Age of Conflict (Pathfinder Confrontation Mod)

OOC Kill the messenger...

Athron:
Athron would meet Kupar’Te in a private location to discuss the proposition of dealing with the Daikinee messenger.

“I have thought about your proposition. First, I have a few questions. Is the information they have on a document or is it something one would have to divulge from the elf themselves? What assurance can you give me that Hiro will not discover my involvement? Same goes for the Daikinee. Also, once “the deed is done” how would we… or rather YOU make the information that is acquired useful and or known to the kingdom?"

If the answers to these questions are in agreement with Athron, then he is willing to help with the disappearing of the messenger.

DM:
kupart’te leaps up in excitement as you enter his tent and ask him. “Ok! So the the runners have a predefined path that they run along the coast and in the open for the most part. Daikinee patrols keep them clear of monsters in general, but, when it is monsoon raining the runners tend to prefer the cover of the forest canopy and I have a good spot that w… I could ambush a runner. The messages are indeed written and in a scroll case on their back hip. I tried stealing the case a few times but they have Well secured and sealed. As for the information, il tell you what… How about we open it together and you will have full and final say in how and when the info is given to the kingdom… What do you say…?” He eagerly watches you for an answer.

Athron:
And how would we keep both Hiro and the Daikinee from discovering our involvement? I would rather not cause a war or get one or both of us executed…

DM:
Well, I have a spot picked out that is away from spying eyes and know the schedule of the daikinee patrols. We can also outrun a daikinee. We will have ample time to take him down without anyone knowing. You come in with your huge tracks and bite and we blame a dinosaur attacker. I would imagine that Hiro would only find out if YOU tell him… This matter would not be my place to tell him in any case. It is your swim lane here… Marshal. What do you think and do you have any suggestions to make this a better plan?

Athron:
So we will just have to wait for a particularly rainy day then execute the plan. You have the spot you know of along with the schedule so we will go by that. I will need to be aware to make my tracks as a dinosaur seen and credible (not just appearing out of nowhere because I dont leave any tracks otherwise). I suppose Ill also need to be careful not to destroy the scroll case when I bite and claw and otherwise kill the messenger. Other than that… (a sly grin crosses his face) Lets do this!

DM:
It is a wet day and the rain is so hard that it is making divots in the ground and punching holes in the canopy. Kupar’te is leaning against a tree eating an orange when the sound of rapid footsteps catches his ear… “Right on time.” He states as he nods to Athron to take position behind a hedge. He takes a single step and within seconds the footsteps fumble to a stop. “Hoe there stranger! You startled me… My apologies, by your leave…” The young elf tries to make his way carefully around the giant, but Kupar’te matches his movement as if accidentally. “Excuse ME… Better watch out around here, lots of nasty carnivores around…” Kupar’te says slyly. “Yeah i know…” States the elf somewhat leery of the orange eating and strange giant. As his eyes divert, the elfs gaze meets that of a huge Allosaurus which is staring right at him. The elf freezes in terror as the allosaurus rears up and strikes. Wounded but not dead, a chase ensues but ultimately ends with a cornered elf and a single powerful chomp, cracking sounds and violent shaking. The allosaur retreats back into the brush and Kupar’te and Athron wait for the better part of a day before returning to the scene to gather their prize. The find in the satchel a map of the coastline heading west to what appears to be a city of the Daikinee. It also shows some points of interest along the way including a spot where a group of strange griffons are, and camps along the way. You also find 2 BP worth of small gems, presumably to pay for safe passage while in the jungle when dealing with a faction they call the Pantharas.

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OOC: Ashrions call...

Ral:
Not sure what the scale is of downtime right now, but guessing at least a couple of days go by.
Ral is sitting at +6 for diplomacy
Ral would approach Ashirion, arms spreadout, a reverent smile on his face. Ral’s demeanor is some mix of unease and curiosity.

“Ashirion,” Ral begins, pausing as a look of faux-confusion passed over his brow, “surely there is some other Honorific I can call you by?”
Ral will address Ashirion by his title, if it isn’t…offensive

“I come to you to study, if you’d have me,” he finishes with a bow. “My people have often allied with Dragons, and while your race would be a bit…unconventional…to…say the least…Well, I am sure one of your experience understands that opportunity does not always present itself in conventional ways.”
“I am happy to submit myself to a spell or two, so you know my intentions are pure, along the lines of detect thoughts or zone of truth, if that is within your repertoire?”
<ral>

DM:
My thoughts on the timeframe for the next adventure would be in terms of a few months downtime, before the first kingdom check (basically the government will take some time to form and be itself functional). As to your approach to Ashrion…

“Ahhh… The ADVISOR…” Ashrion says slowly with an arrogant smile. “To what do I owe this HONOR…” He says to you as you approach the throne. He listens to your request…

Please give me a diplomacy check and email me the result. This should be at a +2 bonus beyond what you normally have. Also provide me a sense motive check. Also at a +2.

With your rolls the following occurs:
Ashrion listens to you intently, ponders then offers the following response: “Honorifics, Titles… They mean nothing in the black silence between the stars…” Ashrion states slowly and ponderously. He He gets up from his throne slowly as if in pain or cold and glances back at you. “You ARE different from the others… I can feel it. You can see a bigger… picture…” He looks you over, then shakes his head. “No, i do not have time to train you or provide instruction in whatever you seek… No time…” He says as he begins to make his way to the stairwell leading to the top floor.

Your read on the dragon is as such: You are absolutely sure, based on the body language that the dragon is playing hard to get and that if you continue to make visits, he will give in as he has always intended too… ;)

Ral:
Ral waits about a week, rethinking the interaction over and over in his head, he heads back to Ashirion.
With a bow he presents himself, plainly, at the edge of Ashrion’s vision.
“If it pleases you, I would have another Audience, Ashirion.”
assuming Ral is granted an audience
“If time is what ails you, perhaps there is something I can do to assist you? I may not be a grand wizard, but I am not ignorant to the Arcane world, and I am quite learned in general. I’ve trained with the Time-wielding Aquamous <sp?> Soldiers of the Cadwallen…I’ve studied in the libraries of Cynwall…Plus, I do hold sway with the local…government. I make no promise, but if there’s something I can do to help…”

DM:
Ashrion looks you over and takes his relaxed position on the throne, clearly entertaining your presence. He listens to you then slowly speaks in his booming voice, “Time is not what ails me, it is the knowledge of what will eventually come and find us that does… What do you know of The great beyond? What do your teachers instruct and what have your studies yielded on THAT topic…?” Please give me a knowledge planes check and any other checks you wish to make based on the interaction, diplomacy will not be required unless you wish to expand your request to include specific knowledge or favors.

Ral:
First I rolled a 17 for a 29 on knowledge planes. On the off chance my you’ll let my familiar assist me (I understand if not, of course), he does assist with an 11 (for a total of 31).
Second, I would like to make a check to see what I know about spells that can see the great beyond.
I rolled a 12, with Spellcraft that would be 27, or for Knowledge Arcane 24. Bird got a 6 so no assisting there regardless of how magnanimous you are.

DM:
With the subtle prompting from your familiar who is not comfortable enough with the situation to reveal itself, you are able to begin talking intelligently and fluidly about what you know of the beyond and the weird denizens which have been known to reside in the blackness of space. At first and for a while Ashrion listens with tempered interest. With the volumes worth of info you remember and seamlessly recall, time blurs and you almost mesmerize yourself it seems but Ashrions expression and focus does not change. You come to a point where you become self aware that you might be boring the dragon or overstating your welcome when the dragon itself speaks on the subject you were on and with that, you both synergistically converse with increasing interest on both sides of the conversation. You are also able to tell of spells your instructors cast to glimpse into the black, but warned against doing so, due to the potential to attract unwanted attention or possibly connect with an entity so alien that it could warp your very mind. Ashrion, his tail wagging steadily at this point regains composure and leans in until is in uncomfortably close to your face. “I must ask you another question…” He says while with a slight sneer. “What do you make of your LEADER…? Based on what you know of him, will he betray our deal or should I expect an attempt on my life?” He says flatly and after asking his eyes rapidly surveying you for a reaction… If you wish to lie to him in your characters eyes roll a bluff check with a +2. If you get wushu washy on a response, he will clarify and make it clear he is not asking if he will or not, but whether YOU think he will.

Ral:
I do not believe Ral has any suspicion Hiro is going to turn against Ashirion, I would remind you that Ral is a bit naive on these sort of things—-I’ve always pictured him as a bit sheltered—-at least as sheltered as someone in this world can be
“I believe him an honorable ma…goblin. I do not believe he will betray your deal, nor will he make an attempt on your life. I’ve followed him this far, and while I would use words such as “greedy”, “arrogant”, and “entitled” to describe him, I would also use terms such as “fair”, “honest”, and “practical”.
I do not mean this as a threat, but if you give him no reason to fear you…"Ral stumbles for a minute, “I mean beyond the fear all mortal men should have of you and the void…I do not think he nor his merry-men would dare come against you.”

DM:
Ashrion looks you over and eases back into his throne. “Very well.. We have been talking for quite sometime now. Go back and get some sleep. Come back when you wish to continue our discussions, but come up to my lair on the floor above. We have much to discuss, you and I…” He says with a glare and dislodges himself from the throne and makes his way to the hole in the ceiling leading directly up to his lair. You make your way out of the pyramid to eventually realize you all had been talking for three days. You are beyond tired as the fatigue sets in and your need for water is overpowering reason. You fall asleep for another two days and wake to a nice star lit night without the rain that so dominates the weather in this part of the world. What would you like to do?

Ral:
Am I just outside when I pass out?
If so, I try to think on what happened in there—Detect Magic, Spellcraft 25, Knowledge Planes 16, Knowledge Arcana 26.
Does where I am make sense based on where I was talking to Ashrion, where I would have been walking between his Pyramid and where we are holed up.

DM:
You don’t remember where you passed out. You remember nothing but haze after you left the pyramid. You wake up in your tent. To the bustling of much sawing, hammering and giant speak. No residual spells seem to have befallen you and you are unaware of you would have succumbed to any spell or were just so filled with a scholars focus and adrenaline from being in the presence of such a creature that you just got lost… No tomfoolery appears to have taken place and you have all your stuff…

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Clearing space for Growth

As the Heros discuss the particulars of their newly established empire, 22 miles to the east the Kata’Tsu strike group arrives at the edge of the blasted land surrounding a huge gaping 200’ radius hole in the ground. General Tokaris meets with the fatigued scouts he sent ahead to survey the surrounding land to find that they had lost a member of their original three kata team to something massive that was lightning quick and attacked in the night. Tokaris conferred with Athron who could not ascertain what the massive creature was. Knowing that if the fledgling empire were to expand that this creature would have to be vanquished, Tokaris looks over his soldiers, about half northern and half southern tribe. About the only similarity across his army was the fact that they were Kata’Tsu and wielded spears, but even the spears were of different makes and styles. He looked at the huge 200’ lair entrance and ordered his army to form up into two wedge formations and advance into the lair with both Athron and Kupar’te in the support row behind the vanguard. The army advanced slowly and on guard, but saw nothing as they moved around towards the rear of the cavern which seemed to terminate into a subterranean river. Just then The army heard loud scraping on stone above the formations and dead silent air for a split second. With a thunderous SLAM, a titanic centipede landed on the ground from the ceiling, it’s body easily stretching to 50+ feet in length, with legs ending in spear like spikes and huge mandibles dripping with vile venom set under its massive head. Despite the danger, Tokaris ordered the army to unleash a volley of their thrown Taki (ancestral stylized thrown weapons not unlike huge stone blunted darts). The darts all failed to pierce the thick carapace and the creature moved with blinding speed to engage the army. The two wedge formations seemed to dissolve into a mass of fighting kata engaged with the closest leg and body section when Tokaris ordered them to regain formation and strike in flanks while he kept the head busy. The wedges struck true but not before the army was trampled under the hundreds of spike legs… Surrounded and mounted, the creature makes a rapid gallop which ungulates through the centipede like a wave and throws all the soldiers off its back. It darts to the back of the cavern. Kapar’te and Athron both look at one another and advance to finish off the dangerous Titan insect while Tokaris sees to his injured. They find it by the river and it rears up to engage. Kapar’te engages it before it can really prepare but his sword fails to pierce the thick carapace. It attacks Kapar’te back but also misses. Athron shifts into his Saurian dinosaur form and charges the monster, takes a hit from its poisoned fangs but also lands some hits of his own. Just then the creature rears up and proceeds to trample Athron his velociraptor Blue and Kupar’te. Athron is overcome and knocked unconscious by the assault and makes its way back to the entrance of the cavern to escape only to run into a recuperating but intimidating Tokaris and army. The creature gets confused in its escape attempt and ends up going in circles. Tokaris and Kupar’te engage with ranged and are joined by other, still standing, kata and bring down the beast with a thunderous CRASH as it slides to a stop at the feet of Athrons still body. Tokaris sees Athron’s velociraptor Blue seemingly distressed and he ran over to find Athrons body. “What HAPPENED Kapar’te? Is he….” “No.” Kupar’te says confidently. “How do you know?” Tokaris asked confused based on the gaping wounds that were no longer bleeding. “Well, look at blue.. He is still sentient… Also, I slipped on a aegis of recovery on him while he slept last night. At Kariins request.” He adds quickly. He turns over the body to find the aegis had crumbled to dust which means it did its job in keeping him alive. “When a river shaman tells me to do something, I listen…” Kupar’te states and Tokaris nods in agreement. Tokaris feeds Athron a potion to revive him but it is not enough. He feeds him another potion, then another and finally the elf comes back to consciousness but not before having his body wracked into rigid paralysis by the venom still coursing through his veins. “We will need to Cary him back, let’s make our way back to X’tahl after we recover enough to move.” Tokaris orders with a crack in his voice from the adrenaline still in his system.
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Act 2, Scene 14 and 15
An internal memoir by Emperor Hiro

Told from Hiro’s perspective using the royal We, Us, and Our in place of I, me, and my. Mind that this is player knowledge, not character knowledge, so getting upset over how Hiro thinks about your character is a waste of energy. Feel free to attribute any factual errors to Imperial ennui or Bobby’s forgetfulness, your pick.

With Our subjects now armed with the sacred armaments of the River Folk, they accompanied Us as we further explored the temple of X’tahl. We were leading them bravely toward the next level and our confrontation with the demon when something strange happened: a rip appeared in the air before Us and through it came hurtling three bodies. One was the limp corpse of an Alchemist of Dirz which fell to the ground, followed by a massive orc riding a comically small brontops. The brontops crushed the remaining life out of the Dirz as Ghorak addressed Us, explaining that he was an envoy for his people who had just stopped the dirz from enacting its plans to take Our royal ranseur. Ghorak didn’t know precisely where he was or how he’d been transported, but his mention that he was an envoy search for a new home for his people intrigued Us. So We offered to let him travel with us, should he choose to brave the dangers, and once the danger was passed We would discuss politics with him.

As Our subjects accompaned Us up the stairway to the top floor, Athron spotted a hidden doorway in the stone walls. Exploring within, a cache of gold and treasures was discovered. With this, We will be able to rebuild the capital in a style sufficient to Our glorious new era! We merely need finish clearing the rest of the rabble first. We also discovered another hidden door which was trapped with some annoying sort of magic. Although We were too quick for it, some of Our subjects had trouble dodging its projectiles. Those fools need to practice their foot work and agility if they wish to serve Us properly!

Once the trap was disarmed and the door opened, we found a puzzle chamber featuring statues of the three Katatsu gods. We decided to rest before engaging the puzzle, to ensure that the encounter with the demon would be under most ideal circumstances for Us and Our subjects. After exploring thoroughly (including a quick dip into a water channel that We Ourselves made to be sure it hid no secrets) we were able to solve the puzzle by arranging the moving parts of the statues in the right way to direct flow of water from holes in the ceiling.

The demon appeared. Although one of Our subjects insists that it is a leukodaemon, the nuanced difference of which seems pedantic and useless to Us; demon, daemon, fiends of all sorts are approximately equal. Regardless of the nomenclature, the fiend engaged with a bow at first. We closed the distance quickly, followed by Our subjects and the orc. Together, the creature was dealt with quickly and without serious injury to the royal person or others of the group. Now that we have cleared the Temple, it seems like an ideal stronghold from which We can base our campaign against the dragon, Our last obstacle to mastery of X’tahl. A short time of rest and We will head to its stronghold to deal with that nuisance; then, We will begin the recovery of our lost lands, hopefully with an allied army of Orcs enlisted to aid Us.

DM:
The PCs lick their wounds and gather their remaining energy and proceed to the dragon’s lair. They enter using the secret entrance they had discovered a few days back and make their ascent. Upon entering the space, they notice the air is very thin within the pyramid and not long after they made their climb, they tripped an alarm spell. Upon entering the interior of the third level of the pyramid they encounter the dragon who talked to the group through the pure darkness. After some talking, the dragon asks to speak to the emperor. The two parlay and with some very impressive diplomacy checks, negotiations break out with the dragon ultimately agreeing to relinquish his throne and pyramid, if the new empire agrees to build him a new one with the same specifications. He also left the door open for further negotiations about possibly joining the fledgling nation for a price. The group Identified him as an outer planes dragon and did detect some evil in him, but his offers were seen as legitimate regardless…

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Act 2 Scene 13

After the PC’s made quick work of the Undead Priests they ventured into the next level of the temple to try to find the Holy weapons. As they searched the level they saw many other very deceased Kata’tsu bodies strewn about, all seeming to have been slain trying to escape. After some searching, the safe word for the stone golem was found so the PCs returned to the level they had fled so they could recover their captured companions. After being reunited and bringing the other party members up to speed, everyone proceeded back to the level with the Holy weapons stash. After a bit of searching, they were ambushed by more Terra Cotta soldiers and some other; more formidable foes. The Terra Cotta soldiers were pure stone so the PCs weapons took some significant damage. They were able to kill two of the stone soldiers before moving their focus on to the other, snake like warriors. The whole battle was a challenge but the PCs emerged victorious but definitely not unscathed. The undead priest who had helped before was unfortunately slain so the exact location of the weapons was lost. With a bit of searching, however, the cache of weapons was found and distributed to the most capable PCs. They healed up and prepared for their next task….

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Act 2, Scene 12
Clearing the Temple of the Gods

The Heroes decide that they would like to shift their focus from the Dragon to the unexplored pyramid in the Northeast believed to have been the religious temple in ancient times. After using the barrels of salt on the multitude of swarms in the entrance hall leading into the temple, the PCs find that the ancient stone doors were still unopened. A single cross shape carved into the center of the stone showed the PCs that Delovis’ old spear was the key. They used it and the multiple layers of stone sliding doors opened in rapid and smooth succession. The air was musty and ancient as if it had not been disturbed in 1000 years. The walls in this temple were etched with ancient stories of the Kata’Tsu and have to do with religious life and moral codes, some of which had not been seen in some time and had been slightly changed or forgotten in the current Kata’Tsu culture. The walls are erected inside and funnel the PCs along the southern wall but it was then that the PCs heard thundering footsteps approaching them from around the stone wall. As the PCs round the corner they see a likeness of a anthropomorphic crocodile and Rahl identifies it as a Stone Golem and beyond the capabilities of the group so a chase ensues. Rahl and Cedwin both get captured by the Golem and the others make it to the stairwell where the Golem does not follow. The PCs continue to press forward and run into two Terra-Cotta Soldiers in the shape of Kata’Tsu with ancient double bladed swords. The warriors seem to avoid Hiro with his Ransuer and Xenaro and drop Al’Tayir. While they begin circling Athron to go in for the Kill, Hiro decides to try to get the defense to stand down and with some luck and him jogging the memory of the Ransuer, he is able to get a control phrases which deactivate the Terra Cotta warriors. The group heals up and proceeds forward to find a group of Kata’Tsu waiting in the stairwell leading to the 3rd level. The PCs know something isn’t right as the place did not seem to have been explored in 1000 years and acute observations reveals these Kata’Tsu to be undead disguised as living. They were found to be Huecuva, and apparently they were once temple priests and attendants who had once summoned an ancient evil to bring down the old emperor as he was about to ally with the Ophidians in the ancient Rag’nar’ok. They wanted the PCs help with taking down the ancient Demon that brought pestilence to the City. They al got ready to breach the next level when the group was alerted by one of the Undead that the others were going to ambush/betray the party. A fight ensued with the PCs and the one Huecova vs the other undead and despite the undead’s hopes of killing the goblin and reclaiming the ransuer, they failed and were slaughtered.

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Act 2, Scene 11

Told from Athron’s perspective

Well we managed to dispose of that horrific horse-plant-person-thing while the Kata’tsu battled the mushroom army below us. We also freed the strange shit-eating Lecshi. We took a few days rest to recover and cure diseases before trying to tackle the Dragon’s temple with the mold eating creatures we got from the Daikinee jackoffs. Ral and Zenaro seemed a bit distracted as we approached the temple in Hiro’s hat-boat. The entry chamber was very dark so the fearless leader (who is also the sneakiest of the group) went ahead to see what he could discover. Apparently he discovered some nasty paralysis-inducing mold. I decided to go after him to discover his fate only to succumb to the molds effects myself. Damn shit shouldn’t be in this area anyway… Hiro finally came to and was able to help me off the mold. We decided to release the mold eaters and return when they had devoured a path for us.

The mold had slowed Hiro and myself down quite a bit and we were also a bit befuddled with seemingly easy tasks. We got some rest and healing from Cedwin which helped but still needed more rest. We took a few days to recover but still needed more time.

THAT NIGHT… Holy shit. So we were all doing our prepping for things or resting or just generally fucking around when I heard something that terrified me. It was raining but I heard the distinct sound of large wings flapping near our camp building. I told the rest of the group to shut up so I could hear better but they must have thought I was paranoid because they did not heed my plea. That is until the damn thing used his cold breath attack and hit 4 of us with it. Cedwin and myself managed to dodge out of the way and were unscathed. I then heard the dragon circling around for another pass and heard it prepping another attack. This time the idiots got out of the way and were not hit. He flew around and landed on the now liberated fungus temple and made another pass at our camp, but did not attack. I heard the distinct yells of the Daikinee in the distance and figured the dragon had gone over to say hi to them. Hopefully they fared worse than us…. Assholes…

Anyway the rest of the night went without incident except for Sa’uel SCARING THE SHIT OUTTA ME!!! I was already shaken from the run in with the dragon and I couldnt sleep very well then fucking Sa’uel decides its a good idea to get a few inches from my face… Hiro was still awake as well and we talked for a bit and decided to go talk to the elves in the morning to see what damage was done to them.

The next morning Hiro, Altayir, Cedwin and myself went to the Daikinee temple. There were a few carcasses of large beetles which I couldnt help but show my pleasure in their demise. This lead to my being dismissed to stay outside but still within ear-shot of the conversation. They discussed potential strategies for dealing with the dragon and shared some pretty valuable information. We told them about Sa’uel and about the Lecshi which I thought was an interesting tactic by our leader but I remained silent. It seemed they had not seen any way for a creature of that size to enter the temple so Hiro decided to search around for something they may have overlooked in the how-many-ever-dozens of years these idiots have been here. Sure enough, I very quickly found something amiss with some of the vines near the top of the pyramid. I tried to point this out to my comrades but they seemed to either not care or think me delusional again. So Hiro came up with a great idea to help me help them see what I was seeing. It took 3 arrows but I finally managed to shoot one into the right spot. Again my party members couldnt see what I saw. The “stone” underneath the foliage SHIMMERED. The other 2 arrows hit magically enhanced stone and shattered but this one simply disappeared into the pyramid. They at least saw that it did not shatter and seemed perplexed but no one but myself apparently saw the shimmering of the stone.

We decided to make camp in the temple of the fungal people in lieu of the dragon encounter and returned there after our scouting mission. The plan was to prepare for a battle against the dragon but Altayir decided now was a good time to question our good leader’s reasoning behind telling the Daikinee about Sa’uel and the Lecshi. She got so far as to suggest they might gather a force to deal with us. I decided to take this opportunity to remind her that we have a force of our own, and one that has already proven not only loyal but very effective in combat. This didnt seem to deter her much at all and I backed down to get some more rest.

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Act 2 Scene 9
Best laid Plans.....

Our heroes, after spending some time dealing with their individual anger issues towards certain Elf captives, decided that they were going to have to establish their frame of the Elves against the ’Shrooms themselves, using the stolen gear and weapons from the two captives; though Zephyr would be joining them voluntarily from here on out it seemed. The party crept into the Temple and were immediately confronted by screaming plant creatures in cages. Ral sought to communicate with them and learned that they were druidic plant beings that were caged by the ’Shrooms and their leader; some sort of four legged creature that ruled the tower. After making promises of rescue to the most likely benign creatures, the group pressed on ahead, only to encounter some daylight guardians; several ’shroom warriors and a strange green mucus mass assaulted our intrepid warriors brutally.

During the ensuing melee, Emperor Hiro noticed that the attackers had another captive, a Dwarf named Dakus who the verdant invaders were attempting to mind control. the noble leader sprung into action, helping rescue the dwarf while the rest of the group fought off the guards. Unfortunately, the ruckus the battle created turned out to be too much for the slumbering growth below. The party had barely begun to flee when hundreds of the spongy creatures poured out of their warrens to destroy the intruders. Al’Tayir and Ral acted to delay the horde, but it was the sudden appearance of Tokarus and his battlegroup of Giants that saved the day and routed the living wave of creatures.

The party was not given much of a chance to recover, as they quickly discovered that the melee had been witnessed by the leader of the Daikinee tribe living in the ruins, a Captain Kratus Altari and his few followers. Negotiations were arranged between Altari and Emperor Hiro, and eventually an uneasy accord was struck; The elves would provide intel and passage into the dragon’s lair and Hiro’s people would destroy it. If this was successful, then the River Giant’s claim to their ancient home would be acknowledged and formal talks would began about the city and the surrounding territory. Hiro also returned the captive daikinee officer as an gesture of goodwill, and the good Captain officially granted “ownership” of Zephyr to the Emperor. Altari pressed to be allow to clear and thus claim the fungus temple, but the Emperor declined, and our heroes took a few well needed days rest before they headed in to clear out the infested temple and its strange current owner…..

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Act 2, Scene 7 and 8, Summary
Clearning out X'Tahl

The heroes continue their clearing of X’Tahl. On their way back from rescuing the young Deinonychus, the party encounters a strange sight. A cautious but seemingly friendly Cynwall elf, caked in grime and layers of insect bites greets the party and seems eager for companionship. He introduces himself as Cedwin and joins the party. After a nights rest the party awakes to find one of their members, Al’Tayir, stricken with a strange disease of some kind and must rest. The party leaves the half-elf in the safety of the gate tower and descends down into the Fungus pyramid to the south east. Upon entering, the party immediately encounters a swarm of leeches along with two giant leeches who, with some difficulty are slain. The party moves deeper into the pyramids first floor and encounters two strange creatures amidst the various forms of fungus called Otyughs along with another aggressive and mobile form of fungus. The players are able to overcome the encounter and hear strange warped baby-like cries coming from deeper within the upper levels of the pyramid but must retreat to treat their wounds and afflictions. The players hold u[p in their gate house but are beset by a strange creature in the night. After some back and forth antics, invisibility and many castings of grease the creature reveals itself to be a Faery dragon named Sa’uel. It takes a liking to the group and stays with them for safety and converses with them. After learning of the different entities/factions within the ancient ruins, the group come up with a plan to set the Daikinee and Fungal creatures against each other and use Sa’uels help to gather Daikinee equipment and even use him to lure two unsuspecting Daikinee out of their pyramid where the group ambushes them. The group finds out that one of the Daikinee appears to be an outcast/slave and decide to give that Daikinee an option to join them. His name is Zefer. The other Daikinee ultimately refuses and is subdued multiple times by the party and ultimately placed under Sa’uel’s protection/guard in his second hiding spot in the main gate houses to the south.

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Act 2, Scene 6, Summary
Clensing of X'Tahl

The Heroes began the session in a fight with the two strange fungal humanoids that they found watching them as they fought the large plant creature. Hiro, growing tired of trying to converse with the alien creatures called Myceloids, engaged them, initiating a surprisingly tough battle. Once the party emerged victorious, it had been made clear that some of the party were inflicted with a strange disease of some kind. Ral, fresh from his night of recuperation from a nasty bout of sea sickness joined the party. Despite the onset of the strange affliction, and unhindered by the booming vocalizations of dinosaurs close by, Emperor Hiro and the group pushed ever further toward their goal, the ancient ruins of X’Tahl. A few hours of tough bushwhacking led the characters to the opening they had been waiting for, the City of X’Tahl in all its ancient glory. The four pyramids formed the center of the city ruins, though another dominant feature was the aqueducts which still rose and ran between and round the pyramids. In the center of the ruins appeared to be gates on the raised aqueducts that were open and draining water into the land below. The grounds surrounding the pyramid were saturated with water which had formed an established shallow lake. Dinosaurs could be seen and heard grazing in the marshes and an entire ecosystem was in place. interested in exploring and reclaiming the city, the group used Hiro’s boat and began to wade into the city noting stone structures barely submerged in the water which looked to have once been the shells of buildings. Insects were everywhere in and around the lake and countless other creatures were seen feasting upon them. While taking it all in, the group was tracked and overrun by a swarm of mosquitoes. Even a giant mosquito, which normally fed on dinosaurs was attracted by the groups scent attacked. In the battle Trihorn was targeted by the insects and lost its life protecting the group. After defeating the insects, the group was in dire need of rest and healing. They decided on setting up camp in one of the gate houses flanking the aqueduct. Trihorn was given a viking funeral. Just as the group were paying their final respects, Athron hear a distressed cry coming from nearby, that for a moment sounded like Trihorn. Athron rushed quickly to the source of the cries only to find a Dienonychus trapped in a hunters trap along the side of one of the Pyramids. As it struggled to free itself, its pack were running away full speed. Athron sprung into action, going to free the animal. In doing so, he had an arrow plunk next to him and realized another one of his kinsmen, a Daikinee archer, was watching, confused and angry. Athron freed the creature and led it to safety while the Elf got irate and tried shooting Athron before he disappeared under the Aqueducts.

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