Episode 1: The 8th Legion
Having recovered Narinn’s ship, The Walrus, the party charter a course for the city of Redcrest in the barony of Alathor to pick up the trail of the Red Order and the Shield of Belarius. On their way, they are flagged down from the shoreline by an army of Scalars. Meeting with the army reveals they are deserters from Scale, led by the War Priest of Tiamat, Captain Balax Gaur, come to pledge allegiance to Narinn and the Markex brothers’ claim to the throne.
From there, the party sail round the continent to the Monastery of the Earthen Palm, hoping to seek news of the Lexum Viterra, the Cosmic Tome of Earth, rumoured to be kept by the monks. The monks explain that the Tome is sealed away, the only key to its resting place the great Arbor, Staff of the First Tree.
Meanwhile, having been left in the Barony of Rell, Malbryn makes her way south to Redcrest as the rest of the party sail down to meet her after their discussions with the monks, in order to pursue the missing Shield of Belarius, and investigate Court Wizard Yvena.
Episode 2: Redcrest Investigations
Arriving in Redcrest and meeting with Malbryn, the party begin planning their investigations. Before beginning, Muir, Malbryn, H’rafn, and Narinn go to the market district, stopping by the blacksmiths, and one 'Wise Debu’s Emporium', a shop selling magic items tended by Grant, an earth elemental.
After buying an appropriate power core, Muir is able to power up the decapitated aetherforged head in her possession, recovered from the ruined village of Kilmoor. The aetherforged introduces himself as Ward, former captain of the guard, and states that with Kilmoor’s destruction, his primary function is now to avenge the villager’s death at the hands of a green dragon.
Rurak goes to the church to preach about his quest to restore the Mount Greythunder temple to its former glory, where one of the templegoers asks him how he plans to deal with it’s ‘False God’, who he says stands 1000 feet tall and can manifest lightning in an instant. Meanwhile, Lidda visits the library, seeking information on Court Wizard Yvena. She meets a young sage who agrees to speak with her about Yvena, who teaches her, and tells her that Yvena focuses her efforts on fire magic, and gives her the address of a class Yvena is teaching this evening. The student also explains that there are rumours she leads a ‘secret society’ within the city. In the tavern later, the party collect their notes and realise that they have a lead on one ‘Bishop Nyvae’ within the city, related to the Shield of Belarius’ disappearance — and an anagram of Yvena.
The next day, the party visit Ehrmanglow’s Fine Inks, in an attempt to gather more information about Yvena. In exchange for purchasing inks, the proprietor gives the party an address in Redcrest’s south side. The party stake the address out, finding a marking of the numeral ‘III’ in the doorway, and eventually watch a well-dressed man emerge from the building. They follow him, and are led to a house in a residential district. Lidda approaches him, explains that she is interested in Yvena’s secret society, and the man invites her into his house.
Inside, the man attempts to poison Lidda, prompting a fight. Lidda sets him on fire, and with the rest of the party manages to subdue and restrain him. The party question the man, Abdul, discovering he works for Bishop Nyvae, a member of the Red Order who the party have been working against some time without having a name. Abdul reveals that the Order are active in the city and are in possession of the Shield of Belarius, but before the party can ask further questions, they discover a gently blinking crystal in his possession...
Episode 3: Bishop Nyvae
Abdul’s blinking crystal explodes in a gout of flame, setting the house ablaze. As the explosion clears, a red robed woman stands before the party, armed with a great, charred staff, believed by the party to be this ‘Bishop Nyvae’ they’ve heard tell of. The woman summons two fire elementals, and attacks the party, invoking Lidda’s true name to limit the effectiveness of her spells. Malbryn escapes, going to fetch the guards before heading to the tavern they’ve been staying at to reconvene with the party later. Meanwhile, the party do battle with the enemy wizard, forcing her to retreat, and manage to escape the burning house.
The party make a few stops on their way to the tavern, at Debu’s Emporium, and Ehrmanglow’s Fine Inks, before heading to meet up with Malbryn. Lidda contacts the Spire’s Eight to explain the situation, and is told that Arch-Diviner Telara is on her way. As the party approach the tavern, they are halted by a brigade of guards.
Episode 4: A Fiery Conclusion
The guards confront the party, led by one Ser Barrosa, a rhino-mounted Knight of the Crest, stating that they are here to arrest them on Court Wizard Yvena’s orders. The party submit peacefully, but ask to be tried under the Baron. They are led to the Baron’s keep, and jailed for the evening.
The next morning, Malbryn heads to the keep to attempt to rescue the party, when she is met by a wizard, calling herself Telara. Telara teleports herself and Malbryn into the jail block, informs the stationed guards that the party are here on Spire business, and therefore Imperial business and that they are to be released. When the guards do not immediately comply, she polymorphs them into cats and releases the party.
Telara and the party make thier way to the main hall, where Yvena and the Baron are engaged in discussion. The situation is explained to the Baron, then Telara dispels an illusion spell on Yvena, revealing the same woman as attacked the party in Abdul’s house, and the woman flees. A fight breaks out in the keep’s courtyard, where Nyvae gates in a number of Red Order forces. As the party chip away at Nyvae, and decimate the Red Order forces, she snaps her greatstaff over her knee, releasing a torrent of flame that manifests a Fire Titan.
Acting quickly, Muir the artificer charges the titan, placing one extradimensional space inside another as she does so, and opens a rift to the Starscape, taking her and the titan there. The rest of the party finish dealing with Nyvae and the rest of her forces, and Muir invokes the Amulet of the Planes, recovered from the dragon Kirnoth the Black’s lair, to return to Redcrest, arriving unconscious. Lidda takes up Nyvae’s shattered staff — Pyre, Greatstaff of Conflagration.
Episode 5: A War is Coming
Muir awakens in the Redcrest courtyard, much the same as when she left, but her lilac tinged eyes are now opaque, filled with a purple mass of swirling stars and nebulae. The party search ‘Yvena’s’ quarters, discovering some letters from an individual noted only by the numeral ‘IV’, instructing Nyvae to journey to the dark elf city of Morntalos in the Nethergloam below, and to use an included waycrystal to find the Order’s base, and the Shield of Belarius. Lidda also discovers sigil sequence for Redcrest, and before departing, Telara grants her the rank of Magician in the Spire, gifting her with a flameproof spellbook and a similar sequence for the Spire itself.
The Baron of Alathor, Baron Mondracon, speaks with the party, thanking them for their service and offering an appropriate reward, and pardons the party of their past crimes within Alathorian borders. The party thank him, then leave the keep. On their way back to Redcrest proper, H’rafn sees a whisper in the trees, a message from his druidic master Sylmaer, informing him the staff Arbor is held in the Citadel of the Moon, an old druidic stronghold now lost to time. Sylmaer says he will travel to Imeldris, the seat of the Druidic Ring, to seek its location. Lidda receives a sending stone message from her grandfather, asking her to return to Tidesmeet as soon as she is able, stating that he has concerns he would rather not discuss over the sending stone. He tells her his newfound love interest, Ethel, is interested in meeting the party and seeing what treasures they have recovered in their adventures.
The party head to the building they staked out earlier, to break in and investigate. Doing so, they discover some small treasures, and another missive, from this same ‘IV’ moniker, instructing its recipients to travel to the Northern Expanse and reinforce the Order forces there. The party hold a small celebration of their victory at the tavern, and the next day make preparations to leave. Lidda gifts the Baron with a sending stone, explaining that it will allow them to contact one another if the party is needed, and the party return to Sulan Port, where the Walrus is docked. Upon their arrival, Captain Balax holds a meeting with Narinn and Zorgar, outlining the current political situation, and explaining that he believes a civil war is on the horizon. The party set sail for Tidesmeet, to visit Lidda’s family.
Episode 6: The Pale Court Rides
The party arrive in Tidesmeet, and greet those of Lidda’s family still living in Seaworth hall. They are introduced to Ethel, Grandpa Seaworth’s new flame, but once she is alone with the party, Ethel reveals herself to be Ethel Frogwallow, a sea hag the party encountered during their defence of the village of Brinewood. Frogwallow demands the party hand over their Arcus stones, threatening to kill Grandpa Seaworth if they do not.
A tense dinner follows, with the party trying to make the Seaworths aware of their danger without provoking Frogwallow. Their efforts are in vain, and a fight breaks out, during which Frogwallow executes Grandpa Seaworth using a totem bound to him, and summons The Blinking Man, her coven’s hag eye in golem form. The fight ends abruptly as Rurak beseeches Alteus for a Divine Intervention, and the Stormbearer answers, smiting Frogwallow with a bolt of lightning. With Frogwallow dead, the Blinking Man turns to an inanimate stone statue, utterly immovable.
Rurak restores Grandpa Seaworth to life, and the Seaworths have a frank discussion about what is next. Grandpa Seaworth shows Lidda an ominous and cryptic letter, seemingly from an organisation known as the Pale Court, referencing something Lidda’s late father stole from them. Grandpa Seaworth explains the letter ‘grew’ from Lidda’s grandmother’s grave at the front of the house, and H’rafn goes to commune with the rose bush planted there. When he does so, the red petals blacken and wilt, and a voice sounds in his head, warning him that “The Empire shall rise again. The Riven shall be made whole.”
A chest is produced, left in the attic by Lidda’s father, and the party take it outside to open it. Within, they find a severed arm, each finger bearing an additional segment...
Episode 7: In Good Hands
The party identify the Hand to be an artifact known as the Hand of the Pale King, a powerful necromantic relic. Gazing upon it, they each hear dark whispers in their head, and Malbryn, H’rafn, Narinn and Lidda find themselves drawn to it. The other party members manage to snap them out of their reverie, and the party decide to take the Hand to Meriden. Lidda encourages the Seaworths to seek refuge with her sisters, and the party set off.
Upon arrival in the city, Zorgar visits the Palace in a fruitless attempt to draw the Glass Blade interred there, while Lidda visits the Spire to conduct research. She learns that the Pale King was the god of the Chiran Empre, the first lich, and is now a god of evil secrets and necromancy. In addition to his Hand, his Eye is another artifact roaming the Material Realm, and rumours abound of more, including a Heart. She meets with Arch-magus Keruin, head of necromancy magic within the Spire, and finds information on routes to Morntalos — a natural opening in Emstead Cavern, a road used to trade with the elves, and ‘The Black Tower’, believed to be a prison, though for what is unknown.
Keruin attempts to probe Lidda’s mind for information on the Hand when she asks about it, but is unsuccessful. She encourages Lidda to investigate scrying wards.
Meanwhile, Muir seeks out materials that could be built as a containment device for the hand, potentially allowing her to harness its power without any of the presumed side effects. Narinn is approached by Viana, a Syndicate lieutenant the party have dealt with previously, who asks for his section of the Orissan Map, in exchange for his bounty within the crime organization to be lifted. Narinn agrees. The party then visit Debu’s Emporium within the city, this branch tended by ‘Tim’, a tentacle faced mind eater, who sells Lidda a warding amulet, and Muir some of the final components she feels she needs to construct her containment device.
Episode 8: The Black Tower Awaits
A few days later, Muir completes construction of the containment device, and replaces her prosthetic with the Pale Hand. As she does so, the sun blackens, and two undead monstrosities materialize on the deck of the Walrus. The party dispatch them, and Narinn severes the arm from Muir, unwittingly killing her in the process. Rurak brings Muir back, and the party decide the best course of action is to hide the arm. They purchase a lead lined box, and decide to set off for the Black Tower, and Morntalos beyond it.
Episode 9: A Blackened Spire
The party make their way to the Black Tower, accompanied by their cleric ally Kaladan, and Lidda takes the Pale Hand to bury it on the road, hoping that the lead will prevent others from finding it. The party arrive at the oppressive tower, and make their way inside. They decide to scale the Tower first, before heading down towards, presumably, the Nethergloam entrance. Within, they battle spectral ghosts, occult golems, and make their way into a room with a ceiling of red slime.
Episode 10: Sivesulis' Sanctum
The red ceiling slime attempts to eat the party, but is overcome, and the party continue upwards, discovering a bone devil, Azzoth, imprisoned within the tower. Azzoth explains he was bound here some centuries ago to serve the wizard that called the tower home, and the party proceed further upwards. They discover an orrery, a grand machine mapping the multiverse and allowing travel to alternate planes, and when spending the night in the room, Muir has a vision of the Pale King.
The Chiran sits upon a dark throne, a jagged iron crown upon his crenellated head, with one of his five eyes gouged out, and one of his four arms severed. He warns Muir he is not to be underestimated, and before waking up, Muir hears a tortured scream from underwater.
Scaling to the final level of the tower, the party discover the wizard Sivesulis, former inhabitant of the tower, and now warped beyond all recognition by the forces of the Occult.
Episode 11: Descending the Black Tower
The party battle Sivesulis, slaying the fiend, and begin their descent of the tower. Using Sivesulis’ rod, the party free Azzoth, returning him to the Nine Circles through the orrery, and head into the lower levels.
Below, they encounter twisted illusions of former friends of the party, and find a large set of double doors. As they move to open them, there is a crack behind them as a corpse bearing perfect resemblance to Lidda’s sister Paela appears, a note warning Lidda to remove her wards attached. The party rest outside the tower, before opening the doors. On the other side, they see twisted illusory duplicates of themselves, armed for battle.
Episode 12: Introspection
The party do battle with their illusory selves, eventually proving themselves victorious. Proceeding deeper into the Tower, the party each experience visions. Narinn watches a beloved crewmember, Pimm, killed in the aftermath of their escape from Anchor, then later experiences a vision of a possible death at the hands of Mol’geth, the Flayer of Souls. Lidda relived the moment she accidentally set fire to a section of the Spire, then later watches her family murdered at the hands of the Pale King in Seaworth Hall, who she has to escape from.
Muir relives the death of her ram companion, killed by Kirnoth the Black, then has a vision of her friend Hector murdered by the Red Order’s Bishop of Conjuration. H’rafn relives the day the party left the city of Morwald to the Weeping Plague, then experiences a vision of a crystal tower in which he fought mind eaters disguised as druidic masters.
After experiencing their visions, the party find themselves in a room inhabited by two angels. A Judge, red robed with balanced scales for a face, and a Damoclon, head and body threaded with a great sword. The Judge warns Zorgar that “the Shield’s darkening is already upon us”, and the party proceed forward into more illusions...
Episode 13: The Mind Render
Rurak relives the day his wife left him and Morden, seeing through the illusion, then finds himself in a grand temple where he is warned not to trust “the dragonborn, the halfling, or the elf”. Malbryn relives the death of her mentor at the hands of a rival gang, and realizes one of the gangmembers is Viana, the Syndicate lieutenant the party have had repeat dealings with. She then finds herself in Rosewind Manor, where she converses with Captain Rilynndar, a dark elf relative of hers she met previously. Zorgar relives his experience in Karim’s Stand Arena where he killed opposing slaves, then finds himself in Calbourne Keep alone with Valasar. Valasar attacks him, but Zorgar comes to believe it was Narinn.
The party then find themselves at a large door, with an oppressive presence behind it. Steeling themselves, they open the door, revealing an eldritch abomination: The Mind Render. The party battle it, but the being is powerful and they are nearly defeated. Lidda beseeches Atarr, god of fire, for aid, and The Archon of Flame appears, ready for battle. Narinn perishes in the fight, and Malbryn deals the final blow to the beast with a poisoned crossbow bolt. Upon its death, the being vanishes, revealing a door at the room’s far end. Narinn is resurrected by Rurak, coming back weaker than before, and the party rest before proceeding further.
Heading through the door at the room’s far end, the party find a chest and a door, each bearing a symbol matching a key in Malbryn’s possession...
Episode 14: The Nethergloam
Malbryn opens the chest, which holds an arcane cloak: The Araneida Mantle. As Malbryn puts the cloak on, a woman’s voice speaks in her head, explaining that they will speak soon if Malbryn continues to “wear her gift well.”
The party continue through the only remaining door, a large brassy-silver archway that opens out into a natural cave system. They have crossed over to the Nethergloam. On the other side they meet a lowborn dark elf named Skelas, who offers to be their guide to Morntalos below. The party decide that given they have no need to actually visit Morntalos, merely use the waystone from nearby to guide them, that they will attempt to fly over the city. Finding a break in the cave wall, they set off through magical flight.
Following Yvena’s waystone leads the party to a tunnel, which they follow. On the other side, they discover the Red Order camp, its gate guarded. Quickly dispatching the guards at the gate, Malbryn, Lidda and Rurak sneak further into the Red Order compound. They find the likely site of the Shield’s corruption ritual, and Malbryn and Lidda sneak further in, leaving Rurak behind. Inside, they see a Watcher conversing with a red-robed woman that looks identical to Lidda, in a large cavern suffused with red light. A chasm lies at the far end, suspended over which is The Shield of Belarius, and three figures they cannot identify...
Episode 15: The Shield of Belarius
A flashback occurs to Narinn’s Death at the hands of the Mind Render, where he receives a vision from Orissa, Goddess of the Sea. Orissa implies that part of the map he seeks lies in another deity’s temple, and tells him that while the Kraken is immortal, the heart he needs to empower Nautilus can be recovered from it. She grants him a conch shell that can summon the beast.
After, Lidda and Malbryn witness a conversation between the Red Order’s Archbishop, the Watcher, and the member of the Red Order looking identical to Lidda. The rest of the party reconvene with them, and they battle the Archbishop and recover the Shield of Belarius. In the process, they discover their companion Kaladan was a shapeshifting mole for the Red Order, and lose the real Kaladan, their wizard friend Runas, and a woman wearing druidic robes, who all fall into the chasm at the end of the chamber, presumably perishing. Zorgar prays for an intervention from Belarius, and is answered with a Judge, which is immediately restrained by a colossal hand from the chasm. Lidda perishes and is revived by Rurak, and Muir uses two bags of holding to open a rift to the Starscape once more, banishing her and the Archbishop from the Nethergloam.
Episode 16: The Aurora
Lidda has a vision of her father and the Pale King while dead. The lich-god offers her a deal for the location of his hand, but Lidda declines as she is resurrected by Rurak. Zorgar swears a new Oath to Belarius who speaks through the Judge. The party attempt to escape from the Red Order base in the Nethergloam, but tangle with rival adventurers Tyllia’s Shield who also wish to recover the Shield.
The two parties agree to return to the surface together and resolve their conflict there, and travel to Emstead Cavern, the entrance Tyllia’s Shield used originally. Meanwhile, Muir awakens as a prisoner on an astral vessel crewed by alien Vortai, her skin now glowing, and escapes. Using the Amulet of Planes, Muir attempts to return home, but failed attempts result in a visit to Apocalypse, and Sepulture, the Plane of the Dead, before she finally arrives back on the Walrus in Meriden.
Episode 17: Two Sides of the Same Shield
Tyllia’s Shield and the party come to a head back in the Mortal Realm, where the party use a teleportation rune to travel to Bronzehold, the dwarvish capital in Mount Torr. After an audience with King Gromm, they are granted a replacement rune, then the party return to Meriden.
H’rafn meets with his master Sylmaer and learns the Citadel of the Moon is outside the Mortal Realm, and that more answers are needed from the Druidic headquarters, Imeldris. Narinn receives a visit from Cyrus, leader of the Masks, an assassin’s guild. Ward asks Muir to repair his body as she searches for answers about her new condition, known as astral sickness, and Malbryn hears the mysterious woman’s voice again. Lidda informs the Spire that the Black Tower has been cleared, for which Telara will give them a reward, and turns down an offer from Alathor for a free tower in Clearmont in exchange for being the town’s protector.
Episode 18: Duality
The party return to the Fortress-Temple of Belarius, to find it occupied by bandits. After sending them on their way, the party climb to the top level of the Fortress. Soon, a blast rocks the temple, and outside can be seen a great army of red-robed soldiers, and three floating figures. The figures fly down, revealing themselves to be Bishop Nyvae, the Bishop of Conjuration, and the doppelganger Lidda saw in the Nethergloam. They try and intimidate the party into handing over the Shield of Belarius, but are refused, even when producing who they claim to be Sora Markex, Narinn and Zorgar’s birth mother. Stalling for time, the party contact Arch-Diviner Telara to cash in their favour, and Rurak prays to Alteus for an Intervention. A great storm smites the Red Order’s forces, and the party’s allies in the 8th Legion materialise, confused but ready to help. Telara arrives, and a fight breaks out between the party and the Red Order forces, including the Archbishop that had lain in wait. The Red Order are defeated, though all but the Bishop of Conjuration escape.
Episode 19: An Eye For an Eye
The party decide what to do in the aftermath of the Red Order’s attack, especially what to do with the Bishop of Conjuration that they’ve captured. Rurak gets his revenge for what the Bishop did to his son by blinding and torturing him. The party debate whether to lock him up or kill him, and decide to disintegrate him in the fields outside the Fortress-Temple. Rurak prays to Alteus for answers about Lidda, and becomes confident she is a clone of the Red Order’s lieutenant. Narinn and Zorgar speak with Sora Markex, their mother, and the party leave for Meriden.
Episode 20: A Master's Rites
The party receive the magic items Telara left for them as a reward for clearing out The Black Tower, then journey to Imeldris, headquarters of the Druidic Ring, in order for H’rafn to undergo his Master’s Rites — the Three and One. H’rafn passes the Trials of Balance, Perception, and Resilience, then is sealed in the earth for his Trial of One. For how long, it remains to be seen.
Episode 21: Moonrise
Muir’s Astral Sickness worsens, and H’rafn does not return from his Trial of One. The party return to Meriden, seeking a cure for Muir’s ailment at the Spire. Making contact with Magus Frelin, they hatch a plan to separate her Astral Form through her resonant frequency, and Zorgar restores her to health. In the process, he and Muir become linked, the full ramifications yet to unfold.
Episode 22: Divergent Paths
During the six weeks H’rafn is undergoing his Trial of One, the other party members resolve their own activities. Malbryn tangles with a crime lord known as The Ashen Man in Rell Keep. Rurak spends time with his family in Bronzehold. Narinn and Zorgar receive a missive from their brother Valasar, and continue rebuilding the Fortress-Temple of Belarius. Muir spends her time in Meriden repairing Ward and testing out new schematics. Lidda receives a mysterious invitation, but does not manage to make the connection with the sender.
Episode 23: The Keeper of Skulls
The party begin their voyage to Stormguard and Mount Greythunder to repair the Grand Temple of Alteus. Partway through their journey, a member of the Pale Court teleports onto the Walrus, threatening the death of Grandpa Seaworth if Lidda does not divulge the location of the Hand of the Pale King. Lidda refuses, a fight breaks out, and the party are successful in defeating the Pale Courtier and saving Grandpa Seaworth from potential death.
In the aftermath, Rurak suggests that Grandpa Seaworth and the other Seaworths move to Haven to live in his blacksmith shop.
Episode 24: Stormguard
As Lidda heads below decks, her staff begins to tremble before bursting into flames as a voice speaks through it. The voice chastises Lidda, proclaiming that it dispatched an Archon to her in her time of need in the expectation of servitude, yet no servitude had been forthcoming. Lidda tells the voice that she will gather followers, before being warned that the Seals are breaking. When the voice dissipates, her staff is changed, having been a vessel for Atarr’s voice.
In the process of organising the Seaworths’ relocation to Haven, the party come to the conclusion that the corpse of Lidda’s sister Paela seen at the Black Tower was not an illusion. Lidda messages Arch-Magus Keruin about the whereabouts of Paela’s body, and is informed it has been “disposed of”, but that she will see what can be done with regards to exhumation.
The party arrive in Stormguard, and become acquainted with the city. After meeting Vazgrimst Brunnhilde, the queen, and Hork, the local priest of Alteus, they learn that Stormguard’s people follow The Old Ways, a set of rules that, among other things, bar citizens from ascending Mount Greythunder without first passing the Test of Sky, where a Storm Crow must be tamed from the foothills around the mountain. Rurak accepts the challenge, but is informed that there is another challenger. If he is successful, the Old Ways state that Rurak and the challenger must further prove who is the strongest of them, who is granted passage up the mountain. Upon investigation, the party learn the challenger is an aurc named Matuk, an acquaintance of theirs who challenged Rurak on the road once before and was beaten.
Interlude: The Test of Sky
Rurak undertakes his Test of Sky, successfully taming a Storm Crow, Wings-Like-Gales-That-Break-Calm-Skies, and returning to Stormguard. Wings-Like-Gales' discussion with Rurak leads him to further believe the Pretender, once worshipped as Alteus, remains alive and within the Grand Temple atop the mountain.
Episode 25: Trial By Storm
Rurak returns from his Test of Sky, and is informed by Hork that he must engage in single combat against Matuk to determine who may climb the mountain. Rurak convinces Matuk to change the trial to a test of who can withstand a sustained lightning bolt for longer. Hork calls down lightning the next day, and Rurak is bested by Matuk. Rurak flees the scene, discarding all of his Altean possessions and adventuring equipment, returning to Meriden with one final prayer, then setting off for Bronzehold and Mount Torr. The rest of the party return to the Walrus and leave Stormguard.
Interlude: The Doorway
Flashing back to H’rafn’s time below ground, Malbryn is seeing to her business in her Rosewind Manor hideout, when she finds a strange door that leads below ground. Following the tunnel behind it, Malbryn meets a shadow dragon lairing beneath the manor. The shadow dragon explains that he will aid Malbryn in her endeavours, in exchange for the help he knows she will give him. “It is written”, he says.
Interlude: The Trail
In the last days before H’rafn returns from his Trial of One, Narinn and Zorgar journey north to the village of Hearthglen in Rell, attempting to track the green dragon to its lair. They find the dragon’s den, but lose some soldiers in the process and beat a hasty retreat.
Episode 26: A Man of the Cloth
Wings-Like-Gales and Corvaki accost Rurak on the road to Mount Torr, and Wings interrogates him about why he is leaving, leading him to realize that the Pretender manufactured his failure, and Matuk was now in danger. The rest of the party meet Rurak in Bronzehold, make some preparations, then H’rafn uses a plant gate to return them to Stormguard. They hatch a plan to sneak through the Greythunder Gate under cover of darkness, and with some careful acting and appropriate spells, make it through. They begin their climb, an easy journey at present. They reach a fork in the path and decide to take a steeper option for a faster climb. The path leads to curious storm elementals, lashing the mountain with thunderous whips. The party attempt to scale the mountain side to the path above, but Lidda is detected by one of the elementals, which grapples her on the cliffside with its whip.
Episode 27: The Greythunder Ascent
The party tangle with the stormy elementals on the path, managing to defeat them. Continuing upwards, they encounter a doorway that leads to an encounter with the Moonclan, small grey humanoids that pursue the party, but pose no real threat. The tunnel continues to further up the mountainside, where the party are caught in an avalanche. Rurak does not make it to safety, and Zorgar fails trying to recover him. H’rafn uses his earth elemental form to recover both of them safely. Continuing onwards, the party find the frozen corpse of Matuk, and have a crisis about what to do. Electing to continue onwards, they come to a great ice wall.
Episode 28: Eye of the Storm
The party continue their ascent of the mountain. They struggle up the ice wall, needing to detach Ward’s body for the remainder of the climb. Continuing up the path, they elect to take a steeper route up which leads them over an ice bridge. Continuing on, they find a strange house built on the cliffside, inhabited by a man named Suetla. Suetla invites the party in for a day’s rest, giving them some warming stew and a warm place to sleep. Rurak believes Suetla to be a creation of Alteus, and they have a long conversation. The next day, the party continue up the path and into a blizzard. In the storm, the party lose each other briefly, seeing loved ones they care for freezing to death on the mountain and asking for their help. Most of the party see through the illusions, but Rurak gives an illusory Morden his cold weather cloak. The party pitch camp, believing the Temple to be only a day’s journey away.
Episode 29: The Greythunder Temple
The party continue their ascent of Mount Greythunder. Weary and exhausted, the last day’s travel feels a bridge too far, and they stop and rest for a day. The next morning, they proceed onwards to the temple, only an hour away, but are attacked by a titanic storm elemental, climbing up the mountain path. In a mad dash, they make it to the temple while causing an avalanche that strikes the elemental, avoiding the problem.
The party find the entrance to the massive temple sealed over with rubble, save for a small gap at the top of the door. Lidda sends her familiar inside, and lays eyes on the Pretender inside. A grey skinned man, robed and with a spear, he sits upon a great throne, nearly 100 feet tall when standing. Lidda’s familiar is discovered and killed by him, and the party stone shape into another room of the temple, finding themselves in a disused library. Entering the main chamber, Rurak confronts the Pretender, prays to Alteus, and successfully calls a Divine Intervention. The party’s exhaustion washes away, and Alteus dispatched one of his servants, the Archon of Storms, to aid the party.
A fight ensues, during which Muir and Zorgar’s astral link is revealed to cause them to share pain, and as the party battle The Pretender, the temple’s ceiling is torn off the building. As the battle progresses, Zorgar prays to Belarius for aid, and is dispatched The Archon of The Shield…
Episode 30: A False God
The battle against the Pretender continues. As the party continue to chip away at the behemoth, it seems as if victory is in sight, until the false god surges with newfound power, his strength near doubling. With two Archons, the party put up a formidable resistance, eventually felling the titan, but not before he banishes Zorgar from the Mortal Realm. Finding himself in a vast, open sky, Zorgar begins to fall.
In his final act, the Pretender speaks a word of the First Tongue, stunning many of the weakened heroes. As Lidda disintegrates his collapsed, yet still breathing, corpse, the Pretender attempts to deliver a cryptic omen, before dissolving into ash. The storm around the mountain ceases for a few moments, before the sky far above darkens and a great storm sweeps across the land.
Elsewhere, Zorgar is swept out of the air by a great beast, and deposited in a grand, floating castle. There, the keep’s master, a great being of air, returns him to the Mortal Realm, upon Zorgar’s request to “return him to the mountain.” Yet the mountain Zorgar finds himself on is not Greythunder…
In the temple, the party search for forgotten relics, and Suetla reappears, revealed now, as the party suspected, to be Alteus himself in disguise, and congratulates the party on their success. Rurak requests that Alteus restore the aurc Matuk to life, to serve as the caretaker he may not be able to. Over the course of their search, the heroes uncover forgotten riches, a relic named the Sphere of Storms, a rod with the power to restore the dead to life, and a ring with the power to bend and reshape the world as they know it. A ring with the power to grant a single wish.
Episode 31: A Temple Restored
Having thoroughly searched the temple, the party prepare to recover Matuk and Ward’s bodies from further down the mountain. Wings-Like-Gales arrives at the temple with the storm now clear, and with his aid Rurak and H’rafn (in eagle form) are able to recover Ward and Matuk. As Rurak lays Matuk’s body on an altar, Suetla reappears, now appearing older and frailer. He warns Rurak that the Seals are breaking, before improving his hammer and granting Rurak a further boon, then restores Matuk to life, vanishing in the process.
Matuk awakens, and is distraught, claiming he can no longer hear the voice of Alteus. With some probing, the party come to the conclusion that what Matuk heard was not the voice of Alteus, but of the Pretender. Rurak comforts him, and offers him a palce as caretaker of the temple, and Matuk explains he will rest before making a decision.
The next day, Matuk says he will accept Rurak’s offer, if Rurak believes he is the right person for the task, and the party return to Stormguard. Rurak explains that the temple has been cleansed, confronts Vazgrimst Brunnhilde about opening the gates with little success, and clashes with Hork over the Old Ways. Hork sees the truth in what Rurak says, and says he will speak with Brunnhilde. The party head to the forest nearby, and return to Meriden through druidic magics.
Meanwhile, Zorgar finds himself on Mount Sinris. Seeing Meriden in the distance, he resolves to set off for the great city. On his journey down from the mountain foothills, he sees a strange doorway in the mountainside with the Belarian symbol, seemingly half in this world, half out. Entering, he meets a blond haired man, who reveals himself to be Balthazhar, the first High King, who reveals he has been waiting for someone. He does not know if it is Zorgar. The two speak a while, and Balthazhar reveals the truth of his death — that it was at the hands of his brother, and that he set his sword into the Meriden palace floor, submitting himself to death in the hopes his brother might repent. He offers Zorgar some guidance, before Zorgar sets off towards Meriden again.
Back in Meriden, the party meet up and go out for dinner, where they overhear discussions of a shipment from Anchor, and Lidda receives a message from Arch-Magus Keruin that her sister Paela’s body has been exhumed, but that she should see it before proceeding.
Episode 32: Soul Sister
Narinn and Malbryn track the shipment from Anchor, following a ship docking in the middle of the night. They witness a hand off of an envelope at the docks to two humans in military uniform, and Narinn jumps them in an alleyway, recovering the envelope. Inside, he finds an old key, and nothing more. Meanwhile, Lidda receives another mysterious letter from the organisation that have been contacting her intermittently, but receives no instructions on how to proceed. The next morning, the letter is blank.
The next day, the party attend to some minor business preparing for the hunt ofr the green dragon, before visiting the Imperial Morgue to recover Lidda’s sister Paela’s body. They discover Paela has developed a mark on her forehead — a black eye matching the one buried under Muir’s facepaint from her experiment with the Pale King’s Hand.
The party bring Paela back to the ship, and discuss the best plan. They make numerous attempts to remove the mark, both magically and surgically, none of which succeed. Knowing Muir’s has been benign thus far, the party use the rod recovered from Greythunder to resurrect Paela. As she returns to life, the party see her eyes are an opaque teal, and a spectral form begins to envelop her, taking the appearance of the Pale King, who demands to know where Lidda has hidden his Hand.
Episode 33: A Pale Visitor
The Pale King restrains Lidda telekinetically, demanding to know the location of his Hand. When Lidda is not immediately forthcoming, he begins to pull the moisture from the bodies of the party and crew. Faced with the potential death of her friends, Lidda tells him where she hid the Hand. The Pale King releases her, and departs, but those on the ship are devastated by his spell nonetheless.
A few moments later, Animus and other archwizards of the Spire’s Eight teleport in, looking for information on what happened. Lidda informs them where the Hand is and they depart. Rurak heals the injured, resurrecting Gek who perished from the spell, and Lidda tends to her sister.
When Paela wakes up, she explains that the Pale King kept asking about the location of a hand and an eye. She also tells Lidda she thinks their father is still alive. Lidda fills Paela in on everything that has happened, and that she is a clone, and Paela asks to stay on the ship a while, which Lidda and Narinn agree to.
Later, a dark elf arrives, asking to see Lidda, and bearing the symbol of the organization that have been contacting her. The dark elf, Sorn, takes Lidda to his organization, The Oculan Gate’s headquarters, where Lidda is introduced to the Gateseer, a crystalline Watcher much like the Archbishop. The Gateseer explains to Lidda that Meriden is awash with secret societies like the Gate, and that the incident at the docks will spark interest in the party from these same organizations. She asks Lidda to consider allying with the Gate, who study alternate worlds in the search of knowledge, and prevent danger from befalling Meriden. Lidda explains that she must speak to the rest of the party before making such a decision.
Meanwhile, a man dressed in blue military uniform arrives at the ship to speak with Narinn, asking about a gang of scalars that attacked associates of his and stole a key from them. The man suggests he knows Narinn was involved, but Narinn persistently denies it, and the man leaves amicably.
That evening, a reporter stops by the ship to ask for an interview with the party about the incident at the docks. The party then prepare to depart for Rell, and the Green Dragon.
Episode 34: A Ghost From The Past
The day following, an Iron Legion investigator comes to the ship to ask for the party’s account of what happened at the docks. Narinn gives a testimony, and the legionary departs.
That night, the party hold a party upon the Walrus, planning to depart for Rell the next day. As Malbryn retires for the evening, she is attacked below decks by someone, or something, resembling her former mentor Darius. Darius is clearly undead, and bears a glowing symbol on his forehead that Malbryn recognises to be the symbol on the entrance to Sanctorim, the ruin her mentor died in.
With the aid of the party, Darius is killed, though he seems resistant to damage, fuelled by dark shadowy energies. His body is disintegrated when it appears to still have some form of sentience. Malbryn takes a vial’s worth of the resulting ash, and the party resume their festivities.
Waking in assorted locations the next day from their carousing the night before, the party prepare to depart for Rell. A woman and four associates, all dressed in pressed blue uniforms, stop by the ship, asking to speak to Narinn about their missing key. When Narinn agrees, he is transported to a large, empty white room.
The woman explains that she knows he has the key, that it is useless to him without it’s second part, and offers to pay for its return, and to avoid a ‘mess’. After some haggling, Narinn agrees to exchange the key for seven thousand gold and the location of the second section of the Orissan Map, currently held by the Syndicate.
Delaying their departure for the woman to return with the payment, the party set off the next day for Hearthglen, where Narinn and Zorgar had tracked the Green Dragon some weeks ago. They disguise themselves for the journey, and arrive without significant incident. Narinn, Malbryn, H’rafn, and Lidda head into Hearthglen forest to scout the dragon’s lair, while the rest of the party remain on the Walrus with the crew and what members of the 8th Legion Narinn brought.
In the forest, the scouting party discover a path through the underbrush, looking to be made by something kobold sized. The path runs to an underwater entrance to the dragon’s lair, and H’rafn shapes himself to a fish to investigate where the path leads. A few moments later, a flock of birds flies away from the tree canopy abruptly, and the party on the ship watch as the green dragon reveals itself, bursting from the trees and heading towards the ship.
Episode 35: Upon Green Wings
The dragon swoops down from the forest, shattering the Walrus’ main mast in a first attack pass, snatching Muir from the deck on a second, and looping back to attempt to capsize the ship on a third. As she does so, the dragon taunts the heroes, revealing her name to be Morganth the Green, seeking vengeance upon the party for the murder of her mate. The heroes on the ship mount a bold defense, clambering onto the beast itself, with Zorgar even mutilating one of the dragon’s eyes. Meanwhile, the party in the forest beat a hasty retreat to the ship, borne by H’rafn in eagle form, though the trees are thick with a green mist, and the forest seems supernaturally difficult to navigate. They arrive as the others manage to force Morganth to retreat, with both Muir, Zorgar and Rurak still holding on to the dragon.
Morganth flies back towards her lair in the forest, using the treeline to attempt to knock her harriers from her back. Muir and Zorgar are knocked from Morganth, stranded in the forest, and H’rafn and the others pursue the dragon. They recover Muir, and with prudent magic are able to catch up to Morganth as she reaches her lair. Narinn leaps onto her back as she plunges into the acidic lake at the forest’s center, and she disappears below the surface with him and Rurak…
Episode 36: In the Belly of the Beast
Rurak prays and parts the lake such that H’rafn and the others can follow. Her pursuers not dissuaded, Morganth rears her head and unleashes her foul breath for the first time, devastating the heroes. Muir falls unconscious, H’rafn’s eagle form falls, and the pursuers fall into the lakebed as Rurak’s spell begins to fail. Malbryn leaps onto the dragon’s tail as she disappears into a tunnel, and those on her back continue to harass her.
The lakebound heroes make a hasty escape with H’rafn summoning and assuming the form of a water elemental, bearing the others to safety at the lake bank. Zorgar manages to brave the forest’s mists long enough to find them, and they set off in pursuit of Morganth once more, diving back into the lake with H’rafn and his elementals.
As Morganth emerges into her lair proper she slams into the ground, crushing those on her back with her weight. Her snake-men minions set about the party, and Rurak falls unconscious. Morganth snaps her jaws at Narinn, swallowing him, and Malbryn makes a retreat as the remainder of the party emerge into the hoard chamber with her…