King of the Black Covenant

Episode 6: Experience Awards
Violet LIghtning and the Harpy's Song

Hello my adorable squishies! 

Congratulations on thwarting the harpies and the assassin vines, and on finding your first artifact/relic! You ARE certainly crunchy and likely go well with ketchup…but those harpies and vines won't be able to confirm that for themselves. Pity for them, victory for you!

Without further ado, let's allot some XP, shall we?

Encounter based XP awards:

-Assassin vines (2/2): 1800 

-Harpies (2/2): 2700

Story/mission based XP awards:

-Discovered/spotted the incoming teleportation platform: 25/25

-Found the eye/sun sigil amulet: 200

—>Determined its purpose: 20/?

(20 awarded for investigating safety of wearing it and for determining that it's an artifact/relic)


-Began sorting out what the covenants are/were: 400/?

-Learned how to dispell a ritual: 0/500

-"Free" Zulgg: 0/300

-Figure out who the library belongs/belonged to: 500/700

-Learned who built the oldest buildings in Anaril (the city of Cortonn, the conference hall in Tebre, and now the library): 0/1,000

-Learn who's leading this effort: 0/500

-Figured out what the map is depicting: 0/1,000

Miscellaneous XP awards:

-Role-playing: 2,000

Total XP earned by the party: 7645

Divide that 8 ways (8 to account for Zulgg and any other NPCs who might tag along) to get the total XP per character.

Total XP earned per character: 956

If this levels you up (and you are in possession of your character sheet and know how alone) please do level yourself up before next game day (March 25th)!

If you are a person who works, please make sure you request upcoming game dates off if you have not already! The more in advance, the better! As a refresher, we are currently scheduled out through May, the dates being March 25th, April 29th, and May 20th. You can find these dates on the facebook group as events and also on our obsidian portal if you ever forget and need to double check. Alternately, you can check with me directly to confirm. As always, the time frame will be considered 11:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Additionally, going forward every two hours or so on game days I will be implementing 10-20 minute breaks so that people can have a moment to settle down and refocus their energy.

Also, feel free to role-play out any PC/PC or PC/NPC (or more than that) interactions via email! If the interaction is with an NPC, merely email me and describe the scenario and what your character is doing/saying, or with a PC, send it to the appropriate person and CC me in. This is largely just for funzies, but it can help you gain information in some cases, and sometimes I award people things for it. If you're not sure how to approach it, but think you might want to, feel free to ask me! I don't bite. We all start somewhere.

Additionally, trying to put clues together also OUTSIDE of game days, via chats, email, the forum on the portal, comments sections on adventure logs, the facebook group, etc. is encouraged! There's a lot going on in the world around you…and it will need some thinking and collaboration to put it all together! 

That all said, do you all have any feedback for me at all? Compliments, questions, hate mail, letters to the King? I'm always looking for your thoughts and critiques! 


-The Mad Queen

Episode 5: Experience Awards
Divine Intervention

Hello my little nerds and nerdlings! 

Apologies for a once again delayed XP delivery. This game is a little closer to the prior one than I'm accustomed to, and life has been very busy for me lately so I haven't been able to get to it properly until now.

<u>Encounter based XP awards:</u>

-Overcame the threat of the black dragon: 1800


Story/mission based XP awards:

-Found the second "dragon switch": 75

-Transformed the room into its amphitheater form: 75

-Opened the roof: 75

-Found and inspected the dais with the teleportation circles: 60

—>Discovered teleportation circle before activating it: 0/50

-Went through teleportation circle: 60/60


-Discovered/spotted the incoming teleportation platform: 0/25


-Learned how to dispell a ritual: 0/500

-"Free" Zulgg: 0/300

-Figure out who the library belongs/belonged to: 0/700

-Learned who built the oldest buildings in Anaril (the city of Cortonn, the conference hall in Tebre, and now the library): 0/1,000

-Learn who's leading this effort: 0/500

-Figured out what the map is depicting: 0/1,000

Miscellaneous XP awards:

-Role-playing: 3,000

From Vince and Shar's game with Sheg and the torch, to Thyox's emotional episode, to Sheg's interpretation of the sun's light over the damaged eye sigil, to Fnipper praying for aid to his goddess, and everything in between last game session had some excellent role-playing! A nice fat 3,000 XP seems well deserved. 

Total XP earned by the party: 5145

Divide that 7 ways (7 to account for Zulgg) to get the total XP per character.

Total XP earned per character: 735

If this levels you up feel free to level yourself up before game day (if you are in possession of your character sheet and understand how to do it on your own, of course). If it levels you up but you're not sure how to level up on your own, just wait for game day and I'll help you out. Otherwise, just hang in there and have fun gaming on Sunday!

Obviously, this does not apply to you, Tate, but I've included you in the email regardless so that you have the same information everyone else does, and can see how I tend to format things.

All that said, I will ask once again for any feedback for me from you all. Hate mail? Letters to the king? Weird pinup fan art of my NPCs? All is welcome and encouraged!

See you all tomorrow!

-The Mad Queen

Episode 5
Divine Intervention

After a night spend in the giant underground chamber the party awoke to return to their explorations. Sheg and Vince both took the time to take ever burning torches down from the walls in order to provide better light for the expedition. Vince and Shar amused themselves, and Sheg, by playing with the colors of the torches changing them in a pleasant little war over which color was best. Meanwhile Fnipper and Thyox both enjoyed a quick breakfast while Calendra performed her morning ablutions.

Finally Florence, after some further examination, made up her mind to press the golden dragon head button on the wall. This transformed the room into a massive amphitheater much like the one in Tebre. This epic transformation shocked Thyox and triggered a fair amount of anxiety in him as the room altered itself in grand fashion. With a little help from Fnipper and Vince, Thyox was calmed down and Florence was able to proceed with her investigations.

This included depressing a second button, this one in the form of a bronze dragon's head, which opened the roof of the chamber like a giant eye opening. Taking this as a sign from Boccob, and fearing that the wound over the eye in the floor meant that his god was blinded, Sheg panicked and attempt to hasten off to warn his tribal chief of the ill omen. Fnipper tried to stop him from leaving precipitously, but there was little the tiny gnome could do to stop the hulking tribesman. Sheg accidentally passed over one of the curious circular grooves in the floor that Calendra had discovered earlier.

Both Sheg and Fnipper vanished!

After a hasty examination of the point where the two disappeared, the rest of the group determined it was some sort of teleportation portal. Resolved not to abandon Sheg and Fnipper the rest of the group bravely followed their two friends through the portal into the unknown.

At the other end of the portal, the expedition found itself in a marshy forest with a lot of horrible smelling standing water. It was obvious that something sinister was lurking beneath the waters, burbling in it's sleep. A black dragon! A tiny and very young one to be sure, but nevertheless a dire danger to the group. Before they could make good an escape, the monster awoke and seemed ready to attack the group. Fnipper made a desperate appeal to Ehlonna, his goddess, hoping for help in the face of this horror…..

It was answered!

Against all odds Fnipper was graced by the very voice of the goddess, and the dragon's heart  was changed. Thyox, with the blessing granted a true paladin could see that the aura of evil was gone from the dragon leaving no trace or taint behind. As the episode drew to an end Fnipper, whom the tiny dragon seems to now adore, was preparing to speak with the creature in hopes of befriending it. hopefully, the young gnome will not disappoint his goddess!

Episode 4
The Dragon Door

Having explored large sections of the massive underground library, the group decided to rest and wait until the following day to explore a secret door that Vince had discovered high up on one wall of the structure. In fact, it turned out to be an illusion masking a huge entrance, sufficiently spacious to accomidate an adult dragon.

With a little ingenuity the party managed to get through the passage which was fairly high up on the wall. Beyond the passage, the expedition discovered a colossal circular chamber. The space was large enough to eclipse the famed Colosseum three times over, and on the floor over 60 feet below, the likeness of an eye was emblazoned on the eclipsed sun design. Surveying the titanic chamber, Thyox discovers a pillar upon which was resting a set of masterfully worked fingerless gloves. After some careful examination, the gloves are discovered to be enchanted with magical properties that allow the wearer to manipulate flames. Thyox resolves to take the gloves and keeps them.

The expedition took the next 10 hours to wind their way down and around the spiral staircase that wends it's way down the perimeter of the chamber. At the floor of the titanic space, the party took the time to investigate the floor. Fnipper discovered a strange blood splash and took a sample or two to try and determine what it may have been. There was also a fissure in the floor, filled with a sort of black glass substance that felt strangely alive and sort of 'sick'.

After some discussion, the group recalls that the Conference Hall in Tebre is rumored to transform into a space much like this one, a process that is undertaken during times of war or crisis. Further exploration by Florence reveals a hidden button in the wall, fashioned into the shape of a golden dragon's head. The group takes the time to discuss all that they have discovered and what course they should take next…….


Episode 4: Experience Awards
The Dragon Door

Hello my lovely little vic- <cough> I mean, players!

First I would like to apologize for the HUGE delay in getting this out to you. I've had a lot to deal with and it regretfully fell by the wayside. 

Once again it was a very heavy roleplay and discovery oriented game session, so a majority of your XP here will come from story based things rather than "kill it to death" things. 

Encounter based XP awards:

-Resolved the issue with Zulgg with minimal destruction and/or bloodshed: 500

Story/mission based XP awards:

-Found the "wall stairs" leading up to the massive secret door on the wall: 150

-Got through the "secret door" safely (and determined that it was an illusion spell blocking it): 300/300

-Noticed that someone (or multiple someones) has been in the room recently (scuff marks from feet on the floor, pile of used sunrods, etc): 600

—> Figured out that sometime recently something to the effect of a table/altar was in the center of the room: 300

—> Noticed both the ordinary red blood and the tar-like black blood on the floor near where it was: 300

-->> Made more connections to the "wrong" Avian: 25/? (on top of the 25 from last game session, so 50/? on this one so far)

-Found the first "dragon switch" on the wall near the base of the stairs: 75


-Found the second "dragon switch": 0/75


-Learned how to dispell a ritual: 0/500

-"Free" Zulgg: 0/300

-Figure out who the library belongs/belonged to: 0/700

-Learned who built the oldest buildings in Anaril (the city of Cortonn, the conference hall in Tebre, and now the library): 0/1,000

-Learn who's leading this effort: 0/500

-Figured out what the map is depicting: 0/1,000

Miscellaneous XP awards:

-Role-playing: 3,000

Total XP earned by the party: 5,250

Divide that 7 ways (7 to account for Zulgg) to get the XP per character

Total XP earned per character: 750

If this levels you up feel free to level yourself up before game day (if you are in possession of your character sheet and understand how to do it on your own, of course). If it levels you up but you're not sure how to level up on your own, just wait for game day and I'll help you out. Otherwise, just hang in there and have fun gaming on Sunday!

Additionally, I have a few things I'd like to note.

The first is that the portal has been upgraded to Ascendant because I finally broke down and paid for it. This means some new features are available, like player secrets, a calendar, a forum, having more than one map, and email notifications. I also have been making updates to the portal, organizing it better, adding information, etc. I'd advise checking it out more if you haven't. I can help you figure out how to navigate it both on mobile and on desktop if you need/want.

The second is READ THE INTERLUDES! They are relevant. While your characters don't have that information, you do…and not only does it help flesh out the world, it might help you draw more conclusions as things come your way. But if you choose not to, then that's okay. 

In any case, all of you are doing super well with things, and you're learning rather quickly. I'm so excited to be moving forward with you all and this campaign. 

Do any of you have any feedback for me? Fan mail, hate mail? Letters to the King? 

In any case, see you Sunday! 11:00 AM

-The Mad Queen

Ominous Interlude 3
Days of Mourning and Celebration

Today is a day of mourning, for the Queen has died. She had reigned for nearly half a millenia, despite her illness, and was beloved by all her subjects. Four whole centuries of complete tranquility had been her gift to the island nation, and hopefully its continuance will be her legacy. It was an honor to serve under her, and it will be an honor to serve under her son. He will need much guidance, as he has hardly even a handful of decades on him yet, but he will be in good hands. We will raise him to be a good king…he will make his mother proud. His brother, who should be the true successor, has not the heart to rule. He, who has begun already to go grey, instead holds his position as The First, and will help guide Filverel from his position. 

But today is not about young Filverel. Tomorrow is his day. Today is for Queen Lyra Caltur, who has at last succumbed to her lifelong illness. Old as she grew, she was always young to me, and she was very dear to me. Anaril will miss her…but I will miss her so much more dearly. I do already. Tomorrow I will publicly rejoice, as is social requirement, but I will never finish mourning Lyra…not in my heart. She was a gift. 

The Secretary places the pen back in its inkwell and gazes at the page. Her normally neat handwriting is marred by smudges, shaky pen strokes, blots, and tears smeared over the parchment. With still shaking hands, she closes the book and places it back underneath the bowl of pearls she keeps on her desk. A single, shuddering breath is taken into her lungs, and a smooth, composed one is expelled from them. Having handled her pain where none can see, Secretary Viatorem Aes has returned to her worldly station- regal and impossible to shake, as always. Today is a day of mourning…and so she will mourn. Her typical constantly exuding warmth is rather dimmed on this day. Smoothing back her silver grey hair, she rises and leaves her chamber to meet Queen Lyra Caltur for the last time. She will keep vigil over her until twilight when she is to be cremated and her remains scattered at sea afterwards. 

When she reaches the room of mourning, the people are only just finishing clearing out. Visiting hours only extend so long before only authorized people may stay…and for now, that meant only Via. Ancillas had been kind enough to bar all others. Until the crowning of his brother tomorrow, as The First, Ancillas is the acting king of the isle. Allowing Via the time alone with the Queen she'd raised as a daughter was a gesture he didn't have to make…but he made it all the same. She did so adore Lyra's boys. At least in her passing, they would still remain, for a time…though unfortunately, Via knew she would likely outlive even them. Such is the curse of one like her spending so much of their life with the younger lived races, like humans and elves…sooner or later, they all become lost while you still remain. 

She looks over the peaceful shell of Lyra, laying with her frail arms crossed over her chest as if she might only be sleeping…but there was no breath in her lungs. At the very least, she would no longer have to fight the illness that had caused her so much suffering in her life. The poor child… 

Her eyes were closed, but Via remembered the soft grey that they were as she gazed upon her. No longer the young thing she was when Via met her, Lyra's hair is the same colour as Viatorem's, and her skin is deathly pale…and was even before she died. Thin as a rail and showing a face with hollow cheeks…Lyra had looked dead long before she truly was, if not for the warm glow that was always in her eyes. Even as old as she was, her frame belonged to someone no more than perhaps ten. She had been weak her whole life, but was such a determined fighter against it that she still made it to old age for her kind.

A sort of pride in Lyra, her Queen, her nearly child, her friend, wells up in Via's chest, and ties itself there in several hard knots. The Secretary keeps silent vigil over her queen until twilight.

The sun is creeping down from the sky, lighting up the horizon with painfully beautiful hues of every colour of dusk. Mother would have loved to see it…she always loved watching sunsets.

While it only technically required one person, Ancillas and Viatorem together raise Queen Lyra Caltur's body up onto the pyre Ancillas had constructed during the day. When they retreat from the pyre, The Fourth steps forward and speaks flames into existence. The inferno roars as it swallows the frail remains of the girl who had so much spirit and strength in her heart, even as her body had been weak her whole life. 

The whole court has gathered to see her off, and the whole city stands outside the gates watching, mourning as the remains of their queen are incinerated. All is silent but for the blazing fire before them. 

After the fire is finished, only ash and dust remaining, the ashes are collected and Ancillas and Filverel alone set out to scatter them at the shore. Traditionally one is supposed to go into the water more…but young Filverel inhereted his mother's illness and has not the strength to handle it, but wants to accompany his brother in the task regardless…so a slight deviation this one time can't hurt much.

Tears creeping into the corners of his eyes as they stand at the shoreline beneath the castle, Ancillas looks down at his younger brother…only 55 and being crowned tomorrow. Tears are streaked down young Filverel's face. Momentarily, Ancillas feels a pang of guilt for having rejected succession all those years ago, instead choosing to follow the path of First Secretary. He still has no desire to rule…but it's not a burden Filverel should have to bear so soon. This life is so painfully unfair. Briefly he rests his hand on the young prince's shoulder, a gesture of reassurance, before he removes it and they together walk the shoreline, scattering their queen's ashes into the waters of the sea and uttering the words of tradition for safe and sure passage into the next life…whatever that life might be. 

Prince Filverel Caltur has spent the past three hours composing himself while the secretaries, soon to be HIS secretaries, flit about him, preparing him for his coronation. Today is a day of rejoicing, as a new king is being crowned. Filverel does not feel like rejoicing. He has never felt so hollow or so terrified. He still aches from the loss of his mother.

How can they be acting so upbeat when she has been lost only yesterday? 

Filverel grinds his teeth silently and does his best to externally match their merriment. It was expected of him to do so…but he didn't want to. The robes fashioned for him, even tailored for a person of his build, were too loose. They hung like so many tapestries cast aside onto a chair over his near emaciated body- beautiful if properly hung, but sad looking when not, and right now, on him, they were decidedly not. It is not long, now, before he is to be crowned.

As the sun is just beginning to kiss the dawn sky, the prince can hear the celebratory music begin to play from the coronation hall. The upbeat sound of it, the gorgeous hues of the sun against the morning sky…they insult him. How could anything be so radiant in the light of her loss? 

He paints an artificial, but real enough seeming smile onto his face, knowing he must get through the day as expected regardless of how he felt. His older brother kneels in front of him for a moment,

"Are you ready, little brother?"

His smile is far more believable, but Filverel can see through it nonetheless. There is still sharp pangs in him, too,

"As ready as I'll ever be…"

He breathes in a shuddering breath and exhales a smooth one. Ancillas rises and hurries into the coronation chamber with the other secretaries. Filverel now waits alone for the signal to proceed into the room. He concentrates on listening for it and on keeping his imitation smile fixed onto his face. It is not long before the music quiets and he can hear Ancillas begin to speak,

"Yesterday was a day of mourning, for we lost our beloved queen. Today is a day of celebration, for we are gaining a new leader…a king to rule and safeguard this land! Queen Lyra Caltur has fallen, but Prince Filverel Caltur, her son and heir, will soon fill her role and lead us well! Come forward, my prince, and you will be made a king!"

Ancillas's voice rings clearly and confidently throughout the chamber. On the surface they sound confident and upbeat, but Filverel knows it is merely a facade…the same one he, himself, must put on today. Swallowing the lump in his throat, the pain in his chest of grief, the fear of leaving as she did, but sooner…the boy places the best, beaming smile he can upon his gaunt face and walks into the room, squaring his shoulders with artificial confidence and pride. The jubilant music playing insults him, but he tunes it out. After what feels like an eternity, he reaches his brother and looks up at him. Ancillas smiles down with genuine warmth and reassurance before raising the crown up and speaking to the room once more,

"Here is the Prince of Anaril, the successor of our beloved Queen Lyra Caltur!"

He looks down at Filverel, saying words technically meant for him but spoken to the room,

"Kneel, my prince!"

The boy kneels before the taller elf with relative ease and grace, despite the knives in his throat. He bows his head slightly, as he knows is expected of him, and does his level best not to tremble or show in any form his apprehension. 

Ancillas slowly lowers the crown onto his younger brother's head. It is clearly too heavy for the boy, as he is so weak. It was too heavy for his mother, too, yet she wore it all the same. Filverel holds back a wince from the weight of it and keeps his head bowed.

After placing the crown on Filverel's head, The First steps back a few paces and raises his eyes to the massive chamber, gazing upon the populous of near the entire city, and speaks once more,

"Rise, now, as King of Anaril! May your reign be long and prosperous!"

Filverel rises again and turns to face the room of the people who are now his subjects, pasting onto his face the best confident and joyous expression he can muster and raises his hand to wave to his people, trying to quiet the welling panic in his chest and the room roars in unison,

"Long live the King! May you reign long and justly!"

Episode 3: Experience Awards
The Library

Hello my lovely meeps under hire of the Voice of the King!

Congratulations! You've officially survived your first wilderness encounter with the beasties lurking in the forests surrounding Tenebris, and you've found the first major piece of this whole thing you will soon be unraveling (or entrapped in…I mean, what?)! Excellent work! I think perhaps some XP is in order for all your hard work, don't you? Fantastic! I'm glad you agree! You did quite a lot of mission-based discovering and not so much fighting this game, so most of this will come from role-playing and discovery aspects, rather than "stick it with the pointy end" aspects. Let's get to the breakdown, shall we?

Encounter based XP awards:

-Killed the second displacer beast: 1,350

-Fully killed the previously downed, but not yet dead displacer beast: 50

Story/mission based XP awards:

-Found and deciphered 2 brightest tablets and the flickering one: 400

-Deciphered and noted the connection of the wizard proverb "To learn is to know, and to know is to be cautious" that is used in modern day, yet was written in an ancient language on three chests, on the wall, and on the backs of the orange cloaks: 200

-Found the library without falling into it like a sack of bricks: 50/60

-Studied reliefs in the library and learned about some of the ancient past from them (i.e. the potential significance/involvement of Bahamut): 300/?

-Found desk and went through papers: 50/?

—> Learned a bit about rituals: 150/?

—> Determined what's wrong with Zulgg: 150/?

—> Learned about recent/present attempts to recreate and improve upon the Mad King's work: 25/?

—> Made the connection to "wrong" Avian creature and "wrong" lizardman-ish creature: 25/?

—> Learned about Zulgg's origin: 50/?

—> Determined that whoever is doing this is doing so in an organized group: 25/?

-Starting to notice the magic phenomenon: 50/?

-Located the larger door in the library: 75/?


-Learned how to dispell a ritual: 0/500

-"Free" Zulgg: 0/300

-Figure out who the library belongs/belonged to: 0/700

-Learned who built the oldest buildings in Anaril (the city of Cortonn, the conference hall in Tebre, and now the library): 0/1,000

-Learn who's leading this effort: 0/500

-Figured out what the map is depicting: 0/1,000

Miscellaneous XP awards:

-Roleplaying: yesterday was VERY role-playing heavy, and you all did an excellent job! You're really starting to come into your own! 3,000 XP

-Getting the hang of mechanics: This may seem an odd one, but for a group of largely green players, I think it's important. You all are starting to get a relatively decent hang of what your characters can/can't do, and will or won't, including what the breadth of game mechanics allow you to do. As there's quite a lot to learn, it can be quite overwhelming! As such, I think your progress deserves a reward! 1,000 XP

Total XP earned by the party: 7,040

Divide that 7 ways (7 to account for any NPCs or whatever, such as Zulgg, who is/are traveling with you) to get the total per character.

Total XP earned per character: 1,006

If you are in possession of your own character sheet AND understand how to level up on your own, if this levels you up feel free to level yourself up before game day. If it levels you up but you're not sure how to level up on your own, just wait for game day and we will help you. If it doesn't level you up yet, just sit tight and you'll get there eventually! 

I do have a few thoughts I'd like to share. Firstly I will tell you that you are all doing quite well, especially for such green players- I think I've managed to scrape together an actually rather good gaming group! Bravo! However, we as a group have a few things we need to work on. The first and foremost being the side conversations- I could tell that was really frustrating to some people, especially Katie because she had to leave early yesterday. In the future, especially if we have another situation of a player having to leave early, we ALL (myself included) need to chill on the tangents. It causes progress to drag a LOT! I will also need to work on having a way for group decisions and little housekeeping to flow more easily and quickly, so we can actually spend time on important and interesting bits, and less time on dawdling in the rain. That said, I do not want to rush anyone. If you feel I (or another player) am rushing you, please speak up! It's okay to need to slow down, to need me to repeat something, and to be confused. You are learning! Feel free to take your time.

All in all, though, I'm quite pleased with your progress and I'm so very proud of you all! I, personally, had a lot of fun yesterday. What about you all? Also, as an aside, what do you think of interludes so far? What do you think you've learned in the campaign so far, both as characters and players? 

Now, I would ask you if you have any feedback for me? Compliments, criticisms, places to improve, hate mail…anything at all. I would love to hear your feedback!

Unless something goes sideways, I will expect to be seeing you all again on December 17th, from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM. 


The Mad Queen

Episode 3
The Library

The battle with the displacer beasts concluded with the arrival of two new additions to the team Ancillas has sent to explore the hidden library. Vince and Sheg arrived in time to help Fnipper, Thyox, and Calendra finish off the beasts. After beheading the corpses and salvaging what could be recovered from the ravaged bear carcass, the team made a soggy camp in the rain soaked forest. The night passed damp and uneventful.

The next day was still overcast but the rain had at least stopped. The party traveled the remaining distance to the hidden library without incident. Even though the hole into the ruin through which the squad of soldiers had fallen was clearly visible, Sheg fell in anyway. The rest of the group made their way down more carefully and less painfully.

Once the team was all down below, a magnificent and cavernous library was revealed. It was huge on a scale similar to other iconic buildings like those a Tebre and the capitol, the horde of tablets and scrolls and books seemed mostly untouched by the passage of time. The party spent the day searching the stacks, uncovering and deciphering several texts that some one else had recently disturbed as well. Some notes were recovered at a desk that gave some clues as to the mystery interloper who appears to be working for someone named "Mother."

Working together the adventurer's began to uncover clues about the way magic in the area is being altered and how Zulgg has been enchanted with weakness and fatigue. By the end of the day's work, the team had decided to camp within the library itself. A very large secret door had been discovered rather high up on one of the library's interior walls. It is the group's hope to explore this secret passage once morning arrives.

Ominous Interlude 2
A Ritual...

A figure paces in the dark. It is cloaked in robes as black as night, and shrouded in shadow. The room around the figure is so dark, it might as well be a void. The chamber sounds hollow- footsteps click against the granite floors and echo against the cold, bare walls. As it enters the hall, torches light along the walls as if of their own volition. They throw eerie shadows across the wall in such a way that it almost feels threatening. The flames of the torches dance and lick the stone walls menacingly. The shrouded figure walks on, footsteps still echoing as they continue down the hall.

After some time, the figure reaches the end of the hallway and enters a much more well lit, yet somehow darker room. Miniature campfires form a ring around the massive chamber- large enough to be an amphitheater. Even their breath has an audible echo, now. As the figure enters the massive cavern, six other figures emerge from six other doors, all now facing the center of the room. They, too, are shrouded…yet the first figure seems almost regal, while the others seem submissive. As though synchronized, they bow their heads. The first figure, however, raises its chin higher and slowly lifts its hands to remove its hood. As the black fabric is allowed to fall, a cascade of golden curls becomes visible. Flashing a terrible and beautiful grin, the woman tosses her head back and laughs- it is musical…musical and somehow deadly. She raises her hands into the air above her head, the loose sleeves of her robes falling down and exposing the most pale skin carved with beautifully intricate designs. They have healed as scars do…but are tar black. She begins a chant, and as she does so, the remaining six join her in unison, raising up their arms in a similar fashion. The flames of the miniature campfires against the walls seem to grow taller and more volatile, dancing dangerously about in a kind of eager, vicious mirth. The chant continues on…unending. 

Ominous Interlude 1
The Lord of the North Wind Watches

Lightning crackles through black storm clouds to the north of the isle, a deafening, earth shaking boom coupled with each flash of electricity across the twilight sky. The war has been raging on for months, now. So few are the opposition, yet so great their power. They appear terrifyingly limitless in their magical prowess, their versions of spells somehow often lasting for what might as well be an eternity. They are near invulnerable. Those fighting them fear the war may very well be lost after all. Even the strongest of all those here are sustaining heavy casualties. Angels, demons, dragons, treants, fey, all kinds of people on the ground…citizens of Anaril, of the Coalition Region, of the Elder Tribes…all fighting against this one, great destructor. Calling it an evil would be to understate it grossly, as even many of the most evil beings in existence have answered the call to arms, leaving their home planes and banding together with their mortal enemies to confront this threat. There has only been one other time such a phenomena occurred…and one time was already far too many. It is again wounded, despite having almost healed once more, and it is bleeding. The power they greedily seek to harness may well be their undoing, but if that happens, it will be our undoing as well. Such an event cannot be permitted. 

My children are out there, fighting in this war. Even many of the youngest have joined the cause. I wonder if they know I watch them, that I am proud of them. I mourn the loss of those who have fallen for the sake of this most vital cause. 

Legions of creatures of all kinds have been relentless in their efforts to seize the castle and lay down the King and his reforming covenant for months. They are a menace. Ages ago, I remember when I helped lay them into submission, but it seems even the possibility of my own return to confront them was not enough to smother their greed. They will continue to wreak havoc. I will not yet intervene, however. I believe in them, and I must allow them to fight their own wars…soon, they will prevail. I can sense it. I, however, as always, remain a sentry- guarding the fruit of their old mistakes from being woken once more. 

I turn my head to look over my shoulder at the great tree behind me…which in truth really isn't a tree at all. He's just taking yet another years long nap. My companion all these years, sharing my burden of guarding this isle. I will not return home until I am sure they are safe…all my children, and the others, as well. My seven have remained with me all this time as well. Hidden with me inside the carefully warded grove we share with the treant…my old friend. I wonder how much time he has left before I am left to guard this place alone while the wound heals…


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