Little 'n' Large

A Grand Finale
Session 38

Victorious, the Little and the Large now can claim as their trophy the Crown of Swords, the strange diadem rumoured to have once been carried by one of the Nine. Upon later examination, this mysterious artefact does not seem to possess any particular powers, yet for some reason it was highly sought after by the fiendish five and their mysterious, still unseen patron…

The combat between the Band of (formerly) 5 and the Little and the Large may have been the showpiece battle of the Small Melee, but the true substance of the tournament is yet to come: the Grand Melee, in which all the teams participate, vieing for the ultimate prize that is the favour of Queen Giselda and the unsurpassing prestige of being nominated a Dragonrider!

While such gifts are ultimately beyond the reach of our heroes (and, perhaps, beyond their desires as well), the Little and the Large are in the position to play the proverbial kingmaker, influencing which noble houses may gain these favours. The final melee is prefaced by bouts between different teams: this performance will dictate the composition of the climatic battle. As tradition dictates the participating teams are now divided between two sides, one headed by the winners of the Small Melee tournament. The most honourable and distinguished combatant of the Grand Melee shall be appointment Dragonrider, while their counterpart in the loosing side will be awarded a favour by the queen.

Since in effect both trophies are limited to prominent members of the ruling noble dynasties (and influenced by various factions by and behind the throne), careful strategising is in order to ensure not only that a friendly noble shall become Dragonrider, but that the favour will be dispensed to a house not aligned against the party. The Little and the Large pick Uther von Scrauben, a priest of Bahamut that has impressed the party with his most un-aristocratic humility and ethics as their champion for Dragonrider. By carefully selecting which houses and teams are one their side, the Little and the Large put together a fearsome batallion.

Individual clashes now proceed between the teams engaged in the chaotic grand melee. The Little and the Large are able to eliminate some of the strengths that stand on the opposing sides, though decisive knock-outs of major opponents elude them. Sabina, who has naturally come to fight on the side of the Little and the Large, performs less fortunately, almost loosing the entirety of her own team. Some pep-talk between the rounds mamanges to cheer her up, however.

Then comes the moment of final glory: charging across the tournament field the two sides, one marshalled by the Little and the Large, the other spear-headed by Ambroce von Strauben, Uther’s haughty and less-than-friendly brother, clash violent against each other. The situation is vastly complicated by the presence of the menacing Sir Hellstrom on the party’s side; should the Little and the Large win this encounter there is every danger that Hellstrom, whose sinister patron’s allegiances are suspect, might claim the title of the Dragonrider! Far in the background lurks Vicount Verdun, who has for, ah, “tactical reasons” decided to hang back from the turbulent struggle.

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Battlefield strategems come into good use among those somewhat braver, however, as careful positioning of the troops isolates Hellstrom at one flank; in the end, overwhelmed by the opposition like a great bear taken down by yipping dogs, the vanquished form of Hellstrom falls to the ground with a hollow clang, the violent discharges of electric energy that surround his armour temporarily abating. Elsewhere the enemy is routed and even Ambroce must yield the field; the full glory of this segment of the tournament belongs to the party, as do the numerous cash prizes that come with it. Uther’s proclamation as Dragonrider is surely a victory for justice, and even the other von Straubens may content with royal favour. The party hopes this will help to stabilise the turbulent political situation in the kingdom.

The party has only a few moments to enjoy the fruits of victory (and to make certain purchases from purveyors of magical items!) before Pehr von Kurnerstadt, the Hand of the Queen, request their presence. Aware that the party is ready to move against the Necrocount, he reveals to them a vital piece of information: the Necrocount’s vampire mistress Lady Ferranifer has been sighted in small hamlet only a few hours griffon ride away. This is an unprecedented opportunity to capture and interrogate one of Necrosha’s movers and shakers!

Our heroes naturally jump at the opportunity and are soon heading to the south-east. As the moon rises on the midnight sky, the party locates the inn at which the vampire lady is holding court with her wight bodyguards. Quickly rushing the building, the surprise grants the party the momentum that carries the night. Struggling and and filled with wrathful spite though she may be, Ferrenifer is now at their mercy.

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Band of Brothers?
Session 37

The party walk through the doorway, ready to face the Red Arcanists, but are interrupted by a voice from the viewing gallery indicating a 15 minute delay.

Max is taken aside by Per Mertesacker and is informed that the Band of Four is now the Band of Five again, as they have had a mysterious Bladeling join them. We are offered our choice of assistance. Max mentions Hollan, who joins us for the fight.

The Red Arcanists clamber up onto some platforms above the arena which also features teleportation portals to take you on or off those platforms. Max opens an arcane gate at the first opportunity, through which the party erupts cutting a pair of the arcanists off from their chosen teleportation portal and leaving them to the fate of being knocked about by the party. The floor starts emitting poisonous gas, then floods with water. as the fight continues. Theorn manages to knock one of the Arcanists prone under water to make her surrender, whilst Pennyworth mind-controls a different wizard, causing no end of hilarity. (Encounter 1)

The_Red_Arcanists.jpg

We win through comfortably and reach the final, which will announce the start of the Grand Melee, the next morning.

Overnight, we discover that we must pick the sides for the Melee with the Band of Five, by selecting teams based on which members of the Nine they have pledged to. Max and Pennyworth persuade Sabine to enter, as part of the Melded One.

Pennyworth goes to meet Ser Cog and his owner, and following discussions finds out that he needs to travel to the north west to the land beyond Hyrcana where the Dwarves who constructed him may live. Pennyworth also reveals that he knows Ser Cog is not a member of the Fist of Karak-Azad. Instead, Pennyworth inducts Ser Cog into the brotherhood of the Green Flame, which Ser Cog accepts, but shuts down to assimilate the changes.

Max goes to speak to Verdum and meets an Illithid ambassador who he/she talks to psychically. Max and Verdum have a discussion and discover that The Von Osterhagens are fighting against the Schraubers politically and this may impact on the Melee tomorrow.

We end up selecting a combat strong, Politics weak team including Ser Cog’s owner. This should enable us to win both the most honourable fighter award and the grand melee as a whole.

Before the Melee, Theorn finds himself mediating in front of the Blade of Wrongness before he realises that Kalashnikash’s spirit has been shouting at him for ten minutes. He recognises that Theorn is being absorbed by the blade and must either break away from it or be consumed. Theorn claims that he is in control…

The Band of Five and Little ‘n’ Large arrive in the centre of the field of the grand melee and face off against each other. Destain opens the fight by charging into Theorn before Hollan hits him with Reapers Touch. The fight swings one way, then the other, with Hollan claiming the lives of two of the Five and Theorn one of the others, whilst Pennyworth turns three of the Band of Five into stone for a while. Eventually, only Dervek the Elven ranger is left. Theorn stalks up to him and plunges the blade of Wrongness into the ground at his feet before walking away. The elf faints and a horn blows, indicating the start of the Melee. (Encounter 2)

Where the Blade of Wrongness entered the soil an enormous tree erupts, almost identical to that from which the sword was plucked in the Feywild. Theorn appropriates a large axe from the body of a member of the Band of 5/4/3/2/1 to use in the melee.

(Encounter 1) The Red Arcanists – 4 red wizards from Stralen + A swordmage leader? No Loot.
(Encounter 2) The Band of Five – 1 Twin-striking Ranger, 1 barbarian, 1 Warlock, 1 Fighter and 1 Necromancer. 1 +4 Githyanki silver blade, 2 +4 neckpieces (cloak of pockets, necklace of fortune) and Something else…


Character status at end of session:
Everyone has used all their encounters and dailies, by the looks of things…

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan?? remaining?61,159 (15)
Max?? remaining?67,639 (15)
Pennyworth?? remaining?63,595 (15)
Pieter?? remaining?64,844 (15)
Théorn1145 remainingAll Rages,Stone of Earth, Combat Surge66,511 (15)

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Competing For Great Glory
Session 36

As the morning dawns upon Bad Taubersheim the fields outside the city as buzzing with activity, with preparations for the sword and jousting tournaments being finalised. It is the former that opens the day, and four members of the Little and the Large, along with the other competitors, draw their lots for the honour of displaying their mettle.

Minor displays of skill and daring whet the appetite of the audience, but the first true match of the day is between Theorn and Lemony of the Band of Five. The elf taunts the shifter, but soon finds that such tactics are unwise indeed against a berserker. Brushing aside feeble attempts at martial trickery the Blade of Wrongness shears through the elf’s wrist like scythe cutting dry grass – and does not stop there but decapitates Lemony, eagerly drinking the fey soul and placing it beyond any hope of resurrection.

The Band of Five’s reaction is immediate and wrathful. Two of their remaining number rush to the tournament field with the intent of avenging their comrade. Green flame flicker around their forms and Pennyworth, observing the proceeding from the lists, experiences an immediate sense of kinship combined with strange revulsion. These flames are familiar and yet of different order to its own… The matters threaten to escalate into indiscriminate bloodshed but Destain of the Pit, the leader of the Band of Five, steps forward and stops his companions with a curt order: ‘We must not reveal ourselves yet!’ His eyes, however, are filled with cold hatred and it is certain that retribution is not avoided, only postponed.

The tournament of the sword proceeds with many displays of great martial vigour, and Max, Sir Pieter and Hollan Darkwing distinguish themselves on the field of battle. The greatest honour among the group belongs to Theorn who battles his way to face Destain in the final match. (Defeating, it might be noted, Sir Cog on the way with the aid of Pennyworth’s cunning divination of Sir Cog’s preferred tactics – this unexpected setback throws the new-model Warforged’s tactical circuits into disarray and allows Theorn to easily carry the match.) And yet Destain proves the better in the bout, fighting coldly, methodically, never allowing his emotions to guide his blade, and ultimately claiming the sword tournament trophy.

The tournament of the sword is followed by the tournament of the joust. Here Sir Pieter and Max represent the Little and the Large, accompanied by Sabine as the ‘Mystery Knight’. Unfortunately ultimate success eludes our heroes once again, and even Sabine has the misfortune of being unhorsed by her older sister Gretel von Osterhagen, making it that much more difficult for her to prove her worth to the von Osterhagens. In a surprise move the trophy prize of the joust is changed at the last minute from the Crown of Swords to a set of armour, with the crown being set as the trophy for the small group melee tournament to follow. This humble commentator wonder if it might have something to do with Destain of the Pit being unhorsed and forced out of the contention…? The final victor of the joust is Gretel.

The sun finally sets over Bad Taubersheim and taking advantage of the lull between the tournaments the Little and the Large engage in some social activities and information gathering. Max visits the grateful Sir Scrumford de Mer who is recuperating from severe wounds dealt by during a tournament bout by the irate Destain of the Pit. Per Mertesacker, the Hand of the queen, grants an interview and informs the party that the Band of the Five (or rather Four) enjoy the support of a shadowy and unknown patron; he suspects that it was this patron that arranged the Crown of Swords to be reassigned as a trophy. Moreover, the Band will likely receive covert support during the small group melee tournament – it would be advisable for the Little and the Large to be on their guard! Alarmed by these news Pennyworth performs an Augury to lift the veil of mystery from the Band’s patron, but the only prophetic image that emerges is that of a hand bearing a ring in the shape of stylized eagle in one finger. No more specific clues are forthcoming.

The next day arrives and our heroes yet again enter the tournament field. The competition now takes the form of skirmishes between small groups in constructed environments simulating the features of typical subterranean dwellings – in layman’s terms, a dungeon crawl. Four elimination rounds have been organised, with the fourth and final round to be held on the following day.

In the first match of the tournament the Little and the Large face a team led by XXX, one of the sword tournament competitors from the previous day. Theorn opens the fight with a bold gambit, charging the breath of the battlefield to immediately strike into the heart of the enemy formation. A courageous yet risky manoeuvre! For a moment the outcome of the fight hangs in balance, but the Little and the Large put their backs to the task, surround and isolate their adversaries and cut them down one by one.

Pennyworth’s attempt to promote its burgeoning coffee emporium (‘Borderlands Coffee! Straight from the Dragon’s Hoard!’) on the back of the party’s success, however, is unfortunately unsuccessful as the audience is unimpressed by such blatant commercialisms…

If the first was a brutal melee pitting force against force on an open arena, the second fight of the day is a running battle in a maze filled with deadly traps against a troupe of cunning rogues led by yet another alumni of the sword tournament. Both parties carefully edge forward in a sadistic labyrinth where the slightest misstep causes lethal acids and scouring flames to burst from walls of stone, if the hapless explorer does not first fall into their doom as the floor buckles to reveal dastardly pit traps. Finally the teams catch up in the central corridor and battle is joined – and again the Little and the Large emerges victorious, pinning their enemies with walls of fire and sword and denying them their fleet-footed tricks.

The adulation of the crow ringing in their ears the Little and the Large storm through the tunnel complex and enter the final stage of the day, ready to confront whomever is foolish enough to stand on their way…

(Encounter 1) Sword Tournament, Points for wins by all members of the party – Theorn came second.
(Encounter 2) Round 1 of the Small Melée – Monte Carlo, Markov Chain and 3 Freeblades
(Encounter 3)


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan?? remaining?56,999 (14)
Max?? remaining?63,479 (15)
Pennyworth?? remaining?59,435 (15)
Pieter?? remaining?60,684 (15)
Théorn?? remaining?62,351 (15)

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Bad Times in Bad Taubersheim
Session 35

After rescuing Cartesia Withers, the party manage to return to Isolholm in time for the planned boat trip north.

Prior to leaving, Max visits Mikel Scweinsteiger and imforms him of our having saved Cartesia Withers. Mikel admits he owes Max a favour and gives Max his seal to identify us to his father. The rest of the party agree to accompany Cartesia to the tournament

Party travel upriver to Kölf with Sabine, VS, Cartesia and a pair of coffee traders. Kölf is a seaport with a population around 50k, and the smell of the salt water and so many people is unpleasant to Theorn.

As a seaport and a major trading hub, the party go shopping. Theorn finds a new pair of shoes (Boots of the Mighty Charge) whilst Pennyworth acquires a scroll of resurrection and a teleportation vine. Pennyworth and the rest of the party work to set up an improved coffee supply line to Ravensburg. unfortunately the Baron of Kolf is also head of the merchants guild and so the party decide to operate “outside the lines” and end up employing Kartofflesen and Co. over t Burbenhausen Inc.

Pieter speaks to Archbishop Gottfried Burghauss and ends up giving a sermon to the worshippers of Bahamut as the Archbishop has already left for Bad Taubersheim.

The party , along with CW, VS and Sabine head west along the canal to Bad Taubersheim
On the way, Sabine outlines the tournament which is based around four main heros:

  • Black Felix (Felix GeSchwartzer)
  • Sir Mikkel von Oosterhaagen (Jousting)
  • [Two others whose names I didn’t write down]

Per Mertesacker is hosting a 5 man tournament.

Unfortunately for Sabine, her father is tracking her with magic after entering Von Oosterhaagen lands as she is his daughter and must be kept safe and married off. She, however wants to prove herself and can’t if he is aware of her presence, etc. Luckily Max and Pennyworth are able to use their arcane knowledge to break the divination spell upon her.

A day later 2 Griffons alight adjacent to the boat with officials from the Oosterhaagen family (Ser Axell, Gretel) who are looking for Sabine. Theorn bluffs their enquiries by pretneding to be stupid and they leave. Theorn and Pennyworth then work together rowing to improve the speed of the ship until we reach Bad Taubersheim (Theorn fails utterly on the rowing)

Arriving at Bad Taubersheim, they persuade Sabine von Osterhagen to disguise herself and enter the joust so as not to give herself away to her father. The party enter the Joust (Max) and Sword (Theorn, Pieter, Max) individual events, as well as the 5 man Team event…

Pieter attempts to find the Archbishop, only to discover he passed away two weeks ago and Archbishop Von Trauben has taken over. Pieter also chats to Liesel Lahm who is another paladin of Bahamut.

Pieter then escorts Cartesia to the court. She is very excited about this. Ser Ambros von Trauben challenges them as a Paladin of Pelor. Pieter goes to Lord Volguard, Lord Otis and lady Otis. Pieter makes a friend.

Max visits the Hand and embarrasses the guard on the way through. The Hand is puzzled about Max’s provenance but much prefers Max to Verdun, who is unpopular at court. The Hand requests Max’s loyalty and in order to prove it we must clear out the Necrocount, which we agree to. Max cannot act as a Baron until after the tournament. There has also been a Necrotian entry to the tournament, but this must be stopped, somehow…

The party try to work out who the Necrotian entry would be and Pennyworth performs an augury which reveals images of a stone tomb with a saintly knight on top who emerges from the tomb cloaked in darkness carrying a sword. Is this Black Felix?

Following this lead we discover that each of the gates is dedicated to one of the Tournament founders and so we head to Black Felix gate but are rebuffed in our attempts to enter.

All entrants to the joust must attend a banquet the night before, which we attend. At the head of the table is the Queen, Allarin the Dragon and Per Mertesacker.

The entrants are announced and at the end, Barven of Necrotia steps forward and announces that Black Felix will be entering on the behalf of Necrotia. Max and the rest of the party step forward and challenge them on grounds of something or other. Per sets the challenge to be adjudicated at the same time as the joust qualifiers, preventing the Necortians entering the tournament. Success!

That night the party guard the Von Oosterhaagen tomb to prevent his body being resurrected by the Necrotians, Max thinks that if the churches stand united, in vigil then the other tombs may be kept intact as well. Speaking to a conclave of the church heads Max asks them to stand together. 4 of the 7 church leaders are mmebers of the Von Trauben family, one is Pieters friend and he eventually agrees to vote against his siblings and to defend the tombs. This does not make him popular (Uther). This leads to [Encounter 1] in which Theorn is mostly weakend, clouds are revealed to be useless in a tomb and the Spirit of the necromancer fled east towards Necrotia.

The priests are successful in defending their tombs though are exhausted.

The next morning the Bow contest is won by Lemony of the Band of Five
The Axe contest is won by Kraatoshi of the Band of Five
The Wrestling contest is won by Adli Werebear who gives a cry of “Ni-Kalashnikash” upon his victory.

Then the challenge issued by the party must be accepted and so [Encounter 2] begins with the party squaring off agianst Barven, Black Felix and Ser Arden. We are victorious and Pennyworht claims +4 Irrefutable armour and we recieve as a gift from the queen a tapestry worth 600GP.

Following the qualifiers, the draw for the joust is as follows:
1: Kurt Von Rurt (Schteiner) Vs Llorent El Michelak (Verdun)
2: Max Vs. Ser Ambrose Von Trauben (Von Trauben – who is exhausted after his vigil)
3: Ser Cog of the Broken Fist of Karak-Azad (Who Pennyworth remembers fighting alongside?/Against?) Vs. Pieter (nominated by the queen?)
4: Bishop Dragobert vs Destain of the Pit, of the Band of Five
5: Hellstrom von Braun (Von Braun) vs Hildegard von Schweinsteiger
6: Hild Bittersword vs. Ser Axell
7: Gretel vs Ulf Von Namen (Von Oosterhaagen)
8: Sabine vs Scrumford de Mer

(Encounter 1) 6 Claw Beasts, 2 Black Armoured Knights, 2 Bone Archivists and a Necromancer (7500xp)
(Encounter 2) Felix GeSchwartzer, Barven, Ser Arden. (7600xp)
(Encounter 3)


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan?? remaining?47,831 (14)
Max?? remaining?57,804 (15)
Pennyworth?? remaining?53,760 (14)
Pieter?? remaining?55,009 (14)
Théorn?? remaining?56,676 (14)

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Werewolves! There wolves!
Session 34

Day ?:

We continue the journey up river to Fork, where the boat stops and we find tavern to stay in while arranging further travel details. In the tavern Max goes to get some food and spots, out of the corner of her eye, the coat of arms of Sir Osamiron von Something.

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End of an era
Session 33

Day ?:

The party bunkers down and waits for Kerrigan’s arrival, hoping to keep the battle contained in the underground village to prevent his advantage of flight. However, they see him approaching in the sky, only to descend behind a hill and then fly off north carrying a dragonborn fleeing from the earlier battle.

After some discussion the group mounts up and rides north to follow him, finally tracking him and his hoard to the village of Bridge, where after a surprisingly brief battle Kerrigan was defeated (Encounter 1), seemingly still waiting for a Dire Bulette to arrive to assist him. Upon Kerrigan’s death, Théorn consumes his heart and collapses in spasms of electricity.

After Théorn’s unfortunate incapacitation, the story turns to a brief aside. The adventurer inhabitants of Gosfair (Sparky Jr., Clementine, Lydia, Ob and Halley Windrunner) successfully fought the Dire Bulette and two wyverns off (Encounter 2) to defend their town. This completed the defence of the Borderlands area from Shivastri’s forces (Quest). Cue a montage of scenes of various reunions, tidying up operations and tearful realisations…

Day ?:

The party’s plans then turned to thoughts of heading to Wissen to follow up on Max’s obligations. At this point, less comfortable heading into more civilised lands, Napoleon elects to separate from the group and remain behind to help hunt down the remainder of the malevolent forces (sort of a Halfling Nazi Hunter).

Day ?:

The remaining PCs then travel upriver towards Wissen by boat. After a few days on the water, they are ambushed by piratical fish people and fight them off with the assistance of an exploring goliath by the name of Kavaki Titanheart (Encounter 3).


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan?? remaining?47,831 (14)
Kavaki9810 remainingRune of Meritorious Alacrity, Rune of the Undeniable Dawn49,240 (14)
Max?? remaining?47,929 (14)
Pennyworth?? remaining?48,985 (14)
Pieter?? remaining?45,134 (13)
Théorn?? remaining?46,801 (13)

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War is Hell
Session 32

Day ?, continued:

The party speaks with Knight Saviour Stewart in private, warning him of their suspicions that there was a traitor in the temple. Pieter requests that all civilians be relocated to close by the exit teleport that only he knows of.

Next the captive derro is interrogated, though he doesn’t know a great deal about the ambush beyond that the forces were mobilised in a hurry and included many of the leaders and heavy hitters. Clementine apparently fought ferociously, and was personally taken down by Kerrigan. He also mentions that Sivius is insecure about his appearance and is jumping the gun a little on the attack to prove he is as worthy as his younger siblings. Thus not all of the forces are present yet.

Pennyworth distributed chess pieces to various people in order to later speak to them with his fey gift and find what their carriers had been saying.

We discover from Thena that only the council was privy to the information about going after St. Bradaman’s sword.

Investigating Carson, we discover that he has been going to an elderly woman for medical treatment, and a paladin later identifies this woman as Ma Fledwin. The party goes to apprehend her, and finds her quarters empty. We race to the civilians and apprehend her.

Upon interrogation, she spills the beans and tells us that she bribed someone to let her daughter Kara leave by one of the teleport methods, carrying the information she had learned from the unwitting Carson.

With this resolved, the party directs the paladins to set up fortifications around the entrance to the undeground village to funnel the incoming enemies down a narrowed path if possible.

While the fortifications are underway, the party uses the two-way teleport site to exit the temple and travel to intercept Grumford Darkhammer and the minotaur tribe he is bringing to fight for Sivius’ armies, lead by Barrenhood Shieldbreaker. Recalling that minotaurs are impressed by strength and by gold, the PCs confront the group as a whole and call out the duergar for hiring the minotaurs to fight against a much smaller force comprised largely of civilians. Barrenhoof Shieldbreaker wavers, and says the he will join whichever side pays him enough and is the strongest. To test he pits the party against Grumford and his duergar allies, but fights on the side of the duergar as they have currently hired him (Encounter 1).

After defeating the duergar, the party haggles with Barrenhoof a little and ends up giving him 5,000gp as well as Grumford Darkhammer’s warhammer and Theorn’s old fullblade in return for his tribe’s services in battle.

Returning to the temple we are magically rested and begin to dig in to make use of the fortifications. Once the hill giants break through the caved in rocks the armies begin to clash in skirmishes across the entrance. The defenders score some early victories, and the minotaurs prove invaluable, before the line begins to come under pressure. During the battle Chastain Windrunner is pushed back repeatedly until forced to confront the PCs up close, where she is soundly defeated (Encounter 2).

The remaining forces begin to spill over the fortifications somewhat and whittle down the defending troops. Barrenhoof and the last few surviving minotaurs are defeated, and manage to retreat, while careful use of ranged attacks pick off some of the goblin and dragonborn enemy units. Eventually the depleted forces on both sides clash enough that Sivius and his lieutenants come into direct conflict with the party in the middle of the battlefield (Encounter 3). It’s a close call, but Sivius is defeated and his armies routed, thus the temple is successfully defended for now (Quest).


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan?? remaining?42,445 (13)
Max?? remaining?42,543 (13)
Napoleon510 remainingStaggering Spin, Scarab of Insanity, Stand the Fallen43,854 (13)
Pennyworth948 remainingTyrannical Threat43,599 (13)
Pieter1146 remainingHallowed Circle, Shroud of Ravens, Lay on Handsx1, Healing Font39,748 (13)
Théorn973 remaining?43,735 (13)

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Plutarch Redthroat's demise, and the Sword of St Bradaman
Session 31

Day ?, continued:

Moving through the barracks we take the remaining sleeping dragonborn prisoner. There are also stables, with strange claw marks everywhere. There is an area for prisoners, but we find none alive. Broken, in the corner, lies the body of Sir Ulrich.

We question the prisoners, asking where their captives have been taken. They aren’t cowed by threats of death, but threats of taking their souls works fine. They say the prisoners were captured just outside the Temple of Clear Waters, having exited through unknown means. They were brought to Gosfair and interrogated by Essian until one broke and said they knew the location of the tomb of St Bradaman.

Plutarch Redthroat then took an innocent prisoner for a ritual to destroy the blade and set off for the tomb. The remaining prisoners were given to the yuan-ti for ritual torture. The dragonborn don’t know where they were taken, but Pieter and Pennyworth recall that yuan-ti rituals take place hidden from the sun. Pennyworth has a flashback to battling in a sandstorm with a giant warforged, before opening a hidden entrance to a tomb and descending into the earth. We are also able to ascertain that:

  1. Plutarch Redthroat has gone to seek the tomb of St Bradaman, located in a cavern near the peak of the highest mountain, and he expects to get there by the end of tomorrow.

We look for information on where the yuan-ti went. The locals mention, amongst other things, that a tiefling knight called Sabine von Osterhagen arrived in the area recently with an accent similar to Max’s. She was here for XXXXX? They were also able to direct the yuan-ti to a couple of underground temples uncovered by the Band of Five. Both are to the south of here, a temple to Erathis, to the north of Winimoocha, and a temple to Corellon, further over to the south-west. The locals mention that a halfling was amongst the prisoners taken by the yuan-ti. Religious recollections suggest that the temple of Corellon is the more likely option

We gather about 1000gp from the captive dragonborn. The people give us 6 spare horses, and we ride hard to the south, arriving within 8 hours (3am). There appear to be no yuan-ti on guard. The entrance is barely hidden (the Band of Five cracked and moved the magic boulder that used to hide it), and looks like a cave. Yellow light shines up, and we can smell incense. We tie up the horses and charge in to see guards, prisoners and Essian the Malevolent standing over a prone Obb/Pob and press the attack (Encounter 1).

Smashing_the_Yuan-ti.jpg

We rescue Sparky, Levia, Obb and Clementine. They appear to have been in captivity for a week and are at least a few days off fighting fitness. They ask for news of the Temple of Clear Waters. Levia says there must have been treachery involved in their capture, as they found the location of St Bradaman’s tomb while researching inside the siege and used a secret exit. They found the enemies waiting for them outside. During their torture, Sir Ulrich held out for a while but succumbed eventually and gave them the location to St Bradaman’s tomb. Pieter remembers at least three ways of using teleporter magics to exit the temple (one method goes in both directions).

Napoleon loans Clementine a vengeful short sword +1. We take the fresh(er) horses and ride fast to the mountains, eating some of the feybread bisuits ourselves and feeding the remainder to the horses.

Day ?:

We dismount at the mountains and race up the trail in the morning light, many of us struggling a little. Chardonnay can see the other group ahead of us, and at a fork in the path that splits into a trail or a tunnel one of them reads a scroll and turns invisible. We use a combination of helping each other and Hollan’s assisted flying to catch up somewhat, and arrive at the fork to find tracks suggesting the enemies went through the tunnel. Pieter prays to Bahamut for guidance.

We use Hollan’s flight powers along with Max’s Arcane Gate to hop up to the top of the mountain, landing on a small ledge. A path leads to another cave, radiating with holy energy, as though the waters from the Temple of Clear Waters frozen in the air. Theorn hears muffled voices from the cave behind us and we move to higher ground. Pennyworth hides in the snow and Theorn stands as sentry, while the rest head to the cave. Inside the higher cave lies a cairn, with a sign saying “Here lies Sir Bradaman…” (CHECK WITH JOE) and a sword buried. Pieter steps forward and takes the sword.

Further down, emerging from the cave is Plutarch Redthroat and his gang, with Thena in captivity. Redthroat, a 7 foot dragonborn is dressed in finery and we recognise the Ring of the Dragon Emperor on his hand. Plutarch banters for a bit with Theorn, mentioning that Brindeez is tasked with wiping out the nearby shifters, before attacking (Encounter 2).

We rescue Thena, and she gabbles a lot. She talks about the Ring of the Dragon Emperor, St Bradaman and his tomb, and Brindeez Sharptooth (who has killed Katya’s 12, a group of adventurers). We descend the mountain by the same route we used to get up, discussing our next plans.

It is now about 6pm on Day 3 since we returned from the Feywild, and our estimates suggest that the temple siege will break through sometime on day 5. We ride hard towards the temple, arriving at the river at 4am of day 4. The horses are weary so at this point so we ride more normally to keep them healthy.

Day ?:

About 1pm we’re an hour away from the temple and riding through unfamiliar territory. The ground is hilly and broken, and Theorn leads the way but we don’t think we can get closer riding without being spotted. Pieter knows of a stone circle that can be used to teleport into and out of the temple, but it’s about 30 minutes north-east.

We leave the horses and jog to the stone circle. About a mile out, we crest the brow of a hill and spot the opposing forces. Something like 100-150 forces composed of duergar, derro, gnolls, goblins, dragonborn, 4-5 hill giants. We spot patrols going round the camp at regular intervals. We can avoid the patrols getting to the circle, but won’t be able to complete the teleportation ritual before they arrive.

We plan an ambush for the duergar patrol in a nearby shallow ravine between hills (Encounter 3).

Ambushing_Duergar.jpg

We capture a derro warrior for interrogation, and then trigger the ritual and appear in an antechamber within the temple. We’re greeted by Stewart, along with several of the genasi we fought alongside before. The temple is clean and pleasant this time, and we’re allowed to drink from the waters and rejuvenate ourselves (extended rest). We’re assigned forces to lead in the defence of the temple.

It is now 2:30pm on day 4, and Knight Commander Stewart estimates that the siege will be broken in about 20 hours. Theorn’s blade is displeased that we did not assist the shifters.


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan9610 remaining-38,179 (12)
Max8110 remaining-38,277 (12)
Napoleon837 remaining-39,588 (13)
Pennyworth9412 remaining-39,333 (13)
Pieter10813 remaining-35,482 (12)
Théorn10210 remaining-39,469 (13)

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Learning about Shivastri's forces
Session 30

Day ?, continued:

Skgrrrt, the goblin, lies at our feet ready for interrogation. Théorn begins by asking where we are. Skgrrrt says it used to be known as the hunting grounds of the Broken-knuckle tribe and says that we can still join Shivastri if we wish. Théorn responds to this by informing him that we killed Rakanx, to which Skgrrrt looks shocked. He says Rakanx has been dead for 7 months and Shivastri has been searching for us for all this time. He says we should now fear Kerrigan, and Rakanx’ older brother Plutarch Redthroat.

Skgrrrt mentions that it’s strange that our friends held out hope so long that we would save them. He says Gosfair has been taken and the Wheelwright family tortured, and that Kerrigan now rules Ravensburgh from a pub called The Barbarian and the Swordmage. Threats go back and forth, whereby we learn that Essian the Malevolent, a yuan-ti torturer, is assisting Plutarch Redthroat. Skqrrrt also tells us that Chastain Windrunner, one of Shivastri’s strongest allies, is nearby but the rest of the tribe is back in Shivastri’s lands. He tells us how Brindeez Sharptooth suspected that the elf who arrived here a week ago might have been one of the Windrunner tribe, and headed south to hunt her.

Maxima intimidates Skgrrrt and he agrees to give us information if we give him half of his money back. Interrogation ensures and we learn that Shivastri’s forces are split between groups lead by:

  • Kerrigan, a blue dragon
  • Brindeez Sharptooth
  • Plutarch Redthroat, a dragonborn of fire
  • Chastain Windrunner, an elf
  • Grumford Darkhammer, a duergar
  • Sivius, one of the children of Shivastri and Kagil

Furthermore, we are able to wheedle a few more bits of information from the goblin:

  1. The Temple of the Clear Springs is blocked by fallen rocks. Sivius is leading the siege, and waiting for hill giants to arrive to clear the rocks.
  2. Grumford Darkhammer is a day’s ride east of Bayard, trying to recruit Barrenhoof Shieldbreaker, leader of the Ironskin tribe of minotaurs.
  3. Chastain Windrunner is west of Barstow, recruiting goblin and gnoll tribes
  4. Plutarch Redthroat, Kerrigan’s right-hand man, is commanding the forces that took the temple from the paladins in Gosfair. He has been interrogating Thena for information on the location of the sword of St Bradaman. He may also be holding prisoner a goliath (who may be Obb), Clementine, Sparky Jr., Knight Adjunct Levia, Sir Ulric. He was last seen in Gosfair and is accompanied by Essian the Malevolent.
  5. Plutarch Redthroat normally fights by going for the biggest foe first to show dominance.
  6. Brindeez Sharptooth is currently somewhere to the south, hunting Halley Windrunner. He is a soldier and leads forces of dragonborn mounted on lion drakes. In battle he tries to kill off opposing healers first.
  7. Kerrigan divides his time between Ravensburgh and the siege at the Temple of the Clear Springs, and is searching for the sword of St Bradaman.
  8. Kerrigan’s tactics involve using his Blue dragon lightning breath. He is also paranoid about protecting his horde, which oddly for a dragon contains no metal.
  9. Kerrigan carries no items, but wears a collar that allows him to use his dragon breath more frequently than most dragons.

We are half a day’s ride (6 hours) to the north of Ravensburgh. As per our deal for the information, we give Skgrrtt 100gp and set him free but send him north. It is early morning, so we head south to Ravensburgh.

After a couple of hours’ riding we find strange furrows in the earth, which Théorn recognises as the trails of a Bulette (land shark) but larger, like a Dire Bulette. The tracks are two days old but we keep an eye out to be safe. When we get closer to town we keep hidden and try to scout things out. There are fewer signs of industry, caravans, etc. around the town walls, but stationed at entrances are 4 sentries (which are bigger and broader than most humans, but can’t make them out properly).

We approach from the north, in rudimentary disguise as a patrol escorting a prisoner (Napoleon). A few more sentries (all dragonborn) gather as we approach and a large green Dragonborn hails Hollan as we approach. Before our cover can be blown too badly and lose us the upper hand, Napoleon initiates a surprise attack Encounter 1.

After defeating the sentries we move through the town, seeing faces in the windows looking out as we hurry through the streets. The villagers are whispering our names and saying we are to take on the War Council (various comments suggest to us that this includes a hill giant, a snake thing and the Gravelstoke brothers). Near to the inn formerly known as The Orc’s Head, we run into this War Council and battle them to defeat in the streets and inside the inn, where a wizard posed as Kerrigan using illusions (Encounter 2).

Upon our victory the villages crowd us, cheering. Apparently Pastor Waverley had exulted them to bear arms against the invaders, but then fled with Clementine and Thena to the Temple of the Clear Springs. We request horses to follow to Gosfair to rescue the others, and Ellis obliges us.

Before we depart, Napoleon searches the inn but finds no more information amongst the enemy items. Meanwhile Max interrogates the captured dragonborn soldier, finding out the following:

  1. He thought Kerrigan was here in Ravensburgh, and knows no more of the dragon’s real location.
  2. A group of people from the Temple of the Clear Springs were captured and taken to Gosfair.

Hollan searches through Thena’s workshop for information on St Bradaman’s blade, but just makes a mess. Pennyworth tries to piece together information from his memories of history. St Bradaman was a hero who served Bahamut years and years ago. He was a virtuous knight who may have ascended to demigod status. Thena and the paladins had been searching for the blade, and local dragonborn had talked about snapping it if found. It’s probably somewhere further south than Gosfair.

Pennyworth also uses his new Speak with Sentinels gift on the painting of Hollan and Clementine in the inn, asking what it/they witnessed. Painting Clementine doesn’t know much but can tell us that Kerrigan tended to fly to the south-west, and that whenever he was around the inn there was a closely guarded wagon that seemed to be empty.

Pennyworth then draws a map in the town square with Hollan’s spear and the enemy blood and use his Augury power to determine the quickest, safest route to Gosfair to save our friends. Chardonnay pecks at the route that goes through Bayard.

As it is early afternoon already we gather provisions, take the horses and head towards Gosfair. We ride hard to Bayard, arriving late in the evening. Two horses go lame as we approach, but otherwise the trip was uneventful beyond a couple of kobolds peering out of the trees. The people are subdued and surprised to see new faces in the inn, but talking to them we find out:

  1. Grumford Darkhammer left here this morning, but dragonborn patrols go through every 12 hours or so (last one was 5 hours ago).
  2. Grumford leads forces entirely of duergar, and likes to target weakness. He concentrates attacks on bloodied foes to finish them off.
  3. The occupying forces in Gosfair have taken over the paladins’ base, and control the whole town.

We buy two new horses (200gp, trading in the old ones) and rest for the night.

Day ?:

We wake at 5am, about an hour before the next patrol is due. Pennyworth auguries again to find a safe path avoiding the patrol. Chardonnay indicates a detour through the forest around the patrol, before rejoining the road. We take this route, cautiously and carefully. About half an hour later Chardonnay, flying above us, spots the patrol passing on the road. We rejoin the road and ride briskly to Gosfair.

An hour outside Gosfair, around 5pm, we spy the town walls. We wait for dusk and make a straight run for the walls, where we see a few snake-like figures with bows. As we get close we hear shouting and a bell starts to clang as we fly over the walls and assault the sentries on duty Encounter 3. The last couple of enemies surrender…


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan?? remaining?35,279 (12)
Max?? remaining?35,377 (12)
Napoleon765 remainingStand the Fallen36,688 (12)
Pennyworth898 remainingAugury, 2nd Secret of the Green Flame, Soul Burn36,433 (12)
Pieter10813 remaining-32,582 (12)
Théorn?? remaining?36,569 (12)

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Home, sweet home
Session 29

Day 5 in the Feywild, continued:

It is now night time. People are streaming home from the party and many shifters shout “Théorn ni-Kalashnakash” in the streets. There are not many eladrin around. We return to our quarters at House Fallael’s palace and sleep.

Day 6 in the Feywild:

In the morning many of the party are hungover from the previous night’s festivities. A mangy looking weasel and a bright-eyed squirrel wait at the window to deliver messages. The weasel bows clumsily and says Halley Windrunner requests our presence. She is staying elsewhere in House Fallael. The squirrel bows elegantly and says Lady Carpathia wishes our presence to bestow upon us some recompense for our great services.

We head first to see Lady Carpathia. The city seems subdued, with eladrin in the streets looking a bit down but the few shifters we see look revitalised. Arriving at the palace, there’s a new Castellan, looking nervous and young at barely 100 years old. We say we’re expected and he leads us in. The palace feels clean and verdant, but a bit less ornate and glamorous than before. The furnishings and fixtures tend more to simple elegance.

We’re lead to a room with simple wooden furnishings, and an array of items on a wooden table. Carpathia thanks us for rescuing her. She says the lamia caused irreparable damage to House Summer, including squandering its resources and people. However, she feels it necessary to reward us to the best of her ability and grants to us a selection of boons (Théorn, Pennyworth and Napoleon) or items (Pieter and Max). Hollan did not partake in the rescue, but she offers her thanks for his support of his comrades.

We say thanks, and she asks again for our discretion and says to remember that we have a friend in Lady Carpathia. She gives Pieter a ribbon as a sign of her favour, and gives the group the consumable items from the table.

We go to see Halley and she welcomes us into her quarters. She has unfortunate news for us. Time flows differently in the Feywild, and has been faster than she feared. She can only offer us transportation back to the mundane realm until sunset tomorrow before her magic fades. She doesn’t wish to delay in case too much time passes back home. She’s heard news that Shivastri fears the blade of St Bradaman, a paladin of Bahamut, and has sent Kerrigan, the blue dragon, to the Temple of the Clear Springs to find information on its location. We explain that we have to wrap up finding Elf-Sorrow, but should be able to do it in time. Halley seems agitated. We arrange to meet at Dappledown two days hence.

We send word to Fereal to arrange meeting in an hour’s time, to give us time to stock up on supplies. Pennyworth goes shopping for a chess set and finds an elegant marble set (800gp, +2 to chess playing when using this set). Max gets her dresses and the rest go to the magic shop to buy some Potions of Healing. Elthien is there and inspects the fit of Hollan’s new armour. Pennyworth discusses with him the possibility of enchanting the headband in the future when the power of his gems runs out. Elthien is not impressed when during the course of this conversation he learns that we’re going to help Halley Windrunner.

We go to meet Fereal. His eyes are still red and bloodshot, but he is ready to guide us to the grove. He rides away from the city and we follow to the wood’s edge, where he pauses thoughtfully before entering. Following in his wake we see his wintry aura affecting the forest, and are walking through snowy evergreens. About 40 minutes in he stops and says that this is the grove. We feel a chill wind run past us, making our hair stand on end. Fereal believes that the malign influence of the sword affects this area, and that the grove is guarded. He will go no further and directs us to an entrance beyond two trees. We thank him, and head through the entrance.

Inside we find a small clearing with numerous small trees and one large, twisted redwood type tree with roots rising and dropping in and out of the ground as they wind across the clearing. The tree radiates power, and we hear the sound of sobbing on the edge of the breeze. Max senses something here from beyond the grave, something with unresolved business. We approach the tree, alert for trouble and as we approach the sobbing sounds increase. Max reflects on ways to appease those who have been unable to pass on.

As Théorn approaches the tree, the ghostly form of a Longtooth shifter appears, kneeling and sobbing. It has a long white streak in its hair and doesn’t seem to see us until Théorn greets him, upon which he lets out a long, pitiful howl. His gaze turns to us, showing something (surprise? fear? hope?) and he stops sobbing. He says he tried his best for his people, and asks if Théorn comes to fulfil his hopes.

A voice behind us says “You will cease talking”, and a woman with beautiful but exaggeratedly fey features steps forward. She is dressed in a simple white dress and has a gold locket around her throat. She tells us to stop talking to the beast and leave the grove. Théorn refuses and she says “End them”, upon which several trees uproot themselves and stomp towards us to attack (Encounter 1).

Théorn talks to the ghost of Kalashnakash. He is not happy that Théorn is using a sword, and worries about the fate of the shifter tribes. Théorn reassures him that the twelve tribes still exist in the fey realm, and that no other shifter wields a “long tooth”. He refuses to allow Théorn to take the sword though, saying it is too dangerous. Théorn tells of the hunting and enslavement of the shifters in the fey realm. Napoleon says the blade is to be used to destroy Shivastri. Kalashnakash says he hoped never to hear that name again. Pennyworth suggests that it can be used to defend elven tribes, such as the Windrunner tribe, as penance. The ghost is not impressed and says it is not intentions that he doubts, but control. Napoleon suggests that Kalashnakash accompany Théorn to keep him on the straight and narrow. The ghost is not sure if this is possible, and looks to Max as the nearest expert. Upon reflection, Max says it can be done with the Raven Queen’s blessing. Kalashnakash seems to be happy with this, as long as we stick together, and says he will test Théorn and the rest of us (Skill challenge? What did we roll?). Not all of the party pass the tests, but Théorn does and so Kalashnakash agrees but warns that if the sword is used to slay an innocent child then he will use all his means to destroy Théorn.

The ghost fades away on the wind and the tree splits to show a stairwell descending. We step in, with torches at the ready. Frost-rimed roots surround the staircase, and deep down we enter a cavern. Buried in the middle, half-way up the very large blade, is a sword. It resonates with ‘wrong’ power, with moon symbols on either side. Kalashnakash tells Théorn to draw the sword. He does so (Quest).

We promptly hear cackling laughter coming from the entrance, and a form shimmering in blackness strides down to attack, accompanied by two driders (Encounter 2). Upon defeating Black Annis, Pennyworth consumes her soul to feed The Green Fire Within.

We depart the grove. Fereal is no longer here, and searching we find his corpse. It appears that Black Annis ambushed him, putting him to sleep and then cutting his throat. We take his body and journey back to Dappledown, the sun setting and rising while we travel.

Day 7 in the Feywild:

Entering the village, we are greeted by happy gnome children. We speak to Quellesteen, the leader, and ask her to arrange for Fereal’s body to be taken back to his family. Pennyworth tells her that Black Annis is no more, and the gnome village celebrates.

Halley Windrunner arrives later in the evening, with an entourage of 20 eladrin guards from different houses. Pieter greets her, and she seems pleased to see us. The guards relax when they see who we are. Captain Dubarr of House Winter leads them, and they are here to help against Shivastri. They gesture to begin the ritual to open the portal to the normal realm. A golden path opens and the eladrin set off ahead of us, leaving us struggling to catch up. The elves disappear ahead of us as we’re held back (Skill Challenge? Arcana, Nature and Endurance checks).

Day ?:

Reality snaps back into place, and we find ourselves in front of about 50 orcs. A large matriarch confronts us in surprise. Regaining her composure, she says the six of us will face their six best warriors. An arena is set up and we are confronted by 6 orcs while a group of spectators watches. The spectators include the orc matriarch chieftain and an elegantly dressed goblin that Pieter can identify from markings on his jewellery as a supporter of Shivastri. The fight starts and Pieter strides forward and strikes one down in a single blow. The gathered crowds roar in rage and the whole orc tribe charges us (Encounter 3). We defeat the Broken-knuckle tribe and take the goblin hostage for interrogation.


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan?? remaining?31,999 (11)
Max?? remaining?32,097 (12)
Napoleon786 remainingNone33,408 (12)
Pennyworth?? remaining?33,153 (12)
Pieter?? remaining?32,582 (12)
Théorn459 remainingCombat Surge, Frost Wolf Rage33,289 (12)

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