Project S.A.F.E.

Session 6: Of the Past Foggy Minds

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An arrow with a message lands at the top of the flying island, out of nowhere. The letter is addressed to Chefs, mentions Cassandra, and is signed the Vicar of Keeran. Claret freaks out recognizing this organization and pleads with the party to explore this trap. When she learns that a life could be on the line she calms a bit but warns them to be weary.

Upon traveling by horse to the location mentioned in the letter, they find dead mercenaries, ravens, and the Vicar of Keeran. Cassandra awaits the party drinking tea. Apparently she was also transformed into a Tiefling during the long sleep and that she killed all these men.

After a brief reunion, she tells the party that she knows where to find information about what happened during their rest and about their Tiefling transformation. The location just happens to be under their meeting spot. Below there is a giant cavern with a large door she could not open. Charles is able to read the ancient writing and the door opens.

Here, they learn that the plane of the Abyss once tried to merge with the Prime Material Plane which caused all the havoc. This shrine location predicted this merger centuries ago. At the end of the temple is a rock shrine giving off positive and negative energy. Cassandra wishes to destroy it. She says it is the restricting the Tieflings, without it they could become something greater. A voice from the shine agrees with that statement but warms the party that they shouldn’t trust her.

After a conflict with a black ooze and zombies, the party decided to leave the shine alone for now. Cassandra says her goodbyes having other business to attend to. She promises she will return though.

Back on Tal’Nox, Alaric was busy. The two options he came out with was that the Naomi would have to be killed or come to terms with her change. She can never go back to who she was or a pure succubus. The middle route is the only option. Gwen offers to help the girl with this training.

Secondly, Alaric comes to the conclusion that the dwarf girl was chosen to time travel. He says that time travel is taxing on both the body and mind – only something strong in both could survive it. Though she lost her memories, anyone else would have been killed. He believes her mission to be important but he doesn’t know what it is for certain.

Lastly, Alaric comes up with a way to heal the mind of the cursed sword. Through a ritual involving several specific elements, the party will be able to enter the mind of the blade – Sola. The girl has been traumatically beaten and experimented on her whole life. Unlike Zack’Hei, Sola’s previous master forced her to bond with her and she resented him for it. When an opportunity finally arose, she transformed into a blade, possessed a suit of armor, and murdered her master in his sleep. Although the party succeeded in freeing her from the evils of her memories, the blade is uncertain about her next move.

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Session 5: Tal’Nox Rises

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As the party prepares to head to the ruins Alaric is researching at, Claret proposes that Philia, Naomi, and herself join. Since it takes 4 days to get to and Naomi will wake up in 5, she thinks it will be for the best. At the party reaches the ruins, the notice nondescript dark robes. They claim they are at the ruins to do archaeology and that only member of their group are allowed on site.

Charles performs come compelling magic and makes a friend out of one of the cult guards. He gives the party robes and takes them into the ruins. These ruins are a ruined fort on top with some sort of odd temple below. As the party descends, they notice dead corpses killed by what the cult calls the ‘Temple Guardian.’ Philla takes the party to where Alaric was but he was missing – assumed captured. Claret, Philia, and Naomi stay there to research while the party moves on in the temple.

The party discovers an injured cult party. Some fancy talking from Timothy, the cult party believes they are replaced and leave. Soon after the party comes across the Temple Guardian. Gwen discovers the greatsword is evil but the 10-foot tall animated plate isn’t. Tim’s spells lead to Frumps joining the battle. They psychically disturb the Guardian and tell the party some information. Tim puts it together and has Gwen disarm the sword. the armor falls apart. She takes custody of the evil blade. Zak’Hei informs his master that it is a failed version of the experiment he went through, it is mentally unstable.

In the pummel of the weapon has the key to open the next door. Down another stairway they discover more warriors lost in time. Here they find a white robed figure frozen in time that party deems a commander. There is a black-marble rectangle that Tim messes around with and learns in some sort of console that has lost it’s energy.

Above a cult squad approaches and the party meets them. A fight and some sheepish activities leads to the defeat of the enemy soldiers. One was a cleric of some sort who worshiped a god that uses a ruined tower as a holy symbol. A short rest later, some more poking around the console, and frustrations leads to the party returning to those back on the first floor.

The party arrives as Claret returns with the previously incarcerated Alaric. News of the Guardian’s defeat, opens doors, and console leads to everyone heading to the bottom. Alaric has blue beads that seem to power the device. He also has a book Charles takes that is instructions written in Celestial. Apparently the temple they are in is the third version of an ancient floating island by the name of Tal’Nox. Originally, this island was a fortress that floated around the Abyss. Somehow the island arrived in the Prime, was shot down, restored by Ondaire, then crashed in it’s current location and transformed into a temple to Shiela.

Now with power, the party opens the hatch under them to discover a great library. Open activating the Tal’Nox, a green lightning beam strikes Gwen’s earrings and bounces to the time-frozen commander. A non-damaging explosion frees the commander and Gwen catches her. The ‘commander’ is some sort of female, dwarven, monk to Shiela. While confused, her voice remains confident as first. The longer they talk with her the more she reveals that she is in some sort of great mental pain. Questions seem to cause her pain as she fails to remember certain things – like her name. Before she passes out, she tells the party that she has two names tattooed on her arm; one has to be saved, one has to be murdered. One name is Gwen’s full name, the other is Demetrix.

Tal’Nox takes fight and the party must decide the next course of action. Naomi awakens in a day.

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Session 4: Breakthrough or Breakdown?

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While searching the old bakery for working parts, a “spirit of the bakery’ haunts the party. To their relief(?), the spirit is actually a pixie. The creature tells a story about her grove being corrupted and those who once lived there are now gone or corrupted. In her story, a saint entered that area 70 years ago to purge the evil and was never seen again. After confirming the story with Claret, the party grudgingly agrees to aid the fay.

Upon reaching the entrance to the mountain range, the party comes across a small fishing village. They confirm with the pixie and she says it’s been there as long as she’s ever known. She also refuses to go on any further out of fear. The town seems off but the party continues to the destination. Despite the pixie’s words, the grove is serene and peaceful. In the center of the pond is a ruined tower where they assume they can enter some sort of dungeon. A rowboat is spotted and the party heads to it to cross the pond.

Under the rowboat are two young children. Gwen discovers their undead-evil nature and the party attacks before the ambush. Although the children look completely normal, other than long fingernails, they were undoubtedly undead. In the dungeon, the party finds large wooden doors that open up into an impossibly scaled cathedral. There they break up a ‘service’ be a demon pretending to be a priest. The crowd grow fairy like wings and join the melee. Before the demon dies, he mutters maddness about protecting the children.

Past the cathedral is a hallway with doors that lead to bunk beds filled with non-evil spectral children. In the last door, the party discovers a strange room. Amphitheater-esque steps lead down to an elderly elven woman surrounded by water with a huge holky symbol over her. Apparently she has no idea what is going on and even though she is a spirit herself, she dies.

After burning the evil holy symbol, all of the illusions fade. The holy symbol was actually a grotesque version of the elven paladin saint’s body still in her plate. Her body was intertwined with a root system into the wall. The bottom half of her was covered in blood with child skeletons under her. The room actually is underground and not elaborate at all.

The cathedral, tower, pond, grove, and town were all illusions being projected by those who died to the corruption long ago. With the woman dead, the ground no longer suffered from being unhollow. Another tome of research is discovered and taken back. Zach’Hai mentions that his father was once held by the lady paladin and that it she was the one who put him into the gorilla demon. The boy was appreciative to the cleansing of the grove.

Back in Ondaire, the situation with Naomi worsened. Claret had to drug the girl asleep after she tried to get “handsy” with Philia. Due to this, Claret sends Philia on a mission to retrieve a friend of theirs that is an abjurist. With the new book, Claret is able to piece together what Naomi is.

Naomi is an experiment, “Project Butterfly.” The general concept was to take an innocent girl, use experimental drugs on her, and keep her in a chamber that imitates the abyss all to make her a creature of lust. The ultimate goal was to create a second being inside of her of a succubus that would eventually take over the human Naomi. The process wasn’t completed but the success shows. The scientist is working on a way to make Fiends native to the Prime. For reasons unknown, Naomi was put into some sort of stasis until the party found her.

This put the party into a crossroads, not knowing how to help her and thinking killing her may be for the best – especially since she’s asked for in multiple times. Unwilling to commit to the murder, the party branches off to seek ways to help her. Though various potentially helpful information comes in, it’s the return of Philia that pushes the party into a direction. While their abjurist friend is interested in this case, he couldn’t tear himself away from the site he is at – a temple where time stopped during a great battle.

The party believes that if they can solve this mystery, the wizard will help with Naomi. With only a week of sleeping potion left, time is ticking.

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Session 3: Baker Act

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The party sets off with Seon’s group to eliminate a den of goblins. A quick confrontation turns into a battle of endurance as more and more savage goblins run into the fray. Eventually the leader arrives and is also killed. Beyond the goblin hideout exists a goblin town. An elder, Gohlan, could speak common and told the party that they are different and not violent. If they could be left in peace they would not be an issue. The party agrees and leaves them alone.

The following day the party heads west to the mountain the demonic laboratory hidden in the mountains. Rain begins to fall as a pair of hippogryphs descend upon the party. Some unexpected sheeping happens but no one is harmed. The facility is discovered, worn down and abandoned. After a hall of empty display cases, the party discovers three passages: one caved in, one indicating weapons, and one indicating men.

In the weapon path they find a sword inside a massive demon gorilla statue. Here the party discovers a timid blonde boy claiming his father is the sword inside the gorilla. He too is a weapon and spirit, he can’t leave the room unless the demon is defeated and he bonds with someone. The party accepts the challenge, removes the sword, and defeats the ape. Impressed by Gwen’s melee prowess, Zack’Hei bonds with her but has slept since.

The last path lead to a human woman laying in the middle of the floor with butterfly wings drawn in chalk coming from her back garbed in gothic attire. During a mental conversation she mentions that her name is Naomi and that there is another her. The party extracts her from the facility but she tells them where they can find a book of experiments she hid.

On the way out, two red gorilla demons similar to the one defeat sandwich the party in revenge. A more powerful demon arrives and tells them that the party still has use to the ‘Old One’ and that they are not to be harmed at this time.

Later the party awakens Naomi to find out that she is a timid and terrified woman. She mentions that she was once human despite looking completely human. She clings to Gwen in fear of men. It is inferred that she was raped as well as experimented on. One night on the way back to Ondaire she made an uncharacteristic pass at Charles. The current theory is that she has another presence within her mind.

The party reaches Ondaire and hand Claret the book achieved. She looks into figuring out what is wrong with Naomi while the party considers looking for old Ondaire’s bakery.

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Session 2: Doughnuts, Crabcakes, & Vegetable Oatmeal

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Upon reaching Denton, the party discovers ‘Mayor’ Adlin speaking to an armored barbarian – Ulkran of Calda. They appear to have words and the barbarian leaves. The party discovers the people of Denton willingly pay tribute to the Freighters out of fear and desperation. With only so few people and non warriors, they’ve never seen another option.

In the town’s inn, the party discuss tactics with Ulkran and come up with a two part strategy to remove the Freighters from the region. The party would defend Denton and Ulkran’s group would find and hit the core of this Freighter branch. Until the attack in two days, the party would train the townsfolk to defend themselves. Ulkran’s group offered arms.

The battle with the Freighters was tough but the party was successful. They take a day to recover and wait for Ulkran’s men to return. That night they drink and eat Timothy’s doughnuts. Ulkran speaks of him being dishonored by his clan and of an ongoing battle with undead by the name of the Scavs to the east.

While the party plans on heading to Ondaira, one of Ulkran’s men say that they found someone just walking in a field that said he was from 300 years in the past like them. Upon arriving at their campsite, they discover a medium sized dead deformed crab standing in exploded guts. Before the man died, he mentioned that he came from the south.

The party travels south to discover a S.A.F.E. filled with mucus and foul odors. Upon closer examination, the find that the S.A.F.E. is a double decker and all the patrons exploded in their beds from similar crab creatures. On the bottom floor, they discover all the crabs piled up upon each other. At this point the decide to leave. Four ‘Slip Crabs’ attempt to stop them but the party kills them and escape.

Feeling disturbed and confused from that S.A.F.E., the party starts their trek to Ondaira – stopping at Fallick Inn on the way. Here they rest the night and find Phillia. She says she was doing business here but also was hoping to run into the party again. apparently Claret discovered something about the Baker cousin’s ‘issue’ that she wanted to share in person. Since the party was headed there, they agree to go with her.

That night, Philia tells the party the story of Ulkran of Calda. This nomadic group of humans and Hill Dwarves once lived east of the Taviea forest. They are strong and fought the Scavs for years. Eventually the numbers became too great and they were pushed to the tree line. When they asked the Wood Elves there to allow them to pass, they refused. They lead to an eventual war. The Caldarens took the forest, killed the Wood Elf King, but assimilated the elves into their ‘nation.’ Ulkran, son of the chief, was a general at the time. He was awarded the Wood Elf King’s daughter as a war bride – the greatest honor of the Calda. Unfortunately she hates Ulkran and his people. Out of respect and love towards her, he doesn’t lay with her and the result of not producing a child is what lead to his dishonor. Warriors who fight west of the trees are dishonored. Philia has a love for dramatic love stories.

After a three day ride, the party reaches Ondaira. There are over one-hundred people sleeping outside the keep’s walls. The largest size S.A.F.E. opened and Ondaira doesn’t know how to feed / protect the people – their is no room. All these people are crafters and builders. The party speaks to Trey, the leader of Ondaira and offers their aid to Seon, a mountain dwarf, to beat back the goblins so the city can expand. Since the party are more expendable than the keep’s guards, Trey agrees to this. They leave tomorrow.

Until then, the party and Philia meet up with Claret. She has ‘acquired’ a tome from a research facility to the west. One page talks about turning creatures into demons and another page specifically about Tiefling creation. She tells the party of its location, the fact that it has been abandoned for over fifty years, and offers them a place to stay for the evening.

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Session 1: Wake Up Call

AloraDoor.jpgRight on queue, the residents of S.A.F.E. #132 awaken. Three hundred years passing takes a slight toll on the body, causing sickness for all, temporary blindness for others, and change of race for a few. For Charles and Timothy Baker, something altered their human existence and transformed them into Tieflings. After cleaning up, changing (clothes), and eating – the party opened the S.A.F.E. door to see the effects of the last 300 years.

The cave which hid the S.A.F.E. had changed. The tunnel faced a new direction, bioluminescent mushrooms touched the ground, and new stalagmites formed. A strange, aggressive, blind, hive-minded, and watery pack of kobalds attacked and were defeated. During the fight, a scream was heard from ahead. There sat an injured human sorcerer by the name of Klint; apparently one of the kobalds attacked him.

After patching up Klint’s wound, he told the party he came here to investigate some ancient-house sized artifact that was supposed to activate today. Apparently his group takes interest in such things and bought this information at a high price. The party showed off the S.A.F.E. and he mentioned others were coming to help him out. On their way out, the party heard a sad-singing coming from below a cave bridge.

Two horses were found outside: one looked as if the rider wanted nothing to be known about it, the other the complete opposite. Klint mentioned a settlement to the North-West, thus the party headed in that direction. Upon leaving the cave, the party spotted six other riders heading towards the cave. Strange day/night cycles and parts of the ground raised up unnaturally from the ground. On the top of a remote hill, they saw a building, the Fallick Inn.

Despite no roads leading to the establishment, two people worked there (John & Susanna) and four others were customers. After buying weak ale, the party started talking to a women sitting by herself with an adorable black puppy in her arms. The human woman’s name was Claret and she was waiting for her business partner to return from a job. the fantastical story of the party’s awakening and time traveling peaked her interest. The conversation lead them to believe the voice singing under the bridge was Claret’s partner.

Concerned, Claret said she’d be leaving in the morning for the cave. Quite helpfully and selfishly, the party offered to accompany her to retrieve her ally. To the party’s surprise, the ‘strange’ events happening in the world are considered normal for this time period. Where the strange kobalds attacks, the party discovered large centipedes inside the clean picked skeletons which weren’t there earlier. The S.A.F.E. door was closed and inside was Glen, the cowardly mercenary. His group was ambushed by the centipedes and he ran for his life. Klint was the leader of a group who follows Delma and look to destroy ancient artifacts.

Glan took his horse and left while the party searched for Clara’s friend. Climbing down the bit under the bridge, they discovered a malnourished, sprained ankle, and beat up unconscious half-elf woman. After healing and feeding her, they left. In the morning, the woman, Phillia, came conscience and was both confused and ecstatic that she was rescued. Philla became enamored by the tale of the party, the time travel, and the race changes. She mentioned a few times that she wants to find other S.A.F.E. and talk to everyone from the past.

Apparently it was Philia who purchased the information about the house-sized artifact. Klint’s group later meet up with her and she thought they had similar goals. She learned the truth and tried to hide this knowledge. When she was finally alone with Klint she tried to stop him. While she did stab him, he shoved her off the land bridge where she was found. Claret and Philla thanked the party multiple times but tell them they are behind schedule and have to head to Ondaira. They tell the party to use a tongue twister as a password and to look for them if they ever make it there.

The night the party met Clara, they also talked to three members of the Freighters Tribe. Apparently they extort standing settlements for gold and good. The ‘town’ of Denton is going to be bullied soon so the party heads off East to it’s direction. After a few hours of traveling, they come across a red door in the middle of a field.

Inside was another realm where they were met by a butler with a book asking them to sign. The landscape was all blurry and they could only make out each other. The butler lead them to a room that had pillars, a tea set, a bird bath, and a gazebo. Here they met Isleen. As the eldest of nine sisters, she has taken it upon herself to inform the divine casters of the S.A.F.E. Program about the current deity situation. The sisters were once mortal and one day all received divine powers as the the gods either died or disappeared. The sisters don’t know why it happened, why they were selected, that they aren’t replacements, aren’t usurpers, and not gods. Prayers to the old gods are still being answered somehow but at the expense of these sisters and the balance of the world. Isleen believes if the casters know the truth, the disturbance of these spells may disappear.

After the butler showed the party out, they continued their path to Denton.

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