Doom of Irafan

Doom of Irafan - Chapter 1

Cale, Draegan, and Zira are mercenaries hired to protect a researcher on a trek into the southern reaches of the Mor Harund. Before aggressive expansion by the Aslaa, it was home to the Gornish barbarians. The job would be wrough with peril, to be certain.

The three mercenaries spoke little upon reaching the rendezvous point outside of Silverheath, only sharing their names and professions.

On the way to the inn, they defeat a group of zombies attacking some local children. A strange mist heralded the approach of the zombies.

Cale, Draegan, and Zira hire on as protection for a man named Aloragan who wanted to do an experiment somewhere near one of the great monolithic type statues that border the southern edge of the desert up north. On the way, they are caught in a terrible monsoon and while taking shelter, they defeat a wing of spire drakes who had just killed a humanoid. On the humanoid’s body, they find a journal with the word “Balshoon”. When they find the monolith/statue, coincidentally a great pulse washes over them and the monolith/statue activates. A large door opens and out steps a gigantic iron golem and a hundred fleeing kobolds. Someone/something caused the golem to attack, and XXX dies in the melee. Some kobolds attack, but are defeated.

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Doom of Irafan - Chapter 2

Cale, Draegan, and Zira flee the area and the golem switches to a defensive stance near the doorway to the monolith/statue. While they try and determine what to do next, sand scorpions burst from the desert floor and Azazel (Ozzy) happens along them and comes to their aid. During the battle, the sand scorpions fell Draegan. Cale, Ozzy, and Zira escape.

Cale, Ozzy, and Zira encounter Grimlock and Aloric on their way back south. After a brief encounter with barbarian refugees from the north, the five escape a bloody encounter with lizardmen slavers.

The five return to Silverhearth looking for work.

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Doom of Irafan - Chapter 3

Cale, Zira, Ozzy, Grimlock, and Aloric meet up with a sorceress named YYY but are attacked while in one of Silverhearth’s inns by a young but large blue dragon. They defeat the wyrm.

The six gain further employ after talking to various different people in Silverhearth (a shady businessman type running spice, a local militia man, a temple cleric from Cloverdale, and a drunken elf who has lost his mind).

Something stopped up the local water supply. Turns out it was spiders. Big ones. Players win.

Something was causing the zombies to attack, its coming from the east. Players will investigate later.

Some local wizard goes crazy and went missing. Players will look for further clues in a (ZZZ) a town to the east where he was last seen. On their way to ZZZ, the players defeat highwaymen. They also defeat a pack of ghouls during one night’s sleep. One of the ghouls has a clue about the missing/crazy wizard. Seems like he might be the one causing zombies to attack the locals.

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Doom of Irafan - Chapter 4

Cale, Zira, Ozzy, Grimlock, and Aloric decide to split up. Aloric and Ozzy track the ghouls that attacked during the night. Cale, Zira, and Grimlock continue to ZZZ before heading into the Vale of Tears to the south, as that might be where the crazy wizard they’re looking for is also creating zombies. Two jobs at once (see Chapter 3).

Cale, Zira, and Grimlock arrive in ZZZ and turns out the ghouls that attacked them last night had attacked ZZZ as well. The players resupply and head into the Vale of Tears.

In the Vale, they encounter a group of wights and are almost defeated. The Raven Queen spares Zira with a blessing (as she makes her first death save, she gets a natural 20, spends a healing surge, and finishes off the final wight… saving the group).

Cale, Zira, and Grimlock rest up, and continue on, locating an old fort. They defeat some flaming undead skeletons in the rear towers. They defeat some zombie dogs and flying zombie gargoyles in the courtyard. They make their way onto the upper story of the old fort which was partially destroyed, and find a secret way inside through a covered/boarded up stairwell. They decide to rest before continuing inside.

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Doom of Irafan - Chapter 5

Cale, Zira, and Grimlock, having rested, notice a big zombie and some more zombie guard dogs come out through the front doors of the keep. The patrol notices the bodies left by our heroes. Making their way into the fort through their secret entrance, they encounter some more zombies inside.

Aloric rejoins the group having tracked the ghouls from days earlier back here. His first bowshot upon returning is a natural 20 which crit/kills a zombie in 1 shot. Aloric explaines that Ozzy was kidnapped by cloaked/robed figures who spirited away with him.

Cale, Zira, Grimlock, and Aloric continue through the fort discovering it was once Moriven. They also find the first clue that suggests the Moriven might have actually been Shadar-kai. The crazy wizard they were tracking actually failed to summon a perfectly working “Ordith” and the group manages to defeat the “flawed Ordith” with a lucky natural 20 from Zira. A young girl is rescued from the fort.

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Doom of Irafan - Chapter 6

Cale, Zira, Grimlock, and Aloric make their way out of the Vale and on to Cloverdale. Cale splits off from the group for a few days to do some research.

Cale’s research yields some interesting revelations about the Moriven and the Shadar-kai, and he encounters an old friend. Gorgeroth, the tiefling he briefly met weeks earlier in the inn in Silverhearth.

Cale rejoins Zira, Grimlock, and Aloric, and they have a job hunting “Shiny Ones”. This hunt leads them into the sewers of Cloverdale where the players discover the Shiny One’s hideout. They also learn of a ritual that will occur very soon. They try and warn the local militia, but due to some misscommunication and ignorance on the player’s part, they end up in the stockade. They are barely able to disrupt the ritual on the following day, which consisted of 5 shiny ones on the points of a pentagram trying to make a portal out of their own bloody deaths. “something” manages to come through the parially completed portal, but it is defeated as well. It resembled a bunch of shiny ones all mashed together into some sort of flesh golem. The ritual might have actually been a distraction however, as a large explosion rocks Cloverdale moments after their apparent victory. In the wreckage of the explosion, Ozzy’s unconscious body is found among the corpses of his captors.

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Doom of Irafan - Chapter 7

Cale, Zira, Ozzy, Grimlock, and Aloric explore an underground area exposed by the explosion. Someone suggested they might find riches down there (Gorgeroth maybe? Aloric/Grimlock’s contact?).

While underneath the city in some ancient Drennish tunnels, the five encounter and defeat some bugbears. Two bugbears are captured and they gain intel about a dragon and a slaadi tadpole.

The five defeat the young green dragon but spare its life if it will help them defeat the slaadi tadpole. The green dragon agrees, but betrays them in the same moment that it accidentally kills the slaadi tadpole. The players kill the green dragon right before it can escape into a rift/tunnel leading downward. The players descend into the rift and find an amazing room with a map of all of Irafan on the ceiling. In this room are five pedestals, each with a magic item on them. Goggles, an Amulet, a Double Sword, some Boots, and a Weapon Glyph. These items are a set of sorts, all magically linked to one another, granting bonuses to each person who has one, multiplied by the number of items.

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Doom of Irafan - Chapter 8

Cale, Zira, Ozzy, Grimlock, and Aloric return to Cloverdale, and spend the rainy season doing various mercenary types of jobs. Aloric takes a break.

Cale, Zira, Ozzy, and Grimlock find work with Gorgeroth, heading into Mandor to explore an old Moriven/Shadar-kai outpost. At the outpost, they battle and defeat doglike demons, a lightning demon, a flying/gnashing/impish demon, a larger doglike demon with a bunch of little tree/roper type demon minions, and finally a stormshard that was controlling 3 gigantic, 4-clawed demons. They find a wild-magic zone at an exploded out section of the outpost, but after the battle with all the aforementioned demons, they decide to rest before continuing deeper inside.

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Doom of Irafan - Chapter 9

Cale’s Journal

Day 2 of our expedition into the Mandoran stronghold. Kinship with my companions growing each day I adventure with them. Something about this Prime world of Aeon magnifies my emotions a thousandfold. Likely its the distance from the Shadowfell. Missing the cold shadows of Gloomhaven less and less, and finding that I trust my companions more and more. Keep it in check. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but something about it is bothering me.

I wonder if Dahlia ever came this way…

Gorgeroth has been invaluable here. The tiefling sage has a connection with Mandor, and his knowledge has proven itself time and time again. The half-demon can actually handle himself in a fight too. Ozzy has been extremely helpful as well, considering all of the encounters with these “Other” beings we’ve had. He almost always has very detailed intel on their abilities.

Whatever befell this stronghold has wrought the most disturbing kind of chaos. It has manifested itself physical and magical ways.

. . .

Magical:
We have come across several points inside the stronghold where the Prime Material Plane shares a weakened border with the Elemental Chaos and the Astral. We had two encounters so far with the Elemental Chaos… yesterday with the Storm Shard, and again today with a septet of Dust Devils.

Sketch of a Dust Devil
Dust Devil

The intersections with the Astral seem more common. We encountered six Fel Taints, a pair of Grell, and a room that was somehow transformed into a giant digestive organ that’s only desire was to devour us. Possible the last was simply transmutation of the walls into living flesh.

Sketch of a Fel Taint
Fel Taint

In addition to these weakened planar borders, magical chaos has manifested itself as wild magic zones, and what our Invoker, Zyra, continues to describe as latent magical energies that infuse everything.

Physical:
The floor and walls are not always stone, wood, or iron. In some places it has undergone some kind of transmutation into diamond hard substances, and other areas it is as brittle and flimsy as chalk. Even the skeletal remains of the inhabitants (Mandoran garrison?) have been mutated in odd ways. Some extremeties have grown elongated and disfigured, and some of their bones have been transmutated in the same ways as the stronghold’s structure: a complete change of their physical properties into alien materials.

. . .

What has caused all of this? The best conclusion we have come to so far is that some extremely explosive/energetic catastrophe occurred in this place. Hundreds of containment cylinders discovered within almost all of the chambers seem to contain demons of various ranks (Glabrezu, Burrowing Angelfish Demons, etc.). From what we’ve seen of the destroyed cylinders is that the insides were lined with some kind of protective devices: runes, magic… something. They were apparently designed to keep the demons imprisoned or contained. Aside from the live demons we encountered yesterday when we were topside, so far all the rest have been found deceased.

What these cylinders do is still a mystery, but we think they might either:
1) syphon demonic energies from the imprisoned demons to fuel some spherical device in the center of the stronghold
2) the spherical device was the method of the demons’ containment, and this was some kind of staging area for armies of war

Either way, there was conduit leading from all of these hundreds of cylinders to the spherical object. More specifically, to a kind of rod/coil device above the sphere, which might be some kind of energy transformer (who knows? even Gorgeroth is stumped). The sphere seems to be at ground zero of all of these physical and magical disturbances however. A giant crack suggests something went wrong and when it failed, some catastrophic release of energy obliterated this place.

Honestly, I’m not sure if we would have found the access panel to the sphere chamber were it not for an oddly coincidental encounter with a Beholder-Kin (a Gauth?) and his goblinoid mercenaries. It wasn’t an Eye Tyrant, thankfully, but its four eyestalks still presented us with a serious challenge. Its mercenaries consisted of a pair of Barghests and a goblin champion. We managed to capture the goblin after the Beholder and Barghests were defeated, and it gave up a good deal of information about their expedition.

Sketch of Barghests, one in wolf-form
Barghests, one in wolf-form

The best we can tell, the Beholder and his mercs were doing the same thing we were, hunting for spoils from this Mandoren stronghold. How did they come about the information about this place? That we’ll likely never know. In another failing moment of trust we released the goblin’s bonds and returned its weapon in the hopes it would help us in the battle with the grells. It fled, rather than turning on us thankfully. A lesson you’d think we would have learned with the green dragon under Cloverdale.

Sketch of Beholder-Kin (Gauth: Bottom Right)
Beholder

I think its time for a nap. Grimlock is on watch now, so managing to fall asleep will be easy under his protection. With only one way in or out of this chamber, we think we should be secure enough to rest here for a while.

One parting thought… the grells I mentioned were actually inside the sphere, which really messed with my head when I took a look inside. Though there were only two of them, the grells were very tough adversaries. Ahh well. We’ll finish our exploration of the last wing in this stronghold after we’re back to full strength.

Sketch of a Grell
Grell

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Doom of Irafan - Chapter 10
Doom of Irafan - Chapter 10

Cale’s Journal


Day 3

The monks of Iluven suggest that the only way to save their neighboring village is for us to find a Cleric of the Black Flame to cleanse the townspeople before they are corrupted into Bane Ghouls. They sent us south to a stronghold occupied by paladins of Damon.

Last night, as we made camp, we were set upon by a patrol from the Fae Wild. A knight, mage, and even a quickling. Thankfully Aloric rejoined us or we might not have known how important it was to control the quickling. Zyra’s abilities came in most handy in keeping the hastened creature mostly nullified.

We slew the knight, and took the mage prisoner. What happened next is troubling for me on a personal level. Aloric began his interrogation of the mage to determine their purpose here. It became quickly apparent they were in fact from the Fae Wild and not from Blackthorn Forest, and thus, likely enemies of the local elves. Aloric’s methods were far from effective, so in my impatience, I began to torture the mage to get information out of him.

Two things bother me about this:

First, I’m concerned that I even cared enough about the Irafani elves to torture one of their enemies for information. I do not have near enough information to choose sides in this conflict. I can only assume its because of the growing bond between myself and Aloric, a ranger who I had conflicts on early in our relationship. This is likely a condition of my surroundings and my distance from the Shadowfell, even more reason to continue to keep my emotions in check.

Second, I’m concerned that it took so much torture to get information out of these Fae Wild elves. It was only when he was on death’s door that he gave up any useful information. He earned his reward of death, but oponents with such loyalty and dedication to their cause bothers me. Such loyalty… or perhaps it was military conditioning… or maybe even something else… whatever it is, it has bred some tough warriors.

We rode on through the night, and we are exhausted. I write as we are resting a bit here at the Tower of XXX, but we must set out again soon. The paladins of Damon said their Cleric of the Black Flame is missing. He went on some kind of mission to some town to the south to purify them of the influence of some Leviathan (side note: this Serpent God, Leviathan, was one of the enemies of Damon that decorated the windows of their chapel. Others were a man, a bloated and misshapen drider, thats three… I don’t remember the other 1-3… I think there were either 4 or 6).

We leave soon. I must sleep, at least a little.


Day 4

The paladins of Damon have sent one of their oder with us. Reminds me of a ninja. I like him already.

The town wasn’t far away. The paladins of Damon suggested that this was once a town on the northern periphery of the Morivan Empire. Probably the exact kind of place a cult of Leviathan would like. Who knows?

We arrived and began our search. Four old crone witches nearly wiped us all out. Thanks to our new ninja friend, and Grimlock’s mighty fortitute, that we survived…

...but most of all, thanks to the Raven Queen. I have long lived under the influence of her rule, but only since I have met Zyra have I truly seen her bless her followers. Just when I thought Zyra had fallen, again she was granted redemption by her Queen to come to our aid. Though I didn’t personally witness this in the Vale of Tears, all those months ago when she saved us from a pack of ghouls, I saw it this time with my own eyes. Our invoker, and everything I’ve seen of her angels and divine wrath, rose after suffering mortal wounds and came to our aid.

I would thank you, Raven Queen, but I know your desire, as I have seen what it has wrought in all my years in the Shadowfell. If you granted Zyra redemption twice so far, its only because you mean to take her at a more appropriate time of your choosing.

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