Apotheosis

Eye Of The Crocodile King

Arcanamirium transmuter Maren Fuln found a magically sealed amulet in the school’s library and kept it as a shiny bauble. Little did he know the amulet contained an entity far worse than he imagined and by unsealing it, he loosed a revenge-obsessed horror into the sewers beneath the school. Can the Agents of the Varlokkur halt the beast’s plan in time, or will he build his army of revenge and sow chaos in Absalom?

The agents spend two weeks pursuing their own agendas. A’hymhu continues training his pet dog, Muck. Bundin maintains the day to day running of his shrine and ensuring his flock follow a righteous path. Albert and Julian attend a dinner party at House Doels townhouse. Lothaire locates a mead hall in the Coins called the Saucy Wench, which he decides will make a great new drinking establishment.

While Albert and Lothaire are taking lunch in the Arcanamirium refectory they are approached by journeyman transmuter, Maren Fuln. A nervous Fuln requests they assemble their fellow Varlokkur and meet him behind the Arcanamirium to discuss a matter of importance. Albert and Lothaire split up and assemble the other agents, eventually meeting up with Fuln back at the Arcanamirium. On arrival Fuln advises the group that they’ll need to venture into the sewer to retrieve his crocodile-blooded, transmutation created aberration, locate a gem containing the remaining conscience of Lord Corgon, a former corrupt lecturer at the Arcanamirium and find his missing animal handler. The agents are horrified at the brazen nature of Fulns request, his creation of an aberration, the knowledge that he unearthed a sealed away artifact and that he’s left it a week before bringing it to their attention. Following a barrage of questions and aspersions cast at Fuln, the group agree to investigate the sewers below.

Climbing down into the sewers the group are deposited neck deep into the sewage that flows beneath Absalom. As they wade through the filth, an unseen assailant deposits a small horde of rats into the waste. Luckily thanks to some ingenuity from Lothaire and Albert, the agents manage to exterminate the vermin and crawl up onto the sewer walkways.

After an hour of following the sewer tunnel the five investigators find themselves in another open chamber. They soon realise they have entered the den of a hungry, wounded otyugh. Bundin and Julian attempt to parley with the monstrous trash-eater, realising it possesses intelligence, but the creature seems more concerned with making the group its next meal. A’hymhu is grievously wounded in the battle with the creature, as the rest of the agents struggle to bring their weapons to bare against the twisted beast. After a hard fought battle the heroes are finally able to fell the guardian and revive A’hymhu. Searching through the debris that has washed up in the chamber they locate several minor trinkets lost from the Arcanamirium, which they quickly add to their arsenal before pressing on.

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An hour further into the sewers the group encounter two troglodytes, not unlike those they encountered in the Fallen Fortress several months previous. Fighting alongside the troglodytes is also a dominated Lemedor, the animal handler and dim-witted ranger that went missing from the Arcanamirium. Luckily the ranger and troglodytes prove little competition for the heroes, who wade through the sewage, cut down the reptiles and subdue Lemedor. As the agents bring Lemedor to, he comes to his senses, warning them that he fed Lord Corgons amulet to the talking crocodile aberration and that it has rallied the troglodytes to its cause, sending them out to the mountains to build an army of the creatures and launch an attack on Absalom and the Arcanamirium. Comfortable that Lemedor has come to his senses, the group dispatch him back to the surface and press on.

Not ten minutes after their meeting with Lemedor, the agents enter a chamber housing a large crocodile and a handful of troglodytes, one of which they recognise as the only adolescent troglodyte they let leave the Fallen Fortress. Albert and the troglodyte converse for a few moments, the young survivor giving Albert the same choice to walk away as he offered it. Unable to come to a diplomatic solution the troglodytes crocodile lunges forward, but is quickly bought low by the agents firepower and a electrifying blow from Lothaire. As the the other troglodytes are felled, the youngster from the Fallen Fortress is able to escape once again into the darkness beneath Absalom. The group take some time to tend to their wounds, especially Albert who has taken a troglodyte javelin to the gut, his first wound in service to the Varlokkur.

Locating a cave carved into the sewer wall the group enter into a chamber lit by a central fire pit. As the voice of the Crocodile King echoes the threats of Lord Corgon, the group advance coming face to face with the hulking crocodile beast, possessed by the sinister consciousness of Lord Corgon. As Julian moves to engage the Crocodile King he comes under the aberrations thrall and turns on his friends, instructed to kill them. Bundin and Lothaire combine their brotherly skills against the King, bringing it low for A’hymhu to send a well aimed bolt through the creatures skull. Unfortunately, a dominated Julian fells Bundin, running his sword through the paladins back. Despite the death of the Crocodile King, Julian remains under the sway of the gem contained in its belly. Lothaire tries to subdue Julian, but the possessed jeweller lands a lucky blow, tearing into the dwarves thigh, who promptly falls collapses from the agony. With things looking bleak, Albert and A’hymhu resign themselves to unleashing everything they have left against Julian. The bard is overwhelmed before he can finish off his wizardly associate, leaving the chamber in grim silence. The remaining two agents use what curative provisions they have to revive the dwarves, retrieving the gem and looting the room of anything valuable, including a mysterious black dwarven blade that speaks to Lothaires mind.

The agents return to Absalom via a secret cliffside exit from the sewers, carrying the unconscious Julian. They make their way through the streets, coated in dried blood and sewage, and manage to circumvent the authorities in an approach to Alexis townhouse. Despite his surprise seeing the agents and their conditions, Alexis quickly admits his proteges. After Albert brings the fellow wizard up to speed, Alexis offers to secure the gem and break the spell controlling Julian. Disgraced and ashamed by his actions, the young entertainer apologises and takes his leave. Albert and the Toragson brothers thank Alexis and return to the Arcanamirium to have a stern word with Maren Fuln. Despite their intimidation, a relieved Fuln promises his aid in the future. Clearly shaken by their ordeal the agents part way to recuperate before their skills are called upon again.

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Silent Tide

When strange reports of misty undead spread through Absalom, the Agents of the Varlokkur are dispatched to the half-drowned district of the Puddles. Notoriously rough, the drooling addicts, flesh panderers, and quick-handed knifers of the Puddles are the least of their worries. The night’s tide brings with it an ancient armada of some long-forgotten war and they are the only thing between the mist-shrouded ghost fleet and Absalom’s utter oblivion.

Following their ventures beneath the Blakros Museum the agents take some time to themselves. Albert and Lothaire dedicate time to their studies at the Arcanamirium. A’hymhu continues building himself a new crossbow and training up his newly purchased pet dog. Meanwhile, Julien volunteers his appraisal skills to the artistic and cultured of the Ivy District in the hopes of currying good favor. Bundin invests himself further into helping the needy of the Precipice Quarter, building their trust and purchasing the materials to construct an altar to Torag with their assistance.

After ten days entertaining themselves the group receive contact from Alexis to meet him at the Scholars Quill late on the first Wealday of Desnus. On arrival Alexis advises the group that he has a simple task for them to perform, just to keep their skills sharp. The diviner requests that the agents travel to the Puddles, Absaloms poorest district, to retrieve an ancient Taldor codebook from an elderly military historian named Yargos Gill. While Alexis has no issue with Yargos, he is concerned that the old man will lose the book to one of the criminal elements operating from the Puddles.

Following the advice of their employer the agents make their way to the Soggy Piper, Yargos tavern of choice. Within they quickly learn that the historian and a few of his associates were recently dragged out by half a dozen young Warhounder thugs. Luckily they are able to save Yargos and his associates from being thrown off Torsens Maw and into the sea below, dispatching the Warhounder initiates in the process. Unfortunately, Yargos advises the group that the Warhounder leader, Nessian, already has the codebook and that he can use it to restart the Silent Tide and control the Black Echelon. Yargos explains that the codebook was to signal an ancient Taldor sea invasion that was thankfully stopped, however, all the invader took an oath called the Binding Word that compels them to complete their invasion even in death, should the signals from the codebook be given. Nessian plans to use the Silent Tide and its undead Black Echelon operatives to hold Absalom to ransom and secure his criminal repuation. Yargos suggests approaching Grandmaster Torch, a local information broker, to learn of Nessians location.

The agents journey to meet Grandmaster Torch is interrupted when they and Yaris notice signal lights flashing across Absalom. Yaris explains that Nessian is signalling the Black Echelon to poison the Puddles granary, which still supply alot of Absalom. The heroes rush to the granary and manage to destroy the silent undead before they’re able to carry out their sinister objective.

Yaris leads the agents into the Siphons, the waterlogged sewers beneath the Puddles, and into the lair of Grandmaster Torch. Torch agrees to share the information he has on Nessian in return for the agents cracking open five elaborate safes that have fallen into his possession. The five don’t disappoint and Torch upholds his end of the bargain, advising the group that Nessian is holed up in an old siege tower in the Cairnlands.

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No sooner have the group begun to leave Absalom to confront Nessian do they see another series of lights. Yargos advises that this is the final series to signal for the Black Echelon to silence the music at the great Metro-Cathedral of Abadar in the Puddles. The silence of the cathedral on an Oathday morning will act as the sign for the Silent Tide attack to begin. The agents backtrack into the Puddles to the Metro-Cathedral, a once great bastion of the god Abadar that is now only used to play the Oathday hymn to remind the citizens of Absalom to uphold their agreements. On arrival they find all the initiates of Abadar murdered, bar one, and the Black Echelon agents silencing the huge organ. The heroes manage to overpower the undead and with the remainning initiates help are able to keep the organ playing long enough so as now to signal the start of the Silent Tide.

With time finally on their side the group make for Nessians hideout once more. The ‘Pyramid of the Dog’ proves to not be a pyramid at all, but rather a collection of siege towers collapsed against each other. The agents spring into action against the remaining Warhounders, eventually felling them and confronting Nessian himself. Bundin finds the thug a worthy foe, getting knocked unconscious by a lucky punch from the dirty fighter. However the efforts of the rest of the group overpower the would-be crime lord and he eventually yields. Albert discovers the codebook and the team return to Absalom with a captured Nessian in tow.

After turning Nessian over the the authorities the agents return to Alexis and update him on their nightly activities. Again impressed at their resourcefulness Alexis pays them all handsomely and thanks them for their defense of Absalom. While almost all the populace of Absalom remain blissfully unaware of how perilously close they came to a invasion of a spectral armada, those few that know of the heroes efforts are incredibly grateful, especially Yargos Gill.

Before the group retire for the day Alexis gives Julien a letter that was dropped off for him. It appears the letter is from Albert Doels family, inviting Julien and his kin for dinner.

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Voice In The Void

Mystery strikes at the problem-plagued Blackros Museum in Absalom and its curator, Nigel Aldain, needs help. When a famed Osirian tomb raider returns to Absalom and disappears in the museum’s basement, Aldain fears the worst. When strange sounds echo from below and several of the curator’s night watchmen go missing, he panics and begs the Varlokkur to investigate the mystery and save his museum from the darkness that infests it.

A couple of days after their expedition to the Fallen Fortress the agents of the Varlokkur are summoned to the Scholars Quill, a reputed tavern in the Wise Quarter of Absolom. The five heroes are met there by Alexis, who advises them that he wishes for them to embark on their first investigation. The diviner tells the agents of the plight of the Blakros Museum and that Nigel Aldain has approached him and asked the Varlokkur to venture beneath the museum to discover the fate of one of the daughters of the Blakros family and of the watchmen who went looking for her. Unfortunately Alexis has other pressing concerns, but he feels he can trust this assignment to the agents.

The five make their way across the Wise Quarter to the Blakros Museum, where they are met by a shaky Nigel Aldain and quickly shown to the entrance to the museum basement. Descending down into the darkness, it soon becomes apparent that all is not as it seems below the museum. Decrepit exhibit attack the heroes, animated by some fell magic. After an encouter with a taxidermied owlbear almost kills Bundin the group take a more tentative approach to the cellars. They soon encounter a twisted plant know as a Yellow Musk Creeper, but luckily this is quickly sliced up in a combined attack.

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The agents continue through the museum basement, uncovering the Blakros archives which now play host to a collection of otherworldly bioluminescent mushrooms and fungus. While most of the fungus and mold doesn’t seem harmful several of the group fall prey to the heat draining properties a size of brown mold. Bundin and Julian return to the church of Torag to seek divine healing, while the others begin searching through the archive. Apprentice Doel takes the time to decrypt a hidden message scribbled in Osirian. During his search A’hymhu uncovers a trapdoor well concealed beneath the fungus growth, as well as a backpack containing Osirian trinkets. When the group reunites they haul open the trapdoor and cautiously venture down into the hidden chamber.

Once the agents descend the slippy mold covered stairs they enter into a disturbing chamber, mirroring the stomach of a warped leviathan. As they press on towards a disturbing green light behind a black curtain A’hymhus curiousity gets the better and he opens a box filled with spiders that swarm across him. Apprentice Doel moves to duck through the curtain and reveals Imrizade attached to the foreboding Gate to Beyond by flesh tendrils, guarded by a zombified watchman.

As combat ensues things begin to look bleak as A’hymhu falls beneath the spider horde and Bundin succumbs to wounds inflicted on his by the zombie. However, as it looks as if all hope may be lost Doel summons an eagle which destroys the cannister controlling Imrizade and she ceases her assault as she collapses. With the gate imploding on itself, the agents retrieve Imrizade and their injured allies and make for the museum basement to take stock.

With their assignment complete the agents return to Alexis and make him aware of their investigations. Alexis congratulates them and advises them that he’s arranged for them to use several rooms of the Scholars Quill as a base of operations. The following day all the investigators receive a letter of thanks from the rescued Imrizade Blakros.

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Master Of The Fallen Fortress

The ruined siege castles outside Absalom have long beckoned adventurers looking to make a name for themselves. Now an earthquake has cracked open one of these fabled ruins, and its lost mysteries and fantastic treasures lie exposed for the first time in centuries. But the tower’s empty halls once more echo with living footfalls, and a new master has claimed the Fallen Fortress as his own.

The final five applicants for the position as Agents of the Varlokkur gather in the townhouse of Alexis of House Dashwood. Alexis, a respected Varlokkur and diviner, advises the applicants that their final test will be to travel into the Cairnlands, locate the Fallen Fortress and investigate it. After a few questions the applicants gather their equipment, secure a map of the Cairnlands and venture to the ruins.

The five investigators find the ruins far from abandoned, having to fight their way through packs of wild dogs, a shocker lizard and a handful of troglodytes. Eventually they uncover a chapel to Nethys, the god of magic. After clearing the chapel of the flaming skeletons protecting it the group venture further upwards and liberate a Pathfinder bard called Balenar Forsend from his captors.

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With Balenar in tow the investigators push to the top of the Fortress where they encounter Tasskar, troglodyte druid and leader of the tribe. After a short put potentially deadly fight, Tasskar is flung from the fortress following a deadly neck blow from Bundin Toragsons waraxe. Satisfied with their success the applicants return to Absalom and part ways with Balenar, before returning to their mentor and reporting their success. Impressed with their dedication, preparation and sound decisions Alexis advises them they are all to be promoted to agents of the Varlokkur.

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Agents Of The Varlokkur Prologue

The Varlokkur are a group of spell-casting judges charged with keeping magic in the city of Absalom within acceptable limits. They answer to the city’s third Spell Lord, but their legal training is the responsibility of the city’s First Lord or Lady of Laws.

They investigate crimes with a magical element, try to ensure spells are not use to pervert the course of justice, and hear any crimes with a strong magical element or involving a known spellcaster.

They also seek to enforce the laws making the casting of specific spells illegal within Absalom. In particular, they have the authority to judge that a new spell is essentially identical to an outlawed spell, and so is similarly illegal.

In order to better perform their duties a number of the Varlokkur have decided to employ a number of field agents to assist in their city wide investigations. After several months of vetting, shadowing, training and testing only a handful of applicants remain from the dozens that originally applied. These final few applicants are about to embark on their final assessment to see if they are worthy to act as Agents of the Varlokkur.

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