Tales of the Sundered Bastion

Session 01: An Uncertain Welcome

The party makes its way across the desert, lead by Hilk before encountering a scene of gore: body parts strewn about the scrub land. Investigating, they are suddenly surprised by a clutch of ankhegs touched by a black disease. The party defeats their enemies, but Willicae is infected by a disease they will come to know as the Black Burn. A cry leads them to a lone survivor of the massacre — a desert dog with an ever-changing coat that forms patterns of power. The dog follows the party, picking Willicae as its new master.

The companions arrive at Restwell Keep and make their way to The Bastion. They wander the streets, their uniforms drawing disdainful glances. The follow directions to the Bastion, where they are introduced to Bikwik. Following Bikwik, the group travels to the Old Bailey, only to be confronted by The Duke, Nickle Copper, and Under a Rock — members of the Red Band who are the de facto law in this place. Unable to bear the insults lobbied their way by the men and their captain, Blackoak, Codren retaliates and challenges them. With a bet on the line, the party subtly assist Codren in his fight against Nickle Copper, fending off an attempt by their foes to take their winnings ahead of time.

Reaching the Old Bailey, the group meets Hest the Palaverer who gives them a lead on the drought affecting the countryside: an item of great magic created by Voran Earthmane that creates damp, fertile earth, located within an abandoned tower. The party leaves, but Hest asks Inferno to stay behind for a private conference, which Codren attempts to listen in on.

Before heading to the tower ruins, Willicae stops at an herbalist, the old woman Thistle. Thistle provides a slight relief for the disease but informs the party she cannot hope to cure him without rare herbs; the rival merchants Bosco and Grelda are one possible avenue to acquire them.

The party leaves the Keep and reaches the tower where they encounter a group of bullywugs on decayed ground floor. They succeed at dispatching the mud-covered bullywugs, and find a gleaming scimitar in the ground, as well as a trap door leading down to the tower’s heart…

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Session 02: Stews and Ruse

The party returns with the Staff of Earthen Might but disagrees on how to dispense with it, with some party member less informed about the debate than others. Willicae, having, temporarily at least, shaken off the effects of the Black Burn, heads into town to have the staff appraised by the merchant Pung while the rest of the party considers other options.

Hilk, signed on for another tour of duty, remains insistent the party should travel to Wish-eye. The party stops at the Fickle Fate Inn, where the Innkeeper Rom provides them a safe room. As Pung arrives to offer an appraisal, he is offended by the party’s unrelenting haggling and leaves without offering an evaluation.

The party, now somewhat backed into a corner, must travel to Wish-eye with the offering gift of Rom’s stew. There they are greeted by the eccentric sorceror, who offers to identify their item and a magical cloak (Gloaming Shroud +1) if they will travel to one of two possible entrances into the deep Scar.

The party agrees and picks the path of the mountain pass, difficult terrain that threatens to separate the party, but they manage to track each other down and prepare to enter a dark cave.

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Session 03: Crystal Caverns

The party descends into the crystal caves and comes upon a cave of corpses. Almost immediately, they are attacked by fell taints that lash at their bodies with tentacled grips. The party defeats their enemies, but while searching the dead bodies for clues, Inferno tries to slip a piece of paper into his pocket unnoticed. Codren puts his hand on his arm and quietly tells him that the whole party should have a look. The paper details several names indicating the deceased are merchants and their group is made out of people headed from Restwell Keep.

Venturing further, a passage of sharp, overgrown crystals blocks the party’s way. The party tries various methods to slip past, barge through, or blow up the crystals. As they slowly make their way, the crystals begin to call to their minds. Codren, convinced he is exceedingly warm, is influenced to remove his armor, but he manages to recover his senses. Willicae throws away gold with abandon, convinced he should purchase a crystal. Inferno, heavily damaged in his attempts, receives assistance from Willicae and Codren, and he finally crosses to the other side with his companions.

There the path diverges. The companions choose to investigate a cubed room with slots in the floor, ceiling and walls. On the ground is a puzzle with glowing rods and a message which reads “When three runes are held tight without waste or want, you will be worthy of a great power.” After some trial and error, the party solves the puzzle, dispelling an illusion of a wall in the far side of the room. There they find a fell beholder gauth who is waiting to devour the mental energies of any being smart enough to pass the puzzle.

The gauth proves a tough adversary, and the party must utilize much of its resources. In the end, victorious, the party loots a pair of magical Boots of Jaunting.

Looking to end their expedition and find the final way into the deep scar, the party encounters a canyon with deep cliffs leading up to more lashers and a gigantic shard golem. One of the lashers warps reality and switches places with Codren, leaving him stranded at the canyon’s highest levels right next to the golem. The golem punishes Codren, battering him to unconsciousness before his friends can rescue him. Eventually, the party turns the tide of battle and shatters the golem, leaving a glowing Chaos Shard, an evil sliver of great power. Willicae determines that he is strong-willed enough to resist its pull, and retrieves it.

Unfortunately, there is no deeper route to the Scar. As the party turns to leave, their summoned dwarf companion Tarloc, desperate to magic powers, finds a Frostwolf Pelt in a murky pool. The party returns to the sorceror Wish-eye where Inferno offers a tale that tells much but omits many items.

Wish-eye tells Inferno to leave and speaks privately with Will and Codren.

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