Relna

Latest addition to Torgak’s tribal chant

We find ourselves in a tunnel, ahead there is a faint sickly glow. We slowly move down the tunnel, it spills into an open cave that has been hewn from the rock. It is quite tall, probably 200 feet tall. In the center there is a large sphere casting a red light approx 120 feet above the room. We think it is a permanent light spell. All along the walls is a city carved into the walls, clearly carved by Duegar. We also see that the upper levels are teeming with kobolds, waiting for us. At the end of the room is a large opening.

As we enter, the kobolds start booing and chanting. Serator cautions us to not stay together, the dragon’s breath weapon could hit us all with one blast if we’re not careful. After a short time, two armored kobolds appear – there’s a cheer and the shouting gets louder as the dragon walks in. He demands to know who is invading. We state that we are emissaries of the Enchantress. He scoffs at that, and points out we attacked his guards first – and emissaries should be peaceful. Then the discussion goes briefly to the Necromancer. Next, Serator speaks well on the part of the Lich Queen. The dragon claims the alliance is unequal. Serator asks how we could equalize the alliance. But the dragon demands to know what we offer. Arcosis recovers and brings up the other dead emissaries and points out they couldn’t bring back demands as they were dead, but that didn’t help. He also reiterates that the Necromancer is not a threat.

The conversation turns to the encroachments on his territory and that he wanted to be deemed equal to her. Then he points out that we come and kill his guards, invade his space and demand an audience. We apologize profusely for killing his guards – Bulwark even moves forward one square and kneels in apologies. This fails as well, the dragon demands Bulwark’s head as price to leave.

After further dickering, Bulwark attacks. The dragon rushes forward into the fray, striking him with a double claw attack. Dalaan steps up and curses the dragon, and fires an eyebite at him striking him for psychic damage. Serator fires a bolt at the dragon, blasting it. Torgak charges it, smiting it with his axe. Quiz follows, charging as well – slicing into the beast’s hide. Arcosis casts vigorous cadence on the dragon, striking it and helping the party as well. He then casts stirring shout on it, critically striking it and further helping the party and then heals Bulwark.

The kobold guards move up in a fury.

Bulwark moves forward and attacks twice, hitting it twice for agonizing damage. Nals is inspired and blasts out at the dragon kin kobold, afflicting it with fire.

The dragon is prone, but unleashes a mighty roar, frightening both Torgak and Quiz. The dragon then breathes on Dalaan and Torgak.

Dalaan curses a dragon kin kobold. Arcosis casts dire radiance at a dragon kin kobold, wounding it. Serator hypnotizes a dragon kin, keeping it at bay.

One dragon kin continues to approach, meanwhile the other attacks Bulwark but misses!

Bulwark responds by stabbing the Dragon, inflicting even damage on the dragon.

The Dragon breathes on Quiz next, then Torgak.

Dalaan blasts the dragon with an eyebite. Meanwhile, Serator lashes out with a spell hitting a dragon kin kobold.

Quiz attacks, lacerating the dragon (and recovering hit points) – he also grants fire immunity to most of the party. Unfortunately she receives ongoing fire damage in retaliation. Arcosis casts canon of avoidance on Bulwark, improving his defenses.

The dragon kin aren’t happy about this turn of events, and attack viciously. Fortunately they both miss their targets.

Not impressed by the dragon kin, Bulwark shifts to the side and tries to hit one, but its armor fends off his sword. Nals casts a chaos bolt on the dragon, blasting the wretched beast and it arcs to hit a dragon kin kobold. He follows up with another spell, inflicting even more pain.

Annoyed, the dragon claws Quiz striking her soundly.

Dalaan lashes out, critically striking a dragon kin. Meanwhile Serator fires a phantasmal bolt at a dragon kin kobold, inflicting damage and sliding it. Serator follows up with icy terrain, knocking a dragon kin kobold prone.

A dragon kin lashes out at Bulwark, striking him. Bulwark responds, striking the kobold in turn.

The dragon breathes fire again, hitting Quiz. Nals teleports away and responds with a spell, striking the dragon soundly.

Dalaan blasts the other dragon kin with his eyebite, bloodying it. Meanwhile, Torgak charges the dragon again, striking it soundly and bloodying it.

The dragon flames Quiz, and then screams “Enough”. Nals starts negotiation, but is cut off by the Bard who says the conflict has to be stopped. The dragon points out that he just wants his land rights to be respected. Serator summons the Lich with the crystal. She is pleased that the dragon is not dead, and they enter negotiations.

The dragon comes back, and says that a truce is negotiated. He also says he will reward us for our valor.

First, a heavy shield of recoil – Bulwark Second, a set of cloth armor. Repulsion cloth armor +2. Tentatively going to Nals Third, boots of free movement – Bard Fourth, a long sword Vanguard. +2 – Bulwark. Fifth – hands Serator a little toy soldier – a phantom soldier

As the we turn to leave, the Dragon offers one more gift – a prophecy: “One piece will be found in this would in a broken kingdom soon to be joined. The other is not in this world but one where the living is not welcome.”

The heroes leave, heading back to the valley. We dine with Serator and discuss the puzzle pieces and try to figure out what comes next. When morning comes we are summoned to see the lich. There’s a small breakfast laid out. She comes into the room followed by two retainers carrying a chest. She tells us that the airship will be leaving in two days. She welcomes us to stay in her castle for the two days. She then talks with Serator about leaving with the party for more world experience. Later she opens the chest, showing us a suit of armor – it was the ceremonial suit of armor for a king from an ancient empire – very few relics remain from that era making it priceless.

Quiz mentions a “plane where the living aren’t welcome”. She suggests that maybe it is in the Shadowfell, the Raven Queen’s world. We then discuss the other half of the prophecy, and we discuss shattered kingdoms. But there is no clear and obvious shattered kingdom we should approach.

We ask for news of Asalie, but we don’t get an update from the Lich Enchantress, other than she’s alive.

The heroes hang out, see the city and wait for the airship. As the team is leaving town, they run into the airship captain. He lets us know that he’ll be ready to go tomorrow, a day early. After we talk with him, we head into town. It’s a quiet town, with mostly local folks. We head to the bar. Nals orders a big beer for Serator. Meanwhile, the bard seeks out other bards and strikes a deal to play that night. The bard finds a local bard, and learns about the local flavor. After the bard’s magnificent song, there is quite the hub-bub about getting Serator drunk. The locals press drinks on him when they find out he’s leaving. He finally passes out. As we exit the bar, we see that dawn is coming. Bulwark takes Serator to the boat while the rest of the team collects their stuff.

The lich queen had our crate loaded, and had a basket of food delivered for us. We take off, through the arch in the castle. The trip back to Crossing is uneventful. Once we arrive in Crossing, Bulwark guards the crate while the rest of the team seeks out a boat heading to Gao. We find a barge easily enough and arrange transport. It’s a quiet week and a half back to Gao. We arrive at Gao safely enough, and we hire a teamster to take us and the armor to the Lord’s lawyer. We arrive at a nice building with many stories. Generally a solicitor’s building, it feels upscale.

We go in through the front door with the crate. We give the receptionist the lawyer’s card, and she calls him. Shortly after that a finely dressed tiefling comes out. He introduces himself and asks us back to his office. After we get to the office he asks if we have what our mutual friend wants? Meanwhile he walks over and gets two wooden pieces out. In response we open the chest. He inspects the armor, while we inspect the wooden pieces.

One has a staff, the other has a sword. We already have a bow and a shield, so that brings us up to 4 pieces.

Our business concluded, the tiefling reminds us to be discreet.

After we leave, we decide to head back to the heroes guild. We find some quiet time and try out the puzzle pieces. They appear to line up, but they aren’t slotted and we don’t know which side goes where – and nothing appears to happen. At an impasse, the party will have to decide what to do next.

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Latest addition to Torgak’s tribal chant

While the heroes talk with the Enchantress, she gives Serator a crystal sphere to summon her when the dragon is dealt with. The party is still confused about why a golden dragon would align with a necromancer. But the Enchantress offers no answers.

However, Serator has heard stories of the dragon. He doesn’t know why the dragon would change now, it had been peaceful until now. He’s not sure we can deal with this dragon, but we have to try.

The heroes stop at the armory for heavier coats to deal with the mountain cold. From the supplier they find out that two emissaries have been sent. Neither have returned. And Serator draws on his arcane knowledge and shares that the dragon uses bite and claws, breaths fire, resists fire, can induce fear and reacts when attacked. The dragon’s name Kluthra, and it’s 50 years old – young for a dragon.

After that, the heroes depart with their guide, Jarod. Serator makes small talk trying to find out more, but with no luck. When we make it outside it is bitterly cold, and the castle is even more impressive from the outside.

A few miles south of the vale, Jarod peels off onto what could be a game trail. There is a main trail to get there, but the scouts like to take shortcuts when they can. A half-day’s journey later, the trail opens up into a large flat surface in front of a natural cave opening. The dragon’s home. Serator knows that it used to be home to druegar – the Lich Enchantress emptied them out years ago. We head in, and the cave entrance is quite large. The heroes go further in, turning right. After walking for a while, it widens out into a large round space. We’re confronted by a group of kobolds! They appear to be wyrm warped atrocities…ugly and diseased.

They ask who seeks their master, the bard responds nimbly. Serator jumps in and asks about the Lich and the dragon. But the kobolds won’t let us pass. After much back and forth, Bulwark attacks!

Bulwark charges and deals damage, but then the kobolds respond, hitting several of the heroes.

Torgak charges the enemies in turn, smiting one of them. Bulwark takes his second wind. Serator unleashes his magical might, causing havoc amongst a group of the kobolds. Dalaan follows up with another spell, moving the kobolds through Serator’s lightning spike for even more damage. He follows up by making them attack each other.

Arcosis blasts the kobolds as well – one dies, and explodes amidst his allies. After that, Arcosis’ blast takes out another, triggering another blast. That blast kills another kobold, triggering one final blast.

Nals throws an explosive pyre on a kobold, blasting it and killing it. After that, Torgak charges one of the leaders and kills it. Meanwhile, Serator keeps his illusion up, and damages the last kobold. He then blasts the kobold with a spell. Nals blasts the same one too. Dalaan throws an eyebite on it, smiting it. The bard uses cutting words, pulling it through the fire and blasting it. The combined blow drops it.

The team takes a short rest, nursing their wounds. During the rest we see movement and hear a little laugh.

As we move forward into the cave, we come to another big opening. We see small figures in the distance, Hobbler kobolds, trap masters! One taunts Bulwark, pulling him forward. Dalaan moves forward and blasts the taunter. Nals steps up and blasts the same one. So Torgak charges – triggering a wall of fire – and kills the taunter. The kill triggers a blood fury, and he immediately charges another, smashing it with his axe…but separated from the party by a wall of fire. But Bulwark shows no fear and charges through the flames and hits the same kobold.

The kobolds respond, shooting Torgak.

Quiz charges another kobold, striking it soundly. Arcosis uses cutting words, striking a kobold and pulling it into the fire and inflicting psychic damage. Serator follows with his own blast of illusionary damage, also pushing it to the side, still in the fire.

The kobolds respond in kind, pulling party members towards the fire. But Torgak gets a good shot in on one that moved away from him and Bulwark. Nals steps up and uses a Chaos Bolt, blasting a kobold. Meanwhile, Torgak charges the same kobold. He triggers yet another trap, but kills it.

The kobolds attack with their crossbow, deftly striking the heroes.

Quiz responds with a booming blade, striking his kobold. Meanwhile, Torgak takes a second wind. And Bulwark steps up and strikes his kobold.

The kobolds don’t take all this lightly, and fire back with crossbows. In response Dalaan blasts a kobold. Arcosis hits his kobold, pulling it towards him and damaging it at the same time. Meanwhile, Serator fires at a kobold, killing it. Torgak charges the crossbow kobold who has been shooting him, hitting him twice. But the kobold responds, dropping Torgak with a bolt!

Dalaan blasts one with his dark magic, striking it. Arcosis heroically runs through the fire, and heals Torgak while Dalaan eyebites another one. Torgak finally stands up and charges a kobold, slicing it in half.

For some reason the kobolds don’t like this, and fire their crossbows at the heroes. The party responds weakly, so the Kobolds release another flurry of bolts into the heroes.

Not intimidated, Dalaan fires eyebite and strikes one of them soundly! Taking heart, Torgak charges and strikes his kobold critically, annihilating it. On a rampage, Bulwark strikes and knocks down his kobold.

Annoyed, the other kobold shoots Arcosis. Serator responds with an explosive burst, striking the downed kobold. Torgak follows his lead, and charged the downed kobold, striking it with his axe.

Arcosis uses his cutting words again, pulling the enemy towards him two squares and damages it. Meanwhile, Dalaan fires on his kobold, pummeling it. Nals responds with a lightning arc, striking the downed kobold. Bulwark is inspired, and crushes the kobold, killing it.

The remaining kobold shoots Quiz with his crossbow, and shifts away from Quiz. Arcosis backs up and blasts the remaining kobold with a cutting word – shifting him and damaging him too. Serator fires a phantom bolt at the kobold, bloodying it.

The last kobold fires and misses. Quiz responds with a booming blade, blasting the kobold with a critical strike, dropping it.

The team takes a well needed rest, and prepares to face the next challenge.

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Summary of a new verse added to Torgak’s tribal lore-chant

We’ve just won a battle with giant ants. We stand in the middle of the chamber and look at the carnage around us. The heroes debate what to do. Take a short rest, or take a longer break? The decision is to take a longer break, but then the question becomes where. After much debate, the team decides on using the high caves in an earlier cavern. Torgak climbs up and drops a rope.

After the rest, the team drops to the floor and heads back down the trail towards the mercenaries. As we enter another giant chamber we run into a woman with a dark aura, surrounded by 3 shadow hounds with two large beasts on either side – macetail behemoths. Shadrakai flank the behemoths.

Between their surprise and the first few seconds of battle, the team takes a large amount of damage, Nals can’t target past 2 squares and Torgak was blinded.

And then the hounds attack. One bites and misses, and the other two maneuver for better strikes. One of them moves into range of Nals’ vision and he blasts it with a chaos bolt. The bolt arcs over and strikes the behemoth, and a Shadrakai.

Trying to defend her friends, Quiz steps up and does a flurry of attacks, striking out at the foes around her. Bulwark also steps forward and draws the hounds, and attacks one with thorn strike.

Dalaan responds as well, going after a hound with eyebite – bloodying it! Arcosis heals Torgak so he can survive long enough to do some damage. Serator attacks a behemoth, critically damaging it. Then he drops a hypnotic pattern amongst the enemies. As the enemies respond and attack he uses the pattern to pull enemies away.

But the enemies still swarm us, the hounds teleporting to the back of the party and a behemoth knocking down Dalaan and Arcosis.

But the heroes rally. Quiz moves throughout the combat area, drawing attention. Torgak charges the witch, striking her twice and knocking her down. Dalaan triggers his daily, moving enemies into Serator’s pillar of lightning and then causing the enemies to attack themselves. One hound takes the other down, killing it. And the behemoths lash out at each other.

In a rage, a behemoth lashes out at Dalaan, striking him and marking him. The other behemoth strikes Bulwark critically, dealing a great deal of damage. Not to be left out, a hound readies its attack, but first takes damage from Serator’s sphere. It teleports away and attacks Dalaan, rending him with his bloody teeth and dropping him. Another hound ambushes Torgack, snapping him with his powerful jaws.

Nals tries to step away from the fray and gets bitten as he moves away towards the witch. Meanwhile Bulwark moves towards the witch as well, attacking a Shadraki and the witch. The strike against the witch drives home and kills her.

Torgak strikes at a nearby Shadraki, cleaving into it with his axe while Arcosis heals Dalaan and revives him. Serator does a flaming burst on a Shadraki and a shadow hound. Revived, Dalaan stands up and strikes out doing 1 damage to the nearby enemy.

A Shadraki strikes out at Torgak, bringing him closer to death. And the behemoths strike out and knock down Quiz, Dalaan and Arcosis. Meanwhile a hound bites Torgak and brings him down.

Nals fires a chaos bolt at a Shadraki, and it arcs to the other. Meanwhile Quiz stands up and does a sword burst on both behemoths, hitting one. And Arcosis strikes a behemoth, making it heal us every time we strike it, but only for one turn.

Serator shifts and moves the flaming sphere, then Bulwark does his thunder ram assault on a Shadraki, damaging it and moving it back 4 squares. The attack also strikes the other Shadraki & a hound. All are moved through the lightning pillar, taking even more damage.

Dalaan uses his cursebite, striking a behemoth and a Shadraki, killing them and bloodying a hound.

The enemy responds by striking Arcosis and knocking him prone and Dalaan is downed. Quiz is attacked by a hound and bitten about the ankles. Nals second winds and finally makes his save, while Quiz does a sword burst, striking a hound, killing it. Torgak is inspired and manages to trigger a 2nd wind.

The behemoth retaliates, striking Arcosis & Quiz and knocking them prone.

Nals screams his defiance and blasts the behemoth with fire. Quiz pops to his feet and strikes a behemoth.

Serator uses his orb, killing the behemoth. He then zaps the nearby hound and crits, killing it. The enemy is defeated!

Searching the camp, the team finds: 885 gold, 450 silver, a potion of healing and a resilience amulet on the witch. (Amulet: +2 fort, reflex, will.)

Afterwards we search the caves, but don’t find anything so we head back. We report to the head guard, and then are asked to wait until the afternoon to talk with the Lich Enchantress. We finally meet with her. We explain our work in the cavern and she seems pleased with our results. As our next task, we are asked to slay the gold dragon Faluthra. He’s been attacking travelers on the road, the airships and none of the Lich’s emissaries have returned. She’ll find us a scout to take us to the dragon.

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Recap of the 5/28/09 game

4th day of the 1st month of the season of Light

Headmaster Bastion, Chosen of Azureen:

Picking up where I left off last, we are in a cave system searching for mercenaries, including a Shader-kai witch. These witches have great power, as we have seen before, so we had best be prepared. This task has been assigned to us by a power lich sorceress, who I have come to think of as the Lich Queen, although this isn’t entirely accurate. I find her both intriguing and disturbing. She is undead; but at the same time noble, sacrificing her very humanity, perhaps for all time, turning her back on whatever gods she once held dear, to become undead, not for desire of immortality, but to protect her valley. A place clearly important for her, and perhaps important for us all, if prophecy and portents still have meaning in this world.

Still as far as I can recall from my studies, the only way to become a lich is a horrible transformation involving the demon prince Orcus, a truly terrible path to walk if your purpose is pure. Would I do the same? Could I? Would Bahamutal ever ask such a thing? What would I sacrifice to save the world? I have already put my life on the line, and would again. But this is different! Can a good soul undergo such a transformation and not be corrupted forever?

Enough!

Asalie leaves us, as the lich needs her for another task. I will miss her, she was a valued member of our group. Perhaps we will meet again soon. Serator has been sent to join us. Time will tell, but he is not imposing. Wimpy, actually, with an odd robe. However, I should be the first to not make such snap judgments! Look at me! Judge me not by my size and strength. I suspect that Serator has powers which are not yet visible. Also that robe probably has great power as well.

I must note to you, I know you know this, but I must press upon you how odd it is in person. Duergar shooting their beards at you is weird and disturbing. Warn the students so they are prepared.

Continuing to follow clear tracks (sigh I miss Asalie and her clear vision already!) into a large cavern. Humanoid figures descend from the cave roof. Kenku. Once again, some use spiked chains, so outdated! We notice they have two casters who remain floating. That will be trouble, and their ranged blasts hurt.

We quickly see Serator in action, bringing a pillar of lightning, and some sort of hypnotic sphere. The birds are not yet buying it. Dalaan uses that power of his to confuse them, and they attack each other, always fun to see. Then he immobilizes them, alas also catching Bulwark.

The battle with the main group is hard, but we persevere. Serator’s hypnosis works and some a drawn to it, walking through the lightning, killing one. Nals firebombs and chaos bolts, arcing, hitting, and slaying another. Dalaan eyebites and those cursed cry out, dropping another. When at range they throw daggers to great effects, causing much damage, so we must beware.

I spend time assisting the barbarian, trying to keep the Kenku on me and not hitting him. Torgak is quite powerful, but gets hit a lot. My blade hits with awesome power, and as another tried to do more damage to me I freeze him and he falls before he can strike. Bulwark has been very stationary in this battle, but still manages to drop the last ground bird.

All that is left are those floating. They will be trouble for me, so I help Torgak back to his feet. Meanwhile Nals, Dalaan, and Arkosys make short work of them, bringing them within reach, and swiftly ending the battle.

So, where are the mercenaries? We try to track them, but not our forte, alas. We mainly find ants, and it seems that our path must pass through their main cavern. Sadly, we have no fight with them directly, but our battle seems meant to be. Probably as the Shader-kai plan, why fight when the ant queen can do their job for them!

I enter and try to discourage them, but with their queen here they have none of that. Dalaan bites, curse, and drops one. They all move in response! Tactically, this is trouble. Also, the queen makes an acid cloud which gains power the more ants which are in it. Nals takes an acid blast right in the face. The queen also kicks to great effect, knocking us all over the place.

The acid is trouble: Serator goes down, gets up, kills an ant, and falls again. He can’t seem to shake off the acid. His time with our group might be short, indeed, but I don’t want to lose someone again!

The battle is fierce, but with great effort, Torgak fells the queen, thankfully.

Arkosys tried to help Serator shake off the acid, but it doesn’t help. I try to use my skill at healing, but it is also to no avail. So I grab a potion out of my pack and pour it all over him and down his throat. That, finally seems to do the trick, as he stands, draws upon his second wind, and shakes off the acid. All is good.

By now the party has cleaned up all but the last ant, which falls quickly.

The party is tired, and hurt, so it looks like we will have to rest before we proceed. Could be trouble as the shader-kai will surely know we are here and that the ants did not stop us. Probably better than pressing on tired though, as I expect the shader-kai to be formidable.

I’m sure we will prevail.

As always, your student, Quiz

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Recap of the 5/21/09 game

The details of the heroes’ initial adventrues in the Giant Ant colony have been lost

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Recap of the 5/14/09 game

The details of the heroes’ journey to the Illian Vale have been lost

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Recap of the 5/7/09 game

We start by investigating the pool in the cave. While trying to gauge the depth with a rock and a rope, something grabbed the rope and pulled it in despite our best efforts. The team decides to hold off on further investigations. The team retreats and climbs out of the cave. We send Bulwark up first to help the rest of us.

Once we’re above ground, there’s a brief debate about the last Goblin, and the heroes decide to track the last Goblin. As we follow its tracks south we run into Helna, she had the Goblin dead at her feet.

The team decides to head back to town, Helna guides us back. The mayor is glad to see us, and is pleased with our results. We ask if anyone knows what the orc/goblin statue is. The mayor is disgusted with the artifact but points us to Finster.

Finster is glad to see us. And we show him the artifact. He doesn’t know anything about the item. After further discussion, Nals asks about the most interesting things Finster’s found. He’s found orchids, beautiful flowers, etc. There are always rumors of pirates etc, but no one has ever found them or their treasure.

The team rests, and the next day the mayor helps get them on their way with extra mounts. After a brief discussion the team nominates Nals to ride with Asalie. And the innkeeper brings us out lunch for the road.

Nals eventually gets his own horse, and the day passes uneventfully, aside from Nals getting a sunburn and various snarky comments.

When the heroes get back to town, first they drop off the horses. Then they head out to check with the guild. Dalaan informs Twelvin that the mission is done. While Dalaan is trying to talk with Twelvin, Nals breaks out into a somewhat distracting dance. But we get paid for our contract all the same. Twelvin doesn’t know if he has anything other work immediately. Bulwark asks about the idols, and Twelvin suggests the religious district.

As it is early evening the team heads out on the town following different paths… The next morning breakfast is good and Dalaan speaks to Nals loudly. Twelvin walks in and hands a sealed envelope to Dalaan. It’s from Lord Cadley and it is an invitation to a masquerade ball tomorrow night. It includes a letter of introduction to a tailor in Gao and instructions to us. The ball will be here in the capital at his city house. Two carriages will arrive at 8:00 tomorrow. Most of the party goes to get their costume, while Asalie and Dalaan to go investigate the idol.

Lord Cadley had a specific theme for our costumes – 4 costumes from the ballad of the Pirate King. And 4 from the fall of Grummesh. But Nals wants a pirate costume. After much negotiation (and his willingness to deal) we talk him off the wall.

Meanwhile Dalaan & Asalie go to the temple of the god of knowledge (Dalanar). The greeter at the door recommends talking to Sister Arness in the sub basement. She specializes in these kinds of artifacts. She quickly identifies it as a totem to the Goblin The God of War. Tribes would pray to this before going into battle or sought some means to win over an enemy. She thinks that we could find someone (a collector) to take it off our hands. They search for such a collector, and find out that the statue is worth 500gp, so they sell it.

Next they investigate Lord Cadley, and the party. They start by talking to the tailor. It sounds like the party has been set for quite a while. And Lord Cadley is liked by his people.

The next day we pick up our costumes. We’re surprised by how elaborate they are.

Nals is Tiramal Glespo is Voltan the fighter who killed the pirate king Bulwark is dressed as a half orc barbarian Asalie is dressed as a sorceress Quiz is dressed as a fighter Grae is dressed as a rogue. Dalaan is dressed as a swashbuckler. Alternon is dressed as a priest

Once finalized, the costumes will be delivered to the guild at 3:00. Nals immediately gets his dwarf on and angers Twelvin and then most of the dwarves at the bar.

The coaches arrive at 8:00 and take us to a nice, large house with a formal garden. The major domo asks for our invitations and announces us as the heroes of castle Astrid. The lord comes over and thanks us again for our help.

Later in the evening, a gentleman dressed quite finely asks Quiz to dance. He asks her about the castle, her skill with the sword and similar questions. He’s dressed as Arental, one of the great ancient heroes and an avatar of Bahamut. As the dance ends, he asks to speak with us all discretely in Lord Cadley’s study.

Shortly after we’re all gathered a door opens and Arental enters and takes off his mask. He introduces himself as Duke Balron. We were indeed invited to the ball for companionship and fun, but when the Duke found out we were here he had to speak to us. We know that Duke Balron is one of the more important Dukes, and a cousin to the current queen.

He notes that we’re adept at completing tasks. He pulls out two small wooden pieces with intricate tracery. One has a staff, one a sword. He reveals he’s a collector and enamored by ancient history. He recently found out that a unique set of ceremonial armor has surfaced. Currently it is held by a Lich Enchantress. She guards a key vale in the mountain, and she’s not likely to just give us the armor, we’ll have to perform a task for her. Once we have the armor, to return the armor we need to go talk to Duke Balron’s solicitor.

The next day the team does some research. The Ilian vale is protected by Glandia, a lich enchantress. The vale is just east and north of The Hinge. In the past she’s asked heroes do something to help the vale. We also get hints that someone in Crossings might know more. Before going further, the team informs Twelvin that we’re taking a short break. After some investigation, the cheapest way to Crossing is a barge, taking a week to a week and a half. So we book the barge and head out….

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From the diary of Nals

After battle we decide to chase down gobbie that got awayway We headed down the stairs and Druid and I show our scary teeth. Druid has bigger teeth. Don’t get bitten by druid, ouchie! +2 points We see Gobbie archie that is running, druid lights him on fire. FIRE FIRE!!!! HEHEHEHEHEHEHE +1 points. People start chasing gobbie, gobbie shoots at us. We see gobbie has friends. Time to kill hehehehe. Orcs come out to say hi. I say hi with fire, it goes boom. Battle breaks out fully, the machine starts looking like it’s breaking, hopefully pretty blue guy can fix him. -1 point. Druid puts purple fire on same guys I did, my fire better I thinks. Warlock steals my kill of the leader, he gets -2 point. Hurts lots of orcs, +1 point. Orcs attack Asalie. This makes me angry Asalie gives me the ok to attack lots of orcs’s so I throw lightning at them +2 points. orcs explode. HEHEHEHEHEHE Druid attacks orc hurting asalie, +1 point. Artificer makes fire stronger, +2 points HEHEHEHEHEHEH FIRE HEHEHHEHEHEHE. Ultradon heals people. +1 point. he’s still a jerk though, -2 point. Swordsage gets beat on my orcs, -2 points. I throw a chaos bolt at an orc but it doesn’t arc. Sad face. Ultrajerk tries to attack an orc and misses. -2 points Orc attacks me, I dissapear. Chaos bolt the orc and it arcs to other orc. HEHEHEHEHEHE BURN BURN BURN!! Druid and Asalie argue in battle, -1 points druid. Warlock kills last orc. THAT WAS MY KILL GRRR -4 points. Orcs die. HEHEHEHE. We take a rest. Asalie kicks me again. -1 point We take a closer look, we are in a castle dungeon it seems. Search, find a hole. Asalie tries to make me look stupid. -2 points. She says nice things though afterwards, +3 points. We go down hold, find a large cavern at bottom. We start looking through cave, quiz walks into a big blob, starts screaming. -2 points. Long arm monkey things drop from ceiling. Uh oh. Monkey grabs me and starts choking me, GGRRRR NO LIKE CHOKING BAD MONKEY CHOKING THING. Druid Bites me, -5 points. Choker no longer choking though, +2 points. Still angry. Shoot chaos bolt and I lose control in my anger, magic escapes and pushes everyone around me back. Cube comes after me and tries to spilled all over me, grrrrrrrrr. I can’t move now argh. Quiz helps me feel better, +2 points Ultajerk burns cube and free’s me from movement. +2 points. still a jerk, -1 points. Everyone fights for a while. Beetles show up. I attack cube and monkey thing, the cube in turn swallows me. Note to self, stay away from cube. UltraJerk uses his power to heal me. +2 points. maybe not a jerk? Things start to look bad, but hard to see cause i stuck in cube. Ultrajerk ends up in the cube, -1 points. I try and blast my way out of the cube. It hurts being inside. Getting very angry again. More battle takes place outside cube, stuff is dying but I don’t know what. Bulkwark ends up in cube -1 point. I burn cube again. Still trapped in it. Novelty of this battle has worn off. Ultrajerk heals me again. +3 points for continuned niceness. Maybe I’ll change his name later. Bulkward starts attacking cube from within +2 points. I try to blast my way out of the cube again. Still not dead. Owww hurting. Ultanon heals me again, I am starting to like him. +3 points Cube finally explodes, quiz kills it. +3 points. I furiously throw a chaos bolt at the monkey choker. I’m really tired after swimming furiously in the cube. Bulwark kills last monkey. Beetles have run. exciting. We search area, find an island with shinies on it. SHINNNIES!!! Shinnies include junk and remains of people. find small magical bag. Inside bag is Helm, rod and ugly statue. Druid takes helm, Warlock takes rod. Statue to be sold in town. no money for me. No shinies for me. oh well, lots of killing. good day.

Total points for Today Asalie +2 points Bulwark +0 points Gray +2 points Glespo +0 points Delaan -4 points Quiz -2 points Ultrajerk +6 points

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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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