Godless Zombies

The pursuer's Cave-in

We open on Kathra the druid, who is currently on the trail of some rather shady warforged — the sort that keep referencing “The Baron.” Word is, they’re after a dragon that has “learned to bring the shards inside herself in a sustainable way” — as well as her traveling companion, reported to be “difficult to deal with” on account of how he can explode people with psychic power. As we know the targets in question to be Genie (Allele’s long lost chemical sister) and Gustav (Anders’ older brother), it happens that Anders is also trying to track them, and the rest of us are following him.

This arrangement works just fine, until Kathra and Anders inevitably run into each other, and have a very hushed stealth-convo about what in the heck the other person are doing there. This leads to a begrudging team-up, in which we scout out a good place to ambush all them warforgeds. Turns out they’re in a cave, attempting to break through some fallen rocks to attack Gustav and the dragon. Some of us attack from the ground and some from a nearby outcropping, and battle is generally joined. Of course, once Anders and Allele break their way into the cave to reconnoiter, Gustav seems to ALSO be being attacked by a vampire, which is problematic. And also combat-worthy.

The warforged are vanquished, with the leader (wheel for a foot) getting away, but hostages remain for questioning. The vampire (who came out of nowhere) gets away as well.

Gustav and Genie connect with their family, but also resolve to keep heading North, towards what Gustav feels is a solution to his problems. Genie is able to somehow control his outbursts, or calm him as they travel enough to stay safe.

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The Baron's Denouement

TL;DR: Party went through teleportals, attacked the Baron (big warforged) and his zombierobots, and found a lot of research.
[This adventure at the request mostly of James, who wanted to find out more about the Baron]

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The Stormy Staff

Took down the necromancer (and grabbed her special staff) then ran away from huge mass of zombies to talk past warforged on the way to rescuing Allele and Anders’ friends who are pinned down.

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The Porting Wizard
Where'd those zombies go?

(Thanks James!)

After saving one of the labs (in the mountaintop) in the previous
session our heroes used a teleportation circle located therein in an
attempt to catch up with a necromancer. Said spellcaster is in
possession of a type of skyrock that we need – one which can help
clear up the aberrant taint currently contaminating most teleportation
magics. The circle took us into Thrain (or what was once Thrain,
anyway) – but didn’t take us directly to the necromancer. Once there
Archie (and others, this is the part where my notes fail me) performed
a ritual to determine where exactly we should go, which ended up being
NW.

After travelling some distance we found a large group of zombies led
by a small humanoid (non-zombie) who began summoning sky rocks out of
a gathering storm using magical lightning. Livia, on scout duty
(Ladyhawke style), noticed most of this happening, and reported back
to us (not before the necromancer attacked her with lightning from the
storm though). We moved quickly forward to confront the spellcaster,
and Oak attempted to speak with her. Rather then answer she simply
teleported away. Archie began to re-cast her ritual (to find where
the necromancer had gone) but this time we had to defend her from some
of the zombie horde in the area (most ignored us and wandered off, but
about 7 or 8 did not). The zombies were full of some kind of deadly
spores which did additional damage to everyone around them when they
were struck in melee (except Molasar, advantage – being already dead).

We defeated them, and Archie finished the ritual, this time pointing
us SW.

We ran off again, this time knowing that the necromancer wasn’t far
away. As we approached her again Molasar took bat form and flew above
the zombies and their mistress, hidden from sight in the storm and
darkness. After conferring telepathically with Oak on their plan (try
to speak again, but if she goes to cast a spell Molasar attacks from
surprise) we confronted her a second time. Oak asked to speak with
her, and then when she seemed to not be interested, asked what she was
doing here. She responded by saying something to the effect of “Here
- I’ll show you!” and began casting some kind of spell (maybe).

Molasar turned from bat to human (err… vampire) and dropped out of
the sky directly above her.

Roll initiative – to be continued…

(Side note – a good number of sky rocks were recoverd by the group as
well (mostly Jen and Becky, Kim also has one that looks suspiciously
like a 2-handed sword already…).

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Detect Teleportation ritual

Detect Teleportation
Looking at the manipulation of space through arcane means, you read the signatures of recent magical travel to point the way forward.
Component Cost: 400 gp
Market Price: 1,000 gp
Key Skill: ArcanaLevel: 10
Category: Exploration
Time: 10 minutes
Duration: Instantaneous

You cast about for the most recent teleportation effect used, whether power, item or ritual based. Upon locating it, you then focus in to read as much as you can from the magical residue.

Number of creatures teleporting . . . Modifier
Two to Ten creatures 0
Eleven or more creatures +5
Only one creature -5

Arcana Check Result Maximum Range
9 or lower 1 miles
10–19 10 miles
20–29 100 miles
30–39 1,000 miles
40 or higher Anywhere on the same plane

You can only detect teleportation if within range. With success you are able to point the way towards the most recent teleportation within the range you achieved, or a lesser range you choose.

For every 5 points by which your check exceeds the range’s DC, you can also learn one additional piece of information about the teleportation:
Direction of travel
Approximate distance of travel
Number of creatures teleporting
Approximate time since teleportation
Type of creature teleporting, or most common type if more than one creature

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Book Follow-up

The book recovered from Veyii, the one that both the Baron and Allabar’s friends want, is very hard to read.

On each page is some complex symbol, almost surely a powerful arcane rune. They are accompanied by a dizzying array of annotations, commentary, and other scribblings.

Staring at the central runes on each page is … hard. It starts to hurt a little, and your eyes play tricks on you as it looks as if the long curls of the symbols are actually moving. That couldn’t be happening though.

The introduction to the book includes numerous warnings against reading or analyzing the contents, or sharing the information with others.

Veyii mentions that it is part of The Codex, but does not talk about it much beyond that.

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Skyrock Follow-up

You’ve assembled quite a collection of sky rocks so far, most in a Handy Haversack if I’m not mistaken.

Their sizes … are not constant. Sometimes they get bigger, sometimes they get smaller. Perhaps a good topic for further investigation. I will classify them as small, medium, large and extra large.

All of them have a strange lightness to them, as if they weigh much less than you’d expect. They give off light, sometimes more sometimes less. They feel powerful when you hold them, and often are warm to the touch.

You found two small ones near the abandoned farmhouse, by the outskirts of Copperforge. They are a light brown or tannish color. They make you feel swift as the wind as you hold them, as a bird of prey. I believe this same type is also what you used for Archie’s staff and Skip’s belt. They also appeared at the Lake by the mountain where you fought the lake ‘god’ who emerged from the water.

You’ve amassed many rocks that have a rich blue hue. One of them is in Oak, another in Swiftfoot, and some were traded to the warforged. Tharaszap has a few too. You have 16 small, 5 medium, 1 large and 3 extra large pieces. As you take them out of the bag to examine them in the Mountaintop you find that they don’t stay still. The small ones especially seem to vibrate a hum, moving slightly as they are near each other. Oak also seems to have an attractive force on them. These rocks make you feel friendly and inspire you to seek out new communities with which to trade and exchange.

The two halflings you met briefly when leaving the Necromancer’s lair had a rock that was pink in color, and they felt strongly that it could be a strong method of channeling healing magic, perhaps even to cure the zombie menace. They are seeking more like it.

At the Necromancer’s lair you saw a cage or shell that Veyii had made for his wife Deena, to protect her. These rocks were in a magical lattice and glowing bright white with energy. They also looked to be burning.

Veyii has a large number of sky-rocks that are dark purple, and seem to be effective at letting him create and control undead. Archie had one medium long piece that she allowed Veyii to use (I think) to amplify his assembled pieces’ powers so he could subdue the undead dragon. When Veyii uses the set of sky rocks it looks like a hand made up of individual pieces, about 5 or 6 feet long. You often feel very hungry while he’s using them to channel his magic.

Recently you’ve encountered a number of sea foam green rocks. Kira (Becky) has a staff with two pieces of this material on it, and she saw more in use when she was a captive. Resiv (the warforged who the town guard brought to you after his strange awakening) seems interested in these especially. You’ve collected 2 small, 2 medium and 2 large rocks yourself, and the warforged have at least 1. As you manipulate the sky rocks they make you feel like roaming, going your own way, seeking out new places and being free of your troubles.

Anders (Ben): you and I should also talk separately. :)

So what do you want to do with them? Any questions?

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The Mountaintop's Foes
Floating balls of tentacles

We pick up mid-fight, as a group of aberrant creatures seems to be trying to kill or capture you from your barracks.

You finished off the two beholders (big orbs of eyes) and their tentacular allies. Archie returned from the void, but Tawar eventually died in the void with Swiftfoot along too. The strange tentacled Ceentale (kalashtar buddy) escaped out the portal that almost swallowed Oak. Investigating the cells you find one exploded body, very gory.

Tawar is revived as Oak and Molasar call in some big favors at the Mountaintop, and upon further questioning by Molasar about the ritual, it appears that the healers had some trouble until they used (and consumed) one of the sky rocks that they had gathered.

Searching through the remains of the big beholder bodies, you find all sorts of useful parts contained in them. One of their internal organs seems to be salvageable into a Salve of Power (see below). Some of the harder bits of stuff are also magical, including a Citrine Solitaire. Some of the bony pieces of the beholders retain some psychic energy, giving you one Psychic’s Ring.

Archie and Allele are also able to extract some of the magical essences from the eyes and eye stalks. This allows you to apply those essences to one weapon that is +2 to make it +3, and one armor that is +2 to make it +3.

After resting up from the long fight you are greeted by a warforged messenger, Libram, who has come to collect the Necromancer’s Book. Libram also brings an offer of information, food, and medical supplies (which the Mountaintop is now quite low on) in exchange for rare metals and ritual components.

Libram agrees to trade for some of your sky rocks, and tells you that Allabar started the plague, probably by using some small biting insects sent from its realm to Eberron to spread it through blood infection. The believed reason was to weaken the gates and allow more easy transport of larger things/creatures to Eberron.

Libram also knows of an item that can cleanse the corrupted portals that are being made. This special staff is possessed by a wizard who leads a large group of undead. The wizard is believed to be working with accomplices, and she frequently uses teleportation magic. She’s been hard to track, but Libram knows she is headed towards the Burnt Wood (northern Thrane, near Tronehold, North of you right now).

The warforged really want the book, but you say that you need time to examine it further first. Libram is also very interested in the adamantine horse, but is not allowed near it. You trade some beholder pieces to Libram in exchange for him teaching Archie the track teleportation ritual to follow this strange wizard.

Things I still owe you:

description of what the sky rocks potential magics are, so you can make stuff out of em what’s in the book how archie’s new ritual works details about Anders and Allele’s escapades (please email me the notes)

Items from today:

Psychic’s RingLevel 12 Common

This crystalline ring glitters with psionic energy, allowing you to communicate telepathically.

Ring Slot 13,000 gp
Power Encounter (Free Action)

You use the psion’s send thoughts power.

If you have reached at least one milestone today, the messages that you and the target exchange can be up to 50 words long.

Solitaire (Citrine)Level 11 Uncommon

This irregular yellow crystal channels healing power to you in battle.

Wondrous Item 9,000 gp
Power (Healing) Daily (Free Action)

Use this power when you score a critical hit on your turn. You spend a healing surge.

Salve of PowerLevel 10 Uncommon

This stoneware jar periodically renews a potent unguent that can restore a character’s power.

Wondrous Item 5,000 gp
Power Daily (Minor Action)

When salve of power is applied to a creature, the target can expend one healing surge to regain the use of one encounter attack power (instead of regaining hit points). If the target has no healing surges remaining, it cannot benefit from the salve.

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The Church's Surprise
Did you know he had a sister?

This needs some embellishment, anyone got some narrative?

Retrieve Kira (Oak’s sister) from the basement of the church

Apparently she was kidnapped by aberrations for six months

Shore up the town against flooding during the big rainstorm

Hey, that’s not just a rainstorm

Go up the mountain to retrieve sea foam green rocks while repelling most of the zombies

Get to Mountaintop for some much needed rest

Have rest interrupted by strange arrival of a second copy of Kira’s buddy Ceentale. They escaped together from being forced into working for Allabar’s forces.

Interrogate them both in the jail; decide to lock them each in a cell and rest

Go to sleep

Ambushed during sleep by beholders and other aberrations in barracks, some of whom teleport themselves and you

Fight to be continued

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The Necromancer's Cave

(rough notes from email draft)

Entering the cave
Through long, very round tunnel
Scuttling swarm coming from smaller, orthogonal passage
Sealed door with light behind it
Study with desk and two skeletal animals tussling
Looks more worked, less natural
Anders is not noticed actively by any of the creatures so far
Two doors out from the study: one heavily locked, one slightly ajar with sounds of movement
Light also coming from farther in, and talking

The party (Oak?) announces its presence loudly, provoking attack. Swarms from in front and behind move toward the loud noises.
As the skeletal creatures die, some of their bones clatter off through the doors, pulled by some unseen force.

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