Sundered Realms

The END
Or is it?

Through the heroic (and somewhat selfish) actions of our heroes, the rift between the planes was closed and Akamar was banished once again into the Far Realm. The conquering armies from Myth Drannor and Cormyr celebrated the victory, but our reluctant heroes were wary to spend much time in the limelight.

Sagaba set off immediately for parts unknown.
Petorin followed after her.
Zenji grabbed what cash he could and disappeared in the post-battle confusion.
Retribution hid outside the camp and joined his bow to the fire and claws of Gar’s brood when the dragons attacked.
Murder Bastard complained loudly to all who would listen about getting screwed out of a reward until she was pacified somewhat by a grant of land and title.
Kelvin beat feet out of there before Gar showed up, hastily dropping off Cicero’s remains with his family.
Cicero was packaged neatly for the return trip to Cormyr with his family. Surely his noble sacrifice has earned him a few thousand gp worth of restorative magic.

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Airdrop
The beginning of the end

In a desperate bid to prevent Akamar from reaching full power, our heroes are joining the elves of Myth Drannor to assault the fortress that has grown around the meteor crash site.

The war preparations were disrupted when, during the final banquet before the long march to war, many elves were overcome by aberrant possession and summoned beholders to assault the feasting army. Even though the beasts were defeated, morale was much diminished and the soldiers went to bed with heavy hearts. Cicero and Kelvin were able to bolster the spirits of some of the troops, but overall the mood in camp was grim.

In the pre-dawn hours, the army packed camp and set off on the path to war. The elves kept a quick pace, and our heroes were hard-pressed to keep up. During the second day of marching, orcs and goblins issued forth from the dark fortress to burn the forest ahead of the approaching elven army. That night, the army made camp with the fortress ahead of them and a raging forest fire behind them, any hope of retreat cut off.

As the army began the ground assault, Tendra, Vothrik, and our heroes launched a small-scale aerial offensive. They dropped in from a great height, along with debris and rubble to mask their entrance. Vothrik and his kenku brothers failed to deploy their feather fall amulets, and quickly dropped out of sight.

Our heroes had only a brief moment to mourn their loss before the air defenses of the fortress rose to meet them. They battled against vicious, tentacled grell as they fell into the courtyard outside the keep, then were ambushed by possessed berserkers and two chuul overseers at the gates. With the sounds of the ground assault raging all around, the next challenge is to penetrate the central keep and perform the ritual to banish Akamar.

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Punch Many robots
The robotoning

Zenji

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A Letter to Lord Radames Neronis

Dearest Lord Father,

I hope this letter finds you well. I have much news to tell you of my travels.

Last I wrote was of my simple travels through the Dalelands performing and doing simple good deeds where I could help but suddenly I have been sent upon a greater task.

A great evil has been unleashed by the Stargazer Cultists north of Grasstop. It has been causing people’s eyes to turn black and commit evil acts after breaking open an oily black egg. Sadly a man who could not be saved had to be put down after setting fire to a temple of Sylvanus.

The young leader of the town gathered up a party to investigate the nature of this evil. So we departed toward Myth Drannor following the river. Along the way we encounted Orcs who have seemed to also be possessed by this and were quickly dispatched. However this was many days outside of Grasstop and they all seemed to be traveling toward the craterlake.

WHATEVER YOU DO DO NOT BREAK OPEN THE EGGS OR EVEN GAZE AT THEM

Fortunately we came across some Purple Dragon Knights who seemed to be on some sort of secret mission traveling in the direction of Grasstop. We apprised them of the current situation and hope they can lend a hand.

Now we have set up camp in a toll-road camp of some brigands who were extorting travelers setup. I did not start the fight but it was assuredly ended.

Tomorrow we continue our journey towards Myth Drannor to hopefully find a way to end this evil once and for all. If you know of anyone there who may be able to help us please send word there.

With Love and Gratitude,
Your son,
Duodecimus Cicero Neronis

PS Bertram is doing as well as he can though I fear this more rigorous type of travel may not be the best for him. If i

PPS Red Dragons are nicer than they are given credit for.

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"Cicero The Brave and Gallant vs the Cultists"

Once a maiden so fair
With Elven ears and raven hair
Came running into town
Looking for a man of renown
To strike some cultists down

She was the sole survivor
Of a battle so fraught and pitched
The stars were not in her favor
So Lyonala had to ditch
Leaving her comrades to be slain

So no one would take the chance
But brave Cicero raised his hand
And said “Fair Lady, I am yours
And will answer… your call.”

“I will gather up a merry band
to travel ‘cross the land
To avenge your mighty friends
To win your fine affection
Fair Lady”

So looking around
The smallest town
Cicero gathered his crew:

First is Petorin,
Young and brave and strong
Can’t hold his urine
And mumbles all night long (Hey!)

Next is Kelvin the peddler
An odd bird indeed
Talks to himself
And stores things inside his steed

Murder Bastard
Enough is said
Or I may find myself DEAD.

So off they went
Two by Two and One
To do. what must. be done.

The merry band burst through the gates
Cicero said “Now you’ve sealed your fates.
You’ve committed many wrongs
Your evil must be undone”

Wack. Smash. Riposte. Parry.
Hit. Cultists. Moe. Larry.
Cicero bravely slew
As did the rest of his crew.

Taking care of the final blight
All of the buildings and corpses
Were set alight.
And everything that was wrong
Was set aright.

But when Cicero looked to his maiden so fair
To perhaps steal a kiss
She was no longer thereeeeeeeeeeeeeee

And this is the tale of Cicero
So brave and so gallant
with his merry band
so weird but I guess they have some talent.

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An Ode: To Endings, and to Beginnings
Postmortem and a new beginning

I am not proud of what I’ve done.

In my long life, I’ve seen death, from nearly every cause that most people could imagine. And even some causes that most people would have never imagined in their wildest dreams. I’ve learned the necessity of death. The truth about death is simply: all death is a way of making way for life. Much like the fires that burn through the forests of my home from time to time. The misunderstandings some have in seeing fire as death and destruction, without understanding the life that it brings. It clears away old growth, opens clearings of sunlight for the young seedlings to take root and thrive.

And yet, there is the unnatural death. There is the fire that burns too hot, killing too much. This is what hits the hardest. First, my pack was taken from me, cruelly, by unthinking humans. Then, now, my new pack has once again been culled. I’d vowed to never let it happen again, but it did. And I…

I ran. I am sorry.

I vowed to go back. And go back I did. After alerting the town of Grasstop to the threat in the hills, I found a group willing to aid me in cleansing… no, I have to admit, in getting revenge.

In the dark of night, we returned to the observatory. Carefully this time, aware of the danger. We saw the carnage through the large glass dome, and we planned. We waited until the cultists had separated, we followed them to their temples. We slaughtered them. I must admit, I do not think I could have done it without Petorin and his friends. Dear Petorin.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid of this group. Afraid of the things they brought back with them from that place. I sense only darkness, unnatural darkness. I am afraid of what it will lead them to. So I must run again. But not away this time. This time, I go back.

I go back to Waterdeep. To my quest left unfinished. I’ve avenged one pack, I still have yet to avenge another. And, perhaps, I can fulfill the quests of my dear, departed, friends.

Tobias. Amara. Chester. Tankard. Padishar. Ulfgar. I will remember you all. I will fulfill my duties. I will find more willing to map Undermountain. I will find Gary and make sure he is safe. And I will never, ever, again run from my friends when they need me most.

And to those I met in Grasstop, to Petorin and his friends…
Beware. Beware the fire that burns too hot.

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Contracts Closed
The End of Thrupp co.

Back below Thrupp co. set about diligently mapping more and more of Undermountain. They disturbed a nest of goblins, slew a basilisk, and made great steps in the mapping of the dark labyrinth. Soon though the company began to worry that they had not seen Durnins crew in some time and went to investigate.

The camp showed signs of a struggle and Tobias recognized the work of dark elves. Tracking the party through the corridors Thrupp co. came across a secret door. Taking a moment to investigate they found themselves teleported halfway around the planet.

Lost in a foreign land filled with artists, bear bartenders, and young nobles the dejected Tobias soon fell into a deep depression. Lyionallesa stepped up and decided that a trip to the nearby observatory to map the stars would help the company get back on track. To cut his losses Thrupp demoted her to an intern and fired Chester.

The party entered the immaculate glass cathedral leaving all weapons at the door in respect. The priest gave a rousing speech in a language that none of Thrupp co. spoke and the stars above danced and glimmered. As a dark spot began to swell in the night sky Thrupp co. Suddenly found itself jumped upon by 30 cultists. Chaos erupted immediately. Tobias let forth a blast from his thunder wand and the party members began to kick and fight they’re way towards the door but the sheer number of cultists made it all but impossible. Tobias was charmed into sleep and soon after the party lost sight of Lyonlessa in the fray. Amara fought tooth and nail into the foyer hoping to retrieve her weapons where she came face to face with knight who had escorted them here. Takeing a savage hit from the broadsword Amara managed to reach her weapons with Tankards help and bury her blades in the knights chest. Ulfgar fought bravely punching and kicking cultists more than 15 ft through the air but when he turned on the wizard he fell to a torrent of spirits. Padishar was the next to drop falling prey to the wizards ethereal hammer. But not before he managed to wake Thrupp from his slumber. Spinning toward the foyer Tobias was only able to watch as cultists overwhelmed Amara. Grabbing her daggers he ran to Tankards side as Chester became a living weapon and followed suit. Tankard fell next buying Tobias the time to grab his bow. Taking cover he began to pepper the cult with arrows but soon found himself by wailing spirits and fell. A panicking chester attempted to go toe to toe with the wizard but was no match for the cultists spells.

The party down and more than 25 cultists killed the ritual continued. Grabbing a silver dish the bastards approached Ulfgar and cut his throat. In blind rage the hidden Amara sprang forth from the shadows in one last ditch effort to cut the cultists down but was quickly brushed aside.

Outside the sky darkened and grassy top shook. The citizens watched in confusion as the observatory was lit from within and without with blasts of arcane power and lightning. It seemed in the night that a dark figure began to rise and than was gone. In the tavern a new party gathered to discuss the strange happenings.

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Were-Ghoul You
Hammer the 5th?

Leaving their new dwarves friends behind Thrupp co. continued to map the old dwarven section of under mountain. The first room they came to contained a magic circle and a corpse who had once been a member of the Order of the Ruby Rose. Padishar picked up a finely decorated shield and ruby pendant and gave his old shield to Tobias. Chester began to study the markings on the floor but was interrupted by the sudden appearance of the dead paladins ghost. “Destroy the Circle he entreated” and Thrupp Co. did, because what did they care? They had maps to make. With the portal (which Chester believe goes to the Abyss) gone and the ghost at rest the party moved on.

With a swift kick Amara knocked down the last door in this section of the tunnels. Instantly she found her self mauled nearly to death by a Were Wolf. With a cry of “Packs out Axe out!” Tobias Positioned himself in the doorway. In one hand a shield that covered ninety percent of his minute frame, in the other a silvered hand axe. Flailing wildly he was able to keep the beast at bay while the party staunched Amaras bleeding. The were-beast, unable to get a bite on Tobias around the shield, dragged him into the room in a rage. Slamming the door shut behind him.

Thrupp Co. briefly considered moving on but were reminded of the contractual obligations and so burst into the room to help their boss. When the wolf fell the party learned that this is that fate the befell the Vash family. Tankards friends were dead.

Slightly worse for wear now the party moved back to the main junction and set forth on the path labeled “Certain Death”. A hall of mirrors greeted the party and while it did not produce certain death it was certainly annoying. Each mirror produced a copy of the party member it saw. The copy strode out of the mirrors and began hurling insults and just generally being a nuisance. Thrupp Co. decided they had quite enough of that and double timed it to the next room.

Still in the halls of the old dwarves the party passed a hall of Ceos richly decorated with names and guild signs which a historian of dwarves cultured would have loved to study. Thrupp Co. ignored all this and walked on. They came next to a shrine of Clangaden and a room filled with dwarves mementoes of great historical events and wars long past. Seriously dwarves and dwarf lovers would have been all about everything going on in this room. Thrupp Co. walked on. Here they found a great meeting hall of the dwarves and in a side chamber was carved upon the wall a great map of the sword coast which detailed every city of the Dwarves located for a hundred miles. Many of these cities had been forgotten and lost to time. A dwarven historian would have had a minor heart attack at this, like damn, Thrupp Co. really could have used a dwarf or an intern who knows about dwarves. Here at least Tobias decided to sit down and copy the entire map.

Strangely enough in his hour or so of mapping he was not disturbed at all. This was because at this moment Chester had decided to wander off. Opening a door he saw a large chest in the corner of a high vaulted room. Greed overtook the foolish wizard and he took a step into the room attempting to close the door behind him. Chester fell to the ceiling and was immediately knocked unconscious.

After a short while Padishar noticed he wasn’t being annoyed every ten seconds and went to find the wizard. A short while after that L and Amara noticed as well and went to find Padishar. Tobias kept mapping. They found the wizard and eventually pulled him down. Investigating briefly they discovered the chest to be fake.

The party next came to a room containing four cells. One held a dead halfling, another a drake, one a lizard creature, and the last a dwarf. Outside a skeleton was wrapped around a decaying elf. Freeing the dwarf and the lizard creature the party learned they had been captured by undead and it seemed that these cells were draining the inhabitants life force in some form of necromancy. Behind the cells the party located a ghoul wrapped in the same gold wire that adorned the cells. Charging forward Amara was immediately grabbed by the ghoul and began to feel rather ghoulish herself. After killing the monster Thrupp. Co. parted ways with the Lizard and decided to take the dwarf back home. They also felt like they should take Amara to see some kind of doctor before she became all monsters.

A hop to the temple cleared all that ails the party and Amara slunk off while the rest of the party went their own way for a good nights rest. At a tavern in town Amara met a contact who informed her that her father (a masked lord) was making a play to become the Open Lord. But before he did so he planned to clean house by putting lots of people to the knife. To Amara another night in Under Mountain began to sound really good.

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Back in the Hole
4th and 5th of Hammer

After a quick shore leave to spend the cash burning a hole in everyones pockets Thrupp Co., boosted by confidence descended once again into under mountain. Passing through the lair of the captured assassin the company now found themselves in a strangely preserved laboratory of sorts.

Here it appears the dwarves slaves of Halastor crafted and tested many traps from hooks and spikes to illusions and other magics. Their search rewarded them not only with a secret passage and a magical hammer but also with a few ghouls and an unfortunate incident with not one but two cubes of a gelatinous nature.

After licking their wounds Thrupp co. regrouped to make a plan. In the room beyond the magical workshop lay a flaming skull surrounded by bones. With a Cry of “Caves out Staves out!” Tobias burst into the room and prepared to fell the terrible monster.

One short fireball later though Thrupp & company ran screaming like little girls from the room. They all decided that they could come back and map that location later after the floating skull had moved on.

Turning a complete 180 the company moved in their new destination and continued to find marvelous devices. An automated skelton assembler and a hallway of varying metal pipes that burst into flames when they sensed a creature. But also a room containing a simple lever labeled in two directions. Stop the Test. Begin the Test. Chester began the test. Thrupp co watched in horror as an adventurer was teleported from elsewhere into a prison of wire mesh. Within seconds a gelatinous cube reduced him to mere pocket change.

Chester pulled the lever again. Padishar tackled the urchin to the ground but not before another adventurer was dissolved. Tobias called to the others that this device must be destroyed he lay his hands on the lever and felt an invisible force (not unlike a mage hand) pull the lever yet again. A new adventurer melted. With a heave chester snapped the lever off but to his dismay the machine continued. Amara thinking quickly reached into the device and disabled it. But not before another human was killed.

Chester was bound and carried away from the device but unknown to the others he tried once again with his invisible servant to activate the device. Thankfully the conjuration could not make the machine kill again.

The party came now to a door witch reveled the statues of old gods within. “I said I’m not to be disturbed” Came a voice. “Thrupp Co. maps and Travel guides. Were here to map the room”. The party was confronted by a large bug bear. “You don’t understand. I don’t wish to be disturbed” “No you don’t understand cried the halfling I need to map this room”. Amara opened her mouth to speak but the foolish (and sexist bugbear) foolishly interrupted. A mere moment later he lay choking on his own blood.

Within the party found a man. Badly beaten and near death. This mapping operation had now become an evacuation. Returning to the portal Tobias, Tankard, Amara, and Ulfgar learned this man was a servant of nobility. He did not enter through the tavern.

Returning below to inform their compatriots they found note. “Went to find the wolves. -L” The trio briefly considered finding some new employees but begrudgingly pursued the rest of thrupp co.

Meanwhile the others followed the trail of dead goblins and wolf markings into a yet unmapped passage of under mountain. An older and more naturally made dwarves barracks appeared filled with the grisley remains of goblin. Chester crawled into a small crevice and flushed out a surviving goblin. But having no source of light he lost the creature in the caves. Coming face to face instead with Tobias.

One short pit trap revealing a silver axe later and the corpse of (that person we were looking for?) clutching wolfsbane and the company was fairly certain these wolves might be of the were- persuasion. Entering through an enormous pair of doors the party hear the faint sound of hammering at the and of a rail cart.

Ulfgar just about loses his shit when he advances to find three living, breathing, forging 900 year old dwarves forge masters. A magic slate produces schematics for pieces used in under mountain and they craft them tossing them into a teleport that goes somewhere. The three are oblivious it seems to Halastors madness, the fall of the dwarves, or even the city above their heads. But they are not under any spell or altered in anyway. They appear to just be very old, and very busy. After a long conversation the bores the druid and a mar half to death the team is ready to set off deciding to keep these wonderful dwarves forge a secret.

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A Night in Under Mountain
The apprehension of Gandra

Thrupp co. touched down in the dark of under mountain. Striking a torch Tobias began to take rubbings of the surrounding dwarves stories etched in the wall. The rest of the company attempted to decipher the markings of other adventuring teams and searched for secret passages.

Mapping as they went Thrupp co. was delighted to find a secret passage undisturbed less than 100 ft from the Yawning Portal. Their maps would be worth a pretty penny before this night was through. Chester soon realized that this door was a portal to somewhere else a belief supported by the sudden drop into mid air below them and the sun streaming in. Underground. At night.

Ulfgar made the climb first and after a brief bit of public relations with the local fauna Thrupp co. Was across the chasm and in another tunnel. To the right a crypt was marked with the druidic sign for the undead. Ahead was what appeared to be a cellar bulkhead. Emerging on top the Party found themselves floating on an earth mote miles in the air and apparently on the opposite side of Faerun. On top of the mote was a long abandoned home which at one time may have housed an evil druid. Thrupp co. acquired a magic wand, a ring and 100GP worth of diamond dust then went on their way torching the crypt of vampires as they left.

Back in under mountain Thrupp co. came to a hub of passages each marked with the failures and warnings of past companies. Taking the southern route Thrupp co. came to a wide open cavern guarded by Rory’s boys. They appeared to have found some great treasure to the west. But were more than willing to deal with Thrupp co. and even considered investing in the company.

The parties parted amicably and Thrupp co. soon found themselves in winding tunnels littered with dwarves ruins and signs of combat. Gandra was near. Tankard mistakenly alerted the assassin and the team raced forward nearly triggering a cave in. As Amara worked to disable the device Gandra made her move and bolts began to fire from the dark. Thrupp co. attacked with dangerous speed and cunning illusion and the party was able to knock the orc out.

Disguising her among other goblin loot Thrupp co. dragged the assassin back through the Yawning tavern in the early morning. After a brief meeting with their contact Thrupp co. was paid.

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