Kingdom of Kerr

To Stop Hextor’s Embodiment (part 4)

The Kingdom of Kerr – To Stop Hextor’s Embodiment (part 4)

Arcane ballista 2

Gathering what they could prior to delving into the hill, the party noticed not too far in the distance a strange humanoid that hid behind the broken statue that Argus had used earlier for cover while fighting the tieflings. Jolin called out to the humanoid and alerted Wesley and Minthan of the potential conflict.

Minthan and Wesley undeterred in their desire to aide Traben and Argus after their falls into the hill, left Jolin to deal with the newcomer as they did not see the harm in it. After a brief exchange the half-orc Jolin determined his conversation was with a human named Kane the Chaotic (who actually was a tiefling who was tracking them from afar for his own reasons).

Making their way down to the balcony and helping Traben up the rope, the group wandered about finding a few illusions that befuddled them and then a room with a giant stone statue with three arms extended upward towards the ceiling, holding three thick chains that wrapped about it’s arms and went threw the ceiling and locked the door in front of them.

As the others wandered about the room, checking for traps and potential pitfalls, Kane wandered up to the statue and mentioned to the others that he saw it smile and move. Shaking his head, he read aloud the plaque and the trap was sprung. The door in front of them opened, behind them slammed shut (locking Argus outside of the room) and releasing eight zombies from their tombs within the walls.

The party had them handled but the impulsive new companion threw one upon a trap that La’Saemus pointed out earlier to see what it would do. The trap sprung and more then half of the party fell into a deep slumber and began to fall in their dreams into a bottomless pit.

Minthan, and Wesley defended the group until they awoke and Minthan and Jolin slayed the last of the shambling dead. Digging around further they discovered a strange chain and object within the acid and continued down the stairwell.

The party found a secret door and began to explore it, Minthan leading the way and eventually discovering the machines of war cutting the ropes that would help their enemy. While the group continued on, Kane continued further down the stairwell to discover another hallway and eventually a t-junction where he happened upon a blind seer that held a book covered in moving blood and beating himself.

As the two began to deliver blows to each other and scream at one another the group above encountered two arcane balista’s which they made easy work of while working together. Unbeknown to them however, their new companion below was not doing as well.

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To Stop Hextor’s Embodiment (part 3)

The Kingdom of Kerr – To Stop Hextor’s Embodiment (part 3)

Female dryad

The group searched the dead for what it could before discussing next steps; during this discussion the half orc, Jolin, that had been stalking them approached quietly and unseen in the late evening darkness. Traben’s keen ears picked up that someone or something approached and a quick flip of his wrist brought his bow back up into it’s deadly arch as Minthan released his steel sword from it’s sheath.

Calling out to their unseen potential foe, the party ask for Jolin to reveal himself. The large half orc held his hands in front of himself and came closer into what little light there was. Jolin introduced himself as a warrior in search of proving his might, and making a name for himself in the world. Minthan not desiring a fight nor long winded exchange of words and realizing that a uninjured sword arm would be necessary now as they were so beaten simply agreed to have him join their ranks, Argus also agreed but no one knew why. La’Saemus didn’t say anything, it could have been for his lack of love for Jolin’s Orc brethren or that he truly did not care. Traben was the only one the voiced a simple halfhearted objection stating that they were too accepting of everything, especially their companion choices and that one day it would come back to haunt them.

The newly formed group ventured just a few hundred feet away from the battle site to find a beautiful outcropping of trees. The earth about them, not frozen nor tundra, the area warmer then the rest and the sky above them half cleared. Setting up their tents very mindful of their surroundings and the trees they camped among, the tired party set but two watches and rested. Upon the first watch while Traben and Minthan ensured that none would be awoken by sharp steel protruding from their bodies, the two experienced something strange. A soothing calm overtook them and put them into a dream like state, though to them they still seemed awake. They were beckoned towards the grove of trees by a beautiful elf like creature. Traben more affected then Minthan listened intently to her and was about to agree to serve her when tree words passed his lips, the Raven Queen, that caused the creature to curl back and change in appearance.

The beautiful elf like woman’s appearance faded away and was replaced by that of a feral animal. Sharp fangs, hardened skin, claw like nails appeared and grew freely before him. Shocked but not cognoscente enough of what was happening Traben paused long enough for her to lash out at him cutting into his face and leaving a magical mark. The mark did not hurt as he thought it would, nor leave a true visible scar, but as he came to his scenes and Minthan saw the exchange they made their way from the place before awakening from the dream, Minthan stoically and Traben with a blood curling scream “FEMALE VAMPIRES!!!!”.

Wesley and the others awoke from a dead sleep looking around for the sound that woke them and to see that it was safe before all but Jolin closed their eyes and wend back to bed. Jolin, though new to the party, watched over his new friends and thought of the new adventures he was about to have. What seemed like hours later was actually moments, but Jolin had succumbed to the same effect Minthan and Traben did; though his experience was that of bliss. He met the same female dryad and her lovely friends and agreed to have his new friends join him in protecting the glen of trees from the rampaging orcs and goblins of the areas.

Awakening moments later Jolin tried to convince the others in vein that they should stay here forever and have him Champion the trees. Though of some interest to La’Saemus as he was a druid and it peeked a interest in some fashion, Argus stopped Jolin realizing what creatures they were. The group bound Jolin in ropes, threw him over a horse and traveled north towards the hill they meant to inquire about days earlier. Resting only but a few minutes from the hill, they untied Jolin after he came back to his scenes, or so they thought as he truly did want to Champion the trees. Making camp for a few days to rest and recover from their wounds, Traben scouted the area to ensure that they would not be happened upon by some creature or group. Though upon the second day, the winds changed and the sounds of beating drums and a minor army could be heard approaching from the south.

Traben pointed out the sounds to the others though some had already heard them. He also pointed out that he saw what appeared to be a single person guarding the hill though they passed through the world as if they were not fully there. The group decided that they were meant to go into the hill and that they could not stop an army by themselves so a single combatant, even if it walked between the dimensions, was better then a hundred plus that didn’t.

Approaching the hill they realized that though Traben had seen but one, it actually was four that guarded the opening to the large mouth that lead into the hill. A quick fight broke out where their new companion Jolin proved his worth. Cutting down two of the tieflings with vicious strikes from his blade and looking for a third before Minthan brought it down with a lance as Wesley trapped it in a circle of protection Jolin calmed himself and tried to figure out how to get up to the top of the stone face to get into the hill.

As he did this Traben jumped up atop of the mouth and the group pillaged their dead foes. Quickly Traben was grabbed by multiple men that hung from ropes under the lips of the mouth and tried to pull him in. Calling for aide, Argus put down the pouch of the dead tiefling and sprinted back to the mouth and with a single hand hold pulled himself up.

After a few moments of struggling Traben was pulled in and fell almost 80’ down onto giant 4’ spikes that were erected from the center of the floor, surely to kill a lesser man. As the spikes pierced his body and the pain pulsed through his veins replacing the blood that now covered the floor, he looked up to see Argus falling also. Making his way to his feet, he assessed his surroundings; four spinning blades, a giant balcony he missed but Argus landed upon, while on his way down, giant spikes covered in his blood and bodies of the less fortunate littering the ground about him. He was trapped though the prison held no walls.

Calling to Argus to send down a rope to help him to the balcony Argus did not hear him as the assailants that threw him down here had made their way down themselves and were upon him. Atop of their companions, the group especially Jolin, tried to get onto the Mouth to lower himself to help his fallen friends to no avail.

Argus though valiant in his defense began to loose out to his assailants until Traben pulled foth some of the last arrows he had and plucked off the last two men that tried to kill Argus. The drums sounding clearer to those outside, the razor sharp blades spinning about one of their companions and no way to lower their mounts into the mouth of the hill, La’Saemus dismissed his companion Tillos and the party regrouped upon the balcony wondering which door to go through as trying to dodge the blades would prove challenging for most within their number.

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To Stop Hextor's Embodiment (part 2)

The Kingdom of Kerr – To Stop Hextor’s Embodiment (part 2)

K o k adv pst 2

As afternoon passed into evening and the sun began to make it’s way down towards it’s earthen bed the party decided to mount their horses and make their way to find the body of Malagent and stop the embodiment of Hextor. As they left the city of Grenilak the sky began to turn white and the white flakes of snow began to drift down construing the tracks that were once very pronounced in the old snow. Las’Saemus volunteered to lead the group in the foreign land and a few hours later the group came upon a river that had frozen over.

Traben and Las’Saemus noticed multiple dead bodies that upon the ice and realized that something stirred across the way behind some large boulders and in the tree line. The party took defensive positions as Traben inspected the bodies before realizing they were zombies laid as a trap for any that would follow those that intended on raising the champion or god himself. Tieflings poured out with their barbarian protectors moments later to cut off their retreat into the woods.

A terrible fight ensued where both Traben and Las’Saemus were cut down and experienced a peaceful rest. Awakening in the realm between life and death the two separately were greeted by a raven. The creature made no sense initially as it just cawed at them, screaming some unknown command of sorts for them to do as the sun continued to shine it’s light brighter and brighter. Eventually both realized they had to re-swear their loyalty to the Raven queen and accept her will.

Awakening during battle they saw Minthan and Argus battling those that remained to survived to oppose them while Wesley did his best to help those injured (both horse and companion). Separating from the group Minthan mounted a steed and began to valiantly cut down the surviving zombies while Traben chased after a fleeing Tiefling and continued to attack him till he dropped.

Going through the loot they had uncovered from their assailants a few items of note were uncovered thought the one that Las’Saemus seemed to cherish the most were the magical earring shaped to look and move like a dragon, and a strange cloak that had the heraldry embossed on the lining verse the exterior of the cloak.

Calling for rest, Wesley decided to pray to his god Heironeous and the others found what dry timber they could and erected a few tents. Unknown to them a strange half orc barbarian trailed them, was he friend of foe? They would not know thill they awoke the next day or he ambushed them during their sleep.

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To Stop Hextor's Embodiment

The Kingdom of Kerr – To Stop Hextor’s Embodiment

Making their way with the pilgrims and Sister Naenia southward towards the temple of Malagent the party questioned her about the area and rifled through the wagon while no one was looking. As the slow moving funeral procession continued on Traben, Wesley and Argus spotted some strange men and tieflings hiding among the trees East of their snow covered road.

Calling out to Sister Naenia they pointed out that the men were there and though she could not see them she mentioned that the land was wrought with those that would steal readily or lay waste to pillage when they could and for them to be on alert.

Hastening the procession the group saw their opening and multiple of the pilgrims with fists and staves charged their unknown adversaries. A long fight ensued as fists and staves were joined by lance, bolt arrow and hoof verse the iron steal and magics of the attackers. Sister Naenia brought the fight to a conclusion by calling upon the Raven Queen to stop their advisories. As two of the men were engulfed in feathers choking the life from them, they learned a sad truth. It was during this fight that a loan rider atop of a hippogriff flew in from the south west and stole the body of their dead saint Malagent.

The tieflings had run, and the mage turned into a giant bird to fly away for some reason when they had, had the pilgrims at a key turning point; however none wondered why except the sister. Traben asked the sister to assist them with closing their wounds and Naenia agreed. She healed them with a unknown magic, Sister Naenia pulled forth a knife and pierced their arms while calling to the Raven Queen to close their wounds. Though helpful the sent of the burning flesh remained in the nostrils of all helped as they turned their full attention towards the woman.

The wounded woman cried out accusing the party of leading this attack by crushing the fabled ice flowers of this land as they clumsily made their way through the wood which offended the native peoples in the north. Something smelled awry and a heated disagreement between Las’Sameus and the woman began before Minthan raised his voice and caused her to cower in her place.

A moment later she stood and the guide dropped, the magic fade from her body and before them stood an older slender man. The mage gave his words proudly “Our lord will walk again and unite these lands” he exclaimed before Sister Naenia called upon a follower to end his life. The motion fluid and quick the silver colored knife pierced the mans neck and appeared from the front of his throat.

Sister Naenia began to cry knowing she lost the saint’s body she was entrusted with, the old women with her ushered away the albino girl and kept her separated from the party as they spoke with Naenia when she recovered. Naenia agreed to sell the two plow horses that pulled the funeral cart which once held Malagent’s body for a paltry sum to help them track down the man or thing that took their saint’s body.

The party though had other ideas first which were to re-supply and take refuge in the town of Grenilak to the south. Las’Sameus lightly tipped a man that informed him of the rough laws of the town and unequipped himself before leading Argus and Traben into the general store. A unhappy truth was revealed, although the Orc’s were peaceful here with humans as long as they had coin to spare, their coin was worth much less then they had hopped. For every 4 gold pieces they had it was worth 1 here and a fee needed to be paid to smelt it.

Traben was beseeched by the group to buy them the winter blankets, cloaks and sundries they needed and he willingly agreed. As they prepared to leave Las’Sameus thought to himself ‘I do not care about this reborn leader rather why the Orc’s are coming down into Kerr to wage war and how can I stop them’.

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