Legend of Angor

Episode VI: SUBMERGE

Moonglow Okuno’s group made a new friend, discovering Titus urinating on the body of Tu’jayl. When asked about Quarion, Titus told the band of revenge seekers that he had seen their group only a day before- on the Noph Coast. When pressed for an explanation as to how he covered a week’s walk in a day, Titus told them of the railroad the gnomes had built and prepared to lead them to meet the station manager- Gelus Cableraft.

Meanwhile, the group prepared to enter the sunken temple. At the realization that the stronghold was submerged underwater, Quarion opted to remain outside- letting the party go on ahead. As Gelsando proved to be the only with capable of breathing underwater, the gnome was used as a scout. The group found little challenge in the sunken halls- at least until they met Shobun.

Shobun introduced himself as an elan and explained that during after the war, the men who had fought on the frontline were so haunted by their sins, they were transformed in mass. As elans, they ceased to remember their past lives and the terrible acts they had committed. Still, psions believe “to know thyself is to know power” and many elan psions had begun searching for their past identities- only to learn the truth…

Shobun himself learned that he had been a high-ranking general for the kingdom of Corsica and had personally given the order to have Ekade burnt to fuel their war machine. At this news, Rhom became enraged but continued to hear Shobun out for the warning he claimed to have come to deliver. His hunt through history had yielded a forbidden fruit: Doro might have previously been Lionel Alexander, the king of Corsica and the man who declared war on the dwarves.

Doro may have been the man who started the war.

Further, the telepath made many other mysterious remarks. He revealed to Ijichi that the group was on a mission to abolish the current regime… although one member was not loyal to such a cause. As he continued to expose the inner workings of each adventurer, Rhom continued to verbally berate Abe. Angered at hearing his former race slandered, Shobun dominated Abe psionically and commanded him to kill Rhom.

Ijichi took to Rhom’s defense while Gelsando and Doro fought Shobun. Ultimately, they were able to incapacitate the psion… only for Rhom to slay him with a coup de grace before he could awaken and say any more…

Taking the tome that detailed the history of Corsica’s last days, Doro had much to think over and little time to dwell. It wasn’t long before the group found themselves facing the Whip- twin kuo-toa clerics with staggering evasive abilities. Ultimately, the group was barely able to land attacks on the brothers but Gelsando’s eldric blasts were able to send them scurrying away through the waters.

As they moved to leave, Rhom and Ijichi found a wall of ice and moved to melt through- only to discover a sentient lance to be the creator of such an obstacle. The arrogant weapon introduced itself as Mikudasu and agreed to help Ijichi seal off the temple and prevent more relief from spilling from the stronghold.

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Episode V: GEAS

Moonglow Okuno continued his hunt for Quarion. This time, his quest took him to Aberforth where he met with Yewcinder and learned his prey’s name. He took the Skyshroud brothers from them and led them out of the city, saying he had come from Makoto to deliver them to the justice of the snough. Instead, he released them- offering them freedom in exchange for helping him bring the adventurers down.

After dealing with a sea cat, the party made it to Noph where Darrow and Capone led them to where the resistance was held up. Michuru told them what news he had heard: goblins raiding the east, kuo-toa attacks in the west with the sahuagin fighting the merfolk in the waters to the south. He also informed Rhom of attacks on fire clerics- which reminded him of what he wanted to discuss…

Having Alemei cast Zone of Truth on the group, Michuru informed them that he had heard news of a mole the empire had put in their midst. Ready to begin the inquisition, Michuru took them in turn. “The empire or the rebellion… I need to know where your allegiance lies.”

When asked who he was loyal to, Doro simply said, “The rebellion.” Quarion informed Michuru he wanted only to see the government crushed. Abe put his faith in any who would help him overtake Snough Sestun and Rhom…

“As a cleric of the flame, my allegiance is to the temple.”

It was then that Tinker finally put two-and-two together. Though he knew Rhom was a cleric and frequently saw the holy symbol barring the sacred flame, he never equated Rhom as a fire cleric. It was then that he screamed, “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!” and thrust his blade through the healer’s back and out his stomach.

Doro and Michuru restrained him and Michuru began to explain that a war was brewing between the water clerics and the biggest fire temple on the coast of Angor: the Order of Solice. The Order, led by the paladin Jerome, houses a Seed- a portal to one of the four moons that orbit the world Angor rests upon. It is from this moon that fire clerics get their powers and the water clerics appear to be seeking a way to cut off their rivals from the source of energy. As such, they have begun to abduct adventures and cast Geas upon them- charging them with the task of slaying fire clerics in hopes of drawing Jerome away from the portal he protects.

Tinker has been charmed.

Michuru suggests the group leave town, but as Alemei and Rory soon point out, this was only said for Tinker’s benefit. The two put the group up in a hotel run by the mayor of Noph and along the way the two girls display some disdain for each other. It seems that Rory has a crush on Michuru and Alemei on Adell; the trouble is, Adell has eyes for Rory while Michuru lusts for Alemei.

Never the less, the group finds themselves able to rest easy for the night- now charged with a new mission… Michuru intends to gain the allegiance of a temple in the coming war and he believes saving the Order of Solice may gain favor from the fire clerics and their paladin guardians. Thus, Michuru’s team (Alemei, Adell and Rory) will go after the cleric casting Geas while Melchizedek’s team (Capone, Thaddeus and Darrow) will lend themselves to the goblins ravaging the east. The party then planned to set off for the water cleric’s temple in the west- one run by twin brothers known as the Whip. If their command center fell, the water clerics would lose their relief and the fire sect could fight back.

At the hotel, they met Ijichi Half-elven, the paladin whose sister was slain a week prior by Tinker. Learning of their intent to raid a water temple and defend the Order of Solice (his home temple) the group joined up with him and set out towards the stronghold.

As they neared, the group came under attack by an army of small water elementals. Though Rhom was able to turn most of them, the party was overwhelmed but still managed to survive the encounter. It was then that they found a cleric spent of his spells- the one who had summoned the elementals… with the help of the Whip.

Though the human cleric surrendered, the twin kuo-toa left to receive the party at the temple. Letting the human cleric go, the party stood at the entrance to the temple fortress and readied themselves to go in…

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Episode IV: FIRE

While the group stopped the brothers’ scheme, a shadow from their past arrived at Thalin’s estate and met 137, the nimblewright disabled by Gelsando and Tinker. Introducing himself as Moonglow Okuno, the elven raiumas offered to allow 137 to accompany him in hunting down the group and taking back what was rightfully his… After a quick casting of Locate Object, the pair headed off towards their next destination…

…a place the group was just leaving.

Following a Sending from Alemei, the group headed south, towards the Noph Coast. Still, another appearance from Fflewddur Fflam in Gelsando’s dreams warned the party to stay clear of any involvement with Tu’jayl.

Along the way to the Noph Coast, the group encountered a young paladin, defending his downed cleric from a group of lizardmen. Jumping into action, the group saved the half-elf and his elven sister, only to watch in awe as she began to abuse the warrior once revived. Before proper introductions could be made, Tinker attacked the cleric, slaying her and then denying it had ever happened.

The paladin then explained the siblings’ mission: lizardfolk were desecrating a fire temple nearby and their order had sent them to eradicate the beastmen. Hearing his order’s plight, Rhom volunteered the group to deal with the threat, leaving the paladin to carry the cleric’s body back to their father…

…all without giving a name.

The group found the temple, slanting to one side and sinking into the marshes. As Rhom explained, the temple had been attacked by earth clerics long ago and abandoned by their order soon after. Still, the sight of the lizardmen taking up residence in the former church pushed him to lead the group in and raid the church.

After a few mishaps, the group found an underground lake guarded by shocker lizards. Quarion attempted to ward them away with his beloved Shocking Grasp, only to draw them to him. Running out of the temple, he led the pack of shocker lizards out, followed by the majority of the party. Tinker, however, made his way across the shallow lake and found Tu’jayl, the lizardman cleric attempting to restore the temple.

Telling the cleric that the party had come to kill him, Tu’jayl cast Hold Person on the halfling and headed off to deal with the remainder of the party. In a hall he met Rhom, blasting him with Burning Hands before using Darkness to strip the elven cleric of his sight. From talking to him, Rhom realized they should have avoided coming here as Tu’jayl was attempting to do good.

Making it out of the temple, Rhom found the group fighting Tu’jayl and stopped the battle- only to watch Tinker explode from the ruins and strike down a second fire cleric. His heart filled with grief, Rhom gave his fellow cleric a proper farewell and the group proceeded onward to the Noph Coast…

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Episode III: DREAM

After escaping with Thalin, the group returned to Gunnar’s shack, only to find it in shambles. Judging by the impressions in the mud, the group rationalized that the raiumas learned of the Githzerai’s involvement in the resistance and attacked. Further, judging by the broken bottles of dwarven ale, the heroes wondered whether Gunnar had escaped before the raid.

Still, they utilized the domicile for the night, during which point Gelsando was contacted by a gnome in his sleep. In the dream, the gnome told him that Ko’dor could be bested by his own weapon and that the champions were not who they claimed to be. Urging him to journey to Abermort, a city south of the capital, the gnome vanished and Gelsando woke up.

However, Gelsando was not the only one who saw the gnome; the psionic Doro saw the gnome appear like a ghost, wandering into their group and whispering into the sleeping gnome’s ear before vanishing. The others on watch claimed to have not seen anything.

Still, unsure of where to go from there, the group left for Abermort, arriving to find the town mourning the passing of their blacksmith and the elder at the earth temple. The blacksmith’s wife complained of a strange smell the night her husband went to investigate a robbery in his forge, just as the priests smelt something terrible the night their high priest was slain.

Rhom and Gelsando met the cleric who had been promoted up to the elder, an elf whose alibi was his twin brother, a merchant now out-of-town.

Meanwhile, Doro and Quarion discovered that the snough had commissioned numerous local blacksmiths to mass produce battle axes and large shields to be distributed to the army. This marks the second blacksmith charged with such a task slain and his wares stolen before he could collect the obscene payment.

Abe and Tinker, meanwhile, met two swordsmen who had come into town determined to prevent any more deaths. One, a warrior who hid his visage behind a mask as black as the scale armor he wore and the other a vagrant with a blade on his hip. Though Grasscutter Kusanagi seemed to be the more compassionate of the two, his tales paled in comparison to the legend that was the Black Samurai.

Still, the Black Samurai bragged at having taught Greenbriar Sestun the sword- boosting the man who Abe hated above all else. While many gravitated towards the Black Samurai, Abe found a kindred spirit in Kusanagi. Ultimately, hearing Kusanagi’s story helped to somewhat redeem the elven race to the former slave: “I was born long, long ago, in the Ekade Forest. I remember… I was just a boy back then. I was still considered a child when the fighting broke out and the dwarves destroyed our home. My mother and father lost their lives in the fires and I was all alone.

“A great warrior took me in then and he began to teach me the sword- not to harm others but to heal my own fractured soul. I was still a very young man when I decided to leave him… I was angry. I hated the dwarves and the humans for what they were doing to our people… for what they had done to my parents.

“I killed a great many people in the name of justice. My sword wept and tears fell from its tip along with the blood of our victims. I killed so many people and I helped bring about a new age.

“And then I saw how we were treating them. I saw what we were doing to the humans and I knew… this was what I had wanted. This was what I had fought for.

“Raiumas carry two swords- the ancestral daisho… We carry the katana and the wakizashi. The katana we fight with. We kill with. The wakizashi- our side sword? –we use to decapitate our fallen foes and show them mercy at the end. We use it to claim our own lives and commit seppuku. It is known as the Honor Blade.

“I never used my Honor Blade. I never showed my enemies mercy. I had simply slaughtered them…

“I carry my katana on my hip now… determined to fight with the wakizashi instead.” He drew out his wakizashi in a flash and slashed it down through the air and across his wrist. It hit his flesh… and failed to draw blood. “It is the sword of mercy… and one I will fight with to atone for all the sins I have committed…

“All the blood I have spilt…”

Before long, the inn presented their entertainment for the night: Shakespeare Half-elven. Upon returning, halfway through the bard’s tales, Doro noticed the gnome he had seen whisper into Gelsando’s ear sitting in the corner, silently mouthing along with the tale. Doro approached him and learned that his name was Fflewddur Fflem, the greatest storyteller who ever lived. He was responsible for Jordan Roberts, the bard who announced the archery competition, as well as Shelly Mary in the keep. Fflem claimed to actually act as the seven greatest storytellers who ever lived and that he was simply trying to use Gelsando to guide the adventurer’s story.

Guiding Doro’s group on the trail of the lizardmen, Fflem reunited the party just as Ko’dor was attacking the fire temple. The party managed to take him down but at the cost of Quarion’s life. It was then that Doro discovered what was actually happening: the Black Samurai wielded a katana that was a bane to reptilians and forced Ko’dor to obey him. Further, he gave the lizardman a ranseur that would act as a bane to his own kind- letting him easily command his race.

The Black Samurai was having the lizardmen attack the blacksmiths, stealing the requisitioned weaponry and selling it to the empire himself. Further, Kusanagi appeared and exposed the warrior as the merchant brother of the earth cleric. The elder had been cut down to clear the path for the brother’s promotion in the order.

Further, Kusanagi went on to reveal that Grasscutter Kusanagi was not his real name but an alias he gave to keep people from learning he was the true Black Samurai. His job done and his named cleared, the Black Samurai left after watching the thankful fire clerics work to revive Quarion.

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Episode II: RANSOM

Fleeing into the Shade, the marshes that compose the bulk of Makoto, the adventurers fought off a giant crocodile just before making it to the small hut of Gunnar Enverse.

As paranoid as he was curious, Gunnar refused to invite any of them inside his home- insisting that they simply enter if they could. Facing the door they found a full-length mirror which Gunnar inspected their reflections in. Gunnar, a githzerai monk, wore a necklace of fangs and garlic, carried a quiver of spikes on him and was clad in a leather jerkin decked out with holy symbols.

A trapper by trade, Gunnar’s true passion comes from hunting down and killing the undead- especially vampires. While Gunnar stuffed their bellies and provided soft bunks, he offered them the leather armor he crafts as well as the arrows he generates.

He also introduced them to another member of the rebellion, the elven cleric R’hom.

R’hom healed their wounds and the group camped in Gunnar’s cellar for the night, waking up to find Starshine Rory waiting for them. Rory told them of a new plot to bolster the rebellion’s pockets: abducting three nobles and ransoming them to the empire. The party’s target: Skyseeker Thalin, a young noble obsessed with the romantic ideals of adventuring. His love for archer has led to him celebrating his birthday with an archery competition.

The downside? Thalin is the younger brother of Skyseeker Avila, one of the Snough and a young woman Snough Tapion has his eye on. “In the event Tapion ascends to the throne,” Rory explained, “it is likely he’ll force her to take his hand in marriage. You could be abducting the future brother-in-law to the Mayoid… You could be making a powerful enemy…”

Still, the rebels persisted.

On their trip to the southern territories, they encountered an ooze that consumed R’hom’s armor, leaving him dressed in shambles. Soon after, they detected a squadron of lizardfolk led by a ranseur-wielding barbarian. Sensing that his companions were about to kill the creatures for their armor and weapons, Doro took it upon himself to convince the lizardfolk to flee- earning him the scorn of R’hom.

Still, R’hom was able to contain his contempt until they reached the Tahin’s family’s summer estates. Already, archers from around the country were gathered, camping on the outskirts of the estate. Here, the heroes met Snowsong Shimada, Chienne Half-elven and Farstrider Gaiden. While Doro and Quarion got to know Chienne, R’hom made nice with the elves- Shimada and Gaiden, though he quickly realized that Gaiden was not what he seemed…

Figuring that Gaiden was a nimblewright in the service of the Skyseeker family, he employed Gelsando and Tinker to dismantle Gaiden prior to the tournament.

The following day, the party watched as Tinker became the first dropped from the archer competition- with numbers dwindling until only Shimada, Chienne and Abe remained. Ultimately, Shimada’s cheating was exposed- using arcane talents to hit the target each time –and Chienne offered to call the match a draw with Abe.

It was then that the rebels made their move, letting Gelsando and Tinker occupy the construct while Doro absconded the noble…

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Episode I: SLAVE

It all began with a young boy named Abe.

Abe and his sister Jolene were two humans, living in the Narrows of Makoto. Urchins, they were owned by the empire and the property of the snough. The two regluarly did errands for Thaddeus J. Bindlethumbs, a gnomish inventor and proprietor of a meager sundries store. After helping him eradicate his bat problem, Abe left to go purchase something he had been saving up for… a bow.

That bow was soon put to use as the siblings left rumors of the Black Samurai having been spotted in the Narrows to go witness the parade put on in honor of the snough’s return. Greenbriar Sestun, the warlord who governs Makoto, had left to meet with the other snough in the empire’s capital. News told of the mayoid growing weaker by the day; in time he would likely choose one of his sons to ascend to the throne in his place- but which?

Such worries were put out of Abe’s mind as Sestun laid eyes on Jolene and commanded his footmen to take her as one of his concubines. Determined to save her, Abe attempted to fight them and was powerless to save her. The healing powers of Melchizedek, a human cleric who passed by, brought him around.

The woman told Abe of her friends- people who could help him save his sister. Willing to do anything, Abe joined up with her and her cohorts and soon found himself in another fight with the raiumas. This time he was aided by the human warrior Doro and the elven sorcerer Quarion. The trio made short work of the swordsmen, though the peaceful Doro convinced the wounded men to flee rather than lose their lives.

Melchizedek quickly hurried her friends away to Starshine Books where Abe was introduced to the rest of the rebellion.

Michuru Half-elven, the resistance’s founder and leader, is found to be the son of the mayoid and one of his human concubines- explaining his determination to help Abe. However, Michuru’s human side is also of royal class, descending directly from the last king of Corsica. His friends Adell, Rory and Alemi now work to liberate humanity from their elven oppressors.

Working with them is Melchizedek’s group, including Darrow Half-elven, Capone Thunderbringer and Thaddeus J. Bindlethumbs. They are also joined by another team: aside from Doro and Keenwind Quarion, a kender rogue by the moniker of Tinker serves along with the gnomish warlock Gelsando Starlane. It is this group Abe joins as he learns tonight marks the group’s inaugural assault. The rebellion is small now but Michuru hopes to expand it. To do so he will need money and Melchizdek’s team is charged with looting the snough’s coffers.

Citing that the empire will cover up any attack on the stronghold, Michuru wants a signal to the humans to show them that their elven oppressors are vulnerable and provides Abe’s team with the means to light the top of the keep aflame. Announcing that his own team will provide a distraction to the strong officers under Sestun’s command, the group splits up to enter the keep from three locations- Abe’s team taking the sewers that the keep’s cisterns empty into.

In the sewers the team meets Bardou, a human rogue who betrayed his party to steel their magical items. Though the party bests him, Doro does not permit the group to kill the killer- instead subduing him and leaving him behind for the time being.

Once inside Treser Keep, the groups splits up- sending the rogue to scout ahead. During his mission, Tinker runs into the kender storyteller Shelly Mary.

Meanwhile, Doro’s group has a run in with a young raiumas named Moonglow Okuno. They best him and abscond his ancestral daisho. The skirmish causes enough of a ruckus that it draws many of the guards to them and the group begins to flee. However, such acts leave the roof unguarded and allow Tinker to use the scrolls of Grease and Lesser Fire Orb he “acquired” from Quarion to complete their mission.

Fleeing from the raiumas the group hide out in a chamber where they soon hear a girl’s scream. Barging through his bedroom doors they find Sestun with two concubines- branding them atop his now bloodied sheets. At the sight of Jolene, Abe attacks and Sestun’s battle with them is interrupted by Michuru’s arrival. Michuru announces his intent to hold him off, ordering the others to flee. Still, Gelsando’’s dousing Sestun’s chambers in kerosene helps Adell’s tindertwigs and the run goes up in flames behind the retreating heroes.

On the way out, Abe finds the signet ring his father left to Jolene- something she wore on a chain around her neck since they became orphans. Taking it up himself he had no choice but to trust Michuru to save her.

Escaping through the sewers, the group took Bardou to the local authorities and prepared to head into the Shade- seeking out the man Michuru believes instrumental in building a resistance…

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GENESIS

Many ages ago, the fires of war threatened to consume the world of Angor. In the spring of the seventy-third year of Noriko, ambassadors from the kingdom of Corsica ventured into the dwarven kingdom of Ebriosus bringing good will and good wine. The long winter had brought trade from the south to a grinding halt. Those few merchants who made their way into the northern land had driven their prices to nightmarish highs and Corsica’s economy had suffered greatly. Seeking aid from the rich dwarves, the humans appealed to the dwarves’ avarice and pride. As they laid out their plans to improve infrastructure they were sure to point out opening new trade routes could only inflate the dwarven market and leave the rest of Angor indebted to their kind.

However, one of the ambassadors beheld the troves possessed of their dwarven neighbors and acted on his impulses. The man secretly seized a private collection of precious gems- commanding his retainers and guard to begin smuggling it back to his estate in Ebriosus. However, the dwarves were not so slow as to miss their wealth being spirited off. If nothing else can be said of the dwarves, it’s that they despite thieves; the ambassador and his men were put to death and the only news that reached the desperate emperor of Corsica was that bringers of his will had been executed.

A writ declaring war on the dwarves was signed within the hour the news fell on his ears… and the world suffered.

The gnomes were eager to prove their ingenuity and wasted no time in rallying behind their subterranean cousins. The technological boost granted them was sure to spell doom to humanity… were it not for the bridges the dwarves had long ago burnt.

The dwarves had made enemies of many races- gnolls, goblins and orcs; all were eager to throw themselves in the campaign against their bitter enemies. Still, Corsica had other allies in their efforts. In the aftermath of the Wars of Man, Corsica had signed treaties with Treser, Van and Pergamos. The human lands gave themselves to their brothers in Corsica and fought together against the dwarven scourge.

The kender remained true to their race and acted in the most perplexing way possible- openly playing both sides terribly, they seemed oblivious to the notion that their less-than-subtle nature fooled neither group.

Only the elves refused to become involved. Angyai, Ekade, Ikash, Omim and Ustam- five forests across Angor and each one a kingdom ruled by the elves. In the time of madness, only the elves seemed to think clearly. Their own ambassadors went out to all the nations, seeking a peaceful resolution. As their efforts were spurned so too did the elves spurn the rest of the world. They withdrew into their treetop kingdoms… and into total neutrality.

Ekade was the first to be destroyed. Bordering the Ebriosus Mountains, nestled in the western hook of the range, the kingdom was ravaged for her resources. In their non-aggression, the elves had become the fuel that feed the fires of war and the refugees began traveling southward, towards their neighbors in Ikash. When they arrived, they found their cousins from Omim already huddled there- having been destroyed themselves, by Corsica. News carried on the back of owls told that Ustam had taken solace in Angyai.

The Border Wars had seen much of the elves’ territory usurped from them- land they claimed had been theirs since the dawn of creation. In the upheaval created by the humans and the dwarves, the elven kingdoms had been shattered…

…And Reunified.

Under a single banner, the elves flew from their foliage fortresses and struck at the world. It had taken the humans and dwarves decades to shatter the world in the Border Wars; it had taken the elves less than a year to conquer it all.

By the end, the elves had done more than conquer- they had enslaved. The humans were bonded as their servants while the dwarves retreated to their mountain stronghold. The gnomes hardly disappointed their intellect; they were quick to change sides and ally themselves with the strongest force. The orcish tribes, which possessed a long-standing feud with the elven clans, shattered and became nomadic and more ferocious. The kender, whom neither the dwarves or humans paid much attention to throughout the war, were of even less interest to the elves… but tolerated none the less.

The elder of Angyai, Nightbreeze Hildegarn, was installed as the mayoid- the liege lord who ruled the feudal realm. Each of the warlords who helped him secure such an empire was given a fiefdom in exchange for their allegiance; the heritable, revenue-producing land in exchange for on-call military duties. The word of these warlords, the snough, is law as they answer only to the mayoid himself.

Angor had entered the Age of Elves.

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