CONCORDANT MIRROR

S1, Prologue: Downpour

Where the militia of Anton Bravóst, under the command of his nephew Edmond Braddock did not assault the most ancient Synagogue in all of Europe.

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S1E1: An old new mystery

Where the party formulated a plan, entered the sewer system and were assaulted by a hoards of undead rats.

Holg is killed and the party emerges just outside the back entrance of the Synagogue near the cemetery. Before leaving the sewer, ancient fey runes are discovered on the foundation of the synagog – which turns out to be much older than the building itself. 

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S1E2: Feet of clay

Where the party snuck into the interior of the Synagogue itself discovered a number of items in the Rabbi’s sanctum and were briefly trapped in a vault with perfect walls which also bore evidence of fey origin. 

The party is delayed by the Ghost of Rabbi Loew recently murdered by “Joshua” who relates to them some of the history of the artifact known alternately as the Rod of Ruin, the Heart of Murder and the Key to Perdition including it’s creation by the “Devil himself” from the spine of Caine and it’s appearance 500 years ago roughly coinciding with the start of the black plague and the resurgence of magic in the world. 

A short time later, the devil was deceived by an "angel”, who stole the artifact and created the woven bone casket and perfect vault to conceal it. The vault's location was revealed to a select few who built the synagog over the site. 

300 years ago an attack on the community caused the original High Rabbi Loew to create the golem to “protect his people”. It’s real purpose was to guard the artifact. 

A generation later, the remaining elders, woke Joshua to move the artifact away from their holy synagog. It’s power checked now only by the casket, the wand began to reach out to the last being that held it. Joshua would dream of the wand over the next 150 years until the present Rabbi enclave woke him to deal with the Bravóst militia.

The party defeats the ghost of Rabbi Loew and Phillipe puts him to rest revealing himself to be a high warrior priest of the Order of St. John. He relates, briefly the history of the Brevard family (of which Edmond Braddock and the Bravósts are directly descendants) who are drawn to powerful magic and the artifact in particular.

Bolg, who was strangled to death by his own shadow, is revealed to have been a spy and a key member of a conspiracy that involves the Prussian (German) government or, at least, factions within it.

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S1E3: The tolling bell

Where the party encounters and defeats the Golem of Prague and encounters a clockwork cyborg.

During the battle in the sewers it is clear that control of the golem has been co-opted by an outside power who’s name, due to the nature of the golem itself, has bled into the parchment in his mouth. The parchment was taken, and kept, by Raven.

After the battle Edmond, is compelled to play a passage from the Bravost Cantata which opens the casket revealing an object made of bone that radiates palpable malevolence.

The party decides to return the artifact and casket to the vault and investigate clues found on Bolg.

Bolg’s effects lead them to Ulrich’s House of 1000 Clocks which, contains exactly 1000 clocks, many of which seem self aware or are controlled by someone who is. Ulrich, a clockwork cyborg, is also a member of the same conspiracy — now revealed to be the assassination the visiting Archduke Franz Karl Joseph by Baron Jaeger “the Hunter” and unknown conspirators – including several members of what appear to be the Prague military elite. 

Ulrich is defeated and recent communications show that the Prussians appear to be gaining some knowledge of the artifact siting a cryptic “disturbance in the pattern”.

The party, once again, retreats to the sewers to contemplate their next move.

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S1E4: Web of silk

Where the party decides to confront Anton Bravóst at his home (the Silk Palace) and learns he was a pawn in the grand conspiracy.

When Edward confronts his uncle, Anton is unmanned and reveals that obsessive gambling has left him deeply in debt. He has been selling the Emperor’s wine to Unseelie Court but, with interest (and continued gambling) even that gold was not sufficient. To keep the scandal at bay Anton took the fey gold but sold the wine to others. Now with outstanding markers all over Austria (including criminal elements), vast quantities of the Emperors wine unaccounted for and threatening messages arriving from the Unseelie, Anton was grew increasingly desperate. Only his private militia was well paid — insurance against the worst.

Madam Bravóst, an ethnic Russian and member of the Sisterhood of Illimitable Filament used her connections to offer her husband a way out. The Russian government would pay all of his debt if he would secure a “historical object of great value” held somewhere in the Jewish Quarter. As no one could describe the exact nature of the object, Anton used his militia to “relocate” whole neighborhoods to effect the search.

It seems likely that the Sisterhood orchestrated Anton’s original (and continuing) misfortune to gain access to his militia for the search and to manipulate Anton’s actions to draw the Archduke to Prague (to investigate rumors of his father’s missing wine stores).

Pawn or not, Anton’s own greed and ambition lead him to murder the displaced people so he could profit from development of the now vacant land and, shortly after his confession, he payed for his crimes when Malagar surrounded him in cold darkness — collecting the debt owed the Unseelie.

Directly after this event the party was attacked by Madame Bravóst who revealed herself to be a drow priestess in disguise (glamour). The party was attacked by her, Edmond’s cousin Pavel (revealed to be a Drider) and the animated silken lace that permeated every corner of the mansion. 

Fighting their way free, with sword and fire, the silken palace burned and, though Roman Bravóst was saved, Benedikt Bravóst lost his life while Madam Bravóst and Pavel escaped.

The party gave chase back to the Synagogue where they confronted the Drow and defeated them. There they decided to take the casket with them as well as some of the remaining effects (magic items) of the Brothers Brevard. Finally they retreated to the inn where they had previously stayed and Philipe, near death from Drow poison, was left with the local doctor.

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S1E5: Under the water, over the bridge

Where the party decides flee Prague to keep the object from converging interests.

The episode began the day after the Bravóst fire. The party, being well known and having fled the scene the night before was tracked down to their inn where the Prague city guard descended upon them. Edward, calling upon an old sailers trick summoned a fog bank to hide his compatriots and all took to the bottom of the Prague river, breathing by means of another spell from Edmond. The party traversed the bottom for some hours until reaching the university bridge which was actually a dense mini community made from ramshackle buildings added to it by the locals, all open space dominated by a thriving market.

The sodden party did their best to disguise their water logged appearance and, posing as toy merchants, made their way across the bridge, narrowly avoiding the city guard who, by now, had their descriptions.

Upon exiting the city they passed through a military graveyard where they noticed names matching Ulrich’s conspirator list. Clearly Baron Jaeger “the wolf”, who Kerstas knew to be a vampire, planned on raising the dead to aid his plot.

In the town beyond the wall, the party purchased a three horses and a cart and additional supplies and started off west when they were attacked by three female vampire thralls wearing Austrian uniforms (House of Jaeger) but carrying Prussian made pistols and ammunition. The Party narrowly defeated the vampires at the cost of one of the horses.

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S1E6: Dawn of twilight

Where the party frees their horses, Phillipe makes an unexpected appearance and they cross into the mirror.

Phillipe, now a vampire, catches up to the party and holding his undead nature at bay through sheer faith imparts the following facts. Baron Jaeger is, himself a thrall in the service of his wife the Baroness Jaeger, formerly Mina Harker a full vampire and a member of the Sisterhood of Illimitable Filament. 

It is she who is orchestrating the assassination attempt though certainly she is in league with other governments or factions of thereof. Philipe tells the party that her power has grown recently (perhaps due to the awakened artifact) and she has decided to remove subtlety from her plot and summon all the city’s dead to raze Prague and everyone in it to the ground (including, of course, the archduke). When she plans to do this is unknown but the process would certainly be deep ritual magic and the party may have set her back somewhat by dispatching three of her chief minions.

Philippe holds himself in check long enough for the party to dispatch him whereon he is consigned to Hell. Edmond recovers several of his effects and the party flees into the woodland path where riders have proceeded them to the nearest communities. Now wanted with prices on their heads, the party defends itself against a misguided attempt by some local merchants to collect the reward and again flees west through the night eventually taking refuge in a wooded glenn by a pond and a small alter down the hill from the ruins of a once-great tower.

As dawn rises the half light in the glenn takes on a strange quality, almost as if it is not dawn but twilight. As the light develops the party hears sounds above them and begins to notice, webs hanging like silk from the branches, an assemblage of faeries hiding amidst the trees, a small hut in the far edge of the glenn, something moving in the water and a green glow from the alter.

As the hut’s door opens and an old woman’s silhouette could be seen. At this moment the glenn is filled with the smell of fresh baked cakes as the trees come alive with ettercaps. The half-spider creatures gather fey into their webs and move to block the party’s retreat.

While the party defended themselves, Edmond discovered the Key to Perdition in his hand and was afforded great powers including the ability to summon and control the powerful Green Knights that were at rest beneath the altar. The knights attack with unstoppable ferocity and, once Edmond is safe, bow and reinter themselves.

The party reached safety at the glenn’s edge, saving five brownies in the bargain. The brownies, a troop lead by Angus McDonnell (certainly not his “true" name) figures that the party numbering four an his troop numbering five he owes the adventurers “four n' a quart’r fav'rs”.

Now free of the glenn, the party confirms they have crossed into the mirror where the sky is now twilight, and the tower, no longer ruined, is tall and garrisoned with an peoples of an unknown livery. The road that led the party to the glenn is now a footpath that splits, heading east (back toward Prague) south toward the tower and continues west into an open faerie market. From the far side of the glenn a chicken legged hut stands and paces off through the woods. 

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S1E7: A shift in time.

Where the party gains a breather, does a bit of shopping and boards a train.

Initially the party struggles with Edward who is reluctant to put the Rod away but eventually it is sealed inside the casket once more.

Stopping outside the Faerie Market, the team takes a rest and waits for the Eldarin tower to open. Before it does the group is surrounded by Eldarin soldiers who question them and finally allow them into the tower where they are allowed to eat and rest for an uncertain number of days. During that time they see a train made of copper, brass and iron arrive and depart from unknown locations. The train itself is manned and maintained by various types of geometrical creatures with clockwork exoskeletons (i.e. Modrons). 

Upon gaining an audience with Fingolan the party is informed that he can, indeed, help them on their way. In fact he lets them know that the Shifting Lands are in the care of his people and, for those who know, the path between them can be continuous and unbroken. He offers the players a bargain: investigate the cause of Baba Yaga’s recent destructive actions and stop her from systematically destroying the pockets of Shifting Lands she has been visiting and he will open the towers pathways, sending the party where and when they need to go.

It is clear that Baba Yaga has been convinced or influenced by the Sisterhood and, indeed, a small delegation of them (Three of the Sisterhood (a drow and two other races hidden by veils) plus four attendants) has been seen in the market.

The party agrees to these terms and is well supplied by the Eldarin and given free passage through the market. Just prior to leaving leaving the party sees themselves entering the tower. Once in the market they are offered many strange and unusual things in exchange for … esoteric forms of payment. Primarily the party makes no deals with the exception of Raven who purchases seven shots of gunpowder from a goblin merchant selling blunderbusses for a single moment of inspiration.

Once close to the train it has become apparent that it has, in the recent past, sustained serious damage. The train itself is populated by all manner of strange races and even some humans, the most notable wearing Prussian military uniforms

Boarding the train, the party settles in to their comfortable private cabin and the train stands, on the same legs that the Modrons do and walks through a great brass and iron archway (a dimensional gateway) where it retracts it’s legs and runs on rails suspended 100s of feet in the air.

The train has left the small island of fey and is now entered Shadowfell itself. Outside the window they can see they are approaching the same area the city of Prague exists on the other side of the mirror. As the party looks down they see tens of thousands of souls approaching the city, waiting for the slaughter, looking for hosts. The area on which the city stands is itself covered in a vast dome of the same opaque white marble that stands in stark contrast to the pervasive darkness of the realm of shadow. It is the same white marble that the room concealing the artifact and the weightless cube in Valagar’s pocket is made of.

No sooner is there train past Prague than a Manticore flies past their train. On it’s back is a howdah with four goblins trailing two streams of vermillion ribbon. As the creature passes the ribbons go taut forming red rails upon which speeds a sinister train filled with goblin pirates that is gaining on the party.

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S1E8: A journey derailed.

Where the party is delayed on their quest by a hoard of Goblin Pirates and crash lands in territory controlled by the giant kings.

Giant harpoons plunge into the sides of the Modron train and bring it to a abrupt halt 100s of feet above Shadowfel. The party rallies itself to action as do the Prussian soldiers in the next car. Thought they are initially disorganized, and scared a single spheroid Modron enters the cabin and violently removes the head of the Prussian leader, implanting himself in it’s place. Though horrible, this does not seem to be an unfamiliar occurrence to the soldiers. The leader, now in direct and instantaneous telepathic contact with the other Modrons, organizes the defense. The soldiers fall in line and prepare to repel borders. Surely goblin losses will be extreme.

The first wave of Pirate attacks proves not to be goblins at all but a swarm of cockatrices, who board through giant brass coring tubes the Goblins use as gangplanks. Though the Prusssian guns rang loud they soon fell to stoney silence

Outside the windows of the party’s train car the pirate captain and his crew prepare to board. A series of desperate battles ensue with Raven and Kerstas fighting off the advancing cockatrices while saving a young elvish girl (though not her mother) while Edward and Malagar board the goblin train itself. At one point Edward holds the Goblins at bay by levitating the trains coal supply and sending it at the hoard in the next car manipulating the floating mass to look like a dragon.

The party is assisted by the sudden appearance of tall, stern faced fighting man with an unknown accent and strange weapons including what appear to be a pair of repeating pistols a rifle and a cruel knife.

The captain himself flees at the sight of Malagar boarding his flying skiff as the Gobiln train, still attached to the Modron train begins to fall.

After a series of harrowing maneuvers including Edward hanging from a line below the ship, all board the skiff and defeat the Goblins there. All save Raven who is trapped aboard the speeding engine, having successfully separated it from the rest of the train.

Unfortunately Kerstas, who had ironically saved the train itself only seconds before, and the others could only watch in horror as the train engine crashed into a closed Modron portal some miles away. The party arrives in the skiff to find the portal damaged but open and Raven dangling from the end of a rope having saved his own life by leaping from the train while throwing a grapple.

Edmond maneuvers the ship through the portal but not without injury to the hull and sails fatally damaging it’s ability to stay aloft. Just before crashing in a dismal swamp the party sees a titanic hedge in the distance with some overgrown branches actually reaching the tracks high above. The tracks lead to another portal a short distance away. Through the portal could be briefly seen a large town on a mountainside — the intended original destination of the train.

The swamp is inhabited by giant frogs who’s backs seem to secrete perfect black and white pearls — a king’s ransom if the quality matches the size. Against a tree sleeps one head of an Ettiness. Her two children seem to be harvesting the pearls while she rests, gathering them in a colossal picnic basket by their mother. The children are bickering loudly and one is complaining her doll is broken.

It is at this moment that Angus McDonnel and his brownies reveal themselves, look around and reminisce about the battle all too loudly.

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S1E9: Pearls of terror

Where the party traverses a swamp, a forest and a hedge.

Extricating themselves from the ruined Goblin skiff, the party scavenges what they can, eventually forming a small, makeshift raft. Quincey Morris climbs high in the spiked and gnarled vines to gain a better vantage point, especially as it relates to the seemingly irritable Ettiness and her children.

Having lost the pathway the players take to the south to search for it using the sparse islands to block themselves from the sight of the Ettins. Their paddling, especially from the smaller boat made by the Brownies  attracts the attentions of the giant frogs as well as Fredrik & Lars and ultimately Reeta & Katjåa. 

The party rallies to the defense against the frogs and Edward uses a fog spell to allow them to escape the Ettins and make I to the southern shore where they spot a rough cobblestone path. It is at this point that Quincey reappears and lets the party know that Hannah & Ilkåa have not only broken their “doll” but have other toys (human children) in her basket.

The party rescues the children by distracting Hannah & Ilkåa with some clever spell work by Raven. While the players complete the harrowing rescue Angus McDonnel & his troop help themselves to a king’s ransom in pearls. The party eventually escapes and follows the path. Along the way, a small hut appears and soon is surrounded by a fence topped with human skulls, lit like lanters and a adjacent path is seen to be “growing” into focus, reaching out to the path the party is on. 

The party decides to move on.

Emerging from the forest the into a cornfield filled with Hill Giant farmers of a titanic size who, thankfully, failed to notice the adventurers. The same could not be said of their farm dogs, in reality Dire Wolves.  The party avoided the dangers as long as they could but with the hounds closing in and alerting their masters it looked as if all was lost until they were saved by riders who had seen the commotion and come to rescue, taking the party to New Tampere. A small Finish Christian missionary village in the heart of a great hedge marking the border of the farmland.

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