Nowhere Rising

The story so far...

Your character met some fate, by accident or design, that removed you from existence as you know it. You may have known nothing of this, or you may have known it only as a permanent and horrible death…

You are drawn into darkness.

For a time, there is nothing – even your heart feels still. Half out of reflex, you reach out to touch yourself, and your fingers meet nothing. “Is this what death is like?” You wonder. You try to move, to see anything, to no avail.

Just as you are beginning to feel madness creep into your thoughts, you feel an agonizing tearing sensation and a soundless scream is torn from your body. When the agony has reached the point you feel as if you are about to die, light and sound begin again with a deafening boom of thunder and the feel of wetness on your skin. You feel yourself falling slowly downwards, your eyes obscured by a heavy fog. You flail around for a surface, but nothing meets your grasp.

When the fog clears you are staring into open sky, and you realize you are falling out of a dark cloud. As you twist and contort on your way down, you see a massive black tower, larger than any building you have ever seen, its smooth surface slick from the rain that is falling all around you. At its feet lies a lake of water towards which you are hurtling.

You slow unnaturally before you hit the water, and you are able to gasp a lungful of air before being plunged below the surface. The water is heavy and thick as you swim upwards with swift, desperate strokes. Your hands meet something solid and you pull yourself up…

To your horror, you realize that the solid surface you are standing on is the floating body of some unidentifiable beast, half-eaten and rotting. You become aware of the cacophony of sound around you, and as you look you realize this is far from the only body. Around you, the foul liquid heaves and shakes, as bodies and objects shift and churn through no influence you can identify. Both far and near, you spy a few other creatures both nightmarish and humanoid lashing out at each other with hunger and fear.

Cold fear runs down your spine; you prepare yourself for a fight as best as you can. ​

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Adventure Log 1
Turtles and Oozes

Arcticias first landed in Nowhere in deep, clear water, where he was able to deftly pull himself out of the water onto a floating carcass of some unidentifiable dead behemoth. Before he had a chance to search for a way home, something came crawling out of the water towards him. As it gradually formed into a mirror image of himself, with his extensive knowledge he realized that what he was facing was a mimic. With quick thinking he scrambled away from it, but he could not work his magic in the new world to overcome its defenses.

Just in time a bolt sizzling with energy pierced it from far ahead, and he finished it off with a decisive stroke of his sword. Thinking it may be useful later, he collected the dust from its corpse in his spell component pouch.

His rescuers arrived in an airboat powered by a mysterious engine belching steam. One was an exotic elf with clockwork limbs and strange ringed eyes who introduced herself as Alzura, the other a man made entirely of clockwork and metal, armed with a clockwork-like crossbow. Despite any fears he may have felt, Arcticias felt strongly inclined to trust these strangers.

Meanwhile, Lux the Rogue found himself waking up staring up to the face of a huge turtle — its massive, beak-like jaws open as if to eat his face. With fear-inspired speed he rolled away from its jaws, to see it was actually defending himself from a trio of giant crabs. With the turtle’s help he (more or less) deftly dispatched the crabs, and found a note on the turtle bidding him not to leave the beach.

When Alzura and companions arrived to pick him up, she found him attempting to strap the turtle to his backpack. She promptly gave him a scroll of Charm Animal and bid him use that.

A third companion was rescued, a woman by the name of Lora whose features were covered in fine feathers. When Lux inquired about her past, she volunteered that she had been eradicated for saving a baby fiendling from her own order, championing the babe’s innocence.

While accompanying their rescuers, Arcticias asked Alzura why his magic wasn’t working, and was instructed to contact Korvin Rhyst, a high-level member of the Rangers guild. Lux got some pointers from the surprisingly animate Karthax on how to care for turtles.

After an oddly uneasy meeting between their rescuers, the survivors were ushered to abandoned underground cavern and told they would return soon. They soon found themselves drawn to a dark room full of creatures Arcticias identified as an ooze, which proved invulnerable to their weapons. Lux had an inspired idea to use Lora’s shield to squish the things flat, and managed to convince her that this was a good idea. After many attempts to squish it, eventually they succeeded and came away with only a mild amount of acid-eroded flesh. After this ordeal, they found on the corpse some silver pieces, a masterwork bastard sword, and an intricately carved magical box that smelled distinctly of oozes.

After this ordeal, the group locked the door behind them to take a brief respite.

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The Cathedral basement
Sessions 2, 3, and 4

After stomping an ooze to death, Arcticias and Lux were beset by Kobolds. They were surprised when during the battle they were joined by a human gunslinger named Kirilov, and a halfling druid with a tiger companion.

After exploring the dungeon, they found a snake-ridden pool in the middle of the hallway with jets of flame preventing any access. Kirilov, after studying the piping above the hall, determined that it was a trap being fueled by oil. After shooting the piping, they were able to set the surface of the water on file and kill the snakes there.

The party then swam across the water, though Kirilov found this tiring and was hereafter fatigued. Lora remained behind to watch their backs.

The party tripped a crude trap on the other side of the water, but Lux was able to go forward and disable the rest of the traps. He was able to spot a kobold ambush, and cleverly shot a note written on soap back to the party. They dispatched the kobolds (with a little help from the turtle now named Frank), save for one injured one which escaped.

After looting the corpes, they realized that the walls were lit by evernburning torches, They promptly went through the effort of removing a torch… and attaching it to Frank. Unable to unlock the door, they went back through the other side (where Lora was waiting calmly on a pile of kobold bodies). They found the other passageway also watery, with a wand of magic missile sending out a steady stream of missiles blocking the way. They were attacked by large spiders which they were fortunately able to avoid getting bitten by, and Lux disabled the wand and took it for them.

From here, they passed under a culvert into an adjacent tunnel, where they encountered a shade and several rats. Seda’s tiger Andowyn scared away most of the rats, leaving only the largest and bravest, and the Shade, to deal with. Arcticias was able to hold them off while Lux used the wand to whittle it down, while Seda and Kirilov took care of the rats.

They retrieved a key from the corpse the rats had been swarming, but they were further able to detect a passageway where the rats had disappeared. Opening this up, they found one path leading up to fresh air, lined by minerals with heavy phosphorous components, and a stairway leading down.

This lead to an ornately carved door with a strong necromantic aura that even with all of his knowledge at his disposal, Arcticias was not able to identify. With a stroke of genius, Lux grabbed a rat and threw it at the door – to witness it being disintegrated to a skeleton and then risen.

They killed the skeletal rat quickly, before hastily retreating.

Upon their return to the next level, they found Lora’s body with unnatural marks as if eaten all over her body. The door to the left of the stairs was now cracked open. Shortly, a skeletal champion and two less robust skeletons appeared in the door. After a tough fight, they were able to reduce them to a pile of bones — upon which they began to rise again.

In the room, they found a large red power gem, in addition to a large amount of loot on a dead half-orc in the corner. The orc’s heart had been ritualistically ripped out. Phosphorescent light was emanating from the statue. Working together, they were able to disable the object on the ceiling that was causing the undead to rise again.

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Escape
Session 5

After their battle with the skeletons, most of the party returned to the kobold room with the key they had found on the giant corpse. Kirilov, still feeling tired, remained behind (Lux called him a pussy at this point, to which Kirilov responded with one raised finger before reclining to a nap).

When the group opened the door into the Kobold’s inner sanctum, lit by the light of Frank they found a phalanx of four kobolds with tower shields pointing their spears at them. A female kobold in a cape holding a wand decorated with a pearl fist and adorned with a rich necklace demanded to know why they had come.

After some tense moments, Lux stepped forward and began to speak with the kobold female. Influenced by the fact the kobolds were not yet attacking them, and they could hear the sound of young ones yipping nearby, Lux knew they were willing to talk. He was able to convince the kobolds to give them any treasure they did not need, and in exchange, they would leave.

They questioned her lightly about the trouble and what had killed Lora. She spoke of a man in robes who entered the forbidden room a few days ago, and was accompanied by a half-orc and a man in black leathers. Only the robed man exited. She said something that could not be seen attacked Lora.

As she was providing them with the treasure, the room began to shake – jarring loose rocks from the ceiling. As the female cleric began to panic, Lux slyly offered to assist her getting her young ones out of the collapsing dungeon in exchange for the amulet and wand. She readily assented. Two baby kobolds apiece (and six on the tiger), they hurried out of the cave. Kirilov was awake at this point, and joined them.

On their way out, Arcticias scouted ahead – where he found a wounded Alzura crawling up from the crypts below. She whispered to him, “Take this ring to Corvin Rhyst in Farview. Get any help you can to survive. Do not let anyone else take this ring from you. Tell him, ‘The circle has been broken.’” Whereupon Arcticias felt strongly compelled to do exactly as she said. As soon as she completed these words, her body crumbled into dust.

Lux, aided by a baby kobold around his neck who shouted alarm whenever a rock threatened to bash in his head, climbed up through the ravine and created a rope for the rest to traverse. The party then escaped out into the approaching dusk. The kobold turned over the wand and enchanted necklace, and introduced herself as Latesha. She is now a friend to the three of them who helped rescue her children.

They spied not so far in the distance, the airship they had come in on surrounded by dancing, half-naked orcs, evidently partying and partially disarmed. Lux quaffed a potion and snuck in among them, gathering up their weapons and armor. They then tied a rope between two trees in the most logical path of egress. Tying a torch to the end of a rope, they then blew up the phosphorous-ridden ravine, thereby blocking anything from coming up behind them. The alarmed orcs ran drunkenly towards the noise, two of them caught by the rope. The third, wielding a poker with a skewered rabbit as a weapon, strayed behind almost enough to offer some resistance.

Grabbing the poor orc and removing his squirrel, Lux interrogated him to find out the group had come here with a man in gray robes, with red skin, who did not say his name. Accompanying him had been two others. This matched the story the Kobold told, and the bodies they had found below. The only other orc there was one who had tried to open a chest in the cabin, who was now “chunks.”

They went to go look at the mentioned chest, which were covered in obvious runes that Arcticias identified as explosive runes, designed to go off when the chest was opened. Surmising that the former occupants of the ship must have had a method to bypass the traps, they searched the cabin extensively. After some extensive searching, they were able to find a hidden compartment in one of the dressers which contained a key. Not taking any chances, they forced the orc to open the chest. It opened without blowing the orc up (to the orc’s vast relief).

Inside, they found 500 gold coins, a leather jacket of strange design, a pair of golden pantaloons, a jeweled crown with an ominous aura, a robe that shifted colors as it was picked up, and a richly illustrated deck of cards. Arcticias identified the robe’s properties, but determined he would have to spend time studying the others.

Lux released the orc, telling him to inform his superiors that, “Tim, the magnificant wizard, knows what you did in the room, and is coming for your soul.” The orc ran as fast as his legs would carry him.

The group, exhausted from an exceedingly long day, took to bed. Some shinanigans did occur in regards to the sleeping gunslinger, who did not notice as his hammock was strung across the front spar.

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