Heroes of Yelden

Session #34
The Elves of Crondor Wood

23rd Replanting, Morning. Raining lightly.

In the Adventuring Center, the crowd from the previous night was gone, replaced by Jo of Hilnden and Thelia the nymph. Thelia, unlike everyone else, was disturbed by this and demanded to know where she was and why. Cora tried to appease her, both with explanations and songs. After breakfast, we set off.

Over the next three days of travel, we passed two sets of regular Brandobian guards patrolling the road. We also passed an overgrown graveyard, and a small shrine to the Traveler. There were occasional soldiers on the road as well. When we saw a mangy old dog, Cora called him Gaspode and Brinn started patting his pockets for biscuits. He threw the dog a Whore Tittie. We also met a pickle merchant. Everyone was particularly excited about the pickle merchant. His name was Colman, and Luhluh bought some pickles.

Approaching the woods, a low-lying mist could be seen which seemed unnatural. Cora joined Luhluh at the head of the group, and asked the others to keep their weapons sheathed. The woods were lovely, in ways enhanced by the elves who live there. Soon, Luhluh thought she heard something. Suddenly, seven elves hit the ground right in front of us. Those who looked closely could trace them back to a fancy overhead rope system. All seven had flawless brown skin and were of indeterminate age. They wore leather armor, and were pointing shortbows at us. They questioned each member of the group, demanding that each answer for themselves rather than allowing Cora to explain. Brinn, Sir Didymus, and Zamaia gave brief answers (Zamaia’s in rhyme) stating that we were seeking to pass through the woods for trade purposes. Luhluh gave an adorable explanation of why trade is a thing.

More elves arrived, hanging back behind the first group. One, taller with blond hair, came straight to Cora with a hug and a friendly, even flirtatious, greeting. The previous speaker rolled his eyes behind the newcomer’s back. Cora introduced the new blond, Shifan, to the group (he seemed particularly keen on Zamaia). Shifan asked the elf who had been questioning us (Hurell) why he was giving us such a hard time. Without further talk Hurell lead the way deeper into the woods.

We climbed a rope to reach the village (leaving Racven and Trosk to care for the horses and wagon, and Faust to safeguard them from elves). The village consisted mostly of single-room dwellings with porches, connected by elevated walkways between the trees. All of the buildings appeared to be homes, no shops. There were many elves about, most wearing leather. Women who were not dressed in armor wore leather leaf-shaped shirts which exposed their shoulders and midriffs in the warm weather. From many of the houses music could be heard from lutes and other instruments. Sir Didymus was highly impressed by the elevated streets made entirely of bridges!

We were led to a large circular pavillion, adorned with simple furniture of wood. There was no fireplace, and the group realized there had been no sign of hearths or fires of any sort within the wooden village. Cora explained to the group that we would be making our case to the local Council of the Wood, a group of elders who do what governing is needed in the village.

We waited for long enough for most of the party to become bored. Sir Didymus wanted to explore the structure of the village; Cora advised him not to wander, so he examined the pathway just outside the pavillion, leaning over the edge to observe how it attached to the nearest trees. Wendell gathered information from the local bird community. The birds warned that the red mushrooms were poisonous. A rumor from sailors claimed that a hurricane was approaching the coast. And there was a mysterious sickness to the north.

Eventually the arrival of the Council was announced, and we stood as they entered. They wore cloaks in addition to the usual local dress, and their hair was brighter, in vivid autumn browns, reds, and oranges. They asked our intentions and Cora explained about the trade route. She asked their permission to pass through, as well as inviting them to be a part of the trade route, and tried to make it clear that we would not proceed without their approval. They told us that they would consider it and left without further instructions. Cora explained that we were free to move about the village, and that we would probably be given an answer in between 24 hours and 3 weeks.

Cora took the group to meet her grandmother, Philyra Larendin, and gave a tour of the village. There were no shops; instead the village operated on trade between individuals. To obtain something, you visit the home of the elf who makes the items you seek. There was a temple (although on the outside it looks the same as the houses), where the elves worshiped a handful of the gods: the Mother of the Elements, the Guardian, the Great Huntress, the Bear, and a few others from the Chaotic Good to True Neutral spectrum. There were also druids in the community. Luhluh asked about animals, and Cora explained that they do not keep pets, but some have animal companions or friends, particularly birds.

Some of the group stayed with Cora’s grandmother, others returned to the wagon to sleep. The elves brought out and shared food whenever it was time to eat without fuss, we were invited to join in. Meals consisted of flat bread topped with local produce, largely fruit preserves. There was a chilled fruit soup that confused Faust (the chilling was done by magic). There were smoked game meats, which Cora explained were smoked at a cave two miles away. There were wines and especially mead.

Zamaia flirted with (and then slept with) Shifan. Cora told tales of our adventures to whoever would listen, trying to build public goodwill toward our group. Brinn was soon bored. He traded some cheese for mead.

On the evening of the second day, we were sitting outside Philyra’s home. She is a tailor, and was working on mending a piece of leather armor. Suddenly, a creature appeared next to her! It looked like a cross between a small girl and a black rabbit. It laughed, grabbed the bit of leather, and jumped off the porch! Philyra rose and shouted “hey, give that back!” The creature was a pooka, a type of fey. They are not evil, but are troublemakers, and use poison. We all set off in pursuit!

Sir Didymus moved first, finding a trail through the bit of woods. Zamaia scurried ahead, crossing a stream on a log. Luhluh and Cora quickly caught up to her. The pooka was delayed by some slippery rocks. Brinn helped Sir Didymus cross the stream. Luhluh soon caught up with the pooka, who tossed her the stolen leather and disappeared. There was laughter, not just from wherever the pooka had gone but from the elves on the bridges above and behind us. Her thoughts catching up to her, Cora remembered (and explained) that pookas can fly and turn invisible. Luhluh shouted into the woods trying to make friends. She asked the pooka’s name, and heard a voice by her ear answer “Nitsy.”

Then we were called to hear the Council’s answer. They had decided to send us to the City, just to the north, to seek the approval of the larger Council there. We traveled for another two days, this time escorted by Shifan, Hurell, and two others, Dumar and Hanasila.

Most of the way to the city, we came across a large brown mound – a bear. The elves approached it, and shared a significant glance. It was dead, but with no visible injuries. Brinn tried to determine if the bear had eaten any red mushrooms; its breath smelled like fish.

The elven city was also accessed by rope. Cora made an extra effort not to embarrass herself climbing this one, and Sir Didymus took a couple of tries to manage it. The city looked much like the village only larger. On the ground below, however, there was one store/trading post/co-op, the only place in the woods which takes gold pieces. Our meeting with the city’s Council of the Wood went much like the one in the village, and we were once again told to wait for a decision.

In the town there were elves who make and will trade potions, writing supplies, books, and leather goods. The store stocked Boots and Cloaks of Elven Kind, as well as furs, nuts, maple syrup, and walnut oil. We traded our Hide from Animals and Stabilize potions for Cure Light Wounds, which we use rather more often. Zamaia was also interested in some alchemical items.

We were brought before the Council again; this time they were sitting at an imposing wooden table. They said that they found our request highly irregular, and they were not truly interested. However, they were willing to let us negotiate if we would first do them a service (making no promises that the negotiations would get us anywhere). We were of course interested! They told us that a human camp and mine had let evil out of the ground, causing the mysterious illness plaguing the animals. They did not wish to approach the site, so wanted us to go there and fix it. We were of course highly enthusiastic about taking on this task.

At dawn we were led by a new escort to the west, passing more fallen animals. Sir Didymus scanned for Evil constantly. After a few hours the elves pointed the way forward and we traveled on alone. Soon, we found a group of tents. Sir Didymus could not pick out Evil without being able to see the being directly. We decided that scouting was in order, so Cora turned herself and Luhluh invisible. Sneaking up to the edge of the camp, the two observed tents, mining equipment near a hole in a hillside, carts, a firepit with a bowl suspended above it, a strange table… and dead humans strewn everywhere. It was eerily quiet. They decided to go back to the group.

Before approaching, we brainstormed silent killers which might leave no marks. Most natural things would be eating the corpses. The undead mostly cause messy injuries, except for incorporeal beings. Those sorts of specters might kill by destroying the will to live or draining the victim’s constitution. Most arcane beings or effects would cause elemental damage (such a burns), but perhaps hypothermia or heat exhaustion might be less obvious. Perhaps there could be an artifact releasing some sort of energy?

We entered the camp, which consisted of both simple tents and fancy pavillion tents. The human bodies seemed to fall into two categories: those well dressed, and those clad in rags. Sir Didymus approached the nearest body, one in rags. There were no signs of injury, however he thought it had suffered dehydration and starvation. It had been dead about a week. Brinn looked at the remains of the campfire – it was cold, also about a week old, with a pot of spoiled food hanging over it. The campsite seemed very well stocked with food. Luhluh investigated the strange table, which was covered by a red and brown cloth. On it rested a fancy knife with a bone handle, a bowl stained with traces of red, a deep red cloth, and a black pin or brooch. Cora recognized the colors and the symbol on the pin – a mailed fist. It was an altar to the Overlord. And the well-dressed corpses appeared to be clerics.

Zamaia prepared to cast Speak With Dead upon one of the cleric corpses, but Cora asked her to wait until Sir Didymus looked at it. He confirmed that it had died in the same way as the slave had, then Zamaia cast her spell.

The cleric’s body answered that what he had been doing here was “following orders.” Those orders were to burrow into the hillside and enter “the sacred place” to steal “the item” that belonged to his master. When asked what he had encountered in the cave, he answered that there were many barriers to entrance and several creatures both natural and unnatural.

Cora began to Detect Magic, declaring an intent to slowly scan the whole camp starting with the altar. The bowl and the brooch were both magical.

Brinn entered the nearest pavillion tent. It seemed like a normal cleric’s tent with beds and supplies. But then he noticed an extra shadow. Brinn tried to swing at the shadow and all the empty air while looking like he hadn’t noticed anything. His sword struck nothing, but the shadow jumped up and lunged at him! Brinn shouted, “there is a mystery in here! It’s fighting me!”, asked the shadow, “what in Tellene are you?” and attacked. Sadly he fumbled, whacking his sword into his own shield.

Cora, who was standing closest to the tent (scanning it for magic) cast Haste on those nearby. Luhluh used the Rod’s White setting, and heard a voice in her head offering advice. When she asked what she should do about the thing attacking her friend, she was told “use as much magic as you can, and look behind you.” Turning around, she saw another shadow-thing just on the other side of the altar!

Wendell flew over and landed on Sir Didymus, who started glowing. Zamaia turned her tongue into an electric whip again, and scanned around herself for more of the things. Sir Didymus ran up to the shadow by the altar, and swung his longsword – which passed straight through the thing without seeming to hit anything.

All the shadows in the dim light around us solidified into more monsters! The one facing Brinn struck him, weakening him significantly. Brinn nonetheless struck at the shadow.

Cora cast Glitterdust on three of the nearby creatures, blinding them and covering them and their surroundings with glowing, sparkling dust. The she then took her magic shortsword to the one attacking Brinn, but missed badly.

Luhluh used the Rod on red, and received a bouquet of fake flowers. She also cracked a sunrod and shook it at the shadows to no effect. Zamaia whipped a shadow twice with her electric tongue. It seemed effective, but it was difficult to evaluate the shadow-thing’s condition. Sir Didymus channeled Positive Energy to throw damage at all but the most distant creatures! The one which Zamaia had been fighting faded away!

The shadows (except for the three blind ones) closed in on Cora, Sir Didymus, Zamaia, and Luhluh. The one in the tent hit Brinn again, leaving him feeling very weak. Cora just managed to dodge an attack, but Luhluh was hit and also weakened. Brinn struck back at his shadow, hitting it twice and leaving it flickering, then Cora finished it off! She wheeled and struck the one behind her as well.

Luhluh used the rod again, and this time, time stopped for everything but us! We had a few seconds to act without the creatures being able to respond. Brinn came out of the tent and placed himself beside two Shadows, hitting one of them. Cora also struck with her sword. Luhluh moved out of reach, and with the Rod dumped green paint on everyone. Zamaia moved about making good use of her magic tongue. Sir Didymus moved to a better spot and channeled positive energy again.

As time resumed, Zamaia caused another shadow to fade with her electric tongue. Then Sir Didymus’s Positive Energy took out all the rest!

Cora asked if Sir Didymus’s knowledge of the undead could identify the things. They were Shadow People, which kill by sapping strength until the victim cannot move. Hence the helpless people and animals had been left to die of dehydration. When a humanoid being is killed in this way, it becomes another Shadow.

Brinn, feeling weak, rested on the bed in the tent. Luhluh turned the Rod to its blue setting, and to our relief it helped! Cora took a closer look at the bowl and brooch on the altar, and determined that they held very powerful divination spells. Combining that with the corpse’s description of his orders, she hypothesized that these clerics may have been using these items to communicate with the Overlord himself. We agreed that it would be best to destroy these items, but we did not know how to do it. Simply throwing them in a fire did not seem like it would work.

After a short evaluation of our fitness to continue today, we headed into the tunnel the clerics had dug in the hillside. It soon opened into a finished chamber with some sort of seal in the floor. It seemed to be a door, but flush with the surface. In the corner was an elf, slumped in a pool of blood! He was alive, so Cora healed him. He woke up hungry and thirsty. When asked, he said that he had been gathering in the woods when he heard a snarling noise, then nothing. This was two days ago (well after the humans in the camp had been killed).

The seal in the floor of the chamber bore the same design found on Sir Didymus’s cloak, the symbol of the Knight of the Gods. It was also magic. As was the elf – there was a very strong conjuration aura on him. Cora asked him if he was usually magical, and he answered that he didn’t think so. He was hungry and wanted to go home; we gave him some food.

Luhluh found a secret door in the wall, one which was not magical. She opened it, and the tunnel behind was dark, leading a short way before being sealed by a cave-in. Everyone but Cora went in for a closer look, and Cora watched them intently from the entrance. Searching found nothing, and the collapse would be very difficult to clear. When we turned around again, the elf had vanished, puddle of blood and all. Cora realized to her dismay that no one had asked his name.

The seal in the floor was now glowing. Cora took a closer look, and realized that it was a magical lock, now open. She placed a hand on it and it opened.

Quotes:

“We should fill [the jar for XP rocks] with water and put a betta fish in it.” -Erica
“And then drop rocks on it?” – Kara
“We’ll give it a helmet.” – Meghan

“Quick, Brinn, walk around naked!” – Tommy, trying to distract Thelia

“I detect magic on the pickles.” -Erica
“They magically improve Trosk’s cooking.” -Kara

“They’re tweeting.” -Kara
“Wendell’s like ‘hey bros, what’s trending?’” -Mike

#RedMushroomsPoisonous

“Check the bear’s twitter, has he mentioned #RedMushroomsPoisonous?”

“They just make you drop dead and turn into a bear.” -Mike (this led to descriptions of a rash of kidnappings in which the only clue were dead bears found in the victims’ homes)

“Lookit the bard, doing damage with a weapon!” -Mike

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Session #33
June 9th

As the session begins, it is just after sunset in the farming village of Furden. It is a warm and windy evening, and the party stands on the bridge at the edge of town. Luhluh has just finished disabling the bear traps that were placed all along the bridge, when the party hears screaming and yelling coming from the center of town.

Presumably, what are known as Merrows (the aquatic ogre-like creatures Trosk told us about last time) come running out of the village towards the river followed by a horde of angry villagers. One particularly strong looking Merrow is leading the way, followed by others of its kind, a few of which are carrying villagers.

Brinn rides up to scene and tells the largest ogre to drop the tavern wench he has slung over his shoulder. The ogre-like creature complies, though not in the way Brinn had intended, by hurling the woman across the river, and then turning to face his challenger. The large monster takes a distinctly defensive stance while the others attempt to make their way to the water behind him. Brinn enters melee with the leader with LuhLuh assisting him from afar by using the trusty divine rod of many wondrous things. Faust moves into position along the bridge where he can have a full view of the battle, and does the magics of missiles and fire from afar to the merrows attempting to scurry into the river. Zamaia creeps up from behind one of the buildings in an attempt to pluck off some of the smaller ones. Sir Didymus rides to the other side of the river to check on the tossed tavern wench.

The battle erupts into chaos. Brinn and the merrow duke it out- both taking damage. The aquaitc ogre manages to do damage to himself at some point. LuhLuh makes the mighty one do an interpretive dance with the rod, which assists Brinn greatly. She also summons an elephant that is trapped 200 feet in the air, but is excellent at imaging things- such as coconuts that do real damage, so it still manages to be effective. She also summons the Adventuring Center upon several of the smaller merrows and a townsperson. The merrows get smushed nicely, but thankfully, the villager gets stuck upon the rooftop. The center springing into existence manages to disrupt a wasps’ nest and they angrily swarm above the building- near the villager. Zamaia uses her crazy tongue attack against them, and LuhLuh smashes a single wasp with a coconut…which rolls off and lands into the pit trap the villagers fell into. Speaking of which, the villagers were all magically healed while in the hole- thanks to the rod. Of course, the villagers don’t know about the rod, so rumor has it a new religion is starting around that magical pit trap. Faust continues to pick at the merrows which are now escaping into the river. The tavern wench has hopped back into the river and is wailing on the Merrows, and Sir Didymus has run around the river to the other side. Sir Didymus arrives at Brinn’s side just in time to see the defeat of the powerful Merrow and then they leap into the river and back out again to track down the Merrows that escaped (and the villagers they stole).

The party has no time to recoup from the ordeal as they quickly realize the town has been set on fire. Brinn and Sir Didymus organize the villagers into bucket brigades and continue to rally them to victory, while LuhLuh, Faust and Zamaia used their skills and magics to identify and target specific areas of the fire. One section of the village is lost, but the villagers are grateful not more was lost.

After a bit of investigation, the party determines that the Merrows planned this attack. They probably scouted out the area first. After taking out the guard, they constructed traps along their escape route to the river. They then backtracked and entered the town from the opposite side, rushing toward the river- grabbing food, humans, and whatever interesting bits they wanted along the way. The last few to run through the town tossed burning homemade torches to set the town on fire as a distraction. The plan would have been successful if our heroes hadn’t intervened. The party finds a magic bag that was obviously owned by a wizard (probably eaten by the Merrows) containing a lot of interesting stuff.

The party joins the villagers in the local tavern where they are gifted a variety of items. Since the village sells corn, a grain not yet on the trading schedule, the party invites the village to join the trade route. Earlier in the day, the party had made some key observations about the tavern wench: a) she knew how to fight; b) she was likely military-trained; and c) her accent and appearance indicated she was from Pel Brolenon. Brinn engages the tavern wench in conversation, and eventually learns her name (Avil Olita Stron) and that she was born and raised in Pel Brolenon- in the capital city. She hated it there, and escaped years ago after the passing of her grandmother. Brinn concludes that she’d likely be a useful source of information in the future, should the conflict with the Overlord become more pronounced.

The party retired to the conjured adventuring center whereupon they found their interesting evening was not yet over. Immediately, they noticed the center seemed a bit nicer on the inside- more spacious, but also cozier. Two new doorways had appeared. Next, they noticed with some surprise that customers of the tavern comprised of several of their friends- the Brownie couple, Cardor, Sparkboom and shipman Gary. They chatted with their friends, all of which assumed they were dreaming, while enjoying delicious food and drink from the new, more varied, tavern menu. After eating, they explored the remainder of the center. One doorway led to a small room filled with cases containing magical items. It was apparent these items were carefully curated and maintained by a bespectacled gnome sitting on a stack of books and reading yet another. The other doorway led to what could be considered a mail room. It had numerous small wooden boxes. Each box had a member of the party’s name engraved upon it. Inside the room was also a fully-stocked writing desk and a wooden box labeled “outgoing mail”. The party gave it a test run by mailing various things to their friends. Upstairs, they discovered a new room. The outside of the room had a strong lock, but was unlocked with the key hanging from the handle. Inside, there were reinforced wooden chests with locks. Each chest was labeled with the name of a party member. Inside the chests, there was only a key. The party went to bed.

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Session 31 (5/17/2014)
A Rude Awakening

19th Replanting
We were all sleeping in the castle when the alarm bell began to ring loudly! We grabbed our stuff and ran downstairs (some more efficiently than others – all were without armor, and Sir Didymus didn’t even grab a weapon). Guards were also headed for the gates and other battle stations. Next to the bell in the courtyard, the stable boy was grappling with a man dressed in black.

Zamaia reached the courtyard first, and hexed the stranger. He dropped the stable boy and headed for the stable doors; Zamaia slipped through a hallway to enter the stable by another door. The main stable doors were open and swinging. The injured stable boy shouted something about Racven.

Cora followed Zamaia, and cast Haste on the entire party. Luhluh also ran into the stables, and noticed that it was a mess. Equipment had been damaged and strewn about, there were drops of blood, a horse could be heard whining, and many horses were not in their stalls. She could just see a stranger through the open door, and shook the rod at him. The multi-color segment sent out a sheet of flame to engulf the target! And then the color faded.

When Brinn reached the exterior stable door, he found three men running across the garden toward the wall (and one charred corpse on the ground). One held a shortsword, one had hands free, his weapon sheathed at his waist, and the last (and beefiest) held a heavy flail and wore a mask. Brinn threw a dagger at the nearest. Sir Didymus was right behind him, and observed that the three were evil. He cast a spell to compel the empty-handed person to approach him.

Zamaia headed off the guy who had been in the courtyard, and gave him a tongue-lashing. A literal one, turning her tongue into a whip of magical electricity. Not only was the enemy injured, he also fell to the ground laughing!

The strongest-looking intruder vanished over the top of the wall. Cora came up behind Brinn and shot an arrow at the second, who was still climbing. She missed, but then she looked to the last corner of the stable and spotted the feet of someone lying prone. She swore in Elvish.

Luhluh ran out into the garden and leapt up to grab onto the man climbing the wall. Brinn also jumped up the wall, then he climbed to the top and hopped down to land on the escaping intruder. Sir Didymus grappled the man he had forced to approach him.

Zamaia again lashed at the still-giggling man in the courtyard (hereafter referred to as Giggles). The man Brinn had landed on (let’s call him Beefy) grabbed Brinn, and whistled for backup. The climbing man (Blue) and the empty handed one (Red) tried to shake off Luhluh and Sir Didymus, but could not. Giggles rose to his feet only to be hit by Zamaia again.

Cora ran to the corner and found Racven slumped before Prisa’s stall. She cast Cure Light Wounds to heal him, and shouted to the others asking what they could see happening. Racven revived, clutching an aching head.

Luhluh pinned Blue to the wall, Brinn took control of his grapple with Beefy, and Sir Didymus began punching Red. Zamaia lashed at Giggles again, so hard that she turned herself invisible! Also, Giggles died. Then Zamaia headed out to join the others near the garden wall.

Suddenly all heard a frightening wail from beyond the wall! Zamaia was shaken, but the rest managed to keep their cool. The large creatures causing the wail began to shake the wall; no one had yet looked directly at them. The grappled intruders continued to struggle.

Satisfied that Racven was on his feet, Cora ran for the stairs at the corner of the wall. Luhluh stabbed Blue with her dagger, and told him to stay still.

Brinn finally looked up at the wailing things – and rather regretted it. He recognized them as ogres, but something was wrong with them. Terrifyingly so. They were not undead, but something perhaps worse. The sight made Brinn feel nauseous and weak. He dropped his opponent, scaled the wall again, shouted a warning to Sir Didymus, and jumped down to his previously-abandoned sword. Sir Didymus continued to punch Red and ask unheeded questions of him.

The ogres’ punching collapsed two sections of wall. Cora emerged atop (a still-standing part of) the wall, and was disgusted and weakened by the sight of the ogres. She fired an arrow at the fleeing Beefy, but missed badly in the dark. Luhluh, now on the ground, tried to stab Blue again, but lost her grip on him. Brinn took his sword to the nearest ogre, landing two of three blows. Sadly the blade did less damage than expected. Sir Didymus demanded that Red tell him what the intruders were doing here.

Zamaia tried to hex the first ogre, then lashed him with her tongue when it did not succeed. The second ogre entered the garden (knocking over our wagon), and dropped his greatclub to grab at Brinn. The first ogre also stepped in and tried to grab Brinn, managing only to be hit by his sword again.

Blue stood (Luhluh stabbed him as he rose), then tried to mash a tomato from a nearby basket into Luhluh’s eyes. Luhluh backed away and used the rod’s Gold setting. We were all further hastened! She hid behind a bush, and found an unconscious guard there. She rifled through his pockets, and tossed his flail toward the unarmed Sir Didymus. Meanwhile, Cora’s arrows did some damage to the second ogre while Brinn continued to hit the first.

Sir Didymus was still punching Red. Red spit a bloody tooth at him and said “our enemies will be crushed in the fist of the Oppressor!”

Zamaia concluded that the ogres were neither arcane nor extra-planar. Normally, ogres have tough skin but no special resistances such as these two seem to show. Zamaia’s tongue-zap caused the first ogre to fall!

The second ogre kept trying to grab Brinn, who was moving far too fast to be caught.

Having lost sight of Luhluh, Blue turned to hitting Brinn instead. Red still could not shake Sir Didymus’ hold.

Cora finally managed to place what was wrong with the ogres. There are stories of the House of Shackles torturing victims to the point of breaking their souls. Such abuse could cause the disturbing appearance and strange behavior of these creatures. She hit the remaining ogre with two more arrows, which did no damage.

Luhluh sneak-attacked Blue, and he fell. Brinn swung at the remaining ogre, landing one solid hit, and then issued a challenge to it.

Sir Didymus gave one final punch to Red, who cried out “to feel the whip is to feel the burning kiss of the Overlord” before falling unconscious.

Zamaia magically Confused the ogre, while Cora continued to shoot it ineffectually. Luhluh clicked the rod to White and shook it, receiving a luck bonus to use on a future action. Brinn then landed two blows with his sword which finally felled the ogre!

The battle won, we turned to the wounded. Red and Blue were still alive; Cora stopped Blue from bleeding to death. Luhluh tended to the unconscious guards. Other guards were found to have helped the stable boy.

Sir Didymus grabbed his horse and chased after the last of the intruders, the stronger-looking man who had fled into the night. Zamaia followed running swiftly on foot. They captured their quarry and hauled him back to the castle.

In addition to weapons and armor (and rather a lot of cash), the intruders were found to be bearing a wand of Cure Moderate Wounds, a Cloak of Resistance +1, an assortment of acids, poisons, and potions, and a small case of torture devices.

Quotes:
“All [Tommy’s] hexes live in Texas.” -Mike

“Cats? Oh they’re totally Chaotic Evil.” -Kara

Tommy: “I’m invisible and frightened.”
Meghan: “Well if you pee your pants no one will see!”

Kara: “And you pee yourself.”
Mike: “My crotch is right over the dude’s face, too.”

“We’re gonna need a catapult.” -Mike/Brinn

Meghan: “How do you become un-shaken?”
Mike: “You need to be stirred.”

“I’m used to things. I just licked a guy to death.” -Tommy/Zamaia

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Session 29 (April 5th)
The Return to Yelden

After spending several days in Dayolen shopping, grooming, and enjoying their newly acquired heroic status, the party meets for dinner at the Humble Giant Inn. Free food and beverages continue to appear on their table every evening, in exchange for stories of adventure. Colindor joined them at the table excitedly waving a book in his hand that can only be described as the [Brandobian]] version of “Sailing for Dummies”. “Guess what??! Captain Westin Gale has found me passage to Ehzimahn! The captain of the [[Lion’s Paw]] says I can work on the crew [he shows them the book] and not have to pay for passage. He also says I don’t need to worry about having ID papers. He abhors slavery and understands my situation. Once in Ehzimahn, I can begin searching for the place my mother and sister were purchased from before they were brought to Eldor. The ship leaves in four weeks, they are making a run to Eldor first, and I obviously do not want to join them…”

Colindor was explaining why the rest of the party should join him in his travels to Djishy when a city messenger arrived with a note from a Professor at the University of Cosdol asking to meet them the following day at the [[Priest’s Soup and Ale]] for a business proposition. Since the party was uncertain of their plan for the immediate future, they decided there was no harm in going to the meeting, particularly when Faust verified the man’s credentials.
Professor Werlen of the Department of Artifacts offered the group 5,000gp to accompany him on a mission to the King’s Mound, an ancient burial site that radiates divine magic, in the city of Zomo-win in Svimohzia. The trip there would take 32 days, and the ship was to set leave in just over a month. Effectively, it looked like the well-funded academic expedition was seeking skilled and experienced mercenaries. Some of the group was interested, but they decided to think on it and send word back to the professor.

The following day, the group headed back to Yelden. Over the course of their journey, they encountered many folks who were pleased to see them and recognized who they were. This resulted in free food and lodging on most days.

Eventually, they encountered a small bridge over a creek which was being inappropriately guarded by a troll. When it appeared that lectures by Sir Didymus would not compel the troll to give up his life of crime, Sir Didymus attempted to arrest the troll. The troll resisted arrest and had to be stopped through more forceful means. Given that trolls regenerate, and that he had an accomplice under the bridge, the battle was challenging, but, of course, our heroes were victorious. A pile of items that locals had sacrificed to the troll was uncovered and donated to a local church.

Spontaneous cheering accompanied their stroll through Yelden towards the castle of Duke Cardor, and continued to occur periodically during their stay. It became clear later that Pribo, the boy who now works at the jail; Sibro, the hay merchant; Lesden, the rescued prisoner; and Fisherwise, the mushroom merchant all had a hand in helping to spread the word about the good deeds the party had accomplished. The town is visibly and audibly proud of the news their heroes have been generating.

Duke Cardor invited the party to a dinner in their honor on the first night. The heroes dined on delicious food while retelling their adventures. In exchange, Cardor shared his plans for the town of Yelden, growing the small town into a sophisticated and thriving trading town with the first trade route to Djishy, the desert community. When the group enquired about the diplomatic mission they heard about, he waved them off and asked for an official business meeting the following day.

The official business meeting with Duke Cardor consisted of the following points:
Cardor values knowledge, culture and experience. He feels that the people of Yelden would greatly benefit from becoming more wordly.
He assigned Sparkboom to be his advisor for racial relations. He wants to improve trade and cooperation with the gnomes, halflings and dwarves of the region. Sparkboom will spend his time traveling between these communities. He will also act as a scientific advisor developing better techniques for farming and establishing new schools and work programs.
Cardor wants to establish the first working trade relationship with the city of Djishy in the Young Kingdoms; and is looking for a team to establish this route. The team will need to:
Determine the best route for travel
Scout out the route
Assess safety of route/determine number of patrols necessary
Determine good places for trading posts
Get permission for the trade route to pass through any necessary civilized communities (you are authorized to make deals)
Meet with Djishy officials and make appropriate arrangements
Yelden is offering: salted pork, dried fish, wine, grain, dried fruit, jewelry, traveling bards/news
Yelden wants: books, news/knowledge/bards, fine rugs, salt, cloth, colored glass, art
Possible routes:
Over water and up through desert
Through the mountains
Through the woods near Pel Brolenon

While in Yelden…
Several members of the party experience unusually vivid dreams
One dream involved the Duke and a foreign man, but things seemed well and prosperous
Another feature angry robed people in an underground temple of sorts
Still others featured an exotic woman with long, black hair
All dreams left individuals with a strange exotic scent…a pleasant, but complicated scent
See familiar people, eat dinner and share stories with a few
Pribo is doing well in his new job and receiving training to be a guard
Lesden still has amnesia, but has opted for a life of the church and is now at peace with the past
Participate in Games
Duke has requested you hang around for a few weeks to celebrate his daughter’s birthday
A rumor about an abandoned cabin in the woods is of particular interest to LuhLuh
The Duke commissioned a portrait of everyone to hang in the castle

Quotes, as recorded by Erica:
“Are you really trying to out-compete the troll?” – Melk

“Won’t someone think of the horses?” – Tommy

“I’ve got a dress he [Jimmy] could have.” – Tommy

“Sir Didymus? Ma’am?” – Kara

“I can decipher writing.” – Melk, trying to use Linguistics to understand the troll
“Are you going to ask for a transcript?” – Meghan

“Let me consult my field guide!” – Melk

“Psssssssshw, everyone’s a lady!” – Tommy

Brad: “Hello.”
Everyone: “Hello!”
Melk, a moment later: “Oh, hello.”

DUCK STATUE!” – Meghan

Recorded by Meghan:
“His house color is bridge brown.”- Meghan
“Bridges love brown.”- Mike

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Session 28 (3/22/2014)

22 Mid-season harvest, 1044 YK, evening

Camp on the road to Dravlen in Eldor, Brandobia

The evening was clear and warm. In the middle of the night, Racven heard a rustling and breathing outside the camp. From behind a bush four spikes flew out, one hitting Brinn and another hitting Racven. Brinn ran at the bush, seeing a winged lion thing with a human head. He recognized a Manticore we had set loose on the countryside. Brinn shouted to wake the party, then attacked it. After Brinn hit it twice and Trosk shot it, it started to fly away. Trosk killed it with arrows.

There’s a voice in the wilderness crying…

Trosk went off after it on a horse; Cora and Brinn followed soon thereafter. Trosk heard a creepy growling noise, then a sort of cicada electric sound. He reached the shoreline and saw two looming dragon/sea serpent things about the size of the manticore. They were shiny blue-green and flying around. On the ground, a 5-ft ball of electricity was chasing a guy with no armor or weapons. The things in the air seemed to be playing cat-and-mouse with the dude on the ground.

Trosk started shooting, so they headed towards us. Cora recognized these as drakes. They seemed like they must be sea-drakes.

The one sea-drake breathed a ball of electricity at Trosk. Cora rode up to the other drake, singing loudly. Brinn rode up and offered his horse to the man running from the electricity. The guy didn’t seem to understand. Trosk killed the first drake and started shooting the second. It breathed a lightning ball at the dude, which then hit Brinn, Prisa, and Cora. Brinn put the unconscious dude on Prisa and sent her back to camp. The drake flew down and bit Cora. Trosk rode to Prisa and took the unconscious guy onto his own horse. Brinn shouted “if today I must give my life for my friends, it is a good day.” before hitting it with his sword. Colindor then killed it. Trosk healed the dude. He turned out to be a slave.

Out of earshot, Colindor told us the guy doesn’t trust us because he’s probably an escaped slave. Trosk showed the dude the marks on his arm and shoulder. Some indicate he was a slave, and others indicate the slavers he has killed. The dude followed us to camp. Didymus healed us up. The dude’s name is Crend.

Didymus and Brinn headed into town to negotiate Crend’s freedom and ship passage home. Crend’s owner was Netborne, a blacksmith. They convinced him to sign over the ownership of Crend in exchange for the cost of paper and wax for the paperwork (7sp).

The Wave Raker was loading supplies. Captain Weston Gale offered us free passage and Shipman Gary was going to buy a cake, because he was so happy to see Luhluh again. Captain told us a storm is coming this afternoon, so we’re not leaving until tomorrow. Before we left, Luhluh says the rod started humming and vibrating. We boarded the ship early.

Trosk and Brinn estimated that Dravlen has 200-300 armed men.

[ +2 to Ride checks for everyone due to Racven]

Luhluh and Shipman Gary have a tea party where cake is eaten.

On science day a sailor showed us his mounted moth collection. Trosk handed out manticore jerky.

On a calm night the crew did some dancing/singing/drinking. There was a long line to dance with our ladies.

Luhluh continued her game of spotting flotsam. She found a charred oar, a trap with three lobsters, a set of false teeth for a giant, and a lute with the inscription “Let the Heavens Weep”. It had a unique and eerie sound.

Didymus spent time with the horses and gave them treats.

Brinn ran some martial training with the crew. Trosk helped with some of that and helped out around the ship to keep his mind off sailing. Trosk also talked with Crend about possibly working our land, for pay. He seemed to like the idea.

Cora wrote a song and talked with Colindor. He really likes history, including military history. He’s fascinated with elves. He is also naive and non-judgemental. He is very good at telling stories. His goals are to trace where his mother was from and look for any living relations, and also to see the big library in Djishy.

There was a thunderstorm and Brinn and Colindor got seasick.

We got back to Dayolen. Time for shopping and loot-quidation sales.

A little boy was following us around. We’re famous! People have heard tales of our deeds.

We picked up some rumors in town: Cora heard that if you’re interested in the fights, bet on Vinceden; The fix is in. The gem appraiser Rosten never gives fair value. If you want some special attention, head to the Jolly Fishermen; the women are worth the coin. There’s a group of heroes wandering Brandobia, solving problems. The waitress says to try the MLT, the mutton is nice and lean. The Duke of Yelden is looking to hire a diplomat for a special mission. Brinn learned that Ronbril is a good blacksmith. It’s been raining more than usual. The Duke of Yelden is a werewolf. There has been an invasion by the zanzibar barbarians. Didymus learned that a troll is charging a toll at a bridge on the road to Yelden.

“If Trosk is shouting shoot it, I’ll shoot it.” Erica

“I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately” Erica “Manticores falling out of the sky?” Kara

“Inverse mummy-rot” Jimmy “It’s not mummy-rot!!!” Kara

“I don’t really know how spit on manticore meat works” Kara

“Make jerky, or just spit on the manticore?” Kara

“You’re rolling a very tiny die for a tiny subplot” Erica

As recorded by Mike. Posted by Erica on Mike’s behalf

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Session 27 (2/22/2014)
The Rescue of Rosla the Tailor's Wife from Master Orth

Afternoon, 22 Mid-Season Harvest
On our way back to Master Orth’s compound, we discussed what we should do with the cockatrice egg we had found in the tower, but came to no conclusions. We kept Simol inside the wagon, and Luhluh disguised him, just in case he was seen and recognized.

Upon arriving at Orth’s compound, the guards escorted us back to the Common Room where we had met with Orth previously. Luhluh spotted the guard with whom she had talked on our last visit, and he winked at her. Soon, Master Orth swept into the room. He asked the results of our mission and we told him of Vlondver’s death (although not in too great detail; Cora reported that we had dispatched the ‘cave monster’ he had sucommed to).

While Cora and Brinn spoke with Orth, Trosk and Zamaia were sizing up the surroundings. Trosk noticed that one of the guards was remarkably tall, blond haired and blue eyed, and burly; not Brandobian in appearance. Said guard was also staring at Cora. When Trosk caught his eye, he blushed and looked away.

Meanwhile, Luhluh was trying to tickle ‘her’ guard.

Orth pulled out a substantial sack, and gave us 500 gp with a flourish. His grin conveyed that he expected us to be in awe of this mighty sum. Brinn abruptly stated, “now that our business is concluded, Cora, you wanted to try diplomacy.” This was not the transition Cora was hoping for. Still, she carefully brought up the subject of Simol’s wife. Orth instantly denied the charge emphatically, claiming to have never heard of this man, clearly lying. Cora did catch him referring to Simol as a tailor when she had not identified him as such, but made no real headway opening a conversation. She smoothed things over (struggling to keep Brinn aware of her true meaning while not also alerting Orth), stating that we were eager to return to our homeland. We agreed to depart at once. Trosk noticed the blond guard trying to catch Cora’s eye and nodding.

Once out of earshot of the gates, Cora started the conversation about how to save Simol’s wife, Rosla. Brinn wanted to be direct and honorable, but Cora was worried that the woman may come to harm that way. Sir Didymus and Trosk brought up the blond guard. Cora was willing to flirt with him for information given the chance. Luhluh suggested more silly and/or extreme approaches. We asked Simol about the layout of the residence, and he filled in a bit of our map.

We sent Wendell to do reconnaissance. He noted that the kitchen door is often open, and observed seven guards, none the two we might want to talk to. They seemed busier than before. Also, he confirmed that the tower did contain a maiden.

After some debate, we decided on a two-pronged approach: Brinn and Sir Didymus would go directly to the gate and challenge Master Orth, while the rest of us attempted to slip over the back wall and sneak in. Faust would guard our hidden camp, where Simol would wait.

Once it was dark, Brinn and Sir Didymus rode up to the gate. The guards told them that Master Orth was not seeing guests. Brinn demanded that they be admitted in the name of the Law, but the guards did not go for it. So Brinn demanded to speak with their supervisor.

Meanwhile, Zamaia, Cora, Trosk, and Luhluh snuck up to the wall. The guard on the nearest tower was armed with a heavy crossbow, but it was not loaded. Wendell flew up for a closer look, and observed that he also had a flail nearby, and was not a guard we knew. Trosk held Luhluh over his head, and she jumped using the ring to grab the edge of the wall. She climbed up, tied a rope, and dropped it down to the rest of us. Trosk climbed up, snuck up behind the guard, and choked him.

Brinn told the guards a mediocre joke.

Luhluh disabled the guard’s alarm bell. Cora climbed up the wall, but was not as quiet as hoped. The next guard down noticed and began to ring his bell!

Sir Didymus first suspected the bell was the sound of the gate guards calling a supervisor, but Brinn recognized it as an alarm. Sir Didymus offered to help defend the castle from whatever the bell warned of. The guards began arguing over whether they should let him in. Brinn argued the point successfully, and they opened the gate.

Zamaia climbed the rope, and she and Cora headed for the kitchen door. The guard in Trosk’s choke hold finally passed out, so he followed them as well.

Two of the guard patrol came around the corner, and one spotted Cora. Servants began looking out the doors and windows for the source of the alarm.

Brinn and Sir Didymus rode toward the tower where the bell was first ringing, shouting, “They’re over here!”

Zamaia flung mud in the eyes of the guard who saw Cora. Cora and Trosk slipped past him, and Trosk opened the door to the left of the kitchen door. It led to the gardener’s quarters, and had no interior doors. Wilem the gardener cowered in fear.

Other guards were gathering, so Cora cast Ventriloquism and made her voice come from behind the nearby stable, shouting in Orcish. The first guard cleared the mud from his eyes.

Luhluh and Zamaia ran up the stairs on the exterior of the mansion. Cora cast Invisibility on herself (defensively) and followed them.

Trosk ran along the front of the stable, grabbed a torch, and threw it into a pile of hay. Then he ducked into the stable to save the innocent horses from the fire he had started. The stableboy ran away.

Guards poured out of the kitchen, knocking the maid aside. The guard who Zamaia had blinded turned to attack Brinn, who was trying to direct him to fight the fire. He and Sir Didymus almost succeeded at refocusing the guard’s attention, but when he kept coming Brinn batted him with his lance. Sir Didymus called for the rescue of the horses and rode past the guards (who swung at him and missed; he didn’t seem to notice). Brinn fought with the guard who had attacked him.

Luhluh opened the door at the top of the stairs to find a dark room. Zamaia looked inside and determined that this room also lacked interior doors. Cora joined her – and saw the guard coming around the back of the building. It was the blond guy who had stared at her earlier. He kept walking toward the crowd.

Brinn found himself fighting six guards, while another three caught up to Sir Didymus. Despite Sir D’s declarations of helpfulness they stabbed him.

Suddenly, a bolt of lightning came from across the front of the building! It scorched the grass in front of the stables.

Luhluh went down the stairs, caught up to the blond guard, and whispered that her friend had come looking for him. Cora became visible, waved at him, and ducked into the dark room.

Sir Didymus continued to proclaim the need to aid the trapped horses. He rode into the stables, provoking blows from his attackers. There he freed three of the horses. Trosk was also freeing horses. Brinn, meanwhile, spurred Prisa and rode away from the eight guards now attacking him. The guards pursued Brinn, although others did enter the burning barn. Some of them finally began to get water from the well.

Zamaia took an opportunity to dart into the kitchen. Luhluh soon followed.

The blond guard followed Cora into the room atop the stairs, and began the conversation by asking, “if I surrender will you take me with you?” Cora, surprised, answered “of course!”

Trosk and Sir Didymus finished releasing the horses. Brinn rode to the narrow space between the back of the mansion and the rear wall, where his opponents could only approach him one at a time.

Zamaia agreed to pick Luhluh up and carry her. They crossed the kitchen and passed through to the stairs.

Cora learned that the blond guard’s name is Colindor. He wished to get out of here, knew where Rosla (Simol’s wife) was kept, and was willing to help. However, he stated that he would not hurt anyone. He quickly told Cora where Rosla could be found, and confirmed that we needed to go through the kitchen door. He suggested that the two pretend that he had captured Cora, and she agreed to the ruse.

Trosk dramatically leaped onto a fleeing horse and rode into the courtyard. Guards continued to follow Brinn, now forming a single-file line in the narrow space. Sir Didymus rode after Trosk, catching a guard on his lance in the process. Trosk shot one of the additional guards now coming out the front door, while he rode to the far side of the building.

Another lightning bolt came down from the mansion’s tall tower and just singed Sir Didymus!

Zamaia and Luhluh climbed the interior stairs. The 2nd floor was mostly empty, with rooms that looked like guard quarters and the balcony over the Common Room. They headed for the next flight of stairs up.

Sir Didymus wheeled and charged the guards who were following him. Brinn continued to fight one enemy at a time. Cora and Colin entered the building and hurried toward the stairs.

Trosk shot his pursuers, and continued around the corner of the building. The guards chasing Sir Didymus gave up on attacking him on foot and made for the guard tower. Brinn struck the nearest guard with the magic longsword from the pirate ship, and the guard clawed at his own throat as if choking.

Trosk also headed for the narrow space behind the mansion, now on the far side of the building from Brinn. He continued to shoot at the guards on the wall, focusing one arrow on each before doing further damage to the first one shot. He quickly knocked out the guards that followed him.

Brinn took down one guard and stepped over him to strike the next in line.

Zamaia and Luhluh arrived on the 3rd floor, and picked a lock to find a bedroom. Inside was a woman in a pretty dress, standing on a nightstand to peer out the window.

Sir Didymus came up behind the line of guards attacking Brinn, and intimidated two of them into surrendering. Brinn echoed his call and two more lay down their arms.

Zamaia walked through another door on the landing, an open one, to find Orth’s study. She opened the door into his bedroom and found it empty of people. Cora and Colin caught up. Luhluh confirmed that the woman in the first room was Rosla, and told her she had come to rescue her.

By this point, the guards who had run for the tower had manned the heavy crossbow at its top.

Sir Didymus convinced the guard who Brinn had injured to surrender (the sword had left him oddly thirsty). One hostile guard was left; Brinn convinced him to surrender as well. He gave the injured man a waterskin.

Zamaia headed up toward the top of the tower. She found the way blocked by an exceptionally bulky guard, and behind him Master Orth armed with a wand. She backpedaled away from them.

Cora, Colin, and Rosla headed down the stairs, while Luhluh slipped off to explore.

Zamaia told Orth to stand down. He agreed, and he and his guard gave Zamaia their weapons. Then Zamaia went looking for Luhluh.

The fight over, we tended to the wounded, and gave Orth a tongue-lashing about keeping a woman against her will. We demanded that he give Rosla some recompense. Meanwhile Luhluh snuck about upstairs and swiped a small bag of gems.

Trosk returned his portion of the earlier 500gp in recompense for the burnt barn, commending Orth for not keeping slaves. Luhluh chatted with the guard she had spoken to earlier, and gave him some money. Sir Didymus gave the horses treats.

Quotes:
“He seemed cute” – Trosk, regarding Colindor

“You don’t sound sanitary.” -Kara

“He doesn’t understand how a moat works” -explaining a misinterpretation of the map

“Are you gonna come in this way and attack the other side of the death queue?” -Kara

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Session 26 (2/8/2014)

20th Mid-season harvest 1044 YK, afternoon
In sea caves beneath a lighthouse near Dravlen, Eldor/In a bottle
Trosk’s Journal

Luhluh, Faust, and Zamaia returned from what I can only assume was a joint trip to the bathroom (girls always go together) to find a ship in a bottle along with a note from Cora. While Zamaia began reading the note, Luhluh investigated the bottle. Due to either Zamaia’s slow reading abilities or Luhluh’s eagerness, Luhluh handled the bottle too closely and disappeared before Zamaia was able to relay the warning not to do so. Luhluh joined the rest of us in the bottle, to our dismay. She was now stuck with us listening to Brinn’s unending search to find the damn command word. Faust managed to figure out the workings of the ship-in-a-bottle and warned Zamea not to touch the bottle.

They rested for a day, allowing Zamaia to speak with the corpse of the dead captain. She first asked him if the bottle belonged to him, which he said yes. She then asked what the command word was, and he said Larata but that it would only suck people in and that there was no way to let them out. Her third and final question was what would happen if a loved one got sucked in the bottle and what would happen if the bottle was smashed. He answered that he never loved anyone, and that they shouldn’t break the bottle – there would be a large explosion and he would lose his precious. Zamaia and Faust first thought of smashing the bottle at the base of the lighthouse, but then decided that destroying the object of our mission wasn’t a good idea. Faust first attempted to use mage hand to pull the figurines out of the bottle but wasn’t able to. They then went to the top of the lighthouse, and Faust threw the bottle extremely well out the window. The bottle went really far and hurtled to the rocks below the cliff. When it hit the rocks, there was a loud, creaking sound. In just a few seconds, there was a giant ship half on the rocks and half in the water.

Those of us in the ship suddenly found ourselves on a tilted ship in the real world and free to move. Brinn tried to organize everyone in his usual manner – by saying a string of random commands with confidence and authority until someone listens. I found a high perch that allowed me to cover the whole ship on the extremely low chance this failed. He kind of got things under control, and we began interrogating everybody to find out where they’re from. While doing so, Luhluh investigated a box that she noticed on the ship. She wrapped it in a blanket for further investigation.

We got everyone off the ship and organized a dinner party. After lengthy discussion, one of the bugbears was named captain and given the magical, god-like (at least to fish people) gear Brinn had been using and they set out preparing the ship to sail away. As they got ready to sail into the sunset (and into who knows what trouble), we looked at the puzzle box Luhluh had found. After investigating the magical properties, and using Luhluh’s experience with traps, it was determined that all of the holes but the last one would cause something bad to happen. I was elected to attempt to open it. I can only guess that they wanted to see me get hurt.

After several attempts with the damn ball, and a few painful failures, I finally managed to get it into the hole (just like the normal dating scene, really). A small compartment opened up, revealing an extremely magical pearl. We weren’t able to find out what it does, but Faust was able to look at a couple other items that we had come across. We then met up with the horses and set off to meet with the guy who hired us and decide what we want to do with him. I volunteered to scout ahead, if only for a break from Brinn’s constant chatter.

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Session 25 (1/25/14)

Session 25
January 25th, 2014
20th Mid-season harvest 1044 YK, mid to late morning
In sea caves beneath a lighthouse near Dravlen, Eldor

When we last left off, the heroes uncovered a ghost while searching the captain’s quarters of the siren’s prize.

Despite not being able to recall any information about ghosts, the battle went fairly well. Sir Didymus was wounded (and was looking a bit older) and Trosk experienced momentary panic, but thanks to magic weapons, the ghost was defeated.

The only potentially valuable item in the room was the captain’s log, which effectively reiterated the tale of the Siren’s Prize that the heroes previously heard from a seaman along with a few additional details.

The Captain’s sleep quarters contained the rotting corpse of the captain (on the bed) as well as an extensive collection of miniature ships in glass bottles. Under the bed, the party found a magical ship-in-a-bottle that resembled the Siren’s Prize. On the ship, was a variety of small figures.

The party finished searching the ship, but found nothing else interesting.

They headed out to the beach entrance of the sea caves, and began experimenting with the magical glass bottle. One by one, they disappeared.

All that remains of the group is the ship-in-a-bottle on the floor of the sea caves, and a note addressed to the remaining party members.

((A more detailed addendum to be added once the remaining party members determine their actions.))

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Session 24 (1/11/2014)

Session 24
January 11th, 2014
20th Mid-season harvest 1044 YK, early morning
In sea caves beneath a lighthouse near Dravlen, Eldor, Brandobia, Kalamar, Multiverse

We saw the shipwreck ahead of us, with sharks swirling in the water. Cora cast light on Brinn’s shield, since Didymus was absent. We argued about what to do next until Brinn asked Trosk to shoot a shark. The blood in the water made the other sharks fiesty.
Luhluh drank a “hide from animals” potion and went swimming. Trosk told Brinn that the spleen and kidneys of a shark are good eating, then shot another with an arrow. Luhluh swam out among the sharks. Brinn donned the fish helm and went in also, killing a shark with an ugly blow. The sword went through the brain, making it’s eyes bulge in an ugly way.
Trosk shot another shark twice, killing it dead. Two sharks attacked Brinn, but they couldn’t bite through his armor. Trosk walked up to the nearest underwater shark and shot it dead, even through the water. Zamaia jumped into the water, catching up with Luhluh easily. Trosk killed the last shark(as far as we could tell) with an arrow.
Luhluh and Zamaia climbed up the netting, but it fell, entangling them in the water! Brinn swam under and hacked up the net to help free them. Wendel checked out the deck, then Zamaia flew up to check things out and tied a rope for the rest of us to climb up. Brinn lent a hand while the others climbed aboard, then Trosk gave him a hand up when everyone was up.
Luhluh spotted something in the hold. Cora dropped a lightsource and Brinn jumped into the hold. He saw a muscular pirate dude with razor teeth and jet black eyes. He’s got an ancient longsword that still looks in good condition. As he stood there it’s head morphed into a shark. Trosk shot it with an arrow before we knew anything about it. Zamaia slowed it with a frost spell. Faust recognized a wereshark, and told Brinn it’s weak against silver. Faust then cast a ray of enfeeblement. Luhluh used the rod and it shot lightning that fried the wereshark’s pants! Brinn stepped forward and stabbed it with a silvered dagger, causing a deep wound. Everybody else jumped down too. Faust summoned an elk. Luhluh used the rod to make it windy. Zamaia screamed in a way only the creature could hear, dazing it. Trosk shot the thing, which fell over and was grabbed by a tentacle! Trosk shot the tentacle too. Faust’s elk attacked the tentacles. Luhluh used her wind stick to rocket across the room, then used the rod to blind the octopus.
Brinn got grappled by a tentacle. Trosk shot the tentacle full of arrows trying to make it let go of Brinn. The elk gored the tentacle and it died.
The lower decks were empty, so we went to check out the forward cabin. It was a mess hall. There was an empty pantry. The kitchen was a mess. Upstairs was once a luxurious cabin, now a dump. We found a locked door, which Luhluh picked. A space with a sofa and table with a tin cup. A large locker by the bed. Under the locker was a cubbyhole full of gems.
At the other end of the boat there was a chill breeze and an eerie feeling in the cabin. Blood on the wall said “the siren’s prize awaits those who think small” in merchant’s tongue. In this room Cora found the captain’s logbook. When she touched the book, the ghost of captain Corvel appeared!

Notable Quotes
“Oh my God, quantum sharks” Meghan
“His pants are now more appropriately holey” Kara
“My elk will heroically gore the tentacle. He thinks it’s a big blade of grass” Melk
“They do the bare minimum to get by” Melk “No, they do the octopus minimum” Meghan
“I have experience with all bodily fluids” Brad
“The blood is very old.” Kara “Also, A-negative” Brad

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Session 23 (12/14/2013)

Late Afternoon
We began the session in a partially submerged sea cave lit by the eerie green glow from a tinted lantern. The small cave, full of muck, contained an island surrounded by deeper water. On the island stood the cloaked figure. He was soaking wet, and warned us to stop when we entered.

“Mr. Vlondver? We’ve come to speak to you about the lighthouse,” Cora said.

He responded with “Shhh!” and told her to listen. She couldn’t hear anything.

Out of the water came four kuo-tuans. Only these had strangely semi-translucent skin. They brandished spears. Sir Didymous concluded that they are evil and stepped forward. “He said be quiet!” he declared as he swung his sword.

Luhluh grabbed the rope attached to the distant lamp and pulled it to close the hooded lantern. Nothing happened but darkness, so she opened it again. Brinn splashed to the lead and challenged a kuo-tuan, but it could not understand him. Zamaia let out a Screech, and the kuo-tuans flinched, allowing Brinn and Sir Didymous an opportunity to strike. Faust chimed in with a Ray of Enfeeblement.

Cora began to sing. The creatures struck at the men, but then Sir Didymous finished off the first one. Luhluh set the Rod to yellow and aimed it at the one in the back. She became aware that she had cursed it. Brinn badly wounded the one in front of him, and Zamaia glared at the next one unsettlingly. Faust used Magic Missile.

A large black widow spider appeared on the island, and the cloaked figure called for help!

Sir Didymous was caught up with another kuo-tuan. Luhluh looked critically at the spider, then turned the rod to red and aimed it at the undamaged kuo-tuan. ….She gained a temporary ability to speak with the dead.

Brinn swang at one kuo-tuan and chopped three fingers off it. Which also killed it. He also got in a hit on the next one. Faust shot a jet of water at the spider. It went right through it!

One by one we began to realize that the spider was an illusion. Cora tried to assess the sincerity of the cloaked person’s cry for help, and realized that he was under some form of enchantment. She tried to convey this information while still singing.

Sir Didymous finished off the third kuo-tuan, and Luhluh used the pink section of the Rod on the last, pelting it with chocolate chips. Brinn finished it off.

Zamaia waded forward and Glared at the cloaked guy. Sir Didymous, responding to Faust’s use of the word ‘incorporeal’, cast a spell that targets incorporeal creatures on the spider, but nothing happened. Luhluh used the white Rod, and learned that there is another hidden enemy. Brinn swam forward, and was slapped by a tentacle! He attacked it.

Zamaia stared at the tentacle, thinking, and decided it was neither natural nor magic, and from this plane. She gleefully cast a helpful hex on Sir Didymous. Faust splashed acid at the tentacle; it fizzed a bit. Cora figured out that the ‘island’ is an Aboleth, and stopped singing to tell the others about it. An aboleth is an aquatic aberration with 4 tentacles, and three eyes on its central mass. It glistens with a clear slime that causes the translucence that affected the kuo-tuans, and can be deadly. Cora also tried to shoot it with an arrow. Meanwhile, a second tentacle struck Zamaia.

Cora noticed that Brinn was looking very pale, and admonished him to avoid being touched further. Sir Didymous then stepped forward, only to be whacked by the tentacle. Luhluh used the green section of the Rod. She learned that the water contains a nasty chemical, and there is another being in the next cave.

Brinn chopped down the first tentacle. Faust drank an invisibility potion and cautiously moved closer. Cora warned Brinn to back away again, and hit the central part of the aboleth with an arrow. Another tentacle reared up and struck Brinn.

Luhluh paused to think of what she knew about aboleths. They can dominate minds. It exudes a mucus cloud in the water that makes people lose the ability to breathe air. It is a truly ancient creature. And it also has spell-like abilities. Worried, Luhluh tried the multi-colored section of the rod. An orange spark flew behind the aboleth and an explosion rocked the cave! Fire! We could smell cooked abolith. The cloaked guy fell unconscious.

Brinn swam in and hit the creature. Zamaia cast a protective ward on him. Faust, still invisible, tried an underwater fireball. It did some damage (and made Faust visible again). Cora began to sing again, and shot an arrow (missing this time).

Luhluh used the multi-color rod section again. This time, Brinn’s sword spouted flames! He struck, and Cora added magical support, but he missed. Zamaia cast a hex on the beast, making it easier to hit. Faust cast another fireball, this time using care to cast defensively. The tentacles dropped! As the cloaked guy fell from atop the slain monster, Brinn and Sir Didymous grabbed him to drag him to the shallows. But he was already dead.

Luhluh still had use of the Speak with Dead spell from the rod, so she asked the cloaked man’s corpse his name. He is indeed Vlondver. At Cora’s urging, she asked how he became a captive of this fish monster. He replied, “stumbled upon it while seeking the Prize.”

We turned our attention to healing those who are going pale. Sir Didymous made use of his new ability to heal disease. Brinn insisted that he attend to Zamaia and Faust first, although Cora fretted that Brinn was in the worst shape. But Sir Didymous had enough healing for all. Cora also cast Cure Light wounds a few times.

We sent Wendell to check in the next room. He saw a man, just waking up. We walked in, thinking he needed help, and Brinn pressed a cure potion into his hands. The man introduced himself as Simol, and was unsure how long he had been down in these caves. When we told him the date, he determined that he had been down here for two weeks, and he expressed worry about his wife. He told us a tale of Lord Brendlin (the man who hired us to attend to the lighthouse) taking a fancy to her. He escaped captivity and sought the wizard to help him free his wife from Brendlin’s clutches, but fell into the control of the aboleth. He begged us to help save his wife, offering all his worldly goods. Cora assured him that we will help without payment. We concluded that Simol was suffering the same ailment from the aboleth just healed among our party, and gave him our last Cure Disease potion.

We discussed our next move at some length. It was agreed that we needed to rest the night and recover from the battle. Cora wanted to return to the tower to rest. Brinn argued that we should just stay in this small chamber, so we did.

In the morning, we headed toward the supposed location of the Siren’s Prize. We did find a shipwreck! It was indeed labeled “Siren’s Prize” in merchant’s tongue. A cargo net hung over the side like a convenient ladder. But between us and it lay a deeper pool, with circling shark fins.

Quotes:
“[The kuo-tuans are] gonna have to rethink their nitrogen cycle.” – Kara

Kara: “One and thirty kuo-tuans,”
Erica & Kara, in unison: “baked in a pie.”

“No, we expect you to sit in the back and wave your arms ineffectually.” – Mike to Melk

“I guess the DM has the same fetish as me.” – Tommy

“Always be worried if the DM laughs.” – Mike

“You just scream, ‘are you dead!?’, and if he responds he’s dead. If he doesn’t, he’s just unconscious” – someone instructing Meghan in the use of Speak with Dead

“What are my hitpoints?” – unknown

“Oh, no, I’m actually dead guys.” – Melk

Bonus Session 22 Quotes (because your session 23 log keeper was sitting next to Melk for session 22):
Jimmy: “Meghan should like these.”
Meghan: “Is it strawberry flavored?”
Jimmy: “It’s Canadian.”
Meghan: “I love to lick Canadian things.”
Tommy: “That is true.”

“I can tell you you definitely do not see a quartermaster.” – Kara

Underwater Ninja Tiger. “Tigers that can swim fast.”

“You normally detect evil in inappropriate situations to the point of redundancy.” – Kara to Jimmy

Tommy: “I thought when in-laws come that is the bone barrier.”
All: “Heyo!”
Mike: “That’s children.”

“Julius Pepperworth and the Shambling Mound.” – Melk

“The Heroes of Yelden do not need dignity.” – Melk

“Inspired by Brinn’s heroic leap into the trash…” – Melk

Kara: “It’s a dirty vial.”
Mike: “A dirty, vile what?”

“We should plant more trees.” – Jimmy

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