Talowdale

Wherein the Party Uses an Assassination Attempt to Conceal an Assassination Attempt
Our plans are feindish in their intricacy.

Giants at the Gates

A group of Goliaths appeared at the North gate of Talowdale. They watchman on duty sounded the alarm and the party came running. Pythagos McTherian and Whuh Sdat spoke with them briefly. The Goliaths came out of their mountains and came south looking for aid. The party agreed to give them food in exchange for assistance from the druid in their group. Lo-kag Fanglord Gathakana joined the party.

Oh Good, We Can Make Our Own Quills Now

The next day the party awoke in their beds in the Boars Rest Inn to the sound of unnatural silence. There was no magical noise suppression because they could hear themselves and each other, and the sound of birds singing outside. But there was no noise from downstairs in the inn and none of the usual morning bustle out in the streets outdoors. Going downstairs they found no one in the main room or kitchen and the fires were almost out completely.

The members of the party peered out the upstairs windows and Cup saw a cockatrice as it went around the corner of a building. The party began panicking like they were level one at the thought of being turned to stone. Ehlonna AriEr happened to possess some bardic knowledge regarding the foul birds and knew that they would only turn you into stone if they touched you.

The party set about getting into position to fight these things from a distance. Ehlonna AriEr and Donald Oates took pot shots at them from the windows, Whuh Sdat and Shifty McPardee clamored up on the roof of the inn, and Lo-kag Fanglord Gathakana went out the front door and transformed into an earth elemental.

The cockatrices thought it would be ironic to turn an earth elemental into stone so one of them flew at Lo-kag. It missed and continued flying by to land up on the roof across from Whuh. Ehlonna and Donald dropped one of the cockatrices from the windows with arrows. Lo-kag’s tiger killed one, and Shifty snuck up behind the one on the roof by hanging from the eaves and back-stabbed, splitting the thing in half.

Surprisingly, Shifty had begun his attack with a silvered dagger in his hands but when he actually went to make the attack, the rapier he took from Rovarath’s horde appeared in his hand. This was the first sign the rapier was cursed.

The magic users quickly gathered the plumage of the villainous foul to use as quills for magical writing.

The Plot Thickens

From his vantage point atop the roof, Whuh noticed a flash of red up in the wooded hill above Talowdale. He ran over to find a piece of torn red fabric and the remains of a burnt candle. He called up Pythagos and Cup who identified this as the remnants of the material components of a summon monster spell.

Pythagos used his scrying crystal and the piece of fabric to find the culprit and discovered that the person the red fabric came from appeared to be Lontros the Red. Pythagos received an image of him working in a small study in a stone building. Anxious to avoid the DM’s mysterious bullshit, Pythagos gathered the party and cast teleport since he had seen the area through the crystal ball.

Tele-Fail

The attempt to teleport to an area that was not a valid target of the teleport spell caused a teleport failure. This sent all the members of the party 99 miles in opposite directions.

Since the party was quite familiar with the area around Talowdale most of them were sent somewhere they had already been and were back in Talowdale by lunchtime the next day.

Once everyone was returned to town the party threw a festival of reunion that was such a good time they declared that every year on the first day of summer they would intentionally botch a teleport and have a party on the party’s successful reunion in Talowdale.

The Adventures of Cup & the Lost Ship

Cup was teleported deep into the Staggreig Forest. By happenstance he appeared on the banks of the Bergen River within sight of a distressed ship crewed by his own men. The party had sent most of the cash value of Rovarath’s horde back to Talowdale by ship in the care of their henchmen and followers. Apparently, the ships had come under attack from a pirate fleet of The Blue Fist Orcs. None of the party’s ships were lost and Cup’s men credited that fact to the skill of Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites’ pirates. The fighting was intense and carried into the shared delta of the Rennar and Bergen rivers, the treasure fleet got separated and one of the Cogs crewed by Cup’s soldiers went north on the wrong river until the ship could travel no further.

Cup again rescued his men. He used magic to repair the ship, heal the wounded, and find the correct course back to Talowdale. On his return, Cup witnessed a herd of pegasi frolicking in the clouds.

Scaling the Cliff

The Rennar river flows over a waterfall just outside of Talowdale. When the three treasure ships and the Whiskey Twin arrived at the foot of the falls they began unloading the horde and hauling it to Talowdale. Donald, Cup, and Shifty supervised this effort. While bringing the last load back the group fell into a trap laid by Blue Fist Goblins. Donald heard this and charged to the rescue. Dispatching a dozen goblins didn’t even cause Donald to break a sweat. He captured and interrogated one of them, healed the broken legs of the porters, and hauled the remaining treasure back to the party’s vault in Talowdale.

There was some debate with Hobarth Burgher about beginning to hold prisoners on the long term. Especially without a prison.

Building the New Capital.

Bounty!

Immediately after recovering from their hangovers from the party, Shifty and Pythagos drew up a wanted poster for Lontros and had the guild messengers post it in any public message board. The posters announced a private bounty for Lontros to be brought in alive as a “person of interest.”

The Complex

Since the battle with the trolls, the party’s fame had been growing widely and the members of the party had begun attracting followers. Naturally, this led to them wishing to construct buildings where these followers could work and live.

Since the party had dragged the village of Talowdale on the path of sedition from Duke Staggreig, the villagers had been fortifying the village with a stone wall and earthworks. This made Talowdale the ideal location to begin construction of their strongholds. The party had decided to secure a single, large tract of land in Talowdale with the help of Hobarth for the construction of most of their various strongholds.

The presence of refugees from the war in Talowdale presented a large labor pool to draw from. With the influx of building capital from the party and the offer of high-paying jobs, the otherwise destitute families made the decision to settle down in Talowdale and throw their lot in with this rebellious town. After all, it seems to have done them good to turn on the Duke. The village again more than doubled in size and could almost be called a city now.

University

Pythagos has begun to build both a wizard’s tower to house his own research laboratory and living quarters. He has also sought to establish a university that will educate the future builders of the society of Verland. Instead of a college of bureaucracy like in Arconston, Pythagos’ university will teach engineering and medicine. From this university he also intends to establish an entire educational system that will teach a trade to anyone that has the capacity to learn one.

Air-Shipyards

Biggy has chosen to make his stronghold serve his functions as a pirate. Coupled with the techno-magical skill of his extra-planar cohort, Biggy has set his followers to the task of building a sea & air port.

With Biggy’s swarthy charisma and heroic deeds it was easy for him to recruit dozens of men as followers from the horde of refugees in Talowdale. Of course, those from Norge were more likely to accept the call to serve a legendary pirate.

A full-service naval port complete with dry-dock shipyards was built on the Rennar River near the foot of the Talowdale Falls. A secret pirate berth was also constructed behind the falls. To facilitate ease of transport of goods up and down the cliff, freight and personnel elevators were built. They are powered by water wheels at the top of the falls.

Biggy’s cohort also began construction of a air-ship-port consisting of an elevated “wet” dock that hangs over the cliff near the falls, dry dock landing areas, and an air-shipyards where construction of Biggy’s air fleet began.

A complex system of pulleys and zip lines allows workers and equipment to move swiftly around the shipyard. These and the techno-magical lighting are powered by a series of twelve huge windmills of extra-planar design lining the cliff face.

All the added workers allow the extension of Talowdale’s stone wall as far as the upper shipyards and the fortification of the lower port as well as the construction of a keep for the lower port and watchtowers for the upper airport.

Teamsters Guild House and Docks

Shifty’s assigned subordinates from the Teamsters Union arrived and began construction of the Guild-house / Shipping Center. This was going to be a multi-building establishment including the party’s vault which had already been built. Each of the stone buildings would house the operations and staff of a particular aspect of operation of both the legitimate face of the guild and it’s more illicit and secret operations.

Titles of Nobility are Forbidden by Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution.

The party was invited to be the guests of honor at a party hosted by King Yon. The party was to commemorate the defeat of Rovarath the Black. The individual members of the party were honored by the king with the grant of the title of Knight of Verland. That grant of title also included the grant of a small estate in Arcon to each of the party members.

Duke McTherian

Pythagos McTherian, was brought up on the dies before King Yon. There it was announced that Duke Staggreig had been divested of his title and the Pythagos was being installed as the ruler of the province of Staggreig and it would be known henceforth as the province of McTherian.

The Treason of Cup the Cleric

The party had planned to have Cup infiltrate the keep of Duke Staggreig. To achieve this end Cup envisioned a plan to make it publicly known that he had taken action against his former party and King Yon. This was meant to elicit trust, or at least less caution from Staggreig and Seifer. This would allow the party to get an agent on the inside of the Duke’s fortress and allow them to learn some of his secrets.

At the banquet, there was a gift giving ceremony where the party presented gifts to King Yon. Cup’s gift was to be a performance of magic. He cast animate object and had the furniture attack the King while he teleported away.

The rest of the party defeated the dread IKEA bots and spent the rest of the evening fending off accusations that the entire party was part of a treasonous assassination plot sent by Prince Wiglaf. Eventually they convinced most of the court of their innocence and the King sent them back to the province to eliminate Staggreig, the treasonous assassin Cup, and to fend off the invasion by Wiglaf.

View
Wherein the Party Uses the Post
Call Me "Dragonslayer"

Hero’s Welcome

On their second trip to Milborne after slaying Rovarath and returning all the slaves to their former homes the party was welcomed with a party by the people of Milborne. The villagers sang and danced and feasted and made demands of the party’s precious time. The party struggled to accomplish some business in the festival atmosphere where each of them was a celebrity. Some of the attention paid off since information was easy to come by and the party soon discovered that the village of Thurmaster had been burned to the ground by Duke Staggreig’s army.

Investigation

The party went north in the Whiskey Twin to Thurmaster. The place was nothing but charred stones and blackened twigs. Thick McRunfast investigated the area and saw that there had been no attempt to defend the village but the villagers were in Thurmaster when it was attacked. He learned that anyone that fled was slaughtered by Staggreig’s men. Thick conversed with a helpful tree who told them that it had seen the fire and massacre and a few days after the fire another force had marched through bearing banners of the color of ripe blackberries and raspberries. The party concluded that this was the banner of Prince Wiglaf. This was incorrect.

Return to Talowdale

The party directed their military forces to take the loaded treasure by sea to Talowdale. The party members themselves loaded up with whatever they could carry including the dragon’s parts and teleported to Talowdale.

The post

The first thing the party did on their return was to pick up their back log of mail at the outpost on the highway. Pythagos had a letter from his master informing him of the political turmoil caused by the battles at Snakebite Forge and at Milborne. He also received an invitation from the King to a party in his honor upon the slaying of a dragon.

Donald sent several letters to the Church of Pelor on the mainland informing them of the two new branches he had funded on Verland and of the political and military happenings on the island.

Whuh and Shifty also received mail.

There’s Gold in Them Hills

The party set out in search of Wayzig Garmottin Glinpen Badgerhole Bighill Bunkpest Dalwick Handig Pilwin Ellyjotwiss the Alchemist to settle their debt. They discovered that he was not in town but a passing villager informed them that Wayzig had been going back and forth between the village and the old mines up in the hills. The party began marching up into the hills and the sun began to set.

Up in the hills they started seeing lots of badger burrows. Thick McRunfast investigated one and discovered the creature must have eight legs and he also found a hair that was like a golden wire. Curious, Whuh Sdat threw a gold piece down the hole and the party heard a deep, loud, growling. An arrumvorax jumped from the hole at Whuh who knocked it away with his nunchaku of defense. The party refrained from attacking the angry golden gorger for a round to see if it could be dealt with peaceably but the angry weasel was highly territorial and continued to fight. After one round of ambivalent combat the magical creatures life was ended. The party collected their dropped money and the body of the creature and looking up saw that Wayzig and a Dwarf were watching them.

Talking Business

The dwarf was Thorin Stonecutter who rudely introduced himself and informed the party that the presence of an arrumvorax was a clear sign of a vein of gold nearby. The party returned to Talowdale and the Boar’s Rest to talk business. They dealt with Wayzig and wound up profiting from their contract with him to the tune of 5000 GP. There was also a brief discussion with Thorin regarding how the war was making business difficult for the dwarves.

Positioning for the War

The next morning after all business with Wayzig had been finalized the party arranged for their troops to come to Talowdale. After that was squared away Donald Oates and Thick went up into the hills to capture the heard of Triceratops they saw the previous day for use as irregular cavalry.

The rest of the party teleported to the encampment of General Wayland. The Pythagos talked military strategy with the Kings only competent general. The general was reluctant to engage Staggreig in a siege since even his forces would not be enough to breach the walled city and the Dukes wizard was a scourge on the battle field.

There was a brief misunderstanding regarding the fall of Thurmaster but eventually it was clarified that the army the tree had talked about was general Wayland’s army not Prince Wiglaf’s army. Trees sometimes have difficulty with “w” words.

Session Ended Early Because GM was Sick

The party resolved to assassinate Staggreig and his wizard and began formulating a plan. Pythagos then discovered that he could communicate with his master Estnod Dragonswing through the crystal ball he got from Rovarath’s horde.

View
Wherein Rovarath the Black is Slain
Money Money Money Mooooney!

Maneuvers

The party devised a plan to confront Rovarath within his own lair. Pythagos McTherian led their various forces and new allies in a renewed assault on the Snakebite Forge. When Rovarath the Black arrived at the fight, Pythagos teleported back to the Whiskey Twin where the rest of the party was hiding. They then entered Rovarath’s lair through a submerged tunnel.

Rovarath’s Lair

They surfaced into complete darkness, Even the radius of pure daylight from the paladin could not reach the walls or ceiling of the massive chamber. The party directed the Whiskey Twin to slowly search out a wall and then travel the perimeter of the room.

Once they found a wall, it was clear to Pythagos that these walls had been crafted by magic. Eventually, as they circled the outside of the huge cavern the party noticed a hatch in the roof at the very edge of the magic light from Donald Oates.

The door was a huge reinforced stone vault door with massive controls. It was clear that any attempt to open it while hanging by a rope would be futile. Pythagos used telekinesis to operate the controls and open the massive door. It was clear that the thing weighs several tons but was on some kind of counterweight system so it can be opened more easily.

The Museum

The main room of the lair was even more enormous than the submerged entryway. The room was carved by magic from the living stone. It was carved into roughly an egg shape with a tremendously high ceiling.

These interior rooms were lit by hundreds of golden globes with continual light cast on them. The globes were contained in intricately worked iron lantern fixtures. Some looked like regular lanterns, some were wrought to resemble cages, others looked like animals or celestial phenomenon, some were abstract shapes, some resembled plants with glowing flowers, many were skulls of various kinds where the light emitted from their eye sockets.

This main room was mostly empty. There was a smooth depression in the ground which Rovarath must have used for sleeping. There was also a kitchen waste pile near a pressure controlled hatch for the disposal of waste. The room smelled dimly of acid and humidity but there was no foul odor of refuse or animal waste.

There were two other large stone vault doors leading from this room. Shifty McPardee set about his task of mapping and looting the dragons lair. He checked the north door first. It was unlocked and opened with the help of two other party members and the efficient use of ropes. This first room appeared to be a huge scientific laboratory. It appeared to be equipped for the study of biology and there were several animals in cages along the southern wall.

The door that lead to the East was locked. Shifty found the key hole and jammed his arm in there setting off the glyph of warding. Fortunately his trap sense gave him the reaction necessary to evade damage from the explosion. With the trap out of the way Shifty jumped back up on the door and picked the lock. The party helped him haul the door open which led into a huge museum.

With a collection as large as that of any modern major city this dragon had amassed and cataloged a museum of art, literature, and natural history. There were thousands of biological specimens, skeletons, stuffed animals large and small. Flying and swimming and walking creatures from all ages of the Earth. There was art also. The works of art were more spare and less a comprehensive collection but they were positioned throughout the museum to great aesthetic effect. At the deepest part of the lair were a room where every coin in the history of the island had been cataloged and a room filled with equipment and magical items. The library was four stories high and as great as that to be found at any research university. The volumes went into specialist depth on any subject imaginable but they went into great depth on history and biology.

There was a massive writing desk crafted for a dragons writing comfort. It had a human sized staircase leading up to a lectern on its surface where Rovarath would have his slave read the small books to him. On this desk was a massive hand-drawn volume created by Rovarath himself. It was a work on comparative anatomy of every creature to live on Verland and in the surrounding seas for the last 5000 years. The massive work was a tome of incredible depth on the subject and anyone with healing knowledge knew “Rovarath’s Anatomy” would be the final word on the subject for thousands of years.

The work was priceless and horrifying.

From reading the book, one could glean how Rovarath had learned so much about the working body. He did so through live vivisection of his subjects and when they died from the horrendous torment he would go out and capture another victim. Squirrels, deer, owls, crocodiles, whales, fish, foxes, elves, dwarves, haflings, gnomes, orcs, goblins, lizardfolk, men, women, children. He would cut them apart with ruthless precision until his curiosity was satisfied.

The Battle of Serpent’s Bend

There was a commotion at the entrance and the party heard Rovarath’s deep voice bellow, “What the fuck is this shit!” The party pulled themselves away from their covetous admiration of Rovarath’s horde and took up their positions within the museum, thinking the greedy lizard wouldn’t do anything to damage his own collection. Many many buffs were cast but only the paladin’s were able to approach Rovarath through his aura of bowel-loosening fear.

The paladins weren’t able to do much damage to the massive monster and he retaliated by casting Blasphemy, incapacitating the party. Cup cast remove fear and in the next round the fighters would have been able to move if they weren’t in shock from Rovarath’s blasphemy. Rovarath cast a mass cause critical wounds. In the next round the fighters were finally able to act. The sound of a lawnmower starting was heard as Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites entered the fray. The party did massive amounts of damage to Rovarath and he began to back away provoking attacks of opportunity from the party, inflicting even more damage. Rovarath then cast Repulsion keeping the fighters away again. For the next two rounds Thick McRunfast, Ehlonna AriEr and Pythagos picked away at the last of Rovarath’s HP at range. The dragon fired a negative energy ray at Biggy, robbing him of three levels and three years from his life.

In a barrage of arrows and fiery magic, Rovarath was slain. He died with no clever words, just a curse on his lips.

View
Current Treasure
Thievery!

Thieves!

The party returned to Milborne to discover that the teamsters from Thurmaster had made off with long swords, chain mail, crossbows, and whatever money and rations weren’t nailed down. about 5,000 SP. The thieves preferred Blue Fist currency in their thieving.

Coinage

270 cp 3,325 sp 3838 gp 70 pp

Weapons and Armor

9 light cross bows

10 short swords

350 Stone x-bow bolts

2 small shields

3 long swords

9 splint mail

1 Special Sword – Falchion of the Lion (casts cause fear)

20 Spears

10 Alchemist’s Fire

4 Tanglefoot Bag

10 Thunderstone

5 Medium-sized Chainmail

5 Tower Shields

5 Mackuedle

View
Wherein the Party Suffers From ADD
Look, we don't know if they are our allies or not. We do know that we are leaving.

The Siege of the Snakebite Forge

The Battle Rages On

Whuh Sdat, Professional Pterodactyl Kicker!

Whuh Sdat Took to the air to battle Pterodactyls. Since the storm was keeping them grounded in their aeries and his fly spell was running out of time he took the fight to them. Whuh charged into the stone aeries bashing the goblin handlers in surprise attack after surprise attack and fought toe to toe with the archaic lizards.

Pitched Battle

Donald Oates and Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites each took command of a detachment of Prince Wiglaf’s marines and began pressing into the fortress.

Donald Oates slogged on through arduous combat against wave after wave of Hobgoblins, Orcs, Ogres, and Trolls. All heavily armed and supported by spell casters. He marched straight down the main thoroughfare of the fortress directly for the forge. The marines handled themselves expertly. They reacted with discipline and professionalism even handling trolls with courage and skill.

Three Hands Rothgar was a part of Donald’s force and made good use of himself cutting through swathes of goblinoids like a lawnmower cuts grass. It’s what he was made for.

“Phill” the Lizard Man also came with Donald and made a good showing as well. His efforts to redeem himself and the honor of his ancestors began anew in this fight. As he fought beside the paladin, they both were wreathed in golden flame.

Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites led a group of marines on a flanking maneuver out of the port. He used his tremendous combat presence to strike fear into even the hearts of fearless trolls as he blazed through dozens of enemies with his anchor. The marines around him quickly adjusted their tactics to the style of their new commander and made quick progress into the heart of the fortress. As enemy reinforcements came and the battle dragged on, the flanking maneuver begun here by Biggy paid off in giving the marines excellent position even as the fight turned against the northern detachment. Biggy eventually withdrew back to the Whiskey Twin.

Baglor’s Staff

After Baglor Bone-Marrow fell in combat his sub-chiefs and Ubjarajha remained. Pythagos McTherian, Shifty McPardee, Thick McRunfast, and Cup were still in the office and were still injured and exhausted from their fight.

The sub-chiefs made a good showing for once and scored some solid hits on Thick, threatening to bring him down. Ubjarajha threw the lion off him and stood up to fight. This caused the celestial lion to jump back on him and pin Ubjarajha again.

And Now We Run

From the vantage point of the taller building the party saw an uncommon sight. Two dragons. One basking in the storm on the breakwater and the other, Rovarath, thrashing their ships on the shore.

The party heard the commotion of hundreds of trolls running into the building to reinforce their commander in battle so the party grabbed Baglor’s body and teleported back to the Whiskey Twin. From there they used whispering wind to sound the retreat.

Confronting the Dragon

Rovarath the Black had flown into the fortress and was driving the marines out. They almost uniformly ran in terror from the Great Wyrm. Those that fell to the ground in the fetal position were blasted out of existence by the dragon’s acid breath.

The Perspective of an Immortal

Pythagos McTherian approached Telvoth the Tide to beseech him for assistance with their dragon problem. Instead Telvoth groaned at the lack of formal decorum with which he was being addressed and delivered a lecture. Telvoth questioned Pythagos on the relative lifespans of humans and chickens and pointed out that humans keep chickens for food because they think themselves different. But in the eyes of an immortal humans are just as short lived, numerous, and foolish as chickens. Rovarath may represent an eternal evil but to Telvoth what matters is that a dragons life is unending and therefore worth more than that of a mortal creature.

A Paladin’s Valor

Donald Oates urged Mildred forward and charged the vile beast striking home with his lance. Rovarath saw he was dealing with a paladin and cast blasphemy, incapacitating Donald. In the next round Rovarath cast darkness 120’ radius enveloping a good portion of the battleground in magical darkness.

With fly still active Whuh Sdat flew to the Whiskey Twin and obtained a continual light coin from Cup. When the two spells collided they negated each other. Donald still wished to charge the dragon and Whuh was prepared to participate in the fight but none of the other party members would get out of the sub. Whuh convinced Donald to return to the sub and on his way back Donald informed Commodore Groning about what was happening on the Western end of the battle. Whuh retrieved Ehlonna from the midst of the rout and they both returned to the Whiskey Twin.

As soon as Donald discovered the plan was to run away he protested vigorously against abandoning their new allies. Whuh pointed out that this army might just represent a usurper to the throne and Donald countered that they needed more facts before coming to any conclusions. But they had entered into this fight as allies of this force and they cant just turn their backs on them. The rest of the party searched in vain for an argument that might make it seem reasonable that retreat was actually giving aid to the marines. Donald wasn’t buying it and eventually the party simply dragged the protesting paladin away in the sub.

The Battle of Milborne

The Whiskey Twin surfaced in the Churnette river outside of Milborne and the party disembarked. They saw Four military banners being flown over the town. Those of Duke Staggreig, Bergen, King Yon, and Cup.

Yon’s forces were those dispatched to assist Pythagos in taking the Forge in support of Bergen. They were mostly lounging about, out of uniform in a disorganized camp that resembled a shanty town of drifters rather than a military encampment. Pythagos busted in on the commander like an angry bear and demanded discipline be enforced. This demand and a subsequent address to the troops were accompanied with a display of majestic wizardry that drove home the point that not only was Pythagos a general that could institute official consequences against insubordinate troops, he was a powerful mage who sure as shit wasn’t gonna be fragged.

Donald discovered that the Bergen troops had been drive here by Staggreig’s forces when they attempted to march north to Thurmaster. General Wayland then marched his troops down the highroad, cutting off the supply lines to Staggreig’s forces who now lacked the strength to assault the now dug-in forces of Bergen who were supported by two other forces. This led to a stalemate where all the forces involved were waiting for Staggreig’s troops to retreat, surrender, or try a desperate assault on Milborne.

Pythagos and Donald chose to negotiate the least tragic option and convinced the commander of Staggreig’s forces to surrender, to burn all of the regalia of Staggreig they possessed and swear loyalty to Pythagos. These new troops were folded in to King Yon’s regiment.

Negotiations

Suddenly finding themselves needing to feed nearly 700 soldiers Pythagos and Whuh went to negotiate with the commander of the Bergen troops for rations. He was a stern negotiator and soon the conversation turned to the recent and possibly ongoing battle at the Snakebite Forge. The Bergen commander rejected outright the possibility that Prince Wiglaf was actually at the head of this invading force from the mainland. He was quite interested in attacking the forge since the party indicated to him that it seemed ready to fall. As soon as talk turned to the problem of the dragon, the party suddenly remembered other places they had to be and other things they should be doing.

Hunting the Dragon

In the meantime “Phill” the Lizard Man returned to the defiled temple where Rovarath forced his people to worship him. Once there Phil rededicated it to Bahamut. During this ritual he was blessed as a paladin of Bahamut and granted his holy weapon, a sacred trident of his lizard folk ancestors.

After this ritual, “Phill” the Lizard Man, Ehlonna AriEr, and Ingrid “The Fang” Svenson hunted down Rovarath’s lair. It was hidden in a submerged cave at a sharp bend in the Churnette river deep in the Snakebite Swamp.

Dealing with Dragons

Still duly impressed by each encounter with the dragon that they have had, the party was reluctant to be the ones to try and put Rovarath’s name in the dead-book. They studied everything they knew about dragons, pored over their available spells, discussed strategy endlessly, cataloged and distributed their equipment and still thought this task was beyond them.

At this point there was some frenetic teleporting around by Pythagos. He saw both Wayzig Garmottin Glinpen Badgerhole Bighill Bunkpest Dalwick Handig Pilwin Ellyjotwiss the Alchemist and Iocletian. Iocletian was still in the early stages of his research and so his work was not of much help at this point.

So the party plotted, and resupplied, and schemed.

View
Wherein the Party Defeats Baglor Bone Marrow
I'm Gonna Come to Ohio and Set Your River On Fire!

Reconnoitering

There was much discussion of the results of the party’s attempt to assault the forge. Some thought they had suffered a defeat because they were unable to succeed in any of their goals. Others thought they had scored a victory by bloodying the nose of the Blue Fist.

There was wide ranging discussion of every possible course of action. Raiding Skullport, breaking the blockade on Pearl Reef, returning to Talowdale, spying on the dragon, making another attempt at the forge, there was even talk of a wizards summit.

Give me 50 marines. Or, failing that, give me 500 of any other troop.

As the party considered their options they saw one of the orcish warships they had seen earlier, limping home. It had clearly been damaged in a fight. The party moved to intercept. Almost as soon as they began to move they noticed a fleet coming over the horizon chasing the wounded orc ship. This fleet flew a flag that was not of any force known on Verland. The party remained submerged as the fleet passed overhead and sank the orc ship.

They party moved amidst the fleet and surfaced calling out they wished to parley and waiving the flag of King Yon and the pirate flag of Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites.

Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites and Pythagos McTherian opened up discussions with the new fleet. They discovered that these warriors were from the continent and they claimed to follow Prince Wiglaf the eldest son of the last king of Verland and rightful heir to the throne of Verland. They claimed he had returned and intended to reclaim his birthright but finding the country in turmoil the Prince has set out to calm the strife in his lands because his weak brother cannot.

Commodore Groning had been dispatched by the Prince to follow that orc ship to its harbor and eliminate any orcish fortifications so he intended to siege the Forge and was equipped to do so with over 5000 royal marines.

It was decided that the party would act as the tip of the spear for this invasion and break through the fortress’ outer defenses.

The Infiltration of Snakebite Forge

Swim For Your Life!

Thick McRunfast, Shifty McPardee, and Ehlonna AriEr emerged from the submerged Whiskey Twin into a thunderstorm. They swam onto the breakwater and quickly dispatched the guards manning the lighthouse. The party was spotted from the shore by guards of the port but the storm made it possible for them to conceal their approach.

They swam across the gap between the breakwaters and Shifty began to drown. Thick tried to save him and managed to bring Shifty back to the surface but the extra weight was too much and they both began to drown. Ehlonna tied a rope to herself and to the breakwater and dove in after them. Thick managed to regain his footing so to speak and was able to swim to the next breakwater.

Ehlonna hauled Shifty out of the water and back to the lighthouse. They searched the lighthouse and came up with water wings for Shifty and the three of them swam across the channel and dispatched the remaining guards between the fleet and the port.

Whuh Sdat, Professional Pterodactyl Kicker!

Pythagos McTherian cast invisibility and fly on Whuh Sdat. Whuh flew into the gatehouse, dispatched the lone guard, and opened the locks for the fleet of Commodore Groning to invade The Snakebite Forge. He then took to the stormy skies to either be struck by lightning or kick some pterodactyls.

Smashing in the Back Door

Donald Oates led the invasion of the second half of the marines. The sappers ripped down the portcullis with alacrity and the bulk of the force began the task of pressing into the fortress.

The Assassination of Baglor Bone Marrow

Pythagos McTherian teleported with Cup, Thick McRunfast, and Shifty McPardee into Baglor Bone-Marrow’s office.

It was not as if the hobgoblins were not expecting this fight since it came roughly 18 hours after the first attack.

The sub-chiefs fell back in a semicircle and spread out attempting to score hits on the party. Cup cast silence on Ubjarajha. Baglor and Ubjarajha charged the party. This brought the effect of silence in to cover the party making magic all but impossible.

There were many attacks of opportunity as the party and antagonists jockeyed for position.

For a tense two rounds combat slogged closer to doom. Shifty McPardee scored some decent called shots to Baglor’s vitals causing him to bleed profusely throughout the melee. Thick McRunfast clobbered away at Baglor with his Goblin-slayer sword. Baglor Bone-Marrow chopped away at Thick and Shifty with his Man-slayer axe, nearly killing both of them.

Cup and Pythagos managed to pull away from the silence field. Pythagos summoned a celestial lion to hold down Ubjarajha and Cup healed Thick and Shifty just before they were slain.

Thick and Shifty were able to rejoin the fight still on deaths doorstep and slew Baglor.

View
Wherein the Party Attacks the Snakebite Forge
Fireball only goes so far.

Preparations

Brick and Stone. Wood and Nail.

Pythagos McTherian teleported with Shifty McPardee and Whuh Sdat to Talowdale. When they arrived they discovered the town is undergoing a transformation. There is a new mill, this one built from stone and has a waterwheel in the Rennar River for power. The bakery and potters workshop are complete. There is a new stone bridge across the Rennar. The wooden palisade around the village has been completed and is replete with watchtowers and gatehouses at either end of the village. There is a new boathouse on the river. Most strikingly the number of residential cottages has more than doubled, extending the village to both sides of the river. The fields were even full of quickly growing crops.

Plot Laden Encounters

Pythagos McTherian walked to the town square and found Hobarth Burgher negotiating with some of Duke Staggreig’s men. The soldiers were insisting rudely that the providing of a few conscripts could never realistically pay the taxes on this village for the year and the village would provide the conscripts and taxes demanded of them one way or the other. Pythagos McTherian walked up and demanded to know what this was about. The leftennant shouted, “Who the hell are you?” “Pythagos McTherian Royal Wizard.” There was a brief exchange of words and looks and the leftennant made a hasty retreat.

Shifty McPardee went to the checkpoint on the highway to send word to the guild and to put out notice the party wished to hire a contractor to build fortifications. He already had post waiting for him from the Cartographers Guild informing him that he had just been promoted to the rank of “Director of Shipping” for the Talowdale region. The letter further informed him that a construction crew and staff would be dispatched to construct the regional guild office.

Upon returning to the village and seeing the that it was full of refugees Shifty McPardee established a makeshift soup kitchen in the Boars Rest inn in the name of the Guild. Essentially buying a meal for everyone in need.

Shifty McPardee then went to Hobarth Burgher and discussed plans for buying up land for projects for the adventurers and the Guild.

Whuh Sdat and Pythagos McTherian encountered Lontros the Red sitting in the Boars Rest among the refugees. He was obviously one of The Eight so they bought him a drink and sat down to introduce themselves and have a chat. Lontros said he had just came from the east having been pushed west by the war and was hoping to go into Pearl Reef in order to avoid forced conscription into one of the conflicting forces. Since Pearl Reef has been blockaded by the Bergen navy he was considering scuttling that plan. Pythagos McTherian asked if Lontros would stay in Talowdale and help him establish a school and magical research academy. Lontros declined saying he would rather go into hiding till the conflicts settle down. The two wizards agreed to exchange correspondence.

Tiny Rocks With Disproportionate Significance

Later, while walking through town Pythagos McTherian encountered another one of The Eight, Iocletian the Near-sighted. Iocletian is a man entirely absorbed in the pursuit of his research. Barely noticing anything unless he thinks it might have some bearing on his theories. Iocletian revealed that he was traveling to Talowdale because of its relative peace and security and because the local mines would be useful for his research involving minerals.

On inquiry Iocletian happily stutters through his theories with speech heavily laden with spellcraft jargon. Iocletian has noticed that magic is easier to comprehend and perform on the continent. He suspects that there is something different about the environment of the island of Verland that accounts for this. He has confirmed that the difference is with Verland by communicating with extra-planar creatures and with wizards from other parts of the world. Iocletian further believes that the difference can be accounted for by geology. He believes that a certain igneous crystal endemic to the soil and rocks of Verland is responsible. This mineral is so minuscule as to be nearly microscopic. He has alchemically refined some for a year and produced a sprinkle of crystals about the size of table salt granules. He has noticed that magical beasts will reflexively clean themselves of any material that contains this mineral. He also has noticed a correlation between deposits of this mineral and the behavior of humans and non-magical animals.

Refugees & Rumors

Whuh Sdat remained in the bar and chatted up the refugees. He learned that Duke Staggreig had withdrawn the bulk of his forces from Norge to counter the attack from Bergen. His army was able to entrench in Arborath before the forces of Bergen cut off the mountain pass. The Duke broke the siege of Arborath and rode out with his army to invade Bergen. To replenish his ranks Staggreig had sent for another round of conscripts and supplies.

Bergen had apparently made a grave miscalculation of the forces in play in this conflict. Norge was still falling rapidly. There were even unconfirmed rumors that the capitol was burning. The alliance of the northern warlords and The Blue Fist Orcs even without a heavy contingent of allies from Staggreig, were much more than the warriors of Norge were capable of dealing with.

The Bergen navy had blockaded Pearl Reef in order to cripple Duke Staggreig’s supply line. However, the Duke marched his army straight into Bergen with an exceptionally aggressive attack. The reports are that his forces are making startling progress across the north of Bergen.

The Kings best general, General Wayland has taken the Kings elite troops to secure the highroad in order to prevent any of the kings outposts from being captured.

The Capitol Steps

Pythagos McTherian, Whuh Sdat, and Shifty McPardee then teleported to Arconston.

Pythagos McTherian met with the commander-in-chief of the Kings military and received a commission as a general in the kings military. He also received a letter of marque for Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites’ piratical activities. Pythagos also requisitioned a ship and detachment of marines to be sent to assist his efforts at overthrowing the Snakebite Forge.

Pythagos and Shifty spent some time in the library of Estnod Dragonswing, learning some new spells.

Shifty McPardee returned to the thieves guild office to retake his burglary examination. This time he made it past many traps of increasing deviousness and brutality to escape with his hide intact and successfully proved his master burglary skills.

High Seas Swashbuckling Action

A Blue Fist merchant ship approached from the East bearing food for the forge. The Whiskey Twin moved into position to block their entrance to the harbor and surfaced. There was ship-to-ship missile fire and two of the Biggonites went down manning the ballistas. Biggie and Ehlonna boarded the enemy ship and slew most of the crew. Ehlonna did a moonsault over the edge of the enemy cog firing her crossbow down into the head of a goblin as she sailed overhead. They captured three goblins and Ehlonna retrieved the captains charts and ships log from the captains quarters.

Back on the Whiskey Twin they submerged. A trio of enemy warships emerged from the forge and rescued the sinking merchant ship. One was a galleon, probably the most advanced ship on the sea in this era. Once that was complete, two of the warships set course West and disappeared over the horizon.

The capture of the prisoners and records filled in many gaps in the party’s intelligence. It revealed that the Blue Fist have an entire professional military that is separate from their civilian population. The Blue Fist maintain trade routes with the continent and they have a major hidden port on the Eastern tip of the island called Skullport.

Assault on Snakebite Forge

Pythagos McTherian used magic to fly over the forge and make a map and teleport some allies into the forge near a building that they learned housed the commander. Shifty McPardee hid in broad daylight and scampered up the side of the building. He peered inside the building to find out it was operating much like an office with all the paper pushing one would expect from a highly organized centralized sophisticated military organization. Finding an empty office he cut through the glass and helped the party members up. They made their way up to the third floor to confront Baglor Bone-Marrow the commander of the forge.

I cast Fireball! I cast Lightning Bolt! Oh Shit! I cast Teleport!

The fight began with Shifty McPardee getting off a sneak attack on one of the sub-chiefs working in the office. He didn’t go down. Shifty stabbed him again. The Hobgoblin didn’t go down. The party spent their surprise round and the next one in a slug fest against a room full of hobgoblin sub-chiefs. In the third round Whuh Sdat had made it to the door to Baglor’s office but Baglor had the initiative so he kicked that door down and hacked into Whuh with his man-slayer axe. Whuh Sdat got the hell out of the way.

Pythagos McTherian fired off a fireball into Baglor’s office hitting Baglor, Ubjarajha, and two guards. The guards, all the office furniture, and portions of the stone walls were incinerated out of existence by the vigorous magical fire. Baglor charged out of his office straight for the mage. Crashing through the chaotic combat all around them.

Pythagos McTherian fell back covered by his party members and let fly with a lightning bolt. Baglor kept coming, nearly slaying Whuh Sdat in the process.

Everyone used their next round to run to Pythagos and he teleported them back to the Whiskey Twin.

Break Damn You!

All this time Donald Oates and Ehlonna AriEr were causing a diversion at the seaside gates to the forge trying to batter them down with Mildred, Donald’s triceratops mount. They slammed into that door for well over ten minutes while taking crossbow and ballista fire from the walls. Ehlonna AriEr took out several orcs with her crossbow.

When they finally had battered the door to pieces they only found a portcullis behind it being backed up with archers and trolls. They decided to withdraw back to the Whiskey Twin.

View
Wherein The Party Floats Around In The Swamp
Ouch! That was my foot!

New Faces

As the party began preparing for the trip into the Snakebite swamp, Donald Oates, a paladin arrived. He rides a triceratops and has a squire. He is a paladin of Pelor.

The party reacted to the addition of a new member in the way these things usually happen; by acting as if they had always known him. Which was odd because this was a real-world introduction between strangers as well.

Rovarath the Black

The day after Sir Oates arrived a dragon buzzed the town. When Cup’s troops were beginning to assemble, some of the townsfolk on the edge of town started shouting and running, pointing up and behind them. “It’s Rovarath!” The soldiers all dropped to the ground and covered their heads. A gigantic dragon was in the North Eastern sky swooping above the fields outside of town.

Its entire body is a matte black. There are two long horns protruding forward from its forehead and extending beyond its nose. It has a long frill starting behind its head that runs down the center of its neck and back which it retracts and flares as it twists and banks in the sky.

As the dragon turned it dove gracefully toward the earth swooping down and touching the top of the tall grass, it sailed over the fields and reached down with one talon. As it did so one could tell how terrifyingly huge this monster is. Stretched out, it is half as long as Milborne. In modern terms, ts as big as a hockey rink or a garage used to store school buses.

It reaches down and scooped up three sheep in its paw and left a gouge in the earth the size of an irrigation ditch. It then flew over Milborne. Everyone but the paladin was overcome with paralyzing, pants-shitting fear as its shadow passed over the tiny town. The dragon then flew off and disappeared into the swamp.

After some investigation Donald Oates learned from the villagers that Rovarath has lived in this swamp for longer than any human settlement has existed here. Living with the dragon is like living in the foot of an active volcano. Once in a while the dragon comes to town. Sometimes he just takes some sheep, other times he hauls people from their huts and vivisects them in the town center, or he will just knock down all the buildings. Its capricious and evil and destructive.

The Outer Swamp

The party learned that those that travel too far into the Snakebite swamp are never seen again. They took some of Cup’s followers as guides since most of them had grown up here in Milborne.

The party devised a system whereby they would head into the swamp in ten canoes and boats would be tied together with fifty foot sections of rope. Making this a long procession.

They cautiously approached the place the locals said was the furthest it was to go safely. The first canoe, piloted by Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites pressed on. Nothing happened. The next canoe passed the point of no return. Nothing happened. by the time all the canoes had moved fully into the depths of the Snakebite swamp the party was convinced that this was simply an idyllic natural environment.

The party cruised about in their canoes heading South pressing through the swamp toward the forge. The first day ended and some in the party were convinced that they should have reached the sea by now, given the size of the swamp.

A hail storm began at night and Ehlonna AriEr cast Leomund’s Tiny Hut. The entire party spent the night inside with some members taking watch. Nothing happened.

The next day passed much like the first except they spotted a lizard man watching them from the bog water. When Whuh Sdat attempted to speak with the lizard man, it submerged himself and swam off. Thick McRunfast attempted to track the lizard man but with limited success. The party passed a second night in the magic hut.

The next morning the party was up and in the boats before the spell ended. The third day in the swamp passed like the first two. They woke up, morning ritual, Thick McRunfast found some plants to make into an insect repellent poultice. (for which he received 50xp for preventing the party from getting malaria). They saw herons, geese, ducks, fish, turtles, snakes, crocodiles, dinosaurs.

As they came around a bend in the river Whuh Sdat spotted two lizard men who were spear fishing. The party was quite conspicuous and so the lizard men spotted the party quite easily. Again Whuh Sdat attempted to begin a parley and again the lizard men rebuffed him by diving into the water.

One of the lizard men stood watching the party for a few seconds and when it was apparent that the party meant to get close enough to talk, he dove in the water and swam away. This same lizard man stopped, turned back and watched the party from a submerged position for some time.

Progress

The party chose to stop on the island where the lizard men were fishing from. They reasoned that this must be their tribe’s territory so they will be back. The party wanted to make contact with the locals since the lizard men had traded with the humans of Milborne in the past and the paladin did not detect evil from them. The party reasoned that the lizard men might be aligned against the evil orc army in the swamp. They made camp for lunch and set a watch.

Cup got to thinking about their progress over the last 36 hours. He knew a thing or two about deception and he also knew what it was like to be the butt of a joke. Cup cast detect magic and discovered the party had been circling around inside an illusionary terrain for two days.

For once “I DISBELIEVE!” was the appropriate answer and the illusionary swamp disappeared to reveal the real swamp.

Whuh Sdat decided to hop into a canoe and check if he could follow the lizard men any easier this time. He headed in the direction they went and discovered a statue of Rovarath surrounded by bushes on the East bank of the river. Pythagos McTherian was able to identify the writing on the statue as a dialect of draconic. The inscription declared the swamp and all of the sea to belong to Rovarath the Black.

There Were Never Really Any Negotiations

Just then the party became aware of a group of six lizard men standing on some rocks downstream behind a thick wall of foliage. The individual lizard men were painted with the markings of a coral snake. The chief was decorated with colorful feathers from the birds of the swamp. The shaman was decorated to look like Rovarath. He had carved bones into a set of horns for his head, he was painted black, and had made fluffy wings of black feathers attached to his back.

The chief was the only one that spoke. He spoke only in a broken dialect of the branch of Draconic particular to evil dragons. The Chief told the party that this is Rovarath’s swamp and he rules it. He warned the party that they should leave the swamp.

Whuh Sdat offered that the party was not concerned with dragons and only sought to remove the Blue Fist from the swamp and that if the lizard men would be kind enough to let the party pass. Pythagos McTherian boasted that the party would sweep through the swamp and destroy the orcs with ease.

The lizard man chieftain only repeated his warning to leave the swamp.

Pythagos McTherian then threatened that the party could easily destroy the lizard men, lay waste to their lands, and bring down their god. By now Donald Oates had summoned Mildred and emerged through the brush to punctuate the threat. The chief was visibly shaken and the party passed by without conflict.

The party pressed on in the direction of the forge trying to close the distance before nightfall. They pressed on into the night and another hail storm kicked up. The party took refuge under their canoes for an hour or two and when they emerged they discovered one of the canoes had been damaged. It turned out that one of Cup’s followers was a carpenter and could repair the canoe. By now it was nightfall and the party chose to make camp.

Chemical Fire in the Darkness

Being experienced adventurers, the party knew they would be attacked by the dragon this night. They set an extra careful watch. On the first watch Thick McRunfast saw a lizard man out in the darkness of the swamp. Their eyes met and the lizard man slunk back into the darkness. Nothing happened.

Three hours later, one of the soldiers said he thought he saw something up in the trees. Perhaps a bird, but birds don’t fly about at night. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites applied his Wis 6 to the situation and decided it was time to start gambling. The soldier agreed since he needed something to take his mind off this dragon business.

This time something happened.

Rovarath stuck his head down out of the trees and sprayed his acidic breath weapon into the magical hut. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites and Whuh Sdat managed to dodge the blast entirely. One of the soldiers was killed so completely there was not enough left of him to fill a Dixie cup. Another of the soldiers lost his left leg up to the knee. Julius took a heavy acid burst to the stomach, completely dissolving his abdomen away. Cup was splashed by Rovarath’s acid and lost his right foot.

The members of the party that could still move sprung into action. The lizard men struck fast with poison darts but did as much damage to themselves as to the party. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites laid waste with his anchor while swimming upstream in the river. Donald Oates mounted Mildred and stampeded across the shaman and his attendant. Thick McRunfast let fly with arrows.

Pythagos McTherian sought to teach this dragon not to trifle with a mage. He leveled his hand and cast a bolt of blue burning electricity at the fleeing beast. The lightning bolt struck Rovarath square in the side, doing nothing. A quick check of his mental inventory reminded Pythagos McTherian that some creatures have magic resistance and it is very rarely total immunity.

The Usefulness of Magic

After the immediate threat of stabbing had been dealt with and the horrified screams of the mutilated party members had subsided there was a surprisingly calm discussion of the limits of their healing magics. Without access to regenerate the lost body parts would be lost permanently. There was talk of teleportation but humans have been forsaken by the gods and would have no healing magic and Pythatos has never been to any non-human racial lands so teleportation to a useful destination would be impossible.

Cup decided that he would rather have a hollow foot to hide stuff in anyway. So heroic measures would not be needed on his behalf.

Taking a Different Approach

One of the lizard men allowed himself to be captured by Whuh Sdat. This was the one that had been seen fishing earlier that day and the two of them had an understanding that the lizard man felt did not warrant this unprovoked attack. He explained the situation to the party; The Blue Fist Orcs pay tribute to Rovarath the Black with the coins they mint and Rovarath lets them use his swamp. The Orcs send and receive their supplies from ships at a dock on the ocean. He took the party to the spot where the tribute is paid to the dragon and he showed them the end of the swamp where they could safely make camp by the sea. He stayed with the party because his tribe had basically been destroyed that night and he could see the capricious nature of their god.

Pirates!

The party decided to take to the seas and cut off the Blue Fist supply line. They reasoned that a few weeks of loosing supplies and an inability to pay off Rovarath would weaken the orcs and get Rovarath to do their work for them.

Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites sent word by messenger seagull to his band of pirates who were waiting off shore for their captain. Now the party is cruising in style in a bio-magi-mechanical whale-submarine from the outer planes.

Oh yes. It’s come to this.

I’m Gonna Ptero-You A New Asshole

When he was keeping watch on the ship Whuh Sdat was snatched from the top of the ship by a Pterodactyl and carried off. He punched that sucker right in the guts. It died and crashed into the sea taking Whuh Sdat with it. Shifty McPardee saw all this and got the pilot to drive the ship over and pick up Whuh Sdat.

View
Wherein the Party Has Many Encounters on the Road
Healing Draws Renoun.

Taking Stock

The party spent two days encamped at the site of the battle with the trolls dealing with its aftermath. Thick McRunfast and Pythagos McTherian were busy extracting the greatest monetary value from their victory.

Wayzig Garmottin Glinpen Badgerhole Bighill Bunkpest Dalwick Handig Pilwin Ellyjotwiss the Alchemist Appeared and this allowed the party to replenish their alchemical supplies and convert their new found wealth into much needed spells. A wizard with three spells is just a wizard with three spells regardless of what level he is. Wayzig also liberated the party from the burden of the imprisoned gargoyle and trolls blood they had so carefully extracted.

After carefully transcribing and learning new spells and arranging their inventory, the party set out again to the East.

I Failed My Save vs. Plot

The party moved into a riparian landscape and became only slightly more nervous. As they were traveling they encountered a man and woman who were refugees, and as they passed the woman went into labor. Cup lept into action shouting, “Bring me clean towels and hot water!” For which he was awarded 100xp. The various members of the party attempted to lend a hand but were mostly in the way because only the priest knows healing. Somehow it didn’t occur to them that this strategy might be putting all their eggs in one basket.

The Tides of War

During the two-day birthing, a column of Bergen solders marched past. Heading West. It took the party the rest of the day to realize that this means they were heading in the direction of Talowdale and that Bergen is allied against Duke Staggreig. Still they chose to press on East.

Congratulations!

The human refugees gave birth to a healthy baby boy. This boy was promptly blessed(?) in the name of Olidammara.

An Unpleasant Encounter With a Town.

The party at last reached the checkpoint at Thurmaster and promptly ran afoul of every person they met. In his efforts to negotiate the price of a ferry ride Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites threatened the ferryman and terrified him to the point he will have nightmares of the huge anchor, soaked in troll blood. Once inside the town, the party encountered their first example of racism on Verland. A drunken man who loudly expressed the superiority of the Angil race and disparaged those of northern or elvish dissent. The drunk was quickly pummeled by everyone in the party and only rescued by the efforts of Whuh Sdat and the town guard. The town guard turned out to be an arm of the Cartographers Guild. The local Shipping Warden took exception to two guild members raising a ruckus in his town and sent seven of his goons along with them to be sure the party did not come back to Thurmaster for at least a month. As he left town, Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites shouted an oath to not protect this piss-ant town if it falls under attack from The Blue Fist Orcs.

Fire in the Night

By the time the party reached an acceptable distance south from Thurmaster they could see fire in the distance. Pythagos McTherian cast Fly on Whuh Sdat who flew out and saw the gruesome end of a pitched battle. Hobgoblins of The Blue Fist Orcs and the forces of Bergen had done battle. All that remained were a dozen or so Hobgoblins delivering the coup-de-gras on wounded and unconscious humans. Whuh Sdat flew back with Cup, and Ehlonna AriEr followed closely behind on her war-pony.

There was not much of a fight to speak of. Whuh Sdat created a more pressing distraction for the Blue Fists then slaughtering the helpless and Cup proceeded to cast mass heal. Two rounds of this action saw 20 more human archers fully healed and the Blue Fists in rout.

I Don’t Want Her, You Can Have Her, She’s Too Fat For Me.

The soldiers attempted to swear loyalty to Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites, but he had different ideas about what his followers should look like. So the soldiers and Cup decided that it made much more sense for them to follow him since he had saved their asses. With that decided, the group of 91 soldiers performed last rights for their fallen comrades, equipped themselves anew from the battlefield and burned the gobbos.

How To Proceed?

In the morning the party pressed on south along the Churnett River and came to Milborne. Most of the soldiers from the night before were born in Milborne and asked for leave to check in with their families to deliver the news about who had lived and who had died.

The party asked around and discovered that the swamp that lies ahead is much larger than they expected and can most reliably be navigated by canoe. Which presents a problem for the three wagons and 100 followers they have amassed.

View
Wherein the Party Battles Groups of Foes
Well . . . Shit

Arborath

Thick McRunfast and Ehlonna AriEr purchased horsed for themselves at the marketplace in Arborath. The party also bought a chest to hold their growing horde of loot.

injustice

They witnessed atrocities of injustice at the hands of the men of Duke Staggreig. A man who was resisting being conscripted for the war effort was executed in the public square as a deserter. A boy who was accused of stealing an apple was whipped with chains by a guard.

Rumors Abound and lead to realizations

Rumors were heard that the Duke was marching his army against Norge, an ally of the King. And that the Duke’s allies were goblinoids. The party discerned that since Duke Staggreig’s allies were the northern warlords, the northern warlords have orcs among their ranks, and the hobgoblin they had captured said that The Blue Fist Orcs had unified all the northern tribes, Duke Staggreig must be allied with the Blue Fist Orcs.

Moving On

The party briefly debated the wisdom of hiring on mercenaries and equipping them with the gear they had been taking off the gobs they fought. They soon realized that with war fervor in full swing, they would be imprisoned or executed if they tried to hire any soldiers in Arborath.

The next morning the party awoke to strange silence in the city and a powerful wind from the previous nights storm. They found their way to the public square where the army was marching out of the city, headed north into the mountains and on to Norge. The party saw their friend Miriam and the men from Talowdale marching off as part of the archers brigade. The army’s ranks stretched into the thousands and the parade out of town took more than a few hours. The party decided to leave town while the whole place was focused on the army and headed out the south gate on their way to The Snakebite Forge.

Sudden Combat

Ehlonna AriEr noticed some gargoyle statues above the gate that she was sure were not there when the party came in the day before. She shot at one with her crossbow inflicting damage on the evil creature and initiating combat against 13 flying enemies.

The gargoyles flew in a figure-8 in and out of the gate of town and attacking the party members as they swooped by. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites struck many attacks of opportunity deeply reducing the ranks of the attacking creatures. The oxen began to panic and Ehlonna AriEr calmed them with her bardic singing. Thick McRunfast remained steadfast, pivoting on the spot and firing many arrows. Cup kept everyone at full health. Shifty McPardee hid beneath a wagon and shot at the flying creatures. Whuh Sdat ran at the flying gargoyles, lept into the air, and struck the beasts out of the sky with a flurry of blows.

Trollish Fortitude

The party went south through two tolls and then headed East into Bergen. Two days into Bergen they began having a discussion regarding the nature of trollish regeneration and Whuh Sdat announced he was looking for trolls. The GM happily provided a dozen trolls to make the day complete.

In the evening on the second day Whuh Sdat saw 12 trolls 100 yards down the road.

The trolls charged. Thick McRunfast cast entangle, and many were caught. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites and Whuh Sdat ran forward into melee. Ehlonna AriEr took the wagons and retreated. Missile fire and melee combat were exchanged for a few rounds. Two trolls were unconscious but four had freed themselves from the entanglement and six more would enter melee in the next round. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites was injured and it looked like the tide of combat was on the side of the trolls. In the next round, the front row of fighters expected to die.

Pythagos McTherian then appeared and cast fireball into the center of the mass of stuck trolls, singing them but slaying none.

The trolls became further entrapped in the remaining effect of entanglement. The bard cast Tasha’s Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter on one of the free trolls before it could enter combat. Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites and Thick McRunfast continued to deliver upwards of 30 damage each round to two targets a piece. The party stayed spread out so the trolls could only engage one of them at a time.

Combat slogged on. 10 of the original 12 trolls were still standing. The weather turned violent again as a hail storm rolled across the darkened countryside.

Another fireball, and prodigious use of alchemist’s fire began reducing the trolls numbers. Massive damage and a growing conflagration turned the tide in the favor of the party. Cup heroically ran into harms way to deliver much needed healing.

Limbs were severed from the trolls and soon the charred road was covered with blood and writhing troll parts.

The party emerged victorious with no fatalities.

Cleanup

Thick McRunfast tracked the trolls back to their lair and after the application of strangth from the party as a group, they were rewarded with 2000gp and several gems. Pythagos McTherian also directed the removal of the troll blood for sale as a spell component when, almost miraculously, Wayzig Garmottin Glinpen Badgerhole Bighill Bunkpest Dalwick Handig Pilwin Ellyjotwiss the Alchemist appeared to buy the troll blood and trade with the party.

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