The Path of Penance

Meeting Zephros
A Curveball

The players finally act on their suspicions and confront the Sorcerer Lord of Sweetwater Bay. Drake’s plan is to present himself as an agent from the mainland. His research has given him the cover of “Hound of the Inquisition.” He discovered it within the research provided by Caspar the Herbalist. His intention is to quietly get Zephros to surrender the Plague Staff. This will spare Sweetwater Bay the same fate as Riverwalk.

The only problem is that Zephros denies any awareness of the Plague Staff. In fact, he is emotionally distraught as he is told his people are under a magical attack from a drow weapon. He states that he believes in a time when the Empire stood for protecting its people.

The rest of the night, the party argues about what this means and what to do next. They begin asking themselves some good questions.

Also, early in the night, Aminta, Ko, and Quincey’s raid on the Stairwell Shop, a front for the Midnighters, gets interrupted by a group of familiar rats. The 1000 Eyes members that extorted the party as they entered the city arrived to sell that information. The party killed the 1000 Eyes and then staged the scene as if the Midnighters and the 1000 Eyes killed each other.

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Figuring it All Out
Filthy Snakes
Figuring It All Out

The next day, Drake is invited by Sorcerer Zephros to have nice long chat. There he reveals that he has always known that Drake is not from the Empire. All Masks created for Imperial Sorcerers are magical and are arcanely marked by their creator. Drake casts detect magic and can see the glowing symbol on Zephros’ Mask. Zephros admits that he admires Drake’s daring. He reveals a bit of his own backstory. He was taken from his native Tribe here on the islands and sent to be indoctrinated by the Empire. He cunningly resisted the brainwashing and eventually gained a modicum of freedom as lord of Sweetwater Bay. Drake then asked Zephros if he could teach the ways of the Empire to better enact his disguise. Zephros questioned Drake’s motives for wanting to pretend, and suggesting that he not seek to be something he is not.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party meets Uichi Mercury of the Mercury Transport company. He says that he runs the only healthy group of rickshaws in town and is looking to corner the market by getting an Imperial Seal from Sorcerer Zephros. Ko finds this a little shady, since the Coward’s Tears plague is affecting the entire town. Uichi explains that he has a lucky totem that all of his drivers touch at the beginning of his shift and that none have been stricken by the plague. More curious, Ko asks how he came upon this totem. Uichi says that he went to the Seer when his business was failing. The Seer gave him a totem that would bring him luck.

Ko evades making a date with Uichi and fills in the others of his story. Quincey suggests to check out the Mercury Transport company in the warehouse district. When he pays for the party’s drinks, Aminta notices a snake scale fall from his pouch. The scale reminds them of the same scale found at the Guardian Tower of Emerald. Being tight on his purse strings, Quincey remembers the Seer reaching in his pouch to retrieve his payment.

The party goes to the rickshaw company, defeats some hobgoblins, and searches it. There they find the totem, which is the Plague Staff. They continue to search and find the Plague Stone hidden in one of the rickshaw’s storage compartment.

The evidence points to the Seer and the party goes to confront him, without Drake. They walk through a dense smoke fog and begin to fight the Seer, who shows his true form as a large snake-headed Rakshasha. The party fights and narrowly wins the battle. Though bloodied, Aminta admits that she felt the battle was too easy. Indeed it was, as a smoke fog rises and clears. The party is still in the Seer’s home. The snake-headed Seer stands before them. He congratulates them on their deduction, but says that he sees they are no real threat to him. He disappears, promising to see them again soon.

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The Hobgoblins, the Rakshasha, and the Phoenix
  • The party gives chase to the Seer, now known to be a serpent headed Rakshasha.
  • The party defeats a Bullet, Ko remembers that the landshark’s stomach juice is one of the best acids in the world and collects some.
  • The party come across and defeat members of the Baggers Guild, slavers, and free their captives
  • The captives lead the party to the small farming village of Sakura Rock
  • Sakura Rock has been taken over by the Empire. Slaves till the land, farming recreational drugs for export.
  • As the party attempts to wrest control of the town from the Empire, a division of hobgoblins from the Broken Glass Tribe attacks. The party receives help from a warrior named Davin Stonebrier
  • Davin tells of his quest for the Soulforge, an ancient Imperial tool that can reshape a person’s soul. He explains how his Sorcerer brother, Damon, was taken by the Empire and brainwashed to serve them. He quests to regain his brother’s soul and tells of stories of an ancient sage in the area.
  • The party arrive at Riven, an old Dwarven fort. There they defeat Ice Salamanders and find 4 more shards (one for each element)
  • The party also finds an imprisoned Phoenix who thanks them for efforts with both treasure and information
    *The Phoenix informs that the shards are made of Planar Jade, material made from compressed energy from the elemental moons. The Empire once used the material to make precious items, masks, weapons, armors, and jewelry
    *The Phoenix tells Davin of the Soulforge, powered by an Eclipse Stone, an item made by joining positive and negative planar jade. He said that there was once one on the island i the Guardian Watchtower of the Wheel, which once stood on the coast, but was destroyed during the Thunder Wars
  • The Phoenix tells the party of the weakness of the Rakshasha, a weapon that was both piercing and good
  • The Phoenix tells of the tunnel that the Dwarves built to raid the Broken Glass Tribe during the Goblin Wars
  • The Phoenix uses its powers to further enchant the Victory Cup, making it stronger. It also gives the party its tears, which could bless a weapon for a period of time
  • Traveling through the Dwarf tunnel, the party raid the Broken Glass Tribe
  • The party demoralizes the hobgoblin army by beheading their war chief, Drogon
  • The party wreaks havoc with the hobgoblin forges with the use of “Goblin balls,” a grenade-like magic item which teleports crazed goblins on impact
  • The Seer, a Rakshasha is confronted and defeated
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My, What Big Eyes You Have
A test quest from a strange young boy
  • All time stops and a small boy named Kiniro comes into the party’s midst and sends Ko and Drake on a mission to the town of Deepwood, instantly teleporting them there. He states that he is curious to see how they will handle the situation.
  • The first thing the two see is a man hanging from a tree, executed for being a werewolf and the murder of the town’s cleric, Istah Ha’Lorhana
  • Ko and Drake learn a bit about werewolves and learn that about half the town may be ones
  • The two look past the fact and discover that Mura Jiro, a con artist with a magic item that polymorphs, is the true guilty party
  • Ko and Drake are brought back to the Broken Glass Tribes caves, Kiniro congratulates them on their wisdom, are restarts time. As he does so, he suggests that they head up the mountain
  • The two are left to explain the odd side quest to a befuddled Aminta and Quincey
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Expedition to Nexus
I believe I can fly
  • The party travels to the top of the mountain, ahead of the fire of the burning forges.
  • Aminta goes off with Davin Stonebrier to aid in his quest to save his brother
  • At the top, the party is rescued by the Jewel of Heaven, a flying balloon ship.
  • The Jewel of Heaven’s crew is the Wayfarers of Bywood an adventurous guild. They are:
    Captain Marlia Brace, a halfling ranger with silver hair and hazel eyes
    Hamfo, Cpt. Brace’s flying squirrel and guild mascot
    Maycar Brace, a halfling rogue and Marlia’s brother, who is both foolish and determined
    Il Galadin, an elf fighter, specializing in the bow
    Ahjal Ha’Rega: a quiet dwarf cleric and general crafty female
    “Mouse” Caleb Crimson: a surly young fighter with bright red hair
    Iki Nobu: member of the Order of the Salmon and a sickly wizard
  • The party learns of the disgraced Crimson Guild from the bitter Mouse
  • The Wayfarers tell of their quest to find the Oubliette, an ancient prison created by the Empire. Nobu seeks to find a Periapt of Health worn by Sorcerer Darkstar to heal his own sickness
  • The two parties talk about how to break into the Oubliette and its seemingly impenetrable magical defenses
  • As the Wayfarers and the party arrive at Nobu’s base camp they find a scene of murder, no one is in the camp, but there is evidence of violence.
  • Drake and the party test the defenses and are thwarted by them
  • Ko asks Ahjal about manually flying to the Oubliette. Ahjal shows Ko some sketches but says that she can not find material strong enough to use
  • Defeated by the defenses, the party turns in for the night and hear a strange rush of wings and queer chanting in the distance
  • They investigate the sounds the next day and come across the Cult of the Ebon Wing, a sect of cannibalistic Soulless who worship the Daimons and have summoned a Nabasu, a flying demon
  • The party defeat the demon and the cult
  • Inspiration strikes Ko and she harvests the demon’s wings for Ahjal’s flying suit
  • Ko throws caution and herself to the winds and flies into the Oubliette, shutting down its defenses
  • The two parties explore the Oubliette and discover that it is another fortress called Nexus.
  • They navigate the shifting hallways of Nexus
  • Ko and Quincey discover the nature of the golden ring that they found in the Guardian Tower of Elemental Air on the Forbidden Isle. They are teleportation portals
  • Ko and Quincey discover the secret code to shut down the inner defenses of Nexus and gain control of the clay golem, Void, who maintains the structure
  • The Empire somehow discovers Nexus and sends a blue dragon to gain control of the fortress. It is forced to destroy Nexus after the party enable the defenses
  • The two parties escape Nexus’ destruction with the help of Void, who gates them to the Guardian Tower of Emerald at Quincey’s request
  • The party gains a gold disc, an access key to a new Nexus, when they wish to anchor it
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Against the Empire
A kung-fu hustle
  • The party’s return to the Guardian Tower of Emerald is not a happy one. The Empire has re-taken control of the tower. It is now in the hands of Sorcerer Crystal
  • The party defeat the Sorcerer and free the enslaved captives, many who were falsely accused to be Soulless
  • Among the captives is a monk named Tatsuya, who fights in the same style as Quincey.
  • Tatsuya says that he quests for Crummock, Quincey’s master, because the Temple of the Winds was raided and the temple’s master was taken prisoner.
  • The party track down and face members of the Order of the Voice, an Imperial order of monks. They defeat the monks of the Voice, while a high ranking Voice observes the fight.
  • The high ranking monk leaves his students to their demise, thanking the party for the lesson
  • Quincey learns some of the history of the Order of the Winds from the immortal master Grey. They were once guardians of the Sorcerers of the island until the betrayer and his hordes of monsters killed all the sorcerers of the island
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Releasing the curse of the Moonlit Glade
Looking for Direction
  • The Mask of Crystal uses her influence in Sweetwater Bay. The Mask of Zephros sends out the city’s guilds to bring the party to heel. The Frost Eagles, the Copper Seven, Fire Kiss and the Ministers track down the party. In a massive fight the party wins with the aid of the Frost Eagles who had been secretly ordered to aid them. The other guild members are slain.
  • The party looking to avoid trouble heads to the wilderness. They encounter another guild, the Forest Eagles, who had been captured by a party of goblins and hobgoblins. The group are recognized by the goblinoids, calling them the Stormbringers and Glass Breakers (this references the lighting storm used to kill the goblins in the Tower of Elemental Air and the burning of the mountain lair of the Broken Glass hobgoblin tribe) With their reputation of mass slaughter, the goblins let the Forest Eagles go.
  • The Forest Eagles lead the party to the small town of Cloud Falls (named so due to a mysterious fog that rolls through the town from time to time). The town is overpopulated with refugees from the Empire’s tyranny.
  • The party meets Saya, a master weaponsmith, and heroic member of the Iron Maidens Guild. She forges weapons for Ko
  • Cristoph Crimson, the cleric the party met in Riverwalk, is also in the small town.
  • The party meets Lysandra, the town leader. They gain her confidence when she sees the white arrow of her son Jin (the party saved him and his bride Sunnae from the Forbidden Isle)
  • The party find a clue to help them find the Temple of Elemental Earth. Lysandra’s father crafted a compass that could direct the party to their destination
  • In the Glade, the party finds simulacrum of plant monsters, both elven and goblinoid in shape, trapped in a never ending battle. The town is trapped in a curse crafted during the Goblin Wars by the town’s Druid, Tora and his pupil Ushio.
    *The party ends the curse by defeating the plant version of the Bugbear general Mortam, who once led the tribe of Mountain Ragers against the town.
  • The party finds more colored shards in Mortam’s elf-bone club. They also find the compass and begin to follow it east.
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The Elemental Tower of Earth
but, it's a dragon!
  • The party follows the compass east. They run into a party of dwarven warriors looking to reclaim the infamous Ironhand Hold
  • The party finds shelter with a hermit, soulless marked Cranton, who screams in his nightmares about destruction coming
  • The party is led to a calm black lake. Quincy dives down and finds a structure underneath the water.
  • The tower is infested with black painted kobolds. The party defeats them and find Stryax, the old and wounded dragon that was the kobolds’ master.
  • Cautious about the power of dragons, the party negotiates to keep the dragon fed in return for his passiveness, although they have no intention of doing so.
  • Searching the Tower, they party finds a drafting room with ancient designs of the Elemental towers
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Sailing to Southland
a big splash
  • The party sails south with hopes of finding another Elemental Tower. They save a fisherman from some baby leviathans, who were after his store of kamenote, a local delicacy
  • The fishermen welcomes them to the Devilfish Coast and takes the party to Titan’s Relent (a small fishing village named so because of the large number of giant-sized weapons in the bay and nearby rocks.
  • In Titan’s Relent, they learn that the Empire has kidnapped people (attractive people) including the fisherman’s daughter. The party vows to save her and the other victims.
  • The party sail south to the fishing village of Red Wreck (named due to the mayor’s house being a dry docked Giant’s ship painted red). The Empire has been here too, taking the town’s prized treasure, the golden armor of the Giant Chieftan, Tsunami, the Tidal Queen.
  • After a fight with some merrow, the party encounter pirates of the Iron Raiders, who offer a deal. They want the Empire’s treasure and will help the party save the victims in return.
  • The party travel ahead of the Empire’s ships to the tiny fishing village of Starfish Grove. There, the find Crystals of Return in Yosan Mine’s (an Order of the Salmon member) small museum. The stones allow teleportation for a group of people.
  • When the Empire’s ships arrive, the party finds that the Mask of Gems is there on a journey to the Cave of Southern Ice.
  • The party makes a plan. The pirates will cause a distraction and the party will use stolen kamenote to summon Leviathans.
  • The party meets the Mask of Gems and his dragon Azulix. The leviathans interrupt their meeting
  • The party continues south. They come across the Cave of Southern Ice and notice that one of the shards of ice is broken. It looks as if it may have held something at its core
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Southland and the 14 Steps to Shagri'La
It's Gem's Day!
  • The party arrives to Southland in the midst of a festival. Everyone is celebrating Gem’s Day, party members are given free beads and welcomed to join in the festivities.
  • The party finds that the beads are enchanted, dominating people to serve a serpentfolk, who is building a temple in the jungle.
  • Captured by the serpentfolk cleric, Orochimaru, the party barter their freedom with the promise of making a 14 course meal called the 14 Steps to Shangri’La
  • This tactic was suggested by Kiniro, the mysterious boy the party had met earlier. He suggests the party seek out Vihn Dangerously
  • The party go to gather the ingredients
  • Hassan: the party travel to the Razor Reef, fight Sahuagin and find a sunken ship with dimensional calculations
  • Towe-Wan: fungus is found in a Mangrove forest, they fight tigers and a medusa
  • Futa-mono: the party encounter the Tribe of the Turtle. They kill a giant snapping turtle and kill two druids along the river Niigata
  • Sakizuke: the membrane of a giant stag beetle is gathered under Mt. Seinaru. The party meets some dwarves from the Ironhand Hold. They tell the story of how the Hold fell to the goblins after the failure of the Crimson Band in the town of Silver Advent. The party also finds a path up the mountain. The path is marked in goblin speech, warning of the Beast with one Fang
  • Mizumono: While under Mt. Seinaru, the party collect some black pudding. They encounter driders and a drow party
  • Gohan: The party collect ancient grains from the abandoned farm of Cora Crimson and Talos Verin. The family’s house is long destroyed, 5 skeletons who suffered a violent death are found inside. Also inside are 2 important letters. the first is from a Connor Crimson, who claims to have discovered a way to shake the Empire to its core. The second is a letter from the Empire, summoning the Crimson Band to the town of Silver Advent.
  • Shiizakana: meat of a Catoblepas is taken in a deep, swampy jungle. While there, the party runs into strange folk who speak oddly, wear togas, and only carry their weapons. They ask about their lost sister, who wields a blade. The party doesn’t help them because they know nothing.
  • Yakimono: the party travels to the Narciso Brewery in the Honeywine Hills. They track some Aurumvorax to the Temple of Shariva, which is being converted to a Temple of the Everlasting Sun. There they find that another anti-Empire group, known as the Hood, have captured some of the beasts and set them loose on the camp. The party teams up with Athron, a cleric of the Everlasting Sun, to protect the innocent workers from the Hood and the ravenous beasts.
  • Makekuke: the party travel to Spider Island. They see a giant castle crashed into the side of a mountain. There are giants on the island, Anuhea, last princess of the Kingdom of the Storm, daughter or King Noelani, granddaughter of King Maku (who is the last owner of the castle). There is also Anuhea’s cousin, Holokai of House Saval with members of the Basalt Tribe of Stone Giants. The party decides not to get involved. they do steal a needed cabbage ingredient from Anuhea’s ship. They collect spider silk and quickly escape the island.
  • Su-Zakana: the party again travels to the north in the suburbs of Gem’s Harbor, to a mansion once owned by the Mask of Strings. After defeating some traps, the party finds the needed vinegar and also find an Eclipse Stone (a needed element for the Soulforge sought by Davin Stonebrier)
  • Naka-choko: the party travels to Heaven. They are guided by a spirit that reveals herself to be Drake’s murdered mother. Drake learns his background and heritage. The party gains fruit from the Tree of Life after fighting in fair combat with Ishael, an astral deva
  • Takiawase: The party travel to the First Realm of the Fairies. They travel go to a Fairy Market and obtain a candle, bell, shadow and string to lead them to the tenebrous worm that they need.
  • Vihn makes the meal and the party successfully poisons Orochimaru. The poison separates him from his bonded spirit. Without his magic, the party defeats him and saves Southland from their slavery.
  • Leader of the Dwarf community in Southland, Gurnaff Silverheart, pledges his loyalty to the party for their efforts.
  • Vihn makes the 14 Steps to Shangri’La for the party. Their souls are opened up to a Universal Truth, granting them knowledge and skills beyond their experience.
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