Journeys Through Valkana

The Rise of an Empire (literally) and Furryland

The party shifts their focus to tracking down the awakened Saurian Emperor, Donthriss. Back in Vorakis they are directed to a gigantic rift which hides the ruins of a once great city of Saurians. As they enter the caverns, they confront a band of erudite goblins struggling to drag a bag containing a shifting mass. Using his thermal-scope, Ajax quickly deduces it is a living humanoid. As the party distracts the goblins, Veil sneaks behind and opens the bag revealing a tuft of red hair and discovering Declan bound and gagged.

 

Not interested in fighting for their quarry, the goblins run off leaving the party with mixed feelings toward their new development: the trouble making gnome.  Declan gushes gratitude and promises he can help them find what they are looking for in the rift whatever that may be. They tell him of their search and Declan joins in hopes of high adventure and riches to be won in the fabled ruins.

 

The party eventually travels into the rift, eventually coming to the ruined buildings of a city. As they make their way through, they catch sight of a strange blue robed figure that catches wind of them and quickly darts away seemingly being sucked into earth itself. Walking a little further into the center of this city, they come upon a massive bipedal lizard, obviously saurian, blocking their way. The Saurian calls out to them and gives them a choice: kneel and pledge allegiance to the emperor or leave the city. While the majority of the party find neither option amenable, TI takes a knee in hopes that deference will get him past this obstacle. Ever the survivor and always looking for the easy way out, Declan joins him on his knee. The others balk at any sort of subservience and refuse to leave. The Saurian chuckles and launches himself into combat with the party.

 

Feeling confidant that they can take out this lone sentry, the party is surprised by additional players joining the fray in the form of the robed figure, a blue skinned saurian, and her summoned earth elementals and an unseen foe taking shots from a location somewhere in the city. Reacting to the new threats, the party fans out. The fury of the orange saurian shocks them as it takes down the wizard, Kael’thas, in a savage display of combat. The other members have their hands full with the magic user and sniper. Veil and Declan try to pinpoint the location of the sniper while Ajax, TI and the fighter focus on the orange brute.

 

After trading blow after blow, and TI being knocked around quite a bit the orange lizardman collapses… only to shake himself awake with renewed fury!  Stunned by the tenacity of this beast, Ajax redoubles his efforts and strikes it down again… only the have it rise once more. It snarls and laughs as it takes out the three warriors.

 

Meanwhile, the sniper continues doing formidable damage while evading discovery by the stealthy Veil and the hovering drones of Declan. At last it's discovered, another green-skinned saurian outfitted with superb technology, but it’s too little too late. Veil gets in a couple good blows but is bested and captured.

 

Declan, having gone invisible, tries to bide his time to get in a more advantageous position. He watches as his companions fall one by one and are dragged off by the saurians. He attempts to hide, but to no avail. His cloaking doesn't hide him from the green lizard's thermal scope. He gets off one last shot before succumbing to the orange behemoths attacks. The party falls and they are dragged away to captivity.

 

 

Waking up with brutal headaches, the party finds themselves trapped in cells and the city flying thousands of feet over the land. They are taken out and brought before the very being they sought, Emperor Donthriss. He presents them with a different choice: Kneel and be put to use for the Empire or be subject to captivity and slavery. Pride wins out and the majority of the party refuses to bend a knee. Declan, ever being the opportunist,  agrees to kneel in hopes for the opportunity to infiltrate and learn what he can from this city. Veil also opts to put herself at the mercy of the Empire. The rest are dragged back to their cells.

 

Upon awakening the next day, Veil and Declan are escorted from their quarters and given tasks. Veil joins a sentry patrol and Declan is taken to the engine room where he is shown the engine core keeping the city aloft. Immediately enamored, he is more than willing to get his hands dirty with the engine. Afterward, he manages to locate a locked door which he deduces hides a hub of the technology flying the city. He attempts to hack the system with limited success as he has to pause his work.

 

Back in the cells, TI tries to break free of his restraints to no avail, but with the help of Tethyrian and a well placed kick he liberates himself. All for naught, though, as the guards keep them in check and bring in a game of strategy to pass the time.

 

Ajax gets restless and restarts to challenging the brawny, orange saurian to a competition of strength. Chuckling the beast brings him an arm to replace the one they took and sets up an arm wrestling match. Ajax is overpowered but not daunted as he continues to taunt the saurian.

 

The following day the lizard relents and agrees to go one-on-one with him even giving him full access to his arm. The bout is close, but the saurian once again prevails.

 

Veil and Declan are taken to a field and put to work planting crops. Declan tries to bond with Veil but is rebuffed indicating that water is not completely under the bridge.

 

The next day the whole party wakes to blaring alarms. Using the alarms as a distraction, Veil and Declan go invisible and make their way back to the locked door and manage to break in revealing the engine room. Declan hacks the system and attempts to pilot the city back down to the ground.

 

Meanwhile, a ship has landed near where the rest of the party is imprisoned and stepping out of it are several of the Twilight Guard accompanied by Abin-dula him/herself. Also accompanying them is Azog. Abin-dula requests parlay from the Emperor asking that the captives be set free and that the Emperor join the alliance of kingdoms. The Emperor concedes to releasing the party, but is not keen on joining the alliance. Abin-dula warns him not to reach too far.

 

A search party is sent for Declan and Veil who nearly succeed in bringing the city down but are eventually escorted back. Azog immediately reacts upon seeing Veil and bears arms against her, but is rebuffed by Abin-dula. They all board the ship and make their way back to Vorakis.

 

Back on solid ground, the party faces another obstacle: each other. Veil and TI stand off with members of the party choosing sides as each wants to pursue their own interests. Tension mounts and Declan buys time by taking an essential part from their vehicle. They stay the night and Veil and Declan sneak off to infiltrate Jameson’s headquarters. The gnome breaks in successfully, but doesn’t find anything of particular interest to Veil. However, they notice a glowing sigil on his back and realize that they are being watched. They beat a hasty retreat back to the inn.

 

In the morning, the party is greeted by Abin-dula and Declan and Veil are outed. Abin-dula banishes them from the city for an undisclosed time and the party finally decides to follow a vague clue about the whereabouts of TI’s family. They head north of the city to the grasslands to investigate.

 

As they are traveling through the canyons they are set upon by two strange bipedal animal creatures. The bear like creature knocks Declan and Veil from his newly acquired motorcycle and the party engages them in battle. Before too long they realize the assailants are not alone and a number of different animal people descend into the valley. A wolfman steps forward identifying himself as the raiding party’s leader and gives them a choice. They can either pay their toll of offering one victim to be turned into a lycanthrope, or turn back. The party once again refuses to subjugate themselves and Kael’thas looses his magic destrying Declan’s new bike in the process (he’s not bitter much). The party routs the attackers but not before Veil, Azog and Ajax are bitten and the curse courses through their blood.

 

They are left alone in the canyon with no option but to seek out this commune and get more information about their new condition and also about the name the werewolf mention that has special significance to TI…

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brandonkparrish

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