Heroes of Yelden

Session #39
2/7/2014

22nd of Siege Hold

The session started off with establishing a campsite and discussing what to do with Evil Stick #2 and investigating the new magic item (the crystal of the Eternal Lantern?). It was decided that Evil Stick #2 should find a home with Evil Stick #1 in the Rod of Wonder Inn. However, the necessary color piece that LuhLuh needed to lock on the RoW to make the inn was faded. The only option was to wait until the Rod was spent and went into another cycle. Not wanting to squander the power of the Gods, the party decided to blast off just a few of the less useful charges. They received a delightful potion gift basket. The party also discussed what to do with the body of the dead messenger-priest. They determined it’d be best to have him properly buried by a priest of the Eternal Lantern.

The party was attacked during the second watch of the evening (LuhLuh & Brinn) by two terrifying “land sharks” called Bulettes. The party successfully dispatched of the creatures, but not without a few life-threatening injuries. For their efforts, they were rewarded with a delicious Bulette with Orc Cheese breakfast.

23rd of Siege Hold

The party began to climb in elevation, and consequently the weather was beginning to shift drastically. Trosk had to keep Luluh warm as her tiny body just could not hold the heat. The terrain was getting rockier and steeper, and the horses had to move slowly due to the shifting gravel.

They encountered a very large stone door built into the side of the mountain just off the pass. The stone, artwork, isolation and blatant refusal to open the door (despite detecting a presence on the other side through arrow slit peepholes) led the party to conclude this was likely a colony of mountain dwarves (who are known for their dislike of strangers).

This was confirmed when Zamaia’s familiar, Wendel, investigated an opening about 50 feet or so above the door. A mountain dwarf was poking his head out curiously. They arranged for a gift basket of trade goods to be brought to the dwarf.

Eventually, the mountain dwarf known as Adurmak of the Zarduk began negotiations with the Heroes of Yelden for entrance into the mountain. This gawky looking dwarf was a slight disappointment for the party as he was not able to gain them immediate entry into the mountain. The party learned that: 1) Adurmak was a huge fan of establishing a trade route (also, he seemed like a bit of a resource economics nerd); 2) the Zarduk clan was adamantly opposed to trading with anyone besides the gnomes, 3) Adurmak was not held in the highest esteem amongst the Zarduk, 4) the Zarduk did have a temple dedicated to the Eternal Lantern, 5) passage through the mountain would be far easier and shorter for a trading caravan, and 6) the dwarves were having some trouble with a forest-planting wizard.

The party and Adurmak determined a course of action: the party would continue traveling through the mountains, hopefully encountering and subsequently solving the wizard issue while Adurmak brought bountiful trade goods to the council and attempted to convince them to initiate a conversation with the Brandobians.

Quotes (provided by Erica):
Kara: “This is the 2nd time Mike’s brought up orgies in two sessions.”
Mike: “I don’t know how much more strongly I can hint.”

Kara: “I don’t want to spend all night talking about a furry bush.”
Meghan: “We have very different life goals.”

“The plant now has a -2 to its Charisma.” – Kara

“[Trosk and Zamaia] are the quickest because they weren’t asleep.” – Mike

Meghan: “26 for stealth.”
Kara: “The mountain does not hear you.”

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Session #37
There are Giants in the Hills*

(12/5/2014)

13 Siege-hold (night)

We set up camp with the group of gnomes. They are Nibar, Xalybar (who wears polished leather armor decorated with gems), Lovar (whose armor is battered), Jelham (female, dressed in ill-fitting patchwork armor), and Fensys (wearing colorful silk scarves). The rescued prisoners are Zaibiss, a gnome girl dressed in simple clothing with a nose ring, Terri, a halfling, and Karyth, a female elf wearing robes and silver earrings.

Brinn asked Nibar about the dangers of the area, concerns in setting up camp, and the watch schedule. Meanwhile, Cora struck up a conversation about the rescue attempt we stumbled upon. The group explained that two gnomes and a halfling had been traveling between small villages when they went missing. Orcs or hill giants were assumed to be responsible, it’s a local hazard. These five gnomes are the go-to team from their village to rescue people, and it took them a couple of weeks to find the missing persons.

We discussed the trade route. The gnomes view the territory between villages as ownerless, but they’d rather people did not visit their village itself. They are generally keen on trade, however. They describe their home as Greymeadow Hill of the Abundant Valley of the Goats. We speculated about setting up a militarized trading post. We will need to make a path as well.

14 Siege-hold

The morning was warmer than expected and mild. Toward afternoon the wind picked up. As it turned into a full dust storm, we agreed to take shelter, and found a cave with some effort. The evening passed uneventfully, and around the campfire the gnomes shared pipe weed.

15 Siege-hold

The next morning dawned cooler, with a clear sky. Around lunchtime, Luhluh and Cora noticed a brief darkness, as of something flying across the sun. They spotted just a glimpse of a copper-colored tail disappearing over a hill. Could it be a dragon?

In the evening, a skinny being was spotted walked toward us. Luhluh observed a person wearing robes and carrying a quarterstaff, looking… lizardy? The figure approached, revealing a kobold dressed in pale blue robes and a green belt, walking with a light brown sheep. He introduced himself with a name none of us could pronounce, and Fuzzball the sheep. Unpronounceable is a cleric of the Peacemaker, and explains his presence here by saying “my journey takes me wherever I am needed.” Faust, mindful of our earlier sighting, asked if he’s seen any dragons, and Unpronounceable did not react as if the question were odd. He just mediated a conflict for two orcs; that’s what he does, travels seeking conflicts in need of mediation. We agreed to let him join our camp for the night (although Zamaia doesn’t trust him), and sang hymns around the campfire.

Suddenly, with a crackle, a flamboyantly-dressed wizard appeared! He startled at the sight of us, then disappeared as quickly as he’d arrived.

16 Siege-Hold

In the morning Unpronounceable continued on his way (seeing that we had no conflicts in our group in need of his assistance). He departed with a blessing, “may the Peaceful One comfort you.”

The gnomes shared mashed turnip bars for lunch with goat jerky. Just as we finished, we heard the sounds of giants, with laughing and loud crashing sounds. We found two hill giants on a steep hill top throwing boulders at something on the other side and laughing. Zamaia sent Wyndal to look closer, and Brinn called for quiet. Nibar muttered, “the mine”. There is a gnome mine on the far side of that hill, likely the giants’ target. The gnomes wanted to go get more help, but Nibar and Jelhami chose stay with us. Hill giants are bullies, they explained, stupid and brutish.

Wyndal returned and described the scene. A hut (presumably the mine entrance) had been covered by the boulders the giants were throwing, and looked damaged. Brinn gave some quick orders, Faust cast Fly on Luhluh, and Cora cast Haste on the whole group. Then Cora used a new spell, Arcane Concordance, to increase the range on Faust and Zamaia’s spells as long as they stuck close together. Luhluh flew up the hill toward the giants, while Brinn came around from the left side. Cora, Faust, and Zamaia moved a bit closer while Cora started to sing, and Faust threw a fireball at the giant on the right. Brinn shouted, “the strong have a duty to protect the weak, you pusillanimous scoundrel!”, and charged, striking the leftmost giant on his way past. Zamaia poured frost onto the giant on the right.

Both giants threw rocks clumsily toward Brinn, missing him. A third giant came around the corner of the hill.

Cora hit the giant on the right with an arrow. Luhluh used the Rod on the third giant, pelting it with small, minty candies. This did seem to slow it down a bit. Faust used Magic Missile. Brinn charged back at and past the giant on the left, who was then Dazed by Zamaia. The giant on the right fumbled his rock, and realized that his ear wasn’t working.

The gnomes reached the top of the hill and struck the giant on the left. Cora hit the one on the right with another arrow. Luhluh used the rod to turn the ground below the third giant to mud. Faust pulled out the wand of Magic Missile and Brinn charged again while Zamaia screamed at the third giant. The giant on the left was still dazed, but the other two threw rocks, missing Brinn and Team Magic.

Luhluh used the Multicolor part of the Rod, and a thick block of fog appeared over the third giant. It appeared solid, completely obscuring the enemy. We continued in the same manner of attacks while the leftmost giant finally shook off the Dazedness (only to have the effect fall upon the giant on the right instead). Luhluh moved in close to get a very good stab in at the giant on the right. Faust began summoning a fire elemental.

Brinn finally dismounted, sending Prisa back to the wagon, and drew his sword. Zamaia threw a mudball into the giant on the right’s face, causing it to fall unconscious! The one on the left, however, clubbed a gnome. The third giant emerged from the fog and threw a rock at Zamaia. Cora struck back with two arrows. Faust’s summoned elemental appeared and set the third giant on fire! Faust then used a Ray of Enfeeblement to weaken him.

Brinn sliced fiercely at the giant on the left, hurting him and making him thirsty. It swung back at him but missed. Zamaia became cloaked in bees. The third giant threw a rock at her, but only managed to provoke another attack from the elemental. The gnomes also missed. Cora dumped glitter on the third giant, blinding him. Luhluh aimed the rod at the other one, striking him with a collapsable bath tub. Then, Brinn’s sword finally downed the giant on the left! Meanwhile the third giant rolled on the ground to put out the fire from the elemental.

Our pre-battle spells expired, so Cora, still singing, road closer on her horse. Luhluh used the Rod again, this time receiving an 8×10 photograph of her target. Faust continued to strike with Magic Missile. Brinn walked closer to the remaining giant, suggesting “someone ask that thing to yield.” Zamaia complied, trying to use sign language with her sickle, but the giant was still blinded by glitter. Brinn stood between him and his fallen club. Zamaia gave up and started walking toward the mine. The rest of us stood and waited while the giant cleared the glitter from his eyes, then Brinn communicated by gestures and shouting that the giant should leave. It complied.

Cora and Luhluh searched the bodies. In their packs was found some assorted suspicious meats, a painting of an elven maiden, a bag with four pearls, a human-sized cold weather outfit, a heavy cloak of deep red, a finely crafted rapier with a decorative letter in a strange alphabet, a golden necklace with a round pendant showing a rising sun, and some damaged or filthy miscellanea. The others headed for the mine entrance, and Cora and Luhluh followed a short time later.

The mine was caved in just a short way past the entrance. We sent Luhluh back to the wagon for a shovel and a crowbar, as we were reasonably certain there must be gnome miners trapped inside. Brinn set right to digging, and Faust summoned a floating disk to help carry rocks out of the way.

Eventually we cleared the cave-in, but farther in we could see another. Brinn sent everyone but himself and Zamaia to investigate a side passage while they cleared the next blockage. This part of the mine was steep and strewn with debris. We found another cave-in down the side passage, but still couldn’t hear anything; conversely Brinn and Zamaia could now hear cries for help from behind the fallen stones. Those not currently digging checked a second open passage, finding only a large empty chamber.

We heard rumbling. Cora looked at the ceiling and thought that it looked safe here; Luhluh thought that the sounds were coming from deeper in.

Beyond this block we found a chamber with two miners, one with a broken leg and the other trapped. Cora, Luhluh, and Faust tended to them while Brinn and Zamaia continued down, found another cave-in, and dug out this one as well.

Beyond this next cave-in we found a bunch of trapped and/or injured miners, Also, an opening from the mine into a natural cavern – which held a colossal centipede!

Quotes:

Meghan: “Do they taste like peanuts?”
Kara: “You could try to lick a gnome.”

“Gnomes come in armies of seven.” – Kara

“I mean, it’s alright as far as sticks go.” – Mike

Some band names: ‘Horn of Vanilla’, ‘Buttocks of the Titans’

“Our battles are ridiculous.” – Kara

*re: the subtitle – Erica failed her will save against quoting obscure Broadway lyrics. She is sorry.

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Session #36
7th of Siege Hold 1044 YK (evening)

The party just finished an epic battle with the wraiths of this God-protected underground cave. They took with them the Stick of Evil and a map indicating the likely places of other evil sticks or something. They tidied up the cave, reset the traps as best they could, and popped a Ye Olde Magic Inn to stay in for the night (and to lock away the Stick of Evil). Luhluh read some books she found The Jungle Wars and City of the Whale.

8th of Siege Hold
Thanks to the Rod of Wonder the party had an instantaneous trip back to the home of the elves. The party gave the elves some of the truth, but not the whole story. The elves were indifferent to this matter, but gave the party some parting gifts. Negotiations on the trade route went very well, and they managed to convince the elves it would be an economic and cultural gain for them to participate actively in the trade route.

9th to 13th of Siege Hold
The party left the Elves and made their way down the Crondor River. The weather was mild, the food abundant and the travel peaceful. They came across an inn called The Busty Crustacean decorated by magical bright lights and the image of a lobster dressed in lingerie. The owner was a rebellious Elf by the name of Alfron. Alfron is not your standard elf. He has a twisted sense of humor and a sense of adventure that makes him a bit of an outcast in his community. He started The Busty Crustacean as a means of defiance and independence from his peers. The campy inn serves and employees a wide variety of outcasts from all races (including on transgender half-orc). The party ate a selection of delicious freshwater and saltwater fish and crustaceans, as well as pies, while being entertained by Gapotial Songwarrior, a half-elf bard.

The party also met a gnome trader named Zikas Davyyn Tome who exchanges gnome and halfling goods for items his community might be interested in. Zikas travels with Raston Warden Hive and Xana Fenla Volin. He traded a variety of goods including umbrellas, cloaks, halfling pipeweed and pipes, gossamer robes, brandy and fresh veggies.

A group of vaguely familiar goblins came into view. After spotting the party, the goblins immediately turned tail and fled.

13th of Siege Hold
Luminous clouds (clouds that cause magical brightness) filled the sky on the evening of Siege Hold the 13th, a rare, but not unheard of, sight.

The party had been traveling in the hills for a bit when Luhluh began to here hollering, laughter and drumbeat coming from the other side of the nearest hill. Using a nearby mountain goat as a disguise headdress, Luhluh spied upon an orc encampment. The party surveyed the scene- dozens of orcs were camped in the valley below. Several stronger, tribal-leader types were on a slight cliff above the majority. They were dancing, eating, mating, and being orcish around many fires.

On the far side of the camp, a couple of gnomes, a halfling and an elf were strung up on a pole. While the party was contemplating what actions to take, they were surprised by a couple of explosions. A Gnome rescue party was on the move. The party decided to assist by providing a violent distraction.

An intense battle followed that involved rolling down hills, charging, missteps by the orc, a giant whole, an orc made of cheese, lots of scary bees, red eyes, fire, and attacks on mounts. The party managed to slaughter the powerful orcs, and disperse the remaining. They met up with the Gnome rescue team: Nibar Davser Grabis, Xalybar Panabar Yosrick, Lover Gabis Niser. Jelhami Prissa Nymiphi, and Fensys Selceli Nixis.

When we left off the party was following the gnomes back to their community.

Quotes:
“Jabba the Hutt, wearing a Santa hat, eating puppies”- Kära (as recorded by Mike)
“If you are having an orgy, who started it doesn’t really matter.”- Mike
“I’m immune to all diseases. Wink.”- Tommy

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Session #35
7/19/14

Siege-Hold 7th, 1044 YK (mid-afternoon)
Central Crondor Woods

We are looking down the hole that was previously covered by a magical seal. There is a 20-ft shaft, then another 20-ft to the stone floor. Luhluh drops a sunrod. We don’t see anything moving. We fetch some rope and climb down. Brinn nearly falls, but Cora cast a spell so he landed softly.
Cora feels a strong magical field in the air. In this room there is a gap leading to a hallway, where some of the wall is crumbling. There are some sacks and items near the wall. Faust looks out in the hall, which is about 15 ft long, then there is a bunch of pale blue mushrooms. Further on is a more ornate room. Faust thinks the mushrooms are a common poisonous type, but he’s not really familiar with cave fungi. Luhluh looks in her dungeoneering book and sees that these mushrooms will shock people if disturbed. They’re kind of hard to jump over. Cold destroys them, but also makes them briefly more dangerous.
Luluh sees that part of the wall is broken as if something broke it down along with the door. Beyond is a bit of natural cave.
Among the sacks we find 6 potions. Three are cure light wounds, one is endure elements, and two others, 100 ft rope, 2 torches, a short bow with 14 arrows, moldy bread, 6 water skins. Zamaia checks out the moldy bread and thinks it’s been moldy for about a week.
Cora notices that the door out of this room was a secret door, before it was knocked down. She sings a jumping song, then we start jumping over the mushrooms. Luhluh, Zamaia, Cora, Faust, and Brinn jump over them. Didymus doesn’t want to have to deal with this on the way back, so he sets them off intentionally. Electric energy crackles along his armor, but his god protects him.
The room is beautiful, with carvings and paintings, except for a dead body that’s burnt to a crisp. Luhluh senses a trap on the wall. The first wall panel depicts a lightning storm, with gems in the lightning and a border of albatrosses. The next has mountains snow-capped with gems, bordered with moles. Third panel has a volcano with a burning village and forest, with rubies, and a border of salamanders. The fourth panel is a turbulent river and waterfall scattered with blue gems and a clam border. One of the rubies has been pried from the wall, where there are scorch marks around the hole. The body is a fried Overlord cleric, clutching things in his hands, his sack has been burnt and things are poking out of it. There are also pillows in front of the panels.
Zamaia sees that the body has a shadow that is moving! It sucks more of Brinn’s strength away. Faust hits it with magic missile and Brinn finishes it off with his sword. Faust thinks the panels are related to Mother of the Elements. We’ve had some contact with her before, and she’s contributed to the rod. The panels show the four types of MoE church (air/albotross, earth/mole, fire/salamander, and water/clam.)
The floor design looks like opened books, matching the design on the door, which also has a sunrise decoration. This is not MoE stuff. It’s the symbol of the Speaker of the Word (deity of oath, honor, ethics.)
Luhluh grabs the ruby from the body and hold on to it for later. The dude’s pouch has 50 gp, 26 sp, 5 cp, an Overlord holy symbol, a +1 dagger, two potions: one cure light wounds and one unknown.
Luhluh listens at the door but doesn’t hear anything. We head through to find a room with a big pot, with a bush covered in white roses. There is a door labeled “all you need is…” The door and plant are both magical. The bush and door both appear to be made by the gods. Faust recalls that the Pure One (god of love) likes white roses. Faust tries the word love in a bunch of languages, and the door opens right away.
Through the door is a short hallway with another door. There is a hole in the wall by the door with yellow mold that grows across the door handle and a muddy blob moving towards us. It’s a halfling sized blob of protoplasm with bits of bone and stuff floating in it. Faust knows it’s a giant amoeba. It’s slow and useless, but has acid. Cora bounces a rubber ball at it, and the ball gets stuck in the blob. Brinn wraps it up in a fishing net and puts it in the corner.
The yellow mold seems to be Yellow Mold. It has poisonous spores if touched. Fire destroys it and sunlight inactivates it. Cora uses alchemist’s fire to remove the mold. And now the door is on fire. We put it out.
The next room is larger and has three large statues. One is an attractive human man with robes and a staff with the letter psi and an orb and a rainbow, his other hand is palm up and open. The next statue is a plump older woman smiling. One hand on hip, the other palm up and open. The third statue is a beautiful young maiden with flowing hair, plate mail, a cloak, and a mace. The other hand is palm up and open. The man is the Lord of Silver Linings, god of hope, optimism. The older woman is the Razor, goddess of harvest, life and fertility. The young woman is the Eternal Lantern, goddess of light and day. There is another door. The statues and door are magical. Luhluh puts some food in the hand of the Razor. Faust puts a torch on the Eternal Lantern and Zamaia casts stabilize on the Lord of Silver Linings; The door opened.
There is another short hallway. Above the door is a small round hole about the size of an arrowhead. There is a carved hawk on the door (the Huntress), and there is a corpse covered in centipedes. The centipedes are coming towards us. Zamaia throws a vial of acid at them, but misses and hits the door. Luhluh fires the rod and a bunch of butterflies shoot out. Some of the centipedes are trying to eat them, which distracts them. Cora threw alchemist’s fire, but misses. Brinn heads in there and tries to stomp on them. They crawl on him and make him sick. Zamaia throws alchemists fire and now the bugs are on fire. She also casts a frost spell on them. The combination of frost and fire eventually kills them. The corpse has an Overlord holy symbol, a magic rapier, and a pouch containing potions: 1 cure moderate wounds, 3 unknown.
Cora shot an arrow into the hole and the door opened. This room has shelves of books and a pedestal. There are some light-brown chairs with light-green pillows, and a lavender and sky blue rug. The pedestal and door are magical. There seems to be an owl motif in the decorations. Also, a sheep motif! The room seems focussed on knowledge, related to The Eye Opener, god of wisdom (he likes owls and brown). The sheep and pillows and rug seem like The Peacemaker, god of peace and comfort. There are books on many topics. Zamaia finds a book on peace and one on wisdom and climbs on the pedestal. The door opens.
There is a short hall, then another door. Luhluh sees bright light under the door and hears snorting. Inside are two young gold dragons, sniffing and snorting and looking angry. In front of them the room has four corpses, crap everywhere and eagle statues either side of the door. There are leather leashes on the dragons’ collars back to a ring on the back wall. Zamaia tells us that gold dragons are good and intelligent. Cora can tell that the eagle motif is related to the Guardian. Faust talks to the dragons, but they say “none shall pass”. “What if we want to?”
While Faust and Zamaia talk to them, Brinn sidles around the side and unties one of them. It doesn’t seem to mind and he leads it away from the door. Didymus unties the other one and they tell us we can pass, then disappear!
One of the bodies had been gnawed on, another died in terror. Marks on the floor are from acid, fire, and other things that aren’t from the gold dragons. Quick list of shit they carried: Overlord symbols, a magic longsword, 3 spiked chains, 2 cure light, 2 cure mod, 4 unknown potions, a faded picture of a woman, 230 gp, 60 sp, 58 cp, 4 onyx gems, loaf of moldy bread, flask of wine, 11 healers kit uses, some pieces of torn cloth.
Through the door is a strong feeling of evil. There is a glass case containing a long wooden case on black silk. On either side are giant tapestries depicting events. A lantern hangs either side of the case, both lit. There are no further doors. 4 dark shadows, different from the others, and one even bigger one.
One of the smaller ones touches Luhluh, which seriously harms her. The bigger one makes some kind of magical darkness. Cora thinks they are wraiths. They are like shadows, incorporeal, the big one can cast spells. Sunlight makes them powerless. Cora casts haste on the party. Faust fires a fireball into the room. We can’t see what happened, but he did it again for good measure.
Zamaia ran off to get something. Brinn started hitting the nearest thing with his sword. Didymus too. Luhluh uses the rod twice. Nothing seems to happen, then the rod overcomes the darkness with a bright glow. It changes shape in her hand and the colors change. She uses the rod again and the party feels great!
Faust makes himself invisible and backs away. Zamaia comes back with the potted rosebush, which overcomes the darkness in a 5 ft circle. Luhluh uses the rod to make us all fight better. Brinn was badly hurt. Cora managed to dispel the darkness! Now that they can see, Brinn and Didymus take out two of the baddies. Luhluh uses the rod to make it rain fire on the baddies. Brinn and Didymus each get hit again. Faust runs in with the torch that had been placed on the Eternal Lantern statue, and as he comes in the baddies are dazzled! We finish them off while they’re stopped.
The fireballs didn’t hurt the tapestries or the case. The tapestries depict the stories of two men. One started in a forest, living off the land. Then a giant hands him a staff. He meets someone and kills him with the staff. He moves into a town and orders slaves to build a temple and a mine. He’s on a throne with slaves all around. The other man is given a rod by an elderly man, and his story goes the same way, ending with lots of slaves. “The staff of the overlord” is a thing Cora has heard of, myth and legend. Cora sees a very tiny secret door in the wall behind the case. Luhluh opens it. There is a tray holding 11 stone tiles, each has a deity name underneath. We lined up the symbols with the deities and a map came out.
Didymus tried to cut the staff in half, but it didn’t work. He freezes for a moment and his mind is flooded with horrible images. We all get sleepy, slump down, smell something familiar, and see the battle-scarred woman. She floods our minds with images of a great door, a seal that is a pentagon. There are five staves locked in the sealed gate, and in the middle is the rod of wonder. We hear an angry scream coming from behind that seal. The staves are removed and separated across the world. Time passes. In Pel Brolenon a group of humans are trying to pry the seal off. There are no staves or rod. In the last image, the seal is being opened. The voice tells us there is more to come. The voice is strained and tired.
We wrap up the staff. We’re thinking to hide it in the adventuring center.

“Are we done looting the wagon??” Kara
“And meeting interesting people, wink wink” Tommy
“I’m going to sing the jumping song!” Erica
“I hid from aquatic animals; it’s a new one” Kara
“We could both throw our balls at it” Meghan
“I guess I don’t throw balls very often.” Erica
“I think we’re the first group to put out a door fire using an amoeba.” Melk
“Brinn, you like glory, right? Cause that is clearly a gloryhole.” Melk
“Well now I can be the first to grope the statue!” Tommy
“That’s fine, you can farm a duck.” Meghan
“Or jerk off on the centipedes” Kara
“Profession: the oldest” Erica
“They good eatin’? [gold dragons]” Meghan
“She gets the puppets out: this is how I feel now” Tommy
“Zamaia… will… run away.” Tommy
“No way. A cheeze-it airplane?” Melk

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Session #32

Replanting 20th, 1044 YK, morning
Duke’s Castle, Yelden, Mendarn, Brandobia, Kalamar

It was the morning after a late night. We needed to make a plan for our upcoming mission. The kitchen staff was preparing for Cora’s birthday tomorrow. We chatted a bit about the attack last night. They were related to the Overlord and the dreams we’ve been having. The guys are in the dungeon now, but they’re not talking. We can smell burning ogre flesh.
Duke Cardor put our mission on a page for us. Select a viable route, scout route, map, record hazards, locations of bridges, determine needed security, locations for facilities, etc. There are three routes to choose from: Forest, mountains, or ocean. The forest route goes through Pel Brolenon and there’s nasty water and poisonous plants. The mountain route goes through Crodor woods and then gnome and halfling territory. The ocean route goes through a lot of islands that are full of pirates and slavers.
We liked the mountain path. We needed to make some choices about what to bring, etc. The duke would like books, knowledge, news, fine rugs, salt, cloth, and glass from Djishy.
The duke is providing a heavy wagon and two horses, hot weather outfits, and cold weather outfits for everyone. We’ll leave our little wagon in Yelden until we return. We hired a cartographer named Bridgett.
Picking up our goods in the marketplace we suddenly heard “Stop! Thief!” Cora and Trosk saw a small hooded figure scurrying away. The runner jumped onto a building and ran across a collapsed roof, then past a spooked horse and a befuddled baker.
Brinn fell through the collapsed roof and into a barrel of fava beans. Zamaia flew over the first two obstacles. The quarry failed to get through a crowded street. Trosk leaped over the building and calmed the horse. Cora also managed to get through the first two obstacles. Luhluh got stuck in the roof. Trosk caught up with the runner after bluffing his way past the baker. Trosk grabbed the girl “like catching a halfling on games day.” She’s not quite human… half-halfling and half-goblin. She’s holding a sack that is bulging. Her clothes are dirty and torn and she is underweight. Trosk asked her where she’s from, but she just squiggled and said “put me down!” She tried to trade Trosk a stolen apple for her freedom. Her name is Marina. She’s a young girl. She doesn’t know where she’s from, monsters burned her village. She didn’t want to do anything but steal stuff. We brought her to Sparkboom to be his assistant.

21st Replanting
The next day was Cora’s Birthday. There was spiced berry soup, roast chicken, overpriced fine banquet. There was dancing and Cora got a lot of nice gifts. Trosk’s gift was a song played on his bagpipes.
In the middle of the night we dreamt again. We dreamt of a woman who seemed to create our planet. Cora knows of the creator/supreme being lady who made the planet and the 54 gods.

22nd Replanting
In the morning we hit the road. A couple days in we came around evening to a small hamlet, Ferden. They make wonderful bread there and they have an inn. We came to a nice wooden bridge over the river, about 25 feet across and 8 feet deep with a bridge guard always on duty. As we approached it Zamaia, Trosk, and Cora noticed a figure slumped against the side of the bridge. It was a bridge guard, unconscious. The back of his neck was coloring, like he was clubbed. Didymus thinks he was hit by a large stone a couple hours ago. Didymus laid on hands, the guy woke up but didn’t remember anything. Luhluh detected a trap on the bridge! Big ass bear traps under leaves on the bridge, which she disabled. Trosk found some tracks showing that something came up from the river to where the guard stands. These are barefoot and large tracks! On the other side of the river are footprints (big ones) leading to the bridge where the traps were. Luhluh’s footprint book helped Trosk to figure out that these are ogre-like footprints. They very nearly match the salt-water marrow. Trosk knows of an aquatic ogre that has webbed feet. They are more pack-oriented than ogres, but still cruel and violent. Probably either fresh-water marrows or cave marrows.
Suddenly there was a commotion near the market. We hypothesized that the ogres were setting traps on the bridge in order to scare people or livestock across it.

“Everybody poops, but you don’t talk about pooping!” Meghan
“He’s God’s gift to Brinn… and horses.” Erica
“That’s more like a magic 8-ball question than something you would roll for” Meghan
“a gagging cloud of grossness” Kara
“look, whore-tittie soup!” Kara
“The early bird catches the worm, and then has sex” Tommy

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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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