2014-10-30

Grand Duchy 35

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 35
October 23, 2014


Many Councils

Tserdain 13th of Flaurmont

The dark shape flying across the plains to the south was a dragon... a DRAGON! As Marcel tried to get a closer look at the approaching beast, he could tell that it was, in fact, not traveling directly toward the group, but in using his shield to block the sun from his eyes, he in inadvertently flashed a bright signal which caused the dragon to change course and head directly for the Company! In preparation for the Dragon's arrival, the Company spread out so as to not be caught together in the beast's deadly breath attack but were careful to remain on the "thrice-blessed" road.

Council With a Dragon

After just a few minutes, the Dragon swoops down past the group, skimming over their heads by only a few feet. The horses are all spooked and one of them bolts off the road to the north. The Dragon quickly lands on the horse, crushing it under his immense weight. The other horses, held tightly, whinny and stamp their feet.
Council with Argos the Worrier

The Dragon, the mighty Green known as Argos, addresses the party. Marcel steps up as the communicator and attempts to explain to the Dragon why they are here without giving too much away. Throughout the conversation, Argos devours the dead horse beneath him, punctuating his words with viscous tearing and gnashing of horse flesh. Argos questions them much about his "friends" and the "temple" nearby, which the Company quickly deduces to be the Werewolves and their lair. Marcel admits to Argos that they easily defeated the Werewolves, hoping to impress the Dragon with their might, and shows him the severed heads. This revelation throws Argos into a fury and he leaps back into the air and makes several swoops down upon the party, though he does not attack. The magic of the "thrice-blessed road" seems to be strong. Emboldened by this, the Company tries to press their advantage with Argos, pushing him for information but he does not share much.

Argos asks about the amulet that Kalkask has been wearing. He asks if the Company has it and demands that it be returned. At first the Company does not admit that they have it, but Argos somehow determines that Draven has the relic. He demands that it be returned. Griffin proposes a trade for information, which Argos finally agrees to, though in the end, it seems that Argos was not extremely forthcoming with knowledge. He shares that he was not in league with the Wolfskull Goblins and he indeed did attack their stronghold in the Petrified Forest. He cannot verify the location of Xitaqa. The Company also learns that there is no love between Argos and the Fairy King of Horses, whom he names as Loshad.

Finally, Draven returns the unholy symbol to Argos by throwing it to him. Argos agrees to leave the Company alone for the time being but swears that he will destroy them if he catches them in his domain again! With the symbol of Orcus hanging from one of his long fangs, the Dragon takes to the air and flies to the east, in the direction of the Werewolf lair.

Draven is disappointed that he had to relinquish the evil symbol as he had planned to deliver it to his Church for study and then destruction. He was also downhearted at the thought that the Company would not be able to topple the profane Orcus idol back at the lair. With one horse gone and another Dragon food, they Company had to double up on mounts and headed back to the east as quickly as they could.

Council With a Stranger

Council with an old wanderer

Just as they reached the Wyrtung's ancient mound, they found their horse. They also found an old, bearded Human wearing long green robes. This old man was happily petting and talking to the horse, who seemed unafraid of him. He greeted the Company and welcomed them to a conversation. They spoke for a while. He told them of some of the things he knew of the area. He related some of the relationships between the different Goblin tribes, the Dragon Argos, the Witches of Dymrak and even the Fairy King of Horses and the Centaurs of the moor. Though he did not say exactly who he was or where he lived, he did hint that he was from the area near the Lake of Lost Dreams and some surmised that this might be the fabled Seer of the Lake, a knowledgeable mystic known to live in the area and work to protect the area from the evils that would destroy it.

After departing from the old traveler,the Grey Company headed across the plains for the lumber camp, Sielo. Griffin searched the area north of the lumber camp and found a suitable place to ford the Highreach River (or the Volga, as Marcel keeps calling it.) Here the Grey Company split, sending Burik, Remar and Akaios to the south to gather supplies back at Susikyn and meet the party at Misha's Ferry as soon as possible. The remainder of the Company crossed the river and turned south toward the Moor. They quickly came upon the marshy swamp that lied at the northern end of the moor near the river and nestled up against the base of the escarpment that divided the moors from the hills to the north. Travel through the swamp slowed the Company down considerably and when they finally made it out of the swamp, it was nearly dark. The Company pushed on though, hoping to find the Table Rock and begin the ritual to summon the Fairy King of Horses.

Council With the Fairy King of Horses

Council with the Fairy King of Horses
The Table Rock was found quite easily and as everyone else set up the camp, Marcel climbed to the top of the Rock and started to lay out the apples and prepared to complete the ritual necessary to summon the Fairy King of Horses. Before he could even begin, though, the Fairy King of Horses arrived with his entourage of many horses, some of which looked very familiar to the Company. Immediately the Fairy King of Horses began demanding that the Company release their horses from bondage and set them free. His request was quietly ignored and he continued, not bringing it up again. Marcel quickly produced the severed heads of Bailakask and Kalkask to the Fairy King of Horses. He was quite pleased and held them both up to the light of the waning moon. He then fulfilled his end of the bargain and told them what he knew of Xitaqa.


The ruined Tower of Xitaqa sits on the west bank cliffs that border the river to the north of the Moor. It lies right where the river forks to the north and east, not more than a day's travel from here (probably 2-3 days from Susikyn.) The tower sits at the top of the bluffs though the Fairy King of Horses cautions that it can also be approached from the riverbank by traveling through one of many gorges and ravines that cut through the cliffs. He tells of other buildings built into the small canyons around the tower, a small city of sorts. He does not know who or what inhabits the ruins as he has not been there for some time, but he does caution for a careful approach.

He again tells the company that he does not want them bringing their horses into "his domain" and the Griffin tells him that in the near future, they will be bringing a large number of horses through here to the west. He asks what the destination is for the horses, and Griffin tells him they are for the Elves of Rifflian. He ponders this then departs without weighing in on it. The Company camped for the rest of the night and planned to travel back to Susikyn in the morning.

Moldain 14th of Flaurmont

The morning brought strong winds, nearly blowing them off their saddles from time to time as the Company crossed the Moor for the Misha's Ferry. They arrived at the Ferry with no problems and found that they had arrived before the others and would need to swim across the river and retrieve the ferry raft on their own. Marcel and Griffin braved the water and managed to pilot the awkward raft back across to the west bank. When the rest of the group was safely across, they looked around for any signs for Misha, but again, no sign of the ferryman. A new fire-pit sat in front of the small cottage though.

Not wanting to waste any more time, the Company continued down the path toward Susikyn. When they were about halfway there, they were treated to another visit by the Dragon Argos. The Dragon came roaring and swooping by, just above the treetops. It did not seem to notice the Company, or if it did, it just kept going anyway. A bit startled, the Company continued along the path.

Council at Susikyn

They arrived at Susikyn just after night fall and were greeted warmly by the residents, now numbering somewhere around 30 after a new handful of refugees had arrived while the Company was on the road. Pytor tells them that the Dragon Argos flew past the homestead earlier that day and clawed a good sized hole in the roof before disappearing. The Company shares what they accomplished and learned while away from the Homestead. Pytor is happy to hear that they have discovered the location of Xitaqa and wishes them well but explains that with all the extra mouths to feed at the homestead, he cannot provide any more food supplies, though he is happy to provide some other needed supplies. The Company then got to work planning their next foray into the wilderness.
Back at Susikyn and a council with Pytor

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 

Marcel Maasa homely but sincere wielder of spears aspiring to cooking greatness commanded by +Christian Blouin 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer 

Iris Varda, a Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure guided by +Alex Safatli  

and +Jason Woollard as The DM



2014-10-23

Grand Duchy 34

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 34
October 14 - October 22, 2014


Demons Be Driven

Gromdain 12th of Flaurmont

Laying Wyrtung to Rest

The assembled members of the Grey Company take a moment to catch their breaths. What had just happened seemed to have been out of a nightmare. The Star Sisters were gone, disappeared down into the smoking rift only to be replaced by a hulking demon of a beast - a multi-legged polar bear equipped with rending claws and a freezing breath blast! Marcel still carried some heavy wounds from the battle, while some others had been hurt during the battle, Draven had been able to magically tend to their wounds already.


It was starting to get late in the afternoon, though the weather was still holding. Akaios, Burik and Remar are still somewhere else, having left the area before the Star Sister’s ritual on the off chance one of them could be a potential target for one of the demons. Draven reminded the group of the profane statue of Orcus back at the wolf’s lair and their promise to destroy it. Marcel brought up Susikyn and their other quest to find and save Stefan, assuming he was still alive, over a month since he was captured by the Goblins. Griffin then brought up the initial reason they were all there, the horses. Everyone pondered these things. It was a good day’s travel back to the homestead, and another 2 days back to the Table Rock from there with the werewolf heads in tow.


Wyrtung’s body still lay atop the mound, right in the center, laying in a dark patch of grass. Looking at the body, it still seemed a bit unceremonious and unnecessary to kill the poor old hermit.


“All good points to ponder, folks. For now, I say before we leave here we need to give the old hermit a decent burial, and maybe check out the crevasse to see if there’s anything down there.” He looked over his comrades. “I’ll start digging. Once we’re done with that, we can head to the werewolf lair and hook up with Akaios and the others. I haven’t forgotten Old Ugly there.”


Griffin throws his blanket over the old man, then starts digging a shallow grave, over near the old man’s hidey hole.


“Well said. Little seemed to have been served by the death of old Wyrtung, whether he was marked by these fell creatures or not.” As Griffin begins the digging, Draven washes up and prepares some holy water for the ceremony, however brief, he will perform for the fallen watcher of this holy place.


“One day, I will return here, with a force of the faithful. This place deserves to be a holy shrine again.”


After digging for a while, Griffin heads back up to the mound to retrieve the old man. He wraps him in the blanket and stoops to pick him up to carry him down the hill. As he does he sees Wyrtung’s knife, still stuck in the ground where Nurmin the Star Sister had left it.
Wyrtung's dagger

As he grasps the dagger, Griffin notices that the weapon feels very cool to the touch.


Shrugging, he pulls the knife free and lays it on top of the blanket. He picks up the old man and starts down the hill. He is surprised how light the body is - like once the spirit departed there was very little left.


As he passes Ariadne, he pauses. “Hey, Ree, this is Wyrtung’s dagger. Anything magical about it?”


He leaves the dagger with the young girl and finishes carrying his grisly burden to its final resting place. Carefully he lays the bundle into the grave and quickly covers it with as much dirt as he can.


Whew! That was a bit of work. The young man sits down to catch his breath for a moment.


Helping out with the covering as best he can, Draven finishes up with a lengthy prayer over the old fellow. He hopes that, having anointed him with holy water and recommended him to the gods that whatever unusual business he got up to in service of foreign and heretical gods would be forgiven.


Ree turns the dagger over in her hands, looking at it carefully, “Yea, ya know what, there does seem to be something magical about this blade. And it feels cold to the touch, seems to chill the air around it.” She hands it back to Griffin and shivers a bit.


Griffin stuffs the dagger into his belt as he looks at the sun as it drops toward the horizon. Hells. He looks up at Ree. “Well, this day certainly got sidetracked. Let’s see what we can salvage. Hmmm…”


He straightens up. “Okay, folks, let’s see. Ariadne, why don’t you go and retrieve our wayward friends. It’s probably better if we camp here together again tonight. If you hurry, you should have light for at least the trip there. Iris, Draven, why don’t you check out Wyrtung’s cave and herb store. Marcel, if you’re feeling up to it, I could use someone to watch my back. I want to see if there’s anything still to be learned down in that rift.”


Griffin grabs rope off his horse and prepares to head into the crack in the mound. He looks to Marcel. “You coming?”


Checking the Storeroom

Curiosity overcoming him, Draven heads down to the herb store once more, recalling what had been said about the herbs being valuable in keeping the demons under wraps until they could be formally dispatched. Leaving all his gear behind, he hopes that his slight frame will allow him to scoot inside without abandoning his mail shirt as well.


Draven is able to squeeze into the narrow opening of Wyrtung’s “storeroom” and finds it to be in the same state as it had been before. Hundreds of sprigs of the dried plants hang from every spare place on the jagged rock walls. The “storeroom” goes back into the cliff-face nearly 25 feet or so before becoming too narrow to proceed or see any further. The dry, sandy floor of the cave shows it to be regularly visited. At the very back of the store room, Draven spies a tiny natural shelf, about chest high in the left hand wall. On this shelf is stacked a handful of tiny, white pebbles, smooth and polished, strangely out of place in this dark, sandy hole.
These stones seem out of place.

Taking care, Draven gathers some of the plants, in various stages of drying, to research further as time allows.


He looks at the pile of stones with some curiosity. Throwing caution to the wind and trusting his luck, he reaches out to pick one up and examine it more closely.


The stone is smooth and light, not too heavy; probably wouldn’t make much of a sling stone due to its light weight. The rocks smoothness remindes him of a river stone, tumbled to a near polish from the flowing waters above it.


On a bit of a whim, Draven gathers the stones and stows them along with the herbs. “Maybe Ree will know what to do with them, or Remar will have a feel for them…”


With that, he leaves the tunnels to rejoin the others in preparation for the consecration of the wolf den.


Under the Mound

Going down cracks seems to be the main order of business for the gray company. Marcel pauses for a moment, thinking about the old man. He had a deep sense of loss, not so much because Wyrtung had died but because it seemed to him that the mound had lost its purpose and meaning. It all seemed to him a bit of the known world now going to waste. Maybe, just maybe a bit more meaning was left to squeeze out of the mound.


“Well, friend. If there is loot down there, I don’t know whether I want to be watching your back!” Griffin looks perplexed. Marcel smiles and pat him on the shoulder.


“Let’s see if there are dead naked frost ladies down there to give ‘em proper burial.”


Griffin ties himself up with the rope and starts lowering himself down, Marcel holding the other end wrapped around one a nearby rock crag. The continual hissing steam has stopped as the water level of the nearby pool of water has lowered itself enough to only occasionally lap over the edge. Griffin’s glowing necklace allows him to see in the darkness below the surface of the mound. It is incredibly hot down in the fissure and Griffin begins sweating profusely almost immediately. He can see that along the right hand wall, there are carved out hand and foot holds that appear to lead down to a narrow ledge about fifteen feet down. The fissure narrows quite steeply the further it goes down and soon enough, the rubble from above can be seen choking the bottom of the crevice. It seems that the narrow ledge leads further down and in, though it is difficult to see well as the faint light given off by the glowing necklace is distorted and twisted by the heat of the passageway and the narrow walls angle in and turn frequently.


Damn it’s hot down here! Why am I doing this again? Yea, if the sisters have any remains down here it would be proper to retrieve them and give them a decent burial (assuming that’s what they’d want? Maybe a burning boat?) But hells, they’re already pretty buried down here anyway, between the lava and the cave in. Maybe I should just let this one go.


Still, those handholds look promising, and I don’t think this place is through with its surprises. If I’m careful, I should be able to at least see what is under here.


And they did have some pretty interesting gear…


Griffin carefully makes his way down to the narrow ledge, using the hand- and footholds along the right wall. At this point he’s climbing almost more by feel than sight, which is probably for the best as the light in this area is not the best.


Maybe I can see more when I get to the bottom of the fissure. If not, this may have been a hot and sweaty trip for nothing.


Griffin makes his way in and down and quickly runs out of rope. The debris from up above is no longer blocking the crevice or the ledge. To his left he can see down into the fissure a bit further. The soft red glow of molten rock makes its way up from somewhere below. Ahead, the ledge seems to widen a bit. He thinks that me is probably down near the elevation of the base of the mound and somewhere near its center. More red light can be seen up ahead, glowing from around another outcropping of rock.


Up above, Marcel feels the slack in the rope tighten and loosen several times as Griffin climbs down and out of sight. for a few moments, he can hear Griffin at first but after just a few minutes, his companions voice becomes too muffled and masked by the slight hissing and bubbling that creates a background of sound. Finally, after the rope has been slack for some time, it pulls taut. Marcel feels a few casual tugs on the rope and he assumes Griffin has gotten to the end of its length.


Marcel replies with a few tugs on the tense rope to acknowledge Griffin’s. He reaches around for his own rope and attaches one end loosely around the first rope. He lets the other end of his rope unwind. He then let his rope slide down Griffin’s. That should give him another 60’ to work with.


Griffin feels the new slack in the rope and takes it to mean that Marcel has given him another sixty feet to work with. He slowly continues deeper into the depths of the mound. The heat beats on him from on angles. He takes small sips of the superheated air. Sweat drips down his face.


Griffin continues along the narrow ledge and rounds the last obscuring corner to find himself near the top of a fairly large chamber with a domed ceiling. The ledge he is on wraps down and around the chamber walls to the floor some fifteen feet below. In the center of the chamber is a pool of magma. A rift in the wall leads out through the area he just entered. It appears that some of the magma flows through the bottom of this rift as well, which explains the boiling water at steam back at the opening in the side of the mound. The heat in this chamber is nearly unbearable and it is hard to make out specific details due to the way the heat is warping the air. Just ahead and to his right, Griffin sees what looks like some sort of necklace or amulet hanging from a protrusion in the wall. Upon closer inspection it appears to be some sort of symbol, possibly a standing lion wielding a pair of swords. It is made of a dark metal on a heavy chain. A quick scan reveals several more of these medallions hanging from other protrusions along the path that winds down toward the magma pool. And he cannot be too sure of it, but it looks as if there may be something floating just at the edge of the magma pool along the edge at the end of the path.

Except in a black metal

Wiping his eyes to make sure he’s seeing what he’s seeing, Griffin stretches out and snags the necklace off the wall. Well, I don’t want to return empty-handed!  He drops it in a pouch as he scans the the path down to the pool. Five more minutes.


More confidently, Griffin moves down the path circling the pool, making his way to the bottom. He keeps his eyes on the strange object he can see floating in the magma. To make himself feel better, he takes out Wyrtung’s dagger and holds it in front of him. The cool touch of the blade’s handle is almost lost in the oppressive heat of the magma chamber.


As he gets closer to the bottom, Griffin sees that the object in the magma appears to be a large black bowl. He also notices that his safety rope has trailed out over the open part of the room and has instantly burned away, leaving him connected to about 5 feet of smoldering rope. He has passed two more medallions hanging from the wall and he sees two more ahead of him.


Taking a deep breath, Griffin slides along the wall the rest of the way down to the edge of the magma. He snags the bowl with the dagger, and immediately retreats, the heat searing the flesh on the back of his hand. He moves back up the path as quickly as he can, but pauses as he passes the necklaces to grab them and put them away.


As he emerges, the cool night air hits him with an almost physical force.


His companions gather around to see what he had found. The medallions and bowl all hiss and smoke in the cool evening air, each being too hot to touch with bare hands.


Griffin spends several minutes just gasping in huge lungfuls of sweet, sweet, cool air. The bowl and amulets steam in the grass. Eventually he sits back up.  “Well, that was unpleasant.” He looks at Draven and Iris. “I thought one or the other of you might know something about these things.” He winces as the burns on his hand tighten. “I thought maybe they would be useful if we ever have to deal with demons again.” He pauses, then mutters, “Although it didn’t seem to help the Sisters, did it?” He brightens. “But anyway, that’s all that there was down there, aside from heat and fire and, oh yea, more heat.” He winks at Iris, “But at least it was a dry heat.”


He turns to Marcel. “Oh, and I kinda burned up your rope. I’ll replace it when we can get to a market, okay?”


Draven takes one of the amulets and examines it for a moment while Iris checks out the bowl without touching it as it is still quite warm. "Well, it's old, though I'm not familiar with the style," the young Thyatian girl states.


“These are familiar - certainly related to Vanya, but likely drifted from the true faith with time and distance. If no one finds it amiss, I will take these to return to the church in Kelvin. I suspect they will appreciate their antiquity and perhaps know more of them.”


The Demon-trapping bowl
Turning to the bowl, he suggests that it might be a phylactery - the object that one of the demons was contained inside. “From the heat, I take it it was in the lava below? Imagine the magic that must protect it from such heat!”



That night the Company makes camp again near the mound. Burik, Remar and Akaios are returned to the group and briefed over what had transpired. The warmth of the day never dissipates as the night closes in, making it an almost uncomfortable hot night. At nearly midnight, several dark shapes swoop down over the campfire, startling Akaios who was on watch. The giant foul bats had returned! In the commotion of waking everyone up to the threat, though, the bats flapped away, not to be seen again. After the horses were calmed, the Company bedded back down again for the night. Griffin found it surprisingly easy to get back to sleep and everyone slept good for the night.


Tserdain 13th of Flaurmont

Toppling False Idols

The sun rises and quickly gets to work warming up the air. It by far the hottest day so far this year and everyone but Griffin works up a sweat breaking camp. Ready to ride, the group heads back to the east toward the lair of the werewolves.


Griffin relaxes in the saddle on this delightful morning. He ponders out loud, “So, any thoughts on toppling old Ugly? Ropes and lots of pushing? Or is it not safe to touch it? We certainly don’t want to get his attention, do we?”


While hoping to get some discussion going about this next task, Griffin’s mind is already working on the step after that, and the one after that. Once we take down old Ugly, then cross the river. It’s a ways to the ferry. Maybe there’s a ford near Sielo - didn’t I see something like that when we passed through? Then leave the horses wherever we cross with some of the gear and a few folk to guard it, so the FKoH doesn’t get all “release all your horses to freedom” again. Then head for the Table Rock. Talk to the Fairy King of Horses (or have Marcel do it - they really seem to be bonding.) Find out where Stephan and the ruins of Xitaqa are. Then… He sighs. The next step would depend on where Xitaqa was. Hopefully they could get a chance to resupply and catch their breath. Maybe if it were past Susikyn, they could stop for a night under a roof for a change.


But we won’t know until we know. No point in making plans beyond the next major fork in the road, when you don’t know which fork you’re taking.


“It is a profane idol, and I don’t much fancy touching it any more than we have to. I can call upon a mantle of protection that should keep me as safe as one can be from such things, and can help with the placement of the ropes. If that, and the strength of our backs, is insufficient, perhaps some manner of lever can be employed.”


“I am just pleased to see us finally setting out to destroy the thing. It’s a good first step, and a necessary one, before we return here one day to ensure that the area is reconsecrated to the good.”


The sun blazes down as the companions travel down the “thrice blessed road” toward the werewolf lair. When they are about halfway there, Marcel catches sight of a dark shape high in the sky coming their way from the south, across the plains. The Traladaran soldier stands up in his saddle and holds his shiny silver shield up to block the sun from his eyes.


Marcel squints but cannot make it out yet. The others have gotten in the habit of heeding Marcel’s reaction and take a defensive stance.


“Thrice yee be blessed, Oh road to the goblin’s lair! For some dark omen is swooping from the south. ” He points at it with his spear.

Here There Be Dragons!

After another minute of watching the dark spot in the sky getting larger and closer, it is clear that it is in fact a Dragon! It appears to be heading somewhere to the east of the Company’s location then it suddenly banks and flies directly toward them. Given the rate at which the beast is flying, it should be upon them in less than five minutes!
Here comes the Dragon!

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 

Marcel Maasa homely but sincere wielder of spears aspiring to cooking greatness commanded by +Christian Blouin 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer 

Iris Varda, a Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure guided by +Alex Safatli  

and +Jason Woollard as The DM



2014-10-16

Grand Duchy 33

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 33
October 9, 2014


Battling a Demon

Gromdain, 12th of Flaurmont

The members of the Grey Company had been invited by the Star Sisters to stick around and observe the ritual required to destroy the demons trapped under the mound. More precisely, the Star Sisters said they could hang out on the mound while they did what they needed to do below, out of sight. The Grey Company positioned themselves around the dark crack in the earth at various places. Griffin sat high above on the top of the mound with his crossbow ready, Marcel took up a position down below, along the edge of the strange bubbling pool, he intended to be a visual focus for anything that came out of the rift. Draven stationed himself off to the right, near the stairs leading up and down the mound. He kept his holy symbol at the ready, incanting a powerful prayer of protection to his Patrons. Ree found a spot off to the left of the rift, hidden behind some rocks while Iris stayed down in the camp below the mound to keep an eye on the big picture.
The Grey Company takes up their positions around the rift

One by one, the Star Sisters climbed down into the crevice and disappeared. There was no sound or other signs to indicate exactly what was going on down below. Eventually it was Syareen's turn. She bid the party farewell and thanked them for their work in helping dispatch the demon who had been possessing Bailakask the Werewolf. She entered the chasm and was not seen again.

Finally the last Sister descended, but this time, something different happened. The sounds of some muffled commotion could be heard from below followed by a scream. Before anyone could go to check, a huge plume of steam came blasting out of the rift followed by a demonic roar! Something had gone wrong!

Inwitsorh the Frost Demon
The opening of the crevice seemed to explode and a huge, multi-legged white bear demon emerged! With a ear-splitting roar the creature lumbered out of the smoking crack and engaged the Company. It led off with a blast of frosty breath at Marcel down below while Draven moved in with his holy symbol and Griffin took careful aim with his crossbow. 

Seeing the symbol of the Church of Karameikos held aloft by the young Acolyte enraged the demon who proceeded to charge at him in an attempt to crush him. Fortunately the protective aura around Draven prevented the demon from slamming into him. Marcel moved to climb up the short escarpment to come to Draven's aid. Griffin let his silver bolt fly it struck the demon in the back, eliciting a cry of pain. The demon, who announced his name as Inwitshorh, proclaimed that it would destroy all that opposed it charged toward Griffin up above. 
Draven and Marcel confront the demon

Ree was attempting to utilize some of her magic to help out with the fight but was unsuccessful so she flung her silver blade at the beast, distracting it from its charge toward Griffin. The demon turned and charged back across the ravine toward Ree, striking her hard. Griffin clambered down while Draven and Marcel approached from behind. The Grey Company's silvered weapons were put to good use once again during the battle and seemed to be what turned the tide against the demon. 
Inwitsorh goes after Ree

The beast got several good hits in on a few Company members and Draven moved about the battlefield on the ledge healing his companions while trying to push the demon back into the rift with his holy symbol. Marcel and Griffin both struck telling blows with their weapons and eventually the beast faltered while trying to cross back across the crevice. It struggled to get free then suddenly, for no discernible reason, it seemed immobilized. It was still breathing and its demonic eyes still peered about, but it could not move at all. A faint call came from somewhere below the best to "finish him!" and the Company happily complied.

As the demon was being finished off, the ground around the crevice began cracking and shifting, indicating that a cave in was imminent. The Company quickly retreated just as the demon and half of the ledge disappeared into the darkness below. A blast of steam erupted from the even wider pit now left in its wake followed by projectiles of molten and solid rock. The sound of boiling water could be heard as a heavy torrent of water spilled from the nearby pool down into the chasm and coming into contact with the magma below. It was too hot and steamy to immediately see down into the rift so the Company retreated to a safe distance.

Notes

Another good +Roll20 for the campaign, though we were down one player. Again, we are finising up a little side trek that I had inserted into the wider story arc after coming across +Michael Prescott's amazing blog (I'll See It When I Believe It) and Patreon site for his maps and adventures. I used much of what he had written, though of course I had to change it quite a bit to fit my setting. I encourage everyone (though of course NOT MY PLAYERS!) to go by and check out his stuff, it is truly amazing, both the artwork and the adventures! Well done and thank you for sharing (I hope to get on board and patronize you at some point!) 

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 

Marcel Maasa homely but sincere wielder of spears aspiring to cooking greatness commanded by +Christian Blouin 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer 

Iris Varda, a Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure guided by +Alex Safatli  

and +Jason Woollard as The DM



2014-10-09

Dark Paths 50 - The Grand Finale

Dark Paths of Riddleport
Session 50
September 28, 2014


And So It Ends...

In Another Time, long, long ago

The remaining members of the Gold Goblin Crew pressed forward in this ancient shadow of Celwynvian, the Elvish city of Mierani Forest. Their destination was an observatory they had spied from the other side of town with strange lights flashing. After some time, the Crew arrived near their target. They had been stealthy on their approach, avoiding flying demons, a few Drow patrols as well as the occasional flyby from Razorhorn the Green Dragon.


Seems to be getting worse!
All the while, the sky overhead continues to swirl and pulsate as the ominous vortex continues to threaten to seemingly swallow up the entire world. Occasional fireballs streak across the sky, emanating from the vortex. This vortex is reminiscent of the one that appeared over Riddleport right before the meteor came down and struck Devil's Elbow. This vortex is at least 100 times as big, though, indicating something larger and more destructive may be on its way!
Two stoic Elves (not Drow) stood guard at the entrance to the Observatory. An attempt to negotiate with them broke down when Aragon attempted to disarm them. Both Elves simply vanished with the slightest contact from Aragon's blades, thought, making ingress to the building easy enough. 

They group enters the observatory and begin looking for the way up. They encounter much in the way of astronomical displays and even some Elves seemingly trying to figure out what is going on with the strange vortex in the sky. The Elves pay no mind to the Crew and they likewise move through without bothering them.
Flaming undead!

Soon, the Crew encounters the first wave of resistance. In a large room with a huge balcony overlooking the far end, they are accosted by a handful of flaming undead of some type. They prove to be challenging opponents due to the cloud of fire that surrounds each one. Snargash puts his glue spell to good use and many of them are immobilized, making it easy enough to bypass them and press on further into the building.

The center of the observatory holds the way up. Two staircases curve along the inside of this central chamber. The space in between the stairs appears to be a deep, black void filled with stars... some sort of astronomical device. The Crew heads up one set of stairs and finds themselves on the 2nd level, nothing more than a landing for both sets of stairs that continue up to the next level. The strong stench of Troglodyte drifts down from above and Aethel uses his magic to help Guy avoid the debilitating stench they are sure to encounter shortly. Aragon accidentally takes in a huge breath of the foul smell and begins coughing and spitting. Snargash quickly moves to alleviate the effect using his magic. 


As the next landing is approached, Aragon hurries up to find several Troglodytes and a Drow swordsman wielding a greatsword and clad in plate that is crackling with electric energy. The Troglodytes attempt to push Aragon off the nearby balcony as the others move up and engage. Guy puts his psionic abilities to good use peppering the Trogs. The Drow swordsman singles out Aragon and charges in but somehow manages to drop his sword along the way. Eventually he recovers and engages with Aragon. Snargash rushes up and screams in the Drow's face, stunning him momentarily. Aragon springs into action, nearly decapitating the Drow before another Drow appears. The second Drow appears to be some sort of wizard floating at the top of the next flight of stairs. He started flinging fireballs from an ornate staff. After a few moments more of the melee with the Trogs, they were intimidated by Snargash and began a retreat, allowing the focus to shift to the Drow.  Guy is blasted by a fireball, catches on fire and goes unconscious. Fortunately Snargash is close to provide support and Guy is back on his feet in no time!



The dark skinned Elves retreated to the upper level of the observatory and the Crew followed cautiously. The Drow swordsman presented himself and Aragon again engaged. The Drow wizard was flying in the air, up above a giant orrey. The fight rages on between the Gold Goblin Crew and two very powerful and skilled Drow. Eventually the tide is turned when Aragon finally gets the best of the swordsman and Aethel casts a spell producing a blinding flash of light right in the wizards face. Guy continues to fire psionic projectiles at the wizard while Aragon, using his Slippers of Wall Climbing, runs up the side of the giant celestial model. Meanwhile, Aethel uses his magic to reshape the many arms and parts of the orrey, turning it into a gigantic cage around the blinded Drow wizard.

Taking the fight to the roof!
Trapped and blinded, the Drow was quickly dispatched. It was discovered that he wore a purple amulet around his neck that Aethel identified as some sort of magical key or trigger, possibly for the portal leading back to their own "time." 

The Crew quickly backtracked across the strange, out-of-time version of Celwynvian and found the place that they had initially appeared. Aethel activated the portal key and the entire crew was magically transported away..... 

The Drow are finally defeated!

Notes

Finally, we made it! Ahh, it feels good to get to the end of the campaign, despite the fact that we lost a few along the way. There will be a final wrap-up story post just to wrap things up, but that will come a little later. 

Cast of Characters: 

Aethelarian "Aethel" Flitterseed - Noble Elf wizard played by +Daniel White 
Aragon Whisperwind - Elven Bladedancer played by +Arne Jamtgaard 
Guy Greystone - Gnome telekinetic played by +Gren Drake 
Snargash Windblown - Half-Orc monk played by +Amergin O'Kai 
and +Jason Woollard as the DM