Encroaching Shadows

The Setting

The Kingdom of Iora is renowed as a glorious bastion of civilization in a dangerous world. Although the nation is young, it has already proven itself a staunch defender of law when it created the new Western Council with its neighboring nations. Iora was formed 75 years ago from a combination of an elven kingdom, a human kingdom, and a gnomish theocracy.

You will be serving some role in the military of Iora, either as a soldier, an advisor, a mercenary, or anything else you wish. You can be of any rank you desire, just be aware of the ramifications of your responsibilities.

Characters

The Story So Far

Session 1

The heroes were summoned to a meeting with Admiral Anders in Tolwed, who tasked them with investigating the island of Haven near Freedom Point. There was an ancient crystal spire potentially created by the Founders uncovered on the island, but shortly after Saren, an agent of the queen, was sent to investigate all contact with the island was lost. The heroes boarded the galleon Valiant and traveled to the island, briefly fighting off some pirates on the way there. On arriving they found several Kytons on the island who attacked the heroes, but they were easily defeated, though one of the Kytons called out to his "lord" with a warning. The heroes found some survivors in a church, and brought them back to the Valiant, before continuing on to the crystal spire. There they found a Kyton who asked the heroes to join him and become Kytons themselves, but they refused and killed him and his allies. 40% experience gained, level 15.40.

Session 2

The heroes removed an explosive gem from the crystal spire, and after doing so the spire transmitted a memory from the Founders showing three cities with buildings made of crystal being attacked by giant squid like creatures and their many minions, as well as Founders fighting back against the monsters, and a vision of them watching over a destroyed city from a distance. The heroes identified one city as being from western Iora, and one being from northern Pyreaz, and were unsure of the third location. After receiving the memory they decided to clear the island of the remaining Kytons, so they went to the large metal tower with impaled bodies on it they had seen from the ship. There a Kyton woman activated some of the bodies as living husks, a type of construct after the people's souls had been sent to the Shadow Plane. They defeated the kytons and husks except one which escaped. They searched the ships of the navy who had arrived some time before them, and found a cabin boy who claimed to have seen many more kytons than what the heroes found, though they were unsure of the truthfulness of his statement. The heroes returned to the Valiant and captain Vethris aided them in tracking down and killing the Kyton that escaped earlier, and then they sailed back to the Ioran mainland. There Admiral Anders was curious about the Founders' memories they had received, and recommended they seek out a scholar who was in the Draconic Lands. 43% experience gained, level 15.83.

Session 3

The Valiant took the heroes to Gopier in the Eastern Sea, where they headed off to the Draconic Lands. Traveling overland using Verina's teleportation magic they made it to the Draconic Lands where a party of orcs chased them down. The orcs were easily dealt with, but their leader escaped and promised to tell his lord. They were then magically contacted and scryed upon by a green dragon named Miasmathus, who attempted to convince the heroes to meet with him or die, but they refused. The heroes continued on to the Founders' ruins, where they found the elven scholar Leona trapped in a magical barrier; Verina attempted to free her but became trapped as well. The heroes went below ground to activate some crystals to free their trapped companions, but alerted some kobolds in the process. 42% experience gained, level 16.25.

Session 4

The heroes negotiated a peace with the kobolds and their leader by creating for them a great feast. Their leader informed the heroes of how to free their friends, and so they did, but warned them not to use the other control crystals. In defiance of the kobold's warning, the heroes went back down and messed with the other crystals, which caused the underground city to begin to collapse, they teleported to the surface where they encountered the green dragon Miasmathus. The dragon attacked the heroes, but they blinded and debilitated him; as he tried to flee they finished him off. They then left the Draconic Lands with Leona and made it back to the Valiant. On the return journey Captain Vethris informed them of a servant girl named Taliana who had overheard a conversation between Saren and an Archmage that was potentially treasonous, then she went into hiding. The heroes headed to Natiney, and using some divination and detective work, tracked down where the girl was hiding, but before they could get to her the man she was with turned up dead and the girl disappeared. 52% experience gained, level 16.77.

Session 5

The heroes met up with a lizardfolk soldier who was investigating Taliana's disappearance, and together they determined she had been taken to the shadow plane, so they travelled there themselves. There they found an Eremite Kyton performing surgery on Taliana to convert her into a Kyton, along with two Apostles. They defeated the Eremite, but Marthanax was slain, and one of the Apostles escaped. The heroes returned to the material plane and after some healing and resurrection they returned to the Valiant. There captain Vethris informed them that a royal meeting had been arranged to hear Taliana's evidence against Saren. Not long after, while trying to rest, the heroes spotted the Apostle sneaking about on the ship. They determined a Kyton attack was imminent, and soon a group shifted over to the material plane. The Apostle tried repeatedly to take Taliana, but was thwarted and the Kytons were slain. 48% experience gained, level 17.25.

Session 6

The King and Queen of Iora had an audience with the heroes, where Taliana explained that Saren had been working with Zad, an enemy country, and had sent an archmage Benezia to the Founders' ruins in Pyreaz to find something called the Conduit. The Queen had Saren imprisoned pending a trial, and sent one of her knights with the heroes to investigate the ruins. Before leaving, they did some divinations and research and found that a powerful construct was guarding the ruins in Pyreaz. Seeking a way to bypass it, they met with Saren, but he revealed little information. They also searched his house, where they found a crystal urn with many spell glyphs on it. After some work to disable the glyphs, they opened the urn, finding a piece of a tentacle in there that quickly grew to huge size and attacked the heroes. After defeating it, they decided to head out to Pyreaz. 37% experience gained, level 17.62.

Session 7

The heroes used Shadow Walk to travel to northern Pyreaz with Leona; along the way they encountered some shady elves and halflings in the forests of Imlarien at night. After some questioning that led nowhere, the heroes attacked them, but they teleported away. The heroes then made it to northern Pyreaz where they found the location of the Founders' ruins of Hashushino. They spotted the Crystal Colossus they expected guarding the ruins, as well as an elf attempting to hide. They teleported on top of the elf, but this activated the Colossus and both parties were forced to flee. Then Leona and Skivven snuck in alone attempting to find a way into the underground ruins, and sent the rest of the party to distract the elf. Unfortunately the distraction worked too well and the elf tore into the heroes with a fury, nearly killing three of them before he was taken down. Leona and Skivven then opened the entrance to the tunnel leading underground, saw a diminutive construct down there, then joined the others as they all teleported below ground. 30% experienced gained, level 17.92.

Session 8

The heroes traveled through the underground tunnels of the Founder ruin, sticking to the main path they encountered several crystal constructs that attacked them. After defeating them, they heard some people speaking in Elven up ahead. Verina disguised herself as Velspeth, the elf they killed above ground, and almost fooled Benezia and the other elves. The heroes were losing the battle, but had killed all the elves except Benezia, when Leona revealed herself to be Benezia's daughter, and implored her to stop. Benezia then grabbed Leona and planeshifted away. 28% experience gained, level 18.20.