REQUIEM OF SOULS

Requiem of Souls: Rise of Sins - Episode 15 : Magnimar

Vartemoff didn’t take a moment to think and threw the corpse of Darien on his shoulder before departing from the vermins’ cave. He knew that the queen of the elves had magic strong enough to bring his friend back but that he had no time to waste as Darien’s soul was traveling farther and farther toward Pharasma’s Boneyard and once there the Lady of the Grave wouldn’t return the soul. He strapped his companion on his horse and ventured deeper into the forest. The group a little bit startled by the knight’s actions tried to keep up with him but ultimately the paladin’s vigor and his prayers to Solaris gave him the edge and he was soon only a shadow between the trees before dissapearing completely.
It took 6days for the company to arrive at Lakemarsh’s gates and they announced themselves to the guards. The elves seemed to be aware of the party’s misadventure and let them enter the city. It wasn’t long for the company to reach the Sapphire Castle and they rejoined their comrade in the chapel.
Vartemoff told them that he rode for 3days and nights before arriving to the queen Lady Maryssa who took care of their fallen comrade and the knight finally went to rest. Since then, Vartemoff had seen Darien who was successfully brought back from the dead by the prayers of the queen and he was now resting in one of the castle’s room.
The party made haste to have an meeting with the queen. At their surprise, Darien came down to the meeting even if he was still healing and regrouped with his friends. The queen explained that she had to use expensive jewels as material for the prayers to bring back the sorcerer’s soul and that even if the crown was ready to wash a part of the debt away, the group had to repay some of the cost. Darien gave one of his magic wand and each of the party members had to defray a thousand gold pieces.
The group asked the queen about her rumored relationship with the Magi Rajesh Stonescroll (before he became Neraith), she assured them that it was only a fling in her long life and apologized while admitting that she knew not what the lich’s phylactery was or where it could be. She explained that Sheila Heidmarch, the leader of Magnimar’s pathfinders, had sent her the new of a Thassilonian artifact’s resurgence. She explained that the Thassilonians were obsessed with eternal life and that by investigating their remnants the group could maybe learn more about the lich. Lady Maryssa told the companions that she could arrange their safe passage by boat to Magnimar two days from now and the group accepted the offer.
The trip to Magnimar was uneventful with Vartemoff sharing some information about the city which was his hometown. At arrival, the adventurers went to Heidmarch’s Manor, the Pathfinder Society’s headquarter in Varisia. There they met Sheila Heidmarch, Pathfinders’ leader, and Koriah Azmeren a famous half-elf pathfinder that specialize in the Darklands. The two excused themselves as they had to talk about Koriah’s last scouting mission but Sheila asked the party to help her with a puzzle item while waiting for her. She presented a Paradox Box to the party, an old Thassilonian’s safe box guarder by a puzzle and magic, suggested that the group could try to brake it open with the help of Koriah’s notes and they exited the room. It took almost 40minutes for the adventurers, with their knowledge combined, to open the box but it was trapped with a summoning spell that called forth 2 small devil-looking gremlins. The devils were not hard to dispatch with Grimmjow proving his martial supremacy with his curved elven blade.

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Requiem of Souls: Rise of Sins - Episode 14 : Dead Spiders

The group awoke in a tavern, their wounds treated and alive for the most part. The good new of the demise they had avoided was clouded by the revelation that Edbald and Morthyss weren’t that lucky and that the two were lost to the Gnolls. Darien, Vartemoff and Hawklight asked around to know what happened and learned that a small scouting party retrieved them in the gnolls’ hideout and brought them back here, in Greenhill. They were given information about the location of their saviors and went on their way.
The remaining companions exited the city and soon reached a small encampment. There Vartemoff rejoined with the tree brothers he had met on his journey to Greenhill: Barass, Varass and Variss accompanied by a Hellknight armiger named Grimmjow. The small party explained that a gnoll came to warned them that a group of adventurers had entered the gnoll’s stronghold without coming back. Then Varass, now a new Solaris’ acolyte wanting to join the Sons in Eroem, convinced his brothers and their comrade to search for the lost party and were surprised to find Vartemoff and his friends unconscious. He apologize for the death of their dwarf and lizard-folk friends but they were already long gone when the brothers found them.
The group shared more stories, decided that it was too dangerous to return to the gnoll’s and that they should continue their march toward Lakemarsh. Grimmjow decided to join the party as he had experience in the Edhel’Amar Empire and the companions went to meet with the gnoll to whom they owed their life. The gnoll presented himself as Thumock, he was journeying with his hyena pet Spearfang and had a grudge against the gnolls the party was fighting so he decided to help them. After a brief discussion, the group decided to ride West and Thumock joined the party wanting to explore the world.
It didn’t take long before they reached the frontier of Eroem and ventured in the elven territory. After a day of riding, they encountered a small village of Centaurs and dismounted to approach it carefully. A mile outside of the village, a party of scouting Centaurs met them and asked to know their business but the language barrier made the discussion difficult. Vartemoff tried to make them understand that they wanted to pass in peace, that no harm would come from them and even proposed to cure the village’s wounded. The chief of the Centaur understood enough and escorted them into the village to a big tent were lied a wounded Centaur. The chief explained that one of his man was attacked by manticores and that the poison of their sting had almost killed him. The Son of Solaris made a prayer to his divine liege and his hands cured the Centaur. The chief and villagers were very happy and gave a lot of gifts to thank the party who went on his way promptly.
The group journeyed West two days before having to venture North to avoid a mountain and came to hear the sound of a dying bear. The adventurers investigated and found a dead grizzly in a sparse part of the forest. Thumock followed the tracks of the attacker to a clearing where the group face an Owlbear, fearless magical creature half-bear and half-owl. The fight was difficult with two more beast joining the fray but ultimately the companions prevailed.
The group searched the surroundings to find the beasts’ cave and found an opening in a cliff. Hawklight and Spearfang descended into the darkness to scout and were surprised to find a complex maze of caverns. The scouts came back to the party and the group decided to explore the caves. Into one of the chambers, the adventurers were ambushed by two giant black widow and a hole-worm the side of an elephant. The surprise cut the group in two and Darien, beeing all alone battling two foes, made a mistake by forgetting to defend his back while casting a spell and was slain by one of the spider. The rest of the group dispatched the remaining of the opponents and witnessed the corpse of their comrade, lying face down in the mud and with skin colored black because of the poison that had run through his veins…

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Requiem of Souls: Rise of Sins - Episode 12 : The Fallen

The party enters the crypt and Hawklight is almost killed by a trap that let loose one of the rock block of the ceiling. The group uses potions and Vartemoff whispers a prayer to Solaris to heal the rogue before venturing deeper into the darkness even with their shaken confidence.
They enter the summoning room where they can see that they are to late, a massif sinister looking angel with black feathers awaits them and he’s backed up by four cultists. Combat ensues and the fallen archon seems almost invincible but finally the heroes triumph with Vartemoff sustaining serious injuries.
The group loots the place and runs back to town to lick their wounds. Hawklight and Edbald bring Vartemoff to the church of Sarenrae where one of the priest heals him with a prayer to the Everlight. As soon as he wakes up, the paladin tries to recall what just happened by asking his comrades and prays his god for divine healing. In only seconds, his wounds close-up and he’s able to walk again at the priest’s surprise. The religious man is astonished by the power welded by Vartemoff and is sure that the knight is an angel sent from heaven to save his town. Vartemoff humbly thanks the priest and gives a donation to his church while assuring him that he is no angel but only a holy warrior of the Only Sun.
The party takes two day of rest and departs for Greenhill at dawn.

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Requiem of Souls: Rise of Sins - Episode 11: Ranidel and mysterious note

The companions depart from Eroem and take the road toward Ranidel. Arrived into town they settle in the tavern where they have received an interesting gift basket. The basket contains treats, potions protecting against evil creatures and a note signed M hinting that something is going to happen at midnight on the docks.
Little before midnight, the group awakes and goes to the docks where they witness mysterious men unloading some cargo from one of the boat. The companions approach the boat and the men immediately attack the group. The fight is pretty easy and the adventurers capture the men that reveled themselves as being part of a cult named The Adamant Rose. The mercenaries where supposed to unload the materials, which is required for a demon summoning, from the boat and bring them to a small crypt two hours outside of town. The party brings the culprits to the sheriff and runs to the crypt to stop the infernal summoning.
Arrived in the middle of the night at the crypt, the heroes of Poleran fight the cultists protecting the crypt and venture into the darkness of the structure, hoping they’re not to late…

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Requiem of Souls: Rise of Sins - Interlude: The True King

The air was humid and bringer of the pestilent smell of dead corpses all around. The undead Magi sat still on his macabre throne on the top floor of the Black Tower, desecrated homage to the Necromancer’s past glory. Its eyes were fixated on a staff of twisted black wood held in its hand and its mind was wandering in old memories of its former life as a mortal. Without being able to feel anything in its long-dead hearth the images were just portraits now unfamiliar to the walking-corpse.
A silhouette mystically appeared in the blackest corner of the room and a woman’s voice broke the silence.
‘’Master… I found them.’’
It turned its head slowly toward the newcomer and difficultly murmured incomprehensible words.
‘’Master, she continued, the group that fought you in Bethesdan’s Temple is in Eroem right now trying to gather allies for their fight against you. As of right now, nobody is welling to help them on a hunch.‘’
The Lich shrieked in hanger as the mysterious woman bowed in terror.
’’I apologize my Lord… I know they should be dead and under your power but in the Capital they were under the protection of the Ward of Solaris and I couldn’t reach them.‘’
Neraith clacked his bony jaws and exhaled a whisper: ’’U… un…leash….. them’’.
The woman took a step-back in surprise and screeched at its master: ‘’You can’t be serious! You’re not strong enough yet to control that kind of magic’’.
The undead left out a scream that made the lackey tremble and after regaining her composure she bowed again.
‘’As you wish… my sire’’
The woman vanished as she appear, diffusing her corporal form into a smokey red mist.
The corpse’s gaze returned to the black staff and its hand crushed it with rage and great efforts.

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Requiem of Souls: Rise of Sins - Episode 10: Knowledge is power

The group travels back to Eroem. At first, they are unsure where to start their search of intel about Neraith’s Phylactery and by habit they start by visiting the City Library. Darian and Van bury themselves under a tone of books and try to retrace the life of Rajesh Stonescroll the Magi that would later become the terrifying Lich.
Vartemoff pays a visit to the Sun Citadel, place of power of the Sons of Solaris in the city, and meet with Israd the leader of the order. The knight explains to his commanding officer that he discovered that the Lich is back and that it’s regaining power. Israd admits that with the army of the Marshes at the frontier and the Pandemonium Gates opening everywhere he cannot dispatch men to deal with a rumor. The conversation turn sour with Vartemoff losing his temper but the Wise Brother, seeing that the paladin’s intentions and concerns are legitimate, relieves the knight of his obligations toward the Sons and allows him to go on his personal quest. Israd also inquires information about the heretic sorcerer with whom Vartemoff is traveling and advises him to be careful and to keep this information as secret as possible. Vartemoff then go to the Citadel Study in search of answers.
Edbald takes the crocodile skin he collected and venture in town to find a blacksmith. He find a joyful old dwarf with whom he starts forging a scalemail. The two dwarves realize that the work is to much for the two of them and the blacksmith asks help from his four apprentices. The work is done under 8 days and Edbald is pretty much satisfied with the quality of the product he just made. Finally, the dwarf sells the new armor and the remaining crocodile skin and stores the gold obtained for future purchases.
Morthyss tries to find a seller in town that could provide him a Mithril Breastplate but it is too expensive for his light purse and he’s not confident that he could steal it without being suspected so he forfeit the idea.
After some days, Van is tired of books and tries to sell some of his alchemy products in town making small money from his trade.
Darian finally learn that Rajesh might have had a secret romantic relationship with the Empress of the Adhel’ar, Lady Maryssa.
The party regroups at Willy’s Home Tavern and decides that visiting the old Necromancy Tower is their next step. At night, Darian uses one of his magical scroll to teleport himself, Morthyss and Van inside the Tower and start searching the place. The top floor of the Tower appears to be trapped and nothing much can be salvaged from the ruins while avoiding triggering the traps. The second and bottom floors aren’t more interesting and the disappointed comrades prepare their exit. Van crafts two extract transforming him into Israd and allowing him to speak in his voice while Darian uses one of his spell to transform himself into one of the Sons. The three exit the Tower and are interrogated by the two surprised guards at the door. The discussion doesn’t turn in the party’s favor and Vartemoff has to come defuse the confrontation but one of the guards still runs to the Citadel to confirm their whereabouts.
Vartemoff, Darian and Edbald then go to the Castle of Crows the following day to meet with Beatrix which is very happy to see them again. The group asks her to write an official missive granting them a meeting with her mother the Empress and she proceeds even if she doesn’t know if it’s going to do them any good.
The group prepares and then start their long journey toward Lakemarsh.

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Requiem of Souls: Rise of Sins - Episode 9: The Flooding Marshes

The trip to the Marshes is perilous and leaves the party tired and weakened with the depart of Swift which has finally received is bond (not currently known to the group). Entering the marshes they meet a joyful man named Van Hensling that was harvesting special herbs. He exchange information with the group and admit that he find it laughable that the party believes they could defeat a Lich as powerful as Neraith and that the deed would be worthless without destroying its phylactery first. With that new information, the group decides to travel back to Eroem to gather more intel on the phylactery and Van decides to come along.
In their journey, they are attacked by aggressive crocodiles and find a trail leading to a small house in the moor. In it, they make the acquaintance of Goran, an old man hidden under a cloak that seems to conceal a lot of old injuries. Van succeeds in dealing with the situation diplomatically and the druid invite them to stay in his house for the night.
They discuss a bit and learn that Goran was also an adventurer in his young days and that he came to the Marshes with 4 companions for a mission. The group was ambush by the Black Dragon Xerax’Shesh and two were kill while Goran was taken prisoner. The dragon found amusement in torturing him for over a decade and he finally succeeded to escape a couple of years back. Now the wounded man stays in the moor with the ashes of his two fallen comrades and make experiments to find a way to maybe someday overcome Xerax’Shesh and take his revenge.
The group goes to sleep…

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Requiem of Souls: Rise of Sins - Episode 8: The Were-Orcs

After the fight with the giant, the group resume its travel. It arrive at sunset at a new construction in the plains. They approach prudently the fortification under work and soon realize that it is occupied by men of Eroem. With little surprise, they once again meet Beatrix inside, as she is in command of the contingent.
She tells the adventurers that a couple of days ago, a lightning stroke the countryside and uncovered an hidden crypt. She was task by the King to secure and explore it.
The party decides to spend the night in the fort and wait for dawn to enter the underground structure. At midnight, one of the guard is stroke by an arrow and chaos ensue. The group regain its composure and realize that the fort is under attack by a group of warg-riding orcs. They easily dispatch the orcs that succeed in entering the keep but soon afterward they witness the remaining orcs changing into wolf-skin. At that point, with the supernatural regenerative ability of the were-orcs and their number, the fight seems lost. The group and the remaining guards take refuge into the crypt. After a while, the orcs seem to have left and the party uncover the remains of Abigail and they banish the ghost in the afterlife.
The party take some days to rest and departs for Neraith tower in the Flooding Marshes. In the hills, they are surprised by giant wasps and a difficult confrontation leaves the majority of the group heavily wounded.

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Requiem of Souls: Rise of Sins - Episode 7: Eroem in turmoil and Abigail's Remains

Edbald, Darian, Hawklight, Morthyss, Swift and Vartemoff make the journey to Darsrod where they are welcomed as heroes by Suler, a charismatic merchant, who was in Poloran a few weaks ago during the Wendigos incident. They decide to take a rest, re-supply and Darian tries to identify the properties of the Cross of Valgard.
When exchanging the Cross, Vartemoff and Darian are mysteriously connected and their receive a vague vision of each other’s past. Darian tries to learn more about the Cross’s powers but with what little he has at his disposition he’s not able to learn a lot. The group decides that Swift should be the keeper of the Cross and again, when Darian and Swift exchange the Cross, the Geist receives a vision of the wizard’s past but the latter is just blinded by a powerful and painful image of the Forge, birthplace of the Geists.
The day after, the group learns that the Marsh’s army is gathering at Eroem’s frontier and the kingdom is on alert. Beatrix, the Capital’s Champion, was already in town when she received that new, and she uses her rank to remove Suler from being leader of the town. She tells that a group of military officers will be sent to administer the town in prevision of war. Suler is devasted and has a conversation with the group in regard to what he will do. Clumsily, Edbald seems to hint that the best option might be to rebel and refuse to be part of the war. Suler, still unsure of what to do, takes his leave of the party.
The party departs and travel to Eroem. Arrived at the city they find the city-gates closed to civilians. A guard tells them that because of the rumors of war a lot of merchants are traveling to Eroem hoping to sell their goods and flooding the city. To prevent public unrest and because Lady Marissa, the Edhel’Amar Emperess, is awaited, King Ustarav has decided to close the gates. They wait and make camp near the gates while Vartemoff buys a new set of full-plate armor. After three days of waiting and seeing the cortege of the Edhel’ars come and go, the party is finally allowed to enter the city.
The group decides to use the Eroem’s Grand Library to learn more about Abigail and the mystery of her death. After two days of searching, they learn that Abigail comes from a scribes family and they served Edbald estate in Baraz’dal, the dwarf capitol. They ultimately learn that she’s daughter to Rajesh Stonescroll, ancient Eroem’s Court Wizard that will later become the Lich Neraith during the 2nd Great War. With those new informations, the party decides to part and try to find Abigail’s remains.
On their traveling, they encounter Beatrix in combat with a giant and help her defeat the monstrosity. She thanks them and tells them that she’s on a secret mission for the King and takes her leave.
To be continued…

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Requiem of Souls: Rise of Sins - Episode 5 and 6: The Forgotten Temple of Bethesdan

Darian, Edbald, Hawklight, Mortyss and Vartemoff decide to gather supplies and journey to the forgotten temple that Atmos’s grand-grand-father talked about.
The trip is for the most part uneventful but the cold air of the mountains of the Winterfall’s Pikes reveals itself to be a fearsome adversary. The dangerously low temperature and the climbing of the Pike’s side quickly make the party run out of food but they achieve the gates of the temple.
In the first chamber of the temple, the group witnesses the ghostly reconstruction of what happened there decades ago. In the vision, a young woman is trying to escape a squadron of Eroem’s guards but they finally catch up and murder her in cold blood. After the vision, a ghost resembling the young woman implores the party to leave her alone and summons a group of ghosts and skeletons that attack the adventurers. The fight is hard but the group is able to disband the undeads and starts its search of the temple.
In the principal chamber, the group sights a powerful undead trying to enslave the soul of the young woman’s ghost and he summons other undeads to protect him. The altercation goes in the party’s favor, but the magical undead reveals itself to be the Lich Neraith and swears to have its revenge before teleporting away. The woman’s ghost tells the party that Neraith is trying to collect souls to perform a powerful spell that could mean trouble for the Realms. She also asks the party to retrieve her bones and bury them for her to be laid to rest. She’s unable to tell the group why Eroem’s royalty wanted her dead and went to so much trouble to hide her remains because Neraith’s influence damaged her memories. She remembers enough to know that her fate is important regarding what is now happening in the Realms and could be the key to prevent a terrible thing to unravel.
The group finds the Cross of Valguard and makes haste to go to Darsrod to decide what their next move is.

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