Welcome to the New Age

Ruin part 3

August 4-8, 25NA

Grendel's lair is full of massive alligators and dark waters.  The dragon waits to strike for a short while, but when he does the party matches the beast's savagery with their own determination.

In the end, the Grendel's power is broken by the Heralds and the dragon's power flows into them, further strengthening the group for the challenges yet to come.

But upon returning to the Keep of Ravens in the Upside Down, and using the bottled heart of the dragon the gain the two swords promised to Gareth and Desmond it is revealed that Desmond is an imposter.  A changeling sent by Dialb to gather up the black blade for some sinister purpose…

 

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Ruin, part Two

August 3-4, 25NA

The Heralds take their punts into the reclaimed sewer tunnels. Strange, aberrant creatures assault the party, made of sludge and swamp plants and empowered by flickering undead spirits.

A crossroads in the tunnels gives the party to the choice or traveling to the remains of Epcott or the Orlando state penitentiary. 

Epcott proves to be the home of one the larger ogre clans, one lead by an oni less friendly than the one the party previously encountered. Exploration leads to discovery by the oni and the ogres and a retreat to the tunnels.

Punting back to the crossroads, the party takes the prison track. Rapids send the party careening along and split them into two different passages and dumping them into the flooded prison.  Somewhere in the dark, a monstrous shape slips into the water…

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Ruin part 1

August 3, 25NA

Leaving behind the Tower of Walter, the Heralds move deeper into the Ogrefen, traveling ever onward to the south and east.

Several days into the trip they are ambushed by a hunting party of lizard men and a pair of the strange two headed ogres.  The ambushers rapidly began to realize they had bitten off more than they could chew with the Heralds.

A few days further travel lead the party to a small village and the strange fey woman, Lady Altimora and her companion Nub.  Lady Altimora has apparently bewitched the villagers, transforming them into animals.  When Gareth confronts her, asking her price to free the village from her power and abandon the village she names a price that Ta'Losh is unwilling or unable to pay.

When the sorcerer unleashed his power against her, she countered the spell and Nub revealed himself to be a huge beast of infernal might…

Rather than fight foes of such obvious power, they retreated to instead turn their attention towards Grendel, the black dragon…

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Ravens part three and four
War is Hell

The trip through the forest and bog proved to be of little difficulty to the Heralds, even including an encounter with an aggressive party of Ogres (some with two heads!).  In defeating the ogres, the party met with a strange group of animals who led them to the Tower of Walter the Magician — an eccentric arcanist with a five hundred foot tall tower in the middle of the Ogrefen.

After a meeting with Walter, the party also met Elvis, the Singer at the Crossroads.  A sort of trickster proto-god being, who like Samuel and Nicholas, was interested in helping the party acheive its goals, as those goals also coincided with the founding of a new pantheon of "American Gods."

Elvis explained that the woman Samuel was trying to rescue was, in fact, Columbia — destined to lead this new pantheon.  But if the dragons were killed before Columbia was rescued, it would allow the Queen to manifest through Columbia and remake the American Gods in her own ideals.

Walter allowed the party to use one of his portals to enter the Keep of Ravens in the Upside-Down where they met up with Quill, the Teifling Raven Pact holder, set to be the Voice of the Matron of Ravens in this meeting.

While the others were greeting Quill, Gareth and Desmond discovered a pair of swords stuck through same stone near the keep's smithy.  One sword was dark and seemed to be fire blackened, the other pristine and shining.  Each knew in turn that one of these blades was intended for them.

The audience with the Matron of Ravens took the party to meet the Healy twin's father, the supposed dragon whose named they learned was Lamplighter.

The metallic dragons are in a war on the boundary with the Nine Hells, expressed as a battle between a slowly dwindling army of soldiers and a faceless enemy behind a barrier of fog and magic.

Lamplighter proved not to be some heroic draconic warrior, but instead a reluctant soldier, pressed into service in a war he seemed to feel was a hopeless cause.  Still, he loved Nancy, now Queen Nancy, and said as much.

After a too short talk with Lamplighter, the party returned to Walter's tower through a magic item owned by Quill.

From here it seems that Grendel might be their next target…

 

 

The Prophecy

Born to Shepherd

Her People in Need

Her Lands in Prosperity

Her Path of Joy

And a Reign as Short as a Heartbeat

or..

Born to Rule with

A Heart of Stone

A Glove of Iron

A Path of Hate

And a Circle a Millenia Long

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Ravens part two

The fight between the elves and the gnomes (along with the Heralds) is brutal.  Powerful magics are tossed back and forth and only their mage is able to escape.  T

Several of the leaders of the gnomes, as well as Dorian Wilks, are killed in the battle, but Aideen uses one of her most potent and dramatic spells to return life to Dorian and two of the gnomes, leaving all three and Bina in a shocked state.

The gnomes are convinced to travel to Grayson, with a letter of introduction form the party, and become allies of the kingdom.

The Heralds travel with Dorian towards the Ogrefen and the Tower of the Mage…

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Ravens part one

July 25, 25NA

In the aftermath of the the death of Wendigo, the Heralds must decide whether to push on after Typhon's claim that Grayson was in danger or take a well earned rest.  Luckily they were able to get the aid of a cleric in Caer Nimir who sent a message to King Bruce, letting the party know that while a dragon, the black one, had attacked the town they had driven it off.

With the decision made to head south towards the possibility of confronting the Black Dragon, Grendel and in making contact with the wizard Walter (on the way to the Keep of Ravens) the party takes a rest at Caer Nimir.

Gareth finds his rest interrupted as Samuel's last words come to him.  He pleads with Gareth to take the sword and rescue "her".  Pelinea, the cleric that aided them earlier performs a ritual of Commune with her patron, giving some clues as to what his cryptic message might mean.

The group then uses the wand of Circle of Teleportation to travel back to the tree lair of the mountain trolls.  The lair is overrun by strange, hunched pale gnomes from deep below the mountains.  Escaped slaves from DOSA's great machine underground.  According to Bina- the gnomes' leader- this machine drinks up the red hot blood of the earth for some purpose as yet unknown.  They were slaves to the strange elves who ran the machine.

Just as they seem to begin to reach an understanding as to an agreement between the gnomes and the people of Grayson, the meeting is interrupted by three strange elves and an odd blue and white spider of immense size, who seem to have captured Dorian Wilks, as the man is dropped unceremoniously to the chamber floor.

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Beasts part four
Winter Falls

July 24, 25NA

The Heralds confront the Cannibal Winter Wind in its lair.  The wyrm targets Ta'losh heavily beginning a powerful exchange of draconic power versus draconic power.

The beast falls under the powers arrayed against it, releasing its essence into the victors.  But even as the group took a few moments to try and gather the beast's remains, Typhon appeared.

"Two down, but scurry home and you might catch a third!"

Is Grayson in danger?

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Beasts part three

The Heralds and their new companion, Eidyr, face off against the orcish bear cavalry and the chieftain- a deadly combatant.

The fight stirs the ire of the dragon, though, and it brings the entire Orc village down into the mountain.

Samuel displays a power that seems to catch even him by surprise,rescuing the party from certain death from the fall and passing a strange power into the party, leaving them renewed and refreshed to face the Cannibal Wind of Winter: Wendigo…

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Beasts, part two

The Burning Eyes camp proves itself resourceful and enthusiastic in its response to the Herald's attacks.

After luring a patrol out to investigate a campfire and killing them, the Herald's find themselves the targets of burning catapult shot.  Getting away out from under fire the party makes their way into the camp itself.  Desmond has a climbing mishap, but they get under cover before the orcs investigate the scene (the party watches as Eidyr destroys that crew by himself with only three arrows).

Then they hit catapult while moving through the camp — Declan and Eidyr travel stealthily to the catapult and Declan destroys it by detonating the three pitch filled cars — the resulting explosion kills the crew, which includes an Illithid who may or may not have been a captive of the orcs.

The rest of the team is heading towards one of the buildings when they hear the rumble of the dragon's voice from under the mountain… 

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Beasts part one
Along the Black Road

July 17-24, 25NA

The Heralds travel up the road to Caer Nimir and meet with Gwythr ap Llewellyn to plan their trip into the Burning Eye territory.  They are introduced to Eidyr, a Lord Scout-Commander and the most familiar ranger with the area the party is going into.  Eidyr will travel with them into the orc's territory.

Supplied and prepared as best they could be, the Heralds move into mountains.  Eidyr leads them parallel to the stretch of the Black Road that runs throughout the Burning Eye Orc lands.  On the second day of travel they catch sight of Wendigo battling a massive, primal bear along one of the mountain paths.  The dragon is even more impressive looking, more dangerous looking.  More deadly.

Two days before reaching the tribe's lands, they encounter a party of orc's leading the remnants of the Leaping Peaks Herd of Goliaths— enslaved and carrying the corpses of their family to the orc's stewpots.  The four Goliaths are cautious in trusting their rescuers but upon learning the party intends to attack the orcs, ask to come along and end their herd in a fashion worthy of remembering.

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