The Exarch Stones

10/31: Finding the Cult!

As our adventurers fled into the desert, they became lost. Not knowing which way to go, they wandered for several hours until Adam found them an oasis. Crazed by thirst, Valen stripped off his clothes and dove into the water, while the rest walked up to it more calmly and took their fill. It wasn’t long, however, until the adventurers found themselves in trouble like they normally do. The water began to bubble, then large hands began to grab them and they were dragged below the water. after a minute of oppressive darkness, the adventurer’s found themselves in a flagstone room. After some exploration, they learned that it was of Thassilonian ownership, though not of Thassilonian creation. Eventually they found the ghost of an old Thassilonian sorcerer, who wove a tale about how his clan had been attacked by barbarians, and he was trapped here by their shaman. He promised them a quick exit and a powerful amulet if they killed the shaman. They did, and they escaped with a powerful amulet that could see through the best of illusions.

Heading back to Katapesh, they decided to follow up on the cultist who infiltrated the tribunal. Pretending he was a member of the cult in Aridale, Valen infiltrated the cultists house. While there, he learned that The cult was looking for the soul forge, and was also looking for a map of some kind to go with it. Furthermore, it named two other cultists in Katapesh: a Half-orc noble named Karzahg, and Clay, who was leading the smugglers in the area

The following morning, Adam and their new dwarf companion followed the cultist, while Valen and Bauxmaut looked for the thieves guild. Unfortunately, the Adam and the dwarf found it first, and dealt with it in the only way they knew how: attacking it head on. Bauxmat and Valen tried to fix the situation by pretending to fight the other two, and requesting a meeting with Clay. After discussion with clay, They learned that a piece of the star map was in the Museum of Artifacts in Katapesh, and that it would be his job to find it

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10/9: To the East!

Before our heroes could set off for Katapesh, Adam got sidetracked by orders sent directly from the Dark Reavers. He was to investigate a ruins which were believed to be a old Dark Reaver command post. As they were ecploring, they were shocked to find skeletons rise from the floor and begin attacking them! They were also surprised at the gnome who flew out of the shadows like a missile and killed a skeleton with his bare hands. Fighting, side by side, they defeated the skeletons and the gnome introduced himself as Bauxmat, a Green Path Ascendant, a group of monks who believe in the balance of the elements. They decided to at least explore the ruins together, although Valen had trouble with the monk’s patience and discipline. Valen was soon distracted however, as when they waled upstairs they found a library. After a quick detect magic, he found a hidden alcove containing a thin book. Opening it, he was surprised when a wyrm of fire shot out and nearly hit him! He put the book away and moved into the next room. It appeared to be a commanders room, And a skeleton wearing commanders robes for the dark legion leaned against the wall holding a large tome. As the Pcs try to take it, the skeleton spraing up, grabbed a longsword by it’s side, and began attacking the party as mysterious shapes formed around the room. While Adam and Nick assaulted the skeleton furiously, Valen dashed back and forth across the room in a frenzy, destroying shadow after shadow. His luck would end however, when he ran to attack the Skeleton Lord, and got stabbed through the collarbone. Bau saved him from further damage, however, when he seperated the skeletons head from it’s neck with a crunch.

Back in Aridale, Valen got a little to drunk and a little to loud, and accidently let his arcane nature slip out in front of a templar. Nick once again saved Valen by knocking the templar out before he could cause any harm. Valen packed up and let the others know they were leaving for Katapesh immediately

Arriving in Katapesh, with only slight clues to what they are looking for, they split up. Bau would do a general search for any cult activity, Adam would follow up on an archeologic expedition they might join, and Valen would go begin trying to set up his drug empire. Bauxmat found out there was a cultist located in the very tribunal themselves, and Valen began infiltrating the local drug empire and made friends with a gnome lady by the name Quiyra. Adam secured them a guard spot on the expedition, and they set off two days later.

Arriving at the Thassolonian ruins, they slept through the night and set to work immediately the next day. Adam, having experience with these strange ruins before, led them through. THe found a celestial chart that detailed constellations, a summoning circle and golem pit (With a book that intrigued Bauxmant very much), but the greatest prize was opening a large vault and finding the legendary soul forge. After setting up an elaborate plan, our heroes were attacked by a group of slavers, which fit nicely into their plans. After herding the archeologists and mages into the vault and then collapsing the tinnel to seal away the soul forge’s awful power, the party rode out into the desert to escape the slavers

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10/3: Arrival in Aridale

Valen and Adam arrive in the lake town of Aridale to help a friend with a problem: her husband, Baren, has gone missing from the lumber camp where he works. After a little investigation, they find that many people believe that the tribals that live in the plains outside the city are responsible for these disappearances. THey also leanr about elf sightings in the deeper areas of the forest, which is a most unusual occurence Writing these of as nothing but local prejudices, our heroes prepare to investigate the lumber camp, only to realize the city has be put on locdown while a group of Templars hunts down rogue mages who are somewhere in the city. This poses no problem for Valen, who could charm Asmodeus himself into handing over the nine hells. After convicing a guard of the utmost inportance of their mission, they are snuck out of the city and continue on their way to the lumber camp. Asking around, they learn the location where Barren and his crew are attacked, and proceed to investigate the area. WHile they are searching the area for clues, they are attacked by thuggish creatures with ashen skin. Taking one alive, they intimidate him into showing the adventurers the camp he came from. They sat for some time just observing the camp, and then came up with a plan. Valen used his message spell to convice the leader that to go to a certain location, then they ambushed him. Convincing the cleric that they were messengers of Desmosene, god of secrets, tehy managed to get him to disband the camp and turn himself in to the templar, freeing the slaves they had taking from Aridale. They find the forbidden library and do some studying to learn about the heartstone, a device used to trap souls.

After taking a much deserved rest, our heroes agree to capture the mages who are hiding in the city. After some brief negotiations, the delve into the undercity and quickly find their target. They disguise themselves as members, and find that the mages are gathering information about summoning a demon, slavaanesh. They do some intel gathering, learning that the cult of secrets is trying to summon a primordial of some kind. They then grab as much information on sommoning the demon as possible, then give tell the templar where the mages are. They head back out into the forest where the heartstone is, and send it to the celestial plane of elysium by having a summoned creature swallow it.

Valen and Adam are then called on for a favor. An ally of theirs needs someone to run pesh into the city. The most likely source: the Tribals.
After talking to the tribes shaman leader, they learn much about the tribe, where they agree to help one of the clan on his rite of passage ritual. They go into the forest, and partake in the ritual with the tribal. As they do, a white wolf and his pack appear, and they protect the kid as he slays teh white wolf, and makes a totem out of it’s fur and jawbone. WHen they return, the tribals proclaim the kid as the next shaman, and a celebration insues. After much drinking and smoking of pesh, Valen gets a tattooing kit and cuatl tattooed on his chest, and Adam gets a dragon tattooed on his back, and a cloak made out of wolfskin. They leave on good terms with the tribals, and the pound of pesh they needed. With that out of the way, Adam and Valen decide to head to Katapesh to investigate the Cut of Secrets furtherr

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