Shadows of the End

Where do we go from here....

Following their unexpected and highly confusing adventure through a ruined base from Sauder’s plane, our adventurers got a late dinner of pancakes as the sun rose, and finally got some sleep.

After, they gathered to discuss what the meaning behind the recent events meant. Kleiss told her companions about The Heartless of her world, as well as a little about The Master of Masters, who wrote The Book of Prophesy that foretold of the end of their world to Darkness. She fled her world because of an imminent civil war, which was believed to be the completion of the prophesy.

Althazar took notes and made drawing of the Heartless, and contemplated the possible nature of the enemy. He mused about possibly going to see a local noted Necromancy who ran a curio shop in Sigil. In the end, they visited the shop, unwilling to visit Kleiss’ plane and unsure what else to do. While not having any souls of unborn children to offer, they managed to strike a deal with the necromancer: Information for information. Kleiss told him everything she knew of the Heartless, including that they appeared especially vulnerable to keyblades, displaying her own.

In return, he informed the party that, based on their descriptions, their enemy were almost certainly not creatures of undeath or negative energy. He speculated they were correct in surmising that the creatures were somehow linked to the shadow plane or creatures of shadow, but reaffirmed that they did not act like summoned creatures, and their dissolving shortly after defeat was not something he had ever heard of…

Althazar inquired, if they were able to bring him a subject, if the necromancer would be able to tell them more. The necromancer told them he was interested, and would willing share any information he was able to glean if they were to bring him one of the shadow creatures.

Leaving the shop satisfied that there was no further knowledge to be gained there at this time, they group again mused on how to proceed. Feeling they had no options worth pursuit at this time, they decided to look into opportunities to travel out into the planes, hoping to encounter the shadow creatures once more and perhaps stumble into further leads…

Althazar also began writing a letter to the Rufus, his contact within the Godsmen, apologizing his for his sudden departure when they last met, and asking to meet up once more to discuss the visions of past lives he had.

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Trauma leads to trauma...
Or how Althazar ended up murdering 2 guards

condensing of several weeks of adventure

Having arrived successfully in Nisroch, our adventurers started asking around after the Hourglass they sought. They discovered that a member of a local thieve’s gang had attempted to sell it, but found a poor market for it, and so was going to head to the capital to sell it. They had about a day’s lead, but were not mounted to anyone’s knowledge. They also discovered that the country, Nidal, was run by a Theocracy to the god of darkness and suffering, Zon-Kuthon, and that access to the capital was heavily regulated.

None the less, they proceeded to head towards the capital, hoping to intercept the gang prior to them arriving there. However, towards the end of the second day of travel, Lusana decided to ask the road guards if they had seen their quarry pass. They would say… in return for an offering to their god, Zon-Kuthon. Pulling out a knife, the guard took Lusana’s arm, and began flaying a small piece of skin from it..

This triggered a violent response from Althazar, who was reminded of the torturous experiments his family inflicted on him. Hearing Lusana’s scream of pain, he unleashed his magic on the guards, striking them down swiftly. Poised with the choice of saving them and letting them live, and the churching finding out about their assault, or killing them to try and cover their tracks, Earl gave the guard a mercy cut and staged things to look like a bandit attack before resuming their journey to the capital.

They stopped for the night, still having yet to overtake the thieves who possessed the Hourglass. They made camp, hoping to rise early and still catch them before the arrived at the capital tomorrow.

However, hours later, they were roused from their bed by a large armed party. The guards had been discovered dead, and all travelers were being inspected. The party managed to deceive the captain of the party, Jhyrrim Nicatt, telling him they had nothing to do with the murder. They were still considered very suspicious, and he ‘offered’ an escort to the capital.

On the way, they found tat Jhyrrim had also detained the group they were pursuing. Arriving at the capital, they revealed their purpose, and managed to convince Jhyrrim to part with the Hourglass for a significant donation to the church. In addition to 2,000 gold pieces, Althazar created a magical tattoo, bestowed upon Jhyrrim, and also offered himself as a sacrifice to their god. Althazar was summarily flayed extensively, though his tattoos were left intact, as an offering of suffering to the dark god Zon-Kuthon. To Althazar, this helped atone for the fact that he got the party into this trouble by being unable to control his reaction to the guard’s earlier actions.

Once Althazar had recovered enough to travel, they were summarily denied access to the capital, and returned to the port of Nisroch and then Sigil, one Hourglass richer, if much poorer in coin and spirit.

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"Wish you were here..."
A postcard and an errand

Sam’s missive was a post card of a terrifying looking statue with the phrase "Wish you were here…’ on it, asking Earl to find a Golden Hourglass that has been stolen from her “Tardis” while she was on the material plane of Golarion. Unfortunately, Sam had forgotten to mention WHERE in Golarion she has been. After some puzzling over it, it was noted that the edge of the postcard was marked with the location “Nisroch, Nidal”, which they were able to identify as a Port City of the country Nidal, on Golarion. They were able to find a map of Golarion, and determined that the best way to get there was to purchase knowledge of a portal there (as the portals they were aware of for Golarion were too far to be practical in the time sensitive matter). Portal Purchased, the found themselves in the Sewers of Nisroch. They made their way to the end of the sewers, opening into the Harbor. This posed a problem, as several of them could not swim, and Lusana had brought her horse. After a few near drownings, they managed to get themselves to the docks, where Lusana purchased assistance from a ship getting her horse up. They had made it to Nisroch, now to find the Hourglass….

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An.... Expert?

Searching for an expert on the Shadow plane, they are given dubious directions to a Tattoo shop on the edge of The Lower Ward and Clerk’s Ward. Along the way, Kresela finds a new face in trouble, and intervenes, taking the young girl/woman Kleiss under her wing for the time being.

At the Tattoo shop, they find a young Sorceror by the name of Althezar. Not truely the expert they were hoping, he is able to confirm some information they suspected, and was intrigued enough to ask to join them in their investigation into this odd ‘coincidence’.

Together, they attempt to discover what the original caravan was carrying when they were first attacked. However, the Merchant who lead the caravan was too canny, and was not willing to part with that information, unwilling to risk losing the exclusive nature of the trade tie. He DID offer to hire them on as guards the next time he went to do business there, however.

Kleiss, worried about the possibility that her friends were somewhere in Sigil, attempted to sneak off, but was unable to slip the watchful eyes of some of the groups older members. However, after talking with her, Althezar and Earl offered to go with her to search for them. Kresela went home, and Lusana returned to the Bar to work her shift. While there, she encountered the strangest woman, who seemed to know her, and wanted to find Earl. Unable to wait around for him, she left a postcard for Earl with Lusana, and ran off hurriedly. When the party all convened at the bar for dinner, Lusana was able to pass the missive to Earl.

It turned out to be from Sam, the person who had brought Earl to Sigil. She had been plane hopping, and had an important item stolen from her. She couldn’t return to find the item at that time, due to other obligations, but she asked Earl to find it and keep ahold of it….

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The story thus far...
A summary of undocumented past sessions

Sigil is a hard place for those who are new to it. An influx of ‘Clueless’ had occurred recently. Perhaps Her Serenity felt Sigil needed some new blood. Perhaps a rash of bad luck just happened across the primes. Kresela Eyries, a Sigil resident, but not a native, drew apon this pool of ‘fresh talent’ to help fill a crew for guard duty for a trade caravan heading to Athas, a desert region on some Prime.

Among those taken on by Kresela were Earl Johnson, a former solder become lawman in the wild west of the plane of America, brought to Sigil and lost/abandoned by his dimension hopping companion; Sauder, a salvager from a world covered by the ocean, and his mysterious helper Miter, who came to Sigil while exploring a newly discovered site of the lost civilization of his world; and Lusana of Tribe Tynan, both warrior and shaman touched by the gods, who entered a cave on a spiritual trial, and apon entering a large cavern, found themselves in Sigil.

The journey to visit the tribe of nomads on Athas was uneventful. However, on the way back, the caravan was assaulted by a band of lizard-people. They appeared to be after something held in one of the caravans. The group fought them off as the Caravans hauled for the canyon arch, which was the portal back to Sigil. Some of the creatures were strange however, in that they didn’t seem as harmed by the blows of the group as others, and when the died, they mysteriously dissolved away into nothing.

This proved a bonding experience for the new comers, who determined that they worked well together with Kresela, and should work together in the future, as well as sticking together in their new home of Sigil. Further adventures in Sigil included a trip into what turned out to be a sentient house, in search of a missing girl. The house, being sentient and magical, attempted to confuse and scare the party away through a series of illusions, some against the entire party, some targeted to individuals. In the end though, they made their way to the top of the building, where the found the girl, who explained the house was protecting her. Both her, and the house, were quite mad, it seemed.

Later, one night Earl went out alone in search of a bar to drink away his feelings of being abandoned in Sigil, got stunningly drunk…. and woke up with (several) someone else’s bodyparts graphed on, replacing some of his own. Investigation into the matter found that a mad scientist, ‘Doctor’ Svaadengrav had befriended him at the bar, and after buying earl’s way into the bottom of several bottles, used him to test out his new techniques. After tracking down some of those who had parts of his, Earl and Co were able to figure out who was responsible, and force him to swap the parts back, excepting his heart, which Earl elected to leave with the old man who got it, since his original heart was bad, and he wasn’t compatible with the artificial heart Dr. Svaadengrav had created. It was during this midsadenture that the party met Cicero, a a bounty hunter and follower of X, who proved helpful in finding Earl’s missing parts, as well as the Scientist himself.

Shortly thereafter, Kresela’s ‘mentor’ Grokt came to the group with a contract for a job doing more caravan work. The job was to guard a caravan traveling to the plane of Rokugan, where they would pose as leper guards to a ‘gaijin’ caravan come to do business during a festival held by the Unicorn Clan, a clan of Samurai who had ties to the Gaijin outside the empire of Rokugan. Unfortunately, while they were there, a plague broke out, resulting in the city being quarantined, and both Lusana and Cicero, came down with the illness. They discovered that those worst taken by the disease appeared to develop an evil aura, separate but intertwined with their own aura, causing the party to believe the plague was perhaps somehow magical or supernatural in nature. They attempted to warn the natives, but were not given much credence. However, they managed to find some monks who appeared to believe them.

While out doing this, Cicero, who had been hit hard by the plague, seemingly recovered, and slipped out, leaving a note to the group that he had a vision from his God that he was needed here, and after being healed by his diety, slipped out of the city. He apologized for leaving without saying goodbye, but asked that they leave him behind, and wished them the best. The quarantine was lifted shortly thereafter, and the night before they were to leave, they were attacked by a band of men, seemingly natives, dressed in black pajamas. One of them said to Earl “Give us what you took from the sands~”. They otherwise fought silently, and to the death, though several of the bodies disappeared after being slain, while others retreated once the battle was clearly lost.

The party returned to Sigil, disturbed by the encounter and seeming similarities to the attack by the lizard people and attack by the men on Rokugan. Based on the way the bodies disappeared and how some seemed to be more resistant to blows than expected, it was theorized that perhaps both sets of creatures were influenced in some way by Shadow Magic or the Plane of Shadow. Now if the could only find an expert on the subject…

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