Dark Radiance

The Chaos Room

Patrin’s sister, Suri, joined the party. She had become a paladin of the Sun Dragon and had a really cool faerie horse, a colt pixie, as her steed. As a teenager, she was pretty sure that there wasn’t much more to being a paladin than having a horse and awesome powers. Suri told Patrin of a vision that she’d had, of a black dragon eating the burning sun. Then she heard the prophecy that the the enemies of Glantri would rise, and all of these enemies carried wounds and hatred from the war. She saw a deck of cards, and her father drawing a card, and then him crying out in horror, and the cards being scattered in the wind.

She saw a fire in the north. She saw a great burning chimerae, chained to the ground, but stirring and near breaking it chains.

She saw a wind in the west. She saw a small green dragon soaring above a vast pile of all the treasure in the world. There was a gold dragon flying towards him, calling out the name ‘Malakhar’ but the green dragon simply turned back to his treasure.

She saw water in the south. She saw that the water had gone bad and was making people sick when they drank it. She saw that the water was flowing into the ruins of the High Energy Magical Research Facility.

She saw earth to the east. She saw a pale elf sitting on a throne of black obsidian. Blood-stained earth fell from his fingers, endlessly.

Suri explained to her vision to Patrin. After discussing these omens with the party, they decided to head out to New Kolland, especially after Corporal Melchitt advised Gretchen that there were some difficulties with the Great Crater. The Great Crater was the location of the former High Energy Magical Research Facility, which had exploded into a dangerous mess of chaos energies, after a group of high ranking wizards had unleashed the spell which sunk the Alphatian continent, ending the war. One of these wizards was Etienne d’Ambreville, the Master of the School of Magic and Prince of Ambreville.

The Stormwardens journeyed to the New Kolland, where a group of researchers were reported odd readings at the ruins of the High Energy Magical Research Facility. When the party entered the ruins of the facility, they found that they had been transported back in time to the day of the explosion. Gretchen quickly convinced everyone at the facility that she was a legitimate observer from Aalban. Patrin met his father, and found to his shock that he was an upstanding, honest soldier, a far cry from the drunken wastrel Patrin had known.

The party spied on the experiment. They learned that the Prince of Ambreville had a plan to harness the raw chaos of the Deck of Many Things. Patrin’s father, Torrin, would draw a card, while the probabilities would be restricted in the laboratory to guarantee a favourable outcome. But when Torrin drew the card, something went wrong.

An immortal, the Great Dragon, was drawn to the centre of the experiment trying to stop it. However, the Great Dragon was ripped apart by the attempt to control the Deck, splitting into four different dragons: Star, Sun, Moon and Void. The Prince of Ambreville had lured the Great Dragon into a trap, using the resultant energies created by splitting the dragon to destroy Alphatia and protect the Radiance. He did not view this as a murder, because he was guarding the Radiance, and the Great Dragon’s essence would be divided, but preserved. However, the Prince was horrified when the Void Dragon appeared. It tore him apart.

The party learned that the Prince was actually Rad, the immortal of Glantri, who spent his existence engineering and guiding Glantri’s wizard-focused, atheistic culture. Patrin further discovered that Torrin had been cursed for drawing from the Deck, and a high level conspiracy had formed around him to keep him ‘suffering’, to channel the unlucky effects created by the flawed drawing of the Deck. This conspiracy had also been responsible for siphoning the floatstones away from Patrin and Suri’s family farm.

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The Heir of Crownguard

There was civil unrest in Klantyre, where the sovereignty of the ruling MacGregor clan was in doubt. Lachlan Stewart, Laird of Clan Stewart, had evidence that the MacGregors had the assistance of a powerful demon, called Mammon, that gave them an unfair advantage during the original dwarfmoot when the ruling clan of Klantyre was decided, after the dwarves were exiled from Rockhome for practising magic. Now Lachlan was demanding a new dwarfmoot. All of the major clans of Klantyre were arguing against each other and determining which clan should rule the Principality.

The Stormwardens met with Angus McCrae, Cannech’s father. He asked them to go to Rockhome, to retrieve an ancestral axe that would give clan McCrae an edge when the dwarfmoot happened. A previous expedition to Rockhome had been despatched, led by Fergus McCrae, Cannech’s cousin, but he had been gone for a long time.

Meanwhile, Altani was forced to sell her wyrmling black dragon to the local menagerie, as the party decided it was too dangerous to keep around. Patrin saw a baby gold dragon, also in the menagerie, who was begging to be released, but Patrin decided to ignore the creature.
The Stormwardens flew to Rockhome in the supply aiship Pegasus. They found Fergus’s missing skyship, the Griffin, tethered in the mountains near Rockhome, but did not find Fergus. Instead, they found a horrific scene where the dwarven crew had fought and killed each other over some mysterious pieces of red gold. Then, they were attacked by a mad icedrake. When they defeated the icedrake, they saw bits of red gold embedded in the monster.

Cannech read the logbook. The initial team had found the secret entrance to Rockhome. The initial team, lead by Fergus’s fiancee, Beatrice, last reported seeing a nightmare in their ancestral city: ‘dwarf had ripped dwarf apart’, signs of quakes, collapsed tunnels and poisoned gas. There was also some strange red gold that the dwarves had brought back to the Griffin as a geological sample.

The logbook detailed how the expedition team debated whether to abort the mission, but thought they could use Fergus’s map to find the Crypt of the Dwarven Kings through a side shaft. Fergus identified two routes to the Crypt – one through the ‘Chamber of the Old Masters’ and another through the ‘Hall of the Ancients’. Fergus lead this descent and promised to send regular communiques via the message ritual.

From there, the entries grew shorter again, with little to report other than cabin fever and growing aggravation among the crew. The logbook detailed how everyone was growing more paranoid and suspicious, especially around the presence of the gold. The last pages of the logbook were smeared with blood.

Cannech lead the party into Rockhome through the Chamber of the Old Masters. They were joined by a mysterious Shadow Elf assassin, called Veldin. Gretchen convinced a guardian golem that she was a shapechanged dwarf, while Cannech forged a suit of armour to prove that he was a noble dwarf. After continuing through the tunnels, rifts of poison gas and fighting off strange monstrosities, the party made their way to the Crypt of the Dwarven Kings. Cannech made a bargain with an ancient dwarven guardian spirit to cleanse Rockhome. The guardian told the party that the demon, Mammon, had come to Rockhome and led to a terrible era of dwarf fighting dwarf, corrupting the very gold that the dwarves had prized so highly. The demon Mammon had been summoned by the Alphatians during the war, and had not been banished when Alphatia had sunk beneath the ocean.

When they entered the Crypt, they found that it was guarded by a possessed golden dragon, who was infected by the cursed gold. The party killed the dragon, but brought her back to life, cleansed of evil. The dragon demanded to know where her egg, containing her child, Malakhar was! It looked as though the baby dragon was now the host for the demon Mammon. The dragon, who gave the name ‘Goldie’, turned herself into the form of a dragonborn, to assist the party with returning to Klantyre and finding her son.

Cannech found the legendary axe and returned it to his uncle. The dwarfmoot started. Goldie asked for the party’s help to liberate the trapped dragons in the menagerie, but they refused. Goldie left them, displeased at their lack of assistance.

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A Murder in Boldavia

The Stormwardens were sent to Boldavia to complete their mission for the Raven’s Eye – to find out who was funding the Resistance. A member of the Raven’s Eye, the Proctor, asked them to investigate the murder of an influential resistance member – an opera singer called Keilani. They were given identification that said that they were members of the Dark Lanterns, the local police force in Igoravich, the capital of Boldavia. Officer Carlotta was assigned to the Stormwardens to assist, although she wasn’t all that happy about the prospect.

As they examined the body, they determined that she had been killed by a golem with metallic hands. This creature was able to open a warded box, which was warded against living and undead. Just as they were finishing up examining the crime scene, a beholder attacked! After fighting of the beholder, they gave chase on a raven-winged gondola.

The beholder fled to the Bonewarrens, a nightmare zone of outcastes that surrounded the city of Igoravich. From a social planning perspective, it gave the vampire overlords a place to easily keep track of the dissidents and disenfranchised of Igoravich.

The Stormwardens trailed the beholder to a large tavern in the middle of the slums. They entered the tavern differently – Cannech snuck through the roof and observed a small green horde dragon counting coins. Walking through the main entrance, Ingrid demanded the strongest drink the house. Unfortunately, she failed her ruses and was forced to drink it, knocking her cold. Altani rescued a goblin from being cooked, who offer her his assistance. The bouncer at the door wanted money so tha Stormwardens could visit the crime lord, Malekar, but Gretched started a fight instead. To their amazement, none of the Stormwardens could defeat the bouncer, an undead, demonic ogre of some description

After fleeing the Bone Warrens, the Stormwardens continued to investigate the murder of Keilani, becoming involved in the web of corruption and intrigue between the ruling vampiric nobility.
They found that Keilani wanted the spellbook to use the ritual to peel back the cloud cover of Boldavia, and destroy the vampire’s sovereignty. To get the spell book, Keilani had an affair with Morphail’s brother, Boyar Yuri Ivanov, a powerful sorcerer. Keilani learned that her patron, Tatyana, was behind the Dark Rose resistance, and it was only a game to her. Furious, Keilani gave the book to Malakhar, the mysterious ruler of the Bonewarrens. After some investigation, the Stormwardens traced Keilani’s murder back to Tatyana.

They briefly negotiated with Malakhar, but refused to hand him the spellbook when he would not to name his mysterious client. Then, the Stormwardens reported Tatyana’s activities to Prince Morphail, who gave each of them a boon. Angharad was given assistance to defeat the shadow elves in Darokin, while Gretchen asked for assistance in redeeming Prince Rupert. Other party members asked for magical items. Ingrid asked to become a vampire, and was given the Dark Embrace. However, the Stormwardens refused to accept Ingrid’s new life style choice, and she left the party.

Morphail then co-ordinated a strike on Malakhar’s hideout, but he escaped.

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Catching up...
In which the GM recalls previous events and updates the adventure log in one furiously long post....

Soon, the pleasant time in Glantri City soured as the Stormwardens were drawn into a web of intrigue and machinations.

Patrin learned that he had inherited his father’s curse, which was to assemble the Deck of Many Things. Ingrid was contacted by the Boldavian Resistance. The Dark Rose, leader of the Resistance, had been kidnapped by vampires, and was being held in Glantri City, at the Boldavian Ambassador’s mansion.

Ingrid persuaded the PCs to help her with her cause. They infiltrated the mansion, but were unfortunately captured by the Boldavian Guard. However, Ingrid did learn that the Dark Rose’s soul had been captured in a book. Gretchen used her connections to Prince Rupert to gain bail. Cannech hid the book at the forge but gave it back in order to reduce their sentences.

In order to avoid politcal fallout, the Stormwardens agreed to do a favour for the Boldavian Court, guided by the ’Raven’s Eye’, Prince Morphail’s secret police. They were sent to Boldavia in order to infiltrate the resistance. They did so, and proved themselves by cleansing a haunted orphanage of evil, while at the same time finding three village c
but aborted their mission halfway through when Gretchen learned that Prince Rupert was a target of a mysterious assassin!

After short-cutting through a nightmare realm of puzzles and danger dedicated to Numena, the immmortal of mysteries, the Stormwards returned to Glantri City. There, they found the Gondala Festival in full-swing. Prince Rupert was showing off his gigantic golem, the Earthshaker, that had fantastic defensive capabilities.

Learning that the assassin was already inside the golem with the Prince, the Stormwardens infiltrated. There they found that the golem’s defences had been turned out – loyal Aalbanese guards had been killed by horrid traps and summoned creatures. After brute-forcing their way through the defences, the Stormwardens found Prince Rupert involved in a suspicious summoning ritual.

They disrupted the ritual, only to find themselves on trial! Prince Rupert said that he was following some plan of his father’s, and his only plan was to cleanse the Radiance, which none of the other Princes of Glantri seemed care about. In order to avoid public shame for tampering with the Radiance, Rupert resigned from the Aalbanese Princeship to the lonely Von Bek castle to pursue his researches. Gretchen read about this a letter, but could not return to be by the Prince’s side, as the the Raven’s Eye requested that the Stormwardens return to Boldavia to complete their mission.

On the way, the Stormwardens went to try and find the children that they had promised to look after. It turned out that Mad Marty, Cannech’s uncle who had been sent to fetch them, had gotten lost in a mysterious dungeon.

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Glantri City
Episode 10

Cannech, ordered by Gretchen, snuck ahead of the paladin and questioned the Mad Oracle about the source of the terrorist activity. However, the answer ‘one of the thirteen princes’ wasn’t quite what he was expecting. The Oracle also advised him to be in Glantri City for the Gondala Games, to learn more about what was going on.

When the paladin learned that the PCs had tricked her, she was furious. However, Patrin calmed her rage, telling that she wasn’t entirely privy to the ways of the Star Dragon. The paladin, who told them to use the name Angharad for her, calmed down and said she would stay with the PCs as they might be the real source of her divine vision about aid for the people of Darokin. The PCs returned to Blackstone.

Before the train left for Glantri City, Ingrid investigated the records of Patrin’s parents, finding out the old floatstone farm that had once belonged to them before they had sold it off under mysterious circumstances. Ingrid met a red-scaled dragonborn called Rowdy Brasstail, who was managing the farm, and a smaller blue-scaled dragonborn who called herself Priss Brasstail, who had an uncanny resemblance to Patrin. Ingrid persuaded Rowdy and Pris to visit Glantri City with her, under the pretext of setting up a business deal with Cannech’s forge.

The PCs got on the train and travelled back to Glantri City. Ingrid introduced the dragonborn to Patrin; while Rowdy talked business with Cannech, Priss snapped at Patrin who realised that he was talking to his sister. After Priss finished her yelling, she told Patrin how her father had been a no-good gambler and had gambled away the farm. She also said that their mother had vanished and she wasn’t sure where she was now. All that she had left was a life working on a farm that her family no longer owned, and a strange card that she showed to Patrin, with the symbol for a ‘Star’ on it.

Ingrid noticed a mysterious, somewhat rogueish elf who and tried to set up an encounter between him and Angharad. However, the paladin didn’t get entirely drunk and staggered, leaving Ingrid to strike up a conversation with the elf, who said his name was Bran and that he was an information broker.

Gretchen went to her cabin and read a book.

When the PCs arrived in Glantri City, they were hailed as heroes! They were approached by a mysterious figure in a dark cloak – it was Prince Rupert in disguise! He invited Gretchen to a dinner at the Boldavian ambassador’s mansion, while the other PCs went shopping. Cannech worked on a gondala for the mid-winter games, to represent his forge, and everyone enjoyed a pleasant few days in the city.

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Off the Rails
Episode 9

The PCs were travelling to New Kolland by lighting rail, in order to find the Mad Oracle. However, as they were travelling, Cannech noted that the train was going too fast. The PCs hurried to the engine carriage, where they saw that hooded, cloaked terrorists were attacking the lightning elemental that powered the carraige. A mysterious figure on a dragon was flying up overhead, keeping up with the train. Altani lunged forward and attacked the elemental, while the others attacked the ritualists. The figure on the dragon cut the rope and flew away.

Gretchen realised that the hooded figures were all students from the magical academy. However, the train was going too fast for anyone to slow it down and it looked like it was going to fall off into a chasm. Ingrid came up with a desperate idea to release the lightning elemental and to create a dimensional on the elemental’s wake, into the Elemental Chaos.

The mad idea worked and the train was stranded on a stange, floating island in the midst of the Chaos. Luckily, the train had crashed into a Githzerai monastery, where the local inhabitants wanted to ‘rescue’ the train survivors from disaster and free them from the shackles of their minds. The PCs persuaded the Githzerai to ‘rescue’ the student terrorists and return the train to Glantri. A rift opened up, and the train appeared at the end stop, right on schedule! Meanwhile, the PCs had further learned from the students’ Elemental Liberation Front that there was a secret organisation funding Glantrian fringe groups – the question was, to what end?

Meanwhile, they walked around the frontier town of Blackstone, glad to be off the train. They discovered that there was another adventurer in town, an eladrin paladin who wanted to ask the Oracle questions about how to save Darokin from the shadow elf invasion. But the Oracle would only answer on question before vanishing. Whose need was greater – the PCs, who wanted to ask about the source of the terrorist activity, or the beleaguered villagers of Darokin?

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Grand Army Day
Episode 8

It was Grand Army Day and the PCs were in Aalban with the Beckenbauer Family. Given the success at returning the lost von Bek family estate to the crown, Gretchen had been invited to give a speech by House Ritterberg, at the opening of the new military academy. Gretchen’s father emphasised that she must get this right and be more than a continual disappointment to her family.

The new training academy was unveiled; a floating sky fortress powered by crystals. While Gretchen worked on her speech, Cannech and Patrin wandered around, exploring. Cannech noted how the academy had an impressive collection of caged monsters, used to train soldiers how to combat these menaces. Meanwhile, Patrin counselled a man in an impressive uniform who had to give a speech that frankly terrified him.

The speeches were delivered successfully – Gretchen didn’t screw things up, and it turned out that Patrin’s new friend was none other than Prince Rupert von Drachenfels, current ruling prince of Aalban province. At the cocktail party afterwards, Rupert thanked Patrin in person and then became distracted by fascinating magical conversations between Ingrid and Gretchen about high thaumaturgical engineer. However, Rupert soon showed more interested in Gretchen and Ingrid stalked off in anger. She then encountered an arrogant, blue-haired elf who seemed to show contempt for all of the nobility around him. The elf left the gathering and went to the power crystals that kept the floating academy aloft. He said an incantation and the image of a great, abyssal dragon filled the sky. The dragon smashed into the crystals and the academy started to drop the air!

While the assembled wizards quickly kept the academy from falling, disaster threatened the academy as the monster cages broke open. The assembled PCs had to choose between helping out an important noble being attacked by a red dragon, and a group of school children being menacd by a gelatinous cube. The PCs chose to help the school children, and finished of the gelatinous menace. However, the noble died and the red dragon escaped.

The mysterious blue-haired elf died in custody, laughing.

Prince Rupert, shocked by the attack, asked the PCs to investigate rumours of terrorist activities. However, the PCs had other leads they wanted to follow up, including one about an oracle who would answer any question put to her before vanishing!

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The Greatest Prize
Episodes 5 to 7

Cannech was approached by a soldier called von Bek, who said that there was an Alphatian nobleman squatting in a castle in the Aalbanese mountains. The Alphatian gave von Bek’s men food and hospitality for the night, but served him his own men during dinner. Von Bek fled and now wanted vengeance.

The plan was for the Stormwardens to infiltrate the castle, while von Bek’s men attacked during the night on a pre-arranged signal. The Stormwardens approached the castle, where they were given hospitality. The Alphatian seemed like a nice chap, however. Von Bek attacked when the signal wasn’t given, fearing that the infiltration team had been compromised. The Stormwardens fought off von Bek, but the Alphatian, Myrkin, was disappointed that they hadn’t come forward and then dropped them in an elemental puzzle dungeon. The Stormwardens escaped the dungeon but found that Myrkin had been dead for some time.

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The Shadow of Ethengar
Episode 4

In Glantri City, Canneach was enjoying his new business. Meanwhile, Ingrid was summoned before the military, to learn that she was ‘rewarded’ with a new commander of her squad, First Lieutenant Gretchen from Aalban. They were then given the mission to investigate unrest on the Ethengarian border. They found the trading town of Bramyra mostly deserted. Canneach attempted to find out news from the local bank. However, this failed abruptly when Altani caused a ruckus after the dwarf banker refused to serve her port. The banker sicced his green wyrmling dragon on Altani. Canneach dragged Altani out of the bank, the rest of the PCs following. Canneach was left the knowledge that he had broken the strict laws of dwarven hospitality, and there may be repercussions in his future.

Meanwhile, Patrin angered a fortune teller, an oracle of the Moon Dragon, while Ingrid learned some disturbing prophecies from her, including the knowledge that Patrin had inherited a curse of his father’s, and that Ingrid’s plan to rule Boldavia could be achieved with something called the ‘dark radiance’.

The Stormwardens travelled north to a farm, based on the oracle’s advice, finding that it was in the process of being raided by Tajiit clan Ethengarians and that the small half-orc family there had been butchered.

Gretchen attempted to guide the party to the gathering of the Tajiit clan, but succeeded only after being lost on the endless, rolling grasslands.

They were approached by Ethengarians. Ingrid attempted to bluff her way through, but they quickly saw through the party’s disguise and were captured, brought forth before the Tajiit Khan. There, Ingrid was shocked to discover that the Khan’s new advisor was none other than Lord Orlov! Gretchen tricked Orlov into revealing himself as a Glantrian and a fight broke out, that ended with the possessed Khan defeated, and Lord Orlov’s spirit fleeing after Altani slew his body. Ingrid attempted to trap his spirit, but failed.

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Larvik's Island
Episodes 2 and 3

The PCs were ordered to investigate a matter of inheritance. The wizard Larvik had a small pocket dimension in the Elemental Chaos up for grabs, only it was hard to determine his heir. The PCs found one possible heir, an accountant, and investigated the claim. They met two other rivals on the small island – Mattor, an undead wizard, and rival nobel from Bergdhoven. Eventually, they explored the island and determined the Larvik’s lair was the in the island’s centre. They entered the dungeon and worked through various puzzles, culminating in a terrifying fight against an iron golem. Finally, they achieved the inheritance – power of the pocket dimension.

Canneach seized control of the power, while all of the souls trapped in the island were released. Patrin attempted to guide them ‘onwards’, but failed, but Ingrid guided them to the domain of the vampire spirit she had made a pact with.

Canneach collaped the unstable realm and sold the residuum, where he bought himself a dwarvesn smithy in Glantri City.

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