September 25, 2010
The party stepped from the chapel, weary from their encounter with the troll. However, a well-deserved rest was not in store. Two Transport wizards teleported in front of them and took them back to the town of Invar.
In the town, there was the aftermath of chaos. “Some crazy wizard dude” had come through not an hour before, killing people and raising the dead. As a final act, he had punched out the mayor of Invar and ridden away in some kind of skeletal contrivance.
Our heroes rushed to see the mayor of Invar, who was recovering from the wound. He described the man in question—the mayor of Ocloma!
Upon hearing that they knew of the perpetrator, the mayor of Invar made the heroes Invarrian Protectors—honorary guardsmen—and sent them off to the castle of Lord Omarvana with a missive requesting magical aid.
They set off at once. Along the way, they had to fight through a group of skeletons and zombies left as a deterrent.
Upon arriving at the grounds, Omarvana’s personal Transporter took the missive and escorted them instantly over the next few miles and into the castle proper. As soon as they materialized, however, the mayor of Ocloma gated in, created more mooks, and gated out. Another battle was won, and the heroes went in to see the lord of the northern portion of Mytria.
Along the walls of the castle’s halls were strange magic items and artifacts, their purposes and histories known only to Omarvana, a collector of such things. Before he could really begin speaking, however, the sounds of commotion echoed from a further room. The heroes were made to stay put as Omarvana and his knights went to investigate.
As it turned out, the mayor had gated into another portion of the castle and begun wreaking havoc. He wounded Omarvana in the process, but was eventually driven back by the knights.
After a night of rest for everyone, Omarvana revealed that he knew the mayor before this time—the two of them had fought in the Telvanese army together before Omarvana came south. The mayor, whose name is Kavinus, betrayed Omarvana’s unit for his own gain.
Omarvana cautioned that Kavinus’ powers were too much for the heroes at this time, but he believed he could provide them with a long-term solution. He gifted to each of them a magic item of little power—for now. He said that these items were unique among magic items because they had no recorded history—just a set of rhyming clues pointing the way towards several shrines hidden around the world.
As part of the bargain, Omarvana charged the heroes with visiting these shrines and empowering their weapons and tools; only then would he truly bequeath them. At that point, they would also be strong enough to take on Kavinus, who, according to Omarvana, had gated to one of the far-off planes. Finally, Omarvana took from them the items they found in the cave, promising that these new items would be much better.
Intriguing new items in hand, the heroes decided to set off for what seemed the closest riddle location—the biggest forest on the continent, the Forests of Gardakan. To get there, they had to cross west of Mytria and then north until they reached the kingdom of East Arboria (sister to West Arboria, on the other side of the Forest.)
This they did, and once in the kingdom, they made their way to the capital city of Keystone, stopping only to deal with Timtim’s rabid desire to kill poor, innocent peasants (they clocked him on the head and carried him the rest of the way).
Once there, exhausted after a couple weeks of travel [and the night traveling steadily onward in real life], the heroes decided to unwind. After booking a couple combat guards to enter the forest in a week’s time, they set off in search of merriment. Notable events are as follows:
Silos and Timtim encountered a strange shop run by a stranger man, who took useless things as payment and gave haphazardly labeled potions to anyone who would listen to his ponderings of the universe.
Sir Bonerus engaged in solemn ritual with a street-corner prophet of Testikles. With great reverence did they perform the Thunking of the Brews.
Zogs, Thalord, Mayve, and Bonerus got high off a strange purple weed they purchased from a corner dealer. Having thus prepared, they patronized a brothel, with Thalord engaging in a five-way with great gusto. “My religion is very progressive!” he said as he came up for air. “I’m not breaking any vows here.”
And so did the band of heroes make merry while they still could. The days passed, and soon it was the evening before their excursion.
The Forests of Gardakan loomed just outside the city walls—and somewhere within that massive natural maze lay their first goal.