A Warm Welcome to Arcandia

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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Escaping Pasgaarde
Session Three: The Abandoned Hideout

After arriving in Longville and conversing with Linnake “Lin” Magna for some time, the party unloaded the supplies and recovered the chest of old weapons. Lin thanked them, and wished them well on their travels, wherever they decided to go.

The group of weary travelers headed back to Averistad with their captive and went to Msindi for advice and to deliver the chest of weapons. She rewarded the Exiles for their effort and informed them that the man working in the Apocathery had fled town the night previous after she instructed the town guard to investigate him.

She further instructed two members of the Guard to search the forest South of the city to try and locate the shopkeep’s whereabouts. They had not returned within a specified timeframe, so she requested the party to search Great Grey Forest.

After enlisting help from a local Dwarven smithy who sources his lumber from a deeper part of the forest, the party went in search of the fleeing man. They came upon a pile of rubble against a nearly sheer cliff face, and choosing to dig it out, revealed a small doorway with chairs inlet to the wall.

Inside was a hideout that the players soon realized was home to the Charan. They were attacked by undead and beset by traps left by the previous occupants. It seemed there was a confusing and I’ll-prepared attack that took the life of many Charan left inside. Some survivors after a brief fight confirmed the identity of the hideout as Charan and explained they had been trapped by the blocking of the entrance and the rise of the dead.

The party located a few crude maps and plans left in the planning quarters, including records of stolen items from Averistad. They recovered the valuables hidden in the space, but left the mess hall and storage unexplored for fear of undead. The stolen food was not located. They also rescued an unconscious emaciated prisoner from the prison of the dungeon.

Presenting Msindi with the man, she explained he was a local scholar Darren. Not very noteworthy one way or another, she was confused as to why he was made a target. When the party mentioned a name they found in a note, Jola, she prompted that Jola was a very famous scholar in Pasgaarde. He resides West in the small coastal city of Haverford.

The note about Jola was handwritten from an officer and stamped with the Charan symbol, addressed to Razid. It claimed the next step in plan E was to abduct Jola from Haverford.

When they asked what they should do next, Msindi replied solemnly “You should get the hell out of here”

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