Dungeons and Dragons: On the Continent of the Eshiin
KIND OF SORT OF PARTY HISTORY:
ONCE UPON A TIME some people came into the desert city Zerinnth for various reasons. Idk about the others but the Halfling Wizard-totally-not-a-Warlock-in-disguise Kiri and the Human Bard totally-not-a-famous-food-critic-in-disguise Bill both wound up at a hostel working odd jobs in the city. They adventured together for a bit and then at some point were asked to look into this thing with the sewers, where they ran into the Dragonborn BarBearian Seeks Kin and the Halfling ranger Conrad. During this adventure many exciting things happened: Kin got a pet tiger, everyone got pretty gold magic bracelets (almost all of which were later given away and then lost), the party met Vasu-dude, Kiri was secretly Conrad’s missing sister, and then they all fought a bunch of scary jackal-people that could paralyze and it was close but Vasu-dude helped beat some people up. The party promised to free him if they could, which he really wanted. They freed some prisoners of the jackal dudes, and the prisoners then went to the surface and told everyone about the underground temple that was full of murals to the other shapers/gods and stuff and how it was all full of treasure. City guards then had their hands full for a while trying to convince people not to dig under the city.
But our party did not know this as they set out again almost immediately to hunt down The Jackal, who had a big fat bounty on his head. Conrad stayed back and was later convinced to go home by Kiri, who’s being secretive about how her magic comes from a dark pact and whatnot. So the party set off into the desert, found the lair of the Jackal (another old temple), freed the cook that they’d kidnapped, and fought through the Jackal’s goons. They let one live, to interrogate, and he sort of reluctantly agreed to help them. His name was SOME BLOKE. The party proceeded upstairs to find the Jackal and another lackey. Fighting ensued, and they eventually killed him. Kiri got a sweet dagger that’s kind of sad, and Kin got a sweet sword that lets him know other languages in certain circumstances. He had a note on his body that was written in Abyssal that came from the Orladand Ashkad Merchant’s Guild. It said, um, something. Something politically incriminating between the Empire and the other place. It was probably pretty juicy, but no one remembers it or what we did with said note. Oh and SOME BLOKE totally buggered off the first chance he got. Here’s to hoping that none of that ever comes back to haunt us!
/on the subject of the goons
JACKAL DUDE INTERROGATION TIME GO!
They’ve been given “gifts” from Daham the Jackal, a dude with a bounty on him. He’s a friendly, boisterous, loud dude. Big black dude. Looks like the poster. Big beard with yellowish eyes that look like jackal form eyes. Fond of wearing his red bandana.
Then we rested in the temple. Some dudes that were called by/possibly allied with the Jackal were out in the desert, but the Maalati tribe showed up and beat them up overnight. They’re a super secretive desert tribe that mostly only the Okeshir have dealings with. Lead dude
Duranki came up to see us after a lot of shouting. He told us a bit about the Maalati, and the Okeshir. The temple where the Jackal was hanging out was theirs. We had a nice conversation and were allowed to leave, they only wanted their temple back (they didn’t build it tho).
On the 8-day trek back to the city, Kiri played her ancestral bagpipes and it was AWESOME no matter what some uncultured dragonborns may think. Then we got back to town and noticed there was a lot of digging throughout the city, and signs against it now. Huh, turns out our actions have consequences sometimes! The party turned in the bounty and got paid yeaaaah. We gave some money to our new cook friend to set her on her way. Then we split up and all did our own things before meeting for dinner: Bill went shopping for things the party needed, Kin spent time with her tiger and named it in a ceremonious fashion, and Kiri went underground and checked on Vasu to let him know they’re still working on freeing him. The party met up for a lovely dinner, and next day found that there were some people who tried to get to the underground place and died. Kiri got worried that they’d try to oust Vasu soon. She wanted to keep her word to release him, but first she wanted to figure out what will happen when she does, and make sure nothing bad comes of it. She asked the party to help her resolve the situation. They agreed. Bill and Kiri went info-hunting and determined that they need to talk to a specific Okeshir shaman to find out more info on Vasu and the other Shapers. Kin got back one of the golden bands that the party gave to the prisoners. Party now have 3 golden bands total. They are debating what to do: go try and free Vasu now, or go talk to the shaman and risk Vasu being attacked.
Found the Okeshir sage-lady: History of the shapers go:
Before the world was around, there was a god-entity Yylir who created the other gods that we’ve heard of before (amael etc). Amael was inspired to create and bring life into the world, Yylir wasn’t happy,there was a cosmic throwdown, so the gods created beings to help in the war or created places of worship. So the smiths of Gadryan were made by Gadryan for that purpose. Vasu is one of those.
She seems ok with Vasu being released. She says there’s a hypothetical danger to the water source of Zerinnth, and thinks it’s the followers of Yylir (some of whom are jackal-dudes) threatening it. The bands are things made by the gods to allow the followers/messengers of other gods to come through their temples unharmed. Also she thinks that the Yylir followers are in the temple under the city and probly got there by killing the people we gave the bands to. Oops.
We went down into the warrens to talk to Vasu, and Kiri promised to give him her band to let him go. He will craft a crossbow for us in return which will take a few days. So we ventured into the warrens in order to search for what is threatening the water supply. On the way we fought a dwarf who went all big and a water hag who jumped into the well before we killed her. We went deeper in and found a big room full of runes and clerics trying to pray to take down a wall of water rushing upwards. The cultists were chanting in Abyssal to call upon Yylir in order to bring down the barrier. Battle ensued after a failed attempt at communication and a loud trip. We captured one cultist-person, and the cleric/spellcaster asploded all over the damn place. After the battle, the remaining cultist was tied up and interrogated, and Kiri lied to him and told him she was totes a follower of Yylir and needed him to share info. He said that if we want to know about Yylir, to go to the House of Descent: go west past the eyes of the emperor, then three days north from there. He also said that the asploded cultist had a golden band on him, so Kiri played arcane vacuum and mopped up all the gore til she and Bill found the band. During this the cultist started praying, so Kin cut his head off, and thanks to Sasquatch, he can now speak Abyssal when holding the sword! (Cooool!)
After battle, the party went through the wall of water, using Tidequeller’s ability to part the wall of water. They walked on a floating thin bridge to see a pool of water with a serpent-shaped water spirit on it. Kin talked to the spirit and found out that it was an old water spirit created by Finduil put here to enable life to the city above, and the cultists of Yylir were trying to get in to corrupt it, which it implied would cause death. It showed Kin how to repair the runes in the room outside, and then at his request, showed it to Kiri too. It also said that what would help it would be secrecy and repairing the runes. The party decided to tell someone about this to protect it from the followers of Yylir, and Kin and Kiri both suggested the Okeshir. They left the spirit and finished exploring the caverns, finding a room of coffins and a super well-made mural. There was a lot of history about the people in the coffins being the protectors, or people who died for heroic purposes.
At the suggestion of the Okeshir sage, the party went out to find the Rhyarm, a nomadic tribe. She said that they might be able to send some people to protect the water spirit. So the party went and waited at a spot that the Rhyarm were going to pass by on their yearly nomadic trip. It was outside a burial ground, and there were some undead being controlled by someone inside with a special horn. So the party fought undead, then the Rhyarm showed up, and then everyone fought undead, and then some more undead, until finally they took out they guy with the horn and gave the horn back to the Rhyarm. In thanks the Rhyarm agreed to send a few people into the city to guard the water spirit. On the way back to the city the party stopped at a pretty tree and then fought a basilisk, and one of the Rhyarm was turned to stone. Oops. But the other Rhyarm took him off to be healed in the city so he’ll be fine. They were introduced to the Okeshir sage so presumably they’ll all be fine.
The guard captain in Zerinnth (whom the party had previously met when turning in the bounty for the Jackal) called them in to say he was worried about the cult, but couldn’t spare the people to go look into it, so the party agreed to work on sort of a contract basis for a monthly stipend. So they decided to go look for the cultists. The best lead they had was the House of Descent, north of the Eyes of the Emperor, at the border with the desert and the Empire. So the party did some homework, and Bill hired a scribe who was clearly suave and skilled based oh his name alone (Fasloooo) to research the cult (Actually I think he had done this while the party went off and did something else but I can’t remember what so we’re skipping that part). When the party went to check in with the scribe they found him very murdered (FASLOOOO). Faslo’s notes on the cult revealed the name of a dwarven city, Ukhunholde, north of the Eyes of the Emperor. There’s some price to be be paid for entering the city. You have to earn your way in or something. Current ruler is Queen Fari Ukhun.
So the party set off for the Empire. It was mostly uneventful. They got to the Eyes of the Emperor, an impressive sort of gate that marks the border between the Empire and the desert. They continued on to the town of Lugal, where they started asking around about Ukhunholde. The city is a secret, however, and there are no paths to it. In an effort to gather information, Kiri used her fail-proof technique of winking at a dwarf in a tavern. She chatted with and bought much beer for her conversational partner, a dwarf smith named Throda, formerly of Ukhunholde. After much negotiation of the charismatic kind, she got information from him on the location of Ukhunholde, and learned a lot about the city. Later she had some different negotiations of the charismatic kind. She learned a lot then, too.
The next day the party set out for Ukhunholde. As there was no path, they had to leave their wagon, their cook-turned-cart driver, and Kin’s tiger behind in Lugal. They made their way up without too much incident. At the gates to the city, the party introduced themselves as entrepreneurial merchants who were looking to set up trades. The idea was that Bill was the head of the enterprise as he’s the best at talking, Kiri’s around to identify magic objects cuz she’s so clearly a wizard, and Kin’s the hired muscle to keep them all safe on the road. This is a good story and was believed, however the price for foreigners to enter the city is steeper than the mountain passes that led there. So rather than pay more money than they even possessed, the party agreed to a sort of indentured servitude, wherein they are allowed entry, but must perform a service or work for one of the Barons of Ukhunholde. After reading the contract closely, the group agreed and was sent to talk to the Dirt Baron in the Dirt Ward.
The Dirt Baron sent them to investigate a disturbance in one area of his ward where people had been evacuated and farming had stopped, and they didn’t know why. So they were sent to talk to his head guard guy, whom we will call Dirt Guard. Dirt Guard told them a little more, and let them into the closed-off area. Inside the party found a large space with many small buildings and some gardening areas. Naturally there was a plant monster. The group hurt it, then Kiri accidentally healed it, then they all had to hurt it some more, and then it managed to swallow every member of the party at least once in turn. All in all it was quite the battle. Then the group looked around some more and saw a giant ring of blood on the floor around the perimeter of the area, many smaller circular sets of runes drawn on the ground in blood, and a shabby, unkempt, babbling man whom we will call Babbling Man. After restraining the Babbling Man, some of the sigils started smoking and then Imps and Devils and Nasty Things of That Sort came out. We fought them, and Kiri, being the skilled magic practitioner she is, started reading the runes (written in Abyssal) and attempting to mess them up in the right way to stop the summoning. But it was, like, really hard guys. The writing was all like hard to read and stuff and sometimes magic is hard so even though we only found __ sigils it took at least 14 attempts to get them all done. But once they were all taken care of and Nasty Things stopped coming out, BABBLING MAN
the group reported back to the Dirt Guard and probly Dirt Baron and were thus cleared of their indentured service. They were then given full official papers that allow them to come and go from Ukhunholde. YEAH!
After that, they somehow got in touch with the Stone Baron I think? And they went into the mines to investigate and found dead dwarves and a lot of marks on the floor.
Today, we delved deeper into the mines. Left the barracks, went down the elevator. We found some cave-ins and a certain dragonborn made a lot of noise and then in a panic Kiri tried to shush him but yelled in his head so he yelled back and then there was more noise and then some magma mephits came and we fought them. Kiri’s super-useful familiar also did some super-useful scouting! Woo! After the mephits, we went down a long corridor and found a huge boulder and Kiri poked it and Kin noticed it HAD A FACE WHOA. Then it opened its eyes and talked to us. Its name was Mansoroca, it’s an earth elemental that is guarding the place I think? It told us that it and other earth elementals had been called to this place but were also being driven mad by the sort of silent magic pain screams of some artifact further in, past the area Mansoroca was blocking. The party said they were here to stop that, and so they pushed in, and saw a pedestal with a big bone-thing on it, and SOME BLOKE who was totally a cultist now whaaaaa! Battle ensued, and SOME BLOKE was eliminated with quick work.
Somewhere in there the group was told that the Babbling Man had escaped, and later at the inn Kiri got a note from him saying that hey, thanks for showing me the way, what our patron wants or something like that, I’ll see you again. MYSTERIOUS.
Bone was a piece of a claw, taken from a dragon in pain, radiated pain. Kin touched and found this out. Group returned to the Baron and was directed to Stonespeaker Odat, a blind dwarf who is part of some religious or magic or academic sect and Knows Things. He identified the claw piece for them.
Then the party went… somewhere? I unno. Oh yeah, we found a guard dead in the mines that was maybe a cultist? Or maybe not? Maybe an impostor or replacement? Not sure. We did find his house I think and it had notes from the cult on how to fit in and stuff, but also notes to his family. Or something like that.
So we went to investigate something about people entering the city recently, picked a name at the top of the list, went to talk to this bureaucrat who freaking BOLTED the second we tried to talk to him. Much chase ensued. We got him in custody. Much attempted assassination ensued. We looked into his residence. He tried to bring his sister back as a flesh-golem thing? It was pretty gross. We found the basement. Found many things there.
Then the golem somehow got out and rescued Ukar and they were running through the city so we kinda chased and fought and stuff. Ukar was taken back into custody again.
We talked to Bari some more and wolf masks and went to Nuldezar and fought some things some more and a lot of stuff happened there too but that’s where we are now so that’s a skeleton of things and I’m tired so I’m going to stop now.
Addendum: Kiri kisses dwarves who don’t want kisses.
Addendum to the addendum: Sometimes they do.