Dark Clouds Gather

Game summary of 5-6 April 2003

document version 4, dated 8 February 2006

Justice Chrysomer

Etrie Folger

Father Riker



Repaying a favour

1                         Godar Silverworker, cousin of Dirk Giantslayer (RIP), requested the assistance of Justice Chrysomer and the Patriots of Ulek to travel to the Grand Duchy of Geoff.

2                         Geoff has been overrun by giants and other humanoids.  They would normally not work together in an organised way, as has been the case in the invasion and holding of Geoff.  Godar is keen to find out what has happened to his family and also what is behind the organisation of the Giants etc.

3                         After several months of waiting for the Patriots of Ulek to finish their preparations, the following party members were Dimension Folded to Niole Dra in the Kingdom of Keoland:

(a)           Justice Chrysomer

(b)           Hawk

(c)           Godar Silverworker

(d)           Etrie Folger

(e)           Father Riker

4                         A week was spent in Niole Dra looking for healing potions and elixirs of health (Neutralise Poison and Heal). Then the party set off on the main road toward Flen.  Weather was very severe and windy.  Within first ½ hour of travel one of Father Riker’s owls was killed by a branch.  We turned back and reached Niole Dra again, just as the steed of Hawk was hit by a sheet of corrugated iron.  Party stayed for 3 days while the severe storm blew itself out.

23 Readyreat CY 586

5                         We then travelled for several days until a severe thunderstorm caused the us to set up shelter.  After an hour a lightening bolt struck Etrie’s dog, which was very lucky to survive – for a while at least.  The next day the party was struck by an earthquake when the dog fell into a fissure caused by the earthquake (28 Readyreat).  Etrie jumped into the fissure to collect the lifeless body and declared that from now on this dog would be known as “Mort”.  The front wheels of Father Riker’s wagon were also broken in the quake.  The wagon wheels were quickly mended by Hawk (Mending spell).  Mort was raised from the dead once again by Father Riker.

6                         Two wagons passed our camp during the night with large lanterns.  Justice and Etrie approached them after they had passed our camp.  They were on a mission which they did not wish to discuss.  They advised that the earthquake was widespread and that there were rumours of bandits on the road ahead.

7 Sunsebb CY 586

7                         Party met merchant Jonathan Wainwright, who offered magical potions, arrows, bolts, and a helmet.  Also offered a “treasure map”.  It cost 650gp and was bought by Father Riker.  Jonathan Wainwright, based in Gradsul, requested that he be informed so he may pursuer further information from the source.  Father Riker is to be reimbursed by the party (700gp total).

8                         Map is 103 years old.  Past Life spell from Father Riker learnt:

Male human, mid 20’s, scar down left face with no eye, unshaven, leather armour, longsword, daggers, good quality but old clothing.  Seems to have air of authority.

8 Sunsebb CY 586

9                         Justice and Etrie were Dimension Folded by Father Riker to Haven Hill so that money could be borrowed from Quinn and to collect the flying carpet.

10                     Etrie contacted the Blue Scabbards to accompany us on the trip to Harrow Hill.  Quinn gave them 5000 GP to be repaid by party from group treasure and they also collected the flying carpet.  The then travelled back to Haven Hill and stayed at Cadfael’s house.

11                     Father Riker heard rumours that a merchant party was attacked to the west of Flen.  All were killed and appeared to have been attacked by large men, 6 to 7 feet tall wearing boots.  Killed by spears, hammers and maces that had been hurled.  Guards lured away.  Purchased 2 Elixirs of Health for 2000 GP each.  Each cures blindness, deafness, disease, insanity, poisoning, parasitic infection, rotting, dementia.  The whole potion can cure all in one go.  Half potion can cure one of the above.

12                     The blood that was in the centre of where guards were killed appeared if something had been sitting.

11 Sunsebb CY 586

13                     On second day smoke seen.  Flew by carpet to source.  Discovered that it was a campfire not fully extinguished.  Large eight-foot depression found in grass.  No other evidence.  Flew back to wagon and horses.

14                     Met group of dwarven miners.  They had only heard of people going missing from current area.  Godar advises that current information:

(a)           a few months ago the bodies of five dark elves were found dead and mutilated in the city.  They were wearing the robes of city officials who were found to be missing.

(b)           Some powerful being calling himself the Azure Prince has appeared in the south and is organising humanoids at the head of the Davish River.

(c)           Rumour: some caravans are missing in the area party is heading.

(d)           Rumour: some people have been disappearing from around the city of Istavar.

(e)           Clouds over mountains appear to be darker than normal.

(f)             Notice of public examination of the demon by the Temple of Lurneslye recovered.  “Feathered demon” found lurking and skulking on edge of village.

15                     Trial will commence when the temple bell is tolled to “demonstrate its guilt”.  Afterwards the beast will be “cleansed” in fire and the ashes sealed into a consecrated receptacle.

19 Sunsebb CY 586

16                     The party walked into the town square.  In the middle was a stage where a blue-winged humanoid was having its wing feathers plucked by Bernhardt.  He was being cheered along by the crowd.

17                     The party challenged the actions of the examination as not being fair or just.  Adzon, a priest of Velinus, approached the stage yelling to let the creature go as it had done nothing.  He was set upon by the crowd.  Father Riker intervened and Adzon said that there should be a trial of combat.

18                     The trial of combat was to be done without armour, shields or use of magic.  The champion for Bernhardt was Murdoch, a very strong but stupid fighter.  Etrie Folger was the representative of the party and for the blue winged creature known collectively as Aarakocra (his name was Tchoeh).

19                     Single combat commenced with Murdoch showboating and both contestants delivering many mighty blows.  After being disarmed, Etrie made a quick roll and recovered his weapon. Etrie started pulling his blows towards the end, calling for Murdoch to yield, but Murdoch would not relent and Etrie was forced to deliver the killing/winning blow.  Murdoch was killed.

20                     Bernhardt refused to speak with the party and demanded that Penric (cleric) and Grun follow him into the temple.

21                     Tchoeh was healed by Justice and told us the following:

(a)           His people live in the Cloudscape Mountains soaring on the high winds.

(b)           All was well until a giant came in his castle in the clouds turning the clouds black and spitting lightning on their nests.

(c)           His power is great and we cannot stand before the might of his cloud castle.

(d)           There Aarakocra normally don’t deal with humans but need aid.

(e)           Alone they fear they will be destroyed.  Already three nests have been destroyed and the chicks go hungry.

(f)             Request that the party come with him to Tikajara.  Their shaman saw the party in a vision and he sent Tchoeh to find us.

(g)           Chosen by the great sky god to save the Aarakocra.

22                     Azdon advised that Bernhardt, while he would accept the outcome, would likely make our life difficult and we should go with him to his shrine.  Weather in the mountains is bitterly cold at night with the wind chill factor deadly.

20 Sunsebb CY 586

23                     On the second day of travel the party entered into a slight widening of the road.  As ravens flew off a pack of 10 foot long wolves were seen surrounding the remains of what appeared to be a “lost” caravan.  Bodies of dead mules, horses and some humans were scattered around.

24                     During the ensuing battle Father Riker's wand of fear was shattered by a wild swing from Justice.  Before this occurred several of the pack of Dire Wolves were Fear-ed and fled.

25                     By the horses were three dead Aarakocra.  There were no packs on any of the animals.  The Aarakocra appeared to have been killed from crushing and slashing blows.

26                     Tchoeh said he thought the dead may have been from one of the destroyed nests.  Godar investigated and said that the mules appeared to have been dead for only two days, but the bodies of the Aarakocra had been dead for at least a week.  This would seem to indicate that someone or something may be trying to set up the Aarakocra as attacking the caravan.

27                     Some discussions held amongst the party regarding why someone would be trying to discredit the Aarakocra.  The prophecy as espoused by Bernhardt was considered in the book flourished by him.  At that stage Godar produced the book he had acquired:

"The winged ones shall return when the sky darkens and the sun is blotted out".

28                     Funeral pyre built and the bodies of three deceased Aarakocra are sent to the great sky god with a few words from Tchoeh.

29                     On the morning of the fourth day the party stumbled across a man on a horse with three mules.  Appears to be a trap.  He advised that Fangier has been destroyed.  A way-station to travellers in bad weather.  He thought the black clouds might have been the cause.

21 Sunsebb CY 586

30                     The next day a pair of Ettins (two-handed giants) were encountered.  Justice spurred Liberator (his bonded mount) into a charge with heavy lance set upon the sight of the Ettins. However with the long reach of their giant tree-like clubs, Liberator was struck a fearful blow that almost killed it.  One was killed by Etrie and the other one by Justice, after he had laid hands on his mount.

31                     Travelled for a few more hours and two more Ettins encountered and dispatched by a Fireball from Hawk and attacks from the party.

32                     Party continued for a further two days.  At the end of the second day (25 Sunsebb) the party came across Fangier way-station.  Godar investigated and reported that there was some Gnolls in the way-station tower and two large groups of large humanoid around some fires in the yard area.

33                     The party attempted to scale the outer wall but Justice fell.  This alerted the humanoids and then began a major, major battle.

34                     The party was able to restrict access to the stairs by Hawk casting Wall of Iron.  The party made their way into the tower room and defeated the Gnolls, Ogres and Troll in the room.

35                     The stairs in the tower were blocked by Father Riker pouring potion of slipperiness.  This stopped access by most of the Trolls and Ogres.

36                     After an epic battle of Giants, giant Trolls, a two-headed Troll, Ogres, Bugbears and Gnolls the party was victorious.

37                     Total Enemies killed:

(a)           2 giants (Hill?)

(b)           1 double headed Troll

(c)           3 Giant Trolls

(d)           3 Trolls

(e)           9 Ogres

(f)             8 Gnolls

(g)           6 Bugbears

38                     The total number of enemy that fled (cowards):

(a)           3 Trolls

(b)           20 Bugbears

39                     The party searched the bodies and found nothing.  We also searched the towers and found: Magical Small Shield (room F2C)

40                     The party also found a trap door in the floor. A "storage room" was found with the some equipment that appeared to have been ransacked.  The room had a door that led off into a corridor.

41                     Justice did a detected evil intent and “at the edge of feeling” could sense a malingering evil.

42                     The party decided to rest and learn spells.  After a Nap the party learnt spells and decided to investigate the corridors.  We entered the corridor and a dark mist clung to the floor.  Father Riker sent his owls in to investigate.  They discovered the body of a dead humanoid lying on top of a sack.

43                     The party started to enter and when Etrie took out the Mace of the Sun and called for it to light the way, the mace was unable to affect the darkness (ooh - magical darkness).

44                     Then we all heard a voice in our heads saying: “come to Zolbak, I want to feel your warmth, want your soul, you're pretty lives".

45                     Party decided to clear the rest of Fangier way-station before attempting to meet Zolbak.

46                     In the ruins of what appears to be a burnt out inn were three sacks of coins - 2 x gold, 1 x platinum.  Also found a trap door to the cellar.  In the cellar were hundreds of bottles of wine.  Godar thought they may be worth 20 GP each.  200 bottles placed in foot lockers and hidden in secret corridor behind.  100 bottles placed loose.  Etrie found a hidden door in a tun of ale.  When opened, it appeared to lead into the tunnels where Zolbak is waiting for us.

47                     A further search of the second way-station gate showed that the fleeing Bugbears and Ogres have deserted the way-station entirely. A trap door was also found in the floor of the first level that led to the second storage room and the entrance to the tunnels with Zolbak.

48                     Father Riker cast a spell that revealed that Zolbak is "evil, spirit, freed, shrine, destroyed".

49                     Several spells (Negative Plane Protection, Protection from Evil, Strength) were cast and the party proceeded down the tunnel towards the evil thing.

50                     Again, the voice of Zolbak beckoned our souls but because of our spells we were all able to resist.  Then a dreadful wail was heard through the tunnels.  Despite our best efforts Justice, Father Riker and Godar were affected and fled in fear.  Etrie and Hawk proceeded on alone.

51                     As they entered the room with the body of the humanoid a cloud coalesced into an evil spirit that had a snout like face.  Possible that it takes on the appearance of those it kills?

52                     Etrie, with the Mace of the sun, and firmly invoking the blessing of Pelor, was able to destroy the evil and foul creature with one mighty blow.

53                     In the sack was found a magical bastard sword with runes: - Zharr (flame blade) - Parr (fly).  Possible name of the bastard sword is Maragbur (which is a name of a Backloonish village in the desert), or it might have been its owner, the name of the sword, or the name of its maker?  We believe that the sword has a Neutral Good alignment.  (Scribe’s note: Justice’s Holy Avenger sword will not let him take the new sword, Etrie currently carries Paramel, who will not let him carry another sword.   Could it be a most excellent source of information – does it talk or communicate in some other fashion?)

54                     Also in the sack was a priest scroll with:

(a)           Cure Serious Wounds

(b)           Neutralise poison

(c)           Tongues

(d)           Restoration.

27 Sunsebb CY 586

55                     After we left Fangier way-station we travelled for about two hours and discovered Faydoor the blacksmith from Fangier.  He appeared to be insane, but out of his babble we were able to discover:

(a)           Fangier attacked by great white winged creatures.

(b)           Snow and ice.

(c)           All dead from Fangier.

(d)           For some reason Faydoor kept “blinking”.

56                     As he was describing how the winged creatures flew, he jumped over the cliff edge to his death.  Hawk cast some spells and flew to the bottom of the ravine and recovered the body.  No magical items found on Faydoor’s body.

57                     Father Riker cast a Speak With Dead spell and:

(a)           How big were the white winged creatures? Huge on the wing.

(b)           What was the snow and ice? They used a weapon against us.

(c)           How did you move about when you went from place to place? I blinked.

(d)           Did the Trolls and giants attack with the white winged creatures? They came from the air.

4 Needfest CY 586

58                     The party laid the body of Faydoor the blacksmith to rest under a cairn of stones beside the path.  We travelled further into the mountains, following the directions of Tchoeh for many miles.  Suddenly appearing before us is a tornado at the end of the mountain ravine.

59                     The tornado moved directly towards the party at a fantastic speed.  Justice yelled to the party to dismount and get up against the wall of the ravine.  Father Riker appeared to “shimmer in time”, Tchoeh was screaming and waving in Aarakocra towards the Tornado.  Hawk appeared to cast a spell and Etrie moved towards the wall.

60                     Father Riker's horse was swept off the edge of the ravine to its death, along with much of Father Riker's equipment.  Many of the party took damage from being struck by debris.  The tornado then dissipated after passing through.  However the party turn back to the path to see a second but smaller tornado, slightly further up the path.

61                     Father Riker yelled that the tornados were an Aarakocra defence of the nest, controlled by Aarakocra.

62                     Four Aarakocra dive from the clouds and grab Tchoeh.  He is squawking at them as they lift him into the air.  Hawk cast a Feather Fall on Father Riker’s horse which had been swept off the road into the ravine, but the dead animal had already “splashed down”.  Father Riker shape changed into an owl to dive down into the ravine after his chest, which is still on his horse.

63                     Justice and Etrie Folger attacked the tornado (elemental?) with subduing blows.  During the battle Etrie was accidentally knocked down by Justice (simultaneous initiative).  On the final blow by Godar the air elemental dissipated.

64                     When the elemental dissipated, the Aarakocra returned with Tchoeh.  He explained that they were trying to rescue him as they thought that the party was responsible for the treatment of Tchoeh.  Tchoeh ordered the guarding Aarakocra to try and recover the goods and equipment of Father Riker.

65                     The party were joined by an Aarakocra guide and we recommenced our journey to Tikajara.  After an uneventful night we commenced travelling ever upwards.  The clouds are getting dark, we wonder how, with traces of lightning in them…

66                     At the end of the gorge near a large waterfall we are met by a group of Aarakocra .  Most are blue in colour but one, Jirriock, red in colour and a shaman of Sironeta.  Tchoeh said to be respectful of the shaman.

5 Needfest CY 586

67                     Jirriock advised that we would be taken to see Kirraka - most Blessed of Sironeta - who would explain everything.


68                     The party then transferred onto the flying carpet and the Aarakocra carried Tchoeh and Etrie’s war dog up to a teardrop shaped building.  The party was greeted by Kirraka who welcomed us to the sky temple of Sironeta.  We were then joined by a second shaman Ikarrika.

69                     It turns out that the evil Cloud Giant who is attacking the nests is being aided by "white winged demons".

70                     The castle is on a large black cloud that floats high above the mountains.  The Aarakocra have been unable to combat the winged demons, with many dying.  Kirraka offered the party a reward of the following to help them:

(a)           8 fire opals (650gp ea)

(b)           5 gold statues of Aarakocra (850gp ea) which we left with Aarakocra because they seemed sacred

(c)           2 potions of flying.

71                     During discussions with Kirraka a dark cloud passed over the sun and three Aarakocra burst in. Then lightning bolts slam into the sky temple roof.  The Continual Light gem is destroyed and debris falls to the floor injuring Father Riker.

72                     We see through the roof the cloud castle and many “white winged demons” streaming from the castle walls.  Above all the noise and confusion we hear a mocking laugh.

73                     The white winged demons flew at great speed and issued a wailing screech that required the party to save verses fear in order to act.  They seem to attack in well ordered squadrons.  The “leaders” seemed able to shoot ice and snow from their hands and also throw javelins that explode into ice shards.

74                     Some weaknesses of the flying white demons that were discovered by Father Riker are:

(a)           they are susceptible to fire.

(b)           they are resistant to cold.

(c)           they cause fear.

(d)           they have multiple attacks.

(e)           they can fly (der Father Riker).

(f)             they are well organised.

(g)           they are used exploding ice javelins and slings.

(h)           they are not from this plane?

(i)             they have an overwhelming hatred but no fear.

75                     There followed a major battle in which the white winged demons had reinforcements arrive to attack, and a group of five Aarakocra summoned an Air Elemental.  The battle was won.  The only losses from the battle were 2 Aarakocra who were unfortunately killed by one of the leader demons.

76                     Four of the snow demons were captured after being wrestled by a priest of Kord called "Urroi".

77                     Kirraka advises that there are only a total of 19 survivors (including the three shaman).  Kirraka was very worried and stated that he needed to consult the spirit world for guidance.

78                     With Hawk using ESP, and Urroi using Tongues, we tried to interrogate the captured snow demon leader.  The following was ascertained:

(a)           castle owned by Cloud Giants that appeared held against their will (may be possible to free) powerful allies?!?

(b)           castle not made of stone and its construction seems to be seamless, however it also seems to be solid.

(c)           the snow demons follow the Mistress.  No other information able to be gathered about who or what is the Mistress.

(d)           next target: inferior races (human, elf, dwarves etc)

(e)           many squadrons of snow demons, also appeared to be many castles, but only one near here.

(f)             have tried to attack Oearth previously, but a big dark flying thing? killed them and returned the light to the world.

(g)           they studied the tactics of the party in battle to be learnt for future battles.

(h)           no information on their control of weather

(i)             when asked about dragons, only an image of blood was seen.

79                     After his “spirit session” Kirraka advises:

(a)           caught by strong talons that carried him towards a “light ice tower” in the middle of a frozen lake.

(b)           a silver flying fish flew into the sky banishing the darkness and the light returned.

(c)           his saviour was a Giant Eagle.

80                     He believes the party should seek out the silver fish and that we should consult with the Giant Eagles (wise ones!).

81                     Jirriock would guide the party to the place of the giant eagles.  The remainder of the Aarakocra will travel to the Sanctuary of Last Refuge, which is where they request that you bring the flying fish when you get it.  Father Riker, Etrie and Hawk use the flying carpet to travel to the Giant Eagles.  Hawk causes all travellers flying to become invisible.

82                     During the trip the party was attacked by a creature that cast small lightning balls.  It focused on Etrie, due to him wearing metal armour.  After a tough battle Etrie was able to prevail.

6 Needfest CY 586

83                     Those on the flying carpet met with a Giant Eagle who said that the eagles would meet with the party.  The remainder of the party was brought through by Father Riker’s Dimension Folding spell.

84                     The Giant Eagle states that, after having the vision of Kirraka, the tower of ice sounded like the tower of ice at Mount Elderglow.

(a)           he does not know anything about sky fish.

(b)           the tower of ice is empty of life.

(c)           the tower was occupied by a great mage who died long ago.

(d)           the Cloud Giant does not appear to be himself.

(e)           possible that he is under mind control?

(f)           there is a family of Cloud Giants on the flying castle.

(g)           the pass has some dangers including avalanches, blizzards, and icy winds.

85                     Jirriock states that he has to leave but we are to follow the road.  He has to attend an important council.

Last updated: 8 February 2006

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