Mists of Salamira

The Everfalls Mill
the heroes' introduction to Salamira

Everfalls got its name after a nearby waterfall that never freezes over, not even in the harshest of winters. It’s a settlement that lies among pine-covered hills and lively green meadows in the duchy of Tenebris, in the north west of the Hand.

It's only about a month ago when the True Mist fell all over the northwestern woods, and that included Everfalls as well. Most of the people fled to the safety of a nearby town, Pinefort, and they’ve taken most of their belongings with them.
The duchy is home to the Blackmoon Stone, a relatively powerful arcane circle led by Lady Assylia, niece of Duke Tenebris, and with the help of their magic, most of the duchy has been relieved of the pale green fog within weeks, along with most of the horrors it left behind.


With their magic starting to run out, the wizards were eventually forced to return to their central obelisk to replenish their reserves, just as the first refugees starting to return to their previous homes. However, some of the area has not been cleansed yet since the True Mist has been pushed back.

 

The Everfalls Mill, an old grindmill shared by Everfalls and some nearby settlements is one of these. Due to its importance to the locals and its almost central position among the hillside settlements, Lady Assylia wants to make sure that the area is safe to reclaim.

And, with the heroes in Pinefort, the solution seems easy enough…

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The Curse over Everfalls Mill
Discovering unknown curses of the Fallings

Just as the heroes could've made themselves comfortable in Pinefort, enjoying the simple pleasures at the Purple Lamb, they were approached by Lady Assylia, who explained what she needed in return for two pounds of gold. They reached an agreement in a matter of minutes; the heroes were promised two and a quarter pounds and the wizard could leave assured that the old Everfalls Mill will be secured by expert hands.

The next day the team joined a small group of about 20 people setting out for Everfalls and made friends with the locals, who seemed star-struck by their presence, especially after experiencing Quill's performance of their previous adventures. They met the young, enthusiastic Mira as well, who asked them to bring back her dog, Phoenix, that ran away when the True Mist fell; she also explained them in great details about her wizard sister, Cliara.

Upon arrival to Everfalls, they cut the exemplary lashing of the judge short and fought off the few ruffians who claimed to be tax-collectors for the nearby barony of Stratos. With the life of their judge secured, the villagers invited the adventurers to a meal and rewarded them with some antitoxins. Before they could leave for the mill, the heroes were warned to cover their faces in the woods so as to avoid the attention of Graash, the weeping widow, an evil kata of the nearby forest.

About halfway to the mill, they found a bridge that should've been their way over a river rapid broken. Relcor not only found a statue of a water serpent, but also identified it as a wooden figurine of another kata, namely Arash, the keeper of bridges. The party managed to earn his good favor by presenting him with a few gold coins and some seaweed; this way, they could make it through without any trouble.

On the other side, they found a maggot-ridden pile of adventuring gear that used to belong to a woman who must've left it a long time ago. Quill managed to get a short wand out of the disgusting heap but they otherwise left it intact. The avian saw a shape of what probably was a woman about 200 feet away, but the mirage soon disappeared without a trace.

Not much before nightfall, the heroes reached the mill and found a ball of light slowly circling around the building that became faster as they got closer. They found it to be some sort of unnatural protection when they tried to examine it and the ball hit right among them, throwing them apart and knocking Sei unconscious with a terrible force of lightning.

After a quick regrouping and helping Sei back to life, they forced their way into the mill through a ground floor window, just to hear the ball of light appear again outside – and two things growling deeper inside. With Sei's bat familiar scouting the area, they found two man-beasts fighting each other next to the giant millstone, a white raven and some kind of twisted female figure with enlarged hands and dangerous claws. Unfortunately their surprise was ruined by the wretched white raven that had already known of their arrival and notified its master.

After disarming the two man-beasts and freeing the imprisoned miller gone mad with rage, the team finally defeated the spellcaster that was obviously some kind of leader to the others. After searching through the mill, they found traces of struggle but no blood – along with a spellbook and a diary of a wizard.

As the diary that proved to be a property of Cliara explained, the residual force of the True Mist proved to be capable of twisting not only the minds, but also the bodies of those trapped within. As it turned out, this power was undefeatable for her as well, turning her into that crooked figure the team had to defeat in battle.

All that was left for them now was to make their way back to Everfalls and then to Lady Assylia and explain their findings…

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Game term update I

All characters made it through the introductory adventure.
Quill gained 5 AP +1 for creating a character image for herself; she is now at level 6 with 0 AP (of 7).
Sei gained 5 AP for 5 (of 6).
Relcor gained 3 (of 6).

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Road to Blackmoon Rock

Before leaving for Everfalls – and further on to the wizards of Blackmoon Rock – the party decided to take a rest at the newly cleansed mill. Sei was the first to take guard and with the help of her familiar, she discovered that Mira, a child from Everfalls, along with some of her friends, decided to follow them on their adventure.

Unfortunately for the children, a giant wolf seemed took smell of them and was now circling the group, getting closer every minute. By the time Sei woke up the others, the party noticed another, much greater danger to the kids; it seems that the evil kata Graash felt the presence of unaccompanied children in her woods and decided to drag them away to her lair of maggots…

While Sei saved the life of a child and defeated the wolf, which, in fact, seemed to be a transformed, wicked version of the long-missing shepherd dog, Phoenix, Relcor and Quill fended off the kata and her spirit aids, the graashschilder. During the fight, Relcor used a power that made the others in the party question the source of his powers, as they've never seen magic tear up reality so that dark tendrils may come forth from unknown dimensions and attack with ferocious might…

After silence fell over the mill again, the party decided to rest before making it back to Everfalls the next morning. By then, the villagers have been looking for the missing children for at least 6 hours and were very much relieved when the heroes returned them safely to their families. Except for Mira's father, the settlement's blacksmith, who decided to immediately teach the girl a lesson and slapped her so hard that she almost fell unconscious. Being witness to all this and becose of some other issues they had noticed before, the party decided to take Mira with them to the wizards of Blackmoon Rock and place her in their custody. Quill and Sei decided that the avian will break the news of her sister's passing to Mira while it'll be the sorcerer who talks to the father about taking the child away.

The tiefling used some of her innate… persuading abilities to intimidate the blacksmith into letting her daughter go and so they left much sooner than the others anticipated. On their way to the arcane circle, Quill told Mira about her sister and the girl seemed to take the news quite well.

On a night of rest, Relcor noticed that the sky was full of shooting stars and remembered a kata called Lilac who could supposedly be summoned to grant wishes on nights like this one; soon they all made a wish to Lilac. Even though it's uncertain whether the wishes of the party were granted, but a prayer by Mira was most definitely made come alive.

She asked to be together with her sister again – and Lilac did her bidding, albeit – as it usually is with wishes – in a form twisted and dangerous. The kata summoned the gate of Terminus, the final gateway to the Netherworld and opened it for a few seconds; cold, dense fog and vicious specters looking to devour the warmth of life emerged. The party, mainly thanks to Quill's tiny hut spell, managed to fend off the sinister ghosts who eventually disappeared into the night.

It was two more days of strenuous travel before they first saw the monolith of Blackmoon Rock, an obelisk of obsidian, and it took a few hours of careful descent into a valley to reach it. Upon arrival, the party found nobody around the stone; instead, they discovered a seemingly deep crack running from the base of the structure towards the top of it.

A thick, pale-green vapor, not unlike the True Mist, was slowly flowing from the crack, almost as if the depth of the monolith was responsible for emitting it.

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Game term update II

All characters made it through the adventure. It was intended to be a shorter session, so the AP gain was a bit moderated.
Quill gained 1 AP for a total of 1 (of 7).
Sei gained 4 AP, she is now at level 6 with 3 AP (of 7).
Relcor gained 1 AP for a total of 4 (of 6).

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To Gerana

Noticing that the Blackmoon Rock has seemingly fallen to the True Mist, the trio of Quill, Relcor and Sei decided to just simply avoid getting close and find another solution to their orphan-problem (Mira) and find their reward for the Everfalls mill elsewhere. Unfortunately, the obelisk had other plans…

Suddenly the green fog that was just trickling began to flow with much greater force, soon covering the entire platoon where the runestone was erected, and in that mist, hooded figures appeared as if coming from the inside of the rock. Among them, a tall humanoid with antlers on its head, attacked the trio immediately upon arrival with a spell. Even though the spell missed, the gesture made it obvious that the party had been noticed.

When the spell kicked off, the party found a white raven that made its way to Mira's shoulder and that stayed around the girl ever since. Maybe it's nothing, but that bird resembled the familiar of Mira's older sister Cliara very closely…

The fight was short and swift though as the party replied with some of their strongest spells, quickly disabling all of the hooded cultists. They even got some unexpected help from Leonidas, a fighter sent forward from a committee of the close city-state of Gerana to scout the area and inform the wizards of their arrival. Unfortunately, just as they could've captured the antlered leader of the cult, he somehow evaporated, along with what seemed to be the True Mist and the crack on the Blackmoon obelisk. Was the whole green fog just an illusion or the obelisk somehow repaired itself and cleansed its surroundings?

 

Just as things went silent, a slythak wizard arrived from the nearby arcane village to make sure the stone was secure and to prepare for the arrival of the Geranian committe. She led the party to the village that had been attacked by the same cult the party has just defeated; most of the houses had been badly damaged, some of them completely destroyed. The few wizards of the circle helped the locals to get things in order again.

As the smell of the burning houses reached the party, Sei had a shockingly vivid, terrifying vision revealing the fate of her family to her – just as she wished a few nights back. It took Quill and Relcor both to calm her down. The sorceress told them that she now had a mortal enemy – a guy she previously considered a friend but who, as it turns out, had a lot to do with her parents' horrible torture and death. The others promised her their help with her revenge when the time comes.

Lady Assylia later found the time to consult the party and somewhat reluctantly gave them their reward – in a single bar of some gold-based mixture that had to be exchanged for coins at a bank – the closest of which is is in Gerana.

 

As the committee arrived, Assylia received a music box from someone named Silvershaker that she had ordered; when opening it, a sad, eerie tune began to play. A tune that Sei immediately recognized from her vision and that was certainly not what Assylia had asked for.

The committee also confirmed what the archwizard wanted to know: there has been no Fallings within the boundaries of Gerana… so she asked the party to visit the merchant city and somehow find out how it's possible that Gerana has never been cursed with the True Mist. Leonidas offered his company and protection to the trio which they gladly accepted.

 

They reached the border between the duchy of Tenebris and Gerana in four days to see the border guards aggressively trying to keep a beggar away from the outpost and the gates. As Quill rushed to the ragged strangers rescue, they could save the guy from the harassment. They soon found out that the beggar was something the guards called a gwyllt; it took the humane approach of the party to learn that he was a slave called Twenty-five from Gerana who wanted to meet the king of Salamira and tell him about his people's situation. The party decided immediately to help them and free them from slavery.

They arrived to the gates of Gerana two and a half days later. Within the walls of the rich city they shortly met Fletch, the vulture avian and an old friend of Quill's, waiting to be condemned for forgery and, soon after that, get executed – by mistake. As the price for his crime is 2500 gold pieces in geranian florins, the party made other plans to rescue him…

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Game term update III

All characters made it through the adventure. It was originally intended to be a part of the previous session, so the (automatic) AP gain is still a bit moderated.
Quill gained 4 AP for a total of 5 (of 7).
Sei gained 4 AP, for a total of 7 (of 7). She is now at level 7 with 0 AP (of 8).
Leonidas gained 1 AP, for a total of 1 (of 4).
Relcor gained 4 AP, for a total of 8 (of 6). He is now at level 6 with 2 AP (of 7).

Next time my plan is to reward you with the "missing" AP just for being there and participating (additional to the regular 1 or 2) as that session should move the overall campaign story and some personal character aspects forward greatly…

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Visiting Gerana

The party arrived to the Silvershaker's Hut, a place to find the trader who had made the peculiar music box to find out that
1) he had continuous dreams  about the tune he created the music box for and he received a good sum of extra money to use the dream-tone instead of the one that Lady Assylia had ordered
2) he owed a lot to a local avian mobster Rook, so his gang, called Rook's Wings, were out to get him to pay up
2) this was not the trader that Relcor knew by the same last name although he was a distant cousin of Zantumal

With the help of Quill's magic, the adventurers rescued the trader from the grasp of Rook's Wings and made their way to the Mandaryn, a brothel and asked around to find any clues as to the whereabouts of Malagar, Sei's lost ally (?) who was the one sending Silvershaker the dream-tone. They found out that he left for Taurica, a quasi-independent, matriarchal island state a few weeks back and has not been heared of ever since. Strangely enough, Zanthumal, the Silvershaker that Relcor wished he would meet, also visited the island not be heard from again.

Finding out what they could, they inquired about Fletch's whereabouts as the avian had disappeared from the pallets – and learned that he had been set free by the Church. Investigating further, the party found out that the avian has been granted absolution by a father Wenn. On their way, Quill and Relcor also obtained some well-guarded gems and ancient texts about a forgotten war before the beginning of Salamiran history.

The party decided to take a night's rest and leave for Taurica as soon as possible. After a night of strange, vision-like dreams they were waken by the alarming noises of their gwyllt companion. It seemed that the now-free-avian, Fletch, had led a group of determined and brutal inquisitors from the disbanded order of the Swordcross right to them – although their original goal was but to capture Sei, the whole party got dragged into the fight.

In a desperate battle with the churchmen, the adventurers were eventually able to fend off father Wenn and his followers and made their way back into the Mandaryn to prepare for their ship ride to Taurica…

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Game term update IV

All characters, though some barely, made it through the adventure.
Quill gained 6 AP for a total of 11 (of 7). She is now at level 7 with 4 AP (of 8).
Sei gained 7 AP, for a total of 8 (of 8). She is now at level 8 with 0 AP (of 9).
Relcor gained 3 AP, for a total of 5 (of 7).

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The Chambers of Akasha

The Bluenose, a cog that belongs to captain Decir, made the trip to Viola, the capital of the independent island of Taurica, in 3 days. This was just enough time for Relcor to engulf himself in the forbidden, magical scrolls they stole from the Church and miss out on a few simple pleasures in life meanwhile, such as eating and sleeping – he did learn of some secrets regarding the history of the major races and landmarks of Salamira. It seems that his mind could withstand the magic contained within the scrolls – at least for the time being.

The others meanwhile learned that magic and magic items are both forbidden on the island, so they had to find some means to smuggle as much as they safely could to Taurica; a task with which they succeeded greatly. After forcing Relcor to finally rest and getting some sleep on solid ground themselves, the party made their way to the forgotten and, apparently, well-hidden standing stone that had once belonged to the Arcane Circle of the Emerald Rock.

The stone, they learned, had been destroyed by the ruler of the island, the First Witch Callisto, after her mother had been killed by the wizards a decade ago. They arrived to the arcane settlement of the circle in the dead of night and, using a spell of Quill's, they prevented a hunter in shooting at Io, a kata. The spirit in turn lead them safely to the stone and even gave some information to them about the strange behavior of the local wolves and how they turned to man when there was no moon.

While investigating the broken stone, the party was attacked by bloodhawks, a seemingly local, savage variant of the avian race, and quickly made their way into the concealed passage under the stone that their magic had revealed. Underground they soon discovered that the passage was, in fact, leading into the resting place of Akasha, an heir to the throne of Asur-naheb, the last medan witch king. They also had to find out the hard way that the grave was not simply heavily guarded with magic, traps and undead guards, but by Akasha herself.

A handful of fireballs by Sei and a well-timed lightning spell by Quill finally defeated the medan – but caused so much collateral damage that the main ceremonial hall begun to collapse. The party quickly made their way to a secret chamber hidden behind the burial hall of Akasha and made good use of the teleportation circle they had found there…

… only to find their wounded and exhausted selves among marble columns, with a pack of wolves that slowly began to circle towards them.

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