Tempest Rising

The Enemy Within
Or-- Why are you hitting yourself?

gettyimages-839345540-170667a.jpgOur heroes were foundering on a small ship’s boat as the sudden doldrums had stalled their ship and spooked its crew. Boomah had already fled the tiny vessel, and stood on the shore 200 feet away. The elven ship was seemingly lodged on rocks a few hundred yards away.

The group had been struck by a bout of paranoia, and began bickering. There was another wave of magical energy and the big warrior and the dragon were overcome. They both lashed out to attack the priests. Dremahl took the brunt of it, and was quickly felled, lying bloody on the boards. Celeste cast Obscuring Mist and then healed Dremahl, taking a bite from the dragon in the process.

The warriors continued to attack, and poor Boomah had to look on from shore. Dremahl went down again as the dragon stepped over him to attack the oracle. Celeste got off a Sanctuary, and Luix could not attack her. Worse, he fumbled his blow and fell overboard.

Kallius temporarily shook off the compulsion to destroy his friends, and chose to jump off the boat and swim away as quickly as possible.

Boomah had swam back to the boat, and convinced Jim to join him in the water. Luix climbed back aboard, but could not attack Celeste and had no other targets. He swung about with his flail and demanded that his enemies show themselves.

Boomah noted that the magic did not follow him under water, and convinced the priest to use his powers and stay in the earth — keeping them safe from the befuddling powers at work.

Celeste summoned two dolphins — having previously summoned a hound archon — and the two of them swam to the shore.

Meanwhile, a gap appeared in the mist, and an invisible force crushed down on Luix sucking the air from his lungs. But he broke free of the creature’s grasp, and dove below the surface, holding his breath and swimming toward shore.

The four remaining heroes decided that the proactive choice was to assault the ship. So they dove under water, towed by dolphins and Boomah’s watery sash. They came to the ship, hung up on rocks with a gash in the hull.

They sent the hound archon through the gap, and Celeste felt its life force snuff out. At that point they decided to seek another means of entry.

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Fire ship
Or-- Invisible Dragon 1, Marines 0.

2a8777f39dd960b2a81bdee50e53421d.jpgOur heroes set off for adventure with the crew of the Bloodfang. The captain pointed out that while they were at sea, the ship could not pass up easy imperial ships, as there was a war on.

So when a merchant ship was spotted on the third morning at sea. They sent Boomah and Kallius to take a look. When they got close, the ship opened up with a catapult which angered the dragon. He strafed the deck as soldiers started to appear, and set the deck ablaze. As he passed, he was struck by lightning from the sky.

He wheeled out, and the set up a second run. This time they were both invisible and he had cast mirror image. Boomah targeted the siege engines with force bombs while the dragon wiped out the sails and deck crew. The ship seemed to be carrying an extremely large complement of soldiers for a trading vessel belonging to an officially neutral country.

With oars and sails, the Bloodfang caught up before the enemies could escape, and the slaughter got up close and personal. The group did see a strange porpoise swimming away from the ship as the boarding party closed.

The hobgoblins (and the dragon fire) left little to be salvaged from the vessel, and its cargo was little more than equipment and stores for its troops.

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Motley Crew
Or-- Carnivore Cruises

bcfc14668514e50a86adf06503101207.jpgAfter reviewing the paintings and huge rubbing in the goatherd’s shack (and feeding the dragon on purified mutton), the group decided to send Luix and Celeste into Otterdam to seek transport.

As they were leaving, Luix noticed a small tree that was not there before. They decided to return and tell the others.

When the gathered group came out to investigate, the tree was gone again, and the rock they tied to it lay on the ground. Soon after, the elven ranger Selvyn stepped from the brush flanked by his partner and a young woman. He asked the group where they were going, and they sayid into town. He tersely reminded them that that was the one place he forbade them to go.

They tried to explain their mission — which seemed to annoy the elf but intrigue the others. The man (Larsen) told them that Eltherian was lost on his return from the mainland, and was last seen on an elven outpost off the coast of the island Ostath.

Dremahl sought divine guidance and learned that Eltherian was in fact dead, and that the bow was above the water but not on land. They determined that it was most likely near the islands known as Naranjas. This is where they needed to go.

They convinced the trio from Otterdam to help them find a ship, and they agreed. The group even offered to meet the ship offshore, not to violate their agreement.

After first light, the party set off and found a galley waiting in the shallows, manned by hobgoblins. In fact, it was the ship that was ‘liberated’ the night they attacked Menso last time they were in this town.

They landed on the foredeck, and were met by a massive hobgoblin wearing a House Jormung platinum belt. He called himself Lord Buckle, and his ship was the Bloodfang.

He agreed to take them to the Naranjas for the price of 75 gold pieces per day.

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A hut to remember
Or-- My town, my rules

f6a20794443425e3a34008574ea96c75.jpgAfter resting in the vale, Kallius chose to use the wizard’s lab to review what they found in the chest. Boomah chose to to keep watch outside. There he spotted a massive unseen entity climbing down the far side of the valley’s wall, and moving toward their location.

He warned the group, and convinced them to teleport outside of the village of Otterdam. The appeared in the midst of a group of wood-gatherers who fled at the sight of the massive dragon.

Celeste tried to calm them, claiming the dragon was an illusion and a prank. They kept their distance but seemed somewhat mollified.

With the dragon now flying invisibly above them, they made their way toward the village. On the outskirts, they were intercepted by the elven ranger they spoke with on their previous visit. He reminded them that he said he would kill them if they came back.

They explained that they just needed a roof and a chance to rest, and they would leave. He suggested an abandoned goatherd’s hut on the outskirts, and they took him up on the offer.

In the hut, they opened the chest and reviewed the contents. There was a huge rubbing and several ancient watercolor paintings. They described the war between the Progenitors and the first dragons. It showed the old gods forging weapons of power to contain the dragons and force there will into the pore-ordained types. It also showed the items banish the dragons into some kind of black void. The last image did show draconic shapes in the shadows around the edges, suggesting that perhaps their imprisonment was less than perfect.

Our heroes decided that their best course of action would be to obtain these weapons for themselves.

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Fungus among us
Or-- Pale Mucus?

fungal.jpgThe goblin collapsed after being bitten by the spider, and convulsed on the ground for several minutes. Eventually he calmed and then woke, claiming he had been talking to Eika. He said that she had been forced out of Ebn’s compound, and has gone to the front lines of the siege of Cyr Regus. There, she has seen the invading troops settle around the cit, and was aware of reports of a green dragon attacking moving enemy troops.

Once they had prepared for the new day, the made their way up the vale to Pale Mother’s tree home. One they got close, they saw the heaps of compost that had been shambling mounds on their previous visit, and a sleeping form that looked like Pale Mother. As Celeste got closer, the shape raised its head and greeted her. It was not in fact Pale Mother, but some kind of plant creature in her form, seemingly growing out of a husk that might be the original.

Celeste questioned the creature, who answered sleepily and vaguely. She then beckoned the oracle to come closer.

When she did, the heaps rose up into shambling mound forms, but did not attack. Celeste continued her approach, and when she got up close, the beast sent out a cloud of poisonous spores. Celeste withstood the initial poisoning, but was stunned by the fungal nymph’s stunning gaze.

Boomah flew up into the canopy and lobbed a bomb on the creature, which set it afire. The others took up defensive stances. The nymph took control of the guarding mounds, and they attacked the party.

Luix smashed one with his flail one and dropped it in one round, The dragon reared up against two more. Boomah unleashed a volley of bombs turning the nymph into a wretched bonfire, and Dremahl rounded things out any sending his boulderhead mace flying through one mound and crashing into the fungal pale mother, destroying her.

Digging through the wreckage, they found as case under the husk of flesh-and-bone pale mother. They opened it up and found some ancient papers and a large folded sheet of line. They retired to the porch where they had slept to review the contents.

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One night in the valley
Or-- That bites

spiders.jpgFleeing the dragon. our heroes appeared at the head of Pale Mother’s vale as expected. Dremahl tried to remove the tracking from Kallius and Luix. He succeeded on the barbarian, but failed to purge the curse on the dragon. They would have to wait several hours for the chance to try again.

Looking around, they could see the area was teeming with the giant spiders known as Omaro’s orphans, and Boomah’s ‘spider sense’ determined that they were directed to be watchful, but could feel no greater intelligence nearby.

They moved into the valley and discovered that the entrance to the Sciao Siang’s cavern lab was covered in webs. Boomah asked the spiders, and they responded that it was a ‘no’ place.

The group considered options, and were leaning toward returning to the dwarves for assistance, but could not find a way to hide a dragon in a mine for more than a day.

Boomah teleported to the sigil nearest the coast town of Otterdam, and only stayed long enough to determine that the site was still there (but under mud), and not guarded.

At dawn they re-cast break enchantment and freed Kallius. They also did a Sending to Boomah’s mentor Ebn asking for advice. He said that dragons are not currently welcome, as a green one was ravaging the siege of Cyr Regus. He also said that the spidery witch Eika was gone. They reached out to her, who only responded ‘do not fear the venom.’ Then, a large black spider with shifting purple notches on its back scuttled onto their platform. It bit Boomah, and he collapsed.

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Double dragon
Or-- Saved by the 'bell'

465914485-170667a.jpgWith enemies on the wing rushing toward their location, the spellcasters frantically completed as much preparation as they could. Dremahl then cast a break enchantment to remove the tracking magic that remained on him from the wild hunt hound’s bite.

When the blue dragon and his tengu guards arrived on the scene, Kallius rose to meet them with Dremahl, Luix and Boomah strapped to his back. The dragon asked for their surrender, which they not accept. Rebuked, it breathed electricity on them while the archers unload on the healer.

This forced Dreamhl to spend the round healing himself, and the others closed the gap to attack the dragon hand-to-hand. Once in range, they leave the dragon’s back and attack separately. Another volley of arrows targets the priest, and his consciousness slips away.

Meanwhile, the mighty dragon Verduous teleported right next of Celeste. She had just summoned a hound archon, who got crushed unsder the creature’s massive bulk as it breathed its noxious acid on the oracle.

The blue dragon tried to clutch Kallius in a sacrificial attempt to keep him from leaving, and the former elf does stay to crush the life out of his enemy. Dremahl gets stabilized and even withstands a couple more hits.

Celeste finished summoning a burlani azalea, and transformed into a light elemental. The dragon lunged toward her and cast a spell, and she felt a mysterious wave of necromantic energy wash over her. The azata rockets off and heals Dremahl, as the warriors take out the blue dragon and a couple more of its escort.

Kallius and company turn their backs on the bird men, and plunged down on the massive green dragon. Kallius dropped to the ground before Verduous, and Luix deftly leaps off his back and rolls into combat position. Dremahl is once again hanging limply from its straps.

The dragon used its miasma power to fill the ledge with its toxic breath. Kallius attacked, but his spell-enhancements could not break the dragon resistance, leaving only the physical damage. Worse yet, as he lands his powerful bite, fully half the damage is delivered to Celeste though a necromantic link between the two. Luix smashes the beast from its flank, delivering even more damage to the oracle. The dragon itself unleashed all its fury on Kallus, tearing at the smaller dragon with teeth, claws and wings. He still had a few mirror images up, but even with them diverting blows his life was peril.

Recognizing that fighting the dragon was going to kill Celeste long before Verduous itself, Boomah decides this battle cannot be won. He swoops through the dragons looming figure and touches his allies, shouting the command word that will transport them back to the Vale of the Pale Mother. Hopefully.

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Dawn Patrol
Or-- Wake me uop before you go-go below -10.

Tengu_Acher.jpgOur heroes found themselves victorious, but trapped in the room with the fallen construct. Kallius used blink spells to phase through the wall, but could not find a way to reopen the passage. He did, however, hear enemy forces gathering in the forested level below.

Returning unsuccessful, they searched the entire chamber for an escape. Dremahl discovered the residue of fire damage where the doorway was, so they decided to apply some elemental power to it. The magical flame temporarily reopened the gate, and the quickly escaped.

They were feeling threatened and worn out, so they chose to leave the tower and find rest in the outside jungle. The landed on a ledge Hanover a source of fresh water and tried to find sleep.

The night was filled with activity in the tower, and at one point they saw a surge of power flash form the tower’s top.

At first light, they spotted the blue dragon and a flight of tegu guards gather atop the structure. The casters hurriedly began to prepare their new spells, but the bird-like enemies drew ever closer.

They seem to be flying out in a search pattern, and after roughly 40 minutes one flew over their location. It continued on a little distance, and then turned to return to the tower. Kallius, hovering invisibly high above it, plummeted and crushed the life out off it.

When the others came back to the tower, they noted the loss. So, a group of 11 tengu and the young blue took flight in their direction, high above the ground. The healers still had not completed their preparations, nor had the goblin. But the dragon Kallius was convinced that there was no more time to prepare…

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Inflammation
Or-- This is my boom stick

48653170-ugly-king-of-insect-creatures-in-fire-concept-art-on-a-white-background.jpgOur heroes turned from their new-found loot to face the rune-engraved wall opposite them. Boomah had noted on their previous visit that there were four indentations set into the symbol at points that corresponded to a single element. They placed used elementally-attuned gems into these sockets — with one mishap on timing sending out a jolt of electricity — and the lines of the conjoined rune flared and lit up, and then vanished leaving a gap in the wall.

Inside, they saw what appeared to be the fiery staff ringed by lit braziers. Boomah used his enchanted lens, and noted life within the braziers. Also, somehow the staff was a construct. When they came close, legs folded out of the staff like a gigantic flaming praying mantis.

It leaped down and attacked, and the flames left their braziers, aiding the beast. Boomah used his watery sash’s power and transformed into a wave, extinguishing three wysps in one swoop.

The creature lashed out at Luix, using its claws to grasp the warrior and drag him close enough to tear at his head with its mandibles. Luckily for him, the priests stood behind and healed as quickly as he was damaged.

Boomah lobbed cold bombs, Kallius used his dragon attacks, and Luix smashed away with his flail. The creature was weakening, and one of the wysps flared up, giving its energy to heal it.

Seeng this, our heroes turned on the remaining fire wysps to ensure that would not happen again. Celeste retrieved her wand of fire extinguishing, and sent a hound archon to attack the construct.

In the end, a flurry of cold bomb hits extinguished its flame, and our heroes were victorious. The construct rattled to the floor as a magical adamantine staff.

The party had defeated the flaming construct, but were no closer to meeting their goal of collecting the Ordinal artifacts. With the green dragon sure to be seeking revenge, they had serious choices to make.

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Spoils of War
Or-- Phat Lewt

Treasure.pngThe remaining cultist’s leader had offered to allow our heroes to escape this place without further injury, but this offer was only met with insults. Realizing this negotiation was at an impasse, the enemy launched a flight of arrows at the draconic Kallius.

Boomah filled the chamber with smoke to foil the archers, and battle was rejoined. Both sides were bloodied, and Kallius once again slipped unconscious, but in the end our heroes prevailed.

With no enemies immediately present, they set about investigating the dragon’s treasure. There they uncovered 307 pp, 5372 gp, 7641 sp, and 26089 cp. Mundane gemstones included Amber, Amethyst, 2 x Black Pearl, 2 x Chrysoberyl, Coral, Deep Blue Spinel, 2 x Garnets, Jasper, 2 x Jet, Milky Quartz, Onyx, 2 x Opal, Rose Quartz, Saltwater Pearl, Sapphire, 2 x Tourmaline.

Art Objects included a Platinum bowl with arcane engravings, a Platinum mask, Masterwork darkwood lute, an Ivory drinking horn with silver ends, a Silver cauldron with animal symbols, aSilver egg with dragon figurine, Gold flutem, a Marble idol, and Mithral hourglass with diamond dust.

Stones with magical properties included a Crimson sphere (1 competence bonus on knowledge (Geography). Pink rhomboid (1 bonus on Reflex saves), Pale Blue Rhomboid (2 enhancement bonus to Strength), Veined red ellipsoid (Orc ferocity) Dark Blue Flawed (2 competence bonus on Perception checks and a –1 penalty to initiative checks 300 gp)
Dull Gray (No powers), 3XEmerald Cracked (1 temporary hit point), Nacreous Gray Flawed: (Protects against the appearance of aging) Turquoise Cracked (+1 competence bonus on Ride checks)

Magic Items included: Agile Alpenstock. +1Buckler, Cap of Human Guise, Equestrain Belt +1 Heavy Flail, Potion of Cure Serious Wounds, Potion of Endure Elements (Cold), Potion of Fly, Potion of Protection from Electricity (5th), Potion of Remove Disease, Potion of Tongues, +1 Rapier, +1 Sap, Wand of Burning Hands, Wand of Gentle Repose, Wand of Mage Armor.

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