The hidden


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BARRAKAS 13, 1000

“So….. it may seem funny to some, but before I torture and most likely kill my hostages, I like to know the victim’s name.” The very large orc wielding a very large double axe says.

“Do not…. Do that orc. You offend me…. Already.” Grumbles Gern. “Why the attack?” He demands of the now soiled goblin.

“You have…. Our stuff.” Payback smiles so that both incisors seem to double in size.

“Oh really?” He leans into the outheld goblin. “and the women and children?”

The goblin tries to avoid the orc. It kicks and tries to bite Gern whom continues to hold it up but now looks forward….. listening.

The goblin smiles and calls out a name in goblin. Payback mocks him and hefts his axe for a better battle stance.

“The others will take….. time to reach us.”

“Who said anything about sharing?”

The three watch as what Gern thought was a wall begins to move. It is a large ogre with heavy armor and a very large club and shield. Pieces of the glowing pebbles hold to its armor, shield and body.

Gern fights with the wrestling goblin as he reaches out and energy wisps from his finger tips. If it hurt the ogre, the ogre didn’t call out. Payback pushes his axe to the left to “make room to swing” and somehow strikes and beheads the squealing goblin. Only one swing connects and it seems weak and slows his other swings. Damned aberrations.

Gern, up close now, sees the ogre for what it is. It has been affected by the unnatural aura of the land. It has four eyes and the skin has a slimy sheen to it. Gern keeps to his energy attacks.

Payback strikes the creature hard and with the last swing takes it down….. sorta.

“Gimme!” snarls the orc as he tries to pull his weapon free. It holds fast within the arm between plates.

Gern studies the dead body, the weapon and how pieces of things are sticking to its body. He looks down the dark hallway beyond and frowns under his mask. He steps back, concentrates and charges forward. As he reaches Payback and the downed aberration, he jumps to the side and arch around them by running on the walls like they were the floor. He returns to the floor, looks over his shoulder at the orc then pulls his tight gloves tighter up his sleeve before moving onward and disappears into the darkness.

“Hey! You can’t leave me here with this thing! It stinks!” Mustering his strength, the very large orc begins to drag the body behind him.

Cursing bitterly the whole time.

Dan, Catherina (the female human whom has joined us aka my daughter whom decided to join us today….. oh of all days to do so 😉 ) and Azzime pause as they had begun to catch up with the orc and mysterious elf. Azzime looks up and sees…… the bottom of New Water as someone large sulking above them. Most know that under the water and beads is glass but here it is thin enough to witness the soles of a traveler’s boots above them. Azzime pauses to witness and process this as the other two are still trying to understand what they are seeing- both above them and as the elf runs along the wall to avoid the dead body of an enormous ogre.

“Good orc- why do drag the body?” asks Dan.

“Exercise.” Snaps the enraged orc.

Suddenly he is yanked back. The sticky glue has adhered to a relatively clean section of floor stone. With a growl of annoyance and frustration he pulls hard and instead of his axe popping free, pieces of the stone do. Now the dragging is easier but has a mix of drag and grind to it that echoes down the hallways. Payback rolls his eyes, leans forward and begins again.

Dan and Catherina look at the strangeness ahead of them and form a plan. She removes her cloak and tosses it over the dragging body. She then merely walks up and over the large aberrational giant-kin. This aggravates the orc to no end and concerns Azzime. The barbarian takes a few deep breathes then leaps and climbs over the body with more grace than the ranger [ nac 20]. Azzime refuses the risk.

Gern has traveled nearly a half-mile ahead of them by now. Dan and Catherina walk about fifty feet ahead of Payback and Azzime is about twenty feet back.


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part 3.jpg trouble trouble..... because Cathy is doing my one rule ..... no phones.... plus the sticky aberrational ogre


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Gern senses a disturbance in the force..... like millions just died.... or the presemse of a Dogzilla.......part 3a dogzilla.jpg


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BARRAKAS 13, 1000

Gern spots a disruption in the wall ahead of him. Slowing down he moves more with stealth. Listening for footsteps he hears…… deep breathing. Almost a moaning. Blissful moaning.

Bracing his mind for any assault an aberration or mage may conjure, he steps to the section of wall that is different from the rest. There is a ten foot section that is made of bars. The bars are made of the same crystal / rock like material as the walls, ceiling and floor. Behind the bars is a near naked woman. She is covering her face with her hands. She is in a state of mixed bliss and trembling fear. Within her moans she begs for Gern to protect her….. to free her……

He tightens his gloves once more and marches onward.

Twenty minutes later the woman hears a distance curse in perfect orc laced with druidic reference. She smiles then pulls aside what clothing she had and as she begins to moan she envisions a different look for herself.

Dan watches Catherina from behind. He appreciates the view revealed by the missing cloak. Appreciates it greatly.

They are far enough ahead of Payback that they barely hear his curses….or the constant dragging of the 850 pound ogre body.

Eventually the barbarian and ranger reach the very area Gern encountered the would-be seductress. The woman calls to them both. She moans her bliss and wants. Dan stops and looks through the bars. Beautiful.

Her hair….. long with slight curls and a hint of fiery red in the darkness.

Eyes… slight hint of gold and complete promise of adoration.

Lips….. promises of softness and excitement.

Skin…. Glittening….. emotional…..

Her breathing……… captures and leads his.

“So scared. The creatures….. they took me during the night……” She covers her body as she can with only her hands and arms to block.

“What can I do to help you beautiful maiden of the night?” asks Dan in near tears. His want is extreme…. His desire……

“Please…. How can we….. help you?” the female ranger is getting caught up with the magics, psionics and spell-like abilities being caste at the two of them.

“Oh now what?!?!?” roars the hulking orc. Payback suddenly gets an idea. He grips one end of the double axe and twists it to line it up better and begins to slam the axe deeper into the arm. At the fourth strike the arm is severed but the plan goes awry. The heavier and larger body remains attached to the axe. Now there is a sticky loose arm to be wary of stepping onto also.

“Nice idea…. Payback was it?” comments Azzime.

“Lovebirds ahead.” He snarls. That comment seems odd to the rogue informant. He peers up but with normal vision he barely can see ahead.

Caught in spell and powers, the two inch closer to the bars that she uses to cover her body. Dan grasps the bars and leans to her. Suddenly the spell and psionic effects leave as her eyes turn black, her hair shortens into fleshy stubs and her once so kissable lips part sideways and she nips his hand. Suddenly his entire mind is overcome with lust and the need for release. He turns on the ranger whom suddenly seems to understand her unnatural want and need to befriend and aid the victim (the woman aka the Sin Spawn: Lust) as a magical means to lure her in, stops and looks at the barbarian whom smiles at her in a way most creepy. They are then distracted by a severed ogre hand that tumbles behind them.

“Smells like….. Sex and Candy…..” growls the orc whom sturdies his body and braces for an act of violence unlike any seen before. Azzime dodges as with a mighty growl, the Orc swings his axe. It pulls and lifts the dead body into the air. It grazes the wall tearing pieces of ogre skin away and slams it into the bars. Sticky superglue like residue sprays from it and nearly tags the aberration to the wall.

The axe is free. Payback is happy.

“How did you know…….” Begins Azzime.

“Just a guess.” Comments the orc as the strange rough stone necklace begins to warm up from being cold and loses it’s glow. “Just lucky.”

“Uh…. For being lucky….. what are you standing on?” comments the ranger.



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BARRAKAS 13, 1000

At last Payback kicks free of the sticky hand quicker than the body.

“Where is the strange elf?” asks Azzime.

Dan points into the darkness. “Ahead of us.”

“Never would of thought of that.” The hulking orc says with a snarky attitude.

They continue in silence in the near darkness.

Roughly a mile later they come onto another blue door. Sitting before it, meditating, is Gern.

“Oh….ain’t this purtty.” Grumbles the orc. “He is breathing and thinking pretty thoughts.” Then the orc realizes he is standing before a translucent blue energy door. He peers in and spots several Dolgrims also checking him out.

A cruel but happy smirk appears on the orc’s face.

“You have a key Shadow Weave?” Gern asks Azzime.

Azzime understands this is a stranger in strange lands. Where did he come from? He has never been on the docks. He would have seen it. “I have crystal rod of the correct color.”

Gern looks to the pants. There is no indication of a ten inch glass key there. Magic. Pathetic. No skills.

Gern looks to the Blue doorway. “Yaz Feek”

Before them, the orc is leaning onto the door. His forehead touching the doorway. He is licking the door with his large pinkish-gray tongue. Dan is there beside him….. not sure about the sanity of his new orcish friend.

Azzime puts the blue rod into the slot and hesitates pushing it in to an unlocking position. The orc turns…… “Well?”

He pushes it in and wall shuts off. It’s a free for all as the three (Azzime and Gern wait) and the fifteen Dolgrims charge at each other. The barbarians burbs out a line of fire dropping two dolgrim. A third is set on fire. No one questions the flame as they attack. The Dolgrims never had a chance.

“Check the bodies.” Suggests Azzime as he recloses the door and locks them within the 20 X 50 space littered with dead dolgrim.

“What are we looking for?” asks Catherina.

“More keys.” Says Azzime.

Gern respects that idea. However, he doesn’t help them. He notes that indeed, Azzime has a magical pocket. As he slips the blue rod into the pocket, it makes no change of shape or show of motion, not even of the hand.

Finding nothing worth keeping, they meet up at the next blue door. Time to keep going.


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BARRAKAS 13, 1000

Payback and Dan lead the group with Catherina in the middle and two most cautious members in the back- Gern and Azzime.

There are several off-shoot doorways but they are either an orange or yellow door. These require a key of equal colored. Nothing of interest is seen through these doorways. Dan and the orc continue straight on past these.

Payback spots an oddity on the wall ahead of him. Dozens of one inch holes in the wall.

“Looky here.” Says the large orc. “Someone spying on me?” The orc peers into a hole. Nothing. Moves towards the center of the ten foot section of holes and again peers in with his head directly up against the wall. “Hell-ooooooooo.” Just as he is about to back-off suddenly four barbed tentacles with a slight glow stab through some of the holes…… including the one where his eye is.

“Yearrrrgh!” the mighty orc screams. He rips and tears at the tentacles as the others move up to help.

The tentacles move back through the holes before they can attack. One has a trophy.

“Pull back you lummox!” calls Azzime as he tries to grab and pull back the seriously injured orc ranger.
The barbarian once more burbs out fire. Most of it is blocked by the thick wall. Little filters through holes. Azzime reminds himself to ask about the fire if they survive this. The human ranger is incredibly skilled (or lucky) as most of her shots go through the holes but fail to hit anything on the other side.

Payback hits and shouts at the wall demanding the villain to reveal itself. It does by grappling and tearing into his leg. The other tentacles miss. Azzime tries to hold and push the orc again. He finds himself nearly used as a weapon. Then he tries two new tactics. The diplomacy doesn’t work as the orc is so enraged. So instead, it is suggested there is a door further down. That gets Payback’s attention.

Gern tries to blast the creature on the other side also. Azzime doesn’t think it is magic but then what is it? This energy does harm it but little seems to be happening to it.

Azzime calls out the obvious- “Just get past the holes. It can’t harm us otherwise!”

“I have a better idea.” Snarls Dan. He drops his weapon and waits impatiently. So does Payback understanding the plan…. A crazy plan….. but a plan just the same.

The tentacles thrust through again hoping to find something. With only one eye, the orc misjudges and misses. Dan doesn’t. He grabs and pulls as hard as he can. There is a brief thump sound behind the wall as the creature is pulled into it. Payback smiles. He picks up his double axe and slices it up. A mental scream comes out.

Seeing an opportunity, Azzime pushes the orc forward with whatever force he can. They pass the creature except for Gern whom stares at the wall with malice. In Xoriat he says- “I am but the first. Soon you will be visited by the others.” And leaves.

The Grell with extra psychic powers does it best to memorize this strange psychic creature that has threatened him.


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“How do I look?” asks the orc. He has placed a glowing gem in the empty eye socket. It falls out as he turns to Azzime.

“Waz feek” Gern thinks silently to himself.

They are nervous and on high alert for more ambushes.

They come across a statue of a slightly mutated dire pig. Generally they avoid it except for Azzime whom searches it. He finds some healing potions and helps the orc further. The orc is still badly injured. He missing an eye and has several deep stabbing and barb injuries that have irritated his skin.

Continuing on with Dan and Payback in the lead, Cathrina in the middle and Azzime and Gern in the back following.

They come up to another closed blue door. Payback gives an impatient point to the door to Azzime. Azzime is hesitant to open the door. It is like he senses great danger inside. Gern also senses great power inside. “Open”

He opens the door and the orc is first in. Dan is next trying to act as defense for the blinded side of the orc. The female ranger stops and crouches near the opening looking for attackers. Azzime closes the door while watching over his shoulder at the non-elf pretender.

“Come out- come out- where ever you are.” Mocks the orc. Nothing. He goes deeper into the room and sees a glowing floor in the next room.

“What is that glow?” asks Dan the Barbarian.

“Magic.” Answers the orc.

Suddenly the three of them feel pressure within their skulls but each shake it off. “It is my duty to guard this teleportation circle. You may not- can not sully it with your savage bodies and minds.”

Gern feels the power. “Let me in- now.”

Azzime hesitates only for a moment before opening the door.

The source of the telepathic voice levitates from the dark higher ceiling- a Mind Flayer!

The aberration leader remains nearly ten feet up. Payback hurries under him. Eventually it will need to land and when it does- he will be waiting for it.

Catherina attacks first and all three arrows puncture the aberration. It teeters above the hopeful orc then Gern erupts in pure psychic energy. The Mind Flayer never knew what happened to it. It rains pieces of aberration around the angry orc whom begins to cut up pieces on the floor.

“Stop! Search its body!” calls Azzime as he opens the blue door.

Only four things of use are found. A Dagger +1 and a Blue, Yellow and Red crystal rod.


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“Sure this is a teleport circle?” questions the orc.

“Yes.” Says Azzime as he examines the glowing marks on the floor. “Besides- where did the people go otherwise.”

“There were other branches we could not use.” Offers Dan. “Maybe they went there.”

“Signs of travel lead to here- not so much the branches.” Brings up the human ranger.

“Humph.” And the orc steps onto the circle and turns to face the group with a smirk. All but Gern quickly join him and find themselves shortly in a hallway lacking any light except for Dan’s torch.

The Orc’s darkvision is washed out by the torch light just as he thought he saw something spider like in the shadows ahead of them. Gern teleports in as they advance. Four Mad Slashers attack. The one eyed semi-spider like aberrations do not last long.

Moving on, the one eyed orc accidently kicks something soft under his feet. Dan enlightens it. It is a little girl’s doll. It was finely clothed and made to look like a baby. It’s porcelain head is cracked (from being kicked).

“this angers me. To take defensive children…. Near babies…….” Begins the barbarian.

Not showing quite the same level of compassion, the orc asks, “The fire….. where is the alcohol you use?”


“In my travels I once saw a traveling show with elves. One would drink a strong alcohol then spit it out as another elf held up a small flame. The small flame would burst and one of the elves then controlled it to look like and pounce around like a lion. So….. where is the alcohol you spit out and set aflame?”

“It comes from…. Within him. He has no….. alcohol.” Answers Gern.

“Did you have to damage this doll? It will break some little girl’s heart.” Begins Dan once more. This argument distracts them as they round a sharp corner. Someone is aware and waiting for them. A very fat ogre with a great Falchion.

The orc and barbarian are quick to recover after it attacks Dan. The others move up to support. Catherina fires several arrows and Gern his mysterious energy. The giant goes down after trading blows with the two melee juggernauts for a few rounds.

Azzime checks his body and finds nothing of use or worth. Continuing on, there is another set of stairs leading up. At the top of the stairs is a wall.

“Really” grumbles the orc trying not to rub the drying eye injury.

“Allow me to look. I have…. A talent for finding the unseen.” Offers the rogue. Gern joins him at the top of the stairs.

There are no key openings. Azzime spots no traps or secret doors. Then he realizes he felt nothing at one point. He reaches back to this spot and concentrates. It IS an illusion of sorts. He looks to Gern and smirks before taking a step into the wall.


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“By Cyre”

Before the spy mapper is a grouping of randomly placed 20 ft cubes within what he believes is The Hidden. As Dan and Payback step out of the portal they see an Ogre walking with no care nearby, two sinspawn walking away from them. Catherina steps through and Azzime spots two orcs leading a young pre-teen girl away from them. Gern arrives and automatically drops to a knee.

As he takes in the scene Catherina spots a huge monolith of a gaunt tall goblinoid. Now she squats down quickly. Azzime was lying down already. Gern and Catherina spot dozens of these blocks. Aberrations and their possible minions coming and going. Some appearing and disappearing on the tops of the stone cubes. Even as it begins to process in Gern’s mind that this is an aberrant settlement Azzime silently curses.

Dan and Payback remained standing. The orc slowly turns to Dan with a growing grin which is terribly horrifying to witness. With puss beginning to drip from his missing eye, the orc screams out a challenge and rushes the edge towards the closest targets- the sinspawns. In mid air and as the barbarian also begins to rush the edge Gern growls “Yaz’ Feekus” to both of them.

The orc hits the marshy bright colored water and vegetation. Dan lands just behind him and twists his ankle in the vegetation. As a barbarian, it matters little as he goes into a rage. The ogre is close enough to hear them and turns to see what is happening. With his own bellow, he turns and rushes to the intruders.

The orcs decide it is time to pick up the pace and grab and drag the young girl by her arms. Not liking this, the female ranger fires on them as they attempt to escape with the girl.

The sinspawn make a small but important mistake. They engage the two warriors. Dan burbs out flame setting the first spawn on fire. The one-eyed orc takes down the second one easily. Both go down defeated. The ogre reaches the stone cube the adventurers came from. He doesn’t last long as Gern and Catherina pelt it as it comes. It drops even as the two orcs have escaped with the young girl.

Then Catherina spots something coming at them easily running at them. A giant gaunt goblin roars as it is now struck by arrows and mental daggers.

Azzime has dropped to the ground with the idea of aiding the group’s melee experts. He sneaks
About looking for an opportunity that has no need. Hearing the ranger’s call of alarm he moves in secret behind the cube to spy on the new threat. It stands 15-20ft tall…… it moves through the brush with no hindrance due to its great height. It is already reaching out to strike Gern.

Overjoyed by a new and bigger challenging foe, Dan and Payback charge the creature. Up close they barely register the horrific skin of the creature. Bodies wiggle and struggle within the skin to escape. It just gives the orc something to aim for.

This titan, this Legion of One, struggles under the multiple attacks. Suddenly it screams and melts into 24 naked goblin-like creatures. Easy targets for Azzime and the others.

“Next.” States the orc with too much eagerness.


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Kyr dives deeper into the water. The madness fully taking him now. “I come Father- I can hear you. I come.” He thinks over and over.

He surfaces the next block over. He spots ropes under the dock and climbs out of the water. The ropes appear like a bridge. A bridge for someone or something smaller than himself. He struggles to do so but climbs onto the Bridgeway. He slips and curses many times as he walks across the rope and drift wood network. It is pitch dark here but he knows he is not alone.

Suddenly a goblin addresses him. “Go away- mine hide-e-hole.”

A summoned Dire Rat with tentacle-like eye stalks suddenly appears behind the goblin. The goblin falls into the water ….dead.

Kyr rests there for a moment before summoning up another creature. A large crocodile with soft spikes over its eyes and shoulders. Instead of one large powerful tail it has dozens of tentacles including two longer ones like a squid. “I ask for a favor my new friend.”

The aberrational crocodile swims under the docks using them for cover. On its back rides its summoner.

After two more summoned crocodiles swim him in cover to the shore. Kyr can hear the chaos above. He wants to see it but knows it is not what his father would want. Being exposed to the above world may prohibit him from reaching The Hidden. The third crocodile (this one is pink and green with lobster claws for feet) reaches the strip of swampland that separates Yrlag from New Water and The Hidden.

Giggling, the crazed summoner crawls onto the mud and makes way for the New Water.


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“What caused the destruction of Cyre? I think it was the country of-“

“Enough with your theories of the dragonkind and their war with fiends. If they were warring don’t you think we would see it?” Declares the second Emerald Claw guard.

“Feh. I just know what I over heard.”

“BOTH of you need to shut up and do what you were told to do- GUARD!” Demands a new comer- their boss, Agent Lt. Matture.

The two fall silent and begin to guard again. Suddenly there is a sound at the water’s edge. A glow and suddenly a dozen short multi-limbed humanoids come out yipping and yapping in something similar to goblin but not. “Intruders!” calls the first guard.

The Dolgrims attack and overwhelm the two guards. Matture smashes a few over their heads with his flail. Then the greater danger rises. Hidden by the darkness, the aberrational leader attacks. Matture begins to mumble out a moan of fear as he is struck by a beam of light and turned to stone. The large round creature floats over the dock towards the warehouse.

On the far side a second Beholder rises from under the dock with another squadron of Dolgrims. Magic suddenly erupts from the warehouse doors. Out steps a mage known as Taylor Downings. A gnome dressed in green with green colored hair is also casting magic but her magic is divine power.

Unknown to them, a third squad is tearing through the floor into the warehouse. An Aberrational ogre leads them by force. His Dolgrims spread out and search through the crates and barrels here. Three squeal in triumph as they find prizes within the collected goods.

Gussa turns and sees the distraction for what it is. “Too many. We leave now and take it back later.” She declares. Laughing, the mage goes to her and they teleport away. The Ogre thinks he has won then spots glowing energy balls nearby (delayed fireball…. Several). The explosion is seen and heard through most of Yrlag.


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There are few orcs or aberrations running around to battle now. Gern refuses to enter other portals. He wants a guarantee of an aberration to kill…. Not possible traps. They do encounter a few Sin Spawn that are easily defeated. On them are blue and yellow crystal rods which Gern takes.

They go further into the settlement looking for hostages, foes and anything of interest. So intent they miss that Gern has disappeared. “Damn that elf!” curses Azzime under his breath. They continue on still hoping to find hostages and stolen (retrieved) goods.

Shortly they come across something built of stone that is not a cube. It is a pyramid about twenty feet tall with stairs on all four sides. Azzime recognizes it. It is an entrance to underground catacombs. He is uncertain whether to enter but before he can say anything Payback has already hurried up the stairs. The female ranger follows him up. Azzime feels being alone is more dangerous than going into the heart of the underground aberrational tunnels.

The three go down the opening into the darkness. There are no lit stones and pebbles here. It is pitch black. Almost unnaturally so. Azzime strikes up a torch and notes the lighting is less than expected. There is either magic at work here or some sort of supernatural effect. Either way, its not a good thing.

They wonder down the hallway for several hundred feet without any threats or challenges. This worries the spy. The orc is bored. Catherina is merely going with the flow. They begin to feel even more uneasy. The hairs on their arms and neck rise, even Paypack’s thick bristles rise. They “feel” like they hear something ahead but are uncertain. Moving closer, they reach a corner where the sound can now be heard, though not clearly. Reflections of dim colored lights can be seen on the walls. The lights are moving or something moves between the source and the wall? Azzime is uncertain.
The orc ranger smiles and moves ahead of the group. He goes around a corner. The human ranger goes next. Azzime finds himself wanting to go around the corner also.

What is found directly around the corner scares the spy to no end. A room of swirling colors that more ooze than move around the light. Mages and aberrations stand within this large room having casual conversations.

Three mages, one dressed in Emerald Claw armor, talk and laugh in their discussion. Behind them are two Mind Flayers. Again, they are having a conversation (though with no sound due to telepathy). One is snacking on a simple treat of a Grey Dusk orc. Near the back are two Dolgaunts. They are staring at the crystal wall there. One the wall are moving images. It is like a Crystal Ball but angular and flat. Images include Mothmen, a Shifter (Geth), a strange looking woman (Mistress Muy Monstrous) and an Airship.

Also on the floor are glowing shards of crystal (Xoriat Shards) and several out of place potted plants. The very plants Zig had created his Hidden Butter drug from. Several glowing balls float about also.

The true source of Azzime’s fear is in the far left corner. There is an elf here dressed in strange exotic blue and purple armor. He is on his knees blowing with his forehead touching the floor. He bows to a “man” covered in shifting organic looking armor with a long whip on his one arm. Azzime hopes this is not a Daelkyr but knows better. They are dead. Two twisted mutated “women” kneel and touch the apparent ruler in a sexual and worshipping way. The have claws for hands and stranger yet- the right breast is full and exposed. The left breast is smaller to the point of being none existent. They have tails and long forked tongues.

= Welcome. These are my friends and loving wives. Do not worry. We will not kill you now. What fun is it to break your toys before we play with them some?=

“Time to leave- NOW!” declares Azzime.

Payback moves away slowly but watches the Daelkyr. The other two move away quickly understanding this creature, this outsider, is incredibly evil and powerful.

As they flee, creatures appear and watch them as they leave. None attack but that doesn’t lesson the fear. They run all the way back to the original block. The bodies are gone but the signs of their battle remain.

“Thank Boldrei” declares the spy.

And they climb up the block and step into midair and step down underground.


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Gern holds the keys in his hands and weighs them. Not by how heavy they are but whether to use them now. The knowledge that an aberration attacked them and lives aggravates him. It doesn’t matter that the stupid wild orc lost an eye. It taunted him.

The orc is hurrying ahead after the other two scouted ahead from up on the twenty foot blocks. Let them. What he needs to do is clear now. The elf (Githerzai) wearing a mask heads back quietly. He steps around the dead “goblins” and others before climbing the block and reentering the long hallway back to Yrlag.

Now possessing both a yellow and blue key, he seeks out the aberration that hid on the opposite side. On the way he encounters an orc whom doesn’t last long. In time he comes to an exit leading away from the main passage.

Moving into the area he encounters a guardian- an ogre with tentacles and strange ill-colored patches of skin. They go at it. The mutated giant-kin should easily win but can not hit the ever dodging foe. The same foe rarely strikes hard enough to cause any real harm.

The dance of death continues for over a minute as they dodge and trade swings vs mental energy and a short spear. Bloodied and possibly dying, the mutant gathers his strength for one last swing. It connects.

Gern is dead.

The adventurers never search for him. They are rattled by their minds being touched by a Xoriat Lord. Instead they return , empty handed, to Yrlag. Some hostages have been found and returned by other adventurers. Few artifacts are found.


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Dan the barbarian remains so quiet he seems to not be there as the group leaves the aberrational village…. Empty handed but with memories and knowledge they wish they did not gain. They find a key rod left at the doorway they could not use before.

“Gern I presume.” Suggests Azzime.

“No matter. If I get my hands on that eye stealing tentacle……” begins the Orc ranger.

“Then we go…? Questions Catherina.

They go that way though Azzime makes a point of taking the crystal rod key thus closing the door behind them.

They keep going straight whenever they see a passage leading away. They discover one dead dolgrim and a dead orc with bruised and burned markings on them. Gern was here.

In time they find him. The two pieces of him anyways. Azzime gives a moment of respectful pause before looting his body. Dan and Payback look for encounters. The woman stands over the dead body of the elf. When removing the tight sleek gloves with runes sewed into them, the spy is surprised. Elven skin is forever youthful looking. Even at elder stages their skin remains tight and smooth. The skin of Gern is yellow with brown blotches. Pausing and worrying that he misread the individual, he moves to the head. He turns the head looking about. By pulling the scarf down, the neck is also yellow. He pulls off the crystal-like mask and discovers that indeed, Gern was not an elf. His body and face is gaunt and tall like an elf but he has virtually no nose. His mouth is small with very small teeth. His eyes are light grey with slightly darker grey pupils. The hair is dark brown and thin and wispy.

“What is he?” asks Catherina in wary awe.

“I don’t know for sure. Not an elf anyway.” Answers Azzime.

“I know who he is. A warrior. A great warrior. A Yaz’ Feek.” Answers the Orc.

[ DM NOTE: According to the player of this Githyanki, it means ‘Wild One’ ]

In silence they choose to agree.

They eventually make it back to Yrlag…. Though empty handed. They are not received well. They did save one little girl however. Several other tunnels were used that went to other settlements. Many of these had adventurer groups enter them. Some had success…. Others never returned.

Catherina leaves the group. It is not clear where she is going or if she will be back.

[ DM NOTE: Cathy played for a night but her work schedule doesn’t work well with everyone else’s ]

When asked, Payback, the orc ranger is planning to return to the alley he has been sleeping in.

“Is that safe?” asks Dan.

“First few nights I had to convince the goblins here to stay away. Rats had better sense than them.”

Dan feels bad. No one should live like that. Not even this orc. “You could come to Grotto’s Place. It is where I have been staying. There were still a room or two remaining when I left last night.”

“I am fine. I sleep well outdoors.”

“I’ll…. Pay for a room for you.”

Payback thinks this over and finally agrees.


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Azzime has never much cared for his assignment. He has not cared for much since his country was destroyed. Born and raised Cyre, he was well known for his drawing talent. He liked drawing trees and buildings the most. People talked too much. But the plants…. They spoke quietly to him. It calmed him and relaxed him.

He rarely did commissions, especially out of country. He traveled to Passage, Aundair to do a series of drawings of a wine company. That was in Orulune…. 994. He could never return home to his home outside of Metrol.

The winery was actually a cover for a training facility of military spies. In time Azzime was trusted enough to work for them. But of course this was first to Eldeen to spy on the farmers and druids here whom demanded separation from Aundair and got it. Finding little except for individuals planning and generally failing to raise any forces, Azzime had little to report.

Some of his spy masters thought he was still holding back. Wishing for him to less importance, they had him move onward to Shadow Marches. He went to Yrlag to watch the water way to the Demon Wastes and western Eldeen. Though it was more of Breland’s concern, he could also listen for rumors involving Droaam.

It could have been worse, he mainly drew maps and landscapes whil e on the docks. Simple cover that drew little attention but placed him in the center of the action. Then Rhaan 9th came. Another unexpected massive area of land changed over night. The Hidden came with no warning except for a few scholars suggesting something called the Draconic Prophecy predicted it.

Truth, a warforged artificer and scholar was one of these. Lady Silvermane also was here looking for something to “happen”. Taking his skills in mapping, he grew in attention by drawing and supplying maps to the hundreds of adventurers that came. They gossiped and marveled at first New Water then the few that made it there- The Hidden.

He was among the last to last see Truth and RAF in New Water. Gnolls with Ogres for muscle and acting as Beasts of Burden came apon them. They were captured or forced to flee. He escaped but never saw the two famous (infamous?) warforged again. Whether they are in New Water, The Hidden or Droaam is uncertain. They may not even be active at this point. He had hoped to see them again. He really did.

That was months ago. Since he has acted as a guide to several groups of adventurers. They seem more unstable as time goes. Desperate people come here to hide. Hide in plain sight. It is a wonder that House Deneith has not come here in larger groups. House Tharashk had a few come when the adventurers first began to come in large groups. They left with a promise of more agents. That was months ago also.

This was the second aberration incursion set on Yrlag. The first involved sheer destruction. Like it was a test of our defenses. If so, we failed. The raid last night was about plundering our resources. They took things adventurers stole which he could understand. But they also took women and children. Why? What terrible things could be happening to them?

Though it is not the normal day to send a message, he decides this must be done. He goes to House Sivis to use a Speaking Stone to get word back to Aundair. In the beginning, he had to hand write messages to send there. It took weeks to reach the spy masters. When it mattered, it often came late. But with the events of the past year, Sivis found it profitable enough to set up a Speaking Stone. Aundair, using a random name of another agent in the city, set up an open account.

Azzime enters the office of the House of Sending. He nods to the smiling gnome behind the counter. “good day sir. Wishing to write home once more?”

“Yes- thankyou. My family may hear of the activities last night and worry about me.”

“Families usually do.” Suggests the curious but professional worker.

Azzime writes out the message on their unique paper. He hands it over to the clerk whom takes it to the magical stone and sends the message. Once confirmed he takes the message places it into a small minute flame that hungerly consumes it.

“Place it on the family’s tab Tabbit.”


Azzime takes a break from collecting rumors on the Hidden. No one else seems to have seen a “Master”. That is what the scholars refer to the Xoriat creatures as. Others call them Daelkyr.

Returning to the Sivis building, he finds he has a message from his family.

= Monitor for further theft. Find what was taken and why. Take it back if possible. Use adventurers if need be. Report back finding=


“Bad news Map Maker?” asks the gnome.

“They are worried for my safety and others.”