7th Arrallonian Campaign

Spring '567 Term - It's Murder

Event: It’s Murder
Date: 31 Galuune 567

Kami had fallen into the routine of classes and after school work in the morgue. Usually there was little enough for her to do at the Syvasgaard morgue. Deaths that required an autopsy were decidedly rare on Syvasgaard. The goings on outside of the mountain itself were usually handled locally. Murders, accidents, and monster or beast attacks were known as such and very little forensics ever came into play in those cases. That left her spending most of her spare time studying or doing homework for her classes. Yet there were times when she’d simply stop and stare at the walls.


Since Guy’s grizzly murder, other things had taken over the dark recesses of her mind. She was alone now, and the feelings of loss and regret were sometimes more than she could bear. She found herself crying for what she thought was no reason. And then she remembered that Guy was dead. Her depression dragged on for weeks, and nothing seemed to be pulling her out of it.


Then, one Jovosie morning, she was called aside by the Reverend Mother and given an encouraging and terrifying bit of news. The Church of Isis had found Guy’s soul. It had not wandered on into the afterlife, as Guy had no strong beliefs to guide his soul after death. It had, instead, been stolen. The Bebilith that killed him had taken his soul. She shuddered to think what would have happened if the demon had descended upon the Night Raptors first, if it had killed several of them. Would it have taken all their souls into whatever horrid pit of torment Guy was now trapped in?


The bad news with that revelation was that Guy’s soul was now exactly where they knew they’d eventually have to go anyway, the Abyss. Guy was in the Demonweb Pits. They had apparently reconstituted enough for some transit to be possible, though large portions of the plane were still nothing more than swirling masses of chaos energy. That meant that Lolth was also regaining some of her former power, for only She could command the Demonweb to exist. But those things, thoughts of facing that horror, were still in her distant future. For now, she had at least some hope to reclaim her love and perhaps show the commitment that he deserved but never received from her. For the first time in over a month, she could dare to dream again.


It was on one such night, distracted even from her books and spells, that a team came rushing into the morgue with a bloody gurney. The woman on it had been crushed to death down in Draknan-Gar. For some reason, someone had demanded an autopsy be performed, though no one could tell her who had ordered it. There was little other information to go on. The toe tag identified her as Eliza Hopfeld, aged thirty two. It was time to go to work.


The autopsy showed that she had indeed been crushed to death. Kami collected some evidence that pointed towards her death at the Draknan-Gar forge. Several from the group accompanied her the next afternoon and went down the mountain to check it out. After a long and convulted investigation, the group identified the killers, the loading gang at the Draknan-Gar forge. They were working for a slaver south of town and Eliza, while searching for her missing sister, was getting too close to the truth. The group found the slavery ring was operating out of an abandoned farmhouse south of Draknan-Gar. They found Eliza’s missing sister and returned her to Eliza’s greiving family. The leader of the slavers was one Aeden Rork, a WarMage and Urban Guerilla. After delivering him to the Sherriff in Draknan-Gar, he turned up dead in his cell, the victim of a Vampire attack. Of special note, Kami started to use her new favorite spell, Dancing Web, which doing subdual damage, allowed the group to take all but three of the slavers alive.

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Spring Term '567 - Special Visitor

Event: Special Visitor
Date: 33 Deiclue 566 – 1 Galuune 567


The days leading up to New Years were full of anticipation by the majority of the student body. This was another of those events that called for a huge party and they never failed to outdo the last one. There were fireworks, a glorious formal ball, and entertainment supplied by some of the biggest names in Bard lore. It could also have been yet another instance where Sigma Pi and Miri crossed paths. However, that was not to be.


The girls of Sigma Pi had long since lost interest in tormenting Miri. There were just so few things they could do to her outside of blatantly violent confrontations, which had never been their style. It didn’t help that Miri had so far managed to bed better than a third of the senior class, male and female, and had started working her way through the 4th Years. Most of her paramours were head over heels in love with her, or at the very least, in lust with her. To set upon her with that kind of fan base might have proved the Sigma Pi’s undoing.


Miri’s appearance at event after event, arm in arm with some diplomat or ambassador, though it cemented the opinion of many that she was a whore for sale, was seen by others as power. For what she possessed now were connections and contacts with powerful people, people who could make her enemies simply disappear if she so wished it. The fact that she was a known spellcasting Erotic didn’t seem to dissuade clients either. Rather it served as a magnet for those more adventurous statesmen who wanted something a bit more than attractive arm candy to take to state dinners. And the uniqueness of a beautiful, randy Delsian elf was so far outside the mold Callonians had come to expect from Delsians that her mere presence managed to liven a dull diplomats’ soirée.


But as Miri was making her plans for the weekend of partying, she received a message in her dorm room. She might well have missed it, as she rarely stopped by except to change clothes, and even that was growing rarer. She’d found a spot to study in the lower libraries, where nobody ever went, so she’d not be disturbed. And she slept wherever she ended up, usually on the 4th or 5th story of the dorms. She ate with the Night Raptors, and visited Raptor Place as often as she could get away from her other commitments. Her dorm room, and her roommate, were left quite alone most of the time.


The message was in a strange, fluid hand, and written in a language few would be able to read. Even she had to use magic to unravel its meaning. It was written in the language of the Mord Elves, a bastardization of the ancient Krell script, mixed with pieces of the Splinter Kingdom Drow language. As she had learned, it was a language the SGL had first encountered in Maerymydra, though they had no name for it then. The message was from Drazin Vorn.


“Miss Vyronnataen, I find myself once again in your pleasant orbit. I must admit myself disturbed at the ever increasing presence of light in Syvasgaard, as you know my people’s distaste for it, but I would suffer such things for another encounter with my favorite Delsian. I understand that the surfacers hold the upcoming weekend as a holiday of special significance, the end of winter and the beginning of the surface calendar. Such artificial divisions of time traditionally have little meaning for my people, but for you, dear lady, I will endeavor to,… how do you say?… get into the spirit of the holiday. I would greatly enjoy the pleasure of your company this coming Quindie evening. As far as our previous arrangement, I would of course compensate you for the entire weekend, plus a little extra that I’m sure you will greatly appreciate.”


“Looking forward to your swift response,”


“Drazin Vorn”


——-


Miri took the opportunity to cancel her weekend plans, including a little soirée at Raptor Place, and sent a message to Shari regarding her contact with the Mord. Shari sent back a simple reply. “Do it. See what he wants.” So she dressed in her finest, put on her new Carellonian manners, and rented a pricey coach from Kar’Dhaer to Syvasgaard Township.


Arriving at a bit after seven, it was still quite dark at that time of night, even though the first day of spring was only a few days away. The sky back to the west though was still a strange hue of blue. The weather had not improved greatly yet. It was still in the low to mid thirties at night, and barely got above fifty during the day. The skies were mostly clear, and the deep winter snows were slowly, but surely melting away. This night, however, there seemed an odd warmth in the chilled mountain air, and the smell of spring rains just over the horizon. The feel and the smell drove Miri’s memories back to a different time, when she was not so fortunate in friends or profession. She smiled and stepped down from the coach and into the helping hands of the doorman at the Wayfarer hotel.


Her reception here had improved greatly since her first trip several months ago. Whether it was her reputation with the Night Raptors, her appearance at more and more upper crust parties and social events, or the idea that they’d just gotten used to seeing her around, the hotel staff was so much nicer to her now, very accommodating and friendly. One of the bellhops even escorted her upstairs to the penthouse, which had apparently become Drazin’s personal room in the hotel, though he was rarely there. She eventually got the night manager to tell her that he’d rented the room for the next year, all in advance, just to make sure it was available for him when he chose to drop by.


Drazin was at his standard spot in the room when she entered, standing by the windows in his dark shades, puzzling at the light and the activity on the surface. He had apparently fallen in love with the bustle of surface cities and towns, and was still challenged by the light of the surface world, even at night. Apparently, he was working on a whole new collection of defensive spells to allow him freer access to the sunlit realms of the world. Miri stood at the door, holding her purse in front of her, smirking slightly. When Drazin turned, he smiled and merely motioned her in. She walked to a large chair, sat her purse on the table beside it and took off her coat and laid it across the back of the chair.


“One would think you’re developing feelings for me, Drazin. That would be unwise for two such as us, don’t you think?”


Drazin smiled, almost chuckled, and picked up a bottle of wine.


“Drink, lady?”


“Of course.”


“Your concern is understandable. After all, it wasn’t that long ago, you were about to be a prisoner in my realm, basely treated and drained of your beauty and livelihood. It would have been a terrible waste just to give some Carellonian noble gargoyle another month or so of youth and vigor, don’t you agree?”


“I’d have to say it wouldn’t have been my first choice, no.”


He smiled again and handed her a glass of elven wine.


“Then business before pleasure, yes?”


“Ah, so you didn’t call me here simply for pleasure? Now I am hurt.”


“Apologies, lady. You are, of course, here for pleasure, but there is another matter which is more pressing than my libido, yes? That would be the matter of the Heart of Lolth.”


Miri narrowed her gaze. He was playing at something, but could she trust him, an obviously evil man, a shadowmaster and ex-worshipper of Mordai?


“The Heart of whom?”


“Please, Miri. Do not be coy with me. It does not suit you. I am well aware that you and the Night Raptors have uncovered the secrets of the artifacts of Lolth and that one of them has already been destroyed. There was also an abortive attempt at recovering the Heart of Lolth from Delvinia Fey and the former Matron of House Honglathor, Opallina Belabra. The Mord have been keeping a very close eye on what has been occurring in our part of the UnderDark.”


“So?”


“So the Mord offer our assistance in this matter. It will be all but impossible for your forces, for the Silver Gryphon Legacy, to ever reach the Heart, let alone defeat those who guard it and make it out alive. We Mord have more subtle ways. We can accomplish through trickery and negotiation that which you will never win through brute force and excessive magic.”


“Very well, you have my undivided attention. What is your proposition?”


——-


Miri did not return to Raptor House until the afternoon of the 1st of Galuune, having spent the entire weekend with Drazin. When she did return, her news was intriguing, but none of them really trusted the Mord enough to believe his claims. He had promised to broker an alliance between Syvasgaard and Prince Vahnik, the ultimate goal being the total downfall of Lolth once and for all.


With the Mord now out in the open, so to speak, their existence now well known and their previous connection with Mordai established, the return of Lolth would be as much a problem for them as it would the surfacers, perhaps more so. Prince Vahnik supposedly had powers at his disposal that Syvasgaard lacked, even Dove and Emma might not match. Add to that the Mords’ sly and deceptive ways, and the promise of securing and turning over the Heart of Lolth to Syvasgaard was most tempting. A late night visit by Dove, Baellius and Princess Elysia to Raptor Place to discuss Miri’s encounter with the Mord, and her excusal from staying in the dorms that evening, said the SGL was taking the offer quite seriously.

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Spring Term '567 - Back to classes

Event: Back to Classes
Date: 15 Deiclue 566


Kami’s return to classes was also a return to the morgue. Doctor Wittstock, the chief medical examiner for Syvasgaard, had requested she be his student assistant. Apparently, there had been reference made about her performance in biochemistry and her practical experience with dead bodies. She didn’t have the heart to tell him her experience with dead bodies was from a different perspective, i.e. typically being the one to make them that way. Nevertheless, she settled in to a regular routine of working as chief student medical examiner for several hours every evening.


Jay returned to the student corps, but as an advisor to the corps and aide-de-camp for General Falcone. Her duties were few and mostly ceremonial. According to the General, this too was something expected of military commanders as they reached positions of national political influence, to be seen and heard, but not necessarily to lead. She took the opportunity, and all the free time, to further hone her fighting skills and her physique.


Tieran’s occasional hush-hush assignments continued, though with less frequency. There were news articles run from time to time in the Syvasgaard Herald about mysterious deaths, accidents, and lover’s quarrels that ended in murder amongst assorted questionable members of Carellonian society. In most cases, few, if any, were sad to see them go. And though Tieran’s association with any of those events could never be proven, she seemed conspicuously absent from the Midnight Sun on more than a few coincidental occasions.


Miri’s class load picked up at the same time her weekend job suddenly kicked into high gear. Her special clients began to increase and she spent less and less time at the Ironwood and more time in the finer hotels in Syvasgaard township. Her special assignments also began to increase, but they were mostly dealing with collecting information about assorted ambassadors that had become her regulars and passing that information on to Shari. She was quite sure the information was being collected and turned over to the President’s office, though she could never prove that.


Persia’s activities with the Syvasgaard Worldgate continued, and her classes in planar transposition and planar rifts started to get more and more interesting and specific. She began working on the arcanology of the Symballan SunGates and the theories that they had been built long before the formation of the First Symballan Empire. The best way to verify that would be a visit to one of the remote SunGates that were rumored to be found in the deserts of Stygia and Kartush on the continent of Beotharn.


Hawke’s training in demonology and all things nasty and unsavory started to focus into the hierarchy and command structure of Hell itself, as well as the assorted servants and servitor creatures of the Lords of Hell. He spent less and less time in Lord Corthellian’s classes, and more time in comparative religious studies and the demonology classes of Asha von Volstahdt.


And Faize, left alone and excluded from the Night Raptor’s adventures too many times, and seeing no point or future in his education at Kar’Dhaer stopped going to classes and moved out of the dorms. He disappeared for a few weeks and when he returned for a short visit to Raptor Place, they found he’d taken a job working for Shari as well, one where his talents and license as a scout were more useful.

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Spring Term '567 - Bad Reception

Event: Bad Reception
Date: 9 Deiclue 566


The gate trip back to Syvasgaard was uneventful, other than having a vast collection of the SGL there to greet them as they returned. Princess Elysia was decidedly unsure they’d succeeded until they presented her with the information they’d gleaned from the Shrine of Thoth and Surtrik’s new avatar there. Others seemed uncomfortable with using the term ‘avatar’, so ‘projection’ was inserted in all the right places in the telling. So, before they even left the gateroom that night, they’d shared everything they knew of the artifacts of Lolth.


Surtrik had destroyed the Eye of Lolth, but not before using it to glean all the knowledge of the other artifacts that they’d need. He’d left that knowledge in the Shrine of Thoth, or the partition of the shrine that he had originally had access to. Now the Raptors’ key would access that partition as well. The data crystal he’d given them, and the key code to unlock it had given them access to an artificial intelligence formed from Surtrik’s mind. The AI had told them all they wanted, or rather didn’t want to know about the artifacts.


The Egg of Lolth was somewhere in a Draknid’s lair in the remote mountains of Centeyea. It could be used to destroy the Sword of Lolnivog, and could only be destroyed by the Spider Staff, Mystrin’nar.


The Heart of Lolth, they already knew, was in the possession of Opal, Illandra and Delvinia, somewhere in the northwestern Underdark. The Heart of Lolth must be destroyed by stabbing it with the Sword of Lolnivog.


The Mind of Lolth was in an Illithid fortress somewhere in Voidspace. It could be used to destroy Laedusmystren by taking command of the golem and commanding it to destroy itself. In turn, the Mind of Lolth could be destroyed with the Tear of Lolth, flooding its crystal computer logic with emotions.


The Sword of Lolnivog was in the Abyss, on a plane cotangent with the Demonweb Pits, as it was trying to return to its mistress when the city of Lolnivog was destroyed under a volcano, but the Demonweb Pits had already collapsed with Lolth’s death. It could only be destroyed by using the Egg of Lolth to turn it into a living spider so it could be killed.


The Tear of Lolth was in a forest in Arvandor, hidden under the shadows of Olympus itself. It could be used to destroy the Mind of Lolth, and was itself destroyed by Pure and Holy Light of Divine nature, thus it could easily be destroyed right where it lay in Arvandor and prevent the other artifacts from falling as they should.


Laedusmystren was stuck in the Demonweb Pits, inaccessible until the plane reconstituted sufficiently to allow entrance. It had been in Lolth’s planar ship when the plane was destroyed, but even that could not damage it. Laedusmystren was the only force that could snap Mystrin’nar, the unbreakable Staff of the Magi, and survive the blast. In turn, it could be destroyed using the Mind of Lolth to seize control of it.


Mystrin’nar, the Spider Staff, was somewhere in Beotharn, in the possession of a wealthy collector of rare artifacts, salvaged from the ruins of Condortie after Vorhing’s demise. It could destroy the Egg of Lolth, and could only be broken by Lolth herself, or Laedusmystren, her main Retriever.


And the Eye of Lolth, as Surtrik had learned and used the knowledge, could be destroyed by dumping a ridiculous amount of magic into it all at once and commanding it to see all things, thus overloading it and its user.


It was with all that knowledge shared that their part in the tail ended, for a time at least. They were thanked profusely and the story of Surtrik’s sacrifice was told and retold, first to the Princess and the President, then to the Drovik Ambassador to Carellon, Triel Mallabane, and finally to the Reverend Mother of Syvasmyr and the Supreme Reverend Mother of the Church of Isis. By the time they were through with meetings and debriefings, it was two days later. They were given lodging in Syvasgaard and forbidden to contact anyone else until they were done.


They returned to Raptor House early on the ninth of Deiclue, but their reception was not what they’d wished. No sooner had they entered the drive in a Syvasgaard carriage than magius erupted all about the front lawn. There was fresh snow to cover the signs of their previous battles here, but it would soon be gone too. Something that looked very like a gateway opened up, and through it, many six armed warriors charged, their heads a horrid mixture of humanoid and spider. Behind them, a true terror, a monstrous spider looking thing that was clearly demonic in nature, a Bebilith, arguably one of Lolth’s greatest achievements. The warriors charged the carriage while the Bebilith went about webbing the front of the house, making it impossible for any to get out.

Finale:

Facing a Bebilith and eight arachnoid demon warriors, the Night Raptors were sorely pressed. Taking advantage of her new 4th level spells, Kami remained in the carriage as the rest piled out and formed a skirmish line against their attackers. They bought her the time to cast a Mass Holy Sword on them all, giving them power to fight against the demon minions of Lolth. Meanwhile, the Bebilith was busy with another opponent around the corner of the house. None could see who or what the demon spider was fighting. With several attempts at magic upon the Bebilith, Kami was thwarted at every turn, but the Night Raptors were making short work of the arachnoid warriors, even as they were cutting the Raptors down to size. When the Bebilith finally finished with whatever it was that was harrying it, it turned on the group. Hawke was felled with one mighty blow of its armor piercing forelegs. Wendy and Jay weighed in, and Persia and Miri added their guns to the fray. At last the beast dissipated into the foul demonic magius that had summoned it.


Running to investigate, Kami found her beloved Guy, torn to shreds, where he held the demon at bay alone for several rounds. Nothing was to be done for him as they found his soul had already been lost.


The incident at Raptor House added to the mystique about the group, and the students returning to their classes soon had the rumor mill flying about what evils the Raptors might bring down on the mountain next. Some were thrilled that a student venture company had already made such powerful enemies, that it was bound to be entertaining for the rest. Others feared for their own safety and the safety of their friends who might get caught in the crossfire next. Several horses and a carriage driver were already dead. How many more innocents at Syvasgaard and Kar’Daher would pay for simply being too close to such a dangerous target?


As classes began to wind down on the first day of the term, they were all summoned from their various classrooms to the Headmistress’ office in the central tower. She too had concerns that though they were doing the right thing in helping to stop Lolth’s return, others were bound to get caught in the middle, something she wouldn’t allow. Much to their surprise, however, she didn’t wish them to quit or leave Kar’Dhaer or anything else they’d thought of. What she wanted was to cut off the major source of concern and that was the direct attacks on Raptor Place. Thinking that meant they’d all get pulled back into the dorms, they were surprised yet again when she instructed them to wait for her in the main hall downstairs while she gathered some of the other regents.


After what seemed an eternity, with students walking past their table whispering and gazing with worried expressions, the Headmistress, her husband, Baellius Zhinzh, the Regent of the Arcane, and the Regent of Paratechnology, as well as the Reverend Mother of Syvasmyr joined them. They all walked back to Raptor Place together. Then, in a ceremony that lasted several hours, the Headmistress and the others extended the defenses of Kar’Dhaer around Raptor Place and several of the other houses and estates nearby. They might still be targets, but now they could at least sleep at night.

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Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm


The artifacts of Lolth have been named, and now the forces of Good are trying to find them and destroy them so that they cannot be used to bring Lolth back from oblivion a second time. Add to that backdrop the old story of Surtrik and Mollasar Mallabane, the last surviving sons of the Mallabane family line, the last descendants of Treallar. Mollasar led the rebellion that brought down the Mellikan Regime and freed the Drow from the yoke of Lolth’s control,… however, it was Surtrik that dug up all the little secrets about her and had the foresight to keep looking even after she was supposedly dead.


Surtrik moved to the surface world when the Mallabane family was purged, heading a different direction than his older brother, Mollasar. He came to the Symballan desert and eventually accepted a life in the sun. He married a Symballan priestess and began teaching wizardry to the mystics of Isis. They had a half-drow daughter who grew up to be a powerful witch and became the leader of her own sect of the Symballan Church, Triel Mallabane. And her mother soon died of natural causes and old age.


Surtrik saw the first return of Lolth and knew that the prophecy of her three lives would surely come to pass. So he sequestered himself in the desert and collected information about the ancient days of the first Mellikan, Lolth herself. In those years of searching, he stumbled across on the artifacts and spared no expense securing for his own, the Eye of Lolth.


However, as the signs and portents became clearer, and after the future became suddenly unclear to most prophets and seers, he saw no choice but to use the Eye himself in order to see the truth of the other artifacts. But he could not use the Eye in New Phoenix without unleashing a horde of demons from the Abyss and possibly bringing death to his adopted home and himself. So, he sought out the one place where even the Gods would not see him if he used the Eye, a cave within the highest peaks of the Isle of el’Baku on the newly formed Symballan Sea.


With the disruptions in the magius field, and the specific consistency of that cave’s walls, no one would be able to detect his use of the Eye,… or so he thought. The problem was, though he knew the Eye would strike him permanently blind, he did not know that the powerful evil of the Eye would bring to it all manner of monster. He managed to use the Eye and discover the location of some of the artifacts; however, vile creatures laid siege to the island, drawn to the evil of the Eye. Now, he is a prisoner there, locked inside a cave fortress, the island crawling with monsters, and he has no way of getting a message out for help.


Fortunately, in searching for information about the artifacts, the Night Raptors discovered that Surtrik has disappeared and that he was heading for the Isle of el’Baku. If they can fight their way through the sea monsters, land dragons and other horrors on the island, they might be able to reach him and free him. However, he still won’t live long. He has discovered the only way to destroy the Eye, and it will surely claim his life as well.


Finale -

Using the Syvasgaard WorldGate to reach a spot just outside the town of Han-Ra on the southern shores of the Symballan Sea, the Night Raptors went in to meet their contacts, a venture company by the name of the Lions of Martek. Soon after they did, they were attacked on the streets of Han-Ra by one of the Lions’ enemies, the Fire Elemental Mage, Hazaf al’Ghuul, and a mercenary band called the Iron Coil. The Lions were almost uniformly defeated and even the Night Raptors barely managed to stay standing when it was all said and done. However, they did prevail and spent the night in an Inn before setting sail the next morning. They sailed for several days, having numerous enocunters on the dangerous Symballan Sea, and at last pierced the maelstrom that surrounded the Island of el’Baku.


Going ashore, they were immediately beset by the primitive nature of the place and found that it had been populated from several distant periods of the past due to the temporal and dimensional rifts that covered most of the Symballan Sea. They battled their way through giant crabs, giant spiders, a whole village of minotaurs, flew over a valley filled with thousands of giant ants, and at last entered the Caverns of Fire, where they fought and almost died at the jaws and breath weapon of an ancient land dragon (a Vishap). Passing through lava filled caverns, they reached the fluxstone lined Caves of Sight and found ancient Symballan ruins from the first empire (over 8000 years old). After one tough battle with a half dozen mummies, they found a magical bottle and freed the genie within it, only to find out she was not only the daughter of the Pasha of the Djinn, but had been the Queen of the Pharaoh Nerris al’Helios. She, Nahara beni’Pashan al’Ymir, had been condemned to her prison for falling in love with a mortal. Finding a nearby lava flow, Kami tossed the bottle in, breaking her imprisonment for all time and freeing her,… allowing her to come back as a mortal Air Elemental Mage.


At the base of the Mage’s Tower, they found it beseiged by an Efreeti and a half dozen Salamanders. They were aided by Nahara, now a mortal Half-Genie, and won their entrance into Surtrik’s tower. There they found the legendary Drow Mage withered and dying from his use of the Eye of Lolth. He gave them a red flux crystal and told them to take it where all knowledge could be found, then returned to his conjuring room. There he sent them back to the beach where they landed then destroyed the Eye of Lolth, and himself with it.


Sailing quickly to the western shores of the sea, they contacted Syvasgaard and had them open the WorldGate so they could escape the disruptions of the Symballan Sea. Back in Syvasgaard, they used their Key to the Shrine of Thoth and discovered that Surtrik had modified it, taking them to a more technological room than they were used to. There, they puzzled out the clues and downloaded the data from the red flux crystal into the Shrine’s computer system, discovering they had been carrying an AI built from Surtrik’s mind. He told them all he knew about the Artifacts of Lolth, where they were, and more importantly, how to destroy them, and bade them spread that knowledge far and wide. The more people that knew, the less of a target they would be for Lolth’s revenge.

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Quick Catch Up

Fast Forward


The 7th Campaign started a few days before graduation in the year 18566 GC (Gailen Calendar). We picked up with the arrival of Josephine Spectre’s betrothed, and their two children and his servants, to set up their household on the mountain, on a plot of land between Kar’Dhaer Academy and the fortress of Syvasgaard. Jo was a graduating senior, from the school of Paratechnology (a Fighter/Mage-Paratech/WarMage). Others were introduced as well. Kamilah Zahara beni’K-Dar al’Durran, one of the acolytes of the Temple of Isis (a Mage/Cleric/Mystic). Her older sister, Jarah Mahdi beni’K-Dar al’Durran, a retired Master Sergeant of Symballan Elite Desert Guard, and a veteran of the Three Wars, transfered in as a 4th year, and assigned by the Church as Kami’s guardian,… one of the Feyhd’ahki (a Psionicist-Psi-Warrior). Two travelers made their way across Foxmoor and in an ill-fated meeting on the streets of Draknan-Gar, they forged a friendship with the two sisters. One was a rogue from the Sylvisan peoples, a Guild registered scout and trailsman, Faize Sheifa Beleth (a Thief-Scout). The other was an outlander, Jonathan Hawke, a man from across the Golden Ocean, from the kingdom of Sonntaglia on the continent of Hesterland. He had been a Ranger and a Bountyhunter in a former life. Following the death of his family, he joined the Church to absolve his sins, but that didn’t work. He eventually became a Demonhunter (a Ranger-Bountyhunter/Cleric/Demonhunter). Others were Gwendolyn Pleiades, a half-human half-amethyst Dragon from the southern kingdom of Hellenia (a Psionicist-Kar’Thane Warrior). Thene there was Persia Fawcett Montgomery, half Zeigus elf, half-Diamond Dragon, a rogue and wanted tomb robber from Xanthius, Equideyea (a Thief/Psionicist-Traveler). From Carellon came the Zeigus elven Bard, Tieran Vallour, secretly an assassin for the Tallivian Guard, Carellon’s secret service (a Bard-Spellsinger/Thief-Assassin). Others would come and go as time went by; Nimrod Goldenballs, a Dwarven entrepreneur of all things sexual; Xavier Kleg, a human off-worlder with a long and disturbing past; and Albert Zanador, known as Aahz, a Paratech with too many skeletons in his closet.


Their initial meeting and their first battle dropped them squarely in the middle of a plot to assassinate a prominent figure at the graduation ceremony. Following up, and being in the right place at the right time, they thwarted the assassination. But like so many good deeds, that merely got them in trouble. That trouble came in the form of an assignment by the School’s headmistress to go to a vile place known as Old Calladon, an adventurers’ test (and graveyard) far in the north, to investigate the source of the Drow who’d tried to assassinate the Dowager Duchess Tawny Steward. That began a summer long adventure that ended with the newly formed Venture Company, the Night Raptors, finding the Codex of Lhaegen’dirik, an ancient Mord Elven artifact which contained the secrets of Lolth, namely the identity of the eight artifacts that had allowed her to keep coming back from destruction.


At the end of their adventure in the western UnderDark, they returned to New Calladon, where they were treated like honored guests by the Temple of Bahamut, and had several other adventures. One involved a tribe of strange Goblins infused with Shadow energy. The Night Raptors faced the whole tribe, killed or drove them all off, and found the source of their wealth, a paratech machine that drained the life energy of elves and created cursed potions of longevity. The group dismantled the machine and destroyed the whole cave complex. In the process, they met Drazin Vorn, a kind of ambassador for the Mord Elves, and added another character, Mirielle Vyronnataen, a Delsian Elf rogue and prostitue (a Thief/Erotic/Arcane Rogue).


After returning to New Calladon and attending the wedding of an NPC they’d “rescued” on their long journey in the UnderDark, they returned to their hotel to find Hawke had been abducted. Using the Shrine of Thoth, they discovered where he’d been taken, an insane asylum on the central coast of Carellon. They traveled there, battled ghosts and cursed spirits and defeated the Hell’s Harlot that was holding him prisoner. Getting to the source of the curse on the place, they uncovered an ancient temple to Dagon, and one of the patients, a woman suffering from multiple personalities, revealed her true nature to defeat the Demon Prince. She had been possessed hundreds of years ago by both an angel and a demon, and the two battled eternally for her soul.


Returning to school, they continued to uncover secrets about both the artifacts of Lolth and the previous owner of the spot where Kar’Dhaer Academy now stood, the infamous Lady MacDaer. They moved off campus into their own house, purchased with but a fraction of the treasures they’d brought back from their summer’s adventuring. Miri got a job as a prostitute down in Draknan-Gar, and was requested by a special client one night, none other than Drazin Vorn, the Mord Elf. She also came into conflict with the sorority of the beautiful girls, known as Sigma Pi (the Sisters of the Pearl), mostly for refusing to have anything to do with them. Jarah was made the commander of the student corps, the military trainees at Kar’Dhaer. Kami began working in the Syvasgaard morgue perfomring autopsies. Hawke and Faize joined the school as 2nd Years, as did Miri.


By the end of the fall term, they had another assignment, this one straight from the office of the President of the Western Alliance. They were to go to the island of el’Baku in the Symballan Sea and find the Drow wizard, Surtrik Mallabane, who was reported to possess one of the artifacts of Lolth, the Eye of Lolth.

That is the adventure the group is now on,…

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Kar'Dhaer Day One

First Day


Kar’Dhaer Academy was but one of several major centers of expansion on top of Mount Syvasmyr. There was Syvasgaard, the first fortress built here several years before, to serve as a base for Legacy operations and to keep a watchful eye on the rift deep beneath the Elven Life Tree. It had become the base of operations of the Silver Gryphon Legacy, and in time, the capitol building of the new city state of Syvasgaard. Following an attack by the Sisters of Pain and Pleasure that crippled Syvasgaard and killed many innocents, the assorted merchants, servants and workers were moved outside the fortress gates. Their shacks and wagons were quickly replaced with houses and shops and warehouses, and a town began to grow. The town of Syvasgaard served the needs of the fortress, its warriors and agents, scientists and mages. To the east, the ancient ruins of Castle Nol’Dhaer were taken over and rebuilt from the foundation up, into the great academy of science and mysticism now called Kar’Dhaer. Even further east, along the far cliffs of the mountain, catching the first rays of the rising Apos, sat the Temple of Isis at Syvasmyr. And like Syvasgaard and Kar’Dhaer, it too was soon surrounded by a growing host of buildings and businesses. In between, and scattered across the rest of the mountain top, was the Syvasmyr air field, home of the Ravenclaw airship and its kin, the Elven village of Ellindimyr where the Light of Corellon resided and ministered to her flock, and a half dozen private residences and mansions for the many ambassadors and envoys to the President of the Western Alliance. Now, even the once abandoned village of Draknan-Gar sitting at the base of the mountain had been rebuilt and repopulated. It was the major trading hub for the caravans and wagon trains that made their way into the mountains from Nice Little Place, Dient and Foxmoor. Warehouses and liveries, stables and stockyards had spread out into what was once called the Drider Woods as the town began to expand. It had all the atmosphere of a Carellonian frontier town.


When students began to collect here to start classes in Kar’Dhaer Academy, it was no time at all until they had discovered the town of Draknan-Gar, and its townsfolk discovered they had a ready supply of foolish customers who’d spend money on anything. Draknan-Gar began to grow like a weed, supplying all the interests of the young students on their days off from classes. Of course, freedom led to trouble and trouble led to rules and restrictions. It took the better part of the first year for Dove and the regents of Kar’Dhaer to come to an understanding with the merchants, bars and brothels of Draknan-Gar regarding student behavior and what they could and couldn’t purchase. Obviously, where there was illicit money to be had, the Syndicate soon showed an interest. That’s when the SGL stepped in and took control of matters, three of the SGL to be specific; Shari Yvari, Sable, and Giselle Wellsden. By the time it was all done, Shari had secured the position of Syndicate Boss of Syvasgaard, and the threatened involvement of neighboring syndicate bosses from Hillshome and Mandragora had been quietly and bloodlessly shut down.


Into its third year of classes, Kar’Dhaer had added several new aspects to its curriculum. Pilot training was now being conducted at the Kar’Dhaer airfield, in an assortment of new aircraft and airship designs. There were the few lighter than air airships, the older open deck airships that were more boat than aircraft, and the new, sleek, pressurized cabin aircraft with shapeshifting structures and paratech turbine engines, like the now famed Ravenclaw. And that wasn’t the only technology and paratechnology beginning to leak out of Syvasgaard and into the general populace. It was widely held across five kingdoms now that Syvasgaard was THE place for paratechs and paratechnical marvels.


The huge influx of applicants in its first year was sufficient to force Dove to adopt restrictive selection criteria lest they be overcome and drowned beneath the tide of students. Those lucky enough, good enough, and smart enough to be selected were warned not to think too highly of themselves. The classes were unforgiving, the laboratories brutal, and the standards astronomical. Even at that, the total washout rate rarely exceeded 10%. But as hard as they were expected to work, they played just as hard.


A new world view had somehow settled on most people from the kingdoms of Callona. It was as if the whole world suddenly woke up one morning and realized they’d dodged the bullet. What could have been the end of the world had been narrowly avoided. For those well versed in Silver Gryphon lore, that was nothing new. They had saved the world, narrowly avoided complete destruction, or stopped Ragnarok at least a dozen times, if stories were to be believed. And the willful ignorance that had settled in during the last great period of peace on Callona had so far been avoided. People knew there were monsters out there, and down here, and they were not going to forget that fact. And though there was almost no one who had been untouched by the Three Wars, most had sworn to put the ancient hatreds behind them. There were bigger threats than their neighbor’s culture or Gods. The world was once again at peace, but that didn’t mean that bad things and bad people weren’t still a threat.


Professor Corthellian had been teaching Contemporary Demonology and Monster Lore since before the first stone had been moved at the Kar’Dhaer construction site. Of course, back then, he was known as Lord Corthellian of the Legacy, not Professor. All students were required to take his classes, be they first years or transferring seniors. They all got a taste of the monstrosities that were out there, but most attended to hear the war stories of the Silver Gryphon and the Silver Gryphon Legacy. Still others took the class to catch an occasional glimpse of the ravishing Vampiel who showed up for not-so-secret meetings with the old Demonhunter from time to time. What they all got out of the class was a laundry list of villains and horrors that neither the Silver Gryphon nor the SGL had managed to totally vanquish.


The organization known as COVE was gone, at least as far as anyone knew. The three leaders were either dead or driven into hiding. Eris Ashagra, the Half-Demon Warmaster had been slain and sent back to the Abyss in so many pieces. Ashley Renaux, the last Witch Mother of the Coven of Fenris, and the reincarnation of Cassandra Mourngrym, had been killed and Cassandra’s soul destroyed utterly by a backlash of her own vile magic. The sneaky backstabbing Drow Witch, Eclavdra Cormreal had fled to the Western UnderDark somewhere, but even the psionic Secret Police force of the Drovikallum could not find her. Their forces, their giants, their fortress, their Illithid and Deurgar allies, and even their liquid fluxstone artifact had all been destroyed. COVE was the Coalition of Vengeance no more.


The Sisters of Pain and Pleasure, who had so nearly destroyed Syvasgaard before it even started, had also been dismantled. The last of them was killed or captured by the SGL before the Avatar War began. Corrywyn and Danoewyn had fallen to the justice of the Church of Aphrodite, as dispensed by Fallon Bree Shanahan. The militant humanoids, the Orc Executioner Vaal’khan and the Hobgoblin Monk Vhaandor, were killed in Skullport, taken down with their army of Half-Giant and Hobgoblin women warriors. Krysalline came face to face with Syphielle, and the two learned their true identity, that they were part of the same Krell elementalist, shattered in to two parts by one of Shang’s artifacts. Their recombination was the death of both. Myribeth Havendur had been killed following the encounter with the cursed Cosmescu twins west of Goblinvale. And Marvella, never able to resist showing off for a crowd, was captured, tried and sentenced to prison for complicity, since no-one had any solid evidence she’d actually taken part in any of the Sisters’ vile deeds. All the others had either died at the hands of the SGL earlier, or in the abortive attempt to steal the throne of Shindelavri from Ariostrophius.


The Harpies had disbanded, with Danai and Deurrine heading back to the Valley of Pele with Telleminae in tow. Illandra Blacklighter had become a solid fixture at the fortress of House Honglathor, and was now Opal’s best friend. Some might say she was Opal’s only friend. Syadina had returned from the desert and ran smack dap into Serenity. The Kar’Thane Sorceress was quickly exposed and her evil ended just as quickly. Elsbeth returned to Cantellzan on a flight to visit Wolverine. Where she went after that, none knew. And Angst was, as last report from the Demonhunter and his network would put it, still serving Cameron Quinn, though the location of their lair was unclear at best.


The Jeweled Cobra, once a thing of legend, had met their fate at the hands of the Olde Silver Gryphon after the kidnapping of the crowned prince of Carellon, Aaron Draggenbrand. Queen Amanda retired after that misadventure and Aaron took the thrown. The last of the Jeweled Cobra, the Amber Mage, Sciorro, had never resurfaced after his narrow escape.


In the east, Lithia and her minions were still active, though they were now hunted not just by the new, less pacifist throne of Hermaphros, but by the Atheaen and Equideyean authorities as well. There were rumors they were hiding in the wild swamps and mountains of Maeceyea, but no one really cared to go looking for them as long as they stayed out of things.


The Khang Frontier, long a source of trouble and undead, had lost its power when Mordai was finally destroyed by Talon. Without its defense, and sure of unending trouble without it, the Khang Empire had sued for peace with the Pouarr Nation. Their peace accord was part of the political reconciliation that had formed the Western Alliance. Now people were even beginning to accept orcs into polite society,… sort of. And cromlechs all over the continent were now visited by Druids and wedding parties more often than by Dark Druids and Mord Wraiths.


But that was not to say there were no monsters or powerful villains left. The one Corthellian feared the most, Nuria Nellethym, the Krell Nephilim who infiltrated Kar’Dhaer and had tried to steal the Shadow Prophecy, was still alive. She was last seen in the sanctuary of COVE at Yagvorthane, before the fortress was destroyed and COVE defeated. Where she escaped to, none knew. And though Ragnarok was stopped yet again, and Brock Uttman and Thoulbrek Bloodjaws finally killed, there was still a threat from the Wolf Hordes and the Tarkanians. Forces had begun to stir in the Western UnderDark, and there was talk of political unrest in the Drovikallum. Viridian society was growing more violent, and some feared the new Caesar was going mad. And in the Pouarr lands, rumors had begun to spread of an ancient force of evil, a band which had borne the name of Gryphon long before the Silver Gryphon. Story had it, the Black Gryphon had returned.


Needless to say, right after the first day of Professor Corthellian’s class, many students went out and signed up for advanced hand-to-hand and weapons classes. Others took what little money they had and ran out to buy a ring or amulet of protection, as if such trinkets would save them if they came face to face with any of the SGL or Silver Gryphon’s arch-enemies. Then time would tick by, the weekend would come, the students would get wasted on Jebsenville cider or Shabrundi ale, and the fear would pass.

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