Graveyard World

Espis Chapter 10: The White Iron Company

Kyuss steals Zyn’s skull and slinks off with Varyk to confront and blackmail the buried drow – Xullraen T’orgh. Kyuss uses the skull to threaten her, indicating it would interfere with her ooze form, and then says that by killing Zyn, the two are even. Kyuss then destroys Xullraen’s body, apparently happy that his work has been done.

While Kharl finds documents confirming his grandfathers death was at the hands of these people, Dakarai accidently connects with the conciousness of Recrentius by touching Zyn’s scrying machine. Unfortunately, before they can experiment with the machine any further, Urllex collapses the scrying room while trying to pry a fake emerald out of a statue in the room.

Leading the party out of the dungeon, Kharl accidently walks straight into a dangerous situation, leading to Lorna being separated from the rest of the party. While the party recover, Lorna re-appears as a captive of a group of hobgoblins, lead by the disabled goblin seer, Kugs. Kugs approaces Urllex and touches her slave-mark, giving her a vision of the future where she stands defiant before a vast army of Alu-Tel, supported by all matter of beast races. Kugs tells Urllex that for the vision to come true, the orcs must have Lightbringer to unite them. Kharl agrees to hand over the weapon, and Lorna is returned. The hobgoblins go deeper into the caves, seeking the underdark.

Lorna leads the group out of the mines, where they manage to spot members of the White Iron Company, who seem to have followed the party to the Spellforge and have captured their horses. Lorna recognises the armour – these are the people that killed her family. Restraining themselves, Urlex and Kharl go down to meet with the commander, and sign documents under duress handing over salvage right of the Spellforge. Urlex puts druid sign on the document, indicating that they should be voided, as Dakarai makes a break for the trees as a distraction.

The party pretends to leave, and camps. Dakarai runs home to Phandalin and gets support from Hudson to retake the spellforge. Lorna gains the support of the salt-marsh bullywugs by communing with nature.

After a few days of watching the White Iron Company pull the spellforge apart, the party takes the excavation crew by suprise, splitting them in half at the entrance, and taking the exterior group captive. A second group arrives and are taken out by Lorna and her bullywugs. Sensing that they might not make it out alive, the captives make a break for it when Kharl, Dakarai and Urllexin are distracted by a trained Bulette.

The second group of soliders make a break for the secondary exit. Dakarai and Hudson hold off most of them, but a pair of soldiers escape back to their base of operations.

The party, aided by the bullywugs and Crossroad Knights, prepare for battle.

Espis Chapter 6.5: Isle Rhob

While staying the with the Bullywugs during the events of Chapter 6, the bullywug druid Kermshug leads Urllexin to a secluded saltwater lake, telling her that in the waters, people who need it can sometimes see a road into ascension. In the waters, Kharl sees the shadowy reflection of Isle Rhob, his grandfathers home and the old temple of his God.

Urllex, transforming for the first time into a Manta Shark, leads the others into the water, and helps them cross over into ascension. They find themselves on a dark beach, the torches of the temple of Rhobsarendor burning high across the water from them.

The party searches for a boat, finding a hamlet stripped clean of materials. Urllexin tracks some clawprints back to a trible of kobolds living in the woods east of the hamlet. The kobolds revealed that they had only taken the goods after the hamlet was deserted, and revealed that the temple to the north had been overrun by “faceless giants.” Kharl says that they aim to destroy these faceless horrors, and the kobolds support their effort by offering powerful arrows and a shallow-hull boat.

Crossing the water, the party makes thier way up the cliffs towards the statue-garden that sits on the plateau below Rhobs temple. Lorna, sick of being soaking wet, takes the stairs, while Kharl sheds his armor and takes Urllex with him to scale the cliff from the ocean side. Kharl suprises and throws a faceless guardian off of the cliff, to be eaten by Urllex in shark-form. This brings the other guardians, faceless dragonborn acolytes, out of their stupor, and a melee begins. Urllex leaps her way up the cliff, vine-whipping one of the creatures off of the edge, while Kharl and Lorna engage them in melee combat, making short work of the acolytes, who crumble into salt, while another guardian is torn to shreds by vines summoned by Urllex. While they rest, and Kharl re-equips his armour, Lorna notes that all of the carvings on the various monuments are either written in gibberish or blank.

Climbing to the temple itself, Kharl faces a simulacra of his mother and father, dressed in full paladin armour, along with the temples guardian drake, Brine. Lorna assaults the guardians from the rafters, killing Brine with a single arrow through the skull, and weakening Kharls mother to the point that Urlex could easily finish her with a vine-whip. In a vengeful rage, Kharl obliterates the simulacra of his father with a necrotic blast.

Sensing his grandfather in the next room, Kharl leaves the temple and enters the caldera of the islands volcano, where he finds his grandfather imprisoned in a pillar of salt. While they reunite, Lorna and Urllex quickly peruse Kharl the Elders study, finding amongst the hundred of blank tomes a couple of powerful scrolls.

Kharl the Elder reveals that while he has ascended, the primal spirit of Old Rhob is trapped on the material plane, unable to ascend without a ritual. Kharl tasks the party with finding Rhob, and taking him to Skypeircer temple, for which they will need a map, and then conducting a ritual to allow him to ascend properly. Kharl the Elder then leaves for the astral reflection of skypeircer temple, telling Kharl that everything would be explained when he knows it is safe to do so.

As the sun rises, the party returns to the ocean, and re-enters the bullywug grove through the reflection in the water.

Espis Chapter 11: The Siege of the Spellforge

Dakarai returns with news that additional troops will be coming from the White Iron camp. Weary from their last combat, the party decides to build up defences and make a stand within the Spellforge.

Dakarai floods the area in front of the spellforge by redirecting a river, creating a swampy muck suitable for the tiring bullywugs to hide. As the water rises, it floods the maze and entraceway of the mine, creating a perfect defensive line. The flooding is complete just in time, as the woods that the attackers were hiding in become wreathed in flame, presumably started by the White Iron troops in an attempt to drive the bulywugs back into the swamp.

Dakarai, Kharl and Hudson stay back to guard the mines, while the others make thier way along the cliffs through thick smoke. Spying the White Iron camp, they notice that they are mounting up for combat, while the rest of the camp packs up and heads for the hills. Kharl and Dakarai tend to the wounded, and Kharl returns Leventius’ Bane to Hudson, reinvigorating his morale.

Urllex leads the groups through the burning woods and extends the brushfire further onto the plain, forcing the approaching knights to dismount and make their way into the thick smoke along the cliff if they want to attack at all.

Returning to the Spellforge through the maze, the trio notice something amiss – the bodies of dead bullywugs floating in the waist-deep water. Immediately, the trio are set upon by a pair of Displacer Beasts – the monsters that destroyed Lorna’s home. A short, brutal fight plays out in the water, the party short on health and spells, the displacer beasts ripping and tearing with powerful tentacles. Dakarai goes down after recieving two powerful blows to the chest, and Kharl is flayed within an inch of his life. After the beasts are finally killed, the party returns to land to tend to the wounded, completely exhausted. Though Dakarai has been stabalised, he will not wake.

Back with the other defenders, they find that the bullywugs seem to have ambushed the last of the human attackers, sappers who had intended to bring the mine down on their heads. The party waits out the night, and no further attack comes. Emerging the next day, they find the White Iron company gone, obviously appalled at their own losses.

Time passes, and the party returns to Phandalin, where they spend weeks recuperating. Dakarai connot be roused, either by medicine or magic, and Kharl concludes that he is trapped in his coma by some powerful entity that he can see brief flashes of when he touches Dakarai’s mind.

Lorna and Urllex make contact with Halia Thornton, who is now the new mayor, and she suggests that if they want to stop the White Iron Company, they need to target the people paying them – a group of Artificers known as Wormwood, Fife and Vanderbourne.

Kharl gets in a serious disagreement with Halia over her pardoning of two of the redbrand thugs he had arrested – dragging them by their necks most of the way to the gibbet before he is talked down. He spends the rest of the stay in Phandalin hiding away in the Leventius estate feeling sorry for himself.

The unexpected return of a large halfling contingent from New Haven leads to an impromptu celebration, and also the return of Gundren Rockseeker, who had been in New Haven trying to settle his affairs.

Taking the party aside for a meeting, Gundren crypically reveals to the party that decades ago, him, Urllexin’s aunt, and Kharls grandfather saved the world, and that now they are cursed, and refuses to explain how or what from, saying that it would put them all in danger.

Gundren has in his hands a set of amulets to prevent against scrying, and says they don’t know how much the drows saw when they used the scrying room within the Spellforge, and that they might not have much time.

He tells the party has his funds have been cut off due to civil war in the underdark, and that because of this he plans to organise an expedition to find out what is happening in the drow kingdoms. While he does this, he gives the party two tasks – to go to Highhaven University and contact the headmaster, and to travel to Skypiercer temple to help Kharl the Elder ascend as Rhobsarendor.

Kharl asks Gundren “what he knows of salt,” the curse that had befallen his grandfather. Suprisingly, this causes Kyuss, present within Varyk, to snarl in fury.

Seemingly putting two and two about something together, Kyuss fully possesses Varyk and assaults Gundren, crying out in Abyssal, accusing him of theft. The party desperately tries to free Gundren, but Kyuss is too strong. Some quick thinking on Kharls part leads him to realise that Gundrens amulets would hopefully prevent demonic possession, and manages to get the necklace around Varyks neck.

While this successfully frees Varyk from Kyuss’s control (and banishes Kyuss from his mind), the damage has already been done – Gundren is dead.

Espis Chapter 12: To Solitude

In the weeks after Gundren’s death, the party drifts apart. Varyk, after being briefly detained, flees to the woods, and attempts to learn more about his possession and the amulet that seems to be holding it at bay. Lorna resumes a life of living off the land, dwelling on the outskirts of Phandalin.

Urllex returns with Hudson to New Haven, working with the Crossroad Knights and shipping confiscated White Iron weapons back home to the Beast Coast.

Kharl, after a brief period of soul searching, spends time with Aust and Aelar, learning the ways of the ‘civilised’ religions. During this time, he gains favour with the church of Tymora.

The party is reunited when word spreads that the mysterious monk Dakarai, who has been comatose since the seige of the spellforge, has awoken. Dakarai, after a game of 7-sphere chaosphere chess with Eilyac, the current avatar of Death, has indeed awoken a changed man, and has taken to drinking heavily in The Sleeping Giant.

Reunited again, the party travels to Arborox to deal with some unfinished business – the young green dragon that has made the town as its nest. The party develops a plan to stab the dragon with an improvised iron stake, and then defeat the creature by heating the metal magically. Sneaking up to the tower, Dakarai accidently wakes the beast prematurely, and has to make a quick escape on his broomstick. The dragon goes to give chase, but is distracted by Kharl, taunting the creature from the middle of the road.

The dragon dives for Kharl, and the party uses the opportunity to pile on – the dragons hide is pierced and damage is piled on, while illusions of party members emerging out of the woods confuse it. Very quickly the creature is overpowered and killed.

Returning to Phandalin, the party hears news that Hudson is looking to escort Iarno Alberk back to Highhaven University where he is to be tried as a deserter. Seeing this as an opportunity to visit the school and fulfil Gundren’s request to seek out the headmaster, the party sets out for the Portal City of New Haven, and after a leisurely few days shopping and drinking, takes the wizard into their custody.

After escorting Iarno through the Lodestone portal into Solitude, the party makes for the university gates. The party is detained by Leto Halfhand, the elven spellsword in charge of defence and security. The party is escorted into the university (their weapons and magical items confiscated), and given visitors robes. Heading up the main path into the campus, Kharl walks straight into an invisible statue of the Wizard Magicami, left there in a last act of defiance before he escaped into Ascension.

Espis Chapter 13: I Love Wizard School

The party wakes up, excited for their first day at wizard school. Only a few of them have memories indicating that anything might be amiss. Walking to orientation, the party is introduced to a number of fellow magic students, including their roommate Pog Oomtrowel, resident jock Chaddeus Gimlen, and the dragonborn noble Greethen Firahel.

Over the course of the first week, the party begins to realise that something is very wrong – they are obviously ill equiped to be attending wizard school, and thinking certain thoughts leads to the coughing up of gritty sand – the same sand that Urllexin has been tracking around the school, unable to locate the source. Skipping class to investigate the school, Dakarai stumbles upon a note that seems to have fallen out of his own robes;

“Wait until dark. Meet S.R. Wear the clothes he gives you. Meet under Glain at midnight. We prepare and make for L.”

After the first week of school, the party has barely learned any spells, and their inconsistent behaviour is starting to worry Pog, who doesn’t want to be lumped in with ‘the bad kids.’ On the first day of rest since school started, the group attends an underground vape party in the sewers below the first year dormitories, where Kharl engineers events so that Pog is able to prove himself as a party animal and cement himself within the student culture.

Deciding to see if the sewers connect to the library through the sewers for some midnight studying, Kharl and Dakarai leave the party and set out on their own. In a long stretch of sewer tunnel, they run into a strange sight – a young student wandering by himself. The boy looks up and mutters a single word: “scabbers!”

After this strange event, the pair reach the library and are promptly caught and kicked out by the librarian, Silent Randy – potentially the mysterious “S.R” mentioned in the note Dakarai found.

The week continues on as normal, with Dakarai missing the most classes, much to the irritation of his bunkmate Pog. Skipping class once again, Dakarai confronts Silent Randy with the note later that week, and Randy reveals a set of visitors robes that had been in his office – the robes that the party were wearing when the first arrived at the school. Independently, Urllexin leaves the dorms at nights, and identifies the ‘Glain’ from the note – an ancient carving of one of Highhavens founders. Unfortunately, she walks directly into the statue of Magicami, and is forced to run back to bed without investigating further.

After one particular class with the necromancer Bloodcrow Ravencrow, the teacher casually asks the students that any information relating to the wherabouts of a ‘weasley looking boy’ wandering in the sewers should be reported directly to her, in her office…

Espis Chapter 14: The Three Seals

Visiting Bloodcrow Ravencrow, Kharl and Lorna learn that the student she refers to as ‘the weasley looking boy’ was entrusted with a powerful resurrection amulet on the account of his family being rich and students dying all the time. Apparently the amulet has backfired somehow, and humunculus copies of the boy have been appearing in the sewers ever since. Ravencrow attempts to wipe the parties memories, but is unable to as a powerful spell has already been cast on them. Deciding instead to work with the group, Ravencrow promises the use of the House of Coins Seal as payment for quietly dealing with ‘the weasley problem.’ Leaving the office, Kharl is accosted by Wimple Womble (no relation), who tells him to stay away from the sewer and not to nark to the faculty about what is happening down there.

While this is happening, Varyk, Dakarai and Urllex go to confront Leto Halfhand about his strange behaviour – blanking Varyk completely and ignoring the party in general – in the past week. Upon being cornered, Leto is unable to deal with the existence of the party, vomiting sand uncontroliably and crying out for them to leave. The group engages Halfhand in combat, but before any damage can be done, a swarm of mephits cohalese out of the sand and decend on the party. They wake up, remembering very little, except for Urllex, who vividly remembers the event and re-explains it to the group, hypothesising that something is being done to them that is affecting their memories.

Putting this aside for the meantime, the party splits up, with Urllex going to class to attempt to get some answers out of the divination teacher, while the rest of the party goes into the sewer to look for the weasley boy. Finding their way deep into the sewers, the party stumbles upon Wimple Wombles humunculus fighting arena, where he has been secretly forcing the weasley boys to fight at night. Taking his prize weasley, the party uses him to find thier way down to the source, a vast copper boiler that seems to be producing the homunculi at a steady rate. Blocking the boiler exhaust, the party returns to the surface to wait for the weasleys to start emerging elsewhere.

Urllex stops in her search for a teacher when she notices tracks in the snow – sandy tracks. Chasing down her prey, she discovers the creature she has been hunting is an elven woman who recognises Urllex and calls her by name before passing out. Taking her back to the dorm, the party exchanges stories and waits for her to regain consciousness.

The elf reveals herself to be Naivara Belanor, member of the House of Cloaks, a house that originally ran the school but has been secreted away by Lillen Shadowcloak’s powerful magic. The party remembers now – a few weeks ago, they made an attempt on Lillen’s fortress, but they were ambushed by mephits and overwhelmed. Thus began their brainwashed careers as first year wizards in training.

Naivara raises another option – accessing Lillen’s realm using the the Crystal Spire, which is currently locked and can only be accessed by receiving three seals, one from each House.

With a new sense of purpose, the party approaches Gamble Silverthread of the House of Lights, who hints that there is a demon haunting the library at present who may or may not be there as an imposition to a group of inquistitors from the church of Tymora, who have heard that the library contains the spellbook of Bojangles. He mentions that retrieving the book, which has caused so many issues, would indeed be worthy of a seal.

Leaving Silverthreads office, the party bangs again runs into local bully Wimple Womble (no relation). Wimple is furious that the party has disrupted their underground humunculus fighting ring, and demands that Lorna face him in a final vape-off to decide who rules the school.

Leaving this for now, the party sneaks into the forbidden part of the library – a nightmare maze without logic or gravity – and leaps through traps while avoiding the fists of a large, angry demon. Locating the place where the heard, weeks ago, Bojangles spellbook was stored, the party activates a secret door, revealing a hidden, mazelike dungeon beyond…

Espis Chapter 15: Portal Shenanigans

Having all successfully made it into the hidden library, the party begins to explore the first chambers, finding finding tomes in various languages. Amongst the pages, Varyk finds a bunch of loose pages of a journal written in some kind of cypher, in an increasingly distressed hand.
Experimenting with a lever in the room, they discover that what appeared to be doors are actually portals to different spaces.

Kharl goes into a portal, emerging into a tower far above an ashen landscape. There he finds an ancient pedestal, with a gem atop it. He discovers that manipulating this gem causes changes within the library. Using this pedestal, he opens two further portals to a beautiful clearing and a tiered amphitheatre in the Valley of Tombs.

In that room, Urllex examines a series of mirrors, that seem to reflect images of death or looming danger. While this is happening, Lorna spies something through another portal – her bow, held by a mephit. She leaps through, and is cut off from the rest of the group when the mephit succeeds in knocking a chunk of stone off the pedestal. Urllex panics, as this reminds her of the time she lost her friend Jimmy in another wizards tower. They set off to search for Lorna, further into the dungeon.

The party makes their way through the portals, activating pedestals to open and close portals as they go, eventually finding the way to Bojangles spellbook, and an interaction with Lillen Shadowcloak, who goads them through a mirror until Kharl shatters it, revealling a torrent of sand behind.

Determining that there is a single room they haven’t been able to access, Kharl leads the party back through the library, activating and deactivating portals until finally, they activate a route through to a final room, which has a inactive pedestal similar to the one Lorna ran through. After some trial and error, Varyk learns from Bojangles tome that the portal can be accessed by placing an object from the place you wish to access into the pedestal. They pour sand onto the pedestal, and are immediately faced with a new sight – a sand blasted desert ruin, covered in items stolen from the party and from other students, swarming with demonic mephits.

Running to a cornered Lorna’s aid, the party gathers thier gear and fights back against the creatures. Victorious, they stop to take stock of the environment – a desert outcrop in ascension, watched over with an endless, fractal fortress – Lillen’s lair. Reactivating the portal to lead back to the University dormatory, the party stumbled back to bed.


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