This meeting was truncated by almost an hour and a half as we had all gotten together before hand and talked about the player who ran Detheron and his personal problems. So there wasn't as much play as we would have expected.
What did come up though was the first hand view of the destoryed wreckage the party had left behind in their actions and some of the group has an idea that this "snafu" would in turn become a larger impact and defining monet as the game progresses.
We shall see...
Write up follows:
Brother Beren sat with Baronet Wodenlach, telling the pirate lord about the evils he had recently been party to and privy of in Broken Hills, affecting to his lordship the dire straits the town was in. Wodenlach took the priest at his word and agreed that if there was some reality to what he was being told, he would send an immediate response. He sent for his seer, a myopic white haired hag who had the gift of sight. The witch corroborated some of Beren’s story but also grew worried and upset over her gleaning of Orcus’ Book of Infinite Spells. She told Wodenlach of its malevolence and suggested VERY strongly that if the book was indeed there that Brother Beren do what he could to bring it back. Beren agreed.
The seer also told Beren of the gypsy Zoltan lost in the swamp and that he should try and rescue the bard/thief who needed his help. A hulking half-ogre named Gustav was introduced and Wodenlach parceled out the humongous fighter to Beren, telling his to bring back Zoltan if able to.
The two of them left and tramped about the swamp, following the witch’s clues until they found Zoltan and then brought him home once more to Eider. Zoltan spent some time talking to Wodenlach while the party of rescuers was brought together – 25 mercenaries of variable skill outfitted on 3 battle wagons pulled by 4 horse teams each. They left in the full of the dark and raced off to help Broken Hills.
Meanwhile after less than an hour of walking, the 3 guards bid Soren, Gwyn, and Norris farewells and head off towards Dilabria, trekking overland. The 3 members of the party still together stumble in the dark road for a while, meeting other refugees who had gone ahead of them. At a fire with a family of 5 they ask to share the warmth and pool what resources they have together. Norris wearily cooks up some simple travelling stew and others come out of the darkness to join the trio also sharing their food, blankets, and stories.
The next day meets them all waking up and staggering onward again. The wounded are ploddingly slow, making barely 8 or 9 miles a day. The group has now grown to over 30 and other refugees are adding to the ranks in ones and twos. Norris seems to be improving and the few spells the party gets each day they share amongst one another. Night falls after almost 90 degree heat and the evening breeze is muggy at best.
At this point the 3 battle wagons caravanning towards Broken Hills had been passing fleeing citizenry from Broken Hills, getting a picture from those they pass in snippets of horror filled telling. Beren and Gustav listen on and go over in their heads what lies ahead of them and what their needs will be. According to the captain, the caravans should be at Broken Hills tomorrow evening.
The next day the battlewagons come upon a large knot of refugees – over 40 of them. And in the mess they see Soren, Gwyn, and Norris. Heartfelt cries of welcome and what happened are shared and then Beren tells about his mission to go to Broken Hills and try to reclaim the Orcus Book. The captain wants to ride on but Soren and the other 2 do NOT want to go back to Broken Hills. Angry voices are raised and the captain flat out said – if you want to stay, fine. Stay. But we are riding on and doing it now. They are 6 hours at top speed from Broken Hills and Soren, Gwyn, and Norris get on the wagons and head back.
The party converses over the folly of this and the 3 friends explain to the priest and half-ogre what it is they saw and lived through at the mining town. At late lunch when the horses are being rested the party talks to the captain and explains in detail what is going on and what they’ll most likely see. Plans are talked about and we settle on arriving at the city tonight at 5 PM about 2-3 hours before dusk – a time when the shadows will be most active. We will go to Cornblood Keep and see if Sverek Falconhand is there and if so, what aid the mercenaries can offer. If not or he is dead, the caravan will NOT attempt heroics and instead turn back and ride away.
The 2nd thing will be to go to Murderer’s Hole and have Norris levitate down to the bottom to see if he could find the book. The same book that the party felt more and more that Bron had actually read from (but neglected to mention) and added to the woes that befell Broken Hills.
We arrived at 5 and for some time just looked at the destroyed city with open mouths and glazed eyes. Skeletal remains of homes, mud slides, fire scorched earth, thin haze of smoke rising, and the strange feeling of evil lurking about. Brother Beren calls on Tyr and makes a 10 count of the party invisible to undead – telling us that it will last almost an hour as well as the fact that if we DO encounter any undead, not to engage them as it will break the enchantment.
We then, ten of us, walk through the dead streets towards the heart of the city. We see dead, so many dead, littering the cobbles and alleys. Few buildings still stand and those that do we can hear strange movement within. There is no thought of being heroic here – only finding what we need to know and then leave.
Cornblood Keep is destroyed. The outer bailey wall is still 2/3rds standing but the barbican and gate house is a mass of rubble. The main keep within suffered the dual assaults of the dragon’s fury and the roaring fire and it is obvious that no one there still lives. Nothing lives. A few ghouls wander about, sniffing the air hungrily, their appearance still disturbingly human and normal given that they had only been turned a few days ago. We leave.
On the outskirts of town Brother Beren renews his invisibility spell to undead on the group and Norris fires up his boots, floating down Murderer’s Hole – taking almost 10 minutes to make it to the bottom. The ruins of the elevator are here as well as whatever flotsam collected at the chasm’s base. He can see both Hagni and Bor’s twisted and broken forms on the pile of wreckage – but no book.
Norris uses his wand of detecting magic and spots a glow coming from under the pile. With his bare hands he begins removing garbage and broken timbers, trying to get to the glowing item. As he was digging he made enough noise and an owlbear lumbered out of the dark. The bard levitated up just outside the beast’s reach, the angered ursine “Haaaaroooo-ing” below him. He then took out his flask of contact poison and dumped a small measure out – so the virulent caustic would strike the owlbear.
Who howled in pain and ran away, back into the darkness.
Alone again he sifted through the garbage until he found no book, but an iron cup of some sort. Pocketing it, he nodded his head at the two dead and levitated straight up – total time in the pit, almost 40 minutes.
We left Broken Hills, rejoined the caravan and rode away from town to camp far away in the wilderness. There was nothing we could do and the evil and destruction of Broken Hills was seemingly complete. The party and mercenaries would be heading back to Eider to tell Wodenlach what happened.
It was 2 days later that we arrived at Eider and saw more horrors here. A red dragon (guess which?) attacked the town almost 4 days ago. It burned the nobles district, stole the stone Olthar statue from Wodenlach’s garden, landed near South Court and flattened the party’s house and then flew off. The Baronet was badly hurt and was currently staying off the mainland at Blackshadow Manor. The group went there where they were met by Rigil Blackshadow, a host of his thieves, and Baronet Wodenlach who was nursing a broken leg and a host of bruises.
There were many angry words and the Baronet was pretty short with the group as they had caused part of this problem as well as failed to warn him of the dragon and its personal grudge with the group. It was decided that they would leave town as their presence was a possible liability and the fact that their home had been destroyed. Where they went didn’t matter, but the Pirate Lord was quite done with the Sundered Chains.
As for what they should do, the group thought about the new charter they had – signed by Sverek Falconhand and quite legal – just blank regarding their names as well as the party’s name. The party was going to go to Cymbarton by way of Dry River, stop at the adventurer’s guild there, and register but using most likely new names. And that’s where we left it – the group once again leaving a town behind them.