z_The Zenith

Hot Lead

Out of no where, the giant face of Master Glex appears to Peter. There is a hot lead on Alberon. He has been spotted in Eridale, a city far in the South of Elm’ril. The party has been searching in the middle of Therryn and it makes Peter question the skill of their tracker/guide Kyra. For one thing, she moves slower than than average person. It didn’t seem like a problem at first, but Sexy and Kyra insist on foraging all along the way. It has taken months to follow a non existent lead to Therryn. All that doesn’t matter any more because the Didela have a hot lead.

Peter wastes no time and takes himself and his party out of the one horse town of Ashar and into Miresus. Unfortunately, that’s as close to Eridale as he’s ever been. He considers doing a blind teleport, but decides it’s a bad risk because of the late hour. Right after breakfast, Peter coordinates with his party and lets them know of his intention to go to Eridale.

Critical failure! Peter finds himself high on a snow covered mountain top surrounded by other snow covered mountains. There’s a strong wind and blowing snow. The only good thing is that it’s not dark. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. He spies a cave and takes shelter until he rests enough to attempt another teleport.

Success… thank Boccob! Peter visits headmaster Ophir in the Didela tower in Eridale and discovers he is too late by a day. Alberon had killed someone and left on the road South. All the same, he didn’t seem to be in a hurry or afraid of anyone. Followers had joined him, enthralled by his new powers. If the party made haste, it might be possible to find him on the road.

Peter returns to Miresus to an impatient Sexy. Although it has been only a little over an hour, she assumed it would take less than half the time and threatens Peter for his incompetence. It took some convincing, but Peter manages to assure Sexy and Kyra that he is capable of getting them to Eridale. Peter’s powerstone was depleted from previous adventures, so negotiations on how much weight everyone could carry became an issue. It was tedious, but eventually the party teleported to Eridale ready to continue their pursuit.

For once, the party stocked enough rations to travel at a reasonable speed. The road went south and everyone kept their eyes open for obvious places to take another route. After a few hours, there is a break in the foliage that has seen many travelers recently. Peter listens carefully and hears people talking quietly in the direction of the discovered trail. Everyone attempts to sneak in that direction… and does a terrible job at stealth.

Two women dressed in flexible leathers that move freely with daggers on the belt call out to the party. “Who goes there?” Peter answers that the party is tracking an elven blacksmith named Alberon that may have went this way. As a coincidence, the travelers were also looking for Alberon. One of their female friends fell to Alberon’s influence and the pair were trying to bring her back home. With very few questions, but lots of suspicion the two parties join forces and continue deeper into the woods.

Kyra took point. Peter and the two women were in the middle. The strongly armored hand to hand fighter, Sexy cowered well to the rear sword drawn just in case there was a battle. As it turned out, this would be sooner rather than later. Surprise attack! Kyra was struck in the back by the more forward tracker. Peter was hit by the other and fell to the ground dazed. Sexy was caught off guard and took no action as his party soaked up damage.

The party was so slow to respond that Kyra was attacked again. Sexy just stood there while she was closed upon and attacked. Fortunately, everyone started to wake up after that. Sexy delivered a powerful thrust with her Naginata. Kyra saw a weakened enemy attacking a party member and took a shot with her long bow. The enemy dropped.

Surprised by the speed that his friend died, the remaining attacker retreated to begin cast a spell. That was a mistake. Kyra was able to quick draw and fire a successful shot with her bow. It ended the fight. Sexy made a point to slit the throats of the fallen. Peter recovered enough to attempt to use wild talent for minor healing. It was enough to allow him to journey onward.

While stripping the women naked, Sexy and Kyra discover each person had a tattoo of a black sun on her shoulder. Sexy and Kyra seem to recognize the symbol immediately. Extra time is taken to dig a grave for the bodies because of this. Peter finds this to be trite and wants to make speed in the pursuit of Alberon. After a few insults and a little debate Peter agrees to take all of their gear back to Miresus.

It isn’t until much later that Peter will have access to research material to learn what the others already know. The black sun tattoo is the mark of the Vashta Na’rada, an infamous guild of assassins. These assassins may have been sent to kill the party for an unknown reason.

Towards mid afternoon, the party finds themselves closing in on Alberon’s position. The party is greatly outnumbered. There are at least 2 mages not including Alberon. Seven fighters were with him, too. The smart thing to do would be to run away, but that wasn’t on anyone’s mind.

As the party snuck towards Alberon, Peter begins prepping his spells. Levitation, fire resist, haste, armor. He is invigorated the more magic he uses. The fatigue that normally comes from casting spells is gone. There is something else, though. Like a whisper in the back of his mind. Peter couldn’t just leave now. Not without trying to get the orb.

Just as Peter casts an explosive fireball, he hears a voice in his head. “Kill! Keep the orb for yourself! Use the power!” He also felt much more powerful. His magic became twice as strong and his wild talent had been multiplied. Peter was going to kill them all.

At the same time, Sexy was also prepping her magic and not holding up much better against the orbs influence. Before Peter could adequately aim his fireball, Sexy had trounced into Alberon’s camp claiming to be a new ally. She managed to come within 2 yards of Alberon without being attacked. That’s when she struck out with her Niginata. It was for nothing because Alberon’s iron arm perfectly parried the attack.

Peter was forced to unleash his explosive fireball without properly aiming it. It went wide and caught both Alberon and Sexy in the radius. Sexy dropped, but Alberon was only severely wounded. Kyra successfully attacked a mage instead of continuing the assault on Alberon. With Sexy down, Peter became the most obvious target. 3 warriors went for Kyra. All the rest advanced on Peter.

Peter had a strategy to teleport behind the group, become invisible and get within range to teleport the orb to himself. The control of the orb was too strong. He was forced to stay and do an offensive spell. There was only had 1 second, so he did an area acid attack. To his credit, this did create a barrier that slowed down the enemy. Unfortunately, Alberon was able to inflict agony on him from a distance. Peter began writhing in pain helpless on the ground. Alberon seemed content with this and promptly teleported away leaving his overwhelming forces to mop up.

All the attention went to Kyra. The horde of still standing enemies approached her position. Sexy regained her bearings enough to grab her Naginata and stand up. The only enemy in the area was a mage who asked if she was still on their side. Sexy swore her loyalty to Alberon and then ran the mage through with her sword. Fortunate for Kyra, this turned 3 of the 6 remaining enemies to far away Sexy.

While waiting for her attackers, Sexy slit the throats of the fallen enemies in the area. Kyra had the fight of her life with 3 melee fighters on her. She kept falling back and firing. Inflicting damage, but not quick enough to keep her safe. In the end, she was able to drop only 1 of the 3 before falling unconscious from her injuries.

Sexy was fairing much better. Her enemies were staggered and she managed to drop several before the final 3 came together and fight as a team. It was an epic battle. One got wounded and dropped. That left only a massive barbarian fighter and a skilled sword fighter with a strong parry. All effort was made against the barbarian. He kept soaking up damage and more damage, but he just refused to drop. Finally, Sexy succumbed to his injuries, but so did the barbarian. The uninjured sword fighter had the whole party at his mercy.

Boccob was smiling this day because the lone swordsman decided to take the fallen heroes captive rather than kill them. He tied up Peter, Sexy and Kyra and put them face down in a circle. Eventually, the agony afflicting Peter wore off giving him control of his faculties again. His high skill allowed him to cast levitate without either word or motion. When Peter teleported straight up, the guard didn’t know what happened. That gave Peter the time to free himself from his bounds and prep a powerful fireball.

When Peter floated down, the swordsman came dashing in giving Peter an easy shot. The fireball easily knocked him unconscious. Just to be sure, Peter slashed the throats of all fallen enemies before trying to do minor healing to help stabilize his friends. It wasn’t enough. He had to get them back to the temple of Boccob for healing.

The Didela proved valuable allies in patching up Peter’s friends. One of the first words out of Kyra’s mouth was asking whether Peter had gathered the gear of the fallen. Peter went back to grab it to ease her mind. Of course, when Peter came back to check on her, she was gone… whisked away to her favorite woodland retreat by secret agents from the palace. Sexy was hurt more than the others and took longer to recover.

When everyone was recovered, Sexy decided to do some back ally trading along with normal traders. Of course, Peter came along with her to keep her honest. When Peter reported to Master Glex, it became apparent that the party was no match for Alberon or the orb. Special preparation would be needed before the orb were encountered again. As a reward for his trouble, Peter was rewarded with a note for 10,000 silver. All of the spoils were divided up equally.

The money must have been extremely exciting to Sexy and Kyra because the first thing they wanted to do was go looking for Alberon. Peter brought them back to Eridale to try to pick up his trail. The road went to a small town port town named Mill Beach. Alberon can teleport at will and there wasn’t any reason to believe he followed the road, but the party didn’t have any leads.

While in Mill Beach, the party learned that a ship had recently left. A ship that Alberon may have taken. The party decided to stay the night inside for a change. Sexy decided to go to be at 8:00, but Kyra and Peter stayed up in the tavern part of the inn to be social. Kyra tried to teach Peter a little Elven. One phrase stuck in Peter’s mind, “Be gone foul creature! Leave me in peace!”

The next morning about 4:00, Sexy decided it was important to get the party together. First she knocks on Kyra’s door waking her from a deep sleep. She wasn’t satisfied until Kyra answered the door. Oblivious to the obscene hour, Sexy wanted her to come with her down to the dock to talk to the harbor master. Finally, Kyra managed to get Sexy to leave her alone.

On to the next door, Peter’s. This time, when the knocking became incessant, a loud voice cried out from the room in Elven, “Be gone foul creature! Leave me in peace!” At first, Sexy thought she had got the wrong room until Kyra cried down the hall, “Good job, Peter. You’re learning elven well.” That made Sexy want to talk to Peter even more. It took a while, but eventually Sexy left without Peter answering the door.

To kill time, Sexy decided to look for oysters down the beach. She was gone when Peter and Sexy got up around 7:00. After breakfast and talking to the harbor master, Sexy was still gone. The ship was bound for Kyrol in Khatovar. After consulting with Kyra, Peter decides to try to go to Kyrol to scout it. While waiting, Kyra made friends with the harbor master and went fishing.

Kyrol was a complex maze of buildings and roads. There was no clear direction to go and no one who knew anything. No Didela representatives lived here. The mayor didn’t know anything about Alberon or anything else useful. He was able to point them to a local magician capable of casting a beacon to allow the party to travel here.

Peter expected Kyra and Sexy would be discussing options about where to go next. Instead, Sexy had enlisted Kyra to look for oysters. It took Peter a moment to spot a pair of figures down the beach, but he did and teleported to them. Surprisingly, neither Kyra nor Sexy were interested in doing anything else the rest of the day except searching for clams. Peter was unable to get any consensus despite his best effort, so he just went back to the inn to wait.

Stuck in Mill Beach another night, Peter once again stayed up later than Sexy to work on his Elven with the pretty bartender. The next morning while Peter was praying, Kyra and Sexy were having breakfast. Sexy asks Kyra what it was that Peter had said the other day. Kyra told him without hesitation the elven insult. Sexy stormed up to Peter’s room and kicked down the door. She threatened him with brass knuckles.

Peter didn’t back down. He told her she was out of line and the insult was well deserved. This sent Sexy into a rage and she disappeared again looking for oysters all day long. Peter and Kyra decided that it would be best to leave this small town and resume searching in Kyrol. The plan was to leave as soon as Sexy arrived. Peter travels there, pays 3 platinum to have a beacon put up and then returns to Kyra. Sexy is still gone, but Kyra has changed her mind about looking for Alberon in Kyrol. She doesn’t want to do it at all.

Sexy doesn’t return to the inn that night. Instead, she opts to stay at the other inn. It’s not until the next morning that she joins the party for breakfast. Sexy tells everyone that the party should go to the mountains where Alberon’s ore came from to talk to the dwarves there. Peter knows that it’s snow covered and treacherous. He has decided to take the winter off to study in the Didela tower.

Sexy informs Peter that he will take them to the mountains. Peter tells her people typically get paid for transportation services. He informs her that he’s going to Miresus to train, but he’s willing to drop her and Kyra in Silverwood before beginning training if she wants. It remains to be seen what Sexy and Kyra will do, but Peter has his next 100 days slated for learning spells and reading in the library.

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Cold Trail In Winter

Peter and Sexy followed Kyra North for a few days. Suddenly, Kyra decides that North isn’t the right direction and that Alberon actually lay to the East. The party decides to cut through the deep woods to the East for a few days. Kyra then directs the party back the way the party came back to the road.

Eventually, the party regains the road and continues North to the small town of Calars (pop 732). Peter talks to the mayor, Arelen, but she has not heard about anything out of the ordinary. With no leads and no real sense of where to go next, Peter follow the road East. Peter believes he will eventually arrive in Thorajin’s home in the Dwarven lands. Unfortunately, it’s months later that he finds himself arriving at Ashar (pop 250) in the heart of Therryn.

Kyra who has been leading the tracking effort appears to have come up dry. The only idea of where to go next is South over the mountains. It’s now late November and the party finds itself looking for a way back to Silverwood and civilization. Kyra and Sexy aren’t excited about the idea of letting Peter Teleport either one of them after his last attempt at teleporting.

All that changed when Master Glex appeared to Peter in the form of a giant floating head. He said that Alberon was seen in Eridale. Peter didn’t have a great start. He initially dropped to the ground stunned and disorientated when he attempted to teleport all the gear to Miresus. Kyra was brave enough to risk it and she arrived successfully in Peter’s room in the Didela tower. In about 20 minutes, Peter went back to Aradale to pick up the gear. When Peter was finally ready to leave, that’s when things went horribly wrong.

Peter found himself and all the gear in the middle of Gotham… of course in the bad side of town. In 20 minutes, he’d be well enough rested to try going to Miresus. He’d only get 13. A pickpocket suddenly starts running away from Peter with what looks like Peter’s compass.

Peter should have known better, but he attempted a Wild Talent with Teleport Other to get his compass back. Success! Unfortunately, the pickpocket wasn’t exactly happy and came at Peter with a knife stabbing him. Peter attempts a fireball at point blank range… and misses. The pickpocket stabs Peter again and Peter makes and even bigger fireball… and misses again. A passerby is dropped and a commotion starts, but no guards come. Undoubtedly laughing himself silly, the pickpocket stabs a 3rd time and Peter attempts to do an explosive fireball risking personal injury to get a guaranteed hit. Unfortunately, the spell only produced a single point of damage.

After taking another stab and going into the negative range, finally, reluctantly, Peter retreats to the nearest roof top leaving Kyra’s pack. He just couldn’t carry the weight. Confident now, the pickpocket starts rummaging through the pack to see what he’s won. That’s when Peter started sending explosive fireballs down on him. The pickpocket starts running away with the first things he can grab, which are two wineskins.

It takes 3 or 4 attempts, but Peter finally manages to do enough damage to cause the pickpocket to drop. Too bad all the action drew that attention of another thief who starts climbing the wall to get to Peter’s position. Health negative and low on fatigue, Peter retreats to the opposite roof in an attempt to hide. He actually manages to use Teleport Other to retrieve Kyra’s pack, but is too tired to risk getting the wineskins.

Peter manages to camouflage himself long enough to recover enough to attempt to Teleport back to Miresus. Before he leaves, he thinks about trying to collect the wineskins. Both the pickpocket and the wineskins are gone. Peter manages a successful teleport to Miresus short a couple wineskins, but at least he managed to escape with his life.

Kyra was kind enough to use first aid to patch up Peter and then summon a cleric. Back up to half his hit points, Peter travels back to Ashar for Sexy. Impatient by nature, Sexy has made quite a scene in his absence. She had made the whole tavern nervous tapping her brass knuckles on the window sill. Then she when to the livery and hung up an 80 lb. bag of grain just to pound on it until the bag broke.

Sexy was none too happy to see Peter and didn’t even care that he was covered in blood and had multiple knife hole in his jacket. The only thing she cared about was that he was late. When she learned that Peter had been mugged in Gotham, she insisted that they travel there to bust some heads. Peter finally convinced her that he only had enough energy in his powerstone to take her one more place for the next several days.

Sexy and Peter arrive safely in Peter’s room in Miresus. Now, with a wounded party member and an empty powerstone, the party needs to decide the best and quickest way to get to Eridale.

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Find The Silver Sphere

A gorgeous, blonde human named Sexy has come from Gotham to Elm’ril to seek her childhood friend, Peter Tolman. Peter has been studying magic with the Didela for the last several years. At first, Peter assumes Sexy has come because she has a secret crush on him. She claims the reason she has travel 1500+ miles is because she believes he’s the best person to go adventuring with.

To try to impress Sexy, Peter asks his Master Glex about an assignment that promises to be interesting. He is assigned to investigate rumors of a silver sphere that creates an aura of extra high mana and gives even the most mundane person magical abilities, but at the risk of being controlled. Peter accepts the task without attempting to bargain for compensation because he trusts the Didela to be fair.

As the pair of humans were starting to depart for Silverwood, it started to become obvious they were unprepared. Peter had exactly $3 and not even a blanket. Sexy bought him a blanket despite Peter’s desire to share hers. Having enough food for the journey was looking like a problem, too. Neither Peter nor Sexy knew anything about woodland survival. Sexy could probably buy enough to last at least to the half way point town of Arisi, but couldn’t carry that much weight. Finding someone to come along to help seemed to be the best solution.

Checking the job boards, the best person for the job came up as a young, female elf named Kyra. Unfortunately, Kyra prefers the deep woods to the city and was only available through a contact. It cost an extra day to meet Kyra and negotiate for her to join Peter and Sexy in their travels. Instead of negotiating a price, Kyra was made a full partner.

The day spent waiting for Kyra wasn’t the slowest part of the travels. Peter thought he had become slow because of his preference for teleporting over walking, but as it turned out Sexy and Kyra were equally as slow and weighed down by heavy chain mail. The party managed to spend around a month and a half to travel the 375 miles. Kyra didn’t turn out to be the woodsman she claimed to be and Peter had to teleport Sexy back to Elm’ril to get money out of the bank to buy food at Arisi. At least, the party remained relatively safe during their travels because of the Mystic Mist that Sexy insists upon surrounding their campsite in every night.

When the party finally arrived in Silverwood, Peter talked to Master Loill of the Didela to inform him of his mission and get leads. Only a couple of days prior, something odd had happened. A blacksmith named Alberon that had no magical talent seemed to have lost his mind and destroyed a couple of homes with magic.

Eager to investigate, Peter and Sexy go to the site of the destruction while Kyra, who is a little paranoid about crowds, waits outside of town in the woods. When Peter and Sexy arrive, they find two houses submerged in the dirt a couple of feet and crushed by a tons of dirt. Peter is happy to learn that no one was home at the time. Alberon found his way into a stranger’s house and was talking to someone no one saw in a loud voice. Then he stormed out of the house, threw his hands against the wall of the home and stomped his foot. That’s when the house and the nearby house became buried.

After the incident, the home owner, Mikary and his neighbors, Tabilin and Damia, got to stay at the Shepard and Rose Motel courtesy of the city. Mikary wasn’t home at the time of the incident and had never even met Alberon. He has no idea why he would come to his house. Mikary didn’t have anything valuable besides a few family items. Peter is sympathetic to their plight, but Sexy seems to care little.

Kyra rejoins the party and then the city guard are asked for help. The party learns that Alberon’s blacksmith shop was next door to a fletcher named Glejames. Glejames was being questioned at the time. He was cooperative, but the only information he could offer was that Alberon seemed normal and it wasn’t until he heard about the destroyed buildings that he knew something had happened. Nothing out of the ordinary had happened before that. Alberon had received a new ore shipment a few days earlier from his usual supplier, a dwarf named Thorajin. The party guesses that the silver sphere may have been hidden inside the ore and revealed as Alberon refined it.

Searching Alberon’s smithery turned up nothing unusual. There was a painting of Alberon with his family from Elm’ril. It was reported that this is the only place Alberon ever went. Peter realized that this meant Alberon would need to travel on foot to wherever else he might want to go. The only other lead to Alberon’s whereabouts is a vague report about him running north after the home destruction.

Peter reported his findings to Master Loill and received some small compensation to help with traveling expenses. Peter rejoins the group to let them know he’s going to visit Elm’ril for a few hours. As he attempts to teleport away, he suddenly collapses and his leather helm disappears. This causes more than a little anxiety for Sexy. Both she and Kyra back far away when Peter tells them he’s going to try to teleport again after recovering.

While Peter is gone, Kyra uses a mysterious language to talk to a mysterious crystal ball that she has kept hidden in her pack. Kyra is always talking to herself and answering the questions of unheard voice, but this time another voice answers in response. Sexy is immediately curious about what happened and unsuccessfully tries to convince Kyra to explain what she doesn’t understand.

Peter reports back to Master Glex in Elm’ril and discovers no evidence that Alberon has returned to Elm’ril. After tithing from his portion of the compensation he received from Master Loill, Peter prays to Boccob and thanks him for his blessing as he pursues knowledge and magic. Peter is also a cleric of Boccob that prays an hour daily. When Peter rejoins his party and equally divides the compensation he got from Master Loill. Now, armed with no other knowledge than the silver sphere may have come from the dwarven lands and that the artifact can control a person, the party must locate Alberon and fulfill their mission.

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