City of a Thousand Towers

Ventrix nears

Yolo and Amarilyna (her succubus lover) sent a clear dream message that Ventrix was at the slots- a place your guide Korrigan tells you is about 5-6 days from the temple on a parallel path to your own.

The party considered various options but rather than risk cutting through the outer passages of the temple, they decided to try to intercept Ventrix by going around the temple and coming from the north. This is a much longer path so the party is now moving at great speed. A first march has brought them just past a ‘Y’, with the right hand going to the temple. They continued on the left.

A brief encounter with some duergar slavers resulted in some slaves being freed but others choosing safety over freedom. A bit later they encountered an inferno demon and his minions. It was a hard fought battle that depleted their powers substantially but the group won.

During the next rest, Blondie has a vision. [Jim, see play secret note on this post.]

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Ventrix Nears

Yolo sent you a dream informing you that she saw Ventrix in a cavern that look like a maze with battlements on the maze walls. Korrigan your Duergar guide tells you that this is part of the outer works of defense for the Duergar city of Khazaldum known as “The Dead Slots”. It’s a very distinctive area. He sketches out a map to show its relationship to where you are.

Yolo reported that Ventrix does seem to be traveling with a mixed group of additional companions now- some duergar, an ogre, and some others she did not get a good look at.

You can find this map on the roll20 site. The current page should be the map. Squares are 10 miles across. The map is Korrigan’s sketch and is not precise, nor does it show every last passage; there are many smaller ones.

Your location is the red, eight pointed star. Marselene has shared some information on the temple.

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The Temple of Pulchra Umbra

Korrigan, your Duergar guide, says you are less than two days travel to Pulchra Umbra, temple to Nocticula.

From what Amarilyna and Yola have told you through dreams, Ventrix and her demon lover are less than a week from the temple and seem to be traveling underground to get there.

As a reminder, your purpose is to recover the Crown of Iomedae, which you believe Ventrix intends to destroy at the temple so that she may ascend to mythic rank. Marselene is pretty sure that such an act would grant Ventrix such powers.

Marselene is very nervous about this whole “let’s attack a greater temple of a demon-lord” thing. If you must do it, she wants to destroy one of the key denizens or the temple’s altar itself, as that would most likely allow her to ascend, too, and give her some chance of surviving this perilous quest you are all on.

Marselene’s thoughts on her ascension
Marselene’s Knowledge of Pulchra Umbra

Offline, I’d like the party to determine what exactly they intend to do (intercept Ventrix, wait for them before the temple, destroy the temple and wait for them in the temple) and what other knowledge, items or allies they might try to acquire (the options for the last two are limited but not non-existent).

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After the Crown

With Yola’s scrying from the moonwell, the party new that Ventrix was gathering her strength and mastering her new dark powers. It seemed certain that she planned to destroy the crown in some sort of dark rite that would grant her mythic powers, but there are a number of places where she could do that, from a sunken city to the south to the lands of the witch king in the far north, and other places in between.

While Ventrix remained in the crypt, the party decided to return to Tavia and the King for assistance, keeping in touch with Yola and the converted Succubus Amarilyna by dream spells.

Outside Tavia the party was met by Trina and some of her fellow paladins who escorted them into the city but near the palace square, they heard signs of a commotion and the sharper-earred among them heard people crying “the king is dead” and “assassin”!

They sent Trina ahead in dragon form. She returned to inform them that someone looking much like Blondie was seen to fire an arrow into the king, killing him by some reports, wounding him by others.

Maria cast invisibility on Blondie and the party approached to find the palace square in choas and no sign of the king. Using his magic scythe, Dagda noticed the succubus that had seduced Ventrice flying high above but before they could attack him, he teleported away.

Thanks to the diplomatic Maria, they convinced the king that Blondie was not the assassin- something that was not too hard to do since the arrow entered the king from nearly straight down and “Blondie” was apparently at street level. After some discussion it was agreed that the false Blondie was probably an illusion. The King’s wizard noted that the timing of the attack was rather precise: just as the real Blondie arrived.

Since the party promised to bring Ventrix to justice, which he preferred to be dead rather than alive, he offered them the pick of his treasure vault, from which the party picked out a number of power and wondrous items:

  • Boots of Time and Space
  • Cape of Free Will
  • Ring of Razors
  • Forge Fist Amulet
  • Cloak of the Diplomat
  • Ring of evasion (save for no damage on reflex saves)
  • Ring of Wizardry III (doubles 3rd level arcane spells per day)
  • Belt of giant strength +4
  • Headband of alluring charisma +4
  • Amulet of natural armor +4
  • Bag of Holding III (weighs 50 lbs, holds 1000 lbs/150 cubic feet)
  • various +1 items

That night Amarilyna reported through a dream that Yola had seen preparations by Ventrix for an underwater expeditions, namely a table with potions of water breathing and the like. Amarilyna thinks it is a decoy—the potions were too obvious—but Yola is convinced of their importance. It should be noted that Amarilyna is a lot smarter than Yola.

Dagda prayed to Iomedae for guidance and was successful in his inquiries: she sent a vision of snowy mountains, which the party interpreted as a sign that Ventrix would head north, to the witch king’s domain.

The king’s wizard had some tomes of that land and a picture of the gates to the duergar city that was near the temple Ventrix was probably headed for. They had him teleport the party to the gates, but unfortunately, the spell went awry and they found themselves in a mountain valley on a frozen lack. Maria quickly bolstered them with endure elements. The ranger Blondie, meanwhile recognized a distinctive three-horned peak from his readings as a child: the party was 160 miles too far north.

They managed to hail a giant eagle but the bird nearly became dinner when it insisted it would not carry them and that his ancestors had in fact moved here centuries ago to avoid “little people on various quests to chuck magic rings into fires and dwarves who got treed by wolves”. He did point them to what looked like an entrance to the underworld, from which undead were known to roam.

The party started toward the undead cave but they also used sending to contact the king. Fortunately, the king ignored the party’s plea to kill the incompetent wizard and instead he sent the wizard after them (using a scry to set the destination). This time, the teleports worked and they arrived at the gates to the Duergar city.

The gates were shut and may folks, from drow to humans to duergar were camped outside in a columned hall. The duergar manning the gates claimed they were barred due to a once in a century festival but after Maria softened him up, he admitted that the city was under attack from undead forces on the far side. They also had no word of anything that sounded like Ventrice and her corrupter.

Sometime later, there was a commotion from within the gates. They burst open and out flew duerger, some looking quite drained, followed by skeletons and wraiths. These foes were arranged in two columns with a gap between them. When Angel Eyes bounded into combat, thanks to his blindsense, he realized there was something invisible there- something large. Maria revealed its presence with glitterdust: it was a huge black shadow dragon.

The battle was sharp but short. The skeletons and wraiths proved of little trouble. The dragon was more troublesome, almost killing Angel Eyes with some lucky bites and claws but he fell in only a few rounds.

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At the moonwell

This log entry will be for between session (out of game) actions. Add comments to answer questions or start a discussion

I’d like the party to decide on a basic path so I can work up details. There’s a lot more information following but in summary here’s some ideas for one or a combination of things. You don’t have to restrict yourself to these choices:
* Return to the king for support (aka NPCs and magic items)
* Pursue the fallen paladin Ventrix and try to reclaim Iomedae’s crown (see below for more details)
* Find powerful allies
* FInd a way to ascend Yola and Marselene (i.e., make them mythic)
* Go straight for the demon Tuvagos (the one formerly bound by iron in the shadow’s center)
* Find powerful magic to aid you in your quest

After the battle with the succubus, the party rests and recovers all spells and HP. For now, the succubus hangs around with you. Suddenly good, she doesn’t really know what to do.

At dawn, it is clear from the vascant expression for a time that Blondie received another vision.

While Dagda was praying to Iomedae, in the reflection of the moonwell, he sees his patron goddess. She speaks (although only he can hear). “My crown is stolen! Beware, it’s destruction may give untold power to your enemies. I have given you the limit of my powers, you and your fellow champions! You must save the world. The danger is not yet passed!”

In the interest of keeping things moving, I am assuming both Dagda and Blondie will share their information.

Dagda relates his experience (as described above in this entry). When he does, Blondie describes his vision:

He sees Ventrice, the fallen paladin taking a cell in the dungeon of the Paladin’s tower. It is not a prison cell but it is stark and damp with only a plain bed and simple wooden desk and chair. She enters the cell and falls to her knees in prayer to Iomedae.

The days seem to pass, although it is hard to tell in the dungeon. Ventrice tosses and turns in her sleep. A shadow seems to come into the cell, growing dark each time she sleeps. Blondie hears whispers that he thinks may be in her dreams: “Iomedae has abandoned you… A stronger power calls… Your fate is not to grovel… Claim your destiny… I will show you the way…” The voice is dark and seductive.

After each troubled dream, she wakes and prays fervently. The shadow in the room, something Blondie thinks only she can see (and him, through the visions), starts to fade. Her prayers seem to be giving her strength. When the shadows are nearly gone, she vows not to sleep until they are banished and prays resolutely, hour upon hour, not pausing for food or drink. Her faith is strong but her body weakens.

A man comes into the room, dressed in black. He is not like the others who have brought her food and prayer books. They were dressed in the livery of the paladin’s order. His face is in shadows. He wears black leather gloves and boots of highest quality.

Ventrice rises as he enters and steps back. “You!” She reaches for her sword but she is unarmed and unarmored. He throws his hood back, revealing a handsome, ebony face. “The man from my dreams,” she whispers. You recognize him as well: he is the demon who had taken hobbit form and directed the battle in the sunken road where you fought the false Father Gareth and False Suchet. She draws back from him, but you notice desire in her eyes as well.

“You are strong. You are sure. There is no need to grovel before your false goddess. Come to me. Together we will rule Tavia.” The voice is the same you heard whispering to her earlier.

“No!” In a barely audible, breathy whisper, she says, “Guards…” Her heart is torn.

“I stand against the demon of the shadows…” she says.

“As do I,” the demon answers. “He would slay us all, demons and mortals alike. I will help you destroy him. Come to me!” . He is tall, his shoulders square. His dusky voice speaks of power and…of lust. “The shadows are banished. If we slay the arch-lord, we can rule all! We can bring peace to the land!”

Ventrice turns away. He walks to her and lays a hand on her chin. She flinches and puts her hand on his but does not push him away. “Could I have done that if your false goddess had not abandoned you.”

Her nostrils flare as she draws breath. For a moment, Blondie thinks she will resist. Then she kisses him. They swiftly shed their clothes. Your vision fades and when it returns, it is clear the two have coupled.

The demon slays the next guard who comes to bring her food. She takes the dead paladin’s arms and armor. Together a make a trail of death and destruction from the tower dungeon to the upper floors where they find and kill Father Gareth, who dies before an ornate mithril chest. Within lies Iomedae’s crown. Ventrice tries to take it but is burned by it. They put it instead into a leather sack. Ventrice also loots her old weapons (including a bow Blondie recognizes as a magic item of some power) .

They go to the balcony where the demon takes his natural form of a winged inncubus and he carries her off into the night, carrying the leather sack with Iomedae’s crown.

“Ventrice, my love,” the demon says. They embrace and kiss.

“Ventrix,” she says, “I am Ventrix now.”

With her still in his arms, he takes them both off the balconey, teleporting away before they hit the ground.

Marselene thinks Blondie has described the making of an anti-paladin. While not entirely impossible, there is little hope of redeeming Ventrice. She tells you that Ventrix will gain most of her new dark powers almost immediately but that there are likely to be rituals and some learning required before she will have her full dark powers.

Marselene is worried about Iomedae’s crown. She thinks it is likely that Ventrix could forge a pact with a dark power that would give her similar powers to your own (i.e., in game terms, she’s worried that Ventrix could use the crown to become mythic.)

Marselene thinks they could have destroyed the crown using Asmodeus’ tears, but if they had Iomedae would surely have known and would have given a different message to Dagda. Therefore, this may mean the crown is still extent but that Ventrix and her demon seducer intend to use the crown to perhaps both achieve mythic ascension and empower a dark artifact that she could use.

So, assuming the decision to not destroy the crown in Asmodeus’ tears was not an oversight on Ventrix’ part (which Marselene considers most unlikely), Ventrix is almost certainly headed to one of the other centers of evil in the world. Using her mastery of lore, she thinks it could be (but is not necessarily) one of the following places:

  • The sunken city of Ssrilith, to the far south. It is ruled by an evil merfolk. There is said to be an arrow embedded in stone that can be only removed by a dark soul of the greatest power. This arrow was used to slay an ancient god.
  • The Soulwell. Marselene is not sure where this is and, most likely, similarly to the Fey Forest, it is in an ‘other world’ adjacent to this one. This other world is ruled by a vampire, is perpetually night and undead roam the land. The Soulwell would provide some sort of dark blessing if the crown was cast into it. So, this would not be a magic item but would instead grant her powers, perhaps those akin to your mythic powers, perhaps others. With a very good library or some divination magic, Marselene might be able to find out more about this.
  • Ventrix might be able to become a mythic agent of the demon, formerly at the center of the shadows, if she went to him and pledged herself to him. However, Marselene, is not sure if the demon could do such a think. Perhaps he could before the shadows and might one day at some future point, but his ordeal of the last few centuries has probably weakened him.
  • Given the role of the incubus, it is possible, even likely, that the demon lord Nocticula is involved with Ventrix’s subversion. If this is the case, there are a number of places Ventrix may go: into the Drow underworld, where Nocticula is particularly revered to one of several temples to her, or to the ruins of the Witch Realm in the far north. The Witch Realm was ruled for over a 1000 years by an ageless seductress and assasin beholden to Nocticula. She and her realm were destroyed long before Tavia came to be, but evil still lurks there.

Marselene notes that she would be much more useful to the group if she, too, were blessed by the gods. Yola (the druid) quickly seconds that idea, muttering “and I could get my sickle back.” Marselene thinks that Iomedae might not be the best patron for her and Yola though: she may already be at the limit of who she can empower, and even if she is not, if her crown is destroyed she will be weakened and lose the ability to empower as many folks.

Yola strongly supports the idea of getting her and Marselene empowered. Marselene is not sure how to do this but suggests a visit to either the Tavia temple district or Trina (the silver dragons home- if you can get to it) or some of the shrines of the most noble gods might show the way. Naturally, it might make sense to work with some of Iomedae’s allies (see wiki article on Iomedae for list of her allies.)

If the party does want to directly confront the demon once bound at the center of the shadows, she suggests they may want to try to find a powerful ally, such as Goradus, a gold dragon said to be the first gold dragon, so someone similar.

Additional

Yola continues to scry Ventrix and the Incubus (because she can’t always get a read on Ventrix- she thinks Ventrix has some anti-scrying spell).

She sees Ventrix practicing her new dark arts in what looks like a crypt. Once she saw the Incubus steal a human baby and later saw the baby in the crypt. So, far the two have remained in the crypt.

Yola says she can use a dream spell to communicate with you. So if you go after Ventrix, she could use dream to give you updates on what she is able to scry.

Marselene spent some time discussing Blondie’s vision of Ventrix’s fall from grace. She thinks the Incubus used a dimension door spell at the end, not a teleport. Demons can teleport but not with another person. Incubus can’t normally dimension door but this one may be trained as a wizard.

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Purging Demons

The party arrives at the surface in Tavia in time to keep the King and Ventrice from kill each other. Ventrice, the leader of the paladins, came so close to killing the king that Iomedae withdrew her blessing (and her paladin powers). Ventrice seems to have accepted her punishment and has withdrawn to the dungeons of the paladin’s order.

At the battle between the king and Ventrice, a giant eagle appeared, proving to be a powerful sky druid, Yola.

Afterwards, based on a vision Blondie received, they travel to Yola’s moonwell to bless their weapons. They find it high the mountains guarded by elementals of incredible power. Yola, recognizing that her magic sickle seems to want Dagda, loans her weapon to him and with the aid of the party, the elementals are destroyed. The elementals appear to have been lead by a succubus that the party shot from the sky. She feel into the moonwell, and like their weapons, was blessed, in this case becoming a rather confused good succubus. For now, she has promised to protect the moonwell.

The players weapons are now blessed with the holy effect (+2 to hit, 2d6 damage vs. evil).

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Chaos in Tavia

This is just a high level summary because I forgot to write it up the weekend of the session and it is already getting a little hazy.

A month of revelry at the fairie queen’s court passed in a blur. Blondie spent most of the time at the queen’s side, clearly her favorite and still, even having left the woods, bearing her mark (something Marselene warns may carry a price some day). Angel Eyes spent much of his time making leaps and vaults of ever more preposterous distances until from standing still, he could vault into the rafters and from a run, he could leap over the hunting lodge.

The faerie king proved quite voluble, and entirely forgiving of being decapitated, presiding from the hearth where his head is mounted. Though still called the king for honorary reasons, it is now the queen, restored to her mind, who rules.

For their aid, she granted everyone in the party a parting gift, and of course, granted Blondie the hunter’s bow, which has already seemed to have bonded to him more than any other bearer.

One night Maria received a curiously slow and drawn out message from Father Gareth, which she recognized to be a magically sending, telling of chaos in the city. The queen gave leave to the party to part and the dryad Lala once again conveyed the group to the other side, this time to mortal lands.

Note to players, if some of you want a faerie companion, let me know.

Returning to Tavia, the party found that only 2 days had passed in their realm but it had been a catastrophic two days: the Paladin Order had attacked the king. With the aid of a wizard, they had disintegrate the towers under pinnings. The attack proved only partially successful (the paladins apparently do not muster an engineer among them… if they do, that paladin was not entirely behind their leader’s plan). In any case, the partial collapse killed hundreds but did not disturb the core of the palace.

The palace guard mustered to the king and the forces of both battle in the streets. In the meantime, bands of demons have broken into the city, spreading chaos. One especially disturbing form of chaos was a black ice that seemed to spread from the sewer openings.

The paladin leader Ventrice swore the King is a demon and demanded the party’s help in destroying him. The king’s representatives swear the same about the Paladin queen. The party thinks neither is likely to be a demon, although the magic of Ankou demons are strong enough to thwart even a true seeing so it is possible either or both are demons.

Not wishing to make matters worse, and fearful of that the black ice in the sewers indicated a demon attempt to free the tears of Asmodeus, much less guarded since Ventrice had recalled the paladin guard for her attack on the palace, the party went to the Dark Temple. There they found the naga guardian and all the kobolds slain (although it turns out Bedip was not among the fallen). A beholder over the pit turned out to be an illusion cast by an ice demon. The black ice itself was the corrupted breath of a pair of powerful white dragons, about the size of Mataran but quite potent.

The black ice was deadly and kept the group spreadout. A wall of ice cast by the demon in an attempt to trap Angel Eyes in the pit with him was destroyed by fire but released a cloud of blinding fog which further complicated things but in the end, the party was victorious.

The tears of Asmodeus are once again safe. However, the city above is still in case, demons roam the streets and after momentarily blanking out, Blondie looks somewhat ashen faced. (Only Jim will be able to read his vision.)

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The Faerie Queen

Tomalin

After rescuing Gareth and Suchet from the half-death of the Ankou demons, the party spent the night in the town of Tomalin, just by the cemetery where they found their friends. Early the next morning, they were awaken by a townsman who burst into the inn announcing fire and smoke to the east, toward the shadow lands. While the party gathered, onlookers also reported a black dragon, which turned out to be a silver dragon, somewhat shadowed in the dawn. Blondie saw him ripping a demon apart on a nearby roof top before hopping down and turning into a tall, muscled human.

The dragon, Mataran, claimed to have lived in the north fighting demons until those lands were overrun. A troop of paladins, including Trina, the paladin the party earlier learned was a silver driver, road up. Trina and Mataran recognized each other as brother and sister, though they aren’t very friendly with each other. Mataran was surprised to find his sister as large as he was- when he left him he was quite a bit larger but now she seems about his size and age. Mataran chalked it up to manipulations of their father, claiming he could change the flow of time in his lands.

Trina informed the party they were requested back in the city: the captain of the paladins had determined that the king was really a demon in disguise. The palace is tool well guarded for a frontal approach. The captain wants the party to help go beneath the palace and collapse the tower, killing all within, including the false-king.

The party was skeptical that the king was actually a demon and even if he was, destroying the entire palace and royal family was an appropriate response. After some back and forth, they refused to help the captain but did send Gareth and Suchet back with Avondale and Dagda.

Mataran reported that he say groups of demons, in their normal disorganized formation that seemed to break up as quickly as they formed, to the east. The townsfolk panicked and begged the party to help. The party told the townsfolk that while they could not destroy all the demons, they could provide time for the townsfolk to escape to the city.

Just at the edge of town, the party killed seven of the same demons that the false Suchet & Gareth had used to try to ambush the party. Mataran revealed that he had a potent breath attack, using a gas to paralyze some of the demons, as well as a ferocity in combat with fang and claw.

The Faerie Woods

The dryad Lala they met on the road to Ubeck led the party to her tree, an ancient oak. One by one, she melded them into the trunk then passed them out again into the faerie woods, a forest of ancient trees with a thick canopy that kept the forest floor in shadow and undergrowth so tangled swift movement was a challenge.

Not far from Lala’s tree, the party heard something huge crashing through the forest. Spreading out, some caught a glimpse of a colossus composed from the writhing forms of hundreds of demons chained together. Angel Eyes ran to it and was nearly killed by its powerful blow. Fortunately, the demons it was composed of ripped the colossus into 4 smaller groups, still formidable, but more amenable to destruction, and the party soon had the creature destroyed.

After an overnight rest in Lala’s tree, the dryad led them to the lodge, pausing only to refresh the still somewhat wounded of the group at a healing water fall near the river.

The Faerie Queen

The lodge was a great stone-walled hall, over a hundred paces long and forty wide. It’s stone were so moss covered that from the outside it looked more like nature cliff. Inside, the place was a mess- long disused tables and benches lay scattered about. The rafters high above were home to all manner of vermin- from rats to bats to spiders and more. At the far end of the hall, a great stone hearth rose high up. A small fire flickered in the hearth. Before a beautiful, elven-like woman in torn clothing and matted hair lay in a stupor against the flank of an immense wolf. Above the mantle a magnificent compound bow was mounted on the stones.

Marselene informed the party that the woman was not an elf but a sidhe, an elf-like race of the faerie realm. Lala said her name was Leonora and that when the king ruled the forest, the queen was made. The queen only ruled when the king’s severed head was mounted on the hearth. The king was not sidhe but a huge elk with an antler rack over 10 feet wide. As an elk roaming the forest, he was magnificent and very fleet, but he was only animal like, with little understanding. As a mounted head, he could speak.

Blondie tried moving the bow but it was immovable. Lala said the bow could only be claimed in the reign of the queen.

Blondie brushed the queen’s hair under the watchful gaze of the wolf. She seemed to like it but remained as mad as ever, babbling and unfocused.

The party decided to restore the queen to sanity, and free the bow, by mounting the elk-king’s head on the hearth. Blondie asked the wolf to help, who signaled her agreement by nodding. After some discussion, they settled on a plan where Blondie and the wolf would find and drive the elk toward the rest of the group and Maria would create a magical pit beneath him. The elk was swifter even than a flying dragon but after 2 days of failed attempts on the third day, the elk fell into the pit, where dangled over the void by his antlers. Mataran then severed the head with his great sword.

Once mounted on the hearth, the king spoke to them, sounding not the least put out by his fate. In fact, the king, now freed from the mentality of an animal seemed happy enough to preside over the festivities of the restored court from his place above the fire.

Blondie claimed his bow.

Faerie Court

Within a day, the hall was tidied up by mushroom-men servants and sprites, the queen was in regal garb, the tables and benches were restored, music and light filled the hall. A throne carved from the trunk of an oak was rolled into the hall and the queen took her place upon it, insisting that Blondie take a place at her side.

Once the hall was filled with her court, she bestowed gifts on the party. Blondie’s gift was the bow but to the others, she granted a gift of their choice.

The party spent a full month in the faerie woods, in the company of the sidhe and all the exotic folk of creatures of the land of faerie- from butterfly-winged talking giant frogs, to sprites and sylph, to the unearthly sidhe themselves.

Now that the queen is sane and the worst of the demon depredations (the demon colossus) was destroyed, she feels her people can keep the demons at bay for now and asks that her new friends, and her champion Blondie, destroyed the scourge in the world at large, as that would best protect her own land. She does bestow her kiss, a special bond, on Blondie before you leave. She warns you that time does not run as it does in the outside world. Due to the threats all face, she has seen to it that for at least for this visit, time flowed more swiftly in the forest. When you return, only 2 days will have passed in the larger world.

Leaving the Faerie Forest

In addition to the magic item gift, Maria, Blondie and Angel Eyes gain a free mythic fey ability. If they want something that requires tier 3 or higher, they can defer taking the ability until they are higher level.

From your time in the woods, every has 20 temporary hit points. These last indefinitely but cannot be restored once used. They will leave you a bit stronger in your first few battles.

Party members can spend their time as they like in the woods. Let me know if there is anything in particular you would like to do. If you take the leadership feat, it is possible to recruit a faerie follower here (you can take the feat on loan if you are not eligible, i.e., take it at the next opportunity for a feat.) If anyone is interested in that, let me know and we will work up the details. We will probably also tweak the level rules to make sure the follower is actually of a useful level.

While in the Fey domain, Marselene finds that here she is not troubled by the ghosts and poltergeists that follow her in the large world. Several times she voiced the desire to return here once the demon threat is dealt with.

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Trouble in Tavia

On the way back to Tavia, the party encountered Father Gareth and Suchet who lead them to a sunken road where demons ambushed them. Fighting off the demons, the party realized that Father Gareth and Suchet were doppleganger demons – Ankou demons (see below). Fearing to harm their friends, they intimidated the captured demons into revealing where Suchet and Gareth were (rather than killing the demons outright), and rescued their friends.

Suchet and Gareth are very ill (in game terms drained of strength) but will recover with some restoration magic. The two were hidden in a crypt, guarded by a ghoul of exceptional power.

After looting the ghoul’s crypt, they took their friends to the nearby village of Tomalin, where the party has rested and recovered all HP and spells. Note: Suchet and Gareth are still drained of strength.

Ankou Demon

An ankou demon is sort of like a doppleganger in the sense that it can pass as someone else. In this case, the substitution is extremely strong, thanks to a bond that remains to its living victim.

The demon can change its form, much like the fairly common alter self spell of wizards and sorcerers. However, it has a much stronger form of mimicry: it can beguile a victim, rendering the victim catatonic. Then, after close physical contact for some hours, it can take a form of the victim that is impenetrable to most forms of magic, such as a paladin’s ability to discern evil.

Only the most potent of vision spells can reveal the ankou demon for what it is. Anything else will only reveal what would be revealed if the spell were cast on the victim because somehow the ankou channels such magics to the victim, who remains in an unconscious state.

As long as the victim lives, the ankou can also speak and read any languages of the victim and has access to much of its memories, although not special powers like spells.

The linkage is not beneficial to the victim. Rather, the victim wastes away, slowly if the ankou cares for the victim with food and water, quickly if not. Ankou do frequently tend to their victims to further their disguise, not out of good nature, of course, but even in the best cases a victim rarely lives more than a few weeks in this state.

Slaying an ankou demon while linked to its victim kills the victim and the demon. To save the victim, the victim must be physically found and then the magic link severed through some sort of magic circle, or the like. Even then, the victim is usually quite weak, requiring the restoration magic of a powerful priest to fully recover.

In its natural form, ankou demons appear as a slender, tall, genderless humanoid with tentacles around its mouth, coal black eyes, few features and dark gray to black skin.

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Visions, Dreams and other Portents

This post is a ‘holding’ place for visions, dreams and the like. Content is player specific so you will see only those visions that your character received, if any, as a player secret. I am not going to retroactively pull visions from earlier in the game but if you have one you want me to add, send me the text or link of it and I will add it to your player secret.

Following the defeat of the Count Francis-Flesh Golem, and after everyone received their gift from Iomedae (their first mythic tier), Blondie fell to his knees, looked into the sky with his eyes rolled into the back of his head and began speaking loudly in the alien language he uses in combat (due to his Oracle’s curse). It appears he is having a vision, but you will have to ask him for what he sees.

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