Grand Duchy 20

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 20
June 4th - 30th, 2014

Scouting the Wolfskull Lair

Soladain 24 of Thaumont, 1001AC

The immediate surroundings

Checking the Perimeter

wolfskull totem.jpg
Wolkfskull Totem

Remar, Marcel and Draven find themselves a good hiding spot to rest while Griffin skulks off to see what he can find out about the Goblin’s lair. This part of the petrified forest, down at what seems to be the base of the valley, has fewer trees, though there are quite a few very large broken tree trunks. These trees are very big, and were probably very old at the time the forest was petrified. It seems as if the rain has slowed some, possibly even stopped, though it is still quite chilly and plenty of water still drips intermittently from the stony canopy above. 

As Griffin makes his way toward the compound, he sees something near the path that assures him that they are in fact at the Wolfskull Goblin lair, a decorated wolf skull mounted on a pole.
As he gets closer to the compound, he sees that the direct approach has been cleared quite a bit. It looks like he might be able to get a decent approach from the northern edge, though the dark, swift rushing stream is in the way.
Griffin works his way through the stone trees towards the Wolfskull Lair.  Fortunately, the petrified forest yields a myriad of hiding places, and he takes his time.  As he moves, he tries to keep an eye out for other possible approaches to the lair.  He ranges east and west, even venturing to climb a tree or two.  He ventures down to the river on the east side near where the walls come close to the water.  Maybe they could sneak up more easily through the stream if it were shallow enough.
Of course, there was no telling how many gobbos were inside. Maybe they could lure some out. They still had the wolf cloaks. What if the guards heard someone cry out in pain and saw one of their own collapsed in the middle of the trail? It was cleared out down near the bridge, but up the hill it looked like there were some potential ambush sites. Hmm...
Griffin finds that it is quite difficult to get much closer. At best he can see where the “walls” of the strong hold turn corners and he catches a glimpse of what appears to be a second structure on the island to the south. The Goblins chose the location for the lair quite well, the whole area is filled with large patches of petrified bushes and brambles, some up to 5 yards tall and over 10 yards long. These rocky brambles prove to be completely impassable, though Griffin thinks he might be able to climb them, probably with a great cost to his hands and other lightly armored places.
Meanwhile, Draven, Remar and Marcel crouch in the shadows trying to regain their breath. After about an hour and a half, Griffin returns and tells them what little information he has been able to find out.
“I was thinking while I was checking things out.  We did pretty good against that last patrol.  Do you think maybe we could use the gobbo wolf cloaks to lure out another small batch?  No telling how many of the vermin are in that place - if we try a frontal assault we’re likely to get swarmed.  Not how I want the Saga of Griffin to end, really.
“No, even if we had the other three with us, a frontal assault seems like a bad idea. Not that going through the front door has to be an assault, if you see what I mean. Think we could get close enough to the entry without being seen to sneak in?”

From a distance, the entrance to the Wolfskull’s lair looks like a cave mouth found inside an even larger cavern. The whole petrified forest seems to resemble a huge above ground cavern system. The darkened cavern mouth is flanked by several torches and the entire entry way is lit up as brightly as can be. One dire wolf can be seen sleeping just inside the entrance. The stronghold entrance appears to go through one of the large, hollowed out tree stumps. The front facing of the tree has been carved away to make an entry way and the inside is wide and hollow. It seems to lead in and to the left, out of line of sight, though those areas too must be torch lit as no dark areas are visible. Any more intel on the lair will require a closer inspection.
“Well, we’re at the crossroad between finesse and surprise.” He slips through the stony landscape to get a glimpse of the lair. “If we’re to fight them, I’d rather do it in a hallway since we’re outnumbered.“ 
Taking on the lair seemed to make sense only if there was a chance to retrieve Stephan. Then again, Marcel questioned his motivation for doing so. Yes, killing goblins is a reflex that doesn’t requires a lot supplementary motivation to jump in. However, he never had entered a lair with anything less than a full-sized company. He feels a little uncomfortable on his ability to ensure the safety of his friends in such an unpredictable place. 

A Spiritual Moment

“Draven, I’m not at peace right now. I think that I need solace. I am uncomfortable with the slaying of the prisoners and I fear that this will weigh on me in future trials. Can your gods appease this turmoil?”
Marcel is highly superstitious: he believes that if he is not a peace with himself, bad things will happen at the most inappropriate time. No need for a crystal ball to predict such times in the near future.
Draven looks nonplussed for a minute, not expecting such a thing from the young mercenary. He pauses very briefly, takes a deep breath and considers Marcel’s words.
“You’re a good man, Marcel, far stronger of heart than most who carry arms for hire. The gods sometimes test us, and those who have the harder time finding their answers are those who truly come out of those tests in the right.”
“Whatever you might think of Thyatians, even before we shared this land, Traladarans have suffered mightily under the swords and spears of subhuman monsters. The history of this land is one of regular hardship, more often than not caused by goblins and their kin. That alone would give you perfect reason for dispatching our prisoners back there. But in this case, not only did we give them the chance to help us in exchange for their lives - an offer which they rebuffed as you’d expect from a soulless monster - but when they did the gods saw fit to grant us the boon of their gifts in loosening the tongue of their leader. If we were so far in the wrong, would they have been so gracious to us?”
“Pray with me now, Marcel. Come aside, into the quiet, and tell me all of what burdens your heart. The Immortals grant solace to those that admit their faults and strive to rectify them. I can offer you their absolution.”
He looks to Remar and Griffin as well. “This is a gift I will offer you all, if you so choose. No man should go into danger with his heart heavy, or his soul in torment.”
Remar felt conflicted. Being a former slave himself, he saw that the prisoners’ decision to reject freedom as irrational. But that did not make their actions completely right. Sighing slowly, the mage puts his hand on Draven’s shoulder and nods. “I don’t see a reason to not share this gift.”
Draven makes what good he can of the space they have to themselves and listens to each of the men in turn as they tell their brief tales and provides them with the blessings that the church allows. Hopefully, this eases their spirits and releases their burdens some.
Griffin stands silent, not sure how he feels about this himself.  Killing prisoners feels wrong, but killing gobbos feels right.  He keeps his own council.
Seeing that Griffin is not yet ready, he approaches him last and offers “when the time is right, you will know. And the gods will be there for you. They have an infinite capacity for patience and care for every one of us. They’ll guide your righteous hands whether you’re ready to share your mind with them directly or no.” He finishes with what he hopes is a friendly, welcoming smile, all but aglow in his own personal faith.
As all this soul searching and ministering occurs, the loud sound of a dire wolf’s bark brings everyone’s focus back to the task at hand. Peeking through the rocky tree trunks, Marcel can see four dire wolves with Goblin mounts heading out of the lair. After crossing the wide log bridge at the entrance, they break into a run, heading up along the path that leads from the lair. One of the wolves slows and tries to stop as it passes near where the Grey Company previously left the trail, but the Goblin rider urges it forward with the other three.
Marcel makes a best effort to pray phonetically in Thyatian in hope that it would register with some higher being. Are they listening to a Traladaran? While he is struggling to convince himself to feel better, he notices the patrol leaving the lair. The goblin distracts the wolf from the Company’s scent. “The gods have spoken”, he thinks to himself. 
“Draven, thanks.”, he says in a half-voice then pauses, “He received counsel while you guided me. These Gobs must go. Stephan and the others need us. We are the hand of the gods here. We must act.” 
Four have gone out and will come back. We can barge in while they are not there, or wait in ambush for their return. 
“I think that we should bleed them for as long as they are willing to trickle out. I propose to wait for their return and ambush them then. If more come out in force, we split into a rabbit force to draw them far and a agile force to slip in and retrieve the prisoners. The rabbits need not to be large, but dragging the horses away would be sufficient. Hopefully, we won’t need to split. ”

“That is my call unless someone can convince me that we can just barge in and achieve as well by brute force.”

“While I will never shirk from the duty, it seems smarter to find a way to whittle them down, or at least pull them out of their nest and reduce their advantage.” Turning to Remar he asks, “do you have any tricks up your sleeve that might qualify as flashy? I can summon those thunderbolts, and can wrack them with sound - it might even reverberate around in the enclosed spaces of their den - and can call on the voice of the gods when I need to be heard at great distances, but short of pretending to be one of their gods or some other angry immortal, I’m not sure how to capitalize on that…”
“Yea, if we can find a way to lure another bunch out, we could have a nice surprise waiting for those ones that just left.  If you arcane-types can’t come up with something, we can always fall back on dressing Remar up in a wolf cloak.”
“Or I can go poke around more, see if I can find a way across and behind…”
As the Goblins and their mounts disappear up the trail, it is noted that the hour is probably well after noon and any type of action will have to happen soon or camp will have to be set within the petrified forest with no camping supplies or food, and with the scarcity of actual animals nearby, it may be difficult to find food.
“I hope you’re joking Griffin. As much as I always enjoy the occasional thought of being the alpha of a tribe of wolves, in another life, I’d rather not be one in this life. As much a farce at it is.” 
He ponders the situation, his spellbook in hand. He motions in the air with his hand, “I could always conjure some fire, but maybe brute force isn’t quite what we’d like here.” Bringing his hand to his chin and closing his book, Remar mutters to himself. He then goes to take a look at the lair again. “Scaring them is always an option, but I’ll have to get relatively close and also use a fair bit of my strength in the process. If I’m successful, though, I can cause enough of a ruckus to grant all of you an ample distraction.” He looks to his comrades, “How does that sound?”

A Way In?

As Griffin and Remar discuss possible approaches, Draven squints his eyes in the strange shadowy daylight and points toward the lair, up near the top where the “roof” of the lair meets the “ceiling” of the canopy. “That looks like a hole there, and there,” the Acolyte points to a few places that appear to have good sized spaces. “I wonder if there might be a way to get up into the canopy above the lair. Maybe there’s a way in from there.” 
Following Draven’s pointing finger, Griffin examines the possible flaws in the lair’s defenses.  “Good eye, Draven.  I’m pretty sure I can get up there.  Can you guys get up if I drop a rope?”
“I think we can get down to the river on that side without them seeing us if we’re careful.  Then slide across and up we go!”

“I could always grant some of us Flight. Is that something you would like me to do?” The mage motions over to the spot Draven pointed out.
“Whoa!  You can do that?  Fantastic!  Let’s all fly over to the roof and check around for Stephan and any other prisoners.  We secure that area and then work to clear the rest of the complex.  Total air superiority - I’ve only read about such things in books!  This is going to be awesome!”
Giving the Wolfskull lair a wide berth, the Grey Company maneuvers itself out and away, making for a spot a bit upstream from the entrance. The small stream is still quite wide here and swift moving, no other spots have been seen anywhere for an easy crossing. Either there are just no good natural spots to cross, or the Goblins have made sure of it themselves.
The water here is about 6 yards across. The water is dark and swift. The rain has picked back up again, ensuring that everyone, even those that might not enter the stream, will be soaked to the bone. The Goblin lair cannot be seen from here at all and the forest is thicker but hopefully there is a path through the closely packed stone trees.
Surveying the situation, Draven makes a face. “I’m a city boy, and my swimming is rudimentary at best. Any of you better in the water? I’m wondering if it doesn’t make sense to have someone go across with a rope or something to help guide those of us who’re less well equipped to make the fording.”
“Griffin, can you hop over to the other side and fasten a rope to a tree over there.”, he points to a nearby robust stump. “We should be able to get across with 1-2 ropes in relative silence.”
Griffin takes out his rope, and, tying one end to himself and handing the other to the strapping soldier, makes his way carefully into the swirling waters of the river.  “Here Marcel.  Just play it out slowly as I cross.  This should be enough.  Once I get to the other side, I’ll make it fast and you can belay Remar and Draven.  Then tie it on yourself and the three of us can bring you across.”
Marcel looks down in the stream and kick a pebble into its depth. “You think that this water is safe?”
Marcel closely inspect the stream bed for evidence (or lack-thereof) of life.

Something Fishy Going On Here

The water is swift and cold, Griffin shivers as he steps down into the water. Marcel looks around and sees no signs of life on the riverbank, though he does see some small bits of vegetation growing beneath the surface of the water, similar to the moss and vines seen growing elsewhere in this otherwise lifeless forest.
The stream proves to be quite deep for its narrow width and within a few steps, Griffin’s feet have lost contact with the stream bed. Desperately, he kicks his legs and paddles his arms, trying to keep his head above water and moving for the far bank. The current tries to push him away from the Goblin lair but the rope helps keep him from being washed away.
Draven, no strong swimmer himself, frets and prays, knowing that he’d be in no better shape.
The young Thyatian manages to keep his head above water on his way across the stream, though he is being pushed downstream quite a bit. About halfway across the water, though, something happens. What he first thought was just the the water buffeting him turns out to be something more. Griffin feels a sharp pain, as if something were biting him under the water and he is surrounded by a shoal of small, biting fish!
Bad Fish!
From the shore, it seems as if Griffin has suddenly found some trouble. As he swims, he begins to call out, confused at first, then in pain. The dark water around him becomes turbulent and several small fish can be seen coming to the surface or even leaping out short distances. Even from the bank, it is easy to spot the wide mouths and sharp teeth of these aquatic predators.
“Haul him back! By all the gods, get him out of the deeps!” Draven puts his shoulders into it, urging the others to haul on the rope and bring Griffin to safety.
Marcel tugs on the rope softly by firmly to get Griffin off to the wrong bank without him letting go. Pulling his knife, he prepares to shave off the fishes that refuse to let go.
The mage barely takes a moment to think before sensing the words of a spell under his breath. Feeling the spell begin to take action, he yells out to his comrades, “I got him! Deal with the creatures.” With his magic, he begins to lift Griffin from the waters and onto the shore as quickly as possible.
As Draven and Marcel begin to pull Griffin back, they stop and stare with surprise as their friend begins to rise up and out of the water. Several of the small biting fish attempt to hold on but quickly fall off and plop back into the water. 
Marcel has not had a shave in a while
Griffin floats over and is safely deposited on the far bank. He waves to his companions then stops and grabs at his armor, shaking and wiggling frantically. Another fish falls out and flops on the wet bank before he gives it a kick back into the dark water. 

Looking over to his friends he shrugs his shoulders as if to say "Now what?"

Over the River

Remar tells the two of his comrades on the bank beside him that, while it may cost him his strength for a fair while, he can safely get the two of them across. Trying to perform the same magic that he had on Griffin, he is happy to see the effects of his magic take hold on both of his friends. With the ability to levitate his friends, Remar propels both Marcel and Draven across to the far bank.

Marcel barely holds a nervous “I’m a wizard!” as his body lifts off the ground. Griffin questions why he had to do it the hard way.

Griffin sees that Remar is barely conscious, so he readies his crossbow to defend his comrade as he sits alone on the far bank.  He helps Draven and Marcel find a secure location.  “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, guys.”  Then he starts trying to bind his wounds.

On the verge of collapse, the mage lies down on the wilderness floor. Rummaging through his possessions for rations or something to eat, Remar takes his time to try and recover his strength. “It’s alright, boys! Just need a few minutes to breathe. Maybe half an hour.”

“Guh, half an hour.” Marcel kicks the pebbles, gently.

Some time passes uneventfully, though there are a few wolf howls and barks are heard. Eventually Remar has recovered enough energy to try again.

Feeling a little rested, Remar pulls himself up and tries to propel himself across the river. Remar’s grip on his magic felt strong and he soon found himself across the river and with his comrades. “Alright. What’s the plan now? I’m a little fatigued, but I can help out.”

“Okay, while Remar is resting, I’ll go scout out how things look on this side of the river.  Maybe I can find a way over that tributary between us and the lair so we don’t have to play with the fishies again.”

Marcel is looking for a way to climb up to the canopy in case that there is a way to the lair.

Remar and Draven rest while Griffin scouts and Marcel climbs up a nearby petrified tree. Marcel finds that it might be possible to move across areas on the canopy, though from here, there are many gaps and it would be difficult to make it over to the Goblin lair. Climbing up closer should produce better results though.

After a short time, Griffin returns from his scouting mission and reports that he was able to find a way across the stream to a spot just behind the lair.

With everyone rested, he leads the way to a fallen stone tree that spans almost all the way across the smaller tributary. The main part of the Wolfskull lair sits not far away across yet another stream, but here, on a little island is a smaller part of the lair, seemingly connected by a large hollowed out tree trunk bridge.

“We will do well to get to the other side of that wall - I have some hope that they’re keeping the prisoners in there, well away from the rest of the encampment.”

Around the back side of the lair there is only about 3-5 yards worth of flat land. Around to the north, a large petrified tree blocks passage, but it looks like it provides enough handholds that it could be climbed around to get up to the covered log bridge. To the west, the strip of land widens but is filled up with stony bushes and brambles, making potential movement difficult but possibly providing a boost up to the canopy above.
Behind the lair

Going Up

Griffin shrugs. “Well, we’re burning daylight.  I’ll head up and see what I can see from above. If you want to rest, I can check out the bridge-log thing in a bit, or you could take a look.” With that, Griffin starts climbing.

The young Thyatian scrambles easily up the exterior “wall” of the Goblin lair and disappears into a small space up above. After a moment of grunting and scraping sounds, Griffin calls back down as quietly as he can that he is in a narrow crawl space within the canopy itself.

“Can you send down a rope? I’m no great shakes as a climber, but will shin up there if I have to…”

Griffin struggles and moves back out of the crawl space.  He looks around and finds a safe place to tie his rope, then drops the line down the side of the lair. He signs that the rest should come on up, then turns back to the crawl space.  Maybe he can find a view into the lair’s interior.  

Using the rope for assistance, Draven slowly pulls himself up to the crawlspace. “Thanks,” he says to Griffin as he moves aside for the rest of the party to join them. Curiosity gets the better of him, and he moves along to see what Griffin has discovered up here.

His eyes sting as he moves further under the canopy towards the interior of the lair.  Somewhere below, a fire is smoking, probably poorly tended by the gobbos.  He struggles not to cough as he tries to find a vantage place where he can see into the dim reaches of the stone fortress.

Draven pulls himself up into the space above the Goblin lair. It is a strange space, similar to a natural cavern. Some places are nearly high enough to stand up while other areas are so narrow that one would have to squeeze through on their belly. The surface of the area is made up of the leaves and foliage of petrified trees. As Draven and Griffin move around, they notice that many of the smaller leaves are breaking and crumbling from their weight. This cautions them to be wary of thin places, as they might crash through to the lair 15 feet below.

There are lots of places above their heads that are open to the sky, but most of the ‘roof’ beneath them seems solid. Up ahead, Griffin spies what looks like a good sized hole that might lead down. He also sees further on where a wider gap lies, right about where the small river separates the two sections of the lair. The smoke that is in his eyes appears be coming up and over from the main section as no smoke billows up from the hole directly ahead of him.

Down below, Marcel and Remar contemplate whether to follow their companions or wait here.

Griffin slithers forward, keeping his weight spread out as much as he can, and tries to see what he can see through the hole.

Griffin moves toward the opening and peers down inside. A large darkened room can be seen, fortunately enough light is filtering through to allow him to see, otherwise it is dark. The room appears to be surprisingly neat and tidy for a Goblin lair. There is a long wooden table surrounded by about six wooden chairs, all seemingly too big for Goblins, more human sized. There are a few crates around the edges of the room and a stack of folded blankets in one corner. The room is roughly 50 or 60 feet across and roundish. There is a stout wooden barricade type door in the northeastern area, probably blocking the entrance to the bridge and an actual door to the south east leading to another, probably smaller room, in that direction. Griffin estimates that this room takes up most of the area inside the lair on the island with the exception of what may be behind the door to the southeast.

With a sigh, the mage tries to climb up to the crawlspace but falls down and hurts his right leg. An almost silent curse is made under his breath. Catching his breath, Remar goes to try and climb up the rope again and finally joins his other comrades at their high vantage point.

Remar makes it to the space above the Goblin lair and see what Griffin and Draven have seen. Marcel remains on the ground, looking at the rope up wondering if he should follow his companions or remain here to stand guard.

“So, Griffin,” Draven whispers, “what do we have?” He is leery of encroaching lest they both fall through.

Griffin inches back and tells Draven and Remar what he sees of the lair below. From this vantage point, it does not look possible to climb over to the area above the main lair. The only possible ways over from here are to climb down into the lair and go through the log bridge or crawl across the top of the log bridge then up to the “roof” of the main lair.

Marcel climbs up to meet the others.  “You know we’re in trouble when you ask this man to climb somewhere.” He peers down into the dark but his vision is accustomed to the outdoors and he sees nothing.

“There appears to be something interesting down there by your account. How about Grif heads down and Remar covers. We can pull you back up or I can slide down if things get gobliney all of a sudden.”

Session Notes

This is another online, PbP type session (utilizing +Roll20 for rolling and a map for positioning) but things got a little messed up when I had to reschedule our normal live session 2 weeks ago due to an impending vacation and differing plans (mine and my wife's) so we continued this for another week and a half, getting a little further along in the story.

Cast of Characters: 

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

Remar Umerus, an Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army (conjured by +Ben Lipe and) piloted by +Alex Safatli 

Marcel Maas, a down on his luck Traladaran soldier turned mercenary commanded by +Christian Blouin 

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

and +Jason Woollard as The DM


Wandered Roads 32

Wandered Roads of Varisia
Session 32
June 14, 2014

Campaign Timeline

Deeper Still...

Oathday, 27th of Lamashan

Hound of Hell
The Heroes of Sandpoint continued their seemingly unending exploration of the complex inside and beneath the Irespan piling known as "The Crow." The came across a strange circular maze that had all surfaces covered with thick iron plates, each covered in spiky Thassalonian runes. Occasional scorch marks and burnt bones were spotted in the maze. A Created Servant that strongly resembled Samad and dubbed Samad Junior, was sent ahead to scout the area. After a few minutes, some distant growling and roaring sounds punctuated the end Samad Junior. Further exploration revealed the source of this noise as that of a Hellhound. A brief skirmish ended with the Hellhound nothing more than
another scorch mark on the floor.

Eventually the center of the maze was found and it revelaed itself to be something of a planar portal or summoning area. Vexeron was able to determine that the entire maze with its iron bound passages were a giant tool used to aid in opening planar gateways, this one possibly leading directly to the Hells and other Infernal places. In an attempt to destroy this device, some of the metal plates were pried from the wall, first through brute force, then through magic. In all, about 20 of the plates were removed, but Vexeron could not determine if anything they were doing had any affect on the function of the area, so the efforts were stopped.

Next the Heroes explored an unworked passage, an oddity thus far in this structure. This passageway was rough cut from natural caverns and appeared damp and a bit muddy.  As the companions explored down a slight slope, the ground suddenly shifted under their feet, turning into something of a rock slide that deposited everyone in a shallow pool of water in a large natural cavern. The passage behind them had fallen away considerably and it would be difficult to return that way so they pressed onward.

Grey Ooze... yuck!
The far edge of the shallow pool was covered in what at first appeared to be slippery rocks and mud but quickly turned out to be a dangerous foe. The ground was covered in what appeared to be some sort of mobile and aggressive grey ooze thing that wasted no time in striking out with sticky, acidic tendrils. Samad quickly learned that sword slashes merely divided the ooze into smaller but more numerous foes.

Vexeron tried to light it on fire with magical flame, but that had no effect and in the end, it turned out that non-bladed impact weapons like staves and hands and feet were the most effective weapon. Minimal damage was taken, though Calina noted that her armor was damaged some by the creatures corrosive touch and it would have to be repaired once they were back in Magnimar.

The party continued their exploration and eventually the natural caverns met back up with the carved stone hallways they were familiar with. The next set of rooms, halls and chambers led them to locked iron door with some sort of Thassalonian sign on it. Not concerned with the sign, Ehlyna kicked the door in and burst into the next room where the group was set upon by a trio of strange and disturbing creatures. These malformed lumps of flesh hopped around on long spindly legs an bit at victims with wide, toothy maws. This encounter was also met with violence and in a few moments, they creatures were nothing more than bloody lumps of skin and bone.

The exhausted party felt that it was getting late and was finally time to make camp and rest for the night. They retreated to the storage room they had successfully camped in the previous night and were able to secure themselves again and get some rest. Upon waking, they traveled back to where they had left off.

Fireday, 28th of Lamashan

The next area to explore was a large, ornate room with raised platforms on either of its ends. Both platforms had steps that led down to dark and murky water that covered most of the room. Ominous black pillars ran along both side walls of the chamber, their surfaces carved in the likeness of numerous tentacles intertwined. Wary of the dark water, Vexeron summoned up another Servant, this one, Ehlina, had the face of Calina on top of Ehlyna's body. This got a chuckle from a few members of the party, and stern looks from others. Vexeron sent the Servant down the steps and into the water. Ehlina started swimming after several steps as it appeared that the water was quite deep. Almost immediately, Ehlina ran into trouble as several grey shapes crested and converged on her, quickly attacking and dragging her under the waves. Vexeron instinctively knew that Ehlina was no more and another way to cross the room was devised.

Aquatic Sinspawn
Daellin tapped his magical prowess to give Ehlyna and Kallin the powers of flight before teleporting himself and Leela safely to the other side. Vexeron used his magic to Apportate the remaining members high up and over the water. As Vexeron crossed, the creatures in the water made a few leaps out trying to get him, revealing themselves as aquatic versions of the Sinspawn that had been previously encountered.

After passing the water filled chamber without incident, the heroes discovered yet another long flight of stairs leading down. Descending at least another 30 feet or so, they reailized that they were now on a lower level of the dungeon.

The first thing they came to was some sort of underground cistern that filled a small chamber. An ornate, shiny black onyx torch burned in a sconce near the entry way. Tunnels with channels of water headed off in three different directions. Waterlogged and rotted timbers acted as makeshift bridges across the mouths of each water channel. A raspy singing could be heard coming from the passage to the east.

Curious about the singing and not wanting to cross over any of the timber bridges, the party headed to the east, walking carefully along a narrow ledge that ran alongside the 5 foot wide trough of water. The
an underground sewer of some type...
passage led to another cistern like chamber. This chamber had a stone arch bridge that went across the room and led out by one dry passage to the south. Around the entire outside edge of the room was painted the city skyline of Magnimar down near the water level. Several small boats were painted below the city level, giving them the impression of actually floating on the dark water in the room. The singing had stopped but shortly after arriving at the room, a raspy voice called out, coming from somewhere down below the bridge.

The voice, which ended up belonging to one Lockerbie Brast, asked questions about the heroes and their reason for being down here. Lockerbie seemed quite happy to have someone to talk to and over the course of the conversation, it was revealed that he was some type of undead, which was confirmed by one of Kallin's spells, and that he had previously been a ship captain of a fishing vessel that sank near by. The companions realized that it was the same ship they had seen from the underwater observation dome the previous day. Lockerbie agreed to help them with some information about some of the areas nearby if they said promised him that they would retrieve a special broach that sank with his ship, the Liza Jane and return it to his beloved of the same name in Magnimar. After being convinced by the group that they would try to help him, he revealed that there were some deep Gnomes, or Derro, operating nearby. He explained that they were dangerous and evil and he had not had any interactions with them yet, but they he had observed them coming and going sometimes, often returning to their lair with captives.

Session Notes

Though we were short a few players this session, it was a fantastic mix of exploration, combat, vandalism and conversation. It was a really fun and exciting session. I was able to challenge the characters and put them in some situations that were potentially dangerous and they were able to deal with the challenges and over come each obstacle, often in a way I had not envisioned.

Characters Present:

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


Grand Duchy 19

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 19
June 3, 2014

On the Kloss-Lunk Trail

Soladain 24 of Thaumont, 1001AC

Marcel is ready for battle!
The rain pours through the stone canopy in tiny streams of water, creating a constant dull roar of splashing water. While it is not too difficult to dodge these streams of falling water, it is impossible to get out of the way of the splash coming up from the hardened ground. Everything is soaked. There is no escaping it. Fortunately the falling water does quite a bit to mask the sounds of for adventurers sneaking through a petrified Goblin forest.

When Griffin spies Goblins and dire wolves coming up the trail, he quickly signals for everyone to hide and he sneaks off the trail, hoping that the Goblins will pass him and he can spring upon them from behind.

The first wolf riding Goblin passes but the second one does not. The wolf catches Griffin's scent and starts growling and pawing at the rocky forest, unable to squeeze through the narrow spaces between the trees. The rider calls for two other Goblins that had been following on foot to check it out. As they creep into the forest, they spot Griffin and his crossbow, just about the time the other wolf catches a whiff of Draven hiding near the trail.

Realizing that their surprise has been spoiled, the Grey company spring their attack. Griffin faces off against two Goblins among the trees while Draven, Marcel and Remar battle the first Goblin and his dire wolf mount.

The Grey Company vs. The Wolfskull Goblins!
At first, it seems that the Goblins have the upper hand, but then Remar gets a lucky shot with his magical bolt and knocks the Goblin rider off his dire wolf mount and Draven and Marcel are able to get into flanking position. They quickly send the wolf running while Griffin goes on the defensive and begins a slow retreat through the forest.

The second wolf rider dismounts and chases Griffin deeper into the woods while the wolf charges down the trail towards the rest of the Company. Draven and Marcel are able to present a united front and again get into positions to flank the beast while Remar continues to pepper it with magical blasts from the treeline.

Just as Griffin is making his way back towards the group, the wolf goes down. Remar is even able to take out the other fleeing wolf who was slowly limping away from the fight. Marcel and Draven quickly move into the woods and come to Griffin's defense.

In moments, several Goblins are unconscious and two have been captured. The wounded foes are put out of their misery and Marcel attempts to interrogate one of the captured Goblins. At first, the Goblin only spits insults and lies at him, then Draven intervenes and with the aid of divine magic, compels the Goblin to speak the truth.

Marcel is able to get some interesting information from the Goblin, such as the location and defenses of the nearby Wolfskull lair. He also finds out that a Hobgoblin named Vlack, the leader of the Vlack-krag tribe, were the ones responsible for rallying the local Goblin tribes to action. Marcel recalls hearing similar intel from a previously interrogated Goblin back at the homestead.

More importantly, Marcel learns that the Wolfskull had in fact taken some prisoners in their recent raids and they had all been brought to the nearby Goblin stronghold. Shortly thereafter, Draven's magic expired and the Goblin prisoners were put to death. Before leaving, the members of the company each take and wear a wolfskull cloak taken from a fallen Goblin. It is hoped that it will help mask their scent and help them get just a little bit closer before the Goblins and their wolves detect them.

Encouraged by the intelligence they gained from the Goblin, the Company continues on, following the trail further down into the "stone bowl" in search of the Wolfskull, or Kloss-lunk, lair. After another hour of hiking, they finally came found what they were looking for.

The Goblin lair has been formed by erecting stone walls between the petrified trees. Further fortifications have been made to close up any gaps near the stony leaf canopy above. It looks like a fairly large structure protected on several sides by a dark, swift moving stream. Though this area of the forest is a bit more open, it is still hard to get a good look at the entire structure and it is estimated that it is at least 100 feet wide on each side, possibly bigger.

Draven, Marcel and Remar find a good hiding spot behind some petrified thickets while Griffin heads out to do a little scouting.

The Company hides while Griffin takes a closer look.

Continued on GDA20 - Scouting the Goblin Stronghold

Cast of Characters: 

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

Remar Umerus, an Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army (conjured by +Ben Lipe and) piloted by +Alex Safatli 

Marcel Maas, a down on his luck Traladaran soldier turned mercenary commanded by +Christian Blouin 

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

and +Jason Woollard as the DM


Grand Duchy 18

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 18
May 24 - June 2, 2014

Into the Petrified Forest

Loshdain 23 of Thaumont, 1001AC

More Bats!

The Grey Company has entered a strange and eerie section of the Dymrak Forest. All the trees, bushes, grass and even birds and animals have been petrified. Some moss and lichen grows near the ground and some long wispy vines trail down from the stone branches in places, but there is no other live vegetation anywhere. Very few birds and some insects are about the only live animals occasionally spotted.

After Goriidel left the group to return to his companions, the Company mounted an exploration of the petrified forest, leaving Akaios and Bahaznic back with the horses. About 30 minutes into the stone forest, the Company came across some other living things, a swarm of giant foul bats swooped down out of the shadowy twilight created by the solid stone canopy of leaves overhead. As the giant bats swoop in to attack, their nauseating smell fills everyone’s nostrils.

Griffin quickly reacts to the danger of the descending bats.  He brings up his shield as one charges him and hops back, foiling it’s attack.  He whips out his broadsword and makes a strong swing at the creature.

Griffin’s strike is true, cutting into the giant bat and sending it to the ground. It flounders there for a moment and starts to crawl away toward the edge of the trail, leaving a smear of dark blood behind it.

“Eugh!” Draven quickly raises his shield and takes a step back, blocking the incoming attack. “Even stink would say that stinks!” He tries to take a swing back at the bat with his club, hoping to dissuade it from attacking him again.

Remar and Marcel go on the defensive when the bats attack, easily fending them off, though Remar gets a strong whiff of the bats foul odor and begins coughing and hacking. He brings his short staff up to protect him. Meanwhile, Ree shouts a magical word of power as she dodges out of the way, easily staying out of the way of the bat’s fangs but not so lucky when it comes to resisting the bat’s smell. Like Remar, her eyes begin to water and she starts hacking and spitting, trying to rid herself of the malodorous stench.

The remaining bats each lurch forward, their large wings propelling them back into close quarters as they attack once more. The bat coming at Remar gets its wings tangled up and drops to the ground right in front of the coughing mage while the bat attacking Draven goes for his weapon arm. The bats attacking Marcel and Ree both make neck lunges.

Marcel decides to push back first by blocking the beast while holding his breath for long enough to dissipate the cloud of stench. He then identifies a large tree to use to cover his back and steps aside to assess the situation. He scans the area and identify all opponents as well as various spots for a number of them to defend best against the beasts. He summarily warns Griffin and other of incoming bats, communicating succinctly his plan and jumps right back into the fray with in mind to skewer them out of the sky.

The bat manages to flap up and out of the way of Marcel’s incoming shield, but is not so lucky against the Traladaran’s spear. The sharp point penetrates the bat, nearly running it through. It spasms and works its way off the tip of the weapon and falls to the ground motionless. Nearby, Ree dodges out of the bat’s line of attack and steps back.

Remar motions about himself, taking a step back from the danger, and magics a Shield about Marcel in order to protect the party from further harm. “These things stink! Marcel, I magicked your shield.”

Griffin, seeing his own foe dragging itself away, turns and rushes to Ree’s aid. He slashes at the beast attacking her.

The bat attacking Ree turns and flies off into the shadowy canopy above after Griffin hits it with his sword. Draven again brings his shield up in a defensive position, easily blocking the bat as he steps back.

The two remaining bats are dealt with. One is killed after being skewered on Marcel’s spear and the other is driven off after being struck by several blows. Everyone remains tense for several moments, waiting for the bats or some other foe to present itself, but nothing happens. The surrounding forest remains quiet. The already present shadows along the trail are beginning to grow dark, signaling that the unseen sun has started its descent. The Company has already been in the petrified forest for well over a half an hour and they had told Akaios and Bahaznic that they would only be gone about an hour. It appears that this petrified forest is a bit larger than originally anticipated and it may take a more time to locate the Goblins.

“It smells like stinking gobs here. I think that we’re on the right track. You think that Akaios and Bahaznookie will mind if we push onward?”

Marcel wonders whether the bat act as scouts for the goblins. If so, the priority would be to acquire ambushing positions before nightfall.

Griffin starts to speak, then hesitates. It’s getting toward sundown, and no telling what Akaios and Bahaznic will do if they don’t return before dark. Attacking at night would be playing to the gobbo’s strengths. He shakes his head, “No, we go back.  This was a simple recon mission. We’re not prepared for more right now.  We go back, hide, and come back in the morning, when it’s light.”

“Does that sounds okay?”

Marcel speaks, “There are two devils sitting on my shoulders. One of them agrees with you, friend. I’m just not sure that the green forest is a better place for us to defend.”

He swings his shield over his shoulder, poke the ground with the butt of his spear.
“Let’s go where the food’s at.”

Draven replies, “I concur. We need our full force and all of our gear before we press ahead.”

A Tactical Retreat

Wanting to be on the safe side, the Grey Company retreats out of the petrified forest and re-connects with Akaios and Burik. After giving their report to Akaios, he tells them that while they were gone, they had heard some wolf howls in the distance. He is not precisely sure from which direction they came, but he is pretty sure that it was NOT from within the petrified section of the forest. “Could be out-riders or scouts, or it could just be wolves not with the Goblins, not sure,” he offers.

The group agrees that their best course of action would be to set a camp for the night and then re-enter the petrified forest the following morning and attempt to find the Goblins then.

Griffin nods as they head back up the trail.  He’s looking for a place off the trail, where they can make a quiet camp out of the way.  Playing to his strengths, he also keeps an eye out for well-concealed perches in the trees where he could hide with his crossbow.  

“Okay, I think two-man watches, Akaios, why not you and Draven first, then Marcel and Remar.  Ree and I will take the third shift. Bahaznic, you’re odd man out tonight.  You can join one of us on our shifts, or we’ll swap you in tomorrow evening.”

“Sounds like a plan, Griffin. We’ll keep our eyes open.” To Akaios he asks, “what do you think as far as position? Opposite sides of the camp, or together, back to back?” He hefts his shield and swings his club, psyching himself up for whatever might come their way.

A hasty camp is made and watches are set. Remar has a tough time getting comfortable while Ree and Akaios are just having a terrible time. The elements seem to be wearing on them fairly harshly. Everyone else settles in nicely to the temporary camp. A light meal is eaten and watches are set.

Draven and Akaios set up for the first watch. Draven notices that Griffin is restless and not able to go to sleep. With only 3 watches, its going to be a long night. Draven and Akaios take up spots on opposite sides of the camp, agreeing to change positions with each other every half hour or so, just to make sure no one falls asleep.

The night drags on for Draven and Akaios, who move around in the darkness. The tiny fire has died down to just embers by the time Marcel and Remar are set to take over. In the darkness, the companions manage to make just enough noise to wake Griffin up by accident.  Fortunately the young adventurer is able to fall back to sleep with no trouble.

A Bump in the Night

Near the end of Marcel and Remar’s watch, Marcel hears the sound of wolves nearby followed by something moving noisily through the woods.

Marcel rises to his feet as quietly as he can and tried to resolve the contact with his eyes and ears. He readies his shield and spear and quietly moves to interpose between the camp and wherever the noise came from. His steps are deliberate, delicate: he is ready to pounce into the mineral foliage in a twitch.

His action have prompted Remar to react even if the wizard may not have heard the noises in the first place.

Remar groans. “Marcel, I’m trying to read right now.” He takes a piece of parchment and places it between the two pages he was at in his spellbook. He looks to Marcel and suddenly understands the cue. Putting his book down, he gets up and looks into the darkness alongside his friend, staff at the ready.

“Can you light it up over there?”, as he points to where he thought the noise came from.

Remar shrugs and then nods toward Marcel’s glowing shield. Marcel smiles sheepishly and continues.

Marcel leaps into the wood simultaneously in hope to surprise whatever may be there.

Holding his glowing shield out in front of him, Marcel looks for the source of the noise as he moves into the darkened depths of the Dymrak Forest. After a moment, he sees what he was looking for. As he steps from behind a large tree, two wolves go bolting past, a moment later, three bald headed, pig faced Orcs burst through the trees running after the wolves. One of them is carrying a few spears and the other two are armed with nets. Swords can be seen hanging at each of their sides. The two with the nets pay no mind to Marcel but the spear carrier notices him. The Orc takes a double take as he runs past then stops and barks at his companions in the guttural language of his kind. He turns and holds his spear up high, aiming it Marcel. “Drop your weapon, Human,” it commands in barely understandable Traladaran!

Remar, having followed Marcel into the darkness, is startled to see the Orc as it stares them in the face.  “Uh, these things don’t look too happy to see us, Marcel. Should we run for it, get the others?”

The Orc, who is about 7 yards in front of Marcel, crouches and pulls his spear arm back as if to throw his weapon. In the darkness, Marcel can barely make out the other 2 Orcs, about 13 yards off to the right, stop and turn.
gda18 a.png
Marcel tries to fast-talk the Orcs.

“I’m not the one to take one two orcs with nets on my own. Remar, rouse the camp ASAP while I delay.”

Remar takes to his feet.

“You go me here, Phil. May I call you Phil?”, Marcel side-steps to make room between him and the underbrush to his left.

“We’ve got meat to sell. Still alive, still tasty. Are you a buyer?” He attempts to locate the net wielders without Phil noticing.

The Orc, Phil, lowers his spear a bit and does not throw the weapon. “Who you?” he calls out in broken Traladaran. He relaxes his stance a bit but keeps the weapon resting on his shoulder, ready to throw at any moment. “What you sell? We hunt Kloss-Lunk wolves.” He turns and calls out to the other Orcs, though not in Traladaran and motions toward Marcel with a nod of his head. Looking over Marcel’s shoulder, he asks, “Where he go?”

“Yes, we’ve got lots of Loss-kunk foxes for sale, which flavour?”, Marcel stutter awkwardly in hope that the orc is slow enough to buy his pathetic bluff.

The Orc grunts and replies, “Yes, we take what you got!” He then steps up and throws his spear at Marcel! Marcel easily blocks the spear with his trusty shield and moves back as we watches the two net-wielding Orcs advance. The spear chucker readies another spear and steps forward while his companions step into range. Marcel lashes out with a spear strike at the nearest one but the Orc manages to dodge out of the way. He responds by swinging his net around and tossing it over Marcel’s head. The Traladaran tries to dodge out of the way, but he missteps and the net envelops him. Marcel starts to worry. He has seen nets in action against previous foes. It is not pretty. The spear wielding Orc approaches with his spear ready while the other Orc keeps his net at the ready.

Meanwhile, back at the camp, something rouses Griffin from his sleep. A quick glance around reveals that the fire is burning low, nearly out, most of his companions are sleeping still, but neither Marcel nor Remar is anywhere to be seen. As he sits up, he hears muffled voices and sounds to the north of camp, in the forest.

As Griffin thinks about what to do, he hears the approaching sound of someone running through the woods toward the camp.

After few short moments, Remar bursts back into the camp. “Eveyrone, wake up, get up!” He puts his hands on his knees and takes a heavy breath. “Orcs. In the woods. Marcel is, um, well, talking to them. I don’t know if it’s going to end well though! Come on!”

Remar explains that they had heard some wolves and then some other noises passing near the camp so they had checked it out. It looked like the Orcs were chasing the wolves but they saw Marcel and Remar as they ran past and one stopped. Marcel was going to try to distract him for a minute while Remar ran back for help. He says they are not far, maybe 20 yards back through the forest and that there had been at least 3 Orcs, two of them with nets!

Griffin swears and grabs his crossbow.  Quickly loading a bolt, he grabs his sword as well and heads off into the woods as quietly as he can, heading off to the left of where Remar appeared.  He catches Ree’s eye and send her off to the right.  He notices Akaios and Draven rising as well at Remar’s words, and trusts then to take the more direct route.

As everyone makes their way as quickly as they can through the forest, they hear Marcel yell out for help and several loud Orcish grunts and growls.

Draven, Remar and Akaios break through the trees to see Marcel trapped under a heavy net with 3 Orcs standing around him, squinting in the light of his magically glowing shield. One has a spear and one has his hand on the hilt of his sheathed blade while the third holds onto another good sized net.
gda18 b.png
The Orcs net some prey, the Company comes to the rescue.
Off to the side of the action, Griffin finally arrives at the scene. Off to his right, he can see Marcel trapped in the net, the light from his glowing shield nicely lighting up a large Orc holding a spear pointed right at Marcel.

Marcel can hear his friends somewhere to his right, but the pointy end of a spear really gets his attention. There is a little bit of room for him to move his shield around, and he certainly plans to move into a block if it comes down to this. Meanwhile, he realizes that his feet are still in the clear and he tries to run back towards his advancing friends.

Draven strides forward three yards to close the distance between himself at the orcs, stopping just short of the edge of the net covering Marcel. “Never suffer an orc to live!” he growls under his breath, as he prepares to draw forth the power of the Immortals.

With a loud shout, Akaios charges forward heroically, swinging his great axe at the nearest Orc. The Orc leaps back out of the way of his strike unscathed. Meanwhile, Remar steps up and flings a magical bolt at the Orc pointing his spear at Marcel, aiming at his skull. Though it was just a grazing shot, the Orc stumbles and falls to the ground, dropping his remaining spears.

The remaining Orcs look at each other then one draws his shortsword and takes another step away from Akaios while the 2nd one steps up and flings his net toward Draven and Remar and managed to put it directly between them, threatening to catch them both in its enveloping snare! Watching this, Griffin sees his chance to act!

Snarling, Draven ably dodges the net and continues his preparations, Remar is not as lucky and gets tangled in the netting.

Griffin lets fly with a bolt and swears when he sees it go wide.  He drops his crossbow and readies his sword as he moves towards the battle.  “Come on lads, there’s only two of them!” he shouts.

Akaios steps up, readying his axe for another strike. As Remar and Draven try to avoid the thrown net, the two Orcs turn and flee away from the Grey Company, leaving their spear toting companion laying unconscious on the forest floor. Akaios looks to Griffin then to the Orcs fleeing in the darkness. “We giving chase?”

Griffin shakes his head. “Not in the dark on their home turf. Let’s grab our gear and see if we can find another spot not too far off. Oh, and snag those nets and whatever the unconscious one is carrying.  We might be able to use the gear later.”

Akaios puts his boot on the back of the Orc’s head and asks, “what are we doing with this one?” Ree and Bahaznic quietly approach from the south, their slings ready. “We done here?” Ree asks with hint of disappointment in her voice.

He shrugs. “Like I said, grab his gear and leave him as far as I’m concerned. The wolves will take care of him soon, no doubt.”

Akaios loots the fallen Orc, taking 4 cheap spears, a cheap shortsword, a cheap large knife, a wineskin filled with some foul smelling alcohol (Akaios hesitates for a moment then takes a long swig from it) and a pouch with about 20 coppers. “I’m not stripping him, he can keep his armor. It smells anyway and I don’t know if he has anything on under it!”

Lagging behind, still scanning for more Orcs, Draven waits for the rest of the company to make their way back towards the camp, at least far enough to get out of earshot. He approaches the unconscious Orc. With his booted foot, he turns the creature over on his back and looks down at it. He presses his boot into the Orc’s throat, cutting off its supply of air. “Never. Suffer. An Orc. To live.” Once the deed is done, he returns to the camp with the others.

Once back to the camp, it takes a few hours to pack everything up and move to a new location. As they are setting the new camp up, Ree looks at Griffin and smirks, “You know, it probably won’t be hard for them to track us from the old camp to the new camp if they really want to. Were leading too many horses. They leave, um, you know, traces.”

Griffin shrugs. "Well, if they come back with a tracker, yea.  If they come back with a war band, we’re gonna want whatever edge we can get.”

Ree shrugs and walks away. The watches are reset and the night continues.

Soladain 24 of Thaumont, 1001AC

Planning a Wolf Hunt

The Orcs do not return for the rest of the night, but the rain does. Though it is hard to see, the sky overhead is covered in thick, grey clouds and the rain comes down in a cold, constant drizzle. A cool wind blows between the trees as the Grey Company gets down to business over a soggy breakfast. Griffin seems a bit tired though everyone else is chipper and ready to go.

Griffin grumbles as he goes about packing up his satchel. “So, let’s get this over with, huh guys?  Akaios, you okay with staying with the horses, or should we all bring them.  I was kinda hoping that we could scout a little sneakily for this bit.”

“Uh, yea, me and the kid can stay back and watch the horses. How long do you think you will be gone? I think taking those horses in there will easily alert the Goblins to our presence. They got wolves, right? They will smell the horses at a good distance, even in this rain, much less hear them,” Akaios muses. He looks around, “plus, maybe we can find some more Orcs to party with!”

Ree steps up and looks at Akaios with a bit of disdain, “I think I should stay back with Akaios and Bahaznic as well. I can help keep an eye out for Orcs, Goblins or whatever might come our way.” Griffin shoots her a look and she merely raises an eyebrow and shrugs.

Before making time for his prayers, Draven, muttering up at the gray skies, called upon a bit of divine power to protect himself from the drizzle. The gods are kind, and soon the drops that fall from the skies cease for him, striking an invisible wall of force. Sighing contentedly, he then seeks out a small, palm-sized stone and invests a bit of will into bringing for the light of creation upon it. He takes it over to Akaios and Ree. “Just in case,” he says, holding it out on the flat of his palm. “The better to see the orcs you slay.”

That completed, he sets about his morning prayers, thanking the Immortals for their continued good luck in hearing the orcs coming, and for granting him the gift of sending one on to infinite punishment.

Finishing up, he makes sure his own light source is firmly in place on his chest. “What’s the plan? Back into that cursed bowl of stone again? Look for tracks from the wolves last night? Maybe track the orcs back to their encampment?” He tries to keep too much stress off the last choice.

Griffin shrugs. “Sorry, but it’s the stone bowl. With just the four of us hopefully we can move more quietly.  I’ll lead, slowly, so I can sneak up on whoever wanders around here.  The rest of you in a small group about 20 yards back - should be enough for me to notice something before they notice you.”

Remar asks Griffin if him taking point was wise. “You sure look tired. I don’t want you getting hurt or compromising our plan if you’re not able to keep yourself together.” Probably knowing the answer already, Remar accepts the inevitable and hopes his friend will not falter in his role.

Akaios, Ree and Bahaznic finish packing up the camp while the other four head out to return to the petrified forest in search of the Wolfskull, or Kloss-lunk, Goblins. The rain continues with a steady drizzle, quickly soaking everyone, except Draven, to the bone. Griffin has to keep his crossbow carefully hidden under his cloak to keep the string from getting wet and ruined. The ground is a muddy mess and Griffin spots no new tracks.

Seeing Griffin hiding his crossbow from the wet gives Draven a twinge of guilt over enjoying the protection of his little cantrip but not offering it to anyone else. Not that he could comfortably cover everyone.

Once the group makes it to the edge of the petrified valley, the rain takes on a different form. Due to the stony canopy above, the rain is funneled into numerous mini-waterfalls falling at random places throughout the forest. While not being constantly being rained on, it is occasionally impossible to avoid the multiple streams of falling water, nor is it possible to avoid the near constant splash at ground level. In addition to the wet, the sound is tremendous, like the sound of a water mill going right next to your head. Draven finds that his magical protection from the rain does him no good against the thick streams of water coming down from above and considers dropping the spell, though there are enough moments of actual rain that Draven thinks it might be worth keeping up.

Glancing heavenward, Draven sighs as he waffles on whether or not to keep the spell up at all. “Thank you for this lesson in humility,” he whispers to the Immortals as he moves along.

The Company continues on, finding that several trails criss-cross the valley, but all seem to lead back to the original main trail, which seems to head down further into the valley. Here and there, small streams cross and follow the path where the rainwater is all flowing to the lowest part of the valley.

Up ahead, Griffin calls the Company to a stop when he comes across a much wider track winding away into the gloom between the lifeless and wet trees. Looking along it, he catches sight of a group of Goblins and wolves heading up the path. The Goblins are chattering noisily  amongst themselves with their wolfskull hoods pulled low over their faces in an attempt to keep the rain out and do not appear to have spotted the Company yet.

Griffin waves his comrades to seek cover and ducks between the lifeless and wet trees.  He hunkers down and peers out from under his cloak.  He murmurs “C’mon you stupid gobbos.”

Griffin checks something out

Cast of Characters: 

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

Remar Umerus, an Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army (conjured by +Ben Lipe and) piloted by +Alex Safatli 

Marcel Maas, a down on his luck Traladaran soldier turned mercenary commanded by +Christian Blouin 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos piously played by +Jason Packer 
and +Jason Woollard as the DM