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So over the last half-year I've gotten back into tabletop roleplaying, having last played IRL around three or four years ago. While I've had some forays with digital RP through various games like The Old Republic or World of Warcraft, there's always something magical about being able to roll the dice and visibly watch other people's faces contort with horror.

To that end, I'm now publishing writeups of all of the sessions and backdating them to the closest I can remember. These are titled as "5a" and "5b" – for my Wednesday and Tuesday groups respectively (both set in different worlds but the same universe).

Sessions 01-05: run 28/12/16 to 15/02/17.

Note that this writeup is extremely long considering it spans a month-long story, I'm trying to break them up a little further in future posts.

Session 01. Our adventurers arrive in the small tourist town on Shadun, having been plagued recently by dreams urging them to journey here. There, they can all see a sigil in the corner of the tavern, which leads them into a dream-esque version of the tavern where the Princess Exile informs them of Mor'goth's possession and usurping and her banishment. She urges them to return her before he can unleash evil upon the isles and brands them all with the mystic Sigil so they can contact her.

Their journey takes them first to Essar, to find an artifact hidden there. However on the boat trip there, they meet Roger, an innocent-looking, auburn-haired scholar wearing dark robes, and manage to upset the local aquatic beast, Fryddie. Amrynn however manages to talk the sea monster down.

After arriving in Essar, Amrynn and Jaeltra take a look around the town, eventually being pointed to a mountain path by vision of the Sigil, Rhosalth, Kassara and Gal-Tor go to set themselves up in the nearby inn, where they easily get into a bar fight. Yet both groups are oblivious to the oncoming threat…

As Amrynn and Kassara hear a rumbling in the distance, they witness a large group of red-dragonborn coming from the mountains to assault the village. They are spotted soon and defeat some of the attackers, returning to the inn to gain the help of the others, as they learn the dragonborn stole the artifact they seek many years back.

The next morning, they plan to attack the red-dragonborn keep, in the mountains at midday after they return to rest. Meeting little resistance, Rhosalth is transfigured to look like his red-kin to infiltrate the base and find the artifact. Amrynn and Kassara meanwhile scale part of the mountain to drop into the keep via the top floor, taking out the guards and discovering a passage deeper down. Meanwhile, Gal-Tor and Jaeltra defeat an oncoming party of dragonborn and break through the front door.

Rhosalth however is not so lucky. After successfully bypassing the few guards and defeating some of the lesser Darkspawn infesting the lower levels, he sees a cloaked darkelf wearing similar robes to Roger escape, stealing the glowing Cube of Knowledge

Sessions 02 & 03. Amrynn manages to intercept the darkelf Erarc by heading down the passage, although after touching the Cube he is transported in a haze of light. Erarc then agrees to work with the others to escape the awakening dragonborn, without the captured Rhosalth. Erarc abandons the group shortly after seeing the Sigil and cursing them as his enemies, while the others successfully head southwest to the port and escape. (This section is quite abridged due to having one shorter session, and another session where they literally just mowed down dragonborn before escaping.)

Session 04. As the others arrive in Westun, they head up the market street to see an odd-looking dwarf conversing shadily with one of the Arthosian Garde. Tailing him after an unfortunate run-in with some foxes, he reveals himself as Tulvar of the Resistance, loyal to the Princess. They also meet Araka, leader of the cell, who bears the Sigil. The Princess informs them all to infiltrate the Shroud and retrieve the second artifact of the Khal'syrat, as only all three can summon the Princess due to her ancient Incarnate biology…

Meanwhile, Amrynn awakens in what the Princess informs him to be the Etherium, the realm of pure arcane energy between the inner planes. Amrynn cannot use the Cube to return home as he doesn't possess the magic to, instead having to travel across the plane to find another way, guided by the Cube. Along the way, he recovers his pet dekumouse Gerald, who due to the arcane energies is larger, stronger and able to speak verbally. Together, along with echoes of the party's dream-selves they traverse the Etherium, defeating many arcane spectres and even arcane dragons before the party awakens, disappearing and not remembering their time there.

To get into the Shroud, Gal-Tor and Jaeltra defeat a pair of arriving cultists and steal their robes, alongside a book from their quarters on the arriving ship. Although they run into a Garde fighter, Orthos, they quickly dispatch him, Jaeltra pressing that his life is spared due to him being an old mentor. Meanwhile, Tulvar takes Kassara to his brother Sydnee's disguise shop, to buy other items for the disguise. Syd promises the goods to them for free if they make a delivery for him to Dr Ervrub. Tulvar reveals to Kassara that five years ago he stole Ervrub's prized walking staff, and although he is displeased to see the pair, they complete the delivery and get the items.

The group proceed to the northern settlement, posing as three Shroud members with Gal-Tor as a "prisoner", meeting Roger once again along the way. He leads them to the Shroud base, sending Tulvar and Gal-Tor to the interrogation wing while claiming to take the others to the council room. He stops them halfway, surrounding them with acolytes, claiming to know that the group are the prophesied "Khal'tho", or slaves, for following the Princess.

Meanwhile, Amrynn gets closer to escaping the Etherium, finding an ancient boat claimed by the Princess to be one of the first forms of travelling between planes. After defeating the arcane spectre dragon on the boat, he takes the helm, with him and Gerald setting sail for the physical realm.

Gal-Tor races through the halls to return and fight alongside the others, while Tulvar is distracted by the ancient library. He accidentally stumbles onto the Ring of Wills, the second artifact. There, the leader of the Shroud, Khishen, allows him to take the ring as Tulvar was drawn to it, believing them both to be the Khal'tho but also the prophesised champions. Tulvar's staff glows as well, it being revealed as the Staff of Strength, the last artifact. Khishen calls off the ambush and lets the group leave, marking that they would become enemies once more after they defeat Mor'goth and his corruptor, the black reincarnating "Khal'tyr" dragon Jathon

As the group return to the Resistance base, they find it destroyed, with most of the members missing or dead. Araka informs them that the Garde was responsible, Orthos having informed them of the Sigil and its ties to the Resistance. To retaliate, they infiltrate the Garde keep by the docks and successfully convince their leader, Captain Ly'raca, to join their cause. She is swayed by the image of the Princess, due to them being lovers a long time back. After fighting off an unhinged Erarc who attempts to kill them all, they head to the docks to find a returned Amrynn and his new ship.

Session 05. The group arrive in Arthos just after midnight, settling into a Resistance safehouse. In the morning, the Princess contacts them, informing them they must stop Mor'goth before his ritual summons the dark forces of Marikhyr to the physical realm. While the others prepare, Amrynn and Kassara go and perform reconnaissance on the palace. While Amrynn gathers the others and the coup begins, Mor'goth spots and interrogates Kassara, as she distracts him long enough for the others to arrive.

The group fight to get in the palace, with the coup outside being aided by Khishen's followers. There they battle Mor'goth, him being weakened by a summoned Fryddie. As Mor'goth transforms into his full dragon form, he is beaten back by the group, although Kassara is incapacitated, her blood used to fuel the ritual as the palace crumbles. Tulvar successfully summons the Princess however, who drains the ritual into the Etherium, destroying Mor'goth's physical form.

Epilogue. The returned Princess heals Kassara and thanks the group for rescuing her. She promises to look into freeing Rhosalth and offers them, Araka and the surviving Resistance members to join a special task force, dedicated to investigating Jathon and any other dark incarnates who would do them harm.

Meanwhile, Sydnee has been tasked by Araka to decode the tome obtained from the Shroud in the hopes it will reveal their motives, and give details of the "incarnates" that they claim invade our world. He is soon met by a cloaked assailant, effortlessly slitting Sydnee's throat. Stealing the research and the tome, the bearded, auburn assassin misses one sheet of paper, however, one with translations of certain Ancient words… at the bottom of the list, scribbled harshly is "khal'tyr = ancient incarnates"