Myths & Gears

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Get a job!
Early Ashtoven, 602 AR

Mercs splash page.img assist custom 250x354Our intrepid adventurers are a mishmash of young, brazen, wanna-be heroes, out on their own for the first time in a harsh world. They need food, clothing, and shelter. They need… a JOB. Unfortunately, the village of Fellig isn’t exactly brimming with opportunity. Fortunately, the Caravaner’s Guild is hiring, and there’s a recruiter in town.

Congratulations, kids. The Captain thinks you might be up to snuff. Me, I think you’re all just snot-nosed maggots. You’re now a Squad. And here’s your first assignment…
Gunnar Wadock, Caravan Master

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A Routine Caravan Trip

The squad gets their first job, guard detail for a large caravan from Fellig to Corvis, City of Ghosts, and pays 25gp to each squad member. They are to report to Gunner Wadock, the leader of the caravan.

They meet the caravan, comprised of 5 wagons, with crates inside and chests strapped to the sides with rope, and 4 pack horses that are tied to the wagons and are carrying the caravan’s supplies and gear. The last 4 wagons are being driven by teamsters. On the first wagon is Gunner Wadock and his driver, Vigo. He informs the squad that this journey will take two weeks and will be going through some dangerous areas.

The journey is uneventful until the caravan is just a few hours from Corvis. Crossing the last area of the Widower’s Wood, they find themselves enveloped by an unnatural amount of thick fog. No sooner does Gunner call for them to keep a sharp eye out than the caravan is attacked. A spear trap kills one of the lead horses, effectively blocking the entire wagon train. Darts fly out from the fog and trees, killing one of the drivers. The remaining 3 teamsters run away in fear into the woods, Gunner yelling curses at them for their cowardice. Stringer Toegetter recognizes the voices of the attackers as being gobbers. The goblins swarm the caravan attempting to cut the chests from the sides of the wagons, or steal the packhorses. The squad, Vigo, and Gunner Wadock fight off the gobbers, killing most of them. The fog began to dissipate quickly once the attack was over.

After the area is made safe again the squad helps to re-secure the chests to the wagons, while Vigo replaces the dead lead horse with one of the pack horses. Stringer searched the area, knowing that the gobbers must have been using a bellows to create the fog.

The caravan made it to the city without further incidents. Gunner Wadock said they would be heading to the Cathedral of Morrow to deliver some of the supplies to his friend, Prelate Pandor Dumas, who could also see to their injuries. Gunner intimated that the Prelate might have something more interesting than guard work for their particular talents.

The Prelate was able to heal the party, and after unloading a pair of chests, Gunner thanked the crew for their stout defense of the wagons, and paid each a sum of 35 gold crowns for services rendered. “I know Pandor here will wish to ask you about a matter that’s been troubling him, but if you ever find yourselves sinking to lowly guard duty for coin, be sure to ask for me at the Guild Hall. I’ll put in a good word for you all.” With that farewell and a wave, Gunner Wadock and Vigo take two of the wagons, leaving two to be retrieved by other drivers shortly.

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A Talk With Father Dumas
Late Ashtoven, 602 AR

Having seen to their wounds and other immediate needs, Father Dumas broached the question of the job Gunner Wadock hinted at. It seems that there have been a number of grave robberies recently in and around the city, and Dumas would like to hire someone to get to the bottom of the matter. For this work he can offer no money, but the party is welcome to room and board in the church so long as they are investigating. Father Dumas will also assist with his clerical abilities in any way he can, short of accompanying them. Dumas has given each of the party a small silver sunburst, a replica of the holy symbol of Morrow, to identify them as his wards in this matter.Ikcg symbol of morrow.img assist custom 170x180

During the course of the conversation, the group learned some details of the case: seven bodies have been stolen over the last month, the most recent was a mere three days ago. Four of the bodies were taken from city boneyards, three were stolen from family plots outside the city. None of the bodies have been recovered. Dumas hasn’t been to any of the sites, and has not been able to get the City Watch to investigate. He’s been told that with the preparations for the rowdy crowds the Longest Night Festival always brings, they insist they don’t have the manpower to protect the living, much less look after the bodies of the dead.

During the conversation, the a couple members of the team spot a young woman peering at them from the upstairs rectory, who Father Dumas identifies as his niece, Alexia, whom he took in and raised after her mother, his dead wife’s sister, died. Beyond that, he begged off, claiming “it’s a long and sordid story involving a local tragedy of a decade ago. Perhaps some other time.”

Having agreed to look into the grave robberies for the Prelate, the group decides to investigate to city and take care of individual business on their own.

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The Investigation Begins

The next morning the group makes its plans over breakfast. Stringer will check with his contacts at the Steamworker’s Guild for any information about the victims of the grave robberies or their families, the others head to City Hall to see if there are records of any sort that may shed some light.

A nervous young clerk named Carth proved to be most helpful and informative. It was Carth who revealed the connection of Dumas to the Corvis Witch Trial of nearly a decade ago, the events that led to the execution of Alexia’s mother, Lexaria Ciannor. While the birth and death records revealed little, the public records of the case file for the Trial proved a rich trove of information. It seemed that all the recent victims of the grave violations were jurors on the case, from all walks of life. It also noted the executions had taken place at a consecrated site prepared a few hours from the city, and that while four of the Coven were interred there, the leader, Lexaria herself, was entombed at the Temple of Morrow’s graveyard as a reminder to the city that witchcraft would not be tolerated.

Having learned all this, the team decided to investigate some of the graves. First they headed east, stopping at the Gadock farm on their way to the East Boneyard. At first leery of the troop of adventurers, Bern and Hilda quickly warmed up to them. But it was their son, young Hagar (named for his grandfather), who claimed to have “seen Gramps get out of the ground and go that way,” pointing northwest. Hilda quickly and nervously dismissed the child’s words as imagination, but Bern didn’t seem too certain.

The East Boneyard was literally that, a huge, barren expanse of inarable land that the poorer locals have been using as a graveyard for generations. Often the bodies were so hastily buried, to merely dumped, that scavengers have been able to easily dig up the corpses. Consequently, bones are scattered throughout the potholes and mud puddles that add to the desolate appearance. Among the few markers that stand, the group encounters a beggar, who sits and rocks himself in the mud, muttering about the “girl in white… just got up and walked away…crawled from the dirt…” He completely ignores them until Fynn offers him some rations and water. Egger the Beggar claims to have seen a “pretty, raven-haired girl in a white dress stop at the graves of Sen Burkette and Ham Hopless, and that the men dug themselves out of the ground, and shambled off to the northwest.

After the long walk back to Corvis, the group met with Sergeant Arn in the Quad, where he told them what he knew of the Trial of the Century:
1. Magistrate Ulfass Borloch brought the charges against the five women.
2. The trial and executions were closed court, only the highest members of society and government were allowed to attend.
3. The evidence must have been very convincing, as the trial and executions were done in short order.
4. Father Dumas prepared the execution and burial site.
Arn then went on to inform the team that his Captain, a Julian Helstrom, would like very much to have a word with them in the morning.

Before dinner at the Temple that evening, it was agreed that Stringer would sneak into Alexia’s room to look for further evidence. Dinner was casual and pleasant. Stringer excused himself early, claiming an irate stomach from “market vendor carts,” while Fynn, Kah, and Durin engaged Father Dumas (“please, call me Pandor, friends”) and Alexia in conversation. Alexia proved to be a charming, intelligent, and curious girl, all while seeming a bit shy. It began to seem unlikely that this waif of a girl, not even of majority age, would be capable of the sheer power and unbalanced mindset needed to conduct the necromantic atrocities they were investigating, and yet the evidence they had gathered so far was convincing, if anecdotal. Alexia did confess an interest in the works of one Professor Viktor Pendrake, a specialist in aberrant and magical wildlife. She said she often spent time in the University Library reading his books, among others.

After dinner, Fynn confirmed with Father Dumas some details of the trial, though the memories obviously pained Pandor a great deal. He expressed concern that perhaps he’d been too busy with his churchly duties to take care of Alexia properly over the years, after having caught her at the execution where she witnessed her mother’s death by the executioner’s sword, but also believes that she’d gotten over the trauma.

It was decided that the next course would be to investigate the Witch’s Tomb, a couple hours ride northwest into the Widower’s Wood from the city. Could be that’s where the dead jurors have been sent by Alexia?

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The Catacombs

The following morning, the party fulfilled a request to meet a Captain Helstrom of the City Watch. The Captain wished to assess these newcomers, and encourage them to continue their investigation as he had been unable to elicit any support from the Watch Commander. He offered what aid he could, in the form of mounts and mundane supplies.

The meeting with Helstrom and Fynn’s planned dinner for the Watchmen this evening delayed the journey to investigate the Witch’s Tomb in the Widower’s Wood, so the decision was made to look into Alexia’s activities at the University. Unfortunately, this was rather fruitless, as Alexia is not a student, and therefore is unable to remove books from the library, nor are records kept of what she may have been reading. The team did learn that her mother and the rest of the Coven had been students in years past, but no obvious connections were to be made from their records.

Fynn and Durin went to the Black Stag Inn to prepare for the night’s event, while Kah and Stringer shadowed the girl. Late in the evening, they observed her approach the southern bridge to the island, pause while studying an area of flagstones, then return to the Cathedral. Checking the area, Stringer discovered a loose flagstone concealing a trapdoor. Stringer hid to keep an eye on the secret entrance, while Kah went to the inn to tell the others what they’d found.

As soon as they were able to wrap up the dinner service, the three returned to the church, grabbed their gear, and joined Stringer to see where this door led, apparently an old section of sewer. Following some recent tracks through the tunnels, the group discovered not only a forgotten section of catacombs beneath the church grounds, but two armed and armored skeletons as well!

After defeating the two undead warriors, the team learned they had found their way into what was apparently Alexia’s main lab. Several scrolls, dozens of experimental notes, sections of pages torn out of books, even the beginning of a letter to Prelate Dumas were found, all damning evidence of Alexia’s obvious aptitude for necromancy, and her plan to restore her dead mother to life.

Moving further into the underground complex they encountered several more of Alexia’s undead thralls, from her early failed experiments, to more advanced thralls, imbued with a small level of intelligence and ability to improvise. By far, though, were the first two they had defeated in her personal chamber. Having purged the catacombs of undead, the group returned to the Cathedral to clean up and get some rest, before they depart the city to find the Witch’s Tomb.

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The Witch's Tomb

The next morning, the party heads to the Watch stables to collect the horses Helstrom promised them, and head north and west out of the city and into the Widower’s Wood…and the dangers of the swamp. With only the directions of Father Dumas to guide them, it took several hours of thankfully uneventful travel to find the low hill, barren except for the low stone wall and circular paved courtyard guarding the entrance to what could only be the resting place of Corvis’ infamous Coven. The heavy iron-bound wooden door that had sealed the crypt, however, had been violently blasted from its hinges, the pieces littering the unlit corridor that led deep under the hill.

Lighting torches and cautiously entering the crypt, the companions learned that the place had once been some sort of base for the ancient Orgoth Empire, but now seemed to be home to a tribe of bogrin, only one of which seemed to be in the caves today. Stringer was able to gain his trust, and learned that indeed, a young woman had recently entered the tomb, and had left with some “grey ladies,” but that she had left her “monsters” behind. Convincing him to show them the way, the group finds the main chamber and four empty sarcophagi. True to the little gobber’s tale, in place of the Coveners were several thralls, apparently left on guard duty. Not Alexia’s most dangerous creations, they were dispatched fairly easily, and the rest of the caves revealed little in the way of further evidence.

As the day had worn on, and travel through the swamp could be dangerous at night, the companions made camp outside the courtyard, which although consecrated ground, still held the aura of death from the executions so long ago.

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Another Mission for Cpt. Helstrom

Mid-morning the following day, the wet and weary party arrives back in Corvis to be greeted by Sergeant Arn with a request from Watch Captain Julian Helstrom, who wishes to meet them immediately at a tavern called the Falling Star, in the Docks district.

The Docks are busy during this part of the day, though the reputation of the burg at night is somewhat seedier. The Falling Star is no different, and even at this time of the morning is filled with customers; dockhands grabbing a quick bite or pint, laborers looking to hire onto a river boat or as a dockhand, layabouts looking for an easier way to snag a few coins. The tavern is a grimy place, and its patrons are even grimier. They drink watered ale from flagons and tankards, and engage in loud conversation forming a crude and ever-rising din. The walls are adorned with furs and hanging tapesries of every color, and a pair of shaggy dun and brindle dogs crack bones by the hearth. The barkeeper, a huge man known as Dando the Bull (by reason of the fact that his neck is actually thicker than his head), wipes a wooden flagon with a dirty-looking towel. His trusty bouncer Gajan sits at a dark corner of the bar, frowning and toying with the grips of the twin pistols holstered on his thighs. Though a man of slight build, the more boisterous tavern-goers give him a wide berth.

Helstrom is sitting by himself at a table, though it is evident that he is not alone. Neither he nor his two men are wearing their Watch cloaks, in fact they are dressed in civilian garb without armor. Helstrom immediately questions the group as to what they have learned so far, and the team reveals their findings from the Witches Tomb and the catacombs under the cathedral. He is dismayed to learn that all the evidence points to Dumas’ niece as the perpetrator, and how that news will effect Pandor. He expresses his frustration with what he considers the irresponsible position of the Watch Commander to allow him to investigate the crimes, and suspects that the interference is coming from the city council, from the highest levels of the government. He admits that he can only rely on his few trusted watchmen and now, hopefully, this team of newcomers, an advantage as they are an unknown factor to the powers that be.

Helstrom then reveals to the group that he has indeed disobeyed orders, and detailed two men whose loyalty lies with him rather than the Watch proper to scout the area to the northwest. They in turn had reported the movement of what seemed to be animated skeletons periodically headed further to the northwest, deep into the swamp. The only place of any significance in that direction would be the ruins of old Fort Rhyker, an ancient and abandoned outpost from the days of the Thousand Cities, and the site of a major battle. His suspicions aroused, he had dispatched the two scouts in that direction days ago, but they have not reported back on time.

Helstrom asks the party to investigate Fort Rhyker, about a two day ride through the Widower’s Wood to the edge of the swamp. He also asks that they try to learn the fate of his men… Their families deserve to know what has happened to them, and Helstrom holds himself responsible. As a hedge against what he suspects may be the worst-case scenario, Helstrom will provide the team with two small casks of blasting powders, and a small pistol that he requests be returned to him, as it is not really his to loan out. He also provided a writ of service that proclaimed the team members to be operating in the interest of the Watch and City Law, that might persuade some merchants to be more flexible with their prices. It was decided that Durin would leave early, scouting ahead and meeting the team later.

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Scouting Fort Rhyker

Having spent the rest of the afternoon preparing for their journey, and getting a much-deserved solid night’s rest, the group gathered at the Watch stables where their borrowed mounts and supplies awaited. The first day’s travel was uneventful, if dreary through the dark and misty swamp. The following morning, however, shortly after breaking camp and getting underway, the three companions were attacked by a pair of swamp shamblers, a unique type of undead whose victims are rumored to rise as zombies themselves! Howling with the mindless hunger of their kind, the shamblers closed, and the fight was on. The undead proved no match for our adventurers, though, and their corpses were swiftly returned to a state of inanimate flesh. Rounding up their mounts, the journey continued for several more soggy, nervous hours, picking their way over the drier paths, until they found a small cave on a slight hill about a mile from where the swamp bordered the drier steppe land to the north. A decidedly opportune spot to make a base camp and secure the horses and gear.

Dusk found the three edging the border of the swamp, where an cold, windswept plain stretched before them. In the distance could be seen the two towers of the ruins of Fort Rhyker, gatehouse and main fort separated by a deep gorge. Unfortunately, in between themselves and their goal were skeletons. Dozens of skeletons, digging for old bones, loading the bones into carts which were then drawn up the overgrown trail to the gatehouse by none other than the ancient animated skeletons of horses.

Skirting the rare patrol by armed and armored squads of undead warriors, the three discovered that the workers would ignore their presence completely. A plan to hide in a loaded wagon was devised and executed perfectly, gaining them access to the interior of the gatehouse, where more slave thralls sorted piles of bones, and carted these piles across the drawbridge that disappeared into the mists, spanning the chasm to the fort proper. Cautious scouting of the gatehouse’s levels revealed another bridge on the top level, but it’s condition appeared precarious at best. Stringer set about rigging the two kegs of explosives under this bridge, in such a way as to destroy both the sky bridge and the chain supports to the wider wooden drawbridge below. While he was engaged in this, a patrol of skeletons clattered onto the battlements, but were easily dispatched by Fynn and Kah. The charges set, the team descended the stairs of the gatehouse, down to the lowest level where the drawbridge crossed the foggy gorge. As the prepared to cross, Durin climbed out of a dumbwaiter, where he had been hiding from the patrols while awaiting his companions.

Reunited, the team began a cautious crossing of the wooden drawbridge, but made it only a few feet before coming under attack again, this time from mysterious crossbow-wielding men on the stone sky bridge above. Kah and Fynn rushed back upstairs to confront the brigands, while Stringer and Durin attempted to keep the hooded assailants pinned with ranged attacks, landing a lucky critical shot and killing one who fell to the drawbridge. Fynn and Kah, having reached the sky bridge and realizing its instability was the perfect weapon, brought the stone bridge crashing down, taking parts of the drawbridge below and the last three assassins with it. Little was revealed by the corpse of the remaining body, a young man with barely a whisker on his chin, and a tattoo on his hand… of a stylized eye over a lightning bolt. The sign of The Inquistion, the secret police of the exiled and deposed Vinter Raelthorne IV the Elder, former king of Cygnar.

Crossing the drawbridge led into the dungeon of the keep proper, where they discovered the apparent lair of some large creature that had dug its way out through the very walls, a tunnel leading to the outside of the fort. Unfortunately this tunnel led out on the wrong side of the chasm for the team to make a quick escape from the fort and back to Corvis. Also in the nest of whatever might live here, they found the gnawed remains and personal effects of two Watchmen, apparently Helstrom’s missing men.

A long switchback stairway at the end of the dungeon corridors led all the way to the battlements of the keep, overlooking the large courtyard below, a courtyard filled with rank upon rank of armed and armored skeletal warriors, some even wrangling chained swamp shamblers like rabid dogs. Sneaking around to an old stained glass window missing a few small pieces, the team looked down into the great hall of the keep, where they observed none other than Alexia Ciannor and the four dead coven members she had raised conducting a ritual of dark necromancy. Before their eyes, as Alexia painted a red rune on the forehead of an inanimate skeleton and the chanting and casting of the four grey dead women rose to a crescendo, the armored skeleton’s eyes lit up with a deep unholy flame, the bones rose to their feet, grabbed a weapon from a nearby pile of arms, and marched out the doors into the courtyard to join ranks with the rest of Alexia’s army!

Their fears not only confirmed, but exceeded, a plan was quickly concocted for their escape. With the charges set, Stringer and Durin would return to the far side of the drawbridge, while Fynn and Kah would create a disturbance, drawing as many of the undead into the trap of the rigged drawbridge as possible. Once executed, only a couple dozen of the undead pursued the cleric and monk, but some were better than none. The escape plan went flawlessly, the thrall slaves in the bonefield once again ignoring the team as they fled the chaos and mustering of the undead legions their blowing of the drawbridge had caused. Returning to their hidden cave, the four friends decided to continue their flight, even though the dark swamp at night posed a danger all its own. Riding as quickly as they could without risking a mount, they traveled until about midnight, then made a cold camp, shivering in the dark fog and sleeping only in fits.

The weak grey dawn found them headed south, looking for the “road” through the Wood that had brought them from Fellig to Corvis mere days ago. A chance break in the constant mists as they crested a barren tor gave them a glimpse of the massive horde of bones and corpses in the distance, steadily and tirelessly marching to the southeast, toward the city. They missed the road, but found themselves in a tiny village of swamp folk on a small, shallow lake, some hours west of Corvis. It took some doing to persuading the stubborn patriarch Gurn of the reality and insurmountable odds of the approaching undead hordes, but after listening to this toothless, ignorant redneck resist his attempts to reason, Fynn lost his temper. His fervor convinced the man to send his boy Jethro up the tallest tree, and the lad confirmed what Fynn had been saying. Gurn wasn’t happy about leaving, but the wily swampy knew that adobe and wattle houses can be rebuilt, and set about gathering his clan to vacate their homes.

Hours later the party entered the city, Gurn and his kin waving a thank you to Fynn, and heading straight into the heart of the city and south-bound. It is the evening of Ashtoven 28th, the last day of the year, Winterfest… and the festivities for the three-day Longest Night celebration are in full swing.

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It's a Dead Man's Party

Late evening, Ashtoven 28th, 602 AR
Well into the celebration for Longest Night

Once again the team heads for the Falling Star, where they meet with Cpt. Helstrom to report their findings. Upon hearing the news, he seems skeptical of the sheer numbers Alexia has raised, but has no doubt that an invasion of undead is coming. What Alexia’s motives, beyond raising her mother, are unknown, but it’s fairly obvious that is her goal. Plans are made to defend the city as best as possible, but without the authority to command any more of the Watch than he already does, Helstrom knows any defense raised will be inadequate.

While Stringer takes his henchmen to blockade as many of the sewer system and catacomb entrances to the undercity as possible, Helstrom and the companions take their evidence directly to the Watch Commander’s residence (and taking Durin from Watch custody on the way), forcing an audience with the man. The Commander is extremely doubtful of the tale of an undead army approaching the city, at the beck and call of a wisp of a girl, but Helstrom and Fynn convince him to at least order the other captains to follow Helstrom’s lead and begin pulling their men off the streets and place the majority in strategic locations around the city. Plans are enacted to take the city’s small army garrison to guard the cathedral island. The team has a few extra hours to prepare the city, and every resource is used. The team regroups and digs in on the island of the Cathedral of Morrow, stationing the army troops at both bridges, and holding fast at the tomb of Alexia’s mother, Lexaria.

Unfortunately, even the best laid plans are met with the hard reality that even on alert, the Watch and army garrison, even the few militia that can be mustered, are inadequate. At least the team had the idea that a frontal assault on the gates would not be Alexia’s likely attack point, and tried their best to limit access to the city from the sewers and catacombs, and the rivers are a huge vulnerability, since the undead don’t need to breathe or even swim. After long hours of preparing and waiting, just as hope begins to rise that maybe, maybe Corvis isn’t going to be attacked… the sounds of screams echo through the still-busy streets. Citizens, first in pairs or small groups, then larger and larger crowds begin to run frantically through the streets. Indeed, the undead are coming up through the catacombs!

Chaos engulfs the city, but the companions and their army troops stand their ground. Father Dumas and his three acolytes have joined them, the priest looking invigorated in his battle-gear, the lads in chainmail. Though the threat to his city has brought him some measure of determination, he still holds to the belief that Alexia is somehow not responsible, a pawn by some other person, using a young girl for some unknown end. Watching from the island as the undead rampage, checked only by the brave and often futile efforts of the Watch and a few brave citizens, their resolve is tested often through the assault. A small navy river warship, in desperation, is seen firing on both civilians and undead alike, while unknown to the crew a squad of skeletons climb the anchor chain, obviously intent on taking the craft and it’s cannon. A single warjack is seen escorted by a pair of Watchmen, only to be spotted later with two skeletons, wearing Watch helms and weapons, attacking it to little effect. Another river barge, this a cargo scow, is seen aflame and adrift, eventually crashing into the docks, spreading flames along that district and covering much of the river with thick smoke in addition to the traditional fog. Revelers are slaughtered, and thralls are seen wearing their costumes. Shamblers kill more revelers, and those fresh corpses rise to kill even more of the populace. Despite the horror and hopelessness, the urge to go and fight, to defend the city, the group holds their position, knowing Alexia will soon be coming to them.

Their faith holds true. After untold hours of watching the city burn and die, scores of undead march on the island. The garrison troops fight back, but are forced to withdraw back to the tomb, surrounded by hundreds of skeletal warriors, most of them simply walking out of the river onto the island. Barely a dozen paces away from the circle of armed humans, however, the undead unexpectedly stop in their tracks, and like a single organism, the horde drops to one knee…

Alexia and her four dead coveners fly out of the pre-dawn gloom, landing between the party and the entrance to the tomb. With a gesture, the witches erect a barely visible wall of force, then join hands and begin a ritual. Father Dumas assures the team that the magic sealing the tomb is impenetrable, but Alexia and her zombies prove him wrong, blasting open the door. Wrapped in her burial shroud, Lexaria Ciannor’s inanimate body floats out of the tomb into the arms of her undead sisters, and Alexia emerges bearing a greatsword of black metal, its blade etched with sinister looking runes. This must be the weapon known as the Witchfire that her notes referred to. She raises the blade in triumph, her scream of victory inhuman as her witches fly off with her mother’s body. Father Pandor Dumas has fallen to his knees, tears streaming down his agony stricken face.

Then, before anyone can act, in a blinding blue flash of light and thunder, a man wearing a greatcloak and bearing a lightning-wreathed staff appears behind Alexia, and stabs her with a dagger! Staggering forward, the Witchfire flies from her grasp, skittering across the cobbles towards the group. Fynn steps forward and takes up the sword, but immediately feels waves of the most coherent evil he has ever known rolling off it. The mysterious stranger is borne away by a swarm of Alexia’s minions, and is lost to sight.

Alexia staggers towards Fynn, pale and drawn from her wound. Extending a slender hand, she begs him, “Give me the sword. I have to finish what’s been started. Can’t you see that?” Bright blood has begun to stain her white dress. “Give me the sword, and I’ll let all these old bones rest. That’s what you want, isn’t it?”

From a few paces away, there is another blinding flash of light and a crack of lightning. Unhurried, the stranger confidently strides out from the circle of shattered bones that had swarmed him moments ago. Approaching Fynn, he says “Do not listen to her, friends! Do you really want to give her what she wants? Look at what she has done!” Gesturing at the thrall army and the burning skyline of Corvis, he states “I am here to protect Corvis. She wants to destroy it. The weapon is mine, it belongs to me! Give. Me. The. Sword.”

Looking from one to the other, Fynn hesitates, then glancing at his friends and Father Dumas, he hands the hilt of the wretched weapon to Alexia. Father Dumas remains stunned, staring at his niece with an expression of soul-crushing failure on his craggy features. Alexia grasps the hilt, and smiling winsomely at Fynn, waves a hand, then flies off into the pre-dawn haze of smoke and fog. Her army, true to her word, collapses into bones and dust, the only threat left being the swamp shamblers still infesting the city.

The mysterious stranger, obviously a mage of some power, curses vehemently. “Fools! You have no idea what you’ve done!” then vanishes the same way he appeared, the smell of ozone left behind… and a medallion clatters to the ground in his wake, it’s chain apparently broken in his struggle with the undead. A medallion bearing the same eye-over-lightning-bolt design as they saw tattooed on the hand of a young assassin sent to kill them at Fort Rhyker.

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