The Journey so far…
It has only been a short while since the party was brought together, hired on a mission to investigate and – hopefully – rid the city of Escellia of a corrupting influence set deep into the city's underground. Their first task as a group was to find their way out of a dungeon, crafted out of a pocket dimension that their boss had thrown them into. It was a team building exercise that succeeded… for most. The battle with the merfolk, picking of locks, and dodging of darts were the least of their worries however, as they descended towards the end of the dungeon where a dangerous enemy could have been made. A Gold Dragon was revealed to be the creator of this pocket dimension, and he had connected it to his lair. All he asked was for a simple answer, a single truth that represented each party member as a whole, and then he set them free. If they lied or failed to speak their truth… Well, its best it hadn't come to that.
During a down time while they waited for an assignment some party members did some digging, others some shopping, and eventually they even took on a small day trip to aid a nearby village being tormented by roving band of Orcs. After saving the village from an Orc party that had set fire to many of the village's buildings, the heroes discovered that the Orcs were coming from an old tower on the edge of the village's property. This old tower – the last remaining remnant of the Brightsword Castle – turned out to be a sanctuary for the last remaining heir to the Brightsword name. The Orcs were being sent to kill the heiress, Zell, as a Night Hag's revenge against her and her family for stealing her heartstone to heal the young heiress as a toddler. The party traveled to the Hag's lair, one nearly seducing the woman by accident while she was in her “more appealing” form. In the end the Hag was defeated, and the rogue spent most of the battle looting her house. As one does.
After resting the night at Zell's home within the village the party headed back to Escellia to find a warm meal and welcoming beds at the Inn where they had befriended the owner. Not long after, their first task tied to their mission was given to them. The party traveled with a merchant and his cargo to the country's capital city of Sonsra. Along the way they discovered a clue towards the mystery surrounding Escellia's problems. A painting that the merchant had bought from the city was not really a painting at all, but a vessel containing the soul of the leader of the underground himself, the Rogue King. Woo!
The visit to Sonsra ended in a few festival games, a ball, meeting some old friends, and of course a battle to save some helpless citizens, and some not to helpless too.
On the return trip to Escellia the party stopped at Amalia's (the party's druid) home, a hidden city that guarded one of the open portals on this world that led to another plane, the Feywild. There Amalia's fears that something had gone wrong with her kingdom were proven correct. The party discovered that both of Amalia's parents, the Queen and King of Tel'eregnan, had fallen under the control of some curse and that Amalia's eldest sibling Eladria had disappeared beyond the portal. Further venturing into the Feywild discovered that the fey kingdom that had been Tel'eregnan's sister guardian city on the other side of the portal had been wiped out, it's once vibrantly colored buildings and terrain now turned to a mixture of dull greys and harsh blacks.
An crazed Archfey called Cuin had spotted Eladria during one of her journeys into the Feywild's kingdom and had believed her to be his long lost wife, stolen from him by his enemies. He had fought the Archfey that guarded the portal and slaughtered the rest of the small Kingdom, replacing it with his own phantom palace. He placed a spell on Eladria that charmed her and wooed her until her every thought was of Cuin and no one else. Luckily the party managed to find her in time, or she may have been lost forever. However, finding her also meant that they found Cuin.
The battle that ensued was difficult, and would have easily been deadly had unexpected aid not come from a woman, a witch of some kind she seemed at first as she appeared in a mirror and ordered Cuin to leave. With a great amount of reluctance Cuin followed the order, taking his palace with it. That was not the end of it however. While Eladria was saved from Cuin, her percieved betrayal to him had granted her the very same favor that he had granted her parents. Upon returning to Tel'eregnan Eladria fell into a deep cursed sleep.
The party then discussed what they were going to do next. After quite the chilled argument happened between the party's rogue (Tanith) and their current boss (Aleara) over trust and protocol – which only one other member of the party was witness to – Aleara left to return to Escellia, assuming that she would either finish the job alone, or that the party would catch up with her when they could.
Our adventurers traveled into the Feywild once more after Amalia's eldest brother (Alaris) found three powerful beings who had agreed to help cure their ill family members of whatever curse had befallen them (and no a Greater Restoration didn't help). The first was an Archfey who reigned over a portion of the Feywild that the Seelie and Unseelie Queens avoided. Queen Vivicka Valdas, as she was named, turned out to be the least helpful and the most violent of the three would be aids. The Archfey Queen held a deep grudge against one of Amalia's ancestors for her beauty that was often thought to surpass Valdas's own. To cure the Monarchs and their next heir Valdas required Amalia's blood, and didn't specify how much would actually be needed in order to satisfy. The party barely escaped by the skin of their teeth.
The second and third aids turned out to be much more then expected, for they were gods whose curious gazes had been drawn to the adventurers over their journeys. The Traveler, a masked and unknown god of chaos and change, turned out to be more then they appeared. Long ago, before they had become a diety, The Traveler had been known as Zaleria Treeseeker: an archfey, a Champion of the realm, founder of Tel'eregnan, and Amalia's ancestor. She would gladly have given her descendants aid, but she had to be careful of who and how she showed favor to because of her status as a god. She could only reward a favor for another favor. Even if it was her granddaughter whowas asking. All she wanted was a magical mirror, one that was strong enough to see beyond the boundaries of the planes. If they brought her this she would heal Amalia's parents and sister, and she would ensure that the party returned from the Feywild near the same time that they had left.
So the party performed the summoning ritual to bring the third aid to them, another god. This one was named Aureon, a god who watched ovr wizards and was as intelligent as he was obsessed with learning about magic. He gladly gave the party a magical mirror that did as they wanted, but in return he asked for a lock of Amalia's hair. He also traded a kiss for some information the the party's swashbuckler (Vivienne) wanted.
Once given the mirror The Traveler took the party back to Tel'eregnan with the party only losing a few minutes of time. The god healed the Monarchs and Eladria, but the King and Queen took longer to recover and didn't wake up before the party had to leave the kingdom. Eladria did though, and was able to regain enough strength to perform the ritual Dryad Dance for the city's winter festival.
The day before the festival took place however, another member of the party left. Vivienne headed back to Escellia in order to offer Aleara any aid she could. She arrived only to find that Aleara had already left to finish the mission that they had been hired for… and had been unknowingly missing for a few days.
By the time the rest of the party left Tel'eregnan and made it half way back to Escellia nearly three weeks had passed. The city's connection to the Feywild caused a time displacement, meaning that for every day that passed within the city, two passed for the rest of the world. Luckily an old friend of the party's caught up with them on their way back or it would have been even longer. The Gold Dragon from their first task together, who had taken up a human form and ownership of a tavern in Escellia, arrived and quickly conjured a portal that lead them to the place where Aleara, and now Viv, had gone to complete their job.
In an old, dark, and decrept castle the party found some answers. As well as some zombies, undead ogres, a banshee, and a man who they knew to be the Rogue King's twin brother performing a ritual in the midst of it all. They also found Aleara, wounded and maimed but alive, and Viv… Viv had given her life in an attempt to get Aleara out of the death infused castle. The party managed to kill all the zombies and the banshee (all the while looting the place) before attempting to move the unconscious twin mid-ritual. This turned out to be the wrong, or maybe the right, thing to do as the ritual was broken and to the horror of the party and the necromancer, the man was force to conscousness and transformed into a hideous undead beast for his failure.
Now the party gathers around Viv's body, shaken and injured, hoping that they can somehow, some way bring her back…