Session 33The sun is blinding as the party rush from the sinking temple. Tuck and Thozmolim are apparently unaware of the party as two large orcs shout angrily at them. Dael takes this opportunity to unleash a volley of arrows into the bloodied halfling. Thozmolim takes several steps away from the battle as the party dispatch the orcs and finally fell the raving brother of London Bucklebough.
The ground shakes as dark tendrils reach over the temple and continue to pull it into the Umbrial plane. The party turn to Thozmolim with weapons drawn.
"Perhaps we should put politics behind us and flee for now."
The party follow Thozmolim over a mile from the now lost temple before stopping to question the wounded deep dwarf.
"It would seem that Vis' followers do not have the strength they once possessed. The master must be mortal if he is desperate enough to partner with orcs."
"Why then are you working for him?"
"Working? I admit, I was caught up in the old ferver. I wish to return to the service of Vis, but he is truly dead. My prayers have gone unanswered for years and Tucks words verified my suspicions."
"So you've been selling ghasts to the highest bidder?"
"I take advantage of my natural skills. You need gold to live in this world and Tuck payed well. Had I known he was selling my ghasts to orcs I would have reconsidered. You left me in Illden. What else am I to do on the surface?"Thozmolim points towards the East, claiming that is where he and Tuck were headed. Tuck had plans to meet up with someone in the city. The party let out a collective groan before inviting the dwarf to travel with them again. He seems overjoyed at the thought of returning to the party. They rest and are suprised by Illiaph in the morning. Waking before dawn and sporting a suit of living flesh armor. Power gifted to him as part of his pact with the alien Jilin, or so he claims.Dael leads the group through the craggy badlands east of Findle. mountains and canyons blanket the land like cracks on a crushed eggshell. Cautiously picking across the landscape, Dael spots the tracks of several large creatures. Following them, they are lead to a dirt road and eventually, a large plateau cloven by a massive wooden gate. Throngs of goblin-kin and humans wait excitedly to be allowed entrance throught the city gates. It takes several hours to get through the queue, and the party are only allowed entrance after presenting the Crimson Cloak shortsword they were gifted by the goblin-kin party they saved from the death slaad.
Hob'Luld is the ancient religious center of goblin-kin religions. An ancient stone coliseum surrounded by tents, palisades, pavilions and wooden buildings. The party find an area near a cenote suspiciously devoid of goblin-kin to set up camp. Jamlamin explains that there is a lot of superstition about the cenotes and most goblin-kin fear them. The party spend a large portion of the day shopping at the bazaar and gathering information on the major rivals for the current Daern, Chizar the Scro.
Bolg Stoneskin - a massive Orog. He is followed by dozens of huddled and broken goblin-kin as well as several warriors in blood stained white robes. Bolg is better known as the demi-god, Bolg the Bloody and already holds the spark of terror. Bolg is notoriously evil, dedicating much of his action to Lyttas, the Empyrean god of madness. He doesn't hesitate to burn and slaughter all in his way and with the support of the Scro, he has come to take the spark of the Daern to fully ravage the lands of men and elves.
Xeraxis the Red - Scion of the Crimson Cloak, Xeraxis serves the Daern loyally although he despises all scro, including the current Daern. Xeraxis is an elderly hobgoblin and in all likelihood, wouldn't put up much of a physical fight, but is said to be a powerful acolyte serving the Daern and is well versed in spellcraft. His desires are based on his cabal's veneration of the ancient Daerns, notably Galdan the Gold whom they hold in highest esteem.
Reget Nashraeh - An Empyrean bugbear priest from Findle. He is supported by some of the most powerful noble houses of Findle. Judging by the expensive palisades and banners flying over his camp, Reget is directly endorsed by the Herat , Blackwell , Legault and Shay families.
Yelloweyes - A black clad and masked fighter, his only visible feature are his sharp avian eyes through his mask. His camp has taken over an cavern near the Northern edge of the city. He has several retainers, clearly hobgoblin skeletons while another robed and masked figure is frequently seen entering the cavern. The depth of this cavern are unknown, but a terribly foul smell occasionally wafts towards the Northern edge of the bazaar.
The party discuss their options at great length. They rest for the evening and wake up at dawn, startled by shouting from Xeraxis camp. Crowds gather around the camp. The party are allowed through after presenting the Crimson Cloak sword again. Xeraxis has been murdered, along with 6 of his acolytes. Crimson acolytes lay scattered through the tent, their hands and eyes brutally hacked away. A large black feather is found crumpled on the ground.
Alistye asks the remaining 3 Crimson Cloak acolytes for permission to reincarnate Xeraxis and they agree, excited at the prospect of rescuing their master from the hands of Mortus. Alistyre begins the ritual and Xeraxis the Red is reborn into a reptilian body. Brass scales surprise the party as he sits up in his draconic body. Xeraxis the Red looks around the tent saddened and bewildered at the loss of his followers. The party explain what happened begging him to tell them who killed him.
He describes a foul smell, an unnatural silence and a blue robed figure with a dark pointed mask. Xeraxis looks at his new body and is saddened, claiming that he no longer believes that he has the right to lead the Crimson Cloak. He passes the title of scion to one of his remaining acolytes and orders them to return to the Daern and report on his death. He leaves the camp in tatters and joins the party.
The party return to their camp near the cenote and plan their next move. Reget Nashraeh and Yelloweyes are mysterious, but Bolg seems most likely to be able to defeat the Daern. The party wrack their brains to figure out a way to prevent a fight between the spark of loyalty and the spark of terror.
Illiaph, Shalazar and Thozmolim dissapear for hours while the remaining party members plan their next move against Bolg the bloody. Dael, Alistyre, Marceliyna, Halafas and Xeraxis, now calling himself Saargon, developed a plan to use a geas spell to force the demi-god to travel East and miss the tournament.
Illiaph, Shalazar and Thozmolim develop a plan of their own. Luring dozens of goblins from the crowds outside the city with promises of sneaking them in, they easily dispatch them and feed their bodies to Illiaph's fleshy armor, revealed to be Jillin himself. Illiaph explains to his two companions that Jillin could not only destroy Bolg, but Funiku as well.
They meet back up with Dael's group and continue to plot strategy, keeping their actions secret within their newly formed blood-pact. 36 hours until Ishkron Astron begins.