The Kingdom of Light

EXTRA! EXTRA! HEROES RESCUE VALLASH FAMILY FROM DARING HOME KIDNAPPING!
"They saved my life, and the lives of my family," claims Vallash

(Excerpted from the Ledger – Ledgerdomain’s weekly periodical newspaper)

It isn’t every day that one of the most powerful spellcasters in our fair city has to ask for help. But that’s exactly the position that Hiram Vallash found himself in when he and his family were taken hostage by the rogue wizard Keyla Marrowdust.

“It was months ago.” says Vallash, 34. “I was going about my business on the Street of Gods when I was approached by a Drow woman, who said she had a business proposition for me. Being that a freelance wizard is always looking for a way to support his family, I was willing to hear her out. But she (Keyla Marrowdust) was up to no good. She informed me that she was working on behalf of a man called ”/campaigns/the-kingdom-of-light/characters/mordigaunt" class=“wiki-content-link”>Mordigaunt, who your readers may not know is a rogue magician of colossal power. The job she was hiring me for was to help him raise an undead army with which to attack The Kingdom of Light, my homeland. Naturally I refused."

“Two days later, my home had been invaded while I slept, and my wife and daughter were held at swordpoint by Keyla’s thugs. She told me that if I did all her master required of me, my family would not be harmed. What could I do but obey?” But even that didn’t satisfy this fiendish dark-elf witch! “Mordigaunt asked the impossible – he wanted 100 zombies ready within a week – zombies with combat training! When I told him I couldn’t do as he asked – that it was magically impossible – he decided I’d been holding out on him the whole time. Then he brought in the fiend.” The fiend in question was Phylx, a chain devil from the very pits of Hell. “The chain devil tortured me for days. It didn’t even ask any questions …” remarks Vallash, his gaze fixed on some point beyond me.

However, all was not lost for Vallash or his family. Six brave adventurers from the kingdom in the North, came to his rescue. Although apparently, that was not their original intent. According to one source close to the investigation, the team had originally believed that Vallash was working with Keyla of his own free will, and they were on orders to kill him themselves if he proved a threat to their kingdom.

In the course of their investigation, however, the northern band quickly ascertained that Vallash was working under duress. They handily dispatched the villainous wizard, and remanded her to the official custody of the City Watch. Watch Commander Jeren O’Donnel had this to say. “When they first breezed into my precinct house with a wizard under one arm like a sack of potatoes, I thought these were just some barbarian northern savages looking to make trouble. Looks like I was wrong. These northerners are reckless, but by the Gods they get the job done.” When asked to explain the actions of their national, the Drow Embassy declined to comment.

The heroes quickly made their way to Vallash’s house, where they battled through Keyla’s various henchmen, including drow foot soldiers, hired mercenaries, captured oozes from the slimy depths of the Underdark, and even the fearsome chain devil itself. "I can’t say how grateful we are, said Hiram Vallash. “These heroes will always be welcome in my home after what they did.” “All in a days work,” the heroes were heard to say. They declined further comment to this reporter, but sources close to the investigation inform The Ledger that the Northerners’ next port of call may be the infamous Isle of Doom, from which no man has ever returned alive.

Whatever may be in store for you, brave companions, this reporter wishes you the best of luck. You’ll need it.

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-fragment of letter-
Looks like we will have two character's takes on our last adventure. This one excludes most of our adventure, so hopefully Celandine will be more thorough. :)

... A profound thing has happened. But I am alive, and that’s what matters.

The king has asked us to do some work, but don’t worry [....] The new member of our party is named Mellisandra. She is hardy and a good fighter, and yelled wonderfully ridiculous taunts at our foes. I will have to wait and see if I trust her. How could someone live with Lady Lionstone for so long and not notice anything was wrong? Still, I’m hardly good at spotting magic myself.

Only a few days ago we encountered the worst creature yet. It was a monstrous eight-headed thing—my party members called it a hydra. One day I will draw it on a scroll for you [...] along with the dragon and the owlbear. We have heard it was created in the strange lands they call up here “the scar.”

We were woefully ill-prepared for this hydra monster. The sorceress and the cleric figured out that the only way to kill it was to chop off its heads and then cauterize the wounds – if you did not do this, they assured us, the heads would grow back! Luckily we did not witness any re-growths as we were able to cauterize the wounds in time. But it was terribly difficult to approach, with the heads snapping this way and that. To make things worse, our party failed to make a cohesive battle plan – instead we panicked and attacked as individuals. This was our mortal failure. Burtrun, the Ranger, ran at it first, and was struck down by its eight heads. He was in danger of bleeding to death, so I ran as quick as I could to pour a potion of healing into his mouth, and that is the last thing I remember. It must have mauled me. There was a great pain in my side – and my whole world turned to red and then to black.

Then it was so strange—I saw my companions fighting and falling from some great distance, like figures through the wrong end of a spyglass. I seemed to be drifting farther and farther away from them, even though I wanted to go back and help –it was as though I was caught in the current of a river I couldn’t swim against. I remember other things –it seemed that the tunnels under Fialus had become the caverns [...] and I saw your face, lit by a candle, as though you had gone to the caverns to be alone. Do you do so, still? And I saw the faces of people who are dead, the old king, and his son[...].

The current carried me far, but eventually I felt something dragging at me, like a rope had caught me and was pulling against the current. It was terribly uncomfortable, and very very cold. It lasted forever. Then there was light, and pain and heaviness again.

I opened my eyes to see a bearded cleric looking down at me. At first I did not know where I was. Then I saw my companions, and the cleric told me I had been dead, and that only the power of the Gloriana could have restored me. But I wonder if my god had a part to play too. Have I offended my him by living again?

I am weak now, and when the others come near I am caught between snapping at them and wanting to burst into tears and hug them. Who knew I could feel both betrayal and thankfulness at the same time? Who knew I counted upon them so much? Mostly I curse my own stupidity for not knowing my own weakness, and going where the danger was too great. It was my own fault, and I will never be so stupid again.

There are things I should tell you, but right now I am tired. My heart beating in my chest feels very fragile and I am afraid to trust the solidity of the world again. In the eyes of gods it must seem so thin, just dust…

The Lightbringer is powerful; this I have come to accept. I am amazed that I, dedicated to my god as I am, could be summoned by the powers of Gloriana. Maybe the gods don’t hold war the way we mortals do, because it seemed to me that my god was there too, in the temple, just before I opened my eyes.

...don’t worry about me. In the morning, I will practice my sword work, and that will strengthen me a little every day. If I had your way with words, I’d reassure you [...]

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Interview with a Vampire
YOU ARE SEARED!

Perin’s Journal, Entry 17.

We arrived in Fialus two nights ago, after dealing with a fat smuggler named Phineas Mogul who got us past the lockdown. I had feared at first we were too late: there had been an attempt on the king’s life, but thankfully it proved unsuccessful. Once in the city we encountered Lady Lionstone, who offered to get secure an audience with the royal court. Naively we accepted without question and gave her Blackfyre’s sealed letter. Upon taking her suggestion and bedding for the night at the Hatfish Inn, we were attacked in the middle of the night by hired thugs.

I make it a point to note that I thoroughly dislike Bugbears. They possess the intelligence to rise above the unsavory nature of their goblinoid kin, but nevertheless remain base thugs and brigands. Despicable folk to a one. But I digress.

The leader of these thugs betrayed Lionstone’s involvement in their ambush – this, coupled with Burtran and Clock’s keen observations led us to believe she was in fact Up To No Good – and furthermore, possibly some manner of fiendish undead. We’d heard rumours about the Market District that Lord Hightowerwas investigating Lionstone with regards to that very question, so we sought him out. He found us first, however, and confirmed our suspicions: Lady Lionstone was in fact a VAMPIRE.

Hightower informed us that the vampire would be meeting the King that very afternoon. He granted us access to the Quality Quarter and armed with fire, silver, and the blessings of the Lightbringer we fought the abomination in her own dining room. Sweeping the curtains back and bringing to bear all our weapons mundane and divine, we protected the king and sent the vampire fleeing in incorporeal form to its coffin. Following it to the wine cellar, we opened that dread sarcophagus. She lay within, still and pale as a fresh corpse. Calling forth the holy fire of the Lightbringer I laid my holy symbol upon her forehead and smote her heart with a wooden stake. Thus vanquished, she gasped a last rattling shriek and then crumbled to ash.

His Highness was grateful, of course, for our rescue, and at last we delivered our message from Blackfyre. The scroll we had given to the vampire was burned in the fireplace, but with Mordigaunt’s correspondence to Gormangast and the afternoon’s recent events, the King decided to meet with his advisors and hopefully plan for war. We were given an apartment in the Artisan Quarter to stay in (our welcome in the Hatfish sorely worn out, due to the bugbear blood on the sheets. And the floor. Everywhere really.) and we took our leave.

We await for a dictum from the King as to his decision regarding Mordigaunt – until then, I am at a bit of a loss. Perhaps I shall spend some time in the Seminary. I miss its old walls and musty library. I should like to return to the fight quickly though – Mordigaunt will not be patient. I have not yet written about his demonic messenger on the bridge. That was most disturbing, indeed.

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Through the Hammer Mountains
Colder than a witch's tit.
Up the Mountain

Led by Karl Ironspine, the party began it’s trek up the treacherous passes of the Hammer Mountains. Temperate forest gave way to snowy meadows. The party encountered more than one denizen of the wilderness, but more often than not, the combined forest-cunning of Bertram and Yvanet ensured that no permanent damage was done. The deadliest foe was the shrieking wind and the biting cold.

The Door in the Mountainside

As the party made it’s way deeper into the mountains, snowy slopes of pine forest gave way to icy cliffs of sheer rock. and set into one of those sheer cliff faces was a door of plain burnished wood. After discussing with Karl whether the door could be of dwarven make (it couldn’t) and after much deliberation amongst themselves, the party decided to investigate.

The first room they entered was a homely enough entrance chamber. The party took no chances, though – Clock was sent in to scout for traps, and scout she did. Sure enough, she found a pressure plate cunningly concealed in the floor. Warning her companions to avoid it, she invited the others inside, where the other party members pointed out something Clock had missed – a trail of blood-spatters running out the door, coming from the large oaken double doors directly ahead.

Behind them was a grand hall, hung with fearsome tapestries, and a huge locked iron door at the far end. Two staircases of wrought iron within, one going up, one going down. After ascertaining that downstairs was a small chamber with a door and a mechanism with three levers, the party decided to venture upstairs.

They arrived in a library, and a quick search revealed a wealth of booty – a chest of magical scrolls and wands, a rare tome, and more. The next room, however, was not so generous. The next room, in fact, was a charnel pit, a ritual chamber of the wizard who had once lived in this house, a man named Gormengast. The party found several of Gormengast’s notes and letters, indicating he was a demonologist in the employ of one M-—, and that he had been conducting experiments on several ‘subjects’.

The players found Gormengast himself (or what was left of him) in his bedchamber – facedown, with a smoking crater in his back. Bloody footprints marked the path the killer had taken – right through the library. And not too long ago, by the state of the corpse. Searching the bedchamber, Perin found a spellbook chock full of blasphemous secrets – worth quite a lot to the right person, presumably. And Bertram found a set of keys – including one to the huge iron door found in the staircase chamber.

Behind that iron door, the players found Gormengast’s laboratory, and learned from his correspondance, that his employer was a dark sorcerer named Mordigaunt, and that this Mordigaunt was likely the same shadowy figure who had taunted the players at [[Lily-End]]. When one of the players, searching the room, pressed a button underneath the wizard’s desk, it opened a silver-lined chamber in the wall to reveal an imp, a demon of the lower realms!

The little devil made quick it’s attempted escape – turning invisible and attempting to flee the room. The party floundered about aimlessly, and only Yvanet’s quick thinking allowed her to shut the door and prevent the creature’s escape. Thwarted, the devil used it’s fiendish powers to invade Karl’s mind and set him against his allies. Using his divine powers, Perin managed to locate the fiend long enough for the party to attack it. Meanwhile, Karl came to his senses – but only after cutting a swath through the party that left them severely injured. Filled with shame and rage, he made short work of the imp, who revealed that it had been held prisoner and experimented on by Gormengast, who kept his prisoners in a gaol on the lower level, and that the dark Wizard Mordigaunt was the only being on our plane of existence that had ever caused it fear – until the party, that is.

Sending the little imp to oblivion, the party decided that they were best to recover from their wounds before proceeding any further. They barricaded themselves inside Gormengast’s laboratory, and bedded down for the night. During their rest, Celandine and karl bonded over a flask of vile dwarven liquor, and Celandine told Karl over and over again that it was okay that he had killed her that time – she’d gotten over it.

The Belly of the Beasts

The next morning, the adventurers descended into Gormengast’s menagerie. Within, they found an assortment of fiends, from lowly dretches to fearsome fiendish lions. But Gormengast’s prize subject was Subject IX, a bearded devil, shock-trooper of Hell itself. Perin, unwilling to let such abominations survive on the material plane, convinced his fellows that the beasts must be disposed of. Meanwhile, the bearded devil could only cackle. The party made their preparations, and flung wide the door to the devil’s cell – only to have it vanish before their eyes! The beast was a teleporter! It used it’s power to free the other fiends, and then rejoined the fray.

Our heroes had a pitched battle on their hands, and Karl was soon overwhelmed by a pair of dire lions. Lucky for our heroes, the dretches took the opportunity to flee, leaving the barbazu alone to combat the fully prepared party – and even then, our heroes were hard pressed. The cramped conditions worked to the beast’s advantage, allowing him to fend off the stalwart Perin at the front lines with it’s saw-toothed glaive. It was only when Bertram hauled his beleaguered ally off the front lines that the devil made a fatal miscalculation.

“I know you, Bertram of the Woodland Blade. I know your wife. Your sons, your daughters. Their screams are quite the delicacy where I’m from.” Enraged by the news that his family had no peace even in death, Bertram took up the magical sword the party had found in an empty cell, parried aside the monstrous ranseur, and slew the devil with a single mighty blow.

Rallying around their comrade, the party managed to slay the deadly lions and revive the reckless and embarrassed Karl. After a short rest to investigate the cells and recover some valuable emergency supplies, the party set of in pursuit of the fleeing dretches.

They soon caught up to the loathsome little beasts, and though the demons used their fear power to best advantage, they were soon over-run and slain.

The Winged Terror

The party traveled on through the mountains, armed with a little more knowledge of the mastermind behind their recent woes. But their peaceful journey was not to last, for they, in a mountain pass, were ambushed by a fearsome white dragon. She launched herself into the fray, using her icy breath to soften the party up. At last, Karl was given a chance to prove his worth, and he lustily engaged the beast in combat. Soon finding herself surrounded and overwhelmed by a hail of vicious blows from rapier, sword, and sling, the proud dragon fled to the safety of the cliffs above.

The party took the opportunity to raid the dragon’s lair before she returned, finding a wealth of coin and a cunningly concealed trunk full of valuables. Somewhat wealthier, they resumed their journey to the other side of the Mountains.

Partings and Meetings

The slopes of the Calenhad Pass came soon enough, and Karl took his leave of the party, promising a warm welcome should they ever cross his path again. Shouldering their packs and taking stock, our heroes set out on the well-traveled road to Castle Blackfyre.

When they arrived at the gates, they were escorted to Lord Balon Blackfyre’s personal audience chamber. There the party regaled him with all that they had learned. He replied by telling the party that he and his men had encountered this Mordigaunt’s agents before. Mordigaunt, he said, was a cunning and charismatic foe, and he was no doubt gathering an army in the Scarr, preparing to assault the lands of Blackfyre, and then the whole Kingdom of Light. While Blackfyre prepared his defenses for the coming assault, the party elected to make haste for Fialus to warn the king of the impending danger, both from without the kingdom, and perhaps from within.

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Trouble at Hammerfall
Let's hunt some Orc
On the Road

The party set out on the road to Blackfyre Castle. They were tasked with guarding a Halfling Merchant’s caravan on his journey through Hob’s Wood to the mining town of Hammerfall.

The party was encountered by a band of elves, who warned the players that they were passing through elven lands, and that the local Orc tribe had been growing restless. The party soon encountered the proof of that when they were set upon by an orc scouting party – clearly the orcs didn’t know what manner of people they were assaulting. The party soon sent them packing.

Arrival at Hammerfall

The adventurers soon arrived at Hammerfall. There was much to see and do. After seeing of the grateful halfling, the party strolled into the local tavern. There, they found several off-duty militiamen, a group of carousing nuns, and one Karl Ironspine, a gregarious dwarf from the barbarous tribes of the Hammer Mountains, who proceeded to inform the party (between swigs of his vile dwarven liquor) that he was in town on business – specifically, to guard his brother Mikul’s silver mine, just northeast of Hammerfall. Mikul, confided Karl, with his mining and machinery and all, was the black sheep of the family.

But carousing in taverns was not the party’s only business. They went to the local militia barracks to repair and resupply their weaponry. While there, they encountered the captain of the local miltia, Montaren. Montaren proceeded to regale the party with the woes of Hammerfall. They were regularly besieged by raids from the local orc tribe, the Screaming Wounds. Montaren’s men were green as grass, and too few in number to repel the orcs for much longer. And a frontal assault into the orc-held woods was likely too dangerous. After some negotiating – and a heated argument with Clock that almost got the whole gang clapped in irons, Montaren agreed to pay the party to deal with the Orc menace.

After learning what the could about the Screaming Wounds from the local representative of the Royal College, the party bedded down for the night, preparing to set out in the morning to hunt some Orc.

Fighting Through The Forest

The party awoke fresh and rested, ready for whatever perils the forest might hold. The same could not be said for Karl Ironspine. Though the party attempted to convince him to come orc-hunting, he was too busy nursing his hangover to come with them. The band of adventurers set out on their own.

They soon encountered the vanguard of the Screaming Wounds, a vicious and intelligent species of wolf known as a Warg. Surprised by the stealthy approach of Clock and Bertram, the warg was put to flight and then slain.

Utilising their mastery of stealthy, the two canny warriors managed to catch the perimeter guards of the Screaming Wounds quite unawares. The next few warrior bands were not so easily surprised, but they proved no match for Bertram’s bow, Celandine’s magic missiles, Yvanet’s scimitar, Clock’s rapier, or Perin’s mace.

Before too long, the warrior host of the Screaming Wounds were laid low, and the party found themselves in what remained of the chieftain’s camp. The Chieftain himself, and his sorcerous advisor, had wisely decided that discretion was the better part of valor, but they left for our brave adventurers a parting gift. Not only did the party have the two biggest, burliest orcs they’d ever seen to contend with, but the chieftain’s pet – a massive and enraged owlbear!

The battle was fast and furious, and more than one of the brave companions saw the icy claws of death reach out for them – but were snatched away by the aid of their friends. Working together, the raging beast and the brawny orcs were brought to ruin, and the spoils their masters had left behind were the party’s for the taking.

A Better Offer

On the party’s return to Hammerfall, Captain Montaren was duly grateful, and true to his word, rewarded the party for their efforts. And before they could set off towards the most dangerous leg of their journey, Karl approached the party with a better offer. He claimed he could guide the party through the treacherous passes of the Hammer mountains, shaving days off of their travel time, and allowing the party to bypass entirely the ruined land of festering evil known as Scarr. The party accepted, and so it was that they set off north, clad in furs, towards the Hammer Mountains.

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The Village
...but this time, the monsters were real, and not bullshit.
The Summons

Sir Aaron Connel, a minor knight and a vassal to the Blackfyre family, was at his wits end. No one had heard from the outlying settlement of [[Lily-End]] for weeks. The only sign of life at all was when a half-mad and taciturn druid by the name of Yvanet Silvertreeemerged from the woods. But on the subject of what happened in Lily-End, Yvanet would not – or could not – speak. His father away quelling Orc incursions to the south, Connel was forced to put out a call for aid.

Four answered it. Perin Jettars, a young brother of the Ordo Lux Aeterna, and no stranger to peril. Celandine Wright A shy, seemingly timid young woman with greater powers than her slender frame might otherwise seem. Clock, a brash young woman carrying weaponry not seen outside of the Free Cities, and Bertram, a wily ranger on a mission of revenge.

The unlikely foursome, with Yvanet in tow, made their way through the treacherous Hob’s Wood towards Lily-End. On the way, they were accosted by goblin bandits, but the able team made short work of them – Yvanet revealing her power, trapped the goblins in the very undergrowth around them, and the villains were soon dispatched. But the true peril lay ahead.

The team found Lily-End deserted. Not a soul remained in the empty farmhouses. The parish church, it seemed, had been the sight of some bloody violence. And the tracks from it all led to one place – the cemetary. Dusk was setting in as the adventurers stepped into the boneyard. Hidden within were a pack of rotting skeletons! Their sheer number threatened to overwhelm the party, until Perin called upon his faith to drive the abominations back. The dead fled, but not for long, and the party, badly wounded, beat a hasty retreat back to the safety of the church. The undead, prevented from setting foot on hallowed ground, were forced to wait until the party, fresh and rested, emerged, and made short work of them. But if the undead couldn’t have attacked the church? Than who had? Answers, it seemed, were only to be found in the old Connel Crypt, at the centre of the boneyard.

The party discovered a secret passage under the crypt, and soon came face to face with horrors incomprehensible. The crypt had clearly been used for some kind of ritual sacrifice – the population of Lily’s end lay in a heap of corpses. Black magic must have been at work, for not all of these corpses were entirely dead – the party elected to set the whole thing on fire, rather than risk Castle Connel being attacked by a zombie horde.

In a second burial chamber, the party came face to face with a mighty skeletal troll – probably placed there to guard a single key. Doom was near, until Yvanet, her trusty shilleghlah in hand, delivered a brutal blow to the unholy creature’s skull, sending it crumbling to the ground.

Behind door number three, only foiled hopes. The party found plenty of evidence of black magic, but nothing to explain the senseless death. Except a mysterious cloaked figure, who Celandine identified as an illusion, who warned our heroes that their efforts were for naught.

“Greeting to whoever happens to be in this room. You must be champions of no small skill to have made it into this chamber. By now you must know that the sheep who populated this shit-stain of a village have been slain. They serve a far greater purpose in death than they ever could have in life.

My advice to you is to quit while you’re ahead. I had intended that this crypt might serve as an invasion point, but it’s loss is one I cn gladly bear. In truth, your heroics were for naught. Soon, my master will awaken. Soon the Unforgiving King will be dead. Soon the Dead Kingdoms will awaken, and come seeking out the living. Soon your precious Kingdom of Light, a kingdom built on hypocrisy and lies, will be ashes and dust.

Tremble, mortals, for the time of the Old Ways is coming round once again.”

With those ominous words, the sorcerous image departed, leaving our heroes to return to Castle Connel more-or-less unmolested. (There was a giant spider, swiftly dispatched). There, they recounted the dire news to Sir Connel, who begged the heroes to warn Lord Blackfyre that the Kingdom might be in deadly peril. As the foremost defender of the kingdom, what with his lands bordering Scarr, he stood the best chance of repelling an attack.

So, more-or-less willingly, our heroes set off for the Castle of Blackfyre.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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