Trials of the Arcane Academy

The shadow wizard defeated, the group turned to leave when a large band of orcs entered the hall. Rage in their eyes, the orcs meant to charge the heroes, only to be thwarted by none other than Brenys and her wolf. The two crashed into the ranks of the orcs, flinging arrow after arrow with a bow stolen off another fallen enemy. Soon, with the aid of the others, the orcs were overcome. Brenys then told the others that the army of marauders was returning from Bellamy, and that they must flee the tomb at once. Finding horses that Brenys had captured, the party rode away from the town, and east toward the Arcane Academy.

For a month they traveled eastward, out of Calduar, past the Twin Cities of Chron, into The Crownless Lands, and to the far edge of the world where the Arcane Academy stood. Upon their arrival, they entered the great Academy Tower, seeking answers to the events that transpired in Bellamy. they were greeted by Horus, the lone keeper of the tower. He told the group that they would need the aid of an Academy-sanctioned wizard in order to use their facility. Chief, brandishing the talisman from the Tomb of the Ancients, convinced Horus to allow them to enter. But [Horus sensed something amiss about these events, and proceeded to create a door to the innermost chamber inside the Academy Tower. Within, five wizards sat high above the chamber floor. And Chief wasted no time entering, pulling from his cloak a long scroll and reciting the incantation upon it. As he stepped into the chamber, a burst of flame erupted from the hands of the wizard toward the five. The one seated highest stood up shouting his own incantation, and deflected the flame while binding Chief in midair. The attack, seemingly unprovoked, was revealed to be caused by the nature of Chief, who is a fugitive of the Arcane Academy. Bound from doing any more harm, Chief was helpless to fight off the powerful wizard seated above him, and could only watch helplessly as his identity as Gerron of the Fifth Wind was told to everyone present. His crimes still a mystery to the party, the wizard banished Gerron to the Megiddo Plane.

The wizard the turned his attention to the others, explaining the situation to them, and allowing them to speak their business with him directly. Aramil was straight to the point, demanding answers concerning the strange events in Bellamy. The wizard, reluctant to reveal knowledge of the Academy to any person not sanctioned, told the party that he would arrange for them to attempt the Four Trials of the Arcane Academy. If they succeeded, they would be granted honorary sanctioned status and be allowed to share in the Academy’s knowledge. The party accepted, and descended into the depths of the tower to face the trials.

The Dark Wizard's Flight

Deeper into the Tomb of the Ancients, the party encountered a large chamber filled with enemies. They took to arms, slaying their foes. Searching the room, they were able to find a lever on one wall, and a button on another. Cautiously, Conan pushed the button with his sword, revealing a secret or. They proceeded down the hidden passage. A staircase descended below, and as they approached, a dark form in front of them swiftly moved its arm. Torches around the room lit up, revealing two people, one with bow drawn. The arrow escaped his bow, flying towards Conan. He nimbly dodged and charged forward, the rest of the party following quickly. Couladin moved to the other man dealing a swift blow, but he retaliated, shoving his dagger into the flesh of the monk. Conan charged forth, arrows from Lucian sailing past and striking the leg of the ranger. Conan raised his sword high, bringing his blade down upon the man, crowning him with blood. He crumpled to the floor, dead. The ranger readied another arrow, aimed back at Lucian. Couladin wasted no time, racing to the ranger and using his swift strikes to first expose the neck of the ranger, and then snatched the arrow from his grasp, turned it onto its master, and thrust it through his vulnerable throat.

Though the fight was quick,the party was weary. They decided that they had no chance against what lay ahead if they did not try to recover some strength. Chief posted himself at the entrance to the hall, remaining watchful as the other made ready to try and rest. However, moments later a band of six orcs charged down the hall, clubs brandished, seeking blood. The first orc charged forth, catching the side of Chief’s face with his club. The wizard hastily retreated, and summoned forth a great centipede to attack these new foes. Though the giant beast was able to bite the orc, poisoning him, the orc quickly smashed through the construct, dispelling the magic. The others charged, and though Aramil and Lucian fired arrows at the attackers, their weariness caused their aim to falter. The orcs continued to advance. Conan drank a potion of Mage Armor. Feeling the magic course through him, he plunged into the group swinging furiously. Couladin moved to defend Chief, and caught a club on his shoulder, knocking him unconscious. Two orcs moved to Aramil, and the joint assault wounded him badly. Chief continued to fire arrows and cast spells, Lucian Cael-ali fired shot after shot, and Conan continued his rampage. One by one the orcs fell in battle, until the last warrior fell. The others huddled around the injured Aramil, using their combined knowledge to stabilize him. Across the room, Couladin awoke from his daze.

Deciding that this old place may get the better of them, they attempt to sneak away to a secret room they had found on the floor above. However, as they proceed, they hear voices mentioning that they are searching for someone, as an alarm had been raised. Realizing they could not go back, the party pushed forward. this led them past a trapped hallway and into a room with a stone lion’s head pouring glowing water into a small basin. Chief wisely summoned his rat to try the water first, but he was unable to discern anything from the test. Aramil decided he would try the water, and they were amazed to find that it restored his body. The party hastily followed in Aramil’s footsteps, each healing their wounds from the enchanted water. A glint in the stone eye of the lion revealed a key, which they used to proceed deeper into the Tomb of the Ancients.

Another room, this one with a giant troll chained to the wall. Behind the troll, a small button. They realized that the only way to get to the button would be to defeat the monster. Aramil lit a torch, tossing it towards the troll.Chief raised the Wand of Fire Fealty, making the flames rise and surround the beast. In a rage, the troll began to struggle at his bonds, flesh burning as he roared. Conan charged forward, and brought a mighty swing of his greatsword down upon his enemy. Blood poured from the wound, and the troll snapped his chains. Immediately he set upon Conan, and threw two heavy punches into the barbarian. Couladin stepped up to fight with his quarterstaff, and began to strike at the troll. Chief ignited the flames of the torch once again, the flames ripping at the flesh of the beast. Eventually, the coordinated effort weakened the troll to his breaking point. With a roar, Conan rushed the troll, bringing his greatsword across the troll and severing his leg. The troll buckled, and as he crashed to the floor, Conan yelled and separated the beasts head from its immolated body.

The battle over, the party moved to the button, pushing it. Stone grinded, and the stairs that had brought them here had switched direction. Descending the stairs, they came upon a room enveloped in fire. With a wave of the wand, Chief created a small passage through the advancing wall of flame and into the next hall. They raced forward, and found themselves in a great stone hall.

Torches were alight around the square ritual chamber. In the center was a stone slab, upon which sat the rune. Above, [[:Don’kihels]] hovered, suspended by the dark wizard’s magic. The red cloak of the wizard flowed down to the floor. He turned to the group, arms raised. “So you’ve decided to squander the gift of sparing your lives in that bumbling hamlet. Here to save your friend?”

Aramil replied, “You’re done wizard. You won’t escape this place. Let the cleric go.”

“I need him,” The evil wizard taunted. “Rather, needed.” Closing his fist in front of him, flames leaped from the torches and coursed through [[:Don’kihels]], destroying him and igniting the rune with a dark power. The wizard motioned again, creating a shadow of himself. As he disappeared, the flames sank into the shadow, materializing it.

The shadow wizard raised his arms. Couladin swiftly moved to the form, kicking it across the chest. The construct attempted to grab Couladin, but he brought his other foot around, dealing another blow and breaking its hold. Arrows sailed from across the room, the collective bows from Lucian, Chief, and Aramil bringing a flurry of arrows down upon it. Conan also moved to strike the creature. finding itself surrounded, the shadow form dissipated, reappearing next to the archers and conjuring flames that tore across the open room. Engulfed in fire, Aramil and Lucian found themselves injured, and their equipment alight. They quickly tried to extinguish the flames on their weapons, while Couladin approached the shadow from behind. Dealing a mighty blow with his fist, the magic was destroyed, and a small trinket fell to the floor where the being once stood. Upon it, the symbol of the Arcane Academy.

The Tomb of the Ancients

The party, tired and injured, headed eastward, still committed to their pursuit of the wizard and the rescue of their friend. In the woods they came across a small camp hidden in the trees. Garvis and Dirk were sitting at a fire with a monk and a bard. Garvis recognized the party, and told them of how the monk and the bard were able to quickly get them out of the city soon after the fight began. After resting up and tending to their wounds, the party made to press forward. Brenys, however, told the party that he lacked the conviction to continue. He mentioned that he was ashamed that he could not continue and attempt to rescue Don’kihels, but that doing so would certainly bring about his own doom as well. Couladin Seia-Doon, the monk, and Aramil, the bard, requested to join the group in his stead. Couladin claimed that this wizard was the target of a kind of prophecy that his leader had, and that it was his duty to intervene with this force. Aramil had been his traveling partner for some time, and the two joined the others as they moved east.

Eventually, they reached a clearing of the forest filled with tents. They had stumbled upon the enemy camp. It was largely deserted, due to most of them being in the town of Bellamy for the attack. The group carefully maneuvered through the camp, capturing one of those who had stayed behind and forcing him to reveal the location of the secret entrance to the Tomb of the Ancients. With a sword at his throat, he quickly relinquished the information. the adventurers descended into the white stone walls of the tomb, and as they did they were assaulted by an animated statue. The stone was hard, but the strength of the party was harder as they managed to destroy the living gargoyle. Behind where he stood, a secret entrance, in which they found a treasure. Back on the main path, the party came across more marauders in the confines of the tomb. They continued to battle, leaving death in their wake as they plunged forth, full speed toward the wizard.

As they explored the many paths of the tomb, they came across a Fire Elemental. The beast attacked the party, and Conan leaped forth with a fury that burned bright. But it was he who was burned, as the heated claws of the creature immolated the barbarian. Fortunately, with some effort, the group felled the beast, and discovered and old Wand of Fire Fealty. They continued, searching the halls and coming upon more enemies, more battle, and more treasure. Soon they found a passage deeper, and continued down into the tomb…

Escape from Bellamy

The remaining members of the party, Conan, Lucian, Brenys, and Wolf, were greeted by Lydia as they tried to chase down the wizard who kidnapped Don’kihels. Lydia warned them not to exit hastily, as while they were exploring The Armory, Bellamy had been assaulted. She informed the party that there were currently thieves and marauders assaulting the town, burning buildings, and killing those they came across. She then implored the party to help her recover her children from her home in the eastern part of the town. The party agreed, and made a point to tell her that they must be quick because their fellow adventurer was in danger. She understood, thanking the party for their commitment. They made their way from The Armory into the burning town.

They crossed the long field in front of The Armory, sticking to the shadows and alleys. They came across a small group of the invading force and tried to deceive them into not attacking. The enemy wasn’t fooled, but they were killed in battle. They heard another group approaching, and Brenys tried to convince them that they were also of the wizard’s employ. Again, their story didn’t hold up, and they were forced to fight. After the encounter, they continued cautiously eastward until reaching Lydia’s house and reuniting her family. But the time spent in the house was enough for a band of orcs to come upon it.

As they went outside, the orcs engaged the party. Led by Grom, who instantly recognized the people he’d questioned the night before, the orcs attacked, but Grom sent one back to fetch more help. While the party rushed to kill the messenger and succeeded, the mighty Grom went toe-to-toe with the barbarian Conan. The battle waged, and although both were severely wounded, Grom retreated, calling for the aid of a massive troll.

The troll lumbered toward the party, leveling buildings as it progressed. the party fled, reuniting with Lydia, who had moved her children to a safe distance from the orcs. After an intense sprint, they managed to lose the troll in the wake of his own destruction. Now, the party found themselves back on the western side of the city with three civilians in tow.

The party continued to sneak around, avoiding large encounters and the immense crowd of miscreants on the main roads. They quickly and efficiently killed a few more enemies before coming upon a man running screaming from a nearby building. He shouted “the shadows are alive!” just before falling dead to an unseen foe. The party diverted eastward. Their goal: reach the southern gate of the city and escape. They came upon an open marketplace and, risking being seen by more foes, killed the rogues who had been stealing from there and moved across the open environment. The party was approaching the gate quickly, but they were weary from their adventures. Running out of strength they rounded the corner in front of the southern gate. A Fire Elemental burst from the building across the street, scattering embers and debris across the road. Sensing that they were reaching their limits, the party chose to muster its remaining strength and flee past the Elemental and out the southern gate. A narrow escape, and moments later they darted into the woods, hidden from the destruction of Bellamy.

Inside The Armory

The party made way for The Armory, Lydia in tow. As they neared, they heard a town guard shout for aid. The adventurers rushed forward, finding him crouched over a dead town guardsman. His name is Porter, and he tells the party that he had only stepped away for a moment when the attacker struck. He was unable to see which way the assailant went, or by what means of escape, but did tell the party that they should head inside and tell the other guards that there is danger afoot.

The party pushed aside the great door and entered the entrance hall of The Armory, where three guardsman stood. They said that they had seen no signs of trouble, but advised the party to get moving quickly once Lydia filled them in on the current situation. Lydia decided to remain on her own, saying that she would search other areas of the old fortress for some clues as to where the Magi may have hidden the rune.

The party began their search, and quickly came upon a golden shield which carried special markings. They took it and continued forth. As they descended through the halls of The Armory, they came across small creatures that only slightly impeded their progress. In the basement of the building, they discovered a large dark room full of weapons. However, further entry created a flash of light, and the illusions were dissolved, quickly revealing broken old weapons and the bodies of dead guardsman. A giant mantis stood large and terrible within the large room, catching Joseph off guard. Thankfully, Conan was able to charge forth and quickly defend Joseph while the rest of the party finished off the creature. With the mantis dead, the party was free to investigate the room, which revealed a key. As they exited, Porter and others of the town guard appeared, and after a short conversation, realized that the party was aware of the ambush in the basement and quickly revealed their true forms as changelings. As they morphed, they took the shapes of the party members to try and confuse the adventurers. They would not be fooled, however, and the murderous changelings were quickly dispatched. They then turned their attention back to they key.

This was the key to the second floor of The Armory, and the party ascended upwards and fought of the horde of undead lurking in the dust and dark. As they continued to investigate, they came upon another shield, this one with different markings. They took the shield and retraced their footsteps into the basement, where they continued their investigation.

They moved through the dank halls of The Armory until they reached a room full of lights and rats. Amidst the battle, Brenys and Don’kihels were infected with the disease known as filth fever. They stood resolute, however, and pushed forward. The room had a poem etched into the wall, and upon investigation the party was able to discern that the writing corresponded to a secret in the room. While Don’kihels was unable to correctly solve the riddle on the first attempt (resulting in another wave of rat-foes), the party overcame the obstacle and were able to proceed. Very quickly, they ran into a band of goblins feasting. The party burst in the door and caught them completely unawares. The party tore into the goblins as they tried their best to gather their scattered weapons and regain their composure. Quick acting by Don’kihels resulted in the cleric kicking a table over onto a goblin, who proceeded to hide behind it until the end of the battle. Despite his efforts, the goblin failed to be on the living side.

They continued, ever resolute in their mission to help save the rune from whatever might be coming after it. They proceeded back up to a previously blocked off section of the first floor. There, the met the Old Form, an ancient sorcerer’s apprentice who was magically bound to the halls of The Armory. He fancied riddles, and held upon his person was one of the etched shields. The party was clever enough, able to answer enough riddles to impress him, but not enough to gain the wondrous secrets of The Armory itself. Three shields in tow, those who carried them began to feel a heaviness in the shield. Efforts were made to rid themselves of the artifacts, but they found that they could not.

One wing of the basement still remained to explore, and the party stumbled upon a pedestal with a wheel and three doors. Quickly, they discovered that turning the wheel altered the destinations of these doors, and began to explore each hallway. They found themselves in a room with a crumbling floor, but the carefulness of Don’kihels guided them through the treacherous room and to the fourth shield. Now, their backs grew heavy as the shields encumbered the party. Still, they pressed on.

Further exploration revealed a skeletal entity guarding a chest. The party moved to fell the undead creature, but soon discovered that their weapons were ineffective against the animated corpse. The skeleton lunged after them as they ran. They tried to seal away the skeleton in the many chambers of the wheel maze, but he clawed his way out, relentless in his drive to eviscerate the adventurers. As they fought, Joseph managed to trip the beast, and used his weight to keep it pinned as one by one the limbs of the seemingly invulnerable skeleton were separated and stuffed into the very chest he was guarding, until only his disembodied torso remained, forever locking the chest with its own weight and will to regain the parts it had lost. With four shields gathered, the party returned to the main hall of The Armory, and used the shield as keys in small sub-chambers that opened a hidden door.

Behind this door was a room white as snow with magical engravings covering its every surface. In the center of the cubical room sat the rune, suspended upon a pillar. Lucian made to activate the pillar and attempt to retrieve the rune, but hesitated. Joseph, impatience overwhelming him, clutched at the pillar as if to retrieve the rune. Upon doing so, the room filled with light as a fiery swirl encircled Joseph, fusing the plates of his armor together and grafting it to his body. With a clunk, Joseph fell to the floor, dead. The pillar slowly sank into the floor, and the rune was within reach. Just then, a scream was heard behind them in the hall, revealing the presence of a homunculus for just a brief time before it vanished. A great force pushed the heroes up against the wall, rendering them immobile. A tall man with a red cloak entered the room, laughing as he thanked the adventurers for their efforts. As he examined the rune, he seemed to hesitate, and then swiftly he grabbed Don’kihels by the collar and dragged him from the room as he screamed for aid. Upon the wizards departure, the remaining members of the party fell to the floor, and quickly followed in pursuit. As they returned to the entrance hall of The Armory, they were greeted by Lydia with terrible news.

The Town of Bellamy

We introduce our party:
-Conan, the barbarian
-Don’kihels, the cleric
-Lucian Cael-ali, the ranger
-Joseph, the fighter
-Brenys, the druid
-Wolf, Brenys’ wolf.

The adventurers approach the small town of Bellamy. Their aim: to claim riches rumored to hide within the confines of the ancient city walls. Upon entering the town late in the evening, the party hears a commotion from the second floor of a local tavern, The Boar’s Head. Sensing trouble, they enter.

Upon their arrival they quickly greet Garvis, the bartender, who tells them that he hasn’t detected any signs of mischief that evening. He does, however, make note that one of his regulars, Dirk, seems to have disappeared from the loud hall. The heroes move through the busy room towards the stairs. Swiftly, they enter a small room only just in time to see a man knocked out of a window by two thugs. The party took arms and fought with the men, quickly dispatching them and then moving downstairs to ascertain the fate of the accosted man.

As they came down the stairs, a band of orcs stopped the party, and Don’kihels continued outside. Their leader Grom, noticing the diversity of the party and their equipment, inquired as to if they, too, were in town on a wizard’s behalf. As the party refused, Grom quickly shooed them along. As the party approached the bar near the entrance, Don’kihels entered carrying an unconscious man. With a wave of his hand, Don’kihels healed the injured man, who awoke in a drunken stupor. He revealed himself to be Dirk, and was appreciative of the effort the party made to save him. In his state, Dirk revealed that he is privy to valuable information and reveals a portion. He tells the party of a wizard in the hills to the east who is recruiting a small army and paying large sums to those willing to fight. Further investigation frightens Dirk, and he ceases to relinquish any more information. Garvis suggests going to a place called the Temple of the Magi. It is there, he says, that all of the major magical actions for northern Calduar are regulated. The party heeds Garvis’ advice, and heads in the direction of the temple.

The Temple of the Magi stands tall amongst the other buildings. Two towers straddle the massive stone hall. The large front door is guarded by the statue of an Elemental, a testament to the power of magic. the party enters the dark building, where they find the Magi murdered within their casting court. Upon the altar, an ancient scroll and a map of the town and the surrounding areas. They also find a note upon one of the Magi, reading “The ”/campaign/allaria/wikis/tomb-of-the-ancients" class=“wiki-page-link”>Tomb of the Ancients has been assaulted. There is no time. We must act tonight." The party hears a noise from one of the towers, and encounters two goblins who were raiding the temple. Conan quickly bashed in the door of which the goblins were behind, knocking one to the ground. It was an easy fight for the party against the startled creatures. They moved to exit the temple and seek more information.

As they exited, a woman named Lydia claiming to be the daughter of one of the Magi was on her way in on important business. Claiming she had a message for her father, the party reluctantly told her that he was dead. Shocked but sensible, she deduced that the parties responsible were probably after a magical rune that had recently been moved from the Tomb of the Ancients to a secure location within the town. The Armory in the north side of Bellamy was the location chosen, as is was once a fortress and could be more easily defended. Lydia made a point to say that if those responsible were after the rune and were willing to act within the walls of the city, that they must be aiming to move very soon. She suggested that the party find their way to the rune within The Armory and retrieve it so that it could once again be transported to a safer location. The party agreed to this task and made way for The Armory with Lydia.


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