We are making some changes to image storage. You may see missing images in your image library. They are still there, just hidden and will be visible within a few hours. Please be patient. ×

Wizards of Mivon

Of Dwarves and Wolves

Shortly after the wizards council Brandon retired to the pub the Red Dragon (the Drunken Unicorn being a student pub) along with a few of his friends, the Dwarven Cleric Hagrad and another dwarf the wizard Corren Forgeson, an old friend of Brandon’s uncle Daniel.

The three discussed much about the events of the wizards council, somewhat upset that Mivon would continue to be neutral in the war, pointing out that the witch king made his intent to invade Mivon known, when he actually invaded Mivon (and promptly had that warband blown to pieces, incinerated and beaten down by Brandon, Hagrad and Petroclas), still they were happy that some progress has been made, being allowed to begin trade was a step in the right direction.
After some half drunken rambling more discussions came up, like who exactly is the Witch King, those who know aren’t being forth coming with the details, also that because they were in Mivon they didn’t exactly know much of the real goings on at the battefronts, so Hagrad and Brandon came up with the idea of why not go and find out, but who to go see? Well the dwarves were a sensible lot that had been fighting since the beginning, clearly they would know the most. As the evening tied to a close the three bid each other good night and Brandon and Hagrad went off to go make travelling plans.

After doing a bit of research on deciding exactly which dwarves to visit Brandon found out from a fellow clansman and cousin of his, Manson Sabriel that the clan had recently received a request from the dwarven city, (aptly named) Low City, apparently there had been issues involving a werewolf infestation and the clans aid as monster hunters was being requested, also Manson would quite appreciate further support in this as werewolves are a dangerous foe, Hagrad also approved of the idea as he could visit some of his family who lived in Low City as well as perform some church business. With a location now in mind, Brandon visited Mesta and got her to join the trip as well as visited Professor Goldenbrow for a official trading writ that would allow Brandon to form a trade agreement with the dwarves of Low City, which she was happy to provide, apparently she had friends in that city and clearly approved of opening trade with the dwarves. Lastly Brandon brought Charles along to carry the groups gear and provide suitable heavy support if it was needed.

Together the group included Brandon, Hagrad, Mesta, Manson and Charles set off that morning, the dwarves had sensibly removed most nearby teleportation circles near their cities but one about 3 days travel from low city still remained operational, the journey proceeded went smoothly though the group did on the second day spot a large group of horsemen in the distance numbering perhaps three hundred, Hagrad guessed they were probably elves and fortunately were not heading their direction, on the third day Hagrad believed the group was being followed, thinking it was one of the local dwarven rangers he tried to call him out to no success. As the group passed through a forested area they were suddenly ambushed by a Massive dire bear as it tore its way out of the foliage, large vicious claws battered at Hagrad but the dwarf stood firm and true to his kindly nature attempted to mystically influence the bear to leave the group alone, quick to respond however Charles battered the bear with his oversized club, angering it, quickly Mesta followed up and gave the dire bear and solid wack on the nose with her quarter staff, startling the bear out of its rage and succeeding in scaring the bear off as Hagrad’s charm took effect, the group allowed the dire bear to run off, not really having anything against the beast, shortly after the fight the group found one of the dwarven rangers waiting on a fallen tree for him, the dwarf questioned them about their business and was quickly put at ease by Hagrad, also he was happy to see that Clan Sabriel had responded to the cities request and he allowed the group to pass, he briefly questioned why they had a Large undead ogre with them but seemed to accept Brandon’s reasons that the ogre was his and had been brought to do the heavy lifting.

Upon reaching the city the group were lead to the Halls of Chieftains, Brandon marvelled at the wonderful dwarven works however Naturally Hagrad was not to impressed having grown bored of such things long ago, they were all greeted warmly by Chieftain Kamarthan, after some simple chit chat Brandon asked several questions on the matter of the werewolf situation, Kamarthan was happy to answer and provided his Nephew Dawnar to act accompany the group and act as a guide, given free reign the group proceeded to make preparations and that night feasted in the hall of chieftains, Chieftain Kamarthan promised that they would be generously rewarded should they be successful in helping his people.

The next day Brandon and Manson collected blood and flesh samples from a slain werewolf that had been brought to the city and the group set out to the village of Stone face, half a days journey from Low City, they were now accompanied by Dawnar and six dwarven warriors, most of the journey was spent discussing strategies on how to deal with the werewolves, since the infection started many had been killed and several were simply missing, presumed infected, however the group disliked the idea of actually killing the werewolves as they were dwarven people that had been infected most likely against their will, fortunately the dwarves were armed with a large amount of silver items and Hagrad believed he might be able to cure the infected if Isis was willing.

Upon arriving they found a village gripped by fear, Hagrad went to investigate possible leads as well as question the villages chief on the recent goings on, Manson was sent to go talk to relatives of those that had gone missing, Dawnar and his guards were to reassure the villages people while Brandon and Mesta using the werewolf samples previously taken worked on creating a detection item, that evening Hagrad returned with news that it was believed that there were some werewolves within the village walls, with his prototype detector now completed Brandon walked the length of the village attempted to locate any possible infected, finding two possible locations Brandon decided to err on the side of caution since he couldn’t be sure that his detector was working correctly, instead of just kicking down the door of the first house the group gathered and surrounded the building cutting off any avenues of escape, Hagrad was sent to knock on the door of the house and talk his way in, a rather unkempt dwarf opened the door and was initially quite against allowing the priest to enter and talk about the wisdom of Isis but was somehow persuaded against his better judgement, upon entering Hagrad chatted and signalled for Dawnar and his warriors to come in and arrest the residents under suspicion of being werewolves, two of the houses resident were shocked but the unkempt dwarf that originally answered the door was greatly angered, before he could transform Brandon was able to cast hold person stopping a potential fight from happening, the unkempt dwarf was quickly subdued and chained in silver manacles and carried away, Brandon taking note that his prototype no longer detected the presence of a werewolf concluded the item was working correctly and allowed the other to residents to remain, as this tactic worked successfully a similar attempt was made on the other house Brandon had identified, much to the same success.

With two werewolves captured, Brandon took blood samples from each of them to use in refining his detector and increases its range, the village people seemed greatly relieved when Brandon announced that all werewolves within the walls had been captured, over the next two days, Brandon successfully improved his item and Hagrad praying fervently for the Goddesses mercy for the two werewolves was successful in his attempts at curing them, this greatly cheered the locals.
Questioning the two who were now cured and clear headed the group were able to identify the location where they believed they were initially infected, giving a good place to start searching for the werewolves that still roamed the wilderness.

The next day the full group set out to capture the remaining werewolves, now accompanied by an additional dwarven ranger who knew the local area better than anyone else they made good time and it wasn’t long while exploring the nearby forest that Brandon’s detector grew warm, pre warning of a potential ambush, 6 werewolves quickly surrounded the group as the warriors took defensive position around the spell casters, under strict orders to capture not kill, Hagrad tried to reason with the werewolves…unsuccessfully and they charged howling, however the well trained dwarven warriors stood firm alongside Dawnar. Manson and Brandon’s magic quickly rendered some of the werewolves utterly helpless and the warriors managed to beat unconscious a couple more, when the werewolves attempted to turn tail a further spell stopped ones escaped by still one werewolves managed to flee, something Brandon thought was a good thing as the escapees trail could potentially lead them to the rest of the infected and most importantly their alpha or the source of the initial infection, but first the defeated werewolves were chained and brought back to the village, Brandon once again took further blood samples to improve his detector, the next morning a much smaller group left the village, Charles and Dawnar’s guards were left behind to guard the prisoners, Brandon suggested a smaller group would move swifter and they needed to cover as much ground as possible that day to find the nest and hopefully the alpha.

The skilled ranger quickly discovered the tracks of the escapee and Brandon’s detector gave them fair warning when they were closing in giving the group time to prepare on their assault, The ranger reported several werewolves in the nearby cave and had spotted the alpha, the group decided on a quick rush on the cave to prevent escapees and Manson suggested he could web the cave stopping the group from being overwhelmed, true to form the web actually worked…two of the werewolves found themselves thoroughly stuck but the others clawed their way through and the alpha broke free barely even noticing the spell, the combat was brutal, the ranger was critically injured by the werewolves counter charge and Dawnar engaged the alpha one on one, Brandon and Manson had trouble when two of the werewolves manage to reach them however magic won the day, one of the werewolves was killed and Brandon killed the alpha with a powerful scorching ray that burned a hole right through him, the other werewolves still stuck in the web were quickly subdued, fortunately Hagrad was able to save the injured ranger and with their prisoners the group returned victoriously to the village.

Using the alphas blood Brandon completed his detector and gifted the item to Dawnar as a souvenir, over the next week Hagrad successfully cured all the captured werewolves and insured those injured in the fighting against them were not infected.

Heads held high the group returned to Low City and Chieftain Kamarthan was overjoyed to hear that the problem had been dealt with, especially since his people had been saved rather than killed, true to his word the chieftain offered a reward, suggesting gold and jewels, however Hagrad and Brandon had other ideas, Hagrad said he would be happy to accept a donation to his temple but also wished Low City’s shrine to Isis be improved, to this Kamarthan agreed if reluctantly, Brandon desired several things, he wished to borrow one of the dwarven master smiths to improve his forge back in Mivon, he also desired to make a trade agreement with the dwarves of low city, helping supply them in their war efforts against the witch king in exchange for reasonable payment and lastly Brandon spoke of an item he was planning to make wondering if the dwarves had any adamantine he could have, the chieftain happily agreed to all of this.

Wishing to return to Mivon Hagrad and Manson left, Mesta remained for a further month to oversee the shrine of Isis’s improvements which the chieftain true to his word carried out, Brandon was invited also to stay for a further month and work alongside the dwarven war smiths, making a reasonable amount of money for his services, to Brandon’s surprise the dwarves didn’t supply him the adamantine he wanted, instead they actually set their master smiths to craft the blade for him.

Of the news of the war, it was not good, apparently the witch king was still on the offense and had been gaining the upper hand in recent battles, however now with additional support from the set trade agreement at the very least the dwarves of Low City and their warriors in the field could be better equipped and potentially given a upper hand in the fighting.

View
Wizards' Council
Friday, Dec 16, 2011 PM Skype Session

Not long after Brandon Sabriel, Petroclus Goldenclaw, and Petrus Venenarius Magnus had each completed their trials to become full members of Osprak’s Wizards, Morion invited the three to tea at his home. The primary reason for Morion’s invitation was to encourage them to side with those that were in favor of remaining neutral in the war with the Witch King during the next council meeting, which was to occur in three-days’ time. Morion promised aid to those who were willing to publicly stand with him and those that were trying to keep Mivon out of the war. Petroclus and Brandon neither agreed nor disagreed with Morion’s stance while sharing tea with him. Petrus agreed that neutrality was the best thing for Mivon and the wizards.

After leaving Morion’s home, Petroclus and Brandon met together, conspiring how to get the kingdom to enter the war against the witch king. They decided that they needed to meet with Movak the lich, described as a voice of reason for the wizards’ council. The two wanted to convince Movak to join the side that supported going to war, and they wanted to provide incentives for any who would be willing to join them.

In the mean time, Petrus had come up with an idea that would allow his family to become much richer, which in turn would aid him in his pursuit of magic. His idea was to ally the house Venenari with house Cornelli and to sell war materials to those opposed to the Witch King. The materials were from the mundane to the magical in nature, providing everything an army needed but didn’t have time or resources to produce for themselves in a time of war. He proposed the idea to his father, who said that despite the longstanding rivalry with house Cornelli, he’d think about it; afterward he and Karissa proposed it to her family, with much the same response.

The day before the council meeting, Gregori, a Frost Giant wizard from the region of Ustalav, requested a meeting with Petrus. After telling Petrus that he’d heard good things about him from his uncle and some in Ustalav, he inquired about the nature of the council meeting the next day. Petrus tells him one of the main topics will regard the war that Syrak, the elves and dwarves are in with the Witch King. Gregori said that he wasn’t too concerned about such things, but he was more concerned with the humans in Ustalav who’d taken giant lands. Petrus agreed with Gregori about the need to be concerned with Ustalavian humans and told him of Janus’s residence there and suggested that if Janus were there, it was in no way a favorable thing to the giants; most likely it would mean the humans taking even more of the giant lands.

The following day, the Council of Wizards met on a demi-plane that was similar in structure to an amphitheater or gladiatorial arena. The number of wizards in attendance was under two hundred, and not every wizard from Hollyburg was present; there were a number of wizards from outside of Mivon who were counted among Osprak’s Wizards in attendance, some of races rarely seen in the human lands.

Danak, Osprak’s bladesworn, struck a gong and called the meeting to order. He was obviously the mediator for the meeting. Osprak sat behind him on a throne and listened to all that was said. Danak recognized Gabriel Syrakson, who spoke on the reasons Mivon should join with Syrak in the war against the Witch King. A number of others who held the same position each spoke in turn; Lemina, a battle wizard who specialized in using the element of fire, spoke out that it was Mivon’s responsibility and duty as powerful people to oppose evil and protect the weak. Both Petroclus and Brandon also stand and make speeches in support of the war effort.

After some time, Danak allows those opposed to the war to offer their opinions. Among them were Kanaga-Thorn, a dragonborn wizard, Morion, and Petrus. A few of the arguments focused on the fact that the Witch King had only been a problem for a few years, which in the lives of wizards was relatively insignificant.

Petrus suggested that while the Witch King was certainly a threat to those around him, that he wasn’t as big a threat as Janus was, because while the Witch King desired to take over land and spread his undead, he’d in no way threatened Mivon directly. Janus, on the other hand had openly opposed Osprak and the other wizards who followed him and was actively seeking to destroy them. He also suggested that it might be possible to aid in those opposed to the Witch King, without openly allying with Syrak, by selling weapons and magic items to them; it would be helpful, but provide gold for research and other enterprises the wizards wanted to pursue.

Gregori stood and formally proposed a direct confrontation with Janus. Citing many of the same arguments Petrus had used, the Frost Giant wanted it on record that the blood mage needed to be dealt with.

Next to speak was Petroclus, who proposed the creation of a new order of martial and magical warriors, sorcerers with dragon blood. Being of dragon descent himself, he felt this group was needed as a defense against the enemies of Mivon. Some suggested that the group be opened to anyone of qualified skill, not just dragon-blooded, while others, such as Petrus, opposed the creation of the group at all, citing the lack of focus such warriors would have, being neither the best warriors nor the best magic users; Karris Vaccerion, a bladesman, agreed with Petrus and said that the two disciplines should remain separate.

Finally, Movak the lich spoke. He opposed Mivon joining the war against the Witch King, but said that Janus must be dealt with once and for all. He also agreed that creating a new order of arcane warriors was something that should be explored, but that the number should be limited to twenty members. Having given his counsel, Movak sat and Danak recessed the meeting for an hour.

When the hour was up, Osprak addressed the wizards in the council. His decisions were as follows:

  1. Mivon was to remain neutral in the war against the Witch King
  2. Any wizards who wished to do so were allowed to sell magic weapons, equipment, or any other item as long as it was approved by Magda Goldenbrow; anyone selling magic items in violation of approval was answerable to Osprak himself
  3. Janus was decidedly a threat that would be dealt with for his crimes against citizens of Mivon, the king and his order, and Isis
  4. The Order of the Dragon Guard was to be created; Petroclus was given permission to create the order and Movak was to oversee it; the group was limited to twenty members of any type (initiate through full member) and after a period of ten years the order was to be evaluated and at that time it’d be determined whether or not it would remain a part of Mivon’s defenses

With Osprak’s pronouncement, the meeting was adjourned and the members returned from whence they came. Petrus returned to Hollyburg and began to make plans for wooing Karissa and joining his family’s house with her family’s.

View
Petrus's Trial
Tuesday, Dec 6, 2011 PM Skype Session (solo adventure)

Petrus had been back in Hollyburg a week from his trip to Valhalla, where he and Gabby picked up Karissa. After his brief date with Karissa the following day, when she helped him learn a bit more about necromancy, Petrus threw himself back into his studies; Karissa had returned to her studies as well without anyone making any comments regarding her return. During the week the wizards who tutored Petrus, and others who were full members of the academy, seemed to treat him with more respect.

Toward the end of the week, as the young apprentice was studying in his room, a knock came at the door. Petrus opened the door and found Morion, a young transmuter who’d passed his trials two years prior; Petrus knew the young wizard was fairly high up in the wizardly order, but didn’t know exactly what he did.

Morion

Morion, after entering and taking a seat at Petrus’s request, began talking to the apprentice about politics among the order of wizards and the war with the Witch King. The wizard told Petrus that his trials were going to be initiated soon and that he was expected to pass and become a full wizard, which many were looking forward to. Morion was sure to let Petrus know that he wanted him to be an advocate for Mivon’s continued neutrality in the war; in the mean time, he said that he’d be willing to help or give Petrus guidance if he needed.

Much to the young apprentice’s surprise, he was summoned a couple days later. He’d expected to have more time at his studies before being sent out on another assignment. Additionally, he’d been summoned to King Osprak’s throne room, which was a first for him, instead of Galen’s study, the place he’d received all prior assignments.

Having never been to Osprak’s throne room Petrus was a bit surprised that it was considerably smaller than he’d expected. What it lacked in size, however, it more than made up for with the magical items. The walls had what appeared to be portals into other planes on them as decoration, the stone statues seemed human-like in that they moved just as people, a great number of magical creatures, and an indirect magical light illumined the room.

Osprak greeted Petrus and asked him if he was ready to undergo his trial. Once Petrus agreed, the king described the dragon Dunkelzarken, a gold dragon, who was constantly meddling with the affairs of Mivon and other humans. Petrus thought Osprak’s task was somewhat unusual; he was to go visit the dragon and remind him that Osprak suffered Dunkelzarken to live in the stolen lands and not the other way around. Additionally, Petrus was to provoke the dragon to attack him, which would accomplish two objectives – the first of which was full membership in Osprak’s Wizards , which would be evidenced when a bronze medallion the King gave him with the seal of the wizard’s order turned to silver, and the second of which was to cause the dragon to break the oath he’d made never to attack a wizard of Mivon under any circumstance; breaking the oath would allow Osprak a certain amount of power over the dragon.

Since there were no caveats or provisions to the dragon’s oath Petrus was free to do whatever he needed to in order to get the attack to happen; of course, he had to survive it and return to Mivon in order to enjoy being a full wizard. Osprak told Petrus that any bladesman willing to accompany the apprentice and help him and return from the ordeal would automatically be granted the title of Blade Sworn.

Osprak also told Petrus that he knew that the dragon had sent spies into Mivon and that there was even one in attendance as an apprentice to become one of Osprak’s Wizards. Petroclus Goldenclaw was a sorcerer and Osprak seemed to be a bit derisive about the fact that this heir of Dunkelzarken thought he might be able to perform as well as a wizard, but said he would try the sorcerer on his own merits when the time came.

Finally, King Osprak told Petrus to see Galen, that he would provide assistance and-or any materials that Petrus might need. Upon delivering this final bit of information, Osprak dismissed the apprentice. Before leaving the king, Petrus asked the king for a list of known relatives of Dunkelzarken, which the king provided. Then Petrus left the floating tower and returned to the city of Hollyburg.

After making a copy of the list of Dunkelzarken’s heirs and storing it someplace safe, Petrus’s first visit was to see Bellona, the bladesman. He explained a bit about his trial and asked her if she could get Syrakan military regalia and armor and a robe from the White Tower. She informed him that her armor is already of Syrakan design and that the few pieces of color that might be needed wouldn’t be difficult to get – she’d merely need to take a trip to Crownguard, which would give her opportunity to clear up some unfinished business, but there was no way for her to get a robe of the White Tower. After telling him she’d return in four days, she left Petrus and made her way to do as he requested.

Petrus then went to see Galen to get access to the King’s library. He was hoping to find information on Dunkelzarken’s treasure horde, specifically items that might be used in the war against the Witch King. Galen, being the diviner he is, had already pulled a book that had been written a couple centuries before by a Pitaxan writer; the book was entitled “Treasures Stolen by Dunkelzarken.” Petrus also asked Galen about robes from the White Tower, which Galen told him could be found in the apprentice’s library.

With the book from Galen in hand, Petrus went to the apprentice’s library to get the other book Galen had told him about with styles of robes of the various wizard’s guilds in the nations surrounding Mivon. The book was easily located and Petrus found a number of Syrakan styles, each more intricate than the last the higher in the order the wizard was. Choosing a simple one that indicated an apprentice or new wizard, Petrus took the book to a local clothier and commissioned the robe with all of the needlework to be finished in three-days time for 100 gold pieces.

With the robe commissioned, Petrus returned to his room and read through the book about Dunkelzarken’s treasure horde. The items that stood out to him most were a vampire-bane sword and a set of knightly armor enchanted to prevent the undead’s life-draining ability. Additionally, items of art that might have been worthy of Petrus’s plan were the 12 statues of the ancient Mivonian kings, a painting of the goddess of Selene which displayed every aspect of the goddess (apparently something not even known by her current followers), and the Necklace of the Dawn (a necklace from Roxana, one of the founders of Syrak).

Later that evening Karissa visited Petrus and suggested he get out of his room, that it wasn’t good for him to always being in his room studying. Petrus told her that he’d soon be getting out because Osprak had assigned his trial. Despite her insistence for more information, Petrus told her nothing about his plan; the truth was he didn’t fully trust her with the information and didn’t want to tip his hand to the dragon.

Realizing that Petrus wasn’t going to divulge anything regarding his trial before it began, she offered to help him by way of a spell that acted a bit like the magic jar spell and like the resurrection spell rolled into one; the idea being that if he were to die, his soul would return to an amulet and then be transferred into another person of his choice, the downside being that the person chose would cease to exist.

Petrus chose Strom as the body he’d take over, should death come to him during the trial. Karissa prepared the spell and within an hour of midnight it was completed.

Two days later the Syrakan-styled robes that had been commissioned were complete and Petrus took them and enchanted them with an enhancement to his strength. His goal was to make them so that they resonated magic if checked and a slight boost to his strength was something that he thought could be beneficial. He then went to Galen’s study to return the book on Dunkelzarken’s treasure horde and to see if the diviner had any additional advice for the young apprentice.

Galen suggested that should it come to it, Petrus should sacrifice his bladesman to save his own life. Despite having no moral qualms with killing anyone or even sacrificing anyone should the need arise, the thought of just throwing her life away seemed a bit distasteful to him. Apart from the advice, Galen had nothing to tell the apprentice.

Upon Bellona’s return, Petrus, decked out in his Syrakan wizard robes, went to a seedier side of Hollyburg and hired a Pitaxan rogue to help “liberate” items that “someone” had stolen from Pitax and Syrak. The price was 50 gold pieces and half of all wealth removed, though the possibility of death was real. Ullan, the rouge agreed that the risk sounded worth the potential reward.

Ullan

Using a teleportation circle, Petrus and his two companions traveled to a circle quite near Dunkelzarken’s lair. The lair’s entrance was a huge cavern but just inside there were palatial styled rooms. Not far from the entrance was a stair going down into the mountain; at times it was several bodies wide but it eventually narrowed to a space just wide enough for a single person.

At the bottom of the stairwell, the cavern opened up to a large underground courtyard with a fountain and magical lighting. Sitting at the fountain was a warrior named Ezran, who inquired about the group’s business there. Petrus told him that they were there to liberate items from the dragon’s horde that would be helpful in the war against the witch king and asked him to kindly point the way. With the exception of Ullan, none of the group gave Ezran their real names.

Ezran

Ezran told the group to get lost, but Petrus was insistent, and Ezran drew his weapon. Petrus told him that he’d prefer not to fight, that they merely wanted the treasure. Ezran wouldn’t back down, so Petrus created a spiked pit under the warrior which he wasn’t able to avoid and fell 20 feet onto the spikes.

Taking the opportunity to escape the room while Ezran was trapped in the pit, the three would-be thieves entered a large hall. One of the servants cleaning up the room came over to them and Petrus explained that they were supposed to meet Dunkelzarken in the horde room but had gotten turned around. The servant told the group how to get to the treasure room; they thanked him and quickly made their way in the direction he pointed them.

About mid-way down the hall toward the treasure chamber a large horn blasted, alerting the castle to the intruders. Footsteps not far behind them indicated that their pursuers were nearly on top of them. Petrus summoned a small horse to appear immediately behind them and then the three ran full out to the treasure room. The pursuers were trapped on the other side of the horse as Petrus, Bellona, and Ullan entered the horde room.

The room was pretty much devoid of art, but the wealth in it was substantial, and Ullan ran over and began filling his pockets. Immediately a solid rock barrier slid down, preventing their exit from the way they’d come. The benefit to it, however, was that their pursuers couldn’t follow them. There appeared to be an exit on the far side of the room that was dragon-sized.

After finding the military items described in the book Petrus had read and picking them up to carry them off, they looked at the escape route. Unfortunately a wall of force was blocking the opening. Petrus, not willing to touch the field and not wanting any of his companions to do so either, summoned a dog to try to go through it; the dog was unable to, though it didn’t injure the animal in any way.

Suddenly a mouse entered the room from some small hole in one of the walls and transformed into a huge gold dragon. Dunkelzarken confronted the three as to their business there and Petrus lied, saying he was from Syrak and was trying to get something that would help in the war effort. The dragon didn’t believe him, so the apprentice attacked him.

Dunkelzarken

The stone wall on the other side of the room that was blocking their escape disappeared and Ezran and six other guards entered the room. The dragon told them to capture the intruders and that perhaps in a year they’d feel more like telling the truth.

Bellona turned and attacked Ezran, beheading him, before going on to attack some of the other guards. Petrus summoned a number of creatures to impede and thwart any progress to hamper his group. Unfortunately, when all was said and done, Bellona lay grievously injured and Ullan was scared out of his mind – catatonic.

Dunkelzarken told Petrus that Ezran was his grandson, to which the apprentice said that his plan was really to destroy the dragon’s line because it would please the witch king; Petrus even told him about the list of heirs that he had. The dragon, seemingly unfazed ordered the three remaining guards, all of whom were injured, to capture Petrus.

One last spell from the apprentice broke the dragon’s resolve of non-violence. Dunkelzarken picked Petrus up and squeezed his body tightly, preventing any movement; the grappled condition caused the bronze medallion around Petrus’s neck to burn a bit as it transmuted from bronze to silver. He questioned the wizard about the list of relatives, to which Petrus named off several from the list. The dragon squeezed the young man, bruising his muscles and breaking a rib as he told the wizard that he was irritated with the boy.

Petrus then explained that just as the dragon doesn’t like it when people meddle with his family and riches, the king of Mivon doesn’t like others meddling with him and his kingdom either. Furthermore, he had broken his oath to not attack any of Osprak’s wizards. The dragon demanded proof that Petrus was a wizard of Mivon and Petrus presented the silver medallion from under his robe.

The dragon threw the wizard to the ground angrily and told him that if he could carry his friends out of there, they could leave. Anyone who couldn’t get out either by being carried or on their own would remain his prisoner. He told them that if they came back to his lair, they would be killed as enemies.

Petrus gave Bellona a healing potion and she was able to move on her own, albeit extremely slowly. Together, they guided Ullan, the catatonic thief, out of the dragon’s horde room. Dunkelzarken demanded they leave the vampire-bane sword and the armor they had taken in the room. The three made their way back to the stone circle, where Petrus teleported them all back to Hollyburg.

Bellona made her way to the temple of Isis where she and Ullan were treated for their injuries. Ullan, had escaped the dragon’s horde room with his pockets full of gold and jewels, though his mind never fully recovered from the ordeal, Petrus let him keep everything stolen.

Petrus met with King Osprak and was congratulated on his completion of the trial; Osprak told him that he was not likely to go back to Dunkelzarken’s lair anytime soon. Petrus told the king that it was a fortunate thing that neither he nor Bellona had given anyone their real names or told anyone else about the trial. Retribution, hopefully, would never come.

As a gift for completing his trial, King Osprak presented the new wizard with a staff topped with a glowing blue gem. The young wizard had provided exactly what the king needed and now had all of the rights and responsibilities as a wizard of Mivon.

View
Villians in Valhalla
Friday, Dec 2, 2011 PM Skype Session

Field of honour1

Gabby and Petrus had just left the trial of the traitors to Mivon. Exiting the building where the trial had taken place Gabriel Syrakson the wizard and his Blade Sworn, Ravnek, invited the two to talk. As they walked along, Gabriel suggested that the two strongly consider how they’d advise Osprak if he were to ask them about the war with the Witch King. It was well known that Gabriel favored the war.

Carissa1

A couple days later both Petrus and Gabby were summoned to Galen’s study at dusk. Upon arriving they found Osprak at their teacher’s desk, but Galen was nowhere to be found.

Osprak instructed the two that they were to travel to the plane of Valhalla to bring back Karissa Cornelia to Hollyburg. Apparently she’d made her way from Elysium to Valhalla and according to Osprak and Galen she’ll have a definite role in upcoming war with the Witch King. In some strands of the future, she allied herself with the Witch King and in other strands of the future she was allied with Mivon. The two are given until dawn to prepare themselves for the trip.

At dawn Galen sent Petrus and Gabby to a stone circle on the plane of Valhalla. When they arrived, all was not as expected. The battle had been huge, but the soldiers hadn’t risen at dusk to feast as was the custom. A sound alerted them to a survivor nearby.
Olaf
A quick search revealed a large warrior with a missing arm and leg and a sword impaling him. The two found out that the dead no longer rose since the Lady of the Dead had come. The warrior’s name was Olaf. Petrus gave Olaf a cure potion that revived him enough for him to take them to a well that was supposed to restore the warriors; Olaf agreed to help Petrus and Gabby remove the lady of dead from the realm of Valhalla.

After evading several undead, the trio made it to the simple rune inscribed well where Olaf drank from it deeply; the runes on the well were inscriptions of Tor and for rebirth. Upon finishing his drink a bright light shone from Olaf’s wounds and when it dissipated it revealed that he was made whole again.

While Olaf was drinking Gabby noticed movement in the nearby forest. Asking Olaf who he thought was there, the warrior said that it was likely other chosen heroes of the plane. Petrus filled two water skins with water from the well and the trio headed into the wood to meet the other warriors there.

The warriors in the wood took Olaf, Petrus and Gabby to their chieftan’s hall. Their chiefton, Siguard, told them that the magic of Tor was somehow cut off from the plane, that the god himself was somehow being prevented from interacting with his own realm.

Petrus recalled some of the things he’d studied regarding religion and magic and realized that there was probably a strong artifact from another god’s realm somewhere on this one, most likely in the same place with the lady of the dead. He told the assembly this information and afterward Gabby suggested a plan of attack that was not the standard resident of Valhalla’s mode of action.

Siguard, seeing that what they’d tried as standard practice hadn’t worked, time and time again, agreed that they’d try Gabby’s plan, which was essentially using the bulk of the warriors to clear the majority of the undead enemy away from the castle the lady of the dead was living in while a small contingent infiltrated the castle and brought down the lady’s rule. Olaf and a dozen other warriors were charged with helping Petrus and Gabby get into the castle.

The castle was made completely of bone and standing in front of it were legions of undead. Siguard and his 1000 warriors were outnumbered nearly five to one, but still they taunted the hordes before them. Soon the entire army of undead marched on Siguard’s position, giving Olaf and his men (along with Petrus and Gabby) time to move toward the gate. Gabby slipped off as they neared the gate and found a way over the wall and the release mechanism for the gate, which crushed four skeletons when it fell with a crash.

The group fought their way past the almost negligible defenses of the castle’s interior. Seven warriors, Olaf, Gabby and Petrus made it through the first hall. Upon climbing the stairs, three of the warriors were swallowed by the staircase, which was some type of trap; the rest of the group made it to the next floor.

A large skeleton stood on the landing. Petrus summoned a celestial riding dog while Olaf and the others told him and Gabby to go on, that they’d handle the evil being. Gabby and Petrus climbed a second set of stairs and discovered a red haired woman standing before a score of undead. Karissa was chained as a prisoner on one side of the room and a bone altar to Nocturne stood on the other side of the room; the altar contained a large red crystal of some type that pulsated with energy.
Lady of the undead1
After some initial words with the woman about letting Karissa go, which was declined, the woman sent the undead towards Petrus and Gabby. Petrus created an extradimensional pit under the altar, causing it to fall 20 feet where it landed with a crash. The entire castle shook and the woman screamed out in fury.

Gabby took the opportunity to spring through the undead and attack the woman. Much to his and Petrus’ surprise, she turned out to be a vampire. Gabby hit her, stunning her, while the shaking of the building knocked her down. Karissa managed to wrest control of several of the undead from the vampire and forced them to attack the undead that were still under the vampire’s control.

Petrus created a flaming fireball on top of the vampire, burning her. Unfortunately after several back and forth attacks, the vampire had sustained no real damage; she was healing nearly as fast as she was able to be damaged. Gabby managed to allow himself to get bit by the vampire, as she drew his life blood and life force from him.

As the extradimensional pit’s spell time ended, the altar reappeared a broken shamble of bone with the gem still intact and Petrus hit it with a bolt of acid, melting it. Immediately the vampire turned to gaseous form and fled while the castle and all of the undead disintegrated into a fine mist. The last thing Gabby or Petrus remembered before the castle fell down around them was the large booming voice of laughter.

When Petrus, Gabby, and Karissa awoke, they were laying in the field where the castle once stood. Tor himself was there and thanked them for allowing his return to his own realm. After raising all of the fallen heroes and creating a feast for them to partake, the god gave them special places of honor at his own table. Sensing that this was the appropriate time to offer a gift, Petrus presented the Ustalavian bottle of endless vodka to the god, who gladly accepted it.

The feasting and drinking went on all night, though there was no ill effect. Eventually they all went to sleep only to rise the next morning just before the day’s battle. Olaf met with Gabby and Petrus. As a way of saying thanks, Olaf presented Gabby with a belt of giant’s strength and to Petrus he gave a torque of fortitude. Bidding them farewell the warrior joined his comrades on the field of battle.

Tor offered a boon to the two adventurers. Gabby declined, but Petrus requested something be added to his cloak to help him survive longer in battles. The god bestowed upon his cloak protection from law. Afterward he called to the Valkyries to take Petrus, Gabby and Karissa back to Hollyburg. The Valkyries returned them to the observation deck of Osprak’s castle, where the king himself was standing.

After explaining to Osprak what had happened, the three apprentices returned to the mainland. Petrus bought black roses and sent them to Karissa as a seemingly romantic gesture. The following day she met him and said she’d make sure that he knew some about necromancy, as that knowledge would be needed in the war with the Witch King.

Petrus and Gabby were given 3000 gold pieces for their role in aiding the kingdom.

View
Dragon's Digs
Friday, Nov 18, 2011 PM Skype Session

In April Petrus, Romero (a paladin), Hugo, and Gabby (a monk) were all called to Galen’s study. Upon arriving there, they find King Osprak, much to their surprise, who tells them that Galen and Hedron, his bladesworn, are away on business of the kingdom. It had something to do with Janus, the blood magic wizard who had stolen the staff of the Ivoness line.

Petrus was invited to recount the tale and what he knew of Janus. Afterward, Osprak said that he’d thrown Janus out of Osprak’s wizards around 50 years prior.

Osprak told the group that the staff that was stolen was forged in part by a blue dragon named Reganell. Petrus was instructed to speak with the dragon and to try to discover as much as he could about the staff’s power.

Before going, the four adventurers requested to do additional study on a range of topics they thought they’d need. Osprak allowed them passage to the wizard’s library, a library hidden in an extra-dimensional space.

After gaining some information on blue dragons and the history of the staff and on the practices of blood magic, the group returned to Hollyburg to be teleported to a stone circle near the are the dragon lived in the deserts to the far north.

Upon arriving at the desert the four encountered a giant scorpion and after a bit of effort killed the beast. Petrus took a bit of time to harvest the stinger’s poison and its eyes and heart for magical reagents.

Gradually making their way to the most likely location the group saw what appeared to be a caravan camp site; they chose to avoid it so they wouldn’t have to deal with any additional problems or distractions. A few hours later they discovered the entrance to the dragon’s lair held open by magic and entered it.

Sleeping in the entry of the cave, blocking the path, was a dragon born, a humanoid creature of dragon descent. Deciding it’d be better to wake him up directly than to accidentally wake him by trying to sneak over him, they woke up the dragon born.

The dragon born’s name was Drad and he was the gatekeeper for Reganell’s lair. After speaking with Drad for several minutes, the group was taken and presented to Reganell in the dragon’s horde room. Upon entering, Hugo presented the dragon with sapphires brought specifically for the occasion.

After a long discussion about the current state of the world and a bit of recent history, the group finally found out that the staff only worked for the line of Ivoness. The purpose of the staff was to draw additional magical energies to the owner of the staff and to bring him good fortune as a leader and to bring the realm he ruled good fortune.

After gaining the information the four adventures made their way back to the stone circle and Petrus returned them to Hollyburg. The group recounted to Osprak what Reganell had told them about the Ivoness line and the staff. The speculation was that Janus had perhaps found an heir of Ivoness and might be trying to make a move on the kingdom of Mivon; of course it was merely speculation until hard facts could be shown.

Osprak gave each of the young adventures 3000 gold pieces for additional equipment and spells.

View
Dark Hearts

For some time master Galen and his Bladesman, Hedron, have been away from Mivon, investigating the reappearance of the blood mage Janus amongst other things, so it came as a surprise for several of the apprentices and Bladesmen of Mivon to receive a summons to Galen’s quarters for an important assignment.

With utmost punctuality Cyllw, Brandon, Tarsus, Took, Melidron and Hagrad attended, but it was not Master Galen that had called them but King Osprak himself. He was concerned but happy with the group’s progress and more importantly concerned with Janus’ appearance in the city of Novgorod in Ustalav of all places. After some discussion he commanded the party to go investigate Janus’ actions in Ustalav and if possible to put an end to his plans, he granted the party all the knowledge and equipment they would need to make the journey as well as single use communication devices to be used should the situation take a turn for the worst. Later that evening the party were taught the required circle teleportation rituals by King Osprak and brought to Ustalav, but as emissaries of Mivon it was beneath them to simply walk to the main city instead with another gesture from Osprak they were enchanted with the powers of flight and sent to arrive in style.

Once landed the party was warmly greeted by the guards of Novgorod and given free reign of the city.Their first stop was to meet with Petrus the Elder, the ambassador of Mivon who had been informed of their arrival. While Hagrad delivered important messages to the local temple of Isis, Petrus was happy to meet the party and like Osprak was concerned about Janus’ appearance, shortly he revealed that Janus had made no secret of his presence in Ustalav and had rented out a tavern to himself as well as had begun recruiting mercenaries, it was also revealed that he had been having regular meetings with Teska, the self styled princess and daughter of Zoyenka the ruler of Novgorod. From here the party split to cover more ground and leads, Brandon and Cyllw would go talk to Teska and win her favour and trust and be joined by Hagrad as soon as his other business was settled, Tarsus, Melidron and Thok who would be unknowns to Janus and so would go investigate the mercenaries and join them undercover to find out Janus’s plans.

The three that went to Janus found joining to be remarkably easy, as long as one could boast enough, naturally Melidron boasted of his legendary dragon slaying might and Tarsus of his great skill. The mercenary leader, Sigismund, eagerly recruited Melidron and Tarsus with surprisingly good rates of pay, however Thok was to be met and recruited by Janus himself, with a quick distraction the other two managed to quickly join their comrade, Janus was exceedingly happy to have dissidents from Mivon join his cause, and also enjoyed their apparent hatred for Galen.

Elsewhere Brandon and Cyllw came up with a idea to help Teska with her magical studies. Instead of trying to get her to learn the secrets of magic Brandon could instead create magical artefacts (with enough Ustalav funding) to help her simulate the powers instead since she lacked any real talent. Upon approaching Teska, she seemed rather fond of the idea and granted Brandon access to anything he might need for the items, meanwhile Cyllw was able to get a few vague details about Teska’s dealings with Janus. According to Teska she had been teaching the mage Ustalav ice magic, something that was instantly disbelieved by both Brandon and Cyllw who had been informed by Petrus the Elder on just how untalented Teska was in the ways of magic, leading to many suspicions. Later the Dwarven cleric attempted to impress Teska with the wonders of the goddess-Queen Isis but Teska’s continental sized ego quickly dismissed him. During his visit to the temple of Isis the cleric had also discovered that Janus had been purchasing massive stocks of healing items.

Over the next couple of days the party continued to gather more information, the cleric moved between the mercenaries’ tavern and the palace speaking words of wonder about Isis while Brandon busily worked on his prototypes for Teska. Cyllw ‘enjoyed’ much time with Teska while Tarsus, Melidron and Took gathered more information about Janus. Things were definitely amiss as ideas of what Janus was planning began to take form.

Brandon’s experiments turned out a definite success, in his time he created three fiery orbs of power that impressed most of Teska’s admirers, though only two of them were demonstrated. The third Brandon kept to himself for further tinkering, seeing the potential irresponsibility, arrogance and naivety of Teska, Brandon attached failsafe command words to this orb and made plans on attaching them to the others he was being asked to make.

Meanwhile Tarsus and Thok had meetings with Janus who began teaching them a little bit on how one handles true power and more importantly how one gains it, he showed them a touch of what the forbidden secrets of Blood Magic had to offer, and how they could greatly increase the effectiveness of their spells. This greatly impressed the two, who have seen how even the lowliest of magic can be improved by blood magic to be dreadfully powerful. it was not long before Janus gathered the three and set them a task, to do away with the three new arrivals from Mivon, namely Brandon, Cyllw and Hagrad; if they could complete this task he would have much to offer them, if they failed, well, that had its own ‘issues’.

With great subtlety Petrus the Elder gathered the party to talk about what they had learned, from the combined information it become the theory that Janus was planning a coup d’état, and it was going to happen soon, during Princess Zoyenka’s coming birthday celebration, it was also suggested that Teska was supporting this plan for her rise to power and this plan of course needed to be stopped. Petrus the Elder decided that he needed to warn the real ruler and princess of Novgorod and Hagrad went warn his temple, during this the rest of the party spent much time discussing what plan they should put in place to stop this event from occurring. Tarsus suggested the elimination of Janus explaining that the wizard would be vulnerable since his most of his mercenaries were leaving on a quick mission soon and now especially against the six of them easily dispatchable, Brandon who had seen how powerful Janus is at firsthand, suggested avoiding a head on confrontation, instead supporting the idea of setting a trap, knowing that Janus had ‘issues’ with him and Cyllw, Brandon suggested to the party to fake their own death scenario, the three were hirelings to Janus and so could gain much in Janus’s esteem by proving to have slain the two, bringing their bodies as proof, bodies that could be booby trapped and provide the three with the opening they needed to slay the blood mage once and for all, Brandon’s creation the scorching orb would prove a perfect booby trap, Cyllw proceeded with Melidron to go and find/purchase a couple of corpses which Brandon could sculpt to appear as himself and Cyllw, after the required work Brandon placed the Scorching Orb trap and gave Tarsus the command word to activated it when the time was right. It was at this point that all hell broke loose.

Tarsus immediately said the command word of the Scorching Orb, attempting to kill Brandon with his own creation while he was the closest to it, fortunately Brandon was quick witted enough to say the failsafe command before the orb activated,. Unfortunately for Brandon Tarsus was undeterred by the trap failing to activate and immediately empowered his blade with lightning and blood magic and impaled the young necromancer, leaving him on the ground bleeding to death, Melidron and Thok began their own combat preparations however Cyllw was quick enough to cast a spell and vanishing from sight. Unfortunately for Tarsus he had forgotten about Fluffy, the undead armoured Winter Worg created by Brandon some time ago and named himself. He also did not know that Fluffy was no longer bound to Brandon but instead had been given to Cyllw as a gift. Upon command the monstrosity instantly charged Tarsus and inflicted deep bloody wounds. Cyllw found her escape blocked and began magical preparations of her own. Dying, slowly Brandon attempted a dark curse on Tarsus to forever more rob him of sight, however a quick slice from Tarsus’s curved blade cut his throat and ended the necromancer’s life before he could complete the spell. Melidron, Tarsus and Thok quickly began focusing their efforts on bringing Fluffy down, who was determined not to go out without a fight as he tore into Tarsus. Cyllw broke her invisibility to begin her own offensive to capitalise of the opportunity Fluffy was buying her and attempted to reactivate Brandon’s trap orb, Tarsus attempted to interrupt this by trying to say Brandon’s failsafe command which he had only briefly heard but between the two Cyllw succeeded in activating the orb which promptly starting throwing powerful magical attacks at those unlucky enough to be within its range.

With combined effort and blood magic the three were able to bring down and destroy Fluffy, however, the orb was inflicting terrible damage to them. Melidron began focusing his attacks against Cyllw and a scorching ray from the orb hit Tarsus square in the chest, dropping him like a sack of bricks. It was now that a confused Hagrad arrived from his trip to the temple of Isis and having heard Cyllw cries for help and seeing the carnage was able cast a charm spell on Melidron overwhelming his willpower just shortly after his final sword thrust had left Cyllw unconscious and bleeding on the ground, Thok attempted to incinerate the Dwarf with a blood magic improved stream of fire, but despite the burning wounds inflicted the dwarf stood defiant against his onslaught, the final attack of the trap orb brought Thok to his knees as another one found himself face first on the ground. Melidron attempted to revive his friend Tarsus with a quick potion but only succeeded in stabilising the elf. Hagrad smartly intervened before Melidron could use another potion on Tarsus explaining that it might be best for him to be left unconscious while this mess is sorted out, he would hate to be forced into a fight with him after all.

Here we shall end the tale of dark hearts. Brandon lies dead, Thok with smouldering wounds, Cyllw with bloody gashes of her own, Tarsus unconscious and Melidron charmed to Hagrad.

View
Temple Traffic
Friday, Nov 4, 2011 PM Skype Session

In the spring, after several nights of disturbed sleep, Mesta called Petrus, Brandon, and Cyllw to the temple of Isis in Hollyburg. Once they’d all arrived, Mesta told the trio that she’d been having bad dreams about them visiting a cave in which some type of magic staff hovered over a pool. She had a sense of foreboding that something evil was seeking out the staff and she felt that the dream was from Isis and that they needed to try to prevent whatever evil was about to befall the place.

The four of the students traveled to the library to do some research, hoping to discover the exact location and to find out a bit more about the staff that she’d dreamed about. What they discovered was that the staff was likely the one the kings of the Ivoness dynasty held. While it was not clear exactly how the staff worked, it appeared to change with its owner and the last one to hold it was the last king of Mivon, King Ivoness the 12th. Additionally they discovered maps that seemed to mark out the possible last capital of the Ivoness dynasty, deep within the borders of Pitax.

While discussing how they might travel to the location in Pitax, a journey they were estimating would take several weeks, Cyllw was called over to the head librarian, who suggested she read a travel book about the different humanoid races written by another Merg decades before. After finding out what the students were doing, the librarian also suggested that they all talk with Galen.

The group decided that Galen’s advice and any possible help would be quite advantageous to their impromptu expedition and went to speak with him. After talking to him about what they were planning, Galen said he’d teach them the incantation for the teleportation circles and that there was a circle very near the place they wanted to go; it was only two day’s travel from it instead of many weeks. After getting their bladesworn counterparts and the supplies they needed, Petrus, who’d taken copious notes during Galen’s instruction, teleported the group to the area in Pitax they needed to be.

Within minutes of arriving Petrus noticed tracks that seemed unusual to him and he pointed them out the group’s ranger, Guntar, who identified them as goblin tracks. After a bit of scouting Guntar came back and told them that there were indeed multiple goblins that had also traveled this same track not too long before and that they were probably watching them, which was verified by Brandon catching sight of one of them. After a bit more time, Guntar left the group to dispose of the goblin scout who seemed to be following them.

The students continued down the trail in the direction of the temple they’d discovered on the maps. Suddenly they were ambushed by a contingent of the goblins and a couple of ogres. Putting up a significant fight, the group killed the ogres and many of the goblins, the remainder of which ran away but returned to hound the students all the way to the temple.

Once inside the ancient temple they made their way to the central chamber, which seemed to be a natural cave which glowed with an eerie greenish light. In the middle was a pool of water but no staff remained above it. Instead, Petrus and Cyllw noticed that a figure in a dark robe sat, as if wounded, next to the pool.

The group arrived in front of the man to hear him weakly asking for help. Brandon gave the man a potion of healing which did him a great deal of good, reviving him enough to explain what’d happened. The man’s name was Tanin and he was a necromancer who served a bloodmage master who thought nothing of sacrificing his apprentices to gain what he desired. His master had taken the staff and had gone to the temple’s teleportation circle to return to Ensio, the city of the Witch King. Petrus and Cyllw decided that the man was untrustworthy and had Dalyna kill him with her spear, just as he was trying to take control of Brandon’s undead minions.

The group rushed into the teleportation room in time to see a red-cloaked wizard holding two staves preparing to leave. Brandon fired off a crossbow bolt, which seemingly disintegrated before it reached it’s goal. Petrus cast grease on the staff that obviously was of Mivonian heritage; unfortunately the dispelling field the wizard had in effect negated its effectiveness. The three bladesworn and Mesta ran forward and were thrown like ragdolls to the back wall. Petrus then cast break on one of the rocks of the circle, hoping to destroy it and prevent the staff from being taken. Cyllw cast a charm spell on the wizard, with no apparent effect. Brandon cast a ray at the wizard, again to no effect. Petrus summoned a riding dog and had it try to wrest the staff from the wizard; the wizard deftly moved it before the dog could get it in its maw and with his other staff incinerated the summoned creature.

The wizard’s name was Janus, and he’d once served alongside Galen. He had nothing nice to say about the apprentice master, basically relegating him to near non-wizard status compared to himself. After he was done belittling Galen, Janus opened a portal to one of the other planes and left, leaving the students to figure out what to do next.

The group decided to spend the night in the temple, rather than trying to fight their way through the goblins in the woods outside. Mesta and the other bladesworn were not in much shape to travel and Mesta was having problems getting the power she needed through her prayers to Isis. The following morning the group decided that perhaps the temple had in some way been desecrated and set to search out a method for setting it right.

On the top floor of the temple, in front of the altar, there was indeed a desecration. Apparently Janus summoned and bound a devil to kill the group as they entered the sanctuary. Fortunately, Petrus opened the door without entering the room and immediately recognized the creature was a devil. Speaking Infernal to the creature, the student made it promise to return home without harming anything in any way in exchange for being released from the binding circle. The devil agreed and Petrus entered the room and set it free.

Before leaving, the devil relayed that Janus had known exactly who was coming to the temple before they arrived and had commanded the devil to slay them all, but due to no longer being bound, he was not obligated to carry out the wishes of the wizard. He told Petrus that though his agreement not to harm anything was good for now, it would likely not be so the next time they met. The devil’s four-syllable name began with Garen.

After the devil left the sanctuary, the students helped Mesta consecrate the location and once more she felt that her prayers were properly getting through to the goddess.

The group then decided that if there was anything else of value, especially lore, they would return to Hollyburg with it. They made their way down to the treasure chamber and discovered wards and runes on the door. As Petrus was trying to work them out Mesta stepped right up to the door and was blown back by an explosion; a magic mouth appeared and Janus’s voice was heard saying how please he was to have had someone set off his trap.

Cyllw, with a prayer to Isis and her eyes closed, pushed the door open and walked through into the chamber. Unfortunately it had been ransacked and there was nothing of value remaining. With little to show for the trip other than the knowledge that a new enemy existed, the group made their way back to the teleportation circle that first brought them to the area.

Petrus transported everyone home and Mesta returned to the temple of Isis for healing and aid. The bladesworn went to the Drunken Unicorn with some money from Brandon to get properly drunk with, and the wizard apprentices went to see Galen to inform him of the trip.

After telling Galen about their encounter with Janus, Galen told them a bit about the history the two had under Osprak’s service when they were merely called Osprak’s wizards, rather than wizards of Mivon. Galen congratulated the group for surviving what was clearly beyond their abilities.

View
A Giant Mistake
Friday, Oct 28, 2011 PM Skype Session

Galen requested that Petrus and Grak Bonebreaker, an Orc bladesman apprentice, go to Ustalav to meet with Petrus’s uncle, Petrus the Elder, who was acting as a Mivonian ambassador to the city of Novgorod.

Grak asked if there would be any shinnies that he’d be able to collect or if there were any dragons or giants to fight; like most Orcs, he liked shinnies and fighting. Galen said that if they could procure a giant’s head somehow, he’d pay handsomely for it (literally: I’ll give you lots of shinnies if you could bring me a giant’s head). Petrus was more interested in seeing his uncle again and didn’t concern himself with the desires of the Orc bladesman apprentice, something that he’d come to regret (at least mildly) later.

After the discussion of fighting and loot between the wisened, old wizard and the simpleton Orc, Galen suggested the Petrus and Grak fly into the city of Novgorod, as it would be most appropriate. He cast a fly spell on them and allowed them to practice for a minute before teleporting them both to a location very near the city. As they flew into the Novgorod, they landed on a platform and were greeted by Mikial, a warrior-guard of the princess. Mikial took the two to Petrus the Elder’s room while he explained a bit about the culture and political structures in Novgorod.

The city of Novgorod, like all of the other major Ustalavian cities, was ruled by a sorceress, one of the seven daughters of the Ice Queen of Ustalav. Despite being called a daughter, there was no necessary blood relation to the queen; adoption was a viable means of getting the right people in the right places so Ustalav could be ruled without problem. The Ice Queen’s daughter, and the ruler of Novgorod, was named Zoyenka. Almost all of the adults were martially trained, though it was the females who ruled society.

The Princess Zoyenka had requested that Petrus the Elder, called Venenarius to those in this local, tutor her daughter, Teska, in the ways of wizardry. Venenarius found the girl difficult to teach because of her relatively short attention span and her seeming lack of desire to do much of anything magical. Venenarius was glad to see Petrus and Grak and asked them if they wouldn’t mind trying to tutor the girl, because she was more their age than his and it would give him opportunity to take care of some other business. Petrus and Grak agreed and went to seek out the young girl, who was in the training arena.

Petrus watched Teska from a distance and quickly determined that even as a sorceress she was not particularly good. After she was finished with her practice, Petrus and Grak introduced themselves. Teska immediately asked them about stories from other lands and Grak started talking about dragons and giants. Petrus tried to bring the topic back around to magic and thought that perhaps Teska might be suited to another magical profession other than sorcery or wizardry. Before he could suggest that she study something else, she had said that what she really needed was to prove herself to everyone else by fighting and killing a giant. Grak was completely agreeable to fighting a giant, as he wanted the giant’s head. Despite his great knowledge, Petrus couldn’t determine the wisest method to dissuade the two from something so obviously dangerous and ended up having to accompany the two on their quest to fight a giant.

Teska told the two to get whatever they needed and to meet her back in the training room. Petrus, hoping that his uncle was still in his room, returned to his uncle’s room to try to get him to stop the impetuousness of the princess’s daughter. Unfortunately he wasn’t in his room, so Petrus did the best he could; he borrowed a few of his uncle’s items, namely a staff of fire and potions of healing and mage armor.

Returning to the training arena, Petrus and Grak found Teska standing there with some type of magic artifact that was used for teleporting. She requested the two stand quietly with her so she could concentrate on the location they were teleporting to and the artifact would instantly transport them there. Just as they were being teleported, Petrus reached over and pinched Teska, hoping to break her concentration and force them to remain in the training room. Unfortunately it didn’t work and they were transported to a barren snow field in the mountains.

Grak immediately noted that there was smoke and a residence of some type up the side of the mountain a bit. The three quickly made their way toward the residence and Grak offered to check it out. It was some type of hunting lodge for frost giants and a rather old one was home and noticed the Orc. The giant welcomed Grak into his home and Grak asked if he could have the giant’s head, to which the giant declined.

Teska and Petrus followed Grak into the giant’s home. The giant offered the three soup and told them of the giants being overthrown by a king and then sometime shortly afterward the rise of the Ustalavian matriarchal society coming into power. The giants have been trying to figure out any way possible to retake the land they’d lost. Grak let it slip that Teska was the princess’s daughter and the giant decided that they all were to be taken to the hall of the giant king so the king could use them to leverage more land back from the Ustalavians.

Not wanting to be captured, Petrus immediately went invisible and found a spot out of the way of any possible action. Teska was captured by the giant and Grak immediately attacked the giant. Petrus summoned a small fire elemental to attack the giant as Teska was thrown into a large burlap bag. Grak attacked again as the giant stomped the elemental out. Petrus in the mean time had summoned a swarm of bats to attack the giant. The giant attacked Grak and Grak attacked him back. Petrus made sure the swarm continued attacking the giant while Teska cut a hole in the bag and tried to get away. Grak attacked again and was picked up and crushed in the giant’s hand, causing him to be grievously injured. Due to his Orc ferocity, Grak was able to continue attacking the giant. As the bats swarmed him, the giant grabbed Teska as she tried to attack him and then dropped her as Grak attacked him. The giant crushed Grak with a mighty blow, killing him. Petrus used the staff of fire to incinerate the top of the giant’s body in a fireball, killing him.

Teska was elated that the giant was dead and proclaimed that is was due to her abilities that the giant was dead. She was so pleased with herself and the accolades she knew she’d receive from home. She mentioned that Grak would receive an honorable burial, while Petrus scavenged things from the giant’s body (body parts and fluids to use as reagents), hunting lodge (silver coins), and Grak’s body (40gp, Ioun stone of continual flame).

The two returned with Grak’s body to Novogrod, where Teska was proclaimed a hero. Petrus wasn’t really on speaking terms with her, as it’d cost Mivon a good apprentice bladesman, but more importantly had put him in unnecessary danger. Petrus met with his uncle and explained the situation. His uncle acknowledged that the young apprentice had done the best he could with the circumstances given him. Petrus returned all of the things he’d borrowed and went to Grak’s burial service. After the burial of Grak, Petrus returned to Mivon to continue his studies.

View
The Pretrial
Friday, Oct 21, 2011 PM Skype Session

Galen came and told Brandon , Hugo, Petrus and Thok that they would be required to undergo a pretrial to remain in the academy as apprentices. The test consisted of three parts: a presentation and defense of their chosen school of magic or profession, a spell dual, and an answer proposing why Mivon is remaining neutral during the current war.

The first part of the test was for each person to present their school or profession and then defend it based on questions from each of the other students. Petrus presented and defended conjuration, Thok presented and defended divination, Brandon presented and defended necromancy, and Hugo presented and defended the bladesmen.

The second part of the test was a spell dual in which Hugo and Petrus were matched against Brandon and Thok. Brandon and Thok got the drop on the other team. Hugo, not having any significant magical ability was incapacitated within the first few seconds of the combat, while Petrus was sickened with some necromantic spell. Petrus managed to entangle Brandon with his own rope and put Thok to sleep. Brandon hit Petrus with another necromantic spell that made the conjurer frightened. After being hit with a rolling fire sphere, Petrus tried to hide in a mist while he summoned a riding dog. Just as the riding dog materialized, Petrus fell after being hit with the fire sphere a second time. The dog almost took Brandon out as he woke Thok up, but with a spell of false life, he managed to pull through.

The third part of the trial was trying to explain the current neutrality that Osprak has adhered to for the kingdom. There were no wrong answers; it was only supposition.

Ultimately, all of the students passed the pretrial and were allowed to remain as apprentices in their respective academies.

View
Pardon, Prison, or Perish?
Friday, Oct 7, 2011 PM Skype Session

Petrus and Alsa were called in by Galen while Hugo was still suffering with his hangover from drinking with Yiri. Galen questioned the two about their knowledge of Mivonian legal codes, especially that concerning treason. After it was apparent that neither were too well versed in the intricacies of legal code, Galen told them that typically death was the sentence for being found guilty of treason, though more creative punishments could be assigned.

Galen told the two young apprentices that they needed to determine Karissa Cornelia’s fate for the act of treason she committed; additionally, they were told that they were to carry out the sentence if they were able and if not the Council of Wizards would help. Galen said that it would probably be good for them to see Sarak, a priest of Isis, who was the keeper of legal records. Galen gave the two a candle of truth and sent them on their way.

Upon visiting Sarak, Petrus and Alsa were told that wizards in Mivon were not subject to laws as common citizens were. While abuses were rarely tolerated, occasionally they occurred, but wizards always policed themselves and peers were judge and juries. The crime of treason often carried the sentence of death, but banishment was also a possibility, and in rare circumstances a pardon was offered to the offender.

Petrus spoke with Alsa and told him they needed to determine the reason for Karissa’s actions before determining the sentence. They both went to Karissa’s and were turned away at the door by her man servant, who said she wasn’t at home. The two asked to see Molly, Karissa’s maid, bluffing that they had a message from Hugo.

Molly came to the door and a message was fabricated that he wanted to see the maid later in the evening. During the conversation Molly let on that Karissa was indeed at home presently; she was abruptly hushed by the man servant and had to return in to the house. Before returning inside, she agreed to meet Hugo at 8pm that night. Petrus and Alsa then sought out Hugo and relayed the date they’d set him up on for later in the evening.

After the appointed time when Hugo and Molly were supposed to be on their date, Alsa and Petrus returned to Karissa’s house and banged on the door until the man servant opened the door. Just as he opened it, Petrus hit him with a color spray spell, knocking him unconscious long enough for the two to tie him up and gag him. The drug the man servant back to his room and put him back on his bed.

As they returned to the central hall, Karissa hailed them from the top of the stairs. She was armed with a wand and a staff. She demanded to know why they’d broken into her house and that they leave. Petrus said that they just wanted to talk when she attacked. Petrus just managed to raise a shield spell before the magic missiles she shot from her wand hit him. Alsa attacked Karissa with a spell of his own and Petrus hit her area with a grease spell, causing her to fall and drop her wand and staff. Just as she regained her feet, Alsa used the curtains to entangle her.

With Karissa disarmed and disabled, the two apprentices finally convinced her to talk. Taking her to her study, they lit the candle of truth and began their questioning of the girl. She wasn’t convinced they had any evidence to implicate her for treason, but Petrus noted that they had stationery from her home in her handwriting with details about Mivon’s defenses and even if they didn’t have it, Yiri implicated her as a Mivonian spy.

When asked why she did it, she said she was being blackmailed. Yiri knew of her family’s history and that its blood was tainted with the blood of a vampire, Vladic, an Ustalavian vampire. To try to save her family from being expelled from Mivon, she agreed to help Yiri get the information he desired. She didn’t check with her family and was acting alone, trying to prevent what she assumed would be the worst case if the information came to light.

Despite the family rivalries between Petrus’s family and the Cornelius family, Petrus promised that the information they’d learned would not be shared with anyone else. Unfortunately, however, since Karissa had voluntarily revealed state secrets to an enemy she’d have to be sentenced.

Alsa and Petrus took Karissa back to Galen’s study. When Galen asked what the sentence was, the two apprentices left Karissa with him to discuss what the exact sentence should be. Petrus suggested being banished to the plane of Elysium and said that it might give Karissa more faith in people than to assume that they would run an entire family out of town just because of things beyond their control. He suggested sending her there without her spell book or any other magical items. He said it would be a real punishment for her as well, with her vampiric heritage and a lack of ability to work on necromancy, her school of specialization. Alsa agreed that it was probably an appropriate punishment.

The two apprentices returned to Galen’s room and found Karissa encased in some type of energy field. They told Galen that they felt a banishment to the plane of Elysium would be an appropriate punishment for Karissa’s actions. They said that since her family wasn’t involved in the treasonous acts, no consequence should come to them, either in the form of loss of property or in loss of reputation for having a family member that was caught in the act of treason. For this reason, they suggested that she write her family a letter saying she was going away to study on a research project; additionally, the man servant would need to have the last twelve hours of his memory erased so that he wouldn’t be able to tell anyone anything differently from the official story.

Galen requested to know why they thought this punishment was appropriate, but neither Petrus or Alsa would reveal the information Karissa had told them about her vampiric heritage. They merely said that due to her family’s history that it was an appropriate punishment. Galen asked if the two wanted to be present for the sentencing, to which each said they did. He then told them to meet him the next morning at the portal to Osprak’s tower.

At the appointed time Alsa and Petrus arrived at the portal to Osprak’s tower and Galen spoke the ritual to open the portal and they went through to arrive several hundred feet above the city of Hollyburg. It was both of the apprentices first time to visit the floating tower and they were a bit in awe of what they saw.

After a few words to Karissa from Petrus, the sentence was carried out and the young necromancer stepped from the material plane to the plane of Elysium. Afterward, Galen revealed that he knew about the family’s vampiric heritage. Petrus thought that he’d been trying to test them during his previous night’s discussion with them regarding the sentencing, but he’d apparently learned it afterward during a private interview with Karissa.

The two apprentices and Galen returned to the city and Galen rewarded each of them with new materials and magic items of their choice up to 1000 GP.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.