A most unusual ship has appeared in a harbour of Acryn -it appears to be built on the back of a huge white whale - and those in the know will be aware that a delegation from the recently contacted Southern Isles has arrived in Acryn will a large shipment of mana crystals, hopefully the first of many that can be used to turn the tide of the war. This should be a cause for celebration but the council is concerned about something and had put out a call for adventurers willing to travel.
The party are summoned by the navigator of the Southern Isles ship that has arrived in port, who turns out to be an enormous psychic whale. The navigators are both the guides and seers of the sailors of the Southern Isles and the creature tells them that it has had a vision of a threat that affects both Acryn and the Isles.
It tells the party that the Magisterium have broken their long accord with the isles, no doubt having heard that they now intend to trade with Acryn. The vision it has seen of a darkness it thinks relates to magisterium, but was created by the party, washing over them all. Jarred wisely doesn't mention his monstrous creation born of the crazed designs of Chedravartin the Unmaker: the Sundarshava.
Following the Navigator's vision the party head toward the Bluepeaks. Along the way they stop to help an elderly travelling showman from some odd looking fluxy wolves. In an annoying cryptically way he seems to know they are heading into danger and gives them unusual snow globe, telling them to use it when the going gets tough.
Entering the foothills of the Bluepeaks the party find villages and mining camps gone, reduced to fine black dust, the souls of those destroyed resting uneasily. The party press on to find, high in the peaks, an ancient mine with a Magisterium encampment outside it. Making quick work of the mages the party are able to free one from the clutches of the Demiurge and learn from him that the Magisterium have captured something terrible which was taken down under the mountain. He does not know why, but Harlon senses a great swell of arcane energy from beneath them - a ritual of immense power is being worked somewhere below and that can't be good.
The party descend deep into the earth, where the mine gives way to an ancient ruin covered in pictographs of two intertwined beings surrounded by 27 human figures. Descending further the party find a set of golden gates guarded by a very impressive looking sword floating above its dead owner, who looks to have killed by sorcery. The sword seems unwilling to allow them to pass until Vincent calls upon the power of the Tender to restore its owner to life. He arises, clearly recognizable to Harlon as a primal, and takes up his blade. He tells the party a great evil passed this way and that the first garden must be protected. He leads them through the golden gates.
Beyond the party find a crystalline garden of immense beauty in the center of which is an every shifting object that radiates power. Impossible to describe it endlessly reforms and merges with itself. It feels very important. Unfortunately, chained to it is Jarred's creation and working a great ritual to merge the two together is a corpse being puppetted by the malevolent ruler of the Magisterium.
It mocks the party and thanks Jarred for the use of his marvelous creation. Its smugness is misplaced however as Harlon begins to unravel its spells and Alastair beings to tear its vessel apart. As the meat puppet crumples Harlon shatters the great ritual. The strange crystal garden is saved but the thing of darkness is unleashed, drawing in vast of amounts arcane power that permeates the area.
As the party attempt to fend it off Jarred realizes that there is nothing they can do to destroy this thing, for it is destruction itself and he cannot solve the riddle of its creation. Things look bad as darkness and annihilating energies roar around the party. With the way out blocked and in desperation Harlon attempts to step inside the strange snow globe and the party find themselves falling into soft warm light.
Somewhat unnervingly they find themselves in a cozy caravan with dinner being served by the elderly man they met on the road. He seems to have a variety of odd companions from various periods of history and is frustratingly vague about who the hell he is. Still he tells the party they are safe here and that he can take them where they need to go. He suggests to Jarred that he needs the other half of the solution to the Sundarshava's riddle if he is to stop it.
The moment they step out of the caravan, which promptly vanishes, they find themselves in the labyrinth of Valknut. On the plus side the Unmaker is to be found here, on the downside its full of unending horror.
After encountering a small cat with a ability to flay the minds of men the party happen upon a helpful skull, calling itself Dammerung, that offers to guide them. Somewhat suspiciously the party accept its aid, despite Harlon remembering that Dammerung was a necromancer-King of dark and terrible power back in the day.
Guided by the skull the party come at last to the ruins of the city of Tesseract, at the heart of which sits the great forge of Chedravartin the Unmaker. The party find the Dragonborn working the forge. It senses Jarred's approach through whatever connection they share. It denounces Jarred for stealing its soul and mocks him for unleashing the Sundarshava telling him it will destroy all that he loves. As tempers flare the Unmaker reveals another of its monstrous creations, a great hydra of hate, its serpentine necks topped with the torsos of the adventurers who first stole its soul. In fury the Unmaker attacks the party but eventually is cut down, though not before most of the ancient city is destroyed in a cataclysm unleashed by Alastair.
As Jarred attempts to kill the creature he finds that every mortal blow he delivers withers his own body, until he alchemically dissolves the creature and consumes it, completing the unification of their bodies and soul. In doing so he becomes something new, a combination of Jarred and the Unmaker, neither human or Dragonborn. With the two minds made one he now understands the secret to solving the puzzle at the heart of the Sundarshava and completing the forging he originally intended.
With Dammerung's help (who cheeses it at the first chance of gaining access to the world) the party return to the world high in the Bluepeaks. In the distance they see the great pillar of darkness containing the Sundarshava moving toward Acryn. Commandeering the vacated Magisterium Sky Fortress the party chase down the monstrosity but not before Vincent saves the forces of Acryn from destruction by averting their hopeless charge against it.
Deep within the disintegrating maelstrom the party confront the impossible horror that is the Sundarshava. As Alastair smashes through the Titan, Jarred forces his way through to the puzzle box at its heart. Though his body turns to dust as he does so, he reconfigures the puzzle, redirecting and reforming the energies contained within it until, with an implosion of time and space, the engine of destruction tears itself asunder, reformed into the 'Seed of the Afterlife'.
As the darkness clears the remainder of the party find Jarred gone, his greatest creation floating gently in the air. They reverently convey it back to Acryn.
After explaining what exactly happened to the authorities the party are thanked for their efforts. The seed of the afterlife is deposited with Eric Luckner but not before Harlon ventures within and discusses with Jared, who he finds beginning to forge the new realm he has created, what he wants to happen. He leaves knowing that Jarred intends his creation to be the start of a great work to shield the dead from the dragons. It is just a start but like any seed it will grow with care.
Gets 7 mana crystals in payment from the Southern Isles as a gesture of friendship.
Bound forever within the seed of the afterlife as the first soul protected by it and its 'caretaker'. He can be considered nigh-omnipotent within it. As a masterpiece forged in legend the seed will through force of destiny serve the goal that Jarred designed it for, though it may take time and help from others.
Having astrally projected into the rite of unification itself finds himself feeling a strangely fulfilling unity with all creation and with a body composed of melded fragments of the world. If he spends a skill point he can master his new inner peace with the epic skill 'One with the World'. His soul is still burning away but his new perspective on the world is remarkably soothing.
The floating silver orb is returned to him by a servant of Dammerung, though he politely declines an alliance with the probably-very-evil-undead-wizard. The orb acts as a handy cloak hook. With practice it can also be directed at a target at incredible speed with a mere thought allowing it to call a ranged double strikedown once an encounter.
Once per encounter you may unite yourself with the world around you, completely discorporating. When you chose to manifest once more as an individual being you do so refreshed and revitalised. Mechanically you may call a disappearing and then an appearing at your leisure, taking a heal 5 when you reappear.
Additionally, once per adventure you may unite yourself briefly but more completely with a single inanimate aspect of the world. This can include many things such as water, the dawn, music, rainbows etc. (though it has to be summarised in a single noun). The precise effect this has is situationally variable but you can briefly be considered to act as one with the bit of reality you have unified with in your immediate vicinity. The effect lasts till the end of encounter and the experience leaves you Weakened for the next encounter.
A Mastercrafted shield forged by the Unmaker. It has all the properties of a Mastercrafted shield plus 1 resist shatter per encounter, such is the perfection of its creation that it once per adventure allows the wielder to call resist for five seconds to all calls directed against them (that don't require GM adjudication).
With Harlon's help the magics wrapped around his mind are undone and the memories he thought lost are returned.
A scroll containing a sword in a stone. The sword does not seem to be removable from the stone.
Can take the Brain surgeon epic tree for cerebral tinkering during the adventure.
His parents were indeed the Duke and Duchess Cargan, among the last of the family to leave Margush before the family decamped entirely to Thys.
Vincent's uncle, Gaspar Cargan, was a particularly hardened royalist but was tempered by his brother's inclination for patience. This relationship didn't end well and the uncle along with a young Faria Carver poisoned the parents (Vincent remembers overhearing them in the castle gardens while climbing a tower) and became steward of the young Duke, Vincent's elder brother.
His uncle and Faria seemed convinced by an old Cargan prophecy that said that one day the Leader would return to Acryn as the final and greatest Salic King. Faria attempted to force the prophecy with a ritual to bring an avatar of the leader into human form. Vincent was selected as younger and more malleable (not to mention expendable should the ritual go awry), but his brother threatened suicide to protect him and Faria's hand was forced into using the elder brother in the ritual as Vincent watched on.
He remembers the ritual and Faria's voice shouting prayers to the leader, at the last minute however shadowy figures appeared from nowhere and a fight broke out. His brother was shot with a crossbow during the fight, though its unclear where the bolt came from in the confusion.
As the fighting raged his brother grabbed his sister and Vincent and fled with them. He was able to carry them to an orphanage at the edge of Acryn and deposit them safely there. The last he saw of his brother was him running off to make another trail to follow, ensuring his brother and sister's safety. The orphanage was run by an old friend of the family who in an effort to conceal the twins from the various people who came looking for them paid a local witch to conceal their memories. Vincent recalls that the intention was that the mind-wipe would be lifted when he came of age. He can only assume, given the location of the orphanage was lost, that the upheaval prevented this happening.
Gaspar Cargan currently sits on the council as one of the Cargan members and is the de facto head of House Cargan.
Studies the thing in the first garden and comes to understand that it probably is the rite of Unification itself, in as much as a mortal mind can comprehend an aspect of reality. It seems clear that this was the spot where two dragons unified with each other and in so doing created the first Primals. His new understanding grants him access to the lost rite of unification.
A sword forged by the Unmaker. Its Mastercrafted, has one resist shatter an encounter, and three times per adventure the wielder can append the mass call to its damage call.