For Glory, For Empire

Season 2 Session 6

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Season 2, Session 5

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Season 2, Session 4

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Season 2, Session 3

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Season 2, Session 2
Episode 2: The Hole Begs To Be Remembered

Adventure begins with a dream…

Josh’s character, Tenjo-Kai, has a dream that the crew is at camp the night before they make it to the Fort. He wakes up Corvis, who confirms that there is something amiss, but he can’t quite put his finger on it. They wake up and ask the Coronus, and she thinks they’re both crazy. “No, they haven’t made it to the fort, yet! What are you, nuts?!”

After convincing her that something’s amiss, she takes it as a premonition and awakens the crew to strike camp and make towards the fort. Along the way they find three dead creatures filled to the brim with insects and a big, ol’ spider. After laying waste to the troublesome swarm, Corvis and Tenjo-Kai lay the dead to rest.

They arrive to the fort, which is in serious disrepair, not like how Branch and Corvis remember it. Corvis attempts to run up the fort’s watchtower ladder to view the disturbing scene he’d witnessed before and sees a different view of Adapa’s Refuge. Instead of tentacles and an ever-opening maw, the walls of the refuge look to be collapsing upon itself.

On his way down the ladder, Corvis finds the remains of an individual…

Lizardmen have a bonfire burning in the pit. Imaniel greets them and asks about the location of the Light’s Major and the rest of the builders. The lizardmen point in a direction, and the crew takes a path around the fort, which then brings them to a small little village of ten to fifteen structures in which inhabit Tengu, Catfolk, and others, including a bigger structure all closed up.

Within, the crew of the Light is holed up under command of a sick Major who turns out to be suffering from some parasitic fungus, symptoms of which are similar to vampirism. Corvis begins a cleansing, but the Major freaks out and conflict is had, which includes the fall of the Major and two Tengu.

The crew sets up camp at the village after arranging an agreement with the remaining Dunabetia. Soon, dreams of the crew are under siege. A tea is found to help alleviate the intrusive disturbance of rest. Lizardmen approach the camp upset that the tea was harvested.

During negotiations, it is understood that the disturbance started to occur after the Lizardmen stopped feeding the bonfire at the fort. The bonfire was sitting within the pit that leads under the fort… which is what the crew was going to take care of after session one. After the reminder of it’s existence, the crew prepares to delve within and tackle the threat to the crew’s peaceful sleep.

No one wonders if this too is all part of Tenjo-Kai’s dream.

Season 2, Session 1
Episode 1: Insanity Reigns

Lhys’ Lantern arrives to Westgate bearing 32 of the Light’s faithful followers, amongst which two of our PC’s: Josh’s Tenjo-Kai and Kevin’s Corvis, and Coronus Pinai. There’s a feast celebrating the arrival.

To the north of Westgate sits Sulufaiga, a free port and pirate haven. Will’s Tais stumbles onto a couple of Tengu setting a fire outside of the backside of the town’s inn. Tais partially foils the tengus’ plot to blow up a certain portion of the building by taking the burning package of explosives to a water barrel nearby. Tais is hurt and arrested after surrendering to the local guardsmen.

The damaged building happens to be “The Minted P il” (the “a” fell off the sign). Peter’s Mongo and Brandon’s Imaniel (known as “Fishbourn” to the locals) work for Corinna who owns and runs the tavern. Imaniel arranges a face-to-face for Tais and her goddess, and Imaniel takes Tais on a mission for Carbatkin, who is a close friend of Corinna, and may have been the target of the bomb.

Next morning, Imaniel and Tais take a wagon to Miller’s Crossing and meet the Legion of Light’s caravan and craftsmen. After lunch they continue on the path leading to Fort Indomitable and get ambushed by tengu dressed up as catfolk. The rear wagon is destroyed, but some of its contents survived. One tengu surrenders and is known as “Bob,” who discloses that they were working for “Steel Feather” who was waiting on a signal from town to attack the caravan. Coronus Pinai was not forthcoming about what the papers were, but Tenjo-Kai was able to get out of the Coronus that they were orders and plans for the fort and temple.

After arriving at the fort in the hill, defenders were in some kind of discussion with a group of lizard-men who did not speak Common. They wanted to come into the fort, and its occupants to leave. After a firm refusal, the lizard-men left.

The Coronus strode in, arrested the commander and arranged for better leadership. The temple under construction had partially collapsed due to a fresh sinkhole, revealing some rough tunnels going deeper into the hill. The surveyor of the site had gone into the tunnels with two guards, and had come back ill. He was determined to have been turned into a ghoul in the intervening time.

The group notices there’s about 25-30 men guarding the fort, but there’s tents set up for easily ten times that amount. The stress is driving the men mad, and Corvis climbs up to the top of the watchtower and gets excited seeing a Adapa’s Refuge off in the distance. He saw what resembled a building turned tentacular beast reaching up from the grounds towards the sky with a gigantic maw looking like it’s constantly on the verge of opening.

Thus, ends episode one of season 2. Next week: Into the Sinkhole.

Session 23, 5/22/2017
When Rebecca Comes Back as a Baby Eater

The session rejoins our intrepid adventures as Arturian’s musket misfires, with Ts’ao Hai and Kalum ducking out of the way. The close-by, yellow pillar of corundum in the strange arrangement lights up strongly at the the explosion, with the orange pillar and green pillar resounding less strongly.

The others stand beside the deceased form of Rebecca. Rebecca’s body starts to float upward. Alarmed by these events, Moccan climbs on top of the body and holds her down. As they watch, an ethereal form begins being pulled out of the body, the spitting image of Rebecca. It reminds Arturian of certain sacred Bea’txo rituals involving soul transfers. Art manages to figure out that the well is attempting to draw in Rebecca’s soul.

Arturian and Ts’ao Hai begin to examine the pillars and find that the yellow pillar has become cracked. While the two Bea’txo are performing their analysis, the party attempts to devise a plan to keep the soul and body united long enough for Moccan to complete his reincarnation ritual.

Moccan mounts Mia the pegasus and hangs on to the body as it floats towards the rocky overhang where the fight started, as the rest of the party prepares weapons in case of trouble. Once above the overhang, the body goes over the overhang and begins traveling horizontally. Moccan now travels through the dark, following the body as it changes orientation, now descending vertically. Moccan clings to the body as he desperately tries to complete his ritual. Finally, the last sacred syllable is spoken and the body begins to transform. Because of the pitch black lighting conditions, Moccan can’t tell what or where Rebecca is now.

Rebecca awakens only to be promptly dropped by Moccan into a pit of ink black liquid, which is now spreading out responsive tendrils to clutch at the horse. Moccan brings forth light, and realizes his profound error. Thanks to some quick reaction, Moccan manages to haul Rebecca’s new form out of the liquid. It is six and a half feet tall, bristling with muscles, bony ridges, and clearly built for war. Moccan and Mia see doom in the eyes of this being, though they can recognize it as Rebecca.

Moccan suddenly realize that his hands, covered in the strange liquid, desire to be placed back into the pool. Moccan tries to wipe his hands off and finds the material to be rather clingy. Having found no solution to this problem, Moccan tries to follow Mia, with Rebecca-thing following him.

Meanwhile, Art decides to try an explosion in the shallow pit between the pillars. After his improvised explosive goes off, all the pillars light up, which are spotted by Moccan as he stumbles through the dark. Rebecca-thing decides to try and call for Mia, successfully retrieving her horse, although Mia refuses to get too close to Rebecca’s new body. Rebecca then follows Moccan towards the pillars of radiance.

Back at the pillars, the group examines them following the explosion, finding that the other pillars are now cracked and the yellow pillar is undamaged. All the pillars vibrate, and after a little while the cracks repair of their volition and the vibration stops. Up above, Rebecca and Moccan arrive at the edge of the overhang and manage their way down. Talis examines the goop and determines that it is very, very evil.

Kalum starts hosing the horse and the druid down, while Art uses a levitate potion to float up and meet the “new Rebecca.” Art is quite taken aback, and manages to prevent himself from fleeing as he draws a crossbow and prepares to end the threat; Rebecca now looks more like the creature that slew her than her former form.

Rebecca somewhat manages to convince Art that she is herself and not a monster come to destroy them all. Having been reassured that this is Rebecca and not a fanged imposter, Art manages to figure out a way of getting Rebecca down from the cliff. Ts’ao Hai gets one look at “new Rebecca” and runs off, a primordial instinct telling him to run from this creature, and warn all of his loved ones. Ts’ao Hai sprints up a ramp, through several traps, and ends up in a winding tunnel leading to a flat ledge high up the cavern before he decides he is safe. Ts’ao Hai resolves to return to the settlement to warn Yu-Chen and everyone else about the fearsome baby eater as soon as possible.

Everyone fails to identify what Rebecca actually is now. Talis casts Detect Evil and finds out that Rebecca does register as Evil, but it might just be the strange black goo still covering her. In the meantime, the party spots the light from Ts’ao Hai’s ioun torch. Mia goes to Ts’ao Hai to transport him back to the others, but Mia refuses to land and Ts’ao Hai gets a mid-air healing shower courtesy of Kalum.

The party decides to return to the ledge leading to the black pool, via Mia relay and levitation potions. Arturian spots the spirit of a ratfolk as he is pulled down onto the ledge, heading in the direction where Moccan thinks the well is. The party arrives at the lip of the well, wherein the goop on Rebecca reaches out towards the pool. The pool reaches out for her, and Talis raises her nimbus, which blasts away the dark substance.

The party begins the ritual, with Ts’ao Hai and Rebecca standing an uneasy watch in Talis’s nimbus. Moccan, Arturian, Talis, and Kalum begin to set up the ritual. While they do so, they notice that Moccan is slipping closer and closer to the well. Talis helps Moccan snap out of it, but then Arturian succumbs to the well’s influence as initiative is rolled.

Arturian almost lunges into the well, but Ts’ao Hai grabs him and helps him shake it off. Rebecca suddenly tries to shove the two into the well. Talis repositions them and scolds the naughty hell beast that is now Rebecca. Arturian realizes that the weird pillar structure they found earlier is the most valuable thing in the universe, but maintains control of himself.

The party gets back to work, but now Talis falls victim to the well’s influence. Perceiving it as a giant leathery winged monster, Talis attempts to smite the well by diving into it. Ts’ao Hai dives in again for the save and fails miserably this time. The other party members fail to stop Talis, except for Kalum, who blasts her back 15 feet from the well. Eventually the group manages to shake Talis out of her vision.

After another hour of ritual, Moccan succumbs to the well’s influence and tries to dive in. Tabitha gets a chunk of Moccan while trying to stop him, and Ts’ao Hai dives onto the druid and puts him into a full Nelson, breaking the curse. Yet another hour of ritual work commences, and this time no one falls under its sway.

Suddenly, the party comes under assault from more strange horrors, the same sort as the original attacker. The party take them down, but not before one throws a pot into the well, which causes the black tendrils to rise up and snatch at them. Another nimbus blast destroys the tentacles, and the work continues.

Finally, preparations are complete, and Arturian begins to enact the ritual. Tendrils suddenly reach out and grab at the party, interrupting the execution of the ritual. Tabitha manages to drag Moccan back from the edge, but Ts’ao Hai fails to assist Talis in the same fashion. Talis activates her nimbus, allowing the party to complete the ritual, creating a silver aura across the top of the well. Shortly after, negative energy drives the party away from the well, but the party rests well next to the cliff, knowing they have completed their task.

The party uses a spell from the Druid to soften the walls of the pillar chamber, allowing them to collect some precious stones. 121 stones are collected by the party, to be divided later.

The party takes one of the elevators in the pillar room up as far as it will go, arriving in a cavernous room held up by metal support beams. The party decides to take the southmost tunnel, following mine cart tracks, hoping to arrive in the Lotus room that they used originally used to descend.

The party comes to a place where the tunnel intersects another hallway perpendicularly, with the tracks they are following rising above another tunnel going east to west below them. The party passes over this tunnel across the tracks, arriving in a round central room with many passages. In the middle of the room are four constructed carts, surrounding a lidded pit. The party paused to debate their next course of action, deciding to go up a narrow southwest passage that gently slopes upward. They run headlong into another wall across the passage with a Grugan adventurer frozen into it. Arturian determines that this is likely the remnant of a trap, and figures out that the rock is not very thick. Talis and Rebecca set to work trying to break down the wall, managing to pry it at the seam where it joins the wall. An avalanche of coins pours out, bludgeoning the party with a tide of wealth on one of the most painful windfalls of their career.

The party decides to spend an hour collecting the most valuable coins up to as much as they can carry without overburdening themselves. Trying to crawl past the stone wall, the party turns into the trap that created the trapped Grugan. Talis falls into the spray, becoming encased in stone. The party hurries to break Talis free, managing to do so before she suffocates.

Art jams the trigger plate into position, and the party can finally crawl past the trap and into a new six sided chamber marked by several troughs in the floor. Following a gentle inclination up, the party comes to an intersection in the troughs, and decides to continue heading up. Art notices something odd about the wall that the trough originates from. After examining the spooky relief there, Art figures out that it is a trap and warns the party. Mia unfortunately triggers the trap, which sends a stone hurtling down the trough, knocking Moccan prone and sending Tabitha sliding back down the shaft. Tabitha manages to overcome over the boulder before it turned fatal, and Mia evades the worst of it.

Reaching the top of the shaft, the party discovers a wide chamber and a light. Ts’ao Hai is deployed as an aerial scout, finding Mirari, one of the Azkaderra, placing a wall of force over a set of ornate doors. She quickly explains that the rest of the Azkaderra have been possessed by “a fragment of the builder" and are behind the door she is holding the door shut. After Mirari talks to Mia and tells her the plan, the pegasus returns to to the party and collects Arturian and the climbing kit. Using the pitons and some flasks of Alchemist’s Fire, Arturian jams the door and pours fire into the cracks of the door. Mirari then tosses Ts’ao Hai off the pegasus and hijacks Mia, flying off as the session ends.

Session 22, 5/07/2017
Don't stand up when you don't have to

The group was back in Westgate from the temple, following their close call with statuary. They restocked on alchemical supplies, healing potions, and bandoliers.

Also, it was decided that a separate group would go to the upcoming Gathering, traveling with Mirror the Pymlion oracle. Xaxe, Shopik, Zim, Friday, Davaros, Carbatkin, and one of his guards, so that the council can stay and guide the colony, while the adventurers can continue their forays into the temple.

Upon returning to the temple, the group discovered subtle differences in the doors at the main entrance. Upon opening those doors, they were set upon by many tentacles, far too large for any common creature of the sea.

The groping appendages grabbed most of the party and tried to drag them within, but the group fought back, trying to wriggle free, and severing the tentacles, which were emerging from a portal to some place beyond this reality. It is rumored that Adapa traveled there seeking enlightenment, but returned only with madness. The group decided to put off that trip until later.

The group found more passages, some with the concave grooves like they had seen elsewhere, as if made for transporting small, rounded boulders, or some sort of liquid. The group decided to follow a non-grooved passage, leading to a room with three doors. The doorways were labeled “peace,” “wrath,” and “negotiation.”

They went through the “peace” door, finding a long hallway with cushioned floors and soft filament-covered walls. The hall turned gently, but increasingly, to the left, and declined even more gently. At the end of the hall, more than a quarter of a mile long, was a soft slide/climb down into a round room with a pedestal in the middle, holding only a seat cushion. It turned out to be magical, and would restrain anyone sitting upon it.

The cushion was taken by Moccan for further research, and upon picking it up, those in the room felt it moving upward with the walls and roof squeezing inward, and the angle of the hallway changed accordingly. Then Arturian searched the room, especially the pedestal, finding a mechanism allowing movement of the room. Adding weight to the pedestal caused the room to sink, with the roof lifting away and the walls tilting out.

The room seemed to come to an almost stop, then continued much further downward, eventually coming to a rest on a mine floor. There were many small, milky corundum crystals still in the earth and stone floor. There was no visible ceiling or walls from this point.

Rebecca headed west, eventually finding a mined wall full of larger and purer stones. Traveling around the wall, the crystal quality declined elsewhere in the massive cavern, and several grooved passages leading upward were found. at the base of these grooved passages were many broken pieces of crystal.

In the rough middle of the massive cavern was found seven rainbow-colored translucent pillars made of the same corundum found in the walls, set into a circle, and tilted slightly outward as they rise up out of sight above. Each pillar has grooves facing its neighboring pillar, and one facing outward. After much searching, several devices made of corundum were found in, or near, several of the grooves.

After some research, the devices were manipulated to travel within a groove up the pillar it is on, and out of sight and reach. So, Rebecca flew upward for more exploration, finding a crystal latticework connecting the pillars roughly 25 feet up, repeated every 30 feet. At 80 feet are flying buttress-like structures made of lattice. The pillars angled back toward each other above the buttresses. And at roughly 150 feet up, just shy of where the pillars came back together, a jutting shelf of cave approaches the pillars.

Upon the shelf was a frightening, red-skinned humanoid creature with far too many knife-like teeth whose macabre smile preceded an aerial combat, With Rebecca getting range support from the ground by the others. Then there was much falling.

On the ground, the creature did not fair well, and was ready to be finished off by Rebecca. Then she made the unfortunate choice to stand before striking, taking a fatal blow from the creature in response. The rest of the group were not able to respond in the few seconds that followed before the catfolk’s dying words.

Session 21, 4/30/2017

Having withdrawn from the room of exploding and burning gasses, the group collects themselves too long in the large chamber of slime and treasure. Swarms of spiders coalesced repeatedly all over the group, until it was discovered that the vermin were being called forth magically, distracting and poisoning Rebecca, mostly. The fell creature doing the calling was finally discovered lurking the the shadows that comprised its body and tormented the group until dispatched by the Light.

Next, past one confluence of small shafts, and on to a second, where a creature of air ambushed the group, and almost absconded with Talis up a nearly vertical chimney.

Next, a third confluence of tunnels where a noisy mechanism was triggered that shut off the passage in front of them for a time, before resetting itself. The path forward from there followed a distinct and wrought concave groove in the floor, roughly 4 feet wide, like a shallow canal for guiding of something.

Lastly, that passage passed through a gallery of statues, and a door leading off the grooved path. The door turned out to be false, but revealed a medusa on display behind a secret door on the opposite side of the chamber. Moccan, Arturian, and Rebecca fell victim to the ingenious trap, and were turned to stone. The rest decided to retreat out of the temple, and had to manhandle the statues back out of the place. Attempting to call the couatl guardian failed initially, but after waiting until morning, it could be called again.

The group, and the loot, was transported back to Westgate, where Zim insisted on payment for a special balm that he was able to concoct on the spot. After vigorous application, the three statue-adventurers were returned to flesh.

Session 20, 4/09/2017
The "Being John Malkovich" Edition

The session opens with the Pymlion oracle Mirror granting his wisdom and insight to Kalum, Rebecca, and Ts’ao Hai, granting them the Truth Seeker, Explorer, and Unforgotten Story Feats respectively. Talis speaks to some of the wagon party, introducing them to Westgate and assuring them that they are welcome in the settlement. Certain members of the party noticed that the wagon goers seem to be under some sort of glamour, and that there might be certain ominous significance to the presence of a maiden and crone in the company of an oracle.

The party prepares to ritually purify themselves before venturing to the Temple. The group has learned that they will need the spoor of a “thunder lizard” in order to abjure the well. The party is not certain if this means the spoor of a shocker lizard, or the spoor of a extremely large theropod. The posse heads out on a shocker lizard hunt, hoping that small electric lizard will suffice in place of giant short sword-toothed dinosaur. A shocker lizard is spotted, and Ts’ao Hai and others rashly give chase, thinking they need to kill the animal for their purposes. Moccan chases after and tries to get them to stop attacking, as Kalum sends blasts of water into the undergrowth twice, killing a lizard. An angry hissing rises out of the jungle as multiple shocker lizards congregate. Taking Moccan’s advice, Kalum and Ts’ao Hai fall back as the shocker lizards advance. The group eventually retreats and collects the spoor without any murder, and only getting slightly electrocuted. The group returns to town afterwards, proceeding with the ritual preparations.

The ritual preparations begin. The group is cleansed, tattooed, dyed, and purified. The party divvies up potions to prepare for the coming trial, alongside other useful items. Before the party leaves, Talis asks the Lantern (through Mengzhi) what to expect inside the Temple, and the artifact answers, “Power, beyond control.” The ominous note does little to calm the party’s nerves.

Finally, the group attempts to summon the first Couatl, to ask it to take them to the temple and resume its original duties. The first Couatl does not answer; when summoned, the Second Couatl answers that the first has been killed in its duties. The second Couatl then transports them through several Realms that includes getting familiar with a Realm of Water, Stars, and Madness. The group is deposited right in front of the main entrance to the temple on top of a pile of bodies, from many species all across the Areiystis. The pile is on top of a narrow bridge that crosses a moat-like canal surrounding the temple.

At the main door to the temple, the party discovers many sets of bloody footprints leading inside. There are 7 different sets of tracks, including one set that looks like someone walked in one of the earlier tracks in order to conceal their presence. Rebecca flies around the main temple structure, examining the many different entrances to try and divine the best way to approach this challenge. The party decides that the main door presents the best opportunity to enter.

Talis bravely marches in, and triggers a swinging blade trap that barely misses her. With some expert work from Arturian, the trap is disabled. The prints lead on past the trap, and then suddenly stop as the material of the floor changes. Ts’ao Hai steps forward after Arturian checks for traps and finds an odd bottle. When he picks it up to examine it, he discovers that there is something in the bottle looking back at him. He tries to drop the bottle and step back, but finds the bottle returning to his hand. As he stands in bewilderment, a weird huge dark ooze coalesces and tries to engulf him. Ts’ao Hai narrowly avoids being grabbed and ripostes, which causes the creature to split. Arturian adds in a musket shot, which causes the creature to split again. During the fight, Mia charges forward and gets entangled in the slime. After many splits due to all the piercing and slashing, the ooze things are dealt with and the party regroups.

After a quick scan, Art decides that the weapons and armor left over from the ooze creatures is worth around 5,000 gp, plus many coins and gems, including some broken, cut gemstones. The party organizes the loot and then looks at the passage to the left, where there are signs of traversing on the walls, seeming to indicate that the floor is dangerous.

The party decides to take another path forward, squeezing into a narrow crevasse where they encounter some kind of illusion magic, and the smell of sulfur. The party accidentally strikes a spark and ignites the gas, scorching the party. To add insult to injury, the path turns out to be a dead end and spiders beginning to swarm from holes and crevasses deeper in the room. The session ends as the party beats a hasty retreat.


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