Ax's Friday Night 4E Campaign

Past Events: Summer CY 3013

Our group started as prisoners in the seaside city of Basura. Their Tiefling captors tortured and abused them; the unluckiest of them subjected to the vile rites of demon gods.

The party managed to escape their prison and were smuggled out of the city by a pirate name Destaro. He spirited them across the sea to the Northern Kingdoms where they were reunited with their “benefactor”, a kindly old mage named Abernathy.

Abernathy had, in various guises, been a part of all your lives since childhood. He says that your group has an important, yet vague destiny. He sends you on missions to recover items of great power that will give him further clues about your future.

Past Events: Late Fall CY 3013

After completing a mission into an ancient dwarven kingdom where the party scattered a tribe of evil dwarves, banished the fiery demon that led them and freed the Forge of the Mountain King, everything changed…

Past Events: Spring CY 3014

The party awoke at an opulent table full of exotic food and wines in a large banquet hall. The Lord of the Hall (William Courteney, Duke of Erona) was dead and guards led by Robert Arnys, First Chancellor of Erona arrived to take the party into custody for execution. The party escaped and hid in the surrounding forests.

When talking to a villager outside the town of Emberall, the party learns the truth of what had actually happened over the last year…

According to the villager, the party actually freed the fire demon Azan-Zog who was trapped in the Forge, destroyed the respected dwarven clan of Karan-zur and led bands of goblins and orcs while rampaging the countryside in the name of Azan-Zog.

The party is stunned. They don’t remember the described events or much about the last few months, but the story has the ring of truth and stirs some hazy memories.

While near Emberall, the party meets a “farmer” named Auldwyl who claims to have freed the party from their “walking dream” under order from his master “The Raven”

The party decides to right the wrongs they apparently committed. They sneak into Azan-Zog’s encampment, defeat the fire demon, and destroy his lair. While doing this, they are saddened when they have to slay their former companion Jared the Paladin because he has turned his back on Pelor and sided with Azan-Zog. They also learn that Azan-Zog works for Abernathy.

After escaping Azan-Zog’s crumbling lair, they meet The Raven that night. The Raven offers to transport the party across the continent to escape the wrath of Abernathy. The party accepts and they are transported to the town of Wellspring.

Past Event: Spring - Fall 3014

The party settles into Wellspring. Arnse’s old mentor Cyril runs a school in town and he unsuccessfully tries to reconcile with his old teacher.

After a couple of months, townspeople start disappearing. The party investigates and finds an underground cabal that is attempting to open a portal to the Far Realms. The portal is powered by one of the legendary Tears of Ioun. The party closes the portal before too much damage occurs, but the Tear is corrupted by its contact with Far Realms energy. They take the artifact to examine it.

This time Cyril approaches the party and offers to help contain the corrupting energy of the Tear. He sends the group on a journey to Ashenport to get some “magical supplies”, but this turns out to be a trap. The party barely survives after destroying a cult of Daigon and battling with an avatar of the demon lord.

By the time the party gets back to Wellspring, Cyril is gone and the students in his school have all been slain. The Raven appears before the group again and says that he’s had a vision that the Tears of Ioun would be central to an important future event that would decide the fate of all Tellyr. He somehow transports the party 400 years into the past so that they can witness the circumstances around the last known sighting of a Tear of Ioun. The party witnesses the events and they apparently change history… the Tear they saw is now hidden within their war-forged friend Charlie!

Meanwhile, madness consumes Wellspring. The city is tearing itself apart and strange creatures have been sighted killing and kidnapping villagers. The party also finds the body of Cyril in an inn with several holes bored into his skull. A Speak with the Dead ritual reveals a repentant Cyril saying that he was working for his master Malachi. He says that he was killed by a mind flayer that stole the Tear from him.

The party tracks down the mind flayer, but the corrupted Tear was stolen from him by the local church of Ioun. They then confront Deidre, the head priestess of Ioun, but she was corrupted by the Far Realm taint and had the Tear taken from her as well. The party tracked the Tear into the Shadowfell and eventually destroyed the Tear in an epic battle with the insane wizard Malachi. Malachi, as fate would have it, was an apprentice to Abernathy.

Triumphant Return to Wellspring and a Rebirth

Apple tree

After the defeat of Malachi and the destruction of the corrupted Tear of Ioun, the party returns to Wellspring where the madness of the Far Realm corrupted artifact has lifted and the party are welcomed as heroes.

They setup a home base in Cyril’s old school and get some well-deserved rest from their adventures.

Charlie spends more and more time in the library pouring over maps of the areas to the west of town, near the mountains surrounding the The Great Forest. Charlie hasn’t seemed right since falling in a skirmish with Malachi’s minions… wielding more arcane power and showing a semblance of emotions?

After a week, Charlie asks the party to accompany him a day’s ride west so that he can perform an important ritual.

The party accompanies Charlie and witnesses the transformation of Charlie into Larae Starflower. The magics unleashed by the ritual attract a large group of Feywild defenders, but the ensuing battle is quickly interrupted by none other than Roshtand the Green. The old druid is frustrating and cryptic to talk to and disappears along with the Feywild defenders suddenly.

The party travels back to their new home pondering the weird events of the day.

Wellspring Attacked

During the weeks that follow Larae’s transformation, the party engages in more rest and relaxation. They repair their weaponry and restock their supplies. Meanwhile, Larae and Marketu use their supply of residuum to create items that will help the group in future adventures. The party also enjoys their new celebrity during Wellspring’s Festival for the Autumnal Equinox, with many enjoying the favors of new “friends”. The only member who does not enjoy this time is Arnse. He seems increasingly distant and disappears for days on end, reappearing haggard and obviously hung-over. After a ten-day of this behavior, he disappears for good.

On the last night of the Festival the characters have a strange dream where they are trapped in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. They battle waves of chaos-bred slaadi and abyss-spawned demons to fight through the labyrinth. After the final slaads are slain, Abernathy appears before the group and tells them that they have merely “witnessed a preview of the world to come”. Gorlock’s axe strikes mist as the laughing villain vanishes in a puff of smoke.

The party awakens with a start. With stomachs grumbling and dread that their comrades have all experienced the same dream, the walk outside to a scene of desolation… the entire town of Wellspring has been leveled to the ground!! The only structure standing is their new dojo, the rest of the buildings have been reduced to their foundations. Vultures circle overhead, feeding on the bloated remains of the townsfolk. Piles of cinders mark the remains of wooden structures, rubble the remains of stoneworks.

A swath of destruction leads to the southwest. Our group of heroes heads that way with one thought on their minds….REVENGE!

Revenge and a meeting with Merith

With the aid of magical steeds brought forth by Marketu, the heroes quickly set out to follow the rampaging army that destroyed Wellspring. Their trail led to a Shadowfell portal in the foothills to the southwest. The party made short work of a rear guard of giants left to guard the portal and they proceeded through.

The Shadowfell end of the portal opened on a cliff face overlooking a desolate valley. The bowl of the valley was littered with the remains of the army that the heroes had been following. The decimated army’s attackers were busy destroying every living creature remaining. A group of demons, fire giants and azers from the defeated army were retreating up the cliff face to the portal which the party had just come through. The party exacted their revenge on the survivors, slaying the creatures to a man and granting no mercy.

The party parleyed with scouts from the attacking force, which was led by none other than the legendary arcanist Merith of the Flame. Both groups quickly realized that their goals were the same and together they slew the last of the primordial army, leaving them to rot on the valley floor.

Our heroes followed Merith’s force back to her citadel Regnum Inferi, the Kingdom of Hellfire.

The group obtained an audience with Merith and her generals, during which the following was discussed:

  1. Merith had been tracking the large group of giants and demons, but didn’t catch up to them before they entered the portal. Instead of following through they laid an ambush for them on their return. Merith was saddened by the news of Wellspring, but with steely resolve announced that “the chaos-spawn in the Shadowfell would suffer 100 times the death of Wellspring”! She also decided to spin an arcane web over the portal that would prevent giantkind, primordials, or demon-spawn from ever using it again.

  2. Merith had heard of the heroes from Raven. She says that she had doubted Raven’s pronouncement that the group was the “Hope of Tellyr”, but after seeing their prowess in battle, she now sees the Raven’s wisdom.

  3. Regarding the Raven, it seems that Abernathy suspected Raven’s patronage of the party and decided to deal with the Raven himself. The two wizards would historically be evenly matched, but Abernathy has grown strong. Raven has not shown himself in a month and Merith’s spies have discovered that a group of Abernathy’s henchmen traveled to the Maze of Shattered Souls. Merith has been unable to find Raven through her own considerable efforts or even asking for higher forms of help. The Maze of Shattered Souls would deny all efforts at divination and restoration of life.

  4. Through pacts made between gods and primordials as far back as the Dawn War, areas like The Maze of Shattered souls will not allow entry to individuals of significant power. The party is well placed to enter the Maze and investigate, and they agree.
Astron joins the Party

While preparing for their journey through the Demon Wastes to the Maze of Shattered Souls, the party is introduced to one of Merith’s generals: a spear wielding Minotaur Seeker named Astron.

Now realizing the importance of the group’s destiny, Merith offers to release Astron from his duties to help in the party’s quest. After a quick meeting it is decided to allow Astron to join.

The Maze of Shattered Souls

Maze of Shattered Souls

The Demon Wastes of the Shadowfell: a blasted land cursed for countless ages by the taint of ancient evil. A land of ash and rock, harsh and unforgiving, and its few mortal residents are equally harsh. The Ghaash’kala are charged by gods and primordials alike to guard the Labyrinthine center of the Wastes, preventing anyone from entering or leaving the Maze lest the taint of evil spread to the world beyond …

The party starts out on their quest to investigate the Maze of Shattered Souls. Even with the speed of their phantom steeds, it takes the party several days to cross the Demon Wastes and arrive at the only town known to exist this far in the wasteland: Festering Holt. While in the town, they gather information about Abernathy’s agents who had entered the Labyrinth and how best to survive those broken canyons. Their inquiries attract the attention of servants of Abernathy who unsuccessfully ambush the party.

The group then makes for the labyrinth. The labyrinth is a perilous network of canyons and caverns where volcanic eruptions, avalanches, earthquakes and mudslides happen with great frequency. Despite these dangers, the party successfully navigates to the center while avoiding the Ghaash’kala tribe who protect the Maze.

The Maze of Shattered Souls itself is an ancient structure in the center of the labyrinth. While entering, the group is ambushed by rakshasa’s that can only be members of Abernathy’s team. The rakshasas underestimate the ability of the heroes and are swiftly dealt with.

Entering the maze, the group deals with the temple’s own defenses and some “surprises” left for them by Abernathy’s team. After some tough fighting, they make it to the central chamber called the “Well of Souls”. It speaks to the ingenuity of Abernathy’s agent; a rakshasa sorcerer called Zathasram; that he was able to smuggle a Goristro demon into the heart of the Well. The gods and primordials themselves had forbidden such an action.

The resulting battle is fierce with the Goristro tearing into the party and Zathasram channeling the power of the Well to send endless waves of trapped souls to attack. Eventually, the trickery of Marketu enables Gorlock to get adjacent to Zathasram and the Goristro was felled by the spellcraft of Larae and the deadly arrows of Roland…the battle ends soon after.

Using their knowledge of the arcane arts, Larae and Marketu are able to find and retrieve the trapped soul of Raven. They take their leave and start back out of the labyrinth. Unfortunately, they run into a war band of the noble Ghaash’kala, protectors of the Maze. Despite doing their best to avoid combat, the party is forced to incapcitate the Ghaash’kala in order to leave the labyrinth. After a quick stop in Festering Holt for supplies, the party travels hard back to Regnum Inferi.

While resting from their journey, Merith puts the freed soul of the Raven into a new body. Since the Raven’s body was completely destroyed by Abernathy, this step is neccessary to bring him back into the mortal world.

Meet the Coalition

The Coalition

A coalition of the eastern nations of Tellyr have formed in response to the aggression of Lankhmar, Erona and Athas. Merith pleads with the party to take part in the meeting and introduces the party to Amyria Ironspell, a paladin of Bahamut who is adamant about opposing Western aggression. Amyria champions our heroes in the first meeting of The Coalition.
Major points of the first meeting:

  • The island nation of Nefelus is threatened by a supernatural threat. A ring of ice is forming around the tropical island and the temperature of the island has been deceasing, threatening a way of life that spans a millenia. Amryia has been in contact with her friend Bejam and makes an impassioned plea on befalf of the island nation. Nefelus would make a powerful ally to the Coalition and with a favor owed…the council asks our party of heroes to investigate.
  • The First Chancellor of Erona has used the threat of Azan-zog’s attacks to solidify power and to return the nation to it’s more aggressive nature. They have massed troops on the Northeastern border facing Fairhaven, and have launched a military campaign against Saldaea and Tyrinthol with the aid of Lankhmar and Athas.
  • (Reported by Caliandra) Orcs, giants and fouler creatures have been massing in the Barrier Peaks. Caliandra moves for decisive action along that front, but the rest of the Coalition doesn’t see that there’s resources to devote to the problem.
  • (Reported by Caliandra) Suspicious Shadar-kai (obviously outlanders) have been poking around the Sand Kings’ tribal territory in the Blasted Lands. They seem intent on ancient ruins and archeological finds in the area.
  • (Reported by Dergen Stormhammer) An army of orcs and giants has made a coordinated attack against the passes of Stonehome Mountains. For the first time in its existence, Overlook was besieged. The siege has been lifted thanks to the elvish and human settlements in Fairhaven.
  • (Reported by Inogo Dravitch): The Canaughlin Bog has expanded alarmingly, disrupting trade between Cairhein, Altara and Sherrbyr. Traditional trade routes have become too perilous.
    This supernatural bog originally sprung up centuries ago and was merely an annoyance to be avoided. Like a parasite, it has steadily engulfed thousands of acres of land. The hag that has menaced the bog has attracted a growing cult which has seemed to increase its growth with each follower. Inigo suspects an invasion upon the land by the forces of Chaos.
  • The nation of Lormyr declined invitation to the Coalition. They are reeling from the loss of both Ashenport and Wellspring. While they acknowledge that these events were not the fault of our heroes, they will forceably remove any party member caught within their borders.
  • Lankhmar has shut its borders and refuses trade from foreign countries.

Conclusion: It is decided that our heroes will sail for Nefelus to both relieve the supernatural siege of the island and seek an ally.


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