Azura; 10,000 CE

Adventures in Midnight Shore

The campaign began in the small fishing village of Midnight Shore. Standing on the edge of a massive black sand desert known as the Black Wastes in the one section of tillable land in thousands of miles known as the Fertile Strip, Midnight Shore was a trading center for the entire area around it during the reign of Olemar Shipman, the town’s high priest. In his youth, Olemar Shipman ruled benevolently over the town, bringing it from a five house hamlet to an entire town centered around the extravagant Temple of the Sea, a stone temple devoted to the town’s patron, the Sea. When he ruled, the town prospered. He bore a son, Aorek Shipman in that time too. As Olemar aged, however, he began to grow sicker and sicker. Eventually he began to grow insane as well due to this sickness, and he was succeeded by his son, who ruled the best he could.

Olemar was never a good father to Aorek, however, and the prosperity under Olemar’s rule crumbled under Aorek despite his best efforts. The flow of trade from lands across the Wastes halted, a strong presence of pirates formed in the gulf, a Black Market grew in the trade district as well as a thief’s guild along with it, and the town’s militia became Aorek’s personal army. This persisted for many years when a strange sickness began to wash over the town. It was discovered by the priests of the Sea that it was waterborne from the creek flowing in from the east, the town’s only source of fresh water. Aorek did what his father would have done, and recruited a group of unlikely allies to help.

Tebok Steinhammer, a dwarven warlord from the Dragon’s teeth was recruited directly from the militia. Elliora, a cleric of Earth, was recruited from the Temple, and Perrin Sticktheif, a goblin raised halfling rogue was recruited from the growing slums of Midnight Shore. The party formed under command from Aorek himself, and they were told to travel up river until they found the source of the pollutant. The party accepted the order, under hopes of a reward, and the first went to the Trade District in order to gear up for the journey ahead. There they met Sonnellion, a tiefling warlock with a secret history, and the four adventurers traveled Eastward in order to save Midnight Shore

On the creek, they found a strange dungeon built years ago by an unknown people. Within they met a colony of kobolds living as kobolds do, filthily, near the creek, poisoning the waters. Deeper they discovered the kobolds were under control of a young black dragon by the name of Segura, who, despite sustaining many injuries including a scarred eye from one of Perrin’s crossbow bolts, escaped through a waterfall, allowing the party access to her meager horde. Segura swore revenge, and set off to form an army, meanwhile, the party returned to Aorek, received their reward, and went off to spend their dragon hoard and talk tales from the dungeon to the townspeople.

Weeks later, Aorek receives a sending from the mysterious wizard to the north under the name Adalgrim. Adalgrim lived at the very top of his tower, known to the locals as Adalgrim’s Tower. As Elliora and Sonnellion were preoccupied with various issues, Tebok and Perrin were sent North to Adalgrim’s tower, and entered the tower via the morgue beneath it. There they fought hordes of magically awakened dead, found a small symbol containing the soul of an unknown person, and emerged to the top of the tower, finding Adalgrim hard at work.

Through a magical sphere Adalgrim spoke to Tebok and Perrin telling them of a town deep in the desert to the north that is in desperate need of help. A group of Raiders, bloodthirsty mutants with demonic origins, have made camp in a nearby spring, and as their numbers grow, they threaten even the fortified underground town of Haven. They are also warned to be wary of the pirates in the town as well as the undead they found, for the undead are no ordinary undead, and the Raiders are no ordinary Raiders.

Back at the town, Tebok and Perrin reconvened with Elliora and Sonnellion and the party set forth to the north in hopes of finding Haven and saving it from the raiders. They journeyed for days through the unforgiving desert, and just as Elliora was about to fall from the heat, an oasis was found. Unfortunately, the Raiders living around the Oasis were not welcoming by any means. The party ransacked the campsite, killing disturbing creatures purposefully mutated by other raiders, and found that the campsite not only had connections to demonic forces, but they were preying on the people who traveled through the Wastes and growing their mutated numbers. Through this, the party stopped a growing Raider threat, narrowly escaping becoming Raiders themselves.

After a long rest, the party completed their journey to Haven and encountered the town, hidden beneath the shifting sands of the Wastes. However difficult it was to enter the city, they soon entered and found a highly fortified, self sufficient town carved into the stone. Here they discovered the extremely utopian standards of Haven, including it’s mandatory military service. Despite all the work the rulers of Haven went through to isolate the town from the corruption of the outside world, Haven found itself becoming corrupted from within instead. Veins of Astralite were encountered by water miners and farmers, turning many inhabitants into Raiders. Some were coherent and friendly, more or less, but they heard knowledge of others who were not so lucky.
In haven, as they explored, the party encountered Lucan, an Elf Ranger and a high class Haven military officer, who joined the party.

Thinking they were led incorrectly from Adalgrim, the party attempted to leave Haven, but were told that exit was not allowed until the following morning due to sandstorms in the area. As the party went to the Oligarchy in order to complain of this inconvenience, Perrin made a rude comment, and was promptly sentenced to execution under Haven’s “zero tolerance” laws. Perrin was stripped of his possessions, bound, gagged, and quickly expelled into the desert, with a storm growing quickly. Luckily, due to some quick thinking and diplomacy skills of Tebok, Lucan, and Elliora, the party managed to smuggle Perrin’s gear into the desert with him. The remainder of the party vowed to rescue Perrin in the morning, and found a inn to stay in while the storm passed.

Meanwhile, Perrin, being an expert escape artist, released his binds and equipped himself as the storm brewed. Searching for nearby shelter, he encountered the bound Kris Sandblood, another “executed” man from Haven. Together Perrin and Kris traveled the desert through the heat of the storm. They were attacked by a pack of roaming Raider hunting wolves, and soon found their way back to the oasis by morning. At the oasis, Perrin and Kris entered a hidden dungeon beneath the oasis and fought through the remainder of the Raider forces, including the last remaining member of the Sticktheif clan, Davvry Sticktheif, who was taken and mutated into a Raider with the raid on the goblin tribe. Within the cave they also encountered the bound body and spirit of The Lady of The Winds, a powerful Shardmind Psion, who granted the party warning and some choice gifts before reincarnating elsewhere on Azura. Davvry escaped, and Perrin did as well, unmutated, although Kris was not as lucky.

The following morning, the party left Haven through the sewers with their new member. In the sewers they found a colony of raiders who were preying on the citizens of Haven. These raiders were more insane than most, and declared themselves the Lords of Haven, composed of the Lords of Furniture, the Lord of Clothes, and the Lord of Weapons. The party escaped without mutation, and later encountered Perrin, alone, at the oasis. Together the party traveled back to Midnight Shore to find a shocking fact. Despite the fact that it was nearly midday when they arrived, the town was virtually deserted.

Rushing to the Temple of the Sea, they discovered Olemar Shipman locked in a small room. The party could extract little from Olemar by speaking with him due to the stage of the disease Oleamar had fallen into, complete madness. But they did find some shocking evidence when examining Olemar that he was not diseased, rather he was poisoned. Such a poison must have been applied regularly over a long period of time to do the damage it had done, and the party suspected that Aorek was behind this. When the party spoke to Aorek, he revealed several things. Firstly, the town has been evacuated to Silvershore as Segura, the black dragon that was building an army earlier, declared that the town was to be destroyed if she were not given access to Yenroar Dragonsbane. Secondly, Yenroar Dragonsbane was a skilled alchemist, necromancer, and assassin who was under the employ of Aorek. Yenroar poisoned Olemar so Aorek could seize power, all under the command of Aorek, and now Aorek’s actions had returned to him in the form of the potential destruction of Midnight Shore.

The party spoke with Aorek and had him stop poisoning his father and make up for his crimes by returning the citizens of Midnight Shore to their proper home and standing up to Segura in order to repel the evil that was about to come upon the land. Then, the party was confronted by a soldier warning the party of not one, but two sudden attacks on the town. One attack came from within the outer wall and the troops reported strange green fog and waking corpses. The other sailed in from the sea, as massive pirate ships with large populations of hunting wolves began to ransack the fishing district. As best they could, the party rushed to the inner wall to stop the advance of the walking dead.

In the inner wall, they were joined by a group of troops who were holding the line against a horde of undead. These troops were ordered by Tebok to go defend the docks while the party took care of the undead. A flurry of blades and spells followed as the party fought their way to the portal the undead were spewing out of and stabilized it, hoping to close it later. Then, the weary party who were low on hit points took a short rest, but were soon in the fray on the other side of town when a Raider pirate, a beastmaster, threw hordes of trained wolves at the party along the docks. The party fought best they could, and Tebok eventually found himself victim to the wolves’ assault, and the attack was only stopped when the pirates were forced back onto the deck of their ship by the party, and the ship was burned to the ground by a prompt spell by Sonnellion.

Tebok was rushed to the Temple, where a priest told them that Tebok was beyond the use of simple healing to restore him, and that he required the use of a Scroll of Resurrection, one that the party did not possess. They scoured the merchant’s row and Black Market in search for a scroll of such caliber, but found none. The only hope they recieved was from the kind word of the magic shop owner, who told them that he had heard rumor of a large castle behind the portal, and that such a castle was bound to carry a library containing the scroll they required. Thanking the merchant, Elliora preserved Tebok’s body, and the party rested the night, prepared to enter the Infected Castle beyond the portal in the morning.

The adventurers soon found themselves in the courtyard of the castle, where they were attacked by hordes of zombies, both real and illusory, through a thick green fog. As the forces of dead in the courtyard were destroyed, the party found another adventurer who came through the portal, A’khan, a Goliath Storm Warden. Despite numerous arguments between Perrin and A’khan, where A’khan nearly killed Perrin, the party delved further into the haunted halls of the infected castle. First, they fought through a crypt full of skeletons who’s maniacal laughter echoed through the halls. Then they rose into the kitchen of the castle, where mutilated and mutated bodies were hung on the walls, and Raider Zombies mentioned beneath their whispering breaths of The Green and how it has promised salvation from the mortal coil. They crawled through caverns, with ceilings lined with strange creatures that dangled tongues to the floor and brought them up into gaping mouths. They fought a wight with a strange symbiosis with flesh motes that absorbed missile damage aimed at the wight. They descended deeper and deeper into madness, as The Green in the minds of the castle’s staff, and The Green in the air, and The Green filtering through the floorboards, created illusions that seemed so real, that they actually inflicted damage upon the minds of the adventurers. An illusory river gave birth to a horde of ghouls, and as they entered a room devoted to an altar to the Earth, they found that plant life appeared to grow through the room, forming a strange battlefield to fight a powerful zombie activated by a large shard of Astralite.

The Shard Zombie fell, but at a cost. Perrin used the astral energy enchanted blade given to him by The Lady of the Winds to pierce the shard, resulting in nearly 200 RADS absorbed into Perrin’s body. As mutation took over, the barely conscious body of Perrin spoke to the party, and A’khan decided to burn Perrin, in hopes of The Green never using his body as it’s puppet. Still they pressed on, and encountered a library, but as they defeated the demented librarian and his wights, they found that the scroll of resurrection they came for remained on the shelves, as they attempted to leave, they suddenly found that the room had changed in the blink of an eye. They walked along pathways made of ectoplasm, and fought ghostly bats flying in from the void surrounding them. It was on these floating platforms that they barely conquered a Mother of The Green, freeing the Infected Castle from it’s wrath. Scroll in hand, they returned to midnight shore, leaving the portal open, knowing that nothing could come out any longer.

The town was populated again, and the Spirit of Tebok told them to not resurrect him. The party spend the money from the Castle and gave the scroll to the temple in order for them to use it with another adventuring party, and confronted Aorek. The following argument resulted in Aorek revealing that Segura still threatened to destroy the town, and that the pirates and zombies were only just the beginning. They considered “giving” her Yenroar, but he was not only nowhere to be found, but they knew that Yenroar in Segura’s hands could easily destroy the town anyway. As a last hope, Aorek sent the party to the Crown of the Ancients, a lush jungle like area several day’s travel by boat from Midnight Shore, apparently the home of A’khan’s tribe. The party was joined by Cenarious, an Eladrin Psion, by word of Aorek.

The party communed with some pirates and managed to get them to sail them to the Crown, but left them at the Crown with fear of what lives within. There A’khan led the party through the jungle to the Four Towers, a temple built over a powerful artifact known as the Spear of the Ancients that his tribe was bound to protect from the forces of evil. Within each tower, they fought the animated constructs of the Ancients, brought to semi-life by their technology. Guardians four times the height of a man rested within some towers, and in each tower they found a strange golden device that fired a beam of light into the center. When all four were activated, pillars rose from the ground and more golden devices deflected the beams, revealing a massive stone guardian that reshaped the land around it into massive walls in which to lay out the battlefield. The party defeated the ancient guardian, and just as they thought they had won the spear, they were suddenly shifted in dimensional perspective. Each of them fought in randomly selected towers based on the four elemental planes, fighting in third dimensional areas, but able to see the others in the other towers folded in space over their location. Eventually they each figured out to touch devices in the center of each tower at the same time, and were transported to another tower, with walls lined with mirrors.

The mirrored guardian revealed that it was the final guardian of the spear, and as they fought, beams of laser light ricocheted through the battlefield. They finally shattered the mirror guardian, and were transported back to their home dimension, when they found a large stone. As they broke open the stone they discovered a box labeled AX274 GRYPHON. Within the crate they discovered a rifle capable of blasting massive holes in most substances using beams of super-heated ions. The party also discovered more about Azura’s history, including information on how many years ago the Ancients had a highly advanced technological society, but were faced with a great end to their prosperity. The Ancients were forced to send their society into places known as Vaults where the Ancients lived for nearly 8000 years. Over time, the Ancients changed into the races known today, isolated under the vaults. Some left the vaults early and became demons and devils, others never surfaced and carved the Underdark. The party still never found what the Great Disaster was, or where Astralite came from, nor did they receive proof that the words of the AI were correct. Still, with the Spear in hand, the party sailed back to Midnight Shore, and prepared with Aorek the final confrontation with Segura.

In the same clearing that Segura first made her lair, the party confronted Segura, joined by a Mother of the Green and her zombies, and Yenroar Dragonsbane, joined by his pack of ravenous wolves. All the party had was the Spear, their only bargaining chip. A diplomatic confrontation followed. Yenroar left Segura’s side and joined Aorek’s, Segura was forced to take her allies and leave the land, and the town was made the honorary protectors of the Spear of the Ancients, where it was locked under the protection of Adalgrim, until such time that it needed to be used again against the forces of evil. So with the final blow made against Segura, the town of Midnight shore enjoyed many months of peace, when suddenly the portal became unstable, and the gateway to a strange land was revealed to the town…

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