Part 2: Fire in the Sky

Having succeeded in their mission to stop the war-mages from entering the fray the party headed back to the Baron, who gave them a half day of rest before sending them out once more to harrass enemy forces across the bridge. Not a quarter of the way across did they run into the bedraggled remnants of the thousand men supposed to be guarding the far side. There were claims of monsters appearing and ripping ranks apart and thunderous charges by cavalry, resulting in the shattering of the defences. A handful of men had been in any fit condition to fight and so they led a rearguard action to save their fellows and were holed up in the mid point fort. The party arrived moments before the doors were caved in to the courtyard and a fierce battle ensued that saw the death of the dozen or so remaining rearguard and the party in flight after the arrival of the Baron, a younger Baron, and the war-mage Ughran Mar, who told them to flee while they held against the onrushing tide of steel and meat. Nearing the end of the bridge they looked back in time to see a massive explosion come from the fort. Unpon arriving back they learned that the army was mustering as a second front had openeed to the south of Dragon’s Fall with the defeat and destruction of the Dwarf run tower that guarded the approach. They were told to rest and await orders. As they were heading to the medical tent they heard a great cry raised by the crowds of soldiers and soon came face to face with the three heroic figures, now badly singed. they are to report to the Baron on the morn.

Exp: 400
Next Game: Tuesday 14th Sept

In Defence of the Afon: Part 1

While recovering their loot and wounds the group was bombarded with information from allies and contacts. The Red Lilies are about to set off East, across the sea to the Uncharted lands in seach of a battle of utmost improtance and seek whatever help they might have. The Northern Barons and their allies have been pushed back and a main city is under siege within a week’s march. Villages to the West have been torched by some unknown force, though no armies or bandits have been reported in the area and there are no survivors to point fingers. The Afon is under siege after a string of defeats to the vastly superior forces of the Council under the leadership of the Swan Knight. The group chose to accompany the Emissary back to the Afon and were joined by 3000 soilders from Urad making good on their mutual defence treaty.

Upon reaching the valley they were presented to Baron Cei, the commander of the Afonian and allied forces after the recent capture of the king’s nephew. Plans were made to contact the Saddleborn for aid and defences erected. The group volunteered along with a knight (Ser Wayne) and an assasin (Marcus) to infiltrate the enemey camp and deal with the four battle mages to ensure they stay out of the battle to come. They did this successfully except for the final mage who refused all offers and who the group did not feel comfortable fighting.

The forces of the Allies number about 23,000, while the Swan Knight’s stand around 50,000

Exp: 1440
Loot: Boots of Striding and Leaping, Tome of Dex +2, Potion of fly, 2 rings of Protection +1
Lost: Sword of Bard

A Brush with Death

So the following synopsis of the last adventure is based on my frail memory, but because of my ultimate power as DM anything I say here happened. Got it?

Having lost track of the elf wench, the scouts doubled back and gave their report to the Basileus who then ordered an assult for the following morning. The assult went well in the initial stages, though the general was injured by an arrow. The Otrenan accompanied the heavies and helped take a tower while the elf shot men as they retreated from the walls. They then found their way in through a side gate into the bailey and let in the rest of the army who then pressed the surviving enemies against the gate. The Otrenan led a phalanx charge and was met by the enemy general who made short work of him. The elf tried to snipe the imposing figure but missed every time. The allied troops were being worn down by the surviving foes until a figure emerged from the main door and 6 rather dead looking things burst through walls on either side of the bailey. The allies broke and fled but before the foe could give chase the sole man began gathering energy to himself from the six creatures and released it all in a titanic wave that turned the enemey to dust and destroyed the bailey walls and the curtain wall behind as leaves in the wind. The man then collapsed to one knee and an apparition appeared in front of him, cowled in a hood of feathers. the figure spoke words to the drained man and reached out his hand to touch the mans forehead which caused the man to loose all colour and fall to the ground, lifeless. The general eventually found his way up, by which time the Otrenan was consious and they were told that the god of death, Rook, had made an appearance and took the man’s soul for messing with the dead. They would all get an share of the loot and their promised payment and could consider themselves released from their contract now that the misson was complete. It was at this point that the elf girl chose to appear and revealed that she had found the mage in a cell and had released him.

Loot: 150gp each, one special item to be determined at the next game.
Exp: 300

Swept Aside

While deciding what to do next a scout rode into the character’s hamlet announcing the arrival of a small army the following day around noon. True to his estimate an army of Urad trudged into the valley around noon. It comprises about 350 men plus officers and is lead by Basileus Kramos. 250 of the men appear to be mercenaries from across the sea and have greyish-blue skin. The characters treated them to hospitality and hired themselves to the force as scouts, as Urad has very few specially trained men for the purpose. Amoung what was assumed to be the Basileus’ command cadre there were two of foreigners and a man obviously from the Afon. The mission was to secure a fortification along the old trade route in the next valley before the forces of Tysur and if they had already made it their then to take it from them to secure this approach to Urad.

The force set out the next day and ascended a pass at the north end of the valley. After 5 days slow travel through the mountain passes they emerged from the pass overlooking a lush valley of conifers with a river running through it and a castle situated on a small hill in the centre. The main force would wait until nightfall to descend the exposed switchback route to the valley floor while the scouts would go forward and find out if the enemey had a presence in the area. What they found over the next day of trudging through new-growth forest was the presence of logging, some sort of creatures using crude weapons attacked the force opposing them and that the castle was indeed occupied.

The two rangers decided to take a closer look after one spotted bodies being put into boats. The she-elf went east and ended up being swept downstream by the powerful current, and into an underground cave system where she remains for the moment. The elf went west, circling the hill and ran into a patrol that he miraculously managed to convince he was a hermit/hunter/refugee of some sort in the area.

Exp: 300
Next Game: Mon 18 April

Between a Rock and a Clawed Place

So after causing what has become a brutal civil war, the characters decided to run away. The halfling left, escorted to the south coast by the Red Lily agents intending to catch a boat home. The others joined a spice caravan heading to Trilec after arranging their payment from the Red Lilies for their services. Before leaving they witnessed the violent expulsion of Orthes by three prominent families. It appears he has the aid of a powerful mage.

Travel was slow and took about a month. Refugees packed the roads with Saddleborn dedicated to their protection. They then went to work on the old tower in the mountains, aided by 4 workers and their foreman. Construction took about a month and work began on repairing the homestead. They managed to attract the families of three of the men to the valley and bought many animals.

An excursion into the mountains above the tower was made with the help of the foreman who revealed his military background fighting a mountian lion. They found two cubs in the cave which they managed to befreind and adopt. The elf made an excursion to his new Afon clan, the Legassick, whwre he received a grand welcome and completed his entry by getting a tatoo of an eye on his chest and his ritual war-blade.

Rumours reveal that in this third month since the death of Jaric things have drastically changed. Feltroane has invaded the West, Otren the north, Orthes has been forced back to his Eastern bastion, and rumours spread of Prince Sarin accompanying Otren forces with a host of unknown soldiers.

Exp: 400
Loot: 2 mountain lion cubs, land, and the security of a base.
Next Game: sometime next week, probably mon, tues, or thurs.

The Stone that Broke the Camel's Back

Arriving at last in Praalt, the characters set out to seek an audience with King Jaric to deliver their letters. They proceeded through the two tiers of city walls and came to those surrounding the palace. Showing their seal they were let in and escorted to an antechamber before a heavy curtain. After waiting a couple of hours they heard footsteps and an argument approaching. A courtier and a man they recognized as Walfreid exited from behind the curtain and continued their words, not noticing the waiting elves and halfling. They overheard talk of plans not proceeding as expected followed by Walfreid storming off and the courtier finally noticing the group. He introduce himself as Lord Byley and lead them to the king’s throne room. King Jaric recieved them and seemed quite spritely for a man of his advanced years. They ended up being aquited of all charges and sent on their way, much to their surprise.

Not knowing what to do with themselves the elf went into the woods looking for a creature to befriend and found himself in front of an ominous cave. He decided to turn back. The she-elf found herself a library and lucked out in finding all the books on zoology, heroes, and architecture she wanted. She learned of the bestial race of jhecht that inhabit the Drenn and of Quatroads what live in the swamps of the Afon, along with some other creatures. On heroes – Mark, First Sword of Sircrugmawr, died in the last campaign against the Neff; Idair, a ranger in northern Otren, rallied the people against the terrors of the Drenn; 50 years ago Hereworth the Brave united the region now encompassed in the province of Balderrig.
Meanwhile the halfling decided to seek out the Red Lilies commander to speak of possible work on sites and the aquisition of knowledge. They talked and it was agreed that he should come back the next day. This time he brought his taller companions and came upon another argument, this time between Walfreid and his mage Asher. They were shown in and asked to perform a task to save the king and by association, the kingdom. They were to steal an amulet worn by the king, thought to be destroying the king’s mind and making it so he wouldn’t listen to matters of state, meaning his council was free to do as they pleased without fear of reprisals.

They were given six potions of invisibility and sent on their way. After some fuss they managed to steal the pendant and escape the palace seperately due to the halfling abandonning his companions after being spooked by the sight of guards under his escape route. The other two managed to escape after quafing their second potions and sneaking up the gate towers to the battlements. the she-elf was resourcful and found a rope to aid her descent, while the elf tried to climb down the wall unaided and ended up falling 30feet and snapping the neck of a person below. Seperately they all legged it to the inn and tried to be as incognito as possible. Meanwhile the alarms were banging away at the palace.

The next morning after they had eaten breakfast the halfling decided to try and find a pearl so he could identify the properties of the stone, but as soon as he stepped out the door a man went rushing past yelling “The King is dead!” repeatedly. He immediately abandonned his shopping trip and the she-elf did it instead. The halfling inquired at the bar the cause of death and heard that it had been from a fall from the balcony as the king was prone to sleep walking. This scared the small one as he remembered he had left the balcony door open in his escape from the palace. The next news said he had been stabbed. Turns out it was both.

The party then went to the Red Lilies and found a number of them tending to wounds. Walfreid, himself was also looking worse for wear. It turned out that the amulet was a rare stone that pacefies all those in a certain radius so they can not even think of hurting someone. After long exposure it can start to effect the mind of it’s bearer. The Red Lilies explained that their group had been ambushed befroe they had had a chance to get to the king and protect him after the amulet was removed. Civil war was now the expected outcome. The factions may include:

*Jaric’s son, Sarin, potentially backed by Otren;
*Jaric’s nephew, Orthes, with support from the eastern provinces;
*The northern barons;
*Otren in repsonse to the lack of control the king had over his northern barons, who continuously raided their towns;
*The western provinces seeking independance;
*The Feltroan Principalities who, for the first time in 20 years, have had a king on the throne for more than a year;
*Various courtiers;
*Red Lilies.

Exp: 300
Loot: Civil war, one major gift from the Red Lilies (Liam chose supplies and money for his tower, Mike probably wants safe passage out of here before the borders close, Evan still needs to decide)
Next Game: Monday 28th March

Bones and Blood

After leaving the Afon the party crossed the Dragon’s Rift bridge and got a look at their first unit of Saddleborn. They then travelled the gradually improving roads, past several citys with their crowds of peasant forced from the land. Rumours abound that the lords are fighting amongst themselves and men are bribing the kings officials for grants of land.
After a week and a half of travel they came across a band of Saddleborn preparing to charge at a group of emerging skeletons. The group offered their aid and the two parties charged and made quick work of the bones. In the ruins was a wrecked camp and remains of workers and their excavations. They descended into a hole in the ground and found themselves in an unlit corridor. A few zombies blocked their path forward intitally but soon a horde of the creatures backed up by more skeletons attacked from behind. While the knights and Elves fought a slow withdrawl, the Halfling ran towards a light further down the corridor. He jumped the barricade, narrowly being missed by the bolts that shot at him. There were four Red Lilies and two workers trapped in the room. A charred figure sat on a thone at the end of the room and was the apparent cause of the terrors besetting the rest of the party. The small one took it upon himself to sit on the throne and was engulfed by the remains still seated there, so that now he bears the marks of a sketelon on his skin. An intense light shone from his eyes and lanced down the corridor, striking a figure encassed in plate-mail and causing the armour to compact into a small ball and create an explosion so massive it destroyed the undead and knocked the knights and party on their asses.

Continuing on their journey the group decided to take a 4 day detour and visit the former capital of Tolmen and visit the mages living there. They discovered that there are six resident high mages in Tolmen who seem to inhabit a parlour room on the top floor of the old palace (keep). Things were learned about the Prophesy of Triam and the eight thrones. Two elder races were also mentioned: the Eloeshaix Pral and Lian-Ki. The Sword of Bard appears to be of the Eloeshaix Pral, and is a more powerful version of their blood drinking blades. They then set to testing the sword by locking the elf maiden in a padded cell and teleporting blood in for it to feed. Some interesting things were observed and felt. The elf maiden bought a large dog and a warhammer and the party left, coming within sight of their destination of Praalt a week later. The city still bears the signs of its fall over 30 years ago.

Exp: 600combat + 200rp
Loot: More seemingly useless knowledge
Next Game: Monday 14 March

Bandits, Blades, Bonkers.

So after close the two weeks spent in Urad the party finally was healed up enough and ready to set out. A they approached the gates the figure of Jago ran up, arms full of loot. A very one sided argument had him scrurrying to return most of his illgotten gains. At this point the party realised they didn’t need the two horses they had and so the she-elf went off the sell them. Once everyone was back (the elf arriving ‘before’ Jago) they set off along the worn road. Two days saw them at the rest stop of the Naughty Rogue and agreeing to help a man get his dead daughter’s pendant back from some bandits that had raided his wagon and killed his guards. They listened for rumours and heard that a large group of men, including 5-6 Red Lilies had passed through about a week before. The team managed to hire some hard looking men in the inn and set off the next morning to fight some bad guys. A few hours brought them to the ambush spot, where three body sized cairns of stones had been built along the side of the path and a wagon lay abandonned. They managed to track a large group of footprints up and over a hill. By this time the sun was beginning to set and they chose this moment to lauch a surprise attack against the fourteen men in and around the small camp. The fight was quick but brutal, with all bar one of the hired help falling unconscious and the she-elf severely crippled. For some reason the Orc was talking to his flail and kept waving his hands instead of charging at the enemy. Everyone else kept say he was a halfling. Wierd? They searched the camp and found the man’s ring and pendant then went back to the inn in the morning.
The next day they set out again, travelling through the mountains now. Occasionally they would catch glimpses of men watching or following them on the slopes but nothing came of them. After several days walking they came upon the ruined outpost that was now a buzz of activity as men were pulling down the old structures and beginning construction on new ones. The group skirted this activity and went North to the burned farmstead. Here they repaired a paddock and left the horse they had looted from the bandits there for possible future use. During the repairs the she-elf heard what sounded like laughter on the wind and noticed the Sword of Bard moving in its sheath. Spinning around she caught a glimpse of movement new the farmhouse and quickly nocked an arrow and yelled for whoever it was to come out from hiding. In return she heard words in an unknown language followed by more laughter that quickly faded. A little freaked out, the group continued into the cave where the Orc, apparently now owning a talking flail and full of previously unknown insight, noticed the pennant of Culhwch among the bones. The group continued on for two days through the tunnels and emerged in the Afon. Every village they came to was virtually empty and they discovered that everyone was gathering at the Thanegeld to celebrate the Trials of High Summer. A few days later they came upon a massive throng of people. Tents were spread across the entire valley floor between the mouth of the valley. The celebrations were about to get underway. The she-elf managed to enter into the Trials and fought bravely but was bested in the second round. The Elf looked around for rumours and found that Baron Cei had returned from several years absence and about some of the issues going before the council of chiefs this year. He then entered the foreigner archery competition and won second place (50gp, 20 masterwork arrows, and entry to a clan of his choice). The halfling/orc went searching for a riding dog and was directed to the southern tower guarding the valley. The tower was occupied by Dwarves who basically just swore at him and told him to piss off. Eventually they all found one another again and the she-elf finally relented in allowing the halfling/orc to see her magic items, but on the condition that they went and saw one of the healing women. The sword was revealed to be a nasty thing of great power and the medallion a thing of complexity. The coin/disc has yet to be identified. the healer woman revealed after watching the halfling/orc that she beleived he was subject to some sort of magic illusion. She went and gathered six of her sisters and performed a ritual, invoking Yuxohlmadre, Queen of Dreams. After several minutes of dancing and chanting a large grey hound appeared in spectral form above the sleeping body of the halfling/orc. This severely rattled the witches and they began to frantically empower the ritual and managed to dissipate the hound. The Orc was then revealed to be a halfling with a raven familiar, causing the she-elf to run off into the night seeking some hard drink to cure the madness. While asleep the halfing had seen images of an old man with a silver topped cane and an orc with a spear battling something; walking; the orc alone.

Loot: Knowledge and foreboding.
Exp: 400combat + 400rp
Next Game: Monday 7th March

Ye Olde Magic Shoppe

After engaging in a feast with the Red Lilies the elves went back to the inn and rested. The next day they left to go searching for information and more tailor made items. Wulfric is getting good buisiness: he has now made a masterwork chain shirt, bastard sword, shield, and hammer. Info was sought on True Elves (also known as Shorn, and referred to as dead primordials) meaning the race page will be updated. The she-elf ran across something peculiar when searching for sunrods and found a small hidden store down a side alley, run by an old man. Around this point the Orc woke up from his slumber to the kindly face of a nurse. He sent a message to the inn to tell the others where he was, which they got some time later. They also returned to the Ambassador and took on a mission to deliver his return missives to the king at Praalt for 250gp each. The trip will take about a month and a letter for free board along the journey was given. On the same day there was a large throng of people gathered to wish the Red Lilies well and see them off on their new quest, something of such improt as to draw the whole chapter away (28 + support staff). No one seemed to know their reason for departing but it was gleaned that Sircrugmawr is the destination.

After Bonecrusher’s recovery the group decided to try and hunt down the Butcherman by returning to the scene of the crime. While they stood discussing how to go about finding the man a host of passers by revealed themselves as thugs of a sort and set upon the characters. Quickly it became obvious that not all their attackers were there to kill them and were actually fighting those seeking their deaths. Bonecrusher decided it was time to use the Sword of Bard and after his first hit found the blade turn from a dusty blue to a violent red, and something in his muscles seemed to cry for him to unleash his fury. Shrugging the feeling he lay at another man and being curious let the feeling take control of his muscles and mind, and a red mist descended driving him to bloody rage. The sword seemed to be driving his attacks and cared not who it hit, only seeking to sate its hunger. The elves quickly went down under a hail of quick stabs from shortswords and daggers. Eventually the attacks all lay dead and Bonecrusher’s rage stopped, dropping him after being continuously fueled by the blood of his enemies (one of which was actually an ally). All three woke up on cots in a torch-lit room. When the guards came they explained that they had been set upon by thugs, though they didn’t know why. A group of the guard had been tailing their tailers for the last three days, under the assumption that the thugs were actually the character’s protection detail. During the talks it was revealed that the characters had killed a group of Sircrugan soldiers sent to bring James Hardwood in for questioning and had actually delivered the suspect letters, potentially treasonous activities. But not wanting to get bogged down by a lengthy trial under the local system and not having the resources to send them to the Sircrugmawr, they were recruited to deliver more letters to the king, bearing reports on the current situation. There was a lot of suspicion of the Red Lilies and their new activities, though even the secret police didn’t have much on their activities.

They were set free under the promise of cooperation and emerged from under the acropolis. Finially curious about the spear they’d taken they went to the metallurgist and had it revealed that the thing was made of elemental earth and so must have been crafted by a god. After this they returned to the little hidden shop, and discovered that it actually was hidden, with none of the passers by able to see it. In fact they only saw a house where the alley should have been. On this puzzling note the night ended.

Exp 400combat + 200rp
Next Game: Monday Feb 28th

Shopping in Urad

So after your fight with Bard you rested for 8 hours and looted the place, including the previously unavailable 3rd floor. Only after this did you remember about the 22 men behind the blocked entrance. After clearing the rubble you found the bodies of Oren, Aer, and three porters. The majority of the group quickly ran off to find the rest and after a few hours found them cornered by two carrion crawlers that were quickly crushed. 13 porters survived who you lead out of the back of the tower into a large cave full of corpses. There was another chest full of valuables here. Outside you found a ruined farmstead and took the wagon and two horses left. Two days later you came upon the exit from the tunnels that most use and the supply post that surrounded it, which was also ruined and burned by Bard. You met a squad of riders from Urad checking on the post after a month of no word. A few days later a man regailed you with a tale of a silver haired princess.

Arriving in Urad you set about selling your wool, skins, and ingots in the massive market. Most of the next few days was spent gathering info on certain objects of interest. Eventually the letters were delivered and rewarded in various ways. You learned a lot about the Red Lilies and the followers of the Disowned (Bonecrusher now being an initiate). The night ended with Bonecrusher almost dying trying to take out the Butcherman after the man had taken out two guards.

Loot: 1000gp, An amulet of protection vs nature, a tritonian large disc that makes sounds, 4 really old copper pieces, a barrel of fine ale, lots of info that doesn’t make sense.
Exp: 200combat + 200rp


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