Lifestar

An End Brings A New Begining
The adventure begins...

Our adventurers found themselves in a town that was under attack by strange goblins, almost rabid in nature coraled by other goblins into a desperate fight for resources that the goblins needed. Our adventurers went quickly to work and dispatched the would-be raiders as all bar two of them were struck down. The heroes were then quickly surrounded by the local militia, but this was waylaid by an old man who identified himself as Jayleed Kreth, the head elder of the town of Japhrius’ Eye. It was soon discovered by all of the adventurers that they were not in their local primaterial planes but another one called Whryn. They also discovered that they had all been having the same type of dreams, of a giant white stag. Some had prepared for this journey for a long time while others had dismissed them, all though had in some way been affected by them and they had all been called to be Chosen of the White Stag. Jayleed implored the adventurers to rest and prepare for the trials to come and soon these would be on them.
For about a month the adventurers went about their duties in the village where they saw was best. First Sergeant, Haven and Wren Pyrendall took turns at watch duty through the long weeks, ever vigilant for a change in the Phage which curled and bulged against some invisible barrier around 150 yards beyond the gate. Starwyn Lighfoot spent her time in the pens caring for those who were sick and dispensing with those who had become zombies. this was constant work as more refugees would arrive through the mountains to the relatively saftey of Japhrius’ Eye. Syndil spent as much time as she could with Jayleed Kreth who she looked at as an elder and a druid and so seaking to learn as much knowledge about The Great Stag as she could. Risty spent as much time as she could not doing anything except that her sister would keep dragging her off to training sessions and meditation time and so reluctantly she too learnt more about the the Great Stag as well.
The group was also summoned from time to time by Jayleed who explained that a terrible evil had overtaken the land called The Fade and that the only way to stop this terrible force was to combined the life shards once again into The Life Star a powerful item capable of driving out these evil creatures from this plane and restoring balance once again. These life shards were held by nations in trust for the The Green Circle the druids who Jayleed had been the Archdruid of before it was decimated by The Fade. He handed over the first one to the group and explained where the 4 were held by nations around the world the next closest being held by the dwarves of Hammer Rock who still had a trade route with Japherius’ Eye. It was decided that the best thing to do was to wait for the caravan to arrive and travel back with them. This unfortunately would not happen as one fateful night when the Phage finally broke through.
Just before dawn a booming sound started in the distance. Almost immediately the Phage reacted by bashing itself against the barrier which eventually broke and it rushed forward into the village. Four creatures burst out of the mist. They had once been human but had been horribly disfigured, their bodies twisted to the point that they ran on all fours, heads turned 180 degrees. Their bodies shriveled, with grey flesh stretched across their almost skeletal bodies. Their stomachs were distended and glowing green which turned out to be a gas similar to the Phage that the spewed upon the first villager they found. The adventures were able to put these creatures down while Risty ran and got the crystal as the adventurers witnessed the rest of the village consumed by The Phage…

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The Problems Of Dwarves
Slime and Supplies

Our heroes headed into the moutains after the destruction of Japhrius’ Eye and quickly came across a dwarven caravan coming in the other direction. The caravan was under attack by the same goblins that had first attacked Japhrius Eye as they had arrived from the other planes they had come from. After a bloody battle which resulted in the death of many goblins the heroes managed to save the caravan and were befriended by two dwarves; Kharak Ironhand an older dwarf and his collegue Gavh Devskron a young dwarf. They were much appreciated of being saved by the onslaught of dwarves and it turned out that they were on their way to Japherius Eye in part to trade essential goods and also to catch up with Kharak’s younger brother Krath “Tinpot” Rustfist. The heroes had to tell them the unfortunate news that the town had been wiped out by The Fade and also that they were heading to Hammer Rock. Kharak who seemed to speak for both of the dwarves did not think this was a good idea as there had seemed to have been some change in the attitude of the dwarves to outsiders. He suggested that there was two ways that they could enter the city; our heroes could find someway of convincing the High Priest Xaphrin that they were friends to the dwarves or he could get them access through more dubious means through some of his contacts. They also explained their mission and this seemed to make the dwarves even more nervous but Kharak did suggest that Aldros the head librarian would be a good person to talk to. Kharak suggested two approaches that the adventurers could take – apparently an artifact of Moradin had been stolen by the same goblins and to retrieve this would be a good way to gain favour with Xaphrin. Another approach would be to collect the supplies back from the goblins which then Kharak could trade to get the heroes into the city. He also explained that he believed that the goblins had taken over an abandoned mine where he suspected the artifact ahd been stored, but his information was quite scetchy on this. The heroes investigated and discovered that it was infested by the goblins but that there were a number of entrances. Eventually they decided to take a back less guarded entrance and caught the guards unprepared and quickly dispatched them. After inspecting the bodies though some of them seemed to have mutations like small vestigial tentacles and suckers which Starwyn Lighfoot took a sample of.
Our heroes continued into the mine to discover more mutated goblins, which had somehow been affected by the evil that was lurking in the cave. This all came to ahead when they fought many goblins in a section of ruins that was blocked off by a portcullis. Our heroes attacked the goblins with fury and overwhelmed them climbing the walls and gaining access to the passageway beyond. This came into a ritual circle room with 4 large flaming green pillars. At the centre a goblin taunted them before leaving to allow his minions to deal to our heroes. A number of oozes appeared out of a pool of slime that surrounded the summoning circle. After some experimenting to see if the oozes could be stopped summoning the heroes destroyed the oncoming onslaught. In the defeat a section of the wall at the back collapsed and another room was shown. Inside the adventurers found the same goblin who claimed that he was going to kill them all. It also exclaimed that they had stolen something from it and it demanded it’s return the heroes were unaware of what this creature was asking for so it became frustrated and exclaimed “Rise Jubelix and smite your master’s foes!” At this the goblin’s body was torn apart from the inside as large black tentacles poured out of it. It the end a 12 foot column of tentacles with red malevolent eyes shining out from all parts of it’s body. In the end our heroes were able to destroy the abomination and found the supplies at the back of the chamber they were in. They also found a strange stone box which when lifted was surprisingly light. Inside a unornate stone dagger was found. Starwyn immediately exclaimed that it was an a highly evil artifact and should be destroyed or at least hidden. After much discussion it was decided that this might be the artifact that the dwarves had told them about and heroes were suspicious of the dwarves intentions. Even so the heroes head back with the artifact hidden and the supplies to see what the response of the dwarves would be…

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The City Of Hammer Rock

After collecting the dagger and the dwarves supplies our heroes continued on their way to Hammer Rock. Along the way they had a number of conversations with the dwarves first to decide whether they had been trying to trick the adventurers and then to decide how they were going to enter the city. Wren Pyrendall, Starwyn Lighfoot and First Sergeant engaged in the conversation the most. It became apparent that the dwarves were not just simple traders but what else they were did not really come out especially in regards to Gavh Devskron, the only thing that Kharak Ironhand would say in regards to the death of the previous king Gherand Anvilfire and the current king, Navstrom Anvilfire, was “The son of the King still lives and that is the most important thing”. It was clear though that Kharak was part of the noble house of Ironhand and that at some point in time he had been the head of the house, but had stood down to allow his younger brother Vezrak Ironhand to lead the house under the current King’s rule. On being told about the artifact that had been found they were noticeable shaken especially Gavh who went off on his own to practice. By consensus of the group it was decided that they would take the more nefarious way into the city to avoid having to give over the artifact to any other people. Starwyn who had been looking after it was retired from this burden which in fact had been burning her and giving her nightmares but did not seem to have any permanent affect on her once removed. First Sergeant held onto it for a while but had the same burning effect as well. It was decided that the artifact would be buried outside the city so that even if our heroes were captured that they would not find it on them. Only Wren actually knew the whereabouts of the artifact being buried again to protect the information of where it was.
Wren also shared with the dwarves more about the mission that our heroes were on and Kharak suggested that the best person to speak to would be Aldros, the head librarian of the church of Moradin. Everyone agreed that this would be a good place to try and find information about the artifact and also the location of the shard in the city.
After a few days of travelling and preparing Kharak got the heroes into the city undetected and into an area of the city called The Slag. This was an area where the destitute and shamed were sent away from the main city. They located lodging at an inn called The Rusty Mug. It was then decided that they would split the party leaving the less stealthy individuals in the relative safety of the Mug while the others head to the Library.
While Wren and Starwyn went to the library the others stayed in the bar which was suddenly surrounded by soldiers. A ornate dwarf came in with a number of armed guards and demanded to know where the outsiders were who had come into the city. As all four were sitting at the table they were surprised that neither he nor any of the guards saw them, but after sniffing the air in an almost animalistic way, he left. Syndil commented that she has noticed that it looked like there was a worm or something living under his skin as she saw it move when he had become angry. The ornate dwarf ordered that all the dwarves in the inn be taken away and “dealt” with most severely. The patrons of the bar all seemed to be terrified but at the same time complied. The heroes had talked to some of the locals who were also scared of the soldiers and told them about how many people had been disappearing over months and the heroes said that they would investigate this.
The others headed to the library where they met Aldros. To their surprise as well, no-one seemed to notice their presence until they met with Aldros. He was able to give them some useful information; firstly he was able to tell them the location of the Lifestar shard, in the Kings scepter as the top centre-piece of it. Secondly he was able to tell them a little about the references to Jubelix and the dagger that they had found. He suggested that this was in fact an artifact to a long lost God who was now only referred to a “The Chained One”. This was only found in one book written by a mad priest who after completing the book killed himself. There was a great deal of discussion as where this energy field had come from and how it was protecting the city and it was surmised that in fact this was connected to this long lost God in some way and not with Moradin which is what Xaphrin the high priest had claimed. Thirdly Aldros told our heroes about the arrival of The Fade who had sent an emissary to them who referred to himself as “The Dark Prophet”. He had told the dwarves to submit to the Fade and accept the inevitable; that they too would become part of perfection. Xaphrin had come to the rescue of the dwarves and had provided the energy field that now protected the city while an enormous army of Fade had tried to enter the city. Some weeks later though the army had disappeared but now there were parts of the mines that were unusable as they were infested with Fade now looking for another way into the city. It was also noted that Xaphrin’s rise to power was unusual and premature, he was a very capable priest but relatively young to hold such a prestigious position. Aldros also said that he had a gift for each of them, something that had been sent to him by Jayleed Kreth shortly before the Massacre of Greenhelm.
On returning to the mug with Aldros in toe the heroes met up in the now empty Rusty Mug. Aldros opened the box that he had been carrying to reveal 6 gems, one for each member of the group. He told them that these were called Lifestars and that they were in some sense of the word, alive. They only bond with one person in their existence and grow more powerful as the hero gains more power. Each person picked a shard which then bonded with them in some way and expressed some abilities in the form of armor and weapons. Aldros said that this was not the only thing that they could do but with full access to their potential amazing things could be done.
After further discussion it was decided that the best course of action was to find the source of this green energy field and where these prisoners were disappearing to.
With assistance from some of the local children, the prison was located and the guards were subdued. Unfortunately the prisoners were not found and instead an empty jail met our heroes who found them selves in a trap set for them by the dwarf who had taken away all the patrons from The Rusty Mug. After a horrendous fight against a horrible ooze like creatures our heroes escaped the jail and headed in the direction of the cart tracks that they had found that head into the mines. As they headed further and further down into the mines they came to a certain point where there were no more torches and as it turned out the shield ended. The cart tracks continued so the adventures continued to pursue the cart. Not soon after existing the protection of the shield our heroes were attacked by what appeared to be a patrol of Fade. Our heroes quickly dispatched the enemy but not before one of them screeching. In the distance our heroes heard replying screeches and decided the best thing was to retreat to behind the shield once again.

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Into The Mines
Difficult Choices

Our heroes rested for the night behind the safety of the shield as beyond it could be heard the sounds of patrolling Fade. After resting for the night the heroes decided to head out of the shield once again to track where the tracks from the cart headed. They also explored the tunnel that appeared to head around the whole of the circumference of the shield. It was also found that 3 out of the 4 exits into the area beyond the shield had been collapsed and it was concluded that they were all meant to be collapsed but this had been left on purpose with the ability to order whoever had collapsed the rest of the tunnels. After walking the whole circumference and discovering that there was no other way, it was decided to go forward into the dark. Not soon after that our heroes were attacked once again by Fade who seemed to use more tactics than they had seen before appearing to communicate in some kind of language that none of our heroes recognized. The leader of the group seemed to give order and seemed to even control the more viscous four legged Fade that they had fought before.
After dealing with this threat our heroes head further into the mines that eventually came to a large open cavern with an enormous trench that was too far to leap across. On the other side though to the horror of the heroes they saw a large contingent of Fade (probably around 7,000 in total) who seemed to be inanimate at the time. There was no way of getting across to them so our heroes left them to sit and wait. it was also here where the cart tracks stopped and appeared to go over the edge of the chasm. The heroes did find a path heading down the side of the chasm and took this down to were they found a stone lined entrance similar to the previous mine that they had been in. In here they discovered the same type of sigils on the walls. Also in the room they discovered another group of Fade who seemed to have been corrupted in some way, similar to the Goblins in the cave. Our heroes dispatched them and were going to move forward when they heard a strange screeching sound from the next room. Preparing an ambush our heroes threw a torch into the room to discover the remains of what appeared to be 4 bloated fade. No sooner than doing this then the corpses burst open as some strange tentacle creatures were disgorged. These creatures were identified as Fel Taints, creatures that were known to appear where the barrier between planes was thinning. After a very challenging battle our heroes managed to put these down and headed forward where they could see a green light coming from.
Our heroes came into a temple of some sort with the same type of strange writing on the wall, but the ceiling was frescoes of Moradin and dwarves from ages past. In the center of the room our heroes saw a stone alter which had fresh blood pooling around it. So much blood in fact that there was a trench of it around the whole of the raised dais. The light was coming from altar which was surrounded in a cone going up to the ceiling by the same green energy. As our heroes surveyed the room the ornate dwarf that had tried to kill them in the city walked up to the altar with another dwarf who appeared to be in some type of trance. As they got to the top of the dais, the ornate dwarf slit the throat of the other dwarf pouring his blood all over the altar. Wren Pyrendall tried to shoot the ornate dwarf but it had no effect bouncing off the shield.
The dwarf seemed to be happy to talk to the heroes and after a short discussion it was discovered that the shield was protecting the dwarven city and was nothing to do with the Fade that were outside of the city.This changed everything for our heroes as they realized that if they destroyed the shield then the Fade would pour into the city destroying everything. An agreement was reached where the heroes would leave the city immediately and they would be provided with the shard for The Life Star. The ornate dwarf quickly agreed and directed them to a lift that came out in the royal chambers in the city. Once our heroes arrived in the city it seemed to be empty and our heroes were quickly ushered out of the city gates which closed behind them.
A few days later a group of royal guards arrived with the shard and a letter from Aldros. In the letter Aldros explained what had happened after they had left with the arrest of Kharak Ironhand and Gavh Devskron and that there had been crack downs even further on peoples movement within the city. Our heroes now had two shards which when they were brought together clicked into place making a seal as if there had never been one. From here our heroes decided that they would try to track down the Goliaths who apparently held the next piece of the shard with a map that Aldros had provided to them…

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Out Of The City
The Pain of Faith

Our heroes now had the second piece of the shard and were ready to track down the Goliath tribes, but before they could a call to faith changed the whole course of what would happen. First Sergeant had felt the call of Moradin and made a commitment to him. Immediately on doing this he felt a terrible pain in his soul that was calling him back to the city. First Sergeant explained to the rest of our heroes that things had not been resolved and that they must go back to the city and destroy the evil that lurked at the bottom of the city.
A discussion between the heroes ended with it being decided that they must return to the city and stop Xaphrin from continuing his “protection” of the city. The first question was how were they going to get back into the city, but luckily they were still in contact with Aldros who was able to bluff his way past the guards to allow the heroes back inside.
In the middle of this our heroes also decided to deal with the dagger and while attempting to pick it up Wren Pyrendall found that the dagger flew out of his hand and lightning burst out of his hand slowly destroying it. Before it could be totally destroyed our heroes were able to retrieve it and put it back in it’s stone chest. This was now being carried by Risty.
Once back in the city it was decided that the best thing to do was to free the two dwarves Gavh Devskron and Kharak Ironhand who were scheduled to be executed. Once freeing them and explaining to Kharak, Gavh and Aldros nothing seemed to be able to stop the three of them storming the royal apartments and deposing the king. Our heroes knew of a secret entrance into the temple below the city and hurried to head down there.
After some research it had been decided that Xaphrin was actually corrupting the power of the temple perverting it to the Chained God instead of Moradin. The main problem seemed that no-one where the Hammer of Moradin was which appeared to be what powered the temple. It was not until the defeat of Navstrom Anvilfire that the hammer had been hiding in plain sight as one of the other components of the royal staff of office.
With this in hand the heroes rushed down the lift to face Xaphrin and end his corrupting force on the city. Xaphrin was infuriated to see the heroes return and summoned the blood of his sacrfices to rise up and destroy the heroes. Appearing as an enourmous ooze it bubbled with small volcanoes of sulphuric gas and lava. Our heroes eventually overcame the ooze but Xaphrin had begun to cast some type of spell to smite the heroes behind the green shield. With the Hammer of Moradin as a focus our heroes shattered the shield and eventually killed Xaphrin.
The shield had dropped and our heroes hurridily attempted to rise other defenses that First Sergeant had sensed that Morradin would provide. With the assistance of Starwyn Lighfoot the heroes were able to perform a ritual that called forth the power of Moradin. First Sergeant had to give up the Hammer of Moradin placing it in the center of the chamber. All of a sudden a new shield appeared (blue in color) and the stone statues around the temple came to life and headed out to face the hordes of undead that had begun to attack the city.
The undead were soon dispatched and our heroes helped to establish a new king on the the throne – Gavh Devskron who in effect had as much claim to the throne as Navstrom Anvilfire. The heroes happy with the success were ready to leave the city, a much happier and safer place. Little did they know that they had released a more powerful ally than they thought…

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The Raven's Claw
The Politics Of Goliaths

Our heroes left the city of Hammer Rock with a sense that they had brought hope back to many dwarves and had started something that would change the world. They headed further into the wilds of the mountains towards a settlement called Winter’s Shelf which was where the Goliaths were thought to spend the winter months. On the way there though they were met by a Goliath that they recognized, Khorth. He took our heroes to his tribes camp where our heroes were shocked to find that The Dark Prophet with an entourage of The Fade were guests. Our heroes were invited under the Goliaths rules of hospitality and were welcomed around the camp fire that night, with The Dark Prophet. After an awkward evening of passive aggressiveness around the campfire our heroes went to bed, with a guard posted to keep an eye on the Fade.
The next day our heroes were able to get an audience with the Shaman of the Black Feather Tribe, K’reth Twofeather.
Our heroes were concerned for the safety of the tribe, having the Fade as guests seemed unwise to them to say the least. As K’reth explained all were given hospitality as was their custom, but also the Dark Prophet and his functionaries had helped the tribe at a time of great need. The hunters of the tribe had come down with a sickness that none of their healing had been able to help, but the Fade had come with strange medicine and healed them. The Dark Prophet had said that he had only been able to halt the progress of the disease but that the Goliaths had to go to a healing center that the Fade had setup down on the plains. No-one had seen most of these hunters for many days though a couple had returned to the tribe, but in some way changed. They seemed to be fine but something was off about them, as K’reth described “Their spirits have been darkened to our ways”. It was partly because of this and on the advice of his son, Khorth that had meant that K’reth so quickly saw our heroes so quickly.
After our heroes explained what they were doing and their quest for the Life Star, K’reth told our heroes a story of his tribe. He felt that our heroes were the strangers who had been spoken of in the story and that they would lead the Goliath to their redemption.
The day after the meeting our heroes decided to leave under the cover of darkness so that the Fade did not notice for some time their disappearance from the camp. Following the directions that K’reth had given them our heroes headed towards the cursed city of Kurak’Zer to face their destiny. On the way our heroes were harassed by lizards that tried to force them to head into a cave, but wisely our heroes avoided this and head on toward a large caldera that they had seen.
At the center of the caldera our heroes found the lost city of Kurak’Zer. Around it on every side was a large pain of waste height dried grass and our heroes were able to pick their way across this by following an ancient road that they could still track. About half way across the plain the ground started to shake violently and the largest Bullette that the heroes had ever seen attacked the group. There was something odd about the Bullette even after it’s enormous size. Stuck under it central plates were blue crystals that arced lightening along it’s body. It immediately attacked the heroes who were forced to defend themselves. After a long a bloody our heroes stood victorious against the monstrous creature. Our heroes surmised that this was the creature that was described in the story as “He who shakes the ground”. Ironically it turned out that the creature was in fact female that raised the question of whether there were anymore creatures like this to be found. It was decided that the city was more important and investigation of her lair would have to wait.
Our heroes headed towards the large stone doors to the city to find a smaller door that allowed them to access the city. As they approached the door Haven was sent out in front to check the door for traps. Unfortunately she did not see the trap mechanism that caused a panel in the door to open and reveal a horrible visage which terrified her and forced her to flee. At the same time some ghostly creatures appeared and attacked our heroes. One in particular was very difficult to deal with as it possed members of the party until First Sergeant and Starwyn Lightfoot tried to excise the ghost. Eventually our heroes were able to subdue it and before them stood the door to the City of Curses…

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