Campaign of the Month: September 2018

Shadows of the Rift

Session Fifty-Seven

The Touch of Evil


8 Changewind 508

The party receives their final requested report from the sages at the University of Kalimsport. They have also received all of the magic weapons and armor they’ve commissioned and have done all of their shopping. They are coming up on their agreed upon “month and a day” for free room and board, so they decide that they will move on in the morning. But to where?

After much debate, they decide to pursue the clues found for “The Dead God’s Dark Breath.” To their mind, they have the most information available on this lead and it doesn’t take them off of this plane. Rilka wants to travel north to Aldasar and see if Mirka has written her a return letter concerning the half-orc orphans. Surm wouldn’t mind stopping there and checking in with the sage for whom he left an assignment. From there, they can continue into Jossia and pursue this lead concerning the Frost Giants.

But first, they’ll go to Crownport and see if this Londra Walera with the University of Crownport has any information they can use. It’s practically on the way.

9 Changewind 508

Before leaving the city, Mõrvar tells Beldis goodbye. She wishes him a safe journey.

The party leaves the city of Kalimsport with their entourage. It is quite an impressive column of riders. Savaric and Mõrvar take point.

That afternoon, Savaric and Mõrvar spot what looks like a fallen animal in the tall grasses along the road up ahead. Mõrvar casts message to inform his brother what they are doing and the two ride forward to check it out.

As they approach, they can see that it is a winged horse—a Pegasus. Savaric can see that one of its legs is turned in an odd fashion. It is struggling to rise. Mõrvar attempts to approach the animal to see if he can help. It begins to rear up and goes ballistic as Mõrvar approaches. He backs off and the animal calms, watching him. Savaric approaches and it remains calm. The ranger suggests that Mõrvar go back and report to the others what they’ve found. Mõrvar does so.

When Mõrvar reports what they’ve found, Surm decides he wants to see this and possibly help. He decides to ride over and check it out. Alasir sends Sorcha and Tarben to protect him in case this is bait for an ambush.

Meanwhile, Savaric has continued to try and calm the Pegasus. When Surm arrives, the two decide to try and splint the animal’s broken leg. They collect extra spears from the guards and the two set to work. They manage to make a workable splint and Savaric helps the animal stand. It drops a curtsy to Savaric and then to Surm. It then toddles off a few steps and flaps its great wings, taking off into the sky.

Afterwards, Surm collects four feathers from where the Pegasus lay. He gives one of them to a protesting Savaric.

The party regroups and continues north up the road to Aldasar. The rest of the day passes quietly and without incident.

10 Changewind 508

That morning, the party arrives at the gates of Crownport, the capital of Ornis. After paying their gate fees, they set up rooms in Charon’s Faire, a very posh inn near the University. Surm arranges for 5 rooms and 2 suites for all the guards and the party to stay in, as well as a banquet for the evening meal. He also arranges for Mahgnus to pay the guards. Then the party heads to the University to see Professor Walera.

Londra Walera is the Head of the Artifacts and Antiquities department of the University of Crownport. She meets with the party in her office in the administration building of the campus near the center of the city. Surm introduces them as the Crimson Cord and gives her the background of their quest and need for information. He also indicates that the scholars at the University of Kalimsport said that she was the foremost authority on the serpentfolk.

Walera admits that she has given the serpentfolk a great deal of study and that the University of Kalimsport actually consulted with her on their report for the Crimson Cord. She believes that they are on the right track with citing the “Dead God” as the serpentfolk’s Viper God, slain around the time of The Rivening. The only clue to its whereabouts is this unsubstantiated report of Frost Giants using a viper’s skull as their banner—which is unusual. She also admits that her knowledge of the serpentfolk is gleaned with an eye to protect from them—not to gain information from them. They view humankind and other surface dwellers as inferiors and with maleficence. When asked for a referral to someone for information on Frost Giants, she assures them that the information they have is probably the best they can get. The Frost Giants hail from parts unknown, beyond the known lands of Jossia to the north. It is uncharted territory.

Outside the University, the party debates on their next steps. Mõrvar thinks that they should get more information before heading into the uncharted northern lands beyond Jossia. Surm keeps reminding him that they’ve done all the research—the lands are uncharted because no one has researched them. But Mõrvar is convinced that maybe there is a raid survivor or some-such that could give them more information on the Frost Giants. The debate then veers into the possession and use of the Red Dragon Orb. Savaric suggests that perhaps they can use it against the Frost Giants and Mõrvar warns against it, admitting that he has been studying the Orb with the scholars of the University of Kalimsport. He thinks it is dangerous and shouldn’t be used—but alternately, only used in an emergency. It is unclear precisely what Mõrvar thinks. It is only clear that, in his mind, they should retain ownership. He puts his foot down when Surm suggests that they sell the Orb and be done with it. Both Surm and Rilka feel that the only profit they could gain from the Orb is to sell it, as it is too dangerous to use or carry and that they aren’t interested in the ritual of the Aedonii obelisk. Mõrvar says he is interested in the ritual and will not sell the Orb. Savaric still needs persuading either way. The debate breaks down and everyone decides to head back to the inn for the banquet.

The guards are thoroughly impressed with the multi-course banquet at Charon’s Faire. A fine time is had by all. Surm orates a magnificent toast to all and everyone is stuffed by the time the meal is through.

11 Changewind 508

After a light breakfast, the Crimson Cord all load up and head out of Crownport, continuing north toward Aldasar. Around noon, they arrive at Glofthall, but make their way around the town and continue on.

12 Changewind 508

The day and night pass quietly, with only the passing of Tower Iosabail marking the passing of the day.

13 Changewind 508

A quiet day of travel and a night of camping pass.

14 Changewind 508

The party arrives at the twin cities of Pylar-Hollton. At the gates of Hollton, Surm manages to talk the guards into letting Ghost, Savaric’s wolf, in for free. They pass through Hollton, then through Pylar, making the official crossover from Ornis into Leilior. They then continue on. That night, camp peacefully.

15 Changewind 508

Another quiet day and night of travel and camping passes.

16 Changewind 508

The Crimson Cord finally arrives at the gates of the city of Aldasar, capital of Leilior. Before entering the city, they seek out the outlying estate of Lord Cannach, their friend and benefactor from a previous adventure here. He welcomes them with open arms. After visiting with him and swapping stories, it is decided that the entourage will camp on his grounds and that the party will be his guests in the manor house. The party thanks him and goes into the city to conduct their business.

The party decides to split up. Surm and Savaric go to buy scrolls of Greater Teleport (part of their getaway plan against the Frost Giants) and then to the University to seek out a sage that Surm had set upon a task the last time they were here. Rilka and Mõrvar go to leave their weapons to be given the “flaming” quality and to go to the Postal Guild to pick up the letter from Mirka. They will all meet back up at Lord Cannach’s estate.

Surm and Savaric have no problem finding a suitable scriptorium to purchase the proper scrolls. The only “rub” is that there is a slight economic inflation in Aldasar right now and everything is more expensive. There’s nothing to be done for it though, and the scrolls are purchased. They then make their way to the University, with Surm clearly acting more and more uncomfortable with Savaric’s presence.

They seek out the sage Levan Elhan. When they are brought to his office, he seems excited to see Surm and a little surprised to see Savaric. It’s clear that whatever information he has for Surm is of a sensitive nature. Surm politely asks Savaric to respect his privacy and wait outside. Savaric reluctantly does so, but listens at the door.

The sage brings out several large sheets of parchment and shows Surm all of his research on the family lines of Ulrich of Barth, each sheet being the family lines of each son. He shows Surm the line from which he is descended and goes into a little bit of the story of that line—and how it is marked with tragedy. It is also the only line which retained the name of Ulrich. The sage speculates that Ulrich may have conceived this son, the youngest, while in transformation into a lich, thus marking the line with darkness. He hands all of the research over to Surm, who is impressed with the results.

Surm reunites with Savaric and the two head back to Lord Cannach’s estate.

Meanwhile, Rilka and Mõrvar head over to a weaponsmith to see about getting their weapons worked on. They take Rilka’s falchion without a problem, but when Mõrvar hands over Deathblow, the smith turns pale and drops the sword, saying “By the gods, what is this thing?”

“My creation,” Mõrvar says.

“Well, I can’t work on that. You’ll have to take it elsewhere. Probably the night market.”

Irritated, Mõrvar snatches up his blade and leaves, with Rilka following wondering what in the world Mõrvar has done to that sword of his. He goes about asking for someone with little scruples and no conscience with the skills to work on his blade. He finally gets a lead on a half-orc in a bad part of town. Rilka comes along to keep an eye on Mõrvar.

The directions Mõrvar is given leads them into a run-down portion of the city. Tumble-down buildings and shacks litter the landscape. Behind one of the run-down buildings is the half-orc smith. He asks to see the blade and Mõrvar hands it to him. He grips it without a problem.

“Yeah, I can help you. You got money?”

“Yes, I have money,” Mõrvar says.

“Good. 3000 gold.”

“You overreach. 2500 gold.”

“I don’t think you’ll find too many willing to work on this sword. 3000.”

“I don’t think you get much business. You’ll settle for 2500.”


“Fine. 2700. I’ll pay you when the job is done.”

“Half now.”

“I’ll give you 1300 now, the rest when its done.”

“Do you think I’m dumb? That I can’t count?”

“1300 now, the rest when its done.”

“Fine. Be sure and bring that money. Or I will find you.”

Mõrvar and Rilka leave the half-orc with the sword and head back to the manor.

Rilka asks Mõrvar what he did to the sword. Mõrvar is reluctant to give a straight answer. Rilka is obviously steaming. “When were you going to share this information? With us? With your brother?”

Mõrvar remains adamant that he’s done nothing wrong. Rilka continues to steam all the way back to Lord Cannach’s estate.


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