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.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meet 136, Adv 12, 6/18/11

The party has been focused on resolving the matter of the plague, actually stumbling along a line of possibilities where alcohol or a specific type might be the point of origin. It cannot be the end all be all since not everyone drinks, but there is enough secondary evidence so far that the group has been playing a pretty good round of detectives in sussing out the elusive "patient zero".

In addition, they lucked out with the capture and questioning of a mid level personage in the Lycos Suns organization, who revealed some troubling aspects of Vanir's strange list of things he was looking for.

Write up follows:

We listened to Detheron’s layout of Kreladale and then spent about half an hour discussing possible ways to approach the town without 1) engaging the orcs and 2) alerting the men and Vanir in the cemetery of their presence. It was after a solid half hour that we decided it was too risky and we should think of another way to engage our foes. Plus we only had 2 of the Lyreth medallions and did not want to attempt a break in without more at our beck and call.

The decision was made to head back towards Flatrock where we would possibly waylay one of the Lycos Sun’s members and question them as well as hunt them over for a medallion. We thought about climbing to Chirkis Keep, the stronghold/watchtower on top of Flatrock mesa, and using that as a spotting platform for anyone walking to and from Kreladale.

It was about 5:30 when we arrived at the trail that led to the top of the Mesa. It was 200’ up and the trail had 3 switchbacks to make ascending easier. But then we thought that we did not know if any of the Lycos sun’s we spotted at the Krelian cemetery would even be coming back tonight. The decision was made to go to the gate and maybe do some investigating.

At the gate we spoke to the guards there and got some information that the Lycos Suns do go out every few days or so, often in pairs. The gate closes about 9 PM and reopens at day break. There was also some talk about a legendary beast called Razorclaw that preyed on lone people with no survivors. They suspect that the 2 Lycos Suns members might be returning tonight. A few coins were passed and to alert us should the members come through.

We went to the Split Beard Tavern and ate a fast dinner before returning back out to the road with promises that we’d be back before 9, just wanted to check out the mesa. As we travelled out, before the dusk had swollen, Detheron once more took on the falcon form and soared as high as he could, looking northwesterly towards Kreladale. Even with the fading light he spotted two figures coming this way, about 20 minutes out.

Thurin was going to take charge, attempting to charm the two men and learn what we could from them. They came closer, talking about their shift change, Vanir being in Kreladale, Iohannes in Flatrock, and other tidbits of information the group needed. Then two charms went off and Thurin emerged, giving a short intro to the two men, identified as Coscles and Narebin. They were generally friendly with Thurin and answered more of our questions, then wanted to lead Thurin back to the city at the gate closes at 9 and it was getting late.

The rest of the group was stuck – they couldn’t let Thurin be taken away. Detheron told King to take out one of the men while Havic went after the other. Havic knocked Coscles out and King, well, the carnivorous ape sort of went overboard and completely obliterated Narebin. We stripped the dead slaver of his belongings, especially his Lyreth medallion, and when Coscles came to, he was under the impression he was dead.

The party got a number of interesting bits of information from Coscles by pretending that they were judges and valkyries and giants and what not. Things like: Vanir was afraid of the plague and was in Kreladale. There were 4 men working there and every 2 days, two of them would swap out with 2 from Flatrock. They were harvesting complete unbroken arm and leg bones from the cemetery there, full sets of 4. They needed 80 of them. IT was for some potion involving lycanthropes, werewolves. Vanir had a potion that turned people in werewolves, and even one that empowered them – whatever that meant. And finally, Djohrgahd and Vanir were working towards some end result where they could empower a lycanthrope so much it would actually become and aspect of Fenris. Hence the name of the accursed book we had learned about so long ago: Necordius Fenrir Codex. The Tome of the Necromantic Key to an Avatar of Fenris

We knocked Coscles out again and somberly digested the information we had learned. Then Detheron had Pisser and Digger join King in devouring Narebin – in an effort to hide the evidence. After that the party high tailed it back to Flatrock before the 9 PM gate closing and paid off the gate guards with beer and ale at the Split Beard Tavern.

Both Detheron and Ludwig went to the Grey Raven Hospice and performed some cure diseases on the most terminal of cases, healing 9 of the plague victims. From there we all finished up our drinking and returned to the 3 Dog Hotel where we finally went to sleep very late.

On the next morning Thurin woke up with red eyes and the sniffles, not getting a good night’s rest – which meant no new spells for the day – only what he still had memorized. At breakfast he was healed of the first effects of the plague and we went over our possible places to go today. The Kennels were a definite place since we learned that the first victim, Kaza, used to be a dog handler so maybe some idea of where he went or what he did would be a place to search.

The Kennels were clean and some 200 dogs would be here at most. The kennel master, Mastran, was happy to talk and wanted Detheron to stud out Pisser for an hour – paying 15 nobles for the use of the druid’s war dog! Pisser was given over and we had some questions about Kaza posed and answered. He was a drunk and did not work here full time, eventually not given any work as he was in poor health and untrustworthy. He did love the animals though and the group then asked about plague effects on the dogs. The plague only seems to affect some animals and not others (yes to rats, horses and dogs, no to pigs and cats).

We left Mastran after an hour and then went up Slurry Road to Coogan Smithery. The current master was also named Coogan, a burly unshirted dwarf with an honest and open face. He spoke of his brother and then the next 6 who had died at and around the smithy’s family and apprentices. We learned the Coogan Smith was a heavy drinker and often bought any strange concoction that the local famers and distilleries would put together. We also learned that he died very fast, the plague eating him up in just 8 days. We thanked Coogan the younger and left, thinking about the 2nd person on the list – Madame Lili. Was she a drinker too?

We went to the Split Beard Tavern and spoke to the proprietor, asking him about homemade brews and interesting liquors that might have been bought. Who would do that? The Brewmaster, Hervi, was brought to us and we spent some time talking to him. Sure enough, he did on occasion buy or commission the purchase of locally made alcohol before the plague hit, many times also buying for the brothel as well. Did he remember anything in particular? Not really. We thanked the Brewmaster and rechecked our notes.

There was a person named Yuri Hadrow, a farmer, 3rd on the death roll for one who died from the plague. We wanted to find out where his steading is (or was) and were going to go to the Black Court to find out. We also wanted to go talk to Madame Bie again, go to the Dog and Fox Tavern, and end the day about 4 PM at the Split Beard Tavern to have a few other questions answered.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meet 135, Adv 12, 6/11/11

The party spent some time familiarizing themselves with Flatrock as well as some of the inhabitants there. It was a nice change from dungeons and combat and the party was giving some serious effort in finding a cure from the plague.

Not much to say except at the end the party got a "hard on" to hunt down Vanir and the Lycos Suns so trekked out of town to Kreladale.

Write up follows:

Watermonth 21st, about 3 PM, the party left the Grey Raven Hospice and followed Goodman’s Court until they arrived at the alchemist’s tower. It was a wide building, roughly circular, standing about 40’ in height. A series of tin chimneys stuck oddly out the top of the building, a number of oddly colored smokes sieved from the bent over stacks. The door was closed and it was obvious someone was inside.

We knocked on the door loudly and heard the sound of breaking glass within and someone crying out an expletive. A few moments passed and the door opened revealing a disheveled woman in her late 40’s. She had some elvish ancestry as evidenced by her ears but the rest of her was human proportions and then some. She was a large woman, thick of ass and chest, her brownish/red hair was pulled back in a severe ponytail and her left hand was dark purple from her fingertip until the stain faded to nothing at her elbow.

She identified herself as Morei, the current proprietor of the alchemist’s lab and tower. We entered and shared who we were as well as our intention to help the town and work on a cure. She was the last alchemist here, her master and two of the other journeymen had succumbed to the plague. There were 2 assistants still in town but they were taking a leave to care for ill family members. There were no more healing potions or potions of curing or just about anything that might help combat the effects of the plague.

What was looked for was a distillate, a point of contagion that Morei could work with and generate an actual cure. However all the people who have the plague now have what she referred to as a 2nd generation version. Any distillate made would make only a single person immune to the disease and only until they are infected again by another person. Other adventuring groups had also gone looking for the first patient or where the disease might have originated and brought back samples. But to date, nothing has worked.

We offered to leave Mebali there to help out Morei and then made our way to the west end of town and the Three Dog Hotel. We acquired 4 rooms, doubles, for the entire week and in order to possibly throw off anyone who might be looking at or for us (ie – Lycos Suns) had the proprietor shuffle a couple of keys around so our room did not appear to be taken. Then we went to the well and changed our water for the same water that the town uses, after learning that the properties of the enriched mineral water actually offer some resistance to the plague’s effects.

We noted a number of rats near the granaries, the large clay holding bins were only half filled and the millhouse nearby was not churning the rye and wheat to flour. From here we crossed town square once more and next to the Gibbets and stocks was the large outdoor donjon known as Sinner’s Towers. A onetime dwarven edifice, the main block tower stood 60’ tall, 20’ at the base tapering to about 15 at the top where a large 60’ diameter buttressed platform was affixed, a series of iron bars encircling the perimeter and curling upward and around, providing an open air prison to any within.

There were a 6 count of liveried guards wearing tabards and padded jerkins, sporting a variety of barbed spears. We had some words with a desire to interview/check out the prisoners above and faced the hostility of a single guard, Ornan, who had apparently lost a few family members during the intervening 6 months. Some of the party was curt, others gave the bereaved guardsman a few coins and comforting words.

We were escorted to the top where we saw the deplorable condition of the donjon. Of the 15 prisoners here, 8 were already dead from the plague and of the remaining 7, 5 had obvious plague effects. We garnered their respect and aid with some fresh food and water and a well timed bless spell from Ludwig. One of the prisoners, a loquacious fellow named Rience, filled us in on some of the findings and goings on as seen from up here. We discovered early on that there was no starting of the plague here as it had indeed started out in the town somewhere. A point of reference was a man who had killed his wife and been hung here and then shortly afterwards the first plague victims were found.

We also learned that a few of the prisoners had ties to local slavers, one of them being Candlekeep and the leader who was named Bendelene. We thanked them for their efforts and honestly, they appreciated all the food, water, and company we brought them, and then we left.

Once out in the street (6:45 PM), we decided we had enough time to go to Zinthar’s Herbs and offer the magical dirt we had that would speed up the growth of any seeds planted within. On the south end of town near Cheapside Ave, we found the ¾ acre land around the Herbalists shop to be a rather well tended herb garden. Irrigated, orderly, weeded, terraced in places – it was a very impressive sight. Detheron took the lead on this one, escorting us to the herbalists shop (after knocking on the gate for some reason) where we were met by the eccentric Master Zinthar himself.

Taken out of retirement from the passing of his son and his wife, his grandchildren severely lacking in the herbalists arts, Zinthar lived here with only two ravens (Joe and SKCWAAA) and about 15 wild looking tabby cats. He was pushing 80, cataracted eyes, liver spotted skin, hunched over, supporting his weight on a 3’ gnarled wooden cane/cudgel. He launched into a treatise on the difficulty he has, the troubles with the town, how he refuses to die until the plague is done, and the unsavory nature of dwarves.

It was about halfway through our conversation that Detheron gleaned that the crazed white haired man was actually a druid of name level and more than capable. We had Gwyn show him the properties of the fast growing dirt and he was amazed. Bargaining occurred as he wanted the entire pound and Gwyn did not want to give it up. He offered booze, bits of shiny metal, anything a dwarf would want. Then he turned to Detheron, thinking the druid was the owner of the unsavory dwarf, and tried to get him to force Gwyn to just give it to him.

He eventually gave up his prized possession, his cane/cudgel, and Detheron took it reverently. The rest of the dirt was given to Zinthar who was going to use it, analyze it, and also continue to grow more than enough of the abundant herbs needed to make and fill the physickers masks the townsfolk (and us!) had taken to wearing.

We left Zinthar’s happy and took a detour to the granaries where Detheron wanted to try and learn what he could from the rats there as well as displace them from the granaries. A single guard tried to stop him but was convinced to keep watch. From there Detheron used his speak with animals spells and had a difficult conversation with the rodents who were convinced of their superiority and that they would one day take over in a large dark wave. They referred to the people as slaves and that they should all bow to them.

It was shortly after the conversation started that while Detheron was holding the acquired cudgel that a tabby cat appeared, fully at the druid’s command and happy to be there. The rats declared Detheron a traitor and friends with the cat lover in the south end of town. Then the cat was unleashed on the rats and it slew two of them before leaving. The conversation ended with Detheron reminding the rats to avoid the granaries and instead live/eat elsewhere or he would bring the cats back again.

We retired at Three Dog Hotel and rested for the night (a few of the party worked on scribing scrolls with mixed results) awakening the next day feeling pretty good. Mebali informed the group that Morei had mentioned that there used to be a roll maintained by the priests of Odin before the plague really took over of who died and when, what circumstances. If we wanted to find patient zero, that was a good place to start. Currently the priests rolls were severely denuded and it was suggested we go to the High Magistrate, a thick skinned dwarf named Corvallis Trueborn, who held office at the Black Court on the north end of Market Square.

Once inside we had to wait only a short time before the dark bearded dwarf saw us. Within the first few moments he identified Thurin as an elf and refused to have dealings with him. The rest of us talked for a short while, learning that he had attained the position mainly due to the fact that his family had lived here before the dwarves had left long ago. He had a copy of the death roll drawn up for us, highlighting the area of time around when the plague started. We thanked Corvallis and left.

Outside we went through the list and noted as had been told, the first death was the drunk outside Dog Gate and the next instance of a death was from a Madame Lili, proprietor of the Split Tail Brothel attached to the Split Beard Tavern. Our next location in sight we went. It took a few coins pressed into the right palms and we were allowed entrance. The brothel catered to both human and dwarven clientele and it was only a few minutes before we were engaged in conversation with Madame Bie.

She had taken over after Madame Lili’s passing about 6 months ago. We talked to her about Madam Lili’s death and learned that she came down from the plague fast and hard, wasting away in just over a week. She was not a working girl any longer so did not seem to contract it from a patron. We asked her about her predilection to sad cases (thinking she might have spent time with the 1st case, the drunk by Dog Gate) but was told that she rarely had any dealings with anyone like that.

We talked about what to do next. Further investigation? Head to the Far Travel Hotel and confront the Lycos Suns and Iohannas? Instead we opted to go to Kreladale, the forgotten trading town about 3 miles or so to the north on the other side of the Flat Rock Mesa. We strongly suspected through our conversations around town that the Lycos Suns might be there and doing something and some of the party still felt the slaving organization was partially responsible for the plague at all.

We left the town through High Gate and took our time going around Flat Rock Mesa, breaking for lunch and then hiking across the badlands and scrub that made up this area of the country. Brambles, shale, rocks, thorns, and all manner of beetles and snakes made up the landscape and travel was slow and plodding. About half a mile from town we stopped and Detheron called on Frey’s will, transforming himself into falcon. We affixed one of the Lycos medallions to his right foot and claw and Gwyn sent the druid aloft with a tossing throw.

Detheron flew up to about 400 feet and riding thermals approached the town to get a decent look at it. He saw a number of orcs in the streets and at some gates, but on the northwestern section of town was the Krelian Cemetery and within there were half a dozen men digging up bones and graves. He strafed a bit lower and one of the workers was an 8’ wolfen humanoid – who looked up and saw the druid. Detheron poured on the speed and flew away from town.

Behind him a figure appeared in the sky, a 12’ wing spanned, brown feathered blood eagle. Shit, almost 3 times the druid’s size. Detheron pulled a wing over, angled himself south and began flying faster, dropping altitude and gaining speed, very quickly passing 80 mph and speeding up. The blood eagle tried to keep pace but the smaller falcon was much faster and left the larger avian behind. It was only after it turned lazily in the sky and went back towards town that Detheron hatched a daring plan.

Using his already considerable speed, he angled himself upward until momentum brought him to 1,000 feet. Then he stayed almost 800 feet over the eagle higher in the sky and began a steady dive that would hopefully bring him down on the larger bird. His speed grew to 60, 70, 90, past 100 mph. He brought his wings in closer, neck straining and entire body aerodynamic, goosing himself to over 120 mph just before he brought his talons around and slammed like a hammer against a wet sack of mud into the blood eagle’s back.

There was an explosion of feathers, blood, and gore as Detheron hit, twisted wildly in the air, and streaked around like a brownish whistling blur and returned to the party where he transformed back to human shape and redonned his clothes after filling us in on the rough layout of Kreladale and the fact that our presence was still unnoticed.