The Succession War

What lies in the fog...

A heavy fog rolled across the road from the southern fens hanging in the air and obsurcing the horizon. It was accompanied by a chill in they air the cut through layers of clothing and stuck in the bones.

Felsen snorted, his hot breath causing clouds of steam, and began to shift uncomfortably as Xiao began to saddle his mount. Normally the Falean sailor would have paid no mind to his mount’s unease-in his experience animals reacted to shadows as often as real danger-but today he felt the wrongness that clung to the air as well. Looking over his shoulder he saw most of his companions were already mounted and perapred to depart. Mental cursing he finished fastening the saddle and swung himself on to Felsen’s back. The gelding began to prance and fidget as soon as he felt Xaio’s weight in the saddle. “Woaaa boy, steady easy” Xaio patted the horses’ neck gently attemping to sooth the beast, his own unsteady voice and hand did little to help the animals nerves.

“You should learn to control your mount better” scoffed Doughan from the back of his black mare.

A myriad of possible retorts flashed through Xaio’s mind. “This fog is unsettling” he responded.

Doughan chuckled “This? This is merely the morning fog rolling in from the southern fens. There is nothing to fear it will clear with the morning sun.”

Xaio looked uncreatin “Perhpas master dwarf…perhaps.”

As midday approach Miya began to think more and more that Xaio may have been right. The fog hand not lifted as Doughan claimed it would, in fact it seemed to grow thicker. That alone would have been unsettling for Miya but what worried her more was Kaleb’s inability to explain or dissipate the fog by any means, natural or magical.

Miya shivered and peered up towards the sky. Above the party circled the hazey blob of colour that was Darren and Dart. Normally the pair would have flown high above the party easily warning them of approaching danger. Today however the fog forced the griffon to fly much lower inorder to be able to follow the horses. Miya pulled her attention away from the scout diffcults and focused once more on the road ahead.

Before she could lose herself in thought once more the hairs on the back her neck stood up as an eerie chill ran up her spine. Not far ahead the fog thickened obsurcing whatever lay beyond its edge. Miya halted her mare and motioned for Kaleb to join her at the head of the party. She eyed the bank of fog nervously and tried to focus on keeping her chestnut mare calm.

“Well, that is unsettling” The fact that Kalebs words echoed her own thoughts was not reassuring.

“Should we go around it?” She offered, managing to keep fear from her voice.

“I would recommend it, but Darren might know what lies beyond it.” As if sensing Kalebs words the air was pierced by the griffon’s cry as Dart began her decent. Miya’s mare danced neverously searching for the horse’s natural predator. She glared jealously at Kaleb whose own mare gave the barest of reactions to the noise. “She sense your worry and makes it her worry” Kaleb quipped as they waited for the pair to land.

A moment later Dart emmerged from the fog and set down a few meters from Miya. As the great beast’s eyes met with Miya she found herself quiet glad she was not a horse. She could not quiet understand it but somehow she knew the griffon did not approve of her presence.

Darren dismounted Dart with a graceful hop and approached his friends. “Its too thick to see through” he stated pointing to the bank of fog. “I can’t be sure how big it is but from what I could see it can’t be more than a few hundred feet.”

Kaleb shook his frustration evident in his voice “Fens to the south, fog that doesn’t lift on the road and the Goddess knows what to the north. We have little choice, the fog could conceal a great many dangers-” His words were cut off by screams piecring the fog ahead of them as if to prove his point. It took all of Miya’s skill and training on to keep the mare from tossing her from the saddle. Dart echoed the screams, with cries of her own, unfurling wings and crouching in perparation to pounce.

Without warning a man burst forth from the cloud. His face was bloodied, his cloths and flesh torn as though he’d run haphazardly through a briar patch. The fear on his face was evident and as his eyes fell upon the party he cried out “Hel-” his plea cut short as thorn covered vine slashed out from the fog wraping around his thoart and then retreating in a shower of blood.

Before she was even aware of what her body was doing Miya had dismounted her mare and was halfway to the fallen man. Unwilling to turn back she pressed forward and was relieved to see that Darren and Kaleb close behind. She and Darren quickly pulled the limp body away from the edge of the fog. His lifeless eyes stared up into the sky “Can you save him?” her voice full of pity as Kaleb began to examine the body. “Kaleb! Can you save him?”

The druid glared at Miya and then began a low deep chant. The rune on his left hand began to glow with a warm light that rapidly spread to the corpse before him sewing muscle and flesh together at a fantastic rate. As the glow dispated from the now whole body that gasped and clutched at his throat struggling to breath again. In a fit of coughing and weezing he manage to force himself into a sitting position. desperately clawing at Kalebs robes “P-please you must” his coughing cut him of momemntarily “you must save them.” He froze his eyes slowly wandering back to the fog his hands released Kaleb and began to stretch forward “Anya! Tomas” he cried tears streaming down his face.

As one Miya, Darren and Kaleb gazed into the fog, only to find it has retreated from the road and in front of them were the slaughtered bodies of nearly a dozen men, women and children.

Fog and Fey

As the party stood amongst the gore of the fallen teenaged ninja capybaras a partol of the imperial army was drawn to the sounds of battle. Unsure what to with motly group of adventures the partol escorted them back to their camp. There the party met with Captian Bergen Foley leader of the 3rd Imperial Legion. Surronded by enemies the party was saved by Darren invoking his name and rights as a noble and supporter of the Empire, Bergen was thrown off balance and offered the group lodging until the storm had passed.

After two days of waiting the rain relented the party was directed to the border village of Chepstow. There they crossed the Treefor stonebridge which spans over two miles, the entire width of Eurbye river.

As the party entered the Belus region they found themselves in the village of Lier with little sense of direction. The party made their way to a seedy tavern known as the Enchanted Tailor and there Miya formulated a plan of action. They party would joureny to the captial Bellona, along they way they would speak to the people of the region and determine how they view the new Emperor, Geil Runger. Once the party arrived in Bellona they would out how the nobles who controlled the region felt about Geil aswell.

After deciding this the party slipt off, Darren and Dart headed to the outskirts of town to draw less attention. Miya began to gather information in the town’s market square. Kaleb and Xioa were sent to find accomidations for the party and Doughan elected to entertain a group of children with his magical talents.

Doughan quickly learned he was a poor showman and the children began to grow bored the same tricks. In an effort to maintain their attention Doughan produced a harpy from his deck of illusions. The terrfied screams of children eventually drew th guards who found Doughan and after a brief interrogation confiscated his deck until he left the town.

The Xiao and Kaleb found rooms for the party at the Fiery God inn and that evening they ate together in the common room. As the night wore on Miya began to intergrate herself into the local culture, becoming embroiled in the fight which broke out moments later. Afterward Xiao escorted an intoxicated Miya to her room and locked the door leaving through the window. Skulkling along the outside of the building he made his way to the next window and swung himself into the room. Too late he realized the room was occupied by a young couple who took great offense to his sudden apperance. Xiao lept out the window and was quickly followed by screams of suprise and the room’s chamber pot.

The next morning the party set out towards Bellona. Just before midday the party came upon an the remains of an orchard. Upon investigating they found that the land had become blighted and that the former owners where perparing to leave. Kaleb was unable to uncover the source of the blight but realized that powers beyond his understanding were at work.

As the party continued on to Bellona they noticed that the morning misty from the nearby fens failed to clear from the air. Kaleb and Doughan could find no method mystical or mundane to dispel the mists. As they pressed forward the mist thicked and screams could be heard from emintating from it. Then not 40 paces from them a man bursh from the mists and was instantly cut down. Xiao immediately dragged the man to safety allowing Kaleb to return him to life with his resurrection rune. The man weak an afraid babbled incoherently about monsters in the mist the size of giants but with strange cruel weapons. By the time the party mustered the courage to venture into the unknown the mist had evaporated leaving behing a the slaughtered bodies of the mans companions.vThe party continued on using the abandon wagon to house the bodies of the fallen travelers until they could find a place to bury them properly.

Before night fell the mysterious fog once again began to surround the party and they were quickly separted from one another. The man they had save ran in fear and his death screams echoed in the air.

Out of no where vine-like whips lashed out at Xiao and Doughan. Miya screamed as she was pulled deeper into the fog and the party quickly followed after her only to be confronted by a strange goblin like creature that cackled wildly and lunged forward. The party prevailed against the monsters and the fog once again withdrew…

Setting out for Belus

The castle bussled with activaty as Darren, Doughan, Kaleb, Miya and Xiao began the final preparations for their joureny. They made their way across the courtyard and to the stables where Dart had been given a special lodging, separate from the other animals.

As they approached the building Meinard the stable master the buildings doors and crossed the newly cobbled path out of the stable and towards the party. “G’mornin to you.” he said with a wide grin reveal several missing teeth. “Emporer Barbarossa came to me yesterday and said you’d be coming by to collect Dart. I think she knows it too, she’s been frisky since sun rise. Anyways he also said we can’t have the hero’s of Pannu Yakatu travelling all the way to the Belus region without horses.” With a sweeping gesture Meinard turned and lead the party into the stables where he had six horses stood saddled and held fast by stable hands. “I picked the best trained and hardiest of them.” Meinard patted the large bay at one end of the line “Stärke, here is as strong a pack horse as we’ve got in Pannu Yakatu, treat him well.”

Yakatu Bound
The party returns to base

After a grueling two weeks spent in the fog covered Port Zaporzinska the party has finally managed to win the support of Teodros Villalobos the Port Master. They have also recruited several new allies to their cause and more soldiers flock to Pannu Yakatu each day.

Perhaps their fortunes may be changing.

Session 1

The day began and ended like many others a small town preparing to host a festival, strangers spending their time drinking in a local tavern. That all changed when Kaleb, druid of the forests, and the Searching Star entered the Scarlet Rest.

From the moment Kaleb entered the occupants of the Inn could feel the tension increase. Although the man with the large scythe seemed to mean no harm his unusual garb and odd companion, Jesús (a velociraptor), drew attention and suspicion.

Babalu, a soldier sent to seek out a traitor within immediatly too interest in Kaleb. Unknown to him he was the one of the Stars of Destiny which Kaleb sought. Their meeting was cut short as the village guard surrounded Kaleb and questioned his intentions and his small companion in the town.

The other stars warily avoided Kaleb until that evening they received a dream vision from his mentor and teach Taan’kel. She told each of them that they would find what they seek if they followed her student.

And so the next morning each in turn approached Kaleb, first was Babalu, the Ambitious star, the second was Darren, the Broken Star, the third, Miya the Hidden Star, then final to join him was Doughan, a dwarf and the Learned Star.

As the town prepared for the festival the Kaleb and his new companions waited for fate to point them on their path. Soon enough fate presented an opportunity for them. Bron, the acting Mayor or Cairnwood, was staring off towards the road leading east out of town and into Cairnwood.

He told Darren and the others that a caravan bringing supplies for the festival was late in arriving. Darren broke off from the group running quickly down the road, as the ranger was all too familiar with the dangers of Cairnwood.

He arrived ahead of the rest of the party to find the caravan in ruins and the people slaughtered. The wounds on the corpses and the tracks leading away from the wagon told the ranger what had cause the carvan’s demise…Cut Bunnies…the fiendish creatures that killed his family. Knowing he could not take them on without aid he awaited the arrival of his companions.

Once the rest of the party arrived at the scene of the attack they followed Darren into the forest preparing to me there foes. The fiendish rabbits however had other plans. Kaleb and Darren ran a foul of their hastisly concealed pit trip and found themselves dazed from the fall. Thankfully Miya, Babalu, and Jesus and Doughan saw their allies fall and readied themselves for the comming assault. Two Cuts bunnies leap from the forest but were easily dispatched by the party. Miya assisted Darren and Kaleb out of the pit as they slowly climbed up its steep slopes.

Despite his injuries Darren recommended the party press forward and shortly they found the remaining Cut Bunnies preparing two humans for food. Kaled called upon the plants to aid him, entangling the vermin and allowing the party to pick them off as they approach was hampered.

The Kaleb, Miya and Doughan returned to town with an injured survivor they saved from the Cut Bunny cook pots. While Babalu and Darren guarded what remained of the caravan. When the party rest returned with horses the two related a tale of their encoutners, a large Ant and Griffon had taken and intrest in the wreckage. Darren had coaxed the Griffon away and they had dispatched the Giant ant.

Upon returning to the town with the goods and the remains of those who had died the party was rewarded by Bron for their work. His wife, Agata was less impress that they tracked blood and mud into her “pristine inn”.

The next day the Miya and Babalu requested Darren and Kalebs help to navigate the north Cairnwood. Jovana, Bron and Agata’s daughter, had nearly run off into the forest inorder to find a special flower for the festival and the two believed it best to stop her. Darren also knew the signifgance of the rare flower to the festival and agreed that finding some would be worth their time.

With the forest the party avoided a young holly that blocked their path. When they arrived in the clearing where the blue Shepherd’s Clock could be found Kaleb noticed something was not right. Near the centre of the clearing a strange sappling was visible. Kaleb knew this was another young holly like they had encountered earlier and warned the party. Miya confident in her ability to avoid detection crept past the plant and returned safely to the party with several flowers in hand.

Jovana was over-joyed with her heros. As the party began to relax Tsubaki captain of the town guard approached Darren and told him there was smoke seen coming from the abandoned Corvac residence probably some of the towns children playing but it would be best if they didn’t burn the building down. Darren and his companions offered to investigate.

When they arrived what they found was not children at all but bandits using the area base. After dispatching the villians the heros searched for are reason the bandits had been in they area. They uncovered a small chest of gold, papers and maps written in a language they could not comprehend, though Doughan recognized a bottle of wine from Kanakan.

Darren report the events to Tsubaki when they returned that evening and in the morning she sent two of her men into the mountains to inform the Crowned Prince Barbarossa of the situation.

When her men did not return in the evening as they should Tsubaki prepared the rest of her men to venture after them. She also requested Darren and the new comers assist her.

When they approached the temple in which the crowned prince was supposed to be holding a vigil they found it under seige by more bandits wearing similar markings to those found at the Corvac estate. After a long battle which resulted in the deaths of the bandits and many guards the crowned prince and his entourage, Kwanada Rosman and Milich Oppenheimer among them, were rescued from the now burning temple, which had caught fire during the battle.

Barbarossa wanted to properly honor the hero’s and so asked them to accompany him to Gregminster, the Empire’s Capital. And so the following day after the festival the party set out with the crowned prince of the city of Gregminster.

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