Dawn of the Thirster: The Horsemen Ride Again

first adventure
getting started

The party meet in small town east of Turek (mercenary town run by Bloodhawks). They traveled for 2 days, and fought a small group of skaven. They got to Turek and meet Varek’s brother at the gate (Borek). They went into Varek’s longhouse and meet him and accepted his proposition for 1000gp to destroy the skaven hive. They meet Norman’s char and he caught them up on the skaven issue. They also would go north and look for the rare flower to make healing potions, and look for scrap metal for the main blacksmith in Turek.
They traveled north in search of the flowers and also to look for metal. They were warned about running into Stinkfoot’s territory. As they traveled they found two dwarves defending themselves against a small party of orcs (20). The fought the orcs and won the fight and killed a larger orc with a masterwork keen greataxe. They also leveled up.
When they approached the dwarf that was left alive, he told them “don’t let the red one get away”. The got the loot and went back to Turek and traded in the loot and the potions and the mystery potion. They returned to Varek and told him about the dwarves, he mentioned the Red Duke and told them to leave.

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2nd session

6-2-2012

went to the unicorn’s open legs for information on red duke. At the tavern, they found a large half-giant and mercs that were talking about something to do with “red”. They approached them and asked about the information. A fist fight ensued and ubgrub broke the big guys jaw and found 200gp on him and a scroll box. The scroll box was simply trapped, and contained a map to some tomb, dwarven writing was all over the map. On the back, “20 cliks north” was written. The next morning, they went back to the gnome alchemist and found out that the potion was for opening doors. They bought healing potions, and forged ahead.
The party traveled about 20 miles north of Turek and found a wall of pillars and made camp.

They found the entrance to the tomb with defaced statues leading in. they went in and went into a chamber, and fought 2 manticores. They won, and continued on to fight 2 minotaurs guarding a large door. The door was large, stone, and depicted two dwarves, facing each other clasping wrists. It spoke to them in dwarven, and they used the potion of open doors to open the last chamber. The chamber contained pure darkness, masking sight completely and sound to an extent. As they entered, only Swordhand could hear some whispers. He opened a sarcophagus and grabbed Exordius, and the darkness dissipated and exposed a dark naga. They won a hard fight, and cleared the tomb.

Upon exiting the tomb, they ran into a stout, large dwarf. They were chained and taken to a secret dwarf fort underground in a mountain. They told their entire story to the head dwarf, and were found to be telling the truth. The dwarf then told them of the conflict of the Bloodhawks. Years ago, the merc group and the dwarves fought together. Gurni found out that the sons, Varek and Borek were in league with The Red Duke. When confronted, their father refused to accept the facts, and banned all dwarves from ever working with the Bloodhawks. The dwarves are also not allowed in Turek. Gurni asked the party to essentially be a double agent for the dwarves within the Bloodhawks. The party agreed, and went back to Turek and sold the suit of armor to the blacksmith for 10,000gp.

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short monday session

The party woke up and realized they were in a similar area as the town of Graymark, but it was obviously not Graymark. They explored the area, consuming healing potions, and then wandered around a bit, kind of lost in their new enviroment. They heard howling in the distance, and proceeded to investigate the matter. They heard sounds of battle, and a scream of death. Going over a small hill in the forest, they found a body that had obviously been killed recently. Standing over the body was a massive hound. It looked at the party with green emerald eye, and then bounded away. Investigation of the body revealed 2 things: a single ring on his finger, and it was missing the finger of his right index finger on his glove. The party followed the tracks until they ended. Two large creatures ambushed the party and were killed in the attempt. Ug Grub then climbed a tree after camping and observed a small light far off in the distance. They marched off in that direction and encountered the massive dog with green eyes again. It appeared to not like the group, or at least be very cautious. It disappeared again, and an arrow was shot in the ground between UgGrub’s feet.
They were captured and put in a forced march to a massive city surrounded by a high wall. The inside was full of undead, and odd looking pale elves. They were taken to a strange jail, and looked inside. Attempted communication with fellow inmates, and a strange and obviously crazy wizard (bald and covered in tattoos) began to talk to them. He told them they were on the Shadow Plane, or Shadowfell as the natives call it, and they were in the City of Undeath, Menzo. After a short while of this, some guards came to escort them away. UGGRUB smashed their heads together and grabbed a small device off the belt. The wizard told him to give him the “tuning fork” and used it to escape, teleporting the party outside of the city gates, telling them “If you ever return home, go to Madriff and ask for Kalen” and disappeared in a small puff of smoke. A small slaver party came upon them and tried to capture them. Adranus turned into a bear and they attacked them. During the fight, Nick’s ring became a long thin rapier of remarkable quality. They finished the battle and took the loot and prepared to enter the city again to retrieve their stolen property. The large dog, tired and in odd pain, laid down to rest, and disintegrated revealing a small black statue of dog with green eyes.

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the patriotic short session

July 3, 2012
No Nick
After the ensuing battle, the party mocked g Grub up as a prisoner and took him into the city, infiltrating the slave pens and fighting some guards there. Felipe learned how to deal with being poisoned. They tried to release some prisoners and just ended up leaving. The fat guard was gone, and Adranus saw a figure clad in red with Merek’s sword, Exordius. They followed him to the luxurious area of the city, and went inside his house. He introduced himself as “Thay” and told the party he had a “problem”. This problem is the local lich who is raising all the people who die int eh city as undead. Thay was not exactly direct is saying how he wants this problem dealt with. He then offered his extensive library to them to research whatever they like. They were provided with the finest food, their clothes were repaired and they researched several things. Merek and Dranus researched some of there weapons history, and found that Exordius can be used to kill a lich. They went to a smithy to try to get cold iron weapons to damage the lich, and meet Hep, the hunchback gnome. He said he would give them cold iron if they killed 10 shades. The party entered the sewers, fought two shades and hated it. They quickly found out they did not have the proper equipment to damage the creatures, and left the sewer.
Afterward, they decided to try to approach the lich and attempt to get a reward for information and double cross Thay. The lich was only interested if they had proof, so they were dismissed. They noticed that fortifications were in place, and the lich seemed to be preparing for something.
They then went to the arena. They fought some weak tieflings, and then 2 minotaurs. The minotaurs flanked a half-fiend minotaur with a massive hammer. The party fought hard, and prevailed the victory, and walked out with 5000 septimes as a victory. Ug Grub liked his new hammer.

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Short Session: Battle!!!
After the stout victory against the minotaurs, the party decided to use their new found wealth on drinking and buying potions for various things. they returned to the mansion, and researched more on liches. They found that liches do have one weakness: their phylactery. This object holds the lich’s soul, and is the true key to destroying it. With that information, the party decided to go forth to the Arena again and compete. It was a special day in the Arena though, called WAR (a massive battle where armies compete, and the winner(s) split the grand prize of 50,000 septimes. With the commencement of the battle, they immediately fought a massive beast, the chimera. While taking damage, the party managed to defeat the beast as well as its two manticores. As soon as the chimera was down though, the half-giant brute that Ug-Grub had previously had quarrel with in a bar in Turek showed up with a small group of orcs. This group was easily defeated, ending with a large amount of both allies and enemies on the field surrounding the party and closing in. Then, a group of bearded devils teleported around the party, slaughtering the mob and leaving the party with just them to deal with. The battle was close and much damage was taken and given, but again the party remained victorious. The session ended with the party still in the Arena and seeing smaller battles throughout the field.
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a beautiful saturday in the shadow realm!!!

This adventure picks up still in the Arena during WAR. The party quickly got back into the fight, ambushing two battling parties of adventurers. this was a quick battle, with nothing much surprising them. The party then watched as some umber hulks and hook horrors battled it out, and the party fought the victors of that match: 2 umber hulks. The first hulk was quickly dispatched, and the next one just took a bit longer, but the party emerged from WAR victorious, and earned the title of Champions of War, 50,000 septims (the currency). The party looted some corpses on the field, and then left (identifying some). They celebrated in a local bar after trying to go find Thay, who had disappeared along with his house.
The next morning they went to replace and stock up on healing potions for further battles, and as they were wrapping up and finishing, a vampire assassin walked in to kill them. He almost succeeded by dominating UgGrub, but was defeated and found to have a letter detailing his targets. The letter was not signed though, so the identity of the culprit is unknown.
The party then went to Hep, and asked for some weapons and armor upgrades. They got some upgrades, and during this process, an apprentice ran in bleeding and informed them that the hundreds dead from the WAR in the arena are now roaming the streets killing as they go. Hep closed up the shop and told the party that Thay paid him a good amount to make sure that the party remained safe when this happened.

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short session at Eric's place

The party spent a couple of days at Hep’s place and had their weapons worked on during the wait. When they decided to leave, Hep let them leave through his sewer grate (basically his toilet). They made a small amount of distance in the tunnels before being ambushed by shadows. The lesser shadows were no threat, but the greater shadow that showed up was. After that fight, Eldarion-Fleetfoot showed up, and told them he was tracking this shadow. He let them know that they could go out the exit into the streets, or they could travel down into a older looking city he found beneath the city of Menzo. They decided to travel down into the city, and eventually were lead out behind the city down a massive chasm, where a glowing coin awaited them. The coin was special, as it came from their home plane. UgGrub smashed down a suspicious looking wall nearby, and broke into Thay’s house! Thay then confessed he had a bigger plan then he first let one, and he had hoped the party would find more information. However, he had a general idea where the phylactery could be. He informed the party that it would probably be in one of 2 locations: a tower in the Abyss, or in the plane of Elysium. The party decided to investigate the Abyss first, and borrowed Thay’s dimensional knife to enter the Abyss.
In the Abyss, they encountered a tough force outside the tower, and are now fighting for their lives in the Abyss trying to enter the tower and destroy the phylactery.

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alot happened in such a short amount of time...

Directly after the encounter outside the tower in the inferous Abyss, the party enters the tower easily and then finds a beautiful succubus and UgGrub immediately is dominated by her and controlled to kill the rest of the party. Adranus became a wasp of large proportions and stung her a good bit before she teleported away, to the top of the tower. Following her upstairs, the party came upon the guardian of the tower, and the phylactery of the lich, a powerful vrock! Unfortunately for the vrock, UgGrub was kind of pissed about being dominated, and utterly destroyed the vrock with his very first swing at it, blasting it to pieces before it could finish its spell of destruction. UgGrub noticed a shinny ring around the Vrock’s neck, and took it for his own. With the death of the vrock, the tower they were in began to stumble and crumble, with the party barely making it out before being crushed to death under the rubble. After escaping, they noticed the succubus bleeding and trying to crawl away from them, but obviously not doing such a good job of it. Catching up to her, they interrogated her for information on the whereabouts of the phyacteries. She responded “You already have one, and you will never find the pendant in Elysium.” With this she indicated that a massive force of othr demons and vrocks were flying toward them. The succubus was killed, and the party used the trans-dimensional dagger to go back to Thay’s place.
At Thay’s place, Thay appeared disheveled and almost panicked. His servants were all frantically looking through his library. Thay noticed the ring that UgGrub had taken, and he gently took the ring and carried it to his desk. He then began to tell the party he figured out why there were two phylacteries: the lich had killed his wife as well to harness her soul and put half of his soul in the ring and pendant, and half of her soul in each as well. This would give the stability each item needed to contain the soul, and also allow the lich to better protect himself by having multiple phylacteries. Written on the inside of the ring was “To my Love, Marian”. The party then came to the conclusion that the item needed to be destroyed.
UgGrb nearly broke his massive hammer trying to break the ring on the ground, Merek finally built of the courage to investigate the ring. His sword, Exordius, reacted to the ring, moaning with returning spirits and then the moaning turned into an angry howling. Merek then raised his sword and struck the ring, and there was a great flash that blasted everyone back, save Merek.
Merek’s consciousness was now transported to a realm of grey mist, and infinite space and time. He looked ahead of him, and a small beautiful blonde woman wearing a sheer white dress looked at him, mouthing, “help me”. She then saw something frightening behind him, and turned and ran. Merek turned to an ominous threat of “You will experience pain and suffering as you have never before mortal”. It was the lich. Combat ensued, and Exordius and Merek were found to be the victor. Upon the last stroke, his conscious returned to the shadow plane in Thay’s library to see the rest of the party and people be thrown back by the small explosion, and the ring was split in 2. Thay was ecstatic with joy, seeing as how half of the battle was already won. And then a mighty boom echoed in the hallway. The party prepared for battle, and at that moment 2 flesh golems burst in, with 4 small goblins leading them, one of which was Shithead. The golems were odd though, because they emitted a field that negated magical forces. The party still made short work of them though, and welcomed Shithead back in a somewhat hearty way.
But the worst was not over, as Thay approached the balcony with a somber face, his air of superiority and cockiness returned anew. “Run, this foe is beyond any of you/” he said over his shoulder to the party with certainty that drew their eyes to the front broken in door. A strikenly beautiful woman stood there, wielding a large suit and in the finest black plate mail. Merek immediately recognized her form the realm of grey mist, and Thay jumped down to confront her in blindingly fast combat.
Thay’s servants then hussled the party out of the library into a door that was not there earlier, and obvious emergency escape route, and appeared up at the top of the chasm outside of the city of Menzo. They then snuck into the Arena, and grabbed the loot they had won from the WAR encounter.

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Battle with the Lich!!!

Once teh party looted all of the items left over in teh Arena, the party took camp in the middle of the giant open Arena to be able to see anything coming. after some hours of rest, UG-GRUB spotted movement coming in to them from all sides, and roused teh party. the swarm of zombies eventually overwhelmed them from all sides (except Adranus who had transformed into a lightning elemental), and the lich approached with his entourage. He commands teh undead to release teh party, and readies for combat.

A fierce fight begins between teh lich, 2 flesh golems, and Marian. UG-GRUB is slain by one of the lich’s spells, and the rest of teh party is paralyzed by his touch, all but Merek. Sensing victory, the lich arrogantly faces off, having exhausted most of his spells and refusing to leave teh battle until all who oppose him are dead and serving him. With a perfect slash from Exordius, Merek gashes the blade deep into the exposed neck of the lich, and fells him with the first and final blow. The lich then warns that even with his death, there will be no victory for them, and looks for UG-GRUB’s corpse in shock.
UG-GRUB’s body begins to convulse and move, unnaturally rising one limb at a time to finally stand. Large leather bat-like wings burst from his back and his horns continue growing from his forehead. “No! I killed you!!!” screamed teh lich. But those were the last words he woudl ever say. UG-GRUB took to the air using his new wings, and plummeted to teh ground smashing the lich’s head in with his mighty hammer.
With the death of the lich’s body, Merek then used Exordius to strike the last phylactery, a ring similar to the previous one with the engraving, “To My Love, Gaven”. Upon striking the ring, he is again transported to the gray misty realm inhabiting the soul fragments of Marian and the lich, Gaven. He finds Marian, who seems happy, mouths “thank you” to him, and disappears. Gaven however, attempts to persuade Merek by offering power in exchange for what little life he has left.
The party then went back to Thay to investigate what happened to him. His once opulent and rich dwelling was now shattered and broken, and its illusion gone. it appeared quite mundane and simple. They found him in the library, broken and bloody, and refusing help. “Go west into the cave” were teh last words he spoke before succumbing to his injuries and dying.
they traveled immediately on to the west, and found the cave. they rested at the entrance, and then entered. Inside the cave was a great open room with a mirror on teh other side. As soon as they entered, their dark forms also stepped out from teh mirrors, and attacked their reflectors. With the defeat of each member, the real party members were sucked back into the material plane at some unknown location. The awoke in some large well-lite cave, with sunlight beaming down from teh broken ceiling. they also noticed a person in teh distance.

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A new member to the party!!

The party awoke in a cave. The noticed ruins in the distance, and a figure moving among them. They managed to get up, still a little battered from the previous encounter. Seeing the figure in the distance, the party decided to go down to the ruins, and investigate.
They approached the stranger and found out that she was there to investigate the ruins herself. She was a tielfing looking for interdimensional travel. The party showed her the area they arrived in, and she looked around finding nothing and decided to take them back to her city, Madrid. When they walked outside the cave, the party noticed they were in a desert. But even from a day away, they could tell that Madrid was massive.
When they arrived in the city, the tielfing lead them to The School of Magi where she was studying with her professor. They went into a lecture hall and saw the lecturer, Kalen (mad wizard they met in prison in the shadow realm). Turns out he is a genius with extra dimensional travel. He is excited to see the party, and tells them he wants to have lunch with them and his faculty of the university (in his own crazy way). The party decides to attend lunch and proceeds to eat a whole bunch of really good food. During their lunch, a large bald man in lavish robes, this is the headmaster of the school, Mesotophlos. He sits down with the party and quickly discusses terms of them finding an artifact, a specific suit of armor. They argued about the price for the mission, but agreed to do it for 5000 gold. They then went and rest at a local inn with the first half of the payment (2500 gold). while walking around the city of Madrid, Adranus got slightly seperated from the party and noticed a haggered ol beggar-woman on the street sitting down in a pile of rags. when he was walking past her, she jumped up and grabbed his throat and with black eyes and a multi-tonal voice, said these words

Beware the coming of the Age of Blood
Keeper of the thirster
The Herald of his doom will weaken the land
Least The Blade drink deep
Harken the riders,
Come to quench its insatiable thirst
And break the Throne of marrow and bone
From shadow to chaos to blood they will ride
With darkness and light, water and sand they will ride
for when the heavens bleed, his path is clear
Blood for blood and bone for bone

The woman then lost her black eyes, seemed immensely confused, and sat back down in her rags. A little shaken, he told the party what happened, and found he could perfectly remember not only the words, but each voice spoken.They stole some potions from a local place, and decided to go back to the ruins and look for the armor.
Going back from uneventful, and they went inside a dilapidated building found a narrow staircase going down. Inside they found a hallway with evidence of excavation, Anya explained this was due to the college looking for artifacts and other relics in this area. The went to a restricted area, had to get past some tricky traps, and then went into a room. On the other end of the room, there was a collapsed part of the way leading to a rough=hewn tunnel. Pouring out of this hole was around a dozen hook horrors. After quickly dispatching the beasts (they noticed that the creatures also had leather collars on), the party went down the tunnel to investigate what awaited them.
Down the tunnel, some of the party heard some guttural voices and decided to investigate. Eldarion went down to investigate, and found that the things down there were being quiet, invisible, and trying not to make noise. He reported his findings to the party, and Anya decided to go forward and cast a spell to blind the assailants. She went down, cast the spell, but managed to take 3 crossbow bolts during the casting.

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