Lands of Erdos

Session 22
The SEELE Institute

 photo SEELE_Logo_zpsqvteqbin.png

DM’s Note: This session is the first to feature an opening title sequence. Since I wanted this adventure to have a bit of a ‘James Bond’ feel to it, I decided to make a Bond-inspired Intro. And then I remembered that Bond openings have a sequence before the credits. My ability to make something elaborate is limited, but I figured I could have a scene were some people are talking to set some plot-threads up for the future…

View
Session 21
ASCENT/DESCENT Part III - Aboleths Must Die!

 photo 11080759_10205239496201492_4335051738012437005_o_zpsnk070jx3.jpg

View
Session 20
ASCENT/DESCENT Part II - Shakedown

 photo 10603963_10205229117342027_5531252240538219365_o_zpsnjec9t6z.jpg

View
Session 19
ASCENT/DESCENT, part I - "Hope"

 photo 10931672_10205157547192818_2495110855485429648_o_zpslys99abx.jpg

View
Session 18
Riskbreakers Part II - ECC-1736

 photo 11043302_10205120676591076_2871166337873540385_o_zpsopqr4cq5.jpg

View
Session 17
Riskbreaker Part 1 - Stargazer

 photo 10960362_10204979967753443_5099278238069319427_o-4_zps7uln7uct.jpg

Dalek quickly surmised they were on board STARGAZER, an ancient space station developed during the Age of the Varn. But they had more immediate concerns: they were in an environment of zero gravity and though apparently they could breathe, the temperature was very low. Dalek called it the station’s “Life Support Systems” which apparently were barely functional.

In the room they were located there was a crystal sphere that enabled them to interface with STARGAZER’s systems. It took the team a while to figure the whole system out, but eventually they managed to restore full functionality to the station.

With gravity and temperature restored, and oxygen now flowing freely in the entirety of the station, the team explored their new environment, at the ready for trouble. The station however was abandoned, and many of its modules were destroyed during the War of the Varn.

In the core module, Harmony, they discovered a large map projection—specifically a map of Erdos. They also discovered a port that matched the shape of the phurba. Inserting the dagger in the port, the map highlighted a location in eastern Hash-Lath with a strange emblem depicting a sword plunged through a moebius strip. The location was specifically the mountain Thorncrist. Surmising that this must be the location of Project Riskbreaker, the team quickly decided that their next task would be to visit said location.

They also decided that STARGAZER was too valuable to just leave unattended. It was equipped with a fully functional Teleportation Circle and could serve as a superior base of operations. Dalek decided to stay behind to discover more of the Space Station’s secrets while the rest of the team was to continue in search of Riskbreaker.

Thus, Lorgar, Maia, Shamus, and Cid portaled back to Lordonor. After delivering a summary report to Damian, they acquired a sigil sequence for the town of Dhunraven, situated near Thorncrist Mountain.

In Dhunraven several surprises awaited them. The first thing they discovered was that the locals had made a discovery in Thorncrist; the ruins of an ancient city. An archaeological expedition was underway, but the persons funding said expedition was another surprise of particular personal interest to Shamus: House O’Shameless.

Shamus discovered that his family had relocated in Dhunraven—his father, Lord Agnus O’Shameless, served as a Consul of Dorianor in the town; a downgrade from his former position as Ambassador of Dorianor in Merniash.

The halfling had previously revealed to his teammates that he was not exactly on speaking terms with his family. He never went into much detail, but part of the reason he used so many disguises all the time was to avoid being recognized by possible associates of his family. The other part was simply for shits and giggles. Because of that, when the team went to meet with the town’s Lord Mayor, Shamus followed them under the effect of an invisibility spell.

During the meeting, aside from the Lord Mayor, Consul Agnus, and Pridus O’Shameless (Shamus’ brother), there were also two more individuals: a dwarf soldier named Boris Orlov and a draelar professor named Galthryn Aessir.

After expressing interest in the newfound ruins, the team explained their intentions (they believed the ruins were tied to Project Riskbreaker). In turn, they were told that things had become somewhat complicated.

The town’s authorities had lost contact with the archaeologists that were in the mountain. Furthermore, when Pridus O’Shameless went to Svyatosneg-Gorny (the Dwarven Sacred Snow Mountain, north of the Hash-Lath) to enlist the aid of specialist dwarven diggers, he was attacked by assassins.

These assassins worked for an occult organization identified as the Black Sun Network—itself a cult with ties to the aboleths. Pridus was saved by Boris and Galthryn. Boris, a Sergeant-Chaplain of the Ivory Dwarven army, was in the process of investigating the cult’s activities in Svyatosneg-Gorny. The diamond elf Galthryn Aessir was similarly investigating the Black Sun for his own personal reasons and the two had teamed up as the elf was also a mage and a raessarai. It was around that time that the duo discovered the assassins’ plot to kill Pridus and replace him with a doppelganger.

It was apparent that the Black Sun had a vested interest in the ruins and something called “Project Riskbreaker.” No doubt, the fact that Dhunraven had lost contact with the archaeologists was another ploy of this Black Sun network.

Comparing notes with the dwarf and the elf, the adventurers quickly confirmed their suspicions: The Black Sun owed its allegiance to none other than Richter Von Héssel. It behooved the disparate factions to collaborate towards discovering what happened to the ruins and stopping the Black Sun.

It was at that point that Galthryn sensed the presence of an invisible person, and Shamus was revealed. Drama ensued.

As it was explained, Shamus was supposed to go through an arranged marriage with the daughter of an influential duke. He refused. During the wedding itself. The flinging of feces was involved. And it was then that Shamus exiled himself from his House.

Unfortunately, this set off a chain of events that forced the O’Shameless family to relocate to the Hash-Lath—something they did not enjoy and collectively blamed Shamus for.

The funding of this archaeological expedition was an attempt by his father to once again promote the interests of his House. Latest developments threatened to derail all that.

Though Agnus and Pridus were not keen on allowing Shamus take part in the investigation, the adventurers would have none of it as the bard was part of their team.

And so it was decided that Pridus would lead Boris, Galthryn, and the adventurers to Thorncrist, and the ancient ruins…

View
Session 16
PLANESCAPE

 photo 1661695_10204932507086956_2878490379262690183_n_zpsqoxx6ove.jpg

The Adventurers went back to Lordonor and reported all they learned to Damian. Though the prince was quite knowledgable regarding Blackblade Armaments (he also revealed he studied a lot of their mechana-developing techniques), he knew nothing of Project Riskbreaker. As the team was looking for another lead, he suggested they seek out out Archmage Aelthas Laelithar of the Brightstones; Maia’s cousin. The reasoning behind this was that Aelthas was the foremost expert on all things regarding the great Shadokhan—an ancestor of both Maia and Aelthas. Shadokhan—or Senthas Laelithar as he was originally called—was a high ranking member of Blackblade Armaments during the War of the Varn and Murad Draracle’s protege.

Aelthas had devoted a large part of his life in researching the life and deeds of the Archmage Supreme, including his voluminous work. It was conceivable that perhaps Aelthas had recovered some sort of information on whatever Project Riskbreaker was.

Maia, still reeling from the revelation that she had living relatives, was not thrilled with the idea of asking a cousin she had never met for help, but agreed to follow. It was then that she revealed to her teammates of her relation to Aelthas (she kept it to herself when Damian first told her).

And with that, the team portaled to the Hash-Lath where Brightstone Citadel was located. There they met with one of the Brightstones, the psychic Jon Malker. The adventurers explained why they sought an audience with Aelthas, and used Maia’s background as a further incentive to gain admittance.

Jon was intrigued, but told them that the Brightstones were currently off-world. When asked just what that meant, the psychic asked them to follow him towards an archway inside the castle’s dining room. After whistling a specific tune, a portal manifested under the archway which they all went through. And that portal took them to Sigil, the legendary City of Doors.

While walking through the streets of Sigil, Jon Malker explained to the amazed adventurers that the Brightstones had expanded their adventuring avenues to the Planes Beyond. Proper planeswalkers, they had set up a secondary base of operations in Sigil itself for their forays to the Multiverse. It was a Manor in the Lady’s District, a home away from home.

Cid fell in love with city immediately and hatched an ongoing plan to buy an estate in the Cosmic Metropolis. Dalek for his part, was hidden with a piece of white cloth. The Rogue Modron was afraid of being discovered by normal Modrons in the service of Primus, as the latter might try to destroy him to return his essence to the One And The Prime.

Upon entering the Manor, Jon and the adventurers discovered that the Brightstones were currently out, but there was one person inside, also waiting for the Brightstones; a man Jon Malker introduced only as Lord Kosh—something of a mentor and patron of the Brightstones in Sigil.

Jon left the adventurers with Kosh as he went in search of his comrades. Kosh appeared to be intrigued by the team—surprised even, as if he was supposed to know about them but didn’t. Maia also appeared to take a fancy of his playful arrogance.

In due time, the Brightstones returned home and proper introductions were held. Aelthas was amazed to discover of Maia’s existence as he believed her to be dead. He had only seen her once before, when she was an infant. Displaying genuine joyfulness on her arrival he immediately bonded with her, and to her surprise the druid found herself greatly enjoying meeting her cousin.

After all the pleasantries were concluded, the two teams talked business. At first, Aelthas said the term ‘Project Riskbreaker’ was familiar to him but at the time he had a hard time remembering from where exactly. Digging into his notes, he did eventually discover a document. He explained that during one of their early adventures, the Brightstones had discovered and looted a hidden vault created by Shadokhan himself. Among the various items and documents recovered from that vault, was a letter written to Shadokhan from one of his Ravenguard comrades, Shahid Draracle (the son of Murad Draracle, Headmaster of Blackblade Armaments). He took the letter out from his files and showed it to the rest. It read:

My friend, Senthas

I hope you and Dydd are doing well. Forgive these mundane means of communication, but where I am it is difficult to establish a mental link and I am short on time.

I have made a new discovery. You are familiar, I assume, with my father’s Project Riskbreaker. It’s one of the many things I’ve been trying to rediscover about Blackblade Armaments.

Apparently my father had some kind of vision of the future, a future that went beyond the War of the Varn. I’ve not been able to decipher it all, but I did find something, something he left for me.

It’s a key, Senthas. A key to Riskbreaker! He left it for me, but it is not meant for my use—I am simply to guard it for the ones it is meant for. There is more, my father left a warning for us.

Yes, us! He specifically spoke of the Ravenguard! And of Hredd! My father died years before Dydd and Khaylen had even conceived of forming our little band of adventurers. How could he know, I cannot say.

But somehow he knew. The message he left for me along with the key states that Hredd intents to send angelic assassins to avenge our destruction of her church. You and the others must be careful.

As for me… I’m afraid it gets complicated. I know I will not die when her Angels come for me. But this is farewell, old friend. We will probably never see each other again. My destiny lies in a distant world. My father said it was called Kjeldorn. He believes that Hredd’s angels will take me there—supposedly they will capture me. For what reason, even he did not know, though I have a suspicion.

Havoc and Malice. It must be about Havoc and Malice. To our knowledge, no mortal has ever forged godslayers before. Hredd must know of this. Don’t worry, I don’t intent to let her discover my secrets. But I am to take the Key with me. I must take it to Kjeldorn. Hopefully it will be safe there.

I have struggled with this dilemma. I am in the unique position of having foreknowledge of my future. Conceivably, I could take steps to change it. But do I have the right to do so? My father claimed he knew of the time of his death, but he stoically embraced it for the good of the future of Erdos. Who am I to do otherwise?

Give my best regards to Khay and Dydd. It has been a privilege and an honor to have fought beside all of you and to call you my friends.

Shahid Murad Draracle, Imperator Maximus
Danaheiraj, 2nd Mansday of Khar, 58 AV

Though interesting, it shed little light on what Riskbreaker actually was or how to find this ‘key.’ However something interesting happened when Maia and Aelthas happened to both touch the letter simultaneously. New words appeared, in a different hand style. These read:

_ Aelthas:_
You must repair the Simulacrum Device. It is imperative for your future. In time, you will understand. Of all my descendants, you are my greatest Legacy. Bear the name Laelithar with pride.

Maia:
The key is now at the hands of Necromantias, in his tower in Kjeldorn. Locate a sigil sequence for Helmguard—or anyplace near it—and portal there to claim it. What you do from there is up to you. And beware, the Blood of Dydd that flows in your veins is both a blessing and a curse. Watch your back, my granddaughter.
My regards to Lorgar, Cid, and Shamus.

Shadokhan, Imperator Magus
Grosgant, 1st Skyday of Varia, 226 AV

This shocked everyone in the room. Shadokhan had written this 1500 years ago, and yet he seemed to know of the adventurers. More to the point, the whole thing suggested that this ‘Project Riskbreaker’—whatever it was—was created for them in the first place.

As for the Necromantias mentioned in Shadokhan’s message, Aelthas explained that he is a mythical mage of godlike skill and power. He indeed dwelt in the planet Kjeldorn, but rarely interacted with anyone. On occasion, some mages could gain the distinct privilege of being tutored by him. And once they ‘graduated’ they invariably gained a title that contained the word ‘khan.’ Senthas Laelithar did so over a thousand years ago, and thus gained the Shadokhan monicker.

Kosh was also surprised and intrigued by Shadokhan’s message. He revealed he had a sigil sequence for the planet Kjeldorn, which the adventurers could use to portal there. The team decided to head there the next day, but spent the rest of the evening at the Brightstone Manor. There, the two teams further bonded, particularly when Aelthas showed them the Simulacrum Device (which they used to spar with Kosh the next morning before departing).

…And apparently, Maia and Kosh had sex that night…

The next day, the team portaled back to Erdos and from there to Kjeldorn. They materialized right in the midst of a battle between human knights and elven warriors. The humans attacked the adventurers on sight, but Cid—upon seeing a stregoni bearing the symbol of the god Dragomir—realized that the humans were not true enemies and managed to convince them to refrain from their attack once the elves were dealt with.

The Kjeldornan stregoni identified himself as Vlad Von Dragomir, the grandchild of Vladimir Von Dragomir, the mortal who ascended to become the stregoni god Dragomir himself. Cid could not stop himself from prostrating himself before the noble. After it was explained that the adventurers were visitors from the world of Erdos, the two sides decided to make a peaceful conversation.

Vlad introduced them to the expeditionary force’s leader, a devilslayer and paladin of Tyr (spelled Tir in Kjeldorn) named Vass Jaquel Draracle—and his last name was not lost on the Erdosians. Alongside him was a mage who introduced himself as Orecious Loreweaver. Orecious was aware of the world of Erdos, though he had never visited the planet himself. Cid was particularly careful not to reveal he was a Fiend Warlock, as he understood that the paladin would attack him on the spot.

The adventurers explained exactly why they were on Kjeldorn and what was that they sought. This was of great interest to the three Kjeldornans as it also filled some gaps in mysteries that were of interest to them.

Vass Jaquel Draracle revealed that he was indeed related to the man who wrote the letter to Shadokhan. The Erdosians knew him as Shahid Murad Draracle, the son of Murad Draracle. Vass also knew him by two other names: ‘Jaquel Jherym Draracle,’ and as ‘the Blackblade.’ And he was his father.

It was there that Shahid’s fate became clear. Hredd had abducted him, and turned him into the creature known as the Blackblade. He was a Revenant; an undead slaved to her will. She did that because Shahid somehow had the ability to forge Major Artifacts, a power normally only reserved for gods and cosmic entities. More to the point, he knew how to forge Godslayer weaponry, a very rare, feared, and coveted skill.

Over the centuries, the Blackblade had discovered the means to temporarily break free from Hredd’s control. During those times, he was restored into living, mortal form. During one such period, merely decades ago, he fathered Vass. It was then that he had created the alias Jaquel Jherym Draracle.

There was more: The words ‘Blackblade Armaments’ meant a Grand Guild for the Erdosians. But in Kjeldorn, the so-called Blackblade Armaments were the various legendary sentient swords the Blackblade had created for Hredd over the centuries. All of them were dangerous and feared, save one: Corona, Vass’ own holy sword. That one was forged when Shahid was in one his Free Phases. And its purpose was to destroy the other weapons and absorb their power, becoming the ultimate Godslayer, the end goal being the slaying of Hredd herself.

What was of particular interest to Vass was that up until that moment, he did not know that Shahid hailed from Erdos, and that Vass was—in essence—half-Erdosian himself. It also explained why Hredd was tormenting the Blackblade as such. Sadly, currently Shahid was Blackblade, and by definition Vass’ mortal enemy.

On to subject of Necromantias, Orecious offered to set up a meeting with Archmage Lemur Khan, the head mage of his order (and by his name, also a disciple of Necromantias). Perhaps Lemur Khan could set up a meeting between the adventurers and Necromantias.

And as was said, so it was done. The team met with Lemur, explained their position, and the elderly archmage contacted his old master who (surprisingly enough to Lemur) agreed to see them.

The meeting with Necromantias was very brief and rather creepy. Simply approaching the ancient mage seemed to sap the life energy of the adventurers. The ancient achmage of arhcmages was not interested in interacting with them at all, scribbling on his spell book. He simply gave them a piece of cloth that contained an object, which they took, thanked him, and got the Hells out of there.

The cloth contained a phurba dagger (which they assumed was the key Shadokhan spoke of) and the cloth itself had a portal sigil sequence scribed on it. Not wanting to stay a second more in Kjeldorn, they used that sequence to portal away…

…And found themselves in a dark room with a large window with a view of Erdos…from orbit…

View
Session 15
Wisdom of the Serpents Part III, Liberation Day

 photo 10944864_10204793328847587_2730143166860171194_o-2_zps8xqivqyp.jpg

The next day, in the midst of a severe hangover, the team managed to successfully infiltrate the ziggurat, dispatched any and all defenders, fought the toughest Yuan-Ti champions, killed the Spirit Naga and the Lizard King, and rescued Davos.

{Note: Naga are immortal. Even when killed, they rejuvenate. Folkrul had actually killed Davos and kept his corpse in stasis to prevent him from returning. Aware of that, the adventurers did attempt to burn Folkrul’s corpse and store his ashes in the hope of preventing the Spirit Naga’s rejuvenation. It is, to this day, unknown just how successful they were. Restoring Davos however enabled him to rejuvenate, so he was effectively rescued.}

With the Yuan-Ti leadership slain, the Shamans’ forces were successful in restoring the Tribe and claim victory. Later that night a huge celebration was held, where the adventurers were treated as great heroes and eternal friends of the Lizardfolk.

Davos meanwhile had invaluable—if cryptic—information to offer. He revealed that Richter had visited him a decade ago, to seek information on the Vaults containing the three shards. Davos, sensing that Richter’s intentions were most certainly not on the side of good, denied him. The encounter ended violently; Davos was slain, but rejuvenated later.

More to the point, Davos revealed just what the Shards were. As the team had already discovered, the Three Shards were separated pieces of a single Imprisonment Shard. And it held an Aboleth inside.

During the War of the Varn, the two sides of the war were in a constant arms race for supremacy. At some point, the Golden Legion (Khar Varn’s side of the war) discovered a lone Aboleth who had the knowledge of creating a device that enabled one to dominate and control all of the world’s Krakens. As Krakens were titans of terrible power, if anyone had possession of such a device, he could secure victory in the war.

The aboleth’s existence posed another problem too. If killed, Aboleths reform in the Elemental Plane of Water, meaning that they were effectively immortal (unless they were killed in the Plane of Water itself). Furthermore, when Aboleths spawn offspring, the offspring possess all the memories of all their ancestors, meaning that if said aboleth was allowed to procreate, the knowledge of that weapon would also pass on.

Ovi Varn’s forces did not wish for such a weapon to come to exist. They could also not kill the Aboleth for it would only reform in the Plane of Water. Nor could they allow it to procreate. As a result, the only solution was to use the Imprisonment Spell. After that, they separated the Imprisonment Gem in three shards and commissioned Sentinel Serpent to build three secure vaults, each housing one of the shards.

The pieces were now falling into place. Richter, a Warlock of the Old Ones was apparently in alliance with the ancient and dreaded Aboleth Empire (who also serve the Old Ones). This device was evidently their trump card for an upcoming invasion.

But Davos had more to reveal. While Sentinel Serpent was commissioned to construct the Three Vaults, there was also another side-project in relation to the Aboleth. There was a Fourth Vault, prepared in case the shards were taken from their resting places. Davos knew very little of it, as it was not undertaken by Sentinel Serpent itself. It was developed by the greatest of the ancient Grand Guilds: Blackblade Armaments. More than that, it was designed by the guild’s grandmaster himself: Murad Draracle. And its name was: Project Riskbreaker.

View
Session 14
Wisdom of the Serpent Part II - The Lizardfolk Connection

 photo 10944864_10204793328847587_2730143166860171194_o-2_zps8xqivqyp.jpg

The adventurers travelled to the monastery only to find it in the wake of a recent attack by a contingent of Yuan-Ti led by a Spirit Naga named Folkrul. Folkrul had been a longtime enemy of Davos and this attack had the obvious goal of capturing the Guardian Naga.

The team wanted to rescue Davos so after doing some investigation they discovered that the Yuan-Ti came from an area to north-west that was home to a large tribe of lizardfolk. The lizardmen, though xenophobic and private, were not generally hostile nor were they known to collude with the snakemen. The adventurers decided to travel there and investigate further.

Eventually, they came upon a patrol of Yuan-Ti which they promptly dispatched. The Yuan-Ti were carrying prisoners however—lizardfolk prisoners. As the lizard folk followed primal shamanism, they were willing to converse thanks to Maia’s presence (as she was a druid) as well as Lorgar’s (as Lizardfolk respect draconic creatures) plus the fact that they were just rescued from certain torture and death.

They revealed that their tribe was currently led by a Lizard King who had usurped the authority of the Shamans and wished to lead the tribe unto a darker path. The King had made an alliance with a small army of Yuan-Ti who in turn seemed to be led by the Spirit Naga Folkrul. The surviving Shamans had rallied those Lizardfolk who were unwilling to serve the evil King and had banded together into a rebellious force, though they were on the losing side.

The adventurers revealed that they wanted to rescue a Guardian Naga and by definition, the Yuan-Ti were common enemies and thus offered to assist with the rebellion. The prisoners agreed to take them to their leader.

In the rebel’s base camp, the team met the leading shaman, and after both sides revealed what they wanted, they agreed on a plan where the adventurers would use a secret entrance into the Lizard King’s ziggurat and undertake an assassination against the Yuan-Ti high command. Meanwhile the core force of the rebels would make a direct assault on the compound both as a diversion and as an overall strategic strike. If all went well, the Yuan-Ti and the Lizard King would be defeated in a single sweep.

Later that night, a ritual celebration and ceremony followed whereupon the adventurers were made honorary members of the tribe. Large quantities of peyote were smoked that night, and Maia made sure to learn the recipe.

View
Session 13
Wisdom of the Serpents, Part 1

 photo 10944864_10204793328847587_2730143166860171194_o-2_zps8xqivqyp.jpg

With Guardheim restored and Lorgar resurrected by Clio Justfire, the adventurers decided to delve deeper into the mystery of the three shards that Richter now possessed. To that end, they decided to further research the Sentinel Serpent Grand Guild that was responsible for the creation of the three Vaults. At Strants Phoenix’s suggestion, the adventurers sought the advice of Prince Damian Von Redlore, as he was the world’s foremost expert on the history of the ancient Grand Guilds.

Thus they portaled to Lordonor only to discover that Prince Damian was in Eranhein attending the Remembrance of the Last Stand and would return in a couple of days. The adventurers decided to remain in Lordonor and await his return. Cid however, intrigued by Richter’s innuendo regarding House Von Héssel, decided to portal to Eranhein to visit his father, the Landgraf Dietmar Von Héssel.

Cid gave a full report to Dietmar regarding Richter Von Stein and his activities. The news seemed to deeply alarm Dietmar who proceeded to show a portrait of a man to Cid. To the young warlock’s surprise, the portrait was of Richter. Dietmar withheld further information for now, and told Cid to attend his briefing with Damian. Once that was concluded, Cid was to take his comrades back to Eranhein so that Dietmar could explain more on the situation and what he knew of Richter. Cid however pushed for more info and Dietmar revealed that Richter Von Stein was in fact Richter Von Héssel; Cid’s grandfather.

Back in Lordonor, the adventurers finally had a meeting with Prince Damian. They explained all they knew of the Vaults, the shards they contained, the Kuo-Toa, and Richter Von Stein (Cid did not volunteer the villain’s true identity at the time).

Damian appeared genuinely concerned about Richter’s agenda and proceeded to issue a warrant for the stregoni’s immediate apprehension or killing. He deputized the team as warrant officers under his command and a (limited) extension of his authority and assigned them the task of investigating and dealing with Richter and his allies.

On the subject of Sentinel Serpent, Damian had little more to offer than what they had already discovered via Dalek Modron. However, just as Dalek had revealed, the Sentinel Serpent guild was ran by Guardian Naga, snake-like creatures that are more-or-less immortal. However, the Naga that ruled the guild were permanently destroyed during the War of the Varn, but a single one, Davos, son of the guild’s headmaster was still alive and could possibly shed more light on the mystery of the three shards. Davos currently resided in a monastery in the north of New Mallenor. The team decided to pay the naga a visit.

During the meeting, Damian (who did research on the backgrounds of each member of the team) privately revealed to Maia that she was in fact part of House Laelithar. Up to that point Maia thought that she was a foundling in the forests of Ravnor, taken up and raised by the local druids. Damian explained that she was actually the sole survivor of an airship crash 28 years ago, a crash that had killed her parents. He also revealed that the young druid currently has only one other living relative: the archmage Aelthas Laelithar of the Brightstones. To Damian’s surprise, Maia did not take the news well as she believed that the Laelithars essentially abandoned her to fend for herself instead of looking for her.

Before departing for New Mallenor, the team portaled to Cid’s estate for an audience with his father. Dietmar revealed Richter’s true identity and more on his story.

Dietmar explained that the entire House Von Héssel had a pact with a pit fiend called Ragnor. They had formed this pact centuries ago as a means to help protect Eranhein from the Iron Empire. It was more-or-less a secret, though the Crown is aware of it and accepts it because it was and is to the ongoing benefit of the Stregoni Nation. Furthermore, Cid’s great-grandfather, Berthram, was a member of the Great Rebellion and a war-hero. It was Berthram’s son, Richter, who now stood in their way. And just like Berthram, Richter too was a Warlock of the Fiend Pact.

113 years ago, Richter joined an organization called the Seekers of Power. The Seekers were a highly secretive society with a mysterious agenda. That Richter managed to join them was a great boon for the family. A few years passed and Richter, using assistance from the Seekers, managed to further promote the interests of both Eranhein and House Von Héssel. About a year after Dietmar’s birth, Richter traveled to a distant world called Kjeldorn. The planet also held a population of stregoni, and the Seekers sent Richter there to make contact. He remained there for nearly a year but when he returned he was different.

It is unclear what exactly was it that Richter discovered on Kjeldorn, but upon his return it was made clear that he had abandoned his Fiendish pact and had instead become a Warlock of the Great Old Ones. He began making secret deals to promote a new, hidden agenda in the interest on his new masters—whoever they were. This, unavoidably, led him into conflict with the Seekers themselves, who eventually killed him in 1631. They delivered Richter’s skull to his family but cut all ties with them, separating House Von Héssel and the Seekers of Power.

Richter’s skull was placed inside the family tomb, but talk of him was generally kept to a minimum, which is part of the reason why Cid knew next to nothing about him until now.

On 1712, just two years before Cid was born, an unknown party broke into the tomb and looted it. Among the things stolen was Richter’s skull. Dietmar (who by then was Landgraff and head of the family) looked for it, but found nothing. Over the years the event was more-or-less forgotten, but the news Cid brought shed new light on the situation.

Apparently, Dietmar hypothesized, the ones who broke into the family tomb were Richter’s allies who then proceeded to use the skull to bring the warlock back from the dead. From there it wasn’t difficult to piece together Richter’s moves. He made a fake identity for himself as Richter Von Stein and managed to become a stregoni ambassador in Guardheim, all in his ongoing quest to locate and retrieve the three shards.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.