The Cards of Fate

A Devilish Ritual
An adventure begins.

Session 1 Recap
- excerpts from the diary of Fel -

Hello, my friends. Its me, Fel! And today I have a short story of adventure from my earliest days of exploring. Just for you! Now listen up.
It was night in the village of Loudwater. Our group of adventurers had gathered early. The first of which was Pveriyan, the warlock. However, due to his horrible luck and heavy drinking, he passed out and had to be left in his room.
The rest of the troupe arrived soon enough. And once together, we decided what was to be done, hearing of a cave not so far away. However, I spotted the presence of a follower. Upon being seen, the man ran away, and Akkarin immediately gave chase. We followed him to a cave.
When we entered we saw that the man had led us into a trap! In the same room with him was another cultist and a kobold slave hauling corpses. The first to come down was the kobold, swiftly followed by the cultists. However, I used up his only action point to take down the last enemy.

After the encounter we scavenged for some valuable cups and pans, as well as some extra change from the dead cultists. The man they followed was in possession of demonic rituals and scrolls.

We heard noises in the next room. So we took a short rest and moved on, I attempted to lead the team with stealth, but failed…and we were caught by surprise instead. In the next room were a group of cultists, accompanied by a kobold. The room was bloody and off to one side was a pile of corpses.
The encounter ensued. The PCs attacked the cultists first, but were then met by the magic of an evil mage. In a failed attempt of an attack, I fell into a spike trap, gashing my leg. The rest of the fight against the mage was done by Akkarin and Balthazar, with Akkarin dealing the death blow, after failing earlier with his encounter power.

After the melee, we inspected the room for 20gp…not much. And in the midst of checking, we noticed the sounds of a ritual in the chamber beyond.
We continued on.

This time Balthazar managed to successfuly lead us stealthily into the next room.

The next room had a pile of corpeses, along with a lone ritual caster….talking in abyssal speech. In an attempt to stop the ritual, we blew our cover and ran for the ritual star…but it was too late. And the star itself opened up into a portal into the abyss, and from it came theLesser Demon Ntugwe. The demon started off with massive initiative and flew right into us, dealing heavy damage and gratuitous violence. The fight from there was long, back to his turn, the demon bashed Balthazar, dazing him and making him unable to attack. His next turn, he rammed a ritual table right at me, also dazing me and almost taking me down. The next attack took me down to 0 hp and I fell unsconcious. Akkarin, who had the chance to deal a final blow, missed outright, but in a moment of desperation, used his action point to finally slay the monster.

After the encounter, balthazar and akkarin helped an unsconcious me up and explored the rest of the chamber. The demon had disappeared in a dark mist…the ritual caster had gone, but had left some items in his stead: 120gp, a bloodrite knife, a kapala, antivenom, amulet of mental resolve and a glass cube we discovered was a SCRYING CUBE!

Huzzah and hooray!

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How The Party Gathered
A group of adventurers gather for a purpose.

HOW THE PARTY GATHERED
- a short story by the DM

The door to the Green Tankard Tavern creaked open with a slight groan. The rotting floorboards creaked under the sound of heavy footsteps. Thumping. “Some gin, please,” a voice calls out. The figure sits down and rests his sturdy figure in the seat, and mutters to himself. “So Brother Horwal’s gone missing too, eh…”. The figure rests his head in the palms of his hands and slumps backwards. “Something strange is going down in this town, that’s for sure.” The dragonborn in the seat slowly closes his eyes and rests his mind, trying to hide away the fears that trickle into his thoughts.

He looks up at the wooden clock mounted on the wall. “It’s almost sundawn..” He chuckles to himself. “I should’ve figured they wouldn’t show up.” The clock ticks away, and just a few minutes later, a tall figure walks in – clothed in robes and carrying a satchel. He sits down by the dragonborn and places it on the desk. “Sorry I’m a tad late,” he says, “There was a good deal down at the apothecary…and you know how we wizards can’t resist a deal like that.” The dragonborn responds by snorting, and the wizard realizes he’d probably better be quiet.

Eventually, the dragonborn lets out a sound. “You think he’s going to show up?”
“Him?”
“Yeah, him.”“Well….I uh…I don’t know…tieflings aren’t the most co-operative of people.”

Just then, the door opens and the two figures at the table catch a glimpse of the sun setting before the door closes. The newly entered figure pulls up a chair and rests his hands on the desk. “Well, here I am. So what are we doing again?”

“Oh, Pveriyan – that’s your name, isn’t it? You made it after all.”
The dragonborn sits up. “So you’ve all heard about the rumors, I presume?”The wizard mutters. “Yeah…them kidnappings? People say it might be shadow snatchers, whatever they are.”
The tiefling pipes up. “People will believe what they want to believe. Whether they do something about it or not is a different question…I presume we’re doing something about it, am I right?”
The dragonborn eases back into his chair and smiles.
“No one else is.”

As the entourage talk, a bard in the corner can’t help but overhear the conversation. Despite having only been in town for two days, he’s heard the stories from some of his employers – people going missing in the night, disappearing without a trace, strange blood symbols found on homes…it was all a little eerie to someone like him. He decides to get a little closer.“Sorry to interrupt…but uh…what’s this about shadow snatchers?”
The group remains silent. The human bard slowly backs away.
“I don’t mean to intrude or anything, it’s just…”The tiefling interrupts. “Just something you want to know about, right? Sit down.”
The party explain the happenings to the bard, whose name they learn is Fel.
He seems unable to hold his excitement.
“It seems a little dangerous…but at the same time…a little exciting! Why not bring me along? I can be of great help.”
The wizard laughs: “hah, like a few songs would change our luck!”
The bard grins: “Bards are more than just entertainers, you know.”
The dragonborn slams his hands on the table, to the surprise of the two.
“So are we going to act? Or are we going to bicker?”

A moment of silence. Then the tiefling speaks.
“Let’s act.”

And so it begins.

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