Talowdale

Wherein the Party Steals a Kingdom
To The Ships!

Weaving an Explanation

The Funeral of the Hero; Cup, Cleric of Olidamara and savior of the King.

What’s Our Next Move?

New Blood

The Church of Pelor

Some Business

TO THE SHIPS!

View
Wherein the Party Survives an Assassination
Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition

The Hearing

The next morning the party and their allies were taken to the palace and led into a large audience chamber.

Splitting Up

Ehlonna, Shifty, and the Guild

Captain Biggy and Whuh Sdat

Every Adventure Needs a Car Chase

Cup

Pythagos and Lord Young

Back to the Castle

As Shifty bolted across town to get to the castle in time to save his friends Cup was already in mortal peril. An assassin had sneaked into the King’s bedchamber and was carefully making his way through the darkness toward the King’s bedside, completely unnoticed by anyone in the room.

View
Wherein the Party Sits Down to a Nice Dinner
Diplomacy, With a Magic Sword

Espionage at Skullport

We rejoin Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites after enough time has passed for his pirate fleet to arrive at Skullport. The two captured cogs made their way into port as the Whiskey Twin attempted to follow beneath the surface.

The cogs were allowed to dock and sell their cargo of captured metal tools. However, under water, the port was inhabited by marine skrags and their guard-sharks. The Whiskey Twin had to retreat.

Biggy’s pirates found that the port was heavily fortified behind its concealed cliff-face entrance but as they were flying under a pirate flag they were able to dock peacefully, only having to pay a local tax on their goods, and dock fees. The crew went to shore and gathered information and whored-it-up for two days and then returned to the sea for further conquests.

Through this low-level infiltration, the party was able to learn that Skullport was a joint military and civilian outpost, that Skullport is an incredibly huge city with a population in excess of a million, and they also learned about the political and command structure of the city.

The Gm tries to give Biggy a Sirine Lover, But He Proves to be a Legendary Captain of Gay.

When the pirates set course to Arconston to meet back up with the rest of the party, the surface ships fell prey to a sirine. Biggy acted quickly, using the Whiskey twin to divert the surface ships from the dangerous reef and by confronting the sirine, ending her song.

Sirines breed with humans, and will often choose strong sailors as their mates. This sirine appreciated Biggy’s display of boldness and strength and mastery of the sea and made a pass at him. Which Biggy rebuffed for some inexplicable reason.

Utter Devastation

Back in Arborath, the city was in ruins from the ravages of Nilakanta. Most of the city’s defensive walls were flattened and 40% of the city was in ruins.

Pythagos moved to teleport the party to Arconston to deal with the accusations of treason quickly, but the surviving general stopped him. He pointed out that Arborath was defenseless and destitute now. The walls had been destroyed, opening up the city’s heart directly to the side of the city that faced the mountain pass where an enemy army would attack from, the soldiers who were loyal to the city over Duke Staggreig and had stayed had mostly been killed in by the dragon, and the treasury was now empty so no new army or wall could be raised.

Wall Building

Pythagos and Lo-kag Fanglord Gathakana set about using magic to rebuild a passable defensive barrier so what was left of Arborath would not fall to anything other than serious attack. This took six days.

The Troop Situation

Fearing attack from the The Blue Fist Orcs and with the city bacisally defenseless the party left Lo-Kag and “Phill” the Lizard Man behind along with the triceratops cavalry to defend their new conquered territory.

We put the “pie” in Spies

As an extra measure of defense, Shifty McPardee sent rangers and thieves into the mountains to spy out the locations of any Blue Fist encampments or movements. These spies discovered that the Blue Fist were not likely to make any moves soon.

Return to Arconston

With Arborath safe from any immediate threat, most of the party teleported to Estnod Dragonswing’s tower.

Greetings from Estnod

The party was greeted like friends by Estnod who set out a three-course meal for them in a fancy dining hall complete with rare flatware, gold utensils, and crystal chandelier.

There is a leak in the GM sidebar conversations!

At dinner, Estnod was eager to begin discussing the strategy for the upcoming dealings with the King’s court. however, Pythagos stopped him, proclaiming a traitor was in their midst. Shifty had not been acting like himself lately and Pythagos suspected dark magic.

You see, back in the tower of the wizard Seifer, Shifty had fallen prey to the magic jar attack of a wraith and had since then his body had been under the control of a malevolent spirit.

The player who controlled Shifty had agreed with the GM to play as a secretly controlled character within the group so as to spring a surprise betrayal on the party at a critical moment. A trump-card for the GM to hold. Also during this time the GM had been giving warnings in the campaign email about the very real possibility of sudden and surprise death, this being the nature of politics and a high-level campaign. Apparently the collusion of a player became known to the party and Shifty was outed.

Of course the GM was not chagrined at this turn of events because the players role-played what they knew very well, acting only with knowledge their characters would have had rather then with the complete knowledge of the situation that the players themselves had. And this also revealed that the thief, the character most likely to betray the group anyway, had chosen loyalty to the party.

The fight fell back on the more obvious use of magic jar, having the foe jump from body to body within the party using the party against itself. First, the wraith jumped into Biggy because he is fucking devastating in melee.

The Druid cast repel metal, causing a massive disruption flinging party members and silverware across the room. The spell did not have its intended effect though because Biggy possesses a ring of free action. Ehlonna cast hold monster, incapacitating the wraith controlled Biggy. Next the wraith attempted to take control of Lo-Kag.

Estnod used his magical wizard senses and Cup cast detect magic to determine what was happening. After one round they determined that it was not a spell that was affecting them and not an invisible foe but one on the ethereal plane. They reasoned that Shifty had been the carrier and Estnod explained that wraiths have an ability that functions like magic jar. Ehlonna then started smashing the rings and jewelry that Shifty was wearing until it became apparent no one was under attack anymore.

Hero’s Feast is Heroic

Dinner had been destroyed by Lo-kag’s use of repel metal so Ehlonna cast hero’s feast and the party dug in.

Pregame Brunch

The next morning Estnod hosted a brunch for his political allies to talk strategy. The brunch was hosted on a stone patio facing the sea on the eighth floor of Estnod’s tower. Pythagos recognized this as the area where he and Estnod spent many hours eating as a family, talking, and philosophizing. Estnod was sending the message that his allies were like his family.

Duchess Bergen

Estnod, Pythagos, Donald, and Cup gathered in the entrance hall of Estnod’s tower to welcome the nobles that would help the party face their political enemies.

Michael the Silver

. . .and the Rest

Lady Fruzilli

The Enemy

View
Wherein the Party Fights a Demon
Two Adventure Logs For the Price of One

Getting Out of the Tower

After all the enemies had been defeated and loot collected, the party still had to pass the Gust of Wind at the bridge back to the castle.

Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites’ ring of free action allowed him to travel through the wind and he ran off into the fog of the castle loosing track of the party.

The rest of the party fell back on the old ‘hug the paladin’ strategy and allowed his magic resistance to protect them from the magical wind.

Once back inside the castle, the party discovered the magic fog extended throughout the entire building. They continued to cling to Donald Oates and cautiously made their way through the silent and apparently deserted castle. The castle appeared to have been abandoned while the party was inside Seifer’s tower since they saw no one and did not even hear far-off sounds of other people. Making the magically foggy halls super creepy and unfamiliar.

A Plan Revealed

Eventually the party made it through the foggy halls back to the audience chamber to find the general waiting for them. He revealed that Duke Staggreig had always known about the party’s plan to attack him. Staggreig and Seifer Veinlash thought the party would be too powerful to resist outright because of their reputation as dragon-slayers and so laid a trap. A body-double would fight in place of Staggreig if they chose to attack. If he was defeated, the party would be led to Seifer’s tower where the traps and defenses there would surely destroy the party. While they were inside the army would then set up a defense outside the tower to pick off any weakened survivors. Then the army would march south and destroy Talowdale.

The General had gathered the troops loyal to him and Cup’s soldiers under Leftennant Franklin and had captured the keep from the forces loyal to Staggreig. The remains of Staggreig’s standing army had set out south while the party was inside the tower.

Upon hearing this the party ordered the general to prepare Arborath for a siege in case Staggreig’s army attacked and the party teleported back to Talowdale.

No Time To Mess With the Court

Back in Talowdale preparations for an attack began.

The wall was still unfinished so Lo-kag Fanglord Gathakana spent the next couple of days using magic to move earth to speed the fortification efforts.

The party then dispatched the rangers and thieves among their followers to spy on the enemy army and to sabotage their advancement as much as possible.

Pythagos spoke with Hobarth Burgher about preparing the citizens for fighting.

Cup disguised himself as one of the escaped lunatics the party had freed from Seifer’s tower in order to avoid detection from bounty hunters who might be after the reward put out on his head.

Pythagos, Cup, and Whuh teleported to see Estnod Dragonswing about clearing Cup’s name of the assassination attempt on King Yon but Estnod told them that he was still fighting to keep his position in the court and it would take some doing to set up a meeting where the truth could be aired. And even then the inquest would likely take several days. He told them it was best if they all pretended that Cup had not been there that night and they all come back in a few days when the necessary arrangements could be made.

Biological Warfare

Lo-kag communed with nature to discover the location of the enemy army and teleported via plants to get there. Once there he melded with the earth to approach unseen and made a touch attack with Contaigen on a soldier in the camp, causing an outbreak of the Shrieks which immobilized Staggreig’s army.

From the Fiery Pits of the Infinite Hells

Espionage

Shifty McPardee was transformed into a humming bird by Pythagos and he flew to the enemy camp to spy in preparation for an imminent attack while Pythagos watched him through his scrying crystal.

Shifty moved through the camp with expert stealth to the command tent. There he saw a human commander accompanied by a Demon general. A maralith Tanar’ri from the infinite hells named Ka’arl’lya.

Shifty climbed up on top of the tent to hear the conversation inside. He heard the demon say she had seen spies outside of the camp and that this disease was clearly magical in nature so the party must know of their approach and are attempting to interdict the army prior to its assault on Talowdale.

Just then she sliced open the tent below Shifty causing him to tumble down into the tent. She unleashed a ferocious barrage of attacks from her fierce magical axes and swords reducing Shifty to less than half of his HP and binding him in her constricting grasp.

Seeing this in his crystal ball, Pythagos teleported the party into combat to rescue the thief. Shifty used his new prestige class abilities to tumble through the demi-plane of shadow out of the marilith’s clutches and the tent. Lo-kag magically generated a severe thunder storm to confuse the enemy and he and Cup(in disguise as Beaker the mad Cleric) each cast firestorm to eliminate entire regiments of the enemy army.

The demon summoned a squad of lesser demons from a fiery gate to hell. These were quickly dispatched by Glvag, acolyte of Whuh Sdat. The marilith joined the fight bringing a cloudkill with her and pressing the fight to the party members.

Another War-Crime is Committed

Lo-kag and his tiger had been causing trouble on the other side of the camp, attacking regular foot soldiers and surprising them in the storm. He then conjured a huge tornado that destroyed almost the entire camp, including the hospital with all the convalescent soldiers.

I Condemn Thee Back to Hell

Meanwhile the battle against the demon was not progressing well. She had reduced the troll to less then 0HP and tossed his unconscious body into the tornado. Soldiers were closing in around Pythagos so Donald and “Phill” the Lizard Man charged through their ranks on their dinosaur mounts.

Cup cast Holy Word banishing the last of the summoned demons back to hell but the marilith passed her save. Still she was rendered blind and deaf.

She created an illusionary double of herself and attacked the wizard, nearly killing him. This brought her within reach of the paladins and half of the party fell into melee with the demon. Ehlonna AriEr was the first to cause damage to the demon.

The rest of the party determined that the second demon was an illusion and then all attacked the marilith with the desperate ferocity appropriate when faced with a lethal threat to the wizard. She fell and vanished back to hell in a puff of brimstone.

The party made a new and powerful enemy today.

Mop-up Operations

Shifty looted the devastated camp. Cup healed the wounded and survivors. Lo-kag and his tiger rounded up the last of the enemy troops. Pythagos gave them an ultimatum to join him or go home.

What to do About an Evil Act?

A paladin may not associate with someone who willingly and unrepentantly commits an evil act. Destroying a military hospital full of over 500 convalescent, defenseless, and non-combatant people is an evil act. Lo-kag did this.

Phil and Donald were faced with the possibility of having to leave the party. Lo-kag was unrepentant, thinking what he had done was justified as a force of nature culling the weak and eliminating an enemy. The paladins beseeched Pythagos, as the legitimate ruler of the jurisdiction, to use his legal authority to not only impose just punishment on a war-criminal, but to make amends for the harm that had come from it.

A long discussion took place where Pythagos took counsel with Cup and Whuh, Lo-kag and Donald presented their cases, and politics and morality were considered.

In the end, Pythagos ruled that Lo-kag would enter into indentured servitude to the Duchy for seven years, would be fined the entirety of any earnings for that time, restitution would be paid to the families of the victims, and an education fund would be established where the children of the victims would be provided with funding to come to Talowdale and learn at the university Pythagos had built. This was adequate for the paladins to not have to leave the party immidiately but they would certainly be watching the goliath closely in the future.

Trouble In Arborath

The party began marching the remains of the army north to Arborath. A day and a half later, when they neared the city they saw that it was on fire and a blue great wyrm was circling over the city.

Nilakanta the Storm

The ancient blue dragon saw that the city was defenseless and decided to seize this opportunity to capture Staggreig’s treasury for his own horde. The colossal beast had thrown himself bodily through the city walls and burrowed deep channels into the districts of Arborath, completely flattening a fifth of the city. He tore down walls and fortifications and even ripped huge gashes in the side of the castle. As he flew back and forth between the city and mountains taking claw-loads of treasure he would fire his lightning breath into the residential districts of Arborath, destroying buildings and setting the city ablaze. Every time he returned and threw himself into the sides of the hill, it shook the ground all over the city like an earthquake and would roar with ear-splitting ferocity.

The party teleported just inside the gates of the keep and rushed through the castle to find the treasury. Shifty’s keen thief senses and navigation allowed the party to arrive at the treasury vault in short order as panels of marble fell from the walls and shattered on the floor.

They opened the vault door to see open sky. The north and east of the building had been rent off entirely and the floors and ceilings of the castle were in a state of slow collapse, dislodging more stones each time Nilakanta returned.

The party positioned themselves among the rubble and loot and prepared themselves for battle. At this point they had slept for eight hours in five days of constant combat.

Dragon Ally

Thinking quickly, Pythagos cast the spell Dragon Ally hoping to attract a powerful dragon to help them resist Nilakanta. The spell summoned Nilakanta. He recognized Pythagos as one of the mages of Verland and as the slayer of Rovarath. Nilakanta landed next to Pythagos and asked if he wished to enter into a contract. Pythagos asked that Nilakanta leave the city and never return south of the mountains. Nilakanta refused to exile himself from so much land merely in response to mid-level spell. Pythagos asked him to simply leave and Nilakanta demanded all the treasure in the Duchy’s treasury in return. Pythagos agreed, Nilakanta gathered up the remainder in his claws and flew off to the mountains in the north.

Devastation

A full third of Arborath had been destroyed by Nilakanta in his day-long raid on the treasury. When he left the city was in flames and buildings were still collapsing. The healers in the party set to work healing the wounded and were soon overwhelmed by the triage. Inexperienced in this type of disaster response the healers used their spells rapidly but the injured just kept coming. The seriously wounded and in danger of dieing kept arriving at the field hospital at a steady rate for three days.

View
Wherein the Party Reaches the Bottom of the Tower
That's a lot of lunitics.

Going Back Down

The Demon and Floor Five

Floor 4

Floor 3

Floor 2

Floor 1

Ground Level Storage

The Basement Temple of Vecna

Sub Basement 1: The Asylum

Sub Basement 2: Zombie Storage

Sub Basement 3: Even More Coffins

Sub Basement 4: The Secret Temple of Vecna’s Secret Ritual of Secrecy.

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Wherin The Pace of Explosions Increases
Stop Reading Things!

Level 7

The Art of Looting a Kitchen

Level 8

It Only Took Me Six Doors To Learn

“Prismatic Ward Makes an Effective Barrier”

Level 9

Information

Detect Magic Used to Full Effect With Spellcraft

Level 10

Nobody Touch Nothin’

Level 11

“I’ll Take The Hit For The Group…”

Stop Reading Things!

Guards and Wards Reinvigorates Talk Of Leaving the Dungeon Crawl

View
Wherein Doors are a Significant Consideration
Anyone want a pulled pork sandwich?

The Tower of Seifer Veinlash, Disciple of Vecna.

The Riddle Game Isn’t as Strict as it Used to Be.

The GM keeps Forgetting How His Own Magic Doors Work

Level 5 The Entrance.

Squeeeeeeeeee…

Level 6 The Office.

An Explosion is Forgotten.

The party wraps their brain around the concept of an Iron Golem

A Key? For Doors Without Locks? Really?

Another Explosion is Forgotten

Level 7 The Kitchen.

FLURRY OF BLOWS!

View
Wherein the Past Comes Back to the Present
The GM Uses Time Magic When He Didn't Have Time to Plan

The Sea is Full of Fish, and One Legendary Pirate Captain

Before the knighting ceremony, Captain Biggy McLarge-Huge of the Biggonites had set out in the Whiskey Twin with his band of pirates to circle around the island and perform some reconnaissance on Skullport.

Three days after leaving port the pirates came upon two merchant ships. They were returning from the mainland and were fully laden with finished metal goods. Using the magic items he had gotten from Rovarath’s horde he swam out from the Whiskey Twin while it was still submerged and boarded one of the merchant ships, while the sub surfaced near the other and his crew boarded that ship. With a flourish of his anchor the merchants knew they were dealing with the legendary captain Biggy, surrendered, and all but the captains joined his ranks as new pirate ships under Biggy’s flag.

Two days later the ships came across a massive school of tuna. The Whiskey Twin ate its fill and crammed its cargo holds with the fish. The flotilla went ashore at a fishing village to sell their catch. Biggy was mostly concerned with disposing of the cargo and the villagers were mostly concerned with not upsetting the pirates who suddenly were swarming their tiny village so negotiations were awkward but the villagers made out quite well in the deal. The pirates spent the night drinking and wenching on shore, and when the villagers awoke to find themselves still alive and on the receiving end of a highly profitable business deal, they decided that with pirates like these, who needs allies. Now the Biggy Pirates had at least two friendly villages on the south side of Verland.

The next day they came across the same school of tuna which was still large enough to blot out the sun if one was beneath it. This time it was being fished by a plesiosaur.

On day seven, pirate fleet had rounded the South East corner of Verland and was headed north. On this day they spotted a school of hammerhead sharks that was just as huge as the school of tuna from before. The ships passed by merely appreciating the bounty of these waters.

That day they also saw a massive fleet of over 50 war ships bearing the flag of The Blue Fist Orcs. This fleet was headed South. Captain Biggy directed his ships to move in to shore quickly and they were not pursued.

That night the ships reached Arconston and Captain Biggy attended the Kings Ceremony.

Since his men had been warning Captain Biggy that constantly swimming in the ocean will eventually destroy his plate mail, they set out in search of the Sea-Elves said to be nearby. Since he could breathe under water with his magical equipment, Biggy just set out directly for where the elves were rumored to be. His fame again paid off. he was greeted by the elves, was allowed to buy the special alloys necessary to make a set of seaworthy plate mail, and a captain of the sea-elf guard, Ia Nell, decided to join the Biggy Pirates.

The next day the Whiskey Twin was attacked by a school of giant pistol shrimp. It was stunned by the surprise attack and began sinking into the depths of the sea. Captain Biggy and Ia Nell swam out to meat the threat. Biggy and Ia fought capably and dispatched their foes with speed, however three of the new pirates on board the surface vessels were killed by the shrimp and dragged to the depths of the cold, dark sea. A pirate memorial was held which involved much drinking.

A Day In the Life

During the down time between the Battle of Snakebite Swamp and the knighting by the King, the members of the party passed their days in a number of different ways.

Lo-kag Fanglord Gathakana

Awake with the dawn Lo-kag would help contribute to the subsistence of the village as much as possible. The village views him as a part of the party of adventurers and so has taken to feeding Lo-kag and keeping a room for him in the Boars Rest Inn. Lo-kag wanders the village and surrounding lands being friendly and helpful to the people of Talowdale. In the evenings he takes a group of the more stout humans up his mountain and teaches them Goliath games. These humans tend to be the red-haired people of Norge and those who have joined up with Captain Biggy in particular. One human woman has taken an interest in the large, vigorous Goliath.

His investigations into his new surroundings; including using commune with nature, talking with earth elementals, and talking with Iocletian led Lo-kag to perceive and understand the anti-magic mineral in the soil. in return for the promise from the local earth elementals to protect Talowdale, he began the extensive and arduous process of extracting the mineral from the soil. Lo-kag sells the bulk crystal dust to Iocletian and then uses that money to buy supplies for his people and sends them north into the mountains by barge along the Rennar River.

Ehlonna AriEr

Ehlonna begins her day by preparing her beautiful golden elvish hair which she styles differently every day. She passes every meal time by providing entertainment to the villagers and refugees in the Boars Rest Inn. This keeps morale high in a town facing rapid change, with workers who have long hours in back breaking jobs, and in a city constantly filling with desperate people. Ehlonna wanders the village and fields throughout the day talking with people and forest creatures, gathering information and spell components.

Whuh Sdat

Whuh begins his day before dawn with meditation. He has a healthy breakfast of seasonal fruit and grains. Whuh makes a quick survey of the progress on the parties buildings and chats up the foreman and workers. Then at least Whuh, Pythagos, and Cup gather in Pythagos’ wizards tower to discuss business. The running of the town, the use and budgeting of their horde, tactics for the war, immediate plans for dealing with their enemies.

One day, after breakfast Whuh was stopped in the street by a young monk. Their eyes met, the air grew tense, and the street cleared. Everyone noticed a challenge had been delivered except Whuh. The traveling monk, insulted at not being acknowledged, flung insults at Whuh and attacked. Whuh deftly evaded the initial attack and chose to end the duel decisively. He struck the upstart monk with the quivering palm. Knowing what had just happened the young monk fell to his knees, and recognized the level of enlightenment Whuh must have to employ such a maneuver. He then asked to be Whuh’s disciple. Whuh accepted him with a lecture and from that day on he followed Whuh like a lost puppy.

Cup

Cup would wake at dawn and pray to earn his spells for the day. After a breakfast provided by the Inn he would attend the day’s business meeting. The rest of his days would be filled with drilling his troops, practicing his spells for the upcoming plot against Duke Staggreig, and with using his magic to play tricks on the people of Talowdale. He would use gusts of wind to blow up womens dresses, turn peoples beer and wine into water, and freeze peoples chamber pots. Due to the proclivities of Olidimara, no temple would be built but a shrine was constructed in both the Inn and in the Gambling hall that was to be a part of the Guild house.

Pythagos

After a minimum amount of sleep Pythagos would wake, study, research, and memorize his spells. He would eat breakfast with the rest of the party and village. Then Pythagos would attend the daily business meeting. The rest of his day would be filled with a grueling twelve hours of construction. Using every spell in the Transmutation sphere he had the power to cast, he would build and fortify the walls of his growing wizards tower. He would also use magic to fabricate materials and then direct the construction as its principle architect.

The Infiltration of Arborath

The knighting ceremony transpired as described in the previous adventure log.

Fire in the Night

After returning to Talowdale from the phony assassination attempt, Cup traveled north as a gaseous form. He covered the distance at a good clip in this form and was most of the way to Arborath when it wore off.

As he continued to travel North, he came across a fresh band of refugees traveling South. They bore fresh wounds from orcish weapons, carried little, and wore their night shirts as if they had been driven from their village that very night. Soon Cup came upon a tiny village of only a dozen houses that was ablaze and surrounded by a goblinoid force. They bore the mark of the Blue Fist and of Duke Staggreig. To his dismay, Cup’s own banner and the banner of King Yon were flying over one of the houses and he saw the bodies of orcs and his men lying outside the town.

Cup strode into the chaos in the center of the town. Looked the first ogre he saw in the eye and demanded to see the leader of this band of Blue Fist. A hobgoblin Lieutenant came forward. Before he could speak, Cup announced that he had slain King Yon, that these men the orcs were fighting were allies of Duke Staggreig and demanded that he be brought to see the Duke. The hobgoblin was flummoxed. The confusion generated by the leader of the orcs allowing himself to be berated by this one-legged elf sucked all the momentum from the fight. The Orcs gathered outside of town and Cup took council with his men and announced that they were turning against the King. Cup’s men thought briefly and decided that their loyalty lays with Cup and that they would march into hell if he demanded it.

Both belligerents from the battle now marched North together to Arborath.

Random Weather Tends to be Extreme

During the march a tornado whipped across the grassy plain. Cup cast control weather and dissipated the tornado.

Difficulty at the Gate

Once inside Arborath, the orcs quickly returned to the part of town they had made their own and rejoined the rest of their kind. Completely ignoring Cup and his men. Cup then insisted the night watchman at the gate find lodgings for his men and take him to Staggreig. He introduced himself as Cup the slayer of dragons and kings, causing lightning to crash in order to punctuate his awesomeness. The poor guard was terrified, said he was getting help but lied and instead ran away and hid. After ten minutes Cup went after him into the barracks and woke up the platoon. At 3 am.

Before anyone could talk, Leftennant Franklin jumped into action and used his best drill-sergeant voice to demand compliance from Staggreig’s men. After several rounds of barking an officer was led in who knew about Cup and acted as if he should be expected. This officer ordered that Cups men be fed and allowed to sleep, and took Cup and an honor guard up to Staggreig’s Keep.

Trouble Negotiating

Cup and his guard were led up through the military defenses of Arborath to the keep. Once there they were handed off to an ornately dressed ceremonial guard. This guard escorted Cup and his guard into the ornate palatial living quarters of the Duke. Polished and ornately worked brass doors, marble flooring, tapestries, and stained glass. And everywhere in town and the keep, there was propaganda showing Staggreig in alternating hero of the people mode, or as a tyrant over the defiant.

Cup was led to a large audience chamber with a dais and throne as well as two long. It was now 4:30 am and the kitchen staff were the only people running through the halls other than the guards. Cup could tell that the staff had probably been roused for his coming and were rushing to prepare for his arrival. When he entered the audience chamber there was already a breakfast of fresh fruit laid out for him including a carafe of strawberry juice. This he drank to discover not a single seed. Cup realized that the last time Duke Staggreig found a seed in his juice, someone must have died.

Seifer and Staggreig were announced and entered the chamber. Cup was announced by a livery peon that he was Cup, the dragon slayer and had slain King Yon. There was a brief back-and-forth where it was revealed that Staggreig knew the Yon had not been killed and that Cup was a part of the group advocating secession of Talowdale from the Duchy. Cup responded by trying to play off his loyalty to the party as a trick and that he really was interested in joining up with Staggreig. The negotiations did not seem to be making much progress, and Pythagos who had been watching by crystal ball decided it was time to intervene and he teleported the party into the audience chamber.

Dinosaurs Make a Mess of Marble Flooring. Also, the Party Captures Duke Staggreig

Seifer immediately struck out at Pythagos with disintegrate. The green ray failed to destroy Pythagos the Prodigy. He responded with a disintegration ray of his own. Seifer collapsed into a pile of dust.

Staggreig and his guards jumped into action, surging at the party. Donald summoned Mildred who crushed the marble flooring tiles under the weight of her reptilian hooves. The guards did not present much of a challenge to the party and within one round of combat they resembled cans of crushed tomatoes that had been stomped on by an elephant.

Tasha’s Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter rendered Staggreig incapacitated and the party quickly tied Staggreig up.

The Interrogation

Under the influence of a lie detection spell the party carefully interrogated Staggreig for several hours. They discovered that the person they had captured was not, in fact, Duke Staggreig but a body double. Seifer had foreseen the attack by the party and planned a deception. Though the foresight did not seem to prevent him from being disintegrated.

Meeting the Generals

Pythagos summoned Staggreig’s generals. Four of them were led in by ceremonial guards. Pythagos explained to these generals that he was now the duke and they would be welcome to join with him or be forced to retire. Most were non-committal.

Smoking Out The Blue Fist Orcs

The party was faced with the reality of an army of Blue Fist orcs at the bottom of the hill. An army that would wake up soon and move against their enemy. One of the generals echoed the desire to rid Arborath of the orcs and suggested a plan. He sent his troops into the city to evacuate the citizens from the ward where the orcs were billeted. Then he had the troops set fire to the ward. Most of the Blue Fist soldiers were burned to death by 9am.

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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.

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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.

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