A Gloomy Future

i.pngt was a dark and stormy knight – the party was on their way from to Resternford, and were forced to take shelter from an exceptionally violent storm in the tomb known as Hightower. After all the party members had gathered into the entryway of the tomb, a particularly violent lightning strike hit just outside the entrance and the inner doorway of the tower was jostled free. It’s was a centuries old sealed door, and the seal was finally broken by the weather. After taking care of the undead creatures in the basement of the Hightower, they continue on towards Resternford.

The Assassin’s Knot -
The party arrived in Resternford and spent a couple of days enjoying the city, when the party hears that Baron Grellus has been murdered. Pelltor the sorcerer approaches the party to ask them investigate the murder secretly because he suspects the current investigation to be a cover-up. The party had to uncover the plot of the current mayor of Garrotten, Arrness, and stop her and her assassin’s guild from taking control of the two cities. Unfortunately, the party was unable to bring enough proof together to implicate Arrness, and she put a man that was attempting to assist the party’s investigation on trial and convicted him of the murder. He was sentenced to be hanged, and the party was forced to watch. After leaving the city, members of Arrness’s assassin guild attempted to kill the party, but the assassins were unsuccessful. It is no longer safe for the party to return to Resternford or Garrotten.

The Vessel of the Stars -
This adventure finds PCs escorting a beleaguered child monarch on the last leg of her flight from the players’ world. The girl, named Satura, is a deva, called the Vessel of Stars by her celestial allies. Many pursue the young Emprix, not the least of which are the vrill; They are wild ox-like humanoids from a distant dimension, that seek to prevent the young Satura from returning to her dimension. The vrill comprised the bulk of the dimensional skimmer’s crew, conscripts who were forced into servitude by the more powerful devas. They feel that without the deva Emprix, the other devas will eventually abandon the plane, thus freeing the vrill. Also vying for the Emprix is an unscrupulous group of wizards and sages, the Order of Unknown Truths. The brilliant minds of the order have deduced much about the deva and the vrill rebels who seek to stop her. They have devised plans to thwart both the vrill and the deva, including hiring a band of mercenaries and sending three of their own after the prizes.

Recently, in the city of Stern, Satura with her escorts, the vrill, and the Order of Unknown Truths collided. In a grand battle, many died. The Order failed to account for the vrill’s resistance to charms, and one of the leaders, Seril, almost died. The deva escaped with merely one ragged cleric named Raz. The Vessel has arrived in Horvath, anxious to be gone of this violent world. She enlists the help of the party, with promises of riches, to help her find her dimensional skimmer, also known as the Vessel of Stars, to take her home. Though Satura nears her goal, the vrill upstarts and the ruthless mages follow close on her heels. The party was unable to reach the vessel before the vrill and were forced to fight their way through. They were successful, though barely, and the Emprix was sent on her way home.

Base of Operations -
The PCs learn, from a drunken old soldier recently stationed in Brightstone Keep (“a rundown, broken old castle if I ever saw one!”), of a legend of fabulous treasure to be found in the mines behind and below the keep. He says that he actually went into the mines (completely against orders-the shafts are dangerous and unstable) and shows the PCs a large, uncut gem (worth about 50 gp) that he says he found there. Unfortunately, his unit was ordered out of the area before he could explore the mines any more. When the PCs went to investigate, they found that an orc named Kurjan Sawtooth had occupied the keep, and they managed to defeat him and his guards and occupy the keep. In appreciation for defeating the orcs, the party was granted barony over the keep, with the expectation that they pay taxes and offer protection to the surrounding country-side, as the keep was originally designed for. While exploring the mines, the party managed to find a white dragon egg, and it hatched while in their care. They thought to befriend and raise it, but they couldn’t quell the evil nature inherent in the dragon, and were forced to put it down before it got to big to handle.

Future Gloom -
While the party is preparing the keep and the mines are being readied, a rumble begins to emanate from deep within the mines. A strange glow seems to slowly spread outward from the stones themselves and the light is impossible to see through (and no of the workers enveloped within it come back out). A svirfneblin gnome comes running out of the mines up to the back gates of the gates of the keep shouting in gnomish about a machine and a portal (there are a few workers that made it out and they are running around the keep down the path. The portal extends out of the mines slowly, so the party was able to out run it. The globe of light stopped just beyond the front gate of the castle and maintains its position. When the party entered it they were transported MI 2300 years into the future and into a dark, gloomy world (never brighter than twilight, for the illithid overlords found a method of casting a pall over the very sun) run by powerful illithid overlords, with every continent overrun by the powerful elder brains.

The entrance to the mine is covered by a land slide, and the keep is in total ruins overgrown with tough, gnarly trees and plants. They found themselves in a refugee camp, with people that had escaped the illithids. They refused to help, but they offered the party a place to stay. The machine that catapulted the party into the future was damaged, and it required an illithid brain to operate. the party managed to take down two mind flayers and harvest one of their brains, but not without almost being defeated. The party returned to the camp and was able to get the machine working, but unfortunately they were unable to bring back everyone, only having enough power for the party. After returning to their own time, several of the adventurers retired, focusing on the keep and building up the surrounding country, while others joined the Keepers of the Cerulean Sign, a group devoted to the eradication of illithids and other aberrations. Currently Brightstone Keep and the surrounding area is one of the busiest, most prosperous areas in Vappor.

A Gloomy Future

The Melekar Chronicles gaaran