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The Rogue Inquisitor of Nordgard

Hello! This was my second DnD campaign and I used this page to write summaries of each session. The campaign is currently on a hiatus.

The campaign had 3-5 players during it and their characters were:

  1. Kilian - A dark fur tabaxi ranger, making his living as a bounty hunter.
  2. Autismus Maximus - Short of stature but long of locks, this law-abiding priest of the Emperor is on a holy mission to deliver the artifact "Imperialis Tutella" to Odessus.
  3. Lucas Ambershard - An elven rogue looking to make ends meet, even if it means cutting purses and sharking loans. *RETIRED AT LEVEL 6*
  4. Karuna Ishvara - A wood elf thats half a millenia old, following his long lost monastic traditions, attempting to uncover it's final mysteries in Nordgard.
  5. Raijin - A pale faced fellow using his arcane skills for mercenary work. Accompanying Father Maximus as a bodyguard. *DIED AT LEVEL 1 TO A GIANT SPIDER*
  6. Andre Smith - An adept craftsman and black smith trained by the Sons of Cinder. Short of stature and social skills, this man is on a mission to get enough coin for his very own forge. *RETIRED AT LEVEL 4*

Session list
  1. Session 1
  2. Session 2
  3. Session 3
  4. Session 4
  5. Session 5
  6. Session 6
  7. Session 7
  8. Session 8
  9. Session 9
  10. Session 10 (27.1.2022)
  11. Session 11 (9.2.2022)
  12. Session 12 (1.4.2022)
  13. Session 13 (18.4.2022)
  14. Session 14 (12.5.2022)
  15. Session 15 (June)
  16. Session 16 (4.8.2022)
  17. Session 17 (16.8.2022)
  18. Session 18
  19. Session 19 (5.10.2022)
  20. Session 20 (02.11.2022)
  21. Session 21
  22. Session 22 (5.1.2023)
  23. Session 23
  24. Session 24
  25. Session 25

Session 1: The kidnapping, the daring escape and the desperate survival.

While traveling by train from Port Nordbay to Odessus, the party lost consciusness after seeing a tall dark figure, cresting atop a hill, against the setting sun. Waking up hours later they find themselves trapped in a steel cage fitted on top of a wooden cart being pulled by two hooded figures. A dimly lit courtyard of some sort of a fortress can be seen through the bars. The imposing figure of an Auronian Inquisitor can be seen hauling other prisoners into the fortress. Raijin casts mage hand to steal the lockpicks of a nearby guard eating breakfast by a campfire. Using the lockpicks Lucas easily busts out of the cage and backstabs the guard, killing him almost instantly. Now fighting to break out of the fortress, Raijin attempts the "Guiding Bolt" spell on a pursuing bandit and... nat 1. The bandit turns to look at Raijin and begins to show cannibalistic tendencies. Raijin began to run away from the hungry bandit who kept trying to bite chunks of flesh, but lost consciusness due to blood loss. The other members of the party managed to pry the cannibal off Raijin, while Autismus healed him back for battle.

After escaping through a low crumbled portion of the wall, the party runs down the hill all the while being fired by longbowmen. They manage to reach the forest just as the sun is rising. Kilian using the compass he stole from the fortress navigates south and finds the only railway in Nordgard. The party begins to follow the railway westward towards Odessus.

After passing a set of tall pine trees, Raijin spots 2 sets of 8 eyes and legs, desceding down on them. The giant spiders fight with ravenous vigor, poisoning and knokcing out Lucas and Raijin. Raijin succumbs to his bloodloss and tainted bloodstream (nat 1 death save). After a foolish attempt to stop a train, Maximus buries his own bodyguard at the foot of the great pine tree.

Continuing their trek they come to the Bridge of Progress - a great railway bridge crossing the Stream of the Martyr. After crossing the bridge a storm breaks out, prompting the party to seek shelter. They find a clearing of 7 mounds and a hill, covered in partially dry dark grass. Maximus realizes this is the burial site of the sons of Odessius - a legendary hero of the empire. Spending the night at mouth of a tomb entrance, Lucas notices a Leshen stalking the party. The next morning the party attempts to fool the Leshen and make a run for it northwards, towards the great lake, Loch Odessus.

Session 2: A Socially inept blacksmith, a murdering blacksmith and a smiting thug.

After escaping the Leshen, the party made it to the coast of Loch Odessus and followed it to reach the Town. Arriving at the southern gates they overhear a short fellow arguing with the toll clerk. The clerk seems to be reluctant on letting this raving dwarf person into town, because he claims to be part of the crafting guild called "The Sons of Cinder", but allegedly lost his certification. A few meters behind him, laying on the ground, is the certificate, which Autismus picks up. Autismus quickly discards it, because... Autismus, but Lucas picks it up and offers the certificate to the raving man, who is revealed to be Andre Smith - a local blacksmith.

With the help of Autismus's status as a copper priest, they enter the town and head straight for the Bluemoon Inn for some R&R. On their way there the town crier yells about a murder in the church, which prompts Autismus to hastily scramble over to the church and on hallowed ground. This is attempt stopped by the guards, who demand him to remove his weaponry on hallowed ground. Autismus queries about the murder and sighs in relief when he hears that the High Priest was not killed. Satisfied, he continues to the inn.

At the inn they scour the notice boards for information about train robberies. Lucas and Kilian seem most interested in the wanted posters, while Ishvara picks out a notice about an orphanage, which he heard was in possession of monastic scrolls. However everyone agrees to answer a job offer from Albertus Maximinius - the foremost citizen (mayor) of Odessus. The job speaks of a rogue inquisitor, which the party believes they encountered.

The party meet with the mayor at town hall, where they are informed that on Midsummer's Eve (3 weeks ago), Hans the alchemist was detained for the unauthorized use of magic and sentenced to be burned at the stake. While the sentence was being carried out, an Auronian Inquisitor appeared in the crowd and began attacking the audience, killing a dozen peasants, before grabbing the screaming Hans on her shoulder and running out of the eastern gate. After this incident, train robberies have become more frequent and people have gone missing more often. He also states that the inquisition in the capital has been informed, but they have responded non-chalantly that an Auronian Inquisitor would never break the law.
Albertus offers the party a hefty bonus, if they provide proof of the inquisitor's treachery or if they dispose of the inquisitor within 4 weeks. The party takes the offer unanimously.

Leaving the town hall, Autismus goes to visit the church to see High Priest Ashton. After depositing his weaponry at the door, Autismus accompanied by Ishvara and Andre enter the church and overhear Father Ashton, giving his testimony to the guards about the murder. Afterwards Father Ashton regards Autismus with pious glee and welcomes him to Odessus. However when Autismus relays that he the Imperialis Tutella, which he was meant to deliver was stolen, Ashton flies into a rage. He demands Autismus to recover the relic and warns him to not enter the church before he has done so. Shaken, Autismus sprints out of the church.
Andre, after overhearing the guards might detain his good friend, Mac the Blacksmith, for the murder in the church, starts to run towards Mac's forge.

With the help of Kilian stalling the guards with worried inquiries about the train robberies, Andre manages to arrive at Mac's forge before the guards. He tries to convince Mac to hide, but is unsuccesfull and the guards arrest Mac.
After the guards take away Mac, Ishvara notices that his apprentice, Thomas, seems oddly chipper about the whole ordeal. This prompts Lucas and Andre to interrogate him, but all they find out is that Mac had a crush on the murdered man's wife - Ana Meresi. However Ishvara remembers that Father Ashton said that the holy water was tainted with soot, which brings out the possibility that Thomas might be the murderer.
Furious and angry that Thomas framed his own master, he confronts Thomas by THROWING A HAMMER AT HIM! I determined where it would hit Thomas by rolling a d4 - 1 for head, 2 for torso, 3 for the balls and 4 for the legs. It of course came up 3 :D

After crushing Thomas's nuts, Andre dragged him down the block to the nearest guardhouse. After a very intense and difficult social encounter for the poor smith, he was able to piece together the evidence that revealed Thomas as the culprit. Mac thanked Andre and told him to go ask for a reward from Ana, who had put out a bounty for anyone who figured out his husband's killer.

The party visited Ana of The Arcane at her shop and were rewarded with silver and free enchantments. Andre's hammer was enhanced to strenghten the weapons tempered by it and Lucas's dagger was embedded with a silver rune, which produced silver from the wounds of his enemies.
After visiting Ana, the party dropped by Malasada's orphanaged and Ishvara inquired about his lost scroll. Malasada believes he had the scroll, but one of his students had gone missing with it in the woods.

Now after some bounties, Lucas travels to The Rusts - the bad side of town. He enters the smoky tavern called "The Steely Sun" and the bartender greets him in thieve's cant. Lucas buys information from the barkeep and learns that Pegleg Max is somewhere in the south-western part of The Rusts. Shortly after this inquiry, Lucas spots a thug leaving the tavern and decides to follow him. He follows the thug until they come to a small side-alley with a crevice going into a rundown building. Lucas sneaks inside to eavesdrop and spots Pegleg Max, who seems very angry that his underling came to see him directly in the full light of day. Max smites the thug's head open with his open palms in his rage. Lucas succesfully sneaks away unnoticed, before returning to the Steely Sun.
Back at the Steely Sun, Autismus and Andre have gotten wasted on cheap beer and the rest of the party leads them to the Bluemoon Inn. In the morning Andre and Autismus find their coin purses emptied.

After a night well rested, the party decides to first go and try to find the orphan, before returning for the bounty on Pegleg Max...

Session 3: The Breaker, The Crone and The Paavo

Starting their day, Kilian along with Ishvara and Lucas, went to recruit Lance the mercenary at the "Open Berserkers" mercenary guild. Kilian has a bounty on Lance, which Lance probably doesn't know, so he wanted to recruit him and then collect the bounty after their current job. However they do not find Lance, but they do find his partner, Ivan Dolvich. Ivan looms over even Kilian at 210cm and his scars and rough hands show that he's been through many battles.
Ivan agrees to help in finding Baxter the orphan if the party promises to help him find Lance. Lance was captured by a former member of the guild: Hogak Burning-pelt. Hogak has sent for Ivan to make an exchange; Lance for a special key Ivan is carrying. The party takes the offer and head to the woods where Baxter was last seen.

Leaving the town they ask are informed by a local farmer that he saw Baxter going to a nearby glade to meditate. The party finds the glade shortly after entering the forest and find traces of red hair and white cloth. The tracks point northeast and a muffled laughter can be heard in the trees. Ishvara glances upwards and spots a small, bearded, gnome-like creature giggling on a high branch. Lucas identifies the creature as a domovyad - a fey creature similar to redcaps in stature, but instead of bloodlust they relish in being tricksters.
When the party asks if the domovyad saw what happened he responds with a riddle: "It slept in the glade and got swept away! Slimy and loud so it got tucked away! Taken by a crone with a bone! To witness the wet faces!" The party correctly deduced that Baxter was turned into a frog and then kidnapped, which amused the domovyad. Lucas then asked where this crone took him and the domovyad answered with another riddle: "The answer is in... The Rashy Faces of Mafc!" This kept the party for a while but they succesfully determined it to be an anagram of "The Marsh of Many Faces", which is located northeast of Odessus.

The party took a liking to the domovyad as it helped them find their way, so Lucas and Autismus decided to give him a name. They dubbed him "Eric The Paavo" and persuaded him to travel with them to the swamp. Paavo was excited to prank the crone, so he agreed to travel with the party.

After traveling through the forest for about 4 hours they arrived at a burned hill. Ivan had informed the party previously, that he was to meet Hogak at a burned hill for the exchange. Sneaking around, Lucas, Kilian and Ishvara scouted the area and found Hogak and two of his men, camped behind the hill. They convinced Paavo to try and steal Hogak's crossbow bolts, before returning to the rest of group.
However while half of the party were off scouting, three members of Hogak's band were patrolling the area and found Ivan. However they failed to spot other hidden party members and for a period, Autismus & Associates had the upper hand. Autismus and Andre surprised two of the barbarians, but failed to deal fatal wounds and one of them alarmed "HOGAAAAAK!". Luckily the scouting party was nearby and joined the battle.
Lucas was having a field day, making headshots with his shortbow, much to the horror of Andre, who had never experienced a real battle before. Kilian took to the trees using his cat-claws and began hailing down arrows. Ishvara began slinging pebbles at the barbarians while Ivan smashed down with his maul, with surprisingly bad accuracy, blowing moss and dirt all over nearby combatants, as the hammer plunged down into the earth.
When Hogak arrived with his reinforcements, he took aim with his heavy crossbow and... *click*, there was no bolt, since Paavo had stolen them. Annoyed he tossed his crossbow aside and began to rage. Running down the hill the barbarians hacked into Ivan and Autismus, severely injuring them. Kilian tried to reposistion in the trees and crashed to the ground, thankfully on his feet and only slightly battered.
With his next attack, Hogak gave Ivan a grievous wound, cleaving Ivan's hand off, and then turned to Autismus, penetrating his armor and sinking the greataxe into the dwarf's shoulder. The situation looked dire for Ivan and Autismus, but all this time Lucas had been dealing massive damage with his sneak attacks. Riddling Hogaks thighs and knees with arrows, the bloodcrazed barbarian finally fell unconscious from blood loss. By this time the party had dispatched Hogak's crew, except for a single fox-pelt wearing coward who fled. After this encounter, the party emerges more experienced, rising to level 2.

After the battle, Andre was breathing heavily, but he kept his sanity, even as he scraped brain-matter off his scale mail. Andre and Ishvara were able to stabilize Ivan and Autismus. The party strapped Ivan's maul to his stumped left arm, which Ivan was very pleased about. After this they woke the tied-up Hogak for interrogation.
Lucas, with the help of his silver spawning dagger, was able to convince Hogak to tell them where Lance was. Hogak revealed he had sold Lance as a slave, to the Goblins in Uzgithzoth. After hearing this Autismus plunged his spear into Hogak's neck, instantly killing him. Autismus Maximus would not tolerate slavery in the lands of the God-Emperor, Jovian Octavius Aurelius.

The party still decided to head towards The Marsh of Many Faces, with Ivan in tow. Arriving at edge of the foggy swamp, they spotted trees with faces carved into them. Due to his time spent in the Feywild, Lucas knew these were failed attempts of people trying to move between the Feywild and the Rol'Vetal. Shortly after they spotted a cottage at the end of a long pier.
The party approached the cottage, which had smoke coming from the chimney. This, according to Paavo, was where the crone lived. The party again convinced that it would great prank, for Paavo to throw a net at the crone. Paavo of course found this very amusing and agreed. Approaching the cottage, Autismus knocked on the door first. A very old and crooked woman opened the door, after which Autismus immediately asked her for her arcane license. The crone didn't appreciate this breach of privacy and shooed the cleric away. At this point Ishvara gave the signal and Paavo threw the net, which missed!

Now with all hell breaking loose, the crone's skin began to melt off, exposing a green hag beneath. She took out a bone wand and flicked it at Autismus, instantly polymorphing him into a frog. As Frogius Maximus hopped into the murky bog, Andre cast faerie fire into the cottage, outlining the hag with purple light. This annoyed the hag as it prevented her from turning invisible. Luckily the party's combined efforts managed to break the hag's concentration on the polymorph, and fish out Autismus from drowning in his armor. The faeria fire also allowed Paavo to finally catch the witch in the net! This only distracted the hag for a turn, but even a single turn in DnD is worth a lot.
After entering the cottage, the party spotted a man-sized flask of green liquid, with a red-haired boy floating inside it - Baxter. With the magical help of Andre's faerie fire and great damage rolls, the party was able to corner the green hag and slay her, with Ishvara dealing the fatal stike with his flurry of blows.

Successfully finding Baxter, the party is ready to leave for Odessus, but not before investigating the hag's cottage...

Session 4: Three Willows, Reptiles and a Glimpse of the past.

After apparently slaying the witch, the party quickly searches her hut, finding multiple magical items, a black orb, a bubbling cauldron and 3 jars of tiny pixies, wanting to be freed. Autismus contemplates freeing the pixies, but the party votes against it, so instead he takes the jars into his backpack.
Autismus, Karuna Ishvara and Lucas peer into the cauldron and call out “Hello?", which causes the liquid in the cauldron to clear and show the face of another hag. Karuna queries her about his lost scroll and she waves it in her hand, with a smug expression. After this she asks where Melissa is, to which the players point out the dead hag in the corner. Furious, the reflection in the cauldron screams out “You shall fear the night and never rest soundly!". The cauldron spits out green-black liquid on the curious trio, cursing Karuna and Lucas with human eyes, luckily Autismus was able to resist this. Then the reflection speaks out: “Baba Njorrga and the Three Willows bid you welcome", before the cauldron swirls and the mirage disappears.
Autismus and Andre manage to wake Baxter the orphan, who Autismus analyzes to have gone through a blood transfusion. They uneasily watch as runny green liquid pours out of the transfusion wound. Much in character, Autismus decides to burn the house of the witch, before the party leaves the area.
With the cottage burning behind them, Lucas asks Ivan to break the black orb, which he happily does, releasing two wisps, which immediately incapacitate Ivan with fierce lighting. Luckily with great accuracy from Karuna, the party manages to dispose of the first wisp. After turning invisible, the second wisp escapes.

After healing Ivan, the party travels to the village of St. Maribor, known for the saint who saved the village from famine. They arrive just after 9 in the evening and make straight for the only inn in town: The Slumbering Saint. Arriving in the inn, the party asks the bartender if the witch had been bothering the village, also giving away the fact that they slayed her. The bartender's eyes light up first with surprise, then with glee, he proclaims the party heroes and offers free beer and lodging. All the other customers also hail the party as heroes: “A toast for Autismus & Associates!"
After retiring to their two rooms, Kilian asks Ivan about Lance. Ivan recalls their most recent job and says how Lance was probably his only friend, before the party recruited him. After this the party tries to catch dreams after a long day's journey.
With a sudden crack, each party member feels a hard sting at the back of their heads! Only half of the party manages to stay conscious, and when they glance up, they see themselves surrounded by multiple lizard-faced humanoids! “You killed our mistressssss! Prepare to become one of ussss!" With that both rooms erupt into a melee, with other party members shaking awake those that went unconscious, while they were being attacked by the lizardfolk!
With his nimble dodging, Karuna manages to take out the 4 Lizardfolk in their room, with some help from Andre and Lucas. In the other room, Autsimus, Kilian and Ivan manage to subdue the lizards, but not before one of them yells for help.
Now fighting in the hallway more and more lizardfolk keep coming at the party, with a shaman encasing the hallway in thorns. Andre attempts to firebolt the shaman, but somehow manages to transform his meager firebolt into a force of doom, dealing 6d6 force damage, nearly knocking out the shaman. Several of the party members are bruised and battered, with Kilian going down before they manage to take out the shaman.
Afterwards there is a chase when the party tries to catch the last lizardfolk, who is running in the darkness towards the church, seemingly to get reinforcements. Autismus manages to hit him with Toll The Dead, the lizardfolk has 3 hp, Autismus rolls a 2 on his d12… The party desperately tries to shoot the runaway before he reaches the church, but with only the whimpers in the dark being a guide, it is a futile effort, until Ivan picks up a rock and miraculously manages to knock the lizard out, at the foot of the church. Having narrowly avoided disaster, the party reels back the body into the tavern and begin planning their next move.
They contemplate just barricading themselves into the inn and resting, but after Kilian informs them that he saw a couple of figures outside, dressed similarly to the lizardfolk, they decide to leave Maribor. This decision appears to have been wise as around 20 figures can be seen coming out of the church in the distance, while the party is running along the road.

After escaping St. Maribor, Kilian finds a safe cave in the woods, which the party uses to camp for the night. With no further complications the party manages to get a long rest, before traveling back to Odessus.
Going along the main road, the party passes the Mabbet farmstead. Kilian feels a strange calling in his head and begins to approach the farmstead. The party tries to stop him, even stabbing him, but with his feline agility he manages to dodge their grapple attempts. Kilian enters the burned out farmstead, when finally, just before the burned stables, the party manages to subdue Kilian and he wakes up from his charm.
As this is happening, a transparent ghost-like figure of a small child, holding its severed head in its hands, emerges from the wall. “Rob Bobson & Justin Thyme...Rob Bobson & Justin Thyme... ROB BOBSON & JUSTIN THYME!" The spirit seems vengeful and angry, as it recounts the events that took place months ago: his entire family, including him, murdered by a human fighter named Rob Bobson and a barbarian called Justin Thyme. The spirit refuses to leave before these two are brought to justice.
Kilian recalls that he saw these two when he was recruiting Ivan at the Open Berserkers mercenary guild. So as a bounty, Kiliana offers to hunt them for the spirit. The spirit seems content, but not satisfied: “I accept, but you best keep your word, or I will come for you… Look into the well, there is a sword which might help you." The spirit then fades back into the stables.
Kilian drops down into the well, finding a skeleton clutching a rapier. After taking the rapier, Kilian's vision goes dark… He sees a vision of a masked woman among ravens calling out to him: “Become my champion… and I will give you those that you seek." Kilian accepts this offer and gains the warlock initiate feat. Rising from the well, Kilian seems different, with an aura of death, which Autismus expresses his worry for.

After the encounter in the farmstead, the party manages to travel to Odessus without further complication. They return the sickly looking Baxter to the orphanage, with Malasada teaching Karuna a technique to see through invisibility.
Afterwards the party visits Ana of The Arcane and Lucas exchanges some of the scrolls from the hag for a scroll of Remove Curse, which he uses to remove the darkvision curse from himself. Karuna doesn't have the funds to buy another scroll, but she offers one in exchange for a task: retrieve the 7 keys from the barrows of the 7 sons. Karuna promises to look into the matter.
Autismus whips out the 3 jars of pixies before Ana, which prompts her to yelp in horrified surprise. She identifies the pixies as Quicklings - mischievous and violent fey, that are incredibly dangerous. Then she kicks the party out of her shop before they cause any more trouble.

Before going to the mountains to rescue Lance from the goblins, the party plans to confront Pegleg-Max in town, who owes money to Lucas. Ivan returns to the Open Berserkers, having fulfilled his part of the bargain.

Session 5: The Laudandum Lift

Andre decides to rent Mac the blacksmith's workshop for a few hours to forge his shiny new armor with knuckle dusters. Excited to show it off he runs to the street and casts thunderwave on the ground, cracking the pavement and causing a great boom that can be heard a long distance away. Mac drags Andre into his shop with a pale face and reminds him that offensive magic inside the city is highly illegal, before showing him out of the back door of his workshop. Rolling their eyes Karuna and Lucas follow.
Arriving at the scene late, Kilian and Autismus begin investigating the scene along with a few guards. Autismus sees this thunderous event as an omen of good things to come, and suspects the Emperor himself has arrived in Odessus, masquerading as a citizen. Soon after they leave the scene, they see more guards, along with a priest and black robed individual, arriving to investigate what happened. The party ignores this and head to The Rusts to collect the debt Pegleg owes Lucas.

Arriving outside of Pegleg's hideout, the party scout the area for lookouts before entering the run-down building. Lucas knocks on the door 16 times and a tall thug opens it. Lucas manages to persuade the thugs to take him and his party to see Pegleg, whom the thug seems to be afraid of. Lucas establishes a psychic link with Kilian, who stays outside of the hideout as a lookout.
The party is blindfolded with headgear that resemble plague masks before they are led upstairs. On the 1st floor the parr On the 2nd floor the herbs in their masks begin to smell different and Karuna with his blindsight can feel humans carrying flasks and working with chemicals. They suspect this to be refining room for the drug called “Laudandum", which has recently arrived on the streets of Odessus.
The party is then led up to the creaky 3rd floor, where Pegleg Max addresses them from behind his large desk. Lucas goes straight to the point and asks Max for his 10 gold, which Max seems to vaguely remember, but his bloodshot eyes tell that he isn't completely sober. On the desk the party sees multiple empty syringes, as Max injects another dose into his wrist. The conversation quickly begins to sour as Max starts to act aggressively, injecting yet another dose of something into his wrist. After this dose his muscles begin to swell and his ringmail starts to pop out rings as his entire body grows in size to a hulking form, and at this point the party decide to attack him. Lucas alerts Kilian with his telepathy, which prompts Kilian to climb up the high building and into the fray.

Max flings his desk into the staircase, blocking the exit from the party. Piling around Max, the party is mostly dealing only half damage with their non-magical weapons, as Max brings down his fists and hurls some of the party members around the room, which causes the floor beneath to creak in pain. The first one to be thrown is Andre, who just narrowly evades being flung out of a window. At some point Lucas gets caught under Max's steel Pegleg, but manages to blink out using his fey step.
After suffering nearly 100 points of damage, Max stomps the creaky floor beneath him and the floor cracks, sending shrapnel and making the party fall to the next floor, which is filled with poisonous gas. Two alchemists are crushed under Max's hulking form, but the other two begin flingin poisonous flasks at the party. Andre takes a flask of noxious poison into his face and begins to hallucinate, accidentally attacking Lucas.
Even while poisoned, bloodied and bruised the party manages to finally dispatch the rampaging pegleg, with Lucas dealing the killing blow, using his psionic daggers. This prompts the alchemists to flee, which the party is having none of apparently. With the noxious gases vaporizing, the party takes a minute's breather before confronting the thugs below.

The party decides to flank the thugs on the 1st floor, with Kilian going out the window and attacking from street level, at the same time when the rest rush downstairs. Immediately Andre is attacked by crossbowmen lying in wait, but luckily his quality armor shields him from harm. Soon after there is again, an all out brawl on the 1st floor, among them an odd-looking merchant, throwing sand at Karuna's face to blind him, but failing miserably.
As Kilian rushes in from their flank, he manages to surprise the first thug and take him out, but is then struck down by a crossbow trap. After most of the thugs had been taken out, the merchant rushes to Kilians unconscious body and puts a knife to his throat, telling the party to drop their weapons.
Lucas and Karuna look at the merchant with menacing eyes and Lucas manages to intimidate (nat20) the merchant to leave with his life. Andre strikes down one more thug superman-style, before the rest of them drop their weapons and surrender. Autismus then stabilizes any wounded enemies. The merchant tries to flee, but Kilian catches him and the party sends Andre to fetch the constabulary, while Autismus begins to preach the good word of the Platinum Verum to their captives.
Andre, shocked and traumatized by so much violence, goes to cool down in the Steely Sun tavern, before going to the guardhouse. In the tavern, Andre lets it slip that they killed a bunch of people just now, with all eyes turning towards him. He quickly leaves the tavern, but notices he is being followed and attempts to lose them. He manages to get to guardhouse and begins rambling to the guards about his name, drugs, peglegs, psychic links and murder. The guards take him for a madman, and begin chasing him back to Max's hideout.

After looting Max's chest with the help of a Hill Giant Strength potion, Lucas breaks through the trapdoor leading into the cellar. Desceding down, he sees two animal cages, with a humanoid figure hunched in one. Lucas asks “Hello, who are you?" and then hears a familiar voice answer “Lucas, is that you?", as the hooded figure slowly turns their head, revealing the gaunt elven face of Lynn - Lucas' sister. Lucas then falls on his ass.

Session 6: Shards of Amber & Goblinoid Noses

After recovering from his shock Lucas and Autismus diagnose Lynn with severe blood loss and discover needle wounds on her wrists. They carry her out of the cellar and begin feeding her after seeing her malnourished body.
Andre arrives at the hideout with a squad of guards not far behind. Immediately the guards' eyes light up in surprise to the sight of violence. The squad sergeant orders a sweep of the building and the perimeter. The party is interrogated and they reveal Pegleg's operation, which prompts the sergeant to congratulate the party and offer them an escort back to the main guardhouse to collect their bounty.
Just before leaving, the guards that were sent to secure the building next door, are found dead with their faces partially ripped off. The party has no idea what could have done this but Autismus does realize their skin being ripped off was probably not the cause of death, but instead something non-physical.
On their way to the guardhouse the party sees 2 Auronian Inquisitors asking questions from civilians in the artisan district.
Arriving at the guardhouse the party receives their 100 gold bounty on Pegleg Max and Mattrick, the captain of the guard, reminds the players of a 5 gold bounty on each goblin nose they bring him. This prompts Andre to ask one of those ever important questions: “So uhh… how much for a … uh… goblin left nut with piss in it?" Amused and chuckling, Mattrick promises to pay 10 gold if he manages to find a goblin testicle with piss in it, stating that such a rare item must be magical.

Returning to the Bluemoon Inn the party begins to recuperate from their wounds and tending to Lynn's condition. Lynn has regained enough strength to inform Lucas how their siblings, Lorenzo, Leon and Lawrence were all planeshifted by Zenya the family mage to the material plane, before the assassins of the rivaling noble Ashsong family could get to them.
She appeared near the city of Gardloc - a mining city which is not keen on full-blooded elves, like most cities near the western mountains. She later found Leon and they traveled northwards to escape the contemptuous city, but before arriving in Odessus they were pursued by a coven of fey hags and got separated from each other.
For the past 10 years she has been living in Odessus, trying to survive as a thief, which drove her to join Pegleg's gang. However during the past few weeks, Pegleg had been acting unusually aggressive, impulsive and erratic. Pegleg ordered Lynn to be locked up, and afterwards the gang drained her eladrin blood on a daily basis. Lucas also informs her that he promised the constabulary can testify against Pegleg's surviving gang members, which she finds alarming as Pegleg's employer, Laudandum Leopold, is known for using assassins to silence people.
The party debates on a safe hiding place for Lynn, and Kilian suggests a safehouse owned by the Black Horizon - a smuggler organization. The party ultimately decides against it and Lucas gives Lynn one of his daggers, his old leather armor and gold, leaving her to hide in the Inn.

After resting and shopping for supplies the party stops at the Open Berserker's guildhall to fetch Ivan. Kilian spots Rob Bobson and Justin thyme, drinking with a familiar figure dressed in fox-pelts - Fox-Pelt Harald, who was a member of Hogak's band of mercenaries and the only one that escaped. However, Kilian leaves the trio alone for now.

The party heads out the northern gate with Ivan in tow, passing by the construction site of the brand new stone wall that is being built to replace the palisade. After a short while they arrive at the small village of Corvuston, which has been bearing the brunt of goblin raids. They talk to the village elder who informs them that several villagers have been abducted by the goblins, but is happy to see help arrive. The elder draws a crude map of the mountain passes that lead to Uzgithzoth. The shortest mountain pass seems dangerous and teeming with goblins, but the longer paths might take a week at best.

Taking the shorter path the party passes a cave, after which they begin to hear rumbling from above. A large stone boulder rolling down the cliff barrels towards the party's center. Everyone else manages to dodge, but Andre gets his leg stuck under the boulder, restraining him. As the dust begins to settle, high-pitched voices begin yelling and green faces appear above the steep cliff.
Hails of arrows and spears begin raining down on the party in the mountain pass, as another group of goblins along with a peculiarly medium-sized troll rush from the cave the party passed earlier.
Lucas uses his fey step to teleport to the clifftop and instantly guts the goblin mage, who had been casting buff spells on the goblin archers. Karuna and Kilian begin scaling the cliff to reach the archers, while Ivan helps Andre out from beneath the boulder. Autismus makes a prayer to the God-Emperor and sets his spiritual weapon loose on the archers. Then the squad of goblins, led by the smaller troll, begin crossing over the boulder, which is blocking the mountain pass.
After the first round of combat, Lucas goes unconscious from a critical hit, and the 2 goblins right beside him lift him up and put a sword at his throat. “Surrender, or he dies!" they yell in broken common, but the party decides to risk it and fight on. Lucas is stabbed and fails 2 death saves and is hanging on only by a thread. Karuna rushes to his aid and Autsimus manages to heal Lucas from afar using his channel divinity.
In the end the party manages to survive the goblin ambush, with Andre ripping off the troll's testicles and Autsimus stopping its regenerating body with a torch. They however let 3 goblins escape, presumably to alert everyone else.

Session 7: Hoods of Grey & Hides of Green

After a short breather following the ambush, Andre spots another patrol of goblins travelling towards them. However one of the escaped goblins had hidden behind a rock a few hundred feet away and was able to warn their kin. The patrol heeded the warning and made a hasty escape to the village.
During the rest Andre also found another smaller mountain pass leading northwards as well. The pass was specked with goblin blood, presumably from one of the escaped goblins. After miserably failing to identify runes the goblin shaman was carrying, the party began to traverse the new path, following the trail of blood.

After moving up the path for a few hours, the specks of blood disappeared near a shriveled tree, which had a small triangle carved into it. Andre, feeling the cliff just after the tree, felt a magical presence and deduced the wall to be an illusion. He braced himself and charged at the wall, disappearing into it. Soon after others followed and found themselves in a pitch-black tunnel, with walls gleaming with dark glossy stone. Autismus notices this stone is similar to the armor and weapons of an inquisitor, which he knows are partly obsidian.
Traveling deeper into the tunnel, Kilian begins to hear a goblin's distressed voice. The party creeps closer and manages to eavesdrop on a woman interrogating the goblin. They find out this woman has an elven friend named “Oren", who has been enslaved by the goblins.
The party decides to reveal themselves, as they have joining interests with this woman. Just before stepping into a larger section of the cave, a light flashes in front and behind the party, creating arcane prison bars. From this point the party can see a dozen figures in the cave, all wearing grey hoods.
While trapped, a woman in a grey-hood approaches the party and begins to interrogate them, while being peculiarly worried about the presence of a priest. The woman reveals herself to be “Vicky" and Lucas manages to convince her that they could help each other. Lucas, seeing she is obviously a mage, inquires if they know how to get to the feywild. Vicky un-worriedly promises to tell Lucas more about it, if they rescue Oren. Then with a snap of her finger she casts “modify memory" on everyone except Lucas. She makes them forget anything magic-related that happened and that the grey-hoods are but pilgrims.
The party then interrogates the goblin in turn, finding out the layout of Uzgitzoth, its hierarchy and where the slaves are. They also find out the goblins are being subjugated by a large troll named Trollgar. After finding out everything, Autismus strikes the slaver down in the name of Jovian Octavious Aurelius, the God-Emperor.

Leaving the cave, the players travel a couple more hours north, before beginning to hear high-pitched cheering and primitive music, coming from above the cliff to their west. Peering over the cliffside, they see dozens of goblins perched on natural stone steps, gathered around some sort of a pit, which has a cave opening on its northern side; there are humanoid figures dueling inside the pit, wearing scantily clad armor.
All around this arena are goblins and medium-sized trolls, cheering and making bets. Above the cave entrance, a massive throne of rock and bone, is inhabited by a green-skinned creature of massive size. The creature is wearing a copper chaplet, a stained regal red cloak with white fur trimming and waving a massive bone scepter in its other hand, while yelling inaudibly. The players deduce this must be Trollgar and behind the throne is another cave entrance, presumably leading into his lair.
The party follows the duels in the pit, with Kilian recognizing Lance as the one wielding a double-bladed scimitar. Some fights end with a fatality, but most end with the other slave being overpowered and its ownership being transferred to the victorious slave's master. Lance wins all of the duels he fights during the time the players are spying, which makes Trollgar very pleased with his champion.

The sheer number of enemies seems daunting, so the party decides to sneak into the village at night. Leaving Ivan behind as they do not trust his stealthing skills, the party avoids the pit and ventures into Trollgar's lair. They come to an intersection, with loud snoring coming from the left and coughing mixed with goblin jabbering coming from the right.
Lucas sneaks to the right, finding a cell with 3 trapped slaves, guarded by a single bored goblin. Lucas quickly dispatches the goblin with a sneak attack and frees the slaves. Their original target, Lance, is not with these slaves, but they do find the elf going by the name Oren, who turns out to be Lorenzo Ambershard - Lucas's eldest brother. After a short shock, Lorenzo informs Lance is being held in Trollgar's private quarters.
The party sneaks towards the loud snoring with Lucas going in first. They notice a primitive rope mechanism, which leads to the crude door of Trollgar's room. Andre jams the door with a crowbar, as Lucas sneaks into the room. Lucas finds a treasure chest, along with a chained human sleeping in the corner. Lance is sleeping, slumped against the cold stone wall, with a tough metal collar locked around his neck. Lucas notices a keyring wrapped around Trollgar's ankle and decides to attempt to pry it off. With masterful dexterity and stealth, Lucas manages to get the key and free Lance.

After they are about to leave the slaves inform the party that there are more slaves in the caves, which convinces the party to stay. They ultimately decide to take out Trollgar now that they have the chance and then try to free the slaves afterwards.
Gathering around the sleeping troll, with very sneaky rolls, the party begins their assault with Lucas setting Trollgar's clothes on fire, using an oil lamp. With the party blocking the trolls' regeneration and coordinating well, they are able to take down the beast, with only Karuna falling unconscious from Trollgar's claws, bites and scepter attacks. The final blow is dealt by Kilian, who chops off Trollgar's head, just as Trollgar was entering a frenzy.
After the battle, the party looted Trollgar's hoard along with his weapon, cloak and chaplet. They then marched off deeper into the cave with Trollgar's head hoisted above their heads on display. The goblins and trolls guarding the rest of the slaves back down in fear. After freeing the remaining slaves, Kilian skins Trollgar for its hide and the party leaves Uzgithzoth, with the freed slaves in tow.

Session 8: The Hands of the God-Emperor

After waking up a depressed Ivan, who missed the fun of breaking Trollgar, the party begins to descend down from the mountains in the dim morning light. While traveling Lucas asks Lorenzo why he didn't use his Eladrin fey-step to escape, which prompts Lorenzo to reveal an obsidian shard protruding from his chest, claiming it suppresses his magic. He also claims that Vicky told her he would die if the shard was removed.
Some distance from the rebel hideout, the players begin hearing chain rattling and whirring noises, which is identified by Lorenzo to be inquisitors approaching. Autismus quickly steps into the front while the rest of the party blends into the crowd of freed slaves.
With the rattling of chains and a crack of stone, a figure clad in black plate armor menacing with obsidian spikes, hookshots against the cliff next to the party and moments afterward, a second inquisitor appears next to the first one. They then leap a great distance to meet with Autismus.
The inquisitors identify Autismus Maximus and interrogate him on what they are doing here and if they have experienced any magical anomalies within the last 24 hours. The party thinks this is referring to Trollgar's regenerative abilities so they Autismus informs the inquisitors of this and that they were on a quest to free slaves from Uzgithzoth.
The taller inquisitor then asks Autsimus if he has seen a woman with a grey hood and triangle earring called “Victricia Marcallas", also known as “Vicky". Much to the dismay of Lorenzo and Lucas, Autismus reveals where these “pilgrims" are. The inquisitors thank Autismus, turn around robotically and begin zig-zagging through the mountain pass with their hookshots, towards the rebel hideout.

After arriving at the withered tree, which marks the entrance to the rebel hideout, most of the party members opt to stay outside. Autismus however, hearing a wounded gasps, ventures into the hideout with Kilian at his back.
Arriving at the bigger cave they see bodies of grey-hoods sprinkled throughout the cave, with a single halfling still alive and coughing blood. There are no signs of other survivors or the inquisitors. Autismus heals the halfling, who is delirious with fear, but manages to confirm that the inquisitors did this.
Kilian searches the cave for survivors and finds a secret passage leading out, noting that the number of bodies is less than the number of “pilgrims" in the cave before. They then convince the halfling to accompany them back to Odessius.

After reaching the point where the party was first ambushed by goblins, they decide to rest. Lance says he needs to relieve himself and ventures off the path alone. Kilian follows behind him stealthily, with Ivan starting to follow Kilian in turn.
Lance crosses a rope bridge and disappears. While Kilian is waiting he bumps into Ivan, who seems disgruntled. Ivan calls Kilian a liar and begins pushing him onto the bridge, when Lance appears on the other side. Kilian asks Lance if he would like to help them with a task, but Lance proclaims he knows a black tabaxi is hunting him. Kilian fails to deceive Lance that it's not him, so Lance attacks Kilian.

A short duel ensues, with the rope bridge swaying from side to side. Lance swings his double-bladed scimitar, while Kilian tries to talk his way out of this. After a few failed attempts, Kilian manages to disarm Lance. Since Kilian doesn't strike him down while disarmed, Lance relents and begins to trust the tabaxi. Bound by his honor, Lance promises to serve the one that spared his life.
Close to the end of their long rest, Karuna notices smoke coming from atop the cliff next to their campsite. When everyone is awake, the smoke is still there and everyone decides to investigate.
Climbing on top of the cliff, they see a fat goblin, stirring a big cauldron full of goblin corpses. Baffled by this odd sight, Autismus decides to walk up to the fat goblin and ask what they are doing. The goblin reveals his name to be Skög and that he is going to eat the soup. Autismus then asks if he isn't uncomfortable eating his own kind, when the fat goblin proclaims them to be gnomes and not goblins. Skög then begins to stir the pot faster and faster.
Lucas notices there is something off about the goblin and warns Autismus, who knocks down the cauldron. Furious, Skög's skin melts and his form doubles in size, revealing an Annis Hag, who proclaims to crush Autismus.
When the fight begins, Andre covers the hag in rainbow faerie fire and Autismus steps forward with his palm raised. Autismus casts Inflict Wounds and thrusts his palm at the hag's chest, dealing a critical hit of 55 points of damage, throwing the hag on her back, yelling in pain for her sisters. This allowed Kilian and Lucas to easily dispatch her, before she could even move.
Autismus finds the same kind of wand on the hag as Melissa had and the same kind of black orb, which he throws down the nearest chasm. The goo from the cauldron is spewed against the rock, revealing bits of gnome skin mixed with goblin skin. Looking into his bag of goblin noses, Kilian notices that few of them have turned to gnome noses.

Returning to the village of Corvuston, the slaves hurry to their homes after thanking the party. The village elder offers to throw a feast in their honor, but the party declines, so the elder instead identifies some of their magical items. The grey-hood halfling stays in Corvuston, while Lance and Ivan follow the party back to Odessius.
Arriving back in Odessius, the party collects their reward from Mattrick - the captain of the guard. Andre manages to sell his pristine troll testicles for a hefty sum, and the party is rewarded for each goblin nose.
Leaving for the Blue Moon Inn, the party walks past the chruch and notices a retinue being organized by High Priest Ashton. Autismus walks to talk to Father Ashton and he reveals they are off to hold a funeral for those that died in a recent massacre, in the village of St. Maribor. The party warns Father Ashton of the lizardfolk residing in the village, and under the zone of truth cast by Father Ashton, the party confesses to killing multiple hostile lizardfolk in St. Maribor. Intrigued and baffled, Father Ashton decides to postpone their trip to gather more muscle.
Finally after days in the mountains, the party returns to the Blue Moon Inn. Lucas hurries into his room to find her sister missing, with blood on the windowsill.

Session 9: Choo-Choo!

Inspecting the windowsill, Lucas finds bits of fingernails that don't seem to be from a humanoid. Above the fingernails is a note carved into the window, highlighted by dried blood; “If you ever want to see her again, board the 9 o'clock train leaving for Port Nordbay tomorrow." The party immediately suspects Laudandum Leopold - a local crime lord who Lynn (Lucas' sister) told might hold a grudge against her.
The rest of the crew inspect the room and don't find any signs of a struggle, other than a smidgen of blood on the windowsill. They interrogate the bartender Hanna, asking if she saw Lynn leaving the inn. Hanna remembers her leaving glassy-eyed, along with a tall hooded gentleman, wearing square spectacles. Karuna takes one look at Leopold's wanted poster and confirms that it must have been him. The party decide they will board the train, along with help from Lance and Ivan.

Andre retires from adventuring after accumulating enough wealth to buy his own forge. He says his farewells and leaves the inn, promising to give a special discount at his forge for Autismus & The Associates.

When the party is about to leave the inn to run some evening errands, two inquisitors enter the inn, causing the whole room to fall silent. The inquisitors approach Autismus Maximus, who recognizes the first inquisitor from the mountains, now with battered plate armor that is strangely cracked, as if the whole thing was covered in glass.
The inquisitor emotionlessly thanks Autismus for pointing out a nest of insurgents and informs him that the High Lector of Aurum is rewarding him with the sum of 400 gold pieces. Autismus blinks with confusion and accepts the purse given to him. The inquisitor also states that a new “House of Inquiry '' is being established in Odessus and that the High Lector offers Autismus to join the inquisition, expecting his reply by the end of the week. The inquisitors turn and leave, much to the relief of everyone.

Autismus and Karuna visit Ana of the Arcane, and manage to get some of their equipment enchanted. The enchantments were random, but with a roll of 69 Autismus gets his battleaxe enchanted with the Rune of Enlargement. Karuna rolls 88 and his robes now absorb some elemental damage.

Arriving at the Open Berserkers guild hall, the place seems to be quite lively. Fox-Pelt Harald is serving drinks to everyone, apparently celebrating something. Lucas goes and speaks to Lance and Ivan about the job tomorrow, hoping they wouldn't get too drunk. The pair honor their debt and promise to board the train tomorrow with them.
The party then goes to speak to the lively retinue that Harald has around him. Harald expresses his surprise and gratitude for ridding him of his former chief Hogak. He has apparently been employed by the noble Lord Agrippa Corvus. Lucas manages to pry information from them and finds out they are heading to Port Nordbay for a job. The party immediately grows suspicious and Lucas begins buying Harald and his crew shots at the bar.

After waking up the party leaves for the train station, with Kilian picking up his custom-made troll leather armor. Climbing the white marble steps into the train station, the party notices the train is already waiting and they buy tickets. Lance and Ivan, as instructed, don't interact with the party and quietly board the first passenger carriage.
Shortly afterwards, Harald along with Rob Bobson and Justin Thyme arrive at the station. Justin appears to have a bad hangover, which Lucas is extremely pleased about. Harald blinks in surprise at seeing the party at the station and grins with excitement. He proclaims they are gonna have a lot of fun on the trip…

Boarding the first passenger carriage, there seems to be a single cargo carriage between it and the locomotive. The door to the cargo carriage has an oddly distinct depiction of a willow tree. The party ponders this for a moment but only the Three Willows - a coven of hags comes to mind.
After a few miles of travel, Kilian decides to check the other carriages if he finds any Black Horizon members stationed here. Going through all 5 of the passenger carriages, he notices they are all empty, with the exception of the first one. He returns back and discreetly informs the party his findings.
With the train closing in on the railroad bridge that crosses the Stream of the Martyr, the door with the willow opens, with a big orc and a tall dark-skinned fellow wearing square glasses emerging from the carriage. Lucas manages to sneak a peek behind him and notices the cargo carriage is taller than it should be. The dark-skinned man, introducing himself as Leopold, begins to address the party, but Lucas, who is itching for a fight, teleports behind the man and stabs him. Lucas' hand oddly passes through Leopold's red cape before sinking into his flesh. Leopold lets out a screech of pain, which prompts the big orc to jump and grab the steel stairs that have been folded to the roof of the carriage. The orc picks up his master and flees to the roof of the moving train, with the party throwing slashes at the big orc.
Harald and his men seem to be a bit surprised by this, but continue to lavishly sit on their benches without worry. Most of the party rushes up to the roof, with the wind starting to blow hard against them. Leopold misty steps forwards to the roof of the locomotive as two dwarves with crossbows appear beside him. Leopold's face and skin melt off, revealing a grotesque Sea Hag, who terrifies Karuna and Autismus.

With most of the party on the roof, Rob Bobson along with Harald and Justin, attack Kilian and Lucas' brother, Lorenzo, who are still in the carriage. Harald feels confident and cocky, however Justin is clearly hindered by his hangover.
With the train whizzing through the forest and wind blowing hard, people on the roof are constantly trying to not lose their balance. Lucas, Karuna and Ivan manage to take out the orc, even under fire from crossbows and spells. Luck seems to be on their side, as the dwarves lose their balance and fall off the train, until Lance slips off the train and flies into the woods below, his chainmail rattling. Karuna and Autsimus return to the carriage and assist Kilian in dispatching Harald's crew, while Lucas and Ivan stay on the roof to confront the hag. Lucas is almost at the locomotive when he loses his balance and is now hanging from the edge of the train, with the railroad bridge just up ahead. He notices a humanoid figure dangling from the bridge a few hundred feet away - it's gotta be his sister
Lucas rushes to the train controls, pulling a red lever which turns on the brakes with a screech. Everyone on the train lurch forwards, with the hag losing her balance and now trying to pull herself back up. Karuna takes a small metal ball, swings his sling and releases… catching the hag in the forehead and making her fall off the bridge, into the cold water below! Autismus is also almost flung off the train but manages to stop himself by crashing into one of the red steel beams of the bridge, merely breaking a few ribs in the process.
The train hits Lynn with a little bit of force, which burn and batter her body, but when the train stops and Lucas lowers her down, she is still barely alive.

Back inside the rest of the party has managed to behead Fox-Pelt harald and immolate Rob Bobson, with Justin Thyme lying unconscious on the floor. The carriage has caught fire from Kilian's earlier Hellish Rebuke on Bobson, but they avoid it spreading by detaching the passenger carriage from the rest of the train.

Ivan, Autismus and Kilian start hurrying to find where Lance fell, while the rest of the party begins to inspect the suspicious cargo carriage…

Session 10: Your Lance Is In Another Castle

Kilian, Autismus and Ivan backtrack along the railroad to try and find where Lance had fallen, when they soon spot his signature double-bladed scimitar on the ground. After a quick examination the group noticed heavy footprints sprawled all around and where Lance had fallen, indicating a struggle. Kilian spots 2 crows perched nearby and uses speak with animals to ask what happened. After a small bribe, the crows tell that the man that fell, was taken away towards the old bridge, by 4 robed humans. Ivan and Kilian start tracking the kidnappers, while Autismus hurries back to the train to inform the rest of the party.

Back at the train, Karuna and Lucas have interrogated Karl the conductor, who appears to have been charmed. He only remembers being given money by a man with square spectacles. They request Karl to reverse the train back to town, carrying Lorenzo, Lynn and Justin with it. Karl accepts because he was going to do that anyway. When Autismus arrives back, he wheezingly informs Karuna and Lucas about Lance's abduction. Before leaving to meet Kilian and Ivan at the old bridge, Autismus diagnoses Lynn to be in a comatose state, but alive.

Ivan and Kilian manage to track the kidnappers across the old bridge, spotting a ruined tower amongst the trees in the distance. Ivan suggests one of them should go scout the place out, which Kilian volunteers for.
Kilian creeps through the trees and the bushes, when he is within hearing and seeing distance. Once maybe a great spire, the cobbles of the ruined tower are covered in moss, but Kilian spots a white marble statue in its center, that shines in the sunlight. Off to the side of the statue beyond the ruined wall, Kilian spots a glint of dark metal or glass spike. When the spike moves, he notices that it is part of a helmet adorned by a figure clad in dark-brown robes. Peering through the underbrush, Kilian notices it is a human, but with strange eyes.
Having seen enough, Kilian begins to retreat silently and carefully…"crack!"
Kilian looks down, sees a cracked branch, then looks back up and sees the strange eyes surveying the forest in an alarming way. Kilian ducks and crawls to a better hiding spot, all the while seeing the robed figure step closer and closer. Kilian holds his breath as the figure crouches down to pick up the broken branch and start surveying the area, with its lifeless eyes. Now Kilian can see them - eyes with no color, eyes without an iris, familiar eyes from somewhere, but he can't quite put his finger to it.
The robed figure moves his head slowly around, peering into the trees menacingly, trying to find the source of the disturbance, glancing over the underbrush, where Kilian, trying to hold from pissing himself, is hiding. The figure then snaps it's head around, turns stiffly, and heads back, away from Kilian. Kilian begins to slowly creep backwards and head back to the others, with his head filled with fear and anxiety.

When Kilian arrives, the party has already rendezvoused with Ivan, but when they ask Kilian to report… he can't remember. All he remembers was that kidnappers are in the ruins and that he almost pissed himself. Lucas and the rest shake their heads but start devising a simple and quick plan, fearing that the kidnappers would not stay in the same place for long.

The party starts creeping towards the ruins, flanking from its eastern side. Karuna spots a total of 4 robed figures with spiked helmets. They ready their weapons and start creeping closer, waiting for the signal. Then with a loud roar, Ivan bursts from the trees on the western side of the tower and engages the enemy. With that the party springs into action, with their decoy in place. They take the creatures by surprise and manage to close the distance quickly.

Autismus, with his conjured weapon, begins attacking the one on top of the walls, dealing considerable damage. He then casts toll the dead on the creature, which seems to have reduced effect, almost like the spike on it's head is absorbing it.
Lucas then climbs up to the creature, and slices it down with his psychic blades, tearing through it's jugular. The creature gives a slight gasp, which gives Lucas a flashback - this is the whining old noblewoman from the train, the train they were abducted from. (session 1) And not only that but they seem to have the same eyes as Auronian inquisitors.
He isn't given much time to reminisce though, as the veins in the woman's neck bulge and begin to pump blood from her head and torso into the wounds he had given her. Then in an instant she was on her feet again, dishing out three attacks in the span of seconds.
Lucas weathers the blows and notices the strange spikes in her studded armor and crude helmet. He knocks her down once more and tries to pull the spike from her head, failing with his miserable strength. He takes another beating, but then with his muscles flexed to their limits, pulls again with a fury! With a plop the spike from her head comes free, spraying blood all over. She slumps down against the wall, limp as a ragdoll. Then he yells “The spikes! Pull out the spikes!"

On the other side the 3 other inquisitors have finished pummeling Ivan to the ground, when Kilian manages to take down one of them and pull the plug. Karuna comes around and with his healing fists, brings back Ivan, but in the process is himself reduced to a single hitpoint. With a few close calls, the party manages to take down the inquisitors and pull their spikes out, except the last one, whose studded leather spikes were crushed by Karuna and Ivan. The inquisitor seems to be alive, but not being able to move. The party decides they should bring this creature back for the authorities to examine. Autismus and Lucas pocket a few of the spikes for later examination.
With things calmed down, they find Lance and a merchant, tied and unconscious among the ruins. Before waking them up, Lucas helps himself to the contents of the merchant's backpack. After waking and untying them, the merchant reveals himself to be Johann Bremer, a traveling salesman. Johann is shocked and distressed, blabbing about all that happened, revealing he was ambushed on the road by a tall woman clad in dark plate armor. When Lance wakes up he immediately warns that this is a rendezvous point for the kidnappers and that the “inquisitors" said SGI-XVII is arriving soon. The party hurriedly gather their things and start heading back to Odessus, finding the site of Johann's ambush, and two patrolling guards that escort them back to town.

Back in town they take the captured “inquisitor" to Mattrick, the captain of the guard. After telling their whole story, Mattrick asks his assistant, Jonas, to go and fetch High Lector Octavius from the house of inquiry. Meanwhile the party is informed that Justin Thyme is in their custody.
When the High Lector arrives, along with 2 heavy-plated inquisitors, he raises an eyebrow at the sight of the “inquisitor" wearing studded leather. Autismus speaks for the party, explaining to the High Lector what had happened. The High Lector examines the body, looking at the back of the crude helmet, where an inscription can be seen that reads “4GI-9." After seeing this the High Lector grunts, with his interest apparently piqued.
However he then informs the party that this is now official state business, and warns them not to venture into that part of the forest again. The party still offers to help with the issue, but the High Lector only states that if they wish to help they must be recruited by the inquisition. He then once again offers Autismus and possibly any of his associates, the chance to join the inquisition. The party put off their response for now, but promised to return to him about his offer by thursday.

The party then leaves for the train station, finding a helpful guard, who informs them that 2 possible suspects escaped the train, heading for the town. Returning back to the Blue Moon Inn, Lucas finds his sister and brother in their room, with Lorenzo holding Lynn down, who seems to be madly raving about something.
Lynn repeats the same phrases over and over again: a woman clad in dark steel, a man with a burned face, Leon in a cage. Lucas then connects to her via psychic link and finds her babbling even more nonsense: blood is energy, energy is life, life without energy cannot exist, life with infinite energy cannot end.
With Lucas calming her down she begins to doze off, but still muttering the same things over and over again. From her ramblings, he deduces that the Rogue Inquisitor (a woman clad in black armor) has Leon imprisoned. The party then decide to mount a rescue mission, to the same fortress they escaped from, before they first arrived in Odessus.

Session 11: Treachery, Blood, Revelation

In the evening the party gears up in town, with Kilian visiting Andre, asking him to attach some magical runes to his weapons, which Andre happily does free-of-charge. The party tells Ivan and Lance to arrive at the Blue Moon Inn in the morning for a rendezvous.
After a night well slept, the party is having breakfast, when Lance steps into the dining hall to inform them that High Lector Durio Octavius has left the city through the eastern gate, accompanied by 2 of his inquisitors. Hearing this the party heads out at once, trying to take advantage of the situation, hoping Durio and his lackeys would soften the defense of the Fort.

After a few hours of travel on the road the party hears a high pitched scream… or laughter? When they venture towards the sound and listen more closely they hear the distinct high-pitched voice of Eric The Paavo yelling: “HAHAHAHA I'M GONNA DIE HAHAHA!"
Once they hear this the party begins running to Paavo's aid. Only slowing to try and sneak up on whoever is attacking Paavo. When they get closer to the sound, Lucas spots Paavo in the distance, giving out one last muffled scream, as Paavo is cocooned by a spider's web. Looking up into the trees the party notices an even bigger spider than what they encountered before. Except, this was no ordinary spider, the thing had more fur, claws at the ends of its legs and the head of a bear, with 8 red eyes glistening hungrily at its prey. As Lucas throws his psychic blades, another similar monstrosity rushes from the bushes to their left and begins barreling towards them, climbing on the thick webbings in the pine trees, shooting webs at Kilian. Kilian dodges the first webs, but is caught by the second shot, restraining him on the ground.
As the players throw ranged attacks, the one that's about to feast on Paavo, the other grizzly arachnid jumps down on Kilian and sinks its grizzly teeth into his elbow. Luckily Kilian's trollhide armor protects him from being poisoned, but still the piercing fangs leave a mark. With Autismus tolling Paavo's assailant dead, Karuna turns on the one that's on top of Kilian, raining down vicious blows on it's lower back, tearing the grizzly thing in half in a shower of arachnoid gore.
With both grizzly arachnid's dead, Lucas frees Paavo and Autismus frees Kilian. At this point Lance and Ivan arrive at the scene, huffing in exhaustion, dreading that they almost got lost in the woods.
The party questions Paavo about the creatures. Paavo explains they are what he calls “a funny accident", a mutation of sorts, caused by the “funny tummy", of an old rabid bear called “The Brown Pestilence." He says he got caught stealing one of the grizzly arachnid eggs, which he proudly shows off to the party.
When the party tells Paavo where they are going, Paavo warns them about inquisitor patrols around the fort and tightened security. When the party mentions Durio, Paavo tells them he saw them at the ruined tower, but then disappearing, after he looked away for a few moments. Hearing this Lucas remembers the statue in the ruined tower, recalling its arm looking like a lever. The party then decides to venture back to the ruined tower, after taking a short rest.

Arriving at the tower, Paavo does reconnaissance, finding the ruins uninhabited. When the party steps into the ruins they notice all of the inquisitor bodies they left behind, along with any obsidian shards, have disappeared.
Stepping up to the dimly shining marble statue in the middle, Lucas pulls down the arm which points a spear at the mountains, causing the statue to move with a rumble, exposing ancient stairs downwards. Kilian binds the hand in place with a rope and the party venture into the depths with Autismus at the helm.
A dark, dry, cold, dusty and otherwise uninviting corridor opens up before Autismus. The eerie silence of the passageway is broken by the sound of far away footsteps, moving away from the party. Dark-brown marble walls stretch beyond his vision, with small alcoves at regular intervals. In the corridor, engravings depicting battles can be seen and at the beginning of the corridor, on a large marble slab, is an ancient imperial inscription which Karuna reads out loud: “We are the company of fiery radiance, the slayers of trolls, the soldiers of General Odessius, the backbone of Empress Auriel's army. We give our lives in service, to the defense of the Empire, forever guarding this threshold from fiendish invaders, until called upon by our masters."
Traveling deeper into the tomb, Autismus notices the alcoves have a single stone tablet with 2 names each, denoting the soldier's rank. Some alcoves have human-sized marble statues in them, which have a small inscription of an act of bravery. They also notice the tomb is not as dusty as it should be, hinting at recent passerbys.
Judging by the direction and the shape of the tomb, they suspect this space might be used as an emergency exit from the fort, so the party begins to venture deeper into the darkness.
After about an hour of walking in the tomb, they pass by a bigger statue, the statue of a woman holding a spear. Autismus, ever so curious, goes up to the statue and dusts off the name plaque in front of it: “Lyria, daughter of Odessius, last general of the Fiery Radiance." The statue's eyes begin to gradually grow brighter and brighter, but when Autismus backs off, they fade again. Slightly frightened, the party continue their trek through the tomb.

After another hour or so of travel, Lucas begins to hear the rumbling of water and spots dim light up ahead, coming from a narrow doorway. He sneaks up to the doorway and peers inside and is greeted by the sight of a rumbling waterfall and the familiar dark light of obsidian, glittering in the ceiling and walls. The cave has 30 feet high stone walkways, cutting from wall to wall, and Lucas finds himself looking down at High Lector Durio, flanked by his bodyguards, talking into a room, equipped with a steel door: “ that, mr. Hans, is the situation you find yourself in. Your coup will fail as things currently are. I have instructed my aide to alert the Arch Lector of his divine majesty's inquisition, if I do not return alive from here… However I have a proposition: I mobilize the 3rd generation inquisitors in Nordgard to assist with your plan, in exchange, I get to reclaim my position as High Paladin of Nordgard and you share the 4th generation command shards with me.“ After a small grumble from whoever he was talking to, the High Lector proclaims: “Good, then we understand each other. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a train to catch."
Durio turns to leave, as a gruff but young voice yells: “SGI-XVII, see them out!" Lucas turns his head, recognizing the voice from somewhere, but not remembering where. Shortly after the command, a tall woman clad in full obsidian plate armor enters the cave from an entrance, seemingly leading upwards to the fort. Lucas recognizes her as the Rogue Inquisitor and sinks back into the shadows, not wanting her to spot the party. Lucas sees SGI-XVII escorting Durio and his bodyguards through the entrance which she just descended from.
Creeping further into the cave, Lucas notices 4 figures strapped to wooden racks at the back of the cave, recognizing them to have similar features to the false inquisitors they fought the day before. In the middle of the room, seems to be a deep pond, formed by the small waterfall. Just beside the racks, Lucas sees the stream of water fall again, into the unknown depths of the earth.
Suddenly the steel door bursts open, revealing a short elven figure, with a badly scarred and burnt face. The party presumes this to be Hans. His face appears to be so badly burnt and mangled, that only his one remaining pointy ear reveals his race. As he walks, dark light glints from his fingertips and bottles around his waist reveal him to be some sort of an alchemist. Hans struts over to the false inquisitors and unstraps them, waving his glinting fingertips and seemingly ordering them to move some crates around. Then suddenly he yells: “SGI-XVII, stop dawdling and get the chest in here!"
Shortly afterwards the rogue inquisitor comes back to the cave, with a chest in her hands. As the inquisitors and their master are arranging things, the party gets into position with the intent of taking down this burnt fellow to make him lose control over the inquisitors.

With an agonizing scream, Hans is surprised by Lucas' psychic dagger and the battle starts. Hans' eyes widen with recognition as he sees Lucas, but with their high initiative, the party manages to wound Hans very badly right off the bat, but his servants form a human shield to protect him. Karuna leaps from the stone walkway and manages to wound Hans, almost killing him. But when SGI-XVII turns to Karuna, she rains down punishment like he has never felt before. First two sharp claws spring from her right knuckles, stabbing Karuna in the guts, then a small obsidian sickle extends from her left forearm, slicing Karuna in the side, then a final hard kick sends Karuna to the ground unconscious. Then turning her attention up to the intruders, SGI-XVII shoots her hookshot and pulls herself up onto the walkway, with two of the false inquisitors backing her up.
Ivan and Lance run up to meet this frighteningly powerful threat head on, both whiffing their attacks. Autismus on the other hand, is pushed down from the walkway, slamming 30 feet downwards on the hard stone floor, sustaining considerable damage, but still conscious.
When Hans gets to finally react, he tries to cast mass suggestion, to suggest that they should take down his bodyguards first and take him alive for questioning, but the only one failing the saving throw is Kilian. So Kilian then begins shooting at the false inquisitors with his crossbow.
In all this chaos, Paavo jumps into the fray, throwing the spider egg at one of the false inquisitors. The egg bursts and births a spider the size of a basketball, which then attacks the first thing it sees and luckily that thing is the false inquisitor.
After suffering an almost fatal wound, Hans retreats into his office, with one of his bodyguards blocking the way. He chugs the health potions on his workbench, but Lucas negates most of those by throwing psychic blades at his back, making the alchemist stagger, crumple, and turn with his back to the workbench, revealing a youngish burnt face and two ambershard amulets hanging from his neck. Hans grins at Lucas and exclaims: “Brother, you're making a mistake, kill the priest!" and then casts dominate person, beguiling Lucas to turn against the party.
When Autismus gets up, he heals himself and the critically wounded Karuna, then begins to weather blows simultaneously from charmed Lucas and a false inquisitor. When Karuna rises, he already sees danger approaching as SGI-XVII's hookshot is flung towards him. He tries to deflect the missile, but only succeeds to dampen the blow, as the hook embeds itself in his shoulder. Then in an instant he is flung upwards as the hookshot pulls the monk towards the walkways, now dangling in mid-air.
Back on the walkways, SGI-XVII strikes a critical blow upon Ivan, dropping him unconscious, then she turns to face Karuna Lance and Kilian, while Karuna manages to wriggle out of the hookshot. Kilian takes aim at SGI-XVII, attempting to pierce her armor with his crossbow, but the bolts glance off her armor. She kicks Lance out of the way and shoots her hookshot at Kilian, who braces himself and miraculously withstands the rogue inquisitor's strength and shrugs off the hookshot. SGI-XVII smiles with respect and rushes Kilian, raining down deadly blows from the scythe and claws, which Kilian barely survives alive.
As Lance is kicked aside, he sees one of the false inquisitors pick up Ivan's limp body and flung it into the dark pool of water below. The inquisitor then joins SGI-XVII in her assault of Kilian, but the creature loses its balance and drops down on the cave floor, with its head splashing into the small stream below. As Lance takes one last horrified look at his partner sinking below water, he flungs himself at SGI-XVII, making her tumble backwards off the walkway and splashing into the stream below, most likely saving Kilian's life.
Kilian wastes no time however, taking a shot at a false inquisitor that is attacking Autismus. He shoots it right through the chest, making it stagger and fall into the pond where Ivan fell as well.
Down by the office, the false inquisitor blocking the doorway, manages to crush the big grizzly arachnid, just before he is knocked unconscious by Karuna. Autismus then casts “toll the dead" on the remaining false inquisitor and the creature crumples to the ground. Seeing his opportunity, Paavo jumps into the fray, and with a show of strength rivaling that of the gods, pulls out both head spikes.
Now that the way is clear to Hans, Karuna releases a flurry of blows at him, cracking ribs and making Hans vomit blood, before he falls to the ground unconscious. As the dust settles, the false inquisitors stop moving, but SGI-XVII still stirs and begins to rise slowly from the stream.
Autsimus and Lance don't waste any time trying to save Ivan though, as both of them dive into the water, finding Ivan who is just about to get swept by the current. Autismus and Lance try to pull Ivan from the water, but the cleric's grasp slips and Lance is left trying to fish Ivan out by himself. With a final gurgle and yell, Lance and Ivan are both swept downwards into the depths by the underground river, quickly disappearing from Autismus' field of vision.

When Hans drops, Lucas is released from the effects of the dominate person spell, and quickly moves to examine Hans. In a confusing revelation, the burnt person resembles his youngest brother, Lawrence. Lucas force feeds a healing potion to the burnt elf, keeping a knife at his throat. When Lawrence stirs, he is met with several angry questions from Lawrence. Lawrence begins to recount his days on Rol'Vetal, with ragged breath hissing through his cracked ribs.
It's revealed that Lawrence has been trying to find a way back to the feywild to reclaim their ancestral home from the Ashsong family. When the Ambershard's fled the feywild through a portal, the siblings were scattered throughout the plane of Rol'Vetal, but seemingly all landing somewhere in western Auron. Lawrence quickly settled in the small town of Odessus, working as healer and an herbalist. He seeked out powerful mages and found the rebellion, working with them to create a portal back to the feywild. Lawrence however, was dissatisfied with the slow progress they were making, and seeked out help elsewhere.
One night he sensed a fey presence while gathering herbs in the woods and met a hag named Baba Nnjorga. Lawrence claims to have made a deal with the hag, to gain the power or knowledge to take back the throne of Ambershard. Baba Nnjorga gifts him with a blessing, which enhances his inherent psychic abilities.
With his newfound powers, Lawrence says he is able to cast powerful mind-control spells. Confused, he thinks on how to use this power to find a portal to the feywild, and then comes to a conclusion: the inquisitors hunt mages, he can use them to find a powerful mage.
So one evening as he sees an inquisitor be injured from the attacks of a rogue sorcerer, he pretends to heal the inquisitor, but discreetly assumes control of the inquisitor with his newfound powers, telling the inquisitor to meet him later that night. Unfortunately, he wasn't as discreet as he had hoped, as one of the peasants saw him cast the spell. Lawrence noticed this, but figured they would assume him to be a licensed mage, he was wrong.
In the evening, Lawrence noticed growing activity in the streets of Odessus, but thought nothing of it, as it was Midsummer's Eve, thinking the peasantry were gathering to the town square for the occasion.
He exited his house to see the commotion for himself, seeing a dozen torches carried by peasants and priests, gathered just outside his yard. As Lawrence's eyes swiveled from peasant to peasant, a terrible feeling began to creep through his guts. He glanced over to the center of the mob, meeting the eyes of Father Ashton, High Priest of Odessus. Immediately, Father Ashton pointed to Lawrence and bellowed: “There! Seize the heretic!"
Before Lawrence could react, he felt something cold and hard hit him in the cheek, sending him tumbling to the ground. Dazed, he felt hands all over him, pinning him down and a coarse touch of rope wrapping around his wrists and ankles. He felt someone throw him forwards into the muddy street, and helplessly planted face first into the muck, blinding him. Then as he was spitting out the dirt from his gums, he felt a dozen hands lift him up and begin to carry him towards the town square.
From the sense of direction, he determined he was being carried to the town square. He began to panic and plead, but his cries were drowned out by the jeering crowd. He tried to utter the verbal spells he knew, but the mud and dirt in his mouth made it hard to form words.
When his captors finally stopped he found himself strapped to a pole, atop what sounded like the rustling of wood. He tried to yell but the commanding voice of Father Ashton, spoke over him: “This man has endangered all of our lives, by practicing magic without the blessings of the emperor! All of us have seen what incompetent dabbling in magic can cause, have we not?! His dabbling could have easily led to the destruction of our town! The emperor has no patience for one's such as this cur, and I invoke my right as High Priest to sentence him to be purged by the holy flames of his divine majesty!"
Once Father Ashton was done bellowing, Lawrence began to feel the heat of flames around him. He pleaded and pleaded in vain, as the flames crept closer and got hotter, until all the nerves in his body were aflame with pain, until he could do nothing but scream in agony! The pain grew too intense for him to bear, and he lost consciousness.

Lawrence then woke with cold and stinging pain all over his body, especially his face, as he found himself submerged in water. Then, with a sudden jerk, a gauntleted fist pulled him back into the cool night air. He turned around to see the inquisitor he had charmed previously that very day - a tall and bulky figure, but with a slender jawline. The inquisitor didn't speak, but it seems they knew what to do with a burn victim, as they had gathered multiple herbs, which Lawrence knew would help with tissue damage. Grimacing with pain, Lawrence could only ask: “Who are you?", which only warranted a glib answer from the inquisitor, spoken with a feminine voice: “Second Generation Inquisitor number 17, identifier SGI-XVII, here to serve and obey master Hans."

For days, Lawrence and SGI-XVII hid in caves while the worst burn marks were healing, and Lawrence would constantly query the inquisitor on their origins, organization and abilities, trying to learn as much as he could. He learned that there were 3 generations of Obsidian Inquisitors, the older the generation, the more powerful they were. SGI-XVII was of the 2nd generation, apparently under the influence of the emperor himself, they were often accompanied by 3rd generation inquisitors, which were under the control of High Lectors. SGI-XVII did not seem to know much about the 1st generation, except that they were the originals.
By studying SGI-XVII, he discovered that the obsidian armor they wore, is enchanted with spells that enhance physical capabilities, however the enchantment only works when the armor's magic is in close connection to the wearer's bloodstream at multiple points. SGI-XVII's armor has multiple finger-wide obsidian spikes piercing the muscle below, apparently causing immense pain to the wielder. But with time, the inquisitors grow more accustomed to this pain, and become more powerful as they are able to move more freely. Lawrence also notices that SGI-XVII doesn't need to eat, drink or breath, determining that she is some sort of a sentient construct.
But the biggest discovery is in the helmet, which he discovers his own charm spell in. By focusing, he can communicate with the inquisitor through this helmet, or rather something inside the helmet. By examining the helmet further, he finds out there is another obsidian spike, piercing the brain.

Armed with the knowledge of inquisitors, “Hans" begins to plot a way to retake the ancestral home of House Ambershard. He first seeks out the rebellion again, and with their help, finds known obsidian caches, located in the mountains and below a bandit fortress, housed by the bandit lord Steffen Three-Thumbs. Hans first tries to negotiate with the bandit lord, who decides to try and rob Hans instead. To the amazement of Hans to the horror of the bandit's, SGI-XVII singlehandedly decimates half of Steffen's brigand band and the leader is forced to flee his fort. Hans then gives the rest of the bandits a choice to join him or leave penniless. Most bandits decide to join Hans and the awfully scary inquisitor.
In the caves below the fortress, Hans' crew mines obsidian and crafts spikes from them, and with the fresh corpses of some bandits, he manages to successfully create a “4th generation inquisitor", which only heeds his commands.

With Baba Nnjorga's blessing, his innate psychic capabilities and alchemical tinkering he begins to produce these 4th generation inquisitors, soon running out of suitable material for armor and fresh human bodies. To get more materials, he contacts the rebellion once more and they agree to help, in exchange for military support of his “private army" in upcoming insurrections in Nordgard.
However, to gather more bodies, Hans secretly begins to send SGI-XVII and his 4th generation inquisitors to abduct townspeople, taking advantage of the fact that most imperial troops have relocated from Nordgard to face the undead threat in the southern county of Blackrock.

With these revelations, Lucas begrudgingly decides to not commit fratricide, and instead the party plans to bring Lawrence back to town for a family reunion, with Lucas promising his brother will face justice when they get back to the feywild. SGI-XVII begins to survey the room and ask Autismus and Kilian questions on her whereabouts and why she cannot “hear" the emperor. Her gaze is fixed onto the obsidian cave ceiling and she seems to nod in understanding.
She finds Lucas holding a psychic blade to Lawrence's neck, and doesn't approach, but Lucas still tells Lawrence to call off his dog, to which Lawrence expresses his uncertainty that she is still under his command. Eventually though he agrees to try and charm her again, but fails to land his hand on her, with SGI-XVII springing from his grasp, annoucing that she would never be anyone's slave again! She then backs off into the back of the cave, vigilant of any more acts of hostility.
With everything seemingly calmed down, the party begins to plot their next move…

Session 12: Family Reunion

After listening to Lawrence's story, the party quickly turns to searching the fortress thoroughly. They find a Chest of Holding which Lawrence used to store his funds and other valuable items. The party then decide to go to the upper levels, finding out that the cells in the dungeon are empty, with the latest prisoners being converted to inquisitors just a while ago.
In the second level, the party finds a large storage area, along with a small office, inhabited by a middle-aged woman wearing small spectacles. Kilian recognizes the woman as Rippa - one of his contacts with the Black Horizon. Rippa tells that she has been working against her will for Lawrence, helping to smuggle in weapons for the resistance and Lawrence's inquisitors. She has also been the bookkeeper so she finds records of the party's stolen items and locates them in the storage.
Unfortunately Rippa tells that High Lector Durio took the Imperialis Tutella, which Autismus was supposed to deliver to Odessus. She also tells that a man with square spectacles came to the fortress asking to see Karuna's monastic scrolls. The party of course remembers this to be a disguised water hag, but this puzzles Karuna as he can't understand what the hags would want with the scrolls.
When Kilian finds his things, he notices Diego's pocket watch on the ground, cracked in the middle. When he picks up the watch, a note falls out from a hidden compartment. Kilian reads it, and with confusion in his eyes he tucks it into his pocket.
Once the party regains their possessions, they interrogate Lawrence once more on how inquisitors are made. He tells them the spikes in the body make them move, and the spike in the head gives them a consciousness and lets the one holding a command shard control them. He then shows the 4 command shard poking from his wrist, telling that each of them is enough to control 10 4th generation inquisitors.
With further interrogation the party finds out that the rebellion is supposed to strike on the last day of the month, so about 2 weeks from now. The party wants to keep Durio thinking that Lawrence is still on his side, so they decide to hide all of the 4th generation inquisitors in the Tomb of Trollslayers, through which they entered the fortress. This means that Lawrence reactivates the inquisitors and leaves them in the tombs.
The last vital piece of information Lawrence gives the party is his only known location of the hags, which is in the middle of Loch Odessus on the Isle of Willows. Fortunately the Chest of Holding contains a magical Folding Boat.

When the players are traveling back to Odessus, they go through the tomb once again, this time with Autismus stopping by the statue of Lyria. The eyes of the statue begin to glow once more, and as the party remains in the vicinity the glowing continues, until the entire statue is coated with radiant light. The light then dims a bit and the “statue" turns it's head to Autismus, greeting them in very old imperial dialect. Fortunately with Karuna being older than the empire itself, is able to understand this dialect.
The figure introduces herself as Lyria, daughter of Odessius and last General of the Fiery Radiance Company. She then proclaims that Trolls are nearby, mistaking Kilian's trollhide armor for a live Troll. When she realizes her error she asks if Nordgard is under attack, offering her help to the one who wields her father's spear.
She explains that the spear is in her father's tomb, guarded by 7 seals, which can be only opened by the 7 keys from her brothers, who lie beneath barrow hill. To retrieve the keys, one needs her key, which she left to the mayor of the town she founded. When the party leaves, Lyria turns back into a statue.
Armed with this knowledge the party remembers that, originally, when Ivan hired the party to rescue Lance, it was supposed to be in exchange for a key, which was stolen from the mayor. However the party decides to pursue the hags first before trying to find Ivan and Lance, hoping that they survived the underground river.

When the party comes to the gates, Lawrence points out that he was almost burnt by the peasants there, and any guard might recognize him. So Kilian suggests they stuff Lawrence into the Chest of Holding while they go through the toll at the gate. Lawrence reluctantly agrees, holding his breath for nearly 2 minutes, while Lucas bribes the guard to let them in without further inspection. Once in the city, Lawrence swears with a wheeze to never do that again.

When the party returns to Lynn and Lorenzo in the Blue Moon Inn, Lucas tells them of the day's events and of the atrocities performed by Lawrence. Lorenzo furiously proclaims: “You have tainted our family name! It is one thing to meddle with the peasants in this land, but an Eladrin should know not to get involved with Hags! As the first-born I exercise my right to call forth a tribunal to cast judgment upon you! Once we reclaim Leon, the four of us shall see to your fate." Lorenzo says he cannot leave Lynn's side, who is still in a coma. Lucas then suggests that Lorenzo will stay here to keep watch on Lynn and Lawrence, which Lorenzo accepts.
Lucas tries to connect to Lynn's mind with his psychic link, but only manages to get the same mental message as before, but shortened: “Leon… in a cage…"
Autismus uses this time to go and visit the town wall, to try and see how far away the island is on the lake. He manages to spot the island with a big shadow of a tree far away in the horizon, but the base of the island is obscured by thick mist. Autismus asks one of the guards on the wall about the mist and finds out that fishermen go missing when they venture into the mist.
The guard then asks Autismus to bless him, and the autistic priest obliges, casting Bless on the guard.

During the night Karuna dreams of a young monk, training in his long lost monastery, then traveling a great distance to talk to a crooked old lady, then returning and bringing blood with him. The dream ends with the figure crying, and trying to do good by tutoring children.
When the party wakes they head straight for the docks and set off with their folding boat. Autismus takes the oars and begins rowing through the morning mist, inching ever closer to the thicker mist that surrounds the Isle of Willows.
Once the party is engulfed by the mist, Kilian spots a form rising from the water. The forms seem to be blocking their path but not attacking them. The party thinks for a second and Autismus suggests they shoot the figure with his crossbow. Kilian thinks for a second, then aims and shoots a bolt at the figure, piercing it in the middle. For a while nothing happens but when the hole left by the bolt closes in the watery figure, a sudden rumbling starts and the figure rushes towards the party aggressively, revealing itself to be a water elemental.

Session 13: The Isle of Willows

As the water elemental barrels towards the folding boat, the party throws attacks at it and sees that non-magical attacks have very diminished effects. When the elemental reaches the prow of the ship, it engulfs Kilian and Lucas, trying to pull them into the depths below. Kilian manages to hold onto the boat, but Lucas is swept under the murky water.
While underwater, the party tries to throw multiple attacks at it, but the water makes it hard to get enough force behind the blows, leaving the elemental mostly unharmed and still diving downwards with Lucas.
Luckily, Lucas can use his fey-step to escape the elemental's grasp. He appears on the boat next to Autismus, drenched in water, but alive. He then immediately utters the command word to make the folding boat bigger The boat then expands, forming a sloop-sized boat.
When the water elemental next emerges it attacks Kilian, who is the only one above deck. The elemental misses at first and Kilian gets in a juicy critical hit with his moon-touched rapier. But on his second try, the elemental grapples Kilian, taking him to the bottom of the lake. The water elemental begins to crush Kilian with its intense water pressure, as Kilian feebly tries to wound it with restrained attacks.
The rest of the party can't quite make out where the elemental is due to the murkiness of the water, but following the trail of bubbles they deduce its location and move the boat there. The party then begin to blindly attack the water where the bubbles are emerging from. Lucas manages to score lucky hits with his psychic blades, as they hit the elemental in its back. Kilian watches as purple psychic energy envelops the elemental, dispersing it into the lake around him.
With the elemental dead, Kilian then tries to swim back to the surface, but his wet clothes and gear pull him down. The rest of the party has no clue what is happening and keep on throwing attacks at the water, with a few of Lucas's dagger hitting the mud just by Kilian's feet.
With a slight panic, Kilian begins to swim again with renewed vigor, using his feline agility to push himself to his limits, surfacing and plopping back on the deck, exhausted. The tabaxi then exclaims: “I fucking hate water…"

The party then reach the Isle of Willows and disembark on soft fertile ground. The isle is full of willows that seem to have been planted rather than naturally grown. The nature here seems well tended to, as if a gardener worked here full time.
Kilian circles the small island quickly trying to find some berries, but the party eventually settles down for a short rest. After resting, Karuna notices a small rustling in one of the trees and the party investigates. Kilian recognizes goblin tracks on the ground, leading to the tree. Lucas then begins to audibly talk about their plans to kill the hag, which causes the goblin in the tree to lose its balance and fall down. The party now see a goblin, covered in dirt, wearing rugged clothing and a brown tattered turban.
Interrogating this goblin, the party finds out they are called Kringo, and they have been enslaved by the water hag Melissa. The hag has been gone for a few days and Kringo seems troubled that she will punish him if he helps the party. However Kilian manages to persuade Kringo that they will protect him from the hag if he shows them around. Kringo accepts this offer with slight hesitation, leading the party to a small hut by a huge willow tree in the middle of the island.

Immediately when entering the hut, Lucas recognizes this to be the same hut that he saw through the portal door in the cargo train. The notable things are an open book on the table, some potions next to it and an incomplete map framed on the wall next to the door.
Reading through the book, the party finds out that it contains instructions on various drow blood rituals. The book describes how fey blood is used as fuel for opening portals to distant locations, even other planes of existence. There are scrolls by the book, which Karuna recognizes to be copies of his monastic scrolls, except they have been altered to apparently abuse the techniques that the scrolls teach.
Inspecting the map, the party notices a scroll above the framed map which is connected to the map with an ornamental wooden funnel with dried blood in it. Trailing from the map, are dried drops of blood on the floor, leading to a half full barrel of blood. Lucas is able to identify the blood as fey blood.
The scroll above the map reads “south-west train cargo door." With this information the party is able to deduce that this map uses the blood rituals of the book to teleport around Nordgard. Further investigation reveals that the map has wiped blood throughout the canvas, hinting that other locations have been mapped out before. Lucas decides this map could be useful in the future, so he puts the whole thing in his handy haversack.

Not finding anything else of interest, the party turns to Kringo for information. Kringo scratches his neck and it seems like he knows something but isn't telling it. Lucas mistakes this as the goblin being Melissa the hag in disguise, so he casts dispel magic from a scroll on Kringo. The dispel roll is quite low and Kringo immediately grabs his neck and begins choking, prompting Autismus to inspect the writhing goblin on the ground. He finds a seared brand on Kringo's neck which Kringo is desperately clutching at. Autismus then casts his own dispel magic on Kringo, rolling high and seemingly breaking whatever spell was in the brand.
Once the brand dissipates, Kringo draws in a big breath and begins to talk. He reveals that there is a basement and says that there was one time 5 years ago when Melissa was frail and weak, but then she was cured overnight. That day the trapdoor to the basement was open. He then shows the secret switch behind the bookcase which opens the trapdoor, claiming that if he had told about this when the brand was on him, he would have certainly been choked to death.
Venturing into the basement, the party finds 6 big clay pots and the broken remains of 2 more. Lucas takes the lid off the first one and in it, encased in thick blue liquid is the small unmoving body of a Sea Hag. The party then begin to smash the pots one by one and with each pot, the Sea Hag inside gets bigger. The 6th pot reveals an almost mature Sea Hag, which means that the 2 already broken pots must have contained fully matured Sea Hags. The party then chop all of the bodies into pieces, fearing that they might come to life.
Now that the party knows that Melissa might still be alive and they don't see Leon anywhere, they begin to take their leave. They make plans to torch the place, but not before Kilian decides to raid the blueberry bushes in the yard. He takes one berry and casts goodberry on it… with a natural 1 and a magic mishap roll of 69, the blueberries begin to multiply rapidly. The party runs away from the hut as a mountain of blueberries buries the hut and its immediate surroundings. Satisfied with this, the party scoop some berries and make their leave with Kringo tagging along.

The party drops off Kringo before entering Odessus and the goblin thanks them before scampering off with his bucket of blueberries. The party return to the Blue Moon Inn and brief the Ambershards on what has happened. Lynn still hasn't recovered, but Autismus decides to try casting Remove Curse on her. To the party's surprise, it works and Lynn awakes. Lynn is of course disgusted to hear what Lawrence has done, but decides to put aside her anger, until they have rescued Leon.
Regarding Leon, Lynn reminds the party how he was captured by the hags over 10 years ago. When the party members ask her where they were attacked back then, Lynn says it was near the village of Marcuston and Nnjorpag, which confirms the party's suspicions about the village of Nnjorpag. This means the party is headed to Nnjorpag for a rescue mission…

Before they leave though, Kilian goes to check on the status of Justin Thyme, who is being kept at the main guard house. The guard captain explains how Justin is most likely facing life in prison, but Kilian wants to make sure he gets the maximum sentence possible, so he slightly bribes the guard captain, offering to bring in Steffen Three-Thumbs in exchange for such a favor.

Session 14: Oars & Orphans

After debating which route to take to the village of Nnjorpag (road, forest, river, magic map) the party came to the conclusion that the river is the fastest way to travel without performing blood magic.
The party goes out trying to find a capable sailor to steer the boat through the rapids of the Stream of the Martyr. After trying to recruit a random senile fisherman off the street, the party realize they should try their luck at the docks.

On their way to the docks, they pass the orphanage where they delivered Baxter some days ago. While they are passing the window breaks and Karuna can see Malasada the monk struggling with someone inside. The party rush towards the orphanage and at the door a young tabaxi girl bumps into them. The party quickly asks what's going on and the girl says her master is fighting with Baxter and she was sent to fetch Ana of the Arcane.
Passing the girl, the party runs up the stairs to what appears to be a bedroom. On the bed is Malasada strapping down Baxter, whose skin has begun to turn sickly green and is writhing uncontrollably. As Malasada backs off a severe wound to his chest is apparent and he collapses against the eastern wall, breathing heavily. In the corner on the other side of the room the party notices the rest of the orphans, huddled in fear of Baxter.
Autismus heals Malasada, stemming his bleeding. Malasada begs the players to not hurt Baxter, so Autsimus tries to cast remove curse, which has no effect. Baxter writhes on the bed, his body starting to twist and his back arch. At that point Baxter begins to retch blue vomit, which the party finds awfully similar to the goo found in the urns in Minerva's basement. As the vomit pours out so does a veil of green smoke, which envelops the entire room.
The party resists the poisonous smoke, but the children begin to retch. Everyone in the room is effectively blinded but Autismus can hear Baxter breaking his bindings and jumping off the bed towards the children. Lucas then whips out one of his dispel magic scrolls and uses it to evaporate the smoke, revealing that Baxter's twisted form is nowhere to be seen.
The party assesses the situation and notices that one of the children is very similar to the tabaxi girl they bumped into earlier. When the party tackles the tabaxi, the disguise disappears, revealing Baxter's twisted hag-like form once more. At this point Malasada again pleads for the party to not hurt Baxter, so they instead grapple him and attempt to bind him. This proves difficult as with even 3 people holding Baxter, he seems to almost break free from their grapples. Then suddenly, Lucas, believing that Baxter is beyond saving, delivers a killing blow to the creature's neck.
As the creature goes limp, Malasada buries his face in his hand, repeating "not again" over and over. Karuna hears this, and asks "what do you mean 'not again'", to which Malasada only replies that he's had run-ins with Hags before. Karuna then gets confirmation that this is indeed the monk that doomed his monastery so long ago, trying to atone for his sins by running an orphanage. He also reveals that he never personally delivered the Final Lesson to the hags, but Baxter was able to steal it for personal gain.

When Ana arrives, she determines the wounds need very powerful healing magic if they want to bring Baxter back to life. Autismus was able to stabilize the creature with his spare the dying spell, but Ana believes Baxter's wounds need to be healed before he can be restored to human form.
The party agrees to participate in the ritual, which takes several days. Ana states that Autismus's healing magic is needed near the end of the ritual. Confident that they can make it back in time, the party resume their walk to the docks.

At the docks the party recruit a stout half-elf called Isaak, who agrees to assist in besting the rapids. The party then lay down the folding boat and set sail, with Kilian at the helm keeping watch for shoals.
As the party begin their descent down the rapids, Kilian yells instructions to Isaak who is maneuvering the boat. Together they manage to evade all shoals that might run the boat aground. Isaak congratulates Kilian on his vigilance, stating that there is only one more steep descent.

When the party arrives at the last descent, a small waterfall, they can see the small village of Flumpag in the distance. Kilian scours the waters with his eyes, trying to find hidden rocks, but none are visible. When the boat goes over the threshold however, Kilian catches a glimpse of a female humanoid in the water, followed by a loud BONK!
Kilian tells the others what happened, and the only answer from the party is Lucas loudly and suddenly yelling "FeMaLe?!" in a squeaky voice. Soon afterwards the party sees behind them, a pale lady with sunken darkened eyes bathing in the small waterfall, who begins to swirl her arms round and round, creating a whirlpool under the folding boat. Autismus recognizes the creature as undead, but is lost on the details.
What ensues is a battle where the creature tries to stay out of sight while attempting to sink the ship. The party members make it out alive with only Autismus and Isaak suffering wounds, which Autismus is able to heal.
The party has successfully arrived between the villages of Flumpag & Nnjorpag...

Session 15: Omens & Desolation

The party rests by the river for a few minutes, as Autismus tends to Isaak's head wound. When Isaak comes to, he offers to introduce the party to his great-aunt, who lives in the village of Flumpag, which is just across the river.
The party can actually see two piers, connected by a rope ferry, which the villagers presumably use for crossings. Isaak leads the party to the ferry and they begin to cross the river. As the village grows closer, it is clear that this is more of a small tribal village, as the only structures seem to be tents and wooden ghoati. On the other shore, villagers dressed in starkly bright clothing have begun to take note of the approaching party. The distinct green-blue-red tunics and dresses trimmed with white embroidery reveal these people to be Norfel - the indigenous people of Nordgard, before the Empire arrived in the area ~300 years ago.

As the party enters the village, a young lad bolts off to the slightly larger ghoati in the center of this settlement. Seconds later an elderly woman dressed in shamanistic clothing, holding a gnarled staff emerges from the hut.
Isaak embraces his aunt and tells her about how the party put an end to the Rusalka, vouching that they should be allowed to rest in the village. The elderly woman turns to the party, introducing herself as Inga Aikio, Elder of Flumpag, thanking the party for slaying the angry water spirit. As a thank you she offers food and shelter in the village, giving well-meaning looks to all party members except Autismus. Lucas notices that Inga seems very weary of Autismus's presence and that she is putting on an act of piety for the Platinum Truth. Inga also notices that Lucas is a bit nervous about the priest's presence, so she invites Lucas to her ghoati for a chat, while the rest of the party go fetch some rations from the pantry.

Besides its slightly bigger size, Inga's wooden ghoati doesn't seem distinct from any of the other structures in the village, but entering through the narrow doorway, the fire in the middle illuminates colorful tarps laid throughout the hut. The firelight bounces dazzlingly from the surprisingly dark walls of the ghoati, which Lucas immediately recognizes as obsidian glass.
Inga asks Lucas to take a seat by the fire and she takes a seat on the opposite side. Slowly Inga begins to chant in the old Norfel tongue and falls into a trance, making the fire crackle violently in the middle of the ghoati.
As the fire crackles higher and higher, Inga recites 4 prophecies about things that are near, not-so-near, distant and very distant:

  1. The spirits tell me that… Those who accept the devil's water, will be drained of their own.
  2. The spirits tell me that… The devil finds refuge in unlikely waters
  3. The spirits tell me that… When the old Crow forms a flock, and the Gray Reader opens the cage, the north will spread its wing
  4. The spirits tell me that… The roots of the world will be discovered in time, but the roots are not to be trusted

When the visions end, Lucas and Inga have a discussion about the meaning of these prophecies and about what these “spirits" are. Inga says that spirits are all around us, all things have spirits such as the elements, menial objects and all living things, but she cannot say for certain what these prophecies mean. “The roots of the world" could refer to a place of power such as a throne, but they can be somewhat certain that these prophecies are somehow connected to Lucas or the people he cares about.
However the 3rd prophecy gave Inga hope, as old Norfel legends tell of a wise and cunning Crow who would unite the clans and liberate the Norfel from the Empire's rule. She explains this further that when the Norfel people were forced to ally with the Empire during the Troll-wars, they had to convert to the Platinum Truth, instead of their god Akka.
Inga of course pleads that Lucas doesn't disclose her magic use to Autsimus, which Lucas assures her won't happen.
After leaving the ghoati Lucas says to the party that he talked to some “spirits" and heard some prophecies. He tells the first two prophecies to the party, which they suspect have something to do with the Hags. Lucas also discloses the 3rd prophecy to Kilian as it talks about the Gray Read, which Kilian saw mentioned in Diego's note a few days ago. The 4th prophecy is not revealed.

Later in Inga's ghoati, Kilian is asked if the village has any plant seeds and Inga gifts him with a Norlock seed - a flower that can be turned into poison. She also gifts Kilian with a Norfel blowgun and some ready-made Norfel poison vials.
Inga then has a brief discussion with Karuna. Inga takes an interest in the old monk, promising a seance that might give some insight to Karuna's past. However Inga's last seance was draining and she turns in for the night, with the party starting their own long rest as well.

The party rests without complications and quickly start their journey towards Nnjorpag. Following the directions that the villagers gave them, the party finds themselves at the edge of a blackened forest. Through the dead branches of these trees, Lucas sees a lookout tower with an imperial flag.
The forest is dead, completely and utterly dead. All organic matter that was here has dried up. A few ravens can be seen scavenging the dried-up meat from dead animals at the borders of the forest. Autismus and Kilian diagnose that the nature here has been drained of water completely, but that the decay isn't poisonous to them.
Moving deeper into the forest, tracks can be found where the dead grass has been stamped, as if a carcass had been there at some point, but now there are only gray leaves tipped with yellow and red. Karuna tries to identify these leaves, but even with 666 years of walking in the woods, isn't able to.
Soon the party arrives at the lookout tower, which is at the edge of what appears to be the village of Nnjorpag. Autismus spots silhouettes of slow moving humanoids far on the southern side of the village and also manages to catch a glimpse of someone moving inside the inn. Other than that, the village is eerily silent. It almost seems abandoned and whatever afflicts the forest seems to afflict the village as well.
Lucas also climbs the tower to scout, getting a good view of the whole village. He takes an interest in the graveyard and leads the party to investigate it.

Arriving at the graveyard, the party sees that a couple of the stained glass windows of the chapel have shattered. Lucas takes a peek inside and sees no-one inside, just a small layer of dust. After thoroughly investigating the chapel, Autismus can tell that everything is in place; the chapel just hasn't been used for a couple of weeks.
While investigating, Lucas spots an armored figure that is peeking from behind a corner of one of the village houses. The stalking figure creeps closer to the graveyard, allowing Lucas to see that his platemail is decorated with a large symbol in the shape of a platinum coin - the symbol of the Platinum Truth. Lucas points this out to Autismus, suspecting that their stalker might be a paladin of the cleric's religion.
Confidently, Autismus opens the western chapel door and reveals his holy symbol and greets the newcomer. The assumed paladin perks up and excitedly begins to praise the Emperor for bringing the party to aid him.
The paladin introduces himself as “Sir Galadan of the Grove" and tells the party that he has been slaying the undead daily here for two weeks. Peculiarily Galadan is wearing full armor and is not revealing his helmet. Lucas doesn't trust Galadan for this and asks for him to take it off, but Galadan simply states that his paladin oath prevents him from showing his face. He seems even reluctant to reveal his hands.
After a while of interrogation, Autismus manages to persuade Galadan to take off his gauntlets. Instead, Galadan lets out a long sigh and apologizes to Autismus and mutters a prayer for forgiveness, as he takes off his helmet, revealing a sickly pale face with blackened spots - Galadan is obviously undead.
The party is surprisingly cool with this since Galadan wasn't aggressive at any point, so they simply ask what happened. Galadan, reveals that he arrived in Nnjorpag 3 weeks ago when he was on a pilgrimage with his brother to the Spring of Emperor Marcus. After spending a week in the village, he suddenly woke up one night to a sudden jolt of pain, emanating from his mouth, but when he grabbed for his weapon, the pain stopped. Then in the morning he noticed his skin had lost all its color and the village populus had turned undead, as well as his brother. Ever since then, Galadan has been fighting the undead then taking refuge in the inn, but every day the dead would rise again.
He also says that he has attempted a purification ritual to release all of the villager souls, but had to interrupt it as the undead were attracted to it.

The party is able to deduce that there's something wrong with the village and that the Hag might be hiding in the Spring of Emperor Marcus, as it would be very “unlikely waters" for the devil to take refuge in.
Lucas votes for going to the Spring and hopefully saving his brother, but the rest of the party vote for helping Galadan to perform the purification ritual, promising to protect him from any approaching undead…

Session 16: In Defense of Galadan

After receiving a warning from Galadan about how the undead horde will attack the chapel once the ritual begins, the party takes time to set up their defenses. Autismus bars the windows with planks, Kilian sets traps all around the graveyard and Lucas along with Karuna loot the abandoned alchemist's hut for a few flasks of a potent Alchemist's Fire. They also find healing potions and a barrel of oil. The party grabs the potions, leaving the oil where it is.

Confident in their preparations the party gives Galadan the green light to begin the ritual. Galadan opens his copy of the Codex of the Great Mother, lights 1 of 12 candles and rings the platinum bell. DING-DONG-PING-PONG DING-DONG-PING-PONG.
As the bell rings silhouettes of the undead begin to appear all around the chapel, advancing from all directions. What ensues is a long battle where the party manage to thin out the pack with their ranged attacks, until a set of juggernaut zombies break down the chapel doors and rush in. The juggernauts are quickly dealt with and the toxic fumes that are extricated upon their waft away harmlessly as the players roll really good constitutions saves. All except Karuna, who is poisoned for the rest of the fight, vomiting every time they make an attack.
The final obstacle is a corpse flower which bursts through the chapel ceiling window and attacks with all its might. However even with three deadly attacks, Karuna is able to dodge most of them and delivers the final blow, all while vomiting due to the stench of the putrid flora.

The 12th candle is lit and Galadan shouts a final prayer, as a wave of radiant light washes over the chapel and its surroundings. The souls of the undead drift away into the sky and Galadan's body begins to shine as well.
Galadan wasn't sure what would happen to him, but he accepted his death, having saved dozens of innocent souls from undeath. He hands over his maul and armor to Autismus, bidding them farewell.
Once the party exits the chapel, they can see the land around them is slowly healing. Satisfied, the party then move on to their next objective: The Spring of Emperor Marcus.

On their way to the spring, Karuna notices 2 Norfel hunters approaching the party. The hunters nervously warn the party not to venture towards the spring, telling them that wyverns have landed there to quench their thirst.
Immediately the party is suspicious of these two and Lucas manages to discern that they are wearing disguises. Once the jig is up, the hunters try to flee towards the spring, but are shot down and interrogated. The hunters are revealed to be Lizardfolk in disguise; Severus and Sethil. Autismus, in his zeal, even tortures them, but the Lizardfolk are far too fanatic to sell out their mistresses. During this debacle, Autismus manages to kill and stabilize the pair at least 5 times.
However Kilian takes a different approach and plays to Sethil's vanity, tricking him into revealing that Baba Nnjorga is their mistress and that she will bring the horrors of the feywild forwards to this world. The party then ties up the Lizardfolk, stashing them in the bushes.

Arriving at the spring, a formation of egg-shaped stones, each carved with a marking that has distinctly sharp corners, can be seen siting on the northern side of the spring. Below the stones is a small waterfall that feeds the spring from an underground river. The water in the spring is slowly rotating, with fallen leaves floating in the center of the pool.
Lucas first pokes around trying to find illusions, but soon takes note of the subtle rotation of water in the spring. He dives into the spring, finding an underwater cave on the bottom of the spring. Lucas then returns to the surface and informs the party about this. Soon the whole party dived beneath the water and into the cave.
Diving deeper and deeper into the narrow cave, Lucas finds a door with metal bars. The door is open and it leads to an ascending set of stairs, which bring the party before a large, round, metal door.

Session 17: Bloody Puzzles & Poisoned Cakes

There is a huge metal door, embedded with a large brass wheel with different numbers and colors on it and unique symbols around it. In the center of the wheel is a small hole with a dimly glowing number in it. The hole has drops of dried blood around it, and the number has a small needle in its center.
On the wall above the door, inscribed on a brass plaque is 4 line poem written in Elvish: When the moon of blood shines in darkness, And the stars of the seasons drown in blood, And the cross of death grows lilacs in its dirt, Will the crescent wound burn nature
Below the poem is a set of six numbers in a small separate brass panel, it looks like a combination lock. The numbers read 0-0-0-0-0-0. (at first this was five because DM can't count apparently)
Turning the brass wheel the number in the middle changed, and when one of the player characters pricked their finger on the needle, they lost that much max hp and the digits on the combination lock changed. If they got the number right, their hp returned to normal.
After about 20 minutes of brainstorming, the party solved the puzzle on their first try: 8-26-3-10
As the round metal door rolled aside, the party entered a similar corridor on the other side: the stone floor and walls were old but not ancient and the roof was coated in obsidian. Illumination was provided by a rigid marking, which decorated every stone slab on the walls. The markings glowed with dim, red, light.

After sneaking up a stairwell, the party found themselves in an empty dining hall. The long table in the middle was cluttered with used silverware and sweet smelling crumbs.
The dining hall had 4 entrances; the party first decided to explore the northern side, leading them into a tomb of some sorts.
The tomb had 3 coffins in it and Lucas found that the archway on the other side had runes on it, which the party assumes were there as an alarm system. On the biggest middle coffin, Lucas sees a rune carved in the shape of a cage, which he suspects to be some sort of a binding rune.
The coffin is labeled "Lucrecia", who Autismus recalls as being a saint of his religion. Saint Lucrecia was said to have been the High Priest of Marcuston, before leading settlers to build the village of Nnjorpag 100 years ago. From the engravings on the wall, it is revealed that Lucrecia died young.

The party decides to not disturb the coffins and instead returns to take the western path from the dining hall. Led by an overeager Kilian, who ventures down the corridor and opens the first door that he runs into, revealing a wall and a glowing rune. As the door is opened the rune stops glowing and a trap is triggered that causes a gelatinous cube to fall on Lucas and Kilian.
Luckily they manage to get out at first, but Kilian is soon engulfed again, taking loads of acid damage in the process. After a hammering from Karuna and company, the gelatinous cube is softened up to a point for Kilian to cut the cube in half with his rapier. The cube, no longer able to hold its form together, dissolves.

After the cube incident the party decide to take a short rest, but while they are doing so, Karuna and Autismus notice someone entering the dining hall. Lucas creeps in closer to scout, creating a psychic link to the other party members and communicates that a couple of Lizardfolk have come to set the table and brought two large chocolate cakes to the table.
Ever the cunning rogue, Lucas decides to poison one of the cakes with his potion of poison. He hides just in time to see multiple lizardfolk herd a dozen fat elven slaves into the dining hall. The slaves are seated and told to eat the cake, which they do, ravenously. Just as the whipmasters are about to line them up again, the 6 slaves that ate the poisoned cake puke and vomit brown blood all over the tables, dying in a most gruesome manner.
After the initial shock, one of the slavers finally commands the chef to be brought to the dining hall, and after leading the remaining slaves back to their "pens", the lizardfolk return with a thin and lanky lizardfolk holding a spatula. The chef winces as he is told that he's the one to report this back to the mistress. Before they are able to leave though, Lucas teleports behind the ones that are holding the chef and attacks one of the brutes, accidentally chopping off the chef's hand instead and all hell breaks loose. Lucas is strangled to unconsciousness, Karuna pummels the lizardfolk brutes to the ground, Autismus chops their heads off and Kilian expertly shoots his crossbow into the shins of the slavers.
Finally the party perseveres and interrogates the chef. Again he is proved to be quite the fanatic and this time the party's attempts at deception are sad at best. The party then move the bodies into the tomb, possibly framing Lucrecia for the murders.

After the battle the party needs to take a long rest, which they attempt to do around the corner where they killed the gelatinous cube. Karuna and Lucas stay up to guard, experiencing the same phenomena every hour: the markings on the wall grow brighter, they hear the echo of a woma's cackle and screams of pain. Lucas recognizes the screams to be Leon.
In addition to this phenomena, they witness 2 lizardfolk bring in some kind of aberration with a huge maw and toothy tentacles. The aberration eats everything in the dining hall and the players see it enter the tomb briefly as well. When the being returns to the dining hall, it sniffs the air slowly turning its head towards the party's hiding place. Just as the creature is about to step in that direction the lizardfolk whips it and herds it back the way it came.

After their rest, the party is ready to venture deeper into the dungeon...

Session 18: Ritual of the Blood Hag

When the party continues deeper into Nnjorga's lair, they find themselves in a kitchen area. In the kitchen there is a lizardfolk eating a leg of mutton, wearing a heavy key around their neck. The party ambushes the guard and takes him down with no issue. The key seems to open the heavy metal door that the lizard was guarding. Lucas listens in on the door and can hear monstrous noises from behind the door, deducing that this is where the aberration is.
The party decides not to disturb the creature.

Continuing around the corner, Lucas spots a giant ballista at the end of a long hallway. The ballista is manned by 3 lizardfolk and are keeping their eyes open for movement in the hallway. After a while of planning, Lucas distracts the lizardfolk by using his scroll of major image, creating an illusion of an attacking party of adventurers. This confuses the lizardfolk and they waste many shots from the ballista on the illusions.
The rest of the party take advantage of the situation and spring to action, with Karuna and Kilian quickly engaging in melee combat. After being caught off guard, the lizardfolk are easily defeated with only Karuna suffering minor wounds.
The hallway leads to a set of descending stairs, but there is also a doorway to what appears to be a prison cell. Lucas investigates the cell, finding 3 redcaps in a normal jail cell and none other than Eric the Paavo in a magically imbued cell. Paavo promises to prank the hags if they let him out. Autismus dispels the magical bars and sets Paavo free. Paavo informs the players that the circle of blood beneath the redcaps is a summoning circle, which can be used to teleport anything organic above the circle.
Lucas then slaughters the bloodthirsty redcaps and picklocks the cell door. Paavo then places the bodies of the dead lizardfolk in the circle, forming an indecent symbol. The party then braces themselves and descends the stairs towards the heart of the dungeon.

At the end of the stairs is a set of heavy wooden doors. Lucas is able to peer through the crack in the door. He sees a large round room with a domed ceiling which glistens like the midnight sky, with star shaped indentations and a full blood-stained moon in its center. From the middle of the blood moon a large metal cage is hanging by a thick chain, housing a disgustingly obese creature with elven ears. The creature has large sting markings all over its body which ooze with red. The whole room reeks of blood with a hint of shit and piss. Below the cage in the middle of a cross-shaped formation is a patch of dirt. Lucas recognizes the obese elf as Leon - his brother.

The party rushes in without any bigger plans. Baba Nnjorga welcomes the party from behind a bubbling cauldron of blood: "You missed the beginning, but are just in time for the main event!" On the sides of the cross-shaped room are Melissa and Minerva, standing behind similar bubbling cauldrons. Each cauldron has a stream of thick blood running into the blood moon in the ceiling, and from the moon the blood is quickly pouring into the constellations around it. When the blood reaches the first star, a chain of blood strikes Leon in his side, causing a wail of pain echo in the chamber.
The party splits up, with Karuna and Lucas going after the green hag Melissa, while Autismus and Kilian take on the water hag Minerva. Melissa goes down quite quickly, but not before the 2nd star is lit with blood, and another chain strikes Leon.
When Baba Nnjorga joins the fray, she first tries to teleport her redcap pets in, causing Paavo and a set of mangled corpses to litter the ritual room, much to the dismay of the blood hag.
On the other side of the chamber, Autismus and Kilian have seriously damaged Minerva. When Kilian is stabbing at the water hag, a stream of veins suddenly strikes his chest. Baba Nnjorga had ripped her own skin, causing the blood to come to life and forming magical veins, which damages Kilian and leaves a rigid mark on his chest. Only moments after, Kilian can feel his body moving on its own, the blood inside his body willing him to attack Autismus. Kilian narrowly misses the attack, and afterwards the mark on his chest dissipates.
Just before Minerva is struck down, the 3rd star lights and another chain strikes Leon. But now there is only 1 hag remaining. The fight with Nnjorga is a deadly one - she spews black fog which saps the lifeforce from the party, she vomits acidic blood which burns their hairs off and tries to drown them in the tainted blood pools which adorn the ritual chambers floor.
All party members sustain serious damage, with Karuna going falling unconscious once.

The fight goes on for a few more rounds, with the 4th and final star lighting up with blood, and as it does, one final chain strikes Leon. When Nnjorga sees this she smiles with glee and opens her arms in a jerking motion, causing all 4 chains to pull Leon in all directions, ripping him apart. The blood flows from the cage onto the patch of lilacs beneath it, causing a crescent shaped burnmark in the dirt patch. After this display of gore, an earthquake rumbles above. When the party manage to deal the final blow, Baba Nnjorga doesn't grimace, but grins, turning to Lucas and saying "Welcome home..." She then melts down to nothing but black blood.

In the aftermath, Karuna finds the "final lesson" scroll which he has been looking for since the start of the campaign. The scroll holds secrets that transcend the simple healing techniques of his monastery. The scroll teaches Karuna how to perform a difficult technique for resurrection.
Autismus is able to stitch Leon back into one piece. Karuna then attempts to perform the new resurrection technique, with Lucas trying to help and call his brothers soul back from the other side. This turns out to be somewhat successful as Leon is brought back to life, but his mind seems to have rotten and can't speak or think coherently.

When searching the rest of the dungeon, the party rescues the remaining slaves that were not poisoned and head out, all of a sudden feeling cold all over. When the party exits the dungeon, they surface from where St. Lucrecias gravesite is, but in the distance they can see a massive chasm, pouring out wintery air. Lucas senses this is a gateway to the Feywild, a way home. He asks one last favor from the party though: inform his other siblings of the gateway.
Lucas says his goodbyes to Autismus & the Associates, heading down into the chasm with Leon in tow. He travels through the chasm for weeks, dodging malicious fey creatures that seem to be traveling towards Rol'Vetal. Eventually though, he resurges on the other side, in the winter season of the Feywild.

Session 19: Refugees

For a while the party spends time investigating the giant chasm, which is pouring out freezing cold air, following it all the way to Nnjorpag. The chapel which they defended previously is no more, it has sunk into the depths of the chasm. The chasm runs through Nnjorpag, as far as the eye can see.
When the party returns to Flumpag, they are greeted by fur-clad Inga who queries them about the sudden drop in temperature. The party explains what happened and Inga offers them some warm clothes and a place for the night. This drastic drop in temperature worries Inga though, so she decides that the village should seek refuge somewhere warmer. The village food stores have not been stocked for winter and she holds on to hope that Raija, her cousin in Nordbay, would give them refuge. The party offers to help escort them to Odessus and pay for the villagers' train trip.
Soon after Inga asks Karuna whether or not he found the final scroll, which Karuna admits to. The scroll contains the long lost name of his monastic tradition: Anima Sanatores. Inga offers to cast Legend Lore to find information about this old order. Karuna graciously accepts.

When the 2 enter Ingas ghoati, they sit around the fire and Inga begins to chant. The fire comes to life, showing Karuna visions of his monastery. He sees the destruction of it, but what he previously didn't know was that the head monk, Glanduil Uritris, had a secret and important task. Every night, Glanduil would perform a soul cleansing ritual on an ancient artifact, called the Daemonium Arca. This black box is said to contain or have contained souls corrupted by demons.
When Nnjorga manipulated Malasada into destroying the monastery, which had a warding that interfered with one of her rituals, the corrupted souls were set loose for a time, destroying the monastery. Nnjorga then stole some of the secrets held by the monastery, but paid no further attention to Anima Sanatores, until she found the final scroll that is. She was able to apply the knowledge from the scroll with her magic to find a way to create a portal the feywild.
The last piece of information Legend Lore gives, is that the Daemonium Arca was stolen by simple knaves and later sold to the noble family of Von Vedrix.

When Inga exits her ghoati Kilian asks about the Norfel as culture and people. Inga is delighted that someone is interested in their way and gives a lore dump. The party then spent the day resting in Flumpag, helping the village to pack up for the trip in the morning.

Travelling back to Odessus, the party finds themselves strolling through an inch of snow-covered ground. The temperature has dropped a little and it has started to lightly snow. The procession doesn't run into any trouble on their way to Odessus. When arriving at the train station, they ask Inga and the others to wait for them, as they should go inform Lucas' siblings about his departure.
When the party is on their way to the Blue Moon Inn, they notice a huge crowd has gathered in the Forum. They ask a local about it and he just says that Father Ashton has important news for all of them. Karuna & Kilian stay at the back of the crowd, while Autismus barges his way to the front row. A small wooden podium has been erected in front of the town hall. Standing on the podium is Father Ashton and off to the side is High Lector Durio Octavius.
Father Ashton raises a hand to silence crowd and begins to speak:
“My children! As some of you may know, I was recently part of a procession that was meant to investigate the bloodbath which occured in the village of St. Maribor. Before I left on the journey, I received information about the true nature of said village. Upon arriving, I was horrified to find this information to be true; that the people of St. Maribor were not men, but lizards! Snakes, in the guise of a man! Here in Nordgard!"
When the people hear this there is an audible gasp from most of the audience, but Father Ashton pushes on:
“Furthemore, upon interrogation we were able to find out that these snakes were the creations of witches! Witches! In Norgard! The inquisition has caught two of the perpetrators here in Odessus, and they have been sentenced to a life of imprisonment in Frostrock. May this be a lesson to you all who dare to meddle in ungodly magic! It leads to nothing but death and suffering! To combat this new threat, High Lector Durio himself has come to oversee the inquisition here in Odessus."
Durio is wearing a long black coat, a wide brimmed hat and small round eyeglasses. When he takes the stand, Autismus can see that the half-elf's left ear has been torn and he limps his left leg.
“Thank you, Father Ashton. Citizens! My name is Durio Octavius. I will do my best to keep this town safe from magic, but unfortunately High Paladin Barbarus Romana has seen fit to cut the inquisition's budget; even the new House of Inquiry in town was funded by the Sect of Aurel, instead of the main church! Barbarus claims that the clergy can police magic-use in the countryside, but look where that brought us - a village full of bloodthirsty snakes, right at our doorstep!"
The crowd seems outraged, cursing the High Paladin. When Durio sees this he surveys the crowd slowly before asking:
"How many of you have heard of the Sect of Aurel? Let me enlighten you: they believe Mother Aurel meant to ban all magic when she founded the Empire, but after her sons took over, they loosened the laws."
Hearing this the crowd mumbles in confusion and nods in appreciation of this new informatino.
"And furthermore, her son founded the Order of the Golden Eight, not Aurel. To show my utter respect and piety to Mother Aurel, I hereby declare Odessus and its surroundings as a temporary anti magic zone, meaning casting spells or using magical items is prohibited. An embargo on magical goods is also set in place, preventing anyone from buying or selling magical items. Only medicinal potions are allowed. Furthermore, any information about illegal magic-use is rewarded generously."
Hearing this last part, the crowd erupts into cheers and the party members can already hear whispering in the crowd about possible suspects.
"Now return to your homes and pray that Mother Aurel's holy spirit will grant my inquisitors good hunting luck!"

After this sudden shift in the state of things, Karuna hurries over to the orphanage, while Kilian goes to warn Lucas' family in Blue Moon Inn. Autismus however goes to talk to Father Ashton, telling about all the wild things that happened in the south. He tries to convince the High Priest that the witches have been dealt with, but Ashton seems to have more faith in the inquisition. Autismus then tries to inform Ashton about Durio's betrayal with Lawrence, prompting Ashton to quickly silence him. Ashton fears he might be persecuted for his subordinate's heresy so he requests never to bring the subject up again in such a public place. Finally Autismus says that Durio should have the Imperialis Tutella and Ashton is visibly relieved that the copper priest offers to ask about it directly from Durio. After this Autismus returns to the Blue Moon Inn.

Arriving at the orphanage Karuna finds out that Malasada has been arrested along with Ana. One of the orphans tells that they were caught red-handed while performing the resurrection ritual for Baxter. Karuna, thinking quickly, tells the orphans to pack up, as they would be leaving Odessus. He then returns to the Blue Moon Inn.

Kilian, discreetly travels to the inn, climbing through the window to their rooms, startling Lorenzo in the process. To his relief Kilian finds all 3 siblings in the room. He informs them about the new situation and that Lucas has left for the Feywild. The door to the room bangs open and Autismus steps inside. He further reveals that the chasm might be some kind of a way to the “fairy place."
Thinking a member of the church would understand it best, Lawrence gives Autismus the command shards from his wrist, which are used to control the 4th generation inquisitors. The Ambershards then bid farewell to the party and leave, bumping into Karuna on their way and giving him a farewell as well.

The party then hatches a new plan: they would trust the orphans to the Norfel and stay in Odessus to try and save Ana and Malasada. Autismus is the only one that has a connection to the inquisition so he is sent to get information about when the prisoners are to be transferred. Karuna goes to escort the orphans, while Kilian goes and visits the Open Berserkers to see if Lance or Ivan have resurfaced.
Kilian arrives in the Open Berserkers, not seeing Lance or Ivan, but instead an old hook-up: Pamela Goodbridge. The white tabaxi motions to Kilian to sit with her. She brings news from Alden that Kilian's job has changed: he is to get the “key" carried by Lance/Ivan. Alden's intel says that they were last seen in Nordbay one day ago. After a small chit-chat, Pam leaves.

Autismus goes to visit the House of Inquiry. He is admitted into the High Lector's office and the two have an exchange where Autismus reveals many things about the witches, the chasm, Ana, Malasada, Baxter and his involvement in all this. After Autismus tells about seeing what went down with Ana & Malasada, Durio is visibly interested. Durio promises to take the “proper" measures to handle the prisoner situation, in light of this new information. Durio then asks where Autismus is residing, in case they have more questions, which he of course reveals.
Lastly Autismus asks about the Imperialis Tutella, which Durio denies to have involvement in. Staring at the stone-cold face of the High Lector, Autismus simply nods and takes his leave.

Returning to the Inn, the rest of the party is dismayed that Autismus didn't get any information about the transit of the prisoners. They then decide to stay in Odessus for a while, to try and gather information about Ana & Malasada.
On their 2nd night in Odessus after returning, Autismus hears the door into their rooms creak open. “Who's there?!" he yells, waking Karuna and they both see a hooded halfling figure in the doorway, holding a knife.
Karuna tries to block his way, but the quick little bastard dodges all blows. The assassin then runs straight towards the half-laying Autismus, jumping on his chest and driving his poisoned dagger in. Autismus takes a heavy hit, but thanks to his dwarven resilience, manages to stay conscious. He then throws the hafling on his back and casts Inflict Wounds at his face. The moan the assassin lets out wakes up Kilian, who brings out his rapier at the halfling trying to make him submit. The halfling refuses, so Kilian stabs him through the shoulder, but misses the second thrust.
When it comes time for Karuna to act again, he calmly steps to the end of the bed and pummels the assassin's face to a pulp! The halfling loses consciousness, but the danger is still there: someone sent an assassin against Autismus, and the party has reason to suspect that this won't be the last.

Session 20: Jesse James & The Associates

The party search the black-toothed halfling, not finding much of interest other than a poisoned blade, 50 gold coins & a ring adorned with an image of the grim reaper. The party take the gold and Kilian removes the ring from the halfling's fingers. Immediately when Kilian removes the ring, the halflings body twists and the assassin breathes one more heavy breath, before his heart stops. Autismus tries to cast spare the dying, but it seems they are beyond help. Karuna contemplates attempting his soulmend technique, but ultimately the party dumps the assassin's body into the chest of holding.
The party discuss who might have sent the assassin, with the potential suspects being the Hags and Durio. Since it seems Durio might be the more probable option, they make plans to escape to Nordbay, where Autismus might be able to convince the local church or inquisition about Durio's betrayal.

In the morning, once the curfew is lifted Karuna and Autismus head out of town, with Autismus adorning a female disguise. They are briefly stopped guards at the gate for a routine inspection, but with a small bribe from Karuna, the guards don't show further interest. They then wait by an outskirts farm to rendevouz with Kilian.
Kilian discreetly walks through the streets of Odessus and leaves a note for Pam about him leaving Odessus. Afterwards he goes to visit the main guard house, while avoiding the watching eyes of nearby inquisitors. Kilian meets with Mattrick, captain of the guard, who asks Kilian about their previous deal regarding Justin Thyme and Steffen, but Kilian says he hasn't found Steffen, to which Mattrick says that Steffen has resurfaced, apparently robbing a train just yesterday.
Nevertheless Mattrick has made the decision to move old prisoners to a state prison called Frostrock, since the dungeons in Odessus have become full of citizens suspected of using magic. This means that Justin Thyme would also be moved. Kilian tries to inquire about Ana & Malasada, but Mattrick simply states that they are prisoners of the inquisition, but that they would probably be transferred at the same time as the others.
Kilian then shows Mattrick the ring from the assassin. Mattrick is spooked by the image and horrified about the fact that the party was targeted by the Confidants of Death. He goes on to tell Kilian that the guild is possibly a continent-wide organization. Only a couple of cases have happened in Odessus during his long tenure and in both cases the culprit was a small-time criminal with no immediate family. The 1st culprit died when Mattrick removed the reaper ring, and the 2nd died while in custody, but not before telling them that he was to be a "Confidant of Death" and this was his trial by fire.
Mattrick then asks where this happened and when Kilian tells him the truth, the captain says he'll send someone to investigate the room. Kilian doesn't say where the body went, claiming that it was still laying on the floor, when he left the Blue Moon Inn. Kilian then subtly asks if Mattrick's men could perform the investigation before the planned prisoner transfer. Mattrick lets it slip that yes they should be able to do so within the hour and that the first train of the day leaves at 9AM.
While giving a final handshake, Kilian tells Mattrick that he is leaving Odessus due to fearing more assassin's, towards which Mattrick is understandably sympathetic.

Once Kilian arrives at the rendevouz point, he tells Autismus and Karuna that they have about 3-4 hours to stop the train holding Ana and Malasada and free them. They make a hasty decision to buy 2 horses from a local farmer and riding to the supposedly abandoned Fort Steffen and using the 4th generation inquisitors in the heist. The farmer is reluctant to sell his horses as he needs them for his work, but is astounded to receive 20 gold for such old work horses.
After buying the horses, the party rides them hard to Fort Steffen, finding it once again to be inhabited, presumably by Steffen. Autismus Maximus, using his new female disguise deceives the guards at the gate that Steffen order some "company" for the evening. The guards are baffled, but fearing the wrath of their leader they relent, making sure anyone entering is disarmed. Karuna and Autismus enter, but Kilian stays behind to guard the horses and their chest of holding.
Karuna and Autismus are led to Steffen, and his adjutants, who are sitting around a table playing cards. Once the cleric's deception comes to light, Steffen's goonies are infuriated, but Steffen himself congratulates the pair on their boldness.
Karuna then tells Steffen that they are actually here to negotiate a deal to help in a train robbery. Karuna says that they are willing to pay 10000 silver if Steffen simply helps them to save 2 individuals from the train's prison carriage, instead of robbing the passengers. Once Steffen hears this, he gives a wide grin claiming that the prison carriage also carries someone important to him.
Steffen agrees for the party to tag along if they promise to follow his orders and act as a distraction for leading the guarding inquisitors away from the prison carriage. Everyone then dons masks for the duration of the robbery.

The party then ride out with Steffen's gang to the rail tracks, where already a big spruce tree has been felled to stop the train. Steffen tells the party to lure the inquisitors out of the train, after which he and his men will come out from hiding, entering the train and freeing the prisoners.
Once the train arrives, the driver and some guards jump off to move the tree out of the way. Using this opportunity the party ride up to the carriage with barred windows, prompting 2 inquisitors to step out of the carriage. Karuna slings some stones at the inquisitors, while Autismus attacks them with his spiritual weapon. The spiritual spear deals a critical hit of force damage to the first inquisitor, which crumbles to the ground with a giant hole in it's chest. With this the attention of the other inquisitor is drawn to Autismus. The inquisitor coldly lets Autismus know that the penalty for killing an inquisitor is 10 life sentences and 3 executions.
During the course of the battle the party realize that the inquisitor armor is resistant towards piercing, slashing and fire as Kilian's flaming rapier isn't very effective. Luckily Karuna's bludgeoning blows seem to deal normal damage.
After being attack a flurry of blows from the other inquisitor, Autismus tries to cast remove curse on the fallen inquisitor, finding out that whatever binds the inquisitors is not a curse. Just as he finishes the spell, the chest of the fallen inquisitor begins to mend, and it's body begins to move once again.
With Karuna's quick and effective blows, he is able to fell the attacking inquisitor, while Autismus pulls off it's helmet, revealing that the helmet has a giant spike inside it, which penetrates the wearer's brain. Seconds after, 2 guards come out of the carriage. The first one is horrified after seeing the bleeding head of the dead inquisitor, reluctantly yelling "Stop... in the of the Emperor!"
The second guard is more far off and is able compose himself, taking a metal ball off his belt and hurling it at Kilian. The metal ball expands mid-air and forms a metallic net around Kilian, hindering his movement. The guard then also sees the dead inquisitor and shakingly lifts his spear to Autismus.
However while getting closer to Autismus, the guard exposes his unprotected legs to Kilian. With difficulty, Kilian is able to poke through the net with his rapier and shortsword, critically wounding the guard by puncturing the arteries in his legs. Once the guard falls to the ground, bleeding out, Kilian is able to snatch his keyring with mage hand.
At this point the remaining inquisitor retreats by jumping to the top of the train carriage, priming it's hookshot for work. Karuna manages to snipe the inquisitor on the forehead with his sling, making it fall to the ground for the second time. Using the nimble speed of a monk, he then follows the inquisitor atop the train and pummels its head some more. With Karuna keeping the inquisitor down, Autismus is just able to pull off the obsidian helmet, neutralizing the inquisitor.
Kilian then enters the carriage, finding 5 prisoners chained to their seats. He recognizes Ana, Malasada and Justin, but sitting across from them is a fat human with a pale and bald head, and a scruffy looking halfling. In the end, Kilian decides to free all of them. Once freed, Ana exclaims "Well I wasn't expecting someone like you, but thanks anyway."

Once the dust has settled, the remaining guards stand baffled on the side of the tracks, still hoping that the robbers would just give up, but not daring to actually try and apprehend them. Steffen then shows up, amazed himself that the group had the guts to actually kill inquisitors, but is ultimately pleased, as in his mind the coast is now clear and they no longer need to content with just releasing the prisoners. He then orders his henchmen to loot the train and the gang descends upon the passenger carriages.
When Justin Thyme exits the carriage, Steffen grins in delight stating "Ahhh we were just in time to pick you up Justin! You have no idea how lucky you are that someone gives a lot of value for your life." To which Justin grinningly answers "Yeah, being on time is a theme with me."

Autismus, horrified and feeling betrayed, approaches Steffen on his horse, while the bandit lord is talking to Justin. While Steffen's is distracted, Autismus casts inflict wounds on the bandit's leg, and simultaneously attacks with his spiritual spear. The spell and spear deal almost maximum damage, causing Steffen to fall off the saddle, still tangled in the stirrups. His horse freaks out, galloping off into the forest with Steffen somewhat helplessly flailing on the horse's side. Two of Steffen's bandits standing nearby exchange baffled glances before drawing their weapons. Justin tries to make a run for it, but Kilian marks him and shoots him in the back with his crossbow, slowing his escape.

Session 21: Nordbay

After Autismus attacked Steffen, his adjutants raise their morningstars, but the expression on their faces isn't that of anger, but fear. Seeing Autismus & the Associates kill 2 inquisitors and then turn on them, made the bandits shiver with fear, especially now that their leader was nowehere to be seen.
The party let the bandits start retreating with their tails between their legs, while Kilian goes off to finish off Justin Thyme. As Justin is writhing with pain on the ground with a bolt through his back, Kilian stabs him through the neck with his rapier without fanfare. As he pulls the rapier back, Justin's breath seizes almost instantly and the blood on the blade seeps into the blade, disappering from sight. Kilian feels the rapier grow lighter in his hand and sees the color of it's blade gradually change to a darker hue of gray.
Autismus & Karuna then mount their horses with Malasada and Ana, while Kilian loads Justin's body on his stallion. Just when they depart, one of the remaining prisoners yells for them to slow down. As the party turn around they see the plump, pale and bald human in a tattered prison garb waving and running after them. Apparently the halfling they rescued had bolted into the woods at the first opportunity, but this bigger fellow had stayed.
The prisoner introduced himself as Dr. Julius Von Melchior, a noble & doctor from Aurum. When the party asks him why he was detained, he tells that he had been caught using healing magic in Odessus, and claims that he was not aware of the magic ban. He pleads the party for a ride to the nearest city, offering his services as a doctor in exchange and possibly a gold reward. The party decide to help the man, with Kilian letting Melchior ride on his horse. The party then hurriedly depart the site of the robbery.

While riding, Ana remarks that this could be the first time that an inquisitor was killed, and that the Inquisition in Nordgard is likely to get more support now that something this alarming has happened. She then tells the party that she can get them to Nordbay quickly, if she could just rest up. The party then stop at the Mabbet farmstead, hiding their horses and setting up camp within the ruined buildings.
Kilian used the time at the farm to lazily bury Justin's body and visit the skeleton in the well once again. Jumping into the well, Kilian's boots are drenched in water, but he finds the skeleton still there. As he shows the transformed rapier to the unmoving skeleton, he hears a voice in his head: "You don't need to impress my previous champion, for you have earned my respect... my champion. Now go forth and continue my good work." To which Kilian inquires: "What do you wish me to do master?", prompting the voice to simply state: "To slay... evil people."
Later Kilian is approached by the spirit of the young boy, still holding his severed head in his spectral hands. The boy asks if it is done, and Kilian tells him that yes, it is done, but he suspects that to free the boy's soul, Kilian must hunt down more evil people. The boy is quiet for a while, before solemnly stating that the one in the well lied to him. He then phases back through the stable wall and disappears from sight.

After this bummer, Kilian goes and chats with Dr. Melchior, who is revealed to be the physician of Lord Corvus. Melchior says that the lord has a rare disease that needed to be treated daily, which prompted Dr. Melchior to have an extended stay at Odessus. During this time he ran a small clinic in Odessus, performing magical and surgical healing to many citizens of Odessus. They then spend a few hours playing cards, with Melchior being 170 gold in debt, but Kilian owing the whole party an evening's dinner. Even Kilian himself is surprised by his luck with cards.

After a few hours of resting, a storm erupts and hail begins to pour. The party can hear horses approaching from the woods. They see a dozen bandits burst out of the forest onto the paved road, from the exact same point where there party had emerged from the forest, just a few hours prior. Half of the group start following the road up north, while the other half start galloping towards Odessus. As the southern group pass the farmstead, one of the riders slows down, eyeing the burned-out buildings. Steffen Three-Thumbs, trots slowly upon the paved road, looking at the hoofprints in the area. The party hides, but Autismus manages to peek and see Steffen looking all around the general area, not just the farmstead. Steffen then begins yelling at random directions: "Priest! You obviously have a problem with me! We had one rule - you follow my plan! Now I probably can't operate in the area anymore, and then you even denied my final loot! Prieeeest! Come out and we can settle this 1 vs 1 right now!" The party decide to stay in hiding, which seems to cause Steffen to think the party is no longer here. The bandit lord then resumes after his group towards Odessus.

Later in the afternoon, Ana is finally fully rested and draws a teleportation circle in the farmhouse. She then asks the party to cover their eyes with blindfolds, as the place they are teleporting to, might contain some people that would dislike a bunch of strangers seeing their faces.
Ana casts the spell and with a gut-wrenching yank, Kilian, Autismus, Karuna, Ana, Malasada and Dr. Melchior are transported to another space entirely. Autismus vomits, hearing the splash upon a stone floor. The party hear a surprised profanity, before hearing Ana cast a second spell, causing the party to go completely deaf. Karuna is still able to see with his blindsight that Ana is talking to Victricia "Vicky" Marcallas of the Grayhoods. Ana then dispels the deafness and the party head into a narrow corridor, climbing up winding stairs and finally going through a secret door in a fisherman's hut.
After the smell of fish and booze disappear and the party is instead met with the buzzling voices of a city, Ana allows them to remove their blindfolds. The party is standing near the Nordbay Forum, just by a bridge that crosses the Nordstream. Ana then leaves the party, wishing them good luck, while Malasada says he must go and see to his foster children at the Norfel Enclave.
Kilian retrieves civilian clothing for Dr. Melchior who suggests that they should all go and have dinner at the frozen bass. The party figure they should treat themselves, so they let Melchior lead them to the restaurant. The party have a nice dinner, with Kilian paying for it. The chat about the state of the city, and how unfortunate it is that half of the City Watch was drafted into the war against the undead. Luckily though, the missing guardsmen have been substituted by the "Loyal Shields" mercenary company. It's a miracle the city was able to afford so many mercenaries.
After dessert, Kilian approaches a noble couple that are carousing near the restaurant's hearth. Unfortunately Kilian trips on the bear rug and causes the lady's wine goblet to spill on her dress. The couple are outraged that the Frozen Bass would admit such clumsy commoners, leaving the establishment with sour faces.

During the next few weeks, the party move about separately in the city, with Autismus trying to warn the church about Durio, Kilian carousing with Dr. Melchior, while taking on small-time bounties and Karuna helping out the Norfel with various tasks.


Autismus tries to warn the church about Durio's coup, telling about it to the adjutant of the High Priestess. Autismus being Autismus doesn't really tell a convincing story, seemingly fails to convince Vice-Priestess Valeria about the threat, even if it is true. Moreover, when the month changes, no uprising occurs, further making Autismus' story unbelievable.
Autismus drowns his sorrows by signing up for a pilgrimage to Meridia, which is on the other side of the world. However this pilgrimage won't commence for a few more months and instead, Autismus begins train up a proficiency with the maul given to him by Galadan of the Grove.


Karuna visits the Norfel Enclave, finding out that there is a big demand for housing, as refugees from the south flock to the city. Karuna spends some time helping the locals build ghoatis and in return they assist Karuna in brewing some healing potions. While there he learns that the eldest Norfel in the enclave are Raija and Inga.
Later Karuna even does a small job for the Black Horizon, smuggling in some spell component's for the Norfel. He learns that the new boss of Black Horizon is violent and aggressive, apparently instilling fear in his subordinates.


Before anything else, Kilian visits his old friend Captain Thomas. He finds Thomas in his cabin by the Nordstream. The cabin reeks of booze and fish, and even the door has been sloppily left ajar, but Thomas is there, sleeping safe and sound, just by his "kitchen" table.
Kilian wakes him and Thomas drunkenly gives him an update on Black Horizon and his personal life. Apparently the head-honcho of the Black Horizon was usurped and now the show is run by someone called Black Biko. Since then, the organization has started to dabble in more than just smuggling. Thomas tells that the train has caused some nobles and wealthy merchants to begin using earplugs at night, presenting a prime opportunity for a burglary. The organization also brokers jobs for hitmen and spies. Thomas says he has connections to Black Horizon, so if Kilian wants to do some jobs, he can just ask to get the hook-up.

Kilian then spends some time doing minor bounties for the City Watch, while going out carousing with his new friend Dr. Melchior. Kilian befriends the widow Aufidia Von Aeaca during a dinner, who lets it slip that she has investments in the Bank of Vedrix & Lunaris, and that she is acquainted with the owners.

While spending an evening at a tavern near the headquarters of the Loyal Shields, Kilian recognizes sergeant Carrington and corporal Addicus - two corrupt officials who slighted Kilian in the past. He hears rumors that these 2 and their squad is known to take bribes.

Lastly Kilian visits Einar's Shipping Company, which he knows to be a front for Black Horizon's illegal smuggling operations. There he hears rumors that Lance and Ivan might be working for the company.

Session 22: SGI-XXI

After 5 more weeks of downtime, the party are visiting Captain Thomas to catch up with each other. Kilian reveals that he did some smuggling jobs for the Black Horizon, learning that many of the factions in the city have received firearms, weapons, magical weapons and earthquake scrolls. The earthquake scrolls in particular worry the party, but the only thing the party knows is that Ivan & Lance have been sent to smuggle one and should be returning to the city soon.
Autismus & Karuna did some training and work for other factions, but the thing that had been on Autismus's was the full contents of the Chest of Holding. Autismus begins to pull stuff out of the chest, generating a hefty amount of random stuff on the cabin floor, such as a silvered rapier, herbs, a single purple mushroom, an iron key with "L&V" inscribed on it, women's make up, a handkerchief with the initials "A.C.", a red and black cape with the Corvus mining company symbol embroidered on it, a hot cup of tea and much more. However the most interesting things coming out of chest were 3 dead bodies with stitchings across their bodies, a seemingly magical hourglass, a living 4th generation inquisitor without its armor and Lawrence's journal.
Examining the bodies, one of them is a human woman with red splotches all around her body, but otherwise the stitchings seem to be from the same material, covering the mostly a torso area, though not in identical locations. The party waves this off as Lawrence's doing and begins reading his journal. The journal reminds the party about Lawrence's past and confirms the weakness of inquisitor armor to be bludgeoning weapons. The last entry is a note about how Durio had tried to blackmail Lawrence into assisting in a coup with his 4th generation inquisitors.
Autismus notices one of the items from the chest was a studded leather armor, worn by 4th generation inquisitors. He decides to try out implanting the previously obtained command shards in his wrist and see if he could control this inquisitor. He then telepathically commands the inquisitor to dance, which the creature attempts to do, but just bobs it's head weakly. Autismus then puts on the armor on the creature, which allows it to start moving and dancing. Satisfied with his new pet, Autismus tells it to stay in the cabin for now.
At this point Karuna had identified the old runes on the bottom of the hourglass as being some kind of a recording device. The hourglass, when set to drain out would either record an area around it or play out the scene as an illusion that was previously recorded. Hearing this Autismus decided to call in a favor, hoping to finally get credible evidence against Durio. He fetched one his acolyte friends, Spurius Potitus, and the party then watched the recording in the hourglass.
What ensued was scene where a woman with red splotches on her face was lying in a king-sized bed, coughing weakly. A man in a red and black cloak entered the scene, comforting the woman: "Don't worry honey, I will find the keys. In the meantime, I'm gonna get you the best Doctor in Odessus!"
The party didn't really know what to make of this scene, but they were able to deduce that the man was most likely Lord Agrippa Corvus of the Corvus Mining Company. They also faintly remembered Dr. Melchior saying that he was employed by a local noble in Odessus. However the party now understood that Lawrence was indeed not the original owner of the chest, as it was probably stolen during the train robberies and abductions. This was confirmed by a note in Lawrence's journal.
Spurius Potitus was frustrated when Autismus told him of Durio's treason, as Spurius couldn't think of a way to definitevely prove the High Lector's crime. Lawrence's journal sure wasn't going to help, as such information could have been written by any mad man. The whole case with the 4th generation inquisitors was covered up by Durio anyway.

Suddenly, Ana knocks at the door. She greets the party and tells them the Gray Reader has work for them. She confesses it's probably because she let it slip that the party was able to eliminate inquisitors. She relays that the job would pay anywhere from 150 to 300 platinum, which immediately piqued the party's interest. Kilian then asks her to take them to the Gray Reader, to which she replies that no-one has never seen the Gray Reader. Seeing the party's confusion she simply instructs them to go to the "Lectern" library's history section, find a book called "The Chronicles of Kanzareth" and write on it's blank pages: "The free mind should not be shackled."
Kilian requests Ana to ask around about potent Earthquake scrolls being brought into the city, who promises to do so.

Arriving at the Lectern, a librarian flanked by 2 inquisitor guards proclaims: "Leave any flints, tinderboxes and other firemaking implements here. Licensed mages are only permitted with an inquisitor escort." The party leaves their flints and steels at the door and heads straight to the history section. After writing the correct passphrase into the book, text starts appearing after 5 minutes to the other page: "Greetings. It has come to my attention that you have eliminated 2 inquisitors. Nordbay is also under the gaze of this emotionless death's advocate, the opressor and doom of the arcane. This being is simply known as SGI-XXI.
It would be in the interest of the Grayhoods and the people that this main inquisitor of the city would be removed, dead or alive. Alive - 300 platinum, dead - you get half. Either way the doors of the Grayhoods are open to you if you manage to remove this threat. However, you must make haste as the crows are whispering the arrival of the High Lector on Sunday. Do you accept the mission?"
The party debates for a while, thinking whether or not it makes things worse if they eliminate SGI-XXI just before Durio's arrival. In the end the party signs the contract. "Excellent. There is an obsidian cave beneath the wreck of ss. Asiil that could help. Do what you will with this information. To my knowledge 2nd generation inquistors work mostly alone. My spies have logged the daily schedule SGI-XXI." A timetable then appears on the pages.

The party then returns to Thomas's cabin to plan. They finally settle on a plan where they would generate a rumor that would lure the inquisitor to the wreck. The rumor stated that someone was carring a powerful earthquake scroll in town, then they sent out another rumor that someone wanted to essentially assasinate Durio and finally they were able to plant a rumor that a shapeshifter, in the guise of Durio was seen near the western coast. The party was able to spread these rumors very effectively with a week. Afterwards, Kilian would also visit Maria Gallio of the Loyal Shields and ask about possible Earthquake scrolls being in the city. She claimed to not know, but she could ask her informants in the City Watch. When Kilian comes to ask for an update the next day, Maria says her informants Julia & Lars have gone missing.

Their next step was to hire a random thug to deliver an anonymous tip about the witch being delivered an earthquake scroll near the ss. Asiil. They recruited a smuggler named Simon, who seemed to trust Kilian.
After timing the message for the next morning, the party travels to the wreck with Autismus's pet inquisitor in tow. Arriving at a rocky islet, they see the mossy, old and rotten wreck of the caravel. Investigating further reveals that the deck could give out under great weight or sudden movement. They see a dark damp obsidian cave beneath the prow of this wreck with very steep and slippery cliff walls. The whole ship looks like it is teetering between falling into the deep cave or falling back to the sea. The party then camps out on the islet.
In the morning Autismus lays a Rune of Warding to the base of a ladder leading down to the cargo space of the ship, designating that 2 creatures crossing that spot would cause a fiery explosion. He then instructed his inquistor pet to run into the cargo when it would see SGI-XXI.
An hour later on the other side of the islet, on the prow side of the wreck, a towering figure appears. The 4th generation inquisitor escapes into the cargo, with SGI-XXI taking notice and immediately hookshotting to the main mast of the wreck. When SGI-XXI lands, they crash through the rotten deck down into the cargo space, which means the rune would not activate yet.
SGI-XXI grapples the weird leather-wearing inquisitor and tilts it's head curiously. Autismus commands his pet to shove SGI-XXI, which eventually succeeds, making both of them land on the warding rune.
There is a roaring explosion and shower of fiery rotten planks, as the ss. Asiil is ripped in half, with the prow side falling down into the cave in a ball of flame.

Looking down at the burning wreck, the party sees SGI-XXI rise from the ashes, clutching its head and erratically shooting it's hookshot all over the place. It would seem that the inquisitor isn't able to climb out of the cave with this much interference to it's psychic link to it's master.
Kilian then phones Captain Thomas to go and inform the Gray Reader about the trapped inquisitor, who drunkenly obliges. Some time later, Vicky and some other Grayhoods arrive. After surveying the scene, they ask for advice from the party on how to catch the inquisitor for interrogation and inspection, showing that they are very inexperienced when dealing with inquisitors. The party advices Vicky to pummel it and remove it's armor. She thanks them and welcomes Autismus & the Associates to the Grayhoods, telling them to knock on a wine-stained wall in Thomas's cabin, if they ever need to speak to her or the Grayhoods.

The party then returns back to Nordbay, finding a hefty bag of platinum on the snoring Captain's table. They then begin to prepare for the arrival of Durio Octavius, High Lector of Nordgard...

Session 23: The Gray Reader

In Thomas' cabin, the party returns to inspecting the bodies found in the Chest of Holding. Autismus finds a nametag in the pockets of the butler's outfit, identifying one of the male bodies as Tiberius Vedrix.
Then the party gets into planning against Durio, thinking they could try to record some of his hate speech and then send the recording to the High Paladin's adjutant in Aurum, going by the title of "Cleric of Silver". Autismus delivers a letter to High Priestess Olennia, hoping that she could secure an audience with the Cleric of Silver. With this plan they knock on the wine-stained wall of Thomas' cabin and a few minutes later, the wall recedes into the ground and Ana appears from the other side. They find out this is the passage they arrived to Nordbay through and down below, is the hideout of the Grayhoods.

They descend down to the hideout through winding tunnels. The hideout is not much, just a bunch of tents, but they are surprised to find several members of the Loyal Shields there. The party meets with Maria Gallio, the leader of the Loyal Shields, and apparently a high ranking member of the Grayhoods as well. She reveals their ruse - the Loyal Shields is mostly Grayhoods disguised as mercenaries and Maria is actually working for the Gray Reader. The Gray Reader has told them to wait for a signal, before taking Nordbay by force, securing a valuable port. The party catches glimpses of a war map, with small gray figures laid out in multiple cities, and bigger figures standing in Nordving.
With this knowledge, the party is given a choice: help the Grayhoods, or have their memory wiped and leave. The party opts to help the Grayhoods. With this they begin to plan against Durio, knowing that he would arrive in Nordbay soon. They decide to spy on him first, with Kilian contracting a thief named Viggo. Maria also informs Kilian that her 2 informants in the City Guard have been found dead by the docks, which Kilian was already suspecting and tells Maria he would look into it when he can. The party then returns to the cabin, tells Viggo what to do, while they go to the Lectern and ask help from the Gray Reader.

Arriving at the library, Kilian asks the Gray Reader about who Alden is and if he knew Diego. The answer that appers in the book, reveals Alden to be Lord Agrippa Corvus, the owner of the Corvus Mining Company and the alias "Alden" is used in less reputable company. The Gray Reader doesn't really know Diego, but he knows that Diego wanted help because he had found out that Alden would fuck over Kilian & Diego on their job anyway, so the older brother started to seek out powerful allies. He found Vicky, and through Vicky he found the Gray Reader, who promised him sanctuary from Alden's bounty hunters. All Diego had to do was lead them to the where the exotic weapons were.

Viggo contacts Kilian through his Spies' Murmur, saying that Durio's train has arrived. He describes as the triumvirate of the city welcome Durio, but shortly after exit the station. Viggo sees Durio take out a black book, read it, write something in it and then begin to stride towards the House of Inquiry, guarded by a group of inquisitors. Viggo then stakes out the Inquistion HQ, waiting for Durio to come out, but he doesn't do so for several hours.
At this point the party had asked the Gray Reader about what to do with Durio, but they hadn't gotten a good answer. Viggo was still staking out the HQ, but Durio was nowhere in sight. The party then begins to suspect a secret passage out of the HQ, so they split up: Kilian stays in the Lectern, waiting for the Reader's answers, Autismus goes to talk to the Grayhoods and Karuna goes to take a look at the Church of Aurel. Karuna sees the church is full of people in what appears to be a very fanatical preaching session. He notes the mayor sitting amongst the church-goers.

After a long while not getting answers from the Gray Reader, Kilian closes the Chronicles of Kanzareth. Shortly afterwards the library doors open and two inquisitors enter. Between them, none other than Durio Octavius arrives. Kilian is able to quickly hide and remain unseen when Durio and the inquisitors scout the area. Peeking through a bookcase, Kilian sees Durio pick up a book, mutter a chant and then put it back. Shortly after, Durio's entourage quickly leaves the library, leaving Kilian to freely investigate the book. Opening the book, his cat-eyes find only blank pages. With a nervous hand he goes to open the Chronicles of Kanzareth, grimacing when his suspicions are confirmed: the book is now full of historical texts about the deserts of Kanzareth.
Kilian rushes out of the library and the party bumps into eachother on the eastern Nordstream bridge, where a small commotion is happening. They see how a priest of Aurel and Jovian are debating, surrounded by a group of rowdy peasants. The debate quickly turns into a small riot when someone throws a stone. The party quickly move out of the riot's path into Thomas' cabin, where Kilian reveals that the Gray Reader is actually Durio. Armed with this new information, the party goes to consult the Grayhoods.

The Grayhoods are confused by the new information more than anything. The secret identity of the Gray Reader has been paramount to the cabal's success, and many senior members have praised the Reader's proficiency in keeping the Grayhoods safe, stating that his intel was the sole reason that Vicky's group survived a complete slaughter.
The more and more discussion was had, it became evident that Durio could very well be the Gray Reader and while this discussion was coming to a close, Viggo finally gave a report. Viggo was still staking out the House of Inquiry and reported dozens of inquisitors led by Durio to be traveling northwards. When Viggo followed them, the groups divided into 4 at the Forum, with Durio leaving out of the Northern gates.
This alerted the Grayhoods, as there were a total of 5 entrances to the hideout, with only the most recently built one being unknown to the Gray Reader. The 5th one leads straight into the city, where such a large group would have trouble hiding from the Inquisition. The Grayhoods then begin to frantically prepare their teleportation circle for escape, while the players take positions near the entrance where they suspect Durio to come through...

Session 24: Fall of the Grayhoods

The Grayhoods are able to whisk away half of their numbers before a total of 12 inquisitors and Durio arrive at the hideout. When the two sides were staring each other down, Durio reveals that his original intentions with the Grayhoods aligned with their current goals, but then sadly remarked that in the passing years, he became disillusioned with the idea of toppling a theocracy with the Grayhoods. After studying much history, he realized that when the true seat of power of a nation is a religion, it is almost impossible to overthrow. But he also realized that even slight disagreements in faith, could lead to blood and that became the basis of his new plan: civil war between two sects of the Platinum Truth.
Unfortunately for the Grayhoods and conveniently for Durio, mages with their destructive powers were a great scapegoat. This paired with the misinformation of the official church hindering the Inquistion, gained quick support for the Sect of Aurel.

Durio then attempted to turn the party to his cause and demanded the Grayhoods to surrender. Durio tried to convince Autismus that their powers were not divine, by telling about how he lost faith in the Emperor and still retained his divine powers - something that was undocumented outside of the Platinum Truth. He told of his journey to the depths of lake Auron, where he claims to have found the real source of their "divine" power. He further tried to convince them that what he is doing is for the good of "his" people, the Norfel, by ridding Nordgard of all non-natives and the civil war was only the first step in this.

The party was understandably against genocide, but their situation was precarious with the 12 inquisitors looming around them and Durio flaunting an Earthquake-scroll. They were able to deceive Durio that they would join his cause if he let the Grayhoods live, as Karuna and Kilian were loveless towards the Empire. Ana and Maria were disgusted by this decision, but the conversation lasted long enough for them to activate the teleportation circle one last time, whisking them away along with a few other Grayhoods. Nearly half of the Grayhoods then surrendered to Durio and were put in chains. Durio gave a small mission to the party to prove their loyalty. They were to retrieve the last Earthquake scroll, which was to arrive tomorrow. To keep an eye on the party, Durio assigned 3 inquisitors to follow them.

The scroll was to be delivered to the same small reef where the party had caught SGI-XXI. Using his telepathic "Spies' murmur" item, Kilian told Viggo to go and hire some thugs from Black Horizon and send them to the reef. Once there, the reinforced party was able to overpower the inquisitors. The obisidian walls of the cave most likely interfered with Durio's connection, but the Durio would notice soon. For now, the party would wait for the scroll transport, while keeping an eye out for Durio...

Session 25: Zhutac, the Demon Lord of Lies

In the morning, the party notice two vessels in the horizon. The foremost ship is being hounded by the larger vessel behind. Kilian identifies the first ship to be from Einar's Shipping Company and from the looks of it, they are outsped and outgunned. The party realize that it might be Ivan's and Lance's ship that is in trouble, so they make a hasty decision to board their small sailing boat and set a course towards the naval combat.
Dodging cannonfire from the enemy ship and frantickly bailing out water after the dodging didn't go so well, they manage to reach the combat a few minutes before their vessel sinks into the cold water.

When the party board the enemy vessel, they realize it is Sgt. Carrington and corporal Addicus that are the assailants. As Ivan mauls away at the pirates on the gangplanks, the party is able to neutralize most of the enemy crew. Kilian deals a deathly blow to Carrington with his rapier. As the rapier drains Carrington's blood it grows ever lighter and small cracks begin in the steel. Kilian allows a duo of pirates to board the lifeboat, but Addicus isn't so lucky. In cold blood, Kilian pierces Addicus with the rapier, yet again draining the life out of him. The rapier now begins to tremble as the steel gets lighter and lighter. More cracks begin to form, when suddenly the blade shatters and a cloud of dark smoke envelops the entire pirate ship!
The party is enveloped in the necrotic smoke and everyone except for Kilian begins to cough in agony in the darkness. Most are able to navigate their way out onto Ivan's ship, but Kilian stays behind in the fog. Kilian, while still holding the rapier's hilt sees a laughing white mask in the darkness. It beckons to him "I thank thee my champion, once again may the world know the mischief of Zhutac, the Demon Lord of Lies!"

When the party realize that the fog moves with the hilt, Kilian strikes a deal with Zhutac that he would deal away with Durio. Kilian manages to convince the sceptical Karuna and Autimus that all Zhutac wants is powerful evil souls. Using the remaining ships, the party along with Ivan and Lance return to the reef. They get a message from Viggo, that Durio with a group of inquisitors is heading that way, presumably to investigate why he lost connection to the inquisitors they neutralized yesterday, so they form a plan to drop the rapier into the cave and let Zhutac take out Durio. At this point the party notices that thick columns of smoke are rising from Nordbay, but soon after they see a black vessel take sail form the harbor.

The party then takes a rowboat to the coast and stakes out the reef from a distance. They see the black ship arrive and inquisitors begin pouring onto the reef, securing the place. Then High Lector Durio Octavius steps onto the islet and climbs the stony steps up to the cave entrance. Everyone in the party lightens up when Durio jumps down into the cave. Minutes pass, but after a while the sky turns dark. Clouds gather and lightning strikes as a black column of smoke rises into the skies. As it dissipates, Durio levitates from the cave high up into the air. He lets out a roar of disbelieving laughter and with maniacal glee flies around in circles rolling around in the desceding storm. Soon he focuses on Nordbay, extends his hands towards the docks and lifts open air as if straining against some unseen force. Giant tidal waves crash into the docks! Half of the northern Imperial fleet is decimated in mere seconds as the waves splinter wood and sink steel, leaving nothing but flotsam in their wake. The city itself is also shook, but after viewing the destruction, Durio turns towards the northwest and with thunderous sonic booms, flies out into the open ocean, presumably towards Nordving.
It would indeed appear, that the Demon Lord of Lies just wanted a new, stronger, more dangerous champion.

The party scrambles back into the city which is pouring out refugees. All around them they see chaos: 10 hanged Grayhoods, beggars breaking windows, peasants attacking priests, priests attacking priests and all of the guards making futile efforts to calm things down. Nordbay is burning.
The party discover the House of Inquiry and the Bank of Vedrix & Lunaris to be heavily guarded by inquisitors. Karuna deduces that they must be protecting something. Ultimately the party decides they are not equipped to deal with Durio, the Inquisition and the civil war. They flee northwards to the town of Norwater with Lance and Ivan.

Arriving in Norwater they discover that the town's few inquisitors have been subdued with great effort. The party tells how to kill the inquisitors, effectively making it common knowledge in Nordbay.
After spending a few days planning, they decide that they need more information about demons to combat this new threat. Karuna enlightens Kilian and Autismus that demons are especially weakened when their True Name is spoken out loud. Armed with this information, they set sail east towards the Arca Veneficus Academy; the only place in the Auronian Empire where the study of arcane magic is permitted. Once they reach the next harbor, they hear news about the situation in Nordgard: Nordving has invaded.

So begins a new age in the Imperium; never in over 300 years has there been this much conflict on the borders of the Empire. Can the Empire repel the hordes of undead at the Gates of Agrippa? Will the crack into the feywild pose a problem? What will happen to Nordgard? Can Autismus & the Associates defeat Durio and his new patron Zhutac? We will see...

Campaign is on a break 🧙