Sunset Vale Saga

Heartless
Sunset Vale Saga #47

Session Recap:

  1. After regrouping with the rest of the party, Aerith, Miriel, Neiriel, and Varia head towards the Lord Mayor’s Tower to seek an audience with Lady Zimeria Marwood. They are initially rebuffed and told that the Hill’s Edge city council is in session and is not to be disturbed. Varia insists, and they walk into the chamber. She is briefly admonished by her mother, Lady Zimeria. Varia then proceeds to introduce Neiriel Nightsong to her mother as a representative from Hardbuckler.
  2. The Hill’s Edge city council murmurs their displeasure at Neiriel’s presence and one council member shouts for an immediate call to have Neiriel thrown in chains. That council member immediately bursts into flames and dies as Lady Marwood spontaneously combusts him for his impertinence at interrupting a conversation between herself and her daughter. Aerith, Miriel, Neiriel, and Varia leave the chamber without further discussion.
  3. The party decides their best course of action is to infiltrate the Foundry where the gnome prisoners are being held, and to rescue them using a food riot as a distraction as they teleport them to safety. Varia pretends to take Toggel in as a new prisoner, and the party moves into position around the Foundry. Master Radigger Ozdrake and Knight-Captain Maganti Gortho are there, as well as two general population human prisoners acting as guards for the gnomes.
  4. Toggel and Miriel successfully fool everyone into thinking that he is successfully “collared” and use the opportunity to discover how to unlock and disarm the control collars. Miriel uses magic on Radigger to get him to reveal the secret bracelet that is used to control the collars and how to disarm them. At that moment, there is a rumbling outside the Foundry and Captain Maganti goes to investigate … only to be struck by Aerith.
  5. But Aerith only strikes air, as Captain Maganti was an illusion! Aerith then proceeds to attack Knight-Commander Varia, and she goes down pretending to be stunned by the blow. The assault party (Arcturus, Aerith, Toggel, Neiriel) then proceeds to take out the guards and Master Radigger’s mechanical servant, Professor Whiskers, while the illusion of Captain Maganti observers somewhat bemused.
  6. Aerith drops magical darkness on the area, allowing Miriel to secretly grab the collar control bracelet from Radiggers work desk unseen. Once that was secure, the assault team shouted for the gnomes to escape. At that moment, the illusion of Captain Maganti appears and drops two fireballs in the room on Arcturus and Neiriel respectively.
  7. Keeping up appearances, Knight-Commander Varia attacks Aerith with her brother’s black obsidian blade, Malachi. Though well-meaning, the act of striking an ally with the sword attunes Varia to the sinister blade as Aerith’s blood drips from it.
  8. Arcturus dispels whatever magic Captain Maganti was using to create his illusionary duplicate, revealing his true location. Captain Maganti, still believing Miriel to be on his side, covers her escape through one of the doors while Master Toggel and Master Radigger engage in a long overdue shootout in the Foundry.
  9. Meanwhile, in the streets not far from the Foundry, Mizugo and Nakoma are gathering and feeding scores of the city’s hungriest citizens just as Silent Knight patrols begin to to descend on the sounds of explosions, thunderous gunfire, and gnomish laughter coming from the Foundry.
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Black Halo
Sunset Vale Saga #46

Session Recap:

  1. The party flew out of Hardbuckler in the early hours of the night to arrive outside of Hill’s Edge just after dawn. From there, Sturgis guided the party through the maze-like smuggler caverns beneath the city known as the Silent Runs to the floor of a large warehouse in the city filled with over a hundred bodies; casualties of the Cackle Fever epidemic. The party arranges to rendezvous with Miriel at the Market Square around the Lord Mayor’s tower. Sturgis stays behind beneath the warehouse.
  2. The party hears nearby laughter, then silence, then an explosion. Investigating by stealth, they find normal city guards in addition to a couple members of a new special guard called the “Silent Knights” around the charred dead remains of two Cackle Fever victims. There is more laughter heard somewhere else, and the two Silent Knights quickly move towards that direction. The party continues on towards the Market Square.
  3. Meanwhile, Varia makes her way to the Foundry in the industrial area of the city known as “The Bellows” to inspect the working conditions of the city’s gnomish prisoners. She discovers that they have iron jeweled collars around their necks that keep them under control. They are working on a project that will track down a suspected hidden shrine of Talona somewhere in the city by using clockwork rats. The master of the Foundry is a dwarf named Radigger Ozdrake, and the project was his idea at the behest of Lady Zimeria Marwood.
  4. Varia goes to the Fist Of The Future and confronts her father, Strifeleader Charos Marwood, regarding the Lliiran prisoners being tortured and used as re-education tools. After a tense moment, she leaves and heads towards the Lord Mayor’s Tower.
  5. The party reunites with Miriel and she briefs them on (almost) everything that has transpired in the city since they arrived. The party splits, with the gnomes and clerics staying hidden in an ally, while the rest of the party witnesses the mid-day food distribution overseen by Lady Zimeria Marwood from the Lord Mayor’s Tower.
  6. After helping the some of the ailing among the crowd during the food distribution, Varia reunites with the party. She believes that with Neiriel’s help she can convince her mother to have the gnome hostages released. Neiriel agrees. So Aerith, Miriel, Neiriel, and Varia head towards the Lord Mayor’s Tower to seek an audience with Lady Zimeria Marwood.
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Return To Qheldin's Mask
Sunset Vale Saga #45

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Session Recap:

  1. After teleporting back to the Hall Of The Guardian in Hluthvar the night prior, the party teleported to the ruins of Qheldin’s Mask to both help Arcturus pay his debt to Svelvara, and to give Caerwyn and his star elf father (Sazraen) time to study the Mystran shrine as they originally intended.
  2. The party splits into two teams. One team stays by the Mystran shrine, while the other group goes into the village ruins to hunt and dispatch the restless undead spirits.
  3. Arcturus dispatches 36 of the restless spirits easily, fulfilling his debt to Svelvara four-fold. The exorcism team also discovered a ruined dance hall dedicated to the goddess of happpiness, Lliira, and find the makeshift journal of a girl who escaped the Lliiran purge of Hill’s Edge 3 days prior.
  4. The party agrees to follow the journal and journey to the fey crossroads and bring the girl, Rowena Joydancer, to safety. They meet both Rowena and her temporary guardian, the white-feathered archer, Celandine, who surrenders the girl to the party’s custody and departs.
  5. The party teleports back to the Hall Of The Guardian and drops off Rowena with Valter. They quickly turn back around and teleport to Hardbuckler to discover that the M.O.L.E. has been mysteriously returned to Grenna. Captain-Magistrate Grenna assures the party that security will be increased in light of this potential infiltration.
  6. The party meets a spell ink and pen trader named Bultern out of Iriaebor. He tells the party that Hill’s Edge has imposed a toll on the Dusk Road that passes by that city.
  7. The party now awaits the arrival of Furious and will then fly out to Hill’s Edge that night to rejoin Miriel and Varia, who are already there.
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Welcome to the Red Roost
Sunset Vale Saga #43

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Session Recap:

  1. The party infiltrates the Red Roost and discover Sturgis doing the same. They all make their way stealthily to the crowded basement arena at the bottom of the Red Roost.
  2. In the basement, the party sees Arcturus‘s dead body at the bottom of a sand pit with spiked walls, and Black Siderious holding his still-beating purple heart in his hands, ready to receive his prize from Gwyneira, the Guildmaster’s Blade (Deathbringer), with over 50 assassin guild member watching. But instead of handing it to him, Gwyneira stabs him with it and instantly kills him, claiming leadership of the assassin’s guild.
  3. The party then attacks, with Orryn casting Haste on Aerith and he going after Gwyneira and Arcturus’s Heart, while Toggel summons forth his Instant Fortress, collapsing one of the stairways in. The rest of the party takes position in and around the small fortress.
  4. Neiriel unleashes a volley of icy arrows on a crowd of assassins that were under the collapsed stairs. Aerith retrieves Arcturus’s heart while fending off both spell and steel from Gwyneira and her handmaiden, Serena. The assassins counterattack, taking down Caerwyn and Neiriel, and very nearly Ayasha, before Mizugo can clear a path for them to get into the fortress. Orryn lets loose a cone of fear that sends over two dozen assassins running for their lives.
  5. A greenish-yellow fog starts descending from the upper level, as Ethylene, Poisonmistress of Talona arrives. Assassins start dropping like flies in her venomous wake, as she moves towards the sand pit where the body of Arcturus lies. She cradles his head and kisses his dead mouth. Then Ethylene plunges her hand beneath her robe, and rips out half of her own heart from her bosom and places it into the gaping hole in Arcturus’s chest. It begins to glow a sickly green as the pit slowly fills with poisonous fog.
  6. Ayasha revives Neiriel, who in turn uses her Honeybadger magic to revive Caerwyn. Aerith and Toggel, realizing the dangerous situation in the sand pit, concentrate their attention there, with Toggel blasting Ethylene in the back while Aerith removes her half-heart from Arcturus‘s body and tosses it towards the fortress wall, while replacing Arcturus’s still-beating purple-blooded heart back into his chest.
  7. Sturgis at this point moves towards the discarded half of Ethylene‘s Heart and destroys it. Ethylene screams out in pain and out of desperation utters a dark invocation as she remove Arcturus’s Heart from his chest and drops it on the sandy floor. Then the large spectral Hand Of Talona appears and rips out Ethylene‘s remaining half of her heart from her chest and places it into Arcturus’s body, holding it place as the sickly green glow begins reknitting the flesh. Ethylene’s dead body falls lifeless on top of it, as the poison gas that pervaded the area instantly dissipates.
  8. Mizugo jumps down into the sand pit and helps Aerith pull Arcturus‘s dead body out from under Ethylene’s. The party delivers massive strikes against the spectral Hand Of Talona, but cannot remove it from Arcturus‘s dead chest until Caerwyn summons forth the spiritual Staff Of Mystra and deals a blow to the hand that staggers it. This gives enough of an opening for Mizugo (with uncanny precision) to use his powerful Knife Hand technique to cut into Arcturus’s chest and remove the last half of Ethylene’s Heart.
  9. The Hand Of Talona viciously counterattacks Mizugo and would have killed him were it not for the Death Ward that Ayasha had place on him earlier in the battle. Aerith once again replaces Arcturus’s Heart back into his chest, and this time Caerwyn jumps down into the sand pit to cast the Revivify using the diamond that Neiriel tossed down to him from the fortress just seconds before. Arcturus’s eyes flutter to life as he takes a life-giving breath. Neiriel’s Healing Honeybadger moves over to nuzzle the ranger, imparting some small amount of health back into him.
  10. Suddenly an overpoweringly evil voice shrieks into the the minds of everyone. “You will not take away my prize! Hill’s Edge is MINE to flood with disease and death!! You will not stop me!!!” The Hand of Talona lunges at Arcturus, pushing him into the spiked wall of the sand pit and impaling him there as he once again falls unconscious.
  11. The party throws everything they have at the Hand Of Talona and with a final ice arrow, Neiriel freezes the spectral hand into solid ice and shatters it. An evil scream radiates from from where the hand was and the shear psychic malevolence of it knocks out a few party members before it subsides. But the presence of Talona is gone, at least for now.
  12. Gone too are Gwyneira, Serena, and the surviving assassins, who evacuated via teleportation while the party contended with Ethylene and the Hand Of Talona. How far they have gone and if they will return, no one can say at this time. But after administering healing to revive wounded comrades, and looking around, it is undeniable that at least this night, the field of battle belongs to the party.
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The Trielta Hills
Sunset Vale Saga #42

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Session Recap:

  1. Caerwyn and the mysterious Firbolg Woman, Ayasha, negotiate the teleportation costs of the Asbravn refugees with the proprietess of the “Well Dress Wizard”, a dark-haired mage called Spade. Arrangements are then made with the Eldathyn priests of Silent Hall to temporarily give the refugees sanctuary.
  2. The rest of the party run into a well-traveled, silver-haired follower of the god Shaundakul called Bordayne. He offers them conversation and some of the food he has been sampling in Hardbuckler. He is originally from the Moonsea city of Mulmaster, and his next stop is now Hluthvar, after hearing about their magnificient vegetable gardens.
  3. Miriel returns Toggel’s Instant Fortress to him, and Caerwyn rejoins the party, being teleported by his father to Hardbuckler.
  4. Orryn receives a gnarled willow-wood wand from Captain-Magistrate Grenna, and the party completes their preparations to head to the Red Roost.
  5. The party uses an old underground transportation vehicle of Hardbuckler called the “Mobile Oscilloseismic Lithotransversal Expediter” (MOLE), to get within a few miles of the Red Roost.
  6. After reaching the surface, the party approaches the base of the Red Roost, and Aerith scales the tower and enters through a large window.
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Hardbuckler Diplomacy
Sunset Vale Saga #41

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Session Recap:

  1. In light of the recent murder and kidnapping, Valter humbly requests that the party use the teleportation hub atop the Hall Of The Guardian to evacuate the refugees and their children to a safe settlement. The party agrees that the city of Iriaebor would be the safest place. Caerwyn and his star elf father, Sazraen, agree to stay behind and cast the numerous teleportation spells necessary to evacuate all 79 refugees.
  2. Orryn uses the teleportation hub to transport the party to Hardbuckler, as it is in the Trielta Hills just 20 miles away from the Red Roost that Arcturus is being held prisoner at. Also Adros is in the vicinity. The party is greeted by Captain-Magistrate Grenna Gornsh, who catches them up on what has happened since the they last spoke.
  3. Apparently, the plague in Hill’s Edge came to a boiling point and there was a coup. The Marwoods (Varia’s family) and their allies seized control of the city. The city council then by fiat declared the quarantine over, held a sham trial that found the gnomes Hardbuckler in league with the Joydancers of Lliira guilty of starting the Cackle Fever epidemic, outlawed the worship of Lliira and destroyed the Cry Of Joy temple. Worse still, Hill’s Edge is holding over two dozen former gnome relief workers as hostages. No one knows what happened to the paladins of Torm that were maintaining the quarantine in the city. Grenna assumes that they were either imprisoned or killed by the new regime.
  4. Grenna explains furthermore, a day ago Adros came to the gates of Hardbuckler introducing himself as an emissary of the Netherese Empire. Grenna turned him away at once, but Adros said he would return when Varia and Toggel’s group arrived back in Hardbuckler.
  5. True to his word, Adros is announced to be waiting at the gates. The party comes up with a plan and quickly splits up, with Orryn and Mizugo openly escorting Grenna and her guards, while the rest of the party stealthily surround Adros. Adros once again presents his credentials to Grenna, which Orryn certifies to be legitimate. “Ambassador Adros” is the designated envoy of Prince Brennus Tanthul, one of the twelve Princes Of Shade, the rulers of the Netherese Empire.
  6. Ambassador Adros then explains that he was sent by Prince Brennus to open peaceful diplomatic relations with Hardbuckler, which the Netherese considers to be a former gnomish colony of the Empire before it fell. As a token of good will, Ambassador Adros says that he can “help” have the gnome hostages in Hill’s Edge released safely. With that offer on the table Grenna cannot immediately refuse, and must take it to the Elder Council of Hardbuckler.
  7. Ambassador Adros and his two heavily cloaked and hooded escorts make their way back to their camp, with an invisible Aerith & Miriel stalking close behind. Miriel uses the opportunity to steal back Toggel’s Instant Fortress from Adros, who eventually notices that it is missing and starts tracking it back to her before she stuffs it into an extradimensional Hidden Pocket.
  8. The rest of the party start gathering information, supplies, and spend some quality time with those dear to them in the town. But time is short. In one day, Arcturus will be forced to participate in a deathmatch with the guildmaster of The Nail, Black Siderious. And who knows how long the gnome hostages in Hill’s Edge will last before Hardbuckler will have to graciously accept the “help” of Ambassador Adros.
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Assassin's Rhapsody
Sunset Vale Saga #40

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Session Recap:

  1. Aerith and Neiriel continue to reeks havoc among the Nail assassins, as Neiriel also uses Honeybadger magic to try and revive Varia and Arcturus, but to little effect. Meanwhile, Caerwyn floods the entire battlefield with Daylight.
  2. Valter and Mizugo arrive on the scene and Valter moves to protect Caerwyn as once again he goes down. Meanwhile Orryn back at the Hall of the Guardian scrying the battlefield detects the invisible presence of the murderous bard just as she is plunges a dagger into the downed Caerwyn’s chest to cut out his heart.
  3. Mizugo starts noticing that the bodies of fallen assassins, as well as the corpse of the crashed hippogriff have been pulled into the earth by large insect-like creatures that have burrowed up through the grassland floor.
  4. Toggel arrives on the scene in time to engage a stag-headed winged beast that the bard woman summoned to take the body of Caerwyn away, with Neiriel finishing off the beast and it dropping Caerwyn right on top of Valter.
  5. Toggel and Neiriel continue to provide covering fire to Aerith from a good distance now that they have ample light to fire at greater range. Even though Aerith unable to teleport in such conditions, he manages to hold is own.
  6. The sinister, yet shapely bard woman briefly appears, wakes up Arcturus with a soft touch, and speaks an arcane word that makes them both disappear. The surviving assassins leap down one of the insect holes to escape the party.
  7. Neiriel examines Miriel’s and Varia’s bodies and determines that Miriel just needs bedrest while Varia has been poisoned with Swiftsleep from a shoulder wound and she neutralizes the poison.
  8. Varia wakes up, resummons Elsa, and flies herself and the unconscious Miriel back to the Hall of the Guardian ahead of the party. Valter assists Toggel with restoring the fallen Furious and they both fly back to the Hall Of the Guardian to join the rest of the party.
  9. Orryn informs the party that Arcturus is being held prisoner in the dungeons of the Red Roost, which is somewhere in the Trielta Hills west of Hardbuckler.
  10. Varia tells the party that the bard is Gwyneira, a fellow student and her sworn blood-sister that she stabbed to save the life of a child over a year ago.
  11. The party takes a long rest. The morning will come with hard decisions to make.
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Murderous Whispers
Sunset Vale Saga #39

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Session Recap

  1. Neiriel, Toggel, and Aerith engage in combat with the somewhat amused, overly confident, and highly melodramatic pale woman with dark features, dressed in black and red playing a haunting flute.
  2. After Caerwyn and Mizugo arrive and illuminate the wreckage of Furious, the woman receives devastating blows from Aerith and Toggel, and she teleports away with a melodious word.
  3. Neiriel determines that the woman has not teleported far, and flies off with Caerwyn to catch up with her, with Aerith following on the ground. Toggel and Mizugo stay behind and keep searching for Arcturus and the other missing party members.
  4. Valter Kenric and 4 other refugees armed with simple tools arrive at the wreckage to assist. Valter is unable to quicken Furious to life, as too much time had passed since the mecha-eagle went down.
  5. Neiriel and Caerwyn find the woman in a cleared out area of the grassy plains inscribing arcane runes in a circle, while six dark figures drag 3 bodies into it: Arcturus, Miriel, and Varia. They are not moving. Neiriel and Caerwyn dive towards the circle to attack while Aerith teleports into melee.
  6. Caerwyn quickly goes down, but Aerith and Neiriel hold their own against the dark assailants and their musical mistress, who they now recognize as members of The Nail assassins guild that they tangled with in Corm Orp.
  7. Caerwyn is revived, but in poor condition to continue the fight.
  8. Aerith reeks havoc among the enemy; stunning, blinding, teleporting, and generally causing confusion while Neiriel harries them with crippling ice arrows.
  9. During the confused combat, the black & crimson clad woman once again teleports away. But the fight is far from over …
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The Halls Of The Guardian
Sunset Vale Saga #38

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Session Recap:

  1. Toggel came up with a basic plan to gather a little bit of Arcturus’s blood each day to prepare vaccine vials. But no character has enough medical knowledge right now to know exactly what to do to make that happen.
  2. The party discussed their next step (Return to Qheldin’s Mask, Go to Hill’s Edge, Go to Hardbuckler) and not getting much of anywhere.
  3. Valter left to go set the evening watch.
  4. Tycho came back briefly and took Sturgis and Arcturus to teach them a couple secret Harper signs and contacts, should they need to reach out.
  5. Orryn recommended that if Adros is truly their enemy, then they should go to Hardbuckler and attempt to gather basic military intelligence on him.
  6. The party briefly met Idara as she herded the children past them and into the upper halls for the evening.
  7. Valter returned and Miriel went to bring back Arcturus and Sturgis to get their input on Orryn’s recommendation.
  8. The party went to consider their options separately.
  9. Toggel and Neiriel took flight to hunt for some meat in the foothills of the Sunset Mountains.
  10. Varia went to meditate in the Sword Room for guidance on the best thing to do.
  11. Aerith and Caerwyn went to the roof of the temple with Valter; Aerith to begin his evening devotionals, Caerwyn to study the Teleportation Rose atop the Abjurer’s Tower.
  12. Caerwyn‘s father, Saezraen teleports back from Qheldin’s Mask, very excited about some of what he learned from the hidden shrine to Mystra.
  13. Toggel and Neiriel discover Tycho’s body in a ditch just outside of the Ruins of Hluthvar. He had been dead for a little over 2 hours. Toggel directs Furious to fly the body to the temple.
  14. Varia receives a vision of her memory when she saved the little boy from her blood-sworn sister, except in this version the boy has Miriel’s face, and the dagger kills her.
  15. Neiriel and Toggel alert the refugee watch and track the murderer (human female) all the way back the the temple … where she left with Arcturus and Sturgis.
  16. Toggel directs Furious to drop the body in mid-flight and to find Arcturus. The body drops right next to a meditative Aerith.
  17. Neiriel contacts Arcturus through her Sending Stone. He says everything is fine and that he is just going with his friend, “Gwyneira”.
  18. Hluthvar is now on alert for a murderer. The party begins to pursuit. First to find Arcturus is Furious, who sees him carrying a body over his shoulder. Furious snatches Arcturus from the ground to bring him back to Toggel and Arcturus drops the body he was carrying.
  19. The party closes in, but are separated by some distance from each other. Varia on Elsa fly past Neiriel and Toggel as they search for Miriel by scent alone. Aerith leapt from the top of the temple and is catching up with Neiriel and Toggel, who are the closest to Furious and Arcturus. Mizugo and Caerwyn are the last.
  20. Something lands on the back of Furious. At the same time, Arcturus reaches up and touches Furious to pulse a wave of negative energy into the bird. The mysterious rider then delivers its own attack and Furious crashes down.
  21. Aerith activates his invisibility and arrives at the crash site first and he finds no one there. He finds tracks leading south from the crash site and follows.
  22. Neiriel arrives at the crash site next, and instantly senses danger just as a poisoned dart sinks into the side of her ribcage. She looks to where the attack came from and sees a pale woman with dark features, dressed in black and red.
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The Fist Of The Future
Sunset Vale Saga #30

1. Neiriel & Caerwyn purchase holy symbols of Mielikki & Mystra, respectively.
2. Neiriel visits Silent Hall and speaks to a Weirwood tree.
3. The party wins flying mounts.
4. Arcturus (inadvertently) frees a captured pegasus.

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