Undiscovered Country

Quick synopsis

The last few weeks have been a blur of activity. Upon reaching the mine, the party finds no sign of the fog. Taking their time and examining every tunnel, they move their way through the mine, heading for the buried chamber. Soon they hear sounds of moans and shuffling and are attacked by a group of zombies. The familiar faces of the miners stare back at them. The battle goes well at first until more show up from a side tunnel. They appear to be led by two heavily armored undead. No matter what they do, the armored foes stand back up time after time. Finally, they burn the bodies and the dead rest one last time. Reaching the chamber, they discover that the artifact is gone. Hegel sends a telepathic message to the Baron and actually gets a reply this time of two words, “return, hurry”.

The party makes haste to return to the town. Once they reach the outlying farms, they hear cries of alarm and terror. Rushing over, they see a farmhouse under attack by the fog. People and livestock lay dead all around while a few farmers desperately try to fight it off. They quickly engage the fog, and notice almost immediately that there is something different about it. There seem to be several smaller entities instead of one large one. The battle is swift and the fog is defeated, though some of it escapes.

They gather together the survivors and head back to the town, finding that their own pack animals have disappeared, perhaps the final victims of the escaped fog. When they reach the town they discover that there have been attacks all over the outlying areas and that several farms have been destroyed, whole families slaughtered. The town is in a panic and there seems to be little that the Baron can do to prevent it. They meet with him again and relay their tale. The Baron speaks of a priestess that came to him, telling him that there is something to the south west, something of import. However, the priest worships the goddess Sehanine, and he does not trust her. He informs the group that the attacks have been coming from the north, and he wants them to find a path through the swamps to the south so that if need be, the people can evacuate. He offers them gold for the job and they accept.

The party wastes no time in heading south, remembering only later in the day that they wanted to speak with this priestess. The traveling is slow going, but uneventful for a few days. Then one night, they notice a great exodus of beasts, all heading south. Soon the sounds of hundreds of drums reach their ears, the drums of the fog. They start to plant torches and sun rods, ready to face the fog once more. What they see chills their bones however as the fog has grown and comes at them in a tidal wave of death. Realizing that they cannot overcome the fog, they flee. The fog chases after, two long tendrils wrapping around the sides, hoping to trap them. Hegel spies the moon through the thin mist and notices that the Eye of Sehanine is in the sky. It appears to be illuminating something to the south west. They continue to run for it, as the ground becomes harder and the terrain more jungle like. Dark power erupts from the fog, dazing Gergnedo and slowing his escape. Just as the tendrils start to close in, Hegel finds ruins in the dark and runs into them. The rest quickly follow, barely escaping the fog. As they stand in the ruins, the fog rises up, ready to crash upon them. They raise their hands in a futile gesture as it comes down, only to be blocked by some unseen force at the edge of the ruins. The fog seems to ripple with rage, and slowly backs away from the ruins, disappearing once more into the mist.

The group catches their breath and for the first time notices that there is no mist within the ruins. As they look around, they see by the moonlight that they are in an ancient city that has nearly been swallowed by the jungle. They head deeper into the ruins, towards the center of the city. They find a large open courtyard with a ancient statue still standing at its center. A feeling of peace and calm washes over them as they approach. As their eyes are focused on the statue, they fail to notice a giant serpent coming towards them. The beast is nearly large enough to swallow one of them whole and it wastes no time in attacking. The strange snake’s scales have sharp ridges on them and it constantly thrashes around its body, cutting anyone near it. Kenneth notices that the thing’s eyes have been cut out. The group quickly recovers after its initial shock and start to coordinate their efforts against the beast. Before long, its dead body lays in the pool around the statue. The party beds down for the night, keeping watch, hoping to recover from their taxing day.

All fall into a deep sleep, even Gergnedo who was supposed to be on watch. In their dreams they are visited by a being of light named Illuana. She claims to be a goddess who was once worshiped on the isle. Long ago, there was a great war between the forces of light and those of dark, led by her brother, Necroth. During the height of the conflict, as her forces were nearly spent, a twist of fate caught her brother in a trap meant for her. The forces of darkness were defeated or banished, her brother imprisoned. However, the balance meant for the isle had been broken. Her followers were sent away and she allowed herself to fade. The All-Father removed the isle from the world. Now though, the isle has returned for some reason. The new settlers have freed her brother’s greatest servant. It is only a matter of time before he is freed as well. She asks for their worship, so that she may aid them in the conflict that is sure to start all over again.

When they awake the dream is still fresh in their minds. Hegel, Gergnedo, and even Veyeper the Paladin swear to her, and become her followers. They see that the statue is of her, and approaching it, they receive rewards. Veyeper is made her champion. She gives them an artifact, the Heart of Illuana, that will protect the town from the fog.

Kenneth spies a small column of smoke rising in the distance coming from within the ruins. They decide to investigate before returning to New Brovendar. They travel through the city and discover odd totems scattered about. As they examine one closer, an eye opens and they are attacked. Soon the totems unfurl and become some sort of serpent like creature. A large lizardman comes forth as well, with a strange archer behind him. Veyeper stabs a totem with his new blade and as it dies, its body turns to stone, trapping his sword within. Many of the totem creatures are smashed, but eventually Veyeper loses both of his swords and Gergnedo his axe. The large lizardman lays into them while arrows fly forth from the archer. The battle gets tight, but eventually they drop the lizardman and converge on the archer. The archer reveals a head of snakes and turns a deadly gaze upon them. Soon several of them start to stiffen and feel themselves slowed. Drucilla barely shakes off the effects before they become permanent. The snake woman continues to attack and bare her gaze. Finally though, they bring her down. They find upon her a cloak with the mark of Necroth on it, and the lizardman had magical scale armor. The bodies of the totems crumble to dust after a short time and they are able to retrieve their weapons. They do discover several ancient books within lair of the archer, and Hegel uses his telekinetic powers to safely move the fragile texts.

The group makes its out of the ruined city, and as the sun starts to set, they see the fog approach. Holding forth the Heart, the see the fog condense, and finally take the shape of man. He seems to radiate a dark power. He speaks with them, quite cordially. He names himself CyTan, and gives them a dark warning of what is to come. He seems amused though and even congratulates them on being worthy opponents. He dissipates into fog once more and drifts away.

The group continues on and reaches New Brovendar. As they journeyed, they immediately noticed that the mist was gone, ever since the morning after their dream. They arrive to find the town in celebration over the lifting of the mist. They immediately go see the Baron and tell them their tale. The Baron is grateful for their discovery, and offers his support of their new faith, but cannot commit to it himself. He explains that the priest of Pelor have long been the dominating faith of his people and that they are taking credit for the clear skies. The Baron calls for a gathering and introduces the party and their tale to the people. The priests of Pelor scoff at their claims, but many within the crowd look with open eyes.

They stay in the town center all day to speak with any who wish to learn more of this new goddess. The sun sets as they wait for some farmers to arrive from the outskirts. As the people approach, they reveal themselves as assassins and attack the group. They are confronted by a female wizard, a dragonborn paladin of Bahamut, and a duergar cleric. Magic missles herald their arrival upon Gergnedo’s chest. As Gerg and Veyeper close with the dragonborn, he shouts to them that Baron Scithlon sends his regards. With their front line fighters engaged, a fourth assassin appears next to Kenneth, a human rogue.

The battle is intense. Gergnedo nearly slays the wizard in one mighty blow, but the cleric brings her back to health. He then raises his symbol to Asmodeus and takes control of Gerg’s body, having it strike Veyeper. The wizard unleashes lightning that spreads forth and hits several of them. Thankfully for them, the dragonborn cannot seem to get past their defenses. The battle rages on and soon most are bloodied. The rogue joins the dragonborn and starts to concentrate on Veyeper. The dwarf continues his possession of Gergnedo to further wound the paladin. Kenneth is able to finally drop the cleric though. However, it may be too late as Veyeper goes down. Drucilla closes to give aid and heals the paladin. The rogue dances about, slicing into Veyeper and Gergnedo. The wizard keeps unleashing lightning as well. Soon Gerg and Veyeper are both down, but their foes are well bloodied. The rogue is dropped, but healed soon by the dragonborn. Seeing her comrades about to fall, the wizard decides to send one last magic missile into Veyeper and then runs off into the darkness. Drucilla brings Gerg back up and they finally finish off the other two.

A mounted patrol arrives shorty after led by Kellian. He gets the guard to dispose of the bodies and goes to report the attack to the Baron. Veyeper is brought back from death’s door by Drucilla. They return to the Baron’s estate and explain the battle to him. The assassins were sent by a man from their past. While there, they urge again to the Baron that a shrine must be built to house the Heart of Illuana.

That night, Veyeper had a vision. He saw the face of a man that was important to their cause, and he felt a great foreboding and an urge to travel to the north west in search of something. On the morn, they set out to find this man within the town. They found him among the refugees from the farms, his name is Estan. Veyeper explains to him his vision and speaks of Illuana. They produce the Heart for him and ask him to pray to it. He does so, and a soft glow surrounds him and the Heart. At his request, they leave him the Heart to commune with the goddess as they get ready to travel to the north.

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BrotherGlacius

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