Allundra

When It Rains It Pours

As our Heroes Gather themselves inside the Hot Spring Caves From outside the Cave comes a Crash of thunder that shakes the mountain, and the Cave goes dark as for the First time in 10 thousand years Night falls in Ravenholt and a Black rain falls from the sky. A Chill enters the heroes hearts at this Omen.

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Is the Treasure Worth It?
Companions Gained and Lost

Another chance meeting on the road, in the wilderness, Al’teen, Vengeance, Namsire, and Valorine all happen to be going after the same magical artifact. They agree to pursue it together, for safety in numbers. The map leads us to a tomb, Valorine and Vengeance are both hit with some weird spell, causing them to become sluggish and unaware of encroaching enemies. Al’teen is able to release them eventually, but it’s clear that this won’t be a clear cut treasure retrieval mission.

In the tombs, they play with witchfire, fight a mummy, learn why scarabs are terrible, and finally find the gem. Upon contact, it speaks to us in Blight’s voice (who else?), blood starts running down the walls, the gem shatters, and the whole building begins to collapse into a pool of blood. They run, but before managing to escape, they see another dimension of fire and scary things. Somehow, everyone manages to get through the door, and they all awake in the graveyard.

The tombs are gone and Orin is there – he condescendingly lets the group know that they, once again, owe their lives to him. Blight had dropped them onto the plane with the demons and he saved them. Valorine and Namsire exchange stories with their new companions and all agree to continue together.

A Battle of Nightmare

As the four are traveling, they reach a place where the cries of a baby are plainly audible. They hasten forward, only to be caught in the magical soothing powers of some song. Eventually the song ends, and they meet the singer, Fink, an innocent goblin child with no understanding of his own power. With him is a baby that he has saved from his home village as it was destroyed.

The group decides he may as well continue with them. After all, they can’t abandon these two innocents! Fink asks if they can stop by the manor where he is from, and they agree, not knowing that this will be the most challenging fight yet…

Of course, when they arrive at the manor, there are all manner of monsters, and Fink disappears. The group battles for what seems like 7 hours before finally beating off their enemies, the most troublesome of whom were the scarabs and the harpies. Afterwards, they take a brief rest to heal themselves.

A New Companion

Before even deciding to continue on, a Dwarven airship appears, seemingly out of nowhere. It’s not doing well, it’s on fire and is being harassed by a nightmare. Even more shocking, a tall human man hastily ascends, calling to the group to get out of the area, because “this thing’s coming down!”

They start to move out of the way, and skeletons also appear out of nowhere. The fight consumes them and they battle it out right underneath the flaming airship. After subduing the skeletons, they traverse to the front of the house to destroy the nightmare that they saw touch down there. Before they can get there, the nightmare flies up, and the airship follows.

However, the rider’s footsteps and the broken window of the manor clearly show his direction, so they pursue this enemy instead. As they race through the house, they hear Fink and the baby crying out in terror. The room at the top of the stairs is full of monsters, whom they hack through. The minions are destroyed easily, but the behemoths and the nightmare rider take some doing. The battle raged, so fierce that nearly all were bloodied, and one unfortunate, Namsire, was cut down with a mighty blow.

Seeing their companions fall, the group steeled their resolution and finally manged to destroy this foul nemesis. Upon inspecting his clothing, they discover he is an important agent of Blight and, while not expecting them, relevant to their quest. Karn, their new addition, has brought with him a gift from Sozin, a new-and-improved resurrection scroll. How handy!

However, before they can make use of this valuable and much-needed gift, Fink, the baby, and a woman they’ve never seen before appear out of the room in the corner. They walk over to Namsire, sing, and he comes back to life! The group is then surprised, to say the least, to discover this kind and benevolent woman is none other than their pawn-master Orin.

Orin leaves them all, taking Fink and the baby with him/her?/whatever, leaving us with a new gift, the ability to understand all languages. The group goes through the possessions they’ve gained in the battle, Al’teen cleanses and destroys the “bad” stuff, and then Namsire and Valorine tactfully let the others know they they’ve really got more important things to be doing. The group splits, with Valorine and Namsire heading off to pursue their new quest (and not get beaten up by the terrible rolls of their current companions anymore), and Vengeance, Al’teen, and Karn continuing to follow the heart.

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Damn a Lot of Stuff Happened Before You Guys Came Along
Adventures in the Wilderness

A convenient letter from Lady Jessica, of the Floating City of Saphry, tells Al’teen and Vengeance to go to a cave where there is a portal that will send us “where we need to go.” They do so, fight dragon babies, find riches, and dive through the portal before the Mama dragon can incinerate them.

Al’teen and Vengeance find they have arrived in the wilderness to the far North side of Ravenholt. The portal appears to be one way, so with few other options, the two follow the path down the mountain that appears to be heading North-ish to Polaris.

Side Adventures

After a few days, they bump into a couple of other travelers, Tiffy, and Healer, who are tracking some gnolls who recently sacked Tiffy’s home village and kidnapped a bunch of villagers, including her sister. Healer appears to be a benevolent wanderer, just there to provide aid and move on. Al’teen and Vengeance naturally offer their assistance and they all fight some gnolls together!

The rescue is not terribly eventful and they do manage to save a bunch of people. Healer lets them in on the secret of the heart artifact they picked up from the Ravenholt mess – it’s a compass. He also tells us how to restore the heart to it’s body, which we’ll certainly need if the heart, as it appears, belongs to poor Annabelle!

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And Continues Some More...
Saving Ravenholt

Revelations Unremembered

The temple is revitalized! Magical things start happening, and Al’teen and Vengeance step through into another realm. Vengeance, with total disregard for caution, cheerfully accepts the offer of food and drink by these otherworldly creatures, and immediately becomes too intoxicated to do anything useful. Al’teen makes better use of his time there, learns that it is the Forest of Yggdracil, but they inhabitants don’t seem to know of their world or care much for anything other than singing or feasting, though they do offer Al’teen the magic items they say on their map, and then they leave as soon as he can drag Vengeance away.

Upon returning to Ravenholt, Vengeance has forgotten everything, and 2 weeks have mysteriously passed. Vengeance spends the day recovering from an immense hangover, while Al’teen consults with Lady Dezilla, who gives him a scroll with directions to the manor and a ring to open the door.

Web of Illusion

Silence And Requiem appear the join Vengeance and Al’teen with whatever they need to do at the manor. After getting through a maze of illusion, Al’teen is somehow permitted to enter what appears to be a conference room, with other hooded and unseen individuals, while the others wait in a room outside. No one questions Al’teen, they seem to think he is someone else (the person whose scroll and ring he has, no doubt), and all seem eager to remain anonymous. A woman set a handful of envelopes upon a table, says for each person to take their mission but to leave the heroes alone, for “they are doing more help than harm.” Along with this disheartening tidbit, Al’teen also hears a few things about the “Dwarves shut up in their mountain” and “Elven forest burns.” The situation seems even grimmer than our heroes had imagined!

The assignment on the page is to wreak havoc in Ravenholt, so the group hastens back to ensure this has not taken place. Alas! There is fire everywhere and chaos in the streets. It is difficult to make out who is who, and everyone seems to be fighting with everyone. The group eventually makes their way to the Duke’s abode, where they are too late to save his family, but manage to rescue the Duke himself. Of course the head perpetrator of these monstrous teleports away and escapes. Another letter from Blight, this time with no information or riddles for follow up.

Restoration

Understandably disheartened, Al’teen and Vengeance head back to the Dark Queen to check in with Tella. They attempt to calm some of the rioting but it backfires. In a last-ditch effort, Al’teen rounds up some Tieflings who are willing to go to the Temple of Yggdracil and care for it. That night, they all share a common dream, and when they go outside, the twilight has lifted!

But… the people are all missing. So they try to unravel that mystery, Vengeance has a religious experience in the Forest of Yggdracil, manages to return without getting drunk, and all the people reappear and are naked, even the ones who died in the recent turmoil. Orin shows up, is actually nice for a change, and their chess piece gets upgraded!

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And Continues...
Onward to Ravenholt!

Their journey is greatly hastened to Ravenholt by means of a Dwarven Airship, upon which Vengeance makes some personal discoveries, which get her a little closer to uncovering the mysteries of her past. Despite the speed in which they achieve the Ravenholt border, Blight has beat them to it, and kidnapped another girl, forcing them to delay their journey for another rescue attempt. Yet another battle ensures, this time in a crypt outside the tiny border village, and after a few mishaps, and dangerous, one-sided clumsiness, they manage to subdue the enemy and return this girl to her home.

Before leaving they find another taunting message from Blight, telling them to seek him at the Manor of the Burning Hand, and another example of the atrocities he commits. They collect some horses and rush on to the main city of Ravenholt.

Tread Lightly

Ravenholt proves to be it’s own intricate web of hostility, danger, and unlikely alliances. After treading with an excess of caution, Vengeance spills the beans, luckily to a man who turns out to be an ally, and a magic wielder, something punishable by death in Ravenholt. His clues led them on to none other than their innkeeper of the night before, Tella, whom they also allied with, at least enough for honesty and information.

They work out a plan for getting more information on Blight’s supposed whereabouts, the Manor of the Burning Hand, which seems to exist only in legend. With Tella’s help, Al’teen meets with a mysterious woman from the Thieves Guild who promises to provide the location of the manor in exchange for the murder of a prominent noble, the Duke’s cousin, Lord Reynold.

Intrigue and Insights

After painstakingly researching and confirming the man’s corruption and guilt, Al’teen agrees. They begin to formulate a plan, involving elaborate disguises, and crashing a large party at the Duke’s domicile later on in the week. After all this intrigue of disguise, collecting information, and plotting, Orin’s helpers finally arrive on the scene: Silence and Requiem.

While waiting on information from any of their (suddenly numerous) contacts, Vengeance and Al’teen head into the sewer in search of some magic items that show on their map. Instead they find a Temple of Yggdrasil somehow buried beneath the stone of the city. Al’teen piously insists upon cleansing the temple, so they spend the rest of the day cleaning, notice some miraculous changes, but the temple still not completely restored.

Silent and Requiem return with gifts, a vase of powder that supposedly would lead us to the Manor of the Burning Hand, information on more of Lord Reynold’s distasteful activities, and one of his primary assistants, tied up on the bed. The powder ends up not being a direct lead to the manor, instead requiring the heroes to fight a Lich and retrieve the information from it. Rather than risk this, Al’teen prudently suggests they discredit the immoral and imprudent Lord Reynold, thus causing his execution without having to do the dirty work themselves.

Running in Circles

This choice leads them to join together with the witchhunters Vengeance so despises to catch him in the act of selling children to a band of gnolls. They battle together, with Vengeance and Al’teen just barely managing not to give away the secret of their own magic. Reynold is conveniently on location, and they pick him up then and deliver him to the witchhunters.

Lady Dezilla, the woman from the Thieve’s Guild meets with them once more. She tells Al’teen that she needs more time to get his information, but that Blight is heading north and the manor is just a trap and distraction. They stubbornly insist upon following up anyway, and spend the next day finishing the job of cleansing the temple.

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And So Our Story Continues...
Friends in High Places

The heroes choose to go on to Allundra to report their failure to the girl’s family and to obtain some horses for quicker transportation as they rush to save both Annabelle and the people of Ravenholt. They’re in for more than they expect in Allundra, and the plot thickens as they meet other one-time heroes, and learn more about Orin, leading them to trust him less, though they must continue the quest.

During their brief stay at the manor home of Sozin, the leader of the merchant’s guild who is aiding them in their quest, it is attacked and a near deadly battle ensues. The heroes do their best to save the occupants of the home, while Sozin and Johna, the Knight Commander of the white cloaks, battle the leaders. Eventually they succeed and Sozin exhibits mysterious and strong power in being able to resurrect most of his fallen people.

Despite the fact that his power greatly outstrips their own, Sozin reassures the heroes that it is they that must save the world and gifts them with knowledge, aid, and fancy new armor before sending them on their way.

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And So Our Story Begins...
Heroes Awakened

Three heroes, strangers to each other, Vengeance, Al’teen, and Hadya, awake in a strange place. Turns out Orin, mythical trainer of heroes, is quite real and has chosen them to be his new trainees/pawns/general playthings. Their first/training quest is rather distasteful, as Orin rather callously kidnaps some nobleman’s daughter and places her in a tower. They go after her, beating up a fair amount of bad guys, and managing not to injure each other too badly.

With no further instructions from Orin, they decide to figure out how to get to Allundra (the city) to return the little girl, Annabelle, to her family. On the way, Hadya betrays Al’teen and Vengeance and disappears off into the night. Annabelle is kidnapped, and a taunting message left behind (the first of many) giving them instructions to follow. They try to rescue her and they learn a bit more about the great enemy of Orin and indeed, the whole world. Taunting them before disappearing, this enemy and her own pawn, Blight, threaten to destroy Vengeance’s childhood home of Ravenholt. Orin appears too late to do much, and proceeds to make his pawns feel insignificant and meaningless (the stick instead of the carrot, eh?), and is in general kind of a douche.

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