Age of Orion
Season 1 Timeline
Men, women, and children across the land began developing a strange mark known as The Dark Sign, an unknown affliction whose cause and effects were lost to history. A few individuals, hearing of tales of a cure, traveled to the island of Kana to seek out the cause of the curse and snuff it out.
Arriving by boat, the adventurers Brent Embers, Grace Naraday, Sif, and Uri set foot on The Landing, a seemingly abandoned ghost town full of statues of petrified villagers on the island known as Kana. After hunting down some Basilisks for their blood, they unpetrified a local alchemist and Shaddox Mason the ranger. At this same time, adventurers Rain Meliamne and an unidentified barbarian and bard arrived at the Landing. The bard soon parted ways, and after an adventure in a harpy cave and an expedition into a Pilgrim portal which killed the barbarian, the remaining adventurers (now calling themselves Brent Embers & Associates) found their way to the Night Inn.
The Demon Portal
The innkeeper, Tessa Dubar, instructed the party not to leave their rooms after midnight. After some prodding, she confessed that the rooms were warded and the inn’s basement contained a demon portal, which she had been keeping secret to protect her business. The party decided they would take care of this for her, and she gifted each of them a potion of resurrection.
After fighting their way into the basement, Brent and Sif discovered a strange mirror which didn’t quite reflect reality. Brent charged at it but seemingly bounced right off. Meanwhile, Grace, Rain, and Uri pushed their way through a trapped hallway, falling into a pit of blood at the end. They pulled themselves out to find a tiefling named Nadine who greeted them with towels and encouragement from her superiors to close off the anomalous portal before disappearing.
Grace began to have a breakdown and charged ahead into a room of demons torturing a dwarf woman. The rest of the group disabled the traps and raced to catch up to Grace but were held up by a sentient door. Brent showed the door its reflection in the mirror, and the door was so horrified that it froze up, allowing the party to push past it into a room of dead demons, an unconscious Grace, and a door to hell at the far end. Brent decided to open it while the rest of the party battled the demons, saved the dwarf, and woke Grace. Grace saw what Brent had done and became enraged, noticing at the same time channels for blood sacrifices that would close the hell door. She grabbed Brent, killed him, and then killed herself to complete the sacrifice and seal the door. Meanwhile, Rain had become fixated on the mirror, believing it to have some hand in the chaos, and shattered it. The broken mirror released someone who looked almost exactly like Brent and who started to viciously attack the party. He marched over to Brent’s body, feeding him the resurrection potion. Brent sprung back to life and immediately killed the mirror person. After Grace was fed her potion, “Brent” explained that he was actually named Content Not Found: zak-mandrake-mirror-version and had switched universes when the party’s secretly evil Brent initially charged the magic mirror. Zak and Brent looked almost identical because in the mirror universe, Brent had murdered Zak’s girlfriend, Alice, and Zak had chosen to sell his soul to Asmodeus and disguise himself as Brent in order to ruin his reputation.
Around this time, an enigmatic figure and his assistant appeared in the room. The figure applauded the party’s “performance” in the scenes laid out for them and introduced himself as the theatrical demigod Patron. He sent his assistant with the group and said that he would continue to watch the show before disappearing with the injured dwarf.
BE&A pushed on through the halls and rooms of the portal, each member encountering their own personal hell. At the end of the series of rooms, they found a chamber room with the exit portal guarded by chain demons. While Uri attempted to open the exit, the rest of the party fought off the demons. The battle went south, and when Rain died, Patron reappeared to Zak and asked for his soul in exchange for a “script rewrite.” Zak agreed, and BE&A awoke without Patron’s assistant hanging upside down and naked in a demon meat locker. Also in the locker were Rain’s mother, Gwathra, and the dead body of her father, Linnathon. The party fought their way through the demon kitchen with Gwathra in tow, recovered their gear (including the broken mirror), and finally made it back to the exit portal. Uri became trapped while sealing off the demon world.
Vampires and Lycanthropes
As thanks for cleaning out her basement, Tessa said the party was welcome at her inn whenever they’d like, free of charge. With Gwathra in a catatonic state in one of the rooms, BE&A continued exploring the island and found the ruins of an underground water temple along with three new adventurers, non-mirror Alice’s sister Jade and “sailors” Harlock and Kurosaki. Upon entering the temple, they found that it was inhabited by the lone vampiress Von Strauß and her pet wolf. Although Von Strauß took a liking to Saki, she said that she would not leave the temple for fear of what the islanders would think of a vampire.
When the two sailors took a personal day, a weretiger named Finn showed up at the inn to invite BE&A to receive a blessing from his druid circle as thanks for taking care of the demons. On the way to the circle, the group was ambushed by a group of the corrupt king’s men led by death knight A. Del. The kingsmen were defeated and the death knight incapacitated, but the fight cost Grace her life. While dead, Grace came across a mansion of souls cursed by the Dark Sign and found Brent sitting outside the entrance.
The Glade of the Crescent Moon reincarnated Grace as a halfling and granted the party a druidic blessing. Sif redeemed the apathetic death knight and made her his ward, Harlock and Saki caught up to the group, and Rain got her first lead in years from an elf named Chelty, who informed her of a group that passed through containing a fellow Darthan survivor and one of Grace’s old friends. Zak got caught stealing a bedroll, causing the group to be temporarily banished from the Glade.
The Second Portal
BE&A next came across an ice dragon, a hatched dragon egg, and a biplane-like airship buried in the snow. After defeating the dragon and selling the loot to fund construction of a guild hall and stronghold on the landing, the party moved on to the location of another Pilgrim portal in a temple on the coast. While there, mail carrier Liam arrived with a royal letter for Sif saying that his long-lost parents had gone missing and that he had a limited amount of time to collect the funds to claim his estate in Chakai before the king would take it. Pirates began to attack the temple from off the coast while the party pushed their way to the portal. Jade and A. Del got caught under rubble as the pirates launched boulders into the temple, and they had to be left behind while the others escaped through the portal.
On the other side, the party scared off a flesh golem and defeated a small army of skeletons. They realized the Pilgrim portal had sent them several hundred years into the past and encountered a necromancer and his hesitant lycanthrope assistant, Brook. Sif talked with Brook about starting the Glade of the Crescent Moon and thereby became its cofounder. While there, BE&A learned of an entity called the Flame that the king served which acted as a seal to prevent plane-related horrors from being unleashed upon Kana; they also learned that the Dark Sign curse was created by a renegade servant of the king as a way to harness power. The party returned to present day to find Jade, A. Del, and Finn greeting them in an altered timeline: The undead were now in control of most of the island and BE&A’s guild from the Landing and the now more powerful Moon Glade had been forced to ally with the king against the necrotic forces.
The War Begins
Sif, Jade, and Zak headed off to the Moon Glade to begin strategizing for the war while Harlock and Saki worked on upgrading their airship. Grace, Rain, and Finn hurried back to the inn to find that Tessa had been brutally attacked by the now missing Gwathra. Finn healed Tessa, and Rain attempted to track Gwathra but lost the trail.
The party reconvened at the Moon Glade where Jade and Zak shared with Rain some mysterious notes they’d been finding detailing a mirror universe plot to “restore balance” with Mirror Rain using Gwathra as an assassin to kill Sif. Security was stepped up while Sif and the Moon Glade decided that their first target had to be the corrupt king and the Flame, rather than the undead. Meanwhile, Grace received a letter from the Noble saying that he had left Kana and urged her to do the same.
While helping Sif move units around the island, BE&A (which now included Jade, Finn, and A. Del) found their way to a small airstrip. Harlock and Saki, overcome with greed, decided to try stealing the ships inside while the rest of the party pressed ahead, Zak swiping a sending stone from the airstrip’s office which connected to its owner, Quick. Harlock set off one of Quick’s anti-theft traps, detonating gallons of fuel (Residuum) in a fiery explosion that obliterated him and the airstrip, badly injured Saki, and ignited a massive forest fire.
Sif and his units tried to fight the fire but were ambushed by the undead. Noticing Sif’s impending doom, Saki called in a favor from Von Strauß who used Saki as a channeling point to wrest control of the undead units and make them fight each other, saving Sif and his soldiers. By this, the group discovered that Saki has actually been sired by Von Strauß a while ago and had probably been feeding off Grace. Von Strauß, meanwhile, had been forcibly recruited by the undead forces and was now on the run for betraying them.
Siege on the Castle
BE&A made it to the capital city with everyone except Grace, who was on air patrol with Quick. (Quick decided that the explosion at his airstrip killed whoever was trying to steal his airships and that the rest of us could be trusted.) Upon reaching the castle, the party split up and entered on two fronts: Zak, disguised as a duke, rode in through the front gates on dire wolf Sif with an armed escort of converted king’s men while the others snuck in through a sewer entrance they had learned about in Zak’s and Jade’s notes. Joining the party in particular was a gnome named Finnegan O’Flannihan and a half elf named Rinn.
On the way through the sewers, the group encountered an imprisoned beast shrouded in magical darkness, which Rinn, Saki, and Finnegan freed. Turned out it was a baby Kaiju. It proceeded to break through the castle floor and began destroying things/killing guards, which provided an excellent excuse for the guards to allow Zak and Sif to enter the keep and a decent diversion of guards away from the troops Rain led in through the sewer.
Upon entering the keep, Zak noticed Nonmirror Zak and Content Not Found: alice in a side room and left Sif to deal with the king on his own. Jade, Fin, and Rain entered the keep, having left the A. Del and all of the other troops behind to fight the guards, and were attacked on the way to the king by Gwathra and Mirror Rain. Jade escaped and joined Sif in the throne room, where the fight began with Sif facing off against the king while Jade dealt with a dozen or so devotees of the Flame, the relic itself being located behind the king’s throne. After an awkward meeting with his nonmirror double and his double’s lover, Zak joined the fight, landing a serious hit on the king while Sif used Hold Person. Finn and Rain held their own against Gwathra and Mirror Rain before Rain was able to convince Gwathra that she was her real daughter. Gwathra bade Rain to go help her friends while she held off Mirror Rain. Finn and Rain joined the fray in the throne room, landing more blows on the king while Sif retreated to heal and Zak moved to hide behind the throne. Finally, Saki, Finnegan, and Rinn caught up. Saki threw Rinn at the king, knocking him prone, while Finnegan attempted several spell casts. Rinn shifted into a constrictor snake and tried to bite the king, and finally Saki landed the death blow.
Unfortunately, the power of the Flame brought the king back to life even more powerful than before. He landed a hit on Saki, shook Rinn off of him, and charged at Zak, grabbing him by the throat and holding him above the Flame. He told Zak to make a wish before throwing him in. Briefly, Zak shapeshifted into the form of the king himself as his final wish. Then he was gone.
The rest of BE&A managed to finish off the king, with Finn landing the killing blow by pushing him into the Flame. Jade had the devotees all either dead or cowering in fear. Just when the party thought it was all over (save for the Dark Sign and the undead armies marching into the castle), Sif suddenly put his hands in the air and began walking towards the Flame. The rest of us tried to stop him, discerning that a very well-hidden assassin was walking him towards the Flame with a poison-coated knife to his throat. During the fight, the assassin stabbed Rinn with a sleeping poison and slit Sif’s throat before vanishing.
Sif revealed that the poison used on him was called Bloodroot, which consists of spores that take root in the body’s organ tissues and begin eroding everything away. It can only be used by those who are already infected with it but have overcome its power. Zak and Jade’s notes had revealed that both Mirror Rain and Gwathra used Bloodroot to kill their targets. Saki tried to suck the poison out, but between the Bloodroot and the Dark Sign infecting Sif’s blood, he was unable to do so and choked instead, poisoning himself. The two walked toward the Flame, where a voice asked them what their lives were worth. Saki wished for Von Strauß’s safety and sent her a message of gratitude for all she had done. This granted Von Strauß temporary protection as she fled the necromancers. Sif wished for the end of the Dark Sign curse. Then they walked into the Flame, extinguishing it and leaving behind only their inflammable possessions and those of Zak and the king. The Dark Sign was lifted, and the souls of the cursed and dead were free to rest in peace at last. With Sif’s sacrifice, A. Del realized that death didn’t have to be the end for her – that she could have a purpose and be redeemed.
Finn and Rain hurried out into the hallway and found Mirror Rain’s dead body, leading them to conclude that Gwathra had finished her assassination contract and killed Sif. Having watched both her original clan and her new friends perish in fire, Rain’s fear of uncontrolled fire was replaced by an indefinite insanity, causing her to believe that she was Sif and that Rain was dead. Jade reunited with Alice and Nonmirror Zak on the way out of the keep.
With the undead armies, the rampaging baby Kaiju, and the still-raging forest fire outside but the king dead and the Flame and the Dark Sign resolved, this is where Brent Embers & Associates ended Season 1.