Gala: Sun & Flames

The Starlight Path (1)

Fionn Malendar, Viarri of Iressil, and Hearn went to the Starlight Path to try to find one of the necessary components for the Aeveen-killing sword. The source of the Starlight Path was supposedly created by the goddess Moriath’s tears, and the sword needs the tears of a goddess.

Once there, they run into Tierney Callum. He wasn’t dead, apparently, and looks a lot tougher now with half his face burned off. He has 200 soldiers with him and another 300 camped, so Fionn agrees to take Tierney to the source of the river (since Tierney wants to prevent them from activating the sword). Tierney tells Fionn that he’s holding Fionn and Viarri’s son, Tyrel, hostage away from the Shrine of Sacred Fires.

The party and subsequent army reaches a part of the river with no shore to walk on — simply steep mountain on either side. The water is shallow but the current is very strong, and one of the soldiers is caught by an undertow and drowned. They decide they need something to weigh themselves down with.

Fionn and co. take another path, but the way is barred by brutes. The brutes claim that it is mating season and there are violent rituals going on north of this pass, so it wouldn’t be wise for a mere human to enter. Fionn explains the predicament and the brutes let him pass, but warn him of the danger. Fionn, Viarri, Hearn, Tierney, and a henchman head north through a shallow lake and reach a shore with a large hole leading underground.

Going underground, they find themselves in a large arena-like room where a male brute is defending the honor of his would-be lover. Fionn sees that their boots are heavily weighted, so he defeats the male brute in combat in exchange for the boots. With the weighted boots, they’ll now be able to go through the fast part of the river.

Scully's Library
Session 10

Soerhyllis of Iressil, the Chosen of Iressa, sends a message via corsus rider for Fionn to go see her. When he arrives in Iressil, he finds Soehys at the Dusk Shrine, as always. She’s very excited to see him and shows him some research she’s done on a weapon. The weapon, a longsword, was commissioned by the elves of Iressa to the craftsmen of Lavery and it was said to be designed specifically for destroying Aeveen Fintan. It was never used and its power might be drained, but it certainly still exists and Soehys thinks that the hidden library of Scully, which is Scully’s main shrine, should contain it.

Fionn gathers his party and goes out into the Lurk to find the hidden library. It takes about a week before it finally shows itself to them. When they enter, Fionn reads a book on Rune Magic and gains the skill for such, as well as basic knowledge of runes. Going down into the main part of the library is a series of rooms that are strangely relevant to his interests; Viarri mentions that, though this library supposedly holds all sorts of ancient artifacts from the world’s history, Scully may only want them to see this much.

After defeating some monsters and coming across a very helpful chimera, Fionn finds the longsword and is able to take it. In order for the longsword to be completely repowered, he needs to charge it with: the essence of a storm; the dark of a lunar eclipse; the slain soul of a traitor; the tears of a goddess; and the blood from weeping earth. After some more monster-killing and book-reading, he learns that this means he needs to: go to Arcite and collect the crystal powering the endless storms; take water from the Dusk Shrine in Iressil, which is said to be the darkness of the moon that Iressa keeps for her eclipses; kill somebody who’s betrayed him, or really just betrayed anybody, with the sword; go to the Starlight Path, a series of rivers leading to Moriath’s shrine, and find the source of the river, which was supposedly created with Moriath’s tears; and go to Calamity Keep where the experiments of a lich and a necromancer supposedly cause the earth to weep blood.

After the library is extracted of all useful knowledge, Fionn goes to Iressil and collects the dark of a lunar eclipse with Soehys’ permission. She suggests that he talk to Viarri about finding the Starlight Path; Viarri is an initiate of Moriath, and only they know where the Path that leads to the source of the waters is. It’s supposed to be nearby.

The Sevarra Mines
Session 9; The beginning of the second part of the campaign.

It’s been one year. Aeveen Fintan’s forces have backed off, and Fionn Malendar has holed up in the Shrine of Sacred Fire with his companions. His son, Tyrel, is born. With everybody back in fighting shape, Fionn is looking for something to do.

Fionn receives a letter from the mayor of Sevarra, an elven city to the south of Iressil. Fionn goes there with his party to make a potential ally. Monsters have been erupting through the sewage system and have more or less forced the nearby mines to be evacuated, so Fionn & co. is asked to take care of it.

They enter the mines and find that many of the uncompleted tunnels have been further dug out by the monsters. The new tunnels lead right under the city. They kill the monsters there and then progress deeper.

They come across a band of brutes living deep into the earth. The brutes claim that it is their god, Emberstone, who commands them to do this. Nobody in the party has heard of a god named Emberstone, but the brutes are very insistent that Emberstone is a god and start screaming and dancing to the sound of his name. Screaming “EMBERSTONE!!!” is still a running gag in the campaign. I guess he liked the brutes.

Progressing deeper into the mines, they start to come across lava flows and obsidian deposits. Chilling in one of the flows is what looks like an enormous obsidian dragon, who is only an adolescent. This is Emberstone, and he has proclaimed himself a god. Some people who were missing from Sevarra are down here to be sacrificed to him. Using Emberstone’s large size to their advantage, Fionn and the party actually manage to kill the poor dragon and are able to free the Sevarran citizens. The brutes run for their lives, because they sure as hell don’t want to mess with somebody who can kill a “god”.

The mayor of Sevarra is grateful for the help and the return of his people. He offers assistance should the need to fight Aeveen ever come up.

Ravinwell & The Battle on the Terrace
Session 8

When Fionn arrives in Ravinwell, he finds Lord Farlagh has taken in Viarri. She’s pregnant, hopefully with Fionn’s child, and looks like hell after the torture she received from Aeveen’s soldiers. Lord Farlagh admits that he’s actually an elven sympathizer and when he heard about their new prisoner he couldn’t help but try to save her. He agrees to offer reinforcements for Fionn if he needs them.

After a few days of just exploring Ravinwell, they return to the Shrine of Sacred Fires. Tierney Callum is waiting on the terrace for them, there to kill Fionn once and for all. Fionn and Tierney have a duel of both magic and swordplay, with Fionn trying to subdue Tierney but not kill him. When Tierney finally won’t listen to anything that Fionn is saying, Fionn casts a fireball and it throws Tierney back off the terrace, sending him flying down into the ravine and icy waters below. They don’t hear a splash.

The Temple Dungeons
Session 7

Fionn, Cayden Banning, and Keelie come up into the temple dungeons. They kill a couple of guards, and then find Etar dying in one of the prison cells. Etar says that they didn’t really care to do much to brutes, so they’ve more or less just left him for dead, but they do have Viarri and are trying to extract information from her about the elves. Etar dies, and Fionn takes his party further into the dungeon to look for Viarri.

They kill some more guards and soldiers who try to stop them, and are reunited with Catriona of the Morning Star. She is not impressed, since Fionn revealed her elven heritage to the entire village of Sunsholme before he left, thus ruining her in their society and forcing Aeveen Fintan to bring her back to Felfyr for things to blow over. She’s lost all status and has nothing to lose, so she puts up a bit of a fight with Fionn. However, at the end, Fionn has told her a few things about Aeveen’s actions that clicked, and she agrees that it’s Aeveen ruining Leryean’s religion, not the other way around. Catriona joins the party (with the other option being that she dies horribly), and tells them that a group of people just kidnapped Viarri. It’s rumored to be the Lord of Ravinwell, Farlagh, who was supposed to be on Aeveen’s side.

Fionn calls his corsus and flies north to Ravinwell.

The Felfyr Catacombs
Session 6

Fionn returns from his six-month training session with Prism Winters, only to find that Viarri and Etar have gone missing. They were last seen going to Felfyr to do some espionage on the Leryeanites, and were never seen after that. Fionn and Cayden Banning go to Felfyr, careful not to be caught, and visit Old Seamus’ Pub to see what they can learn.

Old Seamus saw a man who fits the description of Tierney Callum in the same timeframe that he saw Viarri and Etar. The two companions were frequenting his pub for the week, and then the man disappeared and they did soon after. He says that he overheard a cleric talking about a couple of new prisoners, so it’s likely that they were taken to the Leryeanite temple. Seamus suggests using the catacombs under the city to reach the temple dungeons, which are supposed to have a guarded entrance down there.

Fionn and Cayden make their way through the catacombs, defeating numerous enemies and even a sea serpent (which we’ve named Lenny) who was sucked into the sewage (somehow), before finally arriving at the guarded entrance. There is a sidhe woman, Keelie, who offers to help them get past the obsidian dragon guarding the entrance. The dragon’s name is Arthfael and Fionn pulls some really good Diplomacy rolls, so Arthfael agrees that he’s not exactly living the obsidian dragon dream while he’s being trapped down here to guard the temple. Fionn releases the collar that binds Arthfael, and the dragon says that he can be summoned by his full name (Caelarthfaellatrixil) if they need aid in the future. With that he leaves, and Fionn is free to enter the temple with Cayden and Keelie.

The Puzzle Tomb
Session 5

Fionn, Cayden, and Caitlin arrive in Tempo without issue. They find Cayden’s wife and daughters hiding out from Leryeanite clerics in the tavern. Fionn sends Cayden and Caitlin back with Cayden’s family to travel back to the Shrine of Sacred Fires, where they’ll be safe for sure, and Fionn seeks out the sidhe sorcerer called Prism Winters.

Prism is around town, and takes the letter of recommendation from Soerhyllis of Iressil very seriously. Iressa and the Fey Queen are close allies; Soehys is the Chosen of Iressa, and Prism is the Chosen of the Fey Queen. Prism tells Fionn to meet her in the Fey Cairns, a reputedly haunted grove not far from Tempo.

When Fionn arrives at the Cairns, his corsus, Sorley, refuses to go past the opening in the trees that allows into the large grove. Sorley takes off as soon as Fionn dismounts, and Prism tells him it’s because corsi are creatures of undeath and this is where the dead come to rest. Prism leads Fionn down a beaten grass path, between gentle hills that contain graves. At the end of the path is a stairway underground, and Prism explains that this is the entrance to the Puzzle Tomb. The Puzzle Tomb is the Fey Queen’s way (and Prism’s way) of testing gifted sorcerers on wit and magical ability.

Fionn enters the Puzzle Tomb, and finds himself in a maze of rooms that contain traps and monsters. Most notable are Tomb Guardians, who wear magical armor of hammered gold. When Fionn defeats them, he takes the toughest armor for himself. At the very end, an illusion of Tierney conceals a Tomb Guardian, and Fionn defeats it and exits the Tomb.

Prism accepts Fionn as a temporary apprentice, more or less just to hone his skills to be used against Aeveen. Fionn and Prism train in the Fey Cairns for six months.

Assault on Sunsholme
Session 4

Fionn finds out from Soerhyllis of Iressil that his younger sister wasn’t killed with the rest of his family, and she’s in a Leryeanite town of clerics called Sunsholme. Soehys gives Fionn extra information about the town in a letter, complete with blueprints of the main clerical building and instructions to seek out a sorcerer named Prism Winters once he’s done here, for more advanced training to help with the fight against Aeveen.

Fionn goes to Sunsholme and seeks out a guard named Cayden Banning. Cayden is the Captain of the High Guard and is reputed to not enjoy his job. After some convincing on Fionn’s part that he really isn’t a spy for Aeveen, Cayden admits that he doesn’t approve of Aeveen’s actions of warmongering across Gala. Cayden agrees to help Fionn get his sister back.

Fionn spends a few weeks in Sunsholme posing as a guard-in-training, and then one night he pays off the master of the younger students to go to a bar and to not go in the barracks where the kids are kept. Fionn sneaks into his sister’s room and tries to convince her to go with him, but she’s still young and the Leryeanites have been feeding her lies about Fionn being responsible for their family’s death. Fionn casts Sleep on her, and Invisibility on himself, and carries her out into the hall.

Unfortunately, the head of the Sunsholme branch of Leryeanites sees a floating child headed for the door and stops them. Catriona of the Morning Star, an odd mix of cleric of Leryean and druid of Moriath, battles Fionn and she’s winning, but Cayden shows up and rescues Fionn’s sister so that Fionn can focus on the battle. Catriona still manages to win, and imprisons Fionn for “questioning”.

Before he’s tortured, Fionn and Catriona banter on some more. Fionn has spent the last few weeks spreading rumors about elven warfare, and he buys enough time before his corsus gets the cue to start swooping over Sunsholme. Sorley scares the shit out of everybody and the rumors of elven warfare are taken seriously. Catriona, instead of detaining Fionn, lets him go at the last second to deal with everybody outside. Fionn notices that Catriona is half-elven — something that clerics of Leryean normally despise.

As Fionn escapes, he spreads the word about Catriona’s elven heritage before jumping on Sorley and escaping. He meets up with Cayden and his sister, Caitlin, who are on foot. They go to a sidhe town called Tempo, where Cayden says that his family should be hiding by now.

The Druids of the White Hind Woods
Session 3

It’s time to get more allies on the side of Aithne. Fionn brings Viarri and Etar a short distance from the Shrine of Sacred Fires to the White Hind Woods, home of the often strange and never understood druids.

The druids are having some sort of ritual to the wind goddess, Mealla, when Fionn and co. arrive. The druids kill a horse in sacrifice and then start doing some sort of dance. The elder of the druids greets the party; Fionn asks if there’s anything they can do, and the elder mentions that they’ve been having an issue with rogue necromancers from Iressil taking over their main shrine. The largest druidic shrine in the White Hind Woods pays respect to all four of the elemental gods — including the thought-to-be-dead Aithne.

Fionn and co. go to the elemental shrine and descend a spiraling stair into a large domed room. There are four pillars with unlit candles set into them, and three doors; the fourth door seems to already be broken down and entered. The remaining three doors have riddles written on them, each corresponding to an element, and when answered correctly they open. Fionn successfully enters each of the rooms and destroys the rogue necromancers within, except for one. Carnelian Rubissir is an elf from Iressil, and he was planted within the shrine to spy on the rogue necromancers. Carnelian returns to Iressil after he’s freed.

The druid elder is ecstatic that the shrine has been cleared, and in return pledges allegiance to Fionn and sends one of his druids back to the Shrine of Sacred Fires with him. Hearn is a human druid who happens to follow Aithne, so he’s a perfect fit.

The Shrine of Sacred Fires
Session 2

Leaving Aithne’s hidden temple, Fionn and co. decide to go straight back to Felfyr. Before Fionn leaves, he receives a map from Aithne’s avatar that points him in the direction of her main shrine. The Shrine of Sacred Fires is the last barrier preventing Leryean from taking Aithne’s fire portfolio.

On the way back, Tierney insists that the map should be handed over to the Leryeanite church, and Fionn will be rewarded greatly. However, Fionn decides to keep the map. Tierney is bound by duty and can’t let Fionn out of sight as long as the map is in his possession, so Tierney and Fionn go back to the Malendar farm while Viarri and Etar go into Felfyr. Tierney still insists on taking the map; when Fionn refuses again, Tierney has Fionn taken to the Dawn Temple of Leryean in Felfyr.

Fionn meets the Chosen of Leryean, Aeveen Fintan. When Fionn still won’t hand over the map and manages to escape, Aeveen sends her lackeys to burn the Malendar farm. Viarri has her corsus already waiting outside of town, and asks Fionn if he wants to return to Iressil, the mountain city of the elves, with her. Fionn decides not to take on the Leryeanites that are killing his family, and flees to Iressil with Viarri.

In Iressil, Fionn meets the Chosen of Iressa, Soerhyllis of Iressil. Soehys says that, since Leryean and Iressa are constantly fighting over human and elven supremacy, she’ll help out Fionn whenever she has the time. She uses a bit of her power to bring over Etar and reunite the party. It’s a shorter trip to the Shrine of Sacred Fires from Iressil than from Felfyr, so the three head down the mountains.

The Shrine of Sacred Fires is located in a giant chasm called Beyond Hope. Fionn finds the way down the wall of the chasm and they head down to the shrine. They enter the main building, carved right into the rock, and find that Aeveen and Tierney have beaten them to the chase and are waiting by the actual shrine area. Because the shrine is still technically owned by Aithne, and she now has a Chosen alive to speak of, Aeveen can’t take over the shrine without getting rid of Fionn first. Tierney insists that he be allowed to fight instead of Aeveen, because her protection is more important.

Fionn defeats Tierney, and Aeveen decides to let Fionn keep the shrine for now until she can beat Tierney into a better lackey. Fionn, Viarri, and Etar take over the Shrine of Sacred Fires, making it a home base — along with Sorley, Fionn’s baby corsus from the hidden temple.


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