Nirmathas Secrets

The road to Caliphas
Session 19

2 Lamashan

Gremalkin
After the Mohrg encounter, Gremalkin decided he really needed to finish some of his personal projects to make him less vulnerable. Instead of trying to catch up to the already left party, he began searching local apothecaries and libraries for books, herbs, poisons, and exercise locations.

Faeron and Faydra
When Faeron and Faydra arrived at Vigil’s gate, they were met by Tristram Reis. He insisted on going with them, as he felt that even with their amazing talents, two people were not enough to travel the road to Caliphas alone.

It wasn’t long before he was proved right. Halfway through the first night, they were attacked by a group of ghoul bandits. Unlike is prior blunders, Tristram held himself well. They destroyed all the ghouls, including the rather sneaky one who’d attempted to escape via The Path River. Faydra used a lightning bolt spell to finish him. However, Faeron and Tristram were both in the water at the time. All survived, but after Faydra returned to her tent, Faeron and Tristram decided a late start the next day would be safer for all involved. Especially if it improved Faydra’s mood.

Martuph and Tessara Ilverazto

Martuph woke to his door opening. The woman who’d captured him, and tortured him for the last two days entered with a plate of food. Bread and meat, but when they were set in front of Martuph his stomach started to turn. Everything was old and spoiled. Tessara offered to feed him. “I realized that I haven’t been good to you. You need to eat now.”

The bread was only stale and hard. Martuph kept it down while she asked him questions.

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Whispering Interference
Session 18

Investigating Martuph’s disappearance led to an abandoned home in Vigil. The outside of the home was well kept, and paperwork showed taxes and upkeep were handled correctly. Once entering the house though, it was obvious from the dust and stale air that it was not actively lived in. Exploring led to a basement room. In the room was evidence of a ritual. There was also a transmutation aura of a teleportation spell. Said spell could not be traced.

The party now need to search for Martuph the hard way. They began preparations to travel. While preparing to leave Tristram Reis found Faydra and informed her that the guard station was questioning a visitor who may have information about Martuph. The two gathered Faeron and met another paladin and Gremalkin on a side street along with another paladin and two hooded figures.

The figures robes classed them as members of Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye, and therefore quiet allies of Vigil in the city of Caliphas. The two figures were discussing with the guard that they were sent to inform Vigil that there was evidence that the Whispering Way had acquired one of the Bloodstones.

Unfortunately the members of the order had been killed shortly before arriving in Vigil, and the figures in their robes were morhgs created from their deaths. Once they realized they were in front of members of the group searching for the bloodstones, they attacked. The guard was killed, and Gremalkin was paralyzed in the assault. Faydra, Reis, and Faeron did manage to destroy the undead. Help was summoned, and one of the senior paladins arrived. He inspected the corpses and realized they had been turned less than an hour before arrival. This and their extreme agility in combat meant they could only be made by an ancient creature known as Erum-Hel . This information has put Faydra and Faeron on the road to Caliphas, while Gremalkin recovers from his paralysis and Teshladrel continues to fight the scrying blocks on Martuph.

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Martuph
Session 17

1 Lamashan 4665

Party:

The party discovered Martuph’s disappearance mid-morning. After working with the Knights guard and speaking with Tesh, they attempted to scry on Martuph. That scry is being blocked. The best they could get, even with rituals to increase the strength of the scry, was a south-westerly direction. Some investigation of the auras near the abduction led them to a building with a secret basement. This basement room had ritual markings they didn’t recognize.

Martuph and Tessara Ilverazto
Martuph woke in a room, chained to a table carved out of the stone floor, surrounded by mystical symbols involving a rapier and lotus. At first he accused this of being a nasty joke by Tesh. He began repeating the demand that Tesh let him loose. At some point in his rambling he asked why he was here.

Tessara, his captor, entered the room, “Because you’re alive.”

She began asking if he remembered her, or how he became alive. Martuph didn’t understand and answered sarcastically. Eventually her anger overpowered her calm. Tessara screamed at him and used her blast to shock him. She left the room for a day.

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Waking Up, and The Second Bloodstone
Session 16

21 Rova 4665 through 30 Rova 4665

Martuph followed Grem’s floating form for a bit of time before realizing his windwalking spell was slower than the current. Eventually he dove into river and allowed that to catch him up. He came upon most of the party washed up along a rock cropping. Here the water was hot and led into a crevice in stone. Grem was pulling unconscious members out of the water before they burned.

Martuph helped get people out and awake. Faydra and Faeron were out of the water, but Tavius hadn’t shown up yet. Martuph saw blood trickling up from below the water’s surface, and went down to check.

Instead of finding Tavius, he found another bleeding canopic jar. Not knowing exactly what it was, but sensing its mixed magics he and Grem pulled it out of the stones it was lodged in. Once Faeron was awake, they knew they had another of the Bloodstones.

Tavius’s form had yet to come downriver, the party was awake and discussing the stone they found. A struggling bird was heard, and looking about Faydra saw a bag in the river. It was Tavius’s bag, and Setius, his falcon, was stuffed in it. Fearing for Tavius now, the party got themselves out of the subterranean ravine and Martuph and Faydra used flight spells to search for Tavius. They found him, he’d hit the side of the cliff several times on the way down. His broken body never made it to the water.

The remaining party returned to Kromaz’s city in mixed morale. They’d defeated Barabus, but at the loss of a friend. When they arrived, they were greeted with cheers and boasts as Kromaz’s clan praised their Chieftan’s shaman-daughter. They also prepared for the coming horde. Darkness had lasted long enough that the order for other orcs to march was given. The horde was marching for human lands, but the Bloodfists would face them. The party wanted to protect the human lands. The Bloodfists just wanted to slaughter the orcs who followed the orders of a dead, weak, coward.

Tesh returned to acquire Tavius’s body for burial, and to help with facing the horde. He stayed until down to his last teleport, which he used to take Tavius to a grove in the fangwood.

The rest of the party, Kromak, Kromaz, Zharog and the strongest of Kromaz’s warriors faced the remaining part of the horde within reach. By this time even Faydra and Martuph were out of massive area spells. The fighting was arrows, and melee. The party and Faydra’s family caught a group of orcs and Trolls at one of the partially built walls. Exhausted, they fought anyway, and still dispatched the orcs and trolls in a few minutes, finally ending the fight within reach of Bloodspring.

A night’s revelry and day’s rest followed, but only that. The party needed to return to Lastwall with the second Bloodstone, and Grask Uldeth had arrived. He wanted the Bloodfists to help him storm Urgir and take hold of the land.

The trip back to Vigil was slow and rather un-eventful. Once there, Faeron told of their journey. They then began what they hoped was a few weeks rest and preparation to find the rest of the stones.

Three days later, Martuph was finally working on his shield in a forge he was requesting time in. He worked on it all day. The last stroke of his hammer, and prayer to Torag rang true. The shield glowed brightly with holy power of Torag. He held it and smiled, but then the light dimmed, and a voice spoke from behind him.

“Sorry about this Ghuz.”

Martuph turned around in time for an arrow already in flight to hit him in the neck. Stunned, unable to breath he began to collapse as a hooded elven woman approached him, bow in hand.

“I know that hurt, but I’ve got to bring you back. The mistress sent me, and said you were lost. Here I find you alive! You must tell me how when we get somewhere safe.”

The last thing Martuph saw was the woman catch him, he felt a dark power heal his wound enough to survive before loosing consciousness.

The party wok on the first of Lamashan late, many slept in, there was no banging of an anvil to wake them.

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The depths Barabus went
Sessions 12-15

21 Rova 4665
The party followed Kromaz’s men to a back entrance to the ruins Barabus was exploring. The first level contained orcs, ogres and gnolls that were trading with Barabus. Dispatching a few of them allowed the party to move through the first section. As they moved through Faydra and Martuph examined carvings and paintings. Many are damaged, but enough was there for Martuph to recognize ruins as the location described in the texts he translated under duress for the orcs who captured him at a younger age.

This enraged Martuph, he charged into the next section almost blindly, but the true blindness of the new environment slowed him. The area was dark beyond his extraordinary ability to see, with only blackness and strange constellations hovering in view. The party examined the first room they entered. They found that spells to bring light were instantly suppressed. The walls, floor and ceiling were made to make the blackness seem infinitely expansive to those close enough to see it. Contact with the walls allowed spell-casters to hear that ritual magic was used to keep the rooms dark and mist filled. One room had a few orc mystics expanding the ritual.

Combat with the mystics lead to Martuph using a silence spell, which broke down the magic coming from the walls long enough to see and fight the mystics. Grem and Faeron moved to another room during combat. The range of the silence spell allowed them to see a statue to some ancient cult. They destroyed it, this broke the ritual for a large section of the second level. The party was able to navigate the second level after this and find the way to the third.

The third level was a single space. A room leading to a cave opening deep in a large cavern. Further down the cavern was a fast flowing river, up the cavern wall lead to the surface. A large model of the star system was there, and so were more mystics, Barabus, his darkness infused shaman Murshofan, and two shadows of ancient human sorcerers. Barabus and his guard engaged the party, and the sorcerers and Murshofan kept the ritual going until it was at its climax. They then joined the fray as the remaining mystics began to sacrifice themselves. Once the orcs and shadows were defeated Faeron and Faydra attempted to stop the sacrifices, and martuph smashed the magic infused model. This stopped the ritual, but released huge amounts of raw magical energy, and brought the cave down around them. The only way to survive was to jump, and hope the river was deep enough to break their fall. Many lost consciousness, only Grem and Martuph made it down awake.

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Being an orc is no excuse

so after watching the orc chief and my half-orc friend slay dinner. i took a bite of my bird leg flame kissed as it was. i walked up to the old orc who i suspect is the real leader of the orcs. i keep this thought to myself of course. I ask for three members of the tribe to teach how to make bricks. he offered 3 humans i said no i need an orc they need to learn to make bricks too. morning came around and i started my hammering in Torag’s name and this started a gathering of religions. i may have converted some orcs today. well after teaching the orc about making bricks we left and ran into some ogres but they seemed like they were headed out talking about a meeting.

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Dinner
Sessions 10 & 11

19 and 20 Rova 4665

The party followed the Bloodfists back to the settlement of Bloodspring.

Martuph was astonished by the absolutely terrible architecture and construction of the infantile orc city. The obvious inexperience, and ignorance of stonework shocked and dismayed him. It troubled him so much that he felt he must do something worried was against his judgement. He would teach orcs how to make things.

Tavius was also disturbed at the quality of the work, but amused at the concept. Had it not been Kromaz who started this city, he might be more accepting. Unfortunately his hatred of the orc and drive for personal vengeance was still nagging at him. He asked Faydra and Faeron if they’d hold his weapons so he wouldn’t be tempted to attack when they met him. Faydra was offended by this. Faeron collected his weapons.

Tesh scryed on Martuph to see what was going on. He also used spells to explain to Faeron the reasons for his departure. He promised to return if the party needed him, but for now he was going to do two things. Research Arazni more thoroughly, and draw her attention towards him, and away from the party for the time being.

Grem followed the party in amusement, and took mental notes of the things he heard from conversations.

The bloodfists brought the party to Kromaz’s building. Once inside, they found Kromaz talking to a few other orcs from another clan. Kromaz stopped his conversation upon seeing Faydra. His first response to her presence was the laughter of one who saw a scheme fulfilled. Then he stood, placed his hands on Faydra’s shoulders, and promptly headbutted her.

Once her head quit spinning, she demanded an explanation of her abandonment in the woods. As she expected, she was abandoned because Kromak, her brother, was born. Males were preferred, and Kromaz was challenged by Barabus for not sacrificing her to the gods, and feeding her to Kromak so that he’d become strong. Zharog reminded Kromaz of times when whelps who showed promise as shamans were left alone to develop their talents. Kromaz agreed, because it seemed less wasteful, and it would piss off Barabus.

Then, Kromaz stood, and said that it was time to feast. Since Faydra had returned with guests, she was responsible for them in the kitchen. He removed his armor, grabbed a bloody butchers apron, and a small cleaver, and ushered her to the back of the building. Faeron with with her, as the others were escorted to where food would be “served”.

The kitchen turned out to be a gladiator pit, Kromaz, Faydra, and Faeron were the entertainment for those in the stands. Several large animals the orcs now captured for food were released into the pit. The trio fought, killed, and quartered the animals, throwing parts to the people in the stands. Martuph and Grem were there to watch and eat the strange ritual of bloodsport and feasting.

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Bloodfists found
Session 9

18 Rova 4665

Tesh’s teleportation meant no one had time to think. Faydra looked about her and found an orc wearing Barabus’s colors to attack. Tavius took aim at the wardrummer’s drums, and tesh saw that the sensor for Arazni’s scrying was still there.

Faydra’s cry of “Long Live Kromaz!” sorted the orcs for herself and Faeron to attack and support. Tavius took out the drum, then began focusing on the drummer. Tesh made himself invisible, and conjured tentacles to waylay orcs indiscriminately. The fighting was quick and furious, but the even the elderly shaman among kromaz’s orcs was powerful. Barabus’s orcs were defeated.

Knowing that Arazni was still scrying, Tesh teleported back to Vigil to draw her attention there. Faydra was frustrated by his disappearance. However, once Martuph and Gremalkin showed, they discussed the situation with the shaman. The rumors of Kromaz’s bloodfists creating a settlement were true. He would lead them there.

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Oops
Session 8

17 and 18 Rova 4665

The party continued into Belkzen. Faydra lead them in the direction of the settlement the paladins mentioned. Now very frustrated, and confused about what her father’s tribe was doing. She was also concerned about her uncle’s apparent power within the horde.

After some traveling, a campsite was found, and a trail leading from it. It looked to Tavius and Faeron as a small patrol. The patrol was headed further north than the party’s destination, but they were also close. Faydra suggested catching the patrol if possible.

After a few hours, the sound of drums was in the distance, they were close to catching the patrol, but the drums were too loud to be the drum of a small patrol. Something was amiss. Tavius took on the sight of his bird and had Setius fly ahead. Setius found orcs fighting orcs, nearly a mile in the direction of the patrol. Some had the banner of Kromaz, Faydra’s father and Tavius’ personal villain.

Tesh, wanted this particular family distraction dealt with, and saw an opportunity to speed up the process. He asked Tavius for a description.

“Orcs, blood, tall grass, and a mile north of us.”

Tesh then began the teleport spell, he was distracted for a split second though. For since the day he scryed on Arazni, he’d cast spells on himself to detect any attempt to scry on him. The divination detected scyring as he was teleporting. He saw arazni herself, and knew she was not pleased with his prodding into her buisness.

Tesh, however was an accomplished spellcaster, if inexperienced with combat. So, his teleportation was not broken, in fact it was far more on target than he intended. He had teleported himself, Faydra, Faeron, and Tavius, directly into the middle of the combat.

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10,000 HP
Sessions 6 and 7

The night of 15 Rova 4665

The horde came into view as dusk settled, but its size meant it was nearly midnight before they actually came within reach of the river. They were not here to siege either, there great beasts yoked to huge wooden structures designed to re-create the long destroyed bridges. The orcs meant to cross here.

Iomedae sent no angles this time. The paladin and small guard were the only support the party had. The party showed the paladin, and all the gods, that there was no need for angles tonight.

In an intense, devastating show of spells, arrows, and swordsmanship the party reaped the first wave of orcs, all young and inexperienced. Only the beasts carrying individual riders made any real progress. The tower on the orc side of the river Tavius set up in was already old and weak. It held through the first attempts to bring it down by ramming, but was now ready to crumble.

The second wave showed no fear, or sanity, depending on your view. They charged over their dead companions, better shots and tougher sorts. They scored a few hits on Tavius in his tower, and eventually brought Faydra into the melee with Faeron. The protective spells and hard-earned experience on the party’s part made them near invincible in the fight. Tesh and Martuph’s devastating spellcasting changed it from a battle, to a massacre. Within a minute nearly 1,000 orcs were slain, some of them veterans. All of the bridges for crossing the river were destroyed. The orcs were defeated in the first seconds of the 428th anniversary of the Battle of Last Hope. The bell would have been tolling midnight when the last orc died, had any of the paladins been thinking about it.

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