View Full Version : Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword: A Norbayne Campaign Log

2012-11-05, 02:38 AM
Hello Playgrounders,

EDIT* This post has been here so long, I figure by now I should update it. This thread details a few campaign logs set in the world of Norbayne using a homebrew system. It has long been a labour of love for both me and a handful of dedicated collaborators. At the time of writing this passage, we have been playing for almost five years, with admittedly sporadic hiatuses in between. Can't be helped, we're all pretty busy as a rule.

Please feel free to browse through our logs. I apologise in advance for the style and quality of writing in the early sessions, it has improved markedly since then. I could really use a proofreader actually, so if anyone wants to offer, that would be great. :smallbiggrin:

This first post is a navigational page if you will, with links to all the interesting things to be found in the thread. Sadly, I think the links won't work on smartphones and the like, which is a bit irritating. I don't know if that's just my phone or not. I have had to shift the character backgrounds from this post to a post a little further down the page due to word limits on forum posts.

You will also find that while Three Coins is the main body of this thread, several other campaigns are documented here too. Duke Dev has run two sessions of Whispers in the Dark and I have run a few sessions with single players like Ladyhawk's Into the Depths of the Rayncrann Forest and Scotticus' Pirates of Lemaria. While they do not link as such with Three Coins, they are in the same world and have a very similar style, so if you like Three Coins, you'll probably like them too.

So please, enjoy! :smallsmile:

EDIT* Table of Contents:
Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
The Players and Characters of Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=14203117&postcount=6)

Arc 1: The Ruins Outside Summer Hill
Session 1.1: A Beginning (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=14172681&postcount=2): In which we enter the year 1647CE in Norbayne, and are introduced to both the free township of Summer Hill and our intrepid heroes, who head out into the wilderness, get mauled by bear-wolves and are frightened by a shambling monster of myth and legend...
Session 1.2: Into the Darkness (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=14585595&postcount=17): In which our heroes bravely venture underground, Harold duels an old rival and not all is at it appears regarding their initial quest...
Session 1.3: Exploration in the Black Pit (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=14607585&postcount=25): In which our heroes find themselves taking on the tendrils of a most powerful foe...

Arc 2: Against the Lord of Winter
Session 2.1: Drunken Lullabies (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=14928860&postcount=34): In which Tremor Ironfist is introduced to our party of intrepid adventurers and much alcohol is consumed...
Session 2.2: The Lady in Red (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=15108428&postcount=44): In which our heroes venture forth once more, Harold and Tremor must deal with massive hangovers and the group gains an ally...
Session 2.3: And Now For Something Completely Different (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=15192427&postcount=58): In which Tremor is badly injured, a door is killed and a house ransacked...
Session 2.4: The Infamous Fireball (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=15318574&postcount=66): In which our heroes fight fire, set each other on fire and Harold engages in diplomatic discourse with a Naillish noble...
Session 2.5: Walking Away (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=15736652&postcount=74): In which our heroes regroup to determine their next plan, Tremor takes on a powerful warlock by himself and a twilight meeting turns sour...
Session 2.5 (a): Harold's Midnight Ride (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=16204036&postcount=84): In which Harold heads out to find Dhara, engages in conversations with her and is shot at...
Session 2.6: The Coming Metaphorical Storm (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=16209203&postcount=85): In which our heroes return to the scene of one of their crimes, Breanna proves her worth and Maebh gets angry...
Session 2.7: End of the Line (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=16397781&postcount=92): In which warehouses are ransacked, Tremor gets a crowning moment of awesome and the cult is finally taken down...

Arc 3: The Wolves of Dreven
Session 3.1: Fire, Smoke and Dwarven Catapults (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=16842885&postcount=99): In which our heroes make a daring escape from Summer Hill and find themselves in Dreven, a small village in northern Naille...
Session 3.2: Sleepless Nights and Undead Wolves (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=17338048&postcount=107): In which our heroes find themselves under siege by a pack of ravenous beasts...
Session 3.3: The Lair of the Wolf King (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=17670467&postcount=120): In which our heroes head to the Blackfort to take on the Wolf King on his own ground...
Session 3.4: The Danann Pack (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=18107797&postcount=135): In which our heroes are joined by Therressa Bannimagen, leave the Blackfort and return triumphantly to Dreven, but must contend with a new threat...

Interlude 3.5: New Beginnings (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=18625049&postcount=145): In which our heroes leave the relative safety of Dreven, farewelling the continent of Norbayne, to embark on a voyage north, to rescue a fair dwarven damsel...

Arc 4: Finding the Resistance
Session 4.1: Over The Cold Northern Sea (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=18927386&postcount=147): In which our heroes leave Norbayne behind and travel to the northern continent of Unterguardt in order to save Tremor's sister from her arranged marriage...
Session 4.2: Dark Places and Reality Hopping (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19149498&postcount=158): In which our heroes hunt down the murderer preying upon the women of Urik's Landing, turn their attentions towards chasing a mysterious predator and fight a vicious turnip...
Session 4.3: Ambushes and Treachery: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19467408&postcount=161) In which our heroes venture north by river, then journey through the mountains, fight yet another undead king and meet the Mountain Finches...
Session 4.4 (a): When the Bat-**** Insanity Hits the Fan: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19631657&postcount=165) In which Aeva of the Aett'kviss Nordur-Vatn is introduced to the party, Tremor puts forward his claim to the throne of Nordtarnet and The Crag is taken thanks to copious amounts of guano...
Session 4.4 (b): Flying Shadows and a Night of Knives: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19697935&postcount=169) In which Aeva and Breanna give a tag-team performance worthy of the ages, Maebh lights up a forest and Valewatch is taken by the Resistance...
Session 4.5: Of Bastardry: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=20360788&postcount=175) In which assassins attack Tremor, some dangerous truths are revealed and the companions position grows more and more tenuous...

Interlude 4.6: Onwards to Varr: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=20418423&postcount=177) In which our heroes bravely run away from Last Redoubt, we say farewell to both the continent of Unterguardt and Tremor Ironfist, and Harold Oakenshield is called home...

Arc 5: The Greyflood Prophecy Revealed
Session 5.1 (a): A Matter of Prophecy: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=20860882&postcount=178) In which our heroes reach Isenhjem, witness an assassination and prepare to undertake a journey to Stillhet, or Serenity, an abandoned asylum on the northern-most coast of Varr...
Session 5.1 (b): Shades of the Past: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=21095847&postcount=180) In which our heroes find that Serenity has a very dark past and the present is not all that rosy either...
Session 5.2: Of Haunted Mansions and Poor Decisions: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=21298115&postcount=182) In which our heroes are beset by a great number of foes, peril is faced and Harold finally faces off against Ovar Windchaser...
Session 5.3 (a): You Were Right, Werencha Baby?: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=21403707&postcount=185) In which our heroes delve into the depths of a lost and sunken temple to retrieve the Gilded Sword and we are introduced to Xander Wrothgar...
Session 5.3 (b): Our Goal Has Been Reached: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=21407219&postcount=187) In which our heroes conclude their travails through the waterlogged temple of Werencha, face yet more horrific foes and finally reach their goal...
Session 5.4: The Vaults of Ravnsalm: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=21490315&postcount=190) In which our heroes head back to Ravnsalm to discuss matters with Helga Oakenshield, pick up some nice new gear and put an end to some bandit activity...

Arc 6: Wanderers of Many Lands
Session 6.1: How to Disappoint a Farmhouse and Alienate People: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=21566655&postcount=193) In which our heroes embark on the search for Aeva's family, leaving Varr to return to southern Unterguardt, discover evidence of yet another cult and almost kill Xander, but its okay, because he asked them to...
Session 6.2: There and Back Again: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=21640438&postcount=195) In which our heroes discover a horrible presence in the Southreach keep, the endgame is revealed, we get a happy ending and farewell one of the companions...
Session 6.3: Three Coins, No Birds and Two Gilded Swords: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=22071524&postcount=197) In which our heroes finally return to Summer Hill, almost three years since they left, are surprised by what they find there and must contend against the new lord of the town. Also, Xander tanks everything again...

Arc 7: The Final Battle
Session 7.1: Ambush on the Road: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=23455752&postcount=201) In which the shadows of the past strike once more, Maebh and Breanna come face to face with the consequences of decisions made and Harold pulls off one of the most metal stunts ever...
Session 7.2: Harvest Moon Rising: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=24056996&postcount=211) In which our heroes meet the young king of Naille, infiltrate Elspeth City itself and witness the rise of the Harvest Moon...
Session 7.3: Endgame: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=24252080&postcount=213) In which the Devourer is faced and our journey finally comes to an end. Of sorts...
Session 7.4: We Bid You All a Very Fond Farewell: (https://forums.giantitp.com/showsinglepost.php?p=24395782&postcount=215) In which we finally farewell all of the companions and learn what happens to them and their world after the events in western Elspeth in the year 1650CE...

Additional Content:
The Great Maw (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?512461-The-Great-Maw-A-Norbayne-Campaign-Log)
This is a link to our episodic campaign set in the same world as Three Coins, which has just finished Season 1. There are 8 episodes posted as of the time of writing, but I am approximately 5 sessions behind on the write-ups. Please, enjoy.

Travellers in the Snow
Session 1.1: Caves and Conundrums (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=17367014&postcount=113): In which Therressa Bannimagen is introduced in the northern village of Snowshard, a mountain is scaled and a degenerate tribe of cave-dwellers are found and fought...

Pirates of Lemaria
Session 1.1: The Sparrow on the Ocean (http://s4.zetaboards.com/Battlehammer/topic/10124466/1/#new): In which Martialis Ironlaw is introduced onboard the Sparrow, a merchant vessel heading home through the Lemarian archipelago. A storm is weathered, pirates are fought and an untamed land is reached...
Session 1.2: Who Rescues the Rescue Party? (http://s4.zetaboards.com/Battlehammer/single/?p=8224504&t=10124466): In which Martialis Ironlaw must brave the temple city of the polud-malpa to rescue his missing crew members...
Session 1.3: The Sparrow Gets Her Wings Back (http://s4.zetaboards.com/Battlehammer/single/?p=8261120&t=10124466): In which Martialis Ironlaw arrives in the town of Bina and must contend with both his own crewmates and the town guard...

Into The Depths of The Rayncrann Forest
Into The Depths of The Rayncrann Forest: Introduction (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19669196&postcount=168)
Session 1.1: A Doe Comes to Rosehollow (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19706732&postcount=171): In which we are introduced to Lily Roisin and Pixy, and we discover a great threat to the woods around Rosehollow...

Artwork and Character Sheets:
A group photograph, fanart of Maebh and Therressa and the official Order of the Murder-Hobo artwork. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=17320796&postcount=106)
Maps, fanart of Harold and the original Order of the Murder-Hobo artwork. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=17715786&postcount=126)
The character sheets of each of the members of the Order of the Murder-Hobo as of Session 4.4. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19476900&postcount=163)
Official Norbayne landscape paintings. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=18713848&postcount=146)
Fanart of Harold and Kel'Serrar. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=18994334&postcount=149)

The System and the World

A basic overview for those who are interested. Norbayne itself is a continent roughly the size of Australia which rests more or less in the centre of the "known world." It is heavily forested, most of it reminiscent of the common perception of medieval Europe.

Here is a link to where Norbayne has chiefly been created. (http://s4.zetaboards.com/Battlehammer/forum/3847483/)

There you will find basic descriptions of the denizens of Norbayne and the surrounding lands, a brief history and more which is constantly being added to.

The system itself is based around the use of the D10 and by extension, the D100. The aforementioned link has details on stat-lines and other crunch-y aspects.

I should probably mention that the whole thing is still a work in progress and that contributions are eagerly accepted, so please keep that in mind while reading. :smallwink:

So there is the prelude. Now for the session itself. Back soon my friends.

2012-11-05, 04:26 AM
Session 1.1: A Beginning

Let us begin.

Summer Hill is a bustling little community, the little wooden houses and stout palisade perched atop the hill which gives the town its name. The majority of the people are Midlanders which fits the location, deep within the Norbayne forests.

Summer Hill is built pretty similarly to Edoras from Lord of the Rings. The architecture is similar, just without all the horse motifs.

Summer Hill is in an interesting location, sitting astride the borders of Elspeth and Naille, independent of both, or at least for now. The Queen of Elspeth has long wanted to claim Summer Hill and its illustrious Weaver’s Guild for her own, but ever the King of Naille has refused her, not allowing the little town to lose its independence. However, the Naillish King died, just a fortnight past and Elspeth is looking to expand once more while their neighbour is weak and divided.

On a smaller scale however, not all is well in Summer Hill. A complex of ruins was found by a group of children just over a week ago, an underground labyrinth from the times before the ancient Bovus Empire. They brought back tales of unearthly shrieks and moans from deep underground and shadows which darted just on the edge of vision. Some men from the outlying hamlets gathered to explore the ruins to ensure that they were safe, but have not been seen since.

Summer Hill is in need of heroes.

Luckily, would-be heroes are to be found, or at least those who would attempt to be heroes through the promise of gold.
So it is that Harold Oakenshield, Maebh Raven-Wing, Breanna Blackrose and Kel’Serrar of the Danann find themselves fighting side by side for the fate of Summer Hill and the future of those who call it home.

I was constantly interrupted during this intro by various players, Dev most of all who seemed eager to show off.
"What would you do without me?" - Dev, questioning the vaguely annoyed GM.
"Well I probably would have finished this intro ages ago." - the cutting response.

The various characters have all come to Summer Hill to spend a little bit of time. Most of them are actually on their separate ways to other places, with the exception of Breanna who is simply looking for a place to hide. Harold is just resting cause he’s an inveterate wanderer, Maebh is running from her past and Kel’Serrar is hiding for now, but he does wish to move on.

One by one, the characters are approached by the merchant, Petyr Rangard, a short, slight, well-dressed man with a trimmed, pointed beard and short, dark hair. He’s wearing burgundy robes with gold embroidery and a long knife on his belt. The characters know he is a powerful merchant in both Summer Hill and the surrounding kingdoms. Rangard proposes a meeting behind the Inn of the White Stallion at midnight, promising an interesting conversation and a proposal which would be well worth the characters’ while.

“Sounds interesting. I’ll be there, simply because I like money." - Harold Oakenshield, Invarrian wanderer and old-dog.
“I’d just laugh. *laughter*" - Breanna Blackrose, Leathe assassin. We just assumed that laughter equated to yes.
"If you’re up for it, I’ll show up but you’re buying.” - Kel'Serrar, Danann archer, ever ready to swindle potential employers out of money.
“I’ll be there.” - Maebh Raven-Wing, Danann mage.

This was just my way of giving the players a bit of a smooth transition from GM monologue into actually directing the game as players. I'll admit, I was hoping for a bit more in-character interaction with Rangard, but this wasn't too bad.

They agree seperately to meet him and therefore arrive at midnight, meeting each other for the first time.
Rangard is standing in the middle of a darkened courtyard, leaning against an old fountain and waiting for everyone to arrive.
“Harold has arrived." Cue Jack Sparrow jokes.
“I’m guessing we’re waiting for someone else?” - Harold asks of the merchant.
"Yes, we shall wait for everyone to arrive and then all will be revealed." - Rangard, quietly whilst scanning the shadows for signs of movement.

Eventually the four potential adventurers show up and Rangard begins.

“I have summoned you here to help me protect the interests of Summer Hill. As you know, I am the most successful merchant in these lands and am well in pocket. Therefore, I assure you, you will be compensated fairly for your time and efforts.

I do not know if you have heard of the recent developments just over a day’s travel to the north? A group of children found an underground complex of some description, ruined and, supposedly abandoned. A group of men from Summer Hill itself set out to explore the ruins for themselves. They have not returned and have been missing for over a week.

I wish to enlist a group to find out what happened to those men. I ensure you that you will be paid. Handsomely.” - Rangard, with a smile, jingling a coin purse temptingly in his right hand. His left, you notice, does not stray far from the hilt of his knife.

“Never trust a guy in robes, they look silly.” - Breanna, muttering to herself.

Meanwhile, Kel'Serrar considers the opportunity.
"We’ve got an old man to use as bait and food to have on the way.” - Kel'Serrar, starting the "baiting" of Harold and describing the Leathe assassin as food.
"AWWW!" - Breanna, unhappy at the thought of being eaten.
“I’d agree with you there.” - Maebh, happy at the thought of eating the Leathe.
“AWWWWW!” - Breanna doubly unhappy at the thought of being eaten.

Some OOC discussion about respective speeds as the group tries to figure out if Breanna could escape from the two lanky Danann if they get peckish.

“So, provided you agree to my little business venture, who shall be the leader of this company?” – Rangard
"The old guy." - Breanna pointing at Harold.
"Why not?" - Harold, smiling because he got precisely what he wanted.

Rangard hands over forty sulvers to be split amongst the party, along with an envelope, sealed with the crest of a coiled serpent.
“This letter is to be given to anyone you find from the group which Summer Hill sent out. Consider it proof that you are on the same side.

Now I suggest that you leave some time tomorrow. I do not know if there are any who might be interested in your comings and goings, but you might keep that in mind. Now goodbye, and remember, I’ll pay you well. Very well indeed.” – Petyr Rangard, leaving the party with an almost mocking bow.

It is almost midnight and the group decides to split up and enjoy their last night in the township. Harold goes to find rum despite the time. Breanna hangs around in the courtyard, trying to avoid the Danann. Kel'Serrar climbs a tree in the courtyard to sleep in it as he is on the run and does not wish for anyone to know his location. Maebh finds a tavern room and locks EVERYTHING as she is extremely paranoid.
Harold enters the inn, buys a pint of rum and drinks it. He is barely effected.
Breanna meanwhile waits for the Danann to go away, then climbs a tree herself and goes to sleep.
Harold has another pint of rum and then curls up in a chair at the tavern’s hearth.

"You’re covered in alcohol, the worst that could happen is when you’re set on fire." - Sins

They all wake up in the morning in separate places. Breanna and Kel’Serrar wake in their respective trees. Kel'Serrar leaves to go and avail himself of some arrows.
As I said at the time, this is probably the first time I have ever had to state that in a game I have run. There's a first time for everything.
Harold wishes to buy himself a bottle of rum and does so. After this, he arrives in the courtyard hoping that the others will get the idea that it is to be considered a rendezvous, seeing as no one thought to organise a meeting place the previous night. He sees Breanna who is already there. Maebh is also there hiding in the corner of the courtyard, avoiding attention. Kel’Serrar finally arrives after purchasing said arrows. Harold then takes charge.
“Shall we... um.. go.. to.... the ruin things? Maybe? - Harold, being wonderfully commanding

The group as a whole set out from Summer Hill at mid-morning, hoping that their departure might be sort of surreptitious.

Travel on the road is more or less uneventful for several hours, the group striding north in a more or less companionable silence. The Danann pass their respective Survival Checks and see the tracks of deer and woodwolves along the road.
Kel’Serrar also passes a Perception Check after about three hours travel and notices a path off the side of the road, one which appears to have recently been smashed through the undergrowth.

The whole party follows Harold with weapons ready, arguing about the order. Eventually it is Harold in the front with Breanna flanking him and Kel’Serrar and Maebh following at a safe distance. The path turns up an overturned carriage and two horse corpses which have been ripped apart, likely by a marcwolf.

Harold inspects the carriage and finds a small girl, dead and rotting, clad in finery. Her features however are unrecognisable due to the elements and scavengers. The Danann joke that there appears to be breakfast.
Kel’Serrar passes a Heal Check and can see that her legs were shattered.
Maebh passes her Survival Check and sees marcwolf tracks heading into the forest. The party decides to follow it. Breanna passes an untrained Survival Check to follow the tracks.

Breanna and Harold pass their follow-up Survival Checks to follow the tracks through the green woodland.
The party find eventually themselves at a natural cave made out of a hollowed out rock formation. There is a marcwolf sleeping outside.
“Oh it’s pretty!” Maebh, on the marcwolf (http://retrieverman.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/amphicyon.jpg).
It is suggested that Harold should try talking to it.
Harold might be the leader of the party, but the rest of them all seem to refer to him as "Bait."
“I can’t talk to it. And if you call me Bait one more time I will stab you.” - Harold, getting peeved, and not for the first nor last time that night.

Breanna meanwhile is off in her own little world.
“Hush little bear-wolf, don’t say a word...” - Breanna in sing-song.
She’s a nut.

Harold decides to attack it with Breanna's support. Unbeknownst to him, she decides to leave him to his fate. As they were taking so long to come to a decision, the decision was eventually made for them. The marcwolf wakes up. And sees all of them. And let’s out a low growl. And another one comes out of the cave.

Now joined by its mate, the marcwolf charges at the foremost figure of the company, Harold Oakenshield. The male attacks him as Kel'Serrar looses an arrow at the female. Still drowsy, she registers the hit and the pain it causes. This only serves to make her angry, instinctively knowing that the Danann ranger was responsible. However, to get at the ranger, she must first go through Breanna. It attacks her and hits with a single claw attack. Breanna fails her Dodge Check and takes a raking blow from the claws across her right thigh.
“Aww, that’s my favourite leg.” - Breanna, still able to make witty quips with blood spurting periodically out of her leg.
Seeing the danger, Maebh succeeds in casting Flare. The magical fire blasts a chunk out of the female and sets the beast on fire. Breanna hobbles away in the confusion, attempting to hide behind Kel'Serrar, despite her previous fear that he would eat her. She justifies it by pointing out that he's got problems to deal with and that being eaten yourself tends to make one less hungry.

After getting away completely unscathed by the male's furious assault, Harold attempts to strike back with sword and axe.
"It's a D100." - Me
"Uh.... That's my ten." - Dev.
"That's a 99.... It doesn't matter which is your ten, that's a horrible strike." - Me
“You gave it your best shot.” - Ladyhawk
“Yeah.” - Dev
“Too bad it was a horrible one.” - Ladyhawk
At this point we had an intermission for food.

I know not the word limit for posts so I shall cut the session here. In the words of King Theoden Ednew, more will come in the very next post. :smallbiggrin: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14172738&postcount=3).

2012-11-05, 04:54 AM
Upon the return to the game, we jump straight back into the fray. The male misses completely when attacking Harold. There is much laughter as everyone at the table attempts to re-enact it.

Kel’Serrar is attacked by the flaming female and Breanna hides behind Maebh this time, seeing that her erstwhile shield is about to be mauled.

Kel’Serrar hits the female, shooting her in the chest and hurting her badly. The female ignores the flames burning her and proceeds to smash a paw into Kel’Serrar’s head, stunning him. The stun quickly became unconsciousness.

Maebh succeeds in casting Flare again and blasts another chunk out of the female.
“There won’t be any chunks left!” - Breanna, in one of the most underrated one-liners of the night.
Breanna continues hiding behind Maebh.
Harold hits the male with his cutlass and removes its left foreleg with much blood and furious hacking. Harold proceeds to kill the male by removing both its forelegs and letting it bleed out on the ground. The female is badly hurt and, seeing her mate fall, begins howling and trying to maul Kel’Serrar. In her rage, she manages to miss every time. Maebh kills her with another Flare.

Breanna’s bleeding to death from her leg and Kel’Serrar is stunned to hell and back. Maebh and Harold are untouched. To top it all off, Kel’Serrar was the only one who took Heal. So I gave them a level as the fight was fairly tough and I would like to make them vaguely competent before they reach the ruins.

Inside the cave the marcwolves were using, the party hears squeaking and mewling. A small investigation reveals two small marcwolf cub-pups.
"Dibs!" - Harold
Harold and Breanna grab the little cub-pups. It is three in the afternoon, and two of the group are injured. One is bleeding profusely and the other is not really moving.
"Can I give it a shot?" - Harold, on bandaging Breanna
Harold fails. Maebh fails too. The first hour passes with the two of them failing horribly at bandaging, while Kel'Serrar writhes in unconscious, marcwolf-induced sleep.
Breanna gets to the point where she feels she needs to bandage her own leg. She succeeds. Kel'Serrar wakes up not long after.
They decide to stay in the cave, despite the smell. Kel'Serrar volunteers to take first watch in the face of Harold's... inefficient leadership. Harold puts Breanna on the first three hour shift because she insults him.
Maebh suggests eating the marcwolf corpses. Breanna decides to hobble outside and cut down some wood with a carving knife.
Lots of worry about Harold being a potential cannibal. Maebh just eats the marcwolf flesh, butchering the two adults.
"It's not that close to a dog. It's more like a bear." - Me, having planned on introducing a quandry about the morality of canibalism, yet not expecting it from this particular angle.
"Oh... ok." - Harold, deciding that even that is a bit closer than he would like.

A fire is lit and night falls swiftly, blanketing the lanscape in a shadowy cloak. During his watch, Kel'Serrar notices movement in the trees, what seems to be humanoid figures in the darkness. He awakens Breanna with a sharp whack to the head. Swiftly, he awakens the other two, except Maebh doesn't get a whack. They swiftly devise a plan to minimise the danger, with Kel'Serrar heading into the woods next to the cave. Breanna is to stay with Maebh in the cave. After deciding this, Harold draws his sabre, dulls the blade with ash and dirt and walks out of the cave confidently.

"Who's there!?" - Harold, striding towards the interlopers
"Oh you..." - Maebh, exasperated.
Harold is answered swiftly by two arrows flying towards him from out of the darkness, each of them whistling on either side of him. In return, Maebh throws off a Flare, hitting one of the swordsmen and setting him aflame. Breanna hobbles stealthily out of the cave to go support Harold, but she falls over and has to resort to crawling. Kel'Serrar shoots at one of the archers, hitting him in the throat. Harold then taunts one of the remaining two swordsmen charging at him.
"You pansy-ass bitch, come fight me!" - Harold, directing his insult at the swordsman leading the charge
The brigand roars in rage and attempts to slam into Harold, but the old duellist skillfully evades his blows. The other swordsman makes for Maebh, having not seen the ranger or the assassin yet, both of whom are cloaked in the night's darkness.
The man on fire tries to put himself out but is unable to do so.
The archer who lives tries to shoot Maebh, the mage's fires startling him into rushing his shot. He misses in his haste.

Maebh fires off another Flare, setting her new target on fire. The swordsman running towards her is now on fire, running past Breanna who still hasn't been noticed. Rising from the ground, she fails her optimised Sneak Attack.
Kel'Serrar shoots at the other archer in the treeline, but misses, losing his arrow.
Despite his best efforts, Harold misses in combat, and regretfully looks back on not taking Talents which would help to kill stuff.

The taunted swordsman attempts to hit Harold and is parried easily by the old dog-man. The flaming swordsman attempts to hit Breanna, but fails in the darkness. The archer again fails to hit Maebh.

Maebh throws off another Flare at the archer and finally does some decent damage, setting the brigand on fire and blowing a fist sized chunk out of his torso.
Breanna considers hobbling away or trying to hit the man attacking her.
"This is what happens when we don't have a tank." - Sins, reminiscing on how the party handles their encounters.
Breanna finally attempts to hurt the guy, but in somewhat of a recurring theme, fails to hit him.
Kel'Serrar hits the swordsman attacking Breanna, killing him with an arrow to the back of the neck.
"We are owning!" - Ladyhawk, on the party's abilities
Harold makes a called strike to the brigand's neck, missing. The swordsman strikes back, fails, and now is very worried, trying to back off seeing as all of his friends have just died over the course of the last minute or so.

"Harold, can you move?" - Maebh
"No, I want to kill him myself!" - Harold
".... You're an arse!" - Maebh
Breanna hobbles back into the cave after deciding that Harold will probably handle the guy by himself, and that she has better things to do than risk her life for the Invarrian. Kel'Serrar fires into the melee, missing both combatants, much to Harold's relief. Just as Harold begins his strike, the brigand falls to his knees, throwing his sword to the ground. Harold's cutlass passes just over the man's head, missing by a hair's breadth.
"I yield, I yield!" - Brigand, fearful for his life
"Off with his head!" - Breanna, bloodthirsty
"Is he human?" - Maebh, always with an agenda
"Yes." - Me, wondering where this is going
"Can I keep it?" - Maebh
"Do you have any rope?" - Harold, channelling Eddie Izzard
"You all neglected to buy rope..." - Me, delighting in reminding them of their foolishness
"I'll knock it over the head. I want it." - Maebh, delighting in reminding us that Danann are not your normal elves.
"Off with his head I say!" - Breanna, still bloodthirsty
"Big thing here, my choice." - Harold, attempting to impose his authority
"No it's not your choice!" - Breanna, enjoying this far too much

I decide that I must point something out.
"Yes it might be your choice, but the fact is, if Breanna decides she wants to kill him... Well, you might say, "We're keeping him as a prisoner," and then you turn your back and she goes, "HAHA STABBY STABBY!"
There is laughter before the game resumes.

Maebh wonders about the food situation.
"That's ok, there's a bunch of guys we've killed. Breakfast!" - Kel'Serrar, unrepentently cheerful

With his cutlass, Harold walks up to the man.
"By the rights of combat, you are my prisoner." - Harold, before punching the kneeling man in the face with the hilt of the sword, ripping open his cheek on his teeth, knocking out a handful, probably breaking his nose, but not knocking him out.
"Well that's incapacitated him at least." - Harold, surveying his handiwork
"Yeah, he's on his hands and knees, really regretting yielding at the moment." - Me
Harold beats the prisoner around the head with the flat of his sword, causing internal bleeding in his ear, giving him a splitting headache, but still not knocking him out.
"Before you bash it any further, can I have it?" - Maebh
"Yeah... Why not?" - Harold
"And when she gets bored with him, cut off his head and give it to our puppies?" - Breanna
"NO!" - Harold

The intrepid group has just been attacke by a small group of bandits. They managed to see the brigands off with little to no difficulty, killing them all in a matter of minutes, save for one man whom Harold has taken prisoner. Now, sadly eprived of rope, they debate what to do with him.

"Does anyone have Intimidate?" - Me, trying to give them an out.
"No." - Everyone.
"I was going to, but then I didn't, because who would be scared of a possum?" - LD, elaborating on her choice.
"No I took Charm instead." - Dev
"Oh you're really showing that now." - Sins, cracking us all up.

"Oh, I'm gonna use Charm."
"How are you going to do that?"
"I'm gonna punch him in the face. LIKE ME OR ELSE!"

They decide that Maebh can have him as a sacrifice. Kel'Serrar attempts to patch him up so that Maebh can go through with it. After all, sacrifices have to be in good shape, otherwise they're not worthy. But he fails. Hence jokes about bandages made of poison sumac. The whole group decides to give it a shot, but they all fail eventually.

"Let me just get this straight. I'm going to try and bandage his ears and mouth, Breanna's put one across his head, Maebh's cauterised the wounds by setting him on fire and Harold.... Well Harold probably punched him again." - Sins, analysing the situation.
*whack* "HEAL! *whack* - Ladyhawk, demonstrating Harold's effective healing techniques.

They eventually decide that it's not worth trying to bandage him anymore. As they have no rope, Maebh watches over him while Harold watches the outside, despite Maebh being able to see in the dark. Because Harold's too stubborn to admit a potential mistake. Breanna and Kel'Serrar, being the two who have been on watch already this night, go to sleep.

The brigand manages to talk through the bandages stuffed in his mouth.
"Do you want to know why we were here?" - Brigand, muffled by bandages, trying to barter for his life.
Maebh nods.
"We were hired to waylay travellers on their way to Summer Hill." - Brigand, still worried about the length of his life.

Conveniently for the party, he was the leader of the band. This was something which was pure coincidence. The man Harold Taunted was the leader the whole time, as denoted by the fact that he was leading the charge. So this isn't a case of GM fiat.

"What aren't you telling me?" - Maebh, questioning as her curiosity is roused.

He's very scared of the mage, who succeeds in the Intimidation check, despite her not having the skill. Being able to hurl balls of fire at people tends to have that effect. He tells her they were contracted by the Queen of Elspeth, and hands her a note which was secreted upon his person.

"What are you two talking about back there?" - Harold, forgoing his sentry duties to discover why Maebh is fraternising with the enemy.
Maebh hands him the note.

A group has set out from Summer Hill. They intend to visit the ruins.
See to it they don’t get there.
The Shadow,

"Good work. We'll sort this out in the morning."- Harold after reading the note.

"Who is the Shadow?" - Maebh, whispering as Harold returns to the mouth of the cave.
"I cannot say.... the camp is a day's travel to the east." - Brigand, desperately trying to seem helpful.

Wanting to avoid as much trouble during the night as she can, Maebh tries to Intimidate him into attempting to go to sleep. She passes with flying colours and the brigand rolls up and immediately attempts to do as she told him.

Harold and Maebh fall asleep during the early morning. Kel'Serrar and Breanna wake at about seven in the morning to find Maebh, Harold and the brigand asleep. Kel'Serrar kicks "Bait" while Breanna refuses to awaken Maebh on account of potentially being eaten by an angry mage.

"What are you going to do with me?" - Brigand, awoken by the sounds of movement in the cave.
"Lop off his head!" - Breanna, whose bloodlust has not dulled over night.
"We haven't had breakfast yet." - Kel'Serrar, always has his mind on the most important topics.
"You got to remember you've got your little marcwolf pups." - Me, attempting to let them know that the marcwolves will need to be fed.
"No! He's mine! I'm going to feed my marcwolf." - Harold, mistaking me and thinking that I was suggesting the party eat the cub-pups.
"You've got people so you can give him a taste for human flesh, or... his parents." - Me, letting Dev know his options.

Don't you love moral dilemmas like this?

"I'm not going to give him a taste for human flesh, just yet." - Harold, not letting practicality get in the way of squickiness.
"So you're going to... feed him his parents?" - Maebh, pointing out the alternative.
"You could voluntarily cut off a bit of your calf." - Breanna, always helpful
"Or we could kill a possum..." - Maebh, dark and foreboding....
"Nooo! What is WRONG with you!? Why do you all hate me?" - Breanna, realising her mouth will get her in trouble one day.

Alternatively, someone could go hunting...

Of course, the two who are capable of hunting really couldn't care less until Harold strikes a deal with Maebh, giving her three sulvers in exchange for her efforts.

All of Maebh's misadventures will be documented here for continuity.
She succeeds in finding possum tracks despite the difficulty.
"That's me, the guilty party!" - LD
She finds what appears to be possum type creatures living in colonies in the trees.
"I breed quickly." - LD
She may have possibly gone just a little too far there....
My sister is 12.
Maebh hurls her spear at one of them, missing it, startling it and losing her spear, which she eventually finds in the undergrowth.
The unsuccessful comes across deer tracks after some searching, once again passing her Survival Check. She also misses the deer when she throws her spear, startling it and causing to run in panic.
"I'm just going to throw fire at the next one." - Maebh, exasperated.
She decides to follow the deer she startled, attempting to catch up with it.

Harold goes to the bandit and tries to "Charm" him into telling them more. Harold decides to try and Intimidate instead, but the bandit doesn't know any more.
Kel'Serrar doesn't do anything other than chuckling to himself in the corner of the cave, laughing at Harold's continued attempts to intimidate the prisoner.
"Would you like to try and bandage him up some more?" - Harold to Kel'Serrar.
"Do you want me to stuff more bandages in his face?" - Kel'Serrar, efficiently describing the healing process.
Harold and Kel'Serrar decide to try and "heal" him together. Harold effectively stands over the ranger's shoulder, sprouting helpful phrases like, "I think you should connect that bandage with that one over there."

"What are we using for bandages?" - Sins, in an attack of logic.
"Basically, this is you guys tearing your clothes apart." - Me, thinking quickly.
"Now we have no clothes. No wait, I have clothes. You guys don't." - Ladyhawk.
More jokes about bandages made of poison sumac.

Breanna - "I'm going to go gather fruit and... pickpocket some possums."
"As if we couldn't sink any lower." - Sins, amidst laughter.
Breanna's still off looking for berries. She eventually succeeds, now deciding that "pickpocketing trees" is far more effective.

Amazingly, Harold and Kel'Serrar finally manage to fix up the brigand's bandages. And what's left of his face. Just in time for Breanna's triumphant return with various pilfered fruits of the forest.

"I think I'm going to go have breakfast. I think there's still some marcwolf left." - Kel'Serrar, leaving his handiwork and seeing to his own sustenance.
There is plenty of marcwolf left. Alternatively there are people.

Maebh meanwhile is still chasing the deer. She is keeping up with it, but it's proving difficult to catch.

Harold considers sending Kel'Serrar out to look for the mage, but reconsiders after being reminded that she's only been an out for about an hour.
"Right then, Kezaar, or whatever your name is..." - Harold to the Danann ranger.
"Kel'Serrar." - Ladyhawk, ever helpful. She had everyone's names written phonetically at the bottom of her sheet. Kel'Serrar for instance as Kell-Sore-Arrrr. Works well enough.
"Right, you. Do you want to scout ahead and look for this bloody route?" - Harold, wanting to get on with the mission.
"Eh... Not really." - Kel'Serrar (Kezaar), happy enough to sit around eating marcwolf.
".... Right." - Harold, realising that being the leader is tough when the rest of the group has no respect for authority.
"Let's head back to the road then. You're stronger so you can carry our friend." - Kel'Serrar, making a compromise.
"And I come back to an empty cave." - Ladyhawk, pointing out the obvious flaw.

Maebh loses her quarry in the end, but soon finds an extensive rabbit warren. She immediately decides to send a Flare down into the warren, blowing apart several rabbits. The smell of cooked lagomorph wafts up from the hole in the ground, and a handful of other holes too. She skewers three of the rabbits on her spear, slinging them upon her belt.
At this point Maebh heads back to the cave, tossing the rabbits over to Harold when she arrives, who gives the cub-pups a rabbit each and the mage an extra handful of coppers.

"Hey, can I set fires with Create Elements?" - Ladyhawk, discovering the utility of her abilities.
Turns out that yes, that is what it is mainly for.
"Then why did I not do that last night?" - Ladyhawk
"Mainly because you didn't care."

This is a bit dark here, and I am fully aware that there are children and those with uncomfortable constitutions on these forums. It has been spoilered for safety.
Maebh decides to sacrifice the prisoner and after a little prodding, gives us a small taste of potential brutality to come.
"Fine, I string him up in a tree. I then start to... flay his skin. Taking it off, piling it up. Then after taking all his skin off, I just let his blood run. So I'll sever his arteries and let him bleed to death." - Ladyhawk's vivid description of how the brigand dies, reminding us once again that the Danann are not your normal elves...

All the while the party can hear the screams of pain. Eventually they stop but by this stage everyone but Maebh has left, neither Harold nor Breanna wanting to witness the depraved act, and Kel'Serrar wishing to get on the road once more.

This bit is even more squicky. Read on at your own discretion.
"It is customary to eat bits of the sacrifice." - Me, wanting to see how far I could push this.
There is silence....
"I take it you aren't hungry?" - Me, laughing.
"Nah I'll eat bits. His heart I guess." - Ladyhawk.
"You're no longer hungry." - With dark humour.
"Well this is... this is harrowing isn't it?" - Dev.
"I'm glad we're having that effect then, this is good."

Maebh comes onto the road to join the others, covered in much blood. The party continues north and swiftly comes upon the ruins.

Breanna passes an Intelligence check, deciding it looks a bit like a big temple.
"We forgot to buy torches didn't we?" - Harold
A rectangular doorway in front of the party leads to the temple complex itself. Harold sniffs the air and smells old stuff. There's a weird acrid tang on the air. Smells like acid, ants and death. He can smell people, but overall the overwhelming smell he gets is old.

"Kel'Serrar, could you please set up camp? Please?" - Harold, giving everyone work to do.
"Okay." - Kel'Serrar
"Could you do a quick perimeter check?" - Harold, to Breanna.
"You're asking me?" - Breanna
"Yeah. I'm asking you to do a perimeter check. And you, could you please guard the door?" - Harold, with little patience.
"Sure." - Maebh, cooly
"Thank you." - Harold, learning to deal with uncooperative teammates.

Small silence....
"And what is Harold doing?" - Me, feeling there needed to be some prodding.
"I'm doing...." - Dev, scratching for a task.
"Nothing?" - Ladyhawk, cutting

"I'm going to go look for firewood." - Harold, finally coming up with something amidst the laughter.

Breanna heads off to look at the perimeter. She doesn't find much really. Kel'Serrar sets up camp while Harold looks for firewood. Maebh easily sets the fire.

But they have no tents, nor any real camping equipment.

Harold looks for a water source while Maebh creates water in her hand. Some discussion about whether drinking from the hand of a murderous, carnivorous wild she-elf is sanitary. It is decided that perhaps bowls and such might be in order.
"Who wants it first?" - Maebh, vaguely threatening.

It is decided that rope and other supplies... cups and such might be a good idea. So Maebh is sent back to Summer Hill to go pick up equipment amidst more talk regarding respective speeds. So a shopping list is constructed and Maebh is given money by everyone to go get the equipment.
Shopping List:
- 4 tents
- 20 feet of rope
- 2 torches
- Tinder box
- A keen dagger for Breanna
- Food supplies, dried meat, berries, hard tack etc.
- Wagon + draught creature

Breanna shares her conspiracy theory after Harold shares the letter given by the brigand. Her theory seems to be almost matching up.
Not sure how, but Breanna's theory seems to have gone missing. The basic gist of it was that Rangard hired the brigands, for whatever reason.

The rest of the group starts to explore the outside of the ruins in Maebh's absence. Harold searches the perimeter on the second day, not finding anything of interest. Kel'Serrar also starts to wander around, exploring and such. Breanna decides that looking for berries and other such stuff might be a good idea.

Maebh picks up a wagon, but is incapable of driving. She decides to hire a driver. She succeeds after some time in finding someone who will drive the cart there for ten sulvers. Maebh keeps him in line by passively threatening to eat him.

That night, at the ruins, there is a weird shrieking...

Cue both girls emulating the Nazgul simultaneously. It was surprisingly accurate too.
"They are the Nazgul, the Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead."

"I suggest we go hide in the woods." - Harold
"Well Breanna's already playing possum." - Sins
While both Breanna and Kel'Serrar have Concealment, Harold doesn't. So whatever it is will probably not see them and come straight for him.
"The Nazgul will come for you. *screech* - LD
"Okay, stop that!" - Dev
"The best you can do mate is to hold your hands in the air and recite, "I, am a tree."

The three of them start to hide in the trees, all the while Maebh is driving from the south along the road, with the screeching coming from the north. She can hear it in the distance and hopes that she doesn't run into whatever it is.

Meanwhile, Breanna succeeds on her Concealment check, swathing herself in her cloak and pressing herself into the shadows.
Kel'Serrar on the other hand...
"Yeah I give up on hiding. Look here, Harold's a tree!" - Sins, trying to draw attention from himself.

Ahead of them, a shambling mess emerges from the ruins, shrieking and groaning as it stumbles towards them...
"I thought you were hiding Harold." - Kel'Serrar
"SHUT UP!" - Harold

The corpsewalker comes gurgling and gargling, fingertips worn down to bone claws. Quick and ungainly, gnashing its teeth, it comes straight for Harold/tree. The walker's flesh is literally rotting on its body.

The fight with the corpsewalker was interesting with very little damage actually occurring on either side. To the point that Breanna failed so much that despite her repeated efforts, it doesn't even realise she's there. This is partially down to her really good Concealment check and partially due to her utterly failing to do any damage even with the bonuses for Sneak Attacks. Well that, and the thing's Perception is so low that it was having trouble detecting Harold.
"I'm a tree with a knife!" - LD
"A stabbing shrubbery!" - Sins, who had also managed to avoid detection. In his case it was mainly due to Harold flailing wildly at it with axe and sword.
Sins ends up suggesting that his attempts to bandage it up might do more damage than his archery.

Harold finally hits it with his axe, but does only a little damage, however the creature is similarly unable to hit the duellist, with the few strikes which are on target being parried by the Invarrian.
Kel'Serrar finally manages to set an arrow on fire after at least four attempts. He then misses his shot, blasting a hole into one of the blocks of stone littering the area. Breanna misses again with her knife.
The group really seems to be feeling Maebh's absence.

"Has anyone managed to hit it yet?" - LD
"Yep." - Dev
"I hit in the arm." - Sins
"... I suck... No, don't nod like that guys!" - LD

Breanna finally hits. Finally. And utterly fails to do any damage at all.
Kel'Serrar finally manages to kill it after a very long time. Harold considers hugging Kel'Serrar until the Danann threatens the Invarrian with a thorough stabbing.

And everyone gets another level.

We left it there, with Maebh likely to arrive sometime next morning.

The corpsewalker fight was an interesting one. A single bite could well have spelt the end of one of the characters as the corpsewalker virus is easily transmitted. Once affected by the virus, the character quickly starts to rot away, losing all conscious thought and becoming animalistic and horrbily violent. Not to mention hungry.

Luckily, while Harold was almost bitten, he managed to get the blade of his sword between the creature's teeth and his skin.

Don't read this if you are one of my players, which is unlikely if I think about it, but better safe than sorry.
This was a purposely weak corpsewalker as one of the party was out and two others wounded. As such, I decreased most of its stats by a fair bit. More, stronger corpsewalkers will be making appearances as the campaign continues, but I justified this one's weakness by saying it was hungry and outcast, nearing the end of its time.

The Wrap-up
All in all I think it went rather well for a first session. The group seemed to enjoy it and worked together pretty well. As we expected, the lack of a tank means the group seems to suffer against small numbers of tough opponents, but all four characters seem to be decent at dealing decent amounts of damage, meaning that at least four weaker opponents go down very quickly. Well except for Breanna, but Maebh's flair for Flares tends to make up for that.

Lady Darkmoon will have her own percentile dice to by the time the next session rolls around, as will Dev hopefully, who was using two different coloured D10's and "forgetting" to allocate the place values until after rolling. :smalltongue:

There were some darker themes involved in this, particularly the sacrifice, which I did not plan for and am sort of regretting asking for details. Not because I have a problem with the material, as after all, I wrote the inspiration for Ladyhawk's description, but because I am starting to feel as if that should have been either volunteered information or "fade-to-black." But ah well, it certainly set a bit of a tone for the campaign and helped to ram home that Maebh is not to be trifled with.

The next session is scheduled for the 30th of November, so, provided everything goes well, you should see Session 1.2 up here soon.

Cheers and thanks for reading,

Amidus Drexel
2012-11-05, 10:05 AM
Subscribed! Sounds like a really interesting campaign already. Can't wait to hear more!

2012-11-05, 11:23 PM
I'm glad you think so. :smallsmile: As far as I can tell, the players share your enthusiasm so hopefully we'll be able to share some more good stories.

Thank you,

2012-11-10, 10:50 PM
The Players

The first player is Duke Dev, a longtime friend of mine. He has a bit of RP experience, particularly with me as a GM, so he knows my "style."

Name: Harold Oakenshield
Race: Invarrian
A tall, ocean-faring people, the Invarrians have made their living by pillaging the fishing villages off the northern coasts for centuries. The call of the sea is in the blood of every Invarrian pup, the waves beckoning them towards a life of adventure. They are the Sea Wolves, a name which indicates how the Invarrians approach conflict on both land and sea. Invarrians see war as a game, with gold and other spoils being the prize at the end of the raiding season. As such, even when being defeated, they remain cheerful. After all, it's only a game.

Primary Class: Duellist
Lightly armoured, focusing on finesse in close combat. Very good one on one, the Duellist is able to prevent enemies from attacking anyone else through Taunts and other such interesting effects. Quite effective at dealing damage, not so flash at taking it.
Secondary Class: Storm Herald
A special class developed specifically for this campaign, the Storm Herald has some nice little area and battlefield control spells and abilities, along with some powerful weather control.

Age: 53 years old. As such Harold is considered to be aging and suffers some negatives to his physical statistics, however he gains 4 free Skill Points to spend to represent his experience.
Eye Colour: Hazel
Hair & Fur Colour: Black and white shaggy fur.
Birthsign: The Eagle
Those born under the sign of the Eagle tend to be born explorers, often going out of their way to take not only the path less travelled, but the more difficult and challenging path too. Because of their high focus on intellectual exploration, many inventors, eccentrics and highly original trailblazers are born under this sign. They can be objective in judgement, and tend to not let their emotions get in the way of the right decision. Outgoing and amiable, Eagles attract friends wherever they go and those whom Eagles befriend have their unswerving loyalty.

Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 86 kg or 190 lbs

Dev chose for Harold to be lightly armoured and armed with a boarding axe and cutlass, really pushing both the pirate and viking themes.

And of course, a series of questions to ask any player when they create their characters as they help to get the character "sorted out."

Where are you from? Harold Oakenshield is from the small port village known as Raven's Elm on the southwest coast of the Isle of Varr.

What is your family like? Harold comes from a litter of three siblings, all of which are alive and kicking. Harold is the firstborn and therefore his father's heir. Both his parents perished in a fire after long and fruitful lives.

What is your social class? Harold is part of the reaver class, which are almost the Invarrian equivalent of knights. After striking out on his own though, Harold would be held in a small amount of reverence due to his age and experience, but there would be no deference to his rank.

How did you become an adventurer? Harold spent the majority of his career sailing and raiding against the Midland kingdom of Northland in the great reaving which destroyed that kingdom's naval power. After some time, Harold became bored with the game as the Invarrians seemed to be too strong for the Midlanders and decided to set out on his own to explore the southern lands of Norbayne.

How religious are you? Harold is fairly religious, respecting both the Invarrian Golden God and the God of the Deep. He is not a devout worshipper, however he remains respectful because he knows the dangers of not showing the correct reverence.

Do you have any good friends or enemies? Harold remains in good relations with the reavers he sailed with in his time against Northland. He has also met the famed duellist Barnan MacSilver in personal combat two times, each having prevailed once against the other. Harold let the Midlander go after their first duel with the respect due to a good player. When MacSilver prevailed in the second duel, he felt as if he owed something to the old Invarrian and let him go, vowing that the next time they meet would be the last.

What are your prized possessions? Harold carries a prized silver chain with him which was a gift from his mother, old but well-kept and polished. He also carries a small golden disk with a representation of one of the Invarrians gods on either side. It is small and intended to give a little luck.

Who are you loyal to? The Invarrians and the Isle of Varr as a whole. The reavers he sailed with. Harold also has a fair respect for the reigning Stormlord of Varr. His family. Such is the nature of Invarrians that Harold is likely to display a certain loyalty to anyone he decides to take a liking to.

Who do you love/hate? The Invarrians find hatred a difficult emotion to conceive. Harold has had passing fancies in the past but reconciles this with an assumption that they've quite possibly passed away or found other suitors in his time reaving.

My next player was my own sister, Lady Darkmoon, who is a little younger than the rest of the group but seems to fit in well enough. Having GM'd for her before, I knew from the beginning she would pick a "cute" character.

Name: Breanna Blackrose
Race: Leathe
A small people, the diminutive Leathe of the southern bounds of the Wardenfells are known to be exceptional archers and intuitive hunters. Despite their small size, the Leathe fierce and canny fighters. If the great Northmenn of Unterguardt are as the great ice bear, the Leathe are to likened to the fox, cunning and swift. Marsupial and tree dwelling, the Leathe have a natural love of illusions, children often entertaining themselves from an early age with wisps of mist-like figures dancing about them. They have no great affection for the Danann, with whom they share their woodland home, but generally get on well with the other races, if just a little secretive about their homeland.

Primary Class: Assassin
Lightly armoured, focussing on stealth and backstabbing. A small amount of Black Magic will be available depending on the player.

Age: 20 years old. Breanna is considered to be entering the prime years for adventuring.
Eye Colour: Silver
Hair Colour: Black
Birthsign: The Dragain
Dragains often tend to switch off from the world around them, almost hibernating to come to a decision. As such, many are almost incapable of coming to a decision without this contemplative stage, becoming easily flustered when forced to choose. However, when the proper decision making process is observed, a Dragain is stubborn and will do everything in their power to see it done.
Height: 4' 5"
Weight: 45 kg or 100 lbs

She chose not to take the Talent which would allow her to wear leather armour and instead focussed on buffing her ability to deal damage with Sneak Attacks. For a weapon, she uses but a knife.

And an interview with Breanna Blackrose, who is both disturbed and disturbing...

Where are you from?
"A small village called Greenstone which is on the side of one of the Wardenfells."

Have you been back to Greenstone recently?
"No, I've got the (GSPD) on my tail. No literally, on my tail!"

What is your family like?
"Annoying. Nibbity, nibbity, nibbity! That's right, be afraid. I come from a family of four brothers who were... quite irritating. I was a middle child which was... terrible."
Are your parents still alive?
"No, sadly. Many years ago they were crushed by a plow-horse in a tragic accient. Just so you know, it involved a little brother... and a whip. "

What is your social class?
"I am middle-class I guess. Which is difficult as I am neither poor nor rich and its hard to actually tell people that. After my parents' deaths I was forced to become a hired killer, which is dangerous but rewarding. Dangerous because I am a procrastinator, yet rewarding because I like watching people suffer. It's fun."

How did you become an adventurer?
"I needed to leave my hometown because of work. The law enforcement in Greenstone (GSPD ) knew my face and this meant I had to lay low. Summer Hill was far enough away to hide. I like to think of myself as a violent character, but Summer Hill sounded nice."

How religious are you?
"Uh, not very. I'm not very religious at all. I see religion as needless for a paid killer. Basically, if there are any gods, they wouldn't like me. In fact, they would probably give me a total smack-down."

Do you have any good friends or enemies?
"I have no friends left in Greenstone because they all hate me. Any enemies tend to end up dead. Don't get on my bad side."

What are your prized possessions?
"... My trusty carving knife.... Hehehehe..."

Who are you loyal to?
"Whoever can pay me the most. I'm like a mercenary, seriously. If you pay me, I'm loyal, like a dog. A bite-y dog."

Who do you love/hate?
"People I love seem to hate me and the people I hate are probably already dead. Oh and the people who used to love me before I started doing this stuff have been crushed by a plow-horse."

Lady Darkmoon is an accomplished young artist, having won the Young Australian Art Award twice over the last four years and running up the other two. As such, I will prevail upon to her provide illustrations of the characters in time. Hopefully. She's a stubborn young lady.

The next player is Ladyhawk, my girlfriend, who is new to RP'ing, yet is very much a gamer girl. I ran a short, introductory solo session for her the weekend before the game to see how she would go and I think she handled herself very well.

Name: Maebh Preachain-Eite or Maebh Raven-Wing when among those who do not speak Danann
Race: Danann
The Danann of the Wardenfells are a wild race of hunters and warriors. The Danann wear their dark hair long, often twining talismans and feathers into the braids to give luck and protection when they hunt. Tall and slender, the Danann are decptively strong and have keen intelligence and almost preternatural senses. They view the other peoples as their prey, and warfare is a great hunt, one test the skills of the mightiest of huntsmen. What little is known of their society is mainly through the outcasts who are propelled to seek a life of adventure in other lands. The eastern realms tell of summer nights when the Danann tear through outlying hamlets, seizing terrified villagers to take back to their tall cities to be brutally sacrificed. These are just tales of course...

Primary Class: Mage
Lightly armoured, the Mage focusses on Arcane Magic. The Mage may specialise in one field to the detriment of the others but this can lead to some really nasty Fireball-ery and such. Hopefully though the way Arcane Magic works in this system should stop the Mage from being overpowered.

Age: 28 years old. As such, she is considered to be in the prime years for adventuring.
Eye Colour: Golden
Hair Colour: Long, raven black
Birthsign: The Crow
Those born under the sign of the Crow often have a gift for talking, are talented writers or have a special interest in foreign languages. They are quite egregious and often feel lonely very easily. The Crow personality can appear mysterious or detached to others and therefore they are often misunderstood and unappreciated for the talents they offer to the world at large.

Height: 6' 0"
Weight: Wouldn't you like to know? (59 kg or 130 lbs)

Maebh wears little leather armour as protection and wields a hunting spear which doubles as a staff. Her selection of spells suffered as a result of this, being able to cast only Flare, a basic magic missile and Create Elements, a utility spell which prevents people from getting thirsty or provides torchlight when needed etc. A handy spell, but not useful in combat.

Where are you from?
Maebh comes from a small village deep in the Wardenfells called Lion Den or Leomhan Nead in the Danann tongue.

What is your family like?
Maebh had a younger brother, but he failed to survive the Harrowing (The traditional Danann rite of sending twelve year olds out into the wilderness where they are expected to survive as a pack for at least two years before they're let back into the cities and villages). Her mother is a Cleaver (a cook/butcher which is a highly regarded place in Danann society) and her father is a Hunter, one who goes for game rather than sacrifices.

Maebh was exiled from the Wardenfells following an incident involving a man condemned to die to sate the thirst of the Gods. Her parents were killed in the aftermath, severing all ties.

"During a raid, a different sort of man was brought in. He was taller and had sharper features than all the others. When I asked, I was informed that he was a "crossbreed," half-Danann and half-Human. Curious, when the tribe was sleeping I approched the man, and began to question him, as one would question a child, for if he was only half-Danann then he surely would be as immature and uniintelligent as all the other species of these lands. However, he was surprisingly witty, the Danann part of him greater than I first thought.

After some time, I found, against my better judgement that I had fallen in love with him. We Danann choose one partner and then take no other for all our long lives, and I felt in that moment that my heart had betrayed me. I knew that in only a week he would be killed. I worked for days towards an escape, including my mother in this plan, beleving she would understand. But, on the very day I was to enact the plan, I was betrayed.

My mother told the Elders about what I was going to do, and they killed him early. I fought to save him, to deny his death, wielding more power in those few moments than I had in half a lifetime. I remember thinking I was about to explode with magic, but I did not care.

I directed my power at everyone who tried to hurt him, all those who had taken from me him whom I had loved so fiercely for so little time, however they were too many. By the time I had blazed my way through the crowd to get to him, I looked on in despair. He was dead, a knife buried deep in his heart. The man who had struck the blow looked on at me in defiance. I gathered both hands together and destroyed him utterly, burning him until there was nothing left but charred bones and ashes.

It was then somebody grabbed my arms and it occured to me that I had broken our most sacred law. I needed to flee or be executed. I threw off the restraining hands and began my rampage once more. In a brief moment of respite I saw my mother standing to the side, tears streaming down her face. She cried that she was sorry, that she hadn't intended this to happen, that the Gods must be appeased. But her protests came too late, for she had betrayed me. It was by my hand that my own mother was blasted into oblivion. I turned and seized my love's body, and ran for my life. Fleeing from my home, and all my memories, carrying the dead weight of the man I loved with me.

As I reached the very edge of the Wardenfells, I buried my love under the shade of an ancient tree. I stayed by his grave for many days, until I could stand the grief no more. Empty, I turned and left the forest and the one man I could ever love."
- From the writings of Maebh Preachain-Eite,

How religious are you?
- The Danann do not usually hold to gods, largely believing that the gods, while many and real, do not give a **** about mortals. Oh except of course, that the Danann often bring back prisoners, Aztec style, whom they ritually... well destroy. They believe that the offering of blood will keep the gods slumbering and they will not rise up and destroy the world. So as far as the Danann are concerned, they're doing the world a favour and everyone owes them.

Maebh is not very religious, but still believes in offering blood as a sacrifice. She is often forced to use lesser animals, something which is not done by the Danann usually. As far as Maebh is concerned, blood is blood. Does it matter what veins it flowed through?

Who are your best friends and worst enemies?
No friends. She hates the Danann of her tribe, but all Danann tend to shun her and she shuns them in return. In particular there was a mage from her village who was very condescending towards her, pushing for her love's early execution.
- The hatred Maebh holds for this ******* is matched only by that held by Warhammer players for Mat Ward.

What are your prized possessions?
A necklace her love gave her, and the beads in her hair from passing her Harrowing. In addition to this she carries a spear which she uses as a staff as well.

Who are you loyal to?
Lost all loyalty after the betrayal of her mother. That doesn't mean she can't work with people, she just doesn't ever completely trust them.

And finally, what sort of temperament does she have? How does she view the other peoples of Norbayne?
- Danann are often quite.... savage. They view other races in much the same way as a wolf sees deer.... or rabbits.
Maebh is quite calm and reserved. She is broken and suffers every day. She can work in groups, just is quick to defend herself if she believes anyone is trying to threaten or hurt her. She looks down upon everyone and views them as either children or animals.

As can be seen, she's a difficult character with a lot of stuff in her past. Ladyhawk has probably put the most effort into her character out of the group as a whole, so it might be tough stopping her from outshining the rest.

And lastly, Sins of Dusk created the last character, Kel'Serrar. I have not gamed with him before, though I count him as a friend.

Name: Kel'Serrar
Race: Danann
Primary Class: Ranger
Medium armour, focussed on outdoorsy stealth woodland stuff and archery. Through skills, can cover the Arcane Archery, Beastmaster and Hunter archetypes.

Seondary Class: Mesmer
Light armour, focussed on Illusionary Arcane Magic. I like the idea of a Thief type character who uses a speciality in Illusions to make their thievery better but perhaps this archetype could be covered by multiclassing a Rogue with a Mage who specialises in Illusions.

Age: 27 years old. As such, he is considered to be in the prime years for adventuring.
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Short white hair
Birthsign: The Hare
There is ingenuity around those born under the Hare, a kind-heartedness, which unfortunately is sometimes played upon by others for their advantage. Despite this, most Hares find cynicism a foreign concept.
Generally creative, Hares are also often delicate and shy, happy to allow others to take the glory but are fully capable of standing up when necessary.

Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 56 kg or 123 lbs

Kel'Serrar uses a longbow in combat, augmenting this with some degree of ability in the arts of arcane archery. For backup he uses a long dagger and wears light leather armour, preferring speed and stealth.

And obligatory background info.

From: a neutral town called Dev'Iere, this town was burned down by raiders years ago
Last contact: Thirteen years ago, a year before the town was destroyed.
Family: None surviving
Social status: Low, somewhere between an outcast and an orphan
Religious affiliation: Reveres nature and it's own deity, believes that nothing may go to waste, to do otherwise is disrespectful to nature
Loves/Hates: loves plains and forests, as well as animals, is interested in all forms of magic, not so fond of people though. Hates ashes and bandits.
loyal to: allies and animals, anyone else is of secondary importance
Temperament: cynical and occasionally sarcastic, due to the amount of time spent in solitude between missions, has a solid sense of right and wrong... and often ignores this sense. makes all judgements by the heart and thinks it through after the judgement has been resolved.

EDIT* In Session 4.4, we brought in another new player, Delphoxie. Delphi is Sins' significant other, with a bit of tabletop experience. Her first session with us was a rousing success and we have enjoyed having her back on a regular basis.

Name: Aeva of the Aett'kvis Nordur-Vatn
Race: Selkye
The men of the Eastern Tundra are excellent hunters, a way of life encouraged by their icy home. Their skills are often put to the test by the monstrous denizens of the cold plains such as the great ice bear and massive mammoths. The majority of Selkye settlements are fishing villages, supported by the catch of the brave ocean-hunters who go out on the dark seas in their tiny vessels so as to bring in hauls of fish. Shorter and stockier than the other human races, the Selkye are famed for their leatherwork and complicated language. They wear their dark hair long and braided and the men often sport outrageous moustaches.
Primary Class: Druid
Lightly armoured, focussing on Spirit Magic. Only Spirit Magic is available to the Druid but it has some powerful effects, Bestial Form in particular as it allows the character to become an animal for a period of time.
Secondary Class: Mesmer
Light armour, focussed on Illusionary Arcane Magic. I like the idea of a Thief type character who uses a speciality in Illusions to make their thievery better but perhaps this archetype could be covered by multiclassing a Rogue with a Mage who specialises in Illusions.

Age: 22 years old. As such Aeva is considered to be at the peak of her ability.
Eye Colour: Blue.
Hair Colour: Black.
Birthsign: The Boar
As a credit to those of the Boar and considering their many vulnerable characteristics, they are incredibly adaptable and resilient. As a trend, Boars tend to fantasize about situations and people and because they spend so much time in their own fantasy land, this can catch them unawares in other more worldly areas. Because of this inner world of fantasy, Boars seldom perceive whatever is going on around them in its true light. They see life instead as they want to see it, colouring their view of the world in hues and tones far removed from its true reflection. When at their worst, Boars often become depressed, obsessive and confused and usually feel a need to dream.
Height: 5' 1"
Weight: 45 kg or 100 lbs
Personal Appearance:
Aeva is a short and slim Selkye with olive skin and black hair. She wears blue dyed wool robes with heavy grey fur trim. More details incoming.

Aeva carries a spear, a hunting bow and a worn bone knife, but she only rarely uses weapons, instead relying on her wits, illusions and shapeshifting ability to win her fights. She carries the feet of a cat, a fox and a rabbit on her belt and a hawk feather in her hair, which enable her to change her form into any of those creatures.

And background:
Aeva Nordur-Vatn, at the young age of 14 discovered her abilities. She was raised by her mother and father, a druid and a shaman respectively. She inherited her mothers abilities and was trained day in day out by her Priestess mother, praised for her exceptional abilities. Aeva too had wonderful abilities but struggles to understand why she had to use them as the Selkye demanded.

At 17, her abilities grew strong enough that she could harness the power of beast form. While this was a great ability, the animal you could first turn into determined your rank and status among her tribe, Nordur-Vatn. You had to hunt down and animal and perform resonance with said creature. Not everyone could do this with every animal so for many people it took years to be able to harness a creatures power. It took Aeva 6 months until she turned into a creature for the first time. She changed into a Fox. There was a huge uproar among her tribe as this was seen as a bad omen. Foxes were deemed the tricksters of the Selkye religion and were heavily frowned upon so Aeva was under a lot of scrutiny. Naturally, the tribe were keeping a watchful eye on Aeva's every move. This caused her to rebel and fight against the higher ups of her people.

A year passed and Aeva's tribe was invaded by the Wrothdar. While her people managed to fight them off, many of her people were captured. Mostly the females that were high ranking and/or had great abilities. While the men that were captured her father and two of his work colleagues. Aeva tried her hardest to free them but they disappeared before she got the chance.

Aeva spent the 3 years following their trail but to no luck. She then realised that she would need a lot of help to find and apprehend them. So she set out on a journey to find people that would be willing to help her.

EDIT* In Session 5.3, we brought in yet another new player, Yohan Yorvasker. Yohan is an old friend of ours from school, whom I had fallen out of touch with, but was still good friends with Sins and Delphi's. We had been angling to have him join for a little while, and we did get him in, about two sessions later than we had originally intended. He has only played the one session with us for now, but he fit in very well and we are looking forward to having him return.

Name: Xander Rothgar
Race: Feartarbh
The Feartarbh are the remnants of the great Bovus Empire which once stretched across the breadth of Norbayne. When the Empire fell, the Bovus split into two groups: The huge, fearsome Krowavir and the smaller, more intelligent Feartarbh. Both species are tall and powerful compared to the other intelligent races of Norbayne, the Feartarbh commonly reaching a height of seven feet. Both the Feartarbh and the Krowavir are well known for their massive horns, in some specimens numbering up to four and reaching almost three feet in length in the largest of the Krowavir. Unlike their wild brethren, the Feartarbh are slowly assimilating into the cultures which have risen since the fall of their Empire.
Primary Class: Guardian
Heavily armoured, the Guardian has access to healing and protective Spirit Magic while still being heavily armed enough to serve as a front-line fighter. Very Paladin-like but more about protecting others than healing and killing people.
Secondary Class: N/A
Age: 55 years old. Xander is considered to be at the peak of his ability.
Eye Colour: Crystal blue.
Hair Colour: Black.
Birthsign: The Bull.
Underneath their cool, calm and collected exterior, Bulls are usually a maelstrom of pent up energy. They will let others get close, but only so close as they want them. It is for this reason that Bulls are sometimes regarded as withdrawn or even boring. Bulls hate to be put in jeopardy of any kind and this usually leads to Bulls going out making the future happen as they want it, rather than leaving it to fate.
Height: 8' 6"
Weight: 600lbs or 272kg
Personal Appearance:
Huge, black and imposing with two large, curling horns.

Xander carries a huge, wooden tower shield adorned with a bull's head icon and crafted in the fashion of his ancestors. He wields an iron warhammer in one huge fist in conjunction with the shield and also carries a gigantic greatsword on his back. He wears banded steel plate armour on his torso, but his legs are kept unencumbered to help him retain what speed he has.

And background:
Pending Yohan's background post. What is known is that Xander is a very generous and caring individual, quite curious and prone to lapses in judgement brought about by a propensity to rage. He may have Krowavir blood somewhere in his lineage....

EDIT* In Session 2.1, we were introduced to our first new player, Wings of Decay and his character, Tremor Ironfist. Wings was a friend of a few of the group from our schooling days and had a fair bit of tabletop experience, mainly playing with Sins. Tremor remains with the party until the very end of Arc 4, whereupon we lost Wings from the playing group due to personal issues.

Name: Tremor Godrikson of Clan Ironfist
Race: Dwergar
A short, stocky and muscular people from the high northern mountains of Unterguardt, the Dwergar are well-known for their ability with metal and their incredibly stubborn personalities in almost equal measure. Male Dwergar almost universally cultivate thick beards, the longer and healthier, the greater source of pride it is for the owner. The shaving of a Dwergar's beard is one of the gravest of insults, one which has led to great internecine strife in the past. Called Dwarves by the men of Norbayne, the Dwergar are not overly fond of the other races, preferring by far to delve further into their mountainous homes. Their love for political intrigue is legendary, as is their lust for gold but above all, their indomitable pride is their greatest blessing and curse rolled into one.
Primary Class: Engineer
Medium armour, focussed on building traps and temporary fortifications. Given a bit of time and some raw materials and Engineer is able to build all sorts of stuff. The Engineer is also able to repair/create equipment if the character takes the right Skills.
Primary Class: Necromancer
Medium armour, focussed on the manipulation of dead things through Black Magic. Tampering with the dead requires far too much power for Arcane Magic users, so Black Magic is the only way to access Necromancy. Quite powerful but also prone to being eaten by Daemons.

Age: 50 years old. As such Tremor is considered to be aging and suffers some negatives to his physical statistics, however he gains 2 free Skill Points to spend to represent his experience.
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Long, thick coal-black hair and beard.
Birthsign: The Wolf
Trying to tie down these free-spirited individuals is often frustrating for those around them as Wolves are happiest on the move, exploring new cultures and ideas. Freedom loving, optimistic and honest, Wolves are notorious for their lack of tact however they do tend to work well in groups, both as leaders and members of the pack.

Height: 4' 7"
Weight: 81 kg or 180 lbs

Tremor carries an assortment of tools which in the case of his hammer and hatchet, double as weapons. He relies on leather armour when he meets the rest of the group, but soon acquires chainmail.

And obligatory background info.

Tremor hails from Nordtarnet, a Dwergar-held border fort on the edge of the great Unterguardt kingdom of Rivervind.

Being the eldest of three children, Tremor shouldered the responsibility thrust upon him and was destined to succeed his father for control of Nordtarnet in time, but in losing himself to the blood-rage which before him had not been seen in his family for three generations, he killed not only his enemies but his battle brothers as well. All five warriors with him fell to his axe, bringing shame upon his family and his own father exiled the young dwarf on pain of death.

Tremor prays to a god of war, though he does not know His name, hoping to avoid relapsing into the blood-rage which claimed his battle brothers. The amulet of this god, which he wears under his jerkin and around his neck, is his only valued passion, one which he found on his travels in an abandoned shrine.

Once he was loyal to his clan and family but after he was exiled that loyalty fell into ruin and now he is loyal only to himself. The ones he loved betrayed him, so love is out of the question. He is filled self-loathing for his crimes, but would not seek suicide until he feels he has paid the world back for the misery he has felt.

Tremor is distrusting of most people but will mix or work with everyone for the right amount of coin, but can barely contain his contempt/rage for his own kind, unless there's alcohol involved, in which case he often finds he just doesn't care anymore.

EDIT* Around the time of Session 3.2, we picked up one more player, Wings of the Opal Sky, or Opal for short. She's a friend of LD's from school and expressed some interest after LD went and showed all her friends the fun we were having. Opal has some experience in PBP as far as I'm aware, but no prior experience in tabletop play.

Therressa finally joined the group in Session 3.3, having already featured in a mini-session.

At the moment, Opal has had to take a leave of absence, which has been explained by Therressa going back to Varr to deliver a reply from Harold to his sister. It is very unlikely at this stage that Opal will resume playing with us, but we wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

Name: Therressa Bannimagen (Firebelly)
Race: Invarrian
Primary Class: Warrior
Heavily armoured, focussed on killing **** up close. Warriors are both good at dealing damage and taking it. Through skills they can cover may different archetypes including the Berserker and the Knight. They will also have a little ranged ability but their skills will not offer any of the archery perks associated with the Ranger or Rogue.
Age: 22 years old. As such Therressa is considered to be at the peak of her ability.
Eye Colour: Dark blue-silver.
Hair Colour: Dark brown hair, with a more golden-brown pelt.
Birthsign: The Crow
Those born under the sign of the Crow often have a gift for talking, are talented writers or have a special interest in foreign languages. They are quite egregious and often feel lonely very easily. The Crow personality can appear mysterious or detached to others and therefore they are often misunderstood and unappreciated for the talents they offer to the world at large.
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 80 kg or 180 lbs
Personal Appearance:
Therressa is at the shorter end of the scale when it comes to height for Invarians, though she makes up for it in speed and durability. She has strangely pale skin that blends into a golden brown fur. Her hair -which looks as though she cut it short with her sword- comes down to the nape of her neck in choppy, uneven chunks. Her ears stand on high alert, their white tips constantly twitching at any noise. Therressa's eyes are her most unusual feature, being a dark silvery-blue colour. When awake, her eyes are always wide open giving her a startled, but innocent look. Her nose is small but powerful and she considers in very trustworthy, relying on it to guide her. Her mouth is permanently stuck in the beginnings of a playful grin, one of her canines poking out of her mouth even when it’s closed; a reminder of her days of sword training when she had gotten hit with the hilt of the sword, cutting her lip.

Therressa relies on her sword in combat, using a sturdy round shield in her off-hand. She is moderately well armoured in the Invarrian style and is a well-equipped adventurer.

And obligatory background info in the form of a short interview.
1. Where are you from?
“Well, why should I tell you….? Actually…. I don’t quite know myself * laughs awkwardly* its been a while since I’ve been a place I can call home. Too much time away will do that I suppose. To be honest, I don't actually know how to even pronounce my last name properly.”

2. What is your family like?
“Rowdy. Being the youngest wasn’t always easy. Take this, I had two older brothers who acted like I wasn’t even there for about 3 years. My mother was a successful reaver while my father raised us after he took a heavy leg-wound.”

3. Why did you decide to set out on your own?
“I’d say it’s a strange story, but then I thought, ‘Isn’t alcohol the reason why most adventures happen?’ so I guess I could say, I decided to go on adventure cause of a debt. Yeah, that sounds pretty noble.

Anyway, one day I decided that while I enjoyed being around the village, adventure was my true calling and I set out on my own."

4. How religious are you?
“Not really as religious as I am superstitious. You have to have a certain respect for things, whether you believe in them or not.”

5. Who are your best friends and worst enemies?
"Well, I’d say my horse. August would be my best friend. Haven’t really stayed places long enough to make friends. Do make a lot of enemies and grudges though… I just don’t think people get my humor."

6. What are your prized possessions?
"Probably the sword me mother gave me. She was a wild thing, she was. Gold ring my father gave me after he came home from a raid. Pretty simple thing, just a gold band, I wear on my pinky."

7. Who are you loyal to?
"I am loyal to my food, my horse, and people who like me. Granted I have to like them back too."

8. Who do you love and hate?
"Well I know I hate stupid people, and stupid questions. So I think I just hate stupid people then. I do like people who laugh at my jokes. That’s one way to get on my good side."

9. What sort of temperament does your character have? How do they view the other peoples of Norbayne?
"Well, I’ve been told that my emotions are kinda mixed mashed. Like I'll be angry at one thing, and the next I'll be cheerful and pick some pretty daisy I saw, or laughing my butt off at something that happened the day before. I guess I’m pretty random and unpredictable.

As on my views of the other peoples of Norbayne, I love to learn about other people’s beliefs and cultures. I’m always up for learning something new."

2012-12-03, 10:02 AM
Ok, as it happened we were required to postpone the game to the 7th of December as Ladyhawk was unable to make it last Friday.

On the other hand I can state that we are definitely going to go ahead with it this Friday and everyone apart from Sins has spent their respective Advance Points, and Sins has informed me of the choices he wishes to make.

We will most likely push the third session to either the 4th or 11th of January in order to account for any New Year's holidays players might be taking.

As far as choices go in the level up, I shall spoiler them here so that immersion can remain unbroken for the players. If you are one of my players, I suggest you do not read past this point.

Breanna's choices

A few changes to her stat-line to help her rolling to hit in combat and increased her Magic level to allow access to some new spells. She also gets D10+2 extra Damage when attacking an unaware enemy, can Parry with a dagger or knife and has a whopping +20 to Dodge Checks. She also picked up the spell Shadowskin, which will make her a very effective scout/spy when coupled with her high Perception and Excellent Vision trait.

Harold's choices

Increases to his Weapon Skills in order to hit more often, hitting a melee Weapon Skill of 41, which is not bad for a Level 3 Duellist. He also increased his Charisma and took Intimidation, thinking that the two choices whould help him out in his role as the party "Face." For his Talents, he took Flurry of Blows, which grants double attacks, bringing him to four in a round when using his axe and sword, and then Lightning Parry which allows him to exchange any number of attacks for that number of free Parries, meaning that anyone attacking him needs get through anywhere up to five Parries at Harold's WS 41 with a +10 to Parrying through the Experienced Duellist Talent he picked up earlier. This should allow him to be a bit more of a "Tank," something the party desperately needs.

Maebh's choices

She increased her Ballistic Skill to allow her to throw her Flares more accurately and her Magic level to give her access to some more Spells. She took Drive, as that seemed important now that the party had acquired a wagon, and Dual Casting, allowing her to cast two spells in one round, along with two Talents which increased her Damage with Spells. She also picked up Magic Alarm and Remove Curse which work as you would expect them to, along with Whispering Wind, which works very similarly to D&D's Sending.

Kel'Serrar's choices

Sins hasn't actually made his choices yet, but he did inform me that he wished to pick up two Talents which help his Arcane Archery, increase his Healing Skill, which will mean he gets a +30 to all Healing Checks and that he wished to pick up Aimed Shot, which is the first of several mundane archery related Talents Rangers may pick up.

Hopefully that will have wheted your appetite for a little while. We haven't forgotten, we're just sort of busy people. But we are certainly going to play this. :smallwink:


2012-12-07, 09:49 PM
Well we played the second session last night. I think everyone had a good time.

The write-up will be up as soon as I can get off my ass and get to writing it.


2012-12-07, 10:05 PM
WOHOOO!! I can't wait! Breanna is soo cute! Any chance of getting a picture of her?

By the way, I poked around your Norbayne site a bit and I couldn't find any of the really cruchy stuff-BABs, skills, feats, hit dice, that sort of thing. Could you put up some links? Also, is it okay if I make up some characters using this system? (Not necessarily to play with, I just like to futz with stuff like this).

2012-12-08, 06:47 AM
LD's response to whether or not there might be a picture was to stroke her chin in a mischeivous manner while giving a slight smirk. As her brother, I'd be tempted to call that a yes. :smalltongue:

In response to the second part, I'd prefer not to have that openly accessible for the moment as it is subject to constant change, however if you are interested I'd be happy to PM the relevent information to you. :smallwink:


2012-12-08, 09:39 AM
I figured it must be at least somewhat fixed if you were running characters in this system, but I'd love to have whatever there is.

2012-12-08, 10:28 AM
Depends on the class. At least half are somewhat fixed, with the four PC's classes among them, but a handful of others are somewhat incomplete.

As I stressed to the players, this is a test to see if the system works. That and whether I can GM for a group. Plus we've been looking for a reason to get together to do something for a long time now.


EDIT* I'm currently waiting for the recording to finish converting so I can play it on my own computer and begin typing it up.

2012-12-08, 11:27 AM
Could you PM me the somewhat fixed ones then? That woudl be really nice.

2012-12-12, 01:34 AM
I'll get them to you soon. ;)

Ok, I'm about halfway through the recording of the other night's session, but I need a bit of a break.

But here's an update for you all. To encourage some fleshing out of the characters, I went and devised "interviews" for every character, letting the players know that I would reward punctuality and effort.

All the players responded within a day of the interviews being sent out, however only two coul claim to have finished them.

For your reading pleasure, I present an interview with Breanna Blackrose.

Your eyes open and before you is a tall, kindly looking old man with a long grey beard and weatherbeaten skin. He stands before you clad in a dark grey robe and bearing a carved wooden staff. He nods in greeting, shifting his weight upon his staff and pulls out a wooden board with a piece of parchment on it and a quill.
"Welcome Breanna, it is good to see you awake. I have some questions to ask of you my girl." Though you are young and many can claim to have seen more summers than you, he truly is ancient.

"Let us begin. You had many options for employment when your parents died. Why did you choose bloodwork?"
"Well when my parents died I hated more than just plough horses, I pretty much began to hate every thing. That's when I realised that I really like to kill things, the only problem is that I am not that good at it. I needed to learn, so that's why I am an assassin now."

"What of your four brothers? Where are they? Who are they?" the old man asks, furiously scribling down letters upon the parchment.
"To tell you the truth, I don't know where my brothers are I haven't seen them since I abandoned them when Mum and Dad died. Their names are Javon, Sylvan, Raylan and Marlik Blackrose."

He finishes writing and pauses, tickling his bottom lip with the tip of his quill."You have told your companions that you fled to Summer Hill for no real reason. Is this true?"
"It is true that I came to Summer Hill for no reason other than to flee from the GSPD."

He nods. "Let us come to a more recent occurence. What was your reaction when you came face to face with a Corpsewalker for the first time? You had heard of the virus before of course, but what was it like facing one that night?"
"It was really scary when we came across that Corpsewalker and was even more scary when it attacked my companions because it wasn't asleep or knocked out so I couldn't really help much. At the same time I was incredibly relieved that it thought that I was a tree."

"Thank you for your time lass. You may go back to sleep now." Darkness overtakes you and you fall back into a deep slumber.

Lady Darkmoon was the first player to respond to the interview, so she shall receive a single Advance Point to spend at the beginning of the next session.

Now for the interview with Kel'Serrar.

Your eyes open and before you is a tall, kindly looking old man with a long grey beard and weatherbeaten skin. He stands before you clad in a dark grey robe and bearing a carved wooden staff. He nods in greeting, shifting his weight upon his staff and pulls out a wooden board with a piece of parchment on it and a quill.
"Welcome Kel'Serrar, it is good to see you awake. I have some questions to ask of you my boy." Truly he is many ages older than you.

"What actually happened to your family?"
"My family? You would need to know a little of our village's history first. We were, a little expansionist, perhaps that is not the right word but it is close enough. We enjoyed sacking towns, we saw it as a game, taking those who were good enough to be sacrifices back to the village. Then our elders had a slight change of heart, and decided in their infinite wisdom to allow the towns we would raid to remain, with half of their population, then move to the next town. Stupid, not just the elders of course, but us as well. We listened, we should have killed them then and there, but we didn't, we allowed them to poison our minds.

Our next raid was on a human settlement, not far from our village. It was still being settled over the ruins of its predecessor. My brother was a little eager, an experienced raider, always looking behind him, to make sure that no one stabbed him in the back to steal his kill. He was prone to frenzy in battle, and in a raid, if you lose your head, you're pretty much dead. He wanted to press the advantage, eliminate these foolish humans. He wanted to charge back into town, alone if he had to. So we let him, mostly. In his bloodlust he did not look behind him, one arrow was all it took. A mistake on my part, the first of many.

Only a few of our raiders agreed with my brother, they turned on us and believed us traitors. We who followed the orders of the elders, traitors? The very thought was laughable. We slew them as well as my brother, it didn't take long, but our raiding band of fifteen, had already taken casualties in the initial raid. The death of our leader, my brother, only made it worse. We were barely a third of our initial strength when we finished dealing with those caught in the frenzy, but we had broken one of the most important rules of raiding. Do not give your enemy a chance to regroup. The villagers had weapons, and we had given them time to get them. They charged us, greatly outnumbering us and they were not weary from combat. We shot a fair number of them before they reached us, but to our eternal damnation, we couldn't hold them back, we broke and ran.

Only three of us returned to the village, from a party of fifteen, but this was hardly the worst. Five villages were attacked, but only two raiding parties even returned to our village. We were one, the other only had one survivor. Although we had our doubts about the cause of their destruction, the only survivor was a mage of sorts, and we knew he had a vendetta against some of his raiders, and after all, one cannot leave witnesses now can they?

Our village was weakened, but we would survive, we were Danann, we survived the Harrowing, what more could they do to us? The next day however was a reckoning of sorts. I was brought before the elders for the murder of my brother, my 'companions' had informed the elders about me and blamed the failures of our raid entirely on his death at my hands. They were two witnesses, I was one accused, the outcome was assured. They exiled me and looking back on it, that worked out quite well. It meant I was out of town days before the village's destruction, but I still know I had a hand in its fate. The outlying towns we had raided had been provided with days to recover. Instead, they took the chance to avenge themselves on our village. It only took one night, but they razed the village, every man, woman, elder and child. The elders? They deserved their fates, they didn't want the towns destroyed, they wanted them to be able to survive. Well they certainly achieved that. The others? Some deserved it, that mage especially. My parents? One of them didn't, but it certainly was not my mother. She was baying for my blood when the elders announced that it was my hand that took my brother's life. My father was less concerned for that was the way things happened in our village, but my sister, she did not deserve to die, not by an uncontrolled fire. She looked out for me, she really did. She had a year before it would be her turn to undertake the Harrowing. She was still young, very young, that spark of innocence had yet to leave her eyes. She was still naïve to the world, and perhaps it is better this way, that she dies before learning the truth.

You ask what happened to my family? The short answer is, I did."

He looks at you through saddened eyes, quill scribbling your words upon the parchment. He nods and this gives you some small comfort to know that your words have been heard. "Let us continue. What was your Harrowing like?"
It is true, I went through the Harrowing, the darkness, the 'packs,' that in itself changes a Danann, removes that last little bit of innocence, if it ever really was present. After my exile, I was raised by harsh realities, solitude, starvation and the knowledge of having nothing behind you to take you through. In a sense, the Harrowing had provided me with everything I needed to survive alone, but it lacked the... polish I suppose that reality brings with it. I taught myself trough trial and error how to survive, moving from place to place, anything to stay alive."

"How do you work in a group environment when you find it so difficult to trust?"
"Well, first I would have to explain my adventures with another Danann, Chirya. I count her as a friend, for my part, but when I met Chirya, I thought agreeing to help her was another mistake. Already it seems I have lost count of how many I've made, but this was at least a worthwhile mistake. Chirya was...interesting, full of anger, full of emotion, yet used to solitude, guarding herself carefully, trusting no one, another outcast, yet for her, it was by choice. She thought we should travel together, at least, until we found somewhere we could part ways without meeting again while hunting. We went hungry the night we met. Not knowing the other was there, we stalked the same prey, both got ready to fire, and both heard the other draw. The prey escaped unscathed, neither of us did however. You learn to heal fast, which herbs are better, how to stop the blood from seeping out, all of this is important when there's no one else to save you. Chirya drew me into taking up the burden of healing wounds, as she was more likely to cause them than heal them. I can't say I was much better of course.

We were a strange pair, but we found we could work together. There was even some trust between us...it wasn't much, but it was there. There was always little to do besides hunt, eat and walk on our journey, so we learnt a great deal from each other. Not at first, at first we simply learned how to be silent in a group for a long period of time. But we did get a great deal of practice... Of course, all things must end eventually, even though it was a year since the fall of my village, I still wound myself within sight of where it was, the high cliff I was standing on helped of course. Chirya had explained her vendetta against humans to me before, but I never understood its depth until we found a small campsite. There were eight of them in that camp, and she tried to take it alone. She failed of course, but she got six of them, well... five, but the sixth wouldn't last much longer. The other two subdued her, tied her up and planned to bring her back to town unconscious, but she had earned my trust, I couldn't betray that.

The sixth had died during the night, the last two attended him at his death... Which is why they were looking the wrong way when it came for them as well, one arrow each, at short range. They never even knew what finished them. I went to free Chirya but she'd already gotten herself free of the rope and was getting ready to attack them again on her own. She explained later that she found herself in similar situations fairly often. In fact as we travelled together, I found she was not exaggerating. It was frequent, she was often getting captured by bands of humans in our travels, and I was often needed to get her out again, there was no longer any distrust between us, we both knew our role and we would fulfil it.

We parted ways a while back, Chirya heard rumours about the town we were staying near, this 'Summer Hill.' A war was coming they said, and Chirya was determined to speed it up a little. The deaths of humans seems to always bring out the best in her, and she always was better at manipulating the actions of others then I was. Force of personality I guess, we both knew how unlikely it was that we would meet again, but Fate seems to have a sense of humour in ensuring the past has an effect of the present. We will meet again, I know it. As long as we do not try to, it is almost certain."

"So would you consider your interactions with your current companions to be more successful as a venture than what happened with Chirya?"
"I look back on those days now and it is fairly evident that working in a group is far more successful for me then working with Chirya, but less... exciting. There is none of the trust I had grown accustomed to with her, but at least there is some entertaining diversions on occasion. 'Bait' always seems the most capable of providing these diversions through his attempts to command. Maebh seems capable, and the Leathe? Well, at least I wont go hungry again. We have our fair share of near disaster and moments of despair, but it is almost certain to be more successful then when I worked with Chirya, if only because Chirya seems to enjoy certain death choices."

"Thank you for your time lad, we're almost done here. Finally, what was your reaction when you came face to face with a Corpsewalker for the first time? You had heard of the virus before of course, but what was it like facing one that night?"
"There is no way that was a Corpsewalker, that's just a tale for frightened peasants. They'll believe anything. Yet for a creature that doesn't exist, that Corpsewalker was most certainly real. I think the shock of it being real might have caused me to waste quite a few arrows, and for a moment, lose my connection to the arcane. They didn't exist until that night, how was I supposed to kill it? And that sound, Gods below, that sound... may I never hear it again, but I doubt I shall receive that luxury. I know that sound will haunt me... at least until something worse comes up, bound to happen eventually. After all if a Corpsewalker is real, what else might be? Any creature of lore may have returned to walk among the living once more. I will admit to being more than a little apprehensive as to what awaits us, but now that I know that just because something isn't real, doesn't mean I can't kill it. I have confidence that the healing skills I learned with Chirya will be put to good use, and will provide me something I can use to take my mind off the Corpsewalkers."

"Thank you for your time lad. You may go back to sleep now." Darkness overtakes you and you fall back into a deep slumber.

As you can see, Sins put a lot of effort into that and I fully commend him for it. I'll be back with the last two interviews as soon as Ladyhawk and Dev finish them up.


2012-12-22, 11:13 AM
Is everything Ok?

2013-01-21, 09:43 AM
Aye, everything has been pretty good thank you.

I have been delayed doing the write-up of the last session, but I'm almost done. Only about half an hour of the recording to go through from the four and a half hour session. So not much left at all. I'm hoping to have it up tomorrow night.

We're also set to go ahead for the third session this coming Friday, the 25th. Hopefully my voice holds up until then, but I can feel a frog in my throat at the moment, so I can only hope things are alright by Friday.

I'll leave you for now with Dev's interview which he finally got around to today.

Your eyes open and before you is a tall, kindly looking old man with a long grey beard and weatherbeaten skin. He stands before you clad in a dark grey robe and bearing a carved wooden staff. He nods in greeting, shifting his weight upon his staff and pulls out a wooden board with a piece of parchment on it and a quill.
"Welcome Harold, it is good to see you awake. I have some questions to ask of you my lad." Truly he is many ages older than you.

"Let us begin. As the firstborn of a reaver family, you must have inherited your father's holdings. What became of them once you left your homeland?"
"I left them as tradition dictates to the eldest female sibling of my house and youngest male sibling to organise until I return. But I believe that they believe me to be dead."

The old man nods. "And what of your three siblings? Where are they? Who are they?"
"Indeed, elder. My younger sister, Helga, as I said before would be on the island of Varr, organising the estate with my youngest brother Sherbald. My other brother Hosker became part of the Stormlord's Guard. When I left, I believe he had just made lieutenant."

Scribbling down answers furiously with his quill, the man looks up. "You are wanted for war crimes in the Northlands of Norbayne. Why is this? Are you guilty or innocent of the charges?"
"Crimes? What crimes? I raided in the Northlands sure, but it was all fair. I killed a few people and took our rightful spoils in exchange for not raiding them for another year. Of course, I took part in the Great Reaving. I fought in that, but I did nothing wrong."

"I see... So finally lad, what was your reaction when you came face to face with a Corpsewalker for the first time? You had heard of the virus before of course, but what was it like facing one that night?
"Terrifying. I will not forget it till the day I die. I had heard of the virus, but I assumed it to be only hearsay and legend."

"Thank you for your time lad. You may go back to sleep now." Darkness overtakes you and you fall back into a deep slumber.

Invarrian traditions are a bit funny. The eldest female of the litter typically inherits family holdings after the firstborn, which pass to any partner she might have upon marriage. In certain cases, provision might be made for another to gain partial control of the estate, but the major part of the wealth generally belongs to the eldest female.

Anyway, hope that was enjoyable. Please stay tuned, I'll have a considerable amount of new material up very soon.

2013-01-24, 10:40 AM
Session 1.2: Into the Darkness

I just filled everyone in on the location, namely that ahead of them is the expanse of tumbled grey stone, discarded, weathered blocks strewn everywhere. The western edge is being encroached upon by the forest, roots and thick leaf-litter obscuring the rock. There is a rectangular doorway in the centre of the external ruins, which leads underground and into the temple complex itself. Inside it is dark, but there is still a little visibility, or at least there will be during the day.

The group pays the man Maebh hired to drive the wagon, not needing him anymore as she spent the majority of the trip watching what he did and learning.
She picked up the Drive skill upon levelling up
The hired driver pockets the twelve sulvers with a smile that makes the group think they've been ripped off.
"Look me up if you're ever back in town and you need my help again." - Driver, with a tip of his hat before walking away.

There is much frenzied and somewhat confused discussion about the plan. All I remember is that Ladyhawk only just realised that Dev has a broken nose.
For the uninitiated, Dev's nose is, in his words, "Flat as a pancake."

I couldn't tell even with the recording how this came about but I did find Dev's comment here quite amusing.
"I'm a dog-man, I don't have to be illiterate." - Dev, engaged heatedly with Sins.
"Wait a minute, you don't have to be illiterate?" - Me, honestly confused.
"Yeah, I don't have to be illiterate." - Dev, not realising that this word does not mean what he thinks it means.
There was much laughter, to the point that Sins nearly went catatonic, becoming "broken," as Ladyhawk put so well.

"Alright, let's go inside then." - Harold, getting everyone together.
"Wait, do we want to go inside or do we want to explore the surface first?" - Kel'Serrar
"Yes, good idea." - Harold.
"Because, if we go in, Maebh will be at the back. And if something sneaks in behind us, they'll hit the mage. And I don't want that." - Kel'Serrar.

They split up to search the outside, spreading out from the centre to cover the four cardinal directions. They all find what appear to be large chicken tracks, which seem to be milling around in random directions. In addition to this, Kel'Serrar finds broken pieces of red glazed pottery strewn about the place. They're old, but still somewhat shiny.

It is still early morning by the time they finish their explorations. Maebh casts Create Element, lighting a fire in the palm of her hand with the slight side effect of temporarily blinding herself as she became suddenly overcome by her sheer arcane might, while Harold lights one of the newly purchased torches. They then head underground, Breanna leading the way with dagger held at the ready, Harold following with axe drawn and torch in hand, Kel'Serrar with an arrow nocked and finally Maebh bringing up the rear wielding both flame and spear.

A little discussion here about how they are similar to the Fellowship of the Ring. After all, Harold has his axe, Kel'Serrar his bow and Breanna supposedly was short and had hairy feet. All she needs is a ring.

Inside it is dark, but as they are carrying light with them, visibility is not a problem. Ahead of the group there is a thick stone door. Next to the door, there are three levers which must be pulled down. Beneath each one, from left to right are three small symbols, a lion in profile facing to the right, a wolf in profile facing to the left and a horse in profile facing to the left.

They also notice that the wall is pockmarked with many fist-sized holes in the wall, which Harold points out are probably ports for spikes.

This was amusing because they, on the whole, didn't really put much thought into the pattern behind the puzzle.

"Maebh, pull the middle one." - Harold, trying to back away from the door.
"No way, I'm way back here. You pull it." - Maebh, not falling for that one.
"Right. Breanna, how about you pull it?" - Harold, still trying to back away from the door.
"NO!" - Breanna, fully aware that she's the closest and squishiest person in the party.
"Could it be starsigns?" - Maebh, inspecting the carvings carefully.
It does relate to the starsigns.
"No, it probably isn't. Pull the lion one." - Harold, not knowing what to do.
Maebh and Kel'Serrar back off to a point where the holes in the wall cease.
"Oh right, I pull the horse one then." - Breanna, not pulling anything Harold suggests.
She pulls the horse lever and a loud click is heard from within the door itself as the horse lever locks into the downward position, but that is all.
"Um, the lion next." - Breanna, pulling the lever.
Another click is heard as the lion lever is locked into position.
"And now the wolf I guess..." - Breanna, pulling the final lever.
And the door opens!
"Hooray!" - Breanna, letting her excitement getting the better of her.

If you are one of my players, do not read this bit.
The three symbols are indeed representations of three constellations which were considered sacred by the race which used to dwell within these ruins. These constellations form the basis of the starsigns used as role-playing aids in Norbayne, these three in particular being ordered Stallion-Lion-Wolf. Breanna managed, through sheer luck, to find the correct order. If she had pulled the levers in the wrong order the holes in the walls would have shot out D10 small spikes immediately, each causing 3 Damage. A single spike wouldn't necessarily kill, but with a high roll, this could have been rather dangerous, especially for Breanna.

The door swings open and a foul stench emanates from the room beyond. Despite the party's flames, they cannot see much of anything inside. Maebh casts a Flare into the room. With a cacophony of shrieks, the Flare blasts apart one of the room's denizens. The spell lights up the room, showing a number of Tahlun.

Like a three foot tall cross between a rat-man and a lizardman. Sort of like kobolds. Sort of. They're vermin. I should have artwork of the various creatures whihc most would find unfamiliar fairly soon.

Well as soon as I can get Lady Darkmoon to do it. :smalltongue:

"Forward!" - Harold, brandishing his axe and torch.
Maebh and Kel'Serrar remain where they are, trying to eliminate as many of the Tahlun as possible before they mob the Invarrian. Breanna however stays back, quietly cursing to herself about why she opened the door.
Maebh's second Flare blasts into the wall, causing the Tahlun to cower against the walls and scream in fear. Kel'Serrar manages to set his arrow on fire but just misses when he shoots. Harold on the other hand runs towards two of the Tahlun which are huddled together against the wall. He gets a critical hit and utterly butchers one of them with his axe.

The other one grabs its rusty knife and attempts to shove it into the dog-man's ribs. Harold avoids the strike. Three more Tahlun attack the Invarrian, two of them hitting him, but both strikes are parried easily by the old duellist, who counters, killing another.

Three Tahlun remain engaged with Harold, while two more huddle in the corner of the room. Maebh attempts to kill those two with another Flare, but she misses, blasting the stone wall yet again. Kel'Serrar shoots and kills one of those two after Maebh's Flare, transfixing it with a flaming arrow. The other one gives a wild scream of pain and anguish before trying to run past the mage and ranger to escape.

Harold has a lot of trouble hitting the little creatures, obviously used to fighting taller opponents. Of the three Tahlun attacking Harold, only one of them hits, but the Invarrian easily parries. The last one, trying to escape, runs straight at Maebh, who braces her spear and leaves it gargling blood upon the stony ground, leaving only the three on Harold.

"Please don't shoot one with a flaming arrow!" - Harold.
"Ok then, I'll shoot one with a normal arrow." - Kel'Serrar muttering to himself.

One of the Tahlun falls with an arrow in the back of its head, killing it instantly, leaving only two. Maebh charges into the fray and between her and Harold they quickly account for the two of them, one of which is more or less decapitated by Harold's torch.

We were left wondering whether this fight consisted of Harold wading in with fire and sword like Strider on Amon Sul, striking down his lesser opponents with great skill, or whether it was really a massive six foot tall dog-man swiping wildly at the child-sized little lizard people shouting, "Go away! Go away!" at the top of his lungs.

It can be seen after the battle that the Tahlun are malnourished and ill, their skin drawn tight across their bones. At first glance the room appears empty but the group swiftly finds five crudely fashioned trapdoors built into the floor. Harold opens the first one and out springs a little Tahlun pup which launches up into Harold's face. There is small panic before they realise that it has dropped to the ground and is dead. Inside the cavity in the ground, they can see many dead pups which look as if they've starved to death.

"The pups must be pretty hungry." - Harold, thinking of his little marcwolf with its head poking out of his pack.

Harold and Breanna feed their pups on some of the little Tahlun pups, the sound of brittle bones snapping in the mouths of the marcwolves punctuating the group's efforts to open the other trapdoors. Three other trapdoors contain more dead Tahlun pups, however one contains a small stash of what the Tahlun considered precious items.

The cavity contains:
Two shortswords which Harold straps to his back leading to the group making comments regarding how Harold is now a walking armoury.
A pair of leather bracers which Harold also picks up.
An old flimsy quiver with 10 arrows for Kel'Serrar.
12 coppers which are split evenly between the party, excluding Maebh.
2 sulvers which Maebh takes, threatening the others with flaming death if they argue.

It took a long time to divide the loot as it really did seem as if no one wanted to take the swords.

Maebh makes a harrowing discovery, finding that a fair few of the dead Tahlun pups seem to have been at least partially eaten already, indicating that the adults had practiced cannibalism to some extent in their starved states.

There is a doorway straight ahead which is to be pushed open, which Harold shoves open with small difficulty. Ahead of the group is a large hallway. Over two hundred paces straight ahead, there can be seen a massive stone gateway. To the right there are two smaller stone doors and to the left there is another. The left door has already been opened. They notice that this doorway has been completely blasted open by magical fire, as evidenced by the black charring around the doorway itself.

The hallway is quite bare, likely having been plundered in the past. The walls however are covered in intricate carvings, many of which appear to be the written form of some unknown language, however a few of the friezes are of a pictorial nature. Maebh and Harold inspect the walls and find that, along with the written inscriptions, the pictures tell a story.

"On this side, the wall shows the rise of these people." - Dev, while inspecting the friezes on the left side of the hallway.
The left wall shows what seems to be the rise of a civilisation as the people, who resemble human children in appearance, began to develop metallurgy and magic along with other technologies. Over time, their structures begin to grow greater and greater, reaching to the sky, towering over all else that had come before.

"Right, well this is their fall. It looks like they switched their type of magic from either Spirit or Arcane magic to Black magic." - Maebh, inspecting the other side.
The right wall shows what happened to these people over time, as they were overcome with a lust for power. Many slipped from practicing the safe magics of spirits and the earth, and into the arts of black magic. Inexperienced summoners began to wreak havoc upon their homeland as the daemons which they tried to bind broke loose. The last frieze shows a barren wasteland.
"So this is a cautionary tale against the use of Black magic." - Harold.

The group's debate is interrupted by what sounds like sobbing from within the blown up room on their left. They stride forwards with weapons ready, Harold at the fore. The room appears to have been set aflame, the stone literally melting and running down the walls. At the end of the room there is, what appears to be, a tunnel, crudely hewn out of the rocky walls. The tracks lead into this tunnel. It also seems as if it is the cause of the sobbing. Harold notices the tunnel appears to have been slowly scratched out by bare hands, as evidenced by the caked blood dried around the mouth. What’s more, the tunnel seems to be more of a short cave, the end of it only five feet back from the wall.

At this point a man comes lurching out from the cave towards Harold, growling and gargling, hands outstretched with fingertips worn down to bone claws. He is quick, but ungainly, gnashing his teeth and assaulting furiously. He wears no armour and few clothes, but seems beyond physical pain, his skin badly charred and burnt, almost rotting on his body.

The Corpsewalker misses with all of its attacks before Breanna attempts to attack it with her new shiny dagger, but fails to do much in the way of damage. Maebh throws a Flare at the creature and sets it on fire, blasting it with a ball of fire. Kel'Serrar's arrow flies across the chamber and strikes the opposite wall. Harold manages to cause a fair bit of damage with his axe, striking its left arm off at the elbow.

Breanna fails to hit it after it flails at Harold wildly, and Maebh blasts another chunk out of it with yet another Flare. Kel'Serrar misses again, before Harold is forced to Parry. He does so, but fails. Luckily his mail shirt is up to the task of negating the damage.
In an attempt to blow it up, Maebh loses control of her magic and finds herself temporarily blinded.
In the end Harold finishes it off with two powerful strikes from both axe and torch, the latter of which sends the Corpsewalker’s crushed head flying off its shoulders. It falls to the ground, dead at last.

Aside from the Corpsewalker afflicted, the room is empty aside from the remains of many creatures, including some humanoids, which appear to have been torn apart and gnawed clean.
After a short discussion about splitting the party, they decide its bad idea.
“If we split up the party, it would be a bad idea, cause we’d be splitting up the party.” – Harold, taken out of context for massive laughs.

They decide to go with the door on the right, furthest from the passageway they entered from earlier. The heavy stone door appears to require pushing open. Harold and Maebh attempt to push the door open, both straining against the hard rock. After minutes of pushing, the stone door slowly swings open. The hallway beyond is exceptionally long, with almost one hundred doorways on either side of the hallway. Each doorway leads into a small room, each with a desk made of stone and a large slab of stone in the corner, likely beds. The rooms seem to be little living areas.

The party spends several hours searching the rooms, but come up mainly empty-handed, finding many ancient books written in an unknown language and a small silver chain, set with a grey stone pendant and set with a single blue sapphire.

Maebh’s issues with blindness pass somewhere in here.

Maebh recognises the pendant as a Focus Stone, which will help her attune to her magic more easily.

An extended break where we laugh at Dev’s awful accents until Lady Darkmoon reminds us that we are still recording. Dev, I will put it up on Youtube for the world to laugh at. Live in fear.

Now, early in the afternoon, the group sits down in the main hall and has lunch. Harold lights a fire using the smashed up lids of two trapdoors from the Tahlun nest.

After lunch, they approach the last doorway. Maebh decides to try and blast it open with her magic. Her attempt does not blast them open, but she does knock a hole in them. Inside, they hear a yell of surprise.

“Now would be a good time to display your charming nature.” – Kel’Serrar to Harold.

“You want him to punch the door?” – I can’t resist.

“Who’s in there?” – Harold, yelling inquisitively if it can be imagined.
“We’re a party from Summer Hill! I take it you aren’t Corpsewalkers?”- The reply from inside.
“No. We’ve been sent from Summer Hill to find you.” – Harold.
The occupants of the room hurry to unbar the door and-
“DIE!!!!” – Dev eliciting much laughter.

The band inside is made up of three Midlanders, a Feartarbh and a Roanfaille, all of which are armed and at least lightly armoured. The party immediately notice that this sort of equipment is not the kind which one would usually find in the possession of townsmen.

Harold can tell just by the way in which one of the Midlanders is standing that the man is a duellist of some skill. Then he realises as the man steps forward with his hand upon his sword, he knows him.
“Harold Oakenshield, we meet again.” – Barnan MacSilver.
He immediately draws his sword.
“This is the last time we shall meet in this life Oakenshield. I owed you a debt last we met, but no more. Draw your sword and test it against mine.” – Barnan MacSilver.
“Can we not wait until we get back to Summer Hill and then sort this all out?” – Harold, remembering he lost the last duel.
“No. This is the last time we meet, Oakenshield.” – Barnan.

Harold looks around the room, taking in the other band.
“Is it alright with you lot if we engage in an honour duel right here?” – Harold.
The general consensus is a “Yeah, alright. If you have to.”

“If you both stay together, this can still be the last time you meet....” – Kel’Serrar, trying to find a loophole.


“As long as you’re both together, you still haven’t ‘technically’ ended this meeting...” – Kel’Serrar.
The Northern duellist is not exactly the cleverest of fellows. His expression darkens. He studies Kel’Serrar with a look of confusion before finally,
“Shut up! We fight today.” – Barnan.
“But-“ – Kel’Serrar.
“SHUT UP!” – Barnan.

Quite a bit of laughter, probably at my horrendous Scottish accent. I usually try to give the characters different voices but I get a bit nervous with the whole group around. I’d do it if it weren’t for Lady Darkmoon. She has a vicious tongue.

Harold takes up his sword and axe.
Barnan in turn is armed with an arming sword and targe and clad in a leather jerkin and rough-spun woollen garments. He draws his sword, readies his small spiky shield and prepares for Harold’s onslaught.
Both parties stand back to allow the two duellists some room.

Barnan is a character of Dev's creation, mentioned in Harold's backstory as a primary antagonist. Harold spared the man's life after they fought the first time, prompting Barnan to do so in turn as a matter of honour upon winning the second duel. He swore then that the next time they faced each other would be the last.

Somehow, their paths have crossed once more.

I made this character very close to Harold in ability and gave him a nasty weapon combination to deal with to make this quite tough. The plan was to have Barnan replace Harold as Dev's character if he won, but I hoped that would not have to happen.

Both of them are equal for three Initiative rolls in a row, taking a fair bit of time to eventually figure out. Harold finally wins out after some circling.
Using his new Duellist skills after levelling up at the end of the last session, Harold finds himself at a slight advantage.

There’s some discussion as to whether or not the others should help Harold. He doesn’t want any due to it being dishonourable to accept help in single combat. The others are happy to “accidentally” blow both of the combatants up. But they are dissuaded from doing so.

Harold opens up with a tearing cut from his axe across the Northman’s chest, which rips through the leather jerkin and into the flesh. Barnan strikes wildly back with his sword, missing but he follows up with his targe, forcing Harold back a few steps but the Invarrian dodges aside from the spike.

The two exchange blows for several minutes, each having difficulty breaking through the other’s defences. Barnan eventually does so, thrusting his sword into the Invarrian twice. After a few more minutes of frantic fighting, Barnan overpowers Harold, causing him to drop his axe. Bleeding from his stab wounds and taking in ragged breaths, Harold jumps back, holding his sword downwards in the signal for respite.

“I need a break.” – Harold, gasping for breath.
“How long do you need?” – Barnan, angry and also breathing heavily.
“Until we stop bleeding.” – Harold, positive towards his friends’ healing abilities, despite all prior experience.
“That’s a substantial break you’re asking for...” – Barnan, hesitant to agree.
“I’d prefer this duel to be decided by one masterstroke as it were, rather than one of us bleeding out.” – Harold, grimly defiant.

I raise the point that bleeding out is sort of the definition of a duel. Everyone bleeds out. It's just blood. Everywhere. Very messy. I have seen this. I have done this. You do not want this.

Kel’Serrar immediately takes his bandages to Harold’s stab wounds, trying to staunch the bleeding. No matter what sort of bandaging is going on, internal injuries are going to need more than just bandages. Even ones made of poison sumac. The hasty first aid helps Harold out, a little at any rate.

There's still more. :) (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14585776&postcount=18)

2013-01-24, 11:19 AM
Both combatants having been touched up, Harold and Barnan leap back into the fray, Harold with his two newly acquired shortswords and Barnan with his sword and targe. They circle each other once more before Barnan tries to ram the Invarrian with his shield once more, the dog-man once again side-stepping easily. Harold’s return attack clips the man’s arm, drawing blood but not causing any lasting damage. In return the Northman’s sword cleaves through bandages, chain hauberk and flesh, gashing Harold from shoulder to hip, driving him to his knees. With a roar of pain, the Invarrian drives one of his blades through the Northman’s torso, bearing him to the ground before falling on his side beside him, bleeding profusely. Harold, with the last of his strength crawls over to the fallen Barnan.

“You played a great game my friend. Rest in peace.” – Harold, before closing the dead man’s eyes.

Jokes about how a dying man would be pretty pissed off about having his eyes closed before he dies. “I’m feeling much better!” “It’s just a flesh wound.”
We’re all Monty Python fanatics.

Harold collapses as Barnan breaths his last.

Kel’Serrar prepares to bandage him by dragging the Invarrian off the dead Northman. The other group work towards closing the door up again.

Two groups of murder-hobos locked in a small underground room. This should end well....

The first man they notice is taciturn, tall and seems to be quite strong. He has short black hair of a ragged cut, a short trimmed beard and dark green eyes. He also has a scar which runs from the corner of his left eye to the edge of his jaw and his nose seems badly broken. Bound around his upper right arm is a bloodstained bandage. At his belt hangs a longsword and a bow is slung over his shoulder.

The next is a clean-shaven Midlander, and the leader of the party. His accent betrays a southern heritage, as does his tanned skin. Of middling height, he has long brown hair which is tied back and piercing blue eyes. His nose is prominent, but he seems to be a cheerful and friendly sort of fellow. Clad in grey, he bears a sword and dagger, and despite some rips and tears in his clothing, seems to be unharmed.

They next notice a heavy-set Roanfaille, easily picked as such by his dark skin and prominent red-ink tattoos. Tall, he has long brown hair which is thickly braided and dark eyes. His demeanour screams mercenary, as does his equipment, which is baroque and extravagant. His cheek bears the sigil of a red stallion rampant, which is the mark of one of the clans of the Norbayne Roanfaille. His plate harness is bloodstained, as is the bandage wrapped around his forehead, but he seems to be in little pain.

Lastly, they focus on the massively built Feartarbh. By his shaggy brown coat, it is likely he is from the northern Midlands, so it is possible he comes from around Summer Hill. Built with slabs of muscle on an exceptionally sturdy frame, he bears two massive horns upon his head. These horns coupled with his height necessitate him stooping when inside the ruins to avoid getting entangled or at the very least, making rasping noises as the horns scrape along the bare rock. Despite his size, he seems to be quite gentle, likely at least until his friends are threatened, in which case he would likely put both his horns and his maul to good use.

The other group, who are far more physically impressive. And they seem to be far less stingy with their employer's money.

After some time, Harold manages to fight his way through the haze of pain and finds himself leaning up against a smooth stone wall.
“Who leads you?” – Harold, gasping in pain.
The man in grey steps forward and gives the dog-man and his companions a beaming smile.
“I am Mordra Goldshine, leader of this group. That was brilliantly fought sir.” – Mordra, winking at the grizzled Invarrian.
“Oh, it’s one of those.” – Maebh, in a far too conspicuous whisper.
“Thank you. Now tell me, what’s happening here?” – Harold, wincing in pain.

Mordra informs them that they were sent out to look for a special stone, as Summer Hill is in danger of being taken over by the neighbouring kingdom of Elspeth. So, Petyr Rangard sent them out to look for it. Since then, Corpsewalkers have just spontaneously appeared in the area, flooding the countryside, so the group shut themselves in the room, unable to escape.

“But enough of such matters, what of your own story?” – Mordra.

“We set out from Summer Hill in the morning and came across a ruined carriage on the road which had been set upon by at least one marcwolf. We tracked the beast back to its cave, and killed both of the adults, leaving us with the two pups. During the night we were attacked by bandits, but we fought them off. We found this note on one of their bodies.” – Harold, passing the man the note given to Maebh by the bandit leader.
“I do not recognise the hand, nor the name, but it would probably be to the good to follow it up.” – Mordra, handing the note back.
“The next morning we woke up to the realisation that we didn’t have enough supplies-” – Harold, continuing.

“Shouldn’t that be any supplies?”
“I’m trying to word this positively!” – Dev
“That was the optimistic version of events?”

Harold proceeds to inform the Midlander of the ensuing events. When informed of Maebh’s discovery in the living quarters, Harold’s keen eyes notice that Mordra’s fists slightly clench, his eyes widen and his jaw clenches, almost imperceptibly.
An impeccable pass of a Perception check on Harold’s part there.
“And then of course, we couldn’t get through a door and we had to blast our way through.” – Harold.
The two share a laugh, if somewhat pained on Harold’s part.

“Kel’Serrar, I want you to keep an eye on him. But don’t shoot him, not yet anyway.” – Harold, to Kel’Serrar on the side after both leaders have gone to their respective parties.

At this point we get helplessly sidetracked for at least five minutes as a long-standing point of contention is brought up yet again. Lady Darkmoon and I have quite strong South Australian accents, which in my own voice sounds quite whiny and annoying, or sexy, deep and masculine, depending upon whom you bring it up with. This is in stark contrast to the others, who are all Queenslanders.

As such, LD and I both say the word, ‘chance,’ like ‘charnce,’ while the others use what I have termed the American pronunciation. It’s mainly Ladyhawk and I who end up discussing how strange we find each other’s accent, but this time we dragged the others into it, Dev in particular who is a master at the art of the cop-out.

They say ‘mandareen,’ we say ‘mandarin.’ Sins informed us that was a language. Dev said something which sounded like mandrill. I informed him that was a baboon. We have fun. But we all secretly despise each other.
We did attempt to get back to it, mainly through Dev’s efforts, but this was in vain as he mispronounced Ladyhawk’s character’s name (Ray-ve instead of May-ve) and then tried to claim that pronunciation was not important anyway. Yes, Gyeorg. (Bonus points if you can actually guess what his real name is from that phonetic iteration of my mangled pronunciation.)

Back to the action.

“Oh and Maebh, you might want to hide that necklace. Oh and don’t stab them yet either Breanna, we might need them.” – Harold, whispering to Maebh and Breanna.
“Don’t worry, I’ll probably miss anyway.” – Breanna, muttering to herself.

Harold also gives Mordra the letter Rangard gave him. Mordra breaks the seal and reads the letter in a small shard of mirror he fishes out of his backpack. Whatever he reads, he musn’t like it as he crumples it up and turns back to his own group.
“My thanks.” – Mordra, walking back to his own people on the other side of the room.
There is furious whispering and many furtive glances being thrown back at Harold and his companions.

After some conversation, Harold decides to catch some sleep, thinking that the more rest he gets, the quicker he will heal. The rest just lounge around, using the time to recover from an eventful past few days.

While Kel’Serrar sits against one of the walls, the other party’s ranger takes him aside.

"I have somewhat of importance to tell you." – Eradan Blackstar, furtively to Kel’Serrar.

"Just a few days ago, as you know, we were almost overrun by Corpsewalkers. They just came out of nowhere. One day the land was quiet, peaceful. The next we were surrounded by scores of them. We cut down a fair number, but eventually we were forced back and barricaded ourselves in here, slowly running out of supplies as they hammered at our door."
He gives a racking sob which quickly turns into a harsh, thick cough.
"I confess to you that I went down amongst them in the final moments of that battle. I've been bitten. I can feel it welling up within me. I have not long left to live as myself. I would end it myself, but there is something worrying I must share with you. The Southron over there, he was also bitten. I saw it with my own eyes, yet somehow I doubt he has the conviction to end himself." - Eradan Blackstar with a grim smile

"It is far too great a risk to allow us all to live, for you will not know until it is too late that one of them has deceived you. I will help you put them all to the sword. And then you must kill me. It is the only way." - Eradan, deadly serious

“This is too important for me to make the decision right now. Let me inform the others.” – Kel’Serrar.

The others discuss the situation, trying to discern whether or not Eradan is telling the truth. While discussing it, they decide to observe their erstwhile companions and see what sort of armaments they're packing. The Feartarbh is carrying a big two handed maul and wearing rough leathers. Judging by the feathers and charms hanging off him, he's probably a shaman. The Roanfaille bears a scimitar and a tall, unadorned tower shield. He is clad in a chain hauberk and bloodstained plate. In his turn, Goldshine carries a sword and dagger and wears a chain hauberk.

They discuss their chances taking on the other party head on.
"We can't win, can we?" - Maebh, shaking her head.
"I agree with your assessment regarding our chances of success." - Harold, blinking sleep out of his eyes.
"They're too well armed." - Maebh.
"Yes." - Harold, nodding. "We need more information. Kel'Serrar, you are skilled at healing. They are injured. I think you should offer your services. And then you get to see their wounds."

There's a reason he was elected as leader.

They decide that as a contingency they should run outside. They consider Kel'Serrar conducting his 'check-ups' out in the corridor where its more easily defended, or perhaps outside on the horse-drawn wagon so they can outrun them if there's any hostility. Not that the poor horse could outrun anything in a serious chase while loaded down with four people and their supplies.

They discuss how long they should stay in the ruins as their supplies are running low. They then discuss how long they have before they will need to kill the others. They find out from Blackstar, who might not be a completely reliable source of information on this matter, that they have maybe two days more before the other party starts succumbing to the virus.

Breanna suggests having one of the players offer to take sentry duty for the night and then go kill all of the other group while they sleep, something which makes perfect sense for the assassin, however the others are a bit hesitant, not wanting to kill any innocents.

Maebh then suggests to Kel'Serrar that he should check out Blackstar's wound so the ranger has a good idea what to look for when he checks over the other party.

After a bit more discussion, Kel'Serrar heads over to the other party who are keeping to themselves over in a corner.
"I see some of you bear injuries. I have some skill at healing. Perhaps I may be of assistance?" - Kel'Serrar, guileless as possible.
The other party looks at him warily, but they can't refuse free treatment. Mordra Goldshine eventually nods.
"Our thanks I guess. Where do you want to do this, friend?" - Goldshine.
"Well, we've set up camp here and leaving might be dangerous. Might as well do it here." - Kel'Serrar.

He gets to work. The Roanfaille refuses to let Kel'Serrar take off his hauberk, so the ranger is unable to inspect his torso and upper arms, however there are plenty of exposed scratches, including a cut on the man's head which looks to be becoming infected, which Kel'Serrar cleans and bandages.

The massive Feartarbh on the other hand is happy to let the Danann at his wounds, and has at least three bites on his body. In addition to this he is covered in scratches and other injuries.

Mordra comes over and seems fine at first, but his bravado dies down once he gets close to the ranger and is forced to remove his armour, revealing a massive bite mark on his shoulder.

While this is happening Harold tries to find a staff to lean on, eventually deciding on Maebh's spear, which she grudgingly hands over.

After the check-ups, Harold then takes Mordra outside the room to the massive stone doorway at the end of the main hall, hoping to have a private word.
"Do you have any idea how to open this? - Harold, leaning heavily on Maebh's spear. His exertions from the duel earlier have taken a lot out of him.

The rest he managed to gather and Kel'Serrar's ministrations have helped considerably, but he's still getting around on very little health. Breanna's has improved somewhat over time, as has Kel'Serrar's, but that being said, neither of them had that much to begin with. Maebh on the other hand, is still running around with minimal burns from her two magical backlashes.

"Actually, I have the key." - Mordra, pulling said key out a pocket.
The key is a small, shield shaped block of stone with an unidentified gem set into it.
"Sparkly?" - Lady Darkmoon
"Pretty?" - Ladyhawk, practically simultaneously.
"Can you open it then?" - Harold.
"No, I don't know what's in there. We've heard some unnatural noises." - Mordra, shaking his head and putting the key back in his pocket.
"Well then, I think I'll go back to Summer Hill with my companions and come back with more men so we can take on whatever is in there. In the meantime, I think you should barricade yourselves again in the room we're staying in at the moment." - Harold.
"Well now you're with us, we should go back with you! We were only in there because we couldn't risk trying to break through the horde. But they've all disappeared, and now you're all here. We might as well all get out together." - Mordra.
"Uh-oh." - Lady Darkmoon.
Harold thinks for a bit, furiously trying to come up with a way to stall for time.

I can barely hear what Dev says here because he mumbles something awful, but it sounded like, "Before we leave, we need more information.""Before we leave, we need more information. My compatriots will take this corridor, and you can take the room. We'll barricade ourselves in and you do the same." - Harold, indicating the abandoned living quarters for his own group.
Mordra agrees to this plan, nodding, and then strides back into the room, leaving Harold to hobble as best he can.

Upon making it back to the room, Harold discusses the plan with his companions, having them relocate to the living quarters. They decide quickly that there is no one in Summer Hill which would be able to help them. They then consider using the levers at the doorway at the beginning to lay a trap, however they soon realise that this is just not possible.
Lady Darkmoon suggests using poison sumac to kill them, slowly choking them to death with their own bandages. The idea is quickly shot down as poison sumac is not available.
"So why not use normal sumac?" - Ladyhawk, with a laugh.

They eventually decide that procrastinating is not getting them anywhere. It is mid-afternoon, when Harold hobbles back to the doorway of the room and asks Mordra to come out, who refuses. Harold demands the key, but the Midlander lays his hand on his sword and tells the Invarrian to take it from him.

Harold walks outside, requesting his group comes outside to the wagon with him. All of them are now outside. Breanna and Harold deposit their marcwolf pups in the wagon, giving them a quick pat on the head and a small piece of dried meat to keep them satisfied.

Maebh considers blasting apart the doorway with her magic in order to cause the whole thing to come crashing down.

"There are footsteps coming from the tunnel behind us." - Maebh, hearing footsteps.

Harold immediately directs everyone into positions. Kel'Serrar stands above the doorway with an arrow nocked to his bow and Breanna and Maebh stand on either side of the door. Harold himself stands, leaning on Maebh's spear, in front of the wagon, the only person in view of whoever comes out of the tunnel.

A running Eradan Blackstar comes racing out of the tunnel, a slight limp barely noticeable in his gait.
"You aren't leaving are you?" - Eradan, gasping with pain.
"No." - Harold.
"Ah good. I was worried. I can't kill them all by myself." - Eradan.
"Could you possibly tell me the story again please, for my benefit?" - Harold.

So the ranger, bewildered, relates the story once more, detailing his own injuries and the Roanfaille's wound too. He explains that he hasn't killed himself yet, because he can't countenance leaving these lands in such danger, knowing that the others would not have the dignity to kill themselves.

To Harold's eyes, the man is severely stressed, which could be because he is lying, however the story does match up with what Kel'Serrar told him earlier.

"Alright then, Eradan, new plan. Run back in there and tell them I have changed my mind and we are leaving. And then get back out here." - Harold.
"Ok then, I'll be the first one out. I'll make sure." - Eradan, nervous.
He heads back inside.

Maebh readies two Flares, one in either hand. Breanna stands ready with her dagger and Kel'Serrar sets fire to his arrow, holding it ready. Harold meanwhile simply braces his borrowed spear.
They hear running footsteps from the tunnel and Harold can see Eradan running out, looking rather terrified. From inside comes a wild roar and out rushes...
The Roanfaille. Chasing the Midlander ranger with his sword and shield in hand.

Some discussion about whether or not it is acceptable to call him black. This is the man they are considering blowing apart with fireballs. I personally don't think the fictional character cares whether or not they insult him.

Maebh lets loose with both Flares, one singeing him and the other blasting into his abdomen, putting a great dent into his armour and leaving him smoking and writhing in pain on the ground.

Breanna finally gets to put her backstabbing skills to good use, almost sawing off his head while trying to slit his throat.
"Yay, I'm so happy!" - Lady Darkmoon.

Then out comes the Feartarbh....
"****...." - Practically everyone, more or less simultaneously.

Manius Longhorn comes out of the tunnel and sees the partially decapitated corpse of his friend lying on the ground, with the dagger-wielding Leathe assassin next to him. He hefts his maul, but not before Kel'Serrar looses his arrow.
He misses something awful.
"Can I throw her spear?" - Harold.
"If you break my spear, I'll kill you!" - Maebh, furious.
Harold hurls Maebh's spear at the Feartarbh, sending the heavy blade ripping through the shaman's chest. He's not dead. He roars in pain and turns his attention from Breanna towards Harold instead. On the other hand, to do so involves going through the Leathe.

She manages to tuck and roll out of the way. Just.

But now he's really angry and is running towards Harold.
"Oh thank the gods." - Breanna, very thankful.
The shaman tries to use his magic to call down a heatwave in the immediate area, but fails to do so.
Maebh tries to hit him with a Flare, but her magic causes some problems again, burning her slightly, but still hitting the Feartarbh with the ball of flame. It doesn't distract him from his target.

Harold stands his ground before the raging eight foot tall Feartarbh, thinking to grasp the spear in its chest and twist it out of his body.

And then we had to call it quits cause Sins had to go.
So we left it there.

The Wrap-Up:

What a bloody cliffhanger. :smallbiggrin:

Still, we'll get to see what happens tonight. Whether or not Harold manages to survive the literal bullrush. :smallwink:

Sorry that took so long to sort out, but I've been quite busy and then had some technical difficulties tonight when I temporarily lost the last half hour or so of the recording.

Anyway, cheers everyone, hope you all enjoyed 1.2.

Amidus Drexel
2013-01-24, 11:32 AM

That's an interesting development, what with the other party being walking Corpsewalkers-to-be.

*waits attentively for the next session*

2013-01-24, 11:49 AM
Well hopefully you won't have too long to wait. I'm going to America for about a week fairly soon, so I'll have plenty of time to work on the write-up.

That is if I have access to a computer there, which is not guaranteed. :smallfrown:

Thanks for reading, hope it was worth the wait. :smallsmile:

2013-01-24, 02:00 PM
SQUEE!! Want more story! Want more cute stabby possum squeegle! SQUEE!!:smallbiggrin:

2013-01-26, 10:45 AM
Okay then, I think it went rather well, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and Sins told me as we were packing up that we were in a good campaign.

I think I shall take that as the highest compliment I could possibly get. :smallwink:

Before we get to it, Ladyhawk did actually get her interview to me the morning before the game. So I present here, an interview with Maebh Preachain-Eite.

Your eyes open and before you is a tall, kindly looking old man with a long grey beard and weatherbeaten skin. He stands before you clad in a dark grey robe and bearing a carved wooden staff. He nods in greeting, shifting his weight upon his staff and pulls out a wooden board with a piece of parchment on it and a quill.
"Welcome Maebh, it is good to see you awake. I have some questions to ask of you my girl." Truly he is many ages older than you.

"Let us begin. Do you know if your father still lives? What do you think happened to him?"
"I do not know if my father still lives, for when I was very young he left on a hunting trip and neither he or his companions ever returned. No one knows what happened that night, however some of my tribe believe it was a monster from legend, which was said to roam the forests in which we live. The Diabhal."

A picture Ladyhawk supplied to give an idea of what the Diabhal is said to look like.

The old man looks concerned, scribbling notes on his parchment. What actually happened to your brother?"
"When he undertook the Harrowing, my brother was involved in an unlucky accident with a marcwolf. But that's just the way it works."

"Your packmates from your Harrowing would still be quite young. What would they think of you? Of the five of you who went through it together, how many of them survived your Harrowing?"
"Only two of us suvived the Harrowing. None of my packmates thought much of me. Magic is not well recieved among my people on a general basis. They only stayed with me because they knew it was their best chance for survival.

He nods and continues. "Do you think that you have been followed to Summer Hill by other Danann?"
"Only one would follow me. And I hope I never have to see his face again."

"And finally, tell me, what is your relationship with Kel'Serrar? As another Danann, are you wary of him?"
"I have no feelings for Kel'Serrar. He is merely a part of the group. No more. No less."

"Thank you for your time lass. You may go back to sleep now." Darkness overtakes you and you fall back into a deep slumber.

Alrighty then, first up as a reward for being the first to complete her interview, I granted Lady Darkmoon a free roll on the General Traits table, which garnered Breanna the Sturdy Trait, which came in surprisingly handy later in the session, allowing her to re-roll a single failed Strength or Toughness Check every day.

And then as a reward for the sheer effort he put into it, I granted Sins a free choice from the Traits he had available as a Danann. He ended up choosing the Coolheaded General Trait, allowing Kel'Serrar to re-roll a single failed Intelligence Check every day.

I then refreshed everyone on where they stood, namely with their half dead leader being charged by a raging bull man with a spear in it.

And then we got into the game, but information on that will have to wait. I just thought I''d give you the preamble now. :smallsmile:


2013-01-27, 09:12 AM
Wow, you've got an artist sister and an artist girlfriend/maybe-a-fiancee:smallsmile:? Good for you! Also, great story and WANT MORE CUTE STABBY POSSUM GIRL!

2013-01-27, 10:50 AM
Wow, you've got an artist sister and an artist girlfriend/maybe-a-fiancee? Good for you! Also, great story and WANT MORE CUTE STABBY POSSUM GIRL!

That painting was just something Ladyhawk found on Google, but I can see if I can post up the picture she drew in the first session of a plow-horse which everyone uses to taunt LD with. :smalltongue: For that matter Ladyhawk has drawn portraits of both Harold and Breanna while we've been playing.

Only Dev seems to try and take my campaign seriously. :smallbiggrin:

I'm trying to make sure that the third session is typed up and available before I go to America. Which is why I'm awake at two in the morning again I guess.


2013-01-28, 09:58 AM
Session 1.3: Exploration in the Black Pit

Welcome back everyone, :smallsmile:

This session was delayed for almost an hour while we waited for Dev to show up. And once we started Dev tried to jump on BloodBowl for a game and the two girls wouldn't get off their iPods. It all got better eventually and we got into it.

Dev changed his mind regarding what he was going to do with his action. He considers throwing his axe at the Feartarbh, but thinks better of it, deciding throwing Breanna at it might be a better idea. He quickly finds out that she is not close at hand.

As an aside, this might be the first time I have ever been forced to say that the minotaur is between you and the possum you want to throw at it.

Harold takes up his axe and sword and stands ready before it.

He did think about charging it, prompting me to say, "I thought grabbing the spear out of it was stupid."
"Why not though? He is barking mad." - Sins

Kel'Serrar tries to shoot it but misses from his vantage point on top of the doorway.

Breanna meanwhile just stands where she rolled aside to, despite Harold's frantic requests for help.

Turning around, Eradan Blackstar draws his sword and stands beside Harold, ready to take the shaman's charge.

The Feartarbh crashes into Harold and his new-found friend. Despite a negative to his Agility, Harold manages to sidestep, but Blackstar is not so lucky, taking the Feartarbh's massive horns in the stomach and is thrown to the ground, choking on blood. Longhorn then tries to hit Harold with his maul, but Harold is slightly too quick for the huge weapon.

Maebh blasts two flaming craters into the Feartarbh's back, finally bringing him down.

You need to remember that he already took a fair bit of damage from her earlier attack and Harold's spearthrow. :smallwink:

Thanks to her Talents, Maebh's Destruction spells are now significantly buffed. Flares are now doing D10+ about 5 Damage for Maebh, not including the burning Damage the fire spells inflict.

Maebh strides over to the dead Feartarbh, ignoring Harold's frantic shouts to stay in position. She compromises by going over there anyway and grabbing her spear, but then starting to walk back to her spot.

Failed Perception Checks all round.

An arm tightens in a vice-like grip around Breanna's neck and a swordblade held to her throat.

"Now you're all going to let me go, or we'll all see what colour her blood is." - Mordra, using the Leathe as a shield.
"We've already seen it!" - Maebh, stalling for time as she sees that, critically, Goldshine has not noticed Kel'Serrar standing above him.
"Ok, you want to cut her throat. Why should we care?" - Harold.
"Hey!" - Breanna, indignant.
"I'm role-playing!" - Dev.
"So am I!" - Lady Darkmoon.
"Do you realise you're going to be a mindless walking corpse in a few days!?" - Harold.
"No I won't be!" - Mordra, in denial.
"You're in denial!" - Maebh, still stalling.

There is some discussion here where Ladyhawk gets slightly confused regarding in-game and out-of-game relationships and Dev suggests that he, as Harold, doesn't really care about whether or not Breanna carks it.

In the interest of fostering inter-party spirit I point out that they have known each other for about a week now and have fought together.
"Well, he fought and I watched." - LD
"Not helping!"

Harold tries to subtly hobble over with his sabre drawn.
"No further! I want to get out of here alive. Stand aside!" - Goldshine, frantic.

An opportunity here for Breanna to finally use her magic. We finally get to see the power of Black Magic.

Arm against her throat, Mordra doesn't realise Breanna going slightly limp as she focusses on calling up the daemon within her, nor the subsequent tensing as she starts to squeeze the power out of the daemon she has trapped.

A successful Calling Check to trap a Level 1 daemon, garnering her 6 Power Dice she has available to use until she releases the daemon back into the Otherworld. She uses three of these to power her spell. This was far more than she needed, but she wanted to be sure of getting the required casting value.

A thunderous catamount wailing erupts from the tunnel behind Goldshine.

Lady Darkmoon cast Phantom Noise, asking specifically for the "roar" of a mountain lion.

The wailing shrieking meow startles Goldshine, prompting him to weaken his grip around Breanna's throat. She bites his hand and he lets go of her, letting her fall to the ground. Seeing that Breanna is on the ground at her assailant's feet, Maebh refrains from casting a Flare at him as Harold, standing in front of the wagon and draught horse, considers his options.

"Can I cut the horse and smack it on the arse so it charges forward?" - Dev figuring out what he can do.
"Excuse me, that's my horse." - Ladyhawk enraged.
"Smack it on the butt with the flat of my blade..." - Dev, not following her point of contention.
"After you cut it..." - Me, pointing out the obvious.
"Oh I meant whatever's tying it to the cart." - Dev.
"But then you wouldn't be able to tie it back up."
"Fine, untie it then." - Dev.
"If the horse dies, you're pulling the cart." - Ladyhawk.

Harold manages to free the horse from the yoke of the wagon.

Successful Dexterity Check to do it in time.

"11, I mean 12, I mean 21... 17." - Dev getting thoroughly confused reading out the result of the D100 roll. We all laughed, even Dev.
"I'm just shouting out random numbers by this stage!" - Dev, mocking himself.

The horse stands there and looks at him, as if to say, "Thank you."
"Can I slap it on the arse now?" - Dev.
Harold smacks the horse's rump with the flat of his blade and sends the draught horse bolting in a straight line towards the doorway. However it is not by any stretch a trained warhorse, so it shies away from the armed man and stands next to the doorway, skittish and wary of both Harold and the dark doorway.

Mordra attempts to attack the prone Leathe who manages to roll away from his wild sword strokes. Kel'Serrar then sends an arrow into the top of the Midlander's head, burying it to the fletching through his skull and into his neck. Goldshine falls to the ground, very dead.

Upon the Midlander's death, Maebh goes to comfort the horse and hitch it back up to the wagon.

And everyone goes up a level! And there was much rejoicing....
Quite a bit happened, but for continuity I'll keep it brief here and give details in the Wrap-Up at the end of the session. Suffice to say for now, Breanna picked up two new spells, Maebh got Fireball, Wall of Blades and some other stuff, Kel'Serrar a bunch of archery based Talents and Harold a bunch of Stat increases. There was obviously a lot more to it, but that's all you need to know for now.

The other party is now all dead. The only one which is not completely dead is Eradan Blackstar who is lying in great agony upon the ground not far from where Harold is standing. Harold goes over to the wounded man and kneels beside him.

"Is there any way you particularly want to die?" - Harold, steeling himself for what must be done.
*Incomprehensible choking noises of pain* - Blackstar, who has, let's face it, been momentarily impaled by about three feet of Feartarbh horn.
"Alrighty then." - Ladyhawk, mock cheerful.

Then follows, in hindsight, what might be the strangest conversation I have ever been part of. Dev puts forward that he should stab him in the chest, something Ladyhawk contests, believing his head should be struck off to make it quick.

Instead of the usual points of contention, namely the desecration of the corpse that course of action entails, Dev counters with the fact that decapitation is not a "big thing" in most cultures, whatever that means. Sins and I then point out that decapitation was in fact, a very common form of execution throughout the ages of our world. This goes on for many minutes, before Dev relents.

Harold takes up his sword and partially decapitates the mortally wounded ranger, leaving the head attached by a scrap of skin as a mark of respect.

In reality a Japanese tradition if my memory serves me correctly, however in Norbayne it seems like a Danann notion.

While he does this, Breanna releases the daemon she has harnessed within her.

It is late in the afternoon and the party then sets about to the main business of the day: Looting the dead.

Once again, for continuity's sake I'll condense the looting here and make the details known in the Wrap-Up at the end. The important thing to know is that Maebh manages to obtain more than her fair share of money again.

Harold goes through Mordra's belongings and finds the letter from Petyr Rangard, reading it in the man's mirror.
I know what you planned to do. The deal is off.

"Hey, friends come listen to this." - Harold. He then reads the letter.
"What?" - Breanna.
"That's it." - Harold.
"You're joking. We don't get our money?" - Maebh, despondent.
"No, no. They don't get their money." - Harold.
"Oh good." - Maebh, satisfied. She then turns to Mordra's corpse. "Ha ha, we get yours too."
"Well we've done our job. Our job was to contact them." - Harold, summing everything up.
"So now we just have to find the guy who owes us money, I suppose?"- Maebh.
"Admit it, you're curious. You want to find out what's behind that big door don't you?" - Kel'Serrar.
"I do!" - Harold. "Okay then, people, let's do this."
"Well we've got the key now. It's currently in the hands of our assassin." - Kel'Serrar, indicating that the shield-shaped stone was pilfered by the light-fingered Breanna after Goldshine's unfortunate run-in with Kel'Serrar's arrow.
"So all we need to do is convince her to unlock the door."- Kel'Serrar.

Harold pulls forth a torch from his pack.
"Let's do this." - Harold. He then holds his torch out to Maebh expectantly, who lights it with a conjured flame from her hand.
He takes a few steps and realises that he needs some extra support. So he finds Longhorn's maul in the tray of the wagon and hacks off the head, fashioning a long oaken walking staff for himself.

"You can even rename yourself Harold Oakenstaff!"

They head inside. Both Kel'Serrar and Maebh halt at the doorway to the Main Hallway, both of them preparing actions. Kel'Serrar has an arrow nocked while Maebh has her Wall of Blades spell readied. Harold and Breanna move forwards until, at the centre of the room Harold stops. With a small hesitation, Breanna creeps toward the indent in the wall where the key needs to be placed.

There is a lot of fear that there's a hell of a lot of Corpsewalkers inside the doorway. So the plan is for Breanna to open the door and then scamper back with Harold behind Maebh who will bring up her Wall of Blades to hinder whatever is chasing them.

In Dev's words, discretion will be the better part of valour.

Ladyhawk raises a good point when Breanna reaches the centre of the room. How is the little Leathe going to open the massive stone doors? They discuss it for a bit before deciding that their best bet is to just place the key into position and see what happens.

Breanna places the shield-shaped key into the indent and gives the gem set into the key a slight press. The doors slowly but surely grind open.

She bolts for it, back to the relative safety of the two Danann.

The massive doorway reveals a huge black expanse before Harold, who walks towards it. Once upon the threshold, the flames of his torch reveal an elevated stone platform almost one hundred yards from the floor with two huge staircases leading down on either side. Almost two hundred yards from the base of the stairs is what appears to be a congregation of people bearing torches. It is unlikely they are Corpsewalkers as they are bearing torches, but Harold can't tell from where he is standing.

"Come over here." - Harold, beckoning the others over to the doorway. Maebh and Kel'Serrar stride over, Breanna a little more hesitantly.

The others suggest that Breanna go in under the cover of Shadowskin and scout out the chamber. With much grumbling, she attempts to call up another daemon and succeeds. She feels the same daemon as before start to well up within her, but it manages to slip free before she can properly get ahold of it. Using the power it granted her, she tries to cast but fails.

"Well you are an assassin. How about you just sneak in and stay out of the light?" - Harold.

"You remember what happened last time she tried that?" - Kel'Serrar. I'm not actually sure what he's referring to here but it was still funny.
"Oh yeah..." - Harold, turning to Breanna, "Go for it."

Shrugging, she tries to call up a daemon once more. This time she goes for a more powerful individual, but she loses control for a split second. A ghastly face made of orange light materialises in the air before her and emits a silent shriek before vanishing.

Panting, she tries once again. In her haste, she calls up the one from earlier. This time she gets a proper hold of him and manages to siphon off a significant amount of magical energy. The daemonic energy courses through her and hides her in a veil of shadows. In the uncertain light, the others lose track of her and Harold feels a light breeze on the back of his calf accompanied by very light footsteps.

"Drop my money now!" - Harold, indignant.
She has not stolen his money, but she specifically tells me she wanted to blow on his calf to freak him out.

With a quiet, unseen laugh she descends invisibly into the darkness.

Once down the stairs and upon the main floor, she creeps forward to see what she can. Staying outside the meagre light afforded by the torches, Breanna hides in the shadows and takes note of what she sees.

There is a ring of people, clad in dark red hooded robes, each bearing a torch in their hands and an identical curved knife at their wastes. They are all chanting in unison. The Leathe listens carefully and she cannot make out the words, nor the language used, but the tone is one of adoration, worship.

After her spying mission, Breanna heads back to the rest of the party, making a weird croaking noise in the back of her throat to try and freak the others out.
"Kill it with fire!" - Harold.
Before they can swing, Breanna begins to laugh and she reappears between them.

"My response is condescension." - Sins.
"I am being condescending. Condescension, condescension, condescension." - Dev, with a laugh.
I was sure Dev was going to say condensation. "I will spray drops of water at you!"

We move onwards.

"There was a group of people, not half-dead people, but people-people holding torches and chanting something in a language I could not understand. But it was not aggressive, it was kind of.... worshippy." - Breanna.

"And I do not care if that was illiterate. That is how you use the term illiterate Dev." - LD to much laughter. "Illiterate: To not be literate."
"PG, how fond are you of your little sister?" - Dev.
"Very fond. Do not kill me." - LD.
"Uh... Moderately."
"MODERATELY!?" - LD, enraged.
"So if I give her a quick death you'd be alright with that?" - Dev, questioning.
"No, slow and drawn out. I want to be able to say good-bye."
We wouldn't hurt her. Not permanently anyway. :smalltongue:

Later I brought the matter to LD's attention that her use of the word illiterate was incorrect too. She brought another matter to my attention, namely that she did not care as she got a laugh at Dev's expense and that was all that mattered.

There is some debate as to whether or not it's worth going in there altogether. Eventually they decide to do so.

"Maebh, wait up here by the door with that Blade Wall ready." - Harold.
Maebh nods.
"Alright then, Maebh stay here, Kel'Serrar with me." - Harold. He then turns to Breanna. "You do whatever you like cause you're pretty much useless in a fight."
Breanna smiles and nods sheepishly.

This exchange was quite amusing given what is to come.

That's all for now, more to come. :smallbiggrin: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14607653&postcount=26)

2013-01-28, 10:14 AM
And here we go again, the last half of Session 1.3

Harold attempts to approach the group subtly.
The group throws synonyms at Dev for almost a minute here as he tries to describe his manner of movement.
"Succinctly is not the right word..." - Dev.
"Stealthily?" - Sins.
"Discretely?" - Ladyhawk.
"Sneakily?" - Sins, channelling some Gollum.
"Quietly?" - Dev.

This continued for way longer than it had to before he finally settled on subtly. Not that it really mattered, but at least by now I had a really good idea of how he was walking.

Breanna uses the harnessed daemon within her to re-cast Shadowskin. She has to struggle to hold onto it and ends up having to let go of the entity, but she manages to cast. Just.

As she hides herself, both Breanna and Harold hear that the chanting is getting stronger and louder as the cult gets closer to the end of their ritual. There is a massive flash of light in the middle of the congregation.

Failed Common Knowledge: Black Magic Check from Breanna.

Something is being summoned. Whatever it is, it is trapped within some sort of magical cage.

The cultists around it appear jubilant, cheering their success until the entity begins to fight against its bonds. With some panicked shouts, the robed figures dismiss the daemon before it can break through.

Do not read this if you are one of the players.

This is a very powerful daemon which the cult is trying to harness for an, as yet, unknown purpose. It takes a hell of a lot to call and then bind a daemon of such magnitude. To give an idea, the more powerful daemon which Breanna could not control was a Level 2. This is more akin to Level 20. It's about as close to an actual god as Norbayne could get.

After it is dismissed there is some quiet talking between the cultists which cannot be heard by the party. Then many magical doors appear in the air and the cult trickles away, leaving four "priests" behind, who begin to work magic upon where the attempted binding took place.

One is quite tall, one is quite short and the other two are of middling height.

"I'll take the short one, you get the tall one." - Breanna to Harold.
"I was actually going to suggest that you try and sneak around them as quietly as you can." - Harold in reply.
"Yep. That's good for me." - Breanna nodding in agreement.
"You can shoot them from here I take it?" - Harold to Kel'Serrar.
The Danann nods and has an arrow nocked and ready.

Breanna meanwhile begins her quiet journey around to the rear of the cultists, knives ready in the darkness as Harold strides confidently towards the group, making sure that if they notice anyone, it will be him.

As she gets closer, Breanna can hear them talking. Two are Midlanders, one is a Northmann and the last is a Selkye, all of whom are clad in the dark red hooded robes of their cult. The Selkye is quite old, his sparse hair and long, drooping moustache are grey with age, while the Northmann is of middling age with a long, dark beard and the two Midlanders are younger.

The Northmann appears to be the leader of this group, but judging by the deference the others show him, the Selkye seems to be a high-ranking member of perhaps a sister cult. However the Northmann and the Selkye seem to have a slightly antagonistic relationship as they have a few minor disagreements.

The four of them continue to talk amongst themselves and Breanna is able to gather that they are planning to destroy Summer Hill from within. As Harold gets closer, one of the Midlanders looks up and sees the flickering torchlight.

"Brothers! Are you there?" - Midlander cultist, fearfully.

Harold's figure becomes more recognisable as he comes closer.

"What the hell are you doing here!?" - Northmann cultist, angry.
"I thought this was an abandoned cave. Which I could loot." - Harold, trying to talk his way out of it.

I think Dev expected me to roll here to see if he deceived them. But honestly, who the hell would buy that story?

The massive Northmann, who stands at a comparable height to the six foot tall Harold walks up to the Invarrian, his hands crackling with daemon-fire.

"We can't let you leave her now."- Northmann cultist, threatening.
"Dun dun dun duh!" - LD
"But why? I just wandered in here. I wanted to ask you the way out." - Harold, changing his story in an attempt to charm them.
"You've seen too much. There's no getting out now." - Northmann cultist.
"What do you mean? I didn't see anything. I just heard you talking." - Harold, in his panic admitting that he was listening.
"In which case you have head too much." - Northmann cultist, reaching out towards Harold with his flaming hands.

As he does so, his fingers lengthen into "massive-bone-scythe-flaming-claws".
As an aside, try saying "massive-bone-scythe-flaming-claws" five times and really fast. We tried. And generally failed.

Harold leans back and swings his staff at the Northmann but his earlier wound slows him down and the Northmann uses a very interesting parrying technique, namely holding up his "massive-bone-scythe-flaming-claws" and shearing through the wood of Harold's staff, depriving it of about a foot and a half of its length. Harold dodges back as fast as he can but his eyes are confused by the flickering flame passing in front of his eyes and he dropped his torch upon the ground to help him swing his staff better. Even so he manages to evade the cultists' strikes for now.

Hearing the commotion, Maebh rushes in through the doorway and to the top of the stairs, still with her Wall of Blades at the ready. A glowing wall of bluish-purple magical blades grounds itself in front of Harold. Both the Invarrian and the Northmann fall back, desperately avoiding the blades. Ten yards long, it doesn't prevent Breanna from going around it.

Of the other three cultists, the older of the two Midlanders disappears through one of their portable doors, while the younger one stays with the Selkye elder. With a crackling of magic, the elder then begins to mentally fight with Maebh over control of the Blade Wall. It is a huge strain, but the Danann manages to maintain control over it for now.

Breanna can see in the light provided by the cultists' torches that the Selkye is astounded at finding someone who can match him in sheer willpower and beads of sweat are trickling down his forehead from the strain.

Staying in the shadows, the Leathe assassin swiftly creeps around the Midlander and strikes the Selkye from behind, slashing deeply into his throat.

Finally Breanna succeeds in using her insanely buffed Sneak Attack, causing the most damage in a single attack in the campaign so far at a whopping 24.

He falls forward onto the ground with his throat a bloody mess. The Midlander heard the noise of the knife slitting the elder's throat, followed by his gurgling death rattle.

"Master!" - Midlander cultist, running over to the dead Selkye. He then crouches next to the corpse, head bowed and sobbing. Crucially he is doing so right in front of Breanna.

Harold stands on the opposite side of the wall to the hulking, demonically clawed Northmann.
"Are you the child of a man I sliced the head off up in Unterguardt? Cause he was hilarious when he was dying." - Harold, drawing his sword. Not the best taunt he's come up with.

Interestingly enough, this Northmann is not actually from Unterguardt himself, his family having shifted to the Northlands before he was born. Despite this, Harold's remark incenses him. We can never know, but it is likely he had a child who was killed in an Invarrian raid, a common occurrence in the Northlands of Norbayne. It probably had nothing to do with Harold Oakenshield at all, but he is very angry.

The earth beneath Harold's feet begins to shake and rumble.

"Oh ****." - Harold.

"You insulted a mage, genius." - Sins
"Actually, I believe you have insulted a warlock."
"Oh great. I hate you." - Dev, to me.
"Hey, you did this. I hate you." - Ladyhawk with a laugh.

They hear a groaning noise from within the ground and Harold makes a split second decision to try and leap to the side. Not a moment too soon as a black, cavernous hole simply rips open in the floor of the chamber.

Focussing her magic, Maebh prepares a Fireball. She must be a bit tired though, for her magic backlashes slightly, leaving Maebh herself smouldering. Her fireball, fuelled with all the power she can give it crashes into her Wall of Blades. All is silent before a blinding magical explosion propels everyone outwards from the centre of the impact.

I described it as a mini-supernova which emitted a pulse of blinding light.

Once again do not read this if you are one of the players.

There are two main reasons why this happened. The first was how long she had the Blade Wall readied. When combined with her newly-found Focus Stone, that meant that the Wall was VERY powerful. Secondly, she miscast her Fireball. The fact that she lost control of the magic meant that she attempted to use more power in casting it than she should have. So now you know.

Of them all, only Kel'Serrar doesn't hide his eyes in time.

Everyone had to get under Initiative to hide their eyes. Failure would mean at least temporary blindness. Kel'Serrar's Initiative is currently 31. Sins rolled a 32.

There was much bemoaning of his bad luck.

I played it out that he managed to close his eyes just before the blinding light burned his retinas out of his face and caused permanent damage. He'd be blinking the after-images out of his eyes for a few hours, but no lasting ill-effects.

Despite this, he doesn't loose the arrow he had nocked, holding on to it despite the shock and blinding light he experiences for the second before he manages to close his eyes.

Both Harold and the Northmann are thrown back a considerable distance, the cultist sprawling against the wall. The Blade Wall now has a gaping hole in it.

Kel'Serrar, half-blind, sets his arrow aflame and instinctively shoots the Northmann through the gap in the Blade Wall.

"The Blind Man sees!" - Dev.

In one of the most amazing shots of his life, Kel'Serrar smashes the arrow into the crazy Northmann warlock's chest. Shaking off the impact and the magical explosion, he gets very, very, very angry.

"Can't you just be very, very, very dead?" - Harold.

It was repeated so many times on the night that I promised it would make it into the write-up. The blind man shot him. Indeed. The blind man shot him.

There was some suggestion that perhaps Kel'Serrar should go around with a blindfold from now on.

Meanwhile back in front of Breanna.

"Master, wake up!" - Distressed Midlander cultist.

Breanna attempts to slit the man's throat, but he hears a slight rustle of clothing and tries to stand up. In the struggle, the hilt of her dagger gets caught in his throat and he falls to the ground unconscious.

Harold staggers up and starts to lope, limping as he goes to try and attack the Northmann as the warlock gets up. He sees the running Invarrian and attempts to throw a ball of flaming razor-wire. Razor-fire if you will. Dev patted my head condescendingly at this point. I actually thought razor-fire was a good term. It certainly got across the danger involved. The ball unravels as it flies through the air, catching Harold's leg as he dodges to the side, delivering minor burns and lacerations to the Invarrian's calf. Luckily though, the web of fire dissipates into the air behind him, not causing any more damage.

With a great surge of power, Maebh calls up another Fireball and throws it into the Northmann's face, literally blowing off his head.

All that's left of the cult that attempted to summon a daemon minutes ago is two mangled corpses and a single unconscious Midlander.

Harold tries to find his staff and succeeds, avoiding the Wall of Blades and the gaping hole in the ground in the process.
"Go fetch. Fetch the stick!" - Ladyhawk.

Maebh suggests interrogating their prisoner, while unsurprisingly Breanna reckons they should cut his throat while they have the chance.

Together, Maebh and Harold tie him up, but then disagree on what to do next. Maebh thinks that taking him outside where he might be able to run away and hide is too dangerous, while Harold believes that they would have access to more skilled interrogators back in Summer Hill. Kel'Serrar then brings up the point that there are secret doors that lead to this room and the other Midlander escaped. With that, Maebh relents and the Invarrian hefts the prisoner out to the wagon.

Well he attempts to, but without help he has some difficulty doing so, his wounds causing no end of trouble. In the end, the grizzled duellist decides, screw it and just drags the prisoner up the huge flight of stairs and then through the hallway, tunnel and out into daylight where he and Kel'Serrar haul him onto the wagon.

Interesting points from Sins here.

"Coincidentally, has anyone noticed that this is all rather neat and tidy? Bandits, notes. So far we've delivered one note that evidently they weren't all that happy to receive as it wasn't the message they were planning on. Is anyone finding this just a little bit odd?" - Kel'Serrar.
"I'm finding it very odd, but for now, I just want to leave." - Harold.
"Feel free to leave, but when we go collect our payment, let's just say, I don't want to be in the room." - Kel'Serrar.
"Yeah.... I'm going to need you in the room I think." - Harold.

They discuss what to do when they finally get back to Petyr Rangard and tell him what happened here as they climb onto the wagon and head back to Summer Hill. They eventually decide that wherever they meet him, it will either be in an open space where he can't kill them off quietly, or in a place of their choosing with Kel'Serrar covering the meeting with his bow and Breanna hiding behind a curtain.

Night comes swiftly and finds Maebh sitting at the fore driving the horse. In the wagon behind her the prisoner is still drifting in unconscious slumber with Breanna watching him intently while sharpening her knives.
"You're really creepy, you know that right?" - Harold, addressing Breanna before turning over and trying to go to sleep.
"Sharp.... sharp....." - Breanna, crooning to her knives.

I made a joke here about how Breanna was internally thinking, "I wonder what colour your spleen is..." I think it may now be her new threat. She wrote it down on her character sheet. We shall see how that pans out.

Harold gave her instructions that she was allowed to slit his throat if he looked threatening in the slightest. As such, she was alert to his every move. Harold himself slept in the tray while Kel'Serrar sat on the back taking the first watch.

In the middle of the night, the party hears a low growl from the tree line.

And we left it there cause Sins had to go.

The Wrap-Up

Everyone levelled up halfway through this session. Here's a detailed recount of everyone's choices.

Maebh's Choices

Increases to her Ballistic Skill, Strength, Willpower and Intelligence along with Fire Ball, Wall of Blades and Aethyric Shield for her Spells. She then took Healing, Intimidation and Search for her Skills and the Destructive Will Talent, which adds double the first digit of her Willpower Statistic to any Destruction Spells she casts, meaning that her Fireball causes D10+11 Damage plus her boosted Fire Damage from Make it all Burn.

Kel'Serrar's Choices

Increases to his Ballistic Skill, Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence along with improving his Dodge Blow Skill as much as he could along with +10% bonuses to Silent Movement and Concealment. Finally he took several Talents, all of which helped him hurt things with archery. Eagle Eye, which equates to +3 Damage when using Aimed Shot, plus adding the first digits of both his Strength and Perception Statistics through Powerful Shot and Precise Shot respectively. Lastly, he picked up Witchflame, giving him +1 to Hit when using his Flaming Arrow Spell.

Breanna's Choices

Increases to her Weapon Skill, Strength, Toughness and Intelligence along with an increase to her Health and two Spells, Obscuring Mist and Terrifying Visage. In all, she's now quite an effective scout and by now her stat-line has caught up to her Talent choices, making her an effective killer too, at least from hiding, something Obscuring Mist should help with.

Harold's Choices

Increases to his Weapon Skill, Dexterity and Intelligence. In addition to this, he garnered a basic ability in just about every Basic Skill available. Harold now has Animal Care, Charm, Command, Concealment, Deception, Disguise, Dodge Blow, Gambling, Haggling, Intimidation, Riding, Silent Movement and Taunting. Of course he had a few of them before this level up, but quite a few of them are new. Additionally he picked up Swordmaster for +1 Damage when using a sword and Fall on Their Own Blades, which, on a successful parry, allows him to turn one opponent's blade into the path of another opponent.

Along with this, the party looted the other party from Summer Hill and picked up their equipment.
The list:
Maebh picked up Mordra Goldshine's arming sword, claiming it for use in her magic, as a sword is considered a non-essential ingredient in Wall of Blades.
Breanna picked up the same man's dagger, adding it to her collection of little bladed instruments.
Kel'Serrar took Eradan Blackstar's cloak, seeing as the dead man no longer had any use for it. Bloodied an dirty it might be, but that is nothing to a Danann.
Harold added to his portable armoury, taking Worron Radyzor's steel cuirass, greaves and vambraces, adding them to his defences, in turn destroying any hope he might be able to travel quietly. He also takes Eradan's longsword, belting it on. Because he didn't have enough blades already.
All the rest is piled onto the wagon to be sold when they find a merchant who will take it. They also found some money on the dead men and split it, fairly equally.

And that's all I think. Once again we finish it up with a massive cliff-hanger, but this time at least it's not practically an instant before potential death.
Or is it? :smallbiggrin:

Please let us know if you're reading this, or have any questions or anything. We love getting feedback. :smallsmile:

2013-01-28, 03:41 PM
I just logged into Norbayne and have started posting random ideas. Please let me know what you think, and when you're going to release Norbayne as a published product, and when you and Ladyhawk are going to get married:smallredface: (Ok, just kidding on that last one.)

Also, I'm glad to see Breeana getting a chance to really use her SA abilities. Look forward to the next installment!

Amidus Drexel
2013-01-28, 04:34 PM
As an aside, this might be the first time I have ever been forced to say that the minotaur is between you and the possum you want to throw at it.

Heh. :smallamused:

Everything does seem to be fitting in a little perfectly; they should be suspicious. (I'm of the opinion that an adventuring party should always be suspicious, though. :smallamused:)

2013-01-29, 01:37 AM
Thank you Reader, any suggestions are very much appreciated. I hope you stay over there for as long as you wish. :smallwink:

To Amidus, indeed things are fitting together rather well, though I can't figure out if that's because my plot's too simplistic or if things just seem that way to them.

Or something else entirely. I'm not completely sure, but I do know that the person which the players feel is most suspicious carries a dark secret, the impacts of which have already been felt by them all. :smallbiggrin:

Of course, you should be able to tell who the suspect is, but only the most careful readers will be able to tell if he is a "villain."

One of the main premises of Norbayne was no alignment system. People can do good things or bad things depending on the situation. Doing something bad for the greater good in a situation which offers very few options doesn't necessarily make someone an evil person.

For that matter someone can be honourable, but not a good person. Or nice, but evil. Or a good person to some and not to others. All in all, alignment is far too large of a concept to approach from a rules perspective.

Whether a character is good or evil should depend on how the player actually feels about them. And for that matter, NPC's should react to a character on an individual basis, not implicitly trusting someone because they are good, but not trusting the nice, but sort of evil guy.

Oh and spells which only affect people of an evil alignment for example. How could that possibly work?

Sorry, that was a bit of a rant and I actually forgot what the point of it was. But anyway, that's why there's no alignment in Norbayne. Because I don't believe that anyone is truly, completely evil. Or good for that matter. It's all shades of grey.

Cheers and sorry for the rant everyone,

2013-02-20, 08:03 PM
Small update, the next Norbayne game is set for tomorrow evening. :smallwink:


2013-02-21, 01:30 AM
Good to see this is back.

2013-02-21, 11:13 AM
Agreed! Stabby possumlet is so cute!

2013-02-22, 09:31 PM
Well just thought I'd quickly let you all know it went well last night. :smallwink:

We did pick up another player, Wings, who is playing a Dwergar Engineer, Tremor Ironfist.

Unfortunately, he was pretty late so we didn't end up starting until late, so it was only a short session, despite getting through a fair bit of material.

Better go now,

2013-03-19, 09:18 PM
Session 2.1: Drunken Lullabies

After playing what would have been session 1.10, it was decided that to keep the numbering system rational, the previous 1.4 should really be the first session of the second arc. Hence this one has been renamed 2.1. Hope that's not been too confusing. Cheers,

I am sorry that this took so long to write up, but despite being so short, this session took an awfully long time to write up. Probably because the group spent more time actually playing rather than paying Dev out. So let's get to it.

Due to our new player, the party started out split. Oh no! But it's okay, cause I fully intended to have them join up shortly.

The party itself was heading south, back to Summer Hill, Maebh driving the wagon. It was decided that they would like to play out the afternoon again, something I was quite happy to do as it meant we could get Tremor into the action quicker in the long run. I know, you wouldn't think so, but unbelievably I think it did.

"So how do we want to approach firstly the matter of our payment and secondly the information we have gained?" - Harold, addressing the group from his seat in the back of the cart.

"Payment?" - Maebh.

"Yes, payment from the man who is essentially bankrolling us at the moment." - Harold.

"Perhaps you didn't understand me. I don't want to be in the room." - Kel'Serrar.

"I understand that. You can cover me. You could be across the street with an arrow ready. I'm sure it won't hit, but at least you might get close." - Harold.

"I guess I should find a blindfold." - Kel'Serrar.


"Maebh, I would like you there as my right hand." - Harold.

"And you would like me not to be there." - Breanna, pre-empting an assault on her capabilities.

"No, I would like you to be there and ready to slit some throats." - Harold.

"... I can't do that unless he's short enough for me to reach." - Breanna.

With that, they decided that they had sorted out how they would handle the collection of the money they were due.

Breanna continues her attempts at creeping out the prisoner as they make their way back to Summer Hill in the cart. The sunlight fades and they find themselves on the road at night. The decision is made to press on through the dark hours, to arrive in Summer Hill as soon as possible.

That night they hear a strange howling from the east. Alert for signs of danger, they press on, sharpening weapons and keeping watchful eyes on the tree line. Maebh contemplates casting a Magical Alarm on the road behind them to warn of anyone following, but they decide not to as she needs to drive the wagon forward and casting the spell would take time.
Harold considers relieving Breanna from her prisoner-watching duties but promptly forgets when they all notice the eerie sensation of being watched by something in the forest.

Meanwhile in Summer Hill, I had Wings take an Alcohol Consumption Check to signify how Tremor was spending his night. This was to make sure that he was doing something while the others were rolling their Perception Checks.

So therefore, for his first action in the story, Tremor Ironfist sits in The Iron Moon Inn, trying hard to drink himself into a coma. He is failing for now, but is certainly putting away a lot of alcohol.

Meanwhile out on the road with the howling echoing in their ears, the group has an uncomfortable feeling they are being watched.

Kel'Serrar did exceptionally well on his Check, going into negatives and Harold tried to use his Invarrian nose to garner some more clues.

On the very edge of his hearing, Kel'Serrar can hear what sounds like very soft footsteps. He's not sure if they're real, but he has learnt to trust his gut instinct by now and he thinks there is something there. The pattern with which they hit the ground seems vaguely familiar to him. His first thoughts are either Corpsewalker or marcwolf.

Harold takes another whiff of the air, but in all the smells he gets, he comes up with nothing out of the ordinary. He can smell horse, Leathe, Danann, Invarrian (drunken dog-man) and the various smells of the forest.

And then it hits him. A very faint whiff of decay.

The whole group starts to freak out and whinge about how it's a Corpsewalker and how mean I am to them. I was incredibly happy with this turn of events as that is precisely the attitude I want towards the Corpsewalkers. I think it means I have gotten just the right balance of fear, enough that they dread taking them on, not enough that they'll run out on the plot.

Maebh drives the horse to a bit more speed now, taking the road a little quicker than perhaps is safe, but none of the others mind as the faster they travel, the further they are from any Corpsewalkers.

Now past midnight, Tremor takes another Check for the alcohol he is consuming. He is still barely affected. It has gotten so late that the barkeep himself has told the taciturn and alcoholic dwarf,
"Look it's getting late. Help yourself, I'm going to bed. Don't set yourself on fire. If you do, make sure it's in the fireplace." - Sleepy barkeep.

Quite a bit of laughter follows this because of the earlier joke regarding Harold setting himself on fire after a night in this same tavern.

Nodding to the barkeep, Tremor accepts the offered key to the cellar and proceeds to help himself.

Back out on the road, it is now early morning and the pale light of the early sun is just breaking through the cloud cover. They have just reached the section of the road where the carriage careened through the undergrowth over a week before.

Perception Checks again.

They can still feel the uncomfortable sensation of being watched and Breanna can hear both a soft padding from the road behind them and once the sound of scratching on the bark of a tree.

Tremor's still drinking in the town, despite the sun coming up outside. Finally, he can feel the effects of all the alcohol, despite having spent at least six solid hours putting away various alcoholic beverages. At this time, some people are actually starting to awaken. Not the many who attempted to match the dwarf drink for drink last night, they're going to be out of it for a fair while yet, but despite this, some people are beginning to stir. Sitting up against the wall with two large tankards of ale, Tremor keeps gulping.

Back on the road they discuss whether they should move past the carriage and back to Summer Hill or whether they should retrace their steps back to the now abandoned marcwolf cave and see if they can find the bandit camp. Kel'Serrar badly wants the brigands out of the way, however Maebh and Harold advise caution, particularly since Harold himself is still badly wounded. In fact the whole party is still a little worse for wear.

Despite all points to the contrary, Kel'Serrar heads out to go check out what he can find on his own while Maebh drives the cart with the others back to Summer Hill.

There is some discussion about whether they should stay to provide him with a quick getaway until it is pointed out that he can actually run faster than the cart would travel with five people in it, plus all of the equipment Harold insists they take with them.

OOC it is pointed out how slow it will be when the Dwergar joins them.

"That's it, I'm getting another horse to go with this one!" - Ladyhawk.
"You could pull me along in a little sled behind you." - Wings.

Kel'Serrar follows the now almost non-existent trail they followed days before and comes across the ruined carriage. It has been completely wrecked by something with a not inconsiderable amount of strength. The girl's corpse, and those of the two horses, have mysteriously disappeared, leaving no discernable trace for the Danann ranger to follow.

Checking more closely, Kel'Serrar finds a small ring which he recognises as being worn by the girl when last he was here, lying upon the shredded remains of the richly upholstered seat. The ring itself is practically worthless, however its presence is unusual.

Looking closely at the scene and the tracks left behind, the ranger determines that the carriage must have been travelling very fast, probably trying to escape from something on the road. Now what could possibly be big enough, hungry enough and fierce enough to lead to that kind of reaction? Just outside a town in the Midlands of all places.

Kel'Serrar considers whether it is worth trying to find the old marcwolf cave they sheltered in several nights ago, and from there scouting out the bandit camp, but his ability to find both of these considering the cold trails he would be following is unknown. With this in mind, the Danann ranger turns and promptly lopes back onto the road, despite the light-headedness which still plagues him, hoping to catch up to the wagon before he faints. On the way he curses his weakness, wishing that he could deal with the bandits now and by himself, but he is smart enough to know that he's just not capable of that. Yet...

Maebh's wagon is only an hour at the most outside of Summer Hill when they recognise the running figure of Kel'Serrar approaching from the north. All of them are half dead from fatigue having spent the majority of the previous night in watchful fear.

Blinking her bleary eyes, Maebh drives her wagon through the western gate of Summer Hill at mid-morning.
"To the drinking hall!" - Harold, to stony silence. "No, okay then."
"Alright let's go to the fountain. Breanna and Kel'Serrar, I want you two to cover us while we talk to this guy while you Maebh, I want you to just be your beautiful self, standing next to me." - Harold, getting the hang of using flattery to get his way.

"Thank you." - Maebh, in such a regal tone that everyone cracked up.

"Please don't eat me." - Harold in an undertone. And we all thought that perhaps he was starting to use his Charm Skill the way it should be used. For example, without punching people in the face.

Meanwhile Tremor is still sitting in a tavern, putting away ales because he enjoys his nights. And mornings.
"And all other times. Provided he's awake." - Ladyhawk.
There's a lot of talking about respective weights. Especially how Tremor is probably getting closer to a blob than a dwarf.
Tremor is approached while sitting in the tavern by a short, slight, well-dressed man with a trimmed, pointed beard and short, dark hair. He is very pale, his skin clammy, but any illness he must be feeling he puts aside in his manner.

"You look like you're relatively experienced." - Rangard, with just a small amount of disdain towards the grizzled Dwergar.

"I need a hand. I wish you to join a group who is currently in my employ. They'll likely need someone of your abilities anyway. But in the meantime at least, I might be in danger from them as I don't know just how much danger I just put them in. So basically, I will pay you a lot of money if you will make sure that they don't just kill me out of hand." - Rangard, looking slightly nervous.

Tremor staggers to his feet, looks up at the man, stares him directly in the eye and pauses for a moment, before nodding his agreement.

Harold leans back against the fountain, finishing off the last of the rum he bought last time he was in town. The rest of his group are waiting in readiness, half of them hidden in the trees and Maebh beside him remaining calm. Walking towards them they can see the figure of Rangard and a short, hairy Dwergar clad in leather and staggering with slight drunkenness. Which after hearing how much he's had to drink over the last twelve hours, is quite an accomplishment.

"I don't know what happened out there, but judging by the look on your faces, that was not what we expected." - A very pale Rangard to Maebh and Harold.

"Can you not tell by the rest of us?" - Maebh, pointing out that her clothing is singed and burnt and Harold himself is nursing several major injuries and is looking more battered than ever. Being savaged by a sword-wielding northerner will do that to you.

Rangard looks at them appraisingly before cracking a slight grin.
"I thought it would be impolite to mention it my lady. Now please tell me, what happened out there?" - Rangard

"Well the first night we came across some marcwolves which were trying to eat us. Then speaking of things which wanted to eat us, there were actual Corpsewalkers! And then even more Corpsewalkers." - Harold.

Rangard flinches at the mention of Corpsewalkers but does not react further.

"And then, when we actually find the group you sent before us, we found out they were all bitten!" - Harold, indignant.
"And now they're all dead." - Maebh, in a far too cheerful manner.
"Yes, cause we were fortunate enough to be there on the day they started to turn." - Harold, sarcastic.
"How was that fortunate?" - Ladyhawk. Dev isn't the easiest person to determine levels of sarcasm in. As in, he always sounds vaguely sarcastic.

There is silence for a short while before,
"I take it from what you say that you put them down?" - Rangard.
"Yes!" - Harold. Political intrigue is not something Harold will ever be good at.
"And there were no survivors?" - Rangard.
"None!" - Harold still frustrated.
"We survived..." - Maebh in the background.
"Except us!" - Harold to Rangard.
"Thank you Mar-ve" - Dev.
"MAY-VE!" - Everyone. Judging by the recording, even Wings.
"Mar-ve, May-ve. what's the difference?" - Dev.
"No because pronunciation doesn't matter does it Gyeorg?"
"Yes, thank you James." - Dev
There is silence....
"I expected Jar-mays."
The war on pronunciation begins anew, with Duke Dev at the forefront, spreading illiteracy wherever he goes.

"I haven't been completely truthful with you-" - Rangard beginning.
"OH REALLY!?" - Harold.
"Yeah we kind of figured." - Maebh.
"I would like to share what I can with you now if that is okay." - Rangard.
"Yes that would be useful. Will it also be sprinkled with more hidden lies and slander?" - Harold.
"I haven't slandered you at all." - Rangard.
"Well not yet!" - Harold. He's a stubborn bastard and tends to get completely off-track in conversations. A trait he shares with his player. In copious amounts.

"I need help. I am for Summer Hill, that's all I care about. That doesn't necessarily make me a good person, but I'm a damn sight better than the alternatives. As you know, the queen of Elspeth has long wanted to claim Summer Hill as her own. Now what you don't know is that, as of these last few months, Queen Esmerelda has been trying to claim us through clandestine means. As you can imagine this is not good for Summer Hill at all. We value our independence, a long-standing gift from a good man and a great king.

I came by knowledge of these attempts and approached one of my friends here in the town in an attempt to put a halt to these events. Though it took us weeks and in some cases led us into extreme peril, we eventually found that there were some ancient artefacts that could give us the strength to fight back, Focus Stones. Imagine our surprise and joy when we found one may have been hidden in this very area! It became an obsession of ours, to find its location and obtain it, to use its power to crush the power of this cult.

My friend was a very powerful mage, easily the best magic user the town could lay claim to, capable of melting the very rock with the heat of his conjured flames, and having no experience in these matters myself I used what assets I could to engage some hirelings to accompany him into the ruins. We told them only that we wanted to explore the ruins and they were to accompany my friend.
I did not know, but at least one of them was in the employ of Elspeth simultaneously and betrayed us. My friend died down there, cut down from behind even as he sent a whisper to me.

Now my investigations have led me to believe that the cult has been using those very same ruins as some sort of headquarters where they come together to plan I imagine-" -Rangard, interrupted in the middle of his spiel.
This is about as close I have come to arrogant GM monologue. :smalltongue:

"Ha, we killed them." - Maebh, triumphantly.
"Well , not all of them." - Harold in an undertone.
"You found the cult?" - Rangard, grave.
"Yes, we killed the head of the cult." - Harold.
Rangard stands in place, taking in this new information. Meanwhile, Tremor, to whom all of this is new, is just perplexed.
"Actually, we killed a really strong one, and there was also a short, old man. Oh and another one who's sitting in the cart whimpering I reckon." - Maebh, thoughtful.
"Have you managed to get anything out of him?" - Rangard, latching on to this new player in the game.
"We have two pieces of information, and we will share them with you. I think I will ask you to go get the prisoner Maebh." - Harold, probably thinking that Rangard and Tremor don't necessarily know that Kel'Serrar and Breanna are in hiding and are therefore unknown observers, elects to send his already revealed ally.

Probably the best choice he could make in the circumstances.

"Well, before you send your mage away, I have a request I'm afraid I must ask of her." - Rangard, a small trace of desperation leaking into his usual calm voice.
"Only if you ask nicely." - Maebh, putting her 'haughty' on.
"I will ask nicely, as it pleases you my lady." - Rangard, bowing slightly. For an arrogant man, this is about as close to actual respect one could get from him. He continues.
"Through some means, I know not how, the cult must be aware I am working against them. I have been cursed and I do not expect I have much life left in me. Unfortunately, since my friend died, I have no other mage in this town whom I trust." - Rangard. He pauses.
"I don't even trust you that much, I am sorry. But you're the only hope I have." - Rangard.

The astute here might realise that his story here has some holes. Whether this is down to yet more untruths or perhaps just a gap of knowledge, who’s to say?

"Ah, not til I get some answers." - Harold cuts in.
"I am sorry, but time is of the essence. Whatever questions you have, I swear I will answer to the best of my abilities once I am cured." - Rangard. Even in mortal peril, he can't help but strike a deal. Must be the merchant in him.
"Alright then." - Maebh, rolling up her sleeves and ignoring Harold as she prepares to cast the spell.

As Maebh observes the merchant closely, she can feel the darkness within him, slowly eating him away. He is likely in rather extreme agony and it's a miracle he's not catatonic with the pain. She can also see that his condition is will worsen within the hour.

Rangard was hit with the Black Death curse. It slowly but surely strangles every vein in his body with burning daemonic energy, causing a very painful death. Usually it takes less than a day to bring down the target, the effects increasing as time wears on.

Rangard's been dealing with the curse for over a day now, showing an extremely strong will, not only to have survived this long, but still be able to communicate and move. Of course, even he is not invincible, and without a cure, his time would be up.

"Okay, looks like a dangerous one. I'm going to need some water someone." - Maebh, playing the doctor for once and holding out her drinking bowl.
Harold takes the bowl and dips it into the fountain, bringing up some water which he carefully carries over to the mage.
Maebh accepts the bowl of water without comment and holds it before her in both hands, channelling some of her power into the water contained in the vessel. A soft green-ish glow emanates from the liquid, which cannot truly be called water anymore. Dipping a dainty finger in it, Maebh draws a runic symbol of the Scribhinn The Scribhinn is the Danann script. The language is called the Cainte. on Rangard's forehead before offering the rest to the merchant to drink. He does so and gasps as the liquid instantly freezes his insides, burning out the dark magic with extreme, purifying chill.

In true Monty Python fashion, he got better.

"Okay then, as you know the group I sent out betrayed us to Elspeth and killed my friend." - Rangard. He takes a deep breath.
"The Corpsewalkers are my doing. I set them upon the other group, hoping to destroy them in a way which would not be traced back to me in any way." - Rangard.

"Okay then, next question. What is it a cult of?" - Harold.

"The destruction of what I hold dear. Failing that, they're trying to find a way to bind a daemon to bring us down from within. There is no religious purpose behind them. It is sheer acquisition of power and gold, nothing more." - Rangard.

"Right. Okay, 'Mar-ve,' could you please go get the prisoner." - Harold, once again mangling Maebh's name.
"First of all it's Maebh, and secondly okay, but only since you asked politely." - Maebh, primly.

Maebh heads off and swiftly returns with the struggling and bound prisoner slung over her shoulder. He must be rather heavy, but the tough Danann mage doesn't seem to notice his wriggling or his whimpers of fear.

Makes you wonder what she usually carries over her shoulder like that....

"I see. Hopefully you don't mind if we deliver him into the care of one of my associates. She should be able to wring some truth from him." - Rangard, with a hard glare at the bound prisoner.
"I want to be there." - Maebh, quick as a flash.
"That can be arranged." - Rangard, nodding.
"So do I." - Harold, with something approaching weighty finality.
There is silence for a moment, then....
"How many people do you wish to cram into this tiny little torture room?" - Rangard, eyebrow raised.
"Just two more than usual." - Harold.
"Right so four already, plus the one being cut up..." - Rangard. He looks at the Danann and Invarrian, sizing them up.
"Okay, I shall see what can be done." - Rangard.

"Good. There is also an issue regarding a bandit camp in the vicinity." - Harold, pulling forth the note given to them by a previous prisoner. Their prisoners tend to meet damn sticky ends.....

"As you can see it's been signed by their leader, code-named, The Shadow. Any clues as to who that is?" - Harold.
"Unfortunately, I don't know, but I would bet it has something to do with Elspeth and their damned Queen." - Rangard, regretfully.
Harold sighs and nods his head resignedly.

"Well, I believe I owe you all a not inconsiderable amount of money." - Rangard.
"Yes, and you'd better pay up now." - Maebh.
"Okay then, let us go to my manor and we shall organise payment and the interrogation of your prisoner." - Rangard, turning to leave. Before he does so, he halts and turns back to the Invarrian and Dannan.
"I don't suppose you managed to find that Focus Stone while you were down there by any chance?" - Rangard, with just a little bit of hope.
"No." - Maebh, lying through her teeth.
"Well, we might have actually. We'll have to got the cart and check it out." - Harold, trying to get a bit of time alone to discuss it with the others.

"Well then, I guess I should give you your money first and we can sort that out later. I'd be very much obliged if you would come with me and I will introduce you to my associate while we're there." - Rangard, a little preoccupied with his own thoughts.

More to come very soon. :smallwink: Right here in fact. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14928910&postcount=35)

2013-03-19, 09:28 PM
Told you so, here's part 2 of Session 1.4.

The merchant heads off with Harold and Tremor in tow, leaving the Danann with the bound prisoner. Grinning maliciously, she takes the rope and pulls the man after the three men, oblivious to his feeble struggles. After they have left, Breanna and Kel'Serrar drop out of their respective trees and make their way back to the wagon, thinking to guard it while the others are otherwise engaged.

After leading his companions to his household, Rangard takes them to his study and starts the transaction, paying them from his own personal reserves.

Everyone gets their money and there is much rejoicing. Tremor gets a bit less than the rest as really all he's done is act as an intimidating, short, drunken bodyguard.

"Now that is out of the way, I shall introduce you to my associate." - Rangard, rubbing his hands together. He's looking a bit livelier already, but it will take some time before the damage inflicted by the curse is fully reversed.

"Are you talking about the dwarf?" - Harold, pointing at Tremor.

"No." - Rangard, who nods his head towards the corner of the room.

Standing there in the corner, unobserved until now, is a short Selkye woman, clad in dark grey cloth, a deep cowl obscuring her facial features. She stalks over to the group, cold eyes appraising everyone individually before bowing respectfully to Rangard.

"Well met." - Selkye assassin, having straightened once more. At about the same height as Tremor, both Harold and Maebh tower over her, but she still holds herself with an easy confidence.

"Indeed." - Harold, with a raised eyebrow.
Maebh offers a respectful nod in greeting, while Tremor simply grunts.
Rangard addresses the group.
"With your permission, I would like to grant this woman access to your prisoner." - Rangard.
The prisoner starts to try and escape again, drawing only a very sharp pull on the rope from Maebh which promptly cuts into his windpipe. He starts whimpering some more.
"Shut up. Do you want something to complain about? Like my boot in your face?" - Harold.
"So, may I begin?" - Selkye assassin, quietly.
Maebh simply nods.

The small woman reaches down and picks the man up by the scruff of the neck, before physically hauling him out the door and down the hallway, ignoring his panicked struggles and screams. She is very strong for her size, ruthless, and focussed only on doing her job. The others follow her out.

She continues down a flight of stairs, dragging the prisoner as she goes, thinking to exploit the bruised flesh later, before turning right through another doorway. Inside the room are two tables, one bare stone, the other polished wood, strewn with various wicked looking knives.

The Selkye woman ties the man to the stone table while Maebh and Rangard look on and Harold and Tremor lean up against the doorway, getting to know each other through the universal language of betting.
"Three coppers says he lasts no more than three minutes." - Harold, rubbing two coppers together.
"You're on, he'll last longer than that, no matter how good the little lass is." - Tremor.

Ten seconds later....
"I win?" - Harold, grinning.

Within ten minutes, the cultist has revealed everything he knows to the gathered torturers. The assassin gives him some time to talk without the attentions of the steel blades. Those wicked steel blades.

"We were hired to produce something which could be unleashed within the town so that the forces outside can strike while they are distracted. We’re looking to harness a daemon, bend it to our control completely without anchoring it to a physical target. One cannot use the power of the daemons without anchoring it to a physical object. When you use magic, you anchor a daemon within yourself. Necromancers anchor the daemon to a corpse, which is far less volatile than anchoring the daemon to a living being, especially one who is unwilling to be a receptacle. We seek to bind it within an aethyric box, and then turn it loose and although we would prefer to retain some control over it, that control is not necessary to our needs.” - Frantic and bleeding cultist.

"Do you mean that control is not necessary now, but your long term desire is to control it?" - Tremor, interposing himself in the conversation with typical gruffness.

The cultist trembles.
"Well..... AAAAARGH! More or less...." - Cultist, defeated after the assassin stabs him once again, thinking he has gone long enough with pain.

"Well then, that was informative. We will leave Meldith here to dispose of him, shall we?" - Rangard, unconsciously rubbing his hands together as if washing them.
"Fair enough. I'm not really into the disposal of bodies." - Dev.
"I noticed. Like the little girl's body you consigned to the wolves."
"Well.... It was good protein for them!" - Dev.

The three companions follow Rangard back into his study, leaving the Selkye to her grisly task.
"As you can see, I did not lie to you about the cult within the town." - Rangard, grim.
"No you did not." - Harold, nodding in agreement, if perhaps a little grudgingly.

At this point Dev says, "But you did...." and makes a strange whining noise in the back of his throat. The weird thing? So does Wings. Everyone else laughs and ignores the important question.
"What?" - LD.
The fact is, none of us had a clue what the two of them were talking about in their own weird, spontaneously created whine-language.
"We obviously bonded over the gambling!" - Dev.

"Say hypothetically, we continued helping you...." - Harold, leaving the question open.
"Would we be paid more?" - Tremor, finishing it. Those two would become nigh inseparable as the night went on. May all the Gods of men save us all.
"Of course." - Rangard, smoothly.
"Okay then, so in that hypothetical world, how much are we talking, and what would be our next step?" - Harold.
"To answer your first question, however much you feel you are worth. I am a wealthy and powerful merchant. Name a figure remotely reasonable and I shall see it fulfilled." - Rangard, somewhat smug.
"I want one hundred crowns." - Maebh, quietly leaning against the wall.

One hundred crowns is an awful lot. In modern day terms, what she did there was like trying to withdraw seven million dollars from the local supermarket.

"How about ten then?" - Maebh, smiling a little in the face of Rangard's incredulous look. It's still a lot of money, but he's wealthy and he needs them. So he can afford it for now, but in the overall scheme of things, that is likely to break him when combined with the money he handed out earlier that day.

"So two each then?" - Rangard, with a sinking feeling when he sees the Danann mage shake her head.
"No, just for me." - Maebh, cheerful.
Stunned silence. Then,
"Our mage regards herself very highly." - Harold, somewhat sarcastically. Well we assumed so anyway. He might just be the master of understatement. You never can tell with Dev.

"I do. You would all be dead if it weren't for me." - Maebh, haughty, and a little affronted that Harold would take that tone regarding her.
"I am willing to negotiate with you all individually." - Rangard, heading off the argument. After all, he really doesn't want a mage to start flinging fire around inside his expensive manor house. Especially if he's going to have to hand over a significant portion of his money to said mage.

"Well anyway, from this point onward, I want you to be open and honest with all of us. Otherwise, I'm out and hanging you out to dry." - Harold, moving back to the task at hand.
Rangard nods, but crucially, doesn't commit to anything.

"What did you need the stone for exactly?" - Maebh, bringing up the one mystery she had left to her before Harold can demand a commitment from Rangard. The Focus Stone she found, while useful, doesn't exactly lend the wielder earth-shattering power by any stretch.
"Ah, well as you know my friend was a rather powerful mage, and that stone was to be the deciding factor in this struggle. But of course, if you haven't found it then we just need to rely on old fashioned force of arms to get this done." - Rangard, sadly.
"But even if we had it, you'd have no mage to use it." - Maebh, frowning.
"If we had the stone, I might just trust you enough to be happy letting you use it." - Rangard, sighing.

"So what is our next step now?" - Harold, moving onwards.
"So wait, what's the time? In the game." - Wings.
"About eleven in the morning."
"Ah, time for a drink then?" - Wings, to much laughter.
"So would we look at taking out this bandit camp?" - Harold.
"Honestly, I don't think that's much of a problem compared to the cult within the town itself. Now I do have a lead for you if you are willing to investigate. I'd prefer you to do it than any of my other associates. Meldith is unfortunately, a little too well-known around here." - Rangard.

"She had a bit of a tight scrape while observing another person of interest and only escaped by assuming a fourth false identity during the chase." - Rangard, ignoring the raised eyebrows and disbelieving expressions. They all know that Breanna is not capable of anything like that, so it gives them all a bit of an idea regarding Meldith's abilities. That and the fact that whatever ran her off was powerful enough to do so.

"We'll have to get our own assassin to do this by the sounds of it." - Harold, in an undertone while stroking his chin.

"Anyway, there is a man in town, goes by the last name of Shylocke. He's a merchant, one of the more powerful ones in the area. Now I had him followed by Meldith and she found that he frequents the Harvest Wolf, Wilmund Brewer's tavern over on the west side of town. Unfortunately, access to the backroom was difficult for her to access and she was only just able to escape without being compromised." - Rangard, imparting as much information as possible.

"Okay, I take it the dwarf is joining us?" - Harold, referring to Tremor.
"Us and our little band of murder-hobos?" - Sins.
"I would be very much in your debt if you would join them." Rangard.
"Yes. Yes you would." - Tremor, gruff.
"Welcome. By the way we are called the Order of the Stick!" - Dev.
"No we are not!" - Ladyhawk, indignant that she didn't get to propose her name for the party.
"Order of the Beard?" - Dev.
"I don't like it cause I don't have one." - Ladyhawk.
"Order of the Beer?" - Dev. Strangely apt.
"....No." - Ladyhawk.
"Order of the Arrow?" - Wings, helpfully.
"We don't really know each other well enough to have an 'Order' yet." - Ladyhawk.
"How about we just stick with Murder-Hobos for the moment?" - Sins.
"Order of the Murder-Hobo?" - Ladyhawk, laughing.
"Wow.... How noble...."

"Well then, that's settled. Like to go drinking at the tavern?" - Harold to Tremor. New best buds they are.
"Yes!" - Tremor, gruffly.
"Okay then, well we'll do that and Maebh, perhaps you might want to.... um... well..." - Harold, thinking over the best way to use the prickly mage.
"Sneak in the back door?" - Tremor, helpful as ever.
"Yeah!" - Harold. Let's face it, he's probably already half drunk on the mere thought of alcohol.
"We'll cause the distraction lass, you go around the back." - Tremor.
"I've got it! We'll start a drinking competition with EVERYONE in the pub!" - Harold, excited at the glorious bingeing to come.

At some point Tremor did work out rates. The dwarf gets 20 sulvers a week for every full week he stays in service to Rangard. In addition to that he will get 2 crowns upon the cult's destruction.

The rest of the party will also get the 2 crowns each, however they have not come to any conclusion with Rangard with regards to other payment.

They head off in their separate directions after getting instructions from Rangard on how to get to the Harvest Wolf. Tremor and Harold walk directly to the tavern, happily getting to know each other, while Maebh strides back to the cart, a solitary, foreboding figure in the town. She's going to pick up Breanna and let Kel'Serrar what's going on. Hopefully by the time she and the Leathe make it to the tavern, the drinking games will have begun and no one will notice them. Hopefully.

Out on the street, Maebh changes her mind about going back all the way, sending her two companions news of the situation through a Whispering Wind.

Much like D&D’s Sending, Whispering Wind is a Weathermancy spell, very handy in the right circumstances.

“At Rangard’s house. Prisoner gave away everything, evil queen woman to invade. Going to a pub to find out more, need Breanna here.” – Maebh’s whispered message.

Kel’Serrar and Breanna, after initially freaking out at the noise, recognise Maebh’s voice. Kel’Serrar leans back against the edge of the cart, completely at ease. As far as he’s concerned, it’s not his problem and watching all their belongings is probably the best thing he could do at the moment.

Breanna meanwhile decides that she should go help, and accosts the first person she comes across, asking the townsman where she could find Rangard’s house. She obtains decent directions and knocks on the door of the house matching the description she was given.

A servant answers the knock.

“You’re with the group my master has hired, aren’t you?” – Servant.
“Yes, I am.” – Breanna.
“Would you like me to bring you to him?” – Servant.
“Yes. If you wouldn’t mind.” – Breanna.

The servant shows the Leathe into a sitting room and she waits for barely a minute before Rangard comes in, pale yet smiling.

“I take it you are looking for your friends?” – Rangard.
“They’re not my friends, they’re my cover, but yes I need to find them.” – Breanna.
“They’re at the Harvest Wolf, a tavern on the west side of town.” – Rangard.
“Thank you!” – Breanna, bubbly, trying to freak him out. It seems to have worked.
“Now get out of my house please.” – Rangard, looking worried at the assassin’s sudden and pronounced change in demeanour.

Breanna leaves the house, whistling cheerfully to herself, heading off the Harvest Wolf.

Meanwhile, Harold and Tremor have come to the modest tavern and have ordered a massive amount of alcohol.
“Can I expect that between the two of you, you will drink me out of house and home?” – Wilmund Brewer, owner and barman of the Harvest Wolf.
“We’re an Invarrian and a Dwergar…. What do you think?” – Harold.
“Okay, I’ll just be down in the cellar.” – Brewer, sighing with resignation.
“While you’re down there, make sure you bring enough up. We’re going to having a drinking competition.” – Tremor, gruff but happy.
“And who will your opponent be?” – Brewer, looking slightly happier. After all, someone’s going to have to pay for the beverages.
“EVERYONE!” – Harold and Tremor together. At this point, Brewer knew his doom was approaching.
“….. Let me go put up a sign.” – Brewer. He’s a shrewd businessman and knows that the more advertising he gets in, the better.

The sign reads as follows:
Come test your stomach against two of the world’s most seasoned drinkers! Harold Oakenshield and Tremor Ironfist have come down from the wild lands of the cold north, to partake of Summer Hill’s best ales. If you manage to outlast either of them over the course of the afternoon, you get half your money back!

Despite only being two in the afternoon at the latest, the drinking competition starts off huge, with at least forty of the locals trying their abilities against the Invarrian and the still hung-over and partially drunk Dwergar. The ale is quaffed easily and both Tremor and Harold share an approving glance. It’s good stuff.

Maebh stands and watches outside, eventually joined by Breanna, while round after round of ales come round the table for the next two hours. The two hour’s solid drinking has made the rest of the crowd considerably less enthusiastic, while Harold and Tremor are just getting warmed up.
Drew a comparison to the Legolas and Gimli drinking competition in The Lord of the Rings.

More people are coming in, drawn by both the spectacle and the good mood pervading the tavern and surrounding area, one which makes passers-by really feel like a drink.

Tremor sits in his seat, still downing ales one after the other, with a blood-alcohol concentration swiftly approaching something in the range of 60%. It’s likely one could inject a donkey with that amount of alcohol and kill it outright.

“We’ll go another hour before giving Maebh and Breanna the signal to move in.” – Dev.
“Yeah, we’re trying to drink the whole town unconscious.” – Wings.
“You know, if anyone can drink over two thousand people under the table, it would be you two. You’re sure you want to go another hour?”
“Yeah, we want the concentration to be on us.” – Dev.
“At the moment, the concentration is within you.”
“Alright well, we’ll give the signal to start to head around the side now.” – Wings.

Tremor stands up, stretching his hands into the air, but in his drunken state he forgets about the matter of his height. So he stands on his seat, the crowd looking at him like he’s about to topple over and fall unconscious any second now. They’re to be disappointed.

“That’s the signal, let’s move.” – Maebh to Breanna. The two women start to walk surreptitiously around the edge of the building.

Tremor on the other hand sits down and starts chugging his ale again. Both of them are starting to feel the effects of the alcohol, but neither is looking like falling over yet.
Mechanically, Tremor is looking a lot worse than Harold is at the moment, but neither has suffered a failure by enough to cause unconsciousness. On the other hand, the negatives to their Alcohol Consumption Checks are really adding up, so it’s only a matter of time. Harold almost went down in this third hour, but expended a Luck Point to adjust the roll.

Breanna approaches the backdoor of the tavern with Maebh covering her. The Leathe takes her thin dagger and with supreme skill, picks the padlock. With a small sound of delight, Breanna grabs the door with a small furry hand and swings it open towards herself and walks in.

The small, dark room was lit only by a single candle upon a wooden table, so when the door was opened, letting in the late afternoon sun, the group of men gathered around the table knew about it immediately, noticing the new light source along with the haplessly backlit Leathe assassin standing in the doorway, who is only now realising her mistake. All of them take a look at the diminutive Leathe-girl and bolt. Through her.

The men run out the door, leaving Breanna battered and bruised on the ground as she’s been trampled. Maebh is taken by surprise as well and with a split-second thought, she tackles one of them, slamming the man to the ground. But something feels wrong. She lifts herself off him and sees he is smiling before he just disappears into thin air before her eyes. Maebh scrabbles desperately but quickly comes to the conclusion that he is not invisible, but is in fact not even there anymore.

Breanna eventually picks herself up off the ground, with some difficulty while Maebh walks into the room, still troubled by her recent run-in with whatever she had a run-in with.

Harold and Tremor keep up the drinking, not knowing how things are progressing outside. Tremor finally has had enough and he sinks to the table in an alcoholic haze, probably with more alcohol in his system than any other bodily fluid. And he’s not due to wake up until at least five tomorrow morning.

Unaware of Tremor’s alcoholic collapse, Breanna and Maebh search the room for anything they can use as incriminating evidence. They find very little, a small black candle, lit on the middle of the table and some sheets of blank parchment and pens on a desk in the corner, along with some innocuous books in shelves along the eastern wall and a bottle of fairly expensive wine in a small box.

Leaving the candle where it lies, Maebh walks around the side and back out to the front, letting Harold know that it is time to go.

“Well, that’s it, I’m done. I’d better take my mate here to go get some sleep.” – Harold, swaying slightly as he gets up, before bending over to try and pick up the comatose dwarf.
As drunk and slightly crippled as he is, it’s unsurprising that this doesn’t work. Maebh comes over to help.
“I’ve got it lass.” – Harold, drunk and slurring.
“Fine. I could set you on fire you know.” – Maebh.
With difficulty, Harold manages to lift the dwarf over his shoulder, and manages, just, to carry Tremor to the wagon, throwing him down into it, disturbing Kel’Serrar.
“I’M SO HAMMERED!” – Harold, a drunken apology perhaps?

Maebh on the other hand hires two rooms at the Iron Moon Inn, one for herself and another for Breanna, in a rare show of camaraderie. Kel’Serrar? Sleeps in a tree in the courtyard again, having escaped from the cart and its alcoholic aroma.

Harold and Tremor lie in the cart in a drunken sleep.

Six in the evening and Maebh and Breanna eat together in the tavern, Harold and Tremor are still sleeping and Kel’Serrar sits in his tree, trying to ignore the stench wafting up from beneath him. The two poor marcwolf pups curl up at the base of Kel’Serrar’s tree.

They wake up with the worst hangovers they have ever experienced. Where most hangovers make the head hurt and everything else feel sort of fuzzy, for these two, everything hurts. They drank so much that their teeth will feel as if they are buzzing and every single one of their noise hairs will be burning with agony. They declare vengeance against the birds of the world, who sing as the sun comes up. This is, in fact, an act of vengeance in itself, an attack against those whose alcoholic fumes took the lives of several birds during the night.

Harold and Tremor awaken almost simultaneously to the sound of a keening shriek, one which sets their teeth on edge and fills Harold with fear. Corpsewalker!

And we left it there.

As you can see, despite only playing for half as long as our previous sessions, they really did get through a lot dialogue. I think it was also a good first session for Wings and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Our next game is this coming Friday, hopefully with Wings, though he's quite difficult to get a hold of. But we shall see.

Hope you all enjoyed, sorry for the delay,

2013-03-19, 09:39 PM
Wow That's A Lot Of Alcohol!!!! Did they win the drinking match? How much did the owner make off of them? Just how hard is it to cast a Teleport spell like that one bad guy did?

Amidus Drexel
2013-03-19, 09:56 PM
Awesome session. I approve of drunken dwarves. :smallcool:

Wow That's A Lot Of Alcohol!!!! Did they win the drinking match? How much did the owner make off of them? Just how hard is it to cast a Teleport spell like that one bad guy did?

I think that "a lot of alcohol" is massively understating what happened... :smallamused:

2013-03-20, 01:56 AM
Well I'm glad you both approve. :smallsmile:

That was indeed a lot of alcohol. An awful, awful lot. :smalltongue: Technically, as Tremor collapsed and Harold tossed it in after three hours, no one really won, which is just about their respective trains of thought when they woke up with such extensive hangovers. But yes, everyone who tried to match them from the beginning went down afore they did. Towards the end, they were challenging blokes who'd come in after the two of them had been drinking for an hour or two already. And often drinking them under too. :smallbiggrin:

Brewer made a hell of a lot off it, though at some point he stopped charging Tremor and Harold as by this stage he was rolling in it and had a lot of money off all the other customers. (I might add that Brewer's prices are quite high usually, so even those who managed to claim the discount were still paying a bit more than the ale was worth. So Brewer could afford to be generous. Consider it the Entertainer's Tax.)

As far as casting a Teleportation-type spell, nigh-on impossible, something the players and their characters know. Suggesting that there is something else at work here.... :smallwink:

Glad you enjoyed it guys,

2013-03-22, 09:23 AM
Well that went rather well. :smallwink:

Nice, roughly three and a half hour session, plenty of good-natured ribbing and a slightly more serious tone than last session.

Oh, and Kel'Serrar's past comes back to bite him....

2013-03-22, 09:40 AM
Well that went rather well. :smallwink:

Nice, roughly three and a half hour session, plenty of good-natured ribbing and a slightly more serious tone than last session.

Oh, and Kel'Serrar's past comes back to bite him....

Yay! When can we expect the write-up? Oh, and is there any way to send Breanna a feezy squeez?

2013-03-22, 08:17 PM
Well I expect the write-up to be finished in maybe a week or so. Hopefully. :smallwink:

Oh, and dare I ask, what, pray tell, is a feezy squeez?

2013-03-25, 05:58 PM
Well I expect the write-up to be finished in maybe a week or so. Hopefully. :smallwink:

Oh, and dare I ask, what, pray tell, is a feezy squeez?

Feezy squeezes are a creation of my sister, small fuzzy creatures (about maybe an inch tall in this world), with unknowable magic powers and the personality of about a 6-year-old. Physically, they have a spherical head/body (nobody knows which it is) with a face on one side. They have very big ears, but smallish hands and feet, and no legs or arms. They are obsessed with cheese and powdered sugar, can teleport at will, frequently attempt to literally get in my hair, and a large chunk of them inhabit a demiplane located in my pants pockets...

Yeah. They're weird. But they are also extremely cute and fuzzy, so they match Bree really well.

2013-03-25, 09:24 PM
Well I've started the write-up, about half an hour into the three and a half hour session. :smallwink:

I shall attempt to pass on the fezzy squeez to LD. It is my humble and solemn duty to do so.

On another note, wow they got off topic last month. And it's interesting to note that they really lost track of the important stuff they need to do.

Without giving away too much, they didn't follow up on their failed investigations, but instead went out and tried to find the bandit camp.

I mean okay, Kel'Serrar has a massive hatred of bandits and Harold really wants to beat up something weaker than he is for once, but still, this could be disastrous.

Stay tuned, :smallbiggrin:

2013-04-17, 10:00 AM
Session 2.2: The Lady in Red

Okay we started out by allocating dice to everyone as Wings doesn’t have any D10’s and Sins and Dev forgot theirs, meaning that Ladyhawk, LD and I had to split our dice between everyone. It was difficult to manage but we sorted it all out swiftly enough.

We now begin where we left off, with Harold and Tremor awakening in the party’s cart.

Harold and Tremor awaken almost simultaneously to the sound of a keening shriek, one which sets their teeth on edge and fills Harold with fear. Corpsewalker!

And then he looks around and takes in the grins Breanna and Kel’Serrar are trying to hide with varying amounts of success. A look of comprehension slowly begins to draw across Harold’s face, even as the startled Dwergar next to him looks around frantically for the threat.

Breanna secretly used Phantom Noise to emulate a Corpsewalker’s scream in order to freak out the two drunkards. Cue hilarity from Ladyhawk and Sins. Admittedly, after the first few moments of shocked realisation, even Dev and Wings found it distinctly hilarious.

After some time trying to get their bearings, Harold and Tremor get up, with some difficulty and gasping in exquisite agony.

Both Harold and Tremor suffer from a -10 to any Skill Checks until they can get cleaned up and feeling better due to the massive hangovers. Usually it would be a -5 but this was a LOT of alcohol.

The five of them are arranged around in the courtyard where this all began, Tremor having joined their number and assimilated fairly well into the group. On the other hand, with yesterday’s distinct lack of success in finding out more information on the cult, they are no nearer to the core of the situation.

“Food…. Now…” – Harold to himself, face in his hands, trying to force the pounding in his head to go away. Funny how drinking always seems like fun until the next morning when the birds are singing and the sun shines brightly.

There is some semi-out of character chatter here as the others make fun of Harold’s predicament in particular. Dev responds with threats of violence, but Ladyhawk delivers the kicker.
“I have a spell which creates blazing light….. Don’t piss me off.” – Ladyhawk.

“I’m going to go get something to eat.” – Harold, struggling to stand up from his seat on the fountain. “Tremor, do you want to come with me?”

With a groan, Tremor stands and walks with the Invarrian, the two of them attempting to find a tavern they can order a meal and clean themselves up in. As they walk off, Harold whistles to his marcwolf pup, wincing in pain as he does so. Yet the pup perks up his ears and bounds after the two of them, yapping quietly to himself and keeping pace with them with a happy expression.

While Harold and Tremor go on their way, Kel’Serrar finds himself another tavern in the opposite direction, Maebh sits with her horse, looking after it, thinking to herself and enjoying the peace and quiet. Breanna on the other hand picks up her marcwolf pup and sits down in the shade of a tree, playing with it and just resting. After all, you never know when another life or death situation might come up, and a little bit of rest couldn’t hurt.

After some time, Tremor ends up leading Harold to the Iron Moon Inn, the very same establishment Tremor was staying in before he met up with the rest of the group. They open the door and hear a gruff voice from inside.

“No dogs allowed in here.” – Barkeep, wiping a tankard.
He looks up and sees the two walk in, missing the marcwolf pup at their feet and apologises.
“Sorry, I thought I could smell wet dog.” – Barkeep, realising that he can in fact smell mankyInvarrian.

Harold and Tremor order a large breakfast, rooms for the use of the baths and glasses of water and brandy to try and see off some of this infernal pain. They set to it, first washing up to be more respectable, Harold feeling sorry for the state of his clothing as he takes his bath, noticing once he starts to take it off that it’s ripped and bloodstained beyond almost all recognition.

All the same, he has nothing else, so he puts the shredded garments back on, hiding the pup in his backpack again. It’s going to be a far more difficult to do this soon as those pups won’t stay small and young forever.

And for that matter, those pups might be cute and friendly now, but without some proper training, they’re going to be vicious predators with no restraint when they grow up. Lucky Harold and Breanna have Animal Training, not so lucky that neither of them is particularly good at it.

After washing up, both come downstairs to eat their breakfasts and get as much fluid as possible into their systems in an attempt to flush out the alcohol. After some time, the marcwolf pup clambers out of Harold’s pack, sitting on the floor next to the Invarrian who reaches down to give the little creature some choice pieces of bacon, which are set upon with cute, slavering ferocity.

-5 penalties now which will hang around for the next three hours in game. This is instead of the -10’s they were dealing with.

The barman looks disapprovingly at the marcwolf but holds his tongue and lets it slide.

Kel’Serrar manages to find the fourth tavern in Summer Hill, the Golden Arrow and orders water and raw meat, garnering him a funny look from the edgy barman. After all, there’s no one else in the common-room apart from the carnivorous Danann and the barman, who looks confused at the savage meal and the distinctly un-manly beverage.

Kel’Serrar is completely unconcerned. After all, what should he care what the barman thinks?

Some off-topic where Wings asks about investing in a business, The Iron Moon in particular.

Heading back to the cart, Harold and Tremor go through what is left of the ‘loot,’ Tremor taking anything he feels he could use in the future, namely a pair of leather bracers. The rest they gather up and look to take it to the marketplace, hoping to find someone to take it off their hands. Unfortunately for them, finding someone who will take this war equipment off their hands in a relatively quiet town is quite difficult, only managing to get rid of a jerkin and the scimitar. Even with a bit of haggling, Harold is unable to get an amount equal to the armour’s worth. That being said, this particular jerkin was EradanBlackstar’s, who after all, was impaled through the jerkin by a Feartarbh horn. And the jerkin hasn’t exactly been cleaned, nor repaired.

Breanna meanwhile sets her pup to sleep after an intense playing session and climbs the tallest tree in the courtyard, ostensibly Kel’Serrar’s tree, before settling down to take a nap.

The party takes inventory again after heading back to the cart with a little extra weight in the pockets. Maebh claims the tower shield they were unable to sell, figuring it might come in handy as a spell component, if not, perhaps it could be used to deflect arrows and the like. Tremor on the other hand takes a chain hauberk, wearing it under his leather jerkin, plus the pair of leather bracers. Only the head of Manius’ maul is left in the cart with no one claiming it for any use.

A bit of out of character discussion regarding whether or not they should take on the bandit camp out to the north, or try and follow on their failed task from yesterday. Looking back on it I wish I had insisted this be in character, as it really should have been, but I slipped up here.

“Alright, we’re going to sort out these bandits then, because they might have something to do with Elspeth and because the bloody Leathe messed up, we still don’t know who needs to die here.” – Harold, summing it all up.

“Well, it’s about time.” – Kel’Serrar, with grim determination.

“I’m so glad you’re excited, because you’re usually so indifferent.” – Dev, slightly sarcastic. We think.

Anyway, the party heads back to the courtyard to pick up Breanna, Kel’Serrar spotting her in the highest branches of his tree. There was some talk about throwing objects at her to knock her out of the tree, but, well, thankfully they agreed with me that would be stupid.

As it is, Kel’Serrar climbs the tree and shakes the Leathe girl awake, before pushing her out of the tree. Breanna screams as she falls, cursing Kel’Serrar. Luckily for her, Maebh drives the cart underneath the tree, and Breanna tumbles as she lands on the back of the wagon, diffusing most of the impact of her landing. With a quiet laugh, Kel’Serrar drops out of the tree and strides along beside the cart.

And they’re on their way, heading out of Summer Hill once more and back out onto the north road at about mid-morning. Their journey is uneventful, however, looking behind them, Kel’Serrar spots a lean figure in dark red on the road towards Summer Hill. He brings this up with the others, but only Breanna is in a state where she’s able to see the figure. The whole party seems to be advocating killing their follower, but Harold stays his hand.
“Let’s not just jump to conclusions about killing them out of hand.” – Harold, not wanting to become known as the Order of the Murder-Hobo. Surprising really, considering his usual temperament.

“Whoever it is, it’s keeping up with us, right? What if I jumped off and hid in the bushes and followed whoever it is?” – Tremor, thinking deeply.

“Well, I think she’d be better for it than you.” – Harold, pointing at Breanna.
“Or even him.” – Maebh at Kel’Serrar.
“Actually, I think Breanna could do it better than I could.” – Kel’Serrar, shaking his head.
“No I couldn’t! I’m just shorter, why couldn’t you just bend down!?” – Breanna, realising it’s a dangerous situation and trying her best to avoid it.
“Well, I can hide, but she can turn invisible.” – Kel’Serrar, making his case.
“Technically I don’t turn invisible…” – Breanna.
“Still better than what we’ve got.” – Maebh.
“Bugger.” – Breanna.

Breanna is still bitter about her wake-up call, despite the fact that she came out of it smelling like roses.

“After being so rudely asked to do this, I’ll leap off the side and hide in the bushes on the side of the road.” – LD.
“Can you not jump? Could you maybe… slither?” – Wings, tentatively.
She calms down after a bit.
“Fine, I’ll use Shadowskin before I leap off the cart.”

Breanna tenses slightly as she calls up the daemonic entity, getting a good hold on it and starts to drain its power. She then takes the energy and cloaks herself in shadow before sailing through the air drawing attention to herself with her arcing dive, a half-pike double twist with a squeeze of lime, and losing herself amongst the thick undergrowth alongside the road.

She lies in wait as the wagon trundles on towards the overturned carriage. After almost fifteen minutes of waiting, the Leathe can see their follower. She is a tall, young, slender woman with long brown wavy hair and dark eyes. She is wearing a dark red tunic and tall leather boots. She appears unarmed, but it would be folly to walk out on the roads without any protection. She also bears a long, pale scar running down the side of her neck.

As an aside, through the whole description, Ladyhawk is telling the party to, “Kill it.”

As the woman passes Breanna’s hiding place, the Leathe can see that she is definitely following the cart, looking at the tracks the cart and its heavy load have pressed into the roadway. Breanna’s lucky she is so light and the ground so hard-packed that she didn’t leave any readily apparent traces of her passage. Seeing this, the Leathe decides to follow the woman, daggers held ready in her hands.

Almost an hour after Breanna left them, the rest of the party comes across the place where the carriage careened off the road weeks ago. They quickly discuss whether they should blaze a trail and take the wagon with them, or if they should leave it behind, in which case it might be stolen or ruined.

In the end, Maebh unhitches the horse and takes the shield out of the cart, slinging it over her back. Everyone grabs their equipment and supplies, Tremor grabbing Breanna’s and Harold taking her marcwolf pup, before overturning the wagon on the side of the road.

The party then follows the trail which has changed only little since they passed it last, heading towards the overturned carriage, and then past it and onwards to the old marcwolf cave they sheltered in several nights before. The plan is to leave the horse and marcwolves there and set up camp before Harold and Maebh head back to pick up Breanna.
They don’t end up leaving the animals in the cave, but instead take them with them.

Meanwhile Breanna watches as her quarry stalks along the road ahead, eventually coming across the overturned wagon. The Leathe watches as the tall woman bends down to inspect underneath the cart, probably checking if there is anything in it. Knowing that her Shadowskin has already been in use for almost an hour, she uses the last of the daemon's energy to renew her spell.

"Ummm, uh... Can I ask how tall she is right now?" - LD, pondering her next move.
"Her head is at a lower height than yours at the moment." - Me.
"Awesome! Then I'm gonna go slit her throat!" - LD, cheerful.
"WHY!?" - Dev, in agony.
"Well then, maybe, YOU should have gone and hid. You didn't think this through at all did you?" - LD, unrepentant.
"Ah, well, she'll probably miss anyway." - Dev.
"64!" - LD, happily, still getting the hang of the idea of rolling low to succeed....

The Leathe assassin glides across the ground like a dull grey ghost, silent as the grave, knife at the ready, but at the last her strike goes wide, the woman's shoulder raising accidentally as the Leathe moves in for the kill. Breanna's forearm slams into the red-clad woman’s shoulder, who instinctively rises to her feet, pushing backwards into her invisible assailant. Breanna stumbles back, and darts away into the bushes again, hiding from her target.

The woman, looking around frantically, draws a longknife which she holds in an icepick grip and scans the deepening shadows under the forest canopy for her assailant.

Still shrouded in shadow, Breanna waits for about a quarter of an hour before taking up her trusty carving knife. Hefting the small but heavy blade, the Leathe flips it in her hand so she is holding the blade before running up to her target and swinging the hilt with all of her might into the back of the woman's head.

LD takes her first Strength Check to knock the woman out and rolls an 89 failing by sixty-two. Luckily she picked up the Sturdy Trait thanks to her punctual interview, allowing her to re-roll a single Strength or Toughness Checks every day. She rolled again and this time scored a 16, passing by eleven.

The woman in red sinks to the ground with the solid hit, thoroughly unconscious.

Seeing this, Breanna snatches the longknife from the woman’s fingers and darts down the trail in an attempt to chase down her companions, catching up to them in a matter of minutes.

“Harold, I need you to come pick up a body.” – Breanna’s disembodied voice. “Oh right, wait a second.”
She dismisses the Shadowskin.
"I need you to follow me and come pick up this unconscious body.” – Breanna.
“Okay, everyone, I’m going to follow Breanna. We’ll meet you at the cave. Oh, and Kel’Serrar, can I please borrow some rope?” – Harold.
“Only if I have to give it to you.” – Kel’Serrar, grudgingly handing over his rope.
“Thank you. You are a valued member of the team.” – Harold, sort of sarcastic. We think.

The two of them head back to the unconscious woman, Harold still using his staff to keep moving easily. Within ten minutes they come upon the woman who was following them, still sprawled where Breanna’s strike put her down. Harold quickly ties her hands together behind her back, slings her over his shoulder and carries her onwards to the cave, the whole party back together again.

More to come. :smallbiggrin: It just happens to be here. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=15108461&postcount=46)

2013-04-17, 10:07 AM
"cute, slavering ferocity"-very funny.

And maybe I've just read too much ASOIAF recently, but I'm sure the Red Woman was supposed to be an important and powerful ally. Me thinks the party might be in trouble now...

2013-04-17, 10:08 AM
Here it is.

Once there, the Invarrian takes some rope and lashes the unconscious woman in a sitting position against a large boulder, specifically facing a direction in which she cannot see the horribly mangled corpse Maebh strung up into the trees almost a week ago. He then takes out his drinking bowl.

“Can I get some water in this please?” – Harold, to Maebh.
Silently, the Danann mage sends some water trickling out her hands and into the drinking utensil.

Taking the now full bowl, Harold walks over to the tied up woman and splashes it on her face, drenching her upper body. She wakes up spluttering, scared and obviously with a massive headache.

Dev considers asking the rest of the group to leave the immediate area here.
“Well, we’re not interrogating her.” – Harold.
“What are you going to do then?” – Maebh.
“Uh, I was thinking charming her.” – Harold.
Everyone cracks up.
“OH FOR THE LOVE OF CRAP!” – Harold, exasperated.
“I’ll get the bandages….” – Kel’Serrar, resigned.
“You’ve tied her to a boulder, how charming could you possibly be?”
“I want to hear this played out actually.” – Sins.

The others back off a small distance, but all of them are within earshot and Kel’Serrar has an arrow nocked and ready.

“I am sorry about my associate knocking you out. I had no choice in the matter. What’s your name?” – Harold, putting on his best ‘I’m a sweet, lovable dog-man, not a vicious killer,’ voice.

“Can you let me go first?” – Red-clad woman, eyes darting from side to side.
Slowly, steadily so as not to startle her, the Invarrian reaches across and unties the ropes. Despite this, he is still somewhat wary, hand on the hilt of one of his swords.

“My name is Dhara.” – Dhara, smiling with just a little more goodwill than before.

A Southlander name.

“So why were you following us Dhara?” – Harold, gently.
“Oh, I saw you in Summer Hill and thought there was something suspicious about the Harvest Wolf. I saw your performance there yesterday and I realised that we were on the same side. So I wanted to come and meet with you, share information and find out what you know about this business.” – Dhara, earnestly.

“Well, why don’t you tell us what you know first, and then we’ll tell you?” – Harold.
“Well, I’m afraid I really don’t know that much. I’ve only recently found an interesting correlation between Morgaris Shylocke and Petyr Rangard. I think they might be working together on something which bodes ill for Summer Hill.” – Dhara.

“Hmm, now that adds up with why Rangard would want that Focus Stone. I mean, they are trying to summon a giant daemon, a Focus Stone would help.” – Kel’Serrar.

“This is true.” – Harold, to Kel’Serrar. He turns back to Dhara. “We were actually hired by Rangard. Unfortunately, we are not sure what is actually happening, but for now we’re just trying to get some information. There is a bandit camp in the area. We’re trying to find it.”

“Ah yes, I know of this bandit camp. A notice was actually put up in the area about a month ago, warning the town as a whole that bandits were in the area. They should be just to north-west of here.” – Dhara, nodding. She’s trying to helpful.

“Breanna, I believe you have her knife.” – Harold, holding his hand out expectantly. Breanna hands it over. Holding the blade of the longknife in his hand, the Invarrian offers the woman back her knife.

“Why thank you. I didn’t think I’d ever see it again when I woke up without it.” – Dhara, sheathing the blade in the scabbard down her leg.

“You’re coming with us to the bandit camp. I think we’d all appreciate it if you would watch our backs for us.” – Harold, using his staff to push back to his feet.
“That’s good, I’m happy to help. I have a feeling you’re all working towards the good of Summer Hill.” – Dhara, also getting to her feet, a little unsteady due to the headache.
“Okay, we’re moving out.” – Harold, to the rest of the party.

The group heads out in a north-west direction, pushing out into the wilds in the vague direction of the bandit camp they know is out there. After some time, Tremor heads off further to the west, thinking to flank the camp. Before he leaves, Harold hands him one of his shortswords.

As they walk, Breanna approaches Dhara.
“You know, I’m really sorry you got mugged by that really weird Leathe guy who just showed up told me I could have his knife. When I asked where he got it from, he said from an unconscious girl down the road.” – Breanna, failing her Deception Check.

“No that’s okay, I know why you had to do it.” – Dhara smiling, though rubbing the back of her head.
“How did you know it was me!?” – Breanna, indignant.

Tremor, by himself, is as wary as he can be, scanning the treeline. He is rewarded for his efforts when he spies a flet in the branches of a tall tree. He knows from experience that this platform would be manned by two sentries as part of the picketline. He looks around for a way further in without alerting the camp, but he finds nothing.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group spots another flet in the tress ahead of them, even in the failing light. Breanna’s keen eyes strain, but as far as she can tell, no one is standing on it.

“Hmm, so you guys can’t see anyone up there?” – Harold.
“No.” – Kel’Serrar and Breanna.
“Okay then, go up there and kill them without them knowing you were here.” – Harold, to Breanna.
She struggles with a daemon and puts her Shadowskin back on while Harold unclasps his cuirass and hides it behind a tree, thinking to allow him to walk a bit quieter.

Breanna, sneaking through the undergrowth, scales the tree silently, a dark and deadly ghost. She clambers up onto the flet and looks around wildly, daggers held at the ready.

There is no one there.

“Roughly what time is it?” – Sins.
“About six in the evening.”
“THEY’RE ALL ASLEEP!” – Wings. The way he said it was hilarious. Might be one of those things you have to be there for.

From her new vantage point, Breanna looks around and can see a few more flets up in the trees, but none of them appear to be in use.

A passed Intelligence Check from Breanna confirms that she knows that the setup of flets is a picket line. But only Kel’Serrar picks up that this is an unusual level of organisation for a woodland bandit camp.

“We should probably all be together for this.” – Harold, quietly. Kel’Serrar nods in agreement.
“I’ll get Tremor then.” – Kel’Serrar, who slinks off into the undergrowth to find the engineer.

Tremor, hunkered down and watching the flet he found, finds Kel’Serrar materialising out of the undergrowth to his right. After a short, relatively cordial discussion, Tremor and Kel’Serrar head back to the rest of the group to find out what Harold wants him for.

While Kel’Serrar’s finding the dwarf, Harold silently beckons Breanna down.

“What’s the situation Breanna?” – Harold.
“There’s absolutely nothing up there. I could see quite a few platforms, but nothing on them. No people, no weapons, nothing. They must all be asleep or something.” – Breanna.

Taking a deep whiff of the air, Harold finds that he can’t seem to pick up any smells which would indicate recent habitation. It looks as if the bandits have moved on.

But there is one smell which does stand out, faint, but definitely there.

I ask Harold to make an Intelligence Check to see if he can put it all together.
“Oh good, I have a good Intelligence score!” – Dev, happily.
Snickers erupt from the group.
“It’s true, I do!” – Dev, indignant.
“What is it then?” – Sins.
“42.” – Dev.
“Wow.” – Wings.
“How….. Are YOU smarter than ME!?” – LD.
To put it in perspective, Maebh’s is the second highest on 36. Tremor’s is still mid-twenties, but he is a level below the others. Breanna has no such excuse.

Suddenly Harold’s mind clicks the pieces of the puzzle together. It’s a Danann scent, but it’s neither of the two he’s been travelling with. This scent is too raw and strong. This is a different smell of death and decay.

As Kel’Serrar and Tremor appear from amongst the trees, the Invarrian prepares to move.
“I want you to stay here please. We’ll come back for you, but this could be dangerous.” – Harold, to Dhara. She nods in reply and silently takes the horse’s guide-rope from Maebh.
Waving the party onwards silently, Harold leads the way along the overgrown woodland track, quietly sneaking past a few more abandoned flets. After a few minutes of this, they reach a clearing.

The centre of the clearing is a blackened circle, roughly six feet across, ringed with stones and filled with ash a charred wood. It would seem to be a rudimentary fire pit. Kel’Serrar walks over to it and surmises it hasn’t been used in at least a week.

There are several bare patches in the grass on the ground where it is likely tents were pitched, but they are gone now.

Aside from those patches and the fire pit, there is nothing in the clearing which suggests habitation, no signs of life in the immediate vicinity.
“Let’s look for tracks, shall we?” – Tremor, rubbing his hands together.

After a short time, they find some old, faint human-ish tracks, milling around. Maebh is particularly lucky, noting a large and very strange paw-print.
“Aww no, not another marcwolf!” – Dev.
“Actually, this is bigger than the average marcwolf’s print….” – Ominously…..
“Oh crap, a grizzly bear!” – Dev….

The party clusters around the print, but none of them can identify the creature. From the facing of the print, it appears to be heading in an approximately southerly direction. Worryingly, the most recent human tracks all seem to be going in the same direction, a beeline straight for the road.

“Maybe we should get Dhara. You never know, she did follow us, she might be good at this sort of thing.” – Tremor.
Admittedly, there is a big difference between following a few minutes behind a loud, noisy group of adventurers in a cart in the middle of the day and following faint, week-old tracks in the undergrowth, but at least he was being logical.
“Fair enough. I’ll go see if she will have a look.” – Harold, nodding in agreement.
Harold heads back to the first flet to go get her.

He fetches her, even in the fading light and brings her back to the clearing. Harold shows her Maebh’s paw-print and even in the darkness can see by the widening of her eyes that she has some sort of recognition.
“I’m not seeing much here.” – Dhara, shrugging ruefully.
“She lied, kill her.” – Ladyhawk.

“Well… Let’s see if there’s any clues to be found back in that cave.” – Harold.
He takes Maebh and Dhara with him, probably not thinking it safe to leave Dhara unsupervised.

Meanwhile the others keep looking around the abandoned campsite, but by now the light is failing and they can’t find anything of use. Tremor swiftly gives up on that and instead looks for herbs and other plants to harvest, thinking to start up an alchemy/apothecary business on the side once he can settle down a bit.

Having climbed into the nearest flet to the clearing, Kel’Serrar peers down at the ground with his keen eyes. While he finds nothing in terms of physical evidence, his predator senses tell him that there is some sort of pattern and control to the chaotic mass of tracks. He sits back against the tree, eyes closed, and ponders the nature of this chaos.

Meanwhile, Harold, Maebh and Dhara are walking back to the cave. Scanning the ground, Maebh notices a single trail of human tracks leading directly into the cave, fairly fresh and light. As far as Maebh can tell, whatever made this did so within the last two days.

As it is quite dark now, Harold asks Maebh to go hunting to get some dinner. While she does so, he gathers up some dry wood to serve as fuel for a fire. Dhara meanwhile just looks lost, staring up into the trees at something. It takes a while for Maebh to remember that she had strung a flayed man in those very branches just a week prior.

While all this is happening, Tremor gathers up some wood of his own and starts a fire in the abandoned fire pit while Breanna gathers up some berries and other fruits of the forest. Kel’Serrar meanwhile continues to ponder.
“I’m just going to do all the important stuff. You know, start a fire, go to sleep, wash clothes…. I don’t think I got the order right.” – Tremor, to much laughter.

It takes him a while, but Kel’Serrar actually thinks he recognises the pattern. His mind takes him back to some years ago, another bandit camp and a certain escapade with an old companion.
“Oh no….” – Sins.
He can tell from the movement of the prey in this instance that this is the hallmark of a predatory tactic he and Chirya worked on together. However, it would only work with more than one hunter, leaving him with a disturbing thought.

She had replaced him.

And on his way back down the tree, he sees the proof he didn’t need for himself, but for the others. In the elegant script of the Danann Cainte, the letter ‘C.’

Harold on the other hand, for some reason, not wanting to go into the cave anymore, starts to head back along the forest trail, bundle of sticks in hand with Dhara and Maebh with a brace of dead rabbits alongside him.

From their right, echoing menacingly through the shadow shrouded woodland comes a deep, rumbling growl.
"Oh lovely." - Ladyhawk.
Maebh immediately turns to her right, peering into the gloom while Dhara positions herself so that Harold stands between her and whatever is in the undergrowth.

"Keep moving, but slowly. And keep an eye out." - Harold, under his breath.
As soon as he takes his first step, an arrow whistles out of the night, brushing so close to the side of his face he feels a slight tingle from its passage. It embeds itself in the trunk of a tree behind him.

Only his sudden sideways movement saved his life.

"RUN!" - Harold, bellowing to the others and dropping his bundle of firewood.
Together, they bolt back to the camp along the trail.
Behind them, they hear a terrifying, thunderous roar. It is so loud that even the rest of the party in the clearing can hear it, causing both Kel'Serrar and Breanna to hide, one in a little more panic than the other. And it wasn't Breanna keeping calm.

Meawhile, Maebh has started to pull ahead of both Harold and Dhara, the Invarrian due to his injury and the Southlander due to simple anatomy. The Danann has longer legs and a predator's body, built like a wolf.

Tremor stands behind a tree, borrowed shortsword clenched tightly as he prepares to attack whatever his chasing the rest of the party. Obviously Wings hasn't realised that selfless acts are thinly spread in this group.

Breanna meanwhile is hiding in amongst a large clump of berry bushes, nervously eating as she waits to see what is coming down the path. Kel'Serrar stands in his flet from earlier, pressed against the tree and trusting his cloak and the shadows. Looking down the path, Maebh can be seen, running full-pelt towards the fire. She reaches it and turns around, purple threads of magic crackling to life in her hands as she readies herself to face off against whatever was chasing them. As she does so, she can see Harold and Dhara pass Tremor's hiding place almost simultaneously, the Invarrian hobbling now after his initial burst of speed, his injuries having re-opened (again). She also sees Tremor with his sword, standing ready with his back against the tree.

Tremor's heart is racing. He knows that whatever comes down this path next will be the beast that loosed that monstrous roar. He is ready. To fight or to die.

But nothing happens. Silence surrounds them, broken only by the crackle of fire and their ragged breathing.

Hunched over, fighting back a scream of agony, Harold draws his other shortsword over his shoulder and offers it to the slightly built Southlander beside him. She nods her thanks, takes the blade and draws her own dagger with her other hand, her back to the fire. Harold meanwhile, gasps with pain and slowly, carefully draws forth his sabre. It's edge is pitted he has neglected it over the past few days, but it is the best weapon he has. He too stares down the trail, waiting for the monster that was so close to them only moments before.

And then the debate about the pronunciation of dance and nectarine came up again and totally screwed over any tension I had worked hard to develop. Ah well.

Kel'Serrar takes an arrow from his quiver and quietly nocks it to his bow, hoping to remain in hiding.

"Kel'Serrar, do you have any idea what that was!?" - Harold, breaking the silence with his ear-splitting shout.
Kel'Serrar rolls his eyes, but doesn't answer, not wanting to give away his position.
The echo of Harold's shout fades away in the forest and he thinks better of trying to yell out again.

A little bit of discussion about Tremor's background when Wings asks if there's any chance the dwarf has heard of anything like this in his travels. We decided that where Tremor could well have travelled extensively up in the north, there is very little likelihood that he would know very much about the southern lands.

Harold takes a very deep whiff and recognises the smell. Death, decay, wet fur.... He's smelt this before, in the wagon on the way back to Summer Hill, but he was never able to place it.

Where she lies in wait in the bushes, Breanna hears quiet rustling from the undergrowth behind her. And then a low, resonating growl.

Breanna, calling on her magic tries desperately to get her message across without giving away her position. In her haste she loses control of the magic, and suddenly, her fingernails turn black and many of her blood vessels burst. She whimpers quietly in pain, but stifles it swiftly. Sadly, Phantom Noise is not able to deliver anything but two word messages.

The words "CHECK FRUIT!" echo around the clearing in a shrieking, keening tone, one which the party immediately recognises as their Leathe companion in a great deal of anxiety. However the meaning of the phrase is lost on them.... Except Tremor.

And we left it there....

The Wrap-Up:
Sorry that took so long to do, I was really struggling to find time to do it. So once again, 1:06 in the morning and I have university tomorrow morning.

Not much of a wrap-up this time round, but I can say that the next session is scheduled for the 26th of April, which might just give me enough time to get material sorted out for them. And maybe finish the Engineer advance options. :smalltongue:

Cheers and thanks for reading,

2013-04-17, 10:18 AM
Well, we still haven't really seen "Dhara" in action, but at least she seems to be roughly on the party's side. I wonder if we're about to meet Mab's old boyfriend? (Might be a nice therapeutic way for you and Ladyhawk to act out any annoyances you might have with each other).

And on the topic of the magic penalties: owie!

2013-04-17, 10:37 AM
Well I have to say that I don't think Ladyhawk and I have any problems, so luckily we don't need that at the moment. That being said, it's a nice idea. So if the day comes where we do have problems like that, I know what my backup plan is. :P


Amidus Drexel
2013-04-17, 04:05 PM
Interesting. I like this.

I have to agree with Ladyhawk, though; killing people that are suspicious is the safest route. It's hard to be betrayed by a dead person. :smallamused:

"Check Fruit", huh? Hrm... I've got no idea.

2013-04-17, 07:30 PM
Interesting. I like this.

I have to agree with Ladyhawk, though; killing people that are suspicious is the safest route. It's hard to be betrayed by a dead person. :smallamused:

Yeah, but it's also hard to be saved by a dead person.

BTW, Phoenix, will the meaning of the campaign title ever become significant? Or rather, are we supposed to be able to know what it means?

2013-04-17, 10:30 PM
I have told the players that at least one part of the overall campaign title has been revealed, but intriguingly, not the important ones. But yes, the title is relevant. :smallwink:

2013-04-18, 03:07 PM
"Check Fruit", huh? Hrm... I've got no idea.

"Investigate the berry bushes"?

2013-04-21, 10:09 PM
I bring good news. Wings hopes to have his background finished by Friday's session and due to a quirk in respective timetables, may well be bringing along a sixth player.

We shall see. keep your fingers crossed, :smallwink:

2013-04-29, 12:48 AM
Great to see GitP is back, I've been frantically checking on it for days now. :smalltongue:

We did play on the 26th, a good 4 and a bit hour session in all, though we ended up with neither Wings' background, nor the extra player.

On the other hand, 1.6 was definitively played.

Next time in Three Coins:
An unseen menace is thwarted, though not without sacrifice, much frantic healing is undertaken and several clues are found through the looking glass of a dwarven-shaped hole in the door. :smallbiggrin:

We are hoping to have the next session on the 10th, a somewhat shorter break than usual as several players have suggested that the current format is not frequent enough.


2013-05-01, 01:23 AM
Great to see GitP is back, I've been frantically checking on it for days now. :smalltongue:

We did play on the 26th, a good 4 and a bit hour session in all, though we ended up with neither Wings' background, nor the extra player.

On the other hand, 1.6 was definitively played.

Next time in Three Coins:
An unseen menace is thwarted, though not without sacrifice, much frantic healing is undertaken and several clues are found through the looking glass of a dwarven-shaped hole in the door. :smallbiggrin:

We are hoping to have the next session on the 10th, a somewhat shorter break than usual as several players have suggested that the current format is not frequent enough.


Good to see this is still going! can't belive I didn't read it before!

Also, you weren't the only ne perturbed by this site's absence.

2013-05-01, 07:56 PM
Yep, we're still going strong, though I do believe that we will be getting close to the end of the current arc pretty soon.

After that Dev will almost certainly be running a Norbayne game with more or less the same group. We might lose Lady Darkmoon for that one. Dev really wants an evil game, so as her brother I am concerned it might be too dark for her. Although it has been pointed out to me that she's more sadistic than all of us. Combined. :smalltongue:

Depending on what we decide, we might play Three Coins' second arc simultaneously, alternating with Dev's, or we might just play Dev's through and then get back to Three Coins. We shall see.

But the whole group has expressed displeasure at the possibility this arc might not be followed by another, so I think we'll be around for a long while yet. :smallwink:

Glad to see we've attracted another reader. Hope you find it entertaining mate. :smallbiggrin:

2013-05-06, 12:56 AM
Just thought I'd give a quick update on the campaign.

I am over halfway through the write-up but have found it impossible to finish at home with the distraction of Third Age Total War. I intend to do it at university, hopefully tomorrow because Wednesdays and Thursdays are a bit more hectic over there.

We also intend to play Session 1.7 this Friday. Hopefully things will become more clear to everyone. Just waiting to hear from Wings regarding whether he can make it.

Until then, cheers,

EDIT* Almost finished. I hope to have the write-up available tonight.

2013-05-07, 07:53 PM
Session 2.3: And Now For Something Completely Different

Welcome to Session 2.3 of Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword.

As we know, the party -

“For the sake of the recording I’d like to point out that we all lost The Game and you just did too.” – Sins.


As we know the part is being harassed by an, as yet, unseen bestial menace. Maebh, Harold and Dhara have been chased down the woodland path, sprinting as fast as they can to avoid both arrow and beast, before finally coming to a halt with backs to the blazing fire Tremor has built. The Dwergar himself stands with his back to a tree, borrowed blade at the ready, prepared to face down whatever was following the others.

Kel’Serrar meanwhile stands up in his tree-top flet, scanning the darkness for movement, while Breanna huddles in the shadows of some fruit bushes.

From behind her she hears a low, rumbling growl, prompting her to draw the attention of the party to where she hides.

“CHECK FRUIT!” – Breanna’s piercing magical shriek.

As so we come to Tremor, who alone of the party has the presence of mind to do anything about the Leathe’s cry.

“What?” – Tremor, looking around the area, pondering what the voice could be asking of him. Effectively wasting his free action.

Unfortunately for Breanna, the only person aware that the bushes actually contained fruit was Breanna herself. The others were all doing important things while she was stuffing her face with berries.

The bushes explode with violence and a bone-rattling roar. Something goes for Breanna, something she can’t see in the darkness, but she is aware enough of its proximity that she is able to flip out of the way with exceptional ability.

Some brilliant rolling here as Breanna not only sees the attacks coming with a Perception Check of 05, but dodges both with 05 and 03 respectively. This is in addition to her exceptional Dodge bonuses anyway.

I then make a mistake. I tell LD that she did so well that she can tell me what that success results in. They spend over three minutes discussing the outcomes.

“Someone who doesn’t usually succeeds and all of a sudden, we don’t know what to do!” – Sins.
“This is so difficult, I didn’t think this through at all!” – LD
“That’s fairly evident.” – Sins
“Oh no, success is difficult!”

In the end she just flips out of the bushes and into the cleared area.

The sudden movement draws Kel’Serrar’s eye, who prepares a Flaming Arrow. After contemplating the situation for a moment, he draws back and literally fires, blazing a path through the bushes. In a recurring theme for Kel’Serrar, his blind-shot was effective, and a pained roar rings out through the bushland. Whatever he hit retreats further into the forest.

“Any idea what that was Kel’Serrar?” – Maebh, slightly panicked.
Unsurprisingly, the ranger does not respond.

An angry shout is heard and a rain of arrows falls upon Maebh, Harold and Dhara, but the range and uncertain light mean that only one scrapes a gouge in Dhara’s calf and another slams into Maebh’s upper arm.

“Give up the tree-girl and I might let the rest of you live!” – Feminine voice, followed by ominous laughter.
“Give up the tree?” – Dev, confused.
“Girl. Tree-girl. Me!” – LD, not confused.
“Why would she want a possum?” – Wings.
“Leathe are a delicacy to the Danann.” – Dev.
“It’s a Danann is it?” – Ladyhawk.
“Well, I smelt Danann earlier.” – Dev.
“Actually you smelt death and decay. Don’t be racist about it!” – Sins.
“Don’t give me away! I promise that when I die of natural causes I’ll let you both eat me!” – LD
“… Damn… That’s a convincing argument.” – Sins.
“I thought so.” – LD, with a laugh.

“First question. Who the hell are you!?” – Maebh, shouting out to the darkness.
“It doesn’t matter.” – Feminine voice, followed by more low, ominous, mocking laughter.

“I think I’m going to send out a fireball as a bit of a warning shot. Kind of like, “Don’t mess with me bitch.” – Ladyhawk.
“So this is a bit like a ‘Legolas-Gimli’ warning shot is it?”

With a slight growl, Maebh lets go of her readied Bladewall and blazes a flaming trail into the bushes with a Flare. She is greeted with more mocking laughter.

“Should have gone with a bigger ball of fire.” – Maebh, to herself.

Tremor hefts his borrowed sword and runs into the undergrowth, thinking to loop around the hidden archer’s position. On the opposite side of the clearing, Kel’Serrar drops from his vantage point and sneaks around the northern edge himself, although this is less from a desire to find the archer, and more to get in a hidden position.

Breanna, standing in the open, calls up a daemon and cloaks herself in shadows again, falling into the dark embrace with a feeling of optimistic familiarity. Maebh, still near the fire, clads her skin in golden magical plates, provided herself with some form of protection against stuff that wishes to hurt her.
Sins used the opportunity to say ‘massive-bone-scythe-flaming-claws’ three times with considerable speed. He was commended on it, though I don’t think any of us really knows what made him think of it.

Harold meanwhile, rips yet more cloth from his already tattered garments to bind the bleeding wound in Dhara’s leg. Maebh snickers at the obvious pain the woman is in, despite it being a rather small wound.

Tremor, short legs stumping through the undergrowth feels a slight chill as he realises he doesn’t know where the archer is. And then three arrows spit out of the darkness at him. One flies over his shoulder, the archer obviously used to shooter taller opponents, however the other two thud into his chest. The first is mainly turned aside by the leather jerkin, however the other digs deep into the flesh. Tremor takes 7 Damage in all. Angered by this attack on him, the Dwergar snaps the arrow-shaft, tosses it into the bushes and continues his relentless forwards movement.

Breanna too works her way into the bushes, seeing Tremor tracking his way through the undergrowth.

This amused me because it demonstrated to me that the group actually was quite interested in the situation.
“Okay, Perception Checks from Breanna and Kel’Serrar. Oh and Tremor too.”
“Can I do it anyway?” – Ladyhawk.
“Yeah sure, if you just want to roll some dice.”
Dice are rolled.
“Ah bugger.” – Wings, who failed.
“Aww.” – LD, who had also failed.
Various sounds of disappointment from the group as a whole.
“So no passes?”
“Ah! No, I passed with Danann Senses!” – Sins, going through his Traits and Talents.
“Ooh, what does that do? +5% to Perception Checks? Then I passed too.” – Ladyhawk, happily.
“I got a 03!” – Dev, also happily.

With those passes and such enthusiasm for the game, where I literally sat for a minute as they worked out whether they had succeeded without asking me if they had or not, I realised that the group had finally grasped the system itself, which is a great moment as a game designer. So despite not originally intending to count Harold’s and Maebh’s attempts, I did provide them with some information too.

Harold sniffs the air and can still smell rotting flesh and charred meat. Whatever the beast was earlier, it is still around.

Maebh meanwhile, can hear rustling in the bushes as several things move around. People, beasts, friends or foes, she cannot tell, but the darkness behind the treeline hides much detail, even from her keen sight.

Kel’Serrar looks ahead and can see ahead of him, a glint of metal in the moonlight. He assumes it must be an arrowhead. But crucially says nothing.

Tremor, still charging headlong through the undergrowth never sees them coming. Three arrows, two of which slam into his chest once more, and another which hits him in the thigh. He ends up taking a total of 12 Damage. He falls over onto his back, choking on blood and soaking his beard in it. The rest of the group hear his shouts of pain and agony, and Kel’Serrar and Breanna are both near enough to help, but neither of them are very selfless. At all.

Harold heads out towards the shout, heedless of the danger. He starts out trying to run, but eventually devolves into hobbling due to his earlier exertions.

From the direction the arrows came from, Breanna finally sees their tormentor. A tall, painfully thin, almost ghost-like figure in the darkness, cloaked and wielding a recurve bow.

“My early optimism of this fight has just gone down the tube!” – Dev.
“So it’s gone right where it belongs, somewhere in the realm of standard.” – Sins.

Breanna charges towards the figure and takes to her with the carving knife. And for the first time in memory, was actually successful. The excessively sharp blade slams into the archer’s leg.

“Does she scream?” – Ladyhawk, sadistic.
Small silence….
“She’ll do well in my campaign.” – Dev.
For those who don’t know, Dev is planning on running his own Norbayne campaign, probably once Three Coins is finished. The overall premise so far is, “You’re all evil and are completely focussed on obtaining power and ****.”

And yes, there’s a yelp of pain. The archer attempts to backhand the Leathe’s face, but misses completely and runs.

Maebh just laughs in a mocking manner, trying to provoke anger, just because she’s angry herself. Kel’Serrar meanwhile succeeds brilliantly when it comes to patching up Tremor, finding a few herbs in the immediate area which can be used to numb the pain. Tremor is stabilised and the bleeding is more or less stopped, but the dwarf is by no means feeling much better.

They head back to the cart on the road, wanting desperately to get back to the town. Tremor is slung over the horse’s back, as he is certainly not in a position to be able to walk.

Harold goes around and takes his swords back from both Dhara and Tremor, but neither of them are necessarily completely happy about it, although Tremor’s a bit too far gone to complain and Dhara realises her position is tenuous.

Stressed out as they are, it takes the party a fair bit of time to get back to the main road, where their overturned wagon sits. Straining and struggling, Harold eventually manages to lift the cart, but in doing so opens up one of the more serious wounds he received against MacSilver. They also dump Tremor into the back of the cart.

Dawn arrives while they are on the road and it is not until after midday after a sleepless night of travel that they head back through the gates of Summer Hill, somewhat worse for wear. For the first time since they’ve been in Summer Hill, there’s a watch set at the gate. The watchmen merely nod at the group, friendly enough, they don’t stop the party, but all the same, they have not been there before.

“I blow them to shreds.” – Ladyhawk.
“You nod at me? DIE!” – LD, sarcastic and to much laughter.
“I’m sorry, I take that back. They seem nice.” – Ladyhawk.
“She’s going to do REALLY well in my campaign.” – Dev.
“You greeted me with friendliness? DIE! You dress up as a rabbit? DIE!”

Kel’Serrar finds his tree and sleeps in it, pondering the nature of this business and thinking over what he knows of Chirya.

Harold and Tremor find someone who will patch up their injuries, staggering and half-dead as they are. The man they find usually sells ‘healing potions’ and the like, but he is capable of sewing up their wounds. Between the two of them, they pay thirty sulvers, which is twenty less than the original offer. Dhara excuses herself early to go find someone who can patch up her admittedly lesser injury.

Now that he is capable of walking without assistance, Tremor goes looking for an animal breeder, someone who can sell him a creature which he can lavish attention on. He finds one bloke in the surrounding farmlands who breeds dogs for the whole area.
“You really want to find Harold’s parents?” – Sins, cracking us all up. Even Dev found it amusing.
Tremor has a look, but he’s really after something smaller and leaves empty-handed. He spends the next hour or so running through the forest trying to find a “weird and unnatural rodent” to make a pet of. After some time he eventually finds a clearing with a small herd of about ten capail (Propaleotherium (http://www.abc.net.au/beasts/evidence/prog1/images/evi_propaleotherium_large.jpg)), but his sudden movement startles them and they bugger off soon enough. Eventually he ventures back to town, disappointed, but at the same time inspired. After all, why make friends if he can literally make friends….

Harold meanwhile goes to the market district, obtaining new clothes and getting the nicks and chips in his swords fixed up. After that he gets his armour fixed up too, depositing his cuirass and hauberk. He waits in the Harvest Wolf for the armourers and weapon-smiths to finish their work, keeping an eye out for anyone who might be suspicious. He is to be disappointed and leaves.

Breanna finds an inn where she hopes to obtain some food. She eventually ends up at the Iron Moon, whose barkeep doesn’t approve of dogs. He is about to inform the Leathe as such as he looks up, but takes in her unnaturally bouncy, happy gait and assortment of knives and decides that it isn’t worth it. He turns back to wiping one of the tankards and takes her order, which is bread and ham, the latter of which she feeds to her marcwolf pup on the floor. Breanna, like most Black Magic users, gives off a distinct aura of wrongness. When added to her overly cheerful persona, it is VERY off-putting. The bartender knows that one moment she could be happily cutting her meat, the next, happily cutting his throat. And her marcwolf pup, which is now approaching sheltie size, is on hand to dispose of any evidence….

Last time a marcwolf came in his tavern, this particular barkeep realized swiftly that disapproval of the pup would possibly result in his face being punched in. And therefore, he would not be touching it with a ten-foot pole, which for some reason happens to be standard-issue equipment for adventurers. What supermarket stocks ten-foot steel poles?

After her afternoon tea, Breanna finds a nice shady tree and sits beneath it, playing with her marcwolf, quietly so as not to wake Kel’Serrar.

Lastly, Maebh unhitches the horse from the wagon and leads it through the township, looking for someone who can patch her up, but her investigations lead her to an old dwelling at the edge of the town, owned by an interesting woman, Old Maggie. She is known for her skill in herblore and when she opens her door and sees the mage standing there looks very concerned and immediately brings her inside, applying salves with a great deal of skill and speed. Maebh immediately feels better as the medicine dulls the pain from the magical burns she forgot she was feeling.

After applying the salve, the woman suggests Maebh rest and kindly offers her the bed. A few hours later, Maebh comes down and offers five sulvers, three of which Old Maggie eventually takes, leaving the other two.
“Keep them, you’ll need them more than I.” – Old Maggie, cryptically.
“Oh yay, crypticism!” – Dev, making words up again.
After leaving Old Maggie, Maebh finds some craftsmen and obtains a saddle and tack for her horse. She then spends the rest of the afternoon getting the horse used to the riding gear.

They rendezvous at the courtyard where they left the cart and Kel’Serrar, before deciding that visiting Rangard might be a good idea.
“I’d like to point out that our little red-clad friend has not come back.” – Kel’Serrar, pointedly referring to Dhara.
“Wait, what did we tell her?” – Breanna, worried.
“Nothing too much, but she has bailed.” – Kel’Serrar.
“Well, she hasn’t necessarily bailed.” – Harold.
“She said she’d find a healer and meet up with us again. She’s not here and it’s been a whole afternoon.” – Kel’Serrar.
“She’s bailed.” – Tremor.
“Yeah, she’s bailed.” – Harold, conceding the point.

While they’re discussing this, Rangard himself shows up, his many eyes having informed him of the party’s return.
“So, how did you go?” – Rangard, referring to the investigation of the Harvest Wolf.
“In a word, crap.” – Harold.
“I have some news for you. I sent Meldith after your own assassin the other day when you went to the Harvest Wolf. She tells me that Shylocke was seen fleeing the premises. He must be working against us, though not necessarily with the actual cult itself. It might be worth having a look at his manse.” – Rangard, after laughing at Harold’s reply.
“Thank you for the information, we’ll take it from here.” – Harold.
Rangard nods his acquiescence and walks away.
Ladyhawk suggest blowing him up as he walks off.

Harold details a plan involving Breanna breaking into the back of the house with Kel’Serrar providing overwatch. Maebh, Harold and Tremor were going to hold Shylocke’s attentions, hopefully stopping him from noticing Breanna’s investigations.

The whole thing just dissolved into laughter, despite the plan probably being rather good. And then they got pretty off-topic talking about coffee going up your nose, which amazingly fixes blocked noses with startling efficiency. Apparently it destroys your olfactory organs for a few days, but at least you can breathe.

And then they went back on topic, but only for as long as it took to explain what had already been explained, namely that Breanna would be sneaking in before Geoff pointed out that the Mission Impossible theme music would fit. Ladyhawk countered with Pink Panther’s, myself with Get Smart.

Interestingly enough, this came up a bit later but when it was pointed out how similar the party dynamic is compared to OotS, Ladyhawk informed me that she saw a girl in her lecture reading either Start of Darkness or Origin of PC’s. They hi-fived.

“Would there be any people in there?” – Breanna, wondering just how sneaky she’ll need to be.
“I’d say yes.” – Harold.
‘There’d be servants. He’s wealthy.” – Kel’Serrar.

Harold goes in search of a beggar in a back-alley. Maebh just happens to go along with him. Before they go, Breanna stops the Invarrian and flips him three sulvers to give to the beggars as payment. After a moment’s delay, she tags along anyway.

Kel’Serrar goes off to scout out the target’s house, looking around and figuring out the general layout of the manse, while staying inconspicuous. He finds the place in the Merchant District. The manse is quite large, of similar scale or even larger than Rangard’s, two stories and constructed of wood. The second story is considerably smaller than the ground level, probably only one room. He can see there are two large closed and obscured by curtains dominating the front of the house. It seems that the place is empty at the moment.

The street is also deserted, the time being such that everyone is enjoying their evening meals, either inside their own houses or out in the town proper. Thus it is easy for Kel’Serrar to remain unnoticed. He also finds two good vantage points, one on the roof of the dwelling on one side, the other at the window of the second story house on the other side, which would probably require breaking into the house.

Tremor meanwhile has obviously been affected by his recent near-death experience and walks down into the Merchant District himself. He too finds Shylocke’s house and knocks on the door.

Harold finds himself a beggar, huddling in destitute poverty. The man looks up at the Invarrian and Harold can detect a glint of both anger and fear in his eyes. Harold takes one of Breanna’s sulvers and flicks it over his fingers.
“There’s a sulver in it for you if I can get some information.” – Harold, trying to barter.
“What do you want from me, dog?” – Beggar, and not in the Randy Jackson meaning of the term. At least I think its Randy Jackson. The bloke from American Idol. I don’t know, I don’t watch television much.
“Anything you might know about Morgaris Shylocke.” – Harold.
“What do you think I’d know about him?” – Beggar.
“Anything you little twerp.” – Maebh, over Harold’s shoulder, sitting astride her horse. She had moved up beside him while the Invarrian was talking.
“Shh.” – Harold, before turning back to the beggar. “Beggar’s eyes are everywhere.”
“What are you trying to say?” – Beggar, getting angry again.
“That you know things most-“ – Harold, placating.
“Do I look like a beggar to you!?” – Beggar, very angry.
“Yes…” – Harold, slightly amused.
The beggar hunkers down where he has made his own little dwelling in this little alley and refuses to give any further information.
“My turn.” – Maebh, dismounting. Harold shrugs, turns and walks away.
The mage picks the man up by the throat and shoves him up against the wall. The wiry Danann is easily strong enough to do so, not letting the squirming man loose. In her other hand she calls up a tongue of flame and holds it up to the beggar’s face.
“Now you should answer the questions my friend just asked you. Because I want to know too.” – Maebh, intimidating.
“He didn’t ask me anything!” – Beggar, thoroughly scared.
“I burn him.” – Ladyhawk. And it’s official, Maebh just took a dive into the deep-end of the alignment pool. If Norbayne had one.
The Danann presses the flame into his cheek and revels in the scent of burning flesh and his screams of pain.
“Honestly! He just wanted information on Shylocke! The merchant!” – Beggar, through agonised shrieks.
“Oh right. Sorry about that.” – Maebh, taking the flame away, and at least having the decency to look sort of apologetic.
“Now tell me everything.” – Maebh.
The beggar says straight out that he finds it unbelievable that they ask about pretty much the richest man in town and expect just about the poorest to know everything about him, but he gives what he can, scared of the wild-woman with her fire.

He tells them that the merchant is unmarried and has a business rivalry with Rangard, one that has escalated since Rangard’s company became dominant in the region. Somewhat less of him has been seen in recent times too.

Maebh sets him back on the ground and flicks him two coppers before mounting up and riding away.
“I’ve given up on the beggars, with them being *******s.” – Dev.
“And, I’m better at it than you.” – Ladyhawk, smug.
“No, I was being nice.” – Dev, defensive.
“It’s like good cop bad cop. Except your harassing defenceless beggars. You know, old men in cardboard boxes.”
“It’s like bad cop, worse cop.” – Sins.
“Hey I was offering him money if he’d help us.” – Dev, still defensive.
“You’re a six foot tall dog man, armed to the teeth, standing over him in a dark alley and flicking coins at him.”
“Heads you live, tails you die!” – Wings.

The Invarrian, Leathe and Danann head off towards the manse, and as they arrive, they come to the realisation that something awful is happening….

More to come.... (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=15192511&postcount=59)

2013-05-07, 08:09 PM
Told you so. :smallwink:

Cut to Tremor, who is knocking on the door to Shylocke’s manse. Eventually it is opened by a servant, who looks out. And then down.
“What?” – Servant, not appreciating this interruption to his servant duties.
“Hi.” – Tremor, presumably about to say something more.
The door is slammed in his face.
“I don’t like him. I’m going to knock down the door.” – Wings.
Tremor sets his boot to the door, but the sturdy wood resists his attempt to break through and he can hear an amused snort from the other side. So the Dwergar turns to other methods. He backs up onto the road and then charges at the door, using his body as a veritable compact battering ram, smashing a massive rent in the bottom half of the door, his momentum carrying him through into the greeting hallway. The servant, with a stunned look on his face, falls to the side against the wall. Tremor slaps him in the face.
“That was extremely rude.” – Tremor, angry, yet eloquent.
“Door…. Dwarf….” – Servant, dazed, confused and in no small amount of pain.

Harold looks on as Tremor smashes through the door, bowing his head with the agony of it all.
“Why must I be surrounded by idiots?” – Harold, bemoaning his luck.
“That’s it, I’m casting Flare on him.” – Ladyhawk, with a laugh.
“Which I block, because I am a badass.” – Dev.
“Behold! TPK!” – Sins, as if reading from some kind of holy text.

“Breanna, time to go around the back, there’s your distraction.” – Harold, trying to salvage the situation.

Breanna starts trying to contribute her own plans here, though she seems not to have quite grasped that the point of the distraction was to get her inside and unnoticed, rather than her causing a distraction herself. I’ve condensed the whole thing because some tempers flared here and quite honestly it was just a bit of confusion because both of the girls have a tendency not to listen when the game doesn’t directly focus on them. Eventually LD accedes to Dev’s plan, mainly because Ladyhawk explained the whole thing without any violent remarks, something Dev finds difficult to do when no one listens to him. We moved on.

“I pick up the servant and throw him at the others.” – Wings, inordinately proud of this plan.

Picking up the stunned servant, Tremor grabs him the collar of his tunic and swings him around. Crucially, he lets go at the wrong moment and smashes the man head first into the wall of the hallway.

As a side-note, the servant’s neck was broken in the attempt.
“That’s it, I’m going in there and dragging him out by the hair.” – Ladyhawk.
“NOT THE BEARD!” – Dev, channelling Gimli.
“Uh, how will you do that? The door’s still closed and locked.” – Wings.
“You think that’s going to stop me? Fireball!” – Ladyhawk.

And to think that they were just going to send one person in to spy on the place. Now they’ve destroyed his front door, killed his servant and are contemplating setting fire to his house. Good one. Send him a message he will never forget.

“Never have we lived up to our name more.” – Ladyhawk, in a wondering sort of tone.
But she does go inside, to the wonderment of the three surviving servants who are not causing any alarm yet because of the sheer shock of having a dwarf and a Danann mage just suddenly burst through the front door.

Breanna heads around the back and attempts to pick the lock of the door she finds. In her attempt, she unfortunately snaps the tip of her dagger.

“She should just make a hole in the door. It seems to be the new fashion.” – Ladyhawk, to much laughter.
“Yeah, except I’m so weak and frail, I might die.” – LD.
“She’s so weak and frail, she almost broke her wrist trying to pick the lock.”

Meanwhile, back in the hallway,

“What just happened?” – First servant, starting to snap out of the daze.
“Is his neck okay?” – Second servant.
“I’ve never seen a man with his head growing out of his own arse before.” – Idea regarding the third servant’s line.

I’ll use this point to describe the floor-plan.

After busting through the door, the party find themselves standing in a long, dark hallway with three doors to the left and two to the right. On the walls there are lines of portraits which quick investigation will reveal are portraits of the Shylocke family line. In addition there is a tall flight of stairs at the end of the hall which leads to the living quarters on the second story.

Resigning himself to the situation, Harold walks up to the front door, drawing his sabre and sighs as he realises he’s going to have to crawl.

“I duck in-“ – Dev.
“You’re going to have to crawl.” – Said with a smile.
“Fine, I crawl in-“ – Dev.
“Oh, good dog.” – Wings, the punch line for the joke we’d been setting up for at least ten minutes.
Harold walks up to Tremor and smashes the basket hilt of his sabre into the back of the Dwergar’s head. Tremor stumbles forward, his rage abating in the face of the Invarrian punching him in the head.

Still mad, but this time at a different target, Tremor bull-rushes the taller Invarrian, trying to grab him, but Harold manages to hold his ground. Wrestling together, neither notice what Maebh is doing.

Before they realise it, they both feel a hard, sharp whack from her spear-haft, one cracking across Harold’s shoulders and the other smashing over Tremor’s head. They stumble apart from each other, Tremor leaning against the wall and nursing his head, which now hurts a LOT.

Back outside, grabbing a rock off the ground, Breanna smashes a back window on her second attempt and climbs inside, finding herself in what she takes for the guest quarters, a large, three part room consisting of a study with a few books worth of reading material, a bedroom and a privy. The guest quarters look like they have not been used for a very long time, if at all.

Breanna looks around and finds several books in the shelves which possess innocuous titles. Certainly nothing suspicious in terms of daemonic cults. So she walks out into the hallway behind the servants, sees the other members of her party, and walks up the staircase at the end of the hallway.

Going up the stairs, Breanna finds herself facing a door. It is a considerable door, heavy and made of hardwood, featuring extensive carvings. It is likely very expensive.
“I want to break it! Dwarven battering ram!” – Wings, to laughter.
Breanna opens the door and deduces quickly that she has come across Shylocke’s personal quarters. A large marble fireplace sits against the west wall, the mantelpiece covered in small mementoes of past experiences, a thick pipe, several small portraits, a decanter of alcohol and a golden time-keeper. Along the other walls is an abundance of bookshelves, proving that he is an extensive reader, though many look as if they have not been removed from their housing in a long time.

Back out in the hallway….
“Would you mind stepping outside for just a few moments please?” – Maebh to the servants, trying to clear the place of innocent bystanders while the other two are not trying to kill each other.
“Uh…. Yeah alright.” – Servants, before walking past the party carefully. After all tonight has gone from bizarre to freaking dangerous, and it can only get worse when the pissed off mage starts throwing fireballs around.
“Good.” – Maebh, once the servants have left. “Let’s go.”
And together, the three of them troop up the stairs to join Breanna.

“Don’t break anything more in here, alright?” – Breanna, to the others.
I thought this was really good of her to think of and I loved that she actually tried to impose a little authority on the group. On the other hand, it’s a bit late. Anyone coming after them could probably get a positive I.D from the dwarf-shaped hole in the door.

Having walked into the room, another room can be seen through an access in the wall. A bed takes pride of place there, dark velvet and silk sheets, but aside from the opulent bed, the room is bare, save for the wooden drawers by the side of the bed.

“Have a look in the bookshelves.” – Maebh, before heading over to one herself.
“Particularly, the ones he’s read recently. The ones without dust on them. Let’s get an idea of what he’s been up to.” – Tremor, nursing his head. He’s going to have at least one lump there tomorrow.

In all, they don’t find anything suspicious, thought they do find he has a strange fixation on crime mysteries.
“Oh, I wonder why!?” – LD, seeing this as suspicious.
“Because that’s what we should be doing, and we haven’t been.” – Sins, with a laugh, seeing right through my subtle hint.

Breanna goes into the sleeping area and opens the drawers next to the bed. All she sees is a small stack of blank parchment. But with a bit of scrabbling, she quickly discovers a false bottom in one of the drawers, uncovering two letters.


On behalf of my lady wife, I implore you to move more swiftly in your progress.


Guildmaster Shylocke,

I know not your stance on these matters, but I have some business of importance to bring to your attention. Would you meet with me for repast at the Harvest Wolf on the morrow?

With thanks,
Baronet Edmond Carhold,
The party is aware that Carhold is the Naillish ambassador in Summer Hill.

Breanna takes the letters and reads them where she stands, while Tremor and Maebh continue searching through the bookshelves. Harold looks out the second story window and quickly spies out Kel’Serrar on the next door’s roof. He opens the window and calls over to the Danann.

“Shoot the servants. I’ll explain later.” – Harold, talking only just loud enough the be heard.
Kel’Serrar facepalms by way of response.
“The feeling’s mutual!” – Harold.
Nocking an arrow to his string, Kel’Serrar smashes it through the head of his first target, striking with such speed and precision that the ranger is able to send another shaft on its way before the other two notice. The second servant drops with an arrow through his head and the third finally realises what’s happening and bolts down the road, Kel’Serrar’s third arrow sailing wide. Correcting his aim, his fourth shot takes the man in the top of the leg and pitches him to the ground. He starts to stagger away and looks to be making some ground when Kel’Serrar plants one last arrow through the man’s shoulder and into his chest, killing him.

That was some skilled shooting at some harmless guys. Maebh should be welcoming both Harold and Kel’Serrar into the deep end of the alignment pool around now.

Tremor checks the fireplace for any hidden spaces and notices while fiddling around that both the pipe and alcohol decanter are both attached to one of the marble bricks which makes up the mantelpiece. Using the horn pipe, he lifts the block and finds that inside the block is a recess, within which is a small black book.

“What did the letters say?” – Harold, to Breanna.
She reads the first one to the party.
“Hmm, our employer’s name is Rangard….” – Maebh, thinking suspiciously.

Breanna reads the second letter to the party.
“The meeting they’re talking about is probably the one we broke up.” – Tremor, pondering while flipping through his own find. “Oh wow, listen to this.”

He was brought before the Queen of Eagles by the Grand Master, who gave Him introduction to the knowledge of the Veil, may He be ever grateful. Her Wisdom gave unto Him great amounts of lustre. He must succeed in overthrowing that cursed upstart. The Hill of Summer needs one who is strong. He is that one.
He met the Grand Master at noon this day, for repast, may He be ever grateful. The time is come.
The Lord of the Gate sits high in his room, plotting to keep his charges awake in the cold. He must be removed, though He has not the resources.
He met the Grand Master upon the twilight of this day, for repast, may He be ever grateful. The Seabear and the Wolfwhaile have been deprived of spark and the Wolfwhaile’s handler has been taken. The Woodwolf knows not where. The experiment has not succeeded and the Lord of Winter remains unconquered.
He was to meet the Grand Master in the afternoon this day, for repast, may He be ever grateful. The Grand Master, in his wisdom, was late to the cup, and He was uncovered by a mite. He fled the scene with the Others in His wake and did sit and wander in the most noble of fashions.
He did report the mite to the Lady, as the Grand Master was not to be seen. Her Ladyship has dispatched her Falcon to see the job done, a Falcon for the Lady of the Queen of Eagles.

And then Dev, Wings and LD spent a VERY long time trying to figure out if there was a hidden message. Anything at all. I think perhaps they started out with just the capitals, but then it just devolved. Between them they put paid to four whole A4 pages, covering them all with notes.

“You know Queen of Eagles, QE, Queen of Elspeth.” – Maebh.
“Isn’t her name Esmerelda?” – Tremor.
“And the symbol of Elspeth is an eagle.” – Breanna.
“I hate riddles.” – Harold.

The Elspeth’s sigil is a gold eagle on a dark grey field while Naille’s is a black and red robin on a dark green field. As the others know by now, these are the two birds.”

Maebh is not having any more luck looking for evidence in the bookshelves, unable to find any false books, nor any false backs in the cabinets.

“We should leave this room, go downstairs and check out the other rooms. I’m thinking there could be another book down there which explains this one.” – Breanna.
“One second.” – Harold.
While the others walk out of the master bedroom, Harold stays behind and checks the bed. Seeing that there is no space beneath the bed itself, he lifts the mattress and flings it up against a wall, ripping back the sheets and pillows. He has no luck finding anything, so he heads back out into the main room and drinks the alcohol in the decanter on the mantelpiece, finds it is a nice, strong whiskey, and then uses Shylocke’s privy.

Maebh heads into the second door on the right from the staircase and finds herself in a long dining room with what seems to be considerably higher ceilings than the rest of the dwelling. The dining room is dominated by the long, richly varnished wooden table in the centre. Many chairs line the table, indicating that the owner is used to accommodating a large number of guests. There is a small fireplace against the east wall and doors to both the north and south, leading to the library and the kitchens respectively. Seeing that it is unlikely for there to be any clues in here, she heads through the northern door and into the library.

The eyes are drawn firstly to the large window built into the front or northern wall of the house, which during the day, lets in a goodly amount of light. The library is a large room with several expensive and comfortable chairs strewn about and a fireplace in the corner. The room appears to have been constructed with the express purpose of accommodating several guests at a time. Bookshelves line the walls and there is a not inconsiderable number of books either within them or scattered around the room in various states of being read.

Maebh once again finds herself searching through recently read books, trying to find something, anything suspicious. Unfortunately she finds very little in that regard, though there are plenty of interesting titles such as The Illustrated Stories of the Man Hunter, The Biography of Brodor Mhorshield and The Complete Handbook of Etiquette. As can be seen, he has such erratic reading tastes that nothing really stands out as bizarre. He appears nothing more than a bored man with lots of money.
At some point here they try to make me write out a large religious tract and its eighteen subsidiary texts, detailing the Holy Trinity of Gods in the Midlander Triad belief system. I told them to get stuffed and that there’s no way I would hide clues in a book I will never write. Ever.

Breanna meanwhile tries the other last door on the other side of the hallway and finds herself in the servants’ quarters, a long hallway with small cots set up in rows along the walls. The entirety of the servant body lives here when not on duty. Shylocke’s fortunes have begun to wane in recent times, and one of the first spending cuts he had to make was that of the servants. As it is now, the servant body is considerably smaller than it once was, with several of the beds no longer in use. I wrote this before Kel’Serrar and Tremor butchered the last servants.

The Leathe girl runs through the servants’ quarters, ransacking the place and finding nothing more than a few meagre possessions amongst all the belongings. This doesn’t stop her from flipping the cots over in her haste to find something useful.

While I ran through what Maebh and Breanna found respectively and Wings sat there, trying to find hidden messages, Sins and Dev had a quick conversation regarding Dev’s upcoming campaign.
“But honestly, if this is what’s going to happen, I might just scrap the whole thing.” – Dev.
“This is what you wanted!” – Sins and myself, practically simultaneously.
“No…. No it’s not.” – Dev, so sad it was hilarious.
“But this is us being the GOOD guys. Imagine what we’ll be like when we’re not!” – Sins.
“I don’t think we are the good guys anymore.” – Dev.
I don’t think they are either.
“I think we are. After all, I haven’t burnt down his house yet.” – Sins, unrepentantly cheerful.
“The ‘yet’ worries me, so much.”

Breanna has look at the fireplace in the room, noting that there are two cast iron torches set into the wall, one on either side of the mantelpiece. This strikes her as passing odd.
“Why would someone put two torches on either side of a fire?” – Breanna, to herself.
She tries to manipulate them in various fashions and eventually finds that she can press the one on the left down and she does so, causing the fireplace to sink slowly and quietly into a recessed pit beneath, revealing a small room beyond.

Hearing the slight noise, the others cluster around Breanna and together they walk inside, minus Kel’Serrar who is still outside. It is dark in here, which is probably why there are more cast-iron torches bracketed to the walls, which Maebh lights with the flame in her hand. Like the previous room, this room too, has many bookshelves, however the eye is drawn first to the large, unornamented round wooden table in the centre of the room which is surrounded by ten chairs. Compared to the opulence of most of the rest of the house, this area is quite sparse. Apart from the table, chairs, books and a small writing desk over in the far corner, the room is practically empty.

Maebh goes to the bookshelves and immediately finds several books on Black Magical theory and daemonic binding.
“We’ve got him now.” – Maebh.
“Uh, maybe give them to Breanna, she does that sort of thing.” – Tremor, breaking the unspoken rule, which is turn a blind eye to Breanna’s shenanigans.
However when Maebh tries to open the books to read them, she finds she cannot. The cover simply will not open, no matter how much she pries.
“The book is resisting! Maybe we should interrogate it?” – Sins.

Tremor walks to the desk and searches it, turning up a quill, an inkwell and some sheets of blank parchment.
"Maybe it wave near the fire Tremor.” – Harold, thinking it might be invisible ink.
Tremor does so, careful not to accidentally set the page on fire, but no writing becomes apparent. It was worth a try.

Tremor leaves the desk and goes to a bookshelf, joining Maebh in her attempts to pry another book open. He is unable to, so just turns it over to look at the cover. It is a large book, bound in dark red leather and locked with a bronze clasp which refuses to be opened. The lettering, engraved into the leather on the front of the book reads, The Daemons of the South: An Account of a Grateful One in Starfall.
Starfall is a southern city, named for being built in the crater caused by a meteorite. I’d already named it before I found out that there was a place of the same name in Game of Thrones. Luckily for me, it’s only a background note, rather than a central part to the setting.

Breanna also grabs a black leather book and tries to open it, but she doesn’t have any more success than the others. On the other hand, her proximity to this sort of thing leads her to realise that these books are what they seem. They are really books about daemonic binding and there is a way to open them.

So she decides to summon a daemon to try and open it. The Leathe holds the book in both hands and calls a weak daemon into her before trying to siphon its power into the book. She lays the book on the table and the ephemeral creature sinks into it, causing it to shake violently on the wood. Suddenly there is a bright flash of light which illuminates the room, before fading away, leaving the book still and slightly smoking on the table. Breanna picks it up again, but has no more success in opening it than she did before.

“Do it again, but pick a bigger daemon!” – Tremor, still ignoring the unspoken rule.
“No! I think it’s obvious we’re playing with stuff too far above us here.” – Harold. He’s not wrong at that.
“Well, how about we cut the spine? If we cut it open at the arse-end, all the rest should just spill open right?” – Tremor.
“You want to cut open a daemonically possessed book? – Maebh, questioning.
“Well when you put it like that… Yes, that is what I am suggesting.” – Tremor thinking it through. “Nah, maybe not such a good idea anyway.”

Outside now, Kel’Serrar spies a handful of people making their way down the road and into the district. That would be all the rich people who went out to have dinner in the town itself. He doesn’t want to be discovered, so the Danann ranger drops down from the roof, takes his arrows and flees the scene, heading back to the cart.

Inside, the others realise that they really do need to hurry so they all leave the room. Before he follows the others, Tremor takes the book he picked up earlier and tries to leave. As he crosses the threshold, a wall of bright blue energy flares up in front of him. The Dwergar drops the book immediately and the wall dissipates. He runs through, joining with the others and together they take a circuitous route back to the cart where they find Kel’Serrar waiting for them.

They have completely and utterly ransacked Shylocke’s house. His library was thoroughly searched, with books strewn over the room by the end of it. His secret room was left with the hidden door open, and several books off the shelves. The servant quarters were pretty destroyed, what with Breanna’s searching knocking over cots and strewing possessions across the room. His hallway now has bloodstains and a dead man half embedded in the wall and upstairs, well, not only have the books been thrown around the place, his bed has been torn apart and to add insult to injury, Harold left a parting gift in the privy.
“At least there’s no DNA testing.” – Harold.

“So he is part of the cult?” – Tremor.
“Yeah, definitely looks that way.” – Harold.
“Could the Seabear in this be the Selkye we killed? Also the Wolfwhaile and the Wolfwhaile’s handler…. We did take that man alive, so the handler could be the one who was taken.” – Kel’Serrar, looking over the notebook for the first time.
“Yeah…” – Harold, thinking it over.
“It’s a pity we don’t know when these were written.” – Kel’Serrar, musing over the book.
“No, couldn’t find anything that might give us a date.” – Breanna, preoccupied from where she sits on the cart, scratching out all the different ways there might be hidden code in the text on some pilfered parchment.
“The Lord of Winter remains unconquered… Well they did summon something… The Lord of Winter?” – Kel’Serrar, still reading through.
Silence as the whole group tries to puzzle it out.
“Straws? Clutching? Give me some answers people.” – Kel’Serrar.
“I don’t know.” – Harold, professing ignorance, but still reading through it over the Danann’s shoulder.
“So what do we know? That they’re trying to summon a big daemon, right?” – Maebh, starting from scratch.
“Right, to destroy a town called Summer Hill!” – Tremor, gruff, yet happy.
“Lord of Winter would be a good indication that whatever it is, it isn’t an ally to Summer Hill.” – Kel’Serrar, putting it together.
More silence….
“He and Him must be the same person.” – Tremor, starting over.
“Not necessarily.” – Kel’Serrar.
“How so?” – Tremor.
“They are the same on the one page, but they could be referring to different people across pages. I doubt it, but it could be right.” – Kel’Serrar.
“Hmm, I still think it’s the same person.” – Tremor.

“I think we need to speak with our friend in red.” – Harold, musing.
“Which means we’ll need to leave town.” – Kel’Serrar, snide in an undertone.
“No, we don’t.” – Maebh.
“She knows the town far better than any of us.” – Harold.
“I don’t really care. I don’t like her.” – Maebh, stubborn.
“You don’t really like anyone though.” – Harold.
“I’m fully willing to leave town and go after her, but when some of us die, can any survivors not give away all our gear?” – Kel’Serrar. Not sure if he’s deranged enough to think that his spirit will linger on in his weapons or whether he just doesn’t like the idea of someone else handling his gold.
More silence….

“So our friend in red could be the Falcon or the Lady…” – Tremor, thinking it over.
“The Falcon could also be Chirya, though I don’t think it’s likely she’s working for the queen.” – Kel’Serrar.
“Chirya?” – Harold.
“The bitch who shot me.” – Tremor, vindictively, also indicating that perhaps he too has met Chirya in his past.
“She attacked us. I think it’s very unlikely she’s not working with the queen, if not for her.” – Harold.
“Well, I do know that we split up because of her intention to speed up the conflict in these lands. So she could well be.” – Kel’Serrar.
And then we quoted the rabbit skit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. That was practically the end of the night. Then we discussed the Major Talents for the Ranger class, namely the one where the Ranger imbues his animal companion with magic, causing it to roar with great strength. Even if it’s a rabbit.

And we left it there....

The Wrap-Up.
I thought this was a good session, despite the utter destruction at the end, caused mainly because I think Wings feels a bit restricted in terms of what his character is capable of. Sadly, he has picked an Engineer, a class I hadn't finished when he joined us, restricting him a bit when it came to picking his Talents and the like. I'm really hoping that his next level up will really help him out here as I have added quite a few new Talents and the like.

Just thought I'd put the theories they came up with regarding the notebook here.

Theories on the Meanings of the Black Book
Him/He: Probably Shylocke. Maybe Rangard. Could be someone else.
Queen of Eagles: Queen Esmerelda of Elspeth.
Grand Master: Maybe Shylocke but probably Rangard. Perhaps someone who hasn’t revealed himself yet.
Knowledge of the Veil:
Her Wisdom:
The Hill of Summer: Summer Hill.
The Lord of the Gate: Maybe Rangard.
The Seabear:
The Wolfwhaile:
Deprived of spark: Either lost the Focus Stone, or dead.
The Wolfwhaile’s handler:
The Woodwolf:
The experiment: Summoning the daemon.
The Lord of Winter: The summoned daemon.
A mite: Breanna Blackrose.
The Others:
The Lady: Perhaps Dhara.
Her Falcon: Either Dhara or Chirya.

They really don't trust Rangard, nor do they believe that there is much chance that Shylocke is being framed. Which doesn't completely add up if Rangard is working with Shylocke... The plot thickens...

Let's see if they get any answers on Friday.

See you then and thanks for reading.

Amidus Drexel
2013-05-07, 08:25 PM
And the plot thickens as the PCs decide to participate in the age-old adventuring tradition: B&E. :smallamused:

At least they didn't burn his house down.

2013-05-08, 06:24 PM
Thank God for that. They certainly had me worried towards the end, what with Kel'Serrar and his itchy "draw-fingers." Well that and Maebh's first suggestion for getting inside, which was along the lines of, "No wooden door can withstand copious amounts of fire."

What do they say? The answer to life's problems is the immediate application of fire? Kill it with fire? If that doesn't work, kill it with more fire?

So all in all, Shylocke probably came out of that smelling like roses. Except his privy, because Harold's unthinkingly cruel like that. :smallbiggrin:


2013-05-11, 02:13 AM
Well we played it out last night, and despite Sins getting here late, we still managed a roughly three hour game.

Let's see, what happened?

Discussion was had, a fire was fought, a nice old couple were discovered, Harold was badly hurt but some decidedly unfriendly fire and then bought himself new clothes.

For more details, stay tuned. :smallwink:


2013-05-11, 05:47 AM
Well we played it out last night, and despite Sins getting here late, we still managed a roughly three hour game.

Let's see, what happened?

Discussion was had, a fire was fought, a nice old couple were discovered, Harold was badly hurt but some decidedly unfriendly fire and then bought himself new clothes.

For more details, stay tuned. :smallwink:


Did Melisiandere show up again?

2013-05-11, 08:00 AM
No, Dhara made no return appearance last night, though I can say that she was mentioned in conversation several times. :smalltongue:

2013-05-22, 05:20 AM
Over halfway through the writeup for the last session. We're just about to get to the infamous fireball attack. :smalltongue:

Stay tuned,

2013-05-27, 08:57 PM
Session 2.4: The Infamous Fireball

Welcome to the seventh-

"The Game." - Sins.
"I hate you!" - Ladyhawk, with a laugh.
"We all do." - Wings.

Aargh! Welcome to the seventh session of Three Coins.

They've all well and truly trashed Shylocke’s manse and are now resting in the courtyard behind the White Stallion Inn with the cart, discussing what is happening with regards to the cult and what they plan to do about it. It is late at night, and most of the town is winding up after a long day. On the way back, Tremor stopped off at a tavern and availed himself of a drink.

The conversation began well, but soon devolved into tracking back over onto questions they had already moved on from. Sadly, there was very little constructive effort put in here as the topic turned to the impossibility of buying trust.

A small plan is devised regarding Harold's nobility giving him a good chance with talking to Carhold, a noble in his own right.

Small hitch here, in that Harold's "knighthood" is based around pillaging the Northlands. So would Midlanders necessarily respect or even acknowledge an Invarrian title? The consensus is that it's better than nothing.

At this point they finally get around to listening to what Maebh had come up with, though they did interrupt her at every turn. While most of it was consolidating what they already “knew,” mainly regarding Elspeth’s Queen being referred to as the Queen of Eagles, she did come up with an important point, namely that the notebook seems to suggest that she wishes to put one of her people in a position of power in Summer Hill.

Tremor suggests that killing the current powerbrokers would be a good move, though admittedly, all of them are suspected Elspeth agents.

But after all, as Ladyhawk said and Dev reiterated, putting someone in power who is native to the area is one of the best ways to solve civil unrest. It worked for many real world ancient empires, why not for Elspeth?

Regarding the letters, the only conclusion Tremor came to was that they are painful to decipher, but Kel’Serrar points out that they don’t know who ‘R’ is and while they have suspicions (Rangard), due to the nature of their employment, pointing out their suspicions to him would be a sure way to miss out on payment, plus he could pay off half the town to kill them.

On the other hand, Carhold is definitely a possibility to talk to.

Kel’Serrar really pushes for this meeting to occur, preferably in the open, or at least in a place where he and/or Maebh can provide overwatch.

“If you need to move, let me know in advance. Organise a signal, even if it is really stupid. I care not, so long as it gives me enough time to get a shot off.” – Kel’Serrar, to Harold, discussing the upcoming meeting.

“We need a watch word.” – Dev.
“The watchword is ‘help.’” – Sins.
“Funkytown.” – Wings.
“No. Um, what should the watchword be?” – Dev, pondering.
“Funkytown?” – Wings, being ignored.
“Runs past screaming…” – Sins, describing the inevitable ending to this conversation.
“No, one or two words that can be worked into conversation.” – Dev.
“Apple?” – LD.
“You don’t want to say it accidentally.” – Sins.
“Well, how about, ‘This is a funky town?’” – Wings.
“Unfortunately I have, ‘The sparrows fly south for the winter,’ stuck in my head. Curse you Skullduggery!” – Sins.
“Heh, I really need to read them at some stage.” – Dev, getting offtrack. “Now, two words, that can be worked into conversation.”
“Moustaches.” – LD, with finality.
“That’s one word.” – Dev.
“Big moustaches.” – Wings with a smirk.
“Something LD wouldn’t normally say.” – Sins, pointing out the floor in using ‘moustaches.’
“How about three words? ‘Danann eat me.’” – Sins.
“She says that a lot too.”
“Yeah, but she won’t say, ‘Please, Danann eat me.’” – Sins.
“You guys might forget it’s the watchword though!” – LD.
“That’s what I’m counting on.” – Sins.
“So we need three or two words that she can say to us so we can get out of there.” – Dev.
“I like plough horses.” – Ladyhawk, submitting her own suggestion.
“I HATE PLOGH HORSES!” – LD, as Breanna’s parents sadly met their end at the hooves of some plough horses, leading to the Leathe’s fixation/fear.
“That’s brilliant. Plough and horse.” – Dev.
“No it is not! It’s against everything that I stand for!” – LD.
“See? Brilliant. There’s no way you’d accidentally say it.” – Wings, happily.
“But I won’t say it even if it’s necessary, so you guys won’t even know anyway.” – LD.

After literally seven minutes of this crap they finally come up with, “Pay attention to our illustrious leader, he has something to tell you.” As you can see, it is no longer a watchword but a watchparagraph.

They go back to talking about speaking to Carhold, mainly using Harold’s nobility to gain entrance, leading to the best pun combo of the night.
“We moustache him a question.” – Sins.
“But I’ll shave it for later.” – Dev.
It was god-awful, but sadly amusing at the same time.

The overall gist of Harold’s plan is to establish some sort of trading agreement between Naille and Varr. He hit a bit of a snag with Naille being an inland kingdom without any access to the sea, but as you will see later, he works around this rather nicely.

Theories on the Meanings of the Black Book
Him/He: Probably Shylocke. Maybe Rangard. Could be someone else.
Queen of Eagles: Queen Esmerelda of Elspeth.
Grand Master: Maybe Shylocke but probably Rangard. Perhaps someone who hasn’t revealed himself yet.They’re pretty sure that he’s Shylocke.
Knowledge of the Veil:
Her Wisdom:
The Hill of Summer: Summer Hill.
The Lord of the Gate: Maybe Rangard. Harold brings up a good point, mainly that the Captain of the Watch would be considered a “Lord of the Gate.”
The Seabear:
The Wolfwhaile:
Deprived of spark: Either lost the Focus Stone, or dead.
The Wolfwhaile’s handler:
The Woodwolf:
The experiment: Summoning the daemon.
The Lord of Winter: The summoned daemon.
A mite: Breanna Blackrose.
The Others:
The Lady: Perhaps Dhara.
Her Falcon: Either Dhara or Chirya.

The decide to break for the night, Kel’Serrar climbing his favoured tree, Breanna pitching one of the, as yet unused tents in the courtyard next to the cart and Harold, Maebh and Tremor head off to rent rooms in some taverns.

Perception Checks passed by Breanna and Maebh.

While pitching her tent, Breanna picks up the distinct smell of smoke. In a predominantly wooden town. As she looks around, startled, she catches Maebh’s eye. She has smelt it too. The two of them tell the others and they move off as quickly as possible towards the red glow in the sky in the direction of the merchant district. As they do, Tremor shouts out in his gruff baritone, warning the township.


They arrive in the merchant district, pushing their way to the front of the crowd which as gathered to watch as….

Rangard’s house burns down.

There is a handful of people working hard to put the fire out, but Rangard’s manse is beyond saving. The neighbouring dwellings are in little danger any more, teams of servants working hard to contain the blaze, though there are signs that the fire had spread to the other houses before the effort had been organised.

They quickly realise that Maebh’s trickle of water she can create will not be enough to fill the buckets any quicker than getting the water out of the wells.

Harold runs over to one of the firefighters.
“Is there anyone left inside!?” – Harold, over the blaze.
“Not that we know of!” – Servant, beating at the fire with a blanket.
“Can I help!?” – Harold.
The servant tosses the Invarrian his blanket, which is flaming on one corner, and runs off to the stockpile to grab another.
Harold too runs over to the stockpile, dipping the end of the blanket in a bucket to put out the flames before grabbing the bucket itself and throwing the water on the fire, tossing the empty bucket behind him to get it refilled before charging off to fight the blaze.

Tremor too, heads to the stockpile and joins the fight.

I have both Harold and Tremor take Toughness Checks to see how they cope with smoke inhalation. Minor Strength and Toughness negatives if they fail, but these do stack meaning that they can die from it if either their Strength or Toughness hits -10.

Meanwhile, Breanna and Maebh decide that discretion is the better part of valour with regards to the fire and Kel’Serrar is busy fighting back hatred and fear of the fire and ashes.

Another check for Tremor and Harold as they continue to fight the fire. Tremor starts to have some difficulty, finding that the smoke is beginning to tear up his throat. Harold finds himself shying back from the heat and flames, unable to really get anywhere.

It takes some time, but eventually the fire is gotten under control, but by then the fire has utterly gutted the house. The ground is red hot, but at least there are no more open flames after almost an hour of heavy fighting.

A fair bit of discussion as the party head back to a dark alleyway to discuss the possibilities.
Why Rangard’s house burnt down.
- Because the cult found out he was working against them.
- Because he was working for the cult, cut and run and is now covering his tracks.
- Because he was working for the cult, cut and run and now this is revenge.
- There are two cults and this is a mob-war.

“I think Maebh’s theory might be correct. Two cults in one town. We pissed off one and they got back at us by killing off our employer.” – Tremor, despairingly.
“They didn’t necessarily kill him to our knowledge.” – Kel’Serrar.
“Well as they say in my land, payback…. Is a bitch.” – Tremor.
“And they still don’t know who we are.” – Harold, said with far too much confidence.
“I have a feeling he’s still alive. I just don’t think he’d die.” – Kel’Serrar. Possibly meta-gaming, but who cares?
“I’d like to check out what’s left of the place when it’s all cooled down because there might be hidden passageways under the house which he may have used to escape.” – Maebh, thinking of all the options. That and she never trusted Rangard, so scarpering is something she can believe of him quite readily.
“Or he could have not been in the house.” – Harold, a bit more trusting.

Working off Harold’s suggestion that they are still unidentified, they move on to why Rangard would be attacked.
“He must have been attacked for a reason.” – Maebh.
“So what about Shylocke? He attacks Rangard to stop him from being a big influence in the town.” – Harold, thinking through culprits.
“Or was it us and we just don’t realise it?” – Ladyhawk. “Because with everything else we’ve accomplished, I would not be surprised if we were to just accidentally burn down our employer’s house. Probably kill his dog or something while we were running away.”
“Thinking about it, our companion in red whom we have not seen for ages doesn’t like Rangard.” – Kel’Serrar. “And, they might not know who we are, but if someone’s acting against them and well, Rangard’s already been cursed once so he’s a known opponent. Another alternative is that they’re covering up evidence.
“They might be covering up evidence, he might be a known opponent, he might even have evidence to hold against them and he’s already been cursed once-” – Harold, warming to his theme.
“We’ve not been exactly subtle all these times, meeting him, working with him, meeting him in public places, dragging people to his house.” – Kel’Serrar, interrupting and making a very good point.
“He’s not been completely subtle either.” – Maebh.
“He has.” – Kel’Serrar.
“No, he hasn’t. Not really.” – Harold.
“He’s been relatively subtle, trying to meet us in dark and secluded places. There haven’t usually been many people around when he’s met us rather than us meeting him. He’s been more subtle than we have.” – Kel’Serrar.

Seeing as it is about midnight, Harold, Tremor and Breanna head back to their sleeping arrangements while Maebh and Kel’Serrar climb up onto the roof of the building across the road from Rangard’s manse, hoping to stay out of sight while they watch anyone who takes undue interest in the destruction of the manse after the crowd disperses. Kel’Serrar scrambles up easily, making a little bit of noise and alerting the people inside. An elderly Midlander couple lean out the window and see the two Danann trying to scale their dwelling. They exchange looks and then walk away from the window, probably confused.
“Damn PC’s.” – Dev.
Maebh on the other hand cannot get proper purchase and takes another attempt to get up. She does so, but any chance of being stealthy about it is pretty blown. At least once she gets up there she won’t have to move and anyone coming along won’t know she’s there. Anyone currently in the vicinity on the other hand is aware of her presence.

Tremor on the other hand goes off to the tavern and decides to scratch some designs onto the table. He’s moved on from his shoulder pet and is now considering a mount. Something tough, sturdy, something a Dwergar can ride. Oh, and mechanical.
“On a steel horse I ride,
I’m wanted,
For running through doors.”

The Invention Skill for the Engineer is ridiculously open-ended and I hope that any Norbayne GM brave enough to take on an Engineer in the party realises that he can’t let the Engineer get carried away. The Engineer first puts forward an idea. This can be literally anything. The GM must then come up with the rules for said item and the difficulty of creating it. There are three basic categories, Easy, Average and Difficult. An Easy Invention doesn’t impose any negatives to the Design Check, an Average one imposes -20 and a Difficult one a -40. As the GM you are fully within your rights to say no to a character’s idea on whatever grounds you like, though try to make sure that only the exceptionally ridiculous are vetoed. For example Wings wished for a mechanical horse. I would rate this at Difficult, and it would require extra work to be sentient. (Magic.) Then Ladyhawk informed him that he could ride a mechanical anything, leading him to suggest as giant mechanical eagle. Which could fly. This I informed him would be so difficult it would make building the horse seem like drawing a circle.

Once per level the Engineer may actually make an attempt to create one of his crazy designs once he has a working blueprint and the materials needed. But I shall not bore you with further details. Back to the story.

He draws several designs but in the end settles on a small steel falcon. He comes up with something that might be workable in the future but he doesn’t believe his calculations are quite right. What he’s designed is probably not capable of flight. Tremor goes to bed.

Kel’Serrar sits and stares at the burnt-out manse and Maebh dozes on the roof nearby as the early hours of the morning wear on. Over an hour into their vigil, Kel’Serrar hears a slight whisper coming from below. He looks over the edge of the roof and sees the elderly couple looking up at him, offering a plate of fruit and a pitcher of water.
“We know you’re going to be up all night, so here’s something to keep up your strength.” – Elderly couple.
“Much obliged.” – Kel’Serrar, stunned and yet thankful at this generosity.
“What nice people.” – Ladyhawk.
“Remind me not to burn down their house when the time comes.” – Sins, laughing.

Over the course of the next few hours, the couple inside go to bed, wishing their two rooftop vigilantes a good night and Kel’Serrar eventually awakens Maebh to take her watch. Unhappy at being woken from her rest, she hunches down on the edge of the roof, drawing her cloak about her.

The sun is just beginning to come up when she sees a man in a long grey cloak walking down the roadway.
“Kill him.” – Ladyhawk.

The dull light makes it hard to tell if he’s really there, but soon he is close enough to make out details. He has his hood up and his cloak conceals pretty much to be seen. He is not holding anything in his hands. Walking down the road, he stops just in front of Rangard’s destroyed manse.

Maebh takes up her spear and prods the sleeping ranger with the haft.
”Oh great, I’ve been stabbed.” – Sins
“No, with blunt end I’d say.” – Dev.
“… It’s Maebh.” – Sins.
“True, she probably reckons that you’d wake up faster if she stabs you.” – Dev.
“The less blood in him, the quicker he reacts.”

More to come, which can be readhere. :smallbiggrin: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=15318693&postcount=67)

2013-05-27, 09:09 PM
Welcome back. :smallwink:

Kel’Serrar recognises that the man is definitely a Midlander, relatively slightly built. Maebh suggests that he be shot in a non-lethal place but Kel’Serrar declines as that would be a ‘Bad Idea.’ TM.

Maebh in the end leaves the ranger up on the roof and stealthily climbs down, succeeding with a bit of luck and silently creeps across the road towards the man in grey. This close, she can tell the man is almost a head shorter than she is and is cloak is of expensive quality. She decides to tackle him, hoping to take him unawares.

The tackle is effective, the Danann mage slamming shoulder-first into the man, smashing him to the ground where she quickly pins him there. As she does so, she realises that the face is familiar. It is the same man who disappeared right in front of her eyes when they investigated the Harvest Wolf.
“Knock him out, knock him out, knock him out, knock him out, knock him out!” – Dev and Wings, together and frantic.

He looks to be in his mid-to-late fifties, with greying hair that is becoming quite wispy and thin. He looks quite old and just a little bit frail and Maebh is surprised that he wasn’t knocked out by her tackle. She swiftly thinks about whether or not she should try to strangle him or smashing his head against the ground. She decides on the latter. And in the process…. He disappears. Again. Before he does so, she can see the bastard’s smiling.

In the air around them, as Kel’Serrar can hear it too, they hear a voice.
“You still don’t know who I am, do you?” – Disembodied voice, who then delivers some mocking laughter.
“I’m throwing a fireball.” – Ladyhawk.
“You don’t know where he is.” – Wings.
“I don’t care, I want to throw a fireball at something.” – Ladyhawk.
Enraged, Maebh flings a ball of fire into the sky, venting her frustration at being foiled again.

More laughter.
“You really don’t know who I am.” – Disembodied voice, answering his own question.
“Where’s the voice coming from?” – Ladyhawk.
“All around you.”
“NO! There needs to be a direction so I can send a Wall of Blades that way.” – Ladyhawk.
“But I am not totally unfair. I am willing to talk.” – Disembodied voice.
“Name a location. Preferably one that does not lead to us being blasted apart.” – Kel’Serrar.
“Here works well.” – Disembodied voice.
“Tell us everything.” – Maebh, being very forceful with someone who she can’t see or seem to pin down.
She is ignored.
“I hate you. I will kill you.” – Maebh, swearing revenge.
More mocking laughter from the air around them.
“Who are you?” – Kel’Serrar.
“You may call me, The Trickster.” – The Trickster.
“Considering your latest antics, a fair response. Care to explain what this was?” – Kel’Serrar.
“You have witnessed the destruction of someone who was causing problems.” – The Trickster. The manner in which he spoke indicated he was choosing his words carefully.
“So is Rangard dead then?” – Maebh, trying again.
“You don’t know.” – The Trickster.
“Yeah? Well neither do you by the sounds of it.” – Maebh, giving up on playing respectful.
He laughs, but her verbal foray has hit home. From this they deduce he is a proud individual.
“The disappearing act is a nice touch. Care to teach it?” – Kel’Serrar, moving on.
“I do not believe it lies within the talent pool of one such as you.” – The Trickster.
“How about mine?” – Maebh, curious.
“Ah it does…. You *****.” – Maebh. Now she’s just getting insulting.
There is a human growl of discontent before, “You’re a bitch.” – The Trickster, sullen.
“And you’re wimpy disappearing bastard.” – Maebh, warming to her theme.
He growls once more, but he turns it into a laugh. It is a forced laugh though, almost like he needs to enjoy this for it to be worth the time.
“What information do you feel like sharing with us then?” – Kel’Serrar, fishing.
“You will be seeing more of me soon enough.” – The Trickster.
“I look forward to it.” – Kel’Serrar, aiming for cocky courtesy.
“I dare you to materialise in front of us and disappear again.” – Maebh, trying to get a chance to blast him apart.
“How do you know that what you have seen was even me at all?” – The Trickster. A bit cryptic.
“But you were there! Physically present!” – Maebh, outraged.
“Ah, an illusion is only as real as you believe it is. If you thought he was real Maebh, it could well have felt that way.” – Kel’Serrar, seeing possibilities.
“You are quite perceptive. I look forward to seeing you in the future. Farewell for now.” – The Trickster.
“Which one do you look forward to seeing?” – Maebh.
“… Farewell for now.” – The Trickster.
“Bastard.” – Maebh.
“Bitch.” – The Trickster.
“I hate you.” – Maebh.

Due to their investigative efforts, I gave them a level up, something they were all craving. I think they were all after some new toys to play with.

I’ll put up their basic choices later.

I turned off the recording for the period of time where we determined what everyone gained in their level up. Upon resuming it, I informed everyone as such.
“Recording once more.”
“And there was much rejoicing.” – Sins.
“Yay…” – Absolutely everyone, without fail, timed this to perfection.

I have an awesome group.

The sun is coming up and the Market District is beginning to come to life in the new day. Maebh, back up on the roof, sends a Whisper to Tremor, Harold and Breanna.

“We have many important things to tell you about last night. We want to explore the ashes before everyone wakes up, so get the *expletive* down here.” – Maebh’s Wind Whisper.

Tremor meanwhile, awakens in the morning after a restless night’s sleep. He realises that a flying creature would be very difficult to create and so puts his efforts into using what he’s seen of Harold and Breanna’s marcwolf pups to help him in putting his newest design onto paper. A large, mechanical marcwolf. While he’s scratching down the design, Maebh’s Whisper arrives. He listens to it, then ignores it all and continues with his design.

Breanna is sleeping in her tent when she gets Maebh’s Whisper.
“What!? Wait, what was that!? Oh, just Maebh.” – Breanna, who gets up, stretches, puts on her boots and makes her way to the Merchant District to meet up with the others. She leaves the tent next to the wagon, her marcwolf pup following, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, fairly differently from its master.

Harold is also awakened by the Whisper, causing him to get up and head downstairs to the common room of the Iron Moon and orders breakfast. The barkeep glares at the Invarrian when handing over the food. Harold on the other hand just sits down at one of the tables, his little marcwolf sitting next to him, forepaws on the table eating off the plate.

Seeing the man’s consternation, Harold drops a sulver on the bar before he leaves. The barkeep acknowledges this gesture with a nod and then goes back to polishing the glasses.

Soon enough, Harold and Breanna arrive to meet up with Maebh and Kel’Serrar. Despite the heat still present in the ashes, it is far more bearable than last night, merely uncomfortable rather than lethal, and they begin their preliminary investigation. They soon find things very difficult, what with all the ash. Sifting through it all is taking a lot of time, plus it keeps getting into their lungs and eyes.

After about an hour, Kel’Serrar still sits upon the roof in his lonely vigil. He watches over the others as they look around in the ashes, making sure that they have plenty of time to appear inconspicuous if anyone approaches. From inside the house he sits upon, he can hear movement. Below him, a head pokes out the window, looks up, smiles kindly and then disappears back inside. The delicious scent of bacon being fried wafts up from out the window and it isn’t long before the elderly couple reappear, offering bacon and water to the young Danann on their roof.
“How did it go?” – The old man, winking conspiratorially.
“Aww, what lovely people.” – Ladyhawk.
“Rich old people are the nicest people in the world.” – LD, pronouncing this with all the force of a little goddess.
“Rather well.” – Kel’Serrar, mysteriously.
“Ah yes, I see.” – Old man, smiling appreciatively and tapping the side of his nose.
The couple goes back inside.

Kel’Serrar jumps down to go check out the ashes himself while Breanna climbs up and has a peach thrown to her by the old woman inside, who realises that the person climbing her house is different from the person who climbed their house earlier. Sadly, Breanna fails to catch the fruit, but the old woman manages to recover the failed attempt herself.
“I’m a better catch than you!” – The old woman, in a way that can only illicit an “Awww, cute,” in response.
She hands the fruit up to the Leathe.
“Thank you, you’re such a nice old lady.” – Breanna.
“And skilled.” – The old woman.
“Such a nice, skilled old lady.” – Breanna. “TEACH ME!”

To describe the remains of Rangard’s home would require me knowing many synonyms for ash to prevent the description from being repetitive. It is really stuffed. I would have drawn up a floor-plan but the whole thing is now just a mountain of ash with a few support struts.

Maebh considers the benefits of blasting the ash away with a powerful gust of wind, asking the rest of the party whether or not it’s worth it. They say yes and back away as soon as she starts her casting process. It takes her a long time to build up the power necessary but when she does, she wipes the foundations of the house clean, blasting away the ash. Unfortunately, she also knocks down some of the support struts, which had been weakened in the fire.

Maebh uses her new spell, Gust of Wind. She used a bit more power than she intended, miscasting but passing the resulting Toughness Check.
“Ah, she’s just winded for a bit.[/i] – Sins. He was full of them.
“I’m going to throw you out the window in a minute.” – Ladyhawk, laughing.

The howling wind alerts several other people in the vicinity who look out of the houses lining the street. They see the Danann mage walk forward into the destruction and shrink back inside their own houses. Obviously, she’s a little out of the league of the average merchant.

“Wow, that was great.” – Harold, sarcastic before heading into the foundations to search once more. Maebh snaps and throws a Flare at the Invarrian’s back.
“Tempers will flare.” – Sins. I think it was ignored at the time, but as I said, he was on fire. Well, someone was anyway.

This is the first time I’ve had to properly deal with inter-party conflict. Ladyhawk explained that she only wanted to hurt the Invarrian, not to kill him. But of course she is using magic fire to teach her lesson. To discourage her from doing this again, I didn’t allow her to just cause 1 point, and made her roll for Damage. Magic should be respected and not used a toy. On the other hand, this did put Harold in a fair bit of danger, so I ended up fudging by ignoring all of Maebh’s bonus Damage to Fire Spells. I hope that the end result was fair to both parties, but I sincerely hope that this doesn’t happen again.

Harold lands on his face, his back on fire, Before he can get up, Maebh puts the fire out with an aimed torrent of magical water over his back.

Fury of the River causes another point of Damage. But at least the fire’s put out.

The water courses through the foundations of the house, turning the whole place into a thick ashen slurry.

Kel’Serrar runs over to the wounded Invarrian and quickly patches him up as quickly as he can, padding the wound with bandages and applying a salve he picked up at some stage for the burning. Meanwhile of course, Harold is face down in what is now mud, his nice new clothes now ripped, burnt and muddied. He gets up, and in the face of Maebh’s hostility, walks away.
“That’s it, screw you all. You can all do this yourselves.” – Harold.
The Invarrian walks off to a tavern and rents a room to go clean up.

After his departure, Kel’Serrar and Maebh continue to search the area, but soon realise that if there was any small pieces of evidence the fire-wind-water combo would have destroyed it.
Some jokes about how Maebh has caused a multitude of asthma attacks and flooded half the town.

Meanwhile, over in the Iron Moon Inn, it takes Tremor four hours, and to quote Dev, many anachronisms later, but in the end he has a design so inspired that the technology to make it does not exist. Tremor will need to find a smith who can look at his design and make the components exactly right. Or he could do it himself, but the margin for error is extremely small.

The Invention Check roll could scarcely have been better with a 01, but what Wings wants to make is ridiculously ahead of its time, ie. A clockwork, draft-horse-sized bear-wolf. Naturally once it’s made, he will still have to infuse it with sentience to get it working properly, but even a big mechanical statue of a draft-horse-sized bear-wolf would be impressive in terms of building it.

After creating this masterpiece of a drawing, Tremor heads downstairs, buys a drink and heads outside with the hard liquor in his water skin. He soon shows up, rolling slightly as he walks. He casts his eye over the muddy scene, choosing to ignore the dirty figures of the two Danann. From his position he sees that the fire appears very controlled and as far as he can tell, either the response was very prompt or the blaze was set in a very controlled manner. Heading inside, Tremor slips in the mud, but upon getting up finds that there really isn’t much to look at.

Tremor comes to the conclusion that there’s likely no evidence left to be found.

Breanna meanwhile, sitting on the roof has had about five peaches thrown up to her. Being on lookout duty has turned out to be really good fun.
“I love these old people! Can I be adopted by them?” – LD.

Finding the White Stallion Inn, Harold cleans himself up before heading out to avail himself of another set of nice clothes including a comfortable royal blue shirt and a long leather jacket, fur lined around the collar and a good quality, thick leather belt. He’s off to go see the Naillish ambassador, Baronet Edmond Carhold. He soon realises that he isn’t sure about where to find the man, so he engages the merchant in conversation, eventually getting to his main point, hoping to hide his question amongst innocent conversation.
“Where would I find the Naillish ambassador?” – Harold, after chatting with the man for almost an hour.
“Oh, he’s a regular customer of mine, as you now know. He is quartered in the mayor’s residence, the big hall up on the Hill.” – Robett, the clothes merchant.
Think Meduseld with less gold and horses.
The Invarrian finishes the conversation and pays the man. Now looking the part of a wealthy sea-raider, Harold goes to find Baronet Edmond Carhold.

He makes his way to the Great Hall. It is old, older in fact than most of the town around it. Sitting high upon the Summer Hill itself, the hall commands an imposing view upon the surrounding lands. Harold doesn’t know the history of this place, but even he can tell it’s of an older style than the rest of the town. Walking up the stairs, he is stopped at the doors by a guardsman in a thick, dark red leather tabard.
“Who might you be?” – Guardsman.
“Harold Oakenshield of Varr.” – Harold, answering as formally as he can.
“And what business brings you here?” – Guardsman.
“I wish to see the Naillish ambassador if possible.” – Harold.
“Is the Baronet expecting you?” – Guardsman.
“No, I would like to make an appointment.” – Harold.
The guardsman beckons over a page.
“Tell the Baronet that a Harold Oakenshield is here to see him.” – Guardsman to the page.

Harold and the guardsman engage in some conversation while the page is away, yielding some information. The guardsman is actually the captain of Summer Hill’s guard, Royan Setwatch. After almost ten minutes, the page returns and quietly gives the guardsman Carhold’s response.
“The Baronet is free to see you now Sir Oakenshield. Please allow me to take your weapon.” – Setwatch, polite as he should be towards a foreign dignitary. Even if that dignitary is considered as such because of his ability to kill, steal and plunder.
Harold hands over his sabre, having left the rest of his armoury on the cart and is guided inside by the page to the eastern wing of the hall. The page introduces the two men, acting somewhat like a herald.

“Sir Harold Oakenshield, of Varr, this is Lord Edmond Carhold, Naillish ambassador here in Summer Hill and Baronet of the Carhold.” – Page.
Harold sees a man of middling size, neither particularly tall nor short, with short dark hair and thick stubble on his jaw. He is between thirty and forty years of age and dressed in dark with a black leather jacket. The Invarrian holds out his hand and the Baronet takes it firmly.

“Ah, Sir Oakenshield. What would bring you here?” – Edmond Carhold, inquisitively.
“I’m here on a matter of business between our two peoples.” – Harold Oakenshield, putting his nobility guise on.
“A matter of business?” – Edmond, warming to the theme.
“There has been some talk that it might be more profitable to trade with Midlanders rather than raid them.” – Harold, getting straight to the point.
“I see.” – Edmond, with a slight grin. It suggests that he himself has not had to deal with aftermath of an Invarrian assault. “And where would this talk be coming from?”
“Some younger members, some older members of the Invarrian court obviously. I quite like the idea of offering trade myself. Who would dare raid the raiders? And it would be profitable for both our people.” – Harold, smugly confident that he has the upper hand.
“You raise a fair point. Now, I have happen to have some knowledge of you.” – Edmond.
“Really?” – Harold.
“Yes.” – Edmond.
“And what do you know?” – Harold.
“I happen to know that you haven’t been on Varr for years. So could you please tell me how it is you would know what is being said in the Invarrian courts these days?” – Edmond, playing his wildcard.
“Well not today obviously, but when I was last home there was talk of this. And if an older personality were to return to court and support this, with an interested party, ready to go. It could be useful.” – Harold, backtracking smoothly.
“I can see that this proposal has its benefits. I can certainly see how it would benefit me.” – Carhold, nodding. “Now you are aware that I am no merchant?”
“I am aware of this, but you are a nobleman and can therefore talk to your king and have the trade rights written up and ready for us to sign.” – Harold.
“I can think of two more objections, the first being that the Invarrians, whilst they as far as I am aware, hold a certain amount of respect for their Stormlord, they are by no means a united kingdom. Would they hold to an agreement? Would the Stormlord be able to prevent his reavers from attacking Naillish ships?” – Edmond, revealing he knows a surprising amount about the way things are done on Varr.
“I could not say. But if Invarrians loyal to the Stormlord were to find out that some reavers were forsaking a bond between the Stormlord and your king, those reavers would be considered traitors and punished as such.” – Harold.
Carhold smiles, though he does not seem entirely convinced.
“My last objection is that Naille is a land bound kingdom and your people are predominantly seafarers. As it is, I see no direct avenues for trade. We are landlocked and share no borders with you. Any trade would be occurring through hostile territory. ” – Edmond.
“Hmmm, this is true.” – Harold, at a loss. He, of course, doesn’t really know the geography of the area very well.

In response, Carhold finds a map and unrolls in upon the table.
I try my best to draw a map. It’s awful but at least gets the point across. Instead of trying to explain it, I’ll just have to scan and upload the slightly better map I drew later. So:


They continued their little conversation.

“Well, there’s Winterbourne. They have a coastline. You could establish a trade agreement with them.” – Harold.
“Now, our king and the king of Winterbourne traditionally do not have much love for each other. At the moment, we are quite neutral, but it would be very difficult to arrange. There’s a lot of hatred there.” – Edmond, looking over the map.
“How about Greymont then?” – Harold.
“Heh, funny story there actually. Now this story really isn’t a secret, but all the same I will ask you not to spread this around. Greymont’s king is in his late twenties, but his wife is older as she was his late older brother’s wife before he died an untimely death. As is tradition, as his brother’s unmarried heir, he married the widow and adopted his brother’s young daughter too. The girl is of a comparable age with our own king and it is common knowledge that Greymont wishes to marry her off to him to prevent her from contesting the throne with any future heirs he might sire himself.

As you can imagine, we do not want to be in a position where Greymont can say, yes but only if our king marries their bastard girl.” – Edmond.

“Well, you may not get along with the men of Winterbourne, but perhaps it might be worth opening up a lucrative trade agreement with them, opening up a way to a trade agreement with us. In itself, it might stop them from wanting to trade with Elspeth.” – Harold.
“There’s not much chance of that happening. Greymont hates Elspeth more than they hate us.” – Edmond. “Your idea does have some merit. I shall have to consider this.”
“Of course. There’s no need to rush to any conclusions here. Please take your time.” – Harold.
“I thank you. You must remember, I am only a baronet and that my position does not give me much standing in court. I can speak, but I cannot promise I will be heeded. But I shall gladly send a message to my king and inform him of this offer.” – Edmond, swallowing his pride. “As a further question, what sort of goods would be on offer here?”

Harold is well aware that the goods his people would attempt to sell would be goods pillaged off other people. Carhold probably is as well. On the other hand, Invarrians do have skilled leather and metal workers.

“Well-made leather, well-made steel.” – Harold
“Well-made **** from other lands.”
“If Invarrians can no longer raid certain points along the coast, they will concentrate more on places we can raid. So if a certain location has something you want….” – Harold, leaving the ending open.
Carhold laughs and pours two goblets of wine. The two clink the glasses together and knock them back, toasting a to-be successful business partnership.

And we left it there,

The Wrap-Up:
I'm not home at the moment so I can't actually tell you what they took, but everyone save Tremor had access to the Major Talents Sins and Lights have been working on due to the majority of the group reaching their fifth levels in their respective classes. No one has elected to multi-class yet, something I am grateful for as I can just guess that they'll pick classes I haven't finished yet. :smalltongue:

The Infamous Fireball of course refers to Maebh's Flare, something which the group has discussed at length. Dev admits he deserved it and Ladyhawk admits she was heavy-handed but I imagine there will still be a strained relationship between the characters. Which does make sense really, though it is sad as personally I like having a friendly party. Picking on Breanna was fine, but throwing fireballs is not good. :smallwink:

Anyway, hope everyone enjoyed that. We're taking a bit of a break due to exams and assignments. Ladyhawk, Sins and myself are just getting really busy at the moment, but we hope to have a game played by the end of June. Sins has something like ten tests in three weeks, Ladyhawk has several assignments and I have an exam and a few assignments too. Plus an essay that I only found about today. On the plus side, I've managed to figure out a way to write about Lord of the Rings, so it shouldn't be too difficult.

See you next time,

Amidus Drexel
2013-05-27, 11:09 PM
Heh, intra-party conflict is nigh-inevitable in a party with human players. :smallamused:

Always good to cut it short, though.

As always, this is incredibly entertaining, and I look forward to more. :smallcool:

2013-05-30, 11:45 PM
Very enjoyable thread and I'm interested in the system. I must say the setting sounds frighteningly brutal. Like midsection "Canticle for Liebowitz" brutal. Is it just the PCs?

2013-05-31, 01:16 AM
Hey Marlowe,

Glad you're enjoying our little adventure and I hope you stick around. :smallsmile:

To answer your question, the setting itself aims for a relatively dark fantasy. A splash of horror here and there for those who like it, but I envision it as allowing a GM to play whatever sort of game he likes. Hopefully anyway. :smallwink:

Now when you ask about the brutality, if you refer to instances such as Maebh's sacrifice, then that is Ladyhawk's homage to some source material. With the addition of a small amount of sadism I guess. :smalltongue:

However stuff like the torture of the prisoner they took is just the sort of game I like to run. Basically, if I get a group of heroic characters, I will gently prod them towards things that seem necessary at the time, but when looking back on it are viewed as evil. I like exploring the idea of just how far you will go to be a hero.

And in addition to that, the setting is pretty brutal too. Only luck came between Kel'Serrar and death in the very first combat with the marcwolves, Harold has come close a few times, and Tremor came way too close in the combat with Chirya. I have rules for losing limbs, appendages and the like too, but I asked them what they thought of it before I decided on implementing the rules for this campaign.

After all, we're trying to have fun here and playing a cripple might dampen the experience for some.

So yes, to a certain extent the setting is brutal, as is the system, although I like to think it's a bit more gritty realism in terms of combat, rather than over the top lethality.

Plus Luck Points play a part too, helping people out with regards to actually being heroic. Without them, I don't think anyone would dare. :smalltongue:


2013-06-21, 07:49 AM
Well, we just played Session 1.8: Walking Away.

Next session hopefully in about a fortnight. :smallsmile:

2013-07-04, 12:55 AM
Just letting everyone know that the write-up for Session 1.8 is coming soon, I've just been a bit busy recently, what with sorting out university stuff, Ladyhawk's birthday celebrations and some other stuff which I don't exactly remember at the moment. :smalltongue:

On the other hand, we had hoped to play Session 1.9 this Friday, but this has been postponed for at least a week. Maybe two. We shall see.

Anyway, the write-up is coming,


2013-08-01, 03:04 AM
So as to make sure that you all know what is happening, we plan to play Session 1.9 tomorrow night.

I'm really aiming to have 1.8 available to read tonight, but damn I've been busy. :smalltongue:


2013-08-01, 11:30 AM
Session 2.5: Walking Away

Welcome to Session 2.5.

"Now that we've got the obligatory reference out of the way-"
"Go see Man of Steel!" - Dev.
"Shut up Dev." - Ladyhawk.
"Just shut up. Reference time is over." - Wings.

Okay, then, moving on. Small recap, Harold has just had a meeting with Edmond Carhold, the Naillish ambassador to Summer Hill in his apartments in the Grand Hall. The rest of the party meanwhile are still sifting through what is left of Rangard's house.

Harold walks out of Carhold's apartment feeling good about what he has just done. He comes face to face with a small man of Selkye descent, clad in dark grey. He has a recurve bow at his back with a quiver of black fletched arrows at his back. His eyes flash with recognition as his hand reaches for a knife at his belt.

There is a fair bit of discussion regarding what Harold should do here, as Dev tries to gather a bit more information on the surroundings, namely that there are no guards in sight and the combat is taking place in a corridor. There is a closed door directly behind the Invarrian's assailant, in addition to the closed door behind Harold which leads to Carhold's rooms.

This discussion devolves into hysterics when Ladyhawk suggests tackling the man and going for his knife-hand, the accompanying hand gesture appearing rather risqué. As the majority of the group is dirty-minded in the extreme, there was over a minute of laughter and progressively worse re-enactments of Ladyhawk's initial suggestion.


On the other hand, it did end up reminding me of a joke. To be warned, children should probably look away now, and it's probably only going to make sense with those familiar with Warhammer.

How many Slaaneshi cultists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
At least two of course, but how they got in there is anyone's guess.

Crass, I know, but everyone thought it was funny on the night.

Harold moves forward and attempts to grasp his assailant's wrist to prevent him from drawing the knife.

An opposed Dexterity Check for Harold here.

Opposed Checks work along the premise of rolling over your opponent's Statistic, with a negative or bonus equal to every point either over or under the opponent's Statistic. In this case, Harold needed to roll above his opponent's Dexterity, with a negative of 12, as his opponent's Dexterity was 12 points higher.

Harold manages to grab hold of the smaller man's wrist.

"****!" - Selkye assassin, startled, who attempts a left-handed punch at Harold's face.
The strike fails to connect.
"Nice try." - Harold, who strikes back.
The assassin ducks under the Invarrian's roundhouse punch and lays a hand on Harold's forearm.

Failed Willpower Check from Harold.

Oakenshield falls to the ground, instantly deprived of physical motion, and slowly drifting into a magical coma. The assassin steps over the defeated Invarrian and opens the door to Carhold's rooms.

"Wha- AAARGH!" - Carhold, taken by surprise as a knife flies across the room and embeds itself in his shoulder.

Harold is about to get up when he hears what can only be described as an earth-shaking roar from behind the other door. Said door is slammed off its hinges and an eight foot tall, jet black Feartarbh charges across the hallway and into Carhold's rooms, luckily stepping over the Invarrian on the floor.

The Selkye looks behind him and immediately darts to a window, flinging himself through it. The Feartarbh follows, taking half the wall with him.

"YES! I love this guy!" - Dev.
"Can we make him party leader instead of Harold?" - Sins.
"Yes, can we?" - Dev.

Carhold comes over to Harold and helps the Invarrian up, the Selkye's spell swiftly being overcome by Harold's natural toughness.

"Thank you for standing between the assassin and myself, but I think my shadow will take care of it now." - Carhold, with a bit of a smile.
"I'm sure he will enjoy it." - Harold, returning the grin.
"Shall I help you to a doktor of some description?" - Harold, using the Invarrian term, not knowing the Midland word.
"No thank you, the mayor's physician should suffice. I will make my way there now." - Carhold.
With his hand to his shoulder, he heads off.

Harold, still shaking off his magically induced sleep, makes his own way to a drinking establishment.

Meanwhile, Breanna comes to the conclusion that any evidence left in Rangard's house would have been incinerated, blown away or drowned. Therefore, leaving now would not necessarily be a bad idea. Together, the rest of the group find Harold in the Iron Moon Inn, the first place they look for him, knowing that his problems with higher authority will lead to repeat occurrences of him bringing his marcwolf pup into the only establishment with a "No Dogs," policy.

Maebh walks over to Harold, who sits in a booth, nursing a mug of ale with his pup sitting beside him.
"May I speak to you?" - Maebh, uncomfortable with the situation.
"You can." - Harold, blunt and not looking up at her.
"I am very sorry for reacting how I did. I attacked in anger and I do sincerely apologise." - Maebh, awkward and clearly not used to apologising.

"Can I add puppy-dog eyes?" - Ladyhawk, giving her best approximation. It's quite effective in reality.
"... I think she should roll on Charisma to see if I'm affected by puppy-dog eyes." - Dev, thoughtful.
"Okay then, Ladyhawk, Charisma Check."
A 03.
"You are very much affected by the puppy-dog eyes. Mainly because you see them and think, 'Awww, reminds me of home.'"

As an aside, this conversation was quite awkward. I mean, how often does this situation occur in reality.
"I am very sorry for the way I acted." - Party 1, remorseful.
Party 2 turns to a random bystander.
"I accept the apology." - Party 2.
Dev tried precisely this by turning to me after the laughter following the puppy-dog eyes check had died down and announcing that he accepted the apology.

Everyone else sits down at Harold's table and buys various drinks and food. They proceed to sit around and ignore the fact that they are on an urgent, deadly quest.

To cut down on pointless exposition, they inform me that they are sulking because they've hit a dead-end and their employer is dead. I inform them that they are useless and there is much laughter. LD says that everyone's useless, leading to Dev saying that she's one of the most useless members of the party. LD fires back by reminding everyone of Dev's inability to hit the marcwolf in the first encounter. Dev threatens her with death by pencil.

"Ah, I've had worse." - Wings, matter-of-fact.
"You've.... died?"
"No, been threatened with worse. Paper cuts was the worst." - Wings, nodding.
"No, no, no, paper cuts.... and lemon juice!" - Dev.

And my plot goes down the drain as everyone decides that talking about their favourite methods of mutilating captives is far more productive.

Moving on....

I decide that it's time to throw them a lifeline.
"Now, think about this. Rangard sent you guys to go check out Shylocke. Now you checked out his house, but where did Rangard tell you to go find Shylocke?"
"Ah, the marketplace?" - Ladyhawk.
"Oh, the place they trampled me! The inn!" - LD.
"The Harvest Wolf." - Sins.
"THAT!" - LD.
"Exactly. That's where he told you to go. If you remember, Rangard told you to get into that backroom because Shylocke goes in there often to have little meetings and such that Meldith was not able to get into. Now, Breanna broke up that meeting, and the Trickster was, perhaps, present. At least as present as you can suspect the Trickster to be."

"So that meeting was in the back room of the Harvest Wolf. What does that lead to?"

There was a lot of talk about the significance of the Harvest Wolf. How it was an easily accessible location for the cult generally.

"Who owns the inn?" - Sins.
"Wilmund Brewer."
"That's a great last name." - Sins.

I then ask who everyone thinks is the main bad guy and then who they need to stop immediately. Most toss up between Rangard or Shylocke being the main bad-guys, though everyone agrees that the Queen of Elspeth is probably in charge of one of them.

"Alright, this is getting nowhere. Who's Dhara working for? Or is she in charge of her own operation?"
"Nah, she's just a hand." - Wings.
"Well there's two options. Either she's an independent or she's working for the other side. If she's an independent, then that's a third or fourth faction which we were not even aware of." - Sins.
"She did specifically say that she was suspicious of both Rangard and Shylocke." - Dev.
"Yeah I think it's safe to say she's not on Rangard's side. But she might be on Shylocke's." - Sins.

They then discuss how much they disclosed to Dhara about their employer, situation and investigations.

To help everyone with keeping track of what was actually disclosed to Dhara, here's that conversation the players couldn't completely remember.

Taking the now full bowl, Harold walks over to the tied up woman and splashes it on her face, drenching her upper body. She wakes up spluttering, scared and obviously with a massive headache.

Dev considers asking the rest of the group to leave the immediate area here.
“Well, we’re not interrogating her.” – Harold.
“What are you going to do then?” – Maebh.
“Uh, I was thinking charming her.” – Harold.
Everyone cracks up.
“OH FOR THE LOVE OF CRAP!” – Harold, exasperated.
“I’ll get the bandages….” – Kel’Serrar, resigned.
“You’ve tied her to a boulder, how charming could you possibly be?”
“I want to hear this played out actually.” – Sins.

The others back off a small distance, but all of them are within earshot and Kel’Serrar has an arrow nocked and ready.

“I am sorry about my associate knocking you out. I had no choice in the matter. What’s your name?” – Harold, putting on his best ‘I’m a sweet, lovable dog-man, not a vicious killer,’ voice.

“Can you let me go first?” – Red-clad woman, eyes darting from side to side.
Slowly, steadily so as not to startle her, the Invarrian reaches across and unties the ropes. Despite this, he is still somewhat wary, hand on the hilt of one of his swords.

“My name is Dhara.” – Dhara, smiling with just a little more goodwill than before.

A Southlander name.

“So why were you following us Dhara?” – Harold, gently.
“Oh, I saw you in Summer Hill and thought there was something suspicious about the Harvest Wolf. I saw your performance there yesterday and I realised that we were on the same side. So I wanted to come and meet with you, share information and find out what you know about this business.” – Dhara, earnestly.

“Well, why don’t you tell us what you know first, and then we’ll tell you?” – Harold.
“Well, I’m afraid I really don’t know that much. I’ve only recently found an interesting correlation between Morgaris Shylocke and Petyr Rangard. I think they might be working together on something which bodes ill for Summer Hill.” – Dhara.

“Hmm, now that adds up with why Rangard would want that Focus Stone. I mean, they are trying to summon a giant daemon, a Focus Stone would help.” – Kel’Serrar.

“This is true.” – Harold, to Kel’Serrar. He turns back to Dhara. “We were actually hired by Rangard. Unfortunately, we are not sure what is actually happening, but for now we’re just trying to get some information. There is a bandit camp in the area. We’re trying to find it.”

“Ah yes, I know of this bandit camp. A notice was actually put up in the area about a month ago, warning the town as a whole that bandits were in the area. They should be just to north-west of here.” – Dhara, nodding. She’s trying to helpful.

“Breanna, I believe you have her knife.” – Harold, holding his hand out expectantly. Breanna hands it over. Holding the blade of the longknife in his hand, the Invarrian offers the woman back her knife.

“Why thank you. I didn’t think I’d ever see it again when I woke up without it.” – Dhara, sheathing the blade in the scabbard down her leg.

“You’re coming with us to the bandit camp. I think we’d all appreciate it if you would watch our backs for us.” – Harold, using his staff to push back to his feet.
“That’s good, I’m happy to help. I have a feeling you’re all working towards the good of Summer Hill.” – Dhara, also getting to her feet, a little unsteady due to the headache.
“Okay, we’re moving out.” – Harold, to the rest of the party.

Following on from this, it's pointed out that no one could really know it was they who trashed Shylocke's place.

Despite not having come to any conclusions, Maebh speaks up in the middle of this discussion.

"Look at us! We're not doing anything. We should stop this moping and actually go do something. Let's go." - Maebh, as she stands up, takes up her spear and begins to walk out of the tavern.

The rest follow her out and they all stand outside the door of the Iron Moon.

"I want to go to the Harvest Wolf." - Harold.

There's a bit more discussion here. I shall condense it for the sake of brevity as it really wasn't all that groundbreaking. The Selkye assassin comes up and Harold explains that he seemed to recognise the Invarrian. Maebh immediately wants to go after him, prompting Harold to inform her that he was last seen with a massive Feartarbh pursuing him through the town. Ladyhawk then hopes that the elderly couple who helped them earlier are okay and Sins, LD and Ladyhawk all threaten me that if those old people are either evil or harmed, there will be consequences.

It turns out that Breanna is the best tracker of the group, seeing as she has taken a bonus to the Survival Skill, followed by Maebh and Tremor who have taken the Skill and Kel'Serrar and Harold have not.

It's decided that Tremor and Kel'Serrar should go try to find Dhara while Maebh and Breanna attempt to go find the Selkye assassin and Harold heads to the Harvest Wolf to scout out the situation.

Maebh and Breanna.
The two girls make their way to the Grand Hall, walking around the side of the building to the approximate place Harold told them about. They find that there is a rather large hole in the west wall of the Hall. Peering inside they first see a massive black Feartarbh sitting at a table. The Feartarbh notices them as they approach and appears furious before calming down almost immediately.

"Sorry." - Feartarbh, gruffly apologetic.
"Hello. How are you?" - Maebh, trying to be friendly.
The Feartarbh responds with a somewhat quizzical look. His silence is more confused than unfriendly however.
"We wish to help you with your search for the Selkye. We have some questions of our own we would like answered." - Maebh.
"How did you know about the Selkye?" - Feartarbh.
"We are friends with the Invarrian you ran over." - Maebh. This cracked us up.
"What Invarrian?" - Feartarbh.
"The man you were chasing incapacitated our friend and in your rush to catch him, had to step over his body. He later came and told us the story." - Maebh.
The massive Feartarbh looks down at the floor, and if it weren't for his bulk and fearsome appearance, one would guess he looks ashamed.
"Oh. I didn't see him." - Feartarbh.
Maebh pats him consolingly on his arm.
"Aww, he looks so cuddly in my head." - Ladyhawk. I guess my description of an eight foot tall, jet black minotaur came across as cute. Despite the massive build and horns. Dev suggests I obtain a small stuffed minotaur for Ladyhawk for Christmas.
"I need to find my charge now, I am late. Farewell." - Feartarbh, who nods in a companionable manner and walks out of the room, probably looking for Carhold.

Maebh and Breanna head down the hill from the smashed wall, heading into the heart of the market district. They quickly deduce that the chase probably didn't last too long. They can see an overturned market stall with the owner struggling valiantly to right it.

Tremor and Kel'Serrar.
Looking for Dhara, Kel'Serrar suggests that heading out of town might be the easiest way to find her. The two of them head toward the eastern gate. As they do so, a grey-fletched arrow flies down from behind, striking the ground between them. Tied around the arrow is a small scroll.

Meet me at the eastern gate tonight,
Bring the rest of the party,


"Could that be Meldith?" - Tremor.
"Shylocke's first name is Morgaris...." - Kel'Serrar, worried.

They decide that Kel'Serrar will go find Breanna and Maebh and Tremor will try to find Harold. It is already late afternoon so they will have to hurry if they wish to meet the mystery figure tonight.

The Invarrian goes to the Harvest Wolf and sees a small body of clients in the tavern. He heads to a secluded seat at the back of the establishment and proceeds to sit and watch. The clientele seem to be enjoying themselves, Brewer can be seen at the bar, polishing tankards and a young man, Brewer's assistant, is sweeping the floor in front of the hearth. Harold goes to the bar and orders a pint of strong beer before sitting back down. As he does so, an obviously rushing Tremor bursts in and immediately uses the privy.

It is a running joke now that whenever a player excuses themselves from the table to see to the call of nature, their character also runs off to find the nearest privy/convenient bush.

Maebh, Breanna and Kel'Serrar.
Meanwhile, the two girls approach the man who is still clearly struggling with the weight of his stall. He sells bolts of cloth, many of them quite exotic, and all the rolls are large affairs and rather weighty.

"Did you happen to see a Selkye and Feartarbh run past here earlier?" - Breanna.
"Oh, I saw the Feartarbh going that way. How could I miss him?" - Cloth-trader, pointing to the west and further into the market district. "But I didn't see what he was chasing."

While the two girls are questioning the merchant, a clearly tiring Kel'Serrar runs up to them.

"We've found something of interest on the way out of town. It seems we either have a message from an unknown benefactor or a slight problem. Considering how little we actually know, we might need to take this opportunity." - Kel'Serrar, after swiftly getting his breath back. "Oh, and we all have to be there."
"Fair enough." - Maebh.
"Was there a name?" - Breanna.
"M." - Kel'Serrar.
"Okay then. Brilliant." - Breanna, sarcastic.

Harold and Tremor.
Harold keeps an eye on the old barkeep and therefore notices when Brewer ducks into the backroom as soon as Tremor walks into the privy. This piques the Invarrian's interest, not that Brewer walked out as soon as Tremor removed himself from the room, but that Brewer exited the common room in as surreptitious a fashion as possible.

The Dwergar swiftly finishes his business and heads out of the privy to see that the Invarrian is not attending his drink very closely, scanning the rest of the tavern as he is. Tremor walks over to Harold's table, intending to swipe some of the Invarrian's beer.

Tremor reaches the table and takes a long pull from the tankard.
"We've got a message from someone who only signed off as 'M.' It's a bit suspicious but I think we're looking at meeting whoever this is tonight." - Tremor.
"Did they give a specific time?" - Harold, still scanning the tavern.
"No, just that it needed to be tonight and the whole group." - Tremor.

Harold concentrates on the conversation that he can hear from the other clients of the inn. One man has lost his cat. Another man is complaining about a large rat problem in the residential district.
I had to specify here that large rat problem didn't necessarily mean that large rats were the problem, but that the rats constituted a large problem. I got a laugh and we moved on. And before anyone asks, LD was the one with the obligatory Princess Bride reference, namely ROUS's.
Finally a workman on the other side of the common room responds loudly enough for the whole room to hear to a question about which Harold is intimately familiar with.

“No, haven’t seen him around at all. But did you know his servants were found on the road outside his house with arrow wounds? How suspicious is that?” - Midlander workman.
Harold pricks his ears up, but aside from that, attempts to stay inconspicuous.
"No, I didn't hear that. Reckon he's dead too?" - Another workman.
"Why would we not have heard about the servants dying?" - Third workman.
"What do you think it means?" - Second workman, asking the first.
"How did you hear about it anyway?" - Third workman, continuing his train of thought, also addressing the first man.
"Because my cousin saw it happen." - First workman, only answering the last question.

Upon discussion, the group reason that this cousin probably didn't see who was responsible. The group is after all, quite easily recognised. Harold is about the only Invarrian in town and both Maebh and Kel'Serrar cut rather individual figures in the area. Only Tremor and Breanna could potentially blend into the populace, and neither of them particularly successfully. The Dwergar and Leathe populations are small in Summer Hill. The fact that the authorities aren't out after an old black and white Invarrian suggests that they're not aware that Harold had a part in this.

Seeing that Harold is ignoring him, Tremor walks over to a small booth in the corner of the common room where two dwarves are sitting, one smoking a pipe and both cradling tankards of some strong alcohol. The Dwergar notices that these are Geardarr, or hill dwarves, more tanned and less stocky than his own people. The older one with his pipe looks up with his one good eye and smiles at the new arrival.
"Ey laddie, grab a seat!" - Old Geardarr, obviously rolling drunk. There is at least a score of empty tankards littering the tabletop, with even more having fallen beneath it.
"Don't mind if I do. " - Tremor, returning the grin.
"AY! GET US THREE ALES NYUH!" - Old Geardarr, massive grin plastered to his face and beckoning to the bartender.
"Uh-huh." - Bartender, who props his broom against the wall and walks around behind the bar.

Within seconds of Tremor deserting him, Harold had walked to the bar to wait for service.
"What can I get you sir?" - Bartender, whilst pouring three tankards of ale for the dwarves.
"Four pints of your best beer." - Harold, already fishing out the coins.
"You right to take those four to your table? Because I don't think those dwarves can get up over there." - Bartender with a wry grin.
"I'm right." - Harold with a chuckle, who takes the pints two in each hand and walks over to the table of workmen.

The bartender then deposits the tankards with the dwarves and then retreats back behind the bar.

Maebh, Breanna and Kel'Serrar.
"Alright, I guess we have to go. How much time do we have?" - Maebh, referring of course to the mysterious note.
"The note says tonight. What time that means is anyone's guess." - Kel'Serrar.
"Assuming nightfall, that gives us three, four hours at the most?" - Maebh.
"Thereabouts." - Kel'Serrar.
"Should we keep looking for this assassin while we still have light?" - Maebh.

The three then wander through the marketplace, asking if the Selkye has been seen, but the merchants are not particularly helpful, their attention drawn mainly to the massive Feartarbh rather than whatever he was chasing. The best they can do is just point to the west.

This having failed them, the three travel from door to door of the dwellings which rim the marketplace, asking if anyone has heard strange noises coming from the rooves. Unfortunately, this doesn't turn up any results.
"Excuse me, have you heard any weird noises from the rooftops today?" - Kel'Serrar, executing his best salesman voice.
You do turn up one creepy individual.
"Hello, I'd like to..." - Best seedy impression I could do.
"SLAM THE DOOR!" - Wings.

Then follows some discussion about the feasibility of asking about rooftop jaunts, mainly that the beginning of the chase occurred down the middle of the market district, which is an open plaza. The possibility of someone being able to escape unseen onto the rooftops in broad daylight while being actively chased is slim to none.

The problem is, the Selkye is rather inconspicuous and the Feartarbh would have drawn the attention of anyone who saw the chase.

I couldn't figure out why this came up but LD started an interesting tangent.
"Why is there an 8 foot tall minotaur on my roof!?" - LD
"Actually it would probably be, why is there an 8 foot tall minotaur in my bathroom." - Dev.
"Why does my bathroom no longer exist? All of a sudden, it's open-air."

"You've run into a dead-end with this investigation."
"What about the Feartarbh? Did he just run through it? No dead-ends for him!" - LD.
"He is a dead-end."

Having hit a metaphorical dead-end, Maebh decides to head back to the Grand Hall, thinking to talk to the Feartarbh again. Breanna and Kel'Serrar follow her.

More to come. :smallsmile: Right here. :smallbiggrin: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=15736690&postcount=75)

2013-08-01, 11:39 AM
And here it is. :smallbiggrin:

Harold and Tremor.
From the scars all over the younger Geardarr's hands, Tremor deduces he is a carpenter or blacksmith or maybe even a butcher. He is not a warrior, being neither particularly well-muscled, nor scarred in a way which suggests conflict in his past. The scars appear to be small knife cuts to his hands. The elder dwarf has a long, pale scar running down the side of his face, from his temple and down his neck. He is weathered and his face craggy, his demeanour and presence leading Tremor to believe that he was a mercenary in the past, though he has since gone to seed.

"So, how is your trade progressing these days?" - Tremor to the younger dwarf, knocking back a mouthful of ale.
"You would be amazed how many people are after good woodwork these days. The blacksmiths all want it for their weapons. My business is going well." - Geardarr carpenter with a wink, he too knocking back his ale.
"I couldn't help but notice your eye, but your scar looks to be a similarly grievous wound. How did it happen?" - Tremor, turning to the elder.
"Ah lad! Aaah, I in tha hills, tha Arrer Hills, I lost me eye. Tha carrion they came up and took it! Cut us up real good, but no they didn't get me, didn't get me, didn't get me. I lay down, all quiet like and wait til there's no sun, no moon, nothin. An' then, when 'ey start gettin' all riled up and e'erythin', that's when I ups me axe and took a few of them! I paid 'em back real good for me eye, but I never be findin' it again." - Old dwarf warrior, who trails off into his ale, obviously scarred by the event in more than just body.
There is a little silence at the table as the three dwarves take care of their ales.
"Did you hear a house burnt down in town just last night?" - Geardarr carpenter, changing the subject.
"Ah yeah, do you know what happened?" - Tremor.
"No, not really. As far as I know, the man inside hasn't been seen since though. Probably dead." - Carpenter.
"Hmm, who was it? Anyone you knew?" - Tremor.
"No, I didn't know him. Heard he was a sorcerer though. Set his house on fire to destroy the evidence some people are saying." - Carpenter.

Many fanfares from the assembled group. They find it interesting that their own suspicions on Rangard are being carried out by the rest of the town.

"Do you reckon you could still wield a weapon?" - Tremor to the elder.
"Ah, I'd a-love to laddie. But I can a-see about three o' ye at tha moment." - Elder, surprisingly upbeat.
"Could you sober up in the next three or so hours?" - Tremor.
"Uh, no lad! Too much alcohol." - Elder, unrepentantly cheerful.
"And you?" - Tremor, to the younger dwarf.
"Eh, not much use in a fight mate. Sorry." - Carpenter, shamefaced.

Harold meanwhile has brought drinks over to the group of workmen, and while they first favour him with suspicious looks, mainly on account of his fine clothing, they quickly realise that he's brought them beer, so he can't be all bad.

"I heard you talking about Shylocke's house. Did you say that some poor buggers were found outside? Do you know what happened?" - Harold, passing around the drinks.

"Why did you say that in an Irish accent?" - Wings.
"Because I like my Irish accent you ****er." - Dev, good naturedly.
"That became Scottish." - LD.
"I also like changing my accent halfway through." - Dev.
"Now that one started to go Welsh."
"I'm having an identity crisis!" - Dev.

And then we got sidetracked talking about kebabs for about six minutes.... Yes, that seriously happened.

"I know, it's awful isn't it? We reckon he killed all those men and ran away into the forest." - The second workman from earlier, who identifies himself as Wawrike.
"Why would he do that though? He was the most powerful man in town?" - The third workman, an older man by the name of Patris.
"More powerful than even the mayor really." - Garron, the first workman with a short laugh.
"How could he have that much power? I'm new here." - Harold, inquisitive.
"Ah, well he has all the money. Not that Mayor Redwyn has that much power anyway. Well, not him personally." - Patris, knowingly.
"In fact, I don't even know how he could have so much money." - Wawrike, referring again to Shylocke.
"What about Rangard? I don't know much, but he's a big name around the town too isn't he?" - Harold.
"Ah yeah, he's that other merchant isn't he? It was his house that burnt down, right?" - Garron.
"The short man right? I heard he dabbled in all kinds of sorcery." - Wawrike, making a sign to ward himself against Black Magic.
"Probably dead. And if he was a sorcerer, than a good thing that is too." - Patris.
"What type of sorceries did he dabble in?" - Harold, perhaps fishing a little too deeply here.
"You'll mind your own business if you know what's good for you. Asking questions like that can only attract the wrong sort of attention friend." - Patris, in a warning, but friendly tone.
"His friend definitely was a sorcerer though. Up to his eyes in Black Magic" - Garron, in an undertone.

Of course the players don't know if that makes him a warlock or if that's the superstition talking.

They then discuss that Rangard did tell them his friend was a magic user, though he died at the hand of Mordra Goldshine, stabbed in the back.
"Aww, poor mage." - Ladyhawk.
"That's okay, we stabbed that guy in the back ourselves." - Wings.
"Actually Kel'Serrar shot him in the top of the end."
"Which is a kind of stabbing." - Dev.
"He died of natural causes. An arrow in the head naturally ends one's life." - Sins.

"Did anyone notice where the barkeep went?" - Tremor to his new friends.
"Ah, I didn't notice he'd gone." - Carpenter.
"Want another round?" - Tremor.
Both dwarves are pretty enthusiastic.
"I'll just go find him then. My shout." - Tremor, getting up and heading to the bar.
Harold has just gotten up to get some more drinks for his own table and the two meet at the bar.
"I'll be with you in a minute." - Brewer's assistant, who quickly heads into the backroom.
"Distract them, I want to find Brewer." - Tremor, whispering under his breath.
"He's in the back." - Harold, similarly discreet.
The assistant comes back into the common room.
"What can I get you?" - Bartender, polishing a tankard.
"I'd like to get a round for everyone!" - Harold, raising his voice at the end so that the whole bar focuses on him. There is much cheering.
The bartender starts to pour the beers and then hand them out after taking the Invarrian's money.

With successful Concealment and Silent Move Checks, Tremor sneaks around the bar and then finds the nemesis of hidden heroes everywhere. A closed door. He manages to open it without any problems.

He steps carefully inside, using the shelves filled with barrels of alcohol to hide himself from the inhabitants of the room. There are two people sitting at a table in the centre of the room, lit by a single candle. One has his back to the Dwergar. The other is a short, elderly man, clean shaven with thinning grey hair. The room is quite dark, so that is about all Tremor is able to make out. The elderly man is sitting side-on to Tremor, so the Dwergar feels relatively safe from his hidden vantage point.

More generally successful checks.

Tremor makes a slight shuffling noise as he moves around to try and get a better view of the man with his back to him, who he suspects must be Brewer. The two men pause their muttered conversation and look around the room, but notice nothing odd and continue talking.

To Tremor's relief, the other man is Wilmund Brewer. The Dwergar stands as still as he can and listens into the conversation as well as he can.

Ladyhawk put it best I feel.
"But, but, but, he's a dwarf! How is he better at this than everyone else!?" - Ladyhawk.
The answer is a fair bit of luck and spending his Skill Pts on Concealment and Silent Movement despite everyone telling him he had better things to focus on.

Back out in the common room, Harold is feeling no ill-effect, however around him patrons are starting to feel a bit drowsy.

Garron faceplants on the table.

The Invarrian's eyelids begin to droop as the rest of the room starts to drop off. Even the two dwarves in the corner are affected, the elder one shaking the younger carpenter even as he too succumbs to the drowsiness.

Harold shakes it off as best he can. Something is seriously wrong here. It's mid afternoon. People should not just be falling asleep simultaneously at this time.

Maebh, Breanna and Kel'Serrar.
They make their way back to the Grand Hall, mood's somewhat disconsolate as they have been unsuccessful in finding the assassin. Approaching the gaping hole in the wall, they see a man they assume must be Carhold and the Feartarbh bodyguard sitting at the table, playing a card game.

It appears the noble is winning and as they approach they hear a deep baritone sigh and a quick laugh from the man as he pulls the small pile of gold towards himself. Both players look up when they notice the group of three approaching. Both appear friendly enough but Kel'Serrar notes that the Feartarbh does have an astounding number of massive weapons ready to hand, not the least of which the broad-bladed dagger at his belt, a blade which would pass for a broadsword in a smaller individual's possession.

"Hello again." - Maebh, rather friendly.
Both respond with friendly, yet quizzical looks.
"I'm still looking for the Selkye from earlier." - Maebh.
"I lost him." - The Feartarbh.
"Where did he go?" - Maebh.
"I don't know. That way." - The Feartarbh, pointing out the gaping hole in the wall. He is trying to be helpful, but he simply doesn't know where the man went.
"Where did you lose him?" - Maebh.
"At the end of the marketplace. He rounded the corner on the right and was gone." - The Feartarbh, unhappily.
"Do you have any idea who this assassin was?" - Maebh, to Carhold this time.
The noble gives her a look like, "Do you know who I am?"
"Do you know who I am?" - Ladyhawk.
"This is not a game of who the **** are you."
"Haven't got a clue." - Carhold, dismissing the matter and going back to his cards.
"I'm sorry, who are you again?" - Maebh.
"... Lord Edmond Carhold of Naille." - Carhold.
"Ah right... Never heard of you." - Maebh, dismissive.
Carhold gives the mage a piercing look and then starts to laugh, soon joined by the deeper booming laugh of his bodyguard.
"In all seriousness, do you have any idea who he is, where he's gone, anything like that? We need him." - Maebh, getting back to business.
"I don't know, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say an Elspeth agent. They wouldn't want me here." - Carhold.

And then it got really off the wall.
"If he ever comes back to assassinate you again, could you please tell him-" - Ladyhawk. That's as far as she got before we all cracked up laughing.
"WHAT!?" - Wings.
"Are you here to kill me? Oh, well I'd better just give you a message."
"Did you really just say that?"
"Yeah. If he comes back, or if you see him around, can you please tell him that Maebh at the cart by the gate wants to speak with him." - Ladyhawk, laughing.
We decided to pretend this bit didn't happen.

The three of them politely take their leave and make their way to the east gate to meet with the mysterious 'M.'

"So, Morgaris, what's the situation?" - Brewer.
"They're coming along quickly. We hope to have it under control by midday tomorrow." - Shylocke.
"And then I appear from around the corner. BUSTED!" - LD.
"No! Stay out! No busting! Please!" - Dev.
"NO! In every single RPG campaign on the internet or movie or tv show or book, just when they're about to say something really important, someone knocks on the door, someone knocks something over, someone has to sneeze, someone dies. No busting!" - Ladyhawk.
That escalated quickly. Those selfish bastards, dying just before the plot is revealed. We did contemplate making Wings make a Willpower Check to avoid doing something stupid.
"Is the Legion ready?" - Shylocke.
"I will have word from the Captain tomorrow. Any time after that, they should be here and available for our use. Which is all to the good. What news have you on this group of cretins running around the town at the moment?" - Brewer.
"Are we the cretins?" - LD.
"Woot! We're moving up in the world!" - Sins.

"Yes, after they ransacked my house, I found my journal was missing. I made sure that they should not be able to come to any conclusions from that. At least I hope they will not." - Shylocke, somewhat shamefaced.
"Writing a journal was foolish, yet the mark of an organised mind. As such, I will not punish you for that. Back to the matter at hand, I have two of them out there now. I have told Larus to put a little nightshade into their drinks. I imagine that those two will be done by the time this conversation is over." - Brewer.
"Very good. I must go now Master. The longer I am in town, the greater the chance I will be discovered." - Shylocke.
"I must get back to the bar anyway to keep up appearances. May the Veil move aside for you." - Brewer.
"Thank you Master. As always, I am grateful for your time." - Shylocke, who walks out the back door Breanna used just the other day, disappearing. The door slowly creaks shut.
Brewer meanwhile walks out into the Harvest Wolf's common room.

The bartender is polishing the tankard with a feverish intensity noticing that the Invarrian is not dropping as quickly as the others. Despite the man's nervousness, Harold feels himself slipping away.

Failed a Toughness Check and then a Willpower Check to resist the poison. A Luck Point is spent to reroll the Willpower Check, but with no luck. Harold's in deep trouble now.

The Invarrian soon realises that his hands and legs are not responding. But he does have a general command of his arms. He attempts to pick up his drink in an attempt to splash it on his face to wake himself up, but his hands just won't respond. He spills his drink all over the table, the tankard falling to the floor.

Knowing that the people out in the common room are slowly dying from Nightshade poisoning, Tremor immediately starts searching for an antidote. His initial results yield no results, so he takes a deep breath and searches again. He does find a few vials which he can't identify. They might be antidotes. They might be poisons. He takes both the green and red vials before rushing out into the common room, bursting through the door, hatchet in one hand and hammer in the other.

Wildly swinging, the Dwergar shoves the startled Brewer aside and smashes Larus' kneecap with the hammer, the assistant falling to the ground with pained scream. Tremor turns to Brewer.
"You've made a grave mistake dwarf." - Brewer, furious.
"So have you!" - Tremor, hefting his weapons.
The barkeep disappears in a blast of roiling flame, which billows towards Tremor and Larus, setting both their clothes and a not inconsiderable portion of the bar on fire. Tremor immediately stops, drops and rolls, seeing to himself before patting the flames out on his crippled prisoner.

"Now if I pour this beer down your throat, which vial will fix it?" - Tremor, to the scared, burnt, crippled bartender.
"I don't know! Don't hurt me!" - Larus, terrified.
"Let's test this shall we?" - Tremor.
"Seriously, I don't know!" - Larus. Tremor notices that the man's eyes flick towards the red vial.
The Dwergar pours some of the beer down the man's throat, and while there is much gurgling and spluttering, Larus eventually has no choice but to swallow. He immediately bursts into tears.
"I don't want to die!" - Larus, wailing.
"Which one is it?" - Tremor.
"I don't know!" - Larus, still wailing. Once again his eyes twitch to the red one.
"Alright, let's try the green one." - Tremor.
The bartender's eyes look to almost be daring the dwarf as Tremor prepares to administer the liquid. Tremor pours three drops down the man's throat and forces him to swallow it.
"I will still die." - Larus, almost resigned to his fate.
"Yes. Now what does this one do?" - Tremor, indicating the red vial.
"Extreme... pain...." - Larus, drifting off into a deep sleep. His breathing becomes more regulated, his eyelids droop and body relaxes.
Tremor administers three drops of the red vial.
Immediately, Larus' body convulses as if being hit by nightmares. He still appears to be unconscious, but in his convulsions, his chest seems to be rising in the air and his limbs flailing everywhere.

The Dwergar packs the vials away for later use and finds the insensible Invarrian, supporting the far taller Harold without too much trouble, despite his bad state.

Tremor finds an apothecary after a short walk, and meets a kind looking old man with a severely hooked nose. The apothecary introduces himself as Melvyn and agrees to do what he can for the poisoned Invarrian. Tremor informs him of the nightshade poisoning and happily hands over four sulvers for an antidote for his friend. He then asks Melvyn to identify the mixtures in the two vials, which the old apothecary hastens to do, looking first at the red vial and then the green.

"This first one is an infusion of fyrewort root in aqua. Makes you feel as if your very veins are on fire. It's a narcotic, but it does ease external pain, making it quite useful really for war surgeons. And that is a mild pain killer." - Melvyn the apothecary.

Harold is administered the antidote and then uses the next hour resting and building up his strength.
I informed Harold that once he gets over the poisoning he will be fine, but he will have the occasional twitch for the rest of his life.
"You're old already. It won't be that long." - Ladyhawk, callous.

Tremor helps Harold to the east gate to meet the others.

They spend a fair time planning how they're going to watch the gate in preparation for this meeting. After all, no one knows who this is going to be, but everyone has their suspicions and none of them are nice.

Walking to the gate, evening is just falling. The first thing they notice is a lack of guards upon the walls, however a short figure is standing beneath the gatehouse in the open gateway. The figure walks towards the group, cloaked and hooded, shrouded in the fading light.

"I can take you to Rangard." - Meldith Ivorwyn.
"He's alive?" - Tremor.
"He's alive and waiting for you outside the town." - Meldith.
"I see he's being somewhat subtle." - Kel'Serrar.
"Indeed, that's why I'm here as you can't seem to do that yourselves." - Meldith.
That's a burn.
The Selkye woman leads the companions out the gate and out onto the road.

Around Summer Hill is wide expanses of farmland and it is towards a nearby farmhouse that Meldith leads the companions. She knocks upon the door.
"Who is it?" - Disembodied voice from inside.
"Meldith. I have company." - Meldith.
The door opens and the party troop inside the small building.
A young man in a roughspun tunic opens the door, eyes widening as he looks at the company and then invites them in. He opens a trapdoor, revealing a stairwell which leads underground, beneath the farmhouse. The party follow Meldith down and come face to face with Petyr Rangard once more, sitting at a desk.
"Well well, friends. This is all your fault." - Rangard.
"Really?" - Maebh, indignant.
"Can we all just sit down before we start laying the blame on each other? Mainly because I've just been poisoned." - Harold, resigned.
"Oh yeah sure, take a seat. Especially after you made sure I lost all mine, and my walls and my roof and my books and everything I owned." - Rangard, bitter.
"How is that our fault?" - Tremor.
"They didn't know who I was. And all of a sudden they did. And that certainly couldn't have been because you told them could it?" - Rangard, sarcastic.
"I thought you said you were a known enemy?" - Harold.
"I didn't say that. I was cursed, but that was a dead drop. They had no idea who I was, which was the only reason they never went after me publically. And then you went around and you told them who I was." - Rangard.
"No, not us." - Kel'Serrar.
"We don't even know who they are! We're new to Summer Hill. You never told us anything!" - Harold, angry in his own turn.
"All I know is that one of their agents came in and she came in and said, "I know who's working against us." I have Meldith's report on this." - Rangard.
"But who is they?" - Maebh.
"I wasn't sure. That's what you people were supposed to figure out! That's what I paid you for." - Rangard.
"Well then, tell us what these are." - Harold, handing over the letters and the Shylocke's journal.

Rangard reads the letters first.
"You know the mayor's last name is Redwyn right?" - Rangard, referring to the persona of 'R.'
"No, we didn't!" - Harold, forgetting that they did. "That's why you hired us, because were an unknown quantity."
"... Was it that ****ing hard to find out who the mayor was?" - Rangard, disdainful.
"That's it. Hand over my spellbook. He has until I flick to Fireball." - Ladyhawk.
"In my experience, people who are hired to investigate, usually do some investigation." - Rangard.
"We were busy investigating other things, like the leads you gave us." - Breanna.
"And that worked out well didn't it?" - Rangard, scathing.
There's no answer to that.

Rangard reads the second letter.
"Hmm, I hoped Carhold would not be caught up in this, but he is asking for a meeting at the Harvest Wolf, which is the establishment I asked you to check on in the first place." - Rangard.
"We did, several times." - Tremor.
"And as Meldith informs me, your first attempts were damned useless." - Rangard. "Hmm, actually I don't know if Carhold is actually in on this. He wouldn't respond to any of my messages."
"Well maybe, he lost internet connection." - LD, perfectly weighted and cutting response.
"But he's not used any code in this message at all, no attempts to hide his identity. Maybe he's not involved at all?" - Rangard.

The dispossessed merchant starts to read the black notebook but barely makes it through the first page before tossing it aside and pronouncing it utter drivel.

There is a fair bit of conversation here as they discuss whether Rangard's accusation against them are true. They quickly realise that they really only told Dhara who they were working for. And so now the Southerner is a roundly hated individual by the party, one I am sure they will be itching to get back at.

Back to the story at hand though.

"Do you know of a woman named Dhara?" - Harold.
"No." - Rangard, sitting at the desk with his fingers steepled.
"How about a Chirya?" - Kel'Serrar.
'No, haven't heard of that one either." - Rangard.
"Actually.... I have worked with her at one stage. I hired her to help with the Corpsewalker operation. But I have not seen her since." - Meldith.
"Ah. Well, Kel'Serrar, could you please explain to our friends here why she came to Summer Hill?" - Harold.
"Mainly to accelerate the spread of war in the area. And you know she hates humanity?" - Kel'Serrar.
"Yeah, I have to say that became apparent after seeing some of the malicious pleasure she was taking in inflicting the virus on those bandits." - Meldith.
"Well the way I see it, we have two options here Rangard. We can either sit here bitching about how you have no home, or we can set about the arduous task of actually fixing the problems we have made. Your choice. Or we could just pack up and leave, because I am homesick and just want to get out of this place." - Harold.
"You want to go home, go ahead but I won't be paying your way." - Rangard.
"Right, fine." - Harold, standing up and walking out.

The Invarrian walks to Summer Hill's stable and approaches the stable-hand as the young man sees to the horses.
"What can I do for you my lord?" - Stable-hand.
"I need a horse. How much?" - Harold, in no mood to bandy useless words.
"One hundred sulvers." - Stable-hand.
"One crown for the horse and another for the tack?" - Harold.
"Brilliant, the horse is yours." - Stable-hand.

Tremor passes on what he overheard in the Harvest Wolf.
"If what you've told me about Brewer and Shylocke is true, both of them must die. And as far as the legion is concerned, that's Elspeth's Legion. If they get a clear run at this town, we're screwed." - Rangard.

The party decide that they need to get an early night and head back to the town.

Harold is walking his horse out to the north of Summer Hill when he hears Maebh's voice on the wind asking him to wait. He does so an soon enough, the party has come to farewell him.
"We do have a lead on Brewer and Shylocke. We're hoping to destroy the cult tomorrow." - Maebh, trying to get Harold to stay.
"I must go, but I will be back. You will see me again" - Harold.
And the Invarrian walks his horse down the road, away from the other four companions before disappearing into the gloom.

And we left it there.

The Wrap-Up:
It's so goddamn late here and I am bloody tired so I'll make this short. We will be playing 1.9 tomorrow evening, so I hope I can stay awake for it. We're right on the cusp now.

Stay tuned and I hope you enjoyed. :smallbiggrin:

2013-08-01, 04:48 PM
I take it the "M" of "

Meet me at the eastern gate tonight,
Bring the rest of the party,


is Melisandre?

2013-08-01, 06:34 PM
No it was Meldith, but the group certainly suggested it might have been Dhara. I think Dev in particular wanted her to explain herself. :P

Amidus Drexel
2013-08-01, 07:28 PM

On the other hand, it did end up reminding me of a joke. To be warned, children should probably look away now, and it's probably only going to make sense with those familiar with Warhammer.

How many Slaaneshi cultists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
At least two of course, but how they got in there is anyone's guess.

Crass, I know, but everyone thought it was funny on the night.

Heheheheheh, this is hilarious. :smallbiggrin:

Looking forward to more, as always.

2013-09-10, 12:49 PM
I am sorry that it appears that this has been neglected. :smallfrown:

I am however, pleased to inform you that this is not the case. :smallsmile:

We did play Session 1.9 a little while ago and I intend to have it available for reading pretty soon. We also wish to play what will likely be the last session of the story arc on the 20th, a longer break than we would have liked, but there's been several commitments which had to be honoured by various parties. :smallwink:

Rest assured though, this has not been forgotten, nor has it died. I will post the write-up soon.

Cheers, :smallbiggrin:

2013-09-10, 03:16 PM
Glad seeing this back! And I somehow missed last month's update!

2013-09-20, 09:51 AM
Well it was played and things happened. :smallsmile:

Stay tuned, for next time we shall see explosions, doors being hacked apart and a lot of death.


2013-09-20, 10:23 AM
Well it was played and things happened. :smallsmile:

Stay tuned, for next time we shall see explosions, doors being hacked apart and a lot of death.

Cheers,I hope none of it afflicted Harold or Tremor or anyone fuzzy!

2013-09-21, 06:48 AM
I can assure you that no one fuzzy was harmed in the event. From memory at least. Once again, Breanna outdid herself with acrobatics, scouting and exceptional leg-hacking ability. :smallwink:

In fact, in what turned out to be the culminating chapter in the first story arc, everyone got at least one Crowning Moment of Awesome. Some people got more than one, but you can all read about that soon. :smallbiggrin:

2013-10-12, 11:12 AM
Okay, now I'm way behind on write-ups but we played again on Friday night. It was a good session which almost set up the next arc. :smalltongue:

Anyway, there are now three write-ups coming for you all to look forward to. My university stuff's almost done for the year so I should have some time coming up to work on it all. :smallsmile:

The first of the three is also nearly done. :smallwink:


To whet your appetite, here's something which we played that was separate from 1.9. Enjoy! :smallbiggrin:

Session 2.5 (a): Harold's Midnight Ride

It is early evening and Harold Oakenshield is riding along the road. His plan is to find the old marcwolf cave the group used as a campsite, hoping that he might find Dhara at some stage. He wants to confront her, something he didn't want to confide in the rest of the party due to what he perceives as their murder-happy tendencies. He wanted to talk to the woman, preferably without killing her.

Failed Perception Check.

One moment, he is riding along the dark, rough road by himself. The next, there is a woman riding beside him.

"Whatever you're trying to do, it's too late Oakeshield." - Dhara.
"I'm guessing you work for the queen of Elspeth." - Harold.
"Indirectly, yes." - Dhara, with a shrug.
"You also work for Shylocke then?" - Harold.
"Well, I don't work for Shylocke. Let's just say we share some motives." - Dhara, thoughtful.
"You say you share motives. What motives would those be?" - Harold, fishing.
"The queen wants us to succeed. Shylocke is an important tool in allowing this to happen." - Dhara.
"As a tool, he can be cast aside." - Harold, pondering, more to himself really.
"Absolutely. As we all are." - Dhara, quietly.
"So tell me, who do you work for?" - Harold.
"Ah come now Oakenshield, I can't tell you that." - Dhara with a slight chuckle.
More silence.
"Are you planning to kill me at the end of this conversation?" - Harold, resigned.
"No. I'm planning on having Chirya kill you at the end of this conversation." - Dhara, who then nods to someone standing in the shadow if the nearby treeline.

Three arrows fly out of the darkness, two flashing over his head and one skating off the Invarrian's armoured shoulder. There comes a muffled curse from the darkness but Harold is too busy to notice.

Harold turns his horse and gallops flat out towards the town once more, several arrows thudding into his back as he rides. It isn't until he is in sight of the gatehouse that Harold ceases his horse's exertions, pulling the steed back to a walk.

The Invarrian finds the farmhouse he left in such a rage earlier in the evening, dismounts and knocks on the door. The exasperated young farmer who owns the place opens the door a crack and looks out, recognising the somewhat war torn Invarrian.

"Oh you've returned?" - Farmer.
"Yes. I'm going to have to talk to Meldith again. I just want to kill the people who've been shooting me." - Harold.
"She's not in at the moment." - Farmer, looking like a night-time visit from an irritable bloody Invarrian is just about the last thing he wants to deal with.
"Where is she then?" - Harold.
"No idea. Like she'd tell me?" - Farmer, fear giving way to irritability.
"Right, fair enough. Farewell then." - Harold, swiftly losing interest and walking away.

Harold realises that he is going to have a big day tomorrow. Cults to infiltrate, people to kill and the like. As such he decides that his best bet is to enter the town and find somewhere to stay. He stables his horse and continues to the gates on foot.

As he does so, he is stopped by a guardsman at the gate holding a torch.
"Don't cause any trouble, alright? It's late at night and I want ye' to go straight to bed. I'm only letting ye' in at all because ye' look a right mess and I recognise ye' from when ye' helped fight the fire in the Merchant District." - Guardsman, with a friendly pat on the shoulder. His other hand never leaves his sword hilt, so he's still wary of the Invarrian.
"Actually, I have a quick question if you wouldn't mind. Has the captain of the guard changed recently?" - Harold, thinking about his theory regarding the 'Lord of the Gate' mentioned in Shylocke's notebook.
"No, Royan Settwatch is still the captain of the Summer Hill guard." - Guardsman, amiably.
"How long has he been the captain?" - Harold, fishing.
"Ah, since before I came to the town, I'm from Haystead In The North originally. At least twelve years he's been in charge." - Guardsman.
"I see. Thank you. Have a nice night." - Harold.
"I'm a guardsman, there's no such thing. But no problem friend, but go straight to bed now, ye' hear?" - Guardsman, concerned as he notices that the Invarrian is swaying a bit as he walks.

Harold makes his way to a tavern, taking his very tired marcwolf pup with him. The common room is deserted in the Iron Moon and there is no one behind the bar. He sees that there is no one there and heads back out to the stable to grab his tent. He goes to the wagon and sets up his tent near Breanna's before heading off to sleep, his marcwolf pup crawling out of his backpack and huddling up against his neck.

And we left it there... :smallsmile:

The Wrap-Up:
This one was interesting. I'd given the group instructions to send me what they were going to do the night before their sting operation. Dev doesn't like typing, so he asked me if he could play it out as a mini solo-session, to which I agreed.

Other than Dev, only Sins really gave me any information on what he was going to do, stuff you will likely discover in future write-ups.


2013-10-13, 10:19 AM
Session 2.6: The Coming Metaphorical Storm

This is how I opened the session:
"Once again welcome to Session One-Point-Whatever-The-Hell-This-Is, and yes you lost The Game. I'm getting in before you bastards."

It is early morning on a cloudy day. It is rather miserable and is only going to get worse as the day wears on. Everyone had rather restless nights, whether just through bad dreams in the case of a few of them, or being shot at in Harold's case.

The plan-
"Crap, we had a plan?" - Dev, probably surprised.
Was to use today to strike against Brewer and Shylocke.
"Because that worked so brilliantly for us last time." - Dev, probably sarcastic.
Now the last any of you saw of your "illustrious" leader-
"Since when have I been illustrious?" - Dev.
Will you shut up! The last you saw of your illustrious leader, he rode off into the sunset, saying he'll be back.
"No he rode off into the sunset saying, "F*** you." - Wings.
"No, I said I'd be back!" - Dev.
"What Wings said is what we chose to remember." - Sins with a laugh.

"We need to come up with a plan." - Ladyhawk.
"We need to find Shylocke and Brewer." - Sins.
"And then take them down." - LD.

They got a little sidetracked again where Ladyhawk accused some of the other players of not contributing to the investigation. Most of her calls were fair, although she was a bit off criticising Sins.
"And you lurk up in your tree, doing...." - Ladyhawk, thinking of a diplomatic way to say, 'nothing.'
"Patching up all the wounds you guys inflict on each other." - Sins, cutting.
"Ha, what wounds?" - Ladyhawk.
"What wounds asks the fireball thrower?"

I had to leave the room for a short period and Dev tried to convince Sins to look up some form of anime pornography on the computer.
"What!? Why would people even like that?" - Ladyhawk.
"Because it's funny."- Dev, not really thinking his answer through.
"WHAT!?"- Practically everyone.
"Sorry PG, I've failed my Sanity Check. I'll just be quietly burbling in the corner if you need me." - Sins, sadly.

The conversation then turned to Harry Potter, somehow.... Ladyhawk suggested that the time-turners could have resolved everything. Dev countered with a "fact" that all time-turners were destroyed. Which begs the question, why not then create a time-turner and then use it to go back in time before the time-turners were destroyed. Dev reckons it would take time to create one, but it's not as if you need time if you have a device that exists solely to make sure you have time.

Ladyhawk asks why all these capable wizards would not go back in time and kill Tom Riddle before he got powerful. Wings tries to get into the conversation, but is informed that to do so would be adding to the mess.
"But the box fixed itself..." - Wings, seemingly troubled.
Cue hilarity.
"The time-turner cabinet, that was destroyed, it, fixed itself in the book." - Wings. I think he may have been a bit confused here.
"Which book? Cause I'll check this when I get home." - Dev.
"B.... A, B.... Yeah, B." - Wings, now just really confused.
"Ah!I meant the movie, you know part A and part B. Yeah, the last book." - Wings, laughing.
"PG, are you crying?" - Ladyhawk, concerned.
"I just, I... Don't.... I'm failing MY Sanity Check!"
"I know it was hit by a spell, it was destroyed and then it fixed itself." - Wings.
"Not only do I not.... Yeah I don't know. I got lost at Book A and Book B."
"Plus it's Part 1 and Part 2 isn't it?" - Dev.
"Yeah but that's too may numbers. Way too confusing. Anyway, now that we've totally destroyed eleven minutes."
"Destroyed? Don't you mean, enjoyed?" - Dev.
"Shoot him now." - Ladyhawk.

The small Leathe wakes up in the morning and stretches, patting her marcwolf's head fondly before putting on her belt and getting ready to face the rain to get to the Iron Moon Inn, where she's going to meet the others. As usual, she has slept later than she meant to, but the others are used to her tardiness by now. She is about to head out when she notices the note on the floor of her tent.

The Danann have yet to be fed and know where you are.
Sleep well,

She notices that the paper seems to be the same as that used by Tremor in his work, swiftly realises that this is either Kel'Serrar or Maebh messing with her, laughs and walks out.
"I have a feeling I am going to die today. Whether that's die and get eaten or get eaten and then..." - LD, smiling as she realises what she's saying.
"And then die? No, that doesn't seem like a logical cause and effect at all!" - Wings.

Earlier that morning
Tremor Ironfist awakens in the morning to discover that his paper and writing implements have mysteriously vanished.
"You bastard, you stole my paper!" - Wings to Sins, who was cracking up.

Maebh sends a message out to the whole party, including Harold, hoping that her message might encourage him to come back.

Meet me at the fountain. - Maebh's Whisper.

Everyone meets up, braving the rain. To their surprise, Harold arrives too. Also to their surprise, he's dealing with some arrow injuries. He's bandaged, wet and mangled.

It was fairly evident that Ladyhawk had watched Harry Potter recently after informing us that she viewed the Whisper as sounding like Parseltongue and that she wanted to check the fountain for something similar to the Chamber of Secrets. To encourage her investigative nature, I rewarded this.

Maebh finds that there is a loose brick at the base of the fountain, covering a cavity. Inside the cavity is a small box. It is locked.

"Break it open!" - Wings.
"Can I break it open?" - Ladyhawk.
"Wait, cause I'm an Engineer, can I pick locks?" - Wings.
"She can." - Pointing at LD.
"Yeah but I might break my wrist. I need insurance!" - LD.
There is a fair bit of laughter before....
"Okay, I've taken Lockpicking and I have a +10% on it. Dexterity right?" - LD.
And so the youngest player demonstrated a greater understanding of the system than most of the others. And I was very proud.

Breanna gets the box open with her dagger and inside is twenty sulvers. She and Maebh dole them out, four each, including Harold.

"Now we need a plan. I think we need to, despite all my better judgement, split the party. Now some of us should go to Shylocke's house and see if we can find anything more. If we can't burn it down and try to draw him out into the open where we can kill him." - Kel'Serrar.
"Kill him? Really?" - Tremor, questioning.
"I call for an immediate change in leadership. " - Dev.
"I also think some of us should go to the mayor. If he's in not in on it, it's going to be really hard to slip this by him without his consent. Luckily we have some willing volunteers just here." - Kel'Serrar, referring to Tremor, Harold and Breanna.
"Wait a minute, I didn't volunteer for-" - Tremor, indignant.
"Yes you did. You did if I say you did." - Maebh, acting as Kel'Serrar's lieutenant in his hostile takeover as captain of this merry band.
"You have been volun-told. Do as I say." - Kel'Serrar, willing to brook no argument.

Having determined that Kel'Serrar and Maebh are heading to Shylocke's house and that Breanna, Harold and Tremor are going to the Grand Hall to meet with the mayor, they go their separate ways.

Harold, Tremor & Breanna
Having climbed the stairs to the entrance to the Grand Hall, the trio is stopped by the Captain, Royan Settwatch.
“Wow, what happened to you?” – Royan Settwatch to Harold.
“Let’s just say a bad run in with a Danann with a bow.” – Harold, putting it somewhat lightly.
“Haha, right.” – Royan, deciding it’s better not to enquire too deeply. “So, what can I do for you friend?”
“Is the mayor busy today?” – Harold, trying to make an appointment and failing.
“I can’t tell you of the mayor’s schedule today, for I do not know. He wouldn’t tell me anyway. But I can organise an appointment with him and he can work it out.” – Royan.

“So what are you three doing?”
“Sneak around him and kill him.” – Wings.
“Hey, come on! I like this guy!” – Dev.
“Oh okay, we do it the polite way. Knock him out!” – Wings, evilly.
“Since when has knocking people out been the polite way?” – Dev.
“Since he smashed through that door and the people behind it.” - LD.
"I can actually see now why people find this entertaining to read." - Ladyhawk.
"Yeah, but now we've wasted an hour." - LD.
"WASTED!?" - Dev, scandalised.
"Yeah, it's already half-past eight."
"So yep, wasted." - LD.
"Anyway, let's see how I can use the environment to my advantage. What can I throw him into?" - Wings, evilly.
"No, I'll just make an appointment." - Dev.

Would you believe that we got sidetracked about violently dealing with telemarketers, how feminism is "stupid," tapping empty glasses with a pencil to make music and how pushing someone down a flight of stairs does not constitute murder as there is no guarantee they will be alive when they hit the bottom?

No I wouldn't believe it either if it didn't happen to me. Would you also believe that this sidetrack actually took up over half an hour after it was already pointed out how much time had been wasted?

Good. It's not just me.

"If he's busy we'll come back later." - Harold, turning to go.
"If you say so, but I doubt he's that busy." - Royan, shrugging.
"Actually, do you think you could slip us in somewhere?" - Tremor.
"I can find out for you." - Royan, beckoning up a page.

He sends the page off with some quiet instructions and then continues to talk to the three of them, unconsciously steering clear of the somewhat off-putting Leathe. They inform him that they want to see the mayor to come to an arrangement, but remain pretty ambiguous on what that arrangement actually is.

Kel'Serrar & Maebh
The two of them head to Shylocke's abandoned house. The windows are boarded up and there is a bar nailed across the dwarf-shaped hole in the wall. They slip under the bar blocking the doorway. The place is unlit, there are sparse cobwebs in the ceilings and there are bloodstains on the walls, though the corpse has been removed.

Maebh goes to the library and opens up the secret room using the torch bracketed into the wall. In the secret room, the eye is drawn first to the large, unornamented round wooden table in the centre of the room which is surrounded by ten chairs. Following that, they notice again that the walls are lined with bookshelves. Apart from the table, chairs, books and a small writing desk over in the far corner, the room is practically empty. It also appears that the room has not been touched since they were last here.

Maebh calls up a small flame in her right hand to give the two of them some light and they both head over to the writing desk. There is a quill, some blank sheets of parchment and a dry inkwell. Maebh starts sifting through the parchment, trying to see if there are any magical traces left upon them, but she is disappointed to find there are none. Kel'Serrar walks to the round table in the centre of the room and studies it. At first it appears to be unornamented, but after some careful looking he deduces that there is a thin ring carved into the upper surface. The carving appears to be set no more than an inch from the edge of the table and seems to be a perfect circle. Beyond that, there seems to be nothing special about the table, save that it seems to be bolted onto the stone floor. Maebh looks very closely at the table and blue light passes over her eyes. To her magical vision she can sense that the table has been used in a daemonic binding ritual in the past. The groove possibly held blood during this ritual.

The group considers setting it off or destroying it, starting out with Dev telling Wings to put an axe into the groove despite the fact that neither Harold nor Tremor are in the immediate vicinity.
"Hey, I want you to go meddle in the affairs which you know nothing about and I know nothing about either."

Eventually they come to a decision...

"Maebh, you might want to back away in case this turns out to be more stupid than even I think this is..." - Kel'Serrar, ominously drawing his belt knife.
Maebh immediately turns and walks out of the room.
The ranger on the other hand takes his knife and plunges it into the surface of the table, over and over again, concentrating mainly on the carved groove. The table.....
Does nothing.

It has not reacted in any way, shape or form. Kel'Serrar sheathes his knife with something approaching disappointment. Maebh walks back in and presses her fire-filled hand onto the surface of the table. The light in the room diminishes and the mage finds herself having to feed more power into the spell to keep the flames alight as she smothers the flame into the table. The wood begins to heat up and she can feel that it would not take too long to actually set it on fire. But there is not a magical reaction.

Breanna, Harold & Tremor
The page runs back out and addresses the group directly.
"The mayor will not see you right now." - Page.
"I will make sure that Mayor Redwyn knows you want to see him, but for now there is nothing I can do." - Royan Settwatch, apologetic.
"I have very important news. There is a legion of Elspeth on the way." - Tremor, playing a trump card.
"We know this because we saw them last time we were out of the city." - Harold, lying through his teeth.
He takes a Deception Check here, with a small bonus as Settwatch is favourably inclined towards the Invarrian. He succeeds easily.
"That is worrying. Why didn't you say so earlier? I must tell the mayor immediately." - Royan, who runs inside himself, not deigning to use the page this time. This news is far too important for that. He runs up to the door, opens it and then turns back to the three companions.
"Are you coming or not?" - Royan, holding the door open. After all, as far as he is concerned, they've seen this legion, so they're going to have to give the information.
The three of them sprint up the stairs. They have their audience.

Kel'Serrar & Maebh
Kel'Serrar runs upstairs, realising that they are on a time limit. After all, they have no idea how much time they have before the cult is enacting their plan. The ranger searches Shylocke's room, completely ransacking it. It has not been disturbed since last they were here and Harold's crap has therefore become putrid. The bed has been literally torn apart. Sadly, Kel'Serrar finds nothing immediately incriminating, but the search was a long shot anyway.

Maebh meanwhile picks a book at random, sits on the writing desk and closes her eyes, willing herself to really focus on it.
Successful Channelling Check, although only thanks to the bonus granted by the Focus Stone.
Maebh's eyes begin to glow, the pale blue light leaking from under her closed eyelids. A small tempest builds up around her, rippling her hair and garments, yet not disrupting anything else in the room. She feels the power welling up within her until, like a glass filled to overflowing with water, she loses her grasp on the magic. With a keening shriek, the light gutters out and her eyes snap open. She has a splitting headache, but the book lies open upon her lap. She has broken the lock. She finds that the book seems to be a list of rituals, each of them on the topic of binding daemonic entities.

Wings asks if Maebh could write down these rituals to give to Breanna and it is pointed out that Kel'Serrar grabbed the parchment over in the corner and the inkwell was dry anyway. The conversation then turned to how Kel'Serrar had stolen Tremor's writing implements the night before. Of course this means that the players had to start using their own writing implements as chopsticks. I include all this simply because it amused me.
"He who can catch fly with chopsticks can do anything." - Dev.
"He who walk through airport sliding door sideways is going to Bangkok."
Sometimes I make myself laugh. Other times, I drive myself to tears.
Back to the game.

Maebh studies the book, flipping through it and reading the forward. She quickly comes to the conclusion that the book is a record of successful daemonic bindings. The mage closes the book and tosses it into her backpack and heads out of the room, looking for Kel'Serrar. She approaches the threshold warily, but the fire does not block her path. It seems that in breaking the lock, the book no longer sets off the spell.

Kel'Serrar meanwhile continues his searching of the room, turns around and comes face to face with the Trickster, who is lounging against a wall, smiling sardonically.
"Hello. Welcome my friend." - The Trickster.
"You're quiet." - Kel'Serrar.
"Thank you. I pride myself on my ability to approach unseen and unheard." - The Trickster.
"I hope I'm not destroying anything too important here." - Kel'Serrar, somewhat sarcastically.
"Of course not. Feel free. I do not need this place anymore." - The Trickster.
"You sure?" - Kel'Serrar.
"Absolutely." - The Trickster.
The confirmation that the Trickster is Shylocke, or at least that's how the players took it.
"I'm going to hazard a guess and say that if I shoot you, the arrow will just go straight through you as you're not really here, are you?" - Kel'Serrar.
"And you are correct. You really are quite astute aren't you?" - The Trickster with a small nod and a somewhat gracious smile.
"If I were, I probably would not have joined this venture in the first place." - Kel'Serrar.
"That is probably true, sadly. You may just have enough time to leave this place without any repercussions falling upon you." - The Trickster.
"Interesting. How long will you give me?" - Kel'Serrar.
"Two minutes." - The Trickster.
"And you won't mind if I 'accidentally' break a few doors on the way out?" - Kel'Serrar.
"Not in the slightest." - The Trickster, still smiling sardonically.
"Then I will take my leave." - Kel'Serrar, who strides out of the room.

Maebh leaves the hidden room to see Kel'Serrar walking swiftly down the stairs and towards the front door.
"I wouldn't just stand there if I were you." - Kel'Serrar.
"I heard voices." - Maebh, still standing in place.
"We're not alone in here. If you would like an interesting conversation, head into the top room, but I wouldn't be here in a few minutes if I were you." - Kel'Serrar.
Maebh runs upstairs but finds it empty. She looks around, but finds nothing. Kel'Serrar meanwhile is waiting for her outside on the road. She trails a flaming hand over anything flammable, and exits the now burning building.

"We didn't start the fire..." - Dev, singing the Billy Joel song.
"Except this fire, we did."

And with that note, I leave it here. But just for now, I'll be back shortly. :smallwink:

And here it is, the next part. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16209210&postcount=86) :smallwink:

2013-10-13, 10:22 AM
I hope you all believed me. :smallsmile: And now back to it.

Breanna, Tremor & Harold
Having been led to the mayor's office by Settwatch, the companions find themselves facing a rather heavy-set middle-aged man in opulent dark red clothing. He is not obese, but relatively portly, with shoulder length dark hair and a straggly beard.

Borous Redwyn looks up from his desk from where he is writing something.
"What is it Settwatch?" - Mayor Redwyn, covering whatever he was writing with another sheet of parchment.
"We have a report that Elspeth is moving on the town. These three here have seen the legion." - Royan Settwatch, wasting no time and indicating all three companions.
Redwyn's eyes widen slightly and he frowns at the suggestion.
"Can you tell the mayor what you saw?" - Royan, turning to Harold.
"Okay, well we saw a military camp, just a short distance from the town with Elspeth flags flying above." - Harold.
"I don't believe that you're telling the whole truth there. I can't see why they would be coming for us. There's no danger." - Redwyn, shaking his head and frowning.
"I am just relaying what I have seen." - Harold, holding his hands out and appearing apologetic.
"Would you be an agent from another kingdom, trying to foster ill will between Summer Hill and Elspeth?" - Redwyn, accusingly.
"I'm an Invarrian, from the Isle of Varr! Why would I..." - Harold, flustered.
"Why would we want to **** with your relationships? We could sit here all day at this rate." - Tremor, taking up where Harold left off.

Breanna reasons to herself that Redwyn is trying to discredit them in front of Settwatch, who everyone realises is the one with the real power here. If Redwyn wants them out of the way, he needs to convince Settwatch that they are in the wrong.

Thankfully, Harold is pretty lucky and Settwatch seems to like him. In addition to that the captain is a relatively intelligent man and can see that the companions have a point. Why would an Invarrian care about this?

"Well if anything, surely we could take the precaution of putting the guard on high alert? If we're wrong , we're wrong. But if we're right, then everyone remains safe." - Harold.
"I don't see why we should put the guard on alert today. After all today is not a nice day, look at it. It's raining outside. The guardsmen have lives beyond being guards. They are militia. If we draw them all up today and then nothing happens, that will have been a complete waste of their time, not to mention the losses in profits." - Redwyn.
"But if it does happen today, then Summer Hill would be unprotected and vulnerable." - Breanna.
"It will not happen today. The Legions of Elspeth are not marching on Summer Hill and will not be doing so in the foreseeable future." - Redwyn, getting somewhat angry.
"How do you know, Mr Know-It-All?" - Breanna, under her breath.
"If it does happen today and the guard are not sent out, Summer Hill will be destroyed." - Harold.
"As I said to the tree girl, they will not be attacking Summer Hill in the foreseeable future. Now I am a busy man. Stop wasting my time with this." - Redwyn.
"Are you willing to bet your life on this?" - Tremor.
"Absolutely. Settwatch, please escort these people out of my office immediately." - Redwyn.
Royan Settwatch opens the doors and makes a gesture towards the companions to leave. They do so.

"Captain, would you mind speaking with me outside?" - Harold, to Royan.
"Absolutely Sir Oakenshield, I would be glad to." - Royan, holding the door open as they troop out.
Tremor purposely trips on the doorway and stumbles forward, critically drawing Settwatch's attention. As the captain helps the gruffly apologetic Dwergar to his feet once more, Breanna ducks into the corner and quickly casts Shadowskin, shrouding herself in darkness and making herself as inconspicuous as possible, provided she sticks to the shadows. Before Settwatch closes the door, the Leathe ducks inside, silently rolling across the floor and into the corner of the room. The door closes behind her, locking her in the room with her target, alone save for her knives.

"Kill him, kill him, kill him, kill him!" - Wings and Dev, chanting their encouragement. It got near to the chanting in the Fellowship of the Ring when they are running away from the Balrog.

"So, Sir Oakenshield, what was it you wished to speak to me about?" - Royan, inquisitive.
"You and I are both men of action and we both know that politicians can be slow to action. In a time of crisis, precautionary measures are always wise. Perhaps not drawing up the militia, but at least send some scouts. I would prefer to be proven wrong than be proven right by our deaths." - Harold, putting his hand on Settwatch's shoulder.
"Sending out scouts would be very easy to do. And while the mayor did not seem to be too concerned about the situation, rest assured I am. I will send out scouts forthwith." - Royan, nodding his thanks.

Maebh & Kel'Serrar
Having exited the building they both notice a figure lounging against the wall of the house opposite Shylocke's dwelling.
"Oh, you came out a lot quicker than I expected." - The Trickster, smiling.
"I reach my deadlines." - Kel'Serrar.
"I see we have met again." - The Trickster, to Maebh.
The mage doesn't deign to respond. For now she lets the thin trail of smoke wafting out of the house speak for her.
"So, what have you found?" - The Trickster, for all the world seeming helpful and smiling somewhat sardonically.
"Perhaps you would be better suited to tell us than the other way around. After all, you know the house better, don't you?" - Kel'Serrar, taking a stab at the Trickster's identity.
"Well played. You know who I am?" - The Trickster, chuckling quietly.
"It's obvious. Evident really." - Kel'Serrar.
"I see. Evident? No matter. It's true, I did used to live here. It was nice." - The Trickster, quietly, almost reminiscent. He smiles, in a somewhat kindly manner. "I told you that you could leave the house without repercussions. I am extending that to the town as a whole. Please, leave now and be happy. If you stay, I cannot guarantee your safety."
"Why do you want us to leave? What will we be in danger from?" - Maebh.
"You will likely not survive the coming storm." - The Trickster, only answering Maebh's second question, a fact that seemed lost on the pair of Danann.
"Too bad now that my curiosity has been roused." - Kel'Serrar with a shrug.
"I tell you now, take this offer and you will survive the storm." - The Trickster, still looking like he only wants to help.
"Is it a proper storm or one you're creating?" - Maebh, inquisitive.
The Trickster just stares at her.
"Why, what's in the storm?" - Maebh, interrogating.
"Thunder and lightning, like all storms." - The Trickster, ambiguous.
"I can do that. I thought you were supposed to be impressive. Is there going to be a tornado too? How do you know this? Can you control the weather?" - Maebh, dismissive.
It is evident that this incessant questioning is annoying him, cracking through the normally calm exterior.
"It was a metaphor!" - The Trickster.
"Then I ask again, what's going to happen? If there's no thunder and lightning then it is not a real storm." - Maebh, seeing that in his anger he might make an uncharacteristic mistake.
"It is not a literal storm-" - The Trickster, cut off.
"Then what is it?" - Maebh.
"It is a metaphorical storm." - The Trickster, with some heat.

"Obviously I'm trying to get under his skin. Is it working?" - Ladyhawk.
"It's working on me." - Sins.

The Trickster pointedly turns away from the mage and looks steadily at Kel'Serrar. Not to be cast aside like this, Maebh steps across in front of the ranger with a sardonic smile. The Trickster shakes his head in amusement.
"Anyway, I'm far too interested in your plans to just leave now." - Kel'Serrar.
"The plans are not mine, but my master's." - The Trickster.
"Ooh, who's your master?" - Maebh, still trying to get the Trickster to look at her.
She is ignored.
"That just makes it all the more interesting I'm afraid." - Kel'Serrar, falsely apologetic.
"This is the last chance you will receive. Leave now." - The Trickster, losing patience.
"Sorry, I've survived worse I'm sure." - Kel'Serrar.
"I'm not leaving either." - Maebh.
"I'm saddened by this. We may not meet again. For what it's worth, being as we are on separate sides of this conflict, I wish the best of luck." - The Trickster with a sad nod.
"I'd wish you the same luck but judging by how you have performed so far, I do not think you would need it." - Kel'Serrar.
"If we do meet again, I may have no choice but to kill you. I am very grateful to my master, and he wants you dead. Believe this, I am not a bad man. I just wanted the power to make a difference in the world and sadly this storm is how I must repay my debts to a great man. Farewell." - The Trickster.
He nods and disappears.

Redwyn has begun to write his note again now that his visitors have left him. Intrigued, Breanna creeps over behind him to read over his shoulder.

Redwyn's note.

I have been told you need help.


She is standing behind him, preparing to strike when a side door opens and in walks a woman. She is tall and her features have a somewhat familiar cast to them. The Leathe realises that this Southland woman has very similar facial features to Dhara, the woman they encountered out on the road. Save her clearly greater age, they could be sisters, though this woman is at least twenty years older than the woman in red they captured before.
"Borous, get up!" - Woman, commanding.
The mayor immediately jumps to his feet, almost standing at attention.
"Who were those people who were here?" - Woman.
"Uh, I think they were working against the cult." - Borous Redwyn, clearly about to speak some more.
This is before she delivers a thunderous backhand across his face.
"You idiot! What did you tell them?" - Woman.
"Nothing! They knew about the Legion. I tried to get them to back off." - Borous, whining.
She slaps him again, a solid forehand this time.
"Did you give away that they are coming?" - Woman.
"No, I denied their very existence. I made sure that they had no reason to be suspicious at all." - Borous.
If he hoped that by doing so he would make her happy, he is sadly mistaken. She slaps him again.
"You idiot! How vehement were you in denying their presence?" - Woman.
"As much as I needed to be! They were utterly convinced they were coming. The Invarrian even claimed he had seen them on their way!" - Borous.
"You idiot!" - Woman, slapping him again. "How can he have? They haven't even moved out of the Eaglefort yet!"

Redwyn looks absolutely devastated, almost on the verge of tears. Over the years of their marriage, the Lady Sarya Silverwood has terrorised her husband, to the point that at any time he feels he may have failed her, he immediately worries that she will bash the living **** out of him. Because she does so on a regular basis. She wears many heavy rings, and each crashing strike she has inflicted has broken the skin. The mayor is bleeding from various lacerations to his face and is going to be sporting some serious bruising.

"I will have to get word to the Queen immediately. You disgust me." - Sarya Silverwood, with one last backhand, this one almost half-hearted before walking out the main door.
Redwyn sits down behind his desk once more, wipes the blood off his cheeks with a handkerchief and then breaks down into tears.
Breanna resolves that he has felt enough pain today and slides the knife into the side of his throat and withdraws it. She then takes the various bits of parchment from the desk and stuffs them in her belt pouch, thinking to save them for reading or even further use later. There might be clues to be read and if not, at least she can use them to draw her adventures for later publication.

This is a blatant hint to LD to get off her ass and draw/paint me pictures.

In the drawers of the desk the Leathe finds many letters and a small pouch of coin, all of which she pockets. Following that, she then makes her way out the side door after the now deceased mayor's wife.

Tremor & Harold
The Dwergar and Invarrian follow Captain Settwatch outside and pick up their weapons.
"Be ready for a fight. It's coming." - Tremor, while shoving his axe through his belt.
"From where?" - Settwatch, looking troubled.
"It's just a feeling. But it will happen." - Tremor, grim.
"Hey, where's the Leathe?" - Settwatch, looking around.
"I don't know. She must have already left, her weapons aren't here." - Harold, hoping that Settwatch wouldn't have noticed that she never left her daggers outside at all.
The captain looks troubled but he trusts the Invarrian and lets it slide.

Two scouts have been sent out to find this Legion. Off the record of course.

Kel'Serrar & Maebh
Kel'Serrar begins scanning the town to find a good defensible position to hold when the Legion arrives. Maebh thinks about attempting to find Dhara, but comes to the conclusion that she's probably made herself far too difficult to find and they are on a time limit.

Kel'Serrar figures the Grand Hall is probably the most defensible spot, and decides that his best bet would be to go check it out. He arrives with Maebh in tow to find Tremor and Harold just about to leave.

The Leathe continues to follow the late mayor's wife through the Grand Hall, remaining completely concealed as she does so, past the occasional servant. Eventually the woman leaves the building and goes outside, walking down the street. Unfortunately, inside the building, it's hard to notice the shadow-swathed assassin, but outside she would be noticeable on the streets. On the other hand, if she can just get onto the rooftops, she should be free. Tearing down the street, hell for leather, she takes a running jump and clambers up the wall, with only a little difficulty, hoping that anyone who noticed her wouldn't raise a cry.

Once up on the rooves she can move swiftly and with little fear of discovery. She sees that the mayor's wife has been joined by a squad of ten men in leather jerkins with black surcoats, bearing round shields adorned with the sigil of a single white arrow. They walk out the main gate, enter the stables and mount up. All the while, the diminutive figure of a shade-cloaked Leathe watches them from atop Summer Hill's outer wall.

The mounted party heads down the eastern road. Breanna slides down the outer wall and follows them on foot, though soon realises that she's going to lag too far behind and her erstwhile companions will likely need her today. She quickly turns back and walks back through the gate, nodding companionably at the guards.

Harold, Tremor, Kel'Serrar & Maebh
They wait while Tremor uses the guardsmen's chamber pot and once he comes out, they discuss with him what their next plan is while walking back down the stairs and into the city proper.

It is almost midday when the companions stop at the wagon, assuming that Breanna will go there to rendezvous with them. While doing so Kel'Serrar informs the rest of his and Maebh's run in with the Trickster and Harold informs those two of how the mayor is most likely connected to the cult in some way. And then how he sent the Leathe in to eliminate him.

They discuss the Trickster's identity, and generally they figure Shylocke would be the Trickster. Maebh also sends a Whisper to Breanna.
"I have a book for you. We're at the wagon." Maebh's Whispering Wind, in a taunting manner.

It is only a short time before Breanna reappears at the cart. She stops to fondle her marcwolf pup before informing the rest of the group of her actions.
"The mayor, Redwyn is now dead and his wife's a bitch. He's not Redwyn now, he's Deadwyn. The wife looked eerily similar to Dhara." - Breanna, trying to get through it all as quickly as possible.
"Oh, speaking of Dhara, she nearly killed me last night. She's mates with Chirya now, hence my arrow-wounds." - Harold, interrupting.
"As I was saying, the wife's now in charge of Summer Hill, and I might add, insane. She's just left the town with a squad of what I reckon are her personal guards." - Breanna.
"What livery?" - Kel'Serrar, intrigued.
"Black field with a silver arrow." - Breanna, reciting it off the top of her head.
No one's familiar with the sigil, but they all agree that the assumption that they are her personal guard is a good one.
"Anyway, I followed her as far as the east road. I also have the note he was writing when we barged in on him." - Breanna, nodding to Tremor and Harold and producing the note.
They notice immediately that the note is written in the same handwriting as their earlier note which was also signed by the mysterious R.

The companions troop off to the White Stallion Inn. On the way Tremor theorises that the centre of the town may have some significance. Interestingly enough the Merchant's District is just about in the centre of the town. And both Rangard's and Shylocke's houses were in that same district. Very convenient.

On the way Breanna is quizzed about the nature of daemonic summoning, asked about what sort of stuff they should be looking for. She answers that summoning circles can be constructed of many different materials but metals are most common, particularly valuable metals like gold.

Once inside the Inn, they order meals and Maebh hands the book over to the Leathe assassin. Breanna takes it with some glee and quickly realises that she can use this information.

In game terms, the book grants her bonuses to her Willpower for the purpose of summoning daemons, justified by being able to read what went wrong in the cult's own attempts. Being forewarned is forearmed and all that. On top of this, in a story sense, she may read through it to gain a better idea of what sort of daemon summoning has been attempted and what has succeeded, therefore giving a better idea of what they might face.

"Basically, what you grabbed was their record book." - To Ladyhawk.
Dev drops a fifty cent coin he was fidgeting with.
"And the penny dropped." - It was a lot funnier at the time. I got high-fives and everything.

"As far as I'm concerned, the Grand Hall or the very centre of the town are the most likely locations. Hmm, maybe the warehouses.... Look at that, they're close to the centre and the nearest section is the slums..." - Harold, looking at a map of the town which Tremor has fished out of his pack.

Reading her book, Breanna notices that most of the summonings are being conducted within Shylocke's house. However, at the end of the book she reads a note which says that other research is being conducted in other locations. They can't split the party. And it's crunch time.

They decide on their next target, the warehouses, hoping that they're not wrong. If they are, they're going to be too late. If they are too late, at least the warehouses might provide some places to hide.

And we left it there...

The Wrap-Up
I do wish I had done this earlier so that I could remember the session a bit better. I do remember approaching the session at the time as if it were going to be the end of the arc, but it didn't happen. We ended up playing the end of the arc over two sessions, but it all turned out well.

I hope everyone's continuing to enjoy this. :smallsmile:

Anyway, stay tuned for they're about to properly reap the whirlwind....

2013-11-01, 10:43 PM
I'm glad you guys like it :D We are hopefully going to play another session soon. :smallsmile:

Amidus Drexel
2013-11-02, 02:41 PM
Yeah, you guys' sessions are brilliant. I love reading these write-ups. :smallbiggrin:

2013-11-02, 05:08 PM
I hope so too! Love reading this campaign journal - especially the antics of Tremor and Harold.

2013-11-10, 08:28 PM
I have to say thanks to everyone who reads this. Your enjoyment means a lot to all of us. :smallsmile:

I'm just wrapping up the next session to be put up now. I'm really hoping to have it available to read this afternoon.

Then I only have one to write up before the 29th, which is looking like our next session date due to exams, family stuff and LD's ballet.

Anyway, cheers for now. Hopefully I'll be back soon. :smallbiggrin:

2013-11-10, 09:13 PM
I Must Read More About The Exploits Of Harold The Awesome!

2013-11-11, 12:24 AM
I hope Dev reads that comment. :smalltongue:

Session 2.7: The End of the Line

"Welcome to Session 1.10, and yes I realise that is some bizarre numbering, but I couldn't care less."
I later fixed the numbering of the earlier sessions so that we didn't get weird session numbers like that. :smalltongue:

The companions quickly suit themselves up. By now Tremor and Harold both have some substantial armour and Harold in particular can resemble a walking armoury. They're going to take this cult on. No more hiding in the shadows, no more subtlety. This time, the ****'s going to hit the fan.

The storm is approaching, the clouds dark and ominous. The rain is getting heavier and the distant thunder is gradually getting closer. It will be an ugly night.

The party splits into two groups, hoping that they might be a little less conspicuous. Tremor and Breanna can sort of blend in a little as there are other Leathe and dwarves in the town, but Harold, Maebh and Kel'Serrar are far more noticeable. Tremor and Breanna head off together while Maebh, Kel'Serrar and Harold stick together as well. Before they head off, Tremor asks Harold for a better weapon than his own hatchet and hammer combo. The Invarrian thinks about this and then unbuckles one of his belts, handing over his longsword to the Dwergar, who takes a moment to reconfigure the suspension system and slings it over his back.

Tremor also picks up a loud whistle from a vendor on the way, thinking it could only be a good idea.

The two groups arrive to find that the warehouses are arranged in five rows of five. The first four rows appear to be relatively old constructions, weathered, with dirty windows and rough woodwork. The hindmost row however appears to be of a considerably newer make, showing less signs of wear.

Harold considers setting the whole thing on fire, but they throw that plan aside quickly. Maebh notices that the two closest ones on the corners are dilapidated and abandoned. In fact judging by the accumulated dust, only the central warehouse in the first row has been used in the last few weeks.

There is precisely as much thought given to Tremor running through each column of warehouses, blasting each wall apart as he goes, as you might expect after his theatrics on Shylocke's door. It was seriously considered, which, to be honest, doesn't say much for the IQ of anyone involved.

"I think we should be checking inside the most recently used ones." - Harold, stroking his canine chin.
Each warehouse is made of wooden planks, the doors about two inches think with a heavy lock. The side walls have high windows that are designed to allow light into the structure during the daylight hours. On the other hand, it might be able to admit Breanna if she climbs up on Harold's shoulders to get up there.

The companions walk around to the right hand side of the central warehouse of the front row and Harold heaves Breanna up. As he does, she grabs hold of the window sill and pulls herself over the edge before dropping to the floor in a neat crouch.

Unusually for a warehouse, this structure is almost empty. In the front corner of the room there is a desk with a piece of parchment on it, but in the sparse light and at this distance, she cannot see what is on it. In the centre of the room there is also a small construction. It appears to be a small golden bowl upon on a three legged silver stand. The bowl contains a dark substance, but the Leathe cannot make it out.

First she approaches the desk and looks at the piece of parchment, finding it is a map. The map shows Summer Hill, though it appears to be different from the map that she is familiar with, namely the one Tremor produced when asked. According to this map, Summer Hill has actually shrunk in size. Crucially, this makes the warehouses almost squarely in the centre of what did make up the entirety of Summer Hill's boundaries.

This is very interesting here, because while this may look like a case of GM fiat to get this arc over and done with, it was not really. The fact that Summer Hill is smaller now than it used to be was something I came up with quite early, though the players never thought to enquire about that when they were discussing potential places for a summoning ritual to be held at. As they never considered that the town might have shrunk, I felt that was something I shouldn't point out as a possibility as that might have just given it away. In hindsight, they were getting frustrated so maybe that was something I should have managed to drop somehow a fair bit earlier.

In all I think I might be most frustrated by how I played Rangard. I wanted him to be an ambiguous character that would turn out to be a relatively powerful and interesting ally in terms of his connections and money rather than any real personal power. Sadly, I got annoyed that none of the players were particularly thorough with the investigative side of things, and they got annoyed that things weren't clear-cut and straightforward. Their first impression of Rangard was that he could not be trusted, and while that is true to a certain extent, he was intended to be an ally.

Anyway, I guess it's true that you can't guess in advance which characters your players will like and which ones they hate, though admittedly I found it bemusing that they did end up hating Rangard more than their various nemeses.

Moving on from that rant, and on to the previous one, the fiat did not come in with regards to the size of Summer Hill and the location of the ritual. That was set right from the start. In fact, the only fiat involved here was that I intended to make sure that the map was found regardless of which warehouse was entered first so that they knew they were on track. And that was just so that we wouldn't waste another session on relatively pointless exposition. Again.

Back to the story and thanks for reading my rant/s.

Beside the map is a small key. Breanna snatches both and stuffs them in her beltpouch before taking a closer look at the golden bowl. As she walks close enough to recognise the contents of the bowl, she stops, within a step of walking into the magical field around the contraption. Breathing slightly quicker now, Breanna realises that the field is likely an alarm or maybe a ward that could hurt someone who gets too close and decides that she is magically out of her depth here. She cautiously backs away and approaches the front door.

"I'm going to slide a key out for you to try on the lock okay?" - Breanna, fumbling to get the key out of her belt-pouch.
"Don't bother." - Harold, who along with Tremor hack at the doorway with their axes until they stand inside.
"Hmm, it seems we have a key. Let's draw attention to ourselves by hacking our way in!" - Ladyhawk, shaking her head and laughing bitterly with LD.
"Maebh, I think you need to look at this." - Breanna, pointing at the contraption.
The Danann mage walks over to the bowl and quickly snaps the control over the ward. It's a pretty slapdash job so takes her very little time.
Breanna grabs the bowl as soon as Maebh gives her the nod and studies it for any clues. She realises quickly that the blood is intended as an offering for a very, very powerful daemon. The Leathe figures that frozen blood would be an appropriate offering a daemon with a particular affinity for cold, leading her to believe that this is something to do with the Lord of Winter. She also knows that there must be more of these offerings around, intended to lure the daemon into the town and then trap it. Just dealing with one or two of these offerings will not stop the summoning, only leave a "gate" for the daemon to escape and wreak havoc. They must either destroy all the offerings before the summoning begins or leave them intact until the summoning has commenced and then banish the daemon before it is unleashed.
They study the map and then have a short conversation about how to approach it.

Somewhere along the line it was revealed that only a few warehouses had been used. When shown the map, a diamond shape was apparent in the bird's eye view with the very centre of the diamond being the central warehouse itself. It was swiftly decided the recently used warehouses must have had focusing devices such as the one they have found, and the central one is where the summoning is actually being performed. This was mainly delivered through Black Magic Knowledge Checks from Breanna, though the recording is hard to make out here, hence this OOC spoiler. Just thought I would explain this diamond business to the readers before the players start flipping their **** about it.

"Can we shift this diamond to outside the town? And then have Breanna hijack the spell?" - Tremor, stroking his beard and ignoring the unspoken rule regarding Breanna's magic.
"I don't think it works like that." - Breanna, quietly.
"Us moving the diamond is no guarantee that the daemon will show up out there when it's summoned. The diamond's just to trap it right?" - Harold, correct in a way, and yet incorrect in another.
"The diamond's here to attract it too. If we shift it, it might not show up at all." - Breanna.
"But if we shift it and it does show up, it's now in the middle of the town and uncontrolled." - Maebh, grim.
"Anyway Tremor, even if we did shift the diamond, I don't think our Leathe would be able to do anything about it. As my people say, one person on a mhor's back may direct it. One flea on a mhor's back does nothing." - Kel'Serrar, chiming in.
If you're interested, a mhor is something like a small indricothere. Sins actually said elephant, but Kel'Serrar wouldn't know what an elephant is, so I'm using creative license.
"So shifting or tampering with the diamond in any way is a bad idea..." - Tremor, resigned.
"That's okay, we don't need to. I say we go to the central warehouse, which is where they're performing the summoning, right Breanna?" - Harold, turning to the Leathe.
She nods.
"Right. We go there and kill the bastards." - Harold, clapping his hands together.
"I don't think we can take them all. Judging by Brewer, they've got some impressive casters in there." - Tremor.
"Bad plan. We'd all die." - Maebh.
"No, fine then. We burn it down!" - Harold, exasperated.
"But then they'll just run out and kill us. I'm pretty sure they'll notice if the building they're in starts smoking. Plus this rain's only getting heavier." - Maebh, pointing out the flaws.
"I can give everyone two words for a really good reason as to why we shouldn't just go blindly in there. The Trickster." - Kel'Serrar, grim.
"Aaaah.... Yeah..." - Harold, troubled.
"Whose side is he on anyway?" - Maebh, with a sarcastic laugh.
"Probably not ours. And do you really want to find out?" - Kel'Serrar, with a laugh.
"Back to the problem at hand though, what do we do?" - Harold.
"Regarding that, I had an idea. Frozen blood right? If I immolate it, it's not frozen anymore. Breanna's already told us it has an a affinity for cold. So I suggest that if I melt the blood it might not be attracted to it, but leave the tripod intact so that if it is summoned, at least it can't break free because of us." - Kel'Serrar, thoughtful.
"Will that work Bree?" - Maebh, quickly.
The Leathe shrugs and then nods.
"I guess so." - Breanna.
"That's good enough for me. Do it." - Maebh, to Kel'Serrar.
Everyone else nods and the ranger pulls an arrow from his quiver, concentrates for a moment and fire erupts from the shaft. He stabs the arrow into the block of blood-ice and watches as it begins to melt in contact with the superhot flames.

The arrow is ruined by the time the blood is melted, the flames having licked up the shaft and turned the hardwood to charcoal. He puts the arrow in his quiver anyway so as not to leave any evidence behind.

"Tremor and I have axes, we'll go break some doors in." - Harold, foregoing subtlety.
Breanna tests her key out on the lock of the warehouse they're already in, opening it with a slight *click* and giving the rest of the party condescending looks.
"To save time, Tremor and I will take every second one." - Harold, really wanting to hack down some defenceless doors.
Breanna and Maebh share an eyeroll and the party moves out. Tremor and Harold attack the next warehouse in the diamond while Breanna runs ahead to another one on the list and unlocks it with her key. Kel'Serrar and Maebh follow them, the ranger with a lit torch to melt the blood and the mage ready to do some serious dispelling.
Surprisingly, this all goes according to the plan, and within minutes they find themselves outside the first warehouse with the summoning diamond hopefully disrupted. Every warehouse they attempted to get into, they did so and there was a contraption in each one. Somewhere along the line they even had time for Tremor to take a quick leak on the side of the warehouse.
Yet another occurrence of our special houserule, wherein if a player needs a bathroom break, we find a way for the character to do so too. We've not yet had to deal with this in combat to my memory, though I envisage it potentially being full of funny.

It was interesting to note that all of these warehouses had been recently completely cleared out and the last row are actually such recent constructions that they consider the possibility that they were created specifically for this ritual.

And then, trouble. From the direction of the town proper, they hear the sounds of a commotion of some description.
There are guards coming, wearing the Redwyn livery, not that of the town. They are wearing leather armour and armed with shields and a mix of maces and spears. These are the mayor's men.

The mayor Breanna recently killed.

There are ten of them and they are swiftly approaching.

"I don't really want to get into a drawn out combat that I will probably die in." - Dev.
"Well do you want to get into a short combat where you wound a few of them while the rest of us run?" - WIngs.
"No." - Dev.
"Right, well then. I'm running away." - Wings.
"My arrows will be going in the same direction as our dwarf." - Sins.
"I outrun your arrows!" - Wings.
"WHAT!?" - Ladyhawk and myself, practically simultaneously and cracking up with laughter. In hindsight, the funny part was just how he said it.
"Run fast little man, for I have twenty-three friends who fly faster than you." - Sins. And the whole table lost it. And after the event, I award him the Badass One-Liner of the Night Award. And it was glorious.

The group runs, taking cover amongst the warehouses, taking the warehouse furthest from the oncoming guards and barricading it from the inside. Unfortunately, Tremor attracts their attention as he runs, his chain hauberk clanking slightly.

Maebh scored a 3, Kel'Serrar a 1 and Breanna a 0 on their Concealment Checks. All three have bonuses and Kel'Serrar and Breanna's are rather substantial ones. Harold also passed, but not that amazingly.
"I'm a stabbing shrubbery, in a warehouse, and I'm still so inconspicuous that everyone thinks it's completely normal!" - LD, very happy with her rolling. As well she should be. She's turned into quite the little Dice Jesus. Or should that be Jesus-ette?
Many jokes were made how she could steal someone's shoes, belt and pants and then shave their hair without them noticing. In fact, she's so good, she could probably steal their identity from them. And they still wouldn't have a clue.

In a complete turnaround, Tremor's stealth failed him and the guards charge after him.
"Quick, that way!" - Guardsmen, after the dwarf.
Tremor, not wanting to lead the guards to the rest of the party, waves them on and changes direction, turning left and hoping to throw the guardsmen off.
Some OOC discussion where Maebh suggests a Wall of Blades between the Dwergar and his pursuers to allow him to get away, but Wings turns it down, wanting to do things differently.
The party looks back out at the Dwergar who nods at them before running towards the central warehouse, leading the guardsmen away from his companions. They take his cue and quickly close the door. Breanna, hidden with her Shadowskin and preternatural stealth skills, stays outside and relocks the door before scrambling up the wall and through a window.

"Quick, stop him before he gets to the centre!" - Guard sergeant to his men. The whole group hears this as the guards pass their warehouse, conforming that the guards are in league with the cult.

Hearing this, Harold growls.
"We can flank them." - Harold, to the rest of the group.
"Our assassin just locked the door Harold." - Kel'Serrar, pointing out a major flaw.
"Then open it for me." - Harold, with a grin.
Maebh readies a Wall of Blades as Kel'Serrar draws an arrow from his quiver.
"Stand back, this might be painful." - Kel'Serrar as he ignites his arrow. Magical flames ripple over it as his spell works.
The Danann draws his bow, takes a step forward and aims for the centre of the door, roughly where the lock is on the other side. And looses. The arrow slams the doors open and flames billow out, startling the guards who turn and look with horrified expressions as a tall Invarrian lays into them with axe and sword.
Tremor turns with his borrowed sword in hand, in time to see the explosion and grins in anticipation as the first of the guardsmen reach him.
Harold whirls into two of the stragglers, smashing them aside with consummate ease before running further out to his beleaguered companion, shoving his axe through his belt and drawing a shortsword over his shoulder. One of the guardsmen closing in on Tremor turns to face the duellist and takes one of Harold's swords on his shield. The guardsman is so amazed to have survived this onslaught, he loses his grip on his mace and drops it.

Kel'Serrar meanwhile prepares a Patriot Arrow, with just a little bit too much power and giving himself a splitting headache.

"Is there anything in the warehouse?" - LD.
"No there's not really save the gold and silver contraption. In fact, one thing you guys note is just how clean it is."
"You know, you could have put some loot in this scene for us." - Wings.
"There is. Walking loot. Whoever wanted ten maces and shields and some leather armour, you've got it."
"Right well then, is there any way I can affect this fight in any way whatsoever?" - LD, after the laughter had died down.
"You could go out and stab some guards."
"Right. I go out there with my carving knife and attack the first guy I see." - LD.
"Don't you have a dagger?" - Dev.
"I have two daggers, but I prefer to kill with my carving knife." - LD, just about creepily enough to give me nightmares that night.
"Okay..." - Dev, practically speechless. As we all were.
"Yeah, so I'll run out there.... And start swinging randomly, hoping to hit someone in the kneecap." - LD, to much laughter.
"I'm going to assume you meant you want to go out there and flank them?"
"In the kneecap!" - LD. And all lost their respective ****.

That's all for now. But I'll be back in a minute. :smallbiggrin:

EDIT* Here's the second part. Enjoy! :smallbiggrin: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16397812&postcount=93)

2013-11-11, 12:29 AM
Breanna runs out, shrouded in darkness and wielding a heavy carving knife. One of the guardsmen moving towards Tremor is unaware of the little assassin up until the point where he find his right leg will not move. He looks down and notices the his lower leg is lying upon the ground beneath him. And then he crumples, in too much shock to even feel the pain as he bleeds to death. Breanna's presence is unnoticed by all, having already moved on.

LD's maniacal cackle in the background of the recording is really quite disconcerting. An interesting point came up here though. Breanna is at this stage, the strongest party member, narrowly beating Harold in that regard.

So where there were jokes about her being somewhat chubby at the beginning of play, the character's weight is actually quite accurate as Breanna is obscenely strong. As in, would probably win an arm-wrestle against the six foot tall Harold.... Ah well, that's what happens when you pump the Strength stat. As an aside, Breanna is probably the most optimised character in the party at the moment, though that is purely in a killing things sense.

Tremor barrels past two guardsmen and meets up with Harold, cutting one of them down with his sword as he goes.
"THE RUM COMPELLS ME!" - Tremor, giving into his berserker blood.
Also, Wings wanted to roll an Intimidate Check on the second guardsman to try and avoid a Provoked Attack. Part of Tremor's background is that he has a massive case of blood-rage. We've still not decided if it's a curse or a disease or just something supernatural that will always remain mysterious, but it basically gave Tremor the Beserker Rage Trait virtually for free. As it was a characterful idea which explained his rampant alcoholism, I was happy for him to take it.

The guardsman grits his teeth and swigs at the Dwergar, but Tremor ducks under the mace with supreme ease and delivers a raking sword wound across the man's chest. He continues to run towards where Harold is facing a single disarmed guardsman.

Maebh steps out of the warehouse, with her readied spell crackling in her hands and anchors it between two warehouses, splitting the remaining three guardsmen from Harold, Tremor and Breanna with the disarmed guard, buying them some time. She takes quick stock of the situation and notices something alarming.

"One's missing!" - Maebh, letting the rest of the party know that one of the squad of ten guards has disappeared.

The disarmed guardsman in front of Harold throws his shield to the ground and hold his hands up, gaze flickering from Harold to Tremor and then back again. The Dwergar gives a snort of contempt and picks up the guardsman's mace and shield before stalking over to the Wall of Blades, where he eyes of the guardsmen on the other side. The man whose chest he carved open earlier has been eviscerated where he lay by the blades as they whirl through the air.
"Please, let me go. I don't want any trouble." - Disarmed guardsman, nervous.
"Why did you attack us then?" - Breanna, scoffing and still hidden.
"Wherever you are, whoever that was, I'm just doing my job." - Disarmed guardsman.
"Tell us everything and we'll let you go." - Maebh, striding up to the conversation.
"About what? I only started this job a week ago. I was a baker before that." - Guardsman. Up close they can tell he is quite young.
Dev asks if he can check to see if the guard is lying. They all roll and Harold is the only one to fail. So everyone thinks he's telling the truth, except Harold, who gets an inexplicable urge to beat the kid's face in because he just knows he's lying.
"The boy can go on his way-" - Maebh, cut off.
"No, no, I don't think-" - Harold, advocating a more permanent solution.
"After we release him from the storehouse which we lock him in." - Maebh, finishing her sentence.
Kel'Serrar gives a somewhat admiring chuckle from inside the warehouse.

There's a fair bit of OOC here and I started worrying that I may have been wrong when I thought that this would be the last session of this arc. That my players' inability to agree on the simplest of solutions had struck once more and we would be debating what to do with this guardsman until after midnight. Because similar things have happened in this game.

Dev went on one of his, "I need to mindlessly antagonise people" benders and decided that the disarmed guardsman needed to be fed into the Wall of Blades. The rest of the party was sort of passively against this, save Ladyhawk, who had her heart set on keeping him prisoner and releasing him later.

I must remember to put an overview of the resulting post-game conversation in the Wrap-Up as it leads to some interesting role-playing observations.

Anyway, back to the game.

Before a decision is made, from where Tremor is hurling abuse at them from the other side of the wall, one of the three stunned guardsmen has a brainwave.
"**** it, go round!" - Guardsman, who promptly sets off running with his fellows around the warehouses.
"Pick up your weapons and fight lad!" - Another grizzled guardsman with pepper grey hair and beard, to the younger disarmed guardsman upon coming face to face with Harold. He obviously didn't notice Tremor picking them up earlier.

The young guardsman backs off with his hands still raised until his back brushes against the wall of a warehouse with a saddened expression on his face.

Dev continued to propose methods of killing the unarmed guardsman.
"Right, so if you don't want me to kill him, can I just mortally wound him?" - Dev.
"No or I will shield bash you with his shield!" - Wings.
"Why not!?" - Dev.
"You've got three guys running towards you and you're going to turn your back on them and go for the unarmed guy?" - Wings.
"He could grab a weapon and kill us from behind." - Dev.
"He moved away from his weapons! Plus I already have them!" - Wings, getting frustrated.

Maebh sends of Gust of Wind toward the three oncoming guardsmen. Two of them are lifted off the ground by the force of her magic and thrown through the wall of a warehouse. The third is slightly more solidly built and manages to keep his feet through the buffeting wind. He braces himself with his shield before him but then finds himself cut down by Harold, who charges at him with sabre and shortsword.

"Brother!" - Disarmed guardsman, with quite a bit of grief.

Aww you made him cry." - Ladyhawk.
"Haha, you made him cry!" - LD.
"Argh! Who cares!" - Dev.

The guardsmen have been taken care of. Both guardsmen who went through the wall have not stirred, so the party assumes they're out for the count. So Harold, Tremor and Breanna spread out amongst the corpses and start to divest them of their money. Which is real sensitive in regards to their prisoner.

The rest of the party was not aware of this at the time, but Harold finished off the two unconscious guardsmen before looting the bodies.

Maebh approached the prisoner with three sulvers in her hand.
"You can have these if you leave town for a couple of days. At least until this all blows over." - Maebh, apologetic.
"I have nothing left here anymore. If you want me gone then I shall leave gladly." - Guardsman, wiping away tears.

"Aww, I hug him." - Ladyhawk.
"He shrugs you off, still upset at the role you played in killing all of his friends."
"I bet I'm stronger than he is. I hug him." - Ladyhawk.
"You may manage to pin him down in a hug, but he doesn't hug you back."
"Fine then, I kick him in the shins and walk off." - Ladyhawk.
"Or you could stab him in the throat." - Dev.
"Put him out of his misery." - LD.
"No because Dev is getting angry for some reason, let's move on." - Ladyhawk.
"The sociopathy with you guys is incredible. I mean, you just killed this guy's mates and brother so you are seriously looking at slitting his throat to put him out of his misery."
Order of the Murder-Hobo indeed.

Breanna reckons he should be put out of his misery, believing that he will probably commit suicide over the course of the next two days or so anyway. Dev agrees with this assessment, although his reasons for wanting to kill him are a never fully explained as the rest of the group seem to reach a consensus that the guardsman being a threat is unrealistic. Ladyhawk expresses some dismay at their predictions regarding the young guardsman's lifespan, which cues a massive rant from Dev where he questions the very nature of role-playing itself. Once again, the specifics will go in the Wrap-Up, but some of the points expressed are quite interesting.

The guardsman walks away and the group discuss how they're going to take on the central warehouse. They have bigger fish to fry.
"We're going to fry him? I'll get the oil!" - LD, maliciously.

"Let's burn it down." - Harold.
"In the pouring rain...." - Kel'Serrar.
"I don't care." - Harold, with a slight smile.
"I don't care about your fancy 'laws of reality!" - Breanna, laughing.
"Can I have my longsword back?" - Harold, to Tremor who is busy adjusting the strap of his new shield, appropriated from the young guardsman.
"No." - Tremor, grimly and not even looking up.
"There's only one doorway in and out." - Breanna.
"Let's make our own entrance then." - Harold.

Maebh pools fire in her hands and sends it out in a roiling gout of flame which blasts the side-wall in. Inside, there is, a room.
"There are some walls, and, some ceilings... Wait! Just one ceiling." - LD and Ladyhawk. I used to quote Red vs Blue a lot and it seems to have rubbed off on them.
There is a cabal of warlocks in long, dark red robes. Wilmund Brewer is in pride of place, standing before a wrought iron pedestal, fashioned into the shape of a three-clawed hand, with hands upraised. Set into each of the claws is a thick, gleaming coin. Beside Brewer stands the Trickster, clad in nondescript drab grey. Five other warlocks stand in the warehouse, three men and two women. The missing guardsman is also here, sprawled on the ground with a jagged chunk of splintered wood embedded in his throat.

Brewer looks up from where he is standing before the pedestal and his brow creases in frustration.
"Stop them. Quickly!" - Brewer, to his compatriots.
Breanna recognises what he's doing. He's in the middle of this summoning and she can tell that it's not going the way he wants it to. She surmises this is down to the group screwing with all of his lures.
Harold, the first to react, charges across the warehouse and smashes into one of the four warlocks who turned to stop the group when Brewer gave his command. The Invarrian manages to push both of them back, and both are badly injured by his blades, but neither goes down.

There is a flash of light from next to Brewer and with a strangled yelp, six identical copies of the Trickster flash into being. There is another flash of light and one of the copies gives another yelp of pain, turns blackened and burnt for a split second, and then disappears.

Having readied a Flaming Arrow earlier, Kel'Serrar draws it back and sends it towards Brewer, but the arrow flies wide and slams into the opposite wall, blasting a small hole in it.
Maebh calls up a tempest and flings it into the warehouse. Harold staggers slightly, but keeps his feet, while Brewer is taken by surprise and is blasted off his feet and into the opposite wall. The various Tricksters dissipate upon contact with the howling wind and there comes a thud from that wall, along with a muffled groan of pain, though there is nothing there to be seen. One of the female warlock flies into a wall and hits it with a sickening crack. She falls to the ground, lifeless.
One of the warlocks next to Harold managed to avoid the majority of the blast and starts clicking his fingers, trying to call up some sort of magic. With a small grin, Maebh figures that this must be the incompetent who was set to ward the lures.
The other warlock against Harold calls a flaming green dagger into existence is his hand and takes a swing at Harold. The Invarrian uses his decades of experience and takes the man's wrist high on the flat of his blade and guides it down beside him and into the chest of the clicking warlock, who falls to the ground with both a surprised expression and a gaping, steaming and corroding wound in his chest.

A successful use of the Fall on Their Own Blades Talent. Basically, on a successful Parry against one of two or more opponents, Harold may force the parried strike to hit one of his other enemies. They get a Reflex Save, but if they fail, they take the damage. It's a Talent which is designed to make the Duellist just a little better at taking on multiple opponents in a truly swashbuckling style.

Brewer staggers to his feet, looks around and appears to get pretty angry.
"If you've read Harry Potter, book B I believe." - A call-back to a previous conversation.
From the warlock's hands springs a roiling whip of fire, which then seeks out his first foe, Harold, but the wily Invarrian manages to roll away from the flames.

The only member of the cabal who is not yet engaged hurls a blast of fire at Maebh, who brings up a disc of shining gold energy between herself and the oncoming flames. Her shield absorbs the majority of the blast, but it doesn't stop it all and Maebh finds her arm is burnt.

Breanna ducks inside and makes for the warlock with the green flaming dagger. She takes her carving knife and puts it through the man's leg. He dies and his dagger gutters out into nothing.

Tremor charges inside with his hatchet in hand and a looted shield strapped to his arm. Brewer's whip cracks at the Dwergar, but it slams into his shield instead, singeing Tremor and staggering him slightly, but still he carries on. He slams his shield into the warlock, pushing him back with a roar of fury before caving his chest in with the hatchet, smashing him to the ground and almost decapitating him with the rim of the shield.

Three cries of anguish ring out, one from what seems to be nowhere as Tremor practically mutilates their leader. Harold charges at one of the surviving warlocks and cuts him down easily. Kel'Serrar puts an arrow in the last one and brings her down.

Running footsteps can be heard heading for the breach Kel'Serrar made earlier. Maebh uses Trueseeing and all of a sudden, she can see him. And he looks terrified. The Danann mage throws two blasts of fire at him, one of which hits him and the other slams into the wall before him. The Trickster falls to the ground, flames wreathing his body. She walks over to him.
"I got you, bitch." - Maebh, putting her spear through his throat and grinning.
And that's it. The cabal is finished.

Harold walks over to the two female cultist and pulls back the hoods. His suspicions however are unfounded when he finds that neither woman is Dhara.
Breanna, Tremor and Maebh go to the pedestal and Breanna explains that the coins seem to be a receptacle for daemonic power, however they are empty. Tremor takes them out of the pedestal and hands one each to Maebh and Breanna, taking the third for himself.
Tremor then joins Kel'Serrar and Harold in looting the bodies, picking up some money and the Dwergar grabs an amulet from Brewer himself. It is a gold medallion on a silver chain, the symbol of a burning pine tree carved into the token. He hands it to Maebh, who studies the enchantment on it, but comes to no conclusion other than it appears to be enchanted with preternaturally good luck. The mage hands it back to him, informing him that it is safe. Tremor puts it around his neck.
Breanna picks up a book from the young warlock, recognising it as a banned text. She has seen it before though never read it.
In essence, Daemon Summoning for Dummies.
Maebh searches the Trickster's smoking corpse and finds very little. Some spare coins and a small note.


Remember to fill out last quarter's trade report when you get home.

They take a moment to breath, before heading out. The cult's been taken out. It's time to leave.

And we left it there....

The Wrap-Up
Okay, first up that was quite an enjoyable session. Now on to the interesting debates we had.

First Rant: Dev expressed here that of the party, the Danann were not playing their characters completely right. Now that is dangerous ground to be treading to begin with, but he did back up his argument with examples.
Maebh: Hates humans and would think nothing of sacrificing them according to her background, is suddenly squeamish about killing an innocent.
Kel'Serrar: Much the same, except that he was indifferent in the event anyway.

In response, Sins said that Kel'Serrar didn't really care anyway, while Ladyhawk defended herself by saying that interacting with the group has led to her softening in general as she's realised that her people have cast her out and maybe that other peoples are perhaps worthy of more than just a swift death. Dev still believed that she was playing herself and not her character, something Ladyhawk took some offence at, believing that instead she was playing out a more complex arc of her character's development.

Second Rant: Dev then expressed that he could not believe that the players were getting emotionally attached to this NPC. As far as he was concerned, the sympathy they felt was not something he felt should be taken so seriously. Personally I feel that if you are not emotionally invested in a story and the characters then there is no real point in playing, but I recognise that people so play differently. The problem is when someone tries to force others to play their way when the others don't really want to. An interesting observation I guess.

Anyway, that's it for the second arc. Session 3.1 has been played and I will get to that soon, but for now this is all. I'm also going to make the stat blocks of each character available online for the readers to take a look at.


2013-11-20, 10:15 AM
Just letting everyone know that the write-up of Session 3.1 is in the works and I hope to have it finished pretty soon.

Sadly we have called off the next session until at least after Christmas as Dev is unavailable. Hopefully this hiatus won't be permanent, but if I'm honest, I can't guarantee that.

Still, here's hoping that 3.1 isn't the last one. :smallsmile:

Thanks for following us this far.


Amidus Drexel
2013-11-20, 11:17 AM
Just letting everyone know that the write-up of Session 3.1 is in the works and I hope to have it finished pretty soon.

Sadly we have called off the next session until at least after Christmas as Dev is unavailable. Hopefully this hiatus won't be permanent, but if I'm honest, I can't guarantee that.

Still, here's hoping that 3.1 isn't the last one. :smallsmile:

Thanks for following us this far.



Aw... well, that sucks... :smallfrown: I hope you guys can get together again afterwards. I love reading these. :smallbiggrin:

2014-01-09, 12:06 PM
I hope everyone has had a good and safe Christmas and New Year. :smallsmile:

I also bring glad tidings.

Tiding the First: Session 3.1 is on it's way. I've been busy over the last few weeks but I've slowly been chipping away at it. So not long now until you can all read the latest adventure. :smallwink:

Tiding the Second: Dev finally got his ass into gear. We are looking at making a return game some time in January. :smallbiggrin:

So anyway, should be a bit of fun for everyone.

Talk soon,

2014-01-21, 10:15 PM
Just a small update so as to reassure you all that you are not being abandoned. :smallwink:

We are going to play 3.2 tomorrow night. Everyone has assured me they can make it, so we are full steam ahead. :smallbiggrin:


2014-01-22, 02:07 AM
I shall anticipate with all my strength!

2014-01-22, 11:22 AM
Session 3.1: Fire, Smoke and Dwarven Catapults

Welcome to Session 3.1
"Interrupting noise!" - Dev.
"Aaaand, we've killed Sins." - In response to Sins who has faceplanted on the table.

I ask if they wanted to actually play out their escape or just time-jump to wherever they want to go. Dev wanted to time-jump but the rest of the group seemed to be pretty set on at least playing the escape from the town.

Personally I expected them to go for the time-jump. I thought they couldn't wait to get the hell out of Summer Hill.

The cart is in the courtyard behind the White Stallion, along with Harold's horse, which he had picked up from the stables earlier that morning and hitched to a tree next the wagon. The marcwolves were both tied up as well. The group decides that they need to get there and quickly.

Before they leave, Tremor finishes the decapitation job on Brewer and quickly fashions a sack for it from the man's robes, following Kel'Serrar's suggestion that they are far more likely to be paid if they have evidence of Brewer's demise.

"We need to get to the east gate." - Maebh.
"What happens if they are closed, barred, whatever?" - Harold, tightening the straps of his cuirass.
"Well we blow them open. I've done it before, I'll do it again. It's just on a larger scale this time." - Maebh, wanting to get on the move.
"We could make a dwarf-hole!" - LD.
"Because dwarf doors are invisible when closed." - Dev, knowingly.

They exit the now swiftly burning warehouse.
"Wonder who that was? And the two madly grinning Danann answer the question."
"And there's a slightly disappointed Invarrian watching them." - Dev.
"Who's also on fire." - Sins.
"It's okay. Just a little bit. Like a shoulder." - Ladyhawk.
"It's only in your hair man." - Sins.
"But I'm covered in hair!" - Dev.

They exit the warehouse district and are closing in on the tavern, when they notice movement on the streets ahead. Several squads of guardsmen coming closer at a steady jog.
This particular district of Summer Hill is laid out in something approaching a grid. Luckily for the party, by the time the squads of guardsmen started arriving, they were only two streets away from the tavern where they had left their wagon.

Maebh and Kel'Serrar turned right as soon as they saw the guards, thinking to go down the street the White Stallion was on and approach it directly. Tremor and Harold, realising that they were definitely going to be the most noticeable of the group, continue to move straight to the east gate, drawing the majority of the guards away from the mage and ranger. Breanna decides to hell with it and climbs onto the rooftops while the others take a moment to discuss the plan, and proceeds to leap from rooftop to rooftop without any difficulties.

Breanna passes any tests she is required to make by a minimum of five degrees of success, something the group decided meant she was practically flying over the rooves. We have joked about her microwaving her dice to achieve better numbers, but so far she has vigorously denied doing so.

We got a little off-topic here as there was some conversation regarding Tremor's sneaking ability. I include the following only because I am proud of the word-play.
"Yes, Brewer and Shylocke most likely heard the pitter-patter of tiny feet, but passed it off because hey, he's only a little drunk."
I got a lot of laughs on the night, though looking at it now, I'm probably inordinately proud of the remark.

Harold, on horseback, leans out of the saddle and heaves Tremor up behind him, regardless of the Dwergar's indignation. The two of them then canter down the street, towards what they assume is a squad of guardsmen.

Seeing Breanna scramble onto the rooftops, Kel'Serrar and Maebh exchange a glance and then follow her up there themselves, struggling a little more to gain purchase than did the abnormally strong Leathe. The ranger pulls himself up, but Maebh slips in the rain and would have fallen if not for Kel'Serrar's help.

"Can I assist her Climbing Check?" - Sins.
"Yes, you can actually. Especially since you're already up there yourself."
"Do you have any rope?" - Wings.
"Yes I do. I have the entire party's supply of rope actually." - Sins.
"....Why!?" - Wings.
"Because nobody has taken it off me yet." - Sins.
"Well fair enough. I wouldn't take it off you, mainly because you will shoot me." - Wings.
"... Yes. Yes I probably would. My rope." - Sins.

The jumping from rooftop to rooftop is made a fair bit more difficult by the rain, which is gradually getting heavier and heavier. Breanna succeeds quite well. The two Danann however find themselves being dragged up onto each roof by whichever one manages to avoid slipping and falling. Once they reach the first street, the two Danann clamber down, finding the rooftops just a little too dangerous. Where they climb down, Breanna practically soars over the street, moving at incredible pace, rolling immediately into yet another springing leap to bring her onto the roof of the dwelling adjacent from the tavern. From her vantage point, she can see the various squads of guardsmen marching towards the warehouse district. At least one squad will reach the tavern before the Danann. As the Danann start to make their way to the tavern, that squad notices them and the guards break into a brisk run, thinking to apprehend them before they reach their cart.

The squad which is running towards them is comprised of four regular guardsmen, clad in the livery of house Silverwood and armed with maces and shields. They are led however, by a large man in heavy armour who wields a broad-bladed shortsword and a large, rectangular shield. He carries no livery however, so they are unaware of his place of origin. As they get closer to the two Danann, they start to move slower and more cautiously, spreading out along the breadth of the road so as to avoid the Danann from running past. In response, Maebh calls up a torrent of raging water, knocking most of them over and snapping the arm of one of the guards.

Kel'Serrar hits the leader of the group with a Patriot Arrow, which punches into his abdomen and leaves him dying on the ground as the two Danann sprint at full speed to where the guardsmen are still recovering from the magical deluge they just suffered.

As the Dwergar and Invarrian canter down the street on horseback, they are surprised by a squad which jogs around the corner ahead of them. Another squad of five men, their leader is clad in heavier armour and wielding a spear, something Harold doesn't want near his horse.
"Wait, you're developing a horse-powered dwarf catapult?"
"PG gets it! I'm so happy." - Wings, laughing.
"On a scale of one to stupid, this is stupid." - Ladyhawk.
"Right, so you're okay with it?" - Dev, to me.
Silent, wondering nod.
"Sooo, how do we do it?" - Dev.
"I can't guarantee you will survive this." - Harold, over his shoulder to Tremor.
"Wha-?" - Tremor, as he is grabbed by the Invarrian and, with the aid of his horse's momentum as Harold wheels it around, is thrown into the midst of the formation of guards, crushing the sergeant and running another guardsman through with his hastily drawn sword.
"Whee!" - Tremor, inevitably drunk, this time on horsepower. (Pardon the pun.)

Still mounted, Harold finds himself surrounded by three guardsmen who are attempting to pull him down to kill him. The horse, they can sell.
"Tremor, take the one on my left!" - Harold, using his horse to push through the guards and swinging at the two others on the right. One guardsman goes down with a sabre strike to the neck, while the other manages to get his shield in between the Invarrian's blade and his head.
Tremor meanwhile picks up the vanquished sergeant's spear and hurls it through the guardsman. Somewhat sadistically, Tremor grinds his boot into the sergeant's broken arm as he stands up before moving towards the Invarrian. The Dwergar takes a moment to relieve himself on the side of a dwelling while he watches Harold's flashing blade bring down the last guardsman of the squad.

The various companions make their way swiftly towards the inn, cutting their respective ways through any squads they come across. Points of interest include Tremor taking out a captain and a guardsman together with a single, scything blow, Breanna dropping from a rooftop to put a knife through the head of a guardsman who was heading towards Maebh and Kel'Serrar and those selfsame Danann putting down two squads together between them with a storm of arrows and magic. In all, the party fights as a well-oiled machine, save for the fact that the party fights as a barely organised bunch of quite powerful individuals.

Ah well...

At this point in the recording, LD took a moment to say hi to her legion of adoring fans.
"Hi public!" - LD, with corresponding creepy face to go with it.

Maebh takes a moment to rush inside the inn and answer the call of nature while Kel'Serrar stands in front of the wagon and covers the streets with his bow, Breanna standing beside him with knives at the ready.
At this point there was an amusing interlude. We play on my pool table, and as such, there is netting which hangs from each pocket of the table, filled with the balls which are required to play. At around this point in time, Wings noticed the knocking noise which was emanating from Dev's direction.
"Would you stop playing with your balls?" - Wings, to general laughter.
"The worst part is, they're not his balls." - Sins, to more laughter.
Good times were had by all, but not like that.
"Actually everyone who reads this, what you are thinking is exactly how it happened. It was awkward. All awkward." - LD, trying to mislead you all. But she requested that I write that.

And so we continued.
Once Maebh had finished in the inn, she quickly comes out and hitches her horse to the cart before the three of them mount up. On their way, they pick up Tremor, while Harold rides on slightly ahead, riding down the occasional guardsman who gets in his way.

While sitting in the cart, the party recognises that the heavily armoured leaders of the guardsmen are armed in the fashion of Elspeth legionnaires. Which is enough to worry the companions regarding the talons that kingdom seems to have inserted into the town.

During this ride, Harold attempts to intimidate a squad of legionnaires. Holding his sword high, he induces his horse into rearing.
"Death to Elspeth and your whore-queen!" - Harold, brandishing his blade.
Harold succeeded on this test and managed to break their morale, making it an easy matter for the party to blast their way through, Harold personally riding down their leader, dispatching him in short order and riding onwards to join his companions. But this may not have been the case.

For his birthday, I bought Dev a gold-plated D10 so that he would always have a tens dice for any percentile rolls. Sadly however, this dice manages to always land between 5 and 8, making it a poor tens dice for a "roll-under" system like Norbayne. As such, we decided that instead, the golden dice would be his ones and his usual silver plastic dice would be the tens. Harold's efficiency took a sudden climb at this point.

"I should stick this one in the microwave." - Dev, referring to his golden dice.
"Yeah, but you know, you should probably not put metal in the microwave."
"Oh yeah, right." - Dev.
"Actually, in all seriousness, how about the oven? Would that be safe?" - Ladyhawk.
"I have no idea."
"Not if you don't have mittens. You could end up with gold all over your hands." - Wings.
"Then he would have the Midas touch." - LD, in a sing-song voice.

The wagon heads at a breakneck pace through the streets of Summer Hill, until it comes to a halt, a mere bowshot from the eastern gate. The gates are closed and the gatehouse manned by guards bearing the Summer Hill livery.

Harold notes that Captain Settwatch is in command of the guards.
"Royan!" - Harold, calling up to the gatehouse, upon which some guardsmen level low-powered bows at the Invarrian. The rest stand ready with spears to repel anyone who comes up the stairs to use the winch to open the gate.
"Sir Oakenshield. I hoped it wouldn't come to this." - Settwatch, grim.
"Come to what?" - Harold, either trying to bluff or genuinely confused.
"The mayor is dead. You killed him." - Settwatch, laying the charges.
"No I didn't!" - Harold.
"I did!" - Breanna, somewhat cheerfully.
"Technically then, your companion committed the murder. That is still something you all must answer for, despite your various other actions including arson, break and enter and destruction of property." - Settwatch.
"What witnesses are there to pin the mayor's death on Breanna?" - Harold.
"Does it matter? She just confessed. But regardless, I shall tell you. The Lady Silverwood has it that the Leathe was seen leaving the mayor's office and followed her to the outskirts of the town as she was suspicious. As it happened, she had good reason to be so." - Settwatch. From this it can be deduced that the Lady Silverwood has some magical ability as she was able to detect the Leathe, and has since lied about who was following who.
"I've seen what you can do and I know a mere man like I cannot stop you. But I am bound by my duty to stand in your way, and by my honour I will not stand aside." - Settwatch, resigned to his fate.

A tough thing to put to the group because on the whole they liked him. Only Tremor and Breanna actually considered killing him at all, something both Harold and Maebh agreed was the wrong thing to do.

"Then Royan, I am sorry. Maebh, blow the gates." - Harold.
The Danann mage blasts open the gates with a fireball, blowing the portal open and allowing the cart to storm through as the guards atop the wall look on in helplessness as they were thrown to the floor. A few guards immediately send up the call for water to put out Maebh's fire, while a handful more take up their bows.
Harold, trotting behind the wagon stops and turns back to Royan with a self-satisfied grin. Without being able to help it, the captain of the guard gives a small smile and waves a hand to call off the archers.
"My friend, you may want to sort out the fire and fix the gate!" - Harold, calling back.
"I shall. Take care on the roads, you will be hunted!" - Settwatch.
The wagon too draws to a stop and Maebh stands on it and calls back.
"Beware the Lady Silverwood. You will find that we destroyed a cult in our time here which intended to bring down your town from within. She was part of that cult." - Maebh, shouting, although Settwatch makes no indication of having heard.
"Cause she's a douchebag!" - Breanna, in a sing-song voice, delivering the finishing touch.

With that, the party begins their long ride to the east, hoping to get within Naillish territory.

And that is the proper end of the second arc.

On the plus side though, that means that now the third arc begins for real. And I will be back with that soon.


2014-01-22, 01:54 PM
The companions have found themselves on the road east, travelling for many weeks. They remain unmolested on the road, and gradually push further and further into the kingdom of Naille.

On this journey, the marcwolves begin to grow. Outside of any constraints, they now run alongside the wagon, climbing up into it to sleep at night. Most of the party spend the time deep in thought and thinking about what they have done and where they are going. Tremor takes the opportunity to imbue some of his equipment with power, laying runes upon them.
I do not actually have a list yet of what Tremor did, only that he has done so.

At one point on the journey, after unhitching her horse from the wagon after a hrd day's journey, Maebh took the beast aside to graze. She had felt herself become more and more attached to the creature as the journey had progressed, and now felt sure enough in her own power to attempt to bind the horse as a familiar. Reaching out with her consciousness, she mentally touched the horse's mind and was overcome with a wave of calm, assurance and overwhelmingly, curiosity. And so did Toirneach become bound to Maebh, awakened in a sense by a small portion of her being.
We did come up with a backstory for Toirneach, which was quite interesting. For visualisation, think a black Andalusian horse. Gameplay wise, the horse is able to communicate with her through a mind-link. The downside being that there are those who may be able to tell that they are bound and that Toirneach's death could put Maebh out of action for a while. Any pain one feels is felt by the other, and they do, to a certain extent share emotional reactions too, though this is limited and can be controlled.

After this substantial journey, the main road peels off and into a riverside village. A nearby signpost declares the village is named Dreven. In terms of how to visualise it, think of Riverwood from Skyrim.

Seeing as most of my players have played Skyrim to a certain extent, basing locations like this off that game has aided me in setting the scene. I haven't had to devote a great amount of time to describing Summer Hill or Dreven, instead just drawing up a map and telling the players that the place looks like Edoras/Whiterun or Riverwood as the case may be.

That's not to say Dreven isn't different. Just that the basic layout is similar. This is also due to the fact that I'm not much of a cartographer and I struggle to make towns and the like, look realistic. But that's neither here nor there.

The company leaves the wagon by the western gate of the township and lead the two horses to the stables. Unusually for a village in these parts, not only is there a dedicated stable for livestock, but it is situated within the walls of the town, which are squat, sturdy stone affairs, roughly eight feet high. The marcwolves tag alongside Breanna and Harold, both having grown to the size of large sheep. They are well behaved though, to an extent. They are wild animals after all, and their trainers are amateurs, so they are rather rowdy and don't always do as their told. Despite this, Harold manages to get them both in the stable without too much difficulty, having to grease the stable-master's hand with just a little more copper than if he was just stabling a dog.
"Make sure you get in the common room of the inn tonight, eh?" - Stable-master, pocketing his copper and looking up at the sky with a bit of trepidation.
"Why is that?" - Harold.
"It wouldn't do to speak of it out here. Make sure you get inside. And all your friends too." - Stable-master, walking away.
Harold shrugs his shoulders and heads off to the inn.

Kel'Serrar heads to the smithy and sees a massive bear of a Northmann, easily seven foot tall working at his forge.
"Good afternoon." - Blacksmith, looking up from his work and wiping his brow.
"Good afternoon. I was wondering, would you have any arrows for sale?" - Kel'Serrar.
"Hmm, I have arrow-heads. How many would you like?" - Blacksmith, frowning.
"Five should be enough." - Kel'Serrar.
"Well then I can do that. Hang around for about half an hour and I should be able to let this sit by then and I will go sort it out for you. Is there anything else you might be after?" - Blacksmith, about to take up his hammer once more.
"Fine, I'll cave. I might be looking for a sword." - Kel'Serrar, with a wry grin.
"Ah, then you are in luck! I have been called one of the finest swordsmiths in Naille. Once I am finished here I will show you my wares." - Blacksmith, nodding to the ranger and then going back to his work.

Tremor makes his way to the general store and has some time to look around. A bearded man at the back of the store looks up and smiles at the newcomer.
"Ah, what can I do for you my friend?" - Shopkeeper.
"I need this identified." - Tremor, drawing forth his unidentified root.
"Hmm, I'm afraid I do not know. But, tell you what. Magdalyn, out the back of the village, she might know." - Shopkeeper.
"Do you have writing materials and or paper?" - Tremor, swiping the root back into his pouch.
"Ah, that we do. I don't really sell much in that way out here, but of course that means I have quite the backlog! What would you like?" - Shopkeeper, with a laugh.
Tremor purchases various writing instruments and a quantity of parchment to replace that which was stolen.
"Ah, I have another thing for you to look at. Can you identify this?" - Tremor, fishing his amulet out from under his shirt.
"Look friend, I am sorry but I could not say. From the sheen on it, I would say that magic was involved in its forging and I would pay a handsome price for it, but I couldn't tell you of any properties it may have beyond the natural." - Shopkeeper, apologetic.
At this point Maebh walks in, having stabled Toirneach and seen to his feed and water.
"Oh! Another newcomer to our village. What can I do for you?" - Shopkeeper.
"Just looking around for now." - Maebh, quietly and almost to herself.
"Well then, do let me know if you need anything." - Shopkeeper, obviously unnerved.

Kel'Serrar takes a walk around the village, at first to clear his mind, but then he starts to look at the place as a potential battlefield. The village is too quiet to be a cheerful place, the overcast sky lending an ominous air. Several dwellings on the outskirts are abandoned and others show the signs of having been under attack. Windows are barred, doors heavily reinforced and anyone on the street looks to be a in a severe hurry to get back inside. Unsettled, the ranger heads back to the blacksmith, who is just laying his work to rest after quenching the steel in the trough.
"Good timing! So, arrowheads and a sword was it? Follow me and I shall see what Ingir can do for you." - Ingir, good naturedly.
The blacksmith leads Kel'Serrar into a workshop and rifles through some draws before withdrawing five arrowheads and placing them on the wooden counter.
"Now for swords." - Ingir, absent-mindedly going through finished pieces.
He eventually places a collection of arming swords upon the counter and, after testing the balance and heft, the Danann picks out one he would like.
In the end Kel'Serrar gets a good deal on the blade and arrowheads and heads outside with his purchases, thinking about how he's going to fletch some arrows.

Harold walks into the tavern, thinking to get himself a room and maybe some food for his marcwolf. Upon coming in, he realises that the common room is being used as a communal area for most of the village, with bedrolls everywhere. A short blond man at the bar looks up.
"Ah, a newcomer. We don't get many here anymore. Can I help you?" - Innkeeper.
"I think I may be here for a while." - Harold.
"Unfortunately, all our rooms on the second floor are taken, but there is still room here in the common room." - Innkeeper.
"That will be fine. I'll pay for two nights right now." - Harold, handing over the sulvers.
"Is there anything else you may be after?" - Innkeeper, having fleeced the Invarrian something shocking.
"Yes actually, meat for my wolf please. In fact, I'd better go get him now." - Harold, with a malicious grin, knowing he has been ripped off and fully intending to get back at the innkeeper.
"What does he eat?" - Innkeeper, somewhat faintly.
"Meat." - Harold.
"An old ram was slaughtered today. He'll take mutton?" - Innkeeper, looking steadily more uncomfortable.
"Aye, he'll eat almost anything really." - Harold, far too cheerful.
Harold then heads out to the stables to retrieve his marcwolf, and then gets sidetracked by the blacksmith.

Maebh looks around the store and is singularly unimpressed by what she finds. There really does seem to be nothing of any interest. She is just about to head out in disgust when she notices a glint from the corner of the room. There is a golden dagger on the floor, a short blade which appeared to have fallen from a table at some point. The blade is golden and the hilt seems to have been wrapped in a form of white leather. She cannot see a sheathe around, but picks it up and finds that it is quite dusty and has been there for quite a while. Interestingly, it is of a Danann design and she thinks she has seen this blade somewhere before, though she cannot place its origin.

Tremor makes his way to what he was informed was Magdalyn's house, a dilapidated affair on the outskirts of the village. It is quite overgrown, vines creeping up the walls. The front door is barely on its hinges, but Tremor knocks anyway out of politeness.
"Just lift the door and come in!" - Woman's voice, calling from inside.
Tremor takes the door and opens it with more difficulty than one would expect from a small wooden door before walking in. The interior is considerably more well-kept, with firelight spilling from a room to the right. Tremor moves towards it and comes across a young Selkye woman stirring a large iron cauldron. She is small and lightly built and clad in a simple dark green dress.
"So, what can I do for you?" - Magdalyn, not looking up from her cauldron.
"I was told you could identify this root for me." - Tremor, fishing the root out of his pouch.
The woman laughs at his unintentional pun and then takes the root (I'm so sorry) from the Dwergar.
"Ah, you have found something interesting. This is bloodroot. You can make heaps of things out of this, but the most common use is if you grind it up, add a little water and you get a rich sauce." - Magdalyn.
"Hmm, that's nice. Anything else?" - Tremor.
"Some people believe that when mixed with lavender it has healing properties, though that's stretching a bit. Other than that, just use it as food flavouring." - Magdalyn.
"So why did you say it was interesting?" - Tremor, disappointed.
"Well, because it is rare. Particularly in these parts. It requires pretty special conditions for it to grow." - Magdalyn.
Tremor is about to leave when he has a thought.
"Hmm, can you teach me any of your craft?" - Tremor.
"Yes I can, but you will have to be willing to learn." - Magdalyn, who spends the next few hours teaching Tremor the basics of herblore. With a bit of lavender and his bloodroot and a lot of water, Tremor is able to craft three small vials of a healing liquid. The two part ways on good terms, one happy with his newfound knowledge and the other with the progress of her student.

Harold drops off his weapons at the blacksmith for service and sells the shields and maces, the wood Ingir will use for firewood and the iron maces can be melted down. Harold looks at the blades Ingir has available, one in particular catching the Invarrian's eye. Almost three feet, utilitarian hilt and a tempered, blued steel blade.
"I have not seen a blade of such exceptional craftsmanship." - Harold.
"My forge is exceptionally hot. A mage came through these parts a few years back and I asked her a favour. The payment was harsh, but she came through for me and now my forge-fires never die and can reach higher temperatures than I have ever before felt." - Ingir.
"That must work very well for you." - Harold.
"Aye, as difficult as the payment was, it was worth it." - Ingir.
Harold spends a lot and gains a blade of masterwork quality.

Standing in the corner of the general store, staring at the dagger in her hands, Maebh starts when the shopkeeper calls out from behind his bench.
"Have you found something you like?" - Shopkeeper.
"Yes.... Yes." - Maebh, preoccupied.
"Hmm, I have never seen that before..." - Shopkeeper, walking around to her. "I may... have to ask for that I'm afraid. Yes. It's not for sale." - Shopkeeper, holding out his hand and looking troubled.
Maebh hesitates, but eventually hands it over. Almost immediately, the shopkeeper produces a bolt of cloth and wraps the dagger in it. Almost as if he fears to touch it...

While all this is going on, Breanna just finds a tree, climbs it and has a quick sleep.

And we left it there....

2014-01-22, 02:16 PM
Seems ominous. I'm hoping they can be genuinely heroic here, instead of Murderhobos R Us like the last town they were in.

2014-01-26, 12:29 PM
Was that dagger the "gilded sword" of the campaign title?

2014-01-26, 10:06 PM
The players know by now, so I'll tell everyone here. No. It's not. :smallwink:

2014-02-02, 10:05 AM
Well the session was played but I will leave it up to the readership to determine whether or not there was any more heroics than before. :smalltongue:

2014-03-31, 11:18 AM
Okay, sorry for the triple post but I felt the need to update everyone.

The next write-up will be along shortly. I've been quite busy recently, just turned twenty and some other stuff I've forgotten about.

After our early year hiatus, we've scheduled a game for this Friday night, hopefully with another player, a friend of LD's. We may also see yet another player's arrival in the next few months, depending on whether or not he behaves.

We shall see. Anyway, this message was just to let our readers know that we still think about you and you all haven't been abandoned.

Cheers everyone, :D

2014-04-16, 11:17 PM
Okay everyone, picture time. :)

First up, here's the group as it stands.
From left to right, Ladyhawk, Dev, Wings, LD, Sins and PG. Note the ever important Coke in the foreground.

Next up, we've got a new player, Wings of the Opal Sky, or Opal for short. She's a bit of a budding artist herself, and drew some fanart style pictures of Maebh and her soon-to-be-introduced character, Therressa Bannimagen.

First up, Maebh.

And secondly, a first glimpse of Therressa.

That's all for now, but LD has some stuff that will be made available soon.

EDIT* Here's LD's picture of the group, including Therressa.
This image is actually based on a joke sketch I produced about half a year ago. I knocked it up in about fifteen minutes while I was in the bathroom actually. It's actually quite peaceful, but I digress. LD did a very good job of taking my lack of ability and blocky shapes and turning it into a pretty classy sketch. I'm personally very impressed, if only because I've seen the original she is emulating.

On an unrelated note, we were supposed to play tomorrow, but Wings cancelled at the last minute, so we're postponing again. Opal may or may not be available for the next session, we'll see.


2014-04-20, 11:07 AM
Session 3.2: Sleepless Nights and Undead Wolves

The dead line of the Wildermonts once held Blackfort on Mount Dove, an ancient and now abandoned stone fastness built into the side of the mountain in a forgotten age. The Wildermont kings ruled the lands surrounding Mount Dove with a firm and yet fair hand. In a time where the forests were even more untamed than today and villages were under constant threat of attack from neighbouring kingdoms, the Blackfort's positioning gave the Wildermont kings a strong strategic position to strike out at invading forces from. In time, the kings of Wildermont were renowned as the most powerful of those in the western Midlands.

And then one man took the throne who never should have.

History has never recorded if his condition stemmed from causes mundane or arcane in origin, but once the Wolf King was crowned, the lands surrounding Mount Dove would never be the same....
- From Records of the Ancient History of the Naillish Kingdoms.

"Welcome to Session 3.2-"
"You lost The Game." - LD.
"Ah, and there we go again." - Wings, despairing.
LD fails to open her dicebag and drops it on the floor.
"LD verses inanimate object." - Sins.
"So far, inanimate object seems to be winning." - Dev, to general laughter.
"Proof if ever it was needed that the assassin should never have to go up against inanimate objects." - Sins.

So the company finds themselves in the village of Dreven. It is late afternoon and various things have happened around the village. Harold's had his metal objects polished and sharpened, Maebh is upset she's had to hand over a nice golden dagger she found in the general store, Tremor's spent the afternoon with a witch who has taught him all kinds of witchery, Breanna's spent the afternoon sleeping in a tree and Kel'Serrar bought some stuff and buggered around for a while.

The sky is becoming rather dark and overcast and it would surprise no one for rain to set in later. But before we see to that, we must cut back to Maebh, who is still conversing with the owner of the general store.
"Why do you not want to sell it?" - Maebh inquires, regarding the dagger.
"Because I do not know where it has come from, but it is not for sale." - Store owner, looking troubled.
Perception Check from Maebh reveals that he is uneasy about the situation, though most people would be uneasy alone in a room with an irate Danann.
The store owner retreats back behind the counter.
"Very well. If you change your mind, do let me know." - Maebh, before turning and leaving the store.

Tremor is walking down the main road of the village thinking about how he will use not only his new-found witchcraft but also his runecraft which he learnt in secret before he was exiled from home. His initial thoughts are to steal some pieces of equipment from Harold's extensive armoury to practice on, but he discards that for the more honest approach.
"Harold, may I have a word with you?" - Tremor, gruff as he has not had a drink since noon.
"Yes..." - Harold, wary as he knows the Dwergar is prone to sudden changes in character. It would not be out of the realm of possibility for the next ten minutes to become either village-wide drinking contest or an all-out brawl between two very competent warriors.
"Would you have spare pieces of armour I could practice my runecraft on?" - Tremor, inquiring.
"I might do. What were you thinking?" - Harold.
"Runes of protection and fortitude which will hold them strong in battle mainly." - Tremor, already thinking ahead and not focussing entirely on the conversation to hand.
"Aye, I believe I can lend you something." - Harold, grabbing his vambraces and handing them over. "Will these do?"
"Aye, but I hope you won't miss them too much if I bugger it up." - Tremor, taking them.
Tremor takes the bracers to the workbench near Ingir's forge and begins to carefully chisel protective runes into the steel. In little time at all he has completed his task and hands his handiwork back to the Invarrian.
"Thank you." - Harold, taking the vambraces.
Tremor is already thinking about his next project and ignores the duellist. He wanders off to the wagon and picks up his greatsword, bringing it back to Ingir's workbench. He then spends the next half an hour chiselling runes into the blade which will allow him to send molten silver flying from the blade on his command.

Having perfected the runes necessary to provide what he heard described as the Silver Arrow effect, Tremor finds Breanna and offers to give her more powerful weapons. The Leathe, awoken from her slumber throws down her knives to the Dwergar and tells him to go away. Happily, Tremor wanders back to the forge and chisels the runes in, working past the time where the sun dips into the horizon and the majority of the light he is working by is given off by the forge-fires Ingir is still working.

Soon enough Breanna wanders past the smithy and reclaims her knives from the Dwergar, the two of them joining Harold in heading to the inn.

"Now over the course of this journey you have befriended your horse and given him a name." - To Ladyhawk. "Which reminds me, LD and Dev, your marcwolves have gone a hell of a long time without names. They were introduced in the first session..."
"Well, Mark...." - LD offers helpfully.
"What? And Wolfe?" - Sarcastic.
"Ah that's it! Wolfgang! Mine is Wolfgang!" - LD, happily.
"Wolfgang von Markus?"
"Haha that is.... My marcwolf's name." - LD
"And keeping with the minstrel theme, Bach." - Sins, to generally laughter.
"What about Amadeus?" - Ladyhawk.
"I'm torn between Amadeus and... Bach." - Dev, lengthening the syllables of the latter due to his distinctive Dev-ian accent.
Laughter all round.
"Well, roll off then." - Wings.
"Wait, whatever you don't call your marcwolf, you call your horse."
"Okay, the horse is Amadeus. The wolf is Bach." - Dev.
"I'd like to point out for the sake of the recording, you did this." - Sins, blaming me for starting this tangent.

The companions meet up in the tavern and obtain a table. The barkeep wanders over to them.
"I have already spoken with you Invarrian, but not your companions. I imagine you will need a place to stay the night?" - Barkeep, trying to be friendly.
"How much will this cost? Because if it's expensive, back to the tree I go." - Breanna.
"Two sulvers to stay in the common room. We have no more rooms available upstairs." - Barkeep, frowning slightly.
"No rooms available?" - Maebh, frowning.
"No, none." - Barkeep.
"So we'll be down here with other people, on the floor?" - Maebh, frowning even more.
"Yes." - Barkeep.
"I am not staying here. I'll set up my own tent out near the cart." - Maebh, with finality.
"I will too. This is ridiculous." - Breanna.
"I can't recommend that. You really should come in." - Barkeep.
"Of course you would say that, you're charging us for the privilege of using your floor." - Maebh.
"I cannot say, for the Wolf Lord might hear, but for your sake, you should all be indoors when night falls." - Barkeep.
"Fine, I'll pitch my tent inside. I want privacy. And I refuse to pay extra for that." - Maebh.
"It's two sulvers to stay the night in the common room. What you do once you have paid is your business." - Barkeep, shrugging.
The company pays the barkeep for shelter for the night.
"Now, tell us. Who is the Wolf Lord?" - Maebh.
"I cannot say, for if he hears me it would draw terrible vengeance upon us." - Barkeep, leaning in and keeping his voice low.
"Who could I ask for more information?" - Maebh, just as conspiratorial.
"Look, stay in the village tonight and you will know why I am wary." - Barkeep.
He looks around the common room and the companions follow his gaze. They realise that the majority of the village seems to have congregated inside the building. Many of the people look to have abandoned their homes and now are living out of the inn.

A small period of discussion here is turned off topic as Wings describes how he will propose the next Tremor and Harold vs Norbayne drinking contest.
"I have decided that Dev will be the drinking drinker tonight." - Wings, launching into a planning monologue.
"Meanwhile, Dev is sitting here scratching his head, thinking, "What the actual f***?" - Dev, laughing.
"While Harold is sitting, thinking, "Ale!!!!" - Sins, to more laughter.
"No guys, wait, you didn't let me explain! I'm going to stand up on the table and call out, "Ten sulvers to the one who can outdrink my man here!" - Wings, trying to derail things further.
"Well before the crowd goes to stupid, can we get something to eat?" - Ladyhawk.

The inn provides meals to its patrons as a matter of course. The fare is simple, a cut of roasted meat, a hunk of bread and a slice of hard cheese. Usually there would be more variety available, but times are hard in Dreven.

Plates are promptly served to the companions, who delve in with varying degrees of enthusiasm. The meat is overcooked to the liking of the Danann for instance, but the irritating habit they have found amongst other Midlanders of providing vegetation as foodstuffs is absent, much to their relief.

"So, how about we liven this place up a bit, eh? I'll put my money up for anyone who can outdrink my mate here." - Tremor, friendly to the barkeep.
"I am sorry, but we have not received any goods in town for a long while. I simply cannot afford to do anything like that." - Barkeep, apologetic.

The people within the inn are quiet and subdued, none of them willing to make eye contact with the strangers, let alone strike up conversation. Outside the inn, those few people who are not sheltering there at night shut up their houses and shore up any points of egress as well as possible.

Ingir the smith has finished his work and practically barricades himself inside his house. Having seen how the populace prepares for the evening, what was initially thought to be extreme reinforcement of the stable and inn are now viewed in a new light.

The feeling inside the inn is that few outside will survive.

A hallway upstairs has a window which looks out over the stable, allowing Maebh to potentially look out over her horse. The window is barred too, making it difficult for anything to get in.

Night falls. Families huddle together in the common room of the inn. A small child begins to cry and the way the nervous mother hushes the small boy gives the feeling that they've been in this situation before.

Through the mind-link with Toirneach, Maebh can feel a growing sense of restlessness. The other animals in the stable, livestock, dogs and the few other horses start to panic and even the normally stoic Toirneach finds himself getting nervous. The sounds of the animals in their panicked state can be heard clearly from within the inn.

Harold walks upstairs and looks out the window. The sun has set and dark heavy clouds shroud the skies. Two torches have been lit in the iron brackets on either side of the western gate, brave men having run out and set them in the brackets before retreating to the safety of the inn. Aside from those two points of light, Harold can see nothing from his vantage point.

Everything is black.

A low thunder builds in the distance and the wind begins to blow harder through the trees. The thunder gets closer and louder as the minutes roll by. From within the stable, Toirneach is starting to panic, caught up in the same mad frenzy as the rest of the animals inside. His great black shoulder slams hard into the side of his stall and the stallion screams into the night. Through her mind-link, Maebh can feel that panic and fear, but with a great force of will, she pushes the emotions aside.

Willpower Check from Toirneach is failed, so he succumbs to Fear. Due to the mind-link, Maebh must also take the same Check with a negative equal to how much Toirneach failed by, in this case netting her a -17 to the Check. Which is hefty, but not insurmountable. Her Check is passed, and she manages to retain control of her own emotions.

Having a familiar has its upsides, but there's some disadvantages too.

Kel'Serrar slips deep into a trance where he sits upon the floor, trying to determine just what is coming. His mind's eye leaves his own consciousness, affording him an eagle-eye view of what is transpiring.

Kel'Serrar took the Woodland Senses Major Talent at some point, but I think this is the first time he's used it. Major Talents are basically very useful effects that can generally only be used once a session. Woodland Senses is a Ranger Major Talent that basically allows the Ranger to see the landscape from above and determine just what is in the immediate area. It's a combination of extraordinary, almost supernatural senses, knowledge of the lands and patterns in nature and just an innate sense of direction.

Kel'Serrar swiftly notices that the rolling thunder is in fact the sound of hundreds of paws hitting the ground at great speed, but it takes some time for his mind to adjust to the new perspective he is being granted. The spectral vision of his mind's eye reveals the area around the gate, where there is a great rushing pack of creatures, subtle hints in the air suggesting both that they are both wolves and not of the living variety. Such is Kel'Serrar's attunement to the world around him, he can tell that they are not breathing, nor are their hearts beating.

"What is it?" - Tremor, to the Danann ranger.
"Wolves, but this is no ordinary pack..." - Kel'Serrar, mumbling in his trance.

From his window, Harold can see only the vaguest of shapes passing by on the street below. There is a series of sickening thuds, a crash and then the screaming begins in earnest from further within the village.

Harold attempts to sniff but, has no luck smelling over the smells of the various people in the tavern and the woodsmoke permeating the inn.

The darkness outside seems to be drawing closer and closer to the torches, drowning the light being emitted.

"Can we kill the things now?" - Wings.
"Well, if you want to go outside..."
"No, I don't want to go outside. Not yet. I want to find out if we can kill them." - Wings.
"If they have stats, we can kill them... I'd like to point out that we also have stats..." - Sins.

The screaming ceases. The pack thunders through the village. And that's it.

It's over for the night.

The mood in the tavern is not panic as much as depression. As far as the common people are concerned, no one will be leaving this village alive. Every night, the wolves return and kill a few more citizens and it's only a matter of time until the wolves break into the inn and kill everyone inside.

"I want to be able to wake up immediately if something does come crashing through." - Wings.
"So sleep in front of the door. Nothing can go wrong with that." - Sins, helpful.
"No, that would put me in the direct path of attack. I don't want to be the doorstop." - Wings.
"The dwar-stop?" - To pained laughter. They can't all be funny.

The companions set themselves up in the common room and sleep for the night, wary and with weapons close at hand. Bach wriggles his way under Harold's jacket, seeking reassurance before he sleeps.

"Meanwhile, my marcwolf's out in the barn screaming, "What the hell's going on!?" - LD.
"Yeah pretty much."
"Sorry Wolfgang!" - LD.
"No don't say sorry to the wolf-gang, they just rampaged through town." - Sins, proving my earlier statement regarding puns to be correct.
"You have planned this." - Dev, glaring at the GM, as if it were my fault that LD named her marcwolf after a famous composer.

As dawn breaks across Dreven, the people of the village awake to do their daily business.

"Did Dev's marcwolf pee itself on him during the night?" - Wings, sniggering.
"Oh no, please tell me it didn't." - LD, head in hands.
"No it didn't, although it did get very anxious at various points in the night."
"If it does continue to do that, we may change his name to Often Bach." - Sins, redeeming himself for his earlier pun.

The companions head out together into the village. Maebh, Harold and Breanna cross to the stable to go check on their various animals, while Tremor heads to the general store to avail himself of a pipe and pipeweed and Kel'Serrar heads to the party's cart to bring all of the group's belongings that have been left on it into the common room of the inn.

"We were fortunate last night that the stables were not attacked. That was a large pack- Ah, but I have said too much." - Stablehand, unbarring the door and lifting the chains away.
The companions reunite with their animals, both Maebh and Harold leading their horses out into the open air. Where Harold does so to simply get the horse's muscles warmed up and moving again, Maebh takes Toirneach aside and speaks with him quietly in the shade beneath a tree. Breanna leads Wolfgang outside too before settling down to play with him in a farmer's abandoned paddock.

Kel'Serrar, having shifted the party's gear inside the tavern begins exploring the town. The dirt road leading through Dreven has been turned to churned up mud, both by the continuous rain during the night and by the horde of wolves. The Danann finds the dwelling which was torn into and is struck with the oddity of what he finds. The corner of the house had been forced inwards to allow the wolves in. The ranger assumes that the wolves just battered themselves against the walls until they gained entrance. Inside, the table is set as if for dinner, however two wooden chairs are overturned and there are splashes of blood upon the floor. No body parts, nor torn clothes, just blood.

"Can I take a Wilderness Knowledge Check to determine just how odd this is?" - Sins.
"Don't need the check, it's very odd and your character has never seen anything like it."
"Okay, second thing. I engage sociopath mode and loot the house, how much money do I find?" - Sins.
"*Sigh* Roll a D10... Do something heroic why don't you..."

Having searched the house for evidence, Kel'Serrar finds himself in the possession of several sulvers and a good deal of coppers, which, seeing as the previous owners are probably eaten, half of which he pockets, the other half he sets aside to be spread evenly through the party later.

Harold happens across the Danann as he is just sorting through the coins. The Invarrian studies the dwelling carefully, wordlessly accepting the money from the ranger.

"Look at this." - Kel'Serrar, holding up one of a handful of teeth scattered around the corner of the house where the wolves forced entrance. To the ranger's trained eye, it appears as if the wolves literally chewed through the wall.
"That is odd..." - Harold, peering at the fang in Kel'Serrar's hand.
The walls themselves are mud slabs built over a light wooden framework. Sturdy enough, and will keep the wind out, but not so strong to be impregnable to wolves. At least exceptionally determined wolves.
To Kel'Serrar's experienced eye, the wolf-fang in his hand appears quite rotten. It is something he would expect to see in the mouth of a year-old corpse rather than a moving creature.

Tremor passes the Invarrian and Danann on his way to Magdalyn's house on the outskirts of the village. As he does so, Kel'Serrar throws a small coinpurse at the Dwergar who catches it, nods his thanks and keeps walking.

The ramshackle door of Magdalyn's house is still intact, as is the rest of the somewhat dilapidated dwelling. Tremor knocks upon the door, causing it to fall inwards with a thud.
"Ugh, just lift it up and come on in. Fix it up when you leave." - Magdalyn, exasperated.
The Dwergar gingerly picks the door up and sets it against the wall before heading into the woman's main room.
"Ah, Tremor. You survived the night I see." - Magdalyn, brightly.
"Yes I did. How did you survive?" - Tremor, suspicious.
"By not dying." - Magdalyn, raising an eyebrow.
Tremor is unconvinced.
"They know better than to attack me. Now come master dwarf, you can help me. I need someone to lift this. I started work on it yesterday, but it's all **** now. Come on now, take it out and empty it for me, there's a good chap." - Magdalyn, referring to a full cauldron on the floor.
Tremor takes it and lifts it with a small amount of difficulty, carrying it outside. He hesitates once out the door.
"Just go ahead, tip it on the garden. Won't hurt it." - Magdalyn, referring to the twisted, brown growths protruding from the patches of bright violet soil on the ground.
Mentally shrugging, the Dwergar pours the oozing grey sludge of the cauldron onto the ground.
"Disgusting. Looks like my mother's cooking." - Magdalyn, sniffing. "Right, take that back in for me."
The Dwergar does as he is told and carries the cauldron back inside and setting it into the recesses in the stone floor. With his task done, Tremor looks back to the Selkye woman.
"So, to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?" - Magdalyn.

"What happened last night? The innkeeper was not very forthcoming about events." - Tremor, sitting at Magdalyn's table, finally having found a seat in these lands which he does not swing his legs like a child while sitting.
"The Wolf King sent his minions. You're relatively intelligent, so you probably got that already. You know about the Wolf King? No? Ah right, well then, he's an ancient sorcerer living in the woods who has the people of these lands caught under his 'evil spell!" - Magdalyn, wiggling her fingers at the last words and laughing. Obviously she's not taking the situation too seriously, despite the fact that her next-door neighbours were eaten just last night.
"Look, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. He doesn't seem to be able to get them riled up enough to attack me properly. So I'm just going to continue as I have done since I came here." - Magdalyn, more serious now.
"Can you help me then? If I go to take down this sorcerer, how could you help?" - Tremor.
"I do not know, I could potentially patch you up after you've taken a few hits... That's about it I'd say." - Magdalyn, apologetic.
"Why do they not attack you?" - Tremor, hoping for some of that stuff instead I guess.
"I think they're scared of me." - Magdalyn, simply.
"Why?" - Tremor.
"Because I am me." - Magdalyn, with finality. She then hits her head with the palm of her hand.
"No wait, this might be the reason!" - Magdalyn, springing up and heading into the room directly across the hallway.
Tremor follows her and is amazed at the shelves full of completed potions and ingredients which are being stockpiled. The Selkye woman snatches up a vial from one of the shelves before ushering the Dwergar out of the room and onto the road through the village.
"Yes, this might be it." - Magdalyn, before throwing the vial into the centre of the road.
A three metre square section of the road erupts in a blindingly bright fireball before receding into nothing, scorching the mud.
"Yes, that may be it. I hope you enjoyed that, I only have three of them left now." - Magdalyn, absent-mindedly.
"How would we make more?" - Tremor, getting to the point.
"Right. Yes, well, I, uh, don't actually have the ingredient at hand at the moment...." - Magdalyn, looking at the ground, somewhat bashful.
"They're in the woods, aren't they?" - Tremor, scowling.
"Uh.... well.... yes...." - Magdalyn, scuffing her shoe in the mud.
"Write me a list of what is needed. I shall take it to my companions and we'll try to find it." - Tremor, coming to a decision.
"Uh, that would be helpful. Who knows, we might even be able to mount a bit of an active defence next time they come knocking." - Magdalyn, with a laugh, having brightened considerably after Tremor offered to find her ingredients.

The Selkye woman runs inside and emerges with one of her books, riffling through pages and pages of spidery handwriting. She goes through six books, growing more and more irate with every new volume. Placing the sixth back in the shelf with some annoyance, she slaps her hand against the wood. A book falls off, which she picks up and flicks through.
"Aha! This is it!" - Magdalyn, ripping out the page with the instructions, crumpling it and throwing it to Tremor.
"Okay now, out you get. I've got work to do and you're in my way. Go on, out with you." - Magdalyn, moving back to her storeroom.
"Okay, okay I'm leaving." - Tremor, with a smile. The Dwergar picks up the woman's door and sets it back into place across the doorway.
"There, I even put the door back." - Tremor, half to himself.
"Thank you!" - Magdalyn, from inside the dwelling.
Chuckling to himself, Tremor heads back to his other companions.

Throughout Tremor's misadventures, the rest of the party have been investigating the most recent break-in, Maebh and Breanna having joined Kel'Serrar and Harold.
"Hmm, no scraps of clothing, no pieces of the victims. So either they've been dragged off, eaten whole or..." - Harold, trailing off.
"Or what?" - Maebh.
"Or they've turned into wolves themselves." - Harold, quietly.
Not so long ago, some of them may well have laughed at the idea, but now, even in the light of day, they can't help but shake off that such a thing might be possible.

Tremor soon joins them in the house, standing around a particularly large blood splatter on the floor.
"Do you have anything to tell us?" - Harold, to Tremor.
"Yes I do. I know what's going on here." - Tremor.
"People are dying and being eaten by wolves?" - Kel'Serrar, sarcastic.
"No, it's a sorcerer apparently. I went and saw the witch and she was far more helpful than the tavernkeeper. There is a sorcerer plaguing the town. Um, the wolves really dislike her, which is a positive. Oh, and she's given me a list of things she needs to make well, explosive vials of stuff. Firebombs! She's only got three left, but she can make more if she has the ingredients." - Tremor, explaining the situation.
"And what are these ingredients?" - Kel'Serrar.

Wanting to avoid any major issues with regards to not actually having names made up on the spot for explosive tubers of the forest, I informed the players here that the page simply had what was required and that both Kel'Serrar with his woodland knowledge and Tremor with his newfound herblore would be able to recognise them. The players understood and moved on, which I do think is the key to dealing with issues with a particular GM.

For instance, I know a fair bit about combat and medieval weaponry, however town layout and botany are two things I am not as well versed in. So I pinch things when I can and admit my faults when I can't. Players understand this and move on in my experience, and good fun can be had by all.

More to come. :smallsmile:

2014-04-20, 11:15 AM
I would never lie to you lot. On with the game. :smallbiggrin:

"Okay, there they are. I suggest you all go looking for them while I stay here. Having seen what these things are capable of, I can see that come nightfall, these people are in great danger. I can help them. My plan is to obtain as much wood and iron as possible and start turning the tavern into a fortress." - Tremor, handing over the page with the ingredients and explaining his plan.
"So we traipse around in the dark forest looking for mushrooms and the dwarf stays safe in the village?" - Kel'Serrar, sceptical.
"Come nightfall, if I don't do this, none of will be safe." - Tremor, simply.
"Are you going to let him do this?" - Kel'Serrar, turning to Maebh.
The mage considers it for a moment.
"You're going to owe us." - Maebh, to the Dwergar.
"Agreed. I will owe you all one favour each." - Tremor, shrugging.
"Well, first favour, I have five arrowheads, can you attach shafts to them?" - Kel'Serrar, pulling the arrowheads forth from his satchel.
"Sure. I can't fletch them, but I can attach the shafts." - Tremor, taking the arrowheads.
"More of the job done. I'll find a fletcher. Regardless, it's still not my problem." - Kel'Serrar, smirking.
"Okay, good luck my friends, I'm going to get to work." - Tremor, taking his leave.

I gave Wings a basic overview of the tavern's floorplan and then tossed him a pencil and told him to start drawing in his fortifications while I took the rest of the group through their journey into the forest to find the crap they're after.

For the sake of continuity, all of Tremor's preparations can go here.

Tremor heads to the tavern and takes out his newly purchased writing implements to begin sketching his fortifications. Upon finishing this he heads around the village, first talking to the innkeeper and getting the man's permission to make his alterations.

Well actually he approaches the innkeeper, gets frustrated with the man's recalcitrance and knocks the man out. The innkeeper finds himself oddly compelled to not hinder the dwarf.
"The power of unconsciousness compels you." - Sins.
"Anyone else in here who wants to survive the night, you'd be better off helping me than getting in my way." - Tremor, to those men in the tavern. A few men had stood up to intervene on the innkeeper's behalf, but the engineer's steely gaze cows them.

Tremor then sets to gathering up a small team of stout-hearted men who will follow him to the eaves of the forest to cut down some trees for wood. He gets his hands some wood-cutting saws too, to help with this endeavour.

"So, on a scale crap to ten, how crap is this plan?" - Kel'Serrar, to Harold.
"Well.... I've dealt with worse ones in my time." - Harold, thinking.
"It's comforting to know that I don't need to run faster than whatever attacks us, only faster than you." - Kel'Serrar, clapping Harold on the shoulder and finishing his preparations.

Before they leave, Maebh purchases a time-keeping candle to help them manage the time they are outside the village. The candle has notches in the side, each notch corresponding to an hour. In their preparations, Harold decides to take Amadeus and Bach out into the forest, while Breanna slinks ahead, Wolfgang by her side and dagger in hand. Her task is to make markings in the bark of the occasional tree she passes so as not to lose their way in the tangled woods. For his part, Toirneach follows Maebh warily, unhappy about going into the forest, but unwilling to be parted from the mage.

The forest around Dreven is dark and brooding with exceptionally thick undergrowth, twigs, roots and thorns entangling the companions as they forge their path under the canopy. After almost two hours of travelling, their diligence pays off, and the companions begin to find significant amounts of the items needed.

"Three successes on finding them, so now Intelligence Checks from Kel'Serrar to see if they're the right ones or if they're just similar in appearance."
"Oh great, we're screwed." - Sins, before passing all three checks.
"Well what do you know? I know my weed." - Sins.

Not long after their first discovery, a low, gravelly howl can be heard from the north in the direction of Dove Mountain. At the sound of the howl, Amadeus rears and strains against the lead-rope in Harold's hand. With a quiet snarl, the Invarrian manages to keep the horse from bolting and soothes it with some quiet words.

Maebh drops into a defensive crouch, spear held before her and magic writhing in her grasp. Kel'Serrar moves up behind her, bow in hand and an arrow nocked and ready. He has heard many wolves over his years in the wilds, and that was like no wolf he had ever heard before. Whatever made that noise sounded like it had its throat torn out.

Ahead of the rest of her companions, Breanna simply crouches against a tree truck, one hand on back of Wolfgang's neck, calming the young marcwolf.

Minutes go by and there is no answering howl. The woods are silent now. No birds fly overhead or sing in the canopy. All is still, save the brave band looking for herbs.

"I think we should go back. We'll call Breanna back and head to Dreven." - Maebh, voicing her opinion.
"If you can cover me, I can try to sense any movement around us." - Kel'Serrar, making a usggestion.
"I will cover him." - Harold, to Maebh.
Maebh consults her candle. Only a little over two hours have passed.
"Hmm, we haven't been gone long and this stuff is supposed to help us. Okay, Kel'Serrar, you do what you can. Harold, guard him. Don't either of you get eaten and warn us as soon as you know something's coming. I will find Breanna and the two of us will keep searching for ingredients. We will stay out here another hour and then begin heading back." - Maebh, coming to a decision and commanding the group.

The mage moves forward and eventually finds Breanna, softly calling out to her until the Leathe breaks cover. The two of them study the ingredients already discovered and then start to search anew, this time with a far better idea of what they are searching for. They find more ingredients, although Maebh notices that the flowers of some of the plants being harvested are not exactly the same as the first example they found. She hopes that they're the same plant and throws them in the sack regardless.

Meanwhile Kel'Serrar sits against a tree and starts to meditate on his surroundings, Harold standing over him, sword in one hand and Amadeus' lead-rope in the other. Bach sits at his master's feet, looking around at the shadowed undergrowth with some apprehension. Toirneach meanwhile just stands apart from all of them, staring off into the undergrowth which Maebh disappeared into.

Unfortunately, despite all his best efforts Kel'Serrar cannot attune himself. These woods are not natural and the more he tries to become one with them, the more they unsettle him. It's no use. He just can't do it now, jittery as he is.

Thus it is not Kel'Serrar, but Harold and his keen ears which can hear that the dead silence of the forest is in fact that. Dead silence. The only noises to be heard are those of his companions in the undergrowth, however when he closes his eyes and really focusses he can hear, beyond the forest, faint howling. Hundreds of wolves howling over the top of one another until each individual howl is lost in the mash of sound and then carried down the mountain by the wind and into the forest to Harold's ears.

The sound chills him to the bone.

The Invarrian takes a deep sniff of the air and considers what he can sense. Death and decay. Damp wood and moss. Mud and leaf-litter. Nothing living.

And then he smells something he recognises. The same smells of rotting flesh from the woods around Summer Hill. The smell he associates with one thing.


Except not. Where the corpsewalkers smelt of death and disease and rotting flesh, this new smell has an unclean acrid tang to it. Almost a strong, acidic smoke. The Invarrian is puzzled, and tightens his grip on the hilt of his sword.

Ranging ahead, Breanna and Maebh find a crevice between two standing boulders with an abundance of one of the herbs growing in between. They harvest as much as they dare before heading back to Kel'Serrar and Harold, Wolfgang roving ahead of them through the woods, following the Leathe's signs, first to the Dwergar and Invarrian and then on to Dreven.

Once the trees are cut down, Tremor organises teams which work to shape and position the logs. At least two logs are set aside to be carved into sharp clusters of wooden spikes which are driven into the gaps between the walls and rooves of both the tavern and the stable, to prevent the wolves from clambering up the walls and then through the thatch.

Two more logs are used to create two barricades to form a chokepoint in the common room of the inn. Tremor also enlists Ingir's aid to create iron braces for the doors, barring them shut. The only way into the tavern is through the kitchen door on the side of the building. He also pays the blacksmith for the use of his forge for a short time, creating a universal key to his exact specifications.

The first successful use of the Invention Skill. Tremor has drawn out the blueprints for such a key at an earlier date, but only now has he had the chance to actually forge it. The key works with a flat 80% chance to work as a key for any mundane lock.

The last of the logs are used to create a walled off section of the common room for the citizens to sleep in. The stairs to the second floor are broken up for firewood, replaced by a swiftly fashioned ladder which can be kicked down if in need. The ladder should also be impossible for the wolves to climb.
"What in the name of the three gods happened to my stairs!?" - Innkeeper, once he comes around.
He is roundly ignored, the populace impressed by Tremor's enthusiasm for his task and his hands-on approach to the work at hand.

It is around this stage in the work when Tremor's companions return from their foray into the woods, rattled by the experience, but alive and critically, bearing the fruits of their labour. They return to find that the humble tavern is now a fortress. Indeed, the sign hanging above the door is just now being repainted, on Tremor's suggestion. Emblazoned proudly on the wooden sign is a white silhouette of the tavern on a red field, a scroll painted beneath the symbol bearing the words, The Fortress.

"Good work here my friend." - Harold, clapping Tremor on the shoulder and looking on at the masterpiece.
"Thank you, but our work here is not finished. Maebh, I must ask, can you please ward the side door. Let me show you." - Tremor, guiding Maebh around the side so she can ward the area around the side door with her magic to provide early warning if the wolves manage to break through.

With that done, the companions hand over their findings to Tremor so he can take them to Magdalyn.
"Ah great, I can make more from all this. Thank you!" - Magdalyn, excited.
"So, how many vials can you make now?" - Tremor, gruff.
"Oh, just one." - Magdalyn, absent mindedly.
"Ah! What!?" - LD, outraged.
"She is joking right?" - Ladyhawk.
"I have no idea."
"The Leathe reckons she's possum-ly insane." - Sins.
"Just, stop. Please." - Ladyhawk, laughing.
"Hey, he told us to 'paws' the insults earlier." - LD, getting in on the action.
As a side note, before this spoiler, this write-up was sitting on exactly 6,666 words.
The witch takes the ingredients inside and starts working.
Tremor takes to a new task, hefts his hammer and starts to try and "fix" the witch's door. He hammers at it for a while, but soon gives up. The door might be fixed, but he just doesn't care anymore.
"Time for a drink now." - Tremor, wiping his brow.

Wings failed his Woodcrafting Check three times in a row, on the third forgetting what he rolled, only that he failed. We took that on board when describing how Tremor went about it.

As an aside, Sins made an awful Australian joke here, which a lot of international readers may not understand.
"And now we're definitely in the land down under, cause there are men at work." - Sins, very proud.
We laughed, although in hindsight, cringing may have been the more appropriate response.

Harold finds a quiet spot and practices his sword-drills, Amadeus safely ensconced in the stable and Bach looking on. He gathers a small crowd of the townspeople, watching as he goes through his forms.

Maebh meanwhile sits in the corner of Toirneach's stall in the stables, mentally preparing herself for the night ahead. Her thoughts drift to the golden dagger in the general store and she realises something. Standing, she farewells Toirneach and heads off to find Kel'Serrar and Breanna to explain her plan.

Kel'Serrar sits alone in the corner of the common room of The Fortress, running a whetstone over the blade of his new sword. He has never used a sword before, far more familiar with bow and knife, but the extra reach the sword provides should prove useful this night.

Breanna plays with Wolfgang, but even the usually bubbly Leathe is reserved. She knows what is coming.

Tremor remains busy and after buying himself a drink from the bruised barkeep at The Fortress, he heads around the village trying to round up everyone to bring them to safety. To each, he delivers the same ultimatum.
"Come with me or you will die." - Tremor.
He is mainly successful, save for two people. The first is Ingir, the blacksmith.
"No, master dwarf. I have laboured my whole life, and the results of that labour are here in this home. I will not let them drag it away." - Ingir, adamant.
"What would wolves want with quality ironwork?" - Tremor, chortling.
"How would I know? But it is not only people who have been dragged into the night, but belongings too." - Ingir, angry.
"Very well, as you wish. I hope I will see you on the morrow." - Tremor, resigning himself to the situation and finding someone else to hassle about it.

The Dwergar heads to the witch's house and sees the door he attempted to fix earlier has fallen off its hinges completely. It seems to always be in a constant state of dilapidation. Tremor walks to it and knocks. It falls through the doorway to land flat on the floor.
"Damn it all, that f****** door! Oh, Tremor, you're back! What can I do for you?" - Magdalyn, cheerful. Her dress is blackened and her face smudged with black, sparkling dust.
"Can I persuade you to leave here and come back to the inn with me?" - Tremor, pleading.
Magdalyn's eyes seem to wander off over Tremor's shoulder, before snapping back into focus.
"I'm sorry, what was that? Something about the inn?" - Magdalyn, cheerful and certainly not listening.
"Yes, will you come back with me?" - Tremor, exasperated.
"Uh, well, no. I have work to do here. If you will excuse me." - Magdalyn, distracted.
"Have you finished the explosives?" - Tremor.
"Oh yes, I finished it ages ago. Here, takes this one too." - Magdalyn, absent-mindedly handing over two firebombs before heading back to her cauldron.
Shaking his head, Tremor leaves the dwelling.
The party has started to refer to these vials as Vials of Boom-sauce. I approve of the name.

The Dwergar then enlists Harold's help to organise the populace into work-teams. The two of them gather volunteers to man the barricades in the common room while the women and children start making spear-hafts and quick, ready shields for the militia. The two of them obtain a handful of spearheads from Ingir, along with the shields they sold him earlier.

Command Check from Harold. Easy pass.

Harold quickly realises that these men, accustomed to working as part of wood-cutting teams, are well equipped for working together as a group. In no time at all, Harold has them working in a close approximation to a shieldwall. Tremor adds his own expertise, picking up the faults in the formation.

The militia is ten strong and armed with shield and spear, along with a scattering of other weapons, hatchets, daggers and the like. Hopefully they will last the night.

Having gathered both Breanna and Kel'Serrar, Maebh informs them of the dagger and how the storekeeper was loath to part with it. With the entirety of the village in the inn, a break and enter would be easy to cover, but the mage is too easily recognisable. Kel'Serrar and Breanna however, well they could do it without raising attention, especially if they waited until twilight to make their move.

Breanna picks the lock on the backdoor under the cover of the growing darkness, cracking it with no difficulty. She slinks inside with Kel'Serrar, both wielding daggers.

They are met with pile after pile of accumulated junk.
"Get me tobacco! Feed my addiction!" - Wings, whispering.
Searching through all the junk, Breanna focusses on finding the golden dagger, while Kel'Serrar starts gathering all the vessels of oil, pitch and flammable liquids that he can find, stuffing a swiftly pilfered burlap sack. Breanna finds a bolt of cloth, wrapped around a dagger resembling the one Maebh described. The Leathe pockets it.

The two of them also grab as much dried meat as they can conceivably stuff in their sacks before making for the exit, Breanna swiftly pocketing some exotic feathers from the front counter before she does so. They take the sacks through the kitchen of The Fortress, leaving them on the second floor and using the bustling of the preparations to mask their purpose.

"Oh, Tremor. I happen to have twelve casks of oil and pitch. I won't tell you why I have them, but they're your problem now." - Kel'Serrar, with a wry grim.

Night falls. A few brave men go out and light the watch-torches before running back to the safety of The Fortress. Those same men dig a hasty trench just inside the kitchen door, filling it with Kel'Serrar's pilfered oil, the plan being to light it as soon as the wolves break in. The companions take their positions, the mage and duellist having left their horses in the stable, the marcwolves in the common room, tethered to a table.

I asked here about the marcwolves and where they were.
"So, Bach and.... Wolfgang von Markus-"
"Every time you say it is a victory in itself." - Sins.

Maebh sits up at the second floor window with Kel'Serrar, the ranger about to use his preternatural senses to detect where the enemy will be. Tremor and Breanna sit in the kitchen with two vials of boom-sauce. They intend to hold the kitchen for as long as they can before falling back past the barricade using the cover of fire. They just hope that doing so will not burn their Fortress down. Harold meanwhile stands in the middle of his formation of spear-armed militia, fully armoured and ready for the coming battle.

The sun has completely set and the darkness has crept completely over Dreven. To the north, the thunder begins anew. The shadows close in around the torches in an unnatural fashion and even the keen-eyed Danann find it difficult to see more than two feet away from the flames.

The militia are on edge, hands gripping their weapons tightly.
"Stand down men. The mage has warded the doors with her magic. We will now when they come. For now, just try to relax and stay calm." - Harold, commanding the men to steady.
He is successful, to a point.

From their vantage point, Maebh and Kel'Serrar can see vague, indistinct shapes hurtling through the darkness and into the village. Then there is a gurgled howl and the sound of rending wood coming from the smithy. A man's startled yell and the sounds of steel meeting flesh and crunching bone can be heard before stopping suddenly, leaving only a dragging noise.

But despite having taken their prey, the wolves remain.

From inside the stable, Toirneach can only hear what is happening outside. His panicked emotions start to trickle through to Maebh, and where she sits, staring out the window, she cannot help but be affected. Her breathing quickens and she shivers, but not with cold.

Despite his companion's discomfort, Kel'Serrar slips into his trance-like state again, the wraith-like vision of his mind's eye showing him the wolves that are tearing through the village. The foremost members of the pack suddenly stop, before turning back.

The Fortress is now surrounded by a mass of wolves. They do seem to be ignoring the stables, which is all to the companions' good.

In the common room, the mood of the civilians is poor. They know what happened to Ingir and despite the example provided to them by Harold, they start to get jittery.
"Hold men!" - Harold, noticing the way they are shrinking back from the barricade.
The men are momentarily calmed by Harold's barked command, but this forced calm is swiftly replaced with nervousness once more.
"Incoming! They're surrounding us!" - Kel'Serrar, calling down to Harold's militia.
"Pardon the pun." - Sins.
It took everyone a moment to realise he meant, "Inn-coming!"

The main door shakes as wolf after wolf slams into it at some speed, trying to break it down with force of numbers. These creatures care nothing for physical pain and will continue to batter their way in until physically incapable of moving. More wolves scratch and chew at the walls, or leap and attempt to scrabble up the walls and into the ceiling.

But all are unsuccessful at first, thanks to Tremor's fortification efforts.

The kitchen door however, is the weak point. Needing to provide an access point for people to get inside, the kitchen door was not as securely barred as the main door. Nor for that matter, is it made of such strong wood. In minutes they have managed to force breaches in the door, snarling and clawing at the wood until it starts to splinter.

Tremor takes up his spear and begins to strike at snouts and paws, but his efforts to dissuade them are unsuccessful, the spear ripping into rotting flesh, but as far as Tremor can tell, the wolves are ignoring his strikes. Behind him, Breanna hefts a lit lantern, ready to hurl it into the trench of oil.

Eventually, one wolf manages to force its way through. For Tremor, there is an instant of snapping jaws and glowing green eyes before it is engulfed in flames as Breanna hurls the lantern. The walls of the kitchen are thick, sturdy wood and will take sustained flames to catch. The oil on the other hand lights up instantly, as does the wolf.

And it is enraged. Flesh melting off its bones, flames wreathing it in light and jaws snapping in rabid fury, it launches itself at Tremor.

Breanna, having shielded her eyes as she through the lantern has spied what Tremor did not. In the wolf's ribcage, approximately where its heart would be is a small, glowing green gemstone. And so she leaps forward, dagger flashing into the wolf's ribs.
"I'm going to stab it in the stones! No, wait, that didn't come out right..." - LD, to our laughter.
The stone shatters and the wolf falls to the floor, limp and thoroughly dead, the glowing, murderous light in its eyes fading. Before her eyes, the molten flesh disintegrates into sludge, leaving only charred bones.
"In other words, not even worth eating." - Sins.
But she and Tremor have only a moment to marvel at this because more wolves are forcing their way through the door and flames. The Dwergar grabs Breanna around the waist, slings her over his shoulder and tumbles over the bar, hurling her into the safety of the militia as he runs to the chokepoint.
"They seem to be animated by stones in the ribcages. Shatter them and they die." - Tremor to Harold, catching his breath.
"Hear that men, they can be killed! Remember the drills and aim for the heart." - Harold, exhorting his men.
There's not quite a hearty cheer, but at least they're determined. Together, the militia lower their spears and raise their shields, ready for the onslaught.

Sitting on the floor of the second level of The Fortress, Kel'Serrar tracks the movement of the wolves as they launch themselves at the building. He can see them all, the pack numbering well over a hundred and he wonders how they will survive the night.

Staring out the window, the already jittery Maebh is startled by a wolf launching itself up at the window from below. Tremor's spikes installed on the top of the walls impale the wolves as they hurl themselves up, but the creatures do not seem dissuaded, and in fact, after several attempts, start to pull the contraptions down with sheer bodyweight. Some wolves even become stuck, impaled on the spikes, still snapping and snarling in fury, eyes aglow with green fire. Their living, but trapped, bodies form further footholds for more wolves from below. One wolf, clambers up the chain of bodies and clamps its jaws around one of the bars of the window.

Despite the situation, and knowing that Kel'Serrar is helpless in his current state, Maebh seizes up with panic. With a strangled yelp, she breaks through the fear and blasts the wolf from the window with the sound of a thunderclap and a focussed gust of wind. The creature loses its grip and there is an ugly, wet snap from below as it hits the ground.

On the first level, the horde of wolves come tearing into the common room and are met by the militia guarding the chokepoint.
"Stand fast!" - Harold, to his men.
And they do.
Where the first wave of wolves come at them, the men push back, shields presenting a solid wall to the onrushing beasts. They even manage to put a fair few down, more than would be expected of a handful of hastily gathered and trained men, spears punching into the heart-stones and shattering them.

Having withstood the first wave, the men hold firm behind their shields, just pushing against the horde. For their part, the wolves, in their ravenous fury are actually doing more damage to the other beasts around them, ripping into limbs and tearing off hunks of charred flesh. And then, everything changes.
There is an eerie horn-blast from outside, two clear, consecutive notes ringing into the air. The wolves prick their ears and pause their attack, before rushing back out the kitchen door. The men, seeing their foe turning tail, make to pursue, but hurriedly barked orders from Harold, Tremor and Breanna keep them back.

Upstairs, Maebh stabs through the window at any wolves still impaled on the spikes, until they either fall to the ground, or the green light fades from their eyes.

To Kel'Serrar's ghost-like vision, the wolves seem to have retreated past the outskirts of the village, but he cannot see if they are gathering for another assault, or if they have been recalled for the night. He remains in his trance, just in case.

On the first level, the bulk of the wolves having retreated, the companions deem it safe enough now to break formation and they and their militia disperse through The Fortress, dispatching any stragglers which had been incapacitated or slowed in the fighting.

The initial assault has been seen off, with no losses to the militia however the defences have been damaged.

The long night will continue, but the companions have earned their small moment of peace.

And we left it there...

The Wrap-Up:
This was, quite honestly, a great session as far as I'm concerned. Everyone did their part, one character got to play a mini-game while the others contributed to a side-quest and they actually progressed some way in the plot.

We also had a fair bit of action, a lot of drama and some horror and suspense.

I personally had a lot of fun and I hope the players did too.

I just wanted to ask if there would be any interest in the character profiles going up for your viewing pleasure? I'm considering it, but it would be a fairly involved process, so I just wanted to find out if there was any interest first.

What else? Oh yes, I am going to start putting excerpts from in-game texts in front of the write-ups from now on, hopefully providing an incentive for the players to actually read them before we play as they contain some important information I may not have shared yet or made clear was important.

Okay, I still have a mini-session to post up too, played by LD and Opal the other day. It's set a couple of years before 3 Coins and will detail the previous exploits of Opal's character, Therressa Bannimagen.

The session itself was just to give her a run-down of the system and an understanding of how table-top games work. As I understand it, Opal has been involved in freeform PBP games before, but no table-top ones. I believe she had fun and both girls impressed me personally with how they approached it, LD jumping in admirably as an experienced gamer.

Okay, that's enough from me. I hope you all enjoyed this massive update, as it is by far the largest write-up I have delivered. This is actually the second night in a row I have spent working on it until after 2 am, so I hope it was worth it. Very close to 10,000 words in this chapter alone.

Good night and thanks for reading.

2014-04-21, 11:33 PM
Wow... this was pretty awesome. Maybe I shouldn't have been reading about nightmare-inducing undead wolves at midnight during a thunderstorm, though.

2014-04-22, 05:45 AM
Yes, I would love to see character profiles.

"If they have stats, we can kill them... I'd like to point out that we also have stats..."

Also, may I sig this?

Amidus Drexel
2014-04-22, 08:45 AM
Awesome as always! :smallcool:

The bit with the absentminded witch reminds me of Matoya from 8-bit theater for some reason... :smallamused:

I just wanted to ask if there would be any interest in the character profiles going up for your viewing pleasure? I'm considering it, but it would be a fairly involved process, so I just wanted to find out if there was any interest first.

What else? Oh yes, I am going to start putting excerpts from in-game texts in front of the write-ups from now on, hopefully providing an incentive for the players to actually read them before we play as they contain some important information I may not have shared yet or made clear was important.

Sure! I'd love to see those.

Heheheheh :smallamused:

2014-04-22, 11:39 AM
Well I'm very glad there's enjoyment to be gotten out of it. :)

Reader, feel free to sig away.


2014-04-25, 11:30 AM
Mini-Session 1.1: Caves and Conundrums

Okay, welcome to the mini-session which will describe some stuff about Therressa's past.

The Northlands of Norbayne are a wild, cold and windy place, especially the coastline near the Norstrand archipelago.

Therressa Bannimagen finds herself in the small village of Snowshard. Her overwhelming impression is very grey and very snowy, with timber buildings.
"Just like home." - Therressa, surveying her surroundings, having just arrived with her horse, Augustus.

Snowshard's population is mainly made up of Northmenn, Midlanders with small pockets of Dwergar, Feartarbh and Invarrian habitation.

Therressa, thrill-seeker that she is, wishes to explore the area and look at climbing Brokeclaw mountain, which overshadows the village. She has just stabled Augustus outside and is about to head into a tavern called the Cracked Flagon, when she runs into an old acquaintance who has just arrived by ship.

Cue the introduction of LD's one off character, Assar Eilert, and Invarrian Ranger. Sadly, this character had a very impressive backstory, which is unfortunate as it is unlikely that she will ever be used again after this session.

Name: Assar Eilert
Race: Invarrian
Primary Class: Ranger
Age: 27 years old. As such Assar is considered to be in her prime adventuring years.
Eye Colour: Green.
Hair Colour: Neatly groomed, shiny black.
Birthsign: The Wolf
[SPOILER]Trying to tie down these free-spirited individuals is often frustrating for those around them as Wolves are happiest on the move, exploring new cultures and ideas. Freedom loving, optimistic and honest, Wolves are notorious for their lack of tact however they do tend to work well in groups, both as leaders and members of the pack.
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 130 lbs

Assar carries a longbow, two sabres, a collection of throwing axes and a dagger as her wargear. Her adventurer's kit includes a backpack with three torches, twelve feet of coiled rope, a spare knife, a tinderbox and a one-man portable tent.

Very short background info.

Assar hails from a small fishing village on the east coast of Varr. She was an only child, and was raised solely by her father, a poacher, who taught her how to survive on her own. When her father died, she ran away to Norbayne, working in several northern villages as a contracted poacher. Before she left Varr, in her early years, she was relatively close to the Bannimagen family.

"Whoa, Therressa Bannimagen! It is a small world!" - Assar, surprised.
"Do I know you?" - Therressa, looking up at the black-furred Invarrian.
"Yes, I was friends with one of your brothers, several years back. On Varr." - Assar, with a friendly grin.
"Oh yes, I remember. Assar, was it not?" - Therressa, nodding.
"Yes, I was the creepy one. Everyone shunned me for my pelt. We never really talked that much unfortunately." - Assar, smiling.
"That would be why I don't really remember you. But it wasn't cause you're black." - Therressa, nodding.
Heaps of laughter here. LD's inclusion of racism in her background was completely spontaneous.
The two Invarrians walk into the tavern together.

The general mood of the tavern is pleasant. It is far warmer inside, several woodfires placed strategically around the room to keep everyone toasty.
"Come in, come in. Tell me, what would you like?" - Innkeeper, to the two Invarrians who have just walked inside.
Therressa and Assar walk to the bar, Therressa leaning on the wooden counter.
"I would like a barrel of wine please. Preferably red." - Therressa, with a wink.
"Just water please. Someone needs to be sober to keep her out of trouble." - Assar, grinning.
"Make it two barrels actually. I may need more." - Therressa, thoughtful.
"This is what I'm getting at." - Assar, rolling her eyes.
The innkeeper grabs a pitcher, fills it with water and hands it to Assar.
"I do hope you can afford these barrels." - Innkeeper, suspicious.
With a laugh, Therressa throws a small purse of coppers at him. The innkeeper jingles the purse with a raised eyebrow and pockets it.
"There's more than enough in there." - Therressa, leaning back in her chair.
The innkeeper heads down to the cellar to get the barrels.

"So, how have you been for the last, hmm, ten years?" - Therressa, to Assar.
"Hmm, well Father died. Left home. Went adventuring, seen the world. Met some people, climbed some mountains. I've seen some impressive things." - Assar, rattling off her achievements.
"I bet I've climbed more mountains." - Therressa, with a laugh.
"So what have you been doing?" - Assar, taking a mouthful of water.
"Well nothing much was happening at home and I decided to head out into the world. Climbed mountains, did some mercenary work, seen some things too. Just trying to enjoy myself really." - Therressa.
They pass some time in companionable conversation, eventually deciding to split the payment for a room in the tavern and to head off to Brokeclaw mountain in the morning, Assar joining Therressa in her quest to see the top.
Of course, Therressa plans to add to the feat by doing so drunk.

Having decided what will be done in the morning, the two Invarrians retire for the night.

The next morning, one wakes up considerably happier than the other. Assar is refreshed and ready to take on the day ahead. Therressa, well...
"Why won't the sun just shut up? I need some brandy to wash away the pain." - Therressa, hungover.
She heads downstairs and powers through her porridge before walking outside and plunging her head into the snow as a refresher. Assar just stands behind her, grinning madly.

With a last goodbye to August, Therressa joins Assar on the northern outskirts of Snowshard, ready to start climbing. According to local legend, the mountain has never been scaled successfully and Therressa intends to be the first, with her newly purchased cask of wine at her back.

The two make their way over the tundra before reaching the foothills of Brokeclaw mountain. The foothills are easy work, experienced travellers that they are. But the further they go, the harder the going gets.
"When the going gets tough, the tough go downhill." - LD.
"And when they finish rolling, start drinking." - Opal.
The ground steadily becomes more and more treacherous as the companions progress, icy patches underfoot threatening to overturn them.
Climbing Checks from Assar and Therressa. Both pass at this early stage.
At about midday they decide to break for a short while, taking a swift meal, a well-deserved rest and another swig of wine.
Another Climbing Check to get higher. Assar passes, Therressa fails.
Between the hangover and the extra weight of the wine cask, Therressa begins to struggle. She slips.
I made a deal with Opal. One Luck point and she keeps the wine or she ditches the wine to lessen the load.
With some swearing and gnashing of teeth, she lets the barrel of wine fall. A waste, but luckily she does still have two skins full of ale. So things could be worse.
"For the sake of the recording, I rolled my eyes here." - LD
After that, the journey passes rather uneventfully, save Therressa's constant mumbling about it being such a waste and her worry that she will be haunted by a lonely, abandoned wine cask in her dreams.

The companions reach a flat plateau, suitable for making camp. The sun will not be long in the sky and so they decide to set a camp rather than risk a broken neck in the dark. Assar pitches a small tent and lights a small fire using some of the wood she has carried up the mountain, while Therressa just wraps herself in a very thick blanket and tarp, trusting to the fire and her Invarrian constitution.
Opal wanted to stress her being somewhat, "ditzy." Fair enough.

In the morning, once again Assar wakes up considerably more comfortable than Therressa. Wiping the snow off her face where it has settled during the night, the warrior fixes the two of them a swift breakfast using the fire.

After their breakfast, they begin their climbing once more, navigating their way without too many difficulties. After another two hours of climbing, they reach another shelf in the mountainside, not too far from the peak. However, what sets this shelf apart from the others they have passed already is that tucked against the rock-wall of the mountain, is an abandoned campfire. Assar deduces it is recent, perhaps only two days old. There is also a dark cave leading into the mountain.
"Hmm, why are we here again?" - Assar, pulling forth a torch and tinderbox from her pack.
"Because I was bored." - Therressa, also bringing out her own torch for the ranger to light.
"You may have a torch, but you don't have a fear of small, dark, enclosed spaces..." - Opal, trailing off. We weren't sure where she was going with this.
"But then, neither does Therressa. Let's go!" - Opal, realising that she didn't really know either.
"So you're going in?"
"Yeah?" - LD, making it sound more like a question than an answer.
"Why do I think you're telling the truth but it sounds like you're lying?"
"I don't know, because I'm ashamed of it? And I don't want people to know?" - LD.
"I'm going to slap you soon." - Opal, to LD.
That I tried to hang myself from a fluorescent light and it broke? Because I'm too heavy? Yeah? Yeah. Definitely." - LD, continuing her rant.

Assar walks forward, sabre in one hand, torch in the other, Therressa behind her, again with torch in hand. At first, the walls and floor are bare stone, but after some minutes of slow, careful shuffling forward, they notice paintings on the walls. Very simple paintings, basically just paint smeared on the rock.

A horizontal blue line is struck through the wall to the left, with white beams striking down from above. Where they land, what appears to be mountains erupt from the blue line. Great, winged, scaled beasts coil around the bases of the mountains, digging furrows around them. Then comes the introduction of people, as two legged figures begin to dominate the images, hunting, gathering, dancing. As the paintings continue, this basic theme runs through them. Then the newer ones. Paintings of two legged figures climbing the mountains. Paintings of two legged figures with spears in them, being thrown off the mountains.

Therressa approaches the images and sniffs it. The majority of the paint is various types of ochre or plant-dye, however some of the paint has been made with blood.
"Someone's bled here Assar." - Therressa, quiet.
The ranger just grunts, bemused by the whole cave-painting scene.

There is very little in the way of signs of habitation. In fact, the smeared cave-paintings are just about it. The further the pair get in the cave, the more recent the paintings are, and the more recent the paintings, the more violent the source material.

And then, from the end of the tunnel, they hear deep, gravelly voices speaking in a language they do not recognise. There is a snarl and then firelight emits from around a corner at the end.

The Invarrians halt.

From around the corner comes a large, heavy set figure, moving at some speed and clad in heavy furs. Slightly taller than the Invarrians, it is armed with a short, heavy hatchet. It stops once it sees the companions and sniffs once before roaring and charging.

Assar moves forward and intercepts the charging figure with her blade, but the figure parries it easily. Therressa moves forward and pushes the figure back with her shoulder, but it evades her follow-up strike with her blade.

Assar dodges aside from its hasty strike and darts forward with her blade again, but is foiled by the figure's quick reactions. Therressa steps forward herself, pressing from her side, but the figure manages to sway aside.

From behind him, two more figure arrives, another with a hatchet and the last with a spear.

All the combatants are struggling to make their strikes count in the darkness, but eventually Assar manages to cleave her blade into the original axeman's face. He falls to the ground, allowing Therressa to move forward. She sets her shoulder behind her shield and charges forward, the heavy wood of the shield smashing into the second axeman and sending him ploughing into the spearman behind him.

All three enemies are still alive, Assar's axeman bleeding profusely from the face, Therressa's axeman struggling to get up with a broken arm. From this distance and given a little time to take stock, the Invarrians can see their opponents are fur-clad insofar as they are wearing thick hide coats. Their skin is beyond leathery, stone-grey and wrinkled and their out-thrust jaws bear protruding, yellowed tusks. Their hair is dark and their ears slightly pointed.

And so the Invarrians continue their attempts to stab them. The original axeman manages to stagger to its feet before Assar lunges for the throat, striking a mortal blow. Therressa too moves forward and strikes at the broken-armed axeman, but the creature rolls out of the way at the last second. The spearman desperately thrust at the warrior, driving her back, but not even coming close to drawing blood.

Assar strikes at the spearman, taking it unawares and scything her blade into his ribs. It sinks to the floor, bleeding profusely. Therressa takes off the last axeman's leg with a downward swing before finishing it off with one last strike to the head.

Three more figures approach from around the corner. Two are much like the others, the third is much larger, shaggy and horned and led out in chains. The first two are holding the chains, one looped around the Feartarbh's neck and the other around his wrists.
The introduction of my brother's character. My brother, Scotticus, is quite young but has been pestering me to play for a long while. I viewed this as a good opportunity for him to see what it is all about without compromising the main game night with his immaturity.

Anyway, Scotticus is playing a Feartarbh warrior, Martialis Ironlaw. We came up with a decent backstory for Martialis and he was going to play this session right from the beginning, but due to a scheduled haircut we were not aware of, he was missing for most of the session. Once he had returned, I tried to slot him in on the fly.

Unfortunately, Scotticus and LD don't play all that well together in real life, and Scotticus seemed to really struggle with getting in character, which is absolutely fair enough when one considers that he is only approximately ten years old.

The Feartarbh, Martialis, has been trapped in the mountain for some time now, having been captured by the tribe held prisoner. But he does not want to be a slave and seeing these two Invarrians, he sees his chance. I ask Scotticus what he wants to say here.
"Kill them! Kill the Invarrians." - Martialis, commanding the mountain-tribe.
"What?" - LD, not happy.
"Can we just pretend no one understood him?" - Opal.
"Okay fine, let me out of here!" - Scotticus.

The Feartarbh falls to the ground, pretending to have fallen. The mountain-tribesmen start to haul on the chains, the iron cutting into the Feartarbh's throat. Assar steps forward and strikes at one of the chain-bearers, taking it in the shoulder, cleaving through fur, flesh and bone. With a strangled roar of agony, it drops the chains and draws a heavy bone and wood axe.

Martialis, struggling to breathe finds he can now move his hands, so he staggers to his hooves and attempts to wrap the chains around his wrists around the tribesman's neck. Weakened by his ordeal, Martialis fumbles in this and is struck by the tribesman, its axe biting into the Feartarbh's upper arm.

Assar ducks underneath the wild swing of her axe-wielding opponent, striking it down with a sword through his ribs. Therressa sees the last tribesman engaged with the Feartarbh and launches into a flying tackle, smashing it to the ground. It drops the chain and attempts to strike at the Invarrian with his axe, but she gets her shield in between the blow and her flesh.

Assar takes a quick look around the room and can see no surviving tribesmen other than the one tangling with Therressa on the ground. She steps over and drags the thing off her friend, grabbing it by the scruff of the neck and slamming her sword into its ribs. Therressa stands and delivers the finishing blow, taking off its head.

Assar approaches the Feartarbh, sword lowered but still in one hand, torch in the other.
"Who are you, why are you here and what do you want now? If you answer wrongly, we are armed and will attempt to kill you." - Assar, grim.
"Shut up, can I kill you!?" - Scotticus, laughing.
And so we called it quits as LD's response was to stab him in the face and I didn't want to have to deal with two players fighting at the table.

But I thought Opal and LD both played well, with both Therressa and Opal likely to prove to be successful additions to the group.


2014-04-26, 11:15 AM
I like Opal's character already!

I was under the impression she was some sort of catgirl from the teaser post, though.

2014-04-30, 09:03 AM
Well she's definitely an Invarrian, so canine, though perhaps more terrier than Harold's border collie? :smallwink:

Glad that the most recent write-ups have been well received. I am unfortunately unsure of when we will have our next session as LD's dancing seems to have killed our chances for Friday nights. There has been talk of looking at Saturday afternoons instead, but until we can get that working, we are on a hiatus, at least until the mid-year holidays.


2014-05-09, 10:49 PM
Hey, theressa may be small, but she's got bite!

2014-05-25, 07:37 AM
Just letting our readers know that we are planning two sessions to be played in quick succession in mid-June. So, a bit of a hiatus and then hopefully two good sessions which should see us through to the end of the Wolf King arc. :smallsmile:


2014-06-15, 04:23 AM
Okay, first up we are definitely going ahead with a session on the 21st. And we should have another on the 28th. Should be interesting being our first day sessions. We'll see how it goes.

The other thing is I'm going to post the character sheets so far. All stats are accurate as of the end of Session 3.2.

Invarrian Level 6 Duellist
Combat Skill: 51
Ballistic Skill: 32
Strength: 41
Toughness: 42
Dexterity: 36
Agility: 36
Actions: 2
Initiative: 37
Health: 12/19
Charisma: 41
Perception: 32
Intelligence: 47
Willpower: 27
Luck: 3/6

Animal Care +10
Charm +20
Command +10
Concealment +10
Deception +10
Disguise +10
Dodge Blow +10
Gambling +10
Haggling +10
Intimidation +20
Riding +10
Silent Movement
Taunt +10
Common Knowledge (Duelling)

Talents & Traits:
Reaver: +5 to Navigation and Sailing Checks.
Invarrian Senses: +10 to Perception Checks.
Ambidextrous: No penalties for attacks made with non-prefered hand.
Cool-Headed: Re-roll a single Intelligence Check per day.
Dashing Figure: +10 to Charm Checks.
Moves Like Quicksilver: +10 to Dodge Blow Checks.
Experienced Duellist: +10 to Parrying.
Flurry of Blows: May attack twice per normal attack with a -10 To Hit.
Lightning Parry: May sacrifice any number of attacks in a round for that many attempts to Parry.
Fall On Their Own Blades: On a successful Parry Check against multiple opponents, the parried strike is resolved against another target in the same combat.
Swordmaster: +1 Critical Damage when using a sword.
Deathsword: +1 attack for every enemy with a lower Comabt Skill in the same combat.

Weapons -
Sabre (Quality: Common)
2 shortswords (Common)
Walking staff (Improvised)
Arming sword (Masterwork)
Boarding axe (Common)
Armour -
Chain haubergeon (Common)
Steel vambraces (High) Enscribed with Runes of Protection
Steel plate cuirass (High)
Steel greaves (High)
Miscellaneous - (All stored in a backpack, save the tent which is usually left on the party's cart.)

Danann Level 6 Mage
Combat Skill: 33
Ballistic Skill: 46
Strength: 34
Toughness: 42
Dexterity: 30
Agility: 34
Actions: 1
Initiative: 45
Health: 15/15
Charisma: 22
Perception: 39
Intelligence: 51
Willpower: 42
Magic: 3
Luck: 10/6 (Luck points as a reward took Maebh over the maximum. Her Luck will slowly drain at a rate of 1 point per week until it reaches the limit once more.)

Dodge Blow
Silent Movement +10
Survival +10
Channelling +10

Talents & Traits:
Danann Senses: Night-Eye and +5 to Perception Checks.
Unrestrained Power: +1D10 to Cast.
Lightning Reflexes: Re-roll a single Initiative Check per day.
Master of Destruction: +1 per Magic Level to Cast Destruction Spells.
Make It All Burn: +2 Fire Damage.
Dual Casting: May cast two Spells with a single Action. -4 to Cast the second Spell.
Destructive Will: Adds the first digit of Willpower to Destruction Spell damage.
Force of Destruction: Doubles the effect of Destructive Will.
Master of the Bri: +1 per Magic Level to Cast Weathermancy Spells.
Mage's Eye: +10 to Search Checks.
Master of Protection: +1 per Magic Level to Cast Protection Spells.
Arcane Lord: +2 per Magic Level to Cast all Spells. Stacks with the Mastery Talents.

Weapons -
Hunting spear (Common)
Arming sword (Common)
Tower shield (High)
Armour -
Leather bracers (Common)
Leather jerkin (Common)
Leather boots (Common)
Miscellaneous - (All stored in a backpack, save the tent which is usually left on the party's cart and the focus stone which is a pendant and worn around her neck.)
Lesser focus stone
Summoning coin (Uncharged)

Flare - Magic missile, D10+Fire Damage (Destruction)
Create Element - Small amount of fire, water, wind or electricity.
Magic Alarm - Wards an area, producing a loud noise, plus alerting the caster to anyone in the immediate vicinity of the ward. (Protection)
Remove Curse - Caster nullifies any active Curse effects on the target.
Whispering Wind - A slight gust of wind carries a short message to a target. (Weathermancy)
Wall of Blades - Creates a wall of magic blades which shred anything which tries to pass. (Destruction)
Fireball - Magic missile, 2D10+Fire Damage (Destruction)
Aethyric Shield - Magic shield, provides heavy cover against ranged attacks. (Protection)
Eyes of Truth - See through illusions, invisibility and magical darkness.
Gust of Wind - Strong gust of wind which staggers anyone it it's path. Causes minor damage.
Fury of the River - Torrent of magical water, D10 Damage, can drown targets.
Bloodboil - Causes the target's blood to boil. Fire Damage on touch.

Leathe Level 6 Assassin
Combat Skill: 43
Ballistic Skill: 37
Strength: 42
Toughness: 32
Dexterity: 32
Agility: 38
Actions: 1
Initiative: 32
Health: 14/14
Charisma: 25
Perception: 36
Intelligence: 39
Willpower: 25
Magic: 2
Luck: 6/6

Animal Care +10
Charm +10
Concealment +10
Dodge Blow +10
Silent Movement +20
Survival +20
Lockpicking +20
Sleight of Hand +20
Prepare Poisons +10

Talents & Traits:
Tree Dweller: +5 to Climbing Checks.
Sixth Sense: On a successful Perception Check, may ignore the Ambush rules.
Blade in the Shadow: +10 to Concealment Checks.
Sneak Attack: +D10 Damage to unaware enemies.
Excellent Vision: Re-roll a single Search Check per day.
Knife-Fighter: May still Parry with a knife.
Like Killing A Shadow: +10 to Dodge Blow Checks. Increases to +20 in shadowy areas.
Backstab: +2 Damage when Sneak Attacking.
Sturdy: Re-roll a single Strength or Toughness Check per day.

Weapons -
Carving knife (Common)
2 daggers (Common)
Armour -
Miscellaneous - (All stored in a backpack, save the tent which is usually left on the party's cart.)
2 daemonology books
Summoning coin (Uncharged)

Shadowskin - Caster is wreathed in a shadowy veil. Counts as light cover and provides +20 to Concealment Checks. (Illusion)
Magic Dart - Magic missile, D10+2 Damage (Destruction)
Phantom Noise - Creates a single noise from a specific location. May duplicate two syllables of speech. (Illusion)
Obscuring Mist - Creates a blanket of fog. +10 to Concealment when within the fog. (Illusion)
Sleep - Causes the target to fall into a short magical coma on touch.
Terrifying Visage - The caster causes Fear for the duration of the Spell. (Illusion)
Shadow Figure - Creates the sillhouette of a single man-sized figure, which may perform any action the caster desires. The figure is insubstantial and disappears after a short time. It cannot be harmed, nor can it interact with the environment. (Illusion)

Danann Level 6 Ranger
Combat Skill: 32
Ballistic Skill: 51
Strength: 40
Toughness: 22
Dexterity: 41
Agility: 37
Actions: 2
Initiative: 36
Health: 11/11
Charisma: 20
Perception: 45
Intelligence: 41
Willpower: 24
Magic: 3
Luck: 10/6 (Luck points as a reward took Kel'Serrar over the maximum. His Luck will slowly drain at a rate of 1 point per week until it reaches the limit once more.)

Concealment +20
Dodge Blow +20
Healing +20
Silent Movement +20
Survival +10
Common Knowledge (Wilderness) + 20

Talents & Traits:
Danann Senses: Night-Eye and +5 to Perception Checks.
Quick Reload: Nock and loose an arrow in a single Action.
Mighty Shot: +1 Critical Damage when using a bow.
Herblore: +10 to Healing Checks.
Forest Cloak: +10 to Concealment Checks in the wild.
Whisper in the Tress: +10 to Silent Movement Checks.
Secrets of the Ancient Archers: +1 to Cast Arcane Archer Spells.
Might of the Ancient Archers: +3 to Cast Arcane Archer Spells.
Aimed Shot: Sacrifice an Action for +10 To Hit with a ranged attack.
Sturdy: Re-roll a single Strength or Toughness Check per day.
Cool-Headed: Re-roll a single Intelligence Check per day.
Eagle-Eye: +3 Damage for Aimed Shots.
Powerful Shot: Adds the first digit of Strength to ranged damage.
Witchflame: +1 To Hit with the Flaming Arrow Spell.
Precise Shot: Adds the first digit of Perception to ranged damage. May also make a called shot with no penalties.
Skillful Shot: Adds the first digit of Ballistic Skill to ranged damage.
Masterful Shot: Combines Skillful, Precise and Powerful Shot Talents. They do not stack normally.

Weapons -
Longbow (Common)
Long knife (Common)
Quiver with 25 arrows (Common)
Arming sword (High)
Armour -
Leather bracers (Common)
Leather jerkin (Common)
Leather boots (Common)
Miscellaneous - (All stored in a backpack, save the tent which is usually left on the party's cart.)
Writing implements (Stolen from Tremor)
Silver ring
20ft of rope

Flaming Arrow - Arrow causes Fire Damage and can used as a lightsource. (Arcane Archery)
Patriot Arrow - Auto-Hit. (Arcane Archery)

Dwergar Level 6 Engineer
Combat Skill: 32
Ballistic Skill: 22
Strength: 30
Toughness: 43
Dexterity: 33
Agility: 34
Actions: 1
Initiative: 26
Health: 17/20
Charisma: 21
Perception: 29
Intelligence: 40
Willpower: 35
Luck: 5/6

Concealment +10
Dodge Blow +10
Gambling +10
Haggling +10
Intimidation +10
Silent Movement
Invention +20
Craft (Wood) +10
Runesmithing +10
Craft (Metal)
Common Knowledge (Herblore)

Talents & Traits:
Craft Master: +10 to Evaluation Checks.
Innovative: +10 to Invention Checks.
Stout-Hearted: Re-roll Fear Checks.
Cold of the North: Re-roll Strength reduction Checks due to cold.
Bloodrage: Can go beserk.

Weapons -
Hammer (Improvised)
Hatchet (Common)
Greatsword (Common)
Wooden roundshield (Common)
Spear (Common)
Armour -
Chain hauberk (Common)
Leather bracers (Common)
Leather jerkin (Common)
Leather boots (Common)
Miscellaneous - (All stored in a backpack, save the tent which is usually left on the party's cart.)
Universal Key
3 vials of healing salve
1 vial of pain-killing draught
1 vial of pain-inflicting draught
2 vials of "boom-sauce"
Silver whistle
Pipe and weed
Writing implements (Stolen from Tremor)
Summoning coin (Uncharged)
Amulet (Luck enchantment)

2014-06-22, 09:18 AM
Okay, first up I thought I'd update everyone, firstly with some good news, and then a little bit of bad news.

Firstly, we did play on the 21st and to this point the 28th is likely to go ahead too. Without giving away too much, Session 3.3 was full of action and good fun. Personally I think that the Saturday afternoon worked pretty damn well too rather than the Friday night, so that definitely opens up some options on the regularity of gaming.

Then the bad news. Due to the haste with which we had to pack up and the age of the laptop we rely on, there was a technical mishap in which all three and a half hours or so of recording was lost. Luckily I was well prepared going into this session and between my own and Ladyhawk's notes plus Wings' map, we should be able to reconstruct it relatively faithfully. Sadly though, a lot of the humour and most of the off-topic chat is forever lost, so this write-up is likely to be a shorter one. :smallfrown:

On the plus side however, everyone seemed to have fun and we are most likely going to play this weekend too, hopefully a longer session and almost certainly without the recording being stupid. :smallbiggrin:

I also have updated character sheets for anyone who is interested, made more interesting by Sins multi-classing in 3.4.

The other good thing about the situation is that no recording means that I've put my ass into gear when it comes to actually writing the damn thing so that I forget as little as possible. This means of course that I will definitely have the write-up available to read sometime this week. So that's something to look forward to I guess. :smallsmile:

Cheers everyone,

2014-06-23, 01:06 PM
Session 3.3: The Lair of the Wolf King

"Even one who is pure of heart and says their prayers at night, may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright."
- Old Leathe nursery rhyme, usually told to frighten small children.

"Welcome to Session 3.uh... 3?"
"Does it really matter?" - Dev.
"Don't say it! No one say it!" - Ladyhawk.
Silence reigns for a few seconds.
"DAMN IT!" - Everyone, with laughter.

Now I shall preface this with an apology. Unlike the usual thing which is lost at this point in the write-up, I must confess that there was an issue this time around. Sadly, due to malfunctioning hardware, we did not lose the Game this time, but the whole goddamn recording.

As such I shall endeavour to reconstruct as much of this session from memory as I possibly can. And we'll see how that goes.

We begin in the dark hours of the early morning. The Fortress has held for the night and the wolves have retreated, thankfully without any loss of life, presumably save for those who stayed outside and ignored Tremor's ultimatum. The remains of those wolves which were felled in the assault have been dragged outside by the militia. The kitchen doorway too has been heavily boarded up. The kitchen itself is a blackened husk of what it used to be, but at least the assault has been seen off.

The few wolves which impaled themselves on Tremor's spiked installations atop the walls remain where they are, snapping at anything which comes close until Maebh takes her spear to them, shattering their heartstones.

On the whole, the people are exceptionally thankful towards the companions, particularly Tremor who has given them increased hope. But the fact is that The Fortress only barely held out the night and another attack could spell doom for the people of Dreven.

The companions are preparing to bed down for the night when they are approached by the innkeeper, his eyes bleary, the bruise Tremor's fist left on his head clearly visible. Despite their earlier confrontation, he seems in decent humour now, if very tired and scared.

"May I borrow a moment of your time please? I understand how weary you all must be, so I swear I shall be swift." - Innkeeper, who introduces himself as Aurel.
Cue snickers from my players. Immature sods.

He is adamant that the tavern could not withstand another attack, but perhaps it would not need to. He shares his speculation regarding the controller of the wolves, reminding them of the horn blast which called them off, informing the companions of his belief that the legends of the Wolf King may just be coming back to haunt them.

Harold asks for a bit more information on the Wolf King and is told a variant of the common legend. Several centuries ago, the lands surrounding Mount Dove where ruled by a line called the Wildermonts. The last of that line was an absolute nutter with an unhealthy obsession with wolves. In time he began to display wolf-like tendencies, eating his meat raw and filing his teeth to points. Over time he became even more depraved, so much so that some stories say that he had the pelts of slain wolves sewn onto his own skin. Every morning the bodies of servants would be found, mutilated and half eaten in the cold stone hallways. Dark shapes could be seen slinking in the shadows and in time, the king's human subjects left him, either fleeing in terror or consumed by the mad king and the wolves which followed him everywhere.

The Wolf King and his packs terrorised the lands around Mount Dove for almost a century before the high king of Naille at the time slew him in single combat.
"Nailed him." - Sins. It was beautiful. Thanks for reminding me Ladyhawk.
The wolves fled as soon as their king died and for over three hundred years, the lands around Mount Dove have been safe.

Until recently.

Aurel also tells them of a man named Elias who passed through Dreven just a few weeks ago, asking about the old legends of the Wolf King. The villagers were wary of him and so gave him nothing and he left. It was not long after that when the attacks began again. Elias is described as a tall man who gave off an unsettling aura. His cloth was poor, clad in dark greys and browns with a mangy wolf pelt around his shoulders. Dark-haired and dark-eyed, he carried a heavy wooden staff and kept a dagger at his belt. Aurel reiterates that people are not the only things dragged away and that many other objects have been taken, mainly ironwork.

Tremor speculates that he might be forming an army, but Maebh and Kel'Serrar point out that the iron could be reforged into all manner of things, Kel'Serrrar suggesting that it might be a mining operation.

Aurel also tells them that if they intend to go to Mount Dove, the trek will take them several hours and that they had best do it during the day. He does not know, but he suspects that if these creatures are ever dormant, it would be during the day.

With that out of the way, the rest until morning.

The next morning, they awaken later than they usually would. Some of their hastily formed militia are already up and about, but not many. The companions head out of the Fortress and into the weak sunlight, Maebh splitting from the others to go to the stable to retrieve Toirneach. The others head to Ingir's house, thinking to investigate.

The house and the smithy are deserted. Bits of wolf which have been cleaved from the animals can be found, paws, limbs and one head which growls at the companions as they approach. Harold crushes it under his boot and hears a soft clink. He bends down and retrieves three arrowheads from the wolf's jaws, which he tosses wordlessly to Kel'Serrar. There is a small puddle of blood on the floor which is smeared as if something was dragged through it. The drawers and backroom are checked, and all iron, worked or no is gone.

Of Ingir himself, presumable aside from the blood, nothing can be found.

Tremor does find a set of journals, which he skims through and is happy to find detail metalworking techniques. He puts them in his pack for later.

A substantial amount of money is found in the house, which is spread evenly through the party. Interestingly, no gold can be found in the house at all.

The group then prepare to leave, it starting to grow late in the morning. Tremor takes the casks which were emptied of oil the previous night and fills them all with coals from the late smith's forge-fire, knowing that they are enchanted to never go out. A draft-horse is rented from the stable-master too to pull the party's cart, Maebh deeming it beneath Toirneach now. Breanna is placed in a sack to prevent her taking revenge on the horse, a plough-horse in a previous life.

Before Breanna got in the sack she handed over the golden dagger to Maebh, still wrapped in cloth.

And then I gave them a level up since Maebh was the only one who had Drive and she didn't want to, they'd just been through a traumatic experience and Sins was dying to try out being a Mesmer.

I will put up the latest character sheets for everyone, but for now Maebh is able to create lightning bolts, Breanna's stats increased, Kel'Serrar picked up a sudden affinity for screwing with people's heads, Tremor got better at making things and Harold got better at killing people and not dying himself.

Harold goes back to the Fortress where he ingratiates himself further with the militia, paying them all a single sulver each for their efforts that night and promising further reward for some brave souls to follow him. Four men are eager to do so, the others torn between wishing to spend their last day with their family or wanting to be able to protect their loved ones in the coming night. Harold takes what he can get and details the four volunteers to come along.

They then began their hike up to Mount Dove, and from there, further up to the Blackfort itself where the Wolf King awaits.

The hike up to the Blackfort is relatively uneventful, everyone noticing the clearly visible wolf tracks they are following. Except for Breanna, who can only see darkness and the inner stitching of her sack.

On the ride, Maebh wards each and every oil-now-coal cask with aethyric shields. The intent is to provide a handhold to actually grasp them. Once warded, they are placed carefully into a large leather sack which is placed in the care of the militia volunteers. Kel'Serrar also experiments with magic, changing his appearance to that of a tall, grey-furred Leathe.

After several hours the undergrowth becomes too thick for the cart to continue and the party dismounts. The wagon is overturned and Amadeus, Bach and the new draft-horse are left tied to it. Maebh simply tells Toirneach to stay in the area, and though they are loathe to separate, they do so, Maebh vowing to return. Wolfgang however stays with Breanna, who is herself let out of her sack on the proviso that she make no sudden moves. As soon as Harold turns away, Kel'Serrar changes his appearance once more, this time to exactly match Harold's. The Invarrian is impressed, but not especially pleased.

One of the militia-men hefting the sack of coal-casks, the party heads onward and up into the foothills, which if anything are even more heavily forested than the woods surrounding Dreven. The woods are silent save for the party's progress. Not a creature stirs around them. No birds sing, nothing. Tracks can be easily followed, all of them leading up to Mount Dove.

Halfway up the mountain, the party comes to a cave, a dark, dank hole in the side of the mountain.

The cave-mouth is strewn with bones and old, dried blood. There are many wolf tracks leading both in and out of the cave. There are also plenty of drag marks where the wolves have presumably dragged captives, prey and valuables.

Inside the cave is a slaughterhouse, mangled remains of partially eaten villagers are strewn liberally about the place. The further they go in, Breanna at the fore, they also find that it is not a cave, but a long tunnel, which appears to have been clawed out of the mountain by both wolf-claws and, troublingly, mining tools. The further they go into the tunnel, the narrower and more cramped it gets, until if they want to get any further, they must crawl on hands and knees.

From further on, they hear the faint sounds of howling and snarling.

And then, on the very edge of perception, the wailing of people.

Breanna is sent in first as she does not need to crawl, merely stoop and she does so, Wolfgang slinking behind her. She pulls a shroud of shadows about herself as she goes, briefly wrestling with a daemon for the energy to do so. Rounding a bend in the tunnel she finds herself coming up upon a long, dark stone hallway. Turning back, she softly calls the others forward assuring them it is safe.

I do have a map of the labyrinth they have discovered and I will post it up to ensure that what occurs next is understandable. What comes next is a very short, traditional dungeon crawl.

It is very short because as I figured it, they had time constraints. After all, the village they have attached themselves to is probably going to face destruction tomorrow night and on top of that, they just stripped the village of most of its defenders. So if they take too long and the Wolf King attacks the village while they're screwing around in the dungeon then they will have single-handedly been responsible for the destruction of the village.

They immediately decide to explore this hallway, quickly finding that the place is a labyrinth of cold, dank stone. Tremor sets himself to the task of drawing a map for the group and Maebh calls upon her power to see through illusions and the like, just in case someone has attempted to hide something from her sight.

I had drawn the map before the session began, (I am usually not that organised, to my shame) but I asked the group how they wanted to approach this, giving them two options.

The first: To have my map placed in the centre of the table. This would ensure there would be no confusion as to where everyone was, however it would also mean that everyone would know exactly where every path led. None of the rooms were marked on the map however, so only I knew what was in each room.

The second: To keep my map secret and have one player draw out a map which the group would use. If we had a smaller table and perhaps if I were better descriptively, this could certainly work, but probably would have required more preparation and ability on my part to work well. Despite Ladyhawk's misgivings, we tried it out and Wings did do up a very serviceable map on an A4 piece of paper, which was far easier to make out than my 6" by 6" sketch. I have a bad habit of drawing things far too small.

Anyway, we got some way through before abandoning it as too hard, though Wings finished his map by copying mine, ensuring that two copies could be had around the table. So for what it's worth, good work mate. ;) Ladyhawk does want me to state however that she was right all along and we shouldn't have bothered trying, but I for one am glad we did. Now I know what went wrong this time around, I'd like to have another crack at it next time we do a dungeon crawl.

Rant over, back to the game.

The exploration went quite well, at first at least, Maebh finding that there were manholes in the ceilings of some rooms which let the weak sunlight stream into the labyrinth. They could be used to get out, but the noises from above suggested that the wolves were out there in force.

Everywhere the party went they found piles of bones, some fresh and recently chewed, others old and dry, cracked either by age or the attentions of the wolves.

From their original position the sounds of both the wolves and the people in the hallways seemed to be coming from the left, and after some exploration, that is the way the group went, every now and then sending individuals out by themselves to explore some paths.

After some time they came to what seemed like a central room. Ahead were two paths, one more each to the left and right and of course, the one they had just came from. The path to the left seemed to be where the sounds of the wolves were coming from, while one of the paths to the fore seemed to be the source of the wailing people. Maebh went right, discovering nothing but more bones and the remains of a man who had been taken by the wolves. Breanna took the path ahead to the right, while Kel'Serrar took the one to the left. Harold and Tremor took up position facing the direction they assumed the wolves would come from if they did, the militia forming a wall of shields and spearpoints around them.

Kel'Serrar took the path and found it leading upwards slightly, the ground becoming slippery and treacherous in the dark. Rounding a bend to the left he came upon a very dark room and two green glowing eyes. To his keen eyes, he could see the owner, a powerful, yet mangy wolf, which stalked towards him, balefire glowing in its eyes. Kel'Serrar, arrow already nocked to the string of his bow, slowly stepped backwards, calling upon his magic, and swiftly enchanted the arrow to strike truly. With a smooth motion he loosed the missile at his target as it sprang towards him, a feral snarl echoing through the corridors. The enchanted arrow took the wolf in its "heart" and as the crystal shattered, the wolf slumped to the floor, flesh sloughing of its bones. The ranger took a moment to calmhimself, but in the silence following the wolf's demise he could hear something which worried him. Or rather, the lack of something which had been worrying him. The snarling of the wolves coming from back where he had left his companions had ceased. Suddenly there was a loud, muddied howl and the snarling returned, growing closer and accompanied by heavy footfalls. Softly cursing, he made his way back towards the room where he left the others.

Breanna meanwhile, having taken the right-hand path rounded a bend to the right and came upon yet another room. In the centre of the room was a veritable mountain of corpses, what appeared to be villagers who had been ripped limb from limb. The Leathe quickly scrounged through them, but found nothing of value. Two paths lay before her, one to the right and one straight ahead. She took the one before her, following the sounds of people. Before she left the room, Wolfgang turned and growled at the path to the right, before scurrying to her side, but she did not pay any attention to him....

Harold & Tremor
Down the path to the left, Tremor and Harold could hear the oncoming horde. They heard the snarl from Kel'Serrar's direction and could only hope he was okay. Ahead of them came a rush of snarling beasts, the horde visible in the lowlight mainly by their flaming green eyes. At Harold's command, the militia presented their shields to the onrushing wolves were embroiled in a nightmare.

Following the path before her, Breanna came to a long flight of stairs which lead to a thick, wooden door, reinforced with iron bars. The people were on the other side, and from this distance she could hear more of what was being yelled.

"Is anybody out there!? Help us!?" - Unidentified voices.

She turned back and made her way to her companions.

Retracing her steps she found herself back in the room with the mountain of corpses, however she and Wolfgang were no longer alone. Before them were two massive wolves, eyes blazing with green fire. Snarling they began to stalk towards the Leathe, who gripped her daggers tightly and closed her eyes.

LD asked here if she had any way of attacking both wolves before they attacked her. Now by the rules, no she didn't, only having enough Actions to attack a single target. However, that's where the Luck points come in.

Generally speaking Luck points are used to re-roll failed Checks. They also provide a target for Luck Checks. When a Luck Check is called for, a single D10 is rolled, with the aim being to score equal to or under the character's current Luck points.

Personally I think it rather elegant and does get across the idea of one's luck running out as it were. But that's neither here nor there.

They do have another function entirely though and it is as follows. At any point, a GM may make a deal with a player, basically to waive a rule or two in order to allow the character to do something cool.

In this case, I asked LD for 2 Luck points to do what she wanted to do. She accepted and got the chance to roll for successes. And all in all, it turned out awesome.

Breanna darted forward, the steel in her hands weaving with deadly grace. Leaping into the air, she sprang onto the face of the wolf to her left, before leaping again to the right, thrusting her dagger into the eye of the second wolf. She hit the ground, rolled to her feet and ran down the corridor, Wolfgang using her distraction to dart past the wolves too as they stumbled behind her. Snarling, they turned to give chase.

LD rolled an Agility Check for the initial kick to the face and succeeded by about three degrees from memory, followed by a called shot to the face and then another Agility Check to get away, which she passed easily.

The whole thing was awesome and all comes down to having a rule which says sometimes, the rules need to shut up and sit down.

Harold & Tremor
Where they were in the fighting, at the forefront against the wolves, there was always going to be danger. Unfortunately, at this point, Tremor wasn't quite equal to it and he was brought down by a leaping wolf, it's fangs gouging into his face as it brought him to the ground.

Harold leapt forward, blades swinging and took off one of the beast's forelimbs, causing it to lose its footing.
Pun intended.
As it staggered back, one of the militias' spears took it in the "heart." Harold dragged Tremor back, exhorting to his men to stay together as he did so and looking up. As such he saw both Maebh and Kel'Serrar appear from their sojourns, the latter immediately seeing to the injured Dwergar. Having seen to his friend's wellbeing, Harold jumped back into the fray.

To his practiced eye he could see that the Engineer was beginning to succumb to some kind of paralysis, which he deduced quickly was as a direct result of the wolf's saliva which dripped from Tremor's face. The ranger swiftly wiped it away before starting to stitch the ragged flesh of Tremor's cheek back together. As such, he was busy when Breanna came streaming back into the room, a haunted look in her eyes, Wolfgang, running alongside her. Two wolves followed her, barrelling into the room.

But where Kel'Serrar was occupied for the moment, Maebh was not and she took the opportunity to unleash her power. Calling upon the elemental force of unbridled fire, she blasted one of the wolves into oblivion leaving nothing but fine, grey ash. The sheer concussive force of her strike set the other sprawling into the stone wall, mangy fur smouldering. Maebh's strike gave Kel'Serrar all the time he needed and taking up his bow from where he had set it aside to see to Tremor, he sent an arrow straight into it's heartstone, shattering it.

Harold meanwhile continued to lead his men, striking out at the wolves which continued to batter away at their wall. Despite everything, none of the four had fallen, but Maebh did not want to risk it and she strode forward, setting up a wall of aethyric blades between the militia and the remaining wolves. The magic spinning blades shredded at least three of the oncoming wolves, leaving only two to continue their charge bearing minor injuries.
"What constitutes minor injuries to these things?" - Dev.
"Ah, well you know, missing limbs and the like."
Everyone seemed to find that really funny.
The last of the wolves were swiftly taken down by the militia, who seem to relish the chance to actually strike back at the creatures which have been terrorising them for weeks.

That'll do for now, back in a minute. :smallsmile:

2014-06-23, 01:08 PM
We're back! :smallbiggrin:

Before moving on, Maebh wards each passageway into the room with her magic, ensuring that if any creature is to follow the party, they will trip the alarms and the companions will know of it. Taking stock of their situation, the companions decide to follow the path Breanna scouted earlier, however Tremor investigates the passageway she skipped when they come to the room with the mountain of corpses. Following the passage he comes upon another room, again littered with bones, but in the far left corner there is a wooden chest.

The engineer carelessly opens the chest, releasing a quantity of foul-smelling green gas. He holds his breath and thankfully, his stout Dwergar constitution allows him to shrug it off. Inside the chest is a plain iron dagger, a small amount of copper coins and two old scrolls.

Tremor claims the spoils for his own and then unfurls one of the scrolls. The language is one which he is unfamiliar with, but despite that he attempts to read it anyway, attempting the pronunciation to the best of his ability. As soon as he reaches the end of the page, the script is overlaid with a glowing golden light and the words are erased as if they are being burnt of the paper. And then the chest immolates, leaving nothing but ash in seconds. The scroll too shrivels up in the dwarf's hands.
"Cool." - Wings.

Tremor hands the remaining scroll to Maebh, who reads over it, careful not to give voice to the incantation upon it. She swiftly reveals that the scroll is intended to produce a flame which will consume almost anything in a matter of moments. Tremor tells her to keep it.

They continue through the labyrinth, eventually coming upon the flight of stairs which Breanna had discovered earlier. Breanna picks the lock on the door and they barge through. What they find is horrifying.

The room is dark and damp and not empty. To the left of the party is another long, steep flight of stairs. To the right is a concave wall, and set into the wall are seven iron-barred cage doors. Behind the left most doors are groups of bloodied, ragged people, some clamouring at the bars to entreat the party to release them, others huddled in silence against the rock walls, already surrendered to their fate. The two doors on the right however hold only one captive each, both of whom are covered in blood and snarling, hands reaching and clawing at the companions from behind the bars.

The group recoils from the two men, spying the remains of late captives in those cells which were torn apart and eaten. All the visible captives bear bite-wounds, what appear to be deep, infected gashes. The party withdraw from the room and back down some of the stairs to consult with each other in private. Doing so also prevents the militia-men from seeing the captives.

They then engage in a short debate on what to do with the captives.
Unfortunately, I cannot remember who wanted to do what with the captives and Ladyhawk's notes don't say either. Suffice to say that some wanted to kill them all, some wanted to leave them for now and sort through them later and some wanted to free them immediately.

Freeing the two feral captives was considered out of the question. Those two men would have to be put down. The others however could still be saved, but someone does point out that unleashing all these captives upon an unsuspecting Dreven only for them to turn rabid, or worse, into undead wolves, would be tantamount to consigning the village to death.

Not that the party even knows if that could or would happen. But I'm happy to see someone thought of it.

In the end, for their safety it is decided to leave them in the cages for now, but Tremor does provide one of the calmer captives with a hastily drawn map of the labyrinth for them to study so that they are prepared to move when they get their chance, the party intending to come back later.

The militia, once again for their safety, they detail to guard the room, both the doorway into the labyrinth and the captives, telling them not to open the gates, simply to guard them. The companions move on, up the stairs and out the door to the left.

They come out into a massive hall, stonewalled, dark and cold. It is richly decorated in an ancient style, the faded banners proudly bearing the Wildermont sigil, a black mountain on a red field, surmounted by the antlers of a stag and a black sunburst. To the right of the party is a passageway to another room, ahead of them two thick wooden doors, approximately ten foot tall and to the left, two doorways, of normal size this time.

Exploring, they find that the passageway to the right leads to a winding staircase which provides access to the levels of a high tower. They ignore this part of the castle for now, assuming that the Wolf King, if present is likely to be in a throne-room of sorts. There is no guarantee of course that he is present at all, the Blackfort cold and seemingly lifeless, however the echoes of lupine howls can be heard on the air. The wolves are close.

The party heads for the two doorways, splitting into two groups to tackle it, Harold and Kel'Serrar taking the right doorway while Maebh, Breanna and Tremor take the other. Silently, they prepare their weapons, Kel'Serrar binding magical flames to the head of one of his arrows. Harold holds up a furred hand and slowly counts them off.

Breanna gives Wolfgang a quick pat as he stands ready beside her. She murmurs softly to him, just reassuring sounds, no words...
Kel'Serrar gently draws back on the arrow he has nocked to the string of his bow, senses alert for anything coming from the next room...
Tremor clenches his longsword tightly, muttering an oath under his breath...
Maebh's hand itches with the urge to unleash her power. She closes her eyes, sends a reassuring thought to Toineach and lays a hand on the door...
Harold pushes the door aside, Maebh doing the same to the other door and the companions charge into a long hall.

Before them are six long wooden tables, arranged in two lines of three. At the end of the hall is a raised platform, just three stone steps off the floor. On the platform sits an ornate carved wooden throne. And in the throne sits a man.

Not just any man, but a tall and gaunt figure, clad in baroque steel plate harness and a thick grey wolf-skin cloak over his shoulders. An ornate steel longsword rests on his knees, but that is not the most imposing feature the man possesses, for his very skin is a patchwork of crudely stitched wolf-pelts. Upon his grotesque head sits a dark wrought iron crown, barbed and of an ugly shape.

And standing beside him is the skeleton of a huge man, he too clad in heavy steel plate, bearing an enormous iron kite shield and a longsword in its right hand which would require two hands for Harold to even swing. The skull of the creature is covered by a finely wrought steel representation of a wolf's head. It turns to face the companions as their charge falters, but makes no move towards them.

"Who enters my domain?" - The Wolf King, in a booming, unearthly baritone, like two boulders giving speech.
Sadly, I'm just not very good at voices. The players killed any tension here by responding with such gems as, "Me!" and "Don't you know who I am?" It was very funny, but we just ruled it as the characters were shell-shocked.
"No matter, you should not be here." - The Wolf King, who waves a hand dismissively.
His champion starts forward, pacing down the length of the hall.

And we have combat! Maebh wins initiative. Three guesses what she does next. :P
Maebh meets it with a roiling blast of fire which deals some solid damage to the skeletal figure.
"Maebh, the scroll!" - Tremor, beckoning to the mage who throws him the scroll they found earlier.

The Wolf King looks at her and sneers before raising his hands above his head. He then brings them together with the sound of a thunderclap. From behind the party comes the ominous sound of howling followed by pounding footsteps. He then points a finger at Maebh and hits her with what looks like a thin sliver of silvery-green dust. Where it hits her, the flesh turns black for a second, eating away at her flesh and vitality before her body restores itself, but some damage is done.

Harold charges forward, meeting the champion in single combat. The two exchange blows but for the most part neither is able to land a telling strike, Harold's attempts foiled by the wight's shield and thick armour, his own skill proving just enough to ward off its return strikes. Crucially though, he has halted the champion's momentum and now at least it is not threatening the Invarrian's companions. It is not long before Tremor joins in the melee too, trying to flank the champion and take its legs out with his greatsword, but he is unable to break through its guard.

Kel'Serrar meanwhile takes stock of the situation and looses his arrow at the King himself, who takes significant damage from the strike.

Noticing that the attention of both the King and his champion is focussed squarely on her companions, Breanna darts forward, daggers at the ready and hoping that she can get close enough to the King to strike without him noticing her. She is doomed to failure however and she is picked up by the throat and thrown bodily across the room in a fiendish display of strength. Groaning, she sits herself up, dazed.

As she does so, she sees a scene from her nightmares. Behind Maebh and Kel'Serrar come bounding three hugely muscled beasts, all fangs, claws and savagery, eyes blazing with an animalistic bloodlust. Their features are vaguely lupine, but they are like no wolf the Leathe has ever seen, bounding forward on all fours and standing on only two legs to fight with scything claws.

The beasts remind her of a legend she had once been told when she lived in Greenstone, a horror story the village elder delighted in sharing, especially late at night around the fires. A legend of a curse which would take the most noble of people and turn them into a hateful raging bloodthirsty beast.

The legend of the varghulf.

Wincing in pain, she shouts a warning to the ranger and mage.

Maebh reacts first and before the beasts can pounce she blasts them with a torrent of magical water which glows with a white light. The torrent blasts one of the beasts into the wall between the doors and the other two back through the doorways completely. She then turns and smashes a fireball into the Wolf King upon his throne, who howls in pain as the fires catch on his pelts.

Looking up in anger at the ranger and mage who have dared to assault him, he throws two more entropic bolts, hitting both Kel'Serrar and Maebh. The bolts do their work, weakening both and draining them of yet more of their life-force. Knowing that he is on the edge of death, the Wolf King then starts to weave another enchantment which surrounds him with a glowing green burst of energy, which then fades into nothingness.

Harold, Tremor and the King's champion continue to trade blows, some getting through, but none particularly telling.

Kel'Serrar shoots off an arrow at the closest varghulf, hoping to take it down before it recovers from Maebh's magical river. The steel bodkin penetrates its chest, but the beast ignores the injury and staggers to its feet. Snarling, it lunges forward and its claws catch Kel'Serrar in the chest, felling the weakened ranger.

The varghulf raises its head and howls its triumph as its other two pack members slink in behind it, wary of the flame-handed Maebh, who herself is slowly backing away.

Breanna meanwhile picks herself up of the floor and makes another attempt at the Wolf King, darting forward, keeping to the shadows and then biding her time. The King sees Kel'Serrar go down and crows his victory, which is all the chance the Leathe needs. Her daggers flash and the King's head hits the floor.

And we left it there....

The Wrap-Up:
First of all, it was great getting everyone back together for this. It really had been a long time since we had last played and I certainly had missed it.

Secondly, it was a very good session, and I do believe that the day-time session certainly helped. Everyone seemed to be just as, if not more, invested compared to our usual sessions and we would have gotten to play for even longer than we usually do had Dev been on time.

As you can see, it was a seriously tense session, particularly at the end and we've certainly left it on a cliff-hanger. Luckily, we won't be in suspense for too long because at this point we are almost certainly playing this week. Sadly, it does seem that Opal will not be joining the group for some time yet.

What else is there? Oh yes, I do heartily apologise for the lack of detail, particularly regarding dialogue this session. It won't happen again. We will be using Ladyhawk's laptop from now on, which will not crash I'm sure. That being said, perhaps I might just get someone else to see to the recordings from now on due to my technology curse. I swear it all hates me. :P A special thanks is due to Ladyhawk too, who compiled hand-written notes for me to comb through. Plenty of stuff in this write-up I had forgotten about completely until I read it in her notes, so yes, thank you very much.

So yes, big cliff-hanger and do join us for the next update, which will see plenty of action I am sure.


2014-06-26, 11:49 AM
Just updating everyone,

Saturday will go ahead at this stage and a few players have expressed their excitement to me regarding the short break between sessions. Maybe we will be able to be a little more frequent in the future. :smallsmile:

So tune in for wolves, explosions, heaps of loot and undead bits and pieces flying everywhere. That's what I expect will happen anyway and the group is unlikely to disappoint.

Cheers, :smallbiggrin:

Amidus Drexel
2014-06-26, 02:04 PM

I love reading this - I can't wait for more. :smallbiggrin:

2014-06-28, 03:11 AM
Unfortunately Wings fell quite ill and had to call off today, but on the plus side a game on the 5th of July is looking like close to certain. :smallsmile:

I have got something people might find interesting however. I am running a contest for the players, as I do on a semi-regular basis and have asked them to conduct their own interview with their characters. I would like to extend the opportunity to you, the readers, to post any questions you might have for players and/or characters.

These questions can seriously be just about anything you want, so go nuts. I'm hoping to encourage the players to differentiate player reactions and character reactions.


2014-06-29, 12:45 PM
Okay, well I have a heap of pictures I wanted to put up, maps and all but for now I will have to be content with only three and sadly, not three of my finest works. :smallbiggrin:

First up, the floormap of The Fortress, the Dreven inn which Tremor took a liking to. Down the bottom you can see the second floor of the inn and on the left hand side you can espy a quick sketch of Tremor's amulet, which may just start to become more important.

Next we have the sketch of the labyrinth beneath the Blackfort which the players recently fought their way through. The left hand side shows the cave and tunnel entrance into the passageways. On the right, one can see the passage out and into the dungeon.

And lastly, for a bit of fun, here's the original sketch I put together in the bathroom which LD took and adapted for her own purposes. As you can see, she's a far superior artist.

I would have posted them up as images but didn't realise that Deviant Art would cause such problems when I tried to. I shall go back to Photobucket now I think.

That's all for now but I will be putting up a basic topographical map of Norbayne, a known world map and a geopolitical map of the area around Summer Hill. Along with a sketch of Harold on a horse.


2014-07-03, 09:47 AM
Okay, back now everyone, this time with heaps of pictures that will be displayed here instead of Deviant Art.

First up, a map of the labyrinth under the Blackfort. Hopefully it can be followed to some extent.

Secondly, the Fortress of Dreven, replete with various things Wings figured out. In the bottom left you can see Tremor's amulet he picked up off Wilmund Brewer.

Next, a world map of Norbayne which might help people with the geography and such.

The lands around Summer Hill. Each number represents a city, town, fort or other point of interest.

The original party sketch I did in the bathroom.

And lastly, a sketch of Harold Oakenshield on horseback. Even when taking it seriously, I'm still pretty crap.

That's all for now though I will be putting up stat sheets as of the end of 3.3 soon. Sadly, Wings just informed us the other day that he goes away very early Saturday morning, so unfortunately we will not play this weekend.


2014-07-04, 02:06 AM
Yay, this thing's back! Sort of. And I am kinda as well.

Questions for characters... hmm, I had a lot, but only one is currently sticking out in my mind is "Why isn't Harold getting more attention from the ladies?"

Now that I've picked up sketching again (Losing my laptop and internet for several weeks has done wonders with my life!), I think I'm going to draw a sketch of Harold at some point. (I may or may not include Tremor at his side in a back-to-back badasses pose)

If Dev reads this - Make sure that wolf doesn't die next session, or any future ones either! However, I won't mind if his adventures cost him his armor.

2014-07-04, 10:31 AM
Yep, we're kind of back indeed. Just waiting to hear from Wings as to when he's good to go as I'm growing weary of organising days and calling them off. :)

As to the question, I will put it to all the characters as that will likely be quite amusing. :P

And as far as sketches go, to your heart's content. Anything you want to do would be awesome.


2014-07-09, 03:17 AM
Hey everyone,

I ran a solo session for my seven year old brother yesterday. I think he's seven anyway. Whatever. :P

Anyway, I've finished a write-up of the session which can be found on my forum. Here's a link to it. (http://s4.zetaboards.com/Battlehammer/topic/10124466/1/) I reckon it would be awesome for the little guy to see that people have read and enjoyed his story so just a comment left on here for him to read indicating you enjoyed it would mean the world to him I'm sure.

Thanks in advance guys, and hopefully that will sate your appetite for Norbayne goodness until we get Wings to sort out a date. ;)


2014-07-09, 03:33 AM
Hmm... nice judgement call about leaving the dagger.

The guy seems pretty cool. I can't get enough of your campaigns, and the system intrigues me!

2014-07-09, 08:12 AM
Hmm... nice judgement call about leaving the dagger.

The guy seems pretty cool. I can't get enough of your campaigns, and the system intrigues me!

The highest praise I can get, thank you so much. :)

Apparently he is nine, (turning ten!) but hey, he hasn't changed much in the last two years. :P

Thanks for reading,

2014-07-12, 04:35 AM
Okay, well only two players could be bothered with the challenge I set them, so I guess we know who gets the rewards... :smalltongue:

First up, Kel'Serrar. This is set just as the Wolf King has blasted him with the entropic dart.

A bolt of powerful magic hits me and I can feel my life fading away and with it, reality.

My eyes open and there, before me is a tall, familiar looking old man with a long grey beard and weatherbeaten skin. He stands clad in a dark grey robe and bearing a carved wooden staff. He nods in greeting, shifting his weight upon his staff and pulls out a wooden board with a piece of parchment on it and a quill.

“Again? You know this really isn’t the best time to do this..."

“Considering what you’ve just been hit with, can you honestly say you have anything better to do right now?” the old man asks, laughing at the question.

There wasn’t much I could answer that with, if anything. After all, I’m still not certain I haven’t been killed. Admittedly, if I had known this was the afterlife, I probably would have killed a lot more people, might at least make things interesting.

“Nice to see we agree on something then, before we begin… do you have any questions?”

“Is this the afterlife? Do I get paid for this? What is the meaning of life? Can I borrow that walking stick?” What can I say? If I am dead, then he can’t kill me for being annoying. If I’m not dead though that may be about to change.

The old man looks at me for a moment, and then continues, “Well then, since you don’t have any questions, I must ask… if you have such a fear of fire, why is it that you actively attempt to set buildings and other people on fire?”

“I wouldn’t necessarily say I fear fire, if anything I’m actually rather fond of it, there are few of life’s challenges that cannot be solved through the immolation of everyone around you. What I dislike are the ashes that remain behind once the fire is gone. Ashes mean there’s no more life here, nothing left and it’s time to move on again.

As to why I try to start fires, well… after many years of fighting, raiding and killing, my people learned a remarkable truth about the other races. Almost all of them are afraid of being set on fire. In the little time I have spent outside of my village, this has yet to fail me”

“Then let me ask of something else, you have been using a new form of magic recently, one rather foreign to you all things considered. Why?”

“That is a far simpler question to answer. Why? Because I was told I couldn’t. Back in Summer Hill, while I was talking to ‘The Trickster’ I asked him about the magic he was using, and whether he would be willing to teach it. I was told it would be beyond my ability to learn, how could I resist?

From what I’ve learned of it so far, it seems like it would have quite a lot of use if I ever return to the wilds, being able to change my appearance almost at will would certainly be effective against any group of bandits. The ability to hide any sound would simply be an added bonus, it would certainly help when working with Chirya.”

“Ah yes, Chirya. You don’t think she might be annoyed at a certain note you left her recently… one that I note you have made no effort to find a response to?”

“In all honesty... no. She herself has done similar in the past, knowing her, any reply she would make, she’ll leave somewhere in my way and I’ll find just after she’s left the area. Actually… that does seem to happen far too often. Quite often we will both find ourselves in the same area, yet never actually see each other. It certainly makes things interesting at least.

As much as I miss her though, the situations she would get us into… she once had us try and besiege the town of Sul, well, if I’m being honest, it was more of a village than a town. The reason? She was bored. Before I tell you how we did it, just think for a moment how you would do it. A quiet village, thirty people at the most living there, on the edge of the wilds. These villagers were fairly well armed, and had a well-trained militia for the nearly constant problems caused by the wilderness.

Thought how you would do it? It probably wasn’t this. We surrounded the village, yes, surrounded it, just the two of us. This was only the second strangest thing that happened that day. The strangest was that it actually worked. The villagers did not believe that we would try something quite so abysmal without having a small army in hiding nearby. I’m not entirely sure if they ever really learned the truth, but I hope so, it wouldn’t be quite as exciting to do it twice if they haven’t learned.

That was about only a few days before we both went our separate ways near Summer Hill, and I haven’t seen her since… although it was certainly amusing to find out about the holes she put in Harold. “

“What about this town you have been fighting in, this Dreven?”

“I’m glad to be out of there in all honesty, those wolves were simply too much. They are a perversion of the natural order and have no place within the wilds. The sooner they can be dealt with, the sooner we can leave this place, and travel further. Who knows, we may find more members, or we might all leave, one of the two.”

“Interesting, my final question then, the other members of the party… You've had a fair bit of time to form an opinion of them. What do you think of them?”

“They are certainly convenient, as a group we achieve much more than we would separate, but this group is not the most reliable. Harold is practical, if someone is dead, they cannot act against us… a good philosophy, if we weren’t hunting someone long dead, who controls undead wolves. He has few issues with looting, so he would be decent if he were not so fixated on separating the party while we adventure.

Maebh is powerful, very powerful, yet sentimental. An odd mix for a Danann. She is good company to adventure with, but will often let sentiment cloud her vision. Those prisoners were a good example, if they were released, they had every possibility to turn into more wolves and an enemy behind us as well as before us is not an ideal situation.

Breanna… well, Breanna makes Chirya seem like a travelling hero of the people. There is something very wrong with her mental state, but it certainly helps whenever we need to kill something. With every town we go to, I find myself expecting her to go on a murdering spree and get us chased out of town. Again.

Tremor is a small and very flammable wall. While it is amusing to see him thrown at various targets we have met, he seems much more capable building than he does fighting. If he were to actually hit his targets they have little chance to continue breathing, but he seems to be far more successful at desperately flailing than fighting.

And then there is me. In all honesty, I remain with this party because it pays the best, and they don’t usually object too loudly when there are objects in need of stealing. This does not engender much in the way of trust among the party. We all know that the others will get the job done, but when there’s nothing left for us to hunt, what then?”

“Odd, but very well, thank you for your time, you may return to your world again… Oh and try to move out of the wolf’s way.”

The old man fades away, and reality seems to reassert itself, as do the wolves moving closer to Maebh and myself…

And then the other one I got was from LD. So here's Breanna's interview. This one is set just after the Wolf King has cracked her head against a stone wall.

My eyes open and before me is a very different sight. Where I was in the middle of a life and death struggle just moment before, now I am sitting on a tree-stump at a campfire at night. Before me is familiar old man, clad in dark grey. A carven staff lies beside him and he carries a quill and wooden board with parchment. He smiles across at me.

"That was a nasty head knock girl. Now, do you have any questions?"

I shake my head, still trying to come to grips with the situation I have found myself in.

"Very good then, we shall begin. We are very curious, what are your values?"

I take a deep breath and then start to talk.
"The things that I feel most strongly about are strength, morality and justice, though, for obvious and, quite frankly, disturbing reasons, you would not think this…I’m a bit of sociopath, or psychopath, depending on which you find to be more fitting. Honestly, I think I’m both. However, back to the matter at hand. Strength, honor and justice hold strong with me due to my background. Now, I know we Leathe are not exactly renowned for our bravery and/or excellence on the battlefield, but hearing fables or warriors and the like really took a place in me, so strength, I find, is quite a good trait to have, both physical and mental. As for morality and justice, this is going to be a massive hit of hypocrisy, though my true opinion. Morality is possibly one of the best characteristics to have, the knowledge of right and wrong and all that crap, justice, honour, and integrity…they all come into this category. These are, what I find, to be some of the most important things in the world, though, in this age of Norbayne, is hard to find."

"What was your view on the supernatural? Have these views changed throughout the course of your little adventure?"

"I have always had this idea of no divine over-ruling spirit, and the same applies to the supernatural creatures we've run across. I was always taught as a child that these things were simply used to scare children into doing their parent’s bidding and the like; however, this journey has made me rethink my opinions on the world completely. Undead wolves being controlled by an ex-king psychopath who should be otherwise dead? Come on, I’m oblivious, but even I know something’s up when that comes into play! I get the whole “it’s magic and that’s all there is to it” thing, but there’s definitely something, more, there has to be something that the world of Norbayne isn’t seeing. As to my views on the supernatural now? It’s real, and it should be feared, like death."

"Do you think redemption is possible? If so, can anyone be redeemed, or are there only certain circumstances that can be? If not, why do you think nothing can redeem itself?"

"Redemption is a possibility, for most people. All hope is lost for me though, hurt too many people, caused too much pain, but other people could do it. Though, I hope some people never do manage redemption. The world is such a horrible place, but there is still some good left in the world."

"What do you think is wrong with society, overall?"

"The majority of the people of this world, have a tendency to be avaricious, whether it is for wealth or power. It is our greatest flaw, because, let’s face it, there are so many flaws with the world."

"What is your current long-term goal for this venture?"

"I would say that my long-term goal would be for, at the end of this, to get paid…but…that is sort of out unlikely, so maybe just to live through this bloody (literally bloody) venture. Maybe come out of it with some valuables so I can set myself up, far away from Greenstone all together."

"And then, what is your current short-tern goal at the moment?"

"At this point in time I just want to survive. I have an ominous feeling about how all this is going to pan out, and, to put it lightly, there is a substantial chance of dying by “Wolf King evil kill-iness”, so, I’m essentially preparing for the worst. Though, it would be very pleasant to actually live through this thing."

"My last question then, before I let you get back to it all, some of us are quite interested. Why do you feel Harold Oakenshield doesn't get more attention from the ladies?"

"He is a very…unique Invarrian. As to reasons why he doesn’t get, as you say, more attention from the ladies, I give you this image: picture a half dog half man covered in whiskey, curled up on a mat, shedding everywhere, laying so close to the fireplace that you’re actually afraid that he’s about to combust… Come get it ladies!
But, in all seriousness, he is a sea wolf, and racism is an issue that needs to be brought to light. Around here, his kind are known for being merciless raiders. Plus, after a month or so of travelling around with the dog, you learn pretty quickly that he has no filter between his brain and his canines.

And there you have it guys, the two things I did get. :smalltongue:

2014-08-05, 10:36 AM
Just a short status update for anyone who is anxiously awaiting the next installment.

At the moment several of us, myself included have been exceptionally busy. I play club football, LD's at school and takes her ballet dancing very seriously, Dev, Sins and Ladyhawk are all studying and Wings works full-time. As you can imagine, co-ordinating everyone can be a rather stressful task.

As it was, Friday nights were great for everyone last year. LD only had dancing two times a week and everyone had the day off on Saturday so we could all be out/up late. This year however, LD picked up another night of dancing, specifically Friday nights. Unfortunately, this restricted us to playing either in the school holidays when the dancing academy had time off, or changing the sessions to Saturday.

This would not have been such an issue if it weren't for my own acquisition of football to my time-table. With games alternating between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, this severely cut down what opportunities were left by LD.

What few opportunities remained to us after these issues Wings and Ladyhawk managed to scuttle, leaving us with a pretty bare roster in terms of sessions in 2014. :P

However things are looking up. I play my last game for the season this weekend and should also finally get my licence which should help with co-ordinating people in itself. LD's dancing should also be wrapping up soon, but at least I won't have to call off any more Saturdays myself.

We are also hoping to have multiple sessions in September. :D Well, I am anyway. We'll have to see how the others feel about that.

To finish this message, I'll just assure you that the adventures of this group are not over by a long shot and we are still going. We're just going to be a little late about it. :P

I also hope to play another session of Pirates of Lemaria with Scotticus this weekend, so keep your eyes peeled for another chronicle featuring Martialis Ironlaw.

At 1:36 from the east coast of Australia, I bid you a good night,

2014-08-14, 10:27 AM
Another quick update, but this one is not only positive news but content-filled! :smallbiggrin:

First up, we're playing a session on the 23rd of August. Hooray for the end of lengthy hiatuses! Is that a word? It is now.

Secondly, Opal will probably be joining us. Suffice to say, there will be a legitimate reason for her to show up. :smallwink:

Thirdly, I played Session 1.2 of Pirates of Lemaria with Scotticus some time last week. We had a blast and the write-up can be found here. (http://s4.zetaboards.com/Battlehammer/topic/10124466/1/#new) Enjoy. :smallbiggrin:

That's all for now guys, please post if you have any questions or comments, we love seeing comments on here. :smallwink:

2014-09-14, 04:16 AM
Session 3.4: The Danann Pack

The witch Kresimina is an interesting case, a woman whose past is hidden amid the blood and flames of her terrible reign. She first rose to power almost a decade after Imperator Felix Aureus Ferox fell in battle against the Danann of the Dragain's Tail. What began as rumours of a powerful sorceress coming to power in the Northlands quickly became full-scale war between the forces of the reeling Bovus Empire and undying legions from the north, led by their witch-queen, a necromancer of terrible power.

Kresimina took for herself the sigil of the burning pine tree, a symbol of her conquest, the Razing of the North....

From the Codex of Blood.

Welcome to Session 3.4 of Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword. This session went for about three and a half hours, with a lunch break in the middle and saw the introduction of a new player, Opal, who has been lined up to join us for quite some time now.

Let's begin,

"You lost The Game." - Sounds like everyone.
"You bastards."

Harold and Tremor stand in the middle of the dining hall, trading blows with a giant, armour clad champion. Breanna stands at the end of the hall, knife in hand, having just decapitated the Wolf King. Two varghulfs stalk towards Maebh, magical light flickering in her hands, while the third crouches over the felled Kel'Serrar, about to tear his face off.

Things are not looking good.

And so with a shout Maebh hits the oncoming varghulfs with all the power she can muster, a torrent of magical water blasting them apart. Wrenching the magical energies around, she directs the water at the third beast on Kel'Serrar. It too is blown apart, leaving the stunned Danann ranger wiping blood and flesh from his face.

Inspecting the corpse before her, Breanna notices a thin green-grey wisp of magic emanating from the Wolf King's neck. She pushes that to the back of her mind and looks over to where Harold and Tremor continue to trade blows with the champion. She takes up her dagger and hurls it across the room. The keen blade flashes into the champion's skull, easily penetrating the steel helm. The skeletal figure appears not to notice.

For whatever reason, half the group bursts into song while Wings and I are trying to determine whether or not he dodges one of the champion's strikes. Naturally, no one actually knows the words to the song, and so four members of the group, naming no names, just hum along till they get to the parts that they know.

Unfortunately, between the humming and the singing and the usual OOC chatter going on, I can hear very little of what is going on. Luckily I have a nasally and irritating voice, so at least I can hear myself some of the time.

Three streams of molten silver ripple from the blade of Tremor's sword, punching into the champion's cuirass, but again they seem to have no real effect on the hulking figure. The champion and Tremor exchange blows once more before the Dwergar falls back.

Maebh prepares to blast the champion with fire.
"How many steps do I get as a free action again?" - Ladyhawk.
"Five steps."
"Cool. Can I shout a warning to Harold and Tremor?" - Ladyhawk.
"Of course you can."
"Alright then, I take five steps forward and shout, 'Duck!'" - Ladyhawk.
"Where? I love ducks!" - Dev and myself simultaneously.
"I hate ducks. A duck ate my honey-soy duck." - Opal, quietly.
"Holy ****. That's morbid."
"A duck broke my foot once." - LD.
"What!?" - Most everyone, save for me as I have heard this story before.
"It's a long story."
"The short version is, I was on a trampoline. A duck flew down, scared me and pushed me off the trampoline." - LD, to stunned silence.

Wings came up with an idea. Basically, he wants to be able to carve runes into his flesh. The rules stipulate that they may be carved onto any metal item, but it is a cool idea. The solution? I'm going to write talents that allow Engineers to carve the runes onto other materials. And Warlocks will gain a flesh-rune mechanic, because that seemed kind of evil.

The blast of flame smashes the champion to ground, but the undead warrior is still not completely felled.
"He's down! Kill him!" - Maebh, ignoring the fact that it is already dead.

I had to leave the room at this point to rescue our soft drinks from the freezer, and so everyone took great delight in screaming at the recording device until I returned. Such gems as, "STOP TOUCHING MY DICE!" and, "You lost The Game.... Again..." and lastly, "Does anybody have a lovely bunch of coconuts?"

I return and impose some form of order upon the session.

On the plus side, not as bad as the infamous anime pornography incident.

Harold obliges and his blades flash as he hacks the champion apart.

The armour of the champion and the Wolf King is far too heavy and impractical for any of the party to use, even Harold. On the other hand, their weapons are both expertly crafted and well-maintained.

The champion bears heavy plate harness, a massive sword and a weight solid-iron shield. On the champion's belt is a ring of heavy iron keys, which Harold takes, along with the champion's sword.

Maebh stalks over to the decapitated Wolf King and examines his corpse. His armour is ornate and heavy, as is his longsword. His wolf-pelt cloak, while likely rich in a past life, is now dank and musty and frankly, smells like ****. On his left hand, he bears a thick, rune-engraved golden ring. Maebh takes the longsword for herself and tosses the ring to Tremor, who has shown a somewhat disconcerting urge to collect expensive jewellery.

I've known Wings for years. Surely he should know by now that Lord of the Rings are my favourite books and movies of all time....

Leaving the dining hall, the party goes up the stairs, coming upon the first floor. Opening the door, the party comes across a room in which a great number of skeletons are working away at desks and stacking books in bookshelves. No moves are made towards the party, they simply work at their tasks, sorting through books, stacking them and writing them. Progress is slow, but steady. The party search through the books, stepping around the skeletal beings. All the books they look at are written in a language none of the group are familiar with, though it seems to be similar to the Scribhinn, the Danann script.

From what they can tell, it seems that the books are written histories. And while they are almost illegible, they are beautiful works of art.

As Dev points out, the skeletons seem to be almost magical automated typewriters.

Each party member picks up a handful of books and scrolls, stuffing them into backpacks and then continue up the tower. Every room they come across is much the same as the first, filled with more skeletons creating written works.

The party finally reach the top of the tower, where the staircase ends with a much larger door. Where the other doors were ordinary, unadorned wooden affairs, this door is much larger, made of dark carved iron. A carven, rather daemonic looking face glares at the party from the door.

I remind Opal that she can jump in at any time, and she offers that currently she is eating a steak in Dreven's Fortress inn.

LD suggests opening the door.
"That sounds like a mis-steak." - to laughter and groans of disgust.
"I would join in the puns, but the steaks are too high." - Sins, to more laughter than I got.
"You're one of my favourite people." - Ladyhawk, to Sins, grinning sheepishly.

The door is not locked and the party cautiously creep inside. Immediately they are set upon by two skeletal guards and a deadwolf.
And I explain how Initiative works for about the fiftieth time as everyone bar Sins does it wrong again. I need to come up with a better system I think.

Maebh immediately opens up with another Fury of the River, smashing the two guards into shattered piles of bone on the ground. Only half of the deadwolf remains, glowering and slavering at the party as they stride past it.

It took longer to roll Initiative than finish the fight there, which is another sign that it needs to be more intuitive than it is.
"Sorry." - Ladyhawk.

Against the back wall, an unconscious dwarf is chained to the wall in an iron cage.
"You breed fast." - Sins, to Wings. Massive laughter.
In the centre of the room, there is a large, rusted iron table covered in bloodstains, engraved runes and heavy chains. Tremor and Breanna inspect the table and determine between them that the runes are of a cursing variety, and that they are specifically used for some kind of transmutation. Basically, one taps into the power of the runes to change the form of whatever lies upon the table into a pre-determined shape.

"I'm disappointed. When you said cursing, I thought the table was for swearing at people who get too close." - Sins.
"I'm glad I wasn't the only one who pictured the runes saying, '****.' " - Ladyhawk, laughing.
"The way they actually work, you could end up with **** actually on the table." - Opal.
"That's some curse."

Tremor thinks about copying these runes for his own use. Essentially, Tremor's runecraft is a form of Spirit magic, where Tremor takes the ambient energy of spirits in the world around him and binds it into the engravings he places upon metal. The runes however, instead of binding the energy of spirits, are actually binding daemonic entities and so are both far more powerful and far more volatile.

Instead he walks over to the unconscious dwarf and recognises him. The Dwergar in the cage is none other than Tremor's cousin, Barandin Rostenson of Clan Stonefist. He does not look in a good way, dried blood streaking his face, beard and chest. He would appear dead if it weren't for the slight rise and fall of his chest with his breathing. As Tremor approaches, he looks up and a fierce golden light gleams in his savage eyes. The chains hold him back as he begins to growl at his approaching cousin.

I figure they need yet another hint here.
"Now LD's knowledge of the Leathe legends has suggested that the varghulf condition is a curse. This table has been revealed as one which places a curse on whatever is chained to it."
"Can we change him back?" - Wings.
"My knowledge of the varghulf is that I destroy them..." - Ladyhawk, whispering.
"On another note, not only do you guys steal everything which isn't nailed down, LD even stole my name." - Opal, whose real name is very similar to Breanna.
"To be fair, she picked it because she was too lazy to come up with a name particularly different from her own." - LD's real name is also similar to Breanna, which naturally makes it confusing as hell trying to differentiate who we're speaking to.
"Anyway, what are you doing with Barandin?"
"Can we work the table?" - Wings.
"You might be able to."
"Maebh's leaving the room then." - Ladyhawk.
"So we could work the table perhaps?" - Wings.
"You could, but there might be an easier way to do it..." - Blank looks from everyone... "Your walking magical battery might have an easier alternative."
"Walking magical battery? Do you have a better solution than the table?" - Wings.
"Uh, yeah don't use the table. It seems dangerous and we don't know what we're working with." - Ladyhawk, to Dev's laughter.
"Right, but PG said you might have a solution." - Wings.
"This is a curse...." - With heavy emphasis on the final word.
"Oh right, Remove Curse... How many times have you hinted that?" - Ladyhawk, laughing.
"Hmm a couple... Two sessions now."
"Should I get the bowl of water then?" - Ladyhawk.
"You can."
"Will it help?" - Ladyhawk.
"Yes, it will help."
"Right, bowl of water then please?" - Ladyhawk, asking around.
They start discussing where to get water from.
"Yeah some water from a skin will do, right?" - Ladyhawk.
"Well yeah sure. You know you can make water in your hands right?"
"Oh yeah!" - Ladyhawk.

Maebh begins the ritual to cleanse the cursed Dwergar, and finally places her hand upon his forehead. He tries to bite her, but she avoids his gnashing teeth. Upon being cured, his eyes turn back to a dark, almost black grey and he sags against the wall. He looks around confused and his eyes eventually fall on Tremor.

"Tremor, is that you? What are you doing here?" - Barandin Stonefist.
Harold moves forward and uses the keys on the champion's pilfered ring to unlock the cage and manacles.
"I have news from home Tremor. Your brother, he is... Well, a ******** to put it lightly. I am sorry, but your father is dead. Your brother killed him for the rulership. He has also had your sister sold off to a rival clan. To my knowledge, everyone we grew up with, friends we fought with, are dead. Or exiled, but they're probably dead too." - Barandin, trying to get everything out in case he lapses into unconsciousness again.
"You're a noble?" - Maebh, quietly.
"Yes." - Tremor, also quietly.
"****." - Maebh, concerned.

Tremor's cousin is physically battered, unarmed and unarmoured, but it seems he insists he is well enough to try and leave this place with the party.

"We will help you rescue your sister Tremor." - Maebh, gripping her spear tightly.
"Yes, we shall." - Harold.
Tremor nods his gratitude.

From the main room there are two doorways, not counting the large iron door they just came through, one to left of where they stand and one straight ahead. To the right is an open balcony which overlooks the courtyard and the mountain.

The party inspects the room straight ahead first. It appears to be an armoury of sorts. To their left is another wooden door. Four suits of heavy steel plate harness line the walls, too heavy and impractical for any of the party. The cloth and leather of all four suits are worn with age. Upon one sits a highly ornate steel helm in the shape of a wolf-skull which Tremor takes.
Against the left wall lies a display case with a powerful hunting bow and five well-crafted arrows, which Kel'Serrar claims.
Against the right wall is a wooden desk covered in parchment and a single book which details the art of scroll-crafting. Tremor takes both the bow and the parchment.
Next to it is a chest which Maebh points at and it pops open.
Successful Channelling Skill Check to open it.
Dark black and green wisps of lightning crackle from within it, indicating that it was probably warded. Within the chest is a small selection of already completed scrolls, a wolf-fang talisman and two wands, one of alderwood and the other rune-inscribed oak. Tremor takes the scrolls and Maebh takes the talisman and wands. The mage studies the talisman and determines that it grants the wearer the favour of woodland spirits.
Essentially +10 to Survival Checks in woodland areas.
Another chest lies against the back wall, which Harold approaches and unlocks using his pilfered keys. In it is a fine steel dagger and longsword, an enchanted thick black cloak, and a steel war axe. The Invarrian takes it all and gives the axe to Barandin and the cloak to Kel'Serrar.

Tremor heads back out into the main room, before taking the other doorway. The rest of the group meanwhile go through the doorway from the armoury and come upon what they assume to be the Wolf King's personal living quarters.

A sumptuous bed which has not been used for probably hundreds of years dominates the room, and a wardrobe and chest made up the rest of the furnishings. Maebh immediately inspects the chest and split the money and small bag of gemstones inside. A cask of pipeweed is set aside for Tremor.

Going through the door they Tremor first notices long wooden table with a comfortable leather chair. Along two walls are expansive bookshelves with considerably less books in them than they were constructed to hold. There is also a small fireplace.

The Dwergar immediately takes one of the books off a shelf, an exotic tome written in gold ink, bound in leather and trimmed with bone, and sets himself down upon the chair to read. Flicking through the book, named the Codex of Blood, Tremor finds a treasure-trove of knowledge regarding ancient necromantic masters. The Dwergar, flicking through, comes across the first page of a chapter embossed with the symbol of a flaming pine tree. He has a moment to recognise the resemblance between that symbol and the one engraved upon his amulet before he is wracked with a not-inconsiderable amount of pain, causing him to drop the book. The pain subsides in a moment, leaving him with a splitting headache, and he opens his eyes to find the book again, which is lying open at a different page, one detailing the master Odon. He closes it and slams the book into his backpack.

Tremor looks through each book in turn as the rest of the party finish in the Wolf King's chamber, and continues to do so after they come in to the study.
"What's up?" - Tremor, in a non-committal greeting.
He then picks up another book from the pile next to him, an impressive tome bound in carved wooden plates. Opening it, Tremor reads the title, Hosimmo's Articles of Daemonic Manifestation in blood upon the linen page, before his mind is consumed by images of the brutal carnage of daemonic legions locked in an endless war. In seconds, his mind snaps back to reality and he is left mentally scarred by the experience.
The others look at him, panting heavily and with a fist clenched to his forehead.
"Are you okay?" - Maebh.
"Yeah, sure..." - Tremor, grimacing.

At the end of the book is a note, written in black ink upon parchment in spidery handwriting. It is pinned to the wooden plate binding the book.

My research indicates that Hosimmo was slain by a summoned pack of daemons he thought were under his control, a grim warning to one who would attempt to replicate his feats for themselves.

Sitting on the table is a small blackthorn puzzle-box, lying where Tremor placed it for now, having taken it from the bookshelf.
"Can I give this a go?" - Harold, to Tremor.
"Yeah sure." - Tremor, nursing his head and taking a break from combing through the books. One of them has just belched a cloud of red smoke into his eyes.
"You're really not having a good day." - Breanna, vaguely sympathetically as Harold starts to work out the puzzle-box.
Almost a minute later, Kel'Serrar snatches it from the increasingly frustrated Invarrian and deftly opens it.
Within the box lies several sheets of parchment, covered in line after line of tiny inked lettering. Kel'Serrar takes a quick look at them, realises they're magical and passes them to Maebh. A quick glance tells her that these, The Scripts of Udlar, contain several advanced magical theories which she might be able to put into use with her own ritual magics.

Tremor takes every other book, stuffing them in his backpack for later reading. They're heading out now.

The party takes the staircase once more, eventually reaching the entrance hall and then down once again into the dungeons. Everything is much as how they left it, the militia talking quietly with those who are trapped in the cages. The men who had been affected by the varghulf curse were still snarling and reaching for the militia who had retreated as far away from those two cages as possible.

"We've found out some information while you were gone." - Jon, the sergeant of the militia, to Harold.
"Let us here it then." - Harold, taking the offered handshake.
"As it happens, these people have been taken for use in the mines. The enemy wants these dark gemstones from beneath the castle. Anyone who resists is set upon by the deadwolves and then risen to serve anyway." - Jon, grim and wary. "I take it you were successful? The Wolf King is no more?"
"Indeed." - Harold, who takes up his ring of keys and starts unlocking cages, until only the last two remain unlocked. The occupants continue to snarl and rage, throwing themselves at the bars.
"Maebh, you're needed here." - Harold, staring down the bestial villagers.
The mage comes forward and removes the curses from both the men, leaving them dazed and confused. Harold is opening the doors before they hear a loud crash and some cursing from behind them and up the stairs.
"In the name of both the gods, why do I keep falling!?" - Unseen voice, who it seems falls over a lot.
"I shall take the villagers and the militia back out the tunnels." - Harold, who gathers his men and takes them out, Kel'Serrar following him, still wearing the shape of the Invarrian duellist.
His reasons for this are just to confuse matters, but I get the feeling Sins probably wanted to play a changeling kind of character from the very beginning.
Maebh leads Tremor, Barandin and Breanna up the stairs once more.

With a hand on her sword, Therressa Bannimagen looks over the oncoming figures.
"Would you know of Harold Oakenshield?" - Therressa, questioning.
"Yes, downstairs." - Breanna, laughing.
"HAROLD! Someone wants you!" - Maebh.
The Invarrian hears the yell and continues down the tunnels, perhaps slightly faster than before.
"OAKENSHIELD!" - Theressa, her voice slightly familiar to Harold.
He stops, the voice ringing a bell as a distant and vague memory stirs. He seems to remember that voice being connected somehow with his sister, and a very blurry night which friends informed him the next day involved a drinking contest which he lost.
He remembers nothing of the night itself, only the next morning, where he awoke on a softly rocking ship halfway to Unterguardt.
"It looks like you recognise that voice. Shall we keep going?" - Kel'Serrar, to Harold.
The Invarrian nods and they continue on their way and leave the tunnels.

The rest of the party follow in their wake, Therressa tagging along. They come to the cart, where a strange horse is grazing near the cart. When they emerge, they see Harold strapping swords to his own horse, Amadeus, with someone who could be his twin offering mocking advice over his shoulder.
Therressa takes a random stab and guesses that the serious one is the Harold she is after.
"Oakenshield!" - Therressa, grabbing his attention and throwing a letter at the duellist. He snatches it out of the air and opens it. It is a message from his sister, Helga.

Don't open this if you are player other than Dev, as I don't think he has revealed this to anyone yet.

Dear brother,

I hope this letter finds you well, though knowing you as well as I do, I rather doubt it to be the case.

Since you have left, our family's fortunes have improved greatly. Just last ice-season I purchased another three longships and fully outfitted them all. A wise investment, for we reaped the profits tenfold come the reaving-season.

Hosker was made captain of the Stormlord's Guard too. He looks just like I remember Father, though Hosker is likely far more skilled with a blade. He might even be a match for you Harold.
I have a litter on the way too brother. I shall name one after you of course, and I hope that I can introduce them to their other uncle before they grow too old. Likely they will have come by the time you receive this message, but I write to you as things are now.

I have some ill news too I am afraid brother. The insufferable Windchasers had been on my back about our business acquisitions for seasons now. Their scion, that big bastard Ovar, he even threatened me last season. Told me that he'd fire our ships if I sent them out again. I told him that if he did, he'd answer to you, trusting that your reputation would see him off. Unfortunately, it would seem he took it as a challenge and he did try to fire one of our vessels.

Since then I've kept a close eye on his family's dealings, and behold! There were three longships on their ledger which had just popped into existence of their own accord. Naturally, I informed the authorities and the Windchasers are now in disgrace. Of Ovar, I have not seen hair nor hide of him for over a month now, but rumour has it he took his ship and is scouring the Northlands for you.

I don't know where this letter will find you, but I do hope it finds you before he does and gives you some warning. I rather doubt he intends to just have a friendly chat.

With love,
Your sister, Helga Oakenshield

That's all for now, back soon. :smallsmile:

Here we are. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=18107809&postcount=136)

2014-09-14, 04:21 AM
We're back. :smallbiggrin:

"I am Therressa Bannin- Banni- Ban- something, I'm not entirely sure. My parents never were really clear on that." - Therressa, struggling with her surname.
"Anyway, Harold's sister asked a favour of me and she's an old friend so I said yes. And he owes me money anyway." - Therressa, to the rest of the party and gesturing towards Harold.
"Wait, what money?" - Harold, halting his reading for a moment.
"You owe me about five sulvers." - Therressa, to the duellist.
"Hmph..." - Harold, still reading.
Therressa approaches him, drawing her sword. She brandishes it threateningly.
"Give me my money." - Therressa, to Harold.
The duellist looks unimpressed and mounts his steed before drawing his sabre.
"Do you really want to do this?" - Harold, at ease.

Therressa runs over to her own horse and mounts it, putting herself on a fairly even footing with Harold.
"Help me out and there's two sulvers in it for you." - Therressa, to Kel'Serrar, who nods thoughtfully.
The ranger, still in Invarrian form, saunters over to the wagon where Bach sleeps peacefully.
"I'm holding him hostage Harold, give her the money." - Kel'Serrar, the mercenary bastard.
"Get Bach!" - LD, to laughter.
"I'd really prefer if this didn't devolve into inter-party violence. If he's not going to give you the money, I suggest dropping it for now." - Wearily, to Opal.
"Yeah, that's alright." - Opal.

The two Invarrians size each other up, the party looking between them with bated breath. Finally, Therressa sighs.
"If you will not give me the money, then I will just follow you around till you change your mind." - Therressa, sheathing her sword.
"Oh God, Dev why didn't you just give her the money?" - Wings.
"She was going to follow us around anyway." - Dev, rather magnificently. Don't know how he did it but we were all impressed.
"Says God!" - Ladyhawk.
"Hi guys." - To laughter. Sometimes I can be funny too!

Now, with Therressa tagging along on Augustus, the party head back to Dreven, having eventually loaded up the rescued prisoners into the back of the cart, drawn by another horse now that Toirneach is apparently too good for that duty. Due to the prisoners being carted along, the rest of the party who are without steeds walk alongside the militia.

Maebh takes point on Toirneach, Harold next on Amadeus with Bach trotting alongside. The cart itself is driven by Tremor and filled with those who were rescued and too weak to walk. The militia and Kel'Serrar walk alongside and Therressa on Augustus make up the rear, carrying Breanna too with Wolfgang alongside. Within minutes, Kel'Serrar has disappeared, but they do seem to have picked up another prisoner who sits silently upon the cart....

On the way, Harold drops back for a moment and speaks to Ingir, who strides purposefully forward, back to Dreven. The man is obviously in poor condition, but seems driven to use what strength he has left to get home.
"In the castle, there is a lot of high quality steel-work lying around. I don't know how many enemies remain up there, but one day, gather up some stout-hearted men and take what you can." - Harold.
"Thank you." - Ingir, simply and Harold can tell that the man is grateful for far more than just the steel.

Upon arriving back in Dreven close to sunset, the first thing they realise is that, despite the hour the people are ecstatic. The people of Dreven stream out onto the main street to acclaim their heroes, who have returned with many of those they feared were lost.
Tremor keeps an eye out for the witch, Magdalyn, but he cannot see her.
I reveal here that the barkeep, Aurel, has died in their absence.
"Yeah, he died from awful-****ing-name-itosis."
"He has been replaced by his cousin, Anel?" - Wings.
"I kind of like Arnald actually, let's go with that."

Sitting astride a dark grey horse beside the stables, and staying well away from the press is a dark, weathered Danann clad in blackened steel scale armour and a long, hooded green cloak. At his back is a powerful bow and a quiver of arrows and in his hand a leaf-bladed spear.
Where the party notice him fairly quickly, Harold can also smell more in the area.
"Let's leave as quickly as possible." - Maebh, who blanches at the other Danann's sudden appearance.
"Agreed." - Tremor, fingering the hilt of his sword.
"We are surrounded I think. There's more than just him." - Harold, sniffing the air.
Tremor dismounts from the wagon and takes aside one of the villagers, pointing over his shoulder at the Danann.
"When did he get here?" - Tremor, quietly.
"He came by here yesterday actually. Said he was passing through." - Villager, looking warily at the Danann.
It's obvious that this individual has most of the village afraid of him. So naturally, Tremor approaches him.

The Danann looks down at the dwarf like he is-
"Dirt?" - Wings.
"No, more like you're a child who just rolled yourself in ****."

Meanwhile, Kel'Serrar has taken on a few different shapes and managed to ingratiate himself into at least three separate families, all of them believing he is a long-lost relation. Essentially, he's getting hugs from people he has never met before, but they are utterly convinced that he is their cousin Jon.

Barandin and Therressa, despite having done nothing really have been showered in praise, and in Barandin's case, even clothed. They've been accepted as part of the group who have delivered there people back to them. At some point, Therressa manages to duck off to the Fortress to use the privy.
And the house-rule strikes again!

Maebh simply ducks away from the press of people and speaks quietly with her horse and Breanna stays out of the new Danann's line of sight as much as possible, trying to avoid being eaten.

Harold walks Amadeus over to where Tremor is unsuccessfully trying to initiate contact with the stranger. Seeing the Invarrian, the mounted Danann rolls his eyes.
"Why must you bother me? Can you not see I want nothing to do with either of you?" - Stranger, still scanning the crowd.
"What are you doing in my town?" - Tremor, bluntly.
"Your town?" - Stranger.
"Yes, my town. Why are you here?" - Tremor.
"None of your business. If you want to remain alive, keep to your own affairs." - Stranger. He immediately kicks his horse into a trot and rides out of the village.
Harold, who has been concentrating on deciphering the scents he can pick up, has determined there are at least three distinct Danann scents in the area, other than Kel'Serrar and Maebh. But there might be more.

There is a bit of discussion about overall plans here. The initial plan is to leave as quickly as possible and to go north, to Nordtarnet to save Tremor's sister, and from there perhaps on to Varr, at least for Harold. Of course, that's going to require going over the ocean, so that means leaving Naille and finding a kingdom with a coastline and then chartering a ship.

Tremor finds Barandin in the crowd and takes him aside to discuss matters with him.
"How can we find Marya? Do you know where she is now?" - Tremor, asking about his sister.
"Well last I saw, Bain gave her to the Windrider clan for more warriors to expand Nordtarnet's lands." - Barandin.
"Lands? Nordtarnet had practically no lands, it was but a border-town." - Tremor, confused.
"Aye, it was at that, ten years ago. Now Bain's gone mad, expanded in all directions at once, but mainly south into the Northmenn lands. A lot of the town of Nordtarnet itself has been replaced by new stone structures. He's turned the place into a fortress." - Barandin.
"So he has spent the strength of Nordtarnet's fighters expanding his lands?" - Tremor.
"To an extent, which is why he bargained with other wealthy clans, like the Windriders. Marya for more swords." - Barandin, grim.
"I will get her back cousin. Now, I have taken some pieces from that bastard we fought up there. Let's start re-forging it to fit you." - Tremor.
The Dwergar make for Ingir's forge, which is still afire with magical coals, where Tremor produces the armour he has plundered and begins to melt it down.

This will take some time, so the party elect to wait in Dreven for as long as it takes Tremor to complete this. The villagers grant their saviours one of the dwellings now left abandoned by the slain occupants, which the party accept with great gratitude.

Harold stables Amadeus, finds some small amount of alcohol and then finds his militia, deciding to spend some time with them, and enjoy the camaraderie.

Maebh sits in Toirneach's stable-stall, talking with him quietly through their mind-link. Therressa is seeing to Augustus in the next stall over. Upon finishing, the Invarrian offers to brush down Toirneach as well, which Maebh solemnly allows.

Kel'Serrar has continued his quest to ingratiate himself with every person in the village as some kind of relative. So far he has been extraordinarily successful.

Breanna meanwhile has found a tree and is dozing in it, dangling a tail down for Wolfgang to bat at playfully until it gets cold enough that she seeks shelter inside.

The night passes uneventfully.

The next morning, the party engages in much the same tasks. Most of the village is awoken early in the morning by the sound of a hammer pounding steel on an anvil as Tremor takes up his work once more.

At around midday, a party of troops approaches from the road to the west. A small troop, almost twenty men bearing forest-green kite shields, emblazoned with a golden sparrow. A familiar face rides alongside them, clad in a dark grey-green cloak.

"Oh yay! Is it that guy?" - Dev, referring to Carhold I think.
"I don't think it's a yay Dev." - Ladyhawk.
"No, it's not a guy. It's a woman."
"Aww no, not her!" - LD, panicked.
"Arrgh! I hate her. It's that stupid Dhara, isn't it? Where are my fireballs?" - Ladyhawk.
"No, it is not Mayor Redwyn's wife, nor is it Dhara..."
"Oh good then." - Ladyhawk.
"Oh, NO!" - Dev.
"Oh yes...." - Sins.
"Sins is happy to see her."
"Only because I look like someone else." - Sins.
"Yes, it is in fact Chirya guys."

Beside her is another man, clad in much the same way as the infantry, in chain with a green leather tabard over it with a sword at his belt. Unlike the men, on his helm he bears a single white feather and he rides a horse.
Chirya recognises Harold, who is overseeing the militia's drills and rides over to him, ignoring the scowl on the faces of both the leader of the troops and the Invarrian.
"No hard feelings regarding those arrows I sent into you last we met I trust?" - Chirya, dismounting and offering a hand.
Harold thinks for a moment before shaking the proffered hand.
"You're a professional, I understand." - Harold.
"Not that professional, I missed. If I were that much a professional, we would not be having this conversation." - Chirya, darkly humorous. "Now, would Kel'Serrar still be with you?"
"We got separated in the fortress to the north. I do not know where he is now." - Harold, lying through his teeth. She knows it too, but will not call him a liar to his face. With a pointed look, she continues.
"Well, if you do see him, let him know that I want to speak with him again." - Chirya.
Tremor walks up to where the two of them are speaking, Barandin trailing behind him, having ceased smithing when they noticed the band of soldiers arrive.
"You are still breathing dwarf? I was sure I had shot truly that night." - Chirya.
Tremor merely smiles in response, but it never reaches his eyes.

In the light, and with a new day, one can see that a lock of the Dwergar's usually coal-black hair is now a streak of silver-blond. He does not know why this happened, but his dreams last night were troubled indeed, haunted by a voice he was sure he did not know, and yet sounded so familiar. Countless battles played over in his mind, living warriors pitted against hordes of undying monsters. And over it all, flashes of a burning pine wreathed in smoke.

"So why are you here?" - Harold, to Chirya, snapping Tremor's thoughts back to the present.
"I've been hired by the king of Naille himself, though he is but a whelp. I have been attached to this patrol to guide them through these lands. Apparently patrols were going missing, and word has spread of my woodcraft." - Chirya, leaning into Harold and speaking a little quieter. "There's no plan other than escalating the conflict and screwing with them all. To add to the attraction, they're even paying me to do it."
"Sounds like fun. How much are you being paid?" - Harold, brow raised.
"I don't know and to be honest, I don't really care. It's always been about the hunt for me, although it serves my purposes to see as many people consumed by this conflict as possible. If those in power prefer to believe I'm aiding them for the coppers, well that's their problem." - Chirya.
"So you're coming through here on patrol?" - Harold, fishing for information.
"Yes, we're going through all of Naille's westernmost lands. There have been some troubling rumours coming out of Summer Hill." - Chirya, stepping back to a more normal distance.
At this, Therressa, who has been following the conversation from a distance, chimes in.
"I passed through those lands recently, and the rumours are probably true." - Therressa.

Having surreptitiously overheard this conversation, Kel'Serrar retreats to the party's dwelling and pens a note, which he will attach to another tree outside town.
I haven't gotten it yet, but I will post it as soon as Sins writes it for me.I finally received the letter.

"Well the rumours are frankly quite worrying." - The captain, having dismounted and offering a hand Harold, who shakes it firmly. "Captain Olivar Westbrook."
"Harold Oakenshield, of Varr. What rumours are there?" - Harold.
"Wailing monstrosities roaming the countryside, breaking into hamlets and devouring the occupants. And then Elspeth moved against the township. From all we know, at least one legion is still encamped around it. Anyone who ventures there does not return." - Captain Westbrook.

"Except me." - Therressa, to Maebh under her breath.
"What do you know?" - Maebh, responding in kind.
"There's a lord who has taken over the town. He has control of these creatures, keeping them locked up during the day, but he releases them at night. There's a Feartarbh in his command too." - Therressa.

"Has Naille sent any forces to check on the situation?" - Harold.
"I probably should not be saying this, but the kingdom cannot afford to send out armies." - Captain Westbrook.
"Where are Naille's armies then?" - Harold.
"You misunderstand me, we don't have them. Extended conflicts with Elspeth and now these attacks from unseen quarters in our own countryside. We don't know where half our men have gone. Communication has broken down and we have lost far too many men on routine patrols." - Captain Westbrook, grim.
"What happens then if Elspeth makes a move on Naille itself?" - Harold.
"We don't know. We're keeping large patrols out so that at least we'll have forewarning, but there are only so many patrols we can send out as each has to be much larger than usual or they are never seen again. In fact, this here is the smallest patrol we've sent out since the Carhold fell." - Captain Westbrook.
"So you're bluffing." - Harold, a statement, not a question.
"Essentially yes, we don't have the forces to repel them if they attack." - Captain Westbrook.
"Wait, the Carhold? Isn't that the holding of the ambassador in Summer Hill?" - Tremor.
"Yes, it was. Lord Edmond is presumed dead, although we have no way of knowing if he has survived what has befallen that town. No word has reached us of his continued survival." - Captain Westbrook.
"Well I should get back to overseeing the training of these men then." - Harold, shaking the captain's hand once more.
"It has been a pleasure Sir Oakenshield. Good luck to you and your companions on your ventures." - Captain Westbrook, re-mounting.
"Till we meet again Oakenshield." - Chirya, also remounting.
They lead the troops through the village and down the east road.

The rest of the day passes uneventfully and the party enjoy their well-deserved break.

Some small amount of healing for those who had taken wounds and a recharge of Luck too. Tremor also finds out that Magdalyn left with no fanfare in the middle of the night while they were gone, leaving nothing behind. Not even her door.

It is late evening and Tremor and Barandin still work at the forge, intent on their task. The rest of the party have withdrawn to their rooms in their communal dwelling. Then, through the main street of the village comes the sound of hoofbeats. A party of cavalry are riding through the settlement.

Harold, who had planned on a quiet, alcohol-filled evening, sets aside his rum and approaches a window, joined by Maebh and Breanna, both of whom were awoken from slumber by the hoofbeats.

Kel'Serrar, has taken up residence in a family's house as their second cousin-twice-removed Shadie, looks out his window too, but makes no other move. Therressa meanwhile hears the hoofbeats, but rationalises it as the village's horses and goes back to sleep.

Those looking out the window see the party of five horsemen stop outside their house. One of their number dismounts. In appearance, he is tall and gaunt, his long face pale and utterly without joy, fixed in a constant arrogant sneer and framed by brown dreadlocks, held by golden clasps. A longsword and a dagger hang at his belt and a strong bow is at his back. He is clad in a curious leather jerkin and a rich fur-lined brown cloak.
"Maebh Preachain-Eite! Are you in there?" - Male voice, in the Cainte.
"Oh no..." - Ladyhawk.
"I have no compunctions regarding burning down this house. Are you in there?" - Stranger.
They do not respond.
"You have caused me a lot of pain. You have caused many people a lot of pain. And you will pay for it." - Stranger.
Harold finishes belting on his sword and together he, Maebh and Breanna stride outside. Therressa follows them.
"I heard shouting and couldn't get back to sleep." - Therressa, by way of explanation.
"Who are you?" - Harold, belligerently to the stranger.
"I am someone so far above you that you could not even imagine. Stand aside Invarrian, I care only for Maebh." - Stranger, a Danann.

Barandin taps Tremor's arm as the latter is hammering at the steel.
"Yes?" - Tremor.
"Your friends seem to have some company." - Barandin, pointing to the standoff between their company and the Danann.
Tremor leaves the steel to cool and both start to walk to the confrontation.

"Maebh, it has been too long." - Stranger, with a grim smile, revealing teeth far too pointed, even for a Danann.
"Not long enough Bastaird." - Maebh, revealing she knows who this is.

This spoiler has stuff containing bits and pieces of Maebh's backstory. It's pretty obvious by now, so I guess it's not too bad if the players read this. Just keep in mind that your characters don't know all this until/unless Maebh tells them.
Bastaird Asaldiog was one of the only mages in Maebh's clan. You know, the one she practically destroyed?

He also had a creepy obsession/fixation with her, which she did not reciprocate in any way whatsoever. He has a propensity for fire magics and showing away, and did so regularly. As his name suggests, he is a bastard son, left abandoned by both his parents. The clan took him in and named him as such to remind the orphan of where he came from.

Over the years the name became a point of pride for Bastaird, who looked for every opportunity to be different from those around him.

When Maebh left the clan burning in her wake, Bastaird took that as a personal insult. He cared little for the fact that she had just destroyed the people who had given him life, but more that in running away she had rejected him entirely, something he could not abide. Using the anger of the clan to his advantage, he vowed to hunt her down and punish her for her misdeeds, though personally he cared only for making her suffer as he felt she had done to him.

And that's the backstory I came up with after I asked Ladyhawk what her stalker's name was and she replied, "Bastard ********."

Bastaird draws a golden dagger from his belt and hold it up in slender fingers.
"You have something of mine Maebh." - Bastaird, and Maebh can see that the dagger in his hands is almost identical to the one she has in her possession.
Swift as a snake, Bastaird strikes at Maebh with the golden blade in his hand, but she manages to jump back just in time.
Weapons are drawn all around. From his hidden vantage point, Kel'Serrar takes up his bow and nocks an arrow.
Tremor starts running towards the standoff, fumbling in his backpack for a vial of "boom-sauce."

An arrow flashes down from a rooftop and lands in the ground in front of Tremor. The dwarf doesn't even check his run. Two arrows smash into his back, but they barely penetrate the chain hauberk he wears. He stumbles for a moment, rights himself and keeps running. And then hurls the vial with all his strength.

Unfortunately, he missed his intended target. He didn't hit the bow-armed Danann behind Bastaird. He's close though. The vial disappears in a fiery explosion, which wreathes the ranger's horse in flames, which naturally startles all the other mounts. The Danann pack struggle to rein in their steeds while all the ranger can do is throw himself from the saddle as his horse wails piteously. He rips his cloak off and throws it to the ground before the liquid flames can spread any further.

Harold draws a blade and attempts to interpose himself between Bastaird and Maebh, but the dagger-armed Danann backs away, allowing a woman armed with a spear and clad in a heavy chain hauberk with a tough leather sleeved jerkin over the top, complete with a long brown hooded coat, to come forward to meet Harold. She swings the leaf-bladed spear at the Invarrian, but he easily avoids the strike.

Another Danann woman, also armed with a spear, is still on horseback and as she chants under her breath, she is surrounded by a dark purplish wisps of magic. On the ground beneath her horse, a dark purple mist forms and what little of her skin can be seen under her dark cloak and robes glistens a dark purple-black. The mist begins to crawl along the ground towards Maebh, Harold and Therressa.

Maebh and Kel'Serrar in particular start to feel an internal drain on themselves, like an oppression on their spirits. Shrugging the uncomfortable feeling off, Maebh concentrates on calling the power of the storm to her location. She has to really struggle, wielding more power than she had since she immolated her village. The clouds above her rumble with thunder and lightning flashes around her. She directs some of the bolts at her enemies, rocking the mounted mage in her saddle in a flash of clashing magic. A few other bolts flash down, but most just miss their targets, the draining effect on Maebh taking its toll.

From his hidden vantage point, Kel'Serrar takes aim at one of the Danann to the rear, a tall, powerfully built individual, clad in tough leathers and bearing a black forest lion pelt over his shoulders. Kel'Serrar's aim is true and the man falls from his horse, transfixed by the arrow in his throat.

"Mharu!" - The mounted mage, who releases her hold on the magic mist creeping towards Maebh and the two Invarrians and dismounts to run towards where the stricken Danann lies.
"Naira, take Mharu and fall back! To the forest!" - Bastaird, who helps the burned ranger to his feet before mounting his own horse.
Harold and Therressa both make for the spear-armed warrior, swords drawn and she intercepts both blades with her spear before leaping back and accepting a hand up from the ranger who has mounted the warrior's horse.
"You may have won this round Maebh, but I will follow you. You've always been mine..." - Bastaird, before turning and riding out of the village.

And we left it there....

The Wrap-Up:
Not too bad a session. Unfortunately it wasn't a great session for Opal to join in on due to how long our hiatus had been. We had to spend precious time going over the rules at various points and got very bogged down in off-topic chatter several times.

Unfortunately, Opal felt a little useless at this point, not helped by the fact that she barely got a chance to have a go in combat. Hopefully the next session might be a little more eventful. We intend to have an admittedly short session on the 27th of September. Hopefully we can make the combats run a little smoother.

As usual, thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments, please go ahead and post. :D


2014-09-17, 09:30 AM
It has come to my attention that because I took some time to update the first post, some might not have been aware that there was a new session posted.

Just making sure that people know, the session is up. :smallwink:

We're very likely to play again on the 27th of September. And because Wings is looking like being late, it'll be a quick one to write up too. Hopefully.

We're also expecting Dev to have his presentation ready for Whispers in the Dark, which he will run and I will chronicle for him because he hates typing and I'm the one looking at doing journalism for a living. :smallbiggrin:

Anyway, Ladyhawk and I intend to play twins, Branimir and Benedykta Voijinski, or Bran and Benny for short. Sins and Wings will both be playing too. Whether or not LD and Opal join us, we're not sure, but neither have provided any indication on the matter.

Cheers guys, hope you enjoyed the latest session,
If you did, or hell, even if you didn't, please comment eh? We crave the attention of our peers... :smallbiggrin:

2014-09-17, 10:45 AM
Ooh! How'd I miss the update?

Why are your sessions so far apart? You should be having them all day every day!

2014-09-17, 11:10 AM
Sadly we're all pretty busy individuals and setting the time aside is difficult. Add that to my personal rule to not play unless everyone is present, well it makes things difficult. People get sick or have other commitments and I call it off rather than dropping a character out for the session.

We're telling a story and so the protagonists need to be front and centre all the time. Or at least, that's the idea. ;)

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the update. Tell your friends! :D

Amidus Drexel
2014-09-17, 11:14 AM
Cheers guys, hope you enjoyed the latest session,
If you did, or hell, even if you didn't, please comment eh? We crave the attention of our peers... :smallbiggrin:

I definitely enjoyed reading it! :smallbiggrin: I would have posted earlier, but I've been so busy lately.

2014-09-25, 07:08 PM
Just a head's up, Wings is sick again so we're knocking it back again. Unfortunately, for at least three weeks due to family commitments on this end.

LD may be going to Melbourne after that too, so that throws things out again.

2014-10-29, 04:09 AM
Another update,

I've been without internet for the last week and have been unable to keep everyone coordinated.

Unfortunately, we're still a few weeks off another session. On the other hand, we've got some stuff that's happening before the next session that has been given to me online. So that's something to look forward to I guess.

Additionally, I've come up with some good stuff for the next arc.

Anyway, hopefully we get a chance soon.


2014-11-08, 11:49 AM
Okay, just a quick update,

I received Sins' letter to Chirya, so I recommend going back to the most recent write-up and having a squiz, because it's a killer.

In addition to that we have our first interlude due to be posted on the 12th of November. Not sure how I will number it as it is not a session, but it should still be an entertaining read. The interlude will detail the party's journey from Dreven to Beachead, the port-city capital of the kingdom of Greenbay, which is where the next session will kick off.

Speaking of the next session, we are due to play again on the 28th of November, which looks like a pretty sure thing to go ahead at this stage.

Again I apologise for how erratic our schedule has been this year. Hopefully we'll be a bit more stable next year.

In addition to that, it would appear that the Whispers in the Dark campaign in not far from a start date. Lady Darkmoon and Wings of the Opal Sky will not be joining us for these games which, if you are not aware, Duke Dev will be running and I will be scribing. Other than that, the group is the same, though the party very different.

As far as I am aware, Sins is playing a somewhat disturbed necromancer scion of a now-deceased noble family and Wings will be taking on an adolescent druidic necromancer or something like that. Ladyhawk and I will be playing Benedykta and Branimir Voijinski, the twin children of an abusive Roanfaille chieftain who grew up to be successful mercenaries with people issues.

Honestly I'm really looking forward to it, though I am hoping that "evil campaign" doesn't mean, "****-ish campaign." :smalltongue:

Cheers everyone, and stay tuned, because more 3 Coins goodness is on its way,

2015-01-03, 09:16 AM
Well we did go awol for a fair time there didn't we?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone from the group by the way. I speak for all of us when I say we hope you have all enjoyed your holidays.

To update, the interlude which I spoke of in the last post will be available over the next few days, as will Session 1.3 of Pirates of Lemaria, which was short and played by Scotticus tonight.

The session of 3 Coins I spoke of earlier which was due in November never went ahead due to Wings falling sick, but we are due to have at least one session next Thursday, which will be good.

Cheers everyone,

2015-01-07, 11:00 AM
Interlude 3.5: New Beginnings

In a time renowned for great warlords and mages, few would carve out a realm to match that of Kresimina, the Witch-Queen of the North. Few too, are the realms which come into existence in such a storm of fire and death and leave so little evidence of their passing.

The realm of Kresimina was one forged from the lands of petty warlords, defeated by the Witch-Queen's undying legions and then reanimated to serve her will. And then, in one night, after almost two decades of her violent and expansionist rule, the realm collapsed. Her forces crumbled in an instant and those lucky few who survived her rampage fell prey to those hungry rulers of the fearful realms on her borders.

It was said the Witch-Queen sought immortality, but it would seem the only immortality she found was that of all great and terrible figures in history, the immortality of print...

From A History of the Northern Realms.

This is a bit shorter than I would have liked, but I guess quality over quantity, right?

Anyway, this is something a little bit different due to the fact that a huge amount of time has passed between sessions, but tomorrow is definitely going ahead and the group decied on a time jump to get us to the action a little sooner.

So here we are, starting from right after the last session...

EDIT* In green are the pick of the comments from the group which occured as I read the interlude to them at the beginning of the most recent session. Hopefully you will find them entertaining.

"Well, we are not going to catch a pack of Danann in the woods at night" - Harold, sheathing his blades.
"I am struggling to believe this, but I agree with Harold." - Kel'Serrar, walking out to collect spent arrows. "We had the advantage here, but in the woods they can set all manner of traps for us. Besides, they'll be watching us. Maebh's friend said so."

The companions spend the rest of the night in relatively restless sleep.

In the very early hours, Maebh takes Toirneach and retreats to a clearing on the outskirts of town where she attunes herself to the area and practices calling on her magics. She feels that she will have to grow in power to ensure both her own safety and that of her companions.

Some hours later, Harold approaches the blacksmith, Ingir.
"I am gathering the militia to gather the iron and steel from the Blackfort. If you would like to join us to pick out some choice pieces, you are welcome." - Harold.
Ingir agrees to accompany them.
With the Invarrian and the militia go Tremor and Kel'Serrar, the former to drive the cart, the latter simply to get out of the town.

The Blackfort is eerily quiet, as is the forest, but the party are unmolested as they tear through the abandoned fortress in search of workable iron and steel. The place still feels unwelcoming, but no wolves are seen. The place is deserted, but it still smells of death and the air itself has an eerie, ethereal quality.

Naturally, the expedition do not tarry long.

After retrieving the materials from the Blackfort, the companions spend a few days resting in Dreven, recovering their strength before heading north. They know that once they are out on the road, they are fair game for the Danann pack.

Harold spends the days drilling the militia and encouraging a laconic Kel'Serrar to teach them marksmanship. To the militia, it seems as if Harold brings in a new archery instructor every practice session... When not helping Harold, the ranger seeks solitude to continue practicing his own skills, albeit of a more arcane nature.

Tremor on the other hand uses the time to finish his work on Barandin's accoutrements and to continue chatting about what has been occurring at home in Nordtarnet. His cousin is now more heavily armoured than any in the party, which is exactly how the mountain dwarf likes to be in battle.

It is a cold and clear morning when the companions set out from the safety of Dreven, taking the Northern Forest Road to Warding and then on to Beachead, the capital of the coastal kingdom of Greenbay.

Harold and Maebh flank the cart, on Amadeus and Toirneach respectively, Bach trotting along behind Harold, now far too large to sit in the Invarrian's pack.

Tremor drives the cart, with a heavily armoured Barandin beside him. The cousins take it in turns to drive, as Tremor takes any opportunity while sitting down to work on his runecrafting or mechanical designs.

Breanna and Kel'Serrar sit on the back, Wolfgang nestled between them. The marcwolf has picked up many of his owner's mannerisms, and can often be found sleeping on the job.

Therressa and Augustus bring up the rear of the group, walking within easy talking distance of Breanna.

However even the naturally talkative Breanna and Therressa find themselves quietened soon after leaving the relative safety of Dreven.

Despite it being a clear morning when they left the village, the weather seems to have taken a sharp turn for the worse. Barely two hours have passed before an inexplicable mist hangs over the undergrowth. The air grows even colder, and all of a sudden their breath is escaping in puffs of steam.

And then, through the mist, hanging from the tree branches on either side of the road, the shapes of men can be seen. No one is game enough to investigate closely, but the slain men appear to be the remains of a Naillish patrol. Unconsciously, Maebh, Harold and Therressa ride just a little closer to the cart and Bach even jumps onto the back, waking Wolfgang momentarily.

They continue onwards, at a faster pace. They do not know who would have taken out the patrol and strung them up in the trees, but the Danann pack are a good bet, so the quicker they move out of the area, the better.

The next few hours, while terse and watchful, are uneventful and the companions find themselves coming upon a ford over the Greymont Run, the natural border between Naille and Greymont. They cross it as quickly as they can, leaving the troubles of Naille behind.

The southern lands of Greymont are quite similar to those of Naille, grassland broken by dense pockets of forest. It is a three week journey from the Greymont Run to Warding, the fortress which guards the Coldfell Pass, the safest route through the White Mountains.

These weeks are spent bonding amongst the companions, specifically with the newest of their company, Therressa Bannimagen.
"Banni-may-gen." - Opal.
"Close enough."
"Why are you correcting him? She doesn't even know!" - LD.
She is a relatively experienced adventurer and well used to hard life on the road, but is used to walking such a road in isolation, with only the company of Augustus. Despite this, she is a cheerful and friendly soul, and bonds quickly with Breanna, someone of similar temperament.

Tremor meanwhile has become more and more withdrawn, even with Barandin. Every night, the Dwergar is caught in a web of ill dreams. Flashes of hellish battles long past wreak havoc in his mind. Even in his waking hours, the image of a burning pine blazes in his mind, and a female voice which sounds so familiar murmurs to him, though he cannot make out the words.

In short, he is being driven insane, but beneath the burgeoning madness, he can feel a well of power within him, encased by a thin shell. But that shell is weakening. Every day, he chips away at it a little more...

Though concerned for Tremor's wellbeing, there is nothing the companions can do for him and so they watch as their short friend is slowly consumed by his own internal quest.
Cue torrents of laughter at the short friend remark. The passage lost all impact when the group lost their ****.

Maebh at first was quite withdrawn after the reappearance of Bastaird in her life, but over the weeks of travel, has started to open up with her companions. Despite their differences, she can see that these people she is travelling with are good folk, and worthy of respect.
"Wait, what?" - Wings, to explosive laughter.
"She is still hanging out with us right?" - Sins, laughing.
Regardless, she still does not say much unless it is necessary and her nights are troubled. Indeed, her dreams would be no better than Tremor's if it weren't for Toirneach, who senses Maebh's distress every night and shields her from the pain, allowing her to lose herself in his own dreams of running free and careless under the open sky, over an endless green plain.
"My little pony, my little pony..." - Opal, singing.

* * *

Warding, the Gateway to the North. A tall, imposing fortress set into the sides of the White Mountains themselves. To merely get to the massive gates, one has to travel the length of the causeway, a stone ramp a mile long, suspended both by traditional stonework and magical supports. The open southern gate towers above a small party on the stone causeway, three mounted adventurers around a horse-drawn cart.
"Oh look! It's us!" - Ladyhawk.

The fortress is heavily guarded, Midlanders in the traditional garb of the Watchmen line the high walls. Through the centre of the fortress runs a wide road, kept clear of snow by the near constant traffic of patrols and merchant caravans through the Coldfell Pass. One such caravan is passing through to the south as the companions arrive in Warding, a procession of covered wagons and surly hired blades.

The companions do not stay long in Warding, and leave to the north as swiftly as possible, taking the Coldfell Pass through to the kingdom of Greenbay.

While cold and difficult to traverse, the Pass is kept relatively safe by the constant patrols of Watchmen out of Warding, and the companions exit the pass unharmed.

And that's it for the interlude. Tomorrow's session kicks off in the port city of Beachead, the capital of Greenbay.

Hopefully it will not take me too long to get that all written up and you'll have some stuff to chew on until we can get a definite schedule organised. I am looking forward to this year guys. :smallbiggrin:


2015-01-25, 09:18 PM
The group did play both the next session of 3 Coins and the first session of Whispers in the Dark, but I have been really busy and haven't finished the write-ups yet. But they are coming.

What I do have for you though, is some artwork.

Okay, here's a thread for the official Norbayne artwork which will be in the book.

The first is a massive bridge which spans across multiple islands in the Norstrand archipelago. No one knows when or how it was built, but it is said to be indestructible.
http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y506/Phoenixguard09/jimspaintings2010_zps03dbd873-1.jpg (http://s1278.photobucket.com/user/Phoenixguard09/media/jimspaintings2010_zps03dbd873-1.jpg.html)

The second is a depiction of the deadwolves stalking the forests around the village of Dreven, at around the time the 3 Coins party was in the area and opposing the Wolf King.
http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y506/Phoenixguard09/jimspaintings2012_zpsadb6091d-1.jpg (http://s1278.photobucket.com/user/Phoenixguard09/media/jimspaintings2012_zpsadb6091d-1.jpg.html)

The third features Galehollow, a small village in the Northlands, on the western borders of the kingdom of Stormhold.
http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y506/Phoenixguard09/jimspaintings2013_zps1ddae31b-1.jpg (http://s1278.photobucket.com/user/Phoenixguard09/media/jimspaintings2013_zps1ddae31b-1.jpg.html)

The fourth shows the Brilliant Towers of Drell and the Golden Cliffs, where those who would study the arcane arts travel to learn from the only formalised academy of its kind in Norbayne. One must be prepared to pay a substantial amount to the masters of the towers for tuition though, so it is only for the nobility.
http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y506/Phoenixguard09/jimspaintings2014_zps363b6409-1.jpg (http://s1278.photobucket.com/user/Phoenixguard09/media/jimspaintings2014_zps363b6409-1.jpg.html)

The fifth depicts Sunrock, the fortified capital of the southern kingdom of Benden.
http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y506/Phoenixguard09/jimspaintings2015_zpsffab318a.jpg (http://s1278.photobucket.com/user/Phoenixguard09/media/jimspaintings2015_zpsffab318a.jpg.html)

And lastly, the bridge of Des-Carte which spans across the River Malicent and provides the only crossing for miles.
http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y506/Phoenixguard09/jimspaintings2017_zpsb549434c-1.jpg (http://s1278.photobucket.com/user/Phoenixguard09/media/jimspaintings2017_zpsb549434c-1.jpg.html)

I hope you enjoy,

2015-03-08, 12:43 PM
Session 4.1: Over The Cold Northern Sea

In the year 1642 CE, Lord Godrik Ironfist of Nordtarnet died and was succeeded by his second son, Bain. His first son, Tremor had been exiled for crimes undisclosed by the royal clan.

Bain’s rule was swiftly marked by the extreme fortification of the once humble border-fort, and the zeal and speed with which he exerted his power over the neighbouring realms. The first to defy the growing Ironfist influence was Lord Ersun Blackbear of Valewatch. His rebellion was as brutal as it was swift, and Bain Ironfist had Blackbear’s wife and sons executed. Ersun himself was sent into exile as Bain, “Would not take the life of such a noble lord.”

Blackbear was driven into the mountains by mounted warriors, with nothing but a waterskin and a ragged shirt, a death sentence in itself…

From The Bloody History of Nordtarnet.

Welcome to Session 4.1 of Three Coins.

"Shoebox, tissue, band-aid. Random words. String them together." - Sins, testing the microphone.

So the session began with a recap of the Interlude, which was posted previously.

Upon leaving the Coldfell Pass, the party make their way through the forested lands of Greenbay towards the capital of that coastal realm, Beachead.

Beachead is a prosperous trading hub with an absolutely thriving market district. It is bustling when the companions arrive and they soon split up to take advantage of the goods before them. Their overall task is to charter a ship which will take them to the southern coast of Unterguardt, but they are also looking to replenish their personal stocks and equipment, along with warm clothing for the voyage.

"Because I am an Invarrian, would I know anything more about sailing?" - Dev.
"I'd imagine most of your knowledge would be regarding what ships look like easy targets."
"Right, but what about just general sailing knowledge?" - Dev.
"You likely would not know too much more than the average sailor who does it for a living."
"What about tricks of the trade?" - Dev.
"Uh, yeah, maybe."
This could be foreshadowing. Or it might never come up in the future.

"Also, because we're furry-" - Opal.
"Yes, we still have to wear clothes." - Dev, cutting that tangent off at the pass.
"Right, but do we need the heavy stuff too?" - Opal, questioning.
As it happens, Therressa has the Cold of the North Invarrian Trait which gives her Resistance to Cold, but Harold does not. All the same, this voyage was likely to get very cold so I encouraged Opal to get something heavier for Therressa anyway.

There was also a serious delay as several maps were pored over and they made fun of my drawing. Varr looks like a wolf head and Unterguardt looks like a bear's head swallowing an acorn.

A reminder, I need to print off another Equipment sheet for Tremor as he has run out of room on his current one due to his travelling library.

Tremor finds a winter-clothing merchant who happens to be a Dwergar. Even more amazingly, the merchant hails from Nordtarnet and Tremor has met him before.
"And he knows you slept with his sister." - Opal.
"Did I!?" - Wings, either outraged or gleeful, we couldn't tell.
"You might have, but that's not going to come up in this conversation."
The merchant, Eidrik Silverhand gives Tremor a discount for him and his friends, for old time's sake.
The wardrobe additions are as follows:

Maebh:A long furry black coat of wolf-fur which comes down to the ground and has a great cowl. She also gets some warm grey cotton clothing to wear under her customary leathers.

Kel’Serrar: A thick jerkin of layered hides and a long white fur cloak.

Tremor: A thick black coat made of bear hide and fur. The coat has a deep cowl, lined with fur. The collar also can be brought up over the lower face to protect against the wind.

Harold: Thick woollen tunic and breeches in brown with a leather greatcoat lined with bear fur. Heavy leather boots, also lined with bear fur complete the ensemble. Harold bought two sets of tunic and breeches, anticipating that they will be ruined.

Breanna: Heavy, fur-insulated leather boots and a thick, and two fur-lined chocolate brown leather jackets with a detachable hood and black wool face mask.

Therressa: (Have not received Opal’s homework yet.)

For getting their homework in by the deadline, everyone added a Skill Point to their total and received a re-roll to be used during Session 4.2. Ladyhawk got hers in first and therefore received an in-game item in that session, while LD's was of the highest quality, replete with images she had found on the web to help describe the exact cut and colour of her clothing. For this, she received a can of coke at lunch and was very grateful.

They are successful in replenishing their supplies and in obtaining warmer clothing, though Therressa does try to 'accidentally' steal hers. As to passage however, this is a bit more difficult. One ship is found which will be big enough to carry the horses. The captain of the caravel is a man by the name of Jon Burgundy, a big man with a southern accent almost as thick as his massive black moustache.

The cart is sold, all the crap within it gathered up by the companions. Only Tremor with his library and Harold with his armoury are overly burdened, though Maebh only realises now that she has had a tower shield in there since the ruins outside Summer Hill.

"Well, how am I supposed to carry this around?" - Ladyhawk, pondering the tower shield.
"How about if you cast some kind of spell on it to make it smaller?" - Opal.
"You could just sell it." - Dev.
"No, I get an advantage if I use it as a component for my shield spell." - Ladyhawk.
"I will allow you to do a shrink item effect on a successful Channelling Check, to allow you to carry it as a talisman."
"I love how I have such a massive amount of daemon summoning stuff in my backpack." - LD, to all round sniggers.
"Actually, now I think about it, I don't do defensive spells. I attack to defend myself." - Ladyhawk.
"Oh, I've noticed." - To laughter.
"The best defence is not a good offense, the best defence is burning everything that moves." - Sins, quietly.

The tower shield is sold, although Sins does suggest tying it to the back of the ship and having Tremor sit or surf on the back.

The cart is sold too, and the horse with it.
"14 sulvers? That's a rip off, I paid a crown for that!" - Ladyhawk.
"It loses value as soon as you drive it off the lot." - Sins.

Harold, Maebh and Kel'Serrar sort out transport to Unterguardt, telling Captain Burgundy that they need to get to Urik's Landing, a small port-town on the southern coast of Unterguardt in the kingdom of Southreach.

"That's a reasonable voyage. Over two months of sailing at this time of year, in difficult conditions too. How large is your party?" - Captain Burgundy.
"Seven of us, three horses and two marcwolves." - Harold, counting them off.
"Okay, well that's twelve sulvers each, plus another four per animal." - Burgundy, adding it up.

"Bloody hell...." - Ladyhawk, unhappy at the expense.
"Can we kill them and take the ship? We do have two Invarrians skilled in sailing." - Opal.
"The ship's bigger than Invarrian longships. We'd struggle to run it properly." - Dev.
"Ah, that makes a lot of sense." - Opal, thoughtful.
"Who runs the ship again?" - Wings.
"Captain Jon Burgundy..." - Said slowly and with a grimace. Wings himself named the character.
"I knew, I just love hearing you have to say it." - Wings, laughing.
"Every time he says his name, we win." - Sins, to general hilarity.
Wings originally petitioned for Ron Ted Burgundy, but I managed to dodge that one.

"Come now, you can offer better than that, surely?" - Harold, haggling.
"Think about it, we're offering you a fighting crew, two more experienced hands and I am a healer of some small ability." - Kel'Serrar, tacking on his piece.
"Very true. Okay then, would seven sulvers each and another two per animal be fair?" - Burgundy.
"Fair enough." - Harold, shaking on it.
"Excellent, we leave on the morrow as soon as the tide allows." - Burgundy.

Seeing as it is mid-afternoon, the companions split up to take advantage of the bustling market and Tremor, Barandin and Therressa go to a tavern for some lunch.
"I order my traditional delicacy! What is it?" - Wings.
"Uh, haggis."- To laughter.
“Really, that's the best you could come up with?" - Wings, laughing.
“It could have been goat balls." - Opal.
“Well, you're a dwarf, therefore Scottish, therefore haggis. And if you're not careful, I will introduce a Rory McEnroe and he will be a dwarf, because Rory is a classically Scottish name and... I don't know where I am going with this." - Leaving everyone else confused.

Breanna picks out a crossbow and shortswordat Harold’s recommendation, while Maebh heads off on her own and takes in the sights. Plenty of exotic materials, jewellery, foodstuffs and other miscellaneous items. And then she sees a merchant selling eggs.
“Question. Why is he selling eggs?” – Opal.
“None of your flipping business! Heeeey!?” – LD, trying to rouse some appreciation.
“Nooo.” – All, with sniggering.
“You do need to look at things sunny side up….” – Opal, trying her luck.
“Noooooo.” – All, again.
“I win this round!” – LD, gleeful.
“I’ve told you all before, no poaching my jokes.” – Sins, quietly.
“You…. You are the king.” – Ladyhawk, to Sins who nods graciously.
“I’m feeling pretty ashamed now.” – LD.
“Why? For the pun or because you lost?” – Dev.
“Because I lost.” – LD.
“You could say, she’s a bit cracked up about it…” – To groans of disgust.

One of the eggs on this man’s stall is around the size of Maebh’s fist which appears to be made of stone, but the merchant assures Maebh that there is a living creature inside.
“This is an exceptionally rare creature, one that you do not readily find in the shell. I suggest thirty sulvers?” – Merchant, rubbing his hands together.
“That sounds reasonable…” – Maebh, thoughtful.
“Hold on, hold on, we can do better than that.” – Tremor, who had caught up to the mage.
Tremor takes a closer look at the egg, and is astounded by what he notices. Not only is the man telling the truth about the legitimacy of the egg, but it is likely even more valuable than the merchant realises. What’s more, Tremor can determine what the egg holds, recognising the egg from illustrations he had seen in his youth.
“You do not run into too many dragains, even in this trade now do you?” – Dev, getting ahead of himself.
“It… is not a dragain.” – To groans.
“God damn it!” – Ladyhawk.
“It is… a mantikor.”
“I want it.” – Ladyhawk.

Maebh hands over the money for the mantikor egg, and then purchases some furs to keep the egg wrapped in to keep it warm on their sea voyage.

Tremor sees a shard of a bright green gemstone on the stall of a merchant selling precious gems and manages to haggles him down to three coppers. The Dwergar does not divulge to the merchant that he recognises the stone as one that held the eldritch life of the deadwolves of Dreven, but pockets the stone as soon as the money changes hands.

He then joins the other companions for dinner at a seaside eating establishment. And they enjoy their meal thoroughly.

* * *

The next morning sees the companions loading their horses onto one of the lower decks of the caravel, Winter Wind. Toirneach goes on far more willingly than Amadeus and Augustus, though this is hardly Augustus’ first sea voyage. Captain Burgundy approaches the companions as Therressa moves to help the crew put Augustus aboard.
“We shall be making sail soon. If you could see fit to just make yourselves useful, that would be much appreciated.” – Burgundy, donning his wide-brimmed, feathered and spiffy hat.
“If anyone has an injury, feel free to send them my way. I can stitch wounds and set broken bones.” – Kel’Serrar.
“That would be great.” – Burgundy, sweeping an arm toward the gangplank to invite them aboard.

The initial month of the voyage is not only uneventful, but almost pleasant. The crew swiftly take to the companions, particularly Harold and Therressa who do more than their fair share of physical labour onboard, and Kel’Serrar, who proves his worth when a freak accident caused a man to fall from the mast. The man’s arm was broken in the fall, but all are confident he will make a full recovery thanks to the ranger’s swift treatment.

The second month however is less cheerful. The closer the ship gets to Unterguardt, the worse the weather gets. It is cold, it is windy and the rain is just torrential. Even during the day, the sky is black and Maebh keeps a massive ball of light aethyrically tethered to the prow of Winter Wind at all times. Despite how useful this is, much of the blame for the absolutely foul weather is directed at her and her magic, which it is believed has offended some powerful denizen of the deep.
Opal leaves for a bathroom break at this point.
“The voyage has either pissed Therressa off, or given her the ****s. Either way.” – To outrageous laughter.
“She didn’t understand the meaning of ‘poop deck,’ did she?” – Dev.
“Is this being put in to the write-up?” – Ladyhawk.

“I have been through many a winter storm, and this is blatantly ridiculous.” – Captain Burgundy.
“I just love hearing him say his name.” – Sins, laughing.
“I would love to be powerful enough to call up a storm of this magnitude, but it would not be in our interests to cause this.” – Kel’Serrar, pointedly.
They debate the merits of either talking the captain down or devolving into full-fledged mutiny.
“The lowest levels of hell are reserved for mutineers and traitors.” – Dev.
“I have been through many a sea-storm myself, and my gods have never let me drown.” – Harold, pulling his medallion out and showing the captain the image of the Invarrian god of the sea.
“I guess all we can do is keep praying then.” – Captain Burgundy, who then stalks past the companions, including Maebh who is concentrating intently on her tethered ball of light.

Despite their prayers, the weather gets worse. Visibility, despite Maebh’s torch, becomes a serious problem due the sheer amount of rain and wind lashing the vessel. When it is not raining, it is snowing and even the swell on the open water is half-frozen. The companions are all grateful for their warmer clothing, but it is not long before they are sodden and chilled to the bone. At some point Maebh gets thoroughly angered at the ice falling from the sky and wrenches her magic into a glowing shield above the ship. It doesn’t prevent all the rain, ice and snow from falling on the ship, but it does stop that coming from directly above, making the weather a little more bearable.

“So while they’re freezing their butts off, Harold and I are just like, ‘It’s a bit chilly out?’ right?” – Opal.
“No, I think we’re freezing our tails off too.” – Dev, laughing.
“Yep, you guys are freezing your tails off. The rest of you mob,” – Sweeping my arm around the table to encompass the rest of the party, “Are almost catatonic. If they’re not, they’re playing marbles with bits of their fingers which have fallen off.”

Maebh’s magic makes conditions just a little bit better. It is still bitterly cold, but at least the crew can see and stand on the top deck without being driven into cover by the piercing rain and ice. As an aside, Kel’Serrar was kept busy, stitching up lacerations from the falling shards of ice.

* * *

It has been over two months since the Winter Wind left Beachead when a battered caravel crawls into the port of Urik’s Landing in the early evening. It is a wonder that the ship was not run aground when making port, but thanks to Harold, Therressa and the good Captain Burgundy, the crew are able to bring the ship in without any major damage.

Urik’s Landing is a small town on the southern coast of Unterguardt in the kingdom of Southreach. All that can be seen from the ship is two vague rows of wooden longhouses. Despite the weather, which has barely relented, there would appear to be a substantial dockside brawl erupting on the pier, right in front of the companions.

EDIT* http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y506/Phoenixguard09/Uriks%20Landing_zpssroj1ppp.jpg
I apologise for the quality of the map, it was done on the fly in the middle of the session. And I'm a ****e cartographer anyway.

Having been cooped up onboard ship for so long, many of the companions are looking for an outlet for their violent tendencies.
“A brawl?” – Ladyhawk.
“Essentially, it’s a public brawl, so you guys can just weigh in and hit people. You have free reign to whale on people to your heart’s content.”
“Yes!” – Wings.
“Oh **** yeah!” – Ladyhawk, to laughter.
“Dwarf-tossing!” – Wings.
“Can I toss the dwarf in?” – Dev, rolling dice.
“I want to be tossed!” – Wings, bellowing in rage. It was actually kind of terrifying.

This was essentially just something fun to do. They’ve been good for almost an hour and a half in session now, and their characters have been so for months. It has also been a long time since our last game, so I wanted to just give them all an opportunity to cut loose.

How I ran this was not as a combat, but more a loose collection of skill checks. I just asked each person one at a time around the table what they wanted to do, applied a skill check to it, got them to roll and extrapolated from there.

We had a hell of a time! :D

“Am I able to draw a weapon?” – LD.
“Well, they’re all unarmed at the moment, so it would be a bit unfair.”
“Right, but I’m a possum. Oh hang on, I’m a possum with a higher Strength than the dogman pirate viking. I’ll be right. Can I fly-kick people in the face?” – LD.

Harold grabs Tremor and throws him into the brawl, the Dwergar roaring his anger. Breanna practically flies off the ship and kicks a man in the face, rolling into the shadows. Maebh vaults over the side of the ship and starts to put people down with her spear, deliberately not using the head of her spear, just the shaft to crack legs and heads. Tremor, having picked himself up off the ground, walks up to the first man, kicks him violently in the shin, headbutts him as he falls forward and then walks away to his next victim like the short hairy badass he is.
“I have three actions. I want to kick, headbutt and walk away.” – Wings, distilling Tremor’s fighting style into a simple three pieces.
Kel’Serrar also leaves the ship, but skirts the brawl. One man does run towards him, but the ranger coolly steps aside and clotheslines him, laying him out on the floor. He’s after an inn, someplace warm and dry to rest after a trying voyage.

Another man is running towards Maebh, unaware that Breanna is right in front of him. She slides between his legs, leaps up behind him and then delivers a sharp blow to the back of the head.
“I just realised that this brawl is being fought by people punching in mittens.” – Sins.
“Essentially, you guys are just big furballs. Especially Tremor.”
“I am Breanna, the fluffy destroyer of worlds! I am fluff! I AM DEATH!” – LD, to hysterics.

Maebh continues to lay people out with her spear, cutting through men like a blunt scythe.

Therressa meanwhile just sits on the side of the ship with a pilfered wineskin, laughing at the carnage. After some time, she gets down and sorts through the belongings and smallchange of some unconscious brawlers.

Tremor puts down another man with brutal prejudice, before squatting in the mud to steal his money. Because, why would he pass up on cash?

Harold on the other hand makes himself useful and collects their animals from the ship’s hold. He emerges from the depths of the ship leading three horses and two wolves. In the time he was below-decks, the brawl has come to a halt due to the tender attentions of his companions.
“Did I win?” – Ladyhawk.
“Oh yes. Not even a single scratch or bruise.”
“Awesome.” – Ladyhawk.

Kel’Serrar swiftly determines that there are two taverns in Urik’s Landing. And that’s where things become more difficult. The families who own these taverns hate each other, for reasons which are lost to the depths of history, and the rumours of which do not bear much contemplation.

One way or the other, the companions must get into one inn or another, because it is just so cold outside.
“These two families… They wouldn’t happen to be called the Blackmanes and the… Battle-Birthed?” – Ladyhawk, laughing.
“It was Greymane and Battle-Born by the way.” – Dev, rolling his eyes.
“She knows, she’s just changing the names slightly because that’s what I do. And you know what? Fine, that’s their names.”
“If you have names already, use them instead. I was just… taking the piss I guess.” – Ladyhawk, laughing.
“Well I did have one, the Irontusks.”
“Oh that’s cool. Use that one.” – Ladyhawk, to general agreement.
“So we have decided the family names by democracy.”

More coming soon....

2015-03-08, 12:48 PM
And we're back. :smallsmile:

The inns are run by the Irontusk and Blackmane families, and they literally face each other across the main road of the Landing.
“So McDonalds and Hungry Jacks?” – Opal.
“Yeah pretty much, but more swords, axes, blood-“
“Efficiency…” – Sins.
“Similar number of rats though…”
“So who supports the Stormcloaks? Sorry, I’ll be quiet now.” – Ladyhawk, laughing.

The Irontusk Inn looks marginally larger and nicer, but the Blackmanes have a larger and a better kept stable. Whatever inn they pick, they will not be welcome in the other.
“Well then we know what we’ll pick. I’ll go the ****ty one, because the other might look nicer but this one has better food.” – Wings.
There is silence for a moment, before…
“I said better stable mate, not a better kitchen.”
“Better steaks right?” – LD, thoughtful.

“Captain Burgundy.” – Harold, who passes the man on the street. “Which inn do you recommend?”
The Captain looks troubled and glances around to see if there are any unwelcome ears nearby.
“Well I have never set foot inside the Blackmane Inn, but I have stayed in the Irontusk Inn and it is very pleasant. Of course, I will likely never see the inside of the Blackmane Inn, for I would surely be killed if I tried.” – Captain Burgundy, quietly.
“How do they know? Do they sit outside and watch who enters the other inn?” – Therressa, scoffing.
“Indeed, each inn has employees who stand in that booth out there, see it?” – Captain Burgundy, pointing to a little shelter just off to the side of the Blackmane Inn’s porch, and then to a similar booth on the other side of the road outside the Irontusk Inn.
“The man within records the name if known, or a detailed description if not, of everyone who ventures into the other establishment. These taverns are not so much taverns, but cults.” – Captain Burgundy.
“I say screw the taverns, we’re hardened campaigners. We can sleep out here.” – Maebh, belligerent.
“You think it is cold now lass, it is nothing compared to the chill of the northern nights. We need shelter.” – Harold, shaking his head.
“Well then, I want to find out more.” – Maebh, stalking over to the Blackmane lookout post.

“Excuse me, I just wanted to get some information.” – Maebh, to the lookout, who frantically writes down a note on his ledger before snapping the book shut.
“What can I help you with?” – Blackmane lookout, in a thick northern accent.
“What started this feud?” – Maebh, blunt.
“Well, to be honest I don’t know, it happened so long ago. Most stories say that the scion of the Blackmanes had relations with the daughter of the Irontusk family many years ago. The Blackmanes say that the match was arranged and the loved each other, the Irontusks that she was abducted and held against her will. Whether that story is true or not, and even then, who is at fault, we cannot know. All we can do is choose a side and live with the undying hatred of the other family.” – Blackmane lookout.
“Well you have been completely unhelpful. I’ll stay here then.” – Maebh, beckoning the companions up to the lookout post.

Doesn’t exactly sound like a reasonable cause for a feud which stretches back over a century, but there are a few things to keep in mind here. First, that the town has always lacked strong authority and many families have leave to rule themselves in most ways. Secondly, that the town was originally settled by Invarrians, who are quick to stand upon their honour. And thirdly there is the fact that Invarrian females are only capable of bearing a single litter of pups in their lifetime. Naturally an unmarried female who bears a litter becomes practically unmarriageable as she is incapable of continuing her would-be husband’s bloodline.

So in this story, both families essentially believe their scions were stolen. No matter who tells it, the daughter and her pups were put to death, though neither side agrees on who actually performed the deed.

“That makes my backstory all the more tragic.” – Opal, who is correct.

“I preferred the Greymanes anyway.” – Ladyhawk, laughing.
“Because you are a traitor.” – Dev.
“No because the Battle-Borns were *****.”

The animals are stabled outside the Blackmane Inn and the companions sign the admittance ledger, with varying degrees of grudging recalcitrance. In the end, the whole party signs, but no illusions are made to the fact that as of entering, if they now set foot on Irontusk property they can and possibly will be killed on sight.

“Let’s do it! And steal their alcohol?” – Wings, laughing.

The Blackmane Inn is very well-furnished and quite pleasant. Plenty of portraits and other paintings adorn the walls, with information regarding the history of the town. The interior is far nicer looking than the exterior, which is easily explained by the fact that Urik’s Landing is, at the moment at least, a windy, rainy, icy hellhole.
“But it’s my hole.” – Wings.
Simply for choosing them over the Irontusks, the Blackmanes provide a free meal to their newest clientele.
“Sweet!” – Most of the party.
“I’m starting to think something’s not quite right here. We’ll go out to the stables in the morning and find that we have eaten our horses at dinner or something.” – Opal.
“If that happens, I’m murdering the whole town.” – Ladyhawk.
“Maebh has a mental link with her horse anyway. As soon as something was up, she would be aware of it.”
“Right, but Therressa wouldn’t know about Augustus.” – Opal.
“Toirneach’s pretty clever. He’d let Maebh know as soon as anything weird happened.” – Ladyhawk.
“Aww, are they friends?” – Opal.
“He thinks Augustus is alright.” – Ladyhawk, laughing.
“Guys, we have better things to think about than a horse bromance!” – LD.

The innkeeper turns out to be willing to supply the companions with as much alcohol as they can stomach. Except Tremor. The man couldn’t afford to part with that much.

“This weather is really bad, even for our winters.” – Blackmane Innkeeper, a patchy brown-furred Invarrian.
“How old is this town?” – Harold, at the bar.
“Around 150 years old. Urik was an Invarrian, much like ourselves. He was looking for new lands, was blown wildly off course and had to put in on the south coast. The original town was made by Invarrians, but it has since been recolonised by Northmenn and other peoples.” – Blackmane Innkeeper, whose name is Alrik.
“And who rules here?” – Tremor, he too sitting and drinking at the bar.
“That would be Theyne Embermald, sworn sword to Jarl Sidgrun of Southreach. He lives in the hall atop the hill on the eastern edge of the town. You can’t miss it. He’s got some problems to the north too, your kind up in Nordtarnet.” – Alrik, polishing a tankard and looking pointedly at Tremor.
The Dwergar just grunts and keeps drinking.
“Is there anywhere we can buy a cart and, a mule perhaps, some kind of pack animal?” – Maebh, cradling her mead.
“I’m sure you could a farmer around here willing to part with a cart and beast. It is a hard task trying to eke out a living from the soil around here, but there are those brave or foolhardy enough to try it. Old Man Hays might be able to help you, just north of the town and right at the second signpost and you’re on his land.” –Alrik, trying to be helpful.

The companions finish their drinks and their meals and then head off to sleep, unfurling sleeping rolls and bedding down in two well-furnished rooms on the second floor of the establishment, save Tremor who falls asleep at his table drawing and drinking into the night.

* * *

The next morning, the companions take a table in the common room and are served breakfast, a hearty meal of steak, bread, bacon and eggs. The friendly innkeeper, Alrik, sits with them for a while, sharing information.
"The Landing is not exactly a safe place to be at the moment my friends." - The Invarrian, in a low voice.
The companions lean into the centre of the table to hear him better.
"Please, tell us more." - Harold, tucking into his bacon.
"Well to the north lies Nordtarnet, which was not exactly a problem until quite recently. The place was a hill-fort basically, on the border of Borsa and Rivervind. That was until Bain Ironfist took over. They say he murdered his father, the old lord and was behind the exile of his older brother. Since then, the lands south of the Blackspine have gone mad. Nordtarnet is now an impregnable fortress, or so the scouts say. Those as make it back anyway, and they are few enough. Southreach's northernmost village lies on the other side of the Iceflow, the river which divides the lands of Nordtarnet and Southreach. As you can imagine, the more Bain Ironfist expands his territory, the more lords he manages to bring under his sway." - Alrik.
“Why would he want to come south? This is hardly prime farming land.” – Harold.
“Well, meaning no disrespect to your kind master dwarf, but the Dwergar are viciously ambitious little bastards as a rule. And the more Ironfist has under his control, the more they will want to stake their claim on everything they can.” – Alrik, to a fair bit of laughter. Even Tremor cracks a smile.
“That’s hardly all there is going on here either. We’ve had other issues of late. The farmers in the outlying hamlets claim that a ferocious beast is roaming the marshes and killing their livestock at night. And then within the town itself, someone has been killing girls on the street. No one ventures out at night anymore.” – Alrik.
“There’s a serial killer in town.”
“No, there are six of us.” – Opal.
“Definitely not you guys.”
“We have time to solve that. Give us a night and there’ll be seven serial killers in this town. Give us another night and we’ll be down to six.” – Sins.
“That sounds quite familiar.” – Breanna, thoughtful.“The last victim was actually a serving girl from this very inn. We’re still looking for someone to replace her. I told her she should have stayed here the night, but the girl was always wilful. They found her in the morning, cut in half on the side of the main street.” – Alrik.
“Have there been killings from both sides of the feud?” – Sins, fishing for leads.
“Aye, there have. All girls though. Well, women at least, and Midlanders or Northmenn as a rule. I’d best start serving the other clients. It is a poor innkeep who neglects his guests to eat his own breakfast.” – Alrik, taking another rasher of bacon, smiling and then leaving to serve other tables.

“I have news of mine own which I must share. The Resistance hides in the Blackspine, the mountains north of Nordtarnet. They are dangerous, but there are those who know them well.” – Barandin Stonefist, sitting next to Tremor and addressing the companions in a hushed voice.
He takes out a map of Nordtarnet, drawn and labelled in his own hand.
“I will travel on ahead and alert them to your imminent arrival. The sooner we get you an army cousin, the sooner we get you back on your throne.” – Barandin, nodding to Tremor.
“Do we need them?” – Maebh, thinking her haunch of steak is overcooked. She would have preferred it to have still been alive when served on the table.
“My brother is a dangerous foe. We’ll likely need all the help we can get.” – Tremor, downcast.
“Aye. So I will leave for the north as soon as the rain lets up and hope I can find a contact. It will, like as not, take me several days to find anyone. If you do not hear from me in ten days, assume I am dead or captured and follow your own plans. Do not tell me of them though, for if I am captured I cannot betray your secrets if I do not know them.” – Barandin, helping himself to another tankard of ale.

A discussion on the relationship between Tremor and Barandin:
The relationship between Barandin and Tremor is interesting. The Stonefist clan have been the chatelaines of Nordtarnet for generations, and have been closely tied to the Ironfists for just as long.

Tremor of course is an Ironfist, and Barandin is the get of the latest Ironfist-Stonefist intermarriage, with Tremor’s late father Godrik having married off his sister Meredith to the head of the Stonefist clan at the time. As such, Barandin and Tremor are cousins of comparable age who grew up together, engaged in the Dwergar coming of age rites together and were sworn battle-brothers. They were just about as close as they could be without marrying each other, though this was strained by their respective exiles.

In Tremor’s case, the fact that Barandin didn’t stop him from killing his other battle-brothers continues to haunt him. For Barandin, he cannot help but hold a grudge against the Ironfists for the way Bain has treated him, the last scion of a house so close to his own.

Despite this, Barandin is about as loyal to Tremor as a Dwergar can be to another. I’ll leave that up to you to decide if that’s enough.

The companions spend most of the day in the Blackmane Inn, enjoying the hospitality provided and acquainting themselves with the townsfolk. Very few townsfolk do enter the inn however, the driving rain enough to deter all but the most religious of drinkers. The day is quiet and uneventful, and most of the companions spend their time reading, eating, drinking and chatting, whiling the hours away.

Tremor’s nightmares have lessened in intensity, aided in part by the excessive alcohol consumption during his waking hours and the fact that by the time he passes out in the evening he is so utterly exhausted that the dreams have little to no hold on him. Despite that, he awakens with the same images of the burning pine and the female voice in his head. He can only make out snatches of words and phrases, but he has heard them often enough that they stick in his mind, and even in the day, his head rings until he drowns it out with the alcohol once more.
“Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up….. The dead…. Arise….. Rise now…. AWAKEN!” – Mysterious voice.

* * *

Barandin leaves at dawn, the rain having lessened enough to allow him to buy a pony and be on his way. The companions see him off in the privacy of their own rooms, not wishing to draw attention to his departure. It is still raining, cold and grey, but at least the rain and snow has lessened and the gale-force winds have died considerably. It is bearable, but hardly pleasant.

“Okay, I want to solve these murder mysteries.” – Ladyhawk.
“Monster hunt!” – Dev.
“Why can’t we do both?” – Wings, like the little girl from the Old El Paso advertisements.
“All in favour of monster hunt?”
Dev, Wings and LD raise their hands.
“All in favour of murder mystery?”
Ladyhawk, Sins, Opal and Wings raise their hands.
“Did you just vote twice?” – Dev.
“Don’t tell me how to vote!” – Wings, laughing.
“All in favour of starting an all out war between the two pubs?” – Opal.
“AYE!” – The deafening response.
“See this? This is why we can’t have nice things.” – LD, laughing.
“See we have had Corpsewalkers and undead wolves and undead kings and… That’s a lot of undead… Anyway, my point is, can’t we just avoid the supernatural stuff for once?” – Ladyhawk.
“Unless the serial killer is some kind of sorcerous cyclopes or something. In which case, well, bugger.” – LD.

Talking with Alrik provides some more information regarding the murders too. The companions are once again seated at a table with Alrik, this time over a warm lunch and cold drinks.
“Basically, women on the streets after dusk are getting ripped apart.” – Alrik.
“Any commonalities between women?” – Harold.
“Yes, all between 20-45ish really. And as I said before, generally Midlanders and Northmenn women.” – Alrik.
“So, they are prostitutes.” – Breanna, which draws frowns from most of the people in the conversation.
“Parts of the bodies have been missing too, though what has been missing from each victim tends to be unique. The latest, as you know, was split in half vertically. I do not know what kind of blade could have made such a cut though.” – Alrik.
“Is there a doktor in this town?” – Harold, fishing for information.
“Yes, Doktor Jurdric. He is very good, though quite old. The only doktor worth a damn for many miles. Why do you ask?” – Alrik, curious.
“Just wondering. Any doktors not worth a damn?” – Harold.
“Well, two I guess. Old Jurdric’s apprentices, his son Endric and the hired hand, Welyn. I don’t quite see what this has to do with anything though.” – Alrik.
“I call it’s one of the apprentices!” – Dev.“What parts have been stolen?” – Tremor.
“Well it varies from girl to girl. One poor lass was missing only the skin from her face, flayed perfectly. No other mark on her by the way, just her face missing, from ear to ear. Others have been split open and organs missing, though what exactly was taken I could not say. Three girls have been missing limbs too, one her legs and two others their arms.” – Alrik.
“So the one missing her face, was she the first?” – Tremor.
“No, the third. There was not much found of the first lass.” – Alrik.

“Someone’s trying to make a golem.” – Opal.
“Or the perfect girl…” – Ladyhawk.
“That’s… That’s gross.” – Dev.

Harold points at a map of Urik’s Landing on the wall.
“Could you just quickly point out to me where these bodies have been found?” – Harold, to Alrik.
“I’ll do you one better…” – Alrik, who stands up and retrieves the map from the wall. He fetches a stick of charcoal from his pocket too and starts to mark crosses on the map.
“Now this map is a little out of date as it shows what the Landing looked like a good fifty years ago and the town has grown since then, but you should still be able to figure it all out.” – Alrik, marking the map.
When he is done, there are a score of crosses marked on the map, up and down the main street which runs through the Landing from the dock.
“There, you may keep that.” – Alrik, sliding the map to Harold, who nods his thanks.
“Strange that no one should see these events taking place, even if it is at night. The main street is a strange place for murder.” – Harold, thoughtful.
“Well you saw the ****storm that’s been out there these last few days. No wonder no one saw a murder, we could barely see the town when we arrived.” – Therressa, making a good point.
“You’re right lass, save that the storm has been wracking the town for, say, the past two weeks? These murders have been taking place for over a month. If anything, they have lessened in frequency since the storm began in earnest.” – Alrik.
“A month… How long has doktor Jurdric been living in Urik’s Landing?” – Harold, questioning.
“Over forty years my friend.” – Alrik.
“Hmm, very interesting… How about the apprentices?” – Harold.
“Well Endric was born here, some seventeen years ago. Welyn however, well… I guess he arrived not long before the murders began.” – Alrik.
“Any history of mental instability in the doktor’s family?” – Therressa.
“None to my knowledge. The doktor and his son are, by all accounts, some of the kindest people you would ever meet. The doktor is like a father to many of the folk here. He is quite old now though, and with the weather being the way it is, he has gotten rather crotchety, but, well…” – Alrik, trailing off unhappily.
“That’s just old age, yes… Any others arrived in the last few months? Other than us of course.” – Harold, kindly.
“Well, none as have stayed around. A mercenary band from the far south before the storm broke and a merchant caravan the week before, but other than that, no. We do not get many visitors out here. Oh, a party of Dwergar from the north too as emissaries, a few months back, but they were not here long, they just wanted passage to the capital.” – Alrik.
The Invarrian innkeep gets up to leave and then turns back.
“One last thing I forgot. These bodies, where they are found, there are no signs of struggle. No blood, save that which pools beneath the bodies and freezes in the snow. It is quite strange. The one thing to be grateful for is that whoever it is has not started breaking into houses to do his bloodwork.” – Alrik, giving a friendly nod before leaving to serve other clients.

“Well then, that was grim. I’m going to go see Bach. I haven’t seen him since we arrived.” – Harold, preparing to take his leave.
“I think I might check out where some of these bodies have been found. May I borrow that map?” – Therressa, to Harold, who slides the map across the table to her.
“I think someone needs to go talk to these doktors.” – Kel’Serrar, grimly.

Maebh, Tremor and Therressa
In the end, Maebh, Tremor and Therressa head to the site of the first murder, which has naturally been disturbed since the victim was found.
Successful Channelling Check from Maebh.
To Maebh’s keen eyes, the wisps of magic which still permeate the ground are barely visible, but even the small traces left are enough to determine for what purpose they were cast. The spell is one of preservation, and it stinks of daemonic energy.
“There was a very dark magic at play here.” – Maebh, in a low voice.
Therressa kneels on the ground and starts to sniff, but she comes up with nothing, the cold so bitter her nose starts to hurt and she needs to sneeze. But after doing so, so close to the ground she can see almost a shadow beneath the layer of snow, and starts to dig, unearthing a simple round iron medallion on a chain, engraved with the symbol of a dagger. She too can smell the magic, but it smells like Breanna’s backpack, not wholesome at all.

Harold, Breanna and Kel’Serrar
After collecting Bach, Harold, Breanna and Kel’Serrar go to the good doktor’s surgery, a small wooden building on an alley off the main street.
“Is there a police force here?” – Dev.
“No there isn’t-“
“Guards?” – Dev.
“No, it’s vigilante justice all the way.”
“Lynch-mobs!” – Sins, gleefully.
“Essentially, if you have a problem, you go kill it yourself. If you can’t kill it yourself, maybe it’s not such a big problem after all.”
“So how does the ruler keep them in line?” – Dev.
“The theyne rules by dint of being the biggest badass in the town. Whenever a bigger badass comes along, there’s a challenge and the winner is the new theyne. The current theyne defeated his father in an honour duel when he came of age. Upon winning, he let his father, who he loved quite dearly, live out his days in comfort. Usually though, the loser dies. Being a patricide is actually seen as a mark of honour amongst the Northmenn, provided it was done openly with honour.”
“Wow. So hang on, the biggest badass rules, right? So I could take over the town?” – Ladyhawk.
“Well there’s a reason this guy is still the theyne. He is a serious hardass.”
“So… I could take over the town?” – Ladyhawk, to laughter.
“Well he’s a massive man, at least eight foot tall, clad in the ancestral armour of his family and armed with one of the largest greataxes you will likely ever see. You want to give it a try, go ahead.”
“Right, but could he survive a lightning bolt to the face?” – Ladyhawk.
“Only one way to find out really, but he is a reasonably influential noble from a long line of men who held their title through violence, in a land where you need to kill anyone who decides they can take you. He has money, power and influence, so there’s a good chance that he would have magical defences too.”
“Well that’s bull****. You just don’t want me to take over the town.” – Ladyhawk.

Upon knocking on the door, it is opened by one of the apprentices, a Northmann with sandy blonde hair.
“Well met strangers. Do you have an appointment?” – Young apprentice, who is slightly taller than Harold. It is rather disconcerting for all three of the companions.
“Ah no, but I would like a check-up please. At my age, it’s a good idea and I’ve had some wounds recently which I would like to get checked over.” – Harold, mixing business with practicality.
So the companions are let into the surgery and they look around, Kel’Serrar and Breanna left in the waiting room while Harold is looked over by the outlander, Welyn while the old doktor Jurdic overlooks the proceedings. The procedure goes well, though Kel’Serrar had already done a good job of making sure the party’s various injuries do not fester. They don’t even charge the old raider for their services as his scrapes and such are far removed from their usual fare, which consists of cauterising missing appendages and binding hands missing fingers due to frostbite, misused farming implements or hungry farm-dogs.

* * *

The companions meet up once more at the Blackmane Inn for dinner to discuss the day’s events.

And we left it there…

The Wrap-Up:
All in all, a pretty good session I felt. We did plan on running two sessions that weekend, but sadly did not exactly do so, instead playing the first session of Dev’s Whispers in the Dark, which will be coming soon. (To a store near you!)

I did ask for some homework in the last week, trying to get some detail on the actual clothing the party has in their possession. Some gave more detail than others, but all of them got back to me within the week, which was a pleasant change. I think offering real-life rewards along with the in-game ones may have been part of it.

The next session will hopefully see a resolution of sorts to the murder mysteries, along with the monster hunt. I am certainly looking forward to it.

The next session is scheduled for the 21st of March, which makes it the last session before my birthday. That’ll be nice. We hope to have a steady schedule this year due to the issues last year with organising game days. We’re hoping for a rate of once a month. Hopefully that might keep everyone reasonably well-acquainted with the game system. I can hope, right?

As usual, if you enjoyed this write-up, please comment. We do crave the attention of our peers. Any questions, feel free to post them on the thread too. I’m more than happy to discuss the setting with you.

That’s all for now,
Cheers and thanks for reading,

2015-03-21, 11:16 PM
Just thought I would let everyone know, we played Session 4.2 yesterday, and had over four hours of game time. Which was awesome.

Next time on 3 Coins:
The murder mysteries gripping Urik's Landing are resolved, the party goes to hell and comes back out and Tremor finally realises his power.

Oh, and Breanna is left stranded in a dark and dangerous place...

EDIT* We also have some artwork to display:

First, the map of Nordtarnet, the kingdom which has risen to the north under Tremor's brother, Bain Ironfist.

And then secondly, LD did some quick concept sketches of Harold and Kel'Serrar.

Cheers guys,

2015-03-24, 08:38 AM
Okay, small update guys,

Session 1.3 of Pirates of Lemaria is available to be read here. (http://s4.zetaboards.com/Battlehammer/single/?p=8261120&t=10124466)

As I stated before, it's a solo game I am running with my brother. We played this session ages ago, but I only finished writing it today. It would really make the little guy's day to see some comments regarding it, so if you wouldn't mind, a comment on here or over there for me to show him would be awesome. :smallsmile:

I've also finished writing up Session 1.1 of Dev's Whispers in the Dark game. I'm just waiting to hear from the man himself as to how he wants to present it, either here or on a thread of it's own. Hopefully that will be up soon as it is a pretty good session and we're looking forward to playing more.

As to 3 Coins, I've said before that we're really hoping to be a bit more consistent this year in terms of regular play, and with that in mind we have already tentatively pencilled in the next two sessions.

You also have Session 4.2 to look forward to, which is over four hours long. I see it being a long write-up.

Talk soon, and don't forget to comment, :smallbiggrin:

2015-03-26, 08:47 AM
Alright then,

I got in touch with Dev and he basically told me to just go nuts on this.

So I will.

Whispers in the Dark
The campaign was originally pitched to us as an opportunity for us to cut loose and be evil, manipulative douchebags. Sounded like fun.

Then Dev told us that he was going to introduce an all-powerful figure who would lord it over us from the very beginning and that we were beholden to him and had pledged loyalty. Not so much fun.

Anyway, we gave him the benefit of the doubt, and despite several times doubting we'd ever get started, we did eventually play the first session.

To his credit, we actually really enjoyed it and I personally am really looking forward to the next time I get to change perspective for a game session.

The Players
I just want to quickly preface this by saying that the information which follows is correct to my knowledge. Dev made it clear to us that we should keep parts of our background and ambitions secret and that is what we have done. Ladyhawk and I have been a bit more open about our characters since that seems to be in keeping with their personalities, well Bran's at least.

On the other hand, with regard to Sins and Wings, I am under no illusions that I do not have all the information. I know I do not. You'll just have to live with that, because Dev's not willing to write the log.

With that out of the way, we'll go with me first then, Phoenixguard, or PG for short. I've got a fair bit of experience, and of course, wrote the rules and setting we're playing with. With a little bit of help.

Name: Branimir Voijcinski
Classes: Guardian 4/Warlock 1
Heavily armoured, the Guardian has access to healing and protective Spirit Magic while still being heavily armed enough to serve as a front-line fighter. Very Paladin-like but more about protecting others than healing and killing people.

The Warlock has light to medium armour, focussed on lots of Black Magic. Warlocks are very similar to Mages really, except with Black Magic instead of Arcane. They may specialise in the same way. I'm considering dropping the Necromancer as a full class and just having the Warlock cover the Archetype through skills.
Race: Roanfaille
Considered by some to be the most naturally talented warriors in the south, the dark-skinned, wiry Roanfaille of Sothbayne are instinctive fighters, their pride and fierce independence legendary in the other lands. As a race, the Roanfaille are tall for humans and their lean muscles belie substantial strength. They generally possess dark skin, ranging from light brown in hue to nearly black. Their hair is usually worn long with trimmed beards in abundance. Roanfaille culture places great significance in tattoos, with each family having its own symbol.
Age: 26
Eye Colour: Violet.
Hair & Skin Colour: Copper skin-tone and dark brown, almost black hair.
Birthsign: The Bull
Bull: Underneath their cool, calm and collected exterior, Bulls are usually a maelstrom of pent up energy. They will let others get close, but only so close as they want them. It is for this reason that Bulls are sometimes regarded as withdrawn or even boring. Bulls hate to be put in jeopardy of any kind and this usually leads to Bulls going out making the future happen as they want it, rather than leaving it to fate.
Height: 6’
Weight: 190lbs or 86kg

Bran is armoured with brigandine and heavy leathers, befitting his Horseman background. He is armed with a bastard sword he acquired during his time in the north, a heavy round shield and a long, curved knife. At his back is a recurve bow and a quiver of arrows, but he is an indifferent marksman at best. He is of an average height for his people and well-muscled, with piercing eyes and shaggy, shoulder-length hair roughly tied back to stay out of the way. On his right shoulder-blade is a tattoo of two crossed black swords, the sigil of the Voijcinski clan.

Roanfaille Level 4 Guardian / Level 1 Warlock
Combat Skill: 52
Ballistic Skill: 35
Strength: 41
Toughness: 43
Dexterity: 31
Agility: 33
Actions: 1
Initiative: 32
Health: 20/20
Charisma: 29
Perception: 30
Intelligence: 33
Willpower: 31
Magic: 1
Luck: 6/6

Animal Care
Command +10
Dodge Blow
Healing +10
Riding +10
Silent Move
Survival +10

Talents & Traits
Nomadic Lifestyle: +5 to Riding Checks
Savvy: Re-roll a single Deception or Gambling Check per day.
Swordmaster: +1 Damage with a sword.
Guardian Might: +1 To Cast Guardian Spells.
Experienced Warrior: +10 to Parry
Shieldwall: +10 to Parry with a shield.

Bastard sword
Recurve bow
Quiver with 20 arrows
Hunting knife
Round shield

Brigandine cuirass
Leather vambraces
Leather leggings
Long leather coat

Miscellaneous: (All stored in a rolled up cloak, save the tent which is usually carried by the horse)
2 torches
One-man tent

Combat Manoeuvres
Heroic Strike: +D10 Damage on a strike the round after a successful Parry.
Cleave: Additional attack on a prone target within range.
Smite: Forces an Opposed Strength Check on an opponent the round after a successful Charge Attack. If the test is failed, the target is knocked prone.
Flurry: If no Damage was taken in the previous Round, the Guardian may perform a single Quick Attack on every target within range.

Armour Skin - +2 to Armour Value on all locations for D10 Rounds per Magic Level. (Guardian Spell)
Summon Glyph - Summons a glyph, a daemonic creature of relatively dog-like dimensions and intelligence. (Warlock Spell)
Protective Aura - +2 to Armour Value on all locations for D10 Rounds per Magic Level on the caster or a single ally within touch. (Guardian Spell)
Flame Shield - Light cover for the caster plus Fire Damage on targets within 5 feet. (Guardian Spell)

Ladyhawk was next, my girlfriend who plays Maebh Raven-Wing in Three Coins. She's come a long way as a player from the beginning and was looking forward to playing around with a different character. Maebh and Benedykta are quite similar in some ways, but then I guess magically powerful independent women only come in so many flavours right?

Name: Benedykta Voijcinski
Classes: Warlock 4/Warrior 1
The Warlock has light to medium armour, focussed on lots of Black Magic. Warlocks are very similar to Mages really, except with Black Magic instead of Arcane. They may specialise in the same way. I'm considering dropping the Necromancer as a full class and just having the Warlock cover the Archetype through skills.

Heavily armoured, focussed on killing **** up close. Warriors are both good at dealing damage and taking it. Through skills they can cover may different archetypes including the Berserker and the Knight. They will also have a little ranged ability but their skills will not offer any of the archery perks associated with the Ranger or Rogue.
Race: Roanfaille
Considered by some to be the most naturally talented warriors in the south, the dark-skinned, wiry Roanfaille of Sothbayne are instinctive fighters, their pride and fierce independence legendary in the other lands. As a race, the Roanfaille are tall for humans and their lean muscles belie substantial strength. They generally possess dark skin, ranging from light brown in hue to nearly black. Their hair is usually worn long with trimmed beards in abundance. Roanfaille culture places great significance in tattoos, with each family having its own symbol.
Age: 26
Eye Colour: Violet.
Hair & Skin Colour: Copper skin-tone and dark brown, almost black hair.
Birthsign: The Bull
Bull: Underneath their cool, calm and collected exterior, Bulls are usually a maelstrom of pent up energy. They will let others get close, but only so close as they want them. It is for this reason that Bulls are sometimes regarded as withdrawn or even boring. Bulls hate to be put in jeopardy of any kind and this usually leads to Bulls going out making the future happen as they want it, rather than leaving it to fate.
Height: 5’ 10"
Weight: 158lbs or 72kg

Benny is equipped with light armour, aka tough leather armour. She has a bastard sword and a assortment of numerous daggers hidden in many places. She enjoys throwing the daggers but still has a long way to go before she is a master at it. With both of us having horses, she has a few personal and necessary items in her saddle bags. She has a few dark magic tomes (just for fluff) and a few yucky things used for rituals.

Benny has a bad scar running down the left side of her face, (more of this will appear in the background). Her leathers are black. She also has a necklace made up of teeth collected from beasts defeated over their travels along with a few feathers in her hair.
Benny is a very beautiful woman, the scar down her face, instead of marring her beauty, strangely accentuates it by making her seem tough and mysterious. Her hair is wild and curly reaching down to the middle of her back. Her eyes are the same colour as her brothers, but seem to have more of an unnatural sheen to them. She is lean but has a fair bit of muscle due to the many hours of sword training with her brother.

Roanfaille Level 4 Warlock / Level 1 Warrior
Combat Skill: 35
Ballistic Skill: 33
Strength: 32
Toughness: 42
Dexterity: 24
Agility: 31
Actions: 1
Initiative: 34
Health: 12/12
Charisma: 25
Perception: 33
Intelligence: 31
Willpower: 50
Magic: 3
Luck: 6/6

Animal Care
Dodge Blow
Silent Move
Hypnotism +20
Common Knowledge (Black Magic)

Talents & Traits
Nomadic Lifestyle: +5 to Riding Checks
Savvy: Re-roll a single Deception or Gambling Check per day.
Flaming Hands: +10 to Intimidation Checks
Dual Casting: Two spells per Combat Round

Bastard sword
5 daggers

Leather jerkin
Leather vambraces
Leather greaves
Leather leggings

Miscellaneous: (All stored in a backpack, save the tent which is usually carried by the horse)
Fresh leek
One-man tent

Deepest Darkness - Impenetrable darkness around the caster for D10+2 Combat Rounds. (Warlock Spell)
Summon Glyph - Summons a glyph, a daemonic creature of relatively dog-like dimensions and intelligence. (Warlock Spell)
Steal Life - D10 Damage on touch. Any Damage cause is converted to health for the caster. (Warlock Spell)
Doombolt - Magic Missile. D10 Damage, can be augmented by summoning elementally aligned daemons. (Warlock Spell)
Creeping Death - A deadly fog creeps along the ground. D5 Damage on targets within the affected area. Can be augmented by summoning elementally aligned daemons. (Warlock Spell)
Phantom Noise - Creates a single noise from a specific location. May duplicate two syllables of speech. (Warlock Spell)
Silence - Causes the target to lose the ability to form speech on touch. (Warlock Spell)
Sleep - Causes the target to fall into a short magical coma on touch. (Warlock Spell)
Armour Skin - +2 to Armour Value on all locations for D10 Rounds per Magic Level. (Warlock Spell)
Terrifying Visage - The caster causes Fear for the duration of the Spell. (Warlock Spell)
Shadow Figure - Creates the silhouette of a single man-sized figure, which may perform any action the caster desires. The figure is insubstantial and disappears after a short time. It cannot be harmed, nor can it interact with the environment. (Warlock Spell)

As you might have noticed, Ladyhawk and I are playing siblings, twins in fact. Don't worry, we are no Lannisters here. :smalltongue: The background information we concocted is presented together in the next spoiler.

Where are you from?
- The twins are from a large clan nomadic horse clan which roamed the territory on the north-coast of Sothbayne, the Voijcinsk. Their clan symbol is two black crossed swords, the twins bearing the marking on their right shoulder-blades.

What is your family like?
- Abusive father, mother died in child birth. More about the family will follow in the background story bit.

What is your social class?
- The father was the clan chief, but none of that matters anymore.

How did you become an adventurer?
- There was no home left for them. (And they are both a little insane, Benny more than her brother)

How religious are you?
- Bran is very superstitious and believes Benny is being blessed by some god when she works her powers. On the other hand, she doesn't agree because she knows that a god wouldn't submit to being basically strangled for power. Since he has started manifesting his own abilities, Bran has been forced to rethink this. But he's still not certain how he's doing it.

Who are your best friends and worst enemies?
- No enemies that they can recall, though there are plenty of people who are hated, usually by Bran. No real friends, we are the only important people in each other’s lives.

What are your prized possessions?
- Our horses and weapons.

Who are you loyal to?
- Each other.

Who do you love and hate?
- Bran loves his sister. Everyone else is secondary, and what's more, a threat. Same goes for Benny.

And finally, what sort of temperament does your character have? How do they view the other peoples of Norbayne?
- As to how Bran views others, basically what I said a moment ago. Same for Benny again.

Both of these characters grew up in a very troubled childhood. Their father was a greedy, horrible man and his wife had been unable to provide him with an heir or any children at all. So their father turned to a demon to provide help in getting him a son. However, the daemon being a daemon, tricked him and gave him twins. His wife also died in the childbirth. Both children were touched and practically created by a powerful daemon. Benny is specifically affected due to her whole existence being the result of a daemon’s tricks.

When they were born, her father hated Benny from the very beginning, and was very abusive towards her. Being touched by the daemon caused Benny to have a strong connection with daemons, so she was quite a powerful warlock at a young age. Her brother has always preferred the sword, to the point that until very recently, he suppressed his abilities with daemon-craft.
Their father’s abuse was only tolerated for so long. At the age of twelve, Benny snapped, calling a daemon well beyond her abilities and destroying her father and almost the entire clan. Her brother saved her from being completely consumed by the daemon-fire but losing control gave her the nasty scar on her face and left her mind quite unstable.
For the next decade, Bran led his sister from their home on the north coast of Sothbayne, across the Southern Ocean and through the Southlands of Norbayne. Plying their trade as mercenaries, the twins garnered a reputation as reliable and discreet.

Dev also gave us a handful of questions to answer regarding our origin.

1. How did you begin working for The Master?

- Bran and Benny started working for the master after Benny began having strange and daemonic dreams. In a nutshell they consisted of her standing on top of a burning world, with an army of powerful daemons at her command. In these dreams many faces showed up, but one face she recognised was The Master's. She therefore, interpreted this as, if she wanted the power she desired and felt like she deserved, it would be in her best interests to find The Master.
- As for Bran, he goes where his sister tells him they are needed. She makes the big decisions and he ensures they survive long enough for her to make the next one.

2. Why are you loyal to The Master?
- Benny is loyal to The Master because of her quest to become all-powerful. She feels in her gut if she stays for now, she will be closer to her goal.
- For Bran, it's the gold. His loyalty is first and foremost to ensuring that he and Benny gain enough gold to live out their days comfortably. What's more, once Bran realises he can control these occurrences around him he acknowledges that the Master can give him the knowledge he needs to control it and hone it. Or at least ensure that he doesn't flip out and kill everyone around him accidentally.

3. How long have you been in his service?
- The Twins have been in his service for about a year.

4. Do you have any rivals/enemies within the syndicate? Have you been caught on a contract for the syndicate?
- The Twins are not exactly well-liked within the syndicate. This is likely due to a sense of superiority from the twins. Not to mention Benny's somewhat inhuman qualities and perception on life. Despite this several men have still tried to make a pass at her, but this has led to humiliation and ridicule from either twin.
- There are a few individuals who could be labelled rivals in the Syndicate. Benny has created a particularly nasty enemy in a neighbouring cell, a man who is not used to getting no for an answer.
Name: Guido da'Gaston (Southerner)
His role in his cell is that of hired muscle. In essence, he threatens local merchants into paying dues to the cell to protect them from criminal activity. He's not that intelligent, but reasonably good looking and very well-built. The third son of an old and wealthy, if not entirely respected family, he has always gotten what he wanted.

When Benny refused him, he didn't leave her alone. She finally ends things by very publicly humiliating him, and he has never forgotten it.

- As for Bran, there's always been the handful of men he's seen stealing covert glances at Benny. He usually disabuses them of any such notions without letting on to his sister what he is doing. From a bystander's point of view, his fists probably deliver a softer lesson than Benny's vicious mind.
- Bran's most hated enemy though would be a mercenary captain the twins served under in the Southlands.
Name: Malberd Cottar (Lowlander)
The captain of the Swiftswords, a small company of mounted warriors who specialised in quick insurgence missions and operated out of the area around Turindor. The Swiftswords had a reputation for minimal collateral damage and a superb success rate. Their current captain, Cottar, comes from a shepherding family deep in the Midland valleys. He has worked his way through the ranks to get where he is now, though some suggest that he might have pushed a few people into the path of oncoming arrows on the way.

- Bran and Benny signed onto the Swiftswords for a single season, and as such were entitled to a single share each in the loot that would be gained from the Swiftswords' most recent contract, a routine infiltration and intelligence gathering operation against a rival mercenary company. The employer would pay 700 sulvers for the number of men and horses with the sum to be doubled if the company's most recent orders could be obtained.

- The Swiftswords devised a plan which would see Bran and Benny sneaking into the opposing captain's tent while the rest of the Swiftswords would distract the company with quick fire raids. Unfortunately, this fell apart as captain Cottar ordered the retreat, leaving Bran and Benny stranded in the middle of the enemy's camp. While the twins struggled mightily to escape with their lives, Cottar led the rest of the Swiftswords to gather the 700 sulvers from their employer.

Okay, Sins of Dusk up next. He plays Kel'Serrar in Three Coins and has a well deserved reputation for granting an essay to those who ask for character background. I love it personally.

Name: Lysrasor Curial
Classes: Necromancer 4/Mesmer 1
The Necromancer has light to medium armour, focussed on the manipulation of dead things through Black Magic. Tampering with the dead requires far too much power for Arcane Magic users, so Black Magic is the only way to access Necromancy. Quite powerful but also prone to being eaten by Daemons.

Light armour, focussed on Illusionary Arcane Magic. I like the idea of a Thief type character who uses a speciality in Illusions to make their thievery better but perhaps this archetype could be covered by multiclassing a Rogue with a Mage who specialises in Illusions. Therefore, it is currently unlikely that the Mesmer will be in the finished product.
Race: Midlander (Southron)
The people of Norbayne are a strong race, tough and adaptable. Compared to the Northmenn of Unterguardt, they are quite slim and stocky, built more like wolves than the northern bears. They are the most populous race in the known world and most cities have at least a small Midlander population. They are almost universally of pale complexion and dark haired, with sharp angular features. Their hair is usually worn long while facial hair is neatly trimmed.
Age: 28
Eye Colour: Crimson (Left) Light Green (Right).
Hair & Skin Colour: Pale skin and white hair with a crimson streak that falls over, concealing the left eye most of the time.
Birthsign: The Stallion
Stallion: Those born under the sign of the Stallion appear to change and deviate from their usual behaviour with the phases of the moon. Life doesn't stand still for this sign, even if they remain in one place. Most Stallions feel one way one minute, then sometimes totally different the next and often have a need to travel and see new things.
Height: 6’ 2"
Weight: 122lbs or 55kg

Lysrasor carries a utilitarian dagger on his belt, along with his family's ancestral crypt-keeping blade. He wears black robes over light leather armour. Trotting beside him is a small dog, like a beagle. Upon close inspection, one can determine that the dog died some time ago but is animated by some kind of Black Magic. It's name is Hctib, and yes, it would appear to have been a female in life.

And then background information, spoilered for length. This is a harrowing, but highly awesome tale.
Born from an Upper Class family, it was certainly a rare occurrence that Lysrasor had to want for anything. Food? The finest the servants could provide would be delivered with but a word. Entertainment? It wasn’t like the servants had anything better to do, after all they were simply property, and property had no fear of a fight to the death. Company? Who wouldn’t kill for a chance to meet with one of the scions of the Curial Family?

This wasn’t to say life was what it should have been however. Despite having almost complete control over the peasants that made up the population of Direhaven, there were still a few matters that irked Lysrasor to no end.

The first of which? A certain lady named Chloe, only two years his senior. A rather talented mage, taking after her parents quite strongly in that regard, would usually stop the servants before they could finish the duels Lysrasor would force them to participate in. However, while this on its own was bearable… barely, there was also the fact that she worked tirelessly to uphold the family’s charge. To keep the dead of Direhaven in their graves and to prevent any necromancers from attaining access to the crypts.

The second little matter was Chloe’s little sister, Tienna. An aspiring mage, powerful despite not having reached her tenth winter. She had very little control over her magic, but it was powerful. To make matters worse, she adored her older sister, and tried to emulate her. Fortunately however, she was still too young to take up the work of her parents and older sister, and was not yet allowed near the crypts.

The third matter was the worst however. The Voices. They lived at the edge of Lysrasor’s mind, whispering, waiting. Sometimes they held untold brilliance, and knowledge that they had no right to know. Other times they spoke of the end of all things, and why the world should burn. Mostly they spoke of power. The power to rule, to dominate, to master all… the power that should have been Lysrasor’s birthright.

Lysrasor was born with a power unlike that of Chloe or Tienna. Lysrasor was born with power over the dead and the mind. It was unclear whether these powers were granted to him by The Voices, or if they were the result of the power. He’d been caught once before as a child, experimenting with the dead, but he was let off with a warning. Youthful ignorance, the grave keepers had called it, but only one chance would ever be given, they had made that clear enough.

He practiced in secret after that and through the years taught himself how the rituals for bargaining with Demonic Entities and raising the dead. Knowing always that he was destined for greater things… and knowing that soon, these greater things would come to pass.

In Truth, the only reason that he hadn’t acted years ago was Chloe, the current grave keeper… and his older sister. The Curial seniors - his parents - were growing old, and while age hadn’t dulled their power, it had most certainly done so to their minds. While they grew weaker, The Voices plotted. It had taken several years for them to convince Lysrasor to follow them, but the promise of greater power was something that the black sheep of the Curial Family would never pass up on.

The night the plot was to unfold, Chloe was out as normal, guarding the crypts. Tienna and the Curial Seniors were in the family mansion, the duty to the dead was not their concern while Chloe was still capable.

All it took in the end was a simple illusion. A phantasm taking the form of Tienna crying to lure Chloe away from her post. Chloe never could resist her little sister, and rushed to comfort her. She never even saw the knife. It was a quick death, The Voices, for all their insanity, still maintained a modicum of practicality, and dead mages cannot cast spells.

Even with Chloe dead and gone though, there were still more grave keepers. It Lysrasor was to succeed, there could be no surviving Curials beyond himself.

It took him most of the night, but he was able to animate the corpse of Chloe and summon a phantasm to speak for her and hide the blood. This would be a memory for Lysrasor to keep… the night his whole family was murdered by his sister’s hand and the force of his will.

The Curial seniors proved little challenge, Chloe simply rushed in to warn them that the dead were rising once more. When her parents turned to ask her how, Lysrasor let the illusion fall, to allow his parents last moments to be of their beloved daughter’s corpse running them through with the families ancestral blade.

Tienna however, was a slightly greater challenge. She awoke when her sister came to warn their parents and made her own way to them in time to see their corpses. What chilled her most however, was that her brother was checking their bodies, and smiling when he pronounced them dead.

It was too much for her to handle. Her power surged, and fire began to pour from her hands and mouth, igniting everything, herself and Lysrasor included. The Voices urged him to put her down, stop the fire before the townsfolk could see it, but he panicked. He took the blade from his sister, and sent her corpse to provide cover for him from the flames while he escaped.

It wasn’t long before the entire mansion was consumed, but it was long enough for Lysrasor to escape with a small portion of the family fortune and his sister’s blade. The blade itself was forged for the grave keepers, but whether it was to aid them in keeping the dead down, or raising them up when the town was threatened has long since been lost to history.

It has been two years since the events at the Curial family home. Two years that Direhaven has been plagued by the dead rising, with no one to put them down again. Lysrasor has since squandered the vast majority of his funds, but has still maintained his sister’s blade. The power promised by The Voices seems distant, regardless of their continued promises.

That is… until an invitation to a strange organisation found its way to Lysrasor’s hands, promising wealth and power on an unmatched scale to any who accept…

Midlander Level 4 Necromancer / Level 1 Mesmer
Combat Skill: 53
Ballistic Skill: 29
Strength: 39
Toughness: 53
Dexterity: 27
Agility: 22
Actions: 1
Initiative: 23
Health: 10/10
Charisma: 25
Perception: 54
Intelligence: 53
Willpower: 53
Magic: 3
Luck: 6/6

Search +20
Channelling +20
Raise Dead +20
Academic Knowledge (Necromancy)
Hypnotism +20
Lockpicking +10

Talents & Traits
Sixth Sense: Always strikes in Initiative order and cannot be affected by Ambush Bonus Rounds.
Sturdy: Re-roll a single Strength or Toughness Check per day.
Master Necromancer: +10 to Raise Dead Checks
Aethyric Attunement: +10 to Channelling Checks
Wandering Eye: +10 to Search Checks
Mistweaver: Can modify the Cloying Mists spell.

Arming sword (Nehira, the Curial graveblade)

Leather jerkin
Leather vambraces
Leather greaves
Leather leggings

Silence - Causes the target to lose the ability to form speech on touch. (Mesmer Spell)
Sleep - Causes the target to fall into a short magical coma on touch. (Mesmer Spell)
Armour Skin - +2 to Armour Value on all locations for D10 Rounds per Magic Level. (Necromancer Spell)
Magic Snare - Wards an area, preventing the first target to enter that area from moving for D10 Rounds. (Necromancer Spell)
Cloying Mists - Provides a bonus to Concealment within the mist.

Lastly, we have Wings of Decay, who plays Tremor in Three Coins. He joined in our first session halfway through, and has a thoroughly interesting character. Unfortunately, I haven't got access to any of his background information, only his character sheet. Hopefully Dev will pass the censored version to me soon and I can update this post.

Name: Raven
Classes: Druid 3/Necromancer 2
Lightly armoured, focussing on Spirit Magic. Only Spirit Magic is available to the Druid but it has some powerful effects, Bestial Form in particular as it allows the character to become an animal for a period of time.

The Necromancer has light to medium armour, focussed on the manipulation of dead things through Black Magic. Tampering with the dead requires far too much power for Arcane Magic users, so Black Magic is the only way to access Necromancy. Quite powerful but also prone to being eaten by Daemons.
Race: Midlander (Woodsman)
The people of Norbayne are a strong race, tough and adaptable. Compared to the Northmenn of Unterguardt, they are quite slim and stocky, built more like wolves than the northern bears. They are the most populous race in the known world and most cities have at least a small Midlander population. They are almost universally of pale complexion and dark haired, with sharp angular features. Their hair is usually worn long while facial hair is neatly trimmed.
Age: 14
Eye Colour: Unknown
Hair & Skin Colour: Pale skin and short black hair.
Birthsign: Unknown

Height: 5’ 2"
Weight: 100lbs or 45kg

Raven is a scrawny, wild looking fourteen year old boy. He is an orphan, and looks like he was left abandoned in the woods for quite some time. He wears light, black leathers and carries two razor sharp sickles on his back.

And background.
Raven was born on a little farm in the middle of nowhere. His father and mother were both poor and could barely feed everyone, but they managed.

Tragedy struck when Raven was only about 5. Somewhere back in his ancestral blood-line was a clan of druids but after centuries of intermarriage, the once strong blood-line had been watered down till there was very little left. This is Raven's gift and his curse because without knowing it both his parents carried the druid gene from this ancestral gene pool.

Through some quirk of genetics, it manifested itself in Raven stronger than it had in centuries. but that great power in one so young has consequences. During his early years it was only small stuff his hair might grow quicker or his nails grow pointed and curled like ravens claws, then to only disappear just as quickly as they had appeared but on his fifth birthday, his parents arguing about how little they had and how long it had been since a decent crop, all the while forgetting his birthday, sending the little boy to bed with barely a meal. During the night, Raven had nightmares about transforming into a monster and ripping into his parents, tearing flesh from bone for being so cruel to him on his birthday.

When dawn broke, Raven woke up to his nightmare come to life, his parents lying dead in the house, his bed torn to shreds, blood everywhere, covering him, his bed and the room itself. It was then that he realised that his nightmare had been truth. He had been the monster. He had killed his parents and the secret fact that he had enjoyed every minute of it the feel of flesh being torn, the smell of fear and terror... the taste of blood.

Skip forward another 5 years and since leaving the farm, raven is now a hired killer, having learned somewhat to control the beastly urges. Now you’re asking, how can a 10 year old be a killer? Well it has to do with the shifting. Every time he shifted, he gained knowledge from dead ancestors and because he shifted uncontrollably for 3 years, the voices of dead druid ancestors speaking to him every time, whispering, teaching, and from them he learned how to control the shifts. From there it was an easy jump to learning the art of fighting both as a human or animal, the art of stealth and many things more.

As to the hired killer part, there was a man who saw him shift while out walking one day and decided to use him in his business so he waited until Raven shifted back and approached him about being an assassin. A deal was struck and Raven joined the man for a short while, but the voices of his ancestors never went away. Sometimes helpful, sometimes a reminder and sometimes a warning, it was the ancestral voices that spoke of the man’s betrayal for a sackful of gold from a baron who wanted something dangerous to hunt. Thinking easy money, Raven's benefactor agreed eagerly. He had the perfect candidate... Raven... but knowing of this betrayal set Raven on a murderous path he had travelled many times before. Killing came as easy to this 10 year old as easy as breathing.

The deaths of the baron, his retainers and the man who betrayed him were all too easy to arrange, a hunting accident in the forest. All he did was play along as the hunted for a while then turned from hunted to hunter and started picking them off one by one, the slow fat one at the rear first. In the end, the only two left alive before dark were the baron and his benefactor. The baron died first, his death sweet but quick. A hamstring and then the jugular.

And then to the man who for 2 years had worked with Raven as an ally and friend. His death was not so swift, nor was it merciful. Just before he died he asked Raven why. The child responded, "It's all about the kill."

These words have been the last words every victim heard before Raven has killed them.

Raven has never worked with anyone again for longer than one job. He does the contract and moves on. His favourite contracts are the ones that are meant to look like accidents because he can replay his first mass killing changing it slightly to his liking making it more artistic or more brutal depending on his mood... leaving nothing but bodies and empty purses.

Raven is now 14 and looking for work...

EDIT* For Session 1.2, we were joined by Sins' girlfriend, Delphoxie, who plays Aeva Nordur-Vatn in 3 Coins. I do not know much about her character, but she has sent through a bit of background for her character.

Name: Aurion
Classes: Duellist 3/Ranger 2
Lightly armoured, focussing on finesse in close combat. Very good one on one, the Duellist is able to prevent enemies from attacking anyone else through Taunts and other such interesting effects. Quite effective at dealing damage, not so flash at taking it.

Medium armour, focussed on outdoorsy stealth woodland stuff and archery. Through skills, can cover the Arcane Archery, Beastmaster and Hunter archetypes.
Race: Danann
The Danann of the Wardenfells are a wild race of hunters and warriors. The Danann wear their dark hair long, often twining talismans and feathers into the braids to give luck and protection when they hunt. Tall and slender, the Danann are decptively strong and have keen intelligence and almost preternatural senses. They view the other peoples as their prey, and warfare is a great hunt, one test the skills of the mightiest of huntsmen. What little is known of their society is mainly through the outcasts who are propelled to seek a life of adventure in other lands. The eastern realms tell of summer nights when the Danann tear through outlying hamlets, seizing terrified villagers to take back to their tall cities to be brutally sacrificed. These are just tales of course...
Age: 19
Eye Colour: Unknown
Hair & Skin Colour: Unknown
Birthsign: Unknown

Height: Unknown
Weight: Unknown

I don't know anything about appearance yet.

But I do have background...
Aurion began her life as a princess in the lands of the Gheimridhe. Raised in a royal household she had very little experience with battle and even less with one on one combat. She was raised to be a lady and uphold the rules and standards set by her people. Quiet and keeping to herself, she spent most of her time reading the history and stories of her nation in the gardens of her castle home. She was constantly surrounded by maids and people of power so she had very little time to herself. However, she harboured a horrible secret the wound change her future drastically. She was cursed.

At her naming ceremony, a blood-mage; nameless and mysterious, spoke words to the infant. He cursed her to be beckoned by blades. Whenever she passed the kitchens or even the sewing rooms, the blades called. Her mother and father knew not of her curse and assumed that the warlock had blessed her to be beautiful and humble, as had the rest of the people to visit her.

Unfortunately, not all of her life had been sweet and quiet. Her father, the king was not all that he seemed. He had a secret to. Night after night he would come into Aurion's room and wake her. (This part will remain secret to anyone but her.) His beloved daughter was not biologically his. The king was actually the blood-mage who cursed her. After seeing how beautiful a babe Aurion was, he snuck into the castle the night after the naming ceremony and killed her real father, disguising himself as the king and taking his place. He lay in bed with the king's wife and ruled the lands of the Gheimridhe. And no one but Aurion knew.

The bane of Aurion's existence was an Invarian by the name of Eruven, an exile of the Hidden Wastes. He told her how she could never speak of the curse to anyone because it would come out as gibberish and even if she found a way to tell someone, they would not believe her. He also mentioned that the only way to get rid of the curse was to kill him, which was increasingly difficult, considering he was the king now and he was constantly surrounded by guards.

As to how she became known as evil and malevolent, this was because of the time she gave in to the calling. She passed the kitchens on her walk to her favourite part of her secret garden and wandered in. Mesmerised by the shine on the blade being held by the Cleaver. She stared it down and wandered forward, reaching her hand out to grasp it. And that is all she knew. She blacked out shortly after grabbing it from the Cleaver's hand and when she woke, every person in the kitchen and adjoining rooms was torn to pieces and she was covered in blood.

She removed all evidence that she had been there; discarded her clothes and ran to her 'father', the king. Screaming about what happened and saying what a tragedy it was. The King (Eruven, feigning interest) rushed into the kitchen. Awestruck, he told his guards to search for any possible evidence or trespassers to help discover who could have committed such a crime. The Cleaver was The king's dearest childhood friends. He swore to kill whoever had done this to him.

After several years, Aurion grew tired of the curse and not being able to say anything to anyone about it, so she decided to try and kill Eruven. She crept into his room, late at night and reached for her knife in her pocket. She grasped it and blacked out. When she came to, she was running. A pack of guards following her and a trail of corpses behind them.

She quickly reached the gates and the guards stopped, having chased her from the city. The next day, the hunt began anew and as to whether or not she had succeeded at killing the king was still unknown to her. But she swore that day to kill him by any means necessary if she had not.

Okay, that's it for the players for Whispers in the Dark. The next post will be our first session.


2015-03-26, 08:54 AM
Whispers in the Dark Session 1.1: We Are No Spies

Never have I seen such malevolent power wielded as that day by my own sister. With it, she broke strong warriors, our whole clan, savaged by flames and otherworldly beings. This person, this strong woman is as much a part of me as my own flesh and blood, my sister, who destroyed everything I called mine and all who I owed allegiance to, save herself.

I made my choice, she was all I had left.

And I would keep her safe...
- From the personal journals of Branimir Voijcinski.

I began by trying to set up the recording device, asking everyone to speak. Wings was not due to arrive for some time yet, so we decided to start without him.

“My name is *redacted* *redacted* *redacted*” – Dev.
“The Game.” – Ladyhawk.
“Excellent.” – Sins, bringing his fingers together in an evil fashion.
“I will be your Game Master for this evening. This is the first session of Whispers in the Dark.” – Dev.

Nine initiates stand in a cavernous room lit by torches. Before them is a platform atop three stone stairs. On the platform sits a throne which appears hewn out of the cavern itself, a solid block of blackened stone. On either side of the thrones sit two shallow cauldrons, belching silver flames.

On the throne sits a figure and while the room is reasonably well-illuminated by the flames of the torches and cauldrons, the seated figure blends into the darkness behind him. The figure is undeniably male and radiates power, but no features can be seen, which lends him an unsettling aura.

The man speaks in something barely more than a whisper, yet it echoes around the cavern like it is the only sound in existence.
“You all know why you are here. You have all failed me. So the question is… What do we do with you now?” – The Master.
The figure gives off a sense of great disappointment.
“I know that some of you are still serviceable… I will not kill all of you.” – The Master.
With these words, strands of flaming barbed wire encircle two thirds of the initiates in the room and with a twist of his hand, they rip the would-be sorcerers apart, leaving only a fine red mist in the air and a nasty, gooey substance on the ground.
“You few left must now make amends for your mistakes. You will do this by starting from the bottom as neophytes of the Syndicate. Leave now, before I change my mind.” – The Master.
The surviving initiates, now culled, leave the reception room, physically intact, though covered in gore.

Standing now in a long, underground hallway, the newly-demoted neophytes take stock of their situation in the torchlight. Only three survived the Master’s wrath, the Roanfaille twins, Branimir and Benedykta Voijcinski and Lysrasor.
“We are all in this together now it would seem.” – Branimir, offering his hand to Lysrasor.
“Oh yeah, that’s his name now.” – PG, stumbling over Sins’ character’s name.
“Almost as bad as me with Kel’Serrar.” – Dev, musing.
“Noooo… Kel’Serrar is a lot easier than Lysrasor.” – Ladyhawk, also struggling.
“Is that right mate?” – PG.
“Lysrasor.” – Sins, delivering the name with a far cleaner pronunciation.
“Yeah alright, we’ll work on that.” – PG.
The strange young man gazes into space for a moment, listening to his inner voice before giving a small smile and shaking Bran’s hand.
“This is my sister Benedykta.” – Bran, indicating his twin, who gives a small nod of recognition.
The three then head to the mess hall.

Ahead of us sit members of the cells based in the Syndicate headquarters. The mess hall is almost an underground marketplace around a large group of wooden tables, enough for almost the entirety of the Syndicate’s many agents to be seated at once.

“As we are now neophytes, I assume we had best remain handy so that we may be called upon easily if we are sent on contract. I suggest a meal together to get to know each other a little better.” – Bran, taking charge.
The three start to head to an eating establishment, and it is at this point that Hctib appears from the shadows to trot alongside Lysrasor.
Hctib is a small, undead dog…
Benedykta can’t help herself and leans down to pet the creature, which does not acknowledge the motion in any way whatsoever. It attempts to yap at people walking by, but it makes no noise.
“Hctib has no vocal chords.” – Lysrasor, by way of explanation.
“He’s one of those little annoying yappy dogs, but has no vocal chords.” – Sins.
“So he’s annoying.” – Ladyhawk.
“But silent.” – Dev.
“He’s so annoyingly silent! Out of curiosity, what type of dog is it?” – PG.
“Word of God here, I’m going to say he looks like a beagle.” – Dev.
“A beagle with its vocal chords removed!” – Sins, brightly.
I lose it at this point.

The companions get their food and sit together at one of the tables, a bowl of meat and beans each with a glass of wine. Despite the given reason for the meal, neither the twins, nor Lysrasor make much of an effort to make conversation. The silence is reasonably companionable, though made awkward by the lack of knowledge they have of each other.

“So much for getting to know each other…” – PG.
“The silence seems to be getting to him.” – Sins, to Ladyhawk.
“Yes, and I have no sympathy.” – Ladyhawk.
“I now know all I need to know about the two of you… Dicks…” – PG, writing on an imaginary notepad.
There’s a bit of laughter.
“So what’s the plan? I guess seeing as we are neophytes, we’re not exactly allowed to have plans of our own right?” – PG.
“That’s right, you’ll get your orders soon.” – Dev.
“I want to know how we messed up to begin with?” – Ladyhawk.
“We know apparently…” – PG.
“Therefore I got lost on the way to the mission and couldn’t make it out of the cobwebs. Because I didn’t take navigation.” – Sins.
“Neither did I.” – Ladyhawk.
“Oh ****, I was going to and I forgot. None of us know where to go!” – PG, frantically looking at Bran’s character sheet.
“None of us know how to get out of the complex.” – Sins.
“Hey, does Hctib have the sense of smell of a living dog?” – PG.
“Affirmative.” – Sins.
“I suggest he is now our guide and leader. This will end fantastically.” – PG.

Branimir’s old mentor approaches our table and speaks to the group.
“I hear you are all neophytes again.” – Mentor.
“What of it?” – Benny, sharply.
“I’ve been ordered to give you your contract. You will receive 40 sulvers upon completion. Torycastro is a small city to the north. You are required to spy on the settlement, focusing on military matters and then report back. The more information you garner, the better off you will be. There may be a bonus payment if you are able to find any leverage the Master may be able to use against the lord of the city. As you would remember, you have no choice but to accept, or you will be killed.” – Mentor, to the companions.
“Seems fair.” – Bran.
“You will leave at dawn. Do not fail.” – Mentor, walking away.
The newly-made neophytes finish their meal and then go their separate ways for the night.

Branimir has taken up writing a journal to organise his thoughts, but so far has had no luck with actually writing anything lasting. It becomes a habit to write a few sentences, tear out the page and start again. Eventually he gives up in disgust and goes to sleep.

Lysrasor on the other hand takes Hctib and prowls the corridors, looking for other neophytes to prey on. Nothing serious, he simply hypnotises the occasional neophyte walking past him, causing the unfortunates to forget things like their name, where they were going or how to walk… Before going to his own personal chamber, he sets an illusory trap on the door of another initiate he dislikes. The next time that initiate tries to enter his room, the trap will be triggered and a tidal wave of shadow and bloodied eyes will stream out of the room. Smirking, Lysrasor goes to his own room, chatting happily under his breath to the voice in his head.

Meanwhile Benedykta retreats to the lowest dungeon of the Syndicate and practices her control of magic. She’s quite adept. Despite one minor hiccup, protective wards on the wall prevent any serious damage from occurring, and she learns from the experience. She leaves the room smelling of smoke and sulphur and goes to her own chamber.

The next morning, all three awaken in the dark hours before dawn and meet at the outer gate of the Syndicate’s headquarters, a low, thick rusted iron portcullis set into the rocky walls of the mountains. Torycastro is a half-day walk to the north, along the wilderness path.
Our horses were confiscated, so we asked for the reasoning behind that decision.
“Ah, Torycastro is within walking distance, so you wouldn’t need them.” – Dev.
We accepted this at the time, but then came the kicker.
“After two days of travel-“ – Dev.
“Hang on a minute, hang on a minute. Horses confiscated because we were within walking distance… It’s a freaking two day walk!?” – PG.
“You ****.” – Sins, to Dev.
“I thought, like two hours, or something? Not two days.” – Ladyhawk, in a thick Irish accent, which she drops in and out of as amuses her.
“My God, that Irish accent.” – Dev.
“My God, that horse confiscation.” – PG.
The trip becomes shorter and Dev mentions that the confiscation was more to do with punishment than the distance of travel.
“Good save.” – Ladyhawk, still in that same accent.

There is a reasonably companionable silence, save for Lysrasor’s constant muttering. Benedykta occasionally does the same, so neither of the twins are too taken aback by this.

* * *

The thick stone walls of Torycastro loom before the companions in the cold, northern midday sun. The gate-guard halts us at the gate, obviously concerned about the three armed individuals.
“Halt! What is your business here in town?” – Gate-guard, holding a halberd. He appears nervous despite his companion beside him at the gate and the other guards upon the wall and manning the gatehouse itself.
Lysrasor continues his muttering and Benedykta softly sings to herself under her breath. With a sigh, Bran responds to the man.
“We are travelling through on business of our own. We have some friends in high places and they would not be best pleased if we were hindered.” – Bran, staring the man down.
The man is cowed, at least partially due to Lysrasor and Benedykta being quite creepy. He ushers us through quickly, and shivers as we pass.

“Do you reckon you could draw up a map of the town please mate?” – PG, to Dev.
“Ah you bastard. Yeah, alright.” – Dev, taking a pencil and paper.
“This? This is payback for what we put him through.” – Sins, to Dev.
“Payback? Oh no, I just want a map. Payback would be asking for a detailed catalogue of the town library, and then asking for each book to be written. And then translated into Hebrew.” – PG.

We notice on our way to a local tavern that there appears to be a significant military presence gathering in camps inside the walls on either side of the main road. On one side, the majority of the troops are drilling with spear and shield. On the other, a much smaller contingent of tents and the occasional man walking around with sparks of energy flying from his fingers. We exchange grim looks with each other and keep walking, eventually finding a tavern.

We sit down at a booth in the back corner and begin to discuss our plans before swiftly realising we are not alone.
“It’s okay, we share the same master.” – Stranger, who looks like a twelve year old Midlander boy, clad in rough homespun and carrying two crossed sickles at his back. He gives a secret hand signal of the Syndicate, and Bran shifts over slightly, allowing the boy to sit beside him.
“My name’s Raven. I was ordered to find you and aid you in your contract.” – Raven, by way of introduction.
“So who exactly are you and what can you do for us?” – Bran, quietly.
“As I said, my name is Raven. And I kill people.” – Raven. As an aside, Wings’ voice for this character tends to sound vaguely Turkish. It’s a bit off-putting.
Some eyebrows are raised, but the boy gives off an aura of power and no one says anything. Except Lysrasor, but he doesn’t really stop the muttering anyway.

“Surely to get to this position, you must have some kind of unusual ability, especially for one so young. I’m trying to get at you turning into animals mate.” – PG to Wings, dropping character.
“I’d rather not show you in public.” – Raven’s response.
Ladyhawk cracked up here.
“Now you know my pain.” – PG, to Dev.
“Yes, this is feeling like just about the worst impulse decision ever. Now Wings, could you rephrase that one please, for the love of God?” – Dev.
“Nah, it’s fine. If he wants to surprise us with his power then that’s fine. We won’t pressure him.” – Ladyhawk.

“Well I guess we need to find out who the main powerbrokers are in town. Militarily we should probably find out numbers regarding the regular garrison and the army they’re mustering. For that matter, we need to find out who is doing the mustering and why. We need information on the leaders and quartermasters too, the better to get some kind of leverage. Whenever there’s a large body united in common cause, there’s always someone at the centre.” – Bran, to the rest of the group once the drinks have been served.
“This is true.” – Lysrasor, in a rare moment of lucidity.
“We could also find out about patrol routes, in and around the town.” – Bran, continuing on his spiel.
“Any existing or planned troop deployments would surely be good information too.” – Lysrasor.
“Indeed, and merchants in the township we can use. Worth finding out if there’s someone easily swayed we can use for a smuggling operation. If there’s someone starting to get too much power who may not be easily controlled then we might look at taking another couple of merchants under our protection and replacing the current dominant merchant.” – Benny, thoughtful.
“What we do need to know is the political situation here. Who really wields the power here?” – Lysrasor.
“So where do we go first?” – Raven.
“The markets and merchant district.” – Lysrasor, immediately.
“Agreed.” – Bran.
“It would look quite suspicious if we just arrived in the town and went straight to the barracks and started counting things after all.” – Lysrasor.
“Right, well it’s time to eat right now though, so let’s do that and then go look at the markets.” – Bran, his priorities in order.

We order our foodstuffs and enjoy our meal before heading to the markets alongside the river, a strange looking group. Two southern copperskins, a wild-looking boy and a tall man in black robes with a strange dog trotting beside him draw a lot of eyes, few of them friendly. The majority of the town are expatriate Southrons, with those of the local Northerner stock making an appearance every now and then. The four of us do stick out, even if Hctib was hidden from view.

More coming guys...

2015-03-26, 09:03 AM
And we are back. :smallwink:

There’s a tangent here where Ladyhawk tells us she wants to find a fresh leek, as a nod to her experience in Skyrim, where the only leeks she could find in the game were of the grilled variety. It is a source of great frustration to her.

Dev describes a veritable vegetable paradise to her and she picks out her leek. Dev does, however, ask why she wants a leek, which Sins and I predictably jumped on.

The markets are mainly local foodstuffs, particularly fish and other seafood, likely taken from the river. A single blacksmith can be seen plying his trade on the riverfront, but he looks to be limited in his ability. Horseshoes and farming implements seem to stretch his expertise.

“Hmm, that is interesting. Such a large settlement with a sizable military presence and only one blacksmith, limited in ability. My guess would be that any smiths of note here have been conscripted for military purposes.” – Bran, under his breath to Benny, who nods in agreement.

There’s a minor scuffle between Raven and a guard over some petty theft and Bran walks over to try and break it up. He attempts to pick the boy up by the back of the shirt, but Raven wriggles free and kicks Bran in the shin, taking the Roanfaille by surprise, who recoils, his snarl of surprise quickly turning into laughter at the situation.

And then Benny kicks the boy in the leg, dropping him to the floor, though doing no serious damage.
“Are you done with the hyper-violence now?” – Dev, rapidly losing control of the situation.
“You did ask for it mate.” – Ladyhawk, to Dev.
“This has gotten off to a poor start.” – PG.
“Well you’re right there you bloody bastard!” – Wings, in character.
“… That’s it, knife to the throat.” – PG.
“You serious?” – Dev.
“Nah, but I’m going to kick his teeth in in a minute.” – PG.

Bran offers the boy a hand up, and he accepts after a moment.
“Thank you. But don’t get involved like that again.” – Raven, gritting his teeth.
“Fair enough. Good lad.” – Bran, with a pat on the head.

Lysrasor meanwhile has managed to get the guardsman to back off, simply by playing with Hctib. There is something not quite right about the dog that is noticed by even the most cursory of glances and between Hctib, Lys’ constant muttering to himself and the surprisingly gentle and playful way he treats the animal, the guardsman is well and truly creeped out.

We split up to look around the markets. Benny finds her leek and purchases it.
“You bought your leek.” – Dev, to Ladyhawk.
“Thank you.” – Ladyhawk. The recording sounds like she was strangely touched by this gesture.
“She took it. She took that leek.” – PG, giggling.
I couldn’t help it. This went on far too long.
“It was important she took that leek.” – PG. On the plus side, I had Wings and Sins laughing uncontrollably at this point.
“What would you like to do now?” – Dev.
“Was it green?” – PG, to Ladyhawk.
“Yes.” – Ladyhawk.
“Juicy?” – PG. Wings lost it.
“I wouldn’t know.” – Ladyhawk, laughing.
“Okay, can we stop talking about leeks? What would you like to do?” – Dev.
“Find a saner party.” – Sins, laughing. And there we have it, the necromancer with a pet zombie beagle and schizophrenia wanted to find saner friends.
That’s saying something right there.

Looking around the marketplace, we can’t really see any evidence of any particular merchant being in a position of dominance over the rest, and as most of the stuff available is just local produce, we move on. As it is heading into late afternoon, we decide to make our way to the Golden Chalice, an inn on the mercantile street to discuss our next move and get something for the evening meal.

The Golden Chalice is actually quite a pleasant place, well-furnished and kept in good order.
“Back again young master? Shall I set a table?” – Innkeeper, to Raven, who had led us to the establishment.
“Aye, thank you, for me and my companions.” – Raven, in reply.
The old innkeeper nods and we are informed that he and his wife, who co-own the place, have quickly taken an interest in Raven during his time in Torycastro, and have essentially showered attention on the ungrateful little bastard.
We troop into a booth, Bran, Benny and Raven on one side, Lysrasor and Hctib sitting happily on the other. The dog’s constant yapping is made only very marginally less annoying by its silence, and its unnatural grin is quite unsettling.

An earlier conversation regarding Lysrasor’s clothing comes up here. Sins didn’t write down any clothing items in his equipment, and so when Dev asked for details when we were leaving the Syndicate headquarters, all Sins could come up with on the spot was, “Uh, leather?”

We made bondage jokes as can be imagined.
“Just before leaving, black robes float down from the sky to clothe me.” – Sins.
“No, that’s not what happened. You were definitely wearing clothes the whole time. And they are normal clothes too, not robes made of death or whatever.” – Dev.
“Although, I can certainly see him wearing robes made of the skins of his enemies.” – PG.
“Yes, this. This is what I want.” – Sins.
“No, you’re not doing that.” – Dev, laughing.

Anyway, back to the present, that conversation came up again as Dev describes the inside of the Golden Chalice, including our characters sitting in a booth, one of which is wearing woollen robes the colour of shadow.
“See I envisaged the colour and consistency of bacon.” – PG.
“You get normal clothes!” – Dev, to Sins.
‘But can he get bacon clothes?” – PG.
“NO!” – Dev.
“I was considering wearing a man-size Twinky.” – Sins, referring of course to the hollow cake roll with cream.

“So, who are your charming companions?” – Innkeeper, to Raven. He has come over to our booth to deliver the drinks and has inspected us with a raised eyebrow.
“Well I’m a paid bodyguard.” – Lysrasor, still playing with his dog.
“And we’re just friends.” – Benny, quietly. She knows Bran hates lying.
The innkeeper finishes placing the drinks down, nods and walks away.

We timed our appearance at the Golden Chalice well. It is only now starting to fill for the evening hours, and we have managed to get a booth right up in the back corner, away from the main hub of activity.
“You specifically go for one right up in the back, right?” – Dev.
“Absolutely, right in the back corner.” – PG.
“We aren’t looking suspicious at all, are we?” – Wings, sarcastic.
“Well the room’s quite full and no one’s paying you guys much attention. You were lucky.” – Dev.
“Most people do like to plot in the shadows in the back corner. We were lucky we got in early.” – PG.
“We got in as the lunch crowd were leaving.” – Wings.
“Yes, they have done their plotting for the day.” – Sins.

“I’m growing quite concerned about the army massing in the camps behind the gate. There’s also the main keep, which we haven’t looked at yet, but it would stand to reason that the lord of this town would have a personal guard in addition to the town guard.” – Bran, laying out his notes.

Despite his lack of success with writing his personal journal, the Roanfaille warrior is an avid writer, having learnt the art amongst the southern mercenary companies after leaving home. It didn’t take long for him to realise the advantage he could gain by actually being able to read the contracts he was signing. Few mercenary captains expected a Roanfaille horseman to be able to read and write, and Bran has always believed in having his enemies underestimate him in all things.

Raven has been in Torycastro for some time now, and has a fair bit of information for us. No exact numbers, but he does know that the town’s garrison is substantial in size and appear to be well-drilled.

“So, let’s look at summoning a daemon in the middle of the town. Where’s the warehouse district?” – Sins, in a call-back to the second 3 Coins arc.
“That’s not a bad idea actually.” – Ladyhawk.
“Until the five adventurers show up and **** up our ****.” – Wings.

“We need to look at some more decisive figures, perhaps breaking into the guard captain’s quarters and sneaking a look at the ledger there. That should give us an idea of the garrison size. I wish we knew what the plan was for this town, but we can hardly pave the way for anything when we don’t know what the ‘anything’ is.” – Bran, thoughtful.
“It’s not that unsurprising really that we don’t know. We’re neophytes again, remember? They wouldn’t entrust any more information to us than strictly necessary.” – Lysrasor.
“Very true. Okay, Benny and I will pose as mercenaries, which should be easy enough seeing as it is no disguise. Anyone looking to muster an army will not turn away experience sellswords, so we will go in there, gather some information on numbers and figures of influence and get paid to do so.” – Bran.

And we called it there…

The Wrap-Up:
Honestly, I really enjoyed this. It was a great opportunity for me to take a look at the game from another perspective, plus I quite enjoy playing but never really get a chance to. It was also really good to actually play a character I had created for once. My only long-running game, my character was created for me, concept and all.

The session itself was a good introductory one I felt, and I wouldn't mind collating this adventure and helping Dev publish it once it reaches it's finale.

Dev did a good job really in keeping us on track. I have no doubt we are a difficult group to manage with all the off-topic talk, and I am one of the worst offenders for that. :smallbiggrin:

I hope this was an entertaining read and I'm sure it will not be long before we revisit these same characters.


Amidus Drexel
2015-03-26, 10:30 AM
Ha, leeks. That session sounded like a lot of fun (well-done evil games normally are). :smallamused:

Gah, I've gotten so far behind on reading these. At some point, I'm just going to re-read everything and then I'll be up-to-date.

2015-03-26, 04:31 PM
I'll admit, I was sceptical going in. I thought it would quickly turn into Chaotic Stupid rather than an actual evil game, but Dev managed to keep the situation in hand and the rest of the players were generally pretty happy to work as a team.

For now at least... :smallwink:

Lady Darkmoon
2015-04-14, 09:50 AM
Next time on 3 Coins:
The murder mysteries gripping Urik's Landing are resolved, the party goes to hell and comes back out and Tremor finally realises his power.

Oh, and Breanna is left stranded in a dark and dangerous place...

Because I'm stupid :smallwink:

2015-04-19, 02:16 PM
Well I am three and a half hours into the write-up and I can safely say that it is by far the longest write-up we've had. You guys are in for a real treat... :smallsmile:

Stay tuned,

2015-04-22, 12:45 PM
Session 4.2: Dark Places and Reality Hopping

The roaring fireplace gives the room a soft glow, illuminating it for a family of Invarrians sitting upon the rich furs on the floor. One black-furred and fully grown male, holds a black and white youngster, barely three years old while the other adult, a black and white female struggles with the other three pups, trying to get them under the blanket.

"Hush now pups, and I will tell you about the feared Odon the Black." - Haelfa Oakenshield, to her children whilst settling them down for bed.
"I don't want to hear about Odon, Ma. Tell us about Olorin Shipbreaker instead!" - Hosker Oakenshield.
"No, we head about him last night! Tell us about Manda Silvertongue!" - Helga Oakenshield, lightly batting at her brother's head.
"Come now children, you need to take what you are given. Your mother has offered to tell you a story of Odon the Black. Come listen with me and Harold..." - Hendrik Oakenshield, holding a young Harold Oakenshield tightly...

Welcome to Session 4.2

“Hello, you lost The Game!” – LD.
For posterity, we played Dorito Roulette and it was outstanding, awesome, really good value, hilarious and such a good idea. Only Sins was unimpressed. I was the first to get a spicy one, and it did screw me up for the rest of the day.

We did lose Opal for this session as she had family issues to deal with, but we hope that she will slot back in neatly over the next session or two. To explain this, Therressa has taken off to deliver a reply from Harold to his sister, Helga on Varr.

We left our intrepid heroes at the Blackmane Inn where they discussed their next moves regarding the murders plaguing Urik’s Landing.
“Didn’t we choose this mission because we were sick of dealing with dark magic? And what do we find? Supernatural killings. Damn it guys!” – Sins.
It is early evening and the companions have just finished having dinner.

- The first murder: Berrilynn, Northmann girl, 22 years old. An outlander from the north, and serving girl at the Irontusk Inn. Found cloven in half on the side of the main street and missing most of her internal organs.
- The second murder: Northmann girl, 19 years old. A farm girl from an outlying hamlet. No one is sure of her name as the hamlet was found devastated by a Dwergar border raid from Nordtarnet after her death. Missing only the bones from her legs.
- The third murder: Northmann girl, 27 years old. Stablehand at the Irontusk Inn. Missing all her limbs.
- The fourth murder: Midlander girl, 21 years old. Daughter of Hav Goldfingers, a merchant aligned with the Blackmanes. Missing only her face.
- The last murder: Approximately 24 years old. Serving girl at the Blackmane Inn, daughter of Orolf Anvil-Hand, the smith who plies his trade outside Lordshall.

Naturally this information is incomplete, but it is accurate.

“Well, we went to where they found the first body and we didn’t find much. We did find this amulet and there are traces of a preserving spell.” – Maebh, to the group. Breanna puts the iron amulet down in the centre of the table for everyone to see.

Therressa had left the iron amulet found in the snow where a body had been left, with Breanna before departing the Landing, and so the Leathe and Maebh study it together to see if they can find out anything important. Unfortunately, they don’t turn up anything more than what they already saw earlier. The amulet itself is mundane in nature, however it was certainly in the vicinity of the preservation spell which was likely cast on the corpse.

As soon as he sees it however, Tremor snatches it away. It seems like only an instant to everyone else at the table, but to Tremor it feels like an eternity as he stares at the dagger etched into the iron pendant.
“This is a thing of evil. You will be familiar with it soon.” – Haunting female voice…
Tremor gets the feeling that the amulet itself is not what she is referring to, but the magic which sits in a web around the iron.

It is far too cold outside, so they decide not to do anything until the next day and they retreat to their rooms for the rest of the night.

* * *

The morning arrives and the weather has cleared substantially. It is still very cold and grey, but it is no longer death weather, as Ladyhawk put so well.

Most of the companions go to Jurdric’s practise, save for Harold who instead goes to Theyne Embermald’s long hall.

Maebh, Tremor, Kel’Serrar and Breanna:
Tremor knocks on the door to the surgery and it is opened by Endric, Doktor Jurdric’s son.
“And what can we do for you today?” – Endric, towering over all four companions. He cannot recognise Kel’Serrar, who has picked a random man of the crew of the Winter Wind to look like today, the better to blend into the townsfolk.
“We would like to inspect the most recent murder victim.” – Maebh, blunt.
“Are you the godsfolk? To take her down to the sea?” – Endric, sceptical.
“No, we are not.” – Tremor, gruff.
“No? Then why are you here to bother the dead?” – Endric, arms crossed.
“We want to examine her to find the killer.” – Maebh.
“I don’t know what kind of heathen traditions you hold to in the south, but we do not do that here. Unless you are here for treatment, clear off.” – Endric.
“I’ll take him out at the kneecaps.” – Wings.
“Looks like a job for the possum.” – LD.
“If you want the killer to be found before he kills more people, you will let us see the body.” – Maebh, with a dangerous gleam in her eye.
Endric gives them a worried look, which grows steadily more concerned as Maebh’s hands start to crackle with power.
“Fine, come on through. Just don’t burn anything.” – Endric, holding the door open.

The body of the girl is laid out upon a stone table. And she is a mess.

Harold Oakenshield inspects each of the murder sites marked on his map. The Invarrian’s powerful nose can pick up the scent of dark magic, but that is just about all he can find. There would appear to be no blood splatters or any signs of struggle in the vicinity of where the bodies were found, which is in keeping with the information they already had.

Unfortunately, Harold is disadvantaged by the fact that the most recent murder was still several nights ago and there has been a lot of wind and snow since the body was moved.

He moves on to Lordshall on the hill to the north-east of the town, thinking to examine the theyne’s personal archive to find any information he can on serial killers in the town’s history.

Maebh, Tremor, Kel’Serrar and Breanna:
The companions start to closely examine the corpse on the stone table. Within moments, they have all uncovered some startling information. Kel’Serrar is able to determine that the magic which permeates the girl’s flesh is preserving in nature, while Breanna recognises that the daemonic energy used to power the spell had an affinity to ice.

Most troubling is Maebh's discovery.
"Whoever did this is formally trained in the arcane." - Maebh, grim.
"Hmm, so a warlock with formal training. There are very few places where one can get training in the black arts, so there's a good chance this person is more than just an amateur warlock. He could be a mage too." - Breanna, arms crossed.

"How long were we on that ship?" - Sins.
"About two months."
"And the first killing was around two months ago... Anyone else picking up on the ice affinity too? Ice-based preserving spells and a massive snowstorm which almost killed us and isolated the town." - Sins.
"It's a bit obvious don't you think?" - Dev.
"Maybe, but it's really bothering me. I'm pretty sure they're connected." - Sins.

The poor girl has been cut from clavicle to navel and her ribcage removed from the body, seemingly without disturbing the rest of the body. It's quite astounding really and great care was taken not to damage anything.

Doktor Jurdric walks in, followed by his apprentice, Welyn, a much shorter, dark-haired man, obviously a Midlander.
"What in all the hells are you doing in here?" - Jurdric, of the companions as soon as his rheumy eyes fall upon them.
"Examining the body." - Maebh, coolly.
"It's okay father, I allowed them in." - Endric, laying a calming hand on his father's shoulder. The old doktor throws the hand off and grumbles about their presence, but says nothing further to them. Welyn approaches the table.
"So, what have you found?" - Welyn, hopeful.
"That's none of your concern." - Maebh.
"I've been trying to piece it all together myself actually. If you tell me what you've found I will share my notes on the other bodies with you. It's the only way you'll find out about them, as they're all at the bottom of the ocean now." - Welyn, helpfully.
"Okay, then. Let's talk." - Tremor.

The companions thank Endric for his time and leave, Welyn leading them to his accommodation.

Approaching Lordshall, Harold is stopped at the top of the stairs by a doorward, a large man clad in heavy leathers and a thick wool and fur cloak. A massive roundshield strapped over his shoulder and a hand on the broadsword at his belt, the doorward is an imposing sight, but Harold has dealt with his kind before.

"Halt! What business does a reaver have in the halls of Southreach royalty?" - Doorward, challenging.
"Does not an Invarrian rule from this hall? Would he not see a kinsman?" - Harold.
"No, the theyne is a Northmann, of one of the purest bloodlines in Unterguardt, not a mere salt-drenched sea-wolf." - Doorward, derisive.
"And neither am I. I am a man of wisdom seeking new knowledge in your lord's hall. I wish to consult his archives." - Harold, lying about not being a salt-drenched sea-wolf. But his motive was honest.
"So you're book-learned?" - Doorward, that derisive tone not leaving his voice.
"Aye, that I am." - Harold.

The Invarrian is shown inside and into the theyne's archive, a large underground room lit only by a single closed lantern on a lonely desk. The theyne's book-keeper is a friendly old man, his grey eyes sunken deep into his skull and his hair long since having abandoned his skull. Despite his friendliness, the book-keeper passes on a grave warning.
"The theyne is not a man of great learning but he treasures his archive. Damage anything and you will pay. And if you cannot pay, you will die." - Book-keeper, patting Harold conciliatorily on the arm.
The Invarrian had seen the massive theyne holding court in the hall as he passed through to the archive, and even from a distance and at rest, the man looked capable of crushing a marcwolf's skull with his bare hands.

"Hey PG, what is the symbol for the doctor here?" - Wings, out of nowhere.
"Uh... an... anchor. Yeah, an anchor."
"Well that doesn't make any less sense than, you know, a snake coiled around a staff or something." - Dev.
"You see, it is seen that those who practise medicine and see to your ailments and illnesses and injuries and the like are your anchor to life itself."
"Well done PG. Wonderful use of improv." - Sins.
"Damn I'm good!" - Laughing, and quoting Ace Ventura.

Maebh, Tremor, Kel’Serrar and Breanna:
It quickly becomes apparent that Welyn is leading the companions to the Irontusk Inn, which naturally the companions cannot enter on pain of death.

Well, Kel'Serrar could easily do so by just taking another identity, which he has practically been doing none stop since he manifested the ability to do so.

And Breanna probably could by a combination of climbing, vaulting and sneaking.

And Tremor could potentially dig a tunnel which came up directly under Welyn's room within the next day.

And Maebh could still set the whole place on fire, teach them a valuable lesson about angering mages with meaningless feuds and damn the consequences.

But none of them do as such, instead having Welyn go in and collect the notes by himself and bring them out to neutral ground.

How's that, the players turned down an opportunity to murder-hobo in a town. Who says PC's can't change their ways?

Upon returning with a selection of notebooks, the companions get a special dispensation from Alrik, the Blackmane barkeep, to allow Welyn to come in an sit in the common room, without need to fear for his personal safety. Alrik agrees, but refuses to serve the man, which Welyn wearily agrees to.

Breanna tells the apprentice doktor of what they found out about the girl, while her other companions pore over Welyn's books. He started his investigations immediately after the first girl was killed. She was an outlander, much like him so his fear at the time was that he was next. The fact that she was his sweetheart and they had travelled south together only made the fear worse. It wasn't long after the murders began that Welyn began to start questioning the possibility of transplants and why the organ of a healthy woman cannot replace the organs of an unhealthy one.

He theorises that the murderer might in fact be that, a woman using the body parts to rejuvenate herself.

He also draws out a worn sulver from his pocket.
"I found this in the snow next to the corpse of the third girl, a 27 year old stablehand from the Irontusk Inn. I knew her, a little, and she was not well-travelled. So it surprised me when I saw where this was minted." - Welyn, passing Tremor the old coin.
Engraved on the back of the coin, the symbol of the Brilliant Towers of Drell.

The foremost centre of magical learning in Norbayne, the Brilliant Towers are an island fortress far to the south. Noble families all over Norbayne often send second sons and the like to the Towers as it brings prestige to the family.

The Towers are more than a school, but are rather a way of life as students are tutored in every portion of how they live their lives. It is a demanding place and few are able to see their education through to the end, but those who do are some of the most focussed and magically powerful beings in the known world.

The apprentice also passes on information they already knew, in that there have never been any tracks around the bodies and that the injuries caused are only those which seem to have been inflicted to obtain whatever parts the killer was after. For example, the only injury inflicted upon the girl who had her face torn off was exactly that, the loss of her face. What actually killed her is still unknown.

The history of the town is very dry reading, and Harold quickly finds himself struggling to stay awake. Strangely enough, even in the official records, the origins of the Blackmane and Irontusk feud are very vague.

As to any mention of historical killings, Urik's Landing, for what it is, has always been reasonably peaceful. Even when it was ruled by the Invarrians, the Landing was still ruled by whoever wielded the biggest sword. And when it wasn't, it was the man who threw the biggest fireballs. Law in the town has always been simple too. If you were wronged, you were fully within rights to go murder them. So for what it was, the town has always been reasonably peaceful.

About a hundred years ago the town tried to secede from the kingdom of Southreach but were unsuccessful. And that's just about it really. No serial killings. Plenty of killing, whether accidental, or condoned vengeance, but no one prowling the streets and preying on the populace.

"No history of serial killers and now they just had five enter... This is going to apocalyptic for them." - Sins.

On the other hand, browsing through a census from over two hundred years ago reveals that Odon the Black was born and lived in the Landing for some time. No information is given, but Harold knows the story well.

Odon the Black was a feared Invarrian sorceror and the subject of many Invarrian bedtime tales. They were some of Harold's favourite stories growing up, but he can't remember much in the way of details now.

"My friend, what do you know of Odon the Black?" - Harold, to the theyne's book-keeper.
"Well, he was born and raised here, but he left after his twentieth nameday and his well-known reign of terror was conducted to the south." - Book-keeper.
"Would any of his own books be found in this archive?" - Harold.
"I rather doubt it, but I will search for you if you would like." - Book-keeper, happy to help.
"That would be great. I will return tomorrow around the same time to see if you have found anything." - Harold, shaking the man's hand and taking his leave. He has devised a plan and needs to fill in his companions.

Maebh, Tremor, Kel’Serrar and Breanna:
"So, Welyn, do you know of any outlanders that may have come from the far south?" - Maebh, turning the coin over in her fingers.
"To my knowledge, there is no one in the town who is actually a Southron. The one name which springs to mind is the theyne's court wizard, Heimdar. He may have been trained at the Towers, but he is from Southreach originally." - Welyn.
"And where are you from?" - Maebh.
"The Gwyrai woods, to the west of your homelands. I have not seen the woods for many years now." - Welyn.
"Well, I hope that one day you get the chance to go back there. Meanwhile, I must go speak with this court wizard." - Maebh, standing to leave.
Breanna and Kel'Serrar make to follow and the three of them turn to see Harold walk into the inn, freshly returned from his library visit. Tremor stays seated to finish his latest alcoholic conquest and Harold joins him, passing the others on his way to the table with a friendly nod.

Maebh, Kel'Serrar and Breanna:
The three companions traipse off to Lordshall and make their way to the top of the stone stairway.
"Well then, more newcomers. This is unusual. State your business." - The doorward, who is still imposing.
It must be said that a lithe and wild-looking Danann and a dark-clad Leathe are not the kind that he would usually be turning away. The rough and ragged sailor Kel'Serrar is impersonating, with exaggerated rolling walk is more the kind he deals with.
"I would see Heimdar the wizard. I wish to know if we were fellow students at the Brilliant Towers." - Maebh, imperiously.
"I will find out if he will see you, stay here." - Doorward, turning his great, fur-covered shoulders and striding into the longhall.
"You studied at the Towers?" - Breanna, whispering, eyes wide.
"No." - Maebh, hissing between her clenched teeth.

The doorward swiftly returns.
"He will not see you. I am sorry." - Doorward, apologetically.
"Why not?" - Maebh, sharp.
"Because he is otherwise engaged and regardless, he is not disposed to open his door to any vagrant who shows up on his doorstep and begs entrance." - The doorward, who then raises his hands innocently. "His words, not mine."
"A moment, please." - Maebh, to the doorward. She then turns her back and beckons her companions in close.
"The way I see it is, we have three options. Option one, we go in there and talk to the jarl and see what he knows and how he can help us. Option two, we leave now, come back tonight and capture the wizard. Or option three, we go in hands blazing." - Maebh, whispering.
"I'm for shanking him in the knee." - Breanna cheerfully.
"Is there any way I can see him? What is his schedule for the day?" - Maebh, turning back to the doorward.
"I rather doubt it. As to his schedule, well he locks himself in his room all day, presumably doing spellwork. He emerges only for food or as commanded by the theyne, who only calls on him sparingly. And then he goes back in, I guess for more spellwork." - Doorward.
"What time does he come out for food?" - Maebh, latching onto an idea.
The doorward names a time in the early evening.
"And I would be allowed into the messhall at this time?" - Maebh, continuing on her track.
"I don't see why not..." - Doorward.
"Excellent. I shall see you then." - Maebh, turning on her heel and returning to the Blackmane Inn.

Breanna and Kel'Serrar exchange concerned looks and follow her back.

* * *

The three return to the inn to find that Welyn has left and that Harold has been trying to discuss the coming move into Nordtarnet with Tremor. The dwarf would usually have been quite attentive to this conversation, but as the days passed found himself growing more and more preoccupied with the knowledge he gleaned from the manuscripts found in the Wolf King's lair.

Script which he could make neither heads nor tails of just weeks ago was suddenly starting to make a very real and frightening sense. He starts to get a feeling that a lot of what he is reading about, all of a sudden, he could do. This scares him a little, as murdering lots of people, raising them from the dead and then taking over large swathes of the countryside had never really occurred to him before. Now though, now, he looks forward to it in a detached kind of way.

The companions eat lunch and discuss their next moves, and it is decided that rumour-mongering is the plan. Harold and Kel’Serrar head to the marketplace to gather some information, Maebh and Breanna to the gates to talk to the guards and Tremor to Lordshall.

"Another stranger. What is your business here?" - Doorward, surprised.
"I wish to see the court wizard." - Tremor, gruff.
"You are not the first to seek audience with him today. He is unlikely to agree to a meeting." - Doorward, frowning.
"Tell him I have some scrolls of an unknown nature that I would like him to have a look at." - Tremor.
The guard nods and turns to enter the hall, but abruptly stops and turns back to Tremor.
"And where did you find these scrolls?" - Doorward, curious.
"In the highest tower of an undead mad king to the south." - Tremor, truthfully.
"I see." - Doorward, eyes widening.
The guard is gone for only a short moment before returning.
"Master Heimdar will see you immediately." - Doorward, showing Tremor in.

The court wizard's personal quarters are a small annex off the northern wing of the hall. Upon being led through a carefully engraved wooden door, Tremor takes in a sparsely furnished room. The one concession to vanity is a large mirror on the wall across from the doorway, its frame carved with intricate runes.

Tremor's vision snaps back and again he can see the great burning pine before him.
"THERE!" - The mysterious female voice.
The Dwergar gets the feeling she is pointing accusingly at the runes before them. He has only a split second to ponder this before he is snapped back into the real world, the after image of the burning pine imprinted on his mind.

Heimdar himself is small for a Northmann, a situation not helped by the way he stoops. He looks more ancient than he is, in part due to the long grey beard which obscures most of his face and trails down to mid-chest. He is clad in a long dark grey robe of coarse wool.

The wizard gives Tremor a strange look as the Dwergar's eyes clear. It takes a moment for him to blink away the effects of the vision, but is soon able to see Heimdar standing next to his desk, a sturdy wooden affair covered in arcane manuscripts.

The wizard extends a hand in greeting and the dwarf hurries forward to shake it.
"Well met, my name is Barandin Stonefist." - Tremor, hiding his true identity.
"Stonefist eh? Cousin to the Ironfists... Well I wouldn't go north my friend, it is a bad time for your family up there by all the accounts which have come south. May I offer you a drink and a seat?" - Heimdar, in a friendly manner.
The wizard calls in a servant to attend their needs, bringing a wooden chair for Tremor and then two flagons of mead from the theyne's cellar.

"So, let's get down to business. You have some things you wish me to look at, and I very much would like to see them. I hear something about an undead king?" - Heimdar, cradling his flagon.
"Aye, an ancient kingdom in the Midlands whose king had come back to wreak vengeance upon the living. We slew him and I raided his library." - Tremor, setting his flagon down and pulling forth the scrolls from his backpack.
"Ah, now these are interesting." - Heimdar, taking the scrolls from Tremor and examining them one at a time.
For his part, the Dwergar enjoys his mead and is drawn over and over again to the runes around the frame of the mirror. His mind starts to wander and he can hear the very faintest of otherworldly screams. In his current state, to Tremor it sounds like the screams are coming from within the mirror. Blue flames rush across the surface of the reflection then and he gasps.

The apparition vanishes, and the mirror's reflection is as it should be.

"I said is anything wrong?" - Heimdar, concerned. Tremor notices that the wizard has set the scroll aside and is looking worriedly at the dwarven engineer.
"Aye, nothing the matter. I was just admiring your mirror. I am a runecrafter myself you see and I am impressed by the craftsmanship on display there." - Tremor.
"The mirror is a family heirloom of mine. I must confess I have no idea what purpose they serve, but I keep the mirror as it reminds me of my family, of whom I have nothing else left." - Heimdar, taking another draught of mead.
"I see. Now, would you happen to know about a burning pine?" - Tremor, fishing for information.
Any warmth on the man's face, of which there was very little to begin with, flees.
"The symbol of the one the peoples of Norbayne called the Witch-Queen of the North, Kresimina. Centuries ago, Kresimina sought out the secrets of an endless life, specifically a life in which time could not diminish her beauty nor her power. None can say for certain whether she achieved that goal or not, as she just disappeared from all records. She is considered a figure of dread in the histories and legends of many northern kingdoms." - Heimdar, gravely.
"I saw a mention of it on a tapestry in the south and had no idea what it referred to." - Tremor, lying again.
"Hmm, interesting that relics of her reign have drifted so far. Her predations were restricted to the very northern kingdoms of Norbayne. If ever you come across that tapestry again, I would be very willing to buy it from you." - Heimdar.
"We did not take it with us unfortunately, but I do have some other pieces which might interest you." - Tremor, fishing out the Slates of Anagas from his pack.

One of the pieces which was taken from the Wolf King's library, this set of carved shale slates is contained in an engraved pewter cover. Despite the sheer amount of work which went into carving the stone with the tightly packed runes, the volume appears to be illegible gibberish.
"Oh my, this is something indeed." - Heimdar, running a hand appraisingly over the engravings on the cover.
"Taken from the same king's personal library. I have no knowledge of the language they are written in." - Tremor, finishing his mead.
"I am very interested in this. May I keep it? For now of course. I think I may be able to decipher it, though it would take some time to do so. I would be willing to pay obviously." - Heimdar, engrossed in the carvings.
"Yes, if I can get a copy of the translation when you are done." - Tremor, haggling.
They settle on Tremor providing the scrolls and Slates of Anagas for Heimdar's research. In return he receives 26 sulvers, a promise that he will receive a translated copy when the work is done, and the opportunity to copy down the runes around Heimdar's mirror.
Both men feel confident that they have come out first in this deal.

Before leaving, Tremor extracts a pledge that the translations of the scrolls will be complete within the week.

Maebh and Breanna:
The two girls head to the guards at the gatehouse and are generally unsuccessful, the guards here proving to be a rather close-mouthed lot, unlike their kin in other lands. They do stress the danger of being outside the walls after dark.

A large creature stalks the marshes to the north, preying on the hamlets and their livestock. Just a few nights past, a girl was killed and her father mauled and left in a death-like sleep.

"It never rains, it pours." - Sins.

Harold and Kel'Serrar:
Harold and Kel'Serrar on the other hand have more luck rumour-mongering in the market, and quickly deduce that the common folk generally still believe that Welyn, the friendly apprentice doktor, is to blame for the murders. Lately though, public opinion is starting to shift towards him due to his open and friendly nature.

There is also a lot of talk about the creature terrorising the outlying hamlets.

The companions return to the Blackmane Inn to discuss their next move. It is late afternoon and the weak sunlight is starting to fade in the sky.
"I have a strong feeling that the wizard up in Lordshall is the one we should be following up on." - Maebh, nursing a flagon of water.
"Well I just gave him some stuff I needed translated, so you can't kill him for a week." - Tremor, brooking no argument.
"I have made a promise that I would meet him this evening." - Maebh.
"Promise? Threat more like." - Breanna, laughing and drawing a friendly swipe from Maebh.
"Whatever. My point is, I can hardly back down on this now." - Maebh, turning her attention back to Tremor.
"I need that stuff translated. Leave him be for a week. You can kill him after that if you must." - Tremor, taking a drink.
"I do have a plan to try and draw out this murderer." - Harold, leaning across the table.
"Yes, what is this plan?" - Breanna, eating a peach.
"Well, as we have seen, Kel'Serrar here is quite adept at changing his face." Harold, turning to Kel'Serrar, who has taken on the shape and form of yet another Northmann sailor from the ship which brought them to Urik's Landing. "How would you like to be bait?"
"I'm sorry, what?" - LD.
"Yeah, don't worry LD I heard 'baked' too." - Ladyhawk.
"As did I. I was just trying to figure out if he meant marijuna or just cooking Kel'Serrar into a pie.
'You know how you can change your appearance? Well good, I want you to turn into pastry goodness."
"Not greatly, but then I do rarely like your plans so it is no worse than usual." - Kel'Serrar, sardonic.
"Good, then I believe you should change your appearance into that of a human woman and go out onto the street tonight to see what comes up." - Harold, ignoring the pessimism.
"This is an absolutely awful plan and I will make your life hell for this." - Kel'Serrar, resigned.
"So, no worse than usual. We are agreed that we will do this?" - Harold, getting one back on the surly ranger.
"If it is the wizard and he does come out, can we kill him then Tremor?" - Maebh.
"Yes, if he attacks one of us, then yes. He's fair game." - Tremor, shrugging.

* * *

And so that sees Kel'Serrar, in the guise of Dhara Silverwood standing on the main street outside the Blackmane Inn, looking nervously at every shadow and fingering the knife at his/her belt. All of his/her other weapons were left inside the inn, much to Kel'Serrar's consternation.

All around him, the rest of his companions lie in wait, ready to spring into action should something assault the ranger/damsel.

A sound comes from an alleyway further into the town and behind the Irontusk Inn, but even Kel'Serrar's sharp ears cannot pick up what it is. He/she is on edge, when a small black cat emerges from around the corner of the Irontusk Inn. The cat takes one look at the lonely woman standing on the street and bolts away into the shadows.

Almost an hour passes with no more disturbance, as Kel'Serrar paces up and down the street. His companions have hunkered down and are doing their best to stay warm, but it is a futile effort. The ice has solidified in both Harold's and Breanna's fur and Tremor's beard is practically shimmering in the waning moonlight. Only Maebh seems relatively unaffected, still and silent in the shadow of a house and shrouded in dark furs.

A guardsman bearing a torch and covered in so many furs that he approaches at a waddle more than a walk comes down from the north gate.
"Lass, what are you- It's not safe out here! You'll catch your death of cold!" - Guardsman, concerned.
"Not at all. Just taking the night air for a short while." - Kel'Serrar, who gives an unconscious shiver.
"But is freezing out here! I must insist you go in. I don't mean to scare you, but besides the cold, the Landing isn't safe for women after dark." - Guardsman, still concerned.
"I will go in shortly, I can look after myself." - Kel'Serrar, dismissing him.
The guardsman keeps walking down to the docks, looking back over his shoulder at the ranger/damsel and muttering under his breath. Naturally he now believes that Kel'Serrar is both the killer and some ancient monster incapable of feeling the depths of winter's chill. Well he would, if the person he had dealings with looked anything like Kel'Serrar, but they didn't. So, in fact, his suspicions are actually directed at Dhara handily enough.

Kel'Serrar decides that if there is no more action in the next two hours, he is going to make his way into the Irontusk Inn and find a room there where the rest of the party cannot follow. That'll teach them to make him disguise himself as a woman and then freeze to death in the main street.

Naturally, Kel'Serrar is nowhere near as heavily protected from the cold as he should be. After all, the bait has to look appetizing, and no ball of fur has ever exactly looked stylish and attractive.

This of course, only fuels Kel'Serrar's contempt.

* * *

An hour passes and the guard returns on his route. He nods at the ranger/damsel, makes a sign to ward against evil an hurries away. The cat does not return, much to Breanna's disappointment.

The second hour passes and the guard does not return.

It is very cold and very dark, and the companions who have been lying in wait are starting to get impatient. Unable to take the waiting much longer, Tremor stands and heads down to the wharf, where the guard was last seen walking towards. The Dwergar, despite his keen eyesight in the dark can see no trace of the guardsman. In fact, there does not seem to be any trace of guards anywhere around the town, nor any signs of struggle.

Kel'Serrar follows Tremor down to the wharf and just as he steps onto the wooden pier, there is a flash of cold blue light on the ground beneath his feet.
Willpower Check to resist the spell's effects. It is failed. In response, Sins asks if he can cast a single spell with instantaneous casting time in the split second before the spell takes effect. I put it down to an Initiative Check, which is passed, thanks to the re-roll garnered from doing the homework I set everyone. See guys? Advantages aplenty!

The sky begins to glow overhead, revealing much of what had been hidden just moments before. The shadows most of the companions are using for concealment, suddenly offer nothing in the silvery glow. Even Breanna's Shadowskin fails her, rippling across her flesh in the light before she dispels it with a sigh.

The collective gaze of the companions is drawn to where Kel'Serrar stands on the pier, rooted to the spot. Faint tendrils of ice-blue magic are entwined around his/her legs, preventing the ranger/damsel from moving. Maebh and Breanna hurry over to their trapped companion and start to study the spell holding him/her.

Breanna immediately smells the acrid tang of daemonic energy, a large amount of which was used to power this spell. It bears the same hallmarks as the power used to fuel the preservation spells woven into the corpses too, although the daemon bound by the caster was a different individual.

Maebh on the other hand, is able to determine more. First, that this was a trap, and one of many set up around the town, a snare for the hunter to return to at its leisure. Secondly, that the one who cast this spell was a master. A mere journeyman would have been unable to prevent the spell from loosening a crack when it was triggered, a sharp noise which would draw attention. The fact that this caster was able to fold the spell in on itself the way they did suggests that the caster is a very powerful and learned individual. In fact, the flash of light which they had all noticed was only caused by a reaction with Kel'Serrar's active glamer, the field of energy suffusing the disguised Danann's flesh clashing with the paralysing ward he stepped upon. Even now, paralysed on the pier, his disguise starts to fail, the glamer retreating up his legs slowly.

"Are you kidding me? Helpless again?" - Sins.

We broke here for lunch.

"So, the plan guys?"
"The plan has gone horribly!" - Dev.
"As to be expected!" - Sins.

They perform Search Checks and Wings rolls a 1.
"There are no individuals hiding in the area."
"What? With a 1, how could I not find them?" - Wings.
"Well it is hard to find people if there is no one there, no matter how hard you look..."

The conversation then turns to the trap, which has claimed one of the companions...

"So, this thing is a trap which has been set to allow the person who set it to come back and retrieve the body when no one's around?" - Ladyhawk.
"Aye, that makes sense."
"So why don't these people just yell for help?" - Ladyhawk.
"Sins, do you want to try to yell for help?"
"I'm completely paralysed. That's going to stop vocalisation, right?" - Sins.
"That's right I'm afraid."
"Oh right." - Ladyhawk.
"So, you know, I'd really appreciate it if you could get me out before I suffocate guys..." - Sins.
"Oh, no injuries! They suffocated to death?" - Ladyhawk.
I give a raised eyebrow, but do not confirm.
"Well... I guess we can test it..." - Dev, laughing.
"You leave me to die in this trap and I will haunt your ass for the rest of your existence. And I'll do it in the shape of Chirya, just to piss you off." - Sins.

Concentrating on the task at hand, Maebh reaches out and grasps Kel'Serrar's shoulder. It takes a bit of mental straining, but eventually the strangling touch of the dark magic dissipates and Kel'Serrar is freed.

"Okay, that's enough for me. I shall see you all in the morning." - Kel'Serrar, brushing himself off before heading across to the Irontusk Inn.
The ranger knocks upon the door to the inn and eventually an old man in his bedclothes opens the door, a candle burning fitfully in his hand.
"What? Do you know-? It's late and- What do you want?" - Old man, having been awoken from his sleep, is not impressed with his newest customer.
"I wish for shelter this night. I can pay." - Kel'Serrar, still disguised as Dhara.
He is admitted in, the old man figuring that it is better to take the money and let the poor girl in than leave her out in the cold. Kel'Serrar is required to print his name in the ledger on the front bar and uses Dhara's name, intending to screw her over on the off chance she visits Urik's Landing in the future.

"Well, we've failed, **** it. Let's go inside." - Harold.
He leaves for the Blackmane Inn while Tremor, Maebh and Breanna have one last look around before going in. The others are largely unsuccessful, but examining the ground near to where Kel'Serrar was trapped, Tremor feels his vision go strange again.
"Oh, well in that case I'll make a Perception Check too then to look around." - Dev, rolling.
"But you're already inside!" - LD, laughing.
"You realise that what you'll turn up is something like, 'My God, the man in that painting over there has a foot' right?" - Ladyhawk.
"Stuff it, I'm still rolling." - Harold.
He discovers that the common room of the Blackmane Inn has been cleaned very recently.
"Has the floor been bleached? Cause if so, bang! There's been a murder!" - LD.
"Bleach? Here in Skyrim? I don't think so." - Ladyhawk.
"I need some bleach, some hydrogen peroxide and a ****load of lime."
The Dwergar stares at the ground beneath his feet and to his magically altered sight, the snow starts to melt away, revealing a fleshless skull, grinning up at him. His vision returns to normal and the skull is gone, replaced by the ever-present northern snow.

On his hands and knees, Tremor starts to shovel the snow away with his hands, and there, sitting on the ground before him, is the same grinning skull. It looks like it has been sitting there for several months now, and he realises that it isn't entirely fleshless, little scraps of blackened skin clinging to the blood-slicked bone.
"What have you found?" - Maebh, standing over Tremor's shoulder.
"A skull." - Tremor, gruff.

Tremor takes the skull in his hand and withdraws it, feeling slight resistance. He figures that in pulling it free, he has detached it from the rest of the corpse. The Dwergar opens the drawstring to his head-pouch, in which the severed head of Wilmund Brewer rests, and deposits the skull inside.

"Can you send the ranger a message?" - Tremor, standing and addressing Maebh.
"Yes, what do you need?" - Maebh, starting to shiver in the cold.

In his room, Kel'Serrar is warming himself by a fire and trying to get over the fear he felt while paralysed by the trap when he hears Maebh's voice on a light breeze which blows through underneath his door.
"Come back out, Tremor needs to speak with you." - Maebh whispering wind.
Kel'Serrar has no inclination to do so, but no means of responding.
"I'll deal with it in the morning." - Kel'Serrar, who settles down to sleep.

"He's not coming." - Breanna, after waiting for almost twenty minutes.
"I've got this." - Maebh, who calls up a significant amount of power. This time, she casts the same spell, but overloads it.

Kel'Serrar is awoken by a screaming wind blowing through under his door.
"I said come back out, Tremor needs to speak with you!" - Maebh, in what Ladyhawk described as a 'shouty voice.'

They wait for the ranger to emerge, but have no luck. He's not coming back out again tonight. Together, Breanna and Tremor talk Maebh down and they others traipse back to the Blackmane Inn after an unsuccessful night. All the companions avail themselves of a hot bath before bed though, the better to regain some of their lost body heat.

Back soon...

2015-04-22, 12:52 PM
We're back! :smallbiggrin:

The companions awaken in the early morning. It is overcast and miserable, but not unbearable. Kel'Serrar has changed his appearance again, no longer Dhara but now some random he glimpsed in Summer Hill.

"Not sure what exactly our leads are..." - Ladyhawk.
"We do have two main suspects at this point." - Sins.
"Yes, the apprentice doktor, Welyn, who has been quite helpful-"
"Nice guy." - Sins, interrupting.
"Let's kill him." - LD, rubbing her hands together.
"Yes, that would be entirely within our M.O." - Dev, to laughter.
"You also have evidence which suggests that the perpetrator is magically powerful and well-educated. And there is at least one man, to your knowledge, who fits that bill."
"Hmm, the court wizard. Well, that's it. I'm going after him." - Ladyhawk.

Harold sits alone out on the porch of the Blackmane Inn, seeing to the maintenance of his armoury of weapons. He has awoken before most of the town and is enjoying the peace and quiet. Bach sits beside him, feasting on a side of mutton. It has been a few days since the marcwolves have been out, and surprisingly both Bach and Wolfgang have enjoyed their time in the snow. The most amazing thing however is just how fast the cub-pups have grown. Both are by now, around the size of a common woodwolf.

While sitting there, the Invarrian is a approached by a small man in drab grey homespun clothing.
"My lord, Book-keeper Harris has completed your request and is awaiting your presence up at Lordshall." - Servant, bowing.
"Thank you. Please inform him I will be along shortly." - Harold, standing up before leading Bach back to the stables.
So much for enjoying a rest...

Sitting at a table in the Blackmane Inn, the companions discuss their next moves. They decide to split up at this stage. Harold is to go to the theyne's archives to find out what he can about Odon. Tremor, armed with his newly-discovered skull, heads off to the doktor once more, accompanied by Kel'Serrar. Maebh meanwhile heads on up to Lordshall to confront Heimdar Iceblood, who she has decided ought to be investigated a little more closely. Breanna goes with her.

Having already eaten breakfast, Harold leaves the Blackmane Inn before the rest of his companions and arrives up at Lordshall eager to find out what he can about the mighty Odon the Black.

Upon entering the archive, he discovers that Odon the Black was an absolute nutcase of the highest order. Harris has written down every reference to Odon he could find in print for Harold and the duellist spends a fair bit of time reading what he can and then being completely astounded.

According to the book, Odon was born over two hundred years ago. There were a few incidents in his youth, but none quite so disturbing as what he did to a poor lad named Oric, who had the misfortune of making an enemy of the black-furred Invarrian. One night, Odon crept into the house of Oric's family and killed his cat, a creature the whole family treasured. While horrible, this was hardly the end of the carnage that night, as Odon magically bound Oric's family, raised the cat and had it kill the boy in front of them. This was at seven years of age.
"Mother of God..." - Dev.
"Holy hell..." - Ladyhawk.
"This guy was really ****ing nuts guys." - Can't say I didn't warn them.

Tremor and Kel'Serrar:
The two companions walk to the doktor's for what seems like the hundredth time over the last few days. The door is opened, as always by Endric, Jurdric's son.
"Ah yes, master dwarf. And... I do not recognise your friend. Anyway, what is the matter today?" - Endric, reasonably friendly and not recognising Kel'Serrar. At this point even I have forgotten what he looks like today.
"Nothing the matter, I'd just like to speak to apprentice Welyn please." - Tremor, reasonably friendly himself.
It's still early after all.
"Ah yes, he's down the hall and to the left, seeing to the stores." - Endric, showing the two companions through.

"Ah Tremor! And... I don't know you... Anyway, what can I do for you?" - Welyn, looking up from arranging herbs for later use.
"I was wondering, were there any missing people reported before you arrived?" - Tremor.
"I have no idea. I haven't heard anything about it, no." - Welyn.
"Right. And were there any others who arrived with you when you came here?" - Tremor.
"Well no, only myself and Berrilyn made that trip and actually stayed here in town. Everyone else went south by sea or on to the capital." - Welyn.
"Hmm, well, do you know who this is?" - Tremor, pulling the head from his bag.
"By the gods, what is that?" - Welyn, horrified.
"It's a skull... Oh bugger, sorry. Wrong head. Can't believe we didn't end up being paid for this..." - Tremor, who had accidentally pulled out Wilmund Brewer's head.
You know, the BBEG from Arc 2 who was decapitated by Tremor at the end of that arc?
"Sorry, do you know who THIS is?" - Tremor, pulling out the recently discovered skull.
"You carry severed heads around!? Are you-? Never mind, let me look at it then." - Welyn, still horrified.
The apprentice takes the skull gingerly from Tremor and inspects it.

"What can you tell us?" - Kel'Serrar.
"Well , this here is a male, approximately fifty years old. Probably died around two and a half months ago, maybe longer. Reasonably well preserved. I assume you found it in a snowdrift?" - Welyn, who had begun to lose some of his professional detachment after the shock of Tremor pulling severed head out of his bag.
Tremor nods by way of response.
"Interesting." - Welyn, who has started to look at the head more like a puzzle and less like a mouldering skull.

Maebh and Breanna:
"Now Breanna, I'd prefer if this didn't turn into an all-out brawl with fire and death flying everywhere." - Maebh, quietly as they walk down the street towards Lordshall.
"So we're talking to him first then?" - Breanna, fingers tapping the hilts of her knives.
"Yes, but we'll take no chances." - Maebh.

They approach the doorward, who does not appear to be too happy to see them.
"So, what is your business here today? Are you still looking for the wizard?" - Doorward, who makes the mistake of meeting Maebh's gaze.
"These are not the droids you are looking for..." - Ladyhawk as she rolls her Hypnosis Check.
The guard's eyes lose just a little brightness and he stops his fidgeting and Maebh knows that he is hers.
"Brilliant. You are doing an excellent job at your normal duties. You will forget we were here... Back in a minute." - Maebh, beckoning a stunned Breanna to follow her into the hall.
"Whoa, that was awesome." - Breanna, under her breath and grinning at the mage.

The mess hall stretches before them, a massive oaken dining table taking pride of place right down the centre of the room. On either side of the table are rows of chairs and at either end, fire pits. Beyond the table are three stone steps leading to a slightly raised platform, upon which a large throne sits upon many animal pelts. On the wall above the throne, a huge bear's head is mounted, the head longer than Breanna is tall.

On the throne sits an absolutely massive blond-haired man, clad in rune-encrusted steel armour. At his side, resting against the arm of the throne is the largest battleaxe either Breanna or Maebh have ever seen and it glows with fell power.

"What are you doing here?" - Theyne Embermald, not unkindly.
"Hi... Do you have a moment to discuss our lord and saviour?" - LD, laughing.
"We are here to talk with your court wizard." - Maebh, taking charge.
"And my doorward just let you in?" - Embermald, troubled.
"Yes, he didn't have any problems with it at all." - Maebh, gritting her teeth.
"Well, if you have an appointment, he's through there and good luck to you." - Embermald, shrugging his massive shoulders and pointing to a doorway to his left.
"So we have your permission to go see him?" - Maebh.
"If you have an appointment, you don't need my permission. My permission would hardly make him talk to you if he doesn't want to anyway." - Embermald, growing impatient.
"So you're giving us permission?" - Maebh.
"Don't do this Ladyhawk, just go through and see the wizard if you have to." - Dev, getting worried.
"Just ****ing go in there already!" - Embermald, ticked off.
"Taking that as a yes. Let's go Bree." - Maebh, heading through the doorway to Iceblood's personal quarters.

The two girls open the carefully engraved wooden door, and take in the room. Heimdar is sitting at his desk, which is a horribly cluttered affair, marking down notes from a familiar looking book onto a fresh scroll.

Upon walking into the room, Maebh's eyes are drawn immediately to the mirror on the far wall, or more specifically, the runes adorning the frame. She instinctively knows that the runes are activated by a combination of an incantation and a blood tithe. She stores that knowledge away from Tremor.

"The hell are you doing in here?" - Heimdar, furious at being interrupted.
"I have the theyne's permission to come and see you." - Maebh, smug.
"Damn it all, I told him I don't want visitors. Can we make this quick?" - Heimdar, off-hand.
"Okay, what do you know about the murders in this town?" - Maebh, cutting to the chase.
"I know nothing about the murders in this town." - Heimdar, way too fast.
"Hmm, fine. Aren't you supposed to be translating the scrolls before the slates though?" - Maebh, playing her trump card. Turns out Tremor told her about that before they used Kel'Serrar as bait.
The wizard stops and deliberately closes the slates over, very carefully. He looks straight into the mage's eyes, and his glare softens.
"Perfect..." - Heimdar, almost imperceptibly.
Then his gaze hardens once more.
"I can promise you this, and you can tell your hairy friend this too! I shall not continue translating one more damned thing until I get his word of honour that his spies and snoops will leave me well enough alone!" - Heimdar, angrily.
"Well, we are not his spies, and so I don't really care if you uphold your bargain with him or not. What I do care about is searching your room, so you go back to work while I look through your belongings, okay?" - Maebh, arrogant.

Wordlessly, the wizard opens the slates once more and gets back to work while Maebh and Breanna start to riffle through his stuff. They determine swiftly that, although they cannot determine the purpose of much of the equipment, it must be used in his magical research. Judging by all the notes lying around, Heimdar must be an avid and dedicated, if not renowned, scholar of the magical arts.

Maebh purposely pushes a steel instrument off the edge of the desk and lets it clatter to the floor. The wizard looks up at her angrily, and Maebh pounces, holding his gaze. There is a prolonged battle of wills as the two mages mentally war against each other before Maebh can feel him slip, just slightly, under her power. She knows, however, that her hold on him is tenuous and she cannot push too hard or he will snap out of it.

"Tell me, how much do you know about the murders around the town?" - Maebh, again cutting straight to the point.
"I know nothing." - Heimdar, straining under the pressure.
"He knows everything." - Breanna, to Maebh.
"I know nothing. I do my work in here, I spend as little time amongst the peasants out there as possible and then I come back in here to continue my work and further my studies." - Heimdar, straining.
"Do you own any coins from the Brilliant Towers?" - Maebh, probing further.
"Of course I do, I was trained there." - Heimdar.
"Would anyone else in this town have coins from the Towers?" - Maebh.
"How the ruddy hell would I know? I don't go looking in other peoples' purses!" - Heimdar, angrily.
Maebh can feel her control slipping. She doesn't have him for long.
"Would anyone other than yourself have access to your quarters?" - Maebh.
"Not without my permission!" - Heimdar, roaring angrily.
He storms to his feet.
"You come into my living quarters uninvited and unannounced! I have answered your questions, though you have shown me nothing but rudeness and hurled accusations! Leave now!" - Heimdar, furious.
"I have my suspicions. I want to find out who's killing these poor girls and at the moment, you're the prime suspect!" - Maebh, refusing to back down.

She and Breanna are both taken by surprise therefore when strands of cold, ice-blue magic erupt from Heimdar's hands and wrap around the two of them. Both Breanna and Maebh strain against the magic and are able to break free, but it costs them valuable time.

Unfortunately, Heimdar is now between both of them and the door to get out.
"Between you and the possum you wish to throw at him?" - Sins, a callback.

Trapped by the wizard and with no time to consider and fancy combat manoeuvres or casting, the girls respond to the magical assault in the only way they really can.

Breanna goes for the knees and Maebh the head as they tackle the stooped old man to the ground, slamming him painfully into the stone flags on the floor.

He is badly hurt, but not so much that he isn't able to take his own vengeance. There is a deafening burst of magic as Breanna and Maebh are essentially thrown off him with enough force to send them flying into the ceiling. Both of them come back down onto the stone floor hard, badly bruised. Their flesh where they made contact with wizard is badly burnt, blackened as if by ice and Breanna is bleeding from a cut to the back of her head where she cracked it against the wooden ceiling. Maebh on the other hand can feel a sharp pain in her back and has a cracked rib.

Painfully, Heimdar picks himself up off the floor as Breanna and Maebh struggle to breath. The wizard ignores them both and walks to his mirror where he mutters some incomprehensible words and then cuts his hand on the edge of the frame, smearing his blood on the runes. He disappears.

"You guys all hear the explosion when Heimdar blows them into the ceiling. What are you going to do?"
"It's an obvious distraction. Obviously, we need to head towards the obvious distraction." - Sins.
"Yeah run towards it." - Dev.

It isn't long before Harold arrives at the door and helps the injured girls to their feet.
"What the hell happened?" - Harold.
"Tackled... Explosive..." - Breanna, straining. Maebh's still not in much shape to talk.
"Right... Where's the explosive?" - Harold, looking around frantically.
"In... Mirror..." - Breanna, heaving in air.
Harold stalks over to the mirror. He can see the smear of blood on the runes and smell the brimstone in the air.
"This is going to hurt like buggery isn't it?" - Harold, to himself before slashing his hand on the mirror's frame and smearing the runes.
There was a collective intake of breath before:
"We can't let him do this alone. I'm going in too." - Ladyhawk.

Kel'Serrar and Tremor:
Hearing the explosion, the two companions hurtle out of the doktor's with no explanation. Intrigued, Welyn tags along too, but is outstripped by even Tremor, who can actually maintain a fair pace if he tries.

They pass the doorward on their way in to hall, who half-heartedly attempts to stop them, but they have already stormed into the messhall before he finishes his challenge. The theyne simply looks up from the scroll he is reading and points towards the court wizard's quarters.
"That way." - Embermald, pointing.
"I love this guy! That's how you run a town! When crazed citizens rush in and interrupt your reading, just direct them to the nearest explosion and set them loose. This guy is brilliant!" - Sins, who summed up the party's impression of the the