Rifts of the Taies

The Story So Far - Chapter 13
Elementals, More Elementals, a Dragon, and the Tormented.

Elemental Strike Force

As the PCs emerged from the Gateway of the Master Mechanics, several minutes later, they did so into a full scale battle. The hall of doors was filled with miniature storm clouds and larger air elementals all pushing against the now fairly weak defenses of the Gnomes bunkered down in the Vault room.

Gar Gathalon and his entourage were still in the Vault, but only with a couple of constructs still with them, most of the constructs had already left the area and headed off to wherever they were being sent. The PC’s didn’t hesitate to jump into the fray. Ironheart, Evayne, and Mace leapt directly into the melee.

Ironheart nearly died right away as several huge storm elementals sent arcs of electricity through him, but with the healing hexes and spells from Cifli and Tixe he was able to survive.

Tinorian, Zykir, and Zorla Yeg supported the rest of them from a distance and even Plawth Perth joined in the fight to push the elementals back away from the vault. The PCs didn’t care much for Gar Gathalon, but they also didn’t want the Elementals laying claim to the artifacts that the Master Magister held on to.

After a quick and high damage, on both sides, combat, the elementals were eventually defeated and the PCs could hear battle raging elsewhere in the Gnomes Research Facility. Specifically they heard a loud roar come from the northern hallway that led to the actual research facility.

Gar Gathalon and the Conclave, took the Key to the Door of Four and the Scroll of Nisus and explained that they were heading for the Conclave chamber to protect them.

The PCs agreed to help the conclave defend against the elemental invasion and they turned north to head to where they heard the roar several minutes before.

The Storm Dragon

The research facility of the gnomes was built to resemble a giant cog, and flying around in the middle of the room was a long serpentine blueish white dragon commanding several of the air elementals in the room to look for the artifacts. The Dragon spoke in auran, which fortunately Cifli was fluent in.

The PCs began discussing what to do as well as if and how they should fight the dragon, but before they could formulate a plan the dragon noticed them and immediately sent the elementals to assault the PCs. The Dragon then turns itself into a mist to hide from the attacks of the PCs.

Tixe seeing this casts Wind Wall in the hallway to trap the dragon in the room that it is currently in. Meanwhile the PCs move through the wind wall to strike at the elementals and then back to retreat.

Without warning the Dragon, once again a tangible serpentine form, rushes at the top of the hallway and begins to push dart over the heads of the PCs making for an escape. Evayne, with her pole arm in hand strikes the Dragon with an attack of opportunity and brings it to a halt in the middle of the hallway and surrounded by the PCs.

They focus all of their attacks on the dragon, and while it breathes lightning down one hallway, lashed out with it’s tail down another, and attacks Evayne and Mace with its mouth and claws, the PCs are able to eventually kill the beast.

The PCs talk about what they would do with the body of the Dragon, but the war is still waging and they ultimately just leave it there and move east through the facility towards the Construct Construction Room.

The Elemental and Gnome Construct War

The PCs emerge from the hallway to see dozens of elementals pushing against the gnomes, halflings, and their constructs with severe force.

Gnome_War_Picture.JPG

The PCs realize that from the hallway they are emerging from they can act as a flanking force for the Gnomes and so they jump right in and start fighting off the encroaching Elementals. After several turns and many tens of rounds, the PCs and Gnomes are finally victorious over the elemental swarm and are able to push them back out into the valley behind the facility where they have the elementals bottlenecked at the north gate of the facility.

The Conclave and the Marrisouf

With the main battle won, the PCs head deeper into the facility to go and assist the remaining conclave members and Gar Gathalon to keep the artifacts safe. Eaus Kop and Torzil Hedfin remain in the Construct Construction Room to organize the defenses against the still active Elemental forces.

As the PCs move deeper into the Gnomes facility they realize that there is more going on than just some air and storm elementals assaulting from the rear of the facility. There are Fire and Earth elementals coming up from the various binding rooms that were used by the gnomes, and in fact those elementals have already collapsed the tunnels and hallways that led to the binding chambers.

The PCs fight their way through these other enemies until they reach the bottom floor of the Conclave chamber where they see blood, corpses or gnomes, halflings, and other strange creatures, some ant like and others resembling harpies. The PCs rush up the stairs and on the second floor they come face to face with one of the Champion Tormented created by Nisus 1,500 years ago, known now as either just The Tormented, or as the specific sub-species of the Marrisouf.

With long and thin tentacles draping down from its face the creature was wounded and being carried by several harpies down the stairs away from a battle that was still being fought above them. Without hesitation the creature cast a high powered fear spell and sent, Evayne, Tixe, Mace, and Ironheart running in terror.

Tinorian, Cifli, and Zykir however were able to pursue the Marrisouf and its harpy guardians down and out the front door of the facility.

However they couldn’t keep pace with even the wounded Marrisouf so Cifli took a gamble and cast a low level sleep spell on it from nearly the maximum reach of his range. Surprisingly (with the Marrisouf getting a natural 1 on the die) the spell works and the tormented collapses.

Tinorian conducts a coup de gras on the creature and they are able to claim its gear, equipment, and spell book.

Upon returning to the facility and meeting up with the rest of the PCs the group learns that there were a total of three Marrisouf that attacked the facility and that the other two got away after killing most of the Conclave, including Gar Gathalon, and taking the Key to the Door of Four with them. Oddly enough though they didn’t take the Scroll of Nisus and instead just left it there with the corpse of the Gnome.

The PCs negated with the new Master Magister Eaus Kop for the body of the Dragon they killed, magically enchanted armor or other items, and Ioun Stones that the Gnomes had. In no condition to immediately pursue the Marrisouf they decide to stay another night with the Gnomes and recuperate.

Though now they have the full support of the Gnomish Research Facility on their side, and Eaus Kop explains that he is going to try to help their quest of restoring Norkeris by opening the roadways in the hall of doors to grant a quick and easier return to the facility from wherever they end up going to get his limbs back.

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The Story So Far - Chapter 12
Through the Gateway of the Master Mechanics

Opening the Gateway

While the Gar Gathalon and his conclave members were organizing the activation and operation of the Clockwork constructs, the PCs were able to make their way over to the Gateway of the Master Mechanics and with Plawth Perth, they were able to open the gateway quickly.

Though there was a line of sight from the Conclave to where the PCs were, they took the risk and were able to sneak through the silently opening doorway without attracting any attention. Plawth Perth was able to shut the door behind them, but also stated that he would go no further into this chamber than the door.

The PCs entered into a metal hallway with two doors leading out either side about half way down the hallway and a larger double door at the far end of the hallway. There was light in the hallway that came from lamps that seemed to burn with non-flickering flames, almost as though each lamp had a light spell cast on it.

The Inevitable Norkeris

The PCs, leaving the invisible Zorla Yeg and Plawth Perth, at the door to the strange chamber, proceeded down the hallway, and Zykir, Cifli, and Tinorian were all able to identify that they were no long on the Prime Material Plane and that they had in fact just crossed to another dimension.

After a short discussion, they decided that it was best to just go to the larger door at the end of the hallway. Opening that door revealed a massive spherical chamber also built of metal. The hallway turned into a suspended walkway with a large circular platform at the end that was suspended near the center of the room where an enormous metal head, upper torso, and right arm were suspended by chains from the ceiling.

The head immediately came to life and looked at the party with strange gear and lens crystals and greeted the creatures of the flesh that were paying him a visit.

The construct introduced himself as Norkeris, and he explained that he was sent to this realm to repair the damage caused by the Essence Nisus when he opened the Gate of Auire. However after reaching this realm he encountered the Essence directly and was proven to be inadequate to fight against the Lord of Lorinis. However Nisus only dismembered him and did not destroy him completely.

Norkeris then explained to the PCs that his dismembered body parts were self regenerating and that he could still feel that they existed, scattered across the world. If the PCs would agree to assist him, then he would grant them a fraction of his power as a reward for each body part of his that they could recover.

This “deputization” would allow them to control constructs and grant them other powers immediately. And he would also give them one of the lenses from his eye to help them find his body parts, to bring back to him.

He explained that he offered this to all visitors who came to visit him and that there was another group many years ago that came through who were all deputized but have not yet returned. Of the many tinkers that have come into his realm only one, calling itself Eaus Kop ever accepted his gifts, though Eaus Kop has not yet recovered any body parts either.

When asked by the PCs what he would do if fully reassembled, Norkeris explained that he was still on a mission given to him by his authorities to close the Gate of Auire and to seal any other breaches across the fabric of world if any others were discovered to exist and that he would immediately take up that task again. However his first objective would be to close the Gate of Auire and to stop the flow of Torment across the world.

The PCs stepped out for a few moments to speak and eventually decided, some with some hesitation, to accept the offer of Norkeris and to be deputized to assist him and recover his body parts.

Norkeris created a tattoo on each where they desired that marked them as deputized and would give them the powers he promised. When asked he explained that he was missing 10 separate body parts. Originally he had 6 arms, 2 wings, 2 more torso sections, and an orrery complex.

The PCs ask what the other rooms in this complex are, and Norkeris explains that they can fabricate other lesser Inevitables but that it will take quite some time. He will however construct what they need for them, whenever they need it upon request as long as they are willing to wait for however long it would take him to make them.

Now branded with their tattoos of deputization from Norkeris, the PCs returned to the Gateway of the Master Mechanics and prepared to face whatever might be out there, the Dragon, the Conclave, any opposition.

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The Story So Far - Chapter 11
The Date, A Storm in the Hills, Before the Storm

The Date!

Tixe and Evayne go looking for this Plawth Perth that was mentioned by Eaus Kop as the one who could get them through the door. After some time they are able to track him down to working in the guard post between the Construct Construction Hall and the Research Facility. They guards no longer stop the PCs as they come and go through pretty much any door within the facility.

Tixe approaches the halfling solider and attempts to flirt with him to try to get him to come meet them alone somewhere. He really doesn’t seem to be interested and so with some quick thinking Tixe switches to telling Plawth Perth that actually the elf, Evayne, who is there with her is interested in him. He immediately perks up at this and Tixe sets up a date between the halfling and Evayne for later that evening after dinner.

Evayne hung back while Tixe spoke to Plawth and only after it was all set up and the small halfling was staring at her with a slightly embarrassed expression did Evayne find out what her next role was going to be. It was too late to change the plans and they needed his help and so Evayne finally just accepted her duty.

Word spread through the PCs quickly and even to Cifli who was with Zorla Yeg in the Alchemist lab overseeing her creation of the potions that they wanted. Everyone showed up to hang out around Evayne’s room when the small halfling came calling.

Ironheart stepped into the wall to observer the awkwardness as Evayne met with Plawth Perth alone in her chambers. She was able to very awkwardly step through the truth but not without using some of the highly unfortunate language such as “It got worse when he pulled out.”

Finally though their conversation turned into what the PCs needed to know, and Plawth explained that the door of the Master Mechanics was a puzzle that was fairly easy to solve, and he did by accident one day and was happy to show them how to do it. Though on the other side of the door was a giant face of a construct that terrified him as well as other constructs that were substantially more advanced than anything the Facility was building.

He also told them that Eaus Kop has been through the Door and that it was he who deactivated the “sleeping” construct that is in the research facility. He also explains that they met resistance once when Gar Gathalon asked them to try to disassemble one of the constructs found on the other side of the door. At that time the constructs rose up to force them out of the chamber on the other side. Gar Gathalon actually has not returned since, as far as Plawth Perth knows anyway.

The Brewing Storm

Meanwhile Zykir, Tinorian, and Ironheart, feeling cooped up decide to head out the front of the Gnome’s Research Facility and into the hills again. They only make it about a mile out into the hills before they see something strange.

They spot tendrils of fog moving through the valley south of them, but not like fog usually does, instead this fog seems to be moving into ranks and files with a serpentine shimmering creature flying around above it. They are able to see with the Eyes of the Eagle that the creature flying around above is in fact a serpentine dragon of some kind.

Zykir, Tinorian, and Ironheart head back to the Gnome’s Facility to warn the PCs and the Gnomes about what they saw. Heading back into the facility they notice that the Gnome’s don’t take their weapons from them.

The PCs all agree that this is a bad sign and they track down Torzil Hedfin to let him know what they saw. Upon hearing about it he immediately rushes off to tell the rest of the conclave and to expedite the PCs weapons and equipment that they are augmenting as payment for the work the PCs are doing to bring notoriety to the Gnomes of this Facility.

Before the Storm

Tixe, Evayne, and Mace rush out to bring their animals from the Valley into the larger chambers of the Gnomes living facility. They fear that the Dragon and whatever it is he has to attack this facility with will use the Valley and back door as a way into the facility to force the Gnomes and Halflings to split their resources.

The PCs find Zorla Yeg, who finally gives them each one augmented potion of Invisibility and agrees to stick with them. They also find Plawth Perth and convince him to “act” as their escort as this commotion might create the best opportunity for them to make it through the Door of the Master Mechanics.

To that end, and with an invisible Zorla Yeg, they head to the Research portion of the facility just in time to see Gar Gathalon, the Master Defender, and a handful of Conclave members gathering up the core research projects, specifically the Key to the Door of Four, the Scroll of Nisus, and the “sleeping” construct.

However they don’t take these items to the conclave chambers, instead they take them to the Hall of Doors and into the Vault just off from that door. Ironheart is able to see specifically which key the Master Magister uses to open the Vault Door.

Inside are somewhere around 50 clockwork soldiers, 10 servants, and 2 mages. The Gnomes order the constructs awake and to head over to the front and back doors of the facility to guard against infiltration.

The PCs realize then that Gar Gathalon as Master Magister for the gnomes is in fact building an army to fight for him and they realize that Eaus Kop and Torzil may have been right about their leader.

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The Story So Far - Chapter 10
Midnight Meeting, Torzil's Tour, & the Door of the Master Mechanics

The Midnight Meeting

The PCs didn’t trust the gnomes fully with this midnight meeting and decided instead to only send Tixe and Zykir to the meeting as emissaries of their group. They arrived in the Workshop, as directed, around midnight that night after most of the Research Facility was closed down.

In the Workshop there were several gnomes waiting for them including the gnome who was sent to set up the meeting, Mikkras Skelp. With Mikkras Skelp was the Conclave member for the Conclave of the Workshop Addvarbar, the Conclave member for the Conclave of Construct Construction, Torzil Hedfin, the Adept Instructor Kaerwann, and the head researcher for the Research Conclave, Eaus Kop.

Tozil did most of the initial talking and immediately questioned why the rest of the PCs weren’t there and if they had been threatened or approached by any other members of the conclave before this. Zykir, as acting spokesperson, answered that they were just nervous about a midnight meeting and that they hadn’t been approached at all by any others.

Tozil then turned it over to Eaus Kop who explained that the gnomes in this facility are fractured along political lines of power. He further explains that the PCs are the first non-Camp Draedus, non-Stratagos individuals to find their way here in the past decade and that an opportunity like this couldn’t be held back for long.

Eaus Kop explained that Gar Gathalon the Master Magister of the Research Facility was exploiting the discoveries they’ve made to seek even greater power and to someday be able to march armies of constructs around the world where ever he desired. Eaus Kop explained that he wanted to stop that, and that with minimal help from the PCs he would be the next Master Magister and would be able to put this Facility onto the path it needed to be on.

Eaus Kop explains that there is a great door, the Door of the Master Mechanics which the PCs need to travel through and share with the rest of the Facility what is behind it. Then the gnomes would rally behind Eaus Kop and overthrow Gar Gathalon. With that, Eaus Kop would use this Facility to assist the Empire in fighting The Pit and the Torment.

To get through the Door of the Master Mechanics requires a complicated sequence of puzzle solving, and Eaus Kop suggest that the PCs seek out a halfling soldier named Plawth Perth, who has been through the door and can show them how to open it.

Tixe and Zykir return to the rest of the PCs and share what they learned and it is generally decided that they will take the tour tomorrow and simply seek to fulfill the requests of Tenzikil that sent them here in the first place.

Torzil’s Tour

The next day the PCs wake up and find Torzil to follow him on his tour through the Research Facility.

He begins with his own Conclave – the Conclave of Construct Constructions.
They are working on producing Golems specifically:

  • An Alchemical Golem
  • Clockwork Soldiers, Mages, and Servants
  • A Mythril Golem
  • An Adamantium Golem
  • A Clockwork Horse
  • And A Clockwork Dragon
  • Lastly they are working on building humanoid construct like #12 but that have actual intelligence and can do more than the simple commands that #12 can follow.

They next go to the – Conclave of Elemental Bindings – Presented by Owen Clem
They are working on binding elementals for various purposes:

  • Binding Earth Elementals
  • Binding Fire Elementals
  • Binding Air Elementals
  • Binding Shadow Elementals
  • Creating condensed energy stones like those that the Stratagos Makes
  • Using captured Elemental Essences to power construct to give them “souls”

Next they are taken to the – Conclave of the Workshop – Presented by Mikkras Skelp
The Workshop is working on several different objectives:

  • Creating magi technology that is far superior to anything seen from Linole or the other western continents.
  • Creating masterfully crafted mechanical parts that can be shrunk down to incredibly small sizes to run very large machinery.
  • Creating masterfully crafted arms and armor.

They are next taken to the – Conclave of the Forge – Presented by Erftikk Uran
The Forge is not as forthcoming as the other Conclaves with their projects:

  • They are making elementally infused metals to try and create Mythril and Adamantium from Iron and other common metals.
  • They are also trying to bind souls and spirits into metal, much like the legendary spirt forge used by The Flame of Life during the Crusades.

Lastly the PCs are taken to the – Research Conclave – Presented by Eaus Kop
The Gnomes are researching many projects that immediately grab the PCs attention, and also allows the PCs through into the north western section of the Facility they had previously not been allowed to see.

  • They are researching Linole Magi Tech primarily from salvaged bits found on a group of Linole wizards and Dragoons that came through here decades ago.
  • They are researching Alchemical Infusions with other substances, such as creating the Alchemical Golem.
  • They have and are researching one of the Scrolls of Nisus that was found within the site when they first came here. It is believed that proper application of the magic of the Scroll will lead to immortality.
  • They are also researching the Key to the Iresk’s Door of Four, which they have in their possession.
  • Lastly they are researching a construct that looks kinda like #12 but is much more complex and complicated and according to Eaus Kop it was alive and Sentient when they first arrived here.

From the research branch of the facility Eaus Kop then leads the PCs south into what he calls the Hall of Doors. Here there are dozens of empty archways scattered across the room, which he explains are all unused and broken doorways into the transitive pathways built by the original Stratagos before the War of Pain. He believes that with the application of what they’ve learned from the Key to the Door of Four that they can open these gateways and walk all across the world.

The Door of the Master Mechanics

At the far end of the Hall of Doors is a very large door covered in small cogs and parts that look like they should move, but are not moving. Eaus Kop explains that that is the Door of the Master Mechanics and again urges the PCs to find a way though it.

Torzil and Eaus Kop explain that while the majority of the Gnomes believe that the Door has never been opened that is in fact a lie and that as far as they know at least 9 people have passed through the door, including Gar Gathalon and most of his closest advisors and that it is the knowledge from behind that door that they intend to use to create their unbeatable army.

The PCs then are left to freely roam the Facility and ask whatever questions of whomever they want to.

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The Story So Far - Chapter 9
Ruins, Hostile Reception, And the Conclave of Gnomes

Crossing the Highlands

The PCs met up with #12 a first light and began to trek out west from Camp Draedus. #12 pulled his own cart without any beasts of burden and even doing so was still quicker moving across the uneven pathless ground of the western highlands. Two grey cloaks from Camp Draedus escorted the black robed #12 construct from the Camp.

’#12 had nothing to say to any of the PCs with the exception of Tixe who he treated as though she had personally built him. He explained that it would take about 12 hours at a steady march for him to reach the facility but that he could push the entire distance without rest. The PCs decided to also push their horses to keep up and try to make it all the way to the Gnomes in just one days march.

‘#12 led them around the southern edge of the Spires and then northwest across the hills of the Highlands. As the sun was setting behind the Wall Mountains they rode into old Dwarven ruins built right up against the cliff side of the mountains. #12 didn’t stop on his way through the ruins and eventually only stopped when he reached the cliff face itself.

Just before the cliff face was a statue of a Dragoon Knight, that was hardly damaged even among the rest of the devastated ruins and Mace, using the Golembane Scarab informed the rest of them that the statue was in fact another construct.

’#12 pushed on several of the stones on the cliff face seemingly at random until there was a noticeable and audible click from the wall as part of a large door began to swing open from the cliff face.

Famous Tenzikil

’#12 opened up the otherwise invisible door on the cliff face and strolled into a long hallway with arrow slits on either side. The PCs seeing no other way to enter the facility grudgingly followed #12 into the hall.

Behind them the golem statue moved and closed the door behind them as dozens of small halfling faces could be seen behind bows and crossbows on the other side of the arrow slits. The halflings and a single gnome begin questioning the PCs and accusing them of being servants of Huntmaster Blaine here to spy on them.

Eventually Tixe, as the PCs resident gnome, explains that they were actually sent here by Tenzikil. At the mention of their ‘employer’ there is a long silence from the gnomes and halflings behind the door and arrow slits. Finally though the door leading deeper into the facility opens and they are met by another gnome who introduces himself as Torzil Hedfin, and cousin to Tenzikil.

The halfling guards, who seem to be working for the gnomes, force the PCs to turn over their weapons to them, which will be kept in their barracks and will be returned to them when they finally leave. Torzil explains that they have been waiting for the time when Tenzikil would come looking for them again. He says that the Conclave of the Research Facility would be interested in meeting with them tomorrow after they have a chance to settle in.

For now though, Torzil leads the disarmed PCs to their residential quarters, and takes their horses and animals to a valley behind the first ridge of the mountains that is connected to the facility where they have a large stable complex.

The Gnomish Research Facility

The next day, after the PCs have slept, they are allowed to freely roam most of the facility so long as they are around to meet with the Conclave around noon that day.

The back facility opened into a large valley with a waterfall and a clean pool of cold water, but flowing enough that the PCs could bathe and clean up. The halflings were also using the valley for their own training and military exercises. They welcomed the large folk to join in and help to teach their soldiers how to fight the large folk. The PCs got the impression that they were getting ready for a war against Camp Draedus.

Also in the research facility there was a large room being used to build constructs, including about a dozen man sized clockwork constructs as well as a large dragon construct and a horse construct.

The PCs explored what they could of the research facility learning of the elemental binding halls, the workshops, forge, and even school for younger gnomes not yet members of any of the individual conclave factions.

Meeting the Conclave

At around noon, the PCs all ventured with Torzil up several floors to a large square chamber that had been modified to hold 7 large chairs / desks. At five of them sat gnomes with the sixth being a halfling and the last chair was Torzil’s.

The Conclave consisted of the gnome leaders for each of the five conclaves, the Master Magister of the Facility, and the halfling’s Master Defender. The Master Magister, Gar Gathalon led the discussion where he asked the PCs, as representatives of Tenzikil, to record what they are able to learn from this research facility and give it over to Tenzikil to make their facility look good. There are of course a few restrictions on what they can know or write about, but that they would pay the PCs for a favorable report about the operations of this facility.

The PCs ask for some time to discuss this proposal among themselves and the Conclave agrees but asks that they have an answer by tonight for dinner.

On their way out of the Conclave chamber they are met by a gnome who introduces himself as Mykris Skelp of the Workshop Conclave, and he asks that if the PCs are willing that they please come and meet with him and several others tonight at midnight in the Workshop and they will be told what the Conclave doesn’t want them to know. When asked who sent him, he says a gnome named Eaus Kop.

Footsteps and Spies

The PCs are given classroom #1 within the facility to use to discuss their options. They ultimately decide that they will at least agree for now to do what the gnomes want as there really isn’t much downside that they can see.

As they are about done with their discussion they hear a loud explosion and the room shakes and they start to head for the door, however on their way to the door Tinorian hears footsteps behind them. Turning and seeing nothing he uses prestidigitation to raise the dust on the floor up and sees the outline of a gnome in the hallway behind them that quickly darts away.

Tinorian calls out to the rest of the PCs and Cifli casts see invisibility, while Ironheart rushes around to block the other exit from the class room. Tixe beats him too it though by putting a flaming sphere in the hallway leading out the other side of the classroom.

With Evayne acting as an Elf wall in the other hallway the invisible gnome finally lets go of the spell and shrinks back against the far wall pleading with the PCs not to kill her.

She introduces herself as Zorla Yeg and she explains that she is not working for the Conclave, but instead is just overly curious and has learned how to make an invisibility potion that operates better than usual. She says that she will help them if they agree not to kill her. The PCs agree that only if she gives them each one of her invisibility potions. She agrees but says that it will be a bit of time for her to make enough for all of them.

Zorla continues to claim that she is not working for the gnomes and that in fact most of the gnomes believe that she went missing weeks ago, and that she’s been mostly hiding with her potions and observing from the shadows.

She goes with Cifli to the alchemist lab to start working and as the PCs exit from the classroom they are confronted by dozens of halflings and a couple of gnomes they don’t know who are blaming them for some explosion that happened.

Torzil Hedfin eventually gets involved just before the PCs are detained to be interrogated and he clears them of any wrong doing saying that they have been watching the PCs and know that they didn’t have anything to do with the explosion. Torzil seems to know what is going on, but he won’t explain it to any of the PCs.

The PCs return that evening to speak with the Conclave and explain that they are happy to help. The Conclave agrees that in payment for their actions they will augment the PCs gear with any augmentation requested, within the bounds of their enchanters. They also explain that tomorrow they will arrange for Torzil to give the PCs a full tour of the facility.

The PCs head back to their rooms to wait for the midnight meeting.

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The Story So Far - Chapter 8
The Stratagos Wizards and Phaseworms

Return to Camp

The PCs, alone and without Morf, returned to Camp Draedus. They were wounded and weakened, but they had stopped the Bugbears, goblins and Chokol for now. However they collectively decided that it was time to start getting some answers and they made plans to scout the camp and to seek out the assistance of the Stratagos Wizards. (To which Cifli also wanted to partake in due to his own possibly familial connection to the Wizards.)

The Stratagos had a longhouse in Draedus, the grey cloaks had a half dozen of the longhouses just for them, and Huntmaster Blaine knew more and had many more secrets. With gold, salvaged treasures, and the need for some healing, the PCs spent the evening scouting through the Camp for additional supplies.

Cifli using his ability to fly, went to explore some of the grey cloaks longhouses and their crafting and forging halls. Ironheart also scouted out the longhouse looking for supplies and trying to casually find out some of the Camp’s secrets.

Secret Searches

That night after the PCs returned to their own smaller camp to the north of Camp Draedus, and after Evayne cooked dinner for them, they settled into rest, though agreed that that evening would be a good time to explore the Camp through other means, and Ironheart used his Earthborne talents to meld with the earth below their camp.

Moving through Camp Draedus beneath the surface, he began to scout out several of the buildings and their basements. He found that nearly every longhouse had basements that were generally unused, and that beneath one of them he found a cave like basement with cut gemstones set into the walls at even intervals, though there weren’t any exits or entrances into the room that he could see.

Beneath the Keep he found dungeons and by moving up through the walls he was able to find Huntmaster Blaine’s secret stash of “Collectables” including several dozen items that appeared to be enchanted with a variety of different enchants.

#12

The following day the PCs decided to spit up and half of the group decided to head for the Keep to speak with Huntmaster Blaine while a couple of their number headed for the Stratagos Wizards to gather information there.

Just outside of the Keep was the strange black cloaked and masked figure they had previously seen and identified as a Construct. Tixe decided to stay outside with it and speak with the man. As with the small gnome sized goblin in the hills the day before this one also was amenable to Tixe and answered her questions as though she were its boss. The construct identified itself as #12 and said that it was here to gather the items that were in the cart next to it, and that it would spend the rest of the day trying to fulfill the requests on the list that it had, but that it would be returning tomorrow to the main gnome camp.

Tixe asked to see the list and #12 was happy to comply and give her its list, which contained dozens of general goods as well as many rare and expensive goods such as several dozen bars of Mythril and hundreds of precious gemstones.

Though the conversation Tixe was able to learn that #12 would happily travel with her back to the main gnome camp. She decided to take this information back to the rest of the PCs.

Phaseworm Assault

Meanwhile Tinorian and Cifli headed to speak with the Stratagos. They were able to talk to one of the Wizards, who was somewhat reluctant to give them any information.

The rest of the PCs who go into talk to Huntmaster Blaine are quickly shooed out without much information gain, aside from that he seems somewhat desperate to prevent wars with the Kaz as well as with the creatures of the Spires even though he encourages their hunting.

As the PCs exit from the keep, and while Tinorian and Cifli are speaking with the Wizard over by their longhouse suddenly several of the flying worms spotted previously as being the cause of the shimmer around the Camp, manifest and descend upon the Wizards.

In the middle of the markets two Wizards before the PCs are torn to shreds in moments and the PCs and grey cloaks react quickly to strike back. The PCs are able to kill one of the worms or so they think before it vanishes again, and the grey cloaks begin running around through the Camp hecticly seeking to prevent more deaths.

Tinorian and Cifli see the Wizards stand up in a defensive stance as worms descend. It is a quick and instant strike that ends almost as quickly as it begins, but it starts a commotion throughout the Camp that it is no longer safe here.

Decisions on a Path to Walk

The PCs meet up later that day and discuss the information they’ve learned about Camp Draedus and the attack as well as the opportunity that presented itself with #12’s offer to take them to the gnome camp.

After much discussion they decide to go with #12 at first light. The construct said that it would take one full day’s march to reach the gnomes, and doing so would answer another of the PCs tasks given to them by Tenzikil. They were going to head into the Spires, but this option to find the gnomes seems too good to pass up.

Camp Draedus still holds many secrets but they were secrets that could be discovered later, and the PCs had learned much of the place including why it had such a nefarious reputation through out the rest of the Highlands.

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The Story So Far - Chapter 7
Morf, Caelum, and the Husk of Chokol

Entangled Pursuit through Spires

Two Bugbears escaped with the rogue wizard “Kale” around the north side of the spire. With the other 18 Bugbears dead, the PCs and the Kaz with them, who called himself Morf, continue to follow after the capture wizard which Morf refers to as one of his own kind, one of the Kaz known as Caelum.

On the north side of the large spire, the PCs see a host of Goblins, Ogres and an Ettin, they recognized from when they first first met “Kale”, who called himself Chokol.

Across a field of smaller spires, boulders, and rocky outcroppings the PCs could see three Goblin Shamans beginning to perform some kind of ritual with Caelum / “Kale” in the middle of it.

The PCs immediately leapt into the fray following Morf while they tried to save Caelum from whatever it was the goblins were doing. Tinorian rushed widely around the side of the battle to flank the Goblins, while Mace, Ironheart, Evayne, and Morf moved directly into the fray with Tixe, Zykir, and Cifli hanging back to support them from range.

Morf engaged the Ettins with spells and spears of flame, while the rest of them fought off the goblins and Ogres that came with them.

In an attempt to restrain the field of battle Tixe once again, just like with the children of Draedus, cast Entangle bringing large plants up from the ground to grapple and restrain everyone in the area, which unfortunately also included Ironheart.

The fight was quick, with the majority of the Goblin forces dead within only a couple of rounds though as Ironheart tried to rip his way out of the entangle a flailing vine was able to grip and pull his axe from hand leaving him standing face to face with a goblin and no weapon in hand.

Tinorian was able to land a couple of arrows into the goblin killing it before it was able to strike the defenseless dwarf. At the same time across the field of battle, Chokol was able to stun and knockout Morf knocking him against the side of the spire. Mace, Evayne, Zykir, Tixe, and Cifli all focused their attentions on the Ettin then. Cifli rushed to Morf and immediately stabilized him with a curing Hex before returning to battle against Chokol.

Weakened from his battle with Morf, Chokol didn’t stand a chance against the PCs and against Mace and Evayne’s flanking combined with Tixe’s and Zykir’s spells he fell quickly into a heap on the ground.

However the Ogres and Chokol did their job and as Chokol fell the Goblins across the battlefield who were casting some ritual on Caelum, completed that ritual and the rogue wizard ceased to resemble a human as he briefly changed into his true form as one of the Kaz before being ripped apart into what appeared to be pure energy.

The remaining Ogre and goblins moved to stand in the way of the PCs who were trying to pursue the Goblin Shamans. Ironheart retrieved his axe and tore through the guards with the help of Tinorian, but by the time they were done the shamans were long gone.

The Husk of Chokol

With the battle won, and Morf stabilized they PCs stopped to recover their own strength and to loot what they could from the goblins, ogres, and Ettin. Ironheart thought it would be hilarious to cut open the Ettin and make a giant Ettin suit that they could wear. Despite the revulsion of the rest of them he decided to try, and much to all of their surprise they found out that Chokol’s body was already hollowed out. It was nothing more than an empty husk.

Cifli and Tixe were able to revive Morf around the same time and they informed him what happened to Caelum aka “Kale” Morf took one look at the husk of Chokol and immediately began to explain what he believed the goblins were trying to do. He believed that they were trying to evolve. He explained that goblins were not like normal creatures and that their life cycles were strange allowing individuals to evolve into large and greater versions of themselves. He believed that Chokol had already evolved and was using powerful magic to animate his old Husk and use it as a weapon. And with the energy from Caelum he believed that the goblins were going to try to force another evolution to make Chokol even more powerful.

Morf answered their questions about the goblins, the Spires, and about Camp Draedus, where he explained that he believed that Huntmaster Blaine was a very dangerous man with powers they hadn’t fully figured out or understood yet. Morf explained that Huntmaster Blaine liked to “collect” things that others couldn’t, including people and powers.

Morf then went on to say that with Caelum dead, his task was over, he was sent here to find and recover Caelum and the knowledge that he acquired before he was captured and imprisoned in the Labyrinth of Druledk. Morf was now heading back through the Vortex of the Spires to his world to report, though he encouraged Cifli, in private, to continue on with his mission and to find the Key to the Door of Four.

Robo Gnome in a Rock

Using the Golembane Scarab, the PCs identified a construct that was hiding nearby. With further investigation they found a Gnome sized metallic construct hiding in a hole in one of the larger boulders there to observe the energy fluctuations of the spires as well as the movements of the hunters in and out of Camp Draedus.

The Construct would only speak to Tixe though and seemed confused when she didn’t know some of the simple things that it thought all of “the makers” knew.

They were able to learn from the construct though that there were dozens of other construct spies set up through out the spires, and the the Gnomes had a research station somewhere west and north from their current location, though the construct couldn’t explain exactly where.

The PCs decided to leave the construct there for now and return to Camp Draedus to investigate a bit more of what Huntmaster Blaine was doing as well as to prepare for an expedition into the Spires sometime in the next couple of days.

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The Story So Far - Chapter 6
Sylphs, Kaz, and Bugbears

Morning Commotion

The following morning the PCs speed out through the Camp to start shopping for supplies that they might need or could use. Ironheart bought a bandolier for his flasks of booze that wore to facilitate his raging and then returned to their camp to ride around the town with Tixe.

Evayne went with Tinorian and Mace into the Camp to try to get replacement supplies from what was stolen by the children. While moving through the Camp Evayne was able to spot the sparkling within the Camp as well and as a Light Elf she was able to identify them as Lurkers in the Light – Light born creatures that typically were thought of as mischievous fey creatures, but would also be used by the Light elves as scouts and spies. These however were not working for the Light Elves but instead seemed to work for Huntmaster Blaine.

Meanwhile, Tixe took her pony Spot out for a ride around the outskirts of town, and Zykir stayed behind to watch their own camp on the northern part of the Camp. From there she had a good view of the entire Camp and was just watching the flow and movement of the hunters and campers as the day began and most of them flowed out into the Spire and Hills to do whatever it was that they did for the day. Zykir did keep an eye on one of the westernmost longhouses, which the PCs had learned that a band of Bugbears with a prisoner had arrived in a day ago. They hadn’t seen any of these Bugbears yet, but they presumed that the prisoner they had was likely the rogue Wizard “Kale” from before.

While down in the Camp nearly everyone saw an event taking place near the keep as a large creature, which stood nearly two feet taller than Huntmaster Blaine and while it was humanoid it also wasn’t human or elven, come storming out from the keep with the Huntmaster following him closely and arguing / pleading with the creature to return to the Keep.

Ironheart and Tinorian immediately recognized the creature that was in the Huntmaster’s room in the keep the day before, but hidden in the corner. The argument and march of the creature brought a large amount of commotion to the center of the the camp. Surrounding this scene was the strange black cloaked figure that Mace’s Golembane Scarab reacted to. There was also a Seeker of Nisus named Arelakth that the PCs saw and briefly met the day before.

The argument came to a halt in the middle of the markets as Huntmaster Blaine grabbed the creatures arm. The creature turned and confronted the Huntmaster directly and the PCs could hear it arguing with the Huntmaster about the Bugbears that were in town and that he was going free their prisoner, and that he didn’t care about the peace of the Camp that the Huntmaster claimed was more important than settling any scores. This immediately drew the attention of the PCs which also didn’t like the bugbears and wanted to take them down.

The Sylph

Meanwhile just as the commotion was beginning back in the Camp, Tixe and Spot were out riding west of the Camp and were approached somewhat suddenly by a strange tall, thin, and slightly grey/blueish individual. Speaking with a strange accent the man introduced himself as Cifli.

Cifli began to question Tixe and Ironheart about a key of some kind. Ironheart nodded and stated that they had the key, which immediately drew Cifli’s attention.

However around that time the commotion down in Camp Draedus had drawn enough attention that Tixe, Ironheart, Cifli and Zykir over at their camp a short distance away were able to see the Bugbears come rushing out the back of the longhouse they were in and start moving west away from Camp Draedus and toward the Spires.

Zykir grabbed the PCs’ horses and started making to pursue the Bugbears while Tixe, CIfli, and Ironheart rode down toward the Camp to find the rest of the party.

The Kaz

Back in the markets of the Camp, the larger creature pushed off Huntmaster Blaine’s arm and turned to head for the longhouse that the Bugbears were supposed to be in. The PCs moved in the same direction and all together now except for Zykir they intercepted the large creature. Up close they were able to identify it as one of the Kaz, (which Cifli knew immediately). Tinorian, hating goblin kin, offered their help against the Bugbears and the Kaz accepted it even though Huntmaster Blaine was there asking them not to fight.

Tixe and Cifli explained that the Bugbears they saw were exiting out the back of the longhouse and with a promise to Blaine from the Kaz that they wouldn’t fight until they were out of town, they barged into the longhouse only to find it empty with the backdoor open wide and Bugbears in the distance running for the Spires.

Pursuit and Slaughter

The PCs, now including Cifli, rushed through the longhouse with the Kaz running with them and met up with Zykir on the back side of the building with many of their horses. They quickly mounted and pursued the Bugbears towards the Spires.

On horseback they were able to catch the Bugbears just on the other side of the first of the large Spires and as they rounded the corner they saw the Bugbears lining up in skirmish lines to fight them, as two Bugbears pulled their prisoner around the side of the Spire.

The Kaz with them explained that they needed to save the prisoner, who did appear to be the rogue Wizard “Kale”. The Kaz explained that his name was really Caelum and he too was one of the Kaz hiding in a disguise of a man to blend into this part of the world.

With that objective, the PCs rushed into the battle, Evayne, Mace, and Ironheart riding directly into the Bugbears, while Tixe, Zykir, and Cifli moved up the right flank next the Spire, and Tinorian moved up the left flank to make for the Bugbear archers in the back.

Ironheart kept from pony back into the fray of Bugbears while Evayne pulled out her Boulderhead Mace and launched the boulder from it to crush several Bugbears.

With flaming spheres, a barrage of arrows, hexes both good and bad from Cifli, and a flame spear wielding Kaz, they were able to crush the 18 Bugbears in only a few moments.

Though they took some injuries in the quick skirmish they knew that the battle wasn’t over and instead, leaving their horses behind where they dismounted from them, they moved to follow the two remaining Bugbears around the side of the Spire and prepared for another fight, though they had no idea what could be waiting for them there.

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The Story So Far - Chapter 5
The Tower, The Huntmaster, and the Children

The Tower

The following morning, the PC’s decided that it was time to try to get some answers as to what was happening in and around Camp Draedus, however the shimmering, now visible to a couple others of the group, though no others saw the sparkling that Tinorian could see.

They hatched a plan to have Tinorian, Tixe, and Evayne approach the grey cloak Tower atop the hill south of the Camp. Ironheart would follow them but beneath the earth’s surface doing in the Earthborne’s earth walk. That way he could keep up with them and keep tabs on them, but could stay hidden incase they needed the help.

Meanwhile, Zykir and Mace packed up the PCs camp and prepared it to move out as soon as everyone else returned. That morning as they were packing up the camp they saw hundreds of people head out from Camp Draedus into the Spire and the surrounding hills, including Gryphon and Hippogriff riders that flew their animals into the Spires.

Ironheart also saw the Gryphons and called to them, grabbing their attention briefly, but insufficiently for them to stop or to acknowledge him.

Once they reached the Tower, Tinorian and Evayne began to question the grey cloaks at length while Tixe listened and scouted around through the Tower at what was there. They learned that the grey cloaks were the “officials” of the Camp and that they were the permanent residents of the Camp and followed the lead of Hunt Master Blaine as to how to keep the peace. They also learned that there wasn’t much peace to be kept in Camp Draedus, poaching another mans hunt was about the only real crime, aside from engaging in open warfare within the Camp.

When questioned about the trade that took place last night between the grey cloaks and the Giant they claimed ignorance as to what they were questioning. From the questioning, the PCs learned that the grey cloaks and Camp Draedus was relatively hospitable and would welcome the PCs to set up their own camp, or rent quarters for the night from one of their lodges.

The PCs decided to double back at return to the camp at that point.

Huntmaster Blaine, a Golem, and a Stranger

The PCs gathered again at their camp site and in force moved out for the Camp, though they approached slowly, as several of them could see the strange shimmering dome that surrounded the Camp. Approaching the dome cautiously they stepped through it without any noticeable ill effect, though Zykir required notable urging to trust it enough to step through. Eventually they all passed through the dome and decided to make their way for the keep in the middle of the Camp where the supposed Huntmaster resided.

On their way through the Camp they saw that even though there were thousands of tents set up all between the longhouses and the keep, the tents themselves were set up into “neighborhoods” of hunters, adventurers, and others who had come to stay at the Camp for a while.

Evayne noticed a pack of about five children pacing them as they moved through the Camp and she tried to keep a close eye on them.

Upon reaching the central keep, the PCs all went inside with the exception of Evayne who decided to stay outside and keep an eye on the horses and their gear. In an exchange in Elven between her and Tinorian it was decided that she would watch the gear and horses and he would guard the backs of the rest of the PCs incase something bad was about to happen.

The PCs, minus Evayne, moved into the keep and learned fairly quickly that Huntmaster Blaine held quarters on the third floor of the fortified fortress. Making their way to the stairs they began to move up them when Mace noticed something odd happening with the Golembane Scarab that he carried. The Scarab began to react without his activation of it as a man wearing a black cloak passed by them on the stairs and then just as suddenly stopped once the man was past them. Mace shared this with the rest of them, though quietly, and it was decided that they would look into the black cloaked figure later.

They continued up to the third floor to seek the audience of Huntmaster Blaine. On their way down the hall, they saw a room with several maps set up, one of which looked like a map of the Highland’s Spires, which was one of the many things they were sent to recover by Tenzikil.

Huntmaster Blaine was easy to locate at the end of the hall in a large room with windows that looked west over the Camp and towards the Spires. Upon their approach he stepped up to greet them. As he did so, Ironheart and Tinorian saw a shimmer of an outline of a strangely large creature hidden up against the wall as though he were a chameleon. Ironheart made no attempt to hide the fact that he saw the strange form, and Tinorian stayed back at the door to the large room to guard the backs of the rest of them, but he too kept an eye on the strange form.

Huntmaster Blaine greeted the PCs and welcomed them to Camp Draedus where he explained that it was a Camp designed for long term hunters to work this far west into the Highlands. Upon request by the PCs and at the cost of 200 gold he sold them a map of the Spires. He further explained to them that he was as close to a leader of the Camp as anyone was, but that his main purpose was to protect the Camp from threats that could come without warning and that no help would come to assist them because of how far out they were.

Upon being questioned about the grey cloaks that traded with the Giant he denied knowledge and said that the giants were at war with them once and that he had bought a peace with the giants. Once upon a time they hunted giants in the hills from this camp, but that the giants eventually organized and pushed back, and they almost lost the Camp before Huntmaster Blaine was able to convince them to back down.

The PCs gathered other general information from the Huntmaster, like that there was a Naga in the Spires that was a major threat, and that he only commanded the grey cloaks and the rest of the hunters were their own people.

Meanwhile outside the keep Evayne saw the children approaching from the side and she took a couple steps away to catch them. The children glowered at her as she informed them that she saw them and that they shouldn’t do anything. After a quick lecture, she shooed them away and returned the few steps back to their horses only to find that one of their pack horses, loaded only with feed for the animals, was stripped of its cargo.

With the rest of the PCs still in the keep she couldn’t pursue the children right then, and instead just doubled her vigilance to prevent any further thefts.

The PCs exited from the keep a couple moments later and Evayne explained to them what happened, which of course brought some minor teasing, but ultimately Mace and Tixe agreed to help Evayne conduct a search through the Camp for their belongings, while Tinorian, Ironheart, and Zykir took the rest of their belongings to set up a camp along the cliffside to the north of the Camp.

Jimmi and the Children of Draedus

Evayne, Tixe, and Mace all headed off in different directions looking for the thieving children, or really any children that they could find. The first to come across any was Tixe, who approached a group of children ranging from 8 years old to 15 years old. The older children were larger than Tixe and didn’t take her questioning and scolding appropriately and one of the 15 year old children drew a knife and lunged at the gnome.

Tixe, with a now cut arm, decided to decisively end this conflict and called forth the powers of nature to rise up and entangle the whole lot of the children. This commotion was enough to bring Evayne and Mace running back to where they left the gnome, fearing something much worse.

The children were easily captured by Tixe and after one glance at what was occurring the other people in the Camp kept clear. One of the children began to plead with Tixe to not turn them into strange creatures and the Gnomes were known to do. She promised that she wouldn’t but only IF they helped her to locate the stolen goods.

Evayne arrived then and recognized a couple of the children. Though regardless of which ones she recognized, Tixe decided to pick on the smallest of them, an eight year old named Jimmi. Evayne and Mace tied the hands of the rest of the children into a “chain gang” and let Jimmi lead them to where he believed their belongings were taken to.

The Jordarians

On the northeast side of Camp Draedus was a single longhouse to which Jimmi was able to show them a secret entrance that would lead them into a cellar down below the longhouse. Evayne and Tixe decided to go down and leave Mace up top to guard the other children.

Inside the cellar below the longhouse were dozens of men and even more tables loaded with a large variety of goods and standard equipment. It didn’t take them long to locate a corner of the large cellar with an enormous amount of feed stock piled. Upon their approach to the pile of feed they too were approached by one of the men working in the cellar.

He eventually explained that they were Jordarians, smugglers who worked for the Stratagos ever since the Emperor closed the gates into the Stratagos and forbid normal trade with the Wizards. He said that all that was gathered here was to go to the Wizards and that they would release any of it to them even if they claimed it was stolen. However in an agreement that they would simply go away, he offered to pay them 200 gold.

They took the gold and walked away, releasing the children, but also taking note that there was an organized smuggling operation taking place out of Camp Draedus.

Meeting up with the rest of their members at their own camp on the north side of the Camp they spent a bit of time shopping and resupplying within the hunters markets of the Camp and then called it a night.

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The Story So Far - Chapter 4
Shimmering and Sparkling Camp Draedus

Finding the Camp

The PCs followed the coastline east for three days after their encounter with the Ettin and the wizard “Kale”. There were no tracks, trails, or roads, just rocky hills and sparse Highlands brush. Based upon the maps they had from Tenzikil as to where the Camp should exist and their calculations of how far and fast they were traveling, on the beginning of the fourth day out from the Ettin’s they turned north to head into the canyons and ravines of the sharp hills of the Highlands to find the Camp.

They circled around one large hill then moved to the east to circle around another. Tinorian went of ahead to scout their path and climbed up the steep hill, leaving his horse down with the party to keep moving north and east around the hill. After about two hours he returned with news that the had found the Camp and that they should be able to reach it by the end of the day.

The PCs continued to circle around the large hill and once they reached the north side of the hill they could see not only Camp Draedus seated in the valley to the west, but also a large sloping valley that stretched toward the Spires of the Highlands. There the Spires reached for the very heavens looking taller than the Wall Mountains behind them. At the tip of the Spires a show of lightning flashed endlessly bouncing from one spire to the next.

However that wasn’t all they saw, across the valley from them, down near the spires they saw about twenty humanoid figures marching west along the valley towards Camp Draedus. Something about these individuals didn’t seem normal, so the PCs decided to hold up and hide in the rocky outcrops of the hill to let them pass and get out of sight before they continued on.

With the rumors they had heard of Camp Draedus they also didn’t want to directly approach the Camp, but instead scout it from a distance and see if they could determine why it was considered a trap by Tenzikil and his researchers.

After about an hour or so they continued their march west around the large hill toward Camp Draedus. The Camp wasn’t exactly what any of them thought that it would be, with only a dozen large longhouses surrounding a single central keep and about two thousand or so tents and wagons filling the spaces between the longhouses, Camp Draedus really was just a camp.

The Shimmering and Sparkling of Camp Draedus

The PCs knew that with the six of them and eight horses and pack animals they wouldn’t really be able to hide, but they decided to climb up the north side of the hill some distance and camp as close to the top of the hill, about a half mile east of Camp Draedus.

Tinorian and Ironheart took the Eyes of the Eagle and climbed their way to the top of the hill to scout out the Camp as it got dark for the evening. Atop the hill, just to the south of Camp Draedus was a tower that sat just on the edge of the cliff overlooking the tower. There were men in Grey Cloaks with bows that manned the tower.

Meanwhile Zykir and Mace, who were setting up their camp while Tixe slept and Evayne prepared dinner for them, spotted two other grey cloaked figures escorting a single black cloaked figure west toward Camp Draedus from somewhere east of them. It was obvious that the grey cloaks saw them, but Zykir and Mace only readied their weapons and waited to see what the grey cloaks would do. Fortunately they simply just passed by the PCs camp and continued to escort the one black cloaked figure into the Camp.

Minutes later Tinorian and Ironheart also saw the two escorts and the single black cloaked figure, but by then they were too far out of the way to speak to, or stop. Instead as Tinorian watched them walk toward the Camp he saw a strange extremely faint shimmering bubble that seemed to encapsulate the entirety of the Camp. Pulling on the Eyes of the Eagle and using their augmented sight to help him he saw that there wasn’t just a shimmering of light that surrounded the Camp, but also several sparkles and seemingly random flashes of light from all over the Camp. Almost as though the light of the sun was being reflected from small mirrors, though most of the flashes appeared from the air and sky above the Camp.

Giants and Secret Trades

Tinorian and Ironheart returned to the main camp and explained what they saw upon scouting the Camp and they decided to maintain watches on the Tower and the Camp through out the night from the top of the hill.

Late in the night while Tinorian was on watch again he saw two grey cloaked figures head out from the Tower south on the top of the plateau of a hill. Moving from his scouting post he stealthed and follow them south until they came to a stop about a mile south of the Tower.

They waited there for a few moments before a Cloud Giant approached them from the south. There was a brief exchange that ended with the grey cloaks giving several large bags of what looked like gems and jewelry to the Giant and the Giant giving them nothing in return. Tinorian knew of Cloud Giants and knew better than to step up and expose himself to one of them. So instead he stepped back and observed.

He took all of that information back to the rest of the PCs and they decided that it was best to wait until the next day before they went looking for any answers.

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