The Necessity of Choice

Spoils

Merideus
Amongst the bodies strewn throughout the cavern, Merideus found the remains of a small drow hunting party- what was left of them, anyway. His investigation revealed a peculiar phenomenon- the legs of a recently departed drow, still stuck upright against the side of a wall, apparently by a particularly stubborn pair of boots.

Boots of Spider Climb- While you wear these light boots, you can move up, down, and across vertical surfaces and upside down along ceilings, while leaving your hands free. You have a climbing speed equal to your walking speed. However, they don’t allow you to move this way on a slippery surface, such as one covered by ice or oil.

Rhaegar
Rhaegar, being so intimately linked with the Well, stole secrets it had guarded so jealously. Reaching into its depths, strands of magic left the familiar brand of knowledge burning within his mind.

Add 3 spells from any class’s spell list to your spellbook. Any of these spells must be of a level you can cast (1st – 4th).

Azura GrimHeart
Concerned for the Tiefling’s load of cumbersome weapons, the Dwarves took it upon themselves to lighten her load- an extradimensional storage space that serves as a golf bag for weapons. Her devilish eyes also caught the gleam of a jet black ring on a severed finger- and you could say it put a spring in her step.

Quiver of Ehlonna
Each of the quiver’s three compartments connects to an extradimensional space that allows the quiver to hold numerous items while never weighing more than 2 pounds. The shortest compartment can hold up to sixty arrows, bolts, or similar objects. The midsize compartment holds up to eighteen javelins or similar objects. The longest compartment holds up to six long objects, such as bows, quarterstaffs, or spears. You can draw any item the quiver contains as if doing so from a regular quiver or scabbard

Ring of Jumping
While wearing this ring, you can cast the jump spell from it as a bonus action at will, but can target only yourself when you do so.

Caelynn Cactus
For the part that Caelynn played in pacifying the Well, the Dwarves awarded her with a Distinguished Service Medal, set into a dark metal belt with golden markings. This is a high honor, universally honored amongst their people, and marks her as a Dwarf-friend.

Belt of Dwarvenkind
While wearing this belt, you gain the following benefits:
- Your Constitution score increases by 2, to a
maximum of 20.
- You have advantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks
made to interact with dwarves. In addition, while attuned to the belt, you have a 50
percent chance each day at dawn of growing a full beard if you’re capable of growing one, or a visibly thicker beard if you already have one.

If you aren’t a dwarf, you gain the following additional benefits while wearing the belt:
-You have advantage on saving throws against poison,
and you have resistance against poison damage.
-You have darkvision out to a range of 60 feet.
-You can speak, read, and write Dwarvish.

Dex
Meanwhile, not too far away in the Savage North, Nyuktuk has taught Dex the way of channeling energy into an old Ancestral blade that was thought destroyed by the Orcs….

Spirit Blade
This item appears to be a longsword hilt. While grasping the hilt, you can use a bonus action to cause a blade of pure radiance to spring into existence, or make the blade disappear. While the blade exists, this magic longsword has the finesse property. If you are proficient
with shortswords or longswords, you are proficient with the Spirit blade.

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this weapon, which deals radiant damage instead of slashing damage. When you hit an undead with it, that target takes an extra 1d8 radiant damage.
The sword’s luminous blade emits bright light in a 15-foot radius and dim light for an additional 15 feet. The light is sunlight. While the blade persists, you can use an action to expand or reduce its radius of bright and dim light by 5 feet each, to a maximum of 30 feet
each or a minimum of 10 feet each.

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Between a Rock and...

As the Rebels quickly descended into the Deep Roads, the gang took time out of their busy schedules to destroy any evidence of their rebel entanglements. The Imperial Airship changed course and locked itself into place some miles away from the Temple- Rhaegar noted that it seemed to be anchored with a strange magical connection, but the gang figured he was just weird and crazy. Soon, shapes disembarked from the Frigate on a direct course for the Temple, dispelling all thoughts of the Wizard’s peculiarities.

Choosing to follow the dashing Captain over a mountain trail that would spill them out to a neighboring village, the group made no success in catching up with their newfound companions. Chancing upon a strange group of stone-hewn huts, the gang took shelter to recover after their extended battle.

There were some anamolies here, however. The gang felt a presence, watching them- a feeling of wandering not-so-alone in the dark. Rhaegar also noticed small veins of Mana, pulsing irregularly and sometimes violently, and upon further investigation he concluded that there was corruption running within it. Curioser and curioser. They laid down to rest their heads, weary and ready to recover. That didn’t last long.

Despite their best efforts to remain hidden, a patrol of Dwarves with strange arms and armor stumbled upon them. After a brief firefight, the two groups had a nice, civil chat, though the dwarves remained cagey about their purpose there. The gang did gather, however, that they were not there to pursue rebels, but rather to deal with something vaguely magicky. They soon departed, urging the party not to interfere, and to leave the Deep Roads.

That became quite the task however, as the tunnels themselves seemed to shift and change as soon as they left them. Corridors appeared where there were none, dead ends turned to long, twisting corridors, and the group was beset by twisted creatures in the dark. For three days, they wandered…

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A Breath of Fresh Air

As our heroes protagonists time at the Temple of Thor wound down, they honed their minds and bodies while the dwarves put the finishing touches on the Tiefling’s new implement of destruction. They taught her the dwarven art of Sundering, which boils down to breaking things in an ergonomic manner with a very hard, sharp weapon. Azura took to the work gladly, and got to known the rebels well. Meanwhile, our strange friend Mer learned the trick of throwing fire at his enemies with a sword.

Not all of the visitors at the temple were engaged in martial pursuits, however. Caelynn spent valuable time learning what she could about the rebels and how they waged their war against the vast Empire. While cagey and suspicious at first, the dwarves soon told her their operation was sustained mostly with a combination of hit-and-run tactics and efficient use of their war chest.

Cactus also spent time with the party’s Magus, who spent a majority of his time devouring the knowledge kept in the temple’s library. Rhaegar uncovered the notes of an old dwarven mage, and quickly added them to his own repertoire. Stumbling upon another ancient grimoire, Rhaegar found compelling evidence that Ponder was bound to the Emperor’s service during a time when Dragons were being systematically hunted, and that Akyd Kalostros himself is a dragon that chose servitude over destruction.

Not being a man to slow down, Rhaegar and the squad had seen some peculiarities from their half-drow friend (More than was previously there before, anyways), and he set to fix it himself. A ritual of exorcism soon freed Mer from the clutches of the vengeful elven spirit. While Mer seemed almost sad to see the spirit go, the Magus knew it was for the best.

Just as the finishing touches were being put on the arms and armor ordered, a rebel airship made an emergency “landing” at the Temple. Captain Tiggerwillies soon made the party an offer- protect the airship during its emergency repairs, and they would be paid handsomely upon their arrival at a northern safehouse. The group eventually accepted, and soon evacuations were underway in the tunnels leading to the Deep Roads.

Despite the efforts of Meridius and the Magi to speed along the repair efforts, a small Imperial strike force assaulted the Temple and destroyed the ship. Mord and Tiggerwillies were the only airship-bound rebels to survive the conflagration, and the Imperial Magi responsible fled the scene- towards the Imperial Interdictor airship on the Horizon. Using the last of her healing abilities, Caelynn got the Rebels up and moving while they desperately pulled together their next move.

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Vergen, City of Commerce

As the storm broods relentlessly above Vergen, our heroes go about their noble business. This proud city gets most of its supplies and essentials from trade coming in by air and sea, though the abrupt halt of commerce has not yet affected the citizenry.

The Leadership is willing to do just about anything to not let that happen. They’ve put a public call to arms for the able bodied Vergents to defend their city, should the need come in these strange times. A Militia is being trained and armed under the direction of Captain Proximo, a former legionnaire turned Guardsman.

Azura- The local craftsmen welcome the chance to put your skills and brawn to good use, offering you 1 gp a day for your services. The Militia recruits seem to despise you for winning at cards all the time, but none have grown brave enough to challenge you beyond a friendly game of cards.

  • Many cups into the card game, the recruits start talking in hushed tones about the 10 guards stationed at the gate’s of the city’s small castle. How there were a dozen men walking the walls, and still 10 more outside the chambers of the Countess. Days ago, she vanished without a trace. They give the impression that the news is something that people are trying to keep from getting out.

Mer- The city is using all of its resources to equip the Militia they are raising, and you have come across no potential buyers. One Guardsman has offered you his suit of splint mail as trade, though you get the feeling that this might be a pretty huge ripoff.

  • The Blacksmiths are in pretty dire need of metals and are working in tandom with the leadership of the city to offer any adventurers brave enough to clear the mines out of whatever is killing everything a very large sum of gold.

Dex- You get familiar with the city’s alleyways, its twists, turns, and thoroughfares. You now have advantage on checks involving navigating the city. You have also found a large stone door that appears to be of a different architectural design than the Deep Roads, and did not appear on the map you guys copied.

Rhaegar- You’ve found archives that you believe contain remnants from the old library of the most disgraced Wizard of all time- So reviled, in fact, that his name has been erased from the history books. You believe that, somewhere in Vergen, there might be the sealed remains of his Tower.
Also, you’ve observed the storm above the city and believe that its a natural storm that was compounded by some magical phenomena- more days of study are necessary to determine the nature of the storm.

Cae- Your circuit of the town, charming the populace has got you several free drinks and meals due to your She-Elf-ish charm mixed with your down-to-earth human roots.
Sailors moored in town complain of the creature in the bay preying on ships. They believe that a Kraken is the cause of their troubles, having witnessed the fate of a ship that braved the waters of the bay. Townsfolk recall some trouble with Sahuagin (Murlocks, essentially) some years ago, who were routed by a group of fledgling adventurers.

Knowledge of the battle in the town over, Dan Brekt, seems to be largely absent, since the air and sea have almost entirely cut off over the last two weeks.

Some people are very curious to know of news of the outside world, however. Specifically, if you know anything about the murder of the Emperor’s heir. You dismiss them as baseless rumors, of course.

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A Letter to the Emperor

Your Excellency,
Immediately after receiving your instructions to observe the actions of our Commander Luthar, I transmuted my form directly into the ancient city of Dan Brek.

It appears that reports of the absolute victory at Dan Brek were grossly exaggerated. Indeed, the officers in command of the remaining flotilla hold fast to calling their blunder a success, despite the loss of a quarter of the skiffs in what a imbecile would call a “glorious frontal assault”.

Said imbecile resents that I relieved him of his first command and insists that the population consists entirely of rebels.

Surprisingly, the heir has not been found amongst the living or the dead, despite the constant efforts of our patrols.

I can confirm the sighting of the halfling rebel Reckon, who was harrassing our airships. I engaged him personally, and he slunk back into whatever hole he crawled forth from.
Please be advised that there are worrisome fluctuations coming from the Dead Roads near the city. Now that our forces have a sustainable command structure in place, I will be investigating the nature of this disturbance.

Inform the Emperor that his legacy is well in hand,

His humble servant,
Akyd Kalustros, Royal Advisor

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Those Magical Assholes.

“The place was chaos. The fighting in the streets was bad enough, and where there wasn’t blood being spilt, there were those damned airships floating overhead like stormclouds.
That crazy half-man Reckon picked a fight with Akyd Kalostros and engineered a way to escalate the situation. So then we had to watch out for those two magical assholes, avoid the Imperial Patrols, and keep the Prince safe to boot. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t signed on with this rabble, but seeing the shit that happens when one of those dandies get a command of a flotilla?
It’s a wonder the city stood long enough before a Commander who knew his business restored order. Fuck ‘em. The Deep Roads might be the death of us, but I’ll take them over this shithole any day.”
- Selyl Sendak. Freedom Fighter, alcoholic, pragmatist.

So you’ve got some options to explore, with 3 routes that are sure to get you out of there:

  • The short route to Vergren – < 1 days march through a dead city. It’ll be awesome, I promise.
  • The longer, “safer” route to Vergren – 2-3 ish days. Even better.
  • The service tunnel, a longer route to an outlet in the mountains – 5-8 days. Nothing could go wrong.
    Go.
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A City and a few Airships

In the bones of the forgotten city, fires still burn and the sharp sounds of fighting ring through the streets.
As you observe the triage being formed around the broken ship, you see some civilians being treated along with the wounded troopers. Most walking wounded are turned away by a foppish officer with the swipe of a baton. In the skies, most of the frigates have settled down to patrol in something resembling an organised formation. Slowly, the perimeter of guards are bolstered by men separated from their old units.

CRACK A bolt of lightning splits the sky and tears into a ship. Sluggishly, it lulls to one side as it is engulfed in belching flames and begins to crash down into the city below. You see a figure rise slowly from the ship and return the bolt with twin, greenish rays, and it swiftly dives into the ruins in pursuit. Night starts to fall completely on the city.
-—————————————————————————
Some food for thought
-Waiting to take a rest before assaulting the wounded airship will give the soldiers time to reinforce their position
- you have no real knowledge of the tunnels underneath the city except that they are dwarven. (History reveals these possibly link to other ruins and cities)

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