This site is an online accumulation of the Post Reports for my current ongoing D&D Campaign - for anyone who might be interested in reading them.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Meet 153, Adv 13, 12/17/11

Fengarth's Tower. Even the name itself causes my group to shudder and drool. It is the defacto place that the group has had 4 partial adventures in so far to date. They have found items, run screaming, and returned time and again to this long abandoned mage's tower on the far end of the borderlands. They haven't plumbed even a fifth of the possibilities of the place and in reality have faced - TWO monsters there. Two. T'Nagrath the Forest Troll, and a tired mimic hiding in one of the bedrooms. There was a wraith/tiger but that was not a fight - only one of the party members getting the short end of the "being an ass stick".

So they went off, this time to get a copy of a spellbook they were assured was here on the 6th floor. Our party mage was suffering without and we were also hoping to bolster his skills. However it was upon arrival at the tower that the group became fearful of EVERYTHING. The wet floor, bone fragments, broken glass. There wasn't a single thing that didn't raise their hackles and make them second and triple guess their decisions.

I look forward to having them continue to mentally fuck themselves over during the tower crawl. :)

Write up follows:

On the last day in Cymbarton, Thurin organized a meeting with interested parties to swap and trade scrolls in order to further streamline his spell book. Trading got hot and heavy between him and 8 other mages but in the end, he did walk away with a series of spells he’d rather have and some names for future contacts. In addition, Draugmor also sought to trade out his own scroll of enchant and item – hoping to get something thief oriented if at all possible. At the 11th hour he did get a buyer willing to trade a set of enchanted elven chainmail for the scroll and the king’s thief took the deal.

Then it was the long trip back to Orihalcus where Thurin then spent the next serious length of time rewriting his spellbook from the spells in his memory as well as the new scrolls he acquired. Then he spent time making a copy of the maker’s potion book and sold it to One-eared Quint in Orihalcus, the journeyman apothecist thrilled to have such a tome at his availability.

Mebali and Guyus completed their training, Aleron completed the repairs on our paladin’s sword “Eagletalon”, and then it was time to discuss what our next move was. The month was drifting to an end, already the third week of Spiritmonth. The snows hadn’t come yet, but we did a few days of freezing rain and heavy frost in the early hours. We debated for a while and settled on going back to Fengarth’s tower and see about getting to the library room on the 6th floor and get a copy of Magrath’s spellbook if we could.

It was a cold 40 degrees on Spiritmonth the 23rd when we set out, arriving at the tower about 10:30. The tower stood as both Detheron and Gwyn remembered it with the single exception being the hole that had been blasted in the wall was now an obvious repaired section of stone. Mebali bound and hobbled the horses and we gave the structure a once over. There was a fetid stink there now that we did not recognize and it made the group cautious. Draugmor took point and checked out the place carefully before daring to enter.

The main room was wet and moldy, and there were hundreds of bone shards and splinters in the soiled carpets. He did look around, noting the long ago fires and obvious sacking of the place. Sure that the main floor was empty, he invited the rest of the group in and we followed with weapons out. The party had no desire to go to the lower level and wanted this excursion to take them to the 6th floor and out only. We approached the stairs.

Draugmor took point with Guyus right behind. The paladin was getting a slight headache from the constant “detecting of evil” he was doing, but his Odin blessed senses had to the point revealed nothing yet. On the landing for the 2nd floor there were two doors. Listening to them, the eastern door was heard some strange hissing and faint popping sounds while the south was nothing. We opted to go south.

The door had showed some battering in the past; the bottom hinge not actually attached the frame. Guyus lifted the door bodily off the floor and carried it on pivot into the chamber. Splinters and ruined furnishings were scattered in the corner but it was the sheen of crushed glass that dominated over 70% of the floor that gave the party pause. What was it, where did it come from? We thought about it and decided to leave it alone. There was another door in here and he checked it out before opening.

It revealed a circular hall that followed the central stairs of the tower, with 4 possible doors along the outer wall. Listening to each revealed nothing except the last door where we did catch the same hissing and popping sound we had heard earlier. We decided to open each door one at a time. The first one showed a smaller chamber with a pallet, a bureau, and a short table with a clay basin and pitcher. It was after the door was opened that the single taper on top of the bureau hissed and smoked and then lit – a taper of small flame burning with a fitting and hissing pop now and again. We gave the room a quick look, the bureau drawers were filled with old beddings and little else. What about the candle? Did it stay lit? Guyus offered to stay in the room and the door was shut.

Upon closing the candle stayed alight for a few seconds and then guttered out. And when it did the chamber was not only dark, but also the temperature dropped a fast 10 degrees to around 35. A rime of frost covered the paladin’s armor and then the chamber door was reopened. The candle relit and the room warmed back up. The group was happy to see Guyus was unharmed and we went to the next chamber.

This was like the last, except the candle on the bureau did not light and the bureau was the type with two doors and a single drawer. Our lantern was taken out and the lodestone with the continual light spell was set within. Draugmor and Guyus went to the bureau and together manhandled the stuck doors opened. And there was a blast of foul smelling spores coming out. The cloud hit the two party members and Draugmor was struck hard. The paladin pulled him out to the hall and he was cleaned quickly with water. Blood was coming from his nose, eyes, and ears and his breathing was shallow and labored. Detheron cast cure disease on him and the yellow mold spores were dispatched quickly.

After a few minutes he was feeling much better and Guyus gave the room a last once over – confident there was nothing of value in the bureau (the spore not affecting him). We then went to the third door. In this one was a skeleton on the bed, his head facing the wrong way – looking at the party. We gave it a wide berth and Draugmor looked at the bureau – finding nothing. The skeleton’s skull did turn slowly on its neck bone – it could be from vibrations in the room. Maybe. We decided not to stick around and left.

This left the last door – which opened to the game room. Cabinets with puzzles, games, boards, you name it were here, half a dozen table and a dozen small stools – over 8 of the candles were in here hissing and burning. We spent twenty minutes looking the chamber over – hoping to find what Detheron and Gwyn called Magrath’s charm – a shaft of black crystal about 5” long, wrapped with a silver wire on a chain of some sort – would need it to get to the library level. The charm was destroyed with Coruth’tae almost 7 months ago and we hoped that its destruction would cause the tower to either call it back – or have another one available.

Not finding one here we decided to go up to the next floor. Third landing – two doors. We opted for south once more and with a careful push, Draugmor revealed the chamber to be the tower kitchen. Two long counters with cabinets below were on the left and a big stove was on the right. There was a larder beyond in which were bags of potatoes, onions, and other greengrocer items. Where did it come from? We did not know. While we were looking about the stove made a slow groaning noise and then lit – the coal box burning to life and the temperature in the kitchen climbed ten degrees. Norris wanted the stove but we had no idea how we would go about getting or taking such an item.

The thief then went to the cabinets and after confirming they were not locked began opening them from right to left, cognizant of potential yellow mold again. As he was opening them, they did squeak, and we also heard a giggle. Hmm. Moving slower he went to open the next when a cleaver from the counter took flight and almost killed him before burying itself in the wall. What the hell? Guyus took all the cutlery we could find as well as the chairs and moved them into the larder. Then he held his shield up while Draugmor finished his searching.

He founds pots and bowls and assorted other bits of broken kitchenware meanwhile the “whatever” then hurled the stove’s firebox across the chamber, Guyus’ blocking most of the hot coals with his shield and only getting slightly burned. Then the paladin called to Odin and attempted to “turn” whatever poltergeist was here – and it seemed to work.

It was in the last cabinet that Draugmor found a black crystal with a silver wire wrapped around it – and we were satisfied that we had uncovered the Magrath talisman. It was now 12:15 and we were talking about going right for the 6th level or making sure all the chambers between here and there were cleared when we ended it for the night.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meet 152, Adv 13, 12/10/11

Buy, buy, buy. The party pretty much had to resupply everything for some 75% of the party - and we were talking big ticket items. Platemail, spellbooks, soup to nuts.

And I still feel dirty when we just run down the list and the group says "yes, give me 3" or "next." Certainly miss roleplaying out the shopping trips - but not with 7 players around the table.

Write up follows:

We spent the next three hours putting the long unused home back in order. Supplies were purchased for the larder, windows opened, dust cleaned out. The outhouse was in poor shape and we noticed our shovels once there were long gone. We went next door to ask to borrow a pair of them and the angry dwarf there told us to piss off which infuriated Detheron. So we tried the other neighbor, a rather slovenly 350 lb half-orcish woman named Grunhilda along with her one son, was completely helpful, appearing actually sweet on Detheron and Guyus. She lent us the shovels and offered to come back later to pick them up and bring some cookies.

After the place was cleaned and Norris had whipped up a stew in the enchanted cauldron, we shared storied with Grunhilda along with her shortbread cookies, learning that she had left her husband (a brutish figure we were told) and was working at the Copperworks as a refuse collector, sweeping up the dung from the sturdy mules and ponies that drove the bellows and other machinery. She was honest and funny and when she left we felt better about her as a neighbor.

When it was getting time to sleep though we noted that the mattresses were infested with lice and ticks. So Detheron called upon Frey to help him to repel vermin, then he walked the entirety of the house, forcing the hundreds, even thousands, of bugs and lice outside. And then in a fit of pettiness, he forced the swarm of lice at and then into the house of the angry dwarf that lived next door until the last of them had sieved their way through the slats and holes and disappeared into the house.

The next day Guyus and Mebali went with Gwyn to see Sir Walter and learn about possible training here in Orihalcus as well as places to have it done. The long unused Guildhalls were in use now and we were happy to be a part of the growing maturation of our first home. We paid the fees as necessary, getting a break on Mebali since Gwyn would be handling part of the Wheelwright’s training in the fighting arts. As for the rest of the party they had planned a major trip to Cymbarton and was hoping to leave the next day or so. An aviary was sent there as well as to Eider on behalf of Norris to Guildmaster Rigil Blackshadow explaining what had happened to him. Aleron had rented some time at the local forge and was able to do some work on Guyus’ sword, Eagletalon, fixing some of the damage that the sword had suffered through to date.

During dinner that night (stew again) Detheron and Thurin talked long about the mage’s actions during the rescue as it was explained to the leader by the paladin. They went back and forth for some time and Thurin eventually made noises that he understood Detheron’s points and would make some changes should those situations came up again. Mollified, the party leader accepted the mage’s words and the two of them returned to dinner.

On the next day, the 20th, Aleron’s skill with the forge was lacking as he not only failed to make any further headway with Eagletalon, but actually reversed part of his efforts from the prior day due to his assistant’s inattentiveness. The party was putting together their plans for the trip the next day and made arrangements at the stablery to rent a wagon and have two of their steeds readied as well. Everyone slept, after eating more of Norris’s stew (the group getting a bit tired of stew by this time).

The next day was windy, terribly windy, steady wind speeds over 25 mph and gusts as high as 50. The group still mustered out, bidding farewell to Gwyn, Aleron, and Guyus. However, less than an hour outside of town with the wagon blowing all over the road and a mishap with a busted trace and one of the horses hurting it’s leg, Detheron turned the wagon around and headed back to Orihalcus, hoping to go the following day if the weather improved.

During the evening, the angry dwarf from next door came over to complain to Detheron that he might have given him the evil eye since the party had come back his house had been under the cruel effects of bedbugs, lice, and ticks. Detheron did his best to calm the dwarf down and offered to help clean up the lice (since it was his own fault) for a price. The dwarf and he settled on a jack of homemade beer and 4 crowns. The dwarf’s home was cleansed and the two of them settled up better with one another.

The next morn was much better and the party set off, eventually arriving in Cymbarton during the afternoon of the 27th. According to Count Cedric Sedaris, we were still under watch since our problems before, but would be allowed to spend 3 days in town to take care of business and then would have to leave.

During the day there Draugmore had gone to Count Cedric and formally reported to the nobleman what was going on and what was to continue. Meanwhile Aleron Greystone had gone to his family holdings and met with his uncle Rorick and explained what had befallen him. He was given two horses to replace the steed he had lost as well as a family gift of 250 crowns. As for patents of mobility, he was instead given a signet ring of the Greystone family and told to take better care of himself in the future. And finally Norris had gone to the seer and the adventuring guild where he learned that the body he was now in belonged to a bard known as Santiri Radcliffe.

From here it was visiting one location after another buying armor, getting it sized, weaponry, equipment, spell components, scroll making and bookmaking supplies, and just about everything else the party needed to reoutfit itself before coming to the end of our time in the county capital and expecting to return to Orihalcus.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Meet 151, Adv 12, 12/3/11

That's it, adventure 12 is over and in the can. This centered around our wrapping up the situation in Flatrock and the "how or can we ever raise Norris from the dead" issue. The player of our growing and maturing bard had been on a holding pattern for some time since he did not know IF he was playing his character again or IF we could possibly raise him from the dead. He actually had another character planned and partially rolled out when the logistics of it came together and we were able to get Norris brought back.

I have had a love/hate relationship with dead characters coming back to life over time and to this day don't know if I will ever sit comfortably with "yes they come back" or "no, they are dead - move on".

Point of note - travel time from the start of the night to the end of the night was 12 days travel in game. Sucks not having cars, planes, or teleportation spells.

Write up follows:

The party discussed options, settling on the fact that Norris was our prime responsibility. Leaving him as a bound up undead figure was not an option and we had learned from Ludwig before his passing that through a speak with dead, Norris had interest in coming back to the world of the living. What to do? We had mostly no money, as well as little gear (or clothes). Gwyn and Guyus went with Thurin to acquire some clothes and then went to speak to Sir Bork directly.

They exchanged some information back and forth but ultimately Gwyn did ask the nobleman if he could lend the group what funds were needed to raise Norris as we did have such resources but they were currently in Orihalcus. Sir Bork did offer to help but we did not know what the costs would be. As for who could help, there was a Deathspeaker, a Priest of Hel, named Ladrius that had recently come to town and was working currently in the cemetery. He directed us to talk to her and then find out what we would need and if he could help, he would do so.

We went to the cemetery, met with the Deathspeaker, explained our situation (she was not the nicest person) and escorted her back to the Sundered Chains Hotel on Dog Street where she could examine Norris’s undead body. We learned swiftly that in his current condition he was not able to be raised. Too many broken bones, too much of his internal organs were either destroyed or unusable. If we were able to raise him, he would die almost immediately. What were our options? We could magic jar his spirit from the current body into another one – but it would have to be a body that was pretty much an empty husk.

We went with her back to the cemetery where we had learned that Karis had come back to town two days ago and dropped off three bodies. One was missing a right arm, one was the victim of burns (most likely the will o the wisp) and the last had some cold damage. We assumed the last was a victim of wraiths. It was this one the Deathspeaker Ladrius said would be the proper receptacle for Norris. It was going to be a three person ritual, and would require a chalice the facilitate the transference – costing about 2500 crowns.

We went back to Sir Bork and Gwyn asked him for a loan. The nobleman really thought about it and agreed with the following deal. It would be a letter of credit to be drawn with Lord Vergadain in Dragonhole (where the ritual would take place) and would be due in 3 months at a repayment of 2,750 crowns. We agreed.

The next day we travelled first to Dilabria where Gwyn and Detheron stayed and then on the rest of the way to Dragon Hole. We presented the letter to Lord Vergadain Exchequer who verified the amount and seals and presented us with 250 platinum bars. We then went to the Order of Grey Maiden where Ladrius and her two sisters performed the ritual on Norris, bringing his soul from his shattered undead body into the new (human) form. As for his broken body, it was left with the Order who was going to harvest it for reagents for further potential necromantic rituals and experimentation.

From there we traveled back to Dilabria and on Earthmonth the 12th at 8 AM we began the long ride back through numerous towns towards Orihalcus, the place we wanted to use as our home. On the way we stopped at Cymbarton where Gwyn withdrew enough funds to cover the loan we took out from Sir Bork as well as gold to pay a courier and insure the delivery of the letter of credit back up to Flatrock. We continued our trek until eventually coming around the last bend of the western reaches of the Dusty Mountains and arrived at Orihalcus.

We left our tired steeds at the stablery and went to Sheriff Kalarig. He gave us a copy of the key to our home where we went in and opened the shutters, letting fresh air in. We would need to stock the larder and pantry, look into getting some help, and eventually go and see Sir Walter Slaine. But for now we were happy to lower our packs, kick off our shoes, and take stock of the numerous items we had still left here during our many forays out of town. As we sat, the last 12 days of hard travel fading from us, we decided that a short rest wouldn’t hurt first before doing anything else.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Meet 150, Adv 12, 11/12/11

Unofficially, this was the last meeting of adventure 12 - but I won't put a line through it until the next day or two of bookkeeping is finished.

This was another meeting of overland travel and as I've been doing lately, I dropped the DM screen and was rolling dice in the open. I also had the party roll for wandering monsters - just for the hell of it. I played them as they came up, including their reactions - the dice spoke. And I came across creatures I would once again normally never use. Giant goat, giant eagles, a rogue mountain lion, trio of trolls, even had a 13 count of ogres show up. Capped it off with a 2 person adventuring party looking to get a bounty on Karis that was attracted to our camp fire.

It was a nice change, think the group liked it. I'm going to continue to do that on a going forward.

Write up follows:

We made camp about 6:30 that evening, after riding as far away from the orcs as we dared in the growing dark. Our friends were in very bad condition, barely hanging on and cold. The main exception was Norris – our bard had died during the fight with the Lycos Suns and somehow the orcs had animated his body. The bard was undead, snapping out at anyone foolish enough to put their hands near his face. It was only the fact that most of his bones were already broken that had prevented him from actually being more of a threat. Guyus was very unsure – but decided with the group to bind up the bard and gag him until Detheron was once more awake and could tell us what to do next. We lit a fire, set up camp, wrapped them as much as possible, and looked them over. They were under some sort of drugged effect and according to Guyus, wouldn’t be out of it until tomorrow at the earliest.

It was then here that Dust Devil wanted to talk about the resolution of his part of the deal. Since there was no chance we had 6,500 crowns to pay of the drake, we had to go with the other possibility of the deal: two items of his choosing without discussion and he would allow us to have a discussion on the third.

He selected Thurin’s spellbook and Guyus’s Platemail.

The party (ie: Thurin) did all they could to discuss with the dragon a possible alternative, even going so far as to explain how if the dragon took Thurin’s spellbook, he would be powerless. The dragon listened and stood by his ground that a deal was a deal and we had made our choices. Thurin honestly did give thought to using his scroll of disintegrate on the dragon, but realized it was foolish and would not result in anything.

Guyus was worth. He had no desire to give up his armor, but as a paladin he allowed himself to be swayed into honoring his deal. He waited for the mage to give up his spellbook first before removing the ensorcelled platemail. As for the third item, the dragon really wanted a horse to eat. The group agreed and Guyus made sure that Dust Devil was given the horse that Thurin had been riding to date in a fit of peckishness.

The party slept in foul humor after the dragon had flown away, Thurin very nervous because the only spells he had now were the ones he had memorized. He needed to get to town, get access to a spellbook, and spend many days rescribing a book with whatever spells he had in memory.

We awoke the next day on the 4th and just before 9 were off. We made great time riding back south, coming near the orcish stronghold of 4 Tusk about 10. We strongly suspected that our friends’ missing gear was here, but assaulting the fortress would be foolhardy so we kept on. It was a 5 PM that we were attacked by a sudden assault of a hungry mountain lion. A few of us were mauled by the ferocious feline but we finished it off before it could escape. We took the beast with us and tended our wounded before continuing on.

It was closer to sunset that we came upon a dozen giant goats. Each one was almost 8’ tall at the shoulder, shaggy and great and huge. They were feeding on the tough grasses growing within one of the valleys. We gave the half ton beasts a wide berth and pressed on until the sun had long set and it was almost 8 PM when we rested. We had been scavenging for firewood during the ride (Thanks again to Korg) and it was shortly after that that we had a fire going.

From there we skinned the mountain lion, scraped its hide, and set most of the salvageable meat to smoke on wooden racks near the fire. The party slept and slept well. It was around 4 in the morning while our two elves, Thurin and Draugmor were on watch that a four count of Giant Owls landed, lured close from the camp fire. The owls spoke elvish and spoke briefly. They asked for the guts and innards from the mountain lion to eat and snapped up the viscera quickly. Then they offered to fly a couple of us to the nearest town before the sun rises and although we thought about, Thurin and Draugmor thanked the owls and declined. The 4 owls then flew off.

We all woke up, it being the 5th today, and were off riding shortly after 8 AM. We had only ridden a short time before we were noticed by a 13 count of ogres. Luck was with us as we approached the Ogre’s openly in friendship and they returned it. We talked about the 4 Tusk orcs to the north of us (the ogres were heading there for trade) and that the humanoids had come from a mesa known as Odin’s Plateau. They wanted to trade, eyeing our new mountain lion skin. We gave it to them and they in turn gave us some squeezing from a sack that held wyvern’s tails. Very nice! They left us in peace and we rode off relieved.

It was around 3 PM that our companions woke up. Detheron, Gwyn, Aleron, and Mebali (Norris of course was still “awake” and undead). They had been badly abused and told us what they had learned of their capture. They were going to be sold off as slaves to the Ogrelords to the northwest and eventually get to a place known as Ravensperch Demesne. Aleron was still deaf from the rocket blast and had to be explained things very slowly.

We rode onward, now getting closer to Rakewood Forest. But during the ride we attracted the attention of three trolls. The party drew up battle lines, a number of branches lit and a fire going. A few fire arrows were prepared and the group gathered their strength. As the trolls grew closer we shot the swarthy beasts with fire arrows until the brands ran out. Then Korg, Guyus, and Finta raced out to charge the trolls head on.

Blows were struck and torches were passed around as well as burning brands. Perrin shot continuously as the trolls but their regenerative powers kept them from falling over easily. It was when the first one fell that Thurin hit him with the brand again and again, keeping him ablaze. Guyus was getting struck, the loss of his armor working against him during the fight. Perrin’s quiver was running low as he shot each troll two or three times each minute. Finally the battle was done and the trolls vanquished.

Binding our wounds we remounted up and kept going. It was about 6:30 PM when we rested again. It looked like we would be back at Flatrock tomorrow. While we were resting, our campfire attracted two travelers. They came forth to us, a ranger and a mage. They were out riding to capture the bandit known as “Karis of Melbourne” and assumed they could do it on their own. We spoke with them for a while, explained the Red Clouds and Karis and what they were possibly like and their strengths and weaknesses. The two adventurers opted instead to head back to Cymbarton and do more studying and fact finding. We camped with them, sharing our history and story with them.

Aleron’s deafness was healed and the mage gave Thurin a few copies of extra scrolls she had to help him out. We rested and the next day, the 6th rode on towards Flatrock – arriving just after 12. We went to see Sir Bork, checked in and reported, were sent on our way, and the nobleman then spoke to his three men (Korg, Perrin, and Finta) and got their opinion of the party and their trustworthiness. They spoke of the group well but each had reservations about Thurin (in some cases it was outright hostility) and Sir Bork thanked them for their effort and candor and sent them on their way.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meet 149, Adv 12, 11/5/11

Overland travel is sometimes handwaved with groups and DM's, and I have been no exception in the past. It's hard to get all "adventured" up and excited when the miles are passing behind you. However there are also times when the adventure isn't at the end of the road, but ON the road itself. That's what I had in mind for the party's trip out to intercept and rescue their freinds. It's not just the miles away from home, but also the things the party sees and experiences that makes for a true adventure.

This meeting not so much, but the following one had a rich result of wandering monster checks and interesting meetings and experiences that the group seemed to enjoy the trek.

Write up follows:

We rode through the rain for a few hours until both Finta and Guyus had the party come to a stop. They conferred for a bit and then had to admit to the party that the inclement  weather had obscured the trail and for the last half hour, they had not been sure they were following the orc’s tracks any longer. We talked about our options and decided that we would press on, relying on what directions we’ve been riding in and hoping that we would catch up to some sign of our quarry in the near future.

It was just past 10:30 that we arrived at the rain line, a seemingly hard barrier between the druidic ensorcelled weather that had held for the last 2 days and the normal weather pattern beyond. We emerged on the other side of the veil, and took stock of our surroundings. It was on the next nearest rise that we alighted and using Perrin’s spyglass, took a good look around the countryside for any sign. It was to the north that we saw a faint smudge rising, sure sign of a fire in the near past. Meanwhile Korg was gathering what firewood we could now that it was dry.

We decided to ride towards the north where the smoke was seen arriving just before noon. Sure enough, it was the remains of a large encampment. Orcish. Gone now but according to Perrin, no more than 4 hours or so head start. We estimated around a hundred orcs, and there were carts/wagons, and drag marks. The party ate while Dust Devil kept us company. We discussed our options and decided that since the dragon was here, we should make a deal with him. There was talk and eventually it was settled on either 6500 crowns of treasure OR 3 items, with the dragon choosing the first two without discussion and the third being up for a possible deal. It wasn’t great, but we took the deal.

We relit the orcish fire and kept it burning bright while we stripped off our very wet gear and clothes and made some time to dry it out. It was by 2 PM that we broke camp and mounted up, riding off along the now obvious orc trail, our horses goaded to a cantor where able.

About 3:30 we came upon an orc with most of his right side stove in, his head mostly pulped. It had been stripped and left on the side of the road. We rode onward, approaching the high point of the hills we were in. It was just after 5:30 that we came upon an area where the orcish trail split. Half of it went north and half west. The northern trail continued with carts and wagons and now also had animal tracks as well. Which way? We assumed the northern trail with the wagons STILL had our friends and figured that would be best. But we only had an hour or so of daylight left. And what about the western orcs? Were they close?

Dust Devil went off the check, the drake returning with news that about a mile or so from here was a keep. Stout walls, four watch towers on neighboring hills, over 60 orcs guarding the visible areas. Neigh upon impregnable to say nothing of the many catapults and ballistas also in the area. Obviously the heart of the Four Tusk orcish clan and not to be approached. We decided to ride BACK the way we came for a half hour or so, putting more distance between us and the orcish fortress. And then we rode off even further in the hills until we were near no tracks. Camp was established.

Korg’s skill at foraging came in handy once more as the tough dwarf found a nest of prairie dogs and set about braining as many of the animals as he could. We had a good meal that night with Perrin making some connection with the drake by feeding him a choice number of the varmints. Watch was set and we had a tense and watchful night’s sleep.

We awoke on the 3rd; weather was cold today, maybe going to hit 50 tops. We broke our fast and studied for a bit. Thurin volunteered to polymorph to a sparrow and scout ahead to see if he could find any of the orc’s trails. It was once he was gone that the group learned that Dust Devil seemed to understand and speak Common. He did not like slaving in general and broke the Charm enchantment that was on both Finta and Korg. He then explained that any sort of enslavement was wrong and that the scales were just rebalanced. The party was surprised and opted NOT to tell Thurin when he came back of Dust Devil’s ability to understand Common.

We mounted up after the wizard returned, letting us know that the trail was steady northward and we should not tarry. Our horses were given their headway and we rode onward, long strides and steady hands. For hours we pressed on until the hills were behind us and we were riding through the wildlands and tall grasses of the Forsaken Lands. A wary eye on the horizon and a cautious gaze looking everywhere for danger we rode. The hours passed and we kept the horses fresh where we could, changing them often and relying on Guyus’ knowledge of their abilities to eek our every ounce of their speed.

And our gamble paid off.

At just before 5 on the horizon we caught a glimpse of our targets, over 3 miles from us and heavily laden wagons. We broke into a gallop and began to cut the distance. But it was going to be close; we needed something to slow them down more. We sent Dust Devil ahead with instructions and the drake flew up to a thousand feet in height and winged in the orcs direction, banking over, diving, and strafing the ground before them with a roaring goat of fire. They shot crossbow bolts at the dragon as it banked once more and flew back towards us.

We then saw them arrange their wagons in a circle and with crossbow bristling prepared themselves to receive our charge. The group rode to within 200’ feet where we stopped and treated with them (both sides waving white flags to parley). Finta rode out to talk, the presence of the drake enough to keep the unsteady peace.

We explained that we wanted our friends and the orcs were not going to give them up. No reason to. Could we fight? Sure but with over 30 orcs and only 6 of us, especially with the prisoners unable to defend themselves and possibly be slain outright we did not want a direct confrontation. Finta and the Orcish subaltern went back and forth until it was decided that if we agreed to fight their champion one on one they would release one of ours.

One of the Giant Orcs stepped out, axe at the ready. Finta looked up at the 14’ orc and called out for his champion to step forth. Korg was going to do it but Guyus told the dwarf to wait, he would. The paladin strode forward and then did battle with the giant orc. He swung mightily and ducked the whistling blade of the axe. His blows were sure and strong and it was within an embarrassingly short time before the barely winded paladin laid low the giant orc.

The orcs paused, but did honor their deal. We chose Detheron to step free and he was guided to the edge of the wagons where Finta took the drugged, battered, and broken druid’s naked form with him back towards the rest of the group. What about the others? We wanted 4 more (Aleron, Norris, Gwyn, and Mebali) and the orcs agreed – but THIS time Guyus would have to fight 4 on one. And the paladin agreed.

The other giant orc stepped free along with the 3 well armed and armored orcish fighters. The battle was joined and Guyus was whirling and dodging as many of the blows as he could, relying on his armor to save him when he couldn’t step free. He hit and struck when he could, felling one orc and getting wounded in return. Then another orc fell and the giant orc was wounded. The paladin’s head rung from the many blows he was taking but he dropped the third orc at long last until it was just him and giant. Snarling the two combatants went toe to toe until with a mighty hew the giant was slain.

Shocked but not wanting to risk any more, the orcs gave up the rest of the requested members. We grabbed them, mounted up, and the orc team and ours rode away in mutual deference to each other. We rode south until the sun was under the horizon and the sky turned dark before daring to stop and rest.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meet 148, Adv 12, 10/22/11

Every group has an issue at some point with the "lesser" ethical members. Picking pockets, withholding treasure, turning invisible and running away. But in my group we have the dreaded "Charm Person". In some cases - the single most chaotic style spell available to the given low level mage as it makes a trusted friend and effective mind raped personage of anyone who deigns to disagree with the mage.

Most mages would never dare cast it on a pary member - but in our group we had our mage do it to two members. Henchmen, yes, but still party members.

And there is a figure with the party who can dispel it almost at will. This might not go well.

Write up follows:

Guyus, Thurin, and Draugmor grabbed what little the orcs had left behind, bandaged up their hurts as much as possible, and began the long trek back to Flatrock with the idea of drumming up some local aid to go out and hunt down the orcs that had taken their companions.

It took almost 5 hours to make it back, just before curfew. Once there they spoke to the stable master to ready all their horses plus three others. From there they went to the Dog and Fox where they ate a fast meal and talked about the crushing defeat they had suffered and the capture of their companions. Any issues with the Red Clouds and Karis were now forgotten, only getting to the Four Tusk clan and getting the rest of the Sundered Chains back mattered.

They stopped at the Hotel where they quickly changed into what little dry and clean clothes they had and then marched right off to Bork Keep. It was almost 10 at night where they roused Sir Bork and had some words with the noble as to what had happened and their current state and plight. Sir Bork did say that he would reach out for volunteers and would have whoever he could here in the morning to help the group ride out and go with them against the orcs.

From here it was back to the hotel where they went over plans and plans, eventually getting some sleep. Thurin worked on his spell listing and Draugmor went out to hunt down the local thieves for a chance to purchase poison for the upcoming fight.

The next morning, still raining the group went out and hit a few errands. Some trail rations and basic equipment, a visit to the taxidermist, and finally a plead with Zinthar to lift the weather stasis and stop the rain. The venerable druid refused, saying he had given word to Detheron only and would not change it unless he said otherwise.

From here we then went to Bork Keep and met up with three members of Chirkis Keep that had volunteered. Each man had a personal vendetta against the local orc tribes and were happy to join. Korg Blackstone, dwarven axeman and 3 time winner and current champion of the local Tough Dwarf competition; Perrin Dugood was the leader of the Oldguard at Chirkis Keep and a consummate bowman; and lastly was Finta Eightfingers, almost 70 years of age but still active and the most respected of the Oldguard. Introductions were made all about and we promised Sir Bork to return as soon as possible with our friends if able.

We hit the stables, grabbed our horses, and went off. We opted to stay on the road in the rain as much as possible until we had gotten as close to the western edge of Rakewood Forest as we guessed. We stopped for lunch and then took our string of horses northward. Our pace slowed as we struggled across the rocky sludge of the badlands, the rain soaking us through and to the skin.

It was just after 2 PM that a draconic figure flew overhead. Over 25’ wingspan, perhaps a bit longer than that in the body (of which one third was tail), dull crackled metallic brown in color. It looked down at us and then landed ahead, just off to the side of where we were riding, Sitting on its haunches and just looking at us. What do we do? The decision was made to at least attempt to make contact.

Thurin took the reins here, speaking to the drake in draconic. It called itself Dustdevil and heard about our plight and our missing friends. It didn’t want to join us one way or another, but was interested in flying along. An offer was made to help, but the deal was for either 5,000 crowns of treasure or first two choices of any items found. Thurin tried to work around it but the Dustdevil was not moved. No deal was reached on getting his aid but he would follow along. We also had a bit of problem as Thurin kept getting tripped up while stating our goals. Kill or no killing, getting friends back or treasure, does he command the group or not? It was a bit stressful.

We rode on, the rain kept up, and the low green line of Rakewood Forest was on our right side. About 4:30 we came up the orc tracks and followed them northwest into the badlands. Only low hills and scrub brush filled the land. Dustdevil stayed nearby as we rode but with no caves visible or any stands of trees around for shelter we were forced to set up a crude camp in the low rise of the local swells and dales of the hills around us.

Right after this we had a debacle. Thurin went off on his own without telling the group exactly what was going on, digging a hole in dire wolverine form with Pop to aid in an effort to make some shelter for himself. The dragon had taken flight elsewhere after a cryptic comment about wolves. Then Thurin was captured in some of his lies and Bork was under the impression that Pop was a real wolverine. He did “bury” it in the lair by kicking the dirt back into the hole. Meanwhile Finta was poking holes in Thruin’s comments and arguments – proving that the mage (who was saying he was a cleric of Baldur during all of this) was not trustworthy.

Guyus tried to smooth the whole mess out but then a pack of wolves did attack. The three veterans from Chirkis Keep accorded themselves very well, dispatching two of the wolves and frightening off the others. Skins were cut and the group had a difficult time between Thurin and the volunteers. Camp was established and we rested.

Dustdevil did return at length, bringing some deadwood he had found and then lit with a blast of his breath. The fire lasted only two hours of so, but it was welcome during the night.

It was then that Thurin cast a charm spell on Korg Blackstone and another one on Finta Eightfingers, ending their frustration and mistrust of the mage with a pair of failed will saves. It was after we had all woken from a cold and fitful sleep that Perrin and Guyus were surprised and concerned at the two other veterans 180 degree changed feelings on Thurin. Nothing was said but the two men were going to watch Thurin carefully as they tried to make sense of what happened.

We broke our fast, mounted up, and in the driving rain at 7 AM on the 2nd we rode off following the muddy line in the badlands that headed off in the direction the orcs had run.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Meet 147, Adv 12, 10/15/11

This was the 2nd half of the epic fight. It did not go as expected when I originally envisioned it, but honestly I think it makes for a better game and adventure based upon the way it ended up going.

The paladin really came through in making this happen since his actions singularly changed the actions and reactions of the vrocks and the BBG who finally had come to be seen.

It was almost a TPK, but two characters did remain elusive throughout the fight and they will be pivotal in effacing a rescue for the rest of the group.

Write up to a very epic combat and fighting sequence follows - Enjoy - I know we all did!:

Aleron, deaf and his ears ringing, gathered up the fallen Norris and proceeded to bring his fallen companion back inside the gate. The horse with the broken leg was still screaming. Detheron laid his hands on Guyus and healed him, Draugmor came up to the druid (while still invisible) and announced his presence, Ludwig cast a healing on Gwyn, Thurin was taking stock of the many dead bodies upon the ground, and Mebali was heading towards the gate to help Aleron.

The battlefield was a mess. Draugmor then took Coscles (the Lycos Sun operative still affected by the held spell) arrows, bow, as well as his Lyreth medallion. Thurin took the other held operative’s Lyreth medallion. Aleron tried to let the group know that the orcs which had been patrolling the grounds some 15 minutes or so ago were nowhere to be seen. This caused the group to become concerned. Detheron called out for another Call Lightning spell, Thurin and Mebali came to the cemetery graveyard, looking past where Aleron was commenting that the nearest home had some movement within.

At that point there was a rending sound and the walls of the closest structure split open, revealing four, 14’ tall orcish giants, each armed with a 12’ great axe. There were then three flashes of rainbow light and three sets of 4 crossbow wielding orcs appeared on the next closest 3 buildings. And finally we heard a mighty cry of “GRUMMASH!!” as a horde of orcs came down the nearby street in and clashing of axes and shields, riling themselves up into a fury.

It was at this point that the air above our heads split open and a gap thirty feet long and 20 wide tore through the reality of space, out which floated a wildly dressed mohawked individual, body clad in flapping robes and murder in his eyes. He shouted down, “The cart and its belongings are mine – the rest of the foes are yours to take as you want!” The orcs sprung forward to attack, their cries deafening to the group.

Ludwig called to Freya, blessing the entire party. One of the groups of orcs went first, showering Mebali and Thurin with bolts. The wheelwright went down while Thurin was able to shift into sparrow form and tried to fly away. Coming from the rent in the air were a pair of vulture like humanoids, their bodies trailing black shreds of shadows. They swooped down from the sky at Djohrgahd’s call of, “Get the wagon!”, diving to the broken cart on the ground.

As the vrocks were diving, Guyus the paladin snatched the explosive rod from Gwyn, pressed the button, and burst the wagon into pieces. Gear and boxes went flying. Only about a third of the wagon was still in one piece. Djohrgahd gave forth a horrible scream of anguish as the paladin sneered skyward. Then four more of the orcs fired their crossbows from other parts of the battle. One of them hit the transformed Thurin – spinning the sparrow out of the sky with a bolt in him! Ludwig was also hit, the bolt staggering him, the Halfling tripped and dropped.

One of the closer giant orcs grabbed one of the charging orcs, picked him up, and hurled him over the gate and into Aleron! The orc, spun through the air yelling, “Grummash”, and slammed into the ranger. He tripped backwards and fell over Pisser. The next giant orc threw his armor class to the wind, charged forward, and snagged the wheelwright, picking him up and chucking him into Guyus. Mebali howled as he hit the paladin.

Detheron called to Frey and summoned an Ice Storm, the cyclone of driving sleet and hail slammed into the ground just outside the gate. It barreled into the giant orcs just outside the gate, blinding the area and all within, knocking them to the ground. Orcs charging forward tripped upon hitting the perimeter of the spell and fell over.

Digger charged forward and assaulted the closest orc that was thrown at Aleron, tearing into his chest and slaying it. Pisser struggled to his feet. Aleron also climbed up, glancing at the fallen orc. A few of the orcs did not run into the storm, instead back tracking and running behind the nearest building to try and arrive at the cemetery from another angle.

Four more of the orcs shot at Detheron, only one of them actually hitting him. The druid grimaced but did not fall. The two vrocks diving down activated mirror image, making 3 more of each of them appear. One of them gated in another vrock which also dove at the group. They shimmered the area, cursing the battlefield, overwhelming Ludwig’s Bless and empowering two more negatives on the party.

One of them levitated chunks of the fallen bones and gear, moving it towards the rent in the sky. Another snatched at Guyus, it’s claw slammed into him, and flew him about 30’ in height. The last vrock also levitated more of the fallen gear from the ground and sent it towards the sky.

Mebali struggled to his feet and made to run towards the tarp, flailing by Detheron and Ludwig. Gwyn drew his repeating crossbow, took aim at the giant orc, and held down the trigger. All 6 bolts slammed into the orc but to the dwarf’s chagrin, he did not fall, stagger, or died. Ludwig got to his feet, grabbing Mebali’s failing hand and tried to drag the wheelwright further under the tarp.

At this point Djohrgahd cast Suffocation on Detheron, the spell also affecting Mebali and Ludwig. The air was sucked out of their lungs and the three of them fell over gasp and wheezing. Guyus tried to slam the vrock holding him with Gwyn’s rod, striking the demon, but only popping one of the mirror images; leaving three of the vrocks still over him.

Aleron was being shot by the roof bound orcs, two more bolts streaking towards him, one of them hitting him again. Thurin finished his transformation, polymorphing into a grey ooze and sluicing the bolt out of his body. Four more orcs shot, two more at Detheron and two at Guyus. The druid was struck once and the paladin and his vrock carrier was missed entirely.

The two “held” members of the Lycos Suns from earlier were suddenly able to move as the hold ended. The closest giant orc with all the bolts in him roared, stormed towards Gwyn, and whipped his giant ax the dwarf, slamming him for 20 points of damage. The druid tried to keep crawling, gasping from the suffocation. He pulled out his potion of resuscitation and fumbled about the muddy ground.

Digger raced towards the giant orc, the giant wolverine biting and snarling at his ankles. The giant orc slumped to the side, Digger tearing his throat wide open. One of the held Lycos Suns members drew his sword and backstabbed Gwyn, the short sword slamming into his shoulder and cutting deep. Pisser then whirled on the other Lycos Suns man (Krag) and tried to savage him, failing. Aleron assaulted Krag, not doing much.

The orcs in the street, about a third of them attempted to fight through the driving ice storm, most of them making almost no advance. Another third had come around the back of the nearest building and were stopped at the icy fence, frowning. Another four count of crossbow bolts were shot, peppering around Aleron and Gwyn. Coscles, the back stabbing member of the Lycos Suns was struck by an errant shot and pitched to the side.

The vrocks continued to lift the broken gear towards the rent in the sky while one of them slammed into Gwyn. Luckily the dwarf was missed by every blow. However the 2nd vrock did hit Gwyn twice. Inside the ice storm, one of the giant orcs actually crawled to the edge of the driving sleet, his monstrous head poking free. Mebali continued to gasp for air, crawling across the floor.

Gwyn pulled his scimitar free and leaping into the air hacked and stabbed at the mirror images and actual demonic figures. The Lycos man, Coscles, was caught in the wild swings of Gwyn, struck. He did pop two mirror images from one vrock (leaving a single mirror) and popped the same two from another vrock. From there he raced towards the tarpped area, leaping over the gasping druid.

Mebali slumped down, hitting zero hit points. Djohrgahd then shot Guyus with multiple magic missiles as well as the gasping druid. The paladin was staggering, barely conscious but still holding his sword. He used his sword, twisting himself free, broke the demon’s grip and fell to the top of the wall. Aleron was still being shot by random crossbow wielding orcs, Krag also taking a shot.

Thurin changed himself back into a sparrow and then bee lined for the small window in the mausoleum. One of the giant orcs did crawl out of the ice storm. Aleron was fighting off Krag’s assaults, blocking them easily. As for the other third of the orcs they began climbing up the broken roc, using it as a ladder to scale the cemetery gate.

Detheron crawled to Gwyn, potion vial in his hand, gasping for breath. Digger assaulted the nearest vrock, biting and snarling at their ankles, popping one more mirror image vrock! Coscles struggled to his feet, sword in hand and began stalking towards Gwyn. Aleron slammed at Krag, sword and dagger working. More of the orcs continued crawling across the storm field. Meanwhile orcs nearest the fence started lifting other orcs up, piling them on top of each other – but they slipped and the mass of 5 of them fell down.

A group of orcs took long range shots at Guyus, most of them missing, a few dinged off his armor. The nearest vrock dropped a darkness spell over the paladin and then telekinetically shoved him sideways. He tried to make a jumping leap to save himself, but slumped over and stepped off the wall – dropping 25’ to the ground. He hit with a clang and passed out – hitting zero.

The vrocks them turned their attention on Digger, tearing the dire wolverine badly. The other vrock physically lifted the rest of the cart and began flying it up. The giant orc that had crawled backwards from the storm, climbed the nearest building up to where the first crossbow group was perched.

Gwyn tried to breath air into Detheron, but it failed. Ludwig slumped over and died. Detheron struggled to shapeshift, succeeded, but the suffocation spell continued and he slumped over dead – knocked out. However, he did immediately shift back to human and recovered a large portion of his hit points.

More orcs struggled over the roc, pouring into the cemetery. Draugmor, invisible, ran back towards the tarpped are and made some attempt to remain hidden. A single crossbow bolt did fly towards Aleron, hitting the ranger again. The orcs on top of the building with the giant orc were surprised that the giant orc screamed at them to keep shooting, so they did so – hitting nothing.

Another giant orc did crawl to the edge of the ice storm – inside the cemetery! Krag assaulted Pisser next, the war dog did not get hurt. More orcs swarmed over the roc, reaching the ground. Digger tried to hit the last vrock, failing. Coscles came after Gwyn, the two of them clanging away at each other. Pisser then assaulted Krag, biting and clawing at the warrior. The pile of orcs near the gate failed again, more orcs falling.

Crossbow bolts fell around Digger, nothing hitting the wolverine. The vrocks left levitated the last of the broken gear from the floor and headed towards the rent in the sky. Digger was struck by numerous vrock hits, the wolverine fell over and slumped unconscious.

The giant orc on the roof jumped to the wall, ran along the length. And leapt to the ground also inside the cemetery. Gwyn ignored Coscles’ assault and poured Detheron’s potions down the druid’s throat – waking him up! He hurled the empty vial at the thief, shattering it on his chest.

Djohrgahd made an attempt to dispel the ice storm – but actually failed! Pop, Thurin’s familiar, was an invisible owl, and snatched up his fallen spellbook and succeeded in grabbing it. The closest orc giant orc made a swing, popping one of Pop’s duplicates, but the familiar did escape. Crossbow bolts did fly around the flying Pop – none of them hit!

The giant orc inside the cemetery then stood up, giant axe leading the way, and swung mightily. Pisser was flattened and knocked out, then Krag was crumpled over, axe slamming him in the midsection and he fell over unmoving. More orcs came down the roc and started running into the battlefield.

Coscles, seeing he was overwhelmed by Gwyn, gave a grin and stabbed down at the Halfling, slitting his throat. Coup de grace on Ludwig and the clerical Halfling was permanently dead. Aleron turned his attention to the giant orc that took out Krag and Pisser, sword and dagger working over and over. The two of them traded a dozen blows back and forth, the ranger making a great show of himself until the giant orc hurled his great axe crossways and sent the ranger flying, his armor crumbled and down to the negative hit point, bleeding and dying.

More of the orcs were crawling through the ice storm, making little headway. Two of the vrocks were gone, only one was left. One of the last giant orcs picked up the very dead Norris and hurled him at Coscles! The bard’s body slams into the thief, breaking his neck, the two bodies bouncing off Gwyn. Detheron crawled to his feet, laid his hand on Gwyn and called a fast healing upon the dwarf.

Gwyn knew there was lots of orcs coming, but was feeling a bit alone as most of his companions were either gone or elsewhere. He loaded a bloodfire crossbow bolt into his weapon and shot it at the giant orc, just hitting him. He staggered from the effect of the poison, hurting badly.

Draugmor stayed invisible and hidden, while Djohrgahd finally dispelled Detheron’s ice storm spell. With the ice storm spell gone, more crossbow bolts flew about the battlefield. One of the giant orcs threw one of the regular orcs at the tarp, tearing more than half of it away, revealing Detheron and Gwyn.

Detheron’s Called lightning bolt was finally available, and he charged it, shooting it at the largest batch of orcs outside the fence, frying five of them. Gwyn reaches into Norris’ bag of holding, feels for the rocket, and leaves it there, changing his mind about taking it out and shooting it. Instead, he pushed his back against the mausoleum and readied his scimitar.

Djohrgahd watched Detheron and caused the entire ground to rumble and shake, dropping 15’ down as a localized earthquake shook him. And then the mausoleum fell over, burying the druid and dropping him to zero hit points and knocking him out. And then Djohrgahd left with a satisfied grunt along with the last vrock.

Orcs attacked around the mausoleum en mass, assaulting Gwyn. He dodged and blocked and dashed around. He swung wildly, hitting orcs left and right but getting hit as well. Thurin snuck out of the mausoleum and cast a Charm spell on one of the orcs, calling on him to, “Help, hit and kill the others!”

More orcs swarmed in, including one of the last giant ones. Gwyn was holding his own but being driven further and further back. Thurin ran back and hid again. Then the dwarf was tackled, with two, three, and then more orcs piling on top of him. He slumped down struggling to get to his feet but was unable to and then the dwarf was bashed repeatedly until he slumped over unconscious.

With the last of the visible party members down and Djohrgahd gone with his vrock contingent, Thurin from his hiding place and Draugmor invisible watched as the orcs grabbed each of the party members that were here, dead or alive, and trussed them up. Rudimentary bandaging was applied and then about 40 more orcs came from the depths of Kreladale to help out. Every sword, bow, bolt, scrap of cloth, fallen foe – everything was taken from the battlefield. Each fallen orc, Lycos Suns member, and party member was taken EXCEPT for Guyus – the paladin had fallen outside the city wall. And except for Iohannes, the werewolf had been shot by Detheron’s earlier lightning spell while fleeing across the local rooftops.

With nervous eyes the two elves watched over 70 orcs leave, with carts and travois and just litters of riches, running out of Northgate and loping across the scrublands to the northwest and beyond.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Meet 146, Adv 12, 10/1/11

The party had given lots of thought to their fight with Vanir, Iohannes, and the rest of the Lycos Suns - arranging the place, time, and as many of the protective buffs as possible.

Due to their efforts they seriously trounced the bad guys so much so that they were able to maintain momentum even after the Lycos Suns were striking back. Having a 12th level wizard as the enemy would have normally slaughtered the party however he had been sacrifice wounded earlier by Havic and the party KNEW that the Lycos Suns did not have a cleric at their beck and call - so he would not be a major player.

However, the fight isn't done. And now the group is going to be on the other side of the coin. And it is going to hurt.

Write up follows:

We arrived at Bork Keep as clean and as ready as we were able to. It was only a few minutes before Sir Bork had us escorted in and gave us his thanks as well as the thanks for the entire town of Flat Rock. With over 40% of the townsfolk dead from the ravages of the plague there was some concern as to the going continuation of the locale but Sir Bork felt confident as far as the future was concerned.

There was nothing left in the coffers and precious little to be drummed up as far as reward could be considered, but Sir Bork was able to make a few concessions towards the group (who denied needing any reward). First, Market Square was going to be renamed Havic Square in honor of our dwarven barbarian who died during our attempts to cure the plague. Second, Three Dog Hotel, who had lost its proprietor, Blemarius, was going to be renamed Sundered Chains Hotel and be jointly handled by Blemarius’ widow as well as Sir Bork’s Castellan. And finally, he was willing to award 5 acres of homestead farmlands around Flatrock to each of the surviving members of the Sundered Chains and affiliated adventurers: Guyus, Detheron, Gwyn, Aleron, Thurin, Norris, Mebali, and Ludwig. To the group this was the most exciting result but were unsure if they could accept since no one had any skill with farming.

Sir Bork was more that hopeful that the party would just willingly settle here in Flat Rock as there was much work to do and the promise of lands would entice them to stay. If they did not want to, he would have the land offered to other prospective people (should anyone want to come back north and settle around here), paying the party the rental costs when that time would arrive. The group was very thankful and accepted this as an equitable solution. We also picked up Draugmore, a wild elven king’s thief with a charter from Count Cedric himself and impeccable references.

From there we wanted to leave town as fast as possible, making our way towards Kreladale and our encounter with the Lycos Suns. By noon we were gone and pressed on as fast as we could towards High Mesa. Once there, Detheron transformed into a falcon once again and scouted ahead to give the place a once over. He made 4 passes, doing his best to stay as far over the outpost as possible. He did note that the area with the mausoleums in the middle of Kreladale cemetery had some sort of tenting over them, some oilskinned tarp. There was the butt end of a wagon seen.

In addition, he could count at least 5 figures about, two of which were filling holes (graves) not under the tarp. As for Kreladale itself, the main roads had some orcish figures patrolling the outpost; maybe a dozen. He returned and told us of what he had found. We went over our plan a bit and then decided to press on.

As expected, at 2 PM, a sudden thunderstorm materialized over not only the badlands, but for miles and miles in all directions. The sky grew dark, clouds became dark, and with a crack of thunder, the rain began to fall. Visibility dropped to a thousand feet and the group quickly donned baladranas as soon as possible. After waiting a few minutes the party began firing off spells. Extended call lightning, polymorph self, protections from fire and lightnings, protection from normal missiles, longstrider, even greater magic fang for Digger. It ended with an Invisibility 10’ radius for the party and then we pressed on as fast as we could towards Kreladale.

We came upon the southwest gate where a few minutes observation let us know that the orcs were walking patrol and seemed pretty regular, about 80’ or so apart. At the end of West Road they looked towards the cemetery and made a thumbs up and nod before turning the corner. Ok, the orcs were patrolling for the Lycos Suns.

We broke the party into 3 groups of 4 and spaced ourselves out, invisibly of course, to follow in between the orc patrollers to the end of the block and then to the small road that would lead to the cemetery. Once there we stood silently off the path until all parties were back together. The cemetery had a single guard at the gate, signaling to the rest of the Lycos Suns beyond each time the orcs gave the all clear. The gate itself was closed with a wrap of chain. Was it locked? Someone was going to need to get closer to check.

Aleron volunteered and the ranger relayed back that it was held closed with chain and only a slip of wire bent around itself. But getting it open would alert the guard. What to do next? Our protection spells were slowly passing by as time marched on, the minutes ticking by until they expired. We needed to do something and do it swiftly.

Detheron pointed to the sky and channeled a bolt of lightning from above, calling it down so it struck the gate, frying the guard next to it as well as blowing Aleron back and away. Thurin rattled off a Hold person spell, causing two of the lycos sun to freeze in place. Ludwig sang off a Bless spell. Guyus called his warhorse and mounted up. And three of the party members armed with Lyreth medallions stormed the gate, knocking it open as the lightning scored chain was weakened from the blast.

The guard at the front was slain by the blast and a few of the lycos suns were able to fire arrows at us. One of the slavers used a mirror image spell on themselves and we heard Iohannes under the tarp confirm with Vanir to stay put as he was going to change. A large figure with a two-handed sword tried to stop Guyus but the mounted paladin was undeterred. King went into the cemetery and charged towards the lone archer taking cover along the northern mausoleum. A flaming sphere blossomed into space AT the party, only Detheron avoiding any damage due to his protections. More of the party charged into the cemetery.

Magic missiles flew and Guyus charged at one of the lone warriors, hacking his down as he charged up. Digger tore into the two-handed swordsman, the dire wolverine worrying at the figure. King ripped one of the Lycos Suns apart, beating the archer to death. Another lightning bolt slammed down at Detheron’s call. Our surprise attack on the Lycos Suns caught them ill prepared and the party was carrying the momentum.

Iohannes, in werewolf form, leapt out from under the tarp and assaulted Guyus, his claws ripping into his steed and causing the paladin to send his companion back to the astral plane. A Charm spell shattered against the party. More lightning flew. More magic missiles flew. A female warrior in platemail with a very deadly mace kept trying to smash Guyus to the ground. King charged under the tarp and ripped the female mage there near Vanir to shreds. Vanir cast disintegration on the ape and he burst apart in a spray of green dust.

Iohannes made a HUGE leap, 60’, avoiding Guyus and landing amongst the spellcasters outside the gate. Most everyone who did not have a silver weapon found their equipment weakening with each blow. Mebali and Norris tried to hold Iohannes in place but the werewolf was much too strong for the two of them. Norris was laid low, the half elven bard slain by Iohannes.

Most of the rest of the Lycos Suns were either down or dying. Vanir fired off an Ice Storm which pelted most of the party members still in the open. Another bolt of lightning arced down, tearing the melee site apart. Draugmore attempted to climb on the wagon and proceeded to ride the horse and wagon away. Vanir’s spell he had cast earlier finally went off, and a 225’ wingspan roc appeared, it reached down and grabbed the wagon and horse, attempting to fly away. The enemy mage teleported on top of the roc and made some attempt to flee. Another lightning bolt arced down. The roc was going to escape. Draugmore leapt down to safety.

Iohannes jumped back into the battlefield. Aleron seeing the roc and Vanir was to escape took out Norris’ dwarven rocket and launcher. Oil and a lit candle was tossed down the stone tube and one of the precious rockets followed. The blast the came next was so terrible that it deafened the ranger and streak of fire shot up to the flying Roc and blasted the mighty god-bird apart – 250 hp of damage. It crashed back to the ground, Vanir falling with it – the mage taking 190’ drop like a stone where he hit the ground in a single bone shattering smash.

Iohannes made to flee; Detheron scored another lightning bolt at the escaping werewolf. It howled horribly. He transformed into a falcon, kept pace, and dropped two more bolts from his called lightning down on the werewolf until it failed to move anymore and the battle ended.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meet 145, Adv 12, 9/23/11

The group had decided on which of the two adversaries they were going to go against, opting on Vanir and the Lycos Suns as the target of theri aggression. It was going to be the culmination of 2 plus years in game realization where they would finally take down the guy who was 2nd in command in their original incarceration.

I hesitate to mention this...but Vanir is the 2nd in command. Not the first. That would be Djohrgahd Wolverton. And when he realizes what the group is going to do, the shit will hit the fan.

Write up follows:

As Gwyn explained what happened both Mebali and Thurin looked on with growing concern and disbelief. What was going on? Were the guards coming back? Where is Havic? Mebali offered to go search out the missing barbaric dwarf while Gwyn would stay and watch over the party. Meanwhile Thurin “borrowed” Aleron’s patents of nobility and brought them to his room to forge a copy.

In short order Sheriff Ulric Van Renselyer showed and took over the investigation, questioning Gwyn of what occurred. His inexperience was very obvious in short order and Gwyn tried to paint the Red Clouds and Karis of Melbourne as the villain. Meanwhile party members were waking up slowly, most of them in poor poor condition. Norris wanted to go to Split Beard Tavern as he had to drop off the 11 cures of the plague for the local thieves guild and Lamelon as promised. Gwyn took the bard with him.

It was while at the Split Beard that Norris was asking about Lamelon (finding out he was a custodian at the Lost Wind Orphanage nearby) that Gwyn observed a figure in a grayish cloak paying too much attention to Norris and himself. It was when the man in question tried to duck out the back door that the dwarf dragged Norris outside and had him sit on the side of the building. He then ran to the narrow alley, dove down to a pile of garbage, and took out his crossbow with a “web” arrow at the ready.

As soon as the side door of the Split Beard tavern opened into the refuse littered street, Gwyn let fly, engulfing the grey cloaked figure in sticky strands. They two of them bandied words, Gwyn not letting on that he was the dwarf and stayed hidden, telling the engulfed man to spill his guts. Yes he was from the Lycos Suns and was here on order of Iohannes. There were 4 of them about town, watching inns and taverns for the party, with orders to report to Kreladale immediately as soon as we made any intention of leaving Flatrock.

He did speak of Iohannes inability to be hurt and Vanir’s overwhelming craziness. Gwyn informed him that they should leave the Sundered Chains alone and give the party a wide berth or the next time he would just kill them. Then he gathered up Norris and went off to the Lost Winds to give the antidotes to Lamelon and finishing up his payment to the local guild. From there the two friends headed back.

Meanwhile the rest of the party was waking up, Detheron dropping lesser restorations on the group along the way. Aleron had vomited all over Detheron’s room and was taking his job to clean it up seriously. Detheron went down to check on the “damage” downstairs, but the local sheriff and militia had already taken care of cleaning up any potential clues. Even the body was missing. Coming back upstairs we talked about what to happen next, Gwyn and Norris returning as well.

Detheron took Aleron’s cleaning bucket and settled down to scry on Mebali as he and Havic were both now still missing. It took some time (and hour) but we did get and image of Mebali lying somewhere dark, his head bleeding slightly. On pulling the image back to get a better view of where he was, it was very dark and then we saw a grave near the fence line of the cemetery, a marker of three sticks with a single crossbeam marking the site. Sonovacrap!

What about Havic? The scry showed nothing. With little time left, Detheron changed it over to Karis and saw him on horseback riding in the dark somewhere in the badlands, men riding with him and behind him. And then the scrying pool ended. We needed to find and rescue Mebali.

Some of the party went off to the cemetery where a rusting spell took care of the lock and we snuck in. It was Pisser who found Mebali’s scent and the party used Digger and Pop (polymorphed into a dire wolverine) to dig out the wheelwright and then help tear the coffin cover off. They dragged out the weak and beaten up Mebali (5 painful wounds!) and limped back to the 3 Dog Hotel where he told his tale.

He did not find Havic at first but did run afoul of the Lycos Suns. Their overtures of friendship where long gone and the group of them held him in place while Iohannes took him time beating the wheelwright up. They asked questions, hit him some, and mulled over the answers. He did learn that Havic was dead and according to Iohannes it was at the hands of Vanir. The wizard was badly hurt and resting at this point and the Lycos Suns were on their way out of here and off to Kreladale. They dumped Mebali into a box and shoved him into a shallow grave.

The party thought about it. Where to go? Lycos Suns and Kreladale or Glittercap and Karis? It was decided that Vanir was the threat and the Lycos Suns as well – and if Havic did indeed die and beat the hell out of Vanir, then we should strike now and soon to maximize the barbarian’s efforts. At shortly after 10 we fell asleep with the knowledge that we would have a big day on the morrow.

We awoke, broke our fast, prayed, and then composed a listing of what supplies we would need and would need to get in and about town. Detheron went to Zinthar’s where he gave the eccentric druid the last of our miracle dirt, getting a favor of a two day storm later on. Guyus went to the Tradegoods where he got a large pile of gear we would need, and Norris went off to the taxidermist for esoteric magical supplies we might need as well as components. It was just about 10:30 when we reconvened at the 3 Dog Hotel, split up what gear we had gotten, and were getting ourselves ready for the meeting with Sir Bork at 11 this day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Meet 144, Adv 12, 9/17/11

I like town adventures although it generally doesn't do much as far as xp is concerned. But with a large group I don't get much opportunity to role play "down time" or just a good party/tavern crawl.

But in this case we had one and as I had expected, the BBG had made a visit at a time when the party could not directly conflict with him.

Of course one of my players decided to do that anyway and critically screwed up the BBG big time! In doing so he also killed himself in the process but it did derail the current path the adventure was going on for the next 2 meetings.

That's what I like - when the party takes my plans and forces me to dump them. No kidding - really - it makes for a better game for everyone.

Write up follows:

As Guyus was mounting his paladinial steed the rest of the party was trying to plead with the knight that he was making a large mistake. Confronting another person here, in town, now? This could only end badly especially since we did not know WHAT Karis was doing here. Guyus began trotting after Karis’ fading form. Gwyn was contemplating a dose of stun poison to the horse, some of the party was following, but it was Detheron and a call to Frey to hold the animal that stopped Guyus’ ride.

While there was arguing in the street over what was happening, Norris ran down the alley behind the 3 Dog Hotel to try and follow the half-ogre when a figure confronted him from the darkness. Another man was there and would not let Norris pass, holding him at bay with his rapier. The two men bandied words, a tossed net, as well as a slash or two and the other figure tried to whistle out a sleep spell which failed. Great, a bard of some sort. He whistled out a message spell to someone named Maulin and Norris backed away. The two men walked back to where they had come, Norris unable to follow Karis through the alleys and the other bard successful in stopping the half-elf in his attempt.

As for the rest of the party, they had gotten Guyus calmed down and eventually the party was given to understand to follow Karis was not an option. Most of them went back to 3 Dog to rest while Detheron and Ludwig went to Grey Raven Hospice to heal those who needed their help. It was a bit after 11 when the party was all together again and we talked about what was to happen next.

Karis and co (Red Clouds) were here and seemed to have no interest in the Lycos Suns – instead looking for information on Kysoth. As in Kysoth’s Helm, the item Havic had gotten in Glittercap. We wanted them to go and to leave soon – but needed to lure them out of town. We decided to forge a copy of Frink’s map as well as the paperwork/page from Kysoth’s tome and get a local member of the thieves guild to sell it to the Red Clouds – thereby outfitting Karis and his people with what they wanted, getting them out of town, and doing it in a way where the Sundered Chains was not directly tied to it.

We needed to find the local guild and Norris went to the Split Beard Tavern, taking Aleron with him as muscle assuming something went wrong. The bard walked around, buying a drink or two, playing a song, and subtly reaching out to the patrons there. Two of them did speak with him, one was a loud youngish man named Anannis who was clumsily trying to signal being a thief but failing at it (Norris eventually left him behind), the other was a average nondescript man named Lamelon who was indeed a member of the local guild. Norris explained what he wanted and they settled on a deal of roughly almost a dozen doses of the antidote the alchemist was working on.

The two friends left and Norris made a drop of the documents when Thurin was done with them, meanwhile Aleron did take 5 crowns from Anannis offering to do the job the young man wanted (seemed to be a marriage certificate dated at least 5 days ago).

We awoke at 8 and took breakfast where we shared what we had learned and went over what our plans were today. Thurin and Mebali were going to go back to Morei where they would continue to help the alchemist. Supposedly an aviary was sent to Dilabria and we were hoping that a lifting on the quarantine would occur that would allow other alchemists up north to help the beleaguered Morei and Flatrock in making more distillates and cures.

The rest of us went to the Grey Raven Hospice where Father Timon Beerdrinker had tapped a number of “holy” casks of very potent ale. We joined him and what acolytes here in numerous toasts and then we started getting patients, passerbys, anyone who wanted to drink and party with us on successfully curing the plague. The hours flew by and the group of revelers had gotten to almost 60 by this point. Detheron had miscast a spell and one of the personages was floating upside down by a single foot. Most everyone was either comatose, blitzed, or incapable of much of anything. Only Havic and Gwyn were mostly vertical, their dwarven constitutions overriding most of the effects of the alcohol.

But it was when Havic noticed that Iohannes was here, and one or two other members of the Lycos Sun sharing a brew with everyone…as well as Vanir. Holy crap!!! The dwarven barbarian tried to have Norris cast a spell on him but the bard miscast his own spell and made 9 members of the party turn invisible! Taking advantage of the situation, Havic snuck behind Vanir, took out his enchanted boar spear “Jotunfang” and stabbed the mage from behind! He hit him a second time and hissed in the mage’s ear.

Vanir reached back, grabbed the dwarf, and a ring on his hand flared to rainbow light. The two of them disappeared! Havic was dropped to the floor in some strange room somewhere, Vanir right in front of him. The mage’s hands came up but the dwarf was a split moment faster. He whipped both of his enchanted Lightning Javelins and hurled them. A crackle filled the room and a blast of twin bolts tore through the mage, hit the wall, bounced back, and did so again and again until both the dwarf and the mage slumped over – Havic’s last sight before dying was Vanir staggering, his clothing on fire.

Being as the party was drunk, no one noticed what happened, either Vanir appearing or Havic disappearing. Iohannes and his people left and Gwyn watched them go. By this time it was about 4 and most everyone was unconscious except for Gwyn, Detheron and Guyus when representatives from Sir Bork had arrived. We were summoned to the nobleman in fact this was the 4th summons today (the others had fallen victim to the ale and party).

Staggering (except for Gwyn) we walked out of the Hospice and across town to Bork Keep. It was Marketday though and Detheron took us for a detour through the stalls – eventually filled with a desire to purchase an entire 200’ long spool of braided leather cord. He dumped most of his commons and carried his purchase with a drunken smile. We arrived at Bork Keep, gave up our weapons, and went in to see the nobleman who was apparently waiting 6 hours for us to arrive. He was not happy.

Plus when we did arrive it was only 3 of us and two of the group was practically blindingly drunk. Gwyn tried to talk to the nobleman, explaining that we did not get any of the summonses and that we were relieved from curing the plague and were caught up in the festivities. Sir Bork was understanding (sort of) and left it to Gwyn that we should all come back to see him tomorrow at 11 AM.

From here we went back to the 3 Dog Hotel, Sir Bork having lent us two guards to help get the party home. Upon arrival though the proprietor was sitting there unmoving and our hackles were rising. The door down the hall opened and suddenly web arrows filled the air. It immobilized most of the group except for Gwyn who was just under their sticky reach. Aleron had awoken long enough to find himself stretched out in the webs.

But the last figure down the hall was the red leather jerkin wearing figure of Maulin, the mage and second command of the Red Clouds. He disappeared in a spray of sparks and one of the member busted into a nearby room. Gwyn gave chase and heard splintering wood – eventually seeing the shuttered window in the back had burst open and the figure was down the alley and gone. However in the bed was a very charred and burned dwarven figure, Gwyn had no idea the significance

The webs were cut free and the guards went back to inform the militia what had happened. Gwyn brought everyone to a single room and was laying out broken glass in the hall as an alarm when he heard a zap behind him.

Blinking into the room with his unconscious companions was Maulin. He had a wand pointed at the dwarf and his hand was hovering over Detheron. They exchanged words, Maulin saying that Karis wanted only a second item now (what was the first) and then would leave. He took Detheron’s magical staff Heimdall’s Bulwark and the two foes exchanged a last set of quips before Maulin blinked away.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meet 143, Adv 12, 9/10/11

Sometimes characters die, other times campaigns end, other times characters are retired. I don't remember all of them and I'm sorry to those that I do and have forgotten, however when able to I do bring back past PC's for cameo appearances now and again.

This time I've turned a former PC, friend, and party leader into the enemy. The party knows he was a bad ass and what some of his strengths were, but they also know that it's been a year and a half in game time and the bad former friend has gone over to the dark side and joined with the other adventuring group that almost 2 years ago kicked the party's ass - and apparently took over as leader.

They don't seem as anxious to face their former companion as they once did and are even more unsure of the firepower he now has at his beck and call.

Write up follows:

At the border of Rakewood with the autumn sun slowly making its way towards the horizon, Aleron had his falcon fly off to the east to scout the area for any trouble that might be there, finding none. With care we walked across the badlands towards the dotted shape of the northwestern homesteads until the sun had set and just around 10 we arrived exhausted at Frink’s old home.

Where to put the 59 pilgrims we had as well as our own sizeable group? We cleared out the two homes as best as possible and situated all the children and some of the women there. Then we set up smaller camps around in groups of 5 and 10, hoping the sky would remain clear throughout the night. No fires. It was to be a cold meal at best and the group now about 70 in number slumped off to sleep.

Havic took first watch and he realized very swiftly that this was a BIG group of people, over a large area. And we were out in the open. The time passed and when it was through he awoke Mebali. Throughout the night, whoever was on watch had their eyes opened and ears alert. The badlands were quiet for the most part, only a strange noise closer to dawn from the north.

We awoke a bit after 7 and after prayers and breaking our fast we decided not to head back to Flatrock via Kreladale to avoid any entanglements with Vanir, orcs, or the Lycos Suns. So instead we would walk south for two hours and then use the far sight of High Mesa as a landmark and make our way towards the city.

We did have to pass by the Dunbury homestead where we were told to leave and go away by whatever hermitage lived there. Around 10:30 we shifted our path east southeast and after noon came through Northgate with our charges in tow. The Hetman of the pilgrims and his 3 adjuncts were taken into custody by the local militia, escorted to Black Court for failing to adhere to the quarantine the town was under. Meanwhile word of our return and supposed “cure” was being spread. The guards did say that Iohannes and the Lycos Suns had come in this morning with a new passel of dirt, bugs, and other possible points of contagion and were at the Alchemist’s tower with Morei now. And there were new adventurers in town also; their leader was a giant of some sort.

The group did not want to meet Iohannes or this other group at this time so they went to the 3 Dog Hotel where they eventually grouped in one of the rooms to discuss plans and possibilities. We wanted to find out what was going on at Morei’s so Norris opted to go. Meanwhile Thurin was going to copy a set of Thane Kysoth Beldenstone’s notes and Havic was out to get his hammer from Coogan Smithery.

Norris returned with some poor news. Morei was there as well as Iohannes and a handful of his men, but also a large figure, almost 8’ tall, half-ogrish, clad in heavy steel armor and a greenish cast his brown skin and mismatched sized eyes. Who was he? Someone from another adventuring group, Red Clouds, and he was angry at Iohannes and did not want to leave until the Lycos Sun’s representative would speak with him.

We talked about this figure until it was postulated that this might be our long removed and erstwhile leader/companion, Karis. The description matched, the attitude matched, and he did have some dealings with the Red Clouds – specifically the former leader a brutish fighter-type named Feldon. Was this Karis? The Red Clouds already had a problem with us from over a year ago – we needed to verify this.

Aleron volunteered to go to the Far Travel Hotel and seek out any information on the Red Clouds and what was going on. Were they with the Lycos Suns? We needed answers. The king’s man ventured off eventually getting to Sword Gate where he spoke with some of the guards there and counted 11 of the mercenary types hanging outside. He had some conversation with a member of the Red Clouds, a fairly astute figured named Maulin, and Aleron was verbally rebuffed, the ranger leaving with what graces he could and then went to the Far Travel to get information that way.

The innkeep was willing to talk and a few coins passed to pay for the information, learning that there were 7 or so main members and 5 or 6 hirelings/henchmen. The leader was indeed Karis and most of the Clouds did not stay in town, hiding outside the town near the stables. They had been here for a day or so and seemed to be paying day to day – wanting to leave whenever the Karis figure wanted their party to go. Aleron left and once outside – felt a bit odd and lightheaded – but kept going back to the party, telling them what he had learned.

We needed to know when Karis was going to leave the alchemists as we did NOT want to run into him at all, keeping our presence a secret. Thurin sent his familiar, Pop, to hide outside the alchemist’s tower and would let the mage know when the ogre left.

At this point Havic and Aleron went to the Black Court where they presented Corvalis Trueborn with the pages from Thane Kysoth Beldenstone and told of Glittercap. The dwarven magistrate grew wroth, wanting to know WHY the party did not bring the supposed disease origin to the lab yet? We had a wrap around explanation where we spoke of Karis and him being there was going to cause a problem. Corvalis dispatched a 4 count of the court officers to Morei’s lab with orders to tell Karis to leave the alchemist at this time as he was impeding the search and processing of a cure for the people of Flatrock.

We did learn that someone from the Red Clouds had come to the court earlier this morning for any information about a Kysoth, it was memorable because to Corvalis this was the 2nd time in the same day that anyone brought him anything about Kysoth. We thanked the magistrate and rejoined the party, happy to learn through Pop that Karis was indeed escorted away.

At 3:30 we went to the Alchemist’s Lab where we showed Morei our tick head, the egg, and assorted water and dirt. We did talk with Iohannes who was surprised at what we had brought. He told Morei that she should stop going over the items the Lycos Suns had brought and devote her attention to the Sundered Chains and their findings.

Morei was going to work on the distillate tonight, and Mebali and Thurin were going to stay and help her. She figured it would take about 6 hours to work up a successful test and then would know if it could be a cure. Iohannes volunteered to take the party out for dinner, the Lycos Suns and the Sundered Chains. He suggested the Dog and Fox and we agreed.

Dinner was at 6 and our combined group (missing the wheelwright and the wizard of course) numbered around 20. Unsure at first what to expect we were surprised to have a pleasant evening. Iohannes showed no sign of remembering Detheron or Gwyn, made no comment that the Lycos Suns had any negative dealing in the past with the Sundered Chains, and was forthcoming with history of the group.

He was looking to charter a teamstering organization but didn’t want to start from scratch, so purchased the defunct charter of the Lycos Suns and gave what past dues and fees were necessary. They then took small jobs as well as those sponsored by the Slaver’s Guild and used the former contacts the Lycos Suns had established as a spring board for the new organization. He did comment that about 3 months after they had been reestablished there was a box released to them that had been held.

It contained some contracts, a few letters, some credit marks, and 12 bronze headed amulets that looked like wolf heads. He then showed us one from his neck. He also volunteered that they were useful to get past some wards. We shared information with then and when we next noticed, it was after 8:30 and we had had a rather great meal with Iohannes and his people.

We wished them well and when they left, talked about what we had learned. Detheron was convinced that Iohannes and his people were telling the truth BUT they were also convinced that they were the same group and people from over a year ago. Was it a spell? Forgetfulness? Domination? We fretted over the possibilities for a while until the beer had run dry and there was nothing more to do except call it a night.

It was about 9:30 when we picked ourselves up and left the Dog and Fox, intending to head towards the Alchemist’s Tower and see if the items they had brought back did indeed form the basis of a cure for the plague. When they left the tavern though they couldn’t help but notice across the main thoroughfare on Cheapside Ave was a gargantuan figure riding the largest Clydesdale horse they could ever fathom finding. He was clad in a heavy set of black platemail, sported a heavy war lance complete with pennant, and was watching the group.

Guyus looked at the figure intently and was hit with a heavy sensation that it was evil, definitely and decidedly so. However, we did note that the figure was staring right back at Guyus with the same level of intensity that our paladin was showing! Karis? We sure thought so.

He turned his horse about and rode at a cantor down Cheapside Avenue away from the party. Guyus gave a whistle and his paladinial steed appeared at his will, the knight growling that that figure was evil and we should follow him now.