Okknos Prime: Bonifant

Baby and the Boot

After the eventful happenings at the House of Scales, our heroes decided to speak with Adran, the happy potioneer who tried to poison half of the party at a dinner. Adran admitted to the heroes that he had been given supplies to make the pale tincture by a gnome attendant of Prince Isolin. The price to refine a single dose worth of ingredients is 500 GP and he made six for the gnome. He advised the heroes that in order to poison Bonifant those responsible would need several hundred doses. The gnome was small with a goatee, bright red hair and was about “ye high.” He then told them of Granny Applecakes, the old hag who had the ability to make it.

They left to go speak with Granny Applecakes, but made a stop at the Golden Pegasus to buy Triv a few more drinks. While there they ran into Zanaphia, the elf from the welcome booth way back at Summer’s End. The elf who turned into a giant eagle and flew away. She warned them that Granny Applecakes had a pension for making deals, and an appetite for children.

They ignored her warnings and headed out of the city. But they were stopped by a satyr who gave Rathal an offer of joining the House of Scales and a gift of his opponent’s magical items. Rathal accepted the gift but turned the offer down to join the house, at least for now.

On the road to Winter’s peak/the Hag’s house the old woman came crying for help. The same old woman who they had run into twice before and who had been hanging from a tree during their last encounter. Jarl decided that it was time to spring the trap. The group headed into the swamp in search of the woman’s baby. Rathal was able to find prints leading into the swamp, presumably from the slaves or the people from the bar. The party was able to find her ‘baby,’ a small goblin in a diaper hanging in a cage from a tree monster. The tree monster was quickly dispatched but the party was then assaulted by a Frogamoth. They killed it as well saved ‘Baby’ the goblin and traveled to the hag’s house. ‘Baby’ took gold from Jarl and then left the party to make it on his own. Rathal saw that Sinoqui was loosing her nerve and helped calm her

The party met with the hag and Jarl made a deal with her, offering his left hand for the prisoners. He then tried to abscond with them but the hag informed everyone that the deal was still good and that she’d collect the hand on a later day.

When they returned to winter’s peak, Jarl called Galendan a coward for not taking care of the hag while he had a chance. Rathal did his best to skip over a heated philosophical debate by giving the information that they had collected. He recounted the adventures and was then told that Madam Delacroix’s team would return tomorrow. The elf hand to Galendan advised that the Gnome’s name was Dimble Murnig, an attendant to prince Isolin who had been smuggling ingredients to various poisoners. The man behind poisoning Bonifant was named McGregor whom Jarl told Rathal was a dangerous crime lord who was most likely dead.

Which leads us to dinner. Which will be served shortly.

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Stranger's in a Strange Land and Guests in an Unwelcoming House

Now at the Nightmare Palace, our heroes needed to find a place to stay as they went about their business. Jarl, ever trusting new comer to the world that he is, talked to one of the first people he saw and paid him 30 gold so that the party might stay with him and eat at his table. The stranger pointed to a large gate and told Jarl it was his house. Jarl went to investigate, finding himself in the courtyard of the Nightmare Palace itself. He returned to speak with the stranger who had conveniently vanished into thin air.
After his escapade Rathal was able to convince the party to stay in the Golden Pegasus. When they entered they met Enith the golden Pegasus himself. He told them that he used to go on adventures and that his rider used to live in the Nightmare Palace (but conveniently left out the rider’s name). Enith used his share of the party treasure to purchase the Golden Pegasus Inn and is now the proprietor.
The party talked with one of the more permanent residents named Triv the bar dragon. The little drake told them that it was good luck to give him beer. Triv was helpful. He told the party that the house of scales were arrogant, prideful and personally take offense if you insult dragon magic. Some even thought they themselves were dragons. Triv wasn’t all help though. He tried to start a bar fight between the adventurers and the other patrons.
After a rest the party gathered together to discuss who would fight the House of Scales in one on one combat. They debated for a minute but no one seemed eager to risk their lives. In the end Rathal decided that he would challenge them. The party went to the house of scales and Rathal challenged the house to a duel. At first they were not even permitted entry as the guards did not think he was serious. But after a few well-placed insults the guards were eager to oblige. Rathal stepped into the ring and faced a green scaled dragon sorcerer. The battle lasted longer than anyone expected and a lot of spells were being cast all over the place. Finally, after a long hard fought battle, Rathal stood victorious over his opponent. The house was stunned. The party was surprised. Then clapping came from the front of the room as Maglor gleefully showed his enthusiasm for the battle that had just occurred. The Leader of the house of scales stood and asked Rathal what he wanted, honor bound to aid the winner of the duel ever so slightly. Rathal looked to his party urging them to take the lead so that he could catch his breath. Kanyr stepped forward and mentioned that they wanted information about the Fey Stone. Rathal quickly added that although it was true, being able to fight before the famed Dragon Rider was a reward in and of itself. Maglor stood and thanked the boy before him and then greeted his old friends but declined to have a private word. Maglor’s dragon invited them for a private word though and spoke with Jarl, Kanyr , Keryassa and Rathal where he gave them some warning not to get involved and, if they were still inclined, to at least choose the right side.
The Ranger and the rest of the party stayed back in the main room. The Ranger asked for Dathari’s help in figuring out who poisoned bonifant but Dathari had already tired of the nuisance that was this party and declined to help.
While leaving Jarl caught a glimpse of the stranger who had robbed him and before the stranger could run away Jarl pulled out some cross genre force grip maneuver and lifted the man into the air. He then forced the man to show him where he lived so that the party might come over for dinner. This time, after a bit of Force choking, he complied.
The party then went back to the Golden Pegasus where Rathal bought Triv a drink. He quickly became intoxicated and began to ramble about how the human and Elf lady in the corner were arguing about where to look for a Rabold, or Rathuci, or something like that. Concerned that these two strangers might be looking for him, Rathal changed into his persona Azcavil, and sat at the table next to them. After eavesdropping for a moment he was satisfied that they were not looking for him and were instead looking for a young half elf boy who was apparently taken by slavers. Azcavil informed them that he and his party had rescued a group of slaves headed towards Winter’s Peak and encouraged them by saying that he believed the boy was among those rescued and that the party had encouraged them to seek refuge at Winter’s Peak. After that Rathal changed back into himself, ate dinner and rested for the rest of the adventure.
Jarl took, Kaeryassa, Jace and the sorcerer bested by Rathal, whom he had befriended in the bar, to dinner at the stranger’s house. A feast had been laid out but the party was suspicious because the host would not eat. After threatening to force feed it down his throat he admitted it was poisoned. At this point something snapped in Keryassa and she advised their host Adran the Elf that because he had betrayed them twice he would pay dearly. Adran gave Jarl his coins back while Keryassa and Jace robbed the crap out of his store, stealing potions of all varieties from his shelves. Adran now fearing for his life even warned them that some of the vials labeled health potions were really vials of poison. Jarl advised Adran that the party would return the following day to speak with him and that if he weren’t there he would be found and gutted. He was there the next day ready to answer the party’s questions.

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Journey to the Nightmare Palace

Our heroes took the night and stayed at Winter’s Peak, taking some much needed down time. The ranger had a private discussion with his sister.

The adventurers departed from Winter’s Peak with Kanyr by their side. They traveled along the same route they came from and found the old woman who tried to lead them astray from the path hanging from a tree. Jarl insisted on having her buried. When they cut her down though she disappeared and the party was ambushed by several banderhobbs.

After slaying the banderhobbs, the party encountered a group of slavers whom Jarl decided to deprive of their wares. He freed the slaves, the party killed the slavers, and Jarl tried to befriend the cyclops. Kanyr tried to kill one of the enslaved dragonborn because Kanyr thought the dragonborn was lying about the reason he was enslaved. Jarl teleported the slaves away to safety. Kanyr was quite upset but nothing could be done and so he stormed off down the trail.

When the Party made camp, Kanyr told of his wintery foray with wyrms that and he was the only survivor. In exchange for this feat of heroism, he received a dragon slaying sword (one that would’ve been nice to have before fighting the wyrms).

The adventurers arrived at the Nightmare Palace and, despite the many warnings to watch their backs and not make a scene, Jarl decided to get a new wardrobe. He went into a store and bought pants. (No really. Pants. (He also got a black and white outfit with red trim and a red cape)). The adventurers then moved on and booked several rooms in “The Golden Pegasus.” Several other party members went potion shopping.

Fearful of what the next day might hold, the party settled down to rest. Who would challenge the House of Scales to battle? Would they prevail? Would they even survive?

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Old Friends at Winter's Peak

Our heroes left Summer’s End and headed toward the Nightmare Palace. Along the way they changed course and headed toward Winter’s Peak instead.
• On the path they met the girl from the welcome desk. She attempted to join them saying that, “she had nothing better to do.” The heroes found her unsettling and after some time of trying to decipher her true intention, Rathal attempted to change her into a wooden toy. He failed and she then turned into an eagle and flew off.

• As they traveled the adventures were approached by an elderly woman human woman who said her grandchild had gotten lost in the swamp. The ranger seemed hesitant and even downright against helping her. Ularalu rushed in to help, Sinoqui ran to aid her and Rathal went to convince them to turn back. The ranger tried to use his Gem of Seeing to find it missing. The three returned with Ularalu seemingly changing her mind on a whim. The Human woman then disappeared.

• The party settled down from their travels and Rathal told them the story of how he had lost the only family he had ever known, the House of the Cloven Hooves. He told the story of how the House of Scales had swooped in and killed every last one of the Hooves. Rathal was the only survivor.

• The party arrived at Winter’s Peak and were greeted by an elf who showed them art and a tapestry that showed the future. The elf led them to a dining room where they found the half-elf Thari, The half-orc Grom, the dragonborn Heskan, and the human Idelle Delacroix.

• Their new/old friends said that they would help them figure out who poisoned Bonifant if the party would help find the Feystone by seeking out Maglor and finding out what he knew before he was able to find it. The easiest way to do that would be to infiltrate the House that was helping him. The House of Scales.

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At Summer's End
In Which We Meet Ammon

Our heroes left the ‘Summer Court’ to follow a lead about the poisoner given to them by Prince Isolin. Unfortunately this tip took them straight to the edge of the Summer’s Court realm to a small outpost called ’Summer’s End’. This outpost belonged to the Gloaming Court. What awaits inside for our heroes?

•On the way Rathal warned the party that there is the chance of an ambush before entering the outpost. Once inside the unspoken rule is people do not attack others. The ‘mysterious ranger’ conjured a spell so that the party could pass without a trace.

•Rathal changed his appearance to look like an old man and advised his companions to call him Azcavil. The mysterious ranger removed a white gem from his cloak and, rather conspicuously, looked upon Rathal before replacing the gem in his pocket.

•Inside the outpost Rathal approached a Halfling and “persuaded” him to gather information on the poison/poisoner for which the party searched. Then, the party met Ammon, one of Rathal’s friends from the past, and although concerned for the halfing’s feelings finally moved on and began asking questions.

•To Rathal’s chagrin, the peredhil named Jarl began asking everyone if they had poison and where they could get poison. He was continually turned away with strange looks and wary glances. Ularalu did learn that a copper dragon was in the gloaming court with a traveling companion from the bartender at the Screaming Spirits.

•Rathal was approached by two individuals representing two dragon riders, Maglor and Galendan, each interested in his Feystone necklace. Rathal turned both offers down. Here our heroes learned of the Feystone, a magical comet that fell down centuries ago. Fragments of this alleged comet are easily enchanted, and the comet’s crash site is lost to the ages. The party became greatly intrigued by the notion of a powerful magical comet and decided that they wanted to learn more.

•When the party rested, they were attacked in their rooms. The enemies were quickly dealt with, but there was no insignia to say who the attackers might be.

•After they slept Rathal met with Hazchin the Halfing again in the Screaming Spirits. Hazchin gave him information, saying that the provider of poison probably was someone who would fit in at the Summer Court. A creature that would be able to walk around without suspicion. He also informed them that the queen of the Gloaming Court may have a piece of the Feystone.

•The team, almost unanimously, decided that they wanted to travel to the Gloaming Court in search of the Feystone. The Ranger was the only one concerned with avenging the plight of Bonifant.

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A Lesson in Gardening
In which we meet Rathal and Lucian
  • Our heroes are invited to appear before Queen Titania to explain why they have come to The Summer Court. But first, they have some time to kill, so they go shopping. Ularalu buys a pixie-sized necklace and a small diamond so she can cast Chromatic Orb. Jace peruses various books.
  • It’s time for the audience with Titania! Inquisitive courtiers gather around as Maximilien Delacroix tells Titania that he and his friends have come because they’ve heard so many good things about the craftsmanship in this realm. Titania asks if there’s anything in particular they’re interested in, but no one wants to reveal any more in public. Jace asks for a private audience, the mysterious ranger apologizes for the wizard’s forwardness, and Titania politely declines. The courtiers snicker at the newcomers’ awkwardness.
  • After the audience is over, our heroes are approached by an elf and a pixie, both clad entirely in black. They introduce themselves as Fafnir and Belladonna, emissaries of the Gloaming Court. They offer to help, claiming that unlike the courtiers of The Summer Court, they will be straightforward. Our heroes decline their offer, and Fafnir makes a few ominous remarks before leaving. Ularalu and Jace ask Sinoqui Amakiir to show them the Nahre Lotus pools. The mysterious ranger remains behind.
  • The Nahre Lotuses are as beautiful as advertised. The broad leaves of the Nahre Lotus stretch approximately 3 feet long and 2 feet across at their widest point, and its blossoms frequently reach the size of a man’s head. The leaves are emerald green and refract light much like gently moving water. The petals on the Nahre blossom, which has no stalk but rather rests directly on the leaves, are a brilliant pink and gold, like clouds during a tropical sunset. An elderly faun approaches Jace, and begins to speak to him about the lotus plants, his life’s work. Jace listens eagerly for several hours.
  • Meanwhile, the mysterious ranger seeks out other residents of the prime material plane. He finds a human, who is initially quite friendly, but when the ranger refuses to give his name, his new friend’s disposition quickly turns cold. The ranger looks around for someone else to talk to. Shenal Liadon approaches. The elf is concerned that the ranger and his friends will damage the wilderness when they go exploring. Shenal offers to provide guidance, and invites the ranger to his learning center. Maximilien declines the offer, and says he does not intend to leave town.
  • Yet another character approaches our mysterious ranger. This one introduces himself as Prince Isolin, and offers to help with our heroes quest. The ranger politely declines the offer, with the excuse that he needs to consult with his friends first.
  • Meanwhile, Ularalu has grown tired of hearing Jace and the faun talk about plants. She lies down to sleep. Suddenly, she is awakened by a tap on the shoulder. It’s her old pixie friends, Mustard and Peaseblossom! They ask her how she’s doing and if she’s still lighting things on fire. The conversation turns judgemental very quickly. “Fire hurts people. It’s not the pixie way.” say Ularalu’s well-meaning friends.
  • The mysterious ranger hears a mysterious voice in his head. “Follow me to find out more,” it says. The ranger goes and gathers his friends. Ularalu is happy for an excuse to leave, but Jace says he will take a different path, and continues talking to his new friend about horticulture.
  • The pixie and the ranger are led to a secluded area of the Summer Court. “When you need me, I will be there,” says the voice.
  • Our heroes are in a hard spot. No villainous figure has jumped out from behind a bush, chortling and clutching a bottle of poison. There are no trustworthy NPCs to get orders from, except for Sinoqui, and she isn’t being very helpful. There isn’t even an Uncle Paco’s to go to. Perhaps sensing their dilemma, Prince Isolin stops by again. He lets it slip that he is the son of Titania and Oberon. This earns him a small bit of credibility, and our heroes listen to him instead of find excuses to ignore him. They even tell him that they are looking for whomever poisoned their city. He says that only a member of the Gloaming Court could have done such a dastardly deed. Perhaps if they went to the nearest Gloaming Court outpost and asked around, they could find out more. But before they venture into the wilderness, they should visit Shenal’s learning center. They might learn something.
  • Shenal kindly teaches the heroes how to dig a latrine and construct a lean-to. They decline further lessons. Shenal assigns a fellow member of his order, an elf by the name of Lucian, to go with the party, and help them navigate the wilderness in a caring way.
  • Our heroes set out toward the outpost. They meet a young, elven boy playing the flute in the middle of the woods. The boy introduces himself as Rathal and offers to be a guide through the forest.
  • The forest gradually turns into swampland. As the party wades through the marsh, they come across three beautiful singing women. They invite the party to join them, but Lucian and Rathal are not fooled. They know that these women are sirens, and lure unwary travelers to their doom. Our heroes try to pass by, but the sirens will not let them. In the fierce battle, Ularalu and the mysterious ranger are both trapped by flower nets and stabbed repeatedly. They collapse from their injuries, but the others rescue them before they bleed out. With the sirens dead, our heroes find a place to rest and regroup.
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To the Feywild!
In which Lucas returns from not being gone at all
  • Sinoqui Amakiir tells the PCs that she has a lead on how Ravenous obtained their poison. She believes they had assistance from someone in The Summer Court, which is located deep in the Feywild. “You can come along if you want,” she says.
  • She goes on to explain that the quickest way to get to the Feywild is to travel to the Paladin Peaks, climb Mount Agamand, and wait as the mountain shifts into the Feywild as the moon comes up. “The mountains are inhospitable. Make sure you’re prepared,” she warns.
  • Our heroes begin making the necessary preparations. Ularalu has something else to do. She’s spent the past two weeks working at the Temple of Torm orphanage, atoning for setting their gate on fire. She also donates a large sum of money to repair the gate, as well as the beds that Keryassa Flameheart destroyed. Now that she feels that she’s made up for her previous actions, she asks Father Alexandre Anders to resurrect Keryassa. She provides him with a yellow diamond she got from Lucas.
  • Father Anders warns Ularalu that there is a earth elemental trapped inside this diamond. He cannot predict what effect this will have on the spell. Ularalu tells him to press ahead. Father Anders nods and proceeds. “I beseech you, Torm, please return this woman to this mortal plane.” He holds the diamond out over Keryassa’s body. With a flash of light, the diamond is consumed, and Keryassa’s eyes blink open. Ularalu is overjoyed to see her. Keryassa is momentarily disoriented, but soon gains her bearings. She says she will need to stay at the orphanage and rest for a while. Dying is quite the ordeal, after all.
  • The next morning, our heroes set out for the Paladin Peaks. After a three day journey, they reach the foot of Mount Agamand. In the morning, our heroes begin their ascent. Despite a few hairy moments, they reach the summit with hours to spare. They enjoy a afternoon of watching the rain clouds below them.
  • As the moon rises, the world appears to shift. The wind picks up and kicks up clouds of snow. As it dies down, our heroes find themselves in a different landscape. What was already a breathtaking view is now a dizzying vista. The moon and stars shines down with a dazzling brilliance, illuminating the area with razor sharp shadows. The air feels crisper, the snow feels colder. Everything seems sharper and more alive. Our heroes have arrived in the Feywild.
  • Having passed through the veil between the material plane and the plane of Faerie, our heroes begin their descent down Mount Agamand. As they pass below the treeline, the roads, paths, and trails begin to twist and turn back on themselves. Small avalanches of snow intermittently fall, blocking paths. Even our mysterious ranger begins to be uncertain of the way. He does not lose his head, however, and leads his companions out of the frozen woods into a clearing.
  • This clearing is littered with frozen corpses. As our heroes approach, they rise from the ground and attack! Although they pose little danger for our battle-hardened heroes, the same cannot be said of the group of elves on the far side of the clearing. Our heroes rush to protect the weak. They manage to save all but one of the elves.
  • The elves have obviously been lost in this frozen wasteland for some time, and have been driven mad by hunger. Some begin carving chunks of flesh off of their fallen companion. Two others advance on their rescuers, swords drawn. “Give us your food,” they demand. Our heroes comply. Their questions are rebuffed by demands for more food. The elves eat until the point of vomiting.
  • With a sudden realization, Jace declares that this must be the work of a bheur hag. These cruel creatures delight in the desparate, wicked actions mortals take when faced with extreme cold. Almost on cue, a raging blizzard kicks up, and canine howl rend the air.
  • The party is set upon by two enormous white wolves. The storm and the low visibility that comes with it proves problematic. In the midst of this chaos, a wizened figure emerges from the snowstorm. Her skin is blue-white, like that of a person who has frozen to death. Her hair is pale white, and she is emaciated, as if she were a person who had survived winter by eating bark and leather. Her eyes are pale and surrounded by dark, bruise-colored flesh. She carries a twisted grey wooden staff. Cackling evilly, she calls down an ice storm on our heroes. They manage to avoid the brunt of the assault, but the unfortunate elves are crushed beneath chunks of ice. Our heroes do not mourn the loss of their cannibalistic “friends.”
  • Lucas’ snake wraps itself around the hag, slowly crushing it. The hag pushes it away with a wall of ice, but by this time her wolf allies are slain, so she turns to flee. Mounting her greystaff, she rises into the air. Lucas gives pursuit on his broom. The witch’s delight at making her escape turns to dread as she sees the cleric in hot pursuit. A combination of Lucas’ fireball and Sinoqui’s bow bring the hag crashing to the ground, dead.
  • Unfortunately, the hag’s staff proves unusable by a non-hag. Our heroes burn the corpses and continue onwards. In a few days, they reach the Summer Court. Figuring his ship must be ready by now, Lucas says farewell, and takes a portal back to Bonifant.
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Lucas Delacroix and the Deadly Coffin Shop
Shapeshifters! The Far Realm! An Ancient Prophecy and More!
  • Outside the ruins of a manor, the “forces of good” plan their next move. Marcel the Magnificent notices Lucas’ mantle. He explains that the mantle used to belong to a Yamabushi sage, who reluctantly joined the Yamabushi army that attacked Vitaliio. He tried to arrange a peace treaty, but both sides rejected him. Before his death, he prophesied that the next bearer of this mantle would bring lasting peace between the Yamabushi Islands and Vitalio. This person would be able to pass the wards guarding the treasure the sage had hidden halfway between the two nations’ capitals. But first, the chosen one would bring peace to Bonifant, where the war had raged the fiercest. “Obviously,” says Marcel, “Someone like you could not possibly be the chosen one. The prophecy must be about a person of exceptional intelligence. Obviously, this person must be me. Give me that mantle.” “No,” says Lucas. “The prophecy’s probably bunk anyway.” Marcel gasps in astonishment, then sulks off in a huff.
  • In the midst of this discussion, Gabriel Andre Beaumont rejoins the party! He explains that he was ensuring that his father was safe after Ravenous threatened his life. The others accept this explanation, and continue their strategy meeting. After further discussion, our heroes decide to seek out Maria Pontmercy to see if she has discovered anything. Selkar, Meldy and Sinoqui Amakiir accompany our heroes, while Revy takes her forces to probe the Bonifant underworld for clues.
  • On the way to the palace, Jarl grows more and more suspicious of Gabriel. Gabriel’s answers to the peredhil’s questions do nothing to quiet those suspicions. Finally, Maximilien Delacroix confirms the mystic’s accusations. Gabriel is a changeling.
  • The changeling, or Fake-riel, as our heroes call him, offers to trade information for his freedom. He does not trust the party to honor such an agreement, however, and will only talk to Pontmercy. Eventually, our heroes find Pontmercy at the Bonifant sea gate.
  • Fake-riel tells Pontmercy that McGregor is hiding out at a coffin shop. He gives details on the defenses, exits, and entrances of the store. Pontmercy sends him back to the castle under armed guard. “If you information proves to be correct, you will be free,” she says. Pontmercy hurries to rally the city guard. She tells the PCs not to wait for her. They don’t.
  • Upon arriving at the coffin shop, our heroes come across a man pushing a wheelbarrow across the front yard. Upon seeing them, he says, “There’s no longer need for disguises,” and reveals himself to be a changeling. “I’ll handle this one,” says Meldy. The PCs leave her to it, and charge the coffin shop.
  • After a few arrows are exchanged, Jarl teleports inside the store. He finds himself face to face with an imposing dragonborn clad in jet black plate armor. The two warriors trade blows, but Jarl is victorious. The others mop up, and the lower floor of the store is secure. Jace and Selkar raid the cabinets in the kitchen for trail mix and herbs. Suddenly, the party hears the crash of breaking glass on the upper floor!
  • Selkar charges up the stairs, only to be met by two changeling assassins. Within seconds, he lies unconscious, his lifeblood seeping into the floor. Lucas revives him, but quickly finds himself cornered by an assassin, and near death himself. Jarl teleports through the broken window, and finds McGregor locked in combat with Perra Talstar and Pierre. “He’s ours,” they say. Jarl leaves them to it, and takes on an assassin with Ularalu’s help.
  • Sinoqui and Lucas battle one assassin, bickering while they do so. Selkar staggers to his feet, lurches towards the assassin, and strikes him with a curse. The assassin is unable to move, and is brought down from a distance.
  • Meanwhile, Jarl is having trouble. “I need help,” he cries. Sinoqui and Maximilian fire arrows into the assassin before retreating into the other room. This proves to be just enough help. Once his opponent is dead, Jarl turns back towards McGregor. The crime lord appears to be besting his two opponents. “All this effort to track me down for nothing!” he taunts. “You have no hope of defeating me!” “For Lillium!” shouts Pierre, slamming his hand down on the floor. A dark portal opens beneath McGregor’s feet. Milky white tentacles erupt out of it, and begin dragging McGregor into The Far Realm. Jarl tries to intervene, but McGregor rebuffs his help, and is dragged screaming through the portal.
  • Jarl scolds Pierre about his use of aberrant magic, but Pierre is unrepentant. “There is no lasting satisfaction in revenge,” says the peredhil. “If that’s true, then I am lost,” says Pierre.
  • After a few minutes, Pontmercy arrives. The actual Gabriel is discovered in a tunnel underneath the shop. He heads to the castle to question his changeling impersonator about his father. “He’s dead,” smirks the changeling. Gabriel charges and is retrained by the castle guards. The changeling walks off, a free man.
  • With Ravenous defeated, our heroes set to work rebuilding the city. Lucas has in fact brought peace to Bonifant. With this in mind, he decides to see if the prophecy is in fact true. He prepares to leave his companions, and set sail to the west.
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Ives Sévère and the Fortress of Madness
An old friend says farewell; a new friend is disintrigrated
  • After resting, the party prepares to storm the old Delacroix manor where Ravenous is hiding out. Gabriel Andre Beaumont is missing. After some debate, the party decides to go on without him. They need to strike before Ravenous discovers they’ve been compromised, and Gabriel knows the plan and can join back up whenever he wants.
  • Maximilien Delacroix uses his primal magic to mask the party’s footsteps, and they approach the manor unseen. Ularalu turns invisible and scouts ahead. She finds various gang members throughout the house, but most importantly, she finds five hostages guarded by two bandits in the front entrance.
  • Lucas leads the party to a side entrance to the manor. They walk through several hallways and staircases, and attack the bandits from the rear. They are totally surprised, and the fight seems to be going well for our heroes, with one exception. As Ives runs in to attack, he drops to his knees and begins weeping uncontrollably. The others ignore him and focus on the enemies in front of them.
  • Ives reaches into his pocket and pulls out the instant fortress. With a trembling hand, almost against his will, he begins to set it down. The ranger grabs Ives’ hand, and tries to prevent him from placing it on the ground. The rogue overpowers the ranger, however, and once more, the dark fortress springs from the cube, crashing through the ceiling, looming over friend and foe alike.
  • Emerging from the fortress is a creature from Ives’ nightmares; a man in ragged clothes with a mouth that is too wide for his head and too many teeth to be human. “Ithaqua shall destroy all!” he says, before unleashing a devastating fireball upon the party. Ularalu is instantly knocked out by the blast, several hostages and bandits are incinerated, and everyone else is grievously injured.
  • To make matters worse, another creature emerges from the fortress. A mountainous form, this hideous creature is humanoid in general shape, but its hateful face is a writhing mass of tentacles. It shrouds itself in mist and teleports into the middle of the party. It unleashes a deadly beam of energy at Claude Couturier. Before he can even cry out, the paladin is gone. Nothing but a pile of dust remains of the brave man.
  • The monster charges towards Maximilian, and rakes him with its claws. The ranger barely manages to remain standing. “Banish it; that’s our only chance!” cries Lucas. The cleric appears ready to follow his own advice, but before he can, Meldy steps forward. Chanting in some strange tongue, she holds a small purple crystal towards the monster. A swirling portal opens beneath the creature, and with a hideous shriek, it is gone. Meldy continues chanting. “Don’t let anything break her concentration!” commands Lucas.
  • The remaining monster tries to charge Meldy, but the others surround it and slice it into pieces. Ives, who has regained his senses by now, says, “We must destroy it now.” The fortress falls under the party’s combined assault. Several gold masks fall from its ruins. No one dares to pick them up.
  • Our heroes stand around in stunned silence. Ives manages a few halting explanations of what happened. He reaches down and returns the fortress to its miniature form. Suddenly, there is a knock at the door. It’s Evariste Fulbert, Ives’ old “friend” from Abellard! Evariste is the head of the Abellard thieves’ guild, and has come to Bonifant to leverage an opportunity. There’s a great need for clean water in Bonifant, and Evariste has a Decanter of Endless Water. This is a great chance to give back to the citizens of Bonifant, and a great chance for Evariste to make a small profit. Synergy! The only problem is that he’s not too familiar with Bonifant. This is where Ives has a chance to get in on the ground floor! Help Evariste supply the poor people of Bonifant with water, and he’ll share the profits 50/50! Synergy!
  • For some reason, Ives is reluctant to agree to this deal. Maximilian nocks an arrow on his bow and tells the entrepreneur that it’s time to leave. Evariste sighs and says, “In these troubled times, every prudent businessman knows the value of insurance. I happen to have some back in the carriage. I’d really like not to have to use it, but I am prepared to leverage every competitive advantage at my disposal.”
  • Ives looks outside. Sitting in the carriage, surrounded by six of Evariste’s men, is his sickly, younger brother, Ace. Ives grows pale, and turns to Evariste. “Can we have a few moments to discuss this in private?” “Of course. Take all the time you need,” says Evariste. The party withdraws to the other side of the room and begins to discuss what to do. “Don’t be fooled by his gaudy clothes and catchwords,” says Ives. “He’s a very dangerous man.” Several plans are floated to rescue Ace. The party agrees on one, and approaches Evariste.
  • “I am prepared to assist you. We’ll even offer you some of these gold masks.” says Ives. “May I just speak with my brother though?” “Of course,” says Evariste. He picks up a mask. “What exquisite craftsmanship! Very avante guarde!” Ives and Meldy approach the carriage. “And who is this little lady?” asks Evariste. “This is Meldy,” explains Ives. “She’s quite the young entrepreneur herself.” “Always wonderful to meet a child with an interest in business,” says Evariste, patting Meldy’s head patronizingly. Meldy looks unhappy, but responds politely.
  • At the carriage, Ives begins discussing the various important landmarks in Bonifant, enthralling Evariste with tales of all the money they will make. Meanwhile, Meldy whispers a few words to Ace, and suddenly the two teenagers vanish!
  • “What? Where did they go?” asks a bewildered Evariste. “I think it’s time for you to leave,” says Maximilian firmly, with an arrow at the ready. “I’m… I’m… taking these masks with me!” says Evariste. He gets into his carriage and drives off. Maximilian delivers a few parting shots at the man’s ostentatious outfit.
  • Ives goes to check on Ace. He finds Ace and Meldy sitting awkwardly next to each other in an abandoned farmhouse. After confirming they are safe, and promising Ace he will return soon, he heads back to the party.
  • Meanwhile, everyone else explores the house. They are met by an angry guardsman, who is disappointed to not find fellow survivors fighting Ravenous. He repeatedly accuses the adventurers of being looters and criminals, and rails against Pontmercy’s practice of including reformed criminals in the city guard. Even Lucas’ claim to be part of the family that owns the house won’t shut him up. A web to the face does shut him up. Jace finishes the job by webbing the man’s feet to the floor. The PCs explore the rest of the house, and determine that Ravenous has cleared out during the fight.
  • Ives returns and announces that he must look after his brother now. After all, he has enough money to pay for Ace’s medicine for a long time. First, however, he must deal with this fortress of pure evil and madness. It must be destroyed. He summons it again, draws his rapier, and plunges it into the fleshy walls. The fortress shudders. The others join in, and the fortress falls under a hail of blades, missiles, and magic. With this final task accomplished, Ives heads back to meet Ace. The others head to the 2nd location supplied by the prisoner from the warehouse.
  • Ace and Meldy have discovered that they both like music. Meldy gives Ace a sending stone so they can keep in touch. And with that, Ives Sévère, devoted brother, champion of Bonifant, shooter of horses, walks towards the sunrise, and bids us adieu.
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The Warehouse
In which Ives has some Nightmares
  • As Ives Sévère leaves the castle courtyard, he is struck by a strange feeling. As he walks with the rest of the party, he gets this incredible feeling of isolation. For the past few days, he’s been having nightmares; dreams he cannot quite remember. But now, in the empty streets of Bonifant, the visions return. The cityscape morphs into a desolate snowscape stretching as far as the eye can see. The unending sheets of white are broken only by a few gnarled trees. As he trudges through the trackless snow, he cannot shake the feeling that something is tracking him. There is no sound, no visual cue to betray this creature’s presence, only perhaps a strange, unearthly, sickly sweet smell. The power of the untamed wilderness presses in around him. Although Ives’ adversary is still distant, the distance is a small comfort. For in this desolation, there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. It is slowly but surely drawing closer, biding its time, waiting for exhaustion to set in…
    Ives blinks and suddenly he is back in Bonifant. The crisp chill of the arboreal forest is replaced by the warm air of Vitalio in the springtime. The feeling of being tracked though, does not dissipate.
  • Ives says nothing about this disturbing vision, and continues on with his companions. Soon, they arrive at the warehouse that Amoril described. As they approach, they run into a mysterious man wielding a giant greatsword. He introduces himself as Claude Couturier, and after a few tense moments, they decide that they should be friends and enter the warehouse together.
  • Upon entering the warehouse, our heroes are greeted by a disturbing sight. Amoril is hanging from the center beam of the warehouse, a note pinned to his chest. MARKED FOR DEATH, it reads. Amoril was obviously tortured before he died. After a few brief reflections on the fact that crime doesn’t pay, our heroes begin to investigate the warehouse.
  • Their investigations are interrupted, however, by flaming arrows shot though the windows! Claude scrambles up onto a barrel, and returns fire. Ives tries to balance on some pegs in the wall to do the same, but instead slips, catching himself on some ropes hanging from the hooks.
  • In a moment of unfortunate timing, several men burst through the back door and head straight for the unfortunate rogue. Several spear wounds later, Ives is bleeding out on the ground. Gabriel and Sinoqui prove to be no match for the deadly assassins coming through the front door. They both fall unconscious as well.
  • As Ives slips closer to death, his consciousness begins to wander again. He finds himself back in that endless arboreal forest. He sees something different in the distance: the aberrant fortress. Its fleshy walls glisten in the sun. As Ives gets closer, you see a man, dressed in rags, outside the walls. He squats in the snow, gnawing on some meat. He smiles at Ives. The man’s mouth seems unnaturally wide, and there are too many teeth in his mouth. “We’ve been expecting you. Come and join me.” With growing horror, Ives realizes the man is eating human flesh. The entrance to the fortress looms behind him, like a gateway into nothingness. Ives smells that sickly sweet smell again, but instead of being borne on the wind, it seems to emanate, stronger than ever, from the door of the fortress. The man smiles at Ives again, and his features begin to shift. His mouth grows wider still, his fingers lengthen into claws. His feet begin to contort into a strange, massed shape. He opens his mouth as if to speak… and Ives finds himself in the warehouse again. Maximilian stands over him, a concerned look on his face. Ives lashes out wildly with his rapier, striking the unfortunate Jarl, who happened to be standing nearby.
  • Jarl, Maximilian, Jace, Claude, and Meldy manage to defeat the remain members of Ravenous. One of the assassins reverts to a changeling when he dies. Meldy casts a paralysis spell on the last bandit, and the PCs tie him up and interrogate him. Maximilian uses his gem of true seeing to ensure the bandit is not a changeling. He is reluctant to talk, but after Claude smashes a couple barrels, he reveals the locations of three more Ravenous safehouses. One of them is the former Delacroix manor.
  • Meanwhile, the PCs investigate the back room of the warehouse. They find a few barrels full of poison and a stone circle. Meldy explains that the stone circle is likely a portal, perhaps to somewhere in the Feywild. Sinoqui notes that the barrels appear to be made in the Feywild. The PCs decide to destroy the circle. Maximilian softly throws a rock at the tied-up bandit.
  • The PCs decide what to do next. Maximilian suggests that they inform Meldy about what has just happened, forgetting that the girl is standing right in front of him. Although acting on the new intelligence they’ve gathered is important, it won’t don’t much good to attack Ravenous with four half-dead party members. They decide to rest in a nearby warehouse. As they settle in to do so, they hear hoofbeats approaching. Jarl goes out to greet them.
  • They are two of the castle guards. They are looking for the PCs. They tell them to go to the Fountain of Victory; something has happened.
  • At the Fountain of Victory, the PCs are greeted by a disturbing sight: dozens of dead bodies, some of them still hanging from the trees and statues surrounding the fountain. One of the guards handling cleanup approaches. “We counted forty-six bodies.” “Two for every hostage we rescued,” notes Meldy quietly. “Don’t tell me that, Meldy,” says Jarl. “There also was a note,” continues the guard. “I think you should take a look at it.” The note reads: “Embrace your parents. Hold your children close. They have been marked for death. Their blood is on your hands.” Following this chilling statement is a list of names, including the PCs and their family members. Maximilian is glad that he’s kept his identity secret, and Jace is glad that he has no family in Bonifant.
  • Despite this disturbing news, our heroes decide their best bet is to stick with their current plan. They head to a nearby abandoned store to rest before striking again. As they approach the store, a lone figure blocks their path. It’s Hivan the Peredhil. He scolds Jarl for joining with the humans, who obviously cannot take care of themselves. Hivan says that he protected the sick peredhil at the peredhil embassy from a Ravenous revenge strike while Jarl led the able-bodied peredhil away. Jarl remains resolute in his dedication to the rule of Vitalian lore. Hivan confesses he has doubts after Saffron turned out to be a succubus. He admits that if Saffron were to reappear before him, he might welcome her back. Jarl is understanding. Hivan departs, and the party heads to rest.
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