The Scepter of Storms

A Buried Past (vol II)
Marching through the marsh...

After escorting the caravan of merchants through the Shade Moor to the Pass of Kas’Jorai, the adventurers turn back to complete their true goal. They headed deep into the Shade Moor with nothing more than some vague coordinates of where the lost temple might rest. They taveled deep into the marshy region, slashing and hacking through the brush until it began to get dark and the weather began to turn sour. They hunted for a nice dry patch to set up camp and start a fire to keep themselves warm. After assigning a watch schedule to everyone, Aramis took the first watch, and Cade Masters, who had the second watch, slipped up into a tree, out of sight, to sleep. When it came time for Cade Masters’ watch, the others were unable to locate him. Aramis generously took a second watch, but when morning came round, there was a heated discussion between the party and Cade Masters.

“You miss next watch…for you, no food rations.” exclaimed Edrich.
_"If you miss your watch, it will come out of your share of the gold." declaired Aramis.

After much more discussion, they broke camp and took one more look at their map. Edrich spotted a much quicker path to the coordinates they had now that he had a good rest. Within an hour they had reached the location.

As they approached a clearing in the marsh, they could hear several creatures arguing in a foreign language. The two halflings decided to sneak up on the flank, but the ever upfront Aramis strode towards the talking creatures on his horse clad in armor. As they approached the speaking went silent. Cade Masters and Tucher poked their heads from the brush to look around. “THERE THEY ARE, GET ’EM” yelled one of the creatures and four large javelins flew into the brush next to the halflings, one striking Cade Masters.

Seeing his companions in trouble, Aramis charged forward on his horse, driving a lance deep into the brush just inches in front of a bugbear that dodged out of the way. Edrich got a running start to throw a javelin with surprising accuracy. The javelin pierced the brush soaring through the air and planting itself into side of a bugbear. Not seeing the foe who had lobbed the javelin, the bugbear was not detoured from its quarry. Cade Masters, thirsty for revenge upon the bugbear who struck him, ripped the javelin from his shoulder, bust from the brush and hurled the weapon deep into the chest of its original owner. The beast was obviously staggered by this hit as it yelped in pain.

Tucher decided to run across the clearing to help Aramis fight, but fearing more javelins, dove into the brush and was unable to immediately get into the fight. The bugbear with a javelin protruding from its chest began to limp away as fast as it’s wounded body could take it. Seeing this the bugbear Edrich had struck charged forward towards Cade Masters with a great roar and with his morning star wailing above his head. Another bugbear leaped from his hiding space in the brush near Cade Masters and struck him in the kidneys with a morning star. the two other bugbears chose to target Aramis, but with differing techniques. The first struck at his horse, but Aramis was able to maneuver the armor clad animal out of the path of the strike. Unfortunately, that concentration left him open to the swing from the other bugbear which struck him in the head, leaving him rattled, if only for a second.

Winston was running as fast as his tiny legs could carry him to catch up with the others. “Wait up, you guys!” He flung a magic missile, striking the bugbear that swung at Aramis’s horse. Bursting from the brush with a flash of speed, Edrich rushed to the aid of Cade Masters. He struck the beast that had ambushed Cade Masters, drawing its attention away from the halfling. Aramis, unable to free his lance in such close proximity to foes, he dropped his lance, drawing his trident and striking at one of the bugbears. As his trident found its target, his horse reared up and trampled the creature, who twitched for a second before giving in to death. Cade Masters leaped backwards hurling a dagger at the bugbear that charged him, missing. “STAY BACK, I HAVE ANOTHER ONE!” he yelled as he drew out another dagger. Tucher managed to get next to the bugbear still fighting Aramis and missed with her rapier.

The badly wounded bugbear continued to flee, attempting to get help for the fight. The bugbear in combat with Aramis tried to ignore the halfling that was attacking him, but missed with his attack due to the distraction. Edrich dodged an attack from one beast, but the charging bugbear caught up with Cade Masters and struck him with a morning star. In a quick repose, Edrich swept the leg of the bugbear that swung at him, and several quick strikes later, the skull of the beast had been cracked. Aramis attempted to trample the remaining foe he was facing, but for fear of the little one at his horses feet, his caution caused him to miss. Winston, finally making it to the clearing, saw the fleeing bugbear and struck him down with a powerful blast from a magic missile.

Now greatly outnumbering and surrounding their foes, the party was able to quickly bring down the last few bugbears. After searching the beast, they come across several items which look out of place. A small token with a feather and some finely crafted bracers. They searched the small camp which had been set up next to a strange, slanted cone shaped structure. They found evidence of the bugbears recent meal of horse meat, and found a wagon which looked far too fancy to be crafted by bugbears. As they peered into the slanted cone, they realised it was the top of a structure which went underground. They also found a crate full of excavating materials, including pickaxes, shovels and sifting pans. Aramis realised that they might be underground for some time. He took a moment to tend the wounds of his companions, then made sure his horse was comfortable, removing its saddle, tieing it up near plenty of grass and cutting open a bag of oats for it. He even used the bugbears tent to create a shelter for the animal.

Fully prepared, the group lifted the trap door and readied themselves for what ever dangers might lie below the surface…

A Buried Past (vol I)
Somethings are best left buried, but you don't find out until you have dug it up...

Under Construction.

Into the Deep (vol VII)
Did someone say "plot twist"?

Under Construction.

Into the Deep (vol VI)

Under Construction.

Into the Deep (vol IV)
Water, water everywhere...

As the last of the party stepped off the staircase, it quickly rose up to the ceiling, trapping the group in a large room. There was a large seal on the floor similar to one they had seen before. There were also four hallways that lead out the room, windows at the end of the hallway let in light revealing walls of quickly flowing water in the middle of each hallway. Near two of the hallways were a few dead Sahuagin.

Cade Masters aproached one of the walls of water, which instantly crystalized turning to crystal. When he reached out to examine the newly solid wall, words appeared across the surface of the crystal. “Speak the name of the brother given by water and taken by fire.” Cade paused for a moment then went to step back from the wall. As he did so, the wall of crystal instantly liquified and blasted forth a surge of pure water which pushed Cade back knocking him to the ground. His clothes were soaked completely through and the group was shocked to see if he was alright. Seeing he was alright, they began to examine the wall and solve the riddle. After some slight trial and error, they finally said “Life” and the crystal wall reliquified without blasting them. Alduine was able to walk through the wall to the other side. There he discovered several rooms which looked like they had not been entered in centuries, inside of which he found several conch shells which had aquan symbols carved into them.

Now knowing the secrets of the walls they went one by one speaking the correct words and searching the rooms beyond for clues. The next few walls were easily solved…
“Speak the name of the Traveler.”“The Tides”
“Speak the name of the eldest brother.”“Death”
But then they came to a wall which they struggled with. “Speak of that which is Sashelas’s greatest gift.” Next to the wall someone had writted seveal words in charcol, Reefs, Fish, Sea Creatures, Oceans, Sea, Water, Life, Peace, Dolphins, Coral. They poured through the notes Alduine had been taking, and tried several different phrases. By the end, they were all completely soaked, but they finally said “Currents” and they were finally able to pass through.

They searched the last set of rooms and found a few more conch shells, but still found no way down to the next level. They returned to the main chamber, and began searching. There Xander discovered written in charcol on the floor another list. Oceans, Seas, De~~~” They examined the seal on the floor once again, and though it looked similar to the one in a previous room, this one had writing on it. “To enter my realm, one must only give word to its name.” This took almost no time to solve as they could almost make out the last word which had been written in charcol, but has been rubbed off. “Depths”

As the stairs decended once again, Xander and Cade held back to make sure they could be able to return to the previous area if need be. Reluctantly, Cade joined the others on the lower level. Xander had to take a moment to figure out where his wolf companion had wandered off too. The stairs retracted and Xander was separated from the group. They waited a short while for him to return, but eventually decided it was important to push on. They could always come back to find him once the Sahaugin Shaman was dead.

Into the Deep (vol III)
No time for a swim...

The party slowly climbs the stairs to the next room. As they look at the walls around them they see beautiful murals of sea creatures and ships traveling across the sea. An inscription is written in several languages, including aquan, common, and halfling, across the ceiling.

I am a traveler, both night and day.
I visit every port and stop in every bay.
But past the shore I never stray.

There are two doors and the party of heroes attemped to no avail to open one of them. But this was not a complete failure, they found a scrap of paper trapped in the door. The edges of the paper were wet and there was what appeared to be dried blood dripped on the scrap of paper.

With that h…
His gifts were bountif…
The greatest of which being th…
fish, and other sea creatures. The reefs a…
oceans waters, bringing life and peace to all. T…

After spending some time to figure out what the meaning of the paper was, they decided to push ahead and search the only other door in the room before heading further up the stairs. The room appeared to have been mostly unused in some time. Ancient fishing nets and spears had been left in this room on racks, but the racks and the equipment on them had been abandoned for so long that they had practically all rotted away. They found some old coins that had to be worth something valuable. They continued to sift through the rubble for a few more moments before leaving and climbing the next set of stairs. At the top of the stairs awaited another airlock, but the party had a moment of pause as they noticed the corridor ahead was completely flooded. Cade Masters had formulated a theory about what the magical beads they had all eaten would do and climbed into the airlock to test his theory. He flooded the airlock and found out that his theory was correct, he was able to breath underwater. The rest of the party, with respects of Alduine who could already breath under water, were greatly suprized.

The corridor beyond the airlock had a large gap broken through in. And as the party began to swim out through the airlock they could see what caused it. One of the ships that had been attacked by the Sahuagin had broken the glass corridor with its mast as it sunk the the ocean floor. They made is succesfully to the other building in the complex and paused for a second to ring out their clothing. While drying off, they notice another set of wet footprints, they are not the only ones to come through here recently. Their hopes of it being the other adventuring party are quickly dashed as they discover one print which was definately made by a Sahuagin. They decide to go on the hunt for the maker of these prints. They follow the prints into the next room, where they unfortunately fade. As they search for more clues, they find a small pouch of coins.

The door at which the foot prints fade leads the party out into a hallway which they follow to the next door. As they open the door they catch two Sahuagins off guard and quickly dispatch them. Cademaster decides he is going to start picking up the tridents left behind by the Sahuagin they have vanquished for use against later foes. The Sahuagin had been dining in the room, and they notice something shiny in the pile of food. As they search through what they were eating, Tucher finds a human finger with a gold ring attached. She thinks she will be sick for a moment, but overcomes it and plucks the gold ring from the finger, small pieces of rotted flesh pealing off with it. This does not slow them down however. They exit the room and come to the last door way in the hall.

As they cross into the room ready for a fight, they are shocked to see only a wooden statue and a gold seal on the floor. The light in the room is muted and dimmed, even the light coming off Alduine’s sunrod. There are two torches burning with low flames on the wall, yet the put off no smoke at all. The statue standing in the back of this room is of a man in heavy robes. Above his head he holds a glass orb half filled with water, something floating delicately up the surface of the water, and the front of his robes hold an inscription.

“His words burn in my soul like fire, burn with passion unmatched by other mortals. He is the Harold of Sashelas, the protector of the sacred sisters, the guardian of the water of life. Bathed in Sashelas’s knowledge he is high priest Turaylion. Hear his words and gain the knowledge of the depths.”

While Cade Masters and Alduine climb the statue and attempt to read the piece of paper to no avail, Tucher discovers two secret doors on the walls holding the torches, but cannot find how to open them. A great debate breaks out about what to do with the statue with both Xander and Cade Masters grabing a torch each. Cade Masters wishes to burn the statue and Xander seemed torn by the possible implications if their action was wrong. Cademaster argues that there would be no other reason to put magical torches in a room with a wooden statue. Finally Cade Masters wins out touching the torch to the statue which quickly ignites into a blinding flash and large roaring fireball. The darkness that loomed in the room is lifted as the statue burns. Suddenly they can hear the glass orb above the statue crack, then burst open, pouring water out over the statue dowsing the flames. The piece of paper which had floated atop the water gently floated to the floor. In addition the two secret doors, which Tucher had found, slid open revealing two stone statues of women with one arm outstretched, a brass eel wrapping around their arm. The statues each had an aquan inscription on the base which read “To take his words from him is to blaspheme.” and “To find deeper meaning is his word is to reach true enlightenment.”.

The party pondered the saying for a second before they noticed the paper had floated out of the glass orb and had been unharmed by the water or fire. As they picked up the parchment, the words on the page which were once illegible twisted and contorted until they were able to be read by any who touched the paper.

Two brothers, as close as can be, yet as different as possible.
The youngest brother was given by water and taken by fire, nurtured by light and mired by night.
Thus is one obtained through water.
The eldest…(illegable smudges)…
Thus one to be earned through fire.

As they pondered the words on the page, Xander noticed the statue had appeared to be back to normal as if they had never burned it at all, even the glass orb had refilled with water. They chose it would be best to leave the parchment on the floor and exit the room, finding a staircase which lead down.

Into the Deep (vol II)
The shocking continuation...

After securing the doors to prevent the oncoming rush of water, the party of would be heroes pushed ever onward. They listened cautiously at the first door and slowly entered. Inside they found themselves in a small room which had a large window facing out to the sea. The walls were covered in intriquet carvings and murals. In the corner of the room was a pile of fish backbones and heads, of which the eyes had been sucked out. Sifting cautiously through the pile of bones they uncovered the arm bones of a humanoid. After a brief discussion, they come to the conclusion that they do not know enough about anatomy to decifer what race of person this bone belonged to now that the flesh had been ripped off and the bones gnawed upon.

Finding no other clues and nothing else of value, they reentered the hallway and headed to the only other door they could see. The smell of rotting fish blood and kelp was overwhelming as they entered this completely dark room. Alduine ignited a sunrod illuminating this cramped space. The kelp and fish blood were covering a book which sat atop a small altar. Across the top of the room is an inscription in aquan which reads “Those who kneel to give me praise shall be welcomed into my heart.”

Alduine, eager to be the first person to rediscover his peoples long lost religeon, cleans off the book and kneels at the altar to read what the book has to say. As he kneels down he can feel a switch depress and a door opens on the wall behind him. Startled at first by the opening of the door, the group slowly enter into the room. Compared to the darkened rooms they had just traveled through, this room was almost blindingly bright. The walls were the purest of white pearl, but appeared to be one solid piece, and the light let in by the large window flooded the room with bright light. Cade Masters attempted to find some way of extracting some of the pearl, but finding no seams in the surface which could be exploited, he was slightly dumbfounded. In the middle of the floor were several corpses of dead Sahuagin which appeared to be chared, as well as a large brass seal on the floor. Seeing the bodies, the party stopped in their tracks. There was obviously some sort of magical defense in this room, but they knew not what or where it was.

There also stood a large fountain of Sashelias in front of the window. His hand was outstretched holding what appeared to be a large glass orb with water pouring forth from it. The base of the fountain was lined with hundreds of small beads of glass, and when Xander used detect magic to find the trap extremely large trap on the floor, he also noticed the beads were highly magical as well. The party decided to examine the fountain more closely to possibly find out the nature of the trap. Another aquan inscription was written across the base of the fountain, but it’s ancient dialect was very difficult for Alduine to translate.

“Those who (partake/receive) of my (gift/soul) shall be granted (access/passage) to my (dominion/realm). Those who (hold/carry) my (dominion/realm) will know of my (word/path). Those who head my (word/path) shall be welcomed. Those who stray from it shall be (smote/punished) by the (storm/scepter).”

Tucher ripped the glass orb off the fountain and rolled it across the floor to discover safely what the trap might do. As the sphere rolled across the floor, arcs of electricity shot up and sparked across its surface. But the orb reveild something else, there was some sort of writing on the ground in certain places. Alduine hesitantly, and with opposition from Xander, ate one of the small beads then walked onto the floor miraculously not being shocked. Seeing them to be harmless, Cade Masters injested several handfulls, only to make himself immediately sick, and causing him to run into the other room to vomit. He instead only ate a few, and pilfered the fountain filling a pouch with the beads. The rest of the party reluctantly ate a single, but put several into their own pouches. Cade Masters decided to walked out to get a closer look an was badly shocked in the process only to discover that it was not the beads which offered protection from the floor. Tucher realized that the water from the orb was what had uncovered the writing. Cade Masters once again attempted to assist by urinating on the floor to find more hidden word only to receive a crippling shock. They instead decided it would be safer to use a handful of the bead to discover were the writing might be. Once they had a starting point, they used their own waterskins, pouring the water onto the floor until they found the hidden words written there.

“The great one drove back the dark one out of the sea. The great one forced the dark one to fall upon his blade. The great one claimed the fierce weapon as his own. The great one used the blade to cut trenches in the depths of the sea. The great one caused the coral to grow and brought life back to the seas. The great one swung the blade to enrage the storms and bring the currents to the seas. The great one felled the giant beasts who oppressed the seas. The great one shared the seas with all. The great one calmed the storms to bring peace to the seas. With the oceans at rest the great on returned to his realm in the depths of the sea.”

By following the winding path of words written on the floor they were brought to an alcove on one of the walls which had been broken into and something had been taken. They also found a switch on the far wall which caused the brass seal to rotated upwards into a spiral staircase leading to the level above.

What awaits them at the top of the stairs?

Into the Deep (vol I)
How long can you hold your breath?

The newly formed group of adventurers stepped boldly onto the teleportation pad. In a flash they appear inside the lost temple. They find themselves in a large crystal dome which is held in place by coral that appears to have grown around the segments of clear crytal. As they peer through the glass they see they are upon the floor of the Ocean. There is a large moon pool in the center of the floor and the simple splashes of the water echo throughout the room. The teleportation pad they are standing on does not seem to operate in reverse. There are two other pads in the room, all three appear to be made of a single giant black pearl with brass inlay running across the face of it. The two other teleportation pads have been cracked and damaged beyond use. Across the room from where they appeared is a large statue who towers over the moon pool. The inscription only says “Sashelias”.

After a detailed search of the room, the party advanced down a set of stairs they located behind the statue of Sashelias. The struggled for a moment with the controls for a airlock, but once they figured out its operation they quickly advanced to the next building of the small underwater temple. As they casually strolled through the airlock into the darkened room in front of them, they were ambushed by a couple of Sahuagin. One tried to throw a net over Alduine missing. Alduine struck out at the beast with his trident landing a hit. Yet the beast still stood and lashed out at Tucher as she came through the door, but she retaliated with a powerful blow which left the creature to die on the floor. It’s companion startled by the strength of these new intruders attempted to level the playing field by breaking one of the windows and flooding the room. Cade Masters and Xander quickly entered the room and put an end to the remaining Sahuagin. The group quickly fled the room into an conjoining hallway so as to escape the flood of rushing water.

Seeing that this temple might also be a deathtrap, the heroes chose to push onward into the temple.

In the begining
Every story has to start somewhere...

A small group of adventurers were gathered by Baron Galisar.
Local viliages needed more military aid and food for the coming winter months, but Baron Galisar refused to give additional support with out something in return. Each village had to submit one person to work for him in exchange for the military aid and food.

The villages sent forth two halflings, Cade Masters and Tucher, as well as a druid of Obad-hai, Xander. The party was slowing forming, and Baron Galisar gave them their first job. He had a letter he wished to be hand delivered to his brother, Jared Galisar, a High Priest of Palor in the kingdom of Karthayleon far to the north, across the vast Ocean of Kas’Zorn. They boarded a ship to head north on what was to be a simple mission…but on the great Ocean of Kas’Zorn, storms arise quickly, and danger can appear out of anywhere.

After many days of travel, the journey across the Ocean of Kas’Zorn brought them to a small island nation of New Saristan. The ship was to dock and take on more supplies for the continued trek to the northern continent of Kas’Lorn. However the captain was instructed by the port authority that no ships were allowed to leave the port and head further north. Shipping vessels were being attacked and it was for the safety of his crew and passangers that the Lord of New Saristan had assembled a blockade from the north. It appeared the parties journey had come to an end.

The captain refunded them a small part of their fair so that they might buy food and lodging, and regretfully informed them that he would have to turn back towards Kas’Sunel. Due to the blockade, the inns were packed and food was scarce. They were lucky enough to find a place to stay, but finding work in the crowded city turned out to be nearly impossible. Lord Skovil had sent out a request for anyone in the city brave enough to take on a dangerous mission that would inevitably lift the blockade on the shipping lanes.

The Lord recommended that they gather one more person, an Aquatic Elf named Alduine Anduil, a translator and scholar from the Historical Society. Lord Skovil explained to the group that a temple of some sort had been discovered several miles out to sea right in the path of the northern shipping lanes. Very little was known about the temple, but after pouring through documents from the Historical Society, he and his scholars had managed to find ancient mentionings of a temple that was tied to civilizations all across the world. He had ripped out half of his home to unearth a teleportation pad that supposedly linked to the temple, but he also gave them a warning. He had already sent one group into the teleporter a week prior, and nothing had been heard back from them…


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