The Academy

The Obstacle Course

Session 2

When Welwyn and Makus awoke, they were aided by Borowyn Hanli and Vergo Feathertail who were searching for the missing caravan. The cultists were pursued by several others, who eventually found Arias, but the strange agressors had disappeared. They were transported to the hospital wing of The Academy where they got much needed bedrest. Welwyn was too damaged to begin classes the next day, but Markus went on to meet his fellow apprentices. after some exploring of the large academy building, Vergo approached them and asked the party to follow him for the initiation test. After descending a long staircase into the depths of the academy, the party began preparing to enter an “obstacle course” of sorts. Vergo left, and the party jumped right into the action. The first section of the course was a strange room, with a large chasm in the middle, chains hanging across to the other side. Noka the Inquisitor used his knowledge of common dungeon traps to identify a pressure plate which Markus had noticed on the floor. putting enough weight on the pressure plate would cause a tile of the floor in front of it to raise 10ft upwards, and they found that they must have someone on it, to reach the chains. As Chen, the Ninja jumped to the closest chain, a platform jutted out of the wall. The party soon discovered that they must time their jumps together, to get the whole part across the chasm. When they all safely reached the other side, Arias bolted into the next room ahead of them, thinking the obstacle course was some kind of race. The rest of the party entered the room to find that its was just that: A simple room with four doors, and one entrance. Markus noticed that the opposite wall had been resealed, however, and Noka used his morning star to beat a small hole into the wall. Chen slipped through the small hole and began identifying the strange room.

an excerpt from the campaign:

As you walk through the door, on to the next room, before you even see anything, you feel an overwhelming negative presence. Before you lies a long narrow stone brick walkway. there are no guardrails or ropes lining the edges. Around the walkway an abyssal, phantasmal essence eeks its way in a radial progression about the “room” if one can call it that. There are no walls, no floor below the walkway and no ceiling. the essence provides some dull light, but its just enough to see with a faint greenish blue glow. Across the walkway on the other side, you can see two doors, and two humanoid figures.

the two figures presented the party with a riddle, which Markus had heard in his youth. He chose to stay quiet to see if the rest of the party could figure it out. When they couldn’t, Markus simply asked one guard, “If I asked the other guard, which door leads to the exit?” The guard he asked, who always tells the truth told him that the other guard would say “Left” If he asked the other guard, who always lies, he would receive the same answer. He knew that the correct door must then be the door on the right. They waked through the door, and the clean cut slate structure they had been in turned into a misty forest. Arias had already bolted ahead of the rest of the party and was up on a walkway. Throwing a lever he shouted “This should keep you busy till I finish the course!” laughed, and ran away. Green eyes lit up in the forest, and emerged to show a large wood golem. This was not supposed to be part of the test, but was actually a training golem, that was set to go off, and then attack the fighters below to practice. People could then watch from the viewing walkway safely above. Markus attacked the beast head on, while Noka got to a safe distance to start shooting at it. Chen ran straight for the lever, to try to “turn it off”. Markus was pounded flat by the golem, and began dying. Noka and Chen did all they could to kill the golem and save their friend. after some time, they triumphed, and rushed to their friend to stabilize him. Stumbling to the end of the course, the party saw Arias talking with Vergo, who scolded Arias for throwing the switch in an attempt to slow them down, even though it wasn’t a competition. Markus got angry and began to shout at Arias, but Vergo stopped him and said: “Markus, you have a right to be angry, but believe me when I say, you dont want to feed that emption”

Session 1 Search for Arias

Welwyn and Markus are almost completed with their long journey. Their caravans have combined, and the two are passengers in a royal chariot. As they are passing through the narrow stretch of land where the South-Eastern peninsula begins, the sky blackens, and a beam of red light barrels out of the nearby forest at them, destroying the chariot, and killing the two coachmen. They go to investigate the origin of the beam to find the earth from where it was produced, scorched with evidence of human tracks. Markus and Welwyn would rather just ignore it and head towards The Academy, but Arias insists on obtaining this power, and runs off into the woods. After debating the best course of action, Welwyn and Markus hear a cry of help from the woods, deducting that Arias has gotten himself into trouble. They navigate the forest with ease, only stopping to dispose of a venomous snake blocking the trail. As they continue they come across some strange forest ruins. An inspection of the ruins yields a dark stairway into the earth. As they descend the staircase, they notice two guards while peering around the corner. Welwyn attempts to attack him quietly, but is found out, and the guard retaliates, while the opposite guard retreats to the other room. After killing the guard The party follows the aforementioned guard into the next room, where he is cowering. after a few threats, He says that there friend is beyond yonder door, but asks why they would want to save him. Markus answers that it is his duty to rescue him, while Welwyn pushes him up against a wall, demanding more information. He says there are enemies in wait up ahead, and they continue on. After entering the next room, Welwyn notices some small indents in the side of the wall, and assumes its some sort of trap. he looks around to find a pressure plate, and warns his teammates. As they step over the pressure plate, Whitemane follows, and bumps Welwyn into another pressure plate that they had not seen, causing a large swinging blade to swing from inside the wall, landing a crippling blow right on Markus. The party slowly makes their way through a long hallway of traps, when all of a sudden they hear a large mechanized noise closing in on them as they proceed. Ahead of them 3 more guards lie in wait and already wounded, the party falls unable to defeat them. Before their eyes close, however, the machine behind them stops, and the hear hushed voices, and heavy footsteps approaching.

The Story of Welwyn

The winter wind brushed over the small town of Kassen. The villagers gathered in the alleys behind the great town square where the chosen children were. Every 4 years or so, Mayor Uptim would select four or five kids on the verge of adulthood, and let them live out the adventure they had always hoped for. Uptim stood now, in front of the “mourning” villagers, who were all dressed in black robes, as if preparing for a funeral. There was no death in the village, but something was afoot. Mayor Uptim turned to his gaggle of village mages and hurried them off towards the crypt. It was time for them to set the illusions.
The truth was that there was really no peril for the two adventurers that day. well, at least no planned peril. No one in the village knew the evil mercenary Asar from centuries ago had risen from the dead, and had begun resurrecting the corpses of the very crypt that Welwyn and Eidrich were heading to now. They faced minor perils from nature on the road to the crypt, but the danger lurked in the dark halls of the everflame. As soon as the two entered, the ancient bones that littered the musky floor of the tomb rattled, and took form. Eidrich and Welywn found themselves in the thick of an undead brawl. Ten or so possessed skeletons ambushed them. Welwyn and Eidrich fought as hard as they could, but it was too much for Eidrich. Seeing his lifelong friend slain in cold blood before him, Welwyn unleashed his fury, and defeated the remaining skeletons alone. He trudged through the blackness of the crypt to the everflame, his objective. Guarding it was Asar, the undead mercenary. The battle was epic, neither side seemed to waver. Just as welwyn had lost hope, something primal snarled from within him. When Welwyn awoke, he was standing over the redead corpse of Asar, with the silver lantern in hand. He knew what he had to do. He lit the lantern and staggered out of the tomb only to find an academy knight waiting for him.

The Story of Markus
Markus Leonus was a commoner. He was born to a family of animal trainers in the town of Rakk-Shen. as a boy he had many friends, but they always seemed to grow up so fast, and move on to different friends, and different lives. It wasn’t that he was awkward or that the children of Rakk-Shen mature faster than most; Markus was Aasimarian. Centuries ago, even before the War of the Middle Kingdom Markus’ distant ancestor had been the lover of a demi-god, making her the bearer of a child who was effectively one fourth deity. This trait was passed along generations and resurfaced in Markus; this is why he matured so much slower than others. This story takes place in Markus’ early adulthood, when he saw the shimmering white coat of a newborn lion while walking home from a hunt. Marking the location on a map, he made plans to come back in the dead of night to return and take it and raise it himself.

Markus begins standing at the back door to his home. His family was well renowned for being the most effective tamers in all of Rakk-Shen, but they made little profit because of the voracious appetite of the lions they raise, and as such they never had an immaculate house. The modest stone house Markus and his family live in stands in the middle of a large field, a small path winding its way up through a hilly grove into the structure. In addition to being a strong protection from the elements, it also served as a shop front. the Lions stable lay just beyond the back end of the house. Markus stares at it now, the tame riding lions at rest.
Markus set out now heading towards the marked location on his map. He noticed tracks leading to the South-West. after following them for about half a mile, the tracks changed, becoming reptillian or avian. He followed these tracks to a cavern which led down into a small cave. Avoiding several rats, and beheading a sleeping stirge, Markus came across a Lizard Man. Not understanding Markus’ tongue, he lept at the intruder, and attempted to kill him. Markus fought back and eventually slew the lizard. In the corner of this room was a boiling bot, a live furnace, and the caged lion which Markus had encountered earlier. He left the cavern and escaped with the injured lion.

After some time had passed, Markus had grown quite fond of the lion cub and the bond was mutual. He named it Whitemane. Everywhere Markus went it followed him, receiving awed looks from passersby. it was quite a spectacle. The lion was his pride and joy. As Markus grew, so too did the lion. before long they had both reached adulthood. On Markus’ 70th birthday, he received a letter. The messenger who delivered it was accompanied by two soldiers in gleaming armor, atop white horses with silver mane. The messenger, who was but a halfling with a sort of handsome charm, handed the letter over to Markus.
“Markus Leonus? I presume?” He asked in a deeper voice than expected
“This letter is sent from The Academy in Aerus. Your presence is requested before the great Knight Borowyn immediately.”
“If you wish to accept the invitation, we will leave as soon as you are ready. we are staying at the Lions Head Tavern. if we have neither heard nor seen anything of you for three days, we will assume you’ve declined and head on our ways.”
The Letter:

Markus Leonin,
We have witnessed your skills in taming. We watched your exploits in the field years ago. We see everything. Your prowess in animal handling is needed in The Academy. more details will be given upon your arrival, should you choose to accept this invitation. All you need to know for now is that we are the cause that binds the Middle Kingdom together, and you will be offered maximum pay when your training is complete. The messenger and his escorts will accompany you to Aerus. Happy Travels,

Academy Recruitment

The Players will each do their Recruitment Background Story. Every story will be different, meaning individual sessions for the first time. The particular recruitment story will be improvisational for each character, and is to be a reflection of their characters fighting and play style. By the end of this session the players should be level 2, giving them some more room to advance and structure their characters. All recruitment stories will end in their acts being noticed by a recruitment office for the academy, and joining a caravan headed for Aerus the seaside city, notorious for being the headquarters and base of operations for The Academy. Or death.

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