After arriving in the desert city it was learned that the towns persons regularly disappear in the shadow of Temple to a Fire Cult. After smuggling themselves into the temple the player characters encountered a numerous cult members who were most displeased by intrusion of Toral Daysleeper, Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus, Reticivbad Rolias the Gnome. An Imp revealed that the god of the Temple was not an elemental fire lord but was the Demon Moloch. The imp lead the group to a holding area for human sacrifices. The group heroically released the prisoners but the Fiendish Imp provoked madness in two of the prisoners and sadly the group was forced to kill one of the released in self defense. The Imp was slain in reprisal but his body disappeared in the chaos of the fighting. After fighting their way out of the Temple the players sought more information on the local politics of the city and region.
Toral Daysleeper and Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus met with their companions Ilyana and Dryolil the Elven Rangers in the tavern after raiding Moloch’s Temple. A merchant who has quested with the group suggested that he may be able to fabricate a claim to rule for himself if he had possession of a sacred relic. After discussing the party’s next move it was agreed that the group would seek after The Sacred Chalice. The ambitious merchant knew of a man-faced lion with bat wings and a scorpion tale that was know to have ambushed a caravan that had carried The Sacred Chalice. The merchant had suggested that he had previously negotiated with the creature for safe passage in exchange for a lioness. Toral Daysleeper, Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus, and Dryolil the Elven Ranger purchased a ballista rigged to fire nets and fell upon a pride of lions. The group bravely slew the Lion King and captured two lionesses. After going to the site where the Manticore was last seen the group left the lionesses in a open cage conspicuously in a horse drawn cart. The Manticore fell upon the horse, thus falling into the trap of the heroes. Having been gravely wounded the Manticore agreed to trade The Sacred Chalice for the two lionesses. After winning the chalice the Merchant made plans for his bid for power. On the way back to the desert city the group encountered Sir Arzuros, heir to the throne of the Old Kingdom whose family were the ancestral guardians of The Sacred Chalice. Sir Arzuros was unaware of the Merchant’s possession of the chalice and bid the group well after asking if they would help him in his quest to restore prosperity and justice to the land. After returning to the city, Toral Daysleeper and Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus reconsidered the wisdom of allowing the Merchant to fabricate a false claim on the Old Kingdom and slew the corrupt Merchant in order to re-obtain the sacred relic. In doing so a young servant of the Merchant who ran away from the scene with The Sacred Chalice was eventually chased down by Dryolil the Elven Ranger who was forced to shoot the young boy in order to stop him. Although Dryolil tried to aim for a non-lethal shot it proved impossible and the unfortunate youth was slain. The group brought The Sacred Chalice to Sir Arzuros and received a blessing in so doing.
Having received the blessing of the chalice through the endorsement of Lord Arzuros, heir apparent to The Old Kingdom, the heroes seek another task worthy of their interest and efforts. Receiving a letter bearing the seal of the mysterious Sea Elf Pelagius; the adventurers found a magic ring within that allowed Pelagius to speak to the party through a micro-portal connecting two points on the material plane just large enough to allow a focused sound wave to pass through and reconstitute into understandable speech. Pelagius asked that the party aid him in discretely transporting sensitive cargo, serving as security, from Portsmire to an as yet undisclosed location. Before the enterprising group could depart the desert city Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus and his newly contracted associate Arnost the Alchemist, hear frantic shouting in the street followed by a town crier bursting into the tavern and announcing, “Hear Ye! Hear Ye! An emergency meeting of the Council of Merchant Lords is called! All concerned citizens are invited as spectators.”. Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus and Arnost the Alchemist went to the meeting and found themselves troubled by the news that the cult occupying the Fire Temple (now understood by the heroes as The Cult of Moloch), was demanding the city hand over those who raided their temple or turn over six children to be burnt as offerings in recompense. Lord DiVenici, heir presumptive to The Old Kingdom, being the only Merchant Lord to attend the meeting initially ruled that six children be turned over to the temple, citing the prosperity and wealth the Temple had brought to the city. Arnost and Quintus persuaded Lord DiVenici to delay delivery of the children for three days to give them time to find an alternative and ‘make this issue go away’ as his Lordship DiVenici put it. Considering several crafty plans the two decided to waylay a mid-level priest of the Temple. Arnost walked past the Priest of Moloch and placed the evil eye upon the Priest and proceeded to cackle madly enhancing the hex of the evil eye. The Priest of Moloch found this odd and was in the midst of making a derogatory remark toward the cackling Arnost when Quintus heroically shot two arrows into the Priest’s back. Before the Priest could react after being surprised Quintus shot two more arrow into the Priest’s chest as he spun around to face his attacker. Arnost cast an enchantment that persuaded the Priest that he was a friend and bid the Priest follow him to safety. Arnost and the Priest of Moloch ran to the laboratory of Arnost the Alchemist and there Arnost was able to question the Priest and thereby determined that a segment of the existing cult of Moloch at the temple were former adherents of the fire cult that formerly occupied the temple. The Priest explained that he suspected that a traitorous faction within the Temple of Moloch lead by an Efreet was plotting to expel the demonic influence over the temple and restore the Fire Cult. The Priest explained that he had joined the cult to gain power ‘for revenge’; not requiring more explanation or information Quintus burst through the door and shot the Priest dead with two more arrows. Arnost disposed of the villain’s body (Priest’s) in a vat of acid. The heroic duo informed Lord Arzuros of their intent to support a coup in the Temple to expel the Cult of Moloch. Lord Arzuros shared information on the Cult of Moloch that his spies had gathered, specifically that the Mistress of the Temple is a powerful infernal creature known to his Court Demonologist as a Gylous. Lord Arzuros pledged his aid as the bearer of The Sacred Chalice in defeating The Cult of Moloch. The pair also sought the aid of The Beast of the Desert Cliffs; a manticore who had previously traded The Sacred Chalice to the heroes in exchange for lionesses. While contacting the manticore the players thwarted an attempt on the Beast’s life by some of his enslaved Gnolls and won the support of the manticore with the promise of the flesh of the dead after the Temple raid and an IOU on some more lionesses. Three days hence six children will burn in the Fire of Moloch should the heroes fail in their purpose to expel The Infernal Powers of Moloch.
The heroes, Arnost the Alchemist, Dryoli the Elven Archer, Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus, and Toral Daysleeper faced with the wrath of the cult of Moloch sought to stay the sacrifice of six children from the city on the Altar of Moloch. The heroes learned through the spies of Lord Arzuros that the powerful Devil that presided over the temple was to temporarily leave the material plain and return to Gehenna prior to the scheduled sacrifice. The heroes took advantage of the powerful Devil’s absence to hatch a plot to remove the Demonic presence from the Temple. While planning in a private tavern room the group was interrupted by a weak knock on the door. The Tiny boy Dryoli had been forced to shoot and accidentally kill as the boy was running in fear with The Chalice was now somehow apparently alive and standing before the heroes. Dryoli sunk in his chair at the awkward meeting having killed the boy accidentally on their last meeting. The Tiny boy introduced himself as ‘Tim’ now walking with the aid of a crutch and began to explain that he had indeed died but the kindly Priests of Moloch had brought him back to life and that he somehow felt drawn to the room where the heroes now were. Tiny Tim got no more time to act as Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus reacted quickly and decisively to the threat and shot two arrows into the boy neutralizing the crippled toddler threat nearly instantly. Lord Arzuros was initially horrified after Tiny Tim was shot in front of him and rushed to heal the toddler. Quickly finding that the boy’s wounds were beyond his help Lord Arzuros invoked the power of The Chalice to bless some Holy Water given to him in haste by Arnost the Alchemist in order to restore the boy to life; this had the unintended effect of further damaging the what was later understood to be a Revenant created through infernal power and killed Tiny Tim a second time as the Holy Water of healing destroyed the undead fiend. The Pet Cemetery scene averted the heroes rushed to implement their plan. Having negotiated with the peasants in the city to plan an uprising and securing support from the forces of the Paladin Lord Arzuros augmented by the a small squad from the Sea Elf Pelagius who sent troops with the hope of securing the temple for his own tentacled god the heroes infiltrated the Temple and assassinated the High Priest who tried but failed to immolated Toral Daysleeper with a pillar of fire. Arnost the Alchemist was able to disguise himself as the High Priest and thus bypassed much the security between the heroes and the Altar of Moloch which powered inter-planar Portals. An Efreet loyal to the Fire God who was posing as worshipper to Moloch had planned to release and ancient power of fire locked away in the temple in desperation but due to the Altar of Moloch being pulled down by the heroes and desecrated before it could be feed power to the burning incense the mysterious power of fire remained imprisoned. Also the Sea Elf Pelagius had given the heroes scrolls that would realign the portals to allow his god access to the site but as the Altar was not activated before it was destroyed the deep one from the abyss did not appear. The smoke from the blessed holy coal the heroes placed in the altar’s furnace did pervade a vapor damaging to infernal beings throughout the temple. The manticore who promised to help the heroes did attack from the air and assisted with vanquishing the devils of the roof of the temple. After the fighting was done Moloch’s Altar lay in ruins and the portal to Gehenna realigned then destroyed with the remaining Devils slain and Lord Arzuros leading the peasants of the city to victory.
Hail the Heroes, Arnost the Alchemist, Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus, Simon the Sorcerer, and Toral Daysleeper. After the successful coup at The Temple of Moloch the heroes worked with Lord Walther, Paladin of the Chalice, to restore peace and order to the Temple District of the city of Ur. Lord Walther being preoccupied with the wounded resulting from the coup judiciously delegated other tasks to the wise Heroes. The Ifrit, Fieros, who had aided in the coup against the cult of Moloch from within the Temple asked the help of the heroes in negotiating with a valuable holdout, the temple smith, who had barricaded himself with the temple smithy. Fieros, felt unable to negotiate with the Temple Smith, Saurlos the Salamander, due to the enmity between himself and the smith both on a personal and ethnic level. While Fieros went with his personal staff detail to restore the Altar of Fire on the high place of the Temple the heroes began negotiations with the fiery Saurlos the Salamander Smith. The heroes found that bags of coal had been stacked to barricade the entrance to the smithy and the brave Simon the Sorcerer began negotiations by poking his head through a hole at the top of the barricade and saying, “Hello!” to the infernal serpentine Smith. Arnost the Alchemist attempted to persuade Saurlos to cooperate with the new regime to be headed by Fieros the Ifrit in the worship of Fire and while negotiations were initially promising there were points that were not easily reconciled between the parties. Saurlos’ initial terms were that he was to be able to have an altar to Moloch within the Temple; that he, Saurlos be entitled High Priest of Moloch, and that while child sacrifice would not be as frequent as before the coup, it would be allowed for with advanced notification in writing to the city authorities with veto privilege of the heroes. The child sacrifice terms were successfully renegotiated as only consisting of burning non-human humanoid children (lizard man children were specifically discussed; whether these were to be eggs or hatched baby lizard folk was not specified at the time and a pending review by church authorities on ethics would be needed, of course, to determine whether a burnt egg would constitute child sacrifice or does the egg need to hatch before the child sacrifice is considered valid). While negotiating these terms Toral Daysleeper thought it prudent to consult with Lord Walther who had de facto (and pending review perhaps de jure) authority over policy within the Temple. Lord Walther was summoned and Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus asked the Paladin whether it was ok to burn non-human children to an infernal god and was able to present the more favorable terms to the Paladin that the Altar and burning of children would not occur within the Temple itself, nor within the city, but at a small shrine with an altar just outside the city gates. The heroes were shocked by the Paladin’s lack of self control and rigid thinking as Lord Walther visibly and audibly reacted with vulgar language in the disaffirmative in front of the party negotiated with. Lord Walther wished to return to attending the wounded and insisted that the heroes negotiate terms that do NOT include deliberate harm or loss of life to others (whether ritualized or not). The Paladin departed having placed these impediments on diplomacy on the heroes. Unfortunately, despite the heroes best efforts, negotiations deteriorated to the point of hostility and the Salamander charged towards the party (the coal barricade having been removed by guards during the negotiations; it remained unapparent how a creature who emanated fire had stacked bags of coal in a barricade, but this was not of primary concern.). Simon the Sorcerer quickly reacted by casting a charm over the Salamander Smith and Saurlos departed the smithy peacefully with the party. Under the (temporary) influence of the magical charm, Saurlos agreed to defer his plans and comply with the new Fire based regime of the Temple. The Heroes discussed the situation and decided that the differences between Saurlos and Fieros were truly the responsibility of the two of them and it was incumbent upon the two of them to resolve their differences in a proper way. The Heroes arranged a meeting between Saurlos and Fieros to assist them in resolving their differences. The Heroes prepared the Canteen of the Temple as a meeting place for the new understanding and cooperation between the two powerful creatures of fire. The Heroes prepared the Canteen Hall by decorating the hall with themes of understanding and cooperation (replete with a Banner spelling out ‘Peace Accord’) and by telling each party, Saurlos and Fieros, that the other was to swear unconditional loyalty and service to the other. The Salmander greeted the Ifrit by praising him for his wisdom in agreeing to serve him, the Ifrit reacted poorly to this and the Salamander reacted poorly to that. Tragically, before the heroes could intervene, Saurlos and Fieros were fighting to the death. After a few rounds of combat it became apparent that Fieros would vanquish Saurlos, and so Toral, who had positioned himself under the table next to Fieros just in case negotiations went this way, plunged a dagger in the back of Fieros. Quintus assisted by firing arrows at Fieros and Simon and Arnost aided by casting charms upon their allies to bolster their attacks and on Fieros to undermine his defense. With the aid of the heroes Saurlos was spared from the cruel blade of Fieros and gleefully stabbed the fallen Ifrit in a coup de gras of victory. The heroes, witness to the vicious behavior of the Salamander, attacking a helpless foe, were forced to reconsider their support and focused attacks on their former ally who had proven himself unworthy of their allegiance. The wounded Saurlos was quickly vanquished by the heroes. The heroes realized that the Lawful and Good captain of the guard might take the simultaneous death of the High Priest of Fire and Smith’s death during a peace talk the wrong way and decided to chop up the bodies into small pieces. Chopping the bodies into bits proved messy work and the heroes and the room became soaked in blood. Simon the Sorcerer, in a fit of whimsy, crossed out the word ‘Peace’ on the banner saying ‘Peace Accord’ and wrote ‘Piece’ in its place with the mixed blood of Saurlos and Fieros (in a sign of symbolic unity…?). Although the Captain of the guard had been given strict orders not to interrupt the peace negotiations, he went against orders and knocked on the door to check on the progress of the negotiations. Toral opened the door a crack and assured the Captain that everything was going well and ok here. After the chunks were delivered to the Temple Kitchen the problem with replacing the Temple district’s reliance on the Create Food spells (previously supplied by the cult of Moloch) for a food source was solved albeit temporarily. The heroes realized that it would be necessary to assess the loyalty and welfare of the now deceased Fieros’ personal guard who were engaged in building an altar of fire on the temple mount. The heroes, still covered in the blood of Fieros and Saurlos assembled a loyal group of Temple Guards and offered Fieros’s staff an opportunity to cooperate with the new regime. All but two of the Fire Priests layed down their weapons. Two Fire Priests foolishly declined the offer of pardon from the heroes and while one was cut down swiftly the other called upon the Power of Fire to launch a Fire Ball at the heroes, due to the perfect nature of the Fireball (rolled all sixes). The other priests were inspired and also attacked the heroes. Although several guards were lost and Arnost was rendered unconscious from multiple fire balls. The heroes were able to defeat the disloyal Priests. Near the end of battle a Priest had surrendered but the clever heroes would not be fooled and cut him down. Arnost was healed by his companions and the Captain of the guard set about getting the wounded to the infirmary while the heroes ensured that the most dangerous wounded would not be a threat to the helpless staff and patients in the infirmary by ensuring several Priests never made it to the infirmary. Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus sent word to his order to request a High Priest of the God of Freedom and Wine be sent to the City of Ur to preside over the temple. Quintus’s order replied with a request for a security detail to accompany the retinue to Ur.
Kram the Barabarian joined Toral Daysleeper, Simon the Sorcerer, and Quintus qui Calicibus Canibus in their efforts to stabilize the Temple District of the desert city of Ur. Realizing that there were not enough guards to watch the prisoners from the coup and guard the Temple the wise heroes decided upon speedy trials for the detainees of the Temple. After only a few days spent on publicity for the First Annual Ur Justice Day the heroes had all the decorations set up for proper public trials. The spectating crowd assembled, Simon the Sorcerer cast an enchantment over the area to appropriately diminish critical thought for the spectators. The trials consisted of Quintus asking the prisoners if they ever served Moloch or the Fire cult; if the answer was yes to either then Kram would carry out swift and great justice with a Great Sword. Two prisoners were not executed and these included the Temple scribe who pledged loyalty to the new regime and agreed to help hunt down more adherents of Moloch and the Fire cult and a female worshiper of Moloch who had a high charisma score; Lord Azuros aided with finding a buyer for this person who’s moral agency could not be trusted as evidence by her poor decisions to date. Although not explicitly stated it was probably implied that Lord Azuros would find the female former cult member a buyer that would improve her moral condition. Justice Day being a huge success the group went to Portsmouth at the request of Quintus’s church to provide an escort for the new Priest of Cayden Calien to be installed in the Temple; although there was some discussion with Lord Walther the Paladin of having a Priest from the cult of Iomede installed to establish a coronation authority in the region and Lord Azuros brought up the idea of selling rights to the Temple Mount to the highest bidding cult (including the Cult of Moloch, Druids, or The Kraken). The heroes were ambushed by a band of brigands on the road lead by an Ettin; this threat dispatched (mercifully as the group let him go) the group continued to Portsmouth. Some prisoners the brigands were holding were grateful for being freed and one female prisoner with a high charisma score was particularly grateful to Toral Daysleeper. After arrival the group established contact with the High Priestess of Cayden Calien. Arrangements were made to depart for Ur and Pelagius the Sea Elf visited the group. Pelagius saw the group off, the Ettin that the group had spared now friendly with Pelagius. Merrily the group departed with a small entourage of Priests and Guards from the Temple of Cayden Calien with the High Priestess. Sadly a villainous ambush was in store for the heroes. A boggard armed with burning oils awoke the group having fire bombed their wagon. Kram fell down and tripped to distract the boggard and Quintus shot it in the back before it could do serious damage. The group and the guards from the Temple investigated the scene and patted out the fire; however a dastardly trap was in store. A small spark of flame floated through the air to the center of the group as a fireball exploded. A large group of boggards lead by the Boggard chief who’s tribe the heroes had previously raided; the surviving boggards sold to the sea elf Pelagius at the time. Instead of respectfully explaining his grievance to the heroes the Boggard Chief, himself a sorcerer, cast destructive spells at the heroes and ordered his boggard soldiers to attack. The heroes prevailed in driving the violent Boggard Sorcerer away but not before the alchemy lab in the wagon exploded from being on fire and the horses, wagon, guards, and most of the clerics of Cayden Calien burnt to ash. The group and one surviving acolyte and the High Priestess took refuge in a friendly farmer’s farm house.
The brave adventurers Arnost the Alchemist, Quintus qui Calicibus Canibus, Toral Day Sleeper, and Simon the Sorcerer having taken refuge in a welcoming Farmer’s Hayloft discussed their plans concerning how to precede given the current circumstances. As the group was in discussion Toral and Quintus noticed something peering at them perched on a rafter of the hayloft. With swift action and the element of surprise Quintus and Toral fired a volley of arrows at dark shape in the rafters. Quintus injured the creature severely and it fell to the hayloft floor unconscious initially in the form of a large rat but soon morphing into that of an Imp! Taking quick action Toral put his boot on the creature’s neck and Simon helped secure the seen with a web spell. The heroes observed the wounds from Quintus’s arrows to be healing slowly and so Toral stabbed the Imp to make sure it did not revive. Meanwhile Arnost noticed a light approaching the Hayloft from the Farmhouse. The Farmer who had initially welcomed them showed his true villainous nature by asking the group to spare the Imp’s life. True to the manner of a maniacal villain the farmer explained that he had made an agreement with the Imp that brought great prosperity to his farm. While the farmer spoke Toral again stabbed the incapacitated Imp and a wound appeared in the analogous place on the farmer. The farmer’s fiendish nature revealed Toral did not give the fiend time to laugh maniacally as he again stabbed the Imp again; grievous wounds now showing on the Imp and the farmer and the Imp no longer healing, the farmer collapsed dead having been wounded in parallel by the wounds done to the Imp. Quintus confirmed the fiendish nature of the famer by finding a teat on the left popliteal fossa of the Villain Farmer. Mindful of their duty to purge the land of evil the heroes made their way to the farmhouse from the hayloft. The initial plan was to throw a torch through the window and burn the infernal creatures within; this was rethought as infernal creatures may not be flammable and so Arnost used his magic to disguise himself as the farmer and knocked on the Farmhouse door asking the occupants to come out. A fiendish female voice from the bowels of the nightmarish farmhouse replied, “Tom! What the hell are you doing knocking on your own door, just come in and come back to to bed already, it’s 0300 in the morning and I have woik in the morning!” Undeterred by the fiend’s malevolent ruse Arnost insisted that the fiend pretending to be the farmer’s wife come out. An infernal creature disguised as a woman in a night gown came out into the entry area of the farmhouse all the while muttering profane curses and mocking goodness by saying, “This had better be good!”. Toral who had concealed himself to strike stayed his blade momentarily as two other fiendish creatures, apparently disguised as a little boy and a dog, walked outside the Farmhouse to Arnost who was disguised as the Infernal Farmer. The voice issued from the form of the boy strangely similar to a normal boy’s voice asking Arnost, “Daddy what’s happening?”. Toral saw that the boy and the dog facing Arnost away from the open door way so they would not be able to see his strike against the beast masquerading as a farmer’s wife as their backs were to him. Toral struck from the shadows with great force with his magical sword and with perhaps some degree of overkill cut the Infernal Farmer’s wife in twain in one blow. A fountain of blood gushing from the corpse, Arnost kept the little boy’s attention as he deftly shut the door to obscure the scene from the boy and dog. As Arnost engaged the little boy in conservation a servant emerged from the dark reaches of the farm house and said “Sir, Ma’am may I be of… HOLY SHIT!”, as he beheld Toral standing over the corpse of the infernal farmwife covered in blood and standing in a spreading puddle of it. Toral quickly realizing that the ‘servant’ was probably trying to bring the devil farmwife corpse back to life by uttering the blasphemy, “Holy Shit!” and took decisive action by killing the servant with one blow of justice from his short sword. Simon the Sorcerer and Arnost knew the threat of the boy and his dog needed to be neutralized and worked together to cast a magical sleep upon them; this gave them opportunity to search the boy for an infernal mark as had been found on his father. Arnost and his snake familiar searched the sleeping boy for an infernal mark, the search was somewhat inconclusive as the boy was found to have teats on his chest, these could have been normal but then again it was also possible that he had been born without nipples and these were actually two marks of the Devil! Arnost in a display of great mercy and magnanimity woke the boy and told him that his entire family was killed by devils and he had no chance to survive but to run into the forest (in his partially clothed state having been stripped down to be searched). The boy’s mind broke and whether devil or no, ran cowardly into the forest. Toral dispatched two other [probably] infernal persons in the farmhouse. Having secured the scene the heroes searched the property for goods that might be redeemed from this foul corruption and were able to redeem 500+ gps worth of bounty. The High Priestess and the surviving acolyte were tasked with redeeming a new wagon and horses from the infernal farm. Simon found a curious jar of seeds that hissed and moved within the jar slightly. Simon and Arnost set about studying the seeds. Arnost was able to determine that Holy Water reacted violently with the seeds. Simon experimented by feeding an infernal seed to a chicken. The chicken seemed to like it at first but soon contorted and began to smolder and seemingly vibrate standing in a hyper-extended posture with wide red glowing eyes and wings held aloft, the voice of Moloch boomed forth from the chicken’s beak, “YOU PATHETIC MORTALS HAVE DEFIED MOLOCH FOR THE LAST TIME! I WILL BURN YOUR SOULS! YOU WILL BE…” Moloch’s diatribe was cut short as Arnost cast beguiling gift on the chicken offering it Holy Water. The chicken drank the Holy water and began to emit even more smoke, to shake and then explode in a puff of feathers and chicken meat. Toral and Quintus were able to find an infernal contract in a lock box. Quintus took charge of the document that had the power of animation and attempted to paper cut Quintus but was not successful. Arnost cursed the land so that nothing would grow there and the entire Farm was lit in flame as the heroes and the High Priestess and acolyte rode away from the burning scene toward Ur with the famer’s dog in tow. When the heroes arrived at Ur they found that the two imposters had been jailed in the Temple for having attempted to impersonate the heroes. The city itself was in a state of some disarray as numerous religious cults had sent representatives to request that their cult be installed in the Temple. The Temple Captain of the Guard explained he needed more men to keep order and so Toral met with one of the imposters in the Temple jail who happened to be a cleric of the god of thieves; the prisoner agreed to assist the group by securing a discount with the local thieves guild but betrayed the heroes after being released and escaped into a crowd with the aid of illusions. The heroes secured a separate thieves guild contract and secured thirty thugs to help guard the temple for 500 gps out front and 10 gps per man per day. Simon also recruited some homeless and alcoholics to assist with Temple Security. Simon, Toral and Arnost greeted Pelagius the Sea Elf as he arrived at Ur in a tank of water carried by wagon and escorted by humanoid figures wearing full plate armor and a few columns of Boggards. Lord Azurous met with Pelagius to discuss access to the Temple of Ur. Quintus attempted to Travel to Lord Walter’s Keep but encountered what appeared to be the camp of an invading expeditionary force that identified itself as soldiers of the ‘Bone Lord’ who were sieging Lord Walter’s Keep. On the way back to inform the other heroes Quintus suggested to his Manticore ally that the soldiers of the Bone Lord would taste very good and the Manticore agreed and thanked Quintus for the tip.
Falken von Hockendorn the mounted warrior and Dryoli the Elven Ranger accompanied by Harambe the lore-friendly Gorilla. rejoined the companions Simon the Sorcerer, Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus, Toral Daysleeper and Arnost the Alchemist in the city of Ur. Arnost the Alchemist used scrying magic to contact the Quartermaster of Lord Walther and learned that Lord Walther and his clerics were fending off an invasion force at his keep with the power of The Chalice to generate a protective barrier. The heroes were able to persuade clerics of the various cults vying for a position in the Temple of Ur to provide backup for a raiding party to break the siege on Lord Walther’s keep. The heroes happened on a supply depot of the Bone Lord’s troops and were able to capture the depot and it’s supplies. The heroes used the captured depot to ambush patrols and supply convoys and were able to questions prisoners who provided information on the vulnerability of supply lines of the besieging force. Boggard tracks leading toward Lord Walter’s keep and the mysterious abrupt absence of Pelagius the Sea Elf suggest possible involvement of the Sea Elf with the siege. Quintus wisely sent the the high Priestess of Cayden Calien back to Ur to avoid risking such a strong female protagonist in battle.
Arnost, Dryoli, Falken, Simon, and Toral captured a second palisade fortification containing a supply depot for the expeditionary invasion force of the Bone Lord. Arnost and Toral collaborated to silently dispatch a check point prior to the depot with support from Quintus. A corrupt guard was put under a charm by Arnost and fooled into clearing the group for passage. The guard, named Jack, distracted by his greed for skimming supply from the transport for his own personal use, was dispatched last, his greedy arms cradling ill gotten supplies meant for his comrades. The heroes ambushed the supply depot and lured the officer from the front gate of the palisade by contriving a conflict with the gate guards. The officer was downed quickly in ambush and all the soldiers save one was cut down with the help of blade, arrow, and magic. Harambe, companion animal of Dryoli, entered the soldier’s palisade enclosure and began dragging the remaining soldier around. The heroes were uncertain if Harambe was trying to harm or protect the soldier and briefly considered intervention but wisely allowed the scene to play out and no (additional) blood was shed. The soldier gave intel in exchange for his life relating to the presence of catapults and soldiers around the keep and gave hints of the coercive recruitment practices of the Bone Lord. Arnost placed a Geas on the solider to return home and attempt a rebellion against the Bone Lord. The heroes proceeded to the besieged keep of Lord Walther and sent the supply wagon, rigged to explode into a formation of besieging troops and detonated the trap. Combat ensued with Toral, aided by Greater invisibility, back stabbed soldiers, Quintus rained arrows, Harambe and Dryoli and waded into the fray, and Falken, mounted on horse attacked soldiers with his lance. Arnost summoned elementals to aid the heroes and Simon cast fireball upon a tight formation of soldiers causing devastation. In retaliation the besieging commander, a figure shrouded in dark armor and a cloud of darkness shot a fireball at Simon from the safety of Greater invisibility. The party managed to subdue one large skeletal guard while another remained in combat. As of now the heroes are in the midst of battle, a firing line of five soldiers forcing Falken to dismount lest he be an easy target for the archers and two groups of four soldiers including the large skeleton fought back.
Having been charged by intermediate powers of Elemental Fire with investigating the loss of contact with a Temple site on another plane several instances (unit of measure pertaining to planar deviation) closer to the plane of earth, Diabla, Ifrit native to a plane of fire and Pyromancer stepped through a portal to arrive on the plane on which the heroes, Dryoli the Elven Warrior and mentor of Harambe the Silverback Gorilla from the Cincinnati Jungle in the Kingdom of Ohio, Falken the Mounted Warrior, Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus, Simon the Sorcerer, and Toral Daysleeper, aided by Grim the Seagul Slayer warrior of the city of Ur in their effort to break the siege of Lord Walther’s keep. The battle continued as the shadowy enemy commander flew above the field cloaked with magical invisibility and chanted profane magic above the burning field bringing the curse of undeath to the fallen soldiers of the Bone Lord. As if this was not sufficiently profane, the nature of their death, having been consumed with fire, allowed the evil practitioner of the Necromantic arts to not only curse the dead with dark unlife but to bring fire of hell (in a few cases purgatory) in which they had just been burning back to continue to burn them in their state of undeath. Sir Severus, Lord Walther’s quartermaster and acting master at arms, witnessed the raising of the burning dead, was influenced by this sight, decided to open the gates of the keep and attack the besieging force; a choice not made lightly as the besieging commander had been using illusions of suffering comrades and innocents to lure the besieged out of the keep. Two brave novice clerics studying to become full initiates in the service of faith and goodness fell at the flaming claws of the infernal skeletons, a third novice cleric’s life was spared from a similar fate by the quick actions of Sir Severus as he cut down one of the fiends as it attempted to run past him to kill the novice. Diabla wisely observed the battlefield and cast balls of lighting at the evil she saw before her on the battlefield bringing the charge of justice to the enemy. Quintus, surrounded by skeleton and human warriors and in the midst of a magical enchantment of black tentacles conjured by Simon to fight the enemy evaded the enemy long enough to heal himself, find better ground, and fire on the enemy. Falken, having dismounted his faithful steed so that his horse would not suffer the same fate of that of Sir Severus’s steed which was brought down by the infernal claws of the undead, waded in the fray and fought by the side of Grim, Slayer of Seagulls to secure the area outside the front of the keep. Dryoli and Toral worked together to secure the right flank of the keep. The enemy commander singled out Dryoli for elimination and fired multiple rays of scorching fire injuring Dryoli; this gave Toral the opportunity to return fire in a devastating arrow attack, the enemy commander dropped altitude to attack Lord Walther who had joined the fray and was hit by another attack from the Paladin for a critical amount of damage. The enemy Command was subdued and Simon, wary of the possible ability of the Commander to regenerate, fire-balled the corpse with a number of allies unfortunately caught in the conflagration. The enemy force was routed and a single enemy archer retreated from the battlefield. Lord Walther thanked and congratulated the heroes for their help. Diabla introduced herself to the heroes and explained she was investigating a loss of contact with a Fire Temple. Lord Walther told Diabla about the destruction of the Fire Cult at the hands of the cult of Moloch and offered his friendship. Simon explained that during the course of the heroes exploits it was once necessary for Quintus to shoot a child; Lord Walther was somewhat taken aback and asked Quintus if this happened and why it happened if so? Quintus made explanation that the child was a tool of Moloch at that the time and that this was the right thing to do considering. Lord Walther was not completely reassured by this explanation and asked his servant, Sir Severus, to keep an eye on Quintus. Lord Walther, fearing the safety of the city of Ur, set off to investigate the state of the city leaving retainers in charge of his keep and bringing the Chalice with him to the city. The heroes decided to raid the last remaining supply depot of the Bone Lord. The heroes hid behind a pile of rocks and a patrol passing was intent on searching the hiding place of the heroes. Simon bravely jumped out of hiding and surrendered to the patrol. The patrol leader was very surprised and fired his crossbow into the chest of Simon. The patrol leader realizing that Simon had surrendered and clearly had his hands in the air, ran to the side of Simon and put a dagger into his hand. As the patrol was discussing what to do, Simon gave a single for his allies to spring into attack. Unfortunately the heroes hadn’t actually discussed the signal and it had to be given several times while the confused guards thought Simon was delirious from his injury. After the signal was given for the third or fourth time, Toral leaped on the patrol leader and vanquished him quickly. The heroes charged forward with magic, steel, and fletching. Sir Severus skillfully had his [new] steed trample the enemy, charging over them and impaling another with his lance. Quintus sniped the enemy on the battlements of the palisade while Grim and Falken charged the palisade and Diabla electrocuted the soldiers with ball lightning. Dryoli scaled the wall and cut down enemy soldiers while Harambe grappled with an enemy soldier perhaps to render the combatant a neutral threat to spare the soldier, or perhaps to assist his allies with killing the soldier making the soldier an easier target; it was an intense situation and a judgment call had to be made and Toral killed this last Soldier.
The brave heroes Diabla, Pyromancer of the Plane of Fire, Grim the Seagull Slayer, Quintus qui Calcibus Canibus, Sir Severus, Simon the Sorcerer, and Toral Daysleeper having just neutralized a hostile supply depot of the invading Bonelord’s expeditionary force; wisely seeing through a feigned surrender and cutting every living thing down in the depot, captured the supplies and were set to deliver them to the beleaguered keep of Lord Walther. While delivering the supplies the heroes noticed a lone figure walking toward the keep. The group determined that this was a Zombie wearing the heraldry of the Bone Lord and having a conspicuous indentation on a breastplate in the shape of the seal of the Bone Lord. The heroes astutely remembered that one of the officers they had slain had a medallion in such a shape and they hurriedly retrieved the item from their loot pile. Simon the Sorcerer, the heroes Official Ambassador and Public Affairs Officer, greeted the Zombie, a hollow voiced emanated from within the armor the Zombie, “Present the Passkey”. Simon addressed the Zombie and while doing so identified himself as an Ambassador of Moloch; this appeared to trigger a self-destruction sequence in the Zombie which exploded in a blast of fire. Bunny (Simon’s Skunk familiar [who is trans- rabbit]) and Simon were singed somewhat in the blast but none the worse for wear. Having thus determined that that Moloch and the Bone Lord are not on good terms; the heroes proceeded to the City of Ur. The heroes were greeted by the guards; one of whom approached a city bell rope. The heroes told the guards not to ring the bell, the guards protested somewhat as they were under orders to do so in celebration by instruction of Lord Azuros upon the heroes return; after the issue was resolved (the bell not rung). The heroes proceeded to the Temple. The heroes ran into a similar issue at the Temple Gate, the guards wanting to announce the presence of the heroes. The heroes questioned the guards on the whereabouts of Lord Azuros and the Sea Elf Pelagius, ascertaining that they were on the roof of the Temple working on a magical portal with a gnome conjurer, the group realized that the guards’ insistence on following basic security protocols was suspicious of a potential plot and Quintus opened fire with his bow as Toral, Qunintus, Grim, Severus, and Diabla dispatched the [theoretically] treacherous guards but not before an alarm was sounded by one of the guard’s horns. Simon used short range portal magic to gate directly to the Temple roof. There Simon found Lord Azuros, Pelagius and Snivalus a Gnome Conjurer working on a Portal device that was built upon the former altar of Moloch. Simon greeted the group who were surprised but pleased to see him and they explained they were trying to re-establish a portal system to another point on the Prime Material Plane. Lord Azuros departed explaining he was going to investigate the alarm. Pelagius and the Gnome were explaining the difficulty with getting the portal started, needing a source of initial extra-planar energy, preferably infernal as less would be needed because residual infernal energy lingered in the area from the previous presence of Moloch’s altar. Simon disrupted this potentially dangerous planning by casting a confusion spell, Pelagius resisted the spell but the Gnome and a guard became confused; fearing potential danger Pelagius and the Snivalus left the area for safety. Simon dismantled the portal system and kept some small pieces; the remaining guard feeling confused and in emotional distress began to cut himself. Simon then cast confusion on some guards by a door on the roof and the guards began to fight one another. Toral and Grim founded a locked door to an interior stairwell and set about opening the lock. Quintus encountered High Priestess Michelle of his Order who was a strong female protagonist but happened to be in a panic as she was locked out of her room after the lockdown had been called. Quintus explained that a force had attacked the Temple dressed as Temple Guards and they were being repelled. Toral and Grim got the door open and Diabla threw a fireball into the stair way buring the guards; and after some fighting the stairwell was secured. Toral, Grim, Quintus, Severus, and Diabla entered roof of the Temple as Simon had unlocked the door. The High Priestess Michelle, insisted that Quintus stop the guards from harming each and Quintus attempted to subdue them but tripped and fell into a door that had caught fire and needed to roll around on the floor to put himself out. Two guards saw the group on the roof and told the heroes of the attack on the Temple by an unknown enemy; the guards explained that Lord Walther would want to see them at once to help defend the Temple and the heroes went to meet with the Paladin. Lord Walter met with the heroes and after a Patrol of the Temple it was found that the assailants had fled or perished in the western internal stairwell by fire. Sir Severus, Lord Walther’s quartermaster was asked to give a report of the recent goings on. Sir Severus gave a report there was some initial confusion that made it seem that the heroes had attacked the Temple but Quintus cleared things up. The group met with Lord Walter, Lord Azuros, Pelagius, Snivalus, High Priestess Michelle, and clerics from several churches to discuss use of the Temple grounds and the recent security threats. Snivalus and Diabla got into a heated argument regarding portal design and fueling and Diabla set fire to Snivalus’s chair during the meetings and Lord Walther had to assign Sir Severus to keeping Diabla calm for the remainder of the meeting. The heroes observed Snivalus’s movements for the next few days and it was found that during Snivalus took his evening meal at the local tavern. Toral asked Simon for an infernal seed with which Toral made a ground powder that he deftly sprinkled on the Gnome’s food while using his savoir faire to distract the barmaid who had a charisma score of 16 [also a strong female character]. The Gnome began to react to the infernal seed and transformed into a Kyton (chain devil), killing several patrons and bellowing, “Moloch has come for the Blasphemers! Your flesh and souls will be consumed!” Flailing chains whipped at the heroes and although the Devil made an impressive display and talked a good game, Quintus invoked his holy inquisitor powers and luckily scored a critical hit; an arrow sunk deep into the devil with a grave wound, the heroes proceeded to lay into the Kyton the fight was over rather quickly. Lord Walther felt this showed that the Gnome may have been a compromised asset before the transformation and felt much less confident about completing the portal project. Simon found an old women in the tavern who was very ugly and very rude. He put an infernal seed into the crone’s ale. She transformed into a devil, and rather embarrassedly for Moloch the heroes swiftly dispatched this devil as well. Lord Walther noted that the peasants were always trying to get him to try the old woman for witch craft but he had always rejected their ‘evidence’ as simply being that she was an unhappy and unpleasant women; Lord Walther felt humbled as the peasants must somehow have known what he did not in light of the old women’s sudden attack.
The brave heroes Toral Daysleeper, Diabla, Quinitus qui Calcibus Canibus, Arnost the Alchemist, Dryoli the Elven Warrior and his life partner Harambe the Gorilla considered their next course of action after having been offered a reward from Pelagius the Sea Elf for White dragon parts and tasked by Lord Walther with a reconnaissance / diplomacy mission to the Bone Lord’s territory. The heroes were discussing what to do in the ward room of the temple when a servant frantically knocked on the door and announced, “My Lords, There is a beast outside the gate to see you.” The heroes questioned the servant and were able to determine that the Manticore was waiting to speak to them. “I want more meat!”, said the Manticore as the heroes went to meet it outside the city gate where a small shanty town and impromptu market had formed. The heroes offered the manticore some goat meat but the manticore wanted human meat. The heroes and manticore discussed the issue and the negotiations changed to the heroes wanting the manticore to guide them through the desert to the gate to the Bone Lord’s territory in exchange for the heroes helping the manticore obtain some lamias. Diabla wanted to know why the manticore wanted the lamias and the manticore explained that it wasn’t for food. The manticore lead the heroes through the desert and spoke to his Gnoll tribe contacts to allow for safe passage. The heroes and the manticore arrived at a ruined Temple to Erastil outside of which a humble yet beautiful shepardess lead a flock of goats. “Oh I do hope these strong rough men and women are kind as I and my sisters are quite defenseless!”, said the beautiful shepardness. The heroes quickly saw through the ruse and subdued this the polymorphed lamia with the aid of Diabla’s magic. The heroes bound the lamia and gave it to the maniticore who used it not for food and rather shamelessly before the eyes of the heroes. The heroes sent the manticore for his gnoll servants to aid in transport of the captured lamia and decided that it would be good to liberate the temple from the corrupt and evil lamia. The captured lamia awoke and the heroes bargained with it to lure out the Queen Lamia with the promise of making the captured lamia queen in her place. The captured lamia agreed to do so but elaborated on the plan somewhat and lured out the Lamia queen and three other lamia servants. The heroes ambushed the lamias with fireballs and arrows and subdued the group. Taking the lamia queen captive the new lamia queen and the manticore went to declare their rulership over the lamia clan; however the new lamia queen was treacherous and defiant true to her feminine nature and immediately betrayed the manticore and the heroes. The heroes were witness to the manticore frantically flying out for the ruins warning the heroes to flee from the vengeful lamia. Arnost disguised himself as the former Lamia Queen as asked the lamia what they are doing following a false queen. The lamia, believing that they had been deceived by the treacherous new lamia queen fell upon the interloper and ripped her to shreds with their claws. The heroes took advantage of the infighting and handily defeated all the lamias having the surviving lamias carted off to the manticore’s lair. The heroes approaching the Bone Lord’s territory located a recon patrol of the Bone Lord and after slaying the patrol seized orders that gave instructions to kill all the leaders in the territory, spare the peasants, and to seize The Chalice intact at all costs. The heroes decided to return to the city in order to make a replica of the chalice to assist in infiltrating the Bone Lord’s territory. On returning to the city of Ur the heroes chanced to see the Big Boggard who they had encountered in the past while raiding his village for a male and female boggard and encountered again some time later when he had ambushed them for revenge. As Diabla was unknown to the boggard the heroes decided to have her approach the Big Boggard for information so that they might more easily assassinate him. Diabla chatted up the Big Boggard, who politely introduced himself to Diabla as King Grok and before long the two had a romantic date in the Temple common area that converts to a fancy restaurant at night. Diabla and King Grok met for their first date at the temple restaurant; Diabla was accompanied by Falken who wore a dog leash and loin cloth masquerading as a slave offering; King Grok politely ignored this slight irregularity in consideration of Diabla’s charisma score. The romantic setting, lit by candle light and sounded by the wistful trill of a local stringed instruments was the setting for Diabla’s and King Grok’s romantic interlude. Toral Daysleeper became bored with the romantic dallying between King Grok and Diabla and decided to poison King Grok’s food with infernal seeds. As Pelagius the Sea Elf congratulated Diabla and King Grok on their new found romance; the waiter brought the poisoned fungal stew to King Grok. As King Grok took a sip of the poisoned stew infernal energy coursed through him; in a blast of infernal energy King Grok transformed into a Hezrou, a demon that forms of the souls of poisoners, perhaps this would have been King Grok’s eventual fate but it was brought untimely. Conspicuously Moloch did not speak through King Grok after he transformed as he had happened previously with creatures transformed by the seeds’ dark power. Toral burst from the door of the kitchen and made a sneak attack upon the Hezrou causing significant damage with and arrow. The enraged demon charged Toral and as he passed by Falken his demonic aura of poison overwhelmed and alas killed Falken. Toral fought valiantly but the horrible demon overtook him and the brave Toral fell. Diabla was the next innocent target of the horror and fell next. Pelagius called out to Quintus and exhorted Quintus to lure the Hezrou to the portal on the roof of the Temple. Quintus did so as Pelagius hurriedly screwed a component onto the portal frame. As the demon brushed against the side of the Portal opened. Pelagius called, “At last my Lord you have arrived!” as hooked tentacles shot out from the portal and sank into the demon. The demon was pulled into the portal by the horrible tentacles and disappeared into the void. Quintus, horrified by the terrible tentacles fired arrows at the portal. Pelagius wanting to keep the portal open asked Quintus to desist but after he would not attacked Quintus with frost magic. As Quintus and Pelagius fought the mangled body of the Hezrou flew out of the portal and struck Quintus. Lord Walther came to the aid of Quintus and the heroes but was himself dragged into the Portal by the horrible hooked tentacles. Lord Walther was then ejected from the Portal and struck Quintus. Lord Walther, not quite slain, was able to regain his feet and struck at the Sea Elf, but on his second strike the Sea Elf’s shark toothed armor caught hold of the Paladin’s holy blade and his blade clattered to the floor. The manticore who had been in the area to find an opportunity to strike at King Grok attempted to help Quintus defeat Pelagius by dropping a half-orc warrior on him but this only achieved knocking the sea Elf Prone as Pelagius’s magic overcame Quintus but not before one of Quintus’s arrows was able to disrupt the portal matrix and close it. Falken, who had been rescued by one of Lord Walther’s Clerics was able to strike at the Sea Elf once with Lord Walther’s Holy Sword and return it to the Paladin just before succumbing a second time to the magic of the Sea Elf. Toral regained consciousness as a novice cleric with allegiance to Lord Walther healed him in time for Toral to hear heavy foot-steps rushing forward. The scene ending with Pelagius on his back under the unconscious half-orc attacking Lord Walther with ice magic with resulting obscuring ice and snow in the air. Lord Walther menacing Pelagius with his Holy sword.