THE HISTORY OF THE COUATL
Dovinyae : Druid from the Unknown Lands with wild psionic talents.
Was able to get in, but didn’t have a plan to get out.
Ragnar : Runcaster from Indor, seeking for more runes. Likes to fight
with giants with his two-handed sword.
Xavier : Drychtnothian Paladin who was granted a short audience with
the Silver Tree. Knows the value of a strong strategic advance
to the rear.
Amren : Ophyrish ranger. Protector of the innocent; defender of
the weak; and all-around good guy.
The Time : 8th Age, 5th Year, 18th through 20th days of Odan (early autumn)
The Places: Drychtnoth (Kargan Mountains)
Notes on the Kargan Mountains: While certainly not the largest mountain chain in Inzeladun, the Kargan mountains are nonetheless impressive. The range is 120 miles wide at the widest point, and home to several clans of Stone Giants, Mountain Giants, Cloud Giants, and Elves. The stronghold of Neria the Blade-Singer, a High Elf, is high in these rocky mounts. While technically within the borders of the Drychtnothian Empire, the mountain range is actually not under any real Drychtnothian control. The Xorkechokat River is the largest river that passes through the mountains and is wide enough to allow the passage of large warships and cargo ships. There is an abandoned Dwarven cave settlement somewhere in the mountain range which is rumored to hold great treasure, but it has yet to be found.
Dovinyae and the others, their passes in hand, entered into the Kargan Mountain Pass. Dovinyae received a vision from the Couatl and was told to seek out Zochim the giant who is going to create such a massive earthquake in three days that will wipe out all the settlements along the Kargon Mountains and awaken Kuthelex the Dragon, who would ravage the land. The Couatl indicated that one of Xavier’s gemstones could be found in Zochim’s crown.
As they began to go into the pass they were met with a handful of riders who claimed that the Timbgil mountain giants had blocked the pass. Dovinyae, Amren, Xavier, and Ragnar went into the pass. A day later they reached the blockage. Amren travelled first up the side of the ravine and found giant tracks (and the words “Heim was here” carved into a rock). Amren tracked the giants through the mountains, reaching a passage through another ravine, with a giant castle on the other end, three miles distant. It was evening. They decided to ride through the ravine. As they rode, the giants began to shout. Two giants on one side shouted to the pair on the other as to whether they should throw their boulders yet. Upon hearing the giants, the group ran for cover. Boulders began to rain down upon them. Xavier quickly dismounted and ran up the side of the ravine, intending to attack the giants. Amren began to pelt the giants with arrows. Xavier knocked down one giant, but the other swatted him hard. He began to make a strategic advance to the rear when he noticed Ragnar running up with his two-handed sword. They soon killed the pair of giants, but Xavier the pure was seriously hurt. Dovinyae cast Call Lightning and a bolt of lightning streaked down from the heavens and critically damaged the leg of one of the other giants. He used his psionics to stun the other. Dovinyae talked the stunned giant into practically killing himself by dropping rocks on his own head and Amren slit the throat of the other. Dovinyae healed Xavier and they decided to advance upon the castle via the ridge instead of the ravine passage.
While they healed and recuperated from the lengthy battle, Xavier the Pure prayed to the Silver Tree and was granted a short interview. Xavier spoke to the Avatar of the Silver Tree and was given a map of the castle, healed of his wounds, and given the temporary power to do more than the normal amount of damage to the giants. He was warned to make sure Zochim was completely destroyed, and if he was, Xavier would be allowed to be called Sir Xavier.
Dovinyae and Amren decided to scout out the castle. They presumed that the giant must be using some sort of scroll or book to cast the Cataclysmic Earthquake spell, perhaps was using Elementals or something to cast the spell. If they stole the book or scroll, that would give them more time to deal with the giant. Dovinyae cast a Stone Shape spell and carved handholds in the gigantic castle. They saw lights from a sixth story window (which was, to the little humans, 192 feet up). They climbed up with only one minor mishap. Amren fell one story (35 feet) at the end. Peeking through a warded window they saw Zochim at work casting a spell. He summoned a gargantuan earth elemental, then bound it in a bottle. He captured five in this manner as they watched. He was casting the spells from a small book. The book would have been fair-sized to a human, but it was quite small to the twenty five foot tall giant. Zochim took the book and the bottles, summoned human slaves to clean up the castle, and said the command word to teleport away. Using ectoplasimic form, Dovinyae took Amren and himself into the castle. Amren was made solid and he chose to explore the upper chambers. The druid wanted to follow the giant to find out where he kept the book. Dovinyae repeated Zochim’s command word and followed him to the magic-holding chamber where he witnessed the giant putting away the bottles. There were over 200 such bottles in the room. Zochim said another magic word and teleported away. Dovinyae followed him.
Zochim had arrived in a library and put the book on the top shelf, then passed through a secret door out of the room. Dovinyae cancelled his psionic power and had to climb up the shelf to reach the book, falling once (the top shelf was thirty feet up). Once the book was in hand, he had to sit and wait, trying to gain enough PSPs to reuse his power. He had gotten in the castle, but he had no plan on how to get out.
Amren found the master bedroom and a ladder to the magical storeroom. In there he found Krey, the Sword of Terror. He found a magical suit of fieldplate armor and an ale horn with a rune stuffed full of paper. The paper was a scroll of Protection from Acid. He decided to rest here for the night. He also had no escape plans.
Ragnar and Xavier had to defend themselves the next morning from the wives of two of the dead mountain giants. They managed to kill them, but took some serious blows in doing so.
When Zochim woke he called out to the four guards, but Amren, up in Zochim’s attic, used his potion of ventriloquism to fool the cloud giant.
Dovinyae went back to the magical storage prison and captured 15 of the bottles, then made his way back up to the sixth floor and rejoined Amren. In broad daylight they climbed down the castle walls, but because the castle was undermanned, was able to do it without being seen. They watched as Zochim came out onto a balcony and prepared to open two of the bottles. Dovinyae hit him with a Call Lightning spell, but Zochim opened the bottles nonetheless. Two elementals went out after Xavier and Ragnar. Dovinyae opened two of his elementals and they intercepted Zochim’s elementals. They fought each other until one of Dovinyae’s was left, badly injured. Dovinyae sent the elemental into the castle, where, after it killed the two owlbears guarding the entrance, it was dispatched by Zochim.
Dovinyae and Amren made it back to the others. Ragnar recognized the Ale-Rune carved on the ale horn and learned to make it. Dovinyae found a missive in the cover of the book that came from the warlord Daragru. It said that the warlord had traded the spell book for the Ape Statuette of Vendelamon. It also indicated that Daragru now had three of the five statuettes. Daragru also expressed interest in trading for Krey, the sword of Terror.
Zochim, wondering who was attacking him, carved the Change Rune and turned into an owl and flew out to spy on his attackers. He had yet to notice the theft of his book. He found the six dead giants and then he found the attackers. He listened for a while then opted to attack. He flew straight at Xavier, dodging arrows, and, at the last second, turned back into his giant form, crushing the paladin. Amren drew Krey and the giant became terror-stricken and ran away. Finally his courage returned and he turned to face his opponents. Dovinyae opened several bottles and the elementals rushed forth and pummelled their captor into pulp. Xavier recovered and took the stone with the sword blemish in it from Zochim’s crown. At Zochim’s death, the other bottles all cracked open and the druid sent them into the castle, and the Couatl group followed them in, liberated the slaves, and slew the remaining giants (the cloud giant butler, two mountain giant wives, and four mountain giant children).
They looted the castle and Ragnar learned the Change Rune and the Guardian Rune. They took 2,827 gold pieces, an aquamarine (worth 800 gp), a chrysoprase w/blemish (25gp value), a jade piece worth 100 gp, a Jet worth 100 gp, a Moss Agate worth 10 gp, an Onyx stone worth 50 gp, a Peridot worth 10 gp, a rock crystal worth 50 gp, and a Spinale worth 100 gp. They also gained the magic field plate, the sword Krey, a protection from acid scroll, and the spellbook.
Each Player was awarded 7000 exp. for succeeding in the adventure.
Xavier gained a 1000 exp. bonus for not taking the field plate armor.
Amren received a 4000 exp. bonus for Krey and the magic field plate armor.
Current Events : Alisander is still under siege.
Raloth and Gesh found the physical remains of Acererak and destroyed them. They found Lady Kia, trapped, and they journeyed back through the Tomb of Horrors back to the Face of the Devourer.
Sothard, master of the newly re-formed Grey Robes, gathered Garnoth the Ranger Lord and Kaylowa and took them to the dark city and they entered the Tomb of Horrors. Joined with Raloth, Gesh, and Lady Kia, they passed into the City That Waits in search of Acererak’s true tomb. (Autumn, Odan 18)
The Twilight Gathering, led by Aelfled the Golden (in the absence of Samadhi the Archmage), hunted down and destroyed the Red Ghost (Autumn, Odan 20)
Notes on the Magic Sword: This Drychtnothian warsword was created in 1402 V. It is a +1 weapon and is named Krey. It was forged in Drychtnoth and is a Sword of Terror. It was forged of a unique magical essence: Pure horror distilled from an emotional state into a physical state. The wielder is enveloped in a terrifying aura. His clothes and appearance are transformed into an illusion of the darkest horror, such that all in 30 feet of him must save vs rods or be struck motionless with terror. Those who succeed must suffer a -1 penalty to their morale and must make immediate moral checks. However, each time this weapon is used, there is a 20% chance the wielder will permanently lose 1 point from his charisma as he slowly becomes a horrifying creature of the night. The weapon has no alignment and does not, of its own powers, cause any sort of real alignment change.
Notes on the Magic Fieldplate Armor: Field plate is a more commonly used form of plate armor. It consists of shaped and fitted metal plates riveted and interlocked to cover the entire body. This set includes gauntlets, boots, and a visored helmet. Thick padding must be worn underneath. This is a set of +1 armor of blending. When the phrase “clothing, I now say” is said the armor takes the appearence of normal clothing for the area the character is in. The armor retains all other properties in the clothing form, including weight. Only a gem of true seeing, or something similar, can pierce the illusion.
Notes on the Spellbook: Written during the Third Age by the Elementalist Byralo, this tome details the use of the Elemental powers of Earth. The book is 12” x 6” x 2”. The cover is made of Red Dragon hide inlaid with meteorite steel. The hand sewn leaves of vellum are fully secured to a fine, supple leather backing and glued to the spine. They are secured additionally by fine fine leather front and back pieces. It is magically protected against time, acid, fire, disintigration, and lightning attacks. A small lock can secure the tome. This book considers magical power as nothing more than the triumph of the mind over the rude boundries of dimension and distance. Each spell herein represents a hidden truth in the structure of the Earth Element, a secret not meant for mortals to know, and will blast a weak man into oblivion. This particular Tome of Byralo contains the secrets of Summoning Massive Elementals, Binding Elementals, and Summon Cataclysmic Earthquake. Learning any of these spells creates a 60% chance for insanity for the student. Reading the book from cover to cover teaches the student how to cast any elemental earth spell in such a way that it always does maximum damage, but this reading creates a 70% chance for insanity.
Notes on Mountain Giants: Mountain giants are foragers and hunters. Their favorite food is mountain sheep. They also eat nuts, tubers, and other edible mountain plants. Mountain giants always attack in a straight-forward manner, not by ambush or deceit. They love to get into a high, unassailable spot with lots of boulders. A mountain giant can summon and control other monsters, usually ogres, trolls or hill giants. This clan of mountain giants works with Zochim the Cloud Giant and are known as the Timbgil clan. There are 12 giants in this clan, of which four are full grown males. The males are named Heim Timbgil, Forim Timbgil, Hum Timbgil, and Com Timbgil. They are paid monthly in sheep by Zochim for their services.
Notes on Zochim the Cloud Giant: Cloud giants prefer food that is carefully prepared with spices and sauces, and they relish fine, aged wines. They consider themselves above all other giants, are creative, appreciate fine things, and are master strategists in battle. They average 24 feet in height. Zochim is 24’5” tall. He is a fourth level mage. He has made a bargain with a Drychtnothian warlord, Daragru, to become more powerful. Zochim wants to rule the Kargon Mountain Range as its recognized king. Daragru, anxious to trade for a magic item, the Ape Statuette of Vendulamon, gave him the magic needed to cast an earthquake spell to demolish the human settlements (as well as Neria’s castle). Zochim is also a minor runecaster and uses the Change-Rune a lot to maintain his power over other mountain races. He can also form the Ale-Rune. He fears Neria the Elf and would love to see her castle crumble down into the river below her mountain.
Notes on Owlbears: Owlbears are warm-blooded, egg-laying mammals that prey on anything. They often hunt trolls. They are the crossbred creation of a demented wizard and are not a natural creation, although they have the ability to breed. They are a cross between a giant owl and a bear and weigh around 1500 lbs. They are active from noon to midnight. A pair of these monstrosities were set to guard the entrance to Zochim’s castle.
Notes on Drychtnoth: Drychtnoth is a warlike empire of warriors and militant wizards. The empire is composed of Drychtnoth, Corinthia, Ekbatah, Dagam, Ionia, Massagetah, and many smaller nations.
The national pastime for Drychtnothians are gladatorial fights. The wealthy and affluent watch large festive affairs in colliseums, while the poorer watch combat in pits, known as pit fighting.
As a rule, Druchtnothians love to fight. They also hate Elves, Nyandarians, non-Warlord wizards, and psionicists. Drychtnothians worship Olanigan, the god of war, as their patron. Paladins and knights are given high honor and praise, above the priesthoods and the warlords.
The warlords were originally a branch of the Red Robed order, the militant branch, but early in the Seventh Age these militant Red Robes destroyed the other branches and became the sole magical power in Drychtnoth. The militant mages also discovered defiling and escaped the clutches of the Tower and Grindill.
Psionic use is outlawed in most areas of Drychtnoth, the exception being the areas surrounding the Talp Kolj (Dream Lake), where psionic power is cultivated for use in combat as an experiment of King Ulthox and his warlord, Lady Mynylia.
Currently there is no Emperor of Drychtnoth and the several Kingdoms of the Empire are warring for the position. The capital of Drychtnoth, Sprakxorclerat, was recently destroyed by Thigru Thorkisen, a wizard in the employ of Yam ibn Saud. Thigru Thorkisen died in the aftermath, but the city was utterly obliterated. The Council of Warlords, who was ruling Drychtnoth by the order of former Empreror Grimhelm, is presumed dead as well. There is a legend that a mighty hero, born of Bexus’ family, and the son of Olanigan himself, would come one day and take his place as Emperor of Drychtnoth. (Bexus was the Emperor from 1 VI to 36 VI and was very popular. He was also known as Bexus the Blue).
Notes on Giant’s Castle: Situated on the peak of Tel Kir in the Kargon Mountain Range, Kir Castle is the ancestral home of a long line of Cloud Giants. Kir Castle used to be a bustling place of giant activity, but is now mostly unused as Zochim is the last of his clan. He and his servant, Jasoml, are the only two cloud giants currently residing in the castle. Jasoml runs an efficient staff of twenty human slaves, which he purchases in Drychtnoth. Castle Kir is about 300 years old at the time of this adventure. It is haunted by at least five ghosts.
Notes on Daragru the Warlord: Serves King Ghokin the Myrmidon. Daragru is an Oineromancer. He is a 13th level defiler. Oineromancy is the magical art of dream magic.
Notes on Kuthelex Vralmenex: An incredibly powerful red dragon that lairs in the Kargon Mountains. It is said to be more powerful than the very ancient Rargad the Great, but this is probably just legend. Nonetheless, no dragon slayer could end the tyranny of the dragon on the Isle of Golgaryllgar in the Sea of Storms. Kuthelex grew to such power that he was able to fly through the Sea of Storms unscathed. He reached Drychtnoth in 940 V. A Drychtnothian paladin, unable to kill the dragon, managed to entomb him within his lair in 952 V with a curse. Kuthelex must sleep until his lair is opened. The paladin marked the entrance to the tomb with a warning, pleading that the plug never be removed, the door never to be opened. Kuthelex is most definitely a great wyrm, though no one knows for certain just when he was born. He is a noted dragon-spellcaster and his treasure, according to the paladin, was considerable with many powerful magic items and spell books long lost to Inzeladun. It was this paladin’s contention that Kuthelex is a pre-Cataclysm dragon, dating from a period in Inzeladun’s history when magic was more prominent and many of the magic items in his lair seemed to date from that high-magic period.