Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Chronicles of the Seventh Moon, Session 7

Day 2, Solar Month, 757 years since the Fall of the Gods, early summer

After the ambush by the goblinoid horde, all healers and clerics were summoned by the Eye’s captain – Zana of Taranis – to treat the wounded. Among the troops, the Sentinels suffered the worst – more than half of its soldiers died (the Hammers of the Dawn were, in fact, responsible for saving the survivors). Both mercenary outfits – the Daughters of the Unicorn and the Erased Rune – suffered small, but considerable, losses. To make matters worse, the Road Marshal himself was gravely wounded, crushed by a rock thrown by the half-god Gór. The army command was given to the warbard Mellius. At the adventurer companies, the Circle of El’dar was reduced to two members, with its leader dead and its bard missing.

While the soldiers recovered, the horde outside literally vanished with nightfall. The fact that such huge numbers of goblinoids could come and go in a blink of an eye suggested that magic was involved (or secret underground passages).

The paladin Hilguen searched for the vanyr barbarians to present his condolences over death of Lysurg Chief-Father, their leader. Beltia thanked him, but said that her father fulfilled his Wyrd. She told the aasimar that Lysurg left frozen Vanidrad to find his fate with the “Red Man” (the luminar ogre faced by the party had red skin). Hilguen found the ash wizard’s tranquility unsettling and didn’t fully understood the ritual made over the barbarian’s body, but though better than bring up the subject.

The party’s elf, Heian, presented his condolences to the Circle of El’dar – only the elven archer Taerim and the druid Cadimus had survived. Touched by their grief (or just searching for fun), Heian charmed the guards of the Lower Gate, helping the druid to leave the Lighthouse and hunt for his missing friend. Heian also sent his familiar Valquir to scout the area.

Later at that same night the drakzya paladin Raniasha Midriara formally asked for a private audience with the Hammers. At the meeting it was revealed that she had left her native land of Khazantar hunting one of the Nekalsharazar’s Black Spawn*. It seemed that the creature had not only eluded Raniasha but also escaped to the mythic Tower of Impossibilities**. Raniasha searched for the one of the four Weirds – oracular elemental spirits of old – and was given the following riddle: “Search for the Inverted Pyramid within the Hammer of the Twin Suns”. She reached the Eye of the West a few hours before the goblinoid ambush and learned that an adventurer company called “Hammers of the Dawn” was coming. They deduced that the “Inverted Pyramid” (a symbol and title of Radenshan) must be the small aldarian artifact found by the Hammers.

After examining the metallic pyramid, the drakzya thought that it was in fact a moving planar nexus, capable of opening the gates to predetermined locations – probably old aldarian complexes, extradimensional vaults, hidden chambers, lost worlds and more dangerous places. Granted permission by the group, she activated the aldarian pyramid – giving beforehand instructions for Heian on how to shut down the gate. For mysterious reasons, she also urged the Hammer to never use the pyramid when Calazia, the Purple Moon, was full. Forbidding the party of following her, she opened a gate to the mythic extradimensional tower and disappeared. As a token of gratitude, she gave the group a drakzya amulet and the name of a contact among the half-dragons of Khazantar.

*Nekalsharazar is an elder dragon imprisoned below the far eastern nation of Khazantar. Elder dragons are a semi-divine age category and represent the dragon patriarchs of their each true dragon lineage. Only two so far have figured in the campaign’s history, the other being Gromunfang, buried below the Mountains of Eternal Fire by a human luminar hero some centuries ago.

**The Tower of Impossibilities is the abode of the Archmages – a mysterious sect of human spellcasters. The Tower is reputed to be a demiplane touching all the Seven Moons, and before that the ancient demesne of Radenshan, the dead god of magic.

The Eye of the West – the Lighthouse Keep of the Derenthi

The fortress called Eye of the West rests over a promontory overlooking the region directly west of the Mountains of Eternal Fire and controlling the only road capable of supporting a marching army. It was (before the War of the Dark Banners) the literal gate to West Aldar (including amazon-ruled Cimeris, the merchant-city of Kir, the Crimson Savannah, the fey courts of Onires and the far Heresiarchies of Elusia). The Eye was built with the help of Karnite dwarves. Directly above it, the Road of the Mountain reaches the Dancing Flames – a mountain pass surrounded by old obelisks that keep travelers safe from the heat, lava and salamander clans.

The Eye was fortified last time by the Marquis Arbav “Longbeard” Vaurus, an Old Noble who was graced with a dakh-kashak (a dwarven blood-weapon). The dwarves call the Eye “Arbavukan” (Arbav’s Hold). Unfortunately, the Vaurus family vanished after the Marquis’ grandson challenged one of Gromunfang’s Spawn, many years ago.

Built with dwarven techniques, the Eye literally pierces the crude stone of the Mountains of Eternal Fire. The Road, which starts at Baer’s Tower, reaches the Eye’s Lower Gate and then goes up, through a spiral cave system, until the High Gate. It’s whispered that the Vaurus knew a mechanism that would collapse the entire tunnel system in case the inner citadel was invaded. Inside the excavated caves, the dwarves installed an inner courtyard, with enough space for two wagons, eight horses and ten complete rooms – including pumped hot water system for bath and other necessities. The Eye’s dwarven foundations keep made it resistant against the recurrent earthquakes of the Mountains (called “The Wyrm’s agonies”).

The exterior courtyard at the Eye’s top is surrounded by high tick walls. There’s more space for wagons and mounts, barracks, a forge, a (hot) pool, a citadel and a small chapel dedicated to the Seven Flames Pantheon. Inside the inner citadel rests the mortal remains of Anatrion, the Serene, Devanthar’s Martyr, whose spirit is said to watch over the Lighthouse and to protect it against undeads and black necromancy.

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