THE HISTORY OF THE COUATL
GUARDIANS OF THE SILVER TREE
“The Birth of Ragnar and the Death of Sir Xavier”
Amren : Ophyrish ranger. Prophet of the Silver Tree.
Sir Xavier: Drychtnothian High Master Paladin. Died like a hero.
Alrek: Indorian Twilight Gathering warrior.
Daragru: The first of the Silver Robes and the first to die.
Toki: Indorian captain of the Dreamship. Psionicist.
Dovinyae: Druid, Marshall of the Druids in the War Against Grindill.
Ragnar Silverbeard : Temporarily played by the DM this game.
Tomodachi, Lord of Magic: Temporarily played by the DM this game.
Aethelric: Captain of the Legion of Three Hundred.
The Time : 8th Age, 6th Year, 8th of Artim (spring);
6th Age, 38th Year, 1st of Artim (spring).
8th Age, 6th Year, 9th through 13th of Artim (spring)
The Place: Indor; Drychtnoth (Warlord Prison Tower)
Notes on Indor: Indor is the land of the Vikings. Traditionally protected by the Legion of Three Hundred, Indor is the home of Grindill and Adilbrand Noblesword.
The Guardians awoke and found themselves trapped in a Drychtnothian prison cell. Their partner, Athnar the Hammerfoe, had betrayed them to Thosan. Something wasn’t right, but the nude Guardians wasn’t sure what the difference was. They knew they had never traveled to Indor, but they all had vague memories of having been there. Suddenly Alrek remembered the name Ragnar. No one else recognized the name except in a vague manner, but as they thought about it the memories became clearer. A loud, high pitched whirring and roaring sounded throughout the chamber and then space and time tore apart and a man popped into the room.
“I am Groll,” said the man. “I am the Lord of Time. I have agreed to help you, so that is why you are having vague memories of a time-line that no longer exists. Grindill has sent someone back into time and killed Ragnar, and later substituted Athnar to eventually betray you in this manner.” Groll cast a spell and their complete memories returned.
Dovinyae did not want to go into battle with some unknown person without his and the others’ gear, so he went into Ectoplasmic Form and went in search of their belongings. Since he had been in this tower before, he knew right where to go. He found all of their non-magical stuff, but their magic items were long gone. He returned with the mundane items.
Groll opened up the space/time continuum again and took them into the Time Stream.
“Are you going to join us?” asked Dovinyae.
“No. Unfortunately, that would attract the attention of my future self, Merandius, and that would cause problems. I will drop you off just before the birth of Ragnar. When you correct the time stream, it will alter to incorporate the new reality. You as you are now will cease to exist and you will find yourselves where you should be at in the time that you should be in. You will remember everything, of course.”
Groll followed the life line of Ragnar’s father until he reached the point of the disturbance by Grindill. He opened up the time stream and the Guardians walked into Indor of 30 years past.
They quickly found Ragnar’s home village and the home of Ragnar’s father, which was right next to a Rune-Pole. Ragnar’s father, Aedilnar, was a metalsmith and was hammering a sword when the Guardians approached him. They found out that his wife was pregnant still. Leaving Aedilnar, they discovered that a young woman has been staying at Aedilnar’s house, caring for his wife, who had taken ill in the final months of pregnancy. Talking to other townsfolk they also discovered they couldn’t identify themselves as Guardians, because the original Guardians were still alive and kicking. Indeed, Grimhelm and his companions had just recently become the Guardians, but their deeds were widely known even at this early stage.
That night, the Couatl peeped into Aedilnar’s windows and saw the young woman attempting to seduce Ragnar’s father. She was so beautiful and radiated so much sexuality that every member of the party (except Sir Xavier) was immediately aroused. Dovinyae cast a Dispel Magic on her and small horns briefly appeared on her forehead. She was a Succubus, a temptress demon.
The succubus put Aedilnar to sleep with a spell and rushed outside. She attempted to charm Toki, but the aroused Indorian withstood her evil sending. The party attacked the demoness, but their weapons passed right through her as they were all non-magical. Amren struck her with Melf’s Acid Arrow, so she departed.
The Guardians rushed into the home and kidnapped Aedilnar’s wife and took her into the woods. Amren cast Leomund’s Tiny Hut and Dovinyae placed a Wall of Stone in front of the door. Using his druidical knowledge, Dovinyae, assisted by Amren and Daragru, induced labor in the sick woman, healed her, and delivered the little baby boy. Dovinyae lifted the child up into the air and said, “Ragnar.” The mother smiled and noted the name.
The Couatl needed either blessed silver weapons or magical weapons, so they set about to find the means to gain either.
Alrek spoke to his amulet (it doesn’t radiate magic, so it was left with the mundane items Dovinyae found in the prison) and found that only five miles away, in a tomb system once filled with ghouls, was a treasure trove of magical weapons. The mother of Ragnar said that she had two silver goblets that the Couatl could use to coat their weapons with.
After making sure that the lady and the child were safe and sound, Dovinyae made himself, Amren, and Sir Xavier ectoplasmic and left the Tiny Hut to go to Ragnar’s home and get the silver cups. They found that the town was being stirred by the succubus and Aedilnar into a frenzy because “demons” or “trolls” had kidnapped his wife. They looked for tracks and found some leading into the woods.
Dovinyae again tried to Dispel Magic on the succubus, but it did not work and she ducked into the house. The party went into the house also and Amren cast Melf’s Acid Arrows again and drove her from the house where she Gated a Balor Demon in to help her. Dovinyae solidified, grabbed the cups, became ectoplasmic again, and ran back to the Tiny Hut before he ran out of psionic energy.
As the townsfolk neared their hiding place, the Couatl dispelled their Tiny Hut and Dovinyae hid everybody with a Massmorph spell. The townspeople could not find anything. Suddenly, screaming erupted from the town and a column of fire shot into the sky as the Balor Demon arrived. The posse of townspeople ran back to town. The Guardians dispelled their magic and also ran.
The brave Indorians attacked the Balor, but were easily handled by the monster. Dovinyae Called Lightning on the Balor, but that did not hurt the beast. Sir Xavier cast Holy Purification on the Demon and hurt it considerably. The Balor telekinesed Dovinyae and tried to bring the druid into the flames that surrounded the demon. Toki used his new psionic power of Invincible Foes on the Demon, stunning him. Alrek leapt from a roof onto the Balor, suffering a lot of damage from the flames, but succeeded in shoving a sword into the Balor’s brain, killing it.
As that was going on, Daragru separated the female townsfolk from the succubus with a Wall of Thorns. Amren hit her twice with Melf’s Acid Arrows. Sir Xavier launched another of his new Purification spells at the demoness and she fell to her knees and begged forgiveness. Dovinyae entangled her and Amren and Alrek slew her.
Reunited with his wife and seeing his first born child, Aedilnar swore to carve a new rune in the Rune-Pole, the Rune of the Couatl.
All of existence swirled around the Guardians and they found themselves still in Indor, but surrounded by black armored Knights in the night. Ragnar, now an adult, was sleeping nearby. Unable to help themselves, the Guardians one by one ruffled his hair as he slept.
The next day, the Legion of Three Hundred began to move again. They were now traveling north to the river in order to pass easily through the expansive Osgeld Mountains. In two more days they reached the river.
The Dreamship was placed in the Osgeld River and the Legion and its retinue boarded the large craft. It made for crowded quarters, but the magic of the craft held. Another day into the journey and Daragru found himself victim of an attack. He was killed quickly and replaced by a Wu Jen who specialized in illusion and deception. Two black armored knights, their visors lowered, approached Alrek and asked if he was a member of the Twilight Gathering. Alrek said that he was. The knights said they needed his advice. They took Alrek down below to the stables where they pointed out the mangled and destroyed body of Daragru the Silver Robed. Alrek grabbed the two knights by the throat and demanded that they explain themselves. They said that the man looked Drychtnothian and they did not know Drychtnothian burial practices and they did not want the dead man to rise because he was not buried properly and they wanted his advice. Alrek made the two men go above decks to Captain Toki’s quarters. Alrek never knew that the assassins were close enough that they could have reached out and touched him. Luckily for him, he and the two knights were not the target today. They wanted Amren or the druid Dovinyae. They planted the body of Daragru with the horses so that one of those two (or both) would come down.
In Captain Toki’s quarters, Alrek presented the dead body of Daragru. The Wu-Jen tried to leave, but Dovinyae stopped him and Dispelled Magic. The Wu Jen stood revealed. He was made to sit. Amren trapped the Wu-Jen in a Web. The two knights slipped out in the confusion as they tried to make the Wu-Jen talk. The Wu-Jen would not. Dovinyae just decided to go down and talk to the horses. Sir Xavier did not want Dovinyae to go alone, so the armored Paladin went with him. Amren used his clairvoyant powers to keep an eye on the pair.
In the stables in the lower decks, Dovinyae addressed the horses. They said that the assassins were dressed in black and were still there. From the ceiling one of the assassins, Funada Getsu, dropped on the druid. Two more assassins came out of the shadows and the attack began.
In the Captain’s Quarters, Amren recognized the three assassins who used to trail them in Drychtnoth. They had forgotten all about those Orientals. Immediately he, Alrek, Aethelric, Neb Rekhis, Toki, and several knights rushed to help the two besieged Guardians. Daragru was still dead, and Ragnar stayed behind to guard the Wu-Jen, but he had the Golden Hammers out, ready to help should it be needed.
Below decks, the assassins hammered into the pair. Somehow, their fists went through the metal armor of Sir Xavier as if it were nothing than a mild breeze. Sir Xavier had time for one good shot. He chopped the head off of the leader of the Assassins. Dovinyae had activated his Ectoplasmic Form. Two more assassins had come out of the shadows and went for their target, Dovinyae. Quickly, Dovinyae created a Wall of Stone and crushed one of the new assassins. The assassins tried to turn and destroy the magic-wielding druid. One of the assassins launched a psionic attack. Dovinyae was going to die under this kind of assault. He would not have the psionic energy to remain ectoplasmic and safe. A loyal paladin to the end, Sir Xavier intercepted and received the blows intended for his friend. Sir Xavier died defending Dovinyae.
Dovinyae took advantage of Sir Xavier’s defense to turn into a bird and fly out. Sir Xavier did not die in vain. The target of the assassination escaped.
Within minutes, the rest of the Guardians and Aethelric arrived in the stables of the ship. All they could find was the stone wall and, sticking straight up in the floor, Sir Xavier’s Holy Purifier. No bodies were found. Dovinyae rejoined the group, and tried to find where the assassins had gone, and where Sir Xavier’s body was. The horses indicated that they went through the outer wall into the river. Turning into a shark, Dovinyae searched the river, but found nothing. The Guardians returned to Capt. Toki’s quarters. Dovinyae was seething with frustration and anger. He slew the Wu Jen immediately for Sir Xavier.
Ragnar summoned the spirit of the Wu Jen and forced him to talk. He worked for the greater good of Yam ibn Saud and Yam ibn Saud had summoned the Guardians. He was only helping the Guardians to reach Yam ibn Saud. Getting little useful information out of the dead Wu Jen, Ragnar released the spirit.
The Guardians noted that the first two knights were gone. They searched for an hour and a half before they were found. They only said they worked for Kensushuki. Amren’s insight caused him to translate that as “Yam ibn Saud.” Dovinyae cast Cause Disease on them and told them they could either die quickly or die slowly. The knights pulled out their swords and fell on them. With their death, the illusion over them disappeared and they were revealed to be samurai.
Amren summoned Tomodachi, the Lord of Magic. Tomodachi was too busy to arrive in person, but knowing the need was great, projected his image unto them so they could communicate. They asked the Lord of Magic where the assassins went and where Sir Xavier’s body was. Tomodachi Traced the Magic Since Used and determined that the assassins and Sir Xavier’s body had made it to Alisander.
Neb Rekhis wanted to know how Iss’ul’s assassins made it in and out of Indor if Grindill was not in on it. Dovinyae countered that the assassins used psionics, and Grindill so far has not shown any defenses against mind powers. Tomodachi said that he was very busy and could not at this time help them but he did advise them against abandoning their plans to attack Catemar. Tomodachi also dispatched two Silver Dragons to help them, but he did not know if the dragons would be able to get into Indor or not. Tomodachi sensed that Grindill was becoming aware of the communication, so the Lord of Magic ended his participation.
The Guardians were divided. Some wanted to abandon the attack on Catemar and go after their friend’s body in Alisander. Others felt that such an action was just what Grindill would want. That course of action could also leave the Legion of Three Hundred in dire straights. In the end they decided to continue with the proposed assault on Catemar. They felt they needed to strike Grindill hard and fast before he gets better and better defenses in place. They loaned Sir Xavier’s holy sword to Sir Garthmund the Paladin, a member of the Legion of Three Hundred.
“Grindill will die. The Silver Tree predicts it,” said Amren the Prophet grimly and with great finality.
A silver speck of light appeared in the sky and a dragon plummeted to the surface of the river. It was a badly damaged Silver Dragon. The dragon said that his companion had to turn back and he barely made it here, but he was here to help. His wounds were healed and his help was accepted.
Ragnar carved the Resurrection Rune and revived Daragru. Daragru, embarrassed that he had been so easily defeated, went to his quarters that he shared with Dovinyae. He pulled out a chest and broke open the lock he swore he would never, ever open again. He opened the chest and pulled out what he had stored inside. Grindill was going to die if he had anything to say about it.
A storm blew in and Dovinyae merged himself, the Guardians, the dragon, and the Legion of Three Hundred with the storm and he moved the storm toward Catemar.
All characters were awarded 24,000 exp.
Current Events : Issu’l has taken an interest in the doings of the Guardians and has targeted them for immediate termination (and possible digestion. Iss’ul is rumored to be so evil that he is cannibal). He is preparing plans to bring them to his new citadel in Alisander. Having successfully destroyed Sir Xavier, he is now planning the next assassination.
Notes on Athnar: Athnar was the son of Aedilnar and the succubus. Half demon, he was able to hide his heritage from mankind, even the Guardians until the time to betray the Guardians showed itself.
Notes on Aedilnar: Ragnar’s father. The town Black smith. Honest and hardworking, but easily seduced by women. The strongest man in the area.
Notes on Groll: A former henchman of Grindill. The Lord of Time. Studied Chronomancy with Grindill during the Fourth Age. During the Eighth Age, he made a choice to become one of the Undead in order to save the lives of the world and became Merandius.
Notes on Succubi: Temptress demoness. Uses sex and magic to seduce and corrupt mortals.
Notes on the Assassins: Three of these five assassins were at one time assigned to follow the Couatl group by Imagawa Kokuji, a lieutenant of Iss’ul. The leader of these five assassins was Kidera Jirozu, a 14th level Monk/Ninja. He had a movement rating of 29, had 11 attacks every two rounds doing 3d10+2 points of damage per attack. With 63 hitpoints he was classified by Iss’ul as a master of autumn. His head was chopped off by Sir Xavier. The second ninja is Funada Getsu, a 13th level monk/ninja with 46 hit points. With five attacks per round, he can do 3d10+1 points of damage per attack. He is called a master of winter by Iss’ul. The third assassin, an eleventh level monk/assassin, is named Nagoya Toyoo. A master of the south wind is he, and he has 40 hit points. With nine attacks every two rounds, he can do 2d10+2 points of damage per attack. Often Nagoya is silent. He wears a ring of telepathy which allows him to report to Imagawa Kokuji on the movements of the couatl. The assassins were ordered to follow and report on this group... not to help or to hinder them in any way at this time. The other two assassins were tenth level assassin monks. Swatekudasai and Tatekudasai had 33 and 35 hitpoints respectively. They attacked with four attacks per round and did 2d10+1 damage per attack. Swatekudasai was flattened by Dovinyae’s Wall of Stone.
Notes on Iss’ul: Yam ibn Saud’s servant. A master assassin. Rumored to be a master monk, an excellent warrior, a ninja, a psionicist, and a wizard. Evidence of cannibalism (if he is human) exists. He is sinister and is rarely seen. Trains all of Yam ibn Saud’s assassins. Recent rumors tie him to Grindill. Iss'ul is an mysterious assassin. Everyone in the East knows his name and fears it, but no one knows who he is. Rumors persist that he is a demon or an angel. Some believe him to be a spirit of vengeance who possesses people close to those he chooses to slay and, thus, has no true mortal identity. Others say he is a Yuan Ti Lord or even a Yuan Ti god. Some rumors link him with the demi-god Yam ibn Saud. Other rumors link him with the demi-god Grindill. Yet other rumors make him out as a dragon. He has been heard in conversation with Yam ibn Saud's general Al-Madhiri on two occasions, but managed to escape the Azraelite camp unseen by any others. He is said to speak softly with a poisonous tone. He is only recently becoming known in the West.
Notes on the Unknown Wu Jen. : The wu jen worked for Admiral Onokuni, one of Yam ibn Saud’s generals in his attacks on Western Inzealadun. This wu-jen, Miharu Hamano, was 11th level and was famed for his excellent illusions. A master of warfare deception, Iss’ul thought he would be perfect for his Guardian-Trap.
Notes on the Silver Dragon : Endeem Valos (“Talon Master”) is an adult Silver Dragon sent by Tomodachi to help the Guardians. 150 years old, it is 100 feet long (70’ body, 30’ tail). He has a 70 foot wingspan and, like all Silver Dragons, has two breath weapons. It can breathe a cone of cold or a cloud of paralyzation gas. This dragon is not native to Inzeladun and has lived in the Tower all of its life. His lair, and his hoard, can be found in the Tower of Magic.