Gallus' Journal

Copied from the journal of one Gallus Von Recke, ward of the Sviofalvan court and emissary to the Mestrian nations.

Session 1: 'A Peculiar Beginning' Gallus Von Recke

My tale would begin oddly, with a man popping out of a tree made of glass.
His name was Caleb of the Dark-Kin and he was to be the first of my charges. He stood slightly hunched, his pale skin under block robes mottled by the morning sun. From the shadows steps the second of my companions a small darkly armoured man with a plethora of weapons, the half elf Kynleef. We are led by the Forest Guard to the cells where we collect the last two of our companions: Wolfram, a heavily built hairy man with a vicious glint in his eyes and Zancilla, a quietly unassuming tiefling clad in furs and armour carved from the bones of some large animal. The man was kept under the tightest security while the woman dwelled in one of the natural-cells. Curious considering according to their files they were accused of the same crimes.

We were led before the leader of the Church of Aerin , Matriarch Shadowleaf, and she gave us the mission we had been gathered for. We were to facilitate the “Treat of Mestria” in an attempt to raise an army big enough to reclaim Silira from the White Elves. She informed us that there had been assassinations in Silira and that the Sea Prince Lorenzo had been usurped. Before we completed this large task we had to prove ourselves to the queen with a mission to retrieve an ancient phylactery from the province of Glass Mountain. The phylactery was contained within the Tomb of Sarathon and was allegedly cause of the Glass Mountains poisoning. For our mission we are assigned a group of Woodsguard, led by Blademaster Lieutenant Arthys, and an ancient platinum mask to allow us entry into the tomb. Just as we though we were to head out we were introduced to one more party member, a human wizard named Davien. He look rather flustered and informed us that he had just recently teleported from what he believes was the take over of the Siliran Mage’s Academy by the White Elves. He spoke of mind control and total anarchy in Silira that made our mission seem all the more important. Our company now complete we headed to the armouries, where my companions and I collected our mounts and any other equipment we needed. Wolfram picked up his custom made armour, elven made half-plate with images of the forest and wolves all over it, and we made our way to the glass Ghost Tree.

The first few days of our journey to the Glass Mountain were uneventful; the Ghost tree took us deep into the Valdenwood and we made a fireless camp each night without incident. On the third day our scouts returned the news that they had encountered a group of ‘The Lost’. These ‘Lost’ were what we referred to as ‘Dark Kin’, Elves who chose to live away from the civilizations of the Valdenwood in the barbarian tradition. They did not seem hostile however so the Blademaster Lieutenant and I went to parley with them. While I handled the formal introductions I did not understand the relevant nuisances of elven culture so I left the negotiations to the two elves. Arthys and I returned to the group and he informed us that in return for safe passage through their lands the Dark Kin were requesting that we slay a “Wyrm” that lived nearby. Unwilling to fight an unknown number of locals in the forest we decided to slay the beast.

We tracked the creature, a Lindwyrm as it would appear, to its cave deep within the forest and decided on a plan of attack. Setting up an ambush the archers started laying fire into the only part of the creature they could see, its tail. Bleed profusely from its tail the creature quickly emerged, only to find itself unable to see any enemies but the 3 archers (including Wolfram, currently in his werewolf form). The elven wizard had turned the soldiers into trees and my companions were hiding behind them. The creature stalked towards the archers and we fell upon it from the flank. Our blades cutting deeply despite its thick skin we eventually hacked off its legs and caused it to roll over, dead. Davien, Zancilla and Caleb examine the body for some time and the rest of the party make ready to continue our journey to the Glass Mountain.

Session 2: 'The Butcher's Bill' Gallus Von Recke

As Caleb and the elves raid the body for supplies, pulling teeth and cutting off flaps of skin, we endeavor to continue our journey to the Glass Mountain. Arriving at the Mountain we find a stone opening on its dark grass exterior and further within a large door made entirely of platinum. A stone bust sits in the middle of the door and placing the mask we were given open its face the door slides upwards into the roof, revealing a hallway beyond. Zancilla elects to remain outside with the mounts, reluctant to enter another White Elven ruin after her past experiences with them. The first few rooms continue carvings on the walls, a biography of sorts, and it is through this that we discover that Sarathon was an archmage and devout follower of Cyfre who had bound his enemy, a CREATURE?, within in order to power his tomb. To this point we find that whenever we enter a new area pale blue lights emanate from the walls, clearly a potent ancient technology. Eventually we reach our first real obstacle, a door with four chains across it and bound in iron to the wall around it. The warning runes on the door claim that this is the prison of the CREATURE? but this does not stop Davien, who blasts the chains aside with a burst of flame. We enter the room and find the creature in a large circular chamber, carved roughly from the mountain itself. He stands as tall as a man but is bound head to toe in chains, his eyes burning with green fire. I converse with him in High Elven but soon discover he is unable to grant us any further access into the tomb. He tells us of his crimes and despite his offers we decide it is best for him to stay chained. Before we leave he informs us that there have been three visitors before us: Two elven women and a male elven tiefling. Kynleef ponders that if the daemonic creature could not help us get further into the tomb perhaps we had already past the entry.

Combing the room the Half Elf finds a crack under the statue of Cyfre in the first room and after many minutes of pushing we manage to move the statue enough to move further into the tomb. Kynleef leads the way and we move through many tunnels and passageways, avoiding fire traps and spiked pits. At one stage while opening a stairway downwards a small dart hits Kynleef and despite their efforts Caleb and the elves cannot determine what was held within the vial. I suggest he make his way back to the Druid for healing but he refuses, pushing onwards into the tomb. We enter a room behind another set of large doors and overcome by its size and grandeur. Within stand hundreds of solitary figures, locked in an eternal vigilance. Ranks upon ranks of Ork warriors in heavy armour stand with smaller units of Elven blademasters, their ornate armour embossed with the star of Cyfre. Above the army hangs a draconic skeleton, a purple beating heart held within his chest. We begin to speculate as to the effect of the purple heart on the mountain when Kynleef suddenly begins to run towards the other side of the room. He begins to flail his sword wildly and clutch his stomach. I rush towards him and attempt to calm him but am set upon by the assassin, his short sword attempting to slash at me but unable to bypass my defenses. I try unsuccessfully to calm Kynleef but eventually he falls to the ground, looking relieved. I take an ornate holy symbol from a dais at the end of the room and despite the commotion Kynleef once again leads the party onwards At one door Kynleef appears to pause to talk to himself. After a small discussion he reaches out and touches the door and after a loud click we find ourself hurtling downwards, the floor beneath our feet flattened into a slide taking us downwards.

Water eventually breaks our fall and I look around, noticing that we have sustained no injuries from the fall. We are now within a large circular chamber filled with knee deep water, the centre of the room dominated by a black stone mausoleum. We search for a way out but discovering now it is decided that this is the location we had been searching for, the Tomb of Sarathon. Opening the tomb we find within a dark stone octagonal coffin and a dais in the centre of the room, with 8 heavily armoured and stationary figures around the edges of the room. The figures are armoured elves, with full plate and swords resembling those of the elves found within the army chamber we found earlier. The seventh figure is a robed elf, assumedly a mage of some sort, and appears to be stuck in some sort of stasis like the rest. As I reach out and take the phylactery and the figures stir, one swordsman stepping forwards and beginning to speak. He demands that I return the item and laughs off my suggestions of the mountain being poisoned by the phylactery. Exchanging a look with Captain Arthys I begin to put back the phylactery before drawing my sword and striking off the head of one of the elves. Following my lead our elven soldiers and Wolfram charge forward, engaging the White Elves in a vicious melee. The living elves were outmatched however and the undead within quickly cut them down, forcing the rest of our party to engage in a fighting withdrawal while Davien and the enemy mage launched missiles over our heads. Eventually we reach the edge of the mausoleum and our Elven mage began to fill the area within with an acidic gas. Unfortunately he lost control of the gas and it leaked outwards, completely melting one of the Elven soldiers and singing Wolfram’s fur. One last final volley from our archers finished the last of the undead and we were free to look upon the carnage we had wrought. I have never seen such a bloody minute of combat in my life and I doubt I will again. We check the bodies but find the acid cloud had melted most of their armour and weapons. I worry for the phylactery but Kynleef produces it from amongst his clothes, having snatched the item during the opening stages of the battle. Beneath the phylactery plinth we find a trap door and our prize collected we make our way out of the tomb, leaving behind a bloody toll.

Session 3: 'White Elven Vengeance' Gallus Von Recke

We meet up with Zancilla and our mounts outside the tomb and begin our long journey back to the Glass Tree. As we ride Zancilla looks over the acid-wounded soldier and via some healing spells appears to improve his condition somewhat. During one night of camp we were threatened by a group of tiny fey creatures but Zancilla managed to talk them out of it. Nevertheless we slept reluctantly within the realm of the creatures. Awaking the next day we find all the rents in our clothes fixed as if by tiny hands and are escorted to the edge of the Glass Tree by tiny blue men riding beetles in some sort of combat formation.

As we reach the Glass Tree Zancilla and Caleb spot some tracks leading away from the area and the rest of us wait for them to discover who was investigating the area. After some time we hear footsteps in the forest and with a hand gesture I sent the Elven archers into the forest to take up a defensive perimeter. Kynleef puts his cloak over his head and appears to disappear into the shrubbery at our feet. The unknown group enter the clearing, led by a robed woman. She pulls back her hood and reveals her pale white skin and tiled eyes, matched by the armoured swordsman at her side. Six other heavily armoured figures stand behind them, wielding battle axes. They begin to converse with me, revealing that they are looking for the thieves of the phylactery. I spin a nonsense story about checking the health of the local trees which they appear to buy. However when they start talking amongst themselves in High Elven I discover they are planning to attack us. They must have assumed I do not speak their language, an oversight I intend to punish them for.

Eventually after a bit more dialogue the Mage gives the symbol for the charge and I simultaneous signal the Elves to attack. The final Elven swordsman and myself charge, my mount ripping the mage to shreds with his claws while I lodge my blade deep in the skull of the other White Elf. The enemy warriors counter charged and kill the elven swordsman, their axes digging into his neck and severing his head. Our Elven archers in the tree line lose their arrows and some of the armoured enemies fall into ash, revealing them as undead. Simultaneously the Elven Byomancer begins to invoke a spell but before he can finish it his head vanishes in a horrific burst of blood and brains. My lizard hamstrung by the axe of the one of the undead I continue to fight the skeletal orks from the ground, my sword taking another one of the beasts out of the fight. Wolfram finally joins the fight, loosing one arrow off into the forest at an unseen adversity. Finishing the last of the Orks the Elven archers begin to lay fire off into the trees at what I now see is a rapidly approach monstrosity. A beast with six arms and a snake like tail is approaching me intent on slaughter. Regardless of its fearsome nature with the Orks dead we manage to defeat the creature. Kynleef appeared and tripped the creature to the ground with a large whip and we peppered it with arrows while I cut off its arms limb by limb.

As the blood begins to cool Caleb and Zancilla return from their scouting, the front of the druid's robes covered in blood. Zancilla cradling the form of her wolf who it would appear had been frozen solid. Caleb seemed to be trying very hard to not look at her. Using the spellbook of the deceased Elven Byomancer we manage to activate the Glass Tree and make our way back to the capitol.

Session 4: 'Into Silira' Gallus Von Recke

  • Talk to Empress, sell gear.
  • Spend a few days in town before using a Glass Tree to teleport to nearby the capital.
  • Walk past spider webs until we reach the capital (it looks like Lothlorien)
  • Get place at Inn. Mounts taken care of by Druid for free.
  • Receive mission
    • Investigate arcane goings on in town (NAME)
  • Stay in Capital for 3 months.
    • Georgia buys a baby tiger
    • Pat gets his Lyndwym skin made into leather armour + buys a riding spider
    • Vickery gets MORE armour enchanted
    • Daws gets camo on his armour
    • I hire a mercenary band
  • Travel to Silira via Glass Tree and leave Sviofalva
    • Meet farmer and scare him. We stay there for the night (I pay with AC dagger, remember later that it is Adamantium [Ergh])
    • Leave our exotic mounts in forest behind TOWN with half of mercenary band (Spider + Lizard)
  • Make our way into the town with little fuss
    • Georgia and Pat have to disguise faces
    • Get rooms at an inn
    • I duel someone for 2500 Denan but only get 680.

Session 5: 'A Tomb of Our Choosing' Gallus Von Recke

Feeling some indescribable need to celebrate, Caleb, Wolfram and I take one of the famous local Wine Tours. We pay up front and have an excellent night of raucous festivities. So raucous in fact that neither Wolfram nor Caleb make it back to the inn. Wolfram comes into town at mid morning, stinking of hay and wet dog (as he so often does). Caleb however is nowhere to be seen, a mystery that is solved when a troop of local militia visit our inn and inform us that an elf is being held in the local jail who mentioned us as associates of his. I travel to the jailhouse and find that it is indeed Caleb, who apparently was caught trying to break into a local farm whilst shouting about "Getting Lotte from where I (he) left her". I intend to pay the find and leave this matter behind me but find that because of his elven genealogy I was expected to pay over 10 times the original amount. My inability to pay compounded by my outrage at such an imposition I attempt to bribe the local bailiff to let my companion off on a lesser charge. Unfortunately the man appears too stupid to understand my implications and simply requests I pay the full amount. Dumbfounded by the ignorance of the locals I sneak Caleb his thieves tools and an invisibility potion and make my way back to the inn. As expected an hour later he appears, the sounds of alarm bells ringing from the street outside.

While Zancilla takes the Elven mercenaries to the forest to attempt to find evidence of the bodies drained of blood, the rest of the party attempts to find a way to access the Lord's manor to investigate the visitors. We first try via legitimate means, with myself being announced as a travelling noble. When this fails we attempt slightly more underhanded tactics, forging a letter of recommendation to gain access. This also fails and we begin to put plans into to place for an infiltration, Caleb using the connections he apparently gained in his short stint in prison to grant us access. Before this can come to fruition however, Zancilla returns from the forest with dire news. She had found mass grave of corpses, strangely unable to decompose in the normal manner. The bodies were being carried by Orcs from a nearby cave before being dumped. Seeing a possible lead we abandon our infiltration plan and make our way to the forest.

Pushing into the cave we do not go far before we come across a vast army of humans and orcs, all is stasis. It appears that someone is trying to create an army here in Silira! Further on Kynleef spots a group of Elven mages performing a strange ritual with a hairy humanoid creature a local man. Suspecting this is the dastardly plan we had been sent here to uncover I take Zancilla aside. I give her instructions to take the Elven mercenaries back to Sviofalva, informing the Empress of what we found here. We would attempt to destroy the facility while she was gone. Knowing it could mean certain death, the rest of the party venture into the facility.

The axe seems to drift lazily towards my head, its twin deep in my thigh. It takes all my force of will to stay awake and watch as the blade comes ever closer. Wolfram grows and shapes into a wolf, laying about him with his sword. As the axe begins to part my skull I think of how we got here, of the tomb we chose for ourselves.
We had cleared the initial White Elves and Orks without incident. Our attempt to destroy the leader of the Elves proved that room to be an illusion, but not before one of its defences singed the hair from my head and badly burnt my face with an explosion of fire. Wolfram, Caleb and Davien had overwatch on the corridor behind us while Kynleef and I tried to find another exit from the office room.
He finds it and immediately rushes into combat with a robed elf on the other side, knocking him to the ground. Kynleef wails into the prone Elf with his swords, cutting chunks off his pale face before the mage regains his senses and rises to his feet. With an incantation the White Elf points at Kynleef and where he had stood sat a croaking frog, his weapons falling to the ground with a clang. I charged the Mage and cut off his head, although this did not release the spell on Kynleef. I hear a siren sounding nearby and realise that by rushing in so blindly we had set off an alarm! Rushing back to the hallway I notice that Davien had gone, apparently sprinting off as soon as the noise began towards a rapidly closing doorway. Nevertheless Wolfram, Caleb and I set out to hold this room until Davien could find a way out.
We held for some time, longer than expected to be honest. Then they came from another direction and we had to pull back, outflanked. We reached the previous doorway without incident and managed to create another killzone, cutting down Orks as they charged or White Elf Mages as soon as they came into view. My sword splashing blood on the walls of the hall, Calebs fire consuming the Orks where they stood and Wolframs arrows cracking skull after skull. We killed dozens of the foul creatures until they pulled back, their White Elven masters resolute to try a different tactic. After a few minutes without contact I head into the back room, with the corpse of the first White Elf Mage still covering the floor with blood, and attempt to find an avenue of escape. I hear the slap of bowstrings and coughing from the room behind me but pay it no mind as I find a groove on the wall and attempt to follow it to its source.
I turn as Wolfram enters the room, dragging behind him the prone form of Caleb. His side is entirely open and what appears to be a dark grey gas is oozing from his wound. Wolfram and I meet eyes and he shakes his head. We hear hollering from the other room and both know this is where we would make our final stand. We draw swords together and charge, completely obliterating the mage responsible for Caleb's death before wading in to the dozen Orks that followed him.

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