Land of Dark Dreams

Tiegel: Resurrection

Tiegel rises from the grave. He is confused as to why anyone would expend such effort and expense in restoring his life, but regardless, he is met by a mysterious hooded man and Qhaenorra, who was thought to be dead. The man casts quest on Tiegel – the objective: gather a set of four artifacts known as the “Cosmic Stones” and return them to him on a location to be disclosed later – and failure to do so would mean death by the quest. Not wishing to die at Tiegel’s hand, since it is not explicitly stated in the quest that such an act is not allowed, the hooded man and Qhaenorra leave before Noodle Nighthawk could arrive.

In short order, Tiegel is reunited with Noodle. They go about their business, heading for Marshton, when the timely arrival of Skeledi’s tumor companion interrupts them as Noodle’s hawk companion spots it and brings it to them. The tumor explains the story of Skeledi and Kalanak, which Tiegel is uninterested in – until a Cosmic Stone is mentioned, at which point Tiegel asks more. The tumor relates that more information will be given at such a time when Skeledi and Kalanak are returned to saftey. After uneventfully collecting his armor from Marshton Museum and stealing two horses, the two make their way towards the Windhammer City ruins.

The many guards at Windhammer Ruins fall quickly to Noodle’s arrows. Noodle’s hawk reports several riders on the horizon about three miles away. With haste, Tiegel summons Skeledi and Kalanak from their hiding place, and with two of the guards’ horses, they begin their travel to Port Newstark, in the hopes of finding a way off Windhammer Isle and the advancing orc army with the ultimate goal of sailing to Dhun to consult the cloud giant sage Vyrndae.

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Skeledi: Ruins of Windhammer City

Skeledi, having acquired the key, traveled to the ruins of Windhammer City to access the mysterious vault which supposedly contained the Stone of the Crushing Depths. He traveled with a light party consisting of the infamous hero Fury Shadowblade, a mysterious old man assumed to be a spellsword, Romus Windhammer, a useless girl with a sling, a scout, Lieutenant Colonel Nerando, and a demon huntress named Qhaenorre. Notably, as the heroes approached the city, they saw a colossal, obviously magic, rainbow-hued wall miles in length east of the city.

Varrun, an illithid spellcaster, was waiting for the adventurers at the ruins. Without provocation, it cast chain lightning which instantly disintegrated Nerando and the girl with the sling. The remaining party members, knowing they were no match for the creature, fled. With Romus’ direction, they found and entered the vault before Varrun could stop them.

The walls of the vault were rife with blade traps, which were well-hidden and impossible to spot even by the scout’s keen eyes. The adventurers encountered various creatures which they dispatched without too much effort. At length they came to a strange puzzle, which Skeledi was called upon to solve. With some difficulty he solved it eventually.

Skeledi and his associates came across a room with stone coffins built into every possible space in the walls, ceiling, and floor; in the center of this room was a long-dead dwarf with a treasure chest resting on his lap. Old writing indicated that the heroes should pay no heed to the treasure and proceed directly to the next room, but Romus, thinking of his dwarf heritage, could not leave it behind. Skeledi decided that the best course of action would be to allow Romus to collect the treasure while everyone else stood behind the safety of the door from the previous hallway. Taking the treasure caused the coffins to open up, allowing a huge amount of dwarf skeletons to pour out. Skeledi, realizing that Romus was somewhat important to their enterprises, opened the door for him and closed it behind him. However, the skeletons soon broke through the door. Skeledi, fearing for his life, quickly quaffed an potion of invisibility and stepped freely though the undead mob. The spellsword cast evard’s black tentacles so that at least some of the party members could have a chance at survival. Only Skeledi, the old man, and the scout made it. With as much fearful haste as possible, the scout unlocked the next three doors, and the three pulled a lever after each door to close it behind them.

The trio came across an abnormally tall, male witch named Kalanak. Skeledi decided to take him along.

The final room was guarded by a fearsome-looking construct, a Zelekhut, with the Stone of the Crushing Depths embedded in its chest. It was difficult to fell, but with the old man’s suspiciously powerful lightning bolt, victory was had.

It was suspicious indeed. For when the Inevitable was slain, the old man revealed his true form – the evil evoker Zayre, who gloated over her triumph before seizing the artifact and using teleport to get away before the heroes could react. However, a magic ladder appeared, which was the obvious exit out of the vault and back into the ruins. But as soon as the scout showed his face aboveground, one of Varrun’s vicious spells exploded the scout’s head into a hundred pieces. Skeledi, not knowing what else to do, drank another potion of invisiblity in order to retrieve Romus’ corpse from the clutches of the dwarf skeletons, and also to get the treasure which so many of his former party members had died for.

The remaining adventurers were in what seemed to be the worst possible of situations – Romus, who was probably the key to continuing their search, had died; the illithid Varrun was waiting outside the vault, itching to slaughter the heroes like sheep, and Zayre had possession of the artifact they had suffered so many pains to obtain.

To make things worse, Skeledi, suffering his demonic dreams as usual, was convinced by an apparition of Shogras in such a dream to repeatedly commit suicide while in the dream world, which Skeledi was previously advised against doing. Having followed this advice, Skeledi has taken on the outsider subtype and has become a half-fiend. Whether this change is temporary or permanent remains to be seen.

Finding himself with no way out, Skeledi sent his cancerous tumor companion to request aid from Vyrndae, the cloud giant sage. Considering the huge distance the tumor had to cover, Skeledi and Kalanak were forced to wait close to a year for a response…

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Skeledi: Overlord Summit

Skeledi, having sold his soul to the demon Nnairefaezar in exchange for his life, is forced to follow the demon’s orders. He joins 5th Company of Marshlands Battalion and marches to reinforce Overlord Summit, which is expected to be subject to invasion from the orcs soon.

Skeledi becomes honored as a hero when he defeats an orcish ambush segment stationed at a mountain pass called the Gauntlet – it was the only route to Overlord Summit from the rest of the island. Skeledi and a handful of companions survived; however, the entire remainder of 5th Company was wiped out. Skeledi earns a promotion to Sergeant in the Windhammer General Military.

The Unfael fleet intercepts the orcish armada. However, a mysterious weapon slays Shogras, the Champion of Unfael, consuming him in a flash of light. His death was so demoralizing to the reinforcements that they immediately carry out a full retreat. The Overlord Summit dwarves, knowing that those reinforcements were their only chance at survival, lose all hope.

Meanwhile, the demonic influence on Skeledi gets out of hand. Dreams torment him night after night, and they present trials to him. The failure of these trials meant physical exhaustion during the day, and eventually, a physical manifestation became apparent – the beginning growths of fiendish horns. After several failures, he finally solves his first task, but the dreams took a severe toll of the mind – waiting out a dream state for four years is not something any man could survive with their sanity left intact.

The dwarves commission Skeledi to solve a mystery, which needed to be solved before the orcish invasion arrived. A dwarf had robbed the royal vault of a “portal key”, whose significance was lost on Skeledi. With torture facilities at hand (which Skeledi makes generous use of), Skeledi solves the case with only a day remaining on the clock.

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