The Empty Throne

The King is Dead...

The King is Dead…Long Live…? The PCs attend the funeral of King Halmar, and noblemen wonder who will become the next king without any clear heir. Discussion is interrupted when demons appear upon the mention of the name Zelethe, the forgotten princess.

A powerful magic effect causes everyone to forget Zelethe, but PCs manage to undue the spell upon Sir Brighton and learn that she was given to Pazuzu as a child by the king. PCs also find evidence of a Pazuzu cult within Cliffwatch spreading disease and offering prayers Pazuzu as the cure. Cultists, demons, and daemons are defeated, as well as a possessed oracle who some recognize as Zelethe.

Zelethe is captured, but according to the pact she is still Pazuzu’s to possess.

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Waiting For the Miracle That Wouldn't Come

Faced with a seemingly incurable possession of the Princess Zelethe, the group realized that the two ways to free her were the powerful magics of a wish or miracle, or dealing with Pazuzu. Not wanting to deal with Pazuzu or any other servant of darkness, the group sought out the help of either Astra’s powerful wizard ancestor, or Dale, the traveling cleric of Desna.

Seeking out Dale, they allayed his fears of a rakshasa trap and met with him. A deal was quickly worked out: in exchange for the miracle, the group would break into a Viminok prison and release the nameless prisoner held in the deepest, most secure cell so that Dale could interrogate him about the rakshasa conspiracy.

Posing as Lady Fayne’s bodyguards, the group secured chambers in the Viminok palace and quickly set about infiltrating the prison. Posing as a sister and her entourage, they bluffed their way through the first sets of guards until forced to fight by hostile wards. The deeper levels of the prison still waited, however.

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The Great Escape

The PCs continue their way deeper into the Sunless Prison, dispatching the guards and reaching the secret cell of the man they were sent to rescue. Their efforts were greatly delayed by the extreme security measures, but they eventually released him, a mercenary in poor shape and extreme confidence by the name of Drak.

However, the entire Citadel Demonfear was in high alert, and Drak informed the group that all of Viminok’s commanders would be waiting for them outside the Forbiddance. A bold plan was hatched, and the invisible, non-detected, wind walking group was able to make a quick escape and teleport away.

Drak was evasive about any personal details, but was able to deliver information that Dale found useful. He cast the miracle spell to free Princess Zelethe of Pazuzu’s possession. Unfortunately, the princess and heir proved to be untrusting, evil, and possibly insane, although her hatred of Pazuzu did seem sincere.

Despite some misgivings, she was the rightful heir and was soon crowned queen of Carawel. Zelethe bestowed knighthoods and rewards upon the group.

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First Interlude

In the intervening few months, Ivory began exploring more of her past and the origin of her gifts.

Bors creates a new knightly order dedicated to slaying fiends.

Livia attempts to become friends with the new queen Zelethe, hoping to become a positive influence in her life.

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Dark Knowledge

After the secure vault of the Arcanum is robbed, Steward Tethren hires the PCs to recover the lost notebooks of Kaz; Tethren explains that the books contain dangerous knowledge that needs to be suppressed. Livia and Bors make contact with Guildmaster Hex, who with some posturing and prodding steers them towards the fled master thief Mask of Rivest.

After pursuing him in windwalk, they teleport ahead of his position and seek to meet him as he flees to Viminok. However, they find that a village in Ardun Vale infested and surrounded by horrors from the Dark Tapestry. After cutting their way through the monsters, they track the thief to his cache and recover an additional book full of unspeakable lore. This book is destroyed.

Investigation also shows that the work of Kaz consists of research and experiments into advanced alchemy, including more powerful bombs, oils, and other (largely violent) advances. Debating whether or not to reveal the information or give it back to the Arcanum, Ivory commits as much information as possible to memory and returns the notebooks.

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This is some rescue!

Leaving Livia behind, the group agrees to rescue Fayne from the palace at Viminok. They seek the aid of Drak, who agrees to accompany the PCs for his own reasons, and halfling freedom fighters, who stage a raid at the Viminok markets. They break into the palace, dividing into two groups.

Astra and Drak disguise themselves as Hellknights, and make their way to the High Imperator’s quarters without problems. There, they engage the High Imperator and, upon killing him, learn that the High Imperator is a man inside an iron golem. Drak reveals that he knew this was just a front, and that the true power in Viminok is the gnome Nobnik.

Ivory and Bors engage the guards at Fayne’s door, easily dispatching them but being crippled by a symbol of insanity, rendering Ivory permanently insane. Bors manages to fight off one of the devil golems guarding Fayne, and Drak and Astra teleport in to finish off the last. Their escape is delayed by Ivory’s insanity, but eventually they manage to run.

Drak explains that he was imprisoned by Nobnik because he learned the truth of his rule. Fayne, still angry at the PCs, is convinced to stay with Drak for revenge. There is no response from Viminok about the raid, except that the Viminok authorities were tipped off about the halfling raid and most were killed and captured. Drak is believed to be responsible for this.

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Night of Long Arrows

After battling the creatures of the Dark Tapestry but before rescuing Fayne from Viminok torture, Bors and Livia met with two more foreign envoys to the new queen. Kadim of Sadiq wished to convince Carawel to help them against the forces of the Lady of the Wastes, a powerful cleric of Lamashtu and leader of a vast army of gnolls and monsters. Chammady Anafesto didn’t disclose her own diplomatic goals, but was curious about the queen’s mysterious background.

Astra and Ivory met with a group of powerful Carawel nobles concerned about the leadership of Queen Zelethe, fearing her dangerous and unbalanced. Zelethe emerged from a private audience, killing the messenger, and claimed that he was sent by the Lady of the Wastes and Lamashtu. She wasn’t offended by the idea of allying with the forces of a demon goddess, just the lowly status of the messenger.

That night, a commotion woke the PCs: Duchess Ironwall’s estate was under attack by an assassin. The PCs were able to quickly subdue the assassin…the doge’s daughter Chammady. Under private interrogation, she revealed she was hired by Dale Worldfoot to kill the son of the Duchess, actually a powerful rakshasa. Teaming up with Chammady, they returned and killed the rakshasa noble and a few of his rakshasa guards. Ondala was devastated when she learned that her son had been killed and replaced years before.

Dale Worldfoot showed up, in a fine mood. The group was shocked and impressed to learn that Dale had arranged for the assassination of all the rakshasas, everywhere. However, it was revealed that Jespar Ironwall had managed to send off a warning to the maharajah, warning him of Dale’s actions. Thus, it was likely that the leader of the foul race escaped.

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Sadiq Nights

With no aid forthcoming from Zelethe, the PCs travelled to Sadiq by themselves, seeking to help Kadim and his people. While the sultan of Sadiq was initially overjoyed by their presence, he became disappointed when he realized it was just the three of them.

The PCs quickly proved him wrong once scorpion swarms started erupting in the city. They quickly dispersed them, and a commune revealed that it was the sign of a great monster breaking free. They travelled to the Temple of the Setting Sun, buried under the sand, and fought Pitahk’s right hand minion and stopped her from freeing the great beast. However, in the battle Ivory fell to dark magicks.

Ivory’s commune also revealed that Drak was the former High Imperator of Viminok, confirming Astra’s suspicions, that none of the Carawel nobility knowingly conspired with Viminok nor had active plans to overthrow Zelethe, and that the Queen was not in any sort of alliance with Pazuzu, nor was she directly furthering his plans. Furthermore, it was Roward who had studied the forbidden lore of the Dark Tapestry.

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The X Makes It Sound Cool

The son of the sultan plans to propose to Zelethe, assuming that is the reason she delays committing to an alliance with Sadiq. Zelethe is not happy when Ivory tells her of this. Zelethe also wants Livia to get the winning bid for the Sun Orchard Elixir coming to Carawel.

Three of the PCs receive mysterious letters from an unknown source, a “SK,” that claims to know damaging secrets about them. In exchange for not revealing them, this SK wants Carawel’s Sun Orchard Elixir to be stolen from Gustov’s agents and delivered to him. Although the PCs are hesitant to become thieves, they decide they don’t have much choice.

A plan is concocted, and Astra dominates the most likely winner of the Sun Orchard Elixir auction. She is then forced to enchant the merchant selling the elixir as well. After receiving the elixir from the winner, they put it in the river as requested, then track the elixir as it floats downstream. It ends up on a ship of strange-seeming robed humanoids wearing robes; the PCs sneak down to the ship, enchant a piece of the rigging to act as a rope trick, then stow away on board the small vessel.

The black ship proves capable of interplanar travel, however, and the group finds themselves in a strange place that Ivory identifies as the Plateau of Leng…

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A Leng Way Home

While the party finds itself in Leng, Bors investigates the attack on Gustav’s vast fortress-estate, finding it totally destroyed. An eyewitness says that he saw a rock come down from the sky.

In Leng, the party finds their rope trick breaking down, and decides to follow the boat of the Denizens of Leng. Livia goes crazy. While traveling, they find a strange insubstantial Bors who dreamed himself here; upon being touched by Ivory, he fully materialized. They also met a masked worm that walks in an old monastery; he asked a series of strange questions, and in return answered some about SK, actually Skessarin, a great wyrm red dragon allied with the Denizens of Leng with plans to conquer and loot. They also eventually attacked the ship full of Leng dwellers, forcing some to escape and interrogating the rest.

A commune provided additional information, including that Livia killed the Queen of Carawel. They climb up the World’s Roof, and Ivory finds a strange worm that she believes is a gift from Nyarlotep, so she eats it and gains additional Lore. The party takes shelter in a cabin, but it’s haunted and wendigos attack, killing Astra before being dispatched.

Now Bors plans to bring Livia to justice for her crime.

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