The Valley of Oosular

Chapter 22: Into the Blightlands

After the party searched the Cathedral on the Plane of Corn, they found in its basement an obscene alchemy lab manned by an insane goblin alchemist. They manage to slumber him before he could attack, and free what captives where there and still alive. Castigere decided to stay behind and explore the lab, while a kobold sorcerer captive and his henchmen decided to tag along with the party. The group then takes the portal in Landros’s office back to the town of Boulorn.

There in the town they meet up with old friends, the dwarf Trov Ironroot, and his close friend the old halfling madam Olvandra. The latter has used divination to find out what happened to Landros, so knew when the party was back in Boulorn that they had been successful. She took and introduced them to an acquaintance of hers, a paladian of the Order of Allos. He recruited the party into helping find out what is causing the invasion of the orcs, or more importantly, the source of the orcs determination and discipline in the siege of Tandor. One of the places that needed exploring was the Blightlands, for undead attacks were on the rise after the orc invasion, and the Order wanted to know why. So being that the Blightlands were near, the party journeyed there.

Following a trial from the town, the party encountered a pair of Bodak in a cave (the latter having dragged peasants from the town to the cave to watch them rise into more Bodak. The party defeated the undead (with the loss of two of the kobold’s henchmen), and burned the bodies to prevent them from rising. They then hunkered down and prepared to defend themselves against the horrors of a night in the Blightlands.

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Chapter 21: Back to the Plane of Corn

With the aid of a ring given to them by Roush the undead monk (who wished to help the party to slay his master Korvar Landros), the party plane-shifted to Asoyo, the demiplane of corn. Their they found themselves not surprisingly in a field of corn, with an overcast sky and hot sticky air. Their arrival did not go unnoticed however, as they were spotting by undead ravens and soon found themselves beset by a demonic three-legged monstrosity near the steps of a burned out chapel they had fought at months before last time they were in this plane.

After slaying the beast and the ravens they used flight to spot a cathedral to their southeast. Using a locate person scroll they found that their target, the dark priest Kovar Landros, was in a certain section of the Cathedral near a large stain-glass window. Enlarging the hobgoblin Hobbs they smashed though the window taking Landros by surprise, and eventually slaying him along with an undead minion and a flesh golem.

Now the party searches though is office in the cathedral finding several very old and well-preserved books written in either Old-Nokoyan or Durlog, and Landros’s own journal along with a locket and a key, some scrolls, and a cash of coins.

With the dark priest Korvar Landros slain, the party must decide what they will do next…

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chapter20
The story thusfar

There has been a long dearth of logging, so I will try to summarize what the party has gone though in the last several months of real-time…

Ever since finding the Orb of Zeffon in a young black dragon’s layer in some swampy ruins, they have been using it to search for the pieces to the Staff of Mataru, before the evil Kovar Landros, a follower of the Cult of the Abyss, can locate and use them for an unknown ritual he is planning. Assisted by Madam Olavandra (an old halfling witch living in Boulorn) on how to use the orb, the party has journeyed though blighted lands, though a cavernous city beneath Tandor, and to the badlands beyond the Great Wall. Along the way they lost Ting in the Swamps where the dragon lived, and had a gnome priestess named Pip join them in the plains near Tandor. They have fought orcs, undead, a green dragon, and stranger, unknown creatures, as well as talked to a lich and hid from a huge red dragon. All the while being followed by an undead monk named Roush, a tenacious minion of Kovar Landros.

Before finding the last piece of the staff, the party learned from an Archon, that it must be united soon, or a powerful demon imprisoned within will escape and cause untold suffering. To keep the demon locked within the staff the wielder must be a good person, and not use the staff’s power to harm or control, but instead to heal. Only though good acts can the demon remain imprisoned.

Not long after, Pip, while on watch, was approached by the undead monk Roush, who confided to her that Landros’s ritual would to grant the evil priest immortality. To complete this ritual he will need to sacrifice the souls of innocents. The real reason Roush confided this however, was that he has no intention of being enslaved to Landros for eternity and wants the party to defeat his master before the ritual can be preformed. To assist, he will help them get to the mad priest, and not interfere with the fight (since to do so he would be forced to aid his master), but the party must agree to kill Landros.

In the last session before the break the party managed to unite the Staff of Motaru in the flames of a tiny demi-plane of elemental fire. Being good of heart, Pip has taken the staff to watch over it. Now the party stands in a cave where the portal to that plane was, somewhere in the mountain Northeast of Tok.

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Chapter Eight: The Demiplane of Corridors

The party decided to hike the entire way to the ruins and avoid towns along the way. Other than a brief encounter with an owlbear (who was later butchered for its “meat” by the party), the party makes it to near the ruins without incident.

They then encounter a small party of goblins on dog-like giant rodent mounts. Seeing only two members of the party, they attack and are quickly defeated, with only one surviving goblin. He (Wozick is his name) is tied up and forced to lead they party to the goblin chief. Once there they strike a deal (with the help of some of Tin’s footweave). The party will kill off a nearby group of ogres who terrorized the tribe, and the goblin chief will allow them to pass though his lands.

The party ends up fighting, and eventually defeating, the ogres, and immediately take off for the north of the ruins, where their map says is the tower they are looking for. They find a clearing, and deduce that the tower will appear that night based on the star chart they found with the map. Sure enough, that night it does. They proceed into the tower, and through the portal they find inside (taking with them Wozick, who Tin promised to “buy” from the chief with more footweave).

They appear in a labyrinth of sorts… what appears to be endless intersections, linked by a grid of 15’ by 15’ corridors stretching about 100’ between intersections. In there they find a flumph named Lilly, who is lost, having entered the labyrinth believing that the portal would take her to a swamp where she could harvest a plant needed to ward off a plague. Soon after they encounter a small party apparently lead by a kobold sorcerer. After Jesca reveals the nature of their quest, he decides that cast a spell at them…

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Chapter Seven: I got that Undead Feeling
Murder, mayhem, and the Blightlands.

A quick summary… party entered the blightlands, found a halfling trailing them (mayor’s lackey), tied him up and interrogated him, then Tin returned slit his throat while the party left him.

The party encountered a wraith haunting an old tower. She wanted the soul of Cas, so the party slew her and took the enchanted chain shirt from the corpse of her beloved.

Soon after they had a harrowing encounter with a pack of zombie wolves, and then found the map they were in the blightlands for, along with a carved piece of bone that appeared to be an astronomic time keeper, showing the positions of the stars and a planet at a certain point in time.

They headed for the ruins of an old city where the tower was indicated to be near from the map, and left the blightlands with all due haste (with a quick scuffle with a zombie ogre).

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Chapter Six: The Mayor of Boulorn

Following the evil priest back to town, the party described him to the town guard, only to find out that Kovar Landros was in fact the mayor of Boulorn, who left a message with the guard inviting the party to meet with him (dun dun DUN!). They met back in the inn and decided that it was not safe to stay there, and they sought out Norvik, who suggested that Trov might put the up for the night. Trov greeted them warmly offing them mead and weave and to put them up for the night. Feeling ill from his close encounter with the Abyss, Castigere slept soundly in Trov’s loft, while the rest of the party slipped out case the mayor’s place when Madam Olvandra came calling on Trov.

The next day they went to meet with the Madam Olvandra, who tell them that the mayor is actually a cultist trying to seek immortality though the Abyss. They then go meet with the mayor. In that meeting they learn that it was the mayor who joined minds briefly with Castigere, and had learned about the dungeon and their portal. It turns out he is looking for a book he believes the party may have acquired, and offers them 100gp each for it. The party return to Olvandra, who in the mean time used her divinations to discover one of the components Landros needs for his ritual. A portal to the demiplane it is on can be found in a lost tower, the map to which Olvandra knows is hidden in a shack in the Blightlands. The party then decides to leave town and head to Phannal, which borders the Blightlands, leaving a message with Castigere to join them at the Ruptured Duck, an inn that was recommended to them.

A day’s hike and brief encounter with a pyrolysik later, they find themselves in Phannal. Their first night in the town they get a job hunting undead, as it seems that Phannel has to lack of nighttime danger this close to the Blightlands.

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Chapter Five: Burning Down the House

After resting and healing from orc hunting and herbing, the party regrouped and decided to journey back into the dungeon located within the old abandoned (except for goblins) mine.

So the party set of and once reaching the mine were confronted with a goblin war-party. The goblin leader demanded a fee of 10gp to enter the mine. With some intimidation and help from Ikik, Tin talked them down and was able to enter the mine without paying. Before long the party was back where they left off deep in the dungeon. After a fight with a giant skeletonial snake where Castigere, in a move crazy even for him, tried to jump on to the snake who was at that point suspended above a very deep pit. He missed, and only remembering that he had Feather Fall memorized prevented there from being a large Cas-shaped stain at the bottom of the pit.

After passing though a room of absolute darkness and though a portal within what appeared to be a temple room (where they also nearly destroyed their magical golden balls trying to peer into the dark liquid upon the alter), the party found themselves in what they believed to be the abyss, which happened to look a lot like a field of corn. They soon found themselves running from demonic-abominations towards the only building in sight. Within the building, which could only be described as a demonic shrine, they encountered a priest and his undead-monk companion.

Introducing himself as an acolyte of the Abyss and keeper of the shrine of Olaguar he demanded to know who the partly was and why there were there. The party then attacked. In the ensuing fight, webbing cast by Jesca kept the dark priest from the party, and vice versa. The party focused on a difficult fight with the monk while the priest apparently slipped away. After slaying the monk and searching and burning down the shrine, the party slipped though another portal they found and wound up back in the dungeon.

Tin was able to pick up the priest’s trail, apparently he came back though the portal as well. They followed it out of the dungeon and to the entrance of the cave, and a half-dozen dead goblins. Ikik and a few other survivors mentioned the human who killed their companions. Again picking up the trail the party followed it to the main road, where before being obscured on the road, saw that it lead back in the direction of Boulorn…

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Chapter Four: Hunting Orcs
Bucket!!!

After a full day’s rest in town, Tin decided he was going to go foraging for shadeweave with his loyal dog, and spent two full days in the lands and woods surrounding Boulorn. Meanwhile, the reminder of the party was in the inn discussing they’re options of what to do next. It was brought up that there was still more of the dungeon left unexplored when their table was approached by a high ranking member of the town guard. Apparently the guard found more evidence of the orc attacks, and since it was operating on a skeleton crew, they could not spare the men to hunt down this threat. He offered them a deal. Hunt down the orcs, but do so discretely, the last thing the guard wanted was a panic on their hands. In return, for the next few days at least, he would give them 7 gold for each orc scalp brought in.

The party jumped on the lucrative deal, and set out early the next morning to where they last saw the orcs a few days ago. Through dumb luck Palmr was able to find the trail he believed belonged to the orcs and they were stomping though the woods following it when their prey ambushed them. The fight with the five orcs (one being a shaman) was brutal and Cas was badly injured and clinging to life when Jesca healed him. One orc had been rendered unconscious tied up for aggressive interrogations. Palmr did the interrogation, while Cas yelled the only orcish word he knew (bucket). In the end they were only able to get from him “we are legion” and “the wall is coming down”. Whether it was Boulorn’s town wall or the Great Wall they were unsure.

The next day they were hot on the trail and again Palmr, with a lot of luck, found a well-worn trail he believed the orcs might have used. They followed it for two hours before being ambushed by goblins first, then after a resulting fire put a huge plume of smoke into the air and chased off the remaining goblins, three orcs — including one rather bad-ass orc wielding a double headed axe, joined the battle. After dispatching the orcs and retrieving the leader’s Belt of Giant Strength, the party hurried home licking their wounds and wondering “could the goblins be in league with the orcs?”

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Chapter Three: Back to Town
We have books!

The party decided that after being in the dungeon all day it was time to head back to town for a much needed rest. Hauling back the nine salvageable books from the library and the dead body of the miner they were hired to retrieve, they returned to town. Once the body was returned (After the miner who hired them convinced the city guard that it was okay that these strangers were hauling around a dead body), the party was paid and the body taken to the temple to be prepared for ritual that would hopefully guide the spirit to Zannara safely. The Party then settled for the night, and upon waking gained new insight (Leveled UP!).

The next day was spent in town looking around and spending some coin. Jesca, while gaining insight into the Abyssal language, as well as with magical aid, found out that the book written in Abyssal was actually about subverting the soul ritual that guides souls to Zannara and instead diverts them to a demi-plane in the Abyss to be consumed by the ritualist to prolong his life and grant him powers. She also found the the four golden globes were able to reveal that the book has an evil aura… go figure.

Cas and Palmer were tired and decided to sleep in that day. While Tin finished up his day in the inn drinking and poking around for some odd jobs. Nothing fell into his lap but the reputation of the party did grow as there was some talk about strangers, orcs, and zombies.

Meanwhile, they wonder what is behind that large black door in the dungeon…

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Chapter Two: The Bizarre Labyrinth
Lets touch the magic golden globes!

The second session opened where the first left off with the characters attempting to control the golems. They found that with the amulets they could command the golems in durlog, however they could not leave the room the golems guarded with them. With some canny insight Castigere managed to guess the general layout of the level, and after all four elemental amulets were acquired, the party found themselves in the central area on a platform overlooking a pyramid in an underground pool.

A pedestal with a 5×5 grid on it with squares the same size as the amulets left the PC’s with another puzzle. Before they could decipher it out of the murky waters surrounding the pyramid came zombies. Starting with the animated corpse of the missing miner they seemed to keep coming until the PC’s were forced to retreat to one of the golem rooms to let the big guy handle them. With some thought they found a solution for the puzzle and rushing back to the platform they solved it and out of the water rose a walkway to the pyramid.

The top of the pyramid was a flattened area about 10×10 feet. Suspended in a beam of light was a human male in robes. Surrounding him on the 4 corners of the square were small golden globes. Cas found that removing one dimmed the light and woke the human from what was apparently a 900 year suspended animation. He revealed some information in Durlog warning about the rise of the cult of Voggoth, an old god of the valley, also known as the Sleeping God and the Lord of Madness. He urged the party to warn the king of the recent activities of the cult. He also revealed that he was a sacrifice, after which point Cas moved the last globe and freed him completely, triggering his transformation into a demon — but not before Cas was able to stab him with the silvered dagger the man used to try to stab himself with before dropping it out of pain.

The fight ensued and Tin was passed the dagger, which turned out to be the only really effective weapon against the creature. With a critical hit sneak attack, the monster was vanquished. After the demon was slayed the party proceeded to loot the dead man’s belongings and it was noticed that a passageway had opened up on the other side of the pyramid.

Leaving behind the body of the miner they were her to retireve, the party proceed down the steps deeper into the mountain found a room impressive black door that was locked and two smaller ones they were able to unlock and open. One lead to a circular room with a pit in the center, the other to a library. The party was soon to find that most of the books had long since fell to a fragile and unreadable state of mold, mildew, and general disrepair due to many centuries of abandonment within the dank and moist dungeon. They immediately set about trying to discover what books were still in a state of readability and what could be repaired with some simple magic.

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