The Demise of Moloch and Things Left Undone

	This is the last installment of the Campaign prior to the beginning of the PBeM 
Campaign.  I will start with a description of the key player characters.

	Leoshi, a human female, was born in Titsu in the Easter Lands.  She 
was a follower of the Path of Imminent Mastery.  Leoshi was a formidable martial artist.  
She sought enlightenment.

	Miriya, female, species unique, was not a native of the gaming world, 
Zhalindor or simply “the World.”  She entered the world with her father, Zor, through 
one of the rings of stone acting as inter-dimensional gateways in Zhalindor.  Miriya did 
not naturally age and was resistant to normal poisons and diseases.  She was on the ill 
fated quest which released Istalome.  Like Leoshi, Miriya sought enlightenment and was 
an accomplished martial artist.  By the time Leoshi was born, Miriya had been fighting 
Chaos and evil for five centuries.  Miriya considered her greatest accomplishment to 
have been the elimination of slaver bases in the Yin Sloth jungles.

	Vorondil, an elfish male, lived happily with his wife in the Froud 
grasslands until she developed a hideous, incurable wasting disease.  The normally 
beneficial long life spans of the elves became a curse to Vorondil’s wife as her suffering 
was extended for decades.  Each passing day brought increased bitterness to Vorondil.  
He spent his time learning the paths of a shaman in the hopes of curing his wife.  
Eventually, Vorondil became totally disillusioned.  He adopted a nihilist attitude.  
Vorondil seeks release.

	Huvis was a halfling male mage and a member of the White Order.  
Huvis sought to expand knowledge while opposing the dark uses of Rune magic.  Huvis 
was immortal as long as he obeyed his strictures.

	Kaynin was a leader of the Overmen (regrets to Lawrence Watt-Evans, 
who lives in the DC area and is a great person!) , a race created by wizards.  Kaynin also 
had an unusual companion, a dog that only he could see.  Kaynin also believed that if he 
performed some special action, he would become an avatar of his people.

	Raem was a human summoner.  Initially, he wished to remain “pure” 
and vowed as the campaign began to summon only faeries and other “good” creatures.

	Bart was a male ogre and secretly worshipped the Void.  As an ogre, 
Bart had to occasionally eat human flesh to remain healthy.  Bart could pass himself off 
as human.

	Risk was a male halfling thief who thrived on excitement.  While some 
would call Risk a fool, he would claim he just wanted to have fun.  Risk’s 
adventuresome nature got him in a little trouble one day, and he wandered by accident 
into a hostile mage’s stasis trap.  He emerged from the spell covered in dust in a 
museum millennia later.

	Pahk Chi and Trahk Chi were two Great Troll brothers who were 
turned to stone and sold as statuary.  They were eventually procured by a vain Illian 
Fane and left in his underground abode.  The brothers remained in the ruins of the Illian 
Fane dwelling for centuries after he had passed on.

	Balinor  was a shapeshifter who most frequently appeared as a centaur.  
Balinor quested for the ultimate secrets of the world --- he would succeed beyond his 
wildest dreams.

	The remainder of the characters are presented within the context of the 
article.

Campaign Events

	Bart, Risk, Leoshi, Huvis, Vorondil, Kaynin and Raem served together on the 
border of the Timerian Empire and the Wolfen Lands.   The Timerian has universal 
military service for a period of three years.  The group got along well and decided to stay 
together and work as a team after pulling their military hitches.  

	Initially, the group did some caravan guard duty and signed on for work with a 
frontier barony.  Giant insects and Raem’s evil twin brother provided interesting times 
for the party initially, but grander things were in store for the party.  Raem stuck to his 
oath never to summon an “evil” creature in the beginning, but when things became dire, 
he called forth a minor demon to discharge the enemy more efficiently.

	As the party’s forays took them farther into uncharted territory, the group 
learned that the border raids that plagued the eastern frontier of the Timerian Empire 
were not as unorganized and sporadic as they might seem.  Two great enemies of the 
Empire, the Slith and the Wolfen, had joined forces.  Many were the party’s adventures, 
the remainder of this narrative will hit on but a few of the more memorable.

	In one of its first travels into the Wolfen lands, the party came across an 
apparently deserted village.  After examining the area for a bit, the group came to the 
conclusion that the area was under some type of protection (e.g. rocks in a ring around 
the town, different appearance of the vegetation inside and outside the circle).  Risk ran 
through the circle as the remainder of the party looked on aghast.  Risk discovered 
perfectly preserved, but apparently dead inhabitants.  The rest of the party went through 
the ring in a mass.  As Bart stepped through the ring, the bodies within the village 
turned to dust.  The main find within the village was a magical rabbit’s paw which Risk 
found and kept.  Risk began to have strange dreams about a large rabbit spirit following 
him around.  The rabbit’s paw seemed to bring him added luck.

	Some time later the party came across a wandering minstrel group.  The 
minstrels were tied to the Slith-Wolfen uprising.  Because of an overt action by Bart, the 
party’s interaction with the minstrels quickly turned into a pitched battle.  The party 
eventually prevailed, and within the minstrels’ wagons, the party found maps and plans 
further elucidating the severity of the Wolfen-Slith situation for the Timerian Empire.  
The party also discovered mention of the “land apart” (Palmalta, the first home to man) 
as being involved in the whole foul plot.  The party became convinced it needed to find 
the source of the evil and root it out.  Also, Raem began to dabble more and more in the 
black arts, and he was beginning to summon creatures from the nether planes with a 
disturbing frequency.

	On one of the maps the party found in the minstrels’ belongings, there was a 
location shown with the symbols for Magic and Law and indications to stay away.  The 
party members were fairly beat up by this point and far, far away from the borders of the 
Timerian Empire.  The group figured that the enemy of their enemy must be their 
friend; so, they set out to find this place and hopefully rest and recover.

	Within that fortress of Magic and Law, once owned by Malachi, the party found 
many wonders.  All had visions and dreams, and Huvis here took the vows that 
transformed him from a hedge mage into a member of the White Order.  The group 
discovered that to defeat the Slith they would have to travel to the place which was both 
the physical and spiritual source of the Sliths’ power, the first settlement of man.  Once 
there, the party members would have to perform a ritual on the Spirit Plane.  Malachi 
had prepared the way for those he had hoped would some day follow, and the party used 
a set of magic portals within the complex to transport themselves to a ship just off the 
Palmaltan coast.  

	The ship flew the purple flags of piracy, but the party’s quick thinking and 
element of surprise carried the day. The party freed the slaves onboard, and while they 
were celebrating, it occurred to the party members that their inability to pilot the boat 
could lead to difficulties.  Indeed, a short time later, the ship did flounder on the surf, 
but all hands made it off safely.  The party hid for a time and recovered in good fashion.  
A fortunate thing too --- they needed all their strengths and wits about them for what lay 
so closely ahead!

	Malachi had planned for those that followed to be placed some distance to the 
north of their destination.  In this way the group would be unlikely to attract the 
immediate ire of the Slith Lords if they were still active.  The party made its way 
tortuously to the south.

	The party narrowly avoided patrols by both the Illian Fane and Slith.  Raem 
came to rely even more heavily on the use of the dark arts, and several of the party 
members became uncomfortable around him.

	Shortly before the party reached their Palmaltan destination, Raem summoned 
a major demon and gave it only the instructions to “kill everything that lies inside the 
keep.”  Many innocents were burned that night.

	Bart and Raem formed a pact about this time, and Raem swore his soul to the 
gods of the Void.  When the party came upon that first human settlement and the center 
of the Slith Lords power, Raem and Bart snuck ahead to see what they could find.  
Unfortunately, their plans went somewhat awry.

	They found a very thirsty and powerful vampire lord.  Bart was captured by the 
vampire and slakes his thirst still to this day.  Raem went partially mad and summoned 
a devil lord.  Although Raem was unable to control the devil, Raem was able to trade his 
soul in exchange for unimaginable powers and the promise that he would be known as 
the greatest living summoner.  Raem immediately led the devil to the party’s camp.

	With the help of a hermit who had been aiding the party, the group was able to 
drive Raem and his master away, but not before Raem promised that this was not the 
last the party would see of him.  The battle was not without its costs.  The old benefactor 
of the party was slain, and the party was barely able to cast the spell transporting them 
to the Spirit Plane.

	On the Spirit Plane the party was able to affix new seals on the Slith Lords’ 
tombs with the aid of Kaynin’s spirit hound (many of the party members were surprised 
to discover it was real!) and Risk’s giant rabbit guardian.  The party discovered a path 
back to the mundane plane, and in that complex at the end of the path, the party found 
Pahk and Trahk Chi.

	The group returned in glory to the Timerian Empire.  Kaynin was knighted.  
All the characters were given substantial sums of money and time to rest and reflect.

	Five years passed before the noble band traveled together once again on a 
regular basis.  Each character prospered and grew in their own ways.  There was one 
intervening adventure worthy of special mention.

	Miriya became aware of the party after their defeat of the Slith Lords, and she 
began to quest occasionally with the group.  On one such occasion Miriya, Huvis, 
Leoshi, Kaynin, Vorondil and Risk tried to save a mutual friend and mentor, Tarkis, 
from a foul trap laid by Krarsht agents.  Unhappily,  the party found out too late that 
Raem was also involved.  The party tasted bitter revenge and killed their friend, Tarkis, 
with their own hands.  The party was rewarded with the sound of Raem’s laughter 
pealing in the distance.

	In the intervening time, Risk became the head of the thieves guild in Credia.  
Huvis studied magecraft and began to work for the city of Credia.  Leoshi returned with 
Vorondil for training and a chance to view Titsu.  Vorondil achieved mastery of the 
Spirit path whilst Leoshi attained enlightenment in the Path of Imminent Mastery.  
Kaynin went to the Overmen to firm relations between the Empire and his brethren 
Overmen.  Trahk and Pahk Chi became more familiar with the modern world and 
trained in the arts of warfare.  Pahk Chi also discovered a folding table which contained 
a gateway within its junctions.  Raem worked on something which fulfilled his every 
wish ... every nightmare.

	The world moved on around our intrepid band as well.  A strange phenomenon 
began to occur within the Empire.   White ships would periodically come to anchor in 
the harbor.  White robed figures came out and drew the best and brightest from the 
Empire aboard the ships, promising Nirvana at the end of the voyage.  The mighty 
Timerian Navy was powerless to stop the ships; no vessel which pursued ever returned.

	Not all the citizens of the Empire welcomed the newly arrived white robed 
saviors with open arms.  Among the most vocal resistors was a human male named Guy.  
Guy stood to inherit a great deal of wealth, but his uncle’s will specified that Guy would 
have to perform a heroic deed before being passed his inheritance.  It was left to the 
courts to define what heroic meant, but certainly ridding Timeria of the white ships 
seemed heroic to Guy.  Guy was friends with another character of interest to the party, 
Vinny, a barrister for the courts of Timeria.

	Huvis and Risk met under hostile circumstances.  Huvis attacked Risk’s thieves 
headquarters and burned Risk alive with a conflagration of fire magic.  Risk was spared 
and transformed by his rabbit’s paw which crumbled to dust after providing this boon.

	The party members, once the darlings of Credian society, faded from the public 
eye and ran afoul of the law.  First, Pahk Chi summoned a clutch of demons who laid 
waste to a section of the slums.  While in jail awaiting trial, several party members made 
a jail break, killing a guard in the process.   Trahk and Pahk Chi became fugitives.

	Just when things seemed to be looking up again, disaster struck in a most 
unusual way.   In order to be licensed in a town, carnivals and other public spectacles 
had to be sponsored by a noble.  Kaynin thought that by sponsoring a circus, the party 
might be able to increase its standing in the public eye after the Chi brothers’ infamous 
exploits.  The party looked grand as it led the parade to the circus tents.  The crowd was 
in a festive mood, and everything was looking good.  Pride cometh before a fall.  During 
the knife throwing demonstration, Kaynin jumped up and requested the opportunity to 
show his considerable skill in the event.

	The ringmaster was not about to deny his patron the chance to display his 
prowess.  Kaynin went down to the ring.

	The band played a flourish as Kaynin hefted the knife.

	The target was small and far away, but it was an easy toss for a master like 
Kaynin.

	Kaynin calmly asked the ringmaster to swing the target from side to side.

	The crowd held its collective breath as Kaynin brought the blade forward and 
threw it at the target.

	The blade whizzed forward.

	It missed the ringmaster’s target by about fifty feet.

	Instead the knife imbedded itself to the hilt in the breast of Duke Lieto’s wife, 
killing her instantly.

	Vinny was eventually able to clear the party of the felony charges, but Emperor 
Rhy II commuted the last of the sentence only after the party agreed to investigate the 
white ships.  Guy joined the party, and Vinny remained in Credia to tend to the party’s 
assets.

	The carnival was forced in disgrace from the Empire.  

	The party’s wanderings became legendary.  One portion of the group set off to 
the north toward Skyfall Lake to seek the advice of Cragspider and the Wandering Tien.  
This same group met Dialecti and struck an unwholesome bargain before leaving the 
Upland Swamp.  Cragspider and Dialecti both entreated the party to recover several of 
the Runes and use those Runes to defeat the white ships.  In the end, the party was to 
transport these Runes to the center of the World Machine in the dwarven stronghold in 
the Yagha-Tsorv mountains.

	Subsequently, Kaynin was able to use his blades to kill a thief, but the thief fell 
on the ley lines of a complex spell cast nearly to completion three millennia before.  It 
lacked but one component, a sacrifice.  This released an avatar of the god of 
annihilation.  The Dragon-newts had to become involved and stop the flow of magic for 
a week before neutralizing this threat to the existence of Zhalindor.

	By and by, the party gathered the tools and knowledge it needed to defeat the 
white ships.  The quest at last took the party to the Isle of Terror, the place where the 
Old Ones were first summoned by cursed Lichtadon into Zhalindor.

	The party discovered the source of the white ships was the arch-devil Moloch.  
Raem had summoned Moloch and acted as the dark gods first sacrifice.  Raem died with 
the knowledge that he was the greatest summoner of the age.  After all, his seven year 
term was over.

	It came down to the last sword stroke by the last party member, but the group 
was triumphant.  Kaynin left the party at this point.  He had become the immortal avatar 
of his people by defeating Moloch in hand to hand combat.

	Enroute to the Yagha-Tsorv mountains, the party ran across the circus which 
the party had ruined in Timeria.  The crazed clowns and enraged elephants had not 
forgotten the slight.  (You know about those elephants and their memories!)  I nearly 
wet my pants during the session several times, and nothing in writing could capture the 
scenes unleashed in our imaginations that evening.  In the end, the killer clowns were 
defeated, and the dire elephants were driven off.

	At long last the party reached the Yagha-Tsorv complex carrying the Runes.  
The trickster god met the party at the final gateway and instructed the members on how 
to join the Runes to the World Machine.  

	The final portion to the process was to give the answer to the riddle.  It was: a 
single word, a phrase, things said and made and Time’s one true name.

	The party placed the Runes in the appropriate locations, and Huvis intoned the 
WORD.  

	Magic played across the world.  The World Machine was complete again since 
the Old Ones were entombed.  The Old Ones were released.  The gods descended to 
battle again.

	It was the end of the world and the beginning of the PBeM campaign...