Monday, February 22, 2010


A letter from King Archibald Daelon, written one week after the death of his brother.


I trust you are well.

I wish to thank you again for your help. Being King remains a foreign thing to me. As much as people say things are returning to "normal", I fear that it is impossible. This is not my place. I have endeavored to make myself known and respected in the city, but it does not come to me naturally.

Those at the castle briefly considered trying to keep the events of the day quiet, but quickly realized it would be too difficult. We instead decided to encourage the surviving nobles and guards to spread word of what happened, and bestowed honors on those who slew devils that night.

We worried that, from outside, it looked like a coup, and it did not help that in many noble houses a son did not return home. But when the others returned, full of stories of devils in the castle, most of their family's grievances against me were forgotten. They are not happy, but there will be no civil war.

The commoners heard these tales as well, as they would have either way, but they are not used to Roland being gone and have never really trusted me. Earning that trust will not be easy. They are afraid.

We do not know what to do with the Prince. He will never become King. We cannot imprison him now, but few seem to want to associate with him. Mostly we are concerned with being sure he does not become an enemy in the future.

Paendra has been reinstated as captain of the guard, although I have seen fit to give her rather explicit instructions on what to do if I am ever not present to give her orders directly. Ander has been assigned to lead and rebuild the Agents, a task for which he has little experience but the perfect temperament. Most of the Agents were far outside the castle and escaped the fate that Annasta met.

Her body was not recovered.

Cormac has been given control of the battlemages, as expected. After hearing what happened to him, I am surprised he was as intact as he was when you found him. Few could withstand what he endured. He seems to be interested in putting the "battle" back into their name; from what I have heard so far, he plans to train the mages almost exclusively as a devil-fighting force. I should hope they become more impressive fighters in any case. Their combat record in the halls that night was far from inspiring.

I ramble. I should hope that you visit me soon. There is still much to discuss.

- A

Third day

The party entered the dungeons in search of the alchemist. Along their way they found several traps, including a grease trap (which looked like someone fell into it and crawled out), a spent dart trap on the wall, and a spike trap on the floor that looked like it recently demolished a victim. Around the corner they saw the large metal door to the alchemist's room. In between was a small strip of land with pools of green liquid on either side, two large grotesque statues, and three metal dogs on the ground.

Fearing that the dogs were magical constructs, the party pushed all of them into the green liquid. They then tried to do the same with the statues. With the whole group (except the frightened Fizzy) pushing, they started to move the statue off its position, but in response it awakened and attacked. The dogs soon leapt out of the green and charged the party.

The gargoyles' wicked claws did significant damage to the party, and the creatures briefly seemed impervious to damage when they reverted back to stone form. Fizzy, alone and in the dark, was assaulted by several enemies at once and was barely able to fend them off. The dogs' initial bites carried a sting left over from the poison in the pools. But despite all this, the party stuck together and fought back. Fizzy reloaded the dart trap with some shards of metal and watched it fire against an oncoming construct. Ferik flew towards Fizzy, providing light and assistance. The gargoyles put up a challenging fight, but eventually their stone bodies crumbled against the onslaught.

The party approached the door, which was locked. They successfully picked a lock, but discovered that many others were in place. So, they knocked. A small window slid out of place and two eyes stared out at them, demanding to know what they wanted. He would not take visitors. But when the party told him that King Roland was dead, he let them in.

The alchemist was a strange fellow, constantly chugging small vials of blue potion. He was intent on producing some sort of masterpiece potion that had recently been perfected. Few doses of this "Potion of Heroism" were available, and he was loathe to part with them. The party promised that if the Prince were deposed, the alchemist would get whatever funding he needed, which was enough to convince the alchemist to help. He handed over two doses of the Potion of Heroism. Vexx also examined the blue potion the alchemist kept drinking and discovered that it would give a small (but stackable) boost to the drinker's intelligence while hampering almost everything else. The alchemist gave him a dozen of these potions.

Fizzy was impressed by the alchemist's amazing work. The alchemist just told the dwarf that he was weird. Fizzy's confidence suffered.

The party returned to the Great Hall with haste. The halls were strangely quiet, but the Hall was bustling. The Black Guard was training the newly-outfitted nobles and guard, while Archibald inspected. Upon the arrival of the party, he announced that the assault on the Tower was ready. Archibald said that he understood that he had to lead the attack on Khestral due to the enchantment on the door and requested that the party accompany him. They agreed.

The makeshift army marched down the halls. No mages, "loyal" guards, or devils were encountered. Even upon entering the Tower itself they found no enemies... until a horde of devils charged from each direction. The battle began. So close to the goal, Archibald called out to the party and led a charge towards Khestral's inner sanctum.

They were blocked by a group of devils (including another succubus) guarding the pathway. With Archibald's capable help, the party swept through these enemies, striking them down. They soon reached the door. Ferik and Sir Griflet each consumed a dose of the Potion of Heroism, while Vexx drank all twelve of his intelligence potions. Then, Archibald entered. The enchantment on the door was broken with an eerie pulse of energy, and the party entered.

The eladrin battlemage Khestral stood over a strange table, reading a book written in Supernal. He looked up at the party as the door opened, threw forth his hand, and froze the party in place. After a bit of gloating, Khestral released Archibald from his spell and commanded the Black Lord to bow. Archibald turned to the party. "End this fight." He then drew his greatsword and hurled it at the mage.

Khestral threw out his hand again, shattering the sword into pieces that struck the Black Lord and threw him against a wall, but his concentration was broken as well, releasing the party from his freeze. They attacked. The mage was skilled and threw powerful spells of fire and force, but he was quickly weakened and drained of strength.

The eladrin then threw himself on the table, shouting to Asmodeus in Supernal. When he stood again, his appearance had changed to that of a fey Tiefling, unlike anything seen before. Khestral's wounds had closed, and he moved with a supernatural grace. The battle commenced again. Again Khestral struck out with powerful magic, but outnumbered and outgunned, he was soon bloodied, and then struck down by a powerful magic missile from Vexx.

The battered mage again shouted to Asmodeus, and his wounds once again began to heal, but he sputtered blood and his prayer faltered. The mage was left on the ground, defeated.

The Prince Philip soon strode out of the back room. "Ah, I see you've managed to defeat my mage!" he spoke. "Well--" The Prince's soliloquy was interrupted as Jij ran to Khestral's side and fired an arrow from his greatbow point-blank into Khestral's head, despite Ferik's attempts to stop him. The mage fell dead, and the Prince suddenly stopped with a look of horror slowly creeping over his face.

The Prince offered no resistance, claiming that it was not his plan or idea to kill King Roland. Some enchantment had affected him. Archibald, now able to stand, approached. Some questioning revealed that Khestral had offered the Prince power, and the Prince had voluntarily submitted himself to the mage, although he did not know it would lead to murder.

Ander, Paendra, and Cormac soon entered as well. Archibald, realizing that Khestral had controlled the Prince, proclaimed that the Prince remained the lawful heir. Ander was unwilling to accept this.

Hoping for clarification, Vexx cast a ritual to speak with the dead Khestral. The corpse revealed that the Prince's story was true, and that Khestral's power had come personally from Asmodeus, the evil god of the Nine Hells. This did little to help the discussion about the King's successor.

The argument went back and forth, with Ander insisting that the Prince had proven himself unworthy of kingship, while Archibald insisted that he would make a terrible king (lacking the people's touch as Roland did). There was some discussion of having Archibald rule as regent, but this was rejected upon consideration of the nobility's possible reaction. Ferik suggested forming a triumvirate council to rule, but the response was lukewarm.

Eventually, Sir Griflet spoke privately with his lord, appealing to the will of their deity Bahamut. The Black Lord, finally, agreed to do what was necessary, and asked for the fealty of those around him as king. Ander bowed, and the others soon followed. The new King Archibald Daelon grabbed the crown off the head of the prince and stormed out, carrying kingship in his hand.

Second Day

The Lord Archibald, clad in black scale mail and with a greatsword strapped across his back, strode into the courtyard, while his Black Guard fanned out to secure him. A lone remaining battlemage, unseen by all, dropped from the ramparts above Archibald, hands glowing in readiness. In one motion, Archibald drew his sword and cut the falling mage in two, smashing the body into the open gate door before it hit the ground. He then turned to the party. "Who are you?"

The party introduced themselves in friendship, explained the events of the night, and offered to take Archibald to speak with Annasta. He agreed. When they arrived, they found Annasta and the other Agents in the room slain on the ground.

With it apparent that he was now the leader of the resistance against the Prince, Archibald decided to accept the help of the party. He announced that he would start gathering forces in the Great Hall, the site of his brother's demise, and requested that the party continue with the tasks set out for them by Annasta. He also expressed puzzlement about the role of the battlemages and asked the party to enter the Tower (the battlemages' section of the castle) and interrogate a mage. Lastly, he instructed his most trusted and accomplished guard, Sir Griflet, to assist the party in their endeavors. With that, he departed.

The party decided that Archibald's request for information was their most important task and departed to find a mage. They followed their map towards the Tower. None expected to find a devil on their way. Their only warning was the sound of chains on stone. A chain devil soon stood before them. The battle was difficult, with the devil using its chains to wrap the party and parry their attacks, but the devil was soon defeated and was banished back to the Nine Hells.

Upon entry to the Tower, the party heard the sobs of a man and the alluring voice of a woman comforting him and asking him to cooperate. Sir Griflet burst down the door to find a succubus (a evil devil that uses its charms to manipulate mortals) interrogating a bound mage. The other devils in the room (legion devils and spined devils) attacked. The succubus went after Griflet, briefly dominating his mind and causing the paladin to throw himself to the ground. The succubus approached Griflet and gave him a soft kiss full of devilish corruption, but the knight soon snapped out of it and attacked the succubus.

Meanwhile, Fizzy deployed a portable arcane staircase to walk over the melee, collect the sobbing mage, and drag him out of the room. The mage's bindings were cut, but he merely hid in a corner in fear. The battle raged on, with Griflet fighting in front and most of the party firing support from outside the door, and soon the devils were destroyed. The mage was brought to his senses soon after the succubus was defeated.

The mage, named Cormac, explained that the mages were being instructed to summon as many devils as they could before going on patrol in the castle. He was the only high-ranking battlemage to resist, and he was nearly broken by the succubus's entreaties. Khestral had become more powerful than ever, Cormac reported, and had been inventing new spells unlike any the mages had seen before. He promised that they could share in this power if they cooperated. After the night's events at the feast, the Prince was seen entering Khestral's office and abode in the center of the Tower. Khestral sealed off the door with an enchantment: only Khestral or one of the royal bloodline could open the door.

The party took Cormac back to Archibald. On their way they encountered two cambions (cross-breeds between devils and humans), but Ferik was able to convince them to report back to Khestral after pretending to be in the Prince's service and telling them of Archibald's presence in the castle. After arriving in the Great Hall, the still-frightened mage wet himself in the face of Archibald's intimidating interrogation, but when the party explained Cormac's role in events, Archibald softened. The Black Lord set off to gather nobles to fight for the cause, while the party set off to gather magical arms and armor for the resistance.

On their way they encountered a group of six guards led by a battlemage. The guards, urged forth by the mage, marched forward in formation. With their halberds at the ready, this was a powerful tactic. Unfortunatey, it left them clumped together. When they stood within range, all of the party (especially the enthusiastic Vexx) fired a volley of arcane attacks, utterly destroying the formation. The mage attempted to throw what he could towards the party, but, outnumbered five to one, he was quickly overcome.

The party soon arrived at the dungeons. Around the corner they heard a discussion between a frustrated voice and a very droll one. Inching closer, they discovered that the first voice was demanding entry to the armory, and the second was refusing it. The party hid in the nearby rooms full of mundane arms and Vexx sent a Ghost sound to draw in their enemies. The ambush was spoiled, however, when Sir Griflet sprung the trap too early. In the ensuing chaos, the lone guardian of the magical vault (a dark-skinned gnome) had his life threatened as he was twice used as a living shield, but the devils, mages, and guards were soon killed.

The gnome was very grateful for the party's assistance, but refused to open the vault, as he could only do so under the King's orders, and the proper King was as-yet undecided. Some discussion revealed that the gnome identifies as a "deep gnome", a group usually devoted to mining, but has found his home as an unsleeping guardian of the vault, to which he is magically tied. The gnome unflinchingly refused entry, and the conversation went in circles.

After some time, the bard Jij took the gnome aside and asked for details about the enchantment. The gnome was convinced of the bard's good intentions. "Very well, changeling", he responded, and explained that as long as he was conscious and somewhere in the castle, the door would not open without his permission. With this knowledge, Vexx cast a sleep spell on the gnome, who soon passed out, and the door to the vault swung open.

The party loaded their bag of holding with the weapons in the room, also opening a chest full of more interesting magical weapons, which they divided among each other. They also briefly discussed what the gnome said to Jij: he was not the human he appeared to be, but rather a changeling, a doppelganger. The bard insisted that he did not often change his appearance and would like to continue as a human. The group accepted his request, and set off to return to Archibald.

They met another couple of cambions on the way, each guiding a hell hound, who seemed very interested in their bag of items. Ferik again tried to bluff, which the cambions believed, but when one tried to grab the bag, a fight broke out again. After a few blasts from the hell hound's fire breath and a few strikes from the cambions' fiery swords, the party emerged victorious and continued.

They entered the Great Hall to find it much more crowded than before. Many of the castle guards and nobles who were at the feast were being armed and trained. The Black Guard gladly accepted the weapons and armor that the party collected. Archibald thanked them personally, spoke briefly of plans to assault the Tower, and sent the party off to the alchemist in hopes of achieving another edge in the coming battle.

First Day

With invitations in hand, the human wizard Vexx, the tiefling sorceror Ferik, the human bard Jij, and the tall dwarven artificer Fizzy entered the Great Hall of the castle of Tyrell. They were met by servants and led to their table of honor at the Prince Philip's birthday feast.

The Lady Annasta, advisor and friend of the good King Roland Daelon, met the group. She revealed herself as the leader of the Agents, the royal espionage institution, and suggested that the party of commoners might be of use. She asked to speak after the feast, and took her seat. King Roland stood to address the crowd. He spoke grandly of his son, and announced that he would begin to share power with the lordling. The Prince stood up, agreed, and slew the King in a single blow.

The Prince proclaimed himself King, and the stunned nobles began to declare for him. Annasta, in defiance, stood and rejected the Prince, throwing a smokebomb to the ground. As she escaped, she grabbed the party of commoners with whom she spoke earlier. As they ran off, they succumbed to the smoke and passed into unconsciousness, while the immunized Agents carried them to safety.

The party awoke in a bedroom that had been converted into a base for the Agents. Annasta informed them that the castle guard and the battlemages had sided with Philip. She asked for their trust and their help in righting the wrongs of that evening... and they agreed. Annasta set out three tasks for the group that would help prepare for the ousting of the Prince: to collect magical arms and armor from the dungeons, to investigate the castle's alchemist and see what he can offer, and to find the well-respected elf Ander and use him to persuade the guards to resist the new king. The party was given fourteen doses of the powerful Potion of Deep Rest to assist in their assignments.

The party decided to try to turn the guards first. On their way to the guard quarters they had a brief altercation with a group of the guard, led by one of the famous Royal Champions. Ferik stepped forward and tried to bluff the Champion into thinking that they were on the same side. The Champion bought the ruse, but insisted on taking Fizzy away for questioning. A short time later, the guards came running back, covered in soot. One of Fizzy's many creations had exploded, and the guards were none too pleased. Ferik responded by blasting them with lightning. After the dust had settled, all the guards lay dead, except one. The remaining guard, Jim, was quickly persuaded to assist the party in their task.

Outside the guard quarters, the party encountered an Agent dressed as a guard. He told them the locations of Ander's room and Paendra's (the captain of the guard) office, and he told them that they were lucky that the guards were mostly staying inside their rooms. The group entered and snuck towards Ander's room. Jim listened at a corner, successfully hiding his intentions from the group, before running off into one of the guard rooms. No alarm was raised.

The party entered Ander's room to find no trace of the elf in sight, though his weapons (twin scimitars) were found on his bed. Vexx cast a ritual of silence on the room, and later cast a ritual to comprehend the Elven language in order to read Ander's diary. The diary revealed little of value, though Ander clearly saw some weakness or darkness in the Prince's character. After some time, a guard entered the room to collect Ander's weapons. He was subdued, questioned, and knocked out, as his cries were blocked by the silence ritual.

The party discovered from the guard that Ander was being kept prisoner by Paendra in her office. They decided to use Ghost Sounds of Jim's voice to draw her out. After many cries of "Paendra, Paendra!", the captain's reply was only to yell in frustration at Jim. The real Jim briefly ran out in response, but was left confused and terrified. He knocked at the door and spoke again with the group before being knocked out along with the earlier guard.

Becoming impatient, Fizzy decided to pretend to be Jim himself. He boldly strode out down the hall, calling Paendra's name. Ferik took the opportunity to sneak down a parallel hallway towards the office. Paendra grabbed Fizzy and threw him to the wall, interrogating him, while Ferik unbound the captive Ander. As they began to run, the alarm was raised, and guards began to pour out of their rooms. The party was able to get to the hall. Ander was able to block several of Paendra's attacks while appealing to the guards to fight against the murderer Prince. The guards took to infighting as the party escaped. Only a lone guard dog was killed in the altercation.

Ander was soon reunited with Annasta and agreed to patrol the hallways turning the guard against the Prince. He explained that Paendra, while a good and lawful woman, was insistent on following the rightful King and believed that only the Prince fit that description. As the group spoke with Annasta, another Agent burst in with reports of Lord Archibald, the late King's brother, demanding entry at the gates. By pure chance, it seemed, the Black Lord had chosen this night for his yearly visit to the King. The Prince's lackeys were refusing to answer or open the gates. Annasta and the party decided that the enemy of their enemy was their friend, and the party set off to open the gates.

Upon arrival to the castle gates, the party found a battlemage and three Royal Champions talking at the gate, while the Black Lord's guards pounded on the gates and shouted their demands for entry. Ferik strode force alone, hoping to persuade the mage that the battlemages' leader, Khestral, had sent orders to open the gates, but he was not believed, and a fight soon broke out. The party handily defeated the Prince's agents, pushed away the bar on the gate, and watched it open...

Friday, February 19, 2010


Jij is a human bard. He looks rather aged, and he claims he's been in Tyrell for well over 5 years now, but no one really seems to know him. He claims to have been born in the state of Nomlok and joined the Nomlok Bard Association (NBA), following in the footsteps of his father Nin, his grandfather Ziz, and so on. When he hit his 30s, he hit a mid-life crisis and decided to adventure with a group of rowdy travelers. He severely injured his leg in an accident, and had to go to the nearest town/city, and thus ended up at Tyrell. After he recovered, he settled down instead of moving on.

When asked how he got an invitation, this is his story.

So one day, I was.... practicing my shooting skills in the yard... you see I have my ways with the crossbow you see...
Anyway... so I wasn't exactly on top of my game that day you see... and I missed the target by quite a bit...
So you see I hit a bird... and killed it... ah yes... it was rather unfortunate *he frowns*
And then all of a sudden... the bird i killed TRANSFORMED INTO A MAN!!!!!!!!!!
It turns out that... he was a... what's the term again? ah, yes... a shapeshifter...
A murderous criminal that's been eluding the guards for years... they didn't know he was a shapeshifter *chuckles*
So then... the guards... they gave me an invitation to this... thing...

Thursday, February 18, 2010


His life began with his name. Taiken Aisa never liked it; he never liked himself. For official occasions he allows this name to be used, a reminder to himself that he cannot be more than he is. In his heart and in his day to day life he goes by 'Vexx'.

Vexx is ordinary by most descriptions - a human male of average height, slightly skinny. He wears a long green robe with blue runes sewn in throughout it. His beard and hair are black and full. You have never heard of Vexx before in your life, but the man is clearly a wizard.

If you see you Vexx moving around, his robe shifts and you can make out a deep jagged scar on his left arm.

When asked about his invitation to the feast, Vexx responds quite candidly. "I'm just a simple wizard, but was able to save the life of some peasants outside of town. Goblins and all of that."

Ferik Black

Ferik Black was pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to the feast. While not a fan of social gatherings per se, Ferik enjoys the high energy of these royal feasts. Ferik is a Storm Mage, a sorcerer attuned to the power of the Storm and full of its energy.

He is a tall and lithe tiefling, standing over 6' with bronze skin and silver eyes. If you look closely, you can observe a strange blue light dancing beneath his skin. He dresses simply in tough and oddly shiny leather that looks as though rain would just bounce right off it. At his waist is a belt with six daggers; the one closest to his right hand glows strangely blue.

Ferik is known for his knowledge of storms, and he contracts with many groups and organizations to storm-proof buildings. He also has a sense for when storms are coming, sometimes days in advance, and will share this information, for a fee. During a storm, he spends most of his time atop the "Lightning Tower," a thin tower with specially designed metal rods attached to it [ooc: it's a giant lightning rod!].

The origin of the "Lightning Tower" is well-known among the religious and among architects, carpenters, masons, and blacksmiths, many of whom aided in its construction. Approximately fifteen years ago, a beautiful temple in the temple district burned to the ground as the result of a lightning strike. The surrounding temples, fearing their lofty turrets might attract a similar fate, asked all the craftsmen of the city to come up with a solution to the lightning problem that would not require them to sully their glorious minarets.

Working with accomplished architects and blacksmiths, Ferik helped design a tower to protect the surrounding temples from any further lightning strikes. The tower was built over the remains of the charred temple and is jointly owned by the various temples it protects, though they leave it open to the public [ooc: disclaiming all liability of death, of course]. The tower was completed approximately ten years ago, and not a single temple it protects has been harmed since then.

When asked how he obtained his invitation, Ferik responds only that he saved a woman from a drow who was pursuing her. When asked about the date of this occurrence, he responds that it was two weeks previous. When asked how he bested the drow, he responds, "The drow was not prepared for the force of the Storm." You get the sense that he doesn't feel compelled to be friendly towards strangers. He's certainly civil, but not one to make friends with everyone he meets.