Kingdom of Kerr

Chapter Two

Chapter Two

Interlude

Kingdom of kerr   chapter two   interlude   image

As the party sails back to the main land from the ilse of mages, King Andreas has fought many a tough battle in the lands of the Tipaneth Empire. His forces have begun to weaken during the past two months awaiting the return of the party he set forth to obtain the help of the mages, and the strength of the remaining men is sapped by having to fight their brothers in arms that have been raised to fight against them as many forms of undead.

Unbeknownst to Andreas the mages sail their air ship over head but a few days from his Northern Camp and the defenders of Glevath and Korc have repelled most of the attacks of undead and monstrous armies of the Tipaneth Empire. Fearing that his homeland is beset by Hextor worshipers and reports of a unholy knight approaching their battlefront from unknown lands the King is at a cross-roads, does he press what advantage he has in trying to press towards Lorinth and unseat the demon that has taken up the guise of Salimonth the Red resurrected or does he recall his force and retreat back to Glevath to make a final stand?

Deep in the South the Mercanth barony of Kerr has begun to raise their own force to stave off any oncoming war that may breach their baronies borders and the emissaries have taken council with litches and warlocks of the Tipaneth Empire. In the West the barony of Chaer feverishly searches for the gauntlets and armor of Herionous while levying what they can in men, provisions and coin to fund Andreas’ war in the North and supply the Kingdom’s remaining cities and villages unknowing that Mercanth is about to re-enact a past treachery that almost brought the baronies to their knees over a hundred years ago.

In the mountains and woods the dwarves and elves fortify the passes together and bring their force to bear securing the weaker western flanks of the kingdom and providing aide to all villages and cities they can, regardless of the reactions that they receive from their inhabitants. Dwarves and Elves are now almost an equal population, though armed, in most of the settlements of Kerr and Chaer. Will they continue honor the bargains struck with the king is yet to be seen.

Smoke arises through the lands and the Tipaneth Armies plunder, sack and stake claim to all they touch, will the party be in time or will the people of the land suffer? It is yet to be seen but what is certain is that there will be blood, death and loss for all involved.

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Who Needs a Rogue

Who Needs a Rogue

Prison door

Carefully making their way down the stairwell into the lower deck, Jolin and Argus bruised, bleeding and barely conscious looked for survivors. Jolin consulted the gem hoping it would indicate if the lives it sensed were down here or lower into the belly of the ship. As he did this the sound of boots and metal clanking on metal could be heard upon the main deck.

“Is anyone here,” called out a familiar voice. Argus and Jolin knew immediately who it was, Wesley had returned and some how made his way onto the main deck. Most likely the mages they thought, as they ascended the stairwell again. Wesley explained that a sailing vessel brought him here as he knew they intended on capturing or dealing with the slavers.

The trio made their way into the hold of the ship and within a few moments began to free someone calling out to them. Argus popped the lock with ease and then as the door creaked open realized that he forgot checking for traps. An explosion was heard, screams were heard and heat was felt on his and Wesley’s faces.

Three scaulded mages and a human Eltharion were bound in strange magical chains lying atop of one another. Wesley pushed Argus out of the way and began healing them. Jolin looked at the door he was in front and backed away. He had no way of knowing if it too was trapped but those behind it called for his help.

Argus shook off the feeling and made his way to the other door, looking at the lock he paused, checked for traps once, twice, thrice and then satisfied there were none popped the lock. Two humans were there both freed from any bonds they had causing Jolin and Wesley concern. Were these two traitors, sailors in disguise or worse mages from the Tipaneth Empire?

After a inquisition of the two, Wesley shrugged just prisoners he thought and they made their way back into the lower level looking for the captains quarters and possibly a key to free the four other men while Viktor and Usephe looked for what was stolen from them when they were captured by the mage hunting party.

Argus found a locked door at the aft of the lower deck and popped the lock again without finding any traps. Luckily for him the trap that did spring missed him as he stepped aside. For some reason the captain was afraid of mages or those that would set them free he thought to himself.

Spotting a key ring upon the shelf the Argus grabbed it and made his way over to the men. Freeing each in turn they changed from weak looking men into powerful rune covered mages who granted them the boon of crystals that would turn into crystal sailors that knew how to pilot a ship yet would need to be given clear commands after being asked to “Help Us”. The mages disappeared and moments later as the party was careless with their words they lost the first of eight crystal sailors as it fell overboard while others began to attack the prisoners (Usephe and Viktor).

Carefully they crafted a set of commands and the crystal sailors began to sail the ship and left their new companions alone. Argus returned to the room where he found the keys only to see Viktor trying to open the chest with a key he found in a small hideaway box that poisoned him and made him drop to his knees earlier and loose all that his stomach had contained.

Calling out for him to STOP he was too late Viktor opened the massive chest and a giant sound and smoke erupted through the lower level of the ship. Wesley and Jolin unaffected by this the others began to act afraid of everything and draw their weapons. Wesley and Jolin had to wrestle their new companions and Argus into separate rooms for their own protection and took accounting of the materials in the chest.

A Helm, a Belt of Gems, a book, and a few other items of value. Wesley looked carefully at the belt and then realizing it was touched by Hextor ran it above deck and tossed it into the ocean. His task took him away from Jolin who enticed by the helm donned it and began to hear the voice of Sly, the helm touched by Kord. Jolin began to see things more clearly and Wesley in his haste did not notice him wearing it nor the smaller ship that was approaching them from the west.

Wesley and Jolin were the only two there that had any chance of telling the crystal crew to avoid the other boat as it was manned by Minotaurs and what looked like a strange looking man in red and black armor and they were in no condition to fight, not now, not with most of them afraid of their own environments, not with Viktor opening other object potentially.

As they were below deck unaware of what was occurring above deck, the other vessel approached and seemed intent on boarding the ship they were on.

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When Diplomacy Fails and Powder Explodes

When Diplomacy Fails and Powder Explodes

When diplomacy fails and powder explodes

Realizing they were separated with Jolin and Argus on the Quarter Deck and Gambit on the main deck near the powder keg but without a torch, they decided it was time to discuss with the sailors about them terms for the sailor’s loyalty or surrender.

Though Argus tried he could not secure their loyalty so with a quick motion Gambit created a bag of coins to buy their loyalty. The spell a strong conjuration was just an illusion however and he refused to allow them to count it which added to their suspicion. Jolin realizing this was not going well for the party added his own spin on why the sailors should join them but as Gambit realized there was no resolution in site he prepared another spell and burst the area with a sonic wave. The wave knocked him unconscious with two other sailors before all hell broke loose and the injured companions on the quarter deck let loose with all they had left.

Argus tossed his lit torch onto the powder keg, Jolin let loose a scream of rage and began to cut down the sailors that approached him. Argus seeing that the chance of success was slim drew his bow of lightning and let loose a flight of arrows, two finding their target the barrel, another into Torn’s breast plate a moment later.

Torn prepared a spell but it was too late, the keg exploded killing him, and blowing a portion of the ship into the sea. The fighting continued for a few more moments before Qualin, Isentruc and Lunas made their way topside with the captain.

Jolin and Argus made short work of Lunas the sailors and Isentruc but Qualin and the captain were prepared for such a fight and began to level the playing field. Jolin called back to Argus, “shoot through me…. KILL THEM”. Argus apologized and let loose another arrow killing the captain but missing Qualin.

Jolin’s skin smelt of burned flesh from the electricity that ripped past him on the way to finding the the captains chest. With the energy that he had left he drew upon his inner power and with a mighty blow killed Qualin where he stood. It was a sight of beauty, the two of them survived but lost another companion.

Taking a look around the Gem that Jolin carried laughed at him letting him know there were others below. Shrugging off the gem’s telepathic laughter he looked around and laid claim to Qualin’s body and belongings. It was his kill so the items belonged to him.

They paused, looked at one another and decided to go below and see who still lived and wondered how they would control this massive ship safely and to Kerr.

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Sea Legs

Sea Legs

Flying boat

The sun crept over the dragon’s teeth and the shores of the isle as the party awoke. Argus was the first to awaken as the light poked at his eye lids and he shook off the dust of sleep and made his way upon the shore from under the tent flap.

Spotting a mage that prepared some goods upon a strange levating disk he asked if the mage could help him secure a barrel of explosive powder. The mage nodded as it was common for his sect to practice with the elemental powers of magic and the materials that could help it unbeknownst to Argus.

Argus happy that he had a component he desired for months smiled, thanked him and walked off. The mage sent a runner to inform the sect of the request while the others awoke as the sounds of the impromptu camp began to reach a level louder then the sea that crashed over the boulders near them.

Making their way out the group found Argus who was staring at a large sea vessel covered in magical runes all over the hull, sails and masts. It stayed in place without a anchor and seemed to give off a hum of sound. They all took in the sight momentarily before the Grimoire approached them, his magic concealing the sounds that he made as he approached.He told them it was time to leave and to make ready as this voyage would be like none they ever encountered.

The group made their way aboard the sea vessel and as it began to sail they felt less of the water turbulence until it seemed there was none at all. As Gambit looked over the edge of the railing he noticed they were no longer sailing on the sea but rather through the air.

The boat continued to ascend until the clouds obscured the ocean and no landmass could be seen. It was then that Grimoire said, “It’s Time!” the group gathered and were prepared for what ever was to come next. Grimoire informed them that they would be teleported to the other ship that carried their companions that were prisoners of the other group.

Jolin’s eyes opened as he would have a chance to re-fight Qualin and show him who was master of the fighting skills they both possessed. Argus reminded Grimoire to teleport his explosive powder keg with them and Gambit wondered why Las’Sameus decided to help the Centaurs of the Isle’s wood vs. coming with the group.

When they were prepared they disappeared and randomly appeared on the deck of the caravel that had left the day earlier.

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Understanding the Power of Magic

Understanding the Power of Magic

Isle mage 2

Making their way through the isle’s forest and towards the Mages Sanctum the party disagreed about tactics and why Wesley had taken his leave in the Port City of Las. Eventually making their way onto the southern shore multiple days later the group noticed the five towers.

Standing momentarily there looking at them in depth, the group did not realize five of the inhabitants of the tower had teleported behind them and were preparing spells. As they began to make their way toward the towers one by one they began to fall in fear then unconscious except Jolin. His will not dominated by the mages spells the half-orc challenged the mages leader verbally.

It was at that instant that he was teleported to one of the towers and restrained by magics. Probing his thoughts the mage’s leader smiled as he thought he uncovered the true mage hunters party and Jolin may have been the leader.

Explaining the gem he was given and becoming quite silver tongued at that moment the half-orc convinced the mages that he was naught but an adventurer. The leader agreed to release them if they completed three tasks, destroy the mage hunter party, free the mages they captured and the third task to be named if Jolin wanted them to join the army of Andreas.

Agreeing he was brought back to his party and the party was released to complete these goals. Given lodging, food and supply the group made their way up the coast and through the forest again. This time the Centaurs that protected the isle took offense to the party’s transgretion through the forest as they used a glowing red gem that concerned the Centaurs.

Seeing they were no challenge and about to release them before Gambit confused by the situation threatened the Centaur Chief. Deciding to have fun he took the man and put him through the daily life of a horse. Pulling wagons, being whipped by a driver and being fed week old vegetables, being over worked and threatened with castration as he was a unruly stallion that should not bread. Gambit thought of the ways he’d repay his captors and once released had to be restrained by Jolin and others.

A day later they approached the beach south of Port Las and noticed four men chained near a fire and three others joking and eating. The half orc Qualin, the human cleric Talon, and their dwarven companion Isentruc all joked of how they captured their prey and did not notice the group appoaching.

It was Lunas the Red, their human ranger friend that made his way around the party as they approached and positioned himself within the rock face so they could not see him easily. The party approached led by Argus, and Jolin with Gambit drawing upon the power of his staff to protect him as he tied himself down with rope to a dead tree that was lodged between two boulders.

A fight ensued as Lunas loosed two arrows that stuck Wesley that had rejoined the group. The fight raged for almost 2 minutes when the last blow was struck and Jolin dropped. As they awoke, groggy and bleeding the group made their way to the shore line and saw on the horizon a Caravel that sailed for the main land.

Upset that they had lost yet again and looking to see how they would tell the mages of their failure Argus noticed a cloud of fog rapidly approaching the shore line. Knowing they could not outrun the magical fog they braced for a fight even though they were half alive. Magical voices put Argus, Wesley and Gambit to sleep while Jolin stoically endured again. Moving away from the undead litches that came in with the fog Jolin heard and saw the mages of the Sanctum appear and destroy the litches with ease.

The mages realized the challenge that faced even the isle, waived their requests and promised to set-out to join Andreas in destroying the Tipaneth invasion force. Jolin thanked them and as they were cared for to a degree the decided to accompany the mages on their trip as it’s always good to have someone that can kill a litch with ease standing next to you.

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The Isle

The Isle

Port city of las   kerr

The merchant leaving them upon the dock the party minus their scout Traben ventured off into the city to find a warm bed, a good meal and some information about the Mages that inhabited, others would call it imprisoned, on the southern end of the isle.

The group splintered, finding what information they could but the stoic Jolin made his way to the tavern. He was tired of sailing, the bickering of the group and the lack of a good ale. Making his way up to the bar he called out for a good drink on the port master as it was he who gave him the token as he did the others for paying the docking fee.

A group of men and half men near the fire place saw Jolin. An impressive six plus feet of moving muscle and armed to the teeth and called him over. Telling him of the venture they were on they gave him a small scrying gem should he change his mind to abandon his companions, their quest for the king or to just make some coin.

Wesley noticed the transaction and lambasted the half-orc about the gem as it could be used to spy on their party. Finally Jolin had enough he sold some items and came back to tell them that he had sold the object they were so worried in and was able to provide their new companion Gambit with proper equipment and provisions.

What the group did not know is that he had only hidden the gem and had no intention on selling it, as it may have come in handy later, or maybe it was his time to part with the group and venture out to make some extra coin.

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Discovery

Discovery

Medieval tent

Returning to Kerr the group made their way back from the boarder lands. Their trip was long yet very quiet as they remembered their experiences, two companions fallen and one of those to a god he swore to destroy; the embodiment they set out to stop had succeeded and a close friend indicating he would be departing from the group to re-discover the land he had left and not in the king’s employ.

Haphazardly finding their way through the northern lands of Kerr the group stumbled upon a group of knights. Carefully they scouted the land about them, spied upon the unknown knights and after satisfied that they were from Kerr approached, half hesitant not in fear of Gunther, Konrad or Werner, but the need to tell the King that they had again failed him.

Cleaning up in the fortified camp, the group separated to make themselves presentable and calm themselves. Traben announced his departure, Wesley brought comfort to the wounded knights and men that served them, Las’Saemus and Jolin drew a good tankard around back awaiting their companions and all tried to prepare for what might be their last eve together.

After a meager meal the group presented themselves to the king. Upon entry Wesley dropped to his knees to bow, Las’Saemus simply looked past the king as not to gaze into his eyes and the others stood there at a quarter bow. To their surprise the King greeted as one would a lost sibling, embracing each and taking serious interest in their perils that he had sent them on.

At the end of their tale he asked them to rest up as he had need of them yet again, something that would be a tough tribulation he would need them to secure the aide of the mages. The companions looked at one another and bowed before taking their leave.

The next morning, the King Andreas informed them of the mission that was of the utmost need as the Kingdom had been put in great peril. They listened as he told them and showed them on map that no word of Fishguard could be had and that those that were sent never returned; Dolmas had gone quiet but that was their way in earlier times; the Port City of Korc was besieged and he did not know how much longer it would last but he did not have the troops to send to them as he was protecting the northern boarders as well as he could with the knights that still were able.

He then pointed to the isle of Magi and said “I need you to secure their aide, with what ever it takes minus surrendering the kingdom.” The group agreed that it was time to help the king and off they traveled to towards the coast with what provisions they could muster from the camp.

During their travels they encountered two things of great interest, a Goblinoid and Orc camp had been established deep within the Kingdom south of the grasslands. They then ran into a moderate sized army of soldiers hailing from Mercanth on their way to bolster the Kings Army in the north. They quickly informed them of the danger but the group was not worried nor were they going to deviate or spend time cleaning out any smaller matter that the locals could deal with.

Upset, but understanding the group made their way to the coast and secured passage from a scarred merchant that they rescued from a basement in a burned out shop. He refused to sail them past the dragon’s teeth (a rock outcropping that jutted straight out of the surface of the sea near the Mages Sanctum) but that he would take them to the Port City of Las.

They made their way there and upon entry, knew that this land was different then Kerr, even if it was part of the same kingdom. Heironious was not the only worshiped god, the buildings though of good quality were empty and the streets though full were mainly full of merchants and travelers that used the Port as a way station to stock up on goods and food for their trip around the warring nations.

Medieval building   port city of las

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Heironeous' Agony

Heironeous’ Agony (Untriumphant return)

Kok failed mission

Turning to the others Las’Sameus explained the need to leave the accursed lands and make their way down to the portal to leave this area. Wesley agreed in part, as he could not bring himself to kill or harm his old companion Minthan.

Traben on the other hand was eager to lure their old companion Minthan, now possessed by the weapon, book and armor, up the rope in order to cut it and cause him to fall into the blades that spun below much to the dislike of Wesley and the others.

Jolin, pure of heart however went down to help the ailing Minthan defeat the strange force he saw emerging from the western corridor. Sadly, this purity caused Jolin to be taken advantage of and knocked out only to awaken in a pool of blood where some ritual had been performed on the body of a fallen saint.

Making his way out of the pool of blood and eventually grouping back up with the party they all continued back towards the portal. Not interested in being prevented further from their goals, they made quick work of two trolls and a group of orcs that guarded the portal. Though two catfolk that had been with their foe disappeared into the underbrush; was it to alert another group, spy upon them further or just to flee the group would never know.

Reciting the strange runic magic phrase and cutting Jolin for what blood they needed for the ritual they group wound back up in the Tipaneth Empire, their return almost half over though their mission never completed. The group carried forth through the fields with the thought, what would Andreas say knowing that they not only failed, but lost his knight Minthan, and the girl they were to protect.

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The Kingdom of Kerr - To Stop Hextor's Embodiment (part 6)

The Kingdom of Kerr – To Stop Hextor’s Embodiment (part 6)

Broken statue

Reveling after they defeated the undead specters and wraith the group proceeded back down the spiral stairwell and emerged from in the corridor expanse that turned left and right. To the left their fallen companion Kane to the right the sealed oaken door. Ignoring the dead tiefling they headed towards the door on the right and as Jolin crossed the threshold he was immediately snatched up into the air by some form of ancient magic.

As he was pulled into the room by his neck his arms twisted behind him wrought by the same magical force. Struggling against the unknown magic the air began to escape his lungs and the group looked on in horror wondering what to do. Minthan and Traben crossed the threshold to help him but were also instantly hauled up by their necks and hands too were bound behind them by the same magic.

Concerned the onlooking party scrambled for answers until it was determined that the statue that was across the room may be responsible for the magic. Argus loosed a few bolts without any luck, yet their companion Wesley charged the statue and with a few blows shattered it. As the statue fell apart their companions fell to the floor.

Gasping for air Jolin thanked him briefly as the others, more interested in the anti-chambers that were attached to this room as they held strange writings upon the wall, a strange armor and weapon as well as two solid oak doors that flanked the destroyed statue.

Carefully listening to the doors, Las’Sameus pointed out that the one door had strange noises behind it. Picking the lock Argus stepped back and let the others open the door to reveal a strange man that had, had his flesh flayed yet still lived. Las’Sameus convinced the man that he was there to help him and lead him out which revealed that the man was supposedly there for the embodiment of Hextor and the pain brought him closer to the god.

After getting what they could from the man Minthan put him to death as his willingness to be the vessel for Hextor upset him. It was then that the group raided the small treasury next to the room and began looking at the armor and weapon.

An intense review of the armor and weapon began for hours as the group convinced it had to be destroyed tried ways to pull it from the stand and dispose of it, for it could help the champion or god himself. As Minthan threw a rope over the armor it formed a black platemail that may fit him perfectly and called to him to wear it. Convinced that the armor was a gift from the god he he dropped his breastplate and began to don the armor.

The group forcefully tried to stop him but eventually he escaped from their watch long enough to don the armor and pick up the giant weapon. Hearing him make his way up the stairs calling out for their deaths as the armor and weapon united with the book made him the living champion of Hextor. The fallen knight of Kerr, bearer of Heronious’ glory had succumbed to old magics and needed his friends blood to bath the gods entry into the world in mortal form. Fleeing the caves the group cut the final rope to bind their old companion in the cave and decided what next to do.

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The Kingdom of Kerr - To Stop Hextor's Embodiment (part 5)

The Kingdom of Kerr – To Stop Hextor’s Embodiment (part 5)

Scared orc

The fight continued below flurried blow after flurried blow until Kane finally felled the seer. A great zeal overtook the tiefling, he had felled a strong opponent and by himself. It was then the others arrived. Bloodied, bruised and exhausted he greeted Jolin as he approached.

Explaining the situation to him and another Las’Sameus uninterested in the battle explored the other cells that lined the walls till he discovered a small lever. Pulling it released the latch in the walls holding up the solid stone door sealing Jolin and Kane off from the group.

Jolin turned to see what had just happened as Kane looked around and spotted four specters and a wraith. Calling to Jolin he began his assault vs. the smaller of them as Jolin called for the others to open the door. The specters and wraith descended upon the two as the giant half orc screamed for help and the tiefling fought them back as best he could.

As the door opened and the half orc screaming ran past Las’Sameus, Traben and the others he screamed “RUN!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES”

Las’Sameus and Argus quickly followed screaming in almost a mass hysteria and running for the stairs. Wesley and Minthan held the rear guard for their companion Kane though new he was still one of them. At this moment, seeing his blows had no effect Kane bent down to rifle through his defeated foe’s possessions and picked up a book. As he did so the book spoke to him in far speak. Over and over it spoke the same phrase, “The eyes are the enemy. Seeing is blindness. Only the eye of Hextor can see the truth! Hextor needs blood. Blood needs the horn, I need your lives!!!” The mantra became stuck in his head and eventually overtook his mind, and his rational thought so much so that he began to repeat the phrase uncontrollably.

The undead turned their attention from him and began making their way towards the knight of Kerr and his companion Wesley but not before Minthan hearing hextor’s name hurled a well made javelin through the air and killed his old companion Kane as anyone that worshiped Hextor would live to speak his name as long as he lived.

Tactfully retreating after Wesley threw up a ward to protect them till they could regroup and met their companions up the stairs. Quickly they turned the tide and wiped out the undead only then to go back down and see why Kane had turned upon them and why he called out for Hextor in his moment of weakness.

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