Adventures in Theia

Samhain Approaches
Bakadru who?

Centorix the crazed bowman started to struggle at his bonds, bloodying himself. Intrigued, Bakadru, Cadmus, and Maslorias set him and followed him at a distance. The bowman made straight for the Kaer paying no heed to obstacles in his path or the injuries they caused him. Reaching the gate he mindless rammed into it until the guards noticed him. The guards, perturbed by the disturbance, eventually recognized Centorix but not his condition. Thinking the bowman was drunk off his ass, the guards let him in and laughed as he shambled off toward the High Druid’s home. Our trio used the distraction to slip into the Kaer and continue trailing the bowman. Ultan berated the bowman before heading towards the grove with his underlings. While Maslorias kept watch outside, Cadmus and Bakadru stole into the Druid’s home. Their entry triggered the summoning of a water elemental from a pool just inside the door. As the elemental gathered itself, the interlopers searched the home finding spell books and ancient coins.

They slipped out of the house and headed south before the elemental fully emerged, but the druids soon returned. The trio was forced to hide in the thickets as the druidic apprentices searched by lantern. Eventually the apprentices gave up and our heroes headed toward the gate. More hiding in thickets awaited them while they waited for morning and the opening of the gates. After sunrise, a decent opportunity to return to the farm failed to present itself. Perhaps they should have waited for the changing of the guards, but impatience got the better of them. Cadmus and Maslorias tried carrying Bakadru between them feigning drunk. Their ruse failed and Bakadru made the questionable decision ensorcell one of the guards. While the spelled guard waved them out, the other guard noted his compatriot’s odd behavior and called for aid in apprehending our heroes. Bakadru then made the even worse decision to forgo caution and openly cast a spell. Black sorcery drove the Kelts to attack Bakadru while Cadmus and Maslorias feigned that they had been ensorcelled as well. The Kelts cut down the errant sorcerer. As Bakadru bled out, Ultan arrived in hawk form and ordered Cadmus and Maslorias, who offered no resistance, taken to his home.


Goodbye demon, hello zombie?
Poke him with a stick

Having buried Bros under his severed head trophies, Maslorias turned over the cursed Orichalchum sword to Ygr for destruction. Stumped about how to deal with the demon, Cadmus and Maslorias took counsel with Ygr. They were all stumped until Judoc interrupted them with the demon’s true name: Mesokek.

Armed with the demon’s true name, Maslorias and Cadmus returned to the caves below the keep. Foregoing bargaining with the demon or trying to use it, they use it’s name to banish it from whence it came. On their way out, the door they suspected to exist behind the demon glyph swung open and an shrunken figure emerged. Cadmus, fearing a zombie, attacked. The figure dodged and squawked for water. After many questions and much prodding with a stick, the figure convinces Cadmus that he is not a zombie, but a foreign sorcerer named Bakadru imprisoned for reasons unknown to him. His scant memories point to the high druid, Ultan’s involvement…

Demon and Death in the Dark
People really need to stop falling into ravines

Finding the entrance to the cave did not prove difficult. Getting in required a name. Stating Derwin ap Ultan did the trick. The caves were ancient. Many feet over the centuries had worn paths in the floor. Some areas of the cave complex seemed unstable. Cadmus found a key under an odd statue. Exploring beyond the statue led to a chamber with ancient moldering robes and two locked chests. Maslorias found and disabled a tripwire attached to the chest opened by the key Cadmus had found. More moldering robe, black candles, and a cloak apparently fashioned from human skin were inside. Unable to open a demon shaped door, the trio continues exploring and came upon an actual demon trapped in a pentacle of blood with black candles burning at the corners who greeted their approach as if they were Ultan. The demon was willing to bargain for their soul. In other words, not at all helpful. Beyond the demon, they defeated a snake in a pool and discovered passages ready to collapse. Unsure how to banish the demon, Maslorias planned to divert an underground stream and flood the demon’s chamber. To that end, he used deep earth magic to block off some passages. That done, he was unable to divert the stream himself or summon and elemental to do it for him.

Leaving the demon for the time being they returned to the area with the gargoyles to finish exploring the caves. Approaching a chasm, Cadmus determined the ground was unstable. Bros, not paying attention, tried to skirt the chasm. The ground gave way and Bros plunged to his death. Using rope, Maslorias and Cadmus recovered Bros’ body and undamaged equipment. The carried him back to the farm on his shield…

Dire Portents
Attacked in the night

In the morning a group of horsemen thundered past the farmhouse toward the Kaer. Wondering what was up, Bros, Cadmus, and Maslorias followed them to town and then the king’s keep. Several of the horsemen were standing outside talking. Bros tried to eavesdrop unsuccessfully. He then chatted up the sword smiths with similar results. Eventually, the horseman leader emerged from the keep and left with his men. The queen’s sister also emerged from the keep. She made note of the outsiders and re-entered the keep. Sensing that their information gathering mission had failed, Cadmus returned to the farm. Bros went and bothered the guards for a bit, but failed to gain entry to their private ale house. Maslorias decided to visit Elwy the herbalist before returning to the farmhouse. She described a vision doom for the town. The king’s head in a chalice that poured blood over the the whole Kaer.

Back at the farmhouse, they discussed the vision with Ygr. With the vision in mind, and the lack of credible authorities to turn him over to for justice, it was decided to end the threat Derwin presented. Maslorias and Cadmus took Derwin downriver of the Kaer under cover of darkness. He was quickly executed and sent down the river.

That night Cadmus heard a disturbance during his watch. Charging into the darkness, he was promptly hit with an arrow. Bros and Maslorias went to his aid, but the situation only improved when Ygr and Judoc joined the fry. With their help a crazed bowman, Centorix, was captured and interrogated.

There are caves under the Kaer…

The pocked ginger git
Judoc's rescue

Bros, Cadmus, and Maslorias cautiously explored the barrow. A passage to the west was blocked with a large shone plug. Several alcoves revealed bodies buried upright. They found seven headless bodies scattered amongst them. Disturbingly, they were not buried and seemed to match the heads on the pikes outside the barrow. Exercising an abundance of caution, Maslorias conjured earth to bury the headless bodies. The passage north terminated in carved stone door, beyond which voices could be heard.

The trio burst through the door revealing a pocked ginger git talking to a strange figure in a mirror with a stone golem standing nearby. The figure in the mirror promptly disappeared, the mirror resuming normal behavior. Bros lay into the git with his shield knocking him from his feet. Maslorias put is staff to the man’s throat. Not understanding the gravity of his situation, the git called on the golem to defend him. Cadmus’ saber proved ineffective on the beast, but Bros’ ancient sword quickly severed one of it’s arms. Maslorias pressed his staff into the git’s neck until he realized his position and called off the golem. The pocked ginger, who turned out to be Derwin, son of the Kaer’s high druid, git was reticent about confessing his sins, but his tongue loosed when they made it clear they had no problem adding him to the barrow permanently given Alexios and Liannen’s fate.

He confessed to [GM assistance please] but pinned Liannen murder on Niamv, Kaer Kilmaren’s king’s elder sister. His story told, he led the trio to a secret chamber where Judoc was unconscious under a silver net. The freed the boy who did not stir. Hearing some scrambling in the earth filled passages, they through the net over Derwin who promptly passed out. Gathering their horses, Judoc and their new prisoner, they returned to the their farm to plan their next move.

Discussing Derwin’s revelations with Ygr, he added [GM assistance please]

Alexios, We hardly knew ye
Looking for Judoc and Liannen

The day following the battle with the horned being and white hounds, the group returned to Kaer Kilmaren rather uneventfully. Maslorias and Bros stayed at their farm while Cadmus returned to the Kaer with the other Mitraics. In the morning, Cadmus awoke to find he had been abandoned by his comrades. Alexios and his men had ridden out early in the morning. He returned to the farm to discuss this turn of events with the other outsiders. While the three of them talked, Ygr the Dvergar from the Maghswold appeared and was quite distraught to find Judoc missing.

Ygr mentioned that two other sets of stones like the Pelloryns had been similarly attacked. This was seriously weakening the Ring of Khell, a mystical barrier keeping the Fomhoire from the world. Their return could start a new ice age. He stated that the caves they had been traipsing about in was an ancient city called Barakus. It had been home to the Keltic gods and precursors to today’s Dvergar. His people had been slaves there, even if well treated. He claimed to be the smith who forged the orichalchum sword Bros now carries, and that he had filled it with all of his hate. That it was cursed and should be cast aside. Bros scoffed at the idea. He identified the ancient short sword and stated the ivory rod held some compulsion over the Dvergar, but had no idea about the ebony heart. He confessed to betraying the gods on the eve of battle with the Fomhoire, stealing and hiding away Briannac spear of the gods. All this talk put Ygr into a deep funk.

Cadmus returned to town to speak with Ultan the high druid. Ultan seemed to know nothing of recent happening but was surprised Cadmus knew names from ancient lore. He agreed to speak with Maslorias and Bros, but only after the Samhain festival. While he was gone, Maslorias tried turn the Dvergar’s depression into determination with limited success. He agreed to stay at the farm and meet Ultan when the time came.

With six days ahead of their meeting with Ultan, Maslorias, Bros, and Cadmus decided to follow the cold trail of Judoc and Liannan. Following the now familiar trail towards the caves, the encountered a tangle of vines across the path that wasn’t there the night before. When Maslorias used witch sight, it was clearly unnatural growth coming from the south. Dispelling the growth revealed a figure sprawled off the path. This was the Mitraic crusader, Alexios, strangled by the vines. While a disgusted Cadmus looked on, Bros looted the body and Maslorios recovered some items from the crusader’s dead horse. Among Alexios’ belongings was a feminine ring on a bronze chain glowing with enchantment to Maslorias witch sight. In the Pict’s hands, the ring seemed to pull toward the south. Rather than following the ring’s pull through the wilderness, they decided to proceed to the game trail they identified earlier. The trail and the ring eventually led to Liannan’s corpse, a few days dead. Her throat had been cut and the ring Maslorias returned to her stolen. Towards the river to the south lay an odd hill. To their sarcastic delight, the circular hill held another cave…

The wild hunt?
These caves are nothing but trouble

Bros and Maslorias led Cadmus, Alexios, and his crusaders back to the caves as requested. The now familiar journey was uneventful. While the Mitraic faithful, were taking in the Chaos beast corpse outside, Bros and Maslorias investigated the strange lockbox on the island in the cave lake. Using deep magic, Maslorias was able to determin that here was as shaft underneath, but picking the lock proved impossible. Bashing it with the large Woodwose’s hammer also proved ineffective. Checking the other two islands revealed two similar boxes, each with a slightly different stamp. Bros and Cadmus each were lucky enough to open one of these latter two revealing a small cavity and a lever. Maslorias was able to locate three objects made of metal similar to that of the boxes with Deep magic. They may be keys but they were all well below ground and unreachable. Unable to open the first box, they decide to move on.

Next they led Alexios to the demonic statue. Alexios did some Mitraic magic hoodoo and declared it to be the demon god Tsathoggua. He stated Tsathogua was unlikely to be involved with the chaos beasts encountered and that the statue had been recently moved to its current location. This was disturbing and added to the mystery of the caverns, but didn’t interest Alexios too much. They then proceeded to the creeper’s lair. Alexios found a small fissure leading down, but again Alexious remained focused on finding Liannen. As night was falling, exited the caves and set up camp: the Mitraics outside with the horses, Bros and Maslorias in the bandit’s cave.

In the night, everyone is wakened by an eerie howl. Exiting the bandit cave, Bros remains just outside while Maslorias went to converse with the Mitraics. The howling seemed to come from the north, but Maslorias’ owl couldn’t pinpoint anything. Maslorias stated he was expecting a pack of cadaverous black wolves. He was wrong. A few minutes later, another blood curdling howl was heard and four huge white hounds with red ears appeared and charged a hastily formed Mitraic line. The shaken humans tried setting up a defensive line, but the huge hounds bowled men over. While the crusaders battled the beasts, Maslorias tried calming the spooked horses to no effect. Bros attempted to flank the hounds by skirting around a rock formation. This proved to be a mistake as a large horned man and even more hounds joined the fray. In his isolated position, Bros was dog-piled by three of the large hounds. To the south, Alexios, Cadmus, and a number of crusaders engaged the original hounds and a few reinforcements. The horned man and three of his hounds approached Maslorios, the horses, and the remaining crusaders, but only one hound attacked while the horned man hurled his spear which magically returned to is hand. Shaken, the men missed more blows than they land, but the Crusader’s armor protected them from the worst. Bros was not so lucky. Overwhelmed, he was brought to death’s door. Only heroics from Alexios and Cadmus saved him, but this put the lightly armored Cadmus in harm’s way. A few hounds had been put down by now. The horned one approached Maslorias’ line and the horses bolted. Cadmus was mauled, but Alexios again called upon Mitra’s aid and saved him. Struck a bleeding wound by the horned man’s spear, Maslorias pulled off the line to attempt to staunch the wound. Bros’ warhorse charged into the fray and began turning the tide on that side of the battle. Seven crusaders faced off against the horned man and one hound on one side of a rock formation, while Alexios, Cadmus, Bros, his horse and the last crusader faced several hounds on the other. His would finally bound, and seeing the horned man contained, Maslorias moved to aid the others. With his arrival and the effects of the howl wearing off, the last hounds on that side were put down. But before they could move to aid the crusaders with the horned man, three deafening horn blasts rang out. Blocked by the massif, they were unable to see the horned man, but a few of the crusaders could be seen sprawling. Moving around, they found the horned man and his mist gone. Two crusader were dead and the survivors on that side were in bad shape. Unable to hear, they patched wounds, applying magic where needed, in silence. Eventually their hearing returned, but conversation shed little light on what just happened. Could they really have been the target of Cernunnos and his wild hunt?

Retrieving the horses was a simple matter, but little sleep came to them the rest of the night. Come morning they made haste back towards Kaer Kilmaren. Truly these caves are ill omened.

Hello Cadmus
Downtime in the Kaer? Not so much.

Having returned to Kaer Kilmaren, Bros and Maslorias went on a spending spree acquiring mounts and re-equipping. Blocked from buying a place to stay in the Kaer, they visited family of the boy who survived the chaos beast attack. They bought the boy’s farm for a sizable sum, giving the boy’s family a good opportunity to support him. Living large, Bros made friends losing money gambling and buying drinks. In short order, he was approached with the deal of a lifetime. Not one to pass up such a chance, Bros invested in a mysterious Orichalcum mining venture. No doubt he will be able to retire to a life of drinking and whoring in short order. While Bros was having fun, Masorlias fashioned a new quarterstaff, made plans with the tanner for Linnorm skin armor, researching the odd things they had acquired, and otherwise being lame.

One night early into the their stay, they met an Illyrian follower of Mitra. The city dweller, Cadmus, seemed none to pleased to be out in the wilds of Getae. Commiserating with Bros over drink and dice, talk turned to recent events. He provided news of events in Garstag. Pwll and several other members the fianna had been arrested by the Mitraic authorities. This didn’t sit well with Maslorias, who brought up the threat to all involved: chaos beasts and the people creating them. Cadmus was skeptical to say the least, but agreed to let Maslorias try to prove it. Maslorias, unaware or not caring how the locals would react, glowing with Deep Magic mage light shared his memories of the latest battle with the choas beast. As the inn’s common room went silent and a couple men slipped out, Cadmus agreed to travel to the caves to see the evidence in person. Leaving the common room to retire for the night, Bros and Maslorias were ambushed by thugs. Aided by Cadmus, the thugs were all quickly incapacitated. They claimed to have been told the two foreigners were easy targets by a pock marked redhead who was likely to be a the Grand Druid’s son.

After an uneventful trip to the caves, the rotting chaos beast corpse and the ancient chaos symbol on its chest turned Cadmus into a believer. After skinning the Linnorm and honoring Domhnall with a bottle of fine whisky, the set off towards the Kaer, severed heads in tow. Returning late at night, Cadmus spent the night at the farm since the gates were likely to be shut. In the morning, he returned to Kaer and met Alexios, leader of the Mitraic paladins. From Alexios, he learned the thugs who assaulted Malsorias and Bros several nights earlier had all been murdered in their jail cells. Alexios agreed to meet the strange foreigners and hear their story about ancient chaos being abroad in the world. The paladin seemed to accept their story, perhaps aided by the rotting wolf head staked outside the farm, but seemed more interested in tracking down his wife: Liannan, the Keltic woman now missing with Judoc.

Farewell Domhnall
Poison, landworm, and Dvergar

Determined to recover their gear, the three adventurers thought about how to overcome the Creepers. Lacking resources, they decide to turn an obstacle into an asset. They planned to capture some of the poison covering the Hyperborean-like man in the crypt and unleash it on the creepers. Bros was able to fashion some torches and pitch plugs for the containers they found in alchemy area. Descending into the crypt, Maslorias and Domhnall entered the chamber with the poison under glass, while Bros stood guard at the end of the hall. Maslorias laid down a layer of magically controlled air while Domhnall broke the glass with a rock. Guiding the poison into the containers proved too difficult so they moved to plan B: gas the bugs behind the mirror. Containing the poison in a vortex of air and maneuvering it into out of the chamber and into the passage with the bugs was difficult but ultimately successful. The bugs died in the vortex of poison and air. The passage behind the mirror was clear of bugs, but also empty of anything useful. Maslorias forced the vortex of poison up the holes in the ceiling and more bugs could be heard dying above. Maslorias then retreated out of the tunnel and closed the mirror, letting the now uncontrolled poison do its work. While waiting for the poison to settle, they searched the newly uncovered body. The sword turned out to be an Orichalcum masterpiece. They also discovered 99 gold pieces sewn into the bodies chest. Checking the other body, another 99 gold pieces was turned up. That done, they decided to probe the holes in the ceiling of the bug hall. But they didn’t wait long enough. When Domhnall opened the mirror door, a few whisps of poison escaped. Gasping, Domhnall fell to the floor. Bros tried to help, while Maslorias looked on in horror. Bros was able to expel some of the poison from the stricken man’s lungs, but the damage was done: Domnal died screaming.

Bros and Maslorias decided to cut their losses and abandoned the poisoned tunnel. Gathering the Domhnall’s body, they returned to the cave above and sealed the crypt. At this point, Maslorias noticed how quiet the cave had become. Exploring the cave system again, they discovered that the Creepers had fled. Bros and Maslorias then fashioned a bridge out of barricade wood to explore beyond the river. Immediately after crossing their makeshift bridge, a massive snakelike beast erupted out of the river and attacked. Enter the Linnorm! Maslorios’ staff seemed to bounce off the beast’s hide, but Bros’ fancy crypt sword had no such problem. After trading a few blows, Maslorias scored a lucky blow to the beast’s neck, felling it. To the southeast the beast’s nest was found. A couple of large eggs and a horde of old coins was the prize. Using the makeshift bridge to finish exploring, they approach the odd door they saw earlier. While trying to open the door, they were confronted by a Dvergar named Grimba. Scrambling the eggs, the three of them discussed the matters at hand. Grimba had been trapped the Linnorm while searching the cavern for some sort of Dvergar artifact he was unwilling to elaborate upon. He thanked Bros and Maslorias and invited them to seek him out if they ever find themselves in his city of Gnoc Crua. After their hearty breakfast, Grimba headed home, Bros and Maslorias burried Domhnall, and torched the alchemy lab and its wicked fluid.

Heading back toward Kaer Kilmaren, Maslorias noted where Judoc and Liannan’s tracks left the path. In town, they planned to recuperate and re-equip for the trials ahead. Unfortunately, two outsiders spending loads of money, some of it of odd mint, made the local’s tongues wag. Bros bragging about this fancy crypt sword didn’t help either…

Spelunking continued
Part 2: Naked this time

The larger enemy cast the area into magical darkness and the small men got there act together. Under cover of darkness they swarmed both Bros and Domhnall. Overpowered by weight of numbers, they were rendered unconscious. Some time later, the trio awoke to darkness, naked and bound. Freeing themselves didn’t prove difficult, but greater travails lay ahead. They felt around in the darkness and discovered a number of stone sarcophagi. One was sealed and the rest long since plundered, yielding nothing of use but a femur. A wall sconce provided a torch, but no means to light it, save magic. They decided against that as Maslorias’ reserves were still depleted.

Unsure of how to proceed, they let curiosity get the better of them. Working together they managed to unseal the remaining sarcophagus. Inside, to their surprise, they found stairs rather than a body. Bros took the femur as a club, and descended the mystery stairs. Reaching the bottom, Bros was greeted by horrific sounds and footsteps from the gloom. Bros raced up the stairs and called for help. Calling on the sphere of fire and glyph of creation, Maslorias lit the torch. Finally able to see again, he and Domhnall watch as Bros tumbles out of the sarcophagus followed by two ghouls. With bone club, fist, and conjured flame, the three naked adventurers put down the ghouls for the price of a few scratches and a now useless finger. Domhnall had thrown an errant punch and hit the sarcophagus.

Now possessing a source of light, the three naked adventurers descend the hidden stairs. Below they found a strange pillared crypt. Doors appeared to be etched into the pillars with unreadable flowing script above them. The ghouls had cached the bones and belongings of long dead grave robbers in corners. A hard leather armor fit Maslorias who also took up a serviceable pack, there was a short sword for Bros, while Domhnall received the trusty femur. In the northwest corner, they found two large double doors tied shut with gold cord. Beyond them lay a long, mirror lined corridor. A similar set of doors at the far end wouldn’t budge. Checking the mirrors, they found three that swung out. The east-side mirror closest to the entrance, led to a funeral chamber. Set into the floor was a pane of green glass, covering a richly dressed, sword holding man that resembled a Hyperborean, but with some differences. Domhnall noticed a slight movement below the glass, leading them to believe there was a green gas below the glass. Leaving the body and it’s presumably poison gas, they checked the east-side mirror closer to the sealed door that proved to be beetle infested. The west-side mirror led to a chamber similar to the first. This one, however, had been looted. The glass in the floor was broken, two withered corpses, faces twisted in pain, lay on the floor, and a not quite Hyperborean woman’s body lay in the floor with an ornate scepter. Checking the body and beneath it, Bros and Maslorias opened a cavity below the body releasing a white gas that blinded them. Again unable to see, they fumbled around for the scepter and a ebony heart from the cavity while retreating to the hallway.

Domnhall led the two blind men back up the stairs and started looking for a way out. They came upon a pool of clean water, but washing out their eyes didn’t restore their sight. Shortly thereafter, Domhnall led them to the site of their earlier battle with the Woodwoes. Strangely, their foes bodies had been stripped of all cloth and furs. Exiting the cave they looked for, but were unable to find Judoc, Liannan, or the horses. Defeated for the time being, the group retreated to the bandit’s cave to lick their wounds. After resting, Maslorias was able to neutralize the poison blinding himself and Bros with Deep Magic. Sight restored, wounds treated, and wearing dead men’s gear, they pondered what to do next. Judoc and Liannon had not returned, and they had no food, so they decided to brave the cave once more in search of their missing gear. A more thorough search revealed an alchemy area and some notes which shed some light on the recent goings on. Further delving revealed a carved stalagmite and magical formation of stones. Other things of note were a suit of bronze scale mail that fit Maslorias well in a mound of rubbish and a keyhole on an island in the underground pool, and a fast flowing river. The latter, Bros slipped and fell into. Domhnall, overestimated his athletic prowess, jumped into the river trying to leap to the other side. Luckily Maslorias was able to throw them a line. Wet, they retreated to the alchemy lab to consider their next move.


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