Fragments of Kaos

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Winter's grasp

In an innatural cold day of early spring, we find five adventurers in the tavern of Kalmada, passing there to reach Greypeack, the capital of the ononimous state, situated in a vast valley in the middle of the Grey Mountains, major place for trading uncommon and magical items.
The five adventurer we’re soon to tell the story are: Grim, a warrior with a liking for scythes, As’taris, a druid half-elf, Snilz, the charming thief (or such he calls himself), Kane, a magic-user, and Malt, a traveling halfling bard.

While everyone of them is minding their buisness, a charming woman enters the tavern, and after a quick glance, moves towards Snilz, casually asking if he’s up for some “work”.
As he asks for more info, both Malt and Kane, having overheard the frist part, come closer.

The woman explain them that she is a merchants which trades in some “particular” goods, and that a strange phenomenon is blocking her cargo for being delivered. As’taris, which was sent there because of strange reports of a never-ending winter near the Kalmada Pass, promtly asked about that, while Grim was more interested into the athletic figure of the merchant.

After presenting herself as Lilith, she explained that the weather around the area is unnaturaly frigid, and that the pass was completly blocked by a glacier. She then asked the adventurer to find a way to solve this mystery.

A snowflake does not make a snowstorm

The adventurers went to the peack, noticing that the weather was getting worse the closer they were to the peack. Strange things were also happening to the usual dweller of the mountains.
In the end, after risking their lives in a snowstorm, they reached the pass, where they realized that Snilz, the thief, had gone missing.While exploring the pass, they found three corpses, which apparently died due to the freezing wheater. However, what puzzled them was the unusual frostbites that they found on the corpses. Altough the bodies were frozen, the frost bites where unusually placed in the chest of the corpses. Seeing this Kane theorized that they were killed by magical means, probably frost-based spell.
The mage could not even tell the others of his guesswork that a strange figure made her appereance, taunting them. She looked like an elven child, dressed in a blue dress, with six cristal-like wings around her. The mage identified her immediatly as an elemental, while As’taris, the druid, was sure that the strange girl was a fairy.
After a brief dialogue, where the elemental/fairy ,after presenting herself as Cirno and boasting her superior intellect, attacked the group.
The fight that started dissipated them of every doubt they may have left on who or what had killed the men they’ve seen: Cirno started attacking with a strange, unnaturally blue Scorching Ray, which nearly knocked out Grim. Grim, blinded with fury, charged the fairy, but, due to his rage and pain for the heavy damage he suffered by the spell, he instead hitted As’taris’ comnpanion, a white wolf, with a scythe, nearly killing it. As’taris run to her companion side, healing him with her most powerful spells. Meanwhile, Kane summoned a celestial eagle, while Malt healed the warrior wounds. The fairy turned her attenction on the mage, hitting him with a Magic Missile while flying up into the air, out of reach for Grim, which dropped his scythe and drew out his crossbow, loading it. In the mean time As’taris, after having secured her companion well-being, turned her attention to the fairy, casting a Produce Flame. Kane instead responded to the fairy attack with an Acid Arrow, while his eagle attacked the fairy in mid-air. Malt too extracted his crossbow, loading it. Cirno, having been heavily wounded by the eagle, shoot down the summoned creature with a Magic Missile. Grim and Malt fired their crossbow, As’taris her flames. After being wounded by those attacks, Cirno yielded, asking for mercy, claiming to know precious informations about the innatural winter.
The group stopped attacking, asking the fairy what information she knew. Hovewer Cirno, after commenting on how naive they were, unleashed a powerful rain of ice shards, causing a landslide, which trampled the group, dragging them in a fissure into the mountain side.

In the Hall of the Mountain

After falling down into the fissure, the party came to a tumbling end into a seeming natural cave. After checking if everyone of them was alright, they decided that they were too exhausted to properly explore the cave, so they decided to rest there for a rest. The cave was unnaturally warm, and they felt their fatigue fade from them as they slept there. When they awoke, they found out that their injuries had healed much more quickly than what would be considered usual, and that they had nor hunger or thristh. Unsettled by these discoveries, they made their way through numerous tunnels.
As the group made his way through the maze, they began to see traces of sentient being inhabiting the caves: as they wentured into the caves, Grim activated a trap, making darts rain over the party from the ceiling.
After the trap, the group took a much more weary advance, examing carefully their surroundings, succesfully dodging two other traps, until they came to an opening into the wall, while the tunnel continued, turning left. The opening seemed fairly recent to them, probably caused by the quake that made them fall into the underground complex. The other side seemed to be another tunnel, this time the work of humanoids, as it was cobbled with flagstones.
While they continued to explore the cave, they were ambushed by a group of Mites, which along with some giant maggots, were quickly dispatched by some fire-based spells from As’taris and Kane. The group re-united with Snilz, which had entered from another passage, which collapsed behind him. The group, finally whole, continued to explore the cave, until they found another fork. The group took the left turn, finding, after a few minutes of walking, a strange arch, inscribed with writing none of them could decipher. Going ahead, the corridor lead to a small room, where a large sarcophagus stood, an urn on it, humming with magic, and four great stone statues. using a minor spell, Kane discovered that the urn was the source of a powerful ward, whose focus were the four stone statues in the room.
He then started fiddling with the statues, trying to cut out the ward power source. However, something went horribly wrong: with an ear-brusting noise, the urn exploded, releasing massive arcane energies, and causing another quake. Both As’taris and Malt were knocked unconscious by the falling debris, and with a blood chilling howl, the tomb lid was thrown away, slamming against Grim, smashing him into a wall.
An undead mostrousity emerged from the tomb, cursing them for profaning a holy site. The figure quickly engaged with Snilz and As’taris wolf companion, keeping them at bay, apparently immune to harm, be it from daggers or from claws. Only Kane seemed to be able to affect the skeletal monster with his spells, an the undead, revealing a rather superior intelligence compared to other undeads, focused his attacks on him. Meanwhile, Grim managed to free himself from the coffin lid, and, after having grabbed his scythe, engaged the undead.
Eventually the thing collapsed, pronouncing cryptic words about things that were not meant to be freed.

Not so brief summary of what happened

Since the whole campaing is a bit too long to describe in details(we’re playing this adventure since september 2011 on a weekly basis) I’ll sum up the story:

While exploring the cave, they met Axoras, an half-elf ranger which fell into those tomb after the earthquake caused by the destruction of the urn. Eventually they came to an exit, a large opening, which led to a glaive, where a majestic blooming cherry tree stood, humming with magic. Here a strange figure greeted them , asking As’taris, in the secret language of the druids, if she was willing to aid a just cause. The druid explained that a powerful avatar of nature was imprisoned in the tree, and that she’s been gathering all the heat from the earth to break the sigil, causing the innatural winter. However, to release the sigil a sacrifice was needed. As’taris, recognizing the madness in the words of the druid, refused, causing the crazed figure to mutate in a large, moth-like aberration. After defeating her, the cherry tree shattered, having harvested the vital force of the druid. A horrorifing, ooze-like, black creature stood up, observing the party, then leaped into the sky, leaving what seems like a hundread of smaller replicas behind.
Suddenly numerous blue-clothed figures seemed to emerge from nowhere, unleashing a barrage of spell against the strange creatures. After the abominations were deal with, the blue-robed mages turned to the party, and another mage, obiviously a high-ranking official, apporached the party, presenting himself as Maris, claiming that they had penetrated a possession of Greypeack, and broken a sigil apposed by the Council of the city.
The group was then brought to Greypeack for interrogation, and afterwards faced a trial. While they were in their cells, waiting for verdict, a strange, ooze like matter began to cover the ceiling, the walls and the floor. They tried to scream, but discovered that they could emit no sound. After the oozing black substance covered they bodies, they fainted, only to awaken in a cave, with no apparent exit, with walls completly covered by glowing runes. In the center of the cave, a magical circle with chains was emitting a strong, red light. Suddenly, an explosion of magical energy erupted from the circle, while an unnatural light was shed by a circular object in the middle of the circle.
They watched the light, and suddenly, after seeing an horrorifing figure, whose features were too terrible to even be remembered by them, they died.
Each of them found himself/herself on a floating platform, in the middle of nowhere. Each of them met a powerful entity, which, after telling cryptic words about the thing they had encountered and about how the now were linked to hit, brought them back to life.
When they opened their eyes again, a heated battle was taking place. From the magic circle dozen of thick, red tentacles where emerging, while all around the room the mages of Greypeack, including the Council memebers who were judging them them, were fighting against them.
After the “thing” was defeated, a mage of the council, Beatrice, teleported the group in the sewer of the city, telling them that they should escape with haste, and that she knew what happened. After escaping from the city, they met a druid, Reim, who adventured with Beatrice before she became a powerful magician. They spent two weeks in Reim’s grove, where Axoras tamed his animal companion, Brutale, a mountain lion, until Beatrice contacted them and ordered the group to go to Tradem, one of the major cities of the continent, and once there to contact one of her spies, which was hiding in the brothel “La Malafemmena”
They resumed traveling, and they came to the city of Talman, were they discovered an unsettlign high number of demons: local orc and goblind tribe were led by them either by sheer force or possession, and even the chief of the city guards was, in fact, one of them. Here they met a cleric of Irori, Johannes, which decided to join the adventurers.
Eventually they discovered that the cause of this demonic presences was a nabasu, hid in the crypt of the temple of Irori, which was killing citizens to fuel his growth, aided by the vengeful and corrupted spirit of a lond-dead saint which inhabited the crypt.
In the final fight, two unsettling events happened: due to necromantic energies, Kane collapsed, lifeless, bu came back to life in a burst of energy, unleashing massive arcane energy. After the event, when the demon was killed, something awoke inside Axoras, and, possessed by an unknow presence, tried to kill Kane, displaying both an unnatural vigor and supernatural powers. The rampaging possesed ranger was halted by the sudden appereance of Horazon, a high-ranking officer of Greypeack which they had met when they were trialed.
The mage, using a powerful binding spell, stopped Axoras, and removed the entity that was possessing him. Being aware that his powers were not adeguate to completly fend off the creature inside Axoras, he advised the group to leave the city as soon as possible, and to meet him in his
laboratoury, in the mountain to the north.
The group promptly followed the sorcerer instructions, and, after a couple of fights with the local fauna, reached the place. Hower, they were not greeted by Horazon, instead they found a majestic white dragon, which presented himself as the master of those mountains, and demanded a reason for the trepassing of his territory.
After hearing their story, the dragon was amused enough to let them survive…after taking nearly everything gold coin they possessed and the strange “lantern”, which he called “hatcher” they had discovered in the crypt

Not so brief summary of what happened 2

The group made it into the laboratory, just to discover that they had triggered some sort of trap. A swarm of elemental minions attacked them, and afterwards they were engaged by two Ice golems. This fight porved to be extremely difficult, as As’taris wolf was impaled by a shower of ice shards and subsequently died.
With the druid reduced to a catathonic state by the loss of her companion, the party ventured further into the cave, finding a death frost wyrm, and numerous signs of battle. Suddendly, they heard detonations in the corridor ahead of them, and when they rushed in, they found Horazon, engaged in combat against Cirno and no less than other three magician.
Despite the difference in numbers, Horazon powers were overhelming for the opponents, which quickly retired usuing a teleporting spell.
Once the fight ended, the magic user was quite surprised to see them, but he quickly explained the group what he created to contain Axoras‘s demon: he bound him with a strange, metallic, eerie collar, which, while providing Axoras a boost in willpower to defend himself from possession attempts, could be activated to instantly sever his head. Horazon then entrusted Kane with the word of command that activated the artifact.
Subsequently he presented them to the guide that was to lead them to Tradem, The Bard,which they had already known in Talman.
The journey to Tradem, while long, was nearly uneventful, except for a very unusual meeting: while the group was approaching Tradem, they crossed path with an extravagant carriage, obiviously belonging to a group of traveling bards or jugglers. The Bard insisted to stop for chatting, saying that he knew a certain someone they must absolutly met. Tis person was revealed to be a blind female orc, which he said was gifted with the ability to foresee the possible futures. He then pressed them to enter the carriage for a fortune-telling, and altough not everyone accepted it, Kane, As’taris, Grim and Johannes decided to try to get a clue on what could be expecting them.
None of them divulged what they had learned, but they all were deeply unsettled by what they were allowed to see, altough none of them has yet found a complete meaning in what he’s seen.

Arrival to Tradem

The morning after the encounter with the seer, the group met another, rather unusual, person: they were woked up by an high-pitched voice, pleading for help. They discovered that a sylph had come seraching for them, specifically for As’taris, affirming that two fo her sisters had been taken prisoners by a powerful mage, in the town of Tradem, who was intentioned to use their powers to animate a monstruosity of flesh. The druid priestess promptly accepted the task, and the fairy gave her a magical feather, capable of showing her the way to the imprisoned sylphs.
After the meeting with the sylph, the adventurers finally arrived to Tradem, were they part ways with their guide, The Bard. (not without a sigh of relief from Kane)
at the city gates, the adventurers were stopped by the guards, led by captain Croax, which confiscated the weapons of the majority of the group, excluding Axoras and As’taris, since Tradem law imposed a fee to pay for permission to carry arms into the city. Suddenly, while the group was handing down their weapons, a small figure dashed near Johannes, stealing his bag.
The guards immediatly reacted, and Croax sniped the figure with a single arrow, piercing his head. The thief was discovered to be a young boy, no more than twelwe in age, and while the group, expecially As’taris and Johannes, stood there in shock, the citizien nearby started to yell, enraged, at the guards. Croax gt rid of it stating it was just a “minor disorder”, and exorted the adventurers to move on.
The group then split, with the mojority of the group searching for an armery, while Kane went to the Temple District, since he learned that it was there the place were he could find some magical reagents. Here he met an old acquaintance of the group, Veigar Greymantle, which they had previosly met in the small town of Talman. The gnome seemed to have relocated his shop in a secondary alley of the district, near the main square.
At the same time, the other members of the band went to the Militia District, in search of a blacksmith.

Sparks of Rebellion

Our brave adventurers, having ventured into the Militia district searching for a blacksmith, managed to get enough money to get their weapons back by selling the treasures they “stumbled upon”. In the meantime, Kane, who separated himself from the group to go in the Temple District, was speechlessy looking to all the items in Veigar’s shop, having no weapon to re-take from the city watch.
As the group arrived at the city gates, they noticed a crowd of people, listening to a tall, blonde man, wearing a full plate armor decorated with holy simbols.
The man was stirring up the people of the city, claiming that the city governor was a tyrant, and that his unjust domain on the city had to be overthrown.
This didn’t go unnoticed to the guards, which quickly approachedto disperse the crowd and arrest the paladin. In a matter of seconds, the corwd got wild, an a surprisingly high number of swords, daggers and even bows where sheated. Most of the group scattered, getting away from a fight they had no wish to be part of, but As’taris and Johannes remained, aiding the guards with healing spell and fire explosions. Most notable figures in the fight were the paladin and an halfing priestess, which demonstrated divine power equal to that of As’taris and Johannes.
Thanks to the help of the two, the uproar was contained without any casualities on their side, and the guards captain, Croax, asked them to follow him to the marquis residence, to testify what happened at the city gates.

The two went to pick up the other memebers, and once the band was complete, went together with Croax to meet the governor of the city. Words of what happened must have spread among the citizen, as they watched the group with a fearful expression.
The meeting with the marquis, a young, composed human named Nayer was brief and formal. He showed a great deal of interest about the figure of the paladin, which they learned to be named Alter. He then rewarded the group by offering them to stay in the guest wing of the palace, an offer which they gladly accepted.

After the meeting the Court Counselor, an human around forty, with red, curly hair, named Veld, asked the adventurers if they were willing to help the government in solving this situations. The counselor told them that the city was on the edge of a civil war, and that uproars like the one they’ve been dragged in where becoming more and more frequent.
Strange events where also happening in the local graveyard, the dead where rising, but strangely they limited themselves to wander around the cemetery.
On top of that, a criminal organization know as the Black Piquè, which had been keeping a low profile until the tension strated to rise, was now actively expanding its activities, and now the fluvial port was in fact a lawless territory. Numerous guards had been assassinated while patrolling the area, their bodies discovered floating in the river. Many ships had also been raided, their cargoes stolen, expecially the ones bringing precious goods.
Caravans where also being attacked, since it seems that the orc tribes to the far south, near Granil, which where the main source of food for the city.
Due to this, the conditions of the lower classes were getting more and more miserable, and a young and charismatic paladin of Pelor, Valefor, quickly gathered around him a great number of supporters, affirming that the marquis had to help the penniless people of the lower classes. When his proposal was refused by Nayer, he started to preach to the people of the city about the injustice of the government. When the Court Counselor ordered his arrest, his supporters attacked the guards. Valefor is currently hiding in the city, probably in the slums.

Ficcanasado in giro

Una volta conclusasi l’udienza con il consigliere di corte, i nostri eroi andarono per cazzi propri si separarono ancora una volta.
Nella fattispecie Kane andò ad indagare al porto, ove erano state assassinate due guardie la scorsa notte. Evidentemente le sue domande attirarono l’attenzione, in quanto egli fu attaccato in un vicolo da due sicari, dai quali riuscì a sfuggire grazie ad un illusione.
Mentre usciva dal quartiere s’imbattè in due dei suoi compagni, Johannes ed Axoras, i quali stavano cercando modi per guadagnarsi del denaro, essendo stati privati dei loro averi all’inizio del viaggio.
Dopo un pomeriggio movimentato che coinvolse Veigar, un suo vecchio compagno di avventure, ora oste, di nome Mirran, una banda di sicari ed un albero parlante, gli avventurieri si riunirono alla Taverna dei Mondi, ove Axoras e Johannes avevano guadagnato alcuni “spiccioli” aiutando Mirran nella taverna.
Lì Kane informò il resto del gruppo che aveva trovato sul corpo di uno dei sicari uccisi un frammento di pergamena sul quale era indicato come raggiungere uno dei magazzini delle Picche Nere, sotto i moli del porto di Tradem.
Mentre uscivano dalla taverna due di loro, Grim e Snilz rimasero coinvolti in una rissa, di cui erano causa principale, che presto si estese a
Una volta constato che sarebbe stato impossibile recuperare i due, data la battaglia campale che si stava svolgendo nella taverna, i restanti membri del gruppo decisero di irrompere nel magazzino dei contrabbandieri. Lì si svolse una dura battaglia per gli avventurieri, i quali vennero messi in severa difficoltà da Tess, uno dei più pericolosi membri delle Picche Nere.
Nonostante l’agilità, la potenza e gli esotici veleni usati da quest’ultimo, i nostri eroi riuscirono a trionfare, ed una volta caduto il loro leader, gli avversari rimanenti si diedero alla fuga.
Esplorando il magazzino trovarono una grande quantità di merci rubate, un’armatura in piastre magica, di cui si appropriò Johannes, ed una strana “bussola” che non indicava il nord.

Not so brief summary of what happened 3

sì sono pigro, quindi farò un megariassunto.

Una volta consegnata la taglia al consigliere di corte Veld, gli avventurieri si godettero un meritato riposo, ed il giorno seguente si separarono, andando ad investigare diverse zone della città. In questo frangente furono catturati Grim ed As’Taris, i quali erano andati alla ricerca del mago che aveva imprigionato gli esseri fatati che As’taris stava cercando.
Nel primo pomeriggio gli avventurieri rimanenti s’accorsero del fatto e, avvertiti da una nota anonima, la quale ingiungeva agli avventurieri di recarsi in una determinata zona dei bassifondi se volevano riavere i loro compagni, si precipitarono nel luogo indicato. esso si rivelò una trappola, ma il gruppo si aprì la strada all’interno, irrompendo nella villa di Helen, altro luogotenente delle picche nere.
Nel combattimento con Helen, Axoras, sull’orlo della morte, fece ancora ricorso al potere dell’entità intrappolata al suo interno, dopo che il mago intrappolò i suoi compagni, causando la fuga di quest’ultimo.
Una volta riacquistata una parvenza di controllo, Axoras e Johaness, l’unico altro scampato all’incantesimo imprigionante di Helen, i due continuarono ad esplorare la magione del mago, riuscendo a trovare un passaggio segreto per il suo laboratorio.
Dopo aver oltrepassato numerosi marchingegni e trappole riuscirono a giungere al mago, appena in tempo per esser testimoni della morte di Helen, a causa di un evocazione incontrollata.
Dopo essersi riuniti, i membri assistettero alla possessione demoniaca di Grim ed As’taris da parte di due entità maligne, ancor oggi non definite. Sebbene As’taris riuscì a sottrarsi alla possessione, Grim ne rimase vittima, e scomparve, teletrasportandosi verso destinazione ignota.
Il gruppo fuggì dall’edificio, e sulla via del ritorno incontrarono Elizabeth Dane, Alta Sacerdotessa di Ilmater, la quale affermò di star cercandoli onde pregarli di aiutarla a metter fine alle tensioni tra le due fazioni della città. Onde mostrar loro il suo supporto, ella mise al servizio degli avventurieri [[Mr. Kite]], con la promessa che gli sarebbe stato utile.
Una volta tornati a palazzo, Johannes, congedandosi dagli altri membri del gruppo, andò ad avvisare i membri delle più influenti chiese di Tradem della vera natura di Axoras , di cui era stato testimone.
La noote stessa una grande folla, composta da membri di tutte le chiese di Tradem, si riunì davanti al palazzo del marchese pretendendo la consegna del ranger.
A quel punto Axoras si volse per l’ultima volta all’entità che albergava dentro di sè, e fu consumato dal fiume di potere che ne ricavò. Dopo una possente esplosione, una creatura immonda fuoriuscì da quello che era stato il corpo del ranger, ed incominciò a seminare il panico tra le fila di guerrieri, chierici e paladini venuti a fermarlo. Al tempo stesso, la creatura evocò un essere draconico, scatenandolo contro i suoi precedenti compagni, i quali ne sarebbero stati sopraffatti, se non fosse stato per due dei guerrieri lì radunati, Drak’gul ed Exeris, i quali si unirono al combattimento contro la creatura immonda.
Una volta sconfitta la creatura, essi vennero confrontati da colui che fino a poco tempo fa era loro compagno, e sarebbero sicuramente periti, se non per l’intervento di Virgilia, la quale, affrontando l’essere, lo costrinse alla ritirata, per poi portare i superstiti al sicuro a Greypeack


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