The Fellnight Realm

From David's Notebook
Revision as of 14:49, 8 February 2019 by Henry (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

At the wedding of Elwin and Kailah, important citizens in the village of Tatzlford, the heroes were settling in for a small celebration. The atmosphere was pleasant; the food and wine were good, and even though none of the heroes particularly wanted the attention, it was good to see people's positive reactions to having such major figures visiting the village. Unfortunately, the ceremony was interrupted by swarms of bees, which attacked everyone present: and when those were driven off and the civilians had taken cover indoors, some strange gnome-like creatures attacked through a wall of thorns. These spriggans, not like their normal kin, had bodies covered in thorns: and then Tenzekil, a former resident of the village, announced that he was leading the attack on behalf of a mysterious Queen Rhoswen. In the aftermath of the attack, a mysterious mist began spreading out of the forest, engulfing the village and reducing visibility to just a few feet.

Investigating, the party finds out that the Fellnight Realm is a demiplane, a prison created for Queen Rhoswen when she tried blending shadow magic with that of the fey. Her attack on Golarion was just beginning: she was in the process of breaking free from her prison, and attempting to carve out a realm of her own. Tracking through the mist, finding their way each time they lost it, the heroes eventually took the fight back into the Fellnight Realm, replacing the wardstones that Tenzekil had removed from the barrier. Tenzekil himself tried to stop the heroes, but was defeated: in despair, he turned his back on Queen Rhoswen, offering what help he could. She had tricked him into service when he came looking for a cure for the Bleaching, a usually-fatal disease suffered by gnomes; the pain of carrying out her task and breaking the wardstone barrier had forced him through the Bleaching and out of the other side. Now, desperate to redeem himself - even if it costs his life - he gave the party directions to the stream entrance to Rhoswen's palace.

Infiltrating the palace via the stream, the party was ambushed by heavy defenses: the dungeon and torture-chamber were guarded by a malicious satyr, who fled upstairs to the main part of the palace. The defenders will now be on alert...

The palace was a strange and haunted place. The heroes, led by Aldwulf, explored cautiously: looking for the safest and most direct route to the Queen's throneroom. The ground floor was empty, with only an illusory woman weeping in the ballroom. That was a dusty room, with roots hanging down from the ceiling, creating curtains that made it hard to see across the space and hard to move freely. Upstairs, an illusory dance was in progress: an invisible orchestra, and dancers, who chorused "come and join our dance", trying to draw victims into the revel. None succumbed, but outside the room the party finally encountered the defenders. A bloody melee ensued, with Aldwulf being dropped into a deep slumber by the satyr's pipes, and Coenred taking several stab wounds from the spriggans. The heroes prevailed, though, and prepared themselves for the next challenge: most likely Rhoswen herself.

The next morning, the heroes set off upstairs. Aldwulf stayed back to guard the party's rear, valiantly fighting off the spriggans who tried to rush to Rhoswen's aid, while the others faced the fey sorceress themselves. She greeted them from her place near a large, magical mirror, where she was watching her troops' invasion of the Material Plane, and taunted them, saying "are you the best they could send?"

As Eadfrid closed the distance, the first one to land a blow was Coenred. Unfortunately his sword passed right through her, revealing her to be a cunning illusion: the queen herself was merged into one of the tree-like columns of her throneroom. Thinking quickly, Cuichelm confused her into stepping out of the tree, and she suffered under a hail of blows before she managed to retreat. She almost turned the tables, creating a spiked pit in the doorway that caught both Coenred and Eadfrid, and a cloud of noxious gas that distracted Owena enough to buy some time. As Rhoswen prepared to retreat and make a final stand elsewhere, she said "You know I cannot die here; I will just be reborn!", as Cuichelm burned up his last spell scrolls in order to swamp her with summoned creatures. As the elementals closed in, binding her in mud, Rhoswen managed one last spell: a horrific fireball that was enough, finally, to bring Eadfrid down. His burned body lay there as the survivors finished off Rhoswen, and used her staff to seal the Faengard again.

With the barrier intact, and Rhoswen bound away until she ensnares another unfortunate victim, Cuichelm puzzled out how to use the mirror as a one-way portal home. It emerged near Lakeside, the heroes stumbling from twilight into a beautiful spring morning; from a thorny palace into their own kingdom. They stood, taking a moment to gather their wits; each of them felt the fatigue of a week spent in the Fellnight Realm, where time was strange and sleep less restful. Tired, weary, and with one slain, they returned to town.