Xorvintaal

Perhaps we had better start from the beginning...

For centuries in the northern reaches of Eleutha there has been a legend of a woman in gray that appears to those in dire situations and rescues them from the brink of disaster. Our characters all find themselves in such situations at the hands of Marius Ghast and the East Mire Cartel. Each of their individual dooms tied together by that fact. Each one of them meets a brutal end but at the same time is strangely calmed by sweet music and the overwhelming smell of honey.

Darby, Poco, Firvain Diamond-hawk, Vlad, the Butcher, and Rurik awaken on the tropical beaches of Paradise. Elvadraelith has rescued them from the clutches of death. She offers them a chance at revenge by working as her agents of good in the region and putting an end to the East Mire Cartel.

After the players accept her offer, Elvadraelith reunites Firvain Diamond-hawk with her wolf, Pollygore. She then introduces them all to Theran, a Drow agent of hers. Elvadraelith explains that there have been a series of grisly murders in the town of Nightfall and that she’d like Theran to lead the group there to investigate.

The party is outfitted and heads out the next day with a cart loaded with supplies for the folk of Nightfall.

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On The Road

After several days of travel, the party arrives in the cursed lands that surround Nightfall. In these lands, it is forever night and the undead roam in numbers not seen anywhere else. The party is waylaid by a bad storm and forced to take shelter in an abandoned roadside inn. While waiting out the storm they’re attacked by an undead horde. Undeterred by the storm or the undead they carry on the next day.

That day is incredibly foggy and since it’s always night the visibility is very poor. While traversing through the fog, Firvain Diamond-hawk believes that she hears the voice of Reggie and gives chase to a shadow figure in the mist. With the party in tow, Firvain Diamond-hawk is led to the remains of the foundation of some large old structure. There they find a cellar with a crumbled wall leading into a cave system.

Almost immediately upon entering the cave, Theran stumbles into a trap and gets a spear through his face, ending his life. This leaves the rest of the party shaken and afraid to proceed forward… but they do anyway. It takes the better part of the day to get through the system. A large portion of that time is spent deciding if they should pick several items up off an alter or not and inspecting a spear. They come across an imprisoned woman named Kethra and free her. It turns out that she was part of a patrol from Nightfall. She tells the party of how her patrol had been ambushed by a psychotic man that laughed during the entire attack and a large group of zombies. A small number of her patrol including herself had been kept alive for future meals. Kethra was the last one remaining. Deep in the caves, they confront a strange psionic brain in a jar and it’s ogre minions. The party is victorious but poor Pollygore gets splattered like a bug by one of the ogres.

Kethra leads them on to Nightfall

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Arrival in Nightfall

Nightfall is a strange sight to behold as our heroes finally come into sight of it. Nightfall is a fortress of a frontier town set among endless swampy fields, decrepit old farm houses and overlooked by a dingy old castle. There’s a stone turret tower protruding from the town but most notable is the massive marble statue that dwarfs it. A statue depicts one of The Keepers of Light holding his arm outstretched to the heavens. In his hand is the actual artifact, The Shard of the Sun, used to defeat the necromancer that put the curse on the land. The Shard emanates bright sunlight almost like the sun itself. This light holds back the perpetual darkness from the town.

The party decides to try for the castle and The Keepers of Light stationed there first. Kethra tells them they won’t find any help there and leaves the group to continue on to town. The party quickly finds out that Kethra was right. After several minutes of beating on the barred gate, a sickly looking Keeper answers through a porthole. He’s rude and unhelpful and denies any requests to come into the castle or to meet with the captain.

The captain of the town militia is much more receptive. He’s a Dwarf named Rip Tide and he’s been expecting them. He’s shocked to learn of Theran’s death and is skeptical of the party’s ability to investigate what’s going on. Regardless he sets them up with lodging and meals and agrees to take them to the murder sites the next day.

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Nightfall Investigation

The first night in town Vlad, the Butcher and Firvain Diamond-hawk both fight their way into the finals of a bare-knuckle boxing tournament held at the local tavern. Firvain Diamond-hawk shocks the onlookers with her prowess but in the end Vlad, the Butcher took home the prize money.

The next day the party gets to business investigating the murder scenes. They’re turned onto one of the victim’s fathers, Dupre. Unfortunately, Rurik mistakes himself for a sneaky rogue and blunders the groups attempt to spy on him during the night. This sends Dupre into hiding for a couple days.

In the meantime, a man named Rourk shows up in town with his arm missing. Unfortunate for Rourk one of the guards took the arm off the attacker that killed Dupre’s daughter and the whole town believes him to be the killer. He says he was part of Kethra’s patrol that was attacked and she backs him on the story. The party also meets Mu`idd al-Shaybani during this time. Mu’idd also believes Rourk to be innocent but the town finds him guilty and executes him anyway.

Patience pays off as Darby and Poco continue to spy on Dupre and one evening he tries to slip out of town undetected. Dupre is captured and forced to show the party where he was heading – a tunnel hidden in the cellar of an old shack. The tunnel leads to the bowels of Castle Bromont.

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Inside Castle Bromont

The tunnel brings the party up through the depths of the castle and into the dungeon. The dungeon is littered with flayed and mangled bodies. In a large cell filled with corpses, they find Brother Rian and several The Keepers of Light that are in very poor shape. Brother Rian explains the situation -

…I was part of a group of monks that came from Aldingstone recently to study the goings on in Nightfall and see if we could find a way to combat the curse of permanent darkness. Inside Bromont’s tomb, a couple of the brothers found a ceremonial dagger. How it went unnoticed all those years ago is unknown but once uncovered it was delivered into the captain. That’s when things began to change. The captain started to lose his mind. So did others. The daggers presence seemed to affect them. Little by little the men turned. Some of us tried to make a move to capture the dagger and regain control of the castle but we were too few… this beast covered in skins and some laughing lunatic showed up after we’d all been imprisoned. We call them The Laugher and The Skinner. We play dead most of the time so that The Skinner does not drag us off to our deaths… we hear the screams… he wears our brothers’ skin. I believe the dagger to be a relic that I’ve read of in my studies. The Gift of Nerull. It can be used to transfer a person’s life force. Making the wielder more powerful. But it controls you, corrupts you. It must constantly be fed. The captain believes he’s invincible but if he does not take in the life force of others regularly he will become weak. As will anyone who uses the dagger…

Brother Rain and the other The Keepers of Light escape through the tunnel but our heroes move forward. They’re confronted by The Skinner and defeat him. Then they’re ambushed by The Laugher inside the keep itself. The Laugher flees to the captain’s side. The captain has The Gift of Nerull but the characters defeat him with ease. The Laugher seems to have given the party the slip yet again during their fight with the captain. Once back in the courtyard the party sees The Laugher and The Skinner disappear over the side of the castle wall.

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Last Day in Nightfall

Brother Rian managed to get back to town and raise the militia just in time to meet the party back in the castle courtyard. The castle is abandoned for now but with the party’s advice, the townsfolk decide to build their own series of tunnels to integrate the castle more wholly into the town. No longer will it be locked up and unsupervised.

That evening there is a large celebration. An altar is erected in the square in front of Mu’idd’s tower. There Brother Rian and Mu’idd perform a ritual that brings back Pollygore but in the form of a bear. A gift from Pelor. The next day the party heads back to Paradise with The Gift of Nerull.

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Arrival in Lost Stone

A few days into their journey back to Paradise, the party stumbles upon the town of Lost Stone. They find that the town has been abandoned by all the adults and that only children are left. The party meets with Elryn, the oldest boy in town, and his two late teen twin half Orc bodyguards. Elryn tells the party that the adults all woke in the middle of the night and wandered off into the mine just out of town a couple weeks ago. None of them had gone in after them fearing the same fate. They were also too afraid to leave their town to find help. The party agrees to go into the mine and find out what happened the next day. They also meet Paravel, Hilin, and several other children and get the feeling that something isn’t right with Elryn. They stay the evening there in the tavern Elryn has taken to using as his castle. All of the children sleep inside the tavern for safety.

In the night Paravel wakes the party and tells them that Elryn has taken Hilin and a small boy into his room and that she didn’t like the sounds coming from within. The party races to the rescue but when they arrive the two half Orc bodyguards have already brutally raped Hilin to death. The small boy Elryn has to himself is about to receive the same fate until the party attacks while the enemies pants are down. Heeyoooo! slaps knee It turns out Elryn and his bodyguards were actually Doppelgangers who had been manipulating and raping the children for days. No ties were discovered between the Doppelgangers and the parent’s disappearance into the mine, though.

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Lost Stone Mine

The party is ambushed and encircled by a band of Bugbears upon entering the mine but defeat the attack. In the mine the party finds four adults, Sheila, Shandri, Geth, and Amundi. All spread throughout the mine, all nearly halfway buried, and not a one remembering how they came to be here.

The party also discovers a large hole leading down further into the earth. They leave the townsfolk at the hole and descend into the dark to look for more survivors. The hole leads into a dungeon. While picking the lock of the first door Darby and Poco fall into a trap – a chute that drops them into a disgusting pool of corpses, blood, and shit. They’re attacked by a Carrion Crawler that leaves them both paralyzed and drowning in blood and filth. Luckily, Nail had abandoned his war band and had been remaining in the area from a lack of options. He rescues the girls and joins the party looking to become a great warrior, not just some hired thug.

The group moves through the dungeon defeating various monsters but the only trace of Lost Stone townsfolk are corpses. They defeat a power Dark Naga and claim a small treasure. Most notably they find a flying carpet.

Upon exiting the hole they find Amundi and Shandri dead and Geth and Sheila missing. When they return to the town empty handed most of the children are not surprised. Paravel pleads with the party to take the children with them and they agree. The party sets off with Paravel, the children, and the dagger.

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A New Home

It’s been a couple months since we last met our adventurers. After many weeks on the road and many hard fought battles, Elva thought it best her new agents take some time to rest and integrate into the community of Paradise. Upon returning, Elva showed the party to a simple house that she said was now their residence. The home is two floors. 40ft x 50ft with a small lean-to attached to the back. Firvain and her pets quickly took up residence in the lean-to. The others divvied up the 5 rooms on the second floor. Besides a small straw bed in each chamber, the house is completely unfurnished. The first floor is a large open room with stairs leading up along the right-hand wall and a large fireplace on the back wall.
The next couple months of the summer go by in relaxing fashion. The party spends it’s time training, studying, helping around the village, drinking at the open air bars, going out to help on the fishing boats… things of that nature.
Life in Paradise is quiet. The weather always seems perfect, the sky blue, the ocean even more so… the sand flawless and white. The tropical vegetation lush and thick all around the town. The only way out of town via land is through a powerful illusion of thick jungle. The homes and buildings are mostly wood and thatch. Some of the larger structures are made from stone. There are roughly a couple hundred beings that call Paradise home. Members of all the common races can be found with some more colorful races sprinkled in. Even powerful beings from other planes sometimes make appearances when on business with Elva. Though oddities, magic, and finery are not hard to come by in this place from the select merchants Elva allows to find Paradise, most people dress in colorful yet simple clothes. Most go barefoot or wear sandals since most of the area is sandy. Though they dress simply, the people of Paradise deck themselves out in all sorts of lavish jewelry. Most of it made from the silver and jewels the Dwarves of the overlooking mountain mine.
The mine is the lifeblood of Paradise. The Dwarves of the Stoneknuckle clan it’s most stout protectors. There are several hundred Dwarves that live beneath the mountain. They are led by Valbrek Stoneknuckle. They favor typical Dwarven attire. Elva and the Stoneknuckle Dwarves have lived in harmony for centuries. When threatened by Drow from the Underdark, it was Elva who smashed their forces and reigned them in under her control, saving the Dwarves from annihilation. The Dwarves happily coexist with the small harbor town below them, using the folks of Paradise as their go-between with merchants and the outside world. Allowing them to focus on what they care about most – mining. Within the mountain, the Dwarves have carved a labyrinth that stretches deep into the Underdark. The mine is rich is various jewel veins and especially silver.
In addition to the Dwarves, Elva resides in the mountain with her elite guard and Drow agents. Though, you’ve seen her guards often they almost never speak, at least in your presence. There are 6 of them and they always accompany Elva. Two are obviously angels, one male, one female. They are the most beautiful beings you’ve ever laid eyes on. Both have flawless bronze skin, long silver hair, and piercing blue eyes. There’s a hound archon – a massively muscled humanoid with the head of a vicious looking dog. He wears a massive greatsword across his back. Another is a Leonal, a powerful looking leonine being. He wears next to nothing and carries only a pair of nunchakus on his belt. The 5th appears to be a Gith spell caster of some sort. He wears fine clothes and a dour expression at all times. Three stones circle in the air above his head at all times. The last member of her guard is a small and elderly Gnome sporting a hunched back and cane. The Drow mostly stay out of sight or are away scouting or spying in far away cities.
Paravel and the other children the group saved have all found places in families in Paradise. They can often be seen running around town laughing and playing in groups. The native children of Paradise welcomed them with open arms. Paravel stops by the house sometimes to say hello or bring the party things she’s baked, as she now lives with the local baker and his wife and has taken up the trade. She’s also started running his stand by the docks for him. Whenever she’s not running the stand or baking she likes to follow the girls of the group. The rogues have even started teaching her some thief skills and like having her around as a gofer. Darby even gave her an old lock and some spare picks to practice on.

All is well.

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Missing

Elva leaves Paradise to take care of business elsewhere. During her absence,Paravel is kidnapped. The culprit appears to be a man named Breck ‘Whitemane’ Petrik. This is very odd considering Elva handpicks the ship captains she allows to find her port town. Also, Whitemane is highly regarded as a goodly man and hero.

The harbor master knows Whitemane’s next stop to be Eastfold Terminal. Guntramn Goodwort offers his ship and crew to give chase to The Fang. The party wastes no time in setting off after Whitemane

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