The Grimorum Divinae

The party learned from the mayor of Westguard that a ruins was discovered that may be occupied by the Drow. These Drow could be in league with Beldon and it seemed like a good opportunity to deal them some damage and let them know that Westguard wasn't to be trifled with. The party assembled and traveled to the western mountains. In their shadow, they found a ruins inhabited by Drow which looked as if it had gone totally undamaged and been simply abandoned sometime after the cataclysm.

The party found their way to the western wall and in the blinding light of the sun (blinding to Drow), made their way up and over, stealthfully into the command section of the stronghold. Once inside, they isolated and killed each group of Drow they came across, managed to slaughter the priestess of Lolth, and defeated the male wizard that had been working in the library. In exchange for information, they let him go with his life.

The party took his journal and found his traveling spell book which he left in his hurry to get away. It seems that he has spent the last 75 years attempting to decode an ancient book called the Grimorum Arcanum. The book is locked with a magical dish and the riddle, "the key has no beginning or end, and nothing in between." While several magic rings and amulets were found, the correct one has not been identified and none were tested. The lock was placed on the book by a great wizard named Archmage MacKinnon. The Archmage was attempting to use the book to determine the will of the gods without going through the kings priest. He hoped he could advert the cataclysm but he was too late, and the end came.

The wizard's traveling spell book, the one belonging to the Drow, is also enchanted with a powerful spell and a word puzzle. So far, the party has not been able to open it.

On their way out of the fort, they came across a blessed Drow smith of Lolth who had created a sound generating device of high tension wire and metal polls. Not knowing what it was, the gunslinger accepted a challenge from her. She called him out, noting he was blessed by the god of the forge. A piercing, nauseating sound crippled the gunslinger and several others standing around. In response, the honor-less monk hit her with a black powder bomb and the gunslinger shot her to death while she laid on the ground laughing. They took her device and the party returned to Wicking Lake.

The Gold Mine

The party decided to go inspect a gold mine controlled by a tribe of Orcs. As the party advanced, they were spotted and the camps soldiers came out to meet them. The party decided that the resistance was too heavy and retreated to Wicking Lake. The forces of the camp followed the party, lead by an expert tracker. When they arrived, they torched one of the hamlets and lured the soldiers of the keep out to their earthworks for the battle. The party managed to rout and destroy the Orc soldiers, kill their leader, and capture / torture / kill their wizard.

A few days after the battle, the paladin realized that he was no longer in contact with the positive material plane and that his prayers were being ignored. Consulting with the owner of the magic store only lead him to more questions, and attempts to scold him by the cleric have only lead to his pride and ego swelling. His fate is still unknown.

Murder in Darkwine

Named for the blood red creek that runs just past, Darkwine is a large town of some 300 people, making it as large as either the Mayor's town or Beldon's. Darkwine seems to have had a generous relationship with Sir Hans, former master of Wicking Lake, and been more than happy to transfer that respect to Sir Gorbachev.

Worth noting, these people seem to have a strong warrior culture throughout their society. At the peak of his power, Sir Hans only had about 20 fighting men, discounting the giant crock. Darkwine may have twice that, with a lot of young men growing up strong. Darkwine, in strictest terms, didn't have to take orders from Hans and he probably didn't give many.

After the times of trouble when the empire was destroyed in the valley, Darkwine was established as a farming community and orchard by a large group of knights and their followers. Preferring not to bow their heads to a king, the men who settled decided no government was best and that they would simply endure as honest and disciplined people. Fielty to Wicking Lake then became something to give the people a sense of connection to the outside world and occasional allies, however Wicking Lake was kidding itself if they were to try and collect a tax.

Darkwine sent to men to Wicking Lake to find Lord Hans but instead for the new ruler, Gorbechev. He returned with the men to investigate the murder of the widower Tobias Sundown.

Two men both fell in love with Undine, Gorbachev's fairy lover. Detecting that he was losing her affection, one of the men killed the other. Believing that she detected them in her realm by scent, he took a loch of his friend's hair to use to draw her out. When she came forth and saw her favorite was dead, she flew into a rage and called a Wyld Hunt on the other. He ran to the druid and asked for help. Receiving a magical star metal amulet, he became invisible to the fairies and went home.

The party tracked several suspects, originally believing a village boy might be the killer as he had access past the dogs and the town greatly suspected him because of his fairy origin and magical ability. The party discovered he was harmless and moved on. They later discovered that a farmer heard a man on his property after the murder and chased him into the northern wood. Indeed this was Wistan, the killer, who was disoriented from his act and took the wrong path.

The party located the druid's grove by his camp fire and was lead onto Wistan from there. When they confronted him, he strongly denied that the fairy amulet had anything to do with the killings and said that stepping on a fairy mound isn't a crime. The party not wanting to take him without evidence, came up with a ploy. The barbarian, in very intimidating fashion, said that he knew Wistan was the killer. They then left and kept the stealthy new monk in the party behind to watch him while they followed other leads.

Wistan and his wife packed their things and got ready to head out on the road. The monk tried to intervene but was quickly cut down by the experienced swordsman. Wistan then set fire to his house and stables and fled.

When the rest of the party arrived, they healed the monk and got the story. Summoning his trusty steed, the Paladin set out after the murderer. Catching up with him, he bested him in single combat and took him back to town. When awoken to a crowd of people, including his sobbing wife who suspected and now knew of his betrayal, he went on and on about the charm of the Undine spirit. When his confession was complete, the paladin removed his protective amulet, and as he ran, the wild hunt took him.

Before the party left town, they received Tobias' 4 dire dogs as a gift from one of the headmen, Mr. Dominick Stormcall, and permission to take the wizard child with them (who happens to be able to handle the animals). Upon arriving at Wicking Lake, they decided it was best not to confront Undine about what had happened and to just let it go.

Winter's Lair

 The party learned of a stairwell that decends into an underground chamber below their new keep. The first people to open the cellar sense the days of Goldfield's rule found in its depths a strange key and a scroll left by the man himself. He explained that he traveled the world in search of a magical key to open an ancient door in the southern desert, but after obtaining it from the great white wyrm of the north, he decided that he had been manipulated by various forces and that it wasn't right to open the ancient gate.

With no place to hide the key, he made a deal with the spirit Undine of his lake and asked her to create a safe place for it. She built the lair and in exchange, Goldfield gave her a son - Winter.

With the death of the last scion of Goldfield at the hands of Sir Gorbachev, Winter returned angry, demanding the right to the throne. He was successfully rebuked by the men and was reduced from his dragon form to simple water. Knowing he would return, Gorbachev made a deal with the Undine spirit. In exchange for a weapon to kill him and the location of his lair, he would give her another child. Despite the protests of the monk, the Paladin completed the deed with the strange spirit and she left him a star metal knife.

The party traveled to an old mountain and encountered many strange fairies, other worldly spirits, and an old druid. At the mountains summit, the party found Winter. On their second trip up the hill, after a night of fighting alien creatures including the old man with the yellow lantern and burying his portal chamber, Winter met them. The party, grossly unprepared to fight a dragon - a flying fairy sorcerer, found themselves without the means to shoot him down and were nearly destroyed.

Separated by a sleet storm from the battle, the monk advanced up the hill. Upon reaching the summit, he looked down on the battle and saw the dragon pass under him. Doing what any standup kind of guy would do, he jumped off the mountain onto the dragons back and forced it away frantically.

The ground receded from them as the dragon flew away from the ledge, out over the forest. Only 100 feet in the air, the monk climbed onto the dragon's head and jerked it down. Finding the creature weak for its size, it could not recover and fell into a dive. The monk was thrown loose as the dragon struggled, and the two hit the ground together. The monk's body broke against the trees, however Winter rose again - just in time to fire a futile lightning bolt and struggle into the air before the Barbarian leaped into the air and cut its belly wide open.

The druid of the land attempted to reincarnate the monk but finding the prospect of returning as an orc unappealing, his soul traveled on. The party returned to their keep, short one man, but much much safer.

The Crock at Wicking Lake

The party set out towards to find the western bandits that just started harassing the dwarven trade caravans. It had been suggested the Baron Beldon was behind it, making our heroes the best candidates to put a stop to it.

While traveling south, the party remembered that there was a story of a giant crock down by Wicking Lake. They decided it was a worthy detour and headed out to investigate. When they arrived, the found out that Lord Hans, a man claiming to be a knight of Aquinella, whose lineage had ruled the lake sense the cataclysm, were oppressing the nearby hamlets. Hans had decided to not allow any of his "subjects" fish on the lake, began taking village women for his cronies, and gouging the people with protection taxes.

The party, not having any of this and suspecting these guys might be the bandits they were looking for, decided to pick a fight. After a few brief engagements, the party was tracked down by the ranger who controlled the dire crock. After an EPIC battle, resulting in the death of two of the adventurers, the ranger, the crock, and all of his minions were killed.

The next morning, the party stormed the fort on the island lake. The knight challenged Gorbachev to single combat, but was overwhelmed when the paladin's friend joined the fray. After the battle, the 12 surviving soldiers decided to join the paladin. He was later knighted by Lord Knight Carrington of Westguard and awarded the island as his hold. A contingent of 20 men with supplies and weapons has arrived to fortify and repair the sight due to its strategic significance against Beldon.

The Slaver and the Green Dragon

The party waited for some of Beldon's men along the edge of the orchards, hoping to isolate a small group, take them, and get some intelligence on the rangers who captured them before. After killing on of Beldon's men and tying up another, they talked a dozen local serfs into heading north for Westguard and promised to guard them as they went. After the serfs got a head start, the party set fire to the orchard.

Well, the party bit off more than they could chew. Casey, both of his sons, and 9 of Beldon's men all rode after the group, finding tracking them easy. The party lead them to the tower where they had previously encountered wererats. The ranger, knowing what lurked there, refuse to come closer than a hundred feet or so. The party, taking cover behind the ruins, shouted to him that as they battle, other men from Westguard were sacking their town. This was sufficient enough a bluff to worry Casey, and so he and his men retreated.

Casey wasn't through with them yet. He knew that if he just let them go, their would be hell to pay, so he road a wide circle and got back on their trail alone. The party started heading back to Mistwood, already planning more mischief when they spotted Casey on their tail, with longbow in hand and riding his wild horse. The party used magic and talent to keep ahead of him enough to make his arrows ineffective. They rode hard for the rest of the day into the late evening until the reached the end of the river where mist from a waterfall and a possible fairy gate created a silvery vale in the air. Without the benefit of a good long distance over which he could use his bow, Casey decided to back off. He needed to return to his town and see if anything further transpired there.

The party met a man that night who came into their camp, ate their food and searched through their things without asking. He asked where the wererats were and told the party to tell "Runs at Dawn" where he went if they encounter him. They also met a nymph who promised a magical sword for whoever could retrieve her sister's shawl from Victor Beldon.

The next morning, the party uncovered a goblin cave. Cleared it of goblins, and found that they were hunting large animals to feed to a Young Adult Green Dragon that lived in the back of the cave. The party pretended to be worshipers, giving a large and meaty tribute to the beast. It saw through their bluff, but not before the group could rush it. The party of strong warriors attacked it, bludgeoning it heavily. When it tried to jump away, the four warriors saw their opportunity and smashed it down together. It never even struck back.

After getting their suit of dragon armor made and taking their treasure back to town, the party was requested by the Lord Knight of Castle Westguard to travel to Sam's Landing, along a western river, and clear it of the bandits Beldon hired to take advantage of Westguard's trade with the Dwarves.

Points of Light!!!!!!

So here I am starting a new campaign journal.

Our party has been asked by the King's Priest of Aquinella to travel through the western mountains to the town of Westguard and to do what they can to support the people there.

Westguard is a town of four or five hundred people, just south of Westguard Castle. The castle, and then the town, were established to facilitate trade with the dwarves who live just north of this secluded and distant valley. In ancient times, before the great cataclysm that destroyed much of the human world, this valley was a thriving and fertile part of the empire. Now, the very new town of Westguard makes up most of the human population of the whole area.

The people of Westguard are flushed with money and travelers are coming from all over to get a piece of the action. The dwarves used to trade with humans heavily and relied on them for all sorts of luxuries like cotton, olive oil, silk, spices, art and so on and on. For the last 150 years, sense humanity fled this valley, the dwarves have had no one to trade with and have had to do without the luxuries they were for so long accustom. Now that trade has been reestablished, it seems the dwarves can't part with their iron and gold fast enough.

Upon arrival in the town the party got a request from the mayor and a lead on a dungeon. The mayor heard rumor that a couple of farmers on a long hunting trip south found another human settlement. Before he could get much more out of the farmers, they vanished. He wanted the party to travel south and see if they could find another settlement within a day or two of travel, find out the sort of people living there, if they were friendly or not, and report back. Figuring they could pull off both on a single trip, they headed west.

After clearing out an old ruins of some goblins and a magical beast, they traveled south. After three days they came to a small hamlet which called itself Mistwood. One of the party had been wounded in a random encounter and with no healing available, was in pretty bad shape. The people of the the hamlet seemed thin, frightened, and nervous. They recoiled from the adventurers and stayed mostly quiet. Three of the party entered while the half elf ranger remained on the edge.

Three strong men, a ranger in his 50's and his two red haired sons came out to greet the party. They offered to help the wounded adventurer and tried to bring him inside, instructing the other two to go fetch the medicine woman. Something didn't seem right and so the party started talking, trying to get a feel for their situation. In the middle of conversation, fighting broke out. The half elf was attacked by 4 drow women with longbows. Chasing him into town, they shot him down. As they advanced, the rangers attacked the other members of the group. Knowing they could not win, the party surrendered.

One of the drow women poured a healing potion into the mouth of the ranger, laughing that they had plans for him. Not willing to be taken, in classic half elf form, drove a dagger deep into his own neck and died there.

The rest of the party was taken to Castle Beldon and locked in the dungeon. After a polite talk with the party paladin, Baron Victor Beldon found out about Westguard, though the party learned his story. He attempted to over throw the king of another nation, but was defeated. He and his men went into exile. They traveled south, through the mountains, and when they found the two small hamlets in this valley, they enslaved them and made their home in the soon to be rebuilt ruins of an old castle. Once he was established, a group of drow made contact with him. Promising him access to their wizards and help gathering more human slaves, he offered them his castle as a base of operations in their war with the high elves.

The party met up with a halfling rogue, a mister Tony Thornberry, and together the group escaped from the dungeon with 7 other prisoners and 2 of the court attendants. The group fought off a group of Beldon's men, and later, a group of drow. Taking all of their horses and the valuable silk armor of the drow, they returned to Westguard. Report was made. Booty was sold. Magic items were traded. Those they rescued were turned over to the care of the temple. The party rested, gathered their strength, and then returned to Mistwood.

They have a score to settle.

The party now sits on a low, forested hill, watching the shady little town and looking for a way to get at the ranger / slaver who captured them.

Some Songs

What's the crime man
Caught in space when
Nothing and everything is always
Always a race
What's your hurry
What's the hurry
There's no need to drive yourself so crazy

Solar reaction ruptures the skin and then
The sky above is saying the world is caving in
Don't worry
Don't worry
It's just rythm

Another world, another time, another place
Don't you worry, my baby
Another world, another time, another place
Don't you worry, my baby

See your afraid to
Make that change just
Close your eyes baby
Then let me explain it to you it's easy...
Oh so easy...
There's no need to drive yourself so crazy

Bypass those channels of your
Memory why don't you mute those cruel voices
And those frequencies, and don't worry
No don't worry, it's just living

Another world, another time, another place Don't you worry, my baby
Another world, another time, another place
Don't you worry, my baby

Ba ba ba baby
Bu bu ba bu bu baby
Ba ba ba baby
Bu bu ba bu bu baby
Mmmmm my baby

Drop everything this must be the end of the world
This might be heaven or hell
Or it may just be another world
It may just be another world
Or it may

Another world, another time, another place
Don't you worry, my baby
Another world, another time, another place
Don't you worry my baby
Another world, another time, another place
Don't you worry, my baby

Don't worry (laugh)

------------------

Welcome home
While away
They have tampered with the locks
And your things they rearranged

"We propose a better way"
Said the note they left behind
In their wake of disarray
You fell in place

Don't fall asleep
They'll find us here
I know a place to disappear
As a voice proclaimed

What we are is the sum of 1000 lies
What we know is almost nothing at all
But we are what we are till the day we die
Or till we don't have the strength to go on
Till we don't have the strength to go on

Let us cry
Let us be
Let us open up our hearts
Without fear of anything

Faith alone
Is all we need
To traverse this burning bridge
Now before it gets too late
You claim "it's fine"

But the heart reveals
What smiles betray
Your sad sad eyes gave you away
And don't you know

What we are is the sum of 1000 lies
What we know is almost nothing at all
But we are what we are till the day we die
Or till we don't have the strength to go on
Till we don't have the strength to go on

Our shoulders bear an awful weight
But still we trudge on just the same
Our colors run then leave a stain
They blacken our once honest name
But how can we argue, tell me
Over the fury and the fire
How many times can we tell you that we
Are not like you, we see right through
Your poor disguise that fails to fool
The wary eye that's trained on you

What we are is the sum of 1000 lies
What we know is almost nothing at all
But we are what we are till the day we die
Or till we don't have the strength to go on
Till we don't have the strength to go on

What we are is the sum of 1000 lies
What we know is almost nothing at all
But we are what we are till the day we die
Or till we don't have the strength to go on
Till we don't have the strength to go on
Yeah we don't have the strength to go on

--------------------------------------

Wait until it fades to black
Ride into the sunset
Would I lie to you?
Well, I've got something to say
Grab your six-gun from your back
Throttle the ignition
Would I die for you?
Well here's your answer in spades

Shotgun sinners
Wild eyed jokers
Got you in my sights
Gun it while I'm holding on

After all is said and done
Climb out from the pine box
Well I'm asking you
'Cause she's got nothing to say
The angels just cut out her tongue
Call her black Mariah
Would I lie to you?
That girl's not right in the brain

Mass convulsions
Strike the choir
By the grace of God
Gun it while I'm holding on

But don't stop if I fall
And don't look back
Oh baby don't stop
Bury me and fade to black

She won't stop me put it down
She won't stop me put it down
She won't stop me put it down
So get your gun and meet me by the door
[x3]

She won't stop me put it down
She won't stop me put it down
She won't stop me put it down
So baby...

Don't stop if I fall
And don't look back
Oh baby don't stop
Bury me and fade to black

Against the Nephandi - Game 1

    Four months ago, Alpha Thetan forces moved on the Gaulish settlement on the moon of Volcae in the Deluvian system. The system is about 15 light years from Gaul, making it the world's most distant outpost. They have let the citizens there continue with business as normal, but plagued them with constant kidnapping, terror, and butchery. The people are terrified of the Alpha Thetans and paralyzed by fear at the hands of the mysterious Vril Society.

    Cynthia Black, a Gaulish special agent was on Volcae when it was invaded. She acted quickly and hid the planet's nobility along with its high priest. The famous Weapons Master, his daughter, and his best student managed to escape into hiding as well. There was an attempt on the Weapon Master's life, but Black was able to help him escape.

    Eventually, both the Master's people along with Black's were joined together in one hiding space. They received a transmission asking for assistance in entering the city and rescuing the nobility.

    Previously, the Player's Void Ship docked for repairs at Gaul itself. There, three special agents, the rest of the party, joined the ship. The ship agreed to go to Volcae and attempt a rescue mission. Upon arrival, the group hacked an AT probe that happened to be a psychic intrusion device. From it, they gained access to one of four AT warships in orbit around the planet and were able to DL its orders, specifications, and manifest. They learned about Shayan Othello and his umbral henchmen.

    Othello is planning to find the same people the party is looking for. He plans to subvert them and use them to infiltrate Gaul itself.

    The party lands on the surface, makes contact with Black and the Weapon Master's Daughter, and gets all of the nobility to safety. Before leaving, the ship's engineer attacked the Manor House, destroyed the transmitter there, rescued a T'sa that was being probed, and struck an umbral creature with an SRM, all before escaping. Izer, the party's hacker, was able to subvert the city's security response and give the engineer a chance to escape.

    The party made it back to the ship and was able to jump out without being detected. As they were leaving, the issued commands to an enemy vessel to drop its shields. When its shields went down, it instantly took evasive maneuvers, distracting it from the party's escape.

Session 1 - The Rogues in the Woods

The party was traveling east into the nation of Cosdol to search for the remains of a long dead saint. One morning, the party noticed another camp fire just down the trail in the middle of the woods. Five roguish travelers including the red haired woman