Worlds Apart

Session 39 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

The prisoners shielded their eyes from the bright lights of Christian’s badge. He announced his group as Returners here to help. They pleaded with him to please hurry. Redden took to work opening the door. Within there were 4 nobles who claimed to have arrived 2 nights ago after being pulled through the skies at high speed. They didn’t know why they were taken. When asked of their family heritage, they informed that they were indeed part of the founding families of the city of Nikeah generations ago. They said the blue man who captured them claimed they would pay for the sins of their forefathers, but were just as confused as our heroes as to why it happened.

In the next room over, Redden heard more voices pleading for help before the creature returned. Within they found four more nobles, including the venerable Tharsten Trut, who had all been taken the night before. They, too, offered little in the way of help. They relayed only their fears and pleaded to the party save them from the blue monster that stole them away and flew them to this isolated prison. The group fed the prisoners pickles from a nearby storeroom and tried to alleviate their concerns while wondering what they were supposed to do. Many feared that the djinni could return any moment. As they conversed, Tharsten asked repeatedly if they had the key, and Tequila felt panic take hold. She cast a spell on Lance, allowing them to communicate with long range whispers, and took wing back to the River Rat. She told him she would let him know of any trouble coming.

The group was at a loss with the prisoners as they surely couldn’t sail the ship and trailing it slowly behind the River Rat would only keep them a target of the djinni should it return. They heard movement upstairs; something was afoot! As they made to rush towards the upper decks, they were confronted by some mephits. In the crowded lower deck, they fought bravely and fell the monsters that impeded their progress, though one managed to fly upstairs.

They told the prisoners to stay where they were as they would likely be safer in their cells. Tequila whispered to Lance that she could feel something was coming, and with that Christian felt a shift; as if the walls of the ship were vibrating or warbling with some unheard oscillation or pitch. They pushed forward and the wood of the walls themselves warped and blocked their path.

Christian, leading the charge, smashed through the barricade with his mace and they quickly ran up the stairs to the middle deck. He was greeted with the slashing guisarmes of two mephits whom the party also took to dispatching. Lance, in particular, found his longsword making short work of the creatures.

There was something in the air, all right. And the party pushed forward, paying particular attention to the walls when the floor instead opened beneath them almost swallowing Christian if not for a quick catch by Redden who swung him to safety around the corner. They assisted each other and pressed forward up to the main deck. Tequila reached out to Lance and her voice suddenly dropped a few octaves as someone or something was taking hold of her. The voice informed Lance that the vessel they knew as Tequila would be indisposed, and that they should keep her safe as the angels worked their magic.

It was on the main deck that they encountered an enormous and imposing figured of an ancient blue man with legs like tornadoes and a voice that lingered in the wind. Blackfeather circled overhead and squawked in panic. The distant sound of barking and whimpering was telling that the dogs had returned to the shady hall leading to the captain’s quarters; likely trapping Jay and Swabby Bob within. There was no sign of Tequila. The djinni known to some as Niflheim and to others as Jarl of the North Wind demanded to know where the Vernal Orbs were, and just who dared to venture onto his ship.

Set aback, the group stepped onto the main deck and started to speak to the hulking creature that huffed and puffed in frustration. They introduced themselves and he recognized them as the brave adventurers who destroyed his pet Cryohydra. He knew they must be capable warriors, but wondered if they would be smart enough to make a deal with him. He knew they had the Vernal Orbs somewhere, so he asked if they would be so kind as to destroy the artifact somehow, he would grant them anything they wanted. Anything they wanted.

As tempting as the offer was, they knew they couldn’t trust or accept it. However, with encouragement in his ear from Tequila and her “passenger,” to keep the djinni busy, Lance instead showed interest in the creature ’s story and pressed him for some history as to why he wanted the orbs gone and why he was trapped inside.

“Niflheim” claimed that ages ago, as Jarl of the North Wind, he assisted the people from before… elves, mostly, who made deals with outsiders and other creatures to improve upon their magic and create objects of such great power to improve and benefit their society. Sometimes the deals weren’t mutual, and the creatures were trapped inside objects against their will. The Vernal Orbs were made to use the power of a powerful outsider to create warmth and magical protection. The orbs themselves were meant to imprison someone known as the Mad Caliph, a djinn of great power and notoriety… but the mortals were deceived by a trick and the Jarl was incarcerated instead.

This was the first any of them had heard of a Mad Caliph. None was seen or discussed around these parts that anyone could figure. It was a name lost to the ages.

He claimed that he spent years, centuries, perhaps millennia within the orb due to the greed and ignorance of mortal beings. He was released recently due to shaking and magical disruption of some unknown cause, and found himself in a world much unlike the one he left behind. As much as the people now comparatively suffer with primitive cultures and superstition, he still felt the need to exact his own revenge on the world for the wrong done unto him; starting with the descendants of those who founded the city of Nikeah. For generations, these people enjoyed the warmth of the orbs to protect itself from the cold of winter, and the monsters that came with it. How dare they find prosperity in his misery? How dare they use him!?

Christian asserted the elves and their culture seem that have been mostly wiped from existence and that people today were innocent of any wrong-doings from the people before.

The Jarl felt that the heroes were stalling and did not know how to destroy the orbs, nor trusting that they actually would do so if they could, he told them to simply get on their boat and leave him to his revenge…. lest they anger him further with their ignorance. They couldn’t do that. They had promised to return the people and the ship back to Nikeah and found themselves at an impasse with this creature.

The tension was relieved quite suddenly with a bolt from the crossbow of the impetuous Boram Slystone. A shot which travelled straight through the head of the giant djinni and into the mast of the Caitlin’s Breeze. This was accompanied by the rising figure of Tequila who radiated with holy magic unseen before. Her arms were outstretched and her posture adroit as she and a pulsating, nay, breathing orb rose from the port side of the ship. The party had to do more than talk to keep the angry Jarl of the North Wind busy.

Combat was swift and dangerous, the large djinni garbled on as a smaller one appeared from nowhere and attempted to swing his warhammer at Christian who barely deflected the blow with his shield. The attack was a fly-by and the djinni made it’s way above the port side, seemingly away from retaliation. Lance showing acrobatic prowess and great sea legs ran along the rail of the ship and swung at him with intimidating finesse. “The power of Desna compels you,” he shouted and sent the creature into a shaken state. Redden called Blackfeather to fly to the safety of the other side of the ship and then provided covering fire at mephits and the djinni alike.

Noticing the lyrakien and the orbs floating behind him, Niflheim put two and two together. He commanded the angel to stop her ritual at once and flew at her with full-force, fully intending to smash her into the clouds with his warhammer. His weapon rebounded off a forcefield around the Vernal Orbs, and Tequila’s tiny frame kept her safe within. The mephits also tried whatever tricks they could muster to keep the lyrakien away from the orb and put an end to her chanting, but failed in all manner of attempt. In frustration, the djinni commanded her again to stop or else he would kill her friends and took to focusing his attacks on the others. The tiny azata gasped at the thought, but put her faith in Desna and the strength of her friends to the test; she and her passenger would not stop.

Lance jumped aboard the wheelhouse of the River Rat and readied himself to strike his foe should he make another move towards his angelic friend. Tequila moved past him with the orbs back to the Caitlin’s Breeze to try to keep the djinni in range of the party’s attacks. The Jarl did a flyby towards Lance and the two traded blows. Lance stuck his longsword into Niflheim’s core with unerring precision, while the djinni struck hard at his shoulder with his warhammer causing the hard drinking hero great pain. Truly, the djinni was fierce and due to his speed was difficult to strike with even ranged attacks. His mephits proved to be more than an inconvenience as they interposed themselves to prevent attacks on the Jarl and chip away at the health and morale of the heroes with magical abilities and slashing guisarmes.

Redden and Boram fired arrows and bolts at the Jarl of the North wind and his menacing mephits, as the party remained steadfast. They met the Jarl and his band of outsiders with great courage and conviction. They would not fail or falter as the lyrakien azata’s chanting caused the orbs to spark out in large rays, much like the picture they saw on the pages of Jarl Albrook’s book, eventually resulting in the air itself cracking open and a strong suction pulling towards anyone and anything too close to the portal. Tequila and the spirits within her pleaded at Christian to get away, but he bravely pushed forward, gripped the rail of the ship and attempted the strike down the djinni with his scimitar. He hoped to weaken it enough to trap it within the orbs and didn’t want it to get away.

The Jarl of the North Wind had other plans, if he could not avoid his fate he would atleast take someone with him. Making himself invisible, he maneuvered away from Christian and behind him to catch him in a grapple. Christian could not break free and was pulled through the portal along with the djinni.

Christian found himself in a chamber that had a blue radiance about it. The room and the prominent altar at its center had five points, like a star. He had to wonder if it would be his fate to spend the remainder of his life trapped with an angry djinni within the Vernal Orbs. He looked up above him and saw the opening revealing the skies above. The sun, Seranrae’s light, was high in the noon hour and shining brightly down on him. Would he die to keep this creature trapped in this place with him and provide warmth and safety for his friends and the people of Nikeah? Or could he somehow make it out of this mess? He wasn’t sure. In stoic selfless confidence, he felt glad it was him and not any of his friends.

END OF SESSION

NOTABLE NPCS

Niflheim, Jarl of the North Wind – Wrongfully imprisoned by magical people aeons ago and really, really pissed off about it.

View
Session 38 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

A marvel of dwarven technology, the steam engines installed on the River Rat allowed it to press forward through the fog without need of wind and sail. The artifact on board melted through the fog around them gave them some visibility. Aboard, the party took to assisting Captain Boram in whatever way possible. Redden was assigned to tend to ropes and check on tow-line which was hastily installed the day before by Sam. Christian checked on the reinforced hull and found it to be suitable armor to protect the boat from damage caused by being rammed by ships or overly large gars. Meanwhile, Lance took some time to teach Tequila some sea shanties, and worked with Steve, getting a general feel for the activities and maintenance involved in running this sturdy old barge that was made by his grandfather. Their teamwork solidified them as a capable crew, despite most of them having little experience on boats.

Tequila spent a large portion of the morning below deck examining the Vernal Orbs with hopes of better understanding their use, function, and how they might assist the party if and when they would meet the djinni somewhere on the lake. She planned to commune with the azatas of Elysium for assistance in the matter, but needed to wait until the next day before she would be able to do so.

By the afternoon they had discovered the body of a man floating in the lake. Boram lowered and cut the engines and they pulled it in with gaff hooks. He was a Gilead Naval Office, but only the stripes on his jacket could identify him as such. His body was bludgeoned by something big, and some of the creatures in the lake had been nibbling on his arms and legs.

As the group examined and discussed the poor officer’s fate, they noticed a large fish with its head out of the water staring at them and seemingly taking interest in their conversation. It stared at Redden in particular. When hailed, it replied in what they recognized as sylvan. It asked the one with “fey eyes” like witch lights what he sought. Despite Tequila doing the translation, it kept its focus on him. The group had Tequila ask about the ship and the islands nearby with hopes of tracking down the djinni. It didn’t know of flying creatures, having little interaction with the skies above the mists, but it spoke of a man ship having some trouble in the days prior.

Their conversation was interrupted as the fish changed forms into something a little more humanoid. A shape that they recognized as a nixie, having encountered one before in the Phantom Forest. It shouted some words of warning and pointed behind them. From the other side of the boat, a stealthy devil fish was climbing aboard and took to striking and grabbing Lance with some of its seven tentacles. Tequila informed the party that devil fish were intelligent creatures, believed to have abyssal heritage. Their bites were known to be highly poisonous. Outnumbered, the creature barely got a chance to get a grip on Lance before his friends cut into it. Tequila used the wand of grease to assist Lance with escaping before the creature could pull him overboard. Realizing this would not be an easy meal, the devilfish sprayed dark ichor onto the party and boat before retreating to the safety of the water.

Christian and Tequila tended to Lance’s wounds and the group was left to clean up the ship and themselves after talking further with the nixie. The devil fish did not return.

She told them that should they seek the ship they would need to correct their course a little and she pointed in the direction where she saw it go. She also told them of a nearby island in another direction, but discouraged them from heading there as it was inhabited by merrows, the amphibious green skinned cousins of ogres. The lake nixies knew nothing of djinnis flying through the sky but wished them luck with their dealings as they discovered together that much was changing on land and in the water.

They decided to follow the course towards the missing ship, and would hopefully get more help from Tequila after her commune to confirm if they were heading in the right direction to save the most amount of people. It wasn’t a decision any of them took lightly, but the city of Nikeah took precedent.

By evening, the engines were cut and the anchor was weighed. The group worried about what was happening and if they could somehow put a stop to it all. They wondered if and how the portal under the temple of Razmir which swallowed their foil, Jack, had something to do with it. After all, it was accompanied by a powerful earthquake and the appearance of the fog. They discussed what they knew, and came up with some questions to ask of the angels, finding it challenging to word them for yes or no answers.

They organized a watch for the night, and all was quiet and safe… though during Boram’s watch, his girlfriend Sam came out of hiding , having stowed-away below deck. He thought he had left her sleeping in Nikeah, but it would seem she had other plans. The two of them argued even after Christian was woken for his turn at watch. They headed to the wheelhouse and while both Christian and Boram were both concerned with her well-being she was adamant about being aboard “her boat” and not being left out of adventures anymore. She brandished a heavy wrench and claimed she could take care of herself. Christian felt it would be best to let Boram deal with it on his own and focused on patrolling the ship and watching the waters of Lake Yggdrasil as the boat bobbed. No further disturbances occurred in the night and all aboard tried to ignore any sounds coming from the wheelhouse.

In the morning, Christian sat, facing east, and greeted the rising sun in worship as best he could through the fog. Redden and Blackfeather meditated on the roof of the ship. Lance wiped the sleep from his eyes after whatever alcohol-fueled lucid dreams he had made for himself. Nobody felt much need to address to the elephant in the room, especially seeing as she had prepared a warm cereal breakfast along with some dried meats and fruit. Tequila took to her ritual and communed with Elysium for answers to the questions they came up with the night before.
The questions and answers were as follows:

1 Can the power of the orbs be recharged? Yes.
2 If we kill the djinni, will it get rid of the power of the orbs? Yes. 3 Is the djinni evil? No.
4 Does it reside on an island? No.
5 Are the orbs dangerous for sentient creatures to possess? “Nature of people to covet” 6 Can you help us? Yes.

Deciding to focus on the ship, the engines were fired up, once again, and moved forward. The crew of the River Rat caught first sight of the Caitlin’s Breeze by late morning through the spy glass. They slowed down and approached with caution. There was no sign of sailors on deck and as they got closer the sound of dogs barking could be heard. So strange that dogs would be on the deck of a naval vessel; this was not standard protocol.

Boram pulled up on the port side, and it was discussed that Boram, Sam, and Steve would stay aboard the River Rat with the Vernal Orbs while the rest explored the ship. Redden used his Traveler’s Anytool in the shape of a grappling hook to allow the party easy access to the ship. They gathered some of the dried meat and Redden headed up the rope first.

Peering on the deck, he noted a handful of well-bred dogs sprawled out in the morning sun; some slept while others licked at themselves or drank rain water caught in the unused lifeboats. Some looked at him and growled with suspicion. He took to using wild empathy and dog whispered the pooches into a friendlier state before inviting his friends to join him. Christian, Lance, and Tequila joined him on deck and they took to scanning the ship for signs of human life. The door on the forecastle bore little beyond empty hammocks and untouched personal affects. The aftcastle passage was clogged with dogs pawing at a door and barking. The party used their meat to distract the dogs and took them out to the deck.

As Redden approached the door he smelled what could only be some of the cannabis herb that many a country boy enjoyed. On the door itself, a sign with the words “Captain Dante Hicks” were written, though “Dante Hicks” had been hastily, and messily painted over with a big “J.”

Testing the door for traps and locks, he found that the door handle was suddenly held shut. Christian took point and knocked. After a moment of seeming hesitation, a small voice called out “Who’s there?” to which Christian replied “Returners.” and was rewarded with a swarmy “Returners who?” as if been played with. He managed to make his way into the room where he found himself flanked by two men. One halfling in ill-fitting captain’s garb and tricorne, and one barrel chested human with oddly expressive eyes. “Whappow! Get him, Lunch Box!” shouted the halfling, while the big man looked at Christian’s armor and steely gaze and threw his friend an angry dismissive look. Christian turned his attention to the hatted halfling and demanded he take off his tricorne to check to see if this was not another goblin in disguise. The halfling bowed sarcastically with his large hat in hand and didn’t change into a goblin; good enough, Christian supposed.

The room reeked of smoke as the two of them, who the little one introduced as Captain Jay and Swabby / First Mate Bob were held up inside for almost two days, hiding from the dogs outside. They claimed they didn’t want to hurt the animals, but the dogs kept jumping on them and humping them. Jay did all the talking and swore a lot, even by sailors’ standards.

When asked about how they ship came to be under such dire circumstances, and how he came to be captain Jay told his story of the “big blue fuck” who surprised him on deck one day as he was mopping.

He used be a swabby deckhand which was really boring for him and Bob. But a few days ago, a blue guy flew up to him. He called himself “Jarl of the North Wind” and asked Jay what his wish was. Being hungry, Jay told him to make a sandwich and the blue man conjured up a sandwich so big it couldn’t be finished. It had a nice rye bread, spicy mustard, but to Jay’s disappointment, the turkey was a little dry.

When pressed to get to more important things, Jay continued.

The blue man promised Jay two more wishes and encouraged him to be more ambitious. Jay claimed he had wished that he could be captain of the ship as he always wanted to sail around the world, find a mermaid and fuck her. What he didn’t count on was the blue man’s follow through… he killed everyone on board that didn’t agree with Jay’s promotion (everyone except for Bob) He smashed them with a big hammer, and spun them up into the air in a big wooshing whirlwind and sent them flying into the lake. Jay felt bad that so many people died as it wasn’t really his intention. With his last wish, he asked that the blue man bring him some fine ass bitches who wanted nothing more but to fuck him and Swabby Bob all the time (Snoogins!) but once again, the blue man twisted his words and brought aboard the many female dogs seen on deck.

When Christian showed disapproval for his actions and wishes, Jay lamented that Swabby Bob couldn’t get past his silent bit to try to wish things better. This stirred an anger in his friend who suddenly shouted “CAN’T YOU SEE!? HE WAS FUCKING WITH US! GODS!” before focusing back on his smoke to relieve the tension.

The only particularly helpful thing Jay could say was that he and Bob were told not to go to the lower deck. They asked the party to help them open the chest in the room to see if there was anything helpful inside. Redden obliged and found some valuables belonging to the former captain, but chose to leave the items inside and lock it again; Jay never seemed to get what he wished for.

The party left them in the room and Jay asked if they could bring back some pieces of the sandwich if they could as he and Sw-First Mate Bob were starving. The party gave it the briefest of consideration, but little else as they explored what they found to be a ghost ship. Their Returner badges illuminated all the rooms and revealed them to be devoid of people. The crew’s things were left as they were on the day that they died. The only sounds were that of the creaking wood of the ship and their own steps on the planks.

Indeed, they found the biggest sandwich they had ever seen on the table in the mess hall on the middle deck. One of the dogs was pawing and whimpering at the door.

Eventually, the group found their way to the lower deck. Many boxes, and some empty cages cluttered the hold. As they reached the rear of the ship, the party could hear some sounds of movement and muffled speaking. As they rounded the corner, their lights shone through some bars of a cell door. Inside, some finely dressed noble people shielded their eyes from the sudden glare. “Oh no! He’s back!” a few shouted with notable fear in their voices.

END OF SESSION

NOTABLE NPCS:

Samantha “Sam” Frye – Stowed away for shiny adventures with her boyfriend, Boram.

Nixie – Paid close attention to Redden, helped the party find their way.

Azatas of Elysium – Supposedly going to help Tequila with the Vernal Orbs.

Niflheim – djinni, self-proclaimed Jarl of the North Wind

Captain Dante Hicks and crew – deceased, supposed to be here today.

Jay and Swabby Bob – Hetero lifemates, former deckhands and now defacto captain and first mate of the Caitlin’s Breeze.

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Session 37 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

During the day, the party was met by some of the city guard who rewarded party with a sac of coins valuing 800gp for the capture of dastardly bandits Old Tom, Bob, and Needles.

At Waldorf’s Worldly Wonders, the party bought a wand of Protection from Evil (Christian carries for party) and Redden bought what Waldorf referred to as a Traveler’s Any Tool. This rod, of unknown origin, has the ability to change into just about any mundane tool one could imagine.

Christian put some thought into the mithral costs to make a new breastplate. The group also decided to have Tequila carry their wand of Cure Moderate Wounds to better assist them in combat.

Afterwards, they headed back to the harbour to meet up with Boram and his crew. At the Rear Admiral, they were given a heroes’ welcome (free drinks!) and enjoyable meal of fish. With very little need of convincing, they talked him into being their captain. Sam informed the group that the hull and light ballista re-enforced in case of any further encounters with overly large aquatic beasts. While the dwarven technology aboard would allow the River Rat to travel, regardless of fickle winds, the issue of the mists remained. Short of installing a large brazier at the front of the ship, the group would need a strong heat source to deal with the fog on the lake. The group decided they must approach the Jarl and inquire about borrowing the city’s magical heat source. They told Boram that they would get back to him soon with more details. Sam would get to work affixing a “toe-line” in case they would need to tug the ship back to the city.

They went back to Red Raven Inn to coordinate with Campbell Williams. They spoke about strategies to hold the city together once panic struck with further cooling of the city. The considered having Ragnar’s men and top city guards/military lead sellswords and guards to protect all areas from threats such as looters, riots, or monsters. Campbell agreed to set up a meeting with the Jarl again for that night. He left the party at the inn with a chance to rest a bit, Lance played music along with Tequila and helped ease their collective weariness from a busy, busy day. Anatole and Loquar were hard at research. Anatole looking into the city’s history in between researching Razmir and Loquar poring over the Monster Manual for more information about the undead, as he was looking into setting up another expedition to a place called Droskar’s Crag. He mentioned this was the site of his previous failings.

Campbell and Michael returned and informed that Jarl Albrook would meet them tonight out of urgency. They headed there and found the Jarl with his three confidants: his childhood best friend Aslaug Belethor, a friend of his father Esberg Mjoll, and Tharsten Trut, the oldest man in town. The three men added another barrier between the party and their goal of convincing the Jarl of lending them the city’s most precious treasure.

Through hard negotiation and diplomacy, the party convinced the Jarl that it could be the only way. Campbell and a confident Christian layed it on thick. They eventually agreed to let them take the orb out for 2 day’s travel out and 2 day’s back (4 days total) and hoped that the party would also find the “Caitlin’s Breeze” (the missing naval ship) as well as deal with the genie.

Along with this. through conversation in private the council discovered that their families held secrets over the generations to how the orbs were a source of power and appear to have been used to seal away the creature. Old man Trut was convinced it would be the key to all of this. From some missing pages from the Jarl’s book, held by Esberg, a picture of a star accompanied the genie’s disappearance… could there be a link to Desna? It was considered that Tequila may need to commune to gain more insight into the magic to seal away the genie.

Before their departure, the council also asked that Christian meet with the church of Seranrae to get their assistance in the difficult days to come. There will be a strong need of faith and community to keep things safe. They also hoped that the Red Raven would be continue to help the city keep crime in check. The last part of their meeting was interrupted by guards in a panic about noble people disappearing from their homes. Could the creature be targeting descendants of people who sealed it away?

Christian donned his muleback cords and carried the covered box with the orbs disguising it as normal, mundane cargo to the River Rat. The party woke Steve and had him show them a place to stow it below deck. Lance, Redden and Tequila stayed on the boat to ensure its safety in the night.

At dawn, Christian visited the humble temple of Serenrae north of the Drowning Cat, and was greeted with confusion as the clergy didn’t know of a Paladin in the city. Christian rallied them to the support of the city, and makes a donation of 100gp worth of gems to help with the cause. They promised to set up shelters, soup kitchens, and communal fires to bring the warmth of Serenrae to the people should trying times present themselves.

They met with Boram in the morning.and after regrouping, shipped out, Boram fired up the engines and as the boat pushed out towards the fog, they found that the mists in front of and around the boat evaporated and their path was much clearer. This worked much better than the little burning boats that faithful people were sending out to push back the fog. Thoughts and prayers, while good for the people’s spirit, weren’t as good as action and magic.

{Fast Forward}

In the late afternoon of their first day on the lake, they spotted something small floating in the waters ahead. The engines were lowered and then cut to retrieve it.. It was a man’s body and after flipping it over with a gaff hook, his naval officer’s uniform was revealed.

End Session

NOTABLE NPCS:

* Aslaug Belethor – the Jarl’s childhood friend, calm headed and deeply concerned for his friend and city.

  • Esberg Mjoll – a friend of the Jarl’s father, grumpy and holder of missing pages from the Albrook family tome.
  • Tharsten Trut – The oldest man in town, a bit touched but convinced the Vernal Orbs were the key to solving their problems.
View
Session 36 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

From Session Notes (Rough Summary)

- Hydra defeated, woosh overhead going towards the lake, they tend to wounded people and deal with Waldorf’s heart.
- Campbell and Red Raven dodge questions for now. Williams wants to take the heat source to confront the Jarl. Sverri and Odd report back to Earl Ragnar, Boram and company help people on other side of harbour, Loquar accompanies Waldorf home
- Less guards about, Campbell pays them off for entry, using his status as a prominent noble to get an audience with the Jarl. Has clout, no doubt.
- Find the Jarl in his livingroom by the fire. Lance tries a threatning approach while Christian tries to be diplomatic. He likens them to Earl Ragnar and his wife respectively, and opens up.
- He spills the beans on “Nifelheim” a blueskinned flying man who has visited him a few times in the past few weeks. Relates it to a story he was told by his grandfather as a boy about a creature that was seemingly worshipped in the past that helped make the city prosperous, but somehow things didn’t go well and they had to imprison it below ground. It has been released and threatened to punish the city for the sins of their fore-fathers.
- Tequila speaks of the planes, and extra-planar creatures… believes “Nifelheim” to be a Djinn, or Genie.
- The party agrees that they must figure this out if the city will be safe and the Jarl promises to assist them in taking care of it discretely. Earl Ragnar arrives and is intercepted by Campbell Williams. He takes him outside to talk him down.
- The party leaves the “Vernal Orbs” with the Jarl.
- Redden questions Ragnar about the camps. Ragnar informs them that they too were attacked and had to fend off mistborn creatures. Was impressed by Sverri and Odd’s account, and thanks them for their continued efforts.
- Back to Red Raven Inn, Lance regales Agnes and they clean up before Campbell returns.
- Trusting you, Campbell admits that he is the Red Raven and the show at the Jarl’s house was part of his plan to try to get the Jarl to open up about the problems in town, and at the same time make sure that the public saw him and the Raven as separate people. Michael Freeman shows up, and admits to having worn the cowl more than a few times these days to help his friend. Campbell says he worries about backlash from crime bosses for their crime fighting.
- Group splits up to cover more ground. Christian at Rear Admiral to talk to sailors, hears that one of the ships hasn’t returned. Lance goes to Drowning Cat, hears a lot of negative talk about the city, but is proud to hear of adventurers fighting at the harbour. Redden goes to Lusty Goblin and gets the VIP treatment after showing the token given by O’Detta.
- Regroup and discuss hiring Boram to take them into the mist, perhaps with the vernal orbs to find the genie.
Find Loquar at Waldorf’s Worldly Wonders. The mogwai is singing in the corner and the two are chewing the fat. They shoot a look to the group to remind them not to discuss Waldorf’s health struggles. He’s looking tired but okay. The party wants to discuss their reward for returning the mogwai.

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Session 35 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

At the docks of Nikeah, multiple angry snake-like heads rose from the sleek, serpentine body of a terrifying gargantuan cryohydra. It’s body was at once solid and seemingly part of the mists which had rolled in quite suddenly. It breathed out icy cold breath that instantly froze a sailor desperately grabbing at the tools and equipment that were his livelihood.
The monster screeched and roared as it tore up the harbour.

The mists had no doubt caught the navy ships off guard and left the navy unable to assist with the attack on the city. The town guard was occupied in battles with misborn, bird-like, creatures and air mephits that were attacking citizens in the areas of the city closest to the water of Lake Yggdrasil.

The party did their best to lower the number of casualties, but witnessed great damage to the docks and moored boats and ships as they fought off the monsters and slowed the advance of the hydra and mists that were closing in on Nikeah. As they fought they sent their lyrakien friend, Tequila, in search of aid. She returned shortly after with their friend Loquar who supported the party with magic and summoned fire elementals to burn away the mists which provided the party with easier targets. Tequila strummed at her lyre and played in inspirational tune which roused bravery in her allies. As the monsters were struck out of the air, they disappeared like dry ice sublimating into clouds of nothingness.

Reddens put his new bow and magic to the test as he fired arrows at the hydra heads, damaging and incapacitating them where possible. The mists proved difficult causing him to miss more than he would have liked and the difficult terrain caused him to fall and snap at his wrist as oars and rope underfoot seemingly conspired against his efforts.

They were later joined by Sverri and Odd, the young reachmen whom the group had saved from Old Tom at Cloverkeep. They insisted on helping the party fight back the monsters at the dock and informed them that Earl Ragnar and his other men rushed to the eastern camp to protect the refuges nearest to the water. They fought alongside Christian and Lance to protect people trapped in their homes and shops and those escaping from the docks.

The great Waldorf himself arrived soon after, having fought his way through countless creatures with a flaming double axe that created small bursts of fire as he struck whatever monster was foolish enough to stand in his way. He reiterated to the group that the creatures were weak to fire and layed out a supply of alchemist’s fire to assist in the fight.

Campbell Williams joined them soon after telling them that the Jarl would be of no help but assistance was on the way. He bellowed the group should hang in there and keep it up. He himself was kept busy fighting off two air mephits with his rapier. A raven flew in and delivered a message to him, which he relayed as help getting even closer.

As the party managed to hold back the monster’s advances and decapitate a few of the hydra’s heads, they seared the creature with fire to prevent regrowth. Christian braved the cold, knowing full well he was especially susceptible to its chilling damage. Tequila rode to the front lines on Waldorf’s back as he charged into battle with surprising swiftness for someone with a peg-leg and a weak heart. Tequila was without fear of the cold due to her angelic nature. She did double duty in inspiring the group through song and curing damage to Christian, Lance and Waldorf to keep them in the fight as they took wild swipes at the heads.

This help promised by Campbell Williams was felt soon after as warm air was approaching and pushing back the rolling mist. As Anatole and the Red Raven arrived with a box held by poles, the body of the cryohydra was exposed to all attacks by the heroes and their friends. The group could only surmise that whatever was contained in the box was the magical source of heat they had encountered while battling gremlins in the sewers the night before.

With the mists rapidly dissipating, they even found assistance from their friend Boram who shouted “Hey, you guys!” as he fired a ballista bolt from his boat, the River Rat. Sam and Steve assisted in reloading the ballista as Boram produced Adrien from behind his back ready to unleash bolts at the creature.

He didn’t have a chance to let fly a single bolt, however, as alchemist’s fire was tossed at the hydra. This combined with the efforts of the heroes (particularly some extremely well placed swings of Lance’s new magical longsword) managed to strike down and “deflate” the cryohydra before anyone else could get hurt or killed.

A brief hush went over the group when the fighting was finally over. They could see Boram and company giving them the thumbs up from their boat. The heroes, though exasperated, had come out on top.

View
Session 34 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

Our heroes fought bravely against hordes of gremlins, but not before the tall gremlin started lowering the mogwai down to the boiling water. More and more monsters crawled out of a trashpile and throwing themselves at Christian. Redden continued to lay waste with cold iron arrows. Lance lopped off their heads. Christian held his ground and batted them away with his mace, pulverizing the creatures.

All the while, geisers of hot steam shot up through the grates surrounding the pool in an unpredictable pattern. Strangely enough, the gremlins seemed to show fear of the water and the spouts. Redden’s keen ears picked up a grinding sound from many directions getting closer.

Taking out the tall gremlin at the crank revealed it to a gremlin standing on another’s shoulders hidden by the pirate’s garb they wore. It’s death slump pushed the crank it was operating a quarter turn more, sending the mogwai even closer to the bubbling, steamy water below.

Lance procured a ten foot pole and started to pull the mogwai closer to rescue him while a troop of gremlins poured into the room and steadily moved forward. With some deft footwork, Lance easily hopped over the hot waters and pulled the mogwai closer to safety… but the chain was not long enough to reach the side. They had Tequila loosen the chain with the crank by pulling on it with rope. The slack allowed “Gizmo” to make it over the grate so that Redden could free him. Upon doing so, the creature recovered from its stunned status and began to sing for Redden who instantly felt as though he should protect this wonderful creature with his life. It didn’t change anything as Redden was already set on saving him. He then hit a stunned gremlin before it could wake up.

Between arrows impaling several gremlins and the bashing and slashing by Christian and Lance, the troop of Goblins surrounding them was defeated. The heroes debated and decided on activating a large switch on the floor which closed a large gate in the waters at the very center of the room and sent heat towards the edges.

Tequila confirmed that the waters radiated with a strong magic below the gate, and the group wondered if this magical spring could be the cause of heat in the city. The sewers were well crafted, and this chamber had magical traps on the doors to keep people out. However, it would seem that no one save for the gremlins had been here in some time. The many tracks laid around by the gremlins made it difficult to discern the activity of people.

They found some coin and a red and black dress belonging to the girls back at the Lusty Goblin. The “tall gremlin” dropped a masterwork rapier. They made plans to research this place and headed back that way they came. Once out, they were met by a guard whom they instructed to spread word with his associates about the gremlins’ defeat but to stay on guard in case of any survivors. They moved in through the back entrance, past some servants who gawkingly watched the dirty group of heroes walk past them towards Mistress Odetta’s chamber.

They found her drinking on a throne-like chair. She looked shocked by their appearance but happy to get good news about the infestation. She asked again that they continue to be discrete about this incident. They pried about the “Sunny” character who supposedly gifted the Mogwai to Greta. They used honeyed words and charm to reveal that Sunny was a tall and fair elf who comes and goes at his leisure. He had an affair with Odetta and plenty others much to her disapproval. Indeed, discussing the man made her so upset as to hop out of her seat and grab the magical sword on her mantle. She clumsily knocked over the Crystelle Ice Wine on the top shelf, breaking and spilling its contents all over the shimmering long sword. She swung it around with surprising grace and good form, despite the occasional slip from the drunken state she was in. As she swung, Lance approached smoothly and stopped her from swinging the sword using the Clortho eyes in the way the typically work on ladies. He talked her down and made her lower her weapon. She asked him if they were interested in looking further into it. She said she’d like it if Lance would be her champion and if he’d use her sword to kill Sunny when they met. He used his best bluff to make her happy without outright promising to kill anyone. He wondered if he’d eventually have to? The man was most definitely the father to their good friend Gwyn and to the nimble-bodied Gloria.

With this in mind, they had Odetta take them to speak to her daughter Greta. Greta was not forward like the other girls at the house. She conveyed a certain air of innocence and goodness as she prepared tea for the party. They asked her about her father and though she knew of his promiscuity she did not know of the existence of siblings in other cities. She had always wanted a sister and was now informed that she had two. Greta hoped the party would be kind to her father as she swore she was a good guy. It was indeed he who brought her the Mogwai to cheer her weeks ago. He also previously provided for her the exquisite tea set she was using to prepare the tea, and the magical sword from downstairs. Though excited by all this news, she spoke in calm tones and moved gingerly and with grace preparing tea as part of a ceremony. She explained that it was her gift and she was providing to them a unique boost that was both expensive and a much adored house speciality. It didn’t disappoint as they felt a sensation of dauntless courage stay with them for minutes.

Through sad goodbye Greta bid farewell to the adventurers and the precious mogwai. Elsewhere in the house, the party was promised a reward for helping return some clothes to the girls. They could collect it on their next visit, when they were clean. Odetta promised them a complimentary night at her establishment as further reward.

The party went on to Waldorf’s Worldly Wonders and banged on his door a few times. It seemed like he was asleep and opened the door only as they were about to give up on him. In his night gown and cap he looked frustrated and then ecstatic when presented with the mogwai. The mogwai traded a thankful glance with Redden who had taken him home. Waldorf asked that they please return again tomorrow after getting cleaned up and resting before coming into his shop for special merchandise.

Satisfied, the group headed back to the Red Raven Inn to get cleaned up and rest before the busy morning ahead. They found Garrett waiting for them and looking at them with newfound respect after hearing about their exploits up north from Loquar and Anatole. Garrett presented them with a letter from Campbell Williams, the senior ranking member of the Returners in Nikeah. He requested that the party accompany him to the Jarl’s Longhouse in the morning.

They changed their clothes and had baths before getting some much needed rest. They found new clothes and clean armour outside of their doors in the morning. Heading downstairs they were presented with a complimentary continental breakfast and the company of Master Campbell Williams, he told the party they’d leave in 15 minutes so they best eat up and get some questions out of the way between bites. Loquar was nowhere to be found, having stepped out very early into the morning. Anatole would be looking into the sewer situation that the party had mentioned, seeing about getting a map from city officials or whatever else he could muster up in their assistance. He was more than happy to oblige as he said he hated politics.

He told them their mission was to accompany and protect him as visible members of the Returners. They would be armed, but should not draw any weapons unless there serious threats of violence. He claimed that Earl Ragnar would crush Jarl Albrook one on one, but wouldn’t put it past the Jarl to cheat. Williams hopes the conflict won’t come to killing in his city. He saw problems with the Jarl, but accepts that Earl Ragnar would not be suitable to run an economy. He hopes to make more time for peaceful resolution that will benefit all.

He walked the group down the main roads through the rich Uppsalla district and into the noble district of Walhalla where the Jarl’s Longhouse overlooked the lake. Through some gates and into a immaculately kept garden a crowd was forming. Nobles concerned with the well-being of the city or merely keeping up with the latest gossip were watching close. Guards were stationed everywhere around the house in an obvious attempt at dissuading Earl Rangnar from attacking the Jarl.

Earl Ragnar and some friends (including Sverri and Odd, whom the party rescued days before) were holding up steins of beer. They were armed with axes and had shields on their backs. The Earl taunted the Jarl about his various failures and inability to uphold the values of his people, and being the first of his family to have snow within the walls of the city since its inception.

The air was thick as the Jarl pleaded to Ragnar and the crowd to believe that it was always he and his family that kept the city safe and that any day the mists of Nifelheim would release monsters on the city. He wished that they could all understand his plight. The Earl gave his challenge to the Jarl on this momentous third meeting, as was the way of his people and the Jarl stuttered, unable to respond when from above a gravely voice exclaimed, “Jarl Albrook, you have failed this city!”

At the same time, many a guard cowled up with black hoods and raised their crossbows, pointing them at various targets on both sides of the conflict. “Holy Abadar, god of walls and ditches!” shouted Campbell Williams who was all too quick to point out how the Red Raven once saved his grandfather Aric and that the crowd should hear him out. He was quickly dismissed by the Red Raven who told him to “Can it.” because the rich man hadn’t taken refugees into his home.

The Red Raven pressed on the Jarl to reveal the truth about the city and what was going on. Albrook repeated his fears of the mists and pleading for them to see it his way before retreating into his house. As the Jarl and some guards moved, a few weapons were raised by Ragnar’s men and the cowled “unkindness” bandits started shooting bolts at some people who dropped in sleep rather than in injury. One of them missed and reached behind his back for another crossbow. Campbell sprung to action with a mad dash and swung down with his hand causing the crossbow to fire its bolt into the ground. “No,” he said. Seeing the attention this brought, he lowered his voice to speak to the man. Christian managed to overhear the final words of " – - fucking bolts!"

Christian asked about the sewers to which Campbell shouted to the Red Raven to ask the Jarl about the sewers. He didn’t budge and the party had to inform the Red Raven about the source of heat in the sewers and the southbound trail of gremlin tracks (and their own) from the manhole by the Lusty Goblin. He nodded in gratitude and did an impossible jump from the roof over the wall of the area. The unkindness disbanded, taking advantage of the distracted crowd, disappearing from the garden.

Earl Ragnar laughed at the absurdity of the situation, and upon recognizing the party asked about his son. He took to heart the party’s requests to not fight right now or maybe he had simply heard the screams and shrieks coming from the docks. Tequila was trying to tell the group that she felt it approach… but now, at the gate of the Jarl’s garden, some bird-like mistborn monsters flew out of the fog and start dive bombing and attacking people one even carrying a small child away.

Jarl Albrook could faintly be heard saying, “I told you they were coming!” Taking charge of the situation, Campbell Williams ordered the party to help people at the docks, as he would handle the Jarl and the crowd here, while the Raven followed up on the sewers. Campbell used some of his local sway to get some guards to help people by the water.

The party rushed to the docks and saw that the Fish Market was in an uproar with people running for their lives, trying to get into their homes or away from their homes in a panic. As the party rounded a corner they could see that the fog had moved in considerably, and from the mist’s edge a half-dozen or so serpentine heads from a gargantuan mistborn creature shrieked. A few heads spewed cold mists from their mouths, covering roofs and anywhere else they sprayed with frost. Other heads reached out and chomped down on brave guards and anyone too slow to get away. The monster’s gargantuan body was mostly obscured by the mists and only barely showed its imposing size. It’s chilling screams reverberated through the market streets. The party stood in awe, knowing they would somehow have to do something about this threat before more people could get hurt.

* Notably NPCs *

O’detta Walker - hates “Sunny” for his promiscuity and the bruising of her pride. Has gifted Lance her magical longsword so long as he “promised” to kill Sunny with it.

Greta - most definitely another sister to Gwyn. Has a magical way of making tea that imbues people with courage.

Anatole - looking into the sewers and magical spring situation below town at your request.

Loquar- MIA

Campbell Williams - doing his best to avoid political and economical problems in the city and hired you to help prevent any killing of city officials.

Jarl Johan Albrook - Cowardly, but pleading for people to understand his plight in protecting the city.

Earl Ragnar Lothbrok - Functionally drunk in the morning, ready to kill the Jarl and try his best to remedy the problems of the big city.

Red Raven - gravel voiced, bearded spectacle. He and his “unkindness” held up the meeting between the Earl and Jarl. Able to leap tall walls in a single bound.

View
Session 33 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

They finished up their meeting with Anatole. He informed them of the happenings around the city and with the Returners to the best of his knowledge. When told by his friends that they intended to investigate the happenings at the Lusty Goblin, he provided them with a letter to help them get in. He asked simply that they not open and read it.

On arrival at the opulent house of infamous ill-repute, the group found their senses tantalized as smells and sound spilled out into the street. They were greeted at the door by a guard who checked their heads carefully and paying particular attention to their ears. He was looking for a trouble-maker, but passing the first inspection took their letter inside then invited them in.

Once inside, they met Odetta Walker, matron of the Lusty Goblin. They ask about the troublemaker and find out about an elf named “Sunny” who gave a girl named Greta the gift of an exotic pet weeks ago. Everything was fine until 3 days ago.

A lot of effort has gone in to repairing the damages caused by the little monsters. She said she’d appreciate your discretion in dealing with the matter so that business wouldn’t suffer. She provided the group with ornate “passes” to explore the house without worry of guards, girls, or patrons giving them a hard time. She smiled the group, Christian in particular, as she left them with Greta.

Greta was almost instantly recognizable as a half-elf with red hair, much like Gwyn and Gloria. This lead to further speculation over their friend’s father. Greta was quite the popular item at the house due to her exotic appearance and skills. She reiterates that she was given a special gift by Sunny weeks ago and enjoyed its company without incident until it fell in the tub and the others popped out. They came back later that same night, only changed. They were ugly and nasty. They hurt her and damaged the house before stealing her pet Gizmo. She hoped that Gizmo would be okay. When asked about the “trouble” caused by the elf named Sunny. She said that she didn’t think Sunny was a bad guy. He had come to talk to her many times over the years and often brought her gifts. Not sure what Ms. Odetta’s problem with him was.

The party left her and explore more rooms in the house. They found themselves in the room of some more exotic women from a distant country, Tequila translated from inside Lance’s bag. They spoke of creatures in the closet, stealing their clothes. Upon inspection they found a closet full of various outfits and uniforms for the most discerning customers. Poking around a creature jumped out at Redden and missed. Lance decimated it with a swipe of the longsword. The girls thanked them and told them they’d be most grateful if the party found their favorite black and red dress.

Next, in what looked like a torture chamber, a janitor pointed to a hole in the wall. Lance investigated with the light of his badge, shining it intently down the hole in the crawlspace. Immediate a creature shrieked, tried to jump out but succeeded only in impaling itself on splinter. Lance knocked it out and the group tied it up on a “device” in the room. They attempted to interrogate it but found it most unhelpful. They sealed the hole shut with a heavy bookshelf.

In other rooms, they found a hole under a bed. Christian stabs in hole with spear and actually impaled one. They sealed it by rearranging furniture. They later met with other girls from around the house including a dwarf comedian, a girl with a pixie cut, and an awkward exchange between father and daughter.

Satisfied with what they had found out from the colorful characters within, the party investigated outside and saw that tracks lead from a hole in the foundation of the house into sewer entrance by the back houses. A guard informed that it where the bath water from “Les Maisons Derriere” was dumped to avoid perverts.

They asked that the guard inform everyone who should know not to do that for the next while until they solved the dilemma.

They debated the prudency in attacking them head on down there when they could be overwhelmed by numbers in the dark sewers. They took to visiting Waldorf at his store. He understood the situation and while he would love to go clopping around the sewers with his peg leg, he instead gave them a “Flash bomb” that they could throw and would create an all too brief burst of intensely bright light that could stun the creatures. He asked that should Gizmo be there, they try to take care and bring the little guy back all right as his wife was quite enamoured with it.

Through the dark sewers, Redden took the lead following tracks that were not well hidden. Occasional patches of low-light from sewer grates above partially lit his path… not that he needed it. His stealth and darkvision were unmatched which allowed him to get the drop on a gremlin carrying a bag full of food; smashing it into the sewer floor.

Through some twists and turns they found their way to an opening with dim light and steamy heat. In a chamber beyond a dead and charred gremlin and gate. Through the bars they could perceive that there was a very warm room with a bubbling spring. Above the spring hunt what they assumed was “Gizmo” and a large gremlin (the size of a human!) was dressed like a pirate. The mean faced monster was swatting at the cute little creature with the side of a rapier. To their left, laughing and guffawing could be heard and the smell of cigar smoke was in the air. To the right was the unmistakeable scent of garbage.

Christian kicked open the gate and threw down the flash bomb and instantly several of the creatures of the room were stunned. With the snap the rest of the party sprung into action entering the room and making shots or gaining ground. Tequila, materializing a tiny lyre from nowhere, played an inspiring song of courage called “Easy street” about how easy it is for heroes to carve down these rodents.

Christian and Lance took to the left and found a group of gremlins partaking in some kind of gambling with cards and dice at a table. The dealer appeared to have avoided the flash, but the gamblers appeared slack-jawed standing with their drinks and cigars dropped to the floor next to them. As they approached the table they felt a strange level of discomfort go through them, a strange nagging doubt in their minds.

Redden and Tequila provided support from the top of the room. Redden hit the tallest gremlin in pirate’s garb with a few cold iron arrows, it smacked the stunned mogwai sending it swinging side to side then retreated to cover shouting something out indecipherable to all but Tequila who translated for them as “Get them! Get them!”

=== End of Session ===

NOTABLE NPCS:

View
Session 32 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

Party woke up in Kattegat in Birdman’s hut. Their friends inform them that they’ve been out for a week. 5 days travel, and 2 days sleeping here in the hut. It was now New Year’s Eve.

“Was it just me, or did you guys just have the wildest dream?” They traded stories of the divine beings they met in their ‘dream,’ and how they related to their past, present, and future. They were all bestowed strange and wonderful gifts and were changed men. Lance felt the freedom to be himself, and gain power from it through gifts from a mysterious new deity, but still felt ties to Desna. Redden had new eyes and was staring into the dark, after meeting up with an appointed forest spirt on behalf of the gods of nature. Loquar met no such deity, and spoke to an echo in darkness that revealed harsh truths to him but unlocked hidden potential in his magic. Christian was most changed of all… he seemed more confident and at ease with himself. He radiated energy and charisma not known before…. His skin was tan and grey streaks adorned his temples. He claimed to have made a pact with Serenrae, becoming a Paladin in the process after an arduous trial.

They found their equipment well cared for by the Reachmen. As they equipped and divided their equipment they spoke to their now weakened blades. They were told as a gesture of good faith, the weapons would reshape themselves as the party desired. Brightflame became Lightbringer, a radiant scimitar for Christian to wield. Darkflame became Ichaival, as it bonded with Redden’s composite longbow. Reshaping and taking on a blue steel finish that somehow kept a perfect tension and flexibility.

Their lyrakien friend informed the party that she had communed with the assistance of Paryl Luckbringer. She claims that she was now charged with accompanying them wherever they need to go. She informs the party that she still lacks most of her personal memories but has regained use of more of her supportive magic and abilities. She asked them to give her a name, and the group settled on “Tequila.”

They sized up the situation and had to choose what to do next… Should they head north to the mountains in search of the oracle? How about south to report in and help deal with the political situation with Ragnar? There were also tuggings to the West, where Loquar claims he must go soon to finish something and achieve some sort of peace. Further south in Janusburg, Bennet and much of Christian’s old squad were reported to operate.

They spent the evening feasting and were invited to sit on the roof to see fireworks from Nikeah. No such fireworks were on display. The reachmen assumed either bad weather, or a cancelation of the festival for some other reason. Could it have something to do with Ragnar? The mist?

They headed south and it took 2 days due to the added weight of taking three prisoners by wagon. They arrived in the late afternoon and saw farmers harvesting crops at a suspiciously fast rate. Snow could be seen on the west side of town, and the air wasn’t as warm as they remembered. The camp to the north looked busier than before. There was word of Ragnar making his way through the camps and recruiting to his cause, he also coordinated a move to warmer camps.

Walking through Upper Midgard they saw people hording food, apparently out of fear that the cold would come.

The prisoners dropped off at the City Guard HQ in the middle of the city. They questioned the captain of the guard about cold, crime, fog… With a mention going back to Red Raven, the guard asked them what they knew about him? The guard heard that he was back and was taking care of justice in the poorer districts, occasionally dropping of tied criminals at their HQ.

There was also mention of the incident at the Lusty Goblin. A badger in a bathtub, or some such thing. After some coaxing, the captain told the group that he heard it started with a girl being gifted an exotic pet, it falling in the tub. Multiplying and later on, must have come back to get her during her second bath of the day. They tore up the place pretty badly. This was three days ago.

At the Red Raven Inn, Returner agents Campbell and Freeman were not to be found. Agnes took a message to foward, Loquar spoke with Garret in private as the party met with Anatole upstairs who has taken office. He informs that the people they rescued have been Returned to their families as best possible. After reporting his side of the situation with Cambell Williams and Morgan Freeman, he requested permission to head research on Clover Keep and Razmir. Wanted to start a new Intelligence division within The Returners using Campbell’s money.

Anatole mentioned that the situation in Nikeah could get ugly. A meeting between the Earl and Jarl was scheduled for the morning.

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Session 31 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

(Rough Notes)

Calm the children and start to consider what to do. Check with Anatole, machines lit up in his room. Asked them what they did. Awkward. Shows paper from Oracle. Machine moves… altar raised, music. Machine Lyre fits in the altar, can be played… two songs, Lance plays them, things move around but little effect.

Kids sent upstairs with Bjorn.

Check piping and such, meet with Bjorn as they head back to room, Lance plays shorter first then longer, seemed to open a valve. Not much else.

Lyrakien questions swords motives. Recognizes them from somewhere. Mention of Lamashtu having blades of ice and fire. Kukris. Awkward. Try to excuse themselves as not being sentient at the time, or having done things they regret.

They mention this place belongs/ed to Razmir. Hesitancy with using the Living Goddess’ Equipment.

Figure out the intentions of machines with help of Swords. Plan to make magic water to water the plants…. Use a “magic smelter” to take magical energy from evil objects, liquid drops into a tank filled with water by Loquar. Carry the water into the other room, empty it on the roots of the tree. Springs to life, and a door opens and tree “breathes” the hole in the trunk with the book pulsing open and closed. Looks like First World?

Attract large Green Dog thing and lead it around the corner… barely able to squeeze through the hallway, but sniffs at the air and jumps through the portal.

Party collects the fish thing and the Red Cap and allow them to go through sweet freedom! As soon as Mr. Durr brushed off his pants upon rising. He was mauled by the dog.

The portal closes after a while. Party decides to remove the book as it’s a source of power and don’t want others to use it. Redden carefully attempts to cut it out of the tree with his hand axe… with the first chip, wood flies and bolts of magical energy fly out and strike Christian, Lance, Redden, and Loquar in the chest knocking them out.

Bjorn took to action starting by grabbing Christian’s muleback cords and carrying out the group. Meanwhile, outside, winds have been building up, and lightning flashes as three monsters arrive at Clover Keep, inexplicably wanting to make the place their territory. A huge river giant, a manticore, and a chimera thought club, tooth and nail until the Manticore roared in victory. Bjorn swung open the door, ready to take on the beast.

END OF SESSION

Note: Following this session, players participated in solo roleplay to meet with higher powers and gain their first mythic tier through ascension.

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Session 30 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

Christian had barely approached the door when he heard loud clangs, as metal hit the floor somewhere beyond. He braced himself and the group knew it was time to go in. He rushed through as the door slid open and got his first glimpse of the twisted arcane engine and the even more twisted woman who was just starting a ritual of sorts.

The room itself was filled with machinery made of stone and vines creeping around and through the walls and floor. It was adorned with cryptic runes much like those in the other room. It was all connected to a rather familiar/unfamiliar tree in the back corner. A strange, untraceable breeze filled the air, and rustled the leaves.

The beautiful, pale, woman whom the bandits and hobgoblins lovingly referred to as “Evil Lynn” stood chanting prayers to Lamashtu (“Naw Vash Neer! Naw Vash Neer! Lamashtu!”) over a group of children with strange ragdoll masks on their heads and daggers in their hands. The children laughed in a sick, desperate way. A pair of bugbears standing sentry turned their noses in Christian’s direction. It is known that Lamashu is the goddess of demons and beasts, also deception and madness. She is an enemy of Desna, and a popular deity amongst the monstrous races of the northern frontier. These monstrous people hold a grudge against the state for the years they were butchered and pushed back to make way for ‘civilization’ as the nation of Gilead slowly took over the continent.

The heroes rushed into the room as quick as they could to put a stop to the madness and save the captive children before it was too late. Having lost their minds, the children were attempting to cut themselves! They stood on a four ringed symbol matching those of the tower that stood here years before, around them were a good seven more blades. The bugbears, armed with falchions moved in on the heroes, while Evil Lynn donned a jackal-like mask with a third orange eye to compliment her own blue and green. Her head tilted unnaturally to the side and a fiendish hyena joined the fight.

The heroes took it upon themselves to summon their own help, as Loquar lobbed the brown elemental gem they found in the burnt laboratory at the dark priestess’ feet. From the stone flooring rose a large, powerful earth elemental that took to swinging and slamming its limbs at the wicked woman and her illusionary doubles. Unfortunately, she still had plenty of tricks up her sleeve as her minions kept most of the party busy and the children slashed at themselves. She cast a spell that sent Lance into a murderous rage, having him attempt to attack Redden whose quick reflexes only narrowly allowed him to dodge the blow. She channeled negative energy which was released in waves of madness, causing confusion in those who couldn’t muster the will to fight it. The heroes will proved to be mostly resilient save for momentary lapses in Lance and Redden. She also managed to cast a spell that Loquar recognized as “Shared Sacrifice” which would allow some of the damage on her to be transferred to another target… but they couldn’t be sure who was hit.

In the chaos of the situation, as blood was shed upon the symbols, the machines seemed to be stirring more and more and the heroes felt the hair on the back of their necks stand up.
They presssed on and the hyena and two bugbears fell swiftly to Christian, Lance, and Redden’s blades. The lyrakien helped out with prayers and later spells of her own. Bjorn rushed in with little thought to his own safety and managed to grapple a child with hopes of stopping them from inflicting harm. As he pleaded with the child, he was later taken by surprise as some chains on the floor animated and wrapped around his legs. In this moment of distraction, the child in his arms managed to connect with a wild stab to Bjorn’s eye, damaging it irreparably. He howled out in pain, and called upon his god, Odin. From his face grew a beard of iron, protecting him from further damage. He called to the party to quickly dispatch of the witch and to help him save the children.

They did try to help. With the earth elemental effectively cornering the woman, and her minions dispatched, Christian saw few options but to take the pommel of his blade and knocked out a child in order to stop them from inflicting further harm. Loquar dragged the unconcious child off of the symbol as Christian moved forward to assist another who had nearly killed themselves. To his surprise, the child looked up at him and begged this soldier of Saranrae for help just as the other child “popped” from damage transferred magically from Evil Lynn as the earth elemental pounded her to death ignorant of what transpired. The machines whirred up again a final time and calmed itself to the quiet breeze as the bloody battle came to an end and the earth elemental melded itself back into the stone floor.

The group took to calming the children as best they could, using Bjorn’s position as “prince” of Kattegat to assure them that they were friends. They tended to everyone’s wounds; Bjorn waving his hand across his gaping face in fervor, stopping the bleeding. Loquar handed over the magical eye patch to him saying it would better serve someone as brave as he. It was then that the children spoke of the waking nightmare in which the mean lady kept them. They said she spoke of spreading chaos across Gilead using whatever was down here. They also said that she would mutter about “showing ‘them’ what a pretty face can do.” Given what they had been through, there wouldn’t be much more sense to be made from what had transpired with the cleric of Lamashtu. Having been pounded into dirt, the dead woman could only add clues to the situation.

The group searched through her equipment and found some magical items, some masterwork kukris, a broken lute, and of course that chain. Loquar identified it as a Chain of Perdition; a magical and evil chain that allowed a caster to share the effects of certain spells between those connected to it. Its links seemed to be made to attach to Evelyn’s metamagic rod and that together allowed her group to move around invisibly past the hobs, fey and other creatures along their way here. Loquar looked at it with particular uneasiness. He rubbed at his back as he stared in quiet contemplation.

In her bag, they also found a book written out in an indecipherable script but containing a sketch drawing of two dryad trees with an image of a dryad hopping between the them.

The tree in the room itself seemed to be cradling a tome inside its trunk. The best anyone could make out was that someone was attempting to manipulate divine, natural magic for their own purposes.

Intrigued with the room, Redden asked Brightflame if the priestess of Lamashtu was using the ritual to power up the machines and if it had anything to do with the arcane that they spoke of earlier.

Brightflame spoke to their collective minds. “Indeed, the arcane does not oppose power from any source… it requires only the proper medium or conduit, and the knowledge to use it. This, naturally, conflicts with divine magic which unconditionally comes from differing and separate sources with seldom any intermingling.”

The blade that Christian had taken to calling ‘Darkflame’ added, " Whatever barbaric ritual that woman was conducting with those children, having them lose control and cut themselves, was most certainly a show of power from a mad god."

“Horrible bitch goddess,” the lyrakien interjected.

“Err.. yes. At any rate. The arcane engines within this room were certainly responding to magic,” Darkflame said.

Brightflame continued, “Had the priestess finished her ritual, she would have most certainly activated this device at the cost of the lives of these children -”

Darkflame finished, “and you, if she had her way. The chaos of combat seemed to only fuel her ritual further.”

They decided they needed to check in with Anatole in the other room. Redden and the Lyrakien smoothly passed by the large fey dog with gentle cooing and kind words in Sylvan. They made their way, unhindered, to Anatole who, despite fighting off severe mercury poisoning looked very, very excited and happy.

=-=-=END OF SESSION 30=-=-=

NOTABLE NPCS:

Evelyn “Evil Lyn” – Changeling Cleric of Lamashtu, deceased.

Mac – Popped like a balloon.

Windy, Victoria, and Horace – Surviving children, very grateful.

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