Rise of the Forgotten Kings

Session 24
Enter: Lutervoc!

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We open in the sewers beneath Draken’s Point 100 years ago, where a young gnome bard named Lutervoc is running from a terrifying Ghoul. Turning to face the frightful monster, Lute holds up his short sword, his knees trembling wildly. As the Ghoul descends upon him, a brilliant FLASH lights up the dank sewer, and the visage of the Gnome god Garl Glittergold appears and disposes quickly of the monster.

“Hello, friend!” he says, turning to Lute, who can scarcely believe his eyes. “I come from the future. 100 years, to be exact. Your aid is needed in a dark time when the Son of Tiamat has risen to power to destroy all life. Close your eyes, Mr. Kyte…you’re off on adventure!”

And with that, Lute is transported to the future, where he joins the Black Scorpion Gang. Through him, we learn that the B.S.G. believe the Pharaoh is now using the Staff of Time for evil. He and the Gang head into the Great Pyramid in order to free a group of prisoners, where they bump into our illustrious heroes and, after a brief scuffle, realize they are all on the same side and have been deceived by Rafaj and the Pharaoh. All the while, they hear prisoners in the dungeons around them calling out various female names…

The adventurers travel up to the peak of the Great Pyramid, where the throne room is located, to confront the villains. The Pharaoh is nowhere to be found, but sitting on the throne is the treacherous vizier Rafaj, who grins darkly as his cobra-headed staff comes to life and grows into an enormous serpent…

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Session 23
A Legend Awakens

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“Thank you…for…releasing me…”

The voice of Gruum, recognizable from the flashbacks, emanates weakly from his tomb.

“Thank you for returning my eyes, tongue, and key,” he says. “I can finally be at peace and complete my journey to the afterlife to be with my love…”

While Slink argues with Itto about the merits of stealing back the powerful relics and letting the mummy rot where it is, the spirit of Gruum ascends from its mummified body and blesses the heroes for their help once more, before floating up towards the heavens, where the faint outline of Ehlonna awaits him with outstretched arms.

Their good deed for the month accomplished, Team Trust wearily make their way out of the Tomb of Gruum with their prize: the Staff of Time. Our “noble” adventurers return to the city of Gruum, where the vizier Rafaj asks for the staff’s return. The relic is handed over, and Rafaj bows deeply as he hands it off to a figure emerging from the shadows: The Pharaoh herself, who is revealed to be Ellay Hol, Itto’s former lover! She implores the heroes to go out and defeat Davek’s rebellious Black Scorpion Gang, and agrees to give up her position as Pharaoh and reunite with Itto if the group is successful.

But would our heroes succeed? Would Itto hold Ellay in his arms once more? Find out…next time!

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Session 22
I Want My Mummy!

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The evil mummy and former Pharaoh Shardic attacks Team Trust, who force the Staff of Time from his grasp and engage him in epic battle. Despite their improved teamwork and power, the heroes seem to be losing the battle…

…Until a mysterious stranger named Mischa joins the fray! A powerful wizard Halfling and escapee from Elysium, Mischa helps turn the tide of battle before disappearing in a puff of smoke.

Victorious but exhausted, the heroes bring their new relics (the key, tongue, and glasses) to a final hidden room, which contains the sarcophagus of the late Gruum, along with those of Isara, Hyrax, and Kazeem. Upon returning the relics to the tomb, a magical glow erupts, and a quiet voice is heard from within…

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Session 21
Ehlonna and Afraid

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Rearranging the 3 scarab gems in the proper order, Team Trust are amazed to find a magical weapon which no one can seem to pick up except for Quinn. His connection to the evil god of revenge Cas allows him to wield the Heavy Mace of Vengeance, which he swears to Itto that he will not use, and into the Bag of Holding it goes…right?

The final room of the Tomb contains only a bug-filled well, which our heroes jump down to find a bejeweled sarcophagus, which they open, hoping it to belong to Gruum, and the Staff of Time. What they find instead…

…is that they are transported into a final flashback, years later when Ehlonna and Gruum have eloped together and live in hiding. Ehlonna, now pregnant, sees two cloaked figures capture and murder a man, collecting his blood in the name of Apep: the evil god and rival to the sun-god Ra. It is then revealed that an evil Pharaoh is now in power in Gruum’s place, making blood sacrifices to Apep and forsaking Ra. Gruum returns to reclaim his crown, but upon entering the throne-room, is stabbed to death (along with his pregnant wife Ehlonna) by the new evil Pharaoh, the revealed traitor: Shardic!

The group snaps out of the flashback, shocked to discover the grisly fate which befell the two lovers at the hands of their former vizier Shardic. As they wonder if history’s lesson is meant to teach them anything, the mummy in the sarcophagus opens its eyes, clutching the Staff of Time, and cackling maniacally. For it appears the creature entombed here is not Gruum, but rather…Shardic!

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Session 20
Architecture is Hard.

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The next room reveals a puzzle which challenges Team Trust to no end: move several mirror-topped blocks to direct a beam of sunlight from a skylight above against the door to the next room. After discussing the merits of dungeon-based architecture and debating the puzzle for what seems like hours, our heroes finally manage to position the blocks in the right way to hit the door.

They next find 3 small sarcophagi with scarab-shaped holes, clearly meant for the 3 gems found in the previous rooms. After opening each sarcophagus to reveal the 3 priests from their flashback, the team attempts to remember which priest wore which color…unfortunately, a failed Wisdom roll doesn’t help, and they put the gems in the wrong order. For a moment nothing happens, but then…the 3 mummies come to life and attack!

A brief yet vicious battle ensues, with the heroes luckily besting the creatures with some quick-thinking by Quinn, who uses his Mage Hand to snag the gems from the sarcophagi and rendering the mummies immobile yet again.

The group then stumbles upon a pair of glasses, which Quinn puts on to launch the next flashback sequence. This time, we find Gruum/Itto, his friend Kazeem/Slink, and the vizier Shardic in the throne room, looking at the now-completed Staff of Time. Before they can act, however, the Royal Guard Hyrax (embodied by Jil) bursts in with the elven maiden Isara (Quinn) to announce that the elven army is again at their doorsteps, and the group rushes out to meet Ehlonna, back to see her love, Prince Gruum.

The only option left is to flee the castle and hide…

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Session 19
The Tongue Speaks

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Moving on to the next set of rooms, Team Trust finds yet more glyphs, this time depicting Gruum and his Vizier Shardic looking on at the slaughter of Half-Orcs. A lone sarcophagus in the room contains 3 colored scarab-shaped gems, along with a tongue. Upon touching the tongue, the group is again transported to the past…

This time, Itto/Gruum finds himself in a church, watching a fellow Half-Orc being lowered into a lava pit. Shardic announces that this is a ritual used to create the powerful Staff of Time. Three priests, each clad in the same color of clothes as the 3 aforementioned scarab gems, look on, then appear startled as an older Half-Orc woman, the “Pharaoh Mother” (embodied this time by Rayne) bursts in to protest the sacrifice. She is quickly escorted out, but not before shouting to all in the church:

YOU CAN’T RESTRAIN ME! I’VE GOT A CANE!”

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Session 18
Living Glyphs: The Tomb of Gruum

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WHO DEMANDS ENTRANCE TO THE TOMB?!”

As our heroes peer at the giant Sphinx-creature guarding the entrance to the Tomb of Gruum, Itto bravely steps forward and declares himself, using all the various names at his disposal. The Sphinx asks the group 5 Riddles, which they answer one-by-one in order to be allowed access to the Tomb.

Instead of vanishing, the Sphinx is struck by a heavenly beam of light, shrinking it to the size of a large mount, which then bows its head to Itto and declares itself his faithful celestial mount: Moonstalker.

Finally inside the tomb, Team Trust encounters a living tree monster, which they must destroy in order to steal its key to the next room. There, they find a series of hieroglyphs, which appear to begin moving as the group touches the new magical key. Suddenly, their minds are transported into the bodies of others, and they wake up as if in a dream…

Itto, now Prince Gruum, discusses strategy with his father King Gruumsh, as they attempt to keep the invading elven army at bay. As the leader of the elves, Corellan Lorenthian, approaches the gate, he reveals the reason for the attack: the return of his daughter, Princess Ehlonna (embodied by Rayne), who has run away to be in the arms of her love…Prince Gruum.

Torn between her people and her love, Ehlonna realizes that she is the key to preventing war, and leaves Gruum’s side to return to her father. It is then said that the lovers can be reunited only when Summer returns to the lands. Love-struck and devastated, Gruum seeks the advice of his vizier Shardic, who, after receiving a vision from the sun-god Lord Ra, reveals that there is a magical implement that may be able to speed the passage of time and bring the arrival Summer: The Staff of Time.

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Session 17
Slink: Gnome-napped!

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As our heroes rest in the Great Pyramid to prepare for their journey to the Tomb of Gruum the next day, Itto is awakened by a noise in the night. He is startled to discover Slink’s bed empty, and the window open. Rousing his compatriots, he looks outside to see a group of shadowy figures bounding along rooftops and through the city with a tied-up gnome in their possession. Team Trust springs into action, following in hot pursuit and eventually catching up to the group just as Slink escapes his bonds and flees his attackers. He informs them that upon overhearing their conversations, he learned that this was the work of Davek’s Black Scorpion Gang, attempting to kidnap Slink to use his skills as a thief to break into the Tomb of Gruum and recover the magical Staff of Time.

After a nervous sleep, the group ventures back into town where they meet Billy the Bard, a traveling musician with news from the outside world. Apparently, there is to be a great wedding in Draken’s Point, between the Human King Rhegar and the Elven Princess Isara. The wedding is meant to quell the rising tensions between the two kingdoms and bring peace to the realm.

Billy the Bard goes on to deliver more news and information, including:
- The Staff of Time was used by Gruum, first Pharaoh to the Half-Orcs, to accelerate time. It is also said that he fell in love with a “woman of summer”
- The Halflings have all been killed, but no one knows by whom. There are rumors, though, with some believing the humans were responsible, and others saying a disease killed them off.
- Pirate attacks have been taking place in the eastern oceans. Ships have been ransacked in the attempt to find the hidden Gnome-lands.
- The Gnomes have crowned a new magistrate

Thankful for Billy’s information, Team Trust pays him his fee and finally sets out for the Tomb of Gruum…

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Session 16
The Trials of Gruum

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A booming voice rings out over the arena where our heroes now find themselves. He announces himself as Rafaj, the Voice of the Pharaoh. He wields a cobra-headed staff and proclaims that Team Trust must complete three trials in order to be given free access to the city of Gruum.

As he finishes his speech, an enormous sand word bursts from the ground, and attacks our adventurers. An arduous battle ensues, with Slink nearly being eaten alive by the poisonous monster. With a mighty blow from Itto, the beast is felled, and the stadium erupts into applause.

The second trial, Rafaj announces, must be faced by one of their own: the Half-Orc member of the team, Itto. His allies are removed from the arena, and a group of chariot-riding Half-Orcs emerge wearing strange Elven masks. Forced to defeat his own kin, Itto manages to dismember and maim the fighters, and victory is awarded to the team.

The final trial, we learn, is not a battle to take place in the arena, but a quest to the Tomb of Gruum in the desert, to retrieve the Staff of Time: a Half-Orc relic said to come from the gods of old…Gruum, the first Pharaoh, who led his brethren to their current desert home. Before leaving the city on the mission, Team Trust is told to beware the exiled bandits led by the traitorous “”/characters/goddark-the-bold" class=“wiki-content-link”>Goddark the Bold" (the son of the Half-Orc Itto met at the Wall).

On the streets of Gruum, an odd merchant reveals a map to the fabled Cave of Wonders, said to contain a magical lamp in which lies an all-powerful genie (sound familiar?) Taking the map, Team Trust decides to delay this side-quest until after they have returned the Staff of Time to Rafaj. An Everyman encountered by Quinn also tells of a hive-mind group, known as the 40 Thieves, led by a strange sorcerer.

As they exit the city, the notice a strange storm cloud above the largest building in the city, the Pyramid, and Slink’s bag of holding glows blue, as he notices new pages to the Draconomicon being filled with information about the strange hallucination-inducing powers of the Blue Dragon…but no time for that now! There’s a side-quest to be quested!

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Session 15
The Answers of the 5-and-1

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After promptly defeating Roken and Moodeey’s army of the undead, our intrepid adventurers head back to the Mage’s Tower and learn the secret to Roken’s murderous powers: on a remote island, an arcane wizard explorer discovered a group of powerful creatures who could control the minds of others. They were known as Psions, and the source of their power was said to come from the stars.

Having driven off the forces of evil (for now), Team Trust is allowed a reward from the 5-and-1: a question apiece from each adventurer, to learn a deep secret of their hearts:

Itto, entering their chambers first, learns that the entire Paladin order is destroyed, but his adoptive Elven “brother” Crestus may still be alive…though no longer a true Paladin.

Jil pursues answers as to how to exact revenge upon Roken, her father’s killer. Due to his mind-controlling powers, the only force that can stand up to him are the undead. Her options are three: head to the land of the undead and convince the King of the Dead to hand over his powerful amulet (the same one being sought by Moodeey); travel to the mysterious Underdark and seek the help of the Mindflayers; or embrace her vengeful, evil side and learn to command the undead herself.

Slink’s newfound suspicion that his former love Myst is now the treacherous Midnight Fox leads him to discover that she is somewhere in Draken’s Point. Whether or not she was alive was unclear.

Quinn seeks answers regarding his newfound powers, which are being fed to him by the evil moose-headed God of Vengeance: Cas. However, by using Cas’ dark powers, Quinn would slowly find himself more indebted to the cruel lord…

Rayne, similarly, learns that her doll (which had been talking to her during the journey and telling her to do terrible things) is also a tool of Cas, who has taken an interest in her.

Their questions answered, the heroes bid farewell to the creepy wizards of the 5-and-1, but not before they implore the team to return the five main escaped prisoners of Elysium…as well as make a terrifying request: deliver to them the head of their Everyman ally, Quinn, and in exchange they will give over the location of the Sword of Dragonsbane. The group debates ways to accomplish this without murdering their friend, but decide to continue on to the Half-Orc deserts in the west.

On the way, the group encounters a small group from the Black Scorpion Gang, the outlaws on the edges of the city of Gruum who had been harassing traders trying to sell to the Half-Orcs. After the scuffle, the heroes take one of the Gang hostage and deliver him to the all-female guards at the gates to the city, and learn that the Gang was ordered to keep traders out to upset the economic balance put in place by the new and elusive female Pharaoh of Gruum.

After allowing Team Trust entrance into the city, the guards lead our heroes to the Arena, where they first must pass 3 Trials in order to be allowed free access to the city…and their lives.

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