Moving the Stone (Quick)
The campaign began with a party at Lord Stone Hammer’s new estate, Lakeside. The party was lead by Grand Councilor Rising Sun of God’s Altar (hereafter to use his nickname Sunrise) and included Leaf, Ancient Duelist and Sunrise’s bodyguard; Winter, Native Crusader and champion; Snow, an angel who came with the Voice of Light and just ended up helping Sunrise; and Ilareth, the ghost of a murdered archaeologist and adventurer who is on retainer with Sunrise. Sunrise came at the request of Great Lord Rend of Quick. Rend and Stone Hammer were giving a show of force to the whole province by slaying one of the most powerful creatures about, a fiendish dinosaur named The Razorwind. The event was turned into a celebratory hunt for the nobles as much as a diplomatic effort with the locals. Stone Hammer and Rend allied with the Otuko Tribe, one of the smallest in all of Quick, but without peer the most honored. After the party, the nobles and one local warrior (Otuko’s Honor) tracked down the beast and slew him in an accursed sinkhole. Leaf accidentally struck down Rend’s mount, then spent most of the fight atop Razorwind striking his back and shoulder. Ilareth and Snow cleared away the hordes of corrupted giant centipedes that swarmed over the corpses of his prey, and Winter joined the melee group going toe to toe with him. All would have been lost had not Dark Between (an alienist and one of Rend’s allies) distracted the beast and managed to survive using summoned weapons to parry its grasping tentacles and incorporeality to avoid death in its jaws. Stone Hammer managed to land the killing blow himself after being knocked flying into a tree hard enough to crack the trunk. Several of the group’s spell casters realized that some great elemental power had been trapped in the evil place and was freed with Razorwind’s death.
The second phase of the hunt began: a raid on the ruined city and temple held by a demon-worshiping cult responsible for creating The Razorwind. This tribe had been warring with Otuko’s tribe for generations, and until the creation of the great beast had nearly been wiped out twice. The beast turned the tables almost completely and would have eradicated Otuko’s tribe had not Rend and Stone Hammer intervened. Their ultimate motivation, however, was the ruin’s powerstone, which the Grand Council plans to use in the creation of a new skyship. The town square was found to be poorly defended and split into three opposed factions. One simply watched the fight, one tried to flank the attackers, and one just defended the powerstone. Rend and Stone Hammer led an assault on the stone, while Sunrise and a knight (Sir Scalebane) handled the flanking faction. Otuko’s Honor raged and slew one of the most powerful priests in the city by himself, then led the charge to relieve Stone Hammer and Rend. Dark Between lost his temper and permanently opened a rift between one of the temple’s towers and the Farplane. Leaf and Winter held a bridge against swarms of demon spawn and two spitting felldrakes. Sir Scalebane and his men held the gate against more demon spawn and later their reanimated corpses. Ilareth spotted an enemy warlock strike down snow, teleported into the tower tracked him down in tunnels beneath the temple complex and killed him from behind, then spotted and killed a second tiefling assassin trying to sneak up on her. Snow’s bodyguard Rooster was struck down at her side (by those nasty archers??) Leaf tried to aid Rend and Stone Hammer against the high priest but found that the demon-priest was a bit more than he could handle and instead provided flanking and support until Dark Between finished him off.
The stone was left behind temporarily and all the nobles returned to Lakeside for a celebratory feast. Otuko’s Honor was rewarded by both Rend and Stone Hammer in a private ceremony for just his tribe. Ilareth’s business partner (who runs her shop while she is in the field) sent Lace, one of the best fashonista’s in all of Rising Sun (thus the world) to the party, and she came with three dresses. Ilareth was given a shimmering glammerweave dress that augmented her semi-transparent body. Snow wore a pure white silk princess’ gown with pearls and crystal decorations. Winter consented to wearing a shadoweave dress with blue sapphires forming constellations, but only because it made her look like the founding member of the Dark Between fan club. After the party, Lace let the three women keep their gowns because both Rend and Stone Hammer made purchases from her. Winter and the party’s late arriving magus, the lizardman warlock and diplomat Jek Garg cornered a merchant who was taking advantage of Stone Hammer’s nephew and heir while he was drunk and the two of them managed to intimidate him into a drinking contest with Winter which swiftly rendered him unconscious. The nephew later got himself into a bet with a raptor vendor about who was the better jockey and the next morning was forced to buy all of her wares without haggling when he lost their race. Ilareth and snow spent much of the evening dancing. Leaf flirted with the mercenary captain Radiance, and even challenged her to a friendly duel at an unspecified point in the future when he realized how much more dangerous than him she seemed to be. Rend’s military commander, Iron Scorpion made an appearance, but none of the heroes much cared for him. Ilareth asked Stone Hammer about buying the cave under his estate to use as a field research station and lair, but never settled on terms. Very early the next morning, Snow hired half of the caravan guards away from a slave trader by the name of Silver Palm.
After a few days rest, and once the nobles had left the artificer Diamond, Iron Scorpion, and the warchief of the Otuko Tribe named Night Song led a large force back to the ruined town to formally capture it and move the stone out. Per the request of the Otuko Tribe, there was to be no quarter given, and all of the tieflings and demon spawn in the ruin were to be slain even the women and children. At the gates, Leaf called out to the unseen defenders and challenged them. One warrior and his retinue answered and in a very brutal but swift duel, he was slain. His men reacted by attacking, and they were cut down rather easily afterward. Night Song and his men surrounded the city to prevent anyone from escaping, while Iron Scorpion led his men into the outer ring. Diamond and Sunrise were given the honor of taking the town square. The priest that Otuko’s Honor had slain rose from the dead as a ghost and had claimed the powerstone for himself. He used it and the gate to the farplane to create a giant ethereal storm surrounding the town square and reanimating nearly all of the dead and binding them to his service. After a small skirmish outside the council hall, Sunrise’s troops were nearly overwhelmed by ghosts when Snow and Sunrise finally turned them. Snow’s caravan guards won a spectacular duel against several short-bow armed tieflings thanks to the superior power of their crossbows at extreme range. One tiefling warrior escaped into the hall and warned those inside who was coming. The party split up and entered through three doors at once. Sunrise and Winter were trapped on the balcony above the main hall, while Snow and her men were carefully clearing a side hall of offices. Leaf quickly cleared the ground floor then moved to support Winter and Sunrise. Those above mistook him for Snow’s weak guards and fearful of the crusader and paladin who, though surrounded and outnumbered were growing stronger while their enemies fell, made the tactical error of charging Leaf. One by one, all the reinforcements charged down the steps to their deaths fleeing from Winter and Sunrise directly into Leaf’s blade. Snow and her men came in having killed a few trained beasts they kept locked up, and provided the death blow to the tieflings. Except for that one archer who slipped out into a secret passage. Leaf pursued him, but he managed to escape to safety.
Sunrise and Diamond met up and Diamond passed off some golems that he had acquired. Sunrise took them and next attacked the main barracks, home of the faction that sat out the original raid. An enormous tiefling led the forces here wielding a flaming maul fashioned from the skull of some giant dragon spawn with an iron spike jutting from its mouth. In addition to the physical powers, he also had the ability to twist the minds of his enemies, paralyzing snow, routing Jek and turning Snows guards against the party. He was cut down only to have a demon (Cerebrilith) appear and continue the fight. Its first act was to summon a swarm of carnage demons which nearly overwhelmed both Winter and Leaf. Winter trampled the demons, Leaf struck all of them at once with mithril tornado, and then Jek returned and blasted them with repulsion gas breaking them up and weakening them (carnage demons gain strength when they are near each other) turning the tide of battle very suddenly. Snow was nearly slain by the cerebrilith, but managed to hold her own. After clearing the hall, they discovered a great trove of wealth: apparently this demon warlord had pooled nearly all of the cash from the whole ruin in one place. Additionally, they found a mosaic that showed the locations and types of all beings within the city. They sent a messenger to Iron Scorpion and Night Song to let them know of this valuable resource and the two immediately turned the barracks into the command center of the assault effort.
Night Song’s men found a new army approaching from the far side of the city, and he took everyone out to meet them. They were warriors from a rival tribe (Hunter Tribe) who wished to claim the city and its wealth for themselves. They had heard of the death of Razorwind, and had recruited the entirety of the Owl Warriors, the greatest warrior lodge in all of Quick to assist them in capturing the ruin. Night Song showed off Sunrise, Diamond, and the other Ancients to the utter shock of the Hunter tribe. Then Iron Scorpion arrived with more men than the Hunters. A ruce was swiftly formed and fights that had been stalemated until then were suddenly very easy to win. In return for their help, the Hunter Tribe were given half of the ruin to rebuild and occupy.
Sunrise took his people back and now assaulted the main ziggurat held by the ghost priest and his undead. It was a long grind of a battle, but they eventually cleared out all of his troops. At which point 5 spectral warlocks attacked. This was going fine until the ghost priest himself showed up having cast many buff spells during the fighting. He slew all of Snow’s guards with flamestrike and possessed one of them. Winter promptly charged him wielding the cerebrilith’s flaming maul and knocked him off the edge of the ziggurat and plummeting to the ground. He stood up only to be hit by Winter who destroyed the body he was possessing forcing him back into his own form. This attack sent him skidding along the ground and while he was prone, Ilareth finished him off. The group entered the tunnels under the ziggurat and faced a collective of many spirits trapped and bound by the priest (caller in darkness) but it was no match for them. A few ill-kept drake guards savaged one of their golems, but died seconds later to Leaf. They found the inner sanctum where a bound devil greeted them cautiosly, and pointed out an invisible imp, which Leaf slew. Then he pointed to a trapped chest and warned them of its dangers. Then he thanked them for slaying the high priest during their first raid, and the ghost priest during this second one. After some talking, they went and spoke to one of Diamond’s assistants, a skilled wizard named Chisel, who returned with them and banished the Devil back to hell. He disarmed the trapped chest for the party as well. Snow discovered several statues and paraphenalia from the demon priest tied to a cult that the Voice of Light was interested in, one much younger than the tribe was known to have been dabbling in demons. Ilareth did some divination and learned that the tribe originally served the cerebrilith’s master. The devil they banished was his weapons master. The ghost priest, in life, had become jealous of the authority this warlord had over the tribe and turned to another demon for power: the priest who Rend, Stone Hammer, and Dark Between killed. Unfortunately, when he summoned this demon, he did change the balance of power in the tribe, but the demon took control in a rather brutal and personal manner (his first act was to rape the priest). This demon served the cult that the Voice of Light cared about, while the warlord and most of the tribe’s fighters still followed the old ways. But the demon had the powerstone and the backing of the other priests and thus held sway. They created Razorwind, and that sealed his authority. When Stone Hammer killed Razorwind, all the demon’s authority went with it and civil war broke out, hence the disorganized defence of the city. Snow brought this divination and the name of the demon’s master away with her, in the hopes that it would help the Voice of Light.
After that the party just gathered all their wealth and rode back toward Lakeside with Diamond and the liberated powerstone.
Unfortunately, along the way they found one of Stone Hammer’s villages in flames. A raiding party of pygmies (nearly unheard of in Quick) had what few townsfolk were still alive caged in the center of town while they looted and burned the rest and constructed a series of movable prison wagons to cart the slaves away. The party attacked, supported by a few of Diamond’s caravan guards and golems. It was a quick fight, the highlights of which were Jek bombing several of the pygmy alchemists; Leaf having a pygmy blowgunner try to kill him by collapsing a roof under his feet only to learn that Leaf carries a ring of featherfall and can walk on walls; Winter charging and smashing the pygmy cheif and his personal shaman; and the pygmies getting totally screwed because Snow protected everyone from their poisons. A dragon disciple who lived in the village helped the party in the fight, and Jek spent quite some time talking to him afterward. Leaf kept a look out for more pygmies, while Snow went to help the injured. Winter and Jek found that the pygmies had invaded via a gate from Nightmare’s End that had been opened by an unknown wizard who walked off down the road leaving the town burning behind him. It was speculated that the pygmies were chasing him and simply preferred the easy prey of the village. Diamond’s men closed the gate permanently and the caravan moved on.
Radiance met the party at a crossroad and fought her duel with Leaf. During the duel it was revealed that she was not just a skilled psionic warrior, but one of the masters of the Warmind school from Stone Vale. She thinks that she might be one of only two remaining. Leaf’s defenses were worn down as she piled power after power onto herself, eventually becoming far too dangerous for him to handle. They parted on good terms. She left to gather her troops, as she was hired by Stone Hammer to lead a stealth raid against a warlord in the far north of Quick.
Instead of visiting Lakeside again, they went straight back to Apple Post, the closest settlement to the Imperial Province in Quick. There they were met by Grand Councilor, and Field Consul Toxin who had come in his own skyship Midnight, specifically to meet with Jek and Sunrise. Toxin asked Jek many questions about the red dragon Maurgin, but Jek told him very little that he liked. Toxin made it clear that he planned to kill Maurgin if at all possible. Jek was quite opposed to this since the other dragons believe that Maurgin might be redeemed. Toxin seemed to believe that Jek and the other lizardmen worship Maurgin as a deity of destruction. Between them, the two revealed that Maurgin has not been seen for at least 10 years, but possibly 22. He passed on word to Sunrise that the Grand Councilor of Elwood (named Prey Chaser) might lend him a druid to help find his father, and that Haven would be sending two of their highly-prized rangers as well. It came out that Sunrise was sending troops into Moor Stone to help against the lizardman invasion, but he later revealed only to the party that they were actually going into his own province of God’s Altar, which Toxin had forbidden. Shortly afterward, Sunrise and Diamond took the party to Sunrise’s secret airship, Nova, and the party flew back to the capital city Rising Sun.
Interlude #1 (Imperial Province)
In the city they were hosted to a dinner by the Voice of the Wood who introduced them to two Redeemed who had a proposal for Sunrise. Their Grand Councilor, the Storm Lord, was fascinated with the fact that his own lineage had become magical giants with the ability to control the weather over 1/5 of the whole province of Nightmare’s End. They wanted help from Sunrise convincing him to help them try to find any surviving Redeemed that might be left in the province. Jek and Snow discovered that they were using innuendo and code to secretly tell Sunrise that they had found a city of 250 Redeemed, which was about to be wiped out by pygmies and the Storm Lord was convinced that they couldn’t be saved. Sunrise agreed to help. Unfortunately a spy had overheard and sent a messenger in one direction and snuck away in another. The Voice of the Wood sent someone after the messenger, Winter, Jek and Snow escorted the Redeemed to the docks for a ride to Shadow of the Sun, and Sunrise and Leaf went after the spy. Sunrise forced him into a duel, but he managed to get it to first blood only. Leaf defeated all of his attacks and special abilities, then caught hi when he tried to tumble to safety, and killed him in one blow while he lay prone on the ground. The Redeemed were attacked by assassins, who, luckily, had very low self-discipline and were having sex in a carriage instead of waiting in ambush. The fight was swift and brutal, and the assassins had somehow managed to sneak a pygmy up into the flying city. This caused quite a commotion, and there were hundred of gawkers by the time the guards got it all secured. But the Redeemed were safely delivered out of the city and to Shadow of the Sun.
Sunrise and his people met with the seneschal of the Voice of Light, who introduced them to Prey Chaser’s druid Stone Tooth. He told them the story of an attack on the people of Elwood by a group of apparently four dragons. One attacked by sea and tried to remain hidden. One invaded the elven territory and carved out a home for itself. Two others remained secret for years until a spy saw them in council. The spy was killed the very next day, inside the province’s palace. The dragons all apparently serve someone called God Killer, whom no one has seen, but he is not a dragon. Prey Chaser is trying to ally with the people of her province rather than enslave them. As part of her diplomatic efforts, she is only allowed 20 people in their lands (called the Coral Kingdom). Thus she requested that Sunrise send his team over in exchange for the Druid who would help him find his father.
While deciding about the offer, Jek, Winter, and Snow went into heaven to visit Snow’s family. Jek wandered off on his own, while Winter and Snow were taken before an avatar of Knowledge by one of Snow’s rash cousins. Winter asked about her brother and learned that he was in some kind of trouble, that Flare might get him killed, and that Winter might save him. Snow asked a few questions about the dragons in Elwood and learned that there are actually 5 not four, that all of them are children of Jet, that God Killer is actually named "God Slayer", that he serves one of the dragons (Glorath), that the fifth wishes to become Jet, and that she is far more evil that Glorath. Glorath is so evil that his presence taints the ground.
While they were gone, Sunrise asked Leaf to take a bag to an oracle in Elwood and summon her water spirit. When it was present, he was to toss the bad into the oracle’s lake. And he was to keep this a secret from Snow, though he might need to use either her or Jek to know when the spirit was present.
The Spawn of Jet (Elwood)
In the end, Jek, Ilareth, and Stone Tooth, all went to God’s Altar together. Meanwhile, Sunrise arranged for a teleport to Elwood and the party met Prey Chaser. She is a young woman, incredibly strong and buff and unassuming, very feral. She told them that she knew of three plots against her, all of them coming from the dragon’s town to her south. She sent the Voice of Light and his knights to a fortress nearby to defend the Coral Kingdom from the dragons. She herself would eventually battle God Slayer. And she wanted the heroes to deal with the third. All she knew was that it involved the Fey kingdom, the dragons of the north, the dragon spawn mountains Nightmare’s End, and the dragon’s southern city. The party had traveled with a dragon priest (Jek), battled pygmies from Nightmare’s End, and she was sending them first to battle evil faeries in the north of the Coral Kingdom. This would bind them at least tenuously to each of the threads of the plot against her. She hoped that since it was immune to divination, this would allow them to unravel its mystery in a more direct manner.
The evil faeries turned out to be invisible, intangible, warded against divination and even against the see invisible spell itself. The party met up with one of Prey Chaser’s men, and two "locals", one a Redeemed from Nightmare’s End. This group fought five of the invisible fey knights and defeated them. In the process they found a magical cloud. Snow helped everyone fly up to it and they found a giant disk 1/2-mile long and 1/4-mile wide with a forest and two lakes and a hill. They first investigated a shadowy grove, fought another fey knight and several dragon spawn. They discovered two small web-based homes with obsidian plaques carved with runes none of them can read. Their next goal is to reach the hill and investigate it.