Arevean Nights

ACT I:
The Lich in the Shadows
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Session One: Church-going Zombies (Story)
Our adventurers meet the first signs of the emerging evil...

“Why are we here again?” whined Morna the tiefling, scratching her tail and giving her dire wolf mount, “Woofy,” a scratch between the ears.” It’s dusty and boring. I wanna go see the capitol.”
Chia, the curious half-elf archaeologist, turned atop her steed Bluebird, and replied “We were going to go see the Temple of the Incarnate. It’s supposed to be the largest temple on this side of the continent. Plus, it’s getting dark and we need to find a room for the night.”
Morna sighed, and looked ahead, fiddling with one of the dozens of knives in her belt. The assassin had voluntarily exiled herself to the Civer Empire in order to flee the wrath of the father of her last contract, Lord Patan, the fallen paladin of the nation across the sea. She had met the paladin Chia on the months-long boat ride over, and had formed a strong friendship discussing their various exploits across the world.
Upon entering the city containing the temple, a sleepy little farming town named Tidas, they immediately noticed something seemed off. Buildings and shops were boarded up, and many of them were broken into. Several fires were burning in the streets of the city, and they appeared to be fueled by both shattered wood from the nearby houses as well as burnt corpses.
Morna wrinkled her nose at the charred smell, and frowned, unsheathing her scimitar and glancing around. The only lit building in the entire town was the temple that loomed above the surrounding town, with warm lights flickering through the stained-glass windows. The pair approached the temple, and upon knocking on the large oak doors, they were quickly opened, and a spear was leveled into Morna’s surprised face. The guard behind it looked at her with a wide-eyed expression, and then raised the spear and bade them enter the temple.
Inside, the temple was mostly empty, with several cots set up around the altar, filled with bruised and bleeding guards and townsfolk, wrapped in bandages and being tended by a shaved-headed priest. The few guards and citizens that were not bedridden held their weapons with a familiarity that Chia and Morna had not seen in other hamlets, suggesting they had been seeing combat a great deal recently.
In front of the altar, a small bar was set up with a few tables and stools, occupied by a couple townsfolk and the ragged captain of the guard. The two adventurers ordered a pair of drinks as the wolf wandered over to sleep near where the last few horses were stabled, and Chia began trying to ask the tired captain about the state of the town. However, the paladin’s questions were answered by the cleric they saw earlier, who had just finished recounting a short prayer for some surviving children.
“The town has been assaulted by waves of the living dead for the last three days,” said the cleric. “My name is Father Pipen, and the other two clerics for this temple are now entombed in our catacombs as a result of this attack. The mayor was killed last night, and we are all that are left of the citizenry of the town.”
Chia shot Morna a glance, and asked “Catacombs?”
Father Pipen replied with “Yes, and they broke through a wall of the tombs, before the militia managed to drive them back. We hired the help of a dwarf to collapse the passage they breached, and although he managed to seal the tomb, he was killed shortly before dawn this morning. They have been digging ever since, and they sounded like they were only a few yards away last I checked.”
Suddenly, the trio was alerted by the cry of the watchmen at the gate. “I can see them in the dying sun! I can see them coming again!”
This caused a surge of groans and screams from the townspeople, and Chia advanced to the center of the pews to prepare to repel the undead, while Morna climbed a chain to a chandelier, and perched on it while loading her crossbow, her tail flicking with excitement.
The church fell eerily silent, with only the occasional quiet sobbing from the children being heard, and the distant moaning and thump-dragging noises of the horde of approaching corpses. Morna and a few of the guards began firing at the occasional shapes through the few shattered stained-glass windows, as slow thumping and battering began on the oaken doors of the church, hastily reinforced with wooden crossbeams.
Soon, the mass of corpses began pressing through the door, forcing the guards and Chia to engage them in melee, while Morna began throwing balls of eldritch fire between crossbow volleys.
One by one, the guards were slain as the night progressed, dismembered or beaten to death by the undead scourge, as the zombies bashed their way through the windows of the cathedral. A particularly unlucky zombie encountered an enraged dire wolf after breaking through a back window, and was quickly shredded, but the captain of the guard and the townsfolk still standing were decimated by the surge of the undead after the cathedral doors fell.
As the sky slowly brightened, Morna could spy a figure on horseback, surrounded by wisps of green necromantic energy, and she took careful aim and loosed a single bolt towards the stranger.
The bolt flew true, and the man cried out in pain as the bolt buried itself in his shoulder, and he turned and fled. As he fled, the zombie horde began to collapse, leaving only the pair of adventurers, Father Pipen, and the indomitable barkeep standing.
Father Pipen turned to Morna and Chia, and said “I must pursue this man, to ensure he will not harm my charges again. Will you aid me?”
Morna and Chia eyed each other uncertainly. Desperate, the cleric added “I can pay you a few thousand gold pieces, from the gold and valuables we have in the temple’s vault from the tithes over the past few years, if you will only aid me in ensuring he will not escape justice.”
The adventurers perked up at the mention of payment, and quickly agreed to the idea. The three quickly gathered mounts, and set out as the sun rose to pursue the trail of the necromancer out of the town. Although winding, the trail led due east, and by the time the light of day began fading, they arrived at the outskirts of the ruins of the former city of Creath.
As the wind from the moors blew dust and sand across the destroyed buildings and cracked streets, the adventurers and the cleric began scouring the city for signs of their quarry. However, aside from a few small rats and similar vermin, the city was completely abandoned, and the only signs of any activity were slightly less deep drifts of sand and debris near the former crypts, as well as the fallen civic center of the city.
Upon further searching, however, Chia noticed some very faint footprints near the crypt entrance, and after a short debate, the trio agreed to venture into the undercity through a nearby sewer entrance.
Soon after entering the winding maze of the sewers, Morna and Chia were alerted to the noise of a scrabbling and low growling. Readying their weapons, they turned the corner to encounter a trio of dog-sized, feral rats.
Morna quickly dispatched one of the three, and Chia stepped over the fresh corpse and snarled, causing the remaining rats back up to the corners of the room. Quickly exiting the room, the group avoided a few door with low moans and scraping noises behind them, skirting quietly around a motionless decrepit zombie.
Eventually, the three encountered a large rune-marked door, behind which an audible incantation was heard, and Chia smashed it open with her shoulder. The three came face to face with the necromancer that had been responsible for the slaughter in Tidas, standing upon the edge of a huge well filled with what appeared to be human blood. He eyed them and screeched, clutching his bandaged bloody shoulder, and yelled “Damnation! You fools shall not stop the Grimoire Doomseeker! I shall use your corpses to power my spells!”
Chia and Morna eyed each other, snickered, and yelled back “Grimoire Doomseeker? That’s ridiculous!” to which the necromancer replied “It was better then Charlie Doomseeker!”
The necromancer proceeded to fling an orb of green and black energy at the party, as the skeletons and zombies in the room began lurching towards them.
Morna began throwing white-blue bursts of star-like energy at the necromancer, as Chia and Father Pipen began smashing the zombies, aided by “Woofy.”
Morna quickly became stymied, as the necromancer drew lengths of red life energy from the well into himself, healing his wounds, but the well quickly began to darken and dry up as the necromancer drew from it.
As a particularly potent burst of magic caused the evil mage to reel back, the outreached arm abruptly ceased to draw further energy from the pool as the blood finally dried into blackish dust, seeping through the loose stones of the well as the magic containing it failed. “No. NO!” cried Doomseeker, as a bolt from the assassin caught him square in the chest, knocking him to the floor.
The three heroes approached the fallen necromancer, as he spat blood at them and moaned in pain. Morna stepped forward, and the mage groaned “You fools. You haven’t done a thing to stop the plans of my master-“
Suddenly, his voice changed into a high-pitched scream, as his right eye socket burst into flames, which then quickly burst to consume his entire head, leaving a charred skull that rolled off the singed shoulders of the corpse.
Father Pipen turned to the two adventurers and said “This aberration must be noted by the High Chancellor. This man said he was not alone, and if the attack on our small town was this severe, I fear for the other cities of the Empire. You should seek him out, to inform him, as I myself must attend to the wounded within the temple.”
Morna eyed Chia questioningly, and grabbed the head and stuffed it into a sack, saying “Well, we should at least bring proof.”
After returning to Tidas, the pair received their reward from the grateful townsfolk;
“Oxen? Why the hell did they give us oxen?” complained Morna, as they sat on the cart donated by the citizens, full of various knickknacks and bags of copper pieces.
Chia patiently turned and said “Its part of the payment. We can sell the dozen head of cattle they gave us for over half a thousand gold pieces” Morna sat back in her seat, slightly placated but still twitching her tail, as they boarded the merchant ship to the capitol of Ramol.

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Session One: Church-going Zombies

o Morna and Chia enter Tidas, and go to temple
 Meet Father Pipen
 Hear about undead attacks
o Zombies attack temple, after meeting Father Pipen
 Kill everyone except barkeep and Father Pipen, and see necromancer leading the undead
o Repel zombies and pursue lead necromancer out of city
 Father Pipen accompanies them, with promise of ~1,000gp reward
o Pursue necromancer across moor to the Ruins of Creath
 Abandoned and sandy city has a few faint footprints leading to ruined city center and crypts
o Search city, and enter city, fighting giant rats and avoiding zombies
 Kill 2 rats, scare 1 away and sneak around an old skeleton
o Meet the Necromancer, Grimoire Doomseeker and kill him
 He was drawing blood from a large well for replenishment
 After he dies, reveals he is not alone, and is killed by his master to prevent interrogation
• Right eye ignites, then burns skull
o Save Doomseeker’s head, and travel to the capitol of Ramol.

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Session Two: The Thief and The Head (Story)

As the ship slowly drifted into port, the pair of adventurers eyed the capitol of Ramol. “It’s smaller then I expected,” said Morna, munching on an apple from the galley. Chia lanced at her, and began trying to make out the details of the ancient, enormous buildings interspersed in the city, left by the Storm Giant culture that founded a town there thousands of years ago.
As they left the docks into the market district, Chia pointed towards a large, fairly pristine Storm Giant structure at the core of the city, dwarfing the nearby shops and houses. “That should be the city palace. The first mate told me that we’d be able to find the High Chancellor there.”
Morna flicked the reigns at the oxen, and said “I’d prefer if we sold the oxen first, and exchanged all this crap for usable gold.” Chia rolled her eyes, but nodded, and they began asking around the market for a buyer.
However, shortly after selling the oxen and valuables, Chia noticed and pointed out to Morna a somewhat richly-dressed man who was poorly attempting to pick the pockets of a nearby merchant. Morna rolled her eyes, and began to walk towards the man, as he looked up and saw her approaching.
The man immediately turned and rand, and Morna and Chia gave chase, muttering elvish curses as they chased him. The assassin finally caught him in a diving tackle, and they quickly bound him and stood him up. The man began cursing and muttering, and finally said “Do you recognize the name Purgmin Rytual? Hmm? I’m a noble, and I’m going to make life hell for you!”
Morna thumped him on the side of the head to shut him up, and turned her head to Chia, muttering in Elvish. “Do we reeeally need to bother with this guy? I dunno if he’ll be worth very much gold to the town militia, and he’s kinda an annoying handful.” Chia shrugged, and Morna loosened the knots on the thief.
Almost immediately, Purgmin sprinted forward, freeing his hands as he ran, and leaped onto and up the edges of a stall, pulling himself up the sides and jumping from a window frame until he was finally standing on the roof of a nearby house.
He turned to the two bemused heroes, and yelled “You haven’t seen the last of Lord Rytual!” and then turned to run along the roofs until he was out of sight. Morna and Chia looked at each other, shrugged, and then led their new horses and covered cart towards the civic center in the middle of the city.
After entering the cathedral-like palace, they were greeted by a small, overworked man at a desk in a small anteroom. “Can I help you ladies?” he asked, not looking up from the ledger he was scribbling in. Chia replied with “We’re here to see the High Chancellor. Apparently there’s been an undead attack in Tidas.”
The small clerk looked up at them, and frowned in disbelief. “There haven’t been any undead reported in over fifty years. Quit bothering me and go aw-“He squeeked in surprise and disgust as Morna opened the bag and shook out the burnt necromancer head. The clerk glanced between the two adventurers and the skull, and then quickly walked through the main doors.
They could hear a hurried and frantic conversation, punctuated by a final “They brought a WHAT into the palace?!” as a tall, gaunt man pushed the doors open, quickly walking up to the adventurers.
“I am the High Chancellor Rytual. Show me this skull,” he said, and glanced at the blackened skull on the desk Morna pointed to.
The man glanced at it, tilting it gingerly with his fingertips, and finally turned to Morna and Chia. “I see no evidence that this has any indication of necromantic witchcraft, and believe you are wasting my time. Now, unless you provide a better explanation, I’ll need you to leave, as I’m very busy at-“
Behind him, the skull had been rapidly accumulating small wisps of green energy appearing from thin air, and finally they caused the skull’s right eye socket to glow green, and the skull began chattering and dropped off the table.
The High Chancellor stared as the chattering ceased, although the eye kept glowing for a minute or two more. “I apologize for my hasty judgment. This is dire news indeed, for I have heard a report that some mages from the Crimson Sparks caught a necromancer in Taelas. I would ask you two to investigate this for me, in exchange for compensation”
Morna began to speak as Chia stepped on her foot, and interjected with “We would be happy to, but ask for a bounty of a thousand gold pieces per necromancer head successfully recovered.”
Chancellor Rytual frowned, and replied “That is much a bit steeper then the sum I had planned to pay you. Perhaps nine hundred would serve your purposes better?”
Chia smiled sweetly and nodded, as Morna stared in disbelief at her. She finally spoke to her as they were leaving the palace. “How did you do that? I wasn’t expecting much more then a few hundred gold pieces each, not nearly a thousand of them…”
Chia smiled, and said “Well, I’ve found it always pays to haggle a bit, even with the head of a country.”
Later that night, Chia and Morna decided to spend some of their well-earned coins in a tavern for a warm meal and bed, as well as a clean bath. Downstairs in the bar, the tables were filled with patrons, and Chia was immediately hit upon by a swarthy drunken woodsman, who was trying to convince a table of bemused Halflings that they needed to give him their valuables to be destroyed to stop the evil in the world. Soon, however, he fell asleep in his beer, and was promptly pick-pocketed.
Morna on the other hand began to notice a young, acne-ridden apprentice wizard at the table looking shyly over at her, and smiling widely. Morna chuckled, and sent him a drink, causing him to widen his eyes in happy surprise. However, the young mage quickly succumbed to his powerful drink, as Chia saw a disgruntled, well-dressed eladrin foreigner flanked by a pair of bodyguards in one corner. Gritting her teeth, she nudged Morna and pointed, and they both went over to harass him.
As they approached, the elven noble looked up from his wineglass dismissively, and one of the bodyguards asked what business they had with him. Seeing they wouldn’t make any progress, Morna instead turned and waltzed over to a group of burly dockworkers.
“See that eladrin over there?” she asked, to which several dockworkers began nodding, frowning at him.
“He was apparently talking about how poor the qualities of the ships were over here, saying the sailors manning them were no better then their fish-faced mothers who knitted the hulls together.”
This caused the group to immediately begin to stand, and grumbling, they walked over to the group of elves, and the leader asked the eladrin “What’s this, you mangy, pointy-eared cur? Bad enough you kill our dear old Emperor without insulting our fine ships as well.”
The elven ambassador raised an eyebrow, and replied “I would say no such thing. While your ships may be of slightly lower quality then our sloops, it would most impolite to publicly announce their inferiority.”
The dockworkers began frowning, puzzling through the unfamiliar words, when Morna whispered “I think he just called your mothers whores…”
The eladrin managed to successfully catch the first barglass thrown at his head, before the other dozen connected with both him and his bodyguards, and Chia and Morna smiled and left the bar as the fighting spread to the rest of the room.
Walking a few feet along the street, they turned to watch the action through the smashed windows, and lightly sidestepped as one of the two bodyguards came sliding down the cobblestones as he was thrown through the window. The diplomat and the remaining bodyguard sprinted past them, pursued by an angry mob of laborers and sailors, waving his fist at the heroes as he passed. Chia and Morna smiled at each other, and gathered up the unconscious guard, as well as retrieving the happily snoring apprentice from the bar, and proceeded to strip them to their leggings and tastefully arrange them in the rear of the tavern’s stable.
Early the next morning, the two adventurers boarded their chartered ship to the trade city of Taelas, to investigate the necromancer reports there.

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•Session Two: The Thief and The Head
The Party attempts to bring knowledge of the undead plague to the rest of the kingdom...

o They enter the city, and bring the head to the High Chancellor Rytual
 At first he doesn’t believe them
o Head becomes animated, and he pays them (and promises them) 900gp per necromancer head
 Gives them an official Decree to investigate the undead menace
 Mentions necromancer recently caught in Taelas
o Pair retires for the night at a tavern
 Meet a stuck-up eladrin diplomat, and start barfight between him and some dockhands, humiliating the diplomat and a juvenile wizard.
o The pair go to the market, foil a thief, and let him go
 He’s a really crappy thief, but is apparently a noble
 He says his name is Purgmin Rytual
o They purchase a cart, horses, and go to the trade-port of Taelas
 Install secret compartment in bottom of cart

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Session Three: Framed Cakes
The party meets a new friend in their search for a rumored necromancer...

o Morna and Chia enter the city, and begin investigating the necromancer rumors
 Begin following a pair of Crimson Spark Magi that are discussing the captured Necromancer
o Meet a thief, Gwen, following the same magi they are following
 They notice she has a ring around her neck
o Go to house and meet Baron MacGuffin and Lady Whitehall
 He offers them a reward for recovering the Artifacts of Power
 They speak with Crimson Sparks and get a meeting with the accused necromancer
o Talk with and prove innocence of “necromancer”
 Discover a skull rigged to appear necromantic
 It was planted in bakers house
 Get free cakes from the baker, and take advantage of it.
 Gwen goes to talk with contacts in the Thieves District
o Investigate cake-baker’s business
 Talk with nearby competitor Mrs. Panterly and Hugo
 Receive lots of delicious cakes
o Thief steals evidence, and is pursued into thieves district
 Wound him, and pursue on horseback through the slums
 Pursue into a cornered area where a brawl is occurring, and follow the wounded thief to a corner bar
o Gwen is cornered in a bar by Red Scarves supporters, and Morna and Chia get ready to barge in.
 She is accused of being a thief, and trying to recover the stolen head

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Session Four: Cute Chests and Clanking Monstrosities
The group detects an evil presence, and journeys beneath the sewers...

o Bar fight with thieves is successful, and skull is recovered
 Gwen is wounded to unconsciousness
o Morna and Chia bring Gwen to temple to be healed
 Also take the ring from her, and tell her the Red Scarves stole it
o Follow a necromantic energy surge to the city sewers
 Have to dive into a fountain near the Titan’s Shield
o Discover an animated chest within the sewers
 Chia manages to befriend it, and it becomes a new pet.
o Attack cultists trying to animate an iron golem, and meet High Necromancer Cesk Alat
 Defeat the golem, and manage to recover around 6 cultist heads
o Defeat the necromancers, but Alat manages to escape

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Session Five: The Hanged Necromancer
Reports arise from the western borders of a case of strange undead plaguing a sleepy town...

o Morna, Chia, and Gwen return to Ramol and get bounty for cultist heads.
 After going to a bar, a apir of Lord Patan spies notices Morna and flees to the docks
 They question and kill the other spy.
o Foil thief again, and he’s rescued by the Red Scarves
 They attempted to bring him to his father, the High Chancellor
 Meet Ethon Sleepsnatch himself
 Despite warnings that Purgmin is a crappy thief
o Follow undead rumors to Enym, passing through Adoel
 Disrupt a speech by the same eladrin diplomat, and hit him with 3 eggs and narrowly miss with a giant spined melon
o Meet the Raven Queen cleric Adrei, and discover the benign undead.
 Barkeeper complains of his dead mother bothering him night and day
o Investigate undead, and find shattered halves of the Emerald Wand
 One is within a trapped cabinet in the house of a merchant, which originally belonged to his grandfather
 Second one is in a dead tree guarded by a pair of large black birds
o Investigate warlock’s tomb, and attacked as he is reanimated
 Technically break into the tomb, and the “warlock’s” grandson is killed and zombified
 The Emerald Wand reforms, and is recovered by the Hanged Necromancer
o Party defeats necromancer
 Gwen goes out to find her missing ring near Adoel.

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Session Six: Snowy Treachery
After a sudden ambush, the mysterious snowfall in the north bears investigating...

o Upon return to Ramol for reward, Morna, Chia, and Adrei are attacked by a group of assassins and Black Magi from Lord Patan’s Domain, led by the assassin Mica.
 She mutinies and helps the group defeat the attackers.
o They receive their reward from High Chancellor Rytual, and a random snowstorm begins
 Both the party and Crimson sparks manage to find the magical source is across the sea.
o They trace snow to city of Dunch, and investigate
 Check around the Mayor’s manor after briefly visiting the inn
o Discover Cesk Alat is behind this, to freeze the unprepared citizens of the Empire to produce lots of corpses for zombies
 He’s speaking to Dunch’s mayor
 Apparently using a network of cryomagic orbs on tripods set up over the town to form the matrix for the spell
 Discovered listening at the door,
o Flee up the cliffs surrounding the town, killing a few cultists
 Cart rolls down a few switchbacks, damaging it
o Cultists discover them, and raise the alarm.
 Cesk Alat sends a flaming skull at them and their broken cart.

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Session Seven: Flaming, Furry, Cryonic, Monodextrous Action
The attack in the depressing city leads to the pursuit of the leader of the cultists...

o Flaming skull destroys majority of cart, and they attack the cultists.
 Morna and Chia flee down the hill, eventually followed by Mica
• Morna sprains her ankle going down
o Gwen arrives by boat, and attacks Cesk Alat
 Runs along rooftop after fleeing a pair of cultists in the port
o Group defeats cultists and cryopods, and cut off Alat’s hand in the manor
 He begins spell, summoning a golden key, but is bloodied and teleports away
o Alat flees, and Morna manages to follow him to some hidden refuge, where he flees again
 Realizes that he has the Eye of Vecna
 Discovers some potions and scrolls, and then destroys hideout by releasing pent-up magma
o Morna destroys hideout, and returns to manor in Dunch
 Key from spell has bound itself to Chia’s hand
o Key in Chia’s hand causes her to open the trapdoor
 Unsuccessfully attempts to stop the key, and the party is thrown across the room
o Werewolf escapes the room beneath the trapdoor
 Gwen was bitten
o Party discovers the solution to the riddle Morna recovers from Alat’s hideout.
 Mentioning Pi causes scroll to form a golden compass pointing to the southeast of the sea
o Party investigates mayor for treason
 He has committed suicide, but they save his head
o Party travels to Ramol
 Get bounty for cultists
 Get only 100gp for the mayor because Rytual knew he was a traitor
o Party follows the scroll across the sea to the mountains northwest of Port Blackwater

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