Dragonlance Next

Varet's Journal Update Again
PRIVATE THAT MEANS YOU DARVIN

Her name is Alhana Starbreeze and she’s totally impressed by my Mishakal scar and healing magic and she said she couldn’t tell by looking or behavior that I have human blood in me. She has a bodyguard who is pretty cool and I can’t tell if she’s giving me the evil eye or if she likes me and maybe could put in a good word for me with Alhana.

Oskar must be kept from being Oskar and Darvin is being a bad friend and not a cool wingman even though I literally carried him with my wings once.

Also we killed a dragon.

Starbreeze

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Varet's Journal Update

Let’s get one thing out of the way right off: I was going to win.
Sure, I had used up almost all of my spells for the day and my Wild Shape, and Rance got a few hits in on me, YES, but I was going to win.
See, Carlucci, being the… the… being himself, tried to pawn off the ENTIRE ENCOUNTER WITH LIKE A BILLION DWARVES on ME by having me duel Rance. I can handle it, but the LEAST you could do is start coming up with some kind of plan while I’m occupying their attention. As is typical, I had to do the heavy lifting.
Anyway. Before I could turn the duel around and get a win against this smug dwarf motherfucker, a bunch of OTHER dwarves came rushing in. Darvin pulled me away before I could get a sneak hit in on Rance. I hope he’s dead now. Fuck that guy.
We came to a big hole in the world where we fought, uh, whatshisface. The guy whose dragon we murdered. He tried to kill himself after we blew up his ogres. Because he is a baby.
We secured passage for the refugees through the Dwarven lands. A lot of them had apparently died in the time since we’d been searching for things? I mean… it’s not ideal, but life, death, it’s all part of the world.
Also, Armin died as Alvin tried to heal him. Alvin seemed troubled by it. Poor guy. He really tries hard, that guy.

Anyway, we ended up in a town that used to be the ocean but is now basically bullshit. The government mandates a 40-hour work week because apparently they hate having things and it’s in the middle of the desert. Darvin and I went to talk to the governor and were stonewalled by the desk clerk. I had a chat with him and he claimed to go fishing.
FISHING
IN THE DESERT
I walked here for, like, a WEEK from the nearest body of water (how does the town get water? There are SO. MANY. QUESTIONS). He says he takes an EIGHT DAY WEEKEND to go fishing in the marshes? It takes three days on horseback to get there? I can literally BECOME a horse and it took me more than three days. And how does he store the fish? Is it just catch and release, like a complete tool? There are so many holes in this story. It just doesn’t make any sense at all.

As you may imagine, the town was besieged by dragons because that’s all the rage these days. Myself, Darvin, Oskar, Arthur, and Theon were all provided with griffons to ride by a Sylvanesti elf woman and we rode away.

OH and there was a Sylvanesti elf woman and she provided us with griffons. She’s pretty and has very pointy ears and I wonder how she feels about Kagonesti and I’d like to just talk with her for a little. I wonder if she’d be impressed by healing magic? I’m one of like three people who can do that these days. Darvin’s a good showman, maybe he’ll help me impress her.

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The tomb of King Duncan, part 2

The adventure party of super awesome best friends started the session in the exact place they left the previous: staring at a wobbly bridge over a chasm in the tomb of the Dwarven king Duncan. They were searching for the Hammer of Kharas, an ancient relic the Council of Thanes requested they recover. Quickly crossing the chasm on a nearby rope bridge, the group braved more insane traps. A room with an obvious trapped lever that would bake them alive, bake them with fire!
Finally they found the burial chamber of King Duncan. Inside his sarcophagus was a great relic: a large ax. Also in the room was a large golden anvil, but contrary to the party’s actions they could not get anything resembling a hammer to appear. They tried everything they could think of: dressing the skeleton of Duncan in armor from one of the statues in the room (which in retrospect is actually pretty disrespectful to the dead), locking and unlocking the chests, trying to slam their dwarf companion calling himself Kharas into the anvil. Their only recourse was to continue exploring the tomb.
Back on an upper level, they were met with two surprises: one was a great hoarde of dragonkin on the ground approaching the lake the tomb floated above, and the other was the three wyverns attacking from the sky! The group bravely fought off the wyverns, and continued searching the tomb. They followed the occasional gonging sound they heard in the distance and found the hammer hanging from a rope in a tower. And they found out the dwarf they thought was Kharas wasn’t Kharas at all! It was the guardian of the tomb, judging whether the party was worthy to take the hammer. He revealed his true form when the group was leaving the tomb and ran into a large red dragon! With not-Kharas’ help they defeated the dragon and absconded from the tomb on flying horses that grew out of magical statues.
On the way back to Thorbardin to return the hammer to the council of Thanes, the group was stopped by Rance, rival Thane to the Hylars and in apparent league with the dragons. The group was surrounded by 80 dwarves, have talked to their last breath, and now the dwarves close to attack…

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Dealings with Dwarves
Whatcha doin in Thorbardin?

After securing temporary safety for the refugees in a hidden valley and finding a map to Thorbardin, the party made their way into the mountains in search of hidden doors. You were joined by a kender, a minotaur, and a bard. Suddenly all diplomatic decisions were turning out differently. You found the secret door and broke it, opening the way for others to find the hidden dwarven kingdom. Oh noes! You made your way inside and found that there is all kinds of drama going on with dwarven politics, which you have sadly just been pulled in the middle of. Because of your generosity in returning them the helm of a fallen hero, the council of Thanes considers your request for safe haven for the refugees. Their conditions are that you retrieved the Hammer of Kharas from King Duncan’s tomb, so that they can name a new high king, and that the refugees not settle within their mountains but instead in one of the safe mountain valleys surrounding them.
You ventured to the tomb with Arman, son of the Hylar council member, at your side. You found it to be a magical floating island with a castle. It was full of strange mists, voices, and strange lights. And an old dwarf sleeping by a fountain who seems to be Kharas himself.
Will you find the hammer? Is the old man Kharas? Will the refugees be saved? Will Carlucci talk himself into trouble?
Find out tonight!

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The SkullCap Sessions Recap
Varet's Log

Darvin tells me it might make me better at dealing with my anger if I write my feelings down instead of letting them fly when something triggere them. I think that’s really stupid, buy DV’s been hurt ever since the Skull so I’m trying it. So far it’s stupid and no one’s ever going to read it because they’ll all be too dead probably.

Anyway, after we found a home for the refugees we found a gigantic skull we had heard about so naturally we decided to spelunk it. The story is, apparently, some mage duped the hill dwarves into thinking he could contact the mountain dwarves, but instead he just exploded and this is what’s left. Dwarves are gullible and wizards are dangerous is the lesson of that story. Anyway.
We fought some flying skulls on our way in, but the real important thing in there was the dragons. The first one was a hideous black dragon whom I neglected to brag that I had murdered one like him to. He called Darvin “master” and requested to be released. Darvin did, and it flew away, and I hope we don’t see it again. I wish we could have killed it.
The second was a little one, a child dragon, who appeared to be frozen in time. A piece of adamantium unfroze him and he joined us because he was a good dragon, which I guess is a thing. Dragons can believe strange things too.

We climbed further down into the skull, and rested. In the morning we were unexpectedly joined by a nature spirit, which described itself as a “Mini-Taur.” It seems the spirit will be joining us, which I believe means nature is trying to send a message. I must listen carefully to what the Spirit says. Darvin is not convinced of the spirit, which lead to a fight in which he jumped into a hydra pit. We all survived, but for a second I was pretty sure we’d lose Darvin. I felt bad about that. I feel so stupid writing that. There’s a reason bears don’t write in journals, they’re too busy being fucking bears.

After a few occult roadblocks, we reached a central chamber containing a skull. Darvin, assumedly still hurt from the fight, wanted to DESTROY the skull, while everyone else wanted to keep it intact. I mean, what if it unleashed evil spirits? Darvin tried to steal it from us- sometimes, we’re quite alike- and we stopped him. I tried to save him from the mind control it must have been casting on him, but it didn’t take. In the end, we agreed to leave it behind.
In a pile of treasure we found a crown that posessed Oskar and he told us where to find the entrance to the Mountain Dwarves’ home. I don’t want to go there, it sounds shitty and dark. What do they eat if they live in a mountain?
That’s enough of this. Journals are still a waste of time. I could have been looking for faces in the moon this whole time.

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looooong update

Ooh man, its been awhile, and you guys have done a lot of stuff. Lets see…

After meeting back up in Solace you all traveled north to Xak Tsaroth attempting to figure out the origin of the Blue Crystal Staff. You found gully dwarves, draconians, and a big black dragon. The dragon had the Disks of Mishakal, a necessary part of bringing the gods back to the world. Varet hit the dragon with the staff and both were consumed by blue fire. As the ruins started collapsing around you, you made your way back up to the temple entrance and found Varet asleep under the statue of the goddess with a Medallion of Faith around his neck.

You then made your way back to Solace but found that the village was now occupied by forces of the Dragonarmies. After sneaking into town you got updates from Tika, the serving girl at the Inn of the Last Home, about how the city was attacked. Eventually you were all arrested by the dragonarmy forces and thrown into cages to be taken to the mines at Pax Tharkas. On the way there, however, you were rescued by a squad of elves who came to free their Prince but took you all back to the city of Qualinesti for a meeting with the Speaker. He petitioned you to attack the mine and free the slaves held there, mostly as a cover for his people to escape. When the elven princess was kidnapped you agreed to take the mission.

At the mine, you found more gully dwarves who helped you sneak up and steal the children of the prisoners from a blind red dragon. With the children safe, the women agreed to your plan and you all rushed out to the men slaving in the mines to encourage them to rise up. Which they did. Right before a giant red dragon and the Dragon Highlord Verminaard burst into the sky and threatened you all with doom and destruction. The blind old red dragon was worried that the poor children would be hurt and launched herself at Verminaard and his mount, giving you all time to escape into the mountain passes while they fought.

In the passes a council of leaders was formed to try to figure out where to go. To Varet’s great displeasure, you were only asked to be advisers to the council. Still, with your help they found a bit of relief in a valley which will temporarily hide them away. Since you figured they were safe, you wandered off to investigate a nearby ruin shaped like a skull. For no reason except why not.

There you woke a bronze dragon who ended up wanting to be friends, and who filled you in about a bit of history concerning metallic dragons and their enmity with the chromatic ones. He would not follow you down the hole in the center of the skull, but he did agree to guard your back while you adventured forth. Deep in the hole you found the remains of the stronghold of Fistandantalis, and all his magical creatures and traps. You also found a little Kender named Fey singing about Skulls and Dust. This made more sense in the final room of the stronghold where the skull of the dark wizard hovered suspended amid a swirling vortex of dust. Past this skull (which she tried to steal but eventually returned) was a treasure vault containing a map to the ancient dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin and a help with the soul of their Prince Grallen, who gave you the passphrase necessary to get in….

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Darvin's notes

Session notes for 5/3/15
Attended: Darvin, Oscar, Keliani, and Veret

The group started in the temple of Mishakal in the ruined city of Xak Tsaroth, after having narrowly escaped from a black dragon. The group explored the temple, finding both a small group of dragonkin (which Darvin quickly dispatched) and a group of Gully Dwarves. The group interrogated the gully dwarves, finding out that the dwarves worked for the dragonkin, that they looked for pretties on their off hours, and that their leader, the Fudge High Bulp, was a few floors below.

Heading down a flight of stairs, the group found a level with a crumbling floor and expansive halls. Exploring a bit, they found what appeared to be the barracks of the gully dwarves. They met a gully dwarf named Boo Poo who told them more about the Fudge and how to get downstairs using the slides and the vines. Darvin and Boo Poo became quick friends when Darvin protected her from the anger of Veret. Boo Poo led the group though safe areas of the floor, avoiding both crumbling floors and dragonkin guards. Near the slides down to the next level, the group found a shambling spirit guard. Keliani helped the spirit onto the next life, then helped herself to the treasure the spirit was guarding.

Back at the slides, Boo Poo tried to tell the group that they should take the safe route down the bakery, but Darvin jumped into the slide before they found out what exact route they should take. Rolling out of control down the slide, Keliani and Boo Poo ended up at the bakery, and the rest ended up in what looked like an upside down attic. There were beams going across the floor, but before they could really get their bearing, they were attacked by a giant spider. Fighting bravely, Darvin was knocked out and started being spun up in webs when Oscar arrived and beheaded the spider with his axe. The group revived Darvin, and explored this upside down house through to an upside down kitchen and an upside down dining hall. In the dining hall, there was a large feast going on, but all of the patrons were on the ceiling.

Finding their way out of the house, the men found what looked like an underground street or city, and joined back up with the rest of the group. The group needed to cross a few rivers to traverse the city, which they did expertly. In the city, they found a building with a spirit inside reading a book. The spirit explained that he would answer one question of a mortal, then disappear. Veret, being the intelligent, kind elf that he was, was confused by the spirit and proceeded to ask him “so what’s your curse?” The spirit politely explained again, then disappeared, leaving the group more confused than when they started.

Back outside the house, the group headed for a large building at the end of the street, although they had to cross another river to get there. Entering the building, the spirits there explained it was a bank and the group would need to pay their way across. Fortunately, Keliani had earlier picked up a lantern encrusted with emeralds from the spirit guard, and was able to bargain passage with that artifact. At the back of the bank, they found some arches that transported them to an even lower level of the cavern. There was another underground river on the lower levels, but they were not as fortunate in crossing this time. Oscar lost his balance as was being rushed away by the current.

Suddenly, a boomerang with a rope attached swung out and wrapped around Oscar, pulling him to safety. At the other end of the rope was a human woman. The woman introduced herself as Sunstar, and explained how she was kidnapped from her tribe by the dragonkin and brought to Xak Tsaroth as slaves for the dragon. She explained that her brother Raveneye was also being held by the dragon in a prison cell closer to the dragon. The group agreed to save him, but first they wanted to find the Fudge. Boo Poo led them to an area of the floor inhabited by the gully dwarves, but couldn’t point them to the exact room Fudge was hiding in. After some light exploration, they found the room and talked to Fudge. He explained the layout of the dragon’s lair and told them some of the stuff he and his men overheard about a coming war. The group decided to follow the path past the prison cells and towards the back entrance of the dragons chamber.

They followed through on this plan, taking out the dragonkin guards and reuniting Sunstar and Raveneye. Leaving the brother and sister behind, the group continued to the dragons chamber. They thought they were going to get the element of surprise, going in the back door and all, but e dragon was expecting them. After a short session of threats and gloating and questioning the sex lives of dragons, the dragon attacked, shooting a face full of acid onto Oscar and Keliani. Veret, remembering the guidance to present his staff to the dragon, took this to mean he should hit the dragon with the full force of magic left in the staff. A massive one-in-twenty chance hit caused magical blue light to be emitted from the staff. The dragon and Veret were engulfed in the light and disappeared.

As soon as the dragon disappears, an earthquake rips through the dragons lair, beginning to crumble and bury they cavern they’re standing in. The group has barely enough time to grab what they think are the discs of Mishakal and exit the cavern. Running back the way they came, they find themselves in the archway that teleported them down to this level. On a chance, they try going through one of the other arches and find themselves in a whole other part of Xak Tsaroth, in a tower, overlooking the temple. There are gully dwarves and dragonkin running out of the temple and other cracks in the ground for safety as the whole ruined city shakes around them.

Meanwhile, Veret wakes up in the temple of Mishakal, back where this adventure started. He now has the symbol of Mishakal permanently scarred into his chest, and quickly intuits that he has the power of divine magic. He quickly exits the temple and escapes the city with the rest of the group.

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The first steps.
How the heroes came to Solace, and how they left again.

Darvin, Varet, and Oskar ran into each other on the road leading into town. Apparently in the last year since they had heard from each other Varet had acquired a strange staff. At times it looked like nothing but normal wood, but at others it glowed blue and seemed to be made of a semi-transparent crystal. He had little memory of how he got it beyond vague moments seemingly from nightmares about death on black wings, a ruined city, and a woman who brought peace. Varet barely had told his friends of this misadventure when they were stopped by a group of hobgoblins claiming to be town guards on the road into Solace. The leader of these disgusting warriors was a fat, slobbery creature riding a pony. His name was Fewmaster Toede. After questioning the group about a blue crystal staff that his superiors were searching for, he ordered his guards to arrest them for insubordination and ran to safety on his little pony.
After quickly dispatching the guards, the group continued onto town where they found that this Toede fella was nominally in charge. Although Varet wanted to seek him out for vengeance, it seems he had left to give a report shortly after their previous encounter and it was unknown when he would return. After meeting the rest of their friends and talking about their adventures of the last 5 years, the group rested up in their favorite inn, had some delicious spiced potatoes, and realized that the little girl that worked there, who they used to torment for her wild hair and ungainly appearance, had grown into a sassy young woman. Tika told them to get out of town while they still could as things had been changing around there and strange rumors were popping up all over. Children were speaking of the appearance of the White Hart in the Darken Wood, and an old man said the sunken city of Xak Tsaroth was a place of warring darkness and light.
The group decided to travel south to Darken Wood as the legends always said it was a White Hart that brought the hero Huma Dragonbane to the realms of the gods, but what they found there was a herd of centaurs and the Spirit of the Wood, a beautiful Unicorn. The Unicorn told them that they must return the blue crystal staff, for she recognized its true form, to the city of Xak Tsaroth in two days time if there would be any hope of bringing the gods of light back to the world in this dark time. To assist in this, she fed the group an amazing feast and asked a flight of pegasi to fly them as far as possible after they had rest.
They landed on the edge of a swamp, across which they could see the ruins of a city. As they began to make their way through, they ran into a group of strange dragon-like humanoids walking on their hind legs casting spells and carrying swords. Though the battle was hard fought and two of the enemy disappeared, the group survived and made their way into the city.
The city itself was deathly still, as if all wildlife had abandoned it. As they reached the center, just next to the doors of the only building still standing, a well in the square opened and from within came smoke, and fear, and a huge black dragon! Its acid breath nearly killed the group and they sought refuge behind the large golden doors of the single intact building. Inside, they found a temple to the old goddess Mishakal and her statue there spoke to them;
“Beloved ones, the gods have not turned away from man. Man turned away from the true gods and now seeks gods who do not truly exist. But the end of darkness nears. Krynn is about to face its greatest test. Men will need truth more than ever. You must return the truth and restore the balance.
To gain the power, you shall need the truth of the gods. Far below this temple lie the Disks of Mishakal, circular plates of platinum that are all you need to call upon my power. You must recover these disks.
But your way will not be easy. The Disks now lie in the lair of the dragon. Therefore I bless this staff; if you present it boldly, never wavering, you shall prevail. Even then, your journey is not complete; you must leave here and search for a true Leader of the People.”
To be continued…

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Darvin's Test
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Takes place during the summer of 350 AC, about a year before the friends are all supposed to meet back up and discuss their findings in Solace

It was a bright, sunny, late summer morning when Darvin opened up the letter. He had heard of these letters, and was both excited and terrified of the day he got one. He was going to Hogwarts! Oh wait, wrong world. Let me try again…

It was a long letter written in an elegant flowing script. The bottom was signed Grandmaster Par-Salin. Enclosed was a swirled stone of white, black, and red. The letter was an invitation to the Tower of High Sorcery in the forest of Wayreth, for Darvin and any companions of his choosing. There he would be given a test. Were he to succeed, it would open up the secrets of magic beyond anything he had been previously capable of comprehending and give him access to incredible power. Were he to fail, he would die. No one ever comes out of the test unscathed.

Darvin quickly and excitedly rounded up his friends. Strangely enough, even though they were supposed to be out traveling and finding news of the war, Katinka, Alvin, and Varet were all just sitting in the Inn of the Last Home. As he read his friends the letter, and then put the stone in his mouth in case that was somehow the answer, they all rolled their eyes and agreed to come with.

Theros Ironfeld, a large, dark skinned blacksmith, offered to lend them horses in exchange to delivering a letter to Haven before they came back. Using her charm, Katinka managed to secure herself the finest pony and saddle in the stable, and even got a boost up by Theros himself. Not long after leaving Solace the group met up with a trade caravan heading to Haven and they all decided to travel together for mutual protection in these dangerous times. It was a good thing too…

As the group was about to set up camp the second night out on the road, Varet’s (half-) elf eyes spotted a glint of metal in the setting sun. Upon further investigation, which the caravan guards take strict oaths to avoid, Varet and Alvin were ambushed by a group of goblins hiding in the thick undergrowth of the woods! Alvin was gravely wounded, taking two javelins full force only seconds into the battle. He fought on and the group was soon able to dispatch three of the four little buggers, as well as convince the other one to surrender. Just then, a strange winged figure sprung into the air from the tress above their heads, and while they attempted to take it down, it had soon flown out of sight. The only clue it left behind was thousands of fragments of some kind of large egg.

The group split from the caravan over prejudicial differences and after questioning the goblin and finding he knew nothing, they let him run free and headed down the road. Not long after this they entered the forest and things got really creepy.

The strange swirly stone which had been in the letter pulsed in a leading way, taking them deeper and deeper into the forest. When Darvin attempted to show off his l33t skills and juggle to amuse the Kender, he dropped the swirly stone and upon standing up from retrieving it he found himself alone. After taking some time to adjust to his new solitude, he ran right into a group of strangely outdated looking elven warriors who didn’t think he was worth the time to kill. Eventually he found his way to the steps of the Tower of Wayreth.

Darvin found his friends lounging inside talking to a wizened old man and enjoying a bit of wine. Rested and prepared, his friends followed him through the door to the next room and they all found themselves in a cave containing a strange gravestone. After defeating the resident banshee, Darvin realized that he might have a weird connection to this grave, but did not have time to dwell on this as he had places to be and things to do. Going through the door which appeared on the opposite side, his friends were teleported back to the old man’s sitting room while Darvin again found himself alone. Well, almost alone. He was in a room with a staff. His friends watched as he had a conversation with it, although as far as they could tell the thing wasn’t responding and they are now worried Darvin might be a bit touched in the head. When he emerged, he had the staff with him and his friends asked if he wanted to play a game of catch. All pretty exhausted, they decided to get some sleep first and were brought to the guest rooms within the tower.

When Darvin awoke in the morning however, he found himself in one of the many rooms at the Inn of the Last Home. Almost as if it had all been a strange, scary dream. Well, not quite a dream as there was a staff and some neatly folded red robes sitting just next to his bed….

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The Story Begins...
It was a crisp fall day

It has been 5 long years since you last saw your friends. You were all sitting around the fire at the Inn of the Last Home eating Otik’s famous spiced potatoes and discussing the rumors. Rumors of war. Rumors of magic. Rumors of mystics and healings. Each of you had concerns, each of you wished to understand the changes you felt coming. So you all went your separate ways with a promise: to return with news on this day and share what you had learned. Together you believed you could fight against the dangers in the darkness but without dispersing you could not learn the best way to do so, or even what it was you must fight.
And now you are on your way back. You can already see the Vallenwoods in the distance, although given the size of the trees that still means a few more hours of travel. But from the looks of it, you think you will make it to Solace before dusk…

I can post little updates after each session, but I think it would be awesome if someone were to write a “journal” from their characters perspective. The day we start will be the 13th day in the month of Autumn Harvest. Keeping track of the date will be important, especially for any wizards who will gain bonus abilities based on the phase their moon is in.

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