Acolytes of the Silver Flame

Session 7
Why is it always necromancers?

You are slowly making your way back to Flamekeep (none of the galloping urgency that led you to over the Aundair border in the first place). Keeping mostly along the road around the Silver Wood, you happen upon a young man on the road, who hails you as Knights of the Silver Flame! A little surprised (as technically only Vikaris holds that distinction, and not yet landed at that) you stop to hear his tale of growing up in the woods. He offers to work under you to develop a better understanding of the Flame – and Riya and Vikaris you are always looking for new converts.

Of (perhaps) more interest to the rest of the group, he claims to have encountered a Necromancer on the outskirts here! Are there more? Foxpaw certainly sees traces of travel into the woods that could easily hide such an elicit den, The Church is always looking out for dark magic, and in these dark times (Aventhemon almost succeeded and his taint may still linger in the land) rooting it out is more important than ever. Of a more mundane nature, you are relatively near Thaliost a powder keg of rebellion on the Thrane, Aundair border; skilled adventurers are always in demand whether to help keep the peace or to take on some of the more dangerous work that the Thranish military and or militia would shy away from (Bodel Arden mentioned this and there could be potential for good deeds, adventure and on a baser level, loot).

And of course, going back to Flamekeep with news and potential for more travel and missions is always a good option, among others.

The group hears a Robin’s call. Foxpaw realizes there is something unnatural about the sound, at least for this area. A further near supernatural effort lets him spot the small eye, now observing the party. This tips the scales for the group and they decide to investigate the possible necromancer threat.

Moving into the forest, the group is held up by some indecision on whether to scout, simply rush forward, or other course of action. The discussion is cut short when 6 gargoyles (skeletal gargoyles!) glide in and attack the group. Jubal acts quickly and makes short work of the first skeleton that lands. The rest of the group is not quite so fast and are quite harried by the beasts. Still, the outcome is inevitable as less than a minute later the foes lie vanquished in piles of decaying bones. Keira manages to collect some residuum from the magic animating the gargoyles.

Going forward, the group moves deeper into a dark, decaying area of the forest let by Foxpaw and Prydin the group’s newest addition. Eventually they come upon an iron door clearly barring a passage into the bowels of Eberron. When Foxpaw touches the door a magic mouth appears and extols: “to the Keeper, a sacrifice must be made!” with no action forthcoming a long tongue sprouts from the mouth and promptly lashes out to draw blood from Foxpaw’s jaw. After some deliberation with the group, Foxpaw again touches the door and offer’s blood as a sacrifice. The mouth accepts and after drinking its fill swings open the door.

Moving further and further down, the group hears chanting in a far off room, after some commentary about how they seem to keep interrupting dark rituals, the group sends Jubal to scout. He determines the room is filled with 3 chanting necromancers and several zombies. The group bursts in and despite being constantly held fast by zombie gibbets and various necromancer spells, eventually slay all of the foul beings in the room. For their efforts the group finds a bloody but salvageable Blessed book, a Moonsilver staff. And the necromancers collection of coins and gems (500 gold worth). Of a more troubling nature, they find a note – clearly on paper from Flamekeep with the Silver Flame emblem! “Need makes strange bedfellows, please make sure it is delivered as soon as you are successful.”

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Session 6

Session 6

The doors are locked and the guards seem at the ready; not a good start to getting out of the palace. On the plus side, Torvald and Foxpaw, two recent additions to the Silver Flame, managed to get in before the doors locked.

The group attempts to simply walk past one of the guards, but a threatening swing from a halberd rapidly stalls that idea. Fortunately the party has a direction in mind (the area indicated by the maid) and rapidly moves there while managing to hold off the guards with relatively little effort (after a particularly sound thwack one of the guards even runs away). Vikaris holds the door as the rest of the group slips out and into the secret tunnel. Well mostly; Riya either from holy fervor, blood lust or sheer stubbornness decides to show the 3 remaining guards what for, and engages all three at once. Unfortunately, their attacks are both well coordinated and deadly, proving too much for her alone. The rest of the group, including the new additions, run back in and drive off the guards, with Vikaris dragging Riya behind him (a bit of a disapproving look in evidence).

The group walks through the tunnel for miles, eventually emerging at a crossroads. Noting the smell of rotting flesh (and the abundance of crows) they move to investigate (minus a few members who go to get the horses, aided by Jubal’s obsidian steed). The group finds a pathetic looking village with a population looking half dead (physically and mentally) almost all of them missing a limb or other body part. Keira is able to provide words of comfort and more importantly a decent healing skill and despite initial reluctance, the villagers warm up to the group, feed them, and send them on their way.

Galloping down the road, the group is stopped by flaming timbers coming out of a smoking schoolhouse. Fearing a trap, but still feeling obligated to investigate, the group moves in. As suspected, a group of thugs, backed up by a mage and a dire rat lay in wait inside! The group engages them in combat, and despite the difficult terrain emerges victorious. They even manage to find some Hedge Wizard gloves in addition to the scattered gold. The group recovers, takes a short rest and moves on to their destination.

The group arrives at the temple and wastes no time pushing into the alter room (seeing as a column of darkness is descending into it from the sky). The fight is on, as the Grand Vizier, a deathlock wight, 2 berserkers and no less than 8 zombies loom. Moving into position, Jubal makes short work of most of the zombies with kicks, punches and probably a head butt or two. The rest of the fight is less one sides with Foxpaw nearly succumbing to the axe of one of the berserkers, and Keira spending some time within the column of darkness (after some magic from the grand vizier) and Riya almost succumbing to some murderous thoughts against the group (at the behest of Avonthemon). Still, the group pulls everything together and after some harried initial rounds, they all stand and none of their enemies do. Much is found in the room: gold, 2 rituals, a very nice amulet. And (from the body of Avonthemon) a violet metal dagger that seems to shift into a different weapon depending on who holds it. The group collects their reward from the mayor (1,500 gold pieces along with promises of aid in the future, and a very welcoming attitude in Aundair). All that done, the trek back to Flamekeep and further adventure on the horizon looms.

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Session 5

Session summary   

The group rests and relaxes after their retrieval of the coat of eyes (and it’s return to the temple for destruction), the the symbiotes are also turned over as no one can even contemplate using them, despite their apparent power.    While rest is initially relaxing, one night Keira, Vikaris, Riya and Jubal all have a horrific dream: Torn out eyes, bloody limbs and imagery of maimed people pervade the entire night. All wake up with a sense of dread and distinct sense of wrongness. The early morning is consumed with the discussion of the dream (in Keira’s room) and possible implications – but few answers are yet found.

This changes when there is a knock on the door.   

Dax (a servant) summons the group to the presence of Bodel Arthen. After a cursory greeting Bodel immediately begins to discuss a troubling development over the northern border (in neighboring Aundair). Seems one of the local nobles is contemplating a grizzly solution to the droughts plaguing the area – she is convinced (from where?) that a sacrifice tax will put an end to the blight – not just any sacrifice tax but a human one with anyone crossing the main bridge on the border required to sacrifice an eye a hand and for larger groups (such a full trade contingent) a human life! Such a strange decree in a normally civilized land must be investigated and further must be stopped. Unfortunately with the wounds of the Last War still so fresh, official action will have to wait and a military solution is almost unthinkable at this early stage. Thus it falls on some unofficial representatives to perhaps talk the noble into re-thinking her position The prevailing theory is that something is influencing the noble, maybe even something demonic – and that’s rapidly becoming the groups specialty.  

  After some pulled strings, the players get a meeting with Mayor Joren of Relkingham who can supposedly get them an introduction and meeting with Counselor Neelani – the noble in question.  The party lets Keira do most of the talking – which proves to be a good idea as the mayor is a shameless flirt and between that and Keira’s practiced words the group obtains an glowing letter of invitation t speak with Counselor Neelani. And more than that, they actually convince the mayor to dip into the treasury and pay them to speak with Neelani (1,500 gps, so far o good)! The mayor warns them that the trek up is short, but the roads have become lawless as of late as the drought has both stretched provisions and the constables to the absolute limit.   

The group starts the 3 day trek uneventfully, but on the third day find their path blocked by three huge scraggly men fingering ridiculously oversized  axes.  The men demand all the groups gold as well as the armor and weapons. Naturally this request does not go over well and (despite Keira’s efforts at negotiation) a fight ensues. The group tries a non-lethal approach, but the 3 thugs are actually berserkers (as Vikaris finds out when after a good blow against one results in foam at the mouth and a retaliatory strike that nearly sends Vikaris to the ground). The battle is hard fought, but ultimately, the group winds up with some nice big axes as trophies.   

The group finally make it to the Palace of the Noble counselor Neelani (though whether noble is anything more than a title is yet to be determined). The group is met by a halfling senechal who immediately ushers them in (apparently the mayor sent glowing word ahead). The group wisely kneels to the counselor and preceeds (well Keira mostly, though Jubal has some good insights) to explain why the edict is such a terrible idea. The counselor is initially difficult to persuade (explaining that the high priest Avonathemon has made it clear that the sovereign host will lift the drought with the propert sacrifice), but is worn down with persistence and good argument. Nerelani vows that the decree shall not be enacted and leaves the room. As she is leaving, one of her maids (eyeing the guards) mentions an alternate exit to the party. The group wonders why this is necessary until   1) they hear the senechal cry that the edict has been taken (by Avonathemon) shortly followed by what could only be considered a death gurgle, 2) Keira’s remembrance of an old, but powerful custom – if the edict is read on a consecrated alter in Aundair it becomes law – noble’s approval or no. and 3) The sudden realization that the guards, standing at ease a moment ago, have blocked all the exits!

Things are about to get interesting.

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Eberron Session 1
session 1

Vikaris (paladin, Riya (avenger), Keira (bard), and Jubal (monk) meet with the typically pompous, arrogant but succinct Bodel Arthen.

He informs them the Silver Flame requires them to Journey to Blackroot and retrieve the coat of eyes a potentially dangerous item that the Silver Flame wishes to cleanse.

The group embark on an 800 mile journey to the Shadow Marches. The journey ultimately proves uneventful.

Approaching the town (weary and muddy) the group is met with a bit of scorn and disdain but not outright hostility.

After asking some questions and getting nowhere the group meets Toraash Dorrm the Reeve of the town. he tells them their contact (Doria Veledaar) has left for Sharn with her family. Jobal is extremely doubtful Toraash is telling the truth. He does, however, show the group Doria’s residence.

The group investigates and finds again the villagers are not helpful. In the house they find signs of a covered up struggle. Further they find a residue of arcane energy (Keira) and a blood trail (Jobal). They also find the blade of an obsidian dagger and an amulet with an eye embedded into it. Keira is stopped outside by an old grizzled orc who warns her to leave now or be subject to “the harvest.”

The trail (blood and arcane) lead outside the town to a cave opening. 2 woodcutters are guarding the cave opening, and brush off the party(citing a private religious ceremony). The group moves to investigate and the woodcutters attack (proving themselves far from ordinary when one opens his mouth and his tongue attacks the PCs!), further backed up by 2 orcs hidden in the surrounding foliage.

After a long difficult fight the group emerges victorious (though battered and bloodied and Vikaris has shown a literally diabolic side of himself). Aside from the mundane gear and weapons, the group finds an Earth-Wrought hammer(and a tongueworm (though no one in the party seems to want to use it ;) ). The group takes a brief break, and moves on.

The group descends into the cave and finds a writhing lifelike script (blood red of course) occupies the walls. Keira attempts to understand it, and after a brief psychic struggle, realizes it is the names of the many victims of the “Harvest” – their souls are trapped within the writing and the walls.

The group proceeds further and encounters a magical glyph. Keira attempts to deactivate it arcanely and after quite the struggle (where she almost sets it off) manages (the knowledge of the trapped souls seems to slightly help).

Moving further the Group hears chanting in an unrecognized speech. Jubal investigates and finds chanting cultists with an orc bodyguard and let by a Dolgaunt! The room is overseen by a large unblinking living eye!!

The group surmises that the eye will not affect anyone wearing holy symbols of the right god and, as they have several, put them on.

They then proceed to barge into the room and with the element of surprise wreak havoc. The cultists, orc and dolgaunt all fall to the concentrated assault. The group discovers about 60 gold a nice (though disturbing) platinum bracelet (110 gp), a Tangler (again which no one wishes to touch let alone use) and a suit of Healer’s leather .

Taking a deep breath, even more bloodied and battered than before, the group prepares to descend into Khyber to rescue Doria.

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