New Earth

The End

With no small amount of hesitation, the group decided to allow Jericho to pass through White Gate to resume godhood within his realm of Rydia. However, upon hearing the group was going to pursue singing the song Ephelia had been learning, Jericho decided to stick around a while longer, though he did not tell the group that was his reasoning.

The group headed out and Adyna had one final dream consisting of Jericho’s plot to kill King Orlandu, and his consultation of Hobbins of the deed. Hobbins told Jericho he would help in whatever way he could, and Jericho enlisted Hobbins to sing a song to make the gods disappear so he would not be held accountable for the murder. Hobbins agreed, but Jericho framed Hobbins for the murder. When Lazarus came to arrest Hobbins, in a desperate bid for freedom, Hobbins turned himself into Lazarus through the use of a song, becoming the first Changeling. Lazarus died upon seeing himself outside of his own body, and it seemed Hobbins took up being Lazarus from that day forward. Adyna could only surmise that he was Lazarus still and the dreams were some kind of fail safe put into place to alert the Changelings of their lineage and responsibility should Hobbins ever need help.

The group made their way to the Inn of Blight’s End to find Toby to teach Ephelia the Final Song, but upon beginning, Toby was assassinated by Ko on orders from Jericho. Toby survived but was severely injured. The group knew there was only one option left to learn the song Jericho apparently did not want them to sing — they needed Hobbins.

At long last, the group found themselves in the City of Beyond. After confronting ghosts from every person they had ever killed, the group was able to speak to Lazarus and coax Hobbins from his Changeling status, a status he had apparently forgotten he had.

Hobbins gave his power to Ephelia — the power to shape reality through verse. It was a power Ephelia reluctantly took. Hobbins informed the group that he had control of the Penitent Six, and he would ensure they never left the City of Beyond again. Satisfied, the group headed back to the Inn.

There they found Jericho, Ko, and Vast the Immeasurable. The gods soon arrived as well. Jericho, holding the body of Toby, made one last plea for the group to leave the song alone and forget it ever existed. They refused. With the gods also demanding the group stand down, Adyna decided enough was enough, and in one fell swoop, she and her lion companion ended the life of Jericho the Maker once and for all — for the very last time. As his last breath escaped his body, Adyna donned the face of Hobbins Lightfoot and let Jericho know he was still alive, and he had died by Hobbins’s hand. With that thought in mind, Jericho was gone.

Ko, now released from his obligation became free, but without a god to uphold his world, he began to violently fade into unreality. The gods disappeared as well, as it was revealed Cassius had been the gods all along. He rushed to his dead father’s side and cradled his body. Meanwhile, Skyy had called upon the guardians of the earth to help defeat Vast, who was in league with Jericho in some capacity. The fight between Vast and the Air and Earth guardians raged outside, while the group, frantically trying to save Ko’s life, urged Cassius to take his father’s place as god of Rydia. Cassius reluctantly agreed and passed through White Gate with his father’s stones. However, he was unable to take Ko.

Attention turned to Vast and the battle with the Guardians — a battle which was not going well for Skyy and the Guardians. Toby awoke and Ephelia urged him to sing the song with her. Together, they sang, not knowing exactly what would happen. The gods they thought they had brought back were fake, would this bring back the real gods?

It did.

The three actual gods returned upon completion of the song, and in one brilliant moment of power, shredded Vast the Immeasurable to pieces.

The Guardians retreated to tend to their wounds. The group looked around at one another. Jericho was dead. Ko was safe. The portals in the sky were closed. Hobbins Lightfoot was finally at peace. Adyna had her revenge. The Jade Empire was defeated. Black Thorne was returned and reunited with Whitespire. The continents had come back together. Aldo had saved the Fey and was gone. The Dragons were being born across the world even as they stood gazing at the sky. And the Inn of the Last Regret lay ruined around them, now the Inn of Blight’s End. Their actions had brought safety to the world, and in time, peace.

New Earth was no longer. Whitespire and Blackthorne were a world united. Skyy would go on to be the guardian of the world for as long as the responsibility was his to bear. And in time, the group agreed, when the world no longer needed them, they would somehow find Aldo through the Obelisk’s power, and they would all walk through White Gate together to create a world of their own.

The End.

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The Sword and the Keys

The group, knowing that they had precious little time to complete the tasks set before them, made their way to Elen in order to confront Melel about her crimes and her assistance. While it took all of Antigone’s willpower, they were able to successfully get Melel to cast the spells necessary as a Weaver to make Aldo’s Obelisk work. In exchange, Melel ordered the group to take out Tetra, who had begun a rebellion within Elen. They found Tetra in the Weapons Museum where the Half-Orc worshiper of the old gods helped her lead a group of people against Melel. She let the group know that she had people in Melel’s court and if her shield came down, they could finish the job.

The group sent her to the Fey in order to get rid of her without killing her, but that wasn’t good enough for Melel. She began to weave a new spell into Aldo’s device but Antigone took the initiative and, using the Obsidian obtained from Jericho’s body, weaved a spell to shatter her Prism shield. The agents in the court didn’t miss a beat and fired their crossbows without missing the mark. Melel fell and the court erupted into chaos as the group grabbed their spell infused orb and headed off to the Temple of the Blades to confront Raven.

Sneaking in through the secret catacombs beneath the Temple, the group emerged within the protective circle the Penitent Six had established around the perimeter. The group found Raven within the burnt remnants of the Temple with Cecilia’s body. When asked to give up the pieces of Lazarus in order to piece him together and get Blackthorn removed from Adyna’s body, she refused. She knew Lazarus would take back control of the Penitent and the army of undead within the City of Beyond. Antigone, summoning the Gentleman, the keeper of Time and Space, asked for his assistance. While he also refused, he gave her a warning that her friends were going to start dying and she had better do something about it.

Antigone stormed back into the room with Raven and, using the heightening magic spike from Whitespire’s release long ago, eliminated Raven before anyone but Ephelia could do anything about it. With her death, the Penitent stopped moving and the pieces of Lazarus were easily removed.

Raven and Cecilia were buried next to Prater in the Temple court yard. The group journeyed back to the Obelisk where they noticed one singular rift was consuming the sky above them and Skyy knew exactly where it lead.

With Lazarus pieces back together, Antigone learned how to separate Blackthorn from Adyna. While Lazarus was able to escape, the group now had the power spike necessary to cast the spell from the Obelisk. Returning Tetra from the Fey, Aldo said his goodbyes as he revealed that he too would be leaving the world once the rifts were closed. With a teary farewell, the sword and the keys were turned and the Obelisk turned on, shutting out all rifts and removing all extra-planar creatures from the world. Aldo went with them.

Jericho revealed that he had Ko with him all along and had released him from his death job of killing Aldo. Everything seemed to be relatively back to normal. But there are still scores to settle.

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Faultlines

After speaking with the children about their intentions of killing the gods and destroying a planar invasion from a number of shapes looking to become complete circles, the group met with the very gods who had returned from their exodus during the feral hunt. The three gods merely examined the social terrain insisting their policy of non-interference still stood.

Adyna dreamed of a meeting between Jericho and Abaddon as children while Ephelia recited a poem she was unaware she knew. Eventually the group decided to complete the Obelisk and headed out to find Kenshin, a gnome mastermind to build the last device necessary to complete it. Along the way they found Jericho, who had torn the Obsidian spike from his chest and seemed to have an amount of magical power, though that power was soon proven to be nowhere near as vast as he had anticipated or claimed.

Upon finding Kenshin and gaining access to his lab, the group was able to complete the necessary device but was soon under attack from Ko once more, who broke in and stole a crossbow from Kenshin which he claimed was very powerful.

Skar of the Dwarven tribes showed up and demanded the weapons necessary to finish off the Drow for good, but Kenshin refused. With the party there to back his play, Skar had no choice but to retreat and find another way to complete his genocide.

To complete the Obelisk within the day, the group still needed a weaver who could teach Antigone to cast the spell. And Kenshin told them exactly where they could find her.

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Embracing the Dark

Understanding that the world they were gazing upon was Rydia, the group took a few moments to check in on Megami and Gizmo. Seeing them alive and well, they were pulled back into Whitespire by Jericho, who closed the door and explained that Rydia was the world he and the others had built with their own hands, having been given the D’Ragen stones from the Watcher. A title which Skyy found himself in possession of as he discovered a box of five stones in his own bag.

Jericho went on to explain that the reason Ko was acting like he was that he was being essentially commanded by his god. Jericho also told the group that he had coordinated the destruction of the dragons on Rydia and that White Gate was a door between worlds, each one with their own creators imbued with power from White Gate itself. The original creators who had passed through the gate were twin brothers named Deidrich and Damian.

With knowledge in hand, the group set out for the Vault. However, without Ko with them, the father of vampires from the Shadowfell saw it as a good time to attack. The group staved off the assault but Antigone fell to the father’s embrace. Her change was short lived, however, as Ephelia revived her.

The group traveled through the skies to the Vault and saw the destruction the portals torn across the sky was wreaking on the people below. The world was once again changing through endless warfare between planes. Terra had become a battleground for long time enemies and rivals across dimensions.

When the group arrived at the Vault, they found the Air and Water Guardians already there in human form, two teenagers eagerly awaiting the arrival of the party. Adyna set off her spell bomb and the ancient enchantments on the Vault were shattered, allowing the door to open and reveal a young woman. She then called out seven others, revealing that there were ten of these children altogether.

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Ascension

Before the party could leave with Vivian for the war front, Aldo arrived at Whitespire tower, finally having found the group after weeks of searching. Unfortunately, the shadow bomb that had been placed in Aldo long ago by the Lord of the Abyss, always lying dormant, finally found its target in Serra. With her death, the sky guardian darted off into the sky and the rifts from planes throughout the multiverse began tearing open. The sky filled with views from other worlds.

It was at this point Vivian decided she needed Ko to come with her and commanded him to do as such. Though he seemed unwilling and confused, he did as she commanded. When the group attacked her for it, she commanded Ko to kill Aldo. Vivian was slain during the ensuing combat, and LaRue fled, as did Ko. Emelia revealed herself to be the pink-haired woman from the Hobbins visions, and she also turned out to be a Changeling.

The group decided to research a way to save the world within Whitespire tower but was soon interrupted as the boy in the carriage with Ephelia turned out to be a harbinger of Vast the Immeasurable. Vast was called to the tower as Skyy was pegged as the new Watcher by the boy. Vast arrived and killed Sully while bringing his army through one of the rifts in the sky. In his dying breath, Sully gave Adyna a scroll containing the full translation of the song they had been hearing in their dreams. It had been transcribed by Toby.

The group found the last of the five colored stones on Vivian’s body and decided that before they head off to the Vault to release the Tarrasque with Emelia in tow, they would see what the stones did. They brought them together and summoned a gate of pure alabaster white. They walked through and found themselves floating in space above a planet they innately knew was theirs to do with what they would.

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Bitemarks

Before leaving the cave of dragon eggs, Tetra took the time to point out that a large portion of the eggs would be hatching within a week and Onyx would have the problem of a lot of dragons with nothing to eat but each other.

The group decided to help by spreading the eggs throughout the world. Ko decided to bring a white dragon egg with them as they went to Whitespire to drop off Tetra before doing more.

However, upon arriving in Whitespire, the group found Serra and the Sky Guardian, who did not attack Skyy despite an open opportunity. While Antigone played with the necrotic strings outside the tower, which were plentiful and unanchored due to the dragon graveyard existing in the forest around the tower, the rest of the group found Serra within. It was soon discovered that Sully planned on surrendering to the Jade Empire. Tetra, understanding that she was brought to the tower to help, decided to take over the rebellion. She stood up to Sully and was attacked by Ephelia for overstepping her bounds. Though Skyy disagreed with Ephelia, the damage had been done and Tetra decided to leave rather than cause more harm. But not before pointing out that the Dutchess was going to betray everyone.

Ephelia confronted the Dutchess and decided to set Leffingwell on her. She had Antigone cast Remembrance on Leffingwell again, only this time with his old nickname, Leaf. Leffingwell exploded in violence, attacking everyone in the room. In a gambit by Skyy, he broke out the big guns and pacified Leffingwell, allowing Antigone to cast Banishment on the warforged. When it returned from banishment, Leaf’s soul had been moved on to the eternal planes of death. The warforged was no more.

It was then that Vivian arrived to accept the surrender of the rebellion. She claimed that Melel would need assassinated, the pilgrims of the south would need to pay tribute, and the Commune would need to fall.

Ephelia, in an apparent crazy state, could not be allowed to go off alone for fear that she would warn the Commune of the oncoming attack. After biting various people, she was thrown into the back of a cart with a small boy who quoted the lyric of Vast the Immeasurable.

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Shopping Spree

After stopping by a butcher shop, a costume shop, and a jewelry stop where they found an underground market for selling weapons of legacy, the group felt ready to confront the leader of the assassin’s guild. Tetra ensured the group had everything they needed and it had been the first time the group had been in a place of a civilization in a very long time. They allowed themselves a few luxuries of social interaction and shopping, a pleasure in which they had not partaken in years.

Tetra lead the group to the assassin’s guild where they found the guild master. In order to kill him, the group had to pass through a gauntlet, a test seemingly established for just such a purpose. During the test, Adyna decided to save the group by eating another spell: Fireball. The gauntlet eventually lead to the revelation that the nobles who opposed Melel’s rise to power through her royal lineage had been assembled and fed a poison that fried their brains. They were now being used for various purposes, one of which was fodder within the gauntlet. Among the nobles were Antigone’s parents and Kianthera.

Failing the gauntlet, the group decided they’d had enough of protocol and began dispensing a gauntlet all their own. Most of the assassin’s ran in terror while the guild master could do little to stop the onslaught of Adyna and company.

They finished the job of dispatching the guild master and took the second half of the blade which was still embedded in his heart. With both halves now in her possession, Adyna reunited them and the Singing Edge of Shinji Nagano grew more powerful.

That night, Adyna had another vision in which the pink haired punky girl said she had a secret which she would tell Adyna eventually, but it would put her in danger if she spilled it then. The vision was different from the others – it was oddly shaped with distorted proportions on people. The vision showed Orlandu and Lazarus speaking about whether or not the tortured Leaf hanging on the wall without hands or feet would be a candidate to be placed in the body of a Warforged. Upon waking, Adyna and the group put together the concept that Leffingwell could very well be Leaf.

The group attended an auction that night at the jewelry galleria where they were able to purchase a bomb of Gizmo’s making. The Peace Caller was also for sale and was bought by an elven noble named Mr. Artez. Apparently it had been taken during a raid on a Shepherd camp in the north.

At the end of the auction, Ko broke into the upstairs to steal a Legacy Weapon that was on display. When the group helped him escape they saw that Onyx was the woman who was chasing him. Upon seeing the group, she became excited to show them something. She took the group, along with Tetra and Marion, the daughter of the Guild Master who now had the Reunited Blade which turned out to be a Weapon of Legacy, and needed to go to Behemoth’s Height to power it.

Onyx took everyone to the dragon cave from times long past. There she revealed that she has been obtaining and taking care of dozens of dragon eggs. The last remnants of an extinct race.

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Of Songs and Legends

Confronted with Yggra, the group stayed their swords and attempted to communicate their good will first. This paid off when Skyy managed to not only communicate but connect with the beast on a naturalistic level. The young woman’s voice continued to resonate with Skyy, pushing back the voices of the endless void further and further.

Yggra was satiated but the trouble was far from over as Raven and the Penitent arrived. Raven demanded Cecilia’s body and left the Penitent to deal with the group. Though valiant in their fight, it was obvious the combined strength of the Penitent was too much, and Yggra emerged from his home to sacrifice himself to enable the group’s escape.

They tracked Raven to a camp in which they found a Bard troupe, the Icebreakers. Ephelia attempted to reach Raven, but Raven no longer wanted anything to do with any of the group. She took Cecelia and left. The group spent the night with the Icebreakers, seeing a play put on about their adventures freeing the Collection.

That night, the unicorn from their first visit to Elen visited Adyna. She took Adyna to the Heart of the Forest and told her that she could only ever get to that place if some creature of the forest lead her there. The unicorn also said that this forest owed Adyna and her friends more than they could repay. She showed Adyna that the Heart was thriving, and that should the creature of the Vault ever be freed, it could not survive if this Heart was destroyed.

The next morning, the group made their way to the city of Elen and attempted to find Lady Melel so Adyna could improve her Legacy Weapon. Instead, they found Tetra. An elven woman with black hair, she was able to tell much and more about the group based only on their appearance and her own logical conclusions. She offered to be their guide in the newly rebuilt city, a city made now almost entirely of Jade.

In an effort to find out more about her weapon, Tetra lead the group to a weapon museum. Inside they found a half-orc who was humming a song very familiar to Ephelia. When she confronted him about the song Gregory was teaching her, he revealed he knew Gregory and was apparently a part of the same cult Gregory owed allegiance. He took Ephelia to a shrine in the back room and berated her for not having more faith in the gods of the empty thrones. He judged her unfit to continue to learn the song under him.

Meanwhile, a group of guards arrived at the forge museum to fulfill the request of a noble entitled elf, but Adyna scared them away with her Singing Edge. The museum did have a broken blade apparently belonging to Shinji during his first visit to Elen. Tetra lead the group to a brothel at which she worked and showed them to an ancient elven man. He was able to tell them about the day Shinji arrived and how he tried to kill a man outside the city. The man’s daughter was still alive and Tetra lead them to her. Once there, they discovered she hated her father and thought he should have died that day. But he didn’t. And upon learning his name, Tetra informed the group that she would be taking them to her boss, the leader of the Assassin’s Guild.

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Whitespire and Blackthorn

It soon became apparent that Raven was indeed the woman leading the Penitent Six but she was not the same Raven everyone once knew. The group went with Sully to confront her and she revealed a face scarred from fire and empty eye sockets. She accused the group of keeping the truth of Cecilia from her, an accusation the group would not deny. The Penitent each carried a body part of Lazarus’s body, a situation they soon learned was due to the fact that Lazarus could piece his body back together if given the chance.

The Penitent broke through the shield protecting Whitespire Tower but retreated after Raven was gravely injured. They seemed to be attacking Elen for the reason the group guessed was the retrieval of Cecilia’s body.

While the group went on to expore the tower, Skyy left to get Cecilia’s body from Elen. During that time, the rest of the group found one of the twins, Whitespire, beneath the tower. She was connected to the tower through a crystal in the rock. She awoke and Blackthorn within Adyna asked for control of her body to speak with her sister. With Adyna gave it, Blackthorn conversed and then left, attempting to throw herself from the top of the tower in order to free herself from Adyna’s body. A quick spell from Melel, who was working on restoring the shield, saved Adyna from a falling death, and she was able to wrestle back control.

That night, Adyna dreamed of Hobbins again. When Hobbins refused to do Orlandu’s bidding, the King showed him that he had Lef tied up with his hands and feet removed. He promised Hobbins that no more harm would come to him as long as Hobbins listened. The next part of the dream showed Hobbins delivering one of the twin girls from the Jade Empire to a group of Vikings. He claimed that a land mass was moving toward them and they should sail there soon and place the girl in the Jade Mines.

The next morning, Ephelia came to the realization, with the help of Ko, that Whitespire and Blackthorn were actually Legendary Weapons of the Behemoths. The castle in which they were staying resembled that of the Tower of Archmage Archimedes and they surmised that the Archmage’s tower was the Blackthorn tower left behind when the land mass moved. These toweres were named after these Legendary Weapons, or visa-versa.

Meanwhile, Skyy made contact with the spirit of the earth at the Life Tree. He was told he belonged on the material plane and was as much a denizen as anyone else as long as he was doing good. Unfortunately, the beings within him attempted to corrupt and hurt the spirit, which led to the girl beneath Whitespire to convulse violently. Skyy cut off the contact in time.

The group arrived and together, with Guyliner making an appearance, they dug up Cecilia’s perfectly preserved corpse. However this made a beast being worshipped as a god angry, and Yregg, the snake controlled by the Druid of Dusk, emerged from the tree to attack.

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Much Has Changed

The group followed their new friend, a man by the name of AJ McCloud, to the Inn in Nowin for a few drinks. He introduced himself as the game master for the Empress and voiced his semi-support for the things she was doing in the region. He also mentioned that the Groundlings, the beasts the group were attacked by, were getting restless and aggressive in this area, though he didn’t know why. The Dragonborn commander of the GEAR outfit outside the Inn named Hono was brought in to give a different perspective on the situation but the conversation was interrupted.

Adyna’s passenger mentioned that something was coming from the basement of the Inn. The group found a hidden door that lead to the basement where they found a group of three albino children and a tunnel leading to the Underdark. The Innkeep explained that he had been contracted by the Drow to keep the children hidden until they came back for them.

A few Sylvani came and began escorting the children to the Whitespire tower in the center of the continent. The group decided to help the Sylvani along as the word was the resistance was also in Whitespire Tower.

With the Inn blocked off due to spontaneous fireballs from one of the children, the group made their way into the Underdark. They soon came upon the Ninth Precinct, a Drow city that had been demolished by surface dwellers in order to build the Vault. They were happened upon by a Drow named Okrah and he demanded a toll to pass through the Precinct. The group gave him a communication orb, which he accepted, but Antigone attempted to sneak past him without paying. He killed her with a poison which drained her life before the group’s very eyes. Okrah saw the mood shift and made his escape.

The group carried on and found the back end of the Vault deep beneath the earth. They followed its arcane inscripted walls to the community in front of the Vault where they found the Empress making her own pilgrimage to the location. AJ introduced the group to LaRue and Emelia, the Empress’s bodyguards, and the group proceeded to have a heated discussion about the right to rule in New Earth. The Empress came off as level headed if not completely in the wrong, and a fight was avoided for the time being.

Outside the Vault, AJ reunited the group with their Griffons, as the Griffons were being used to transport the Empress and her retinue. The Griffons were beyond excited to see their friends again and helped the group cross the marshlands, the savannah plains, and the spirit forest on their way to Whitespire. It became apparent that New Earth had changed drastically in their time away, which the group had come to realize was actually two years, not the six months they had believed. The rift which had opened at sea had distorted time and space. Things had changed.

The group arrived at Whitespire to find Leffingwell, the Warforged from the Collection, tending to an air stable. The group was soon greeted by Sully, Garret, Skar, the Dutchess, Lady Melel, and other leaders of the resistance. The resistance seemed to be on the edge as arguments raged and tactics seemed to be falling apart. The arrival of the group heralded new hope, however.

Antigone was resurrected by Lady Melel and then promptly messed with the threads of reality in such a way to summon the Gentleman. The keeper of reality touched Antigone as a warning, causing her to weaken. Antigone also attempted to cast a remembrance spell on Leffingwell, whose inhuman scream made the entire tower take notice.

However, all of that was overshadowed by Leffingwell’s warning that the Seven were approaching the tower. The group surmised that it could only refer to the Penitent Six…plus Raven.

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