The Vale

Recap of what has happened

Aeli arrives to Westport and meets Tironell looking to hire adventurers to explore an old destroyed Wizard’s Tower (Zenopus’s Tower) that has begun to show strange signs of activity – lights, figures, sounds. Aeli’s first adventures in the wizard’s tower. Set up base of operations at Inn of the Dancing Sea (Burlbur) Meet the armor/weaponsmith – Thumbold (Dwarf) Hires two new guys – Turchao and Rather – they say they are brothers, Rather mainly says “yea!” to everything, Turchao is the talker. They look nothing alike.
Aeli meets Worlale – priest of the temple to Cheliduus (Goddess of sea)

Aeli has visions of a dark man, probably Calypso.

Aeli and Company continue to explore the ruins of the Wizard’s Tower, run into more and more goblins and bandits. A very bad goblin attack leaves them all very badly wounded and hireling dead. In order to get healing, Aeli agrees to do a service for Worlale, help Lord Risz with an issue with the castle of Westport and its food stores. Knights had gone chasing bandits and in meantime, a strange monster has appeared in the food cellars of the castle.

Aeli goes back to tower with Tironell, finds a wizard at the top, kills him. Lots of treasure and books and a strange ring.

They meet Nicodemos, a book seller and sage, who will buy the books and research the ring. Aeli keeps/hides the ring after showing it to Nicodemos.

Meantime, news comes of a rich merchant offering a reward for his daughter who has been kidnapped by bandits.

Aeli’s adventure under the castle to free the food. She kills a gelatinous cube, runs into a strange man, Markus, who ends up being a wererat, and loses Nodwig the torchbearer to a horrible and lonely death to a pack of rats. Lord Risz names Aeli “Champion of Westport”, grants her privileges such as continuing to explore the Wizards Tower in Westport. He also mentions knowing her family – the Therran family. She reveals that her sister, her sister’s fiancee and a cousin were the only survivors of the attack.

Nicodemos tells Aeli that the ring belongs to Um Loran – the mage in the tower was a black mage. This is bad and she will be marked. He tells herthat her family comes from the famed Kellus who helped free the Vale from Alaxus, an evil wizard. She remembers Calypso wearing a similar ring. Nicodemos says that Calypso must be Um Loran mage. He must be hunting something related to Kellus and killed her family for it. To find out what it was, she will have to seek out ancient mage towers and go to mage schools to learn about Kellus. Thyckletray in Caleston is the school that Kellus was instrumental in founding.

They come back to find their rooms have been robbed and the ring taken. The Inn was set aflame. The sword that Aeli found (which reads “Desire Me”) keeps causing her to “black out” and continuously clean/sharpen it during these blackout times.

To help out with Bandits, Aeli travels pretending to be merchants to Valetown. They are set upon by 4 bandits who fight to the death. They arrive in Valetown. She meets/hires Quellan, son of the jeweler Asham. They hear of a strange ruin that teens found, with skeletons. The teens were investigating it because of a rash of cattle deaths. They go to investigate. It’s the ruins of a wizard’s tower built into the side of a hill. They find a passageway leading into the hill from the base of the tower. They explore, find a ghoul who has been eating the cattle, but it was holed up in an old library. They fight undead and win. Many old books. They chase the ghoul through secret passage, icky swampy tunnel and into a strange room with a tile floor with a design in it. A stone circular door with runes the door. In room is an iron door with bull’s head and a lock. Ghoul had the key in a box. They come to a bridge over chasm with 4 skeletons in front of a door on other side. Aeli decides to back off and build a giant slingshot.

They return and Aeli is now the “Hero of Valetown.” according to the Bards.

Aeli goes bandit hunting, does recon at the “Vicious Pixie” and finds Nib. With Nib’s “help”, they plan an ambush of a temporary bandit campsite. It’s successful and Aeli captures some bandits. Nib runs away. There is confusion at returning as the badits argue they are innocent and it’s Aeli & Company who are the real bandits. After a night in jail, the owner of the Vicious Pixie – Ghax – vouches for Aeli’s story.

She meets with clerk who speaks for the Patriarch – he is impressed at the description of the library. She gets the slingshot created, hires a cleric. At the wizard’s tower, all the bodies are gone. Doors are closed. She opens, cleric turns the skeletons (let down!). They find an adventurer’s body and a small dog, which Aeli starts to beat up on. Rather befriends the dog. They run into more skeletons and then find a strange smokey dragon who scares the crap out of them. They retreat to figure this out. Tironells says that the runes on door radiate evil, when he cast a spell on them.

The Patriarch’s clerk recommends she finds a sage who might help break the mystery of the smoke dragon.

They take the bandits back to the Keep, where Captain Equay reveals that the goblins and bandits are working together – somehow. Nicodemos agrees to research the smoke dragon if Aeli will keep bringing him books and information. In the meantime, they return to Zenopus’s Tower to explore it more. They capture a goblin and take it to the Keep (Notuk – naked goblin parade).

Tironell won’t tell Aeli why he’s not in a school.

The goblin reveals that the Goblin leader is called “Green Iron Fist” and has made a pact with the bandits. They are keeping the guards away from the docks and shore so the bandits can operate to capture merchants and learn of caravans so that goblins/bandits can capture them.

Aeli & Company return to Zenopus’s Tower, explore more, find the mask room and the sundial. It activates and answers her question about Calypso – it knows nothing. It answers one question a day. Aeli finds the bandit camp which was an unknown cavern leading to the sea right next to the docks. They “rescue” Lemunda and get a rewards. Nicodemos is very interested in mask, and he talks about why he’s interested in Kellus – Kellus studied magical myths, strange things, things that most mages don’t care about. Nicodemos accompanies them to the mask (and is attacked by a wandering ghoul who paralyzes him for awhile). When mask is asked if Zenopus had anything to do with Kellus, mask says that Zenopus studied Kellus.

Nicodemo finds answers to how to defeat smoke dragon – it’s a construct. Find the item that it is bound to and destroy it. He also tells her the story of Alaxus, who was 1 of 4 wizards who founded Um Loran. He was an evil overlord, who enslaved the lands of the Vale for his use. Eventually, a female paladin bearing a famous sword “Blade of Runes” defeated Alaxus, but his body was never recovered and she was never seen again. He believes the tower might have been Alaxus’s main headquarters. Alaxus was known as the “Minotaur Mage” for some reason.. and a Minotaur is half man, half bull. The iron door with bull’s head is strong clue to Alaxus.

After returning to Valetown, Aeli gets to meet the Patriarch. He reveals that more skeletons were seen at wizard’s tower and they chased workers away. The Patriarch was having the books removed. He is surprised to hear that the library and tower might be Alaxus’s but he agrees. As the leader of the local church, he agrees to help her with healing and help.

They return to the tower and defeat the smoke dragon who was bound to a brazier. They find a door in the cavern wall which leads to a series of hallways and chambers. The chambers have obelisks in the center and paintings on the ceiling of Alaxus’s career. They encounter a gelatinous cube and the party takes the worst of it. Aeli loses her “pretty sword” as it gets stuck in a wall. They have to run away. On the way back to Valetown, they are robbed by goblins. It’s a low point.

Thanks to help by Patriarch, they re-equip, re-arm and return to the tower, now believed to be the tomb of Alaxus as well. They defeat the cube and recover Aeli’s prety sword. They come to a second chamber and find “ratlings” – creatures that are bipedal rats that seem intelligent. They have several battles and decide to retreat to rearm and re-equip. They decide to try and see if there was another way into the tomb, since the ratlings had to come from somewhere. They find the opening and sneak in. They find the tomb… only to have the door shut in their face! The bull heads morph into a lock and keyhole. They encounter the ratling leader, who has the key, and a glowing blade with runes on it – the Blade of Runes! They defeat the ratling king, recover the blade, Aeli dons the armor of a skeleton who they now realize is the famous paladin. Then… Aeli starts having serious blackouts with her “pretty sword” and they realize the sword is cursed. Back to the Patriarch to get rid of the curse. On their way back, they encounter bandits and Nib! He’s captured and taken in chains.

Now freed of the cursed sword, Aeli returns to the Tomb, opens the door with the key and the team working together, they defeat Alaxus!

They recovered many books written in the black tongue of Mhaldor, gold and a strange black crystal orb, that was embedded in the coffin lid. Above Alaxus is a painting, showing him holding the black stone, the Vale, his Tower near Valetown, another Tower near a waterfall with a dragon statue holding a green stone, similar to her black orb, near the town of Valegate. Further on is the black towers of Um Loran.

Upon returning to Valetown, they celebrated. Aeli was involved in a diplomatic incident with an ambassador from Southron. She has been forbidden to ever enter the lands of Southron. She was summoned to a meeting with the Patriarch and farmers. Strange creatures, perhaps dragons, are terrorizing the farms, near the town of Valegate.

Aeli took the orb and books to Nicodemos in Westport. He cast spells to try to translate the books, but was unsuccessful. He said that she should go to the school of Thyckletray in Caleston, that the mages there could probably help with the books and orb.

It looks like from her notes that she decided to go traveling to Caleston. A “Kenthrix” will help her there?

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