Shadows over Eldolan

13th Age So Far/ October 9
Campaign overview from the beginning

In case anyone is still using OP, here’s the Overview I sent via email…

Book 1:

In their first adventure the PC’s were investigating a weird zombie attack in the town square of Eldolan that included a pumpkin-headed zombie. They agreed to help the local contact for the Emperor, a halfling named Raley Tallfellow, who asks them to investigate what’s going on and informs them the Silver Shields are too busy due to an imp causing havoc along the docks and an ochre jelly that has somehow gotten into the sewers.

In the process they run into a small demon cult whom they defeat and uncover that Garados Kessmir, head of the Lamplighters Guild that lights the magical lamps in the city each evening, is the head of the Seekers of the Lost, a servant of the Lich King and that he was in fact behind the zombie attack. After defeating his zombie guards, his imp familiar (different imp), Kos and a huge flesh golem animated with necrotic energy, they discover that Garados has escaped. But the Seekers of the Lost are dismantled and rounded up by the Shields… with many thanks to the characters.

During this time Drago Fairlight is established as a rather popular bard and makes some serious coin performing in the taverns, especially the Westwind Inn where the characters have mostly been lodging. He meets Zoristar Twoscars, a drow agent of the Prince of Shadows

Darian Bosch is discovered to have been involved in letting loose the ochre jelly in the sewers as part of an experiment to create Wearable Spells which he’s heard about in his past. He is befriended by Illyrio, one of the mages on the Council that rules the city, who is intrigued by the idea of wearable spells and agrees to help Darian look into how they can be made. Darian also meets Zoristar Twoscars, agent of the Prince.

Etiluri is befriended by Marsted Trueson, a human agent of the Crusader, who provides some magic incentive and information throughout the investigation.

Mogan Wyrmbrew meets a group of three scarred dwarves, near the docks; followers of the Diabolist who incent him to not give up his connection with the demon queen. He also meets Voln, son of Koln, a craft brewmaster in the Saddle who is an agent of the Dwarf King.

Bogo Twang develops a relationship with Elsa Whiterose, a cleric of the Gods of Light who runs the Mission of Lost Hope in the Commons. She is a follower of the Priestess and provides clues and connections for the PC’s investigations.

Malkeir is befriended by Korvas Graymane, a male half-orc with flowers in his hair, who assists in an ambush battle and provides Malkeir a magical token of the High Druids affection. It seems she’s not as upset at him (or needs him for some reason) as he thought she was.

Darian’s mage friend Illyrio travels to Horizon to research wearable spells or Maleficus Medallions as they are known, and discovers some disturbing information that leads to the next quest.

At the same time everyone near Pocket Bay is preparing for the Festival of the Passing of the Behemoths. Their migration path takes them within a few days journey of Horizon and there will be pilgrimages, tourists, vendors, educational groups, etc. all camping out near the migration route. The Festival is scheduled to start in about a week… and there is some rumor that one of the behemoths is pregnant. No one alive in the Empire today can remember a behemoth giving birth and what that could mean for the Festival or the herd in general.

There is also a new active Hell-Hole near Eldolan and Horizon and not far from Gorogan’s Maw. Hell bugs have been seen as close as the Dire Woods and followers of the Crusader and the Great Gold Wyrm have been mobilizing to combat the demons, sometimes using Eldolan as a base of operations. These demons will surely have an impact on the pilgrims, tourist and others that travel to the migration route for the Behemoth Festival.

Book 2:

Illyrio contacts the PC’s through Darian after being in Horizon for a couple of days to report he’s found evidence that wearable spells are indeed possible to craft but that the rituals and recipes to do so have been lost for decades… and a rumor or legend that they were originally created by the dwarves during their war with the elves. Once the truce between the two was in place, the Dwarf King and Elf Queen conspired to hide away the details of how to craft them lest that knowledge fall into the hands of those with evil agendas.

But it appears that Garados is also on the trail of this secret knowledge as a way to make up for his failure in Eldolan and prove his renewed loyalty to the Lich King.

Illyrio discovers two key pieces of information in his research. The artificing component of the process to create wearable spells was given to a group of gnome wizards including one Inego Sharpe who was the last one of the group still alive until he disappears 9 months ago.

The magic ritual, including the details of the material components needed to make the medallions, were given the Keepers of Secrets (whatever that means) for safekeeping.

Inego is also in high demand by a couple of the icons. The Crusader wants him to finish a magic weapon said to slay demons with one swing, which did not function as promised in battle and caused Marsted Trueson to lose his hand.

And the Prince of Shadows has heard that Sharpe once bragged that he could create a scrying device that could read the words of gangsters and criminals as they were written. He would like that scrying device for his own use… or Inego dead.

The PC’s trace Inego Sharpe through an old partner to the Stranglesea a huge floating weed mat in the Midland Sea where Inego’s floating laboratory crashed. They learn on the way that someone else is looking for Inego and are ambushed before they can leave. The party eventually finds Inego after defeating a variety of warped castaways only to learn that he has transferred his consciousness into the clockwork head of metal golem but his ship wrecked before he could complete the rest of the creature. He implores the party for help saying that he knows his presence and talents are worth money and that he will tell them the secrets to the wearable spells if they help him find a place to create the rest of his golem body and keep him safe from those attempting to kill him, at least until he’s “back on his feet”.

After sailing back to the mainland with Inego’s clockwork head the party is ambushed again by a group of mercenaries lead by a female bugbear and including several animated skeletons. This plus other rumors of a black-cloaked woman who hired the mercanaries confirms the party’s suspicions that the One-Eyed Lord (and probably Garados) is also after Inego and the secret of the Maleficus Medallions… time is now critical as the party races against the Lich King’s agents and Garados himself to keep Inego safe long enough for him to craft his clockwork golem body and find the rest of the secrets surrounding the crafting of wearable spells.

Garados on the run and debrief with Darian

As we move onto the next story arc in our campaign I wanted to sum up the situation as we last left it and provide a bit of history on what Darian has been up to…

After defeating Kos, Garados’s imp familiar who was masquerading as Garados, and his flesh golem in the Seekers of the Lost lair it’s clear that Garados has been an embarrassment to the Lich King both for failing to create an undead horde in Eldolan and for creating a pumpkin head zombie which brought more laughter than fear to the townsfolk. The One-eyed Lord has now tasked him with going to Horizon to find evidence of a conspiracy between two or more of the icons that was intended to keep a powerful magic secret from the Lich King and perhaps other “evil” icons.

Meanwhile Darian has been communicating with Illyrio, a member of the Mage Council in Eldolan (after having to explain himself in regards to the loose ochre jeffy in the sewers) and has also discovered information about what appears to be an ancient magic formula for creating something called Wizard Lockets or Maleficus Medallions. These items are created through a combination of artificing and distilling the essence from magically imbued creatures. The Lockets or Medallions act as wearable spells, giving the wearer some magic benefit (like becoming invisible/translucent in the case of the ooze) and don’t require attunement, meaning virtually anyone can harness their power.

However, the exact formula and associated rituals appear to have been purposely hidden away. Illyrio has discovered a “legend” in the arcane university archives in Horizon that indicates the Dwarf King and Elf Queen conspired ages ago to hide the details for creating the Medallions in order to keep the secret out of the hands of the icons with evil agendas.

The final missive from Illyrio, which is magically delivered to Darian’s rooms at the Inn while the party helps the Silver Shields round up the now leaderless Seekers of the Lost, contains the final clues as to next steps:

The rituals and associated foci necessary to create the Medallions were “scattered to the woods and left in the hands of the Keepers of Secrets”.

The artificing secrets and fomulae were entrusted to a small, secret group of gnome wizards the last surviving member of which, Inego Sharpe, was a high ranking member of the faculty at the Imperial Magic University in Horizon until he disappeared about one year ago. Several that knew him say he mentioned the Strangling Sea and was making plans to travel there but was, of course, secretive about his reasons… most wrote it off as the ravings of an ancient and eccentric gnome, but Illyrio thinks he may have been trying to hide himself and his knowledge far away from civilization.

Knowing that Garados has gone to Horizon on behalf of the Lich King and that he’s searching for a lost secret is making Illyrio very nervous that the One-eyed Lord may also be on the trail of this powerful lost magic. After all, if he has been able to track down this much information then others probably can as well. He implores the party to look into the Keepers of Secrets (which appear to be associated with woodlands) or to travel to the Strangling Sea to look for Inego… before it’s too late…

More leads and an ambush

After meeting with Aerto and finding and destroying a demon cult cell in Elodan, Hanimar used his pull with the Emperor to have the town guard, the Silver Shield, keep watch out for more demon goings-on.

Meanwhile, Drago was performing at the Westwind Inn and the audience swears they saw him alter his form into something demon like, causing a riot (at right about the same time as the cultists actually summoned a demon across town). The Shields are skeptical and since there have been no reports of demon activity, they let Drago off the hook and even recovered his tip jar containing a nice payout in gold and a magic ring called The Thief’s Eye.

Elturi was approached by more fellow followers of the Crusader and learned that a bunch of dark clerics and other Crusader fans are in the temple district mocking the gods of light and recruiting for an assault on a hell hole. They gave him two +1 runes.

Darian was approached by a Drow named Zoristar Twoscars, a disciple of the Prince of Shadows. Zoristar told him about a magic item in a thief guild’s storage area in the sewers that would let him translate (and then actually use) the magic on the orb that the Prince gave him… the catch is that he wants Darian and friends to get rid of the ochre jelly in the sewers which is disrupting usual thief guild activities.

Malkier was approached by Korvas Graymane, a half orc with flowers braided into his hair, who claimed that the High Druid sent him to thank Malkier for his efforts in stopping the demon cult and encourage him to get to the bottom of the zombie attack in Hawker’s Square.

The party investigated further leads about where the zombie attack in the first session could happen and spoke with Rollo the Thin, a tobacconist in Hawker’s Square who claims that one of the zombies was a friend who’d been laid to rest properly at the Dead Vaults, the city’s cemetery. He doesn’t understand how that could happen if the body was properly interred and encouraged the party to look into it.

Finally the party attempted to meet with Riley Three Fingers, a fence who Elsa Whiterose in the temple district told them about. But they were ambushed by the Ratsmashers who they summarily disposed of. They later tracked Riley down and learned that a drug dealer, called the Dreammaster, pays the Ratsmashers to operate on his turf. He is supposedly holed up in an abandoned theater in the Commons and has a couple of thugs guarding him at all times.

When we left them the party had planned to investigate the Dead Vaults… that’s where we’ll pick up.

Demon cult!
Session 2

Mostly for Brian and Connor’s sake… last session had the party following up the lead that someone named Aerto near the docks was paying good coin for the recently deceased, perhaps leading to some clues as to where the zombies came from. The party found him and posed as a group with bodies to sell.

Part of the party faked dead while the others followed Aerto to the body drop off location. Upon investigation they discovered a creepy two-headed beetle thing guarding an underground ritual site for a group of demon worshipers who were about to conduct a blood sacrifice and summon a demon… which in spite of a valiant effort by the party, they accomplished.

The session ended with the party having just defeated the demon and cultists but still to search the underground lair or make a plan about what to do next. The only other lead you currently have is that Elsa Whiterose at the temple of the Priestess says she knew two of the zombies as former visitors to her mission in the Commons. We’ll start tomorrow with everyone except Drago and BoGo still in the lair so they can search and explore. We will bring Drago and Bogo in either shortly after we start or I’ll alternate scenes to keep everyone involved.

Character highlights:
Mogan (Justin) now has a magic item and some cool magic oil that he received from his new dwarf friends in order to convince him not to try and rid himself of his power granted by the Diabolist

Darian (Jeff) has a drow asking around about him at the magic academy and talking about some magic item he apparently has— this according to his new friend Caleb who happens to be trying to join the after-school necromancers club. The night before the zombie attack he saw a group enter the storm grate in the square but only two come back out… and strangely enough the streetlights were out in the square, even though the Lantern Guild wizards had already come to light the magic street lights…

Drago has been performing at the Westwind Inn every day since Darian and his magic act have been busy so he wasn’t able to join you. BoGo has a soft heart and staid with Elsa at the Priestess’s temple to help with the mission… both will be back at the Westwind when we start tomorrow. See you then.

Is that a zombie with a pumpkin head?
13th Age session 1

Eldolan is a good sized city that sits on Pocket Bay, not far from Horizon, where the Arch Mage hangs out. Its proximity to Horizon and the fact that Eldolan houses three academies of magic means that magic is part of everyday life in the city.

There is a palpable sense of rivalry between the schools of magic and magical pranks between schools are not uncommon.

The characters found themselves in Eldolan for various reasons and all were attempting to meet up with their contact, Raley Tallfellow, a halfling and representative of the Emperor. Before they could have a conversation, a large group of zombies attacked in the city square, apparently targeting Raley (and therefor the Emperor) and causing general zombie havoc. One of the zombies had a pumpkin in place of its head, which would have been comic if it weren’t so disturbing.

Afterwards it became clear that the Silver Shields (town guard) are spread too thin to do much investigation into the attack and the mages from the three schools of magic are all accusing each other of either a failed prank or experiment gone wrong… the characters hear an argument in which one school is accusing another of being responsible for the Ochre Jelly that’s escaped into the sewers (and it turns out Darian might have had a hand in this…)

The party came away from the scene with one lead, to talk to Elsa Whiterose who told the Shields that she recognized two of the zombies as people who have visited the mission that she runs for the poor. Part of the group went to talk to her and learned the missing people’s names and that there are rumors of poor folk going missing for over a month now and a second hand story that two men were seen carrying off Old Ralph from an alley while he was cursing and muttering. She suggested they go speak with some of the poor folk on the streets to learn more.

Meanwhile, the other characters head for the Westwind Inn where Darian performs much to the delight of the patrons and Ilturi gets a lead from a fellow follower of the Crusader… that someone named Aerto down by the docks is paying well for the “recently deceased”. One their way to investigate at the Lusty Dolphin, the group is confronted by dwarves who appear itching for a fight, but stand down when they find out who Mogan is as they are fans of his ale.

They offer to buy Mogan an ale and headed into the Dolphin as we wrapped up.

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