Mindosia

And so it Ends

Duke Voragate stood on High Hill and surveyed the area. The Schism had been bleeding again but at least Shyrrik was around to help stop it. With Shyrrik heading back to Cheolia, Duke Voragate knew he would be left to handle most of it himself. Kethand’s soldiers were getting fewer, but their knowledge was improving. Soon they would be expert demon fighters. ‘I just hope we get enough replacements.’

But the land was changing, the desert was increasing in size daily. ‘Soon we will all be covered in sand.’ Luckily, the halflings were coming along nicely. Their obvious skill in combat and knowledge of harsh environments would come in handy.

He turned to his companion and looked upon her face. It was a face that wouldn’t need to be hidden for much longer, even if she would still be forced to use her new name. Not that it made any sense for her to use that face at all.

‘I hope you know I will always call you Jostin. No need for the wrong people to know that your aenema is still around.’

‘This is why I kept her hidden away so she didn’t share with too many. That much knowledge and experience in one form would either be deadly to her or cause her to become a conquerer.’

‘But she did share with several others. You still have them in there as well?’

‘Yes, there are many. Did I ever tell you about Jostin’s unexpected moment with Ejnar and Kraytol in the mines? I have them in here as well.’

’Don’t try to use them. You will need to stick with your new identity. You are one of the good guys now. We can’t have you confusing people and the mythology that could create.’

‘Too much power in one person?’

‘Jostin, remember that we will kill you if even the slightest indication of…’

‘Relax my lord. Though Mirabella is the dominant, she is still just one of the multitude. We know that way lies total destruction.’ Jostin turned to the Duke, and likely future King, Voragate and said, ‘Repentance is a pain in the ass.’

A large rock quickly moved out of the way to show a gnome seated in the grass, ‘When you’ve lived as long as I have you’ll know just how true that statement is.’

The visibly shaken Duke exclaimed, ‘Dammit Glim, you should have told us you were there.’

‘I haven’t been here long. I just got back from the front and they told me you were here. It is official, we have sealed ourselves off from greater Mindosia and Cheolia. We are now on our own.’

Jostin smiled, ‘So they destroy the path to the east?’

‘Yes but the cost was great. Many casualties and Voragate,’ Glim lowered his gaze for a moment and sighed, ‘you no longer have any rivals for the throne.’

Voragate shook his head sadly, ‘That is not good news for us. I would rather lose an election to a worthy opponent than to be the defacto King.’

Jostin chimed in, ‘My lord, the people will follow you.’

‘We shall see. Glim any other news that we need?’

‘My King, when we strengthened Kraytol’s Gift on the East Wall, it may have weakened the West wall. I fear we will feel Amrit’s gift for quite some time.’

Even more death. Hasn’t there been enough. King Voragate turned to look at Glim. ‘We knew this was possible.’

Glim considered Voragate’s reaction. He was handling it better than I thought. ‘We will need to start relocating people further into the desert.’

’I’ve had the Halflings working on sizing up some of their living quarters. We’ll make space and then rebuild where we can.’

‘There will be many injuries.’

‘We have healers.’ Voragate put up a hand to stop Glim. ‘What are you trying to get at Glim. Talk openly.’

Glim looked over at the face that had been an enemy for so long before he returned his gaze back to Voragate, ‘Some of the changelings want to go into the Schism. They think it will get them home.’

’Isn’t traveling to the Chaos plane now an impossibility?’

‘In the strickest sense, yes. But try telling them that. Many will die figuring that out.’

‘Let them go.’

Jostin jumped in front of him, ‘But my lord.’

‘Jostin, we can’t stop them. Would you have our soldiers die trying to stop them? Would you have us fighting each other? We don’t have the resources. You witnessed firsthand the destruction that was wrought.’

Jostin’s voice softened, ‘I did not my lord. That was the original. I gained very little after she was killed.’

‘I was talking about the many eyes you have shared. We lost half our army when that crack happened. The only thing that saved us was that our enemies lost more than we did. With the loss of our champions, we have fewer people that are capable of fighting the largest devils. We our people to get further from the wall. If the changelings, or anyone else, wants to stay than I will not stop them.’

Glim chimed in, ‘Voragate, there is going to be a lot of changes in the near future.’

‘Compared to the changes occurring now?’ Voragate pointed over to Jostin. ‘Already the changes she was referencing as a possibility are happening.’

Jostin said, ‘The children?’

‘Yes, there are more and more children being born…different.’

Glim responded, ‘Yes my lord. The Chaos plane no longer exists as a separate world. Any remnants have merged with our world. It will never be the same here. The wall should keep it from spreading too much onto this planet. But here where the wall is weakest and as close as we are, we will try to slow it down enough that people can adapt mentally. But we can’t stop it.’

Jostin looked out to the Schim and sighed. ‘I certainly hope that Shyrrik and Aedra are happy on their islands and that they never know what we did to keep their people safe.’

Glim laughed, ‘Repentance is a pain in the ass.’

Jostin smiled, ‘I just wished I would have listened to you when I first got here.’

The far away look in Glim’s eyes turned steely, ‘Me too. But then again, I had to learn the hard way as well.’

Voragate asked, ‘Glim, will you stay in this shape? It is what I’m used to.’

‘Yes, we still need heros. I have to accept the mantle. I can’t leave you to take it all on yourself. You don’t have our powers of anynmoty. But we can still be your eyes and ears among the people as needed.’

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Poor old michael finnigan, begin again.

As the last blow lands on Amrit and his body crumbles to dust, silence settles over the battlefield. Out of the ranks of the army behind you comes a half dragon that Aedra and Shyrrik recognize as Kethand. He is flanked by two other members of the Verthican order as well as a female centaur in the black hood and cloak of a Reverand Mother. They assist in healing the group and making sure everyone is safe and secure.

But from the opposing army, taking long strides, is one of the largest men you’ve ever seen. At about 12 feet tall, he dwarfs those around him. He is carrying a jagged long spear and armor the color of midnight. There are two figures in full plate walking with him towards you.

He stops at the edge of the field where you fought Amrit and his voice makes up the distance. ‘Brave warriors. Hopefully this will be a lesson. You barely defeated our mighty leader with five of you. If even one of his generals joined him than you would have been easily defeated. We will honor our lord and leave the battle this day. I will assure you that you have little chance if this war continues. Talk with your leaders. Surrender is a better option for you.’

It is obvious from depth of his voice that he has Ogre blood. ‘Some of you have met with Lord Amrit’s wrath and others our Lady, Mirabella’s. I assure you that nothing will match their combined powers. If you live long enough to meet either of them again, it will likely be as one, united force.’ He holds his spear high, ‘Or you will be lucky and merely die by my hands. It will be quicker.’

He turns to leave…

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Upon approach of the Jiskadarian border

As the terrain starts changing over to a lightly wooded area, Aedra knows they are approaching the border. The road is leading them ever onward as she feels the anticipation of returning to her homeland again after all these years. It took a while but she began to notice that something isn’t right. Where were all the other travlers?

Far in the distance, the group notices several small buildings along the roadside. As they get closer Shyrrik notices they have a distinct military look to them. When he points this out to Aedra she mentions these buildings were not there a year ago.

Six soldiers mount up on horseback and come out to meet the group. They armor they are wearing seems to be a bit of a mix between traditional Jiskadarian and modern Cheolian military.

Three of the soldiers are obviously elven and well armed. The two men and one woman show little signs of humor. But this doesn’t effect the group quite as much as the other three.

The three others that ride up with the elves have flat, featureless silver faces. A small crease opens in one of them and asks, ‘Who goes there and what business do you have with the Jiskadarian Empire?’

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When we return

As our adventurers we working their way into the Emperor’s chamber, the Portal-Gate was opened just inside the city walls. The few guards were no match for the onslaught that came through once they got the information as to the party’s whereabouts. The Cheolian capital was unable to be penetrated by the best scrying spells, or advanced teleportation. But once the message stone got into the castle and its whereabouts were confirmed by Shyrrik, a dwarven king, a shapeshifting Gnome, a Queen and an Elven Baron all led their armies into the capital city and took it from the impostor emperor.

Fighting remained heavy in the streets for several days as pockets of shapeshifters were ferreted out and guards loyal to the chaos creatures were defeated. The dwarves, fighting for their promised freedom and their rightful queen, are now a large presence in the capital city. It is reported that there are small riots starting in the surrounding islands but Enarin’s soldiers were dispatched to help.

The party has helped maintain order in the capital while taking time to talk with the leadership to see what is next. With Amrit and Mirabella stealing the Stone of Destiny there are already talks of an attempt to retrieve it. Glim and company are also talking about the need to get back to Mindosia to get rid of the false King and select a new one. The false king has many loyal troops but he seems to believe there are enough people still loyal to the old Mindosia to defeat them. But the elves are still trying to decide if they should trust reports of shapeshifters.

One day Enarin calls you all into the large audience chamber. You realize that they are all discussing Glim’s board of magic he once used to show where the shapeshifters are located. It is much larger, in order to encompass the lands of Cheolia, and you notice the silver is much dimmer. ‘As you can see there are far fewer than in recent days but they are still everywhere.’

Enarin, noticing your approach, stops Glim’s comments with a hand. ‘We will finish discussing this in a moment. Right now I need to do a couple of things.’

Enarin walked down from her throne towards the waiting throng. ‘To all the courtiers and warriors of the land, may I present our heroes.’

There was a loud applause around the room. It takes you aback for a moment. There was little time for fanfare with so much knife work still left in the capital. You had barely any time to think it over, but it hit you all pretty heavily.

As the applause died down Enarin continued to speak. ‘Friends, I cannot tell you the appreciation I have in my heart for restoring my throne to me. I only hope that we can still return to the Chaos plane to extract several of our mutual friends as well as my father. This is his throne that I sit on.’

She extended her arms to the group, ‘I would ask a couple things from you. As a mixture of Mindosian and Cheolian patriots, you have shown how well our two nations can work together. You will walk in both lands and friends.’

She walked over to Aedra, ‘My darling daughter, I would ask that you take the official title of Princess of the 9 Islands and Head diplomat to the lands of Mindosia. There are very few people who would know it as well as you.’

She moved to Shyrrik, ‘Count Shyrrik of Ilan, cousin to my daughter, I ask that you continue on with your fight against injustice. But I ask that you also continue to do it by the side of your cousin and serve as one of her protectors. You have proven yourself a mighty defender of your lands and the lands of Mindosia and I believe there are few that would be able to help as much as you would.’

‘Darling Yablo, I would ask that you stay here with me as captain of my guard and consort to her Highness. Your sword is one of the few things I knew I could rely on in my time of need. Though I was not always honest with you, you still continued to be there. It would be a difficult job and I would understand if you would say no. But your wandering spirit could be used when I need to visit my various kingdoms.’

‘King Hagrox, nobleman and rock of the dwarven people. Your kingdom and people have been scattered. Most are here in the capital city since your lands are now owned by others. We will talk about how to handle this issue but I know there are many opportunities for you and your people. Though you number few, you are still strong. In the meantime I would ask that you also help find the Stone of Destiny. If anyone has a bond with stone, it would be you.’

‘Drixon, I would think you also would like to return to the continent of Mindosia. You are not sure where you belong but I would say you now belong everywhere, instead of nowhere. Your power and magic has been more useful than you would ever guess and I’m sure your friends could still use you.’

‘We believe that the most important thing is to find out what Amrit and the impostor Mirabella are up to. If she was willing to give up an entire kingdom for that stone, it tells me there is something very scary going on. So if the four of you would like to be my official ambassadors to Mindosia than much can be accomplished. There are also a couple people I can send with you to help.’

She walked back to her throne, ‘You will be given time to consider what I have asked. We will talk more tomorrow. Thank you for your work. I hate to ask more of you but as I’m sure you know, a warrior’s job is never done.’

The party is dismissed from the chamber.

You will be brought into a dining room the following day around time for the noon meal. Enarin stand at the end of the table, ‘Sorry I couldn’t allow for questions in general council. I don’t know what ears were in that room. I needed the show for prying eyes. We are safe here. Any questions?’

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Cheolian Revolution

The group managed to take control of the Cheolian capital through the defeat of the false emperor. Ejnar Sherrod, Amrit and Mirabella escaped riding a dragon that was carrying the Stone of Destiny.

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Prison Secured

Our adventurers fought to secure the prison as a base for the dwarven rebellion. The prisoners have been rescued and the battle won. But the escape of Mirabella has thrown an aura of insecurity over our intrepid group. What will happen once they realize that all is not done yet in the prison…

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Chaos World

The party was forced into a chaos dimension where they discovered some of the people that were replaced in Mindosia and Cheolia. Through their adventures there they discovered that Enaerin was the real Mirabella and that the Mirabella they knew was a creature from the chaos plane.

Ejnar discovered that her father was Deidrick, adviser to the real king of Mindosia.

Kraytol, at long last, found Duke Rezohodo and Quelrun and got to rescue them. Showing his true value they asked for him to stay to assist them in their quest to get everyone back to the prime plane.

Glim was discovered to have been replaced by a chaos creature who is working for the Protectorate, in order to keep it clean from other outside influences.

And some other stuff…

Currently they have come through the portal onto one of the Cheolian islands.

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Slaves

Kraytol picked up the journal. Since his mind had grown a bit fuzzier over the intervening weeks, he passed it over to Aedra to be read. She opened it to the last page, looked about and then read it to the group.
‘The smell of sweat is all around me. I’ve been on this boat for over a week now and all I feel is contempt and sorrow for the poor suckers around me. There are only a few that seem to rise above all the rocking and mindless chores we are forced into. There is a man here with so much bravura that he insults his captors even as they would lash his back. No man denies he has the heart of a lion but even I notice a bit of melancholia when he plays his ocarina. He travels with the largest creature I’ve ever seen with the ability to talk. I’ve heard of minotaurs but I’ve never seen one up close. After getting kicked to the ground by one of the guards he picked me up like a child who tripped, grabbed the whip the guard had and scolded him. But then gave the whip back. He is a simpleton, but a friendly and generous one.
I’m assuming they were a part of a band of robbers because they also spend a lot of time around a man who stares out to sea when his isn’t working, an elf with a haughtiness like nothing I’ve ever seen and a girl who spends most of her time making funny motions with her hands, to no avail. Though slightly more dejected by the situation, even they were held in better spirits than most of the group. I think having the bull with them helped. They didn’t need to worry as much about being cut in the night.
I watch them and wonder what I can do to befriend them. Perhaps since I am innocent they will take pity on me. The place we are going is supposed to be quite harsh. We shall see.’
Aedra placed the journal back on the body of the young man about to be thrown overboard.
Another man who had been listening eyed the body greedily. ‘Poor bastard, he didn’t even make it that far. I wonder if anyone has claimed his shoes. They look…’
At that, Kraytol tossed him into the ocean, ‘Mean man go first.’ Even though he knew the lash would come again, he smiled. Helping was its own reward.

After your arrest:
The party was taken to a windowless prison were you were all stripped of all your magic items and forced into the rags of beggars. The clothes were dirty and reeked of unwashed bodies and the stains were obviously a combination of human waste and dried blood. The following morning you are walked out to the public square with about fifty other men and women where the king declared you all guilty of your respective crimes. He didn’t even bother to read the charges listed when he sentenced you all to forced labor at the hands of the Cheolians. The sham was helped by the voices of the accused being silenced by a spell.
By mid-afternoon you were on board a large ship. There were several large, blue, wormlike creatures with four arms in charge of a mostly human boat crew. A couple of orcs and half orcs were there and all carried whips and short swords. After taking the time to look around, you noticed that there were 58 prisoners and cubbies for about 10 people. They picked out the people for the room with the small sleeping cubbies, henceforth referred to as ‘The Room’ and the rest of you were sent into the cargo hold for the other cattle.
Yablo found himself next to a porthole and looked out. He saw Mirabella making her way to another vessel when she looked over. She quickly looked away but not before he saw a mournful look on her face. He found it odd that she was walking with two women dressed in black traveling gear. They were watching her very intently and looked over towards Yablo. He moved his face as fast as he could. When he looked back he saw the women talk to a man at the other ship and made their way towards the slave ship. They boarded shortly before it left port.
The ship had surprisingly few crew members for a ship this size. Once you realized the difference in the worm creatures you learned to distinguish the three of them. There was the father, Vork who was a relentless task master, the elder son, Markon, who cared for nothing but ale and let his underlings do the work and finally the younger son who was merely there occasionally wandering around the ship. The two women that Yablo noticed were obviously considered dignitaries of some sort. They didn’t do any of the work and often bossed around Vork and his sons. The worms flashed looks of venom but didn’t raise a hand to do anything about it.
Otherwise there were the two half orcs, who were treated with some scorn, one orc who was the steersman, and six humans that mostly supervised the prisoners, who did most of the normal ship duties.
The party spent most of their time among the other prisoners but communication was frowned upon. Most of the party talked as they could to raise their spirits as much as possible but Aedra did a lot of time digging and found that most of the prisoners were there because they spoke out against the current king or his friends in Cheolia. It was a ship full of political prisoners.
Rumors started spreading about where you were all heading. Fear became a natural part of the trip amongst the rest of the people. One man got it in his head to lead a mutiny. Three men overpowered the guard on a late night duty when everything exploded into violence. It appeared the short swords the guards carried were spelled in some way, as the man who grabbed it first found it sticking out of his stomach.
The two women came out of their room at first hint of a problem and quickly dispatched anyone that came near them. They did what they could to keep from killing them, leaving a trail of broken bones on their way to the men who started the fight. The three worms came out shortly after to subdue the uprising and were far less concerned with everyone’s survival. The first guard may have been killed in the process but after ten of prisoners were left with broken body parts and twelve others killed, it was evident that the captors had the upper hand. Since it was your turn in ‘The Room’ you could not get out as the ‘Room’ was locked all night. You all watched from the small windows and could do nothing about it.
Instead of being given time to recuperate, the ten injured prisoners were forced to do more work than before. Occasionally you’d help them as you could but if you were found helping you got just as much punishment as they did. The 46 prisoners remaining were even more disheartened. Shyrrik withdrew into himself once again.
Over the next couple of weeks quite a few prisoners died of various things. Malnutrition, accidents and occasionally knives were normal occurrences and when you all finally saw the island you were heading towards there were only 28 of you left.
One other thing you noticed during your crossing that you found odd. Your minds started getting a bit fuzzier. Thoughts became more difficult to hold into your heads and you found yourself more willing to just go along with your orders. But your bodies were also getting leaner and more athletic as you went along. All the hard work was doing something for you.
The boat was sitting near the island for two days when four smaller ships came from the river mouth towards the boat. The prisoners were loaded up and taken towards the island. The island was a mass of jungles with a large volcano in the middle. The river led you straight up to, and into the volcano. You saw many people chipping away at the walls and the occasional glitter of something shiny in the carts that passed by everyone.
You were all deposited in a cave that had no right being as bright as it was. After looking around you saw a Dracon in a cage above a pit of lava. He was on the verge of passing out but holding on out of sheer will power. A sign over the cage read, ‘This is what happens to dissenters’.
An odd creature flew down from above. His lower half was that of four legged eagle like creature and the top half of a small man wearing a red hat. He was only about four and a half feet tall but the sneer that revealed sharpened teeth put everyone on edge.
‘Welcome to my home. You will do what I say, when I say it. You will mine until you have no life left in your body. You will give me what I am tasked to get and you will do it willingly. There are only two rules here: get me my stones and stay alive and one day you may be set free. If you don’t you may suffer what my friend Kethand is dealing with.’ He looks at everyone there, ‘or worse.’
‘Give them their picks and get them started. We wasted enough time today going to get them. They will have to make up for any losses.’
Weeks have passed and you are slaving away. This is where you will start…

Here are the adjustments based on your time in the Slave Mines.

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Feb 25th Game

The group started the morning by saying goodbye to the halflings and minotaurs until a strange new halfing showed up. Zaire walked up to his old friend Davish Mun. After speaking with them for a couple minutes he informed everyone that one of the minotaurs was not as he seemed. A brief scuffle later, and a dead shapeshifter lie dead at everyone’s feet. A taste test ensued.

Zaire then introduced himself to the rest of the party and indicated that he knew another way through the mountain. Between the two lips of the Devil’s mouth was a hidden path. The party discovered a man being attacked by a couple of demons. Jerrod told them he was a man from Frichosia who dealt in diamonds from this mine that only he knew about. He asked the party to deliver him to his mine. They escorted him over to a large room that sparkled with all of the diamonds embedded into the cave walls. The group deciding that their mission was too important to dally here, left the man unmolested and diamonds alone.

They approached what appeared to be a centaur guarding the way out of the cave. They presented themselves before him and asked if they could just pass through. Jerrod came up from behind them and told them that they could freely pass and for their lack of greed and for their kindness to him when he was in trouble, he awarded the party a diamond of their own.

The party rejoiced at their luck but when they opened the door to the cave they discovered other demons guarding the way out. With skill of arms they won their way through but almost paid a penalty for it. Yablo was quite near death but they fought their way through before he perished.

They resumed the journey back to the orcish camp. They were beset by a pair of lions. Before the group had a chance to react the giant beast tore through Shyrrik. He was conscious soon after but the pain took its toll on him. The group defeated the beasts and prepared camp and lion steaks.

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Escape through the portal

The group left the orcish town following Kraytol’s ‘white horse with horns’. It lead them up a mountain into a cave. After several battles with orcish guards, they found the portal. There was a bronze automation there brandishing dual rapiers. The party worked together to dispatch the creature as Kraytol activated the portal, sending them to Kachochan.

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