New Latveria

Back Into the Dark
[Pathfinders] - Day 69

Having rested and recuperated in the Watchtower for several days, the Pathfinders finally returned to Guiltspur. There they found the Giant encampments nearly cleared out, apparently cleaned by its prior occupants – who had fled as the heroes rested. Down below the cavern was now blocked by hand-placed boulders, slowing but not stopping the Pathfinders’ advance. With a few hours of digging, they finally continued on.

With three directions from which to choose, Hyourinmaru – the most adept at finding his way – chose a Northern passage. Iron Woman led the way, halting when she spotted a Cold-Rider Goblin flashing around a shard-looking metal object to a hill giant. The Goblin ran off into a mining shaft, riding the ore cart down the passage. The giant stood his ground, trying his best to hold back the Pathfinders – but was quickly overwhelmed.

The Pathfinders discussed what to do next for some time, finally deciding to follow the sound of a muffled voice in the direction of the Goblin. They followed down into the passage until they reached a round cavern. Across the chasm the Goblin held a tied-up Leroy Jenkin Dragonbane over a seemingly bottomless pit in the center. He warned the Pathfinders to lower their weapons or watch their friend fall to his death. Strange ignored the ultimatum, blasting the Goblin with magical rays – but unfortunately missed. The Goblin dropped Jenkins and began a retreat. Captain America quickly dove into action, literally, leaping into the chasm and grabbing the falling rope. Hyourinmaru followed, casting a spell of flight on him.

As Rogers and Hyourinmaru led Jenkins aside, Flash rushed the Goblin and exchanged blows. To the rear, reinforcements arrived. Two ghostly Vilkacis – ethereal werewolves – drifted from the walls. While one engaged Doctor Strange in physical combat, another possessed Iron Woman’s body and suit. Inexplicably, the suit transformed as well as her body, both forming a terrifying amalgam of beast and machine.

As the Goblin managed to slip away from Flash, the remaining Vilkacis slashed Strange until he fell. It then turned to Hyourinmaru, and the Dragon Disciple met the creature with claws and fangs of his own. Stark howled and rushed to Rogers, who was still untying Jenkins. Rather than leave his ally helpless, Rogers suffered repeated attacks as he finished untying him. Just as he was freed, however, Stark bit Jenkins – transforming him into a stocky, Dwarven werewolf. Outnumbered and overpowered, Rogers retreated defensively to Strange. There we revived him with a healing potion and worked at holding both Stark and Jenkins at bay. As Flash ran up to help, Jenkins bit him – creating yet another were-spawn.

Hyourinmaru and Strange magically destroyed the Vilkacis, allowing the group to focus on their cursed allies. Hyourinmaru prepared a potion of remove curse, waiting until Flash bit at him before shoving it down his throat. Cured of the lycanthopy, Flash helped them do the same for Jenkins – though the Dwarven warrior proved very difficult to subdue.

Lastly the group turned to Stark. Protected by her incredibly tough armor, Stark shrugged off most attacks as she unleashed her bestial fury on Rogers and Strange. Proving ineffective against his ex-wife, Rogers relegated mostly to defending others as Strange and Hyourinmaru blasted her with magic.

As Stark slowly began to weaken, Hyourinmaru took one final shot. To his surprise, however, the energy missile blast proved far stronger than he had anticipated. The blast of ice pelted Stark, sending her flying backward. She fell to the ground, her vitals and suit systems instantly powering down. She was dead.

Hyourinmaru watched in helpless horror and surprise at killing his own friend. Just then, however, JARVIS rebooted from a backup system. Stark’s suit flickered on and finally reactivated, along with several life-support systems. The suit revived Stark, and as she gasped for air it shifted and transformed back into its usual humanoid shape. Stark stood up, looking around at the Pathfinders huddled around her.

“What just happened? Please tell me no one kissed me.”


TOTAL XP

Dale: 126,720
James: 126,420
Ricardo: 122,500
Sarah: 117,050
Will: 111,100
Hunter: 81,250
Caitlin: 72,850
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A Disarming Situation
[Pathfinders] - Day 67

After defeating General Stom and her crew, the Pathfinders continues clearing the building. They next barged into a sitting room, which was occupied by three drunken plains giants seated at a table. The heroes quickly surrounded the giants – who Stark somehow recognized as Gorg, Grig and Fecundor – and beating them into submission. Gorg surrendered, only to be knocked unconscious by Captain America. Stark pummeled Grig with a powerful blast from her repulsors, knocking him against a wall. The others quickly surrounded Fecundor, and within moments he too fell to the overwhelming numbers.

As the Pathfinders scoured the room, noting a locked iron chest in one corner, Stark decided to try her hand at a magic trick – ripping the table cloth from the table without spilling the drinks. She failed, and the loud crash of the table and its toppings echoed throughout the building. Before they could react, two hell-hounds emerged from a nearby room, immediately blasting the area with cones of flame. The heavily-wounded Pathfinders made a hasty retreat from the room, with Flash dragging the near-death Strange into a nearby pantry. As he healed his wounds with a potion, Captain America did his best to protect the other evacuees. Stark, pelted with flame, fell to the ground as her suit once again shattered. Mangled suit in hand, she fell back to the central hall. Hyourinmaru cast several Ice-Wall spells, slowing the hell hounds and allowing the Pathfinders to retreat safely. Once Strange awoke, he teleported himself and Flash to safety. The duo regrouped with the others, taking stock of their wounds and losses.

Unwilling to risk waiting several days for Stark to rebuild, Rodgers suggested she return to the Watchtower while the others proceeded. Stark had no option but to comply, and the Pathfinders moved on. When the investigated the room from which the hell hounds emerged, they encountered a small Wyrmling tied to a roast. Rushing to his draconic kin, Hyourinmaru quickly untied the young one. The Wyrmling introduced himself as Spyro, and as Hyourinmaru caught him up to speed on the goals and history of the Pathfinders, the rest of the group pressed on.

Down below the Giant’s Hall, the stairs descended into a half-chiseled cavern. Natural lava flows hollowed out side passages, but the majority of the area was artificially excavated. In the center of the corridor stood three fire giants, laughing to one another in their lax security post. They stood idly by a large statue, which looked like an armed giant. Silently sneaking in, the Pathfinders prepared for a repeat of the quick take-down above. However Hyourinmaru, flying above, accidentally hit his head on a stalactite and alerted the giants. Even so, the Pathfinders were quite efficient at defeated the towering foes.

As Flash began looting the bodies, the statue in the corridor suddenly sprang to life. It lifted its razor-sharp sword, slicing Flash’s arm clean off. In shock, he staggered backward as Captain America did his best to pull him away. The statue – identified as a Caryatid Golem – marched forward, and just as quickly sliced off Captain America’s arm as well. Hyourinmaru and Spyro rallied to attack the golem as Strange teleported the wounded allies to safety. As he tended to their wounds and shock, the draconians below flew out of range of the golem. The golem tried to throw its sword, but it was ineffective. Before it could make another hit, Spyro blasted it with corrosive acid, crumbling it to the ground.

Regrouping once more, the Pathfinders retreated to the Watchtower. Realizing the medical bay on the space station was empty and underutilized, Hyourinmaru – the wealthiest of the party – returned to Kaer Maga. There he enlisted the aid of doctors, nurses and a powerful healing sage. Employing them as staff aboard the Watchtower, the new medical bay immediately tended to the wounded heroes. The healer regenerated the arms of Rodgers and West, and the rest of the party decided to rest there for the night before returning once more to Guiltspur.


TOTAL XP

Dale: 115,120
James: 115,020
Ricardo: 110,900
Sarah: 105,450
Will: 97,600
Hunter: 74,050
Caitlin: 72,850
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Girl On Fire
[Pathfinders] - Day 66

As the Pathfinders rested from their brutal battle, Superman and Batman determined that the Guiltspur spire they were headed toward was composed of irradiated Abysium. The radioactive metal would prove detrimental or potentially fatal to Superman and so, rather than be a burden to his teammates, decided not to continue with the exploration into its depths.

Instead he flew to Magnimar, where he recruited the assistance of Captain America. The Avenger took command of the group, overseeing their recovery through the night and leading the charge against the Giants in the morning. Flash – hasted and hidden by magic – rushed up to the Giant’s central building, only to immediately fall into a pit trap. The others hurried to help him as several giants emerged. They swung with powerful clubs, dealing massive damage to Iron Woman and Doctor Strange. Captain America held his own against the giants, even protecting Strange for a time, but was soon overwhelmed as well.

After Iron Woman also fell into a trap, Flash rapidly dashed out and rejoined the fight. Hyourinmaru flew above with magic, unleashing devastating barrages of ice and lightning spells. Soon the giants fell to the rallying heroes, who briefly healed themselves before continuing.

Inside the Great Hall, the wooden walls were adorned with dozens of trophies, some of which seemed to be still alive judging by their feeble twitchings and cries. The majority of the trophies were animals-bears, aurochs, giant lizards, and a few monsters-but here and there hung the mutilated bodies of orcs or humans. A great fire pit lied in the room’s center, forming a layer of smoke near the ceiling some fifty feet above, while additional torches guttering on the walls only added to the room’s foul scents. Suspiciously familiar meat roasted slowly over the central fire, while a balcony twenty-five feet above the eastern half of the room looked out over the hall.

Against the railing of the balcony stood General Stom, an intimidating Fire Giant with a dubious proposal. She offered to take her clan of giants and leave Guiltspur without a fuss if they would defeat her rival, Chieftain Jubbek, in the caverns below. She even offered gold as incentive. While some in the group seriously considered her offer, the adamantly honorable Captain America merely threw the blood money back at her.

Angered, Stom invited Flash – who had made an ill-timed cat-call at her – to join her on the balcony. As he zipped up there, however, she attacked with her powerful spiked warhammer. Flash narrowly escaped with his life as the others gathered against Stom and her two minions. Captain and a healed Flash engaged them in melee, while Hyourinmaru and Iron Woman blasted Stom with magical blasts. Iron Woman dealt the final blow; two concussive repulsor blasts to the chest. Stom fell hard, followed by her giant subordinates.

Taking a slight breather, Iron Woman scanned the area and detected more evil presences. The Pathfinders gathered a few supplies from the fallen giants and vacant store rooms before preparing for battle once again.


TOTAL XP

Dale: 100,320
James: 100,220
Ricardo: 94,820
Sarah: 89,370
Will: 83,520
Hunter: 74,050
Caitlin: 72,850

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The Asylum Stone - Therassic Park
[Acolytes] - Day 61

029863e4cf84fc9f46300a04181d2280 d2ytyk6Having successfully rescued Augustille, the Acolytes wasted no time in returning him to the Temple of the Augur’s and his anxious sister Vargun. She and the rest of the Augurs were ecstatic to see their friend alive, and rushed down to meet him and the Acolytes at the steps of their white, columned temple. In return for this aid, Vargun has already employed her network to discovering a promising lead regarding the lost shard, Before she can relate it, however, the crowd of trolls steps back as Augustille falls to the ground in the grips of what looks like a seizure, his back arched and lips frothing. In a hoarse bellow, he cries oout the following in Aklo, which Maggott promptly translates.

The owl will seek but will not find
But spire of knowledge pays in kind
In secret kept in secret keep
In forest dark and cavern deep.

The abbey of the glutton moon
Will flow with blood, the wind in tune
To finish that begun before
And open wide the doomsday door.

The shattered star with seven shards
For seven lords with seven swords
The queen of blue in distant skies
Will kindle new the ancient wars.

The seas will rise and men will drown
And what was lost shall claim the crown

When Augustille is finished, his body relaxes and he returns to his senses. The other Augurs no sagely and helps him up, leading him into the temple. Varguns informs the acolytes that they’ve witnessed a genuine prophecy, and that she suspects this one is for them.

AchillesThe Acolytes then rest up at the Tavern in the Bottoms, where Caladrel meets Achilles who recounts a terrifying vision in a dream. He dreamt of a great warrior who died atop mountain of his enemies by way of the ankle, a terrifying death Achilles himself has endured. Achilles then asks to join the Acolytes in their quest. Caladrel and the rest of the Acolytes challenge Achilles to a drinking competition. The drinking begins and as other Acolytes quit or pass out, Maggott and Achilles keep it up, drink for drink. Achilles and Maggott finally agree on a draw. Achilles begins recounting his adventure with Gambit in delivering a baby when Rogue begins to get jealous, grapples Achilles and Achilles is knocked out. The Acolytes restrain Rogue and awake Achilles. They continue drinking for the rest of the night.Achilles2

The Acolytes return to the Augur Temple. Vargun was putting together some pieces of information that have been puzzling her of late. The word on the street is that the Council of Truth – a powerful order of scholars that vanished without a trace many years ago – has either returned or has been reformed, and people have been seeing the Council’s wide-eyed owl sigil showing up in strange places. Now the Therassic Spire has shut its doors – an unheard-of event for the great institution – and isolated itself from communication with the outside world. Realizing the two might be connected, Vargun called in some favors, and was able to discover that the two organizations have quietly put together a team of adventurers to illegally enter the Undercity in search of a powerful artifact – something they refer to as “the Runelord’s Shard.” They head for the Therassic Spire to investigate.

VargaThe Acolytes approach the huge iron-bound doors of the library and find them shut tight with a small meticulously lettered sign announcing that the library is closed until further notice. Vargun ignores it and pounds on the door with a meaty fist, keeping it up for a full minute. At last, a panel in the door slides open, and a pair of beady eyes stare out through ornate metal grillword. “If you can’t read the sign.” A prim voice says, “Then there’s nothing in here for you anyway.” The Acolytes begin question the beady eyes and when they mention a Runelord, the eyes behind the grating go wide, and then the doors crack open. A hunched human woman in red robes ushers them in quickly, closing and barring the doors behind them.

The librarian introduces herself as Koifa and explains the library’s situation. Unbeknownst to most people, the librarians of the Therassic Spire are not the first scholars to take up residence in Kaer Maga, nor are they the best. Far below them, in a subterranean realm called Xavorax, dwells a race of extraplanar researchers called the Caulborn. Much like the giant monument-city itself, the caulborn predate the empire of Thassilon, and even served the runelords for generation before finally being driven below the surface by the calamities of Earthfall. In recent years the librarians of the Therassic Spire have occasionally made telepathic contact with the caulborn in order to answer specific esoteric questions, though always at a price. Months ago, however, the caulborn contacted the librarians directly, offering to help the surface-dwellers recover an artifact of great power – a shard of Xin’s great Sihedron – from another legendary realm below the city called the Dark Forest. In doing so, the caulboirn revealed to the librarians something none of the scholars knew: that their town tower contained a secret door, hidden to thousands of years, which leads down to an undiscovered portion of the Undercity that contained one of Karzoug’s many workshops. The caulborn informed the librarians that if they could send a band of adventurers to meet emissaries from Xavorax in “the chamber of the black menhir, beyond the River of Memory,” the caulborn would aid that band, using the Black Menhir to transport the adventurers to the heart of the Dark forest, where the blind creatures’ research has indicated the shattered star fragment rests. Greedy for the chance to study the item, the scholars agreed, and under the pretense of resurrecting the great Council of Truth, the librarians recruited an adventuring party to travel into the hidden dungeon below to meet the caulborn emissaries. The entire endeavor – to send the recovery team down through the lost workshop to the meeting point with the caulborn, then into the Dark Forest for a quick snatch-and-grab – was supposed to take only a few days at most. Yet something has gone wrong, and the team hasn’t returned, nor has it apparently reached the rendezvous with the caulborn. Fearfull of what they may have awoken in the city’s depths, the librarians set up a constant guard around the secret door, and dare not let anyone into the library for fear that visitors might notice something amiss and contact the Duskwardens. At this point, Koifa just want the whole problem to go away. The Acolytes and the Librarians negotiate a price for the recovery of the item, 10000gp total, if they can get it with stealth and speed and the librarians can research it for 24hours. Koifa also negotiates a price for the return of the previous party, 500gp for their bodies and 1000gp if they come back alive. ZeusThe party is made up of a female human Sweettalker monk named Hasari, a male Halfling fogue named Perotus, a male gnome bloatmage named Luonim the Vast and a female dark naga named Silasni. The Acolytes use their time to research what information about the Undercity and the shard. Achilles calls on Zeus who comes back saying ‘Yeah, bad stuff down there. Sorry, ran into this seriously sweet honey…kinda uppity though…so I turned into a swan and then she was all “Oooohhh what nice feathers you have…ohh they tickle”. Halfway through getting my Anatidae on, 15, no, 1500 ninjas showed up to take me down. Needless to say, they were spitting feathers by the end of it. True story.”


TOTAL XP

Candice: 83872
Allan: 83872
Chris: 82795
John: 80974
Brandon: 55182
Dianna: 65574
Gary: 52407

To be Continued… when I have time to finish it

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A Giant Problem
[Pathfinders] - Day 65

Having lost their colleague Nightwing, the remaining Pathfinders rested several more days in Kaer Maga as priests tended to his body and soul. Iron Woman reconstructed her destroyed suit of armor, and once completed the group set off toward their destination – the remote desert ruin of Guiltspur.

The journey took them several days across a vast desert. Along the way a dwarf by the name of “Leeroy” Jenkin Dragonsbane literally fell from the sky, crashing onto the sand below. The stranger composed himself and greeted the others. Once he mentioned his exploits with the other Pathfinders some distance away, the group welcomed him in as a new member.

Eventually they came upon Guiltspur. The ragged badlands split, forming a wide valley that ruse up to a higher plateau nestled amid the peaks. A wide ledge switchbacked up to the plateau, atop which a fifty-foot tall wooden structure sat. Beyond this structure, deeper in the valley, a green spire rose out of the cleft to tower over the
landscape. The entire valley entrance had been blocked off by a twenty-foot-tall stockade built of thick tree trunks. A pair of forty five-foot-tall watchtowers flanked an immense wooden gate at the eastern end of the stockade.

Standing guard along the gate were two large and barbaric-looking hill giants. Opting for a diplomatic approach, the group elected Superman to speak for them. Unfortunately he failed to convince them the Pathfinders were merely traders who wished to exchange wares. Others attempted other tactics, but none seemed to phase the dense giants.

Finally Black Canary tried to intimidate the giants into submission. Her small size and distance from the gate, however, made her less than imposing. In fact one of the giants crudely lifted his loin-cloth as a half-serious offer to the beautiful human.

Taking personal offense to the crudeness shown to his wife, Green Arrow fired a warning shot at the flasher. The arrow struck a nearby post, causing the giant to shout an alarm to the others. The giants opened the gate, and two more giants riding massive mastodons charged out. The Pathfinders rallied to defend themselves, casting spells and launching arrows at the aggressors. The mastodons charged into the group, trampling heroes left and right, while their giant jockeys attacked with lances. Up on the tower, the original guards threw gathered stones from a distance – raining destruction on the clustered Pathfinders.

Though initially overwhelmed by the incredible damage and ferocity of the giants and their beasts, the Pathfinders – greatly aided by the magic of Doctor Strange and Hyourinmaru – began to fight back. One of the gate giants accidentally fell from his post, landing painfully on the ground below. He ran back into the Guiltspur camp, followed by Strange and Green Arrow – who teleported inside.

There they came across the disturbing sight of three more giants arming colossal ballistas and aiming them at the gate. A fire giant led the defense, tossing a handful of heated rocks at three mastodons kept to the side. The beasts were lathered in tar and oil, and with the stones caught on fire and stampeded toward the gate.

Arrow and Strange tried to back away, but were quickly overrun by the flaming beasts. Strange survived the charge, but the already-injured Green Arrow didn’t fare so well. One of the mastodons knocked him over and trampled him, the fire from its burning oil sealing his fate.

Superman quickly flew past the stampede, continuing into the encampment. He focused on destroying the ballistas with his heat vision, but in the process came under attack by the insurgent giants. Trying his best to avoid swinging clubs and flying ballista bolts, he took heavy damage but kept to his task. Doctor Strange and Hyourinmaru unleashed incredibly powerful spells, whittling the strength and number of the giants. Iron Woman set up an auto-turret that fired on errant giants, while newcomer Jenkin switched between his arsenal of weapons trying to find the best option. Black Canary rushed in as well, struggling to hit the heavily-armored behemoths.

Soon a plume of dust approaching from the desert horizon heralded the arrival of reinforcements. Flash – having been trailing Jenkins through the sky – approached and assessed the situation, joining Superman in brawling with the giants. As the Pathfinders rallied together, Flash shot across the battlefield like a bolt of lightning, turning to deliver a fatal blow to one giant. His momentum was interrupted by the fire giant, who charged over and cleaved the Scarlet Speedster into unconsciousness with a gargantuan greatsword.

Superman flew over and blasted the giant with a breath of frozen air. The lava-like fire giant darkened and crumbled, collapsing to the ground. Iron Woman, grown frustrated at her lack of success and damage suffered, charged one final blast of repulsor energy. The blasts struck the last hill giant in the chest, knocking it down and out.

Finally able to catch their breath and take stock of what they had gained and lost, the Pathfinders regrouped to determine their next move.


TOTAL XP

Dale: 88,800
James: 88,300
Ricardo: 84,300
Sarah: 77,650
Hunter: 74,050
Caitlin: 72,850
Will: 72,000

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The Asylum Stone - Busy Bis
[The Acolytes] - Day 59

The Acolytes meet up with Vargun, an Augur, at the Sorry Excuse. VargaThe Augurs practice a strange form of haruspicy in which members cut open their stomachs and read their own entrails to divine secrets about their future, trusting their regeneration to heal them up again after each reading.
She invites them to the table with offerings of large mugs of ale. She explains that to get a better reading of where the shard is, the best bet is to get her brother, Augustille, to divine it. Unfortunately, he’d been captured by an Ardoc brother called Berkanin. The Ardoc brother is using him as an experiment. The Acolytes agree to help the troll in freeing her brother.
The Acolytes talk to Gav, their guide about the Ardoc family. They find out that their headquarters is in a building called The Kiln. The leader is called Merriman Ardoc. Thoth investigates and finds out that the Ardocs are not pleased with Berkanin.
They arrive at the Kiln and talk to the Ardoc family who offer payment for those who return their wayward brother alive so they can deal out his punishment.
They arrive at the Hanging Manse, the place where Berkanin Ardoc lives. TendriculosThe Acolytes levitate up to the garden where Poison Ivy talks to the hostile tendriculoses. The tendriculoses still feeling protective of their soil are then ignored and they float up to the next level and look through windows. Harald becomes impatient and charges through 2 windows, landing in one of the rooms and opens the door to several clockwork soldiers.Clockwork soldier Harald begins hacking his way through the tin soldiers. Rogue and Doomsday join him. Herifax, a harpy, fires arrows at Doomsday causing little damage. Deathstroke floats into a window of a bathroom only to be accosted by a swarm of cleaning constructs. Poison Ivy and Thoth float around investigating the other windows and find Berkanin and Augustille. BerkaninAugustille attached to a machine of tortures, constantly being torn apart enough to not overcome his regeneration. Doomsday charges up the cat walk having no problem with moving floor and attacks the harpy. Kanya, the female catfolk, comes out and attacks Doomsday to little effect. Harald and Rogue continue their slaughter down some stairs with Rogue taking a lot of damage and leaving to see Caladrel. HerifaxThe harpy sings causing Rogue, Harald, Maggott and Deathstroke to be charmed by the lovely song. Caladrel comes out and sings back countering the harpy’s song. Deathstroke escapes the privy feeling weakened. Doomsday kills the harpy and Kanya flips and tumbles past Doomsday and Deathstroke.Kanya Harald keeps on killing clockwork soldiers as he makes it down the stair, the mangled gears and cogs piling up. Maggott runs upstairs, growing very large and almost destroying another clockwork solider. Thoth teleports in and severely weakens Berkanin , Tug transforms from a tiny spore to a large vine and drops on Berkanin. Maggott intimidates Berkanin who cowers offering them everything he has for his freedom. Harald is surprised when Tupilaq appears in front of him and tears into his ankle causing him to die. Harald is left alone to be chewed upon by the evil tiki statue.Tupilaq Poison Ivy summons 2 dinosaur topiaries that begin attacking the machine holding Augustille. Thoth dominates Berkanin, stealing his secrets and thoughts, who orders his constructs to stand down. He also orders the machine to release Augustille. Rogue flies up and punches a clockwork soldier who doesn’t react. Augustille comes out of the machine attacking the dinosaur topiaries. Maggott knocks some sense into Augustille who passes out.
The Acolytes find the Ardoc family at the house now. The Ardoc family pay the Acolytes 3000gp and whatever loot the Ardoc family don’t confiscate. The Ardoc family leaves with several books. The Acolytes loot the rest of the house with Doomsday setting off the oven with an explosion that is confined by his massive size.
The Acolytes now leave to return Augustille to his sister.


TOTAL XP

Candice: 75207
Allan: 75207
Chris: 74128
John: 72307
Brandon: 46515
Dianna: 56907
Gary: 52407

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Meanwhile...
[Pathfinders Team B] - Day 59
(Please see the RP thread “Of Wealth and Woe” for the beginning of this side-adventure.)

.

Glimmerhold was under attack. Wolverine, Spider-Man, Deadpool, Huntress and Havok – summoned by the Dwarf King Ezelgar, stood on a bridge with local wyrm-hunter Jenkin Dragonsbane. They fought against a horde of Doomguides, evil female Dwarves riding atop winged rams. Civilians ran for their lives as the aristocracy within the city walls shut them out, refusing to allow them entry while the attack continued.

Immediately Spider-Man spotted a child standing atop an overturned carriage, crying for her parents. He sprung into action, grabbing the child and leaping to safety. Deadpool and Wolverine rushed along the bridge to engage the Doomguides. Huntress followed shortly thereafter, stopping to help several Dwarves who had been caught beneath a toppled ore-cart. “Leeroy” Jenkin rushed in after, switching between his crossbow and greataxe while Havok stood back and launched surge after surge of superheated energy.

Eventually, after a long battle, the Pathfinders emerged victorious. With the Doomguides defeated, the cowardly guards finally opened their gates. The heroes angrily marched passed them, but Deadpool took it upon himself to show his disdain for the aristocracy by flinging underwear at one of them. This immediately bought him a one-way ticket to prison while the others continued on to the royal banquet hall.


“Hey, in our defense, those uptight snot-wads had it coming.”

“Still. There is such a thing as proper decorum.”

“Decorum? We decorumated their houses with toilet paper after I got out of there.”

“How DID we get out of prison anyway?”

“Simple. Crawled through the ducts and descended into the hall like Spider-Man.”

“Yow-wee!”


Glimmerhold’s enormous throne room shimmered merrily with the glow of more than a hundred candles held by wrought iron candelabras lining the walls. Meat from a dire boar roasted on a spit over the room’s central fireplace, and its spicy smell suffused the air. About a dozen dwarves clad in rich clothing and armor languorously enjoyed the feast while being attended by a countless number of servants. Above all was the throne of King Ezelgar; behind his silvered seat an enormous opaque crystal lens gave a breathtaking view of the rain-disturbed lake, barely reflecting the menacing sky outside.

“I welcome you to my hall, heroes of this dreadful day," Ezelgar boldly announced. "Accept this feast as a token of my gratitude and as a gift from all the people you have inspired with your deeds. But before we wash the cries of battle from our throats, there is a proposal I must make.” The king paused, seemingly waiting for his words to have an effect on the crowd. Most dwarves lowered their heads in a gesture of respect as Ezelgar continued. “Long has it been since the people have seen such bravery as yours; therefore I have chosen to bestow the honor of fealty upon you. Kneel down now and swear your oath to me, to arise again as an honorary knight of the city.”

Seeking fame, excitement – and food – Spider-Man, Deadpool and Havok were quick to join up as City Defenders. The older and more diplomatically-experienced Wolverine and Huntress, however, refused – eliciting nods of approval from the indentured servants. Taking the insult in stride, Ezelgar regaled the hall with stories of his gradiose and unverifiable stories. He spoke of an ancient dragon named, Angrammora that had devastated the monastery and killed Helrún, the priestess he loved. With the help of the pilgrims from the Mistbreather Clan, the dragon was struck dead, but only after the scaled beast cursed the ground it died upon; the dwarven heroes barely managed to flee its mighty death throes.

As the story-telling continued, the hall grew darker. Suddenly a feeling of doom gripped the hall, as laughter was replaced with the gurgling sounds of choking dwarves, many pale and some downright nauseated. It took only moments until several voices shouted. “Poison! The mead has turned to poison!” As panic rose, another wave of emotion washed over the crowd. With it, the gleam of gold vanished from the hall’s decorations and the guests’ clothing. Every golden coin or trinket carried by the king, the nobles, and the servants took on a grayish hue as it transformed into worthless lead.

Silence reigns in the hall. Fear fills the air, and even regal Ezelgar needed to lean on his throne for support. In this awed stillness, the emerging low-pitched growls and slight tremors shaking the city seemed like a thundering earthquake. Waves crashed mercilessly against the panoramic window, nearly drowning the few hushed whispers. “The beast!” one voice shouts at last. “It cannot be! Angrammora!”

Ezelgar stood quickly. “Knights of Glimmerhold! Our people are in need of your protection and your liege demands a service. Follow the guards to the gate.” For Wolverine and Huntress he instead yelled for his servants. "Gems! Bring me gems and our most precious stones! The matter is urgent and we must pay these warriors for a service.” Wolverine took the bribe and headed out.

They found themselves on bridge opposite Legangrammor, a hydra. The nine horned heads of the towering reptilian beast constantly writhed like a nest of gigantic onyx snakes. Grotesquely it sloshed forward, choking the air with an overpowering, acrid smell wafting from its maws, all of which constantly snapped at each other in anticipation. The ground trembled as it stirred and the noise of broad scales grinding against each other threatened to drown out its many-voiced howls.

Wolverine bravely charged out to face his foes. Unfortunately the rest of the group took a more cautious approach, leaving Wolverine alone. The Doomguides supporting the hydra charged him, dropping him instantly with an unholy power behind their strength. Soon Deadpool and Spider-Man emerged and faced them as well, while the others fired ranged weapons from behind the safety of the city gates. The hydra lumbered over, using its many heads to lash out at the crimson duo. The deadly barrage took out Deadpool as well, tossing his unconscious body into the water beneath the bridge. Fortunately his fast healing ability kicked in and, like Wolverine, he started to slowly regenerate. Spider-Man was fortunately able to avoid the attacks, dodging and leaping to safety.

The hydra continued its rampage, taking out Jenkin and Huntress as well. One of the Doomguides flew over the wall, charging Havok – who was struggling to escape from one of the hydra’s mouths. The Doomguide ran him through with her lance, killing him instantly. The brave Pathfinder fell to the ground, a permanent victim of the powerful hydra’s wrath.

Spider-Man continued trading blows with the remaining Doomguides until Wolverine regained consciousness. The X-Man confiscated several healing potions from one of the dead Doomguides, using it to heal himself and Huntress. Huntress immediately returned to work, launching a hailstorm of crossbow bolts to support Spider-Man. Together they defeated the Doomguides, leaving only one remaining – in the water with Deadpool.

Deadpool finally woke up and swam toward the bridge. The Doomguide swam after him, grabbing him around the neck. He fought his way free, drew his katana and stabbed the demon-woman underwater. Finally he resurfaced with a deep breath.

Regrouping on the bridge, the Pathfinders took stock of who they had left and who they had lost. Storm clouds grew heavier overhead as they mourned the loss of Havok and listened to the roar of the hydra as it terrorized Glimmerhold. The group contemplated what to do, as none of them felt confident in a rematch.

At that darkest of moments, a bolt of lighting streaked from the clouds above. It exploded onto the bridge, leaving a smoldering crater. Yet out of the bolt strode none other than the God of Thunder himself – Thor.

“My rest in Asgard is over,” he boldly announced. “And I come to you now at the turn of the tide. Come, friends. We’ve a dragon that needs slaying.”

With that he lifted the mighty Mjolnir, infusing it with power as he prepared to rally his allies into once more defending innocent lives from a powerful evil.


TOTAL XP

Dale: 79,200
Will: 78,000
James: 76,700
Ricardo: 72,700
Sarah: 66,050
Hunter: 63,050
Caitlin: 62,250

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Big Trouble in Little Kaer Maga
Acolytes - Day 59

Eating at a food cart they found in Cavalcades, Maggot, Caladrel and Harald spot the shiny Ironwoman walking with the mysterious Hyourinmaru. After Maggott waved at them, Ironwoman quickly informs Hyourinmaru that the individuals eating across from them were in fact the Acolytes, the jailors who kept them locked up in Tartarus Island.
Skull ripperFearing recapture, they quickly dart off down the nearest dark alley only to be face to face with a giant headless scorpion- like thing of blackened bone and chitin with its two pincers snapping ominously. A long, grisly tail composed of dozens of chattering skulls arches up over its back. Some of the skulls are ancient and bleached white, while others are recent trophies still shrouded in rotting cheeks, their jellied eyes rolling madly in their sockets. A curved bony tip protrudes from the last skull of its tail, its deadly point smeared with poison. Ironwoman identifies it as a Skull Ripper. Before they could react, the scorpion it scuttles up to Hyourinmaru grabbing him in one of its large pincers. Nearby Pedestrians scream and fall over each other trying to get away. One person tries to run past Harald but ends up being cut in half by the undead Viking. Maggott berates Harald for his irresponsible action. Harald and Maggott run up to the scorpion cutting into it. Ironwoman begins blasting the scorpion. Caladrel inspires the group with her music. Hyourinmaru begins getting crushed as Caladrel heals him. The Skull Ripper is eventually killed but as they begin to talk to one, another Skull Ripper tears through the factory doors to their right and then another one tears through the factory doors behind them and to the left.
Hyourinmaru plunges his sword into the dead Skull Ripper’s stinger coating his sword in poison. One Skull Ripper rushes Ironwoman trapping her in its pincer crushing her. The other Skull Ripper charges Maggott trying to capture him as well but Maggott grows to a larger size making it hard to do so. Zombies also pour out of the factories. The fearsome image makes Harald and Maggott run from them. Hyourinmaru flies above casting ice shards on the Skull Rippers. Feeling her suit begin to crack, Ironwoman starts cursing at the Skull Ripper and blasts it right in the center causing massive damage to its blackened carapace. Infuriated the Skull Ripper begins focusing all of its attention on Ironwoman. Getting their composure back, Harald charges cutting down a few Zombies in his way while Maggott manages to cut down some himself. A Skull Ripper kits Maggott with its stinger causing Maggott to slow but it wasn’t enough, Maggott tears through the rest of the zombies and tears the Skull Ripper in twain.Blog260313 iron Hyourinmaru destroys 4 zombies with a hail of ice. Harald, Hyourinmaru and Maggott take down the last Skull Ripper but not Ironwoman’s suit is destroyed. Caladrel heals the group as they begin talking, the battle forming bonds between the unlikely allies.
Caladrel invites them to the Bottoms for free drinks and rest. Ironwoman happily agrees ready to drown her sorrows of another lost suit while Hyourinmaru reluctantly agrees to tag along. After a couple of hours of drinking except for Hyourinmaru who refrains from drinking, Hyourinmaru wonders loudly about the factories where the creature came from. In drunken curiousity, the rest tag along. Stumbling back to one of the factories, they notice a large hole in the middle of it.
Harald leaps down to the bottom of hole with reckless abandon and lands in front of two Mohrgs.Mohrg by prodigyduck d5ph31r Its thick tangle of discolored entrails clings to the lurching skeletons’ torso and winds upward to loll from their jaws like a clawed tongue. They immediately attack Harald who finds himself stuck in a hole with these 2 creatures. Maggott, Caladrel and Ironwoman decide that this was actually a silly idea and begin to head back to the pub. Hyourinmaru pleads with them to stay and help Harald. Hyourinmaru then buffs Harald with his spells as Harald attacks back. Reluctantly, they return.Hyourinmaru6 Maggott leaping into the hole landing on top of one of the Mohrgs and kills it. Ironwoman lands in the hole and fires at the other Mohrg. Harald then kills and they decide to return to the pub except for Hyourinmaru who has no interest in drinking until the early morning. The Duskwardens arrive to clean up the mess.


TOTAL XP

Candice: 62692
Allan: 62692
Chris: 61613
John: 59792
Brandon: 47692
Dianna: 44392
Gary: 39892

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Plaza de Chaos
[Pathfinders] - 58

After several weeks of research and gathering information, the Pathfinders set about their daily routines in Kaer Maga. Iron Woman and Hyourinmaru set off for the Tarheel Promenade district, while the others gathered in the Cavalcade. Doctor Strange, Nightwing and Green Arrow exited a central market into a lush plaza – recently terraformed by Poison Ivy herself. They soon realized that Ivy and Doomsday were in the plaza as well. They did their best to avoid them, slipping into the crowd and walking around them. Deathstroke watched from the side, under the protection of a Ring of Invisibility. As the Pathfinders peacefully prepared to slip away, Deathstroke shouted “It’s the Pathfinders, the wanted criminals!” The citizens looked around in confusion and concern, but had no idea who the Pathfinders would be among them.

Suddenly an even greater commotion ensued. Summoned from the central fountain, a massive scorpion-like construct called a Skull Ripper emerged and crushed several civilians. It immediately grabbed the unsuspecting Poison Ivy in its giant pincer, crushing her instantly. Doomsday and Ivy’s pet Tug tried to attack the creature but could do little damage. The Pathfinders, in an effort to keep the peace, joined in as well.

Controlling the Ripper was a powerful demon, sent by the dark god Ravagog as vengeance against Doctor Strange. The demon tried to attack Strange several times, but miraculously Strange managed to resist at the last moments. Deathstroke jumped on the Ripper’s back, but found himself grabbed as well. Arrow could do little against the demon, but sent over a dozen shots into the Ripper. Finally Tug reared up and slammed into the center of what would normally be the Ripper’s head. The creature crumpled and succumbed to its wounds.

All turning to the Demon, Nightwing gathered his courage and charged the demon. The demon raised its hand and blasted Nightwing with a powerful spell, disintegrating him instantly. The Pathfinders looked on in anger and shock while the Acolytes took it as further incentive to leave. Doomsday, though, was too infuriated to back off. He rushed the demon, swinging wildly but having no effect on his ethereal form.

The situation looking dire, Green Arrow shouted into the sky for Superman – who had been flying about looking for Iron Woman. Superman descended and faced the demon, but Doomsday rushed to attack his old foe as well. Strange rushed in to assist, and the two fought back-to-back. Poison Ivy shouted out to Doomsday, tricking him into following by using his cat George as an alibi. Doomsday rushed over and Deathstroke shouted to the sky as well – this time for Doctor Doom.

Doom arrived nearly instantly. Eager to protect his minions and investments, he vaporized the demon with a single blast from his armor. Superman moved toward his remaining adversary, but Doom intimidated him into backing off.

Wounded and a man down, the Pathfinders gathered up and retreated.

The Acolytes remained behind, plotting and reacquainting with Doctor Doom.


TOTAL XP

Dale: 72,700
Will: 71,700
James: 70,200
Sarah: 66,050
Ricardo: 65,300
Hunter: 57,550
Caitlin: 53,250

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The Asylum Stone - The Waiting Game
Day 58

The Acolytes, upon finding out that the Augurs have closed for business because of some internal Kaer maga1Kaer Maga dispute, have decided on staying Kaer Maga to work on the flying ship, The Palamino. While doing so, Maggott and Caladrel help out the Freemen of the Bottoms, developing a close relationship with them and also going on several covert missions freeing slaves.Fluffy love. Meanwhile Rogue, Poison Ivy and Deathstroke maintain a close eye on fixing the Palamino, adding their own touches to it, and develop a close relationship with Gadka Burtannon. Deathstroke also crafts some pistols and begins teaching the Palamino crew to use them. Poison Ivy initiated the “green initiative”, creating green spaces in the core of Kaer Maga. Deathstroke and Doomsday work with the Duskwardens in clearing out the Halflight Path. Harald spends time in Ankar-Te with Horus Ilaktya and Thoth spends his time investigating the mysteries of bloatmages. In a fire that was burning its way through the Warrens, Doomsday saves a kitten in which he calls George. Doomsday’s hard rock exterior and multiple resistances were no match for the kitten’s immense cuteness. After a few weeks, The Acolytes receive a message to meet Vargun, an Augur, in the Sorry Excuse.


TOTAL XP

Candice: 56492
Allan: 56492
John: 51992
Chris: 55413
Dianna: 44392
Brandon: 39892
Gary: 39892

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