The Vale

A recap of the game so far - Part 2

Aeli and her band met up with a hired hand driving a horse and cart to the Vale. This driver, Ruffalo, could only speak about the rumor of goblins being seen in the hills. Upon arriving in Valetown, Aeli and her band were summoned by the Patriarch, the mayor of Valetown and spiritual leader of the Vale. He spoke of cattle being eaten or carried off and a strange fallen tower discovered by a hunter tracking the killer of cattle. No hunters would approach that tower and the Patriarch had petitioned Lord Risz for months for assistance. Apparently Aeli and her band were now that assistance.

Aeli and company found the path and crumbling tower that the hunter had spoken of, as well as a second entrance. They found undead zombines skeletons as well as a nasty ghoul that had apparently been the mysterious source of cattle death. They also found an extensive library and symbols which lead the Patriarch to surmise that the tower belonged to the mysterious Alaxus. This Alaxus had long ago enslaved the Vale and performed unspeakable magics – he had also created the school of Um Loran.

Aeli began to explore the second entrance that seemed to extend into a hillside, but she was confronted by a bridge over a deep chasm guarded by skeletons. Unable to get around the skeletons, Aeli returned to town to much acclaim over the death of the cattle killer. Celebrated as “The Hero of Valetown”, Aeli decided to take a diversion for a few days and hunt down the bandits that had been preying on caravans going from Westport to Valetown.

She was successful in luring the bandits into a trap where Tironell could perform his magic and immobilize many of them. In the ensuing confusion with returning with the bandits to Valetown, Aeli was briefly jailed, but then released.

Aeli and company returned to the tower with a cleric and a giant slingshot to destroy the bridge guarding skeletons, which she successfully defeated. However, after some more exploration, they came to a great cavern with a dragon made of smoke guarding it! It intoned a threat to her and Aeli decided to flee and discover more information about smoke dragons before returning.

The Patriarch asked Aeli to take the bandits to the Vale for judgment by Lord Risz. Upon returning the bandits to Westport, Aeli was informed that more bandits had seemingly been appearing out of nowhere to attack and steal ships from the port itself! Aeli met with Nikodemos to learn more of the smoke dragon. Nikodemos would need time, and gold, to find books and sources to learn more of this strange creature. In the meantime, Aeli decided to investigate the Tower of Zenopus a bit more to learn if the bandits were using it as a hideout.

Aeli captured a goblin from the tower and took it back to Lord Risz for questioning. She returned to the tower again and discovered a strange feature deep in the dungeon – a mask in the wall that speaks when the sundial has light cast on it to 4’o-clock. It would answer questions at length and was a unique find! Aeli asked the mask about Calypso, but it knew nothing of him. So Aeli pressed on. She discovered an underground beach that led to the sea, a group of pirates and a kidnapped daughter (Lemunda) of the rich merchant Lenovo. They returned Lemunda to Lenovo who rewarded Aeli and her band richly.

A few days later, Aeli escorted Nikodemos to the speaking mask. Apparently the mask had been created by Zenopus himself! The mask admitted that Zenopus had studied the work of Kellus and felt that Kellus was exploring the history and biology of strange mythical creatures like dragons. It knew nothing else of Kellus. Nikodemos was thrilled at the discovery of the mask and said that he now owed Aeli a great deal. Nikodemos gave Aeli the key to defeating the smoke dragon – since it was a construct, find the object that the smoke dragon emanated from/was tied to and destroy it.

Upon returning to Valetown with this information, Aeli and company was unhappy to learn that the Patriarch had attempted to remove the library from Alaxus’s tower. Apparently that effort had been foiled by the return of more undead!

Aeli returned to the second hillside entrance and fought more undead until she reached the smoke dragon. In a difficult battle, Aeli was able to defeat the smoke dragon and found a rich reward. She also discovered a secret entrance that had been covered up in rubble – she had discovered the lost tomb of Alaxus! Her and her band pried the door open and entered the tomb only to find themselves fleeing a gelatinous cube that caused Aeli to lose her magical sword! During their trip back, the band was robbed of the rest of their treasure and equipment by sneering goblins of the Green Iron Fist. This marked a very low point for Aeli and her band.

The Patriarch kindly refitted Aeli and her followers and they set off back to the tomb. The Patriarch had told Aeli of the legend of Alaxus’s defeat at the hands of a mage-hunter and this mage hunter’s magical sword – the Blade of Runes. Upon returning to the tomb, Aeli and her band destroyed the gelatinous cube, recovered her sword and continued to explore the tomb – only to find it was now the lair of rat-people! Despite being outnumbered, Aeli managed to retreat from the tomb and return to it again later, investigating the hill to see if they could find out how the ratlings were entering the tomb. They did find the entrance, but decided to return to Valetown to re-equip and think over their plans further.

This is where the adventure stands as of now.

A recap of the game so far - Part 1

Aeli is a young human woman, 20 years old. She is tall, and her most distinctive feature is her long brown hair, silky and usually braided.

Aeli’s recent history was filled with a terrible tragedy and one that has left her with a single purpose in life – revenge. She was of a rich noble family. The family was rumored to have held great secrets from an ancient relative who had brought them to their noble status. A mage by the name of Calypso befriended Aeli, seeking to take advantage of her naivetee.

After learning how best to infiltrate the family’s home, he did so, seeking the scrolls. He attacked the home with many hirelings and a horrific battle ensued between the bandits and her family’s men-at-arms. They were eventually overcome. The mage could not find the ancient secrets, and he killed the majority of her family (some where not present during the attack) trying to get the information on where the scrolls were kept.

Aeli was not at the family estate, as she had been away preparing for her impending marriage. Upon learning of the attack, she ran off from her family and fiancee to track down the mage and make him pay.

Aeli travels found her in the city of Westport, short on money. She fell into a group of adventurers, led by a young mage named Tironell. They were seeking to enter the Tower of Zenopus, a strange old crumbling building on the edge of Westport. Aeli agreed to join the adventurers. Unfortunately, they had only gone in for a little while when death struck and the party fled.

Over the next few days, Aeli and Tironell returned to the Tower to investigate its depths. Fighting goblins, undead skeletons and a giant snake, Aeli and Tironell eventually made it to a secret workshop. A powerful mage was inside, but a timely first strike by Aeli slew him before he could cast any spells out of a wand he was holding. It seemed that Tironell and Aeli had stumbled onto a great treasure of books and magic. Aeli also found a strange black ring on the mage’s body, one that she would later remember was similar to a ring that Calypso used to wear.

Aeli’s adventures drew the notice of the townsfolk of Westport, including one of the widows of a deceased hireling, the weary priest Worlale who worships Cheliduus, the Sea Goddess and others. It was also at this point that Aeli gained lifelong friends and followers – Turchao and Rather. Aeli had hired them, protected them and paid them well and they grew to respect and devote themselves to Aeli’s cause.

A sage and book seller, Nikodemos identified the ring as belonging to the black mage “clan” of Um Loran. Nikodemos warned Aeli that Um-Loran would want the ring back.

Aeli’s successful adventures in the tower led to her being summoned to the Westport Keep. There, the Captain of the Guard, Equay, asked Aeli and her band to investigate a problem of a “monster” in the Keep’s storage tunnels. The rest of the knights and men were off chasing off a bandit problem, possibly a goblin raid. If the tunnels were not recovered, a great deal of food would be lost. Aeli agreed.

Upon entering the tunnels, which had been blocked off by the scared castle guards, Aeli and her band found a strange creature, seemingly almost invisible, sticky and very large! Aeli, seeming to be possessed, cleaved her way right through it and it “melted”, leavings coins and bits of metal in the goo. After exploring the tunnels further, the band found an area where the stored supplies had been completely eaten by a horde of rats. The rats seemed to be under the control of a lost guard named “Marcus.” There was something wrong with Marcus though, he ended up being a wererat! Aeli and her band killed him, but it was a near thing as Turchao ended up diseased, Rather had contracted lyncanthropy from being bit by the were-creature and their beloved torchbearer, Nodwig, was lost in the darkness to more giant rats.

Aeli and her band recovered from their wounds and diseases and the Lord of Westport, Lord Risz honored Aeli by naming her “Champion of Westport” and awarding her living quarters. He also permitted her to continue her explorations of the Tower of Zenopus, while also mentioning that there were problems of a different sort in a nearby rural town – Valetown.

Unfortunately, Aeli and her band came away from the Keep back to the Red Dragon Inn to find their rooms robbed and burned – the ring of Um-Loran plus many of the valuable magic books were gone.

Nikodemos told Aeli a bit about her family history – a history that she wasn’t much aware of. Her family traces back to the famous wizard Kellus Therran. Kellus founded Thyckletray, the great white mage school. There were many rumors that Kellus had been investigating strange theories in his later years, but nobody knows for sure what he was onto. Nikodemos surmised that perhaps Calypso did know, or had a clue. If Calypso bore a ring of Um-Loran, then he would most like be a black mage as well – and thus Aeli now had a dangerous enemy. Nikodemos advised Aeli to investigate more of her family’s history and learn what she could of ancient mages, in order to find out why Calypso was searching for.

After conferring with Equay, Aeli decided to venture forth to Vale and Valetown to see if she could find the source of the bandit problems and perhaps help out the leader of Valetown with a problem he was bothering Lord Risz about.

That will be covered in the second recap.