Lost in Shadow

The Garden of Graves Finale

The party finally finds the center of the Garden, guarded by The Ivy Heart. A climactic and brutal battle ensues as they struggle to bring the beast down. With the guardian destroyed, they find the strange Fey Engine preventing their return home. Adrian is visited by a vision of her husband, Turos, that only she can see. He implores her to destroy the machine quickly and she obliges.

With the machine destroyed, Swain attempts to discover it’s true purpose. However, all he can discern is that it was a method of channeling energy, but the goal still remains unknown. They recover a few gems from the machine, similar to what was stolen from the swamp outpost, that were key in the machines function.

With their only lead gone cold, they return to the City of Midnight to begin a new investigation. However, they first find a priest of Pelor, Kalus Sunbearer, under attack by Ghost Talon thugs. They rush to his aid and defeat the attackers handily. Adrian escorts Kalus back to his temple and Swain finds a strange encoded scroll on the body of a dead Pelor priest.

The von Graff brothers head to Raven’s Eyrie for their goddess, and Lucyan returns the bodies to the church of Pelor for interment.

The Garden of Graves Part 2

The party continues their exploration of the strange site. They discover a killer pretending to be a captive prisoner, a water serpent guarding a key, a strange lock built into a tapestry, and game tables waiting to possess intruders. They prove to be more than a match for these obstacles, and now find themselves at the very heart of the garden.

The Garden of Graves

The party, in an attempt to discern where the portal goes, find themselves sucked through instead. On the other side, they find themselves in a forest clearing with no way home and under attack by harpies and dryads.

These dryads posses a very strange ability, however. When struck down, they rise again brimming with necrotic energy for a short time before falling lifeless. Swain was incredibly confused as to how these fey creatures became possessed by such strong necrotic energy, and wanted to investigate further.

They follow a faint energy trail up the hill to a nearby ridge. A trail leads into a cave going through the ridge. Before entering the cave, the party finds a poem inscribed in Elven upon the rock face. It reads:

The wise know where they stand;
While knowing not the time to shun,
The fools must find themselves undone.

Like lustful swain or panicked child,
Who beg another’s gentle hand,
The fool delves heedless through the wild,
The wise are not so soon beguiled.

When darkness falls and dreams portend,
The risking of a fearsome foe,
The fool, swift-striking, meets his end,
The wise know foe from friend.

Let art and image point the way,
Abandon all you think you know,
For common sense leads fool astray,
The key is simple: obey.

The wise must ever strategize;
They never play, unless to win.
They see the harm in comfort’s lies,
And seek to open weary eyes.

You’ve fought your way, you’ve risked demise,
To view the ivy heart within.
Now as the soul within you dies,
This knowledge is your only prize:
You’d never have come, were you truly wise.

Inside the cave, they are faced with three statues of a young woman, mother, and old crone. Swain recklessly put a coin into the hand the young woman, which caused the crone to spring to life and attack. Upon defeating her, she returned to her place next to the other two statues. Adrian gave the crone a gift this time, which caused all the statues to move out of their way, allowing the party to progress.

On the other side of the cave, they find an abandoned campsite with a strange obelisk in the center. When they move to inspect the obelisk, they are hit with an overwhelming sense of lethargy as the campsite itself springs to life and attacks them. They manage to destroy the animated tools and tents just in time to shut down the obelisk for good.

They then decide that this site is as good as any, and make their own camp, resting for the night.

The Swamp Tower

The group hurry off to the next target of the Necromancers, a small outpost near a swamp. However, they arrive too late to help. Everyone in the tower had already been killed. Upon further investigation, they find out that the guards had been killed by three necromancers leading a pack of wraiths. They had been looking for something; some gems stored in a chest upstairs. However, their motives are still unknown.

Upon discovering this information, the party is attacked by wraiths and zombies left behind to deal with prying eyes. Once slain, the party resumes their investigation.

Outside the tower, they find the tracks of the of the Necromancers leading deeper into the swamp. The party slogs through the swamp, dispatching a few bog hags along the way, before they reach the Necromancer’s camp.

At the camp, they find the Necromancers are attempting to open a portal. Another fight ensues, with our group victorious. They search the camp for any clues, and only manage to find the gems stolen. Swain can tell they are full of fey energy, but their purpose remains unknown.

Now our group is faced with a portal to an unknown destination and a decision to make.

Death of Jeremy Walters

Swain remembers seeing that Shadar-kai are the ones who attacked their family, so he convinces Jack to follow him to the Shadowfell. They travel to the Shadowfell to find this group, who they believe are members of a cult to Vecna. They bring with them their Man-at-arms and trainer Jeremy Walters. Upon arriving at the Shadowfell, they head to a temple of the Raven Queen to seek help and a guide. They meet Adrian, who brings them to Lucyan.

They learn that they have lost contact with an outpost out in the Shadowfell. The guard who gives them this tip has a brother who is stationed at this outpost. He has not received a message in some time and wants to know the fate of his brother, and if he was killed, to bring him his personal effects.

The group goes to the outpost to investigate what is going on. They arrive to find everything seems to be normal, but they have suspicions of something being wrong. They spend the night there, and upon waking, find Jeremy Walters to be missing. They confront their hosts about his disappearance while also asking for the personal effects of the family member. Knowing their ruse is up, the false guards at the outpost attack our party, summoning a zombified Jeremy Walters. The party manages to overcome the assault, destroying Walters in the process. They also find that one of the false guards has a Lok-Ti tattoo.

They then find a magic audio communicator that is used to talk to the leader of this cult. They trick him into thinking that they are members of the cult and glean some information from him before the leader catches on and disconnects the device. The party learns where the next attack will take place and rush out to prevent the destruction, while hoping to capture a member of the cult to learn more about their operations.

Backstory of the World

Ten years have passed since the War of the Usurper between Orcus and the Raven Queen. Orcus sent his legions of demons and undead to take over the Raven Queen’s domains. He was almost successful, before a group of heroes intervened and stopped him. With their help, the Raven Queen was able to barely beat back Orcus and his hordes. Just as victory was assured, Vecna appeared and struck out at the Raven Queen. He had been manipulating Orcus and was planning to betray him all along, taking the power for himself. However, Sehanine, hearing the prayers of her most devoted follower Etheah, intervened, taking the blast herself and dying.

Dying at Etheah’s side, she transfered her domains to Etheah, making her the new goddess of the Moon. Vecna immediately fled to his domain, knowing his defeat. Balance had been kept, but the new balance was precarious. Orcus may have been destroyed, but the Raven Queen was gravely injured and retreated to restore her power. Knowing that her realm would need protection, she began recruiting followers to move to the Shadowfell and protect the balance and stability of the Shadowfell.


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