Session Seventy-One Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)
Session 71, November 17 2021
We continue at 9:30PM on the 28th of Laurilden (00.000.10.03 on the Apocalypse Clock) with the party cowering inside the open web portal after fleeing back inside to escape the giant bridge automaton guarding Xen'Khel. Can the group sneak the rest of the way across the wasteland and arrive in one piece at Xen'Khel? Will the portal be damaged further by either blunt force or the sun? Who's pulling the strings of that colossal guardian? Maybe there will be answers, maybe not ...
Felix & Lambertus heal up all the wounded and get Kauri and Druul conscious. We the retreat into the portal and Velkin closes it up to wait until dawn to shadow step to the mountain. Velkin is approached by what we later surmise to be two DVLs operating the colossus that hit us with a bridge. We later learned that the DVLs are using the colossi for a blockade to keep others from gaining access to things in Xen Khel. The dragon emperor's people were there prior to that.
Druul used the scepter to heal Khelratha who failed his save and raved about all kinds of things. It was hard to tell a difference from his usual ramblings other than they were much louder and more animated. Khelratha was restrained so it didn't cause any real issues.
Felix, Lambertus, & Kauri rested and re-charged their spells off the portal. Once again, the portal was destabilized, because of this. One apprentice cryoturge lost his hand when the portal collapsed.
The next morning, Velkin shadow stepped onto the trail up the mountain past the guard house. Velkin noticed a humanoid shape at the guardhouse looking down the trail. Wisely, he went beyond where the figure could see him open the portal and we all quickly exited. Khelratha moved up and suggested a building to enter. On the way, Velkin, who was invisible, closed doors and held them so the infected would not react to us. The hobgoblin tried to make a break for it, but we killed him before he could alert any creatures to our presence. Lungmold scanned and detected wrong minds to warn us.
The building we headed to was occupied with normal minds. Khelratha knocked and when asked who's there? answered that we were invited. We were let in when Velkin mentioned Allician Haynes. We were informed of the blockade and that the infected are all over, and that they have blocked off some areas. We went a different route and followed a path along the canyon and behind the Hammer Falls. A non-dwarven construction with enormous iron doors with embossing of a dragon were inside.
We were escorted to Allician, who had food and drink brought, and then escorted us to the Dragon Emperor. On the way, Tik Tok let out a scream. Something isn't right. Felix stayed behind with Tik Tok, as did the Winter Elves, and Raynarth. Raynarth is here hunting illegally, and doesn't want to meet his "true king." Especially because of his allegiance to the Winter King.
We were escorted to a large room with a dais and a middle aged looking man in a white robe on the throne. He was not impressed with our looks and asked someone off to the side, if this was them. Jardin stepped out, who did not recognize any of us, and no one in the party recognized him.
Velkin Scrolls 38 - Session 71
Lorilden 28 Evening Moon 1: Half moon Moon 2: ¼ waxing
I’m on the plain, invisible, hiding in a crater with the gigantic automaton keeping lookout over the area surrounding Xhen Khel waiting until almost dawn to shadowstep to Xhen Khel’s immediate surrounds. Hopefully the night will pass uneventfully.
So much for that, well mainly uneventfully. A couple DVL’s came poking around the crater, I couldn’t understand them but they see where Kauri and I got bloody, and moved back toward the Automaton. The automaton is evidently being run by a DVL or under it’s control as it pays no attention to the creatures walking by it., and it’s guarding Xhen Khel from anything trying to head that direction… and maybe getting away from as well….
The night passes uneventfully and as the morning shadows pass along the path leading up to the outer settlement, I shadowstep above the gatehouse toward the city. There’s a humanoid figure near the gatehouse keeping watch on the approach to the gate. I leave him be and move on up the path around the bend out of it’s perception, I hope. The Automaton is focused outward and so I open the portal and bring the party out and head toward the settlement atop the mesa.
Not much happened while they were waiting for me, this is what they told me: Back in the Winter King’s area, the portal to the winter realm, is a lot more flickery now.
One of the apprentices who was putting his hand in and out gets his hand amputated. The portal winks out of existence and stays gone for a bit. Then comes back. Wrathmere, one of the mages lungmold talks to looks perplexed and wanders towards the party stroking his chin.
Druul interprets Rathmere. He asks for help with the malfunctioning portal. Borthan suggests there’s an interruption in the flow of power to the portal.
Kauri – explores the idea of using blood magic energy to power the control circlet with TickTock. They weren’t DVL’s in the circlets. He says the automatons shouldn’t be working. It could be like his clock, the DVL just hangs out with his happy place. If so, the circlet would be useless if it’s a free DVL…
Their conclusions about the automaton coincide with what I saw with the DVL’s wandering about last night.
As we approach the city KhelRatha seems to know the way. I hear noises that aren’t from the wind, but could be associated with the dead/not dead creatures. Lungmold scans and between his telepathic sense and my stealth, some luck and a pint of oil for squeaky hinges, we pass by a number of undead before the belligerent hobgoblin attempts to escape. He’s quickly brought down without alerting any of the creatures. Forcas brings him down with a poisoned bolt.
I’m refining my idea of Forcas’ servitude. The little guy is quite helpful. Our current set of circumstances and reality require a much more cooperative effort for survival and continued existence than a master/servant arrangement. I’m loathe to lose a servant, however, could it be that slavery isn’t as perfect as I once percieved? The bonds of a common goal with these varied personas and races I travel with are enlightening in the lengths this party will go for each other. Those who’ve sworn to the Winter King somewhat excepted from that. Divided loyalties could be a problem for the Wardens of Meidia. Or not. As yet to be determined.
We reach a larger building toward the gate leading deeper into the Khel and Lungmold detects normal thoughts. It turns out the Dervishes were watching us as we made our way through the past few hundred yards or so. The Redcloaks let us in when we mention Alisceon Hayne’s invite. They lead us down into the Khel relating the current and recently passed events here at Xhen Khel. He takes us to the Dragon King Azreal’s current domain. It isn’t much, and we pass through some sketchy areas of the Khel, along a river and behind a waterfall.
We’re offered food, water and a brief rest before meeting Azreal. Alisceon’s official uniform of office, an Inquisitor, has her wearing a mask with a mirror-like surface.
As we’re led to meet the Dragon Emperor, TikTok gets restless and Kauri relates there’s something ugly ahead, it’s messing him up, he can’t tell time, and he’s got vertigo or something. We leave him with his clock along with Felix and Raynarth and some others outside that influence. Raynarth is from the Empire and looks peaked at meeting his previous liege.
We meet Jardin and Azrael.