The Early Days:
The party found a small tower southwest of Gotham in the woods. There they encountered many dead humans. Infernal writing on the walls depicting a humanoid with leathery wings and the words “He Will Save Us” in blood. Heading up the tower lead to an encounter with a dretch and, later, an imp. In the basement was a permanent gate to what looked like hell. Destroying the glass spheres at the base of the gate closed it.
Also around this time, Lord Frederico was discovered to be “stealing” the homeless and teleporting them somewhere. The party befriended a professor at the mage tower, Master Nailo, to aid in their investigation. He discovered that they were being taken to somewhere east of the city of Aikatia in Veros. Upon Frederico’s death, his dagger was revealed to show the symbol of the Vashta Na’rada. Shortly after, Master Nailo seemed to have disappeared. With the help of another mage of the tower, he was found in a secret basement Master Nailo had under his house, assassinated. In the basement of Frederico’s house was a setup similar to the gate-room in the tower. On the ground floor his parents were found dessicated, with the life apparently sucked out of them.
There was also the matter of orc patrols and the large orc camp south of town. After the Gotham’s strike force was slaughtered, the party sought the King’s help to send more troops. The orcs did have an item that supposedly could burn stone. With the town’s forces thin (and the xenophobic King not wanting non-humans in the guard) the party asked for volunteers among the various races. This force, suffering a total of 6 casualties, destroyed the entire orc camp.
One night, a very bright star appeared and started streaking across the sky, only to end with a brilliant explosion. This sent shards of a white crystal to most places on the northern continent, primarily Khatovar and Veros. Besides the destruction this caused to the land and buildings, there was something odd going on. If one tried to grab/touch these crystals, it would absorb into that person, leaving no evidence behind. Those that had this happen suddenly gained access to a wide range of powers that operated even when magic could not. As it turns out, each shard contained a piece of the Dominator’s soul, and these powers came from him. After gaining enough pieces, or using the power too freely, part of the Dominator would assert itself and influence actions (towards recombining himself) or even take complete control of the being.
A group of kobolds in a swamp on the far edge of the forest to the west were worshipping a young black dragon that had also gained some powers from the Dominator. After several encounters the threat, and kobolds, were removed. Though, there was a small bit of evidence that could indicate one kobold escaped this rout.
Enter Joktar, a master (or at least user) of this new power, but naturally. Sent from some order with the intent and means to disperse the Dominator’s soul to oblivion. After he removed the traces of the Dominator from Yasel, Roscoe and Ellywick, it became apparent that some residual abilities remained.
A few encounters north of Gotham at some ruined castle led to fights with Azers, wererats, vampire spawn, and eventually some elementals with the mage that summoned them.
There was also plenty of talk of (chromatic) dragons seen on the move, both north and south of Gotham.
East the party traveled! To Veros in search of what was happening to the people being abducted. At a town on the border, they learned of a tower with a mad mage who did his best to leave no survivors among those that encountered him.
Tegas! The city of magic! The city of splendor! The city south of a building being used by “the dominator” (or at least the being most controlled by him). Inside this building are food reserves that automatically replenish, and extensive library (mostly history), and a room with statues that appear to indicate each of the Taken. The statue’s eyes would glow if that particular one had escaped being imprisoned. At the end of this room was a throne that drew the attention of the Dominator when Yasel sat down when there were bits of his soul in her. This is the site where Ranna, the Dominator, and the Faceless Man had their encounter leaving the Faceless Man destroyed, Ranna trapped on the same plane that the Taken were interred on, and the Dominator still at large.
But that wasn’t all of this building. There were several rooms accessible only by demolition or teleport. The third floor had maps and book indicating a few relics of power belonging to the Dominator, scattered throughout the world. The second floor had a room with several bodies, alive but suspended, in coffins, as well as a teleport pad.
The party learned of a fortress high up in the mountains that separated Khatovar, Veros, and Orzhova and more talk of dragons on the move.
As Kodomo entered the group (from the same order as Joktar), the first information was gleaned from the Dominator’s book written in a very strange language.
During a time when the others were training, Joktar and Kodomo decided to investigate the mountain fortress on their own. Over the course of several days, they had many encounters. Strange humanoids with hints at a demonic heritage were the residents, and they did not want visitors. They gave up when they were permanently blinded. In return for being cured, they investigated a castle north of the Dominator’s, in which a creature had several shards within him. This turned out to be the kobold that escaped the rout at the black dragon’s cave west of Gotham. Turns out he was being visited by a member of the Vashta Na’rada, someone that was encountered several times over a few months. The kobold also had some documents indicating that someone had been studying the Queen of Elm’ril.