2018-02-14

Wandered Roads Recap

Wandered Roads of Varisia

This weekend we are traveling back to Varisia to reconvene our old, on-going GURPS campaign set in the wonderful world of Varisia. I put together a campaign recap for the players since it has been like 2 years since we have played and we kinda dropped off right in the middle of the action (should have planned that a little better, I think!)


Recent Campaign Summary


The most recent adventures of the Heroes of Sandpoint started less than 2 weeks ago in Magnimar, back on Starday, 29th of Lamashan. The Heroes had met with Shelia Heidmarch, the leader of the local Pathfinder lodge after completing their quest to find the Shard of Greed in Magnimar. She gave them an Ioun Stone that would activate the Shard and suppress its curse and give its owner a vision of where the next Shard was. Daellin, who had possession of the Shard of Greed, saw that the next Shard, the Shard of Lust, was located somewhere inside the Lady’s Light, an ancient monument about 50 miles away in the Mushfens. Shelia said she would work on finding transportation and help for this voyage.


On Sunday, 30th of Lamashan, the group met with Vosk, a Half-Orc Pathfinder that had some experience with the Mushfens and would accompany them on their quest to find the Shard. He introduced them to a contact, a crazy street prophet that gave them the name of a local witch who lived near the Lady’s Light and might be of some assistance.


On Moonday, 1st of Neth, the group departed Magnimar on a ship bound for Korvosa and other ports south. After a day of sailing, they were dropped off at the nearest landing spot, still several miles from the Lady’s Light, but much closer than walking from Magnimar. In short time, they found the home of Maroux, the Half Orc witch and made contact. She agreed to let them stay near her hut in exchange for a favor.


The next day, Toilday, 2nd of Neth, the group ran an errand for Maroux to gather some hard to get seaweed from a nearby shoal. In the process, they came across a shipwreck with some undead abominations and dispatched them, gathering some sunken treasure as well. Maroux was pleased with the seaweed gathered and shared much information. She told of the ongoing war between the inhabitants of the Lady’s Cape, a tribe of Lizardmen and their rivals, a tribe of Boggards (frog-like beings.) She also told them of the Grey Maidens, a group of all female knights from Korvosa who had recently come to the swamps looking to loot Runelord Sorshen’s treasure in order to rebuild their order and reclaim Korvosa for their recently dead queen. Maroux also explained that there were numerous underground tunnels beneath the Cape that were rumored to lead to an underground complex beneath the Lady’s Light and that was the only way to enter the monument. She said these rumors were verified to her when Oriana, the leader of the Grey Maidens returned to Maroux a few weeks later in an attempt to recruit the witch into their order. Oriana told her how they had found the tunnels, entered the dangerous and trap filled complex and discovered that the Runelord Sorshen was still alive and running the place after all these years. Oriana was incensed when Maroux declined her offer. The group decides their best course is to try to enter the underground tunnels through a cave not controlled by either of the warring tribes, but one that Maroux cautions may be the home of “something big and nasty.”


On Wealday, 3rd of Neth, the Heroes head out, searching for the entrance to the Lady’s Light. In their search, they came across a battlefield with numerous decapitated Lizardmen and signs that the Boggards may have had help from, if not weapons supplied by the Grey Maidens. Kallin spoke to the spirit of a slain Lizardman priest about the cavern they were searching for. The spirit told them of the Cave of Many Mouths, as he called it and told them to seek out Gegganallag to help them in their quest.


Following the Lizardman spirit’s advice, they found the cavern and quickly learned that it was inhabited by a hydra! After a prolonged battle of blade, scale, tooth and fire, the Heroes finally defeated the hydra, who slinked off into the nearby bog bearing many serious wounds. Much treasure was gathered at the area and it was decided to camp for the night in the hydra’s lair to heal up and get some rest.


The following day, Oathday, 4th of Neth, the group buried all their accumulated treasure and headed into the cavern, looking for the tunnel that lead to the Lady’s Light. They found it and followed it for some distance until reaching a large underground chamber with several tunnels coming together. Signs of Thassalonian presence were seen here, confirming that the group was on the right track. Choosing a tunnel that did not bear signs of Lizardfolk or Boggard signs, they headed to the west toward their goal. The passage was difficult to traverse and took some time but eventually they made it to a large, domed chamber with a dark shaft in the center and ringed by columns bearing statues of the Runelord of Lust. Further exploration triggered a trap setting the ancient statues to attacking them. After a brief battle, the statues were defeated and the group studied the shaft, which appeared to be filled with magical darkness.


After some experimentation and with the help of magic and strong climbing rope, the group made their way down the shaft and found themselves in what appeared to be a burial chamber. Ehlyna fell during the climb but found that some ancient magic gently and silently lowered her to the ground safely. The stone sarcophagus was decorated to look like Runelord Sorshen. Inside lay a living and breathing Runelord, fast asleep. Daellin touched her expensive looking jewelry and was immediately stricken with an illusion that seemed to nearly kill him. They closed it up and moved on.


The group found and traversed an underground river, found some graves marked with shields painted with the rune of lust, fought an animated glass statue, explored more underground tunnels decorated with images of Sorshen and numerous wanton sexual encounters. They fought and killed a highly skilled and equipped vampire like being, though he was not an Undead menace, though Vosk did stake the dead body, just in case. They passed a hall of pillars with dangerous spider-legged heads that shot paralyzing bolts. They defeated some and used magic and stealth to sneak past the rest. Vosk got stuck in the bottom of a spiked pit trap but was saved. They met an incubus demon that could not let them pass because he had been ordered so by his mistress, Runelord Sorshen. He told them of a battle here a month ago between some of his kind and the Grey Maidens. Not wanting to be defeated and sent back to the Abyss, but unable to allow any to pass unless he was defeated, he suggested an arm wrestling competition. Ehlyna was able to beat him and he allowed them to pass.


Next the group entered the Sanctuary of the Grey Flame and inadvertently set off a trap summoning a swarm of tiny, orb-like demons. The demons were defeated and the way forward was explored, along with some secret passages. Daellin sets off an icy blast trap and the party is nearly killed. They find what the think to be a safe chamber and rest and heal for some time.


On Fireday, 5th of Neth, they press on, trying to be more careful to not set off any more traps. They explore numerous more rooms, mostly empty. The find an area of what appear to be labs and workrooms. They find some useful items and Vexeron mis-identifies some grey ooze as a useful substance. The group then encounters a room with some unfinished magic. Upon further examination, a powerful, otherworldly worm like beast is summoned to the room and immediately attacks. The fiend is defeated and some more magical loot is taken. Realizing that they had scoured this entire area, the group backtracks through the Sanctuary of Grey Flame and heads down a previously unexplored passage. They were momentarily stopped, but in time, figured out another magical trigger to open the way forward. By kissing the feet of Sorshen on a mural, they found themselves teleported, one by one, to another location.


The group finds themselves on another sandy beach near an underground lake or river. A waterfall plummets down into the water near them and several row boats are tied off. A pier and door can be seen across the lake so they head that way. The boat riders were assailed by underwater ghasts who tried to pull everyone into the lake, but once again the heroes were victorious and made their way to the large red door they had seen across the lake. They entered the next area and were accosted by a giant, bipedal dragon of some sort. Strangely enough, the draconic giant said it was Sorshen the Runelord of Lust and demanded they all pay homage to her. At first the Heroes went along with this demand but soon enough battle ensued. Several giant monitor lizards appeared and helped the draconic giant but it was not enough. After defeating the occupants of this room, it was determined that there were no other ways out and it seemed safe and defensible so the group pulled the boats in and bedded down for the night. Vexeron spends some time analyzing some of the recently found magical gear.


The next day, Starday, 6th of Neth, they head back out and take their boats further into the underground lake. They rowed through a narrow part with numerous niches and ledges holding dead and mangled bodies, some of them relatively fresh. Daellin, flying alongside the boats, disturbed a couple of ghoul bats but they were quickly run off. Next they crossed another wide underground lake that was cursed to cause everyone to be filled with the desire to get to the far side as fast as possible, sometimes by stripping down naked and diving in the water. Daellin, flying and not constrained by the boat, flew away quickly. As several folk dove in, some large, aggressive eels showed up. Kallin and Samad were magically pulled from the water and incapacitated but Vosk was lost to the eels, never to be seen again.


Ahead of the rest of the group, Daellin found a beach and a concealed door that led to a cavern that looked like it had seen a lot of recent traffic and was loaded down with fishing gear. Still under the compulsion and wanting to make sure this area was secure before his companions arrived, Daellin pushed on and interrupted a dinner party of 6 Grey Maidens, who demand his immediate surrender. He tried his Elven charm and attempted to talk his way out of things but it does not work and he finds himself the victim of some mind controlling magic and is taken prisoner and disarmed. As one of the Maidens reaches for him, he Blinks away, behind one of the many doors in this chamber and begins a hasty plan to escape with limited resources and magical reserves. He goes invisible just before one of the Maidens opens the door to look and is undetected. He then hears the Maidens in the other room shouting and preparing for battle and the Elf assumes his companions had finally made it to the nearby shore.


The rest of the crew finally made it to the beach, hoping to find Daellin there, but only found a handful of armored knights ready to repel them. Kallin and Samad were still knocked out and the Grey Maidens called for a halt and tried to make the group turn around and row back the way they came. A parley ensued and the Maidens allowed the group to land their boats to tend to their wounded, but then quickly launched an offensive. The Maidens proved to be skilled and formidable foes but eventually they were driven back and forced to surrender.


The Grey Maidens, all beautiful female knights from Korvosa all bearing some unique and horrific facial scarring, were taken prisoner and forced into the same storeroom Daellin had recently hidden in. It was soon discovered that there was some dissension between some members of the Maidens. They had been working with who they believed to be Runelord Sorshen though many members were currently unaccounted for and some thought their leadership had possibly been magically charmed. Many Maidens believed that their original mission had been compromised or abandoned altogether and they wanted to leave but others showed unwavering loyalty to their leader Oriana, and now to the Runelord. Some Maidens were now beginning to doubt that it was actually the Runelord herself and possibly someone just pretending to be, though clearly with great power to backup her claim.


The heroes were given detailed descriptions of the adjacent rooms and they quickly checked them out, finding some teleportation magic nearby. Daellin managed to trigger the teleporter and found himself in another chamber surrounded by several armed Sinspawn who were not falling for his attempts at trickery. The Elf quickly teleports back to where he came from.


The group decides to explore the other nearby passages first before heading through the teleporter and battling more Sinspawn. They find some hidden passageways, some trapped rooms and more sinister magic items. Some of the Grey Maidens make a plea to be let go and pledge not to fight or interfere with the Heroes’ actions as long as they are permitted to leave when they do. The offer a little more information and 4 Maidens are set free, though a few others are still held captive.


The next day, Sunday, the 7th of Neth, the freed Maidens tell the Heroes about some natural caverns near the beach where some of their sisters had been taken by Sorshen and never returned. The Heroes agree to go check the tunnels out and look for the other Maidens. They find one of the Maidens, albeit, dead and tortured by Daefu, an evil Sea Hag that seems to be in league with Sorshen. The group battles the Sea Hag and her aquatic Gremlin minions and eventually defeat her. They bring the dead Maiden back along with some gathered treasure and spend the rest of the day resting and allowing Kallin to rebuild the strained bond with his goddess, Pharasma.


The Heroes spend the next two days, Moonday the 8th and Toilday the 9th of Neth resting.


On Wealday, the 10th of Neth, the group returns to the Golden Gallery and makes plans to teleport to the next chamber and battle the Sinspawn there. They do so, and handily defeat the guards but not before one of them called some sort of alarm down a hallway, drawing a troop of demons summoning more demons and an invisible Sinspawn sorceress that nearly cuts Daellin in half with her polearm.


Next the group finds a grand ballroom filled by party goers and Runelord Sorshen herself, but it turns out it is all just an elaborate illusion and the room is empty. The proceed a few more rooms into the complex and are eventually ambushed by some more Grey Maidens, this group lead by the 2nd in command of the Knights, a powerful knight named Quenelle Page who commands her Knights ably. The Heroes quickly find themselves losing the fight but then manage to rally and push the knights back. Quenelle Page makes to retreat up a large spiral staircase in the middle of the chamber, but she is stopped and killed in the process. With this squad of Maidens defeated, the Heroes regroup at the base of the stairs and plan their next move.

Character illustrations below by +JeCorey Holder 


Samad
Calina


Daellin

Ehlyna
Calina

Ehlyna
Kallin


Kallin


Samad 

Vexeron


Characters:

Kallin Hawkril, Half-Orc shaman and budding Priest of Pharasma - played by +Daniel Ernst
Calina - Varisian Human archer and scout - played by +Carol Coburn
Daellin Silvanthalas, Elven Farstrider Ranger - played by +Ben Lipe
Vexeron, Human wizard - played by Don K
Ehlyna Fuzziface - Dwarven Warrior - played by +Jodi H
Samad Aldhul, Human ex-mercenary - played by +JeCorey Holder
and +Jason Woollard as the DM







2018-02-01

Grand Duchy 114

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 114
February 23-March 6, 2017


Trouble in Byxata

Tserdain 13 Klarmont

A Commotion Outside the Door


A perfect day. A perfect night’s sleep. A perfect breakfast.


And then a worn and diseased Kasiex enters the room announcing bad news with potentially even worse news behind him, out in the hallway. Several heavy blows can be heard on the thick double doors leading into this chamber. The exhausted Kasiex leans up against the door, not that he could do much to stop it from opening in his current condition.

Griffin acts, “Marcel, Stephan, get the door! Ree - hide. If we’re outnumbered you’re our ace in the hole.” Griffin turns to Kasiex. In Traldar, “What’s going on? What happened?”

Kasiex growls, “What happened is what I need to know! I thought we were allies! Friends, even! But a hunting party returns with stories of invaders to the valley, of Traldar and new strangers who slaughtered many of them in a ravine.  These strangers...they’re talking about are you! The survivors...they want justice.  And the others here were not exactly happy to have you here in the first place.”

The Hutaakan continues, “Was...was this all a lie? Some kind of Traldar plot? Why would you do this to us, who have only helped you?” The door shudders and thuds, Kasiex’ worn down strength offering little to support it; but he tries to hold as he waits for his “friends” to tell him something, anything that might help explain what happened.  Kasiex stumbles away from the door as Marcel and Stephan step up to take his place.  He catches himself on a piece of furniture to stay upright, looking at the Company imploringly.

Griffin sighs, then shakes his head. “Yes, it’s true. We, that is, I - I did it.” He swallows, then continues. “When we arrived in the valley, we met a Traldar scouting party. They showed us friends of theirs, slain in battle, and accused us of the crime. We tried to convince them that we were innocent of the attack. They were reluctant to believe us. Finally, they told us of their foes. Our words were not clear, and their description led us wrongly to think that some of our enemies had followed us into the valley. I volunteered to help them by fighting beside them in a show of good faith. Only when the battle was to start did we see that their enemy was not our enemy, but Hutaakans. To my shame, I still went through with the attack.”

Griffin straightens up. “So yes, Kasiex, I am guilty. We have tried to make up for my mistake by aiding you in fighting the curse that plagues this valley. I don’t know if that makes any difference.” He motions for Stephan and Marcel to step away from the door.

“I will submit to your justice, if that is what you want.” He puts his hands in front of him, ready to be bound.

Draven steps up, “You can’t shoulder the blame for this yourself, Griffin, noble as it might be for you to try. We all participated, our narrow-minded thinking leading us to believe that the evil in this valley - the undead - would be being caused by your people rather than the Traldar by simple expedient of their being human.”

“We were led to think that those we would be facing were creatures who had been pursuing us, who had ambushed us on our way here - we only just managed to escape them. In retrospect, you bear them little resemblance and are a good and civilized people, which we only learned late, to our collective shame.”

“I would only ask that your leaders take into consideration our actions of late, our work to restore this land and its health, and how we have treated with you and Kifein. We can only hope that you will speak on our behalf, honestly and truthfully, and that our return to the village here with the book that we promised we would recover will act as our bona fides, that you can accept our apologies.”

“I think I can speak for all of us when I say that it remains our intention to continue the work we have undertaken to restore your home to wholesomeness and health, and your people to their holy places.”

Remar watches the scene as it unfolds.

Hope yer ready ta be bound once again, slave.  Wonder wat cleanin’ doggy latrines’ll be like?

No!  Not that!  They just need to hear us out.  That’s all.  It’s...it’s just like Draven inferred last night...

Remar continues the thought, by voicing it.  “You all are right.  We can not seek redemption until we have faced our sins ourselves.  Only then can we lay them bare, before those whose transgressions we have suffered.”

Ooo, good tactic:  Bone-breath!  Lend meh thy ’ar!  Have thoueth eh sword s’ ey may falleth on through it fer thee?

He sighs internally and checks Draven’s gaze before going on to make sure he summarized that right from their previous talk. Draven nods, and leaves room for him to speak.

“Kasiex,” the Wizard continues, meeting the Hunter’s eyes.  “As you have said, you have travelled with us.  Struggled with us.  Bled with us.  Suffered with us!  To include my horrible attempts at Traldar communication,” he softens and smirks briefly, with a thankful nod to Iris for letting him know how badly he’d been mucking that up and diffusing the situation when needed.  “I studied, long and hard not just to restore Iris to full health and wellness as we did last night, but for you as well.   I...we consider you a friend, Kasiex.”

Where be all dis goin, Rema’?  Canna we just light ‘em o’ fire, fly out da window, an’ be on our merry way?

We’re not like Golthar.  Wait, that’s it!

“I’m not finished yet,” the Alphatian seems to say to himself, seeming to steel him for what’s to follow.  “Even if this were put aside, there is still perhaps one more true and valid point of distinction:  Golthar and his followers will never face their sins, or even attempt to apologize to you for any immoral acts they commit, as we are now.”

Yep.  Yer right.  Sorry.  Canna we go, now?

Remar finishes, “I think you know we are being true.  And being...enslaved here, or worse, is not going to fix the current situation with Golthar, whom is now confirmed to be on your doorstep!  Ask your Elders if we can prove ourselves to you...to you all.  Tell them about Golthar.  Ask them if us removing him and his ilk from here, in addition to reclaiming this valley back from the walking dead would prove a suitable penance.”

Are ya mad?  Wait.  Donna answer dat.  It’ll only serve ta confuse us...er...ey mean ‘ya’ even more, ha!

Kasiex sighs.  “Deceivers, the Traldar are.” He pauses, touching the unstrung bow poking up over his shoulder. “Most of them.” Forcing himself to straighten, he gathers himself. “It may be that cooler heads will prevail. No one will doubt that they lied to you, and you have done a great service in returning the Knowledge of the Elders to Kfordez. Might be enough.”

Draven nods and lowers his head, “My patron is the goddess of justice. She will see us through this trial. My fear is that those who were pursuing us - we must seem like wanted men to you, pursued here by all manner of folk - are more like to the Traldar than they are to you, and deceit seems to be their way. I fear they will either find you here and bring trouble, or that they will rally the Traldar to their cause. I don’t know that we have much time to prove our case before they manage to get the upper hand.”

“Draven,” Remar says, eyes also searching for Marcel, “are you suggesting they may engineer and bring to bear something akin to a full-scale battle?  Kasiex, do the Hutaakan have more traditional battlemages per say...Like me?”

Seeing Kasiex nod ‘no’ and make mention of only the priests, Remar chews his bottom lip and says to everyone, “Do we need to make quick plans to make Byxata defensible against an attack?”

More shouts and banging on the outer door make Remar realize that an “attack” may be coming from within the walls of Byxata, not from from afar. Marcel shoulders his shield and hefts his spear as he shifts to help reinforce the door.



Cast of Characters: 

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

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer with help from +Patrick Burke 

Remar Umerusan Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army currently marshalled by +Patrick Kelly 

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure, now guided by +Stephanie Kelly 

Kasiex, a Hutaakan Wildsteward used to ranging the mountains and valleys now led down a new path by +Patrick Burke 

and +Jason Woollard as The DM






2018-01-25

Sundered Lands 44

The Sundered Lands of Palladium

Session 44
February 27-March 11, 2017


Welcome to the Blood Bay

Tuesday October 31st

An Early Morning Row


The companions drop their gear and then themselves down into the sturdy rowboat launch of the Tiny Titan. The Titan is about ¼ mile or so from the rocky shore but a narrow beach can be seen behind some tall rock islands jutting out from the water. By Silver’s estimation, the walk from the beach overland to Kraken’s Cove was about a mile or so, though probably more like 3-4 miles to boat around the point and into the Blood Bay.

Seeker gives things some thought. “I think we can get there faster if we head straight to shore and use the overland route Silver found. Rowing and hiking are roughly the same speed, and going all the way around the headland adds several miles to the trip.” He pauses. “The only benefit I can think of for rowing the whole way is that if we then needed the launch, it would be there with us, and not a mile away. So, any objections to a hike?”

“I will take land over water every time if it is reasonable as far as time.  Besides, we would be easier to spot rowing in.  We can use the terrain as cover to hide our approach.”

Looking around at the group uncomfortably huddled in the launch, Gorg makes an assumption and turns towards land, rowing with a renewed vigor.  “I’ll have us there shortly guys.”

As Gorg maneuvers the small craft toward the beach, the sun slowly rises above the far horizon, sending its bright rays out across the active coastal waters. The sky above is still heavy with clouds and this may be the only moments of sunshine all day. The launch rocks and rolls in the tumultuous waves and as they get closer to the shore and the sun rises higher it becomes clear why this area is called Blood Bay. Thick red plants sway back and forth just beneath the foamy waters surface. It appears that the plants are growing everywhere in this general area. The closer the boat gets to the shore, the more trouble Gorg starts experiencing. Aggressive waves begin to pummel the craft and unseen rocks reveal themselves at the last minute.

A light rain starts to fall again as Gorg and Seeker expertly pilot the crowded launch around the dangerous rocks to the sandy shore. Seeker leaps into the cold, frothy water and pulls the boat ashore.  Several sea birds, including a familiar gull that swoops down at Moonscar, take flight loudly complaining that their rest has been disturbed. After everyone disembarks, they begin to pull the craft further up the beach to secure it near some rocks.

Suddenly, another kind of rain falls down on the party as numerous rocks fill the sky and crash down on unsuspecting heads. Loud animal screeches follow and all least 10 monkey like creatures leap up from hiding places among the rocks and advance upon the companions.

As the beasts approach, it becomes clear that these are no ordinary monkeys but horrifically deformed and mutated creatures. Each one is different but all bear large fangs and claws, bony protrusions from various body parts and sickly green and black oozing sores all over. Some have grown wicked clawed tentacles, others have additional biting mouths on their necks and sides, one has 2 extra black scaly legs and one even has an extra head growing out of its shoulder!

Gorg steps up next to Moonscar with Tempest in hand, then glances over to Seeker, "Friends of ours?"

Seeker sees the twisted creatures and gives up hope that this can be resolved peacefully. Ai, Wolvenar, they are corruption incarnate! Let us hope that we can end their tortured existences swiftly. He draws Charnag Velve and leaps to the forefront of the party, roaring and hoping to provide a distraction from the more fragile members of the team.

Arn steps up and flings his enchanted mace at one of the mutant monkeys approaching on the left. The running creature tries to dodge the incoming projectile but fails. Olum Kanat Sican crashes into its chest, sending it flying nearly 6 feet back. The mace then reverses its direction and flies back to Arn’s hand. “Take that ya nas…” Arn starts to call out but the words trail off as he realizes that the battered monkey had barely hit the ground before it continued its charge ahead.  Silver takes to the air and does a low, swooping pass over the approaching monkeys, hoping to scare them away but her flyby has little to no effect on them. Moonscar eases forward on his rocky perch, holding Sunstroke at the ready in front of him in a defensive position. Sings to Moon eases forward, a deep, low growl coming from inside her. She starts to leap forward but stays at Moonscar’s quiet word. The druid takes a moment to study the approaching animals and does not like what he sees, mostly because he has never seen anything like it before. Valinya eases back a step and begins casting a spell.

With blood curdling screeches, the monkeys continue their charge. Most of the ones on the left side of the field veer off toward Seeker, though the one that was struck by the mace heads in Arn’s direction. One runs forward and leaps up, trying to grab at the Dragon flying overhead and just misses Silver’s tail. The remaining four charge up from the right and leap atop a wide rock, their momentum carrying them forward to the attack.

Seeker finds himself mobbed by savage, ravaging monkey monsters. Two of them  cling to his chest while a third one fails to find purchase on his left leg. A fourth monkey is close and charging in. The two beasts grabbing Seeker use their hands, feet, and even some strange tentacle like appendages to really grab on. They are stronger and heavier than Seeker would have guess and their weight really begins to impede his movement.

Arn recovers his mace and starts forward again, lining up the charging foe and hurls his mace at the creature once more.

Arn’s mace smashed once again into the charging monkey, sending it flying back another yard. This time, the broken and battered body hits the sand. It convulses for a moment, lashing out with arms and legs but then falls still, the rain spreading the dark pool of blood forming beneath it.

Seeker ignores the foul creatures crawling over him and calls on his god. He roars “Wolvenar! Aid me!”

Gorg glances over and sees Arn and Silver within reach of Seeker.  Assuming they can aid him, and not wanting to leave Moonscar and Valinya unprotected, Gorg steps towards the line of mutant monkeys charging from his right.  As they rush towards him he waits for them to come within his extended reach, aiming for the rightmost creature with a level swing that he hopes may knock a few of the others off their stride as well.

Seeing Seeker swarmed with monkey things Valinya floats closer slowly and sings her fearful song over them trying to shoo them beasts away.

It does not seem as if Valinya’s spell has had any affect at all on the attacking troop of monkeys and they carry on with their attack.

Moonscar hops down from his rock and steps toward Valinya, urging Sings to Moon to do the same, hoping to protect the spell casting Valinya. Silver wheels around and gains some altitude so the strange monkeys lose interest in trying to grab her tail.

The two monkeys that are grappling Seeker are joined by two more trying to grab ahold of him. The first two writhe and jerk around erratically trying to bite Seeker in the face with large, black and white fangs. Fortunately only one of them even comes close. The other two monkeys try latching on to Seeker’s legs with chaotic, flailing arms and legs. One of the monkeys comes all the way around to Seeker’s backside but fails to find a good grip.

As the rest of the monkeys approach, the waiting Gorg unleashes his Tempest. The mighty maul lashes out, but the strange monkey manages to hop over the blow. Tempest’s solid head flies right past and crashes into the large rock, sending out a shower of rock shards. The monkeys continue their charge, leaping over the rock and coming right to Gorg.The tiny little creatures leap toward him, hands and feet outstretched to grapple.

A final, lone monkey charges up the middle and leaps to the prow of the boat, careful to stay out of reach of the Ogre’s massive hammer.

Seeker feels the sharp, nasty teeth of the savage monkey bite into his muzzle and tear at the flesh. The bite stings and burns, almost as if it were on fire. The monkey’s breath is horrid on top of that. He feels yellow white pus from the boils on the monkey’s face splatter on his own face, nearly getting into his eye. On the other side of the beach, Gorg finds himself also burdened by a trio of nasty, grabbing monkeys. One clings to his side and two others cling to each one of his legs.

Cast of Characters: 

+Arne Jamtgaard plays Seeker, a teenage Wolfen Warlord
+Stephen Kolmetz plays Valinya, an Elven Wildsong Mage
+Mike Biancone plays Arn, a surly Dwarven Warrior
+Amergin O'Kai plays Moonscar, the esoteric Kankoran Druid
+Daniel White plays Silver, a young and curious Dragon
+Mike Williams plays Gorgukk Torgnaz, an Ogre sailor and mauler
and +Jason GURPS as the GM



2018-01-18

Grand Duchy 113

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 113
February 22, 2017


The Long Road Back to Byxata

Lunadain 11th Klarmont



Kasiex has headed off ahead of the Company to scout the path down to the valley floor. Iris has stowed away several pieces of the strange plant in her pack. A small patch of her wrist tingles a bit, though not as irritating as the greying flesh on her face and neck. Iris frowns. "Watch the sap," Iris pants as she moves along the path. "It's mildly itching, at the moment."


The wind can be heard blowing through the rocks above, but none currently is blowing along the rocky path. The sun is beating down like the hottest of summer days and there is very little shade in sight. Iris makes her way down the path and tries to keep an eye on the mounts while she does. Draven keeps looking at Iris's growing Mummy Rot and acts as if he is going to say something, then turns away, a defeated look on his face. For her part, Iris pretends not to notice.
After some time has passed, Iris stops and says, "Does anyone mind if I sling my pack on their mount?"

Griffin offers, “Of course not.” Iris smiles and hefts her bag onto the creature's back

There has been no sign of Kasiex for some time and the path is about ready to become exposed as it makes its final descent down to the valley floor. Griffin scans the trail for and tracks of their scout and he sees quite a few signs that Kasiex no doubt left behind, as well as some that he assumes the Wildsteward left behind unintentionally.

Griffin says, "We should approach the valley floor slowly. Keep watch for Kasiex"
Iris nods. She is feeling the heat of the day coupled with the exhaustion of being in the mountains for several days, not to mention the Mummy Rot she is carrying as well...

Remar is also struggling to remain cool today. His robe is heavy with sweat and continues bunching up between his knees. There is some general heavy breathing, sighing, complaining coming from many members of the expedition. This is the hottest day anyone has experienced so far this year, and for being up in the mountains, it must be REALLY hot elsewhere. Everyone else seems to be suffering from the heat.

Iris stumbles and softly curses, then drops to a crouch. Griffin remarks sarcastically to himself as he wipes the sweat from his face, “Yea, but it's a dry heat.”

Remar decides he has had enough of the heat and casts a spell making him magically immune to the heat of the day. He then looks to see if anyone appears fairly hampered by the heat and decides they are doing ok for the moment. Remar whistles a bright and happily uplifting tune, his long hair flowing behind as he rides astride his lizard mount.

As the Company moves out along the trail that is more exposed, they hear what sounds suspiciously like a Hutaakan trying to whistle like a bird from down below. Iris looks for Kifein, who was standing right behind her the whole time, trying to hide in her shadow, looks at her. Iris looks startled and asks, "Is that Kasiex calling to us?"

Draven points down the slope to the edge of the woods, "There he is, signaling from behind that brush there. See him?" Iris peers in the direction Draven is pointing. Everyone easily sees Kasiex, though Iris keeps getting sweat in her eye and cannot spot the Hutaakan. She scrubs at her face.

The central part of the valley is visible from this location, though quite hazy in the distance due to the heat. The archway campsite can be seen clearly, and no movement can be seen there. Smoke tendrils can be seen to the north and west over the tops of the forest indicating the Traldar and their settlement. Kasiex steps out and motions all clear and for the others to come down. Iris sees Kasiex now and says, "Ah, there he is." Iris begins picking her way down the path.

Once the group has rejoined with Kasiex, he says that in order to make it back to Byxata on this day, in this heat, the group should stick to the stream so water will not be a problem or extra weight for hiking. He suggests following it to the edge of the forest and then skirting around to the south, then along the shores of the lake and north toward Byxata. It will take a bit longer but being close to water will be extra important.

Iris says, "Mmmm, water sounds lovely"

Griffin thinks this plan makes the best sense. It is a bit longer of a trek but it will be important to keep near the water to fight off the effects of the heat. He says, "An excellent, plan, Kasiex. I was hoping our path would keep us close to the water."

Kasiex says in broken Thyatian, “Probably not make back to Byxata by after midnight. Might have trouble at gates, but can camp outside walls until morning light if must.”

Iris sighs and nods again.

Kasiex continues, “Even going straight there, not make it back before nightfall. Just too far.”

Iris says, "Well, is there a fortified spot you know of that we can reach before nightfall?"

Kasiex answers, “Archway camp, you fortify somewhat. Some broken temples, but walking dead too dangerous. Running out of food. Might hunt in woods.”

Iris says, "I trust your judgement, Kasiex. Remar knows of some good spells to hide us. I can translate, if you like"

Griffin says, "Let's keep track of defensible positions, but I 'd really like to get back tonight."

Iris says, "Oh...sure. No problem."

Remar says, "Would you all rather I resist you from this heat? So you are more fortified should danger arise on the way, as it has nearly multiple times each day?"

Iris says, "If it, If it wouldn't be too much of a strain, that'd be great, Remar"

Griffin says, "That sounds great!"

Remar casts Resist Fire on several members of the Company while Kasiex pants in the heat.

Remar asks, “Iris?”
Iris answers, “Yes?” She immediately feels cooler, as if the sun beating down no longer shines on her and visibly relaxes. "Thank you, ahhh, that's so much nicer," she says.

Griffin says, "Thanks, mate!"

Remar remarks in an ancient and mystical tongue, “C'est la vie!”

Half of the group now feels much more comfortable in the heat of the day. Marcel, Ree and Stephen look on in jealousy. Remar looks at Kifein and Kifein looks back at Remar with those puppy dog eyes...

Kifein says "Magical one, save your..." then stops when she realizes Remar has already cast his spell. "As I was saying.. save your energy. You may need it soon! I might be covered in fur, but I'm no bitch." She smiles then adds, "You shouldn't have. Thank you."

Kasiex cocks an eye in her direction and mouths, "yea she is" to the others..

Remar Hunts with Bolts from Lizard-back as mounted practice because...well, when else do you learn how to do cool shit like this while Kasiex leads the Company out into the valley, across a grassy plain to the banks of the shallow stream. Everyone drinks deeply of the flowing mountain stream, even the lizards who do not ever seem to drink much, dip their forked tongues into the cool water. Kasiex says they should pass the archway in less than 30 minutes

A few hours of travel, or of travel and extended rest for those not under the magic spells of Remar, brings the Company to the edge of the wood in the middle of the valley. The shade from the tall pines is welcome even to those protected from the heat, as the sun is bright and seems to shine off of anything and reflect right into peering eyes. Iris moves toward a pine and sits down, resting her back against its rough bark. She comments, "This is nice." She rests but keeps her eyes open for signs of game, just in case.

Just as the group prepares to move out again from their most recent rest, Griffin,
Remar and Iris all simultaneously notice a dark plume of smoke rising in the east.
Griffin says, "Oh, great."

Iris says, "Huh. Grass fire, maybe? Or camp fire? Looks like a large campfire possibly, it's thin.” She pauses then says, "I don't understand why anyone’d want to cook in this heat" The smoke looks like it might be coming from just past the far edge of the large lake in the center of the valley.

Griffin says, "Kasiex, can you scout ahead as we follow? We'll stay under the edge of the trees and hope to avoid detection."

Kifein is worried about it. That is much too far to the east to be the  Traldar and Hu'taka would never reveal themselves like that in the open. Kasiex thinks that the smoke is probably about as far from this side of the lake as the Company.

Realizing the implications of Kifein’s assessment, Griffin says, "Crap. I was wondering when he would show up." He ponders for a moment then adds, "Kasiex, how bad would it be if we went around the north side of the woods? Would we still make it to Bytaxa tonight?" He had hoped they had more time before Golthar and his cadre arrived in the valley.

Remar asks, “Do you think it is them, found a way through and caught up?”

Kasiex says "Should we go that way? Toward the foes you told us about? We can go around the forest here, we will just be further away from the water."

Griffin says, "Yea, Remar, I do. Who else could it be? You heard Kifein."

Iris says, "Maybe...today isn't a good day for a fight. Kasiex, can you obscure signs of our passing? Just in case?"

Kasiex nods to Griffin, "Yes, we could make it back tonight still," then nods to Iris, "I can do that as well."

Griffin says, "Okay, let's get a move on."

Remar says, "He and his ilk may be tired as well. I wonder where they are heading? If encountering them is unavoidable and we must face them, I'll likely need to drop the heat protections if you want anything more than bolts from me."

The Grey Company makes some changes to their travel plan and skirt around the north edge of the woods. Remar gets some target practice at some squirrels and birds and finds that it is much more difficult hitting targets from lizardback than he imagined but he does manage to bring down a few tasty morsels, though his lizard mount pounces on the first two takes before Remar can even get them. Iris beams at Remar when she sees he remembered to feed New Boots. Eventually, night falls, though that only provides minimal relief from the days heat. The travel becomes slower in the dark and much of the trip keeps Kasiex away from the party as he does his best to hide their tracks. Finally, sometime around 10pm, the lights on the walls of Byxata are seen!

Iris looks worriedly behind them. "I don't feel right, going in without Kasiex." She looks over at Griffin to see what his reaction is.

Griffin prepares to go out again to search for Kasiex but Kifein stops him. "The Wildsteward is fine, It is what he does. What he lives for. He shall return." Griffin frowns, but concedes.

After some shouting, Kifein convinces them to open the gates. Kforedz meets them inside the walls with a group of soldiers. Kasiex still has not returned to the group.

Kforedz says "Welcome back. Did you recover what you went for? Iris smiles at Kifein and nods. Kforedz is overcome with joy to see the Knowledge of Elders and the other items recovered from the Vault. She has some servants show you to your chambers, telling others to bring food and drink as necessary.

Griffin says wearily, “Ok folks, let’s get some rest!”

"First things first. Iris and Kasiex require...special attention." Remar says and he and Draven explain the Mummy Rot to Kforedz.

Kforedz looks at Iris. "That is nasty. We can take care of that, I hope.”

"I do too," Iris whispers.

Kforedz says "It requires two kinds of magic? I fear that I can only perform the spells to remove the disease. Can you break the curse Remar? We shall deal with brave Iris now, and stalwart Kasiex when he returns."



Iris looks hopefully at Remar.

Draven shrugs and says "I can do both, but unfortunately I have spread my faith too thinly of late and I dare not risk calling down a worse fate in my attempt." He retires to the sleeping area to rest and meditate. Marcel, Stephen and Ree all follow closely behind.

Remar lets his other spells expire then gets down to casting the powerful Remove Curse spell to try and get rid of Iris’s Mummy Rot. Griffin looks on helplessly andIris sits for the spell. Remar pants and wheezes and says, "...and with this cleansing power finally channeled through these arcane hands, I break the vile taint that threatens to consume my friend!"

Kforedz follows Remar's spell up with one of her own, fully removing the undead taint that has been plaguing her. The color slowly returns to Iris's face, though the skin still looks stretched and wrinkled. Iris' eyes are bright with unshed tears as she thanks Kforedz profusely in broken Hutaak'a then turns to Remar and hugs him tightly, then steps back awkwardly and says, "thanks."

Kforedz says, “You should rest child. I can place a spell on you that will heal the damage caused by the foul sickness while you sleep. Come.” Still grinning, Iris follows Kforedz and waves to Remar and Griffin on her way out. As Iris leaves, the others decide to turn in too. Griffin thanks Kforedz, then eagerly seeks out his bedroll. Remar collapses as soon as Iris leaves. The next morning comes before anyone can even realize it!

Gromdain 12th of Klarmont


Remar starts to come awake saying, "...I...I did it...did you see? I can do it…” He realizes that hie is still fatigued from all the recent adventuring and plans to rest for the entire day.


Word is brought round that Kasiex reported in early that morning but did not stay. Griffin says, "Man, wildstewarding keeps him busy..."

Iris says, "No doubt." She then turns her head left, then right. "See?! It's gone!" Iris looks good as new.

Griffin says, "Lovelier than ever." Iris blushes furiously and smiles, tucking her chin as she does so.

Remar says, “Aye.”
Kifein and Kforedz, along with some other wise and clerical Hutaakan sequester themselves away with the Knowledge of Elders but leave word to rest and recuperate. This day is not as hot as the previous day and everyone is given light, well made and clean garments to wear. Offers are made to maintain armor and weapons for the party, if they so wish. Many services are available, though none of the Hutaakan seem to happy or talkative with the Company members. Ree, Marcel and Stephen spend the day sleeping and eating. Draven spends it in meditation.

Griffin checks in on the lizards, making sure they are being well-taken care of. He happily offers his armor and sword to be cleaned. He'll check in with the team to see if there is anything they need. Remar is resting and doing some light Grimoire reading throughout the day.

Iris says, "My saber could use the attention, though I don't like imposing on the Hutaakan. I don't get the feeling we're particularly welcome, still"

The Grey Company spends the entirety of the day resting and relaxing and then finally sleeping through another night. Griffin notices that his necklace light winks out this evening. Iris's magical light blinks out on her necklace as well.

Tserdain 13th of Klarmont


The next morning everyone wakes up completely refreshed. It is a completely glorious morning, the sun is shining, a soft breeze can be heard blowing across the rooftops. It is warm but not hot. Kasiex returns as the Company is breaking their fast. Remar can be heard occasionally...gloating to himself, maybe?
The Hutaakan looks in poor shape. He has lost some fur on his neck and shoulder and is stooped over. "The newcomers to the valley, they have passed by and headed toward Ronkan."

Iris says, "Oh gosh, are you ok?"

Kasiex ignores Iris’s query on his health, "This is bad news. But there is more." Shouting and angry growls and barking sounds can be heard from out in the hallway where Kasiex has just entered from.










Cast of Characters: 

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

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer with help from +Patrick Burke 

Remar Umerusan Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army currently marshalled by +Patrick Kelly 

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure, now guided by +Stephanie Kelly 

Kasiex, a Hutaakan Wildsteward used to ranging the mountains and valleys now led down a new path by +Patrick Burke 

and +Jason Woollard as The DM