Campaign V: Chapter Two, Mission Eight

Recap: As the party travelled on through another day, a dark storm followed them down out of the mountains, and onto the foothills of the Dalenath Plains. After the sleet and rain and hail and snow had cleared, near midnight, a thick, freezing fog rolled in out of the darkness. From within it, a great voice asked, "Why did you kill Blue?"

They spoke with the voice, while Poy, Zan, and Sam tried to penetrate the darkness to find the source of it. Phoenix took to her eagle form, and soared high above the mists -- to find only a starlit canopy, and a roiling mass of gray below. The voice spoke in Druidic, nameing a place and date to meet him, if Phoenix wished to replace her scimitar, and Faeradd wished to know more about his people. The voice did not respond, when Sam called it, "Coward!" But a clawed hand so large that the Black Rock Merc stood between two of its fingers made the weaponmaster quite aware of the danger they faced.

"In five days, you shall meet me in the Valley of Shadows -- two days east of the Bandit King's cave."

The party met the Hoar Frost Clan in the Valley of Shadows, where Toomaran Plainsmen had traded their horses for minotaur lizards, and accepted the benevolent leadership of a druidic white dragon. Tangala'asaleph offered to aid the party to escape the hated Inquisition, and further the cause of the druids around the world. Through Aran, Tangala's appointed representative, the party would be equipped from the dragon's hoard for the dangers that lay ahead in their journey to Rakore. Tangala would even take the party a thousand miles west, deep into the Laekenala Jungle, to help them on their way.

Zan killed a man, for no other reason than his own, inherant evil. The victim was discovered missing on the first day. The clan's warriors searched for him on the second day. The clan's elders searched for him with their druidic might on the third day. Tangala'asaleph found the victim's spirit, and knew who the murderer was. Only Faeradd's hasty threat of Prophecy stopped the white dragon from turning Zan over to the elders for sentancing as a treant.

In exchange for Zan, the party would turn over Oorhl as a hostage -- and Sam would have a geas laid upon him. Responsibility for the assassin would lay heavily upon the party, as Tangala summoned the mists to take them away. When the mists cleared, they were within an alien world -- the Laekenala Jungle.

The date is Lan the 9th, 1328 Avard -- on a cool, wet day with the clouds unseen in the canopy, and the rising sun hidden by the forest.

DM Notes: Seeker Devray and Imperial Guardsman Toth are all that remain of a strike force to eliminate the Hoar Frost Clan. They seek vengeance, but it will wait, as they must return to Vridara for healing, and assistance.

Cali-bras has rescued Moon Break, and the two have set about to find Travis Duraset and enlist his aid. Travis has moved through the capital of Brevit and left a swath of chaos and church rivalries in his wake. He has freed the Moon clan from the Imperial courts as only a paladin of Rahne can, and forced the Ten Churches of Rahne in Brevit to bow before his logic. Brevit is only now returning to order, but the Moon clas has returned to the Vridaran Forests with prayers for the gnome and his friends, and for Travis Duraset.

The party is now near the town of Sevestal, a trade city that nearly perished in the War of the Undead. They will have to fight their way through hordes of undead, and face the dreadful undead leader Vessiss to escape. And in the midst of it all, Prophecy will speak true and by name.

The town of Sevestal used to trade in spices, herbs, and drugs with down river Kur Maeth. Sloops and smaller canoes used to bring it all down river, along with the occasional raw gemstone or bit of gold. The War of the Undead first saw Kur Maeth's evil wiped out, with its villains forced to flee upriver -- to towns and villages like Sevestal. Some years after that, Vessiss began to rule the town at night, bringing in his army of undead. She keeps them in check as a undead priestess of Dakis, ruling as a small queen.

Vessiss dreams of amassing a large enough army of undead to march through the jungle unchecked towards Kur Maeth, but a number of obstacles remain in her path. Her latest conquest is a hill giant named Ratrah, left over from the Nabrolian invasion of Kur Maeth. She also has a personal bodyguard of undead servants, and has let loose the communal grave yard.

Sevestal is a town in fear. No one can escape, because at night, Sevviss' undead minions will find them and bring them back, no matter where they might lie, (Wizard Marking all the townspeople). Her hypnotic stare has placed a geas on all the adult males, such that they cannot warn outsiders, or ever leave. The two itself is slowly dying, barely eaking out a living in the rough soil, and from the jungle and the river. FYI, the people are a mix of Slate and Sholin, with some Nabrolians and Amarans thrown into the mix. A few dwarven slaves are the property of the evil lords, whom Sevviss lets rule during the day.

Sevestal located along hilly bend in the river. Town surrounded by wooden palisade with earthen embankment and stakes. Homes and buildings made of huge trees and some stone.
All doors and windows have a wizard mark above them.
Largest building has tunnels built deep into the earth to protect the undead from sunlight.
Fields are full of tall beans and wheat, outside of palisade.
River supplies six foot long fish.
Jungle supplies fruits and tubers; predators fearful of the undead.

Fishers, Farmers, Gatherers
Miller, Vandar: powerfully built 45y old slate male
Blacksmith, Kulthkebar: lean and tough 25y old Nabrolian male
Potter, Damtian: small Amaran woman of 55y
Baker, Shulbur: young slate man of 16y
Mason, Thalis: strong slate male of 58y
Tanner, Siaminar: small Sholin man of 32y
Herbalist, Johrel: huge slate man of 45y
Innkeeper, Shandra: large slate woman of 34y
Weaver, Dinella: tough Nabrolian woman of 26y
Weaponsmith, Briarbeard: broken Dwarven man of 330y

Ratrah: undead hill giant Ftr8; CR 15; Size L (10 ft., 8 in. tall); HD 12d8+84 + 8d10+56; hp 247; Init +4; Spd 40 ft.; AC 22 (-1 Size, +9 Natural, +4 large steel shield +2); Attack +26/+21/+16 melee (keen greatsword +2, 2d6+13, crit 14-20 x2), or +14/+9/+4 ranged (longspear, 1d8+10, range incr 40ft, crit 20 x3); SV Fort +21, Ref +6, Will +7; AL NE; Str 30, Dex 11, Con 24, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 19. Languages Spoken: Nabrolian, Giant. Skills and feats: Climb +19, Craft +11, Hide -4, Jump +15, Listen +1, Move silently +0, Spot +5; [Cleave], Improved Initiative, Endurance, Far shot, Great cleave, Improved unarmed strike, X, [Power attack], X, Weapon Focus (Greatsword), Quick draw. Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage. Possessions: keen greatsword +2 of red light, large steel shield +2 (4,170 gp), sapphire skull (20,000gp).

Vessiss: female undead elf Wiz8/Clr6 (Dakis); CR 14; Size M (4 ft., 9 in. tall); HD 8d4-8 + 6d8-6; hp 35; Init +3 (+3 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 18 (+3 Dex, ring of protection +5); Attack +7/+2 melee, or +11/+6 ranged (composite longbow +3, 1d8, range inc 100ft, crit 20 x3); SV Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +14; AL NE; Str 9, Dex 16, Con 9, Int 20, Wis 16, Cha 10. Languages Spoken: Olde Common, Common, Elven, Nathelian, Nabrolian. Skills and feats: Forgery +8.5, Hide +7, Intuit direction +8.5, Knowledge +12, Knowledge (arcana) +16, Knowledge (nature) +8.5, Knowledge (religion) +17, Listen +5, Move silently +3, Open lock +5, Profession +12, Scry +14, Search +7, Sense motive +6.5, Spellcraft +17, Spot +9.5, Swim +2; Martial weapon proficiency (composite longbow), Combat casting, Empower spell, Maximize spell, Quicken spell, [Scribe scroll], Skill focus (knowledge (arcana)). Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage. Possessions: ring of protection +5 (50,000 gp), enchanted spellbook with all listed spells (lightning bolt trap), holy symbol in an amulet of onyx and platinum (2,000gp), composite longbow +3 (18,400 gp), quiver of arrows.

Wizard Spells Known (4/6/4/4/3): 0th -- Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Daze, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Disrupt Undead, Flare, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Open/Close, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Read Magic, Resistance. 1st -- Charm Person, Comprehend Languages, Feather Fall, Identify, Mage Armor, Shield, Shocking Grasp, Sleep. 2nd -- Invisibility, Knock, Mirror Image, See Invisibility, Web. 3rd -- Dispel Magic, Fly, Hold Person, Invisibility Sphere, Lightning Bolt, Slow, Summon Monster III. 4th -- Arcane Eye, Fear, Fire Trap, Polymorph Other, Polymorph Self.

Cleric Spells Per Day: 5/4+1/4+1/3+1, evil and trickery domains. 0th -- Detect Magic, Putrify Food and Drink, Light. 1st -- Cause Fear, Comprehend Languages, Curse Water, Detect Good, Invisibility to Undead, Obscuring Mist, Sanctuary. 2nd -- Desecrate, Inflict Moderate Wounds, Hold Person, Shatter, Silence, Undetectable Alignment. 3rd -- Contagion, Deeper Darkness, Glyph of Waring, Inflict Serious Wounds, Invisibility Purge, Mage Circle against Good, Stone Shape.

Treasure: several tons of golden nuggets (20,000gp worth), hundreds of large gems (50,000gp worth), several tons of spices and herbs (10,000gp worth).