Session 1Our story begins with Soren Sarkynyt, Valgest Berunster, and Darowin Colm serving in the Special Work Force under Corporal Akter Avforing, mainly as menial laborers. Due to his odd abilities, Soren was forced to wear stone gloves to keep him in check. One day, the three of them were given an assignment; they were told to go into a cave in the mountains to do two things: remove some shocker lizards from the cave, and investigate and clean up an odd stench coming from the cave. In order to make sure they didn’t mess anything up and actually did their jobs, a fourth member was added to the group as their superior, Verion.
The group ventured into the cave, and defeated the shocker lizards. They noticed that the cave was larger than expected, and that the stench was coming from further back into the cave, and so they ventured forth. They found a Small Green Dragon, who attacked the party, hungry and looking for food. However, its efforts were in vain as the party defeated it. The dragon was the source of the stench, as its acid combined with the stone to make an acrid smell.
They could have left the cave and been done with the mission, but they noticed the cave still extended further, and so rather than just leave, the party continued forth. They entered a room containing an altar with three stones on it, each with a different symbol engraved in it, and three hallways leading out. They first all tried to go down one hallway, and almost drowned in the rush of floodwater that occurred, except Darowin, who managed to ride the wave back successfully. They then tried to separate, with one person going down each hallway with one of the stones, and Soren staying behind to coordinate them by yelling. Things didn’t go quite that easily though, as other traps sprung on the party, from an odd sleep gas to an animated suit of armor. With some difficulties the party managed to get by all the traps and put the stones in their respective places at the end of the hallways, and the path opened up in front of them.
They entered a room that appeared to be carved from stone, but was carved in such a way that Valgest, even with his dwarven stonecunning, could not identify the carver. The room was carved with many images of turtles on the walls, and had a small flow of oddly glowing water running through the middle of the room. The party drank of the water, and found themselves healed, only for some of the water to animate itself into elemental form. After a battle in which some seemingly impossible things happened, such as one water elemental being set on fire, eventually they were defeated, and the group ventured forward once more.
They entered a passage with an odd feature: the walls were lit by blue torches that were cold, rather than hot. The room had one other odd feature: there was a lava pit on the other side, with the exit on the other side of the pit. The party found that when they stepped on the stones floating in the lava, other pillars raised. Through cunning, problem solving, and a few awesome maneuvers, the party managed to get across the lava pit, although Soren and Darowin almost died in the process.
They entered into a room similar to the last one, only there was much more water. From the water came a dragon turtle, who, after asking Verion questions about his intentions, bestowed upon him an odd stone, in the shape of a turtle, which when held, made the holder feel the safest he has ever felt. The party left the cave using a path the dragon turtle opened for them, and walked back to camp.
Session 2Upon their return, they reported to Corporal Avforing, who informed them that the General of the Army, General LeClezio, would be arriving tomorrow for inspection. The next day, as the General inspected the troops, Avforing presented him with the stone that the party had found. The party spoke up, with Soren speaking, to tell the General what had really happened in the caves. Upon hearing this, and noticing that Soren’s hands were bound, questioned Corporal Avforing about the truth of his statements, and why Soren’s hands were bound. Avforing was unable to give a proper answer, and thus was discharged for perjury and poor performance. Soren’s bindings were removed, and the party was asked to see the General privately. The four of them followed the General, who introduced them to two other people, Naftis and Roywyn, along with the Army’s expert on the stones, Dexter. The two adventurers had found a different stone, a purple one with three depressions in it, each with a different rune inscribed within. Naftis told them about how one day he had been holding the stone and thinking of the sea, when suddenly he found himself swimming in the ocean. Soren said that one of the runes meant “move,” and so that probably corresponded to the odd teleportation that occurred. Through a lot of experimentation, and one unfortunate incident that almost killed Naftis and Roywyn, the party was able to deduce some of the functions of both stones. Once everyone was fully healed, the party was given another assignment: they were to use the teleportation stone to infiltrate an enemy camp and find a stone that Dexter believed was there.
They teleported to the enemy camp, saw it, then immediately teleported back, because they realized that they hadn’t actually made any preparations to go to the camp in the first place. Once they did that and disguised themselves as best as they could, they teleported back to the camp. They asked the nearest prisoner to them about the camp, and if there were any caves nearby, or places that would go underground. He told them there were no caves nearby, but there was a well that wasn’t used, because it always brought up salt water. Asking about the man’s past, they found out his name was Ashantil, and that he was locked up for a failed attempt on the Tenochan General’s life. Deciding that he would be more useful if he were free, the party released him from his cage, and managed to get down the well without being noticed by anyone who mattered, convincing a blacksmith that he was being taken down for a severe beating.
Once in the well, the party found corpses of other people, robbers, it seemed. They also found a pillar of salt with four depressions in it. Luckily for them, the people who had died had done the hard work of finding the objects that went in the depressions, and after fighting hordes of undead zombies, the party was able to put the objects in their respective places. This opened up a secret door in the wall, which seemed to lead into a tomb.
The more magical people in the party could sense a slightly evil presence in the sarcophagus, and so they opened it up. They found a corpse holding a scepter, at whose head was a ball with black energy in it, evil in a way that made it difficult to look at. As soon as Naftis tried to take the scepter, the corpse animated and stopped him. After a very difficult fight, with Naftis coming close to death and everyone else severely injured, eventually the undead was defeated. By this point, the jailor had noticed Ahshantil’s absence, and had come down into the well to investigate why he was being beaten by someone other than himself. Knowing that they would not be able to face him in their current battered state, the party, including Ahshantil, used the teleportation stone in order to retreat back to their camp, taking the scepter with them.
Once back at the camp, everyone rested for a while. General LeClezio was pleased that the party had retrieved the scepter, but was not happy that a prisoner had been rescued, because it would put the ceasefire that had been in effect at risk. After much investigation, Ashantil’s story checked out, and he was allowed to stay, although with slightly higher guard than most others. Elsewhere, Dexter was working on figuring out what the scepter did. He had managed to open up the ball on the scepter and get what was inside. What he found was a small, black stone in the shape of a shriveled, dead finger. He found that by pointing the finger at a mouse, he was able to kill the mouse with a ray blacker than anything he had ever seen. What’s more, he showed Soren that through a lot of study on how the stones worked, Dexter was able to say some words and make a few hand signs, and a small ball of fire would appear in his hands; he had seemingly found a way to replicate Soren’s abilities, albeit at a much smaller scale.
Elsewhere, General LeClezio told Valgest that they had found someone near the camp and taken him prisoner, and that he had been repeatedly asking to speak to Valgest. Valgest went to see him, and was shocked to find that the prisoner was an old acquaintance of his from the mountains, Duerard. They spoke with one another, Duerard clearly angry that Valgest had left his home in the mountains. Valgest said that he left because he didn’t agree with the way things were being done there, and that he had to leave because he couldn’t take it anymore. Duerard tried in vain to get him to see his point, and so resorted to trying to kill him, making an odd sound in his throat that worried Valgest. He ran outside to warn everyone, but as he did that, two medium-sized dragons, one black and one blue, flew in, each carrying a dwarf in its claws, and began to destroy the camp. The party, assisted by the troops and General LeClezio, managed to defeat the dragons and the dwarves, although with many casualties to the troops.
As soon as the enemy had been beaten, however, a larger red dragon flew in and grabbed Dexter’s tent, along with Dexter himself, and flew off towards the mountains, taking most of Dexter’s notes, and the two stones that Dexter had in his possession with it. While the general attempted to corral the troops so none or few would go AWOL, Valgest, in rage, tipped over Duerard’s cage and had Soren shock it, in order to hurt him. They then left him there, as a prisoner of war.
Once everyone had calmed down, the general noticed a Tenochan messenger riding up. The message he received was grim indeed; the ceasefire had been called off, and the war was back in full force. Knowing that in its current state, this part of the Army would not stand a chance against a Tenochan attack, the General gave the party two options: they could come with him and the Army to the sea, to attempt to gain reinforcements, or they could go northwest to the mountains, in order to try to retrieve Dexter and the lost Stones of Power. The party decided to go to the mountains to rescue Dexter, and so after a few days of preparation, they set off to the Helbmond Forest to the northeast, in order to get to the mountains beyond it.