(This week’s session was short, as a majority of the time was spent discussing character backgrounds and also eating pizza.)
Our tale begins as men and women from across Khalin descend, or rather, ascend, to the Temple of the Light, to participate in the funeral of one of the deva monks, Andelu. Andelu’s death is attributed merely to old age, though he is younger than Kesher, the eldest monk. Whatever the cause, everyone who has lived or lives in the Temple – from the orphans just eking out a living, to those chosen to be the Lost Light – knew Andelu to be the friendliest of the monks, continually giving his time and energy to the children of the temple, as well as aiding the villages attempting a life at the base of Mount Patarch.
One particular village, known as Tirber, was a frequent stop for Andelu as he made his way around the winding paths of the mountain. He helped build the strong stone wall that surrounds the meager assortment of buildings. One particular building, an ancient chapel from the days of the gods, still stands, a testament to ancient building rituals and masonry. Andelu would spend spring there, teaching the young primal acolytes the proper ways to revere the nature spirits surrounding them.
Of all the Lost Light, three stand out: Brandis, a young sailor sorcerer from Abaerd, continually on the hunt for the red dragon he is meant to slay; Christopher, a swordmage who was given to the Temple from birth by his parents, upper class members of the Goodstone Council until their death; and Victober, a changeling rogue whose time with the Temple began when he quite literally fell (through the roof) into their lap. Each is a Lost Light, chosen as a child as the next gods, and each has responded in their own way. But, more importantly, they have trained themselves in the arts of heroes, something all but lost in the chaotic realm of Khalin.
On the eve of Andelu’s funeral, Kesher politely asks our heroes to retrieve a special box of Andelu’s in his basement room in the chapel in Tirber. Victober, always the opportunist, requests an adventurer’s kit (he must’ve left his old one somewhere), and Kesher reluctantly accepts. Before long, the three of them, accompanied by their three friends, descend the mountain for Tirber.
However, before they even reach the stone wall they notice a plume of smoke coming from the village. As they race to Tirber they find it in ruins: the stone wall has been breached, the buildings are burnt and smoldering and even the bell tower on the chapel has been knocked down. Burnt, stabbed, and clawed bodies lie everywhere. Brandis recognizes the claws as that of draconic creatures.
Before they can reach the chapel, they are besieged by a wandering zombie horde (a common occurrence in Khalin). They quickly dispatch the zombies before they can raise the dead villagers to become a part of their group, and enter the chapel.
Inside, a troop of kobolds are waiting for them! The group again makes quick work of them, save for one, which escapes down the stairs into the basement. At one point during the battle, Victober changes himself to look like a dragonborn (albeit a short dragonborn), in an effort to confuse the kobolds, but to no avail.
Downstairs, the group is faced with one dragonborn, and the little kobold. Victober, still in his dragonborn form, stands at the front of the party, while Brandis, hooded, face unseen, speaks for him. They try to convince the real dragonborn that they had destroyed the intruders who entered the chapel. The dragonborn decides to humor them briefly before demanding their papers. Brandis secrets a blank piece to Victober, but by this point it is too late. Their battle with the dragonborn is swift, and he is brought down.
The little kobold pleads for its life, and the party attempts to discern what is going on, but he doesn’t have much info. Brandis quickly executes the kobold with an acid orb to the face.
In Andelu’s room, they find a small locked wooden box and a magical sword. They debate over whether or not to open the box, and Brandis’s curiosity overtakes him and he breaks the lock with an acid spell [note to self: next time, make him roll for it. :P -Josh]. Inside is a glass orb sitting on a velvet pillow, not unlike a crystal ball. However, in the orb is a swirling blue energy, which also gives off a dim aura around the sphere itself.
Christopher decides to touch the orb. Suddenly he is filled with some kind of energy. It feels like someone is with him — not like a ghost inhabiting a body, but more like … memories, energy, feelings, emotion. The blue dissipated from the orb, and it was mere glass once again.
Upon bringing the blueless orb back to Kesher, our heroes learn that the orb was full of a portion of Andelu’s essence — an experiment designed by the deva monks to prolong their lives, even in this godless world. It apparently did not work, and they had plans to display the orb alongside Andelu’s casket. Kesher asks Christopher if he may gain the essence back, but Christopher argues to keep it. On top of giving him a boost in his abilities, it also serves as one last quest for Andelu, who loved to travel and help others. Kesher agrees, glad to see Andelu’s spirit, or at least a part of it, continue on his adventures.