The Longest Night

The Setup
The Nations

16 years ago, the world was saved from destruction by the combined efforts of many kingdoms.

One years ago, an unsteady peace had been established.

The kingdom of Sumar was relatively small, but had a secure grasp of its territories. The heroes of 16 years ago had focused on making a stable city rather than an expansive kingdom. They ruled through a monarchy which took advisement from an elected parliament. The slow growth of the city eventually demanded that they expand their territories. To this end, a diplomatic party was created to go to the other four established kingdoms with an olive branch.

The kingdom of Aureon claimed the West and Southern reaches of the continent. It had been mostly untouched by the Sundering, and expanded its grasp while other kingdoms were rebuilding. It maintained its grasp on its expansive territories through a series of duchies and old fashioned feudalism.

Anauroch, the Northern kingdom of the sands, was the most secret of the kingdoms. No trade came in or out, and it was rumored that the capital was never in the same place twice. Scrying by Archmagister Joel, however, spoke of great magical power in the land itself. Sumar’s storehouses were woefully low in residuum and they would need more to maintain their rituals.

The seas were ruled by the Brotherhood of the Coast, a loose conglomerate of pirates and brigands ruled by the Pirate King Allende. In the initial years of recovery, the Brotherhood assaulted any coastal towns they could for resources and manpower. Now, their slaving days have slowed and they content themselves with merely plundering. Their port-of-call is the Archipelego colloquially called the Pirate Isles.

Across the sea, the forge-city of New Gallesis has grown in the ruins of Old Gallesis. The events of 16 years ago destroyed their city, but also uncovered numerous resources in the local mountains. As one of the strongest kingdoms on their side of the continent, the city of Forges seems content to secure its resources and develop new advances in magic and science. Led by the best and brightest, the Council of Wonders, they aim to become a superpower to rival the mythical kingdom of Mulhorand in power.

Four kingdoms the diplomatic party would have to visit, and each had their own issues to resolve before discussing trade. Nerathi Hellbane was appointed to lead the diplomatic party, accompanied by a herald Leo and her bodyguard Thane. She was authorized to hire adventurers as official members of her diplomatic party if protection was insufficient.

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Aureon
Start with negotiations, end with civil wars

Their first stop was Aureon. Rumors of civil war welcomed the party, the mistreatment of the commoners by the magical nobility and the assassination of said nobles by a mysterious organization called Va’kari. Of additional notice was the mysterious appearance of “civilized” Drow women marrying into the gentry, acting as exotic concubines that were the image of modesty and humility. One day into the diplomatic visit, unidentified assassins attempted to kill Nerathi. The attempt was foiled, but fouled diplomatic negotiations the next day. The diplomatic party made contact with Va’kari, and loaned them aid to recover a tapestry from a military installation. Further attempts at diplomacy were attempted, but the Lord Regent was hearing nothing of it. The party made their association with Va’kari public when Nerathi called for them to stop their assault on a noble ball, and Va’kari complied. The next day, it was discovered that the heir to the throne had been killed. Any further diplomatic attempts were denied, with suspicion being cast on the diplomatic party for acting with Va’kari. The party were made to leave the city mere days before a Va’kari-led coup d’etat kicked off.

While returning to Sumar, they came across a Githzerai initiate named Alhat. His temple had been attacked by undead, and he had been sent for help. The party lent him aid, and he was able to secure the temple’s most sacred item: the Planar Keystone of Flame. As they travelled to Sumar, Alhat explained the situation. The incident 16 years ago weakened the Crystal Sphere that surrounded the plane, enabling the Astral Sea to access the interior of the plane. This eased psionic awakening and also meant that links to other planes was easier. Various Githzerai brotherhoods took advantage of these qualities and established on four notable temples on the Prime Material, each one dedicated to one of the classical Elemental planes. The temple he had belonged to was the Temple of the Red Rose, the Temple of Fire. He joined the party and made friends with Nerathi’s bodyguard Thane, a fellow initiate from the Temple of the White Lily, the Temple of Wind. Alhat began training Thane as a member of the Red Rose, both to further his education and pass along the teachings of his now defunct temple.

The party reported to the Queen Regent of Sumar, who was more than a bit upset that the diplomatic party had given what was effectively a terrorist organization both the means to ensue a civil war and public acknowledgement. She wanted to force her daughter to stay, but decided to give one more chance. Gallesis had an oligarchy and a stable kingdom; the chances of another civil war were low. For added security, Joel’s spies approved the hiring of a Drow named Decimus. And, with that, the party set off for Gallesis.

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Gallesis

Gallesis, the City of Forges, was far to the East across the sea. Sumar was hoping to arrange trade with them, their metals and other raw materials for Sumar’s food and processed goods. There was also the hope that a cultur so dedicated to technological advancement would have a dependable source of residuum, a concentrated form of magical energy used in maintaining rituals and creating magic items. Leo left a few days before the party to cross by land. He was to set up meetings and act as a liaison between Nerathi and the ruling members of Gallesis.

Upon traversing into the bay, the party was asked to pay a toll by a patrolling pirate ship. They had set up a lighthouse at the end of the bay, and were extorting passing ships for goods. Nerathi declared her nobility and refused to pay the toll, commanding Thane to eliminate the pirate outpost. One exploded lighthouse later, the party was on their way. During the many week journey, the party focused on their own interests. Thane and Alhat meditated on the teachings of the Zerth, completing Thane’s binding to the other Silver Gith blade they recovered from the Temple of the Red Rose. Nerathi focused on enhancing her forms, getting her sea legs. Decimus spent a significant time in his quarters, the Drown being very uncomfortable with the constant swaying of the ocean. There were no other encounters with pirates, which was probably just a warning of things to come.

Upon arriving in Gallesis, Leo welcomed the party and answered any questions they had. He had spoken with the Council of Wonders, and arranged for a trade meeting in a few days. During that time, they go exploring the city. There are five major factions in Gallesis: the Magisters(Wizards), (Artificers), Explorers, Order of Manifest Psionics(Psions), and (Bio Artificers).

Leo is approached by the Psionics for his abilities; head of the Order is trying to warn people that the Quori are coming. No one believes her. Explain the InfoStores and the Crystal Network.

Decimus checks out the Artificers, meets Wynn, Gnome Artificer. Finds that they’re developing firearms more advanced than flintlocks: Drow-tech. Notes presence of Felsteel, an Underdark metal; Expresses curiosity and concern. First mention of Dandy Man, mysterious trader coordinating Gallesis trade of processed metals and weapons for blueprints, residuum and D-Class personnel. Decimus notes the presence of docile Drow. Explained that they’re perfect test subjects: intelligent enough to listen to orders, no will to resist dangerous experiments. Decimus notes that they have an aptitude for learning, advises that they shouldn’t see the rifles. Wynn emntions he’s not the only one using them as assistants. Decimus wants to find out where they’re coming from.

Nerathi investigates the workers outside the city, clearing the fields from teh debris from 16 years ago. Learns of the Goliaths and Felgoliaths, similar races but different origins. Both born from the mythical ‘Heart of the Mountain’, a sort of Earth Mote that resides in large mountains that moves between the Prime and the Underdark. Its location denotes the birth of Goliaths and Felgoliaths. Currently guarded by the Temple of the Yellow Tulip, the Gith Temple of Earth. Mentions it to Thane, who leaves Nerathi in Leo and Decimus’ care, immediately setting off with Alhat.

While journeying to the Temple, they come across a building made of a strange stone. Further investigation shows that it’s completely immune to any sort of magic: spellstone. Inside, they find an old woman and a man in shining silver armor. He leaves as they arrive, appearing far away in the blink of an eye. Woman explains he visits her once a week; member of another brotherhood that lives in these mountains, known by the White Oroborus symbol on the armor. Thane and Alhat continue to pursue the Gith temple. Find that they’ve had a few infiltrations, but they’ve been dealt with swiftly. Invited to meditate, but neither of them feel comfortable doing so: slow and stoic philosophies of Earth don’t mesh well with the freedom of Air (Thane) or the spontaneity of Fire (Alhat). Secure that the temple was safe, they left.

Nerathi, Leo and Decimus toured Gallesis, learning of the city’s advances, the Steel Militia and the D-Class personnel. They find the Explorer’s Guild, which makes it a point to explore the world in search of new tech. Leo brings up Mulhorandi tech, which causes the representative to choose his words carefully. When mentioning that Sumar would be happy to compare notes, the Explorer says that he is willing to give them a chance. If they can help secure Research Lab Hephaestus from the kobolds, he will give them his vote for the Sumar trade agreement. The three of them advance to the mountains and come across a small kobold trade post. They are part of the Emerald Claw, sworn to a green dragon to the South, and act as mercenaries to increase their lord’s hoard. They are decently equipped, mention trade Walks-With-Steel, a dark ‘smooth-skin’ with ‘thundersticks’ and ‘magic dust’. Decimus takes this to be a Drow trading with kobolds for flintlocks and residuum. Drow don’t use residuum, so it doesn’t fit. Leo buys some flags, which will let him communicate peacefully with the kobolds in the future. They eventually find the Research Lab, surrounded by Steel militia. They investigate, find that they’ve been sieging this for a few weeks now. Permission from the Explorers gives them permission to enter the ruined lab. They fight their way in, find a pristine lab. Investigating, they find numerous glass tubes filled with various humanoid shapes, or what had once been humanoid. Patchwork dueregar, elves, drow and kobolds. They came across a patrol, who triggered an alarm, and sent the party into a panic. Decimus and Leo both fell. Thane was forced to pull Nerathi away, while she screamed promises of a rescue party.

Leo and Decimus woke up in the custody of two Drow researchers. Leo realized that the humanoid-beings were Angelflesh-hybrids. The Drow were trying to crossbreed them for some reason. The Drow needed to retrieve something from the other half of the lab, where the Angelflesh had been allowed to run rampant. Decimus appealed to Drow pride, challenging them to a contest to retrieve the thing from the dangerous side of the lab. The Drow agreed, and SOME STUFF HAPPENED. Decimus killed the other drow, found a large Angelflesh cocoon with an embedded crystal that seemed to link to the Underdark and tobes that led behind a large sealed door. He smashed the crystal and tubes, and ran as sand began to pour out of the broken cocoon. More stuff happened. The Lord of Dust made his first appearance, the Kobolds made a hasty retreat and collapsed their escape tunnel. Decimus’ arm had been impaled by the Lord of Dust and Leo cut it off. The lab properly scouted, the Steel militia moved in with alchemist fire to purge the lab.

The negotiation was a success. Party secures ride with Enzo, Jeanne and Celeste to Sumar.

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