Tales of the Crescent Sea

Session Fourteen
Of Storms and Crowns

The party interrogated the captive Hadarai and Ghesh. The former revealed that he was hunting Ghesh, to stop him from unleashing the power of the Dead God. He showed no remorse for slaying Will’s family, and the dragonborn finished him off with a blast of his fiery breath.

Ghesh, after having his arm amputated by Loddur, revealed that he and his friend, Nesgar, had been pursuing artifacts of the Dead God, in order to ‘ascend’ into draconic form. He revealed that the Gower chapter of the Blessed Talons was corrupt, and sworn personally to them, rather than to Hakuun.

They planned on finding all the relics of the Dead God within Gower, and using them to turn themselves into dragons. They intended to take over Gower completely with the aid of the corrupt knights. Ghesh revealed that Nesgar had already likely ascended to a draconic form, and was likely already on his way to the capital to lay waste to it, creating a power vacuum so the Blessed Talons could take over.

Loddur executed Ghesh, and the party found a grisly chamber used for blood magic: the blood of dozens of noble prisoners was being used to unlock the power of a small, pearl-sized Essence Stone.

The party then set out, bluffing their way through the ranks of the Blessed Talons. They commandeered a Blessed Talon ship and made their way south along the river. Upon making a stop in a small village to dump off the noble prisoners, they ran into a Blessed Talon patrol: made up of the same men that had stopped them at the checkpoint a few days before.

The Talons attacked, and a fight on the docks ensued. The knights were defeated, but the alarm was raised, and a surviving knight and the villagers scattered to spread the alarm.

The party was hotly pursued by the corrupt Blessed Talons, but they managed to either defeat or evade their pursuers at every turn.

As they made their way south, they found themselves caught in an intense, unnatural storm. Torrents of rain and hail, along with gusts of wind, shredded the countryside.

They pressed on through the raging storm, making it to Tidewatch. Thousands of refugees were attempting to escape the horrific storms, and some revealed that a black and silver dragon was rampaging through the city, summoning the storms in the process.

The party was attacked by the dragon, which had already destroyed the royal palace. After a bloody fight in the streets, the dragon retreated, flying off to the east. The storms abated, however, and the heroes headed to the palace.

There, they found that the nobles were grieving the death of the young king, who had been slain in the dragon attack. It seemed Duke Davin was now the unofficial ruler of Gower: his wife, the king’s sister, had been slain. Thus the royal family of Gower had been extinguished.

Loddur revealed that his mistress and son were safe: he thanked them, and officially pardoned them to end the hunts against them. He offered them weapons from the royal armory and a sum of gold for their help.

But he revealed that dark days were ahead for Gower: with the royal family dead, civil war was likely to erupt. Yet he still believed that Nesgar needed killed, so he offered a great fortune and his island estate as a reward if the beast was killed.

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Session Thirteen
Exile's End

Upon escaping into the swamp, Garryk and Loddur engaged in a brief scuffle, as a result of the former’s anger for turning on the Blessed Talons and endangering his family as a result.

Pressing on into the swamps, they encountered three hags, whose twisted and befuddling magic was little match for the party. Upon defeating the hags, the party moved on. They eventually made camp, and their dreams were disturbed by the arrival of Malyse, a legendary witch of the swamps.

She explained that Hadarai had come through her lands, and had offered several trinkets and the eyes of slain poachers in exchange for safe passage, and in exchange for summoning wild allies for him.

Malyse explained that Hadarai was in pursuit of Ghesh, whom Hadarai claimed was using the power of the Dead God for wicked ends. Ghesh was at Exile’s End, using the prisoners there for twisted experiments and blood magic.

After offering Garryk’s signet ring and a stunningly beautiful song from Vintari, Malyse agreed to spirit the party closer to the great fortress.

The party arrived at a village that had been destroyed by Hadarai’s wild horde of animals. After commandeering a fishing boat, the party made their way to the prison island, slaying a giant crocodile in the process.

There, they found the fortress and its garrison of Blessed Talons under assault by a hydra and an army of beasts. They aided the Talons in slaying the hydra, then pressed into the keep, in pursuit of Ghesh and Hadarai.

After slaying a band of corrupt Blessed Talons, the party burst in on a duel between Hadarai and Ghesh. With them was a young woman and a child, cowering in terror.

The druid and the dragonborn sorcerer were both defeated, and the young woman revealed that her name was Lestra, and that she was Duke Davin’s mistress, and the boy with her was his bastard. She explained that she and her son had been kidnapped by Ghesh, Commander Nesgar-the commander of the Gower chapter of the Blessed Talons. They had done so in order to blackmail Davin into helping them.

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Session Twelve
Strife in Tidewatch

The party resumes its sea journey towards Gower. On the way, they hear rumors from other sailors of the resurgence of the Tempest: an armada of orcish raiders and pirates that have been terrorizing the seas.

After a few days at sea, they come across a damaged ship, asking for help. The vessel’s crew claimed that they had been set upon by raiders of the Tempest. After a few friendly sailors came aboard the crippled ship to help with repairs, the other sailors attacked, revealing themselves to be orcs of the Tempest, who had been disguised by magic.

The party defeated the orcs and stormed the crippled ship, finding an imprisoned goblin shaman named Thokk, who had been forced by the Tempest to use his magic to aid in their raids.

The party rescued Thokk and resumed their journey towards Gower.

Upon arriving in the capital at Tidewatch, they learned from the harbormaster that there was a small but notable tournament being held to celebrate a marriage between two minor families.

At the tourney, Vintari won the minstrel’s competition, while Loddur won the joust. Will questioned a woman named Sariel, who was the Speaker for the Wild: the elven representative to the crown. She revealed that Hadarai had been in Gower, and that he’d been researching Exile’s End and the Wyrmwood. During the tourney, the party heard whispers of a skilled bard named Korlash, said to be even more skilled than Vintari.

After the tourney, a grand feast was held, but the joy did not last long. Twisted centipedes burst out of the boar: the centerpiece of the feast. Poisoned wine and stew sickened and killed hundreds of guests. A strange fire also erupted in the commoners’ camp. The party managed to slay the centipedes and put out the fire, but hundreds fell to the poison and magical wasps spawned by those slain by the poison.

The party immediately set out in pursuit of Hadarai, heading to Exile’s End. Along the way, they encountered many Blessed Talon patrols, who were out searching for those responsible for the attack in the capital. The patrols informed the party that a strange drow who matched Soveliss’ description had been traveling Gower over the past few days.

An innkeeper in the small town of Riverwatch knew of Hadarai: he had stopped there a few days before. He claimed that the elf had left something behind, and asked the party to return it to him, thinking that the party and Hadarai were friends. The item-a small pouch-turned out to be an object that served as a magical lens: allowing remote viewing from another location.

The party continued their pursuit, taking wagons further towards Exile’s End. On the way, they were stopped by a Blessed Talon unit, who explained that they had a warrant for the party’s arrest. According to the commander, Duke Davin and Knight-Commander Nesgor had issued a warrant for the arrest of the party. According to the warrant, an informant had revealed that the party was responsible for the attack in the capital.

Garryk willingly surrendered, but his companions refused. With the aid of magic, his companions distracted the soldiers and rescued him, then raced off into the marshes.

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Session Eleven
The Weaves of Thought

The party departs the lands of Clan Emdor, after celebrating the defeat of Norvar. They fly on an airship back to the port of Clan Gorunn, where they link up with Captain Vana and her ship, freshly returned from Gower, from where they brought news.

The young king of Gower had recently ascended to the throne, and things were looking grim, until a dragonborn sorcerer named Ghesh arrived to serve as the boy’s tutor. The kingdom turned around overnight: the boy king made several wise decisions, and the lands suddenly became quite fertile and bountiful.

While en route to Gower, Belial’s familiar informed the party that Belial’s infernal patron was attempting to steal the Essence Stones from the pocket plane where they were being stored.

The imp opened a door into the pocket plane, where they encountered a shifting landscape, filled with visions and projections of past fears and battles. After fighting past many of these projections, the party encounters one of the band of hunters: a four-armed bull demon and a pack of imps. They defeat the hunters, and proceed to track down the other groups sent by the patron.

After facing more projections, they defeat two other infernal warlocks. The other hunters flee back to the mortal world. For the moment, the Essence Stones have been saved from the clutches of Belial’s patron.

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Session Ten
The Justice of the Dead Kings

The party returns to the royal court, where they learn that Kinrasha has demanded a trial by combat.

Will, Garryk and Loddur volunteer to stand against her, and the party and a great crowd heads to the Proving Grounds: a large arena built into the side of the mountain itself.

The king of Norvar, bearing the Hammer of Tordek, oversees the fight.

After a bloody battle, Kinrasha is slain by Will, but Thornwalkers in the crowd enact a spell that breaches the king’s defensive wards and activates the gem within the Hammer of Tordek.

The power of the Dead God is unleashed, slaying the king and causing an explosion that triggers the collapse of the arena. Many Norvar nobles and priests are slain, but the party manages to escape, taking with them the Hammer and several other trophies.

The party escapes the city and heads south, towards the lands of Clan Emdor. On the way, Belial investigates the Hammer and catches a glimpse of the hellish moment of the Dead God’s defeat. In draconic, the dying god tells Belial to seek the ‘Fulcrums,’ which Vintari knows are important, key notes of the Song of Creation. They are fabled, legendary pieces of musical magic and power.

While they camp, another Thornwalker comes to visit them. He names himself Soveliss, and explains that he is Kinrasha’s brother, and a moderate Thornwalker. He thanks the party for bringing an end to his sister’s extremism, and informs them of Hadarai, the last remaining member of Kinrasha’s sect within the druidic order. Hadarai has fled to Gower, in pursuit of Tazdorim’s unknown brother, who is also researching the Dead God.

Upon arriving in the lands of Clan Emdor and revealing the reclaimed Hammer of Tordek, Loddur’s honor is redeemed and the party is welcomed with a grand feast.

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Session Nine
Madness in High Norvak

The party boards an airship manned by Clan Goruun, courtesy of Lady Vistra. They set sail on the rickety vessel, making for High Norvak, the capital of the Norvar.

On the way, they are attacked by clanless sky pirates. Although the pirates were defeated, the airship’s engines could not handle the strain of the added weight from the battle. The ship’s engines failed, and it was crash landed in the midst of Clan Norvar farmland.

They made their way north, to a small farming town, where they learned that Kinrasha had recently passed through, heading for the capital.

The party pursued, arriving in the great underground city of High Norvak. They headed for the royal court, intent on using the writ given to them by Lady Vistra, to turn the royal court against Kinrasha.

They found the drow at court, mingling with the dwarven nobles and priests.

The party immediately set about to enacting a scheme to replace Kinrasha’s official writ with a forged one, framing her for a grave crime.

To do so, Garryk and Loddur distracted most of Kinrasha’s guards, while Belial and Vintari used magic to assume the guises of other Norvar priests. They attempted to raise the priests’ suspicions about Kinrasha’s writ and her motives. The priests saw through the ruse and attempted to arrest them, but the pair caused a great distraction in court when they assumed Kinrasha’s face and raced across the grand hall.

Belial rushed Kinrasha in an attempt to shove her down to swap the writ; Wil managed to knock her down, and in the ensuing chaos, Belial was able to swap the forged writ for Kinrasha’s legitimate one.

Kinrasha demanded that her attackers be arrested, displaying what she believed to be an official writ as a means of defense. When the priests examined her writ and found it to be a forgery, she was placed under arrest for attempting to defraud the king.

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Session Eight
Out of the Grave, Into the Fire

In the aftermath of the party’s victory over Tazdorim, they searched and looted the camp. They found a letter that Tazdorim was writing, to his unnamed brother, who apparently was serving as a courtier in the capital of the nation of Gower.

The letter revealed that Tazdorim had been hired by Kinrasha to watch over the essence crystal she had found: it was the distilled and concentrated fragment of the Dead God’s Soul, flung across time and space. The sorcerer, however, had other plans, and conducted research to further his own ambitions, and also his brother’s. Tazdorim’s letter implied that his brother was involved in a cult that worshiped the Dead God.

With this information in hand, the party made the return march to Soratos. They encountered ankhegs that harried the party, slaying several allied mercenaries. The twisted nature of the Prophet’s Grave seemed to resurrect the beasts, recreating their essence in a repeated hunt. The party continued to flee south.

After encamping at an old fort filled with ancient but unrotted bodies, they awoke to find themselves in the midst of a great battle: an echo of a great conflict from eons past. After Belial taunted the leader of one of the armies, Garryk intervened and negotiated safe passage. The party continued to flee, escaping the echo of that ancient battle.

They made it back to Shieldrest, the trading town south of the Grave. Upon returning to Soratos, the Eldritch Prince they had met before intercepted them, thanking them for their service and rewarding them.

After recuperating and trading, the party set sail for the dwarven Clanlands, in pursuit of Kinrasha.

They headed for a port of Clan Gorrun, a dwarven trading clan along the coast. There, they learned that Kinrasha had indeed been through the port, recruiting mercenaries and investigating the local embassy of Clan Norvar. Belial devised a ruse in which he took Kinrasha’s appearance and marched through the city, attracting attention. Four dwarves of Clan Norvar attempted to attack, before being intercepted by Wil.

The leader of the band, named Eberk, revealed that Kinrasha had come to the embassy for a cordial meeting, and had tea with the ambassador, Vistra, and her daughter, Finnerel. Kinrasha poisoned and cursed Finnerel’s tea, sending her into a comatose state. Kinrasha blackmailed Vistra into giving her a writ of passage and a letter giving Kinrasha an invitation into Clan Norvar’s royal court.

The party headed for the embassy, where they met the beleaguered Vistra and her comatose daughter. Wil’s holy magic healed the poison, but young Finnerel’s body was used as a channel for Kinrasha herself, who taunted the party. She then left the girl’s body, and Finnerel was saved.

Vistra enlisted the party’s aid in tracking down Kinrasha and stopping her, before Vistra’s involvement with the drow was revealed. If Vistra’s aid to Kinrasha was discovered, then she and her family could risk death or exile. She agreed to help arrange for a dwarven airship to speed them along to the Norvar capital so they could beat Kinrasha there.

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Session Seven
The Grave of the Prophets

The surviving mercenary of the band that ambushed the party escaped into the teeming streets of the city. The party then returned to the ship, where they recuperated. A messenger from the Eldritch Prince informed them of what he had learned: the Crimson Company was operating under the command of Tazdorim: a dragonborn mercenary mage infamous for his arcane experiments. He and his men had set up camp at one of the many forts within the blighted battlefields of the Prophets’ Grave.

The party met up with mercenaries hired by the Prince, along with a small band of Blessed Talons. They began the march towards the Grave, stopping for the night in the village of Shieldrest. There, they began to feel the effects of the Grave: lingering fear and dread, that worsened the closer they got to the old battlefields.

The party camped out within the Grave. During the night, the camp was bombarded from afar by bolts of lightning that killed many of the mercenaries. Armored lightning elementals soon attacked as well, cutting down many more mercenaries and knights before the creatures were defeated. Vintari managed to convince most of the surviving mercenaries not to abandon the quest, and the band moved on.

The company took shelter within the bones of long-dead giants. Belial’s imp kept watch, and spotted a hunting pack of Bloodfauns. The band neared the camp and issued a challenge to combat. The party accepted, and sent out champions to face the wild warriors.

After a short battle, the leader and several other Bloodfauns were slain. Will managed to convince the beasts to back down as a matter of honor. The new leader of the pack, impressed by the honor and ferocity of the party, reveals that the Crimson Company was heading north to Caer Yosh, a fort within Prophets’ Grave. He also agreed to summon the other hunting packs, to form an army to fight the hated ‘Red Men’ of the Crimson Company.

With their new allies, the party headed north, coming across the heavily guarded Caer Yosh. Belial’s imp scouted ahead, and opened the gates so the Bloodfauns and the party could storm in. Many Bloodfauns were killed by Tazdorim’s magic, but the others engaged the mercenaries in a bloody battle.

The party, meanwhile, engaged Tazdorim and his bodyguards. His guards were easily slain, and Tazdorim withdrew to a great well of electrical energy, drawing on it for a dark ritual. The energy appeared to rip cracks in reality itself, giving the party a glimpse to the horrific moments of the legendary death of the Dead God. The magic begins to reanimate many of the fallen Bloodfauns and mercenaries.

Tazdorim is killed when he loses control of the ritual. Through a combination of magic and ‘feeding’ the energy well with objects and enemies, the party manages to end the ritual. But before the energy fades, they get a brief glimpse of the Dead God himself, who says only the words: ‘End this.’

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Session Six
Chaos in the Streets

The party discovers that the strange boy at the library-temple is one of the Eldritch Princes: a member of the ruling council of warlocks that governs Soratos.

After easing his suspicions, the party learns that the Thornwalkers and their Crimson Company allies have been causing a stir in his city, much to his concern. He offers to help the party by hiring other sellswords to mount an expedition to the Prophets’ Grave, where the Crimson Company has their base camp. He also offers the party an adventuring charter if they drive out the Thornwalkers and their mercenaries. Such a document would allow the party to incorporate their own mercenary company.

The party heads for the market to look for supplies. There, they meet Katharn, the mother of Loddur and a skilled smith and artisan. Vintari asks for her to add an Uchai diamond to his instrument, and she requires drakes’ blood in order to mold the diamond. She tells the party that drake’s blood is a valuable commodity for the smiths of the city. Fetching drake’s blood would likely net them a large price.

The party heads for the sewers in search of a sewer drake. There, they encounter several adult drakes, as well as swarms of younger ones, and a mad gnome who rides a larger drake. They defeat the drakes, the swarms and the strange ‘sewer king,’ and collect the blood.

While recuperating in a tavern near the sewer entrance, they are ambushed by three Thornwalkers, who kill many bystanders and tavern patrons in the process. The party is badly bloodied, but manage to kill the Thornwalkers.

After recovering, they decide to head back to the ship to the regroup. They are intercepted by three knights of the Blessed Talon, one of whom is wounded by Belial. The knights reveal that they were there to warn them, and help the party foil another assassination plot.

The knights of the Blessed Talon reveal that the Thornwalkers are their common enemy, and agree to help the party assault the camp within the Prophets’ Grave. They part ways, but the party is tailed by raven familiars of the Thornwalkers. After turning the tables and ambushing and killing most of the bards, the party moves on.

They spot another impending ambush in a large city square. The mercenaries who ambushed them are members of the Armored Prayer, another mercenary group. It seems that they have come to collect a bounty on the party’s heads. The mercenaries are defeated, but an innocent noblewoman is nearly killed by Belial after she was used as a human shield.

The last surviving mercenary abandoned his human shield, then attempted to flee.

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Session Five
The Eldritch Streets

While en route to Soratos, the convoy is stopped by a frigate of The Blessed Talons, a knightly order searching for artifacts of dark magic. Under the command of Commander Ayla, the Talons search the ship, confiscating a few baubles and trinkets. At the urging of Wil and Vintari, the Talons cut their search short, and part ways, but not before warning them about the dangers of Soratos.

Upon arriving in the city, the party again questions Aelar about the The Crimson Company’s operations in the city. He tells them that their base of operations in the city was at the Broken Cathedral: an old temple converted into a tavern.

Once there, Loderr engages in a few wrestling matches to prove his worth and earn a few coin, and the party investigates, noting the presence of an elderly elf and a young, smooth-faced mercenary, watching.

Garryk runs into Fenn, an old comrade from his mercenary days. After a brief, half-hearted drunken struggle, Fenn sleeps it off, then gives the party more information: the two curious figures are Crimson Company recruiters, looking for mercenary mages for an upcoming job.

Belial approaches and asks for work. The young man offers a test job: to go to the shop of Vondal, reclaim a down payment made for work, and to reclaim a set of custom crossbows that the Company had commissioned. The team agrees, in order to find out what the Company is up to.

They find Vondal in a panic, and packing up to leave. The frightened dwarf tells the adventurers that the Company commissioned him to build great grappling crossbows. Upon researching a bit, Vondal found out that the crossbows could be used to breach the floating sphere-palaces of the Eldritch Princes. Frightened, he refused to give back the crossbows and was preparing to flee the city.

The party keeps up the ruse, and takes the money and knocks out Vondal to take him to their ship. They then take the crossbows back to the Broken Cathedral, where the young mercenary guides them into a shack near the tavern. Once inside, the party is barred in. Lightning magic courses through the shack, and a fight ensues as the Company tries to clear up loose ends. All but two of the mercenaries are killed, who then divulge more information.

The mercenaries claim that the Company is operating out of an old fortress in the Prophets’ Grave.

After resting up at their ship, the party returns to the Broken Cathedral, where word has spread of the Company’s defeat in that back alley battle. With rumors, comes more information. Fenn and a local drunk inform the party that several people have been roughing up librarians, knowledge priests and bookstore owners, in search of some sort of knowledge. Details are scarce, but the town drunk says he saw a knowledge temple get roughed up in another part of town.

The party heads there, to find the holy library ransacked, and the priest dead with a Thornwalker dagger in his neck. Looking over the body is a well-dressed young boy, whose soul is rife with infernal energy.

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