Agents of Ioun

The Firebringer Erupts
Session 23
  • After completion of the Fire Cult’s ritual, a Blazwyrm emerges from the pool of swirling elemental energies and attacks the party, engulfing them within its living fire. Before it is defeated, the Agents of Ioun suffer their first loss — the elven warpriest of Corellon and envoy from the Woodsinger Elves, Gauthus Longshaft is killed and consumed by the creature during the battle.
  • When the elemental dragon is destroyed, its arcane essence is transferred to the unhatched dragonborn egg, causing it to hatch. The party then proceeds to discuss the fate of the dragonborn infant, much to the dismay of its father, Agarl’Ukak. Although the dragonborn are united in wishing to protect and raise the child, both Vest and Hegh Dah would prefer to destroy the potential Firebringer in order to prevent the Fire Cult’s prophesy from being fulfilled. Only after consulting with Loremaster Arthurius, who compares the innocent dragonborn infant with a certain tiefling child that he raised despite her infernal heritage did the two relent and hand the child over to its father.
  • The party spend the night in the caverns only to find an unconscious Hegh Dah and the dragonborn paladin absent when they awaken. Both Hegh and Rhan note worsening of their Mummy Rot symptoms as well. Luckilly, among the assorted items, ritual components and torture journals, the heroes discover a small amount of the crucial herbs needed to eradicate the Mummy Rot disease.
  • The Agents of Ioun return to Fallcrest and the safety of the Nentir Inn, shocking the town guards by their haggard appearance. Rhan and Hegh proceed to the local temple for healing, while Vesta retreats to the comforts of a hot back. Sealannan, immmaculate as always, sits at the bar and begins jotting down notes of their most recent adventure.
  • When the party gathers that evening, they find Sealannan at a table talking up a female goliath and male dwarf, both decked out in gleaming full plate armor. “Come meet my new friends,” he calls to the always suspicious Vesta.
The Fate of Vali'Ruml
Session 22
  • The heroes awaken in the Nentir Inn after their adventures in the Underdark. Hegh Dah and Rhan’Ruml have developed a nasty hacking cough; the skin surrounding their wounds is dessicated and has begun flaking off. Rhan has even lost some scales.
  • A red-breasted robin delivers a message from Agarl’Ukak, Rhan’s brother-in-law, requesting that the Agents of Ioun assist in the search for his missing wife.
  • The Agents of Ioun stop at the temple in Fallcrest to see the healer who diagnosed Hegh and Rhan with Mummy Rot. Unfortunately some of the components needed to remove the affliction are scarce and unavailable. The party is given instructions on where they can be obtained in the HArken Forest.
  • The heroes are met at the edge of Harken Forest by Agarl’Ukak and Gauthus Longshaft, the elven warpriest who has been assisting in the search for Vali’Ruml. The party is amazed by the paladin’s forestry skills acquired under Gauthus’ tutelege.
  • The Agents of Ioun are led to a small clearing where they find a ruined tower overgrown with brush. The paladin describes how a number of orange robed humans were seen entering the ruins and disappearing into a burst of flames. Gauthus and Agarl were unable to find any evidence of the cultists despite an extensive search. Only then, did Agarl relent and agree to request assistance from Rhan.
  • During the party’s search of the tower ruins, Rhan inadvertently summons the guardian fire demon who challenges him. When Rhan is unable to understand the guardian, it attacks along with various fire and magma elementals. Only after the guardian is defeated and the Agents of Ioun disable the arcane wards of the ring of fire do they gain access to the underground Temple.
  • The heroes descend down a staircase into underground caverns and discover the Cult of the Fire Lord concluding a ritual – the leader holding aloft an unhatched dragoborn egg. In the center of the cavern is a swirling pool of elemental energies. Rhan attempts to rescue a chained and bleeding Vali’Ruml who unfortunately dies during the combat against the Fire Cultists. When Vesta attempted to tend to the body, it immolated and crumbled to ash.
  • The party discovers the cult leader’s journal which describes the arduous torture that Vali’Ruml suffered over the past three weeks to prepare for the summoning of the Firebringer. They also discovered a stash of assorted magical items. Rhan and Agarl vent their frustrations by butchering the remaind of the fallen cultists.
  • Only too late do they notice the growing elemental energies of the swirling pool which surge outwards, circle the cavern and coalesce into the form of a large dragon comprised entirely of flame. The Blazewyrm roars and explodes into a ball of fire, engulfing the party.
My Dinner With Colrig
Session 21

Business dinners can be murder…

  • The party joined Colrig and his companions for dinner. Vesta, evermore paranoid with her festering neck wound, refused to eat. Sealannan tried to persuade Colrig to allow the party to take various tomes with them when they left and were promptly denied. Colrig told Sealannan how he had left the Church or Ioun and had little need for anything they could offer. When the discussion became boring to Ted, he proceeded to attack Aku, Colrig’s lieutenant.
  • As the battle progressed, the illusions covering the hosts slowly disapated revealing Colrig to be a lich, Aku and _____ to be Mind Flayers and Dunnax a mummy. The bloody fight ended with Colrig escaping into the caves of the Underdark, making a clean getaway.
  • The party packed as much as they could carry, but most of what they removed from the Dome disintegrated when they left the premises. Sealannan was lucky to find that a few texts he carried escaped destruction, but is unsure why.
  • A quick examination of his journals shows that Colrig had gone mad upon visiting the dome and had fallen to the ranks of the undead. Colrig then murdered Dunnax, the creator of the Dome, but preserved him as a mummified servant. Colrig also enlisted the aid of a group of Illithids but the party was unable to find their motives before dispatching them.
  • The Agents of Ioun escaped the dangers of the Underdark to emerge on the surface in the marshy lands of the Witchlight Fens. They limp back to Fallcrest to nurse their wounds at their quarters at the Nentir Inn.
  • Hegh and Rhan suffered nasty attacks from the mummy Dunnax and they contracted some sort of foul rotting condition. At this time Hegh and Rhan both feel a general malaise, their wounds are not healing properly and their systems seem to be functioning at half capacity. Rhan has noticed minor changes to his appearance…
Through A Cave, Darkly
Session 20

Keep Your Eyes Open For Monsters

  • The Agents of Ioun recklessly followed Vesta through the mysterious portal and found themselves with an alien cave. Eventually, they figured out they had been transported somewhere in the Underdark. Hegh Dah was agitated, but quiet. The party was ambushed by a beholder and was nearly wiped out.
  • After They then discovered a river outside the cave complex and the water was frigid cold. After sailing down the river (no boat jokes please Leslie), the party discovered a massive walled domed structure and proceeded through the gates. Within the walls the party explored a beautiful wooded area, gardens and a fountain that geysered (its a word now) up and shook the area (no jokes Leslie or Mack please). They chanced upon a crying maiden, Asra, who told them the tale of her lost love.
  • The party continued onward and entered the palace of whitish marble-like stone. They were immediately greeted by a butler-type who extended the party every courtesy they ever needed. Vesta took advantage of the spa while they waited. The butler revealed the master of the domain :-) was Ellard, the missing High Priest of Ioun, and the object of their journey.
A Giant Dilemma: Sessions 18 and 19
Stay Frosty...
  • The party recovered from their adventures in Harkenwold and was instructed to finish cleaning up the Ioun Temple Outpost in the woods they had defended from zombies only recently. They discovered upon arrival that the thousands of bodies they expected to find were missing – either disposed of by kindly strangers or reanimated once again. While there, a messenger arrived summoning the party immediately to the large temple in Hammerfast.
  • In Hammerfast, they met with High Priest Ellard who tasked them with tracking down missing Ioun cleric Brother Colrig. Colrig went missing on a quest to a hidden wizard’s lair in the Sturmsund Mountains while carrying an important magical tome. The tome had rare information regarding undead. Their instructions were to find Brother Colrig, discover the lost wizard’s lair and reccover the tome.
  • The party then journeyed far off the beaten path to the village of Soderhamm, north of Hammerfast. In this arctic village they met Dwarven ranger Idre who instructed them in the arts of mountain navigation and cold-survival skills which would be crucial for their journey.
  • During the night, Vesta was attacked by an assassin bearing the markings of the Zehir, god of poison. Although saved from the clutches of death, Vesta bears the mark of the assassin’s dart in her neck where the poison blackened her skin.
  • The party ascended the mountain and defeated the frost giant scout’s ambush. Vesta seemed to suffer the most with the weather conditions and suffered minor frostbite. The wound in her neck looked worse but she did not feel any appreciable effects.
  • The party encountered frost giant scouts and survived a cave full of yeti before finally madeing quick work of the frost giants near the top of the mountain. They defeated a white pudding outside an apparently magical portal. Upon close examination the portal seems to have swirling snow and wind filling it, however, no one in the party believes it leads back outside. There is an immense magical presence surrounding the area. Hegh Dah is clearly out of his element, but does not complain about the cold. He seems frustrated when Sealannan constantly regales the party about how winter in the Feywild makes this weather seems like a cool autumn evening. Rhan makes good use of his fire breath to warm himself from time to time. He has to be careful not to create a steam cloud. Even the party’s combined knowledge of the arcane arts can not reveal the nature of the portal.
Vesta's Fourth Dream
Occurs during the events of Session 19

During the party’s extended rest in the cave after defeating the frost giant scouts, Vesta has another dream. Her companions figured that she needed extra time to recover from her injuries during the fight and excused her inability to stand watch overnight. Little did they know, she was otherwise occupied…

Vesta finds herself standing in the same palace as her prior dream, although the people are absent and the hall is quiet. She is no longer a child, but her adult self. She stands before the sealed sarcophagus of the fallen king. She glances up to find a human man approaching. He appears to be in his late forties with shoulder length dark hair with wisps of gray. He is wearing regal clothing, but his crown is conspicuously missing. You recognize him as the deceased monarch from your last dream… the one you had called “Daddy”.

“Vesta, my child” he says, walking towards you. “Vesta, you really must be more careful. I cannot afford to lose you before your task is complete. You’re my last hope.”

No response

The man gives Vesta a quizzical look before continuing. “I am Demetrius the Seventh, Grand Emperor of Bael Turath. I believe you may have already met my daughter, Disperia.” As Demetrius speaks, Vesta notices in her peripheral vision that the surroundings dissolve into a view from a hilltop overlooking a great city built in the ancient Turathi style of architecture. “I apologize for disturbing your sleep by sending you dreams, but this has been the first opportunity where the ambient magical energies have allowed for direct contact. As you are my last living decendent, the task falls upon you to complete so that I may finally rest after all these years.”

“‘Finally rest?’” she repeats quizzically. “I know my history, Demetrius. I know that the nobles of Bael Turath were obsessed with power to the point of conducting a grisly, month-long ritual to extend their rule into eternity. I know that afterwards devils from the Nine Hells appeared, and the nobles gladly made pacts with them. Those pacts gave us our devilish features. Therefore, Demetrius – human – if you are my ancestor, you must be one of those who put power before your humanity. That ritual demanded the participation of every noble house, and those who refused where wholly slaughtered…” She stops and narrows her eyes as if trying to look through him. “Your daughter, Disperia, is both a tiefling and a vampire. Tell me why the father of such as she deserves peace. Tell me why a man who would exchange the humanity of his descendants for power deserves ‘final rest.’”

The human ghost chuckles to himself, amused by Vesta’s lecture. “The more things change, the more they remain the same. Tell me child: why is it that that the younger generations always think they know better than their elders? You’ll learn soon enough after YOU have children.”

As Demetrius talks, Vesta notices the Turathi city in the background burn and fall to ruins. He turns to her darkly, his face shadowed by the overcast skies. "You may serve the goddess of knowlege, but you still know nothing of your history. Everything you THINK you know comes passed down secondhand over a thousand years. Few if any histories have survived the generations, and certainly NONE written by turathi hands. Do not presume to judge ME. You weren’t there… I’ve lived history! I was the greatest Turathi Emperor in generations and my empire was expanding. I was a just and benevolent ruler… those dragonmen would have thrived under Turathi rule. If you uncover the Great Library at Vor Rukoth, you might actually learn something.

“I showed you the ambush where we were first defeated and I fell due to treachery. Those reptiles took my crown – the symbol of Turathi rule – and the empire fell to chaos. The petty noble houses scrambled to obtain power, giving the lizards the upper hand. Once all seemed lost, the most desperate turned to the infernal for assistance… and you know what happened next. The empire still fell, and our once proud people are left to bear that shame for the rest of eternity.

“My death led to the corruption and fall of Bael Turath. If I had survived, we would have defeated the dragonborn and united these lands under a single banner… instead the “tiefling empire” is all but forgotten to time and all that is remembered is slanderous. I don’t expect your pity, but reserve your accusations and judgement until after you bother to learn all the facts. Certainly you don’t appreciate being judged by the sins of your ancestors, just as I am not responsible for the misguided actions of my descendents."

“Fine.” The word spills from her lips without any emotion. “You say that as your last living descendant, ‘the task’ falls upon me to complete… That you can’t afford to lose me because I’m your ‘last hope.’ How can I be your last living descendant, when only just days ago I encountered my father, Dorian Kahlir?” She stares at Demetrius. “And what is this task you keep speaking of…” Her voice trails off and it appears as if she’s just had an epiphany. “…And does the name Vali’Ruml happen to mean anything to you?” Her eyes are penetrating and fixed on Demetrius, ignoring the unsettling surroundings.

“Vesta, you forget… the man you met, your father, my daughter, all the remaining members of our line… are dead. Or undead. It still saddens me to see what has become of Disperia. She was such a sweet young girl. Innocent. My death hit her hard. She became obsessed. Corrupted by that bastard husband. It broke my heart to see what she has become.”

The surroundings morph once again, this time into a ruined crypt holding the sarcophagus of Emperor Demetrius. “No matter. What’s done is done and there’s no use fretting about what’s past. My legacy is irreparably tarnished. I wish only to fade away to be forever forgotten by history. But for that, I need your assistance. My crown, the symbol of Turathi royalty and power, remains missing. Many have sought it through the years without success. It is an great artifact whose power enabled Bael Turath to flourish. It was also a family heirloom and my post prized possession. Its loss is a shame I have borne ever since. You and your companions are uniquely suited to to recover and return my crown. Once rejoined with my remains, I may finally pass on and leave the torment of this existance behind.”

The ghost of Demetrius composes himself and continues speaking. “I realize you don’t owe me anything and obviously you have suffered due to the actions of your ancestors. But remember, not all of your predecessors were vampires, or even tieflings for that matter. And not all were the evil monsters that the histories allege.”

“So… let me get this straight. The epic task that I need to complete to allow your soul to forever rest, is get your stuff back? Really?!? Didn’t they have the saying ‘you can’t take it with you’ back in your day? You say that you’ve had to bear the shame of losing the crown all this time… So what if I find it, and even return it to you? It doesn’t actually change the fact that you lost it in the first place! Really? The only thing keeping you here is because you lost your favorite trinket?” Vesta looks impatient. “And anyway, a trinket as powerful as you claim the crown to be should probably remain lost; out of the hands of those who would abuse it.”

The backhand takes Vesta off guard, snapping her head back to the side and bloodying her bottom lip. Demetrius glares at Vesta, fire in his eyes. He raises his voice, augented by his otherworldly nature. “Don’t test my patience, bitch! I will not be spoken to in such an insolent manner!” Demetrius calms himself and straightens his spectral garments. “You are young and naive. You don’t understand… but you will in time. Do what you will. My decendents have done nothing but disappoint and fail me for generations… you are no different. Even if you care nothing for my fate, just remember… others seek the crown as well.” Demetrius turns and walks away, slowly dissolving into the darkness. “Just pray Disperia doesn’t get her hands on my crown…”

Vesta awakens shivering, suddenly aware of the frigid cave where the party spent the night. Nobody notices her bruised cheek and the dried blood on her lip…

Harkenwold Epilogue

The next morning after the Agents of Ioun rescued Baron Stockmer from the clutches of the Circle of Iron, Dar Gremath marshalled his resistance forces and marched on the Iron Keep. Sturmick ( the tiefling gatekeeper) opened the gates with little fuss; knowing that the meager garrison that escaped the murderous wrath of Nazin Redthorne’s killers the previous night could not hold the castle. As he and his men were led away into the custody of Baron Stockmer’s newly reformed castle guard, Sturmick could be heard wondering to himself “how could they have possibly gotten inside?”

Baron Stockmer spent the next few days recovering from his month long captivity. Theodorael needed time for a full recovery as well — much of which was spent regaling the Baron with stories of his many epic battles and travels from the Feywild. The remainder of the “Heroes from Fallcrest” spent their time honing their skills (leveling up) and assisting the Harkenwolders in the preparations for the upcoming celebration banquet.

Once Baron Stockmer regained enough of his strength, a banquet was held to celebrate the liberation of Harkenwold and the heroes that made it possible. Lord Warden Marcklehay led a contingent from Fallcrest for the occassion. The banquet was held in the large hall within the newly renamed Harken Castle and the Heroes of Fallcrest were given a place of honor on the dais along with Baron Stockmer, Lord Warden Marcklehay, Dar Gremath and the elders of the various Harkenwold villages. The elders took turns thanking the heroes and renewing vows of loyalty to Baron Stockmer. The Baron gave an uplifting address to those gathered, expressing his appreciation for those who stood up to the oppression of the Circle of Iron and those who lost their lives as a result. He regretted that he could not furnish “proper rewards for the heroes of Fallcrest” because the castle’s treasury had been looted as well as priceless family heirlooms stolen from his own quarters. Instead, the Agents of Ioun were offered honorary titles “Protector of Harkenwold” and would always be welcomed at Harken Castle whenever they returned to Harkenwold in the future.

The banquet was a great success and (almost) all had an excellent time. Sealannan recited his new epic poem about the Battle of Albridge and their daring rescue of Baron Stockmer to much applause. Theodorael offered to show his new scars to anyone willing to look. Vesta seemed unusually sullen and withdrawn. Hegh Dah (as usual) tried not to draw attention to his drow heritage. Rhan’Ruml did his best to engage his brother-in-law, who was actively avoiding him.

Afterwards, Agarl’Ukak was nowhere to be found. A successful Streetwise check reveals that he was last seen leaving the castle grounds along with Gauthus Longshaft travelling towards the
Harken Forest.

Harkenwold is liberated!
Session 17
  • The heroes continue upstairs and encounter Redthorne’s guards outside the master chambers. The double doors fly open, revealing Nazin Redthorne himself, and the heroes find themselves fighting for their lives. The ensuing battle is harried and the heroes narrowly defeat Redthorne and his men.
  • Afterwards, the Agents of Ioun thoroughly examine the master chambers, including the small armory/treasury. They discover a jeweled scabbard, a large magical glaive and a magnificently crafted set of full plate armor emblazoned with the holy symbols of Bahamut the Platinum Dragon.
  • The heroes take too long loooting the treasury and reinforcements arrive. Although they are quickly dispatched, Theodorael is gravely injured, everyone realizes that they must escape the Iron Keep soon before they are killed.
  • The Agents of Ioun descend the stairs to the first level of the castle and encounter the keep’s servants in the kitchens. They are directed to the dungeons where the discover a gaunt and haggard Baron Stockmer. In another cell, the heroes find a bruised and beaten dragonborn who is revealed to beAgarl’Ukak, Rhan’Ruml’s brother-in-law and husband to Vali’Ruml.
  • Baron Stockmer directs the party to a secret exit and the group escapes from the castle to make their way back to Albridge and Dar Gremath’s resistance. Upon their arrival, the Agents of Ioun are received as heroes. Stockmer and Theodorael are taken to the healers tents to recover from their ordeal.
  • Agarl’Ukak asks Rhan of Vali’s whereabouts and is shocked to find that she is still missing. He hurls insults at Rhan questioning his “manhood” and loyalties before storming off.
  • Despite the celebrations, Vesta remains quiet and sullen despite Sealannan’s effforts to cheer her. He leaves her to her thoughts, eager to start recording the group’s first significant victory.
Vesta Has Daddy Issues
Session 16
  • The Harkenwold resistance makes plans to infiltrate the Iron Keep, led by the Agents of Ioun. Using the available resources, the heroes hide Hegh Dah in a cart filled with the bodies of falled Circle of Iron raiders, along with some kegs of ale. Rhan’Ruml and Ted dress in the Circle of Iron tunics that had been recovered and repaired after the earlier bar brawl. Finally, Vesta and Sealannan are disguised as prostitutes.
  • The Agents of Ioun approach the castle gates and are confronted by the gatemaster, a tiefling named Sturmik. To explain their presence, Rhan weaves a tale that would make Sealannan proud. Despite its convoluted nature, Sturmik is entranced by the idea or whores and booze (especially after the recent Circle or Iron defeat) and opens the gate!
  • The heroes deliver the barrels of ale to the castle’s kitchens, and proceed to the chapel to dispose of the bodies. The chapel has been repurposed by a cleric of Asmodeus and his infernal servants, who quickly see through the ruse. A fight breaks out, but pauses after the cleric realizes who he is fighting. Proclaiming himself to be Dorian Kahlir, the tiefling cleric is revealed to Vesta’s long-lost father and a vampire!
  • The family reunion raises more questions than it answers, and the two tieflings arrive at an impasse – Dorian cannot let the heroes disrupt the Circle of Iron’s (and House Kahlir’s) plans for Harkenwold. Despite being offered her freedom to walk away, Vesta refuses. The melee continues and Dorian barely escapes, turning into a mist to do so.
  • Their cover blown, the heroes take the fight to the main tower and defeat the dragonborn soldiers guarding the drawbridge. Now the heroes must free Baron Stockmer and defeat Nazin Redthorn before more guards arrive.
Battle is Joined!
Session 15 (new player joints the group)
  • After the initial assault, the heroes are alerted to an enemy advance against Dar Gremath’s banner and are called upon to assist. The ensuing skirmish is harrowing, with many of Ioun’s followers bloodied as a result, but the party triumphs in the end.
  • The Agents of Ioun take a quick breather, but are unable to fully recover from their wounds before being challenged directly by Nazin Redthorne himself. The party quickly overpowers the Circle of Iron leader, who barely gets away on horseback. Seeing their leader flee from battle, the Circle of Iron raiders fall into chaos and retreat. The Battle of Albridge is a stunning victory for the Harkenwold rebellion.
  • The heroes return to the Dar Gremath’s command tent to meet with the rebel leadership to plan their next move. Although Nazin Redthorne’s forces were defeated, Harken Keep still remains in the possession of the Circle of Iron, and Baron Stockmer remains in its dungeon… if he’s even still alive at all.

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