Destiny Calls

Castle Greyskull!
in which githzerai fortress is cleared

The party listened to what Morgrim had to say after casting the bones, and decided to clear out the rest of the Wicked Fang gnolls from Fortress Greystone. After all, with both Bahamut (through Amyria) and the Raven Queen (through Morgrim) on their side, how could they fail?

After a short rest, they made their way through the fortress to a sealed doorway. Beyond the door was a strange room, full of contrasts. One side was calming, orderly and linear, in stark contrast to the other side of the room. Jagged lines, deep pits, clashing colours all screamed of the chaotic nature of those who built it. To Winterspear there seemed to be a psionic echo of the previous residents – the Githzerai who created the fortress used this as a meditation chamber, to try to reconcile the lawful and chaotic elements of their nature, and there were guardian spirits still in place to ward off the invaders. After a moment of reflection, it seemed that the safest path would be to leave this room until the gnolls had been removed from the fortress.

Our intrepid heroes then went room-to-room, slaughtering the new residents. The Wicked Fang jailer fell into the ambush that Shifty laid, and the prisoners in the jail cells were freed with the request that they send word to the Overlook scouts to come back and help out, if they cross paths. In turn, the prisoners told that they didn’t know why they were captured, but they had heard the gnolls talking of various experiments being performed on other captives.

An ancient githzerai training room was next, and it was still functional – a perpetual waterfall filled everchanging water channels, driven by ongoing magic. The room was occupied by the results of some of the “experiments” – gnolls and hyenas who had been subjected to experimental rituals as Fangren fiddled with the energy of the Elemental Chaos. Beaten and tired, the party still managed to drive the gnolls back. Shifty stood at the doorway and peppered the enemy with bolts from his ballista, while Amyria and Berek took the fight to the dogs. Winterspear dropped his spear in the water, freezing part of the waterfall, and managed to tap into the flows of magical energy to turn the energies of the room agains the gnolls.

With the gnolls dead, the prisoners rescued, and the fortress clear, Berek & Co went back to the meditation chamber to rest themselves, and to bring peace to the githzerai spirits. While they were doing so, Gilgathorn decided it was a good time to earn the bounty on their heads. Feeling threatened, Winterspear reacted with heat and, once again, combat began! Thorn pressed the attack, summoning various beasts to his side, while Morgrim dug deep to help the party find a little more energy to fight on. Thorn was surprised to find Amyria with the party, and was even more shocked when Winterspear once again communed with the ancient Githzerai guardian spirits and asked for their aid against this last invader to their fortress.

In the end, Thorn was driven off, but not killed. He may well be back, if he thinks the bounty is worth the risk…

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Morgrim consults his goddess

After said discussions abounding as to the best course of action, and the group preparing to venture off to Overlook, Morgrim says, “I do be thinking it is time for me to consult my queen, for she will give us insight as to what is best for us.”

Reaching into the folds of his cloak, Morgrim produces a small leather sack, of which he empties the contents onto the ground. You notice pieces of dried bones bound by twine, jagged stones etched with tiny runes, and perhaps some other grisly little artifacts scattered in a strange pattern – almost like that of a hand.

Morgrim bends over the articles and starts to mumble, whilst producing what looks to be a ceremonial knife. With a swift stroke he cuts the inside of his palm and squeezes his hand to allow droplets of blood to spatter over the artifacts.

“Blood is life, a path we all tread. Soon be the day we be amongst the dead But let that not bring fear nor grieving For we pass on to the land of dreaming We make choices that seal our fate But the queens governance be our mate So now with life we look to death To guide us on to our next breath”

You all notice a ghostly hand rise from the artifacts.

From bent knee Morgrim whispers, “I thank you for listening to my call, my queen. I ask only that you guide us with what is best in this, a dire hour”

The hand makes a beckoning gesture.

“There be three paths to choose, all with consequence, all bound in fate, The first path being that we rest here at the fortress and tempt fate as we recuperate before clearing this den of perversion. The second is we leave this place and and go to Overlook, and in doing so hope we find help to send back and destroy the evil within. The third being we take fates chance, use all we have and finish what we started here.”

The hand raises three fingers, indicating the third choice. Morgrim nods solemnly.

“If we doin’ this, will there be anything within that will aid us with the evil that is foreshadowed at Overlook?”

The hand gives the thumbs up. Once again Morgrim nods.

“Finally my queen, with the danger we be in to continue on here, place Overlook in dire peril for the delay in us getting getting there?”

The hand gives the thumbs down, indicating that it would not be too late to avert the danger to Overlook.

Morgrim turns to the group. “My brothers, my queen has counselled – I do be strongly advising we stay as I believe we will do what is best here and find a way to stop the evil about to consume Overlook!”

The Hand of Fate ritual has been enacted, giving the party an indication of the best of the high-risk, high-reward options open to them.

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Behind the scenes

Between sessions, some conversations between the PCs and Amyria took place by email:

Berek asks: “How were you trapped in the sword?” Amyria says: “My memories are returning though they are not yet complete. I remember a previous life where I lived with Bahamut on Mount Celestia. I died in his service and he said that I would live again, I think that has something to do with me being in the sword”

Berek asks: “Are you human or a being from another plane?” Amyria answers: “I am an immortal being from the Astral Sea”

Amyria asks: “Do you have any other questions for me at this time, or shall we leave this place? I sense that I am needed in Overlook, or soon will be. Will you accompany me?”

Berek asks “Why did you come now?” and Winterspear adds “As in, why are you awake now?” Amyria answers “I was stirred back to consciousness by Fangren’s planar ritual. Ordinarily I do not believe that alone would have awakened me, however there are ripples of greater things behind it and I sense that it is the subtle energies of this greater picture that is responsible for bringing me back now”

Berek asks “Is there something about to happen in Overlook?” Amyria answers “Yes, I sense that something enormous is about to happen there, of a magnitude that has not happened for centuries, perhaps even millennia.”

Berek asks “Can you destroy this evil weapon please? The blood of a great dwarf was shed to create its taint.” Amyria answers “I cannot, it carries a terrible curse that sword, and will require more than I can do to destroy I’m afraid.”

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Amyria wakes
in which the sword awakens

to recap briefly, the platinum longsword which you retrieved in your very first adventure, had begun to speak recently, asking for Berek and Co, and once you arrived, it beseeched you for your help in two matters. The first was to stop a powerful gnoll shaman from conducting a foul ritual to open a planar portal to the Elemental Chaos, and the second was to free the mysterious being trapped inside the sword. The sword led you to a hidden fortress built into the side of a mountain (Castle Grayskull …. wait … Fortress Greystone!), abandoned by it’s Githzerai makers for reasons unknown, and now inhabited by gnolls.

As you infiltrated this fortress, you discovered that the gnolls had been supplied with advanced weaponry and were being trained in its use by none other than … drumroll … Sarshan ! Far more sinister though, Sarshan had kidnapped Uncle, and somehow coerced him (you still have no idea how) to forge for him a cursed weapon, Wicked Fang. Worse still, as part of the final ritual to curse the sword, Sarshan had Uncle killed and his blood used on the sword. The tears the Silver Dragon Shield was shedding weeks ago were a manifestation of Uncle’s death. You now seek a way to remove the curse on the sword and avenge Uncle himself.

Finally you found your way to the ritual chamber where you discovered Fangren, the gnoll shaman, about to complete a ritual which would open a direct conduit to Yeenoghu (the evil god of destruction worshipped by the gnolls) and transform Fangren into one of his exarchs!! Already a powerful planar portal had been opened, and a great Claw of Yeenoghu could be seen reaching through the portal, so there were only moments to go ! Berek & Rayalf attacked his demonic followers while Winterspear and Morgrim used their arcane & divine powers to disrupt the ritual, ruining Fangren’s plans and dispatching his soul to face his now unhappy god.

The platinum longsword then showed Winterspear how to alter the planar portal to seal its connection to the Elemental Chaos and in doing so, siphon off energy from the Astral Sea instead to free the being inside the sword. After the ritual was completed, the portal was now safe and a radiant being stood before you, appearing as a young human-looking female, though one of unearthly beauty and grace, and with a band of chalk-white pigment stretching from one temple to the other across her eyes. She is garbed in armor made of slender, overlapping silver plates and holds the platinum longsword, now transformed into a deadly weapon glowing with radiant light. She looks at you with bright eyes and says softly “I am Amyria, Scion of Bahamut”.

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What's gone before
The first few sessions were the first few modules of Scales of War
  • Rescue at Rivenroar
  • Siege of Bordrin’s Watch
  • The Shadow Rift of Umbraforge
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