Professor Deepwood's Academy for Exceptional Youth

The Case of the Traveling Caravan
The Story So Far: level 3, part most-of-the-level

After bypassing the elven border guards and the lizardfolk, the PCs continued on their way, seemingly no worse for wear. That is, of course, until Mr. Bubbles began to experience a persistent, high-pitch ringing in his ears. Fortunately, the next way-town was Braswell, a trade town where the Artificer’s Guild had an established presence (and the workshop where Mr. Bubbles had been completed and awakened). Braswell was largely unremarkable when compared to any other small town, save for the large torchposts at each of the cardinal directions of the town which were used for high holidays and seasonal festivals, most notably the Winterlight Festival and Summerstar Eve.

At the Guild workshops, the PCs met Alexander Bartlett – the chapter leader – and some human technicians and engineers. They determined that repeated head trauma was they cause for Mr. Bubbles condition, speculating it was probably caused by a combination of combat and Autumn climbing on and around his head. They offered to replace the appropriate components with sturdier parts intended for “active response” warforged models, which were designed for greater resistance to impact. They would have to shut down his perception matrix and open his head-plate in order to make the repairs, however, and that would take some time. While the repairs were being made, other party members hung out around town, including visiting the local shrine to inquire (inconclusively) about whether warforged have souls.

The next morning the PCs re-convened with the caravan and left from Braswell. Part-way through the day they re-encountered Barrick, who told the PCs that he’d been instructed to bring them, alive, before the Ard Rhi, or not to return at all. After ensuring that the caravan wouldn’t be without some sort of protection, the PCs agreed to go with him (and the small platoon of stranglevines that were hiding in the undergrowth, had they decided to be belligerent).

~To Be Continued~

O Brother, Where Art Thou (reprise)
The Story So Far: level 3, part 1

The tunnel from the observatory was long, miles long, but eventually the young heroes and their dour companion emerged back at the surface…in the midst of the village ruins where the trio from the Academy went on their first adventure. Perhaps there was some sort of connection between the abandoned village with it’s burnt-out library and the Far Realms-infected observatory.

The stairwell into the cellar and the library both stood out amidst the overgrown ruins that characterized the rest of the clearing. The setting was almost identical to how they left it, although the patio before the library’s great doors were now lined on both sides by stone statues of cats, and lying in the midst of them, right before the doors, was an ornate box with a longbow and a longspear crossed over the lid.

While the young heroes were deliberating about what to do with the box (and griping about winding up at the ruins again), Medrash attempted to open the library doors, causing the sphinx to appear. The sphinx was excited to see the adventurers again, and gave a very animated account of how it had found all sorts of humanish things that it couldn’t use and that maybe they could use and so it gathered them all together and put them in the box and left it on the doorstep as a present and hoped they’d be back and oh so excited to see you again and hungry and presents and..and…and…

The box, upon investigation, contained a healing potion, 360 gp, and 300 sp, as well as the decapitated corpses of several small woodland animals (snacks, the sphinx explained).

Medrash continued to attempt to open the doors, earning the ire of the sphinx, who first asked him to stop…then told him to stop…then rounded on him with a supernatural roar, leaving him stunned and shaken. Medrash, at last, stopped messing with the door.

The adventurers left the ruined village and made their way through the woods back to the main path, and began to make their way back to New Haven to speak to the Professor. As they traveled, two whirling masses of crystal – one crimson and one emerald green – came racing across the countryside, shooting blasts of energy at each other. The crimson one screeched an oath at the emerald one, to which the emerald responded by vanishing, reappearing a short distance away, and blasting the crimson whirlwind into oblivion. the crystal shards that made up its form warped into a shape resembling an abberant fell taint, and then disintegrated into dust. Akta approached the crystalline warrior and spoke to him.

The new figure introduced himself as Dezasshi, a hunter after those who would seek to usurp the power of the Living Gate and allow the influence of the Far Realms to infiltrate this plane. Autumn recognized Dezasshi’s references to the Living Gate as the moon, and the shardmind confirmed some knowledge of the All-Father – the primal spirit that is said to have created the moon. Dezasshi claimed to carry out his crusade against the Far Realms as an agent – if not a worshiper – of the Raven Queen, thus earning Medrash’s respect and causing the dragonborn to swear fealty to this new companion. Now bearing an increasingly-complex web of friendships and alliances, the companions continued their journey to New Haven.

In New Haven, Professor Deepwood greeted the adventurers with his normal absent-minded enthusiasm, and listened intently as they recounted their recent adventures to him. He also let them know that he’d finally made some progress toward translating the mysterious tome the trio of students had brought him from the ruins. Closing the shades on his windows and locking the door, he opened up the ancient book and uttered 3 syllables from it in hushed tones. Those 3 syllables charged the air, making everything feel more present than it normally did. The Prssr. explained that this book was written, at least in part, in ancient [name of text (check game notes)], a language that, according to legend, was composed of pure Power, and predates even the Supernal tongue of the gods. The right syllables in the proper order said in the appropriate way are supposed to have the power to create or destroy or alter anything in creation. Legends tell that the greatest heroes from the fallen empires, and from the age that preceded them were sometimes gifted single syllables of ancient [name] as rewards for the greatest deeds.

Because of the unique nature of the language, and the scarcity of information about it, the Prssr. could make no more progress on the book without more resources. From long association with the sages of the College of Magic, he knows they have a secret library of ancient texts from the earliest days of Arkhosia and Bael Turath that have been collected over the course of generations. Some of those books may be of help in his endeavor…but they are a jealously guarded secret. Similarly, a huge portion of their collection was gleaned from ruins underneath the city, but the entrance was completely sealed by the Brotherhood, since it was these same subterranean ruins from which the Lord of the Black Legion awoke. Even knowing the challenges at hand, the young adventurers decided that they’d go to Elenath in search of some answers.

It was decided that the best way to Elenath would be to return to Cotswold-on-Deep River and follow the caravan routes back to the capital city. Before leaving, Akta bought Perrin a mount-trained St. Bernard to help him get his mind off his brother’s death, and with Heth’s corpse carefully preserved and wrapped for travel they made their way south to Cotswold.

A few miles from the city, they encountered a gnoll on the side of the road, wailing and lamenting in a brilliantly Old Testament-style manner – sackcloth, the gnashing of teeth, throwing ashes up in the air…the whole nine yards. Akta asked after this pitiful individual, and when it was revealed he was mourning the death of his twin brother, Perrin went down off the road to commiserate with him. After a brief exchange, the gnoll offered to take the adventurers back to the camp he had shared with his brother, and explain his plight to them. He (Jacque) and his brother, Piter, were huntmasters from the Makeltoh clan who had been sent by their clan to seek out new territories, as their traditional hunting ranges were being encroached upon and they did not have the strength to repulse their invaders. As they traveled north, they met and became antagonized by a “mad goblin holy man” who began to follow them and worked to find ways to curse their progress, Jacque explained. Some time ago while the brothers had gone in different directions to hunt, Piter was attacked and killed along with his entire hunting pack. He tracked his brother back to the road to Cotswold, to the very spot where he had been mourning, but was never able to recover the body. Jacque is convinced that the mad goblin orchestrated his brother’s death, and begged the young heroes for help in avenging his brother’s murder. Perrin, still grieving his own brother’s death, told what little he knew about Vrushnak and left Jacque with a gift of wine before the party left the gnoll’s camp.

In Cotswold-on-Deep River, Heth was finally laid to rest. The service was small, composed only of Perrin, his parents, and the party. As a vassal of the Raven Queen, Medrash performed the rites, and Heth’s body was interred in a plot near Mahari Square (named after Jaruel Mahari, a halfling adventurer and merchant who founded Cotswold) – a fitting burial for a young halfling who died after serving his community and in search of adventure.

The next day, the young adventurers contract with a caravan traveling the long road to Elenath; arranging for free passage in exchange for defending the caravan along the way. A few days out from Cotswold-on-Deep River, the caravan came across an unusual disturbance across the path, one that appeared to be a thin point in the Walls Between the Worlds, where the Feywilde was breaking through into this plane. A charismatic half-elf halted the caravan and explained that they were entering the realm of Gwyddeon Dana’an, the Ard Rhi (“high king”) of the elves, and that a tariff would be required to ensure safe passage through Gwyddeon’s lands. The young adventurers first tried to charm their way past the border guard but when that didn’t work, Akta – aided by Medrash, Dezasshi, and Mr. Bubbles – cowed him into submission with threats and intimidation. The border guard stepped back into the mirage-like aura, and faded from sight like a tiger in tall grass.

Later that same day, the caravan came to a bridge that had been occupied by some lizardmen and their pet crocodile. Their intentions were much more straightforward – they were less interested in politics or trade relations, and more about who would be their next meal! A brief but vicious battle left the croc and all the lizardmen but one dead in the water, and only the skink-like darter with a blowgun managed to escape the carnage. The defeated lizardmen were each carrying a non-magical spear and light shield, and the biggest of the trio – probably the de facto leader – was wearing an ornate necklace that, upon examination, turned out to be a +2 Amulet of Protection.

Triumphant, the party continued to lead the caravan onward.

The Lost Chapters
Wherein everyone has amnesia

Because of issues with Google Groups and how they discontinued their “pages” feature, there remainder of level 1, all of level 2, and the first few bits of level 3 are lost forever.

This is the ultimate lame. Sorry, guys. :-(

The Case of the Missing Wizard
The Story So Far; Level 1, part 2

On the road to Cotswold-on-Deep River, the adventurers met a man named Jaren who was going to the same place to try to find a friend of his, a wizard named Benjamin Echredon who had mysteriously gone missing. He agreed to let the curious adventurers accompany him to the Imperial Offices, where they were introduced to Aria Isaacson (the regional commisioner) who agreed to let them help in the search, and teamed them up with Perrin Ulmo, an apprentice scribe on loan from the Hall of Quills, to investigate a few minor leads. A note, most likely from the kidnapper, had also been discovered.

Following a lead to speak with Lily Valdez, proprietor of the magic shop The Octagonne, she offered to help search for Benjamin by scrying for him, but her attempts were unsuccessful. Surprised and unnerved, she asked the young adventurers to take her personal sigil and go to the temple of Corellon Larathien to ask for a few berries from a divination-enhancing plant, the Tears of Oisin. Abbess Willow entrusted the adventurers with the Tears, and sent one of her acolytes, a young elf named Tazo, to accompany the adventurers back to Octagonne. Lily attempted her scrying again, this time with curious results: the man himself didn’t appear in the scrying crystal, but the plaza outside the Two Bits casino was revealed. Apparently Benjamin Echredon was in Cotswold-on-Deep River! Anathe (a Two Bits employee) was visible in the image, earning Lily’s ire, as well as Lasiphra Tav, although Lily seemed not to notice him.

Arriving at the plaza, Perrin was accosted by a sly young halfling with a pompadour – his brother Heth. After the unexpected reunion, the adventurers found Anathe in a flurry of activity – she was in charge of making final plans for the soon-to-open Nova Ritmo nightclub, and was auditioning for new talent. She stated that she wouldn’t give our young heroes the time of day unless they were auditioning, prompting Heth to try out. Wanting to show off, Heth attempted the obstacle course with his hands in his pockets, nearly taking a number of nasty spills but ultimately impressing Anathe with his sheer ballsiness. After hearing out the young heroes’ plans, she offered to take them to see Glim Raulnor (the proprietor and owner of Two Bits) under the guise of getting final approval for the new acrobatics act. After rounding up Akta from trying to sweet-talk food vendors into selling her liquor, the adventurers were escorted into Raulnor’s office.

A terse and dismissive conversation revealed the “secret” project Raulnor and Benjamin had been working on, and it was obvious that Raulnor didn’t want to talk to the adventurers. However, when questioned directly about Benjamin’s whereabouts, Raulnor said he knew exactly where they needed to go, and led them back outside to the plaza. Standing just to the other side of the fountain was a man dressed from head to toe in black and wearing a gold hawk-shaped mask. He dismissed Raulnor, who faded away to nothing (he had been an illusion the whole time!), stated definitively that Benjamin was safe in the infirmary at the Imperial Offices now that Our Lady had no more use for him, then vanished in a vortex of arcane energy. In his place were a number of silhouette warriors who attacked the adventurers.

After a hard-fought battle, the silhouette warriors were defeated and Lasiphra Tav appeared for just enough to warn them that time was about to begin again – so caught up in the battle they were, they hadn’t noticed that the water from the plaza’s fountain was suspended in midair, and the few other figures around the plaza (included Anathe) were perfectly still. Time resumed it’s normal flow as predicted, and when the adventurer’s returned to the Imperial Offices, both Benjamin Echredon and the real Glim Raulnor were safe (if dazed and disoriented) in the infirmary.

Rats in the Cellar, and the Case of the Ruined Library
The Story So Far: Level 1, part 1

In the quiet town of New Haven, Professor Endreal Deepwood runs a small boarding school. Mostly he does this as a service to his community, but a few of his students – the ones that show exceptional ability – recieve additional training, the training they need to become heroes.

Akta, Autumn, and Kal-Og were among these exceptional students, and were given a special “homework” assignment by Prssr. Deepwood to hone their new-found skills and to learn to work together as a team. Before they left, a warforged ranger – ESN-366 – arrived at the Academy as an emissary from the Artificer’s Guild. At Prssr. Deepwood’s suggestion, and the agreement of the students, ESN-366 joined the students on their assignment in order to “gain exposure and new knowledge of local customs and culture” to help the Guild better know how they could serve the people. At Autumn’s insistence, ESN-366 was given a more colloquial name – “Mr. Bubbles”.

Akta, Autumn, Kal-Og, and Mr. Bubbles traveled to a site a few hours away from New Haven, the ruins of the Startail Village – a site known to have once housed a small commune of sages and scholars and their library of arcane texts, both of which vanished mysteriously many generations ago. Time and space seemed to fluxuate while they were there, and what was originally a nearly-empty clearning altered and changed so that previously ruined buildings rebuilt themselves, changed positions, and morphed. The fluid topography seemed either to have been orchestrated by, or resulted in, a chance encounter with Lasiphra Tav, an albino young man wearing white robes who claimed to be from all times and no time of his own. Finally, the fabled Startail Library emerged and the adventurers gained entrance after deferring to the vanity of the guardian sphinx and giving him the box they’re recieved from Lasiphra Tav that produced an idol of a cat (which the sphinx viewed as a statue of itself). Inside, the library was filled with demolished furniture and ashes, as though it had been gutted by a great fire, but the central chamber was untouched, and at the center of it was a pedestal where a single book lay open.

The book was surrounded by a trio of shadowy figures who threatened the adventurers for their intrusion and made confusing allusions to dreams, and then attacked them in defense of the book. After a hand-fought battle, the adventurers defeated their mysterious aggressors, and the ruins around them began to warp and twist in disturbing ways. They secured the book and escaped as quickly as they could, taking their prize back to Prssr. Deepwood for examination.

The Professor was shocked at the adventurer’s find, and took the book under his care so he could try to decipher its strange scripts. He also informed the students of a festival going on in nearby Cotswold-on-Deep River, suggesting it could be another good learning experience for Mr. Bubbles, and a fun diversion for the students. Kal-Og, however, opted not to go.


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