Light Warriors

Finding Your Religion
I heard you liked fire...

After the collapse of the spire of the Temple of All Faiths in Sparkle, the heroes stand on a field of cooling magma. Having flipped the cauldron over, they’re reasonably certain that it’s no longer producing magma or fire spirits. They glance around and identify some houses on fire from the giant fireball which hit the area; all are evacuated except one, which contains an old man. Leroy rushes in to save him from the fire, letting him out the back door. Sonya gazes again into the Orb of Earth, and sees a brief image of skeletal beasts of all sorts amassing at the cottage of Morgase, heading to the Southeast.

Just then, some city guards arrive and begin asking questions about what was going on. This city guard includes Jax, who has had amnesia for several weeks since the fight with Codrey. Jax immediately recognizes his companions, and uses his rank as a weapon master to boss the other guards into beginning to stabilize and cleanup the area while he rejoins his friends.

The party returns to the Temple of All Faiths to see utter destruction; the giant spire has crushed a fourth of the temple — all of the Pelor side — a hundred feet of residential housing nearby. Sonya feels a stirring and realizes as she walks into the temple that she’s felt the call of Kossuth, the Lord of Flames. She enters the Small Gods wing of the temple and identifies Kossuth’s altar there; a single candle surrounded by a mosaic altar of rubies and garnets, which itself is patterned after flame. She prays to Kossuth.

Leroy uses this as an opportunity to clean himself in the Olidammara bathhouse. The priests there are plenty drunk and extremely saddened at the complete destruction of the Order of Pelor within Sparkle. One priest, horribly drunk, rails against the dragon and the horrible people who did all this. He’s angry; Leroy tries to talk him down but he’ll have none of it. Leroy prays for guidance from Olidammara and gets the sensation that he must persevere.

Shortly after, Sonya summons an earth elemental to help break up the crushed spire. It does its work for the local townsfolk, faithfully pulverizing the massive spire until Sonya dismisses it. Meanwhile, Jakkar has been busy using his magic mouse spirit to identify the harped man in black. The mouse returns to lead the heroes to the man’s location. It speaks some odd phrases and giggles a lot — the mental image Jakkar gets is of being in a mansion on fire, surrounded by smoke and flames. Jakkar leads the heroes to the very place; it’s Codrey’s burned out manor. Everyone (except Jakkar) is slightly suspicious that his mouse would lead them here; was Jakkar playing some sort of game with them?

Gwyn sneaks into the compound, looking for clues of cultist activity. Seeing none, she lets the others come in to look around. The place looks untouched and unkempt. There are some rats in the granary, but no other signs of life. Jax bravely enters the creaking mansion, and notices a large pile of treasure in the foyer. The treasure appears to be blackened and burnt as well, all except something gold gleaming within the pile. Jax pulls the gold thing out; it’s a plaque. He reads the words “Die in a fire.”. Hmm. Suddenly, Jax throws the plate and rushes towards the door. The plaque explodes in a huge ball of fire, crumbling and destroying the front of the mansion. Jax is thrown from the building.

Everyone’s pretty suspicious of Jakkar for bringing them here now; this is obviously a trap. Jakkar volunteers to search the house. Jakkar takes his time, and searches every inch of the creepy mansion, but there is no sign of the man in black anywhere. As he enters the dungeon, he finds an old man who has been caged up, supposedly for a long time. It appears he has survived off his cellmates; he’s obviously broken and very confused. They lead him up, and he tells them what he’s seen. A man in black came in and laughed at him not too long ago. Before that, a lot earlier when his cellmates were still alive, a guard came in and sneered at them; told them that their kind should have rotted down here, pity they hadn’t died in the explosion. Both left them locked up.

The heroes take this man to a charitable group who vow to care for him and nurse him back to health. They give them a contribution. The next stop for the heroes appears to be the Sparkle Museum, which may have been compromised during the fighting. Jax and his unit were en route to secure the area when they bumped into the party. Exhausted from battle, the players opt to wait til the morning to investigate the museum, and go to sleep at The Sparkling Sea inn. A female bard named Muriel is playing on the stage while her companions (3 or so; a motley group) watch her. Leroy requests a song about dragons.

Muriel tells them a story of a town beset by a dragon. The townfolk decided to fight back, and trained underground to become master archers. One day, when the time was right, they sprung their attack upon the dragon. Due to the heavy winds and lack of practice in that particular environment, their attack failed miserably. This was not much of a pick-me-up story, but it was a true story, so they say.

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A Hot Time In the Old Town
Plus Dragons

After returning to the guard tower and being told by the captain that his friends had already been paid, Leroy struck out in search of them. Sonya and Gwyn are walking down towards the docks to investigate some mysterious fires being set. Leroy, Gwyn, Sonya, and Jakkar run into each other at a three-way intersection. At this very moment, a massive bronze dragon flies over the docks, spraying flame in its wake. The city guard seem to have trouble reorienting their siege weaponry in order to defend against the fast-moving dragon.

There’s a panic in the streets as the poorly constructed wooden homes of the dock slums burst into flames. A lot of houses are on fire; the party avoids being trampled as the busy street empties and people rush to hide. Leroy attempts to hide in a cellar, but Gwyn and the others shame him into helping. Gwyn hears the cries of a mother who has lost her son; she enters a burning building and busts down a door in order to save the small boy. Leroy joins a small group attempting to start caring for the wounded, where he is quickly promoted to handling serious injuries.

As this is going on, a group of armed men in black leather show up. They appear to have clothing branded with an eclipsed sun all in black, and they begin attacking the townsfolk (starting with Jakkar). Sonya unleashes her fiery fury at them, but they seem to be resistant to fire. After a short battle, all of the cultists are slain, but so are several townsfolk. The heroes hear a strange music from somewhere to the north and decide to find the source.

After a brief misunderstanding with some guards (martial law) and a good walk down the burning city streets, the players discover the source of the music — a group of cultists chanting by a steaming cauldron. As the players arrive, the cultists shriek in ecstasy and turn the cauldron towards the players; hot magma rushes out towards the players, who sidestep it. The cauldron glows white hot at the bottom, and a never-ending river of magma seems to spew from it. The cultists look the same as the others; black leather and the eclipsed sun. Any creature close to the cauldron is attacked by flame spirits that seem to appear from nowhere. As the players sidestep the lava, the music changes and begins to flow uphill towards them. In addition, Sonya’s flaming sphere is wrested from her control and attacks Gwyn.

As the players fight the cultists, they also quickly notice that there’s something falling from the sky – a giant fiery ball. The ball grows larger and larger with each passing second. Sonya finally spots the source of the music and attacks it, knocking it from the nearby roof it was perched on. It’s a man, clothed in black and playing a brass harp. The two exchange blasts before the man says something glib and escapes with inhuman speed.

As his parting shot, the black clothed man moves the falling fireball just a tad; Gwyn, Leroy, and Jakkar are unable to escape its area of effect in time, and are badly wounded from the ensuing blast.

The dragon, which has been strafing the town, sending fireballs into various corners of Sparkle, and roaring very loudly, grips the spire of the Temple of All Faiths and beats its mighty wings. The spire falls with a massive boom, and the dragon roars in victory as it flies away.

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An Unlikely Feast

The light warriors return to the city limits of Sparkle. Sonya and Gwyn head towards the Guard Captain’s tower while Jakar and Leroyis look to sell their wares. Sonya and Gwyn approach the captain’s quarters, where a small crack in the doorway permits limited visibility into the room. A heated discussion can be heard from inside. Sonya, clearly affected by her exhaustive mission, invites herself into the area ahead. The captain and Lorent receive the lengthy debriefing on the previous quest. As promised the reward of 500 gold was given to the Light Warriors for their bravery.

Meanwhile in town, Leroyis finds a merchant interested in his batch of horse hair and receives 10 gold. He is unable to find anyone interested in the vast amounts of freshly slain horse, so he decided eat several pounds before dispersing the remainder of the slowly rotting meat into the streets. Peasants rush into the streets to accept this gesture of good will and then scamper back into the dark alleyways from which they came. Leroyis then heads towards the chapel of Olidammara. Jakar bought some salt to cure his share of the horse meat. Leroyis arrives at the chapel and it greeted by a very friendly cloaked human. Leroyis requests a prompt shower and is escorted to the bathing quarters. After a lengthy, well deserved cleaning, Leroyis pays a visit to the prayer room to account for the day’s great deeds. Leroyis calls upon the wisdom of Olidammara to guide him through the mystery surrounding the recent arson, the rise of the undead, the spreading corruption, and the hideous mutant that saved his life. Leroyis then heads toward the guard captain’s tower.

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A Taste of Home

Just finishing battle with Vandrial and his two cultists, Aladwynn and Lorian, the Light Warriors find themselves surrounded by the aftermath of a bloody bout. The underground network led them to a very narrow section covered in a glowing green moss. Leroyis was intrigued by the fauna and its obvious alcoholic properties and stowed several pounds away in his backpack.

The adventurers were discussing how they were in no condition to get into a rustle as the telltale sound of footsteps loudened from the catacombs ahead. The foliage lining the narrows provided superior concealment from the mysterious figure for all expect Jakar. In was then a voice that cried out commanding those hidden to walk towards the light. Sonya bolted from the shadow wielding the orb found in the last room. Coming to grasp with the unspeakable horrors performed in the main chambers mere minutes ago, the cultist breaks into hysteria. The cultist was accompanied by a woman bound to slavery. The light warriors were not able to convince the dominated mind to shatter the hold of her capture and follow them forward.

Not much further ahead, the narrows opened to the outer world and the rays of sun were a welcomed sight to the adventurers. Sparkle could be seen in the distance, as well as a large estate. After getting a good look at the surrounding landscape, Sonya led the others back the way they came to collect the party’s horses. The animals were feeling fatigued from the journey. The group decided that the best course of action would be to seek rest in Sparkle and report to the Watch Guard Captain.

Leroyis grew impatient which the dampened speed of his horse and drove his heels deep into its ribcage out of anger. The stallion accelerated into a blitz before tumbling recklessly in the rough terrain. The fall snapped the leg of the horse, and in an act of pure empathy, Leroyis swiftly terminated the lifeforce of the kind creature with the heavy weight of his divine mace. By the time the others caught up with Leroyis, one hundred pounds of flesh and muscle stood neatly in a pile next the carcass. Jakar kindly accepted Leroyis’ offering of 30 pounds raw horse meat. Leroyis packed away the remaining meat in his faithful companion’s large leather bag. Along the journey back to Sparkle, Leroyis enjoyed some of the treasure acquired. The horse meat had a smoky spice that reminded him of home.

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Champions of Rot
Also, THAR!!!!

The party descends the staircase and enter an ornately decorated foyer filled with religious-looking iconography.

This room has additional cultists, undead, and an undead giant who screams THAR!! at them. In a bloody battle, the heroes manage to defeat these enemies. At the back of the foyer is a series of engravings and markings showing a history of the Cult of Rot; various champions and victories. With a keen eye, Sonya discovers a secret compartment which holds some valuable goods.

Just then, the giant jade doors at the back of the foyer creek open. The heroes venture inside cautiously. They hear slow clapping and an elven mage rises from his throne to congratulate them on finally getting to him. He mentions several of their previous exploits; the tower of trials, the demon cultists of Manon, etc. He very pompously tells them he’s been waiting for them, and now they’re going to die.

The mage (who says he is Vandariel), plus the raised corpses of Eladwyn and Lorien, servants of Rot from another age, attack the party. At the back of the cathedral, on a raised altar, lies a dim crystal orb. Vandariel and his minions attack the party; Sonya steals the orb and they immediately turn toward her. Lorien falls, and blood is spilled on all sides. As Eladwyn falls, she looses arrows which catch Gwyn and down her. Gwyn struggles to stabilize herself, but dies. Vandariel is slain by Sonya’s icy hand. Leroyis resurrects Gwyn.

Sonya gazes into the orb, and sees an image of an elven city in the trees, corrupted beyond belief, the very trees twisting and rotting, with undead and elves walking together, marshaling a massive army, and a source of immense power coming from a marble stone temple in the middle of the city.

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Into the Cathedral of Rot
ITS A TRAP

The heroes descend into the cave. There’s a deeply sloping rampway down, hollow in the middle. The place is damp and smells like death. As they descend, they discover that the ramp is trapped – first by a iron block designed to smash down on the ramp, which they loosen and send off the side. Then by a device that plunges out of the wall and knocks Leroyis off the ramp. The rest of the party crawls under it safely. The final trap is a trough of burning pitch, which the Sonya is able to disable.

At the bottom of the ramp is a plain stone entryway, with two beautiful white statues, one of an elf maiden and one of an elf soldier, with glowing green eyes. Jakar pries a jade eye from the female elf and pockets it. As they enter the room, a wave of undead rushes through the narrow corridor at them. The players defeat the undead, and continue on.

Further in, there’s a room full of tattered bedding on the tile floor, and a hallway that goes off deeper. Jakar uses his magic to scout the immediate area, and determines that there’s a staircase down the hallway, and two other rooms. The party opts to go to sleep on the bedding…it being nighttime…. the entire night passes, and they are undisturbed until the morning comes and another wave of undead attacks them. This wave has a mind-dominating witch as its leader who controls the various heroes. They manage to defeat these undead and continue on, down the staircase.

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The Truth Shall Set You Free
Or, Lots of Things Start Happening At the Same Time Again

Following the battle in the graveyard, the heroes are left with a bunch of smoldering zombies, one dead cultist leader, and one captured cultist acolyte. This acolyte seems unable to talk; he’s just jibbering and sometimes shouting Vandariel. Sonya determines that he seems to be under some sort of domination, and the party decides to take him back to Sparkle and interrogate him further.

Upon entering the gates of Sparkle, the guards at the tower recognize them, and interrogate them about what happened. They spill the beans that they found some cultists and captured one; the guards want to deal with him. The party wants to take him back to the temple of all faiths for an exorcism, but the Captain of the Guard disagrees and wants to question the prisoner.

The Captain takes the acolyte into their dungeons and the heroes in to meet a freelance investigator they have working for them – Lorent Stargazer. Lorent questions them about what happened, and lets them know of some leads he’s been chasing… some missing priests of Pelor, a wildfire that occurred out on the edges of town, the undead.. Being an elf himself, Lorent eyes Gwyn and mentions that he recognizes her; they exchange pleasantries.

They are about to part ways when a man bursts in with fresh news about the undead. This man, Jakar, is from the city of Whisper, and has been tracking undead for the last few days, but lost them in fog from the sea. The players question Jakar, who is interested in finding the undead and killing them. They seem to have common goals so Jakar offers to join them in their search for the undead in the area.

With that settled, everyone goes to bed except for Leroyis, who goes to the guardhouse baths where he bathes alone for a time, until a mustachio’d brawny man comes in, sits next to him, and attempts to make small talk.

The next day, the group eats in the guardhouse mess hall while Lorent and the Captain discuss their strategy. A priest of Pelor arrives and they exorcise the acolyte. The Captain then allows the party to interrogate him since they know the details about the cultist activity; Gwyn interrogates him, discovers his real name is Landy Owens, and he’s a somewhat dimwitted shopkeeper who fell in with a bad crowd and didn’t really know much about what was going on. He was brainwashed in some cave and has no memory of anything after.

The party learn the cave’s location from Landy, and in exchange for his freedom Landy offers to lead them to the exact location. Lorent decides to continue to focus his investigation within Sparkle; Jakar goes with the party to the cave.

The party follows Landy to the cave entrance, some half day’s march south of Sparkle. He leaves, even though Leroy wants him to walk, on horseback, and the group hops down the cliffside to the outcropping by the cave. Suddenly, spiders with glowing green eyes descend and, hissing, attack them. The party defeats the spiders, and go into the damp limestone cave.

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To Catch a Cultist
Graveyards always come with sleepy and/or creepy groundskeepers

The group awakens and, after hearing various rumors for some time, decide that there may be something worth looking into as far as these graverobbings are concerned. Before they can get started on that, however, a detective named Joel Sanford enters the inn they are staying at, walks up to Jax, and starts asking questions about who killed Codrey, and what the hell happened that night . Gwyn and others provide truthful answers, and even though Joel is initially suspicious of them, after he interviews them he continues on his way, and even buys them some beer.

With Law and Order out of the way, the heroes proceed to one of the graveyards which had been the target of the rash of grave robberies. It lies a few miles outside of town — they arrive and talk with the groundskeeper, who doesn’t have a lot going on upstairs, and his dog, who is almost constantly asleep. They don’t get much help, the groundskeeper is both sleepy and incompetent, and doesn’t really remember anything about the last few nights. He says the party is welcome to investigate, derp derp derp.

The heroes decide that they’ll set up surveillance on the graveyard from a nearby tower and, if they see anybody coming, they’ll confront them. Sonya and Gwyn go off to get some dark cloaks to help them hide, and Leroy talks with the guards at the tower (who somewhat recognize him due to a hit single). Leroy talks his way up to the observation floor of the tower, and buys a spyglass and gets it polished up so that he can see the road to the graveyard. The girls come back with horses and wait a short distance away.

As night approaches, fog rolls in, but Leroy thinks he spots something coming along the road. They spring into action, and run into a group of scraggly farmers wearing dirty clothes loitering outside the graveyard. They don’t really respond to any questions, they just say they’re camping. The heroes leave them be and go into the graveyard proper, and hide among the tombstones. They notice a lot of very smelly, rotted flowers on some of the graves. Hours later, some of the men from the wagon approach with knives and, spreading out to the flower-marked graves, start chanting a spell of some sort. The party attempts to distract the nearest cultist, but he is intent upon his spell. Finally they physically restrain him (via Kaida), but his comrades knife themselves and fall forward onto the marked graves.

A short battle ensues; two ‘leader’ cultists appear and toss earth magic around at the heroes. Meanwhile, the slain cultists sink into the marked graves and arise as a number of horrible zombies. The heroes defeat them all, and capture the cultist restrained by Kaida.

The groundskeeper and his dog slept through the whole thing.

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Leroy, leroy, leroy
What happened?

The next few weeks the party, minus Merrik Lee (who is distributing monies to relatives of his merc company), spends time tending to Leroy. They spend those weeks resting and readjusting Leroy back to normal life, although he’s sworn off drinking and questions his faith in Olidammara. They hear rumors about a war starting up out of Tower’s Edge, a town or city disappearing (Toye? Noye? Noyo?), and a rash of grave robbings in the area. Eventually, the party and Leroy have recuperated, and decide to investigate the grave robbings.

*Note meanwhile, at this same time, a man named Jakar has encountered a horde of undead outside of the town of Whisper. Being a lawman within that town, Jakar begins to hunt them after the immediate threat to the town has ended to figure out where their lair might be.

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Killing Codrey
Two men, together in hatred

The crew wakes up the next day; Gwyn and Merrik remain slightly hungover from their massive redecorating effort. Everyone heads off to Codrey’s place, which is fairly easy to find because, being a rich asshole crime lord, everyone in town knows where he is. He lives in a fortified compound with patrolling guards, nicely landscaped grounds, etc.

As the heroes arrive, a small band of miscreant-looking people leaves the gates. Merrik, Sonya, and Jax follow that band while Plexar and Gwyn continue to watch the gate and attempt to get inside. Merrik, Sonya, and Jax tail the suspicious band into Sparkle and down some alleyways, where they seem to rough a few people up before turning down a dark alley and, after speaking some password, go into an unmarked building. The heroes throw things at the door to try and get the doorman to step out into the alley, but he doesn’t do so. Finally, Merrik goes up to the door and just says “”/campaign/light-warriors/wikis/pocketwatch" class=“wiki-page-link”> POCKETWATCH" and is given entree. He sits down and has a beer, and listens to the gossip in the room. Apparently there’s a meeting in the basement; he goes down there and begins to listen in as the criminal types appear to be having some sort of council against Codrey. The major players view him as soft, not crazy enough, and want to showing Sparkle what “real crime” looks like.

Meanwhile, Jax gains entry by barging in the door and concocting an elaborate tale(?). Sonya still has no way to get inside. Merrik comes back up, hearing the commotion, and helps Jax toss out some of the remaining people in the speakeasy. He then intimates to Jax that there are a lot of rats in the cellar. They set the building on fire and lock the basement door, killing all the criminals under the speakeasy.

Jax, Sonya, and Merrik run off as authorities and fire quenching types arrive, but the building is going up in raging flames. Sonya is extremely upset with Jax and Merrik for killing all those people willy nilly. She rides off, while Jax and Merrik continue on to Codrey’s compound.

Meanwhile, Gwyn and Plexar have managed to infiltrate Codrey’s compound. Plexar disguised himself as a simple farmer and got in by playing the part of a petitioner. Gwyn wasn’t able to sneak in with him, but she follows by tricking a guard and pretending to be his wife with a message for him. She follows Plexar to a locked door where Plexar is discussing working with Codrey and how he kind of hates Leroy. Gwyn is shocked.

Gwyn and Plexar meet up with Merrik and Jax outside of the compound. Plexar says that he wants them to attend a gathering that evening where Leroy is going to be, and they can save him then. Gwyn tells them about Plexar’s plans to betray them, but nobody really believes her. They leave and decide to return that evening. Sonya is still upset at Jax and she doesn’t plan to attack Codrey’s compound with them; she plans to remain outside.

Nighttime comes, and the heroes converge again on Codrey’s. Codrey is in his courtyard with Leroy tied to a poll, obviously badly beaten. He has a number of henchmen around him. The heroes arrive and challenge Codrey, but suddenly a large, fiery man leaps onto the grounds and one of the grain silos nearby explodes, knocking Codrey’s henchmen down and knocking Gwyn unconscious. It rasps an oath of vengeance against Codrey, and proceeds to bound across the grounds toward another silo. Merrik and Jax just shrug, and rush into the fray, slaying some of the helpless henchmen while they are stunned.

Plexar heads straight for Leroy, and starts beating him up screaming that he killed his father. Leroy does nothing because he’s already near unconsciousness. Popping/crackling sounds start coming from the silo the fiery demon went into, and it begins to smoke — Gwyn is dangerously close to it. Plexar notices and stops pounding on Leroy long enough to rescue Gwyn, moving her just far enough away before the building explodes and the fiery man leaps into Codrey’s mansion. Sonya takes the opportunity to move in, grab Leroy, and teleport them both back to her horse.

Jax and Merrik soundly defeat Codrey, who crawls back into his mansion. One of the henchmen grabs a horse from the nearby stable and begins to ride off — it has bags on it that Merrik instantly recognizes as his Fox Company bags. Merrik attacks the henchman and reclaims his horse, which still has the widow money in it. Plexar rushes into the house to loot some of Codrey’s treasure, and discovers that it’s on fire. As he rushes around grabbing loot, the fire gets worse, and he hears more popping/sizzling sounds. He can’t find his way out, and he’s loaded down with treasure. He tops to drop the heaviest thing he’s carrying and try to run out. The building explodes with himself and Codrey inside.

In the aftermath, Leroy recovers over time, and Merrik leaves to give out the Fox Company treasury to the relatives of his men.

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