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Campaign journalby RPGPundit
Yes, faithful readers, its time for another update.
The PCs continued in their journey to Sundsvall, it was another four days of flying from Alfleish, but uneventful. Except that it was Alendalan's birthday en route, and they had a huge party where yet again Sir Firearm fell grossly ill.
"The man has unpierceable skin, but a pathetic digestive system" (yes, once again sir Firearm's player was not around, so I wrote him out).
When they get to Sundsvall, the Empress wishes to speak with the party members, and by party members she means the spellcasters in the group.
They tell her about how they got to the Hollow World, the mystic conveyor of Atraughin, figuring its safe enough to assume that it won't be an easy means of travel for the Alphatians, since the conveyor seems to work only as Atraughin wishes. They also tell Eriadna about the Radiance, and she expresses great interest in the whole story. The players do choose to hide the fact that through Commune they've been able to pinpoint the exact location of the Radiance, figuring that it would be dangerous if Alphatia decides it wants this powerful artefact for itself.
Finally, the council debates what it wants to do with the PCs. While this goes on Master Terari has some interesting discussions with the PCs, he seems particularly interested in Karameikos.
When the council reconvenes, the Empress announces that she has reached the decision that since the PCs themselves expressed that they don't wish other people to know about the hollow world (since the PCs feel its the immortal's wishes that the H.W. be persevered as a "museum"), she feels it is safe enough to allow them to leave. But just to be extra careful, she has them all Geased to be unable to reveal anything about the hollow world to the outside world.
After that she gives the PCs the options of leaving by sea or leaving by teleportation to a location of their choice. The PCs choose to leave by teleportation, to Akesoli. Hathalon says a sad goodbye to Captain Marakaz, who tells the PCs that the Tyrant's next assignment is to the Isle of Dawn, where both Alphatia and Thyatis are heavily mobilising forces.
The PCs are all teleported straight to Akesoli, except Alendalan who wishes to make a quick stop off at Trollhattan to say goodbye to Vlad the Lich. Master Terari was an old schoolmate of Vlad's back when Vlad was alive, and decides to accompany and escort Alendalan. Alendalan says his goodbyes, and takes the opportunity to make a quick stop at a liquor store and buy some weird Alphatian Liquors (like Arrhelm's Unction of Madness, Slothrob's Creamy Explosion, and Brother Abelard's Total P*ss-Up).
When the PCs arrive in Akesoli they realise that Sir Firearm is missing. Apparently there was a malfunction in his teleport and he's ended up in another plane (again, since the player wasn't here). The PCs are suspiciously unworried for him, and head to their favourite tavern in Akesoli. They find that Akesoli has greatly changed since their last visit. Since the Master of Hule invaded Sind, Akesoli has turned into a fortified town, with a garrison of Darokinian troops placed there, and all of the good rooms at the inn taken. The prices of everything has gone up radically too, as merchants engage in profiteering off the fear that the Master might attack Darokin too.
The PCs decide to try a drop (literally) each of Brother Abelard's Total P*ss-Up, and within five minutes they're all on the floor of tavern singing songs about goblins. Alendalan goes blind, but not before projectile vomiting all over Hathalon. Eventually they all pass out.
The next day Corwyn casts Cure Blindness to restore Alendalan's sight, and they buy the supplies they need to head on the journey to Darokin City. They head out that same day, hoping to run into some monsters and loot along the way.
But they get to Fort Anselbury without any encounters other than a band of berserker paladins headed off to fight the Master. Fort Anselbury is also changed from their last visit; its got tents of Darokinian legions parked outside the fort, and it seems the troop complement here has doubled since their last visit.
They continue the journey, reaching Akorros still without any encounter. Akorros has only changed slightly, its population swollen by citizens of Akesoli who've decided to move to the safer end of Lake Amsorak. Bored out of their skulls, the PCs decide that instead of continuing on the highway to Darokin they'll take the longer route through the hills, hoping that in the rougher wilderness they'll run into a few enemies with loot.
They step off the beaten path and for a few hours it seems like their plan might not work. Alendalan gets so desperate that he starts to bash his swords together, making a terrible clanging noise, and no sooner does he do so than eight (8!) fire salamanders come out of the hills to attack! The PCs lose the initiative, and the Fire Salamanders charge forward, doing serious damage from the heat they emanate. Serious enough that Galafilo falls! Corwyn grabs him quickly and levitates with his boots, while casting a cure serious wounds. The other PCs follow Corwyn's lead, and fly out of the salamander's range, then go on to blast the Salamanders into oblivion.
They find the path back to the salamander's lair, and find it too hot to enter; so Alendalan Polymorphs himself into a fire salamander and heads in. He finds a pool of magma, goes for a swim, and fishes up three very pretty gems, which the PCs later learn to be very valuable sunstones.
That night, they are attacked by a pair of Were-tigers and their Tiger pets, which take the party by surprise. They beat the monsters easily, but Galafilo took a nasty bite, so Corwyn casts a Cure Disease on him just to be careful.
They get to a small town nestled between the hills, and Corwyn casts a Commune spell where he finds out that the Alphatians are watching them, almost certainly to try to find out the location of the Radiance. This will seriously complicate things for them if they want to do something about this artefact.
The PCs keep going, and in the next couple of days get to Darokin City. The house that Corwyn, Galafilo and Sir Firearm had bought is still there and in good shape, so the PCs move in, and decide they will wait for Sir Firearm's return there, making plans to spend some time training, making items, and other things before deciding what if anything to do about the Radiance.
Its now early Klarmont 1005. Corwyn is 20th level, Hathalon and Alendalan are both 10th level, and Galafilo is 8th. And Sir Firearm, if I recall correctly, is 19th.