The Del Tachi Guild

Back Story; The Ironblood Academy

After spending the previous several years at the Ironblood Adventurer’s Academy (known as “The Academy” for short regionally), the exceptional group had emerged with some of the highest marks in the academy’s 400 year history. The path to get to those marks was not always an easy one, however. It had always seemed that trouble followed this group around, and indeed they found each other both out of necessity as well as a shared place as strange outsiders in the human and dwarf dominated Academy.

Azrec Derune‘s infernal heritage constantly drew suspicious sidelong glances and even openly hateful stares from classmates, an effect that was compounded by his brash confidence and ambition. A senior instructor once told him that the twin gift of swagger and magical ability would both make him a powerful summoner as well as be his undoing. His exceptional innate talents with magic made him the envy of his arcane classmates, who constantly muttered slurs and curses under their breath just within the realm of earshot. In the last few years at The Academy, as the school’s students grew in power and means, the schemes began to evolve from pranks and simple name-calling to traps and even hiring assailants from the School of the Sword. On several occasions when Azrec was cornered by a group of hired swords, for reasons unknown, the mysterious Pesmerga always seemed to be nearby. Sometimes the darkness-tinged aura and gaze of the warrior alone were enough to drive back a group of top swordsmen.

Across his tenure at the academy, Pesmerga remained a conundrum to all; demonstrating loyalty to his circle of friends and an intolerance for evil, while fighting with a mysterious one handed sword, no shield style seemingly steeped in dark magic. When allowed to use divination magic to look into Pesmerga’s soul, Aesther had once said that his heart would forever be on the edge of rage, always seeking the next great evil to extinguish. To be honest, not much was known about Pesmerga’s powers by his peers or his instructors. While he attended training at both the School of the Sword and School of Spells, he mostly kept to himself, his powers developing out of a dark ether present inside himself. One thing is certain, however; while many feared the darkness surrounding the Black Swordsman, he remained vigilantly watchful, protective, and loyal to his companions, whom many observed help keep the evils within him at bay and perhaps provide some sort of atonement for his dark past.

Perhaps no one contributed to this more than the devout Aesther. Implausibly the fraternal twin of the Nine Hells-tinged Azrec, it has been said that the pair are two sides of the same coin. While Azrec’s devil-may-care attitude and flippant display of his immense talents drew the envy and ire of other students, Aesther’s persona was one of gentle determination. Like the thick grey clouds of a ‘once in a millenia’ storm, ominously gathering on the edge of the horizon, Aesther’s entire being seemed to be teeming with barely-contained divine energy. Over his years of study at the School of the Divine, his latent talent drew many jealous rivals. Seeing these petty jealousies and self-centered motivations of even the most devout of men, Aesther swore to himself to never stray from his own path. As proof of his dedication he pledged to his god to never attack a helpless or wounded creature, and to avoid wrathful conflict.

… was a particularly talented and charismatic paladin in the School of the Divine named Toran Ironarm.

[continue with Toran, then transition to Jaffey]…

While their tenure was always filled with conflict and challenges (most of the friends had spent at least one day in the campus’ jail), they had a reputation for sticking together and triumphing over whatever obstacle was in their path, no matter how long the odds.

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Session 1: Did Somebody Say Goblins???

The opening session began with the five heroes Aesther Derune, Azrec Derune, Jaffey, Pesmerga, and Toran Ironarm sitting up on a tranquil bluff near Toran and Jaffey’s home town, Wintermist. The feeling in the sunset-tinted mist was celebratory over the successful graduation from the preeminent adventurers’ academies in all of the realms. Lingering under the surface however, in the empty pauses in the conversational flow, was a sentiment of reflection of the road traveled to get to their current plateau, as well as an uneasy questioning as to which path the friends would journey down next…

Setting sun

Before these questions could find their answers, however, Japhy and Aesther alerted the group to the sounds of battle coming from the direction of Wintermist. One the run back to town, the group encounter and quickly dispatched a group of goblins.

As they entered town, they saw a child run out of a house only to be cut down by a pair of goblins. The heroes were able to kill both goblins and Aesther was able to bring the child back from the brink of death.

On entering town, the widespread chaos and devastation made itself apparent as there were goblins everywhere and many buildings on fire. As the group engaged in battle with a group of well armed goblins (one of whom spoke common), they began to realize the dearth of townsfolk running around.

Toran and Pesmerga anchored down the front line as Japhy knifed enemies in the back. The brothers, Azrec and Aesther slung spells from the back, devasting enemies. As the battle came to a close, the Town Hall collapsed under the weight of the fire, with the heroes unable to get there in time. Many townsfolk perished in the flames.Goblins

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Session 2: Revenge; The Fall of Blatterwrack

War ss 080425 23Distraught from the destruction of Toran and Japhy’s hometown, the heroes followed the goblin tracks out of the village. They came upon a wounded goblin that was left behind in the middle of the trail. After Aesther’s telekinetic interrogation, the goblin revealed that his leader Blatterwrack had ordered Wintermist’s destruction.

Continuing to follow the party of goblin raiders’ tracks, the heroes finally arrived at a cave guarded by several goblins. With Permerga serving as a decoy the heroes stormed the cave, only to find themselves caught in a trap!

As the heroes charged to quickly dispatch the entrance guards, two elite goblin archers unleashed arrows from a hidden perch as two additional goblins on soar boards flew into the fray, also peppering the adventurers with arrows. If the circumstances weren’t dire enough, a trio of flanking winter wolves attacked from the cover of the forest, quickly taking down and surrounding the trailing Aesther. With its hand already played, it was the heroes’ turn to show Fate what tricks that they had up their sleeves.

Pesmerga and Toran bravely jumped into the teeth of the goblins’ front lines, longswords cleaving limbs and staining the freshly settled snow red. The goblins’ furiously fought back, focusing their whole being on crushing their adversaries. In doing so they made a fatal mistake; taking their eyes off of the shadows. In the span of a few heartbeats Japhy emerged from the shadows, deftly slicing one goblin into ribbons and planting his dagger into the spine of another. Both fell limply to the ground dead, never knowing the face of their attacker.

Meanwhile, the clever Azrec stood amidst the chaos of combat, coolly watching the goblins soaring above, elusively criss-crossing over the heroes while loosing arrows. After a round of observation a smile broke across the tiefling’s face as he quipped to himself “Clever little devices, seems like a tactic that I might use. Unfortunately, not everyone can be me.” And just as the last syllable of his sentence dropped he snapped his fingers, conjuring a Scorching Burst that enveloped both of the goblins the moment that they crossed paths. One tumbled off of the board immediately, dead from the explosion. The other somehow managed to stay atop his floating vehicle, severely burned and barely clinging to life. For a fleeting moment the goblin thought he had a shot at survival, accelerating his soar board and making a break for it. But it was just a fleeting moment as the tiefling conjured a spectral hand with a wink, knocking the board out of the air and sending the goblin plummeting to his death.

After the heroes dispatched their initial foes they rallied to Aesther’s defense, converging on the wolves and reinforcing the pecking order of the forest.

-Heroes enter cave, fight elite brute (name?) as small goblin chants from his cage.

Likely out of equal parts desire for revenge and self-preservation, the goblin prisoner led the party to the secret entrance to Blatterwrack‘s cave. In a blitzkreig-like assault, the heroes kicked down the thin ice wall and flooded into the cave. In a display of divine wrath Aesther dropped a bomb of holy light, sending the enemies flying and filling the cave with shielding divine energy. Blatterwrack’s entourage didn’t stand a chance against the righteously vengeful heroes. As quick as lightning Pesmerga cut an enemy down with his Eldritch Blade, as Azrec summoned the aid of a foul Dretch. Azrec’s summoned creature rended everything around it in its rage, even taking a swing at Pesmerga in it’s furious assault. Toran engaged one of the remaining guards, while Japhy felled the last man with a dead-eye dagger throw. Surrounded and running out of bodyguards, Blatterwrack unleashed his most powerful killing cold mist, which, still shielded with holy protection magic the heroes shrugged off. And then in a snap, Blatterwrack, terror of the mountain lands was no more. The threat was over.

The heroes took all of the gold and loot back to Wintermist and divided it among the remaining townsfolk to help them rebuild their lives. With their town in ashes and many neighbors and loved ones dead, the heroes vowed to assist the townsfolk, offering to escort them to a safe destination where they could get on with their lives.

A few stayed behind, but the rest began the long trek to Sunnyvale.

It was one fraught with peril.

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Session 3: Fright Night

ZombiesWith most of the survivors of Wintermist in tow, the adventurers and their caravan of wagons made their way towards Sunnyvale. On the first day of the voyage, the travelers were attacked by a group of Dire Wolves which they killed with few problems. The adventurers encouraged the hapless (and homeless) villagers forward.

As the sun began to set on the second day, the group found themselves an hour or so outside the village of Voncene, and decided to push on. As they approached the village, the night seemed still accept for the moan of the wind…or the moan of the undead. The party, was immediately beset upon by a horde of zombies. Instinctively, Toran Ironarm pushed forward, battling glob after glob of corrosive flesh being thrown his way. Pesmerga organized the retreat of the Wintermist survivors while Aesther Derune unleashed his holy might. Azrec Derune and Japhy Nightstrider flung spells and daggers thinning the enemy as best they could.

Pesmerga charged forward from the rear after seeing to the safety of the villagers but unfortunatly, not soon enough for Torin. Taking blow after blow from the unholy legion, the Paladin called to his god for strength—a call that would not be heard. Torin fell under the onslaught of zombies.

With Pesmerga coming to the front lines in reserve, the adventurers were able to finally put down the last of the zombies, but they were too late for their friend. The adventuring friends handled their loss in quite different ways: Pesmerga flew into a hot rage, Japhy was shocked yet quiet and the Derune brothers pragmatically.

When it became apparent the area was safe, the townsfolk of Voncene came out, many of them quick to point the blame of the zombie epidemic at Vicgeon Fielderson. While the creepy undertaker denied no hatred for the zombies, it seemed to the group he was not responsible for the undeath.

The group decided to roust the Mayor, Xanros Hawklight and his wife, Mallora Hawklight out of bed over the incident. After a verbal confrontation over the pair’s indifference over the zombies, Mallora revealed herself to be a necromancer. She was swiftly killed in battle. On Azrec’s recommendation, the town well was blocked off for the likely hood that it was poisoned and causing the zombie affliction.

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