Kith'takharos

Session 1
Olarune 16-17, 998 YK

Jager Cull, Jenna, Kiratesh Nezara, and Skan’pa arrive separately in Kith’takharos. Meryl Dunestal of House Tharashk invites them all to a meeting and offers them a job: find the missing explorer Almus Rundarig. Since none of them has any better plan, they agree to take the mission as a group.

They follow Almus’ trail to the Temple across the Big Water, where they find his frozen body in a magically cold room. There is evidence that the temple has at least one inhabitant, though no one is found. The group is then attacked by giant mosquitoes.

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Session 2
Olarune 17-22, 998 YK

The group sets an ambush at the temple and waits for the occupant to return. This results in victory against a man wielding an evil mace and another swarm of mosquitoes. Skan’pa nearly dies by some magic that is not understood. The party returns to Kith’takharos as unwilling heroes. Soon, Dorian Orsova of the Order of the Jade Leaf asks them to investigate a cave on an island to the south, where two members of a swamp plant foraging party were lost.

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Session 3
Olarune 22-26, 998 YK

Waking from sleep in the cave, Skan’pa says, “I once saw a Kalashtar with a lizardfolk tribe east of Newthrone.”

Jager threatens both Dorian Orsova and Meryl Dunestal before the group leaves for the mysterious island. The Shifter has obviously not recovered from his war experiences. Jenna also makes a deal with Patch the Warforged Artificer to obtain a Wand of Cure Light Wounds.

The group finds the island so choked with plant life that even Jenna has difficulty navigating the tangle. This odd island rises one hundred yards above the swamp, with the cave at the summit. Within the cave are the ruins of some ancient place of learning, as well as the bones of the lost foragers. The unfortunate Harvesters were eaten by two mutated F’lunin.

Information found in the “library” leads the characters to a freshwater spring near the ruins of Harlass Orn, an ancient city of lost reptilian civilization. Here they begin a search for lost artifacts.

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Session 4
Olarune 26 - Therendor 13, 998 YK

At the freshwater spring, Skan’pa suddenly says, “Mass instantaneous travel has been lost for many thousands of years.”

Jager discovers that a passage beneath the spring leads to the abandoned extradimensional work area of the Harlass Orn scholar Zzhastor Brune. While he, Kira, and Jenna explore the work area, Skan’pa stays behind to guard the rear. Unfortunately, Skan’pa is ambushed by swamp plant poachers and killed.

The surviving group members find a hidden magical-mechanical device with a broken gear in Zzhastor Brune’s office. The gear, and Skan’pa’s belongings, are gathered for the return trip to Kith’takharos. On the way, Jager scares off a group of poachers led by Huygens Tierney.

Patch repairs the gear while the archaeologist Yavanna Culand organizes a return expedition to the spring. Yavanna mentions the Bard Scylien as a possible replacement for Skan’pa, and this indeed occurs.

The expedition guards the spring while the group enters the work area. They replace the gear and activate the mechanism. This apparently teleports them to a pentagonal tower off the coast of a jungle land. The Draconic number “2” is carved above the door. The group finds a backpack in the tower and a mithral grappling hook with Aundairian military markings.

The teleporter is bidirectional, so that the group can return and report to Yavanna. She has the expedition break down a boat for transport to the tower, and the group prepares to take the boat to the coast.

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Session 5
Therendor 13-21, 998 YK

“You want us to touch it with your rod?” — Jager asks Yavanna Culand about a magical device.

The group travels by boat to the coast of the jungle land. Here, they find the remains of a crude raft and a series of Wayfinder markings leading west into the jungle. An eerie sense settles over the party, as if the land is even more alien than it appears.

The Wayfinder markings first lead to the scene of a battle many weeks old, and the skeletons of seven lizardfolk. Jager finds an elven ear on the ground near the battle. One night soon afterwards, the party is ambushed by feral lizardfolk following a Living Color Spray, but the attackers are easily repelled.

Finally, the trail ends at another pentagonal tower with the Draconic number “5” carved above the door. This tower, however, is defended by a strong party of lizardfolk supported by a spellcaster. Though the lizardfolk take losses in the assault, the group must pull back and regroup in the jungle.

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Session 6
Therendor 21-28, 998 YK

“Don’t worry…she’s a Halfling. She’s seen a small willy before.” — Jager orders the bandit Kooter to strip naked.

The lizardfolk Sorceror Harashua takes the initiative and offers the group a deal at Tower 5. In return for unhindered access to the tower, the group agrees to find and return a magical book called the Empiricon Codex. The book was stolen by a pair of elves, apparently the same elves that left the Wayfinder markings. Although the group could have defeated the lizardfolk, losses were almost certain. With the death of Skan’pa fresh in their minds, a deal seems the wiser course.

But first, everyone must return to the Bright Water lizardfolk village and a formal declaration of the bargain. In an unexpected move, the lizardfolk Shaman Argosh places a Geas on Scylien, forcing her to perform the task.

The teleporter in Tower 5 leads to Tower 7, nestled amongst peaks that may be the Endworld Mountains. From Tower 7, the group teleports to Tower 6, southeast of Pitchwall. Mayor Thoms Zengar of Pitchwall, a former Cyran army Captain, welcomes Jager and the rest of the group. Zengar explains that the elves were recently in Pitchwall, then traveled northeast to an old keep on the coast.

The group finds the keep occupied by a group of bandits. The bandits are easily defeated, stripped of their clothing and gear, and sent running towards Pitchwall. The group descends a stone stairway at the water’s edge into an underground structure.

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Session 7
Therendor 28 - Eyre 1, 998 YK

Scylien recalls stories about the eccentric Cyran noble Marek ir’Sharel, who, about 845 YK, founded an outpost in Q’barra that he hoped would become a beacon for artists. She is certain the old keep was built by Marek.

The group descends from Marek’s Keep into a natural limestone cavern. Here they find many ancient items arrayed in the style of museum exhibits. Jager appropriates one such exhibit: a magical crystal sword.

The cavern ends in a large chamber. Another pentagonal tower rises from the floor and into the ceiling, embedded in the rock. No windows show, so the group must force a way. Jager heads back to the surface to pick up some old tools stored in the keep.

On the surface, Jager encounters Mayor Zengar of Pitchwall. The Mayor informs him that some strange fellows were looking for someone who resembles Kira. Now Kira must reveal some of the secrets of his past, namely that he is a Kalashtar, and those men searching for him were likely Quori.

Still, an entry hole is hacked into Tower 3. The group then teleports to Tower 4, another jungle tower near a fast-moving river. Once more, they follow the elve’s tracks, which cross a precarious stone bridge to a ziggurat complex. Lizardfolk vigorously defend the complex.

Both Kira and Jenna’s dinosaur mount Flash fall to a powerful light weapon atop one of the ziggurats. Meanwhile, the survivors defeat the lizardfolk guards and climb the ziggurat to confront the wielder of the light weapon.

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Kira Awakens
Eyre 1, 998 YK

This was an e-mail exchange between the GM and the player controlling Kira that occurred between game sessions 7 and 8.

You awaken on your back in dim light. Judging by the fragrance, you lay upon a bed of soft leaves or grasses. The air is a little stuffy, yet refreshingly cool compared to the heat of the sun or the beam of light that struck you down.

You are in a small room. The walls are close, the ceiling low, and you would surely stoop if you were standing. A rectangle of light outlines a door. Shadows occasionally move across the door, accompanied by the sounds of padding feet.

Your mental processes are sluggish. There is something you should remember but the thought eludes you.

Time passes, perhaps a long time, though the outside illumination barely changes. Measuring time requires too much concentration. It is better to ignore time altogether and float in a moment of eternity. You float because your body seems so far away, a distant mass of aches walled off from your perceptions. You fall back into dreamless sleep.

Visions of Quori play the same ages old drama that you have seen a thousand times. Now it focuses on an early part of Nezara’s life, and you realize that you have come to cherish the meditation on your Quori ancestry. As the visions fade the world is lit in the most brilliant hues, but this is short lived as the light condenses into a speck floating on a black ocean.

A spark of wisdom immersed in an empty sea is the last thing you recall as your mind returns to your body, and you feel the pain of life once again.

Then the door is pushed aside. A small man stands framed by the opening. He hisses and steps into the hut, the door slides back into place. You realize he is not a man at all, but a lizardfolk about the size of Jenna. A nose ring hangs from his snout and silver bracelets clack upon his wrists.

“The great god Semuanya sent you,” he says in Draconic, “to deliver us from the heretics. His will has been done and we protect you as he commanded.”

Your memory snaps back into place. You had friends, traveling companions. Where, by the Great Light, are they? And where are you?

The lizard man gestures. “Come,” he says, “you must walk to make sure nothing is broken. The great god must see that we have cared well for you. And you must eat.”

These words cause your stomach to rumble, and you realize that you are very hungry. You crawl through the low doorway before rising to your feet. The bright sun almost hurts. You close your eyes for a few seconds, opening them in stages as you grow accustomed to the light.

You follow the lizardfolk. You want to learn what happened to you while unconscious. You also want to know more about Semuanya. What do you mean to…him?

The hut is part of a lizardfolk village on the bank of a fast-flowing river, perhaps the river you crossed before the battle. Other huts crowd the water, and some are partially submerged. A rock wall extends into the river to form a small harbor that shields the village from the turbulent water. Other than the curious small lizardfolk, village life appears as you would expect in any land: fishing, caring for children, preparing food, playing. And you tower above them all.

The villagers show your guide obvious respect, giving him room and bowing when he passes. By now you realize that your destination is another hut, but this one has two guards with spears. The lizardfolk motions the guards aside. “Soon your companions will arrive. I wish to show them you have been treated with the greatest hospitality by the Fast Waters tribe. But there is one problem. You must explain how we can help this thing. It will not let us change the dressings on its wounds.”

He takes a spear from a guard and pushes open the flimsy door. Inside, you see Flash, blood seeping through dressings on his flanks. He is muzzled and restrained by a vine leash attached to a stake in the ground. An overturned water bowl rests against the far wall. Flash watches the doorway with wary eyes.

“Flash!” you exclaim. Flash clicks and whistles loudly at the sudden noise, signifying distress. “You haven’t told me your name yet so that I can thank you properly good lizard man.”

Your words trail off as you approach Flash warily, fumbling for a small vial in your belt pouch. The vial is gone. The lizardfolk must have removed it when they tended your wounds. “Oh well,” you say, “I wouldn’t have expected this to be that easy.”

Your eyes fade to gray for a moment as a soft white light pulses from your chest to envelope your whole body. You immediately feel more healthy. Wounded animals are quick to strike, and Flash didn’t get his namesake by being slow. You hope that he doesn’t bite down too hard, if he does at all.

Flash recognizes you and calms down a bit when he catches your scent. You may have not have interacted with him much, but you are a more familiar sight that the lizardfolk. Jenna never seemed to have a problem with you, so perhaps Flash does not either.

You sit with Flash for a while and offer him food. The clicking and whistling subside. After you remove the muzzle, he calms even more, but you leave the vine attached to his leg.

“Just let me be alone with him for a little while,” you tell the lizardfolk. “He is still bleeding and I seem to have lost a little clear vial that I was carrying. I want to give him the contents of the vial. I don’t know where it could have gone…”

The lizardfolk stays silent for a few seconds. Then he turns to a guard and orders him to fetch the vial. He lets the hut door close. “I am Harash’sor, speaker for the great god Semuanya in the Fast Waters tribe. Semuanya came to me and told of four outlanders who sought a sacred book that had been stolen. I was told that we must guide you safely to the next step of your journey, and that the heretic brothers would bar your path.”

You understand the words, but not the context surrounding them. The brothers must be those lizardfolk you fought at the bridge. And the god is easy enough to comprehend. Yet how did this Semuanya know you would come here? How did it know the path the towers would impose upon your group in pursuit of the elves. Are these events greater than a simple chase, something with perhaps larger stakes? Could this be connected to the Inspired at Pitchwall? Have you accidentally stumbled into a spider’s web?

A flood of questions, and very few answers.

Harash’sor continues. “We waited beneath the bridge, and stole you away when you fell, but before you could die. The great god has preserved you for his purposes which we know not, but we obey. Your friends defeated the heretics without further help.”

Now the guard returns and hands you the vial. You warily approach Flash, and the dinosaur allows you to apply the potion. The bleeding stops. Harash’sor will not enter the hut, although you sense he is not afraid. He hands you a fresh bowl of water that you place near Flash.

“Come. It is time to eat.” He leads you to another hut near the water, where you are served fresh fish and fruits.

Harash’sor’s bracelets jangle as he lifts a fish to his snout. “Semuanya is the god followed by most of my kind. He has provided well for us, so it is only proper that we obey when he calls. Some follow another who is not quite a god, but may become one. I do not wish to speak of that.” He stops talking.

A few seconds elapse, and the silence becomes uncomfortable. Then you hear shouting and commotion from the edge of the village. Harash’sor leads you outside. “Come, your friends are here.”

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Session 8
Eyre 1-4, 998 YK

Jager, Scylien, and Jenna finish off the lizardfolk Sorceror wielding the light weapon. They also discover that the bodies of Kira and Flash are missing, although a clear trail leads west along the riverbank.

The trail ends at the village of the Fast Waters pygmy lizardfolk, worshippers of the god Semuanya. In fact, Semuanya told the village Shaman that the group would be passing through, and to give them whatever aid they required. Thus, Kira and Flash were spirited away before they could die, and subsequently healed.

The Shaman then describes how to find another tower in the Crimson River delta. The group reaches Tower 8 in two days, which teleports them to Tower 9. Along the way, Jager has a dream where he fights a Rakshasha masquerading as his mother, and the group has a waking vision of possibly the same Rakshasha.

Tower 9 lay within sight of a smoking volcano.

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Session 9
Eyre 4-6, 998 YK

Now only an hour or two behind the elves, the group treks from Tower 9 towards the massive volcano. Soon they reach a three-tiered temple complex in the same architectural style as the ziggurats near Tower 4.

Once more, lizardfolk guard the main ziggurat, and refuse the characters passage. A battle ensues, and two tough lizardfolk are killed; at least one other escapes into a secret passage within the temple complex. Kira figures out the Draconic phrase that opens the passage, and the chase continues. Along the way the characters find a dead Rakshasha at the bottom of a pit, and outwit a room with animating statues of lizardfolk warriors. The fleeing warrior is never found.

Finally, at the lowest point of the tunnels, the group encounters the elf Ranger Taloniegh and his dead wife, the Druid Yatonshtel. The elves killed the dead Rakshasha, but Yatonshtel was then killed by another that escaped. Taloniegh gives up the Empiricon Codex to Scylien, and Jenna gives his wife a Druidic burial.

Remarkably, Taloniegh’s son Keyosaleigh lives in Kith’takharos. Jenna plans to give him Yatonshtel’s Druidic staff. The group copies the book and returns the original to the Bright Water lizardfolk, while Taloniegh continues toward the volcano, seeking an artifact he thinks will protect his Eldeen Reaches village. He never really wanted the Empiricon Codex; that was just an opportunistic theft.

The group prepares for the return to Kith’takharos.

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