Cairnspeak

Aluthenia II - beneath Thaid's tower
Lateautumn Week 3

Huddling around a small fire, the heroes brace for another frigid night and watch the dim figures of Thaid’s students recede into the dusk. The fire elemental below the tower glows brightly in the distance, emanating a heat the party almost swear they can feel from their campsite, many metres down the road. Bursts of light and magic occasionally light up the tower’s windows and minarets.

2 weeks remain until winter officially settles in to the Elven forest—back home in Cairnspeak, the fishing boats would be moored for the season and Faylor’s Fest would be about to begin. Named for the legendary Bishop Faylor of the early years, who whispered tales say fought off a serpentine sea dragon’s assault on Cairnspeak (Faylor stumbled drunk and bloody into an old town bar during a particularly violent Newwinter storm), the festival rivals Autumnfest for the most raucous Bacchanal of Aethyl’s Tyr. Citizens then dig in to sleep off the hangover while the winter rains pour in.

Reflections: Trader Dale and the promise of a vouch-for into the Elven Kingdom loom large in the groups’ minds—thoughts of a warm inn and mugs of ale are tempting, as is the prospect of finding news of Mayriva from the locals. Also is the news that the long absent elven prince Hagen has returned to Aluthenia, where he may become the heir to the throne. What kind of winterfest could await?

Much land lies between Thaid’s tower and Kay’s Falls of Aluthenia, and danger soaks the Deep Woods. The strange, dead forest nearby and the things that shamble within; the Elven scout lost in Spiderwood, his family ring rusting on his cold, dead finger. The strange elven women that duped the heroes and twice tried to send them to their doom, and the ghostly, coloured old man searching for his wife. The ever present Neogi with their Umber Hulk slaves, and Titus’ assassins looming out their somewhere.

And the big question—where is Mayriva?

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Aluthenia
Midautumn Week 2

After returning the Reavers’ Mirror to Uridon’s camp, the party is contacted by the transparent and flickering image of a blue wizard from Cairnspeak named Pyotr Glass – a wizard that has long since been dead in the heroes’ homeworld. Glass says he has the opportunity to contact the party while Titus is weakened from scrying them. He urges the party to move west of Lake Loramir into the Elven forest and to seek out Mayriva – she can help the party find thridium here and forge a new light crystal to re-block the portal to Cairnspeak.

The party defeats some freakish looking but seemingly sentient creatures and their umberhulk allies and claim a small shelter Uridon has advised them of. Here, they sit on the border of the Elven woods of Aluthenia and contemplate their plans as the snow begins to fall.

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Orcs, Misfits, & Reavers, Oh My!
Midautumn Week 1

Claymore has been tricked into smashing the light crystal that both illuminates the lighthouse on the hill and also seals the portal beneath the Abbey. It seems that Bellany has been used as a pawn to torment Vessus and force him to extremes in order to save her.

Titus also plans to return to the shadow realm, although not before forcing the party through to his world. He now sees them as a legitimate threat to his plans and is determined to keep an eye on them.

The party finds solace in the thick woods south of the portal cavern and watches as an army of monochromatic shadow men march through the portal and into the now unfortunately undefended Abbey. Millgard and Bellany are here, as is a beaten and restrained Claymore. Titus flies away on a dragon, north to the city that occupies the space that is the Halcyon Bay in the light world.

The party meets a monochromatic Orc, Uridon, who was evidently the champion of the Ulgar in the light world. Unwilling to follow any human, Uridon was seen as a threat by Titus and sent through the black crystal. Here, he finds himself changed into a champion for good and defends a city of misfits that didn’t travel well through the crystal.

At Uridon’s request, the party ventured into a village of ancient barbarians, long corrupted by the proximity of lost shadows. These reavers are now dark and evil creatures and, after being bested by the party in battle, yield the Mirror of True Seeing that Uridon has sought. Shadows try to bind themselves with the heores but are ultimately rejected.

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Victor's Last Stand
Newautumn Week 4

The party returns to Lighthouse Abbey with the real mayor. Vessus Claymore pledges his forces to aid the real mayor and sends his troops to the North gate of the city to prepare for the forthcoming Orcish attack. Kuromane’s wife and general validate his identity as the real mayor; in fact, the doppleganger has been conspicuously absent for the last few days…

Ryan Virov has a request – the Kalyzti have been building a stronghold beneath the city for just such an invasion. Victor Virov has ordered the Kalyzti below; however, Ryan and the younger generation of warriors all feel compelled to fight for the city. He wants the party to come and sway Victor’s decision.

Travelling through the impressive subterrainean city, the group is ambushed and set upon by Jackalwere and Wolfwere that seem to be longstanding enemies of the Kalyzti. It would appear they’ve been hired by Titus, as the party arrives just in time to see Titus capture the crystal and teleport away. A werewolf Victor is set upon and killed by an Umberhulk. The doppleganger mayor reveals itself as a magical fusion of shadows that burst forth and attack the heroes.

Ryan has his wish – the Kalyzti are now his clan to rule, and they will fight for Cairnspeak. Their secret is also revealed – a lycanthrone like gene flows through their bloodline, although they are not cursed, diseased, or evil. However, this trait alienated them from the human’s of their old homeland Aethyl, hence their migration to Cairnspeak.

Following up on a comment from Titus, the party rushes back to the Abbey to stop Claymore from whatever he’s been planning.

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Uruk Kur - Realm of the Beast (pt 3)
Newautumn Week 2-3 (Days 6-9)

The campaign at Uruk Kur finally came to an end, but not without excitement. Zilmar, equipped with Aoife’s Armor of Disguise, and a magically Orcish Gredamir decide to infiltrate Uruk Kur and rescue Ryan Virov. The rescue goes off without a hitch, as Z & G break Ryan out and send him down the river to safety. The plan almost goes off the rails as Z inadvertantly joins the battle between clan Ulgar and Kuluth over Ulgar’s missing champion. Gredamir sees the clan symbol appearing on Z’s armor and warns him to remain anonymous.

The party had asked Mylo of the Kalyzti to convey a message to Pirate Lara and reatain her services—this proves to be a wise move, as the party, rangers, and pirates sail right in to the Orcish Marina and beat down a reinforced locale. With the stronghold established, the group made its way up the hill to the giant scaled manor on the hill for an overnight assault.

Corgan Kutnar, one time nemesis of the group, is caught with his pants down, so to speak, and only has time to release a crashing wall of ice on the party before he is slain. A giant of the far north also falls quickly under sword and axe.

In the basement, a fourth crystal is discovered and destroyed. The archmage Titus magically travels away, and a surprising prisoner is rescued—Eric Kuromane, mayor of Cairnspeak. Boru claims the lost hammer of the Order of the Sun.

Who has been impersonating the mayor? Where is the last black crystal?

The horns sound, and the hordes of Uruk Kur march south…

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Uruk Kur - Realm of the Beast (pt 2)
Newautumn Week 2 (Days 4-5)

Important info gained: a seventh ranger and a Kalyzti woman have joined the rangers at the designated meeting spot. She is of the bloodline of Alyona and is involved with Victor’s nephew Ryan although the patron will not sanction their union based on their differing clans. She has been using her magic to spy on the city.

A charmed half-ogre mage mentioned that a wizard named Titus is occupying the manor on the hill. He isn’t the direct leader of the city, but has been meeting with the clan leaders in Uruk Kur. There is evidence that the clans within Uruk Kur are often fighting on another.

Durk the Orog fought valiantly by the party’s side until a Mirrous (Steely Dan) Ogre split his skull in two.

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Uruk Kur - Realm of the Beast (pt 1)
Newautumn Week 2 (Days 1-3)

Important info gained: the Lighthouse Abbey continues to upgrade and gather reinforcements. A distracted Claymore trades a map of Uruk Kur with the request of Yvan Kuromane’s lost journal in exchange. Astor, shaken and pale since being strangled by Estrid, goes into a convulsive trance and recites this augury in the voice of another girl: “The blood of the founder shall be the blood of the finisher. A new sun will rise from the deep black earth after many souls drench the soil of both shores.” She collapses, wrecked, an is unable to travel.

After the party aids a wolf against a group of evil wargs, they are led to a group of Kalyzti rangers. Victor’s nephew has been captured by orcs and is being held in the city. They note that a gray robed wizard on a flying steed has been coming and going from a manor in the north.

Kuromane’s lost journal tells of his family’s history with a joining ritual, in which they contacted a being from a “shadow realm” and offered human sacrifices in exchange to be bound with the lost shadow from the other world. Doing so would grant them enhanced powers and abilities but also inevitably drive them to madness. His notes indicate their plans to retreat to Cairnspeak and execute the ritual.

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Rolling Royal and the Rogue Elf of Blackhill
Newautumn Week 1

Important info gained: a third dark crystal has been found aboard the Wave’s Grace outside Blackhill. Zilmar’s uncle Zayman, a long time rogue of the sea, has been bankrolled by “Kuromane and his pet mage Titus” to capture and sacrifice seafarers to the dark crystal. His hopes of acquiring enough plunder to pay off his debts at Fesker’s and other old town haunts was dashed by the party, who smashed him into a pulp.

After sinking the galleon and returning to Cairnspeak about Pirate Lara’s Rolling Royal, the party received Kalyzti weapons from a grateful Victor Virov—not before a freshly undead Estrid returned to exact revenge on her twin. Estrid was killed and burned.

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Autumnfest!
Latesummer Week 4
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Corgan Kutnar's unfinished Coppervein Keep
Latesummer Week 3

Important info gained: Claymore has identified a source material for the crystals called Thrydium. It used to be mined in a since abandoned location not far from Willowdale.

Gredamir also met with the wife of Pyotr Glass, a famed mage trying to establish a magical gate linking Cairnspeak with the distant city of Galia. He had recently been discovered dead and declared a case of suicide, though those around him have their doubts.

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