Trail of the Broken Spear

Summons

Healing up from the close victory, finally stopping the madness of Lady Vaermina, the Companions of Westcrown receive a summons, back to Cammen, to appear before the court of His Grace, King Barius Kil’Cammen, First of his name, Lord of the Cammen Reach, Ruler of Man. The summons leaves the Companions two weeks with which to present themselves.

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Fall of the Necromancer Part 1

Lady Vaermina Magnusson, famed dilettante, Philanthropist, Necromancer… has fallen…

Even before the Companions of Westcrown stopped her insidious plots the heavens foretold her doom. A powerful man, one of pure heart and purpose had ridden bravely to face her. Such was the might of the battle that the night sky was torn asunder, a bright beam of golden, holy light shredded the blackness, a pillar of hope seen for many miles. The companions were still a day out when they saw the beam at night, not knowing that all the while a lone champion faced the worst of the darkness Vaermina had at her disposal in the City of Canals. After nearly half an hour of being a blazing beacon in the sky, the light suddenly faltered and collapsed. Joelle, watching the light from the group’s campfire, felt the night close in around her like an unwelcome stranger, cold, intruding… She slept fitfully when her watch was over, certain something terrible had happened.

Elsewhere, a lone gypsy had seen the man, advising him of the dangers he faced, but was not able to sway nor delay his departure for the city. She drew three cards from her tarot deck, the Lion, showing a great hero, then the hanged man, seeing that he would face a great struggle. She pulled another to try to determine the fate, but two cards stuck together, the ten of swords and the death card, the ten of swords indicating the man would die, while the death card indicated he would undergo a great change. The next day, the man was gone, his holy light snuffed out in the night, as she was pulled out of her home and caged like a beast in cold iron by a milling group of undead under the command of an armored man who said nothing. The cage was carried slowly out of her swamp, back to the road to the city.

The Companions moved purposefully towards town, encountering the odd procession of skeletons, finding them to be rather powerful, not collapsing easily under their blows. Joelle quickly found herself surrounded by the undead, taking hits even through her enchanted armor. The silent man took advantage of her dilemma and charged, striking a powerful blow before one of Boran’s arrows took him in the neck, destroying an odd collar he wore, black arcane energies sparking off the now useless device. The fight quickly finished and the man remained unconscious, but without his helmet knocked askew, Boran realized he recognized the man.
Xander, or a shell of his former self. His hair had gone white, and what was visible of his skin was covered with a myriad of scars. Dev, investigated the device, and quickly realized it was a control collar of sorts, having been ensorcelled with many enchantments for domination of the psyche.

When Xander awoke, they continued on and found themselves led by the lady of mysteries to the cemetery, away from the manor house they thought contained Lady Vilhelm. Within they found the bones of many a thousand if not more undead. Torn, rotting flesh lay strewn as if a sharp force of nature ripped it’s way through, and in the center, atop a small hillock, at the feet of a cracked statue of a celestial they found a dull, cold iron blade. Dev detected minor magicks within it, and they passed it around to see, but when Joelle grasped the handle, it flared a brilliant gold color. A warm presence in her mind told her, “I am Amoracchius. Prepare yourself, your foe approaches.”

Almost in response to the drawing of the Sword of Faith, a form grew visible in the sky, a large, burning skeletal dragon bearing a rider swooped in as the Companions scattered to avoid Dragon’s Breath. Joelle leapt onto Caelius’ back as he leapt into the sky, but the foe, filled with dark energies was the faster, lowering a lance and piercing her breastplate easily, striking a mortal blow. The paladin was filled with holy energy, keeping her from falling as the dragon swooped past, the lance broken and the rider jumped off, landing beside her.

The Companions worked in unison, fighting the two powerful opponents. Paladin and the undead champion, a former paladin of Iomedae traded blows. Again Joelle was dealt a mortal blow, the dark knight’s frostbrand carving a deep, cruel line through her torso, but the gods refused to let her die, gasping, her eyes once again opened before she fell. Sybilla, the witch tried fighting the burning dragon in her dragon form, but was nearly slain, and lay on the ground feigning death until it turned on Xander, lashing out repeatedly at the armored fighter. She stood, offering what aid she could, exhausting her complement of spells, striving vainly, with Joelle, to keep him standing as he was struck unconscious repeatedly by the dragon. Boran, seeing his arrows do nothing to either foe, charged, drawing the Sunblade, swinging it at the dark knight, clanging it off his dirty armor, which still hinted at it’s former glory. Joelle staggered, the fight taking it’s toll on her, unable to bring herself back once more if she were to be slain again, striking at the skeleton’s side with Amoracchius, giving Boran an opening to slide the Sunblade through his chest, the two swords meant for slaying undead’s combined strength overwhelmed Vaermina’s newest and mightiest champion, light pouring through every crack and joint in the armor, leaving the skeleton within dust. Ironically it was the witch’s tiny psuedodragon familiar which finished off the burning dragon skeleton, hitting it with the pure magic of healing, disrupting the negative energies sustaining it. The dragon exploded in a fiery release of energies… once again knocking Xander out.

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Into The Apprentice's Tomb

On the Apprentice from the last battle.

Spellbook

6th — Create Undead, Eyebite

5th — Baleful Polymorph, Magic Jar, Teleport, Waves of Fatigue

4th — Animate Dead, Enervation, Fear, Solid Fog, Wall of Fire

3rd — Blink, Fireball, Fly, Ray of Exhaustion, Vampiric Touch

2nd — Blindness/Deafness, False Life, Resist Energy, See Invisibility, Scare, Scorching Ray

1st — Alarm, Burning Hands, Cause Fear, Detect Undead, Expeditious Retreat, Mage Armor, Magic Missile

Combat Gear:

Potions of Cure Moderate Wounds (2), Potion of Displacement, Potion of Invisibility, Robe of Bones

Other Gear:

Masterwork Dagger, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Belt of Mighty Constitution +2, Cloak of Resistance +2, Goggles of Night, Headband of Vast Intelligence +2, crystal for magic jar (worth 100 gp), onyx gems (worth 300 gp), 623 gp


All this equipment dissemenated…(passed out)

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Party in Sirilion

The Companions of Westcrown plan on making a gift of a case of Onyx gems to Lord Airk Magnusson, Baron of Sirilion and surrounding lands. Accepting the gift will be his wife. Many nobles will be in attendance and there will be a dinner party afterwards.

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Above the Colossus along the Spine

The Companions made their way up into the head of the Colossus, which was, in fact, a Griffon Aerie, long abandoned by the dwarves, the griffons turned wild. It was here where Joelle found a new friend, the strongest of the griffons took her offering of meat and after hours of working, the two seemed to bond. She named him Caelius, with an attitude as strong as his name. In the stairwell, they discovered a secret doorway that Xander attempted to open, it did open, firing a multitude of crossbow bolts at everyone nearby. Boran quickly disabled the crossbows before they reset. In the room they removed the crossbows, unloaded the bolts and found several sets of dwarven mithril chainmail. Also within the room they discovered another door, this one with the handle set within a lion’s maw. Xander again tried opening the door, but stopped halfway through when Joelle stopped him, the delay worked against them as the trap was unavoidable if the door was not opened immediately after the handle was turned. Xander nearly lost his hand and would have if his bracer handled stopped the fine blade. After the door was opened and Xander healed, they decided they would explore it in the morning, leaving most of their gear. It led into a long, narrow tunnel which, after many miles, split, one branch going up, the other down. The upward branch was not long and led to the surface, somewhere along the Spine of the mountain range they were in, the other led deeper, eventually taking them into the underdark. They had barely entered the underdark when they came across a well fed, subterranean plant that did its best to make a meal of them, several members fell to the maddening effect of the plant’s spores, acting quite insanely, gaining the attention of a giant scorpion even as they fought the plant. Their light dwindling after the fight, it was decided the underdark was a bit too dangerous to try to find the dwarven city in and they’d try following the spine instead. The rest of the day was spent retracing their path to the split, going up it and breaching to the surface through the hidden door, making good headway before stumbling upon an old dwarven encampment, devoid of life, but having a few necessities to make camping easier, and more secure.

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Shadow of the Colossus

Resupplied and their resolve strengthened, the Companions left the lonely city of Melakh with a Mage from University Arcanum in Cammen they found in browsing the marketplace of Melakh, seeking clues on the ancient curse as well, and followed the old stone causeway that would lead them to Caer Droghuun, the Capital city of the Dwarven Kingdom. They were assailed along their journey by a trio of ettins, hurling javelins down a rocky slope as the Companions attempted to pass. The fight was brief, and the three giant-kin lay dead, one slain with a single arrow through it’s jaw, buried fletching deep in it’s tiny brain. From the rise where the ettins had camped, they saw a darkening silhouette of a humanoid figured carved into the rocks many miles away in the Stonehaven Mountains, closer to their destination. They made camp and continued along the road, confident it would lead them to the stone behemoth. The next night, partway to the behemoth, they were waylaid in the middle of the night by an orcish hunting party. The companions fended them off, but at great cost, nearly losing a member to the hidden shafts of arrows flying through the blackened night. The next day they traveled the last distance to the foot of the dwarven behemoth, attacked by starving griffons that had once been apart of the dwarves defense of the region. Boran’s pony was the first to be felled, though the griffons in the initial strike fared no better. They camped and struck out, finding a secret entrance in the statue’s foot with a long, widening spiral staircase going up, and up and up, finally reaching a top near the waist of the statue, opening up into a small workshop filled with tools and scraps of decayed leather for creating griffon saddles.

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In the Shadow of Khalass

Our heroes, unnerved by the general attitude of Melakh, the Ancient Dwarven trade city, had slept outside the city wall, deeper into the lost Kingdom of Khalass. Dark whispers and sounds kept them up through the night and it showed the next day when they were surprised to find that Francesca and Maliky had disappeared during breakfast, either abandoning the Companions to their fate, or were victims of something more sinister. Thankfully, their old friend, a relative of Francesca’s, Boran Ticklefingers, would not be left behind without them and had tracked them to Melakh. The rope leading back up Melakh was no longer there, so the group decided to investigate the ruined structure of a Manse around the edge of a wall of the city.

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Plight of the Creeping Death

The journal’s first entries on the subject of the Creeping Death mention the border town of Malakh, on the northern edge of Khalass. Kranz was not the best of note keeper’s and much of his text is in dwarven, but he obviously thought something of interest was there, but does not seem to have been able to investigate it yet.

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Aftermath
"Turin Barrow" "The Jagged Spear"
The skeletal champion of the necromancer lay strewn about the embalming chamber within the barrow. The Companions and the few remaining members of the Jagged Spear were exhausted and wary, the energy sustaining the champion as had fled through a secret passageway leading directly to the barrow’s entrance. They did not follow for several minutes, discovering the passage only when they returned to the entrance themselves. The necromancer was gone, the feminine laugh all that remained in their minds in the aftermath. Meriss, the tiniest member of the Jagged Spear teetered, on the verge of collapse, her skin pale and cool, her lustrous pink hair faded to almost gray. A sure sign of the Bleaching, but none knew what it meant. They fled through the swamp only to stumble upon the most feared denizen of any swamp. It struck them by surprise, it was young, but still incredibly stealthy, it’s slick black scaled head breaking the water of the swamp, spewing a line of acid at the first set in the line of weary adventurers. it circled back into the waters as Xander and Maliky surged forward, it struck at Xander, it’s fangs rending his armor and sinking deeply into him. Maliky leapt into the air, driving his glaive deeply into the beast’s side as it attacked them both, leaving them bloody and torn, both Joelle and Antius were forced to keep their front line healed, unable to assist in other ways, lest they fall.
The Black dragon's whelp, only 8 feet long, was winded from the fighting, however, and fled swiftly, losing more than a few scales in the process. They hurried from the swamp, loading the injured into their untouched cart, Xander and Maliky lifting the yoke, pulling it back to Tir Anassi. There they sold Xander's supply of shoddy weaponry, and their cast offs they'd retained from switching to their mentor's gear. Antius and Meriss were put into the care of a Temple of Tymora, the Goddess of Luck, for swift healing. Antius was fitted with a finely crafted dwarven prosthetic leg and Meriss, while seeming better still seemed worn and without joy...
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The Turin Barrow
"Turin Barrow"

The companions entered the swamp, bringing their beast of burden, a mule named Arrold, in the swamps. His reluctance slowed them greatly, making only a third of the way through their planned route on the first day. The swamp was filled with many horrible creatures and the were accosted by a surprised Green Hag, catching it unawares, losing many resources in driving it off. Their mule got injured in the fight and seemed weakened. Arrold, alas, did not survive the day as a great, many headed beast barred their path, foraging along the slight path in the swap. It tore the mule apart and severely injuring the group, leaving them wondering how they were going to survive the night. As luck would have it, they stumbled across an old traveler’s shrine with a bit of magic left in it. They stayed there in safety, their Paladin finding a medallion of healing, with the markings of the goddess of luck herself emblazoned upon it. The group set off again and again the swamp struggled to hold them from their intended goal, The Turin Barrow. A large beast rose from the swamps, seemingly made of the swamp itself, and lumbered towards them. The fight was swift and brutal, the Companions bloody and weary, completely unable to heal any more of there wounds, they found there was no place to rest, save for their destination and the shrine they left hours earlier. They traveled on, the muted light of day seemingly unchanging through the hours until they saw the form of a large hill break through the mists, stone outcroppings placed in non-random locations marking the small humps of barrows showed them they had found their destination, the Turin Barrow. The Turin Barrow was the largest of the group, with a vast man-made chasm before it, cutting deeply into the rock of the hill, it had filled, partially, with murky water, rank and stagnant with swarms of stinging insect floating noisily above it.
The Companions sought the shelter of on of the larger outcropping of rocks, as far from the main barrow as possible to set a camp and rest. Before they could do so, Francesca and Maliky heard the distant sounds of combat, and had a quick discussion over whether they should interfere in their condition or wait and recuperate. Loyalty to the Jagged Spear won out and the two stealthiest went to investigate, finding Dayna, surrounded by undead fighting to defend the entrance of the barrow, neither Meriss nor Antius were to be seen. Piles of bones and bodies gave testament to Dayna’s combat prowess, though she was badly injured, a femur of some humanoid jammed into her abdomen like a spear pinned her to the doorway, giving her no room to maneuver and quickly sapping her strength.

The Companions fought bravely to rescue their beloved mentor, and somehow won out over the waves of undead… for now.

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