The Golden Empire

Saturday December 3rd 2011

Petr Roy, Chris Vlchek and Tyberious Wrex left for the temple to help consecrate the grounds. However, Augustus Sunborne learned h must first remove the Power Nodes from the crypt before any attempt would be successful. Petr Roy spoke with Tzar Everwind about the crystals the party found battling the undead in the crypt below the temple. Tzar Everwind said, “These red crystals are Soul Shards commonly used for enchantment and spell foci. This large blue crystal is known as a [[:power node]]. These items were first crafted during the second age.”

Petr Roy and Chris Vlchek also spoke with Galindor Evermask in hopes of learning more about the crystals they had found. He informs Petr Roy the Soul Shard each contain a sentient soul. Augustus Sunborne and Petr Roy (With full party consent) both decide to smash the gems to release the captured souls. The party then returned to the Town of Westerly Winds where they saw smoke rising from the Pharlip Altet estate.

Four armed individuals wearing the insignia of the Red Fists dug the Altet family up and were burning bodies while looting their home. The mercenaries acknowledged our presence while their leader stepped fourth and told us to leave. One of their number is holding a very unique necklace that Pharlip Altet wore. The party chooses to leave them to venture back to the Castello Assosi (Regrettable!). The party arrived at the estate and Petr Roy attempts to open one of the cursed doors once again but is overwhelmed by the horrible curse placed upon the doors. He slumps to the ground a useless husk. With one of their members overwhelmed by the cursed door, the other party members retrieve Petr Roy and leave the estate to help him.

The party visits Hobse Bophubb in the Town of Westerly Winds in hopes he may be of some assistance. He says, “Close the damn door… What do you want?”, in a gruff and unwanted tone. The party informs him of their “cursed” companion and he retorts, “Yeah, I kin help, but it’s very expensive.” The barters a five foot high pile of white powder from the little box the party found in Castello Assosi and in less than an hour he concocts a potion to restore Petr Roy.

The party then returned to the Altet’s estate to confront the Red Fists who now had began burning the estate to the ground forever destroying whatever information Pharlip Altet may have had about his home in the far east (Regrettable!). The party overwhelmed the mercenaries in a one sided battle, though the party believes these troops must have been raw recruits. Still, the troops had tactics, weapons, and armour the party had never seen before which caused considerable damage despite their defeat. The party left the estate after burning their bodies and burying their gear, however silent eyes watched their actions from afar.

The party looted 18 Gutshakers, an undamaged Red Fist Arm Guard, Pharlip’s necklace?, and a scroll. The scroll reads, “By order of the Commander of the Red Fists, you are to take and hold Pharlip’s estate.” The party returned to “The Broken Stone” to confront Hogni about his relation to Strifewind. He says to us in a hushed tone, “Strifewind was a man who went crazy before he died! He was a sad man who tried to fight the laws of nature and failed!” He refused to speak further on the matter and would not indicate his relationship with Strifewind without some sort of proof.

Seeking this proof, the party returned to Castello Assosi to try and find the portrait of Strifewind wearing the ring Hogni gave to us claiming to be an heirloom from his family. While searching, Tyberious Wrex found a secret staircase behind a bookcase after several days of searching the mansion. The party followed the staircase to a secret laboratory filled with books. The air is thick with an eerie gloom which makes the entire party’s hair stand on end while those who were sensitive to evil felt its strong menacing presence. The dim light of the moon illuminates the room while shadows seem to creep throughout the room like waves on sand.

There are three tables and a single chest within the room. Konda approached the trunk and the floor boards creak and echo throughout the room despite his quiet nature. Finds the trunk locked and fails to pick the lock despite his skills (Some of the party snicker at his failure!). He makes a second attempt trying to force the lock, but breaks his tool instead. Many of the party believe a treasure is within the chest and several attempts are made to open it forcefully, but are made in vain. The books on the table are covered in dust, but seem to cover “Dwarven physiology”, “Necromancy”, “Dark Arts”, “Transmutation”, and “Necromantic Rituals of Revival".

The party investigated the room and a small switch was found on the far wall. The party flipped the switch and the room began to shimmer in shadow while winding chains were heard as a large platform descended. The chains stopped moving with a loud thud when the platform hovered three feet off the ground. A body of a female dwarf lay upon the platform, however it seemed the body was unfinished as many of the parts were mechanical. She had gears showing through parts of her skin and her body was warm to the touch. Many of the party commented this place was much more than just a library. Augustus Sunborne performed last rites upon the corpse-like shell, but felt his attempts were to no avail as this was no mere dead body, but an aberration of science and magic.

The party flipped the switch once again and rode the platform to the top of the laboratory. They saw the upper part of the lab was enclosed in a special glass globe area where the town could be seen to the east. A set of controls with nine levers controlling the orientation of the globe and a big tome sat by itself on a shelf. The tome was Strifewind’s diary and research data for a project titled “Catherine.” The last entry reads, “I have nearly completed the body to animate her. She will be forever with me. My son Hogni disagrees with my methods saying that I am insane, but he doesn’t understand. I will bring back my wife even if it kills me!” The party found the proof they were looking for and returned to the Town of Westerly Winds to confront Hogni. Hogni yells at the party, “Fine take the key and find your answers, but we may all suffer for it.” He gives us the key as well as a warning, “That place is a “cursed” factory! The beast did not burn the town fifty years ago, it was the house!”

The party returned to the Castello Assosi and storm clouds drew near and the wind began to howl. They entered the secret passageway to shelter themselves from the coming storm and ventured into the mansion. They approached the doors sealed with magic and the runes began to glow and the doors opened. A group of Power Nodes sitting in strange housings linked together with vast bundles of wire strewn throughout the room. Plans were found on the floor for the construction process of Hogni Strifewind’s prototype model made fifty years ago (This mean Hogni’s an aberration?). The party then investigated the second room which contained many Tesla coils linked together like the first room. A journal torn asunder sits in the corner of the room with a single torn page remaining. It reads, “I cannot allow my father to do this, to kill so many for the sake of reviving his own… I had to stop him… I didn’t want to kill him… Why wouldn’t he stop? I have stopped the machine and I will carry this key so no one can ever activate it again…”

The party contemplated this new information incriminating Hogni as a murderer, but heard a bolt of lightning and a saw a Tesla coil light up. The two rooms illuminated in fluorescent lights and machinery was heard within the mansion. The party made an attempt to close and seal the doors with the key, but the process was unknown as they had not read the research data in full yet. The party heard a shriek come from within the mansion and the party believed it originated from the laboratory.

They ran to the laboratory, but as they did the storm seemed to get stronger buffeting the mansion in howling winds and arcing bolts of electricity. They arrived within the lab to see spiritual energy flowing over the mechanical cadaver. With a roar of electrical energy, a bolt of lightning struck “Catherine” and the spiritual energy condensed into her body. Chris Vlchek rushed to the trunk disinterested in other happenings in the room and proceeded to unlock the chest with the key.

The trunk opens and reveals 10 gold ingots, a case filled with vials that are labeled for restorative and a weird iron rod with a rubber handle. “Catherine” shrieks again as another bolt of lightning strikes her and breaks free from her restraints and stands before us. Petr Roy in awe of this terrifying creature unleashes a magic bolt at her and battle ensues. However, the party learns this opponent is powerful and she devastated them in melee. As battle continued they all looked to find another way to bring a halt to this conflict. Chris Vlchek and Konda jumped onto the platform while Petr Roy flipped the switch.

When Chris Vlchek and Konda arrived at the summit of the laboratory they were buffeted by the terrible power of the storm around them. From a distance they could see the town being bombarded by lightning strikes and bursting in fire. The storm not only struck the mansion, but seemed to strike the town in unison. Both knew the town was in jeopardy and would not survive this bombardment for much longer. They staggered to the control panel of the laboratory while the remainder of the party fought with “Catherine”.

There were nine levers on the control panel in a three by three formation. Chris Vlchek with no mechanical skill attempted to reconfigure the power of the mansion by changing the setting of the levers. However, his attempt only increased the power of the storm. Konda corrected him, but this did nothing to dissipate the storm. Chris Vlchek shouted down to Petr Roy requesting he try to find a way to turn off the machine in Strifewind’s research data. Petr Roy fumbled through the tomes pages but tore the book’s binding sending any useful information swirling in the wind throughout the room.

However, despite the setback Chris Vlchek and Konda finally set the controls to a setting that stopped the lightning energy to “Catherine”. Although the lightning strikes no longer struck the town, they continued to strike a device on top of the laboratory which began to hum louder with each passing strike. Chris Vlchek and Konda rode the platform down and Chris Vlchek ran to the trunk and loaded as many gold bars as he could carry. He screamed, “Take as much as you can carry and get the hell out of there.” Konda takes head, grabs what he can and both he and Chris Vlchek run for their lives.

However, Augustus Sunborne, Tyberious Wrex and Petr Roy choose to stay behind and fight “Catherine” despite the audible hum and Chris’s warning. As the building falls to pieces around the remaining heroes, they withdraw into stairwell just before the final support gives way. The party escapes through the secret passageway and the entire mansion collapses and burns to the ground. When the heroes arrive at the Broken Stone to lick their wounds they arrive to see many people are thanking Hogni for his help during the lightning storm. He sees the party and points at them, “I think they’re the ones we should be thanking.”

As the party members survey the damage the town has taken, they hear about many of the feats Hogni performed during the storm; Such as jumping into danger without even flinching, rescuing the injured from their shattered homes with unnatural strength, not slowing down in the strongest of winds, and even seeing him get hit by a lightning strike and keep going! Many of the villagers now believe he is a divine being sent from the heavens to protect them… They couldn’t be more wrong…

The party returned to the Town of Adham to shed some unwanted gear from the cart. They spend some time at the Warlock’s Purse and Galindor Evermask informs Petr Roy one of his shipments has arrived and he has acquired a few items of interest for the group. One of the items was a sword for Petr Roy which was a training blade for his university with a symbol of Wee Jas. He offers a similar reward to the rest of the group if they can acquire some ore from the bottom of “Crater Lake” or remove the Bugbear’s from the area.

Galindor Evermask also takes note of one of our friends is missing, Konda who disappeared without a trace after the party escaped the Castello Assosi. No one knows what happened to him although the party spent some time searching for him they found no trace. (Perhaps he was a better ninja than everyone gave credit after all.) He indicates we can meet a replacement for him if we go to Tinsel Town at noon in front of Guinness’s tower. After the party finished preparing for their next adventure they went to the tower to see a dark clad adventurer working with the controls to Guinness’s tower. He opened it after a few minutes of working the controls, which the party earlier had trouble. However, as they all entered they were greeted by two mechanical creatures known commonly as “Mechano Chickens”.

What dark secrets await the heroes in Guinness’s mechanical tower in Tinsel Town? Can the scrappy gnome be saved or has he already fallen prey to some evil unbeknownst to the heroes? And what of the Town of Westerly Winds? Is the danger over? Or is the hero’s victory only a short reprieve from the danger that still lurks?

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JohnMadak

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