Telios

Prologue Complete!
Now the real struggle begins ...

Congratulations! You’ve made it through your introduction to Telios! The first several sessions have been fairly fast-paced and meaty in terms of content, as we’ve had to work to get everything set up. Events have swept you along, and you’ve been doing a lot of reacting since the attack on the temple.

Now, however, you’re out of immediate life-threatening peril, and you now have the ability to choose where you go and what you do. The game will take a different turn now, and in some ways it’s about to really kick off. From here on out, it’ll mainly be you guys that will be setting the pace, and Dan and I will do as much or as little as that requires. I will, however, mention that things seem to be spiraling out of control rather quickly in the nation of Venth, and that inaction will have devastating consequences.

So if you want to start a conversation about what happens now, here’s the place to do it. You know the situation, now it’s time for the big question:

“What do you do?”

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Session 3: Demons, Conspiracies and Close Escapes
You encounter a demon, then are forced to flee the city after attempting to arrest the Venthian general behind the plot.

The session began in the bowels of the terrorists’ manor, where the party and Tanis Idarell resolved to confront and arrest Kaylos Danniver, a Knight-General in Venth’s army, who appeared to have been aiding the Corennan terrorists.

However, before the party can leave, a strangeness descends on the manor and they hear screams from upstairs.

They move upstairs to confront what appears to be a being made of shadow rising from the rune-inscribed pool in the antechamber of the terrorists’ manor. It had already killed most of the nearby Stormhawks, and when Tanis charged it, it pinned him in place and began feeding on his life force.

After a harrowing battle, the party appeared to defeat the demon. Taking only a few minutes to rest, the party headed off to confront Knight-General Danniver.

The party entered the High Ward and made their way to the military building where General Danniver kept his office. Tanis and the party took great pleasure in arresting the Knight-General, and Il Duce nearly nicked one of his swords.

The party then exited the building to find almost a full battalion of soldiers arrayed against them, with most of the Stormhawks they had arrived with captured or forced to stand down. Magistrate Tythis revealed that the party, in combination with Danniver’s sloppiness in covering his tracks, had endangered his plans and must therefore die. He convinced Tanis to side with him by offering him the soon-to-be-deceased Knight-General’s place, and commenced to ordering the death of everybody else.

The party escaped the immediate trap, barely, and had to quickly navigate the High Ward while evading enemy pursuit, searching for an access point to the sluiceways that channel water out of the city. They succeeded, once again by the skin of their teeth, thanks to a timely stroke of luck for Araevyn, and have now washed up at the side of a canal outside the city of Venth.

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Second Interlude: A Disquieting Discovery
You salvage the evidence you've been searching for.

Callidus and Lucan finish putting out the fire and begin to page through the detritus they have recovered, as the last sounds of battle fade outside. As they begin to examine the half-burned papers, Tanis enters the room.

“Now do you see, assassin, why I moved as quickly as I did? If we had allowed word to reach these terrorists that their man was captured, all of this would have been destroyed at the first opportunity anyways, and we would have arrived to find an empty house and nothing more. We are lucky, however, that you have rescued some of their documents, as this will provide a much shorter route to the outlying elements of the organization than interrogation.”

He scans the pages, then his brow furrows and his face blanches for a moment. Wordlessly, he passes the document to everyone else that enters the office.

As you pore over the notes, Tanis speaks. “Do you know who wrote this? Do you understand what this means?”

What do you say?

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Session 2: A Plot Uncovered
Paths cross again as Callidus, Araevyn, Zaltiar and Sahara try to unravel the mysterious happenings in Venth.

At session’s start, Sahara, Araevyn and Jorrim accompany Il Duce into the abode of Red Jack, leader of Venth’s thieves’ guild, the Royals. Il Duce had been previously coerced by Tanis Idarell to aid the Stormhawks in uncovering the organization behind several Corennan terrorist attacks on the city of Venth. Red Jack was less than forthcoming, but did provide the group with two leads – a dilapidated house in the Flare Ward, and “be in the market square this morning.”

The four followed up the lead in the Flare Ward first, but the Corennan thief they had been sent to find had been murdered in the most grisly fashion possible – a scene too horrible to describe. After searching the hovel to no avail, they made for the marketplace.

Meanwhile, Callidus had rushed to the covert meeting his fellow agents had arranged. He arrived to find his team leader, Keldor, dead, and was nearly ambushed himself, alerted only by the timely intervention of his other team member, Donovan. Callidus and Donovan fought their way through the deadly ambush, but Donovan was slowed by a poisoned arrow and told Callidus to flee. Callidus escaped, but Donovan’s whereabouts are still unknown. Callidus then spent the early hours of the morning investigating the attack, discovering that the crossbow bolts used by his apparently Watch-trained attackers were not of Venthian make. He then set out to contact the Royals, discovering that a silk merchant named Rylus would be able to put him in touch with the thieves.

As morning arrived, the group made its way to the market square. On the way, they encountered a group of Venthians accosting a Corennan traveler in their grief and anger at the death of Orus. Sahara intervened and discovered that the traveler was a wizard named Lucan, in Venth searching for his master, Beren Windsong. The group decided to accompany Lucan to prevent further incidents.

The group arrived at the market square, where they were immediately set upon by a very large, very loud silk merchant named Rylus. Rylus, an acquaintance of Zaltiar, enveloped his friend in a thoroughly cushioned hug, and then proceeded to wheedle some of the group into joining him for refreshments in his stall. Meanwhile, Callidus was observing the interaction, waiting for his chance to catch the silk merchant alone. Rylus regaled the group with tales of goings-on in the city, including the very recent deployment of Marshal Anton LaRoche and Knight-Commander Durien Volaris to the no-man’s-land between Corennon and Venth, as well as the presence of strange mists that have been blanketing the city. Rylus also mentioned that only a few hours earlier, one of Venth’s Rift Gates had been broken through, by someone capable of leaving stone, iron and the bodies of the guards in tatters.

Rylus took the group on a walk to the Imperial Quarter, where they found a trial underway for Beren Windsong and another Corennan. Beren was charged with using his magic to help the terrorists by suppressing the city’s wards and causing the mists. The other Corennon had stolen the patrol reports for the previous night from Knight-General Danniver’s office. The crowd was getting riled with the desire to see the Corennans hang, and even the presiding clerics of Jozan, Sahara’s father Janus among them, were hard pressed to ignore their anger at the brutal attacks.

Callidus noticed that there were a few brown-cloaked figures moving throughout the crowd, agitating and feeding the crowd’s anger. These figures moved like the assassins from the previous night. Araevyn, with a little magical help from Suggestion, got one of the figures to exit the crowd, where the assassin was taken by Callidus for a private chat.

Callidus interrogated his prisoner to little effect. His questions were met with silence and insults, even after the assassin’s Achilles tendons were slashed. The assassin even had the gall to twist so a cut designed to kill slowly instead bled him out in seconds. Callidus did, however, discover the mark of the Watch under the man’s ear …

Seeing his master about to be convicted on circumstantial evidence that he thought he could refute, Lucan spoke up at the trial and convinced the judges to postpone Beren’s trial. The other Corennan on trial, panicked at the thought of the hangman’s noose, pointed out someone in the crowd, who immediately broke and ran. He was chased by Araevyn and Il Duce, and the recently returned Callidus moved to intercept.

After eluding Araevyn and Il Duce, the man was taken out by Callidus. Tanis appeared and searched the man’s body, afterwards ensuring he wouldn’t wake up any time soon. He then disappeared to track down a lead while the party returned to the trial. Araevyn kept an amulet with an unidentified symbol that the man bore. Janus challenged Callidus’s status as an agent of Incarion, and took him to the Librarium to meet with Magistrate Tythis, Incarion’s liaison to Venth.

Tythis confirmed Callidus’s status as a member of the Watch, and confided his worry, lack of information and inability to contact Incarion. He asked Callidus to continue to unravel the Corennan terrorist organization. Meanwhile, the rest of the party searched the Librarium for information pertaining to the amulet they found.

Tanis found the group in the Librarium, and told them to come with him, as he had discovered the location of the terrorist organization’s hideout. He brought them and a platoon of Stormhawks to an abandoned manor home in the Rift Ward, ignoring Callidus’s suggestion to case the location. The Stormhawks performed a SWAT-style entry, and found a pool with sigils carved into it, apparently the source of the manipulation of the city’s wards.

Araevyn located a secret passage leading down into a cellar, where Tanis and the party confronted what appeared to be the leader of the terrorist organization. Callidus rescued bits and pieces of some papers from being burned away, and the terrorists were all cut down, the final blow going to Jorrim.

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First Interlude: A Meeting Commanded
Tensions rise as a groups descends into the underbelly of Venth...

Araevyn and Sahara set off into the chill night, led by Il Duce to meet with the infamous Red Jack, leader of the Royals, Venth’s extensive thieves guild. Emotions and tensions are running high as the night’s events have progressed. Much lies at stake for everyone to be involved in this clandestine meeting. You snake your way through tight alleys, keeping to the shadows as much as possible. Every few minutes you hear the telltale clank of armor and hobnailed boots clicking against damp cobblestones, revealing that the city’s troops are on high alert after this latest attack. Although you are on a mission from Captain Tanis of the Stormhawks himself, your success or failure hinges on the actions and reliability of a known and very much wanted outlaw. The utmost secrecy is required, and so all of you skulk in darkest shadows and deepest doorways like the worst of criminals. After many switchbacks and shortcuts later, you arrive frozen and breathless at a distinctly unremarkable door set in the faintly glimmering granite of one of Venth’s many sluice-ways. The three of you stand, breath clouding in billows around you, at the foot of the steps which could lead you to the information you so desperately seek.

What do you do?

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Session 1: Shadows Over Venth
Vandals in the Night

SESSION 1
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It had been a harsh winter in Venth, cold city and cold stone. Now a chilly spring has taken up where the winter left off. Strange mist has been rising up in parts of the city. Noises are distorted, stones are slippery and sometimes frozen over.

On patrol, Araevyn and Jorrim spot two men attempting to abduct a woman near the temple of Jozan. Spotting them Areavyn cries out to the would be attackers. One pulls a knife to the throat of the woman and commands the other bandit to “warn the others”. The other man runs down the alley. Across the street on the rooftop Il Duce sees all this with calm focus.

Sahara awakes to unusual sounds being made within the temple. When she wakes up she hears a faint scream from outside the temple. Walking out into the hall, unarmored but equipped with her quarterstaff, she notices the adjacent room, belonging to her uncle, has its door ajar and a hoarse whisper from inside says, “get up old man.”

Callidus hears an intruder enter his room. In assassin form he jumps to the ceiling with rope in hand, ready for his attacker. As he the intruder enters the room, Callidus drops the rope around their neck and begins twisting the rope violently, digging a little deeper into the flesh with each jerk. The intruder manages a glancing blow on Callidus’s arm, but alas, that would prove to be his final action in this life. Silently hiding the body under the bed, Callidus steps out of his room to take in the full view of the situation at hand.

The temple of Jozan, where he is staying, has been desecrated. Tar is coated on the walls and on the statue of Jozan himself. He can see figures shuffling around, destroying cabinets, tapestries, and books. Across the way he sees the young cleric he met earlier, Sahara, attempting to free her uncle from the dagger of an intruder.

Sahara, still groggy from sleep, swipes at the bandit. She misses, but her prayer to Jozan is heard and she sees her uncle radiate a faint blue aura of protection; the blessing of law. She gets a quick look at the scene below, of her beloved temple being destroyed, and rage fills her. She rushes and drop kicks the intruder over the rail. Adrenaline pumping, she jumps over the banister and lands right next to the intruder, dropping her quarterstaff on his skull.

Meanwhile, Araevyn and Jorrim, with some help from Il Duce, have dispatched of the two bandits from the alley and have made their way inside the temple. A few minutes of combat elapse, and the vandals have all been disposed of, yet one casualty stands out.

Orus, Sahara’s uncle, had been murdered, his throat slit by a panicked bandit. She had been too late by a mere breath of a second, and now she lay kneeling, lamenting the loss of her uncle and mentor.

Callidus, unfazed by the rude awakening, continues to make preparations for a meeting he is to attend. A few minutes pass and the captain of the guard enters with a few men. Araevyn salutes and begins briefing the captain on what passed in the temple. Meanwhile the other guards begin to descend upon Il Duce, a known vigilante and criminal. After talking to Araevyn, the captain begins to question Il Duce.

Before he can make a deal with Il Duce to garner his help from his underworld contacts, Sahara, now fully dressed in battle garb, grabs Il Duce by the front of his shirt. “You have no choice in the matter. You will take me to your contacts so that I may exact justice upon my enemies. With your leave captain!”

With a small smirk and a nod of his head, the captain grants his leave, and Sahara drags Il Duce out of the temple, followed quickly by Araevyn and Jorrim. Callidus leaves a few minutes later for his mysterious rendevouz.
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