Eberron: RISE

2013-07-28
Pino Kino vs the World

Sha Karn, trying to look out above ground, doesn’t see anything.

Dusk and Sha Karn have a moment of lucidity, and think to look for other keyholes. Scouring each room, they don’t find anything until they each the tapestry room. While inspecting them, the group notices a that the depiction of the keyhole on the tapestry is the same size as the actual key – even though the door is scaled down for the image. Dusk inserts the key into the tapestry, and it enters a magical hole. We hear mechanisms click and whirl behind the doors.

Sha Karn runs to the other room and finds the door is, in fact, open, and there’s another crystal on a platform like in the opposite room. He calls out to the others, but before they make it to him, he touches the crystal.

A couple of stair cases appear in newly opened doorways, which lead down to a magical “lab” above the rift portal.

As we arrive, two decayed, large, bird-headed humanoid creatures appear from two crystals on the edge of the room. They seemed whispy and ethereal, and after a couple strikes, it became apparent that they would resist damage from our physical realm. Luckily, the crystals also allowed us to cross into their pocket dimension.

We fight them till they dead.

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2013-07-14
Solving puzzles LIKE A BOSS

During our little rest, Brann notices that the historical tome of the giants has had its latter half ripped off and taken. The last pages refer to the dragons granting gifts and the “dream monsters” fighting them. Dusk thinks the dream part refers to the Quori, a race from the plane of dreams, Dal Quor.

Not getting a lot of answer, the group goes to investigate the other un-investigated room. In it is a single table with a sundial. Around it is inscribed (in giant) the message “An eternity is but a moment.” Around the upper edge of the room in a track with a glowing crystal, which illuminates a time onto the clock. There’s also a door adorned with a crystal surrounded with lightning bolts and a keyhole in the middle.

Dusk takes the key from the previous room and cautiously uses it on the door. Everyone is electrocuted.

Singed and annoyed, the group times out what time the sundial will read in 10 minutes. Using the watch from No-Name, they all return to the tapestry room, wait until the clock reads 10 that minutes have passed, and time entering the corresponding time. The door opens!

In the last room is a throne and a table. The table has a bunch of coins and a large chalice. Sitting in the throne is a skeleton of obsidian – it’s a human with a bird-like head. Rin notices that there’s some kind of enchantment on the chalice, and figures out that it reacts to blood. Reva volunteers to fill it with her blood. Rin can tell that something magical echoed out from the chalice, but nothing visible has changed.

With a spot of insight, Rin solves the riddle – a “coin” in the king’s cup is a small amount of life force (blood) versus a “coffer” to the crypt (enough of your life to kill you). With the chalice full of blood, she thinks the door will now open. Still not wanting to risk an arm, she uses a cane (from her magic robe) and turns the handle. The door opens!

Inside isn’t a full room. There’s just a small room with an alter. Floating above it isa purple, arcaney crystal. Dusk recognizes that it emanates with magic from Dolurrh. As the group tries to figure out what to do with it, Sha Karn grabs it with both hands. He can’t move it, but it seems to “activate” in some way.

The group tries the electric door again thinking it might also be deactivated now. It was not.

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2013-07-07
Ancient Giant Death Pit

Investigating the House Cannith dig site massacre, the group has trouble identifying what exactly could have killed them. However, they find a book – a journal of one of the workers – that indicates that the excavation site found their “big treasure,” but whatever was down there was trapped.

Very carefully, the group descends down a 30 foot hole to the top of some black, shiny stairs, which they discover are actually metal, and seemingly of Giant origin. Even more carefully, we go about 50 feet down the stairs to the bottom.

At the bottom, there’s a doorway to big octagonal room with 8 very old warforged. More careful looking around finds that there are two hallways, and Dusk sees something in the middle of the room in the left hall. In that room, the group finds a single warforged on a central pedestal. There are two doors: One is a plain, double door with handles; the other is metal with a big skull and flame engraving and a single hole with a handle in it. The decorated door also has an inscription in Giant: “A Coin to the King’s Cup, or a Coffer to the Crypt.”

Rin throws a coin in the hole, which clanks around with no results. After promising to not do anything impulsive again, she shoves her old longbow and turns the handle. There’s a loud crunch and other noises, and her longbow is snapped in half inside the whole. Also, the group notices that the warforged rotated and is now looking at the door, though still inactive.

The group backtracks to the other room. There’s a big pool of black liquid in the middle of the room with a silver key in it. Reva tries to snag it with a net from Rin, but the water comes to life and swings a tentacle at her, teleporting her into a crush pool of water. After some struggles, Dusk snatches the key and Reva swims her way out. We GTFO.

We go back to the room with two doors and go in the plain double doors. That room has four tapestries depicting 4 scenes:

  • Dragons handing bolt of lightning to Giants below
  • Row of Giants assaulting a twisting spire, storming toward it
  • Electrocuted Drow with lockpicks flying around, and another Drow holding up a white key
  • A pair of giants, one with a whip, and both holding chains that hold a bird-headed human

The room also has a door with 3 large dials in an inverted triangle. The top left has 12 ticks, the top right has 12 major ticks with 4 sub-ticks between them, and the bottom has a sun and a moon. It also has an inscription in Giant: “An empire is eternal, a ruler is but a moment.”

The group tries to enter the current time, but the room spews out poisonous gas that packs quite a punch. The party takes a moment to stop and regain their composure.

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2013-06-30
Into the Valley

As the group prepares a makeshift grave for No-Name, Sha-Karn notices a shadowy figure nearby watching from behind the rocks. Dusk and Brann make a brief distraction, and Dusk teleports over to ambush the figure. It is an athletic female dragonborn, dressed in furs and hides. After the ambush, she introduces herself as Reva, and she claims to mean no harm. She is a traveller, an adventure seeker, who says she saw the party entering the “No Man’s Land” and it piqued her interest. Knowing that we’re in the market for a new guide, we ask her to join us to help us get back to

Rin writes down what she saw of No-Name’s memories, and tells the group through a touching tribute. She mentions that a man from House Cannith was in the group that No-Name brought there in the past, and Brann recognizes him as the ex-leader of House Cannith – Starrin d’Cannith, the Gorgon.

Looking closely at the Professor’s map, they discover an elaborate tracking rune hidden on the back; the professor likely knows exactly where the group is.

Behind the closest ziggurat, the group sees some tents. Rin and Reva scout out the area while Dusk summons a small planar ally to investigate. It appears that a Cannith adventuring party was killed there in some fashion long ago, but their bodies are perfectly preserved. Dusk also sends another planar ally with the map to set up a decoy camp to try to throw off the professor.

The group finally investigates the central ziggurat. Inside, there are bodies (also very well preserved) of giants, and they’re laying out on ceremonial slabs. Upstairs, Rin finds one in particular who looks like he’s dressed in unusually ceremonial garb. Brann identifies him as looking exactly like the first emporer of the giant empire. Rin also swipes a book, which may fetch quite a bit of gold.

Brann notices a slab in the base of the ziggurat. Sha-Karn phases through, only to find there’s a dark portal at the base of a long pit, and it’s sucking him down toward it. Hearing muffled cries, the group struggles to remove the slab. After rescuing Sha-Karn, Dusk tells the group that this is a breach – a hole in the planes between the natural world and Dolurrh, the shadow realm.

Dusk finds out from his benefactors that this breach is being held open by some kind of unnatural “wedge.” Whatever it is, he suspects its whatever Starrin was after – and it’s probably just the thing the professor is after.

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2013-06-23
Jungle Fever

We retire from the casino and spend the night in an inn. Sha-Karn receives a gift from Skalmad (a magic dagger), which he takes (and tries to pass off his old piece of crap dagger as the gift).

The next morning, Sha-Karn, Dusk, Rin, and Pino Kino go to Major Miner’s to get our promised – six big, 30-pound packs of supplies – and 6 “Clawfangs.” Meanwhile, Brann acquires a tome to help him learn to speak giant. A young man bumps into Rin and hands him a note that she “dropped.” As the group heads to the South Gate, Rin heads somewhere on a quick errand, and Sha-Karn follows her sneakily… but poorly. Confronting him, Rin asks for him to trust her to have her privacy, but he doesn’t necessarily buy it. Giving in, she lets him go with her to a book shop in an alley where she asks the guy at the counter if her ritual scrolls are ready. Sha-Karn helps him retrieve them, and he learns they are for the Sending ritual.

Meeting up with No-Name, he gives Dusk a small pocket watch, which he says is always correct. The group sets off for Final Rest.

MONTAGE!

8 days later, we come across a 200 foot wide chasm. No-Name and his Clawfang leaps across (with some teleporting help) and makes it across. Rin and Dusk coax their Clawfangs to make the jump. Brann, Sha-Karn, and Pino Kino attempt to fashion a make shift bridge out of trees and ropes. They make it across with 2 of their 3 Clawfangs, but none of their packs. Sha-Karn, Dusk, and Pino Kino make a trek back to the narrower part of the chasm, spending a few more hours to get everything they left. Brann leaves a trail of rock towers for them to catch up, and the group reunites a bit later.

That night, Pino Kino oddly has an odd “dream” that he was a giant play chasing a girl giant. When he “wakes up,” his hands are around Brann’s neck. Brann throws him off, and wakes the rest of the group. Sensing no magic cause, they entertain some theories (mindflayers are mentioned) but come up empty.

Several more days pass, and the group finds a trampled down path. Rin is able to detect trace amounts of the same necromantic energy from the boat, but other natural signs indicate they came through a couple days ago. No-Name thinks they’re heading to Sulatar territory, and the gang’s path under the mountains should get them to the Valley of Shadows before the army.

Finally, the group makes it to a mountain pass. Fire and lava atop the mountains indicate that we’ve made it to the fire giants’ territory. No-Name leads the group to a secret passage, and leads them through a dark, winding series of tunnels. Eventually, No-Name directs them the rest of the way, but goes off another to “hold them off.” Racing carefully through the rest of the path, the group eventually makes it out of the tunnels into a clearing: The Valley of Shadows is ahead, thick with a fog similar to that of the Mournlands.

With a cough, a very injured No-Name exits the tunnels. He reveals that he was exiled for leading a party of outsiders to the Valley of Shadows in the past. His name was Xenias. As he collapses, Dusk and Rin comfort him. Rin performs a final ritual to see several of the most important events of his life. His induction into his brotherhood. Accepting the mission from the adventuring party in the past, one of whom is from House Cannith. Presenting a box of his wealth to a woman, who is horrified by what he has done to attain it. And finally, chained up before a regal, king figure, who exiles him for his betrayal.

And with that, No-Name – the exiled Xenias – dies.

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2013-06-02
Casino Royale

At the House Cannith storefront, we annoy the clerk. Automaton guards block Rin from following Brann.

In the back room, Brann is immediately pinned by warforged guards. Brann bluffs, but the House Cannith dude sees right through his ruse, and identifies Brann. The dude dismisses Brann’s concerns regarding the necromancers outright – they’re just a regular old weapons dealer.

After some debate, we go back into the main part of the city and look for a guide. We talk to Major Minor (and his son Minor Minor) who tell us they won’t possibly fund an expedition to the Valley of Shadows. However, Skalmad has a slave who is an exiled Sulatar (drow) from the region called “No Name” who may be able to help us… if we can get to him.

Sha-Karn, Brann, and Dusk head to the Church of the Silver Flame to get their help because we’re both a) trying to infiltrate Skalmad’s operation, and b) we’re aligned in being anti-necromantic army. The priest on call tells us Skalmad is based out of an illicit casino on the docks – and the rest of his operation is likely concealed carved into the adjourning cliffs.

Meanwhile, Rin and Pino Kino head to the docks to find some of Skalmad’s workers and do some recon. Rin flirts up a guard, who offers to give her a special tour of the casino (wink wink). She stays by the entrance to do recon, and Pino Kino finds the others to bring them down to the casion, too.

Upon meeting up and trading stories, the group heads to the casino, too. Dusk and Brann make a fantastic distraction. Sha-Karn pokes his head through the door and sees people working – it’s definitely the right place. After the debacle, everyone joins Rin in her invisible candle bubble where we wait for the casino to open.

A few hours later, the place finally opens. Sha-Karn, through trial and error, learns that a 25 gold cover will get you in the door. Rin, through not-so-trial-and-error, gets the guard she met to walk her in. Brann storms to the door saying he’s looking for his wife – when he starts to get a little to rogh with them, Dusk runs up and interjects (wingman-like, if you will) and pays off the guard to let them look around.

Inside, Rin makes it into the VIP area and sees a fat, “Jabba the Hut”-like guy who she’s told is Skalmad. At the tables, Brann overhears some high rollers saying Skalmad is a dragon. He also learns from the bartender that a Drow is working in the fighting rings.

Rin seduces and knocks out the guard, assuming his identity and leaving him in a supply closet. She leaves and rejoins the group, then leads them to the back to hang out until the casino closes. However, in the arena, No Name corners the group and confronts Rin. She tells him the group is there to rescue him, but before they can speak in private, Skalmad yells at them and blows their cover.

Called out for their shady dealings, Rin and Brann try to bluff their way into his good graces, and manage to get into the VIP area (out of the open arena). Just as they’re making their final play, the priests of the Silver Flame burst in to fight with us. Skalmad throws his battle axe at the priest, killing (or at least maiming) him. It’s game time!

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2013-05-19
Slumming it in Stormreach

The professor’s ship, the Silver Hydra, was due to arrive a day ago, but never made dock. We deduce that it might also be delayed by the dragon ships.

Buying a telescope, we see several ships on the horizon about a day out.

There’s a Mob boss named Skalmad who is using his money and influence to extort money from the traders in the harbor/marketplace. The Church of the Silver Flame has hired adventurers to take him out, but most of them die, and the survivors say he can’t be killed.

We played a “tell the truth or drink” game. Some of our lighter secrets aired out.

Dusk bought a map!

We waited overnight for the other ships to come in. Come early morning, one makes it in and crashes into… nothing? Flickering into visibility is the Silver Hydra, apparently cloaked by some magical devices. We investigate the ship, weapons drawn, noting that there’s a dark magical energy about the place. We immediately find a bunch of empty weapon crates on the lower deck. Trying to find the magic’s source (and the source of a rank odor), we descend further into the ship, only to find the scene of a massacre: blood, guts, but only a few bones. (Sha karn vomits.) In the center is a dark black necromatic circle. There’s an army of skeletons on the loose!

Brann warns our pirate friends about what’s up, and he sends them on their way.

We head to House Cannith and ask some pretty blunt, dumb questions. When they ask us to leave, Brann shows them his dragonmark, and a serious, threatening man asks to speak to him in the back. *cough*trap*cough*

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2013-04-21
On the High Seas

Messed around on the boat a while. Dusk tried to fly, Sha-Karn made that happen, hilarity ensues.

Pino Kino and Brann had a heart-to-heart and came to a luke-warm understanding that they’re in this together. It was only kinda heart-warming.

Sha-Karn tries to get into an off-limits area in the lower deck, but he’s told to scram, and he doesn’t honestly try that hard.

Brann talked to Bane and were chummy and upfront about their past history. Bane said he’d warn Brann if anybody had it out for him. Brann promised to send him work if he happened to learn of any high risk ventures for him.

Sha-Karn and Dusk get pretty good at fishing.

Morning of the 4th day at sea: The crew is giving us the stink eye. Brann asks Captain Bane what’s the matter. Apparently dragons and their dragon ships are out and being menacing. Crew is mad that we’ve diverted them into danger. We decide to go around the dragons, which gets us to Stormreach 1 to 1.5 days after the Professor. (The crew stops being dicks to us again once they realize we do actually kinda care about their well-being.)

The rest of the trip was uneventful.

Now at the dock in Stormreach, we’re looking to get back on the professor’s scent. We know what ship he arrived on, so we may be able to get leads from that. We know where he’s likely going, so we can head that way, too. We may be able to get some info from guides or caravans he might have employed. And we know House Cannith is involved, so we could check out their local headquarters.

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Doctor Adventure and the Murder Mystery
Part I: Welcome to Sharn

On an isolated Lightning Rail car, nearly empty in contrast the dozens of heavily packed one, 5 unlikely characters one by one get on the train. A mysterious cloaked figure with an outgoing personality, a somewhat temperamental artificer, a cheerful kenku, a note scribbling and extremely well read elf, and finally a large but kind hearted warforged. All of which were invited to Sharn by one Doctor Vaskar, also known as ‘Doctor Adventure’. Though not all were quite up front about it.

As they arrived in Sharn, they were greeted by Watch, the warforged major domo of Doctor Vaskar. He briefs them that they were called to join the Doctor’s new adventuring team. He also laments that he was a ‘former’ member of a team, and now is simply relegated to being a glorified butler. But the Doctor is his friend and he sticks it out despite lack of pay (it appears that over the past few years the Doctor has sunk millions into investigating the Mournlands) for the sake of friendship.

After arriving in the Deathsgate district, the party is introduced to Tanix… sort of. More so, she is in the kitchen eating without pants, so she says she’ll be up in a moment. So Watch leads the party upstairs to meet the doctor. However, as Watch opens the door and grandly introduces Doctor Vaskar, the party stands in shock to find that the professor is dead.

The party went about looking around the study for any indication of how this could have happened. Discovering a small hole in the back of Vaskar’s head and a matching hole in the glass window behind him. Watch immediately puts Tanix, the only person in the house, on ‘house arrest’ in suspicion but Rin doesn’t believe she did it. Sha-Karn peers through the hole and establishes a few potential sniping spots. Discussing with Watch, they find out a few things: the list of enemies the Doctor had was long, that he had been contacted by the Mograve University about a missing colleague, The party decides to split up, with Sha-Karn, Dusk and Pino Kino investigating the rooftops where the killer could have been perched, and Rin and Brann looking into the house’s defenses and Dr. Vaskar’s notes.

Rin and Brann head back to the study to investigate the security wards, finding that while the wards were not broken, they were clearly deactivated. Watch explained that the only ones who had access to turning the wards on and off were him and the Doctor. Rin also starting sifting through the notes on the desk, and after finding a large tome of random chicken scratch notes about the Mournlands, Rin takes the book and places it in her bag. Watch mentions the business Locke & Key from which they acquired the security wards might be a place to investigate as well, and mentions the owner Mr. Locke and his wife Emilia.

Meanwhile, on the nearby roof of a tavern, the rest of the party investigates. They find definite traces of some foot prints, looking like whoever made them was dragging their feet in long strides across the ground. Next to the foot prints, there were three narrow lines of something else being dragged along in the dirt, possibly some manner of tripod. Sha-Karn tries to detect any arcane energies and is immediately shocked by the overpowering left over energies of whatever was done here. So potent that he was able to establish a trail of the energy departing the scene and back through the city. They decide to inquire some of the local homeless about anyone they may have seen, and learn of a description of a coat wearing man who had “five legs – two normal and three teeny tiny ones” who also had a lumpy hunchback. The party deduces that this was probably the culprit carrying some weapon under the coat. They regroup back at the Doctor’s house to plan their next move.

As the group got back together and shared what they learned, and then decide to follow the arcane trail that Sha-Karn discovered. This lead them to a sky carriage station, where they found that in the rough window of when they could say the death happened there were three possible locations that the coated, five-legged, hunchbacked man could have gone: The Menthis Plateau, The Cogs, or Lower Tavick’s Landing. They decided to investigate in what they felt was the most suspicious order. The Cogs turned out to be a dead end, and so did Lower Tavick’s Landing, and finally upon arriving, they found a torrent of magical energy. Possibly not the one they were looking for, or possibly it was just drowned in the copious amount of insane magical power in the area, either way it seemed to all be traced back to one singular location: Mograve University.

Experience Gained for Session: 720 XP.

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