The Time of Shadows

To Cleanse an Ocean
The Adventures of Mustafa

Mustafa and his companions face off against the Yuan-Ti force waiting for them on the other side of the stone doors. The Yuan-Ti leader is a particularly skilled water witch and assaults Mustafa with poison mist and ice projectiles while it’s minions swarm and keep Mustafa from closing the distance. Jacob and Kailey pick off a couple wraiths, but in a spectacular display of water-mastery, Mustafa turns one of the Yuan-Ti’s weapons against the enemies around him. Where once the poison mist choked Mustafa, now the mist burns with radiant power and burns the evil beings surrounding him. A vicious duel between Mustafa and the Yuan-Ti finishes the combat when the Yuan-Ti is knocked to the ground and before it can recover, Mustafa bounds off a nearby wall and plants his ice-strengthened sword through the wriggling snake’s chest.

A search of the corpses yields some gems and several evil implements used by the Yuan-Ti in service to Zehir. Those that couldn’t be disenchanted later were promptly destroyed and the group moved on to explore the temple a bit more. Salt water and neglect had taken their toll on the murals and painted surfaces, though any carvings remained where the walls themselves were intact. Most were fragmentary and didn’t lend much insight. After resting for a bit, the group opens the last set of doors and find long carved stairs leading down deeper into the temple.

The stairs eventually lead to an open chamber with four pools and an altar dedicated to the Ocean God. The pools seem to be clouded and befouled, the altar also tainted and defaced. Mustafa draws closer to one of the close pools of water to find that the tainted water originates from a dark, indistinct object at the center of the pool. It seemed to be conflicting with clean water from the edges of the pool, like two self-renewing sources of water vying for dominance of the pool. Using his sealing arts, Mustafa attempts to cleanse the pool of corruption with the seals of Water and Radiance. His first attempt is thwarted as he tries to form the Radiance seal and he is thrown back a short distance. Jacob and Kailey join his efforts, assisting during the Radiance seal and manage to suppress the foul object at the center of the pool. The clean water at the edges of the pool surge forth and seem to eject the object forcefully, letting it plop to the floor outside the pool. The group inspects it to find it is a lizardfolk heart, carved with runes and tainted ritual markings. Outside the pool, the heart rapidly dissolves, freeing the shadowy ghost of a tortured lizardfolk. At the same time, the other three pools manifest similarly tortured lizardfolk wraiths, which attack Mustafa single-mindedly. Mustafa does his best to ignore the wraiths and use his sealing arts on the remaining pools, correctly judging that the wraiths will fade as the first one did when the corrupted heart is destroyed. After cleansing the second pool, the remaining wraiths seem to focus their hate for Mustafa and grow in power slightly. This also makes the cleansing of the pools more difficult, but Mustafa perseveres and manages to cleanse the last two pools quickly.

With four clean pools, the chamber falls silent. Clean, clear water fills each pool, though each seems to have a different aspect of the ocean represented in the shallow pools. The first is crystal clear, giving the impression that Mustafa can see fathoms deep as if the ocean floor were just within reach. The second pool was that of the deepest ocean, a blue that was dark and rich with the power to swallow massive ships and hide immense creatures under the waves. The third pools surface was calm and still, but seemed to be filled with the crash of white-capped waves and the ocean whipped into a storm. The last pool seemed deep and shadowed, or rather, full of the shadows of all manner of sea life, as if they swam not far above and blocked the sun with their form.

Mustafa and the others turn their attention on the altar and try to cleanse it in a similar way as the pools. The ritual is a success for a moment before they are blasted back by an unseen force. The stone altar crumbles to reveal a Couatl with savage wounds covering it, prominent among them, a pair of large punctures on it’s neck that look like a snake bite. Mad with pain and rage the Couatl attacks and Mustafa is forced to defend himself. The enraged ocean god seems without much of its power and facilities which allows Mustafa to land a crushing strike, brimming with radiant power. Contrary to destroying the tortured Couatl, the radiant power seems to banish the marks of abuse and corruption as the blow lands. A strong follow up strike cleanses the last marks upon the deity and the fight is abruptly finished. The Ocean God, known also as the Winged Guardian, relates that his corrupted state was due to a joint attack by Zehir and the Shadow Lord and that he is very grateful to Mustafa for clearing their ilk from his temple. Even in his reduced state, he offers a boon to Mustafa and his companions. Mustafa asks that the Winged Guardian resumes his duties to the Lizardfolk Tribes as soon as possible and that any assistance with dealing with the followers of Zehir that might still threaten the tribe would be welcome. The Ocean God granted each a drop of water from the first pool, which granted purity to each of them, helping to resist small amounts of poison in the future. Mustafa, Jacob, and Kailey were very thankful and took their leave, heading back to the Greenscale Tribe city. Hopefully to hear from Sheera Star now that the Tribes had their divine host back.

Halfway back to the Tribe, they were met by a contingent of shamans and warriors. They professed their own thanks for Mustafa’s efforts in restoring the Winged Guardian to them and that they were on the way to the Temple to help restore it and guard it from further threats. Mustafa bid them well and continued north, stopping briefly in the Sun God Ruins to investigate a large number of lizardfolk settling into any structure with a roof still intact. The elders of the group mentioned that the ruins were going to be inhabited more for protection now that the tribes knew they were in danger. Chief Darkclaw sent some of the toughest warriors to start settling each of the ruins. Mustafa approved of the move and continued towards the city, arriving several days later to a city in celebration. Any who saw Mustafa recognized him and were not shy about expressing their gratitude for what he had done for all lizardfolk. Soon they made their way to the center where Chief Darkclaw could be found where they were greeted warmly and thanked effusively. Darkclaw told them that the shamans were working the ritual that would allow them to commune with the Winged Serpent and hopefully gain a conversation with the legendary Sheera Star as well.

View
On to the Ocean Gods Ruins
The Adventures of Mustafa

Mustafa, Kailey, and Jacob make their way back to the The Greenscale Tribe city with little trouble or delay. As the lizardfolk recognize the group they are shown great respect and are generally greeted with excitement. Before penetrating too far into the city, Mustafa is met by a group of the elite warriors that guard the chieftain. They say the chieftain would like to meet with him and thank him for the efforts made so far. Mustafa graciously agrees and everyone marches to stand before Chief Darkclaw. The chieftain’s remaining shamans are nothing but grateful to Mustafa and the head shaman offers a life debt to Mustafa for returning the tribes faith. Mustafa stumbles slightly in his gracious refusal, but does ask to be allowed to stay the night inside for him and his companions, seeing as they’ve been roughing it for a couple weeks now. Kailey and Jacob are grateful for the respite. Chief Darkclaw throws an impromptu feast in Mustafa’s honor and there is much fun and merriment.

In the morning, the group heads south to the Ocean God’s Temple ruins. after several days, they pass along the Sun God’s Temple ruins and see that the Greenscale Tribe’s warriors are clearing any remaining malign forces from the area. Seeing that the lizardfolk are out in force, Mustafa sees no need to step in and help them for now. Continuing on, the group reaches the Ocean God Ruins after another several days. As they approach the Temple, a storm starts to gather and swiftly turns into the beginnings of a monsoon. A search begins for the Temple entrance and Jacob manages to spot a likely candidate right off by climbing one of the few remaining tall pillars. Shortly, the group stands in the driving rain in front of a pair of large stone double doors leading into the Temple. Rather than brute strength the doors open, Mustafa beckons Kailey and Jacob close and uses Shady’s power to phase through the door, thus getting the drop on a quartet of lizardfolk wraiths! Mustafa strides into the center of the room and sets himself in defense as the wraiths shriek their hate for the living and charge him. A swift melee leaves Mustafa and crew unscathed and they are able to take a closer look at their surroundings. The back half of the building has crumbled away and is quickly taking on the appearance of a lake as the burgeoning monsoon makes the already full swamp water rise.

Mustafa and the rest find stairs at the rear of the room, exposed to much of the weather, and descend carefully to the lower levels of the Temple. At the bottom of the stairs, they exit into a small room and try to pick their way silently forward. Jacob seems unable to keep the noise down though so it’s no surprise to Mustafa that when he rounds a couple corners, he finds foes already alerted to his presence. A Yuan-Ti and what appears to be his pet shadow snake lie in wait and attack as soon as Mustafa shows himself. Soon after the battle is joined by another pair of foes; Yuan-Ti and snake. Though the Yuan-Ti are big and brutish, Mustafa and the others are not in dire peril from foes so inexperienced and are able to finish them off without too much trouble. The way forward is barred by another set of big stone double doors, which Mustafa decides to brute force open this time. The doors grate slowly and very loudly open to reveal a motley crew of Yuan-Ti and wraiths waiting on the other side. No surprises this time either!

View
Clearing Out the Temple
The Adventures of Mustafa

Only a couple rooms remain to explore, several have hidden snakes in them, but the foes are not hard to dispatch for Mustafa and his team. One of the rooms has the stories of Lizardfolk heroes displayed on it’s walls, the rooms reverence for the honored dead is marred by the corpse of a local champion, desecrated and carved with runes like all the other corpses Mustafa had found. The last room had peculiar murals and pictures carved and painted on the walls. It seemed to hold a record of the current rise of the The Greenscale Tribe, but it looked like it was set in the ancient stone long, long ago. Most startling was the depiction of a small group of figures that looked to be leaving the Greenscale Tribe in search of the Winged Serpent. Each figure seemed to resemble Mustafa and his crew…

Deciding not to think too deeply upon the eerie murals, Mustafa moves to the furthest rooms in the temple and finds a group of Yuan-Ti guarding the last room where it sounds like a dark ritual is going on. Battle ensues and Mustafa shows why it is never a good idea to cross swords with him as he brutally takes down foe after foe. Brogan seems to be learning from his example, as he makes a very good showing in the fight. Finishing the last Yuan-Ti with a writhing water snake, Mustafa tries to access the last room to stop the ritual, but finds the archway magically barred. Knowing there is very little time, Mustafa bids his companions to gather close and uses the magic of Shady to bypass the ward altogether. Unfortunately, there are redundant protections and Mustafa’s roaring charge is repelled once again. The ritual seems to be rising to a crescendo and the team looks frantically for a weakness in these new wards. Mustafa finds them finally and destroys them, but gets caught in a magical backlash that throws him back and seems to slow his actions to a crawl. Jacob takes up the charge to stop the ritual just in time and manages to interrupt the last Yuan-Ti with a pike to the back. The fight is joined once again and the Yuan-Ti tries to dominate it’s foes, but it’s too little, too late and the treacherous snake falls to a powerful sword technique from Mustafa.

Brogan begins to clean the sacred site and is once more the mouth-piece for the Winged Serpent. The deity bids Mustafa to continue to the Sea God’s Temple to cleanse the taint from it. Only then will the Winged Serpent be able to fully protect the LIzardfolk. Only then will the Winged Serpent help Mustafa connect with the spirit of the Sheera Star. Brogan tells the group that he is staying behind to start the cleansing process of this temple. This will help the Winged Serpent to exert his power on the plane more and help guide the Lizardfolk once again. All bid the lithe Dragonborn a farewell and start back towards the Greenscale Tribes city to pick up another guide so that they can head to the Sea God’s Temple.

View
Underground We Go
The Adventures of Mustafa

Mustafa decides to enlist the help of the artifact Shady to get them all through the walls without revealing themselves to the archer Yuan-Ti still inside the center portions of the ruins. Shady is a little sullen that nobody talks with her anymore, but is still willing to help. The group all share contact with Mustafa and using Shady, they all become insubstantial enough to pass through solid stone walls. Which surely surprises the Yuan-Ti on the other side, who had expected the group to be coming from the opposite direction. Not wanting to waste time, Mustafa continued on, breaching the inner rings of the ruins and facing off with the Yuan-Ti wielding the bows. After some impressive sword work, Mustafa and crew are finally foe-free and they spend a moment or two healing their wounds.

Several stories below the surface, Mustafa and the rest are let out in a tight tunnel, which connects to several other rooms. Inside each room there are pictographs showing the origins of a different tribe of lizardfolk. Unfortunately, inside each room is the corpse of one member of each of the tribes, corresponding to the pictographs unique to each room. Also inhabiting the rooms are vicious snakes that have more than the usual intelligence, able to set up ambushes and employ some small tactics. Mustafa and crew don’t have trouble dispatching the snakes, but they are making an awful racket while they do it….

View
Sneaking is Tough
The Adventures of Mustafa

Mustafa and crew dispatch the Lizardfolk and the Shadow snakes in the immediate vicinity with relative ease. Sneaking was never Kailey’s strong suit. Carefully moving closer to the center of the ruins, Mustafa manages to avoid all peril until he can see the center of the ruins sitting in a natural depression in the landscape. The ruins look like several sets of walls circling a small center area where they can almost make out a set of old stairs leading below the ground. Brogen assures the group that that’s the way deeper into the ruins, however, they also notice a group of Yuan-Ti out guarding the ruins. Those Yuan-TI in the center held large bows, their eyes scanning all around. The ones outside the ruins walls held wicked scimitars. Once again, everyone tries to sneak closer, but Kailey is sooooo bad at it that she alerts the closest one, which in turn alerts the rest. Burly Yuan-Ti that were guarding the perimeter converge on Mustafa’s group and battle is soon met. The Yuan-Ti aren’t the only ones to attack though, several shadowy snakes join the fray and make life difficult for the group. Eventually, the outer guards are defeated and Mustafa contemplates how they are going to get to the center without having to walk the whole way around, possibly gaining the attention of more guards.

View
Seeing Some Results
The Adventures of Mustafa

Mustafa and the group start their trek to the ruins known as the Egg of the Gods. Several days of swamp walking brings them back to the The Greenscale Tribe main encampment. Where before their group was met with thinly veiled hostility, now there is an inkling of respect in the lizardfolks eyes. For a group of foreigners to return from the Sun Gods ruins, where even the lizardfolk have stopped entering, is no small task. Mustafa searches out a hedgewitch that can brew him some helpful potions and then seeks the shaman that sold them the ritual for ease of travel in the marsh. The shaman is ecstatic to see Mustafa and crew because he knows that they were sent to the ruins for answers and solutions regarding the Great Serpent. Within the last couple days the shaman has noticed a stronger connection to the Great Serpent. Stronger than it has been for months, years almost! The shaman is so happy with Mustafa that he gives them the ritual for free and casts it himself. Thanking the Shaman, Mustafa and his band head north for the next ruins. On the second night, they are attacked by a lone Yuan Ti, commanding a group of snakes with a flute. Mustafa pulled out some fancy sword work and showed some impressive teamwork with Cor Mag to deal with the assault. Combat wraps up and the group enters the outlying area of the Egg of the Gods a short time later. The group notices several hostile groups of lizardfolk wandering the ruins. Mustafa tries to sneak past the majority by taking out a lone enemy silently, but the enemy manages to alert his nearby friends before he dies, leaving Mustafa and his companions to fight.

View
The Importance of Piety
The Adventures of Mustafa

Mustafa investigates the temple area around the Statue, finding not much. Brogan is appalled by the disgraceful state of the effigy of his God and begins to clean it as best he can. Though there are symbols and runes apparently painted all over the Statue in yuan-ti and snake blood. Close inspection reveals that the scrawls are there with a purpose and that they should be removed as soon as possible. Kailey and Jacob modify a ritual used to banish darkness so that it will instead affect the runes painted in blood. At the ritual’s completion, the Statue seems much better looking. Brogan begins to pray and practice devotion to the effigy, which seems to return some power to the long lost deity. Brogan suddenly finds himself the mouthpiece to his God as the Winged Serpent trades words with Mustafa. He learns that there are 2 other such effigies in other temples that would help to restore him to power. Mustafa asks about the area in the marsh where darkness seems to be gathering in, but the Winged Serpent isn’t strong enough to pierce the veil covering that area. Perhaps with the other Statues freed from Zehir’s corrupting influence.

Mustafa and crew start out towards the Egg of the Gods’ ruins. After a couple uneventful days, Mustafa has the night watch when he notices ripples on the nearby pond rippling and streaking towards the camp. concerned, Mustafa draws his sword and finds several shadowy figures in the water by the enchanted light the sword gives off. Quickly raising the alarm, everyone fought back and dispersed the shadowy foes. All except one, which flew directly through Mustafa, seemingly stealing the warmth from his body before disappearing all-together. Perplexed, but out of immediate danger, Mustafa lets his roused companions sleep again. About an hour later the ripples start up again, more plentiful than before. The alarm is raised and a handfull are dispatched, but a few more are still around until they too fly directly through the crew. Even colder now, the rest find it hard to go back to sleep. Another hour and the same ripples return, with a lot more ripples than previous. Once again, the alarm is raised and the crew faces off against a veritable army of shadow figures. A quick area attack from Kailey clears a swath, but there are so many, by the end of everyone’s efforts, many still remain. All converge and pass through a member of the crew or another, leaving a bone-cracking cold that nobody can get rid of. Silence reigns until the ripples return. Mustafa has several ideas for facing the horde that he knew would materialize, one of which was to not draw his sword. Without the magic in the enchanted weapon drawn, Mustafa’s attackers never materialized. Satisfied with that at least, he waits for dawn. With the arrival of the sun, the cold leeches from his bones and Mustafa feels normal again. The strange occurrence behind them, the crew moves on towards the Egg of the God’s Ruins.

View
Zehir's Adherants
The Adventures of Mustafa

Mustafa and crew venture forth carefully down deeper into the ruins, finally coming to a long, flooded chamber. A path straight through the middle was barely under the water level and led to an impressive statue of The Winged Serpent. Or at least that is what Mustafa assumed because the statue was covered in grime, slime and lords knew what else. He got the feeling this was once a place of reverence, but had since become a den for the followers of Zehir. Said followers were noticed hiding behind one of the pillars that flanked the pathway to the statue shortly after entering the chamber. Mustafa and his companions made to close with the cowardly snake, but not fast enough to stop him from summoning some help from his twisted god in the form of a corrupted and undead Winged Serpent, one of the Couatl. Battle was soon met with the animated creature. During the melee, an assassin appeared and not only blinded Jacob, but nearly slit his throat and ended him. Mustafa held the attention of the summoned thing while Kaylee and Joacob focused on the assassin. Their foes were wily and agile, but not terribly sturdy. Enough hits and both enemies fell. Now confronted with only one cowardly snake worshiper, Mustafa and crew cornered him and killed him in time to stop his god from interfering more. Whatever the Zehir devotee was trying to summon, he never will because with a mighty charge and strike, Mustafa ended him with an acute case of metal poisoning to the brain. The chamber empty of foes, Mustafa pondered his next move.

View
Snake Way
The Adventures of Mustafa
Faced with a horde of foes on the path ahead and a noxious and unfathomable depth of swamp muck below, Mustafa and friends prepare. The combat starts with the wraith-like lizardfolk charging. Their spectral swords made limbs leaden and imparted poison to the victim, but the early fighters were dispatched my Mustafa easily. Shadowy snakes proved no match for Kailey’s magic and Jacob’s Pike. The masters of the fiends were hanging back, arranging themselves further along the path to create bottlenecks that would give them the advantage over the heroes. But Mustafa had other ideas and hopped onto Cormag and flew into the rear of the enemies careful battle formation. This succeeded in getting him and Cormag swamped with foes and beleaguered with status effects. Kailey supported as best she could from across a gap too large for her to jump across. Jacob races along the path, being without the benefit of a flying mount, to join the fray. Mustafa is alternately dominated by the insideous divine influence of Zehir’s followers and bitten and poisoned by the summoned snakes and wraiths. All the while, the Lizardfolk archer from the previous fight is peppering the group with arrows. Cormag and Mustafa manage to pare down the number of foes around them and Jacob finishes his mad dash to reach the battle to help mop up. Mustafa commands Cormag to ferry Kailey closer to the remaining enemies as he and Jacob braved the slippery path. The cowardly archer continued to retreat along with the last Yuan-Ti until. After a vicious critical hit from Mustafa bloodies the Yuan-Ti, it looks only to escape and overtakes the lizardfolk to flee before Kailey, astride Cormag, block the exit. The Liazardfolk sees inevitable death in Mustafa’s blade and decided to take his chances swimming through the muck to escape. A desparate attempt, but ultimately, futile; as the lizard eventually drowns. Mustafa and his group tend their wounds and rest a moment before moving after the retreating Yuan-Ti. Fully expecting another ambush from the fleeing Yuan-Ti ahead of them, the group moves cautiously deeper into the ruins.
View
Fiery Fight at the Gate!
The Adventures of the Bobbletones

The fight at the front gates of the fortress starts out with a headlong charge from Six, which draws the fire of the waiting hellish defenders. Soon Six is surrounded and begins to take a pounding from all angles. Bastet joins the melee and takes some of the heat from her friend and along with ranged help from Bob, one of the brutes is felled! But the assault is still focused on Six and it seems the combined attention is too much for the metal man! Six starts to fall unconscious but an ounce of prevention is worth a gallon of cure as Six’s magical ring activates and he rebounds with a healing surge! Identifying one of the big threats, the group focuses their efforts to take the war leader, the Mistress of Chains, out of the fight first. Successfully stunning her, the rest of the group pours on the pain and manage to bloody her, but stirring her rage might be more dangerous than they know…

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.