Tempters of Fate

Threads that Bind: Barsaive Strikes Back
The story so far, part 4

After the humiliating defeat suffered by the Throalic forces at the Battle of Prajjor’s Fields, the Theran Empire was ready to launch a final assault against Barsavian forces. Dividing its fleet and army, Nicar assaulted at the same time the Cliff City of Aropagoi Syrtis and the Floating City of Aropagoi V’strimon. Furthermore, the majority of Syrtis’ ships was tied battling Ishkarats, while strategically placed Theran kilas, prevented Throal from using the river to reinforce V’strimon positions.

Despite S’landrar V’strimon, Evender and Leithian taking the command of the majority of V’strimon forces, the t’skrang have suffered a great defeat, as the Theran magician Azim Kheel froze the waters of Lake Ban and disabled the V’strimon fleet, allowing Theran’s and their K’tenshin allies to destroy all ships but two. Fortunately the magical barriers protecting the Floating City enabled them to survive the assault.

S’landrar ventured to the city of Urupa to beg the City Council for reinforcements. Unfortunately Theran plots and the pressure from people from over Aras persuaded the officials to remain neutral. Fortunately the most popular person on the council – Felinda Jer – offered S’landrar to buy her ships at a discount price. He managed to procure the funds from Omasu and used them not only to acquire ships but also to hire mercenaries.

Meanwhile Evender managed to convince the Scavians to ally with V’strimon and together with S’landrar’s mercenaries they assaulted Theran kilas blocking the northern tributary, which allowed Throal to send reinforcements. All of those forces combined proved enough to smash the unsuspecting K’tenshin fleet and force them to retreat before the Therans could send reinforcements.

Meanwhile, Throal forced, bolstered by the first constructed air galeon Varulus relieved the besieged Syrtis and forced the invading Theran forces to withdraw. This two battles are considered to be the turning point of the II Theran War. Before the Barsavians could act and press their advantage, they were targeted by a hidden enemy – the Denairastas. As the Allied War Council was discussing ways of disabling the force field protecting Triumph, the assistance of the Fellowship of the Night was suggested, as their knowledge about utilizing the powers of Liferocks was unparalleled. However a Denairastas Golden Branch adept managed to persuade Omasu that their power, coming from a corrupted Liferock, is blasphemous and not better then what the Theran’s did with Ayodhya. The enraged obsidiman captured Shivalahala V’strimon and held her hostage, demanding to stop negotiations with the Fellowship. He only agreed to hear the Tempters of Fate. Fortunately they’ve managed to convince him that it is the only solution and he relented. Despite this, the Denairastas Adept tried to destroy the core of power of the Floating City but again the Tempters of Fate managed to stop and capture him.

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Threads that Bind: II Theran War
The story so far, part 3

As the PCs were leaving Barsaive with Aardalea, they witnessed the opening shots of the II Theran War. Four kilas engaged Usun as he was besieging Jerris and after sustaining grievous casualties they’ve managed to severly wound the dragon and forced him to retreat. Because of this, they were hailed as the saviours of Jerris and the city switched allegiance to the Empire.

While the PCs were in Creana for about half a year, the Theran Empire under the command of Admiral Nicar Carinci was mustering their strength and preparing for offensive. A month before the PCs returned to Barsaive, the Theran’s had finally made their move. Triumph – a powerful behemoth and the flagship of the Theran Navy in the province landed on the Ayodhya Liferock, trapping the Dreaming obsidimans and channeling the Liferock’s energies in order to protect the grounded ship with an invincible force field. This act of sacrilege, led the formerly neutral merchant Omasu to stage an uprising, Named The Liferock Rebellion.

Meanwhile the Theran forces started to launch a full offensive against Barsaive. Kratas fell almost immediately, although keeping it was a definitely different matter – guerilla warfare conducted by Thieves of this city quickly turned from a nuissance to a serious inconvenience, especially as for probably the first time in history the two strongest gangs The Power of the Eye and Brocher’s Brood had a common enemy. Another part of the Theran fleet assualted Travar and managed to take it as the K’tenshin blocade prevented the aropagoi V’strimon from reinforcing the city.

The first task of the Tempters of Fate, as the team was now Named, was to balance the scales of the Theran and Barsavian fleets. As Throal and other powers of Barsaive had nothing that was a match for the behemoth or even kilas, Mountainshadow ordered them to recover plans of Air Galleons, burried in the tomb of their Scythan designer – as the Throalic plans mysteriously disappeared. They’ve managed to gain help from a Horror Stalker Named Grathus the Unyielding, who was beginning to organize a crusade to retake Scytha from the Horrors. After locating the tomb and bringing the plans back to Throal they were invited by the king Varulus III to celebrate their success.

During the celebrations, the king excused himself feeling weak. Unfortunately as the celebration continued, Valrog the Hotheaded – Varulus’ personal bodyguard and captain of guards – came to announce the king was dead. As everyone, including the PCs, prince Neden, queen Dollas and Merrox rushed to the king’s chamber they found him flayed alive – just as his son was when he was captured by the Therans. Investigation performed revealed that the king’s healer was in fact an impostor and assassin. Unfortunately, while the conspirers who were aiding her were captured, she managed to evade capture.

As her identity – that of Jada Denairastas – wasn’t discovered until quite late, Neden, convinced that they Theran’s were behind the assassination, launched a reckless and unprepared strike against the Triumph itself. As the force field protecting the behemoth proved to be impenetrable, his forced suffered serious losses and were forced to withdraw in shame.

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Threads that Bind: Creana
The story so far, part 2

The Great Dragons soon learned that the party was responsible for delivering Aardalea to the Theran Empire. As the girl was taken to Creana, a land forbidden to dragons, and the wyrms couldn’t free her directly they began to devise a plan. One of them, a Great Dragon Named Icewing who was in possession of a Pattern Item belonging to one of the PCs, summoned them.

They were presented with an ultimatum – take part in recapturing Aardalea from Creana or die a horrible death. Obviously they agreed and begin to serve as Icewing’s team. They were sent to Creana, along with adepts serving Mountainshadow, Vasdenjas and Aban.

There the party began to gain favour among the Theran officials, by performing tasks such as defeating the mummies or granting eternal sleep to a tainted pharon. It was then, when the party encountered a village corrupted by the influence of Giftbringer – a powerful Horror, who turned Name-givers against each others. Unfortunately PCs, were no match for the Horror and could only escape the village. When they returned with reinforcements of Theran light cavalry, the village was tainted beyond redemption and the only viable solution was to exterminate it.

Finally, aftering gaining favour of Hefera one of the chief magicians of the laboratory in which Aardalea was held, the party, along with other teams of adepts managed to infiltrate the castle. They’ve manage to spirit the girl from the laboratory just moments before assassin’s sent by Denairastas family sneaked in. In the chaos of the retreat, PCs were separated from other teams, especially from the Silvery Blades, who were supposed to take Aardalea.

Their escape covered by other teams, they’ve managed to escape Creana to a hidden air ship. Before they reached Barsaive, they were intercepted by a Denairastas party and Aardalea was captured. Before the girl could be teleported to Iopos, the team recaptured her but among the fighting it became evident that her latent powers were awakened by the experiments of the Therans. She transformed into a dragonspawn and only Avalac was able to eventually calm her down.

Finally one last obstacle was in the way of PCs. When they were approaching Barsaive from the South, they were attacked by a tainted dragon serving Vestrivan, who was trying to recapture Aardalea. The dragon however was scared off by the appearance of Mountainshadow and the team handed the girl over to Mountainshadow. After this they were offered to work for him. Taking into consideration that at least four Great Dragons – Denairastas, Usun, Icewing and Vestrivan – probably wanted them dead, the party agreed, hoping that Mountainshadow could protect them.

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Threads that Bind: Aardalea
The story so far, part: 1

The party (at the time consisting of Avalac, Evender, S’landrar) was hired by a mysterious patron to kidnap a girl Named Aardalea from the Denairastas family of Iopos. After capturing her, they were supposed to drop her off at a Theran air ship at Sky Point. Although the task was presented in a way, suggesting that the ship belongs to Theran traitor, this was in fact a genuine Theran ship. The party’s employer was in fact a dragonspawn, serving the tainted dragon Vestrivan who was planning to hasten the clash between Denairastas, the Theran Empire and the Great Dragons of Barsaive. For this task Leithian joined the team, to be a guide and to keep an eye on the PCs.

The PCs were able to sneak into Iopos using the Horror-infested sewers and located the girl, who was kidnapped from her family by insurgents, sponsored by the Great Dragons. They managed to capture her and escape the city, only being stopped by the Great Dragon Denairastas himself. Using Aardalea as a hostage they managed to hold the dragon at bay long enough for him to be scared off by Mountainshadow himself.

They escaped travelling through the Poisonous Wood and decided to replenish their supplies in the city of Jerris. One of the Great Dragons, Usun, lacking the patience of his peers, laid a siege around the city, demanding handing Aardalea over to him. The party managed to slip out of Jerris only when the dragon was distracted by four Theran kilas ariving. In the battle that occured, two ships were destroyed and the dragon severly wounded and forced to retreat to Liaj Jungle. As the Therans were regarded by the citizens of Jerris as saviours and heroes who saved the city from the beast, the city easily switched allegiance to the Empire.

The party moved south, attempting to pass the Delaris Mountains. There they had to stop at the troll village belonging to the Stone Axe Clan. Despite the initially cold welcome, they earned their respect by destroying a tainted Liferock that was spawning corrupt obsidiman constructs that were threatening the camp. Later they exposed a troll spying for the Therans and proved their courage by capturing True Air in the Pit of Storm.

As the party continued their travel towards Sky Point, in one village they were recognized by lord Sentrosh, an old enemy from the past. As the fight broke out, they were barely able to escape with their lives but now they suspected Theran authorities were aware of them. They didn’t know that Sentrosh wanting the girl for himself, didn’t inform anyone – except his lover and ally Syglinda.

Thanks to this, they’ve managed to enter Vrontok – the slaver city in the shadow of Sky Point’s pillars. However there Sentrosh was waiting with a trap and effortlessly captured them. They only were able to escape when Syglinda tried to betray Sentrosh and acquire Aardalea only for herself. In the chaos that ensued as the allies turned to each other, the party managed to sneak onto the ship waiting for them and fly away, closely pursued by Theran ships.

Because of the mystery surrounding their employer, the party was almost expecting to be betrayed after the completion of the task, but they were paid the sum that was agreed – which turned out to be much too low in relation to the costs of the quest.

However that was only the beginning of their problems…

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