Ptolus- City by the Spire

The Story So Far...
Previously on City by the Spire
  • Players meet up. A very dysfunctional group.
  • The mindflayer is imprisoned.
  • Roanoke is visited and dissolved by a volcano.
  • Players return to visit Pythoness house.
  • Nevran’s All-Key is found and chest is opened.
  • A half-demon tries to take their new items…
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Half-Demons and Pits of Insanity

The session started with the PCs cornered by Wuntad and his cadre of chaos-cultists. Using the potion of stone growth that they received earlier they were able to buy just enough time to escape. Unfortunately, their Lhosk companion from Roanoke was lost while holding the cultists back.

Tournament Day is fast approaching with people all over the city preparing for the festivities. The air of carnival is marred, however, with the suspected assassination attempt on Commissar Igor Urnst. A member of the Golden Cross has requested that Arkavor try to either win one of the competitions or become the Commissar’s bodyguard, though the former is probably easier given the time restraint.

Wuntad confronted Arkavor and Andriel in the middle of Midtown, which eventually turned into a one-sided fight, resulting in the two PCs fleeing, once more.

Just before leaving to clear out the bottom of the Pythoness House, Jacques met up with an old friend, Darnethi Dreamwatcher, and the two caught up with each other’s lives.

Below Pythoness, the trio discovered a tribe of oppressed lizardfolk. They slew the Lich and took his cloak. Unfortunately it was cursed and Arkavor ended up dead on the ground. They were rewarded by the Lizardfolk with the Cloak of the Deceased, another in a set of mysterious death-focused items.

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Tournament Day Cometh and Leaveth

Tournament Day was a fun little side adventure. The PCs each entered a series of competitions designed to test their characters’ abilities. Most notable were the Spell Challenges and Single Combat fights.

In the Spell Challenges, Jacques faced off against Filrion Calistar, the mayor of Roanoke. After an intense duel Filrion ended up the loser. Upon his revival, he stabbed Jacques with a dagger before casting a spell to escape.

At the end of the Single Combat fights, Lord Dorant Khatru entered the arena unarmed and naked to fight Andriel. The fight was over in two rounds. Lord Khatru was, however, impressed with Andriel’s abilities and presented him with the title of Champion.

At the awards ceremony the Commissar gave a speech which was as follows:

“People of Ptolus, citizens of the empire, those that stand before you represent not only their own strength, but the strength that lies within every man, woman and child. As you have probably heard rumors, it should come as little surprise to you that the barbarian hoards of the wild Northlands are, indeed, marching upon Ptolus.I am sorry to cast a pallor on this beautiful day, but I must be honest, for that is how I have always led you. We received word just this morning that Tarsis has, again, been taken and that the barbarians number in the tens of thousands. It is now, that I ask all of you to look inside yourselves and find that strength. We have time to prepare.

Thankfully, our scouts say that the barbarians have paused in their destruction. For what reason, we do not know, but it is estimated that we have at least two months before they arrive at our gates. Over the next month some of you may be asked to serve your fair city in preparations. You will do as instructed, even if it is not in your best interests. A full page of instructions will be provided to all citizens, including the Crier’s Guild, including conscripts for the newly-formed City Militia. Now, if we can, let us turn to our attention back to heroes of the day.”

After that, three Vai Assassins attacked the Commissar, but were stopped by the quick actions of the PCs.

Next came a Four Month time skip in which Andriel travelled to the fabled city of Ghostwalk to bring Arkavor back. Arkavor returned as a ghost.

The first order of business was to explore Dwarvenhearth using Neveran’s All-Key to get in. They encountered a group of dwarves, left behind when the place was sealed. They captured one who now travels with them. His name is Thorgrim.

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Dwarvenhearth: Part 1

After this session, it seems fairly obvious that the exploration of Dwarvenhearth is going to take QUITE some time. The PCs encountered a group of malevolent dwarves who, somehow, were trapped in Dwarvenhearth and managed to survive. Apparently the “abandoned” city wasn’t left completely empty. It begs the question: “What else is down here”

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The Big Reveal!

DM: The trial against you has finally come to an end. You are tired and all you want is a soft comfy bed. You arrive back at Rosegate to find all but a few diligent students awake. They greet you eagerly, not having seen you in nearly a week. You push them away gently and they go back to their studies. You walk to your room and, after shedding your robes, collapse in bed.

Iron Mage: Jacques Cossette.

DM: The speaker states it as a fact, no question can be heard anywhere in their voice.

Jacques: Mmph.

Iron Mage: You will rouse yourself despite you exhaustion.

Jacques: I thought I told you to go back to work and let me sleep-

DM: Towering over your bed is a figure clad entirely in armor that, even in the total dark of the room, glows with a subdued light.

Jacques: Inferno Dothros!

DM: The fireball begins to manifest before your fingers, but before it can fully combust the fire dissipates off the armor. In the sudden illumination the rest of the figure is revealed.On their back is a flowing red cape and carried in their hand is a long wooden staff, carved intricately with magical runes. You now recognize him: The Iron Mage.

Iron Mage: Neither you nor I have any time for this. If I was here to kill you I would have done so with one of twenty spells I have prepared that would destroy you and the house in which you sleep. Now get up.

Jacques: Um, what?

Iron Mage: You will rouse yourself. The events that will soon unfold do not wait.

Jacques: Uh, okay. If you’ll give me a minute to get dressed.

Iron Mage: You are now clothed.

DM: You are fully garbed in the finest of silk robes.

Iron Mage: Now stand.

DM: The Iron Mage raises a hand with his index finger extended. Slowly, he traces a circle in the air a meter in diameter, a silvery strand remaining in the air where his finger has been. When it is complete a semi-transparent sheen fills the air within. It looks like a complex scrying technique.

Iron Mage: Look in.

Zachean: Doth thuul nizh Gabvrak?

Andriel: I… don’t understand your language.

Zachean: My apologies. I am glad to see you have learned the elder tongue. It is more civilized than the barbaric language of these bottom-feeders [motions to the other drow] more suited to our kind.

Andriel: Our kind?

Zachean: The Obyri. The eternal who lurk in the shadows, ever watching as the world changes before us. There are more of us than you would think.

Andriel: How were you created?

Zachean: That is a story for a different time. My son told me that you had a question for me. Is this true?

Andriel: It is. I wanted to know how the drow race came into being. I have never seen your kind before.

Zachean: It is a long tale, though I believe it will serve you greatly to know it. In the beginning, the progenitor god Praemus created the world, not as a home, but as a prison for the Galchutte, creatures of pure chaos and hatred. He made the Elder Gods to oversee the world and they made the Godlings. Cahethal, Zazriel, Andriel, Sabrael, Umbriel and Nuriel. They, together, created the first race, the elves.

They ruled for thousands of years they ruled, but one among them, Andriel, was killed in his attempt to remove the Dread One, Esthlagos Malkith, from power. His sister and lover, Sabrael, was heartbroken. Despite their attempts to console her, she remained in a state of grieving. Her bitter sadness was of such magnitude that its ripples were felt across the multiverse. It was not long before a being of great power, the mighty Gorgoth-Lol came to this plane, already a goddess of supreme power.

She saw the suffering of the elven peoples under the rule of the never-present Godlings and sought to help them. She convinced a group of them to follow her and for their devotion she granted them darker skin to match her own and the skills to survive underground where no surface elf could hurt them.

Andriel: Why didn’t the other Godlings intervene?

Zachean: They were too busy trying to get in contact with the Elder Gods, who just left one day, never to return. This realization snapped the usually calm mind of Cahethal and she immediately flew up to the top of the spire, intending vengeance on some unknown foe. After three days her lover Zazriel flew up after her.

Andriel: What had happened?

Zachean: No one knows. Centuries later Zazriel emerged, only now he called himself Ghul, son of Esthlagos Malkith.

Andriel: Nurial and Unbriel, what happened to them?

Zachean: They withdrew within each other, eventually fading from this world.

Andriel: How do you know all of this?

Zachean: I was one of the first elves to follow the Spider Goddess. I have existed here for millennia.

Andriel: How could you betray the Elder Gods-

Zachean: I did what I had to to ensure the continuation of our race! I do not need to justify my descision to you. And besides, my story is not done. While all this happened around her, Sabrael grieved. The tears no longer flowed, but within turmoil lingered. Deep below the surface of Praemal one of the Galchutte stirred. He felt Sabrael’s mental defenses and they were weak. He pushed his chaotic nature upon her and she absorbed it. She stood with her first moment of clarity in thousands of years. Her people were broken, divided and corrupt. She felt each of their souls, heard each of their thoughts. She drew her holy sword and sliced off her wings. She had fallen. The last of the Godlings. Somehow she learned that the Church of Lothian was responsible for the Elder Gods’ leaving, for they, in one of their “holy crusades” had wiped out the last of the followers of the Elder Gods, leaving only the faded memory in the minds of those old enough to remember.

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