The World of Ora

Meeting in Accord
First Weekend

Main details from session 1 and 2

As the party worked their way through town, the farmer stepped into Voro’s Oddities and discovered houses with little wooden figurines inside. The houses sold for 15 gold each and there were 8 of them. The figurines could speak to anyone holding them. The Farmer discovered that the figurines were made into wooden dolls by an old woman who was trying to protect/render them immortal. There are no known whereabouts of the old woman. The farmer left the figurines in the shop. Further investigation of the shop revealed a strange horse shoe, with crude Chosen markings, reading “Return to Sender.”

After meeting, the group decided to get a Patron. They were informed that acquiring a patron was difficult and often costly; a patron would speak for them, defend them against accusations, and help provide them with quests and gear. In exchange, most patrons requested specific actions be taken before fronting a group, or guarantees after. In an interesting and unexpected move, one of the party members asked one of the two Dread Chosen guarding the Creation Stone temple to be their patron.

A deal was struck, and 500 gold was given to the party. The chitin-covered Dread pointed out that he has no ties to the city; his only duty is to guard and protect the Stone. As a result, the party can expect little in the way of help from him, at least directly.

The group went to investigate chilling tales of moans in the graveyard, only to be ambushed by a Necromancer and three Blooded. After killing the Necromancer, the three Blooded retreated – only to ambush the party yet again. Once more, the three Blooded retreated from confrontation after a party member released a massive earth-based explosion, dealing significant structural damage to a building just beyond the graveyard.

The next morning, the group was confronted by Red John about the assault. John was furious: no battle magic is allowed in the city. In exchange for clemency, the party agreed to investigate the odd-acting Blooded.

An investigation outside of the South Wall of the city, near an oddly tortured tree, revealed the home of the Necromancer (Darrl Hatch) and his deceased, but preserved family. Apparently he was attempting to revive his dead wife and child, using experimental techniques that the Blooded were providing him with. In exchange, he was to make the Blooded fertile again. The party looted several arcane books from the house, presumably filled with vile texts. In his house the party also found a necromantic horse that could be controlled with a magical saddle.

The party investigated the area outside of the house and one party member, the Jun spellcaster, nearly got sucked into the cursed tree. The party managed to free him, thanks to his strong will and resistance to the Curse, but the tree immediately began exhibiting hints of the Wu Jen’s elemental magic. The party fled the scene, leaving the horse behind.

The group then investigated odd tales of an amorous horse in the town. Some 25 hands tall, the horse was vaguely nightmare-appearing, and the missing horse shoe was his. He appeared to have some basic telepathy, being able to say “Dur” to anyone who addresses him. He also demonstrated a horrifying sense of humor. After the group bonded with Dur and showed him the necromantic horse (in an attempt to ease his libido), Dur revealed that he could draw a crude symbol of summoning (at the party’s request for aid in destroying the horse/Necromancer’s house). Somehow, the house was nearly instantly destroyed, though the nearby cursed tree remained.

Later, the Wu Jen went to speak with Red John about events, only to stumble across Soules’, the Chaos Bringer. The Wu Jen experimented with Soules’ chaos field in an attempt to fill 10 vials with pure Chaos for the head of the Magical College (Sevrina Ilkjold). The results of his attempts were disastrous: he was transformed into a horned, hideous purple-people-eater who was so revolting that none could resist attacking him. He was also cloned. And then cloned again, as his reverse-self. The reverse-self managed to somehow cleanse the taint of Chaos and the temple of Rial.

Elsewhere, outside, the party saw the cloned Purple People eater being slaughtered by their evil cloned companion, who explained that the People Eater was a pedophile. When the real Wu Jen walked down the street and attempted to kill his evil clone, the party went to the clone’s defense. After a brief altercation, the party decided to sic Dur on the People Eater, going so far as to use a well-made illusion of a horse over the Eater’s body. The result was disgusting, messy, and horrifying. On the up side, the clone – now a party member – wasn’t truly evil, so much as he hated the other versions of himself – had duplicates of all the items the origin had, including 10 extra vials of Chaos.

The Clone used the 10 vials of chaos to purchase the mage library back from Sevrina for the temple of magic (save Breana’s personal journal), earning their favor.

Re-united with the new Clone, who appeared much more logical than their past member, the group went on to investigate the abduction of the twin siblings of Ness Twyrie. They discovered a group of humans a few miles outside of Accord, apparently preparing to sacrifice Ness. Interrupting the ceremony, the group saved Ness’ sister and brother, only to discover that the brother was corrupt beyond saving and had savaged his own sister. During the process, the group also had to combat multiple demonic creatures. They later found out that the demons were summoned from within the Prime Material plane. One of the people involved in the summoning was Carly Duggen, a person of reported worth in the city.

Upon investigating the twisted symbols of those in the defeated cabal, the group was told by a High Cleric of Silm (Arch Priest Simon), that the devices represent the combined imagery of two Demonic forces (Asmodeus and Demigordon). The Cleric, in exchange for one of the special spell-crystals found on the cult corpses, makes 3 of the pendants into devices that can detect the presence of the sort of demonic evil behind them, hopefully helping the party locate/stop further cults.

It is also worth noting that the group made friends with the proprietor of the Black Bear Tavern, a well-traveled and adorable Elecrian named Glyph. Glyph apparently had lots of useful information for the party and was happy to share it.

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Weekend 2
Second Weekend

Overview of Weekend 2

After a week off, during which the adventuring party trained, studied, and learned more about Accord, Whiskey and Rick decided to see the Chosen King who they found out visits Accord once a day to provide food to the starving/impoverished city.

When they got into the feeding line that would eventually allow them near the King, they were engaged by a very talkative and unassuming man. During the talk Whiskey discussed his views of morality – mentioning how he did not believe in absolute good or evil as much as the actions behind them. The man latched onto these ideas and began twisting Whiskey’s words – pointing out how, in a world with no good and only actions, there is, essentially, only evil. Whiskey did not agree, but the man never took no for an answer.

Finally, they arrived at the front of the line and the man told Whiskey, “Let me show you about evil.” He proceeded to transform the food provided by the Chosen King via Heroes Feast into a plague that literally began tearing the men, women, and children of the starving city – who ate the food – into pieces, causing their guts to erupt in horrific abominations. Rick, meanwhile, was rendered useless and ill by some vile power of the man’s.

Ffolst, seeing this engaged the man and teleported him to a very isolated area on the continent (the Dwarven scar). The man, whose hand was on Whiskey, brought Whiskey along. Conflict ensued, during which the man continuously taunted Whiskey, revealing that his parents were still alive and being used horrifically by the undead. He seemed bent on proving to Whiskey that absolute evil did, in fact, exist and seemed to relish in tormenting the innocent Green Man with it. As Ffolst was delaying and sparring with the man, now revealed to be a member of the Shroud, Eralyn (contacted by Ffolst) brokered a deal with the Dulonians – a temporary truce to help Accord. Together, Eralyn and much of the Dulonian army managed to defeat the plague and save the civilians. Finally, Ffolst called in his Heroic allies and the Shroud retreated – though only after the Shroud forced Ffolst to be reborn in his safe realm, savagely murdering the powerful hero not once, but twice – pushing even Ffolst’s limits.

Back in Accord, the group began discussing their next plan. They decided to go investigate the oil shortage and, using Dur as a hasty means of travel, arrived in Trell in half a day – a truly amazing feat of transportation. Outside of Trell they noticed a sphere of light radiating from the south of the city. Upon investigation, they found a pit of sand with an Altar of stones in the center, upon which rested a blue glass needle. The group acquired the needle after a harrowing fight with Ankhegs who were somehow empowered by the sandy area – now revealed to be a powerful node of Altrichar. Whiskey, fascinated by the powers of the area, took a seat on the alter and began meditating while the party rested. This attracted the attention of a puppet – now known to be controlled by The Puppet Master. Somehow, Dur’s presence deterred the Puppet Master; however, the party realized that the sand area was growing new Ankhegs – and decided to leave.

Once back in Accord, Whiskey had an idea to use Elemental power to shift all the earth around Accord in exchange for the sand of Altrichar around Trell – some 400 miles away. Knowing that the party lacked the power to do this, they decided to engage Flameweaver to see if he might do so. Flameweaver explained that he could not, but that the source of power in the sand may do it and gave the party a means to burrow into a hill near the sandy area and told them that he expected the area investigated in 72 hours. He also took a drop of blood from Rick.

Almost immediately every Chosen on the world began suffering fire damage as Flameweaver used the blood of Rick in tandem with a hair he’d collected from Ffolst years ago to strike back at the Chosen. Realizing what they had done was harming the Chosen, Rick and company went to the Dreads guarding the Creation Stone. The Dreads were, of course, very upset and brought in a Spell Breaker. The Spell Breaker (Khagai) explained that he needed to entirely exchange Rick’s blood with someone else’s – that it would change the focus of the spell. Kimpo volunteered and the Spell Breaker managed to shift Flameweaver’s curse into Kimpo’s body, immediately obliterating him. After some pleading on Rick’s behalf – and arguing that Kimpo was innocent – and offering one of the very powerful spell gems the party had gotten from the demon summners to fuel the spell – they convinced the Khagai to Revivify Kimpo at 0 hit points. The Chosen, noticeably angry at the group, bade them leave and promised to never ever bring any of them back to life under any circumstances again.

A smoking, clearly also impacted Dur, angrily vented on Rick for some time before the group traveled back out to the hill to obey Flameweaver’s command. At the hill, near Trell, the group used a device of Flameweaver’s to burrow a hole down to a Hell Lord’s resurrection command center.

After much combat Whiskey fell, dead for all time.

Eventually, Kimpo came to a room with a mechanism that would allow him to awaken a clone of the Hell Lord Vecniroth. Just as he was about to do this, Rick had a realization – his true name provided him a prompt, allowing him to expend a tremendous asset in order to summon the attention of Sevarious. Sevarious, assessing the situation, Was. Not. Fucking. Happy.

He stopped Kimpo and brought Rick and Kimpo together, berating them abusively for some time. Sevarious proceeded to use the technology of Vecniroth’s throne room – now revealed to have traveled to the plane of Mechanus to assist in the assaults/war against the Jun (as long planned!), to gain access to the heart of the Mechanus war machine. After some trickery, Sevarious used the advantage of surprise to slow the war machine down – aiding the Chosen war effort, then (after more berating), teleported the party to Accord and used Vecniroth’s citadel to attack Flameweaver, killing him (forcing him to use one of his resurrections – he reappeared a few minutes later seeming confused about recent events and pissed). Sevarious then pushed the group through a portal, forcing them all to be good-aligned, gave them each a small splinter of his insight (3 times per day the group can call upon Sevarious-Wisdom), and brought into the party a new person who he saw fate deemed “most appropriate to help them not fuck more shit up”. He also provided Kimpo some form of healing ability (as the group had no healer any longer), before leaving.

The group, newly assembled, exhausted, passed out. The next day, they had a side adventure that amounted to very little.

Note: Nuanced details and notes that players should have taken during the events have been omitted (as players are responsible for keeping track of those).

Final Tally: One party member permanently killed.

New Party Level: Three

Reputation Adjustment: The Chosen now know the party as being infamous and responsible for the near genocide of an entire generation of their children. While the Chosen blame Flameweaver directly and the party indirectly, it is unlikely that any Chosen will aid the party again.

Sevarious, who announced himself as some kind of guardian, has stated that he placed a specific geas on each member of the current party: if any of them, at any time, attempts to do something that would “Piss him the fuck off”, they will die.

Flameweaver, brought back to life with no memory of the events of the previous few days, does not so far seem to remember interacting with the party at all. However, that may change as he rebuilds his newly destroyed castle and uses his substantial wealth and influence to piece events together again.

Bonus: A resurrection station of the Hell Lord Vecniroth has been removed from play. Forever.

Meta note: I do not normally allow characters below level 10 to be brought back to life barring other PC intervention. Kimpo’s death early on in this session was dealt with using Revivify for a few reasons: he has a natural 20 luck, the party had the resources to pay the cost to bring him back, and the scenario was so very challenging in terms of the plot and roleplay that I had to take into account Kimpo’s newness – this is his players’ third session playing Third Edition Dungeons and Dragons. While I will occasionally pull punches, NPC Revivifies – except under some extreme and unforeseen circumstance – are off the table entirely.

This was a challenging session and it took place on two very distinct levels VERY High and Medium-Low. Readers are encouraged to remember that one of the players – Whiskey – was running off no sleep for 24 hours, and that Rick was running on 4 or 5 hours of sleep total. In addition, many of the choices that led to extreme negative outcomes, although avoidable, were somewhat reasonable at the time. Kimpo’s absence at the beginning of the game and much of the interactions between the Shroud and Ffolst occurred while Kimpo’s player was running late, so he missed all of those events

Chosen Note Though no Chosen died as a result of Flameweaver’s powerful tinkering, the cost was extreme – massive resources were expended to cast the healing spells needed to keep children and warriors currently engaged in war alive (effectively balancing out any gains from a lull in the war with Mechanus). Ffolst and Eralyn burned all of the experience that they earned this session fighting the Shroud\negotiating with the Dulonians to save their people. In addition, the cultural cost behind the attack is unknown: the Chosen are not a forgiving people and a whole generation of children will bear the scars (at least mental) of being burned alive from the inside via the power of Flameweaver.

Sevarious Sidebar The actions of the Sevarious NPC appear to border dangerously on DM/God intervention, which I abhor. Earlier in the session, Rick’s player solved a very expansive riddle orientated around the Sevarious character – essentially enabling him “One free summon” of the incredibly powerful and mean-spirited NPC. Had Rick not solved the riddle and used his summon, Sevarious would not have intervened at all. Considering Rick expended what was, essentially, a “get out of jail free” card on a low-level situation (rather than when it might be even more useful at higher level), I opted to let it through. In addition, the abilities that Sevarious provided the characters were granted for specific reasons:

1: Without a healer the party would suffer. Kimpo’s new ability to heal will fill a vital gap and allow everyone to play what they want to play, rather than forcing someone to roll a healer.
2: Giving the party the ability to make a “common sense” check will aid the newer players in avoiding certain (extremely dire) pitfalls, particularly when tired or making choices that may not be fully informed. This “common sense” ability will be reduced as the party grows in power and experience (no one wants training wheels forever, right?).
3: Finally, using Sevarious to bring a new PC in to replace Whiskey allows me to let Whiskey’s player choose a level adjusted or templated race (up to an adjustment of 2) that I normally would forbid as a reward for being a good sport about dying.

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Third Session
Third Session

Session 3

The group, newly joined by a Chosen, arrived back in Accord on the day before Flameweaver’s birthday. When they got back to the city, they found a Sound Elf named Cacophony waiting for them. The Chosen who’d been assigned the group informed them that Cacophony was looking for ways to help her people and had wandered into Accord and been escorted around by Rhys, a Chosen with an interest in ensuring that not all new adventurers in Accord are indoctrinated with the belief that his kind are evil.

Both Cacophony and the Chosen who joined the party wore armor and carried big weapons. Yay for more front line fighters! Good thing they have the mage/healer to keep them afoot!

That night much drink and dance was had. Vix, the Earth Elemental Forger, provided the new Chosen of the party with an enhancement for the Chosen’s stein, allowing him to carry a tiny amount of the Dwarven substance known as Gut Shaker with him, in honor of a Dwarven hero who fell north of Dulon Landing some years ago. He warned the Chosen that the Gut Shaker was so potent that it even made Vix intoxicated for some days at a time (a month, specifically) and that it was dangerous stuff, but well worth it for a stout warrior!

The following morning, at breakfast in the Adventurers Guild hall, after everyone had a chance for more formal introductions, Rhys came in and let them know why he’d sent Cacophony to the group (she’s trustworthy, the group is trustworthy, that is a good mix!) and let them know that he expected bad things to happen on Flameweaver’s birthday. Shortly after, gongs rang out, summoning everyone outside for Flameweaver’s big birthday bash.

Outside, Flameweaver announced that he was going to open a special orphanage for all the children left without parents or proper support thanks to the war. Free schooling, food, and supplies for all the children, overseen by Flameweaver’s new assistants. He revealed new, strange, elves with black-lined ears and spell caster robes, next to the horrific demonic creatures with the warped symbol of Esteron etched in their skin. He explained that though the creatures appeared horrific, they were actually constructs made by his new allies to help combat assaults against the city and his person by those Chosen who were out to harm him. In addition, he’d be acting through these odd elves to give great gifts to the city on his naming day. At the close of his speech, both blooded and the new elves moved out to the major intersections of the city, offering great blessings, food, and even enchanted-looking weapons to anyone who would denounce the Chosen or Esteron. Many of the adventurers already on Flameweaver’s payroll, no doubt, leapt at the free goodies.

Hearing this appeared to make the horse, Dur, very upset. He projected the idea that he was very protective over children. Still, the party got out of dodge, traveling about 20 miles beyond the city gates before making camp. That night group was attacked by a group of 4 Blooded bearing warped symbols of Esteron and the powers of the Chosen. After defeating the Blooded, the band found out (by questioning a survivor), that the Blooded were given badges by the elf-casters that transformed the Blooded into chosen-like warriors and that they were sent after the group because they had a Chosen. Flameweaver, through his new elves, appeared to be using fire-against-fire. Closer study of the emblem on the Blooded also revealed a similarity between it and the holy symbols being worn by the warlocks in the first session.

Once the group realized that the blooded could be reverted back to normal by defeating them and destroying the anti-Esteron symbols, and that the Blooded was also freed from Flameweaver’s mind control, they decided to free the sole survivor of the Blooded attack party.

Dur, still in an incomprehensible rage, killed the shit out of the Blooded as he walked away. Sad times.

There was a week of travel after this, during which Kimpo came to realize that Dur was completely immune to magic of any type he could cast; moreover, Dur seemed to absorb and deflect the power entirely. This power appeared to be innate to the horse.

Continuing on, the group made it to Trell, where they discovered a destroyed/abandoned wagon that belonged to the LarLuck family. Kimpo, the Jun Mage-healer, knew much about the LarLucks and provided the group with vital insight into their doings. Apparently, the LarLucks had some ties with the Elven war or something. The wagon was missing some obviously valuable cargo, but the group decided not to investigate, as they sensed horrific doom (Uber Optional Boss of Rape Face).

Once the group made it to Dulon Landing, they met with Magistrate Hari, the sole human disciple of the Steel Shadow. An older man, he made it clear that as long as the group didn’t misbehave, there wouldn’t be any problems. He also gave them much information about the LarLucks, their possible ties to Hell technology and other shenanigans.

The group also went to the town brothel, met with Seaman Sal, and had a few fun conversations (players, I hope you kept notes!).

After, the group went to investigate the LarLuck’s haunted mansion. Inside, they were beset by trickster demons from Hell. Malicious fucks, the demons kept the party well occupied until, at last, they revealed several facts: the demons reproduced by making others consume things willingly, and the demons were tied to a magical vase – it prevented them from leaving the building – that was hidden behind a massive guardian golem (Moderate Optional Boss). Rick made a deal with the demons that he’d make sure the vase was sent to a special house, if they let the party pass. Suspicious, particularly of the Chosen, the demons grudgingly agreed.

Then the party tried to leave the house, and the demons initiated another set of tricks: Kimpo discovered a magical book. However, when he picked it up, he could not put it down. When he finally managed to remove it, he felt his intellect slightly drained. The group got out of the house and summoned Dur, asking for his help. Dur put his head into the building and, finding Kimpo’s book, consumed it, taking Kimpo’s intellect into himself. The group realized, then, that the trick of the book was to get/keep Kimpo in the house, as the party had agreed. They also realized that, hopefully, Dur could poop out Kimpo’s book and he could regain his intellect.

The Chosen of the group prayed for Esteron and Ash’s blessing. And shit got interesting._

Going back into the mansion, the party ambled (after much discussion) to the Golem, awakening a Draconic Iron Golem that proceeded to RAPE FACES. However, using arrows the party had gotten from a ranger in town, in tandem with Esteron’s blessing, the party prevailed! YAY!

The Chosen got a piece of his ultimate weapon (a special gauntlet made of black segments covered in spines and knife-looking things), the group discovered a new riddle, and happiness ensued.
Back outside, the Chosen asked Dur to poop in his Stein (in hopes of giving Kimpo back his intellect). Dur squeezed out a diamond poo, one that turned the Gut Shaker in the stein into ACID OF HORRIFIC DOOM. (Note: Gut shaker, without Dur poo had been shown to eat through water skins earlier in the night).

Kimpo drank the horrific, acid-filled abomination willingly and died, lost forever.

After, the group traded the remains of the construct with Sal for Wreaths of Underwater Breathing/Movement/ Speaking with intelligent aquatic creatures/Resistance to Ambient Cold and a Hellion Pocket watch.

In quick succession, Rick then had the Water Elementalist Siara, in tandem with help from Folst, a small blessing from Esteron, and an unknown power imbue the vase of demons with horrific anti-Flame Elementalist powers, then had Hari disguise it all and send it to Flame Weaver. The full consequences of this are not known, however, Rhys showed up to provide everyone in the group with this update:

Everyone gets 2 weeks of free training with Aralyn in Melk

Everyone but the Chosen gets some form of Gift from Ash

Flameweaver appears to be banished to the elemental plane of fire for six months, during which he’ll be fleeing/fighting for his life the entire time.

The black-eared elves have stepped in, taking a greater role in accord. Rhys has promised to go back and do his best to help protect the children, but he suggested that the party start investigating who/what those things are in a timely manner, as the party has probably pushed the elves’ agendas forward a bit.

After 11 hours of play and an optional boss of doom the final tally is:

One party member permanently killed.

New average party level: 4

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Fourth Session
Fourth Session

This session focused mostly on a fight with the Blood Elves, so there is relatively little to report other than the surprising fact that everyone survived.

Also: A mysterious, muddy-footed stranger stole the group’s Gold Water, presumably to help dying horses.

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Fifth Session
Fifth!

After clearing out half of the remaining Blood Elves (leaving about 28, plus a new leader), the group went into the dungeon of Lady Adonia, of Helios.

The dungeon took the whole rest of the session and ultimately revealed many intriguing new facts about Ora that will not be disclosed here.

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