Little 'n' Large

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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Fighting a Lamia
Session 28

Day 5 in the Feywild, continued:

We regroup and rest for a few minutes, before heading out. We find ourselves on side of a seemingly bottomless chasm with a long corridor past it. We see Fake Carpathia at the end of the corridor, which is lit by unknown means. She turns and spies us, before stalking off down some stairs accompanied by some eladrin guards.

We move out to a feeling of wrongness, as of things left rotting in the sun, a summer of sloth and drunken, gratuitous gluttony. Pennyworth sends Chardonnay down the corridor to scout the side corridors. She sees long corridors and no signs of life. Max tries to use an arcane gate to skip the chasms and corridors. It looks a bit different to how she expected, but appears to be working. As we step through the gate, beetles scatter in surprise and flee down the stairs.

We move on and peer round the corner. The side corridors appear to turn back to link up with those we already passed, with some doors in the rooms and corridors. We charge down the stairs. Fake Carpathia is there, along with four guards. She turns to face us and accuses us of rudeness and invasion of her bedchambers, and joins her guards in an attack (Encounter 1). When Théorn delivers the final blow to defeat Fake Carpathia, she bursts into a swarm of beetles that scurry into the corners. Pennyworth can sense them distant, not dead. Pieter finds a hidden door to a chamber which contains the body of a dead paladin in repose, and rushes in. It appears to be the body of Mathis Andrellian.

We take a short rest while we manoeuvre the paladin’s corpse into the Bag of Holding. Beetles start to swarm back in, crashing the wall between the bedchamber and hidden room down to chase us. We flee back through the corridors, now filled with minions, chased by the swarms of beetles (Encounter 2). Along the way we rescue the real Lady Carpathia from a side room and race through back to across the “bottomless chasm”.

As we go to exit the corridors, Lady Carpathia stops us and says that the lamia has powers in this place and must be defeated once and for all. We watch the beetles reform into a humanoid figure composed of insects on our side of the bottomless pits and engage it again in a protracted battle (Encounter 3) that we win only very, very narrowly without loss of life.

Fighting_a_lamia.jpg

Lady Carpathia prostrates herself before us in thanks, but asks us to keep quiet about what has happened until she has worked out the status of her house before she rewards us. For the moment, she enhances Pieter’s holy symbol (+3) as thanks for his selflessness in asking about her with his truth boon. She also uses her power to heal us all (extended rest).

We head back to our quarters in House Fallael, through the streets. At first people shy away from us, but eventually Lyril Miheil appears with her whip and hurls insults at Théorn. He responds with some banter and Pieter points out our invitation from Bastil. She grudgingly leaves us alone, but warns of the duel this evening.

Pennyworth arranges a meeting with Elthien to pick up his circlet. Elthien looks exhausted, but is happy with the work on the hide armour fashioned from the displacer beast packlord’s skin, and presents it to us. He also throws the circlet in, disdainfully.

Max goes to the dressmaker’s in her little girl disguise and tells them of Lyril’s embarrassment. They are pleased, and tell her to come back tonight to pick up the dress to wear to the fight tonight. She collects it later on (+2 Diplomacy when wearing).

Théorn spreads the word of the party in House Dejarin some more, and we then get ready for going to court. On the way we spy many shifters, some of types we haven’t seen before.

Théorn tells them of the hopes and dreams of shifters. The shifters are impressed and start chanting “Théorn” and “Kalashnakash”. Napoleon points out the rumours of Kalashnakash’s return in their hour of need and the stories start to spread further. A few pluck up the courage to approach Théorn and fall in step behind him. A Grizzly (Brock) and a Strong-head (Nox) ask if he is the one who will lead them. They are of The Unfettered, lead by Redfang, and can be found by the Hidden Grove.

Inside the palace there is no Castellan, shifters may sit where they want and only simple foods like meat and bread are served. Most of the shifters show no table manners and are indulging in raucous singing and the like. Saldine Dejarin glowers at the entrance, raising his glass pointedly to empty chairs either side of him. Many of these chairs are child-sized. There are a few eladrin here, mostly from House Fallael but a few from House Dejarin and other houses. There is no sign of Kennet Sharma.

Fereal is also here, and looks expectantly at us. Pennyworth talks to him and tells him that the news is mixed but that he must keep the story vague for now. He suggests a meeting after this party, and Fereal grudgingly accepts. He says to find him in the palace of winter, and leaves.

Trumpets blare to announce the arrival of Lyril Miheil, with friends in tow and weapons on display. Max sits with Gern Sironson. A shifter talks to Théorn in a primal tongue, and is disappointed when he doesn’t seem to understand.

The Lady of the Seasons stalks into the room. Lights flicker slowly at her entrance and nearby shifters scuttle away from her. This time her face is of the blowing wind, puffing off to the side. On one side of this is a summer face, on the other side a face like a waterfall flowing down. She approaches Théorn and asks “Are you prepared, animal?” and if the party is to his liking.

After some talk, she calls for silence. An eladrin next to her announces that the Lady of the Seasons has declared that tonight is a night of tooth and claw, of blood-red entertainments. She says Lyril has named her four companions for the event and assigned their tasks, and asks Théorn who his companions are to be. He names the rest of the party for the following positions

  • Game of Tactics: Pennyworth
  • Game of Strength: Napoleon
  • Game of Dance: Maxima
  • Game of Will: Pieter

We are gestured to various places. Tables with two chairs by tables for Games of Tactics and Strength. The Games of Dance and Will are directed to simple circles. Lyril Miheil and Théorn are lead to a square arena in the middle of all of these (Encounter 4).

Théorn wins, but shows mercy. He lets rip the Howl of the Alpha Wolf and all around the shifters bang noisily and shout his name. The Lady of the Seasons claps slowly, then stalks out of the building. The head of House Dejarin looks unhappy, so Théorn sets aside his sword and approaches him to show he wishes him no ill will. Saldine says in a whispery voice that he isn’t pacified, and even seems insulted at the suggestion. He seems pained and angered, and asks that this mockery of a party be ended.

Théorn monologues to the shifters for a while. They hail “Théorn ni-Kalashnakash” and file out, touching Théorn reverently as they pass.

We exit the palace and head to the palace of House Winter. Fereal is surprised to see us so early. Pennyworth asks for the room to be empty for a few moments and in privacy we take the body of Mathis out and put it in appropriately respectful repose. Fereal returns and sees the body. He is sorrowful and asks why it was kept from him. Pennyworth explains that he fell to treachery, but that we can not reveal all of the details yet. He says it has now been resolved and Mathis can rest in peace, his mission completed for him. Fereal thanks us for bringing it to him, and says that while it was not the end he would have hoped for he at least has an end to it. He takes Mathis’ longsword to place on his grave, but as thanks he bequeaths the armour and cord of divine favour that Mathis is wearing to be used in the pursuit of righteousness.

Pennyworth says we are on quest of our own and asks for the story of Kalashnakash. Fereal says he has told nobody but Mathis this story before. Kalashnakash was invited into city by an unknown hand. After the ravaging of the city and destruction of House Dejarin, and after the treaty with The Lady of the Seasons, he left the city. The seasonal houses felt that the insults could not go avenged though, and sent forward champions to fight him. The champions of Summer, Autumn and Spring attacked and were cut down in turn with ease.

Fereal wept and decried how unfair it was that a slaughterer of children was allowed such power. Kalashnakash was overcome with shock at being told of the murder of the children and asked if it was truly what had happened. Fereal said yes and Kalashnakash looked at the sword and bemoaned the blind rage that it had prompted in him and the actions it had caused. He struck the sword into a mighty oak tree that turned to ironwood, burying the sword to the hilt.

At this point a creature with dark skin and blades erupting from his skin appeared and charged Kalashnakash with a blade dripping poison. Kalashnakash opened his arms and took the blade in his heart, dying. The bladeling disappeared in a puff of blackness. Fereal buried the body of Kalashnakash beneath the oak tree. He left the sword, scared to touch it, and the tree closed on it, hiding the blade. Fereal says he can guide us to the grove, but needs this night to grieve for his friend.


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan8310 remainingNone25,999 (10)
Max?? remaining?27,264 (11)
Napoleon737 remainingNone28,575 (11)
Pennyworth?? remaining?28,320 (11)
Pieter?? remaining?27,749 (11)
Théorn906 remainingRage Strike, Oak Hammer Rage, Frost Wolf Rage, Combat Surge, Stone of Earth28,456 (11)

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Summer ball
Session 27

Day 3 in the Feywild, continued:

We take six tail feathers from the harpies as proof of our endeavours. Napoleon attaches a note, written in common and explaining that they are working to free the shifters, to the harpy that was left alive. It is woken and flies off to the south-east, towards some mountains, somewhat confused. The party then retires to the farmhouse to rest. The guards kick some shifters out to sleep in the open to make space, and we hear them calling out in the night for the angels to come and take away their tormentors.

Day 4 in the Feywild:

We set off back to Titrian on a misty morning. The route is safe and speedy, and we arrive around noon. Making our way through the crowds to our contact, Théorn spies some shifters of types he hasn’t seen before (beaver and skunk) and Napoleon and Hollan are pickpocketed for 150gp each.

Arriving at our meeting with Meklel, we present him with the harpy tail feathers. He acknowledges our fulfilment of the agreement and officially extends an invitation into the city to us. He seems impressed with our success and says that House Fallael may want to “deepen our friendship” at a later date.

Meklel escorts us to the city entrance to formally invite us in, but about 100ft from the gates a group of figures approach. Three are armoured and wearing House Autumn symbols, but the other three are dressed in finer clothes and sport House Miheil decorations. One is particularly well dressed and aristocratic looking. Meklel greets this last as Bastil Miheil. Bastil notes that until we reach the city gates our invitation doesn’t come into force and Houses Autumn and Miheil are free to stand together against his brother Kellerin‘s murderers. House Autumn told him they had visions of Kellerin’s end and our involvement. He wants vengeance, and in particular wants his brother’s armour “carved from the animal’s body”, leading an attack against us (Encounter 1).

The battle ends with the surrender of Bastil Miheil after too many of his allies are defeated. He offers an invitation into the city from House Miheil to parley. Pieter negotiates with him as we head towards the gates. The gates themselves are made of ironwood and are clad in ivy, and guarded by ceremonial guards from each of the Seasonal Houses. A robed figure with folded arms greets us and asks who enters. Bastil and Meklel both formally sponsor us and we are welcomed in, though Théorn and Pennyworth are advised not to remain too long.

We pass through the gates and see a grand palace that rotates in the centre of the city. A weathervane on the top is currently pointing towards a sun, which we take to be indicating that the evening’s court will be held in the palace of House Summer, as we’ve previously been told. We accept the hospitality of House Fallael and are taken to ?? by Meklel.

Mira, our concierge, greets us and advises us to avoid the areas of House Miheil and House Autumn. She escorts us to living quarters and assigned two shifter servants: one female razorclaw and one skunk shifter (who informs us that they’re called “Stinkers”).

Théorn talks to the shifters while Pennyworth asks Mira about Lucan, the elf that Alyssa Withers is searching for. Mira says she could announce our presence to him if he is here, but she can’t confirm whether he is or not. She asks if we are associates of Alyssa, to which Pieter responds that we ask on her behalf.

Max studies a map of the city while Napoleon and Pieter go to trade in the various furs and gems we’ve acquired. They find Sharrod Yirrian, who describes himself as a custodian of interesting items, rather than a shopkeeper. He gives us 10% more than we expected for the displacer beast furs and still seems happy. After payment, Pieter asks him why he was so happy with the deal and he responds that an artisan needs such things but that unless he were distracted by the acquisition of an interesting item his manners would not allow him to reveal who. Pieter gives him a Talon Amulet +1 and Sharrod reveals that he is one of just 5 suppliers to the artisan Elthien. He even says he could arrange an introduction within a few days, or sooner if we have an item that might interest Elthien. It will cost us 10% of the price of the item we procure as commission. Pieter tells him we have the skin of a displacer beast packlord, and Sharrod says he may even meet with us the same day.

Max goes dress shopping, meanwhile, in her little girl disguise. She finds a shop and is attended to by an eladrin lady and a hedgehog shifter. She is offered a beautiful dress in return for a favour. If she embarrasses Lyril Miheil at a public function then the dress is hers. She’s given a nice summer dress until the favour is done. Pennyworth procures a decorative burqa for 20gp.

At around 5:00pm a squirrel appears at our window and sings, inviting us to a meeting with Elthien and Sharrod. We all go to see what develops, and on entering the shop we find an incredibly old looking eladrin seated with two strange looking tools. Elthien speaks with short, clipped tones of impatience but is very pleased with the displacer beast packlord pelt, especially with how fresh it is. He makes us an offer. For 4,000gp he will produce either 3 suits of displacer beast armour +3, or a single suit of displacer beast armour +4. We settle on some feyleather displacer armour +4 for Hollan Darkwing to wear, and pay Sharrod the 400gp commission we owe him. Pennyworth also presents the elemental gemstones he acquired from the Temple of the Clear Springs and asks for a circlet of some sort to be made. This costs him 400gp.

We then go to spruce up before attending the Summer court in the evening. Hollan finds a local gnome who decorates his armour in summer themes in return for the crystal ball that Hollan has been keeping.

Bastil Miheil arrives to escort us to court in the Summer palace. It is a glorious golden palace, though there is a feeling of tension in the air. Sprites and faeries fly decorations around the large ballroom. There is a sandy circle in the centre of the room, then about 20ft out from that a circular table. We are welcomed by a maître d’ called The Castellan, who explains the etiquette and process of the evening. The guests arrive in order of importance, with the most important being last. Then petitions are brought before The Lady of the Seasons, before finally getting to food and entertainment.

He then announces our arrival and takes us to our various seats. Théorn is seated at the periphery with some rough looking adventurers, including a half-orc. Pieter is seated with Bastil Miheil, on his (Pieter’s? Bastil’s?) request. The remainder of the party are placed with other non-eladrin, including a human woman later identified as Alyssa Withers.

We get settled in, exchanging pleasantries to a general hubbub of gossip and discussion. Then the leaders of the noble houses of Titrian are announced: Saldine Dejarin arrives with a bladeling, and Tuthien Miheil arrives along with his daughter, Lyril Miheil. Finally, The Lady of the Seasons enters. She is tall and spindly, with legs that bend in many places, and walks with an almost clockwork gait. She wears a mask indicating summer, and we can see those of other seasons around her head.

She sits, and calls for petitions. First to approach her is Halley Windrunner, an elf who gives an impassioned speech asking for a fourth and final time for her eladrin cousins to give aid to her tribe before they are completely destroyed by the dragon Shivastri. The Lady waves her away, much to her distress. There are then a few minor disputes between nobles, one of which leads to a brief duel between a pair of eladrin in the sandy arena and resulting in the death of one of the combatants. Finally, Alyssa Withers approaches The Lady and requests to be allowed to speak to Lucan about her sister. She emphasies that she means him no harm and simply wants to ask some questions. The Lady ignores her completely.

Lyril Miheil remarks idly to Pieter that the party is boring, with only a single death so far. Food is served, and she chats to Pieter, asking the manner of her older brother Kellerin’s death. Pieter explains in diplomatic terms, but she is not at all unhappy as she is now next in line to be leader of House Miheil.

Théorn talks to the half-orc at his table in draconic. His name is Ugg Dwarfslayer, and he is here as a guest of House Dejarin, trying to work his way home to the mundane realm. Pennyworth enquires about Fereal and has him pointed out as the eladrin closest to Théorn’s part of the table. He goes over to talk to him. Fereal is in a bit of a funk, seeming haunted and his eyes searching the crowds. Pennyworth says he wishes to hear his stories. Fereal replies that he wants only one thing, and that “he has been taken from me” as he “lost him two years ago in this den of sin”. He refers to his friend/partner/lover Mathis Andrellian, a paladin in House Summer who disappeared two years ago. Nobody will talk to Fereal of it when he tries to ask. Pennyworth offers to assist him in return for stories of Kalashnakash.

Napoleon is approached by the bladeling that arrived with Saldine Dejarin. He introduces himself as Kennet Sharma and says he is seeking Smax O’Desperation, asking Napoleon if he is familiar with Smax, as he has heard of the party’s activities. He mentions in passing that it has been three months since the Temple of the Clear Springs was cleared (though it seems a much shorter time for the party). Napoleon replies that he hasn’t had dealings with Smax for a long time, and Kennet remarks that Smax can not be trusted. He departs, but leaves Napoleon with a business card that declares Kennet to be working in “Personal Removals”.

Napoleon and Pieter then go to talk to Halley Windrunner. She is drunk and bitter, but perks up a little when we tell her of our plans to battle Shivastri. She isn’t impressed at first, but the mention of slaying Korax raises her estimation of the party’s capabilities. She can’t help much, but offers assistance in transportation back to the mundane realm when we’re ready, and is greatly appreciative.

Pieter then goes to talk to the House Summer retinue, and seeks an introduction to Lady Carpathia. After some discussion he is eventually lead by a servant through winding corrdors to a small, simple room containing Lady Carpathia. Pieter explains our intentions towards Shivastri, which she seems happy about. He then explains about our desire to use Kalashnakash’s sword for these purposes. Lady Carpathia seems concerned, but considers it. She explains that she needs a favour done. Zidelis Yirrian and her entourage have caused insult and Lady Carpathia wishes them to be dealt with permanently. However, this needs to be done after they have left the hospitality of her court and before they arrive at their home. She says that if by sunrise they still have not arrived at the residences of House Yirrian then she will consider the task complete and grant us the requested truth boons.

Meanwhile, Théorn attempts to assist Max in her attempts to embarrass Lyril Miheil. He approaches the lady, loudly proclaims her beautiful and kisses her full on the lips. She is outraged and calls for guards, whipping him across the face. Everyone freezes, as the Lady of the Seasons approaches. She traces a finger along the cut on Théorn’s face and tastes the blood. She says she recognises his spirit, and compares it to that of Kalashnakash. Théorn debates with her a little over the status of shifters and her treaty with Kalashnakash, until The Lady declares tomorrow’s banquet to be in House Dejarin and that all shifters are invited if they wish to attend of their own free will. The entertainment will be a duel between Lyril Miheil and Théorn Deodhoran. At this point, the party is over.

Pieter identifies Zidelis and her band of paramours as the guests start to leave, and shares details of Lady Carpathia’s request with the rest of the party. Zidelis’ entourage includes Davec, an eladrin archer, and Gern Sironson, a gnome bard. Some in the party have reservations about a planned murder, but an ambush is prepared and we pin them down in an alleyway. Théorn begins to prompt an argument with Zidelis and Gern. Napoleon’s conscience gets the better of him, however, and steps in to diffuse the fight before it begins. Instead he invites them to a drinking contest (Skill Challenge), should they know of a suitable establishment nearby. Gern leads them to a “human bar” in the city and they settle at a table. Napoleon speaks to a waiter to get Gern’s drink spiked, but he is wise to such tactics and randomises the selection of mugs each round once they arrive at the table. At the end of a very messy night of drinking and a close call on Gern Sironson’s iron constitution, Théorn is the only person left standing and claims victory, carrying his compatriots back to their quarters and leaving the defeated group to slumber well past dawn.

Day 5 in the Feywild:

At 9am a squirrel arrives and acknowledges the success of the party’s favour to Lady Carpathia, as Zidelis and her group did not return home by sunrise, and invites us to the palace of House Summer in 2 hours’ time to claim our prize. Théorn spends this time inviting and encouraging the shifter servants to attend the evening’s festivities in House Dejarin.

We’re wary of walking through House Miheil territory to get to House Summer, so we ask our concierge if she can help us. Mira tells us she can arrange for us to be teleported directly to the palace, but it will cost an interesting item or some gemstones. We offer the Boots of Adept Charging that Théorn no longer needs, which seems to be acceptable. We put all our weapons and armour into the Bag of Holding, and are taken to a room for transport.

The teleportation arrives in the palace ballroom where court was held the night before. The room is a bit darker and more gloomy than yesterday, and there are beetles scuttling everywhere. The Castellan greets us, accompanied by guards, and asks our business. We explain that we’re here to see Lady Carpathia about a favour and he escorts us into a small room. There is a brief flash, and we find ourselves in another room.

Lady Carpathia enters. She says she does not wish to speak of what happened, but thanks us and says we may have one truth boon each if we wish. However, she warns us that each question comes with a price, though isn’t clear on what that price is. She also says that while the boon trance is upon her she changes, and we should only trust what she says that directly pertains to answering our question. She then leaves to prepare.

After a short while we are ushered into a room with ledges on either side and an abyss between. The Castellan teleports us all across, and we then enter a new room containing only simple wooden benches. In turn, Pieter, Pennyworth and Théorn pass through the door to ask their questions, whist the rest of the party remains and waits.

The three return together and hurriedly request the armour and weapons from the Bag of Holding. Whilst suiting up, Pennyworth explains that someone or something (that we suspect to be Black Annis) is masquerading as Lady Carpathia and keeping both her, and Mathis Andrellian, prisoner in the palace. Mathis was able to see through the disguise, and was thus imprisoned.

The doors open, and ‘Lady Carpathia’ enters with a retinue of guards. When accused of being an imposter, she acknowledges it and says she never intended to keep us alive. She just wanted to see what answers we could wring out of the real Lady Carpathia. She leaves, ordering the guards to kill us (Encounter 2).

Once we defeat the guards, we recap what answers were given to the three questions asked:

  1. Pieter asked Lady Carpathia what her story was. She told him that the enemy had swarmed her with bugs and taken her face.
  2. Pennyworth asked how we could find Mathis Andrellian. Lady Carpathia responded that he was in the deepest recesses of the building, in a place that lies beyond the sleeping area of the master of the palace.
  3. Théorn asked of the fate of Kalashnakash after meeting with The Lady of the Seasons. He is told that four champions from seasonal houses approached. Three of them attacked and died. The final champion, Fereal, showed Kalashnakash what he’d done, and he felt remorseful and left (leaving the sword, we think) to kill himself, but on the blade of another. There is an implication that it might have been Kennet Sharma.

Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan838 remainingBlade bolt, Counterstrike Guards, Sword of Gales24,501 (10)
Max?? remaining?24,334 (10)
Napoleon674 remainingCouteurs of Second Chance, Shadow Hound Armour25,645 (10)
Pennyworth787 remainingFeast of Souls, Tyrannical Threat, Elemental Air Crystal25,390 (10)
Pieter?? remaining?24,819 (10)
Théorn576 remainingCombat Surge, Oak Hammer Rage25,526 (10)

View
Arrival at Titrian
Session 26

Day 2 in the Feywild, continued?:

Concerned about the warning of the Curse of Black Annis, we set off back to the site of Dappledown at as fast a pace as we can manage. Unfortunately this means a lot of stumbling into funghi (releasing debilitating spores), tripping over branches (taking damage) and disturbing clouds of biting insects (hindering healing). We also become aware towards the end of this leg of our travels that the noises have attracted predators and we’re being stalked, before a trio of sabre-tooth tigers attacks us (Encounter 1) just before we reach our destination.

Shortly after we arrive at the site of Dappledown, though we can no longer find it, with about 7 hours until night fall. Three obvious paths begin from here, each looking oddly inviting. They show:

Path 1. Tree branches showing signs of different seasons
Path 2. Elegant sweeping branches, sweet smelling flowers and so forth
Path 3. A rock path leading up to birds, high winds and steep drops

We look to Théorn, our tracker, for advice. After a brief communing with his senses and his god, he feels a pull towards the Path of Seasons. We duly set off down this path. No sooner have we gone a few paces than we find ourselves separated somehow and confronted by animate trees that talk to us.

  • Théorn is told by a snow-covered pine that he is a child of winter, and that we must walk each season as though through the seasons of life.
  • Pieter is greeted by an elm and given the “blessing of summer”.
  • Pennyworth chats with a willow, who calls him a child of spring because of the life within him.
  • Max is visited by an ???, named a child of autumn and told of the glories between summer and winter.
  • Hollan, talking to an elm split by lightning, is asked if he is the danger or the shelter of summer. He replies that he is both, and the split tree merges back together.
  • Napoleon is found by an acorn, he is the seed of potential. Other have a path, where he has a map and can choose his path. Napoleon chooses spring: capricious, full of life and helping others grow.

The group then reappears back together upon the path, surrounded by signs of spring. We continue walking, but after an hour we seem to be treading the same ground over and over again. We adjust our marching order to match the order of the seasons. All that changes is that Napoleon and Pennyworth feel happy whilst the rest of the party feels discontented. After an hour of this we try a different tactic, with the summer people in front and fixing summer in our minds (as the next season after spring). This too fails to work.

Finally we try crawling like children (the springtime of life), and the path changes to summer. We stride through summer and arrive in autumn with sunset approaching fast. We gather branches for walking sticks to walk through autumn, and notice movement out of the corners of our eyes while doing so.

Pennyworth has a sudden memory flashback, of him and four other “iron-born” as a group called ‘The Iron Fist of Kezrak Azad’, reaping a harvest of eladrin while armed with glaives.

The sun sets on the autumn path as we move in to winter. We hear a howling on the wind and cackling at the edges of our perception. A shadow flits across the face of the moon, and suddenly the nieces of Black Annis, Selenis and Glump, joined by her sister Thistlewhite, attack us along with their eladrin bodyguards (Encounter 2).

After defeating the attack we take the bodies of our fallen foes to enact a makeshift funeral procession. Thus winter turns once again to spring and the paths ends in sight of the large, gleaming city of Titrian. It is surrounded by walls, with caravans going in and out of the gates. Fey residents are visible all around, and a large fair is present around the entrance. The city itself is dominated by a huge tower, surrounded by eight smaller towers. We light a funeral pyre at a distance to complete the process and approach the fair, with Pennyworth and Théorn disguised by heavy cloaks (Quest Complete).

First we make our way to the wine tent, where the barkeep appears to be part tree. Napoleon buys a drink, whilst Pieter retires to a table with a bottle of wine and two glasses to watch a half-elven bard performing. A human woman joins him and introduces herself as Alyssa Withers. Her family were the protectors of Orm, one of the countries of the Hundred Kingdoms. Pieter asks if Alyssa knows of the Temple of the Clear Springs. She has, but only as a lost temple, and begins to get confused over timings from Pieter’s choice of words and begins to worry that she may be too late for her quest. She is searching for her sister Cassandra, a princess of Orm. The last person to see Cassandra was an elf called Lucan who has taken refuge with House Fallael. Alyssa wants someone to gain access to him to ask questions. If we can help her finding Lucan then she will help us as best she can. She will be back here in X days to meet us, if we have anything to help her.

She also explains a little of the politics of Titrian to Pieter. The city is run by eight noble houses:

House Miheil (“Hunters”)House Spring
House Yirrian (“Artisans”)House Summer
House Dejarin (“Who Remain”)House Autumn
House Fallael (“Accepting”)House Winter

along with the Lady of the Seasons. She mentions that House Fallael, lead by Blissit, has a dislike of the hunting of sentient creatures which causes them to quarrel with House Miheil, and that she is a guest of House Yirrian.

Pieter presses Alyssa for more information on our searches. She’s heard a lot of Kalashnakash since arriving in the feywild, mostly as stories to scare children. She says some of the stories don’t make sense, and some even suggest that Kalashnakash is still alive. She has also heard of some sort bargain between him and the Lady of the Seasons. The stories say he sacked Titrian, killing all the children and all but one of House Dejarin. He also struck the Lady of the Seasons a terrible blow, which lead to a truce whereby shifters wouldn’t be taken as slaves. As we’ve seen, they are again being taken as slaves now but Kalashnakash has not returned. His sword was known as “Elf Sorrow”, apparently.

Hollan goes looking for weaponsmiths to try find someone to make him some javelins using the sabretooth tiger teeth. He finds that Elthien, a master weaponsmith, is currently a guest of House Yirrian and looking for something interesting for his next commission.

Théorn finds another bar, with shifter kids that look like foxes and hares serving the drinks. Asking around he’s told of rumours that someone is breeding shifters as servants, specifically trying for pale fur and violet eyes, and to speak to a shifter called Old Gerret for information. Gerret is suspicious of uncollared shifters but once won over he directs Théorn to another shifter in the tent called Bobbit. Théorn goes to find him. Bobbit tells Théorn that the breeding shifters are owned by Lyril Miheil and that uncollared shifters that are caught get sent to House Miheil’s mines. Every month one of them is given to the cyclops tribe as tribute.

Pieter talks to another bard and invites him to a private tent he’s hired for the group to sleep in (40gp/night). The party regroups and shares what they have learned before being joined by the bard. We learn that the Lady of the Seasons holds court in one of the houses of the four seasons every three days, with no discernible pattern to the selection. Invitation into the city grants you guest status, which means that any slight you cause is a matter between you and the target. Without this guest status, any insult means that the whole city turns on you. Apparently Kalashnakash got an invitation into the city, meaning that each house had to fight him separately, though Houses Spring and Fallael each had few casualties apparently.

The bard arrives and negotiates a price for the information we want. Once paid, he adds a little more information about the legends. Kalashnakash brought 12 tribes of shifters into the feywild with him (presumably most of these are extinct on the normal plane) and may be sleeping until the 12 tribes need him. A ‘traitor’ invited him into the city and the Lady of the Seasons hasn’t spoken since the truce. There are several rumours of what might have happened to his blade but Lady Carpathia of House Summer knows some facts, and will grant a boon for a price. The various rumours are as follows:

  • The Lady of the Seasons has the blade
  • The blade was stolen by Black Annis
  • Fereal of House Winter, the only survivor of the battle by all the House champions against Kalashnakash, may have the sword.

The group then sets about seeking more information on how to gain an invitation into the city. We’re told that they are often given in return for rare items or services rendered. Napoleon talks to a fur trader to see about being put in touch with someone who might offer an invitation in return for the displacer beast packlord skin, but becomes suspicious about the details and notices he is followed when leaving the stall. He loses the tail and returns to the group.

Pennyworth overhears some half-elves discussing methods of procuring invitations, and learns that House Fallael often prefers services rendered in the form of dangerous activities due to a lack of their own brave warriors. Pieter learns that Lady Carpathia has been interacting a lot more in recent times, attending House Yirrian often but granting the truth boons less often.

Pieter goes to talk to Meklel, a representative for House Fallael. He is a little more squat and swarthy than most eladrin (we suspect part elf). He seems curious about our party, as he there is a group of harpies troubling a silk farm to the south and he wants someone to deal with them. He seems uncomfortable when referring to the workers on the farm, though. Pieter agrees to the mission and gets directions to the farm. Meklel says to return to him here, or to one of his brothers (his uncle has many siblings), with six harpy tail feathers once we’ve completed this task. We return to the tent for an extended rest for the night, as it is getting late.

Day 3 in the Feywild:

First thing in the morning we set off for the silk farms, using the map provided. The journey seems much easier than our earlier travels in the feywild. We reach the farms after a few hours. At first we hear only silence, then … ??

Shifters work along ivy-clad walls with large worms on them. The shifters are shaved and iron-collared, to Théorn’s disgust. Théorn tries to talk to the workers but they are not very responsive, seemingly from a life in captivity. They talk of the “angels” who come from the skies and take away their tormentors. Two armoured eladrin approach us and we make our introductions. They tell us that the harpies destroy and foul things, abduct and attack eladrin guards but leave the docile workers alone. They attack at dawn and dusk, and seemingly often in reply to cries from the workers. Napoleon suspects that negotiation might even be possible, if we explain to the harpies that we’re working to liberate the shifters, but the rest of the party thinks it’s too risky and decides to do battle to be sure of getting the invitation into the city that we need.

With dusk some time away we search around for an open area to entrap the harpies and set up some campfires to provide enough light for battle. Napoleon ‘chastises’ Théorn with a whip to ensure authentic cries, until we hear the sounds of harpies approaching. Most of the group stuffs wax in their ears to block out the dangerous sounds of harpies’ cries, though Napoleon and Hollan only follow suit after suffering the effects. The harpies are defeated (Encounter 3) and 6 feathers are gathered. Napoleon spares the life of the one he defeats, knocking it unconscious instead and hoping to send back a message somehow…


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan267 remainingBlade bolt, Bahamut’s Protective Ward, Dimensional Thunder22,819 (10)
Max709 remaining-22,652 (10)
Napoleon456 remainingAll except Elemental Cube23,963 (10)
Pennyworth4810 remainingVile Brand, Belt of Fitness23,708 (10)
Pieter85?10 remaining?Medic’s Longsword, Hallowed Circle?23,137 (10)
Théorn629 remainingTorc of Fortune23,844 (10)

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Orienteering in the Feywild
Session 25

Day 1 in the Feywild, continued:

Elsewhere…

Pennyworth and Max awake in darkness within a blue, glowing pentagram. They are in a roughly circular cavern about 40-50 ft across. There is another glowing blue pentagram on the wall and a ledge running around it approximately 30 ft up that leads to an exit. They can hear noises from the exit, but can’t make out detail. Pennyworth cracks open a sunrod, which prompts sounds of surprise from the exit, then silence.

Investigating the pentagram, Pennyworth vaguely recognises it as being designed for those like him, and assumes that Max was simply swept along with him. Testing this, Pennyworth can’t exit the circle, but Max is able to. As she steps out, they hear a voice say “Interesting”. Then Pennyworth teleports out.

A woman enters the cavern. She looks to be in her mid-20s, either human or elven, with long dark hair. She notes that Pennyworth is unusual, and introduces herself as Juvis. She says that it’s been a long time since any iron-born tried to bring cold iron to the feywild, and that the trap holds those not breathing and sheathed in metal. Pennyworth makes introductions and explains that our mission here is not to do with the fey and asks to be allowed to leave. Juvis requests a bribe, of a magical item, but Pennyworth and Max refuse so she leaves.

Once she is out of the cavern Pennyworth summons Chardonnay. He sends her flying up to scout, and then to take a rope up and loop it round a boulder so that they can climb up. As Pennyworth clambers up, Juvis and an eladrin run back in. Pennyworth negotiates with them to stall for time while Max climbs up but they attack (Encounter 1a).

Meanwhile…

Théorn puts on Kellerin‘s armour to taunt him, while Pieter negotiates with him in elvish. Kellerin hasn’t heard of Shivastri, but mentions that he comes from the city of Titrian, which is governed by 8 noble houses. Pieter offers whatever funereal rites would be needed for the dead centaurs and Lellerian. We agree to bring along the bodyguard’s body for resurrection. Kellerin tells us there are three paths to the city:

  1. The Path of Seasons
  2. The Path of Sky
  3. The Path of the Fair

and that the next stop on the way is the gnome village of Dappledown. Napoleon tries asking about the missing companions, and at his description of Pennyworth Kellerin mentions holding defences guarded by “Wise Women”, or Hags.

The group starts walking, with finding their companions fixed firmly in their minds. Further along the foliage around the path changes to autumnal and we hear singing in elvish (a song about eating gnomes). Kellerin says it’s the song of a Verbeeg hunting party. Verbeegs are a type of giant, but a little one, hence the name (“For giants, they’re not verbeeg”). We decide to hide beside the path and see three giants carrying four gnomes trussed up on poles, two each between them. Unfortunately they see Napoleon and attack (Encounter 1b).

Back with Max and Pennyworth…

Max and Pennyworth explore the caverns. Pennyworth fails to disrupt the blue pentagrams, but they find red and purple pits. It does not appear to be an obvious Hag’s lair. Pennyworth tries to disrupt the spells by overloading them. Explosions ensue and the cavern shakes as Max and Pennyworth flee the crumbling and imploding caves. Rocks fall. Nobody dies.

Outside, Max and Pennyworth find themselves in front of a hill, with snow-laden trees all around. Fey energy is all around and Chardonnay can smell Winterclaw owlbears in the vicinity. They set off towards a mountain on the horizon.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party…

Napoleon frees the gnomes, named Zordan, Zavlinda, Lane and Harrow. Zordan explains that they will answer questions, but that one of them lies while the others tell the truth. Each can be asked a question in turn, otherwise the words will be twisted by “The Lady” (Lady of the Seasons ?).

Some complicated and confusing questioning eventually suggests that we travel east, “to where the bears shit ice”. We set off, and the surroundings eventually shift from autumn to winter. Théorn finds some dung, stepping on it and hearing it crunch icily.

Returning to the others…

Chardonnay flies up to see the mountain and act as a waypoint, but she keeps ending up behind. Shadowy figures can be seen in the trees, stalking along nearby, as Max and Pennyworth seem to be travelling in circles.

The shadowy figures turn out to be the rest of the group, and the party is reunited. After brief updates from both sides, Kellerin interrupts to tell us that we’ve been targeted by a displacer beast packlord. As we prepare for attack, four displacer beasts stalk out of the forest, followed later by the packlord (Encounter 2). The fight is difficult. Kellerin is eaten by the packlord and Pieter doesn’t survive the battle.

Afterwards, Théorn skins the beasts and we gather up Pieter’s body before stumbling in a daze and making our way to Dappledown. Arriving at the town we’re greeted by Zordan offering gnome mead, which Théorn drinks. He says that we’ll have to talk to Quellesteen, the village elder, about raising Pieter and that she can be found in the tavern.

We head to the tavern. Quellesteen sits snoring by the fire, a gnome woman with a long, braided beard. Napoleon tries to buy everyone a drink, but they won’t take his money and are insulted so give him “the bad drink”. He drinks it and promptly falls asleep in the chair opposite Quellesteen, who wakes up and rises.

Théorn negotiates with her, which is helped because we apparently killed “The Pack of Queen Scar”. She takes the party (sans Napoleon) through a secret passageway behind the fireplace into her study. After some searching she offers a raise dead spell that she acquired as a gift from House Miheil, in return for 700gp (the gnomes use it when they travel outside the feywild) and a favour. The gnome village is scared of two things. First, there is a tribe of cyclops to the north that raids their town. Secondly, there is a pack of firbolgs to the south who eat gnomes. If we deal with either one of those, then the favour will be considered done. Once the favour is done we won’t be able to find the village if we return, just the paths to Titrian.

Day 2 in the Feywild:

Pieter has visions whilst deceased, of the sun, a dragon, a man with a hammer, a raven and a handshake. Then everyone awakens half-buried in soft earth and leaves. We dig ourselves out easily, feeling well rested. Pieter, alive again, senses that Shivastri knows he is back and will be searching for him.

Théorn finds a leaf attached to him. It has a message written on it that says one of his companions slew Juvis the Hag, and the curse of Black Annis is upon him. That we would best be in civilisation before night falls.

We pick a direction, think of the firbolg pack, and set off at a reasonable pace. Despite a few minor injuries and mishaps we find a firbolg camp and deduce that they aren’t far away, so we track them quickly until we get close enough to hear them, then set an ambush which quickly dispatches the firbolg pack (Encounter 3).


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience
HollanFullall remainingnone20,499 (9)
MaxFullall remainingnone22,152 (10)
Napoleon525 remaining (HS value -1)none21,643 (10)
PennyworthFull1 usedFeast of Souls21,388 (10)
PieterFull1 usednone20,817 (10)
Théorn759 remainingCombat Surge, Oak Hammer Rage21,524 (10)
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