Tales of Alentha

An Article of Faith

Characters: Avria, Gronja, Indus Ederix, Konang, Nevyn Verulai, Vondulyth Grimtoken, Wennicus Winterbottom
Game Date: 11/1/15

Plot Overview:

  • The heroes report the undead sighting to The Jordan, whose soldiers quickly confirm the threat. Surrounding villages are being set ablaze at night as refugees stream into Jordan’s Crossing by day. The group of ne’re-do-wells, who first alerted the party, leave the bone gutripper in their custody. Vondulyth hides it out in the open, behind the giant gutripper on display in their villa.
  • As trusted figures in the city, The Jordan empowers the heroes to execute precision skirmishes and sorties around the city rather than commanding armies against the approaching undead. Veteran soldiers and generals from across the realm have been spirited into the metropolis through teleportation circles that were, until now, previously hidden from the public.
  • As reinforcements take up position around the city, the party leave through the main gate to shepherd a large mob of Grainhollow villagers fleeing for lives from undead pursuers. Gronja observes that, after being honoured in Grainhollow the previous night, the celebratory lights probably attracted scores of undead to the village, resulting in countless deaths as they returned home completely unaware of what was happening behind them.
  • The heroes sprint out to protect the peasants, even as stragglers are being picked off, and slam into the ghast and ghouls laying in pursuit. Konang runs towards the peasants at first with his greatsword, mistaking them for undead, until Vondulyth points him in the right direction. Gronja takes aim at the ghast, but Wen lands the first attack with his bow from back at the gate. The barbarian hews through ghouls as the half-orc chops at the ghast.
  • Vondulyth arrives in time to deflect a ghast bite away from the fighter with his shield, and then smites the foul creature into oblivion. Twenty of the thirty peasants escaped the clutches of their undead pursuers, one of which hangs back, revealing himself to be a city commander. The party managed to avoid taking a single injury and immediately agree to another mission.
  • The heroes make haste out to a fortified wall, which is currently being pummelled by a massive siege weapon. The ground shakes with each collision, producing a profusion of bright blue sparks. Indus and Wen take to the ramparts as the remaining party members charge out to greet a massive blue-scaled bahir, currently exhaling lightning against the masoned stone.
  • Nevyn tries to approach the creature stealthily, hugging the curved city wall, but is spotted by the behemoth. The druid charges out to meet the beast, only to be swallowed whole for his bravery. Gronja goes to his rescue and attacks the creature’s belly, causing Nevyn to be spewed out in one piece. That’s when the multi-limbed monstrosity turns on the heroes and exhales a bolt of lighting.
  • Vondulyth is electrified by the breath weapon and falls unconscious first. Konang is struck as well, but remains standing by virtue of being a half-orc. Avria heals the paladin back to his feet while being harried by two mercenary duergar, who have been whipping the behir into a froth. They insult her clan, double in size, and close to attack the female dwarf. She returns their ranged javelin attacks with Guiding Bolts of radiant light.
  • Konang faces off against the behir and is almost swallowed whole, but Vondulyth bashes the creature in the mouth and deflects the attack away. The half-orc unleashes a dance of death, carving the monster open like a roast. The party turn their attention to the giant-sized duergar and cut the mercenaries down with pleasure. Avria and Nevyn find a greater healing potion inside the behir’s belly, preserved in an iron flask.
  • The heroes return to the command tent inside Jordan’s Crossing and licks their wounds. The general in charge commends their work and hands each party member a healing potion before giving them a new task. Heeding Vondulyth’s warning about a threat from within the city, The Jordan would like the heroes to infiltrate the Church of Trithereon using the same fountain entrance employed by the motley group of ne’re-do wells. The party agree and head out to the watery sculpture.
  • Before they can taken even a single step down into the secret passageway, two winged fiends appear atop the Church of Trithereon walls and demand to be given the bone gutripper sword. They throw the body of Wigens, the halfling rogue, out onto the street. Avria lies about not knowing where to find the sword, causing the cambions to focus their attentions on Vondulyth. The paladin is dismayed and sickened. The hellish creatures represent the embodiment of all his suspicions about the church, now manifest in the flesh.
  • Sensing Vondulyth’s disdain, one of the cambions insults his newfound religion and lashes out at the half-elf with a fiery ray. He doesn’t move to avoid the blast, which strikes the fountain beside him. Vondulyth looks down at the scorched stone and then back up at the cambion, saying “Your faith appears to be ineffectual”.
  • The paladin produces the icon of a silver bird, previously thought to be nothing more than a trinket, and summons a giant feathered mount to his side, naming the avian “Guntram”, for war raven. The cambions split up and fly to adjoining buildings, preparing to be attacked. Nevyn summons two bears, which tidily scale the nearest structure and knock one of the cambions down.
  • The ground level church doors swing open. Knights and priests of Trithereon stream out, now shambling undead versions of their once living selves. Gronja and Konang scythe through the skeletons and zombies like wheat, while Avria, Indus, and Wen target the cambions with arrow, bolt, and spell. flies to meet the second cambion on his mount, smashing him to the ground with his shield.
  • Giant raven and rider descend on the succubus offspring with pecking beak and smiting sword, killing the Vecna-worshipping servant in one perfectly coordinated attack. The first cambion escapes the grappling arms of both summoned bears and flies back to the church ramparts. Vondulyth and Guntram pursue as Nevyn tries to Thorn Whip the cambion to the street, but the winged fiend clings to the building side.
  • Konang scales the wall and grapples the cambion, pulling him down to the ground with him, but not before turning the fiend around in mid-air to soften his own fall. The heroes surround the hellish creature and rain attacks on him, albeit with mostly mundane weapons. The fiend attempts to flee, only to be smacked down and killed by one of the druid-conjured bears.
  • Unbeknownst to his companions, Nevyn has been hearing a voice in his head for most of the battle. It’s the same voice with whom he communicated through an obsidian seeing-stone, back at the first archaeological dig site he and his companions visited. A seeing-stone that the druid ‘intended’ to give The King’s University every day, right after finding it in his pocket again, only to forget all about it the very next moment.
  • That voice focuses to clarity now as Nevyn steps inside the Church of Trithereon, sits down in the entranceway, and begins to chant the words of a profane ritual. The voice in his head screams “Release me!” causing the druid to produce the obsidian seeing-stone out of his pocket right now. Indus and Vondulyth independently recognize the stone as being similar to one they removed from Palimar. It tried to control them as well, but ultimately failed.
  • The paladin urges his companions with quicker reflexes to wrest that stone from Nevyn. Indus tries to grab the stone from the druid using Mage Hand, but receives a psychic backlash for the attempt. Wen rides back from one of the fallen cambions, but can’t get a bead on the stone with his bow. It falls to Indus again, who shoots Nevyn through the hand, causing the seeing-stone to drop.
  • That’s when Damien, the new Bishop of Trithereon, father figure to Vondulyth since infancy, appears in the entranceway with a retinue of skeletons. Damien seizes the opportunity to take the obsidian seeing-stone for himself and causes it to skitter across the ground toward him. Suddenly there is a mad dash for possession. The party members don’t want Damien or Nevyn to have it, but the two men are closer than anybody else. The druid turns into a dire wolf and goes for the stone, but his paws pass through it, as if it were completely insubstantial.
  • The dire wolf immediately turns on Indus, known for his illusory trickery, and flattens him with a grapple. He finds nothing, which means Damien must have cast the illusion. The new Bishop of Trithereon reaches down and picks up the seeing-stone unopposed, using the skeletons to run interference. That’s when this gentle man, a well-known caretaker of the disenfranchised poor, not only transforms into a huge black dragon, but exhales a gout of acid at the heroes.
  • Gronja manages to dodge, but is injured and now frightened of the dragon. Avria fails to dodge and is knocked unconscious by searing pain. Wen too, but his giant badger fairs less well, and is killed outright by the acidic breath. The dragon turns to Vondulyth next, raises a claw to attack, but stops short before striking the paladin, despite the fact that the half-elf is visibly near death. The conflicted creature rears up and flies across the courtyard instead.
  • Konang quickly pours a greater healing potion into Avria, who recovers her senses. Vondulyth looks around at his companions and assesses their chances of survival. It’s extremely bleak. He decides to charge after the dragon, hoping to distract the creature long enough for his comrades to escape. Perhaps they can summon enough help from the soldiers in Jordan’s Crossing to defeat the dragon. When the paladin shares his plan, Konang refuses to let him die alone.
  • Suddenly Nevyn takes leaves of his senses again, as the obsidian seeing stone, currently in possession of the dragon, calls out to him. The druid answers the call, which prompts the stone to appear in his wolf mouth. The wild shaping elf uses this opportunity to channel the black dragon into himself, hoping to wrest control away from Damien. The attempt, however, fails.
  • The dragon swoops back, clawing through Nevyn’s wolf form, until he is not only forced to change, but knocked unconscious as well. The seeing-stone rolls out of his mouth. Avria, normally a paragon of secrecy, yells for the stone to be kicked in her direction, claiming to know how the black dragon can be defeated. The Damien-dragon swipes at Konang with his tail, but narrowly misses, after which the half-orc skitters the stone towards the dwarven cleric.
  • The obsidian seeing-stone is now in front of Avria. She tells Vondulyth to smite the stone with all the might that he can summon. He leaps off his war raven mount and brings his ancient longsword down on the stone with the divine wrath of Araleth. The dark conduit is pulverized into countless shards. Avria produces an urn from her backpack and upends the contents, dusting the pieces with the ashes of a god from whom she is secretly descended.
  • The shards reform into a new seeing-stone, one that is crystal clear instead of pitch black. As this reforging takes places, the Damien-dragon is wracked with pain, only to explode in an abundance of radiant light. A vision of Vecna briefly flashes before the party members, swearing vengeance against each of them, and then dissipates, leaving only the broken body of Damien behind.
  • Any injured heroes are healed or stabilized as Vondulyth goes to the only father figure he ever respected. Damien weakly tells the half-elf paladin that he couldn’t cut him down, especially after he was prepared to die in order to save his friends, but these final words sap Damien of his remaining strength. The newly appointed Bishop of Trithereon dies in the arms of his adopted and acknowledged son.
  • A profusion of roots begins to rapidly spread from where Vondulyth smote the seeing-stone, engulfing the entire Church of Trithereon. The exterior sheds the Vecnian corruption and pestilence of untold years and replaces it with a miraculously refurbished appearance, now adorned with the religious iconography of Araleth Letheranil. Nevyn regains consciousness and his senses, but retains no memory of the entire battle that took place against the cambions and black dragon.
  • Indus figures out the rest, having privately studied the religions of his fellow comrades. Damien resisted the influence of Vecna at the end, but Nevyn was a much more willing host, and so the seeing-stone passed to him. Not only that, but near as his exhaustive studies confirm, when Vecna originally killed Trithereon, who sacrificed himself to save Araleth in battle, the evil god was forced to take Trithereon’s place in the pantheon. Not as a god of secrets, but as a god of justice.
  • It took thousands of years, but Vecna’s covetous influence eventually manifested in Trithereon’s worshippers, albeit through the obsidian seeing-stones. Having tied up these explanatory loose ends, the smug academic, who wasn’t injured even once during the final battle, ends his impromptu lecture with the satisfying knowledge that he did in fact ‘know it all’.

Memorable lines:

  • “Your faith appears to be ineffectual.”

Unanswered Questions:

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Negotiating with Fire

Characters: Avria, Gronja, Indus Ederix, Konang, Vondulyth Grimtoken
Game Date: 28/12/14

Plot Overview:

  • No longer employed by bishop Palimar of Trithereon to illegally smuggle stolen artefacts from the numerous archaeological dig sites around Jordan’s Crossing, a motley group of ne’re-do-wells find themselves hard pressed to make a dishonest living in the bustling metropolis.
  • Calithrar the pyromaniac drow wizard, Nix the blue-scaled draconian fighter, Randal the drunken human cleric of storms (and pirate of the seas), Shenkel the human ranger of the streets along with his panther companion, and Wiggens the deft-fingered rock gnome charlatan and thief, have all fallen on tough times after their corrupt patron was hauled off in chains.
  • Indeed, ever since Palimar was arrested, much of the underworld in Jordan’s Crossing has fallen to infighting and treachery, forcing the group of opportunistic scoundrels to dig up buried treasure intended for leaner times. As such, the brigands travel to a deserted archaeological site, long forgotten and boarded up, hoping to recover one such stash.
  • Rather than finding the cavern abandoned, however, the party of thugs spot two soldiers from Jordan’s Crossing guarding the entranceway. Randal announces his presence by drunkenly reciting a sea shanty as he openly approaches the two men. The guards tolerate the inebriated pirate long enough for him to swing his mace ineffectually at one their shields.
  • A fight seems likely until the boarded up cavern explodes open from the inside, giving way to a horde of undead creatures both large and small. The rank and file undead are commanded by minotaur skeletons, which in turn take their marching orders from a bone dragon. Calithrar wastes no time dropping a Fireball on the monstrosities, incinerating all save one, which Randal drops with his mace, and then readies himself to take on the rest.
  • The soldiers from Jordan’s Crossing, seeing the bone dragon inside the cavern along with hundreds of undead reinforcements, run for their lives. Nix and Skenkel grab Randal kicking and screaming from the melee as the party hides off to both sides of the gorge. The soldiers flee along the open causeway, only to be smothered by two shadowy creatures who turn their bodies into desiccated husks.
  • The ruffians listen as the bone dragon rasps commands to a summoned bone naga, tasking the creature to infiltrate Jordan’s Crossing with a magical sword intended for their ‘chosen one’. The bone naga is dispatched immediately with a platoon of skeletons, after which five imps emerge from the cavern and fly in five different directions, each roughly heading towards another archaeological dig site.
  • The brigands quietly retreat from the site, giving upon their stashed treasure, and collectively decide to intercept the magical sword instead, which sounds like it might be worth more than a few good coins, certainly enough to recoup their losses. Randal picks up an exhausted Calithrar as they run after their quarry. Shenkel takes the lead and tracks the bone naga and company across the recently harvested grasslands surrounding Jordan’s Crossing, catching up with the inexhaustible undead well before dawn.
  • The party of thugs attempt to surprise the skeletons, but fail as the intoxicated member of their group makes too much noise. The bone naga casts a lightning bolt through the ruffians, electrifying three of their number, but only tickles the blue-scaled draconian. The fighter returns in kind but with a breath weapon of lightning.
  • Shenkel casts Spiked Growth under all the skeletons, which the bone naga recognizes, but none of its minions do, which proceed to absently march across the impaling field. Randal channels the righteous divinity of storms down upon all of their skulls, dusting most of the skeletons in one fell swoop while also routing the bone naga across the enchanted terrain.
  • The sharpened ground gives the serpentine skeleton pause to change tactics, commanding an underling to flee with their sword and complete the mission they were assigned. Most of the brigands can’t see in the dark and lose sight of the skeletal runner. Wiggens hides among the recently shorn crops and sneak attacks the bone naga repeatedly, ending the creature for good.
  • The ruffians rest for an hour to bind their wounds and continue into Jordan’s Crossing. Shenkel tracks the skeletal runner through the streets, which leads to the Church of Trithereon, still shuttered against the outside world. The urban ranger, having formed contacts within the local orphanage, talks with a few street urchins. They direct him to a new kid in town named Franklin.
  • The brigands arrive at a villa overrun with kids. The owners, well known heroes of Jordan’s Crossing, are being honoured in Grainhollow during a Harvest Season celebration. It would appear that the mice have come out to play while the cats are away. Randal notices the gargantuan gutripper mounted on the inner courtyard wall, which looks a lot like the bone sword they are chasing down.
  • When asked about infiltrating the Church of Trithereon, Franklin suggests talking to the heroes of Jordan’s Crossing when they return, at which point Wiggens notices one of the kids slipping away suspiciously. The gnome pursues the urchin through streets and over rooftops, until cornering him thirty feet above the ground, dangling from his fingertips. Rather than helping him up, the rogue intimidates the boy at bow point, who admits to reporting anything he hears about the church to ‘Grandmother’.
  • Wiggens ties the boy up with a rope collar, changes into a wealthy merchant costume, and marches into market, where the urchin points out Grandmother hobbling among the stalls. The rock gnome speaks to the elderly woman about her ‘grandson’ who scampered away after overhearing a private conversation about the Church of Trithereon. Wiggens secures an audience with Grandmother, at which point the woman removes her disguise.
  • Grandmother is actually a fiercely beautiful human woman with a decidedly Countess-like bearing. She questions the rock gnome about the sword and the archaeological dig site outside of town until Wiggens reveals that hundreds of undead emerged from inside one such cavern and are probably headed for the city. This causes the woman to visibly pale before regaining her composure. She tells Wiggens that no good can come from recovering the sword and throws the rock gnome a hefty bag of gold before leaving.
  • Rather than soliciting the heroes of Jordan’s Crossing, the ruffians decide to keep the glory for themselves. Not only do they want to sell the bone sword for profit, but also because no good can come from healthy relations between a corrupt church and a skeletal dragon. Calithrar suggests approaching their old smuggling contacts at the local thieves’ guild.
  • The brigands meet with Surely Lightfingers, but when pressed for their purpose, Randal drunkenly tells the truth about trying to recover a valuable sword from inside the Church of Trithereon. Surely agrees to help the ruffians and sets a place and time in Jordan’s Crossing to meet at nightfall. Wiggens regroups with the motley crew, says nothing about being given a bag of gold or meeting Grandmother, and accompanies everybody to the meeting.
  • The brigands are ambushed along the way by rooftop snipers, who mortally injure Shenkel’s panther. The party of thugs quickly scale the buildings and cut down their opponents. Searching their bodies afterwards, each attacker carries a broach from a splintered faction of the thieves’ guild, identifying them to be Surely’s men. The ruffians cautiously approach the meeting place only to find Surely waiting for them by a waterfall with a brace of henchmen.
  • Calithrar drops a Fireball on their heads with no warning whatsoever, surprising everybody (including his own party). Only Surely dives into the waterfall and survives incineration. Not wasting an opportunity, Randal holds the treacherous rogue underwater as the brigands discuss what to do next, letting him up for air any time his contribution is deemed useful. They agree that recovering the sword is more important than profiteering now. “How can you make a dishonest living without an upstanding city to exploit?” the cleric pirate sagely points out.
  • Surely admits that he wanted the sword for himself, especially in light of recent upheavals within the thieves’ guild, but also reveals that he knows how to enter the Church of Trithereon through the sewers. The brigands force him to lead the way, which he does, taking them beneath a chamber from which a discordant tongue can be heard reciting an aberrant prayer. The party of thugs cut Surely loose and burst up through a grate.
  • A sickly man garbed in bishop robes sits hunched in front of a glowing archway, within which the bone sword is floating. The ruffians manage to surprise the man and Randal grabs the sword, interrupting his ritual. The ruffians are quickly surrounded by skeletal knights who appear out of the shadows from behind several rows of pillars. Having grabbed what they came for, the brigands have no intention of fighting any more than is necessary.
  • They form a defensive ring and slowly retreat back into the sewers, but not in time to save Wiggens, who is run through by a skeletal knight. The body of the rock gnome falls into the waterways and is carried off with an unshared bag of gold. Shenkel’s panther also expires during the skirmish, throwing himself in front his human friend to save his life. Randal isn’t scratched once, drunkenly dodging every attack intended to do him harm.
  • To make good on their escape, Calithrar blows out the roof with yet another Fireball, signalling to the outside world that strange doings are afoot inside the Church of Trithereon. He then ducks into the subterranean tunnels before the ceiling debris rains down in earnest. The falling mortar and stonework prevent the skeletal knights from mounting a pursuit.
  • The ruffians head back to the villa where Franklin and all the street urchins were throwing a party. They are surprised when an armour-clad paladin answers the door instead, antlers protruding skyward from his helmet. The burley half-elf demands to know where they acquired the bone gutripper in their possession. Still bruised and bloodied from their battle, the brigands reluctantly impart the whole sordid tale.

Memorable lines:

Unanswered Questions:
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Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Characters: Gronja, Indus Ederix, Vondulyth Grimtoken, Wennicus Winterbottom
Game Date: 14/12/14

Plot Overview:

  • Flowers start turning up at the villa addressed to Gronja from a not so secret admirer. She crumples up the note, tells the delivery boy to seek better employment, and gives him two silver coins. The flowers disappear two days later. Vondulyth has started handing them off to a street urchin girl each morning who sells them for coppers. Devalyn Shore contacts the party and the paladin goes to see what he wants with a chip on his shoulder.
  • The merchant recently lost several gems identical to the one he used to bind a fire elemental and power his experimental flying ship. Devalyn believes he knows who stole the gems and asks the party to recover them in exchange for a meagre recompense of gold, downplaying their recent accomplishments in Jordan’s Crossing as ‘pedestrian’.
  • Vondulyth impresses on his Devalyn that his financial offer is closer to what the party will accept ‘each’, rather than as a sum total. Especially if he intends for Gronja to be involved. The merchant wistfully asks about the barbarian, his former lover, and if she has received his flowers. Vondulyth tells Devalyn that he must really know very little about the barbarian if he thinks that flowers will curry him any favour.
  • The two men strike an amicable deal for gem recovery, but the party will only depart when one-half of their payment is delivered to the villa. The next day a flower arrives, but made entirely out of gold. Gronja receives the courier, but recognizes him as the same boy who delivered flowers from Devalyn earlier. As such, she sends both him and the flower away, telling the boy to share the wealth with his friends.
  • The barbarian doesn’t realize that this flower was actually one-half of their payment up front, albeit annoyingly disguised as a romantic gesture. When Vondulyth realizes what happened, all because he’s been keeping the fact that Devalyn is hiring the party a secret from Gronja, he runs after the courier. The paladin recovers the golden rose, minus several petals, already passed out among a handful of street urchins.
  • Vondulyth gives the boy a gold leaf for his troubles, promptly converts the rose to currency, and apportions Indus and Wennicus their share without loss, while splitting the difference between himself and Gronja. The paladin accepts partial blame, thinking that he’s probably in some way responsible for pushing Devalyn towards the gold flower idea in the first place.
  • The heroes climb aboard their battle wagon and head out with Vonduyth’s disciples, during which Aster and Indus argue about the pronunciation of a Draconic word. The older sage allows the young rogue to believe he won the argument for the sake of ending the discussion, which seems to satisfy him. Along the way, the party is stopped by brigands demanding a road toll. Indus sends up Adonhim to scout around, who spots flanking gnolls in the wheat.
  • Vondulyth goes out to meet the enemy, but is surrounded, poisoned, and beaten to unconsciousness. His companions pick up the slack with fury and rage. Wennicus runs along the backs of the wagon horses, alights on the lead mare, and fires at his favoured enemy, taking out the leader with a well-placed arrow. The gnoll minions are promptly cut down, allowing the gnome ranger to heal Vondulyth and their wagon to make up for lost time on the road.
  • The heroes pass through Mireton and make sure that there haven’t been any more abductions since they were here last. Gronja visits the grave of the gnome girl to pay her respects and is comforted by an old gnome woman. Afterwards, the heroes make haste to the same tower where they meted out justice to the slavers. According to Devalyn, the person he believes to be responsible for the theft of his gems has since taken up residence in the old structure.
  • The heroes leave the battle wagon a mile away from the tower in the care of Vondulyth’s disciples and head through the forests on foot. Wennicus circumvents the tower beforehand, looking for tracks, but only finds signs of hunting. The paladin climbs a tree and looks for the mysterious mountain he spotted the last time he was here, a cresting peak that wasn’t there before, but it seems to have disappeared.
  • The party approaches the tower stealthily and head for the same door they used before. Indus doesn’t even get a chance to pick the lock before a bestial umber-coloured hulk bursts up through the ground and knocks him over. Gronja tries to attack, but is addle-minded by the confusing stare of the creature. Indus cleverly casts the illusion of a bucket over the creature’s head so that nobody else has to avert their gaze.
  • The fierce guardian takes a toll on the heroes, but their focused attacks eventually prevail. Indus picks the lock and the party make their way inside. Much to their surprise, despite looking exactly the same on the outside, the interior of the tower has been completely renovated. The decor is immaculate and palatial now. Even the statue of Gruumsh has been carved down into a statue of Olidammara, the god of trickery.
  • Indus suggests that the party should proceed with extreme caution, as he suspects that tower is excessively trapped. The rogue isn’t wrong, as every door turns out to be rigged with a lethal mechanism. Indus manages to deactivate most of the devices, but not all, sending Gronja into a series of poisoned darts that leaves the barbarian feeling queasy.
  • Another hulking brute of umber is summoned by their intrusive activity, the mate of the first, which the heroes dispatch with almost military efficiency. Wot the badger explores the tunnels through which the creature emerged and finds a network of criss-crossing burrows beneath the tower. The set of double doors leading out of the main foyer proves no less jury rigged. Indus takes Vondulyth up on his suggestion to deactivate any remaining traps at a distance, using his Mage Hand cantrip.
  • While searching the adjoining room, Indus spots a letter on the desk addressed to him specifically by name, but so does Vondulyth. The note makes no sense to the paladin, but includes a valuable onyx gemstone. The two comrades agree to discuss the matter later, having realized that their presence was probably anticipated. They don’t have high hopes of finding the gems anymore, but finish their due diligence regardless.
  • The last area to be explored is an earthen storage room beneath a trap door. Three chests are spaced apart in this place, two of which Indus doesn’t think look quite right. The rogue attempts to pick the middle chest at a distance with ranged legerdemain, but forgets to check for traps first. A gout of flame erupts out of the container, destroying the contents inside, and prompts the two book-ending chests to animate and attack.
  • The heroes bottleneck the mimicking creatures as they climb up through the trapdoor and make short work out of the threat they pose. Examining the fire-trapped chest afterwards, the party find remnants of what appears to be one of the gems Devalyn hired them to find. Gronja finds two barrels of the cloud giant ale she recently sold, along with an extremely valuable barrel of well-aged spirits, which they party adds to their inventory. Vondulyth spots a book about siege weapon construction in the library and appropriates the volume.
  • Shortly before leaving, the paladin climbs to the top of the tower on a lark, where he first spotted the mysterious mountain, and sees the crested peak again from this vantage point. Apparently the location of viewing is crucial to visibility. Gronja and Indus can’t see what Vondulyth is talking about, but Wennicus confirms that the paladin isn’t losing his mind. This leads the Vondulyth to believe that the promontory is somehow fey in origin.
  • Returning to Jordan’s Landing, Indus suggests talking to Devalyn about the remnants they recovered. Gronja, who has been kept in the dark about their employer, doesn’t understand why Devalyn is being involved. Vondulyth artfully contrives a reason that makes consulting with the merchant the most sensible course of action (in light of the flying ship he built powered by such a gem). The barbarian sees through the obfuscation with a brilliantly insightful turn of mind and accompanies the heroes, where she learns that Devalyn has been their employer all along.
  • The merchant confides with Gronja privately, which Indus tries to overhear. Devalyn professes his undying love for the barbarian, but Gronja rebuffs him, saying that she is only interested in a man who can fight by her side. The merchant takes this as a challenge and walks away pleased with himself, having mistaken Gronja’s sentiment as hope for romantic reconciliation. Indus mishears the entire conversation, and comes to believe that Devalyn is actually interested in him and not the barbarian, setting off a few alarms.

Memorable lines:

Unanswered Questions:
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Downtime #5 (One Month)

Activity Overview:

  • The heroes return to Jordan’s Landing for a well earned rest, magical loot in hand. Vondulyth grabbed a floating piece of the obsidian portal from the dragonborn city, both to examine the material more closely and prevent the device from being repaired. The heroes are celebrated by Jordan amid fanfare, having become well known and admired in the city, but then busy themselves for the next month.
  • Gronja celebrates a little too much and gets thrown in jail for a day, after which she devotes herself to brewing ale for the local tap houses. Profits are excellent for the barbarian, who sells all but one of her cloud giant ale barrels. Indus studies furiously, pushing himself through sleepless nights with book and candle, except for one week, during which a little bounce returns to his step.
  • Vondulyth and Wennicus manage to recover one of the giant gut rippers from the river, after which the paladin goes to work in earnest on a battle wagon ballista. Wennicus makes sure that none of the homeless and poor in Jordan’s Landing go hungry, keeping them well fed with any fish he bow hunts from the Sapphire Rhine. Indeed, the destitute of Jordan’s Crossing are looking surprisingly hail these days.
  • As soon as she returns to the Villa, Avria storms to her room and slams the door. The din that ensues sounds like a Dwarven bar brawl on wageday. It also sounds like she’s arguing with someone…? Later that evening she calmly leaves the Villa, and is seen stalking off in the direction of Mireton. She returns three weeks later looking crestfallen.
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The Scales of Treachery

Characters: Avria, Gronja, Indus Ederix, Konang, Llewelyn Fel, Nevyn Verulai, Vondulyth Grimtoken
Game Date: 30/11/14

Plot Overview:

  • The heroes cut Indus down off the wall and bring him back to his senses. He last remembers walking in Jordan’s Crossing after spending the evening with an ‘unspecified’ friend. He had been researching a dragonborn city for days and was exhausted when somebody rendered him unconsciousness. The abused rogue has been stripped of all equipment and now has an inexplicable fear of kuo-toa. The party give him all their daggers for comfort weaponry.
  • Llewelyn takes note of a large mural in the room which depicts the Great War that took place between the gods. He notes that this version is biased from a dragonborn perspective. An image of the jewellery they have come here to find, the Star of Tanuviel, is also featured. Indus has some ideas on how to interpret the mural as a map, but keeps them to himself for now. He has a hard enough time trusting his own companions, let alone a strange new bard.
  • The party moves to the rooftop of an adjacent building and takes a long rest so that both Indus and Vondulyth can recover from their travails. They take turns watching over the mural building for any comings and goings, and possibly the creatures who captured Indus in the first place. The heroes sleep in shifts but awaken in turn after each has a prophetic dream. If Avria and Indus had a foretelling dream of their own, they keep it to themselves.
  • Gronja dreamt of being Ehlonna, the mother of her own worshipped god Wenta, but fighting in the Great War. Konang dreamt that he was fighting in the Great War as well, but tirelessly searching the battlefield for Gruumsh, god of orcs. Vondulyth wakes up in searing pain, as if his scar has been freshly made. The paladin dreamt of being Araleth fighting Vecna during the same war.
  • During the paladin’s dream, the god of secrets had just laid hands on Araleth and seared his flesh. He was about to follow up with a killing strike, when Trithereon intervened, saving Araleth by using his body as a shield. Trithereon died beneath the withering attack of Vecna for his heroism. This version of events flies directly in the face of everything Vondulyth had been taught about Trithereon, which claims that he’s still alive among the gods.
  • Vondulyth pours water onto his old scar until the pain subsides. Nevyn is cagey about his dream, but agrees that the Great War of gods may have ended differently than was written. The paladin posits that Vecna may have replaced Trithereon, unbeknownst to most of his followers. Gronja wanders off in search of a shuffling sound. She raises her lantern in just enough time to spot a fin dart behind the building on which they have been resting.
  • Avria approaches Vondulyth to tell him something important, but seems apprehensive. The paladin gives the cleric his undivided attention. Gronja returns to warn the party that they may be under attack and punches Vondulyth in the arm as he stares intently at Avria’s eyes. Konang charges to the ledge of the two-story building on which they have camped out and spies a one-eyed humanoid starring back at him.
  • The heroes spring into action as they are assaulted from all sides by creatures who climb up and over the building-side. More one-eyed humanoids arrive, along with creatures that are definitely troglodytes (based on their stench alone). They are shored up by oozes and the strangest looking insect the party has ever seen. Llewelyn identifies them as ‘fire-beetles’ and seeks out high ground to fire down at the enemy from up high.
  • The oozes lash out at Konang’s armour and weapon, scarring both with acid, but takes out the one-eyed humanoid he spotted earlier and clears a path for himself. Gronja tries to identify the fire beetle, but is convinced that Llewelyn is correct. Indus likewise comes to the same conclusion. Vondulyth can’t reach the battle and casts Moonbeam instead, immolating their opponents in a column of radiant light.
  • More troglodytes and ‘fire beetles’ sneak up on the cleric and paladin. The divine pair protect the flank of their comrades. Vondulyth smites the troglodyte harrying him, consuming him in the wrath of Araleth. He then sinks his blade into the fire beetle beyond. For a brief moment, the carapace of the creature tries to corrode his ancient sword, but the magical energies of his blade resist the effect. “These aren’t fire beetles!” he yells back at his party, who now realize they are also facing rust monsters.
  • Gronja loses control of herself as the incorporeal entity plaguing her mind takes over again, coercing the barbarian to attack friend over foe. She bites into Nevyn with her axe and turns on Vondulyth to do the same. The paladin turns to face Gronja. He can’t believe that the woman he has come to know intimately would do such a thing of her own accord. Indeed, both of her eyes have turned darkly pupilous. Vondulyth steps inside of Gronja’s reach, grabs her bodily, and plants a kiss on the barbarian.
  • Gronja is shocked out of her undead possession, but retains no memory of attacking her comrades whatsoever. She pushes Vondulyth aside and mutters that battle is no time for such affections. Indus manages to get a bead on the whole interaction. Nevyn transforms into a giant spider and webs the rust monster going after Avria. Gronja rushes past Vondulyth, rages to hide her rising blush, and chops the vermin in half, dulling her mundane blade.
  • The last surviving ooze appears out of hiding to a hail of readied arrows, spells, and spider mandibles, ending the battle. It’s only at this point that Avria confides in Vondulyth. She tells the paladin that his posited theory, Vecna replacing Trithereon, is unequivocally correct, but won’t say how or why she knows this to be true.
  • Deciding what to do next, Indus admits to having already deciphered the mural room. He has a pretty good idea that it leads to a hall with an otherworldly portal, which the Star of Tanuviel unlocks. According to the scrolls he has been earnestly studying, the original dragonborn inhabitants of the city escaped the Great War through this portal. As such, it may well allow Vecna to enter the world.
  • The party agrees that while they don’t want Vecna to enter the world, they should destroy the portal that ‘might’ make it possible. Everybody follows Indus through the dragonborn city, finding his armour, equipment, and weapons along the way. He confides in Vondulyth during a quiet moment that, after speaking at length with Lewelyn during their rest, the man is not who he claims and should be treated with suspicion.
  • Vondulyth shares this information with Nevyn, who then shares the finer details of his lucid vision. The wood elf admits the he was actually Vecna in his dream and remembers wounding Araleth during the Great War. He was about to strike the young god down when somebody else intervened. “And that’s when I killed Trithereon,” Nevyn says in a perfect moment of silence which everybody in the group overhears clearly.
  • Arriving at a massive hall, Indus doesn’t find any traps, allowing the group to safely approach the sundered portal ahead. Large support columns are spaced out on either side of them, inscribed with prayers to Trithereon that Vondulyth recognizes. The paladin asks Avria to hang back with Nevyn and keep an eye on Llewlen.
  • Right after that, however, the bard casts Invisibility on himself, claiming (as a disembodied voice) that he is only being cautious. Gronja, Indus, Konang, and Vondulyth approach the broken portal and spot a control panel nearby with the Star of Tanuviel hovering above a surface. Vondulyth fears that the bard will snatch the dragonborn jewellery for his own nefarious purpose and runs to the panel. Gronja, fleeter of foot, gets there first.
  • Her hand passes through an illusion. Llewelyn already snatched the star-shaped component and replaced it with a false image. That’s when the bard lets out a blood curdling scream. He appears in front of the broken portal. It’s Lewelyn one moment, Trithereon the next, and Vecna after that. Finally all three visages are replaced with a large black dragon, the chest of which is embedded with the Star.
  • Gronja, standing before the winged reptile, may have soiled her leather skirt a little. Vondulyth charges the dragon and strikes the beast twice, calling on the wrath of Araleth. The dragon flies over his head and targets Indus with claw and teeth, fixing to tear him apart instead. His attacks ineffectually pass through a Silent Illusion of Indus. The arcane trickster is already one step ahead of the reptile.
  • Nevyn summons eight fey panthers around the dragon and turns into a brown bear to join them. The black dragon turns to Vondulyth and exhales a gout of acid. The paladin looks back at Gronja, wondering if she will be the last person he sees alive. The concern in her eyes for his well being inspires him to survive. Vondulyth turtles behind his shield. The acid miraculously splashes around him, leaving the paladin completely unscathed.
  • Gronja and Konang are swarmed by kobolds, keeping them out of the dragon fight. Avria helps her half-orc companion while Vondulyth helps Gronja, surprising nobody. Nevyn commands his pride of panthers to pursue the dragon while loping after the reptile. Indus hides behind the prayer pillars for protection (perhaps missing the irony) and shoots the airborne dragon at every available opportunity with his hand crossbow.
  • The dragon curses the gods that each hero worships as he is indignantly wounded bv their attacks. The kobolds are cut down in short order, allowing both Gronja and Konang to focus on the winged reptile. The Star of Tanuviel glows bright on the chest of the dragon as Avria hears chanting echo from elsewhere in the great hall.
  • Sensing defeat, the giant reptile that was once Llewelyn flees for the only exit in the massive hall. The same doors through which the heroes emerged to find this sprawling chamber. Vondulyth summons the roots of Nature’s Wrath up through the floor and ensnares the dragon, preventing his escape and giving all his companions a chance to surround the creature.
  • Gronja rages through her fear and slices into the reptile’s hide. Konang eviscerates the dragon with dizzying speed. The winged reptile breaks loose from Vondulyth’s roots, but the paladin bashes the dragon prone with his shield and smites through his scales. Nevyn bites and swipes at the reptile as his surviving panthers do the same. Avria unleashes a powerful Guiding Bolt and Indus takes advantage of the glowing effect, sinking a bolt deep into the dragon’s belly.
  • The beast roars in defeat and tears itself away from the body of Llewelyn, forcing the two to split apart. The dragon files towards the ceiling and crashes through the roof, flying away to parts unknown. The bard raises his hands and begs for mercy. Nevyn is tempted to chew off one of his hands, but the party questions him instead. Llewelyn claims that Professor Swanson hired him, but the heroes aren’t convinced. Indus charms the bard and finds out that it was Palimar communicating to him, magically projecting messages directly into his mind.
  • The party can’t bring themselves to kill Llewelyn, who claims that he was merely a host for the dragon. The bard freely admits that he was never a good scholar. His goal was to ingratiate himself to the academics at King’s Landing by finding a rare dragonborn artefact. The party truss Llewelyn up so that he can’t cast any spells. It’s only at this point that Indus shocks everybody by confiding in his party members. Not only does the rogue admit he has heard a voice in his head, but that he thinks it belongs to Palimar as well.

Memorable lines:

Unanswered Questions:

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Road to Ruin
Once More into the Depths

Characters: Gronja, Konang, Llewelyn Fel, Nevyn Verulai, Vondulyth Grimtoken, Wennicus Winterbottom
Game Date: 23/11/14

Plot Overview:

  • A human named Llewelyn arrives at the villa in search of Indus. The heroes inform the collegiate bard from King’s University that the rogue is currently pursuing his own interests, as he is wont to do. When Llewelyn tells the party that he has paying work to retrieve a piece of dragonborn jewellery, the Star of Tanuviel, from an archaeological dig site, they are all ears. The bard explains that the work is time sensitive, and so the heroes leave immediately on their battle wagon.Star_of_Tanuviel.png
  • One day later, the heroes are attacked at night by a host of undead while Konang and Nevyn are driving. Skeletons emerge out of the tall wheat, armed with bows and swords. When an errant arrow injures ‘Honey’, one of the four draft horses who pull the battle wagon, Gronja loses it. She will not abide cruelty to animals and attacks the offending skeletons, even as she endures a devastating wound to reach them.
  • Konang identifies the leader, an insubstantial spectre, and leaps over the creature from the battle wagon. Llewelyn attempts to hex the spectre with necrotic energy, but tickles the creature instead. Nevyn casts Poison Spray at the skeletons to no effect. Vondulyth is surrounded by skeletons, which he smites into oblivion. Wen fires from atop the battle wagon and picks off skeletons to help the paladin.
  • The half-orc swings at one of the skeletons around him, more to remove the annoyance than anything, but catastrophically misses and falls into the spectre instead. Konang momentarily melds with the creature, much like Gronja did once at the first dig site. He rolls away to safety, but can’t shake the feeling that some part of himself was left behind. The half-orc swings his greatsword and dissipates the creature for good.
  • As Gronja and Vondulyth witnessed once before, the remains of each defeated undead whirlwind away after being destroyed. The heroes continue for another day to the new dig site, where they thankfully find everybody alive. Llewelyn and Vondulyth approach the professor in charge and convince her to let them troubleshoot the site.
  • Nevyn shuts out the chatter around him and calls to the voice that he once contacted at the first dig site. He asks “Why were your servants on the road?” A voice answers, claiming to have a ‘use’ for the heroes. The party waits for the midday shift to emerge from the cavern and follows a particularly excited worker to hear what he has to say. The man tells the professor about his latest find. A set of doors that appeared without being excavated.
  • The heroes inform the professor that this is precisely why they are here. The professor implores the heroes to be careful in her dig site and expresses concern for her career. Vondulyth tells the professor, “Better to protect the lives of these people than see both them and your career die at the same time.” The party heads inside the illuminated cave and travels down through the winding depths until they eventually arrive at a large chamber.
  • Several bullseye lanterns are pointing at a set of twenty-foot high double doors made out of the same obsidian material the heroes encountered in the first dig site they explored. The workers appear to have unearthed an obsidian pathway leading up to the massive portal. Wen tracks two people approaching the door, but only one set of tracks leaving. Gronja walks up to the doors and touches the surface. They yawn open. Nevyn shakes his head and says, “One of these days, her last words are going to be what does this do?”
  • The party walk through the doors together, which thunderously close behind them. Nobody bothers to see if they can be opened again. The heroes are far too awestruck by what lies in front of them. An entire city constructed of obsidian stone. No signs of construction anywhere, as if the entire metropolis were carved form a single piece of the black material. Only a broad aqueduct spanned by a bridge stands between them and the city.2014-08-10.jpg
  • Gronja throws a piece of chalk into the water, which sinks into the inky blackness and disappears. The heroes cross the bridge together and begin to make their way into the metropolis, following a central road that leads up to the highest structure. The ceiling above the city is immensely high, casting sunlight down through what look like cracks in the surface.
  • Llewelyn orates to the party when they reach a resting plateau that they are walking through what he believes is a lost dragonborn city, the inhabitants of which died off ages ago. Victims of their own avarice. Moreover, if he is right, this city may still be filled with toxic fumes that can only be countered by eating the indigenous mushrooms. Konang promptly starts cooking a mushroom soup, seasoned with his own tears.
  • Nevyn is the only party member who has difficulty keeping the soup down, and indeed keels over in pain as something horrible writhes through his stomach. Vondulyth lays hands on the elf and purges the deadly poison out of his body, much to his relief. He regains himself in enough time to be surprised by a new enemy. The party is swarmed by bipedal fish creatures who glub in a language nobody understands.
  • The heroes are flanked on both by fishy creatures who attack with man-catchers in an attempt to drag their victims into the adjoining body of water. Gronja and Konang both start behaving oddly during battle, turning on their companions as if compelled by a disembodied force. Their fellow party members chalk it up to the chaos of battle. Gronja grapples Wen’s giant badger in a hug, but can’t explain to herself why she’s doing it.
  • Nevyn and Llewelyn both unleash Thunderwaves against the enemy, but their opponents prove resistant and keeping pressing the attack. A Baneful spell is cast on the bard and druid that inhibits their combat effectiveness. Wen retreats out of battle, but assures everybody that he’s not running away. The ranger shoots the aquatic spellcaster and fizzles his concentration, living up to his reputation as a sage fisher-gnome.
  • Vondulyth drives one of the brawnier fishmen to the ground with his shield and smites him with his sword. Taking down one enemy only raises the ire of those around him. They gang up on the paladin and knock him unconscious. Llewelyn casts Healing Word on Vondulyth, who stands up to receive another beating. Better him than his party members. Nevyn turns into a dire wolf and tears through the fishmen as the bard and ranger sharpshoot the rest from a safe distance, threading their bolts and arrows through melee.
  • The heroes whittle down the enemy until none remain upright. After searching their bodies, the party continue along the road Llewelyn suggested they follow. The heroes eventually arrive at the most prominent building a top the ancient city, but are distracted by what they find inside before they can examine the architecture more closely. It’s Indus. He’s been affixed to the wall, beaten to unconsciousness, and left for dead.

Memorable lines:

Unanswered Questions:

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Downtime #4 (One Week)

Activity Overview:

  • The adventurers return to their villa in Jordan’s Crossing and relax for a week. Gary_Too.jpgGronja begins selling her cloud giant lightning ale to a local tap house (now called ‘Blue Tongue’ because of the permanent side effect). Konang meditates on his recent battles and goes hunting for game to make sure that Gary Too, his rapidly growing hippogriflet, remains hail and hearty.
  • Nevyn tries to find a home for Franklin, the boy who followed him back to Jordan’s Crossing, but he refuses to leave the wood elf’s side. Resigned to his parental duties, he arranges an education for the lad. Vondulyth goes swimming in the Sapphire Rhine that runs beside the city to see what remains of the dirigible that crashed there. The gut-rippers are still on board. Vondulyth and Wen pool their engineering/tinkering knowledge to retrieve the blades.
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The Mortar of Civilization

Characters: Avria, Gronja, Indus Ederix, Konang, Vondulyth
Game Date: 16/11/14

Plot Overview:

  • Konang finds himself facing off against the very worse kind of person – a slaver – and he’s in no mood to be merciful. The half-orc fighter scythes through the orcs in front of him with his greatsword until the balance of his party show up in force to lend a hand. Avria summons a spiritual hammer which duals against a spiritual spear cast by an orc shaman.
  • The heroes cut the slavers down to a man, until Indus, ever the voice of reason, slumbers one with a Sleep spell to interrogate for information. The orc eventually comes to see Indus as a trusted friend, albeit with the help of a Charm spell. Indus pretends to be a slaver owner and treats Avria like one of his purchases, causing the slaver to become much more loquacious about his merchandise.
  • Indus apologies to Avria for making her a prop of his story, but was able to find out where several halflings and gnomes are currently being confined. Rather than leaving their prisoner with the local gnome militia, Vondulyth summarily decides (after a brief interview with the captain) that the orc should be tied up in the battle wagon instead.
  • Konang offers to restrain their prisoner for safekeeping, but Avria senses his murderous intent and accompanies the half-orc to make sure their captive is manacled alive. Aster, one of Vondulyth’s disciplines, brains the orc unconscious with a pan as a compromise, satisfying everybody’s need to balance the scales.
  • The heroes climb aboard the boat that brought the orc slavers to Mireton and row up river to an abandoned tower overgrown with moss. The top of the tower has long since crumbled and the surrounding area is similarly wild, providing enough natural cover for the heroes to approach the structure unnoticed. Avria and Vondulyth, who can’t keep quiet to save their lives, are thoroughly handheld by the stealthier members of their party.
  • The party find themselves beneath an orc archer patrolling a catwalk above them, at which point Avria suggests that the stealthier party members should scout for an entrance, while she and Vondulyth remain behind to avoid making noise. Gronja, Indus, and Konang sneak ahead and find a door, at which point Adonhim, the raven familiar, signals the cleric and paladin to follow.
  • Vondulyth immediately scrapes his metal greaves against the tower wall and alerts the orc archer above. The guard sinks an inky black arrow into the paladin, who is immediately weakened by poison. Avria casts Sacred Flame at the shooter and the pair hasten to rejoin their comrades. Indus finishes lock-picking the door and stands aside for Gronja to burst inside.
  • The interior tower has been reinforced with a wooden infrastructure and stairs.
    Several orcs immediately charge at the party members from two sets of doors and down a flight of stairs. Vondulyth divinely purges the poison from his wound and then moves to protect any nearby companions. Gronja and Konang engage the enemy as Avria summons her sacred hammer again. Indus knocks over a brassier and seeks cover behind the burning coals after being struck by a greataxe.
  • The heroes dispatch their initial orc resistance, but have no illusions that the fight is far from over. Konang opens one of the doors from which the orcs came rushing out and finds four cells filled with gnomes and halflings. He immediately picks one of the locks and sets them free, but none of the captured slaves are moving, too terrified despite being liberated by a seven-foot tall half-orc saviour.
  • Vondulyth smashes open a second lock, while Kongang deftly picks two locks simultaneously with a truly inspired manipulation of his thieves’ tools. Suddenly the double doors of the previous room swing open, through which orc reinforcements arrive. They run directly into the room of captured slaves and threaten to kill the prisoners if the heroes don’t back down.
  • One of the orcs yells at Gronja in Orcish. “Your human stink is worse than a rotting corpse!” Avria translates for the barbarian. “He thinks you’re cute!” The paladin ensnares the orc with thorny vines, but the slaver manages to escape largely unscathed. He grabs a halfling prisoner in desperation and holds a knife to his throat.
  • The party swarm the cowardly slaver, descending on him with axe, bow, and blade, until he falls lifeless to the ground and releases the halfling largely unharmed. Gronja attempts to open the adjoining locked door with her boot key, but hurts her foot instead. Indus steps away from a statue of Gruumsh long enough to pick the door as an afterthought.
  • Avria explores the room, finding an assortment of blood-stained weapons, along with gnome and halfling bodies left to rot. There’s a dwarven corpse among the bodies as well, still holding a well-crafted warhammer. Avria takes the hammer from her fallen brother before turning around to spot two unopened chests. Indus uses the momentary calm to share senses with his raven familiar and flies into the next room through the open double doors.
  • The arcane trickster spies a dinner table set with haunches of gnomes and halflings, beyond which there are four massive orcs ready for battle. Two of them are holding a gnome and halfling hostage, but otherwise waiting for the heroes to arrive. One of the captives looks like the gnome girl who most recently disappeared from Mireton. Vondulyth suggests a plan whereby they all rush in at once and grapple the orcs simultaneously, thereby protecting the hostages.
  • The plan goes awry when the orc chieftain opens the throat of the female gnome. Gronja is tapped out from a day of raging, but now she is filled with a different kind of anger. Her blood doesn’t boil so much as run cold. She focuses on the chieftain to the exclusion of all other opponents and attacks him with a single-minded calm that is out of character for the barbarian.
  • Avria wades into battle and unleashes a devastating Thunderwave against the remaining orcs. Konang cannot escape the blast but gives his dwarven companion the nod. She should unleash her wrath anyway. Avria tries desperately to shape him out of the spell, but the half-orc takes the full brunt of her righteous fury, along with the two orcs beside him. Konang is bloodied, but happy.
  • A powerful blow against the half-orc threatens to take him down a moment later. He grits his teeth and remains standing. A secondary attack, however, drops him to the ground. Avria heals Konang back onto his feet. Vondulyth summons ancient roots from beneath the tower to ensnare the orc chieftain. It restrains the commander from attacking, but he still manages to inspire his men with an orc battlecry.
  • The paladin is the next to fall, but again Avria calls her companion back to life. Gronja continues to steadily chop away at the chieftain, unrelenting in her attacks. When two more orc guards are toppled, the fourth flees for his life. Konang tries to stop him, but misses with his greatsword. The chieftain curses his disloyal underling as he falls beneath one final swing of Gronja’s axe.
  • The barbarian yells at the orc chieftain as he dies (in what she believes is Orcish), saying “May Gruumsh curse your unworthy soul to the Elvish afterlife for all time!” Avria and Konang both look at each other in surprise. What Gronja actually said was “May Gruumsh bless your soul to always protect this sacred tower!” Avria instantly realizes that Gronja muddled the words, however spectacularly, and convinces Konang to keep the secret from their well-meaning companion.
  • Vondulyth chases after the fleeing orc upstairs, only to find a sloping line that he must have repelled down to escape, disappearing into the overgrown forest beyond. Konang picks the chests Avria spotted earlier and not only finds gems and gold inside, but a list of slaver clients. Indus locates a bounty of miscellaneous treasure as well. Avria senses that the hammer she found is actually magical.
  • Gronja respectfully wraps the gnome girl’s body, which glows in response to her reverential treatment. She plans to deliver the body back to her father who so blithely allowed his daughter to court a known danger near their house. Finally, the paladin looks out towards the Southwest from high a top the tower, the diametric opposite direction in which he and Gronja travelled in the battle wagon, and spots a mountain that he’s certain was never there before.

Memorable lines:

  • Avria translating an orc curse to Gronja:
    “He thinks you’re cute!”

Vondulyth responding to a gnome who simply confirms that he’s the local militia captain:
“Thank you. You’ve told me everything I need to know.”

Unanswered Questions:

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When Fame and Infamy Collide

Characters: Avria, Gronja, Indus Ederix, Konang, Vondulyth Wennicus
Game Date: 09/11/14

Plot Overview:

  • After safeguarding another archaeological site, the heroes return to Jordan’s Crossing in their battle wagon. The more perceptive members of the party spot a red flag peaking over the tall wheat moments before their vehicle is assailed by orcs. Avria and Konang are the only two who understand what the orcs are saying, the leader of whom means to capture the half-orc and kill the rest.
  • Konang tackles one of the orcs and sleeper holds him unconscious. The orc calls him a traitor to Gruumsh before he passes out, but Konang is unmoved, wanting nothing to do with that bum. Indus sends his raven familiar into the sky, who spots some additional movement in the tall grains. Wennicus goes to investigate and finds himself face to face with a wild boar, which he tries in vain to befriend. The boar gores the gnome for his presumption.
  • Avria and Gronja meet the enemy with axe and hammer, whittling the orcs down, while Indus offers ranged support from on top of the wagon. Vondultyh charges after the gnome to see why he screamed out in pain. Indus makes fun of the paladin for leaving the side of his ‘barbarian girlfriend’ and receives a withering gaze from Vondulyth. The orcs are defeated and the prisoner is tied up before regaining his senses. Also there is pig for dinner now.
  • Konang attempts to interrogate his potential captor, but the orc reveals nothing about his purpose, even after a few broken fingers. Indus attempts a gentler approach and eventually charms the orc. The now amiable prisoner reveals that he was hired to capture Konang alive and bring him back to their clan leaders. The more pertinent motivations died with his commander.
  • Avria offers to locate Krang, one of Konang’s friends from his gladiator days, to see what he knows. Unfortunately, she can’t find him anywhere in town. Exasperated, she goes to the centre of Jordan’s Crossing and begins to bellow his name. The new captain of the guard, Bartimaeus, arrives instead and questions Avria’s sanity. The dwarven cleric lies badly about why she wants to find Krang, who was apparently arrested the night before and subsequently released.
  • When pressed for the truth, Avria reveals that her party are keeping an orc prisoner in Jordan’s Crossing at their villa. She runs back to the villa and tells her companions what happened. Vondulyth covers for the dwarf by delivering the prisoner to an outraged Bartimaeus, who arrives shortly after the hill dwarf. The paladin is genuinely contrite and thanks the newly appointed captain for his help in transporting the orc to a more secure location.
  • A gnome named Joshua arrives at the villa shortly thereafter looking for Wennicus. He calls upon the ranger and his badger companion to visit Mireton, a riverside village of halflings and gnomes, as men and woman have been going missing at an alarming rate. The heroes agree to help Wennicus in his purpose and head out again on their battle wagon, sleeping as they travel to save time.
  • Halfway to Mireton, the party is again attacked by orcs, still very much fixated on Konang. Gronja is grabbed off the bridge and dragged into the water by the orc leader, much to her chagrin. She wasn’t planning on bathing for another week. The commander offers gold for the half-orc in their company, but the barbarian refuses to betray her companion.
  • The heroes make short work of the orc warriors, cutting them down as they hew their way to the leader. The orc commander has presented a strong foe to Gronja, who remains off balance. She’s still discombobulated at being doused clean by an orc. The barbarian focuses her anger late in the fight and slices the leader in twain. He slides off himself and floats downriver in two pieces.
  • There are no survivors left to question this time, so the party continue their trek to Mireton, where they squeeze into Moonbottom Inn, a tavern for gnomes and halflings. The proprietor offers a selection of fish and fish that looks like meat. Gronja’s Animating Grog (GAG) has also made its way to Mireton, which doesn’t surprise the barbarian in the least, despite the fact that somebody else must be profiting from distributing her brew.
  • Joshua meets the party at Moonbottom Inn and shows them around Mireton, explaining that all of the victims disappeared from the same area, snatched away near the river bank. Wennicus searches the area and locates scales at the scene of the latest abduction. His instincts, however, tell him that the scales were placed there as a red herring.
  • Vondulyth investigates the dock and finds a torn piece of clothing with a religious symbol on it. Possibly an offshoot cult of Vecna. Gronja goes into the house of the latest victim looking for additional clues, but finds a home packed to the gills with gnomes. She naturally assumed it would be empty based on the small size of the place, earning her no friends whatsoever.
  • The father of the family admits that his daughter was taken last night, but otherwise tells the barbarian to leave. Gronja can’t believe that the patriarch would remain in the house, especially considering that all the disappearances took place right outside his door. Indus suggests setting up an ambush during the night.
  • Vondulyth convinces the gnome family to spend a night at Moonbottom Inn on party coin, which they heartily accept. The heroes hide in the house and lay in wait. Positioned on a warehouse rooftop, Indus spots a boat in the river later that night. Somebody slips out of the boat and swims to the nearby island. The figure digs up a costume, climbs inside, and then jumps back into the water again.
  • The rogue signals Wennicus with his raven familiar that somebody is approaching the village by water. The gnome ranger spots the swimming figure and stomps on the roof to signal his companions inside the borrowed house. Konang runs up to the costumed creature as it emerges from the water and buries his greatsword in the scaled beast as he tries to flee. The half-orc splits the costume open, revealing an orc to be inside.
  • Not sure where to look next, Avria, Gronja, and Vondulyth split up in three directions. Avria guides a halfling reveller into the borrowed house, where he collapses onto the nearest bed. Gronja runs deep into Mireton, following a loud sound that Wenncus tells the barbarian was actually a misleading echo. Vondulyth runs back to the dock where he found the torn piece of clothing earlier.
  • Adonhim, the celestial raven that serves Indus, spots a raiding party of orcs sneaking through Mireton beside the warehouse. Konang spots their beached boat first and then rounds a corner, at which point he recognizes the orcs for who they are immediately. They bear the insignia of a well-known orc tribe known to be savers. It appears they have come to Mireton in search of easy prey.

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Unanswered Questions:

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Knight Takes Bishop
You shouldn't be a prisoner of your own ideas...

Characters: Avria, Gronja, Indus Ederix, Vondulyth
Game Date: 02/11/14
King’s Road between Jordan’s Crossing and Allenns

Plot Overview:

  • After a month of settling into their new villa and keeping themselves preoccupied, the heroes are called before Jordan and the Countess Sybil Ambrosia. The church of Trithereon has emerged from their self-imposed policing and claim to have routed out their own corruption. Vondulyth is still barred entry to the church, but his scar has mysteriously stopped itching in the interim.
  • The church of Tritheron is prepared to offer Palimar over to agents of Jordan’s choosing. They must safeguard the former bishop half-way to the capital city of Allenns where he will be handed over to the mystic guard of Trithereon. Jordan chooses the heroes to be his agents whether the church likes it or not and Gronja makes sure the party will be well compensated. Jordan tells Vondulyth that there is visitor wishing to speak with him in the wings.
  • The paladin meets with none other than Damien, who has not only been reinstated in the church of Trithereon, but promoted to Bishop, replacing the man who slandered his good name. Unfortunately, despite his appointment, there are still factions within the church who take umbrage with Vondulyth. Namely the deacon who the paladin intimidated for straight answers when Damien was excommunicated in the first place. As such, the paladin is still not welcome back.
  • Vondulyth handles the news with surprising grace, which troubles Bishop Damien. He knows that the paladin refuses contact with his noble family after they pawned him off on the church. Not being welcome in the church might push Vondulyth even closer towards Araleth Letheranil, the Twilight Rider and Prince of Stars. A minor god who nonetheless fought Vecna to a stalemate on the battlefield of gods. Legend claims that Araleth still bears a scar from the encounter.
  • Avria, Gronja, Indus, and Vondulyth load up their battle wagon with Palimar gagged and manacled inside, guarded by the barbarian. They are to be accompanied by a Ser Gillian, a paladin of Trithereon, and Tommen the Scout. Despite leaving during mid-day siesta, when the city is mostly at rest, the party doesn’t travel far before encountering resistance in the back alleys.
  • Archers assail the wagon from rooftops and brigands attack from the ground. Gronja stays with her snickering prisoner and shoots her bow from inside the wagon. Avria unleashes Sacred Flame from the second floor of the wagon. Indus sneaks out of the secret floor hatch and engages the enemy with the mounted Ser Gillian. Vondulyth leaps onto the nearest building from the battle wagon and climbs the wall to smite an archer.
  • It quickly becomes apparent to the heroes that their ambushers are actually animated undead. Vondulyth leaps across rooftops in pursuit of the shambling archers and then jumps across the street by using the battle wagon like a lily pad in a river. Each time he smites the undead, the creature is torn apart form the inside out by a sudden profusion of roots. Similarly, Indus eviscerates the undead on the ground.
  • The battle is ended quickly and the bodies are tidily thrown into alleyways so that they might still leave undetected. The heroes and their two companions make haste through the city gates and back out into the frontier lands. They travel for nearly week without incident, except for one piece of distressing news. Tommen the Scout rode off on the first day and then completely disappeared. The party almost gave him up for dead until the man returned on the sixth day, battered and bruised from an ordeal.
  • Although initially suspicious, the party are mostly convinced that Tommen is not an impostor. He speaks of being attacked near the designated meeting point by a score of undead. A difficult challenge for the party if they ride ahead. Tommen barely escaped with his life, but only because he surprised the creatures insomuch as he was also surprised. His horse was killed while fleeing, which is why it took him so long to return.
  • Rather than continuing on course, Tommen suggests an alternate route through a bog that will add three days to their journey. The battle wagon, however, would have to be left behind. The heroes decide to take their scout up on his suggestion, but leave him with the battle wagon to recover from his wounds. They’ll swing back and meet up with him on the way back.
  • It’s around this time that Indus and Vondulyth search Palimar to see if he’s concealing anything unusual. They both find a strange stone hidden in the folds of his vestments, which causes Palimar to smile. His maniacal grin is quickly chased away when both rogue and paladin resist whatever pull the stone tries to exert over them. Indus and Vondulyth pocket their respective stones and blindfold the deposed-Bishop as an extra precaution.
  • The heroes, along with Ser Gillian, travel the bog road in tight formation, always keeping Palimar between them. Indus sends Adonhim, his celestial familiar, to fly ahead in search of trouble. The raven spots movement in the trees and tells the rogue as much. The heroes advance in anticipation of being surprise attacked. They are not disappointed.
  • A brace of skeletons and zombies shamble out of the shrubbery. The party charge into them, despite being travel weary from a forced march, and decimate the enemy with axe, blade, bolt, and hammer. Realizing there is no time to rest, they reluctantly press on, using every mote of daylight to gain ground. The night passes without event. Palimar’s ears are filled with wax to prevent him from listening to their conversations.
  • The next day begins with Ser Gillian returning after investigating their flank. She reports back that they are being relentlessly followed by undead, the largest contingent of which will catch up with them soon. The heroes attempt to hide as a party, but fail at group ambush tactics. Several ghouls lumber directly toward them, lead by a particularly nasty-smelling ghast.
  • Avria turns undead and tells the animated creatures to “GO”. They are given pause long enough for Gronja to cut down their numbers with her axe. Vondulyth restrains the ghast by snaring it with a pillar of roots, which allows the barbarian to bisect the creature with a single swing. Indus suddenly recalls that he purchased some special holy arrows before leaving, ideal for slaying undead. The dwarven cleric cleans up the battlefield by searing away the last incorporeal shadow with Sacred Flame.
  • Day three brings the heroes close to their final destination, but the undead have been laying in wait. Rotting gnolls attack them from both sides, along with more gruesome undead that are falling apart even as they swarm the party from every direction. The most threatening opponent to descend on the adventurers is a poltergeist that tries to possess Avria.
  • The dwarven cleric fights off the invasive creature with her iron will, but Vondulyth decides that it’s time to stop holding back. He needs to embrace the righteous calling in his heart once and for all. The paladin dodges past multiple opponents and devotes his attack not to Trithereon, as he has done every time in the past, but the ferocity and fury that is Araleth Letheranil.
  • His ancient sword lands true and exorcises the poltergeist from this world with purifying radiant justice. His words, however, are not without consequence. Vondulyth finds himself immediately isolated from the divine grace of Trithereon. Gronja chooses this moment to miss one of her targets and strikes Ser Gillian instead, almost killing her with a single blow. The knight of Trithereon is suddenly unsure about her travelling comrades.
  • To make matters worse, the stone that Indus and Vondulyth lifted off Palimar chooses this moment to reach out again with what can only be nefarious intentions. As before, the rogue and paladin resist the insidious call. Moreover, Vondulyth grabs his stone and calls upon Araleth to channel himself through the conduit so that he might suppress whatever purpose it serves to Palimir while also aiding his friends.
  • The elven god, perhaps moved by Vondulyth’s destruction of evil in his name, lends the paladin his divine might, allowing the stone to become a temporarily holy symbol in service to his will. Vondulyth immediately heals Gillian and casts Bless on his companions, who collectively bring the battle to a swift conclusion, turning what could have become a route into a glorious victory. The creatures are dispatched and left to become beetle and vulture food.
  • The heroes continue to the agreed destination and meet with the Mystic Guard of Trithereon, to whom they hand over Palimar. Expecting Vondulyth to be a paladin of Trithereon, they are surprised by his transformation. The commander asks for his shield, as it bears the triskelion of his now former god. Vondulyth hands over the shield readily, relinquishing the burden of faith it came to represent. Lastly, Gronja interjects to inspire a more generous payment for their services, much to the gratitude of her comrades.

Memorable lines:

Unanswered Questions:

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