Adventure: Grasp of the Emerald Claw
Session: 2007-04-08
Player: Rachel Reddick
PC: Taris Talandro
Status: Ninja 1/Swashbuckler 3/Ninja +4

Well, we’ve gotten back to Stormreach, and Xame has decided to part ways with us. Something about “G” telling him to haul himself to the headquarters of House Jorasco. I don’t think I’ll ever really understand clerics.

In any case, we’ve managed to resupply, and I’ve found some bracers that might help me find the vulnerabilities of people who are undead, warforged or both. We’ve also found a pilot for our airskiff—Sovalem d’Lyrander. He seems competent, but finding a pilot in the most drunk patron of a tavern bothers me a bit. He did sober up quickly when we said we wanted a pilot, though. He’s got a dragonmark, too, presumably from House Lyrander, although I wouldn’t know the difference. While he was still inebriated, he said something about being shunted off here due to a romance that his parents disapproved of. Something about rules about relations between dragonmarked houses and noble families being pretty strict. Ridiculous. And can I sympathize. Parents tend to meddle a lot where they’re only going to make their children more miserable.

While we were there, we were joined by a strange little gnome. He carries a large number of very large swords around on a disk that floats behind him. That, and he goes by a different name every day. One day he’s Feralis, the next day he’s Zentar… how confusing. I don’t see a point in changing your name unless you’re trying to avoid someone, which he apparently isn’t. Hm. In any case, when Solvalem first tried the air skiff, he did a loop (which was great fun), but Feralis couldn’t hold on, so he cast something to make him fall slowly, then caught him in the air skiff. Very impressive. Now that we’ve recovered a bit, we’re all returning to the temple by air skiff, to deal with, to use the overused cliché, “unfinished business.”

***

By the Flame, somebody’s got it in for me.

We returned to the temple, and the first person we met wasn’t undead or warforged or even associated with them. He’s a paladin of the Silver Flame, by the name of Blaze. Oh, (curse in Infernal) paladins. Yes, they serve an important purpose, but do I have to be around them all the time? I was trying to avoid them! He even noticed my pendant and asked if I were a member of the clergy… yikes. I hope he hasn’t met any of my relatives… pretty much all of them visit Flamekeep from time to time on business. I don’t know what would be worse—associating me with them or with Uncle Korref. Probably Korref, considering how he reacted to Alia…

Ah, yes, Alia. After Blaze joined us, we all went in to counter the grave threat posed by the Emerald Claw and Lord of Blades, and so on and so forth. We did not find anyone associated with them at first. Instead, we met an adorable little halfling girl having tea with a few friends. Or rather, she would be adorable if she weren’t an undead necromancer having tea with a bunch of skeletons. And she even had the old undead gray render with her! Blaze’s first reaction was to destroy all the weak undead, leaving Alia and the gray render. Alia was unhappy about this, and threw a cup of tea at him. (I’ll never cease to be amused by the image of the tough paladin with tea on his armor.) After Sovalem restrained Blaze enough to calm him down, Alia explained that her parents were members of the Blood of Vol who’d done this to her when she was around ten. Horrific. I did mention that parents do a lot of terrible things to their children, even when they mean well, right? Ugh. I have some sympathy for her… although I won’t get too close. And I suspect that standing between her and Blaze is a very bad idea.

In any event, the lot of us decided to climb up the throne and see what had happened in our absence. Alia hadn’t seen anything while she was… having tea. I don’t want to think about where she got her friends. In any case, once at the top, we found an apparently magically-warped section of floor which had remains from a number of different races all sort of blended into each other… disturbing. And there were large blocks and strange equipment everywhere… leading up to this giant warforged… he wasn’t undead, and he said his name was Xulo. He wasn’t very clear (he’s not very bright) but it seems like the Emerald Claw and the Lord of Blades needed the last schema in order to activate him, and that they planned to control him… and failed miserably. We ended up attacking him, since he seemed to have vague plans of gaining power and tried to whack us first.

I must note that I’ve figured out what Feralis (Zentar? Whatever name he’s using) does with those swords on a floating disk. He throws them at things, with some kind of mental power. Very impressive.

In any case, we nearly killed Xulo, and he started begging for mercy. I would have been fine giving it to him, except one of Alia’s minions (some undead flying thing) didn’t stop attacking him. Blaze fixed him up a bit after he was knocked out, and Xulo seemed… recalcitrant. After convincing him that there were a lot of people out there as tough to beat as we are, we managed to calm him down. We even managed to convince him to try to tell us about himself. Based on what he said and some history that Sovalem remembered, he was probably some sort of spirit from the dream-plane or something created by them, and intended to be housed in this warforged body to fight against the giants by the people from the dream-plane—the quori, I think Sovalem called them. In any case, they were at war with the giants, and the giants kept them from invading our plane, at the cost of the loss of their civilization. And this all happened 38,000 years ago! It’s almost unbelievable that something from then could have survived so long. We’re going to try to convince Xulo to visit the giants. Maybe he can learn something more about himself from them.

Then again, maybe they’ll just destroy him out of fear or something. I don’t know what the giants thought about warforged, and if they think that all warforged are evil, well, I don’t know if this is such a good idea. But it’s been so long… and maybe they’ll be open-minded. Right. And people in Thrane don’t still dislike lycanthropes. I should probably point this out.

Player’s Notes

Yay, 9th level! Time for the first level of duelist, methinks. And then there’s the question of feat… I had planned to take Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (additional skewering = good), but, given the setting, she really needs something to help with the smacking of undead and constructs, against which she is not particularly good. Hence, deathstrike bracers! Use a swift action to activate them, and she can use her sudden strike ability. But wait, she can only use that if she’s got the drop on them… and that only happens if she gets high initiative or goes invisible. The former is chancy, and the latter requires… a swift action! So she can’t be invisible and use the deathstrike bit in the same round. Irritating. But Domenic says there’s a way to use up two chances to be invisible, and stay invisible twice as long, and thereby get a chance to sudden strike stuff… by taking a feat. Gah!

Taris really hopes that Blaze has never heard the name “Talandro.” Of course, she hasn’t mentioned her last name to him yet… and will probably avoid doing so. But if he has, and relatives are concerned about her whereabouts, that could get interesting.

That said, this whole paladin-vs.-necromancer bit is going to be highly entertaining.

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