Shadows of Vesperton

July 7, 2009

After following the unconscious woman’s tracks back to the north for some time, the party’s path crossed with a warforged named Sentinel, who recognized Grumpf and Ming Mah from traveling with them previously. He explained to the rest of the party that the woman they had was Lady Flora Lavesk, and he was her retainer. The group set up camp, and during the evening, Sentinel went on to explain the rest of the mission that Grumpf and Ming Mah had been on.

The two originated, as they had said, from a town called Regenesis, which was the first settlement in a new nation called Glissia. Glissia was made up of disenfranchised Kenasians seeking a better life. The nation had been expanding, and one of the places that had been built was Fort Fremont, located near the mountains and the mine of Daruddelve. Fort Fremont was where new Glissian coins were minted from the precious metals produced by the mine, but there had been no contact from Fort Fremont for a worryingly long time. Lady Lavesk, representing the Glissian government, was to go there and investigate. Sentinel accompanied her, of course, along with four hired mercenaries, of which Grumpf and Ming Mah were two.

While traveling to Fort Fremont, Lady Lavesk’s party was assaulted by a bizarre effect that caused everyone to hallucinate, and to lose their senses of time and direction. The party was split, with Lady Lavesk and Sentinel losing each other and the mercenaries. It was in this state that Grumpf and Ming Mah had been captured by the Old Vespertonians, along with the other two mercenaries. Those unlucky two had been sacrificed by the plagued villagers before the Vesperton party arrived. Meanwhile, the loyal Sentinel had been searching for Lady Lavesk ever since.

Determining that Lady Lavesk was injured physically and unstable mentally, Sentinel decided that she must be returned to Regenesis for treatment. However, he warned that the Vespertonians would likely be imprisoned if they went there, as the Glissians did not want the Kenasians aware of their presence until they were properly prepared militarily for the conflict that would undoubtedly follow. Auggie, Grumpf, Madison and Ming Mah decided to continue on to Fort Fremont, still lured by the wealth that might be unguarded there.

So the party followed the road to Fort Fremont. Upon breaking from the jungle into a meadow, the party was again attacked by a reality-warping phenomenon, as well as a powerful Fell Taint Pulsar. The party managed to defeat the creature, but the effects remained. They wandered as best they could reckon toward Fort Fremont, and after some indeterminate period of time, they came to a bizarre fortress.

The party found the inside of the place filled with a dense fog. The center of the structure was a pool of foul water and mud, into which more foul water and mud was slopping from two overhangs from the second floor. On the other side of the pool was a statue of a humanoid seated on a throne, the head hollow and scalp missing, with a beam of light streaming down to that empty head from a hole in the structure’s ceiling. Along the base of the statue was engraved a statement that each person saw in their native language: “WHAT IS BROKEN AND CLOUDED MUST BE WHOLE AND CLEAR TO BREAK THE CLOUD.” Two stairways went up to a second floor.

The second floor featured five alcoves, each with a door, and each hung with a plaque with an engraved statement, again read in each viewer’s native language. Two of the doors also had those streams of rancid water flowing from under them.

The five plaques read as follows, with the last two hung on the doors from which the streams flowed:

“MISSTEPS OF THE PAST ECHO PAINFULLY IN THE MEMORY

“THE MIND’S EYE

“WHAT YOU SEE DECEIVES YOU TO CREATE WHAT YOU CAN FEEL. BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU ONLY TOUCH, FOR ONLY IT IS REAL

“THE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS

“THE DEPTHS OF THOUGHT

The party decided to open “THE MIND’S EYE” door, and was immediately confronted by two mirrors, standing at angles to face each other and create a dead end. A little testing proved that the mirrors were not solid, and the party stepped through one of them.

On the other side of the mirror was a room made entirely of mirrors, including four mirrored pillars. This room also contained three kenku, who began to attack. It became clear that the mirrors on the pillars were portals to another, similar room, containing three more kenku. The enemies were defeated, and vanished when vanquished. One of them left behind what appeared to be a piece of a crystal brain, covered with a dust that could not be brushed off.

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June 30, 2009

After defeating the apparent last of the plagued villagers of Old Vesperton (and claiming the shaman leader’s magical totem), the party found the area where those tortured souls had been living. There, they also found two captives, Grumpf and Ming Mah. These two were not very communicative, but did offer that they had been venturing with a woman from somewhere called Regenesis to a Fort Fremont. Auggie was certain he would know of such places if they existed either in the old world or in the new Kenasian colony, yet had no memory of those names. It was further pried from the captives that gold and dwarves were likely to be found at Fort Fremont. The promise of gold was enough to get the band’s attention.

The group made camp, and the morning found Speegle’s Filth Fever growing worse. Sivella decided to take Speegle back to Vesperton, while Auggie, Grumpf, Madison and Ming Mah continued on toward Fort Fremont.

Traveling northeast from Old Vesperton, the party eventually encountered a half-naked and apparently wounded woman at the bottom of a bushy ravine, who Grumpf and Ming Mah recognized as the woman they had been traveling with originally. Ming Mah hurried down to her, but found himself intercepted and attacked by bloodthorn vines. The woman was not as wounded as she first appeared, and rose to begin somehow commanding the vines against the party. Though Ming Mah was knocked out for a spell, the party eventually prevailed, and managed to take the woman captive, alive but unconscious. Ming Mah then began tracking to retrace her footsteps, which led north.

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May 19, 2009

After besting the barbarians, the party continued their exploration of the overgrown ruins of Old Vesperton. Their next find was the settlement’s temple of Erathis, which was now inhabited by stirges. Rather than going into the stirges’ lair, the party threw spells and evocations through broken windows, flushing the stirges out into the open where they could be destroyed on the party’s own terms.

Still relatively uninjured, the party pressed on into the evening. They found a still-standing house, which contained two fire beetles and a stormclaw scorpion. A section of the building’s floor was too weak to support weight, but Madison was able to discern this and warn the party. The creatures were dispatched without much difficulty, the scorpion falling through the weakened floor to its death as it attempted to flee.

And still the party continued on, able to overcome a pair of plagued men and their hyenas, though Speegle was nearly killed in the battle and one hyena escaped. A bit of healing restored Speegle, however, and the party again opted against resting. Among the loot from the battle were a +1 Cloak of Resistance and a healing potion.

The party could hear something involving many people happening in the northwest part of Old Vesperton, but no path existed to the area. The party decided to blaze through the overgrowth, and encountered a large clearing with a group of plagued humans cheering into a pit, overseen by someone who appeared to be a plagued shaman. Auggie was spotted by the shaman, and the rabble made an ill-advised run toward the party. Of course the rabble met with disaster, as the party unleashed their effects to decimate the foes.

Invisible, Auggie made for the shaman, encountering a little resistance from his crocodile spirit along the way but able to slip past. From here, it was apparent that there was a vicejaw crocodile in the pit, eating the remains of a human. The rest of the party followed once the rabble was destroyed. Though the shaman attempted to leverage magical winds to knock Auggie into the crocodile pit, Auggie was able to avoid this, and the party’s combined powers (and a timely lash of Auggie’s whip) killed the fleeing shaman.

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May 5, 2009

Each of the PCs received an anonymous letter, delivered by Quick Joe, inviting them to meet at the Bloodkeeper Inn the following night to hear a business opportunity.

When the party arrived at the prescribed room, they found only Quick Joe, who said that he was tasked by the same party to give them a package and leave.

The package contained a letter telling the PCs about Old Vesperton and informing them that its wealth had been left behind when it was abandoned. The package also contained an uncredited log of the events surrounding Old Vesperton’s abandonment, and Rudrick Calder’s study of the Bleeding Hate.

The party tried to hire a boat to take them north to the area Old Vesperton was supposed to lie, but were informed that Vesperton’s government did not issue permits for ships to go on private exploration voyages. The party then set out on foot.

The party found the magically overgrown area where Old Vesperton used to be, and began exploring. They found some coin amongst overgrown wreckage, but their first major find was a clearing that contained Old Vesperton’s inn.

The inn was in bad shape, with a dead tree leaning on its broken upper floor, but they explored inside anyway. There, they battled and overcame two swarms of rats and two dire rats, and triggered the safe collapse of the ceiling. Among the riches recovered from the inn, they found +1 Shimmering Cloth, which was taken by Speegle. During the battle, however, Madison and Speegle contracted Filth Fever.

After a bit more exploration, the party found another clearing that contained only the few standing sections of wall that remained of a destroyed building. Here, they were attacked by four plagued human barbarians, but these were quickly dispatched. The barbarians had apparently been searching for treasures of Old Vesperton, as they had with them a sack of gold.

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