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The Coming of Ison, by Khandis

The Coming of Ison Mission Report – Fools Moon
Following the impact of the meteor believed to be part of the  tail of the Comet Ison,  the T’an, head of the grey school of magic, called for a group of adventures to journey to the impact site to investigate as the heart of the meteor was thought to be of purest Iron and so of interest to the Grey school.  
The party assembled was as follows:
Master Delta, of the Monastery, Party Leader.
Nathan, of the Path
Spark, of the Red School Of Magic
Sir Verrick of the Crusaders
Dryden, of the Path
Kurt, of the Crusaders
Kyle, of the Rangers
Alric, of the Rangers
Khandis, of the Grey School of Magic.
Sophia, of the Grey School of Magic. Appointed Guide.

Air Day
On our way to the way station we were stopped by a group of towerless bandits who claimed that they were working for “Dave “ and to pass the gate they were guarding we were required to pay them.  Their request was met with steel and we pushed on. We were assailed by Labyrinth drones who we had expected to be here as the Meteor was likely to be of huge interest to them.  Just before we arrived at the way station we were ambushed. The ambush consisted of a rat standing next to a tree as we nearly obliviously walked past until someone pointed out that there was something there. At this point a number of other rats and snakes came out of the darkness spitting poison and spreading disease.  
We arrived at the way station late in the night and prepared to make ourselves comfortable and try to find more exact coordinates for the location of the Meteor site.  Arknor Kagari N’Ri Suth Eymeric , assistant to the Ti'an arrived and told us more about the suspected properties of the meteor. It was a source of great steel magic and those of us able to cast Grey spells had found the magic to be flowing much more easily.
After Arknor left, while talking to Bob the cook we discovered that he had been terrorised by a group of Yakuza thugs who had stolen his ancient family heirloom (stick with nails in) and had said they would be back for their cut of his earnings. They did indeed return that evening and openly proceeded to threaten and intimidate Bob. We watched briefly until one of them struck Bob with his own stick at which point the Yakuza were quietly escorted out of the way station and taught just what happens when you upset the person who is feeding a group of 10 armed and armoured adventurers; it was not pretty.
 A party of Celestial Bureaucracy then arrived at the way station accompanied by what they called a war elemental. It turns out that they had been to the meteor site and had been able to use the power there to create this creature. We chatted with them for a while about what they had done and the nature of the creature before they headed off.
Just as we were all considering turning in for the night and making ready for tomorrow a second bunch of Yakuza thugs turned up. These were led by a large heavily tattooed man who seemed to be threatening us over what we had done to his enforcers. Things took a turn for the worse when he threw down a helmet and sword which were recognised as belonging to Toshiro and Sun Tsu, two respected valley members, Toshiro had left to become a shogun and Sun Tsu had been out adventuring alone for a while. The Yakuzu claimed to have them captive and said he would trade them for a vial of ancient vampire blood which he believed that the valley had access to. He gave us only 24 hours to obtain this and left. Pathfinders were immediately dispatched back to the towers to obtain the blood in the event that it would be needed. As if this was not enough for one evening we were visited by a pair of Shadowsfall who said very little but both had strange Z marks on the back of their left hands.
Once they left we spent a long time discussing what we would do if we were on the way to the Meteor site and found ourselves blocked by a group from X, Y or Z and how many moral dilemmas we could place Nathan under ( he would be in charge the next morning in the absence of Master Delta).
Water Day
We woke up, had breakfast and despite Bob assuring us that we would be attacked as soon as he started his morning cigarette he managed to finish the whole thing before a group of towerless approached wanting access to the waystation. We refused and they became violent. Badly equipped groups of towerless do not traditionally fair well against a Kern Valley group.
We headed off to investigate the Meteor site through another group of large Rats and Snakes. The presence of so many of these creatures seemed strange and a few ideas were floated as to why these creatures were around and so aggressive.
We then came across a Peasant and his wife who were suffering from a minor disease. After Verrick cured them they told us they were formally part of the towerless group ruled by Dave and had recently fled. Apparently Dave came across a ritual site and picked up a strange red sword, this proved to be a bad idea, he went crazy and cut off the face from Fred, one of his followers. Since then he has been excessively angry all the time and they had run away to avoid suffering a similar fate.
We finally met our first chance at a moral dilemma for Nathan but sadly the people blocking the way were LOX drones who unleashed artillery on us before we could try and talk so we cut our way through.
Then two of the Celestial Bureaucracy who said they had been chased off the Meteor site by Labyrinth drones. They were obviously correct as we found ourselves fighting through several more groups of Drones including some who were with a construct that looked very similar to the war elemental, this thing seemed not completely perfect as it stopped and did nothing at various points in the fight.
 At this point Master Delta returned and so Nathan survived as party leader without any difficult decisions. We got to the centre of the meteor impact site and found an entire building there. There was a brief amount of hesitation between the party and the drones guarding the building before some kind of huge powerful construct became active and then a fight started. The huge drone was incredibly powerful and we seemed to be able to do very little to hurt it. The basic drones were also very hard to harm, they seemed to be powering themselves from the strength of the meteor. Eventually an enchanter came out of the building and ordered his drones to stop attacking. He introduced himself as Enchanter Hefastos (spelling my own) and talked briefly about the meteor. He confirmed that the building had been erected that day by the drones (whatever else they might be the LOX are efficient) he said the node was powerful enough to potentially be a node of great steel magic. He could not tell us what it was made of as he himself had been unable to identify it. Hefastos said that he was intending to remain in the area until his experiments were complete, which he implied meant “for the next few years.”
We were told to wait in the area as another enchanter wanted to talk to us. We waited for a while, then a while more, then a little bit longer before being approached by a clearly defective drone who told us (and a large number of trees) to follow him. We were pointed towards another member of the labyrinth dressed in a similar manner to the enchanters. He identified himself as Phineas Mineo,(spelling again guessed at) and said he had something important to show us. What followed was somewhere between an illusion and a memory, at times we were able to see the scene as if we were physically there and at other times it was just a disembodied voice describing events. It concerns the origins of the Labyrinth of Xenos and so I have recorded it as fully as I can remember.
The first scene was of a sorcerer Euclideas asking to become an apprentice to Xenos.  Xenos performed some sort of mind reading, declared him worthy and apprenticed him.

There was a voice which told us of the death of Xenos's wife and the great effect this had on Xenos. Then followed another scene of  Xenos’s  son (Phineas, the person presenting the visions), trying to perform a ritual. Eucildeas was present and advised against it,  Phineas ignored him and was killed in some sort of backlash. The voice again told us of the effect this had on Xenos, this second loss drove Xenos mad and he worked for a time to try and rebuild his son. We saw a vision of his eventual success, managing to resurrect his son as some sort of drone like being. They were able to link thoughts as the Drones of the Labyrinth do now. Xenos's fear that people might harm his son drove him to create a labyrinth to hide his son away from the rest of the world. Over time the labyrinth grew and eventually Xenos disappeared within it. We then had a final scene where we saw Euclideas talking to the construct Phineus describing how he would dismantle the construct to gain knowledge of the mind link Xenos created. Then a final voice describing how Euclideas used that knowledge to construct the hive mind and apparently he is still alive and running the Labyrinth, Xenos's fate has never been confirmed but it is assumed he died, lost deep in his labyrinth .
Phineas told us he had been rebuild and recently been able to escape because of all the fuss around node and he was trying to see the world before being recapture. We offered to let him travel with us which he accepted and we set off. Before we had gone 200 paces something happened to cause him great distress. Something had gone wrong with the hive mind and he could no longer hear any voices. We returned to the building around the meteor to find the drones in a defensive mode attacking anything that came near and after Phineas ran we decided that the huge steel construct on a steel node was not a fight we were going to win and demonstrated the famous valley tactical withdraw manoeuvre.

On our way back to the waystation we encountered a group of tower less led by a man wearing someone else’s face. This was Dave with his magic evil sword. We put him down and either killed or scared off his goons before settling down for a good old commune with the blade. Kyle was feeling a little edgey and at one point made a grab for the sword. Eventually we decided it was relatively harmless unless you bound yourself to it so took it and left. We also a brief stop for the Khalid as is only polite before getting back for dinner.

Arknor turned up to chat and we filled him in, he told us members of the Melnobanayan clan Subanesen had prepared the blade for the ritual. Two wizards who also had z marks in their hands turned up and later Saladin arrived with the requested vial of vampire blood and confirmed that the safe return  two valley members was of more important than the vial so to trade it if we had to.

Following this we had a visit from another sorcerer called Zacarius. He said he was of the collegium elemental and we had a very pleasant discourse until he turned out to actually be a vampire!. While talking he had possessed Spark who handed over the vial of blood. Thankfully we were able to drive him off by Nathan releasing a huge number of cause mortal invocations and retain the blood.  


This was certainly not the last we saw of Zacharius as he returned later that night having taken the time to summon himself some elemental back up. We fought him and he left when we straight out lied and told him we no longer had the blood and had given it to the Yakuza. Reasoning that if we lost the blood to the Yakuza we could set two of our enemies against each other and that of we did not we would send the blood back to the tower.

The Yakuza boss (Asumi Sensai, I believe)turned up right on queue with our missing valley members.  They both said they had given him their word the swap would be honourable so turned down the kill him and run option. Once the trade was conducted honourable, we had our members back and he had the blood we very dishonourably tried to relieve him of the blood and his life. He summoned a pair of fearsome Oni which seem to be some kind of Hepath like being and we kicked off. Once the creatures were vanquished we beat him for a while but were unable to stop him teleporting away with the blood.
We talked with Toshiro and Sun Tzu and gathered that Asumi powered himself with his tattoos, the idea was raised that he wanted the blood to mix with ink and thus gain the vampires power.


Earth Day – Fire Day
Note: up till this point my mission report was written soon after the event. I am returning to it after some time and my original field notes have been lost in the move from the Forge to Wolfhold, the remaining report is therefore scarcer with details, which may not be a bad thing for readability but I must apologise if I miss things that were of importance.

We discovered, partially though scrolls and partially though information given to us by an angel, that the Melnobs had been performing a powerfull ritual at the moment when the comet struck and that this had disturbed the ritual and unleashed a powerfull hepath. We discovered that it could only be bound by discovering its true name and forcing it into a prison. We found details of a ritual of knowledge that would summon a separate Hepath of knowledge who would answer any 5 question. We decided to collect the components for this ritual and to use it to discover the true name of the Hepath who had escaped. The components were scattered among a group of towerless, a strange potion maker who was adamant that he was not a member of the Wizards Concillium, a Dymwan with retinue and a group of Yakuza.

We were also approached by a group of Halmadonians from the order of Chastity. The daughter of the leader of their order, a powerfull symbol of chastity and virtue had been kidnapped by the Melnobanayans and they deseried our aid in returning her. In exchange they told us of a ritual that would be performed involving the escaped hepath and offered their aid assaulting it.

We re encountered Phineas who told us that something was assulting the hive mind internally. We attemted to assist by having our concisness projected into the hive mind and investigating. It was one of the strangest experiences of my adventuring career. We discovered the attack was some sort of psyonic  asssult by members of the newly formed house of the weaver with the aim of gaining control of the meteor site without needing force of arms. We were unable to stop them but were able to talk them into allowing us access and opening contact between our towers.

We fought a very tough group of Khalid lead by Beastmaster Galn, who we discovered was another Vampire who we were able to disperse him into a cloud of mist and send to his lair to reform.

We performed the ritual to summon the Hepath and ask 5 questions of it. The ritual was a success and we obtained the true name of the Hepath we were hunting and the location of the lair of BeastMaster Galn. Sadly the location of the lair of Zacharius proved impossible for even the Hepath  to find and he flat refused to give us the names of the chalices pentacle.

Steel Day
We journeyed towards the Oasis of Souls as the angel had told us there was a person their who would be able to aid us. We encountered large group of undead and proved to be heavily unprepared with nowhere near enough blunt weapons. Just as we were prevailing we were joined by a purple clad figure. Who turned out to be Sirith of the Sacred Sword, Master Seeker and High Priest of Humact. He told us of the state of affairs in and around the oasis. Cardinaris had faired well in the initial engagements of the crusade and the outcome looked decidedly one sided. There was also a necromancer in the area called Skoros who has an orb that fits the description of the vessel we would need to trap the Hepath. We fought through to Skoros and destroyed him in a very tough fight. It is worth noting that there were creatures that we took to be sand elementals working with the Dymwan.

We returned and after determining the correct way to trap the Hepath we prepared for the ritual. We assaulted the ritual site and discovered Zacharius present. In the following fight we were able to trap the Hepath and destroy his minions. Sadly we were unable to prevent Zacharius fleeing with the Halmadonian girl who had been corrupted by the effects of the ritual.

Other important notes:
It may already be on record but we were given a copy of the following prophecy:
Five who stand in a circle of darkness
And utter paeans
In a once forgotten and now forbidden language
Will come
The worst of which is the deceiver
Then the land and its inhabitants will live in interesting times.

The Pentacle as an organisation are composed of five chalices each with minions. We believe they are spread among a number of towers and are all powerful individuals.

Khandis Greykoil
Sorcerer of the Grey School
12 Sorcerer of House Dranath
 

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