Shadow of the First Sin

Kobold Caverns
The Investigation 3

Beyond the black maw of the cavern, the adventurers discovered a twisting mass of tunnels and chambers, dank and dark and filled with Kobolds, and also their clever traps. Aumwe fell prey to the first of these, but he was only lightly injured.

In the farthest chamber, the party encountered the Dragonborn Bharash, a Paladin sworn to the service of the evil god Tiamat. Bharash fought hard before a stone altar bearing a carved idol of a dragon, but ultimately, he fell beneath the adventurers' blades and missiles. A large bowl was mounted upon the altar, and it was filled with acid that dripped from the idol's mouth. Closer examination revealed a lever within the bowl. Nova braved the hazard to reach in and move the lever, which caused a camouflaged panel in the far wall to retract.

Behind the hidden door, a set of stairs leads deeper into the darkness . . .

A Murky March
The Investigation 2

After completing his ritual, Akemos presented his findings to the party- "The first part of the answer to my problems lies to the south-east, in a bit of a bog. I expect it shall take the best part of two days' travel to reach the area."

In fact, it took until the morning of the third day out from Enalyk to reach the destination, as the party was waylaid by a renegade mage who had been lurking on the edge of the marshlands. With the ne'er-do-well and his minions dispatched, the party arrived in the indicated region, at which point Akemos admitted he didn't know the precise location, and a search commenced.

This reconnaisance revealed a rocky lair within the marshland, its entrance guarded by Kobolds. Unusually fierce Kobolds, as a matter of fact, whose leader insulted Rakano as a "false prophet" and sought to engage the Dragonborn in a melee. This earned the Kobold a splitting headache (and torso-ache, and tail-ache) from the barbarian's falchion, although the remaining Kobolds put up a substantial fight. Afterward, the party withdrew to make camp and rest before venturing into the lair and challenging whatever may lurk within . . .

To Enalyk!
The Investigation 1

Captain Theros dispatched the party to take word of the situation to Prince Kanderwast in the capital of Jardek, Enalyk. "It is not that I doubt your word, good worthies; simply that my duties require that I be certain the area has been secured before I let anyone re-settle in the area. The Prince should call upon the Library in this matter, and if he does not reward you for bringing the matter to his attention, return to me and I shall."

Upon the main highway, the party ran afoul of a rabble of bandits, who were quickly dispatched. The brigands' camp yielded a surprise- a handful of goblins, forced to work for the more powerful bandits, who were pleased to be free and gave worship to the "killer tree" that supposedly dispatched their captors.

Farther down the road, the party encountered a new dilemma at a resting pavilion. A trader's guard accosted the party, claiming to hear a mysterious sound that afflicted the ranger Aumwe as well. The mad guard then chose to share the sound with the rest of the party, causing temporary delusions which caused them to strike at each other while he attempted to end the ranger with his halberd. This threat too was brought down, and the party escorted the trader back to Enalyk in exchange for generous compensation as well as their silence.

Morning brought another obstacle- this time from Akemos, who declared that he would need to move on. Further questioning encouraged the tiefling to explain that he was searching for an important truth and he wished not to encumber the party with his quest. However, the others assured Akemos they would be willing to assist him, and so he went to gather materials for a ritual which would guide them all to the next piece of the puzzle.

At the Cedar Palace, while arranging a meeting with the Prince, his seneschal revealed that a series of murders had taken place in the city, with circumstances similar to that of the maddened guard who attacked Aumwe. Aside from that unpleasantness, the party was given an audience, and there Kanderwast informed them that a Validator of the Library was already in the city. This agent agreed to investigate the site of the Tower of the Eclipse and make it safe in exchange for the party tracking down and disposing of a band of cutthroats who were using some arcane means to disappear, either a ritual or by connecting to a Shard.

During the negotiations with the Validator, it was decided to turn over the gemstone that fell from the Deathblossom. The stone resisted attempts to grasp it until Rakano managed to turn it loose, whereupon it vanished into thin air, to the Validator's annoyance.

The Story So Far

Called to action by an unprecedented threat, these heroic souls formed a band to identify and remove the danger, for this was a noble goal (and backed by a noble's reward as well). Along the way, the tiefling mage Akemos begged to join in their quest, seeking answers of his own from the strange darkness that befell the land.

The scope of the disaster became apparent as the party encountered a band of marauding goblins, who threw themselves heedlessly against a superior force in their desperation to escape from the darkness.

The source of the trouble was the Tower of the Eclipse; made from solid shadow and out of phase with the rest of reality, this dreadful edifice could not be seen, only felt. Making a door to enter the other phase seemed to provoke the shadows, which called forth the spirits of the slain to strike down the party. At the summit of the tower was an entity known as the "Deathblossom"; destroying this being caused the phase space to vanish, leaving behind only a single gemstone, cold and black.


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