Heroes of Blackthorne Keep

The New World Order

A year has passed now since the Agents of Blackthorne were unable to obtain the Orb of Translocation from Cyric. Without the orb The Lords of Blackthorne Keep could not defeat the ancient Lich, Atlas Sephran, and Cyric was unopposed in the war he waged against the kingdoms of Greyhawk. Over the next twelve months the world changed dramatically with most of it under Cyric’s rule only a few kingdoms and regions remain free of his outstretched influence. The Lords of Blackthorne have yet to be heard from and many have sadly assumed the worst. Todd, once known as “the barber” is the only known lord to survive, however even his life was in jeopardy when Blackthorne Keep was seized by the overwhelming forces of Cyric. Forced to flee, Blackthorne Keep and the well of life were surrendered to the enemy.

In the war between the Atlas and the dragons, it was a violent conflict that the gods intervened and stopped but not after a large portion of the dragons had been slain. Now an endangered species they have become as reclusive as ever. Because the extra dimensional war became so deadly and destructive the gods granted Atlas his wish and elevated him to god hood, in order to stop the destruction and death. (knowledge religion checks, and descriptions of what you did over the years can earn you more insight on this particular problem).

Why Cyric stopped his expansion and never took over the entire world is unknown, however there have been some speculations that he lost the orb…? or that the drow, whom he once had a truce with, have turned on him. others suggest that Atlas, now a god, has asked Cyric to stop his expansion for some mysterious purpose. Or that Cyric has found a force of such power that he has turned his attention towards that, momentarily stalling his expansion.How much truth can be found in either of the rumors is still unknown.

There are some who still oppose Cyric, (but their where abouts are completely unknown. Unless you are one of them) and many of the worlds leaders that fled their kingdoms still live on but are hidden away somewhere beyond Cyrics influence. The world while largely ruled by one man and his regime still exists without anarchy abound. Cyric while a cruel and evil man is not stupid and knows that in order for society to exist law must preside, even if the law is sometimes corruptible and evil.

So now the real question is what happened to our heros after they returned home empty handed? have they stuck together and continued the good fight against Cyric and his forces? or have they split up each seeking a separate and different life?

(if you have any specific question about the world let me know, as I did not answer all the questions I’m sure some of you might have).

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The World Shaper Lives!

Fireseek 24th, CY 619: After their adventure upon the Seasprite, there is a successful assassination attempt on Eric Dreiton. Fortunately the heroes are able to slay the assassin and after pawning a few magical items are able to afford a resurrection for their fallen comrade. Still intent on investigating the problems in the north, the heroes set out to investigate the Wild Magic in the Barbarian lands to the north east.

Readying 13th, CY 619: After infiltrating an Ice Barbarian encampment the Agents of Blackthorne kidnap a drow sorceress, wearing the disguise of a barbarian shaman. In the event Edryc Leafcrowne is gravely injured and receives a vicious scar. After narrowly escaping with her they return to the dragon lair only to find it empty except for a tall golden eyed elven man who the recognize as the gold dragon. After bestowing his gifts to the adventurers he sets off leaving them behind, as they have a war of their own to fight. Left in the ice cave with their drow prisoner, they are left to interrogate her and find out once and for all what stakes the drow have in this scheme, and what connection (if any) is there between Cyric and Atlas Sephran?

Now bestowed with their new gifts from the dragon’s the heroes must decide what role they will play in the coming war. With a drow captive they have an opportunity for knowledge of the scheming drow and their involvement in this quickly growing plan of Cyric and Atlas which seems it might finally be coming to fruition. Still with no contact from the Heroes of Blackthorne our adventurers are on their own and must decide their next move.

GM Hint: you might want to think of some creative and effective ways to extract information from a strong willed drow, because something like that is not easy

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Lost and Found
Evan is finally captured and returned after solving the mystery of the Seasprite

Fireseek 16th, CY 619: With the Agents of Blackthorne back upon the Crushing Wave they waste no time and set sail for The city of Greyhawk in hopes to return the run away Evan Whitemantle to his father Edmond. While upon the sea for a few days they notice, first of all that the drow priestess is trailing them in Evan’s ship, and secondly they notice a glimmering ship at sea what moves at incredible speeds appearing in completely different spot with each day. With their first priority of returning Evan to his father and escaping from the pursuing drow they are hesitant to investigate the mysterious ship at sea.

After a few days the notice the mysterious shimmering ship letting off a thick black smoke. When called to a vote there are those that oppose but others, the majority, insist on investigating. The next day they awake to an overcast day and their boat is surrounded by a magically thick wall of mist. Before to long they find two boats sitting in the calm eerie water side by side. Leaving Evan aboard the ship with the Forest spirit Garlehe to watch him, the adventurers investigate the boats. They quickly that these boats are; one the ship that was following them, and the other the glimmering ship which had at one time been letting off a black smoke. They decide to at first investigate the drow’s ship.

While upon the Drow’s boat, Edryc, Caranthir, Sage, and the small gnome sabotage the ships weapons and search below deck. They discover the boat is completely abandoned of life, and stumble across a body who had apparently slit his own throat, is the strange silence and eerie situation driving people insane? WHile below deck the only items of importance that they find are a book on the goddess Lolth, a brief history on the Flinty Hills, and a Cloak of the Arachnid. Next the team decides to investigate What they have learned is called the Seasprite with Canteus and Eltharian staying above deck to serve as lookouts.

After entering the hull of the Seasprite the Heroes are surprised to find a large Victorian style mansion instead of the expected cramped wooden corridors of most ships. It is immediately obvious that there is an extremely powerful magic at work in this legendary ship. While the adventurers are exploring the many different rooms of this ship they discover that Evan has at some point escaped and Garlehe claims that they themselves had given him the order to send him across to the other boat. Now forced to explore the ship in hopes of finding Evan the adventurers continue deeper into the Seasprite. In some other rooms they find a vibrant and animal filled jungle, a crystal palace with mechanical golems, and a Gothic temple devoted to the ancient god of projection Proicere. There is a disturbing human sacrifice on the altar at the front, and the Heroes are forced to fight off illusion Gargoyles.

Finally the Heroes find the captains quarters where that Mysterious Drow Cleric is standing over the the dying form of the legendary Captain Chuck (Lone-wolf) Mcquade (whom has been believed to be dead for years). They are able to dispatch the Drow’s allies however she gets away through unknown magical means. While attempting to find the Evil Priestess and heal the sick captain they learn that the Drow’s boat is getting away with Evan aboard it. With all hopes dashed of getting Evan the adventurers ask Captain Mcquade if he might be able to intervene and catch Evan in his ship, He instantly agrees instantly, owing them his life.

Within the hour the Drow’s boat is sunk, and they once more have Evan in their custody unfortunately the Drow has once more made a narrow escape again, leaving them wondering just how long they will have to watch their backs. Captain Lone-Wolf Mcquade agrees to take them back to Greyhawk. Paetor “Peter” Ubersprecht Decides to stay aboard the ship, knowing that upon this ship he will be happy and be able to serve a god he can truly believe in Proicere. The Captain leaves the adventurers with a Crystal ball of true seeing, and The Deck of Wizardry as repayment for their hardwork and promises that should there paths ever cross again it will be cause for great celebration.

With the Heroes mission successful the question on their mind is whats next? Where will the road lead them next? was that the last of the Priestess of Lolth or will they confront her again? What was Evan’s roll if anything in the grand scheme of things? Just how deeply do the plots and scheming of the bandit kingdom go? And what had become of the silent Lords of Blackthorne Keep?

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The Giant Falls

Fireseek 8th, CY 619 p. Amongst the slain rangers our heroes find a surviving woodsman, whom they stabilize but are forced to bind and gag him in order to maintain their cover as evil mercenaries. They return to the camp safely delivering the corpses and before they are able to work out a plan to safely extract the helpless woodsman he is taken by one of the lieutenants for questioning. Luckily Caranthir Feralas is able to save the woodsman, however how he does it without raising any suspicion is unknown. The Agents of Blackthorne, being tipped of by Their contact Caranthir know that Evan plans to leave the camp that night with a mysterious elven lady who has come into the encampment under protection of a massive ogre. They are forced to act quickly and hastily hatch a plan to extradite him that night during a game of gambling, however the Elven lady and her bodyguard tag along when invited by Paetor, however there is reason to believe she would have invited herself if no formal invitation was ever extended to her.

fifteen minutes into the card game, the Mysterious elven lady becomes suspicious of the adventurers intentions and attempts to break up the game. Next, chaos ensues. The heroes spring into action, against the giant ogre, a formidable fighter and the elven lady. Instantly her mask is dropped and instead of a regular elven lady, there is a Drow decked out in heavy armor, apparently a cleric of some sort. In the chaos Sage the monk is able to escape the scene with their target, Evan. The Heroes continue to fight on in the tent fighting for their lives. The tables are turned on them when the ogre lifts his massive club and brings it down with thunderous force, nearly crippling the valiant Edryc with one blow. With the tables slowly turning on the heroes but their objective complete, Caranthir casts a globe of invisibility and orders a full retreat. A certain mage is left behind in the confusion and Caranthir is forced to double back to save her, taking two bone crushing blows form the ogre in order to save her life, Carnathir barely escapes with his life.

The heroes with just a few minutes head start take off into the forest making their way for the Naerie the city in which their boat the Crushing Wave is awaiting them for a quick escape. They run for four day with on less then four hours of sleep, when it becomes apparent that a certain ogre and a couple of fighter are just on their heels. Quickly the heroes are forced to set an ambush, and once more engage the mountain of an ogre. The ogre and his comrades walk right into the Heroes trap and after a short battle, he is slain, only after he lands a powerful blows which leaves Edryc unconscious and seemingly dead. Luckily he is revived by the Cleric of Pelor and the group is able to once more leave this time taking with them a magical great sword, a small bag of holding, a ring of fire resistance 10/-, 1,800 and a Cursed helm (which was responsible for the ogres enslavement). Bringing the monstrous giant to its demise, the heroes savor a moment of victory.

Once more the heroes pick up their trail making quick time for there ship, however Lefty, a familiar, of the group returns giving them dire news that a man made of stone and metal and 5 shadowy panther like creatures with tentacles sprouting from their backs are close on their heels. There will be no rest for these exhausted heroes.

What is to come of Evan? Will they escape the pursuing monsters? What is Evan’s importance to the Bandit Kingdoms? Can they escape the magical power of the pursuing cleric? What is the Drows connection, if any, to the bandit Kingdom?

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Recap
A blog for your campaign
Session #1:

Harvester 16th, CY 618: It is just ten years after the slaver war in the Pomarj. The Wildcoast is rebuilding and the lands have never been safer. A group of traveling adventurers receive a summons from a mysterious elf maiden. She tells them that The Lords of Blackthorne Keep have requested aide of their group. After hearing they will be generously compensated they head north. On their trip north they run across a rag-tag group of confused and startled goblins. The goblins where distinct tattoos on their faces which the group recognizes as a specific tribe form the north. They quickly dispatch the goblins and continue north.

Harvester 26th, CY 618: The group arrives a Blackthorne Keep, a huge majestic and finely crafted obsidian fortress. They are led in by stone faced elven guard where they are introduced to Todd, one of the many lords of Blackthorne keep. He requests their aide in retrieving three very valuable artifacts that were stolen from them three weeks ago. He informs them that one item, a ancient black dragons tooth, has been taken to the city of Dyvers. The second, a magical sabre, has been taken to the city of Safeton. The third artifact, a journal which once belonged to the slaver king Orlick, has been taken to Hardby. They agree to help these powerful lords in their quest.

Session #2:

Patchwall 7th, CY 618: The adventurers make it to the city of Dyvers where they are to search for the Dragons tooth. While the have a suspect, Margaret Fendrake, They are uncertain on how to approach the situation. before they can figure away to sneak into her estate and steal the artifact. A few of the adventurers are tricked and led into a trap. Luckily the rest of the group is able to come to their rescue and save them from the clutches of some slavers. They also find some Goblins which wear similar tatoos on their faces as the ones they slew in the forest not long ago, could the goblins they have killed been escaped slaves? The leader of the ambushers, Eric Dreiton, begs for his life offering them all the information they need. He later joins the group, offering his extensive knowledge on the missing artifacts and slavers in exchange for pay. They are able to convince Margaret Fendrake to relinquish the artifact to them, but she is hesitant to do so because it is discovered that her husband has been inflicted by a rare form of lycanthropy which has yet to be cured. The only ones who claim they can cure her husband come from the Bandit kingdom to the north, but will not cure his infliction unless she gives them the Dragons tooth. never the less they are able to convince her to give them the tooth, and she promises them a fortune if they are ever to find a cure for her husband.

Session #3:

Patchwall 14th, CY 618: Our adventurers return the tooth to the Lords of Blackthorne and accept their generous reward.

Patchwall 20th, CY 618: The heroes arrive in Safeton, in search of the missing sabre. Their one solid lead is the Mayor of the city. Without investigation or asking questions a few of the members barge into the mayors house looking for the artifact. when an alarm is sounded and they meet resistance the party gets split up and quickly falls apart. In the confusion one of the adventurers is kidnapped by a strange sorceress who lived on the outskirts of the mayors estate in an apparently abandoned barn. Two others are imprisoned. Eric Dreiton, the former slaver, uses his connections and helps the adventurers spring their comrades from prison. Knowing only that one of their members is missing and that she was taken by a mysterious sorceress, they once more go back to the mayors estate and investigate the barn. They are confronted by the sorceress and she promises to give them back their friend so long as they stop their search for the artifacts, they refuse and instead attack her. After a quick but almost very bloody battle they dispatch the sorceress and find the sabre, which she (the mayors reclusive daughter) had stolen. They also find their missing party member, but while she was imprisoned had been killed and turned into an undead creature. While investigating in the Sorceress dungeon they find goblins with the Tatoos on their faces, only they have been turned into undead creatures. Can this possibly go beyond simple slave trading?

Session #4: Patchwall 25th, 618:

The heroes find themselves in the city of Harby investigating the last missing artifact. Their one suspect is a very gruff and angry dwarf known as, Derek (an obvious alias). After a short investigation they easily determine that he in-fact has the artifact and is moving it that very night. The adventurers manage to surprise the dwarf and his comrades, but after a bloody battle, the adventurers are hurt and missing an undead sorceress. She was caught unaware and slain. However after selling a powerful ring of non-detection and pooling their resources the group is able to get her resurrected.Belt of Giant Growth

Ready’reat 2nd, Cy 618: The group makes their way back to Blackthorne Keep with the Sabre in hand and the journal of the once bandit king. They receive their generous reward, and are offered residency and full time positions as student and agents of Blackthorne Keep.

Session #5:

Ready’reat 7th, CY 618: After meeting and training with some of The Lords of Blackthorne Keep, they awake to find a letter from the Lords informing them that they have left on an urgent mission which puts the entire realm and possibly other dimensions in jeopardy. The Adventurer’s decide to investigate the death of a nobleman, whose hand they found in Harby, but whose family lives in Greyhawk.

Ready’reat 13th, CY 618: They party arrives in Greyhawk and seeks an audience with Edmond Whitemantle, the father of Efran Whitemantle, whose body they found. After a fruitless meeting with Edmond they leave empty handed but 100 gold richer for delivering the news of his sons, death. Meanwhile outside they are confronted by a crazed old man who claims that Edmond is keeping his second son Evan captive in his own house. While this man seems crazy they can’t help but notice some of the truth to his words. after a day in a half investigation they discover that while Evan has not been seen out side of his house for nearly six years there is no direct proof that Lord Edmond Whitemantle has anything to do with his sons captivity. The adventurers quickly discover that the man is truly crazy and leave Greyhawk empty handed.

Session #6: Ready’reat 14th, CY 618: The Adventurers head south to the tomb of Atlas Sephran an ancient cartographer who lived thousands of years ago and turned himself into a lich in search of greater power. The adventurers head to this tomb because there is mention of a great artifact that can allow them to teleport anywhere in the blink of an eye. They hope that once they get this they can then go teleport to a the barbarian lands to the north where they can carry out a recon mission.

Ready’reat 27th, CY 618: Our adventurers make it south and find the tomb, but are waylaid by Gnoll brigands led by a vicious werewolf. The brigands and the werewolf are easily dispatched but not until after Eric Dreiton is infected with lycanthropy. Given no other choice they continue into the tomb, with intentions of curing Eric once they return. Within the tomb they find many traps, and one of their numbers are almost slain by a devious mimic. In the tomb they find Atlas’s circlet of perfect memory, four maps of previously uncharted continents, and The Rod of Communication. When the rod is picked up the one holding the rod received a telepathic message from a crazed and tired voice say, “Cyric? Cyric? is that you? see I told them I wasn’t crazy but still no one would believe me… hurry they have me trapped in Greyhawk.” Searching the tomb further they find evidence that a man named Cyric must have been there before them and taken the Orb of Translocation. Upon leaving the tomb they are once more attacked by some bandits and another one of there member is infected with lycanthropy, but this time by a wererat. After slaying the bandits they are able to cure there members of their lycanthropy infections. Can these Lycanthropes have something in common?

Session #7: Sunsebb 10th, CY 618: The Agents of Blackthorne once more find themselves in Greyhawk. Investigating the voice which they heard through The Rod of Communication. They God back to confront Lord Whitemantle because they have suspicions that the voice they heard on the rod belonged to is last surviving son, Evan. They find the lord is distraught again and this time he tells them that his son awoke from his insanity and fled Greyhawk just four day ago. He begs them to track down his son and bring him back if possible, but if not to at least insure he does not spoil the Whitemantle family name. He informs them that he will lend them a boat called, The Crushing Wave in order to track his son down. he also tells them that he has a friend associate Caranthir Feralas, who is tracking his son already.

Fireseek 7th, CY 619: The adventurers make quick time across the Azure Sea in their new sea vessel and land in the city of Naerie. The quickly get a note left behind by Caranthir Feralas and follow its directions to the heart of Rievwood, were they find a bandit encampment which they are able to infiltrate posing as mercenaries. There they make contact with with their elven contact in secret, and see Evan Whitemantle for the first time. They however are unable to take him because he is in the middle of the encampment and it is the middle of the day. The adventurers are then sent on a mission to escort a caravan of corpses ack to the bandit camp. They agree to do it in order to keep the cover untill the next day when they might kidnap Evan. While escorting the caravan they are ambushed by a squad of forest rangers her mistake them for bandits. There is a regrettable fight in which the adventurers are forced to defend themselves and are forced to kill the rangers or die by their arrows. It is a bloody and drawn out battle, but the adventurers succeed and are able to retain their cover, bought with the blood of the rangers…

... And that should catch us up.

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