A Coming Age of Dark

Session 5
Strange new bedfellows

Excerpt from Delg’s memoirs, accounting events proceeding contact with the Phylactery. Dictated but not read

Arbiter Delg of clan Ungart. During his 280th year, 5th lunar waxing of the yearly cycle.

The orb! It glows with subtle light and swirling fogs, a voice reached out to me through the device.

The mysterious Moonlight Cabal sent message through the orb of scrying via member Devon de Franco. He told of far traveled adventurers; kindred in spirit to the like of the ragtag group I had been a party to thus far in the events surrounding the demonic upheaval.

We set forth to make inquiries.

Located in the lesser in fortune part of New Bastion we came upon a dreadful dive catering to sailors and ilk of similar nature. Whereupon Lance deemed it necessary to proffer up his art and was seemingly accused of attempted theft. To this day I can’t believe those mongrels would try to thrust such a travesty upon a well known philanthropist to the young.

To my surprise a tiefling chap (with a guise most dubious to our agenda at hand) was set off by his lonesome on the stair, removed from the crowd. After an awkward introduction and subsequent interruption by a frightfully resplendent dragonborn warrior of faith. We made do with an almost begrudging camaraderie from the wizened former and an enthusiastic acceptance of duty from the lady latter. Though they seem to mistrust each other as the citizens seem to mistrust them singly we set off as a whole into the south seeking glory, justice, and if not fortune maybe some leisure gold.

Adventure upon the road ensued.

We started our journey across the countryside. Relying upon Rook and Ryll to ensure our safe passage and keep our heading true Rook came upon a gaggle of goblins on the road. Before we could react Rook took to the shadows or bushes or some such, can be difficult to keep and eye on those shifty gnomes when you need to. Though we were informed of the situation via Ryll who seems to keep a cooler head between actual physical threats.

We attempted to take them unawares.

Kava, Ikos, Ryll, Lance and myself, positioned upon the road waited for Rook to make an opening move. Somehow we always seem to either misplace or leave the lad Jerry unattended when the danger comes forth. Well to the point Rook opened with his bow while Lance got his Lute (of all things) prepared. Whatever some say of what I can do and it being unnatural or unsafe, whathaveyou. That bard does some randy odd things with music, with a mere song he seemed to soothe the fight right out of half of those goblins.

A fight ensued, danger, blood, fire, magic, heartbreak, you know the typical roadside brawl of good pitted against the thralls of evil. Whereupon we came up victorious in avengeance for the caravan folk and their odd beasts of burden, probably horses, but you know how nasty a those goblins can be to livestock.

A meager amount of gold recovered from the scrawny buggers and a flask of water-breathing or some such nonsense.

After we made more headway on our journey we entered another small village as one does out in the wilderness. The purchase of some horses were made with a bit of dickering with the locals. my fine shoes were spared the rigors of the road and our variance in height seems to be less an issue in conjunction to walking speed.

And thus we found our merry band on the road again, we just couldn’t wait to be, on the road again. Going places we have yet to been, see the wonders we may never see again. Almost as a gypsies along the highway, good friends, keeping the world turning our way, not the way of demons. Lance making music with his friends. We were on the road again.

The true troubles were just starting but we couldn’t wait to be on the road again.

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Session 4
Woe in a Borough

Excerpt from Delg’s memoirs, accounting events proceeding contact with the Phylactery. Dictated and read. Withheld mumbling and inarticulate rambling. (scribes note)Segments may be redacted in accordance to current treaties between sovereigns. (scribes note)The old codger seemed to have confused some things chronologically.

Arbiter Delg of clan Ungart. During his 280th year, 5th lunar waxing of the yearly cycle.

Shortly after our fierce encounter with the ferocious owlbear. Yes owl-bear, bear-owls are an entirely different set of circumstances. Our journey landed us at the gates of New Bastion. And what a relief to be in civilization again after the dreary road, ah the markets, the people, refined conversation on more than just the portent of clouds. Yes those sad dismal country folk, how i tried to do right by them. ….
(he seemed to drift off to sleep)
…Well you see as soon as we entered New Bastion I got right down to the business of offloading Jerry into a more appropriate caregiver. As you may be aware if you’re familiar with the rest f the tale, this came to little fruition. His family was dead, Rook and bandits did in for the Aunt(mumbles in thought) something I can’t seem to recall her name. The Sun worshipers were unwilling to oversee a child marked as he was so he stayed on.

I made my way over to Lord Harington’s fiance, whom was supposed to further the plot in this demons tale. The Lady Rhosann Lewis a highly (respectable) woman, was in a bit of a flutter when we arrived dealing with the aftermath of an apparent murder. One of her personal guard was cut down on the estate grounds not a overlader swallows flight from the (good) Ladies own rooms.

An investigation ensued

We came upon a graveyard at the end of the trail where we questioned the gravedigger. A loathsome little (Gnome), he openly admitted to robbing the deceased. Forthwith was reported to the New Bastion guard and reprimanded. Our investigation lead to a grave and a name.

We returned to the Lewis estate where Rhosann and Lance were becoming well and good friends. We inquired about the grave and trail. The Lady was not forthright with information but one of Lance’s refrains and she spilled the truth upon us. She had been keeping company with those she should not have been, bearing the mark that our group had acquired. The Mark of Sacrifice. it had been haunting and hunting her.

That night we set a trap to try and end the suffering.

Hiding Rhosann in the closet, Ryll took her place in the bed while Lance, Rook and Myself were positioned by the door, on the terrace and under the bed respectfully. We were set upon by a Revenant. The ghastly undead creature almost put Lance down, shrugged off many a weapon attack and bulled straight through us ultimatley slaying Rhosann Lewis.

Mourning and morning followed

One of those nights we contacted the Moonlight Cabal. Shady little coterie knowing some information on some of the more forbidden aspects of the Art. I was presented with a Scying Orb and we were set out on a quest to put and end to an ensuing apocalypse of demonic catastrophe. Due to the nature of the knowledge and some of the faces of the group I am resigned to leave any persons of association anonymous.

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Session 3
Marked

The last few days have been…inauspicious, to say the least.

Fortune finds me taking to the road again, this time with companions. It is not my custom to travel with others, but, under the circumstances, it is necessary. One of them is my steadfast comrade in solitude, Rook the Gnome…though it should be noted that it is his actions that seem to have gotten me into this mess to begin with. But, arguably, our current predicament was unavoidable, unless we wished to allow unnatural evils to manifest in our beloved wood.

But perhaps the beginning would be…well, a better place to begin.

After we fought and bested the bewitched suit of armor, we returned to Sen’s Rest, where Rook urged Village Elder Gary and his small son Jerry to join us for another foray into the ruins. Rook’s motives were unclear to me, and, when I questioned him regarding them, his answer proved vague.

Upon reaching the ruins, we discovered in their depths a large tear in the fabric of space and time, much like those I have happened upon of late here and there in my wanderings. It was only then that Rook’s intent became clear. As the rest of us watched, helpless to intervene, he sacrificed Gary to the portal, dooming the Village Elder to a ghastly and most undignified end, which his young son had the great misfortune to witness.

When questioned regarding his actions, Rook stated that they were necessary to banish the demon that dwelt in the portal and thereby restore balance to the wood. While the Gnome’s efforts did accomplish these things, I cannot condone his means, and I did tell him as much. I also asserted that the orphaned Jerry, who has seen only seven summers, is now our responsibility. Rook did not agree, but Delg the Arbiter, whom I judge to be most upright for a Dwarf, did support me in this.

Soon after these events, Rook, Jerry, and myself became aware that strange and identical markings had appeared upon our persons—mine on my left palm, Rook’s on his neck, and the child’s on his lower back above and betwixt the buttocks. (Delg already bore such a mark, for reasons unknown.) When Rook and I consulted Illya the Mad regarding this phenomenon, she referred to the marks as the “Brand of Sacrifice,” and advised that fell things will be drawn to us so long as we bear them.

Delg, meanwhile, counseled the now-leaderless people of Sen’s Rest to elect a new interim village elder by popular vote. We then set out for Rachdale to report to Lord Harington regarding the fate of his vassal, as well as to deliver young Gary into the custody of his aunt who was said to dwell in that town. But upon arriving in Rachdale, we learned the boy’s aunt is no longer among the living. Lord Harington, whom I judge to be a kind and reasonably wise man, volunteered to take on the boy as a squire.

After Rook and I consulted with local mages regarding the Brand of Sacrifice and learned that one other—a hermit who makes his home in Everwinter—is known to bear it, Rook took to the woods surrounding the city, citing a fear that Harington would discover his role in the death of Gary—which was well. Upon my return to Harington’s dwelling, his lordship’s questioning did lead to such a discovery, and I was quick to note that, while I didn’t agree with Rook’s actions, the Gnome only did what he felt was necessary to prevent a great evil from entering this world.

Too, before his departure, Rook had brought to my attention the fact that Jerry’s brand would surely bring calamity on the house of Harington. I conveyed this to Harington himself and credited Rook with having shown concern for the well-being of the lord and his house. Harington, understandably, felt he could not shelter the boy under the circumstances, but he was compelled to show mercy to Rook, and declared that, so long as Rook is never caught within Rachdale’s city walls, the Gnome might go in peace.

After a night of Harington’s hospitality, and with young Jerry in our keeping, we set out for New Bastion, where Harington advised we might prevail upon his fiancée, Rhosann, for accommodations. We have nearly reached the city as of this writing and plan to seek further knowledge of the Brand from the mages who dwell within its walls.

We did meet and best an owlbear as we journeyed. My new companions are mighty indeed. Let us hope we shall likewise prevail against whatever creatures of dread darkness we may encounter on our travels henceforward, as we quest in search of any means of removing these foul brands from our bodies.

Ryll

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Session 2
Checking out the Demon Ruins.

Finally got our leave to check out those ruins. I was right, by the way – that fancy Dwarf is here for mining contracts. Something to keep an ear on after this demon shit’s on the pyre.

Gotta get that sorted first, though. If it’s got Illya on the wire, it can’t be good. Wasn’t hard to find. Bunch of kids outside squawking about Ryll’s ears; lucky that human set ‘em straight before I backhanded some sense into them. Delg took the lead into the underground. Seemed like a good idea to let the stonelicker take the lead until he started slinging steel at an Imp we’d found. Not that I’d cared much for the abyssal anklebiter, but that kind of swing-and-missing’ll get us killed if we’re not careful.

I took point from there. The usual sort of stuff you’d expect from a place called the Demon Ruins. Bones underfoot, undead lurching about. That two-shoes Delg might be on the narrow, but between the torchcone and the traptanking, he sure comes in handy.

Found a bunch of bandits in a room, doing some chanting and stabbing a chicken. Didn’t really know what they were up to at the time, didn’t much care. Show me a human outlaw, I’ll make a coatrack out of them. Had to slap down whatever scarecrow-golem they were summoning in the process, but at least the Dwarf got a pretty sharp reaver out of it.

Portal room was the third room in. Could see how the critters were getting antsy; Illya’s right – there’s something definitely not right around here. We caught a rough time on the business end of the last guy to die there, but at least I got a read on what needs to be done to shut the demons up. For now, anyway.

It’s gotta be me. Ryll’s a good girl, can’t get her hands dirty like mine get. No way that Delg’ll do what needs to be done. And Lance? Can’t trust a human as far as I can stab one. No. Gotta be me.

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Character Creation / Session #1
WE'RE GONNA MAKE HIM BUILD A WALL

Sen’s Rest is a small village situated just on the edge of the Forgotten Woods. To the south of the village, located just past the edge of the forest, is a labyrinthian set of ruins called the Demon Ruins, which are apparently haunted by an ancient demon.

The adventurers are…

  • Delg of Ungart, a Noble Dwarf Warlock. The Ungarts are a stuffy, old money dwarven family, who mostly live in underground mansions. Delg is passing through on a real estate perusal, to buy up some mining rights.
  • Franklin Rook, an Outsider Gnome Rogue. Once had a lot more names; now just the one. Family trauma caused him to become a hermit—the massacre of his clan, who once inhabited the Forgotten Woods. He makes periodic supply runs to Sen’s Rest.
  • Lance Jawn, a Charlatan Human Bard. Once the mentor of local youth, Lance Jawn became a charlatan…somehow. He’s passing through Sen’s Rest and singing at the local tavern. Between shows, he tries to con drunks. He’s in the village for business and conning.
  • Ryll, a Hermit Half-Elf Barbarian. An outsider, never fit in due to her heritage (except with the animals). Born in Sen’s Rest and is finally returning—which drums up some shit.

The area around the Demon Ruins has been growing colder. A dark influence has been extending past its stony walls into the Forgotten Woods, inching closer and closer toward Sen’s Rest. Not to mention, it’s totally spookifying the place up, which is making the animals super grouchy.

Delg and Village Elder Gary were discussing business at the village tavern. The dwarf was interested in buying mining rights for the nearby area, and Village Elder Gary was trying to sell up the place by conveniently not mentioning the evil ruins corrupting the nearby area. Lance Jawn, who was playing the tavern, approached Delg, as the two were familiar each other thanks to Lance’s work with the youth of the Mountain Kingdom. Unfortunately, Village Elder Gary did not take much of a liking to Lance Jawn as the homophobic, crude village elder considered him a “homo.”

Meanwhile, Rook and Ryll had been noticing the strange influence emanating from the Demon Ruins and went to meet with Illya the Mad, hoping the old soothsayer would give them answers. While visiting with her, Ryll, who was familiar with the Abyssal language, was able to make out three (possibly incomplete) names scribbled on the wall of Illya’s home—Yorda, Rato, and Durg. The madwoman warned the two adventurers of coming evil, so they went to Village Elder Gary to discuss with him the problem regarding the Demon Ruins.

Village Elder Gary was adamant that everything was fine…only to cave once Delg convinced him to admit that the Demon Ruins were becoming problematic. He then hired the four adventurers to travel to the Demon Ruins and solve the issue, ideally by “making that fucking pussy demon build a wall.”

After convincing Village Elder Gary to give them some supply money and potions, the adventurers headed off toward the Demon Ruins in hopes of saving Sen’s Rest from certain destruction.

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