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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