Little 'n' Large

Showdown at Castle Bleak
Session 40

Even as the defeated vampires’ bodies rot to dust the party is well aware that there is no time to rest on the laurels: a shadow hastily slipping around the bend of a far-way corridor warns of the escape of one of the vile bloodsuckers, and the danger of the fugitive rousing the castle to arms. Conscious that time is against them, the Little and the Large waste none in rushing after the fiend.

Only to find that a welcoming committee has already assembled to invite them to enjoy the singular hospitality of Castle Bleak! The massive, inhuman form of the lord of the castle, Elder Ysnt himself, stands at the far end of the room, his personal guard assembling around him as a mortal thrall finishes strapping a spectral armour plate to his lord’s body. Even as the out-of-breath heroes hastily draw into a defensive formation, Ysnt bids them welcome in a guttural and strangely accented voice. “Hans has informed me I have unexpected visitors”, Ysnt says, gesturing towards a familiar vampire cowering servilely in the corner. “Alas, I am unable to attend to your welcome at the moment, but rest assured my men will arrange entertainments worthy of such… audacious guests.”

As Ysnt turns and departs the hall, a blinding flash rends the air and tall planes of glass – some mirrored, some opaque, some transparent – slam into the ground, turning the entire room into a devilish maze and separating friend and foe alike. The battle now turns into a dangerous game of hide and seek within a labyrinthine and ever-changing configuration of tiny rooms and cramped corridors, as vampire and adventurer vie for even a fleeting moment of tactical advantage amidst its shifting boundaries. Most dangerously of all, a spectral spirit inhabits the crystalline construct, stalking the corridors and effortlessly slipping through the walls to mete punishment on those who have dared to disturb its master’s peace.

The battle is long and draining, but marshalling their experience the heroes manage to slowly turn the tide to their favour. One by one the vampires fall to dust, until only the raging spectre remains – then it, too, is banished by the magic and skills of the Little and the Large. As its final scream shatters the labyrinth, the party has a moment to gather their strengths, knowing that long though the night has been, the hardest battle yet lies ahead.

As if cognisant of the heroes’ thoughts, the anteroom doors slowly swing open again, their hinges creaking and shedding flakes of rust. Beyond lies the heart of the castle, a massive arched hollow overseen by dusty painted-glass windows. At its far end lies a giant sarcophagus, lid open and propped against the wall. And before the coffin stands a giant figure of a man, now fully clad in battle armour. Unperturbed by the violation of his sanctum sanctorum Elder Ysnt commands his thrall to provide suitable musical accompaniment to the evening’s activities – “The organ! Lets us now dance!” – and then motions towards gigantic, barely visible shadows hanging from the rafters.

With an ear-piercing screech a flock of monstrously bloated vampires bats detach from the ceiling and hurl themselves at the Little and the Large – only to be rebuffed by an equally fierce flurry of magic and steel. Immediately seizing the moment Max intones an arcane command and a shimmering violation in the fabric of reality opens before the dark knight, a mirror oval appearing before the startled Ysnt. Charging through the portal the party gains a brief advantage over the vampire lord – but Ysnt cannot be contained by such stratagems alone. Brushing heroes aside with almost casual ease, capable of both enduring and dealing massive punishment, his very form shimmering in and out of the physical realm, Ysnt tests the already exhausted party to the utmost limits of their ability.

As they desperately fight for any advantage against the vampire the heroes find themselves rebuffed and cut down over and over again. But even as Ysnt’s laughter echoes amidst the gigantic vaults of the ballroom, a note of unaccustomed worry enters into it. Who are these mortals, who, though crushed to the ground, yet refuse to stay down, who dare to raise themselves and defy his will? Ysnt’s endurance is nearly limitless, but even he finds himself sorely tested. For long moments the outcome of the struggle, one of the very hardest the Little and the Large have ever fought, hangs in balance.

Then, finally, Ysnt discovers that even an immortal ruler of the night must bow to the vagaries of fortune and battle; the organ’s final notes are a dirge over his ashes. Castle Bleak belongs to the Little and the Large.

Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan?? remaining?81,409 (16)
Max?? remaining?85,769 (17)
Pennyworth?? remaining?79,775 (16)
Pieter?? remaining?83,424 (17)
Théorn?? remaining?85,091 (17)

Underground, Overground Vampire-Hunting Free
Session 39

Looking back after the subduing of the Vampire Mistress, the party recollected that they had purchased a pair of scrolls of resurrection, 5 healing potions and a significant sum of money on some new gloves for Pennyworth, the most stylish Automaton in the North and an array of trinkets for Max, newly declared Baron von Wiedersburg.

After a lot of back and forth between Pieter and the Vampiress, Max turns the captive inside out, feeding on her jealousy and desire to remain powerful. She reveals that the Necrocount has 2 phylacteries, 1 in the hands of the “Dead Man”, an undead servant who has always risen to serve the Necrocounts of old and that she will reveal where the other is if we remove a certain other Vampire from his position of power. We agree to do this, as long as she stays in our power until revealing the other location of a phylactery.

So, we leave her with Lionel Hoegaarden a priest in service to the von Neumann family, who owe us a favour. We will return with the head of Elder Ysnt, head of the vampires in Necrotia. We suspect he is in Castle bleak, so make our way there with undue haste.

Arriving at the castle, Pennyworth performs an Augury to find the best way/time to enter the castle. This reveals a path through Earth. Not stone. Théorn then uses “Talk with the Animals” and persuades some moles to help us dig a tunnel under the walls of the castle to get in, as they know of a gap in the “Hard Earth” where there are now worms.

Entering an outflow tunnel from the castle, the party encounter some zombies and a Whirlwind of Death, which causes Théorn to attack Hollan, critically hitting him. Hollan then, in turn, crits on Max…

We clamber out of the oubliette and Théorn smashes a door down which was barred and preventing our progress. This reveals a corridor, in which we meet and make friends with Mundo, the keeper of the Master’s pets. We placate his fears and head upstairs to where the master lives. We find a tomb and some alcoves.

Théorn and Hollan open the casket to drive a stake into the heart of the suspected vampire within, who unfortunately, rises along with 5 other wights. Max creates a wall of fire down the corridor which helps to prevent them from overwhelming us and Théorn smashes the Wight commander like a boss and appropriates his jagged axe…

We head upstairs and along a long corridor with doors on each side, which are the sleeping and living quarters of the vampires’ thralls. Théorn removes the dinner gong and when challenged by a thrall, persuades them he is working as a gong repair man.

We then bust into the vampires’ bedrooms upstairs again and stake the first urgently. Alas, she lets out a scream which alerts the other vampires who we rush towards and stake in a panicked frenzy.

Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan?? remaining?75,799 (16)
Max?? remaining?80,159 (16)
Pennyworth1108 remainingVisage of the Onyx Queen, Belth of Fitness74,165 (16)
Pieter?? remaining?77,814 (16)
Théorn?? remaining?79,481 (16)

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.


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.

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)


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)

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)

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)

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.

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)

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)

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).


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).


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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