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scars_of_carma

Blood on the Stones Act 1

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Background
It is the year 1425 in the Kingdom of Acamea. The Crusade of King Braden I is embroiled in violent battles all over the kingdom. Recently, Spelltember, capital of Spell Haven was sacked by drow.

Player Characters
Kom Stone-http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...Cloaked-Figure
Kai-Mei-http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...p/9614-Blydden

Kom Stone is a bastard-born battle-sorcerer of the Bedros family. He earns a living running a small smithy in town but business is slow in these dark times. He’s decided to set out and try and make a difference and restore peace to the land. http://www.obsidianportal.com/campai...aracters/85023

Kai-Mei is originally of The World of Toril but has appeared here in rather mysterious circumstances. An assassin by trade, the Shadow-genasi has quickly availed himself of the fear and chaos in Acamea to find lucrative contracts.http://www.obsidianportal.com/campai...acters/kai-mei

Weather and Season
It is early Spring in the Bedros province. Strong winds and icy rains quickly wear at lingering snows. White-capped mountains gleam in the sun but the blooms of spring are yet to come.

The terrain is hilly, hard and rocky. Stunted evergreens and hardy brush lay their roots wherever they can reach soil that is still in a state of permafrost. Farmers in this land usually must wait till late spring to lay hardy crops of barley, potato’s and sweet roots.

Act 1: Part 1, “Blood on the Stones”

Kom Stone locks up shop and goes to speak with his mentor and real father-figure Royal Mage, Draven BlackCloak seeking advice. Instead Draven asks him for a favor, he needs a trustworthy messenger to carry the will of the Baron to his relatives in Realmadon.

Draven also spots a nervous dwarf dropping an envelope in his message-box, which turns out to be an important piece of evidence Dravens been seeking for years. After a small chat Draven asks Kom to return later after he's done a bit of research.

Kai-Mei arrives in town that day in pursuit of Tura BlackAxe, a dwarf who carries valuable information. He’s been hired to kill Tura and retrieve the information he carries. Tura has thus far evaded him for weeks, and the shadow-genasi has lost his verve for the hunt. He waits till nightfall to seek out his quarry, hoping to fulfill his contract as soon as possible.

Kom decides to stop by his favorite tavern, The Iron Ales to say goodbye to a few friends before he goes on to meet Draven. He spots the nervous dwarf responsible for that mysterious envelope in a shadowy booth in the corner of the room.



Moments later, Kai enters the tavern by mere coincidence looking for that same dwarf. However, not being aware that either PC has reason to take note of his presence Tura continues his musing, much to his dismay...

Soon after four other dwarves enter the tavern. It turns out Kai is not the only person(s) seeking Tura, who is aware of their intentions and therefor immediately bolts into the kitchen. Three of the four dwarves bolt after him while the fourth heads for the front door.

Kai tries to cut them off but ends up between their leader and two of his men. A melee ensues, with Kai seriously wounding one dwarf, and Kom seriously wounding the other. Both dwarves withdrawal preferring to live to fight another day.

Kai and Kom take off through the kitchens in pursuit of the other two dwarves. They find them facing off in an alleyway and manage to intimidate the other dwarf to flee the scene. Unsure if he is safe or not Tura hesitantly surrenders.

Kai begins a furious search of his possessions searching for this “valuable information” he’s supposed to be carrying. Kai then starts to threaten Tura which rubs Kom the wrong way.

A struggle ensues, Tura gets away while the two PC’s grapple. Kai sticks one of his masterwork daggers into Kom, and manages to run off before the town guard arrive leaving Kom wounded and very confused.
_______________________________________________

Thyos Session 1 coming soon
______________________________________________

Act 1: Part 2, “Nightfalls”

After Kom speaks with the city-guard about the incident at The Iron Ales he makes his way to Dravens tower. He kept the masterwork dagger Kai stabbed him with in the hopes that the wizard might divine something from it. In the meantime, Kai is resting in the shadows recovering his strength.

When Kom arrives at the Royal Mages tower Draven is happy to see him. “I want to introduce you to someone!” He says. Rongbulle Bigbladder is a gnomish knight and another old friend of Dravens. “He is to accompany you to Realmadon.” He says matter-of-factly.

Kom and Ronbulle exchange some small talk but they are both surprised to hear about Koms recent fight. Kom asks Draven if he can make anything of the dagger? “Indeed I can lad!” Draven says placing it carefully on a rune-stitched cloth. The Wizard shushes his guests and starts to murmur arcane syllables. On the table the dagger rises and hovers before him.

Around it the air shimmers and an image of Kai appears, still resting in the shadows. “Thats him that’s the assassin!” Kom says.

“Hmm, strange this one is, not of this world… but evil I think not. You must remember Kom, evil deeds do not always have evil motives. We must learn more about him before we make a hasty-judgement.”

Thus Draven continues to concentrate on his spell, the air shimmers again, this time it shows Kai travelling westward on a road. The scene skips back again, Kai is seen going into a dark castle beneath mountains further east. Draven gasps. “I cannot see into this castle.” He says “It is warded with powerful magic.”

“Whomever he is, he’s got do be dealt with soon.” Rongbulle interrupts. “I don’t want his sort on our trail.”

“I do not believe he came here to stop me from doing anything.” Kom interjects. “He was looking for something in that dwarf’s possessions, which reminds me Draven, I’m pretty sure I saw that dwarf put something in your message box earlier today!”

“Hmmm…” Draven ponders. “That dwarf must have been the messenger I was expecting. I did not imagine that scrap of parchment was worth someones life! That in itself tells me something…” Draven begins to murmur again and the air shimmers once more.

This time the scene goes further back into Kai’s past. Kai is crawling in the snow, around him a flock of ravens are cawing and pecking at him. A dark figure appears before him. Kai looks up to see a grinning skull beset with bright red eyes beneath the hood.

Draven gasps and the dagger falls to the table. “It is worse then I thought! He is hisss!” A chill fills the room. Draven appears to shiver and wobble on his own legs. He picks up the dagger with a trembling hand and turns to Kom stuttering, “K-Kom, I, I cant…”

The gnome senses something is wrong but it is already too late, Draven plunges the blade through his own eye and falls in a heap!

Agape with shock and horror Kom runs into the castle to find a healer while Rongbulle flee’s into the streets. He ends up in a tavern muttering to himself those eyes… those bright red eyes…

Meanwhile Kom is scolded by his father Hage Bedros. "How did you not know what you were dealing with!"

Kom is at a loss for words. Everyone seems to presume he is somehow tainted by the evil that killed Draven. The priests lock him out of the church and the scene ends with Kom holding his head in his hands.
_______________________________________________

Thyos Session 2 coming soon
_______________________________________________

Act 1: Part 3 “Surprise Attack!”

Recovered now from his wounds, Kai finds Tura hiding in a sewer and proceeds to question him by dunking his face into the water.

“I-I gave the note to the Royal Mage! It was a page torn from a journal.” He says.

“Who’s journal?!” Kai demands. “My-my ancestors journal!” Tura says.

“What does it say!?” Kai asks forcing his head underwater again for encouragement…

“S-something about a merchant in Realmadon and, and a gift he gave my ancestor. T-that’s all I swear it!” Tura says spitting the taste of the filthy water out of his mouth.

Kai decides the dwarf is telling the truth and dunks his head underwater a final time, drowning him. A Royal Mage hmm? Kai grumbles and heads for the castle. I have a score to settle with that bastard sorcerer from the Inn as well...

After the moon has risen Rongbulle stumbles out of the tavern. Some dwarves start making jokes at his expense from an alleyway. A fight breaks out, and the gnome chops off the dwarf’s arm! Kai happens to come upon the fight sneaking through the alleyways.

Rongbulle and the dwarves take off running as soon as the assassin shows his face. Some guardsman catch up with Rongbulle but they do not know why he is running? They tell him he is wanted at the castle for questioning about Draven’s death.

Meanwhile, Kom is sitting in the shadows of the church with his back against the stones. He is approached by his younger cousin Alicia Bedros, who admits to him that she foresaw the days events.

As proof she shows him her diary, complete with a perfect illustration of Kai’s dagger, and the note Draven was given this morning. Alicia pleads with Kom to spare Kai. “I don’t know why, but I know you need him!”

She goes on to say that Draven’s soul is at risk unless they find this “art-item” mentioned in the journal. “You must use it to trade for Dravens soul!” She says running off in tears.

At that moment, Kai is preparing to scale the castle wall when a group of drow emerge from the shadows. He narrowly avoids getting killed and manages to get atop the wall just as magical globes of darkness appear around its perimeter.

The drow tactics surprise the guards, and their scouts dispatch many in quick fashion. Kom runs to Alicia's tower hoping to protect her. He manages to save her, but not his other cousin Dennison.

Kom’s father appears atop the tallest tower creating a giant orb of daylight in the sky. Flaming arrows are then fired over the wall at the drow who are still holding rank as if waiting for something.

The scene ends as the ground shakes and huge dark-crystal-spires break through the streets around the solid stone the castle sits upon.
_______________________________________________

Thyos Session 3 coming soon
_______________________________________________

Act 1: Part 4 "Escape!"



As the dark-crystal-spires rise to their peak their purpose becomes clear. They absorb all light and magic within a large radius! Torches, candles, and even magical light begin to loose their radiance. It seems the entire castle will be plunged into darkness within a matter of minutes!

Whats worse, magical communication or transportation outside of the castle is impossible and none of the defensive wards function. It seems the drow have cleverly turned the castle itself into a trap!

Kom and Alicia run towards Dravens Tower by way of the small bridge from the castle. Meanwhile, Kai-Mei hacks through the door atop the wall hoping to find entrance into Dravens tower from there.

However he quickly realizes that room is merely a guard post, with three frightened guardsman inside who assume he must be a drow. "Give up! You pathetic humanoid can not best me!" Kai says before dispatching them.

On the bridge below him, Kom and Alicia hear their screaming and the sound of battle echoiing through the arrow slits above. Wasting no time, Kom and Alicia enter Dravens tower. Kom knows of a secret escape tunnel on the ground level below.

At the same time Kai also realizes the 2nd floor entrance that Kom and Alicia just recently used is the best way into the tower, though he did not actually seem them pass. In order to reach that entrance from the guard post he climbs along the side of the tower, making use of the arrow slits as hand-holds and drops unto the bridge from above.

Kom and Alicia have found the secret escape tunnel, and Kom also takes a minute to find the torn journal entry that Draven was studying earlier today. They also hear the sound of Kei Mei above searching the second floor for that same journal entry. Quickly, Kom opens the escape tunnel and pushes Alicia through.

Unfortunately the sound of the secret entrance opening alerts Kai Mei that someone is below. Kom notices a dark figure appear on the stairwell as soon as he drops down after Alicia. Kom isn't positive but the figure he saw was
either the assassin (who's dagger killed Draven) or another Drow scout. Either way, not good..

Meanwhile Kai Mei leaps through the hole in pursuit and faces off with Kom once more. Alicia pushes her way between them and cries out. "Stop! Do not fight!" Kai Mei instantly stops his swords...but they are at Alicia's throat.

The three of them are stand together in a narrow corridor hewn from solid rock. Very dim light filters through from the hole to the secret entrance above and from magical candles inside the corridor. It slopes downward.

Kom growls at the assassin. "Do not harm her, or you'll never get what you're after."

"Nice to see you, warmage...You, girl, out
of my way! I would rather not kill a defenseless lady like yourself. The warmage and I have unfinished business!" Kai says.

"I am not interested in killing you. I wasn't before, either." Kom says. Alicia holds her ground bravely and stares into Kai Mei's eyes pleadingly.

"I know you, I've seen how you suffered, I've seen you crawling through the snow... and I know how you can have revenge against the black-robed man!"

"Oh?! How do you know what I have been through?! You are just a pathetic humanoid."
Kei Mei's swords tense in his hands. Why can't I just...kill her?...Cmon swords...slit her throat already! "Get her to shut up!"

"I can't she's an oracle!" Kom explains.

Alicia nods. "I am... special... I see things, and I know things I should not... But we have a mutual enemy, and we can help you! There is no reason that you should kill each other now!"

"Mutual enemy? What do you mean? Draven said this one belonged to the enemy! He said he was his!" Kom interjects.

An oracle? That explains it... Kai Mei thinks. A single black tear runs down his cheek. Kai-Mei
screams at his inability to kill her, and the fact he somehow still has a conscience. "How much else have you seen...oracle?"

"You are merely an unwitting pawn. He set you on this path." She replies.

"Unwitting?! How dare you..." Kai-Mei's hands tremble again but Alicia does not flinch. "You. Oracle. How come you stand before me so fearlessly? All of you other humanoids are so cowardly...and everyone else is just so...unkind..."

"Skellos used you. Hes been using you. But its not your fault." Alicia reaches a hand up to Kai's blade... "You do not have to do this. You can make ammends. I believe in you!"

"How can I when I have nothing to ammend for?! If you ask me, it is everyone else that must make ammeds... to ME."
*
Alicia shakes her head. "I can help you remember. But if we die here... our lives would end for nothing... and Skellos, wherever he is, will just laugh at us."

"How. Tell me, how can you help me? Granted you are an oracle, but you are just as mortal as everyone else. I will show you....." Again his blades press dangerous firm to her fair skin. Her bosom heaves as her heart races.

Kom is mortified. Not her!

"Tell me oracle. I have killed so many heartless...racist people. How come
you are the first one I cannot kill? My swords simply don't want to kill you..." Kai asks incredulously.

"We are all mortal fools in the eyes of the gods, more to Skellos then anyone. Would you have him pull your strings so willingly? I am merely speaking from my heart," she reaches over to touch Kai's chest. "I feel you also have a heart. You must let your heart free to do the right thing."

Kai Mei chuckles. "A heart...?...Foolish...I cast off my heart years ago..." At least...I thought I did...

A tear appears on Alicia's cheek. "I know... how you have suffered. And I suffered through you... though we've never met before. I do not want to see you die anymore then anyone. I do not hate what I understand."

"Hah! What do you understand about me? What have you seen?" Kai Mei asks.

"More then you probably remember..." She whispers. "You choose to ignore the nightmares because it makes it easier to keep living. But I remember, and I can help you see the truth, and live a life that's real, instead of a life of lies."

Kai's hands tremble once more but he finally moves his swords off of Alicia's throat in sheer frustration. "I can't kill YOU anyway. Warmage. As long as she speaks, I will give you life."

More screams filter down from above as the Drow resume their attack. "We do not have much time. Will you come with us? We need your help." She says.

"Fine. This is the only way out of here apperently. I will guard the rear. Warmage. You can run faster than I. Take her and wait for me if you can on the outside...and if this oracle dies, you will. Understand?" Kom stares at him in disbelief. "Get going your morons!"

"Lets go Alicia!" Kom says taking her arm. Together they run out of Kai Mei's sight. "I can't believe he didn't kill you..." He mutters relieved.

The tunnel slopes down for a ways, through the solid rock until another door appears. This door is cleverly hidden also, and it warns of traps and magic wards. The door opens into an underground river, with small sturdy boat lashed before it. The water is swift and dark.

"Better we leave now. I don't trust him." Kom says.

Alicia punches him in the arm. "You have to trust him or we won't get out of here!"

Moments later, Kai Mei appears at the door. "It seems I forgot to close the secret door behind us. We should leave quickly before we are followed."

Grunting his assent Kom helps Alicia into the boat. There are a pair of oars there, but he realizes he cannot see well enough to navigate the river in the darkness. To remedy this he casts light on the front of the boat.

"What are you tryingto do? Make a signal to the drow? I can see in here, don't worry. Now turn off that light, it hurts my eyes." Kai says.

Alicia looks scared "I hate the Drow!" Kom shakes his head. "I'm trying to make sure we don't wreck the boat."

"And I'm trying to make sure YOU don't get us killed! I can steer the stupid boat you imbecile!"

Kom hesitates, imagining the assassins blades at his throat as soon as he cancels his spell... but he finally relents engulfing them in pitch black once more.

"Keep your heads down if you know whats good for you." Kai's voice echo's eerily close.

As the boat bounces down along the swift underwater causeway, they have little time to guess how far they've travelled or in which direction... Within a few minutes, they pass through an open cavern which is occupied by drow, and duergar, who are building and
crafting tools of war. Alicia gasps. They only catch glimpse of them for a few moments, and without a light they do not spot the boat bobbing through close by. "I told you." Kai Mei whispers. Kom shushes him extremely quietly.

Eventually the boat ride ends at a shallow cave beside a pond. It is still dark of course, but the starlight is understandably comforting compared to the claustraphobic underground domain of the evil drow and duergar they just passed through.

Kom looks to the heavens. "I pray
these stars still shine on my father's people as well."

"Don't push your luck. By now their heads are probably rolling all over the ground. Oh yes, blood everywhere..." Kai Mei savors the thought. Kom clenches his fists, but keeps his temper in check so that Alicia is not harmed.

A chill breeze brushes past them reminding them that it is very chilly and they should make camp if they wish to keep warm.

Kai-Mei enjoys the cold breeze. He loves winter because there is less day and more night. "Alright. You can make camp now, or we travel until sunrise. Since your little entrance let me escape, I might as well let you make the decision."

Alicia Shivers "Are we going to see my father?" She asks Kom.

Kom nods. "Our destination is in Realmadon. Our troops must be recalled to my home."

"Alright." Kai shrugs.

"I think it would be prudent to travel as long as we can tonight. The farther we are from here, the safer we all are."

Kai Mei points at Alicia. "Can the oracle stand the cold?"

"I... I d-dunno" Alicia says her teeth chattering. Kom quickly changes his mind.

"We should make camp here. Unfortunately, my winter outfit, blanket, and tent are all back at the stables, I had to leave without them."
****
"Hah. You pathetic humanoids and your pleasentries." Kai Mei says sitting under a nearby tree.

"I don't need them in this weather. I only wish I had them to offer to Alicia."

"Oh so the oracle has a name?" Kai-Mei chuckles as he dumps out his rations. All meat...all raw meat...a week's worth. Kom has one day's worth of trail rations, which he gives to
Alicia who nibbles at it keeping her eyes off Kai's disgusting meal. She presses against Kom for warmth, still in her night-gown after all... her nipples are perky and her skin has goosebumps.
****
"We need to get firewood." Kom says.

"Oh right. You humanoids prefer your food cooked. Well that is none of my concern." Kai-Mei says ripping off a piece of ham with his teeth.

Kom frowns. "I'll leave my cloak with you Alicia, but I need to collect some brush to burn so we can stay warm and I can prepare a hot meal."
*
"Bah. I'll do it." Kai-Mei says marching off taking a whole Ham with him to munch on.
***
"Then I'll stay here and keep Alicia safe." Kom says.

"You do that." Kai snorts. Kai-Mei has never lit a fire before...so he just picks up anything
that looks remotely flammable. Brances, twigs, leaves, small animal corpses, etc... He returns to camp with a mish-mash of stuff, sitting on top is a grasshopper. "Ooh. I missed that."

Kom sorts through it, throwing out the nonflammables, and then starts a fire with his flint and steel. Kai-Mei snatches the grasshopper deftly and savors its deliciously insecty flavor.
*
They rest...

...end of act 1.

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Updated 05-22-2010 at 03:52 AM by scars_of_carma (UPDATE)

Categories
Campaign Logs , Gaming , Ayodya

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