q20

Busted.

Late Summer 506

We gathered up some of the things we had found and made our way up the ladder. Hilo was bringing back one of the tower shields.. well, or at least was going to use it like one. Our host was happy to see us again, but was more than ready to leave before it got fully dark. We departed from that evil place only to find ourselves surrounded by those corrupt deer. After trying to pass through them both Slavomir and Fulframent called for a retreat – and it was just in time. several started to charge us and we all returned to the small entrance to the evil hole. Hilo guarded the door while a few of the deep butted and bashed into it, testing our defenses before giving up. They must be waiting for us to come out, so we made camp for the night inside the abandoned location.

I apologized to Slavomir for all of this, but he seemed to be taking it in stride, making it a point of pride that he would be the first of his people to make it out alive if we made it back.

With the new found time on our hands everyone tried to busy themselves. Hilo read the chemistry tomes that we had found, Olloth did… his usual poking around at magical things. I suppose Kral went around doing something that no one saw and we never realized it. I really should keep a better eye on him. Fulframent started training his little blue bird I believe, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he was a little upset over sending the other one to die in the mist.

We all tried to sleep, and occasionally one of us would climb up to see if it was daytime yet. When it finally was we set of, the tainted deer no longer in large numbers around the entrance to that damned place.

We quickly made our way to the hunting lodge where we ran into Slavomir’s people who were waiting for us. They were relieved to see us all and ecstatic to hear that we had lead the way to the purification of Jakob island. We started to head back to the village when one of the men told us that there was a guest who wanted to see us, from off of the island, and he knew our names. Our uplifted spirits were brought crashing to the ground. No one could tell us his name, or anything else other than he wore robes.
[Will finish on friday[ (NO YOU DIDN’T!)

The group met with Miroslav Adamek, a church inquisitor who Hilo Vruk decided to tell absolutely everything to. Inquisitor Adamek essentially employed the group on behalf of the church to help with the threat of “DC” and “New-Life” as the group actually seemed to have more direct experience than the church. After some extensive conversations and a later meeting back in Pevnost the group was given a official inquisition symbol to prove they are working on his behalf. As the inquisitor was leaving he gave them a copy of “Prieur’s Log” (see items section, don’t know how to link to items here…)

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In This Episode, The Gang Finds Goodies

We decided to enter the structure on the island. It seems that the place has had some kind of long-standing curse. The entrance was made almost entirely of metal, and the obvious door inside was locked. There was a ladder down, but Slavmir said no one had ever survived going down there.

After some thought, I decided it might be some kind of knock-out gas. Fulframent gathered a few live birds, and I created a magical barrier of air around it and sent it down. It came back up healthy. We tried again without the barrier and it seemed to rot rapidly, as it if had been dead and rotting for days.

I decided it was worth the risk and I put the bubble around myself and headed down. I sensed a large undead presence as I got around halfway down the 30ft ladder. Carefully, I climbed the rest of the way down without dropping into the room, and took a peak into the room below. There was a massive flesh golem, who seemed to not notice me at all. I quickly climbed back up while we decided how to deal with it.

We tossed around a few ideas, and decided upon making a ton of noise to get it under the hole, and then trying to kill it by dropping flammable material on it and hitting it with ranged weapons. The others made quick work of it and it left the access hole. Hilo volunteered himself to go down, and a moment later, he declared that he had finished it off.

There was a hallway that led to some cells with zombies in them. I went down there and got the gas pushed into the hall, and the others moved the golem into the dead-end hall as well. We sealed it up good and the source of the rotting gas was gone.

After further exploration, we found many interesting things. It seemed a battle between necromancers and new life may have taken place, possibly the church as well. There was many non-magical books and journals, as well as chemicals and materials. We found a crushed new-life and took some samples of it.

It seems this may have been an early new-life creation laboratory at one point. There were many artifacts down here as well, necromancer armor, shields, weapons, and some rings. I’m particularly interested in the rings, it seems they can augment power.

There was also a room with many of the mysterious power stones and teleporter stones, it seems in their raw form, not hooked up or inactive currently. Those could be of use as well. We will have to carefully bring a lot of this stuff back for study.

EDIT: For baro DUCKS AND DEER. They were creepy looking.

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I'm saaaaaaailing!

The next week was uneventful. Fulframent set out to keep an eye on the island the group has spotted weeks before while Jiri went to the church’s new camp to see what sort of reaction they had sent.

The church had set up a tent over and around the ‘entrance’ Hilo had made into the sphere. Jiri was essentially told to keep away since it was dangerous, and estimated that the church had sent somewhere between 30 to 50 men.

Hilo spent most of the week smoking and neglecting to grease his hammer.

When Fulframent returned the party set out for Koda to commandeer a ship and crew to inspect the island. They reached their destination and discovered that it was a group of three islands. They landed at the middle sized one and sent Fulframent ashore to scout. Fulframent found a shrine to Girus that had offerings left on it, as well as a small bay with canoes.

Before he returned to the ship the party spotted a man who ducked away and ran without greeting them. When Fulframent returned (always waiting on that guy, geeze) the group set out to explore more of the island, eventually finding a settlement of roughly 50 people.

They met with Slavomir Eduard, the head man of the small village, and after some slight hostility were invited in to the village’s communal building, made from repurposed stone from what was likely a necromantic structure that the founders had stormed and captured. The party was impressed with the tail of the founding of the village on the remote island, called Novyhrad, as well as the impressive library the village had. Slavmir told the group that it was their recorded history, and not only that, but the entire village was literate.

After questioning Jiri found out that not only did the man know of Brenard, and that the larger island was Brenard’s treasure island, but also that Kral was missing, the cheeky scamp. After more conversation it was found out that the village as a whole seemed to practice a form of magic. This led Hilo to inform them of the Church’s stance on magic as a warning. Slavmir went on to say that the eastern side of the larger island was cursed, and that they did not spend much time there… but he did offer to show the group the cave the Brenard used, as well as the structure that they people believed to still house evil. The group set off, scavenging a few coins from the ransacked stash. Now, at the den of evil in the cursed forest, the party is debating whether to go in or not, with their host reluctant, but bound by his own honor code to assist them if they do.

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If you want to make an omelette
gotta crack a few eggs

Outside The Sea Cave
The group waited around outside the sea cave, listening to hear if they were followed. After a time, Kral offered to get closer but heard nothing. He then traveled further in while the rest waited. He returned after five minutes saying that the DC response hadn’t left the vicinity of the teleport stone and hadn’t gone looking. They also weren’t leaving however, so the general vote was to return to Pevnost.

Pevnost
The party return to pevnost and resume their day to day. Restless at not knowing what to expect in the days to come, Hilo and Kral both leave Pevnost separately but end up running into each other at the power site.

The Power Site
It seems they were both frustrated, not wanting to sit back and wait, and came to investigate. Kral asked Hilo to take a look around while he inspected what he thought had been a door. Hilo having found nothing alarming was summoned back by Kral, who’s hunch had been correct. There were seams in the stone showing what might have been a small door. Getting the others, the whole crew worked through the night to try and open it with Hilo providing the muscle. After an hour or two, black liquid began to seep out of the sphere and eventually the stones were pushed in, revealing an awful fleshy and rounded room that half formed dead creatures were being dropped into. The common theory was that the whole sphere had been a contained complex for producing new lives, and the breached room was some kind of collection area for failed attempts. Possibly to recycle them. The door may not have been a door but rather a weak point in the structure.

After quite a bit of heated argument over how to handle the discovery, the group settled on a plan offered by Podvodnik Kral, as a way to shift the blame for breaching the sphere to the church. All but Hilo left quietly while Hilo alerted the guards, claiming that the dome had exploded the black goo all over him suddenly while he was studying it. He then returned to Pevnost. Fulframent gathered supplies and set up camp near the site to keep watch and wait for the churches arrival.

After 10 days there was still no sign of New Life movement and whatever plan Cerny warned of has not affected the group yet.

After 12 days of waiting, the church finally arrived in full force and encamped the sphere. Representatives were sent to Pevnost to check with Hilo’s story, and Kral stepped in to corroborate it, saying the hammering noises had been coming from within the sphere. They both generally had a good time lying to the church. Jiri Got the feeling that the church representatives knew more then they were letting on or perhaps that Hilo and Kral were lying but they accepted the events as they were explained and left without issue.

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Hilo Touches some Kids
Touchin' kids and making friends

506 – Early
Hilo returned to Pevnost with his barrel of new-life. Setting up an interrogation and examination cell he examined the creatures carefully, and found them docile and lethargic. Jiri was worried about having live new-life in the village, but told Hilo he could do anything he wanted so long as they didn’t escape or become known to the villagers. Finding both of small new-life creatures still quite alive he was reluctant to dissect or vivisect them, specially after finding out the new-life kidnapped and potentially created these creatures from human children. Eventually Hilo and the rest of the group managed to establish a form of yes/no communication with the creatures, using a chemical they desire as a reward. After hours of stressful communication much information is gathered.

-Most all of their kind have moved to the power site recently, and are most likely responsible for the sphere incident. They are doing something very dangerous with may make or break them as a species.

-They were indeed kidnapping children from the area over the years for experimentation and attempts to create more of their kind, these attempts generally met with failure.

-Osvald Chochol is their leader, The Winged Monster from the Sea Cave is one of their kind but they are afraid of her. The sea cave its self was the location most of their kind were created, but they can not use it anymore for some reason. Cerny Lovec is feared by most new-life as he is some sort of internal security head or spy-master. Dusan Odporny is some sort of mage and scientist and has come up with a way to make more new-life without requiring human subjects. Broucek is higher “rank” than expected and is some sort of organizer or logistics expert.

-New-Life and the Necromancers were once part of the same group, but new-life broke off and ended up in conflict with the necromancers. After or during their conflict with the necromancers they also came into conflict with The Church and humans in general.

-They do not outright hate humans, but have no issues destroying any that threaten their plans or get in their way.

-New-Life currently is occupying the power-site near Pevnost, but this is temporary and they will move somewhere safe and isolated afterwards.

-These particular two creatures have no memory of before they were born/created or any knowledge of ever being human.

-Albina Linvega is unknown to them.

-“DC” is most likely a place as well as a race/group and are the creatures first encountered at the power site, as well as the creatures that sometimes appear after using a teleportation stone (a “DC response”)

-Everyone would be totally happy if they were sent home, no hard feelings for sure guys.

After the interrogation the group brought the small new-life creatures to the sea cave and activated the teleporter for them as they seemed unable. Shortly after the teleporter began to charge rapidly and the group decided to quickly escape the potential “DC Response”. Nothing followed the group out of the caves.

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Koda Secrets
Beer School

Travelling to Koda
During the trip north west to Koda from the southern coast, Fulframent’s keen eyes spot a figure shadowing them in the night. In the morning the group attempts to track who ever was watching them, as the silhouette and boot prints looked to be new-life. Surprisingly the tracks lead right into Koda, and ended near a house. The group searched inside and around the house but could not pick up the tracks, so they decided to spend the night in the village. During this time Podvodník Kral somehow managed to find a secret passage in the wall of the house where the tracks lead, leading to a ladder down. Upon a brief search to see if the area is safe, the brewer found a trap door in the room and blocked it with a heavy chest and returned to call for the rest of the group.

Under Koda
As the party entered the first secret room, they found many strange tools and containers full of liquids, samples were taken. Under the trap door was a steep open staircase leading down what looked to be an old tower or keep, but underground for some reason. Old decayed boxes and barrels and all matter of junk littered the corners of the rooms they explored. Simple stone-lined tunnels linked what seemed to be buried buildings, eventually connecting to an underground boat house with a door to the sea. Another door to the north lead to a small chamber with a metal door at the end of it. The metal door had a familiar symbol of an eye on it, so they used the severed eye they were given by bandits in the temple outside Sedlec that opened a similar door. The door unlocked, but was quickly re-locked by someone on the other side.

Knowing someone was on the other side the group quickly unlocked and opened the door again, only to find a very small creature that quickly ran away down the hallway. Not giving chase, the group briefly explored the first room, which contained some barrels, a small table with restraints, and a variety of tubes and ropes.

Exploring further, the group found a long room lined with alcoves. Most alcoves in the room contained a single large barrel made of some sort of light slightly flexible material. One of the barrels was larger and had a spigot, Hilo Vruk gave the contents a smell and promptly fell over.

After the orc regained his senses, he charged into the next room to find two small creatures cowering. After a brief attempt at diplomacy, the creatures were put into a blanket and then into an empty barrel. Podvodník Kral cut a small air hole in the barrel as the group continued up a slightly hidden ladder, which lead to a long rough clay tunnel that lead to the surface just north of Koda, with tracks leading most likely to the Sea Cave. Hilo decided to take the barrel with the to small creatures with him.

At the Sea Cave
Wanting answers in regard to the small base under koda, and possibly the missing children and even the events at the Power Site, the group enter the Sea Cave despite their promise to never return to it. After some exploring they find nothing of note except that the teleportation stone had been used within the last few hours. The group poked around the area for a while, revisiting old mysteries. As the group was discussing what to do next, the teleportation stone activated and a group of figures appeared. The speaker of the group, Cerny Lovec, was a new-life creature they had not yet encountered. Cerny delivered a warning to stay away from them and their facilities for the next few weeks, on pain of death. Many questions were asked, but Cerny gave few answers other than then 3 week time-line and that there was nothing anyone could do to stop their unknown plans. Under reiterated threats of destruction, the group decided it would be best to leave.

Sedlec
The group arrived in Sedlec not sure what to make of the growing pile of unresolved mysteries and sense of foreboding. Podvodník Kral produced some tablets with extremely small writing he found in the hidden area under Koda and the group spent the rest of the day trying to decipher what seemed to be a large amount of coded information. One tablet contained only a small amount of information, mostly numbers. Jiri Thrane recognized the numbers as the exact populations of some of the local villages, and the number of characters in the first column seemed to match the number of letters in the name of the corresponding village. A third column of numbers for each village remained a mystery, but seemed to always be about 10% of the population number. The group stayed the night in the village and then head home to Pevnost, along with their barrel of monsters and many mysterious found items.

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Just a Rock
Oh well...

The party investigates the stone sphere and surrounding damage. A thin layer of debris covers the area, and objects are progressively more and more obliterated the closer to the sphere they were. After poking around and hitting the sphere with a hammer for a while the group decides to head back to Pevnost.

506 – Early Spring
The civil servant, Jan Kubice, finally arrives and takes up residence in the village. He seems decent enough, but only time will tell how meddling he may be. Jiri Thrane makes a tour of the region to conduct a basic census and help organize regional patrols. During his tour he hears similar reports of missing children in most villages he visits. Upon his return to Pevnost, the group decides to check things out by travelling in a loop through Enim, due south to the coast, then to Koda, and Sedlec. The group also plans on visiting the Sea Cave and the temple just outside of Sedlec to see if there is any connection to the stone sphere event.

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3 Seasons
Turbo Speed

505 – Spring
Jiri and crew travel to the capital, buy fancy clothing and valuable supplies, and are given a brief audience with the prince who makes Jiri’s titles official. A brewer, Podvodník Kral buys a small lot inside the walls of Pevnost to set up a business. Symeon D’or uses retail/importing profits to build a modest home and shop. The mill and gate house are finished and working as intended. Work is started on a small cottage for the civil servant due to arrive in the winter.

505 – Summer
A hot dry summer. The brewer becomes popular in the town and makes decent coin and trade among the local population and nearby military camp and villages. Symeon’s home and general store are finished. Summer harvests are standard.

505 – Fall
Slightly above average harvests, civil servant’s home is finished.

505 – Early Winter
A cold and snowy winter. A few weeks before new-years thunderous sounds and shaking wakes the village. The militia is assembled and Podvodník Kral, Olloth, Jiri Thrane, Hilo Vruk, and Fulframent advance north to investigate what they fear is trouble at the power site. Half way to the power site they find fleeing soldiers, survivors of some sort of explosion that heaved a great amount of debris all around the site, flattening the military camp. After getting the survivors back to Pevnost the group returns to investigate the power site, and find a massive stone sphere poking out of ground, seemingly enveloping the mostly underground power site. Further investigation and options are considered…

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Set Speed to Very Fast
and hope no comets are spotted

With things more or less stable the group made some long term plans. Hilo Vruk and Emser started on a proper windmill to mill the town’s grain. Symeon D’or set up regular trade with the outside world for items he could sell locally at great profit. Fulframent continued to train the Pevnost Militia in archery and forest survival and stealth. Olloth continued to study his magic books as well as help Hilo remember the designs they saw in the Dwarven Ruin. Jiri Thrane kept him self busy with political matters.

Winter has passed and it is now spring. The mill is nearly done and small stone gatehouse is being built with army help. Jiri has been notified he will be bestowed the title “Lord of Pevnost” and has had his holdings defined (north to the power site, south to the stone wall. East just past the ruined keep, and west to the forest). He has also been named governor of a newly created region called “South Morava”, a title with very limited powers. The party now travels to Zabr to meet with Prince Miloslav Klaus to collect Jiri’s titles.

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Done with Koda, back to Pevnost
We ask a lot of questions and don't learn much

Returning to Koda with the catch of the day, we began the work of interrogating our prisoners. Unfortunately, they did not have much to tell us, even when subjected to some extreme methods by Hilo. None seemed to know the location of Bernard’s hideout, and they confirmed what we already knew about the discontent that had been brewing in Koda due to Bernard’s leadership. After Rizman consulted with the townspeople and heard the confessions of some of the more repentant thugs, the Colonel sentenced the ringleader to death and assigned the others to a prison labor unit. Rizman determined that, for the time being, Konrad would be left in charge of the town.

We left Koda after less than a day and began making our way back to Pevnost. During the trip, Rizman confided to us that he had been considering making Pevnost the administrative center of the region once borders were drawn up and land claims were codified. I think we had all suspected for a while that Lord Thrane would end up with some sort of leadership role in the new order of the southwest, but to hear it confirmed by Rizman was a real treat. Apparently the Church has a right to annex and administer any lordless lands in which they have an interest, but I’m sure that Jiri and Rizman can handle whatever legal wrangling needs to be done.

After paying a quick visit to Enim and finally returning to Pevnost, Rizman took his leave and headed north to join his troops by the power site. On his way out, he expressed some minor interest in the Sea Cave, but we deflected the issue by saying it had not looked interesting from the outside when we passed it and promising to check up on it when we have time.

With Rizman gone, we took the opportunity to have a discussion with Tithdirdon about our many encounters with magical forces over the past few months, from the Sea Cave to whatever strange location it was that we encountered Osvald and Dusan. Disappointingly, he was almost as bewildered about the whole situation as we are. He told us about the legends of the ancient mages and their disappearance, but said that Osvald and his ilk did not match the descriptions that he had read of the creatures created by the ancient mages. Instead, he feels that they represent some sort of new life, perhaps being that were once human but have been twisted or modified by some mechanism beyond any of our comprehension. The Dwarven Library most likely holds many answers for those who can read its volumes – Tithdirdon, or someone he knows, certainly could – but none of us is willing to risk another try with the teleportation stone.

Tithdirdon then left, hoping to catch a ship to the east where he could discuss his new discoveries with other, wiser elves. At least, that is where he said he was going – I fear we have no option but to take him at his word. Left once again with more questions than answers, we settled in and decided we would spend the next few months, at least, developing and organizing Pevnost.

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