Light Warriors

Dragon Battle
Orange, the color of angry dragons

After finding the orb, the group runs into a museum curator, Kivin, who finds them curious and follows them out of the museum. While they’re discussing their next options and moves, the dragon shakes the earth and roars past them, razing more buildings. It’s back.

Lorent Stargazer knows where there’s a battery of siege weaponry and leads the party there. Sonya knows a spell that can possibly hold the dragon in place while they attack it with ballistas and other heavy weaponry. When the dragon flies over, Sonya paralyzes it and it crashes into a nearby building. Gwyn and Jackar man ballistas while Sonya concentrates on holding the dragon down. Finally the dragon breaks free, and slays a small group of guards and soldiers. Their final ballista attack knocks some scales from the dragon’s breast, and it flies off, defeated.

The group recovers momentarily, but then they notice commotion coming from the palace. There’s a ragtag group of angry young men who are disgruntled and yelling at the queen. Lorent gathers guards and tries to get them under control while Jakar continues spreading rumors and dissent. Finally the protesters are quelled and they run off; some are hanged. Jax arrives; he has taken a role with the guard for a time and together he and Lorent come up with a plan to take the dragon down using a trap of large ballistas and treasure. Jax talks the queen into letting some of the treasure go into the pile in order to rally their forces and defeat the dragon.

Lorent sneaks into Gwyn’s room one evening while the trap is being set and they talk about what happened in Greybarrow. Lorent mentions that she was marked by the dragonkin at the Tower of Trials and she may have been spared from whatever is effecting them. He mentions that though a lot of their kin aren’t dead, they are enslaved by some power he doesn’t understand. Some mage caught him unaware on his way to report in to Greybarrow and enslaved his mind. He confesses that he was forced to kill Joel Sanford and recognizes that the leaders of these cultists are a hulking man and a slender man with a harp.

The day of the trap arrives and forces are arrayed all around, ready to attack the dragon should he appear. Some of the guards don’t look quite right, and there’s some mysterious box on each of the ballistas. Suddenly, a group of them break off and dash toward the treasure pile. Combat ensues…

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Night at the Museum
Plus Zombie Dinosaur

The group is about to enter the museum when Lorent and his crew appear again. He tells them he’s been here before years and years ago and thinks he knows where the orb might be. They attack the cultists at the gate and overwhelm them, then push in towards the Modern wing. The Modern wing contains modern relics, fine art, fashions, and heraldry showing the current expansion of human civilization. They continue running into packs of thugs and cultists and freeing workers and patrons pressed into service as they advance in towards the Prehistoric wing.

The Prehistoric wing is full of biological oddities that existed prior to the beginning of time. Strange creatures created for the gods for unknown purposes such as multiple early incarnations of the fabled unicorn and the platypus. There’s a massive red dragon statue in the corner. Lorent says the orb is at the end of the hall; the group races forward, stopping only to tell the forced laborers searching the museum that the way is clear out.

As they near the end of the hall, they run into a large dinosaur exhibit. There’s a little man polishing the dinosaur up, and there’s some fake prehistoric fauna in the room as well. As the heroes are passing through, the little man speaks a word of power, assassins jump out of the bushes, and the massive dinosaur in the middle of the room is set to flame and comes alive.

The players fight the massive dinosaur, and Sonya realizes that if they defeat the wizard the dinosaur’s animating enchantment will be broken. Jackar is knocked unconscious by an assassin’s knife and tries to crawl away. Leroy is critically injured and begins to run when he eats another lump of the green moss from the Cathedral of Rot. Upon eating this moss he suddenly morphs into a giant hulking moss shambler, full of rage. He punches a hole in an assassin’s face and flees out of the museum in uncontrollable rage.

Sonya defeats the enemy’s wizard and takes his spell book. The group follows Lorent down the hallway to a dead end. Lorent is certain that there was another passage here somewhere; he appears extremely confused. Sonya casts detect magic on the area looking for a hidden or magically hidden passage, but instead detects a magical presence on Lorent. Upon closer inspection, Lorent is covered with compulsion and illusion weaves. Sonya spends a long time surreptitiously untangling and dispelling the magical tangle clouding Lorent’s mind. When the last tangle is undone and the magic disappears, Lorent cries out in pain. He apparently has been under some sort of enchantment; he says that everyone in Greybarrow is dead.

Lorent is still in horrible pain but leads them back to the red dragon; the orb is one of its eyes.

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Queens and Spears
Wait for it....

The party decides to go visit the museum of Sparkle in search of dragonlore. Everyone is heading that way when they encounter a LOT of people heading the opposite direction. Leroy disguises himself as a peasant and they go to the palace and garrison area where the queen speaks for a short while. She explains what happened and the planned response to it, and urges people to hold on to hope.

There’s a brief discussion between Leroy and Jackar about posting propaganda up about the queen and trying to overthrow her, but they are rejected by the only publisher they talk to.

The group decides to go visit the museum now. On the way, they run into Lorent and his small crew of guards. Lorent warns them that the cultists have taken over part of the northern edge of the city and that there are sharpshooters down one alleyway. The group goes down the other alleyway where they run into sharpshooters on the building. They duck into a building and climb up on the roof, and dispatch them.

Finally, they arrive at the museum in search of answers about dragonlore, but find it overrun with cultist, thugs, and others being forced into labor. It looks like they’re tearing the structure apart looking for something. Leroy dons a disguise (sombrero) and enters. He finds out they’re looking for some red orb that reacts to fire. He doesn’t find out any information about dragons as everyone is being forced to search for the orb. He sees a diorama about dragons in prehistoric times being hunted with spear-chucking devices. Finally, he finds a large ruby and takes it to the man who pressed him into service, but the man throws it away disdainfully. Leroy runs out of the compound and back to his friends. He eats some more tasty moss.

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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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