Final Fantasy Z

Episode 4 - Grim Fate

As the heroes begin to get ready for their next adventure, Zion goes at the advice of Elvin, and finds the representative of the Thieves Guild; which he also attempted to steal from.
Being caught in the act, Zion was coerced into performing an act of larceny fro the guild to be on good terms, and had to switch some papers in Ariel the Black Mage’s ledger.
Working with Zhel as his front man, Zion slipped into the bedroom and changed the numbers, earning some respect from Phyxar; the leader of the Town Branch of the Thieves Guild.

After this little endeavor, the group got together and headed north.
A great hailstorm greeted them as they arrived in Hightower Trading Post, so they took shelter for the night at the Inn.
As they stayed at the inn, they found that the latest shipment of booze from McTavish was a week late, and the place was bone dry.
The patrons were quite upset and started a brawl, that the heroes had to breakup.
Seeing their use, the innkeeper decided to hire the heroes to go to McTavish and get the booze and he would pay them 150 gold for it.
Before they could leave, a lightning bolt stuck the rock on the Hightower face, revealing a pathway that rats spilled out from.
The heroes went to investigate, and found that it lead to an ancient beastial humanoid crypt that some bugbears were getting into and planning on making a base at.
The heroes cleared the place and told the guards before heading to McTavish.

At Old McTavish’s Distillery, they found that the workers had become zombies, and that the Old Man McTavish had died and come back as one himself after buying and using some “special” fertilizer. The heroes spoke with the son, Roman McTavish, and he offered them a reward for taking care of his father and the animals that were infected.
The heroes did this, but then they decided that the Fertilizer had to be destroyed and that the whole place must be contaminated.
With this thought, the heroes began to burn the barn to the ground, along with the journals and evidence to support their claim.
Roman went into hysterics as they burned his barn down and proceeded to burn his crops as well.
The old widow McTavish came out crying about what was happening as well, and began to have a heart attack from the stress.
Thinking she might turn into a zombie, Hanu stabbed her in the head with his Wight Slayer, while her son held her in his arms.
In a panic, Roman attacked Hanu with a dagger, to which Hanu knocked him out with his fists.
The heroes then burned all of the estate to the ground and took Roman to Hightower to be treated.
Soon the Captain of the Guard; Dallas the Axe, came out to speak with them.
The heroes told him their side of the story, to which he asked if they had warrants, authorization or any evidence to support their claims.
They had none.
Dallas told them they were under arrest for Murder, Arson, Destruction of Property, Assault and Battery.
The heroes did not surrender, and it ended in a fight, and the heroes escaping Hightower and making a run for the hills.
What will our heroes do now?

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Episode 3 - The Sunless Citadel

Into the bowels of the Sunless Citadel the heroes descended.
A land shrouded in darkness, teeming with massive vermin, imps and other horrible creatures unknown to the surface.
Deep inside, they met a clan of Imps that had taken ground in the Citadel against the already established Grey Imps.(GrImps)
The GrImps had recently raided the Imps and took the greatest weapon they had; a young frost dragon named Calcryx.
The heroes agreed to assist the Imps in raiding the GrImps and securing Calcryx, since it served them to help clear out the base.
They traveled along the corridors and pathways, discovering secret passages and fighting the mother of rats; Guthash, and finding what was left of the Conerian Ranger.
Soon, they raided the GrImps and found the young dragon; knocking him unconscious, and finding an ancient map horded in the room by the dragon.

After a quick raid, the heroes returned Calcryx to the Imps, and got their reward; some scrolls, a few bottles of herbal remedies, and a key to a locked chamber that had not been used in centuries.

The heroes continued their raid, and slaughtered the GrImps, and found the signet ring of Talgen Hurcrele on the GrImps leader; a bugbear named Durnn.
They found a great chasm with vines going down further in Durnns main room, and so they explored it, finding that the lower level had lots of GrImps, but also a bunch of alchemy equipment, that according to the notes belongs to a “Belak”, who seemed to be fusing plants with animals.

One of the passages they found lead them into the Underdark, where they fought there way through a bunch of the strange twig creatures.
The passage lead back up to the Imps place, where the heroes decided they should look into the locked chamber before returning further down into the Citadel and finding this “Belak”.

In the ancient chamber, they found a magical trap of an orb that played mind altering music, which Zion managed to disable.
They had to answer a riddle to open a door, then find a secret passage to cross a chasm with spikes in it.
On the other side, they found a great tomb guarded by a small, strange flying demon that was guarding the tomb.
After a brief skirmish, they heroes managed to break its bindings and it teleported away.
The heroes then came over to the tomb, which was latched down, but the iron latches were rusted.
Curiosity getting the better of them, the heroes broke the latches and opened the tomb.
In an instant, a large green monster; a dragon priest of old, cast out and entombed alive for his curse, climbed out of the tomb and with frenzied eyes, attacked the heroes.
However, its long imprisonment had made it weak, and it was slow.
Hanu pressed the attack by cutting its hamstrings and toppling the creature, while the other worked in concert reaping it to shreds.
Searching the tomb, the heroes found a bunch of gold, a strange dagger used by Dragonpriests, and the ancient relic; Wight Slayer.
With this great relic, they traveled deep into the abyss, where they found the lair of the black mage who was secretly leading the GrImps.
As they traveled below, they found that the Dragon Priest had regenerated, and followed them; killing all the other imps on the way down.
This time the Priest was at his full power, but was still not enough to stop the heroes, and this time they use alchemist fire to destroy him.
In the arboretum, they found the last missing Hucrele, who was now transformed into some kind of plant creature.
She spoke with the heroes and convinced them to follow her.
They soon met the one behind all of it, a wight named Belak.
He claimed to have once been part of the cult that owned the place, but had fallen in with a powerful vampire lord.
Eventually, the cults collective power stopped his master and staked him, and Belak was cast out, were he wondered the world until death took him.
But is rage kept his body from dying, and he became a wight.
He came back to seek vengeance, but found that the gods had already sunk the citadel.
But deep inside, he found that the stake that had killed his master was green, and had taken root.
So, he fostered the plant, and in time it grew to become the Gulthias Tree, a sentient life form that lived on the blood of mortals, and was going to populate the world in its offspring.
Belak had used the tree to make Sharwyn and Sir Braford into supplicants to fight for the tree.
After giving out his secrets, he told the group he planned on turning them as well…so the heroes did what they did best…they murdered him and his allies, and tore the tree apart.
They freed the spirits of those taken by the tree, and left back to the surface.

On the way, they ran into the returning champion, Garland; who was just coming back from his couple year long quest to gain Bahamut’s blessing.
He told them he had been successful, and that perhaps he would see them again at the Midsummer Festival.

The heroes divided the treasure, took the rings to Hucrele, got there reward and the deed fixed, so now she owned the place, but they had legal right to free room and board their for life.

Eventually, they decided they should check out the map they found, and realized it was a map to a secret dwarven stronghold, that was now said to be in ruins.
Now the heroes, wish to seek out the dwarven ruins and find more treasure there.

Zion went off to talk with a dark-skinned elf he met at the inn, Hanu went off to study the map and decipher the dwarven runes on the map.
All the while, Zhel and Thia went about antagonizing the drunk Stewart, and proceeded to start a fight, which Zhel won, and then they went off to see what they could do about finding Marris the Gaunt.

They went to the City, and the Temple of Light there, and seeked the help of the head priest, who gave them a magic mirror and some powdered silver and told them to say the words “klaatu barada nikto” in the spot she was last at, and they could summon here from her grave and banish her, and banish her is what they did, when Zhel tore through her incorpreal form with his new magic sword “Shatterspike”, and Thia blasted her with her Positive Energy Channeling.

After this, they smelled something horrible coming from a neighboring cottage, and went to investigate.
They found the door ajar, and peeked in.
Zhel was attacked by an animated fire poker as they came in, and as they explored around, they found a bedroom where a man was knocked out and tied to a bed with a small devil idly tearing books apart.
Zhel slew the little demon, and after finding out who the man was and what had happened; freed him.
His name was Gendrew, the husband of a black mage named Andolyn.
The little demon was an agent of a great devil named Frogroth that Andolyn had faced 20+ years ago when she was an adventurer.
She and a band of adventurers had stopped him when a dark summoner named Eramus Lore attempted to bring him into this dimension.
It was also revealed that the little devil had set off Gendrew and Andolyn’s latest creation; a Calzone Golem, and it was now rampaging about.
Zhel and Thia agreed to help, and went downstairs where the golem was, and destoryed it.
Afterwards, Andolyn arrived and thankedthe heroes and gave them a reward of several magical potions, some gold and milk and magic cookies.
She also offered her services for hire to craft items if the heroes should have the funds to pay for it.

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Episode 2 - Undying Vengeance

As our practically broke heroes began walking down the road to exact vengeance, they walked by a farm where there was a dead cow just laying out by the road, stabbed to death by an unknown weapon that left hundreds of needle-like wounds in the creature.
Out of curiosity, the heroes asked what happened, and the owner; Brant Cordell, told them that some creature(s) had been coming in the night and attacking his cattle, and killed Old Bessie.
The guards don’t know what has been doing it, as it is not Imp weapons that are responsible, and whatever is doing it, seems to stab the creature to death and drain the blood.
Brant Cordell offered a reward of 60 gold if the heroes could find what was doing it, kill it, and keep his cows from being killed for 2 days.
Upon agreeing, the heroes took his advice that the creature(s) must be coming from the Old Road Forest, and headed up there.
On the road, they were ambushed by Imps, which gave them a hard time.
After clearing the Imps, the heroes raided their camp and took a quick rest, until night fall, when they began to walk back.
On the walk back at night, they were besieged by a swarm of strange twig-like creatures with needle claws tainted with a nasty poison.
After a quick skirmish, the heroes destroyed the twig creatures, and assumed it must have been them that were killing the cows, headed back to Cordell’s home, with their now two poisoned team mates; Reis and Zynh.

Hanu ran off to get help for the two injured comrades, and came back with Corkie the Healer from Coneria Town, who restored them to full strength, with no charge, due to it being a favor for Brant.
After waiting for two days, the cows seemed safe, so the heroes got their 60 gold, and moved on.

By moving on, I mean they walked down to the Llandeyr Estate and demanded an audience with the head of the family about them being kidnapped and being put in a cell.
At this time, Reis decided to talk with a patrol guard and show him the note and try to convince him to accompany them.
When the Houseguard let the heroes in, the Conerian Guard also came with.
Inside, they met with Berin Llandeyr, who brought the heroes into the house in order to dispose of them.
His plan was promptly reversed, when the heroes with the aid of the Guard, managed to fend off the Houseguards and slaughter Berin.
After wiping the blood of their blades with Berin nice clothes, the heroes went up stairs where they found the whereabouts of Coris, who was busy up in his private quarters.
They called out for him, and he stepped forth from his room, with his hands raised attempting to plea that there had been some kind of mistake.
Reis and Zynh could hear the sounds of chains rattling and bars being kicked behind the door, and made a move to open it and expose him.
Once the door was open, and every one could see the chained up, ball-gagged and caged women on the floor in the room, Coris did the only thing he could…. Show how he was actually an accomplished Black Mage and drop the fighters with a Sleep spell; but not before getting hit by one of their blades.
Being elves, Reis and Zynh were immune to the Sleep spell and continued to fight on, so Coris cast Hold on Zynh ceasing his arrow shooting.
Then it was a battle of magic as Coris launched his Poison spells into Reis, while the elf mage returned the magic barrage with his Frost spells.
It was a close battle, but Coris previous injuries gave Reis the distinct advantage, and eventually he prevailed.
With Coris down, the heroes rescued the captured girl; a White Mage named Thia.

Determined to finish what they started, the heroes went to the Llandeyr warehouse, where they found Marris in her secondary Larder having a meal.
After a brief confrontation, the heroes found they could not hurt this incorporeal monster, and it seemed there was no hope until Thia blasted the undead horror with her Channel Energy ability.
Being injured, Marris fled the warehouse, and used her intangibility to return to the collapsed mausoleum and hide in the wreckage.

After this, the heroes returned to the Inn; for which now they had taken the deed from the Estate for, and had some food and drinks and got some rest, and wondered what they would do next, or why they should stay together anyway.
It was at this time that an obnoxious drunk named Stewart showed up, and started bragging about being a great adventurer until he took an arrow in the junk, and that REAL adventurers would go to the Sunless Citadel, and they were a bunch of pussies, and tried to challenge Hanu to a fight.
Before a fight could ensue, a town guard came up and escorted Stewart away.
The heroes were curious about this Sunless Citadel he spoke of though, and asked the Guardsmen about it.
He told them that it was a place they say was the home of a dragon worship cult some thousand years ago, and that the gods must not have liked it, because it was swallowed up by the earth and is no a ruin deep in a chasm.
Some have gone in and come back and others have not, it is believed to be the home of Imps and monsters now.
Recently, a group of adventurers went into it and never came back.
The group was lead by Sir Braford and a Conerian Ranger, who took with them the Hucrele heirs; Sharwyn and Talgen.
The merchant Hucrele is offering a reward for the return of her lost children.
This perked the heroes interest, and so they went to talk with the merchant, and made a deal.
If they can return with her children(if not alive, then return their signet rings), they will each get 250 gold, and as a further deal they negotiated, they will trade the deed to the Chocobo Inn over to her, where she can make it legal, and she will have ownership of the Inn, but the heroes will have unlimited and free use of the facilities and food.
Now armed with a lucrative deal, the heroes went to the city and purchased some goods for their next adventure, into the depths of the Sunless Citadel.

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Episode 1 - The Black Larder
The Adventure Begins

Having removed their gags and blindfolds, the heroes searched their whereabouts and realized they were in a crypt of some sort.
In the room was a table with a lantern and a set of keys. Next to the table was a man who was also a prisoner.
While the group was getting their barrings, the man by the table grabbed the keys, unchained himself and started to run off with the keys.
The fighters called out for him to stop, and when he wouldn’t, they proceeded to stop him by force.
When he would not comply, they savagely beat him to death with their manacles.
After this, the heroes unchained themselves, and decided to work together in order to escape.
As they explored, they found behind a door, the bard; Nunsod Llandeyr who was playing at the Chocobo Inn the night they were abducted.
He had set the floor with caltrops and assaulted the party, referring to them as food.
After a quick skirmish, the heroes slew the wily bard, and raided his corpse for what they could find.
Continuing on through the dark corridors, the heroes found an iron gate, beyond it was their gear.
With much effort, the fighters were able to bend the bars just enough so the thief could slip through and gather their things.
The thief’s curiosity nearly got the better of him, when he noticed a tomb door, and decided to see what was inside.
He found it was the crypt of Marris; the spirit that had been feeding on them, and when he entered, the newly dead bard rose from the ground as a shade guarding the tomb.
With quick action the thief escaped, and continued to get the heroes their gear.
Fully geared up, the heroes found the way upstairs and out of the crypt, but in their way were a bunch of tomb raiders; the reason the loud crash happened and why their escape was possible.
The heroes managed to kill two of the thugs, but the archer in their group escaped them.
Following the archers lead, the heroes ran out into the fresh air and night sky, just as the mausoleum collapsed behind them.
Now the heroes are bent on vengeance and bringing those responsible to either justice or to the end of their blade.

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Prologue

By different roads you have all come to the same fate.
Each of you traveling alone to the City of Coneria, had stopped at the Chocobo Inn.
At night, each of you lay down and awoke to find yourself blindfolded and gagged, chained by your wrists to a cold stone wall.
You had been stripped of all your belongings, and wore hardly the what could be called rags.
You could hear the muffled complaints and clinking chains of other prisoners, and you each were visited by a fearful presence that would draw near and grasp at your very soul, wrenching pieces of it away with a slobbering cry of joy.
How long you have languished in your cell, visited only by the gluttonous being that uses your spirit for food, you cannot say.

This monotony of horror was recently ended, however.
The chilling spirit had come to feed again, but as it slavered over you, there was a tremendous crash that almost shook loose your teeth.
In an otherworldly, feminine voice you heard it speak for the first time, “What has strayed into my larder, I wonder?”
Suddenly, it was gone, and the cell shuddered as the wall behind you buckled and split.
With a metallic clatter, the chains have fallen to the floor.
You are still blindfolded, manacled, and gagged, but free to move.

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