Clockwork

00233
In which we must make a fateful choice...

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The Kings make their way across the northlands to the Kervic’s cathedral to confront the priests and whatever else resides there.

Dismayed, but not overly surprised – they find Miriam. Restored to the picture of beauty and health – and utterly possessed by the demon-lord Caleb. Realizing their friend is lost to them, they spring their trap and enter an all-out battle with their former ally.

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00232
In which Vargas gets the word out...

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Vargas uses a dream-sending to reach the Sigilite and appraise him of the situation and what he fears the Kings will find when they finally reach Miriam.

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00231
In which we take a study break....

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While resting and preparing for the next stage of their campaign of terror, Vargas educates Acadia about the nature of magic, the world, and the planes.

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00230
In which The Hunt begins...

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The gang kicks their plan into action and stages their assault on the Kervic stronghold. They run roughshod over the place and leave it a smoking ruin.

But their princess is in another castle.

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00229
In which Serri and Magnus make Akor a little more cosmopolitan...

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Magnus and Serribon reintroduce post-Andropolitan civilization to the four-tined dining fork and start a sensation.

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00228
In which the Dragon King holds court...

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Ibram sits Brrk down and inquires into her plans after the Kings return home.

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00227
In which we buy some Roses...

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Following Ibram’s resurrection, Faisal’s interrogation, and Magnus’s redemption, the party reunites with the Blue Rose agent Milfel and work out a deal for their assistance in assaulting the stronghold of Danner Kervic.

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00226
In which we reach the tipping point...

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Following a discussion with Vargas about the nature of the demons – and specifically Caleb – the priest retires to his tent to commune with Pharasma. In his folly, his mentions the fiend by name, drawing its attention. What follows is a cluster-fuck of epic proportions as the spirit talks Magnus into forsaking his vows and granting it another conduit into the world. Newly-empowered, the subverted priest returns to the party’s tent and off-handedly smashes Ibram’s head in with his mace.

The rest of the party reacts with alacrity and remarkable restraint. Instead of killing the mad half-orc, they merely bind him until they can decide what to do with him. With their hand pressed, they bundle their friend’s corpse up and prepare to take him and Magnus back to Akor while Serri and Acadia step up the abduction of Faisal Kervic.

By hook, crook, and multiple teleports, the Kings get away with Faisal, an obscene heap of treasure, and more determined than ever to recover their lost friends and wreak their vengeance on those who would take them away.

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00225
In which the plot thickens...

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Having tentatively secured the alliance of the rescued Blue Rose prisoner, the gang begins to gather intelligence for their next move. Magnus and Vargas travel to the elven city of Sil where they hope to make further connections with anti-Kervic forces while Milfel reunites with his conclave and puts forth the team’s offer. They make some headway towards securing more allies, but no word has come back from the Roses.

Acadia, Ibram, and Serri remain at the excavation, spying and shopping their connections, while Brrk is dispatched to watch the treasure recovery operations so they can compare actual results to whatever story Faisal has been telling the rest of the alliance. The goblin confirms the team’s suspicions that the Kervics were severely under-representing their haul to the other kingdoms (and, thus, the value of their percentage), providing yet another crack in which we might wedge the lever of dissent.

In further effort to discover what Faisal knows/suspects and how, exactly, he’s communicating with his superiors now that the second camp was wiped out, Serri dispatches Acadia to sneak into the aristocrats’ tent. Disguised as a harmless field mouse, she observes him engaged in a long-distance bowl-call with a party he refers to as “Brother”. Faisal is highly on edge: he believes (quite rightly) that the party is working against him and is deathly afraid of what the Kings might do if they decide to really put some effort into it. Though to his great frustration he can’t prove anything and, consequently, his opposite number doesn’t really seem to get how much danger they are in. Faisal suggest they just return Miriam to the Kings and nearly dies of a panic attack when his brother informs him that Miriam has died. The other party reassures him that their priests can bring her back and requests the delivery of certain items. Faisal retrieves a ring gate from his belongings and passes them through before sweeping the speaking bowl off of the table in frustration.

Acadia scurries back to the team and reports the dire news. Serri manages to keep Ibram in check and alerts Vargas to the situation as soon as possible. The wizard and cleric ‘port back in a trice and the Kings hold a group meeting to decide their next course of action. Rather than unleashing hell, they choose to use the knowledge they’ve gathered to try and pressure Faisal to tell them where Miriam is so that they might retrieve her themselves.

And the Hunt truly begins.

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00224
In which we pick flowers...

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At the gang’s temporary wilderness sanctuary, Magnus continues his efforts to bring the rescued Blue Rose prisoner around. Naturally, the elf is wary of the new situation he finds himself in and tries to play it mum. Serri lays the situation out before him regarding the Kervics and what they’ve uncovered in the Tauli ruins. The elf’s interest is obviously piqued, but he cannot bring himself to share what he knows. Serri eventually wears him down with sheer, brutal honesty and he agrees to give the Kings a chance.


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