Age of Darkness

Session 30 Recap
What you missed on "Dungeons and Dragons Z"...

Last week, Session 30 began with the party arriving once more at the city of Wedgemore by way of the East Road. They sought the Lord Paladin, head of the Temple of Light, to report of current events… you know, the usual meet-and-greet of polite society. Such current events include Durven Keep being ransacked by giants, with almost all of its defenders being slaughtered or forced into slavery (as seen in Session 28). Thankfully, the party managed to rescue one of the Paladins from imprisonment, a man who knew the way to the Valley of Kings (as seen in Session 29). In addition, Durdle had curious information to share: Servants of Nerull and Orcus (the God of Death and Demon Prince of Undeath respectively) were purportedly warring with each other! What did this mean for the denizens of Chkarthamore? No one could say, but it was interesting news indeed.

After the group paid their respects to Lord Leofrick of Wedgemore (your fiancee’s perfectly fine isolated in the Valley of Kings, okay? Now we’re going to go be good little knights and retrieve the Radiant Servants of Pelor so the undead don’t eat all of you), they left Wedgemore by way of the North Road, destination set near the landbridge between Chkarthamore and the northern Scar. No longer burdened by their fallen companion Tenroujima, they made great time – and they needed to, for finding these powerful clerics was crucial to the success and survival of many people.

Along the way, our intrepid adventurers came across a broken bridge which served as the shelter and hunting grounds for an ettin. Thorak the Ineffable (played by Grimith) decided to parley with the creature, “befriending” it about as well as you can befriend a stupid, two-headed giant. Consequently, the party avoided an unnecessary fight, although most of them could simply fly across the damn river. As for the half-ogre, after learning of potential dangers in the water, he lured the ettin across by sacrificing Durdle’s horse, then traced the giant’s footsteps back to safety. Ettins may be perceived as evil, but the party could not afford to be waylaid on their quest.

Shortly after bypassing the river, the group encountered three messengers from Red Sands, traveling south to spread dire news. This encounter went very well, and the party even learned the current whereabouts of the Radiant Servants of Pelor: An old sun fortress not far from the landbridge, where they had ensconced themselves after encountering giants.

What kind of giants? Upon the party’s approach to the fortress, they learned that the giants in question were of the fire variety. And they had salamanders to fight alongside them. Goodie goodie gumdrops. How did they learn this information? By facing a fire giant and four salamanders in mortal combat. That was the final mistake those creatures ever made.

Once the group reached the Old Sun Fortress, they began to parley with the Radiant Servants and learned much. Most of their number had been decimated by a giant ambush – they were trained to fight the undead, not massive creatures with stout swords and fiery boulders. Lacking a leader, they were divided on what course of action to pursue next, but most of them wanted to remain in the fortress so they could rescue an important captive from the clutches of the giants. A day passed as the party rested and thought about their next course of action… and that’s where Session 31 will begin, at daybreak, before our foolish do-gooders commit to a suicidal endeavor.

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Session 29 Recap
What you missed on "Dungeons and Dragons Z"...

At the end of Session 28, the party had just executed a fantastic raid on Durven Keep, slaying the giants and undead who had taken control of the fortress along with rescuing a man who could guide the group to the Valley of Kings . This fabled location, shrouded in secrecy, featured a great rift to the Positive Energy Plane, larger than the rift encountered at Elven Wharrgarbl. It was the place Qualic Salishalas, the elven Radiant Servant of Pelor traveling with the party, sought to bring Tenroujima Acnologia to restore her health and spirit. Thus so motivated, our intrepid adventurers made it to the valley after only a few days, and Session 29 began proper.

True to rumor, the Valley of Kings possessed a glut of positive energy, invigorating the characters while providing a near-blinding amount of light. Usmok Ochretangle (played by Jake) and Durdle Hulinforge (played by Gryphongod) saw this as a good thing, whereas Thorak the Ineffable (played by Grimith) became increasingly agitated the longer he stated in the region. Alfred Deyzac (played by iPope, who still hasn’t used the tools of this wiki to create a page for his character) remained his naturally curious and somewhat suspicious self.

The party was met by a man named Seras who kept steward over the valley. He made polite conversation, asking of the group’s intentions and of news in northern Chkarthamore. Thorak didn’t much care for such chatter, joining Qualic outside as the elf began preparations to descend into the valley proper. Eventually, Alfred and Usmok joined them, but Durdle lagged behind, receiving a tour of the small fortress protecting access into the valley. Eventually, though, everyone united together and began their descent into the clouds of positive energy, seeking a particular destination where Qualic could begin to purify Tenroujima.

In such a vibrant area, free from the taint of undeath, life visibly thrived. Thus, it came as no surprise when, shortly after a blinding flash of light struck the party, a powerful monster charged the party. This behemoth – an energized, ten-headed hydra – was both potent and fast, and its wounds quickly healed. Complicating matters were the shimmering souls of those mortals who had died in the valley; they appeared to juice up the party with positive energy, but, in the process, Usmok’s two eagle companions died in a shower of light. However, the party eventually prevailed, and they continued traveling through the treacherous territory, soon coming upon the temple that Qualic sought.

It was here that Qualic parted ways with the group, for he needed to keep Tenroujima at the location for some time, and it would be foolhardy for the party to wait when there was so much in the world that needed to be done. Before Qualic began his ministrations, he took some time to revive Durdle’s fallen companion, Stupid Goblin. Usmok also took the opportunity to perform the ritual which would bring Twizzix – his giant eagle – back to life. Alfred went to sleep to refresh his spell list, and Thorak trudged back through the valley to the fortress. While waiting for his companions, the half-ogre spent time purveying several maps of northern Chkarthamore, seeking to learn more about the region and the best possible travel routes. Eventually, his companions joined him, and they set out for their next destinaion: The landbridge between Chkarthamore and the northern Scar, where the party had heard the Radiant Servants of Pelor might have gone.

A few days into the trip, our foolishly curious friends came across two humans resting by the side of the road in the middle of the day. Thorak, being the only intelligent creature in the group, saw the ambush for what it was and walked on past. Alfred and Durdle, however, decided to engage the humans in conversation despite strong evidence suggesting this was a trap. With the Admiral Ackbar Alert klaxons going off, it came as no surprise that these two humans were, in fact, part of a trap, and there were suddenly entombers and skeleton archers breathing down the party’s neck. Joy of joys. Compounding the problem were two visages who managed to dominate both Durdle and Thorak, filling their minds full of rubbish about how these two mortals were to be champions in some crazy conflict between undead and demons. Alfred, meanwhile, had managed to get himself pinned underground by the entombers again, leaving only Usmok as the last real threat… until the visages commanded the two dominated party members to attack their friends, resulting in them both rolling 20’s on their Will saves. It was touch and go there at the end, but, ultimately, the group survived. Usmok nearly lost his life, Alfred nearly suffocated, Durdle nearly lost his mind, and Thorak nearly killed everyone for being stupid. After short, curt words, the adventurers agreed to head towards Wedgemore to report to the Lord Paladin before heading further up north towards the landbridge. What other absurd hijinx will they get themselves into? Find out in Session 30!

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Session 28 Recap
What you missed on "Dungeons and Dragons Z"...

Dungeons and Dragons :: Session Review

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Session 27 Recap
What you missed on "Dungeons and Dragons Z"...

LGWI – [D&D] Session 27 Musical Recap

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Session 26 Recap
What you missed on "Dungeons and Dragons Z"...

At the beginning of the session, Durdle Hulinforge among the land of the living once more. Weakened by the ordeal, he was nevertheless determined not to squander it, and, after meeting the rest of the party, agreed to help find the Lord Paladin and return him to the city of Ravenspire. However, the dwarf first had to rest to recover from his injuries… a process which did not amuse the eleven paladin accompanying the group, for Tenroujima’s life waned with every passing day.

Durdle had only 1 HP, so he wasn’t exactly in a hurry.

Eventually, the party set out from the city, traveling northwest towards Wedgemore. The journey through ominous, undead-infested terrain did not go unimpeded as the group had a near death experience with a large group of nasty creatures who had the supernatural power to bury them in the ground with but a slam. Still, the intrepid adventurers managed to prevail, and they soon found themselves at the city of Talon, where a paladin named Saftin begged their assistance. Regular disappearances were happening in the city, people of all sorts being taken for reasons unknown. No one was safe there… and the group, after some deliberation, agreed to play D&D CSI. They visited the mayor’s house, scared the gnome cook there, visited the wizard’s tower, scared the apprentice there, visited a barn full of farmers, and annoyed the farmers there. Durdle and Alfred Deyzac were finally able to wrest some information from the wizard’s apprentice, causing them to recheck the mayor’s house for an underground passage. As it turned out, there was one, and there were four undead beasts inside, foul creatures who had been modified to have claws suitable for digging.

It was then that the human paladin Saftin (who had curiously lagged behind the group and did not participate at all in the encounter) informed the party that there was a very potent artifact of Pelor buried beneath the city, and he begged for the group’s assistance.

What happened afterwards? That happened in Session 27!

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Session 25 Recap
What you missed on "Dungeons and Dragons Z"...

After returning to the Material Plane, our intrepid adventurers spent several days on Elven Wharrgarbl while dockworkers fixed their vessel (it having been damaged by a kraken and all). Aftewords, the party set sail across the ocean towards Thrakai with a new passenger; the elven paladin who had previously been the steward of the positive energy spring. He tended to Tenroujima Acnologia during the trip, guiding her through prayers and attending to her well-being. Thankfully, Caeven Stonewave had the presence of mind to buy enough food for the crew in the absence of a cleric’s sustenance creation magic.

Upon reaching the outskirts of Thrakai, the party noticed that the city had been mostly ruined. Among the remnants of the burnt husk were dark elves (or drow). Evaluating their priorities, the party came to the conclusion that it was best to skip the city and just sail north to Chkarthamore. Not only was there insidious undead to repel, but Tenroujima’s life depended on the restorative properties of another planar rift located up there.

Thankfully, the rest of the group’s journey was uneventful, and they eventually found themselves in the port city of Ravenspire, whose ominous countenance and dispirited residents made for an ugly sight. At the Temple of Light – host to the worship of Pelor – the party acquainted themselves with numerous guards as well as High Priestess Theanna, who oversaw governance of religious affairs in the Lord Paladin’s absence. She asked for help in dealing with an undead problem, and the adventurers – being the nice guys they are – agreed to assist.

The “undead problem,” as it were, referred to half-eaten people being found in the less-traveled streets of the city. The party reasoned that the attackers likely lived in the sewers beneath the place, and they were right. The attackers, in fact, were ghasts and ghouls, horrific creatures who preyed upon living flesh. Although neither Tenroujima nor the elven paladin were with the group, they prevailed handily and returned to the Temple of Light to report of their success.

Unfortunately, another “undead problem” popped up in the temple itself. Two corpses, struck down by fell necromancy, reanimated themselves into hideous creatures whose mere gaze could kill. Durdle Hulinforge learned this all too well, as he met the soulless gaze of one of the bodaks before falling dead on the spot. Thorak the Ineffable and Usmok Ochretangle, angered by the loss of their companion, quickly slayed the beasts… and reported their findings to the High Priestess. She offered to assist Durdle if they would report to the Duke of Ravenspire in her stead.

The Duke, upon learning this information, bade the group leave as quickly as it could in a trip up north to find the Lord Paladin and bring him back to the city. If the undead were so thoroughly capable of infiltrating the city using a variety of methods, then the religious warriors would be needed in order to solve the problem.

What happened afterwards? That’s to be discovered in Session 26!

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Session 24 Recap
What you missed on "Dungeons and Dragons Z"...

The party continued its adventures in ouuuterrr spaaaaaace! More specifically, a journey into some sort of memory simulator embedded within a special plane created by a once powerful wizard. The goal? To gain control over the plane. Unfortunately, the party did not, in fact, know anything about the man who created the plane, so they had a difficult time reenacting his memories. So, after failing to bypass the security measures, they were accosted by an apparition of the wizard… one who didn’t take too kindly to the forgetfulness of his real life counterpart. Ergo, he asked the party to kill him and revive him with a special ring, thus restoring his memories; in exchange, he would return the party to the Material Plane.

However, the party didn’t trust the old man, and for good reason. What little the group knew of him was that, long ago, he WAS a powerful wizard… and was also what some would call “evil.” Call it a hunch, but the party agreed with that philosophy. To this end, Alfred Deyzac (played by iPope) hoped to gain the old man’s memories – and thus control over the plane – by having the other adventures put the ring on his finger after they, well, killed him.

Thorak the Ineffable (played by Grimith) obliged.

It didn’t work.

So, after expending a one-shot true resurrection tool, the party went back to the memory simulator to find another way to wrest control of the plane. This involved considerable hurr-durr through fist-shaking and saber-rattling until Alfred – being the incredibly intelligent man he is – managed to convince the apparition that he was, in fact, the old man. With the security measure successfully bypassed, the transmuter gained control over the plane, and the day was saved!

After some fiddling, Alfred created a portal from his sweet new ride back to the material plane, to that positive energy rift the party fell into ever-so-long ago. What does he plan to do with the digs? Only a wizard could say! What about everyone else? Well, they’re getting back on their newly repaired boat and continuing the trip to Chkarthamore. The grand adventure will inevitably continue to be filled with more sabotage than you can shake a stick at; just because Tenroujima (played by SirKulinski) got purified doesn’t mean there aren’t ninety-nine other enemies of the party.

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Session 23 Recap
What you missed on "Dungeons and Dragons Z"...

On the island of Elven Wharrgarbl, at a spring full of positive energy which served as a planar rift, an elven paladin performed a ritual designed to allow the party to confront the shadows haunting them, particularly Tenroujima. The ritual was a success, and the adventurers fought heartily (some of them without any equipment) against their foes.

Good news: They won.

Bad news: They were sucked through the planar rift into parts unknown.

Stranded and confused as to their surroundings, the party had no choice but to go forward into the mysterious realm. Rust monsters were slain. A bridge over lava was found. And a peaceful garden, full of various rare herbs for all sources of purposes, was located. Seeing no method in the grove by which they could return home, the adventurers were forced to cross over the lava bridge and into another portal, a portal which carried them to a different area of the miniature plane, where there resided a giant crystal and an old man with a curious head wound.

The old man, at one point, had been a wizard of considerable skill who had made this place to pursue his own endeavors. However, the injury sustained to the back of his head appeared to prevent him from remembering anything about his life, so he could be of little assistance. All he “remembered” was a sheet of paper which could summon an Elsewhere in a nearby pool of water, through the library. The party took this paper, shrugged to themselves, and ventured south.

Unfortunately, it was a trap, because the sheet of paper summoned a mind flayer and its coterie of lampreys! Durdle Hulinforge and Alfred Deyzac were stunned for some time, whereas Tenroujima and Usmok Ochretangle were charmed and soon knocked unconscious by Thorak the Ineffable. The half-ogre, on the other hand, withstood the mental assaults and tried to bait the mind flayer to come within melee range. Failing to do so, Thorak then leapt at him… and fell short, into the water. Fortunately, Durdle soon broke free of the stun, and he managed to finish off the foul creature.

Returning to the old man, the barely conscious Alfred began poring through one of his textbooks, trying to unravel the secrets of the plane. Everyone else stayed sharp and waited for what challenge awaited them next…

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Session 22 Recap
What you missed on "Dungeons and Dragons Z"...

Sailing, sailing, sailing the ocean blue… People want to kill us all; that they’ll never do!

The party sailed from the city of Dracana, following the western coast of the southern Scar, heading towards the city of Thrakai. Along the way, crew morale dipped to unacceptable levels… so Durdle Hulinforge (played by Gryphongod) decided to resolve this through performance arts. Unfortunately, his performance was so exceptional that it attracted the attention of a kraken, who feasted upon numerous members of the crew and threatened to break apart the entire ship. On the other hand, this majestic sea creature wasn’t very bright, failing to play to its proper strengths out of what one could assume was hubris. After all, it’s not every day that you encounter a group of adventurers who can go toe-to-toe with a gargantuan creature.

The kraken, finally realizing that being exposed outside the water wasn’t the best idea it’s ever had, jetted away in a flurry of ink, leaving the group breathless and the ship damaged. On the bright side, crew morale sharply increased. What a great performance that was!

Shortly after dealing with the foul beast, the party spotted an approaching ship on the horizon. Who was aboard the custom-made dwarven vessel? Why, dwarves! …And elves! Dwarves and elves, bound together in naval matrimony. Apparently, the captain had received orders from the priests of Pelor to find the travelers and bring them to some city named Elven Wharrgarbl. The party, after contemplation, agreed to this because… well… it seemed like a good idea at the time. At least they weren’t splitting up or anything stupid like that, right?

Upon arriving at Elven Wharrgarbl and becoming acquainted with the surroundings, the group was escorted by a talkative dwarven monk to some spiffy healing springs which, true to their name, rejuvenated those who laid within them. However, the primary purpose for being there was because of Tenroujima (played by SirKulinski). Tenroujima had a… rather unfortunate run-in with a servant of Nerull back in Dracana, and she may have done things that she later regretted. Kind of like partying during Exam Week in college. The guardian of these springs – being another servant of Pelor – decided that he’d help Tenroujima by channeling positive energy into allowing the fallen cleric to face the darkness threatening to overwhelm her… which totally sounds like a great idea. So that’s where this session begins now, in the hour before the darkness arrives. What horrors await our intrepid explorers? Will they involve advanced sahaguin? A squad of sirens? Various temptations that will cause the party to split up? Perhaps more people will politely ask them to leave their equipment and valuables behind.

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Session 21 Recap
What you missed on "Dungeons and Dragons Z"...

The party arrived at the city of Dracana, the gateway between the southern sea and the rest of the world. Its artificial canal sees considerable traffic, and Caeven Stonewave‘s ship was one of many. While Caeven himself disembarked to deal with paperwork, our “heroes” sought to stretch their legs on land and perhaps do a bit of shopping. Along the way, they met a too-friendly, too-crafty street urchin by the name of “Little Mike.” The kid took great interest to the group for reasons he didn’t mind sharing: Someone in Dracana was waiting for them to arrive.

After the party finished peddling their wares, circumstances conspired to cause them to split up. Being the incredibly gifted individuals they are, they saw no problem with going their own separate ways within the strange city. Durdle Hulinforge (played by Gryphongod) learned that someone was waiting for him in a bathhouse. Alfred (played by iPope) met an “old friend” of his who wished to discuss “the old times.” Tenroujima (played by SirKulinski) was messaged by a familiar voice who wished to test her dedication to the one true god who would bring peace and prosperity to the world. As for Usmok Ochretangle (played by Jake) and Thorak the Ineffable (played by Grimith)… well, no one was stupid enough to want either of them, so they went off exploring.

As it turns out, being less desirable is a good thing. While relaxing in the bathhouse, Durdle came face-to-face with his old master, a fellow named Bart who had plans for his former apprentice. Alfred gave his spellbook to a man who turned out not to be a long-time friend of his at all. Tenroujima ended up listening to some shadowy creature who wanted to convert her to the service of Nerull. Three player characters, three assassination attempts. …But, wait, what became of Usmok and Thorak?

Well, Usmok’s random wanderings took him to the park, where he saw Tenroujima under attack and saved his friend from the shadowy apparition. As for the half-ogre… Little Mike found him and warned him of the trouble that the others were in. Thorak then proceeded to smack said trouble in the face, starting with the fire-breathing sorcerer who threatened Alfred. Ultimately, the three threatened characters survived (Thorak saved Alfred, Usmok rescued Tenroujima, and Durdle stabbed a mass of incorporeal cold in the face), and, after their various ordeals, they all returned to the ship and resolved to leave Dracana as soon as they could.

The characters sold their loot, claimed their returns, and steeled themselves aboard their vessel for whatever perils lie beyond. Because, rest assured, these adventurers have made many enemies, and those enemies will not rest until they bring ruination…

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