arrive at Boltstrike Tower and are recruited to clear out a goblin camp to the north. On their return, they find that the Tower has been betrayed, its magic stolen! The team traces the thief to the ruins of the imperial palace Greenstand and do battle.
the party makes their way to Axis to celebrate the new Emperor's inauguration-- meeting Mint and facing the fearsome River Devil along the way!
With the Inauguration in full swing, there are plenty of games to be played-- catnip to a band of sellswords! During the semifinals, however, the team stumbles upon the Enclave-- a meeting of representatives from nearly every icon-- and learn the end of the world is upon us!
the Elements climb aboard the flying Battle Barge with Rip's old friend Battle Bob, agent of the Crusader. Naturally, demons attack! The remains of the Barge land in the blasted Red Wastes.
Battle Bob art by Dr. Demon
the party serves as, er, diplomats for an Imperial platoon marching on High Druid territory and a band of bandits set on robbing the Imperials blind, engineering the best possible outcome-- for themselves. Win win!
The city that never sins, or at least seeks forgiveness afterward! The Elements enter the ever-shifting Cathedral in search of the Cornerstone that powers it and the advice of Wutang, God of Secrets, to discover the truth behind the prophecy told at the Enclave.
You'd be much more surprised if a band of sailors burst in on you, saved you from some bears, and their first mate Audriel announced your friend Margaret Stone was their new captain!
are preparing for battle with the approaching Imperials. The party meets a council discussing the best way to do this; the current best idea would mean burning the First Leaf of Spring, and hey, we need that! Instead, Rip Smoulderboulder heroically offers his own arm-- no hesitation, he just chops it right off. However, one of these druids seems awfully familiar-- it's Groat Underbelly, who cursed Bella Canto so many years ago!
around the Dragon Empire since time immemorial. The party rushes south to hitch a ride on Small Rigby-- only to discover that Groat himself leads those who reside on this beast's back. In obtaining the Skin, the party discovers that Groat has sided with the diabolical Diabolist!
This one has stolen dreams of decadence and, more pointedly, Rigby's traits of enormity and mobility! The party descends into Mammon's Casino to swindle, cheat, and capture the Core of a Hellhole, stopping its devastation of the southern Empire.
Let's leave the Hellhole in midair above the Midland Sea and take a look at another crew of adventurers, with special guest DM PublicOpinion.
the party is met by Larette Stone, Margaret's sister and high-ranking officer of the secret Archmage-affiliated research organization CREAM. Since CREAM is also the organization who kidnapped and studied Bella's curse of manifest music as a child, her offer to join up is soundly refused! The newly-named "Rogue Elements" escape into the forest, encountering magical creatures and dealing with the consequences of their crossing: the leylines snapped by the roving Hellhole, and the incoming wave from the Koru Behemoths swimming across the bay.
the Elements arrive in Drakkenhall and get down to business, recruiting local rouges to the cause. In what we agree to be one of our finest sessions ever, the Scales of the Three are to be stolen from the Blue's legendary vault. Nav unleashes necromantic magic against undead guards, which may come back to haunt him. When trapped between a rock and a hard place, the Elements opt to steal the rock, and Scarlett makes off with the entire vault.
What's worse, the Elements land in the Queen's Woods to meet up with their old friend Bryde Wilestar, only to be blamed for the recent rash of wildfires! They fight through Drow guards, chaos pits, and a burning basilisk to clear their names-- and earn an invitation to the Queen's court.
the Tusk of the First Orc Lord, the Elements attend the Elven Court seeking permission from the Queen. There are plenty of other diplomats on missions of their own-- Stella Bardoc seeks aid for the wounded Cathedral, and the terrible Gilder Goldenbrass wants the Tusk himself! The party wins support from other diplomats to secure their own victory, and Stella manages to break through New Nav's diabolical veneer to bring back that cantankerous chef we know and love. The party travels to the long-abandoned Equinox manor to recover the Tusk, recruiting (or being recruited by) the impeccable "Monster" Manuél along the way! It's rather spooky inside and Mint gets cursed for life, but in the end Bella Canto defeats the naga who had taken over, claiming the Tusk and inheriting the manor for her very own.
Gilder Goldenbrass art by Inkblot
Arriving in the Elven town of Moonwatch to... watch the moon, Mint is mint-napped by Associate Director Peppercorn, his commanding offcier on the Silver Arrow moon mission. The Elements must infiltrate the secret facilities beneath the town-- but not every sneaking mission can be the Vault of the Blue, and Bella must swoop in to save the day with her new title as Duchess of Equinox Manor.
Claude (Ambisagrus), his acting coach Violetta Spellreguard (Wolfshirt), and agenda-laden audience members Debentiel (PoorWeather) and Wanda Hiltpick (General Ironicus) are forced to escape as the play itself violently comes to life. When they escape to Hellmarsh, Wanda reveals she was hired by the witches residing there to save/kidnap Claude from CREAM’s “protective” custody. As they fight off CREAM’s pursuers, they reveal to Claude that he is, in fact, the First Scroll of Resurrection.
Claude art is in fact a portrait of Brian Blessed
facing off against ravenous Chuuls and fallen angels along the way. Once the party arrives in Forge, they get in all sorts of trouble. Nav befriends sewer-dwellers. Manuél and Scarlett are embroiled in a plot to free Dark Elf political prisoners. Bella is pulled into the political intrigue surrounding the Elf Queen and the Wilestar family. Rip finds his family arrested. All that and Drakkenhall has seceded from the Empire, Mint is still haunted by a portrait from Equinox Manor, the party agrees to an alliance with the Empire, and we still need to find out what the Soul of Stone is!
Meanwhile, across the Undermarch, Slamby Gastronotte and company scour the ruins of Anvil, to various ends.
the Elements have an awful lot to do in Forge first. Let's see, turn an auction into a mockery, incite a riot at the Battle of the bands in Beaston, orchestrate a breakout of extremely valuable political prisoners, discover the truth about Bella's curse... Oh, and if all that wasn't enough, the demon Corson returns with an enormous army in tow! Turning on a dime to (barely) save the city they were casually wrecking, The Elements win the alleigance of the Dwarf King... discovering that he is the Soul of Stone.
Try the local-- oh, no, this isn't a pleasure cruise. The Red Fang, favorite assassin of the Blue, has a new master and mission. He has taken Audriel captive to lure the Elements to Dieseney's Land, a defunct theme park. Hazards, hexes, and hunters plague the party, but eventually they defeat the Fang, and rescue Audriel-- but Nav's confrontation with his inner evil leads to excessive brutality interrogating the captive Fang. They discover his master is Nikud Adler, Architect of Cathedral... but a shaken Nav departs alone.
The remaining Elements return to Equinox and set their sights on the legendary floating island of Regulus. Their marvelous new vehicle, the Battlevan, gets them there... eventually. Against all odds, the mechanical islanders are quite cordial-- including Slots, an automaton who is odd even for this city. This makes it all the worse when the party must steal the Cog of Regulus and escape. Yeah, I'm free. Free-falling, now I'm.
meet up with a back-alley contact in Horizon in hopes of locating a wizard skilled enough to remove the First Scroll of Resurrection from Claude’s very being. Mako Longfin (Drakkel), heir to an underwater empire (and rightful owner of the Pearl of the Ocean in CREAM’s possession) leads the party to one such shady wizard. The planned ritual goes sour— demons, who should have been bound by the ritual to remove the scroll, have mutated into the much more dangerous devils. A long, harsh battle later, Claude is still stuck with the Scroll, and resolves to return to the Hellmarsh to uncover the secret of the devils.
And fall off Regulus. The three-headed dragon Imugi attacks mid-plummet, hungry for the powerful relics the Elements have collected thus far. It is defeated with the help of Slots' weird magic... or whatever, and their new friend Wymbledon! With a soft landing in the marshy Fangs, the party is celebrated by a town that had been tormented by Imugi for centuries and sent on their way, down the very river the party once defeated the River Devil upon long ago. However... their very collection of relics awakens the Devil's dregs, and they must defend themselves once more.
has sat dormant on a mountainside for ages, a site of spiritual pilgrimage. The party makes their way to Moteja, the town nestled in its toes. With the help of the dark elf Marek Kane, the party climbs the sheer cliff-- and faces their inner darkness on the way. When the summit--the Seat!-- is conquered, the Colossus awakens and catches the drifting Regulus safely in its hands!
On their return, Moteja has quadrupled in size due to a sudden influx of refugees with a terrible tale. The Tarrasque, a beast not seen in ages, has returned. The Elements rush to Foothold, the next town in the beast’s path, to stop it. With the help of old friend Battle Bob and mysterious matriarch Strawberry Gelato, a plan is hatched to re-open the team’s captive Hellhole and capture the beast within.
Phew. After all that, we stop for gas, but even that gets out of hand.
the Elements promptly hurl the Battlevan over a cliff. WIth more than enough time to celebrate a beloved Imperial holiday in mid-air and meet the esteemed president of a rival nation upon landing, the arrival in Scarlett's birthplace of Eridu is a cheerful one. However, all is not well in the Red Wastes. The expansionist Empire looms as the sky burns red from a tumulous Abyss of warring demons. The party meets with Scarlett's grandmother, Flor, and other rebellion-minded dragonborn.
Margaret remains loyal to the Empire, and so the local Imperial bastion is infiltrated under her nose to find a way to free Eridu. When the bureaucratical dust clears, it rains ash: the churning pit of demons has been mutated by the new Lord of Devils-- formerly known as the Crusader-- and belches forth a terrifying army of driven devils. The party unites with the imperial garrison to keep Eridu off the Lord's wrathful plan of attack-- for now.
Friendly plantfolk Cactus (Ikks), inventive changeling Tran (Eliza), Rip's gross nephew Slamby (Nate), and golem keeper of the house Padriac (Ironicus) defend Equinox Manor from a threat internal: wretched creations of elven researchers past giving rise to corrupted chuuls and the adventurer's eternal foil, slime!
CREAM's base on Omen, where she spent a long, unhappy childhood as test subject. The party gathers at Concord's port to stow away on a CREAM ship. Slots has sadly been lost, but Nav rejoins the party in new regalia: he is now the acting Lich King, having defeated his own abominable "father" with help from Priene, Mako, and shockingly, Nikud Adler, who absconds with the Hand of Death after dire disagreement with Nav!
The reunited party arrives on Omen, makes their way through the living labyrinth of the island via an ancient Dwarven vault, and for better or for worse, frees a captive race of sinister prehistoric snakes led by SUSAN (yes, that is an acronym, too). The snakes have no love for CREAM, and help the party break in for a raid and mind-bending showdown with the vicious Larette Stone, finally taking their prize: the Pearl of the-- ?! No! The Pearl has been taken by Mako Longfin! We're 0 for 2 on this one...
the Elements dive beneath the waves and infiltrate the Longfin Empire's capital, Pheia. Mako absolutely notices when they steal the precious Pearl, but from the dregs of her deal with Nav, offers a compromise: if he uses his new necromantic powers to free the capital of a haunting by ghost pirates, they're free to go-- but the invasion of the land will continue as planned.
Once the pirates are routed, the exhausted Elements are ambushed by one who calls himself Gravedigger-- a lich who declares Nav a false ruler of the Undead. Badly beaten, the elements return to Equinox manor to recover-- but nothing ever goes easy at Equinox. A mysterious band of "diplomats" reveal themselves to be demons under the self-crowned Demon Queen Corson's command.
So, the Lord of Devils, the Longfin Empire, and the Demon Queen stand ready to march across the empire-- time is running out.
that's the way of the twin cities of Glitterhaegen and Shadowport. The Elements stop for Ambassador Mulberry's funeral-- the latest casualty in the Elven conspiracy Bella investigates. Nav's necromancy reveals Mulberry's last hints, and fittingly, it's then off in poursuit of Adler and the Hand of Death.
Things are strange here: the streets shift in Shadowport, and the largest corporations in Glitterhaegen are somehow intertwined-- and over everything the shadow of a "new religion" hangs. To investigate, the Elements infiltrate these businesses and make the acquaintance of a sinister middle-manager named Gary Swallows.
as the Elements face off against Gary Swallows in his true form: simply one of many vile creatures helping Nikud enthrall the city in gold and filthy lucre. What's worse, even as the Garies fall and the city shifts beneath their feet, the Gravedigger attacks in person: a wicked dracolich, intent on serving the "new lich king", a Hand of Death-posessed Nikud Adler. Luckily, Nikud is not the only ruler of undeath with a right-hand: The Many (Gnome), an undead abomination and former angel who slept beneath Necropolis for ages, has awakened.
were mere fodder for Nikud's true plot: the creation of an enormous golem fueled by the Hand of Death in a sick reflection of the Cornerstone and Cathedral. Luckily, Nav and Nikud think very much alike: the dreary island of Necropolis is no more, and gives way to the flying battlements of Necropolitan 13! While Nav grapples with the city-golem "Oligarchy", the rest of the party faces Nikud, Architect of Death.
the party stops by an archaeological site exhuming ancient Elven ruins--or they would, if not for the blasted reappearance of the Kuudzu Contraption, a weed-spreading menace first developed by Mint in the Siege of Forge. So as we stop to lend a hand, we find the chief researcher is a very familiar face to Bella indeed: Coloratura Canto, her mother and (perhaps) best friend! The party shuts down the Contraption and enters ancient Elven ruins to discover the secret of Elven magic: music. Bella was not cursed; Bella was awakened.
of an ancient civilization, it's time to pop home for lunch-- and punishment. Lackluster employee Roth was foolish enough to allow Mint to legally bind him to the Physical Challenge, a course of obstacles which must be heard to be believed. Disaster strikes, however-- no, not about Roth, forget him-- the Midland Sea churns with the rage of the Seafolk, and the enormous river delta the Fangs has broken its banks-- somehow flooding uphill to Equinox! Evacuation is in order-- what is happening-- wait a moment, the Fangs, that's where the River Devil--
Long ago, a wretched demon staked its claim to the fangs and damned all Icons to deny it. It became the first Devil from this spite, free from the whims of all. Our very own Rogue ELements temporarily defeated it-- but its spawn awakened when the party was foolish enough to bring their many Relics down the Fangs. Now, it has returned for the final time, thugh whether it seeks revenge or the power of the Relics is for it and it alone to know.
The party defends Equinox in the churning mud and pounding rain, alone; after all, the Icons have no hold on the Final Devil.
Scarlett leads the way to her college town, to find it... abandoned. The wizards, reading ill portents of the very future the Elements rush to prevent, have abandoned the city. AFter a brief check-in with Scarlett's friends (who you can learn all about in the Retail Magic bonus feat), the party picks up a lead on Claude Luminor and finds the casing of a battery that could power the Battlevan's moon trip-- if it were full.
So, the Elements make their appeal to the Archmage himself and a deal is struck: if they can save the horrendously busy Icon a few precious seconds, he will spend them filling the battery. With no conscious effort the Archmage's tower becomes a Concord musical stage, the battery is filled, and the Elements are on their way-- leaving the Archmage to his lonely work.
An improvised Claude-dar leads the party north to the war camp of the orc Pustulus Meatstack. In crushing the camp, they find that they have just missed Claude, who was prisoner here moments ago.
The swamp witches who rescued Claude from CREAM long ago once again interceded-- and so too must the party intercede to save the village from a rampaging purple worm! The party stops off in the village, but The Many pursues the worm for an unorthodox... recruitment. The witches are notoriously unhelpful-- thus charming Mint to stay a while and learn their ways-- but the party eventually secures a lead to Axis.
The young emperor's expansionist tendencies have apparently paid off, according to the massive map above the gates that swathe the world in conquered purples. But, theElements have little time for suspicion, and race to the much-changed theatre and art districts in search of Claude. However, they only find his manager, Gersh Capa, an exceedingly unpleasant type who goes back on his word to lead the party to Claude in exchange for a spooky favor.
So, the Elements take Claude into their own hands-- as they toss him into the Battlevan. His famous screams summon the Imperial police and Gersh, and battle in the sky of Axis ensues!.. until CLaude lifts his spell and reveals it was all an act, one last grandiose show... whatever, Claude, just get in the van.
All the relics, save one-- the Heart of the Moon. As the Battlevan is prepared for its farthest expedition of all, the Elements enjoy one last chance to rest at the Equinox Midwinter Festival, sharing memories and winter traditions of their cultures. But... good things never last. Armies march, and the Elements' respite is cut short. If the final Relic is not retrieved soon, if the Ritual is not performed... well, the world can't get any worse, surely.
The alien surface of the hostile satellite attacks immediately, but it's nothing compared to what waits in the labyrinth beneath: Mint's tangible grief, the remains of the Silver Arrow "landing" site, and traps of unknowable nature.
These, however, are nothing compared to the Eidolons, unknowable beings who seem to represent terrestrial existences such as Ketchup, Butter, Hope, Luck, Guide, and Guardian. Individuals do not have Eidolon counterparts-- this, then, does nothing to explain the existence of the eidolon Mint Gelato.
The mighty eidolon Guardian splits reality around the party in an attempt to stop them from retrieving it-- but, metaphysical riddles have never troubles us before. No, the real problem arises when Mint insists that he must have the Heart. Now.
All this, and we have yet to escape-- and even when we return, what awaits us on a Devil-cursed world?
Cathedral is flooding, the Elven Woods are burning, the Empire drowns beneath the hatred of the Fourfold Apocalypse. The Elements themselves are not free from this hatred; apparent first when Mammon emerges from the now-frozen Red Wastes, having fused with the Tarrasque imprisoned in the Core of the Hellhole that was once his pride and joy. Mammon sets his sights on Eridu, planning to flatten it and with it his hated foes' spirits.
Yet, even when Mammon falls, Eridu is as cold and hostile to the Elements as the frozen wastes. Disheartened, the team has no choice but to commence the ritual; the great Gold Wyrm is revived after 60 years rotting in the depths, but then...
just as our questants quested. Now, they clash upon the edge of the Abyss.
And, days, months, years later, the last known records of the sorry band of sellswords known only as the Rogue Elements is stitched together...