Dragonmarked Ascension War

And then there were 12!

Session 7 Summary

The group recovered in the islands, before deciding to go back to the Mournland for Quirina to heal. They dropped off Crowley’s daughter at Arcanix, shopped some, and then went to Thrane.

In Thrane they met with the Keeper of the Silver Flame and the Guardian Tarethiel. They met with the congress of cardinals for approval for a commissioned high-powered magic item. In exchange, Xiao Leng agreed to a geas of nonaggression against the church or state of Thrane.

At the Mournland to heal Quirina’s arm, they got Riandra to decrypt her database, revealing the top 12 threats to the Daelkyr incursion as perceived by the cults.

Leaving the Mournland, they ventured to Frostfell to meet with Adrian Descartes and Ivar Rocksword, where they had been building a mechanized military force to prepare for coming times, among which being a plan to invade and conquer Aundair in 4 months’ more production time.

Reaching Vodacci’s fleet, they mugged him of his airship, bound him, and dropped him off at Descartes’ factory base.

Now armed with the fastest known ship in Khorvaire crewed by loyal and unthinking, unflinching gear-men and enchanted against scrying and cloaked with invisibility, the Horizon allowed the group to begin collecting the rest of the heirs. Melisai in Talenta, and a brief stop to meet with the united tribal council. Then they found Mithras digging up his stolen gold.

When they went to pick up Prince Brask, he was just recently assassinated and his host monastery wiped out. Thankfully Melisai was able to resuscitate him. Alari was picked up, and Xiao Leng teleported onto the ship bleeding to death from a narrow miss from the same assassin shortly after the assailant took down Brask.

Swinging by Frostfell, they gathered up the remaining Heirs, left Crowley to guard the complex, and then headed to the Palace of Mourning.

The 12 voted, and the vote was to awaken Promethos, though they had not determined when to do so. At the end of the session, Azadaia the dragon had arrived.

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What big eyes you have!

The session began with the group arriving into Aundair’s border, being stopped and inspected by gryphon riders. Upon arrival to the towers of Arcanix, they see that they have been attacked, and one of the towers lay in ruins.

Upon speaking with Headmaster Elias, they find out that 1. He is dying of a terminal illness caused by an assassin’s blade that neared his heart before escaping, and 2. The vault (which contained the 3rd manuscript of Muktar) had been broken into despite an insane degree of magical protections and fail-safes.

Upon investigating the scene, they ask around Samson’s old fraternity, the Cockatrice Guild, where they find that one of the reject members was actually a daelkyr cultist. Using his items to scry him, they see a cultist of Belashrya execute him to tie up loose ends and then they teleport into the Talenta Plains cavern complex.

Upon arrival, they find bizarre Xoriat art reliefs and slaves in blissful stupors. Upon exploring the rest of the cavern network, they discover that there was an ambush laid for them: Two beholders and a powerful diviner each cloaked by greater invisibility spells began to violently pepper the group with powerful magical blasts, all over a 300 foot tall chasm interspersed with natural rock formations that provide sparse footing.

The fight was brutal. It was only the realization of Crowley’s aberrant marks which made Riandra, the Belashrya champion hold back from killing him. The beholders slammed Xiao Leng near to her death, saved only by the corpse of a giant cyclops that Quirina happened to destroy. In the end, what saved the day was that Crowley used spreadshot ammunition which negated the need for precision targeting, and Quirina relied upon her primal scent to sniff out the other beholder and cut it down before it disintegrated Samson.

The group captured Riandra as she escaped, interrogated her, and worked out a deal to keep her as a prisoner in the Palace of Mourning rather than execute her, despite strong objections from Crowley. At Arcanix, Crowley found a way to use the chaos of the attack to smuggle in his daughter under an assumed identity via a friend from an intelligence network. However, they have to move quickly before the window expires.

On the way to the palace, an acid rain storm veered the group off course into the Glowing Chasm, where they realized mage crystals and a giant construct lay dormant in the chasm, as well as dangerous magical radiation. At the palace they recovered lost limbs and other injuries, and set themselves to the task of dealing with a plan of breaking Yvette out of Dreadhold. Xiao mentioned that upon speaking with Kaius, he mentioned that aerial assault or purely magical infiltration was suicide, specifically because of a dragon gaurding the island.

They decided (with heavy reluctance from Samson and uncharacteristic haste from Crowley), to pay a visit to the royal court of King Kaius in Karrnath. They witnessed a considerabl force of undead mobilizing for the coast, in excess of 200,000 strong. Samson waited outside, and the group hobnobbed with Mikhail, the seneschal, while awaiting a meeting in between meetings with the king. Kaius agreed to meet in the walk from the war room to the parade ground, and in so doing caught up with Xiao, explained the reason of Aerenal’s harboring of the Emerald Claw fugitives as justification for the attack, using Breland’s aggression as a smokescreen to divert attention. Further, he explained what he knew of the prison, and suggested a way to get there quietly, which conveniently required that the group clear out a lost undersea research facility for him in order to reach it.

The group decided against the submarine mission, instead opting to make a deal with the dragon. Upon conversing, they discovered that the prison has one of the Cloud Dragon Fujin’s young trapped in the deepest layer of the prison. The deal was that if they could recover her child before the forces alerted her and requested assistance, then she would turn her might upon Dreadhold and provide the distraction they needed to break out not only Yvette, but the 7th known DragonMark.

The mission went as planned, with Samson leveraging battle magic to create feasible distraction to occupy the dragon, attuning the group to the harsh conditions of the deep ocean, and ripping a hole into the mountain to earn the group passage into the sewers of Dreadhold. From there, Quirina and Xiao silently ripped through the chain devils that guarded the floors, until they encountered the Executioner Devil. It was a gruesome fight as despite all their might, they realized that the creature siphoned the energies of the tower to sustain himself for far longer than it should have. The brutality ensued as in the fighting, Quirina was grabbed up and her arm was ripped off at the shoulder. Soon, Samson reinforced with thermal beam blasts, and the three of them laid into the Executioner Devil with all they had, finally ripping it apart into bloody chunks.

As they made their escape with the juvenile cloud dragon Mikado, it was all Fujin needed to start ripping the tower apart with hurricanes, tsunamis, and plasmic beam breath weapons. Unfortunately, she didn’t wait until the group was entirely clear, and while they rescued Yvette and Mithras, the 7th Dragonmark Heir, the weakened foundations (siphoned by the Executioner Devil), and the assault of the dragon, allowed a very powerful foe to escape. Molochus the Demon Wastes Pit Fiend general, empowered Samson to help finish off the tower, reducing it to shattered icy glass shards, and promised to return the favor for his release before making his way towards the Demon Wastes to ‘make some changes.’

Currently the group is catching its breath on a nearby island in the Lhazaar Principalities, recovering from the exhaustion and agony of that assault, plotting their next move. They learned from Mithras that the mechanical forces of the Cannith operative are located in Frostfell, and that he has fraudulently siphoned away a massive sum of gold from the banks of House Kundaruk.

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Bye bye Droaam

The session picks up after the party. On detailing that their next stop is Droaam, Crowley goes to attend to details at the auction house, while Samson goes to get himself some medical treatment. Quirina spies upon Crowley, learning of his ties to the Fier de Corb, the Aundairi intelligence organization.

En route to Droaam, Crowley is questioned on his involvement and made a counter-offer to retrieve his daughter and nullify the leverage the Aundairi crown holds over him. He agrees that if they can retrieve her safely, his loyalties will shift.

The fight with the daughters of Sora Kell took place in epic fashion. Xiao Leng flew in to help after her stint of murdering off the children of King Boranel to prevent a monarchist threat to republic rule. After wading through the unnatural storms, dealing with a corps of elite berserker trolls, and dealing with a twisted riddle to get to the audience hall of the hag sisters, the party had to ask a group of child prisoners to sacrifice their soul essences to open the way to take on the sisters, lest they stay free to cause even more atrocity.

The fight took place on a realm of nightmares, leaving everyone pretty beat up, with Xiao Leng short a pair of legs incinerated from Witchfire, and Samson barely having escaped a lobotomy. Upon their departure from the nightmare realm, the group was able to see how Brelish forces exploited their revenge motives to carpet bomb Droaam in a large reclamation effort to show solidarity and force in the face of doubts about their new regime.

With 2 weeks reconvening and healing, Xiao Leng got a new pair of legs and minimal physical therapy, and the group managed to undo the cursed trauma to their bodies. The next stop was the Bloodfang coliseum in Marut, where they fought for the championship of the kujata games, with the second manuscript as the prize.

By the end of the session, thr group was headed towards the towers of Arcanix to hunt down the third manuscript of Muktar.

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Close the door! Were you raised in Sharn?

The session starts with a trial before the Brelish parliament in Wroat in closed session. It was during the course of trial that Prescott shows himself as a prosecutor, revealing that he was working as an agent of the Crown, employing the changeling agent to find those guilty of conspiracy to overthrow the now murdered king. Long and short, the crew was essentially caught dead to rights. However, due to their inherent power, the true motives and corruption of parliament, and the deal struck by Xiao Leng to remove surviving heirs to consolidate parliament power, the decision of the Consul was actually to deputize rather than convict the party of any wrongdoing. While Prince Bortan was likely not acting alone, he was able to receive full blame for the assassination.

The next stop was to Sharn, where the group might have cause to spend their earnings and begin to prepare for the troubles ahead. The first stop through this imposing city of towers was the family estate of Samson Belford, where he got to see the dilapidated estate as a sign that his parents were murdered, and his irresponsible brother running the inheritance into the ground. A dramatic event at the airship casino the Wyldcard, and he let his brother be taken in by the syndicate boss LaFleur for punishment of his gambling debts, and the party negotiated a means of returning the property to Samson.

After some standard resupplying, the crew heard about the Crowley Auction House. They arrived in full pageantry to a display of exotic and expensive items for sale. Some socializing and bidding later, with some underhanded bidding tactics, the group made off with some valuable items, while watching others go to different hands. Quirina decided to stalk a Shadow Marches warlord to a local embassy, where she pretended to seduce him before murdering him horribly and looting his suites of all she could carry. Samson conducted some transmutation rituals to infuse spell powers into his form permanently. Alari stayed behind to socialize at the auction house.

Later that night, as Alari bonded with her eidolon, and Samson flew around the city to test his newfound power, a shadow demon attempted to assassinate Quirina in her sleep. It was the first foe she has ever had to face where feeling entirely powerless to stop it. The group held together, fleeing and fighting the shadowy beast, delaying until Samson could return. Upon finding Feundin’s body desiccated, Samson got the hint that something was up, flying to back up the group and help them finish the shadow demon. Quirina began to realize, that just because Bast removed the curse mechanism that transports her soul to hell upon death, that the fiends will still resort to taking it there themselves. Soon after his ritual, Samson was able to spot the pattern of magic as belonging to the Daughters of Sora Kell, igniting his wrath upon learning who was responsible for the death of his parents.

The party spent 2 weeks building resources in various ways: Doing favors with LaFleur to smooth over his business by murdering rivals, selling spellcasting and conjured labor services, establishing a magitech enterprise, and in an effort to develop social influence within the city of Sharn, a party was held to herald the Belford’s return to prominence. A party of grand trappings was planned.

When the party took place, it served its purpose to draw the nobility of the city into ever more passionate and depraved pursuits throughout the night. During this occasion, Alari bonded with the syndicate boss LaFleur, Samson rooted out aberrant-marked lurkers crashing his party, narrowly preventing a disaster as monstrous agents of Kyrzin the Plaguelord were dispatched just in time to prevent an outbreak. Quirina got closer to a Mr. Crowley, the auction house chairman, only to discover that he is the Heir of an Aberrant Dragonmark belonging to one of the 6 Lords of Madness. He has apparently learned to control the manifestation through a voodoo ritual performed by ‘The Trickster,’ a roaming, enigmatic figure in Shadow Marches folklore. They decided to take Crowley along under close scrutiny.

Using her dragonmark powers, Quirina learned that an item she had failed to bid on at the auction house had in fact been picked up by the Trickster himself, who was seen using the box to make gates in the shadow realm glow, and even to stir the great titan Promethos slumbering within the central crystal in the Palace of Mourning. It was then that the Trickster revealed his knowledge of her spying, and promised to deliver Pandora’s box to the group should they assemble all 12 members and meet in the Palace of Mourning once more. The final revelation of the session was when Crowley mentioned the sacrifice of an entire invading demon horde for his mark to manifest, that the group put it together: The Mournland occurred as the cost to manifest their collective powers and awakenings, the energies of an annihilated country pulsed to surge through them.

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King Me...Double Jump

The session starts with the party stopping for a drink after recovering the terrorist attack on the university. They come upon the Jester and Mace, a bounty hunter’s bar with suspicious facilities. There, they meet a troll mercenary named Feundin, who has proven his worth in a fight and his poor ability to negotiate a salary, thus becoming the party’s caravan guard for a pittance.

At the party of Count Wilks, the group first met Hassan the scholar, and learned of the 6 Manuscripts of Muktar, that provide insight for the last time mortals have had to do battle with the Daelkyr Lords, being given the manuscript detailing Orlassk. At this party as well, a plot was revealed as a changeling spy was posing as Jann Thronstahl, the trusted royal spymaster of King Boranel. The changeling was inquiring as to whether or not the party could be counted on in an upcoming Coup D`Etat against King Boranel in support of Prince Bortan. It was Jao Leng who brought down the spy after Samson Bedford discovered the plot.

After a night of partying, the group got back on the Lightning Rail and headed west towards Wroat en route to Sharn, to have an audience with King Boranel to plead their case. Upon arrival, the city of Wroat had turned into an industrial colossus, with an iron-clad castle and extra tower, a swarm of aerial ships and squadrons of ornithopters. Troop movements crawled like ants from a disturbed nest, and cannons bristled the landscape in a fearsome display.

After a lengthy trek through the halls viewing the frightening levels of internal security, they were scanned and disarmed once more before being allowed into the throne hall of the king. Spotting the Riedran Ambassadors from Sarlona, Samson shouted a warning to King Boranel, only to find that it was his own Royal Guard contingent which turned upon Boranel to slay him and his ministers. In the midst of the destruction, the group teleported out, without Jao Leng. Jao Leng was interrogated and gave up the group with the Argonessen Seal, all in the hopes of buying time to pilfer resources and recover the group’s abandoned gear.

Samson beat him to the punch, using dimensional magic to steal the gear, return it Alari and Quirina, and get ready to take on the Prince Bortan who had emerged in time to gloat over his father’s death before the group teleported out of the hall. The group gathered their wits, used their resources, tracked Bortan, the Riedran Ambassadors, and his contingent of Black Citadel Knights, teleported into the hallway to intercept, and slayed the Prince not 10 minutes after he ordered the same done to his father.

In this midst, they were barricaded in the halls by overwhelming forces, finally submitting to a Parliament Trial with evidence provided to High Magister Pearce. With the Group (Alari aside) led to the magically reinforced Parliament Hall, the session ends on a tense note.

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The Big Debut
Out of the Mists

The group gathered all that they cared to, and decided to emerge into Breland from Vathirond. They had 600 miles of the blasted Mournland to cross. From the deck of a conjured aerial vessel, they dealt with the menace of living spells, a living spell-storm ritual, and the forces of the Lord of Blades setting border defenses against future incursions from the neighboring lands. They also briefly happened upon what was discovered to be Xendrik drow riding sandworms to do battle against the forces of the Lord of Blades, and a black glass tower shaped into a lotus blossom.

Upon emerging from the Mists, they found the Fortress of Argonth mobilized at the border of the mists and the town of Vathirond. Ornithopters closed in for inspection, just as a wandering vagabond was investigating the ship, and a rival pair of news crews were arguing over who had rights to the footage. Former Colonel Samson pulled rank and got the group an escort(vagabond included) to the mobile fortress. There, they were approached by a Sphinx journalist known as Bast for an exclusive (by that she means talk to anyone except Sharn News Network and Prescott) interview about their ascendant natures in exchange for the location of the next Siberys heir and for help with Quirina’s curse. After meeting with and agreeing to interview with Bast, she promised to give them royalties and the removal of the curse as soon as the story was safely released. Bast is to deliver ongoing accounts of the team’s progress via updates from Quirina. When finally meeting with the Baron, Samson decided to trust him with their dragonmark awakening(despite party displeasure), only to then be told that King Boranel is seeking to bring down the 12. After some negotiation with his old friend, the Baron decided to plead for an audience and hearing on their behalf, which should commence in a couple weeks’ time in Wroat.

It was about this time that the group decided it best to get out of town, and the Lightning Rail proved to be an opportune way to cross vast distances. Along the way, Alari met a talented shipwright known as Fedor down on his luck, and promised to return for him when there was work to be done. Quirina and Samson blindsided a snotty attendant to get everyone first-class accommodations. A week of travel would bring them to Sharn. Only a day’s travel in, they stopped in the city of Starilaskur, to find that the Morgrave University branch had been targeted in a terrorist attack. Seeing the thousands of injured and hundreds dead, at the pleading of Andra, a beautiful House Jorasco Physician, the group decided to put anonymity to the wayside and do their best to help. And by best, they dragged the wounded into Lugo’s personal planar realm for swift recovery, while Samson figured that he’d warp physics to his liking for building reconstruction efforts. The Count Wilks of Starilaskur was so impressed and grateful, that he invited the group to dine with him that night at the castle. He promised considerable financial and political support for them without further strings attached, just as a matter of principle. Around the city of Starilaskur, the word of the Siberys 12 and their miracles are spreading.

All in all, about a week has gone by since the party awakened.

They have discovered the mysteries of their palace, bested the Lord of Blades, mastered the Mournland, set an appointment with the King of Breland, and restored Starilaskur from a brutal terrorist attack.

There are roughly 360 days left until the Plane of Xoriat becomes fully coterminous. 5 of the 12 Siberys Heirs have been found. A 6th’s location is near to known.

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Housewarming Party
There goes the neighborhood

The player characters each awakened in their own way within a crystal, to discover that this divine palace is carved into 12 mountains, each belonging to one of them, with a central tower that connects them together.

The characters met, and explained a little of their background. Upon meeting the sentient statues which serve the palace, they were informed that an army of warforged golem-men were waiting at the gates. They went out to meet this new force, discovering a wasteland beyond the wildest imaginations as they began to realize what became of the kingdom of Cyre.

They met a figure known as the Lord of Blades, a powerful warforged artificer who gathered armies of surviving warforged as well as churned out considerably more from a creation forge. Upon being delivered an ultimatum to abandon the palace from which they woke in exchange for their lives and safe passage out of the Mournland, the group decided that those terms were…Unfavorable. And thus began the first fight of the game: A battle with the God of Warforged.

It was just then that the true awakening power of their Siberys dragonmarks became known, and powers beyond their wildest comprehension came into play (in addition to each of these heroes being among the greatest of their time before this point). In a terrifying battle which involved a massive tornado wall of lava, explosive spheres, beams of thermal energy, telekinetic force, a blur of clashing, sparking attacks, and mystical martial arts which cracked into the metal of the iron golem which housed the Lord of Blades, after a bloody and furious battle, 2 of the 3 heroes were dying before the Archmage was able to turn his golem mecha into slag.

Over a battlefield of heat-seared glass and devastation with a 1000 warforged held back from the battle by flames, the two survivors gripped their powers, and decided as they flew across from one another, that they would call the day before death was decided for either of them. The army marched away, and the party crawled back to the Palace of Mourning to lick their wounds.

While the others regenerated their flayed and burned bodies in the crystal chambers, the Archmage explored and unraveled the means to controlling the functions of this powerfully enchanted castle complex. Various powerful magitech enhancements perform a number of deeds, including but not limited to:

-Crystal chambers which heal, regenerate, restore the recently dead, and cleanse of negative status effects.

-Shelves which repair effects and furnishings.

-Magically infused building materials of regenerating stone that prevent the flow of magic from passing between them.

-Short-range teleportation platforms.

-Force fields which protect the perimeter from assault.

-Enchanted food stores which create feasts from arcane residuum.

-Climate control and animated pieces of art.

-Short-range clairvoyance scopes.

-144 marble angel statues(re-flavored gargoyles) which double as servants and guardians for the palace.

-Illusory Projections throughout (display maps, observatories, light and sound theatrical effects)

-Fabrication Factories

-Aqueducts and control water effects which provide plumbing and sanitation

-Create Demiplane Effect, Imprisonment Effect within central crystal to power palace, trap 13th Dragonmark Heir, and to provide terraforming of terrain.

Upon reawakening, and reconvening, the group got acquainted, shared secrets about the palace and got their backgrounds compared to find answers. The year is 1002 YK, 8 years after the flash of light which through speaking with the Lord of Blades is apparently dubbed the Day of Mourning.

An additional character, a summoner, missed the battle and recently acquainted with the other 3 characters, with the secrets of the observatory where she discovered that many dangerous Outer Planes are becoming coterminous with Eberron, and that in 1 year, Xoriat, the plane of Madness, will be in full alignment for a period of 20 years.

The group decided that after recuperating, they will leave the Mournland to gather the other 8 Heirs, and to try and build their resources and figure out a way to stop or brace for the impact the Daelkyrs’ return would have.

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Rude Awakening
Prologue

There are crystal chambers which held each character in a wing of this massive palace with colored force screen windows, unique metals and stones, strangely concentric-ring based mobile architecture, and the radiant presence of magic infusing the structure down to art displays that move and whisper in tapestries and frieze columns. When the crystals that are the size of columns liquify enough to release your characters, they close back in upon themselves, and cease glowing when the characters step away from it. Each character is clad in the gear they had on the Day of Mourning, and find themselves unchanged, except for large, glowing tattoos etched upon their frames that allows interaction with the facilities of this strange palace.

Illusory holographs give data on the location of inhabitants and the detection of the terrain outside, but the language is strange and the script even more alien. Comforts and supplies can be found readily, and the halls of this palace are exquisitely beautiful and advanced. Such comforts end soon, however, upon stepping outside of the front doors. Large crystal spires glow as screens of force protect barrages from lightning storms, turbulent elementals, and the ravages of living spells or sieges from the Lord of Blades’ retinue.

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