Crimson Skulls

Never Fight Fair with a Stranger, Boy.

Warren had lost everything in the destruction of his home and family due to those monsters… those walking mechanical contraptions known as Warforged. He hated them, hated whatever brought them into this world. For a brief moment he wished the Waste was still the hated, barren wasteland it had always been. At least then you knew what dangers laid ahead. With the lands healing the damage wrought both recently and centuries ago, new found colonization brought many serious hazards with it. Still having lost everything he recalled his wife’s Sheree’s last words to seek out their son Melo who had left so long ago to Celest-hem. Picking up his smithy maul and hammer he stands to head out when the embodiment of his hatred standing at the bar.


Ryershil gave his discourse and set the groups in motion, his underlings handing out the party team arrangements as he thought prudent for those who were present. The famous treasure hunter Tik-Rundar Nachal led one group down a underground passage leading out of the room. Down another path, a group composed of the mercenary duo Beast Talon and a hodge-podge of casters began moving down their own corridor. The muscle-bound thugs followed with a cacophony of taunts and jeers aimed at the spell-casters. After a few minutes peace returned to the lower area and the warrior-monk headed out.

Ryershil returned to the main common room in the inn above to discover the last group of interest to him. The monk’s comrades consisting of the Un-living Grier, brilliant Lorne Starwhisper and Teth-nathel Stormwhisper the Eladrin-kin standing together acknowledging him. The only one not account for was Marion. They no doubt wondering what news he brought.

Near them was Adam Lightbringer, the new recruit who showed great promise as a man of the Cloth of Bahamut. Beyond them was the Warforge known as Armor Geddon. It was an appropriate name if the tales held true. Unbeknownst to everyone, Fate would test it this very evening.


Losing sight of all else Warren kicks an empty chair out of his path and raises his mighty maul to smash it against the mechanical abomination’s head. Sparks fly and in a blur of motion the room bursts into chaos. More chairs are thrown down and blades are drawn. Warren readies for another swing and from one heartbeat to the next is suddenly held by his throat by an Eladrin. Choking, he spits venom in his garbled words as blind rage takes hold of him. His maul is stripped from him by the abomination and broken by its inhuman arms. It speaks in words he cannot hear as he sees his first creation, his maul, shattered in two. How many things have these things taken from his world?

He is summarily thrown to the side like so much garbage and left to his thoughts as the metal cretin and its minions leave the bar.

Within minutes the patrons that remain return to whatever trivial topics entertained them prior to the outburst. Eyes and conversations eventually turn away from the man lying in a heap in the corner. Before long, a dark hooded woman about four and a half feet in stature stops to kneel beside him and offers a youthful hand joined by soothing words. She whispers to him as eyes of amber gaze upon him, “How sweet would it be to exact vengeance upon thine enemies? I can help you claim such a thing, even from them. It requires a negligible cost, of course.” With his bruised pride and the dimmest of opportunities before him, he responds as any resolute man would.

“What do I have to do!?”

TO BE CONTINUED

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Get behind the Shield

At the end of the speech, the 6 and 1/2 foot tall, 380 pound whirring juggernaut rises from a kneeling position spooking the Lizardman swaying next to it. The offended humanoid cracks the butt of it’s glowing spear onto the stone floor hissing curses as a Duergar spellcaster floats closer in a defensive manner towards it’s ally. The mage’s glowing red eyes and sparks of light dancing on the back of it’s collar leave small wonder as to the creatures magical power amongst those in the underground haven.

Walking up to the circular table the behemoth casts open it’s massive jeweled cloak exposing what appears to be two right hands and slams them on the circular stone table. As chips of stone come to rest near the point of impact, it raises one hand to point a dull metallic finger at Ryershil. A hollow tinny voice projects from the permanent maw on it’s face speaking with an ancient accent and regards him, “Your fog of Horrors and Death encroaches ever closer Champion. The combined Strength of your Kin is waning and it is known the Brothers are divided. This, even Armor Geddon knows! You require assistance as the realm’s Golden Twins are separated and their Light recedes from the Earth.”

The tin man straightens up and turns slow and purposefully and begins it’s exit from the chamber. It lumbers past some of the unfriendly faces stepping into the dim lit darkness of the hallway. It’s voice is the only thing left echoing into the room as it calls to no one in particular, “Tell your fog that Armor Geddon comes!”


Armor Geddon leaves the center room into one of the adorning rooms marking his passage scraping the door frame as he leaves. A foreboding feeling permeates the room as all called know the severity of the matter at hand. Looking around the room Gromos recalls the stories passed on after his father’s passing of the great Crimson Skulls. The tournaments, the glory of battles, and all else before the name of the skulls were known. While a great warrior Gromos had the notion from the high Sorceress that something was wrong here. Looking around he noted adventures from various ages, places and races. At one corner was the Lizardman Morgan whom stories suggested spoke and commanded elder dragons. In another corner Gromos noted whom he thought was known as Beast Talon – shape changers who transformed into monstrous creatures set for destruction.

Lost in this thought Gromos is startled as a seven foot woman with hair spun of red gold and dark tan skin hands him a letter. While feeling foolish he is still surprised by this Ryershil’s “Handmaidens” whom walk on air for all the sound they make. The letter are directions to a teleportation circle– apparently the gathered (85to 95 by his count) were to be split into groups based on their skill with an assigned team leader. Gromos was to go under the leadership of one Tik-Rundar Nackel. The Gnome was not hard to find and so Gromos headed out on his journey…

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The Ominous Letter
letter

Each of you receive a word/letter from Ryershil asking for you to venture to the Tavern “Home of the Master” in the small city of Celesthem which is located west of Tristel far into the reaches of the Mistyvale which is part of the area once known as the waste.

After your travels you enter the bar among various types of vagabonds, ruffians and dancing wenches. You are spoken to upon your arrival by a small child who asks you to follow them upstairs into a random room. Inside the room you are lead to a secret passage behind a stone hearth and lead down a winding staircase down four levels through a hall and into a large chamber.

The chamber is warm with the fire of the hearths along each wall holding off the chill of the winter day. You notice several fellows seated around a circle stone table and one fellow above all catches your attention among friends and strangers as Ryershil welcomes you to be seated…

“Friends,

It has come to my attention that the military of Arcona (located further west of the Mistyvale) is on the move across the land in this immediate area. They are looking for something which has been sought since that fateful day ten years ago. We believe they have isolated the location of Raziel and Ellenor’s child. Suffice it to say we need to find this child first.

The military operations are headed by a Force Marshal a Markard Celthric who is advised by a shadowy council of Masters, likely directed by one leader at the top; The Grand Master. My sources tell me to look into the “Valley of the Frost Titan” with is about four days north of here. Normally I would leave this to others but is no idol rumor. Any questions?”

And so your adventure begins…

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Derek's Journal - 20th of Elesias
Epilogue

Epilogue

Since the time of The Banishing, Gerilandia’s heroes (both big and small) have taken to rebuilding the land. Of this group, only a handful of the Heroes known as the Crimson Skulls were left to lead the way during the early days of the Northern Reaches when the new era dawned. Stories and myths grew from weak truths, but rebuilding the country left no time for those who had half answers to give them.

For a time the evil of the land subsided and in some places regressed and became dormant. The terrified humanoids that were stuck in tradition and order looked to those stronger than them to lead. Some sided with the Skulls while others who denied this group’s involvement in the shaping of the future, ran into the wild and joined other groups of varying power.

In the land now called the Northern Reaches, the influence of Krimzon Keep grew stronger, drawing the desperate cries for help and shelter to it like flies to excrement. Those early months saw the death of many as they set up camp around the keep when the edifice and the nearby caverns failed to house so many of the destitute. Caverns that themselves also housed deep within it’s bowels the surviving Dragonkin that sought shelter from their vile cousins that outnumbered them still, far to the south and east…

Two men who came to be known as The Sons of Heironeous, Krynyn and Derek, set to work to provide healing and protection, respectively, for the souls that came to their doorstep. With the help of their friends and the army they had amassed, all worked tirelessly to fortify and provide comfort to a humanoid population that was decimated by The Banishing. For many years the remnants of the seasoned Skullz Grier, Marion, Teth, Corbin, Ryshel, and the like have made their silent way, some unheard of, others mere echoes in the wind. They helped, at first directly and then behind the scenes, in skirmishes and battles over land now suddenly wrested from the control of Humanity. These lands fell to the tribes of berserkers and Goblinkin or worse that continued to roam the land. These creatures were no longer unified in their carnage, beating both friend and foe to death as it suited them.

The bloodlust has emboldened many of the residents of this fledgling country to turn away from the leaders that helped bring progress. Some have struck out on their own claiming independence from the likes of the Sons of Heironeous and their followers and establishing their own provinces. Within a few short years, Krimson Keep was no longer a triage for the carnage wrought by the powerful battles across the land and eventually became a modest haven for those who still had their faith and loyalty to Order.

Now, after ten years without guidance of the old champions, murmurings of ancient evil seems to gather strength somewhere, the truth of such rumblings just out of grasp of even the most intrepid bards. Fears of an awakened ancient enemy travels on the lips and rise from the fresh corpses of unlucky travelers on the overgrown roads of Gerilandia like a pestilence.

An old danger lurks in the air and the population slowly awakens from it’s stupor to acknowledge it. Those towns that once grew close in times of trouble now bicker amongst themselves, blaming one another for their misfortune. None know where the ill will originates from but those few with sufficient awareness begin to take up sword, fist and incantation once again.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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