A Warm Welcome to Arcandia

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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Escaping Pasgaarde
Session Seven: Savior

Following up on the skirmish taking place in Longville, the party ventured south to locate the leader of the undead. Rising from the ocean, a chieftan of sorts, clad in ice, assaulted the group. Upon defeating him, the party recovered a scimitar covered in ancient text that proved uninteligible to everyone present.

Just as the battle concluded, a piercing shout was heard from the north. Leigh Caerwyn was being abducted by the Charan as Linnake “Lin” Magna fought tooth and nail on the coast. They made quickly to follow, taking with them a set of uniforms from the Charan accompanying Razid to Longville.

Giving chase in the new uniforms and with the help of a new adventurer, they infiltrated the Charan hideout and located where Leigh was hidden. Barely standing, she was shocked and elated to see her rescuers. The leader of the camp, Lieutenant Aruna suspected that something was wrong, but called for Razid regardless. The groups cover was blown by a mute orc guard, who seemed to see through their ruse, and a fight ensued.

In the battle, the entire squad of soldiers populating the base was slain, save for Aruna and the same Cleric who the party released earlier from the southern base. They learned much from Aruna after capturing her, including that the cleric had been blackmailed into working for the Charan after he had tried to defect. He fled the battle carrying a prized mace on display in weapon storage.

When asked about Plan E, Aruna revealed that only Razid knows the full plan. Each other lieutenant knows only part of the plan, to ensure compromising one would not compromise the whole objective. The party also located another small subset of the magnetic spheres, bringing the current total to 31.

The plan seems to be to knock down the remaining hideouts, kill or capture the remaining lieutenants, and locate anything more relating to Plan E before Razid can finish executing it.

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Escaping Pasgaarde
Session Six: Rescue Plans

The group of adventurers navigated back to Averistad after routing the Charan in one of the outposts in the southern half of Great Grey Forest.

They conversed with Msindi and informed them of what they had found. She thanked them, and in a panic mentioned that a new set of Exile’s had recently arrived with news from Longville. The city had been under more frequent and vicious attacks by the undead, and the evidence seems to suggest it is being coordinated somehow.

Over the past few days, Kait had been having visions of a woman telling her to visit Latitude Lake. Informing the rest of the party, they decided to visit the lake and find out what was going on.

In the nearby settlement of Vesith, they found a church and went inside to find a massive statue in the likeness of the figure Kait had been seeing. The priest informed the party that the statue was the likeness of Zaqiel, Angel of purity.

Under Kait’s guidance, they traveled to the northern edge of the lake and in the middle of a dark tempest of wind, Zaqiel approached from over the lake.

Zaqiel explained the curse afflicting her, and that it had been inflicted by Armaros, Angel of undoing. The curse saps her strength, and manifests in the the mass of tentacles that grows out of her. In her weakened state, she is powerless to prevent the decline of Pasgaarde. She offers help to the players, entrusting in them a sacred gift of vitality.

After sleeping off the afflictions incurred while accepting Zaqiel’s gift, the party rode off to Longville to help protect it. They made plans, and hunkered down into an assault in the evening. Linnake “Lin” Magna and Leigh Caerwyn ventured north during the fighting. In a lull, they planned to find the commander of the undead and kill him.

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Escaping Pasgaarde
Session Five: On the offensive

Upon returning to Averistad, the group were hailed warmly and rewarded by Msindi for rescuing Jola. They talked with a local smith about a pair of metal symbols in the shape of the Charan emblem, and he said he would be happy to try and fashion a mounting system while working with Jola, who had been able to locate information on mounting the weapons.

With knowledge from the uncooperative Charan they were returning to Msindi, the party decided to raid one of the charan hideouts. After a short prep they sent out, and after a short period of getting lost in the wood, they came upon an area of charred wood occupied by a set of flaming wolves. They dispatched the pack and managed to secure pelts from the creatures, to be fashioned into gear later.

Very near to the charred clearings, they located the first building where the Charan hideout was noted to them. Upon entering, they found a cleric tending the eight wounded men. Avoiding an altercation, the cleric promised to not cause problems if he was allowed to ensure the safety of the soldiers there, who he prompted were Charan. The party allowed him to escape, and he promised they would never see him again after doing his best to restore the injured men to full strength.

Venturing further south, they came upon a lookout post and a small hut manned by Charan soldiers. After putting the lookout to sleep, they called out for the men inside and when a fight ensued, they burned the hut and the three inside of it.

Finally, they came upon a large structure at the end of the path, and entering it they defeated a group of Charan which they later found out contained one of the Charan leaders. In the structure, they found room for many more men who were missing, along with more notes about Plan E.

The writings were detailed, as the attack was not anticipated. Most importantly, there were writings about an artifact called the Igni Osato, which was essential to the plan, but the Charan seemed woefully underknowledged about where it is or how to utilize it. The hideout also was home to detailed maps, showing the location of two remaining hideouts hidden in the Great Grey Forest.

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Escaping Pasgaarde
Session Four: Safekeeping

The party folowed Msindi’s advice to go and locate Jola in Haverford. She lent them horses to save travel time they left the next day. The trip was longer than normal, but uneventful. They passed over two southern flowing rivers that source from Latitute Lake.

They arrived in town and asked around for Jola. The barkeep freely informed the group of his location, noting that he also gave Jola’s whereabouts to another group of travelers new to the town earlier in the day. They searched the town far and wide but found no trace of the other group, which none of the innkeeps had seen that day.

They visited Jola and had trouble contacting him from an upper floor of his towering study. They explained to him the danger he was in and decided to stay with him that night to protect him. Under rotating night watch, they spotted a group of what looked to be theives approaching the door.

Engaging the group, they fought viciously and seemed to be larger than initially appeared. The assaulting group tried to abduct Jola and escape but failed to cheers from a gathered townsfolk. They gave Jola some time to gather essential materials and locked his place before departing, bringing Jola back to Averistad for safekeeping.

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