Reyamir

Whitestar Campaign, Episode 8
The Enemy Within

With their rescued prisoner in tow, the party returned to the Black Codex camp. Gronn made his report to Claudia, who once again criticized his competence and intelligence. Marik and Gronn retorted that they at least accomplished what she couldn’t, to which she seemed to have no reply.

The party then traveled back to the City of Whitestar using a Teleportation Circle that had been cast on the camp. They found themselves in the basement of the Black Codex Guildhall, and climbed the stairs to the city.

As they reached the street, they noticed people lined up on the sides of the street down the Street of Stars, the main street that runs east to west through Whitestar. A funeral procession made its way slowly down the street – soldiers marching in time to a steady, solemn drum beat. A young noble on a horse, carrying a flag with the Whitestar family sigil on it, led the procession, and behind him was an open casket where an aging knight had been laid to rest with his sword grasped in his hands. His armor was covered in purple dragons.

The party learned that the knight was known as Sir Theobald Remfrey, a decorated knight born from a noble family in Whitestar. He had been off fighting a war in the south, but the war was over now, and he had been returning home. No one knew what had caused his death.

The procession proceeded down the street toward the temple, and the party decided not to pursue the mystery further, partially due to bad experiences at the temple in the past.

After that, they went their separate ways.

Gronn first confronted Garvan with the news of the potential vampire plot detailed in the letter he had found. Garvan agreed it was disturbing news, but was of the opinion that it wasn’t their concern, and that perhaps those plans had been disrupted by killing the vampire. Garvan dismissed him and promised him updates on the excavation of the Machinist Palace. Gronn left, but remained unsure of the potential threat to the city.

Marik elected to visit the fighting pits with the intention of recruiting members for a new guild. He ended up running into an acquaintance, Kung, who had just finished easily dispatching his Bronze level opponent in the arena. Marik invited Kung to join his guild and the party, giving him the set of crimson armor they had found in the vampire’s lair.

The two warriors had barely finished discussing it when Svasek, the Pit Master, declared that one of the combatants of the scheduled Silver rank fight had not shown up. The Jade Assassin was meant to fight Grim John, but was nowhere to be found. Svasek sized up Marik and asked if he’d be willing to fight in the Jade Assassin’s place, and Marik readily agreed and stepped into the ring.

The rest of the party watched from a balcony seat with Lucas, their merchant drinking buddy, and Elistine, the half-elf recruiter. As they watched the fighters enter the ring, Elistine revealed that Grim John was a brutal, ruthless fighter who had killed the last three fighters pitted against him. She covered her eyes, unable to watch.

Meanwhile, Marik strode into the ring, where he was approached by Luccio, the announcer and jester of the arena. Luccio asked him what his name was, as Silver ranked participants generally start developing personas at this level. Marik struggled for a few moments, rejecting Luccio’s proposed title of “The Horny Devil”. Marik finally declared that he would be known as “The Demon of Light”. With that, Luccio announced the beginning of the fight.

Grim John was a tall, heavily muscled fighter who wore only furs and carried a battle axe. His head was clean shaven and his body covered in tribal tattoos.

A tense battle ensued. Grim John attacked relentlessly, with Marik just barely managing to knock aside Grim John’s heavy axe blows with his shield. Marik found openings in the unarmored warrior’s defenses and his sword crackled and thundered with divine energy, sending off flashes and waves of light, becoming true to his chosen name. As the wounds began to pile up on Grim John, he flew into a vicious rage and threw Marik to the ground. Marik got up and continued his assault, eventually landing a thundering smite that sent Grim John sprawling to the ground, where he didn’t move again.

Marik was declared the winner and promoted to Silver ranked fights from that day forward. He also gained Lucas Orsmith as a patron.

After this exciting fight, Tryxie and her drow friend went shopping. Entering a herbalist’s shop, they ran into a familiar face – Vinn Rivers, the Thieves’ Guild enforcer. He pulled his sword immediately, but backed down from the confrontation. Together, they also grabbed an expensive dinner as reward for their successful mission, listening to the rumors of drunk castle guards as they enjoyed their meal.

Some of the rumors included:

“My cousin swears he saw a demon drinking in the Brass Flask the other night. Big leathery wings, horns, dark red skin. Just sat down and ordered a tankard of stout.”

“Did ya know the Town of Witchfield was ransacked by Orcs a few weeks ago? They say Lord Blackstone’s daughter is mysteriously pregnant now. Probably with an Orc Baby. Won’t that be a laugh, raising a half-orc bastard in a noble’s castle?”

“Heard about Lord Whitestar’s new mistress? Apparently he’s taken up with a young Silver Elf, not even 30 years old. She’s practically a child!”

After an exciting first day back home, the party met back at Lord Blackstone’s estate. They found that Aldebrande had broken in and taken up residence in their absence. He shared what he had discovered going through his old notebooks. It was his belief that the Orb of the Ancients and the Master Key were one and the same, and became irritated when Gronn questioned this, as Garvan had dismissed it as farfetched. He also revealed that the entrance to the dungeon that housed the Orb of the Ancients would be protected by a door that required powerful sorcery to open – sorcery that Aldebrande had access to.

After this, Aldebrande retired for the night, though it was still daylight outside.

Marik had brought Kung back to them, and in the course of explaining what had happened so far, the party got to discussing the possible vampire threat – especially the part of Tarsus’s letter that implied he had contacts inside the city. Gronn decided that they needed to get a message to Lord Whitestar – but the gate to the upper city was closed to non-nobles. They also had to deal with the possibility that the message could be intercepted and tip off Tarsus’s allies.

Gronn racked his brain for a possible magical solution to the dilemma, and through his knowledge of the arcane remembered that there were spells that could make writing invisible except to the intended recipient. He woke Aldebrande from his slumber, who knew the spell and agreed to cast it once prepared.

The party now had a plan to root out the potential enemies to Whitestar. Will it be successful? Find out the next episode of D&D – Whitestar Campaign!

View
Whitestar Campaign: The Story So Far

It all started when…

The party was on their way to the city of Whitestar to look for information on the mysterious Orb of the Ancients. They stopped in Witchfield, a small town consisting of a small castle and a single street of houses and establishments leading up to it. The party was enjoying a quiet drink in the local tavern, when suddenly they heard something crash through the window and everything was on fire. Orcs were attacking the town! After they killed many and drove the rest away, the guard revealed that Lord Blackstone’s daughter had been kidnapped! The party raided the Orc stronghold, defeated the Orcs and their Orog master and saved the damsel in distress. Lord Blackstone rewarded them with a favor and treasure from his vault.

The City of Whitestar

After a brief encounter with some bandits, the party made their way to Whitestar, where a tall cliff looms over a bustling city. The party checked in the obvious places for information regarding the Orb of the Ancients – the library and the temples. A mage clad in black robes confronted them after hearing they were looking for the Orb. He introduced himself as Garvan, and offered them information on the Orb in exchange for a favor – retrieving an artifact from the ruins of the undercity. The party, joined by a Half-Orc woman who was skilled with an axe, found a secret entrance in the poor side of town and entered the Undercity. They entered a sinking temple and retrieved a magical bowl after fighting the temple’s guardians.

A run-in with the Thieves’ Guild

As they journeyed back to the above ground to finish the job, they were confronted by a group of bandits, demanding their cut of the treasure from the job they completed. The party refused, and a battle ensued on the bridge over the subterranean river. The party prevailed, but their leader, a man named Vinn Rivers, escaped. The party then made it to the surface in the early evening. A town crier announced that the Grand Champion of the Arena would be fighting, and so the party decided to celebrate their success with some entertainment. They drank and made bets and watched the Grand Champion destroy his opposition.

The Order of the Black Codex

The next day, they met with Garvan, who took the bowl and told them the name of the contact – a Wizard who had dedicated his life to studying the Orb named Aldebrande Valharad. Garvan pointed the party to the wizard’s location. However, he also said that he could help them more if the party’s Warlock would join the Black Codex – the guild of Wizards dedicated to mastering the technology of the lost Valori civilization. The Warlock was faced with a tough decision to make. In the meantime, they decided to pursue the lead they had.

The amnesic Wizard

They ventured to the poorest party of the city and found him living in a small hovel in the remains of a former prison. The wizard Aldebrande was very forgetful, constantly referencing a large tome to remember even small or recent details. He was happy to discuss the Orb and agreed to share his information if the party could retrieve his books from the Arcane University. He could not go himself since his falling out with the headmaster. The party agreed and ventured to the University. After bringing their problem to the headmaster, they discovered that Aldebrande’s former offices had been locked off several years ago after a conjuration accident that killed several students. The party convinced the headmaster to let them in, and fought off several creatures summoned from the outer realms, including a Succubus that disguised herself as a trapped student. The Paladin was briefly put under her spell, but the party was able to overcome this obstacle and retrieved the books Aldebrande needed, as well as an apparently friendly Mimic named Mimi. Aldebrande received the books and said he’d need some time to look over them.

A warning from the Guild

The party returned to the tavern, where a letter was waiting for them with the innkeeper. It requested payment for the Thieves’ Guild men they killed, and was signed “Spider”, the mysterious leader of the Whitestar Thieves’ Guild. The party laughed at the notion of paying Spider’s exorbitant price and dismissed the letter.

The Warlock’s decision

The Warlock decided in was in his best interests to join the Order of the Black Codex, trading some independence for access to the guild’s resources. He visited Garvan with this news, and Garvan said that in a few days he would be properly inducted.

Bloodsport

In the period of downtime, the Paladin decided to become an Arena Fighter. He wrote a letter to Lord Blackstone, using his favor to request a patron for equipment, housing, and arena fees. Lord Blackstone obliged, giving him and the rest of the party access to a small house in the middle residential district. The Paladin then also persuaded the merchant they had befriended to sponsor him if he won three fights. Elistine, the half-elf recruiter, also encouraged him to craft a persona so that he could build fans and gain more sponsors.

New Robes, New Masters

Garvan finally sent for the Warlock, and introduced him to the guild’s purpose – to study, discover, and use ancient Valori artifacts to drag the world out of the comparative dark ages. He gave the Warlock his own cloak and an Eyebook, an enchanted device for communicating among members of the guild. Garvan then explained why they were in the city – it was the last known location of the Master Key, a device capable of controlling every Valori construct, unlike the weaker keystones, which are bound to a specific construct. Finally, Garvan gave the Warlock his first orders – to scout out a previously unexplored section of the Undercity and prepare it for excavation.

Ambushed!

As the party set out on their new quest, they went back to the same tavern in the poor side of town they had previously visited to enter the Undercity. A group of Thieves’ Guild thugs, led once again by Vinn Rivers, confronted them. Faced with almost certain defeat from being out-numbered and outgunned, the Paladin challenged Vinn to a duel. Vinn was cocky enough to accept. But as he came close to putting the finishing blow on the Paladin, the rest of the party stepped in, turning the duel into a full-fledged brawl. With some help from a Drow and a Half-elf who were sitting in the bar, the party was able to defeat the thugs, though they once again left Vinn Rivers alive.

Into the Deep Realms

With their new companions, the group set out into the Deep Realms, the vast cavernous expanse below the surface world. They followed a ruined road past miles and miles of collapsed city, fighting off strange creatures of the dark. They finally came to their destination – a Black Codex excavation camp, deep and secluded. The party resupplied and met with the head of the camp, a Codex mage named Claudia. She took an immediate dislike to the Warlock, resenting his position in the Codex when she had to spend several years as an apprentice before she was allowed an important role. She told them that the Mages she had sent had not returned and no longer answered her messages on her Eyebook. The party resolved to investigate after a night of rest. That night, they were awakened by mournful music that echoed across the caverns. They could find no sign of it.

“Turn back, or face the consequences…”

They ventured forward, borrowing a tool to navigate the huge chasms. They soon entered a tunnel, where they encountered magic-resistant constructs who had made short work of several Codex mages. After fighting them off, the party continued out of the tunnel into a vast open cavern, where they saw several small buildings across from one that could have been a large palace. They were confronted with a disembodied voice telling them to return from where they came. They ignored it and ventured forward. They investigated the smaller buildings, finding them to be barracks or quarters of some kind, and then moved to enter the castle. The voice warned them once again, but again they ignored it.

Robots and Vampires

They entered the palace, which mostly consisted of a single open room with an open wall. A huge mechanical dragon was suspended from the ceiling, intimidating but in disrepair. They worked their way through the palace, fighting off a guardian eye creature and several constructs. They then came to a door and heard the music from the other night on the other side. They opened the door to reveal a man sitting and playing a dirge on a strange stringed instrument. The man greeted them cordially and invited them to drink some wine with him. He soon revealed that he was a vampire who had moved underground to avoid the hazards of the surface world. He again asked them to leave him in peace, and the party was nearly to agreement on this when they heard a scream of anguish echo from the stairs behind him. Though this did not affect the Warlock’s or the Paladin’s decision to go, the Bard determined that she couldn’t leave the victim to the Vampire, and they resolved to fight.

The Aftermath

After defeating the vampire, they rescued the half-insane Codex mage he held captive, claimed his sword Bloodfyre, a suit of blood red plate armor, and lots of other treasure. They also discovered an letter detailing some kind of sinister plot. With these in hand, they returned to the Black Codex camp.

Which brings us to now.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.