Dawn Of The Storm

In Which The Party Are Good Finders
25 September, 2016

When we last left the party…

They’d just been reunited after a three month absence from one another and their quest. Unfortunately Vallenese did not return and instead Nicholas befriended a half-elven fighter named Safphron Saberine. They and Hawthuum meet up with Raltar, now king of elven kind, to celebrate his wedding. The festivities are interrupted by a murder and the party investigates the scene of the crime, only for another killing to happen right under their noses. With all the commotion, the bride to be and the best gnome secretary are lost, and the party scrambles to find them.

Having given his guards the slip Raltar rushes in search of Lillian without backup while the rest of the party continues trying to discover what exactly happened. Still investigating the crime scene, Nicholas’ talents allow them to find magic on the body, which is quickly dispelled. This dispelling brings them to a troubling discovery; the murdered father of the little girl who was killed is not an elf. He is, in fact, human posing as elf, which means his daughter would have been half-elf. With this new information they began to theorize that perhaps whoever or whatever is causing the killings is doing so out of spite for non-elven races, in which case the number of potential targets just narrowed on the party.

Off on his own Raltar discovers Lillian half dead and missing her arm by following the shattered remains of her once great bow. He calls for backup and they manage to get Lillian to the healer in time for her to be saved. After a brief sharing of information amid the party they agree that for the night they’ve done all they can, and Barry will have to wait. In the dark of the night Raltar, finding sleep evasive, goes to speak with Nicholas only to see a shadowy figure hovering over him. Raltar rouses the party and the specter-like creature flees, leaving Nicholas none the wiser save for his friend’s word.

Awake, they resume the hunt for Barry. Nicholas goes to speak with Vana again about the creature that they saw the other day, and between berating him she lets slip that it was indeed her laundry that comprised the makeshift golem, though she certainly wasn’t the one to create such a mess. Armed with that information Nicholas uses his magical prowess to try and figure out where the golem’s maker might be. Hawthuum, meanwhile, leading a platoon of guards manages to find a small bag of what appear to be scales similar to the ones that the party found in Meclor.

Shortly after the two of them manage to also find Barry, half buried and freezing to the touch. Barry is taken home and given over to the healers, and the party settles down in their hot tub to try and destress. The wedding must be postponed until Lillian is well enough to undergo the ceremony anyway, so Raltar has a little more time as a bachelor.

What tore off Lillian’s arm? Why did Barry create a clothing golem? Will Raltar and Lillian ever manage to get married? Find out next time on Dawn of the Storm!

In Which Safphron Has A Panic Attack
18 September, 2016

When we last left the party…

All four of them had gone their separate ways. Nicholas and Vallenese headed back to Zaatir, resulting in the former landing in prison and the latter scattering to the winds. Raltar returned to Edron to study the necessary lessons of ruling the elves. Hawthuum remained in Adra, working his way towards purchasing a boat for the entire group to take south.

After three months in prison Nicholas manages to be released under extensive restrictions, namely that he must perform community service and good behavior. He charts a course on the first boat he can find heading to Ocera, where he meets a half elf named Safphron Saberine who is also traveling to Ocera to taste some of the unique liquor flavors there to bring back to her family brewery. The two of them bond over the voyage, since they’re the only two of three passengers not rendered completely indisposed by seasickness and the crew is much too busy sailing the ship.

When they make landfall Nicholas quickly finds Hawthuum, as the dwarf saw their ship coming into port and came to meet them. The two quickly catch up and Nicholas introduces Hawthuum to Safphron. The dwarf excitedly informs Nicholas that he managed to buy a boat and hire a small crew of three to run them southward.

While they’re talking Hawthuum notices a messenger with a carriage and an image of Nicholas in Raltar’s drawing style. The group demands an explanation, and the messenger reveals that he’s been sent to pick up the three of them from the port and bring them to Raltar’s wedding.

Amazed that Raltar is both now the king and getting married, the group climbs into the carriage and head towards the elven capitol. On the way Nicholas summons Scooter for the first time since the pseudodragon was forced into his pocket dimension due to the warlock’s imprisonment. Safphron, understandably, goes into a panic attack and a very upset Scooter abandons the carriage to get some flight time.

By the time they reach Edron Nicholas and Hawthuum have managed to calm down Safphron. A massive party greets them, complete with Raltar and Lillian swinging down on vines. They catch up amid the fanfare and Raltar gives them a tour of the new clubhouse, also informing a surprised Nicholas that he’s the best man for the wedding.

Later, as Nicholas is giving his best man pre-wedding speech, a farmer brings his murdered daughter through the crowd and a silence falls over the festivities. He demands Raltar do something about his murdered child, and the party follows him back to his house to investigate the scene of the crime while the guard gets the common folks inside. On the way Raltar insults the farmer who takes the body inside without letting the group properly examine it and leaving them just with the crime scene.

After investigating the scene they determine that Scooter was likely the culprit, prompting Nicholas to embark on a desperate search for evidence to the contrary while he’s placed under constant surveillance. The others split to try and gather more information from the town, and Nicholas comes to the realization that the magical aura left on the body that he managed to glance couldn’t have been Scooters despite it looking identical because Scooter doesn’t leave an aura when he bites things. The group quickly returns to the house, only to find apparently no one home.

Proceeding with caution, they enter the house with the captain of the guard and head upstairs upon hearing a snarling noise. Unfortunately Nicholas, Hawthuum, and Safphron aren’t very quiet and the source of the noise flees, leaving the disemboweled body of the farmer from scarcely an hour ago. The captain insists on Raltar being taken back to safety, and the other three party members inspect the remains of the body and the house. Once back to his clubhouse, Ralter realizes that Lillian hasn’t been heard from since the attacks began, and goes to find her after shaking his guards. This prompts a city-wide alert, and the other three party members receive second-hand that “the king is missing”.

Where has Lillian disappeared to? What is slaughtering the people of Edron? Will Raltar’s first royal event end in nothing but royal disaster? Find out next week on Dawn of the Storm!

In Which The Party Splits
Summer 2016

When we last left the party…

Raltar had just had a fight with his father and proposed to Lillian while Nicholas, Hawthuum, and Vallenese watched. Now, with Lillian encouraging the party to go and the party unsure of whether or not it’ll be worse off for them if they force Raltar to leave the forest, come to an impasse.

Acting quickly, the party flees from the city immediately and makes their way to the port city of Adra where they come to a halt, trying to determine what to do. Their goal lies to the south, but to get there they’re going to need a boat and supplies. During the journey Nicholas finally decides to take Scooter as a familiar, strengthening the bond between the two of them and reinforcing Nicholas’ telepathic abilities.

While trying to figure out their next move, Raltar decides that he may as well bite the bullet about the seemingly inevitable outcome of him becoming king, figuring that he should learn from his father and be there when the king dies from the malady affecting him. Since the rest of the party has little reason or desire to return, they decide to temporarily part ways.

With Raltar gone and not wanting to embark on the next stage of their quest without him, Nicholas and Vallenese decide to head back to their home in Zaatir to take care of some personal business. Vallenese wants to learn more about where she came from and why she was taken and Nicholas turns himself in for the unintentional manslaughter of his former professor, receiving a prison sentence.

Now left all alone in Adra, Hawthuum puts himself to work on the pier. He slowly but surely begins to work himself up the ladder, setting his sights on a boat in hopefully the near future. Thankfully Edron isn’t too far away and Hawthuum and Raltar maintain connections throughout the interim.

With the party scattered to the winds, how will the malicious forces at work continue to sweep through the world? Will the party have to break Nicholas out of prison? How long before Raltar is finally free of his father’s shadow? Find out next time on on Dawn of the Storm!

In Which Raltar Puts His Foot Down
5 May, 2016

When we last left the party…

Nicholas, Raltar, and Hawthuum had been teleported across the sea by Kobe, the magical bird, where they met another group of adventurers. In that group they encountered their first dragon born and learned that his name was Kavar. After learning all they could from Kavar about dragon born and helping the others destroy a strange, demonic bone creature, they used the teleportation circle in DeMor’s Magicks to return to Meclor and from there returned to Edron.

Once back in Edron Raltar tracked down Headmistress Anya and attempted to convince her to let him join the Wizard College. She rebutted that Raltar had already declined his acceptance once into the school and they wouldn’t do him any special favors by sending him to the top of the list. Determined, Raltar pressed her for anything she could do and she finally agreed to reenact an old school tradition: a potentially lethal entrance exam. Thanking her, Raltar went to find Nicholas and together they go into the library in search of any information on this exam. There, they meet an invisible cat and dig out yet another prophecy, this one in Deep Speech, that they can’t decipher. Admitting defeat they return to the others.

Raltar finds Vallenese and Hawthuum and Lillian and they all go out to a party while Nicholas heads into his room to meditate and try to see if the eldritch horror in his head knows anything about Deep Speech. After creating a visitation center and having a thoroughly unhelpful conversation the half-orc heads to the Wizard College to chat with Grattus, his advisor, about how he might be able to deal with what the source of his power wants. Grattus suggests that Nicholas could potentially break the pact, sealing himself off from arcane study, give in to the pact, or try to come to peace with it and create a symbiotic relationship with the pact.

Needing more time to figure it out, Nicholas thanks Grattus for his help and heads back to find the others. Lillian and Raltar are carrying a completely plastered Hawthuum back to his bedroom, Vallenese in tow. After getting the dwarf into bed Lillian says her goodbyes and Vallenese heads upstairs to go to sleep. Nicholas and Raltar have a brief chat about magic and Raltar lets Nicholas know that he doesn’t want to get into the Wizard College anymore, and the two of them head to bed.

The next morning dawns but unfortunately for Hawthuum, he can’t see it. Upon coming to wake the dwarf, Ratlar sees that his eyes match Nicholas’ magical aura and runs for the half-orc. Nicholas takes Vallenese and together the three of them try to figure out what’s going on in Hawthuum’s mind. Raltar, feeling left out, heads upstairs to floor 88 and vents to Lillian about how his friends are always abandoning him. After finishing up with Hawthuum, Vallenese and Nicholas head upstairs and hear the tail end of the conversation. The group manages to clear the air, though some tensions are still a bit high.

Not wanting to get involved in that, Hawthuum goes to find some other clerics and asks them about how they connect with their gods so that he can better understand how to connect with Njord. After getting some advice he leaves only to find Vallenese, who’s on her way to buy a puppy. While they’re gone Nicholas and Raltar head into Nicholas’ mind to see if Raltar can get any more information out of the eldritch horror than Nicholas could, and unfortunately it’s just as unhelpful as the first time.

Once Raltar realizes the horror is trying to bargain with him he warns Nicholas, who drags him out and stays to meditate for a bit longer. Raltar meets up with Vallenese and Hawthuum, and is discouraged to learn that they bought a puppy that he feels he’ll have to train. Over the next few days he helps Vallenese train her new dog Jax while at the same time trying to help Hawthuum train Scooter. They manage to make a harness for the pseudodragon, but he’s definitely not happy about it, and even Lillian pitches in to try and get Scooter to a more agreeable place.

Having been working on and off with his father the past few days, Raltar starts telling him about Lillian and how they’re sort of dating? His father, in no uncertain terms, tells Raltar that he can’t marry Lillian since he’s already engaged as part of a marriage that Raltar’s parents set up when Raltar was very young. Furious, Raltar leaves and gathers Vallenese, Hawthuum, and Lillian, and together they confront his father. An intense argument follows, one that shakes the very walls of both the building and Raltar’s already fragile relationship with his father.

Finally, Raltar’s father decides enough is enough and leaves. Raltar, pumped full of adrenaline and still feeling brave, kisses Lillian, then quickly takes a step back and apologizes when he realizes what he’s done. She kisses him again, and Raltar proposes to her. Upon accepting, Lillian agrees that they should probably wait until Raltar is done saving the world and encourages the group to leave that night before Raltar’s father can really do anything about it.

Will Raltar be able to leave the city? Can Nicholas create a symbiotic relationship with the eldritch horror in his mind? Is Scooter even trainable? Find out next time on Dawn of the Storm!

In Which There's A Crossover
30 April, 2016

When we last left the party…

The group had spoken with Raltar’s mother and decided to head to where their elven friend grew up. Once there they meet Rathal, Raltar’s father, who informs Raltar that he can’t leave without putting the forest and all the elves in it in peril. Nicholas and Vallenese managed to get Raltar set up on a surprise date with his childhood friend Lillian during their stay in the elven capital. Nicholas then went to his meeting with the headmistress of the Wizard College, only to be informed that they’re starting a scholarship in his name and he’ll be the first recipient of the full-ride deal. On his way back to the others to tell them of the good news, Nicholas becomes aware of a very faint music floating through his mind.

The same song is heard by Raltar and Hawthuum, and without warning the world around them starts to shift and fade. Suddenly the three of them are in a dark room with three occupied beds. In one of the beds lies a scaled, black, walking dragon. Before they can really decide what to do one of the forms in the bed starts to move and a human monk sits up. He manages to talk to the newcomers and introduces himself as Aren. Moving quickly, Aren manages to wake and introduce Draz, but not Kavar. Through an intense conversation they learn that the rest of the other party consists of Kavar, the dragonborn paladin, Sellion, the elven rogue, Floss, the elven ranger, and Silky Johnson, an elven bard. They also soothe Nicholas’ curiosity about the teleportation, revealing that Kobe has managed to teleport the our heroes to this strange group of other adventurers and they manage to get a ‘talking bottle’ going so that they can sort out the conversation. Aren manages to wake Kavar and they retrieve Floss for the conversation.

After a reading of the prophecies to get everyone on the same page and a realization that the image on Kavar’s map is the same as the one stamped in the bottom of Nicholas’ prophecies, the large group try to figure out how to get Nicholas, Raltar, and Hawthuum back to where they belong. Raltar attempts to speak with Kobe, who reveals that he teleported the group due to a connection one of them had with Kavar, but Kobe doesn’t know which of the three of them it was. During this time Scooter reveals himself and Kavar becomes rather enraptured with the tiny pseudodragon.

Trying to figure out which of them holds the connection, Raltar sends himself and Nicholas outside to see if Kobe could teleport them back inside, only for the two of them to be attacked. A large, white, gaunt creature with a stinger and flanked by two smaller creatures about Scooter’s size. The rest of both parties arrive and together they take down their attackers. Aren and Scooter both nearly die, but thankfully having two clerics around helps to mitigate the damage. With he sun starting to rise, Nicholas, Raltar, and Hawthuum say their goodbyes and Scooter is torn between staying with one of his kind or going with his friends. In the end he stays with Nicholas and the others, and they head to the Citin branch of DeMor’s to use the teleportation circle there to reach Meclor, and from there Edron.

How will this nighttime adventure affect our adventurers? Will the groups ever meet again? Do their goals converge on the same place? Find out next time on Dawn of the Storm!

In Which Nicholas' Dreams Come True
28 April, 2016

When we last left the party…

Nicholas had gone through the teleportation circle in DeMor’s Magicks to Ecrin for some shopping while Hawthuum and Raltar head back to the forest to find Raltar’s mom. Not able to locate her, they leave a message and return to the inn where they meet up with Nicholas, who’s found a Prophecies Tome. Before they can discuss anything, however, Raltar’s mother sneaks in through the window.

Announcing her presence to the group, Raltar’s mother explains that she’s here to bring her son home, revealing to him that his father is in ill health and they need him to return to the forest. Reluctantly, Raltar manages to convince her that his current mission is more important and she gives him a three month window to complete his task and return home before she leaves. With her gone and Vallenese rejoining the group they can finally take a look at the Prophecies Tome that Nicholas found.

Believing the prophecies deciphered, Raltar pushes the group to go to the elven city now instead of later so that they can get that over with. Then they’ll continue their quest. Not long after they enter the forest they’re surrounded by elves, though thankfully Raltar takes charge and instead of attacking potential intruders the elves take them to Edron and to Raltar’s father Rathal. A gnome named Barry greets them in the main lobby and leads them upstairs to where Raltar’s father is in a meeting. He dismisses everyone except Nicholas, who is disguised as an elf, and Raltar.

For the next few hours Raltar and Nicholas are stuck in political debates during which Raltar’s journal is taken and magically memorized and copied. Meanwhile Hawthuum and Vallenese look around the capital building. Hawthuum finds floor 88, the recreation floor, and spends the next few hours there. At the end of the meeting, Raltar’s father dispels Nicholas’ illusion and bares the half-orc’s true nature for all to see. Surprisingly, he tells Raltar that he could learn from studying Nicholas’ magic, and once it’s only the three of them in the room they start to discuss all that Raltar has been through.

The moment Azoth’s name is mentioned, Rathal leads the way quickly to a magical work space and puts Raltar in some sort of contraption that forces upon him a vision of a skeletal Azoth who warns him heavily to not trust dragons. Emerging from the vision, Raltar tries to convince Nicholas that Scooter is evil. Nicholas doesn’t put much faith into the thought and dismisses it, and the two turn their attention back to Rathal’s insistence that Raltar must stay. Rathal takes Raltar aside so that only he can hear and informs him that the power that runs through their bloodline fuels the protection of the forest. If Raltar isn’t there to inherit the power when Rathal dies then the forest will die too.

Raltar almost immediately informs the party of this, but not before insisting that Scooter be put elsewhere. Nicholas hands him off to Barry and the gnome leaves to take care of him. Rathal gives Raltar some space to think and the party takes roughly a week to recuperate and figure out what their next move needs to be. Hawthuum and Vallenese learn how to use the vine system to rappel down from the tree canopies from Raltar and it’s learned that Nicholas is afraid of heights. Raltar actually takes the time to learn magical applications from his father, specifically how to enchant his bow. Hawthuum prays daily to Njord for a sign of his new god. Vallenese trains and tries to get dirt on Raltar from the elf’s childhood friend and crush Lillian. Last but not least, Nicholas spends his week training until he receives a letter from the Wizarding College saying that he’s got a private lunch with the Headmistress when they arrive on Wednesday.

In order to deal with his nervous energy, Nicholas helps Vallenese orchestrate a set up with Lillian and Raltar. They manage to get the pair on a bridge that was a scene from their childhood, and were it not for Lillian making the first move and kissing Raltar, the male elf might have never picked up on the situation. After that, Raltar reveals his own secret, which contains a set of new robes for Nicholas that match the half-orc’s magical aura.

The next day dawns with the arrival of the Wizarding College in a cleared space in the center of the city. Nicholas wakes early and heard over, only to find Barry who’s dug out his old work robes from when he used to be secretary at the Wizarding College. Barry leads him on a tour and brings him to the library, where Nicholas meets the blind tiefling Halrog. After spending some time chatting with Halrog, the half-orc is escorted to Headmistress Anya’s office where an orcish dish is waiting for them. She reveals to him that not only does she have an offer of a full ride to her school, but she plans to start a scholarship in his name specifically for monstrous races interested in magic. During their conversation, Nicholas brings up Scooter to ask her for advice, and when she asks to see him Nicholas’ attempts at finding the pseudo-dragon return with pained noises.

A scramble ensues where Nicholas, Barry, and Anya use their combined telepathic might to locate Scooter, who got buried alive when the Wizarding College teleported on top of him. Anya brings both of them to Grattus’ office. The wilden warlock stands to greet his newest advisee, and they get Nicholas settled on a couple of classes for him to take while he adventures. That done, the half-orc leaves, satisfied with an amazing day.

How much of his day will Nicholas share with the others? Is Scooter evil? And what is that slight musical tone in the air? Find out next time on Dawn of the Storm!

In Which Scooter Breathes Fire
21 April, 2016

When we last left the party…

Nicholas had spent most of the day studying the DeMor Magicks teleportation circle and the party had slain a band of what appeared to be cultists. Meanwhile Raltar had shaken off his hangover and joined back up with the rest of the group after the battle and Nicholas and Hawthuum recounted the events of the previous day to him, after which everyone headed to bed.

In the middle of the night Raltar is awoken by the sounds of scratching, and he looks into the hallway to see Fiiggle scratching at the walls of the Inn. Panicked, Raltar awakens Nicholas and Hawthuum, the latter of which begins to champion putting Fiiggle out of his misery. Fortunately for the kenku, Nicholas and Raltar outvote him and Hawthuum is dragged along as the other two encourage Fiiggle to lead him to wherever it is he needs to go. Fiiggle leads the three of them into an alleyway inside town and only stops when faced with a solid brick wall.

After a bit of poking around by the group, they discover a loose brick concealing a hidden hole in the brickwork. Inside lies a leather pouch, and upon opening it they discover four scales. The popular theory is that they’re dragon scales, despite none of the part having seen dragon scales before. They continue to follow Fiiggle, now in a new direction, until it becomes clear that Fiiggle truly has no idea where he’s going.

Out of ideas and tired from being woken up in the middle of the night, the three of them make the decision to have Nicholas invade Fiiggle’s mind once more. The kenku writhes in pain as the half-orc explores the deepest parts of his brain, accompanied by Scooter. There, they return to the ominous mountain and Nicholas sends Scooter into the lava pouring out of the entrance so that they can get eyes inside. While there, Scooter discovers some old bones and a mosaic made from the same icy blue scales that the party found earlier etched into the roof in an abstract pattern.

Upon touching the scales, they start to fall from the roof, leaving a shape not unlike Scooter’s own except larger and without wings. Using the pseudo-dragon as a proxy, Nicholas discovers that parts of the cave are flammable and has the tiny dragon scoop up some lava in his mouth so that he can try and ignite it. A massive burst of flame comes from the tiny reptile, and writing along the sides of the cavern light up, along with flaming wings atop what can only be a dragon mosaic.

Meanwhile, Hawthuum and Raltar get into yet another argument, and words turn to blows as the elf and dwarf ready their weapons. Raltar, with his superior range, emerges victorious and when Nicholas returns from exploring Fiiggle’s mind he’s met with the sight of Raltar holding a heavily damaged Hawthuum in his arms. Understandably, Nicholas isn’t pleased and once he gets Hawthuum conscious he and Raltar engage in combat. Hawthuum, not wanting Raltar to win again, heals Nicholas part way through the battle and the whole thing is called off because of the dwarf’s interference.

Tired, the three of them head back to the inn and return to sleep, letting Fiiggle go where he may. The next dawn sees Hawthuum and Nicholas outside preparing for a duel, which ends in a draw when one of Nicholas’ illusions causes Hawthuum to believe that his friend is in dire peril. During the subsequent breakfast Nicholas remembers to tell Raltar about the elf that they met in the forest and shares with him the mental snapshots from that encounter. Raltar, recognizing the elven woman as his mother, freaks out.

Knowing that his mother is nearby and probably knows about him, Raltar waits until Nicholas leaves for his errands in Ecrin before grabbing Hawthuum and taking the dwarf with him to his home forest. There, they encounter a male elf scout, who informs them that there’s a bounty on Raltar’s head and that his father and old military unit have started doing some questionable things in the forest. Leaving a message that hopefully only his mother could understand, Raltar and Hawthuum return to the inn.

Nicholas, having gone to DeMor’s Magicks again to use their teleportation circle, spends his day in Ecrin doing some shopping. He makes a quick donation to the temple of Njord both on both his and Hawthuum’s behalf, then checks the Glyndark Mansion to see it well and truly destroyed from the fire that Raltar and Vallenese left. Without Firren Glyndark, reconstruction hasn’t even begun on the mansion. The half-orc then travels to Tabia’s home and leaves a message with Vallin informing Tabia of what’s been happening, along with a message for Tazmera to thank her for Raltar’s new quiver.

All that done, he heads to the largest center of knowledge he can find and discovers a small tome of prophecies that seem to be related and, more worryingly, seem to pertain to the party. Thankfully he meets no trouble returning to Meclor and Nicholas quickly fills in the other three about the prophecies. Before they can really take a look at them though, Raltar notices the slightest of sounds and turns to see his mother gracefully entering through the window.

What will Raltar’s mother do now that she’s found her son? Are the prophecies that Nicholas found really about the four party members? Could there be a living dragon out there communicating with Fiiggle? Things are only getting more interesting on Dawn of the Storm!

In Which Hawthuum Meets A Drow
14 April, 2016

When we last left the party…

Raltar had just been cleansed of the Glyndark magic and Nicholas had discovered what he believes to be is proof that dragons aren’t actually extinct in the form of Fiiggle, a kenku with a confused mind. While Vallenese and Raltar partied to celebrate, Nicholas and Scooter left to find another inn and Hawthuum stayed upstairs with Fiiggle for the night.

The morning sun saw Nicholas returning to the inn with the others, joining Hawthuum for breakfast as they discussed plans for the day. Raltar and Vallenese, unsurprisingly, are still upstairs with wicked hangovers and likely won’t be coming down any time soon. Since they can’t really leave Meclor without the other half of their party, Nicholas and Hawthuum take the opportunity to look around and shop a bit.

As they’re wandering through the market they meet a drow named Rickter. Hawthuum, ever the observant one, shows just how little he knows about elves and Nicholas does his best to mitigate the situation while still in the company of the racist dwarf. In the commotion Scooter slips out of his bag and flies over to Rickter, terrifying the drow. Once they get the spirited pseudodragon under control Nicholas sends Scooter looking for a magic shop and they use his directions to reach a modest store run by what looks like a boy barely out of his apprenticeship.

As nervous as the boy is, he accidentally lets slip that they have a teleportation circle in the back, and Nicholas practically terrifies Braden in his excitement to see it. Braden manages to make him wait until the boy can contact another employee at another branch of the shop. After sending off the message Braden goes over to help Hawthuum pick out some new clothes, and by the time they’re done an elven woman named Correen has emerged from the back room.

Under her watchful eye Nicholas is permitted to study the teleportation circle in the back of the store, and the group leaves shortly after with their purchases. Rickter asks the half-orc and the dwarf for assistance in getting his stuff back from where he was robbed the night before, and a short ride about an hour out of town reveals his destroyed campsite. The three of them follow the trail to the north, where they enter some woods. Upon entering they’re immediately ambushed by humans wearing dark red robes.

Throughout the battle, a few of the robed men keep pointing at Hawthuum and shouting for them to “slay the prophet”. The party quickly dispatches with the band, not bothering to leave survivors. Rickter’s stuff is here, though as they turn to leave they come face to face with an elven woman holding a bow aimed right at Nicholas. She questions them why they’re in the forest.

Thankfully Nicholas manages to talk them out of it, but before they can leave she questions the half-orc where he learned how to ride horses. Quickly answering yes and leaving before she can say anything else, the party rides back to town almost full gallop. Upon returning they discover that Fiiggle has once again found his way to them, and while they try to pass him off to Rickter, the kenku trails after Nicholas and Hawthuum as they head upstairs as the drow goes his own way.

Will Raltar and Vallenese ever get rid of their hangovers? Who were the mysterious men in the woods? Why did the elven woman ask about Nicholas’ horseback riding? Find out next time on Dawn of the Storm!

In Which Raltar is Cleansed
7 April, 2016

When we last left the party…

The four of them had just reached Meclor and found Ansraith, the elven mage they were seeking who could help Raltar finally rid himself of Glyndark influence. The older elf sent them to gather the materials while he prepared the spell itself, and the next day saw a flurry of activity as the party brought everything together.

Before going through with the cleanse, however, Raltar decides to go have a chat with the Azoth Glyndark entity he discovered in his mind. The archer warns Azoth that they’re planning to kill him, but the Glyndark seems unfazed by the idea. When he finally emerges, Raltar has a quick talk with Hawthuum before they go their separate ways. Hawthuum, upset by his and Raltar’s less than cordial conversation, heads off to look for rings. Vallenese goes with him, and together they manage to convince the smithy who’s selling rings to them that they’re a newly married couple.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Raltar help Ansraith get the cleanse ready and start the process. Hawthuum and Vallenese arrive a bit later and have a brief chat with Nicholas before Ansraith calls the three of them inside where they see Raltar sitting in the center of a magical circle, surrounded by white light. Ansraith encourages them that the cleanse is going well, but of course it’s just at that moment that the light breaks and a flaming skull emerges from Raltar’s mouth. Our heroes spring into action, defeating the skull but not before it can summon four shadowy creatures to aid it.

The struggle destroys the circle, but at the end of it the party stands victorious. The skull manages to rasp out a strange-sounding verse with its final breath before crumbling to dust:

Ancient tales,
Dragons fled,
Take caution or end up dead.

A defender falls,
Its task unfilled,
Left to those less skilled.

A band of four,
In pairs of two,
Must meet the past that rises anew.

The world holds legends,
Some that should not be.
Can the demon save us?
We will have to see.

As everyone makes sure they still have all their limbs attached, Ansraith inspects Raltar and announces him free of the Glyndark magic. Nicholas’ own check confirms this, and the party breathes a sigh of relief and thank Ansraith for his help. Now that they’ve solved that issue, Hawthuum pressures Ansraith about his sword, and Ansraith reveals that the sword is cursed, but without spending more time examining it cannot give the dwarf any farther details.

Instead they head back to their lodgings. Along the way they spy a familiar face, and stop Fiiggle so that he can admit to following them. Fiiggle denies it and simply says he must search, though he doesn’t know for what. Confused, the group takes him upstairs and try to get more answers out of the kenku, only to be walled at every opportunity. Frustrated, Nicholas instead just goes into Fiiggle’s mind. The sudden interruption causes the kenku to screech in pain, and some careful digging later Nicholas discovers what appears to be a mountain and the whispered words “find me” echoing through the poor creature’s mind. Letting Fiiggle rest, Nicholas explains his findings to the rest of the party with much excitement, and ends his tale with the idea that Fiiggle might be in contact with an actual dragon.

The others, however, aren’t nearly as excited as the half-orc and the pseudodragon. Raltar and Vallenese head downstairs to celebrate Raltar’s new freedom the only way they know how: by throwing a giant party in the bar. Nicholas, tired of their shenanigans, goes to another inn elsewhere with Scooter, leaving Hawthuum and Fiiggle alone.

How does Fiiggle keep popping up for our adventurers? Is Raltar truly free of the Glyndark influence? Could there still possibly be dragons in existence? Find out next time on Dawn of the Storm!

In Which Ansraith Knew They Were Coming
31 March, 2016

When we last left the party…

They’d just reached Ostror after traveling from Ecrin along the river. Upon arriving in Ostror they learned that Ansraith had already been and gone, yet when they tried to leave they discovered that they were now stranded in Ostror until first light since the inn and most of the town magically locked at sundown.

The rising of the sun brought with it a party ready to get going. After a quick check of their supplies and a rushed breakfast the four adventurers set out on their way once more. Still staying along the river, they keep a brisk pace on their way to Meclor. A day or so into the trip they break for camp at the edge of the river where Hawthuum, Raltar, and Vallenese get a brilliant idea for the bag of holding.

They manage to talk a reluctant Nicholas into giving them the bag of holding and start filling it with water from the river. Upon releasing the water, they discover that it provides significant propulsion, and the three of them become more and more elaborate in their experiments with the bag and the river. Nicholas, meanwhile, rolls over and goes to bed, tired of their shenanigans.

While up in the air after pointing the bag straight down, Raltar notices figures moving towards their camp from some nearby trees. He shouts a warning to Nicholas, but until they land there’s not much the rest of the party can do to help their half-orc friend. Thankfully Nicholas is rather savvy when it comes to a fight, and once the others return to the ground the group has little trouble dispatching the last of the gnolls and hyenas. As they’re cleaning up the campsite from the battle Raltar points out that apparently everyone else can change their eye color and he can’t, and he comes fixated on that.

Later, when the others are sleeping, Raltar goes into his mind and searches for some way to change his eye color. He creates a squirrel army responsible for figuring these things out and names their commander Jim. As he’s searching through his mind he finds an underground tunnel that leads to the ruined remains of his childhood home, and inside there’s a green glowing orb. Jim tries to get the orb, but it disappears when he touches it. A little more exploring reveals an unexpected and unwelcome face: Azoth Glyndark stands before Raltar in his own mind.

Understandably suspicious, Raltar tries to figure out what the Glyndark wants. But when Azoth reveals that he can give Raltar the ability to change his eye color the ranger caves and agrees to another pact with him. He’s excited to tell Nicholas the next morning, and the half-orc is appropriately suspicious and concerned. He keeps a close eye on Raltar throughout the rest of the trip, and when they finally reach Meclor he immediately puts his efforts into finding Ansraith.

As luck would have it, the powerful mage and elf Ansraith hasn’t yet left Meclor. He assures the party that he knew they were coming and gives Raltar a magical check up before revealing that he needs a cleanse. Nicholas, having gone through a cleanse before, lets Raltar know just how painful they can be. Ansraith sends the party off to gather supplies while he readies himself to perform the cleanse.

Will a cleanse truly solve Raltar’s Glyndark problems? Can Ansraith be trusted? And what was that green orb in Raltar’s mind? Find out next time on Dawn of the Storm!


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