Dark Paths 36

Dark Paths of Riddleport
Session 36
September 15, 2013

Traveling to Mierani Forest

Map Tool Chat Log

Session Summary

Reuniting with their friend, Kwava, the Elven ranger, he tells them he wishes for the Crew to accompany him north to Mierani Forest to speak with his superiors in the Farstriders. He believes that their perspective and first hand knowledge of the Drow will be very helpful in the secret war being waged. Most of the Crew are eager to journey away from Riddleport and battle these evil Drow, though the newcomer Paal is a bit more weary of this. He has many questions and he is not completely satisfied with the answers give, but in the end he agrees to join the quest and head north.

Over the next several days, plans are made, supplies are procured and Snargash sets about crafting new mystical instruments to replace the ones lost on Devil's Elbow. Eventually, after great personal sacrafice and divine guidance, the instruments are complete and Snargash is ready to travel.

Velashuan Horselord
The Crew's departure from Riddleport is uneventful, though it is noted that more than a few pairs of eyes watched with greater interest than others. The journey led north along the banks of the Velashu River before turning to the west, around the tip of the Calphiak Mountains and across the Velashu Uplands.

The journey was a bit harder than expected and several folk had trouble with the great outdoors. The week on Devil's Elbow had not prepared them for the difficulties of a long, overland journey it seems, and the first leg of the journey took longer than anticipated. Once int he Uplands, the group was approached by a group of Velashu Horselords who were friendly and were interested in selling some of their horses. In exchange for information about the current status of Riddleport, the Horselords shared their warnings of Meriani Fores and the recent standoffish behavior of the Elves that reside there.

Mierani Forest
After departing the Horselords, it was only another day or so before they reached the edge of the deep Elvish forest of Mierani. Kwava warned them all again that, even though the forest was the realm of the Elves, that there were still many dangerous things dwelling therein.

Not more than a few hours into the forest, the Crew encountered some of these dangers as 3 green draconic creatures swooped silently down from the trees and attacked the party. They were some form of bestial green dragons, lacking front legs and attacking with animalistic instincts. The surprise attack turned out to be quite devastating for the Crew. Guy suffered serious wounds from a cloud of acid spit by one of the dragons. Snargash was also mangled fairly badly when one of the dragons bit him and tried to hang on. Fortunately, the Half Orc was loud and ugly enough to stun the beast. Kwava was also mauled severly and several of the horses were wounded as well, not to mention the several that ran off.

This is what happens when you meet a dragon in the woods...

Continuing Story Doc

Continuing Story Summary

The three dragons press the attack and it begins to look bad for a moment, then suddenly, flame shrouded arrows start flying out of the nearby forest, hitting the beasts. One of them falls to the ground while the other 2 leap and manage to fly away, using the thick forest as cover. Once the dragons are gone, attention is turned to Kwava, who suffered some serious injuries from the dragons’ ambush.

Just then, five Elves, holding their bows down, though with arrows ready, emerge from the woods. They call out in Elvish, “Who enters the Elvish realm of Mierani?” As they approach, the leader sees Kwava on the ground, “Kwava!” he shouts out and rushes forward, retrieving potions from his belt.

The monk gets up with a slight wince and heads toward Kwava as well saying, “Save your resources for when you can’t avail yourself of a healer, friend.” Sweeping the rest of the party quickly he asks, “Is anyone else injured?”

The Ulfen Paal stands ready to assist in mundane healing if needed.

While Snargash, Paal, and the Elf leader attend Kwava, Aragon approaches another Elf, one he perceives might be the leader’s second.  In Elvish, he says to her, “We are friends of Kwava, come from the south to aid he and you in your mission.  I am Aragon Whisperwind, and this is Aethel Flitterseed.”  He points to the others and indicates their names, then continues the conversation in Elvish.  He looks disdainfully at their ready bows, “And who are you?”

“I am Kaerishiel Neirenar, Farstrider and Guardian of Mierani. These are my companions, fellow Farstriders,” the Elf says in Elvish to the group, though only Aragon and Aethel understand him. They translate for the others. The female Elf looks at Aragon and speaks quietly, “ I am Adanessa, a Farstrider out of Crying Leaf. It is good to see you Aragon.” She takes a step back and eyes him up and down. “You are a Bladedancer, I see.”

Aragon nods towards the fleeing dragons.  “We appreciate the assist.  You have some nasty wildlife around here.”  He looks at the medics clustered around Kwava.  “Perhaps we could retire to your camp to continue our conversation?”

The monk pulls out his newly made hocchiku and begins healing with Raag Sum de Fasciis. He then repeats it on himself and calls Guy over for the same.

Kwava is worse off than anyone realized. As Snargash begins his healing spells, Kaerishiel unstoppers a healing potion and pours it down the unconscious Elf’s throat. A little color comes back into the pale Elf’s face, though he does not wake up. The other Elves quickly take up positions in the nearby trees, bows ready. They almost instantly disappear, blending seamlessly in with the foliage. Kaerishiel looks up and speaks in accented Varisian, “Thank you for your help. We can take Kwava from here. If you hurry, you might be able to find your horses and get back out of the forest before the drakes return.”

While the Elf is speaking Snargash continues to play. With Kwava showing signs of recovery he quickly heals Guy and then spends a couple of minutes healing himself then, finally, treating Bodi’s bruising.

Aragon gives a nod and goes to retrieve their mounts, then pauses.  Still in Elvish, he says “No, we are going where Kwava goes.  He brought us along as experts to help the Farstriders.”

Kaerishiel merely smirks at Aragon's last remark, watching him head off into the forest.  The haughty Elf's attention is soon turned to Kwava as he begins to stir to the sweet sounds of Snargash's flute.

Aragon ponders Kaershiel.  Obviously he does not recognize a Bladedancer when he sees one.  Ah, well, what can one expect from someone who spends their time so far from the homelands…

Bodi takes in the scene.   He wipes off the ichor and drake blood from his rapier.   His precision strike slicing into the creature’s neck was almost certainly a critical wound.  He sheathed his blade and takes in the overall scene.

Bodi tries to look on as the Elves converse with Aragon, though he doesn’t understand what is being said.    He walks up closer to their fallen comrade as the other Elves take care of him.   Clearly the Elves seem to recognize Kwava.   Bodi looks on, trying to be non-threatening, but also staying near Kwava letting  his body language speak that he is ‘with’ the fallen Elf.

Bodi then looks around at the other Elves, trying to see if there are any females amongst their number.    He may not speak Elvish, but he does speak the “international language”....and scopes out the scene to see if he can make eye contact with a female Elf.

Aragon rounds up what he can find of the horses. One is still missing and two sustained considerable wounds. By the time he has returned, he sees that Kwava has recovered somewhat and is now conscious. He is currently locked in an argument with Kaerishiel. Aethel stands near, looking quite uncomfortable. The others are sitting or standing near the horses. The other Elves are still stationed in the nearby woods, no doubt, hidden from sight.

After just a few moments, it seems that Kwava wins his argument, stands up and starts moving toward the Crew and the horses. “Kaerishiel will take us to Crying Leaf. I apologize for the less than warm welcome to Mierani Forest. Some aspects are more welcoming than others,” he speaks in heavily accented Varisian, first glancing at the dead forest drake then over to Kaerishiel. “We seem to have lost some horses. I hope we did not lose much gear on the missing horse.”

The group quickly gets to moving some supplies around, taking the weight off the wounded horses. Kaerishiel comes up and looks at the wounded beasts, “What is your plan with the wounded animals? They will be a danger to us in the forest. Their open wounds will call to many predators. They should be put down. Wasting valuable resources on slave animals makes no sense,” he says in Elvish to anyone that can hear. Aethel translates for the non-Elvish speaking members of the group.

Paal does not want to waste the valuable resource that is the horses, “It makes no sense to waste good horseflesh. If they cannot be healed by our esteemed flautist then we should at least honor them with a gentle death and eat them.” Some of the Elves give him a displeased look at this statement, but none of them say anything to the contrary.

Bodi tries to follow the argument and the following conversations.   He sees the way the elfs make their way into the woods seamlessly.   He tried to make a mental note of maybe studying their techniques and trying to pick up some pointers in stealthy maneuvers.   

Bodi listens to the translation regarding the fate of the horses.   “Well if these guys are going to take us to their camp or home where it is safe, I guess we would be best to put the injured horses down.   It’s a shame to do it, but it makes total sense.      Maybe leave them here in case those damn dragons want them for dinner.  Maybe they will leave us alone.    Horse does make a good meal.”

The seriously wounded horses are gently put down and Paal quickly prepares some of the horseflesh for transport, though he does not have nearly enough time to prepare all of it.

With a dour look on his face, Kaerishiel indicates that they are ready to depart. When several of the Crew begins to ask questions, he merely holds up his hand for silence, “It would be best to allow Eviana to answer your questions. You should keep silent, there are many enemies in these wods.” After that he says no more.

The Elves of Mierani quickly gather everyone up and lead them off the old trail and into the deep recesses of the forest. Occasionally, in the nearby trees, the shape of a prowling cat can be seen, apparently shadowing the group. At one point, Paal watches the creature closely, his hand on his bow, but one of the Elves puts his hand on his shoulder and speaks in very broken Varisian, “No. That Ashka. Kaerishiel friend.”

After about an hour of trekking through the forest, the Elf escort slows. Up ahead, the forest begins to thin somewhat, but a screen of plants prevents observation of what lies within. After a moment, several elf scouts approach the screen, which turns out to be a solid wall of thorny vines. One of the elves puts a small silver whistle to his lips and blows three times. As the last twittering note begins to fade, the wall of vines springs to life, pulling back to reveal a small settlement in a clearing on the other side.

The village of Crying Leaf is a modest one, with low structures made of gracefully shaped stone and wood that has been carefully decorated and carved. What is immediately apparent is that this settlement has seen battle recently. A number of the buildings bear burn marks and other damage, and most of the citizens are armed with bows and swords.

The female 2nd in command, whose name is Eärwen , turns and draws to a halt. “I will show you to a place where you can rest. We do not get many visitors to Crying Leaf. Some of the Farstriders here may be very interested to see you and others may not want to have anything to do with you. Please follow me.” Kaerishiel and most of the other Elves head toward the center of the village while Eärwen quickly leads them to a low stone building near the edge of town where they can stable their horses and refresh themselves from their hard journey. Many of the other Elves follow them and loiter around outside, trying to catch a glimpse of these outsiders.

The building to which the Crew is assigned contains three chambers: a central room, a simple bathroom, and a meditation room containing eight woven reed mats for resting. An oak table surrounded by gracefully carved chairs dominates the main chamber. Atop this table is a mound of fruits and vegetables, freshly harvested.

Eärwen bows low and takes her leave, “Kaerishiel or Eviana will call upon you soon. Please rest now.” She heads off into the village. The other Elves that have gathered outside stick around peering, but if anyone looks directly at them or approaches them, they seem to remember something else they needed to to and hurry away. Other Elves pass by and merely stick their noses up in the air as they pass the low building.

Cast of Characters: 

Aethelarian "Aethel" Flitterseed - Noble Elf wizard played by +Daniel White 
Aragon Whisperwind - Elven Bladedancer played by +Arne Jamtgaard 
Bodil "Bodi" Jantzen - suave and smooth swordsman played by +Mike Biancone 
Guy Greystone - Gnome telekinetic played by +Gren Drake 
Paal Ulfsun - Northman Human ranger played by +Ben Zittere 
Snargash Windblown - Half-Orc monk played by +Amergin O'Kai 
and +Jason Woollard as the DM


Dark Paths 35

Dark Paths of Riddleport
Session 35
September 1, 2013

Leaving Devil's Elbow

Map Tool Chat Log

Session Summary

The Crew and Zincher's men spent the next hour or so making the camp as small and defensible as possible. Most of the others were quite spooked by the thought of a Drow assault in the night and they kept the watch fire burning brightly.

Fortunately though, no attack came and just as the sun was rising, Erix returned to the camp from a patrol and roused the Crew. He led them to a nearby cliff overlooking the southern shore of Devil's Elbow and pointed out to sea. There, about a mile from shore, sailed a low, dark ship, cutting swiftly through the waves away from the island. He said he had spotted it pulling away from some secret harbor in the dark, pre-dawn hours. He said that, thought it had sails, it seemed to move quicker and straighter than as if propelled by just wind.

Back at the camp, word that the Drow had possibly fled eased the tension somewhat, though everyone was still ready to be done with this accursed island. While the others finished breaking down camp and packing everything up, Snargash led the Crew back to the Drow lair in hopes of finding his missing staff and flute.

Back on the rocky ledge, it was clear that the Drow had another way in and out of their lair as Aethel's magical stone seal was still in tact. Some quick magic was all it took to undo his previous enchantment of the doorway and the Crew entered the dark caverns. Inside, there was barely any sign of any disturbance at all, it was almost as if the Drow had cleaned up after themselves. Unfortunately, there was no sign of Snargash's musical instruments, which saddened him because he could not access much of his music without those tools.

The Crew explored a little further into the cavern complex until they discovered a huge underground lagoon with a high waterfall splashing in at the rear. Access to the sea could be seen but it was mostly blocked by high tide. A series of platforms, bridges and ladders had been set up at the far end of the enormous chamber, but the Crew passed on exploring it due to their already wounded condition. Sight of a huge killer whale swimming about in the lagoon area helped make the decision to leave before anything dangerous or unexpected happened.

When the Crew arrived back at the camp, Erix informed them they were ready to move out. Everyone helped haul the gear back across the island toward the piers to await for Captain Creesy and the Flying Cloud to come and take them back to Riddleport.

After a few uneventful hours of waiting, the Flying Cloud finally arrived. Captain Creesy was surprised but willing to transport Zincher's men back to Riddleport seeing as they had been stranded. He also told of the anticipation of those back on the mainland for the arrival of the Noqual skymetal. He offered to buy the skymetal for the fair price of 200$ per pound. Erix, the current proprietor of Zincher's stash agreed to these prices and immediately doled out the profits to the men. The Crew deliberated and then eventually sold their meager amount of Noqual to Creesy as well, dividing their small reward among themselves.

Just after nightfall, the Flying Cloud made Riddleport Harbor. The Captain moored the ship out in the harbor and had his crew ferry the passengers ashore to try to avoid the throng of skymetal-crazy citizens potentially waiting on the docks.

Paal was invited to come stay at the Gold Goblin with the rest of the Crew and everyone made their way there as quick as possible, happy to be 'home.'

Continuing Story Doc

Continuing Story Summary

Everyone, including the newcomer Paal, gets them a hot meal from Hulger’s kitchen and then finds a soft, real bed in the staff quarters of the Gold Goblin.

The next morning, everyone awakes to the smell of fish and eggs being cooked down in the kitchen. Shayla is very interested in hearing how things went on the island. She informs the Crew that their new friend, Kwava, has been spending most of his time out of town, but has sent messages by way of his hawk companion, Ganmeed, wishing to be notified when they arrived back from Devil’s Elbow. Once down in the kitchen, she gives everyone a good look over and says, “The lot of you look pretty beat up, well, with the exception of air-boy there,” she motioned to Aethel, the Elven mage at this comment.

Aragon laughs. "Yes, when you're an air-head, few things leave an impression." He leans in. "But there were foes there, worthy ones!  Strange blue cats with tentacles, even a manticore!  And yes, more of the Drow. We fought well, well, some of us, but their numbers were great, and their magic was nearly a match for Aethel's!"

Guy joins Aragon in laughing and nods at her comment on the groups condition. "I think I could have done with a few less foes, especially towards the end there. I think I'm going to be up for a bunch of resting for a bit and maybe seeing about heading out fishing if nothing urgent comes up. In the meantime, how about that breakfast? It's been far too long since we've had a real meal!"

Hulger makes a loud hrrumph sound as he starts slopping breakfast on to plates, “So my dinner last night didn’t quite qualify as a real meal, ehh shorty? See where that gets you at lunch time!” He frowns and gets back to work, curiously forgetting to make Guy a plate.

"Ha!" Guy says. "After so long on such an unpleasant island? Not large enough by half!"

Aragon nods.  “I think I’m feeling well enough for another trip out there.  Maybe we will get through without more problems from ratmen!”

Looking up from his breakfast Snargash the monk asks the others, “By the way, would anyone object to my taking the crossbow we got of the Drow woman? I’ve been thinking that it would be helpful if I have some means of ranged attacks; although I’d need to practice.”

Everyone takes it easy for the day, resting and recuperating from their time on the island. Shayla seems to have a decent handle on things at the Gold Goblin as the casino is running smoothly. Guy spends the day fishing. Snargash starts working on building his new flute weapons. Later that evening, Kwava’s hawk companion, Ganmeed arrives and perches on a fence outside the back door. The bird carries no message with him, but squawks loudly when it sees several of the returned folk. It nods its head in acknowledgement and flies off only to return several hours later with a note from Kwava asking for a meeting at his camp in the swamp the following morning.

Session Notes:

We were missing 2 players this session (which is a lot for us to miss, my group normally has great attendance) and then struggled with some MapTools issues. RPTools.net was offline when we tried to play. Fortunately we were able to work around this by having everyone connect directly to my computer. It took a while, but we managed to make it work. I had several backup plans (roll20, G+ hangout with screen share) so we would have played regardless, but it did cause a little hiccup at the beginning.

Cast of Characters: 

Aethelarian "Aethel" Flitterseed - Noble Elf wizard played by +Daniel White 
Aragon Whisperwind - Elven Bladedancer played by +Arne Jamtgaard 
Bodil "Bodi" Jantzen - suave and smooth swordsman played by +Mike Biancone 
Guy Greystone - Gnome telekinetic played by +Gren Drake 
Paal Ulfsun - Northman Human ranger played by +Ben Zittere 
Snargash Windblown - Half-Orc monk played by +Amergin O'Kai 
and +Jason Woollard as the DM