WotBS Emeraldbeacon's Burning Sky LIVE GAME!

emeraldbeacon

Explorer
As it turns out, I'm going to be running the WotBS campaign for two separate groups... this latest one, a live, in-person game! They'll be starting about 2 chapters behind the first, but things do seem to move smoother when you're not dealing with the digital content, and can actually see everyone's faces. How will this group dynamic handle things differently? Let's find out! The game starts in about two weeks. :D

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Julius Sunbloom
is an Aasimar, the sun of a Solar and a poor farmer's daughter. Growing up in the outskirts of Seaquen, he always feeling he was different, he proved his worth by saving several villagers from an unexpected structure fire, while he was a teen. That night, he was contacted by his father, Calefactor, explaining that he was now ready to fulfill his true purpose, and to follow the red feathers. Days later, Laurabec Adelsburg arrived to find the divinely touched man she was alerted to. She invited Julius into the New Order of the Aquiline Heart. In time, he made his way to Gate Pass, where Buron Watcher oversaw his studies, where he began to grow as a holy man... though not without a celestial Patron who may have his own goals. (Paladin/Warlock)

Violet Greengarden is a human woman who's never been far from her home on the outskirts of Gate Pass. An orphan, she never knew her parents, raised instead by a commune of druids and rangers very in-tune with the old ways of the world. Kind, quiet, and obedient, she aids the city and its surrounding areas by protecting them from wild animals, and bolstering the vitality of the farmlands. But the land, she knows, is hurting, and her elders have told her that it's only a matter of time before she is called away from their home, to fulfill a greater destiny. (Moon Druid)

Gor'aan hails from the northern lands of Ragesia. A full-blooded orc, he was once part of a tribe that rejected Coaltongue's desire to unite all of the north under a single banner; they were permitted to continue their tribal existence so long as they never stood opposed to the nation. Gor'aan was never happy with the simple, sometimes "backwards" way of life in his tribe, and often spoke out in favor of taking advantags of the benefits of integration. For this, he was sent away to find the truth of the world for himself; a spirit quest of sorts. Unsure where to go or what to do, he wandered, eventually finding Gate Pass, a city that was willing to accept him for what he was. (Barbarian Wild Magic)

Gnelly Gnomansen is a Gnome that grew up in Sindaire. An inventor and tinker, she had her own share of light adventures with her eventual husband, before settling down and starting a family. One of her daughters grew up and left home to adventure for herself... but shortly after that, Gnelly's world was shattered. Her husband suddenly and viciously attacked her, cackling madly while doing so. In defense, Gnelly killed him, to the horror of her youngest daughter. Ashamed, and shunned by her community, Gnelly left to start a new life, eventually settling in Gate Pass. (Artificer Battle Smith)

Brena Wildfoot, a halfling woman of Ostalin, has never been happy with the Khagan's mismanagement of the land, and the treatment of her people. Seeking to establish a true homeland for their kind, the halfling peoples commissioned her to seek aid in foreign lands, to help disrupt Onamdammin's reign. First travelling to Sindaire, she was able to ingratiate herself to the Ragesian governors, eventually earning an invitation to Ragos, where she hoped to entreat Coaltongue himself to intervene. That all went south with his assassination, Leska's rise to power, and the implementation of The Scourge. Brena fled in fear to the Gate Pass, the closest safe place outside of Ragesia. There, she heard rumors of a secret mission to the south... a perfect excuse to get her out of the city, and closer to home... (Bard of Whispers)

Ellith (that name should be amusing once they discover the Trillith) was born and raised in Innenotdar. When Ragesia attacked and set the forest aflame, he was forced to separate from his family, fleeing south into Dassen. Frantic to find out what happened, and unable to re-enter the woods, he moved around the mountains, through Dassen, into Shahalesti, joining a token resistance force provided by the Shahalesti government to resist Ragesia's incursion into the city. After Ragesia fled, he stayed behind, having found his sister alive (though no sign of his parents). Settling in, they worked as apprentices to a local blacksmith, and became part of the city as a whole. (Rogue Arcane Trickster)
 
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emeraldbeacon

Explorer
Currently, the connections I have in place...

Julius the Paladin/Warlock is the least directly connected to events, with a Solar as a parent, but my plan is to have his celestial parent be kind of a jerk. His goal is to burn away impurities of the world, using his son as a tool to do so (in fact, the name that he claims is his son's TRUE name, is "Crucible"). Julius' mother still lives on a farm near Seaquen. As a Knight of the Order of the Aquiline Cross, he would have connections to Laurabec in Chapter 3, Grelfin in Chapter 6 (possibly), Rhuarc in Chapter 7, and ultimate the heart itself in Chapter 12.

Violet the Druid is maybe the hardest to design for, as the player gave me very little to work with. She grew up and has lived near Gate Pass all her life, perhaps in a somewhat sheltered fashion... she's going to learn, the hard way, that life is a lot messier than playing in the dirt. Connections for her include knowing about Haddin in Chapter 1, a connection to the Primordial Elemental Beasts in Chapter 10, and of course, knowing about the legend of the Aquiline Heart in chapter 12.

Gor'aan the Barbarian conveniently located his tribe RIGHT WHERE the Scourge Prison is. That will provide the heroes an unexpected place of respite, though he'll find his homelands ravaged by the Ragesian Inquisition. He'll have had a prior run-in with the Black Horse Mercs from Chapter 1, and return to his tribe in Chapter 8. Perhaps most notably, though, with a Trillith living within him, he'll have unique contact with Indomitability, Deception, Madness, Balance, Agony, Vigilance & Metamorphosis, and ultimately, Trilla herself.

Gnelly's Artificer backstory is ripe with contacts in the middle third of the story. Aside from some early helpful associations with Erdan Menash in Chapter 1, her husband's death came after being infected by the Trillith Madness, which should make her knowledge about Nina Glibglammer a bit more interesting in Chapter 4. In Chapter 6, we meet both of her daughters, one of which is Jorrina Waryeye; that should make contact with Clan Millorn a bit more awkward.

Brena's Bardic quest to topple Onamdammin's regime is at the heart of her character. Though she comes from Ostalin (and will be reunited with her clandestine team in Chapter 5), she also has some unique connections to the Sindarese nobility, and knowledge of some Ragesian operations. She'll largely have her connections reviewed in Chapter 5, but her conflict with Onamdammin will come to a head in Chapter 11. She may not be of royal blood, but would you suppose that killing him, and claiming the Sword of Ostalin, would be enough to warrant naming her the new Khagan?

Ellith the Rogue, coming from Innenotdar, will have the greatest ties to the tragedy there. He'll see a good amount of pathos in Chapter 2, perhaps even finding his parents among the lost souls that Nelle now oversees. Beyond that, he doesn't have much of a connection to the greater world... perhaps one of his childhood friends was Caela from Chapter 5, who went west to search for meaning to life, rather than east, and might give the party an excuse to (foolishly) trust her words more than they should. His status as an Innenotdar survivor would also make the revalations of Ycengled Phurrst (in Chapter 7) more impactful.
 
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emeraldbeacon

Explorer
I'm still hoping to find more connections for Violet, the Human Druid who grew up in Gate Pass, as an orphan in a sort of hippie commune, and possibly Ellith, the Taranesti Rogue from Innenotdar. Neither have many backstory threads that I can weave into the narrative.

I'm also unsure of the rate at which I should reveal Julius' father's ambitions over the course of the event. As a Solar, perhaps he has ties to Shaaladel and the Shahalesti? Maybe he was "made" as part of an agreement with the high elf lord, to create a tool outside of the nation, to fulfill his own goals? Still workshopping that.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Maybe Julius was made as an agreement between dad and Shaaladel. Shaaladel thinks this is to help him create a new weapon to rival the torch, but dad's intent is to work with Freedom to hasten Annihilation. Several celestials throughout the campaign might recognize Julius or have been planted by dad. They may have been instructed to nudge Julius toward deeper knowledge of the trillith so he can "rescue" Trilla and provide a divine spark for Annihilation. If Julius is eaten, nothing can stop Annihilation. Also, dad, or a duplicate of him could appear instead of the deva in the temple of Echoed Souls.

As a druid, Violet could understand more deeply what happened in the forests of Innenotdar and Ycengled Phurrst just through her connection to nature. Just about every adventure has a corruption or destruction of life or nature. After Innenotdar, she might start looking to put those right.
 

emeraldbeacon

Explorer
As an update on some more character ties...

Julius and Violet are both Gate Pass residents with a history of helping those in need; as such, they already are acquaintences. They might also end up as an in-game couple, since the PLAYERS of those characters are.

Gor'aan shares a connection to Ellith, as the elf's sister Liara has taken a liking to the orc.

Brena, thanks to her recent dealings in Ragos, has a passing remembrance of Rivereye Badgerface (it's tough to forget meeting someone like that, even once). That will tip her off quite quickly, when Larion tries to impersonate the gnome.

Playing the long game, both Violet's and Gor'aan's family units (be they clans, tribes, etc) are both magically inclined, and both directly in the path of the Ragesian Scourge, and members of both will probably be waiting in Chapter 8, trapped within the Scourge Prison.

I do like the idea that Shaaladel and Julius' father are a bit like Lex Luthor and Brainiac, playing chess against one another. Both are basically selfish, opportunistic powerhouses, trying to use the other for their own goals. They both seek a peaceful and orderly world; they just seek different means to that end (Shaaladel wants to rule everything, Calefactor wants to destroy whatever is weak). I'm inclined to think that Calefactor thinks of Julius as a secret weapon of sorts; a mortal agent with a divine spark, that can operate beneath Shaaladel's radar. His ultimate goal will be to achieve Leska's dream of a world in eternal war - "For only in struggle is one's true nature revealed, and only in conflict is the chaff separated from the grain. The weak and the meek shall fade away, and only the pure shall remain."

To that end, Calefactor's goals probably do include awakening Annihilation. It also means there might have to be a reckoning sometime after Chapter 10, where Calefactor confronts his son directly, and the rest of the party has to intervene. I wouldn't want to pull the "your warlock abilities are revoked" game on my player that close to the end of the game... but then again, maybe I could do so? If Julian is, genetically, half-celestial, he may (narratively) be able to fuel his own magical powers by the end of the campaign, rather than drawing his warlock power from his father.
 
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emeraldbeacon

Explorer
As the last day of the year begins to close on Gate Pass, a motley group of adventurers were separately given invitations to a clandestine meeting at the Poison Apple Pub. Conveniently, they all decide to arrive SIX HOURS EARLY (gm: sigh) to scout ahead, only to find a notice posted about the proprietor's arrest. Unsure what to do, one returns to their own contact, where he's suggested that they possibly were too early for the meet. The rest go to visit another local tavern for dinner, and spend a bit of time learning about one another.

Eventually reconvening at midnight, they return to the pub, noticing light and movement within the boarded-up structure. Approaching, unstealthily, as a large group (gm: sigh), they soon meet Torrent, the cleric. She spends a bit of time small-talking, wondering if any others might come, while the bard explores the upstairs area just in case. As the clock eventually strikes midnight, they settle in for a discussion of the mission at hand... Ragesia's attack, the case of information they need to bring to Seaquen, and the plan to escape the city. Before they finish the discussion, though, they hear signs of intruders overhead.

Leaping to action, some of them race upstairs to confront the scouts, while another peeks out the door to the alleyway, noticing the thugs holding back a mastiff. The element of surprise gone, the fight begins, as the front doors burst open in a cloud of splinters (nat 20 to break the door). Mayhem ensues as neither side can hit the broad side of a barn, while Kathor simply watches and broods. Everything changes when the upper floors explode, sending the whole lot of scouts and heroes tumbling back into the bar, now on fire. Unsure of what is going on, the fight moves to the streets, where a stalemate starts to finally lean in the party's favor... until Kathor eventually calls his men off, citing their injuries and the pointlessness of this operation during the middle of a Ragesian attack.

The heroes race towards the depository that Torrent needs to reach, most of them paralyzed in fear at the roar of a dragon somewhere nearby, and press through a sea of panicked civilians. Stopping only briefly to heal some wounded people and rescue a woman from a burning tower, the soon reach the tower, encountering the strange Rivereye Badgerface. The bard immediately connected the name to the face, having once met him... but also sensed something seemed off. It wasn't long before the deception fell through, and he was forced to flee. Quaffing a potion of spider climb, he began to skitter about the chamber, using darkness and misdirection to mask his intentions...
 

emeraldbeacon

Explorer
The tower provided quite the wild goose chase... a well-placed illusion at a doorway distracted the party for precious sectons, letting Larion get into position on a higher floor. As the net closed in, Larion continued to slip in and out, around the crew, using his spider climbing abilities and supreme action economy (as a rogue) to stay one step ahead of the rest of the crew. After some unlucky attempts to pick locks, he ultimately got enough doors open to allow him to make a running leap from the fourth floor of the tower, calling out in celestial for his Lantern Archon to meet him and Shealis at the School. The fall was painful (Jump only increases the distance, it doesn't buffer against a 40 foot fall), but after taking a few arrows and spells, Larion dashed off into the Gate Pass night.

The party was frustrated at their failure to catch him, but were glad to hear that the REAL Rivereye Badgerface was still alive and kicking. A quick discussion revealed that the case had been taken by Shahalesti agents to some unknown location in the city. Figuring that this "Shealis" was the only lead they had, they paused for a quick rest at the temple of the Aquiline Cross, getting some minor aid from a local resistance leader, and making a quick stop at a blacksmith with connections to two of the heroes.

Eschewing sleep for the night, the crew head to Gabal's School at roughly 4am, meeting a man waiting & watching at the gate. While initially reserved, as soon as they mentioned a lantern archon, Diogenes graciously welcomed them in. After hearing a partially-redacted version of their tale, he revealed that Larion and the Archon were both still in the tower, as far as he knew. He proposed a team-up... he helps them get the information they need, and in exchange, they help him get a bit of payback at Shealis before she flees the city. He helps the heroes get into hidden positions in the tower, then approaches the elf's room to challenge her to one last "friendly duel..."
 

emeraldbeacon

Explorer
Funny moment: While chasing Larion around the depository tower, the... rather bohemian druid went downstairs to summon the tower guards. After telling them there was an intruder who attacked them, three of them gathered together to enter the tower, prompting the druid to ask them, "don't step on my feet."

The chief guard sighed, and asked, "So where are they?"

Her reply? "...my feet?"
 

(And then the added confusion of you posting a second game too. grin)

Also, she's a druid. Eventually her feet might vanish when she turns into a snake or something.
 


emeraldbeacon

Explorer
After going over the plan one last time, the gang gets into position to ambush the elvish wizard Shealis. Diogenes loudly challenges her to one last duel before she flees from Gate Pass, which she accepts, if only to shut him up. In tow are Larion and the Lantern Archon, seemingly frustrated that the matter is taking longer than necessary.

The fight opens with Diogenes setting up a fog cloud to disorient Shealis, at which point the trap is sprung. Ellith deftly nabs her component pouch before the rest of the upper crew races in to block their escape and lay down some SERIOUS beating. In time, the Lantern Archon is dispelled, Larion is knocked unconscious, and Shealis is forced into surrender after Gor'aan grappled her and continued punching her in the face.

Meanwhile, Brena and Gnelly broke into her dorm room, pinching her spellbook and a cache of potions. Once the fight was over, a casual casting of Charm Person made the interrogation much less stressful, as she revealed that the case was delivered to a safehouse in the elvish ghetto, two districts to the east. A note in her spellbook offered a note about three elven deities that could prove important... perhaps a passphrase?

Eventually leaving the elves to sleep off their defeat, the team travels through two gates, then decides that being exhausted and injured was no way to continue their journey. They booked a set of empty rooms at the Mannish Inn, and most crashed HARD at roughly 5am. Brena stayed up to play music for a bit (as part of the long rest), but as she was getting ready to head upstairs to bed, she noticed a disconcerting sight: the mercenary captain, Kathor, stepping into the tavern area, requesting breakfast...
 
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emeraldbeacon

Explorer
In a mild panic, Brena quickly and quietly casts disguise self, and slips out the front door of the tavern before Kathor notices her. She tries to find the stable where his horse is currently lodged, but has little success gaining access without good reason. Reluctantly, she returns to the tavern and, still disguised, heads back to the rooms upstairs, where she quietly informs the rest of the party of Black Horse's presence. They spend a tense rest, ready for an ambush, but none comes.

Now in the early afternoon, the rested party heads into the Elven Ghetto to hopefully find the case of intelligence. The slum-like part of the city is disorienting and confusing to outsiders; thankfully, one of their number once lived there for several years. Guided to the woodworker's shop, they have some trouble entering the building, noting that the doors and windows all seem to be fake. Distracted by a particularly annoying rat, some move around the sides of the building, thinking they may need to enter via the roof... until the rat chides them for their blindness. It turns into an imp, and shows them the secret door; once they know where it is, opening it is a simple task.

Inside, they make short work of the badgers, which CAN hit like trucks, but also go down like a house of cards when hit. After a few false starts, they proceed upstairs, but soon find themselves in a bottleneck, as the elves hold them on the stairway while peppering them with shots. Gnelly decides to make her own entrance, and busts a hole in the ceiling with a few castings of Catapult, serendipitously causing one of the Shahalesti to fall to the first floor. The line broken, the attack was soon concluded, and the elves subdued...
 

emeraldbeacon

Explorer
After taking a moment to collect themselves, the heroes secure the elves and explore the woodshop (some of them taking the time to take a short rest, as they suffered some significant injuries in the fight. After finding a surprising amount of Shahalesti money, they indeed locate the metal case from Ragesia. The imp demands they hand it over immediately, while the heroes work at a way to try and crack it open. After a few problematic attempts, they manage to overcome its arcane lock with pure brute strength, sending the contents spilling out across the floor. Greedily, the imp collected the case itself, gave the party a dirty look, and went invisible. Rather than inspect the books & papers there, the team collected the information and departed, eager to find a way out of the city.

A quick examination of the south gate near the elven ghetto revealed that the exits were very well guarded and monitored, with only those bearing authenticated paperwork permitted to travel through. Gnelly suggested that they speak with her colleague Erdan Menash, who might be able to facilitate their exit. Arriving at his garish estate, they waited for his arrival while looking over his... interesting goods. When Erdan arrived, he at first tried to shoo them out, stating his shop was closed... but quickly came around when Gnelly asked for help. Though easily distracted by discussions about his wares, the party eventually left with a suitable cover story, and some notably garish goods.

En route to Herriman's Barracks, the team realized they were being followed, both by city guardsmen and a shadowy figure moving along the rooftops. When ordered to stop, a few of the party came to the disturbing realization that they had been cornered by the Black Horse gang, yet again... but found a peculiar ally in Rantle, hero of Gate Pass, who helped them subdue the thugs, and provide an alibi for them all when the ACTUAL city guard arrived. In time, he asked for a favor: delivering a message to his sister Katrina.

Eventually, at the barracks, Herriman explained the plan: Using a pair of falsified orders, under Erdan Menash' name, the party would be allowed out of the city, while his smaller force would re-enter from a different gate. Spending the night at an abandoned watchtower outside of the city, the heroes noticed figures passing them on the road, in the wee hours of the morning...
 

emeraldbeacon

Explorer
Traveling along the mountain pass towards the Innenotdar Forest, the adventuring troup was suddenly (though to be honest, not entirely unexpectedly) beset upon by raiders wearing familiar red armbands. Disgusted at this group's tenacity (and extremely poor judgement), the party turned to attack, NOT exactly what the Black Horse Mercenaries' leader, Renard, had planned! Instead of overwhelming the party with a single large force, they were spread out... meaning that they could only attack in steady waves. The fight was brutal, and Violet the druid burned through two Bear wild shapes, before being knocked unconscious TWICE more. In the end, though, Renard fled in a panic, and Kathor surrendered, barely clinging to life.

Kathor explained that the mercenaries were hired by the Ragesian military - an inquisitor, to be specific - to collect and deliver spellcasters pursuant to the Scourge Project, whatever that was. Kathor himself was compelled to cooperate, after Renard found out about his own magical skills. The party graciously allowed him to leave, after he renounced his association with the group, AND hinted at Renard's final location.

The party traveled to a cavern where the Black Horse Mercs - now just Renard - had made camp. Sneaking in, they ambushed him rather efficiently, taking him out of commission. Spending the night in the camp, they left him alive but restrained, giving him the same chance of freedom as the other dead man they found in the alcove...

SESSION NOTE: The party decided to take the dream shroud, which faintly radiated magic, without doing anything about the dead sorcerer. As such, it has no power. I'm considering giving the local paladin a dream of his authority figures berating him for not tending to the body properly, as one of his station should... they didn't really notice the shroud until the morning they left, though, so it'd be tough to give them any second chances until the home of Haddin & Crystin, which is nearly half a day's journey away... what're your thoughts on how to handle this missed opportunity?
 

I think a dream of being chastised for not respecting the dead is a reasonable step. Do that, and then whenever they use the text magic again mentioned that the shroud is no longer magical, and they ought to be able to put two and two together.
 

emeraldbeacon

Explorer
I think a dream of being chastised for not respecting the dead is a reasonable step. Do that, and then whenever they use the text magic again mentioned that the shroud is no longer magical, and they ought to be able to put two and two together.
If the dream comes after the fight at the farmhouse, but before they enter the fire forest (which, there should be time to do so), they would have the chance to risk adding an extra day to their journey, to "do the right thing" by going back to the cave. Renard will have escaped & fled by then, and they might have an "encounter" with some raccoons rummaging through the debris of camp, but it would be easy and safe enough to do the deed and recharge the shroud IF THEY CHOOSE... but it'll be their last option.

Notable: The character I'm going to "punish" is the paladin, who is both in the order of the aquiline cross (meaning he'll be scolded by someone he respects for not treating the dead with more respect), AND a celestial aasimar with a very powerful divine parent (who will accuse them of not properly meting out justice upon the wicked man who allowed an innocent to die).
 

emeraldbeacon

Explorer
Without me suggesting anything, everyone else decided to time-step backwards to the cave, to ensure that the poor soul who died there got at least some degree of a burial. Doing so gave them the Dream Shroud, which the paladin equipped as a cape of sorts.

Moving south, they came to the home of Crystin & Haddin, and her sudden prophesy left them all shook. They were on edge the entire time, as the long-time resident of Gate Pass realized the name connection, and quietly shared Haddin's story with the group before going in. The conversation was both brief and brusque; many efforts at persuasion were made, but they all seemed to fall on deaf ears. While Crystin begged for the heroes to help, as she believed they could thanks to her "visions," Haddin simply rejected any suggestion of leaving home, both for himself and his daughter. In time, a quiet conversation to the side revealed that Crystin was indeed under the effect of some kind of enchantment, of an oddly incomprehensible kind.

The discussion, though, was cut short, as a ragesian troupe was spotted travelling south along the elf road. The fight was brutal, bloody, but ultimately averted, as the heroes nobly defended the farmhouse. Haddin seemed impressed, but still unwavering in his dedication to stay home, even after being presented with the fact that Ragesia had ordered his own death. Resigned, the team still managed to earn a night's respite, before they set out in the morning for the fire forest... though the night didn't exactly prove entirely restful, as strange, vivid dreams came to everyone...

SESSION NOTES: Though the episode is not ENTIRELY over yet, I granted everyone their Level Ups at the end of the session. I'm planning on having Haddin experience an undisclosed dream of his own (an aspect of Crystin's power surging outwards into the party at large), that will prompt him to accept the heroes' terms to escort him through the fire forest, into Dassen, and to Seaquen (his words, not theirs)... we'll see how that pans out, since Crystin is still very much his thrall at the moment.
 

emeraldbeacon

Explorer
Awakening the next morning, after everyone had strangely vivid dreams (or nightmares), Haddin shocked the crew by accepting the "offer" of safe travel to Seaquen. Though put off by his brusque nature, they accepted, and set off at morning, leaving the farmhouse unlocked... clearly, they would never return, so why bother? After Torrent distributed the vials, everyone consumed one potion of Stand the Heat, and they proceeded into the Fire Forest.

Within Innenotdar, they soon realized that the heat was not the only hazard, as swirling smoke clouds left some of the party wheezing. They were put off by finding corpses directly on the Elfroad less than a mile in, but were shocked when one of them suddenly lurched towards them! Holding back, the Paladin promptly surged healing into them, granting them some semblance of stability. They asked of their wife and son, but upon learning of their deaths, fell despondant. At his wish, he was quickly dispatched. As the party discussed their next steps, he suddenly gasped, returning to life! Everyone panicked, including the man, who stumbled off into the fires in a confused panic.

Later, continuing their journey south, they came to a damaged bridge across a narrow but deep ravine, crossing it carefully to avoid any additional damage to the structure, but still drawing the attention of swarms of fiery bats! Though the critters were dispatched easily enough, they were much more difficult to keep down, as one by one, they rose again to continue their strikes. Though they noticed a destroyed cart at the base of the ravine, they moved along quickly, unwilling to explore it further.

The incredibly perceptive Druid, meanwhile, continued to notice odd bursts of flame in the woods around them, perhaps even containing a figure within. Was something watching them?

Ultimately, though, they heard the sound of their planned destination... the White River that bisects Innenotdar, right near the old elvish village that should provide some suitable shelter. Their advance was blocked with a sudden crash of trees before them, and a shriek from Crystin to get out of the way. Fire elementals burst into being, pushing the team to its limits, but ultimately falling before their combined forces... barely. Stopping to catch their breath, the team was suddenly confronted with a terrifying visage of a burning draconic face, demanding that they free it from its prison, lest they remain sealed in the forest for all time; unable to escape, and unable to die...
 

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