Northern Lights

8/5 - Brewster's Homestead

The party just killed and burned the troll. Randall told us that beer or wine takes out the stink of the troll. We used the garnet of hygiene to clean ourselves up and get rid of the stink instead. As we make our way to Brewster's homestead, Randall comes alive and becomes more confident and shares information about the Brewster homestead. It's an brewery out in the wilderness with 12 foot walls to keep the trolls out. We begin to see a fire burning and we try to avoid it by cutting southeast, but the fire keeps getting closer. We can see a bright, central fire like a tornado that burns the scrub land all around. It looks intelligent. We decide that we don't have the tools to fight it at this time. We choose to ignore it and bypass it double-time. We camp overnight with no issues.

 

Randall is more excited to be so close to home. As we approach Brewster's we see a copper-plated metal gate which we later learn is to keep it from catching on fire as they fight the trolls off. We met two gentlemen at the gate wearing homemade clothes, one of them named Jeb. They are surprised and glad to Randall fetched helped, but unwelcoming towards us. We introduce ourselves as friends of Sherif Irdwin of Long Saddle and he sent us to investigate and help. They open the gates and bring us in. We see people working in the fields where one man is working and one man guarding (very inefficient farming). We see charred marks everywhere. Inside the houses are made of stone and mortar and look more like man-made caves against the stone walls. In the center of the homestead is a 2 story building, and on the south side, the largest building, the brewery.

 

Everyone appears stern and unwelcoming. Outside the 2 story house, we meet Darnell, an old man with his shaggy dog. Jeb introduces us. Darnell asks us what we want for payment to help, we ask for a night's sleep instead of payment. We are shown the bunk house, told to clean-up and they'll comeback for us. The bunk house is co-ed, these people have no qualms about showering together. We decide to use the garnet of hygiene to clean-up instead when no-one is looking. The girls decide to stay and wait in the bunkhouse. The boys decide to find the blacksmith and ask more information about trolls. Gerald gives them some generic information about using tar then they head back to the bunkhouse.

 

Jeb brings the whole group back to Darnell's 2 story house for dinner. Grella is the head of the waitstaff. We sit at long table and are served a very heavy dinner of meat and potatoes. Darnell says prayer to Shantae? (god of Harvest) and is offended when no one joins him in prayer. He recounts the story of what happened. The ranch hands didn't return as expected. He sent more men to check it out, they found the carnage, where the bodies and wagon where dragged off. They followed them to the hills and stopped because the hills are troll country. They speculated and didn't think they were trolls or ogres as they wouldn't be interested in the goods. We asked about Orcs and told them about the news from the Sherif about the Orc gathering in the North. Darnell dismissed the notion.

 

We talk some more and tell them about Randall killing the troll. We ask if we can bring Randall with us since he knows the area. Wilfred makes it clear that Randall will be coming on his own accord. We'll do our best to protect him but cannot guarantee his safety. Darnell is reluctant because it's clear that Randall got lucky, but he agrees. However since it is his first kill he must have a bloodletting ceremony in the morning before he goes. We get to introduced to everyone. Darnell has three son's. Leland, his eldest son and Randall's father. Gerald, the middle son, the blacksmith. Craig, the youngest son. We also talk to Grit who is not related but a hired hand. He is the weapon master of the town and it is clear he holds Darnell in high esteem. Grit is married to Grella. After dinner, the party continues to talk with Grit about trolls. He said that trolls are nearly blind with a foot long nose that can smell and track a mile away. You kill them with acid or fire. You need to be careful because if you cutoff the head, the body still attacks. If you cutoff the arm, the arm still attacks. You need tar to burn trolls, but you can't use tar offensively. We also talked about Ogres He tells us that they are usually solitary but the young ones sometimes band together in groups of 3-4 until they mature. But don't let that fool us, the young ones and female ones are just as strong as the male ones. Wilfred in the most engaged with Grit soaking up the information and asking the most questions.

 

After dinner, we go back to the bunk house. It's an odd sight. When it comes to the business Darnell runs a tight ship, strict attendance, no drunkenness, no stealing. However, personally there doesn't appear to be any religious morals in this place. The co-ed bunk house with everyone showering naked in front of each other and people having romantic relations in public. We're told breakfast will be ready at 1st light, don't be late. The next morning, there is at least 100 people in the mess hall for breakfast and the conversations fall silent as we enter. We finish breakfast and Grit takes us on a tour of the brewery. It is the largest building with 3 domes. He explains the yeast process and how it in the air and cannot be replicated anywhere else. He gives us a taste of the ale and it becomes clear why they risk their lives for this finely-crafted quality product. After the brewery tour, Tannis and Jeanne Marie get some archery practice using Grit's targets.

 

The ceremony is held at noon. Darnell announces to the homestead that Randall killed a troll and gives him a chain coat, dagger (footlong, almost short sword size), spear, and a shield. Nothing seems to excite the homestead, people are as dower as ever. There is a meal served afterwards and Wilfred pulls Randall aside. He tells Randall that if he comes, he must do so under his own accord. Wilfred insists that he write a death note to give to his love ones in case something should happen to him. Grit escorts us to the base of foothills, first to the site of the murder then second to where they track the trail and stopped. Tannis immediately picks up the trail and determines that it is Orcs based on the footprints. He reminds us that Orcs have great night vision. Grit will not travel farther and must turn back. The party readies itself to move into the hills.

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7/29 - New Member Allegiance to Master Renfren

Tannis, Ilse, and Wilfred were inside of Master Renfren's sitting on the couch waiting for the rest of the party to join. Wolfgang, Jeanne Marie, and Ahdala were just invited in by Seeves. Jeanne Marie and Ahdala gracefully move through the darkness while Wolfgang stumbles and crashes into an object scattering to the floor. Master Renfren motions to the chair and says, “sit down my children”. He first shows the new pledges visions, good memories of their past. Somehow they can all see and experience each other's memories and it feels wonderful. Then Master Renfren shows them future visions of very troubling experiences of famines and torched earth, Waterdeep on fire, elementals chasing down and killing people. The people begin to worship the four evil elementals in effort to please them but it doesn't help, the elementals consume and kill everything in sight. Ahdala and Wilfred saw their demise in detail. Wolfgang and Jeanne Marie saw themselves running from town to town, making it to Wolfgang's mentor's farm, only to see Ian and his family killed. They manage to live in a cave for a while only to have Wolfgang killed by a dragon and Jeanne Marie frozen to death. When they woke from the visions and returned to the present, Master Renfren told them these are only possible futures if they choose not to pledge allegiance to him. They asked him several questions to understand what this meant then swore allegiance.

 

Master Renfren then turned to business and told them the next person to be brought in for healing is Hellenrae, leader of ogremark? surface forces in the dessert of ______.

 

Side Note: The DM asked if we noticed that so far that group has been attacking the surface (dwarven bases).

 

Renfren motioned them to the chest and in it they found 20 purses containing 100gp each. A small blue velvet lined box engraved with the 4 elements containing 6 rosed colored healing potions 2d8 +3, a small faceted green gem called (<u>om-ni-on per ga-te?</u>) the garnet of hygiene which can be used up 8 times a day by holding it and saying it's name, and small piece of leather with a hand drawn map inside leading to the monastery where Hellenrae lives in the southern Sundren Hills.

 

They divided up the chest, 286gp to the 7 players directly involved with capturing Jollivar, 6 healing potions to the players in tonight's session, and Ilse is holding the remaining items for the party.

 

Renfren tells them they must use the garnet of hygiene before they return next time. They follow Seeves out and pick up their weapons and leave Treasure Hill. As soon as they walk out the door, Wolfgang's pants fall and he is covered in rust. It turned out the family dagger that Wolfgang uses to hold up his pants rusted away as does all weapons brought in Renfren's presence. Wolfgang took the opportunity to use the garnet of hygiene to clean the rust, but had to hold up his pants and borrow someone's dagger.

 

They headed towards the town. Huey, Nathen's eldest son met them halfway. He apologized they had to sleep in the Jail the night before and told them they could stay in the inn for free, but unfortunately there won't be any services in the morning. As they walked together towards the town, the Sheriff met them and asked for a favor. He said there was trouble at the Brewster's homestead and he needed help. However a rider came in from <u>Mirabar?</u> announcing there was an Orc gathering in the North (which last happened over 50 years ago) being led by an Orc Chieftain from City of Many Arrows. The anticipated attack is on Silvering Moon the largest city near the frontier. The Sheriff said 4 men have been killed at the Brewster's but he had to stay in town in case the Call to Arms was made and he had to gather men to fight the orcs. He begged them to help. They struggled with the decision to help the Sheriff first or go directly on Master Renfren's quest. Since they have a relationship with the people in Long Saddle, it was one of their primary base of operations, it was only a 4 day journey, and Master Renfren didn't say Hellenrae had to be healed “immediately”, they decided to help the Sheriff. They agreed to meet him at first light and he would introduce them to Randall, a young man from the Brewster's homestead who could fill them in the details and guide them.

 

When they left the Sheriff's they could hear that Rail was still open and Wolfgang really wanted a new dagger to hold up his pants. Wolfgang introduced himself as a friend of Dim's and inquired about a dagger. Rail told him it would be faster and cheaper to get it from the mercantile in the morning but Wolfgang persisted. Rail told him he didn't have one ready but could assemble one now, but he had to pick it up at first light. Wolfgang prepaid the 3gp. Wilfred inquired about a long sword. Rail showed him a beautiful engraved blue steel sword that a Prince ordered but never paid for, that cost 1500gp. Rail said he doesn't offer it to just anybody but he could clearly tell Wilfred was a warrior deserving of a fine sword. Wilfred admired the sword and told him it was finely-crafted, but he couldn't afford it at this time. He later told the group that he decided would rather invest in armor first then a sword second.

 

They left Rail's and headed to the Inn. It was empty and no one to greet them. Everyone, except Wolfgang, used the garnet of hygiene to clean-up themselves. Ilse and Tannis showed them to the rooms. In the morning, there was no baking of bread as usual. Wolfgang headed to Rail's first to pick up the dagger and the rest of the party headed to Phiphle's, the mercantile. Wilfred asked about about protection for their eyes against sand storms after going through several options they settled on a linen wrap. Wolfgang and Jeanne Marie were familiar on how to wrap it around the face and the head from spending time with the Calishites. Several members of the party bought one for 4gp each. Wilfred also purchased a Javelin quiver at 5gp 5sp. Wolfgang arrived at that point and asked to have one. Phiphle didn't have one but could have it ready when they returned in 8 days. Wolfgang also asked about spectacles which took Phiphle by surprised. Phiphle said “What Phiphle doesn't have, Phiphle can get.” Wolfgang made a deal that he would pay up to 20gp if Phiphle could fashion him some spectacles upon their return in 8 days. They finished their purchases and headed over to the Sheriff's

 

The Sheriff introduced them to Randall, a 13 year old lanky lad. He told them that 4 men didn't return, when they investigated the area was covered in blood, everything was trampled, and the caravan missing. 10 men size shapes moving faster then men can move, were seen going up into the hills filled with trolls. Wilfred asked Randall if he had any weapons or protection, the Sheriff provided him with ill-fitted armor and a spear. They headed out and waited until they were a ways off, in order not to offend the Sheriff, when they took away the armor leaving Randall with a spear and helmet. They put it into the bag of holding which startled and frightened Randall. Randall turned out to be a good wilderness scout picking out the perfect campsite. Tannis took the first watch. Jeanne Marie took the second watch but as usual stayed up the rest of the evening, and Ilse took the third watch. The 1st and 2nd day were very uneventful. On the third day, Tannis and Ahdala see a group of 12 humanoid shapes running parallel to them, but they were so fast there was no way to catch up. On the third night during the third watch, Ilse heard some noise and started investigating the noise. Jeanne Marie saw Ilse alert and moving out. Jeanne Marie being worried about the group they saw the night before might be ambushing, woke up Wolfgang and started following Ilse. Ilse made it about 120ft outside of camp with Jeanne Marie halfway behind her when a large roar wakes up the rest of the party. Suddenly Ilse finds herself face-to-face with a foul-stench troll. She swung her war hammer and missed, sliding across his slimy stinky skin. It was too dark for Jeanne Marie's human eyes, so she used her light cantrip to light up her scimitar and move forwards towards Ilse. The rest of the party made it to the troll in waves each taking turns hacking away with little success. Wilfred stands between Wolfgang and Jeanne Marie to protect them both only to be critically injured by the troll in one stroke. The only one making any significant damage is Wolfgang with his flaming sword. Randall yells in the background more fire. Jeanne Marie was standing directly in front of the troll and casted her Chromatic Orb and set the troll ablazed. Randall thrust his spear and dealt the final blow to the troll. Randall yelled “Quickly, cut it up and burn it, burn it all.” The party burnt all of the troll and started to head back to camp to regroup.

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7/8 - Looting of River Deep

7/8/17

They just captured Jollivar. Wilfred and Wolfgang stripped him of his possessions. Dim gave him Master Renfren's special potion and placed him in the bag of holding. Dim casted a new spell he learned called Leomund’s Tiny Hut which created an opaque hut of protection so they could all take a long rest and tend to their wounds. They setup by the tower where Tannis was. They nor their enemies cannot see or hear through the hut in either direction but they themselves can freely pass through it. People attuned their magic weapons during the long rest.

 

Jeanne Marie was up first and left the hut to verify the coast was cleared. The group decided to loot the place. They inspected every tower and every room, even the bodies and dead archers on the hill. During the looting, they found two trapped chests. Wilfred used a spear to open first chest at a distance which emitted gas and made everyone sleep 1-4 hours. The second chest, they all left the room while Wilfred opened it from the back causing spears/darts to shoot out.

 

They found several magical items and divided them up between the party.

  • Jollivar's Flaming Sword – Wolfgang

  • Jollivar's Warhammer – Ilse

  • Light Crossbow – Tannis

  • The Magic Scimitar, Dim had been carrying, went to Jeanne Marie

  • Magical Cloak that camouflages – Dim

  • Magical Shield – Wilfred

  • 2 scrolls, Scroll of Haste and Scroll of _____ – Rurik

  • Other Treasure and Gold was evenly split to the parties directly involved with Jollivar's capture (see Dim for breakdown)

 

They decided to leave the boat River Swine behind and hoped it would be there later for retrieval and headed inland towards Red Lark. As they were leaving they noticed a movement and went to investigate. They found Ahdala who was being held prisoner by Jollivar. But Wilfred was overwhelmed and surprised. Ahdala was his wife, a sorcerer who cast a magic spell years ago and disappeared, he presumed she was dead. For Ahdala, only a few months had past and she found herself in Jollivar's prison the whole time. Ahdala joined the party and Wilfred filled her in on what we were doing on the way to Red Lark.

 

They went to the Swinging Sword Inn and met with an old friend Kalessa. She told them cultists had attacked <u>Bellitar???</u>. Dim sung a ballad recounting the exploits of Wolfgang, the statue man and his battle against Jollivar. They then headed to Long Saddle. The Gilded Horseshoe inn was closed and the mood somber. Inside was Gelda the Godlen and the Sheriff. They learned that her father Nathan drowned in his own bed. They talked to the Sheriff about their suspicions of cultists but he suspected Renfren up on Treasure Hill. Because the Inn was closed, the Sheriff offered the Jail for sleeping. The next day Dim picked up his custom armor from the blacksmith Rail and they went to see Master Renfren. Wolfgang, Jeanne Marie, and Ahdala were wary of him and decided to wait outside. Wilfred decided to brave it and go inside with Dim, Ilse, and Tannis. They were met by Seeves went through the standard process of stowing all their weapons then entering through the darkness into the light to meet Master Renfren who had them sit down on couches. They open the bag of holding and delivered Jollivar. He asked where the other's were and they told them they left the party and moved to other areas of the country. He didn't like that a lot of the original party was gone and was concerned about their success. He insisted that everyone come inside. Seeves gathered Wolfgang, Jeanne Marie, and Ahdala inside and showed the weapons rack. Everyone put all their weapons away except for Wolfgang who keeps his family heirloom, jambiya, a hooked dagger worn by almost all Calishite men, as a belt buckle of sorts to hold up his pants. Seeves motioned them to head through the darkness towards Master Renfren.

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Return to the Spire

Day One

Today, as we were assessing our position above the Riverguard Keep, to our great surprise, Savara, the noblewoman from Featherdale Spire, stumbled up the hill into our midst. She claimed to have come to warn us about Thurl Merroska, that shudderingly creepy man who heads the Spire, and the Howling Hatred Cult, which he leads. She says that he intends us dread harm, which I have no trouble believing. She also informed us that the Cult of the Crushing Wave at Riverguard Keep below us has been terrorizing merchants on the river and impeding their trade. The two cults are marginally aligned. Clearly the Howling Hatred Cult is aligned with the Elemental Prince of the Air, and the Cult of the Crushing Wave is aligned with the Elemental Prince of Water. This truly cannot be good.

When we left the Spire, Thurl Merroska insisted that the Bugbears were with the Scarlet Monastery, but in our observation of Riverguard Keep today, Arturius saw three of them leaving the Keep below us, boarding one of the keel boats and heading south on the Dessarin. It is becoming ever more obvious that Thurl has lied repeatedly to place us in ever greater peril. We should have known this yesterday when the Featherdale Knights mercilessly slaughtered our animals. What a barbaric sight!

Riverguard Keep we have been told is home to Jolliver Grimjaw, the leader of the Cult of the Crushing Wave. Crushing Wave apparently is marginally aligned with the Cult of the Howling Hatred. This is an uncommon situation. I’ve been told by the others of our group that this Master Renfrin has said that the four Elemental Princes are not cohorts, but that may not be entirely correct. I don’t know how this will affect this mission into which I stumbled, one part of which is to return this Thurl Merroska to Master Refrin. I know that we need to bring him back alive, but my anger at him for the cruel destruction to our helpless animals burns hot in my heart and would that we could destroy him in turn!

Alas, my savage nature means I must make penance. I devoted myself to several hours of meditation and worship this evening on the road.

I am frustrated at our inability to make decisions. We spent many precious hours trying to determine our next actions, but it wasn’t until our gnome bard awoke from a lengthy nap that we were able to discern a path forward. Or, rather, in this case, backward, since after yet more discussion we decided it was most prudent not to approach the Keep, but to return to the Spire in a more direct attempt to apprehend Thurl Merroska. We may actually be able to travel faster without the horses, but keeping an eye on the skies for more of those awful Featherdale Knights. It would be too terrible if they saw us returning. It would give them far too much advantage over us. I dread returning to that dreadful place, but it is a necessity. Moradin preserve us all.

Day Five

We have been traveling as swiftly as we dare in our return to the Featherdale Spire. Besides keeping an eye out for aerial knights, it has been an uneventful few days. I am bone weary, and am certain the others are as well. Well, except for Emiya, our terrifying barbarian. She seems to be indefatigable. How I yearn for her stores of energy!

We are here now, in the hills above the Spire, hiding under some scrub, listening to Savara as she holds forth on the guard situation at the tower. I am not entirely certain that she is trustworthy, but Arturius clearly holds her in high regard, so I must refrain from judgment. Only time will tell if we have placed our trust wisely. She tells us that our best chance of finding a way into the spire is during the day as at least half of the knights are away from their roost. At night, however, they stand a firm watch with eagle eyes.

In the end, it has been decided (not entirely by me) that half of our party – Emiya, Tanis, and Savara, with her secret knowledge of the Spire – will search the base of the tower for a rumored hidden passage into the keep. While it was not my choice to be left behind, my fatigued state makes me grateful for the opportunity to refresh myself in sleep. Even if all goes well, it will be many hours before they return to us.

Alas, my sleep was not to be undisturbed. Some time after I lay down, I was awakened by Dim and Arturius to follow our compatriots’ steps. Down we went to the tower, ending outside the portcullis where we waited anxiously for our friends’ reappearance. Soon enough, the portcullis was lifted, allowing us to slip inside where we were met with the sight of several corpses and Emiya and Tanis in grave need of healing. They had certainly acquitted themselves well! I went to work immediately to heal our brave wounded. Fortunately, my rest had been sufficient so that I was not overly fatigued by my spellwork, thank Moradin!

Shortly, however, as we were planning our next steps, our presence was discovered and the alarm was raised. Our feisty group fought for our lives against knights and monks that came flooding down the stairs as we were climbing to the top toward Thurl’s study. Suddenly, Thurl himself came flying into the spire on his forbidden gryphon. Everyone and everything stopped in fearful anticipation, which is where my story must hold….

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Ninth Gaming Session, February ??
Is that the Tower that started this!? as told by Emyia

Well the night of fire left us alive but many members in a deep sleep. Roland, Eurich, Errol, and Dims were all passed out leaving the choice making to the second in charge Emyia. Correct me if im wrong about that..dare ya! We decide to top the hill above the river near our cave. We discovered a fortress on the river below. We are in deep discussion about what this fortress maybe and what to do next when something gets the drop on our ranger Tansis. We all turn excepting a bugbear to have flanked us to find Sarava. She is dressed in leather armor and is armored to the teeth. She even is carrying two swords because she thinks she is a duel wielder. Art seems very pleased to have Sarava in our company but i don't trust.  She must have been behind us for the whole discussion because she began to tell us about the fortress. She told us the fortress was called River Guard Keep. The banner flying over head was the symbol of the Crushing Wave. Jollver Grimjaw was the leader of the Crushing wave. But she didn't know much else about why they were here at the old abandoned fortress. Tansis bravely volunteered to get a closer look at the fortress. However we felt that the peril was too periless. As we urged for caution we noticed a group of bugbears leave by boat from the fortress. We had a couple of options before us storm the fortress for answers, follow the boat in the left behind boat, or go back to Featherdale Spire. It should be noted that we could have been killed three times over because of all our discussion and indecision. For the second time we were taken by surprise as Dim came up form the cave to finally help us make a decision. We decide to go back to retrieve Sir Throle! We weren't sure how to best do this. I suggested that we return Sarava as an escaped prisoner to get him to let us in the door. Art and his new friend girl were not loving that idea. We still were not exactly sure how to attack but knew we needed to attack during the day. So we took cover under brush near the tower to avoid the sentry on top of the spire.  

Sarava suggested that we look form the rumored  hidden passage into the tower. Both Tansis and Emyia believe it is in the base of the tower. So Tansis offers to scout out the the door. Dims informs Emyia and Sarava that he can cast an invisibility spell so that we can provide back up for Tansis. So all three of us climb over the edge of the cliff searching for the door. Sarava stumbles upon the door and Emyia muscle the door open. All three of us enter the hall way and close the door behind us. Tansis leads us down the hall to a door. He believes its the stable because of the animal smell. We open the door and it opens up into the pin of the oldest and most crabby vulture in the stables. She begins to screech.

So we attacked the vulture. Sarava turned out to be a very accomplished duel wielder.  We make quick work of the vulture. Sarava choped the head off the vulture  and led us up through the . Our goal is to take out the sentry on top of the spire to allow us to lower the bridge unnoticed. We  gained the upper hand because of the surprised sentry. We managed to kill both with again very little damage because of Sarava fearless use of her blades and Tansis expert aim with his bow. She led us down to the room that has the lever to lower the gate. We meet only one monk and are able to best him after he recognized Sarava.  We finally made it inside the room to find that it had four people carrying on a meeting. We again fought our way through the surprised group.

Both Tansis and Emyia are in need of healing so Sarava lowers the gate and the Ilse heals all wounded. It is suggested that we check the bodies for anything that might be useful before we move on. However, in our search our handy work is discovered and the alarms are blown. we quickly make our way up the stairs to stop the alarm before the knights are called back to help.

  A blood bath occurs on the stair case leading to Sir Throle's study and the source of the alarm. Art and Emyia are getting beat to a pulp but are working through the two knights and two squires in front of them. Sarava and Dims are fighting two monks and killed one monk that jumped in the middle of the group.  Tansis is taking aim at with his bow when Dims and Sarava get blown to the back of the group just in time to hear a mighty roar and a loud thud. He looks back in time to see Sir Throle riding his Griffin in through the opened front door of the tower. 

And that's about all i have to say 

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Eighth Session, February ??
As told by guest story teller Emyia the Barbarian

With the brightest and most gleaming smile plastered on any person the party has met so far, Sir Throle extends an innovation of rest and dinner to the exhausted party.  The woman that met us at the draw bridge leads us to a large  common room in the middle of the  gleaming  white tower. Everything so far about this place gleams but it is not all the pretty.  She is clearly star struck by a certain Paladin as she offers us every hospitality. Artie our self renowned lady killer finally recognizes the lass. He is able to charm more information from Savara through his "Charisma" charming the ladies. She suggests that we enjoy some rest in this room before the knights return and dinner is served. Nothing that she tells us puts us at ease. So we decide to not do as told.

Instead Dim, Master Word Smith, takes up the mantel of digging up dirt on Sir Throle and his gleaming "suspicious" operation.  Dims nearly avoids our highly skilled babysitter guarding our door and sneaks up into Sir Throle's study. After some very tense moments and a near un-stealth-ing Dims brings back a short communication that confirms our dread and that Emyia is not just a paranoid hermit lacking trust in any humanoid life form. Sir Throle is indeed a gleaming polished skat.  However, we can not act on this information because all the knights have returned and dinner prepared. 

Art who is usually overly happy and frustratingly outgoing is very restrained and sober. He recognizes faces and does not like the character of Sir Throle's knights. Dims decides to break the tension felt by our party with his Ballad to Sparks Fireforge.  As expected our party is very moved by his memorial. The knights and Sir Throl are complacent  and don't even seem to appreciate the entertainment.  However, Savara is moved to tears. Ilse Fireforge is deeply touched by our love for her lost dead sister. Dims cemented her commitment to our party. 

As the party dies down, not foreshadowing, we are told of a theft and that we are locked in our room for our own safety. Roland who has been very calmly absorbing the details of our night thus far imparts his sagely wisdom to the frustrated party. Sir Throle is the one Master Rinfrin has sent us the retrieve. He also believes the Sir Throle's ring, offered to the knight that brings the head of the long hunted beast, is in fact the artifact that will help us restore order the elements.

The next morning we are given a lead by a very angry Sir Throle. We are then asked to leave the tower because we were no longer welcome. As Savara walks us out the tower she hangs back and speaks with Art. We hastily leave and decide to go the opposite direction of our lead. We instead head south following the river in hopes of finding Bugbears. Tanis informs us that we are being followed by a giant vulture rider. The rider tails us until we make our turn south on the river. He then turns back to the tower.

We continue and take the south fork of the river when Tansis tells us we are being followed again by four riders in the sky. We quickly tie off our horses. Errol tells us to split up and take cover. We all make ready for long distance battle. Three riders on Vultures split off to devour our horses. One rider on a hippogriff attacks our party members. Before Emyia throws a single Juvlin, our two priest jump into action. Ilse and Eurich make buffalo griffin wings out of the rider and the hippogriff with a few area of affect spells. The three riders on vultures decide to leave this world after aggressive negations. 

We gather our blood soaked gear and being again on our path. However, Tansis again warns us of a huge grass fire. We find a cave to take cover in and camp through the night of fire unharmed thanks to an insane amount of luck. 

And that's about all i have to say about that..

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Seventh Game Session, Jan 21
New Friends

Beliard was devastated. The small community had been hit hard by the earthquake and many buildings had collapsed, several with people still in them.  As the party passed through the broken gates they were met with bedlam. A building was burning, people were franticly pulling rubble from ruined structures, animals ran amok, and the wounded seemed to be everywhere. Immediately they set about organizing the townsfolk and methodically working to clear rubble and get to those trapped within. An afternoon of labor put out the fire, saved the two children of Elliot Roadik (Joel and little Eluthia), and up in the Calling Horns Inn the wounded were treated and prayed over for miracle healing of the critically wounded. Exhausted the group all met together in the makeshift hospital which was the inn's taproom, and were fed a warm meal by a grateful populace. Oswald, Rurik, and Ilse, whose efforts with the town bonded them with the rest of the party, chatted late into the night with our heroes and it was decided that, at least for a time, they would travel with them to attempt to unravel the mysteries of the unleashing of the elements and the cults rumored to be behind them. 

That night a conversation was held with Belidard's Mayor Janus Fithers in which he expressed his gratitude and was glad to share some information valuable to the group in locating the Emissary Caravan from Mirabar. This put the party, the next day, on the south Dessarian road heading to Summit Hall, a military monastery held by the Order of the Gauntlet. Upon the way (encountering gentler, but still strange weather) they encountered a battlefield off the road west by about a mile. The guards wore the livery of Mirabar, and Tanis was able to track the attacking party, identifying them as a strong contingent of Bugbears. Making camp that night, the group was the victim of a pair of hunting Ankheg's who were put down by the combined might of the hero's, wherin Emiya was gravely wounded but saved by the healing power of Moradin. Howevedr not before she had gravely wounded the beast which had lifted her from the ground in its acid filled mandibles. 

It was soon discovered that the Bugbears had escaped by embarking upon boats into the Dessarin river, however a tall white spire was spotted in the distance which gathered the attention and curiosity of the party, and it was decided to head there. Approaching the tower they were met by a woman in knightly dress and two odd servants who were emaciated and skeletal, but moved without any signs of illness. She led them atop the spire and introduced them to the captain of their fellowship, the Featherdale Knights who had named this tower, Featherdale Spire. His name is Sir Thorle, and he greeted them graciously and showed them the grand view into Dessarin valley from the heights of the tower. Afterwards he charmingly invited the party to dine and refresh themselves within.  

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Sixth Game Session
Wherein Sparks was slain

The world has gone mad. The weather has taken on a dangerous and unpredictable dimension that is causing great havoc across the north. The unusually late winter has given way to a Spring that is alternating rapidly between cool and warm weather and is generating storms of unpredictable and unheard of power. It is if the heavens have gone to war. Poor Sparks was lost to a storm, lightning from the sky felled the mighty priest of Moradin, and she was later buried by her companions.

Returning from the woods with both a captive Arbor Grail under the effects of a powerful sleeping potion, and having rescued Dim's father whose mental and physical health is very poor, lodging was sought in the Gilded Horse Shoe Inn under the care of good Master Pug. The innkeeper was a bit taken aback by the presence of an unconcious prisoner, and there was a tense moment where you thought he might refuse you service, but Dim and Roland smoothed it over with some fast talking and a promise that it was but for one evening.

The next day Grail was delivered to Master Renfrin and rewards were distributed. Renfrin seemed quite pleased to have a chance to speak with Grail, and had him sequestered in a separate room. Questions were asked and answered, stories told, and Master Renfrin was asked about the unusual weather. He asked the group to meet him the next day for a more complete explanation.

The next day they met with him again and he related a story about a lost company of scholars from Mirabar, and that finding them would give revelations about the strange weather. Cults to the elemental God's have been gathering in the area, and the great powers of the north were beginning to take notice. He told them to begin their investigations in the town of Beliard, and so the party planned their trip and left two days hence.

First the party passed through Red Larch and made arrangements for the care of Glim Timbers with "Mother" Yolanda at her boarding house. She sympathized with Roland and promised to take good care of Glim and to nurse him back to health, at least in body. The Roland farm was visited and Roland's father gifted Velvet to him to aid him in his further adventures. After reprovisioning they continued the journey to Beliard.

Upon the way more weather disasters were met with, including a massive earthquake that shook the region to its foundations. So far they have endured a massive wind and rainstorm that flooded the region and blew over trees, fences, and even livestock. Now a earth event has happened and the party scholars are fearing some kind of fire disaster may soon be upon them. The session ended at the sight of the now cracked walls of Beliard. Smoke is rising from behind it's walls. 

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Fifth game session, Nov 12th
Where our companions nearly died in the snow

 

GM Report

The temperature had plummeted to a sub-zero freeze, and the gentle snowfall had rapidly picked up in volume. The forest was dark and quiet, the kind of quiet that only thick snow can provide, and visibility was about sixty feet under the trees. Errol was slapping his arms against his sides to warm himself, a futile gesture in this chill, and contemplating the warmth of his sleeping furs yet another hour and a half away. An eternity.

He thought he saw movement out in the snow, yet still no sound emerged from the woods. Straining his eyes, he could see a figure moving toward the camp shambling through the dense icy snowpack, but it was too dark to make it out clearly. Leaning over he woke Tanis, hoping his friend’s keen vision might help. More figures began to be seen, also heading to the camp. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes Tanis was just able to make out the features of the first figure when Arturius shot bolt upright out of his furs, eyes wide and face pale, “To arms, to arms,” he cried, “the foul thing is upon us!” ~

The fight was between hordes of zombies that emerged from an unnatural snowstorm that seemed to follow the creatures into camp. Ancient undead corpses frozen solid in the cold, yet still able to move and fight, stumbled out of roiling flurries of dense snowfall. Clumsy and slow, they still overran the camp and when a blow from one of their frozen weapons landed, it did terrible damage to its victims.

As the party battled, and slowly it appeared they would have the better of the fight, the dense snowfall parted away from the camp to reveal an ancient Wight dressed in antique elven armor entering the fray. He lifted one claw-like hand and out of the snowstorm ran undead goblins sporting terrible wounds in their flesh. The melee became desperate, and it began to look as though it all would end here in these frozen woods. Then a mighty brown bear charged into the fray and set upon the zombies, and a white owl sailed into the fight and transformed into Alannah the Druidess. With healing spells and a magical staff she helped to turn the tied and the zombies were put down, however the Wight remained. Every strike from its mighty mace laid low one of the companions, though they circled the ancient knight and laid blow upon blow against its armored hide. Spell, missile and blade clashed against the abomination seemingly doing nothing to slow it down.

Then, after receiving a mighty attack from the Wight that demolished his shield, Arturius impaled the knight with his glowing magical blade, and there was a flash of light, and the baroque armor collapsed in an empty heap with no sign remaining of the Wight which had occupied it. Wounded, exhausted, and numb with cold, the companions retired to their tents for the remainder of the night and in the morning decided to divide the loot.

The trip back to Longsaddle was uneventful and a warm welcome was had at the Gilded Horseshoe from Master Pug and his family. There was an uncomfortable moment when the good innkeeper objected to a bound criminal being kept in his establishment, but it was smoothed over with soft words and promises of immediate resolution in the morning. The next day Arbor Grayle was taken to Master Renfrin and much was discussed…. (to be revealed next session).

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Fourth Game Session Oct 22nd
Wherein Glim was found

 

GM's Report

   Arbor Grayle proved to be quite the warrior in the end. Grappled to the hard stone floor by Arturious and assaulted by various members of the party (some more or less accurately), he-never the-less managed to wiggle free and leap to his feet dagger in hand, all the while yelling curses at Chief Brokenear for him to come help him. Several times the party assaulted the wiley Grayle, and each time he was able to wiggle free, at one point tumbling in a stunning display of acrobatics past the entire company of adventurers and fleeing to the end of the hall, beating on a door there. It was here that he was finally cornered and pummeled into unconsciousness.

   In the quiet that followed it was found that something was unchaining the door Grayle had pounded upon from the other side, and Errol attempted to open that heavy oak door before it could emerge, but found it was jammed by heavy chain, so he put his back into it and pushed it open only to have his bell rung as a blade crashed down upon his helm. Thus began another furious combat as Brokenear was revealed along with two unusually large female goblins, both armed with scimitars. Brokenear was huge for a goblin, standing as tall as a man and well-muscled. He was dressed in a heavy chain shirt and wielded a longsword made of dark metal that glowed with a strong blue-white radiance (about the strength of a torch). His right ear was more than half missing and his eyes were full of fury.

  

   Errol, dazed and standing in the door frame charged into the room past Brokenear to discover the second goblin woman and was engaged by both females, while Brokenear continued to fight the party in the hallway. Brokenear’s talent with the blade was astonishing, he wielded it moved in a blurr in his blade striking like a pile hammer and slicing through armor and flesh. The party fought valiantly but even so Sparkles was heavily wounded and Arturious was cut down.

   During the fight, Sparkles fell back and healed herself and then noticed a light behind them. Moving to investigate she found a young human make, obviously a prisoner of the goblins, in the pit that opened nearly trapping Dim earlier. Also with him was Glim Timbers, in a fast sleep. Using a rope she managed to help both out of the pit trap, and they quickly decided to rush back to the fight.

   Errol, in the Goblins room, ignored the two females that were ineffectually beating on his armor and attacked Brokenear causing the Chieftain to back away from the doorway enough that he had the whole party and Errol on either side of him, then he began to beat upon both with broad sweeps of his glowing blade. Though he punished the party near to the breaking point, he also was taking terrible wounds and in a very quick maneuver he reached out and grabbed a nearby concubine and changed places with her right as Tanis attacked with his dagger, which he thrust in her belly instead of the chief’s. Brokenear then disappeared into the room, but not before laying Errol low with a sword stroke.

  The wounded goblin consort attempted to flee, but turned to give her lord and the other female time to escape at the cost of her life. There then came a pause, wounds were tended to, the door into the chamber was chained off, and a hurried discussion was had regarding what to do next. During that time, from deep within the complex, a drumbeat was heard. A single reverberating boom heard through the rock that was shortly repeated again and again. This caused the group to decide to flee down the secret passage, however they soon learned that Brokenear was not finished. He had armored himself with plates and picked up an enormous shield and had returned to finish the fight. Tanis, Rince, Errol, and Dim began to pepper him with bowfire, to which he sacrificed his last consort in a move like the one he made earlier. Charging down the passage he was ultimately finished by the various missiles that were launched at him.

   Looting his body, his sword and a magical pouch were procured from Brokenear, and further down the passage a room was found with chests of coin and a great deal of random gear. Rince’s equipment was found, though the search was quick, and the party made it to the end of the passage, and eventually escaped the goblin nest.

   Deciding that distance from the complex was needed they pushed on past early nightfall and shortly thereafter made camp; they fell exhausted into bed leaving guards left to watch for pursuit, and pursuit did indeed come. First horn calls were heard, and when it was obvious that they were getting closer, and the howling of wargs was in the air. Camp was struck with haste and the group began to run in the darkness through the snow. Then something odd happened, there was the sound of an engagement behind them, the goblins had been intercepted by some force, the wargs were heard growling and clashes of arms danced through the trees. Arturious felt a familiar bane nearby but controlled his panic. Pausing only momentarily to assess what they could with their ears, the group then  again to flee until early dawn, when complete exhaustion finally overtook them. A camp was struck, and some sleep was had, but not much.

   Errol spied movement during his watch in the trees following the party’s trail. Five zombies, with glowing eyes and frost and ice clinging to skin and clothes were ambling slowly forwards through the winter woods seemingly intent on the camp. Depleted of resources, exhausted and frightened, we wait until next session to see what the fate of these adventurer’s shall be.

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