Test Campaign

Will 2

It seems the Von Slythe’s had two ancestors who became vampires: Content Not Found: balthasar-von-slythe_ and _Content Not Found: liannia-von-slythe. These two appear to have been the masterminds behind what happened and are over a 1000 years old! I’m constantly having to revise my view on the family’s history. Unfortunately, they weren’t actually dead.. or at least they hadn’t ceased to be undead… Well, the important part is that they broke out and are now roaming around again, possibly with the priest of Incabulos. It does, however, beg the question of why our predecessors didn’t slay them on sight or how they hid their condition…

Further, we seem to be finally getting a grasp on what the purpose of Everan’s experiment really was. The infused bloodline would give them the ability to join symbiotically with a devil. The stronger the taint became, the more powerful a devil they could combine with. This is as distressing as it is enlightening. I had been wondering why it would take them over 800 years to summon a devil, but there was obviously more going on. I have to assume this was the purpose of the ritual our family explosively disrupted. But who were they trying to summon, to whom would the devil have been bonded, and what is the ultimate purpose of this? Is it simply pure power or something much worse?

The, slightly, more uplifting news is that Balthazar was evidently a great and good hearted leader before his descent into vampirism and infernalism. His wife seems to have been the one to persuade him to that course. It’s good to know that we started following them for a reason other than blind obedience. Our new companion, an elven investigator and wizard from Veluna named Content Not Found: idrys-tavedran, is working on decrypting Balthazar’s journal. I hope we learn more from that. I didn’t think to offer my help in the translation since we were drilled in Old Oeridian, but he seems to be progressing quickly.

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marsys 3

Journal Of Marsys Lightouch
15th of Fireseek 636 CY

Nightmares At Megas Landing

We went to Greyhawk city and discovered that the Content Not Found: claire-von-slythe may come out when needed and if not she can be awakened on the next holy day of Pelor in three weeks. We also became worried that the Oerdian vampires may have gone to Megas Landing. We found out in Hardby that the people from the Landing had started coming in with old looking gems, art and coins. It seems they are trying to hide a shipwreck they discovered. Or, maybe some 1000 year old people just showed up with old coins, gems and art. The art had an odd insect theme and was made from precious metals and jade. So we decided to arrive in Megas Landing at dawn.

Having grown up in Elmshire I developed a great love for the waking of a coastal town. My beloved Nyr Dyv and Wolly Bay are nautical cousins, so I was looking forward to meeting the people of Mega Landing.

To me hope can be described in terms of the soft purple of the early morning sky as new light, that never before touched Oerth, brings into silhouette the small aged optimistic fishing boats that line the bay. The boundless hope of fishermen seeking their trade is one of the miracles of each morning. New light blending with the constant bustle of activity that embodies morning in a coastal town.

Elmshire, Hardby, Fishtown or hundreds of others small and large…just like Megas Landing exist all over the Flaness. Even though it was a town of less than two hundred souls I knew I could identify with the people. But as the dawn colors faded into the silence at Megas Landing a dreadful stillness was apparent. No one was up this morning in Megas Landing. And if no one was up in a fishing village…something was horribly wrong.

The Church of Procan was empty but showed signs of organized flight. The holy objects were removed and there were signs of a struggle near the back door. We found nothing in the mayors office, and Content Not Found: jevan-seafire suggested that we go to the docks. Once there we found a ledger that described the daily take of Megas Landing. All the entries were of a similar format. But three weeks ago there was an entry that was clearly put in after something else was erased. We assumed this was when they found some kind of treasure. The weather records showed that the night before that entry there was a massive storm.

If dawn to me was hope, storms the night before were adventure personified. The sea would, on stormy nights, release its’ treasure. Normally nothing more than shells and objects dangerous and romantic only in a child’s imagination. I would run to the coast line of the bay the morning after a storm to find treasure. Perhaps this one time the sea released actual treasure onto Megas Landing. I smiled at the thought until I looked around at the emptiness and silence. The sea was not always kind. Procan was a majestic crazy bastard.

We spotted a small boat alone and anchored off in the bay. Going out to it we found a cleric of Procan who had fled to the sea. He told us for four days the people of Megas Landing has been trapped in nightmares. Not waking they would wander the town on unguessable errands and carrying boxes. What they really wanted was a key from the treasure that the cleric now possessed and this was why he feld to the bay. It was an old key…odd and somehow more than a key.

We all went into the town where the cleric now insisted the mad sleepwalking bastards would not be up yet and there was now a free bar. We experimented and our Content Not Found: wilhelmina-stalwarth_ was able to wake them, just like the soldiers who _Content Not Found: bartholomew-serrik had ensnared. This was obviously his handiwork. As we woke people they told us of their nightmares, of a strange tower that the key would open and the desire to get it at all costs. I recognized all to well they spoke of the Ghost Tower of Inverness. South of Megas Landing near the Star Carins stood the ancient and mysterious tower that was said to even predate the Flan.

We went to search for the cult of Kyuss and found a passage in a basement that led to an area that seemed to be where boxes were being readied for shipping. We immediately faced some Spawn of Kyuss and an Dwarf…who seemed to be an anti-Paladin who smashed a box and released airborn worms. The foul being summoned his mount, an undead steed dripping with worms. Our Paladin took great joy in smiting the anti-Paladin but the concussive blow came when our Content Not Found: loreli-1 summoned a Rhino. I had read of these great armored beasts and they do not disappoint. It drove the monster and his pet backward into a secret passage. The mount dead and the dwarf unconscious..we investigated and found that the cult had fled but the dwarf was about the business of shipping boxes of worms each bearing a name of something that sounded like a disease. The work of Bartholomew was again before our eyes. He was going to try his hand a plague bringing.

We have resolved to destroy the boxes but keep some of the worms to take up the river to Greyhawk City where we will hand the dwarf over to the Church of Morradin, The All Father of the Dwarven Race. Get these worms examined and research our next step… The Ghost Tower of Inverness.

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marsys 2


Journal Of Marsys Lightouch
10th of Fireseek 636 CY

The Dark Manor

We stayed at the site of the excavation while experts from Geoff excavated and a regiment of soldiers guarded us, the barracks and the slowly emerging manor. I had usually gone to tombs and dungeons when they were already revealed or had been sitting dark and cursed in full view for centuries. So it was a unique experience to watch over the days as the manor slowly became visible.

Content Not Found: sir-christopher-saunders_ had called an elf named _Content Not Found: idrys-tavedran to help us. He seems to be an investigator or historian of sorts. I am sure he was found as we all were..through the careful discernment of whatever garment Istus is telling us to try on. Like a grandmother who gives you a sweater that does not quite fit, the goddess of fate is telling us we will grow into it…because at the moment I think we all have the feeling of slowly moving out of our depth.

Idrys, Content Not Found: jevan-seafire_ and _Content Not Found: tulla-poofenplotz set about identifying the books we recovered from the Barracks. And the slow feeling of being out of our depth became a rolling runaway cart going down a hill. Some of the books were dark and powerful. And I went outside our meeting tent to get some air.

It was a cold night. One of those nights where there are so many starts in the sky that you wonder why it is so cold. If the burning disk of Pelor is fire…on winter nights it is easy to believe that the stars are somehow shards of night made into ice. As if Nerull, even now sane, freezes the light so it can not burn away the night.

Between the evil books in the tent and the ice of Nerull in the sky…the month of Fireseek has never seemed so aptly named. I sought the fire of the soldiers and made small talk about my home. Many had never been as far east as Elmshire and they were much more used to gnomes than halflings in their country. I regaled them with a few fun stories and left to go to sleep.

It was near morning when many of us awoke to low moaning. Our party, gathering in camp, saw that the entire regiment was asleep…many falling where they stood. The dig site was the same. All slept fitfully, as if in nightmares. That though was confirmed as some screamed upon waking. We let the Paladin Content Not Found: wilhelmina-stalwarth walk near them and the strange sleep passed gently. As they woke they described a cleric of Incabulos who walked through the camp…putting them all to sleep. We soon found a passage into the barracks we did not know about earlier. Calling for reinforcements for the men we entered the barracks.

The cleric had entered into the Von Slythe Tombs below the general’s office. In one tomb was a stairway down that led to a passage that led to the manor. We followed it and came out in the basement. Up the stairs toward the first floor, I crept so I could listen to the conversation in the next room.

There was a man speaking with authority who was berating others. The air was fresh, as if this place had been in use and not buried. He laments the book we found was taken to the Canon of Rao and was currently beyond their reach. He did say he would call people to check the wreckage. He then teleported away.

Looking beyond the door a horrid site met my eyes. There was a cleric of Kyuss and three of the horrid spawn. Undead who spread their fate like a disease through vile worms that drip from them like demonic honey. Huh…I will have to rewrite that. Demonic honey. Does not work perfectly.

Content Not Found: villius-bluesteel used the door as protection and pinned the spawn against the floor with it as we dispatched them. We captured the cleric for questioning.

Tulla’s spell worked too well. He blathered at us about his plans…think I never wanted to know. There are sentient spawn of the worm god. The man we heard who left is named Bartholomew and is a cleric of Incabulos. They had been down here since the earthquake three weeks ago. And it seems Bartholomew knew he would find something here…or more accurately…people. Two thousand year old vampires Content Not Found: balthasar-von-slythe_ and _Content Not Found: liannia-von-slythe von Slythe. They were the architects of the experiments and apparently want to make it so their family members can become one with devils. They were sealed here and the quake broke the seals.

Also the cult of Kyuss has some new leader called the Content Not Found: the-chosen-of-kyuss_ who is made of worms. He and Bartholomew talk to devils and there seems to be some connection in all of this to an infernal plan. The Von Slythes had a _Content Not Found: claire-von-slythe who was about 12, we need to research her…because…and I can not make this up…she is a ghost who may be good and is trapped in a ring we found.

We also found out there is a cult of Kyuss in Mega’s Landing on the Wooly Bay in the Wild Coast. So our plan is to go research at the Great Library of Greyhawk City then travel to Mega Landing to see if we can find out more that will shed light on the plan of the worm lovers and nightmare people.

One thing bothers me…we were asleep too when everyone else was infected with nightmares. Why not us? Were we protected or are we being manipulated to go places the evil Cleric can not? Someone, good or evil, intended us to find the book and all these other things. I really pray it was good.

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will 1

Dearest Uncle and Cousins,

I don’t think any of us was more surprised than I when the messenger arrived on our doorstep with that letter. My confusion continued to grow more intense when I and the others who’d received a copy finally met with Content Not Found: sir-christopher-saunders. It seemed unfathomable that I would be called so far from home to simply investigate a location that had become unearthed at the edge of Veluna during recent seismic activity. Its true that they had identified the site as being a barracks built by very early Oeridians — 800 years ago — from the time our people battled with the Flan in that area. But still, there are plenty of those who know more about our history than I.

It wasn’t until we entered the site that it became excruciatingly clear why I had been called upon.

The very first chamber we entered was a dreadful tableau. There were dozens of dead paladins and priests of Heironeous. Some were hung from the ceiling in whatever horrible ritual had been attempted. As we moved the bodies into a more restful position, the halfling, Content Not Found: marsys-lightouch, discovered a sealed secret door. Only those of good heart were capable of opening it, and we found a chapel of Heironeous inside. It was here that we started to uncover what had transpired in this awful place.

We found the solemn bodies of a handful of individuals who had lived out their last days in this single room, trapped by the monsters who had invaded. The novice priest, who was the last to die and who had cared for the others, left an account of what happened. And it shocked me terribly.

The barracks were funded by the Von Slythe family, and the general who had been in charge was Everan Von Slythe. He was guarded by our valiant ancestor, Theodore Stalwarth. The cleric was not privy to the entire happenings but knew that devils had emerged from the general’s office and began sacking the place. Sir Theodore held off as many as he could to give the remains of the bases’ inhabitants a chance to escape. Sadly, they too found themselves sealed in.

We decided to continue on and found a few remaining devils, some undead, and a few other creatures roaming the ruins. It seems my fellows are quite strong and clever, though, and we had little trouble dispatching them.

It wasn’t until we found Sir Theodore’s body that we learned the rest of what had occurred. I say with pride that with a simple sword and spear take from their armory, he slew at least a dozen devils and other horrors and finally Everan himself. His own wounds were mortal, but Theodore had enough time to scribe a final letter. I have enclosed a copy for our history records, but the gist of it was that he had failed. It seems that our nobles were corrupted this far back and even then we did not know until it was too late.

Sir Theodore explained that Everan had been experimenting with a way to infuse his family’s blood with magical, infernal power. He used poor Flan prisoners as his early test subjects. We know quite well the final results of this terrible exercise and how successful it was. It was with great shame that Theodore told of how the bases’ captain begged him to see the truth, but even then our family was blinded by duty. What he learned was that Everan had used an evil tome given to him by his dark masters to perform the rituals. He also spoke of how he sent his sword — and I can only assume it is the one we still hold — to his son and that he regretted not having sent the magical gem he carried on his person as well.

We took the gem and letter and explored further. I have to confess that my anger got the better of me at this point, so that when we came to the captain’s office, and we knew there was something vile inside, I didn’t hesitate to kick in the door. Literally. The poor captain had been transformed into some wretched undead combined with pieces of devils. I am proud to relate that I killed him with a single strike, but there was something odd that also happened at that very moment. Theodore’s gemstone flew from the hand of the person carrying it and embedded itself into the hilt of my sword.

None of us was able to divine what the effect of this might be, so we carried on to the general’s office and into the secret passage beyond. We found all manner of infernalist trappings including statues to the nine lords of hell. We also came across the tombs of seven Von Slythe’s who had died during the testing of Everan’s methods. I have requested that those bodies, along with Sir Theodore, be sent home for permanent internment. Our duty is to watch over them, even in death, as penance for having failed to prevent their terrible fall. I expect, considering some of our conversations, that you will all agree with me.

Evil book1

Our final destination was an unhallowed room that held the book we sought. Inside was a strange… thing made of rope. It was the cleric of Garl Glittergold, Content Not Found: tulla-poofenplotz_, who advised us that it was, in fact, a rope golem and that its weakness was fire. _Content Not Found: jevan-seafire, our mage, quickly dispatched the monster from the doorway, sparing us from any unnecessary injuries.

The book was ensorcelled and declared itself to be “the key to the final transformation of the world.” I have no idea what that means, but we took it and will be handing it off to the authorities of Geoff. I can think of no place safer than in the hands of the Canon of Rao.

As children, we saw the end of it, but now we know the beginnings. I hope that Sir Theodore’s soul can rest easy knowing that our family’s sacrifice finally put an end to what he couldn’t stop. There is still much that doesn’t make sense, but there was a description of the Von Slythe’s manor house near the barracks. I fear that when that is unearthed I may find more answers than I have stomach for.

- Yours devotedly, Wilhelmina Stalwarth

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marsys1

Journal Of Marsys Lightouch
3rd day of Needsfest 635 CY

Well, I can say without lying or exaggerating that I have been given a royal welcome for reasons I can not even understand. I suppose I will find out on the 2nd of Fireseek in the new year. Until then I am perfectly happy to roam the market with those who will be, it seems, my new companions.

There is a Frost Barbarian who is nearly two halflings tall. His name is Content Not Found: villius-bluesteel_ and he appears to be very full of life. There is a Mage named Content Not Found: jevan-seafire_ from near the Nyr Dyv and he seems a lucky type, a halfling can tell. A gnome cleric of Garl Glittergold called Content Not Found: tulla-poofenplotz_ who is a hoot and a half and she seems to have fun telling our mage he is a girl. I have never met anyone from the Isle of Pearls before but there is a lady monk named Content Not Found: qui-yue_ who will be with us. I am ever so excited to see if I can follow her home at any point. Even the great Pontus Hardiggin never roamed as far as the Silk Isles. There is a tattoo mage named Content Not Found: loreli-1 who seems reluctant to be here…I will have to make friends with her and show her the fun of adventure. And finally a Content Not Found: wilhelmina-stalwarth…A PALADIN like mom. She follows Heronious so you know she will show us the right thing to do.

Who knows what grand adventures await us. I wonder if the barbarian will mind a riding saddle for his shoulders?

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Villius 1

The Saga of Villius Bluesteel
A record of what was spoken on the day he left home

I suppose you’ve heard that he’s left. That the messenger came out of the snow this morning. I have no idea what kind of messengers these kings and priests employ that seem to know the whole history of their mark as well as the unnatural fortitude to cross the snow and ice and leave again without rest or worry. What magic they use is not for me to guess…not vile but not natural. Like some unerring fatal arrow from a hunters bow. Be that as it may; my son is gone.

He has gone off into the lands of those who think themselves so much better for the crime and suffering they surround themselves with and call it progress. But you know, priests of the Winter Lord, as well as I do that this was meant to be. But such a headstrong boy. A good man now…but can he see past himself and glory? You never worried about that the way a mother worries. You never questioned his calling. You helped prepare his body and his mind, but I forged the mettle of his soul. And I still wonder, have I done enough. He needs his arrogance, it keep him sharp. But he must not have too much of it.

I’ve sent him on his way, with the sword Nightcry, into the places of corruption to do the bidding of Vatun. I know you see my son as your redemption for your foolishness for releasing Iuz in your youth and falling for his ploy. Gray beards now covering regret that my son will clean from you. But know this…if he dies on this calling I know I can not kill a god. But his priests sleep and eat, far too much indeed, and are all too mortal. You will not survive one moon past his last sight of one himself.

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Test

The Journal of Marsys Lightouch
Sunsebb 15, 635 CY (Evening)

I look out in the twilight across the shallow arm of the Nyr Dyv as it cradles around my home of Elmshire; and I have to laugh at the events of this morning. I had just finished telling my parents that it was time for me to go off on my own in search of adventure. My mother, a Paladin of our goddess Yondalla, reminded me of our agreement that until I acquired more skill I would only train and go on journeys with trusted family friends.

I told her I had learned all I could that way. Before it became an argument my father intervened and asked if there was no wisdom that she could give that would bring a compromise. Thinking for a moment she relented that if she would promise to allow me to go if adventure walked to my doorstep. As I was about to protest the unfairness of such a demand there was a knock at our door.

Now, in the interest of a good story I could say that at that moment I knew that destiny was upon the doorstep. But, to be honest, I thought it was our neighbor Sandy seeking butter…as she did twice a week. I swear they drink butter in that house. I mean they may eat it, but I think they drink it…it seems to go so fast that drinking sounds right. Of course…anyway.

It was not until I heard the practiced voice of a messenger ask: “Is this the home of Master Hubert Lightouch Master Tobacconist, his wife Mary Ann esteemed Paladin of the Hearth the parents of Lady Marsys Lightouch?”

My father nodded slowly taking a drag on his pipe: “I suppose we’re all that and some things on the side.”

I came around the corner and saw a messenger in the clothing of the Kingdom of Geoff bearing the standards of both that king and the Canon of Rao, ruler of Veluna and head of the church of the god of reason, serenity and peace. Beyond him the street was filling with the curious. Such a site was not common in Elmshire even though we were a busy port by halfling standards.

“I have a message…” he continued as my mother moved forward in the assumption we all shared that it was for her, “for lady Marsys.” He finished. The stunned silence drifted toward me as my parents turned toward me with mild accusation. The shock on my face alerted them to my own clueless nature relating to the situation.

The reply was mine as he held out a letter sealed with the royal crest of Geoff and the Archclericy of Veluna. And in a stellar beginning to my independent adventuring career I said: “Is this some kind of practical joke?”

The messenger smiled, “Not to my knowledge.”

I took the letter an opened it. After I read it I handed it to my father who read it with my mother. She nodded to the messenger and said, “You will of course let us discuss this.” He nodded and indicated where he could be found within the next three hours if there was a reply other than the ones offered in the letter.

We discussed it for nearly the allotted three hours. That we were given the time indicated that those sending the letter knew the specifics of my situation with my reluctant parents. In the end it was decided that I would go and start the life I had trained for. And, to my surprise, my father decided that I would go and spend Needfest there: “You can come back for many holidays. But not always. And this time you can spend it in a place celebrating a great event. And you need to get used to sometimes being away on those days. It is best to start now.” My mother seemed about to object but saw the wisdom in it.

My father left the room and returned with a case containing something I had never seen before. “Your grandfather had the wanderlust like you…these were his.”

I opened the case to see three exquisite daggers.

“They come back when you throw them,” my father said, “he swore they saved his life over and over.”

I was stunned, “I never found these,” I said, “and I’ve searched through this whole house hundreds of times…”

“Yes,” my father interrupted, “Searching for treasure as a child, well halfling fathers are better at hiding things than kings. Kings do not have such curious children.” He reached into the bottom of the case and carefully unwrapped a ring with an etching of our mother goddess sheltering small children. “Magic,” he said, “for protection.”

So I sit here now in early evening with the reflected stars of early evening visible on the Nyr Dyv. The winter trade moves slowly from the Free City of Greyhawk and Dyvers and it is far more silent that one might expect. And for the first time since I planned my whole life out, I realize that I may not be home for the holidays. My father chose the time of my departure as a parting lesson. That in this life there will be things I can not control. I am both terrified and excited at the prospect. I think, I will not mention to him, that I believe I am more excited at the prospect.

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