Torphalos

Session 1: The Mystery Begins
Plus there's a strange multicoloured Blob!

The Invitation

Illin Brontwork was in the local food hall having breakfast when a messenger arrived with an invitation for him. It was from Funtt Dufononur, the War Council Representative for the Earth Temple, which was quite the surprise. Illin had never been invited to meet someone of such high rank before and immediately set out to find his friend Pallex to ask what the etiquette for meeting such a prestigious individual was. Unfortunately Pallex wasn’t home and Illin didn’t know where he would be. So being resourceful, he started to ask random people on the street. As always, everyone was friendly to Illin and in short order he knew that he should be well presented and polite when he met Funtt. So he headed home to put on all his clothes and give himself an extra clean.

That same morning Trinsk Kord was on his way to the local temple library, or the knowledge repository as he liked to call it, when a messenger found him and also gave him an invitation asking him to meet with Funtt early that afternoon. Trinsk continued on to the library and had a chat with Gardelion Avaulrim one of the researchers there, checking that this was normal and that there was nothing he should be worried about. They assured him that although it was unusual there was nothing to worry about. Gardelion suspected that Funtt might even know about Trinsk’s Spirit Sight and that could be the reason.

Rhorn Kodex also received an invitation from Funtt. To Rhorn though, this was nothing out of the ordinary, so he finished his daily equipment maintenance (which he was doing even though he wasn’t on duty) and headed off to the Earth Temple.


The Meeting

As Illin, Trinsk and Rhorn all arrived atop the Sacred Mountain on their way to the Earth Temple they bumped into each other. Already knowing each other they stopped to chat and were surprised to find that all three of them were on their way to meet Funtt. So they continued together and shortly they arrived in the Earth Temple Entrance Chamber. One of Rhorn’s aides, Jian Silvak, was waiting there to meet them. After confirming who they were, he showed them down a side passage to a room that was Funtt’s office.

Knocking on the door to announce their presence, Jian showed them into the office before stepping out and shutting the door behind. Funtt remained seated behind his desk. Funtt welcomed them and thanked them for coming. He then explained why he had invited them to meet.

On each of the last five days one of the farmers from one of the far west fields has gone missing. Each day, no-one has seen what has happened and they were in fact unaware that anyone was even missing. It was only the head count as they returned via the lift that made us aware of the problem. Whilst we know that farmers do go missing, these were all from the same field. Add that to the discreteness of the absences and it makes it seem suspicious. We sent a squad out yesterday and they found nothing, then someone else went missing, so we had a meeting of the War Council last night. Glaydius suggested that we should ask you, Trinsk, as you are known for your ability to see what others cannot. Illin, you are here as you are one of most talented rangers and are known for being comfortable beyond the wall. And friendly. Please aide Trinsk. Rhorn, I am asking you to keep these two alive. Please let me know what you can find out.

Rhorn immediately jumped into action, asking Funtt for some Guardians to aide them so that they could stop anyone else disappearing. Funtt agreed to have a squad available for them and waiting at the Western Lift first thing tomorrow morning. But that wasn’t good enough for Rhorn, he wanted to head out today, someone else was going to disappear and that wasn’t acceptable. Funtt refused to change the duty roosters, though they were welcome to head out themselves today. Rhorn went to go storming out of the office, but Funtt paused them and offered them some healing charms, just in case. All three took some and left the office.


Out To The Fields

Upon leaving the office Jian was waiting for them to see what they needed. He offered them supplies for the next day, but Rhorn was having none of it and told Jian that they were heading into the fields today. Jian was totally thrown by the immediacy of all this but did say that he would organise permission for the lifts before dashing off. Rhorn kept moving, heading for the Western Lift, whilst Illin and Trinsk dashed back home to collect their essential equipment.

Arriving at the wall Rhorn headed to the barracks to see if there were any Guardians who would volunteer to help them. Leveraging his reputation, he quickly found five warriors who were happy to head out. As Illin and Trinsk arrived they climbed the wall and headed out. Down the lift and into the fields, Rhorn set a quick march straight West.

Arriving at the western-most field Rhorn whistled loudly and yelled at the farmers to gather up. The farmers tentatively wandered over and Rhorn yelled at them again to do a head count. One farmer cautiously asked why and when Rhorn stated that they needed to see if anyone was missing, he softly told them that it was a field further north where the farmers had gone missing. Rhorn instantly rounded everyone up and the they headed north.


Mysterious Farmers

Arriving at the correct field, the farmers in this field were just standing around in a group together, appearing to be not doing much. Straight away, Rhorn marches up to them and demands to know what’s going on. One of the farmers turns and says that they’re packing up. Rhorn starts shooting questions out, but Trinsk interrupts, asking Rhorn and Illin to just step aside with him for a moment.

The three of them step just out of ear shot and Trinsk informs them that he can see a strange yellowish ethereal glow around the heads of the farmers. Not really sure what this means they wander back and Trinsk undertakes a Scan on one of the farmers. He finds that the yellowish glow is some sort of supernatural energy and it is extending tendrils into the farmers brains. He tells the others and Rhorn goes back to questioning. The spokesman farmer tells Rhorn that they don’t know about any missing farmers or anything strange, but Rhorn knows that he’s lying and yells at him to tell the truth. The farmer goes to walk away so Rhorn grabs his arm and drags him back. The farmer starts yelling incoherently but this doesn’t phase Rhorn at all. The other farmers just keep standing there staring.

Feeling that the questioning isn’t making any progress, Illin offers to scout the perimeter. Taking the Air Guardian with him, he wanders over to the edge of the field and starts looking around. It doesn’t take his sharp eyes long to notice a strange multicoloured “Blob” sitting not far away. He has no idea what it is and has never seen anything like it before. He calls out the information to the others and Trinsk wanders over to Illin and Scans the Blob. The scan tells him that the Blob contains the same type of supernatural energy that is surrounding the farmers heads. After a quick discussion Illin decides to shoot the Blob with an arrow.


Combat Ensues

The arrows thuds into the Blob with a squelching sound and instantly the other farmers start screaming and yelling. Rhorn starts marching over towards the Blob, dragging his farmer along, while Trinsk moves closer to the Blob to see what has happened. Trinsk decides to see if the Blob has an intellect and throws a mental blast into it. He senses resistances and then a moment later is hit by a retaliatory mental blast, hurting his mind. The farmers launch into action, attacking the Guardians looking after them, whilst the farmer which Rhorn is dragging discretely tries to pull out a knife. Luckily Rhorn notices in time. He fails to stop the farmer getting the knife out, but when the farmer threatens to attack him with a quick sweep of his warhammer, Rhorn bashes the legs out from under the farmer, leaving him writhing on the ground.

Illin dashes up to the blob and cuts it open with his sword, leaving weirdly coloured ooze falling onto the ground. While Trinsk continues to barrage the blob, Rhorn moves up to support, and throws a mighty Stonehammer bash into the blob dazing it. But the blob releases another mental burst, damaging and dazing both Illin and Rhorn. This doesn’t stop Illin though as with a mighty sweep of his blade he cuts the blob almost into two. Suddenly the screaming farmers stop and the combat is over.


More Mysteries

The Guardians are largely uninjured, although one is limping slightly, and they round up the farmers who are looking quite battered. Illin wanders over and starts questioning them. The farmers are quite confused and it doesn’t take long to ascertain that they have no memory of the last few days and that although they came out to this field at different times, once they came out they lost all further awareness. Trinsk undertakes another Scan of the farmers and finds that although the supernatural energy is still enveloping their heads, the energy has changed and is more dormant. Rhorn asks the Guardians to take the farmers back to the city for care and further inspection.

Illin starts searching around the perimeter of the field to see if there are any other blobs. He doesn’t find any but does find some strange lines very faintly marking the ground. Rhorn inspects the lines very closely but can’t really ascertain what they are from. He does note that they are all parallel and heading directly from the field into the forest. After checking that there was sufficient daylight left, the group decides to investigate briefly and see if the lines head anywhere.

Following them into the forest proves relatively fruitless, although they find a number more of the lines, continuing onward towards the Snowy Peaks. They do find one of the lines marking the side of the tree although are not sure what this means. Heading back as the day is finishing, Illin collects up the blob and places it into his sack to take back to the city.


Night Falls

Arriving back at the lift they are the last people to get lifted up into the city before the night sets in. Trinsk gives Illin directions to one of the Water Temple libraries where he can hand in the blob and Illin sets off. Trinsk and Rhorn head to the infirmary to check on the Guardians and farmers. They informed that everyone has been physically healed and will be ok, however the farmers are getting sent to the Sacred Mountain for others to inspect the strange mental auras.

Trinsk and Rhorn then head off to the Earth Temple to tell Funtt what has happened. Illin catches up to them along the way, however when they arrive everyone is off eating. Rhorn takes them through to the eating hall where they find Jian, who places them at a guest table to one side and goes off to find Funtt. After about an hour Jian returns and takes them to see Funtt.

Funtt is pleased by their progress and thanks them for their work, however Rhorn points out that it is not finished and they need a squad tomorrow to head into the forest and follow the odd straight lines. Funtt points out that squads in the forest always just attract attention, which ends badly, and they would be better off heading out on their own. He does say that he will try and find some support for them though. At that they are dismissed and all three head back to their homes to rest for the evening.

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Session 2: Fighting to Survive
With no idea what has happened to Rhorn...

An Unexpected Change

Pallex Quan had risen before the sunrise as normal and was getting ready for guard duty when there was a knock on his door. Upon opening it a messenger greeted him and informed him that Funtt Dufononur had assigned him to special duties today and that he was to report to Rhorn Kodex at the western lift at one hour after sunrise. Curious, Pallex finished getting ready and headed off to the lift.

Arriving at the lift early, Pallex was soon joined by Illin and Trinsk who proceeded to fill him in about the previous day’s adventure while they waited for Rhorn to arrive. However Rhorn was late, which was completely unlike him, so after half an hour Pallex spoke to one of the nearby barracks messengers to head to the Earth Temple to see if they could find out where Rhorn was. Twenty minutes later the messenger returned stating that there was no sign of Rhorn and no-one knew where he was.

This was quite a surprise, but the trio decided that they needed to head back out again and continue their investigation, even without Rhorn. So they headed over to the lift, where Illin needed to do a bit of convincing to reassure the lift warden that they did indeed have permission to use the lift despite Rhorn’s absence. It worked and they got outside the wall and headed off to the field.


Into the Forest

Arriving at the field they find it empty and Illin heads over to the spot where the blob was sitting the previous day. He finds a concentrated patch of animal footprints and many of the odd straight lines, but more concerning from Illin’s perspective is the fact that a Fanged Monkey is sitting on a nearby branch watching him. He points this out to Pallex and, once they can get his attention, Trinsk. Upon looking Trinsk can see the same strange yellow ethereal glow around the monkey’s head which was around the farmers. They decide to attack the monkey.

Pallex grabs the initiative, firing his crossbow, but it misses the monkey and instantly the monkey is running amongst the branches into the trees. Trinsk and Pallex lose sight of it straight away, however Trinsk thinks he can see another monkey nearby and starts investigating. Illin however runs after it, using his incredible agility to run through the forest and shoot arrows at the fleeing monkey. He fails to hit it though and his concentration falters, causing him to trip and go sprawling face down in the dirt. The monkey gets away.

There doesn’t seem to any sign of the second monkey and the trio regroups at the blob spot and decide to follow the lines into the forest once again. Illin finds a trace of the tracks and they start heading between the trees in the direction of the Snowy Peaks.


Ambush

Following the tracks through the trees, Illin has his eyes searching the ground, while Pallex is keeping watch. Trinsk is being inattentive as usual. Despite Pallex’s watch, everyone is taken completely by surprise when a large pack of Fanged Monkeys launch themselves from the trees directly onto them. Pallex manages to shrug the flying tackles and keep his feet, but both Illin and Trinsk are knocked to the ground, monkeys atop them.

A vicious fight for survival breaks out as the monkeys attack and while Pallex starts dispatching them with powerful attacks from his glaive, Illin and Trinsk are not faring so well. Illin has his sword knocked away by one of the monkeys and resorts to breaking an arrow into a monkeys face to try and get them off him. Trinsk is finding that the monkeys attacking him are inhibiting his ability to use his attacks and things get even worse when one manages to sink its fangs into his throat and tear a chunk out, severely impairing him.

Pallex comes to the rescue as with a deft move he chops a monkey in half and then flicks Illin’s sword back over to him. The combat starts taking its toll on Pallex though as he starts hearing the dead monkeys talk to him and he becomes stunned by the ferocity of the screaming dead monkeys. He shakes this off though and sweeps a group of them to the ground and continues killing. Illin has gained his feet by this time and started killing too and goes to Trink’s aid. With all three fighting it doesn’t take much longer before the monkeys are all dead.

The heroes all pause to rest and react. Illin finds the monkey bodies which still have decent pelts and proceeds to skin those sixe, while Trinsk search the corpses and finds three parts which have concentrated into charms for them to take. While Illin is busy elsewhere Pallex attempts to speak to one of the dead monkeys, however it appears they can’t actually speak coherent words, and so his attempt is futile as he can’t understand the screeches he gets.


The Rocky Outcrop

Continuing onward, with a pause for lunch, it isn’t much longer until they see a rocky outcrop in a clearing up ahead. It is well illuminated as there are no trees in the outcrop, so Illin climbs a tree on the edge of the clearing to gain a view. Seeing nothing but a path winding inwards, the group heads in. They are surprised as they round a bend and a multicoloured blob sits on a rock next to a cave entrance. They dash backwards behind the rocks and form a plan to attack it.

Charging quickly around the corner, Pallex reaches it first but misjudges the space and manages to send his glaive flying out of his hands after hitting a rock. Undeterred he slashes it with his dagger, while Illin comes and stabs it with his sword. The blob unleashes a mental blast at them and Illin decides to put his sack over the blob. They pause to see what will happen and Pallex collects his glaive. But the blob is unaffected by the sack and blasts them again. With a flurry of more attacks, and despite Pallex sending his glaive flying out of his hands again, then blob is killed and drops to the ground. Illin picks it up and puts it in his sack.


The Dark Cave

Pallex and Trinsk each light a torch and they head into the cave. The passage isn’t overly long but it twists about a fair bit. Rounding a final bend, the cave opens into a dome-like circular chamber with a large pile of bones heaped in the middle. Fascinated by the bones, all three head into the middle of the chamber to start inspecting them, seeing human skulls mixed amongst a varied range. However the focus on the bones allows them to be surprised as a trio of blobs unleash a barrage of mental blasts at them.

Pallex is stunned by the inital assault, but Illin and Trinsk respond quickly and decisively taking down one of the blobs. The other two continue with the mental blasts and Illin suffers the worst, becoming impaired from the constant damage and briefly stunned out of combat. It doesn’t matter though as Pallex starts dealing out executioner like blows, destroying the last two blobs in short order.

All three are feeling quite significantly injured at this point, and the day is slightly over half gone, so they decided to head back to the city. Thankfully it is an uneventful return journey and they arrive back at the walls as the sun is setting. Back inside Torphalos, Illin takes his new blob to the same Water Temple library as the last one he delivered, before catching up to the others on their way to report the days findings to Funtt.

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Session 3: Lots of Investiagtions
And Rhorn's absence takes a surprising twist.

Reporting Progress

Arriving at the top of the sacred mountain Pallex, Trinsk, and Illin go to the Earth Temple and are shown straight through to report to Funtt Dufononur. They inform him of the day’s progress before Illin asks about exchanging his beast charm (collected from the Fanged Monkeys) for a healing charm. Funtt tells him (somewhat hypocritically) that beast charms are frowned upon, but he’ll allow him to keep it since Illin is a Ranger and not a Guardian. Funtt tells them to continue their investigations as they see best and to find out why Rhorn has neglected his duties this day.

Leaving the Earth Temple all immediately head over to the Water Temple, hoping to get their relatively serious injuries tended to, and are lucky enough to find Arosfied Evenflow, the Master Healer. Whilst they are healed by Arosfied they have a pleasant chat with her and she even agrees to give Illin a new healing charm in exchange for his beast charm. Departing fully healed they head to their usual eating hall.


Looking for Rhorn

Over dinner Illin asks around the hall to see if anyone has seen Rhorn that day. Unfortunately no one has, so when the meal is finished they head to Rhorn’s house to see if he is there. The lights are off so Pallex knocks. When there is no answer Pallex tries to open the door, which to his surprise turns out to be unlocked. Illin goes to walk in, despite the darkness, but stops abruptly as he realises a chair is lying across the entry. Spotting a candle next to the chair he picks it up and Pallex lights it.

Rhorn’s room is a disaster. The chairs are all overturned and one of the bookcases has fallen over and is leaning on the table. In such a small space it is easy for Pallex to notice Rhorn’s backpack is sitting at the end of his bed, fully packed. Turning to the wardrobe he opens it and finds that Rhorn’s uniform, armour and weapons are all still neatly inside. This disturbs everyone and they start searching the room which leads to Pallex finding a large, still sticky, blood stain on Rhorn’s pillow.


Searching the Town

Splitting up, Pallex heads to the nearest City Warden Garrison and tells them about Rhorn’s disappearance and what they found in his room. The warden on duty takes some details about Rhorn and Pallex and informs him that the will assign an Investigator to look into it. Meanwhile Illin and Trinsk has started knocking on nearby doors (which still have a light on) to see if anyone saw or heard anything. A young boy informs them that he saw two Hospitaliers carrying Rhorn at Dawn. When Pallex returns they decide to head to the Hospital.

Stopping at their assigned barracks, Pallex and Trinsk have a brief conversation with Commander Garuen Pollahs. They inform him about what they’ve been up to with their special assignment and how they are going to investigate at the Hospital. He agrees to dispatch the reserve squad if they haven’t returned in an hour.

Arriving at the Hospital, the main door is opened after they knock on it. Staing their business, Illin asks the Hospitalier if Rhorn has been admitted to the Hospital. The door closes and a short while later the same Hospitalier opens it again to inform them that no one new has been admitted for the last four days. They ask him about how hard it is to get a Hospitalier uniform and he admits “not difficult” before wishing them luck.

They return to the barracks to tell Garuen that there was no sign of Rhorn, before all agree to retire for the night, as it is very late. Illin still manages to knock on a few more doors with lights on to ask about Rhorn, but to no success.


A New Day

Illin gets up early (despite the late night) so that he can ask more questions before they head out. It turns out his extra effort pays off as he encounters Tailen Semoriat, a street cleaner, who happened to see Rhorn being carried by the Hospitaliers the previous day. Tailen offers to ask around in the course of his duties and let Illin know what he finds out. Illin then rushes off to meet Trinsk and Pallex at the lift.

Heading out to the still empty field, they follow their tracks to the site of the battle against the Fanged Monkeys. There they discover that the only part of the monkeys corpses left are the bones, and the bones are exceptionally clean, just like the ones they found in the cave the previous day. Pallex also finds plenty of the thin straight lines which they have been tracking, heading in different directions. They determine that the lines leave the clearing heading northwards, and decide to follow them.

Following the tracks for a while, the three of the move around a tree and see straight ahead, crossing their path, a Horned Bear. Trinsk notices the large bear and also sees the strange yellow ethereal glow around it’s head, which he tells Illin and Pallex. Illin tries to tell Trinsk to stay quiet but it is too late. The Horned Bear has heard them and lets out a large roar as it turns and spots them.


Close to Death

Reacting quickly, Illin notches an arrow straight at the bear, but unfortunately misses. The bear then charges Illin, attempting to impale him on its horns, which Illin manages to avoid. Pallex is completely surprised by all of this and as he moves to attack he stumbles straight in front of the bear’s face. It seems to be upset by this and roars at Pallex, focusing its eyes and attacks onto him.. A continued chain of misses by all combatants is broken as the Horned Bear draws first blood. It stabs into Pallex with its horns, lifting him off the ground and clamping Pallex into its jaws.

Pallex fares poorly as the bear crushes and impales him repeatedly and keeps him firmly held. However Illin and Trinsk take advantage of the bear’s focus and start whittling its health away. The bear become enraged by this, but eventually succumbs to the attacks, dropping a severely injured Pallex from its jaws as it collapses, dead. Pallex spends some time resting to recover, while Illin skins the bear and removes its horns.


New Tracks to Follow

Everyone decides they should see where the bear came from so they start following the bear tracks back. The tracks slowly move around in a large loop, leading Illin to decide that the must be something in the centre. A couple attempts to find anything around the middle of the loop are unsuccessful though and they instead head back to where they fought the bear and reacquire the thin straight lines and follow them north for an hour.

It is getting into the afternoon by this stage and, despite Illin’s suggestions that they push just a little further, Pallex decides they should head back. It takes a fairly steady effort with a little bit of running near the end, but they make it to the lift as dusk is falling and get back inside the walls.

Illin instantly heads off to find Tailen, while Pallex and Trinsk are a bit moire practical and go have dinner. Tailen has headed home for the day and when Illin arrives he is excited to hear that Tailen has found some information. Tailen tells how he saw two people wearing Hospitalier uniform near a warehouse, whose location he gives to Illin. Illin heads straight there and although most of the warehouses are closed, there is one which still has two guys shifting some crates. He asks them about the Hospitaliers and they tell him they saw them at Garrin’s warehouse.


Regroup and Get Ready

Illin finds Pallex and Trinsk at the eating hall and scoffs down a dinner while telling them what he found out. They decide to go and report to Funtt however when arriving at the Earth Temple they are told that Funtt is unavailable. He has been called into a War Council meeting and there is no set time for it to finish. Deciding not to waste the trip, they head over to the Water Temple to see if they can find Arosfied.

Arosfied is happy to heal their injuries again and is thoroughly impressed by their recounting of the combat with the horned bear. He asks if the know why there has been an emergency War Council session called as he thought it might have something to do with their mission, but they have to disappoint.

Heading back down the mountain, Trinsk is concerned about the state of the blobs which have been getting dropped off at the Water Temple library, so the party heads there and has a good chat with Gardelion. He shows the the completely inactive blob corpses and likens them to a berry. He admits that he has no idea how they would function.

The next step is a late night investigation of Garrin’s warehouse. Everyone heads home and recollects their equipment (Pallex changes into clothes which aren’t torn and bloodied) before meeting up again at the barracks. They tell Garuen about their plan to investigate the warehouse and he once again agrees to send support if they don’t return.


Into the Darkness

Arriving at the warehouse, all the nearby buildings are dark inside, including their target. Pallex checks the large cargo doors at the front, but they appear to be chained shut from the inside. So he wanders over to the pedestrian door and, to his surprise, finds that it is unlocked and it swings open. It is pitch black inside so Pallex decides this is the perfect time to use his Darksight charm.

The room instantly comes into focus and it is clearly an office with a desk, shelves, paperwork and another door which opens into the warehouse. Pallex heads over to the second door and opens it to a narrow walkway between stacks of boxes. He follows it down and it connects with a wide thoroughfare through the middle of the warehouse. Walking down and looking into the side passages Pallex is quite surprised when a guy holding a crossbow steps out from a corner ahead, peering into the darkness. Pallex freezes and the guy looks for a moment longer before calling out, asking if anyone is there. When there is no answer the guy wanders back around the corner and Pallex hears him faintly having a conversation with another person.

Knowing there is danger, Pallex heads back out and gets Illin and Trinsk and the carefully leads them through the darkness into the warehouse. Despite Pallex’s careful whispered instructions and guidance there are more than a few bumps. They reach the side passage which the guy emerged from and Pallex peers down it. It appears empty however there is a door at the end which looks slightly strange to Pallex, although he can’t put his finger on why.

Heading down the passage, they are about half way down when suddenly the door drops open, like a drawbridge, and bright light spills out, illuminating the three of them. Behind the door are two guards and instantly they fire their crossbows into Pallex. Pallex advances and they draw short swords to counter as the fight gets close. It doesn’t last long though and as a few quick blows and a mind blast are all it takes to leave the guards unconscious on the ground.

Pallex ties them with Illin’s rope and gags them with some cloth while Illin searches the small room. A trapdoor in the floor is discovered and with the guards secure they open the trapdoor…

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