Relna

Recap of the 4/23/09 game

A couple of days pass, and the team wraps up their shopping in town. One morning we head to the briefing room for our next mission. Twelvin comes in, followed by a strikingly tall and strikingly blue creature – a Deva. He’s got a complex pattern of white tracery on his skin, and white eyes. He’s introduced as Altranon, and blesses the party in the name of Barronar. Twelvin lets us know that he’ll be joining the party.

Twelvin lets us know that he has a job for us. (Hopefully without lots of death and the end of the world.) Lord Caldly of the Delta Lands, a small province to the east of Gao. He hired the heroes guild to help him with a problem – goblins coming out of the swamp. The pay is 2000 gold, and any items we find we can keep. The closest town is Astrid, which is a day’s ride out. We should speak with the mayor there – Daltron. Twelvin thinks it should be pretty straightforward, and says that hopefully nothing tries to kill us other than the goblins.

The group heads to where they know the teamsters. They find out there is a merchant headed towards Astrid tomorrow. Some of us can ride with the merchant, and we’ll have to rent a few horses. So with that done, the heroes head off to a bar. The gnome demonstrates that gnomes can’t hold their beer – so Bulwark dumps him into a sack and puts him over his shoulder. Meanwhile, Asalie tries to cadge a free beer from the bar patrons.

Early the next morning the team arises and arrives at the teamster’s yard by 6:00. The team is introduced to a female half-orc. She can fit 4 regular people and the gnome in her wagon. The team gets 3 horses “on the house” and heads out. After a long day we roll into Astrid, a small town.

The heroes seek out the mayor. Entering the inn, all heads turn towards the door. A female Halfling is running the bar. We ask after the mayor and get pointed to a half elf nearby. The mayor is enthusiastic to see us. He lets us know that the goblins are lingering. He tells us about the castle of Astrid. It was plagued with all manners of ill things and accidents. Unfortunately the Lord who built the castle had both his wife and child die within a year. He passed away not long after, and the castle was abandoned. Long ago the castle fell into ruins. Now there are goblins camped at the castle. The new lord will never use the castle, but he doesn’t want goblins in his lands. Helna Featherheart – a swamp farmer – will lead us to the castle in the morning.

He points out Finster – another swamp farmer – and says he’s a good man to speak to too. Eleira, the hostess, will be more than happy to provide food and drink. Glespo approaches Finster and introduces himself and listens to Finster’s stories. It’s called the “Labyrinth swamp” because there has never been a successful mapping due to how the river flows in different directions and wipes out landmarks.

Before retiring for the evening, the heroes debate strategy – do we kill the goblins instantly? Or try to negotiate with them.

In the morning Helna is waiting for us. After some banter the team heads out. Helna lets us know that the goblins showed up a few weeks ago. The goblins don’t usually come out this far. As we start to get closer Asalie goes out to scout. The underbrush is pretty thick, but she can start to make out details. As she gets closer she can see a camp and some goblins. She sees a goblin who is carrying a staff.

After she returns to the party we continue the debate about whether or not to attack first or try to negotiate. The party decides to try to negotiate first. But as a “backup” Asalie, Nals and Glespo circle around the castle and get ready to charge in from the side.

The rest of the heroes approach from the front, seeing hobgoblins guarding the entrance. They challenge us, and Dalaan starts trying to negotiate. The negotiations weren’t going well, but we were still trying when Nals stands up from cover and blasts one of the goblins, surprising us all and starting combat.

Nals hits the goblin with a chaos bolt, killing it. The enemy responds, and arrows fly – barely missing Quiz. The hobgoblin soldiers charge, but miss the front line. In response, Grae shoots the leader, poisoning him. Dalaan blasts a soldier, while more arrows fly from the archers, striking Bulwark but missing Dalaan.

The hexer fires a vexing cloud over Bulwark and his companions at the gate. A hobgoblin thumps Dalaan, slowing him. Asalie throws her dagger at the hexer, striking him and bloodying him. Grae summons her caustic wall, putting three enemies within its range. Bulwark uses thorn strike on a nearby hobgoblin, pulling it towards him.

The archers change targets and fire at Asalie, one hitting her. Then the hexer drops from the poison running through his veins. Nals immediately fires a chaotic bolt, hitting an archer and taking out a goblin. Another goblin strikes Dalaan. Alternon responds with a bolt of light to one of the soldiers, and Bulwark strikes the same one. Dalaan takes down a goblin and a soldier. Seeing this carnage, one of the archers runs, but the rest stay and one shoots Asalie, bloodying her. Nals responds by blasting a nearby archer.

A soldier tries to attack Dalaan, and dies. Grae & Astranon both blast a nearby soldier. Then an archer stabs Asalie on the ground, while the other two archers shoot Nals. Glespo attacks two archers in return, dazing one and killing another. Alternon kills the last soldier, while Bulwark charges and hits the dazed archer. Dalaan blasts the dazed archer as well. One archer shoots Dalaan, while the other tries to run. Before the runner can go more than a few steps Bulwark chops him down. Finally Nals fires a chaos bolt and takes the last archer down.

As the team rests, they eye the tunnel entrance warily, knowing they’ll have to delve there next.

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A Run for the Border

Leaving the stables, the Heroes rode hard away from the town. After a hard day ride, a cold camp was setup to rest the horses as well as the heroes. The night passed uneventfully.

During the next day’s ride, Edward tells the heroes to continue on while he pulls something out of his pack and looks thru a device at the trail behind them. He lets loose an explicative and tells the heroes that something is riding up hard behind them. The heroes push on harder, while watching over their shoulders at the pursuers. Soon an object is seen in the sky behind them as well and appears to be gaining as well.

The heroes are trying to make it to the border where watch towers are maintained and hope for some help. The object in the sky resolves itself into a dragon… a Bone dragon… and soon flies overhead to land in front of them. The heroes pull up hard and the horses go into a panic, dumping everyone to the ground. They prepare themselves to fight, when a Blast of energy comes from behind the dragon and hits it full on. The dragon rears up and roars at the direction it came from and is hit again. The dragon lifts off and flies away in retreat. The heroes are closer to the border then they thought. The watch towers must be just ahead.

The heroes, mindful of the pursuit, quickly start to run toward the border. As they do so, they run full force into some ground troops that appear ahead of them trying to slow them down or cut them off from the border. Edward, Quiz, and Bulwark charge the group to the right to try and create an opening for the rest to bust thru. Edward goes down immediately to some well aimed ranged attacks, but is recovered in short order by Grae. Ghelspo breaks to the far right with his speed, and with urging from Bulwark makes a break for the border since he’s carrying the artifact they are all trying to deliver.

With some fancy footwork, timely heals, and decisive blows delivered by all involved, most are able to slip thru the forces. Edward lags behind, but with urging from Bulwark, breaks off from the skeletons and makes a run for it. Bulwark lays down a last bit of cover for the retreat and make for the towers making sure to leave no one behind. As they approach the towers, they see several horseman rides up on the crest behind them. It’s a Skeletal Lord with some Wights as riders. One of the Wights makes to do a ranged attack when it’s blasted to nothing from a hit by one of the Towers. The riders hesitate then turn on move off. The heroes straggle in little by little until they are all reassembled at the border.

They meet with High Protector Algemon, Cleric of Dalnanor, who was waiting for the heroes to help deliver the artifact the rest of the way to Gao. An airship was sent along to expedite the travel. At this time the Algemon takes the artifact off their hands to deliver it on its final leg, but takes the time to talk about the artifact. The heroes also reveal the box piece to him to see if he has any further information about its origins. Bulwark perks up and asks to see the piece. He pulls a similar looking piece from within his workings and it appears to be another piece of the box but is embossed with a Shield. Dalann asks Bulwark where he got it. Bulwark says he found it while in the city ruins before he joined the party while out on a mission for Tyrel. Dalann asks why he didn’t reveal it before, and Bulwarks responds with “why would I?” it had been the first time he had seen a similar device.

The heroes board the Blimp and head back to Gao. Seltzer meets with the Algemon and does some soul searching. He has found that adventuring is more dangerous than he expected and took the death of Rolan harder than anticipated. He decides to call an end to it, and asks if he can apprentice under the Algemon, who agrees. He later tells the rest of his companions this. Most of his companions wish him well on his endeavors and hope he can find peace in his new calling. Seltzer turns over the battle standard from the old heroes to Bulwark to carry on. The Algemon rewards the group with 10K gold and lays a condition on them to speak no further about the artifact for their own safety and for it.

After returning to Gao, the heroes check in with the Guild and relate everything that has happened. Having only doing this after being prompted that the Guild already knows of their condition of the mission. The guild tells the group well done, and to take several days off to rest. Before they can leave, Twelven asks them to take a new member under their wing and introduces Nales to them. He appears to be a gnome sorcerer and immediately seems to take to following Asalie around, much to the groups amusement, but not to hers.

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Grea's Log

After the battle, the barn was a fetid abattoir, so the party decided to investigate the house. Asalie starts by sneaking around the house, looking to see if it is safe. Having circled the first level, she climbs up to the 2nd floor. Everything looks quiet, so she sneaks into the front door. The cast iron stove is still hot. The druid notices a door down to the basement. Asalie goes down and checks and the druid joins her. It’s a typical food cellar. Bins of potatoes, etc. The team decides the house is safe, and decides to take a long rest.

In the morning after much discussion, we send Asalie in to scout the town.

Asalie gets to the town, and it looks like a bomb has gone off in the middle of the town (not that she knows what a bomb is…). She creeps in slowly, senses wound taut. Suddenly she hears a rustling from the house near her. She darts around the corner, keeping going forward. She discovers that the village isn’t a trap per se. But the party will be funneled towards the town square. Asalie decides to vault a barricade to see the other side. She looks to the square and sees things shambling through the square. She moves even closer but it is getting more difficult to continue without being spotted. There’s a pile of bodies in the center of the square. And many carts around the square, like it was market day. And she still sees shambling now and then – they appear to be zombies. She tries to move forward, and sees a flash above her. She backs off and attempts to move out of the town. With great skill she makes it back to the party alive!

The team decides to go in. When they get to the center square, they see undead arrayed in front of them and they hear a voice saying “come fools” and teased us about our horses.

The two sides close and battle commences. The team decides to be more cohesive, and focuses their fire on one of the archers. Except for Edward, he charges the other archer. As blows are exchanged Glespo smites one of the transparent zombies with a mighty bite, following up by biting a lesser zombie. Grae fires her crossbow damaging one of the enemy archers. Dalaan blasts the zombie blocking the way to the archer. The bard marks one of the pale reavers, and does 4 points of damage. But then the enemies rally, and pound the heroes in return. Edward is possessed, but fortunately doesn’t hurt anyone. He’s greatly damaged so Grea helps him with extra temp HP. Glepso charges the brain in the jar, slamming into it. But now Asalie is dominated and strikes the Warlock. The Warlock backs up and strikes Asalie and a zombie in return, rendering them immobile.

The bard then shouts out his triumph, lashing out at two nearby enemies and hitting one of them. As he moves away from the enemies, he helps Elnora heal herself. Bulwark steps up and strikes at one of the archers as well. As the enemy attacks, Bulwark is able to step in and slow one and slide it away from the line. After the enemys’ attacks subside, Glespo strikes the brain again and Grae shoots it with a bolt. Still controlled, Asalie throws a dagger at Dalaan and strikes him. After moving away from nearby zombies the bard hits the brain. Quiz uses booming blade and strikes a nearby zombie.

The enemies attack in a flurry, and the brain in the jar takes over the Glespo. Glespo charges the bard and pushes him back into the zombies. Asalie charges the brain in the jar and shatters the jar, slaying the brain!

Dalaan attacks with an eyebite and strikes a flaming archer. Then Glespo crits a pale reaver – it goes down but it isn’t dead yet. The enemy responds in kind, striking out at party members. After recovering from the enemies’ blows, Asalie strikes a zombie. Dalaan then eyebites an archer and kills it!

Seltzer steps back and viciously mocks the zombie in front of him, causing it much emotional pain. And Quiz does a sword burst around herself, hitting one of the enemies. The zombies attack, but one dies from being on fire, and the rest miss the party. Grae shoots the last archer, and wraps it in spikes. Asalie takes advantage of the spikes, striking the archer and inflicting extra damage. Eleanor unleashes Pelor’s wrath, dropping her foe. The enemy strikes back, in particular striking Quiz for massive damage. Glespo retaliates by dropping the final archer. Quiz lashes out, striking two of the foes while Bulwark strikes a pale reaver and pulls it closer. Dalaan lashes at three enemies, striking two of them. Grea blasts their remaining enemies with fire, and bolsters nearby allies. Eleanor kills off the remaining zombie, while the bard mocks the last foe. Quiz strikes the final foe and Edward finishes it off with a blow from Pelor.

After checking the stables, the team does find nine horses. Worried there may be more undead around they make a hasty retreat from the village.

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Enter the Bulwark

As the Heroes ride away from the old ruins they enter the surrounding plains. It soon becomes obvious that not only can they see far into the distance but that hiding out in the plains is not really an option either. They decide to ride as hard as they can, but since they aren’t used to it have a hard time of it. Edward notices a figure riding up from behind following their train in the distance. The Heroes decide it is best to get set for a possible attack rather than continue to run. The figure riding up from behind seems to have no trouble riding hard to close the distance. The figure canters the horse the remaining distance and hops down to greet Edward, “Hail Edward, your wife sends her regards”. Edward turns to introduce the figure as Bulwark to the Heroes. Bulwark turns out to be a Warforged, which was found in the old ruins and repaired to working order.

Bulwark tells the Heroes of the attack on the village and that Tyrel had sent him ahead to join the Heroes in guarding the artifact while they tried to hold off the attackers as long as possible. Grae takes special interest in Bulwark due to his nature as a construct, but manages to restrain herself.

The Heroes press on, and decide to camp for the night. Bulwark lets it be known that ‘he’ can take several watches if necessary due to his need for less ‘rest’ then the others. During the first watch, Edward notices the camp is being approached by what appears to be hyenas. Edward rush’s out to engage 3 of them, while Quiz is rushed and engaged by 3 more on the other side of camp. Bulwark takes up position and forms a perimeter by engaging 2 more just short of the camp. Edward seems to handle the 3 on him quite handily while Bulwark manages to knock prone one of his. The ground seems to come up and entrap the prone hyena while Asalie knocks another one prone. Working together they easily take out the 2, while the rest of the Heroes handle the ones on Quiz. Asalie seems quite pleased with how things turned out for once.

The Heroes decide to move camp, and find another place to rest, and make it thru the rest of the night undisturbed. The next morning, the Heroes proceed along their way and approach Horizon Crest, their first stop along the way back to Gao. The plan is to pick up fresh horses and continue on their way. They are stopped by a female that both Edward and Bulwark recognize and told that the Town has been taken by forces that plan to ambush them. The guards have been subdued and the people sequestered to their homes. The Heroes discuss what to do about this turn of events. Asalie is all for just going around to the nearest farm (pointed out by the scout) and getting horses there and just leave. Bulwark points out that the artifact safety takes priority but that the town can’t be just left to its own devices. Bulwark seems rather animated about this point. Surprisingly Dalann seems to echo the same sentiments which throw some of the heroes off guard.

The heroes decide to go to the farm to get fresh horses, and give more time to think of ideas to deal with the town ambush. Once near the farm, Asalie is sent ahead to scout of the place. It appears to be strangely deserted. Asalie approaches a large barn, and peering thru the gaps in the wood siding, see what appears to be a mound of body parts. Almost choking on what she see’s, she notices something in the back of the barn holding a little girl. He signals for the heroes to move up. Asalie points at the door indicating something inside, and Bulwark charging up bashes in the door. Edward moves in up the left side while Bulwark moves up the right side once inside. In the middle of the barn floor is a Mass Grave of blood, bones, and parts. A Wight appears behind the area holding the girl and boost that they Heroes are too late and that they are all going to die. It kills the girl which appears to finish some ritual. Two beastly apparitions are summoned forth from the grave and engage Edward and Bulwark. As the Heroes rush in, Ghouls appear to jump out of stalls. Edward is quickly surrounded and Quiz moves up to help along with Seltzer. Bulwark is quickly overwhelmed by several solid blows and from ghouls spitting foul goo. Glespo, Dalann, Asalie, and Grae move up to help, and Bulwark recovered proceeds to do several odd things. A large area of the floor suddenly sprouts plants and provides cover to those around him, but ‘he’ also seems to be covered in some kind of frost that makes it harder to hit and causing the ground around him to frosted over causing footing issues for the ghouls. As the fight rages, the Wight taunts and appears to throw spells around. Bulwark manages to take down the apparition with help from Glespo and Asalie, while Dalann and Grae work on the roaming ghouls. Seltzer goes down, with Edward and Quiz barely holding on. Edward has been blinded and is having a difficult time of it. Bulwark charges the Wight to try to occupy it’s attention. The Wight seems to get a chant off and the apparition that was down gets up again from the mess on the floor. Asalie working with Glespo, Dalann, and Grae manage to take it down again. Asalie moves up to help Bulwark with the wight, while Dalann and Grae try to rush over to help Seltzer, Quiz, and Edward. Asalie and Bulwark finish off the Wight. Glespo finishes off one of the spitting ghouls and watches it explode. He warns Edward and Quiz to back off from the spitter on their side of the barn. Asalie charges across the grave, almost falling ill in the process, to make it over to help. Bulwark rushes the long way around finish off the last ghouls still up. The Heroes finish off the remaining spitter and breathe a sigh of relief to have survived.

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Recap of the 3/23/09 game

3rd day of the third month of the season of renewal

Headmaster Bastion, Chosen of Azureen:

We stood ready to take the challenge. There was little choice; we are still convinced that if we had left the artifact here, those with evil plans for it would also have been able to breach its defenses. And that would have been bad for the world for sure.

We stood ready to fight for what we believed in, even to the death.

Little did we realize how true that would be.

The challenge appeared before us, six beings which we had to fight, and presumably vanquish. The final guards of the artifact: A Halfling, a chain fighter, a Tiefling, a Warforged, a Witch, and a dwarf. They all looked quit competent, powerful, and trouble. They move rapidly to assault us, the halfling hits me with a crossbow before any of us can even react. And he has some form of poisoned bow – I use the power of my new armor so he suffers the same as I. Perhaps premature, but I feel that we will need all the damage we can dish out to finish this fight.

Indeed, this battle looks to be EPIC.

I also note that the chain fighter is so outdated; I mean who uses a spiked chain anymore? Really?

Glespo reacts quickly, as usual, but pretty much the force arrayed against us goes first. Blows are traded rapidly. Asalie knocks down the spiked chain guy with a huge strike, and the halfling hits him with an arrow which poisons and slows him. The chain fighter can go insubstantial, the Tiefling flings fire to and fro (mainly to little effect early, thankfully). The witch pours out darkness which does serious damage, and provides great cover. They fight under a standard, one which appears to be an archaic Hero’s Guild formulation, and it appears to increase damage.

The chain fighter falls early. Cautious of the ranged power of the poisoning, slowing dwarf, we focus on him and take him down. Rolan fires to great effect. I have taken great damage, and Asalie encourages me to fight on. Glespo lands his powers and lights up enemies, making them easier to strike, which Asalie loves. Dalaan lands his contagion, which does terrible things to people. And Asalie dishes enough damage to the commander to bloody him, finally.

The battle is really rough though, and our enemies are shaking off the effects we land on them like a light rain. Suddenly Rolan begins screaming something about fog and snakes. It might have been frogs and snakes, I’m not sure; He thrashes around and falls limp to the ground. The work of the Witch.

The warforged and I argue the finer points of saving the world. I mean if this was a test to make sure that if in the future a force for good needed to be powerful enough to wrest the artifact and subsequently guard it from evil once it has returned to the real world, I would agree. But these heroes or simulacra, or whatever they are, seem to think that the artifact can remain safe here, forever.

Those who hid it had great foresight, true. Just not quite enough. The warforged falls.

Dalaan bites the eyes of the Halfling, who tried to move. Glespo stops that. In return the witch blasts Dalaan, while Seltzer helps Rolan back to his feet. The Witch is serious trouble: her necrotic cloud moves with her and it hurts. It hurts like DEATH. The Tiefling gets smacked around and teleports into the cloud. Asalie continues her beat down and drops the Halfling.

Two left, both in the death cloud. The Witch must go, but even so the Tiefling may be the death of us all. Trying to get to the Witch I fall, in the cloud, on fire. I feel the end is very near. At the same time I hear Dalaan blasted by the Witch and he falls cursing her as he goes down.

I vaguely remember getting up and fleeing the death cloud, but the fire won’t go out. Battle rages around me as I fall to the ground again. I later learn that Glespo and Asalie flanked the evil Witch. Glespo misses, but Asalie stabs with serious conviction and DROPS THE WITCH.

Still it is not over. Glespo is dropped by Tiefling fire, but he will not be stopped and surges back to consciousness! As it turns out, this is critical. The Tielfling, however, is unimpressed and then drops Rolan with fire. Finally Seltzer mocks the Tiefling to death.

Bastion, I was so close to death I could see Bahamut calling me to the afterlife. Glespo saves me, and the image of Bahamut fades and is replaced with Glespo’s instead. He then proceeds to save Dalaan. We try to save Rolan, but it is too late, and he dies the final death.

Rolan I am so sorry to have failed you.

We recover the box which has the artifact in it. It has a sacrifice lock on it. Someone must die to open it. The box is cold, and when you hold it you both love it and hate it. Evil.

The dungeon fades and Arroyo appears, under siege. Time is critical, and we must now push four days to the border, and will switch horses in a town halfway there. The town will fall, there is no doubt. They give us their last heirlooms. Edward shows us an escape route, which requires climbing and chasm crossing. And a fair bit of falling. We emerge in a hidden clearing, and horses are waiting for us.

We ride as hard as we can.

As always, your student, Quiz

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The Further Tales of Two Silver – A Bars Tale (Part 2)

The Bard settles back down to continue the tale, with no hope of escaping the crowd at this point and picks up where he left off.

The Heroes after cleaning up the mess in the statue room, move back to the center and decide to just clear each room as they come to them. The brazier is lit and the Heroes move down the hall. The room appears to be empty except for the device on the far side. Looking around the walls seem rather high and it is soon noticed that there appears to be nocks or nests high up on the wall.

As soon as the Heroes step at the end of the hall, flying things come out of the nests. Two Silver immediately recognizes them as drakes (crowd Cheers and Drinks). Quiz moves into the room (a patron nursing a sore head looks about to say something then thinks better of it) a short distance to take on the larger drakes, while Asalie and Ghelespo move up to provide cover. Two Silver takes a shot at the closest target and gets in a few hits (crowd Cheers and Drinks). One of the Drakes does strafing attacks on Asalie while a Swarm of smaller drakes attack Ghelespo. It’s immediately clear that this fight is going to hurt. Asalie taking significant damage ends up running all the way back to the center room and can be heard saying “f this”. Ghelespo also taking a heavy beating pulls back and shouts “Don’t you dare!” Two Silver thinking of his academy training yells out to pull back into the hallway and continues to shoot drakes as target become available (crowd Cheers and Drinks). Quiz and Seltzer slowly pull back into the hallway, and the Drakes are picked off one by one. When it’s finally all said and done the drakes are all killed, and the party limps back into the room nursing theirs wounds, expect Two Silver who appears to not been hit at all (crowd cheers and “Round on the House” rings out).

Seltzer begins to examine the nests and attempts to get up to them to search them. After several failed attempts (something about recovering his sword that fell on him) he turns to Two Silver and asks him to help since he knows more about the creatures. Two Silver looks at him strangely and just pulls out his grapple hook and rope and slings up there to knock the nests(crowd Drinks). There doesn’t appear to be anything of value.

The Heroes head back to the center room to rest up and recover from their wounds. They rest peaceably and have dreams of heroic deeds and feats (crowd Drinks).

The heroes refreshed and ready to go, move on to the next room. Filled with confidence after having been thru the last fight without a scratch, Two Silver moves up to examine the room from the end of the hall. He and Seltzer are immediately stuck in place by webbing that is cast on them from man sized spiders. Quiz rushes out to get in front to blunt the blow against those stuck in place and is quickly surrounded. Asalie, Ghelespo, and Dalaan, staying as far back as they can use ranged weapons and spells to do as much damage as they can to the creatures. Quiz is eventually overwhelmed and falls. Two Silver time after time gets free of the webbing only to get re-webbed. He eventually stops trying and just holds his ground to cover the downed Quiz (a few Cheers and Drinks). However using ranged weapons against opponents standing right on top of you is not the best idea around, and Two Silver pays for it, going down himself (the dwindling crowd is subdued). The fight continues with the others knocking them out one by one thus give an opening for Ghelespo to burst thru and get into the room so that he can hit the creatures that were using the walls for cover. Two Silver seems to get worst while lying there caught in the webbing (the dwindling few patrons that are left are on the edge of their seats/stools). The last of the creatures are defeated and the rest of the party bandages up the wounded and get both Quiz and Two Silver back up (remaining crowd roars and Drinks, not many patrons are left standing at this point, most are either unconscious or stumbled out of the bar at this point). The heroes need rest and once again retire to the central room.

The Bard finishes his tale and looks around the bar. Literally no one is left except for unconscious patrons and the barkeep that is drifting back and forth from the back room cleaning up. The bard talks to the barkeep and takes a cut of the nights profits. Looking around carefully to be sure the barkeep is in the back, he starts to clean out the remaining coins from the sleeping patrons. Walking out of the bar thinking to himself that “Two Silvers” is worth more than it used to be.

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The Further Tales of Two Silver - A Bars Tale

The decision had been made, the heroes would go into the catacombs and retrieve the artifact first before attempting to distract the Treasure Hunters.

Before the Heroes activate the portal device, Two Silvers goes and stocks up on provisions, and ale (the listening crowd Cheers and Drinks) and when he returns the heroes step forward to the device while the town elder saying “Good Luck!” steps back to edge of the room.

The Heroes find themselves in a magically lit room with 3 unlit braziers in the center of the room. The room is octagonal (what? That’s means it has 8 sides you dim wit, says someone at the back of the bar) and the walls appear to be solid. Two Silver takes a closer look at the unlit braziers and decides to light one (crowd Cheers and Drinks). One section of the wall magically opens and there appears to be a hall way leading to another octagon shaped room with another device that looks like the one that brought the Heroes to the first room. Before anyone moved into the hallway the brazier was doused and the wall closed back up again. A different brazier is lit and a different section of wall opens to reveal another hallway but this time leading to a huge rectangular (Crash! Means square but longer you idiot, now shut up!) room. The Heroes decide to light the braziers in different order to reveal all the passages before exploring each one.

On the 3rd attempt, the Wall opens and immediately creeping crawling sounds can be heard down the hallway. The Heroes prepare themselves for combat and edge down the hallway to see what dangers lay ahead. Quiz takes lead (“She’s my favorite… OW!” Another patron snarls “I Said Shut UP!”) with Seltzer close by. They reach the end of the hallway and out of the ground appear Giant Spiders. Quiz moves into the room and Seltzer moves up to the edge of the hallway “I can hold em!”. One Spider immediately moves up and Spits some form of acid on the heroes, which immediately drives seltzer to re-think being up front. The heroes engage the spiders and kill a few right off with little trouble. Suddenly about half the spiders tunnel into the ground and disappear. The Heroes attempt to finish off the ones they can see. Quiz finds herself surrounded by the spiders but remains able to stay up and take the beating. The other heroes remain in the hallway and fire from cover at what they can see. Suddenly from the ground at our heroes feet pops up the missing critters and they attack whoever they are near. Two Silver steps back and pumps arrows into the closest ones (crowd Cheers and Drinks) but doesn’t kill em. The Heroes start to whittle down the numbers but take damage themselves as well. One of the larger spiders closes on Two Silver but he gracefully just glides back and puts two arrows right thru the head of the spider killing it! (crowd Cheers and Drinks). Two Silver steps back up to rejoin the heroes and finds that some of them have entered the room to clean up the rest of the spiders. He hears Asalie griping about her constantly being alone to deal with critters, which doesn’t make sense due to all the Heroes, are there with her.

After having cleared out the last of the spiders, the Heroes find that there is a device much like in the other rooms. Upon further inspection it looks like this device is part of a larger mechanism or spells and might be some kind of combination lock. The Heroes decide to go back and try another room. They decide to try to activate two braziers at once and find a new wall opening. In this room are what appear to be 5 smaller and 2 larger statues around the room. Two Silver cautiously moves into the room (crowd cheers and Drinks) and appears to set off a trap (bets are made) because the statues come to life and immediately Charge him. Two Silver avoids them (money exchange hands, crowd Drinks) as Glespo moves in to lay down fire around them. The rest of the Heroes move in except Asalie and Seltzer. During the fight some of the Heroes appear dazed and shout “Where’d they Go?” Others attacking the smaller statues at times seemed to miss wildly and hit their comrades. At one point Two Silver fires and grazes Quiz (crowd looks around unsure if to cheer or not, shrugs, and Drinks). The Heroes focus on the 2 larger statues and take them down quickly, but the smaller statues take a little more time. At one point Glespo shouts out “Where are they? Point them out”, Two Silver shouts back “Which One? Over There” pointing in a general direction to Glespo’s right, exasperating Glespo (crowd Drinks). The Heroes continue to fight until all of the statues have been destroyed. Quiz checks her shirt and sticks a finger thru a hole In it looking at Two Silver saying “Hey That Hurt!”, at which Two Silver responds “Hey, if I had meant to hit you it would have been between the Eyes!” (crowd cheers and Drinks, Someone in the back makes a comment about “Quiz being Awesome” and is immediately smashed against the bar, “I said Shut UP!” starting a overall bar brawl. During the brawl, the bard crawls out the door and almost escapes but is grabbed by the ankles and dragged kicking and screaming back into the bar.. “Your not done yet bard!!” Crowd Cheers… and Drinks)

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Recap of the 2/26/09 game

Exert from the Journal of Asalie:

Sleep didn’t come easy after the attack, what the hell were those things anyway? I usually don’t mind bats, but those things were way too big and way too feral to be normal bats. I’ve never seen anything feed off the shadows the way they did…it was a bit unsettling. (Maybe a little fascinating)

I don’t like this place, though I’d never admit it to the elves. It’s not some sort of magical distaste or mystical feeling…I just don’t like the quiet. When I look at this place I see a dead city, and something about that deeply disturbs me. I suppose I have a certain expectation of what a city should look like and that expectation, that normality, is disturbed by this place. Will all cities one day share this fate? Will my home city one day look like this?

It has been decided, we are going to attack the slaver group. Though I’m not sure about our tactic of trying to lure them away from the camp will be a good one. I’d prefer to engage them in the surrounding forest where we can attack from close range and where we will have plenty of cover to attack from and fall back to should the need arise. Regardless, it’s not my call…I just have to do the best with the situation.

…………….

As expected, our attack did not lure the enemy to our location. In fact, they attempted to make a wall of slaves and set up the bridge so they could retreat to the safety of their mine. Even so, my group continues to impress me with their battle prowess.

The druid was first out and ended up being a bolt magnet. The rest of us turned his misfortune to our advantage and while the enemy reloaded their crossbows the rest of us struck. The ranger assumed the rear position and rained down wooden death upon our foe. As per our usual tactics, the Swordmage and I moved in as a unit and did our best to surround and cut down enemies (I’ve grown quite fond of her). Meanwhile, one of the enemies exploded with disease (obviously the work of our warlock). The thing that was strange about it…several kobold slaves also exploded and died a horrid death from the disease. (Just another example of the unpredictable and dangerous nature of magic use.)

Our assault continued and we managed to drop the two wizards before they were able to create a bridge. The druid kept laughing about knocking a wizard into a pit. I didn’t see it, but it supposedly happened behind enemy lines. (Though I think he was just making it up.) We moved in surrounding the enemies, and even with their employers dead and their situation hopeless, they still refused to surrender. (You have to admire their dedication to the job.) Finally, the last one threw down his sword and gave up.

…………

I’m not proud to admit that greed got the better of me. The slave collars were obviously made of precious materials and could probably be sold for a great price as most magical items are. For several moments I entertained the idea of selling them. And for what, so some other poor soul could be enslaved? No, the collars had to be destroyed.

When we returned to the village we were greeted as heroes. I don’t think the people expected us to return, the whole celebration felt like a mixture of surprise and joy. And as much as I hate to admit it, it was nice being the hero. I tried to keep to myself and watch over my drunken companions from secrecy, but people made it a point to seek me out and thank me. It’s nice to feel appreciated, but it does get on your nerves after a while.

The party ended with a speech and some new magical goodies. None for me mind you, but I guess it’s good that the others are getting some better equipment. Assuming we stay as a group, I’ll need the Swordmage to be in tip-top shape.

………….

It seems the town elder knows what the two groups are searching for. (I’m a bit pissed he didn’t tell us this before) It seems there’s some artifact buried under the city. Funny thing is, it’s under this town in some catacomb. And now the kicker…not only do we have to get it, but we have to cause a distraction first then sneak it safely out of the city and travel for several weeks back to our hometown.

Yeah…

Suddenly the whole hero thing doesn’t feel nearly as good.

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Recap of the 2/19/09 game

29th day of the second month of the season of renewal

Headmaster Bastion, Chosen of Azureen:

I write to you quietly from our second camp of the night, in a lightly forested area outside of an ancient ruined city. But, I get ahead of myself.

We have travelled away from Gao to aid a small town, Arroyo, which has had some few townsfolk captured by treasure hunters. Basically, Arroyo is fortified and built up into the basements of the ancient city. It is all very interesting, from a historical perspective. The ruins of the ancient city are dangerous, especially at night. And we have the added trouble of two groups of treasure hunters, one of which has captured locals to help them in their excavations.

An ancient ruin is very exciting! Although I must temper myself, as our mission is the rescue of these unfortunate locals, not the discovery of ancient artifacts or powerful magical weapons.

We wake early, have a large breakfast, including some questionable bacon, and we head out. Edward helps us get topside, this involves a meandering path through ruined basements of the old city, and other passages. The exit from Arroyo into the ruins is guarded by draw bridge, When we return we ring a bell and either George or Joseph will let us back in.

The ruin is barely recognizable as a ruin, it is so old. It looks more like a rough wild overgrown land with occasional remains of walls, or a bit of road, or shells of a building. Nothing is left standing. It would indeed take an excavation to realize that it was once a city. Very slow going. And not much wildlife. The elves in the party are also very uncomfortable, uneasy. It may be the bacon, but is more likely that something is wrong here. Perhaps fey wild intrusions.

As we travel it is clear that we are being tracked. We find a defensible location, more or less. We are being tracked by a pack of grey wolves, Glespo sees one cross our path, and he fires. We all engage. Of importance to note for instructional purposes, they attack using effective pack tactics, and when they have the advantage their attacks can knock you prone. Yes once again, I have my face in the dirt during a fight. We are somewhat spread out, and our archer Rolan is continually fighting two on his own. He fights valiantly, but is eventually knocked out. Amazingly, he manages to regain consciousness on his own! I have never seen this before, but he rejoins the fight, much to our rejoice.

Glespo is quite fast in this rough terrain, which is to our advantage. Well, Asalie wasn’t as excited, but she did still manage some nice stabbing. Seltzer, our bard, had to pull out his longsword and fight! After a nice battle we prevail.

We find some newer ruins, but they are entirely creepy, and we are unable to approach. Then they vanish, and we see normal ruins again. Chaos magic, and the fey wild, we assume. Dangerous.

We find the first treasure hunter camp. A cleared area with the undergrowth removed, a large trench, spikes, etc. A rough bridge and a temporary compound. Human guards, some with staves. A path leads away from camp to the northwest, leaves the ruins, and leads to the plains where we see the smoke from a larger camp. This group of treasure hunters does not night in the ruins, we assume.

Before night falls, we examine the other camp. It is also in a clearing, but isn’t as extensively cleared. They have also built a stockade, and we do not discern a path away from their camp. With the more heavy fortifications and clear guards, we assume they these treasure hunters night in the ruins.

Two hours before nightfall the first camp breaks, and heads out of the dig site, back towards their main camp. The humans lead a group of townsfolk and kobolds. They don’t appear to be coerced, however they are all wearing brass collars, which our group recognizes as compulsion collars. Vile magic. There are two wizards with control cuffs, five humans guards, seven townsfolk, and ten kobolds.

We camp for the night, and consider how best to ambush the group in the morning as they return to their dig site.

During the night we are attacked by shadow hunter bats, and this battle was extremely bad. In the dark these bats can do a huge amount of damage. They nearly claw off Seltzer’s face! We have to blow a sunrod to eliminate the advantage, but still the fight is very very rough. The bats are extremely mobile, and we take a large amount of damage. We do prevail, but who would have thought bats would do this much damage to us.

We also hope that we were far enough away from the treasure hunters camp to avoid being noticed, we did camp a few miles from them. For safety though we do move camp, and then attempt to get some rest, and hopefully prepare the rescue the hostages tomorrow morning.

I hope that when I next report I will be able to tell you that we have rescued the unfortunates and returned them to their homes safely.

As always, your student, Quiz

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The Dragon

The Doors opened and out scrabbled a dragon, the group looked at the dragon and thought of their impending doom. Then shook themselves, and prepared for the attack. “Spread Out!” someone yells. Glespo and Rolen move right, while Seltzer, Grae, and Dalaan move left. Artos and Quiz charges in. While the attacks were going home, occasionally the dragon would look at someone and they would appear dazed or confused and would actually close on the dragon. Glespo was casting Fairy Fire on the dragon, making it easier to attack and slowing the dragon, while Artos and Quiz were keeping it contained. At one point Artos actually pinned it to the ground in place. Quiz dodged the dragon’s tail several times but failed once and that’s all it took, the dragon immediately turned and chomped laying her low. Grae moved around the dragon as best she could to try to get Quiz up and it worked. Quiz was up and moving again. Glespo and Rolen rained down arrows and fire from a distance. Working together the group was able to bring the dragon down.

After taking a short rest, the group moves into the estate house only to find Ustis upstairs quickly trying to gather papers and items for his escape. Ustis was apprehended instead of outright killed due to a warrant for his arrest brought by Seltzer and Dalaan when they had rejoined the group just before the dragon fight. Apparently the reason they stayed behind in Gao was to give a deposition for the warrant as witnesses. A red skull mask was found among Ustis belongings and went to Dalaan with some protest from Artos, but was quickly sorted out.

After loading Ustis up in cart, the group headed back to town. Rolen calls for a celebratory drink at the inn, and is quite vocal against those that wanted to just head back to Gao. “You swore that after we defeated Ustis, we would come back and get a drink here!” Glespo and Rolen ended up buying a cask of ‘Deep Oak’ for the road trip home.

Ustis was ‘dropped off’ at Gao, and the group split up to celebrate and checkin with the heroes guild.

After a long night of drinking, the ‘Heroes’ gather in the morning. Rolen not remembering much learns that not only has the ‘tale of two silver’ become a popular drinking song but that it’s grown in length to include something about ‘two silver’ attacking an Orc Statue. Rolen assumes that he won the encounter while everyone points out his clothes and state that he lost. Rolen is skeptical.

Twelvin briefs the Heroes on a new mission. At a town called Arroyo, a back water of Namal (Protectorate). Local townsfolk’s are being kidnapped for unknown purposes. No ransoms or demands are being made. The group does a little research but find that there isn’t really much information to be found. So they head out and hope to gather more info as they get closer to their destination.

At inns and taverns along the way and finally at Fair Weather (last stop before Arroyo) a little more info is found. Namal is bordered to a country called Tyraga, which is ruled by a Wizard King. The latest king is apparently tyrannical and there is the possibility of war with Namal. Rumors of undead armies and other ghastly things abound.

After arriving in Arroyo, they meet with the town elder called Tyriel and his grandson Edward. Edward appears to be displeased with the appearance of the heroes in town. Arroyo is build in a crevase that is part of a mound that sits under the old city of Terenondemall. It was the site of a great magic battle in the past and lays in ruins now. It is inhabited by goblins and kobolds. Apparently there are 2 treasure hunting groups looking for some lost artifact within the ruins and one of the groups is responsible for the local kidnappings (seven members to date). The group decides to trek thru the ruins and head for the 2nd group of hunters and possibly enlist their aid in retrieving the locals. The locals speak of the dangers in the ruins and to not be caught out at night due to the lurking horrors.

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