Beyond Countless Doorways

Session 0
Chance Meetings

A Young Tilean women was on the run. She had committed a heinous act that made her an outlaw in her own lands. She had killed the Prince. The Prince was a despot, hated by his people, but the Prince nonetheless. While she had gained the hearts of most of her countrymen, they at the same time could not cheer her for the champion she was. To kill a member of the Royal Court, much less someone who carried Royal Blood, was to mark oneself for death. And so, she ran for her life fleeing into the disputed lands of the West.

It was here in the battlegrounds of the west that the young women Anora met an elf by the name of Leogeon. He had recently made landing in the Old World as part of his quest to gather magical knowledge. A student of mysticism and the arcane in his homeland, Leogeon had grown tired of his teachers’ slow, tedious, lessons and decided to journey in search of his own ways. Coming across Anora in a small trade town he recognized a special spark within her that he was able to identify as the spark of the arcane. The two joined forces and decided to journey northward across the Black Mountains into the Empire of the North.

Their journey went not unmolested however as they were set upon by war band of Orcs. Beset upon their trek by a war band preparing to raid the southern parts of the Empire. The two would have been over run were it not for the heroic efforts of a raging dwarf. The dwarf explained that he was upon a journey of his own as he sought to redeem his family’s honor after his father’s failures. Deciding they would be better off working together the three joined forces and traveled out of the mountains in search of their destiny.

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Session 1
A Day at the Fair

A group of foreigners, who found common interest in travel together, found themselves on the edge of a town called Bogenhafen. The town was in the midst of celebrating its annual end of Summer festival, in which the foreigners were more then happy to partake. After imbibing a few drinks and wondering through the near endless amount of vendor stalls the group happened upon a wrestling ring near the center of the festival.

Unable to resist the challenge issued by the duo running the ring, the dwarf Baruke Splintersteel, stripped off his armor and climbed into the ring. Baruke gladly accepted the bet of five gold coins to wrestle the current champion Crusher for at least three minutes, or triple if he defeated Crusher before the time ran out. Working deftly through the surrounding crowd, Baruke’s traveling companions Anora and Leogeon, placed a few bets. Their bets were accepted very willingly as Crusher had already defeated seven other challengers that day.

Once in the ring and the starting bell rung, Baruke was quickly rushed by Crusher. Baruke was able to expertly duck the attack and issue a quick jab to the attacker’s ribs. This caused Crusher to loose his wind and stumble back; glaring at Baruke, as the dwarf was obviously going to be more of a challenge then his small stature belied. The champion took this moment to try and rally the crowd behind him by issuing a few insults towards the dwarf and calling for some cheers from the crowd. However the dwarf’s traveling companion Anora raised her voice above the crowd and recited the story of Baruke’s ancestors’ great deeds and conquests. Seeing this as an opportunity the dwarf and feeling inspired by Anora’s stories, he rushed forward to bull rush his opponent.

Baruke was able to catch his opponent right in the chest and knocked him over the side of the wrestling ring and into the crowd. The crowd let out a loud cheer as the champion floundered in the dirt and the dwarf celebrated his feat. Crusher was not about to let this insult lie however, and he vaulted himself back over the side of the ring allowing for a flying kick against the dwarf. The blow caught the dwarf unaware sending him stumbling backwards.

The dwarf quickly rebounded, jumping back at his opponent, trying to land a flying punch to Crusher’s face. The large man, moving faster then his large frame would seem to allow him, quickly side stepped the attack and lunged forward. Crusher swung wildly, missing his target, leaving himself wide open to the dwarf. Baruke seized this opportunity and threw all of his strength into a punch straight into Crusher’s face. Breaking his nose and sending blood splattering across the ring’s floor, Baruke stood victorious over the champion much to the chargrin of the ring master who issued the challenge.

Collecting the group’s winnings, despite protests and reluctance from those who took the bets, the group was able to head off to a beer tent to celebrate!

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Session 2
A Day at the Fair pt. 2

Counting their winnings the group settled into a few seats at a near by beer tent. They were not ale to settle in for long before they were accosted by a drunk reveler who had apparently lost money betting against Baruke in the fight. The problem nearly exploded into a fight but Baruke was able to pass off a near by beverage as a courtesy drink, placating the drunkard.

Deciding to move on from the Beer Tent the group was attracted to a near by show labeled “Doctor Mathusila’s Zoological Wonders. Not to keen on paying the entrance fee, Anora quickly gathered a few bits of clothing and gear to pass herself off as a worker at the menagerie. Slipping by the bodyguard, Anora checked the different sights in the menagerie, deciding that it would be worth the rest of the group to join her. Heading back to the entrance, she convinced the bodyguard at the entrance that the Doctor wanted him sent on an errand and she was to take over for him. The bodyguard, looking skeptical, grudgingly accepted the task and set off into the fair.

Leaving the entrance of the menagerie unguarded the group head into the tent. They took into the different sights and strange creatures before being drawn to a group gathering at the other end of the tent. Making their way over to the crowd and pushing their way to the front, the group was greeted by a large cage covered in a blanket. A figure clothed in a very well made but of the most mismatched colors ever seen, made his way onto a stand off to the side of the cage. The man introduced himself to the crowd as Doctor Mathusila, the owner of the menagerie, and he began to regal the crowd with the wonders they were about to see. After a rather long winded speech a helper pulled the blanket aside to reveal a three legged goblin.

The Doctor’s helper then lead the goblin out of the cage only to have the goblin bite him, allowing the goblin to attempt an escape. Unfortunately the goblin ran right at the party and was caught by Baruke single handed. The Doctor was most gracious for the help and offered 5 gold crowns for the help but Baruke pushed for more causing the Doctor to double the reward. With the show now over the group made their way out only to fine chaos at the front gate due to the group sending the bodyguard off. They were met by a group of laborers attempting to carry off the chest of entrance fees and several people passing into the menagerie without paying

Leaving the chaos they had created, the group headed by the festival courts finding a man in the stocks being pelted with mud. Anora took pity upon the man and wiped some of the grim from the man’s face. The man thanked her profusely and pleaded with her to pay his fine and free him from the stocks. Finding the man’s fine too high the group moved on to the Jousting Lists. The group didn’t find the crowd as pleasing as the crowd around the wrestling ring however due to the lack of bets being placed on the jousting knights.

After watching the knights for several rounds the group decided to check out the town but they were interrupted by a commotion raised by the goblin escaping from the menagerie. The goblin ran through the crowd causing a stir before escaping into the sewers. The watch gathered the crowd together and brought the witnesses to the festival courts. After gathering witness accounts the Magistrate offered a 50 gold crown reward to which the Doctor added another 50 gold crowns if the goblin was brought back alive.

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Session 2.5
Into the Sewers

Accepting the duty to search for the escaped goblin the party was led by a Watchman to a sewer entrance. Climbing down into the sewer the party surveyed their surroundings and decided to head north to look for where the goblin entered into the sewer. After wondering through the tunnels for a short period the group stumbled upon an unexpected doorway. Anora attempted to pry the door open but was unable to do so. Passing the pry bar to Baruke the door was swiftly opened, only to find that the door was blocked by a large stack of crates and barrels. Baruke used his axe to chop a hole into a crate, finding flour. Not expecting flour, the group quickly moved on.

Heading down a different tunnel the group stumbled upon a pile of refuse blocking most of the flow in the sewer. Leogeon moved forward and using his staff poked about the refuse. To his surprise a human hand poked out of the pile as it shifted. The group then quickly cleared off the grime and other collected materials to uncover a horribly mutilated man. The man was missing his left arm and his chest had been ripped open allowing for his heart to be removed. Further disturbing the party it turned out to be the man they had met earlier locked in the stocks.

Hurrying further down the tunnel with a plan to grab the goblin and run, the group stumbled upon another door. This door had a puddle of the goblin’s blood in front of it. Emboldening the party the group busted through the door to find a hidden temple. As the group started to enter the room they spotted what appeared to be the remains of the goblin laying by a pentagram painted upon the floor. However before they could gather the remains a rancid black smoke began to issue forth from the pentagram painted on the floor. After nearly filling the center of the room the smoke condensed into a tight cloud from which stepped a Demon.

After gathering himself the Demon demanded to know who had entered the temple. After a few quick exchanges the party was able to establish that the Demon had no interest in them and would allow them to leave as long as they would not disturb the temple. Taking the goblin’s pelvis with them the group hastily retreated from the room and exited the sewers. Deciding to camp in the woods for the night and claim that the goblin had escaped the sewers and been eaten by a bear or other large creature, the group headed out of the city to make camp in the surrounding woods.

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Session 3
The Investigation Begins

After waking up from their campsite outside of town the party headed to the Festival Courts to try and retrieve their prize. Unfortunately when they presented themselves to the Magistrate, he informed them that the prize was claimed shortly after the many groups headed into the sewers. A warehouse manager in the employ of the Steinhager family found the goblin crushed under some crates. The party quickly produced the goblin’s skull and three legged pelvis and pleaded their case. The Magistrate was taken aback by the unquestionable evidence and assured the party that he would look into the matter by conferring with the rest of the town council. He asked for the party to check back with him here at the Festival Courts later in the evening or to check in at Town Hall.

The party then headed into town to establish a base of operations selecting an inn near the waterfront. After cleaning the grime from their sewer travels the group decided to visit Town Hall and see if they could gain their prize there. On their way the group ran into a strange man shouting evil premonitions about the town and its coming downfall. The party could not make out much of what the man was saying and as they drew closer the man ran off into the city.

Once the party reached Town Hall they were greeted by a clerk who had little interest in dealing with them. After listening to his story and receiving permission from a council member the clerk took the name of their inn so that the Council could pay for their lodging to cover any problems of the group. Not satisfied the party further insisted and with some sly talking from Anora the clerk lead them to the office of Johannes Tugen. Welcoming them to his office Tugen listened to their story with great interest as it was very strange that two different groups claimed to have killed such a unique creature. He assured them that he would confer with the rest of the council. The group then noticed that the man was wearing a ring that carried the same symbol as the one they discovered in the hidden temple.

This caused some alarm for the group leading to Anora to try and cast a Charm person spell on Tugen to try and find the truth. However the spell simply failed as it landed upon Tugen. A flash of anger slipped across Tugen’s face before he was able to regain his composure and ask if there was anything else that he could do to help the party. With no further business he led the group back to the main entrance and returned to his work. The party then discovered they were not alone in the Entrance hall, as there was a man standing by one of the side hallways staring at them, sending a cold shiver down their spine. Confronting the man, he named himself Gideon and in return asked the party’s name. Smiling he welcomed them to Bogenhafen and excused himself as he had a meeting to attend.

The party then decided to investigate the Warehouse where the goblin was supposedly killed. Once they made their way to the warehouse the group found a drunk man sleeping against some of the bags of grain within the warehouse. Anora slipped off to try and discover any signs of the goblin while Baruke woke the man. The man introduced himself as Anton Breugal, the man who killed the goblin. Baruke began to question the man about what happened with the goblin. Breugal told him of how he was tending to the warehouse and discovered the goblin. He was then able to fight off the goblin, quickly killing him with his club. Returning from searching the warehouse and finding nothing, they confronted Breugal about his lies. Telling them to shove off, Baruke forced Breugal against the wall while Anora held her knife to his throat. Begging for his life, he told the group that he was just covering for Steinhager and that he had never seen the goblin. The group paid Breugal to stay quiet and that when they gather some more evidence then they will come back and get him.

After wondering around the water front for a time, gathering some information about the town from the locals, the group headed to the Temple to see if they could use the temple’s library collection. After a short search they were not able to anything about the symbol they saw in the temple or on Tugen’s ring. However after talking with a scribe working in the library they were informed that the symbol is for the Ordo Septenarius, a local group of merchants that was an extension of the Merchant Guild.

Leaving the temple the group decided to check back with Magistrate Richter to see if he had any luck gathering information about the goblin. When they reach the Festival Courts the party could find Richter. Instead he had been replaced as he had fallen ill upon returning from an errand. Heading to the Magistrate’s home the party discovered Richter in bed extremely sick. The apothecary tending to him said that the Magistrate did not have long to live as his illness was very severe. The apothecary also was not sure of a cure as he was not familiar with the disease. The only other time he had seen these symptoms were when Johannes Tugen’s older brother Karl Tugen fell since some years ago.

Deciding that it would then be a good idea to revisit the hidden temple the group snuck their way back into the sewers. But upon reentering the room where the temple was hidden the group found nothing. It was as if someone had come and cleaned up the existence of the temple. The only thing that the group found was a white handkerchief with the monogram “F.S.” emblazoned upon it. Deciding to investigate the sewers further the group search for a few hours until they came closer to the river and discovered the body of Anton Breugal. The man had been stabbed several times in the chest and left for dead.

Retreating from the sewers the group began to make their way back through town to their inn. On their way the group’s path became blocked by a few thugs, covering all routes of escape. One of the thugs stepped forward and threatened the group, saying that if they did not leave town then the thugs would return and they would end up dead in the river. Thus thugs then left the group to return to their inn.

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Session 4
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Session 5
On the edge of a Knife

After retiring to their inn for the evening Baruke was awoken by a strange noise. He was quickly able to establish that his room’s window was being opened by a cloaked figure breaking into their room. Jumping from his bed the dwarf let out a shout of warning while he launched himself at the figure. Attempting to grab the figure and pull it inside the room. The figure, not expecting the speed of the dwarf, lashed out with a dagger allowing it to avoid Baruke’s grasp. The figure then launched himself backwards and onto the roof of the neighboring building, taking off running.

Following quickly Baruke leaped from his window onto the roof while Anora rising from her bed ran to the window to spy the figure trying to escape. Thinking quickly she chanted a few words to cast Mage Hand and pull the tiles out from under the escaping figure, successfully tripping it. Falling to the roof the figure rolled about to face the pursuing party, deftly launching a dagger at the dwarf, lodging it in the dwarf’s shoulder. Filled with rage the dwarf tackled the figure and wrestled with it, preventing it from escape. Anora then made her way to the struggling pair and threatened the figure with her crossbow to stop struggling.

Now in close proximity the party could now see that the assassin was under some sort of spell holding him to his duty. Wrestling the figure to the ground Baruke attempted to subdue him but before any progress could be made the figure’s eyes bulged and his mouth began to foam as he was killed by the magics that held him to his duty. Looking about the party spied another cloaked figure who must have been watching the assassin attempt to kill them. This new figure turned and ran off into the darkness. Baruke turned to run after the figure but slipped from the roof top falling to the street below, badly hurting himself. Anora lowered herself with some rope to Baruke and brought him to the local temple for some healing.

Upon returning to their inn, the Innkeeper was not pleased with the actions that the party caused in his inn. The group began to apologize but before they could explain too much the Innkeeper was waved off by a man who they had been standing by the bar waiting. Inviting them to a table and ordering a round of ales the man introduced himself as Altair and that he had been sent to them as a representative of the Thieves’ Guild here in Bogenhafen. He explained that his group was not responsible for the attack that just occurred nor the thugs tat had accosted them the previous day. He suggested that they were probably agents of the people they have been investigating. Altair explained that his group had been watching them since they had entered in the sewers as they use the sewers and they were worried that they may discover something. And behold the group nearly stumbled into their Guildhall entrance, if they had pushed their way through the blocked entrance. Anora questioned him only to have him reply that they knew who she was and what she did in Tilea. This silenced Anora but drew question looks from the rest of the party.

Altair finished by offering his organization’s help in any way that they can provide, although their resources have become limited due to the pressure placed upon them by the Town Council and Town Watch over the past year and a half. He then drew the groups sign on the table in sawdust for the party and explained that if they look for the symbol it will lead them to people who can help them. Bidding his goodbyes, Altair began to leave but Anora caught his arm out of the party’s hearing. Whispering the question of where she could locate her contact Altair told her to look for him in the Cross Pike Inn. The man then ducked back into the night.

After catching some rest for the next few hours the party rose and began to break their fast in the common room of the inn. Suddenly the entrance flew open and in the door stood a visibly shaken Magirius. Moving to the party, Magirius stated that he must speak to the party. Already drawing strange glances from the rest of the common room the party moved outside asking Magirius what the problem was. Magirius quickly explained that he was told by Tugen to do whatever it took to send the party away when he spoke to them the day before. But the Ordo had a meeting last night about their upcoming ritual. The ritual was to take place in the Temple discovered by the party in the sewers. But since the party had discovered the ritual had to be moved to another location which Tugen had not reveiled yet. The ritual was to be a great spell that would be able to shift the economy of the enitre Empire. It would make Bogenhafen rich beyond anybody’s wildest dreams, especially those who help lead the ritual.

But Tugen informed Magirius, and the other inner council members last night at the meeting, that the ritual was to call for seven sacrifices. This was too much for Magirius. He could dabble in the arcane arts, as much as he hated to, so that he could become rich, but sacrificing people for it would be too much. He then explained that he could not go to the Watch or Council as Tugen has both groups under his thumb and he would be risking his life if Tugen found out that he was becoming a turncoat. So he came to the party as they were obviously causing problems for Tugen and the Ordo. Magirius suggested that he will send them word when he found out where the ritual was to take place and that they could interrupt the ritual. If they could interrupt the ritual then they would be able to save those being sacrificed and thus catch the Ordo red handed, there is no way the Watch could deny their evil ways. Agreeing the party said that they would wait for his word and formulate a plan in the mean time.

The party then began to stroll through the city trying to develop a plan of action. Finally they decided to try the Thieves’ Guild to see if they would be willing to provide any help to their problems. Heading to the Cross Pike Inn the party was surprised when they entered to find that a large portion of the clientele were members of the Town Watch. Asking the Inn Keeper for Bruggmen he pointed out an older man seated at the end of the bar eating his midday meal. Anora approached the man and after passing a few words between the two he lead the party into the kitchen and down into the storage cellar. Pushing aside a hidden entrance he led the group into a back room, much large in size then would be expected for being under the inn, which housed a table and a set of chairs.

Taking a seat the man offered them some drinks and asked what he could do for them. After explaining their situation Bruggmen offered that he could help by gathering some men from about town who were loyal to his organization and able fighters. He would need a few hours to do so but they would be available by evening.

After leaving the Cross Pike Inn the party visited some local shops to gather materials for the upcoming fight. When they stepped out from an Apothecary shop a young boy of 12 wearing a servants livery, ran up to them and offered them a message. Without even waiting for a tip or a return message the boy ran off into the city. It was a note from Magirius telling them to visit him at his house. Heading off to the house the party was greeted at the door by the same young boy who had dilivered the message. Leading to the back of the house the boy brought them to Magirius’ study. However, Magirius was not in the study, confusing the group. Questioning the boy, the boy simply pointed to the desk. Looking to the desk the party noticed that there appeared to have been a struggle as the desk was swept clean. They then noticed a large blood stain on the bookshelf behind the desk, which drew their attention down, leading to the body of Magirius.

Spinning around the party confronted the boy who simple answered them with and other worldly laugh, a laugh much too deep for a boy of only 12 years. The boy then produced a stern look upon his face and stated that they should have heeded the warnings he sent them to simply leave town and stop looking into matters that dont concern them. If he could kill them directly he would but this would have to do. He began to laugh again but as he did his image began to fade to nothingness. The laugh continued for a few seconds after the by had disappeared.

Deciding it would be good for themselves to disappear as well, the group ran to the front door. However when they opened up the door they saw the young boy out in the street talking to a Watch Patrol and pointing at the house. Raising an alarm the Watch Patrol began to run towards the house, cutting off the main entrance for the party. Ducking back into the house they ran into the kitchen and out the servant entrance into the backyard. Finding the yard walled in, the group quickly scaled a tree and launched themselves over the wall. Escaping down the alley way the party gathered themselves some distance away from the house to form a plan. Anora decided she was going to disguise herself and go back to the house to see what she could discover while the rest of the party was going to go through the sewers to reach the Thieves’ Guildhall for safety.

The party was able to make it into the sewers but not before being seen by a Watch patrol. Luckily due to Baruke’s night vision they were able to run into the darkness providing no light for the Watch to follow. Meaning while Anora made her way back to Magirius’ house and enter undetected due to her disguise. Finding two Watchmen exaiming the room where the corpse lie, she asked what happened. They said it looks like Magirius was stabbed to death and had his throat slit. One of Magirius’ servant boys said that he saw a Tilean lady and a Dwarf kill Magirius but was able to run to the Watch before they killed him. Anora asked if she could examine the body, and upon being granted to do so, she discovered Magirius’ Ordo ring. She then noticed that written on the side of the desk, in his own blood, Magirius had written “WRHS 1…” with the last number being smudged and unreadable. Searching the rest of the house Anora then discovered Magirius’ Ordo robes in one of his wardrobes.

Heading back to the Cross Pike Inn, Anora informed the rest of the party of what she had discovered. They then set to work on formulating a plan for their assault against the Ordo Septenarius.

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Session 6
To Stop the Ritual

The group decided that since they were not sure what they faced at the warehouse, a few scouts were sent out from the group Bruggmen had gathered. They returned to tell how there were a group of strange cloaked men, who were obviously armed, gathered around warehouse 13. However the scouts were not able to gather too much beyond that because when they got too close the men questioned them and sent them off. With the warehouse being owned by the Tugen Family and the suspicious activity occurring there, the party set of towards the warehouse. The group’s confidence was shaken slightly when they noticed the face in the moon now moved. Its eyes spun around in its sockets before settling upon a gazed towards the town. A slender tongue then flicked out from between the face’s lips, licking as if awaiting a delicious meal.

Once the group reached the warehouse, the group split up with the Thieves’ Guild members dispersing through the are as not to attract attention. While this was occurring a cart bearing the sign of the Tugen Family arrived at the warehouse, depositing three cloaked figures carrying a large sack that was writhing as if someone was inside. These figures moved quickly inside shutting the door behind them. Several guardsmen also climbed from the back of the cart taking station by the front door of the warehouse.

Gathering behind the warehouse the party helped four Guild members onto the roof so that they may gain an advantage during the assault. This did not go unnoticed as a guard stationed by the parked cart heard them scaling the walls. Drawn to the rear of the warehouse the group quickly adopted the guise of a drunken group loudly celebrating their merriment. Shouting word to his fellow guards the party was pushed off into the night, but saved from discovery. While the group moved off another carriage arrived dropping off several more cloaked figures who hurried inside the warehouse as the carriage pulled off into the night.

Anora and Bruggmen then doubled back to were the guard stood by the carriage. Sneaking up behind the guard Anora attempted to stealthily kill the man from behind but the guard sensed her at the last second, just barely able to deflect her attack while still receiving a nasty gash across his shoulder. The guard slashed at Anora in retailiation but she deftly ducked under his sword attack and in return drew her rapier in one swift motion. However her attack did not find its target as the man shifted out of the attack’s way. Bruggmen seeing Anora in trouble ran forward to help, dodging the guards attempts to defend himself, plunging his sword into the man’s side. With the man defeated the two stuffed him into the carriage and took up positions for the assult.

Meanwhile on the other side of the warehouse Baruke Splintersteel and Altair made their way to some barrels by a small window looking into the warhouse. Hoisting himself into position Baruke peered through the window to find a horrible sight. At the center of the warehouse stood the reconstruction of the Hidden Temple from the sewers. The centerpiece was a large copper ring on the floor with a pentagram drawn within. At each point of the pentagram stood a silver candle stick holding a black candle which burned with an erie glow. In between each candle stood a hooded figure chanting in an unrecognizable tongue. Looking closer Baruke then noticed that there was a stripped man laying at the center of the pentagram restrained with some chains. The man struggled slightly but appeared slightly drugged, probably to calm him or maybe as part of the ritual.

Looking across the rest of the warehouse Baruke found Tugen dressed in similar robes as those who stood in the circle but his hood pulled back to reveil a skull helmet with cow like horns on either side. He stood chanting at an alter upon which lay a silver platter and a kriss. Painted upon the back wall of the warhouse was a large beastial face similar to the one in the Ordo Septenarius symbol. Off to the side of the alter stood Gideon Tugen. Tugen then suddenly stopped chanting, and wielding the kriss, turned to the circle and offered a demonic prayer. Striding forward Tugen stepped into the circle and plunged the kriss into the restrained man carving open the man’s chest. Reaching into the newly opened wound Tugen pulled out the man’s heart and raised it over his head while the other robed figure’s chant rose into a crescendo.

Jumping down from the window, as he had seen enough, Baruke and Altair moved forward into position for the attack. Seeing the signal that all were ready, Anora gave the attack signal. The party and their allies surged from their hiding spaces assaulting the guards who stood fast at the warhouse doors. It was a quick battle with little injuries to be had by the group. The guardsmen fell quickly to the groups tactics and superior numbers. With the guards dealt with, the group turned the the warhouse door and the horrors that awaited them inside. Anora doned Magirius’ vestments, hoping to sneak her way into the ritual but was floundered when she found the door locked. Stepping forward Altair quicky went to work picking the lock and was finished in a few minutes.

Sweeping the doors open Anora stepping into the warehouse just as Gideon steeping from beside the alter. He raised his hands above his head while chanting in a horrible other worldly voice. Gideon then removed the black Ordo ring he wore causing a ripple of arcane energy to fly through the room. His figure then flickered as he pulled his arms in around himself and settled into a crouch. There was a flash and then in the place stood a demonic figure nearly eight feet tall. The devil spread its wings, as if stretching before letting out that same laugh the group heard in Magirius’ home. Pointing at Anora in Magirius’ vestments, Gideon roared that she would have no need for the robes as it was already too late.

With those words Gideon stretched an arm forward and sent a bolt of red energy into the center of the circle. With that bolt a rumble began shaking the entire building. A bright red light then formed around the circle before shooting up to the ceiling. The rumbling grew more powerful, before the circle of light fell in upon itself, collapsing into the copper circle. As the light hit the inside of the circle the ground within the circle gave way, taking with it the cultist as well as the now dead sacrifice. The cultists’ chants quickly changed to screams of torment as they fell into the bottomless pit. Anora stood frightened as the screams continued until they faded into the distance as if the pit was so deep one could not hear the bottom.

At this point the awesome sight was too much for the Guildsman, who ran off into the night leaving the group alone with Altair and Bruggmen. With this Tugen laughed and began thanking Gideon for now his soul could be returned to him. Gideon laughed as well but then quick as a striking snake, lashed out with a clawed hand and grabbed Tugen, lifting him off the ground. Stunned Tugen grasped at the devil’s hand unable to do anything against the creatures strength. Gasping, the man was able to say “Why?” Laughing Gideon explained that Tugen was a fool. Did he really think that he would have recieved his soul back? What a simpleton. No my “friend,” he had simply been a pawn in a greater plan. Why settle for one soul, or even seven, when the entire world was ripe for the taking? “We, Baatezu” the devil explained, “often find it hard to cross over into the Prime with our own powers, but with the help of a greedy mortal like yourself, we can open a direct portal to the Pit. The portal just needs on more soul to complete it.” With that the devil threw Tugen screaming into the hole before turning to the party.

Gideon then smiled at the party and spit out “You all have been a trouble in my side the past few days but as you can see, your trouble have still been to no avail, the ritual is now complete. Now you may see the awesome power that has been summoned.” With that the light around the hole pulsed and again the red column of light shot out smashing against the roof sending thousands of bits of debris flying outward, covering the party and the surrounding area. The column of light grew to what must have been a mile high, consuming the moon. The face in the moon looked to be laughing as the moon faded into the fountain of red light. Bursting from the light, and assuming a seat upon the fountain, grew a large demonic figure bearing the face that was upon the moon. Leaning back as if laughing, no sound issued from the figure, until an unearthly roar from a distance filled everyone’s ears.

Overcoming the horendous sight, Anora drew out her crossbow and fired a bolt at the devil Gideon. The creature took the bolt in the shoulder but appeared unfased by the attack. Flying into a rage Baruke then leaped passed Anora slashing into the beast. Chopping wildly Baruke was able to make a few attacks passed the horrible black blade that Gideon wielded, digging deeply into the creature’s red flesh. Leogon, not standing idly began to fire off arcane magics at the creature. Taking one last blow at Baruke, Gideon realed at the fury of the dwarf before diving into the slowly growing pit that had been the copper circle. Deciding it was best to leave the warehouse the party rant to warn the town.

Leaving the warehouse district the party quickly discovered the town in a panic. This panic rose into a riot when the column of evil energy began to pulse and shoot off giant bolts of energy that fell to the city, smashing through buildings and into the streets. As the party entered the main Plaza of the city, one such bolt slammed into the ground not far from were they stood. The bolt then formed into some sort of arch whose outline then solidified into some kind of border. As the group stared in amazement, two oversized skulls came flying through the arch screaming in some strange language. The skulls flew into the air before circling down to harry the fleeing townspeople. Legeon let loose another arcane bolt which smashed into one of the flying skulls. Before much else could happen two more beasts emerged from the arch presenting the group his a disgusting sight. The creatures, standing about four feet tall, appeared to be made of a melting flesh-like ooze, constantly shifting in upon itself and dripping to the ground.

Anora lashed out with her rapier slicing into one of the creature’s shoulders. The blade dug deep however the flesh closed up around the blade, seemingly healing itself. Anora quickly withdrew her blade, noticing that the wound had only partly healed itself. This drove the creature mad, as it lunged at Anora, who was able to quickly dodge away. Baruke meanwhile had confronted the other beast and placing all of his strength behind his attack was able to cleave the creature in two. As the two halves fell to the ground a strange energy rose from the body and flew back into the portal. The dwarf then turned to see Anora fending off the creature, ruched over dealing a quick death blow. Again the strange arcane energy rose out of the body and retreated into the portal.

As the group shouted at one another about what to do, another bolt of energy slammed to the ground on the far side of the plaza. Again an arch formed but his time taller lizard like creatures emerged with what looked like lassos on the end of poles. The creatures began to gather humans and drag them back into the portal. Deciding that the fight must be carried to the source Anora ran over to the portal and reluctantly place a single finger into the mystic energy. Strangely the portal, despite its fiery color, felt cold to the touch. Then a strange feeling arouse within her, as if something was brushing against the inside of her mind. The feeling then grew taught and pulled her forward into the portal. Watching his friend get pulled into the portal Baruke charge forward and dove in head first, not knowing where the portal would carry him. All he wished was that they would not end up in a land where those disgusting fleshy creatures were allowed to live.

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Session 6.5
The End of Leogeon Silentread

The young wizard ran down a side street off the Gottenplatz, away from the chaos that was engulfing the center of town. A thousand thoughts ran through his head as contemplated what happened to his two friends who had disappeared through one of those portals created by the energy bolts. It excited Leogeon that there was now evidence that other worlds did exist, however horrible they were as evident by these disgusting creatures.

He then cursed himself for not listening closer to the teachings of his Elders back in the Academy, concerning the hell creatures he now faced. The ancient texts spoke of portals to other worlds and how some of these worlds were inhabited by foul creatures like these. They also spoke of how there was a war that occured long ago that sealed the portals leading to this world, protecting it from the outside dangers. But now it appears that with the work done by that greedy Tugen those thousands of ears of protection were no broken.

Rounding the corner of the street, Leogeon found himself confronted with a pack of the devils herding a group of citizens towards a portal. Leaping forward, he stuck two of the creatures with his staff and launched an arcane bolt at the third. Side stepping a fourth creature, he pulled out his sword and made quick work of the creature. Feeling emboldened by his actions, the once cowed citizens turned on their captures, letting go the fury they felt for their destroyed homes.

With the immediate threat dealt with, Leogeon directed the group to make their way out of town and spread the word about what had happened hear. Word must reach other cities so that armies can be rallied and brought to put an end to this menace. A man stepped forward and said his brother lived outside of town and had horses. The elf told them to head there and then send riders out. With that, Leogeon headed off, rounded back around to get a better sight at the giant fountain of energy that consumed the center of town.

The fountain was a menacing sight, as the creature that perched atop the fountain stared down at the fleeing people with a grin upon its monstrous face. He must do something to stop that creature, as it seemed to be the source of the power for the invasion. Setting off through the town he began to make his way closer to the fountain, despite the many hazards that blocked his way.

Entering a building whose door had been ripped from its hinges, he found the stairs and climbed his way to the roof. Settling down just out of sight of the creature, the young elf thought back upon his studies. Thoughts raced through his head like lightning as he tried to devise a spell that might have some effect upon the creature. Settling upon a variation of a summoning spell, it was perhaps possible to modify the spell and banish the creature. His powers were no where near as strong as his teachers, but he must try something. Reaching into his pocket he produced the ring the devil Gideon had worn; Leogeon felt that if he perhaps focused the spell through the ring it might be able to effect the creature like it did Gideon.

Chanting the words of the spell, the elf felt the surge of mana flow into him, forming the spell. Trying to work quickly and avoid detection, Leogeon continued to gather more mana then he needed to cast the spell. His teachers had warned him that he might burn himself out, or worse even kill himself, but if he didn’t try this then he would probably die anyway. Forcing the pulsating energy through the ring, he then traced the arcane symbols for the spell in the air and pointed to the creature. The spell flew true and smashed into the creature with a brilliant flash.

Leogeon roared with pride as the spell found its target. But the excitement left his face when the light cleared and the creature still sat perched on top of the fountain. The grin upon its face though shifted to one of anger as it turned his direction and settled its eyes upon the roof top where Leogeon stood. With astonishing speed for a creature its size, it shot its arm down towards the roof, snatching for the elf. Reacting in just enough time, Leogeon threw himself from the roof, falling the two stories to the cobbled streets, landing with a jolt, tearing at his left leg. Collapsing with pain, giant timbers tumbled down around him as the creature’s hand smashed into the building tearing it apart as if it were made of twigs. Forcing himself to stand despite the now broken leg, Leogeon shuffled down the street trying to escape the now furious random attacks of the giant devil.

Ducking into an alley way down the street, Leogeon sat down and began to treat his leg. Unsure of what to do next, he breathed deeply as he counted his options. He then began to stand when the building he sat across from exploded, exposing the face of the creature who hunted him. Standing defiantly, the young elf, faced the creature as it examined him. The creature then smiled as it began to reach for him. Trying to quickly gather more energy, he was unable to handle any when the creature grabbed him and hauled him hundreds of feet in the air. From this height he could make out, much of the town on fire or destroyed, yet many of the citizens had escaped beyond the city walls. Hopefully word will reach the seats of power for the Empire and something could be done. The humans should have the magics to turn back this force, and if they don’t then woe be upon this world.

Reaching the pinacle of the fountain the creature returned to its original shape as it held Leogeon before its face. Leogeon began to chant to himself the words of his ancestors,a prayer for those who have passed and those who will be. A calm settled through him as he felt the presence of his family and all those who had come before him. He was consumed by the bright light of his family’s star as he prepared himself for his journey to the afterlife. He felt as the creature lifted him over its head, and the heat the emanated from inside the creature as it opened its maw. A great blackness with a distant fire faced him from that maw. With the final words of the prayer, the creature dropped Leogeon into the maw which slid shut behind him. A giant smile returned to the devil’s face as it returned its attention to its forces conquering the town.

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Session 7
To Hell and Back?

As the party stepped into the portal in the town square time seemed to freeze as the mystical energy pulled at their very means of existence. The group was flung forward at an incredible speed as they traveled into a giant silver void that stretched far beyond what they could see or even comprehend. Barely able to make out shapes the group found themselves inside of what appeared to be a tube running through the void within a cluster of other similar tubes. As the flew through the tube they saw shapes shoot past them in the other tubes. The shapes moved much too fast for them to make out but it was possible that they were other people travel as they were.

After what seemed like ages, or perhaps just seconds, the group was flung out of the end of the tube with a great flash of light. Picking themselves off the ground, Anora and Baruke needed to shield their eyes from the harsh light that burned their eyes. As their eyes adjusted, they were set upon by an oppressive heat and a horrible smell of burnt ozone. The group found themselves standing in a box canyon hewn very roughly out of some strange rust colored stone, that not even Baruke could identify, despite his long years in the Dwarven Halls of his youth. Carved into this strange stone was an ornate lattice work in the form of an arch which was covered in a strange set of ruins that neither human nor dwarf had ever seen before. At the very center of this arch was a small glowing dot that winked out of existence just as the group reached for it. This disheartened the group as it was the only link they knew back to their home.

Yet before the duo could gather themselves they heard a gasp of fear from behind them. Turning the group found a short devilish creature that looked like the creatures that had just destroy Bogenhafen but of much smaller stature. Advancing towards the creature caused it to drop the small spear it was carrying and push itself further into the wall, as if it could try and hide by forcing itself into the stone wall itself. Anora began to explain to the creature that they meant it no harm but demanded to know where they were. The creature stood dumbfounded, frozen in fear of the duo. Thinking quickly Anora cast a charm spell upon the creature, calming it slightly and making it more comfortable to the party’s presence. After shifting through a few languages the small devil itself cast a spell, ending with a tap upon its own head, it then spoke in a tongue the duo could understand.

After a short questioning the party was able to gather that the creature was named Halitsu a Spinagon of the Baatezu, the creatures who inhabit the plane of Baator. More specifically the party learned they are on the first layer of Baator, named Avernus ruled by Bel, a Baatezu Lord. The little creature had no knowledge of the invasion of their world, suggesting that it may have come from any of the nine layers of Baator, but of course he is so low rank that he would not be told of any plans unless he was directly involved with the invasion. When the party began questioning him about the terms he was using Halitsu gained a little more confidence in himself asking if they were of the clueless and if they were then they stumbled into a heap of trouble. Bluffing their way through this the party was able to convince Halitsu that they were agents of Bel and that they had been working with Bell to bring about the invasion. They however needed to get off Avernus since they were on another mission. Halitsu was not willing at first to help but after threatening to turn him over to Bel for punishment, Halitsu suggested that they go to visit the The Mad Witch who had taken residence in the mountains to the east. Since she was a Planar like them then she might know of a way to get out of Baator.

The journey across the Plains of Avernus was not an easy journey as the land was not forgiving and signs of death surrounded the group. Occasionally the ground would shake like a earthquake and in the distance explosions could be heard, followed by great plumes of smoke rising into the sky. Eventually the party reached a river they had not spied earlier as it had been hidden by the hills the ran along side of it. The river however was not what the group expected as it was filled with what appeared to be blood. It was a gruesome sight as the blood sloshed against the rocks, scattered throughout the river, leaving behind stains that dyed the rocks red. After testing the blood, and finding no other choice the party walked into the river, fording their way across.

Leaving the river behind the group made their way up into the foot hills of the mountain, finding a trail that appeared to have seen some use recently. Following the trail the party made their way up-slope finding a dead corpse of a few scattered trees. Scattered through the woods were strange mounds constructed of debris. Stepping close to one the mounds, the ground began began to shake and suddenly explode as a skeletal figure raised itself up, drawing a rusted sword and shield. Striking at Anora, the skeleton did not prove effective in its fighting, as it swung wide allowing for Baruke to charge in an cleave the skeleton in two. The fight was not over however as the rest of the ward that had been cast over the woods triggered, causing the rest of the mounds to reveal more skeletons, as well as what seemed to be a champion of some sort as it was large and better equipped then the rest.

Baruke charged across the field of battle, flinging himself at the champion while Anora set to work shooting at the rest of the approaching figures. Making short work of the skeletons, equally due to the groups skill and the skeleton’s lack of it, the party turned towards the cave at the far end of the woods to find a small hooded figure that was the The Mad Witch. The old crone yelled at them that they will need to pay for destroying her guardians and that if they come any closer then she will have to use her magics against them. Anora tried to cast a spell against her but it was expertly turned aside by the old women, who cackled a the attempt. Beckoning them to come closer the Mad Witch told them that she would have to perform a test upon them before they could have any dealings. Throwing some Holy Water on the two party members, the old women shrugged to herself and said that they were either too powerful Devils for her magics to work or they were not Devils. Either way they might as well come in to talk, but they would have to leave the Spinagon outside. Halitsu protested saying that he feared the Witch and that he should return to his post. Not thinking this was a good idea Anora grabbed the creature and tied him to a post outside of the cave’s entrance.

Once inside the cave they were given seats by a small fire and offered tea. After the party politely declined the tea the Mad Witch took a seat by the small cooking fire and sipped some of her tea. She began by introducing herself as Hexla and answering the groups’ initial questions. This eventually led to an explanation of how she found herself in Avernus. The story began with her research on her home world of Raliel where she stumbled across the existence of the Multiverse while formulating a new spell that accidentally triggered a portal. The portal was too unstable for her to use and it lasted only a short time before disseminating. But the spark had been placed and it triggered an incurable desire to try and find a way to control and use portals to other worlds.

She delved into her research finding as much as she could about the use of portals and the multiverse that it lead too. Finally the day came when she was to perform the ritual that would create a portal. But somewhere in her spell she had miscalculated and the portal was unstable and beyond her control. It sucked her in and dropped her into Avernus. She has been able to scrape by since then with her magics but it has been a tough experience. She devotes most of her time to trying to reformulate the spell so that she may go home but her resources are extremely limited here.

The party quizzed her some more on the Multiverse, drinking in the tales she spun about the different planes and how they connect to one another. This of course led to the ultimate question of whether she knew how they could get home. Unfortunately since she herself was stuck here until she got her spell right, she was unable to provide them with an answer. However she was able to point them in the direction of the Pillar of Skulls, a collection of knowledge to say the least. Bidding their good byes the party left the witch’s cave to seek the Pillar.

A short travel to the south the party crested a hill to a grotesque sight. Before them stood a pillar that stood a few hundred feet tall and about twenty feet wide, but the pillar was not exactly constructed of skulls. Instead the pillar was made up of thousands of heads, of all species and race, all in various states of decay. The air was filled with a cacophony of sound as all the heads were yelling and arguing with one another. Upon the party’s approach the pillar silenced slightly as a few of the heads attempted to “organize” the rest. It was almost as if the heads were arguing for control of speech.

The party had a few short conversations with several different heads, including a Giant’s head, a Gnome’s head, a Dwarf Rune Priest, and an Elven Sage. All had different stories but a few commonalities emerged. The party should head towards Sigil, the City of Doors, where they could hopefully find a portal, or at the very least a person how may be able to point them towards their home world. How to get to Sigil was the point of contention however. Between all the stories three portals were suggested. There was a portal in Bel’s Fortress, one in the mountains to the East and a portal in the South just beyond the Great Road. Trusting in the Dwarven Rune Priest the party set off south to the Great Road to acquire a brick, which would act as the Gate Key to the portal.

After a few hours of traveling south from the Pillar the group re-encountered the River of Blood, which must have curved aback around the foothills. The river her though was much deeper and ran through some rapids, giving the river much greater speed. Thinking quickly the party tied a lasso and began traversing the river slowly but surely. Much to the chagrin of the party however two giant Blood Worms reared out of the raging torrents and lurched their way towards the party. Acting quickly the party moved towards the opposite shore so that they may gain some sure footing to take on their foes. The worms closed in quickly launching themselves at Baruke. One worm was able to latch its toothed mouth onto Baruke’s chest but the dwarf was able to pry the worm off without much effort. After some quick blade work the worms were vanquished with one fleeing, severely wounded and one missing its head.

Tired from the journey and the battle across the river the party took shelter by a rock outcropping and made a quick camp to try and some light rest.

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