Sundered Lands 32

The Sundered Lands of Palladium

Session 32
November 7-19, 2016

Clearing the Training Hall

Saturday October 28th

I Yield

The lone remaining Sea Harpy, hiding behind the purple throne, throws his hands up in the air, shouting out “Yield! Yield, I yield!”

Cruncher stops for a moment, looking up from the bloody mess beneath him that was recently a Sea Harpy by the name of Blass. The Worg looks over toward Fortis and looks like he is ready to pounce across the room toward the surrendering rogue. The quiet crackle and pop of two target dummies slowly burning fills the background.

Fortis takes a breath as he lowers his altitude to a few feet off the ground and shifts his disguise to Frump, the Dwarf companion that Arn went shopping with only a few hours before. Exhaling he attempts to sound calm. “I already decapitated the one who shot you Cruncher, there is no need to dismember the lone survivor who,I am convinced, will be happy to completely and honestly answer any questions we put to him. Why don’t you continue the meal you have already started while this lone survivor tells us a very interesting, and true, story concerning the identity, capabilities and whereabouts of the Lady Lotus.” Frump glowers at the man in a threatening manner. “You could always find something else to eat if you find you are not satisfied. If you don’t mind, I’ll just sit here and listen to that thrilling tale for a few minutes while you finish your… Blass was it?”  ‘Frump’ turns his gaze to the cowering crossbowman “Isn’t that correct, lone survivor? Are you not happy to tell us everything about this place and the leaders of your organization without us having to let Cruncher question you? Why don’t you come out here, sit down and tell us everything we could ever want to know about the Sea Harpies?” ‘Frump’ raises his bushy eyebrow, prompting the new prisoner to respond.

Seeker lets Fortis talk to the Sea Harpy while he thinks. We don’t really need any info from the Harpy, unless the Lotus Lady has left. He makes his way over to where Eliar’s map had indicated the entrance to her sanctum. It looked like a solid brick wall. She wouldn’t have walled herself in - there must be some sort of escape tunnel. Is this just to slow us down? He looks at Arn, slowly extricating himself from the gooey area. “Um, Arn, I think we may need your help with this wall as well.” He evaluates the condition of the team. Val looks the worst, drained from her magic. Perhaps there is some quick way to restore her so we can press on. Hmmm…

He surveys the rest of the team. Breathing hard, but still looking sturdy. Arn, Silver, Moonscar looked ready for more. No obvious wounds at this time. Fortis’ disguise prohibits any assessment. Oh well. He turns to the Elf maid.

Seeker says, “Val? I’m worried about you if we try to press on now. Can you get yourself back up to speed, or do we need to let you catch your breath? I’d prefer to keep the pressure on. Don’t give them time to regroup. But if you need it, this is a good place for us to take a short rest.”

Arn nods to Seeker and makes his way up to the wall that the Sea Harpy Thug indicated. Arn decides to give the wall a thorough inspection. He will search hard for catches and triggers as well as at times closing his eyes and exploring the possibility of illusionary holds that may deceive  his eyes. Using his best skill and taking the time to do it right, he hopes to find an opening or something  that may lead to the hidden location of Lady Lotus.

A quick perusal of the wall shows that it is pretty much solid rock made to look like bricks. A shoulder slam proves that it is solid. The Dwarf goes into a more detailed inspection of the area, hoping to find a way through the magical rock barrier.

A Conversation With a Black-Eyed Harpy

The Sea Harpy crawls out from behind the purple throne, he slinks to the edge of the low platform and then kind of lays on the ground, hands covering his head. “Yea, yea, what do you want to know? I don’t know where the Lady is, she’s probably back there,” he points to what looks like a solid brick wall in the south-eastern corner of the room. “Her quarters are that way, behind the evaluation room. Looks like someone bricked up the wall, probably magic or something. I don’t know!”

“I for one would be very interested to know about what magic you have seen, or what you have heard about.” Frump seats himself next to the Sea Harpy. “I'm interested in a lot of things actually, have you seen anyone amidst your group acting like they came from a great family? What businesses have the Sea Harpies been up to? What involvement has your group had in the exotic animal trade? Or in the issue with the harbormaster?” Frump smiles coldly, “ “but why don't we start with your name? Wizards always prefer to know how to address people by their True Name.” Frump glances back to where Cruncher is still consuming the sea harpies former companion. “Don't worry about getting the right answers, my spells will alert me if he lies.”

The Sea Harpy stutters and spits, “My, um, my name is, well, they call me “Black Eyes” but me momma called me Burt. Burt Emmit, but nobody called me that for many years! I swear it, that’s my name, Burt Emmit.”

Frump peers at Burt. “Very well Mr. Emmit, tell us about your group, and your leaders… please be sure to clearly differentiate what you know and what you suspect, the spell can be very sensitive and we don't want to have any reason to question your veracity.” With that Frump reclines a bit and rests while listening to Burt Emmit explain himself and his organization.

Burt seems a bit flustered by the rapid fire barrage of questions from the gruff Dwarf while Cruncher continues to slop around in the blood puddle that used to be his companion. “I, uh, our leaders? The Lady Lotus is the leader. I don’t know her too well. Mostly I worked with Blass and Crusty. That one over there,” he indicates the one that Seeker had taken out. Our boss was Honest Hogel. I don’t know their real names, I swear it I don’t!” He begins sweating as he looks around the room at all his fallen companions. Burt goes on to tell how his group mostly ran an extortion racket on the southern Merchant District docks. They would also get called in from time to time to help load or unload various ships coming in or leaving Essanos harbor.

The Guardians also get their best description of the Lady Lotus, and her animal companion, some sort of pony sized lizard or small dragon named Gut Tugger. The Lady keeps the lower half of her face covered when dealing with the Harpies, but she is known to be beautiful and has long red hair, often done in fancy braids. She is fond of expensive jewelry and wears fine clothing. Burt also explains what he knows of the hierarchy of the Sea Harpies. The Lady Lotus is at the top of the organization, though he has never known her to get her hands dirty. Her captains are Kersh Refton, the jailer and torturer of the gang, Shefton Rosk, the head thief of the crew and the newcomer Vanthus Vanderboren, whom he describes as a black-hearted noble with a pocket full of gold. The lieutenants are a handful of men with names like Briggs the Coward, Henley the Swindler, Squid and Snakebelly. Burt says he was under Briggs but has not seen him recently and that he had been helping watch the Taxidermist’s Guildhall up above. He explains that the Taxidermist was not officially part of the Sea Harpies but he was frequently tapped for jobs and they used his guildhall for ease of entry and exit. Burt believes that the Taxidermist was originally coerced or blackmailed into assisting the guild but it seems more recently he is in it for the money just like the rest of us. Burt thinks he is a coward though and has probably fled the compound by now.

Burt also says the word in the bunkroom was that the Lady was in dealings with a mercenary or mercenary crew to bolster the muscle of the Harpies. There was something big brewing, some of those more in the know think the Lady was going to make a public move with the gang in an attempt to take over all of the shipping concerns in Essanos, both legal and illegal. Some say she was involved in the death of the Harbormaster, though no one knows for certain.

“Thanks for asking Seeker.  I’ve most certainly been better.  If we are pressed for time I think it may be time to use one of the “resting” potions.  I’d prefer to take time out to rest and save them for later.  I think.  Still, you never know when those potions will come in handy.”  She pauses.  “Then again, this looks like as good a time as any.”  Her internal struggle done, Valinya gives a resigned sigh and taking a moment to concentrate, puts her spell on hold as she solidifies.  She then reaches into her pouch to use a Paut  potion.  Once done she takes a deep breath, visibly refreshed.  The with a wary glance around she concentrates to resume her spell, returning to her safe vaporous form.

Moonscar starts checking out the downed Sea Harpies, taking particular interest in any concoctions they might have been carrying. He also takes the time to tie the shoelaces together of those Harpies that are merely unconscious. Silver seems to  have lost interest in the Harpy she had been snacking on and wanders back over to the door and begins poking around out in the hallway under the guise of “watching for anyone sneaking up” but really just to get out and look around some more.

As Burt finishes up his story Frump continues resting quietly. “I need to think about some of the things you said. I suggest you stay very still and quiet until you are out of danger and you may want to consider turning yourself in to the authorities with a full description of your group’s activities… they may be willing to treat you leniently. Of course you could also just leave town, but I don’t know where we will be going next and I assure you that you would not want to have this conversation again if we do meet and you are still engaged in similar activities.” Frump frowns. “I suppose you will need to consider whether you want to make amends or continue your transgressions alone.” The illusionary Dwarf heaves a cleansing sigh. “Now, before you meditate on your future, what did you say she looked like again? Beautiful but always has her face covered? How do you know she is beautiful? And what about any other distinguishing or descriptive observations? Anything remarkable about her height? Was there an accent to her voice? How pale or dusky was her skin tone? Anything you can remember will make us happier with you.”

“Skin tone? Accent? I dunnno. She was a woman. Had tits and such. Red hair. Face covered. Nobody talked back to her, that’s what I know. She told us what to do, we did it, it worked, we got paid. Seemed like a pretty good plan to me,” Burt Black-Eyes says. “Seeing just part of a woman’s face is enough to know shes beautiful, and it ain’t all about the face, ya know. There’s many ways to judge a woman’s beauty, right?” He seems to forget his current predicament and smiles and looks around the room, winking before quickly realizing he is a prisoner and under threat of death by Cruncher.

Disappointed with Burt’s inability to provide clarifying details, but heartened that he maintains a low brow libido in the face of extreme danger, Frump contemplates the next step forward as he continues to rest. I wonder what Seeker will end up doing about that masonry? Probably a Create Stone spell, which wouldn’t be susceptible to dispelling, so that is going to tax Valinya a bit more to breach the barrier. Well, if we are going into a big fight and likely to face an ambush I’ll need to think very carefully about how to approach that.

“Sorry I can’t help ya more with information, Sir Dwarf, but like I said, she’s somewhere back behind that wall that weren’t there yesterday. That’s where her chambers are and where she entertains guests and such. But they don’t let us back there or around them guests. We don’t normally spend much time here in the hideout, only to sleep and such, were out working normally, ya know, but all been called back on account of you all I suppose.”

Meanwhile, Moonscar has made several little piles in the small room. Long clubs, cheap cutlasses, a couple crossbows, some bucklers, three small clay pots and one little brown sack. He also jingles a small pouch with a handful of coins he has gathered up.

Arn and Seeker both conclude that the wall is real, thick and solid and will take some serious bashing to get through it. It appears though, that the wall is just natural stone made to look like bricks and is not in fact made up of bricks. Suddenly, two things happen nearly simultaneously. Out in the hallway, Silver makes a surprised sound while looking into the room behind the door that was just across from the training center. “Eww, gross, a latrine. Oww, that almost hurt. Hey, what’s that?” Those that can see out the door into the hallway see Silver crane her neck around, looking behind her down the hall past the training center. “We’ve got company, and they’re shooting at me!” the Dragon exclaims.

The second thing that happens is even more unexpected and spectacular. As Cruncher finishes the last bites of Blass, his face suddenly explodes in a fiery blossom of fur and flame. The Worg yelps and howls in pain. Burt, sitting nearby on the short stage, covers his face and turns away from the conflagration.

Company Arrives


Arn starts heading off in Silver’s direction after making his way across the room, shield up and looking to help her.

Frump ducks around behind the throne and considers ‘disappearing’ to be replaced by a large tarantula next. What in the Shattered Lands was that?

Shit! I let us sit too long! We had what we needed in the first five seconds. Letting Fortis natter on only gave the enemy time to regroup!  “Val, I need you to get us through this wall! Arn and I will help Silver.” Seeker sets off at top speed to help his draconic friend. He skids to a stop as he enters the hallway and the ceiling drops, pausing just before he turns the corner. He risks a quick peek. Okay, so this could be the same group as before, or a new bunch. Won’t know unless we engage. Wait, who says we have to engage? Moonscar was picking up those little toys they use. “Hey, Brother! I think one of your new toys could help close off this avenue long enough for us to Val to do her thing.”

As Seeker enters the hallway, he feels two impacts to his back, one considerably more painful than the first! Looking over his shoulder, he sees two Sea Harpies at the far end, in the direction from which the group originally approached the Training Hall. As they fire, they, like the group at the end of the other hallway, duck back behind the corner, no doubt to reload or regroup.

The pain gives Seeker a bit of a temper. “Silver! Quit dicking around and get back in the training room! I just got shot in the back trying to cover for you!” Seeker points at the open way back to the rest of the party. “The door is a natural choke point. Look at this hallway. Get in there and they have no easy way to mount an attack!”

Hearing her “marching orders” Valinya faces the aforementioned section of wall and floats in that direction, careful to shift positions to “fly” high above the ground … it might help her not be noticed and would certainly make her a less appealing target.  As she moves she thinks quickly, going through her spells.  She could shape a hole in the center of the wall by moving the earth.  However the wall is stone … but it is only stone and not cut/shaped stone. So quickly discarding other options she decides to make an entrance of sorts.  Her earth moving spell could be used to create a nice little hole in the middle.  To do that, she thought, she’d need to start with a tiny hole about waist high (for Seeker, that is) and have the stone “melt” outward, as if a small pebble were dropped into a pool creating an indentation with a wave moving outward.

Taking Seeker’s suggestion to heart, Silver backs up in the narrow hallway intersection, turns and moves back into the training center. Moonscar, meanwhile, grabs up two of the clay pots on the floor and turns towards the door.

Now safely behind the purple throne, Fortis takes a moment to concentrate and shifts his illusion form to that of a large spider as he prepares to assess the situation and figure out what fresh mess they are in.

Arn steps up to the corner by Seeker, trying to get a bearing on where the opponents are.  Once he spots one hopefully in range of his enchanted mace, Arn hurls the device forward, hoping that  his skill at arms is enough to help keep the Sea Harpies at bay long enough for Valinya to open up a passage through the rock wall.

It appears that the Sea Harpy snipers have ducked back behind a corner at the far end of the hall but a flicker of movement is all Arn needs to send his mace hurtling toward them. The mace strikes the corner of the wall and several old, dry bricks explode in a shower of dust and debris. The Dwarf hears several shouts of alarm from around the corner in response to his attack. The mace flies back to his outstretched hand, albeit with no signs of finding a live target this time. Back inside the training hall, Cruncher continues to growl and howl as the fire continues to burn all about his face and torso. The Worg thrashes around trying to make it stop but seems ineffective in doing so.

Facing the faux-wall Valinya quietly hums, a few notes encapsulating so much more as she pulls on the magic in her “secret stash” inside her and weaves it into a spell, seeking to create an opening.

Seeing the predicament that Cruncher is in, and given he is doing a great deal of the work, Silver reaches over and taps him, casting her fire protection spell on him.  I can always cancel it later I suppose…

Seeker pulls back into the training room, eyeing the door to see how it might be secured to slow the Sea Harpy’s pursuit. But if we close the door, we lose our ability to see what they’re up to. Still, if Brother can make with the pots of nastiness, the door will be difficult for them to even get to, and if it’s closed we can keep moving without immediately having to worry about getting shot in the back. Again.

Not taking his attention from the hallway full of attackers, Seeker yells “Val, how’s that hole coming?”

As Seeker is asking about the wall, the stone magically begins to move, creating an opening in the wall right where the door should have been, according to Eliar’s crude drawing. And lo and behold, behind the wall that Valinya is magically manipulating sits another wall, this one of worked stone with a wooden door in it. Valinya alters her melody a bit and shifts her opening to line up exactly with the wooden door beyond.

Cruncher stops howling and yelping, though his face is still on fire. The Worg thrashes his head back and forth and does a little circle around the room before calling out in Wolfen, “I am a DRAGON!”

Meanwhile, Moonscar makes his way across the room, hops over Silver’s thick tail and plants himself in the doorway, just behind Arn. The mystic flings his arms out, tossing both of the small clay pots he held, one straight ahead and one to the right, past Arn. The first clay pot hits the wall just short of the corner to the left and it explodes in a fiery blast, filling the intersection with orange flames. The fire splashes on the walls and floor, nearly getting on Arn, but not actually burning him. The clay pot that sails past Arn to the right hits the ground and breaks, covering the ground with a black, tar-like substance. Looking at the two deterrents surrounding him, Arn smiles and nods his head.

Having set the terrain a bit more to his liking the druid runs back and retrieves has staff along with the remaining tanglefoot bag calling out, “Okay Brother, which way next?” As he turns he nods approvingly at Cruncher, “Not bad. Not bad.”

“Okay, Arn, that ought to keep them off our tail for a bit. Get in here and let’s see about getting through to the real prize - the Lady Lotus!” Seeker waits for the doughty Dwarf to retreat from the hall and then slams the door shut.

Arn nods at the young Wolfen’s comments.  “Aye lad, time to take this fight to the top of the food chain!”.    Arn turns back, facing towards the portion of the wall and room Valinya was working on and starts off in a haste across the chamber.

Anticipating some sort of magical attack, Fortis spends the next two seconds summoning Gaston from the ether. Whatever she is up to, it will be better to have her target a construct than one of the team members.

The door shuts, though not well, and Seeker has to shove it into place. Feels quite secure once he pushes it completely closed.

Satisfied with her stone work Valinya glances back to see how the others are faring.  Then she turns back to the mysterious door.  Probably should have a quick peek to see what is behind this, just in case.  Wouldn’t want to rush into some sort of trap though given the hidden door that seems unlikely.  Her impetuous decision made, Valinya slips her vaporous body underneath the door to see what lies beyond.  

Valinya slips beneath the newly discovered door. Silver moves through the room toward the door Valinya just went under. Cruncher now seems comfortable with his new flaming face and looks around for Fortis, finds him by smell behind the throne just as he finishes casting  his spell

Seeker barks, “Arn! Val went under the door! Can you work your Dwarven door-opening skills so we can back her up if she needs it?” That looks like that might take a moment or two. Best see if I can get myself back to combat-optimal. Watching to see if there is anything that needs his intercession, Seeker starts rooting in his satchel for a healing potion. Hmmm… That’s an interesting look for Cruncher.

As Fortis’s familiar servant Gaston magically appears, the rest of the party moves about the room, preparing to press on. Moonscar gathers up his gear as well as the remaining pot and little leather sack. Arn and Silver move closer to the door that Valinya just disappeared under. No sounds can be heard through the closed door to the north. Whatever those Sea Harpies are doing out there, it’s quiet, though Seeker can smell the strong odor of burning Alchemist’s Fire.

Beyond the Door

Valinya seeps under the door to the next chamber, which has no light at all. The faint light that peeks in under the door from the Training Hall shows that the room is about 10 by 15 or so. A large dark shape sits in the far corner, opposite the entrance. It looks to be a table or large pile of objects. Valinya thinks she sees another door in the far end of the north wall.

Waiting for the others to join her, Valinya floats to the table to see what lies on it. She moves toward the other door, her final destination, but passes close to the table for a closwer glance in case there is something of interest.

As Valinya gets farther from the door and the little light that shines under it, she finds it harder and harder to see. On her way to the far door, she passes what she is sure is a table with something, possibly sacks, or piles of fabric, on top. As she nears the opposite door, she can tell that no light at all is shining underneath it.

Valinya debates momentarily the pros and cons of dark vision versus a simple light spell. In the end she decides to go with Dark Vision and casts … Instantly Valinya senses she missed a note. While the spell failed it wasn't the disaster it could have been. Still, she did lose some of her energy though not as much as she would have if the spell had succeeded. With a momentary "tsk" she tries again …

As the magic takes hold, Valinya sees that the dark shape in the corner is in fact a large table with several chairs pushed under it. On top of the table lay several stuffed practice dummies like the ones in the training hall. She turns her attention back to the door ahead of her. She hears the sounds of her friends in the chamber behind her and knows that they will be joining her momentarily.


Fortis quickly glances around to make certain he isn’t interfering with anything that Arn is doing and directs Gaston, who is wearing a mottled grey hooded cowl and dark leggings, toward the door. “When it is opened, run through and call back to us what you see.” I hope that will buy us a little relief from whatever she has planned. Well, I suppose I really hope she intends to surrender and relinquish her library of thaumatological secrets, but if wishes were fact we would all have unicorns to begin with.

Gaston nods and begins heading across the room toward Arn and the still closed door.

Seeker quaffs the healing potion and stows the container back in his satchel. He rolls his shoulder as the magic infuses his body, pulling out the bolt as the wound closes. Right, so, got to be ready for the next round. That can’t be the best they have. He looks around the room and spies Burt sitting quietly. I wonder what Fortis intends to do with him?

The dour dwarven warrior looks over the shaped wall and door and gives it a nod.   “Hmmm, may require a little extra effort..” and with that Arn bellows out a dwarven battle cry “Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!”, and Arn lowers his shoulder, brings his shield up to bear and charges the door once again in hopes to smash through it and beyond.

The shouting Dwarf smashes into the door, rips it from its hinges and crashes into the next room. Moonscar and Silver both move forward in his wake.

Cast of Characters: 

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

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