Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Father Light, no Father at all.

Avari and her knowledge portal, a mouthy book called Akontahn were able to quickly research the lost names of the elder furiousity called The Father Light and assuage its vengence before her. An old Eladrin force that had become so powerful in ancient epochs that it was long imprisoned down in the so-called Electric Fields, forever together with its living spells, forever alone with its fury. Somehow related the Eladrin above: Oamrissa and Blendavin, the Father Light reveal itself in female form to the you and yet old Avari. In this true form, the Father Light is known as the Maiden of the Deep Stone, a wise council. It is the Maiden of Deep Stone who shockingly warned Avari and her team of Men that it is not Oamrissa who seeks mastery over the dark secrets of the Blight, but Blendavin of Starry Gardens. A terrible foreboding for the reopening of the Shadow Road.
Now free of her prison, The Maiden of Deep Stone gives a piece of herself to the Akontahn in debt of payment to the Fay Avari. She gives a book of herself to the little one's collection.
the skulls behind the Maiden of Deep Stone were made of earlier adventurers who trespassed these halls to their doom. Counted in their number, as Tim, Walder and Zarconus were able to discern from the collected goods of the stacked body nearby, were the bodies of two related and long lost: Warren Bessallyn, uncle of Zarconus and Bartok Tigeon, grandfather of Tim. It was by Eladrin magic that the previous party of old had failed and lost their lives! Are the Eladrin conspiring with the Blight to keep the Shadow Road closed? Tim begins to consider the terrible ramifications of this betrayal.

The Invincible Fire Eaters

A company of fire Minions, wielding ancient, flint weapons and hidden behind masks of volcanic glass attacked the company apparently after having dispatched a party of dark elves who then lay buried in a pond of cooling, molten earth. The Orc Captain Dezr proved a mighty ally with his totem club (see below) and although nearly incineratedif not for the healing prowess of Tim, the warrior Zarconus faught valiently against the creatures who did not easily fall. The thief Walder was a tru hero of the day as his sneak and sword waylaid more than two of the brutes. It was Avari who crushed one of the Minions by destroying a living spell in a column of earth sending it crashing down.

The Glass Reaches of the Electric Fields

Down on the Obsidian Slopes into the great cavern known as the Electric Fields. Journeying south, The Party marched through razor wire and living spells encased in the rock and set loose furiously across the expanse towards a brilliant column of lightning that the Fay character Avari only calls "Father Light." The paladin Zarconus recognizes that phrase as one his religion uses to describe Bahamut, or Unonbate, the father of all dragons.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gate to the Electric Fields

It was Kaiel's map that had the hidden code to open the sealed gate to the Electric Fields beyond on the road between Old Fang and Starry Gardens. What purpose did gate serve? What is the nature of the Electric Fields?

Friend or Foe in the Fungal Forest.

After the incident in the Corridor of Ancient Verse, the Party made their way to an enormous underground cavern made of limestone and hollowed out by fifty underground rivers converging. Enormous and glowing monolithic fungi populate this forested environment.

It was there that the exhausted party met Dezr Oakenmeld, a Orcish captain who had lost his party and was alone and trapped in the Fungal Forest. After a night of story telling, Tim Tigeon figured out that Dezr's party was made of the orc soldiers that he and Kaiel had killed and who were employed by Tel Omak, the Oni Lord and had come for Tiki Mumbai.

Dezr told the party of an ancient and well shielded door at the other end of the forest and he would show them, especially since it was quickly learned that Kaiel's map of the Shadow Road had the coded password to open the door.

Kaiel's map of the Shadow Road

Scribed by the priests at Gavin Wel, Kaiel of the Raven held a document that was not discovered by his friends until after his death, that described the path and the plan of the Party. Most shocking was the revelation of a secret tunnel between Old Fang and Starry Gardens: a mysterious connections to powers who were thought to be unaligned.
click image to enlarge.

An ancient and impotent man

Mikiiel is the husband to Oamrissa and cursed to live in her basement in the Corridor of Ancient Verse under Old Fang. When the Party of the Shadow Road found him, Tim Tigeon had become so enraged by the loss of Kaiel his oldest friend that he had little patience with the old eladrin. In a moment of fury, the ranger bashed a tankard of beer over the deathless eladrin's skull. The alcohol, Tim knew, was poison to Mikiiel and after watching Oamrissa's husband begin to dissolve as if the brew was a powerful solvent, Tim smashed Mikiiel's head under his heavy boot.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Brass Man and the Little Girl

After the death of Kaiel Bessalyn, Tim, Walder and Zarconus strode up the ramp into the collapsed tower of Old Fang. Under an inky net floated a fay girl in a bright pulse of green light. A guardian of old magic rushed the intruders, a Brass Man, entered into combat thus awakening the little girl from her imprisoned stasis. Avari helped to defeat the Brass Man in this, Oamrissa the Eladrin's main chamber and from her desk, the emancipated fay retrieved her trappings as her memory began to come back. The three men, learning from Kaiel Besselyn's map that there is a secret road between Old Fang and Starry Gardens decide to take the thin hall exit from the structure and into the world under the forest floor once again.
A creature of multiple worlds, Avari and Zarconus the Half-elf strike immediate and friendly albeit formal rapport, both straddling their own pluralistic cultural origins.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Revenant inside the Chamber of Sorrows

Down a long slope and behind many doors and fallen archways, the party came to a large domed room filled with the same type of tiefling statusque monuments they had encountered ouside of Girto's tree. In one alcove Kaiel found a small effigy to be what he identified as the Raven King, an image of Corellon as the consort of Lady Death: a tielfing reliquary, a key tool in restoring the Shadow Road by activating the Sentinels.

"Look out!" somebody yelled, weak and thirsty. They then realized that there where many prison cell inside the room as well. Prison cells with prisoners still alive!

Kaiel recognized the voice "Zarconus?" he yelled.

"Brother, behind you!" the voice yelled again from one of the cells. At that, then came striding in was a blighted beast of a man, warped in body and lacking of mind or conscience.

Kaiel engaged the brute with shield and hammer as Tim bounded toward one of the cells where he found a friend from Maiah, of all things...Walder the rogue.

Ary had already begun to swoon and Tiki realized that something was terribly amiss in the elf's mind already. Magic was about and shifting reality and Ary was lost in the middle of whatever
was going on. Tiki held her hand over the young elf mage's heart, shielding her from the onlaught of Blight magic raining down on her so malevolently. Lest they both die in this torrent of evil magic of unknown origin, Tiki called upon ancient and esoteric runes to wisk both her and the elf away, where they went, she was not quite sure...but alas, far far away.

After a bit of back and forth with the Beast, Kaiel was dealt a mighty blow from the beast's cursed sowrd that liquified the room's floor into a silver ichor, smashing Kaiel's face and sending him face down into the muck. Zarconus used all his remaining strength and faith to pry open the rotten bars of his holding cell and lept down from his perch. In the locker at the bottom of the wall, he found his sword and engaged the Beast. Tim recognized that poison gas had then been released in the room, perhaps a fail safe against the prisoners escaping and the chamber's only exit was sealing off as a stone slab was moving into position.

With blinding fury, Zarconus destroyed the revanant beast with a blow from his blessed weapon. The beast exploded from released energy knocking Walder and Zarconus through and passed the closing door. Tim found Kaiel's unconscious body and was dragging it to the door through the silver mud but the door was closing too fast. In trying to rescue his friend, Tim broke both of his arms. There bleeding and confused, Tim, Walder and Zarconus sat on the other side of the room now filled with poison.

In his last effort, Kaiel had apparently had the foresight to toss the effigy of the Raven King through the passage way. Perhaps a key that could be used later, if hope had not yet been entirely lost.

The Secret Entrance

Just as Eartha had discovered in the Chamber of the Daughter at Starry Gardens, there was indeed a secret passage behind a waterfall deep in the ravine under Old Fang.

Ary had come back to the party so the four: Kaiel, Tim, Tiki and Ary desceded the harrowingly slippery slope and crept behind the waterfall. There they found a creature that did not mean to be awakened. An ancient Gargoyle that had been standing guard for however many hundreds of years since his ward had been crossed. With mighty valor and not without sustaining bruises and broken bones, the party was able push the wingless brute off the ledge of the waterfall, then shattering the visciuos stone creature on the rocks below.

Under the waterfall, Kaiel invoked his power as a dedicated priest of the City of Gavin Wel and conscripted Tim Tigeon by oathful allegiance, to become a rural sherriff of the Valley of Gavin Wel. Tim, always having fancied himself a lone farmer never thought he would become an important member of society.

The assassination of the Goblin Prince

In the morning, Tim, Kaiel and Tiki, now without Etienne, Judi, Eartha and still with out Ary journeyed down the Fay hole under the old oak to see what happened to their elf rogue friend Eartha.

before their descent they encountered a large statue, covered in moss and lichens, depicting the figurative and stylized form of a tiefling warrior. Was the a sentinel of the old road? Whatever it was, it had large stone beetles attached to it as if modeled and glued into place, an alien and strange addition to this ancient silent statue.

Down the hole, the three found a the remnants of a wild fay night of revelry: passed out goblins, empty kegs, overturned tables, broken musical instruments and a throne with a half-orc man, well dressed and articulate. A shaman and a goblin prince, the man, named Girto, explained that Ooamrissa was indeed evil and her power was growing. He said that he had another secret to tell but before he could do that, three Dark elf assassins appeared with sword and hand crossbows and slew Girto and then turned their sites to the three.

Tim was quick with bow, Tiki with her lighting and Kaiel with his hammer. The Dark elves were killed and it was learned that they carried badges indicating they were agents of a shadow comany called the Mice Eyes, a theives guild that Kaiel had heard about in Gavin Wel. Drug runners mostly. What do they have to do with Ooamrissa? Is there a tie between drugs and the blight?

As well, the group found a note from Eartha. The rogue had found some friends and decided to leave the Company of the Shadow Road for she found the peril too great and the job thankless.

Here is an image of Girto as he might have appeared in a Goblin City in full regalic garb.

Tiki's family comes calling

In the middle of the night after Tim had seen Eartha go down a fay hole under an old oak and after the party had left the main road, they were surprised by an arcan onslaught of amazing power. The fiendish Ogre Mage, Tel Omad, and his tiefling consort, the daughter of Mirronus named Isabette, invoked a massive vortex of seemingly electric destruction that encircled the party. Etienne was caught in it, immediately the vampire was turned into stone.

A party of Orc captain serving Tel Omad was loosed on the party with murderous intention. Tim and Kaiel were left to fight a bloody mess. Tiki was able to pry open a subtle energy field to find and face Tel Omad and Tiki's mad cousin Isabette. A fight ensued but having seemingly gotten what they came for (a secret of the Shadow road cart? the death of Etienne? the true nature of the elaborate encounter remains a myster) the two fiends darted off into the night.

A gruesome fight in front of Old Fang Keep

The party of the Shadow Road encountered the woods around Old Fang Keep where beginning to whither, a sign that Ooamrissa's studies of the Blight Power may be advancing.

Chaos gnomes riding grizzly bears, whose minds they controlled through crystal implants sprung upon the party, guarding the decrepit eladrin fortress. Tim, Kaiel, Tiki, Etienne, Eartha and Judi were able to best the lot of them.

The party failed to see night pollen fay sneak up and steal Judi's consciousness as a thief might pickpocket loose change, falling her into a deep and unreachable sleep.

Kaiel deemed it best to send one of the magebred horses back to Starry Gardens to fetch his sister Ary to see if she may be able to scy the truth of Judi's condition.

It was there that Tim found the aforementioned Goblin Trail that may take the party into the ravine and into the secret entrance of Ooamrissa's tower.

The Shadow Road, a cruel wilderness

The trail that was once a great Tielfing Highway is now a dark place wrought with shadow power of all malevolent kin. The heraldic cart lead by Kaiel and blessed in its undercarriage by golden ruins of high magic from the Cathedral at Gavin Wel opens the road as the Party of the Shadow Road makes there way through the tough Faywilds. The opening will only last for a moment of days unless they can unravel the secrets of the Sentinals: the ancient tielfing monuments that insured safe passage and kept the hungry wilderness at bay.

Ooamrissa, a blight threat inside the Valley of Gavin Wel?

An image of Ooamrissa many hundreds of years ago. From the gallery at Starry Gardens.

Once, Ooamrissa was friends with Blendhavian of Starry Gardens, as were all Eladrin before the fall of the Shadow road. Now it is known that she indeed does exist and Blendhavian believes that she is her heart is black and twisted by the Blight stuff that travels on evil winds across the region. Taking this power, the eladrin of Starry Gardens believes his old friend is attempting to become a Blight Master. She would then be able to raise a force that may be able to take on Gavin Wel itself. Too removed from this world now in both mind and wealth, the old and poor Eladrin could only beseach the visiting Party of the Shadow Road to find the true nature of Ooamrissa, wherein the last obsticle to once again opening the Shadow Road may lift.

The First Leg of the Journey: a longer than expected trip

It was then that six left from Maiah: Kaiel, a priest of the Raven Queen, Tim, a ranger, Tiki, the feypact tiefling warlock, Ary, the elven wizard, Judi, a knight of Sahene, and Eartha, an elven Rogue took the heraldic cart, two magebred horses and two mules left to open the Shadow Road.

After many harrowing encounters with violent goblins protecting their wood and sabatoging fay who resist the idea of the opening of the Shadow Road, the party made it's way to Staridel Holm, a Raelfaen enclave know as Starry Gardens; home to Blendhavian, the Eladrin elder and his family made of his wife and their three sons.

It was at Starry Gardens that Ary decided to stay and study Eladrin magic.

As well, there, the vampire Etienne was possessed by a fey love spirit who bound the undead warrior to Tiki Mumbai. A curse that could only be lifted in Death.

Eartha then found in the old fort an ancient room wherein the Eladrin daughter of Oamrissa's body was discovered along with many clues about the nature of Oamrissa: a Raelfaen who still exists on the Shadow Road in an old keep called in common, Old Fang, for its jetting towers droop and form wicked crescents against the sky. In the Daughter's Chamber, Eartha discovered a secret entrance to Old Fang by way of a Goblin Trail.

Starry Gardens, as it is called in the common tongue of men. click to enlarge.

Judicia, the Silver Paladin of Sehene. Kaiel and Judi spent time together in Gavin Wel before both pursuing the quest to once again open the Shadow Path between Maiah and Niskantel.

Friday, February 13, 2009

General Information about Gavin Wel

Generally defined as the region including the Four Wards of the City of Gavin Wel and across the fractured land west toward The West Rip River; from north to south, the River Wall south to the shores of the Undermere, The Gavin Wel valley encompasses an area of about 1700 square miles of wilderness and rural lands.

The current year is 1103 in the sixth epoch of the Raelfaen, the most ancient calendar of the world.

The climate in the Valley is largely a temperate rain forest, in places receiving more than 60 inches of rain a year. Also can be found large swaths of agricultural land and in the south, a semi-arid environment where olive trees and wine grapes flourish.


Approximate population of the City: 85,450 (56% human, 12% half elf, 10% elf (fay), 15% goblinkind, 2% halfing, 2% dwarf, 1% Tiefling, 1% dragonborn, 1% Raelfaen Eladrin)

Approximate population of the Vallery: 6,450 (23% human, 18% half elf, 20% elf (fay), 28% goblinkind, 5% halfling, 8% dragonborn, 3% tiefling, 3% Raelfaen, 2% other)

The Valley supplies most of the food for the City.

The Fey Wild theatre outside the Wild City of Heavy Wire (Heavawyr) at the confluence of the West fork of the River Wall and the River Thorn, ten miles north of the human town of Maiah.

To Open the Shadow Road

Ary Besellyn, young elven half sister of Kaiel and Zarconus is the brilliant but affected dreaming wizard. She came with her brothers to Gavin Wel ten years ago and spent most of her time in the City's libraries.
Click to enlarge. Kaiel Bessalyn found his old friends, Tiki and Tim and hired them to escort a cart of Orcish wine from Maiah to Niskantel. The trip was only supposed be four days through wild country...an old path called the Shadow Road. Little did Tiki and Tim know that Kaiel was hiding a dark secret and carrying it as a heavy burden.

Tim Tigeon always had an amazing ability with a bow, belying his modest upbringing on the farm. With almost a prenatural ability to read the land, it was always Tim who could find the lost goats and track the maurading wolves around the farm. Modest to a fault, Tim doesn't consider himself very good at anything, except when he is in battle where he moves with ruthless fearlessness. Tim and Kaiel have been best friends since they were boys although he is concerned about the changes in his friend since returning from the clergy at Gavin Wel.
Tiki Mumbai was always the bad girl in school. The only Tiefling in the human town of Maiah, Tiki was always teased for her innate magic abilities. Her family who still live in the Fay wild of Gavin Wel valley have largely disowned her although not her strange Fey pact that remains a source of power and curse upon her dark soul which she is only starting to understand.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Of Elves, Orcs and the Fiendtouched

The history of Elves, Orcs and the Tiefling is long, convoluted and unique in the Valley of Gavin Wel. Besides humans, Elves and Orcs are presently the most populace peoples of the Valley and it could be argued that they have more in common with each other than with humans. In fact, in previous ages the Elves and Orcs have stood aligned against the new-come race.

Long ago Tiefling and Raelfaen (Eladrin) inhabited a great City called Khepathia, that no longer exists which spanned the width and depth of the Valley. Great roads cut through forests and monuments of basalt and steel were erected in even more ancient valley forests.

After Erythia was constructed and the Cathoid machine had been run dry, civil war erupted in the valley and the Orcs, who were used as slaves, rebelled against there masters. The elves, who kept their own language, money and culture joined the Orcs and topelled the powers of the Silver City. All this happened before humanity came to the Valley.

Orcs and Elves both believe in the preservation of the natural world against the unyielding forces of civilization, at any cost. Although, Elves have been known to be more reactionary than the Orc Druids that tend to these days hold more negotiation with the human world than the elves and the other fae do.

Religiously, the nature of Orcish culture is much different than elvish culture. The Orcs who are druids and are organized into a profoundly far reaching society called the Order of the Nine Stars, or more commonly, the Wreathers, perform blood rituals on their monoliths of stone under moonlight to gods of violence, earth and fertility.

The elves worship Corellon, or the Forest's Father and do not take to blood ritual. Idealogically, the two shall never join but the days of these two races openly warring one another seem to have past.

If Gavin Wel is to stand a chance against the oncoming front of the Blight, it may be time to reerect the old Tielfing monuments and open the ancient roads through the feywilds. This would open necessary channels for the the aligned valley to gather resources. As it is now, the prinicpalities are largely isolated a united defense would be impossible to mount.

the Town of Maiah in the valley of Gavin Wel

The Besellyn Farm outside of Maeah is a elvenhostel in a human township. Zarconus the Paladin and his older brother Kai were born here. Zarconus went to the City to become a knight and Kai to become a priest in their early adolecence.
The Poolis-Fyr Memorial, or, The Long Spike, is thecenter of Orkish Druidic ritual on the outskirts of Maiah.The Head of the Order is an Ork Shaman named Hearthis and together with the Order of Sherriffs deal with any civil and religious issues that require a governing hand in the community.
The town of Maiah is one day's walk west of the Longwatch Gate of Gavin Wel. The tower of Reihm is a keep and a grain silo. The own itself is mostly human and is set in a fertile valley that farms olives, cotton, greens and livestock.

Culture in the City of Gavin Wel

The BladeSong knights and the Sherriffs of Gavin Wel are the law of the town and wear traditional ceramic and brass helmets with a fluer-d'li, the symbol of the City.
The ancient hall of Echoes is the political heart of the City.

Often called the Emerald City, the City itself at the base of the artificial Volcano enjoys warm temperature all year round.

The Cathedral of Sinis Oebyr, or the Green Lady is the center of religious life in Gavin Wel.

the Valley of Gavin Wel

The Valley of Gavin Wel, wherein lies the largest metropolis in the Southern Sorado, lies at the heart of the coming Blight war between the country of Beris with it dark agenda and the aligned kingdoms of the West, including the Winelands, the men of Femin and the free people of Gavin Wel.

The City itself sits at the southwest side of the artificial mountain of Erythia. The lands to the northwest of the City are generally referred to at the Dark Valley. Here, there can be found a mix of integrated races where most thinking and civilized people have gathered together to form towns against the faywilds and the shadowroads, most of which have been lost to history and are open now to only fel-things. Were open war to come to Gavin Wel from the Blighted kingdom of Beris, it would be imperative to open these roads again and unite the peoples of the Valley into a defensible military of somekind.
Below is a topographic map of the Vally showing all main rivers and natural features.

Erythia, Mountain at the center of the City

The mountain of Gavin Wel, Erythia, where the present metropolis surrounds is actually a massive ancient forge built by Raelfaen with the help of the titans, the tiefling and the ShadarKai late in the fourth age of the world nearly fifteen hundred years ago. Originally a smelting plant for the first Cathoid alloy, mined from veins in the earth and turned into weapons, armor and coin currency, local lore is replete with ancient songs of heroes who helped with creation of the forge. Now, Erythia, long drained of its cathoid, a substance now believed to have some connection to the Blight that threatens the Valley at Gavin Wel, stands as a constructed volcano with eternally rivers of molten lava running down steep canals.