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 NotesThis 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 Maas, a 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