A New Eberron

Chapter 7: Chaos and Blood
Sheogorath's Tomb and the Blood of Vol

On the way back from Wroat (which will hopefully get its own adventure log post one day), Garrus, Liv, Ray, Dou, and Aquarius met up with Jake, whom had been a few days behind them. He was bummed that he had missed the action. The journey back was uneventful, until just outside of Greenblade when Garrus mentioned that he had heard rumors of a nearby tomb with a treasure. Ray soon spotted the path and mindlessly followed its markers, causing the rest of the concerned group to follow.

They eventually arrived at a door built into a hill. They found they key and entered, only to be greeted by a spectral illusion. He introduced himself as Sheogorath, and invited the group to try to claim his treasure. The group accepted his challenge, and the dungeon began! They progressed through the room rapidly, often solving the puzzles with luck, stupidity, and recklessness. Along the way, Aquarius acquired a flying broomstick, and Garrus took an onyx pyramid that was capable of swapping souls. However, as they continued, they noticed that the puzzles became more life-threatening, with another vision of Sheogorath eventually admitting that he was trying to kill the group. Regardless, the adventurers pushed on, eventually arriving at Sheogorath’s burial room. Jake, in a stroke of brilliance, found Sheogorath’s treasure: the Wabbajack, a staff of incredible and unpredictable power. They were then teleported to the tomb’s entrance no worse for the wear.

However, upon exiting, the group was ambushed by soldiers. The captain identified the attackers as the Emerald Claw, and they demanded the group hand over Garrus peacefully. The group responded by obliterating the pitiful soldiers. When the carnage had ended, the captain attempted to knock the group out with a strange orb, but Dou, Liv, and the mechanical companion resisted. They rescued Garrus and eliminated what little remained of the Emerald Claw squad. Upon investigating, they found a note on the captain that contained the order to capture Garrus, as well as the name and location of their pursuer: Cardinal Leto of the Blood of Vol from Passage. The event was finished off with another message from Ray’s presumed creator, as well as Ray unlocking his lost vocabulary.

The group made their way posthaste to Passage by way of Whale-Ray, though along the way Jake, Dou, Garrus, and Liv revealed their life stories: Dou was actually an exiled S-class demon, Jake was a biotically-altered supersoldier from the war, Garrus was a dragonmarked amnesiac, and Liv was a royal soul bearer. The episode strengthened the bond of fellowship among them. When the group arrived at Passage, they witnessed Liv accepting a new lost soul, amazed by the spectacle. They then spent the night outside the city.

The next day, they found the local Blood of Vol church and succeeded in luring Cardinal Leto into his office. Ray poisoned the cardinal, lowering his Dexterity to 0 and rendering the man incapable of movement. They kidnapped him and stole him away to the woods. They attempted to torture the man, only to discover that he was undead. They failed to extract much information from the resilient Cardinal, except that the remaining 12 cardinals would undoubtedly reinforce the parties searching for Garrus, and that the 13 cardinals all answered to a central matriarch. In the end, Ray accidentally put an end to Leto’s prolonged existence, and that was that. Confused, the group returned home, well aware that they had made a powerful enemy.

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Chapter 4: A Merry Little Sidequest
The Birth of a New Tradition

The militia barracks the party had moved into were, in their current state, only the bare minimum accommodations necessary for comfortable living. Seeing their living their as being long term, the groups, all except Dou, Ray, Garrus, and newt Jake remain to watch the town.

Changing back into a human, Jake finds himself in the town with Garrus and Ray, and Garrus explains to him what has happened during his amphibious absence. Suddenly there is a knock at the door, and Garrus and Jake are requested by Chairn Mreuna to search for a powered cart he had recently purchased to speed up his trades. Having no leads, Chairn told them of his suspicions that his second cousin, the self-proclaimed mayor of Greenblade, Haygir Fen, might have taken the cart out of jealousy. The group agrees to investigate the matter, and make their way to the communal farm, making sure to put Ray on mute before doing so.

When Garrus knocks on the door of the commune, it is suddenly blasted open by a hulk sized man, who greets them with a loud and boisterous attitude. Upon hearing they are the town’s new militia, he greets the two with a spine-shattering bear hug, and introduces himself as the mayor. Despite the group’s attempt at approaching the issue of the cart unassumingly, the mention of the incident and Chairn’s request for their aid immediately alerts Haygir he is on the top of Chairn’s list of suspects. Revealing the farmers also had a reaper stolen, and that he has no information, the group heads off to the bar, hoping to find something useful out from Poppy.

The bar turns out to be filled with angry villagers, each trying to figure out where some essential tool of their trade had gone during the night. The Uruke’ai had lost a horse, the Fisherman had lost a net, and the smith had lost an anvil, on top of the stolen cart and reaper. Speaking to Poppy, she first begins their conversation by inquiring about Ray, who she was able to identify as a warforged, revealing an atypical knowledge of the constructs. Upon inquiry, Poppy smiled, and lowered the neck of her blouse to show a tattoo like mark under her collar bone, the Mark of Hospitality, thus explaining her knowledge and choice of occupation. Moving to the matter of the stolent good, Poppy points the group to a fisherman and hunter named Slyrin Fen.

The group ask Slyrin about any information he may have about possible thieves, and he reveals that north of the village he found broken bits of machines and constructs littering the forest, likely the work of a strange old man who appeared a few years ago. Leading them to the area with a high density of the pieces, the group follows the trail of increasingly large piles of robot pieces.

A few miles in, Jake detects a group of small creatures approaching from the west, and they hide. Marching towards them is a small group of gnomes, dressed in strange colors, and carrying unusual red and white-spiraled gadgets. As Garrus walks out of hiding to speak to them, they immediately begin to charge, sparking a battle. The battle quickly resolves, with Ray breaking the weapon of one Gnome who flees, Garrus tripping the remaining with an oil conjuring spell, and Jake finishing off the prone foes with ease. However, as victory is reached, the strange weapons the gnomes carried suddenly self-destruct, but the group manages to dodge the shards of metal narrowly. They than follow the gnome who escaped, soon finding his body, killed by the self-destruction of his own, already broken, weapon.

THey continue west until they come upon a trail left by a powered cart in the mud. Mean while, the area around them, despite remaining to be warm, suddenly experiences snowfall. Granted, none stuck to the ground.

The group follows the cart trail until they come upon a clearing, with a fortress covered in spotlights, some painted red with blood. Seeing that the trail of the cart leads into the fortress, the group devises a way to get Jake into the fortress. Timing a run, Jake sprints to the wall and scales it before a spotlight can reach him. Atop the wall, Jake finds watchtowers with terminal in them, guarded by a sleeping gnome. Inside the fortress are many gnomes carrying scrap metal into a workshop in the center, while many gnomes are carried out, dead. Realizing they are in possession of the Red Raven’s Cloak, Garrus and Ray teleport to the tower, where Jake kills the sleeping gnome immediately.

Ray proceeds to hack into the terminal, altering the targeting parameters for security from gnomes and a single human, to all half-elves, humans, and warforged, and than removing gnomes from the safe list. As Ray does this, an arm of construct creatures drop down and slaughter the Gnomish workers. They had created and witnessed a massacre. There was nothing intelligent to say.

Entering from two sides, the group than charges into the workshop, where gnomes are working at a conveyor belt, and an old man sits in an altered powered-cart, now designed for war. A literal genocide-cart, a slaughter-sleigh. Laughing and yelling, “You think you can turn my fortress against me?!?! I’ll show you the true power of my creations!!” the remaining gnomes attacked as the scientist started up the slaughter-sleigh. The battle ended with many of the gnomes killed by the gunfire of their own crazed master, and Ray shocking the old man to death. The group had rescued the sled, but the unfortunate fate of the tens of gnomes dampened the mood of success, even sparking Ray to inquire about the nature of death, which Garrus and Jake struggled to find an answer to.

With all done, the group drove the sled back to the village. As they came close, the snow began to thicken, and even stick on the ground. The group rode back into town, bearing many items they found at the workshop, and returning the good stolen just the night before. The story of the party’s accomplishments would be told over and over again, spreading far and wide. With its many retellings and thousands of year of slow changing, the groups adventure would come to be the origin of a holiday celebrated all over Khorvaire: Christmas.

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Chapter 3: New Beginnings
A New Home

As Liv and Garrus begin the journey back to Sylbaran, Ray “sneezes” once more and turns Jake into a newt as well. At the same time, Ray’s mechanical companion suddenly opens and Dou topples out, no longer a newt. Sighing as they realize this will become a regular and unpredictable event, Garrus, Liv, and Dou place Newt-Jake in the Mechanical Companion beside Newt-Aquarius and lead Ray back to town. They pick up Chang Banks along the way, who had apparently meant to join them but was too slow in his preparations. They go to the chapel and return the Vernal Key, restoring the town’s protective enchantments.

As the group leaves, they are approached by a young man, clearly impressed with their exploits and envying whatever patron they serve. After Garrus and Liv explain that they have only just met, the young man introduces himself as Volssa Mreuna and offers them a proposition: to come to his village and form a group with his father, a wealthy up-and-coming merchant, who sells, of all things, a preserved fish, as their patron. Garrus, Liv, and Dou all voice concerns, but when the young man assures them that their allegiance will be non-binding and the agreement will do little more than provide a base of operations, the group agrees to survey their potential home.

They travel by cart to Greenblade Village. They are greeted by Volssa’s father, Chairn, who expresses his excitement for being the group’s patron. After a brief introduction, he shows the party their new home: the town’s militia barracks, which are empty since no permanent militia exists. Thanking him, Liv and Chang quickly claim the rooms on the top floor while Dou and Garrus are more than content to take the bottom floor. They delegate a room on the second floor as their kitchen, then attempt to teach Ray the concepts of owning a room, privacy, and spare time, who expresses understanding in only the most literal sense of the word.

After the lesson, as Garrus, Liv, Chang, and Dou are talking in the kitchen, Ray walks in and the third eye on his forehead opens, and a moving image appears on the wall. It seems to be a jumble of random symbols and characters, until a human voice, a somewhat raspy and elderly male’s voice that is not Ray’s is heard. It says:

“Entry 1, 955
I have created it! Numerous trials, years of research, tens of assistants lost, but it finally has been done! I have created a sentient golem! It is just like… a child. It is curious, it docile, and most importantly, it is learning and developing at an incredible pace! In just the first day of existing it is able to gently grab objects with it’s hands, and slowly stand and walk. Though it understands what I am saying, it does not know yet how to speak or compose speech. I must return to working with it.

Entry 3
In order to prevent work my so far from being lost, I have designed E-102 Beta with a set of override codes that allow both myself and my assistants to control his behavior in case an error should occur, so that he does not end up like my other golems. As long as you are identified as a client, he will verbally accept these commands. The first command is to open up the override menu: “Override Menu Passcode Emerald.” This command does nothing but open him up for further commands. The second command is “Command: Force Recalculation” The command wipes his working memory, forcing him to re-examine and calculate his current course of action or objective. I put this one in place so that, should he become frightened and aggressive, or misinterpret a situation around him, we can force to to calm down and rethink. Ha! I wish my wife had this command. The third command is “Command: Alter Client Registry.” This allows you to add or erase an ID from his database, stopping that person or allowing that person to use overrides on him."

After the confusing event, Garrus and Dou decide to investigate the town a little and head to the local inn, the Bear Claw Pub and Inn. They meet Poppy Yumah, the halfling owner, as well as the local girls working there. They both order a drink, and they begin to swap stories. Dou tells of the hardships he faced in years past, but claims that it is his whole life story. Garrus sees through the ploy, and demands an explanation. Hesitating, Dou leads Garrus outside to tell him the truth. However, they sense that they are still not alone, and they retreat back to Dou’s room in the barracks. Dou reveals that his is not human, but rather is made of stone. Shocked, Garrus responds by revealing the strange mark on his neck and explaining that he can only remember the last two years of his life. The truth-telling strengthens the bond between the two, and they pledge to support each other if hard times come.

Meanwhile, Liv attempts to eavesdrop on Dou and Garrus when they return as she heard Dou’s stone figure creaking on the floorboards three floors beneath her. Although the two do not notice her, Ray does. Liv fails to sneak up on Garrus and Dou’s conversation when Ray follows her. Surprised, she engages Ray in short conversation, which eventually leads to Liv discovering that Ray can repair her motorcycle. Excited, she leads him to it, and he proceeds to work on it, giving Liv an estimate on how long it is likely to take.

Expressing unusual interest in the motorcycle, Ray reveals a strangely in-depth knowledge of the machine’s working, even displaying a blueprint of such a machine that existed within his memory. He immediately begins to provide Liv with the list of necessary parts and the estimated repair cost, and despite Liv’s lack of gold to purchase the necessary parts, Ray, either out of his failure to recognize the value of gold or some other interest, places forward the remaining amount and begins work immediately. As the two speak, Liv attempts to explain the concept of “like” and interest, to no avail. After struggling through the explanation, Liv settles for teaching Ray to hug, before allowing him to return to work on the motorcycle.

That night, Liv falls asleep outside near Ray as he continues to repair the motorcycle. Dou sits on a chair outside the barracks, keeping watch. Garrus climbs the stairs to the roof of the barracks – which also served as a watchtower when it was in use – and plays his guitar, falling asleep on the roof. Chang sleeps soundly, content to be away from the bustle of the night’s events.

When morning comes, Liv decides to make breakfast in their new kitchen as Ray works on her motorcycle. Garrus and Chang arrive hungry, and are about to start eating when Vanya Ielle, the wife of one of the local fisherman, comes for a short visit to welcome them to the neighborhood, as well as leaving them a bundle of the town’s famous fish. When she leaves, Liv, Garrus, and Chang eat their breakfast. Garrus decides to visit the local blacksmith to gauge his skill, and Liv joins him since Ray is still working. They meet the apprentice Leonade Eseth, who tells them that Tosut Firth, his master, is not much of a talker, but can make just about anything. Confident that Tosut will be capable when the need arises, Garrus and Liv return to the barracks. When the arrive, Liv squeals with joy when she sees that Ray has finished the repairs on her motorcycle.

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Chapter 2: Escape from Jarl's Demi-Plane
Ogres and Bugbears and Djinni, Oh My!

“Unused spell located, spell slot: Level 5. Accessing. Spell unidentified. Debug process: Execute. Firing Spell. Targeting parameters: Not found.” In a flash of light, Dou and Aquarius were suddenly and conveniently transformed into newts. At a loss for words, Nox placed the two into Ray’s mechanical companion for the duration of the spell, and ventured back to the camp made by the prisoners of Jarl.

Only an hour or so behind the party, Garrus and Jake, a young man made of patchwork enhancements of digital and magical variety hoping to investigate Jarl and The Red Raven, arrive in the demi-plane and meet the forced prisoners, arriving at the camp site as Ray and Nox do. To the surprise of Jake and Nox, the two recognize each other from the same previously attended university. The two groups merge and explain their situations, and resolve to move forward together.

The group first attempts to lure either Jarl or the Raven out with the Storied Cup, but to no avail. Risking the maze of the demi-plane, the group encounter a sorcerer and a knocked out fighter battling a Yeti, running to the rescue. Scared and defiant, even after the group defeats the yeti and saves Teko, the knocked out fighter, the Sorcereress Geppa refuses to reveal her involvement with the Red Raven, whom she reveals is Aric from the shooting contest the previous day. The Party had arrived with Aric, but lost many of its members, and eventually Aric. Becoming aggressive, Geppa attacked Garrus, but was swiftly knocked out. With Teko awakened, the group fails to retrieve much more information aside from the fact that Aric has been kidnapped by an Ogre, and they drag the two back to the camp and continue their search for The Red Raven.

The group eventually comes upon a battle-field where the ogre holding the Red-Raven battles a group of Bugbear zombies led by a mephit under the command of Jarl. After wiping out the enemies, the group speaks with Kidu, the Ogre, in an attempt to form an agreement. Upon learning that the Vernal Key, which he took from Aric, is necessary to escape, Kidu refuses to give it up for any reason, but is then promptly obliterated by Nox and Ray, causing the prisoners who fought alongside Kidu to flee. The group then finally obtains both the Key and Aric.

Taking all information they can from Aric, concerning his plan to steal from Jarl using the key to escape, Garrus learns that his mark may be a long lost, or muddled, Dragonmark, and Nox finally avenges a soul whose life was ruined by the crimson-clad thief, only through the unplanned intervention of Jake, who was spying on the interchange when the Red-Raven escaped and attempted to flee from Nox.

Now in possession of the means to escape and destroy the prison, the group lies to Geppa and Teko, claiming that Kidu killed the Red Raven, and then begin to march the prisoners out of the plane. As they arrive at the exit, they are blocked by none other than the Djinni, Jarl of the Great Wind. Laughing at their attempts to defeat him, Jarl’s mirage image distracts the heroes as he, hidden by invisibility, sneaks behind them and wipes out a portion of the prisoners. Finally visible, the group destroys Jarl and escapes the prison, destroying it once and for all. They allow the surviving prisoners to take a generous share of Jarl’s treasure while allowing themselves a reward for their efforts.

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Chapter 1: A Letter
Our story so far...

Our story begins at Sylbaran, a farming and hunting town of around 400 located at the southernmost point of the Eldeen reaches. It is the tenth of Sypherros, marking the beginning of harvest for the farming town, and for Sylbaran, this marks the Harvest Festival, a day long event that attracts bards, traders, rich and poor to enjoy the customs of a traditional farm town, a way of life that is disappearing across the continent of Khorvaire.

Our heroes arrive, each with a sense of purpose, with the exception of Aquarius. Liv and Nox, a black-haired outlaw with two personalities and an uncertain link to the throne, arrives walking a broken-down motorcycle after receiving a letter concerning a man named the Red Raven, who she believes to be connected to a matter they must attend to for a lost soul that has found its way to them. A strange robed Bard named Garrus received a note bearing only a strange symbol related to his dark and cloudy past, as well as mention of the same crimson thief Liv pursues. A young dark haired gadget-laden man named Chang shows up, bearing a wanted poster with a high reward, a bounty he can’t pass up. An unusual and gruff man with bright red hair name Dou stands guard, hired to keep the peace at the festival. Last, and probably least, an unkempt warrior with a robotic arm arrives on the scene, intoxicated and disorderly, harassing a man named Aric for his usage of a powered cart before stumbling into the festival.

As the heroes became acquainted with the town, Chang, Garrus, and Liv met briefly in an Inn, engaged in conversation with a Ralph-Veigal-like man who owned the town’s Tannery. Breaking off to enjoy the town’s other festivities aside from drinking, Chang made his way to the bath-house brewery run by a dwarven woman with a strong business plan (due to her position as the village midwife on top of its brewer and bath-house owner), who promptly outdrank and emasculated Chang. While there, Chang was disturbed in his attempts to court two elven women in the baths by both Garrus and Aquarius.

Later in the day Garrus, Liv, and Chang entered a shooting contest where Chang won third place, and taking first was Aric. Promptly arriving to disturb the award ceremonies, Aquarius continued to harass the first place winner, Aric, as well as Chang, giving Liv the opportunity to sneak off with one of the competition’s rifles.

Ending the day with a relaxing trip to the bar, Garrus and Chang had a run-in with a rogue woman dressed as a farmer who attempted to seduce Garrus, and chose to pickpocket him when she failed. Seduced in turn by Chang, the young man led the woman to a room, where he restrained her and stole her possessions, then returned the stolen money to the oblivious Garrus.

Liv, who was walking the streets of the empty town, had a run in with a group of cloaked bandits, but promptly defeated each. After interrogating the only one left aware, she learned Aric had hired them to distract her for a heist, but the man knew no more. Left with no more information, Liv retired.

Aquarius fell asleep in a gutter.

The next morning the town awoke in a frantic panic over a missing artifact. The artifact in question was a spherical shaped object called the Vernal Key, and it protected the town and the area around it from extreme temperatures by decreasing the cold and wind during the winter. Never having lived through a winter without it, the frightened town became chaotic. Seeking aid from the able adventurers who had participated in the shooting contest, as well as calling on the guard they had hired, Dou, Nox, and Aquarius, who followed Dou in order to help fight global warming, met with the town leader and agreed to chase after the thief who had stolen the Vernal Key: the Red Raven.

The group hired Ost, the owner of the town’s hunting lodge, as well as a ranger himself, and began to track down the Red Raven toward the Byeshk mountain range. After making it through ambush after ambush, the group found themselves following the thief into a frozen valley, soon realizing they were trapped inside a demi-plane they could not exit. Seeking information, the adventurers learned from others who were imprisoned in the plane that the plane was controlled by a Djinni named Jarl, expressing fear of the man as well.

Breaking into his treasure trove, the feature that had attracted many of the other prisoners, the group was attacked by a dire weasel, but the creature only made an initial leap before being grabbed and strangled by a metallic hand reaching out from under the treasure pile. Revealing itself, the arm had belonged to a strange orange warforged that seemingly lacked a will, operating much like a robot. With it’s identity, purpose, and origin unknown, only knowing it had the potential to change shape and cast healing spells, the group dubbed the warforged Ray, short for the only discernible word it used to identify itself, and exited the treasure trove.

Unsure of where to go next, Ray revealed that the Vernal key was necessary both to escape the demi-plane, and destroy the plane that had been created to imprison Jarl for murdering his lord. Ray than revealed he had the artifact necessary to perform the ritual that would free Jarl and destroy the plane, the golden cup that had been used to poison Jarl’s lord.

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