Ever After

The Dark Lands

Welcome to the Dark Lands. A continent reachable by land travel only during the winter months, when the Cobalt Sea and Blighted Sea recede to reveal a land bridge. Many mercenaries often find work on this continent defending the native kingdoms from the constant orc attacks and raids. One can also find the Barbarian Kingdom, a formerly loose collection of savage warriors united under one banner.

Kulthwayt, a nestled in between two mountains lies on a major trade route between two continents. This area has recently become a target for a nomadic orc horde seeking riches and trophies for their tribe. Due to this, the kingdom is in constant need of warriors to defend the city and all those wishing to pass through it.

The Red Falcon Mercenary Guild has been under pressure to fill the requisition notices received by this kingdom. The send as many warriors as possible whilst still keeping up their reputation of strong warriors. A steady stream of all manner of hired fighters have been sent into Kulthwayt whilst the land bridge is still accessible, for when the bridge is gone, it will be difficult to make travel back to the Red Falcon Guild hall.

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Khyle McNanner
Nannerin'

The remaining group came to a village settled in a pass over the mountains. There, they came across a strange fellow by the name of Khyle McNanner. He insisted that they follow him to meet his employer.

Khyle McNanner led them to a rest stop at the top of a hill, where Kendra and Cattaker van Rollum found their mules. Inside, they met Khyle McNanner’s employer, Demetrius Lexsung Ragnall.

Demetrius informs the group that he will be accompanying them on their adventure at the request of “Friend Employer”. The group really had no choice but to accept.

After much celebration funded by Mr. Ragnall, Friend Employer informed the group that he would be very scarce over the next few months. He also told them that they should head for the City of Ages, known once upon an age as “The Twin City”. In a few months time, the Festival of the Goddess would be held, in which the Goddess Joy would make her personal appearance, as per custom. Friend Employer assured them, that this is where Lament would make his move.

As a parting gift, Friend Employer gave to Sjaud in his own image, a straw doll. If they should ever need anything, they can use that to contact him.

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The horrors of the Scrap Yard
ROBOT DEATH KILLERS

The group set forward into the labyrinth of the manafactorum. After some delay, they came across an impasse. They had decided to leave their animals behind in order to proceed. A timely arrival of “Friend Employer” allowed them to later be reunited with their Donkeys. After progressing through the labyrinth, the group came across a legend of days past. The Mecha Knight. Instead of outright killing them, he instead gave them a warning. “Fate holds no friends. I know this well.”

With this in mind, the adventurers set out to escape the nightmarish scrapyard and leave it behind.

As soon as daylight was seen, they found themselves in danger once again. A mechanical monstrosity descended from the skies. The corpse of a dragon, brought to life once more by mechanical replacements. It descended and scattered the players, except for Glitchen who ran straight for the access tower that led out of the scrapyard, with Friend Employer at her side.

This proved to be her fatal mistake.

Friend employer tripped Glitchen in order to give the dragon something to chase after. At the price of a party member, the group escaped and continued their quest for Lament.

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Guardians of Bullshit
Kendra cries. Again.

The party woke up, talked to a crazy dude who was totally Lament, and each recieved a power rin… er… a fancy title. We are now Champions of Balance. Also, Kendra attacked the crazy dude who was totally Lament, but a light breeze ended up holding her against the wall. Also also, there are robots about. Then we went back to sleep.

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The Scrap Yard
The world has moved on...

It took several days to descend into the valley that held the Scrap Yard. During one of these nights, Stilla had abandoned the group for reasons unknown. With little choice in the matter, they pressed on without her.

Upon reaching the entrance, the group surveyed the land. Most everything there was made of metal or stone. Ancient technologies lain covered in dust inches thick, and most of it was torn, battered or useless.

After some investigation, Glitchen came upon a room filled with strangely intact machinery. Kendra sat in contemplation for long hours, and was eventually able to understand how to operate it, though she would need a particular part for it to work.

After some more searching, the group found a locker filled with glass vials that looked to be the missing part. Kendra had also discovered a strange mechanical man, that had most likely stood for centuries immobile. Thinking nothing of it at the moment, Kendra retrieved the power core and returned to the basement.

With another hour’s worth of tinkering, Kendra was able to activate the machine with visible results. This proved to be a fatal mistake.

Above ground, the mechanical workings of the town began turning and working once more. This included the town’s denizens. The mechanical nightmares of an age long passed. Kendra immediately began studying a building that may have once been a factory.

Meanwhile, Sjuad, Glitchen and Sam investigate some screams that caught their attention. They were the first to encounter the mechanical monsters that had made short work of an unfortunate scavenger.

Soon, the group had found the town had been over run by these monsters, if they did not flee, so would they. Alison, thinking quickly ran into the building that contained the generators, and managed to open a gate that led out of the complex. The group eventually made it out, and Alison had shut the gate behind them, locking herself inside with the amassing robots.

Certain that if not already, Alison would soon be over-run by the machines, and opted to not waste her sacrifice, Glitch, Sam, and Sjaud decided to run after setting fire to the machines attempting to destroy the gate. Kendra however, was determined to rescue Alison. She climbed a slope and made her way back into the complex by dropping down from the cliffs. She eventually made her way back into the generator room, and found signs of Alison, but no Alison.

The rest of the group had decided to set up camp on a nearby clearing. Instead they found a large metal door obscured by vines. Deciding to take their chances inside this metal tomb than out in the open where more robots were sure to appear, they set up camp inside the darkness of the tunnel.

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Fallen Warrior, and the Road to the Scrap Yard

During their travels, the group witness a meteor fall from the sky and strike a nearby mountain. They elected to check out the crash site.

Upon first entering the cave, they happened upon two familiar characters Runt and Grunt. They had come to the mountain in search of treasure. Shortly after, they triggered a trap that separated them from the group.

Whilst climbing the mountain, the group was assaulted by morlocks en masse. Fighting through, they found refuge in what appeared to once be a room for worship. The group decided to rest for the night. Glitchen, snuck away to examine a path that led to the room and could possibly leave the group vulnerable. She instead, found a spear of magical quality.

In the morning, the group pressed onward, reaching the top of the mountain by afternoon. There, they found a Crystal Dragon, proudly fawning over a young girl whom he had claimed from a nearby crater.

After a brief negotiation attempt, the dragon had revealed that the girl had fallen from the sky, and had been sent by the Goddess, obviously to repay her debt to dragon kind. The negotiations have failed.

The group fought hard and eventually had slain the dragon, but not before the dragon could tear the giant zombie guardian into shreds.

The girl had awakened, frightfully at first, and then growing more at ease with the group. She did not remember where she had come from, only that she was a soldier of some sort. This was obvious from the armor she wore.

She decided to travel with the group to repay her debt to them for rescuing her.

The group came upon a town that was unnervingly close to the Black Cloud’s location. They inquired about what lands lay under the cloud. They did not receive very useful answers. Eventually, they had learned from an old man, that the lands to the south were known as The Scrap Yard, and it was a place to be feared, and a place where great riches could be found.

Upon reaching the Scrap Yard, the group stood in awe of the ancient wonders that lay before them, as the cloud dissipated.

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New Day
And then Life went on...

After traveling for some time, the group came upon 2 travelers. A witch, Glitchen Oakwarden, and a young Fleshwoodling druid, Stilla. They claimed their homes have been razed to the ground by the marauding demons unleashed by the return of Lament. Having similar goals, they began traveling with Kendra and Sjaud to find and turn back the tide of Lament

Kendra eventually reunited with her mentor, Jacob Hasfar, and told him of him of her plight. After helping Jacob with his own problems, he informed Kendra that she should be ecstatic for a such a rare opportunity.

Meanwhile, The group came across a young rogue by the name of Samantha. She agreed to journey with them out of little more than boredom.

After helping her mentor, Kendra was contacted by a strange individual, whom Alexander claimed was his “employer”. The employer informed Kendra that she is now bound to his service due to her failure to prevent Lament’s return. Kendra was obviously not pleased about this.

They tracked Lament’s progress by following an ominous storm cloud, that signaled Lament’s presence.

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Aftermath
Things that happened afterwards

Kendra fled the temple, and found, much to her dismay, no survivors of the screecher onslaught. So she continued to flee.

Sjaud exited the temple, and found that Alexander, was indeed alive. He had survived by feigning death, and merely fell asleep.

The returned to North City to find that the demons that assaulted the temple, appear to have assaulted the city afterward. However, there appeared to be no sign of them, but in their place were Orc looters. Sjaud went back to the inn to retrieve his belongings.

Meanwhile, Kendra retrieved her belongings from the nearby cave, including Zombitch. On her way back to the city, she encountered an orc riding a familiar donkey. She at first tried to reason with him, but then it proved easier to simply flatten him.

Sjaud managed to trade some baubles found in the temple for his belongings from an orc. On the way out, he noticed a familiar face up on a roof. Or rather a cat, surrounded by orcs. Alexander attempted to talk the orcs out of it, but failed. Kendra seeing Sjaud and Alexander, investigated, and also decided it was just better to flatten the orcs rather than reason with them. Once they were dealt with, the group decided to head further south. Along the road and after many silly questions from Alexander, they ran into Sahara, the bitter traveling merchant, and an odd fellow intent on searching her barrels. Sahara asked is they had any luck with the vase she asked them to retrieve. Nope.

The man searching through the crates abruptly asked Kendra if she had seen a girl. After a few more questions and guessing games, they determined that the girl he was looking for is Korina, the barbarian from Meddleton. Sjaud managed to point him in the right direction (vaguely) and he was off. They decided to set up camp nearby and Sahara joined them for the night.

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Lament Rises
Where's your God now?

Morning came, and the group set forth with Sarkus’s young lover, Marie in tow. Along the way, they came under heavy attack from demons born of Lament’s blood, known as Screechers. They eventually reached the aforementioned temple and spoke with the paladins. Kendra learned from a passage in a book, that they needed to light the four torches around the temple in order to proceed

_Written in the book on the altar

“Start a fire to light the way; yet never forget, that even
brightest, most righteous fires, can cast shadows”
_
The wall sank into the ground revealing a secret room with a staircase leading down. Just as the group started to proceed, one of the paladins revealed that it had began to rain blood. The din of approaching screechers could be heard, and the paladins and their captain, as well as Alexander, stayed behind to defend the temple whilst the heroes dealt with Sarkus.

They ventured into the temple basement and after a few trials, managed to dispel an illusion hiding a chamber. There, stood Sarkus. He silently turned to face the adventurers.

In a moment of lapsed judgment, Sidus furiously charged Sarkus, setting off a trap in the process. The cleric who had devoted his life to the service of Joy along with Sarkus, a fellow man of the cloth, had just become a sacrifice in the name of Lament.

Marie rushed over to what remained of her lover. Graybald also went to investigate. He noticed that Sarkus no longer was wearing the obsidian mask, but rather, Marie was. As Marie took to the altar, and her physical body faded, the group realized that they had been an unknowing aid to Lament the entire time. Graybald tried in vain to destroy the mask, but was repeatedly electrocuted.

The ritual was completed, and there stood the dark god Lament.

Kendra fled for her life, and Graybald offered his allegiance to Lament. Curious about the offer, Lament made his way over to Graybald. As he did, Graybald lashed out with his axe-hand and missed. A mistake that Graybald was not to make again, for he was electrocuted to death by Lament’s unforgiving hand.

Sjaud questioned the god’s motives, to which he received little answer. Lament issued a message to Sjaud to tell the world

“Take what you have seen here and go. Tell the world, that their devil has returned.”

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Confrontation Pt 1
Sarkus is in the Temple

Just before leaving, Graybald and the gang were approached by a familiar stranger. He introduced himself as Alexande, the former Master of Ceremonies. He informed them that he had resigned, in order to aid them in the search for the obsidian mask. He also informed the group of the exact mask’s purpose.

From what he has been told, Alexande believes the mask to not just be influenced by Lament’s magic, but may in fact be, Lament himself. He explained that during the final confrontation with Joy’s champion and He, Lament was not banished as most presumed, but rather killed. When he died, it is said that he smiled, which twisted this mask away from his usual grim visage.

They eventually came to a town in the Kingdom of Ages. North City is home to a rather sizeable Church of Joy, and is currently under Joy Paladin occupation due to monster attacks from a nearby ancient temple. In the town, Sjaud learned that the paladins took a young girl into custody. They identified this girl as the same that Sarkus took before fleeing Thorne City.

After a brief interrogation, they learned that Sarkus had abandoned her after acting strange. Apparently he had set her up to be captured by the paladins. Sarkus some how knew they were coming, and fled to the temple for some unknown reason. What is know however, is that the Monsters, and Sarkus are somehow connected.

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