The Shackled City

To The Skull!
Killing The Competition

? ?, ??? CY

The party slept in the grove where the teleport circle had deposited them, and were unmolested during their respite from the second trial. The next couple of days of travel sped by and Kaurophon seemed pleased and almost eager, the closer the group came to the Skull at the center of Occipitus. They were perhaps a mile distant, traveling through a patch of Occipitus that was pocked with what appeared to be bleeding ulcers when Kort and Karamus spotted something large a couple hundred feet away and flying directly toward them. It proved to be a black dragon, which Kaurophon identified as Vorkaire. The dragon seemed content to cast protective spells upon itself as it lazily closed the distance to the adventurers. The party cast a few preparatory spells themselves, and Kort even impaled the dragon with a flaming arrow.

Its first attack was a tactic commonly employed by Ashton, casting a ray of enfeeblement targeting Kort. In response, although reluctantly, Kaurophon launched a fireball at the scaly foe. The result was spectacular and terrifying as the flames scorched Vorkaire causing it obvious agony. The half-fiend quickly tried to get behind the rest of the party, but the dragon dived after him and bit him, mostly ignoring the flying assault Jarvyk was bringing to bear. It stayed focused on Kaurophon until Kort interceded, placing himself bodily between the two. He and Jarvyk entered a flying flank with the beast, which quit the skies to bring all of its many limbs to bear against the cleric of Moradin.

View
Resolve
BAMF!

? ?, ??? CY

The trip from the Cathedral of Feathers took the party the rest of that waking cycle plus two more. The second day proved interesting as the group moved across what Kaurophon referred to as “Tremor Zones,” the quakes from which occasionally knocked everyone from their feet. On the evening of the third “day” the beam from the lantern of guidance shifted abruptly to the East, which would lead them all down a ridge and into the site of an ancient battlefield now filled with massive cyst-like ovoids. Kaurophon explained that Occipitus found absorbing the bodies of celestials and good-aligned magical equipment more difficult. The group decided to attempt to cross the battlefield immediately, with Elias carrying the lantern.

They followed the beam east for a little over a hundred feet before it abruptly shifted to point to the north. Shrugging, they turned as a group and followed the new directive. After another short distance, the beam again moved, pointing to the east once more. As they were progressing down this path, Kort noticed a shiny golden sword resting just inside one of the ovoid sacs. He went over to investigate, figuring he could easily liberate the supposedly holy weapon and find a use for it. The others stopped while Kort and Jarvyk discussed how to proceed, and a few seconds later Elias vanished. The dwarves did not notice, but the spellcasters and Karamus looked around wildly, wondering where the half-orc could have vanished to.

View
Judgment
Anyone Up For A Little Ass Kicking?

? ?, ??? CY (Continued)

The party wasted no time in the narthex, instead moving straight to the stone doors opposite the entrance to the Cathedral of Feathers. Karamus inspected the doors and declared it unlocked and trap-free. Then the warriors moved forward and opened the doors to reveal the large chamber beyond. Large piles of smoldering debris littered the majority of the perimeter. An off-center statue of Orcus rested at the far end of the Sanctuary, more than 200 feet away.

Moving through the doorway, Kort came under attack before he’d more than a few steps in. A pale skinned, dark haired, bat-winged creature charged from where she’d been hiding near the buttressed ceiling. She attempted to engage him in a grapple, but he managed to shake her off. Immediately after her attempted assault, a wall of fire sprang up behind the dwarf, cutting him off from the others, many of which were scorched by the heat.

View
Plains of Occipitus
Dance of... RUN!

? ?, ??? CY (Continued)

Having narrowly escaped the thunder beast herd, the party spoke about taking the rest of the day to rest and recover spells. Kaurophon urged haste, as the longer the group stayed out in the open, the more opportunities there would be for additional attacks. Staying on the move, he insisted, would lower their odds of coming across anything by chance. Reluctantly, they agreed and continued traveling until their bodies demanded rest. They set a watch, and the others took what rest they could in this nightless realm.

After the spellcasters had rested enough to recover their spells, the party continued their trek to the Cathedral of Feathers. Late in what one might consider the afternoon, Karamus halted the party, having spotted something spiky that looked out of place, even considering the already bizarre terrain. He advised the others of what he had seen and as he did so, the hezrou stood, and began to approach. The demon got off a single chaos hammer spell, but was otherwise harmless to the party which dealt with the threat swiftly and with little ado. It teleported away before it could be slain, but they felt confident that the beast would not be returning to harass them. As such, they continued traveling until their next sleep cycle.

? ?, ??? CY

Early in their travels on the following “day” Karamus and Elias both spotted a trio of winged creatures standing some two hundred feet from the party, directly in their path. The creatures appeared to be watching the party. Elias suggested the group attempt to circumvent the creatures, and Kaurophon was inclined to agree. Kort was resistant, but Jarvyk and Ashton were both on the side of caution as well. As such, the party began to circle off to the left.

View
A Bargain Struck
Into the Frying Pan

8 Planting, 592 CY

That morning, Karamus heard snoring from the chamber leading outside to the desert. He found a large and from the smell drunk half-orc sleeping there. He returned to the others who readied their weapons and crept up the stairs. Jarvyk’s heavy armor made enough noise to wake the creature, which lunged blearily in their direction. The party demanded to know who he was and where he had come from. He seemed foggy on the details. He said he’d been drinking in Cauldron the night before, and the last thing he really remembered seeing was a white skinned woman with a fiery sword. He introduced himself as Elias.

Someone noticed a tattoo on the man’s arm of a circle inscribed with half a skull. From the eyesocket of the skull issued forth smoke. The man could not explain it. Elias certainly didn’t remember getting a tattoo. After things calmed down, Elias went back to sleep, while the others talked about their next course of action.

No one in the group had more than a rudimentary understanding of the geography of the Flanaess, but they came to the consensus that they were in the Suloise Desert somewhere to Cauldron’s west. This determined, Jarvyk pressed for the party to begin marching east immediately. Discussion bogged down, because most of the party wanted to at least wait until dark to begin the trek.

View
The Starry Mirror
Anti-Victory

7 Planting, 592 CY (Continued)

Standing over the oddly misshapen corpses of the fey creatures, Karamus did a standard quick looting, which resulted in a pair of magical rings and a strange magical gem. The party proceeded into the next room to the west, which held a large fountain flowing with magical liquid which had an aura so bright, it almost overwhelmed the spellcasters with detect magic active. Ashton commented that the magic was transmutive in nature, but it was agreed that if their foes had wanted them to imbibe the substance, it was something that should be avoided. Jarvyk took a few vials of the fluid for future study, and the party inspected the doors leading out of the room to the south and north.

As Karamus approached the south door to search it for traps as he always did, it raised up into the ceiling of its own accord. He stepped away, and after about a minute, the door descended. He again approached, and walked into the narrow hallway beyond the door as it raised for him once more. As he approached a door at the end of the hallway, he once again lowered his magical goggles. Unfortunately, as he drew near, the door raised, sparking an explosive gas trap. His reflexes failed him and he took the full blast in the face. It was mitigated by his innate resistance to heat, but it still stung. Beyond this second door was a collapsed hallway. Singed and annoyed, he returned to the party, where he received some healing from Bransen.

The party followed the northern hallway, which opened up into a small throne room. A western door proved to be a private chamber containing four six-armed skeletons. They were resilient, but couldn’t seem to injure either of the heavily armored dwarves. They were summarily dispatched.

View
Vaprak's Voice II
Of Giants and False Angels

6 Planting, 592 CY (Continued)

After pillaging the hill giants’ belongings, Karamus scouted out one of the tunnels leading from the chamber. He found a cave with five filthy pallets giving the place a wretched odor. Beyond that the tunnel broke into a north-south hallway that was magically lit. He returned to the group, and they decided to try the double doors.

Karamus heard the clanging of metal on metal from beyond the doors, and after confirming that they were untrapped and unlocked, he let the dwarves lead. Kort kicked open the door to reveal a smithy, complete with a blue-flamed furnace, and a fire giant. The creature spoke to the party in a tongue none of them understood, before Kort readied his battle gear, making his intentions crystal clear.

Karamus dashed forward, and sank a crossbow bolt into the giant’s leg. Kort rushed forward next, slicing deep with his axe blade. In response, the giant kicked the red hot anvil upon which it had been working into Karamus, wounding the Cansin severely. It’s hammer blows could find no purchase on Kort, who dodged and weaved as only his kind knew how when fighting giantkind. For his part, Karamus retreated back to the doorway and continued launching crossbow bolts at the giant.

View
Vaprak's Voice
When Angels Speak, Listen

5 Planting, 592 CY (Continued)

After looting the gnoll corpses, hiding the boats, and patching up their wounds, the party inspected the headless statue, which Ashton identified as a crude depiction of a glabrezu demon. It did not offer them any further enlightenment, nor did it produce an aura when viewed under a detect magic spell, and so the party proceeded northeast along the hunters’ path.

Five miles and a couple of hours later, there was a slight break in the trees near a small hill containing a shallow cave. A great forest sloth charged out from its home and completely failed to score even the most glancing blow against any member of the party. A few spells weakened it, while the blades of dwarf and cansin brought the beast low. Inspecting the cave, they found the skeletal remains of some giant humanoid creature as well as a pair of some more recently deceased baboons. They surmised that the giant could have been the one to scratch the map onto the back side of the hegemonic plate. Additionally, Karamus found a spent wand with a symbol of St. Cuthbert carved into the butt. This gave them hope that they were on the right path to finding Alek Tercival.

Jarvyk was eager to keep moving while the light persisted, and so the party pressed on. They were still on the trail when night fell, so they made camp in a section off to the side of the path that was slightly less dense than the rest of the surrounding jungle. Jarvyk made a stew from the leg meat of the slain sloth, which proved to be surprisingly tasty. As the party was winding down for the evening, a couple of them heard the sound of a pair of large wings coinciding with the utter silence of the local fauna, which had been chattering almost non-stop since their arrival in the jungle. They nudged the others as they drew weapons.

View
In Search of Alek Tercival
Why Can't The Good Guys Stay Found... And Also Good?

1 Planting, 592 CY (Continued)

A few hours after sunset, the alarm bells at city hall began to ring, indicating a fire. The orange glow of the flames was easy to spot across Crater Lake. Karamus had a sinking feeling that he knew exactly which building was burning. The party made their way swiftly across town.

When they arrived, they found (as the cansin had suspected) Minuta’s Board burning. It had been a low rent inn that had housed any of the half-orc mercenaries that could not find space in the barracks. Some of the half-orcs were doing what they could to prevent the fire from spreading to the surrounding structures, and a bucket brigade had been formed. A large number of singed people were gathered well away from the building with Kristof Jurgensen, the local priest of Pelor, tending the wounded.

Pilok Minuta, the inn’s owner was trying in vain to get the half-orc sergeant’s attention. Finally, the man lost his temper and screamed at Minuta about fire demons against which the half-orcs blades had done nothing. He held up a half melted scimitar to illustrate his point. Karamus took all this in, and thought he heard a cry for help from within the burning edifice.

View
The Tax Riot
The Watched Pot Boils Over

Over the next few weeks after returning to Cauldron, the Silver Phoenix Adventuring Company took a well deserved rest. However, the party was not completely idle during their time off. Kort made friends with a watch sergeant by the name of Skylar Krewis. Jarvyk met and discussed theology with Jenya Urikas, the high priestess of Saint Cuthbert. They also discussed her childhood friend Alek Tercival, a paladin of the Cudgel’s faith whom had not been seen in a few months. She expressed concern over his absence, and asked the dwarf to keep an eye out for him. Bransen’s efforts on Ashton’s behalf with the Bluecrater Academy paid off, and the necromancer was accepted as a member (after paying the entrance fee). He marveled at the extensive collection of tomes covering all the subjects he could ever dream of. Karamus kept his own counsel about his actions, but they had something to do with his new hireling, White Eye, formerly a prisoner of Bhal-Hamatugn.

Kort called a company meeting about a week after their return, and they discussed a number of matters related to the organization. It was decided that Kort would remain the leader for the present time, and decisions were also made about how to divide the treasures acquired by the members. But Cauldron had not been idle in the company’s absence, and not all the changes that had been made sat well with everyone in the city…

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.