Graveyard World

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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Espis Chapter 16: The Weasley Child

The party wakes to find the university on lockdown, and rumors that Halfhand is turning over the school hunting for a group that attacked him in the night.

Kharl gives himself up, intending to confront Halfhand, but is intercepted and the party is taken before Professor Kirk. She instructs the party to keep a low profile. Kharl confronts her about the hidden School of Cloaks, leading to Kirk vomiting sand and forcibly expelling Kharl from the room.

The party skirts across the banned central courtyard to the main university building, intending to hand over Bojangles spellbook to Gamble Silverthread. They get sidetracked when they find him with Professor Ravencrow in the basement, dealing with an overflowing mess of weasley looking children.

Denying all knowledge of why this would be happening, Ravencrow sends the party into the sewers once again, to finally discover the source of the creatures. In the sewers, the party follows a trail of homonculi to the source, a burst pipe leading into an ancient part of the school.

Fighting their way through a sea of mutant schoolboys, the party makes their way into the mutants sanctum.

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Espis Chapter 17: The Meat Centrifuge of Kathud-Ra

After a brief rest, the party identifies that the room they are in contains a magical ward designed to repel abhorrent creatures. Urllex surmises that this is similar to the work of Dumica Kirk. Moving deeper into the cave, the party finally discovers the source of the homunculus plague – an imprisoned chunk of Doug, taken from the fleshwaste. The seal surrounding the creature had been pierced by the inquisitive student, and his body used as a way to begin Doug’s escape.

The party goes about the process of cutting away at the web of flesh extending out from the weasley husk, as the very walls of the cave start coming detaching and attacking the party. After a few well timed blasts of thunder by Urllex, Kharl runs forward and severs the connection between Doug and the boys husk, destroying the remaining monstrosities and resealing the prison.

While Doug continuously whispers to be freed, the party retreats beyond his sphere of influence with the boys husk in tow. Professor Ravencrow emerges from the cave entrance, overjoyed that she was 100% not responsible for any of this and that there wasn’t any need for an investigation. She also identifies the prison as Professor Kirks handiwork, and is bewildered by this turn of events.

Kirk appears, and reveals that she was keeping the creature a secret as part of a birthday surprise, a newly reassembled Meat Centrifuge of Kathud-Ra. Professor Ravencrow is overjoyed, and leaps into Kirks arms, thanking the party for repairing her broken marriage. Kirk responds with “we were fine.”

Taking the party in to the centrifuge, they find that although it is in need of repair, the mincer attached to it is working fine. They mince the weasley boys corpse, freeing his soul, which Crows traps in a jar. She then injects the newly freed soul into one of the remaining homunculi, as this would be cheaper than a proper resurrection, but after a moment of sentience and clarity the homunculus immediately throws itself straight back into the mincer. Crows agrees to pay for a proper resurrection, and hands over the seal of the House of Coins.

Setting serious, Kirk thanks Kharl for bringing her to her senses. Tells Crows that something bad is going on, has been going on for a while, and they might need to “accelerate their plan,” as Half-hand is turning against the faculty, but that there is still time to turn him to their cause, as he wears a slave mark, the same as them.

Impatient to keep adventuring, Kharl leaves, getting hopelessly lost in the sewers.

Kirk instructs the rest of the party to carry on with their plan and gather the remaining seals required to access the crystal spire. Ravencrow snaps her fingers, transmuting everyone else’s robes into prefect robes, giving them free reign of school.

The party returns to the dorms, collapsing in bed without telling anyone in the gathered throng of first years where the were. Kharl stumbles back after an epiphany in the sewers that he can’t rely on his god to always protect him, and that he needs to learn to be a martial fighter.

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