It all started with a letter and a ring

The Lich and the Thunderbird
by Finn

When I was first transferred to this party, my supervisor gave me one piece of advice: Don’t trust anyone. When I first met the group, I thought that he must have been misinformed of the state of things in this branch of the organization. These people were far more straightforward and less deceptive than my previous co-workers up north. But now I see what he meant. While the foot-soldiers are honorable and trustworthy, their superior(s?) are a whole other matter. While we still aren’t sure exactly what the return of eden would entail, none of the information that we have found points to it being a good thing. So, as we made our way back to the Leram empire, we began to consider the idea of not making it happen. However, we still wanted to seek out the remaining members of the family, both to learn more and to prevent any disasters from causing economic damage taking innocent lives. For this reason, we headed towards the capitol, hoping to find conflict bad enough to draw out one of the family. Unfortunately, our new political leanings were known only to us, and so our enemies remained opposed to our travels. A terrible storm ravaged our boat when we were at sea, potentially called upon us by “Storm” himself, killing the crew and leaving us to row a makeshift lifeboat to shore. Once we made it to the coast, we rode along with a trade caravan to the capitol. The bad weather continued, but was much less deadly. Perhaps Storm planned on depressing us to death? No, he seems much more direct than that (but I must remember the depression idea for future use).

Once we reached the capitol, things briefly switched from other-worldly conflict to good old fashioned human conflict. The theocrats had taken over, but a revolution was brewing amongst the masses (encouraged by the expert brew-master Kevtumal). Within days of our arrival, a full on assault was launched on the so called “speaker”. As we predicted, the skirmish drew the attention of a teacher, the thunderbird AKA Storm. He appeared with a lightning strike and confronted the speaker, exchanging words but not blows. Taka apparently was bored by this, and so he let loose an arrow. As it passed Storm, the electrical power that his arrow was imbued with multiplied ten-fold, and it struck the speaker with enough force to send him flying backwards. However, Storm was not the only supernatural power that saw fit to intervene. The demi-lich that attacked us in the desert followed us all this way, and used the bodies of those slain in the battle against us. Paladins and soldiers alike began swarming the streets, as the lich revealed that he planned on killing us to prevent us from bringing about eden. At this point, we were still neutral on the whole “eden” thing, so we did not correct him. Storm realized that with his army of undead holy men, the lich was too powerful for us to handle, so he flew us out of the city. Once we escaped, we had a little chat about the family and eden. Apparently, the return of eden would entail the opening of the gates between worlds, allowing gods and devils to once again roam the earth freely. A side effect of this is that the demi-lichs’ curse would be broken. This all fit with our previous knowledge of eden, which conveniently left out the demons. We decided then that we would no longer do the bidding of our superior, as eden seemed incredibly dangerous for all mortals (and two non-mortals).

So why then did our boss send us to find this information? Surely most of my colleagues were selected for their heroic, humanitarian tendencies. Perhaps our defection is of no importance, and our mysterious employer merely needed more information about the family? Either way, we are no longer on his good side, whoever he is.

As our conversation with Storm ended, we heard a cracking sound from the south, in the direction of the large volcano. Storm believed it to be the sound of someone, most likely our boss, killing the scorpion. This means that the only ones left are him and Granny…

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A Token of their Burden

With the volcano split open, we knew we didn’t have much time before we would have to return and protect granny. However, we didn’t know who or what had killed Quake, so with quick haste, we rode on the wings of our friend Storm to enter the volcano and see what destruction had been wrought. Entering, we found ourselves in front of a large magma pool… With a humanoid body floating within it.

With the help of the druid magic, we were able to fish the body out of the lava.

…It was cold to the touch, and had no signs of being burned by the magma. Yet, with further inspection, we found stab wounds on the body with burns around the entry points. Storm made note of his missing infernal blade.

Knowing that there wasn’t much left to do there, we then made haste to granny. Speaking with her for a time, we found that there is only one way to truly defeat the lich brothers.

Open the door to Eden for a time, to allow them to gain mortality, and then seal up the door.
…Which is exactly what we had been working towards with the organization this entire time.

We’ve been played, well and true.

One of the lich brother’s is tired of immortality, and wishes to finally have peace. So, over hundreds of years, he’s set up the elaborate organization, for the purpose of bringing about the end of his mortality and open the gates to Eden. And he had selected us to help him finish the job.

Discussing with granny, the only real way to let this happen is with the death of her and Storm, while ensuring that someone else can take up the mantle. …And the ones who will fit that bill will be us.

There are concerns about Red’s ability to take up the mantle. Being related to the lich, she is at risk of being overcome with her past and origin. Hopefully, with her own strength and a little help from us, she will be able to come out from that stronger, and will be able to hold up the mantle with the rest of us.

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In Search of Power

Knowing we had to take up the mantle of the teachers, we decided to begin our preparations by heading to Lèncahnat’ so that we might find information regarding the Lich brother who’s goal was to rule mortal-kind. On our way north we went to visit the orc who specializes in awakened items. He helped us become more attuned to our equipment, providing a much needed magical edge for the upcoming conflict. Speaking of magical edges, our next stop was to see the blacksmith. Now that I had a source of hellfire with which to smelt our mysterious metal, he made for us two fine weapons that were to be used by our druid, a scimitar and a lance.

Later, as we arrived in Lèncahnat’s capital, we were met with a cityscape most bizarre. The architecture was much less grandiose then we had become accustomed to, but their technological advances were clearly impressive. Every third building seemed to be a magic shop. Looking around we saw army recruiting posters everywhere. We asked the nearest sentries what was going on and were surprised to hear that the Gotban Free Trading Principalities might soon be invaded in an attempt to reconquer the land that once belonged to the empire. We tried to contact the King’s second son but he was too busy with military matters. We had heard that the Gotban Free Trading Principalities contained some prominent guilds that sought to swear fealty to the empire on the condition that the second son, who is much more amenable to their religion, be named heir to the throne. Seeing an avenue for peace, we resolved to travel to the Gotban Free Trading Principalities, but first we decided to follow up on a note that our paper frogs had returned.

We entered the allegedly haunted house, which to our dismay proved quite haunted indeed. The furnishings were not appreciative of our presence, but the doors proved rather sturdy. The owner of the house apparently was a scholar of magic and alchemy. As we found ourselves entering the attic, the source of this house’s magic became dramatically clear.

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In preparation

So before take on the mantles of humanity, we have decide to persue some unfinished business around the different nations. One of the tasks we decide to do was to stop a international war through peace and negotiation. We haven’t made much Congress due to the bureaucracy of the system put in place in the Gotban free trading principalities. The different guilds have much interests and power over what happens in the city we are in and to stop needless bloodshed we need to learn how to navigate this system. For now we are bluffing our way through the different livestock and food related regulatory guilds.

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The Sound of Music

Having successfully infiltrated and observed the political situation in the Gotban Principalities, we decided to head on back to Lenknat. Our next course of action was to get the younger brother onto the throne. Hopefully, with our subtle, nearly imperceptible manipulation of the Gotban goat barons, this would result in the peaceful merger of the two countries, which will have no further international consequences. However, we had one more thing to do before we left. Taka had managed to get himself arrested during our short stay, and we had managed to break him out, but his possessions were still locked away.
While Taka and Murthrug schemed together on how to sneak back in and retrieve his things, I donned my title of sausage king and approached the guard house prepared to bribe my way in. It took disappointingly little effort to convince the guard to “forget” his keys in exchange for a fraction of what we would have had to spend to free Taka in the first place. In the evidence locker, I found Taka’s equipment, and some paperwork that looked lie deeds of some kind. I took all of them on impulse. It turned out that they were forged documents for the raising and selling of goats. Perhaps they will come in handy later.
With that behind us, we went to Lenknat and got in contact with the organization there. We found two people to talk to, one was an assassin, and one was a former military captain. We opted to talk to the captain, as we were not sure if we wanted someone dead just yet. We approached the captain and told him about our goals. He thought about it for a moment, and replied “the moths are very fruitful this winter”. He then tried to fill an upside down glass, and we noticed that he was wearing a shirt for pants. Clearly, something was not right here. We tried to communicate with him, using both gibberish and normal sentences, but nothing worked. Using our combined magical talent, we confirmed that there was something wrong with him. We descended upon him and poked and prodded him with a variety of spells, before coming to the conclusion that he was borked. Finally, we gave up and asked one of the other members of the organization milling about, who confirmed that he was in fact borked. In an experiment done by a local wizard, intended to turn the man into a super-soldier, he had instead been turned into a bumbling idiot. We decided to try and fix him in case he knows something that could help us, so we asked a man with a gnarly scar about any wizards crazy enough to try. He said he knew a guy, and gave us an address.
Upon arrival, we found an arrangement of glasses filled with varying amounts of water. Opening the door caused a gust of wind to resonate the glasses, causing a strange harmony. Not just sound, but magical energy emanated from the glasses, and an arcane mark held itself in the air before dissipating. We found more musical magical experiments further inside, before running into the arcane maestro himself. We explained our request, and he said he could attempt a cure. The one thing he needed was a helmet made of crystal, which he himself could acquire. While we waited for his half-elf manservant to gather the materials, I learned a thing or two about magic from him.Now, we just have to wait.

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