Grand Duchy 50

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 50
February 26, 2015

Dreams of Divine Judgement

Nytdain 1th of Yarthmont

The Grey Company cleans up after their battle with the slavers and leads the freed slaves back to their camp. The rest of the night goes by uneventfully.

Loshdain 2nd of Yarthmont

The Fairy King of Horses agrees to escort the Company to the edge of the Moor and help keep them protected from the dangers of the Moor. In fact, later that day, the Fairy King approaches and tells how his horses scared off two mountain lions that had been trailing the group.

Around lunchtime, the caravan comes to what appears to be a fork in the road. A toppled stone marker sits where the track veers off into two separate paths, both leading to the west. After some deliberation, Stephan decides that he is sure that the left path is the correct one and the drive continues.

The track leads down into a bit of a valley. While the road is still firm, the surrounding area becomes much wetter and marsh-like. The sky darkens and it looks as if it might rain again soon.

Suddenly, Draven hears a cry for help and sees that some of the walking refugees have somehow mired themselves in some sort of quicksand or mud pit near the road. Quickly everyone one moves to help them out. Just to the north of the road, a large murky pool begins to ripple, churn and bubble. Suddenly, the great, green, dripping head of a Dragon rises up out of the water. Argos the Worrier looks at the Grey Company with evil eyes.

"We meet again, he says with a draconic chuckle. He then belches forth a cloud of greenish-yellow mist that totally engulfs the stuck refugees. Their screams fill the air as the Dragon's poisonous breath begins to kill them.

Argos leaps from the water and lands on a spongy spot of land nearby, crushing several horses in the process. The Company quickly dismounts and takes up defensive stances. An attempt to parlay with the Dragon is made, but Argos appears to have no more time for talk as he viciously attacks.

The Company does all it can to defend themselves from the mighty Dragon, but everyone quickly realizes that they stand no chance against. To make matters worse, Draven turns and sees the dead refugees slowly rising to their feet and pulling themselves from the mud. The light of life has all but faded from their eyes, replaced by the deep black stare of the undead.

A pack of Zombies now lurch forward, arms outstretched toward Draven. His only defense is to wave his holy symbol at them and rely on the divine protection of his Patrons. Draven was able to keep the horde of zombies at bay while his companions bravely battled the attacking Dragon. The young priest watched as Griffin and Marcel both made hits on the beast, but it was not enough. It almost seemed as if the Dragon was toying with them for a while until it had had enough. Then with two quick snaps of its powerful jaws, it had completely decapitated both warriors.

Draven suddenly feels helpless against the onslaught of the zombies and the power of the Dragon. He turns and begins to head for his fallen friends when everything seems to stop. He then hears a voice fill his head. All it says is "Choose."

The world around him seems to dim and darken, as if enveloped by a huge shadow. Everything stops, seeming to freeze in place. Before him, floating in the air and slowly approaching his position are six glowing symbols. Each of them familiar to him. He sees the flaming rose of th Passion of Valerias, the Girder-On-Of-Weapons, the crossed swords of Vanya's Valor, the shining coin of Tyche's Luck, the burning wheel of the Wisdom of Ixion, the black axe of Tarastia's Judgement and the silver bell of Chardestes' Touch.

Immediately he knew that he was being tested by his Patrons and he smiled inside. He knew immediately which was his choice. For months now, he had been feeling the pull of the Judge, Tarastia and her unflinching look at right and wrong. Everything happened for a reason. Each of his choices had led him to this spot, each decision made another step in his life. Each one judged and deemed worthy.

Draven's thoughts went to the Judgement of Tarastia, the glowing black executioners axe and the others seemed to fade into shimmering nothingness. He knew that the other, unchosen, Patrons were not lost to him. They were still there, would still answer his call, but his new bond to Tarastia was now stronger, more real. He was one of 'hers' now and would continue to step forth and carry her judgement with him.

Though his friends lay dead on the swampy ground in front of him, though a Dragon crouched poised nearby, no doubt ready to end his own life, he knew the results would be based on the judgement of his Patron and that it would be right. He was ready for this new phase of his life, of his devotion, no matter how short lived it might be. He was, for the first time in his life, whole and balanced in his divinity.

The black axe floated nearer to him and seemed to take on a ethereal form. It expanded and grew to immense size, so big that Draven could no longer even see it. It seemed to expand around him, engulfing him, filling the entire world around him. He felt it surround him and become one with his body and soul as the scene around him began to take on color and shape again. The sounds of the approaching zombies again filled his ears. The crunching sound coming from Argos as he chewed the skulls of his friends threatened to make him sick. He felt his boots squish and get stuck in the muck below him. The fear started to creep back into him, then he recalled the gift he had just been given, the inspiration he had received.

Everything around him swirled and twisted away from him, like the water pouring out of a hole in the bottom of a bucket. He too was then sucked into the bucket, twisting and spinning into blackness.

Draven shook his head and looked down at what appears to be a fork in the road. A toppled stone marker sits where the track veers off into two separate paths, both leading to the west. Stephan says he is pretty sure that the left fork is the way to go...

Session Notes

This session was a blast. It was a nightmare sequence for the priest Draven, who had recently overstepped his threshold boundary with his divine casting. The character had suffered nightmares as as a result of failing a calamity check but then ended up that the player, Jason, had to step away from the campaign for a few sessions due to RL stuff. I felt that I really wanted to stick it to him so I conconcted a nightmare sequence. The other 2 players were in on it and totally went along with it. At the end of the session I asked him when he had realized that it had all been a dream... when the Dragon appeared? when the Zombies rose? when his friends both got their heads bitten off by the Dragon? when the Divine Avatars appeared? He said he didn't' realize it at all, until I asked him!


This also marks the 50th session of the Grand Duchy of Adventure campaign. About half of them have been live +Roll20 sessions and the other half had been PbP style gaming using GoogleDocs (and a fair helping of Roll20, when needed as well) This campaign was really started out as a side thing to do between me and one player and has quickly turned into one of my favorite campaigns of all time. The characters are progressing and growing so naturally and the campaign continues to evolve so dynamically. I LOVE IT! I hope you have enjoyed reading about it and following the exploits of the Grey Company!

Cast of Characters: 

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

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

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

and +Jason Woollard as The DM


Wandered Roads 39

Wandered Roads of Varisia
Session 39
March 7, 2015

Campaign Timeline

Underground Boating and a Draconic Impostor

Fireday 5th Neth

Lake of Dead Hands

Underground waterfall
Finding themselves standing on a stone dock on the edge of a huge underground lake, the heroes discussed how to move forward. Their first objective was to make it to the stone dock on the other side of the lake and check out the large red door there. The three boats were entered, Calina and Kallin in the first, Samad and Vexeron in the next and Ehlyna and Vosk in the third. Daellin used his magic to follow by flying. Calina piloted her boat and pushed off toward the falling waterfall to the left, hoping that its current would push them toward the dock on the far side. If they ended up stranded in still water, Daellin could pull them the rest of the way. Samad and Vexeron agreed and followed, though chose a slightly more aggressive trajectory. Ehlyna felt it would be easier to pole along the near edge of the lake toward the narrower part and hoped for shallower water there to make it to the other side.

Daellin decided to go check out the waterfall pouring into the cavern from up above. He flew carefully around and even checked behind it, hoping to find a hidden cave or other area. To his dismay, it was only a waterfall in front of a stone cavern wall.

Hands from the deep
While Daellin was checking out the waterfall, those in the boats were in for a big surprise when undead hands reached up from the dark waters and began attempting to tip the boats over and pull their occupants to their deaths. First Calina and Kallin were attacked, then Samad and Vexeron. The heroes had to balance defending themselves and keeping the boats stable. Vexeron flung fireballs around dangerously and Kallin tapped into a newly developed spell that greatly disrupted the attacking undead. Ehlyna and Vosk quickly tried to come to their rescue but were also attacked.

Seeing his friends in trouble, Daellin quickly flew over, sword in hand, to help out. A combination of magic, blade, arrow and divine might finally forced the aquatic undead to cease their attack, though in the chaos of the melee, the Half-Orc Vosk was thrown from his boat and pulled underwater by the ghasts. Daellin, still under the enchantment of his flying magic, dove into the water and helped free him.

The boats were quickly pulled toward the shore and safety. After a quick rest and some magical healing, the party examined the large red panel that stood before them. As several previous doors, this one was decorated with numerous square tiles, each depicting scenes of the Runelord Sorshen being worshiped and bowed to by numerous giants and other large creatures. A quick examination revealed that the center panel, when touched, caused the immense doors to swing open.

Runelord in a Dragon Dress

Cautiously, the heroes entered the next area, which was a long, wide hallway with a row of huge pillars running down the center. At the far end of the hallway, an open chamber could be seen, lit by some sort of magical light. A raised dais sat at the far end with a huge stone chair. Upon this chair sat a large blue creature that resembled a two legged, upright dragon of some sort. The party proceeded slowly, moving from pillar to pillar, trying to stay out of sight.

Sensing an upcoming fight, the party buffed themselves with helpful magics. Finally, the creature called out to them to show themselves and to bow before Runelord Sorshen! The blue draconian giant demands immediate obedience, commanding everyone to bow and pay their respects. It promises to only feed 1 of the party to its pets, which turn out to be large monitor lizards nearly the size of horses!
Runelord Sorshen? You look.... different...

Initially the heroes pretend to obey, kneeling on one knee and giving praise to the “Runelord” but soon the ruse was up and a great battle began. The blue giant proved to be a very hardy opponent, wielding a huge sword that crackled with the energy of lightning and defending himself with a giant shield that seemed to be made from the skull of a dragon. The shield also buzzed with magic electricity! The giant lizards also entered the fray, though they seemed to be more of a distraction than anything else.

After much battle and blood, the beast that called itself “Runelord Sorshen” was defeated, as were the pet lizards. The party slumped to the floor, nearly exhausted by the epic battle. A quick review of the area showed no other exits from the room.

Session Pics

Carefully approaching the battle

Ehlyna and Daellin move into position, Calina provides cover

A lizard pet approaches from the flank

Ehlyna finishes the beast off with a boot to the skull!

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
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
Vosk, Half-Orc Pathfinder who gets the job done, no matter what - played by +james schaffner 
and +Jason Woollard as the DM


Wandered Roads 38

Wandered Roads of Varisia
Session 38
January 31, 2015

Campaign Timeline

Take a Closer Look

Fireday, 5th of Neth

Checking Out the Love Shack

After a good long rest in one of the bedrooms, the group is ready to continue their search for the next fragment of the shattered Sihedron Star. Vexeron summons another magical servant. This one looks unmistakably like the Elf, Daellin, but wearing a butler’s outfit. He is lovingly named D’jour Ch’ker and is instructed to go down the hall and open each door. They open without incident Carefully, the party examins the rest of the rooms in this hallway and all appear to be small yet comfortable bedrooms. The engraving on the end of the hall, which is the same as on all of the non-trapped doors in the hallway draws some interest. Daellin checks it out closely and is ready to touch some of the symbols, thinking they may be connected to some magical trigger but he is dissuaded of this action by his companions. D’jour is asked to go touch the symbols instead while everyone else stays safely back. When D’jour touches the runes, they glow briefly and then a secret door opens in the wall.
The Runelord's rumpus room

The next room appears to be another bedroom, but this one is larger and much more lavishly appointed. The domed ceiling is inlaid with mother of pearl and a four poster bed dominates one wall of the room. Double doors lead to the north. Vexeron casts a See Secrets spell with the plans to maintain it, hoping to find any secret doors, hidden traps or concealed treasures.

Passing the double doors into the next chamber, the group finds another 8 sided room with a high, domed ceiling decorated with fading erotic murals. Stone benches line the walls and the floor is covered with a multi-colored mosaic of a sunburst. Fearing a magical trap, the mosaic is carefully stepped around.

The next room is a small space, 10x10 square with a door leading out of each of the 4 walls. The floor of the room is taken up by a pool of cool, clear water that seems to be fed by an underground spring.

Exploring the Workrooms

Keeping to their protocol, the group takes the door to the left first. This room is large and eight sided, like several previous rooms, with a high domed ceiling. This room appears to be some sort of alchemical laboratory and Daellin and Vexeron are quite intrigued by many of the containers and items on the stone tables. Daellin accidentally knocks over some containers on one table, causing a minor explosion. He continues his search more carefully and manages to find some sort of magical, waxy ointment in a small container.
an ancient alchemical workshop

A large corroded metal urn attracts Vexeron’s attention. Through a dirty glass lid, he can see a thick, grey substance. It seems to undulate and move slowly inside the urn. He examines it through the glass and quickly realizes that it is a magical substance commonly used in the enchantment of weapons and armor. He believes that it could be used to at least temporarily enchant quite a few items, though he does not have the time, material or expertise to make the enchantment permanent. A discussion about the material and how to best transport it is had. Realizing that it would be too difficult to carry the entire urn around (weighs over 300lbs), Vexeron decides to test it out here in the lab and coat some of the parties weapons.

As he opens the lid, he quickly finds out that his initial analysis of the substance was incorrect as a glob of the grey ooze whips out and splats him in the middle of the chest. He can hear the corrosive properties of the ooze beginning to eat its way through his shirt and armor. Quickly, the tendril of ooze is severed and someone throws the lid back on the pot. Embarrassed, Vexeron merely shrugs and the party moves on.

The next room explored is to the north of the fountain room and is another eight sided room, similar to the others with a high, domed ceiling. This room has several stone platforms draped with white sheets. They have sets of manacles set into the stone at each corner. Metal shelves are at the foot of each platform. All are empty but one. A large tome sits on one shelf. A quick examination reveals 3 magical scrolls tucked into the pages of the tome. The book and scrolls are taken.

A Maddening Worm

Next, the group checked out the final door leading from the pool room. Again, the group sees an eight sided room with a domed ceiling. This one appears to be some sort of summoning room and was in a state of disarray. A summoning pattern fills up most of the floor, and broken furniture litters the space. Across the room, a heavy bookstand can be seen, knocked on its side with a large, black tome laying on the ground next to it. Immediately, Daellin enters the room and starts to head for the book, but Vexeron stops him and tells him that something is wrong in this room. He senses unfinished magic, as if the summoning circle was somehow paused in mid enchantment. He tells Daellin that as long as he does not cross the summoning pattern on the floor, he should be fine to cross the room. Carefully, the Elf makes his way along the outside edge of the room but it turns out that just being near was enough to trigger the unstable magic in the area.

except with an axe, of course
A blast of smoke and unsettling swells of sound fill the room. As the smoke clears, a huge worm like creature fills the center of the room. The beast wields an icy axe in one tentacle and a magical wand in the other. The creature immediately attacks, sending an aura of madness over everyone. Having to fight physically and mentally, the fiendish abomination proved to be a tough opponent, though quickly the party put it on the defensive. It’s madness inducing power turned friend against friend or reduced victims into temporarily babbling idiots. The beast utilized the wand constantly, apparently using it to heal its wounds. The battle was long and hard, but eventually the Heroes of Sandpoint were victorious. They took from it the magical axe, the wand and then gathered up the black tome, which appears to be magical as well.

After resting momentarily, the group headed back toward the Chamber of the Grey Flame, having explored everything in this area of the complex. They moved through the chamber, re-lit the torch using magic to float it up to the top of the dais so they would not again trigger the summoning of demon mouth orbs. They got the secret passage to open and followed it. 

Only the Penitent Shall Pass

After following a hallway and descending some stairs, the group ended at a dead end. On the wall was a painting of Runelord Sorshen, arms outstretched as if to welcome one into her embrace. Thassalonian writing was carved into the wall as well, though it could not be read. Magical and mundane searching did not reveal any secret doors but eventually someone noticed that the paint near the feet of the painting was badly worn off. After some time, it was discovered that kneeling and kissing the feet of the painting triggered teleportation magic.
Kiss My Feet!

Everyone took their turn kneeling in front of the painting and eventually found themselves standing on a stone platform overlooking an enormous underground waterway. The room is filled with the sound of water cascading down from an opening in the ceiling immediately to the east of the tower. A fine mist of moisture fills the air.

Underground Lake

the waterfall feeds the underground lake
The walls of the large cavern appear to be covered in pale, glowing moss and lichen. Three rowboats are tied off to the pier. A monstrous carving of a demon justs out of the wall of the cave just to the north of the dock, its hand outstretched in greeting. A Thassalonian word is carved into the stone below the demon. A quick examination reveals that grasping the demon’s hand teleports one back to the mural that they had just come from.

Far across the lake to the south, another stone landing can be seen with a large metal door leading into the stone wall. The lake narrows and continues to the west.

Session Photos

Daellin trips the magical summoning circle

Kallin and Ehlyna join the fray

Session Notes

We played this session over a month ago and it has taken me FOREVER to get it typed up and posted. We are ready to play again this weekend (once a month is SUCH A LONG TIME but it's better than nothing and we do play for about 6 hours at a time!) We are having so much fun on this current part of the campaign, at least I am and I hope the others are as well.

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
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
Vosk, Half-Orc Pathfinder who gets the job done, no matter what - played by +james schaffner 
and +Jason Woollard as the DM