Seven adventurers found themselves arriving at The Lion’s Mane, a
medium sized inn and tavern on the southeast side of the Ashwood Forest in Varisia. Patrons of the inn included a guy with a goat, a fortune teller, three elves, a guy in a dark corner, some rowdy adventurers, and an opium dealer named Xandrof.
Some nobles bought drugs from Xandrof. Myers determined that the man’s goat was in some way an unnatural creature. Seth tried to flex on one of the adventurers. Someone (Ross?) felt a sense of tension in the room. Dean got his fortune told, with the fortune teller laying out four cards, indicating that someone would be committing a crime soon, that it would be a big crime, the card for ‘you’, and a fourth vaguely triforce looking card that triggered an unusual event.
The world seemed to slow and everyone in the party was essentially frozen. Most of the patrons in the bar were chanting together. A portal opened and an angel staggered through, seeming confused about where it was or why. Then a demon appeared and swung a massive axe at the angel, cleaving through the roof and wall of the inn in the process. Each of the chanting people left via magical means and Xandrof rode off on a horse with flaming hooves. The remaining inn staff and adventurers were unconscious and couldn’t be roused. Most of the animals outside including Seth’s horse were dead.
Everyone eventually started following Xandrof’s trail. Along the way they came across a camp of mercenaries. Some of these were killed and others were allowed to live as long as they went away from the nearby town of Rosedale, which Xandrof’s trail seemed to be leading towards. We camped for the night at their camp and then continued on to Rosedale in the morning, with Xandrof’s scorched trail disappearing not far from it.
The town was of about 750 people. It had no livery (no idea if that’s significant) and no elves or half elves in the town. The half elves in the party felt uncomfortable in the town but couldn’t be sure if it was the town itself or the nearby Ashwood that was the problem. The Ashwood was said to be haunted and the town was known for a number of paranormal happenings.
Lead #1: The group met a magic item dealer with a wagon, whose name was Moopsie Pookiesmootch. He made some kind of side deal with Seth to fetch some ground up bones from a local graveyard for a high paying client in the next day. We thought that Xandrof might have been the high paying client.
Lead #2: We met a group of trappers. They offended Myers’ nature loving sensibilities. They mentioned they had spotted a tower out by where they did their trapping that didn’t used to be there.
We decided to do the graveyard thing first since there was more time urgency on that. Although it was sunny and clear all around, the graveyard was heavily overcast and pitch dark inside. The first thing encountered was a huge fast zombie which seemed to beat Seth to death with its hands before being brought down. For unknown reasons Seth woke up sometime later. More undead were fought throughout the graveyard.
We met a ghost named Sul’rayu who claimed to be 5,000 years old. He indicated that he had another recent visitor, which we took to be Xandrof from his description. Xandrof had asked him about a test which he failed, which he took with several people and one succeeded at it.
Sul’rayu said that his group went through many mazes, witnessed many horrors, and witnessed a creature older than the world itself. One of the group, Norgorber, fled beyond the beast. Sul’rayu escaped through a ley portal. Their other companions were killed. Because we knew that Norgorber is now a god and became one through the test of the Starstone, we reasoned that this was the test that Sul’rayu had been taking and that Xandrof was preparing to take the test and become a god.
Sul’rayu said that he had given Xandrof the last of his worldly possessions, an elerium glaive, called Ug’sothu the glaive of the paragon. He found it during the test. It was created by the civilization before theirs. Non-elerium weapons weren’t useful in the maze.
Sul’rayu indicated that ransportation magic fails in the test, but ley portals still exist and work. He said that in his time the working of ley line magic was considered simple but that he no longer remembered how to do it.
He also said that he could be laid to rest if the party were willing to take his remains at least 100 miles from the graveyard and bury them, and that he would like this to happen, but he wouldn’t allow the taking of his remains unless the party would submit to a geas that would start messing them up if a week later he wasn’t buried. He presents a double edged sword: if we lay him to rest we can’t ask him any more questions, but if we don’t, so can anyone else, including Xandrof if later information he comes up gives him new questions for the ghost. The group decided to not take the remains for now.
After delivering the ground up bones the group headed to the tower mentioned by the trappers. A few humans ran out as we arrived, a few taking up defensive positions in front of the tower and two others circling around the tower. We figured they were checking the perimeter or taking up some kind of defensive positions but it turned out they were running away.
Inside, other people were trying to get out, some trying to climb out from windows and such. We assumed they were running away from something but it turned out they had looted the tower and were clearing out with what they grabbed. We killed a few of them but mostly let them get away.
We fought a man in black spiked armor who had what seemed to be the elerium glaive and killed him. We also found some treasure on the top floor of the tower.
We did get a little bit of information from stuff carried by the couple guys we stopped from getting away:
*Old book on planar travel: Powerful dimensional folding can cause potent primordial power fluxes.
*Historical document from town news: Small village of Rosedale buried under earth during a massive arch-mage battle. New city to be built on hill. No excavation planned.
*Book on magic and the multiverse: Dimensional folding: The act of of multiple planes, times, ley lines, and multiverses intersecting at a single point, plane, and time.