Chaos Scar

The Pillar of Eyes
A mysterious pillar is a landmark in this land of chaos

“Oh, there are many strange things beyond the Wall. I have seen some for myself. I’ve witnessed the wonders it contains, and the horrors besides. Yet for every obvious danger and splendid treasure, there are things that have held their secrets close, places where some mysteries remain guarded despite my best efforts and those of other less worthy souls.
“One such place is the Pillar of Eyes. A fascinating structure, and undoubtedly straddling a ley line—you can see the gaps through the trees just there. But, you might ask, what does it do? Who raised it? And why? What do the eyes watch for? Do they even see? Trust me, traveler, these questions and others born from my fabulous intellect have troubled me greatly these long weeks. I defy you to answer even one of them!”
—Jinko Storwell, renowned sage

Cassandre’s Journal

Are regrouping with the gang. We went out to explore and we found some bugbears and some wolves. We made quick work of them. I wonder if I could bring these guys back from the dead?
During the encounter we also found a possessed skull, which we destroyed. (not by choice). I took some pieces of it, maybe I can learn how this works.

I also took a few books on Necromancy and Possession. Will read later.

Near the end of the day, people were saying that they saw an uglier version or me or perhaps me around town. I asked more on this topic with Hakka and he told me that they saw someone matching my description with a less appealing look around town. I asked Seryus about this issue and he told me he say someone matching my description around a bar or whore house. I took a bath and I asked the minions in our base and they told me that I do not look any uglier or appear different.

We found a note in the cave, ‘the gift from Shur-Tuuz is great, we will have to do business with him again’. The business turned out to be a rust monster which was traded between the two.
We found more notes on the pillar of eyes. It turns out a bugbear devourer who worships the god Vecna was trying to unleash the petrified creature.

I will have to speak further with Paik about if she is pretending to be me around town and killing my reputation.

A Seryus Journal Entry

Seems like a long time since Zestren, Hakka, and I set out from Restwell Keep to locate his wife. We met a wizard along the way, she seems nice enough but reminds me of someone. No matter, it’ll come to me eventually.

She claims she has friends in this valley, and they’ll help us on our quest. Nice to know there are good people in this accursed place.

A Seryus Journal Entry part 2

I about died of shock today. Cassandre’s friends joined us in the cave today, and one of them is a changeling. Since being sent away from the order, I never even saw a changeling. Then out of the blue one walks in. I suppressed the urge to question her right there, since we were on a mission and needed the help, but I think I looked a fool for a while.

We encountered rust monsters emblazoned with the sigil of the golden circle in that cave. Paik stabbed the corpse until the emblem was unrecognizable. All but guaranteeing she’s the one I was sent to find. I’ll have to talk with her later.

How long have I been wandering, fruitlessly? How is it that as soon as I reach this place, my quarry just falls in my lap? Something isn’t right about this situation. I’m supposed to bring her to justice, but what justice is that? Death at the hands of the golden circle? Their brand of justice is the whole reason I’m out here in the first place. My duty is to my order, but their duty is no longer to Bahamut. What’s the right thing to do here?

I’ll have to think about this.

More about Zestren, to take my mind off this situation. Our mission turned out to be for naught, Zestren’s wife had been dead for a while when we reached the cave. Bad business with a crazy evil priest and a necromantic bugbear? Or were they the same? It didn’t matter, really, one dead evildoer is as good as another. That’ll be great consolation for Zestren as he returns to his empty house and has to face the next 1000 years alone. Or how long do Eladrin live? Long enough to go crazy from grief, probably. I hope he doesn’t do anything stupid, I like the guy.

The rest of Cassandre’s team seemed nice enough. I’ve never seen a dwarf that followed a path of druidism before. He seemed hesitant to hit anything though. If I stay for long with these people I might offer some lessons in combat. I don’t want to impose though, perhaps he was just having an off day.

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Interrogating Dagnar/Encasing the Necroshard
A skill challenge between adventures

Skill Challenge

As you drag yourselves back to your new home, weary after your brush with death (more like a friggin’ romp in the sack with death, amirite?), you find Dagnar working, as always. He seems not to notice your condition, and only pauses for a moment when you give him news of Roam. When you show him the necroshard, however, he gives you his full attention. He agrees it must be encased in metal immediately, and asks for your help working it into a maul. It is likely that it will be grueling work throughout the day, dealing with delicate instruments and long, arcane rituals. If you’re lucky you might find out some truth about the chaos shards while you work; if you’re luckier you might find some truth about what has been happening to Dagnar over the last couple weeks.

Dagnar immediately sets to work measuring the chaos shard, examining it with a variety of strange tools. Cassandre sits down with a pile of books to start researching different metals and their dampening effects (History 25). Grimclaw talks with Cassandre, but always keeps one eye on Dagnar to make sure he isn’t in any way sabotaging the shard (Perception 28). Book and Healena wait on Dagnar for instructions, fetching materials and doing busywork. Book takes on the brunt of the work (Endurance 31), leaving Healena free to talk to Dagnar more and understand what’s been happening to him (Insight 25). Greymane excuses himself to his room early on, and then isn’t seen until late that night, coming home with a mischievous grin on his face (Bluff 22).

After several hours Cassandre, consulting with Grimclaw, finds a material that would be suitable for a maul, hinder the corpse-raising effects of the necroshard, and still allow enough power from the shard to come through and empower the weapon. As Grimclaw relays this to Dagnar, he notices a number of items Dagnar has created in his spare time, lying around the laboratory. Very few look usable; they mostly seem like half-assembled experiments, but you notice one or two items have triangles in their design. A shield with a large triangle surrounded by flame, a sword hilt inlaid with triangles, and a crown with a series of small pyramids on its points. Book goes quickly to Restwell Keep to gather the materials needed, carrying an incredible amount back. When he returns to Dagnar, he notices the lanterns in the laboratory have burned out, but Dagnar keeps working as though he hasn’t noticed. When he looks up at Book, his eyes are glowing with a light purple inner fire. He squints at Book, looks around, and asks “When did the lights go out?” Relighting the lanterns, he thanks Book and has him and Grimclaw do some heavy lifting. Grimclaw notices Dagnar chip a tiny piece off the necroshard and pocket it, as he’s preparing the shard for encasement. Healena spends most of her time with Dagnar, talking with him as she and Cassandre lend an extra hand with various rituals. On the information from her companions, she asks Dagnar about the triangles on his items. He seems surprised that there was any common theme to his designs; he generally puts random patterns on his items as part of the ritual creation. He doesn’t know why pyramids would be on his mind, but says it is a puzzle he will try to figure out. When confronted with the stolen chip of necroshard and his glowing eyes, Healena gets Dagnar to confess that the shard he keeps close to him makes him think clearer and feel closer to answers, but he worries it might have negative effects. He admits that he has gained the limited ability to see without light, and that he took tiny samples from the chaos shards (not enough to affect the shards, and not enough to have the effect of the necroshard) before giving them to Grimclaw and Book in order to further study the effects of the shards. He speaks as though he does it to protect you, but Healena understands that while his intentions are not malignant, he is more interested in understanding the mysteries of the shards than the well-being of his companions.

At the end of it, though, the result is a magnificently wicked-looking weapon made of a metal black as obsidian. It is a short maul with a thick shaft; its head is tapered on one end and is decorated with dark gray adamantium. The maul attaches directly to Book’s right arm instead of his hand, but he cannot wield it effectively unless he uses his other arm to support it.

Roam’s Memorial

That evening, everyone gathers in the common area to pay their respects to Roam, their fallen companion. Not knowing much about him, not much can be said. His personal belongings are gathered under a small, crude statue Grimclaw has carved. Healena cleanses the statue with water, says some comforting words, and everyone remembers their time with him. Healena manages to keep her voice steady as she says that there was a light in his eyes as she struck him down, as if his soul was thanking her for ending his torment.

Nightmare

When everyone has gone to their rooms, thoroughly exhausted, sleep comes fast but rest comes slow. Healena, Greymane, Cassandre and Book (when he shuts down into an inactive state) all have a similar, if not identical dream. Things are very hazy, as if a thin mist is about you. You find yourself in a cave, and you get the idea of being deep underground. Ahead of you, you see a small dwarf playing in the dirt. You cannot tell what he is doing, exactly, but he seems heavily involved in it. He does not notice the other young dwarves walking up behind him until they shove him roughly into the dirt. They taunt and laugh at him, kicking sand in his eyes and punching his prone body. This continues for a while until a larger dwarf walks in and break up the beating. He looks down closely at the small dwarf, leans in towards him, then grinds his face into the ground. He kicks the fallen dwarf once more in the ribs and walks away with the young crowd. When you wake up with a start, you feel like your body is broken and shattered, but the feeling passes within a couple of seconds. For the rest of the night, you have no dreams; almost a relief from your usual nightmares.

Grimclaw, when you fall asleep you soon start having your regular inescapable dream. You are back home, reflecting in your usual spot, humming a low, chanting tune and drawing sigils in the dirt. The sigils start to glow, as always, just before a foot in your back breaks the potential connection with the earth spirits and the pain starts again. You can hardly make out the words of the other dwarf children, but you understand the meeting: you do not belong, you should not be. You always beg for relief, and you always feel a surge of hope when you see Rorril Lodesmiter, your father’s old friend, coming to break up the group and save you. But then you remember how outcast your father became when the other dwarves found out how you play in the dirt instead of creating art or tools. You remember that no dwarf in this clan will save you, and Rorril reminds you of it as he breaks your nose against the hard rocks. As they leave, you look up and see four hazy figures, as if in a mist, standing at the foot of a gigantic pyramid. You don’t recognize the figures, but they feel familiar and safe, like reaching them would save you from all your troubles. A harsh voice whispers, “Seek Karavakos” and you suddenly wake up in a sweat.

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Dead by Dawn
Some old friends are coming back to visit

The characters found an old temple with a raw energy source coming from it.  Suspecting they found another Chaos Shard, they moved in to investigate.  But this shard is infused with necrotic energy, and has the power to make the dead come back to life, whether the characters want it to or not.

Cassandre’s Journal

Journal Entry #1

We have entered a weird and uneasy church. I have noticed there are murals of famous battles. I have taken small sketches of the battles. I have noticed that there are more faded murals behind some of these broken posts and such.
When I think back from my studies on history of this lanscape I remember these had to do with rogue clerics, savages and such.
There a few diplomats that I do not recognize their clan marks. There is one that sticks out, it has to be for the “God of civilization”.
We met up with a evil cleric (who is really evil these days). His minions will no longer be bothering us. I spend more time with Healena, she taught me more about her religion, but I suspect her past is tragic.
We found a nice shard off the cleric. We will have to examine this further to see what we can craft.

Journal Entry #2

Roam died, I tried (no really) to stop the evil spawns from taking him down to the ground. I will mourn the loss when we get out of here. I am afraid that my knowledge will fail and that my friends will leave me because of it.
I spoke to Rosa about her religion some more, very interesting. After this we were swarmed but a horde of undead. We quickly defeated this group of undead. I took fingers as souvenirs.
Note to self: Learn more about necromancy. After helping to cremate the bodies, Rosa seems to lose her mind. After some great thought, I was able to determine this was not an effect of religion or any magic.
This rage was internal, she told me about it. I’m not willing to note this, its very personal. Note to Self: NO BURNING FLESH AROUND HER.

Roam came back in the form of a zombie, we felt bad killing him again but had to be. I really wish it was that changeling, however, I may still get my chance.
We did discover another shard, and we make this into a weapon for Book. When is my day coming? I want to master my abilities more. Gah!
Oh joseph, where are you? You said you would come back!

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A Week Off
Time to Relax

After defeating the dragonborn threat, the party took a well-deserved break.  They had time to relax, grow comfortable in their home base, and get to know each other a little better.

Grimclaw’s Journal

After bidding his new drinking buddies goodbye (especially this too clingy drunken gnome bartender who keeps calling him bro and dude) he left towards the direction of their base. At his return, even in his stupor he noticed the excitement in the kobolds and asked Bubbles to fill him in on what was going on. His dwarven forehead creases more and more as he frowned as he heard the news (and dwarves are known to have mighty frowns, especially while thinking in a drunken stupor). “More secrets revealed eh” he mumbles to himself. With a sudden bad taste in his mouth he gave Bubbles a flash of wine he had left from the bar whom carried it off to the others as if it was a gift from the gods, he left the cave to find a more secluded spot in the nearby woods to contemplate. Under a great oak he reverently placed himself under it and meditated. He was glad the cause of the attacks was gone, especially helping a spirit who was being used for evil purposes and was feeling more relieved that Greymane is starting to show his (or is it hers now?) true colors but still felt unsure if he could still fully trust him nor Dagnar now with his little secret that he casually informed as if it was no issue. It angered him and wondered if this is why his parents and clan never left the mountains, was the world this crazy, this confusing and this untrusting. He almost broke his meditation as emotions wanted to rush forth through him and lash out though unbeknownst to him a few tree branches were broken, patches of earth around him dried up or mudied with too much moisture and nearby animals retreated in fear from his energies lashing out around him. Focusing strongly within himself he slowly calmed down, then it dawned on him, his mind instantly sobered up. Why did he come here in the first place? To find out what’s wrong with the area around here, he almost forgot what pulled him here. Clearing his mind some more he settled again to seek deep within himself, he had some time now, time to find more clues and answers to what plagues this land, he must speak to the spirits, perhaps also seek other druids as they would most likely try to do the same. Burning some fresh incense and focusing his powers within, he sends his mind out to contact someone who might have some answers.

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Remains of the Empire
Drakes are attacking the city.

Over the course of several adventures, there have been increasing drake attacks on the city of Restwell Keep.  The characters eventually discovered they were being led by a dragonborn with a Chaos Shard, who seems to be bent on taking over the town.  Redbeard convinced the PCs to hunt down the dragonborn.  They tracked them to a valley where the ruins of a floating stronghold were scattered across the ground and sky.  There they met a dragonborn spirit, bound to help its decendants.  The PCs proved that the dragonborn with the Chaos Shard was deceiving the spirit, enlisting its help in the fight against the threat, defeating him.  They took the shard for their own and went back to their base.

Grimclaw’s Journal

The group returns to their hideout through the portal, a few are slightly alarmed and worried about the growing number of kobolds now guarding the cave. Biding his companions a good night Grimclaw methodically sets gear aide and as if in a dream state he places a hand against the wall to lean on as the day’s events slowly sunk in him. Grimclaw let out as raspy breath, as if he was holding it in for a long time. What’s going on…he whispers to himself what am I doing with these people? slowly he shakes his head and gives the wall a good thump with his head First we’re dealing with drakes and draconics, next two of my “companions”, that crazy golem and that lunatic mind bender dismembering a dead body limb from limb with glee…and I…I…casually gutted an animal and left it there without sending it back to nature. *wiping the sweat from his face he forces himself to calm down and breathe. Dear earth mother his eyes bulging a little I feared we almost wiped out the villagers younglings as well as they mobbed a fallen drake, then I had to restrain myself, retrained from killing Redbeard’s guard. closing his eyes he flashes back to the scene of him as a raptor, barring his teeth, the smell of blood of the unconscious man on the floor, it almost drove him mad. I feel that this place is having an effect on us, either that or I cannot remain changed if I cannot keep control of myself. shutting his eyes he suddenly slaps his face together with both hands Get together Grimclaw, are ye dwarf or are ye a timid goblin?! You came here to find out about the taint and you’re getting closer, or farther…I don’t know. shaking his head he settles down in a meditative position on the floor, setting some special herbs in a small bowl and lights them, letting the pungent smell wash over him as he takes a deep breath. Tomorrow…to the mountain peak…we must find some answers.
closing his eyes he lets his mind wander, seeking out the earth mother, seeking inner peace, seeking….something unknown

Greymane’s Journal

“Idiots! We get report of a Drake in the city and that fool of a wizard wants to waste time comforting a swooning half wit.”

Graymane stroked his beard trying in vain to calm himself before lashing out and sending an end table across his room.

“We’re fighting a group of sadistic dragon-born snake worshipers bent on killing and conquering every decent soul in this hell hole and they look at me like I’m a maniac for trying to send them back a message. They have no idea what I’ve been through, the abuse and exploitation I’ve endured at the hands of sick minds like these. There’s no crime in life or death too horrible to impose on these predators.”

Greymane paused a moment, before sighing to himself and saying,
“I probably could have done without the bit with the intestines. Those weak willed, pathetic fools just sickened me so much that I wanted to disturb them. Especially that insufferable wizard and that berry picking dwarf. Still, I should probably apologize to Healena, she didn’t deserve any of that. I don’t even know how though. I don’t trust them enough yet to explain what I’m fighting for, and against, what could I say to her without compromising my true identity?”
“They don’t even realize that I apologized to Redbeard, that I offered myself freely to his vengeance. No, they only see what they want to see.”

Burying his face in his palms for a minute, Graymane sat deep in thought before lying in bed.

“Still, I guess I could tone it down a bit for our next assignment.”

Cassandre’s Journal

Entry #1

Today I realized I may be in a group that has no soul. I totally agree with helping a town and killing the three drakes that were terrorizing this town however, we seen to like to over do it on the drama.

We helped an older lady with a problem with a drake, we did make a mess on her yard, but as promised, I got the “helpers” to help me clean up the disposal of the bodies later in the day.

We followed one of the drakes to the forest and we found a dragonborn body with birds circling the corpse. I wanted to bury the body, but our friend book too the corpse and mutilated it.

We found a map of an unexplored area which I quickly duplicated. There was some minor items on the lad but nothing note worthy.

We came back to town and found a drake almost dead being stoned by the townsfolk. I have used my intense knowledge of religion and nature to help but when I tried to calm the crowd it make it worse I believe. The drake told us of its hatred for dragon-born and how dragon born hate/fear undead.

We spoke to red-beard and pissed him off and slapped him silly. I was afraid of him and his two goons, but I am no longer afraid. He calmed down and then he agreed to supply us with more quests. We then went back to our house and drank so more and ate some good food.

Cyril the one eyed told us about spirits in the mountains which may help us.

Entry #2

Today, we found a dragon born village. We came across some bats and rats. Knowledge (Nature). We killed some bats and some rats, we found an interesting bag which I believe to be a very magical bag. We have successfully negotiated with red beard for more info on our quest. He told us where we should head. We then came across a very magical area with floating islands. Religion/History Check Successful. I gained info on the region which I noted. It seems this is an area for fallen warriors.

We met Brakk who was a spirit attached to a landmark. We have discovered that these people are very honourable. Also Brakk seems honourable as well. Since he is honourable, he doesn’t tolerate liars aka greymane it seems. Why is Greymane full of hate. I tried to use my knowledge of history to help but I was baffled in my speech and messed up. I will make amends. We learned there is no ritual to perform to release his spirit to the beyond. Greymane, decided to go and try and get the documents by himself.

He came back all changed, in form of another. I will have to discuss this blasphemy later on. However it seems he does know how to enter a keep and get in and out. I will have to note more on this later. I have also though something was odd with all his hatred but it seems he may have been acting like this to throw off his trail.

I’m very pleased to have helped with getting rid of this evil. I do wish that I would have known or gained more info for my books. I will have to pay closer attention next time.

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The Lost Library
An ancient library has been uncovered

The PCs investigate the rumors of dragonborn behind the drake attacks, and are sent to hunt down a notorious dragonborn thug.  But this thug has just made a discovery and some new allies that may change how the PCs operate in the Chaos Scar.

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Adventures in the Chaos Scar
The story so far...

A group of "heroes" has gathered in Restwell Keep, a small town on the edge of a valley called the Chaos Scar.  They have come to work for Redbeard, a dwarf who runs a mercenary expedition meant to eliminate some of the evil in the Scar.  The characters have killed chaotically disfigured beasts and people in the valley, and have found a Chaos Shard, a chunk of the meteorite that crashed many years ago and formed this valley.  There are many mysteries to be discovered, and the potential for much power, as well as much corruption.

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