going to craft an item for each of them. He also talked of a tournament that takes place every century to commemerate the Ceremony of Green, but stressed that not only had an outsider never competed, that they would be hopelessly outmatched by even the weakest elf. Proving him wrong while trying to preserve Caro’s pride, Silver showed he was not a regular outsider, but in his flustered state, Caro said no more and returned to his work.

In an effort to continue helping Emmota and elves, they talked to a reingar sorcerer about trying to divine where the yellow cloaks might be hiding. The cryptic direction simply said ‘South’ and the party set off immediately, only allowing the Empress to place another spell on them so that she may track their movements.

Soon into their journey, they found the burrow of what appeared to be a small woodland creature, and soon it was realized that only Morgus could see the creatures. Intelligent fey named Akaala, they knew of the yellow cloaks travels because of their invisibility. They seemed shocked that Morgus could see them, that most travellers could not, and because they found this interesting, they agreed to lead Morgus and the party to the mysterious yellow cloaks.

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The Mysteries of Glindenwood - Episode 1
Reingar & The Yellow Cloaks

Upon returning to the forest of Glindenwood, they were granted access by the guards who had already received news of their arrival. They gave instructions on where to go in town to meet their escort, a small group who would be travelling with them on the way to Islandi, the elven capital.

The party delayed only to do a bit of shopping, and they found a multitide of shops in the bordering city of Faure. Morgus, attempting to find a new herb to use in his communion with nature, purchased on advice of the shop owner a pink flower that the shop owner left unnamed.

Proceeding to the town barracks, they met with Reingar. The group functions as a personal guard for the queen, and she sent them both as an escort, and also a protectorate to ensure the party would not be harmed by an influx of aggressive plants, wildlife, and as the players would soon learn, a hostile group of foreigners who recently gained access to the forest.

The trek took months, and the travelling grew increasingly treacherous. After a particularly dangerous attack by a group of trolls, they demanded more information about the forests dangers and the group captain Martin acquiesed. A particularly dangerous cursed pond nearly resulted in the death of Clie, but Morgus brute strength and Auro’s quick action saved her from the ponds depths. Shaken by the encounter, the combined group proceeded onward. Clie later confided that she could not properly express her thanks following the encounter, but she valued their safety immensely and that her failure was deeply shameful.

They rallied in the central city of Aberra, and there the group was accosted by a robed Elf who theatened Martin that outsiders were not welcome in the forest. Having none of it, Martin lead the group past the irate Elf and to their holding space for the duration of their stay.

The latter half of the trek was the most dangerous of all, as it was quickly revealed they were being followed by a large group of figures all dressed in cloaks. The elves had been attempting to sort out who they were, but thus far had been unable to pin them down. As the party trekked north, they left diversions and traps in the forest and angered the cursed and risen creatures to attack the following group, and were successful, reaching the capital Islandi without any further incident and also ditching the figures along the way.

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The Mysteries of Glindenwood - Prologue Part 2
The Cult of Chezaqiel

On advice from the preacher Zana, who turned out to be the mother of the abducted boy Alverra, they travelled back to the coastal city of Moore and started researching the cult’s activities to find out who had been swayed from worshipping Bezaliel. The local leader of Bezaliel’s church Rory claimed nothing was wrong and rebuffed the questions. The party invaded his house and took him captive, before quickly realizing he was holding secret services in a nearby taverns basement worshipping Chezaqiel.

When a member of the cult came knocking, they disguised Silver as Rory and all went to deliver a service to the cult – with a few alterations. They convinced the easily swayed townsfolk with fantastic magical displays to lead a charge to the main cult, south of Moore, and roust the followers of Chezaqiel.

The southern meeting quickly turned sour, when the party incited chaos and the cult leader contributed by confusing the crowd and attempting to vanish. With some quick thinking, they killed the leader before the crowd was able to do too much damage to each other and swayed them to resume their worship of Bezaliel.

With the cult dealt with, they returned to Bezaliel and he was immensenly pleased with their work and the humor woven into the way they dealt with the offending cult. He produced the thief of the Verdant Boots and delivered him to the party before blessing them with a fraction of his power.

Finally, they returned to Caeldor, who as promised passed on word to the Empress of their approach and thanked them heartily for their work. They had earned access to the Elven Empire!

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The Mysteries of Glindenwood - Prologue
The Verdant Boots & Bezaliels Bargain

After months of travelling north from the cursed coastal peninsula of Pasgaarde, the party found themselves on the border of the Elven empire of Glindenwood. There, they sought council with Empress Emmota, in an effort to learn how to break the deserts curse and prevent an ancient encroaching evil from the Maw.

Upon reaching the denser forest of Glindenwood, they found out it was blocked by a massive wall of enchanted wood that stretched from coast to coast, closing off the forest from outsiders. When asking the guards if they could confer with the empress, they were flatly denied and said that outsiders were not allowed in. Any formal requests would be considered within a twenty-five year window, which the party obviously did not have.

By chatting up a foreigner from a bordering village, they learned that the elves had sent out a large soldier party reportedly in search of a thief who had taken an ancient elven artifact and managed to flee the forest through unknown means. They also learned in the same city of a missing boy, a regular to the church of Bezaliel who decided he was going to try and meet the deity personally.

Resolving to help the preacher, they travelled north to the coast and stole a boat to travel to a far off island and try to find the boy. Upon arrival, they located a secret area manned and well defended by an elvish guard. After knocking her out and convincing the treant guards they meant no harm, they were granted entrance to a massive cave holding an elder green dragon who introduced himself as Caeldor. Wounded in a battle of long past, Caeldor informed the party he could ensure them entrance into the forest if they were to somehow recover the Verdant Boots and return them to the Elves.

Finally, they visited the other portion of crescent moon island and wandered upon a cloaked figure wandering in the woods. Upon approaching, the figure revealed itself to be a material manifestation of Bezaliel. He promised he would bring the thief to the party if they found a way to deal with a rival cult master Rory who had been converting his followers to instead believe in Chezaqiel. He finally returned the preacher boy, who had been driven nearly mad by his time inbetween the planes.

With new found direction, the party planned to return the stolen boat and tackle the cult of Chezaqiel.

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Escaping Pasgaarde
Epilogue: The Desert

With the Igni Osato recovered from the ancient dwarven ruins, the party ventured north to Valos to begin their journey across the encroaching desert. Accompanying them was a troop of horses, as well as the Dwarven smith Argus who wanted to free himself from the binds of Pasgaarde, as well as the scholar Jola who wished to study more of the outside world with his remaining life.

After a days travel and small skirmishes against the creatures living in the cursed desert, they began to find pieces of sharp flint-like stone. The pieces themselves grew in number, until they found a trough in the desert dunes filled with the flint and also the bones of other adventurers.

When they began to be assaulted by waves of the stone flying from the sky, they utilized the Igni Osato to create a protective barrier shrouding them from the piercing stones. Morgus turned into a bird and identified the source of the onslaught as a gigantic turtle-like creature which was sighting the adventurers and striking them down from afar. It is also the source of the dunes which continued to grow as the creature blew sand out from underneath its shell. Morgus also sighted more of these creatures off in the distance, at least two more on top of the one closest to the group.

Utilizing the Igni Osato, the group moved slowly through the desert, taking care not to let it expire while exposed to the creatures attacks. During a skirmish with a brood of Antlion, Jola was targeted by the alpha as easy prey and was killed. His corpse, however, was recovered before the creature could retreat with it.

They landed in a port town after a third days travel away from the turtle creatures and along the coast. After a lengthy discussion, they convinced the mayor about the veracity of their tale, and he asked them where they wanted to head next now that they had escaped Pasgaarde.

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Escaping Pasgaarde
Session eleven: Tectrum Temple

After a short period of time, the adventurers solved the puzzle to enter and proceeded past the massive stone doors into the depths of the earth in search of the Igni Osato.

They were joined soon after entering by a charan defector, who knew the group was his best chance to get away from Pasgaarde. He assisted them as they traversed the temple, which was full of puzzles, creatures, and traps. In the penultimate room, Razid attacked the party by surprise, knowing exactly where they were and sneaking in behind them after the doors were opened.

They dispatched him, and as he died the remaining Charan accompanying him fled. Soon after, however, Linnake “Lin” Magna showed up with Leigh Caerwyn and revealed through racked sobs that Razid was his brother, and they landed together with Leigh. When he was told that there was no choice, he claimed ‘There is always a choice’ as he fled with Leigh.

The party had another task at hand though, and proceeding onward into the final room they faced a challenge from the temple’s guardian to prove they were worthy of receiving the artifact and rescuing Pasgaarde from the curses laid by Armaros. They fought valiantly, defeating the guardian and claimed the Igni Osato.

Finally, returning to Averistad, Msindi had one final gift, a matching set of rings inscribed with the same emblem of rebirth stitched into the clothes of the adventurers: The symbol of the pheonix. They planned to prepare and brave the desert, armed with newfound power and resolve.

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Escaping Pasgaarde
Session ten: Gone

Following the past nights surge, the party traveled north as fast as possible to assault the Charan who were said to be meeting there.

They learned via scouting from Morgus that this group of Charan was accompanied by Razid, and he was in combat gear. He instructed the group to retreat to the western outpost and await instruction. Morgus also spotted the cleric who had attempted repeatedly to flee the Charan. He had been captured again, and was promptly executed by Razid.

The adventurers followed to where the meeting disbanded and proceeded west along the river, fighting a rabid troll on the way that was being tracked by the Charan. They located the outpost, which was buried underground and extremely defensible. Assaulting it, they killed it’s inhabitants and found among various jewels, weapons and valuables, another set of the magnetic spheres on top of a map with a dagger pinned to Tectrum Temple. Upon joining the new spheres together, the set changed color to indicate the collection was complete.

The players found no sign of Razid when they ventured north to Tectrum Temple and found an intricate puzzle with the magnetic spheres functioning as keys. They rested, with plans to address the puzzle as soon as possible and pursue Tectrum Temple for the Igni Osato.

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Escaping Pasgaarde
Session nine: Siege

Following the latest successful raid on the Charan, Msindi throws a meager feast to honor the party and their work. She invites notable townspeople, including Jola, Argus, and the towns nobles.

At the feast, much merriment is enjoyed. Argus challenges Morgus and Silver to a drinking contest which they handily best him at, evading any sickness of their own. The reward was a prized belt, and for Argus, a terrible hangover the next day. Msindi also made an offer to weave the players new tunics with a matching design of their choice, to make emblematic their status as saviors for the land of Pasgaarde.

At night, Silver and Morgus retired with Argus to his house on the edge of town to make sure he got into no trouble. Auro and Kait both returned to the barracks, and in the middle of the night heard trespassers. Intuitively, they surmised the guards seeking Msindi in the middle of the night were Charan, and soon were proved correct. Following a lead, they realized the town was going to be under attack mometarily.

The charan staged a massive assault, but thanks to the quick preparations of the adventurers they managed to avoid severe damage to the city and minimized casualties of the citizens. Upon dispatching the lieutenant commanding this segment of the Charan, they recovered a note claiming that the Charan would be meeting north of hideout Chi, on a river running east to the coast. The party resolved to follow as soon as possible and surprise the meeting.

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Escaping Pasgaarde
Session Eight: Experiments

Emboldened after knocking down the northern hideout and finding out about the segmentation of power between the Charan lieutenants, the party decided to continue ransacking the hideouts to rid Pasgaarde of the Charan scourge.

In an effort to recover the stolen food from Averistad, they went to a hideout in the southeast portion of Great Grey Forest. The guards heard of the infiltration of the northern camp and had instituted new security measures, including checking for Charan branded daggers. The greeting went south, but the guards were killed before they could warn the rest of the camp.

Pursing the trail further, they encountered a lone druid training a set of Cinder wolves, who were effectively tamed at this point. He carried very little other than a journal detailing his training with the animals, but it did not explain why they were trying to tame these specific creatures.

Following this, they came upon a massive wooden structure. It was silent on the inside, and so anticipating an ambush, the party busted into the area loudly. This started and awoke a baby red dragon that the Charan were attempting to tame. After dispatching the trappers working with them, Auro conversed with the dragon and convinced him they were not evil, even though they wore the Charan outfits. They released the dragon, who torched the building and informed the party to continue south and find the lieutenant.

The party located next a small unmanned building with a stone humanoid inside, on a table next to various testing implements and a library of notes and old books. It had ancient dwarven text all over it, but they skipped over it to avoid another conflict before confronting the lieutenant.

They were tormented just before the headquarters by phantom voices who they soon found belonging to lieutenant Grascon. He fought the party fiercely, utilizing magic and feeling utterly confident in his abilities. Morgus commanded a summoned creature to drive Grascon from the air and finally Sekku finished him off with a diving onslaught.

They collected a new set of the magnetic spheres, bringing the total to 54, and found they reacted with the stone figure contained in the tiny building. It also contained a short line in dwarven which read “Solve our riddle and gain access. Fail, and meet an ancient wrath.” They took what they could carry, including the figure, back to Averistad to show Msindi and Jola.

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