Paths of Gaeda

Session 34
Night of the Bloody Eye

Chaos in the great hall of castle Chatapiet as Remy’s men, dressed in Black, and Frohman’s men, dressed in White, begin a gruesome battle, with all of the guests in danger of getting hurt in the middle. Lady Jeanette Fouret seems rather oblivious and distracted amidst all of this. Iolar attempts to find a way to get the party out of the hall, but Liath stops to lend aid to the wife and daughter of the New Delos Regency Steward, as they are innocent guests amid the slaughter. There is danger on all sides.

Out in the barracks, Avron manages to barely keep himself from dying, and seeks some way to get into the castle to warn the others. The town guard batters valiantly at the doors, but their task is hopeless. Avron, retching up his guts, is taken to the nearest inn where the Innkeep pours a potion down his throat to make him feel somewhat better. She insists that they go back to the barracks to see what can be done for the others, however it is too late when they arrive – the soldiers and henchmen are all dead. Yet, during the examinations, they stir: the dead begin to rise as Zombies! The innkeeper begs for Avron to protect her, but he instead flees, and leaves her behind to be killed. Eventually, he is able to scale a wall to get inside the castle, but not before noting that the Zombie horde is marching around the back of the castle to some unknown destination.

Inside, there is chaos as the two factions clash, with the Party and a number of frightened civilians caught in the middle. Lane Frohman proves especially dangerous, despite his lack of weapons or armor. Iolar tries shouting at Jeanette, who does not seem to hear him. Frantically, Zarunal attempts to remove one of the leaders of the Fracas: he directs a lightning bolt at Remy, killing him outright and partially singing Jeanette.

This rouses Jeanette from her torpor and proves dangerous for Zarunal – for once in action it becomes obvious that she is a vampire. She attempts to chase Zarunal, who uses his wand to Diension Door himself outside the castle.

Ishma trades blows with Lane Frohman. He seems rather taken with her, but she rejects his advances with an axe to the chest and he falls unconscious. Iolar uses the cover of the melee to sneak into a chamber within the castle’s main tower – he hears disturbance somewhere in the masonry, and suspects the location of a secret door. Meanwhile, Avron arrives and joins in the fray.

A warning gong sounds in the castle, and Jeanette immediately removes herself from the great hall, alerted to something. The Party sees to the safety of the civilians, locking them in a bedroom, and then proceed to the secret door that Iolar has found. The passage leads deep into the crypts of the castle, where they find a chamber containing some interesting sarcophagi and some kind of shrine. The place is filled with zombies (the zombie horde from the barracks) and they are trying to bring down or otherwise delay Jeanette.

Iolar decides to side (at least temporarily) with Jeanette, and theparty attacks the Zombies. They see that this is indeed another distraction: the Bespectacled man from Session 32 is attempting to steal something – what might be a vial of blood – from a ceremonial cabinet. Liath and Avron stop him from taking the item, but he uses a teleport scroll to get away.

Jeanette thanks the party by ending the hostilities in her hall and having all the hostages removed to safety. Soldiers arrive with a warrant for the arrest of Lane Frohman. Ishma goes to show them his body, but Lane has disappeared – perhaps he survived?

Also, the Prelate from the Temple at Lyssa’s Port is dead, found among the zombie horde. However, Savren and Sarah Jane are nowhere to be found.

Session 33
What's the deal?

In the wake of Zarunal’s humiliation at the hands of Galen, Iolar makes some inquiries. He finds out that the imprisoned Lord Hugo Fouret was the former Lord Arcane of New Delos before Galen, and may have some kind of grudge against him. Arrangements are made to visit Lord Fouret in the prison at Fang Rock.

Lord Fouret is obviously more than human, and a powerful mage in his own right. Though branded a traitor by the Regency Steward of New Delos, he seems unconcerned over his imprisonment, and appears to be in control of his situation. Iolar learns that Galen was once HIS apprentice, until he turned on him. However, Lord Fouret does not appear too concerned. He agrees to restore Zarunal to his true form is Iolar does a favor for him, and a deal is struck.

Iolar will deliver a message to Lord Fouret’s daughter Jeanette, at castle Chatapiet to the north. Apparently there is some kind of gala planned there, where Jeanette is supposed to make an entreaty on her father’s behalf. He asks her to remember his wishes, and not to let others take unwanted actions in his name.

The group makes arrangements for their trip north and for their expedition into the Storm Reaches. Since Chatapiet is the northernmost settlement of any size, the expedition will muster there and leave at the end of June. The group travels north up the River Lahn, but the journey is largely uneventful.

Chatapiet is buzzing with many nobles and their representatives. Iolar delivers his message, but Lady Jeanette seems to be curiously melancholy and apathetic. Her Chamberlain Remy seems to be much more in charge of the whole affair. There are also rumors in town of the arrival of Lane Frohman, a man of supposedly volatile temper and violent disposition. Savren discovers that there are other familiar faces staying at the castle: the Prelate from the temple at Lyssa’s Port has brought Sarah Jane to Chatapiet to give birth to her child, because of the presence of an old Adastrican shrine and the fact that the five-towered castle is also knows as the “Five Watchers” or the “Five Guardians”. He seems concerned with fulfilling the Prophecy.

The gala takes place on a warm night in June, but it is an inauspicious occasion: The night of The Ferric Eye is underway, as the lesser moon partially eclipses the greater. Iolar, Liath, Ishma, and Zarunal attend the banquet, though they are not allowed to carry their weapons inside the castle. Savren goes to be with Sarah Jane. Avron retains his arms and stays in the barracks outside the castle, where the various men-at-arms and henchment of the nobility are having their own raucous gathering.

In the barracks, the mead and food is plentiful, but then something goes horribly amiss: the soldiers begin to drop, bleeding from their eyes and mouths – all of them, including Avron, have been poisoned!!

Inside the castle, at the height of the ball, Remy orders the doors closed and declares a hostage situation until Lord Fouret is released. However, one of the guests is indeed Lane Frohman, who has entered the ball with an entourage of like-minded homicidal maniacs in tow, and he declares his intent to kill all the guests in honor of the “Night of the Bloody Eye”. Panic erupts within the great hall.

Session 32
Random Acts of Violence

Savren is accosted by the hooligans raiding the temple in Lyssa’s Port. He wades in bravely, but is quickly overwhelmed. Luckily for him an old friend comes to his aid: Karnack happens to be walking up the street, and he rushes in to help, but he is also hard pressed by the assailants. Before too long, the other characters happen by, having just come from the public hanging at the city prison. They try to lend their weight to the fracas, but it is largely over as the marauders make their way into the temple and lock the door behind them.

Karnack and Savren and given aid, and the party makes their way into the temple, only to find that the acolyte who Savren left in charge has been taken down. The interlopers are tracked to the crypt basement, where the party finds that they are being aided by a pack of zombies! The the party dispatches the undead and defeats their living antagonists as well, it has all been a diversion. A strange, bespectacled man is seen fleeing into the sewers, having stolen a sacred relic from the tomb of a saint.

Unable to pursue the investigation further, the party makes plans to go north, following the path laid before them by Avron’s treasure map to the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. Their first stop is the city of Akandra, where they meet some of the local nobility, obtain some official standing, and begin to plan their journey. Iolar designs his new heraldry and livery in Orange, much to the consternation of his companions.

Zarunal goes to confront his master and attempts once more to pay off his debt, but he is thwarted. Galen levies new charges upon him, and a half-hearted magical argument ensues during which Zarunal attempts some indirect defiance and is turned into a rabbit for his troubles. Clearly, things are not going well for him.

Session 31
Plots and Intruige

The party returns to Lyssa’s Port with Eldred and his military expedition, making a quick stopover in the Blasted Heath, where Iolar discovers that some tenants (refugees from the conflict int he south) have moved in. He accepts their presence and wishes them luck before pressing on. A few of Eldred’s Alfaen elves are left behind to help organize the place.

Savren and an Alfaen mage (who was accompanying Eldred) named Zil both try to lift the curse on Zarunal, resulting in comedic failure and a number of different changes for him. Once the party arrives back in Lyssa’s port, however, a scroll found in the sanctum of Lord Mittlemetz restores him to his true form.

Strange things are afoot: The Bishop of the Adastrican Temple has gone south to help with the war effort: Anthec is on the march in Lyssandria. Many nobles have gone to join the fight. Eldred intends to go to Guildport to help defend it with his remaining troops, while a few engineers and advisers go north to help secure the border.

One of Avron’s shipmates is being held in jail, he is accused of committing a horrendous murder on another crewman, and will be hanged. Avron visits him, and he avows his innocence, claiming that they were trying to find Avron to exact justice for stealing the map to Tsojcanth. There was death and torture involved, and it seems news of that map has leaked out to some dangerous person of unknown identity.

Meanwhile, one of the Acolytes from the Adastrican temple has also gone missing. Savren soon learns that recently the tenple’s Prelate absconded on a secret journey with Sarah Jane, and no one knows where they are either. He is concerned by this, and the party investigates the missing acolyte and the murdered seaman as best they can.

They receive unexpected help from an old friend when they accidentally run into Victor, who points them in the direction of a clue or two. Savren starts spending the night at the Adastrican temple, fearful of another Acolyte going missing.

At the end of the week, most of the party attends the Hanging. Avron’s old shipmate swings from the gallows without incident. However, back at the Temple, there is a disturbance in the street: a fight between some drunk men. Several local guards try to break up the fight, and Savren wades in to help them. However, suddenly all of the miscreants turn on the guards, killing them all then turning on Savren…

Session 30
Wicked Witch

The party descends into a cursed ravine and finds the strange, emaciated witch that has been haunting them for several sessions in the Fey Path waiting for them. She has some mephits, some animated trees, and an annoying familiar with her, and is apparently guarding… something.

The battle is joined reluctantly. The Party wants to draw her out- and she wants to draw them in. As usual, Ishma takes the initiative and fearlessly charges forward into battle. Things go back and forth quite a bit. People are hurt, people are healed. Liath is almost brought low by a Phantasmal Killer spell. Iolar is hit by a vampiric touch. Avron is whacked about the head by a dead tree.

The battle turns when Zarunal manages to kill the witch’s familiar. For this, she flits to his side and casts Baleful Polymorph on him, turning him into a weasel. Liath then fills her full of arrows, critting her and killing her.

In a frozen pool at the other end of the raving, the party finds what appears to be a frozen Nymph, and the frosted sphere that Lady Athryn desperately wants back. They retrieve the orb, noting that there appears to be something moving inside it. The Nymph – the true queen of the wood – thaws out and is grateful. She wants the orb removed immediately, though. SHe has Liath stay with her while the rest return to Lady Athryn to give her the orb. She is overjoyed, and plans to reward Iolar – but the party is not yet in their proper time period, and must return ot the wood at least one more time.

Savren tries to remove the polymorph from Zarunal, but only succeeds in changing his form – now he is a duck.

The party returns to the wood and finishes up with the Fey Queen. Magical rewards are passed around. The Fey path will be open to Alfaen on the equinoxes, and the Alfaen elves may then pass through. Iolar’s uncle Edlred arrives with a military contingent. Lady Athryn will allow them passage south into Iolar’s new lands so long as they do not tarry. Iolar is given a special suit of armor by Lady Athryn. Zarunal, in duck form catches a glimpse of a huge White Dragon in Lady Athryn’s treasure room, but he cannot tell the others.

Lady Athryn also introduces Iolar to a small White Dragon wyrmling – newly hatched – named Kizarvexius and declares that Iolar will be his godfather. She informs Iolar that she may call on him again sometime.

Session 29
Growing Horror

After the encounter with the Vegepygmies, both Iolar and Savren are in no condition to proceed without rest. Liath seems to be developing a feel for this Fey place, as though remembering something from his youth. He successfully guides the party out of the woods once more.

The Cottage outside the wood is still there, although it is evident that several years have passed while they were in the fey realm – the current time is roughly 1843. The party recuperates, and Lady Athryn once more makes an appearance, demanding progress reports from Iolar. He informs her that they first met in 1902 and he had not yet retrieved her orb then. This seems to crush her spirit, and she is visibly upset. Iolar successfully lifts her mood with a story, and she spends some time with him sitting on the porch and listening. They part on good terms, and she seems to have taken a liking to him.

Zarunal meanwhile makes a request for Cold Iron, in light of the fey that have been thus far encountered. Iron is brought, though very little of it will do. Still, he manages via alchemy to concoct a salve which, when applied to some of the party’s weapons, should effect the Fey.

After some rest, the party re-enters the woods and tries one of the paths they have not yet traveled. It leads to a dismal swampy area, where they encounter a Forlarren, weeping and reading a disturbing nonsense rhyme out of an old book – apparently to a small child she holds in her arms. The party approaches and tries to reason with her, but she is mad. Something is wrong with her child. When the party approaches closer, the child is revealed to be a mandragora, which lashes out at the heroes. A confused melee erupts, with Liath becoming entangled by the marshy morass and Zarunal almost being swallowed up in a muddy hole. Eventually, the foul creatures are dispatched, and the Forlarren is released from its misery. The Book she has is ancient and falling apart.

The party returns to the standing stones at the center of the wood and tries the last path they have yet to take. At its end is a Colossal willow tree, and from the branches hangs a silver pitcher. Liath approaches with intent to take the pitcher, bus spies a huge Tendriculous wrapped around the willow, which attacks as he approaches. Iolar and Ishma are grabbed, and Ishma is nearly swallowed. Iolar uses a scroll of “Produce Flame” to work himself free, and Zarunal summons a fire elemental to burn it. Avron is also grabbed and ends up in the thing’s mouth, but just in time it is brought down, oozing Ichor all over the place. In order to stop it regenerating, Iolar orders it burned and hacked up.

At this point, the party consults the book and learns that they need Ichor from the tendriculous to complete a ritual. Although the corpse of the plant has been disposed of, Ishma and Avron are thankfully still covered in the goop, and wring out their clothes into the pitcher. Once the ritual is complete, a great bole in the willow opens up to reveal a descending stair. The party, wishing to attain their quest as soon as possible, begins their descent immediately.

Session 28
The Laughing Flood

After the battle with the Mephits, Liath recognizes the statue over the fountain as being an eidolon of Sri Syadaasti, the Laughing Flood, and the patron water-spirit of his home temple in Undra. He cajoles the party into cleaning out the pool and the fountain, eventually restoring it to a pristine condition.

The statue then comes to life and Sri Syadaasti offers his thanks to Liath. He implies that Liaths wanderings have brought him to this place just for this purpose, and he offers Liath the chance to return home. Liath decides not to take him up on his offer, however. Sti Syadaasti tells Liath that he is now doomed to wander, and will not return home until he has walked beyond the horizon and danced with a demon on the Spindle of the World.

Sri Syadaasti’s presence allows the party to take rest, but he soon departs. Afterward, the party continues following the path until it descends into a gloomy cave that is crawling with Vegepygmies. In the center of the cave is a magic candle with markings similar to those on the bell, so the heroes do battle in an attempt to secure it. Savren and Iolar are exposed to Russet Mold in the process, and are gravely poisoned. They return to the fountain victorious, but much the worse for wear.

Session 27
Totally Sick

After the consultation with Lady Athryn, the party takes rest in the cabin. Savren, with a modicum of difficulty, removes the curse affecting Ishma, and the party once more enters the fey woods.

The come once more to the circle of stones, and Iolar is once more stumped by their meaning. Liath feels that he’s been somewhere like this before, however – the stones remind him of something he’s seen back in Undra. He manages to pick what he thinks is the path that goes on to Alfaen.

Unfortunately, the path has been blocked off by a massive growth of twigs and vines, which are infested with Twigjacks and Quicklings. The party dispatches the infestation, and Ishma tries to hack through the vegetation, but to no avail. After some debate, Savren tries ringing the bell from the Satyr’s grove. It attracts the attention of the friendly Leprechaun again, who explains to them that the path has been blocked off by the fairie queen, who has been imprisoned and usurped by the witch of the woods.

The party returns to the circle of stones and tries a new path. Eventually they come to a stream, but there’s something wrong with it – it’s been polluted somehow. The party follows the stream to fountain which has been fouled with filth, and the party is beset by a gaggle of ooze mephits. They spew sick all over the party and pop large stinking clouds, causing most of the party to spend numerous rounds either sickened or nauseated. Eventually, after a long struggle, the mephits are killed and the party collapses on the riverbank.

Session 26
Dazed and Confused

The party gives battle in the Satyr’s grove, but the combat is very confused. Ishma and Avron are stunned momentarily by the presence of a gloomwing, and then are very mixed up in their actions by the charm effects of the Satyrs. The strange witch makes an appearance after Iolar chases off the gloomwing with a spell, and She rises into the air, laying down hexes. Ishma hurls her axe at the nameless foe, only to have it land on Iolar instead. Zarunal summons a flight of hawks to harry the witch, and Iolar momentarily disables her with hideous laughter, but she manages to vanish herself, and after that the satyrs give up their games and are eventually slaughtered.

The party retreats and finds itself once more among the circle of standing stones, where they encounter a leprechaun. He offers some information and advice – apparently the evil witch has defeated or imprisoned the rightful faerie queen, and the woods are grown dark and dangerous because of it. He helpfully points the party towards a path that takes them back to the heathlands, only they arrive at yet another point in time. The cabin near the woods has been built (and is new) and a group of Lady Athryn’s soldiers vacate it and allow the party to rest there. Athryn appears during the night, demanding an update from Iolar on the status of the quest.

Session 25
Strange Journeys

After squaring away some more old business dealing with Sarah Jane’s installation at an Adastrican nunnery in Lyssa’s Port, we return to the party, holed up in Copperhill Station.

The group heads north into the Ramoth Heathlands, where they immediately fall afoul of the locals. A military captain of some kind named Franken takes charge of them – they will need to come to the White Citadel, where Lady Athryn dwells. The spellcasters are adjured to refrain from using their abilities, lest is cause trouble, but no-one will say why. Everyone is being cryptic. Liath determines that the locals have a practice of drugging their animals, to protect them from “going mad”, but again, no details are forthcoming. When their own horses start to get skittish, most of the party reluctantly agrees to the practice. There are empty cattle-corrals everywhere, but surprisingly little cattle. Also it is much snowier in the Heathlands, and the weather becomes colder as they journey north.

Eventually they arrive at the White Citadel – a huge structure of white stone, built on a very large scale – possibly originally as a home for Giants. It has obviously been refurbished several times. There they meet Lady Athryn herself – tall, beautiful, obviously powerful, but cryptic and apparently enjoying some secret joke. She seems to know all about Iolar somehow, and knows that the party will be attempting the Fey Path. She intends to insure they proceed to their goal quickly, but has them spend the night in the citadel first.

She informs Iolar that she has lost something in the woods where the path is – a white, cold orb. It needs to be returned to her. She also makes Iolar swear not to defy her. She is obviously hiding something, but what?

The party is delivered to the strange woods near the citadel where the Fey Path begins, and they set out. Things quickly take a turn for the bizarre, as they are accosted by a huge throng of small blue Mites, some riding large spiders. During the combat, Liath briefly spots a bizarre, intimidating figure, some kind of emaciated elf woman, and she hexes him with an evil eye before disappearing again. The combat does not last much longer, but the party is now confused somehow, and no longer sure of their direction.

Marching on, they find themselves once more approaching the entrance to the path, and they hear a ruckus – just beyond the trees, they can see Lady Athryn pursuing an emaciated elven figure, who flees into the woods carrying a large sack. This foreboding personage makes another appearance within the wood, but from a different direction – and lays a heavy wasting curse upon Ishma.

The party emerges from the wood, but it seems to be a different time than when they entered it – a different season – things are out of joint. Lady Athryn appears and accosts them, not recognizing Iolar. She is brandishing a deadly blade and nearly kills him in the course of interrogating him, and is obviously distraught. Iolar assures her that he has come to retrieve what was stolen from her, and she urges the party once more into the woods.

Now the party comes upon a stone circle, with many paths branching from it. They try to rest, but Zarunal feels that something is wrong – time itself is out of joint here, in this place where no feels hunger or fatigue or the passing of moments. The party cannot rest and recover nor find their way. They stumble on down another path.

Now they come to large clearing containing some kind of shrine. There are two Satyrs here, and what looks like a bloody corpse, and perched upon the shrine a shadowy, gloomy presence. One of the Satyrs laughs madly while the other plays his pipes in a bizarre, cacophonous way – the music places an enchantment upon Ishma, compelling her to come closer…

What will happen next session?


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