Princes of the Apocolypse

A sinkhole, a shadow, and an arrest.

After much deliberation, the group decide the best course of action is to head towards Beliard in pursuit of the lost delegation. They turn to Kaylessa (proprietor of the Singing Sword) for advice on which route to take – the more-travelled and better-appointed road up and around the hills or the less-travelled but more direct route through the slumber hills. Kaylessa suggests the longer road if they’re interested in more creature comforts, and introduces them to Grund, a half-orc who is familiar with the area. Grund tells them all of his travel tales and the group ultimately decides to travel the shorter route with Grund as their guide. They prepare to leave, but just as they are about to step outside they hear a loud crack followed by the screams of the townsfolk. They rush out to find a huge sinkhole has been torn in the street, exposing what looks like an underground cavern system. After rescuing the townsfolk unfortunate enough to have fallen in (and snapping a hitching post by subjecting it to like 2000lbs of weight), the group turns to see if anyone nearby knows what is going on. The mayor along with a red-haired man the group does not recognize thank them for their help but assure the group that the town can handle the problem from here.

Torinn detects evil deeper in the ground, and so the group, of course, ignores the mayor, and hops down into the hole, bringing their rope with them. They find a closed door with a magical lock obviously dwarven-made. After much searching they find the word to open the door and head deeper into the cavern system. They come across the bodies of murdered civilians, a strange symbol carved into their foreheads. Vist reaches out for any nearby consciousness and finds the thought of a scared, unsure man nearby who is part of the “Bringers of Woe”. He knows the travelling group is in the next room and assumes they pose a threat. The group is ready as the bandits come through the door, swords raised, and fight them off until they try to flee. Torinn captures one man but the rest escape, four back the way they came and a fifth heading the opposite direction out of the cavern. The group tries to question the captured man, who has the same symbol carved into his forehead as the bodies did, but he is killed by an unseen force before he can answer. Torinn smashes a floating rock into a billion tiny pieces and Wil discovers he can float in the place where the rock once stood. (edited)

[11:52]
The group travels into a huge, open cavern. In front of them stands a sallow man in a deep purple velvet robe. He is hooded, but his black hair sticks out of the hood in some places, and his robe has on it the same triangular symbol. He speaks words of power and the stones around the group rise to float crazily in the air. The mage and his cohort climb, upside-down on the ceiling in the darkness. Vist, who has disguised himself as a bandit and is pretending to be bound, is taken by the mage and floats on the ceiling with the rest of the group. The man in the purple robe tries to parlay, telling the group to leave and they will not be harmed, but with a yell the fight commences. The battle is full of flying spells and swords from both sides. Vist shakes off his disguise and attacks from the back while the rest of the group battles at the front. The bandits are killed, and the mage with one last spell flees out a secret entrance pushed forward by Wil’s gust of wind. The group looks around the cavern and finds even more bodies with symbols carved into them laid out ceremonially on stone slabs.

Returning to the surface, the group finds the Constable arresting the Mayor and the red-headded man, taking them into custody until trial. Alistar and Torinn pursue the constable, insisting an error has been made, but he refuses to listen and tells them to return in a tenday when the trial will commence.

The group decides to rest up until morning. When they awaken, Grund is waiting with their packed supplies. They ensure everything is prepared and then head out to the Slumber hills for a two to three day journey to Beliard. On their way they pass the quarry with the odd figures, but they see little of interest other than shadows fleeing to the trees.

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A meeting, a sign, and a task-list

Wil, Vist, and Jon land in Breven on an early spring morning. Vist goes off on his own while Jon and Wil find the Helm at Highsun and order food and drink to refresh them after their long journey. They are soon joined by Vist, Alistair, who has returned from the north, and encounter Torinn, who is insistent that the signs have led him here. The group is soon surrounded by the lunch-time crowd and Wil signs them all up for a drinking contest, which Torinn dominates. After gaining the respect of those around them through booze, they learn that not all is well in Breven, and odd things have been afoot. As the crowd disperses, they wander out to find a place to stay, and settle on the Singing Sword, Breven’s only true inn.

The group disperses to go out on the town and interact with the locals and take care of personal tasks. Vist and Wil head to the bathhouse so Vist can flex his political muscles, Torinn promises to return at the next dawn and heads to the Allfaith’s Shrine, and Jon and Alistair hung out at the Singing Sword after Jon’s unsuccessful run-in with Mother Yagatha.

When they re-group that night they share what they’ve learned. Also Vist brings Wil a crumpet.

The next morning Torinn shows up at dawn at the Singing Sword, as promised, and inserts himself into the group as the crowd around them grows, full of locals who have come to gawk and request help with their various issues and ills. After speaking with the crowd, they again disperse, with Alistair heading to Morlando Gauekl’s to gamble and pick up on local gossip while the rest of the group planned their next move. Vist calls in Constable Harbuck, thoroughly confuses him, and extracts information and belongings of the missing delegation before attempting a Scrying spell which is quickly shut down.

Overall, they learn of:
• Reports of ghosts outside of town
• Bandits on the southern road
• A plague affecting the wildlife around Lance Rock
• New graves dug and filled out in the Slumber Hills
• Strange masked figures watching the quarry in the evenings
• A ring of thieves settling in upriver
• A delegation of ambassadors that went missing almost 6 months ago have been recently sighted around Beliard
o They are alive, but imprisoned somewhere windowless
o Sighted by two people heading towards Beliard
• Rancid butter at the Lockley Farm

The group settles in to decide on their next move as evening falls.

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