Paranor KYD: 9 Immortals

The Ascetic, Part 1
The God of Death sent out angels to assemble a group of paragons in order to try and save the world:

Falchion, the devout servant. Adept at ending lives her god deems waning.
Breeze, the orphaned child. Trained to find paths in darkness.
Tristan “Shivers” Wormwood, the tempered steel. One who will not stand aside and watch as the world dies.
Arn Stonebrow, the conpassionate healer. Trying to save Paranor for his daughter.
Ro-Kang and Ku-vaak Dawncaller, the massacre survivors. Brothers with much pain and drive.

Each hero received a vision from Olghast, and they assembled in the town of Three Walls to find the Auger, Malachai, who was less than thrilled at their presence. Malachai divined their purpose (and his continued assistance of them), and gave them a map to their first target: Jophur, the Filth-Gorger, who lives atop the High-Mountain Temple, also called the Caves of the Empty Bowl.
Shivers was well-aquinted with the High-Mountain Temple, as he had spent much time in the Chambers of Suffocation, there. He led the party quickly and efficiently into the monastary.
The trials of the Caves of the Empty Bowl presented themselves to the adventurers:
  • The Trial of the Rat: Where they worked together to move the unseen mechanism in a giant locking wheel.
  • The Trial of the Ox(Scorpion): Where endurance was briefly rewarded, but impatience and strength won the test.
  • The Trial of the Tiger(Scorpion): Where stealth and dexterity were useful, but brute force seemed to work as well.

    After these three trials, the group came upon a small group of devotees around a table laden with untouched food. The heroes battles the monks, eventually killing all four of them and their master (Falchion-3, Ro-Kang-1, for strikers keeping score at home). They took a brief rest in the cave before moving higher into the honeycombed mountain.
The Ascetic, Part 2

At the start of the session, the party was somewhere within the Caves of the Empty Bowl, having just completed a short rest after defeating a group of Hunger devotees.

Ku-vaak Dawncaller had just caught up with the group, having previously been delayed, to find his brother, Ro-Kang, and the druid, Breeze had gotten seperated from the party. Ku-vaak and the rest of the heroes continued through the mountain, encountering several more trials:

*The Trial of the Rabbit: A long, dart-trapped hallway, where speed was a virtue.
*The Trial of the Crane: A room where the floor cut away into nothingness, requiring flight.
*The Trial of the Snake(Scorpion): A game of caustic gas and vials of “antidote,” which turned out to be poison.

After those trials, the adventurers came to the Chamber of Thirst, where they battled two Novices, two Acolytes, and the Master. After five rounds where the party focused on his students and did not engage the Master, he cast a dangerous (but ineffectual) spell and fled the room, leaving his students to their death, but promising that the heroes would see him again.

The adventuruers then continued upward, facing more trials:
*The Trial of the Kirin: Where a young kirin asked the party to play a simple game. Letting the child win pleased her, so she let the group advance.

At this point, the group found a safe place to sleep and took an extended rest. When they left their sanctuary, Scorpion sealed the door behind them.
They advanced to the next trial, The Trial of the Goat, where tiny pillars were spaced evenly throughout an otherwise empty cavern. The party watched the image of Goat leap nimbly from pillar to pillar, crossing the room. Unsure that they could follow, the adventurures decided to to backtrack to the other fork, going to the alternate trial:

*The Trial of the Goat(Scorpion): Here there was an equally perilous set of jumping platforms, ascending a cliff, but the party was able to swim under the cliff to a hidden tunnel instead of leaping like goats.

The party came to the archway indicating the trial of the Lion, who symbolizes martial valor, and are about to step through.

The Ascetic, Part 3

As they were standing just outside the Trial of the Lion, the cloud of butterflies known as Breeze rejoined the party. She arrived alone, and said nothing when questioned about the location of the missing goliath, so Ku-vaak turned back to search for his brother.

Goliathless, the four adventurers (Breeze, Arn, Shivers, and Falchion) went through the archway into the Lion’s Den.

*The Trial of the Lion: A large brass lion roared, summoning lesser cats made of stone or fire. The party had to defeat each foe in valorous combat. At the end of the trial, only Breeze was conscious, and she felled the giant cat on her own.
*The Trial of the Monkey (Scorpion): Only Shivers spotted the tiny scorpion sitting opposite Monkey at his game board. Monkey told the party that they must win the game in one move, but the chessboard was one move from checkmate. Shivers sat down opposite Monkey and spun the board around, so that Monkey was in the loser’s seat, which made the spirit laugh and show the way onward.

Next, the party came to the Chamber of Suffocation, where noxious mushrooms filled the air with spores, making breathing difficult and breath-holding impossible. Clouds of swirling gas floated through the room, creating hazards for the party to avoid. The Master of Suffocation became invisible several times, infuriating the avenger, who only survived the fight due to the selfless acts of Arn and Shivers. In the end, all of the Suffocation devotees were slain, and the party regrouped to make the final ascention.
Shivers informed his fellows that all of the Chambers were complete, though there were a few more Trials between the party and Jophur.

Exhausted, drained, and with the hope (but no promise) of rest before reaching the summit, the party marches ever-upward, leaving bloody footprints through the Caves of the Empty Bowl.

The Ascetic, Part 4

The tired adventurers continued through the seemingly endless mountain passes, coming to a fork deccorated with a bird on one side and a dog on the other. They chose the bird.

*The Trial of the Phoenix: A fledgling phoenix sat in the middle of the room. It did not seem to understand the words of the party until Arn greeted it in Dwarven. The phoenix asked Arn how it could help him, and Arn explained that the party needed to pass the trial. The phoenix’s eyes turned red as it shouted, “Then burn!” and filled the room with fire. The party ran blindly across the room, finding a door and throwing themselves through it to escape the flames. They found themselves in a hallway that took them back to the Trial of the Lion. They made their way through previously vanquished trials with no interference, and took the alternate fork.

*The Trial of the Dog (Scorpion): An image of a dog informed the party that one of them would become his. As Shivers stepped forward to attack the dog, he was frozen by bonds of force and began taking damage. Falchion crossed the room to attack the dog, which was unharmed by her blade. Shivers took less damage with one of his friends further from him, and so the party reluctantly abandoned him and crossed the room to the door. Once he was alone, Shivers was freed, and the party moved on.

*The Trial of the Pig: A pig statue in the room told the party they must compensate it for passage. After some negotiation, the party gave the pig all of their coins and the creature opened the door.

As the adventurers trekked up the last stretch of tunnel, sunlight visible at the end of the shaft, a pair of equine figures blacked the archway. An adult kirin and an inky nightmare greeted the party. They were the parents of the kirin child locked within the mountain, and they were grateful for the kindness shown to the child by Arn. They oftered what assistance they could: The nightmare granted the party members each the benefits of an extended rest by delivering them their worst nightmares. Only minutes later, each adventurer was refreshed, but shaken. The equine pair entreated the party to do what they could to free the spirit of the mountain from the aesetic, and the party promised to try.

Out in the sunlight, the party found themselves on a ledge below the rocky summit of the mountain. They climbed up to the icy peak and found The Aesetic, alone, unafraid. Staked to the highest spire of the mountain was the writhing corpse of Sword, trying in vain to free itself and join the army of its god.
Enraged, Falchion charged the monk leader across the ice-covered summit, Shivers and Ro-Kang close behind her. Arn began to scale the tower of stone to give what aid he could to Sword’s remains.
While Arn worked to free the champion of death, the rest of the party focused on Jophur, who leaped about, slowing the party, making it difficult for them to catch him. After a time, he called up man-sized hands of stone from the surface of the mountain to aid him, grabbing the adventurers and keepign them from him.
Arn arrived at the spire’s peak and wrenched the post from the chest of Sword, freeing the dead soldier. It stripped its gear from its bones—useless to it in unlife—and asked Arn how it could serve: Should it fight with them, free them from bonds, or heal them? Arn chose freedom, and all the adventurers suddenly were freed from and temporarily immune to Jophur’s movement impairments. The corpse of Sword then left the mountain top to join the army of his god. Arn leapt from the tower to join his friends.
Jophur, enraged, lashed out against the mountain, causing a huge section of it to break free and collapse. Luckily, none of the adventurers were caught on the falling rocks. Jophur made the mountain-thing protect him, becoming invulnerable until the party destroyed each of the huge stone hands protruding from the mountain.
Eventually, they party brought Jophur down, and Shivers caught his last words on one of the black scrolls: “You cannot find the Never-Was-Prince. No Fate – No Destiny – No gods – Only Free Will.”
Jophur, the Filth-Gorger, once-leader of the Cult of Indulgance, slumped to the ground.
Freed, the spirit of the mountain rumbled its gratitude to the party. The kirin mother and her nightmare mate reappeared, also grateful, and ferried the party down from the mountain peak after Falchion gathered the belongings of her fallen hero.
Sword’s belongings were distributed among the party, each member receiving something powerful and useful.

Back at Three Walls, Malachai gave the party the leads he had on which immortal the party would pursue next. The group chose The Berzerker, and Malachai began to gather information on him.

The Berzerker, Part 1

In Three Walls, the party tried to learn more about The Ascetic‘s strange last words. Falchion spoke to Kurt, the left handed about it while Breeze and Arn went out into the forest to talk to Barghest, a druid in the area.
Both were told about Jophur’s connection to the Kolat: Cults dedicated to the acts of men, believing the gods were incapable of saving them. They both also learned that the Never-Was-Prince (also called King Nothing and Might-Have-Been Lord) was a legend, but that a Dreamer might be more helpful. Barghest told Breeze and Arn that there was a Dreamer in Three Walls, all over the place, whose name began with a B.
Grouped back up in town, the party set out to look for the Dreamer. Falchion noticed that there were guards at the walls of Three Walls, something that seemed strange, since the walls themselves supposedly protected the town. Looking closer, she noticed that every guard as the same height and build, wore identical armor, and each had the same unusual scar visible on his face beneath his helmet. The party spoke with the guard/s, Baku, and learned that the Never-Was Prince seems able to erase being from memory.
Baku then directed the party to speak with Malachai, who gave them the information he had (including, to his personal disgust, that the party would be recalled in songs and stories for generations to come).

Malachai provided horses for the party, and they set out to the south west. As the woods became colder and denser, the party had to lead their mounts, and eventually came to a strange clearing with a stone circle. Upon entering the clearing, the party was attacked by a group of spriggans who accused the party of being “Friends of Winter” and demanded they produce the “Knight of Winter.” The adventurers dispatched the faeries without too much difficulty, sending them each back to the feywild , then destroying the crossing created by the stone circle. They rested briefly, pondering their pressumed connection to the Faerie Court of Winter, and decided it must be linked to Ro-Kang’s possession of the Winterblade (one of the fabled Finger-Bone Blades of Olghast). They continued on toward the lands of the Machine and the Unquiet Tomb of Hida Amoro.
Thousands of animate clockwork guarded and maintained the outside of the prison, cutting huge blocks of stone, mortoring cracks, and keeping watch. The party snuck throug the simple archway into the underground labrynth.

The first machines they encountered inside were heralds, set to guard but not to fight. They informed the party that “The Devil must be contained,” and that they would alert all of the guards if we tried to advance. Falchion became invisible and slipped betwen the pair, rising behidn them to attack the sparking golden wires that protrude from the back of every machine.
The robots became terrified, shocked that a sentient creature could attack the LifeWire and shorten it so coldly. Shivers then attacked the other herald, and they both put their backs agaist the wall, clearing the archway, and pleaded that the party spare them such cruelty. Shivers informed the robots that if they alerted the guards, we would come back for them and destroy their LifeWires slowly, inch by inch. The robots lamented the terrible choice: being tortured or allowing the party to free The Devil. The party moved on.

Further inside the prison, the party saw lights at the end of a long passage. Falchion snuck ahead to peak, but was detected and almost simgle-handed killed by the waiting sentry. The party rushed up to engage the machine guards: three worker/soldier hybrids, an Electron Knight, and a gun-armed Electron Mage. The fight seemed fairly balanced, until Falchion bested the Mage, causing all he hybrid guards to focus all their attention on her. They surrounded her and beat her into the floor, trying to reduce her to a bloody smear, but Arn and Shivers saved her, and eventually all of the robots were still.

The party scavenged valuable bits from the remains of the machines, including their long, golden LifeWires, and continued into the maze.

The Berzerker, Part 2

Note from the Scribe: I had ALMOST finished this session summary and went to save it, mis-clicked, and LOST THE WHOLE THING… So this version is not as detailed because I’m cranky!

The party began with a long rest in the room of their last combat.
After resting, thy continued on through the dungeon, eventually coming to a strange room. It was square, with an obelisk in the center with bladed edges. The exit was opposite the entrance, but was sealed with a mesh grate. Investigating the obelisk, the party entered the room, which sealed behind them. Bolts of energy shot from four small alcoves high on the walls at a device atop the obelisk, ricocheting toward party members. Shivers climbed a wall to get at the alcoves while Arn climbed the obelisk (Falchion tried and failed to climb) while Breeze flew to the top. Arn and Breeze found small crystal figures of phoenixes at the top of the obelisk, and destroying them shut off the trap. Falchion found a control panel for opeing the door, but was unable to make it work, shocking herself several times, before examinign the door carefully and finding its LifeWire. The party killed the door and moved on.

In the next room, some kind of broken filtration chamber, the party fought a Gamma Knight, a Gamma Mage, and some more of the worker/soldier hybrids. The floor-to-ceiling mesh blades of the filtration wheel were inconvenient, but did not block line of effect for teleportation. The party bested the mall, eventually, know they were unknowingly exposed to radiation. Falchion dug a small box out of one of the machine’s form, finding a small, nonmagical, ticking egg.

Entering a wide, down-sloping hallway, the party continued for a ways before hearing a disturbing sound behind them. One of the house-sized stone block they’d seen being carved above ground was sliding down the hall, gaining speed.
This began a skill challenge where the party had to avoid obstacles while racing down the shaft, trying to stay ahead of the giant rock. A small, flying robot flipped switches and activated runes, causing darts and gouts of flame to shoot out at the party, distracting them from drop-offs, and otherwise causing mischief. Finally, the machine triggered a partial cave-in, trying to bury the party, but they leapt past the falling rubble through a smaller archway as the giant stone slammed against the arch, sealing them in.

The party was trapped in a small room between two huge rocks filling the opposite archways. Between the blocked exits was a huge construct made entirely of blades. Arn called holy fire to attack the thing and it exploded into many smaller machines: A flechette prince, a flechette knight, a flechette swarm, and several animate shrapnel.
Shivers went after the Prince while Falchion focussed on the knight and Breeze dealt with the swarm. Shrapnel attacked everyone, exploding to damage the target if they missed with their attack. Eventually, the party was victorious.

When the machines fell silent, the complex’s prisoner, now separated from the party by one large rock, ceased his attack on the barrier for a moment to listen and then laugh before resuming his efforts to destroy his prison.

The party rested again, uneasy, as the immortal Berserker railed against the stone barrier. Now, cracks form around the edges and the entire rock shakes and shudders as Hida Amoro readies to leave his cell for the first time in over a century.

The Berzerker, Part 3

The party finished their long rest to find the machines were drilling tiny holes through the walls and roof of their prison. The Berserker was still working on the boundry between the party and himself when liquid began streaming into the room. The substance quickly began to harden, and the party began helping their immortal target destroy the boulder between them.
A gap formed, and the party jumped into his cell.

Hida Amoro seemed strangely calm after a century of inprisonment. He was a giant of a man, ten feet tall, and clad only in the torn remnants of pants. He held his naked sword away from his body.

The party briefly tried to convince the Berserker to go quietly, but he was not interested. The battle began.
Amoro was a fierce opponent, who reacted violently to being knocked prone and having his attacks interupted. He killed the avenger before the party bloodied him, but eventually, they wore him down.

“Hate keeps up alive,” were Hida Amoro’s last words, captured on a Black Scroll by Arn Stonebrow.

The chamber shook and the pillars holding it from collapse began to faulter. The party climbed out of the prison to find the thousands of machines who’d occupied the valley fleeing en masse.
They used their previously acquired Black Scroll (Return of the Dark Lord), to ressurect Falchion, and began the walk back to Three Walls.

Along the way, they began to hear the tales told by the machines, stories about the foul creatures who had broken into the carefully guarded prison and freed “The Demvil.”

Each member of the party was whispered about as a scione of terror—A boogeyman:

Arn Stonebrow was The Forge of Unmaking, who twisted the parts of fallen machines to make decorations for his armor.
Breeze was Moth in the Gears, anathema to smooth-running machines, causing things to go wrong.
Tristan “Shivers” Wormwood was The Empty Shell, a machine-analog of a zombie: a souless suit of armor that refused to lay down and be still.
Saffron Greywall (Falchion) was The Dark Daughter of the Unmaker, who took pleasure in torturing and destroying any machine she could find when it was alone.

During their trek north, they came upon another faerie ambush: Tree-like creatures who created pod-versions of members of the party. When the last one was defeated, it announced, “Summer will avenge us!”

Back in Three Walls, the party decided on their next target, choosing to pursue The Maker.

The Maker, Part 1

The party left Three Walls, heading north into The Beastlands. They decided to hold to the roads to hit towns along their way, and stopped to gather information in TOWN. The town was a military encampment run by dragonborn. They told the party that if they wanted to trade for more than basic supplies, they’d need to talk to the tinker who visited town every few days. The party did as instructed, finding the strange peddler just outside the encampment. He was a Kilnfolk, a created race of ceramic men, made by The Maker. The party traded some of the magic items they’d found for differnet ones and some information, and then the tinker finished up his other transactions so that he and the party could speak privately.
He told the group that he knew of their quest and was willing to help. He volunteered to distract the minios and guardians of The Maker’s workshop so that the party would have time to infiltrate it. The Kilnfolk man also told the party of what they had to do to engage The Maker himself: Destroy the Forgestones, which would each be guarded.

Together, the party and the tinker travelled to The Maker’s workshop.

The tinker caused his distraction, and the party entered the complex. In the first building, they found guardians made from ice. While battling them, the party found that the creatures did not show damage as most living things did. It was impossible to tell how injured one of the guards was until it shattered.
One of the guardians could fly, and it grabbed Breeze and incapacitated her several times during the battle, but the party eventually destroyed all the guardians, including the largest, which contained the first Forgestone.

From there, the party moved on to the second building, after a short rest. From ice, they moved to fire; finding a huge flaming kiln taking up the entire back wall of the guarded room, tended by creatures made from clay. A red-hot guardian came out of the kiln during the battle, sending small living flames forth to singe the adventurures throughout the fight. These beings were also Perfect, showing no wounds until they cracked into pieces. But the party destroyed all of them and avoided being shoved into the fire by the guards, and destroying the second Forgestone.

The party short-rested and now heads toward the next building of The Maker’s workshop.

The Maker, Part 2

The party started between the two remaining buildings of The Maker‘s workshop. One of the buildings had an intricate chain holding it shut, and Falchion managed to gum it up while trying to open it, so the adventurers went to the other building.

It was a smaller, square building with no apparent door. One wall was dominated but a 20ft-diameter fan, sucking smoke out of the building. Arn slowly climbed one of the walls to find the room had no roof and contained a huge anvil, a smoking forge, a quenching/swimming pool, and two massive pillars hung with blacksmithing tools. Three steel sentinals worked in the room. Arn lassoed a nearby pillar so that Shivers and Breeze could climb up the wall as well. Falchion studied the spinning fan while the rest of the party climbed, then leapt through the blades as Shivers and Arn dropped into the room.

The party engaged the sentinals, and the mercurial caryatid and adamantine colossus appeared as well, rounding out the guardians as they had been in the previous rooms. One of the sentinals slammed into the wall on which Breeze was balancing, knocking her to the ground outside. The colossus stood in the forge fire, which clearly damaged him, but turned his massive chain white hot, and he whipped party members with it, doing extra fire damage.
The caryatid turned invisible and weaved in and out of combat while the party, hedged into a corner, tried to deal with the sentinals. Eventually, the sentinals went down, and the party turned their attention to the colossus, which leapt into the quenching pool. The party switched focus to the caryatid, and the colossus surged out of the water, grabbing up the giant anvil and hurling it at Shivers standing in front of the fan. The anvil slamed into him, knocking him into the blades, but the anvil also hit the blades, stopping them, so Shivers was not sliced to ribbons. The room began to fill with choking smoke, but the party quickly finished off the guardians, grabbing the third Forgestone.

After a short rest (where Falchion used the three Forgestones to regain healing surges), the party smashed through the stuck chain barrier and descended into the final guardian room. Stone guardians were mining in the cavern. Two sentinals and a colossus were visible when the party entered the room, but the caryatid came out from behind the colossus to dominate Arn. Attacking the caryatid, the party realized that the sentinals were taking half the damage of their fellows, so the party focused on the sentinals, one by one, trying to avoid the caryatid’s aura and not get smashed by the giant stone colossus. Eventually all the guardians were destroyed, and the party acquired the fourth Forgestone.
The tinker had told the party they would be able to rest after acquiring the last Forgestone, so the party did so, waiting for The Maker to come and engage them.

As the party rests, a towering pillar of black smoke continues to rise from the forging workshop, likely visible for miles.

The Maker, Part 3

At the beginning of the session, the party were in the middle is an extended rest, sleeping in the entry of the underground mine. They heard some noise from behind them, deeper within the hole and were surprised to see the tinker. He explained that they were about to face The Maker himself, and that they much defeat him quickly or all would be lost. The tinker gave the party his Naming Stone and his name, Uragirimono, and told them that if they needed him at any point after the battle, they could heat the stone in a fire and say his name. He also said that if they trivialized his time, he would simply change his name and be free of them.

They party finished their rest and then took the field, finding a large mesa had lifted up from the ground. They climbed to the top to find a lone figure standing in the middle of the clearing. The party engaged the figure and he spawned a multitude of copies. The clay blanks attacked mindlessly, but The Maker was able to switch his consciousness between the forms, keeping the party of their toes. Eventually, they had destroyed enough clay men for The Maker to try a different tactic. He abandoned the clay men and raised an obsidian titan from the ground. Its perfect face and four gem-studded hands come up through the earth and began attacking the party who had to find paths to climb the construct’s limbs to crack the gems powering them. Leaping from the creatures raised fist to its head, the party attacked the gem in the titan’s forehead, finally stilling the construct.

With the titan defeated, The Maker created an army of blank-faced minions, spreading his awareness among them. When the party struck more than one of them down in a single attack, another spawned. When a party member missed with an attack, another copy was created. The party waded through the sea of clay men, striking them down. Eventually, only one clay copy was left, the last shell of the maker, and Shivers caught his last words on one of the Black Scrolls.

The Maker told the party the even The Never-Was Prince doesn’t know who he is, and that the party is too flawed. With his final action, he made the party “more perfect,” marking each of their bodies with a tattoo of something precious to them and binding them closer together.

When the party returned to Three Walls, they were surprised and confused. Streets were not where the party had left them, Kurt’s inn had a new name, and the army of ghosts who had guarded the wall were gone. The Never-Was Prince had touched the town, altering its very fabric, changing the history of the town and its inhabitants. Only Malachai realized that The Prince had been, because he’d felt his presence while out hunting for shoulder blades. He told the party that he would not be trying to scry on that individual ever again. The party asked him to look into The Last.

Three new individuals existed in town, and the party sought them out. Ansgar Barrelchest was building a larger church to Eldil, Celia West was researching the cost of bread during the decade before, and Rex was looking for able-bodied adventurers to seek out riches. The party tried to help all three, but only truly befriended Celia (alienating Rex in the process). They are still on speaking terms with Ansgar, but Celia is their new contact in Three Walls.

In order to win Celia’s trust, the party had to seek out a text she believed to exist in town. Malachai revealed he had possessed the book, but had lost it. He told the party what bits he remembered, including the quotes:

“Near the end of times, the king who never was will be sought by the minions of darkness. Heroes and villains will dream of another life, madmen and lepers will have visions of many deaths.”

“Everything is important. Everyone is someone who wasn’t. Only when that which never was comes close to pass will that which must not be, stop.”

Hearing these words, Arn reveals that he has been dreaming of a life not his own: the life of a foreign priest name Lucias.

No other party members have dreamed at all since they were all touched by the Nightmare in the Cave of the Empty Bowl.


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