Black Sun

The Plagued City

As the party took in the surroundings of the ruined city, they found themselves trying to remember what it used to be like, to almost no avail. The destruction of the city was near absolute, monstrosities now roaming the streets were children used to play and shady backdoor deals took place. Most of the buildings stood as only rubble and the mangled bodies of those fortunate enough to have died before becoming monstrosities. Feeling that something was missing, the adventurers came to find that the Cyphergate was no longer standing. As they took in their surroundings, a giant ship pierced the fog cover and made a crash course from the surface to the docks.

The ship crashed into the docks and the echo reverberated throughout the city, alerting everything in the city of your presence. As the alarm sounded through the city through moans and groans of the husks, a juggernaut of flesh and metal crashed through the remains of the ship. Dark brown eyes glared at you as the figure determined where it was, a massive axe dripping blood hung at his waist. The adventurers squared off with the figure and tensions mounted as Leon questioned the lone survivor of the crash, noting the broken shackles around the figures arms and feet. Before any bloodshed could of broken out, Leon dropped his questioning, but his suspicions remained very apparent as a small army of husks began gathering at the docks, surrounding the adventurers. The husks were very quickly taken out, but then a new type of enemy appeared.

A strange mass that was able to reanimate the husks made it’s way to the docks. Despite how hard the adventurers cut into it, the creature would not fall. Using noqual weapons appeared to weaken it though and as the adventurers hacked it with their crystalline weapons, the tendrils of the creature animating the corpses withered and died. When all of the tendrils had been destroyed, the ooze creature began to roil and then collapsed into the shape of a man, the elven cypher mage that had ran from you over a year ago when you first entered Riddleport. The man spoke of a Prophet that had caused this calamity and that was planning to cleanse all in a similar fashion. He would not tell you the name of the prophet, but he did tell you the prophet’s plan and his part in it. The man’s mass “cleansing” caused Archana to want him dead and she did just that, slashing the throat of the bastard as he stood there.

After talking amongst themselves for a bit, the party decided the best place to start would be where they last saw Briar Rose and Jakalyn living. The blue runes on Briar Rose were eerily similar to the magical disease ravaging the city. The ravaged city itself posed a problem as the adventurers tried recalling exactly where the Silken Veil was. Leon had the idea to summon a lantern archon and have it scout out the path. As soon as the archon reached the height of its ascent however, something or someone shot it down from the higehst tower of the city. With the help of Grashnak, the party was able to place where they needed to go. Along the way, the party saw something occurring at the arena. Narciso decided to climb the coliseum wall and scout out what was happening without being seen. Over the wall, Narciso saw at least a dozen of the strange ooze creatures in the stands, drained Flensed around them, still as the grave. In the center of the arena were two abominations fighting each other, flesh and gore flying everywhere as the two clashed. Clegg Zincher, or whatever he was now, stood on the sidelines and seemed to be controlling the two. Narciso decided to head back down to avoid detection. After deciding to avoid the unnecessary conflict, the party continued on to the Silken Veil.

The Silken Veil stood empty and motionless, the smell of perfume still drifting out from within. The party slowly crept towards it, watching for any movement as they did. Only silence greeted them as they made their way in. Once inside, a strange sight greeted them as vines covered the walls and the ground, swarming over the multitude of corpses. A strange mist filled the air and caused Archana to begin hallucinating, seeing the place as it used to be, courtesans beckoning her to some of the small rooms. The rest of the party were able to keep their heads clear as they made their way through the overgrowth. As the group made their way to the basement, the vines began sprouting deadly thorns, and wrapping themselves around the adventurers. A powerful sleep venom was delivered to Archana and Leon, but Narciso was somehow able to awaken them by touching his noqual kamas to them. Archana activated her mask to become invisible and make her way to the basement. Downstairs, the overgrowth became even worse, vines covering every inch. Archana was able to use the bodies of the dead as stepping stones to avoid alerting the vines. She made her way to a small closet and took a breather inside. She also was delighted to find supplies she could of only hoped for. It seems this place was much more than just a place to have a good time. She gathered what she needed; poisons, drugs, and alcohol, and made her way back up to the party. Once up,s he told the group that there was a door leading to what be the source of all of this. The party made their way downstairs, Grishnak catching himself on the undergrowth and falling most of the way down the stairs. Whatever was in the next room was now expecting them.

The group decided on just smashing into the room, Greshnak kicking the door in and causing it to fly against the wall, knocking away the dark-skinned tiefling woman standing on the other side and causing a vase with a single blue fire to fall. The party braced itself, remembering the last time they ran into a lone woman. As the woman approached, Archana lunged, and the woman burst into a mass of gore and vines that Archana easily dodged. Archana then went for the vase and as she did, a huge creature burst from the ground, screeching in Sylvan as it did. The creature was a mass of vines and raw magic, a creature seemingly formed from the raw magic present in the city. It’s anger was extraordinary, but somehow Archana was able to calm the creature and began conversing with it. The rest of the party stood almost dumbfounded, as Archana found herself able to communicate with the creature. Archana was able to pardon the transgressions of the party and made a deal with the creature to take one of its offspring away from this place and allow it to grow. Archana took the seed and then the party took care of a few Flensed that had entered the area. After taking out a few of the huge ones, a spell-scarred blue dragon poked it’s nose into the building and let loose a cone of electric blue flames onto the party. The vines hit grew at an alarming rate and found their way tot eh dragon, entangling it and ripping down the wall as they pulled the great beast towards the gaping maw of the creature in the basement. The party killed the dragon on it’s way down to it’s final resting place.

After resting for a bit in the protection of the plant creature, the party set off, Archana promising to fulfill her promise and find a new home for the seedling. The party decided it was time to make it’s way to the complex where the shot that had taken down the archon had come from. Along the way, the party found themselves jumping over the Cyphergate buried in the ground as they ran from their pursuers, intense magic radiating off of it in waves. Unable to head back and examine it at the present time, the party continued onto the complex. Upon reaching it, two live guards stopped them. Excited and taken aback a bit, Leon tried introducing himself and somehow made a fool of himself in the process. As the guards take hold of their laughter, one went off to fetch Jared. A few minutes later, a tall, masculine elf appeared, glowing orange runes much like the ones on Briar inscribed all over his body. Some type of device was slung across his back, runic symbols along it as well. His eyes burned with the same glow as the runes across his body. He approached you, apprehensive with each step and seemingly looking into you. After a brief stare-down as he looked you over, he introduced himself and motioned for you to follow, the massive gate closing behind you as you walked in.

Jared led you quickly through the compound, giving you almost no time to take in your surroundings. He then stepped through a black portal and motioned for you to follow, his voice commanding your attention. You emerged from the portal at the top of the tower you were just in, and at the top was Briar Rose, looking through a scope at the surrounding area. As soon as she saw you, she rushed over and gave a huge hug to each of you. She even gave a huge hug to Greshnak, who was a little taken aback at the notion. Jared then laid out what was happening in the city for you. Most of the city was lost to the spell plague and it he tells you that it was a massive undertaking led by Elias Tammerhawk. Seems he found his faithful from within the cyphermages, many falling victim to his twisted dream. Jared had no idea where he could be now, letting you know that he only recently awoken from a 3,000 year stasis to all of this chaos. Seems the raw magic destroyed the glyphs maintaining his stasis and infected him as well. Since then, he has reunited with Briar Rose and Jakalyn and slowly gathered survivors before they could be converted to more Flensed.

Jared seemed to have many questions to ask of you as he went on, but he held his tongue and continued on about the defenses of this stronghold. He informed you that Jakalyn is also here as well as the Captain of the guard. The captain of the guard had a few ideas to start taking back the city, first of which would be to clear the prison. The adventurers agreed that this was a sound move and after meeting with General Anton, struck out for the prison. This turned out to be a much better idea than the party had thought it would be. The group got to work as soon as they passed the fence into the prison yard, dispatching the husks with ease. They made a bit too much noise though and whoever was in command began sending out abominations formed from the prisoners and guards, huge monstrosities with more body parts than needed for anything. The masses of flesh should have been a challenge, but Narciso had an idea. Climbing to the top of one of the guard towers, Narciso jumped as high as he could, over 120 feet including the height of the tower and came back down with his fists blazing. The tremendous force of his punch caused one abomination to collapse in on itself while the one next to it was slammed into the side of the prison by the force of the impact. The entire prison complex started to collapse, killing all inside and collapsing the majority of the tunnels underneath. After dealing with the final abomination, the party entered into the guard barracks and met with the remaining creators of the abominations, two insane cypher mages wielding the blue flames of the spell plague like a shaping tool, carving and melting flesh together. The party dispatched the two quickly, Leon using his shield to reflect the beam at one point and protecting the party from its mutating affects. When the first cypher mage fell, the other tried to take off, mutating his own body to grow a pair of wings. The growth was too slow however and Narciso jumped into the air and came crashing back down with the mage in a grapple.

With the prison clear of most the infected, the group decided to look around a bit. The first building they checked was locked, a problem quickly taken care of with the wand of shatter Leon still had. Inside they found the armory, but not much of use. The other building left standing was a bit smaller than the others, but offered much more to the adventurers. Shattering the door, the party entered into what appeared to be the captain’s quarters. While searching the place, they came upon a storeroom containing a vast amount of stored food that the party could take to the refugees. That’s not what had them excited though, for at the back of the storeroom was a secret passage. Going through the trapdoor and following the secret passage for a bit, the adventurers came upon the captain’s armory. Inside they found a suit of runed mithril plate mail that Leon took quite an interest in. Hanging along the walls hung a jewel-encrusted dagger and a normal-looking sledgehammer. A quick casting of detect magic told the group that the armor was magical and to their surprise, so was the hammer. Narciso stashed it all in his bag of holding and the group decided to move on before examining their loot. Catching sight of a switch before leaving, the group pulled it and a door in the stonework slid open. This chamber caught Archana off-guard for hanging on the wall was an ancient sawtooth saber and on the other wall, an old red mantis suit, hundreds of tiny cuts in one of the arms denoting completed contracts. The leather was too ancient to wear, but the implications of it the secret tunnels of the general gave the party some serious thought. After almost getting themselves killed through curiosity, the party returned to the resistance headquarters to speak with Jared about their success.

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DM_Alucard

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