AURASTORM

Aura Storm Campaign Journal


© 2002-2003 Scott W Roberts (and some Drhoz)

        "Know, Prince: though fraught with peril, the Storm Age was a time undreamed of. 
Though chaos and terror swarmed across the face of the land, Samuria was a realm of glory and wonder. 
For, from the banks of
Thunder River, the streets of Hieropolis, the caves of the Steel Mountains,
the jagged windswept wastelands and many other places, there rose up heroes to meet the challenge of this age. 

Out of the Storm strode they whose names are carved now in eternity. 

Hear, now, tales of the Aura Storm..."


PART ONE: CYNIDICEA ASCENDANT

Spring, Year 423, Day 50 - The Lost City

Summer Year 423, Day 86 - Heiropolis

 Summer Year 423, Day 136 - Thunder River

Year 423, Day 154 - Oppidum Veto

 PART TWO: PATHS OF ASCENSION


Spring, in the 423rd year of the Storm Age.

Day 50  Day 50 (approx):     A group of diverse travellers becomes lost in the Soulwind Desert, seperated from their caravan by a ferocious sandstorm. Half-starved and dying of thirst they stagger into the ruins of the forgotten city of Cynidicea, and take shelter in the central ziggurat. To their suprise, it's still inhabited - refugees from the Godwar and the first Aurastorm centuries ago fled underground, thinking themselves the only survivors of the surface civilisations.

54: enter pyramid
55: encounter Brotherhood of Gorm
56: explore Rotating Corridor
57: Boulder trap
58: Unquiet Dead

     Learning more of the situation and surviving assorted traps and dangers, the group finds that the Cynidiceans are divided into a half-dozen factions, three worshipping almost forgotten gods -  the warrior Brotherhood of Gorm,  the Magi of Usimagarus, the Warrior Maidens of Maduara, the royal family, the drug-addled civilian populace, and the demon-worshipping Cult of Zargon, who almost completely control the buried city.

      Perhaps indicative of the weakness of the factions, it takes just over  a  week for these lost travellers to gain effective control of the Brotherhood and the Magi, and plan with the surviving royal family a way to break the Zargonites completely - assassinate their 'god'.  Leaving behind them a few contingency plans and distractions, including a fiery seige engine designed by Vitus the conjuror and artficier, the group find their way deep into the cult's holy of holies.

59: seize control of Magi
60: seize control of Brotherhood

61: kill white apes; secret door/wolf
62: lose 2 cultists to snakes; enter into city
63: lycanthropic resurrection, black pudding; shabti
64: hellhounds, poison gas room, manticore, wand of wonder
65: deal with Djinn

The street-to-street battle had died down... rubble and bodies were everywhere.  Bodies of cultists who'd slain each other; bodies of drug addicts who had accidentally wandered into the line of fire.  Smoke rose from the half-collapsed temple of Zargon, where the strange device, built under the furry outsider's direction, had exploded - burying its operators under an adjoining building.  The alliance was broken; the few surviving Brothers of Gorm and Warrior Maidens of Madarua hunted each other... and the Priests of Zargon, whipping along their ghoulish minions, laid siege to the Magi stronghold.  In the fungus garden, Princess Minerva, last of the Royal house of Cynidicea, led refugees in prayer.  The Lost City waited for a sign from the outsiders; would the glory of Cynidicea be restored, or would Darkness prevail?

66-69:  Already wounded and with half their party dead, the now desperate outsiders find themselves facing Zargon itself - a horrific monsterous thing of unknown origin, far before they think themselves capable of it. But fate, it seems, thinks them undeserving of a horrible death and thus they return to the subterranean city in triumph, uniting the surving factions and planning a return to the outer world.

72: expedition across the desert to the coast, accompanied by acolytes & representatives.
73: slightly lost
74: slightly more lost
75: giant scorpion; reality-churning Aura Storm sends the expedition scurrying for cover
76: Tarrandor the Wemic, his village obliterated by the storm,  joins party;
        exploded whale carcass and other unearthly evidence of last night's storm serve as useful landmarks
77: gnollish ornithopter crash
80: reach Cliff Diver village (a gnollish clan now specialising in shipbuilding and maritime engineering research)
82: Ratkin trading ship arrives
83: set sail
86: reach Heiropolis , the Citadel of Hawks


Day 50    Vitus locks himself away, studying everything he managed to collect from the wreckage of the Cynidocean cults

    Ammon-Theth busily manipulates the priestly hierarchy, primarily through the expenditure of money (Like the Babylonians, Samuria is big on "buying" promotions), and similar activities.

    The Cynidicean delegates, and the party, have a brief audience at the Royal Court - basically, are ushered in, announced, displayed, have to offer obeisance and briefly answer a few standard questions, and ushered out.  Afterwards, members of various interests at the Royal Court size them up and quietly vie for the group's attention.  Ammon-Theth is called to a meeting...

Summer, in the 423rd year of the Storm Age.

 

Day 100: 2 weeks in Heiropolis.  Vitus sends out messengers
101: Tarrandor's cat (Formerly the late village headman's daughter Ismur) goes missing
102: Matchez mentions
Lost City at Thieves Guild.  Thieves in the night. Vitus mercilessly slaughters most of them. They don't come back
103: meeting with Nicodemus of the Merchant League.
         Increased and organised attacks on their trade missions up the Thunder River is becoming intolerable
117: Second audience at the
Royal Court. A semi-mythical lost city is identified as a likely source of these attacks.
133: meeting with Ammon-Theth ends in disunity. He intends to lead an expedition of the Horus Guard overland to the Forbidden City
        Vitus buys house.
134: buying supplies.  Vitus hires servants, paid 4 months in advance.
135: meeting with Nicodemus
Day 50136: set sail
138: Broken Swamp and Pelusia
139: Experimentation with Wand of Wonder leads to Vitus's oath to have have every crocodile on the river skinned alive
140-142: uneventful
Ivory River
143: Kentyris
144: uneventful
Thunder River
145: logjam and hanging mutilated corpse - corpse attacks; native guides flee (later eaten by giant venus flytrap)
146: rain; storm delay.  Giant carnivorous toads. Vitus now convinced that this is no place for civilised beings.
147: wasps in the night. Vitus ill
148: drums in the night  ( the jockeys are restless )
149: Aura Storm.  Nicodemus aged,Tarrandor incinerated and ressurected as sprite, Vitus's eyes glow in the dark
150: tower, natives
152: Daughters of the Tiger
153: leave for the Forbidden City
154: reach the Forbidden City

Day 50Everyone will be on full HP/health... the elves will likely send one of their shamans with you.  If we don't find another player willing to play a Cleric, I will say that you team up with Ammon-Theth's expedition.  Also, as Chosen of Usamigaras, Vitus (and possibly also Matchez) may multiclass as a Cleric...

154: Reach the
Forbidden City.  Party accompanied by Elf Shaman, Thicket.  Ammon-Theth and company seek to enter by other means.  Party enter Main Entrance
155: Nicodemus poisoned by giant spider.  Vitus polymorphed and slain.  Retreat
156: Meet up with Ammon-Theth

Day 156: Meet up with Ammon-Theth; Vitus raised (insane)
157: Divine aid heals Vitus; Machez' religious experience
158: return to and enter the
Forbidden City

Incidentally, Ammon-Theth's two Cynidicean henchmen (Tiglath and Pileser) are back in Hieropolis, overseeing the growing faith of Usamigaras.

158: return to and enter the
Forbidden City.  Skirt southern edge of the ruins.  Tarrandor witnesses snake cult gathering.  Tasloi ambush.  Dwarf dies of giant spider poison.
159: rest, within sight of a snake cult building.  Tarrandor meets Katsiu and the gnoll Hawk clan.  Snake cultists attack; Sammuramat dies.  Retreat to gnoll camp
160: rest at gnoll camp.  Machez meets Katsiu
161: rest
162: set out to convert the Mongrelmen.  Passing through Ape-Men territory.

Incidentally, day 165 will be a Holy Day - Ammon-Theth will lead you in prayer all day long; he'll also want to sacrifice a goat or sheep.  Failing to propitiate the gods may draw their ire...

Day 163: Evening - Mongrel shaman tells you to steal the God-Egg from the Master.
164: Confrontation with the Master; death of all save Vitus (Feebleminded) and Hidden-Wonder (Demon's plaything); collapse of tribal allegiances in the
Forbidden City
165: Holy Day/Eclipse - Vitus (healed by Assur) and the gnoll expedition flee the city, as the tribes turn upon each other.  Dawn of the Gnollish Renaissance, as Vitus becomes The Alchemical Prophet.  Mongrel tribe succumbs to Demon worship.  Snake-cult spy network collapses.  The region remains in tumult; while there are no further bandit raids, a darkness begins to gather and spread...
180: Vitus and the gnoll expedition return to Hieropolis, where the Magi of Usamigaras grow in number...

END OF PART ONE: CYNIDICEA ASCENDANT


INTERMISSION

The Found City


Part Two, PATHS OF ASCENSION, will begin on day 255 in Hieropolis.  Forces have been set in motion... and an unexpected door has been opened.