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Archive for June 20th, 2010

Having thoroughly investigated the city of Fallcrest, the heroes of Winterhaven reunite in the inn outside town. As the sun sets and the stars begin to wink into night sky, a new bright red diamond in the sky glares down. This new Red Star is a mystery, but as the night passes, otherwise without incident, a sense of impending dread settles on each of their hearts. By morning, each character is feeling the dread like a weight pressing against his or her breast. Not only dread, but an overwhelming feeling of fate drags them towards an unavoidable doom. Each character in the party feels that they must do something to prepare for the doom that awaits them.

As they eat their porridge in the main hall of the tavern next morning, a scuffle erupts as a wily old raven flaps into the room. Th two serving wenches chase the raven around the room with brooms, the raven hopping, flapping and squawking until he finally lands on the heroes table and belches forth an enormous SQUAAAWWWK! Suddenly the voice out of the raven became a whisper spoken in the elvish language. The Arch Wizard Vandalliance is made aware of your inquiries into the Arcane mysteries, and agrees to meet you at his Wizards Guild Tower of Fallcrest at Dusk.

So saying the raven quickly departs the premises and the villains of Hommlet are left with a day to spend in Fallcrest. Each character feels a need to prepare for the doom that is awaiting them and also to understand and hopefully remove the dread that is darkening their hearts. Poppy is the first to leave the inn, and she spends the morning wandering the town. For her, towns are rare exotic places, but it was the people who she spent her time watching. She was trying to understand the dread and find out who else might be suffering. She learned that there were few people who felt anything more than surprise about the unique occurrence of the red star in the sky. Poppy then calls upon her innate elvish healing lore to meditate upon the doom and to shrink it until only a rwinge remains. She then meets up with each of her friends and teaches them the same meditative technique, thereby lessening the dread of everyone.

Next Thokk went across to the encampment of the Black Company and began sparring on the practice field. Soon Vonrippenspine joined him and they fought across the field, with Thokk coming out ahead in the match.The commander of the Black Company, who goes by the name of the White Rose due to wild silvery white hair, watches the bout, and motions for Thokk to join her.

They have lunch together and during the conversation Thokk recounts in great detail the treachery and killing of Ninaren, all the while the White Rose’s eyes grow wider and wider. She questions him for every detail, but Thokk becomes aware of her growing anger and stops giving her answers. Finally she orders him to leave. Thokk then spends the rest of the afternoon in physical activity, and shrugs off the dread that has been dampening his spirits. He feel ready for whatever is to come.

The druid and the ranger both leave town to commune with the wilds of nature. The druid learns that the animals are not disturbed by the blot in the sky, and that reassures here. She feels ready for the encounter to come.

Mad Molly receives permission to search through the Lord Wardens library, and her knowldege of arcana and history allows her to discover information about the star. It apparently hubg in the sky a thousand years past, during a time of great upheaval and unrest for the peoples of D Erte. Further study reveals information about and Eldritch Giant named Gagnasdiak or the Lord of Time and Space, who is associated with the Dark Star. Her studies calm her spirits, and knowing that the danger has been faced before gives her confidence and her dread vanishes once and for all.

Evening approaches and the party meets outside the Mage Tower of Fallcrest. A grey old gnome with a walking stick greets them at the door to the tower, and announces that he is K-poot long-time apprentice to Vandalliance, Arch Wizard of Fallcrest. As they meet Vandalliance at the top of his tower, they see that he is an ancient eladrin. His long hair is silver and his skin is so pale it is nearly translucent. He begins by telling them of his past, where he was court wizard to the Dwarven king of Forge Helm. He tells them of many of the wondrous items he made and then asks them if they have heard of him or his relics, lost when Forge Helm fell to ruin.

The characters resist mentioning the ownership of items, where upon he laughs and tells them that he has known what they carried since the moment they entered the tower. Abashed, they rely on their intuition, which trells them that Vandalliance is a proud, powerful, but also good wizard. They tell their tale, and Vandalliance nods. He says he can release those within, but that they must hurry. The magice device he uses is tied to the celestial bodies in the sky, and for the past day, its focus has been shifted from the moon to this new crimson star, pulsating with otherwordliness. But either way, they have no time, they must begin the ritual immediately.

As they cross a bridge to s second higher flying buttress, his observatory, he explains all he knows, siaded by scraps of information Poppy and Molly picked up. The eldritch Giant Gagnasdiak, also known as the lord of Time and Space, was a general of the primordials in the Dawn War. He was known to wield the flow of time like a weapon. In due time, he had 7 daughters. Ninaren was one of the daughters.

As he speaks he is placing the dagger beneath a bowl shaped mirror pointed at the night sky. The Dark Sun is reflected onto the mirror finish, and redirected to a pink crystal hanging by mithril thread at the mirrors apex. The pink crystal begins to glow, turning darker and darker until it is a deep pulsating red.

Suddenly a red ray of energy shoots from the crystal at the spirit knife. It is bathed in a red glow, until with a shocking clap and a brilliant flash of white, a spirit lion leaps forth from the dagger and materializes at Taras feet. Then another spirit drifts out, it is Rosanna Anastasia Delphina Danna. She smiles and waves to the heroes who saved her, before drifting into the night. A moment of peace comes over the party as they watch her depart.

Felipe has moved across the bridge, and she hears booted steps coming up the stairs. It is the White Rose, surrounded by half a score of Black Company soldier in mail and wielding morning stars. She is in full plate and carries a longsword. I am the second daughter of Gagnasdiak, and you killed sister Ninaren. For that you must die. Come sister, let us destroy these fools! she cries.

Up in the observatory, Vandalliance has lost control of the ritual. The crystal has burst and in its place a red ruby the size of a fist spins freely. Suddenly there is a crack in the sky and the face of Gagnasdiak appears. He is filled with rage and his head is as large as a mountain looming over them. You have slain my daughter and more that you know not. For this you must perish! He casts a lightning bolt of flaring crimson towards the party. Just as he does so, another figure appears out of the darkness. A screaming, flapping dragon hoves into view. Its white body seems electrified, and clouds of swirling sleet surrounds it, with flashes of lightning. It is a blizzard dragon, and it is Koldikoff, another daughter of Gagnasdiak. Too late does the lord of Time and Space realize his mistake, his daughters he has doomed with his enemies, and the lightning bolt hits the ruby, shattering it.

A great explosion of ruby energy washes over the area and the tower tilts and is suddenly not attached to the ground but instead enclosed in a red bubble, tilting and swinging crazily. The party is forced to fight the two daughters of Gagnasdiak in this environment, which is also becoming hotter and hotter by the moment.

The party prevails in the end. The dragon is the first to fall, subjected to the blows of Thokk, Tara, and Poppy, while Felipe holds off the army marching towards her. Molly Aids is the fight against the dragon, which is the first to fall. The White Rose lasts until the end, all her minions dead about her, and then she too falls.

As the party tries to make sense of the insane flight of the tower, the bubble grows brighter and brighter, and the shaking grows until the tower breaks into individual bricks, and then the party can feel their own clothes and items begin to shred and crumble. Suddenly they can see a desert, as from a great height, coming closer and closer.

They crash into the hot sands of the desert and are knocked unconscious. Eventually they wake up to find themselves missing nearly everything they own, including clothes, and stranded in the middle of a great, hot, and bright desert. A few bricks and other rubble from the tower remains but not much. In the sky a Red Sun glares down upon them, recalling the despair they felt at the beginning of the day.

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