Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Campaign Journal - Tethys: Fool's Gold (DnD 5ed)

Discussion in 'The Gazebo' started by Havoc, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
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    Baâ and Jafar were during the session, however, due to their character standing and choices plotwise, they couldn't help in the session's encounter. Mario came to the game late, at the end actually. Also the group gained their 6th level.

    ---

    Chapter II
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    Session 18: Indignant Saviours

    Jafar was still staying with Luigi. He decided to stay there for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, he didn't hear the werewolf howl and seeing birds flying away from danger didn't make him go to the town. In the next two hours, he was visited by rangers, who were looking for lycanthropes. So he will join the group after everything is over. Also, we will go back in time for a moment to see what was Baâ doing in the barracks. She had to follow a soldier, while the whole townfolk was watching her and the children. Mind you, they were still in manacles, just without chains. Everybody was obviously distressed about the whole issue. However, the soldiers were quite professional. The soldier's barracks was a closed construction building, unlike wood elf's open construction. It looked similar to Annael Silverblade's house. White wood walls, silver roof, more curvature. Outside she saw about four, six soldiers. Two were guarding the main gate, while the others were training. Inside, the barrack was emptier compared to other elf homes - it didn't have any art nor decorations. She saw four other elves that weren't on guard duty and wore more loose clothing. During their work, they were fully professional, but when not working they could relax, smile and talk with each other. Mainly moon elves joined the soldiers, wood elves would rather join the rangers. That's why there are more elves born in Estel'Anoron in rangers. This also gives a scope how the city is "broken." The First Ranger used this to his advantage to seed distrust against outsiders and many young elves followed his steps, with a silent approval from Aredhel.

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    Faelyn Eaglesong
    Leader of the Soldiers of Estel'Anoron

    Baâ was escorted to the captain room. It was very spacious with a door leading to his private chamber. Here he had a big table for meetings, but also maps and shelves full of different papers and items. He was sitting at his desk, back towards these giant windows that you could see through to the forest. The soldier saluted his commander, explained in Elvish what has happened and since Baâ couldn't understand the language, she was on the ride for this one. The soldier after a nod from Faelyn saluted again and went out. This time Baâ was alone with the moon elf and the children. The commander stood up. He was very tall, adorned in magical armor that looked nothing like other soldiers, this must have been his. He did have some symbols on his clothes that showed that he was a soldier, but not many. He came closer to the group, the children were scared and moved closer to Baâ. He just smiled, crouch down and tried to touch the kid's face. However, the child moved back, not wanting to be touch. Baâ told him that they were more animalistic than elven. He was saddened by this and talked to Baâ about what happened. Baâ learned from him that Quennar came to him one day with anger and seriousness on his face, he wanted to talk alone. The Old Leaf told him about a message he got from a druid in the forest, this was also the moment Faelyn understood that Quennar was talking about Baâ. This message made the old elf think about the past and remember a certain moment the First Ranger left the town with something wrapped. Later that year, Elianna, his wife died in the forest. There was no investigation and the First Ranger burned her alone. Quennar believed that Nu'quern'gaur had to be responsible for something since his children came home. When Faelyn heard what he is up to now, he revealed his hunch what Quennar wanted to do. Faelyn whistled and one of the soldiers came inside. He quickly told him something in Elvish and the soldier nodded and ran out. Faelyn later explained that he ordered his soldiers to stock up on silver or magical weapons and now to get ready for a confrontation if any will happen. Baâ also wanted to know about the children and Aredhel. Faelyn told her that the children need to be kept safe, but it isn't his decision what will happen to them later. He gave the druid options since it seemed like the children only listened to her. She could stay here, in the dungeon or in any other room or take five soldiers and leave to a safer place. The place would be guarded by ten soldiers, so Faelyn told her he believes she will be safe here. Asked about Aredhel, Faelyn explained that she loves Nu'quern'gaur as her brother since he helped her rebuild this forest. She trusts him fully and it would be foolish to go to her without any proof, especially if the kids are involved. Suddenly, the pair heard the werewolf howl, continued by other smaller howls and growls, a siege was about to happen. The kids, however, reacted with madness, screamed and held their heads not knowing what to do. They didn't change into werewolves, which was a godsend right now. Faelyn needed to leave the barracks to talk to Aredhel, so he left Baâ.

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    Continuing where we left off last time, the party defeated the First Ranger. The werewolves that were with him got killed or restrained by the non-werewolf rangers and soldiers. There were many wounded since nobody really believed that there were this many lycanthropes. Quennar spoke with the group. Told them that they must move to the island and tell Aredhel what has happened. Also, they will need someone trustworthy with them like Faelyn or Annael that will help them get on the island. He told them that the body will need to be transported also, so they better take it with them. Finn in the meantime took care of the First Ranger's equipment. Asked what they need to watch out for dealing with Aredhel, he told the group to watch what they say. She is distrustful of humans and the First Ranger was like a brother to her. After that, the group took off and decided they will try to find the commander of the soldiers in their barracks and also take Baâ with them. They wanted to take to the trees, so they would be above ground and outside of any combat that would take place. They didn't know this place but asked Quennar about directions, he told them where to go. The whole village was "under attack" since the werewolves came from hiding from many different places. They waited for this for years. During their run to the nearest tree, they were attacked by a single lycanthrope that suddenly leaped out from the bushed, however, got killed by a hidden archer with three silver arrows. They didn't look back who helped them nor stopped.

    The upper walkways weren't safer at all. When climbing the stairs, Solange heard growls and screams. He decided to sneak up, while the rest waited. He saw werewolves atop the tree and already bodies were on the ground, but some civilians were still alive. Solange wasn't going to wait and attacked to save someone from the werewolves. Then the rest of the group joined. They successfully saved people who could be still saved. This was also the moment that shoving was very useful. The upper walkways were ranger territory, so dropping the werewolves down was a great strategy to get these monsters killed very fast. They talked to one of the survivors that he needs to go to the First Ranger camp, where there are people who can help him. They convinced him to help the others get to safety, while they ventured forth. It wasn't long before they saw another big tree. This time it was manned by non-werewolf rangers. They saw also one of the werewolves that escaped from them, dead before the rangers. Elhaeltôr decided to talk to them. He successfully persuaded the rangers to let them pass. Oh, and the body of First Ranger was in the Bag of Holding, so they didn't see what they were transporting. However, when the group got close, the ranger wanted to stop them. Maybe check them or see what they are carrying. This was stopped by growls, but not only from werewolves but also wereboars.

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    Wereboars

    These hulking humanoids came with the werewolves. These were still wood elves, but somebody else changed them or the lycanthropy worked differently on them. Nobody really knew. Combat started and the elves had to accept the help of the outsiders. Om was hit pretty heavily during this fight, almost lost consciousness. While the rest used all their remaining spells and powers, the elves did their best to fend off the werecreatures with a hail of silvered arrows. They were successful with their defense and nobody died, especially that there were still civilians on the walkway. After the combat, the group asked which way to the barracks and for the rangers to go to the other tree to help survivors there. The group moved forward to their destination. The barracks now was full of civilians and soldiers that escorted them to safety. There they heard that Fealyn isn't here, he got to the island, however, they took the Baâ and the children with them. She was safely guarded by five soldiers in a room that nobody else could enter. Together they moved to meet with the druid and on their way, they saw a familiar face. It was Annael Silver Blade. They relayed their information to him. He told the group that he will take them to the island, but he will need to take the body of the First Ranger to Aredhel alone. The group agreed and went to one of the four trees that had connecting bridges to the island.

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    The party entered the tree, that had a platform inside it. Annael touched a wooden panel before him and the whole platform started to slowly spin and go upwards. They heard the wood was bending and branches moving. He wanted to see the body now and they took it out of the bag. It was in a horrid state, so he asked them to make an improvised stretcher to take the body on. After that was created, he put his cloak on it to hide the upper part of the First Ranger. On top, there were more soldiers and rangers, but barely any sign of combat. Annael asked the soldiers here to help him transport the body. The island was beautiful and mainly people of high rank lived here. There was not only a temple to Corellon but other very special, elven sites. The main was a building made out of leaves, at least that what looked like from outside. They got to the door and Annael asked them to wait. While they were standing there, they heard a familiar voice. Jafar and Luigi were coming here. Apparently, during the siege, some of the werewolves escaped and the rangers followed suit. They found the pair and asked them to join them in the city and meet with Fealyn, they helped them transport their goods. The group had time for a short rest, while that was happening they discussed what to do next. Baâ feared that Aredhel knew all along what has happened, but the rest knew that if that is true - they can't do anything about it. She is the law of the land. She is the queen of this forest. If they defy her, she can expel them or even kill outright. Then Annael came back, saying that Aredhel wishes to meet with the group. Asked how should they approach her, he told them that at this moment the archdruid is in shock and confused. The First Ranger was like her brother for over two hundred years, she never for one moment believed he could do such a thing.

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    Entering the building, they felt relaxed, their exhaustion from the combat was gone. Beautiful trees, grass, high gardens, and many gazebos. Stone and wooden sculptures. A big pond in the center, where a giant, stone statue of a wood elf female was, sitting in front of a big tree that was so high that it went out from the ceiling. There were people here that escaped the combat and could get help here. Druids were taking care of the most injured, while the rest were resting and talking. The group followed Annael, walking on a small cobbled road that went to the nearest tree bridge, it looked like the tree that grew onto the small island in the pond, creating a bridge for people. On that small island, the group saw many elves wearing expensive clothing and talking to each other. They recognized Fealyn, but he was standing nearby, not talking with them. The group saw not only druids but also clerics of Corellon. Not far from them, on higher ground that you get to by walking on a couple of stairs, there was a throne created from branches and roots of the big tree. There a single female was sitting. She had green skin and hair, she barely looked like the wood elf she was. The elves stopped talking, hearing the group get nearby. They could read the situation very well. The elves looked with respect towards the group and many very happy they were here. Jafar could easily see that they knew, at just a glance, that he was a half-elf. Aredhel however "wasn't there", she looked absentminded and sad. They felt that she could be still in shock at what happened. Annael took the group just about ten meters from her and tried to catch her attention.

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    Aredhel Woodstep
    Leader of Estel'Anoron
    Archdruid of Circle of the Moon

    Aredhel seeing the group, stood up and walked towards them. She stopped about five meters from them. The group heard whispers behind them, some people didn't like her being so close to outsiders. When she spoke, they all felt like the trees and grass responded. They felt like they were in the heart of the forest like she was in complete control of their surroundings. She greeted them and told she was grateful for their actions and indebted to the group. Each one of the group introduced themselves to her. Baâ also got an apology from her for answering the calls from a fellow Circle of the Moon druid. She thanked the group again, saying they are honor guests in the village. She told them also about the fate of the children - they will live in the village, they will be taught again, but they can't be cured of their curse, it will stay with them forever. She then asked the group that if there something they need or want, they can ask her. Finn asked for a smile and if he can do anything for it to appear on the elf face. She did smile at him but told him that it will take some time for her to really smile again. Jafar had no requests. Elhaeltôr told the woman that he heard she could help him with his memory, which she said to him to come back tomorrow since she spent all her magic. Mario had a couple of requests, the player didn't come back yet, but did give me a list. First was a blessing from her, since she was the main druid of the forest and he was a paladin of Oath of the Ancients. The second was about history. He asked about his old family line - Contegoaurum. She told him that she heard of them when she still lived during Golden Brook Kingdom's existence, but the village mainly had dealings with another family, Duke Domumagni from the Dukedom of Capisalta, who had his main city near today's Orth. Asked if it was where Orth was, she couldn't tell. The Domumagni family "ruled" over this forest, so their dealings and politics aligned with Estel'Anoron. The third request was about future dealings if he revives the Contegoaurum family, which she told him that she will start diplomatic negotiations if does so. Next was Balasar, who wanted to talk to the druid about a sensitive matter. He talked to the group via telepathy before this and used it at the druid that there is something to discuss, but she wouldn't have it in a private setting, she trusted the people around the group. Balasar spoke about the horrors they have seen, the demonologist, but also a request that they want to be involved in this matter in the future. This made Aredhel ask another elf for help.

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    Mahtan Woodstep
    Leader of the Clerics of Estel'Anoron
    Hand of Father

    The wood elf introduced himself as Mahtan Woodstep, the Hand of Father, the main cleric of Corellon in Estel'Anoron. He inquired about what the group saw there and what horrors still laid there. He told the group, more like asking, that he with his clerics will go to the place and cleanse it. He promised that whatever they find or if in the future they will find other such places, they will inform the group. Balasar was happy with the response. Solange wanted only a small chapel to be built in honor of Lord Sun, which the druid agreed to do, but only in the south part of the village, where outsiders had their living space. Next was Baâ, which had the "worst" requests of them all. First, she asked for the village to stop their hatred and disliking to outsiders. Second, for the kids to be treated as equals. Third, was to let go of the outsiders, including the dwarves, that are kept in prison. Baâ was a druid from the same Circle, yes, but she was a human. Something Aredhel despised herself. She won't change her 300 years disliking towards the race because during this small moment they saved them. Aredhel's demeanor changed to that of a strong leader and started by saying that the outsiders will be let free since they are innocent. The damages they incurred during their stay in Estel'Anoron will be repaid. However, the children will not be treated as Baâ wants, as equals since they never will be normal elves. Their curse is to stay with them. She also adds that maybe in time, they will learn how to stop their curse and their urges, but that will take a long time under tutelage. Her first request was met with "time will tell." She explains to Baâ that she is a very young "human." That she doesn't understand that this one moment will not change years upon years of hatred. If it truly should be like Baâ wants, that everybody should work together, then only time will heal this. The group knew that shit hit the fan really quick, so Finn and Elhaeltôr tried to salvage what was left. Trying to explain that this plot wouldn't be found out. That this was only done by a mix race group. Elhaeltôr had the most convincing and hitting Aredhel's heart comments, so I asked him for a roll. They had a small chance to gain something extraordinary if they succeed. So he, of course, rolls a natural 20 on his persuasion and uses his Hero Points (special points that you can use to give yourself additional 1d6 to a d20 roll) to put his persuasion roll to 30. So he completed a DC called "nearly impossible." Aredhel was humbled. Suddenly she saw that she was indeed part of the problem and in fact partly responsible for this. Not because of her not seeing what the First Ranger did or what he was, but because of her hatred towards outsiders, she was more concerned about enemies than friends. He understood at this moment that she had to change or else she will lose this village and fail her family. She agreed with Elhaeltôr's words, looked down as she said it. Her demeanor changed again, this time she looked sad and again lost in thought. However, she looked at the group and said she wanted to give them something. For helping the village. For saving lives. For showing her the way. When she moved towards the tree, asking for the group to follow. The elves started to talk loudly and even Mahtan asked if she is sure. "Their lives are short, but maybe they will change this place for the better."

    [​IMG]

    When she moved, the stairs and throne parted. Revealing that this huge tree is actually hollow, dead for a long time. Inside there is a single garden, with light coming from the top of the tree and hitting a singular younger tree. Not taller than Finn. When they entered this place, they truly felt that they were in the heart of the forest and their wounds healed up, they felt rested. She told them that this is the Tree of Life. A special tree that only grew in this forest long ago. When the land fell, the tree was lost except for a singular fruit. She used it to seed a new Tree of Life. After two hundred years, it began to blossom again. The fruits are magical, they give living beings a gift. Everybody experiences it differently, but only once. She says that if you eat it twice, you will die. You get one gift for their whole life. The group couldn't be more grateful, even some weren't sure if they should accept it. Finn cried eating it. Baâ looked at the kids for a moment, but Aredhel told her that this won't help the kids. Everybody in the group ate golden fruits, that looked more like grapes but of gold. They suddenly felt like they rested for a long time and something changed in them. In short, this gave everybody an Ability Increase (like getting to level 4th) or a Feat, I will show who got what when they decide what they want and put it in the sheets in the first post. The group was only able to get here, because of the roll and how the conversation went. They could however in the future come back and get the fruit, but they got it very, very early. After that, the group was greeted in the village as heroes, but that is a story for another time.

    The group then started to identify magic items they got. The armor and weapons from the First Ranger weren't taken. Aredhel said that this set was created for the First Ranger when he got the title and it would be burned with him, but she sees that maybe it will be more of a use for the group.
    - First Ranger's Breastplate - A +1 armor from mithril, so you don't have to be proficient with it. Also works like Boots of Elvenkind and Cloak of Elvenkind. This is a very rare item. This was taken by Finn, so now he looks like Link since the armor itself looks green.
    - First Ranger's Weapons - A +1 longsword and longbow. Both had Bane against Beasts, so when a Beast was hit with them, it did 2d6 additional damage and on a natural 20, additional 3d6 (so 5d6).
    Then they identified what they got. I will not explain every item and what it does, you can search for it yourself, since those are official items.
    - Instrument of the Bards, Fochlucan Bandore - was the instrument from the gnoll chief stash. This was taken by Finn.
    - Armor of Gleaming (Leather), Orb of Direction, Staff of Adornment, Bead of Refreshment, Circlet of blasting, Ring of mind shielding, Rope of climbing - are the items they found in the gnoll demonologist's chest.
    - Staff of Healing - is the staff Solange found in the water. This was taken by Baâ since she could use it as a weapon.
    - Ring of Protection - is the ring on the body of the ranger in the demonologist's base.
    - Tome of Leadership and Influence - was the book they found behind the wall. They don't know who should have it, but many point to Finn, since he will use it the most.
     
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  2. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
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    Just a relaxing RP session. Elhaeltôr got only at the end. Jafar wasn't during this session.

    ---

    Chapter II
    [​IMG]

    Session 19: When the Sun shines the most

    After the group rested for a day, they started to plan what to do. They would stay in the town for two or three days. For now, they went to buy a map of the Renewed Green. Just 50gp, but it reveals hexes around. I will show the map later. They found also that there are dangerous places shown. Apparently, there are demons and undead at the hills northwest of Estel'Anoron. While big gnoll tribes north from the road to Estel'Anoron. Then the party decided to talk to Annael Silver Blade about the elven sword they found. When they entered his shop, he was reading a couple of books. First, they talked business, so they paid for the Greater Healing Potions, 100gp each. Then, they showed him Lasse'hyanda. The elf was shocked. He couldn't believe what he saw. He asked the group if they knew what the blade was and explained the tragic story of Oakblossom. This elven house of wood elves lived in Estel'Anoron before the fall. When the disaster was happening, Galatriel Wood Step, the great leader of the village, started teleporting everybody out of the woods, the whole Oakblossom house decided to stay and defend. They were the first to die and turn into undead. No living Oakblossom exists. They also asked about people who know about the time before the fall, since they were interested. Ruehar and Jorildyn Wood Step were two wood elves who were there when it happened and survived with the First Ranger. Annael spoke only about what he heard since he wasn't there. They also told him about the First Ranger's last words, which sadden the mage even more. He was the elf that Aredhel first met, who helped her renew the forest, but also he was one of the elves that had to stay behind. Galatriel opened a lot of portals and the only ones that got away were the closest family to her, so Nu'quern'gaur was a distant cousin and was at the bottom of the list. He was too old to be even considered a child to put higher on the list. Annael got persuaded by the group to help with fixing the blade and told the group it will cost 5,000gp and at least a month of work to fix it. He also gave his opinion that the gnoll had to search for the pieces of the blade and wanted it for something, maybe against Nu'quern'gaur, but he didn't have enough information for this. The group didn't decide then what to do with the blade, so Balasar wanted to continue with something he asked before. He wanted to see their book archive, which mainly Annael had in the village. He didn't like it for some reason, but since he promised, he showed the group the way to his private room.

    Above the shop, Annael's private chamber laid. When they entered the room, they saw this untidy and messy side of the elven wizard. Books were out of the bookshelves, nothing organized. Even some clothes were laying on the table. Chairs with messy clothes and more books. His bed like somebody just fell down from it and never fixed it up. He told the group that they can search what they need. So they did. The books mainly were about magic item creation. They didn't have any formulas on them, maybe the elf hid those somewhere else. There were barely any historic books here, so they searched for anything interesting. After a while, they found a book about Giant's magical items. This book told stories about different magic items that the giants created for themselves and their servants - be them dwarves, gnomes or the monstrosities in the later time of their rule. However, there was one legendary item written down there called Phalanges of the All-Father. These were special gloves that could fit any creature, be them giant or smaller. The stories told about their strength to raze cities. Balasar felt this a sign, especially that the author talked about possible places that this item could still be. They went down with the book and wanted to buy it from him. Asked if they wanted a copy, they told him they need the original for someone. Annael knew Itzak and was a member of his "club." The elf told them that he indeed has many interesting books from The University, but from what he remembers, he doesn't have this book. He told them to pay 500gp and come tomorrow. He will just make an Unseen Servant copy this book for him so that he has at least the information from it still stored. The group agreed and went on their way.

    [​IMG]

    Next, the group visited the two wood elves - Ruehar and Jorildyn. These were rangers, very old, nearly 500-600 old. They remembered the time before the fall. They were mainly asked questions about the possible reason the canyon was created. They pointed out the humans from the Golden City. When you have everything in the world, you start to lose your mind and start doing strange things - they believed the humans from that city experimented with many different things. Maybe even they were the cause that it all happened, but at the same time, High King Actur died? Very suspicious. They didn't want to draw any conclusions. They also told the story how everything changed. Estel'Anoron laid on a flat land, not between two waterfalls and the river was way smaller. They told them that it felt like the whole world was collapsing. When they woke up, many died including Galatriel and the druids. Apparently, the portal magic drained them enough to kill them all. The others changed into the undead. It was a horrific scene, the first time to see the undead. They didn't exist since the death of High King Actur. They were also asked about Tiberion Courvelux and if the knew him, but only their grandparents had a chance to meet him. Apparently, he was a goodhearted and honorable person. They didn't know what exactly happened to him but were told that his friends poisoned him.

    When the group got to the elevator to the inn, Balasar stopped the group. He asked Solange how changing faith looks in his order and if you are required to change your name if you join them. The name change isn't required, but there is a ritual. Finn and Mario asked Balasar why he is asking this and he said he wants to be a follower of Lord Sun. The halfling and human went bonkers hearing this. Balasar explained that everything seems to point that they are in some holy mission, guided by the Lord Sun and maybe Solange's words that he is the true and only god might be true. He decided that there were enough signs for this change to happen. Solange went running for some stuff. During which he mainly took better robes, some cloth bought holy water and amulet of Lord Sun, which he had luck finding in the marketplace. While that was happening the group discussed that this was madness, at least that was what Mario was shouting. He had enough, so he went with Baâ since she wanted to talk to the dwarves. Finn and Balasar stayed, waiting for Solange.

    Inside the tavern, they saw that more wood elves were there, talking to dwarves and humans. Baâ took Urnut and the boys to the side to talk. Mainly she wanted Om Frenzybeard, who wasn't there at this time, to decide for himself where he wants to be, but also she wanted to say goodbyes since she will travel with the group. Also, she learned that Logemakam, the dwarven village, mainly has a marble quarry and an iron mine. There exists a silver mine to the southwest, but gold, platinum, and jewels are imported. While that was happening, Mario went to drink some heavy alcohol and buy a bottle, when one of the human merchants talked to him. He was very grateful that he was saved, as were the other humans. They wanted to give a reward, but Mario opposed them, which came with a shock from the merchant. He needed to reward the hero, but the paladin wanted only one thing - drink with him and listen to his heroics, which they all did. During that time, Finn and Balasar were "attacked" by a "swarm" of children. Two female elves came with their wards. The children wanted to touch the halfling and dragonborn. They were scared of Balasar, but soon one of the more courageous ones touched him and told the rest it's fine. The rest followed suit. Balasar showed his lighting breath, while Finn used his magical cantrips and also showed that even small, he is very strong. Then he decided to improvise elven music on the spot. Mind you, he just learned Elven, since he took Linguistics Feat after eating the fruit of the Tree of Life. He aced it that the children stopped playing with Balasar, the female guardians sat down to listen and also observers stopped. Everybody was in wonder at this bard's skills.

    After that Solange came back and Mario also. It was before midday, the right time for this ritual to take place. They found a terrace that stood above the treetops, so they could see how far the forest really stretched. They saw the hills from the map to the northwest. The ritual was about to begin. It looked like this. They needed the highest place during midday. The baptized person doesn't kneel since everybody is equal in the eyes of Lord Sun. However, his eyes are blindfolded, which stays until the end where he will see the symbol of Lord Sun. Then a formula is recited.
    Priest: Do you renounce everything that is evil and vile, so it can't take control over your being?
    Worshipper: I renounce.
    Priest: Do you renounce lies and hypocrisy, that are the tools of evil?
    Worshipper: I renounce.
    Priest: Do you accept Lord Sun, who looks from the heavens?
    Worshipper: I accept.
    Priest: Do you promise to act within his holy doctrine?
    Worshipper: I promise.
    Priest: Do you promise to PRAISE THE SUN, which is the embodiment of our Lord?
    Worshipper: I promise.
    Priest: Such is our faith, to which worshiping it is our pride and honor. I baptize you in the name of our Sunny Lord, who with his light surrounds everything which is alive, allowing everything that is good to prosper. Let the light guide us, let the light free us. PRAISE THE SUN!
    Worshipper: PRAISE THE SUN!
    Then the blindfold is taken off and they take the posture of prayer to Lord Sun. Yeah, we all know what it looked like. Balasar didn't feel anything different, however, and he thought he would since he is a Warlock. Balasar was given the necklace and the group decided to go for a drink. But that wasn't all that happened. After the ritual as done and the group was going to the tavern, Solange felt something strange on his hand. Something he felt long before, but at that time it hurt like hell. He told the group to go without him and stayed on the terrace. He took out Rexgladio, unwrapped it and... touched the handle.

    [​IMG]

    It didn't hurt him. He saw on the blade that some runes glowed, but nothing more. He hid the blade back to the Bag of Holding. He told the group he needs to show them something, but only in the inn. The whole group followed him. Baâ was already drinking with the dwarves, which was rare, but she did it since they were going their separate ways soon, but they will travel together. The dwarves and humans were in three days going to leave Estel'Anoron and go back to Orth. The group went to Solange's room and he even said to invite Baâ for this, so Finn went down and talked to her that Solange wants to talk to all of them. It was his birthday. Yes, it really was, I rolled for it after the player created his character. The dwarves hearing this decided to step out from the inn for unknown reasons. Baâ followed Finn and they went to Solange's room, locking it behind them. Then they saw Solange take out the wrapped sword, unwrap it and take it by the handle. The whole party, except Baâ, was in shock. Mario from his little anemic demeanour, since Balasar took Lord Sun as his patron, became furious. He couldn't believe that Solange could hold the blade, that he was allowed too. "This is the Ruler of Lands! It should be in the hands of a noble! A knightly person!" The sword apparently differed on this opinion. They heard Luigi knock and call out to Mario, but he ignored his shouting. Finn later opened the door for him. Also, Baâ got the needed explanation from Finn what it was and where the party found it. Then Mario wanted to test again. Solange showed him the handle and the same thing happened. When Mario touched the blade, he flew at the wall in a sudden burst of holy energy. He broke a little off the wall, but also collapsed the bed. He declined help from Balasar to stand up and demanded explanations. Nobody knew what to say, but Solange was very adamant about that this isn't something for him, he has other goals. Balasar then wanted to try. Baâ already left the group to their devices. Solange put the sword on the table and stood behind Balasar to catch him. This time the sword reacted differently than before. The light was brighter and the sword reacted to the explosion of radiant energy, it flew to the window, but Mario stopped it with his shield. Balasar almost lost his consciousness and was very bruised by the energy explosion, this time even stronger than he remembered. He felt that this blade didn't like him, at all. Something changed, but the group didn't know what. The party decided to hide the blade again and go back for drinks. They heard from Indis Wood Step, the owner, that the damages will be paid, so they not need to worry about them. After giving the group alcohol, she left, because all elves were asked to come to Aredhel.

    [​IMG]

    When the night was about to start, the humans and elves returned. Many wood elves were during this party, couple of times more, that they needed to stay outside. Everybody cheered for the group. Also, Elhaeltôr returned and talked to the group. He told them that they should consider repairing the blade, even if it will not be used in combat. It would be a diplomatic item. He couldn't believe what Balasar did nor why did the blade react to Solange in that way. This, however, wasn't the place to discuss these matters. At that time, the dwarves came back with Om Frenzybeard. Hearing that Solange had his birthday this day, Frenzybeard brewed his special clan alcohol and gave it to Solange to drink it. He said that only he should drink it and nobody else. It smelled like many different fruits, barely feeling the strong alcohol. Even when he drank it, it went down smoothly. He couldn't stop and drank all of it. It was magical. And worked like Hero's Feast. In mechanical terms, it cured all his diseases, poisons, gave him immunity to them, but also to fear and advantage on Wisdom saving throws. Only for 24 hours. Solange tried to tell the group that they needed the dwarf, he was special, which was the thing Urnut was saying all along. This dwarf knows brewing secrets of his clan, which is almost extinct. Then the group tried to talk to Om, not to persuade him to join them, but explain to him that it's his choice. They used a lot of words, sometimes even hard to understand words, but after a while, the dwarf decided to join the group. If they need him, he will go, that was his reasoning. The group then started drinking, since the dwarf had enough of their talks about religion and put alcohol in their hands.
     
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  3. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    This is mainly Elhaeltôr visiting the druid and other stuff. Jafar wasn't during this session. The guys are considering resolving the gang problem in the city, which would start another chapter. However, they got another job during this.

    ---

    Chapter II
    [​IMG]

    Session 20: Elven speeches and Mysterious men

    When Elhaeltôr was about to go to sleep (more like elven trance), he heard a knock on his door. It was Luigi. For a couple of days, Elhaeltôr was teaching Luigi the Elvish language. This time, the kid came to his teacher with a question - why is your name your name? As a GM, this was a rouse to make the player add more fluff to the world. Elhaeltôr is built from "Wise Elf" and "Brother." Something you could read as a pseudonym, not like a name. So my little trick was to lure the player to tell me "do all elves have names with meanings or are it just couple of them?" It didn't go as I planned, so I just asked the player the question. There is no shame in talking to your players. His idea was that "your name grows with you" since elves mature at 100 years until then your name could change in time. However, he agreed that Elhaeltôr might not be his character real name since he has amnesia and this could just be a name he told Balasar, just to hide his real identity. Just like Luigi explained - humans give nicknames to each other, sometimes it is "the old man by the river" or something like that. Also, during this little fluff session, Elhaeltôr decided to give Luigi his elven name. Harthion, son of hope. Luigi is always behind, staying with the stuff that the others found. While his masters are fighting untold monsters, he still stays and doesn't run away. Luigi, of course, cried after getting his new name. Elhaeltôr told him to work on more names and that was it.

    The next day, when the rest of the party decided what to do, Elhaeltôr had a meeting with Aredhel Wood Step. In the druid grove, there were fewer elves than before. The werewolf threat was gone, so many of them went home. Some stayed to tend to their wounds or just relax in the gardens. There were also fewer higher ranking elves on the island with the statue and tree. Aredhel talked to Elhaeltôr, who explained his situation. The druid told him that she is connected to the land he is standing on and every living creature must "open up" before her.

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    Her hair started to move and plants around them answered. The branches moved, the grass danced and they heard the tree creak. Her eyes started to glow and word that came from her were echoed by the nature around them. Elhaeltôr closed his eyes. He felt like something was watching him, his soul was touched. This feeling, however, didn't last long. The sounds stopped and he slowly opened his eyes. Aredhel looked distressed and sad. Her eyes were not glowing. She told the old elf that he must have missed something very powerful that rivals the gods. His was fivefold cursed. Something that only a god-level being can do. His curses were connected with each other, so it meant that if you remove one, the others activate or gain more power. She told him she knows of four, but the true nature of one of them is unknown to her. First one is the Curse of Memory, which is obvious, however, if it will grow in strength, he could forget more than just some stuff from his past. The second of Curse of Strength, which sapped the strength and vitals of Elhaeltôr, that's why his skin is grey. If it grows, he could be paralyzed. The third one is the Curse of Pain, which is inactive. It will bring great pain to him if activated. The fourth is unknown to her, while the fifth is the Curse of Soul that connects all of them and this one is a mystery to her - she doesn't know what it does. All of these curses are connected to each other in some way, so if you remove one, the other two or three will active. Curse of Soul is connected to every other curse. Curse of Memory is connected to Curse of Strength and the Unknown one. Curse of Pain is connected to Curse of Strength and the Unknown one. The four curses make a "circle" around the Curse of Soul. She explains that only a powerful being can remove the curses or the usage of wishes. All of them need a Wish level magic to remove and that means five Wishes to remove the whole curse at once. During these talks, Elhaeltôr talked also about the past, since he recognized the statue from some meeting in a forest long ago. Aredhel speaks that the only meeting she would remember that her mother, Galatriel, would be was during High King Actur days when he took the lands south from here from the Empire of Monsters. The forest was once elven lands and it became them again, so the elves debated in that forest about their alliance to the human. Aredhel wasn't there, so she doesn't know who was there. Nor she knows any Elhaeltôr nor recognizes his staff. He also talked about what they found the crypt of Tiberion Courvelux and the green dragon Sedyryn. He didn't reveal that they found the sword. Aredhel was in shock when she heard that the green dragon was so close to her home. She told him that the Green Fury is the son of Nyrydes, Champion of Green, the once Green Great Wyrm ruler of the lands before Tiberion. From what she knows, Sedyryn is in the Golden City, ruling over the highest parts of the ruins as his own. She is baffled why the undead is not fighting him or didn't take him out. She told Elhaeltôr that if they meet him again to run. They have no chance of defeating this ancient entity. Elhaeltôr agreed and that was the end of the meeting. Then he just made some small talk with the other elves and went outside.

    He needed some magic, so he met up with Annael Silver Blade, who just a while ago had "guests." He didn't want more, but since it was Elhaeltôr, he was willing to listen to him. They talked mainly about magic and that the rest of the group found Lasse'hyanda. Since they were about to stay a couple of days, Annael lent his spellbook to Elhaeltôr for him to copy some spells. This takes time and money - 50gp and 2 hours per spell level. The moon elf didn't want any money for this. So, Elhaeltôr got himself some spells: Alter self, Clairvoyance, Invisibility and Slow. After giving him the spellbook, Annael had to leave the shop for a moment - Aredhel was about to make a speech. Elhaeltôr joined. They went to the nearest gathering of elves since they would be late if they went to the island. One beautiful bluebird was in the center of the group. When everybody was gathered, the bird spoke with the words of Aredhel, like she was standing before them.

    [​IMG]

    People of Estel'Anoron. Hear my words. New times are coming to our village. Because of the recent events, I wanted to tell all of you... I have let you down. I have let you down you as your leader. I have let you down you as one of the People. I have let you down when you looked at me with hope for a better tomorrow. I have let you down when you came to me crying and asking for help. I have let the old envies cover my eyes and prevent me from walking like a true leader. I know it will take many months, years even before I get your forgiveness. I know that the reconstruction of our relationship will take time and I just hope that you have not completely lost faith in what Estel'Anoron represents. The hope that this city brings many of the People is needed not only for us but also for others.

    Outsiders came to our village who, despite our cold approach to them, our suspicions, hearing that we are in need, decided to help us. Not only did they do what Quennar wanted from them, to whom we owe their bringing, but they also took additional steps, not miles more. They not only razed the abode of that gnoll filth but found the creator, demonologist and saved the children. These children are not guilty of what they are. They were born lycanthropes and maybe in time will be able to keep their curse in check. This group. This Brilliant Company did not stop there. They discovered a conspiracy in our city. They found that the person I trusted half my life. The person for whom I would give my life back then was a traitor who planned our death. Nu'quern'gaur, First Ranger. They defeated him. With their own strength. Even when he laid dead under their feet, they kept going forward, saving the inhabitants of Estel'Anoron. I should be there. It should be me who should stop that person I thought was my brother, but I was not there. If I even heard charges then, I would not believe it.

    I once knew a man like that. Many of you have heard his name. Paladin Orth. For me, he seemed a fool, an ordinary human whose short life would not affect anything, given our longevity. I did not consider him a friend and now I regret it. If I could go back in time to that moment and say those words, I would do it. It is too late for that, however, it is still early to say these words. This group. This Brilliant Company. From this point onward, let them be recognized as honorary guests. As my friends. Please, treat them similarly. Let my mistakes in the past, the ineptitude of being a true leader when you need me, do not obscure your judgment. Their small, in relation to our time, act changed our village, changed our lives, changed my heart and let us bring a bright future.

    Thank you.


    Annael smiled to Elhaeltôr after the speech, who said that she shouldn't have done this, but is thankful. Then he saw this big group of elves stand up. He saw them crying, while they listened to their leader, but when she stopped, they stood up and went to Elhaeltôr. They started thanking him and hugging him. Annael laughed seeing the old elf barely standing. It took a long time, before Elhaeltôr could return to the inn, where they talked about the sword, Balasar's change of faith and Om joining the group. The elf had a lot of time to think about, so he drank little this time and went to his room. When he was in trance, he felt that something was looking at him. "Where is my dagger?" He asked, ready to attack, but his blade wasn't on him. "Here it is" he heard. When he opened his eyes, he saw a strange elf before him.

    [​IMG]
    Zhindia Despana

    Obsidian like skin with pure white hair, but red eyes. This was a drow. She wore black leather armor to better hide in the darkness. She gave Elhaeltôr his dagger back. Apparently, she wasn't here to hurt him, just to get information. She was interested why the humans don't attack Elhaeltôr. She mistook him for a drow. Even made the player think - "maybe Elhaeltôr is a drow, he just made other people believe in magic that he isn't one?" Elhaeltôr knew that long ago when High King Actur died something changed in Humanity. A rage swept the continent and they started attacking elves and dwarves, mainly drow and duergar. This event was called Rage of Humans. This would also be revealed later by Mario that this rage exists still in humans, that makes them want to kill drows and duergars on sight. The woman told Elhaeltôr she is Zhindia Despana and she lives in Estel'Anoron. Remember that closed place? The one with the palisade that was mentioned once? There are drows and half-drows there. The gate is closed to defend them from outsiders that are humans. She even tells Elhaeltôr of one such moment, when she was younger, got out and saw a human in the marketplace. He instantly went into a rage and tried to kill her, shouting "Drow! Drow! Kill it!" Only after she was taken by the soldiers, disappeared from his sight, he regained his senses and apologized. This wasn't something humans still can control. Elhaeltôr also saw that Zhindia, like all other drow is very paranoid. When he starts asking questions, she tries to back to the window and look around, asking questions back. He also got out of her that she was the person that shot the werewolf yesterday when the group ran with the body of First Ranger. The conversation didn't last long, but she left him telling that she hopes they will meet again.

    The next day, Elhaeltôr told the group what happened to him and they planned their next move. They would stay in the village for a day until the merchants pack their things and travel with them to Orth. When they get to their destination, they will try to find the gang that attacked Luigi and Balasar. Also, try to find Finn's mandolin. Until then, they will rest in the village.

    [​IMG]

    There wasn't anything special during their travels. They met up with the humans and dwarves, where the elves bid farewells and gave some presents in form of food and alcohol for their travels. Three wagons, many horses, it was a big group and gnolls (because of my rolls) weren't interested in them. When they got to the town, the dwarves explained that they will stay in Orth one more day and journey to Logemakam. Om will stay with them, then will maybe move to the guild or stay at the inn. The group can at anytime rejoin this ally. Everybody bid their farewells. The group went back to the guild to rest and tell about their success.

    Inside, they saw a small scene. Gwendolyn, Alice, and Sigurd were there. Remember the "mysterious warrior" from before? Apparently, he came to Gwendolyn to talk about some business with the guild. However, Solange and Finn saw that Gwendolyn is in love with him. She tried to look at his eyes every time, but every time averted her gaze like she couldn't handle anymore, while that was happening Alice looked at the couple with a big smile. Sigurd didn't look like he returned the love, he looked very serious. When the group entered, he smiled at them and told the group he heard of their exploits. Apparently, bird couriers exist! Their deed was already heard by Gwendolyn and the rest. He told them that he has a special quest for them and will pay a big sum of money for it, however, he will not talk about it here, but near the abyss, where there are a couple of benches to sit on. It was kinda windy at this moment, but these were his terms. He said his goodbyes and the group could talk to Gwendolyn. The paladin took the quest from the notice board and told the group that another one was removed already, but nobody yet joined them. Jafar wasn't during this session, but Baâ was and they told that she should join the guild. A discussion about the guild started, where they learned again that the guild has many laws that they can use to hunt ex-members and people who break the law - some countries require a adventurers license for adventurers, so you need to sign up for the guild, and if you don't, you will be breaking the law. Rule of law. Rule of civilization. Baâ told them that she will need to think about it. Gwendolyn went back to her room, while the rest started to divide the gold. Finn followed suit, after Solange giving him the idea to help the paladin with her love problems. He went to her room and knocked, she opened the door and was with just a sleeveless shirt above the waist - she was taking off her armor. This woman is "built" if you know what I mean. He talked to her about her situation with Sigurd. She explained that indeed she feels something for him since two years ago they met for the first time. At first, she thought everything was going great, but after a time he became colder and busier. She barely sees him. Asked why she doesn't just tell him that she loves him, she went red and slammed the door. Finn came back to tell the group that everything is fine. Elhaeltôr joked that she is pregnant, but Alice shouted that she is not, just solidifying that Alice knows that the guildmaster is madly in love. The group then decided to meet with Sigurd.

    When the group went to the abyss, it was also the first time Baâ saw it. The benches were next to a big tree that grew next to the abyss. They took the stairs down to talk to him and heard that he was coughing. He heard them coming and stood up to meet them. He told them they need not introduce themselves since he knows about them, but he still needs to introduce himself. He told them that his name is Sigurd and he is a retired adventurer. He explained that it isn't for him anymore, but during his travels, he gained a lot of treasure and he thinks about the safety of these people, so he needs a group of adventurers to do something for him. He tells the group that there is a keep, destroyed, in ruins southeast of Orth. Mario woke up instantly asking about the keep, since Sigurd told them he was once there, two years ago. Apparently, this was one of the keeps around the mountain range that belonged to a noble family from the Golden Brook days. He did see the symbol from Mario's shield there. However, now the keep is infested with orcs. Some tribe took the keep for themselves and they are getting dangerously close to civilization, so he wants to know why they are there and eradicate them. He will pay them 2000 gold for taking care of them and additional gold for every information they get. They also heard that Sigurd knows about them from a friend that has soldiers, but can't use them to clean the keep. The group didn't ask follow up questions, so he told the group they can visit his house that is in the North District. "Just ask about Sigurd, people will know where to find me." Finn stayed behind because he wanted to talk to him alone. When the rest of the group left, he asked about Gwendolyn and Sigurd instantly knew what it was. Told him to not involve himself in their private matter, but Finn dug deeper. Sigurd told him that he can't return what she feels, but didn't explain why, however, he told the halfling that he will, but only if they come back from their quests with information he wants. He promised that the story is interesting, but will not spoil the plot if it sad or happy. When the warrior left to visit another friend, Finn saw that Sigurd wiped off blood from his mouth. A drop of blood was going to drip out of the corner of his mouth, but he stopped it with his hand and wiped it. Finn would need to talk to Solange about this.

    Current Local Map
    Show Spoiler
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  4. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    This is just downtime stuff. Some off session things people did during the week in Orth, also some 1on1 sessions, since some of this stuff had to be RPed. There some things that aren't yet in the downtime, since some people still didn't have time for the 1on1 sessions. Holidays yo.

    ---

    Chapter II
    [​IMG]

    Downtime: Lamashan, 312 After Dominium

    Since this is a downtime, not a session, I will try to make it brief. Everybody did something on their over seven days stay in Orth, just before a holiday that was between the Lamashan and Richfest months called - Harvest Time. This is a day that almost nobody works on and farmers rejoice, so in Orth everybody is doing festival events, but we will get to them on the session. For now, we have information gathering and intentions:
    - Balasar - Wanted to find an Ioun Stone (Reserve) which he did, he didn't buy it yet, it cost 1400gp. He traded the book with Itzak and got himself the Book of Aberrations. He read through it and found a ton of useful information there about aberrations, but nothing about Solasar nor his Master. This is a tome with a lot of strange creatures and it could help identify strong and weak points of them. He also found a book called "Valena, Last Salvation of Oasis", where the book told the story of a Great Red Wyrm, an ancient red dragon that ruled over Oasis, Mario's home country, nearly over 300 years. It was until a family of clerics of Valena came to rescue the people from tyranny. People rose up and fought the dragon, killing it. The book speculated that it was thanks to Valena, her being a symbol more than anything, helped the people to gain the courage to stand up to generations of tyranny.
    - Finnean - Was every busy during this week. Played some street music, which gained him some gold. Tried to find magical items, which he had no luck with. Spent some time with halflings to get to know the local population. Also, he wanted to find his mandolin and speak with Jasper Elderberry, which he did - it will be below. Had some questions to Ellyjoybell about magical swords, visions, gods, entities that aren't gods, pacts, lycanthropy, Tree of Life and Prince of Endless Branches. The most important info - there are four entities that are connected to good and evil. Celesti and Godlings, which are Chaotic and Lawful Good entities that rule over celestial creatures. Demon Lords and Archdevils, which are Chaotic and Lawful Evil entities that rule over fiend creatures. Also, there are Archfey (connected to feywild) and Shadow Masters (connected to a shadow realm). He found that the Tree of Life existed before the Golden Brook Kingdom and maybe even before elves came to that forest. Also that the Prince of Endless Branches is actually an Archfey and maybe even the most powerful of them all.
    - Mario - Tried his luck in the arena and also took some time to reconnect with Luigi, which will be done below. He, however, got some information from Ellyjoybell, the guildmaster of the mage's guild. He paid only 100gp for it and didn't give any "tip". Most of the information he already knew, but there was some he didn't yet. The Contegoaurum family were dukes and had their own dukedom called Contego. Their capital was called Golden Spring, which was a big castle in the mountains. Under this, there was a big city called Castra Vetera, which was at the springs of the gold flowing rivers of the Golden Brook Kingdom. Their last leader was called Salvatore de Contegoaurum. They all perished during the fall. They swore fealty, like all other dukes, to the ruling family called Aurumsultun of the Golden City. Their job was to guard the mountains to their death. Their motto was already written here, but Ellyjoybell speculates that "Let the gold flow, let the good rise. " didn't mean about the good of the country, but good for the people. To be good. Their symbol is known - golden key on a red background. However, they did have a rival called Decertohostis, another duke, which had their own fortress to the west called Goldy West, where they trained the armies. This family thought that they deserve more to guard the mountains than Contegoaurum.
    - Elhaeltôr - Searched for some information about Mario's heritage and found nothing new - they had a dukedom, a couple of keeps in the mountains, etc. He found information about the undead and that apparently, some wizard speculated about the power of necromancy - if you can bring back a dragon, why not a giant, why not a giant called All-Father? Since the Bone Coterie defeated the Undead Dragon, many more possibilities started to appear in the heads of upstart necromancers. He tried to find information about Oakblossom, the elven family that owned the blade, but he didn't find anything new. Also with Balasar's ruins in Isfahan nor with Rexgladio and other intelligent swords. However, he did find information about the tunnels of the abyss, under Orth. They stretch out to about 10 kilometers, that is known to people. The first kilometer is called The First Descent, where the first 100 meters is patroled and reliable maps are formed, while you descend down, the more unreliable they become. Monsters are here quite often, but more beasts, insects, monstrosities and other such. One kilometer to four kilometers is Moving Roads, where a lot of monstrosities that can burrow, create tunnels and caverns exist, so maps are a waste for explorers. Undead and aberrations are an often sight here. Four kilometers to eight kilometers is Lower Abyss. This is the place where most of the explorers, fully equipped go down to explore. Corridors here stretch out to other places outside of Orth, however, this is one of the most dangerous places - flying eyes, monsters with tentacles, lakes of acid, but also interesting like forests of mushrooms, caves full of jewels and others. Not many come back. Then from eight to ten kilometers is Unexplored Corridors, where you start to hear more legends and fairytales about this place. Very few people descended here and if they came back, they would be changed forever, telling stories about cave dragons, swimming in earth giants, treasures you can buy a kingdom with and others. Ten kilometers and lower is called the Bottom of the Abyss, where nobody really knows what happens there or if it really ends. There were some rumors about one such person, but he came back insane and later killed himself. A warning to other people.
    - Solange - Wanted to find a teacher for rogues, but that's a session. He took care of the hearts for Orleen also took some time to take care of the chapel. He found out that other religions in Orth are partaking in the festival, each having their own festival event. He also found a book from a historian that spoke about the Eclipsed, the secretive order of Lord Sun. Apparently, they existed over a thousand years ago, but the historian speculated that due the Brotherhood of Sun not having any paladins and monks at that time, only clerics, needed some help, so "agents of faith" were created. These worked more in the shadows. However, from that point, it takes about 500 years before information about them shows up. The most before the coming of Actur, the Avatar of Trinity, it was a time that many kingdoms warred against each other and tyrants came to power, also, the time of the Empire of Monsters. Many bad people died due to assassins and one of those killers was caught and revealed to be one of the Eclipsed. The historian speculated that these assassinations helped Actur achieve his goal of uniting Tethys faster than it would have. It might be even that they worked with each other - Actur and Eclipsed, but there was no evidence of it. He just notes that when High King Actur died, information about the Eclipsed died out also.
    - Baâ - Mainly gathered information about druids and animals. There are no druids in Orth, nor in the canyon as far as she got to know - the only ones are in Estel'Anoron. There is no zoo in the city, but there some animals for sale at the market. She got a hint that there will be exotic animals on display during the festival. Also, she banked her money to the merchant's guild's bank.
    - Jafar - He didn't gather any information that was off session, so he has yet to play a 1on1 session.

    The stories won't be long here. We will start with Mario's.

    [​IMG]

    Mario took his squire to the woods. He wanted to know him better, so they hunted together and ate at the campfire. He got to know that the kid wanted to go with Mario to become a knight, someone people respect and also someone that can take of his mother. He revealed to Mario that he learned Elven thanks to Elhaeltôr. During this, they boned together and Mario even wrote a letter to Luigi's mom, since the boy wanted to write something to her and maybe send some money, but he couldn't write in Common yet nor he did have any money. Later, Mario while sending the letter, also put 100gp for the mother, as a note that this is from Luigi.

    [​IMG]
    Jaxi Ghaallixirn
    The Arena's Boss
    The Helve

    Mario decided to visit the arena. This place was owned by a red dragonborn called Jaxi Ghallixim, who had a big greataxe on her back and was a big woman. There are tournaments in the arena, but they are on specified, preplanned dates, not all the time. However, there was a list of five best fighters in the arena that people could challenge, but they had to be tested before they could issue a challenge. The list had: "Traveller", "Small", "Helve", "Bearded Hand" and "Dancer" as places. So Mario had to fight the Dancer first, but Jaxi wanted to test him out, so they went out and fought. Mario stood only for three rounds before he collapsed from the barbarian fury that was Jaxi. He woke up in the arena's hospital, where he learned that Jaxi was the third one on the list - "Helve". She allowed him to fight the Dancer on a specified date, so he came back later.

    [​IMG]
    Wyne
    The Dancer

    The Dancer was a young boy, not much older than Luigi, with a big bardiche, but more girlish looks. He smiled and they both went to the arena to fight. The boy really danced with the sword. He was a Fighter with the Battle Master subclass with maneuvers that allowed him to trip, disarm opponents but also gain AC while moving. So with the Mobility feat, he just moved around the arena. Luigi had a hard time to catch him, but the boy knew that if he allows the man to come close, he will crush him - Divine Smite yo. That's what eventually happened. He got too cocky, the paladin got close, critted and used Divine Smite, they boy fell flat. After that Mario got 100gp, talked to the boy, got his name - Wyne and paid him 50gp to train Luigi for a month.

    When Wyne came to train Luigi, Mario saw that a guard stopped the boy, because he walked with a giant weapon. Wyne tripped the guard "accidentally" and Mario ridiculed him, so he ran away. Then Luigi and Wyne could spar. During which Mario saw that the boy saw something in Luigi. First love? Who knows. Later, when Wyne took his shirt off, Mario and Luigi saw many scars on the boy's body. For Mario, it looked more like torture than "teaching" with a whip. For Luigi, it dawned on him hard, he panicked and was scared. This made Wyne storm off and eventually go to Mario's room. Where Wyne explained that Luigi was thinking about something else all the time, not focusing on fighting. Mario was thankful because Wyne achieved what he wanted - for Luigi to doubt. He joked about Wyne's taste, but also nudged the boy into revealing that the man who created those scars was Wyne's father and Wyne hated him. The boy stormed off again, so Mario went to visit Luigi. After a small talk about his courage, he gave Luigi a choice - stay with them and become a real warrior or go back to his mother with money. The boy choose the formed and stayed.

    Now we can continue with Finnean.

    [​IMG]

    Finn talked with Nevil Fastfoot on the side of the town. He got information that there exists a thieves' guild in the underground, where even a black market operates. He explained to the boy, that Belhadur doesn't rule over all the underground activities and that he has more important stuff to do than to fight on the streets. He also tells the story that Belhadur and his gang were the ones that saved many lives in the North District, many people there owe their lives to Belhadur. However, in those two years, many other gangs popped up. Maybe one of them is making problems for people since Belhadur is above such trivialities. Nevil helped Finn find his mandolin by bringing during the night Keith Bigheart, a strongheart halfling, who was a no-nonsense person. Also, he ran a locksmith in the North District. The pair went to the First District, used sewer tunnels to go under the North District and by going tunnels in the underground found an entrance to the black market.

    [​IMG]

    Finn was asked to not look around. Be confident. Be like you always visit such places and let Keith do the talking. In the black market, they saw a lot of people, but since Finn didn't have time to look around they didn't see anybody specific. However, there was a tavern here and some shops. But after a while, they found Finn's black dragonborn.

    [​IMG]
    Pijjirik Kerrhylon
    Jirk

    Mainly Keith spoke until the dragonborn began to be suspicious of Finn. He told him that his name is Percy and he is a collector, the dragonborn told him that his name is Pijjirik Kerrhylon, but he can call him Jirk. He had a shop here with magical items, but there was no sight of Finn's mandolin. By paying the dragonborn 200gp, he got the information he needed - the shopkeep sold his mandolin on the surface over a month ago to a very famous gnome. Eldon Glittergem, the owner of the theatre had his mandolin. Finn didn't find anything more useful and seeing that Keith wanted to leave, now, he decided to not waste more time. The pair left but saw something disturbing.

    [​IMG]
    Belhadur
    The Broken
    The One-eyed

    On their way back, they saw that people made room. Belhadur was coming. This bronze dragonborn with a giant glaive on his back. Symbol of Actur, upside down, on his necklace. A giant scar on his face. This wasn't someone you can mess with. A fight with him will be hard, if not deadly. Keith and Finn went to the side and sneaked back to the entrance. Outside Keith told Finn that he did what was asked, but if somebody will start looking for them - Finn doesn't know Keith and Keith doesn't know Finn. If Finn will want to go to the market again, he will need to visit him in the shop. Also, Finn asked about teaching Rogue stuff, which Keith was obliged if the person paid. Finn told him that he will send his friend and Keith can ask for double.

    [​IMG]

    Later, he went to visit the theatre, when a play was going on. Wanted to hear his mandolin and thought he heard it. When the play was over, he sneaked back again. He was found by the actors, but since he already meets some, it was easy to persuade them to let him meet with Eldon.

    [​IMG]
    Eldon Glittergem
    Owner of "The Suspended Theatre"
    Bard of Glamour College

    On the stage, he saw Eldon Glittergem, a gnome with expensive clothing with a simple mandolin. It didn't look like what he remembered but sounded the same. They both talked. Apparently, he paid 4000gp for the magical mandolin, but was resentful, when Finn spoke that it was stolen. Eldon paid for it, so it is his. It took some time to persuade the gnome, that the halfling isn't here to fight nor accuse him of anything. Eldon asked Finn to show his skills, which he did and was pretty good, so Eldon gave "his" mandolin. It was just an "illusion", Finn only heard that the mandolin sounded the same, but it wasn't the same instrument. Eldon spoke that he is willing to sell it back for 4000gp, but Finn didn't want the story to end with just an exchange of money, so the gnome offered an alternative - talk to his adventurer friends, convince them to start in a play and do a play about one of their quests. Finn spoke about a dragon, which was ideal in Eldon's mind. They said their goodbyes then. Eldon went straight the audiance, but Finn didn't see if he used any magic or jumped, so he didn't want to risk a couple meter jump over the abyss, so he went the normal way out.

    [​IMG]
    Hannah

    Later, Finn saw a small kid, a girl, stealing apples. She used a dog whistle when a customer with a dog came near a stand, so it created a distraction. During her heist, she lost a flute, which Finn found and went to search the girl. She was crying, since she found out she lost it and it was something her grandfather crafted for her. The girl was younger than Luigi, maybe 12 or 13 years old. Ginger hair. They talked a little and Finn offered three more apples for hearing her play her flute. She did, Finn joined in and they both played for a while. He gave her the fruits and offered lessons. She ran away saying maybe, so Finn followed her. Found where she lived, but didn't go after her. Later she really did came and he heard stories from her since Finn wanted to know more about her. He found out she lied about her parents being dead. Apparently, the parents were deadly sick and needed magical help to recover. Finn played for Greater Restoration spells, which cured the parents and the girl was finally happy.

    [​IMG]

    He also visited Jasper. Talked alone with him about the pair of half-elves. Enialis told the group the truth - that he will not say what really happened to the pair and told Jasper that they died because of traps. Finn also talked about gods, can they be false or something, which of course Jasper laughed at the idea. The conversation was brief but maybe gave Finn some needed closure. He got a symbol of Granny made by Jasper in bread, which was resistant to water, but hard as a rock, but it wasn't good as a necklace. He later also got a silver necklace from Jasper, who gave the necklace as thanks. He told him that no matter what happens, the Granny, even in her ramblings, looks down and thinks about you and your future. He shouldn't be so hard on himself and on his friends, if together they can achieve something great, some things can be forgiven.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  5. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    This time only Elhaeltôr, Finn and Solange were. Just some discussions and time spent at the festival. The rest will have their own session at the festival.

    ---

    Chapter II
    [​IMG]

    Session 21: Harvest Time Festival

    The day before the festival, the group is in the guild's lobby. They see Wyne and Luigi training outside, while inside Hannah is playing the lute, while Om Frenzybeard is listening to her play. There is also Gwendolyn and Alice there, but they are talking to each other, so the three have a moment to talk. They exchange information. Elhaeltôr tells the group what he found about the Contegoaurum family and also about the abyss, the tunnels under the town. Solange revealed his notes about the Eclipsed. Finn tells the group that he found the black market and knows where his mandolin is, but there is a catch. He tells them that he needs the group to perform one of their's adventure to regain his mandolin. The group doesn't say no but are shocked that Finn didn't try to win his mandolin over. The group discusses what to do next, but they are undecided, still.

    Before the Harvest Time Festival, they went out to do a little shopping. Finn got himself some fine clothes and persuaded Elhaeltôr to get some too since the elf was walking in mostly rags. He bought him a more gray and golden set of clothes to match his looks. This made the elf, after seeing his reflection shed a single tear. He had some kind of vision and stared, but didn't reveal what it was. After that little shopping, they decided to look for magical items. Solange found that their old merchant friend, Ahmed, had a monk robe on sale. It was a Robe of Four Elements, a signature robe of the Order of Four Elements, which in this world consist mainly of dwarves. A magic item would reshape to fit its user, so it wasn't that of a problem. It was quite cheap. This allowed Solange to imbue his attacks with elemental damage. After that, they talked about the Deck of Destiny the merchant had. However, the group didn't have anything Ahmed would want. Funny thing, Elhaeltôr tried to sell him on the Tome of Influence and Leadership, but Finn blurted out that it's inactive for a century. If they succeeded in cheating the merchant, they would get the deck, but alas no sell. The group then went on their merry way.

    The next day was the Harvest Time holiday, where most of the people have a day off work and farmers rejoice in celebration. In Orth, there's a festival that every group tries to do something. Inns have specialty dinners, churches create some events, so do guilds and rich people. Here's a small summary of what was going on (the players had little knowledge about it):
    Church of Valena - Free fruits, cheap dinners, and beer. A tournament timed food eating, you could win an expensive wine.
    Church of Eris - Bards around the city, storytelling about events past. A tournament, rhymes, you could win a bard scholarship.
    Church of Ilios - Martial combat shows. A tournament, arm wrestling, you could win an adamantine axe.
    Church of Granny - Free dinners in the tavern. A tournament, fishing for apples, you could win a casket of ale.
    Church of Corellon - The elven garden was magically enhanced. No tournaments, but during the night, a spectacle would be shown.
    Church of Urist - Discount sale of jewelry and sculptures. A tournament, sculpting, you could win a set of magical tools.
    Church of Lord Sun - Nothing. There are no Clerics of this god and Solange didn't have enough time to prepare, he just prepared the chapel for the day - decorated.
    Craftsmen's Guild - The shops were open the whole day, but everything was discounted.
    Mage's Guild - Shows of the magic arts. Discount on healing potions.
    Merchant's Guild - They brought exotic animals from the south. The arena was closed for this reason.
    Thieves' Guild - Who knows! Everybody had an event, maybe they had too.
    Alastor Corbora - Rich man. He brought mechanical contraptions from Quadropolis with the help of a local gnome, Zook Fabblestabble.
    Cassius Bordeux - Rich man. Horse races outside the city walls. You could win a hippogryphs' egg.

    Before leaving, the group stayed for a moment to talk about what Finn saw. Apparently, Sigurd is deathly sick, but without knowing what has happened to him, they do not know what ails him. Solange proposed that maybe Sigurd doesn't want to be healed because he did something in the past and now wants to repent this way. Something Finn doesn't understand. The group then goes to see, that Gwendolyn and Alice didn't leave the guild yet. The guildmaster apparently tried to hide a present, a small box that was nicely wrapped. Alice was smiling, so the group interrogated the paladin. Making fun of her. Asking if this is a time to give presents, where is she going, maybe we will go together. She got flustered, lost her present and almost broke it, but Finn and Solange caught it. She thanked them and stormed off. Finn on the way out, played a rousing tune to remove her fear, but she is a paladin, she is immune to it. She thanked again and left the group. They decided to ask Alice if she wants to join and she said yes, she had a shopping list for today.

    [​IMG]
    Emgash Ironfist
    Bearded Hand

    The marketplace was brimming with people, events, and celebration. Solange was interested in the martial shows, so the rest went on a little shopping spree. Alice was buying like mad, while Finn and Elhaeltôr searched for magical items. There weren't many, but Elhaeltôr found himself a Cloak of Elvenkind. Finn later bought a flute for Hannah. They also talked to Alice about her shopping list. Apparently, she was a workaholic, she loved working for the guild, but was saddened that they don't have enough adventurers. She said something about creating an ad maybe, but also that the group needs a name. She spoke of the Brilliant Company, which the elves of Estel'Anoron used, but she confirmed that this doesn't need to be their name. The group later heard that something is happening at the martial shows.

    Meanwhile, Solange looked at the stuff the Church of Illios showed. This would be something interesting for people who aren't used to fighting. There was little knowledge to gain here. He saw a signup for the arm wrestling competition, but he declined. While looking around, he saw a big man with a giant sword on his back, Wyne who was teaching people maneuvers to trip and disarm people, but also a small group of dwarves. Three, monk looking, dwarves looked at the sparing ring, while other people showed up their skills. Solange decided to talk to them. He found out that Emgash Ironfist is one of the five best fighters the arena has. Emgash explained that they came from Logemakam, the dwarven village to the east, where their order of Open Palm is situated. The village ancestor - Udor Ironfist, being a member of the Bone Coterie, decided to have a family and founded the village. Since then a lot of dwarves were born and many changed their name to Ironfist. Emgash isn't a master but is one of the most known warriors and his cousin is none other than Urnut Ironfist, the dwarf merchant the group saved in Estel'Anoron. Emgash invited Solange to come visit one day and asked if he wanted a little spar. Solange agreed, so Emgash said he needs to talk to Havifgar for a moment and went off to the big man with a giant sword on his back.

    [​IMG]
    Havifgar
    Small
    High Cleric of Trinity in Orth

    Elhaeltôr and Finn, without Alice since she had a lot more shopping to do, joined right in time. The pair started to fight. It was even after the first exchange of blows. It all boiled out to one thing - who goes first and if the Open Palm will succeed on his stun. Both monks were brought down to low HP, Solange resisted the stun and this allowed him to win. The next round he made a series of strikes and made the dwarf fly, unconscious into the little sparing arena's fence. When he went to check on the dwarf, he saw a big hand go to touch the dwarf and heal him. It was the big man, who introduced himself as Havifgar the Small, the cleric of Ilios. Those who followed my previous campaign know that this is Elhaeltôr's player character in that campaign, but he was a fighter/barbarian, not a cleric. Emgash thanked for the healing, thanked Solange for the fight and went on his way to his friends to talk about it. Emgash was fourth on the list on the arena and he might lose it now, which was something Havifgar commented. He told Solange that maybe he will see him in the arena fighting, but he must get to him first, by defeating the third with fourth and fifth on the way. He spoke that the first guy "is weird", so that's why he isn't the first. Also, there was a comment why he is named "Small", so Havifgar revealed it was because he was the smallest of his brothers. The cleric went on his way, while the group rejoined and started to think what to do next.

    The group wanted to go to the horse races, but since Mario's shtick or at least something the player always wanted to do, but couldn't was to use his horse in combat. So I thought it wouldn't be fair if he couldn't compete also. The horse race was postponed and the group doesn't know yet who won. When they returned it was the time for bigger shows, so they went to the marketplace and there were going to be two shows - the Quadropolis one and the theater show one. Finn went to the latter one, while Solange and Elhaeltôr went to see the gnomes.

    [​IMG]
    Zook Fabblestabble

    The gnome show was performed by Zook Fabblestabble the local gnome inventor. He was a small creature with white hair and exaggerated features. He also talked fast. He had four things to show. First was a mechanical owl, that flew over the audience. Mind you, they already knew Zook's reputation, so they were sitting at least five to ten meters away from the stage. Now the owl was flying over them, they were scared, but it only lighted up with different colors from its eyes. Returned after Zook clapped thrice. The second was a big machine, bigger than him anyway. It was a small, wooden, with metal elements helicopter. It started with black smoke coming out of it and sounds of dangerous machinery. However, after that, the rotors moved normally and he was off, flying over the audience. They were scared even more of this thing falling over, but Solange stood without a fear in his eyes, so some stayed under the machine. Nothing happened. It just flew over. The third was a pack of metal puppies that could wind up and they moved, barked, but they were borked. One ran off the stage, the second fell on its face, the third ran in circles and the last one stood in place, barked, fell to his side, moved his legs and then exploded in springs and rotors. Zook commented that "his work didn't work this time" just adding to the notion that the dogs were his, the working stuff wasn't. The last thing was a giant contraption called Exterminator XX 3000, which Zook piloted from the inside. Giant head, with a steel underbite. The right hand had a flamer, left a giant claw. On it's back you had two big tubes for something. It moved, growled, people screamed. Flames flew up high, the claw moved at the audience, but they were too far. The head opened to release cold air. Suddenly explosions from the tubes happened, the audience ran. Fireworks. It was getting dark, so they weren't that much appreciated, but there were big fireworks. Zook came out to end the show. People nervously clapped, not knowing what to think, so did Elhaeltôr and Solange.

    Meanwhile, Finn had a look a small play called "Nightmare in Orth." Which was a kinda gruesome tale with a happy ending. People took their children to the play, to show them what happened two years ago. Nobody wants to remember, but they have to. The first act was simple, showing the audience a girl protagonist and her parents. She wants to become a guard, but they don't want her to. She is frustrated, tells them she hates them. Next act, she is alone in the home, scared of something in the trapdoor, she hints that it's her parents. Next, you hear knocks on the door, it's the neighbors. The third act is her running away, telling she can't come back, that she is scared. She bumps into a man, who looks like Sigurd and Finn recognized it. This man only ask where are they and after a while of trying to get the girl to tell her, she does and he runs there. She is scared that the man might die, but she is scared to see to look, but after a while gets the courage. The fourth and last act is her coming home again, her neighbors changed into zombies and she sees the trapdoor opened. She looks inside, but her parents are gone. Then she hears footsteps, her parents are zombies too. They attack her, she tries to defend herself, but suddenly the warrior comes and kills the zombies. He reaches his hand to her, tells her there is nothing to fear anymore, he is here to help. The scene ends with an epilogue done by Eldon Glittergem who recounts the horrific events that took place two years ago in Orth. "Might we never forget, the nightmare in Orth."

    [​IMG]

    The group then decide to take a stroll around the inns. Taste the food. "No Bottom" inn had mainly northerner food, but also the Silver Coast specialty - pizza. "At Orth's" had more local dishes with some hits of the Vale food, which was pierogis. The halfling tavern had free food, so the group stayed there, fill up and go to the elves to see what they have. The scene was pretty magical. Night. Arcane lights light up the area. Not many people came here, so it was pretty quiet compared to the town. The elves used their magic to lift up the magical lights into the sky and using them, with the stars, started to show pictures, scenes of elven history. It told the story of Demon Taugruun, the Elf Killer. This demon couldn't be banished back into his realm and was slaying elves left and right. Seemingly immortal, the elves came up with a plan. They created a demiplane and trapped the demon there. Illusions manifested, so the demon thought he was fighting with elves. He was trapped in a place, where he can kill "elves" all he wants. This was the end of the night and party went to the guild to sleep.
     
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  6. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Jafar didn't have time to plan, so he will later get a 1on1 session. Maybe something fun will come out of it. Here will try to join what happened in the last session with what the rest of the party was doing.

    ---

    Chapter II
    [​IMG]

    Session 22: Races and Plans

    Balasar and Mario were late to the party. Only had some time to rest, before finding out that the rest of the group already left. They decided to check what the festival was all about. During their travel to the marketplace, they heard about many tournaments that are taking place at noon. However, there was one that they were interested in - the horse race. So they went for a little shopping, not buying much. Mario was interested in better horses and saddles but didn't buy anything. Nor did they buy any magical items. Mario did see a black dragonborn having his own market stand, but didn't go near him nor talked to Balasar about it. After talking a little, they decide to go for Mario and Luigi's horses, since he wanted for his squire to try his skills out. Balasar didn't take his horse with him.

    [​IMG]

    In the meantime, Baâ went to the arena to see the exotic animals. She doesn't sleep in the town, so she didn't know what the rest were planning. The arena was closed, but the building was used to showcase animals that were brought here by a guild from Tauzar. There were a lot of people and guards here, but mainly mercenaries. There were no people in the audience since the animals were in cages on the arena floor. Visitors could just go next to each cage, hear explanations from a guide and just leave, no money was required. There weren't that many visitors at this moment, but it might change in the afternoon. There were five cages, placed in a circle like a pattern, so people could start on their left, go around and leave. In the center, there was a rich Southerner, probably the owner, talking to a blonde woman, might be from the Merchant's Guild, since they were the people paying for this. Baâ went around to look at each of the animals. There was a rhinoceros, an elephant, a gorilla, electric eels and a triceratops. Yes, even a dinosaur. She had a lot of questions since these were animals she never saw in her life nor even heard off. The guides were very friendly. The rhino and elephant come from the Southerner Savannah, where the city of Tauzar is located. Modeled a little by the African landscape - lions, zebras, giraffes, and hobgoblins. The electric eels came from a bay that is next to the savannah called The Bay of Opulence, while the gorilla and triceratops came from the jungle south of that called Cradle of Races Jungle. She persuaded one of the guides to answer a lot of questions since most of the visitors were interested in the triceratops, so he was free. She had many more, so she made plans with him for a drink later in the inn to talk even more. After that, she decided to go to the races.

    [​IMG]
    Conrad Stenbaum

    Now we combine what was going on in the last session. Elhaeltôr before going to the race uses his scrying spell called Clairvoyance to create a sensor above the city and try to see where the markers are, so he can create a map of the racetrack. He had the goggles that Finn gave him earlier, so he was able to see some stuff and marked it on a map. It wasn't that good, but it was enough to cheat a little. However, he didn't tell Finn and Solange what he was doing, so when they asked what the sitting elf was doing looking through a glass eyeball, he said he was "surveying for details." They looked at the opposite side of the road and saw three young half-elf females with short skirts. A couple of laughs later and an explanation, they went to the races only to be stopped by Balasar and Mario, but also Baâ who joined later. They talked about the race while going to see the starting line. There was a pretty big crowd of about two to three hundred people, sitting on big, wooden stands that were created for this purpose. The stands were put before a big rock wall, where mages from the Mage's Guild stood. People on the stands were able to see the whole race, but the group didn't know how it will look, just assumed that they will. While Elhaeltôr, Mario, and Luigi went to sign up for the race, Balasar asked if anybody wanted to do some betting, but neither Solange nor Baâ were going to. He could, however, try his luck elsewhere, since Solange saw that there was a betting group right next to the stands, it wasn't official, but the guards didn't do anything to them. Balasar and Finn went to check what were the odds.

    Meanwhile, the rest had a moment to see the other rivals. Cassius Bordeux wasn't here, but the other racers were. Conrad Stenbaum, who was the owner of the lumbermill and tanner workshops, was one of the riders but had his servants take care of his horse. There was a silver elf who was called Galenmordas Silverone, who was a haberdasher in the South District. The next rival was known to them - Franklin Tricksweet. He talked to the group, almost calling them weirdoes. He commented that their horses aren't for racing, but didn't say anything more. The group paid the entry fee, which was 50gp and had to give the name of the horse also. So here we have a list of riders, their horses, and odds.

    Cassius Bordeux "Roach" 1:2 - the favorite. Yes, the organizer was also racing.
    Galenmordas Silverone "Isilme" 1:4
    Conrad Stenbaum "Black Stallion" 1:5
    Franklin Tricksweet "Happyfeet" 1:10
    Mario "Scarafaggio" 1:20
    Luigi "Hope" 1:50
    Elhaeltôr "Itil" 1:100

    Balasar went with Elhaeltôr at 100gp and Galenmordas at 50gp. Finn also went with Elhaeltôr, but at 50gp.

    [​IMG]
    Cassius Bordeux

    Later, Lord Bordeux came on a white horse, golden hair and very expensive saddle. He looked like a tough competition for the rest of the party. Part of the group recognized his surname - Bordeux. The current ruling family of Kingdom of Actur, the kingdom north from the Canyon, where the group started their journey. The ruling party changes, because the kingdom is more of a Roman republic - people vote for senators, these senators vote for their ruler, mainly from one of the Counts. Now Fabricia Bordeux is the Queen-Elect, who rules for about 11 years before the next vote. Each king gets a year of trial, after which he could be ousted by the senators if he isn't good or disliked. If he isn't, the rules for another 10 years. Going back. Cassius took his time getting to the stage and introduced the race, how it will go to the audience, but also showed the prize. He called his servants to bring it, a small chest. Very detailed, rich looking and when he opened it, it was inlaid with nice, puffy silky material. It was an egg. Hippogriff's egg. Now the party wanted to win this. Baâ immediately wanted to join the race, however, the signup time was over. The man told her that she needs to talk to Lord Bordeux, because he decides if they will postpone. Finn seeing her being sad, since she isn't good talking to nobles, told her he will help her and Mario joined. The three went to Cassius, while Solange and Balasar ran for the horse. Balasar also wanted to join the race, but later decided not to, since he was already betting. They successfully persuade the noble to wait for Baâ's horse. While that was happening, they had a moment to talk a little. The noble heard about the party since the letters from Estel'Anoron got to the influential people in Orth. This was also the first time Baâ, Balasar, and Mario heard the party name, or at least what the elves decided to name them - the Brilliant Company. They needed only to wait a couple of minutes before the horses arrived. Baâ went to the signup and was asked for her name, a name for the horse and 50gp. She never named her mount, so Baâ gave her horse a name on the spot - Windbringer and even got worse odds than everybody - 1:300. You could get really rich by cheating here, but they guys didn't cheat... that much. Just a little "encourage" from Baâ's Animal Handling and Speaking with Animal and Finn's Inspiration (had very funny and witty rhymes, but I don't have it written down and it was in Polish, so it would be lost).

    Here is how it broke down with mechanics. The race was around Orth. There would be 8 rolls, Dexterity checks. If you proficient in Racing (vehicle proficiency I would call it), then you could use your proficiency bonus. If your horse was a racing horse (about the same price as a warhorse or more expensive), then you get an advantage on the roll. The DC was 15. Baâ's Animal Handling gave - Elhaeltôr two "inspirations" to use (he could give himself, before rolling, an advantage), Mario two, Luigi one and herself three. Elhaeltôr's cheaty map gave him only one inspiration. The only NPCs that rolled with advantage, always, were Frankling Tricksweet and Cassius Bordeux, since both of them had racing horses. Remember the distinction - a riding horse is bred for bad terrain, but it doesn't climb mountains (this is not Skyrim, bro), it isn't for racing. Same with a warhorse. The group had big chances to win, because also they had inspiration from Finn (1d8 after check, but could be used only for the first 4 checks, since 10 minutes will pass since that mark), Hero Points (1d6 after check) and Inspiration for RP. A lot of ammo.

    [​IMG]

    And they were off! Cassius and Franklin to a good start, but the noble had a very fast horse. The rest had some problems at the first stretch. Things started to change after the second, where our heroes started to gain on the noble. Luigi wasn't doing so good, nor the silver elf, Galenmordas. Conrad passed Franklin. After the third, Elhaeltôr and Mario were right next to Cassius, while Baâ and Conrad left Franklin behind. Galenmordas and Luigi were starting to fall very far behind. The fourth mark, almost halfway through, Elhaeltôr and Mario were going head to head, while Baâ and Conrad got to Cassius. The race was pretty close to the first place. Oh, I forgot about one thing that the players forgot. If there is a draw, two horses finish at the same time - there are no cameras, so no photo finish, the house wins, Cassius gets the egg. Cheeky stuff, yes? What about Solange, Balasar, and Finn? They could watch what was going on by watching the mages sculpted in the stones. It quickly changed from one to another but the pictures were very detailed and there was somebody "translating" what was going on, so people could understand how the race was going. Going back. After the fifth mark, Luigi and Galenmordas were nowhere to be seen. They had no chance to win anymore. Elhaeltôr and Mario were head to head still, but Baâ was gaining on them, so was Franklin. Cassius and Conrad were behind. Same was on the sixth and seventh stretch, however, Franklin was behind the druid. Baâ couldn't get near the two. It was Elhaeltôr or Mario, or a draw. The last roll. Mario, Elhaeltôr, and Baâ all roll with advantage. Mario rolls 7 and 15, so he can win this. Baâ rolls 12 and 21, she can't win, but at least she has a solid third or shared second. Elhaeltôr has a Dexterity of 20, so he has +5 to rolls. He rolls... 7 and 8 (2 and 3). He uses his last Hero Points, he needs to roll on 2d6 a seven for it to be a draw for first. He rolls less. Mario wins. Elhaeltôr just looked at his map at the last corner, the horse didn't understand the order, went too far to the right and Mario just passed him with determination on his face.

    Here's a rundown. Nobody rolled a natural 20.
    Elhaeltôr 01111110=6
    Baâ 01011111=6
    Mario 01111111=7
    Luigi 00001001=2
    Cassius 11000101=4
    Franklin 00101111=5
    Galenmordas 00000000=0
    Conrad 01010110=4

    The party won the egg. Cassius wasn't mad. During the whole race, he was smiling and shouting that this might be a good race. He congratulated everybody and took Mario to the stage to present him with the box. The egg had about a month to hatch. Cassius was also willing to find somebody who can train the hippogriff to become a mount, but that would be after the animal will be ready and alive. The rest of the party joined the celebrations. Finn and Balasar weren't happy, almost ripping their hair, scales, since Mario won and Elhaeltôr was so close. Balasar and Finn put 150gp on Elhaeltôr. If he would have won, the bookkeep would have to pay them about 15,000 gold pieces. A lot of money. The group decided to go to the shows.

    Returning to our previous sessions. I will not repeat what was going on there, you can look it up. Balasar and Mario went also to the same shows. Balasar went with Finn to look at the theater's play, while Mario went to the Zook's mechanizations. Mario succeeded there to look like a person that isn't terrified of what was going on and inspired some people to not run away at the last presentation. After that, they went to eat and watched the elf show. Baâ after they won the egg was so fascinated by it that she went to the library to read as much as she could about the animal. She didn't spend the time with the party. Balasar also went to the guild after eating with the halflings, so he didn't see the spectacle.

    [​IMG]

    The next day, the party met up in the guild to talk about their plans. The conversations were about different things, one of which was about Baâ's joining the guild. However, the party wasn't able to convince her, so Baâ decided not to join the adventurer's guild - she was not interested in gold nor wanted a room in the guild. The group then decided to plan their next move. They wanted to take a quest on their way to the orcs or back. however, there was a miscommunication, the players misremembered where the orc's where and where was Mario's ancestral home - they thought it was the same place. They bought a map (50gp) that had some rough sketches with the terrain of mountains and surroundings. They could now clearly see where the orc keep was, but also the Golden Spring (with Castra Verta, the port city), Nation's Camp (a giant military camp with many different armies from different countries) and the Gold City, which to the cartographer's knowledge is surrounded (up to several dozen kilometers) by dead lands. The Nation's Camp is on the outskirts of that. About much debate and tribulations, they decide to go to the orcs and after that maybe go to Logemakam, the dwarves, to check what was going on there with the kobolds, or maybe go the Golden Spring. But before that, Finn convinced the group to be actors for his play, so the next session will start the next chapter with a theater.

    Here's the revealed part.
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    P.S. Here's a funny thing. The party was undecided for a long time. This made me create a whole slew of different dungeons. When Sigurd gave them the quest for the orcs, their dungeon was almost ready, I was finishing it. Then they decided to think about the Golden Spring, to go just there first. So it made me create the monsters that would reside there. Next, they wanted to take on Belhadur and his gangs... so I needed to create Belhadur, his gang, and the thieves' guild dungeon. Now, when they were deciding how to go - where to first? Kobolds from dwarves or orcs from Sigurd? They rolled a die and it said orcs. Thank fucking god. I was going to rip the rest of my balding head's hair if I had to create another dungeon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  7. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Jafar still wasn't during this session. Solange was out, so we couldn't do the theater scene, we postponed it. We start another chapter with a little moment before the group left Orth.

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 23: The Golden Mountain Range

    Before our group sets out for adventure, Balasar and Elhaeltôr have a little conversation. Apparently, Elhaeltôr had a dream, where he found himself in some kind of clean, white room. An egglike chair that levitated. Metal tablets that had moving pictures. He was looking at a silvery chest with Legio XIII on it. Before he could see his hand stretching to it, he woke up. He wanted to ask again about the vision Balasar had if it is similar. If the room was the same. However, it wasn't so. The room Balasar was during his warlock vision was very raw, metallic. People stared at similar metal tablets with moving pictures. They were wearing some kind of uniforms, very light pieces of clothing. There was this giant window that looked at the heavens, stars, but he saw explosions there. He remembered the talk with Annael Silver Blade, where he spoke that the Elves came to Tethys on their ship that could travel between planes. The first humans had to come in a similar ship. Not getting anywhere with this, they talked about the book Balasar found in Itzak's Library. The mage exchanged the book for that from Annael's private collection. Elhaeltôr asked if he can read it and used the Ring of Mind Shielding and Protection from Good and Evil. That last one was crucial because it was the thing that actually worked on the book. Using the Identification spell they found out that the book is actually magical and cursed. It grants powers to the reader, yes, but it also, upon a failed Wisdom Saving Throw, grant one point of Insanity - it makes you insane. It has also a special power granted to those already insane. If you read it for 3 hours, 25 minutes and 45 seconds you will be granted with 24h boost - additional damage versus Aberrations, 2d10 psychic damage. Itzak didn't say anything that the book was cursed.

    [​IMG]

    The group left Orth. They left some stuff behind, but the chest with the hippogriff egg was taken. They also decided to travel by horses. Om Frenzybeard and Luigi also went with them, but not Wyne nor Hannah. The group traveled east, taking the road towards Logemakam, but never going to the hills. After a day of travel, they journeyed south. The River of the Golden Return is about 200 meters wide. It isn't very dangerous to swim across, so the party started to plan how to pass over the river. They had a lot of choices, but Baâ told them she can cast Water Walk. She can cast it on everybody (7 people and 7 horses), so the group moved on the river. The horses needed to be convinced that this is a good idea, but it wasn't a problem for the druid to do so. The next day of travel, when they were near the hills, Baâ saw that there was a campsite, not far from there. Nobody was there nor there was any smoke, it had to be left for days. Elhaeltôr and Finn sneaked up to the camp. It really was deserted and there was nobody nearby. They found some clues. Orcs. A group of about a dozen of them. They hunted here. There was also a beast that was eating some meat that the orcs gave it but also smeared it with some kind of purple concoction. They couldn't know what it was since nobody was an alchemist. After they got the rest of the group, they could together find out what has happened here. The beast didn't leave any signs of being there except for tracks, big paws. They couldn't ascertain what kind of dog it was, except for that it was a very big dog. The orcs were in the camp three days ago and Baâ found tracks to the south, maybe to their base. The group decided to find a safe place to hide. They found it, but it only could contain their horses. After that, they used Finn's Tiny Hut to make camp outside the cave.

    [​IMG]

    Nothing happened almost the whole night until Elhaeltôr saw some figures walking east from them. Not far, about 100 to 200 meters. The group of about a dozen stopped and started talking. He saw a beast with them, bigger than a dog, maybe even bigger than a wolf. When the group started to talk, the beast disappeared. Elhaeltôr woke the rest of the group and they started to discuss what to do. The orcs were still there talking, but the group still stayed in the Tiny Hut. They talked for so long that the orcs disappeared from their sight. It was getting pretty dark since it was kinda raining with almost no light from the moon and stars. The group started to argue what to do next and Baâ decided to just leave the magical Tiny Hut to look around. The rest were still packing their stuff when they saw what happened.

    [​IMG]
    Orcs

    The orcs successfully sneaked upon their magical sphere. Remember. For somebody on the outside, the sphere looks strange - a singular color sphere, not natural. The orcs saw something and used their beast to see what was going on there. Now, Baâ has found them. They sneaked up to fifteen meters and waited in silence for the sphere to disappear or the group to leave it. They weren't as stupid as gnolls with this. Baâ was immediately attacked and fell unconscious. The orc leader took her body, put his sword against her neck and shouted: "Come out or she dies!" Elhaeltôr left the Tiny Hut first, soon to be followed by Balasar and Mario. He used Charm Person on the Orc to tell him, they aren't here to fight but to talk to their boss. The orc didn't do anything, the rest also. However, after a while, they started talking with them. The orc had questions who they were, why were they here and others. He was willing to bring them to their boss, but then Baâ woke up. She saw that she was in the hands of this orc. Her life was on the line, so she turned into a bear and escaped the group. The fight continued. A fireball took half of them. Elhaeltôr told the group to not attack the officer, he might have needed information.

    [​IMG]
    Shadow Mastiff

    The beast showed up when the group was split up during their fight and jumped upon Luigi. It was a Shadow Mastiff. The fight continued, there were some wounded, but it went better than they thought. Finn could finally show his Naked Halfling Nymphs, a spell called Spirit Guardians, which damaged everybody who came near him. The group killed every orc except for the officer. They needed to interrogate him, but not bind him nor take his weapons. Since one of the orcs just after Baâ escaped shouted that their leader is going to betray them to an elf, he was more willing to cooperate with the group but wanted to return to the keep.

    The group found out that the orcs are called Guruhalu, Shadow Wolves. All of them have symbols of a head of a wolf, but only half of it. Most of the orcs do not know the difference between a mastiff and a wolf, for them they are wolves. They have a lot of these in their camp. Their keep has some stone walls and palisades, but the main part of the keep is underground only one entrance. Also, outside there is a house with the shaman's plants. On the inside, the main part of the orc tribe is there, but it was empty when they came here, no treasures. He spoke of a strange big door that they couldn't open. He heard it kills everybody, so they didn't touch it. Boghat is their leader and loves shinies, they have a lot of them, but also didn't tell anyone why they left the main part of the tribe territory. Apparently, they left their previous base, but Boghat didn't tell why. They still have contact with other tribes, but they are pretty much outside their influence. After that, the group started to discuss with themselves what to do next and with the orc. He however not understanding what they are talking about, he started to leave. Balasar wasn't going to let him since he insulted him when the group asked about kobolds - "I saw one of you beasts but on all fours! Har har!" Elhaeltôr made his Charm Person disappear. Baâ, Finn, and Balasar saw how the orc suddenly realizes he was deceived and jumps onto Balasar, who screams that this is a duel. Balasar would have lost this fight if it wasn't for Finn's healing and Cutting Words. The group had time to think what to do next. The keep was just an hour or two from them.
     
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  8. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
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    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Suddenly we go back in time! First a retrospection of the theater event, then we return to normal programming. Also, Jafar's player contacted me and doesn't have enough time to play regularly, so he will drop in/out as we play. This game was set as "we don't need all the players, at least 3 need to be present." Yeah, we do play pretty often, sometimes even three times a week, but most of my players have time after 8 PM and they aren't doing anything else.

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 24: Theater Memory and Orc Murder

    Finn showed the group the scripts. Everybody had a line, some people more than others. They decided to prepare, since the play would be in couple of days. First, there would be a rehearsal. The group was introduced to Eldon Glittergem, who showed them pictures of gnolls, the werewolf, and other monsters. He explained to them that he has a special desk, where he can draw creatures and they will come to life as illusions on the scene. They gave their opinions and revisions to them then started the rehearsal. Baâ wasn't feeling it, she tried to convince Finn to just forget about her and let her just leave, but he didn't allow it. Before the day, each one of the team tried their best to prepare for the night. Baâ tried to meditate. Elhaeltôr using Unseen Servant tried to help with parts to remember. Balasar would try to remember more from the play and use his telepathy outside the stage to tell the lines. Solange would just concentrate on his script. Mario went to other inns to convince people to come. Finn created a placebo, he told the group it was something that will help them concentrate on the stage. Then the show started. The audience was full and they heard the tickets ranged from 10 gold pieces up to one hundred. It was once per lifetime show. It was packed, so this thing was worth about three to four thousand gold pieces. However, stage-fright didn't hit the group as it should. The whole play was for every age, so it rhymed and was more about fun. There was no blood and the players only acted three scenes with almost everybody having at least one line to say. It went better than expected. There were five sets of rolls. One for remembering the script, one for rehearsal, one for the art they saw and finally for the show. Mainly charisma based rolls with a DC 15 (if you rolled 25+ you get two successes) and the successes were tallied. Some had problems achieving even half of their share, but others scored very high rolls, so in the end, they achieved 30 out of 30 possible successes. It could have been more of an even bigger show, but it wasn't. In the end, Elhaeltôr, Mario, and Finn were the stars of the show, while Solange, Balasar, and Baâ tried to carry their own weight during the show. Finn got his mandolin and Eldon told the group that, if they wish, they can come back to perform more, he would be delighted. For now, Eldon would just continue this play but will ask for less money, since he will be using his own actors for the parts of the group. The mandolin that Finn got back was magical and only great bards would reveal it's magical properties. There were a couple of runes on the instrument that Finn could light up after resting, each one would buff his magical and bardic talents. However, as of now, he could only have three runes lighten up. One which was always light up with a sleeping halfling on it. The other two would be his choice. After time and great work, he could light up more or even all of them, which would, in turn, give him the biggest boost - would allow Power Word Heal to be cast on two people (and if he doesn't have the spell, he would gain it but without the boost).

    [​IMG]

    Returning to our previous show. The group after talking decide to find a safer place. They succeed in that. The druid finds a dead body of an orc and a bear, which were dead for a couple of days, rotting on the ground. The orc died because the bear clawed his neck, so he bled out, while the bear was stabbed through the heart and died on the orc. This female bear body meant that there could be a bear cave that is empty and it was. A big cave, no younglings. Ideal for a hideout for the group, for now at least. There they debated what to do. Balasar came to the group with an idea - use Solasar. He sees what his familiar sees, so he can use it to scout out. Since Solasar was an "imp", he could go invisible. Mario and Solange were opposed to using this creature, so Balasar told them there was another way, but his scouting would be limited - he could summon another familiar, this time a pseudodragon. The group accepted the idea and Balasar went to do an hour-long ritual, where he burned charcoal, incense and some herbs in a brazier. During the ritual, Balasar felt his connection to Solasar. It didn't break. It changed him. He felt that he was shaping him. When the ritual ended, the puff of smoke from the brazier became bigger and dissipated. However, what appeared was a shock to everybody.

    [​IMG]
    Solasar

    This tiny pseudodragon was different from what they think would see or what they read/saw themselves. He had many growths on his scaly body. From his back, spikes from his spine grew. His leathery wings had holes in them but were still functional. Part of the head had no scales nor muscles, just the skull with two reddish eyes. Even if it acted playfully, the group saw it as an abomination. Mario used his Divine Senses, but it didn't register as a fiend, celestial nor undead. He then used his Detect Good and Evil, but it still didn't show up as a fey, aberration nor aberration. This had to be a dragon. The group was skeptical and the little dragon used his telepathy to communicate. Balasar knew that this little familiar is still Solasar but in another form. He told him to listen to everybody and the dragon sent images of loyalty and obedience to the group, while to Balasar images of friendship and kinship. The group had to wait for the monster to do a scouting mission. It flew to the orc camp.

    [​IMG]

    Balasar saw what his little minion saw, no matter their distance from each other, so he told the group in details what there was and even made a map. It was like the officer said. Old walls, new palisades. The ancient keep was mostly underground, because of the fall. The only entrance, it looked like, was through the main tower. He saw a wooded building and some plants growing, something maybe to do with the shaman. There a lot of tents. The orcs were everywhere. The biggest groups were to the west and south but also inside the walls. However, the group saw that there is some space to sneak up to them from the southeast or northeast. Solasar had to return since he was found out by the orcs. They laughed at the creature and threw rocks and arrows. One hit the dragon and it almost died there, so Balasar almost lost his familiar. The group then started to plan. They decided to sneak up to the base, try to take out most of them and use magic if need be when the fight breaks out. Not let them inform the orcs inside. The orcs could easily get on the walls from the inside, but from the outside, it would be harder. The group then decide to go in the morning or at least be there at that time. They had about nine to ten hours. Baâ then wanted to go find animals to help here. Something that could take her hours. The group disagreed with the idea, but didn't say no nor tried to stop her. They did, however, say that she might end up like before doing such a thing, to which she said that she doesn't feel that it was her fault. The group then angrily said that she can go if she wishes, so she did. The group stayed behind, but Balasar used his pseudodragon to follow her if something happens. She did find another orc patrol. They talked about something and searched, after about fifteen minutes left to return to their base. She then went to find animals which she can ask for help. After another hour or two, she found a group of sleeping mountain lions. They were resting during the night (to my fault, since I thought they were more of a day hunter, but whatever). Baâ decided that it would be a bad idea to wake them up and returned to the group, not searching for more animals to help her. Then the group rested together and went towards the enemy base.

    [​IMG]

    They sneaked to the southeast part of the keep. Baâ using her Pass Without Trace gave the group a needed boost, especially since Om Frenzybeard was with them. Luigi had to stay with the horses. The group decided that Elhaeltôr, Solange, and Finn would scout out since they are the best at stealth. They sneaked up to the southeast break in the wall and heard what the orcs were talking about. Solange understood orcish, so translated for them. Apparently, they found the dead patrol and there was a thief around that stole their goods. Pseudodragon was with them, so Balasar told the rest what was going on. Then our scouts moved near the south wall, next to the palisade. They saw orcs on the other side of the palisade, which wasn't fully closing the path next to the wall. Solange told the group he will try to take out the archer, so they helped him get up and using that the walls had high enough fortifications got near the orc and snapped his neck. He then took the orc and lowered him where Elhaeltôr and Finn were. Being there he could see what has changed. One of the patrols was in the base. Archers were on the tower and more orcs before the entrance to it. The officer, however, got bored and anxious and told the other officer that he is leaving, he screamed for his men and they all went inside the tower, underground. This left the main tower, like it was before, unguarded with a giant campfire there. The group still stayed in place, while Solange went to the next orc. The south wall had no more archers. However, at the south wall, there was a big hill that had only two ramps, that were next to the wall. There was a single orc archer that looked at the path, where the rest of the group would have to go, so Solange sneaked up to him, took him with him down the hill and snapped his neck on the go. The rest of the group could join up. Balasar saw that the river started inside a cave, so he sent his familiar there. He saw a cavern where the spring was, another tunnel somewhere, but also a stash of gold with a carpet there. The group started to discuss since nobody knew what the tunnel was for. Finn wanted to go there to collect the gold, but the rest told him not to. Balasar used his familiar for it, but the group decided to go north to the wall. When they got next to the wall, Balasar saw the last moment of his familiar. It died the moment it got near the stash. He lost his familiar.

    The group didn't stop, so Balasar only told them that there was a trap or something. The group sneaked up to the tower, where they could plan their next move. Solange found a hatch that leads to the inside of the tower but was not used by the orcs. The group decided to not use it for now. They wanted to take care of all the orcs outside. The plan was simple - stay in position and Solange would try to take out as many archers as he could. This was the luckiest night for Solange in terms of rolls. He killed everybody in one round, sometimes in one hit, since the orc archers had only 15 hit points. He went from one archer to the next, killing them, hiding their bodies. The orcs that were on guard duty were mostly sleepy and their passive perception was counted, so he rolled always above it. When there were orcs looking around, they rolled poorly. So he went all around the walls taking out four archers along the way. Move to an archer that was outside the walls and killed him too. There were two soldiers in half plate outside the main gate, so he waited for a little and one of them went for a whizz to the river and he killed him. Next sneaked up to the other guard. He was found out by him, but he rolled higher initiative and killed him before he could scream. Then he jumped over the palisade in the southeast break and killed two people. Now somebody did hear a ruckus, so four orcs went to the southeast. When they got there, there were no bodies, but two of them saw Solange on the walls. The real fight was about to start. However, I think it might be a breeze since he killed 1/4 of the orcs and Elhaeltôr still has his spells. We shall see. They still have to meet with the more ferocious orcs inside the keep or even see where they keep their shadow mastiffs.

    The map of how the whole thing went down. Yellow for scouts, then Solange's path. Red for the whole party path.
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Status of the battlefield.
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  9. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    One session, one big encounter. No Jafar. Baâ couldn't play, so she was played by another player for combat. Mario had his in and outs during the session, but for the half of it, he was in.

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 25: Orc Murder? Orc Slaughter!

    There was still chance to do it quietly. However, when one of the orcs shouted something at where Solange was, the group acted. Elhaeltôr used his fireball, that was uped with the addition of his class feature Alchemical Casting (Lore Mastery subclass). He threw it to the west, where the palisade was and hit seven orcs. The sheer impact and fire devasted them. While only one survived, barely, his companions were thrown, splattered on the palisade walls. Now everybody knew they were here. I won't go into additional detail how the fight went, but it was pretty brutal, mainly against the orcs. Finn using his Spirit Guardians slowed and did steady damage to foes. Solange almost fell, surrounded by orcs. Om tried to stop one of the orcs to inform the underground but failed to do so. Baâ transformed into a bear and mauled her enemies. Mario was chopping orcs left and right. Balasar used his Eldritch Blast since he wanted to stay on the tower. Elhaeltôr used his second fireball to decimate more orcs. It took them three turns. I'm not kidding. After three turns all of the orcs were dead. One escaped, so the group jumped to hide. They healed up a little but tried to stay hidden. It wasn't long, two turns until a giant mob of about thirty orcs appeared. Again, this was pretty much won thanks to Finn's Spirit Guardians. It slowed the enemies and did damage per round. However, no chief, no elite orcs. Just the same orcs they had to deal with. Mario and Finn hid inside a tent, so the orcs tried to get in. The paladin was valiantly defending the orcish tent, while Finn could dish out more damage standing there unharmed. Solange used one of his beads to cast another fireball, killing another group (great rolls for damage here). Elhaeltôr used his Shadow Blade spell. Two orcs tried to get to him, but with Balasar they fought them off. Om also killed some, with Baâ in her normal form, since she lost her bear form in the previous rounds. Her healing spirit also helped the group heal up after the fight. Again it took them two rounds to finish the orcs, again one of the orcs escaped. They stayed about four more rounds, but nothing came out of the tower nor from the river cave to the south. They decided to investigate.

    [​IMG]

    Below ground, they saw what happened to the keep. It was all buried. Cracked walls. Missing ones too. Rooms at an angle. Dirt, rock, and darkness. Orcs didn't use any torches in these tunnels. The group decided to slowly advance, while Solange moved to investigate. Baâ, Finn, and Balasar couldn't see in the darkness, so Solange gave Mario Light. After leaving the first room, where it was obvious the orcs came out of here, a stench hit them. The orcs had a potty right next to the stairs outside. Much further in, they saw the sleeping bags. Here the orcs slept and lived, not above ground. Now they saw something interesting. There were no children here. Very young adults. Women. No younglings. However, they found skulls and symbols. Depicted was someone being flayed. Solange recognized this. It was the symbol of the Cult of Blood and Pain or something very much similar. They worship the Demon Lord Gamygyn. They call him Skin-flayed or Eternal Pain. A demon that loves pain, blood and bloody combat. The group moved to their first fork. One of the tunnels had more skulls and beds, while the other had something akin to an armory or storage. They decide to move right to the storage. While the group waited next to the storage, Solange went to sneak up in the darkness. First, he saw the storage rooms. Behind cracked walls, he saw armors, weapons, tools and other stuff. Nothing of interest at first glance. He moved to the next set of rooms, where he saw better beds, chests. These were rooms for the officers. Suddenly he saw a head peek out from a corner. He sneaks up to it and successfully was found at the last second when he jumped the orc. Apparently, it was the wounded orc that escaped later. He made him go "sleep." He heard some sounds inside the room he was in. Something was here, but he didn't see it. This place had pieces of the castle in even worse shape than the previous ones, nobody lived here and it was pretty much eerie. Solange left the unconscious orc, went deeper to investigate and bumped into something invisible. The shadow mastiffs were here. Another combat ensued and Solange barely escaped alive. He shouted for help, but before the group arrived he used his cloak for the first time. He was transported into the Astral Plane called Astral Sea. He doesn't know what happens in the Material Plane, so he decides to return after two turns and heals up drinking potions in the sea of dreams, ideas and strange colors. The group didn't see anything but ran to help. The shadow mastiffs attacked them, revealing their weakness - they become visible in bright light, so Mario's Light that he still had on him made them lose their invisibility. Combat ensued after killed the mastiffs, Solange appeared. One of the mastiffs tried to run away, but the group caught up to him in the room where they were at the start. This was also the moment the Spirit Guardians did something the group didn't want - it killed the unconscious orc. He wasn't designated by Finn not to be attacked nor did Solange inform them about him, so it was murdered. There was a tunnel, hidden a little to the north. However, there was a big tunnel to the south. Solange didn't wait for the group to rejoin or regroup, moved there and saw a group of orcs waiting for something. When he moved closer, the Light he casted on himself just a second before revealed four more mastiffs, waiting, forming a "wall." Another combat started.

    [​IMG]
    Orc Berserkers

    This combat was the biggest of them all. The group saw their first elite orcs - Orc Berserkers. These orcs loved pain, battle and blood, true followers of the demon Gamygyn. Each time they hit someone, they gained a bonus. If they were in pain (half health or quarter), they became more ferocious and fast. These weren't easy enemies and there was some of them. One of the officer orcs almost killed Finn, which would make his Spirit Guardians disappear, however that didn't happen. The group then started to really plan every move, since they were pretty close to using all their special moves. When they were fighting monsters to the south, from the tunnel more orcs showed up behind them. It was an ambush. Solange quickly used his tattoo, Road of Turtle. It was thanks to it, that he survived the battle. The orc berserker, being at a quarter of health attacked... five times. However, since he had no magical weapons, it was useless against Solange. He felt the attacks on him, but there was no pain or blood. Some orcs saw this, but stupider didn't nor did the mastiffs, this made 1/4 of orcs useless in the fight. The group continued their fight when another orc showed up.

    [​IMG]
    Vothug
    Orc Shaman

    In red, crimson robes an orc popped up from the tunnels. It was the shaman. He wanted to use Hold Person, 5th Level, so he could stun about four targets. He wanted to use it against Solange, Mario, Om, and Baâ, who was in her bear form at this moment. However, Finn used counterspell. He rolled a natural 20. The spell didn't do anything. The orc was angry. The combat continued, but the group had more dangerous enemies on their hands. Elhaeltôr used Slow and was able to make the most dangerous berserker to have only one attack and slowed even the shaman. The orcs were in a bad spot. That was until another orc poured out from the tunnels with his followers.

    [​IMG]
    Boghat
    Orc Chief

    It was none other than Boghat. He spearheaded the ambush. This a big orc, with many skulls adorning his hide armor. With a loud shout, he mocked the group, essentially taunting them. Solange, Elhaeltôr, and Mario failed the Wisdom Save for this and this made their attacks at a disadvantage unless they hit the boss, who had two orcs before him. Elhaeltôr didn't need to use his attack rolls, since he jumped with Misty Step over the orcs and used Magic Missle, with his Alchemical Casting hitting four enemies. Each one of them was hit with his force damage (additional 2d10). Our little Finn used his Silence also, that made the shaman even more useless in the fight. There were some problems with this - we forgot that Spirit Guardians and Silence were concentration, so his damage output should've gone away, but it was able to hit four more orcs and kill a very dangerous one. Also, I misread something and the taunted three had their debuff for more than one round than they should have. The fight continued. Solange used his necklace again and damaged the most dangerous enemies, but also Balasar a little. The shaman had to run away, slowed and silenced. The orc chief moved past his dead minions and attacked his enemies, frightening many of the group. Solange had some problems since enemies tried to make him prone all the time. Orc chief used all his attacks on Balasar, who casted Witch Bolt before on the boss. He fell unconscious. However, the orc shaman didn't return. The chief was surrounded. His berserkers were dead.

    [​IMG]

    Boghat lost consciousness. Mastiffs fought to their deaths. When the group looked around, the shaman was on the battlefield. They, however, were soaked in the blood of their enemies. Standing over piles of bodies. This was the end of the Guruhalu tribe. The party decided to investigate the tunnels, quickly run for the shaman. Om stayed and took care of the unconscious orc boss. In the secret tunnels, they found bones, animal bones, similar violet bloody mixture. This was food for the mastiffs. There was a bigger cave next to it. The lair of the mastiffs. The orc shaman was nowhere to be seen, but the group still has to search the whole cave for him.

    The group could have done this attack better, but they succeeded in the end. There were some communication problems, but we were able to resolve some of them at least. Below are some screenshots of the fight. The whole map will be shown when the party finishes exploring. They also killed enough enemies that they will gain their next level after a long rest.

    Show Spoiler

    The first fight. Shown with red circles the fireballs that went and killed most of them. This one right right before the second hit and murdered all of those orcs.
    [​IMG]

    All of the orcs outside dead. Some are coming.
    [​IMG]

    The orc came! Poured out of the tower.
    [​IMG]

    Another fireball. DPS. More orcs dead.
    [​IMG]

    More dead bodies. Nobody coming out.
    [​IMG]

    Mastiffs! Where is Solange?!
    [​IMG]

    The second big fight. Tight corners. Orc pouring in from north and south.
    [​IMG]

    Two berserkers down. Shaman shows up.
    [​IMG]

    The boss shows up. Taunt. Silence. Fireball. Solange stays in front to stop them advancing or at least be their first target.
    [​IMG]

    Near the end. Shaman escaped. Berserkers are dead. Orc chief stands over the body of Balasar, he was saved with Finn's healing word.
    [​IMG]

    Orc chief is down! Two mastiffs still fight. This is the end.
    [​IMG]

    Where we last left our heroes!
    [​IMG]

    These are the orc numbers. Red are those that I planned to be on the inside. Yellow are those that were out on patrol (they killed the first one during the previous sessions, while the second was inside the keep. The third one is set to return... after six hours). The mastiffs didn't go on patrol during the day, so all of them were inside.
    [​IMG]

     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  10. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Jafar and Baâ weren't during this session. Elhaeltôr joined later. The group finally got their 7th level. Balasar will be taking 3rd level of fighter (I think), however, he won't gain his subclass features until he finds a teacher or something like that.

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 26: Costly exploring

    Where we last left our heroes, they were looking for the orc shaman. The shadow mastiff cave was empty, the creatures were killed by the group in the previous rooms. Diplomacy didn’t work, so they had to search for him, meter for meter. It was not until Balasar almost stepped on his invisible form and heard his breathing, thanks to a high perception roll. They found and attacked him. He tried to cast magic again but was stopped due to Counterspell. There was no escape. He was knocked out and tied up. They left the unconscious shaman and chief with Om, Elhaeltôr, and Baâ, and started their search what was left in this place. The first room they saw had two chimneys, almost in ruin. They were filled with earth and looked very unstable. The group felt that if something happened to these chimneys, the whole room would fill with earth and prevent passage deeper into the dungeon. Also, due to Light spell, they found the last Shadow Mastiff, it was the one that ran away during the fight. It looked scared, backed to the wall. Balasar threw him some meat jerky and the group went to explore more, ignoring the monstrosity.

    In the next room, they found the quarters of the berserkers. Here also the orc could have prisoners, but the cells were empty. The berserkers had a lot of trophies, beast and monster alike. Searching their rooms for valuables, they found some loot. A bag with some money, a giant skull and an Actuvian Tetrahedron (you know, the magical-technology “scroll”). Balasar recognized the creature, it was a Behir’s head. A very worth trophy, but heavy. The group decided to leave it behind. After that, they went to the next place. Here the walls looked more detailed and fine. Maybe it was once quarters of someone important, rich. Boghat used it for himself. There were cells for prisoners, but they were also empty. Boghat had a lot of shiny weapons, but none looked good for the adventurers. Chests filled with gold and a big, expensive bed. They searched the room to find some stuff. The chest had about one thousand in gold and Finn found a magical rapier, hidden behind the table with the weapons. Nothing else was found.

    [​IMG]

    The next place was a corridor with many doors to their sides and a big, stone gate with painted, weathered gold keys on it. The group decided to check for a moment the rooms to the sides, while Mario was enthralled by the door. He heard from Balasar to be on his guard. When the group looked into the rooms around them, filled with gold and booty from the orcs, Mario touched the door. The golden keys flashed with light and the trap was activated. All of them heard an enormous gong next to their ears. Balasar lost his consciousness because of it, the rest were deaf for a minute. Remember, that Mario never says “sorry”. He just explained himself that he taught, like, in every knight story, the doors would open, because of his blood. They didn’t. Then the group started to look around. They found a lot of coins and I mean a lot, thousands of coins that would be hard to transport, but also some art and magical items. Finn remembering the gong, ran back. Chimneys? Yeah, those broke instantly after the trap was activated. Filled with dust and earth. The group had a lot of problems now. They decided to take a short rest. They identified scrolls and potions.

    - Potion of Healing
    - Oil of Slipperiness
    - Scroll (Greater Invisibility)
    - Actuvian Tetrahedron (Cloud Kill)

    After that which Elhaeltôr showed up. He explained that he left the rest of the group just after a couple of minutes of exploring party was gone. When he got to the room with the berserkers’ quarters, he heard the sound of the gong and something threw him forward. He fell on that Behir’s skull. He joined the group and helped them.

    They found a stone plate next to the gate. It was pretty strange. A simple, with no decor plate with a singular hole the width of a finger. Fearful of what could have happened, they started to scheme. Mario put his finger inside, twice. Nothing happened. He dripped blood inside. Nothing happened. Elhaeltôr took out his telescopic stick and the group started to touch the place from behind the wall. They caught the hole and pulled. The plate opened a door, from up to down. Bounced a little and broke. Behind the thin stone plate, there was a metal mechanism, which was in bad shape. Nobody was there to stop the plate from bouncing, so it broke almost instantly. Inside the little compartment, there were runes. Words in Actuvian. However, there was about 30 to 40 words, scrambled around. Mario remembered how his old family’s motto went in Actuvian, so he clicked the words one by one.

    Defendere parati sumus.
    Parati sumus mori.
    Sit fluxus aurea, et ad bonum ortum.

    [​IMG]

    The gate moved. The stone plates moved to the sides, revealing an apartment that was looted long ago. It was pretty empty and they had to search for loot. There were couple of rooms. Two with chests, empty. One that was a bedroom. Library that had destroyed books, nothing was of worth here. Also, there was a room with a table that had some leftover items, nothing of value also. Balasar was the lucky one that found some stuff, while the rest found a secret cave. The dragonborn found some coins and jewels in the rooms with the chest, but also a magic scroll and a case with a map, hidden in the library room. The leather map survived all these years and showed the keeps, the Golden Spring and other very interesting elements - like old villages and the political borders of the dukedoms. There were some discrepancies, like now there were more hills. However, they found the name of the castle - Septima Castellum, the Seventh Keep. There were eight keeps around the Golden Mountain Range. Now they knew where they were. Balasar however, didn’t show this map to Mario nor anyone. He didn’t want anybody to destroy it with their greedy hands. The other party found an entrance to a cave, behind the desk. The wall broke, but the cave entrance wasn’t leading there, maybe somewhere else. The caves here were made with humanoid hands, but a lot of it was cracked and broken due to the fall. They found a big stone circle that was painted in gold, already all weared out. However, you could read something there. Elhaeltôr used his time to cast Identify to check if it was magical, it was not, but checking it out, he understood it could have been a teleportation circle long ago. On it, there was something written. In Acturian, like an expansion of the family motto.

    We are prepared to defend, those that can’t take up the sword.
    We are prepared to die for our loyalty.
    Let the gold flow, let the good rise, so that we can see the happiness in others.

    When Balasar joined the rest, they saw that there were some more caverns, going down. More humanoid work, maybe it was an old escape tunnel? Nobody knew for sure. The group decided to go through the tunnels. I want you to remember, that they left the orcs, there was the giant gong sound and the group decided, not being fully healed and magic ready, to search the caverns. However, nothing befell the group during their descent. The caverns switched between manmade and typical caves. They were on right track, but it was a long trek down, about half an hour of descent. Finally, they were in a humongous cavern.

    [​IMG]

    On the center, there was a big hill that had some structures. There they saw pillars, a stone circle, and a giant, round stone plate with more runes. On the other end of the cavern, Elhaeltôr saw a pedestal and went there first. Finn recognized the symbols on the hill as a teleportation circle, inert at the moment. The pedestal had many different runes and a big crystal ball. This was the teleportation panel. Elhaeltôr quickly understood how to use it and was able to turn it on at a moment notice, however, he didn’t yet. The group found another tunnel leading them upward. There another building was inside the caves, but this one was carved from the stone around them. A strange metal door was preventing them from going inside. The many runes of the door still emanated with magic. Mario decided to check it. Balasar ran out, while the rest just stood to the side. There were Acturian words on the door.

    "Happiness" "Love" "Loyalty" "Kindness"
    "Protection" "Prosperity" "Help" "Charity"
    "Fight" "Gold" "Death" "Promise"

    Mario decided to touch them, as he thought, the right ones. However, the player copied the previous hint wrongly but also was going to touch the runes in the wrong order anyway, so it wouldn’t matter. You can guess the right order. He touched one rune. All of them glowed red once. As a warning. He touched another one. This also was wrong. You had to touch them in the right order, the trap was activated. A deathly scream was heard from the wall behind them. Almost killing half of the team. The door opened and four constructs run out to attack the party.

    [​IMG]
    Helmed Horrors

    Walking plate armors with shields and swords. Runes adorned them and most of the magic the group used was useless against them. Some of them had magical weapons, so they could deal damage to these Helmed Horrors. Mario barely stood. When the group defeated three out of four, Mario was lying on the ground, unconscious. The construct was ready to land the final blow, but the group destroyed it before it could. The goal of the constructs wasn’t to defend, but to kill. A hint that something went wrong. Also, if the party wouldn’t kill the construct, Mario would be killed, 99% sure of that. The constructs were lying on the floor and started to rot. The group healed Mario up and went inside, the paladin decided to stay outside, furious at himself. The building was probably used as a stash and research place for someone that took care of the teleportation circle. They found some magical items and little gold. They decided not to dwindle more here and return to the surface.

    When the group got back, they found Om and Baâ. The druid tunneled with her magic to the other side but heard from Om that somebody is coming. Not fully prepared to fight, they ran inside the makeshift tunnel, collapsed it again and got to the other side. The orc captives were left there. The group decided to take a long rest (gain a level), after which they had a talk. Most of the party already were convinced that the orcs escaped and there was no chasing after them. Finn was furious since the group wasn’t so willing to chase after them. Angry that they don’t want to do their job. They started to shout at each other. Mario didn’t apologize. Finn was told that his antics do not help the group. The halfling had enough, after that long rest, he learned Polymorph, so he changed into a giant badger and dug himself out. On the other side, there was no sign of the orcs. He went outside. It was already night. The orc bodies were still there, rotting, attracting animals. He searched around but found no trace of the orcs. They escaped. However, when he turned back to himself, he felt something in his hand. A familiar feeling that once brought him pain now felt welcoming.

    The group also identified their magical items they found. Also, I made an error and told the group that they had two cursed items. Identify shouldn’t tell them this, but in the spell description, it isn’t said that it doesn’t reveal it. You need to find the note in the DMG. My error.

    - Potion of Healing (identified before)
    - Oil of Slipperiness (identified before)
    - Scroll (Greater Invisibility) (identified before)
    - Scroll (Telekinesis)
    - Actuvian Tetrahedron (Cloud Kill) (identified before)
    - Hat of Disguise
    - Lantern of Revealing
    - Circlet of blasting
    - Shield of Missile Attraction (Cursed)
    - Amulet of Proof against Detection and Location
    - Wand of Smiles
    - Rapier of Illusionist (+1, can make subtle illusionistic changes to the sword)
    - Sword of Vengeance (Cursed)
    - About 10k in various coins, art, and jewels.

    A snippet of the fight and reveal of almost all of the dungeon.
    Show Spoiler
    The fight with the Helmed Horrors.
    [​IMG]

    The revealed map. They didn’t explore all of it.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  11. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Baâ and Jafar missing this session. Also, Elhaeltôr. Mario had to go after meeting someone, you will see.

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 27: Truth Behind Blood

    When we last left our heroes, Finn left the group to go outside, catch some fresh air from the squabble the group had. Baâ Wild Shaped into a giant badger and dug out a tunnel for the group since Finn just dig himself out. On the other side, the group saw the carnage they brought to the orcs. No signs of the shaman nor chief. Balasar wanted to go to talk to Finn, but Mario protested, saying this is partly his fault and he will go. Outside, he met with Finn playing on his mandolin, sitting one of the stones, surrounded by dead orcs. He told him that he didn't see the patrol anywhere. Their rest must have given the orcs a lot of time to run away from the keep. The two talked for a little. Mario wanted to convince the halfling that they should work together, stay together. He told Finn that he is sorry for what has happened and hopes that he won't become like him, not seeing his own faults. He tells Finn a secret - his father went missing and his uncle became the head of the family. He sent Mario to the Order to become a knight, essentially making him ineligible to become the head of the family. He was sent here by his Order, maybe to guard him against what would happen to him in the Oasis or to give him a chance to learn about his family's roots. He believes that this is his mission and needs to know more. They both also talk about Finn's mandolin, since it is making the halfling uneasy. He feels something is happening ever since he got it back and he doesn't know what. Mario told him the same thing that he said to Balasar, that he vows to help him in his quest to find the true nature of his problem. With Balasar was his powers, so with Finn the mandolin. They both then decide to return below.

    [​IMG]

    During this time, Solange went ahead to scout the area, while Balasar and the rest investigated the rooms - officer quarters and the storage. In those rooms, they found some coins, three healing potions and a lot of weaponry and armor. They could outfit a ragtag squad of one hundred warriors. The orcs didn't take any of it when running away with the chief and shaman, they had what they wanted. Solange, however, found the temple to the Demon Lord. Pieces of skin. Bones. Blood everywhere. Also, on the altar a wooden statue of a man being flayed, the symbol of Gamygyn, the Skin-flayed One. Solange checked the altar. Took down the statue from it and saw that blood was on his hand. The statue wasn't wet. How did blood get on his hand? He didn't know, but to be sure, he burned the wooden effigy with his radiant bolts. It caught on fire and was burning. He saw the fire turn bloody red for a moment, and he swears he saw a face in the fire looking at him. It vanished as quickly as it appeared. Solange also saw signs, very old ones, from a cult of Valena on the altar. The place was desecrated by the shaman. He checked the place out. Here the shaman had his quarters. The bedchamber was empty. In his chest, he found torture tools, that would work with the torture devices he saw behind the altar, but also some gold, healer's kits and a strange flask with pale liquid. He recognized it as a Pale Tincture, a poison that prevents someone from healing the damage it does to his system. Kills the person in time. He pockets it and never speaks about it to the rest of the group. In the shaman's lab, he finds a lot of alchemical and magical components. Later Elhaeltôr recognizes that it's about 200gp worth of components. In short, I've given "a pile" for the players to use, if they need spell components (that are consumed like those in Find Familiar from Balasar) or if they are going to create magic items to use that instead of gold or finding it. Also, he finds the mixture that the shaman was doing for the Shadow Mastiffs. That was done from rare plants, that the group saw outside on the field, called Shadow Violet, a black plant with violet leafs. This is poisonous to most humanoid creatures, but a delicacy for some monstrosities, especially it is very good for Shadow Mastiffs. This is how the orcs breed and kept control over these monsters. Solange returned to the group, to see that Finn and Mario returned.

    They grouped up and went back to the temple. Here Mario would stay and try to consecrate the altar again since he can't leave it like this. Solange told the group that he saw a tunnel next to the temple, so the rest went with him to check it out. There were three tunnels. Two of which had hidden chests with coins, mainly copper pieces, but also some gold pieces. The third was very smelly when they ascended to it. Most of the orcs refuse went here. The group allowed Solange to sneak and scout out the place. There was nothing of value and nobody was even thinking about going under brownish water. However, Solange saw a hole over his head. The place filled with water long ago and he saw from where it came. The walls also were pretty wet. He decided to climb up and did so successfully, not even gaging due to the smell. When he got himself on top, he was in another tunnel. To his left, he saw water, maybe even a place to dive in. It was clean water. The other way, he heard sounds of the river. This was the spring that Balasar told the group had that carpet. He lost his familiar here. Solange went to investigate the spring and got near the carpet. It moved.

    [​IMG]
    Mimic

    It was none other than a mimic! A carpet one! Yeah, I can't find a picture of a carpet mimic, sorry. Solange had to fight. Since he got a long rest, he could use his Turtle Tattoo. This was the only thing that allowed him to live. It still was a hard fight, since he got caught to the sticky mimic and he could bite him twice. Only the mimic's acid did any damage to him. It was pretty close, but in the end, Solange won with less than half hit points. If he didn't use his tattoo, he would die in two rounds, maybe three. After killing the monster, he pocketed the bags of gold and silver. Outside it was already night, so he checked the other way. He jumped into the water, swam under the rocks and found himself on the other side of the hill. Got back on foot. The rest of the party waited patiently for his return. He explained what happened and the group decided to take some time and rest. Solange took a short rest. Finn stayed with him to play some music but later went with Balasar to check out the storage and quarters. They found more stuff - emerald worth about 250gp and a potion of Fire Breath. Balasar also used his ritual to summon again Solasar. They regrouped and decided to check the portal out. Om and Baâ would stay behind and burn the bodies outside, so no animals would come closer.

    [​IMG]

    Elhaeltôr turned the portal on. The stone pillars shined with runes, while the central stone plate disappeared and a blue column of magic appeared, the teleport circle was working correctly. Balasar told his familiar to fly into it and it did disappear. Balasar could see what the familiar saw if they were on the same plane of existence. He saw that the familiar was in a smaller chamber in a very different keep. Big stones. He had to be in a big castle. The chamber was the teleport room with more crystal balls. The pedestal with the panel had similar runes on it, but also then places for the crystal balls. About twenty places, half of which were filled and only one the crystal balls shined a little. The portal, however, wasn't turned on on this side. There was also only one way out of this room and it had collapsed. A room above was destroyed and the floor with the stones filled the tunnel. It would take time to clear the way, but there was no earth. Also, it was pretty quiet here. The familiar saw tapestry on the walls. Symbols of the Contegoaurum family, a golden key with a red background, and the Golden Brook Kingdom, a gold river with a purple background. The group decided to enter the portal with Elhaeltôr staying behind. The familiar would stay with him and Balasar could communicate with the elf that way. The group entered the portal.

    On the other side, the group decided to dig themselves out by moving the rocks. While Balasar would take his time with the teleportation panel. Apparently, it was broken and needed to be fixed. In short, they were stuck for the time being. However, with Elhaeltôr's guidance Balasar would be able after two hours, to fix it and maybe create a way back. This gave the rest time to move the stones. They made a small passage for Finn to squeeze and waited for his return. Finn couldn't use his invisibility since he would lose the magical Light he had on him, so he just sneaked about. The first room he saw, was used as a laboratory-kitchen-brewery. The second was clean up with a grate that had a small sewer tunnel that a Tiny creature could fit in. The third was a "reception" desk. All these rooms had one thing in common - all of them were empty, looted long ago. There was nothing of value and only stuff bigger than Finn was still here. Now, he had to choose were to go. To his left, he saw a door, pretty old and broken. Before him he saw another tunnel, leading to a room with discarded clothes. To his right, he saw a big door, a gate. It was in fine condition, red silky finishing with gold keys embedded in it. Finn could feel dread near it, so he decided not to touch it. He went to the door and behind it saw a bedroom for someone. Nothing of value, besides some silver cutlery. He went back and tried the tunnel. There he saw that this place was used to take stuff for cleaning, but somebody stopped doing in. The clothes were useless due to time. To his left, he saw another tunnel with stairs up. Before him, however, he saw a red wall. Similiar to his Tiny Hut. Some would say a wall of force that is a sphere in shape. He decided not to touch it and return to the group. He told them what he saw, they waited for Balasar to finish. After two hours, the teleportation panel restarted. All ten balls light up but didn't stay light up. Two of them did as a sign that they still work. After that one of them turned dark and the other stayed light up. They heard a familiar sound and the room lighted up with the teleportation magic. They finally had a magical tunnel between the previous keep and to the place they were now, they could return at any moment. However, they were afraid as they did not know how much time they had, so hearing the portal would stay for about an hour, they went to explore the dungeon.

    They stopped at the red door. Solange saw that Mario's shield was reacting to it, so the paladin got closer, while the rest hid behind a wall. When he got closer, the door shined with the shield and when it went dark again, everybody heard a lock unlock. The door could be now opened. When they opened it, they saw a throne room. Again, no light. Where were the windows? They saw shapes where the windows should be, but there were stones there. The windows had to be closed due to some magic that Balasar saw with his detect magic. The room had three big paintings. One had some unknown heroics. The second to their right had the Tiberion Courvelux fight with the green dragon. Behind the throne, they saw the Golden Spring Castle from bird's eye view. Red carpet with golden embroidery was all in the room. Two statues of knights, similar to that of Tiberion. On the throne, they saw a corpse. Skeleton lied there with his golden armor. Mario was ecstatic, he kneeled and thanked the gods for this. While the rest saw something sinister. About two meters into the room, they saw small white fumes. All around the room. Balasar felt that the room was magical with... necromancy magic. Mario used his divine sense to feel that indeed there was an undead here, just next to the throne. He ordered the vile monster to show himself.

    [​IMG]
    Duke Salvatore de Contegoaurum

    A spectre appeared, like moving through the throne. He looked identical to the man lying on the throne. Had some fleshy features, but was mostly a skeleton. He started by accusing Mario of being a "descendant of forswearers" and told the group he is Duke Salvatore de Contegoaurum, the last leader of his family. Mario told him that isn't true and he came to rejuvenate the family, return it to glory. Salvatore told him to come closer, to enter the white fumes area. Mario did it without hesitation, the rest just looked at what was happening. Again, the ghost accused him of being a low being, to which Mario opposed the idea. The ghost took his hand towards the paladin and clutched it. Mario saw a vision. "You are nothing but a vile human that uses other's for his own gain" and showed him a vision of the librarian, who he used to gain knowledge by pretending to be interested in her and discarded her when she lost her use. Mario again spoke of being a knight. "You bring death to your friends and never apologize for your mistakes" again shows him a vision of two times Mario touched the traps and brought ruin to his companions. Never apologized to them for what he did. Mario was being to doubt himself, but the ghost didn't relent. "You aren't a knight. You just want other people to see you as one. You craft stories, lies about yourself." and shows him the moments he went to taverns to tell the tales of Mario the Knight. "You are only a knight, because you were taught that way, not because you think it's the right way. You cling to the idea blindly like a child that grows up on stories of true knights, but you never grew up to truly become one." Mario objects that he is royalty, that he is of his blood and wants to bring good. However, the ghost disagrees, telling him that he does it for his own selfish reasons. "You speak that you deserve everything, just because you were born with blue blood. You don't see others more than tools of your selfish crusade." and shows him the moment that Mario shouted at the group "I deserve the sword, I am royalty!" Mario sees now the faces of his companions and more importantly - Luigi that tried to speak to him, be he ignored him. "You ignore those that want to help you want to become your allies and friends. In return, you only use them." and shows him another vision of when he used Wyne to get rid of Luigi. Mario was devasted and tried to convince the ghost that he now sees the error of his ways, that he will become something better, that he will return the family to its glorious roots. The ghost only says "Return to me when you have changed, because for now... you are nothing. You don't deserve your name. You are just... Mario." and vanishes. Mario falls to the ground crying, he is in an almost catatonic state. The group took him from the room and left him alone. He needed some time for himself. Finn only commented that it was finally the moment somebody said that to him.

    [​IMG]

    The group decided to check the rest of the castle. First was the red field. The group tried to understand it's nature. Balasar found, by touching, that this field was hard to get through, but you could try. Finn threw a rock with all his strength and it exploded into tiny pieces. Solange joked about Balasar berating Mario for doing the exact same thing as he did - touch something without knowing it's true nature. Finn also tried to throw a rock with less and it bounced off. Elhaeltôr through the familiar commented that this must be some kind of wall of force. It was centered on something behind it, might be a sphere. Balasar wanted to use his familiar but was persuaded by the group not to, since the little could feel pain and had a personality, it wasn't just a tool. Then the group went to the next floor. More rooms. Emptied, robbed long time ago. There was some big, expensive stuff like statues or vases, but nothing small. They saw more "windows" that were blocked with stones. No light still walked in darkness. Then they found a temple.

    [​IMG]

    A big room was used as a temple to the Trinity. Places to sit were about thirty. There some plant pots, but no plants anymore. Three statues, one bigger than them all, were of the Trinity. Their main theme was centered on one of the aspects of the major gods. Valena was shown as a loving and caring mother that wants to bring good to the land. Eris was shown as a goddess of law and oaths. Ilios was shown as a warrior, god of honor and combat. The group decided to check what was left here and found one big, expensive gold statue. It weighed about 100 kilograms, not bigger than 60cm in height. It represented Valena, a smaller statue than the one in the room. Based on its weight, the group appraised the statue for about 12,500gp. Maybe worth more as a faith symbol and historical item. The group decided to leave it. It was too valuable to take it and it's safer here. Then they left to find the last thing in this place - a giant gate. About 12 meters in width and 9 meters in height. The doors were closed by two big metal bars, that were held by chains and the gate. Dwarven runes glowed on the doors. Balasar checked around and find more runes to the side. By checking them with the group, they found that the runes were two words - Open and Close, one written from up to down, the other from down to up. Signalizing their simple usage. Balasar talked to rest what to do and they agreed to open the doors. Finn and Solange hid, while Balasar opened it. He moved his hand and runes slowly glowed. The metal bars, in the center also glowed, becoming two. This allowed the chains that were connected to the ceiling to pull. They were also magical, so they disappeared into the stone. The doors slowly opened, the group went outside. At first, they saw stars, but soon after the sun started to set.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Golden Spring Castle

    They were atop a giant castle. Made with the help of the dwarves. They felt the fresh, mountain air hit them. Mountaintops all around. But also bodies. There were bodies next to the gate. Kobolds. Orcs. The outside of the gate was singed and broken in some parts, but not broken through. Battering rams, fire. Signs of the monsters trying to get in. The gate opened to a giant balcony, where the group could stand and watch the surrounding area. They were very high up. Now they had confirmation, they were in the Golden Spring Castle. They saw the river and the bay. Castra Verta, the ruined city was next to it. There was no life there. There was however at the bottom of the castle. A war was going on.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Orc and Kobolds at War

    They saw flying creatures. Wyverns. Siege machinery throwing rocks, but not at the castle. Two forces battled on the ground before it. Kobolds with siege engines, traps, hidden tunnels and flying creatures. While orcs with brute strength and numbers. Hundreds if not thousands of enemies were behind the walls and in front of them. Palisades were put everywhere, even outside the castle walls set every kilometer or so. This was a place of constant warfare. They also saw giant camps. The monsters near the castle were the only ones. They saw that further along the way to their left and right two giant camps were set. More orcs. More kobolds. This will be harder than they thought. Before they could think of what to do or even count the number of enemies, they saw a group of flying creatures not far from them. One of the creatures stopped. They were spotted. The group decided to run back and close the gate. However, it would take time, before it would finally close, some of the enemies could get in.

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    Flying Kobolds

    It wasn't long before winged kobolds started to show up. Making it hard for the group to fight them. Even Finn's spell Spirit Guardians was useless against flying enemies. He casted Fly on Solange, so he could fight them. Most of them used swords and crossbows to fight, however, there were two that fought using strange potions. One of the kobolds drank a potion and spit fiery breath onto the group. The group fought bravely and Finn was able to concentrate on the spell, so Solange could take care of the enemies before they could deal some serious damage. The gate closed. No more kobold got in and Solange killed most of them. One of them tried to run away into the corridors of the castle but was chased by the flying monk and his allies that used ranged attacks on it. They killed all of the invaders and again it was silent in the castle.

    The full dungeon.
    Show Spoiler
    The red was the tunnel above the filthy water they found next to the temple. This was also the hidden tunnel below the hill outside, where the orcs had a camp. It had a secret entrance to the other side of the hill if they needed some stealthing to do.
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    • Brofist Brofist x 1
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  12. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Baâ and Jafar out. Mario and Balasar had their moments of disappearance.

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 28: Regrets and Treks

    The group, after defeating the kobolds, went back to see if more didn't escape their grasps. They found Mario praying in the temple. The party waited for a little for him to finish. After that, they started to discuss their situation. Mario changed and spoke to the group that what his ancestor said really hit his pride and sense of worth. He needs to change, but for now, he feels that he doesn't deserve this place. He wants to take care of the monsters since they could be a problem for innocent people. They discussed what to do and decided that they would write letters to Sigurd, who gave them the mission with the orcs, and to the Nations Camp, to inform them about the orcs and kobolds. The plan is to gain allies, armies to defeat these monsters in the Golden Spring Castle. Balasar stayed to take care of the portal, while Elhaeltôr could return and check with the rest what was going on. Briefed on the situation, they checked again the room with the wall of force. They didn't find any clue how to turn it off nor any hidden devices. After a while, they got an idea that the reason there's nothing in this room because there really isn't - it must be somewhere else. The only place they could think of is the throne room. Elhaeltôr went there with Finn, to later tell the halfling to bring Solange. Why? Because Elhaeltôr saw one of the paintings that showed Tiberion with his sword Rexgladio.

    Elhaeltôr called out to the ghost and the Duke appeared, asking why they disturb his slumber. They wanted knowledge about what happened here and if there is a way to get past the wall of force. Salvatore said that the only reason he is talking to them is what they did in the temple. However, he wasn't convinced to talk to them, so Elhaeltôr suggested Solange show the blade - Rexgladio to the ghost. The aasimar wasn't sure of this but pulled out the sword. Salvatore was in shock to see the blade. He thought it was lost and only to be a legend. Now seeing the blade with his own eyes, he tells Solange that the sword accepted him as a worthy person. The group asked what does he know about it. Rexgladio is an intelligent sword that decides on its own who is worthy and who is not to wield it. There might be more than one wielder, because of it. After achieving this, there are other things that have to be in order to unlock the full potential of the blade. Not in order are - defeat a dragon, experience true love, gain the acceptance of the queen of elves and king of dwarves, become someone that people see as a leader, and gain the acceptance of the Prince of Endless Branches, an Archfey. Salvatore told the group that the creature exists in a plane called Neverending Green (Feywild), where Fey creatures come from. He doesn't know if there must be a specific ruler (dwarf or elf) to achieve that requirement but says that the persons that were during Courvelux time where Wood Step of the elves and Thunderhammer of dwarves.

    He told the last moments of his family. Everybody was happy, nobody knew what was going to happen in the moments ahead. Then the fall started, the land started to fall, earthquakes took many lives. Everybody ran to the castle and Salvatore ordered a retreat to the Golden City using the teleportation device. He fears that it failed because magic had wild results at the time of the fall. He told them he ordered the few people that were with him to guard the castle, then the undead came. The duke sat on the throne that allowed him to close the castle, however, it didn't close fully. The lower levels are still opened, now full with kobolds and orcs. The closing took time. He heard his companions die behind the doors one by one. Then the flying kobold came and robbed his castle. He saw the creatures downstairs change leaders. Generations passed and nothing changed. Now orcs rule below. The fight continues. He can't leave this place, the throne for some reason didn't allow him to leave and he died there. They also asked questions about the status of the keep, what does he know about the orcs and kobolds and others.

    "What is the reason that the kingdom fell?" Salvatore didn't know the answer to this question. He told the group that nobody knew. The moment the fall happened, every human saw a vision of the death of High King Actur.
    "What do you know about the orcs and kobolds?" He only knows that the orcs and kobolds fight each other over this castle for generations, never stopping. However, he sees machinery. Something he never saw in the hands of the kobolds for a long time. He tells the group that he sees what is going down below but doesn't understand them.
    "Can you open the wall of force?" From the throne, he can do it. As well as open the windows.
    "What is behind the wall of force?" It is a fork, the orb of force is held by a statue. One path leads to the armory, where the castle's defenders got their weapons and armor. Part of it was taken during the fall or used during the defense after. The other path leads to the throne room, the real one, where the orc leader is with his orcs.
    "What is the deal with the forswearer?" Salvatore tells the story that his family is bound to these mountains. Their oath demands them to stay and defend them at all cost. During the High King Actur days, when the Dominium fought against the Imperium of Monsters, one branch of his family didn't stay behind. They went to the front lines and fought against them. Even when the monsters were pushed to the jungles far south of Tethys. The family declined orders from their Duke to return. For him, they and their descendants are not worthy of his blood.
    "What is with the white fumes?" Salvatore says it's part of nature.
    "What do you know about the dwarves here?" Salvatore spoke that he knows that there exists a dwarven fortress beneath the mountain range, in the northern parts. It's called Glimmermagak, the Platinium Spring. During his reign, he didn't have that much of communication with them, but knows that there must be a way to find them - somebody had to write it somewhere or hid a hint.
    "What do you know about the Eclipsed?" Salvatore knew that they worked with the Golden Brook Kingdom. Maybe even as assassins, he hinted that one way to defend their borders would be to kill aggressive neighboring politicians, so the glimpse of war never would show up. However, during his time as Duke, information about them dwindled and he, personally, never had a chance to meet one of them, but he thinks one of their headquarters might be in the Golden City.

    After that, the group told him that they will try to get rid of the monsters. Salvatore reveals to them that the only reason he stays here is waiting for someone worthy to rule over the castle. Someone who can truly take it from him or become someone, in his eyes, that deserves it. Mario wasn't during this conversation, so when they left the room, they went to Mario and talked about the situation. Now they know, that the orcs and kobolds are in the castle and defending from inside isn't a good choice. They needed an army more than they thought. The group decided then to check the last portal because two of the ten orbs flashed, so there could be another teleport working. Balasar turned it on and made his familiar go there, but the creature wasn't teleported. Elhaeltôr reasoned that the other side has to be blocked by something or something is preventing teleportation. The panel must be working and the orb is in place. The group decides to take the orb to the locked place with them to not allow teleportation to them and go back to the Septima Castellum, take that orb and return to the group.

    [​IMG]

    Outside they met with Om, Baâ, and Luigi. The boy came worried about his masters. He tells the group that he waited for their return and during the day, orcs were patrolling around but didn't come close to the cave. Then he heard a giant gong and the orcs ran back to the woods. He decided to stay a little longer, but when the night came he knew he must act, but during the night he would get killed by the orcs, so he waited for the sunrise and came to the keep. He found the rest of the party, disposing of orcs, but nothing of the patrol. The group was ready to depart. They went for their horses and journeyed to the road to Logemakam. There Mario gave Luigi the letter to the Nations' Camp and sixty gold. For the first time, he called Luigi "son" to the shock of everybody, but the boy didn't hear his master say those words - he is too used to being called Bastardo, Luigi or Boy, that he didn't hear what Mario said. Elhaeltôr gave the boy a letter to Sigurd. Luigi now had to send those letters and one to Logemakam that he safely did what was asked of him and can continue his training in Orth. He was given the Illusionist Rapier and one Healing Potion.

    The letter to the Nations' Camp would be sealed by Mario's signet ring. Inside he wrote that he is an adventurer, they got to Golden Spring. He writes the approx. numbers of kobolds and orcs, but also about the wyverns and machinery. Tells how it looks, the palisades and how it looks from a strategic point of view. That they are inside the castle, in the lower parts. He tries to convince the person that if one side won, they other would overrun the place and start thinking about neighboring places - Nations' Camp or the villages to the west. In the letter, he wanted to relate to the commander's need to help and conscience, he doesn't want the whole army to help with the issue. Also, ask for an answer.
    The other letter is to Sigurd. They try to convey the situation they are in. Elhaeltôr used Illusory Script to hide the letter's contents, so only Sigurd could read. In short, they destroyed the orcs there, who were from the Shadow Wolves tribe and their leader escaped. The group found out that the orcs' home is just three days from the keep and are servants to the Demon Lord, Gamygyn, whose place of worship the group cleaned up and consecrated again to Valena. However, the group also found out the situation in the Golden Spring. A huge army of orcs fights with the kobolds, the orcs are inside. In the keep, they found a teleport to the castle, so it's possible the orcs wanted to get to that since the way to the upper floors is blocked by a wall of force. The group secured the teleport, so it won't be used. For now, they will be in Logemakam, help there and come back to Orth.

    [​IMG]
    Logemakam

    The group set out to Logemakam. It was just half of day of travel on a horse from their place, so they were noon at the place. This village was built the more hilly part of the Golden Mountain Range, on top of a singular mountain. Around it, they saw farms, many farms, where the dwarves bred cattle, sheep, and pigs. Big walls. Giant towers. Many houses, but they thought that the village doesn't have more than a thousand strong, maybe less. The biggest stone buildings were on top of the mountain and maybe even there the monastery was. The group took their time to question the dwarves on the road or in the inn-warehouse that is next to the market and the main gate, the only gate. The inn-warehouse is called Iron Mug and Chest (Żelazny Kufel i Kufer, makes a better pun in polish), it is built this way to accommodate merchants and other traveling groups. The party saw that dwarves recognized Om Frenzybeard. They feared that he could bring them problems, but the dwarves explained that everybody in town knows who Om is. Also, while trying to get information from the innkeeper, Fugul Ironfist, Finn took care of lodgings - sang a rare dwarf song to show him his skills and for the group not to pay for their couple of day stay. So, they found out that the kobolds were a nuisance more than a danger. They stole animals and food from the farmers. The leader sent a patrol after a cow got missing, but after that, there were no reports of the kobolds. That was about a month ago, so the dwarves think that the kobolds stopped caring. Generally, the dwarves do not worry about kobold threats since they are very much secure in the mountain. They do mine iron from the nearby iron mine that is beneath the mountain, but in case of siege, they would lose the farms and the marble quarry that is nearby the city, outside the walls. Asked about meeting with the boss, he proposed that he will send a boy with the message that the group wants to meet with him, they accepted so the innkeeper paid a couple of coin to a young dwarf and he went to the top of the mountain. They also asked about the oldest dwarves. There are two that are from Logemakam - Udir Ironfist, the son of the founder Udor Ironfist, and Avush Ironfist, the first disciple of Udor Ironfist. The group also asked about clannames. The dwarf explained that after the fall of Thunderhammer, many dwarves started their own families, like Ironfist. Many of those took names, so a lot of dwarves in Logemakam are Ironfirst, but not born in Logemakam. There are other clans here and he tells the group that there is an emissary, an ambassador of sorts, from clan Brightaxe in the village. The group decided to meet with the leader before nightfall. Om and Baâ went to meet with Urnut Ironfist. Mario would stay at the inn, for now, he needed to regain his strength and some dwarves wanted to know about the belt he got on him.

    The group journeyed to the top, passing by many dwarf houses. They saw the entrance to the mine, a giant, fat stone building that nobody would be getting into from the other side. On top, they saw that there exist gardens, behind the most important buildings and the inn-warehouse. However, there was a gate on the way and also one on their ascent. They were stopped by guards, but quickly let in after learning their destination. There were three buildings on top. One was the monastery called the Painted Road Monastery. The building of the village council and the building of the ruling family. Most of the buildings in the city were of stone with just a hit of marble, but there were some that were just pure marble. Quite the exquisite workmanship. Inside the council building, they saw a lot of dwarves bustling around and they were escorted to the main chamber. A big audience hall, but not in height. A marble table was used by the council that counted five members. Three of which were present at this time. One was an older dwarf, ginger hair, well-kept hair and beard. Expensive clothes. This had to be the leader since he also sat in the middle. To his right the chairs were empty, so to his left two dwarves sat. One had shorter hair and beard, younger than the leader. Wore clothes that reminded more of vestiges. Symbols of Urist Thunder adorned his cloth. The last one was a blond fellow, also had expensive clothes and more of serious look on him. No noticeable stuff to recognize who he was.

    [​IMG]
    Udir Ironfist
    Son of Udor the Founder
    Leader of the Ironfists

    The leader greeted the party and introduced himself, then the rest of the council. The cleric was called Thosbut Ironfist, he was a follower of Urist Thunder, like the symbols shown. The other was Amkol Brightaxe, the emissary from his clan. He asked what the group came for, so they explained that mainly about the kobold, but also to inform about the situation in the mountains. They started to talk about the kobolds and orcs. First, Udir told the same story they heard from the innkeeper with a caveat, that the patrols couldn't catch any of the kobolds since they escaped their grasp. There are somewhere there still, he thinks, but they didn't show up for about a month. When the group told about the war, he told them that it is nothing new. The orcs and kobolds fight over those lands for generations. Kobolds won't travel over the river, so they need to burrow their way to the other side. If the orcs want access to the river, they need a place, a keep. The Golden Spring then becomes the most contested place in the mountains. Their situation doesn't change since the kobolds aren't a threat to Logemakam and the dwarves don't have the numbers to patrol up to the river. However, upon hearing that the kobolds might be lead by a dragon and the group saw two of them, Udir became more interested. The group spoke about the green dragon, to which Udir replied that they dwarves know about him. The second was something they never heard of. Machinery in the hands of the kobolds? This must be investigated. Udir asked if the party is still interested in work. They would need to check the kobold hideout, get rid of them, but more importantly, get information about why they are here. If they find the animals, they could get some coin from the farmers. After that, they were asked if there was something more, so Balasar asked for a fighter teacher, to which Udir replied he will send someone, while Finn asked what the dwarves know about the dwarf fortress in the northern mountains. Here the blond dwarf for the first time spoke.

    [​IMG]
    Amkol Brightaxe
    Emissary of clan Brightaxe

    "Where did you get this information from?" The group was flustered by the aggressive demeanor of the dwarf. They told that a ghost told them. The rest of the council was dumbfounded and Amkol spoke to his companions in dwarven. Telling that they must be lying or something, nobody knows this information. Balasar knew dwarven, so he called out the dwarf to not call them liars. The dwarf apologized and told the group that information about the fortress is very rare. Especially where it is located, so they need to tell them how they gained this information. The dwarves were going for a wild ride. The group spilled their beans about getting inside the Golden Spring, talking to Duke Salvatore. This is how they got all that information. The three dwarves couldn't believe what they heard. Amkol asked why would a ghost talk to you and the group told that one of them is a descendant of the family Contegoaurum. This made Udir again speak. "A descendant? Are you sure?" He asked about what else happened in the castle. After that, he went silent not speaking to them.

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    Thosbut Ironfist
    Cleric of Urist

    Thosbut took the place of talking with the group. He apologized again for the questions, but all people thought that the family died in the fall. This is something new. The group explained that part of the family was outside the country, on war campaigns. They never returned, up until now. Thosbut told the group that they needed information from the kobolds, to know what they are planning. They can't decide on anything if they do not have enough information. Thosbut also asked Solange about his robe and hearing that he is a monk, he told him that he can visit the monstery next door if he wants. The conversation went smoothly, Amkol apologized again and then Udir spoke up. "This descendant, please send him my way. I need to talk to him." The group agreed. Thosbut just whispered about the fighter, so Udir added that yes, Balasar will get his teacher. When the group left the building, Amkol almost jumped out of his seat to whisper to Udir.

    The group then met in the tavern and Balasar finally showed his map. Now they could see what was going on. Also, they saw that the possible place of the kobolds is near one of the eight keeps around the mountain range. Their numbers weren't in any order, might have been the way they were built. The nearest to Logemakam was called Prima Castellum (First Keep), to the east and going clockwise, was the Sexta (Sixth), Secunda (Second), Octavia (Eighth), Quinta (Fifth), Quarta (Fourth), Septima (Seventh), where the party were two days ago, and Tertia (Third). The Golden Spring and Castra Verta were marked, but also a lot of villages in the mountains and around. They saw political borders to the other dukedoms and the country to the south. This had to be map during the Dominium time, so the Elven Kingdom was created. The neighbouring kingdoms, starting in the southwest, were Dukedom of Ilyrium (had to be where Golden Rafter is and the other border site), Dukedom of Capisalta (where Orth was and to the north, near Greenleaf), Dukedom of Viridi (where the Green Forest is, but on the map it isn't that big), Golden Dukedom (the Golden City) and Dukedom of Terminus. Now they knew the locations of the keeps, so if there is a need to find them and check for the teleportation circles, they could investigate.

    The updated hexes.
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    The party wanted to stay for at least one more day, see if they get information from Luigi. For the next day, Mario would go to meet with Udir, Solange would visit the monastery, Balasar would train, Finn would shop around and Elhaeltôr would check the magic items. When Solange and Mario got to the top, they got separated. Mario was escorted to the estate, while Solange went inside the monastery. There he saw the dwarves, and some humans, train their bodies. The Order of the Open Palm specialized in warfare and combat. Their training was very dangerous and rigorous. Solange met with an old acquaintance, Emgash, whom he fought during the Harvest Time festival. Emgash took Solange for a tour around the monastery. It was cruder here in terms of living than he knows from his time in the Brotherhood of Sun. He saw some soldiers here, who trained with the monks. After being shown the monastery, Emgash, asked if Solange wants to meet with the master, prior of the monastery. He agreed.

    [​IMG]
    Avush Ironfist
    First Disciple of Udor the Founder
    Prior of the Painted Road Mon
    Grandmaster of Open Fist
    Master of the Raven Road

    In a big hall, that was used as a meeting-meditation place, that had no carpet just hard stone and some lights on the wall sat one old dwarf. Simple clothes. More ripped than anybody in the monastery. Emgash explained that this is Avush Ironfist, the grandmaster, and discipline to Udor the Founder. Solange also, just by looking at him, knew he had a magical tattoo - the Raven Road. The single raven tattoo on his shoulder was just additional proof. He talked with the old dwarf about the Eclipsed. Avush never had a chance to meet them but heard of them from his master. Udor Ironfist, from Avush's words, did meet them at least once. He suggested that nobody living from that time exists in Logemakam, but he could find some old elf if he wanted information. Or a gnome. After that, Avush asked if there is something troubling the young monk. Solange didn't feel like something was on his heart, so Avush said that he looks like a man that is on a mission, that brought him before a choice, but it seems he already choose his way. Solange agrees that it is the case and explains that he saw a vision and wants to resurrect the Eclipsed. Avush only had one advice, "never allow the darkness to swallow you whole, remember about those that you care about, your friends and family." He thanked the monk and wanted to leave, but Avush had one more thing to say "when you are ready, I still have the tattoo" as a hint that Solange can come contest the tattoo at any time. He thanked the sage and went with Emgash. They joked a little, while the dwarf asked what would happen if he would have won the sparring match and if Solange wants to test his might again, to which Solange replied that he can, but this time he will use his tattoo.

    During that time, Mario went to the Ironfist estate. There the things looked much more expensive. The whole building was made of marble and was one of the oldest buildings here. The whole family, descendants of Udor the Founder lived here. Udir himself already is a grand-grandfather. He was escorted a dining room where only Udir was. The two could now speak freely. Udir wanted to know if it was true if Mario is the real descendant. He asked him also what he was doing here and Mario spoke of "I had plans", not that he still has. He inquired what changed. Mario spoke about the meeting with the ancestor, that he told that he is a forswearer and not worthy, to which Mario agreed. "So?" spoke the dwarf. Udir wanted information, but Mario wasn't ready to give them. The dwarf wanted to know where the paladin's ambitions lied. He started calling him "ballless inheritor" who after just one meeting with his ancestor gives up. Mario doesn't get angry since he agrees with the dwarf. Udir, however, got his information - Mario still wants to take back the castle, help his old family line, become a better man. "Would you die for a stranger?" was the most important question for the dwarf, to which Mario replied "If you asked me that a week ago, I would say no. Now, yes." That's what he wanted. He laughed that the man still is ball-less and it will take time to find his balls. Udir told him that if he needs an army, he got one. He went for hard liquor and poured for the two of them. Udir wasn't going to say why he is doing this. He already had a scuffle with the Brightaxe emissary about this, but if he asks, he will get more dwarves to help. Mario, through insight, reasoned that this dwarf had some old oath to fulfill and that is why he was helping Mario, not because of his race, but because of the surname. Udir told the paladin that if people think you are forswearer, if you aren't that good, then you need to show them that it isn't a case. Repent of previous crimes. Make his family line worthy of their name again. He spoke that many people will tell him what is worth in this life - family, friends, money, name, reputation, power. For the dwarf, what is important in someone is the conviction. If you are ball-less, then you aren't worth his time. So, when Mario comes back to him, changed and a better man, worthy of his name, then he will tell the reason why he is willing to help with the Golden Spring Castle. After that, Mario departed with Udir showing him the family.

    The group later talked about what happened and what they are going to do. If they can get the dwarves inside and maybe an army, then seizing control over the place would be an easy thing to do. They also talked about the sword and Solange mentioned how he felt something in his hand. This made Finn realize something. There was nothing wrong with his mandolin, it was the sword calling to him. He asked to see the sword and the group met in their room. Stone walls and beds, with wood finish. No real danger of making a dent after flying into them. Solange took out the sword and Finn grasped the handle. Nothing happened. The single rune light. He was able to grasp the near two meter in length sword. Almost thrice his size, but still unwieldy since he doesn't know how to use such a blade. The group discussed what could be the reason that the sword chose him. The theories about Solange's was the defeating of the werewolf or making Balasar a follower of Lord Sun. Finn said that he felt something in his hand after getting out of the keep, just after his squabble with the team. The theories there were about standing up for yourself or defeating the enemies. However, now they had two people who could wield the sword, but none of them knew how to use it. Finn tried to see if the intelligent blade speaks and asked him "how are you feeling?" He felt happiness from the blade. The sword communicates with his wielder with emotions, not words. The rest were pretty skeptical about what Finn was doing, but they didn't see any deception there. The sword had mixed feelings about the rest of the party and was sad that he had to be in the bag. Gaining knowledge from the blade would be impossible since you can't really relay information by emotions. However, the blade could "say" yes or no, so it helps a little. They put the blade back and if one of them could wield it, then maybe they will think about using it in battle. For now, the group would wait for Luigi's message and check the kobold hideout out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
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  13. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Jafar out. Balasar and Elhaeltôr weren't fully at the start, but later for the kobolds, everybody was.

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 29: Little Lizard Rascals

    Our little team of scallywags discussed for hours on what to do. They agreed not to take any horses with them and leave more heavy stuff here in Logemakam. Balasar went to exchange their silver and copper pieces, had to walk from merchant to merchant since there was no bank here. Mario went to talk to Udir again, but this time just ask the council to take care of their stuff. There was no problem with it. Solange got a talk with the innkeeper about food recipes. He was very devoted to the idea of helping his teammates with cooking great food, that the dwarf wanted him to borrow his family's recipe book. However, Solange didn't understand dwarven. The dwarf agreed to translate some of them, so when the aasimar returns, he will get at least a few of them. Finn learned more dwarven songs from signers here. Elhaeltôr worked on a magic item, started when the group got to Logemakam. Balasar also found a book about dwarven building techniques with annotations about the Dragon Fortress, ancient fortresses built during the Dragon Kingdoms Era, when the Red Dragon King created the dwarves and they, in turn, were enslaved into these massive projects called Dragon Fortresses. It was several or hundred thousands years ago, based on who you ask. During their stay, they also met with Om Frenzybeard, the friendly dwarf was recognized by about every dwarf in the village. He came to the group to tell them he wants to stay for a little longer. Many people want to meet him and talk to him since he is essentially one of the last of his clan. A dying breed of dwarfs that were masters of the brewing process. He told the group that when they return he will join them or on later date will go to Orth. After that, they parted ways.

    [​IMG]

    The group then journeyed to their destination. It took them two days of travel, in which time Elhaeltôr was able to finish the magic item he was working on - Goggles of Night. Allowed the wearer to see into the night. Made thanks to amethysts they found, but also a pair of fine goggles Elhaeltôr bought in Logemakam. He gave it to Finn as an apology for the squabble they had before. Finn accepted it and they went to the place Udir spoke off. The hills were very jagged and treacherous. Many holes and ravines plagued these lands. This made travel dangerous. The group had to find the kobolds in this place. Thanks to Elhaeltôr's and Solange's eyes, in heavy rain mind you, they were able to see an entrance to a cave nearby and a smaller one on top of the same hill. There were some tracks of the kobolds here, so the group was on the right track. They decided to split up with Elhaeltôr, Solange, and Finn as the scouting party and the rest behind. They successfully sneaked up to the cave on top.

    [​IMG]

    It was a small tunnel. Ideal for a small creature, but the others had to crouch walk. They all decided to check what's inside. Even due to the rain, which thankfully didn't flow inside, there were some very old tracks of kobolds. Not many, maybe two. This meant that this could be a second entrance, but almost never used by the kobolds in this hill. The group decided to venture further. It took them some time and they got very low, maybe even lower than the first cave entrance was. The tunnel ended in a hole, that was actually a natural chimney. On the bottom, the group couldn't see but hear, there was water, maybe a big underground lake. Above them in the hole, they saw smoke. About two to three meters above them. This smoke went up the chimney. It was very dense, but there was some light shining through it. Solange decided to check it out. The party prepared by making some makeshift masks. He climbed to the other side. It was wet, slippery and a small creature would have a better time with it than him, however, he was more ninja than man and got to the other side without problems. He stood in the smoke, but when crouched, he could see a cave. Campfire. Food was cooked. Kobolds everywhere. He even saw "dragons" - red riding drakes. He used the magical rope to make a way for the rest of the group. Finn using the rope, got to the other side. Elhaeltôr also, but he knew, that without this rope, he would surely fall into the hole (he has -3 to Strength rolls. The rope gave them an advantage, he rolled 0 and 16, so barely got to the other side). There they decided to wait for another person. Suddenly a kobold showed up. He was the one that fanned the campfire and meat, so the smoke would go to the chimney. He moved to the other side, being very near the group that hid in the smoke. When Mario got to the rest of the group, Solange had to act. When the kobold wanted to go around the campfire again and almost touch the heroes, he grabbed the kobold and almost snapped his neck on the impact. This kobold was very weak. The group decided to fight, now. The rest will join them.

    [​IMG]
    Kobolds

    The gnolls were hard and it was a slaughter. The orcs were also hard, but the last fight was dangerously close to TPK. This fight? The kobolds never stood a chance. When Finn got out and used his Spirit Guardians, that one spell killed four kobolds in an instant. Most of the kobolds weren't super strong and the CR for this encounter was already "calculated" beforehand. I rarely do encounters at the group level, makes the world unrealistic. Solange was second. He went out the smoke, jumped onto a hill and found javelin throwers and the boss, half plate with sword and shield. He looked different than the others, more dragon-like. Baâ conjured four black bears that mauled most of the critters. Mario jumped onto the drakes and their riders. The kobolds weren't prepared. It took some time to wipe most of them, that were in the cave, the rest ran away. The boss was beaten by Solange, who used his Turtle Tattoo. They had a hostage now. Their first one got killed because one of the kobold wizards threw a fireball. The first time the group felt such magic on their bodies. Mario tried to reason with the kobolds to surrender, using his draconic. One of the wizards was dead at that time, the second fought bravely and died. The rest of the kobolds surrendered.

    The group could now do some inquiry. Finn found that three of the kobolds (wizards and their chief) looked strange. Their skin, scales but also eyes were more reddish. Their features reminded them more of dragons than kobolds. Finn knew that these were Dragon Kobolds. Awakened type of the kobold race. When a kobold is near a true dragon, their body changes to imitate that of their host - so a black dragon would make black kobolds that are resistant to acid and maybe get more gifts. This also means that these kobolds are stronger, more intelligent and charismatic. However, a dragon might not be needed - the blood also suffices. For now, since the boss was asleep, they gathered info from the other kobolds. They did not know Common, but Draconic was fine. Apparently, they were sent here by their leader - Shuggend, leader of all the kobolds, to check this place out, dig for ruins of a keep and find jewels and crystals. The kobolds themselves didn't know what they were looking for, just gems and crystals. They already shipped everything days and days ago, just like their headquarters is days and days of travel to the south. The farmyard animals were already slaughtered and used to feed the drakes and themselves, they do not have them anymore. The group then decided to wait for their little boss to wake up, who followed the orders of Shuggend. When the kobold woke up, he was more eloquent than the rest of the kobolds. Not only speaking in Common but also it wasn't broken Common. His demeanor was that of a soldier and he shared his knowledge with the group, not hiding anything. He was ordered by Shuggend to dig for an ancient keep, to which he has a crude map to, find everything that is a gem, jewel, crystal or whatever and ship it back. He says his job is done here anyway since the keep is on a very unstable ground and when monsters came from the dark, the group ran and the tunnel collapsed. He explains the two ways out of this cave - on leads outside, by other smaller caves with places to sleep, the other is the tunnel to the ruins. The group had more questions. One of which, they showed him the crystal ball of teleportation, which he recognized and told that indeed they found such a thing and sent it to Shuggend about twenty days ago. He doesn't know of any dragon but knows that his change is due to Shuggend, somehow, since he said so. Thanks to Balasar detect thoughts and Mario's Diplomat ability, they were able to convince the kobold they were on his side, so he sold out his tribe. He told them were Shuggend should be - in the castle (Golden Spring) or their headquarters. Shown a map of the territory, he pointed and told where the main tribe is. Apparently in the highest mountain, north of the castle and river. He told the group that there are many tunnels to that place and much more around. He tells the group that there are tunnels from the other side of the river, under it and straight to the castle, but most of them are for small creatures. The group then debated diplomacy with Shuggend about the orcs but didn't decide on the course of action. Mario used this to convince the kobold leader to join him, work for him. Since he rolled natural 20 with +10 (so 30 on Persuasion) plus the kobold rolled a natural 1 to resist the powers of Diplomat feat (you can charm a creature), the kobold was willing to work with him. He told Mario that he needs his stuff because if he tells the rest to betray Shuggend or returns to their lands, he will be killed. The group decided to give him his stuff. They learn that his name is Cleig. Mario also asked about the other kobolds. He tells the group that they will be killed if they go to the other tribes and since their mission here was a success, they can safely return to Shuggend. He can, however, muster those that remained. Mario tells the kobold to move to Septima Castellum, the keep they cleared of orcs, and stay there until further notice. Cleig agrees to do so. Now they have a kobold ally. Strange session. First, they killed many "innocent" kobolds, now they got one strong one as an ally.

    Two screenshots. During the battle and after.
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Jafar and Elhaeltôr out. Milestone. 30 sessions. Each at least 3 hours. Feels like nothing, in a sense that I don't feel that it was that many.

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 30: Caves and Critters

    Our group took some time to ask more questions to Cleig, the kobold warrior. There were a plethora of inquiries. First, they asked about Shuggend. From what Cleig knows, he is a powerful mage. Kills outright weak kobolds that create problems, while stronger ones (those of Dragon kind) are killed by dropping into lava as an example. He has his own chamber that no one can enter. Cleig believes that his leader is over one hundred years old, since he was, as far as he knows, when the tribe's headquarters was being built or before. Second, they asked about their rites or traditions, which the kobolds have little of. Cleig was hardpressed to even think of one. They worship "the Mother", which the group recognized as "The Mother of All Dragons", who is worshipped as a god for some time now. They do have a temple chamber dedicated to her, but it's mainly used as a meeting place and for Shuggend to do speeches. Third, they asked about tunnels and their headquarters. There is a vast network of tunnels under the mountains made by the kobolds, which took many generations to achieve. Cleig also spoke about "big tunnels" beneath those, but he never went there, however, heard stories from other kobolds that there are creatures there that would kill kobolds like them outright, so they never really go down there. Their tribe base is located in the biggest mountain north of the river. There, for generations, the kobold tribe created chambers, caves upon caves. The layout is simple. First is the entrance, which is heavily guarded and trapped. Then you enter the Warrior Chamber, where most of the tribe's warriors spend their time. Next, you get to the Family Chamber, where young ones live and most of the weak kobolds reside. After that, you get to the Temple Chamber, where the temple to the Mother is built and Shuggend uses it as a place to gather his people and speak to them. Then you get to the Elite and Wyvern Chamber, here the Dragon Kobolds reside. Here they train themselves, but also the wyverns, lizard, and drakes have their beds here. This is the most dangerous place of them all. It connects to the main chimney, the shaft of the mountain that goes from the top to the bottom, where there is lava. The mountain is a dormant volcano. The last chamber, to his knowledge, is that of Shuggend, where only he can go and a select few. However, Shuggend doesn't have any "right hand" men or anything like that. He is very secretive and barely speaks about his plans. Cleig during this conversation learns that they lost the castle, which would suggest that his mission was to find gems and crystals when Shuggend still had a hold of the castle. After that, Cleig leaves the group.

    Cleig's map
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    The party decides to check the tunnels. First, the ones that Cleig with his people went to. Those were mainly caves with kobold beds and these rascals were mining to expand them to make more space. Cleig told the group he thinks he finished his job, but he wanted to be thorough, so he wished to stay here for longer, mine a better place to stay and find more gems until Shuggend will send information that he can return. There was also a hole in the caves and the group heard the sound of water dripping below, it had to be connected to the other hole in the main cavern. Finn also went outside for a second to look around, since it was the main tunnel out, but the kobolds were gone. It was still day since they went to the hill at morning hours, however, still rained like a motherfucker. This allowed the kobolds to walk outside since they wear vulnerable to sunlight. The group backtracked, Elhaeltôr stayed behind to investigate the rings, so the group checked the other tunnels. Here they saw signs of search mining. The kobold hit some rubble, but no buildings. A sign that they are close to the keep. In these tunnels, they found some kobolds, miners that ran during the combat, but the just ordered them to go away to Cleig. The first tunnel they investigated lead them to a giant hole, that seemed endless. With Solange's Light spell, they saw that the hole might be about 200 to 300 meters long. A bit fall. It did not hit the water like the previous two holes. The group also saw a wall on the other side of the hole. It seemed that the hole formed around the keep or the room, building or whatever fell down and stopped right about the hole height. There was no place to stand on and after a long debate, they decide to search the other tunnels.

    [​IMG]

    Quickly the group found the cave-in. Cleig told the group that the cave-in happened during the attack of the monsters. However, there were signs that somebody destroyed wooden beams that held the ceiling. Might have been one of the running kobolds, but he didn't tell the truth to Cleig, fearing what would happen if he told the truth. Under rocks and parts of a wall, they saw pickaxes, small tools for the kobolds' hands, but also bodies, rotting away. The group debated for a while what to do next. They decide to walk back, rest in the big cavern. They took a short rest, which is about one hour. During that time, Elhaeltôr found that the rings were of magical sort. One gave resistance to electrical damage, the other allowed the user to be unhindered in movement and couldn't be paralyzed or slowed down by magic. The former was given to Baâ, the latter to Solange. Rested, they went back to the cave-in and started to dig. Pickaxes went to motion, buckets of stone were tossed to the side. The group made a lot of noise in the tunnels. When they got to the other side, they saw an empty room. Stone bricks looked similar to those to the previous keep. They found something. This room was strange in construction since they didn't know what it was used for. There were two exits. One was in front of them, just to the right. To the left, however, there was about a two-meter rise and a pair of stairs on the end. There you could get to the top and next to the other door. The group slowly entered and started to look around. When they were very near the entrances, they heard some gurgling shout. Monsters attacked.

    [​IMG]
    Quaggoths

    These monsters were all in white fur with big claws. Very muscular. Faces with jagged teeth and black eyes. Strange monsters. The group couldn't recognize what they were. Elhaeltôr wasn't with the group. Later when he joined, he recognized them as Quaggoths. They jumped the group. Almost defeating Balasar in one round. Solange was also dangerously hurt. When the group acted, they used their powers to kill the monsters. Balasar barely got out. With magic from Finn, the monsters got very hurt in the process. They wanted to stop them but were unable to. When two of them fell and one was near death, Solange heard somebody cast a spell. Mario and Solange saw that something peaked around the corner of the first door they saw, where most of the creatures came out of. These creatures were just minions. They had a master.

    [​IMG]
    Mind Flayer

    It was a tall creature, long arms, and fingers. Thin body. They didn't see its legs, maybe they were hidden beneath the black robe it wore. Little chains rattled when it moved. They saw it was bald and then they saw the most important features. The skin was an odd color of purple. The head didn't have a mouth, just a set of tentacles. The group then saw like reality warper around them. Everything swirled. Finn, Baâ, and Balasar stood there stunned. Solange and Mario barely had their minds together. Two of the furry creatures died outright. Two others stood stunned. There was another one, but it was behind a wall when the mind flayer casted Mind Blast. The group had to act now. Mario saw Solange run to the creature and Balasar being attacked by the one that hid. He jumped up to help his friend and ignored the boss, saving Balasar's life. Solange however, jumped down and over the creature. The Illithid then felt a sharp pain, when four powerful fists hit his back. Black blood came out of his mouth and onto the floor before him. He didn't think this would happen. He had SANCTUARY on him. Solange had a good streak of rolls. The monster then used Telekinesis and made Solange fly back to the room and escaped. The group followed the monster after defeating the creature but found Solange still looking around. The mind flayer escaped, but they heard some strange sounds.

    [​IMG]

    The place they were in, was a temple. For now, they didn't check to whom. However, at the end of the temple, there was a giant hole. They heard strange sounds of rocks hitting. Something big was pulling rocks from the wall, then falling, then hitting the wall again breaking more rocks and slowing down its fall. The mind flayer had a companion that the group didn't know what it was, but it was so far down the hole already, they decided not to follow it. Later, Elhaeltôr would come and tell the group that it was an Illithid, a creature that was not so long ago first sighted when the Underground Tunnels (Underdark) were found. It uses some kind of magic, that attacks the mind and is very dangerous. The group had time to check around. The whole place was looted long time ago. There were some dust and rocks here, but the kobolds did their due diligence. There was a pile of coins, about 700 of them, most of it was copper, that was brought here maybe by the kobolds or these creatures. The temple had a statue, but no altar. This statue showed a woman with an owl on her right arm and a bat dangling on her left hand. Part of the group recognized her as Eris, but this aspect of the major god was called Lady of Secrets. She keeps a balance between truth and secrets. Tells only the things people need to know about and hides the others until the right time comes. Finn tried to find something that was secret here and one of her small fingers looked like it could be pulled or moved somehow. However, when he got his hands on it and used some strength, it broke off. Mario went for Elhaeltôr, while the group tried to have a rest here. After coming back, Elhaeltôr used a small metal wire to see what's inside the statue, since pulling off the finger showed a hole. When he got something attached, he asked Mario to pull and when that happened, everybody heard the breaking of metal and rocks inside. The mechanism that was hidden in the statue rusted away, it was useless. Elhaeltôr and Balasar decided to destroy the statue, but Mario suggested otherwise, so they compromised on digging around the statue to find answers. While that was happening, Finn spent a lot of time looking for a secret passage and there was only one wall he couldn't check because there was a cave-in. With Solange's help, he started to move rocks. Soon, they got to the other side, while the rest was digging with shovels and pickaxes in the temple grounds. The pair found a secret entrance to two rooms. However, they were looted not long ago, by the creatures in the previous room. There were clear signs that kobolds didn't get here, just Quaggoths. There was a broke corner in one of the rooms that lead to the same hole, this was how they got inside. It was all searched. One of the walls, that was atop of a pair of stairs, had strange words carved into it.

    [​IMG]

    Death for some is a beginning.
    Life for others is an end.
    The road is most important for both.
    But the truth lies in the middle.

    It was written in Acturian, so the group understands what was said (in Polish it sounded different and the meaning of words might change). Soon, the rest stopped digging and joined the aasimar and halfling. The group started to think what the riddle was about. Balasar saw that some words were clearly touched by magic - death, beginning, life, end, road, truth and middle. Balasar clicked (by player's mistake) the first word and whole riddle light up in red. They already saw this warning. There is no other. The group then started to think hard what would be the answer to this riddle. However, the group understood that it had to be one word. They took a vote which to click, all went outside and Mario touched one of them. The walls opened and revealed a secret room.

    Show Spoiler
    The answer was Road.


    [​IMG]

    Inside there was a rock pedestal, on it a giant fire opal, fiery red in color. Big as a fist. Worth about one thousand gold pieces. The other looked like a cloak. The party joined and Elhaeltôr took his time to check what the cloak did. Of course, they checked for more traps and such, but there wasn't any. Elhaeltôr told the group, after ten minutes of identification, that this was a cloak called Cloak of the Bat. This allowed someone to fly like a bat, if it was dark enough, but also change into a bat. The cloak also helped someone to hide. The group started to discuss what to do next. The money and gem were stashed. The statue was left alone, the mechanism had to be connected to the secret room somehow, but it all rusted away. Then part of the group heard something behind the wall. Like the earth moved. The group started to move to the exit, but when they got near it, they heard a lot of the earth move. Then the whole tunnels started to shake.

    [​IMG]

    "The thing is about to collapse! Move! Move!" shouted Mario, trying to make them orderly retreat. Solange started to jump from one place to another for the rest to have more space. Finn used this to jump onto his companion and inspire the group with a joke song. Balasar started to shout that they will die if they fall off. Baâ used her survival instinct to see when the rocks in the tunnels fell for the group not to get hit by one of them. The group safely succeeded in the skill challenge and got out to the main cave. They heard a big earthquake near them, dust and earth were flung out of the tunnel entrance. When the dust had settled, the whole building here collapsed, forming a giant hole. The keep might have been lost this day. However, they feared that this might happen to the rest of the canyon, especially in Orth since there is a giant hole there.

    [​IMG]

    The group decided to take a long rest. They exited the cave, never looking back on what might they have missed in the tunnels. It stopped raining and it was getting dark. When they started to make camp, Mario and Finn heard something get near. Mario, from the sounds, recognized that it was a small creature, might be a kobold. Finn sneaked up around. It was indeed a kobold, in dark leather clothing, tried to get close to the group, but only for them to see or hear him to start a conversation. Mario began talking about it, while it hid behind some brushes. It talked in the third person and was named Punn. It was sent by another tribe to see what the kobolds of Shuggend are doing here. It was too scared to get closer and moved away when Finn tried to get near it. They inquired the kobold about who he is, why is he here. Punn came to this hill to check out this rival tribe, to know why they were so far up north. He tells the group that he got here yesterday, slept during the day and before night he heard something loud. When he came here, the group was here but no kobolds. They tell him they ran away, so Punn tells them he needs to return. They try to make him not leave yet. With Mario's charming voice, the kobold was willing to spill more information. He works for Lord Magmos, whom he never saw in person. Apparently, he came to the kobolds with goblins, rounded up the small tribes into a bigger one. Most the kobolds there hate Shuggend and were worried why his men were here. The group quickly deduce that this must be Ragmaw under an alias. However, they aren't able to extract from this lowly scout enough information. They even concoct a plan to give him a letter to Ragmaw, but the intelligent kobold tells them he isn't sure if they will allow him near Lord Magmos. This wasn't an arch spy or something, bigger kobolds would just beat him up, steal his stuff or maybe even kill him. He might never see Lord Magmos. The group then started to debate what to do next. They were split on the issue. Some wanted to return to Logemakam and to Orth - Solange was a strong proponent of this. While Mario and Balasar wanted to see Ragmaw, talk to him and see what he is doing. Mario wanted to maybe ask him for help against Shuggend, while Balasar wanted to see if Ragmaw changed into a more proud dragon and not some monster they saw him as before. Finn decided, since his birthday is in three days, he will return with Solange. Baâ decided to go with Balasar and Mario since she didn't care about the city so much. Elhaeltôr didn't decide there, but later the player said he will go with Solange since Finn and Solange spilled the beans that Sigurd might be deathly sick. In short, next two sessions will have two parties.

    Two screenshots.
    Show Spoiler
    This is after exploring the ruins, before the collapse.
    [​IMG]

    This is the full map, after the collapse. On top was supposed to be the main entrance, with kobolds guarding, however, the party went to the secret tunnel.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    The team split up. Here is the session with Solange, Finn, and Elhaeltôr.

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 31: Plans and Secrets

    Before the party head out to Logemakam, Mario asked them for a favor - to tell Luigi that everything is fine and he doesn't need to worry ", my son." After that they split up in the morning, the others following the kobold. Our adventurers went straight to the dwarf village, asked time and time again by the dwarf guards why only half of them got back. The group didn't have any plans, so they went straight to the council. Again, on the way, asked why only half of them returned. When they got to the council chambers, they saw two dwarves standing before the door, they weren't guards, but the group thought that they saw them from somewhere, but couldn't recall. They heard shouting, somebody had a heated discussion in the room. However, it was all said in dwarven, so they couldn't understand a word. Suddenly, the doors opened and Amkol Brightaxe came out. He didn't look happy and seeing the group, told them they can enter. He was ready to leave with the two dwarves he was with, his personal guard. However, he was stopped by the group, interested what has happened. "Political problems, none of your concern." He did ask them why only half of them returned. The party told him they have information about the kobolds and maybe everybody needs to hear this. He made a deep sigh and returned with the group to the chamber. Udir was sitting behind the marble table. He looked at the group and asked the same question why only half of them returned. The group was getting sick of the question. They started to explain what they found out about the kobolds and their leader. The name Shuggend is known to Udir, but it was something he heard decades ago. If it is true, then there is a pretty old and powerful kobold steering the main tribe. Udir told the group that they will need to take care of them, sooner or later. The group got also paid like it was said in the paper, 500 gold pieces. Finn also tried to get information out of Udir, why the two of them fought and what is this political thing, the rest didn't care that much. With a high persuasion roll, Udir told them the truth - he asked Amkol for reinforcements from the Brightaxe Clan. Not to help in Logemakam, but with the issue of the mountain tribes. Hundreds or even a thousand strong force would be requested by Udir. However, this is a very delicate political matter. Udir lived a long life and knows some stuff about the politics around him. He tells the group that the canyon for the most time was infested with undead. It took nearly two hundred years to clear enough land between the forest and mountains, that civilization could take hold. Also, the monsters helped in this endeavor - taking the mountains and some forests for themselves. It's better than was before, but it's still pretty dangerous. Before that, however, this place wasn't a political asset, nor was considered. It was noman's land, where only the bravest and prepared came. This meant that the neighboring countries of Kingdom of the Vale and Kingdom of Actur for generations didn't care about the canyon. If one of them decided to take the land for themselves, it could not only make more problems politically but also they would have a piece of land that would take generations of people to fix and a lot of money. Now, the situation changed. The place is more livable and if the neighboring countries see this place as a more lucrative place. However, none of them claim lands here. Their armies that are stationed in the Golden Rafter and the Nations' Camp are here on a mission with the Golden City, not to take over land. Even if they do not claim these lands, the situation is very delicate. If the dwarves came with an army of their own, it could mean that another player at the chessboard appears and the other would be forced to make a move. The Kingdom of the Vale isn't in the Alliance of Northern Kingdoms, nor the dwarves. The other problem is transportation. The dwarves need to move past one of the two kingdoms to enter the canyon. Amkol got angry at Udir because he suggested the dam and for the dwarves to just make their way on the river. Even counting all that, there are other countries that have their agents in the canyon, maybe even the Great Empire of Freedom. In the grander scale, this isn't of major interest, since the threat of the Great Empire to the northern kingdoms and religion. However, controlling these lands would allow better access to the Golden City, villages, and towns that can support the army, but also they wouldn't have a noman's land near their border. This discussion went on, with the group suggesting other ways of transporting the dwarves. Trying the teleportation route. Maybe disguising them as adventurers. Only the airship (from the gnome city Quadropolis) was the most viable for now. However, all depended on one thing - how long the group will wait. Udir explained that he can get some of his men to help and send for more to the Brightaxe clan, however, the latter would come later since Amkol needs to return to Brightaxe for that. The more the group waits, the more they give Shuggend and the orc leader time for their plans. Since they now learned that Shuggend might have a way to enter the castle from the inside already. The group thanked for the offer and said they will need to discuss this later. The group took their stuff from the dwarves and prepared to leave. Only Solange had something to do with Logemakam still - the dwarf cookbook. He got about ten recipes translated by the innkeeper, who didn't want any money. Solange gave him ten gold pieces, but when he heard murmuring from the dwarf that he doesn't care because their price is higher anyway. The dwarf declined gold, but later Solange, with sleight of hand, put a bag of hundred gold pieces below the counter.

    The group moved out of the dwarf village and it was finally the 18th - Finn's birthday. Solange took this time to cook something special for Finn, as a birthday present. Finn didn't want to celebrate this day on the move and told the group he will prepare a feast later on. The group then talked about other stuff. How the elves only celebrate certain milestones in their lives, like your first hundred years, not celebrate every year like other races. Finn and Solange were the same age, twenty-eight. Elhaeltôr couldn't remember how old he was but suggested that it might be nearly 400 to 500 years old since he remembers the time of Actur or even before that. He might be old as Annael from Estel'Anoron, however, the silver elf didn't look as old as Elhaeltôr. He might be closer to Old Leaf, the old wood elf druid. The group took their time to rest a little on the road and returned to Orth. The town didn't change a bit when they were away. The party left their horses in the stable and went to the guild as their first stop. When they got close to the door, they almost hit somebody that was leaving. The humanoid creature had strange gray skin and was armored. The group couldn't tell if it was a woman or a man.

    [​IMG]
    Melika
    Member of Elementar

    However, the race of genasi is pretty known to the group. The woman, as they found out, was leaving and going back to her group. This was a member of another adventurer group called Elementar. Their leader Ishmael was a cleric of All-Father. His worshippers are very ambitious and willing to show everybody that the world is theirs. She introduced herself as Melika and told the group that they came to the town not long ago and that Ishmael wants to check the underground tunnels out. The Elementar, however, didn't have any maps of the abyss. The party, feeling sorry for them, decide to give them something for their trip. They gave Melika a potion of Healing and a healer's kit, just in case. She thanked them and left. The party felt that their leader must be very hot-headed to check the dangerous tunnels first, not very well prepared.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the group found Luigi, Gwendolyn, and Alice. The latter two were talking among themselves, so they didn't see the group enter. Luigi, however, jumped from his spot to run to the party. Elhaeltôr during their conversation would write a letter to the other group, that they want to meet up. Put it on the notice board. Finn first talked to Luigi, while Solange was afk for a moment. He told the young kid that Mario is alright and he will return shortly. That he finally sees him as his son. Luigi didn't know how to feel about that, so he changed the topic to the "weirdoes" as he calls the new group. Apparently, it was a group of five. Four genasi - fire, water, air and earth, and a half-orc. They found out that they are called Elementar. That they leader is very vocal and they came about three days ago. Yesterday they made plans to go underground and prepared - shopped for tools and provisions, today they went down. However, he did hear that they will be staying for longer. Later, Solange, "woke up" and spoke with Luigi. He wanted to talk to the young boy that his father realized his faults, he still is pretty selfish with the castle issue, however, he wants to change for the better. He tells the boy that he needs to train more and needs to remember his heritage, that his ancestors were a force for good and if any of them, even Solange, strays from this path, to remind them about it. Because they need to hear from their friends, that they are at fault, no matter the time or place. Solange also asked the boy about his training, to which he said it will take time. The monk suggested if the boy would be interested in becoming a monk. The kid used this opportunity to make a joke, smiled a little to Finn and looked at Solange with "No, master, I think I will stay with something harder" and ran away. This made Solange shout about how the training is hard. The boy later joked that he already had monk training - he was beaten up. The group laughed a little and then spoke with Gwendolyn. They found out that the Elementar group is an adventuring group for a long time. That they come from the south, the water genasi is a rich man that came from the Oasis. They don't seem to worry about money. Asked about what is happening in the town, she only mentioned that there is some political stuff going on, but nothing an adventuring group would care about. Next the party wanted to explain to Gwendolyn what they found out, but first need to talk to Sigurd. The paladin didn't want to talk about the warrior, still blushing at the mere mention of him. However, she took down the kobold quest from the notice board. The group later went to Sigurd, following Gwendolyn instructions, and later, for lunch, they would talk to the guildmaster.

    [​IMG]

    The town didn't change much, but it was pretty cold and windy outside. Not many people walk around at this time. The group goes to the North District. The first intersection on the main road, they went right and looked for people. Gwendolyn told them that they need only to ask people there to show them which house is Sigurd's. They saw one old man by the window, being berated behind his back by his wife that he opened the window when it's cold and windy outside. They asked him which house and got an answer. Before they could ask for anything else, he was hit with a pan and shoved back inside. The woman excused herself and closed the window. The group had a laugh and went to the aforementioned house. It was cruder than the rest. When the group entered it, since the door seemed open, they saw nobody inside. The story building was crude also on the inside. Not much of plants and other decorations. Solange did shout when he entered, but nobody gave an answer. Solange and Elhaeltôr heard a murmur of pain on the floor above them, so they ran there, while Finn only followed - they didn't tell him what they heard, so he only walked. Upstairs, they heard a shout of pain, so they ran straight into the closed room. Solange kicked it open. It was a bedroom. A single, very well made bed, and many cabinets and shelves. Two people were inside. They saw Havifgar, the cleric of Ilios, kneeling before the bed. He was wearing his armor. The other person was Sigurd, almost naked. Only wearing an open shirt. He looked very tired, sweating all over the place. However, they saw something horrific.

    [​IMG]
    Parasite

    About the halfway mark of Sigurd's chest, his skin and muscles were gone. They saw his heart and other internal organs. What was keeping everything in place was a giant, meaty growth, like a giant parasite. This creature stretched from half of his chest, through the stomach, crotch area and some of his legs. Some of its tendrils were under the skin and muscles in places it didn't take over yet, they looked like big veins. The biggest part was at the center, where Sigurd's stomach was, a giant bulge, an eye. It was closing, because of something Havifgar did. When the group entered, the cleric wanted to kill them outright and stretched his hand to his giant blade. The group tried to explain that they came here because they heard somebody scream in pain. They succeeded in the initiative and calming down the cleric because he was about to kill them. Sigurd also spoke up that the group is alright and he doesn't need to worry. They did hear that this isn't something that they should see and he should have killed them there but decided now not to. Sigurd told Havifgar that everything is alright, he helped already and can leave. "Stop staring at me so long, I'm naked," said to Havifgar like to a best friend. The giant man smiled at him and said his goodbye, but not to the group. He just passed by them.

    The group wanted answers, so Sigurd took this moment to put on some clothes. At first, he was very weak, but in time he regained strength and looked and acted like his old self. Elhaeltôr was able to discern that the creature Sigurd had on him was a parasite and symbiote of some kind. It wasn't a curse, poison or disease. The stage it was in was deadly to Sigurd, so removing it would kill the fighter outright. The cleric was doing something to stop the creature from spreading. The group had a talk, first about Sigurd's situation. Apparently, when he was rescuing a lot of people two years ago, a monster appeared that used some kind of slime. It changed weak living beings into monsters, so Sigurd took upon himself to attack it. He did kill it but had to be infected as well. He was a pretty strong person, so the creature took it's time to devour him from the inside. About six months later, he felt pain in his stomach but didn't do anything about it. After a year, his belly has bulged. When magic was used, the creature started to show itself. It took another six months for his friends to find a way to stop the spread. The monster almost stopped growing for about six months. Now, the speed of spreading is minimal. The cost of it is big, but not for him since he was an adventurer. He told the group not to tell anyone, especially Gwendolyn, this was also the stuff he wanted to tell them when Finn asked for the truth. The party didn't want to lie but told him they will try to not speak about it. He told the group, they don't need to do anything, he has it under control. If something shows up, he will ask them for help, but for now, it's okay.

    Then they talked about their quest. They revealed a lot in their letter and only added information about the kobolds. Sigurd feared that the orcs were too close to the other villages and wanted to do something about it. The group was the first thing that came to his mind. However, he believes that something must be done about the monster tribes in the mountains. Maybe kill their bosses or take control of the castle. This will be hard and he told the group that he can muster about two hundred soldiers from Orth since he has sway over the Council. He can't help them with transporting the dwarves since they asked for aid here. However, he suggested that they need to decide how to do it, since going through the mountains will be tough and long, and going by the bay with Castra Verta is out of the picture - it's too dangerous. The group thought about the teleportation circle, but it might not be enough. Sigurd suggested that if they will use the teleportation circle, a whole army would not go through it, maybe a squad or two. They also were asked if anybody else knows about the situation int he mountains, they told him that they sent information the Nations' Camp about the armies, which Sigurd believes will make the armies to send agents to the group, since getting near the castle is near-impossible. This might mean that the group will need to decide who to chose, since the Alliance, Kingdom of Actur and Kingdom of the Vale would be interested in holding the castle if they got a way to provision and reinforce the place. The port there is haunted, so that would be priority also, the group told Sigurd that they thought about that place too. He told the group that whatever they decide, they should come to him, not to the Council. They also asked why isn't he trying harder to take care of his monster, to which he tells them that the reason he didn't tell anyone about it because people need hope. He sees their smiles, that they do not worry about the future and it's all he needs. He can't leave nor take his own life, but if the monster will spread enough to take over him, he would kill himself or Havifgar would do it for him. The group also feared that something similar to that what they found in the kobold ruins, could be underground. Sigurd agreed that something similar could be behind the attack two years ago. They were reserved with the idea of taking soldiers from Orth, since that could lead to the town to be vulnerable.

    The group also talked about other stuff. Like Sigurd talked with Solange about something he said in the shrine but didn't care enough to inquire more, however, he did suggest Solange get more clerics here since they are specialized with killing the undead. The group was awarded their prize. Having heard from the group before, Sigurd prepared the reward with a bonus beforehand. He put out an iron rod, that had paper and a black cloth wrapped around it. When Solange wanted to take it from his hand, it didn't move. Sigurd also took his hand from the rod and it levitated, unmoving, over the ground. The group got an immovable rod, a paper that they can turn in the Merchants' Guild for two thousand gold, and the black cloth was a Portable Hole (for their problems with coin transportation). They were hesitant to take it from him, but he told them he is already on his retirement, so he won't need to use it and he has enough gold for "curing" himself. The group then discussed what to do next and were shooed out by Sigurd, since they started to discuss their next job with taking out the quest papers next to him.

    After that, the group returned to the guild. Finn took this time to ask Jasper to prepare a birthday party for his friends, to which he agreed to do. Solange however, took this time to prepare food for dinner, so Alice can take a break. He rolled a natural 1. He burned a lot of stuff and gave Alice 50gp to replace the cookware, while he would clean up. The group then ate something light. Alice also tried to tell it's her fault that it's not a big dinner since she had to shop, but Solange spoke out that it's his, because he burned everything. The group laughed and Alice hid her face since it was better to tell she was late instead "it burned down!" During their dinner, the group told Gwendolyn, Alice, Luigi, and Hannah what happened. From the start to finish, they didn't omit anything. Luigi heard that about his ancestor's ghost and Mario's fall. Luigi couldn't decide what to feel at that moment, but wanted his relationship with Mario not to change, he still wanted a master to lead him, so he can try hard and become somebody great. Hannah was blown away by the stories, couldn't even believe half of them. After the talks, Gwendolyn had a lot of questions, so the group took their time to answer them. One of which was what the group will do now. They wanted to go to Estel'Anoron, retrieve the blade and ask for help. The rest will have to wait for their return. They also talked about help from Gwendolyn. In the end, she could ask her friend at the border point of Kingdom of Actur to help with transporting the dwarves, however, that would take some time to move the political capital around. She can, however, grant them safe passage through the Dominium territory since she is a high ranking member of Order of Divine Scale, where their headquarters are in the Dominium city-state. Since she had experience with warfare, she suggested the party to decide when they want to fight. This was the most crucial moment. The second advice was to take out the leaders - the orc and kobold one. With them gone, they forces would probably scatter. Especially if they know who to kill near the castle to disrupt the armies. The third advice was to get information about the orc leadership. They know a lot about Shuggend, where he is and what his base looks like, however, they don't know a lot about the orcs. She isn't very keen on the idea, but she suggests that the orcs could be controlled in some way. If the group is able to win a duel with their leader, this might lead to a different outcome than all-out war. The orcs respect might and if the group shows that they are powerful, it might make a difference in battle and after that. Kobolds would scatter and war with each other after their powerful leaders would die or be defeated. The last advice, which was also Finn's idea, was to think what would the group do after. If they defeat the armies at the castle, they need to man it. Maybe then ask the Brightaxe clan for reinforcements. Slowly gather armies there. After that, the group decided to check with Zook, before going.

    [​IMG]

    The tinkerer's shop called Inventions and Problems from the outside looked very dangerous. Signs of burned wood and cuts were all over the place. Many strange machinations were on display behind the window. The group decided to enter the building. Inside they saw ever more machinery and inventions. Even a working automaton, called a clockwork, that worked on something. The gnome was nowhere around. However, they saw two important things. First, right behind them, one big golem stood, not moving. The group didn't recognize what it was. The other important thing was that the bell, that was supposed be atop the door, broke off. Finn recognized some inventions around here. One were gloves with metallic parts, two tubes atop. These allowed the user to shoot something similar to the cantrip Fire Bolt, but only a couple of uses, before it's useless. The second was a metal staff with a golden finish, that was filled with holy water. Attacks from this staff were considered holy (radiant damage). Most of this was part magical in nature. Then the group saw Zook, however, he didn't see them, so he shuffled around his stuff. They started their conversation with him. He tried to repair his bell by using a crossbow and metal bolt but missed the door and the bolt flew through the door. The group came here since Sigurd suggested that he is the person to talk to if they wanted to get airships from Quadropolis. After a couple of inquiries, they got their answer - 4000 gold to transport about 300 dwarves from the Brightaxe lands to Logemakam. It would take many days, but at least not months. Solange successfully persuaded the gnome to take a deal. The group will try their best to convince the people to come to his shop and see his inventions, if he can get two airships, maybe even for a lower price. A natural 20 on Solange's part. Zook took some time to think about it and told the group that he will ask Quadropolis about this, but it will take a couple of days for the answer to come back. The group here forgot that the Mages' Guild can relay information with magic. With this, the group started to look around. Not Elhaeltôr, since he didn't care about this stuff. Solange found a curious item called the Drunkard's Orb, which looked like a translucent orb with a person with a beer, it showed the user the nearest alcoholic beverage. He bought it for 50 gold. Finn found a necklace that had a tiny book inside, like a cheat sheet, that would grant him a small bonus to History checks, however, he didn't buy it. The group after that decided to travel to Estel'Anoron.
     
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  16. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    The team split up. Here is the session with Balasar, Mario, and Baâ. There were some changes to portraits and alignments after this session. Also, Finn updated his history - now his comes from a family of musicians and he had a wife (that died tragically to orcs).

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 32: Last of Its Kind

    Our friends decided to have a small conversation about their plans, before heading out with the kobold. Balasar was interested in Baâ's story, why is she here. He connected her story to that of the Mind Flayer. This creature would be a "sign" that Baâ is looking out for - corruption of living things, be them creature or plant. Balasar then decided to check his book. He found some information about the Mind Flayers. Pretty "common" stuff for DnD players - they eat brains, powerful psychic powers, telepathic web, Elder Brain, live deep in the underground. Punn didn't know anything about these creatures, nor never saw creatures with tentacles. The group also tried to communicate with the dog. Remember the dog that followed Balasar? He is always near him. Never barking. Loyal and intelligent. Baâ tried to communicate with him with magic, however, the dog didn't answer her. Ordering him to bark also failed. This creature seemed intelligent but had some strange behavior for a dog. Detect magic also failed to sense the creature other than Beast. Whatever the dog wanted. Why it followed Balasar. The group couldn't discern and the kobold was keen on going forward. They talked to Punn about himself and his tribe. The kobold spoke that his original tribe was killed off by Shuggend's followers. He escaped and survived. When he heard that somebody is uniting kobolds from other destroyed tribes in the north, he decided to join. His new tribe doesn't have a name yet. Most of them don't like Shuggend. They also asked about religion, but he himself isn't very religious. He spoke that most of the kobold he knew worship The Mother. In his new tribe, there is a lot of different kobolds from the destroyed tribes, so it differs from kobold to kobold. The group didn't have any more questions, so they moved forward.

    [​IMG]
    Punn

    The group followed Punn for two days. Traveling over the hills that surrounded the Golden Mountain Range. Before nightfall, they found their destination. On a hill, they saw palisades and small buildings. There were some ravines in the hills, but most of them were collapsed. The kobold made sure that you had to go next to their palisade if you wanted to get near their base. The group saw that were about two rows of walls and on top of the hill, there was a big building. That had to be the leader's hut. The party counted that there could be about one hundred kobolds there or more if there were caves filled with them underneath, but that could mean that there could be hundreds more. Punn told the group, that they need to follow him and not stray from the path he will make. Only Baâ was able to see dozens of traps around the group. Pitfalls. Holes. It was getting dark. The group saw lights. Campfires were lit in the encampment. Baâ saw kobolds coming out of the holes nearby. However, Punn never stopped walking. The group was pretty suspicious that something might happen. Nobody, however, got near them.

    [​IMG]

    When they got near the gate, Punn was shocked that it was closed. He tried to get on the gate. However, before he got over the gate, it opened to the outside. The group saw a group of about forty kobolds looking at them. Next, they heard movement around them in the shadows. Behind them and to their sides. They were surrounded. Mario tried to convince the group that they are here peacefully and came to speak with Lord Magmos. They even tried to show strength, but not being intimidated by their numbers. Their speeches were heard and one of the kobolds, a small kobold in robes moved forward. He casted a spell. The group was concerned that it might be something bad, but they didn't take out their weapons, especially after Balasar told the group it's nothing special. The kobold just used Dancing Lights to make some magical lights over their heads. The group thought that this was to show other kobolds that there special or something. No. It was, if they did something bad or ran away, the kobolds had something to shoot at in the darkness. The group followed the kobold since he ordered them to follow. The group saw what Punn spoke about earlier. There were signs of many different tribes here. Nothing unified. However, Mario saw something he didn't suspect he would see. There were two kobolds arguing over something, but he couldn't hear what. However, three bigger kobolds stood next to them. Two of which were armored and the third listened to them. Quickly he understood that those three were sort of guards, sheriffs if you will. Something that rarely happens in kobold society. Most of the time it's all about survival, so there is barely any time to create a more lawful structure. If you make problems, you get exiled or killed. Here, however, the situation might be more lenient, based on the person making the judgment. They didn't have time to examine the situation.

    The group moved past the second palisade and got near the top of the hill. While the other ravines were natural, the one near the big building wasn't. The group saw that around the big, about three-story building, there was a huge ravine. It would be hard to take over this place. Also, they were a palisade around it, with stone foundations. Somebody intelligent created this or engineered it. The wooden building was big with a giant door. No windows. However, a big, high, leather roof. The kobold told them that this is far as he can go. Lord Magmos is inside. The group moved, Punn also, towards the gate. When they got near, it was opened by even more kobolds. These were different than others. Black scales with red under it. A mixture that they never thought would see on a kobold. These were Dragon Kobolds, touched by a dragon. Awakened to become something new. There was about forty of them behind the palisade. However, most of them wore robes and walked with a stick. They didn't look like shamans, more like sorcerers. Many more than they would think they would see here. Those who weren't magic-users wore plate armor and pretty decent weaponry. Didn't seem like kobold made. There were also goblins here. Similiar to those that they remember. One of them stood out and he was before the door.

    [​IMG]
    Haycrisp

    The old goblin they thought would die, didn't. Haycrisp sat on his little friend, who wasn't so little anymore, more like a giant spider. He didn't like what he saw. He accused the group of coming back to finish the job, kill more of them. The kobolds were ready to attack, but the group calmed everybody down. It took some persuading Haycrisp to allow them passage. The goblin didn't want them to see Lord Magmos. The group felt that he was stalling for time, however, whatever he was waiting for, never appeared. After an exchange of words, he accepted and allowed them passage. The goblin ordered the rest to open the door. They also didn't like the idea but decided it was for the better right now. They used ropes to pull the door open. The group could finally enter the building.

    [​IMG]

    It was very spacious inside. Also, very lit. Torches all around the place and a center light too, but we will get to that last. About thirty meters long to twenty wide the building was. To their left, they saw two stories of laboratories and bookshelves. Kobolds dressed like those outside worked on something hand and hand with creatures the group saw before. Baâ didn't. The spell constructs that Ragmaw had in his old keep. To their right, they saw a big furnace, a forge, and armory. This was the place where the kobolds got their good equipment. However, no iron ore. All of it was created by melting old weapons and armor. At the back of the building, they saw an artificial cave made of stone bricks. Inside many shinies were ready for the taking. Nobody was guarding it. At the top, they saw the leather roof, however, it was obvious by the construction that it allowed being opened just enough for a huge creature to fly out of. Now, when we speak about a huge creature. At the center of the building, there was a pool. About six to eight meters in diameter. Surrounded by similar warrior kobolds. It was the source of light since it was filled with something similar to magma. Red and black dense liquid. He stood inside of it. Much bigger than they remember him and looked even stranger than before.

    [​IMG]
    Lord Magmos
    Ragmaw

    Ragmaw changed. His black hide now looked cracked in many places. His wings also were in bad shape. One of his eyes wasn't hidden behind skin and muscles, they saw the whole eyeball. His body looked sick. He was losing parts of his bodies like he was made of the same liquid he stood in. The group even saw parts of his body that had unsurfaced bones. He was "melting." He greeted the group. Baâ from the start to finish was pretty angry and looked very aggressive. Mario and Balasar talked to Ragmaw, now calling himself Lord Magmos. However, he explained that it's still not his name. It was what the kobolds called him. He told the group about what is going on with him - he is dying. A side effect of his unnatural creation. He his dissolving and needs to find a cure. He knows he doesn't have enough time to find it, especially when Shuggend will reunite the rest of the warring kobolds. Punn was still with them. He asked the party why the kobold is with them, they explained he helped them get to him, so he told the kobold to move closer and that he will be rewarded later, so he doesn't have to be afraid. He also asked who is Baâ and asked her personally why is she following the rest of the group - group survival. The group got a lot of information out of him.

    First, that Shuggend lords of the only volcano in the mountains. Ragmaw needs it to heal his wounds or stall the process, he knows only that it helps him. That's why he created this pool around him. He is still searching for more information, but the longer he does it, the more painful his status becomes. He even thinks of joining with Shuggend and begging him to give him access to the volcano. This isn't something the group wants to happen. They persuade the dragon to join in an alliance against Shuggend and the orcs. Even Mario going to lengths to promise the dragon he will find a cure for him. The dragon makes a Dragon Oath, promising that he will help the group against Shuggend and reclaim the Golden Spring. However, he wants the volcano to himself and those kobolds in the volcano that will stay and join him. Thus, he could become the new ruler of the kobolds. He will aid them however he can. He is too weak to do something himself, but he can use his kobolds and constructs to help.

    Second, after the oath, he tells the group what he knows about the orcs. Their main leader was Bagrath the Walking Death. He was also the leader of the tribe called Umghar (Bloody Axes). His tribe served the Demon Lord the group already knows of. After Bagrath lost the castle to Shuggend, his rulership was questioned by another orc who challenged him. His name was Crommash of the Eghanhu tribe (Painted Faces), which was a tribe of assassins. However, Crommash is a follower of Fha'Mal (Great Mountain) also known as All-Father. He rooted out the demonworship from his tribe, defeated Bagrath and took over the orcs. After he reclaimed the castle in record time, he was named "Heaven's Axe." Now Crommash or Ur'Crommash as the main leader (Ur'Goth) is called, wants to root out the demonworship from all the orcs since he sees it as a sign of weakness. So here are the main tribes of the orcs:
    - Umghar (Bloody Axes) - The biggest tribe, maybe near 800 strong. Beserkers. Demon worshippers. Old leader Bagrath, killed by Crommash. The dragon doesn't know who rules now, maybe his son.
    - Wagharu (Loud Shouts) - Second biggest. Wrestlers. Also, demon worshippers. They love to give out the pain.
    - Zuggrom (Great Balls) - Third biggest. Giant balls of steel, flails, very big orcs. They do not worship anything.
    - Eghanhu (Painted Faces) - The assassin tribe. They converted to Fha'Mal thanks to Crommash.
    Now the group had some serious information about their enemies. However, what to do next? Mario and Balasar wanted to help the dragon. Maybe even using magic. Balasar asked Baâ for help. She was angry that she even has to stand here and the group isn't attacking the abomination before them. However, she used her staff of healing to cast Mass Cure Wounds at the dragon. It did not help, the pain didn't stop. The party understood that his status isn't that of being wounded, but being dissolved, like being diseased or cursed. Then they asked her to use lesser restoration. She didn't want to do it but moved forward to the dragon. He took out his claw and the group saw even more bone. Part of his body fell onto a nearby kobold. Thankfully he took off part of his armor before the magma dissolved it. Lesser restoration did help, a little. Lord Magmos said the pain went away, but it will return. Then Mario started to think about his options. He still had the magic granted to him by Valena. He could use his gift to heal the dragon. After a while of discussion OOC, Mario decided that it will be the best. He came near the dragon and touched him. A similar sight to that before. Green petals and leaves started to fall. The dragon's form shined and they saw his body restoring before their eyes. He returned to a state that was before dissolving happened. He thanked "friends" for this. Up until now, he considered them allies. His pain went away, but his state will worsen in time, but until then he felt great. His eye healed and his bones were again under his muscles and scales. Mario also influenced the dragon by speaking about Valena. The dragon truly started to consider something. Mario also felt something in his hand. The sword finally accepted him? Later they got more information out of the dragon.

    [​IMG]
    Golden Brook Kingdom (Before the Fall)
    Duchies

    The dragon spoke about the time before the fall. How the country of looked, since his knowledge was granted to him before birth, during the experiment that created him. Here are the duchies:
    - Golden Duchy (Yellow) - Capital Golden City. The main duchy and the place where the royal family ruled (Aurumsultun).
    - Duchy of Contego (Red) - Capital Golden Spring. Duchy of Contegoaurum family. They guarded the gold bringing rivers.
    - Duchy of Posterus (Dark Green) - Capital Goldplated Keep. Duchy of Seroposterus family. Magicians that used their powers to create tourist attractions. Their woods were considered magically made. Now filled with monsters.
    - Duchy of Delta (Dark Blue) - Capital Brook Delta. Duchy of Flumendomino family. Seafaring family ruled over the biggest ports in Tethys.
    - Duchy of Decerto (Light Green) - Capital Gold West. Duchy of Decertohostis family. Terrain filled with hills. They trained the country's armies and had one of the biggest iron deposits.
    - Duchy of Plagumportum (Light Blue) - Capital Plagumportum. Duchy of the Orientalim family. Their capital is now underwater. City of Capena and Handlova were once in this duchy, but after the fall they were taken over by the Dominium and Kingdom of the Vale respectively. They had big contracts for trade with the dwarven clans of Thunderhammer and Brightaxe.
    - Duchy of Ilyrium (Brown) - Capital Ilyrium. Duchy of the Mercatoporto family. Now Ilyrium is part of Kingdom of the Vale and is called Brodzany. They were expert masons and helped to create the massive walls around the country, also, helped create megastructures in the kingdom.
    - Duchy of Capisalta (Pink) - Capital Capisalta. Duchy of Domumagni family. Their capital is said to be around Orth. They had the most powerful mages in the country. The biggest academies in the kingdom. Also, they had friendly contact with the elves of Estel'Anoron, the Wood Steps.
    - Duchy of Viridi (Orange) - Capital Viridicapi. Duchy of Trullartis family. Their lands weren't so green as they are now. Their capital should be located where the cliff is, so it might be underground or partly destroyed. They were great jewelers and had many gem mines.
    - Duchy of Terminus (Grey) - Capital Duceminum. Duchy of Nigrumsilvam family. Their capital should be located in the Betrayer Woods of the Drows. Their specialty was breeding horses.

    After getting this information, the group asked the dragon if they could stay the night here. He agreed and ordered his kobolds to make space for them. The group started to talk amongst themselves. Baâ was furious with the group. She couldn't believe that not only they were talking to the dragon, considering his help, but also trying to heal him. For her, he is a corrupted creature, a sign that should be stopped. They tried to persuade her that they are trying to reform the dragon, but she doesn't listen to them. She tells them she is leaving and they might find her in the woods when they are ready to leave. She does leave the place unmolested. No kobold dared to stop her. She, however, on her way back, still angry, fell into one of the spike traps. She was wild shaped in Giant Elk form, so she didn't suffer anything to her human form, but the pain was still there. She wild shaped again into a mouse and ran away from the place. Mario and Balasar took their time to rest here. Mario asked some stuff about Contegoaurum, but the dragon didn't know anything more than Mario knew. Balasar, however, spent some time checking the kobold and construct research, but also sat down with the dragon for a talk.

    [​IMG]

    After checking their research, he found only one plan that could work with the dragon. Creating some kind of magic armor for the dragon, maybe magic plates, that would hold his form. Yes, something similar to Deathwing. This was in my plans since session one. He needs, however, access to a volcano to create this magic steel. There is no other way, at least what Balasar found. He made his notes. He also checked notes about the changes the kobold go through with Lord Magmos nearby. What he found was something interesting. He is indeed a mixture of a black and red dragon, the kobold mutate to the same extent. They gain the ability to breathe in water and resistance to fire and acid. Also, their numbers of intelligent kobolds are higher than normal. He creates more magic-user kobolds than any other dragon. He could be a powerful enemy in the future. Balasar also took notes of this. Then sat down with the dragon and both of them had a talk. Balasar spoke about the dragon kind, however, Lord Magmos was more interested in the party and Balasar. Why are they together? Why do they succeed? How so? Where do they get their strength? Is it possible for him to gain similar strength? Balasar answered these questions truthfully, maybe even revealing certain secrets to the dragon that he shouldn't have. Balasar wanted to check if they successfully changed the dragon, drive him to a certain way of thinking. The dragonborn remembers that before, he persuaded the dragon to think of what he is. Now, the dragon was thinking of what he is in the world, not only for himself. He starts to think similar to the group. He asks more questions about faith, mainly about Valena. Balasar tells him that his own faith is shaken after what he saw that Valena did to Lord Magmos. After that Lord Magmos had questions about Balasar himself. He saw Mario willing to do stuff for outsiders. People who he doesn't know about. Who he doesn't know he can trust. Can Balasar do the same? Is he willing to stand before the innocents and save them with his own body? Balasar wasn't sure what he should answer like he questioned himself at this point. In the end, he agreed. He is willing to stand for the innocent, to help the defenseless. Balasar feels that the dragon might reconsider his evil nature and try to fight it, to become something better for himself and those around him. After that talk, the dragon asked for ideas for a name for his new tribe.
     
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  17. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    This time we return to our Balasar, Mario, and Baâ group, but later we join with the rest on their journey to Estel'Anoron.

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 33: Allies and Friends

    Our dear friend in Lord Magmos chamber could rest up for the next day. They talked to the dragon about the plans and it was settled that he will send one of his kobolds, presumably Punn, as a liaison, who will have some kind of magical way to contact Lord Magmos about the group's plan. Balasar questioned the dragon about the Dragon Kobolds. Ragmaw told him the same stuff the dragonborn found in the laboratory. The Dragon Kobolds are smarter than usual from other Dragon Kobolds. Their change is evidence he is a mix of a black and red dragon, one would call him a magma or lava dragon. The pair spoke to him more about what the plan should be. He can't attack Shuggend nor attacking his base with the kobolds Lord Magmos has would be a wise idea. The group will need to decide how they want to do this. Do they take care of the orcs first? Or should they fight the kobolds? The dragon spoke that Shuggend is an intelligent creature and he didn't send his men to the north for no reason. It appears that he looked for a way to get inside the castle. The dragon was able to recognize the crystal orb Mario showed him. Called Vannozzo's Orbs of Tunnel Teleportation. These objects were invented by the Archmage of Golden City, Vannozzo. Using them and panels called Primus Cartibulum (what they found in the Golden Spring Castle, a main panel) and Servus Cartibulum (what they found in Septima Castellum, a secondary panel), he was able to create a web of teleportation devices. These would create a tunnel of teleportation based on the amount of power the pair of orbs had still in them. The maximum amount of time was 24 hours. However, they regain their power at a rate of one hour per month (30 days) of inactivity. This meant that the group had to decide. Attack Shuggend and allow the orcs to overrun the place or attack the orcs with the possibility of Shuggend using somehow the orbs of teleportation. Also, Balasar dropped the ball and spoke about the eggshell the party got. The dragon just wanted it back, to maybe backtrace where he was created or to cure him since he stupidly destroyed his egg when he hatched. This, however, was a discussion for the whole group, so they said their goodbyes and went on their way. No kobolds stopped their escort out, not even the goblin Haycrisp.

    [​IMG]

    The group exited the premises and met up with Baâ, who was unwilling to tell her plans other than to go to Estel'Anoron to speak about the dragon. She didn't even want to talk about what was eating her from inside. Keeping all to herself. Mario also spoke about the hippogriff trainer, but for that, they need to return to Orth and speak to Cassius Bourdeux. The group walked back. After a day or two of travel, Baâ saw something on the hills. It was a part of a statue. The group went to investigate. The statue represented a dwarf, that if he was whole, would have had about six meters in height. He was missing his lower body and his left arm. The right arm was stretched like to hold something, like another hand. The statue was lying on it's back. The group deduced that this was a statue of an important Thunderhammer dwarf. Maybe a king or somebody equally important. Commemorating something that happened about 600 to 800 years ago. The group couldn't discern what it was or what part of history that would be. There were no major conflicts in these mountains with the dwarves included. The most important part was that this statue was dragged from its original spot by someone, maybe over three to two hundred years ago. The statue was already overgrown. Maybe the original spot was 3 to 4 days from here, to the south. However, the group didn't have time to explore, so they moved towards Logemakam.

    [​IMG]

    There they learned that the party went about six days ago from Logemakam to Orth. Balasar also announced that he wishes to stay for couple more days here to rest up and train. Baâ didn't care that much. She wanted to meet with friends and move on. She did later with Om and Urnut. The barbarian dwarf later joined Balasar on his way back to Orth. Since the group had plans to talk to the dwarves, they decided to meet with the council. It was in the afternoon, so the council had to prepare for their visit. Almost all seats were taken. Udir, the leader of Logemakam, was there. Thosbut, the main cleric of Logemakam, was here. Amkol, the emissary from Brightaxe, was here. The fourth member was none other than Avush Ironfist, the grandmaster of the monk order in Logemakam. The fifth seat was empty. The group started talking about what the rest spoke off. They now learned that the dwarves know about Shuggend and their services were paid (also, they were granted free alcohol and stay at the inn for now at least). Also, the group heard that Amkol and Udir were arguing. They inquired about it and learned just the same stuff the previous party talked about, but here they felt that Amkol had a something else planned by bringing an army here. The talks could have ended there. However, the group had to tell the dwarves about the dragon. When they spoke about it. How he will help them. What he is. Amkol got very angry and pissed at Udir. Thosbut wasn't happy that the group is willing to trust a chromatic dragon, especially one that is so strange as Lord Magmos. Avush didn't speak and Udir looked like he regretted something. Mario and Balasar tried to reason with the dwarves, while Baâ spoke that the dragon isn't a dragon and he is unnatural, let alone not trustworthy. Of course, Balasar argued with Baâ that he knows better, that the dragon is a dragon. The paladin and dragonborn were very much dedicated to the idea that they can reform him. They already saw signs that they succeeded in this. Thosbut argued that no matter their intentions if the dragon attacks innocent people, who will be to blame? Who will defend these innocents? How can the group say to these people that they trusted a dragon over innocent lives? This discussion went on until Avush finally spoke up and asked the group if they really feel that the dragon can be reformed. The pair agreed. Avush said that he doesn't feel bad intentions in the group and they are very keen on the idea. He told the dwarves that if the dragon will attack the people, he will take care of the dragon himself. This made the rest of the council wide-eyed. Even Amkol sat down. Udir spoke that there is some security now, that if the dragon turns evil, he will be taken care of. He told them that he promised them warriors and they will get them. Amkol spoke up, telling the group that if he had this information before, he would not promise Udir men. There is no turning back now. If they need men from clan Brightaxe, he will get them. Thosbut nodded. Avush also. Udir told the group that they will have their way and they better hope that what they feel about the dragon is true. The group later split up. Balasar stayed in Logemakam with Om. Mario and Baâ went to Orth.

    [​IMG]

    Nothing happened during their travels. In the adventurers' guild, they met with Alice only. They learned that there is already another adventuring group, but they didn't return yet. That the group went to Estel'Anoron about six days ago. She spoke that Luigi must be with Wyne at the arena, training. Also, they had information that Zook Fabblestabble was in the guild and asked about Solange, but he wasn't here. The gnome didn't want to leave any information. Mario took Baâ to Cassius Bourdeux. They had a little scuffle with the guard at the gate to the rich district, but Mario was able to persuade the guards to let them in. The guards didn't want to let Baâ, who looked like a wild animal, in. They escorted the pair to the house of Cassius Bourdeux. In this district, the houses looked cleaner, more expensive and bigger. Some houses were double the other ones. The group saw a statue of Orth, the human paladin. Also, there was a very expensive garden with marble statues and fountains. When they got to the Bourdeux estate, the majordomo opened the door. He asked them who they were, then went to inform his employer and came back to let them in. Inside they saw a lot of decorations, paintings, and statues that came from Kingdom of Actur. Cassius Bourdeux was a member of the royal family, however, most of this expensive stuff had to bring here. They met the man, just after he finished eating. Over his head in the dining room, there was a painting of the current ruler of Kingdom of Actur - Fabricia Bourdeux, the Queen-Elect. They didn't want to waste time, so they told him that they needed the hippogriff trainer. He told them that is no a problem, that he will ask for him to come to Orth. They will, however, need to arrange payment for his services. The discussion wasn't long. After that he only told the group, he still has one of his quests on the guild's notice board. If they have time, Cassius needs a group to escort surveyors for a new village south of Golden Rafter. The group needed time to think about, that's at least what Mario said. The pair then left the district. Mario told Baâ that he needs to stay with his son, he can't neglect him anymore. Baâ said her goodbyes and went to Estel'Anoron. When Mario was going alone to the Arena, he was stopped by a man. He wanted to ask him something. Behind him stood two other people. These were no ordinary folk.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    (From left to right)

    Oliver Krajinović
    Agent of Kingdom of the Vale


    Letizia
    Agent of Alliance of Northern Kingdoms


    Gordiano Cappelletti
    Agent of Kingdom of Actur

    The first one had an expensive green coat with a red vest. The soldier boots revealed he wasn't a normal noble. The woman had a big, violet cloak with a golden finish. She wore plate armor, adorned with symbols of the Alliance of Northern Kingdoms. The third person wore a set of traveling clothes, white and yellow in colors. He had some stuff with him that could tell his arcane background. Mario couldn't see any more symbols. The man was happy since he recognized Mario's symbols and the paladin confirmed his assumptions that he was of the di Capodimonte line. He introduced himself as Oliver Krajinović, an agent of the Kingdom of the Vale. The lady was called Letizia, another agent, but of the Alliance. The last one, who Oliver spoke with no love in his words, was Gordiano Cappelletti, of Kingdom of Actur. They told Mario that he send their Captain a letter and they came here to discuss it. Mario told them that it will have to wait since he will need the rest of his party to return. The three weren't happy about it but did tell him that they will stay for ten more days before going back to the Golden Rafter. Mario then left to the Arena.

    [​IMG]

    There he saw his son, Luigi, training with Wyne and other mercenaries in a mock battle. After that, they were ready to take a shower, but Wyne and Luigi saw Mario standing on their way. Wyne didn't like Mario coming here, but couldn't say no. He told Luigi he will be waiting for him and went ahead. Mario then took his son for a talk. They both had a difficult conversation between them. Luigi tried to convey that he likes being treated tough, that people want him to go through tribulations and through his sheer willpower, achieve something more. He doesn't want to be treated differently just because he is Mario's son. Mario, on the other hand, talked to Luigi that he regrets many things in life now. That Luigi is someone a lot better than he was at his age. That he finally saw his mistakes and vows not to do them again. Mario told Luigi that he is his son and nothing will change that. The talk lasted some more since Mario told him about the upcoming battle and Luigi didn't say he wanted himself to join, but only if Mario wanted him there. Mario told him that it's Luigi's decision, not his. Luigi told his father that he will think about it if he is ready to join Mario on this near death mission. On his way to Wyne, he thanked Mario and called him father.

    [​IMG]

    Now, going to the group that went to Estel'Anoron. Their journey was uneventful. When they got to the village, it was much more peaceful and welcoming than the first time they came here. Things definitely changed. First, the group decided to eat and rest in the inn. Indis Wood Step remembered that last time they were here, she lost a bed. She joked about it and soon returned to being cheerful, especially when Finn told her he will perform tonight. They were given free food and alcohol. The inn was empty at this moment. The human traders that were in Estel'Anoron were in the marketplace. The group discussed what to do next and decided to check out a place, talk to Aredhel and finally speak with Annael about the sword. Elhaeltôr spoke about Korin'talant (Garden of Fallen), where the drows and half-drows live. Separated from the rest, because of their unnatural paranoia. Elhaeltôr asked Finn to play for them since maybe they have little entertainment due to their nature. He agreed to do so, so they went to the place. The guards were reluctant to allow Solange passage. He had human blood in him and that could spark the Rage of Humans. Elhaeltôr used Protection from Evil and Good as ways to combat this enchantment or whatever it was. The guards opened the gates. Over the palisade, the group only saw some elf buildings, those looked very similar to the wood elf ones. However, none of the drows lived there. On the ground level, there were a lot of homes. No windows. Heavy doors. Spiky buildings. The drows here had a very distinct architecture that Finn and Elhaeltôr recognized as that which was adopted over 300 years ago by the Elven Kingdom. Then Actur died, the drows fled to the Forest and now live there, adopting all around this kind of architecture. They saw many drows and half-drows here. Solange felt something inside him when he saw them. Something telling him to fight them, to kill them. It was very quiet, but it was there. He told the group, that the condition is real, but nothing for him to worry about. The group asked about Zhindia Despana, the drow that visited Elhaeltôr during the night after rescuing the village. They pointed the house and the group went. They all saw the paranoia in the eyes of the drows, not so much so in the half-drow demeanor. They were observed by the inhabitants here. Elhaeltôr knocked on the door and the group heard many chains being pulled from the door, unlocking it. However, one remained, when Zhindia opened the door slightly, it stopped the heavy door from opening even further. She was shocked to see the three here. The group had a conversation about Elhaeltôr's plan with the performance. They saw that Zhindia is suspicious of their behavior, even the smallest movement made her jump to her dagger. Finn was able to calm her down with his music, and this also made other drows appear nearby to listen to the small halfling. Zhindia told them she will try to gather the group, but it will take time. The party decided that the next night, the group will come to do a performance and if the drows will be able to come to the inn, the better.

    After that, they started to walk around the village asking people to come to the performance. They met a lot of people, whom they recognized like the elf who was saved by Solange, or the girl that almost was eaten. They couldn't get to Annael since his home was locked and had a note on the door "Busy. Do not disturb." The group later came to the inn and as many as two hundred, almost half the village, came to see Finn's performance. There were a lot of familiar faces. They saw Quennar Wood Step, the old druid. Faelyn Hawk Song, the military leader. Mahtan Wood Step, the cleric leader. Also, Aredhel Wood Step, the archdruid came to see him perform. There were drows in the trees, but none on the ground, since there were humans there. Then Finn played one of his songs, that truly became a masterpiece at that moment. People were dancing, happy. For once in their long lives, they forgot all those worrisome moments and had fun. Even Aredhel had a dance with Quennar. The drows didn't sing or dance along, but they did react positively to the music. After all that, the party started, many people drank. The next day, Finn found out that another rune appeared on his mandolin. He unlocked even more powers of his family's artifact. Since Annael didn't come to the play, the party went to him. The note still stayed on the door, but Elhaeltôr knocked anyway. They heard a lot of rustling sounds and many things fell inside. When they opened the door, the silver elf was in bad shape. Exhausted. His hair a mess. Robe in despair. He told the group that they should have waited for him to inform them. He needs more time to repair the blade. Maybe two more days. The joked about his state and suggested him to rest, but the elf just closed the door on them. Next, they wanted to meet with Aredhel about the danger in the mountains. They found her talking to some young elves in the village. Elhaeltôr tried to sneak up on the archdruid, however, this terrain is her home, its part of her being, so sneaking up on her was useless. Vines came out from the ground and restrained the old elf's hands. Aredhel looked happy, smiling. Something that Finn asked once from her, now he got it, so she apologized for being late on that promise. The group explained what happened and even told her about Mario's plan to retake the castle. They needed men, she promised them this, so she would keep her word. Using her powerful magic, she summoned leaf constructs that were connected to Faelyn Hawk Song and Mahtan Wood Step. These clones were made of leafs and vines. At first, the two of them were distressed, not knowing why the archdruid summoned them. The group explained to them about what the danger in the mountains, of orcs and kobolds. Aredhel only spoke that she promised them help. Faelyn only asked what they need and they said "men", to which Faelyn said that if that is the wish of Aredhel, he will do it. Only because the group saved a lot of people, he will come with 50 of his soldiers to aid the group in their endeavor. Mahtan agreed, these people, the Brilliant Company (or Aglar'nore in Elvish), asks for help, the elves need to answer. He would send five of his clerics to aid them. The group also spoke that something might happen and it is better not to use all the might this village has, to which Aredhel agreed to and told the group that her druids will stay here and help if any danger arises. After that, the two clones were dismissed. Elhaeltôr wanted to talk alone with Aredhel, to know the history of this village, to which she also agreed and told him to come. Solange spends the rest of the day on meditation, while Finn prepared for his nightly performance.

    [​IMG]

    The history of Estel'Anoron isn't a long one since the wood elves of Wood Step and Oakblossom came to this forest about 1500 years ago. 500 years before Tiberion Courvelux. Aredhel doesn't know which story is real, but she suggests that the Tree of Life was here all along. These lands during that time were controlled by none other than the green wyrm called Nyrydes, the Champion of Green. The elves felt lucky since the dragon was more interested in making the lives of other races in this land full of misery. He did make problems for the elves, but more for the dwarves in the mountains and humans in the plains. She thinks that it might be connected to the Tree of Life, but she isn't sure. Then came Tiberion with Rexgladio. The elves decided to help the human in his quest. After the united might of humans, elves and dwarves, Tiberion struck the final blow and killed the colossal dragon. The elves returned to their forest and lived there with no interruption. However, Tiberion's rule wasn't a long one. His nearest friends betrayed him and after his death, the lands became embroiled in war. The elves locked themselves in the forest. Barring passage to other races. After nearly two hundred years, a human family of Domumagni came in peace to the elves of Estel'Anoron. The Golden Brook Kingdom was born and they wished just to trade, nothing more. An outpost was created for such purpose, on the border of their duchy and the forest. The party visited this place many times during their travels, its the arch they moved under where magic still existed. She says that place was much bigger before, now only a shadow of what it was. The elves lived in harmony. The trade returned and the People started to warm up to the humans. There was some bad blood between them, like the death of Aredhel's sister, Finduilas. It began to cool down again. It wasn't until the coming of Actur. The elves in the south lost their lands and the forest, which was the essential place of their race for thousands of years. Actur helped regain the lands. Galatriel, Aredhel's mother, the archdruid, and leader of Estel'Anoron had to become more politically inclined. When the Dominium was created, the elves stood with the humans once more, this time hoping for a more lasting relationship. After Actur's death, everything fell apart. The land was falling and Galatriel had to save the people of Estel'Anoron. With her druids, she opened portals in the trees to other places, to save as many as she could. Only some survived, many died in the fall. There were even casualties after the teleportation. Aredhel speaks about her own years during that time. She had to hide, survive since the Rage of Humans was rampaging the lands and the humans that didn't discern between those cursed and those that were not. When it calmed down, she started to think about going back. About 250 to 300 years ago, she met a couple of people and joined in their quest to the canyon. Orth, the paladin of the Trinity, a human. Eradhil Silver Blade, a bladesinger silver elf, who is a younger brother to Annael Silver Blade and leads the armies of Orth. Udor Ironfist, a monk of the Open Fist, dwarf. Tulipe Gobblepock, an arcane trickster gnome. She didn't think of them as friends, maybe only Eradhil. The rest thought different. Something she regrets now, very much so, that she never could say to them "friends." She was only interested in her quest, to reclaim her lands, to get rid of the undead. She joined with them as a means of survival. When they first came to the canyon, it was heavily infested with undead. There was no end of the dangerous places. It took them years to overcome the odds and finally defeat the creature that controlled most of them, the undead dragon. The center of the canyon, between the forest and mountains, began to be more peaceful. More adventurers came to get rid the undead menace and get rich on the lands. People with money came to build homes and gain lands. This was also the moment, the group disbanded. Aredhel wanted to finally go to the forest and rebuild it, she didn't want the help of outsiders. Orth built his inn and people came to him, built their own homes. In time, a community was created. Aredhel however never cared about the paladin, so she didn't hear about his death. Old age. Never visited him since the departure. Eradhil Silver Blade was different. She couldn't understand why that elf thought of that human as a friend. To this day, he keeps his promise and guards the city that his friend built. Udor went to the mountains and started his family. Many dwarves came to him, changed their clans to join him, join the Ironfist. Logemakam was born. The gnome, however, he disappeared just before Aredhel's departure. He told them the travels they had together were wonderful, but he must go. He even said she was his friend. Aredhel, however, doesn't know where the gnome is but knows that if he didn't get himself killed, he might be still alive, since he is a gnome. Aredhel heard about Udor's death due to old age, about 50 years ago, but never came to him, so she never visited his grave. The rest of the Estel'Anoron story is known. She came to the woods, met with Nu'quern'guar and joined forces against the undead. It took nearly one hundred years to rejuvenate the forest, during which she became an archdruid and part of the forest. Nu'quern'gaur started to poison the minds of the elves. Those that were born in the new Estel'Anoron are at most 150 years old. That is the history of the elven village.

    The group then rejoined to give the last act for the drows. Elhaeltôr used his Fly spell to help Finn make a wonderful performance. Since they feared that the drows might do something. He was standing above them, on one of those wood elf buildings. The drows could sit alone, not be bothered by paranoia and listen to the halfling singing a melancholic tune. There were also other elves near the palisade, wanting to hear the halfling sing again. The group then spent another two days in Estel'Anoron, really trying to relax, since they will have tough days ahead. Then on the 25th, they visited Annael. The signs were still there, but they heard cleaning done inside. Invisible servants were doing it. Annael heard the group talking under his window, so he peaked and told them that the sword is ready and they can come at any time. They decided to come later when the cleaning was done. When they returned hours later, the shop looked like the first time they visited. Annael took them to the back, where the old chest was. He told the group he was able to rebuild the sword, however, for now, it lays dormant. Until a worthy elf touches the blade, it will stay an unmagical blade.

    [​IMG]

    When it was pieced together, it was one of the most beautiful elven swords the group have saw. Elhaeltôr was willing to find someone that would be accepted by the sword, however, Annael said that this might not happen soon. It might take years until they find one of the Oakblossom, that survived the fall. He suggested that the party safeguard the sword for now. Elhaeltôr asked if Annael was happy and he confirmed. Hundreds of years of work and to be able to rebuild this sword, it was both an honor and a privilege. Elhaeltôr told him that he might need him later for something, which Annael agreed to, but only if Elhaeltôr touches the handle of the blade. The artificer wanted to know if the blade will accept the elf. Elhaeltôr was scared that it might hurt him, which surprised Annael. He inquired and the group said that they already had a bad relationship with a sword, which did hurt them. After Elhaeltôr touched the sword, nothing happened, it didn't come back to life, however, he had another vision. He felt that he did something like this once. That time was different because he felt that if the blade would reject him, he would die on the spot. Elhaeltôr didn't speak about what he saw, kept it to himself. Fun fact, he also hid the fact that he felt that Rexgladio accepted him. The group thanked Annael for his help and left his workshop. The party prepared for the journey and returned to Orth safely. Where is Baâ you might ask? Well, I rolled for her survival and encounters, but also the groups. They missed each other. She had problems on her way and had to diverge from the path. Now, when the party returns to Orth, Balasar will also return with Om. Five people can start thinking about what to do next.
     
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  18. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    End of Chapter III. Jafar and Baâ were out. We finished the last fight at 1 AM, so essentially we did the fight when I had my birthday. Funny that. Now the party really needs to consider what is going on and what they want. Might be the thing that will break or make the party as a group.

    ---

    Chapter III
    [​IMG]

    Session 34: Truth Will Set You Free

    Before people met up, Mario wanted to meet with Sigurd. He went around town to search for him. First, he visited his home, but he wasn't there. Then after consulting with Gwendolyn, he started to look in other places. She said he could be in the Town Hall, the castle, maybe at the church or somewhere else. So, he tried to look for him at the castle, or I should say keep. This fort was built next to the South District, and it was essentially its own district. Mainly soldiers walked around there. The other buildings was a jail, the stables, and another barracks. The soldiers and guards were two different factions in the town. The soldiers patrolled the area outside the city walls - farms, roads and the underground. When Mario went to the soldiers, he was told to go back. Asked about Sigurd, one of them replied that they didn't see the "Lord" today. Next stop was the town hall. Inside, it was bustling with people. However, the doors to the council chambers were closed. Mario asked about Sigurd and heard that he is inside, so he waited. When the doors opened, he saw for a moment the big room. It was a mix of a town hall and a courthouse. Three people were about to walk out. Two of them he recognized.

    [​IMG]
    Thulom Silverstone

    Sigurd walked with two distinguished gentlemen. One of them Mario already seen and heard about, it was Hagel. He is the owner of the "No Bottom" inn and the boss of the Northern District. The other was a dwarf, whom he didn't have the pleasure to meet yet. The group saw Mario and greeted him. Thulom did introduce himself, however, he spoke so much under his beard, that it was hard to understand him. He was also pretty old, so it was a matter of patience with him. Mario explained that he wants to talk to Sigurd only, so he excused himself and the pair went to a different room. There Mario talked with Sigurd about his plans. Sigurd mainly repeated himself. He spilled the beans that there were some rebels up northwest of Kingdom of Actur, where a Dragon Fortress is, that they seek independence. He laid out the political landscape, similar to that of the previous speakers. Kingdom of Actur needs to hold the Alliance together. It must remain strong in the neighbors' eyes. If Kingdom of the Vale takes over the canyon, it will be seen as a weakness and will prompt Kingdom of Actur to attack. The other way around is similar, Kingdom of the Vale isn't a part of the Alliance and if it gets too close to their border, it might spell another war. That's why there is an uneasy stalemate in the canyon, but it won't last long since there only needs to be one incident. Be it the Great Empire attacks or something similar. It might cause one of the sides to take over the canyon or it might make the Kingdom of the Vale join the Alliance, who knows. Sigurd isn't a specialist, but he says he has many connections. He mentioned to Mario that Solange spoke about him before, that he thinks he still is very selfish with the castle. Sigurd explains that no matter what the party chooses, they will need to commit to it. The take over will happen sooner or later if the party doesn't take over the castle and creates something that will leave these people at least safe, somebody else will. If the party decides to defeat the monster armies, they can't just do it and go away. The real responsibility lies in staying and keeping the peace. Not only to take care of the monsters that will not have their leaders, but also whatever lies beyond the mountains. He feels that the party is just the right group for this task, but they must commit, not just Mario, but the whole group, if they won't, this will not work. They will fail if they can't work on this together. Mario thanked Sigurd for the advice and he later returned to the guild. The paladin also wrote letters to home, to his master from the Order and his cousin, that was from a different part of the family (not from the part with the uncle that sent him to become a paladin and took over the family business).

    Later, when it was 28th, Balasar returned to the Guild. The two had a conversation together. All their plans, however, had to go over the rest, so they didn't talk details. Soon the others joined the group. Everybody returned to Orth at the same time, except for Baâ, which was still traveling to Estel'Anoron. The group understood that they just missed her. They had a talk about what they are going to do, in a private room. These rooms were created for adventuring parties, that needed some private space to discuss matters they don't want others to hear. First, of course, they talked about Baâ. Mario told them that she went to Estel'Anoron to speak to the druids about the dragon. Then Balasar told the rest what they found and that the dragon is willing to work with them. They exchanged information. Solange showed the elven sword and they talked a little about it. The main topic was what to do with the castle and the political situation. They will get their squads, a small army. This won't secure the mountains, but it is a way to secure the castle. They discussed their options and what to do. There were a lot of pros and cons, but they mainly wanted to achieve independence in the canyon. However, the group still spoke like it was all Mario, not them. This could spell disaster in the future. They agreed on one thing - they don't have enough information to start the talks nor decide, they needed time. Now, they wanted to party. Before that, they heard a knock on the door. It was Alice. She told them that three elves were looking for Elhaeltôr.

    [​IMG]
    Maranis Mystic West

    When the group went down to see who it was, they saw three High Elves standing near the counter. In front, it was a majestic elven woman, with long golden, braided hair. Clothes suggested royalty or someone very rich. She held onto a staff that revealed her magical talents. To her left side, a young elf stood. Compared to the others, he was very active and looked around, while they were focused and serious. He wasn't as greatly clothed like the rest. The third elf wore a robe, similar in wealth to that of the woman. On his head, he had a tattoo or a rune, they didn't know. However, part of the group recognized the symbols they wore. They came here from the city Iaun. Elven Sanctuary. An island to the east, on the Inner Sea. It is the home of the most elves and it was there the elven civilization started. Two of the party recognized more symbols - High Wizards. A special caste, group of elves within the Elven Sanctuary that gained access to High Magic. They were teacher or students, they didn't know their rank. Elhaeltôr spoke to them, waiting for some introductions. However, the woman just asked, "Are you Elhaeltôr?" He said that he is, but doesn't remember if that is true. Without saying a word, she came closer to him. Looked him into his eyes, standing just two meters from him. She whispered "It is not him" and moved out of the place. The young elf shouted "Mothe... Master? Where are you going? Are you sure?" and ran after her. The third elf just stood there, not knowing what to do. Elhaeltôr tried to speak to her, but she didn't stop and went out. The third elf just said that he is sorry for this and ran after the pair. The group for a moment discussed what has happened. Not knowing what was going on, Elhaeltôr walked to the door, wanted to try to stop them and ask them questions. However, when the party got to the door, they almost hit three more guests. These three were recognized by Mario - the emissaries. Oliver told them, that the rest can't wait anymore and they need to talk now. Elhaeltôr looked around, but didn't see the elves, they had to move fast out of here. They didn't chase after them. Oliver was shocked to see a drow with the group, but hearing that Elhaeltôr isn't a drow, he was relieved. The party agreed to talk to them, so they went to the room they were before.

    [​IMG]

    The group sat down and the talks were started by Letizia, who up front, asked the group how did they get the information about the enemy numbers. This information was easy to get, since you had to get a big amount of orcs and kobolds. It was suspicious that they had it. Oliver tried to calm the situation down and talked to the group. The emissaries wanted to know what the group was planning, how they got the information and other stuff. During the conversation, it was revealed that they knew that the Council of Orth is gearing up to help them retake the castle. That these adventurers are going against the army. The party wasn't ready to disclose any information. This was until Balasar told them that Elhaeltôr used magic to gain that scouting information. Letizia spoke up, asking if they have access to the teleportation circle. Something Oliver didn't want to disclose, that the army knows about it. However, both groups couldn't agree on a compromise, but they did suggest that if the army doesn't do something, the monsters will go down the mountains and attack Orth. This was commented by Oliver, who is an agent of Kingdom of the Vale, that it doesn't really matter for his kingdom, since they can easily safeguard the lands up to the river, whatever happens on the other side should be a big problem for Kingdom of Actur. Unwilling to agree to any terms or reveal more information, the emissaries had to stay for longer in Orth, something Gordiano and Letizia didn't want, however, when the latter heard that the party wants to talk only in the presence of Gwendolyn, the grandmaster of the guild in Orth, she changed her mind. During their exit, Oliver suggested if the party wants to deal with the monsters, the Kingdom of the Vale is ready to help them, they just need to come to him and talk about it.

    When the emissaries left, the party had to think what to do next. They needed Gwendolyn on the talks, but not only that, they had many things to talk about. Rexgladio. Sigurd. The dragon. Many more things. However, they couldn't talk about it in the open. They went to the other room and started to think about their options. This was also the moment Finn went to the toilet (or more like I privately ordered the player to go to the toilet, make it seem like the player has to). The group couldn't use Rope Trick, since Elhaeltôr needed a long rest to change his spells. Then when Finn came back, he started asking Elhaeltôr about the elves they met earlier. Do he knows them? He couldn't remember. What did they want from him? He doesn't know. Does he remember his name, did he always have Elhaeltôr as his name? He couldn't remember that also, but it was an idea before, that this name could be a "fake" for some reason. Then another Finn appeared, coming to the room after knocking since the party changed rooms after he went to the toilet. With two Finns, the fake one who asked so many questions to Elhaeltôr and was close to him changed into a High Elf.

    [​IMG]
    Syltas Gold Blade

    This was one of the three that came to the guild asking about Elhaeltôr. The group didn't jump on him and he said he is sorry that he had to do this, but it was the only way to get close to Elhaeltôr and see for his own eyes if he is he. He told them that his name is Syltas Gold Blade and Elhaeltôr is his teacher, master. He told the group that who they saw before was Maranis Mystic West and her son, Maksanar. Syltas believes that Elhaeltôr is Elhaeltôr, that it's not somebody else. He sees that in his eyes. However, he believes Maranis is too proud to believe Elhaeltôr could be Elhaeltôr since she believes his master to be too powerful to become something like this. He told the group that Elhaeltôr was their teaching in the Sanctuary, where he also lived. Two years ago he went on a quest, not explaining where or why. Contact with him suddenly stopped and they started searching for him. They heard of an elf called Elhaeltôr in Orth, so they decided to check it out. Syltar asked if Elhaeltôr remember his real name since the one he is using now isn't the real one, but the one he chose after Actur's death. The elf couldn't recall and this made Syltas sad since it would be enough evidence for Maranis to look past her proud self and accept that he is who he is. He asked for another thing, the medallion. A quick tidbit. The player started this campaign with a background that gave him a silver medallion of some significance, something the GM should consult with the player on what it is. He asked about the medallion, or more like reminded me, twice at the start of the campaign, but I always forgot about it. Until now. Looks pretty clever in retrospect. Elhaeltôr showed the amulet and Syltas recognized it. He told them it was given to Elhaeltôr by his "firs... his apprentice." For some reason, Syltas didn't want to say first. The group didn't ask more questions and everybody failed their insight checks (nobody rolled above 6, it was a sad day). For Syltas it was enough evidence, but he gave it back after talking to Elhaeltôr, asking him to come back with them to Sanctuary, to Iaun. However, Elhaeltôr, didn't want to go back, he said he has duties here and needs to finish them. Syltas looked around. Asked if the party are his friends, they confirmed and he made a bow, thanking them for taking care of Elhaeltôr. Hearing them bicker and joke, assured Syltar that Elhaeltôr was in good hands. He couldn't stay longer, because he lied to Maranis about going to the Elven Garden in Orth, so he needs to go back. When he got to the door, he asked Elhaeltôr last one time, if he wants to know his real name. Elhaeltôr declined, but the group was curious. Too curious, and you will see why. Syltas looked at the group, then at Elhaeltôr and said that it could help him with his memory. Elhaeltôr accepted the offer and heard the name. Harthion Gold Leaf. Here's the big reveal. Harthion is the name Elhaeltôr gave to Luigi as his own. The surname Gold Leaf is very famous. Alaria Gold Leaf was the lover of High King Actur and the first one to betray him. She made sure Actur doesn't see that his other friend stabs him in the back, through the heart. Right now, she is the queen of drow. A giant surprise. However, it was followed by a voice. It was strangely familiar to Elhaeltôr, but he couldn't recall where. Balasar knew it, very well and started shaking. The ceiling changed. Above them, there were only tentacles and one giant eye.

    [​IMG]
    Eye of Many


    Ahh, it seems my little curse starts to wear off... let me help you with that.
    Go away, elf!

    A giant tentacle rose from the wall and smacked Syltar out of the room. Suddenly it went pitch black. The door was gone, the windows also. No more light. Those that saw in the darkness, saw that they were still in the room. Above them, the monstrosity. It called to each one of them when they made their turns. Elhaeltôr every turn had a different problem. Something was shaping his soul at the moment, something wanted to strengthen the curse. He felt it inside and his memory started to fade. First, he started to lose spell slots. Every turn I told him to roll 1d4 and that's the spell level slots he needs to lose. What happens if he loses all of them? Who knows, we didn't get to that part. Balasar heard his dog barking next to him and kneeled to him, started to ask him for help. He will serve the "platinum throne" if he just saves his friends. Mario asked Solange for Rexgladio and the paladin was able to use it. He felt that the sword wanted to help them, so for a moment unlocked more of its powers. Solange used his radiant bolts to hit the eye. Elhaeltôr tried to use his spells to make radiant fireballs. Finn was using his Spirit Guardians to damage it even more. However, the monster was deadly. First, it changed Balasar's tentacle rod. Something he had since he started the campaign, into a monster.

    [​IMG]
    Bonesucker

    A simple rod rose into a large aberration. Now it's tree tentacles were legs. His body rose to sprout more tentacles and a giant mouth, ready to tear into everything it will grab. This monster tried it's best to kill Mario, however, he wasn't able to. It was killed thanks to powerful attacks from Mario and Finn's Spirit Guardians. But he wasn't the only enemy. Eye of Many was a legendary creature with Lair Actions. For those that don't remember or don't know. Legendary creatures have legendary actions, which they can use at the end of their turns to perform additional stuff, be more deadly to a party. Lair Actions are special actions the creature can do when the party is attacking in its lair. Balasar figured out that they weren't in the Material Plane, so his idea of suicide to break the spell wouldn't work, that's why it pleaded. The monster could three things with its lair - create an area of madness which would stun everybody there (of course with a save) pictured as a mass of mouths growing from the ground, create an area of tentacles which would try to grab somebody and keep him prone (easily to attack and grab) and also he could create Bonesuckers, one of which was created on Balasar's tentacle rod. If it would happen to create another one, he would come out of the wall. His legendary actions included attacking with one of his tentacles, creating an area of madness (this one did damage and stunned) and cast a spell. He wasn't a pushover. Especially if you get hit by his normal attack and get swallowed. Returning to the combat. Balasar's prayer was answered.

    [​IMG]
    Hound Archon

    The dog on their eyes turned into a bipedal dog, big as a human with armor and a greatsword. It hit the monster above them. The party didn't have time to recognize it, but it was an angel. Another thing I planned ever since "day one" (this one was the moment Balasar found the dog). Mario had problems during the fight, he got stunned many times. Solange almost got grabbed. Elhaeltôr felt something on his neck, like a chain that is getting pulled. During the third round, he was pulled with great strength to a wall, almost suffocating. He felt something trying to forcefully repair the curses he had on him, but Elhaeltôr saved against that. Finn had even less success. He lost his spell. Got grappled and when the monster turn was, it tried to swallow him. It succeeded. One giant mouth appeared on the ceiling and bit into the halfling, dealing enough damage to make him unconscious. Later it tried to kill him off, but Mario got in time to heal Finn. During that, Balasar used his lighting spell to dps the creature, while the Hound Archon was doing something strange. A black chain was coming from the chest of Balasar, but it was like darkness, couldn't be touched. However, the angel could grab it and when it could, it grasped with his other hand something invisible that became visible, a golden chain. It stuck it into the other one. Just when the fight was over, it finished its job. Most of the chain from Balasar became golden. The party succeeded in defeating the Eye of Many. Mario plunged Rexgladio in its eye. Black blood poured into the room. They heard his laughter and it disappeared. The room looked normal. Syltas came running in, screaming for Elhaeltôr. Next to Balasar this Archon still stood. The chain was disappearing. The party had a lot to talk about.

    Balasar might change (about 95%) his Warlock of Great Old One to Celestial. He now has a change. All depends on his choices on the session. This marks the end of the chapter and the first reveal of a major boss.

    Here's a screenshot of the fight.
    Show Spoiler
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  19. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Baâ decided to return to the party, not to go to the druids, since the player didn't want to miss on all the action. Jafar didn't play for a long time, so he becomes more of an NPC now. If the player comes, I will write that he was during the session.

    ---

    Chapter IV
    [​IMG]

    Session 35: When Decisions Must be Made

    Our team listened to the monster's laughter, while his being faded away. The room looked almost unchanged like they never fought it here. The black ichor wasn't there. Nothing left, even of the being that was Balasar's rod. There were some scattered decorations, due to magic and the group running over stuff, but nothing major. Like nothing happened, but the group's wounds were still there. Baâ ran inside, seeing a High Elf going to the room, looking distressed for some reason. Later, Syltas would tell them that he saw the room disappear from existence. Nothing was there for about half a minute, then it reappeared. The Archon was still there, even Baâ shouted its name after seeing the Celestial creature, however, he didn't stay long in that form. He looked to the party and after a moment took his greatsword from the ground and reverted back to the dog form. This was the reason they couldn't detect him as anything else, he was a Beast with some kind of magic that helped him hide his true form. Solange was angry at Balasar, calling out for his fear, that he once again called to another being for help, instead of fighting against the creature outright. This was true. Balasar didn't know what the Platinium Throne is and he didn't have time to investigate. The party needed answers. Balasar told the group that apparently what they fought is called Eye of Many. Mario heard stories about this being. A terrible creature of immense power, maybe even rivaling gods. He was angry that he wasn't notified before, but Balasar told him that it wasn't like they hid this information from them, they knew something is "after" them, but until now, they didn't know its name. Elhaeltôr woke up from his stupor, he regained some memories, this prompted Syltas to tell him that he doesn't have more time here. He will go back, learn more about what this Eye of Many is and come back to help Elhaeltôr when he can. Also, Baâ saw something strange in the elf hair. When she checked Elhaeltôr's hair, she saw a strand of hair that wasn't white, but golden. It looked like real gold, but it was hair. Elhaeltôr's real hair showed up, not tainted by the curse. The group had a lot to talk about. So, when Syltas exited the room and they looked at the dog for answers. The whole party heard a voice coming out of the canine, but it didn't move its mouth. "Close the door," it told the group, which Elhaeltôr did and everybody sat down.

    The door explained that he was sent here to observe Balasar, to see if he is worthy of saving by the One that Sits on the Platinium Throne. The group didn't know what or who that was, except for Elhaeltôr who explained to them. Being the dog is referring to is Qaphsiel, a Godling. Similiar to an Archdevil in power. These beings are pure good and law, created maybe by the gods. They do serve them. The Godlings serve Gods that are near the Lawful Good corner, so Neutral Good and Lawful Neutral gods could have Godling servants. This means that these creatures serve Actur (a Lawful Good god), Urist (a Lawful Neutral god), Valena (a Neutral Good god) and Lord Sun (a Neutral Good god). The Platinium throne is one of six thrones in the Divine Crown, a plane where the Lawful Good creatures call home. Apart of Qaphsiel, who is also called Crusader of Defenseless and Sword of the Divine Crown, there are five other Godlings. Their leader is called Zaphkiel, The One that Watches over the Thrones, Leader of Celestial Council. Then you have Sealtiel, The One that Sits on the Golden Throne, Defender of Divine Crown, Guardian of the God's Gate. Armaita, The One that Sits on the Pearl Throne, Seer of Truth, Bringer of Flame. Shushienae, The One that Sits on the Crystal Throne, Purest Soul, Bringer of Hope. Nisroc, The One that Sits on the Silver Throne, Defender of the Celestial Council, Messenger of the Gods. The dog explained that Qaphsiel decided to look over Balasar and give him a chance. He didn't cancel the pact Balasar went into, but only dimish it. For now, Balasar doesn't need to worry about nightmares, Eye of Many doesn't have that much of a hold on him anymore. However, the pact still remains and could return to the full force, until another pact would be signed. The dog told them that he nor Qaphsiel aren't the business of making people sign the contracts under pressure, so they only diminished the power of Balasar's pact and until Balasar does decide on his own accord to agree to the terms of the pact, they will not do anything about it. They helped only, because Balasar begged for help, for someone to save his companions. Also, the dog explains that Eye of Many is wounded. He won't be able to manifest again until a year or two, so they are in the clear. They will need to prepare, all of them. Now Eye of Many is interested in the whole group. He tells them, that they can achieve great things, save a lot of people, but only if they are united if they are friends that would sacrifice for the other. They will gain strength from that. Allies should also be considered, they cannot fight Eye of Many alone. Until then, they need to prepare. He explains that this entity is very powerful, maybe even rivaling gods. He is chaos incarnate, a destructive force of entropy. He does whatever he wants, not being bound by words or laws. He might do good or evil, however, you can't trust him, never. He tells the group, he will stay with them, since Balasar didn't decide yet and he needs to accept the requirements - use the powers granted by Qaphsiel to do good, defend those that are defenseless and never use it for evil. If he can accept that in his heart, then he will regain his warlock powers. Until that happens, he can't use anything he has. The group then talked about their plans and what to do. Solange told the rest about Sigurd's situation, that a parasite is living on him and he is dying a slow death. The party decided that they need to take the castle for themselves and create a base of operations there. They could find answers in the Golden City, but for that, they need to prepare even more. The castle can be enchanted even more and maybe even allow them to talk to themselves, without the fear that something powerful is watching over them.

    [​IMG]

    Gwendolyn was on the ground floor, talking to Alice. However, before we come to that situation, our party split for a moment. Mario went to his room to talk to Rexgladio. The sword can't speak but can send emotions to the wearer. Finally, Rexgladio accepted him. Mario wanted to inform him that they can't use him in public when the giant dragon is around. He told him about the son of Nyrydes is still alive. That in order to prepare to fight him, they need time and if Rexgladio wants to be used, he must be hidden with an illusion, something Elhaeltôr can borrow from the Illusionist Rapier they found. Rexgladio didn't like it, but Mario persuaded him that it's the only way for him to be used. He went quiet, silently accepting his fate. Baâ took Finn for a talk. She considers him a friend and wanted to know what he thinks about all of this. This Eye of Many, their fight with untold odds, negotiating with the dragon and even healing him. For her, it was strange and unbelievable that Mario even considered healing the creature, let alone promising to help him. She wasn't convinced of the group's actions, but if Finn will stay, she will also. Solange and Balasar had a talk too. The dragonborn tried to persuade Solange that he had to do what he did. For Solange it was like pouring water on his face, cold, feeling like a betrayal. Balasar promised to never take deals with unknown forces. He let fear get better of him and he pleaded with an unknown force. He thanks the stars that the creature he is going to deal with is a good creature, not again a creature of evil or chaos. He told Solange that he will accept Qaphsiel's deal and went to the dog, who was outside in the back of the guild. Balasar spoke to the creature that he is ready to accept the deal. However, the dog explained that in order to fully gain the powers, you need to be committed to the idea of good. Saving those in need, defending those that can't defend themselves, fight against evil and never use those powers granted to him for evil. Balasar understood these terms and agreed, however, the dog saw through his soul and spoke that he isn't ready. Balasar's main goal, the main reason to accept this deal is to fight the Eye of Many. Doing good was a secondary or tertiary goal. This was something the dog can't accept. He told him, he isn't ready to be given the gift, until his heart won't be in the right place. Balasar was able to negotiate to at least be given some powers, that was something the dog agreed to do. Balasar got back part of his powers, but his familiar was gone. The hound told him that when the need arises to defend good or fight evil, he must reach to the heavens, and then he will be granted a gift from Qaphsiel. Elhaeltôr at that time spoke with Gwendolyn, who was suspicious of what happened since the group looked beat up. The elf told her that there is nothing to worry about. He explained to her that they need to talk, together as a group. The rest were busy, so Gwendolyn asked about the elf that left, Syltas. Elhaeltôr told her that he indeed was here to talk to the group. The paladin recognized him from before, about ten or more years ago, when she was fighting the undead on the Steppes. A trio of High Elves was passing through their outpost, which was very much beat up. She describes two out of three, which match descriptions of Syltas and Maranis. The third one, however, looked different. In very expensive robes, gold hair (just like Elhaeltôr with his strand) and a beautiful face. The trio talked for a little, it seemed like the gold-haired one wanted to stay and help, but the rest wanted to move onwards. Before they left, the gold-haired one smiled to Gwendolyn and flicked something to her. It was a silver ring with elven engravings. Gwendolyn showed him the ring and tells him that it was a Ring of Invisibility. She told him that it was thanks to this ring that she is still alive. When undead attacked their patrol, she used it to escape and get reinforcements. She saved everyone but feels that if she hasn't had it on her, she would die with her comrades.

    When everybody was ready, the group sat down to the maps and notes with Gwendolyn. Alice was in the background, making some food and drinks for the party. They told her the plans, about the emissaries they met and that they wanted to decide what to do, since they can't leave the castle just like that, with monsters roaming about. Gwendolyn also was asked about the Guild's commitment to the cause, if the adventurers can be recruited to help. She declined because it's not something the guild can do. The Great Guild of Adventurers isn't a guild that hires adventurers like mercenaries. They don't make such contracts. The group could put their quest on the notice board, but Gwendolyn can't do anything else that maybe send it to the other guilds. Here, the guild is more of intermediary, not a boss. She mentioned about the Monster Slayers Guild, which works like that, but they are contracted to kill monsters, not to guard castles. However, she spoke about the group's options. First, if they need men there two mercenary groups in Orth. They are not big, but they could suffice for the time being. One is the goliaths, the group already saw few of them in the magic shop. They are mercenaries and can be paid to guard a place, and they will be especially positive about the job since the mountains are very dangerous. The second is the arena's mercenaries under the red dragonborn, that Mario met. They can also be hired for this. Before that, the group needs money. How much do they need to repair the castle? Balasar wasn't sure, but from what he saw it might be at least 40,000 gold pieces to repair the giant castle. This is a rough estimate based on what he saw and remembered. It might be higher since the castle is worth a million or more. So, the group needs an investor. Gwendolyn spoke about three, no, four people that could invest gold in such project, that have enough gold for it. First, was Cassius Bourdeux, the group already met this person during the race. Gwendolyn isn't sure, but she says that he seemed to be here more on his own accord, like to prove himself or something. Second, was Alasator Corbora, the landowner that has an estate outside of Orth. She tells the group that he hails from Corbara, a Dragon Fortress in the northwest Kingdom of Actur. That county is controlled by the family of Corbora. Balasar asked if it's the same place where the rebels are, which made Gwendolyn look shocked. She didn't know this. There were no rumors about such thing. She inquired where they did hear about this, so he told her that it was from Sigurd. She reluctantly accepted but was still little shocked that Sigurd has such information. The third person would be Conrad Stenbaum, the group had a quick mention of him during the race, he was one of them but didn't talk all that much. He owns the sawmill and tannery, he might not have enough money to become the group's sponsor but could invest by hiring a mercenary group. The fourth is least known to Gwendolyn but is one of the richest people in the canyon - Baroness Allura Vladimirovich from Aramoor. She is the descendant of a Baron that came to the canyon, founded a village and dug out a silver mine. Now, the family is very rich. She does have a husband, but Gwendolyn doesn't remember how he is called. The ancestor's name was - Lestan Vladimirovich. They could try other sponsors. Amkol Brightaxe came to mind, but this meant that they would be more indebted to the dwarves. The emissaries? When Gwendolyn heard the name Letizia, she shuttered. The party inquired and she told them that she was her captain many years ago and is a very skilled Inquisitor. If one of them is doubtful of their plans to reclaim this land or their overall goal, she will see it. So, if the party wants independence and they are not united, she will notice. The party could easily tell that if they choose one of the sides, they will be consequences later. Kingdom of the Vale? Oliver works for a knight order called Order of the Crimson Griffin, which works out of Brodzany. They care about the borders of the kingdom on that side, so they need to be sure nothing bad will happen. They could make sure that the party does that for them and even makes war against the drow. Kingdom of Actur? This was unknown. The nearest county was from Bourdeux family, who now rule the kingdom. The needs would range from something a normal band of adventurers would do, connected to the Golden City, or maybe make the Kingdom of the Vale join the Alliance. The Alliance of Northern Kingdoms, on the other hand, would be more inclined to make the adventurers go against the Great Empire. There were some tough decisions, but they needed to choose something. Finally, the group decided to send word to Amkol to go to the dwarves for aid. They will try to contact the orcs, meet with their leader and convince him or challenge him to a duel. Then, take on the kobolds. Maybe even using the orcs if need be. Solange had to go to the gnome, ask if he got a good deal with the airships. Elhaeltôr wanted to see about a Sending scroll. However, when he went to the door, it suddenly opened. A giant head, with fly eyes and mandibles, went inside, so the elf jumped to the side. It was just a head, somebody tried to push it

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    The Elementar

    It was the famous Elementar party. They returned from their quest. They killed something huge and only some of the party recognized. Elhaeltôr saw that this head belonged to a pretty big Umber Hulk and its size suggests it was a female. The adventuring party greeted everybody, mainly Gwendolyn, the rest got a cold welcome. The party just went to search a good place to put the head, some part of the wall. Gwendolyn went to help them with that and later went to her room to rest. The Elementar didn't talk to the others. Their leader proudly wore the symbol of All-Father on his chest, wearing also a beautiful chainmail. Water Genasi had many expensive elements to his outfit, he looked more like a noble than an adventurer. Earth Genasi they had a pleasure to meet earlier - heavy armor with a giant maul. The Air Genasi looked suspicious of the other group and from time to time whispered to the Fire Genasi about something. He wore some kind of breastplate and a sword to his side. Half-orc stood to the side, not interacting. He wore leather armor and many strange tools with daggers all around. The group didn't chat up the adventurers, so they went to complete their tasks.

    Elhaeltôr got his scroll and later took his time to write it into his spellbook. Later, they would use it to contact the various people, one of which would be the orcs. The shaman first, no answer. Then the leader, Boghat, he answered. The group wanted to meet with Ur'Crommash and he asked "where?" In a sense, asking where the group is located now, so he can come for them. They make a schedule, meeting at the old keep. Baâ, Solange, Finn, and Balasar went to Zook Fabblestabble. The wild child was scared of the technology, everything moved, everything made a noise. Finn told her not to worry, just follow the rest. The group entered. The alarm bell broke off again, this time the wood used to bridge the broken part, broke also. Solange picked it up and rang it. Zook came out and seeing the aasimar told him he has an answer from Quadropolis. The group had two options. They could rent an airship for the next month, but he must be told about this tomorrow morning at the latest since it would be 29th. The airship will travel 7 days here. It would cost them twice the normal price, eight thousand gold to show up on so short notice. The other option would be what Solange wanted, two airships, but they are ready to go next month and the group has about 15 days to decide. These two airships come in pairs and will cost them 5,000 gold pieces. The party didn't have a lot of gold to spare at the moment. Tallying about 13 to 14 thousand gold pieces in their hoard. They decide that getting the single airship isn't worth at this time and they will think about the other two. Zook also tried to sell to Baâ a contraption, where she would get washed automatically (by turning a knob). It looked over the top, too complicated. The druid just went to the group and growled at the nice gnome. They left him to his own devices and started to plan their meeting with the emissaries.
     
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  20. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Mostly political stuff. Baâ was from the start but had to leave before the party was going to Corbora. We did some time change shenanigans so that the party could go the Baroness and talk to her about sponsorship.

    ---

    Chapter IV
    [​IMG]

    Session 36: Dare of Indepedence, also Sponsorship

    When we last left our heroes, they wanted to meet with the emissaries. When the next day started, they went through the plan on how to do it, so they would be prepared. The group also saw the Elementar group, which woke up before them and already ate. The other adventurers were ready for their next mission, just a day after returning from their trip to the underground. There were no conversations to be had, just some glances from one of them. The strangers talked using a unique language of elementals, that nobody in our group understood, so couldn't understand what their plans were. Our heroes prepared for the meeting by cleaning themselves up, even Luigi was invited to the meeting. Just after noon, it started. The two parties met again the in the room above the ground floor, different than the one where they were attacked. At first, the conversation went nowhere, since both parties tried to gather information from the other. Oliver was mainly doing the talking, so he told the group that they really do know some about the group, but not that much, since they fell into their radar not long ago. Not every adventuring group is of interest to them. They know what they did, without specifics. They started to be of interest since Mario sent the letter. They explained that the knowledge of the enemy forces is very specific information, that you would have to get by infiltration or being in the Golden Spring Castle. Oliver successfully gathered information about the group during the talks. The emissaries didn't know that the group killed dozens of gnolls, that they had an ally dragon on their hands and took over a keep with over a hundred of orcs, killing almost all of them. This impressed the emissaries. Cappelletti, the Kingdom of Actur's agent, still couldn't believe what he heard and wasn't too willing to side on the group's side. Letizia, the Alliance of Northern Kingdoms' agent, was silent for the whole talks. She started to speak, after the group revealed their plans, since Oliver, impressed by the group, decided to reveal their information. The group now knew that there aren't thousands of monster soldiers under the Golden Spring Castle, but their overall numbers are in thousands - counting women and children. The tribes aren't untied, but most of them worship a demon. The emissaries also knew about Shuggend, but not much, so the information from the group was very telling that they did have somebody on the inside there. The party explained their plans - meet with the orc leader, challenge him to a duel, defeat him and use his armies against the kobolds, then use their allied dragon to take over the kobolds. If the duel will fail, the group will try the other way by taking over Shuggend's headquarters and attacking the orcs. The group already had allies, so taking over the castle and defending it was thought of a non-issue. The agents couldn't believe that the dragon would still be an ally after taking over one of the biggest kobold armies in the mountains. However, the most important question was asked by Letizia "What then?" The group told her that their goal is to become the guardians of the mountains and defend the people of the Canyon from the evils in the east. Oliver asked the group since Mario has mentioned this time that it's his family's stronghold if he is their leader. This was received with mixed answers. Oliver explained that if the emissaries are to believe that the group is somebody to trust, they need to be an aligned group. No matter what they did, it might have been a fluke or something else, but a leader is someone the group could rely on and if they do not have one, how could they withstand so much adversation. Oliver asked each one of them about their goal, in their own words, why do they want to keep the castle. Solange spoke about defending the people and the castle would be a good idea. Mario's goal was known. Finn had a similar answer to Solange. Balasar spoke that they need to prepare for whatever there exist in the Golden City and the castle is an ideal place to defend, stop the monsters from coming to the civilized lands. Baâ was also asked and she gave a similar answer to defending what is to the east, the innocent people and nature. Elhaeltôr wasn't asked, but Oliver explained that his answer would be similar to that of Solange and the rest - to defend the innocent. Letizia then took over the conversation. She said that she is happy about the answers, however, the future of the mountains is a question that should be answered here. She explained that the group stands before another predicament. They will need to choose one of the emissaries since politically they can't agree on helping them. Explaining that they do have access to their higher-ups and they can bring support for their plans, but if the higher-ups will hear about other forces helping them, it will become a political mess that the emissaries would need to answer for. In the best scenario, it would make the support late for months or even a year, so that isn't worth it for now. The group declined the offer, speaking about independence. Something the emissaries feared would happen. The talks ended there and they wished the group good luck, but they can't help them. Oliver stayed for a moment to tell the group, if after they take over the castle, they need help with the drow, to come to him.

    [​IMG]

    The group's next goal was to check on the sponsors. First was Conrad Stenbaum, the man they rode against in the race during the festival. He lived in the rich district in the First District of Orth. The guards there were skeptical of the group, even after hearing who they were. The group still didn't have any official name for themselves. Stenbaum's home wasn't the most expensive one, but it was one of. He mainly had beautifully crafted furniture and skins of many beasts, since he owned a tannery and the sawmills. The group saw that the man had problems lately - many people came to him and went out furious. The last one was a half-elf, they didn't stop him nor ask who he was. The group sat down and talked about their plans. Mentioning Sigurd was clearly enough to convince Stenbaum to help them, however, he wasn't rich enough and he had some financial problems lately, so he told the group he will try to find a way to help them. Since the group spoke of a future deal for rebuilding the castle and other places, the man suggested that since the area is infested with creatures, he will hire mercenaries for the group. Their cost is about four thousand gold per month, so he will hire them for two months for the group when they will need them. Those mercenaries helped him with his problems before, when Fey creatures were creating problems with his sawmills. They are Goliaths, the same creatures the group saw at Orleen's shop. Their leader, whose full name escaped Stenbaum at the moment, had a nickname "Hardhead." They were twenty strong, but enough of muscle and power to be a powerhouse. The group agreed that this should be enough. They thanked the man, who gave them a fur coat of high quality as a token of future good dealings. The group then went to Cassius Bourdeux.

    There the talks went very different. The man was very much ready to help them, however, he wasn't going to do it without a cost on the group. He explained the situation to the party. He is Cassius Bourdeux, a member of the ruling family and a distant cousin of Queen-Elect of Kingdom of Actur. Whatever he does, it's always "Lord Bourdeux." No matter how much he tries. He came to this land to carve his own name, so everybody would speak of him as "Lord Cassius of house Bourdeux," since he disliked to be the nobody. Mario saw something very similar in the man and tried to convince him, by berating him, that he is in the wrong and should change. Cassius told him that this is his offer. He will help the group, but only if he is the sole investor, sponsor of the group's endeavor. Only then he will help the group. He wasn't willing to hear any more discussions, so he wrote the amount of money he is willing to gather for the group and gave it to them. Mario, without looking, passed it to Balasar, who in turn shoved it into his bag. Cassius told the group that they need to think about it, so the group left. After leaving, Balasar checked the note. It was 200,000 gold pieces. The group was stunned, but Mario was unwilling to trust the man and ask for his help. The group had two more sponsors to talk to. Baâ seeing that this is mainly political stuff, went to take care of the hippogriff egg, since it was about to hatch - two days tops.

    [​IMG]
    Alastor Corbora

    Alastor Corbora lived outside Orth's walls, inside his own compound. His men patrolled farms that were his and he had many of them. The guards stopped the group and asked who they were, so they could ask the Lord about them before they could meet with him. Inside the compound, which was walled, of course, there was a barracks, a giant garden with a maze and big mansion. This man was very rich. They were escorted to the dining room, where they met with Alastor, who did wear expensive clothes, however, they didn't look very noble-like. The group started to discuss their plans with him, which he agreed are very noble, but his goal was somewhere else. He is interested in the west, especially in the Dragon Fortress called Shinning West. He couldn't help them. They debated the situation a little more and successfully persuaded the man that guarding the east would allow him to safely explore the west. Also, that the group was adventurers and they might help in finding more information about the stuff he is interested in. Corbora said that he is willing to help, but they need to come to him when everything is over. He can't grant them more than 100,000 gold pieces. The group thanked for the offer and went back to the guild. They debated what to do next - go to the Baroness or get the orcs? Since they already were on the path to the sponsors, they decide to go to Aramoor.

    [​IMG]
    Golden Rafter

    On their way to Aramoor, they had to make a stop in the Golden Rafter. This place was a small village with three forces keeping the peace. The Kingdom of the Vale, Kingdom of Actur and Alliance of Northern Kingdoms all had their men stationed here. There were of course ships docked, but the group was interested only in the barge, the ferry that would take them to the other side. Not wanting to stay and check what is the place all about, they took their time to rest at the inn and the next day take the ferry. It was just one silver piece per humanoid and two per animal. They didn't have carts nor wagons, so they didn't pay any more than about two gold pieces. The road to Brodzany was much different than from Orth to Ascensore. Here the road was taking care of. The Kingdom of the Vale or the Crimson Griffin was doing their job. It changed when they got to the fork on the road. "Aramoor" was written on it, but the road was dirt, not stone. The village had a silver mine but was built in a forest. When the group got near, they saw the palisade and many guards. All of them had high-quality gear. These weren't some pushovers. After asking why they came here, the guards let them in.

    [​IMG]
    Aramoor

    The first signs were pretty obvious. They came to the village before nightfall. People were off the streets already. Those that weren't, after seeing the group, ran inside their home. Those that were at the windows, closed them and just peaked around. They looked paranoid. Distrustful. There was a slight feeling of dread, because of it, but nothing supernatural. The group saw the mansion of the Baroness, a manor on top of the hill. What they also saw is that all the homes here were stone, none of them except maybe the stable were wooden. Good quality streets. These people didn't live in poverty. They also saw the street to the mine, that was also guarded and walled. The group decided to stay at the inn, before meeting with the lord of this land. The inn was called Nugget and was very loud at the moment but when the group entered, it all went quiet. There were about thirty people inside, mainly miners. All looked at the group, suspicious of them. There were two people who continued their talk. One old man that said something about going to the guild, the second a younger one, a courier that said that he will do it in the morning. Seeing that everybody stopped talking, the young man got flustered and quickly went to his room upstairs, while the old fellow sat down at his table and returned to drinking. The group tried their best to not look too suspicious and to defuse the situation. Balasar joked a little and went to the counter to buy booze, and secretly buy a round of beer for everybody in the inn. Solange just went to the old man. Mario and Elhaeltôr went where the waitress told them to sit since there was not enough space. Finn played a tune and this made people laugh again and sing.

    [​IMG]
    Vlastislav

    Solange could quietly speak with the old man, who was too scared at first to talk. However, hearing that the aasimar is from the guild he told him that there is something he needs to be done. His granddaughter is missing, but he can't speak of it now. He told Solange that his name is Vlastislav and the group can meet him near the river, he is a fisherman. After that, he just left, not even drinking the booze he bought before, it was still full. Mario talked to the waitress, trying to understand why people are suspicious, but the lady was acting like there was nothing of sorts. Elhaeltôr saw something in the crowd. One of the lumberjacks looked very sick, pale even. He went to check closer, sneaking up on him. He glanced at him and saw that he is very weakened and Elhaeltôr thought he saw something on his neck, but the man quickly fixed his shirt. Balasar went to Mario to sit down since he saw the scene with the running away old man. However, he saw that he stopped for a moment and changed direction. The dragonborn saw that somebody is coming to the inn. Solange also wanted to return to the group, but when he got near the entrance, a woman entered. People stopped singing. Everybody looked serious at the woman, who was the Baroness.

    [​IMG]
    Baroness Allura Vladimirovich

    A beautiful lady came to the inn. Wearing an expensive cloak, clothes, and jewelry. They didn't need more to recognize her as the lord of this land. She moved her ginger hair to the side to see Solange better. She greeted him, he introduced himself and spoke that they need to talk about something, but it will come later. "In the morning" he announced. The lady nodded and saw the rest of the group, just smiled at them. She agreed that they will talk later, she just came to the inn for something. "The package, Baroness?" the innkeeper asked and after confirmation ran back to the kitchen for something. Allura went to the counter, while the group rejoined at the table. When she got her basket of something, she went out. This prompted the rest of the people in the inn to ask Finn to continue playing. The group talked about what to do next. Balasar lost his telepathy, so Finn was out of the loop for now. Solange decided that he will go to Vlastislav and talk to him, while the rest will cover for him, so they did. Later the group was inquired about the aasimar, since the inn was closing and Solange still didn't return. Elhaeltôr used that moment for his own investigation and checked where the sick man was being carried to. One of the lumberjacks took him to a house, both didn't exit it. Elhaeltôr just noted to himself where it was.

    [​IMG]

    Our aasimar went outside the inn and in one of the alleys, used the Cloak of the Bat to polymorph into a bat. He flew over the village. Saw that the palisade had three "weak points" - the gatehouse the group went to, a smaller gatehouse near the river with only one guard and that the palisade only went to the hill and stopped. It was a steep hill, so going onto the hill would be very hard. Solange flew to the singular house that was at the river. This wooden building was old. There no fish caught, maybe even in the last weeks. He saw a light inside because the only window was opened. There he saw the old man, going from one place to another. When he was flying around the building, he thought he saw something move inside. A dark shadow, just for a moment. However, he didn't see anything else and the only source of light was a single candle inside. He changed back into his form and approached the door, knocked and Vlastislav opened it. He was happy he came, but he wanted to talk inside. He didn't invite Solange to enter, but he did it anyway. This was another "subtle" clue I was giving the player at what is going on. Inside, Solange didn't see what or who made that dark shadow. He saw only signs that somebody shuffled dirt here, no tracks. Two beds. A table with a lot of cuts on it. Solange asked about it, but he gave the answer for the fisherman - he was bored. Solange talked to the old man about what happened. He explained that his granddaughter, Sara, went missing two days ago. At nightfall, she went to the forest to play, like she always does, but she never returned. She fears the worst. Solange saw something in the old man's eyes suddenly shift. At first, they looked scared, then suddenly focused. He spoke about the Baron, Lestan Vladimirovich, that he must be the one who kidnapped his granddaughter. He is the one that takes one of the villagers and the next day they are weakened. That he only appears at night and he never died. A Vampire it seemed. Then Solange saw that the light in the room was gone for a while, but when he saw it, it returned. Something was standing before the window, which was closed when Solange went inside. There was also some garlic there, another "subtle" hint. Vlastislav was under a charm or domination spell since after that moment his eyes began to tremble in fear again. He spoke that he shouldn't say that, that the baron is good and is keeping everybody safe. Solange said he will take a look and come back later with his friends. After that, the aasimar went outside and looked at the spot where somebody should have stood, but there were no tracks. However, he saw something similar as in the house, somebody shifted the earth here, like you would by putting your hand over it and moving. Whatever it was, it didn't leave normal tracks. Solange then went looking for the girl. He saw some tracks by the river, so he followed them into the forest that was behind the hill. There he found a big tree in a clearing. This tree had one of its branches broken and still dangling. He quickly deduced that the child fell down and might have broken something since there were signs of somebody lying on the ground here. Then he saw some boots, a man suddenly appeared and moved towards the hill.

    [​IMG]

    Like in some horror movie, he saw the mansion and a nice moon was behind it. It seems that the Baron has Sara like Vlastislav said. Solange went to check near the hill and apparently, the Baron took the child on his hands and climbed the hill. He even lost balance once and lost something shiny. Solange saw a signet ring of VV on the ground. Evidence. The aasimar then decided to return to the inn, but he sneaked over the palisade near the hill so that nobody would see him move past the gatehouse. When he returned, the group went to their rooms to rest. There four rooms above the inn. The first was occupied by the courier, the next two were for the party and the fourth was supposed to be empty. The group went to the second room and started to discuss what to do. Everything points to a vampire, but the coincidence, domination and other stuff make this issue very suspicious. Like somebody was trying to make the group see the Baron as the evil vampire. During their discussion, the group overheard something move outside, one of the window's shutter moved. Solange said he would check and look out the window. There was nobody on the streets. The light was gone from the homes. Only one source of light, the mansion. He saw that the shutter from the courier's room was opened. He jumped over there and entered the room. There was nobody there. The courier was in his bed, not moving. No sound. He checked his body and using his Light cantrip saw his body. The man was dead. Drained of his life energy. Like sucked out. However, Solange saw that there were no bite marks. If not a vampire, then what? Ghosts, wraiths, specters were the obvious choice. He heard a Shadow Demon doing something like this, but he couldn't remember if that was true or not. Solange checked if the letter to the guild was still there and it was. Vlastislav only wrote that he needs help and "please hurry." Nothing more. Solange returned to the group, leaving the courier behind. Something was fishy.
     
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  21. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Baâ shall have her own little session since her character didn't go with the party. She decided that going to Estel'Anoron would be the best bet. Elhaeltôr joined a little late. Also, after this session the group has enought XP to advance to 8th level, but they need a long rest to achieve that.

    ---

    Chapter IV
    [​IMG]

    Session 37: Clever Girl

    Our heroes debate the next course of action. It seems something wants to influence their decisions. Something very sinister. If there's a vampire and now a demon, they might have a demonologist on their hand, again. This will spell disaster if the group rushes against their enemies without being prepared. The group decides to rest for the night and go to the Baroness seeking answers. They take turns to guard their room and everybody stays in the same one, to avoid splitting up. It was during Mario's watch, that there was a scream heard. The paladin quickly woke up everybody and ran down the stairs. Balasar jumped right after him. Solange and Finn looked out of the window. In the darkness, they saw the head of a woman, she was being dragged somewhere, straight to the manor it seemed. Solange and Finn decided to get out using the window. The group joined forces on the ground since the others had to break down a door. When the four heroes were close to the woman, they saw three shadowy figures next to the woman. It wasn't just shadows.

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    Shadow Demons

    These Shadow Demons were dragging the woman away, to the mansion up ahead. Solange even saw a group, running down from the mansion. Maybe they heard the scream. Combat ensued. In the dark, these creatures were very powerful and tried to use the shadows to hide and leap on the heroes, clawing their way through. Thanks to the powerful attacks of the group, the shadows were destroyed, but half of the group were wounded. They saw five guards running to them. The party tried to talk to the woman, who was scared of the group, even after being rescued. However, the friendly behavior that Balasar showed, made the woman trust them for a moment. She explained to the group, that she was taken by these shadow creatures when she was out of her home, going to the toilet. They recognized something was off - if the demons wanted to take her to the mansion, they would just take a shortcut. Apparently, the demons went around, to be near the inn. Something was fishy. However, the group couldn't think of what, since the guards got to them. Swords drawn, they demanded answers. Hearing about demons from them, but also from the woman, they had to think what to do next. They spoke in Valen (the language used in the Kingdom of Vale). The guards decided to take the party and Nikola to the mansion, to explain what happened to the Baroness in person. During their walk, they heard that the people of the village started gathering in the center of town. Also, Elhaeltôr and Luigi "woke up" and went down. The door was busted, the innkeeper was pissed, so the elf fixed the door with magic. Luigi was ordered to stay, while Elhaeltôr used his magic to Fly and observe the group from the sky. The escorted party talked to the guards, if this was normal, which the guard told them that it kinda is, but he never saw a shadow demon before. Other had, up north from the village during the patrol. Demons attacking the village was normal? The group had a lot of questions to the Baroness.

    [​IMG]

    When they got to the mansion, it was walled up. About two meters of stone wall and another meter of a metal fence. Symbols of VV everywhere. On the outside, they saw a lot of gardens, but they looked twisted like the plants here grew in strange directions. For a moment, part of the group thought they saw the plants move, but it stopped the moment they looked at them. Something eerie was going on. When they got inside the mansion. The Baroness was waiting for them, wearing a nightgown. She demanded explanations. The guards told her that after hearing the scream, they ran down, found these people who saved Nikola and some shadowy creatures. Solange started to explain that these creatures were Shadow Demons and how horrific they were. Allura stopped him before he could do more damage - Nikola looked at him with terrified eyes. The Baroness ordered the men to escort the civilian home. Since the talks would take longer, she asked the group to follow her to the dining room. She told them that they servants are sleeping, so they won't be able to provide drinks. However, one of the servants, Adam, was already on his legs and just fixing his bowtie. The expensive wine was served. The group talked to Allura about what happened with Nikola. Also, they spoke about the dead courier. Nothing about Vlastislav and his granddaughter. The group also inquired about the demons, so Allura said that this is a problem for generations, so nothing has changed. They questioned why not go to the guild, which is a question she didn't want to answer really but spoke that this is going on for so long, that she doesn't believe adventures would help her since it's tied to the Shinning West. Allura changed the subject to the group's goal, why they are here. Hearing that they want to rebuild the Golden Spring Castle, she told them it is a very noble goal and she is willing to help with it. However, the demon problem must be solved. Why the courier was killed and why the woman was kidnapped. The group asked about her husband since Solange started to speak about Vlastislav and his granddaughter. Allura said that Vlastislav doesn't have a granddaughter. Sara is here, she broke her leg and she is the daughter of the Nugget Inn's innkeeper. The package she went for, was for Sara. The group asked the question. She confirmed. Lestan Vladimirovich is alive and her husband, since ever.

    During their talks, Elhaeltôr spied on the group and when they talked inside, he sneaked up to the windows to listen, but it was very hard. There were magic runes everywhere. Suddenly, he saw a child's face above him. A kid was observing him, smiling at him. He flew up and saw that somebody stood behind her. This man didn't wear nightly clothes, but full baron, expensive clothing. Elhaeltôr didn't see his skin color if it's pale, but it wasn't that hard to understand the predicament he was in. Lestan asked him to get inside since it's getting cold and there is no need to fly around his mansion.

    [​IMG]
    Lestan Vladimirovich
    The Everliving Baron
    "The Vampire"

    He introduced himself as Lestan Vladimirovich, the baron. The kid next to him was Sara. Elhaeltôr saw that she had a crutch on her leg. Thing checked out. However, before the two of them could speak what is going on, Lestan told Elhaeltôr to wait, he needs to take care of one thing. He took the kid on his arm and carried her to the opposite room, where it was remodeled for a kid to sleep, but still with a big bed. There he saw the package the Baroness went to the inn for, a lot of toys. Lestan put her to bed and told her to go to sleep since is very late and she can't stay up at this hour. She didn't want to, so he threatened the kid that he will tell her mother and father, which Sara agreed to go to sleep. The vampire kissed her forehead, tucked her in and left the room, extinguishing the only source of light in the corridor. He talked with Elhaeltôr about who he is and what he was doing. The elf told the vampire everything that happened, not even once lying. Hearing all this, it was pretty obvious that he was speaking with a vampire since he gave some subtle hints of being as old as the elf or something of sorts. The pair decided to go down and speak with Allura and the rest.

    When everybody was together, the pair explained a little of their situation. Allura told the group that she was blessed by Valena, however, somebody had to be cursed and it befallen Lestan. That what the demons want is this hill and Lestan, since their enemy is none other than the Demon Lord of the Undead - Orcus (in Tethys, Orcus gained power just after Actur's death when Undead creatures started to show up, seeing this as great tools he quickly rose in ranks to Demon Lord). He sends his minions from the Shinning West, from the Dragon Fortress. The hill is holy and he wants to destroy it or corrupt it. The pair guards this hill and the people living here. The vampire guards during the night, while the Baroness, being a master of Abjurations, uses her magic to do it. The creature that killed the courier couldn't be a simple Shadow Demon, so Allura told the group that it had to be a Shadow Devourer. A creature more willing to siphon the living essence of mortals. However, Lestan and Allura weren't willing to divulge more information, unless the party helps them. The demons clearly wanted the group to attack them straight away, without asking questions. At least weaken the pair. They are preparing something and Lestan isn't going to tell the group anything unless he knows the village will be safe. The group wanted to help with that. Mario had a condition that one of them should go with them on this mission, but Solange spoke up that he saw a vision just now from Lord Sun, that these people must stay here and guard this place. The group needs to go alone. Lestan and Allura laughed a little and the party inquired. Of course, that adventurers come to Aramoor, but every time they get near the pair, it starts with a fight. This is the first time, a group of adventurers started talking and helping, instead of trying to kill the vampire. Asked about what happened to the previous groups, Allura says that the last one was fifty years ago and after being defeated, they helped them heal up and leave Aramoor. They never intend to kill.

    [​IMG]

    Before leaving, Lestan asked if the group could take Sara with them since she could be unsafe here. If the demons want to attack the hill, this might turn ugly, so it's better she returns to her home. After a brief discussion, the group agrees to take the kid. Lestan brings her down, waking up her from her sleep. Mario saw the crutches and the broken leg goes up to the vampire and touches Sara to heal her. The leg returns to normal and the kid finally can walk. However, she is unwilling to go with them. Lestan successfully persuades the kid to leave with them, since they are going to the inn and she can trust them. She does so and the group returns to the inn, where Luigi with the innkeeper is waiting. Sara reunites with her parents and the group starts a small search and gather. They search for everybody in town and light the place up with magical cantrips. The guards start to help them. After an hour, it is now about 2 AM, they gathered everybody in the village. One was missing - Vlastislav. The group quickly moved to his home. All of them were light up with magical light. When they got near, Solange saw some shadow move. He jumped first and the enemies were trying to ambush them.

    [​IMG]
    Shadow Devourer
    Servant of Orcus

    There were many Shadow Demons there, but one was quite different and looked more horrifying than the rest. The Shadow Devourer. The group didn't have an easy battle here. The boss summoned more Shadow Demons each time he had a chance. Solange had to use his Turtle Tattoo to survive the attack. The rest were able to withstand the attacks, thanks to the Light that illuminated the area. Balasar checked the hut and the old man was dead, his life essence gone. Elhaeltôr got swiped by the Shadow Demon's claws and almost died, he had to use his spell to guard himself. The party was very successful but used most of its powers on the monsters. The Shadow Devourer tried to run from the battle, but thanks to Elhaeltôr's Fly spell cast on Solange, the aasimar was able to chase after him and using his radiant bolts, destroyed him. Before disappearing, Solange heard his call to Orcus. That was their end, however, Solange saw something else on the horizon. Fire. The hill was on fire and the mansion was surrounded. The group split up, which was a bad idea. Solange went ahead, while the rest ran to the mansion. When the aasimar got to the place, he saw the ground, the earth scorched, on fire. A powerful flame. Creatures that looked like skeletons roamed around the mansion. Spat fire from their mouths at the mansion, which was guarded thanks to magical runes. This won't last forever. He saw Allura on the balcony, trying her best to cast spells at the creatures. Wanting to help, he went after one of the enemies, who was alone at the time.

    [​IMG]
    Fire Demon

    Solange got his ass kicked. The creature not only spat powerful flames at long range but also created hellish flame around it. Just standing hear it made the fight even harder. Solange was out of Ki. No Turtle Tattoo. 3/4 HP. He also failed his lore check for them. It was a bad idea. A near death experience. The creature was a Fire Demon, but it wasn't alone. There were five of them. One of them was bigger than the rest and had skeletal wings. However, this single demon was enough. When Solange tried to run, he spat at his back and the aasimar went unconscious. Allura had to drag him inside, missing her chance to help from the balcony. During this time, the group ran through the village. The people there were in shock. They spoke about the Baron and Baroness. The people here loved their rulers. The group ordered them to gather water, while they will try to save the mansion. When they got near, Elhaeltôr felt his magic fade away, Solange was down. Being near the gate, they saw the land in ruins. Blackened. Even stones were on fire. The gates melted and this allowed them the passage inside. There, they had to fight the demon that Solange fought, but the body of their friend was nowhere to be seen. They quickly dispatched this one demon, before other showed up. They could teleport using flames they see.

    [​IMG]
    Malakbel
    Servant of Zhengyi

    Two smaller demons and the big one showed up. The human-sized ones spat fire at the group, while the big one charged at them. It was a deadly fight. Elhaeltôr lost his consciousness, trying to get near the door. The party was at their own death's doors. Magical radiance didn't help. The big one was immune to it. His flames were just that powerful. He didn't spit fire, just exploded in flames and used his claws to burn the people around him alive. It took the party four turns of fighting this creature before the doors opened and people ran out. The Baron's soldiers and Solange, who was barely alive. The big fire demon was weakened and almost dead. The humans almost died fighting the creature. Thanks to Balasar's riposte move, it died before it could do its job. When it turned into a pile of dust, the rest of the demons fled. Elhaeltôr only heard the demon's cry for help - Zhengyi. Another Demon Lord. The group ran inside. They were safe... for now.
     
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  22. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    We took care of Baâ's journey to Estel'Anoron and finish stuff in Aramoor. The party will need to think what to do next if they really want to go straight to the orcs or change plans.

    ---

    Chapter IV
    [​IMG]

    Session 38: When things calm down

    Before we return to our previous programming, we take a short look at what our hero, Baâ, is doing. When we last left her, she took care of the hippogriff egg. Not short after, the egg hatched and she took care of the newborn creature. Made even a carry cage for him, so it will be sitting in a safe place, while she carries him. Him? Her? Well, Baâ never checked, so we never rolled what gender the creature was born as. However, she insists on waiting until she names him. She thinks the creature will think of its name on its own. In the meantime, Baâ hearing from the guild that the party left for Aramoor, decided to pay a visit to Estel'Anoron, speak to the druids about the dragon. Before leaving, she saw something strange on the horizon. A flying ship was approaching Orth and landed about a hundred meters north of the town. Too scared to check it, she just took her horse and rode to the Renewed Green. There were no problems on the way, but soon after entering the village, she saw something strange.

    Strange to her eyes. She was greeting very differently than before. Last time she entered the village, she was greeted with suspicion. Everybody in there looked at what she did, even if she was a druid. This time, the young elves greeted her like an old friend. "Aglar'nore", the Brilliant Company. For them, she was one of them and a friend. They wanted to her to come to their homes, eat with them and even party a little. Her goal was to visit Quennar, so she told them that why she came here. So, they escorted her to the druid. There, the Old Leaf was taking care of small critters, but when Baâ approached, they ran away, because of the hippogriff cage. The druids went inside the tree home and talked about Baâ's adventure. She spoke about the dragon, how in her eyes he looks unnatural and if he should be allowed to live. She told Quennar what happened during the visit to Lord Magmos. The most important question was answered by asking if Baâ knows the history of the races on Tethys. She didn't. Quennar then told her the stories about the monster races - orcs, gnolls, goblins, and hobgoblins. Should these creatures be allowed to live? They were created in a similar manner that to the dragon. Bred for a purpose. The gnomes were also created by All-Father. Before even that, the dwarves, the most ancient of the non-dragon related races on Tethys, were created by a dragon. For Quennar, the dragon isn't to be punished for the sins of his creators. However, his status must be discussed with others, so Quennar took Baâ to the sanctuary. The grove didn't change much and at this time, Aredhel and the druids and clerics were with her. The discussion repeated and most were of the same mind - the dragon isn't at fault for being born, the creators died long ago and if they exist, they have to be undead, so they must be destroyed. His status is a serious one, since they concluded, of what Baâ was able to gather, that the dragon is dying because his body isn't capable of catching up. He is slowly dying. They also inquired about the dragon's influence on his surroundings, does he affect the nature in some way or not. These of course were replied with a no since the only thing that was changing were the kobolds, but it's in their nature to do so next to a dragon. Baâ asked the group if they are going to help him. Aredhel answered by asking another question - "is there something redeemable in him?" Aredhel spoke that they do not know the dragon nor his goals. What if by healing him, they cause more damage to nature, because of his plans in the nearby future, after helping with the castle? The archdruid said that she is willing to help, but won't if she doesn't know enough about the creature. Aredhel also asked about Baâ's companions - do they trust the dragon, do you trust them and are they your friends. Baâ had a hard time to answer these questions, but they boiled down to believing only Finn since he is her friend, but she doesn't know the rest. "Would a friend sacrifice his life for a friend? Would they do it for you? And would you do the same for them?" Aredhel tried to say that the party Baâ is traveling with are already her friends, she just doesn't see it yet. Then the archdruid started to tell Baâ about her past with the Bone Coterie. The rest of the elves looked with a mixture of sadness and pride since their leader finally understood her mistakes. The nature around them tried to comfort the archdruid. She herself cried when she spoke the final words - "I regret many things from that time. Many of them were that each time I had a chance, I never took it. I never called them... my friends." Then she spoke about her journey with the group and how she and Baâ are very similar. She only hopes that whatever happens, she doesn't make the same mistakes as her. And since Baâ is a human, she doesn't have enough time to regret it nor see mistakes for what they are, since even Aredhel, having hundreds of years, still couldn't see. Baâ thanked for sharing the story and for the lesson, which she will keep close to her heart. After that, Aredhel spoke that the dragon will be taken care after the war, but Baâ told them that he might not have enough time for this. She couldn't allow too many druids to go on this mission since this would weaken even more Estel'Anoron. However, Quennar spoke up and volunteered. Since he is old, he doesn't have much to live for anyway. Baâ thanked for everything and tried to communicate with Elhaeltôr that she is in Estel'Anoron and they need to discuss getting Quennar to Lord Magmos. Before that, we have something else to return to.

    [​IMG]

    Our little undead-lovers found themselves weak and beat. Seeing demons running away from the combat, they decided to run as well, but into the mansion. In an almost dead state, they want to prepare and jump straight back, only taking some time to heal up with potions. However, this is something Lestan, the undead Baron, orders them no to, to back down. He tells them that they did their duty as heroes and it's his time to do his duty as the lord. The party has none of that and wishes to go back, but Lestan orders them as the lord of this land to stand down, defend those in this mansion while he, his wife and couple of soldiers go to close the portal. Apparently, Lestan knows what is going on in his village and the only demons that are left, and are dangerous, are those fire ones that ran to the back. There, he tells them, is the portal. The group reluctantly agree and look for a place to rest. During this time, the Barons go to the back of the mansion area, go through the gate and down the hill to the tree. The fire demons all ran into it, but some creatures still wanted to get out but were slaughtered, as seen by Balasar who took his time to look out the window. The vampire lord called his minions - wolves and bats to attack the portal, while his group gets into place. Surrounding the portal and killing everything that came out. Allura used her Abjuration magic to seal the portal. They were safe, for now. When the party rose up, the Barons returned. The village is safe, people were not harmed. The pair still argued that they must buy more potions so things won't happen like this again - where they can't heal someone so close to death like Solange was. The party wanted answers, so the Barons obliged.

    Lestan's real name is Edmondo Deliso and Allura's real name is Francesca Mercatoporto, the granddaughter of the duke, Azelio Mercatoporto. This means these are their lands. Lestan was a low noble and found Allura on one of those boring parties. It was love at first conversation. They hit it off and lived a lavish life, going from party to party. They were about 30 to 40 years old when Actur died and everything went to shit. Now, here's why they are still alive. The hill is called The First Crusade Hill. This is the hill where Actur, not yet High King, after uniting the kingdoms of humans and dwarves announced his war, crusade against the Empire of Monsters. This act made the hill holy, many pilgrimages were taken to this hill. After the fall, people still looked for the hill, but the area was infested with undead. They also couldn't find it, so after many generations, they stopped trying. So, how it connects to the Barons? When the fall was happening, they were at this place. They tried to gather as many people as they could to the hill, believing that it will save them. It was a holy place. When no more people could be placed on the hill, both of them heard voices. Many voices. They were given a choice "Who do you want to save?" At the same time, the Barons pointed. Allura pointed at the people, civilians, while Lestan pointed at his beloved. The last earthquake was the biggest. Dust and earth were everywhere, and when they woke up, the sky was brown. The dust there yet had to fall. Undead were all over the place, but they couldn't enter the holy hill, except for Lestan. The first month was the hardest for him, but he managed. The pair defended the hill with the surviving people. They saw as they grow old and die, their descendants now took the role as defenders. Barons needed to defend this place better, so they created their personas - Vladimirovich. Lestan died, Allura changed her face and name. They used the silver mine to gather funds and slowly built their village. Undead were mostly defeated. Demons of Orcus started to show up. The holy site started to shrink in time, because of the constant threat of undead and demons. The Barons feel that soon it will disappear altogether and then, they will need to relocate the people to a safer place. This was their story. The group didn't have more questions, for now, they wanted to rest. Luigi came later since Mario wanted his son with them. The party took their time to rest here. In the morning, or more like afternoon, they would talk about the other stuff. Balasar also took this time to talk to his companion, the dog. The Hound Archon did nothing to help them here and stayed behind with Luigi. Balasar told him he is ready and the celestial saw in his heart that it is true - there are many creatures, many enemies, not only Eye of Many that he can work to defeat, but there are very little people to save and he must do his best to save as many as he can. Seeing this, he told Balasar that his contract is signed and he can now try to feel for the gift. He summoned his pact weapon, which took the shape of a morningstar, that had a small sun with rays as the spikes. The Hound Archon said that his goal is fulfilled, he came here to see if Balasar is ready, now he can return. Balasar asked if he will help them later, but the celestial only said that if the Plantinium Throne, Qapshiel orders him, then he will. He disappeared. However, our little dragonborn didn't have a good night. When he woke up, he felt something strange, a sharp pain in his back. He couldn't wake up. When he did, he was all sweaty. Trying to stand up, he heard something break and saw that wings sprouted out of his back.

    [​IMG]

    Elhaeltôr and Finn came rushing in, but seeing everything is fine, the elf went on his way. Finn stayed to joke around. The dragonborn couldn't fly for now, but in the future, it might change. He didn't know if it was a gift from Lord Sun or the Platinium Throne. Elhaeltôr met with Solange on the roof, where the monk was basking in the noon sun. The elf wanted to see the cursed blade since he learned the Banishment spell, he now could banish the curse from the sword. The party gained another magical item, a simple longsword +1. Mario during that time, went down wanting to eat but saw that the door to the dining room is closed. He heard a loud discussion. The Barons were arguing over something. He quickly understood that Lestan wanted to give something to party, more money perhaps, but his wife was unwilling, seeing that they might need it for the village more. The vampire tried his best to use the most compliments he could, but it didn't work. Mario interrupted the argue by knocking, but heard from both at the same time "dinner is not ready yet!" The paladin didn't want to come back and entered. He apologized for eavesdropping and wanted to talk to them about what he overheard. He told the pair that they do not need to worry. If they will not give them any money, that won't change their minds - this place is holy and these people will need money to protect them. He tried to persuade the pair that they do not need to give them money. Allura seeing this just smiled, got near the paladin and said: "too bad you didn't live 300 years ago, maybe I would marry a different man." Which of course was a jab at her husband, who looked furious at her. Mario tried to explain that their situation with the castle is fine, and they already found a sponsor. At that time, Allura went near one of the curtains. The dining room was dark since no sunlight came inside due to the curtains. She slowly moved one of them and said "honey, shouldn't you go back to your hole?" and smiled at him. The light almost hit the vampire, but he jumped to the side and growled at her. "Women... don't marry, Mario" and he went to the other side of the room.

    Then the dinner was served and the party could talk. Not after Lestan wanted to make a toast. To the heroes. To those that stood against the demons and helped them. He even called them the Godly Shield, since the group again didn't have their own name. After that, they spoke business. The Barons told them that they are willing to help their cause since the east is very important. If the monsters from there come down to the villages, it will be a problem, especially if they get to Aramoor. They already have problems with demons from the west. They will help however they can, with money, but the group will need to come to them when they take over the castle. They will gather money for that moment. They also talked about the demons. Allura spoke that the Shadow Demon they fought and wanted to make them fight each other, to weaken the defenders of this hill, was a Shadow Devourer, a special demon in the service of Orcus. However, fire demons do not serve Orcus, at least it's not common. These serve Zhengyi, another Demon Lord. Orcus and Zhengyi had to make some kind of pact, alliance or something to send their minions here, so they fight together against the Barons. The good news is that due to the fact the group destroyed them on this plane, means it will take time for the leaders to heal up and they might have some time to rest up and regain strength in Aramoor. After these talks, the vampire had to rest. He thanked the group again because, without them, he fears this village would be lost. Allura was left to talk to the group. They asked her a little about her past. If she met Contegoaurum, which she had, but only briefly during one of the winter balls. They were quite "stiff", but honorable and devoted people, which she liked. She didn't meet Actur in person but saw him once in Dominium. Also, she told the group that the Golden City might be swarming with undead, a shocker I know, but she was speaking about the leaders of the dukedoms. There was a meeting there at the time of the fall and many dukes were in attendance, so they might have returned as undead, but she isn't sure. However, she does know that not many mages were in the capital since they had their own meeting in Capistalta, where the biggest magical academy was. Elhaeltôr also asked about Avcen, somebody he knows, but Allura didn't know the name, nor would Lestan, since they mainly spent their time at balls. Finn asked about someone who might have interest in "strange" and "unusual" arcane magic, but she just smiled. The Golden Brook Kingdom had a lot of mages, so it wouldn't be strange to meet a few of them from time to time. Solange asked about the Eclisped, the hidden organization of Lord Sun. She told him, she knows of them. She might have seen one of them, but it's just guessing. Allura told Solange that before Actur, the kingdom had to defend its borders, many times. She doesn't know if the Eclipsed existed before or if the kingdom created them, but their service helped. Everybody was happy when tyrants and aggressive people that were at the borders just disappeared. This allowed the kingdom to thrive. When Actur came, their activity was lessened. They might have gone south, but she doesn't know. For her, they were the agents the Golden Brook Kingdom used, but she doesn't know if they did anything bad or evil.

    After eating and discussion, the party decided to leave. They gathered their belongings and went to the village, where the atmosphere changed. They were greeted as heroes, not as outsiders. Now they were ready to take on more problems and one of them just arrived. Elhaeltôr was visited by a bird. Baâ was at Estel'Anoron and she needed them to talk about Quennar and the dragon. The group agreed to go there.
     
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  23. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Another session and were back on track with the orc-kobold issue. Also, Balasar changed his portrait. The newest is in the party roster.

    ---

    Chapter IV
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    Session 39: Toughest Decision

    Our little group of fun guys (and Baâ) joined forces in Estel'Anoron. There they discussed their next course of action. After debating, with even Luigi talking to the group, they laid down the plan. Luigi would take the horses, get them to Orth and travel with Quennar Wood Step to Lord Magmos. He would also take with him Om for extra security. This would allow the group to go to the orcs, not worrying about what should be done about the dragon. They don't know how much he has, but with this move, they might buy him some. In the meantime, the group used their time to rest, get supplies and find more stuff in Estel'Anoron. Solange and Mario had their altars created. Valena's altar was created next to the inn, while Lord Sun's atop one of the highest buildings in the village. Finn tried to find some magical items for himself. He still searched for Winged Boots but didn't find any. However, he did find a Helmet of Comprehend Languages and Broom of Flying. The second he didn't buy since the elf wanted about 500 gold pieces for it. Baâ wanted to buy a magical armor, but they are pretty expensive, so she decided not to. Balasar wanted a specific set of Mithral armor, but there was no Splint Armor in Annael's shop. He did buy raw Mithral, about 20 kilograms, so he could later create the magical armor. They also bought for Luigi a set of Sending Stones, so he could communicate with Mario once a day.

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    Elhaeltôr had something different in mind. His memory is slowly coming back and his body might also. With this, one of his memories of a sword, an intelligent sword he talked to. It was his first student. Last time, he asked about Avcen. He needed to talk to Annael, since he knew a lot about magic items, what it could have been. Especially that Elhaeltôr thought it was this reason that Lasse'hyanda, the Leaf Blade, didn't answer his touch. Annael quickly understood what kind of blade Elhaeltôr was speaking about and told the stories of the first elves, about three thousand years ago. When some elves decided that Tethys is their home and there is no going back, they became the Wood Elves. The Moon Elves also wanted more freedom and to explore the world. This created a small rift, because of the dynasty weapon known as Moon Blade was mainly in the hands of the Moon Elves. This made the High and Wood Elves decided that they need their own counterpart. While the Moon Blade was created to help and preserve the Elves as a species, the other blades had different goals. The Lasse'hyanda, the Leaf Blade, was created to defend the elvenkind. This sword is destined to be taken by those that risk their own lives to defend the elves as a whole. The High Elven counterpart is fewer in number, but more devastating. First of all, the Anar'hyanda, Sun Blade, is a powerful artifact. Second, it is highly intelligent and extreme in its ideology. This means it will force the user each time there is a decision to be made, to make it choose the path best for the elves. Thirdly, its goal is that of preserving the traditions and the concept of the elvenkind, not only to defend and help survive the elven race. This huge ego also creates a powerful resonance that can kill those that the blade deems unworthy on touch. Many High Elves, too proud that they are the best choice, died just by touching the blade. It seemed, that for some reason, Elhaeltôr, or actually Harthion Gold Leaf, was the person the blade choose as a master. It won't choose another one, but Elhaeltôr is stuck with it. This doesn't mean he can't take up the Lasse'hyanda or the Moon Blade if such thing comes. You can have one of each. That was the end of their conversation. Before leaving, the group also saw an airship up above the village. Too far even for a two kilometer Misty Step and Elhaeltôr didn't want to risk it to see who was flying. It was a small, fast ship called Chaloupe, known to Finn as the favorite ship for gnomes to travel and sky pirates. It seemed that it came from Orth since Baâ told the group she saw something like that in the town and was going northwest. That direction was Shinning West, the Dam, Handlova, the Dominium and Brightaxe Clan.

    The group then decided that getting those airships would be a good idea. They gave Luigi 8000gp and told him to visit Zook and hire those captains. He also was given a signet ring, if the gnome or the dragon will need proof of who he is. They will get them at the start of the next month, which would be in about 24 days. It was the 6th now. It will take them 3 days to get to the keep, another 2 to wait for the orcs and if need be go to the Golden Spring Castle on foot, which would be another 6 days. Quennar and his team will get to the dragon faster. Our group first decided to inform Lord Magmos of Luigi and Quennar's arrival. In a shocking turn of events, the dragon not only accepted their coming but also said to Elhaeltôr "thank you, my friend." Which just warms the still-beating hearts of the player characters. We will work on that. The second message was to Cleig, the kobold, about their arrival to the keep and that they need to go away because orcs are coming. However, something unsuspected has happened - a monster is roaming around the keep and the kobold already lost five people to it. If the group wants to do something about it, they better hurry. That they did. The elves have a boat or more like a ship. It can transport about ten people and its main goal is to barter with Golden Rafter. Maybe in the future, the elves will invest in more ships on the river, but for now, it is not necessary. During their voyage, Mario got information from Luigi that they got to Orth safely and Mario has two letters waiting for him - from his cousin and from his order. He wanted to enlist their help in rebuilding the mountain range, but it will take time for them to come. For now, the group will have to wait to know the contents of the letters. Also, Zook got his money and the airships will show up as planned.

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    Cleig
    The Allied Kobold Leader

    When the group got to the keep, it looked deserted. Just like they left it. There were some signs of kobolds beyond the walls, but not much outside. They also saw a kobold running away, into the tower. Soon Cleig got out and the group was told what had happened. Cleig gathered about 50 kobolds to his side. They went here, as instructed, to guard this keep. However, when he ordered the kobolds to destroy the strange plants outside, the group heard a lot of commotion. A huge creature murdered five of the kobolds and since then, they are bunkered inside the keep, not going anywhere. The group checked the place out and apparently, Baâ recognized it, the monster was a Hydra. It ripped two kobolds at the same time, which meant it had more than one head. This creature was huge. The party then decided to check the plants and they were all gone. Worse, the place looked like something big came to bring chaos and destruction. The hut that was there? Destroyed. The plants? Eaten. The land? All dug up. The trees and shrubs around? All flattened and devastated. The creature was in amok. The group started to plot a trap. However, there were no plants to use, since apparently, it was this thing that made the creature leave its wet marsh and come to this forest. Baâ recognized that maybe the anger it had was because the Hydra is too stupid to go back to his home, but it's still a dangerous creature and must be dealt with. The other plants, that the orc shaman used, were destroyed by Cleig. He said that he did what the group wanted - destroy all the plants. The group thought about what to do next and their inaction changed the landscape. The tracks showed that the creature walked to three directions - north, where there are more trees and the entrance to the keep, to the west, more trees, and to the south, where there was the river and also the pond, the lake that Solange got out of, when he fought the mimic. The east had only walls. Nobody checked around, they just saw that the freshest tracks were wet and coming from the river and lake. And there it was actually sleeping. Soon it came out from the water. Looked around and saw the group.

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    Hydra

    The group thought they will have to take care of a simple hydra with five heads. However, it wasn't so. This hydra had 7 heads and it looked a little off. Some scales were black and his eyes were black with red iris. The creature attacked the group. Elhaeltôr didn't have enough time to summon fire elementals - the group knew they needed fire and this was the safest bet. First, the hydra tried to attack Mario, but all seven attacks only hit once (two times actually, but Finn used his powers to make the creature miss). Then it was attacked by all sides. Moonbeam, Spirit Guardians, Fireball, combo from Solange, Balasar, and Mario. It was heavily wounded, then Finn used Dissonant Whispers, which meant that the creature had to move and it gave opportunity attacks. The creature almost died and lost its head. Now it was its turn. It was burnt, but for some odd reason, the wound started to heal and two more heads popped up. These were fully blackheads with similar eyes. Something was very off. The creature moved closer and then started to breathe out black, gooey smog. Necrotic its nature, it wanted to sap the living stuff out of the heroes. Only Finn failed. While the rest lost about 1/4 of their life. The halfling lost 2/3 with one hit. The group quickly killed it off, with Mario slicing it up, in the end, decapitating all of its heads. Now the group had 7 normal Hydra heads and one black. What happened was due to the plant, Shadow Violet, and the creature gorging upon it, it caused a chain reaction in the Hydra. There are some acid hydras, fire, and other elements. This was about to change it to a shadow hydra that spews undeath onto everybody. The party debated to just go to the orcs and leave the creature alone. If they did so, the transformation would take full effect and they would have an even powerful enemy around the only keep. Of course, the creature didn't come to this place just by chance - it was because the players left the garden and didn't destroy the plants. They blossomed and attracted one of the most powerful creatures around the area. After that, Cleig was ordered to hide his kobolds into the keep and stay there until the orcs and the group leaves.

    Before waiting two days for the orcs, the group decides to check on the Golden Spring Castle. There they found tracks of kobolds. It seems somebody teleported inside the castle. A small group of kobolds, wearing robes, went inside but didn't leave the teleportation room in the castle. There they checked around and left. Apparently using one of the orbs for this purpose. Later, Elhaeltôr found that one of the "turned off" orbs had one hour used up. The group also found tracks of a much bigger kobold than the rest. This might have been a leader or maybe Shuggend himself. The kobolds didn't leave the teleportation room, so there were no tracks in the other rooms. Mario was scared for the ghost for a moment, but there was no issue there. The group left again, using the teleportation circle. They waited for the orcs to come, but only one came. The druid user her Wild Shape to scout around, but saw only a single orc coming this way and his camp just four hours to the east.

    [​IMG]
    Boghat Reborn
    Defeated Orc Chief

    It was Boghat. The orc chief that the group defeated in the keep. His equipment didn't change. However, the party saw a necklace with a stone attached. The sign he converted to Fha'Mal, Great Mountain, which was none other than All-Father. Something happened in the orc base. He also had a sign of their battle, his lower chin was scarred by that single fireball to the face. He explained to the group that Ur'Crommash will not come to them since none is that stupid. Boghat on other hand is here to show his leader that he isn't afraid. He explains to the group, calling them Fha'Mausher (which means Great Butchers), that after his defeat at their hand, he stopped to think that the Demon Lord is strong. When he came back to report to Ur'Crommash what has happened, he killed his shaman on the spot and took an oath to Fha'Mal. He will take them to the war chief and will give his life if need be, he even swears on it that nobody will attack them and they will leave unharmed. The group, of course, didn't believe him on it, he was truthful, but the other orcs might disagree. The group debated what to do next. Finn was angry at them that they even discussed this or even that they think that allying with the orcs is a good idea. There was some arguing back and forth. In the end, Finn agreed to come with the party, because they might die without him. The druid also agreed with Finn. There was some bad blood between the halfling and the orcs, but the group didn't discuss it on the spot. The party agreed to follow Boghat to the Golden Spring Castle, where Crommash was.
     
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  24. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Parrots:
    4,693
    Location:
    Poland
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    FORTY sessions! Our little party goes after Crommash. The next sessions will about strategy, gaining more allies, planning and eventually siege of Shuggend. Baâ changed her portrait.

    ---

    Chapter IV
    [​IMG]

    Session 40: When Worlds Collide

    Our little party, before leaving with Boghat, saw a kobold nearby. It was none other than Punn, he had to arrive at the keep just now. Mario went to him, after making sure that the orc didn't see him nor the kobold, which was true, Boghat was only interested in going to the mountains, so he didn't look to his sides. Mario learned that Punn was worried about the group going with the orc, but heard from the paladin that everything is alright. Mario also learned that Punn is able to contact Lord Magmos, but it's very flashy, so he can't use it now since the orc might see them. The paladin told the kobold to stay at the keep and wait further instructions, which he did. The group then arrived at Boghat's encampment, where he had his food stashed away. He wasn't willing to talk to the group, at least not starting the conversation. Mario and Elhaeltôr were the only ones. They tried to gather information from the orc, but he was silent on most topics about their strength or status of the castle. However, he did tell them about himself. He thought the Demon Lord, Gamygyn, was very strong, so he served him, just like most of the orcs. After Crommash killed the previous warchief, Boghat didn't want to follow the servant of Fha'Mal, so he ordered his tribe to find a better place. Their shaman ordered the weak - old, children and weak women and men, to be sacrificed to the Demon Lord, which Boghat agreed to do. This was to strengthen their bonds with the Demon Lord, as this was a very bloody and painful sacrifice. They thought of taking over the keep and then doing raiding, however, that didn't go as planned, because the group came along. After being saved by his men, he returned to Crommash. He now knew that serving a powerful demon doesn't give you strength. He saw it in Crommash, so he killed his own shaman in front of him and pledged his loyalty to Crommash and his soul to Fha'Mal. This garnered him the title "Reborn". After that, he heard the message from the group and decided to go to them alone and bring them forth to Crommash. He didn't indulge the group in other information.

    During their trip, Mario and Balasar went on a little sparring match. Mario was set to be the one who will duel Crommash, so Balasar offered him some training before it happens. Mario was in tip-top shape during these sessions. Finn didn't really interact with the orc. Solange asked Baâ to help her with cooking food, he needed a mountain goat. The druid obliged and brought back the goat using her giant spider form. Finn and Balasar had some fonding with the hippogriff that Baâ had still with her. While Balasar looked terrifying to the hippogriff, so it didn't fight his bonding tries, it was different with Finn, which looked more like a meal - since he was very small. The halfling after a while prevailed and the tiny hippogriff didn't see him anymore as lunch. Solange prepared a meal for the group, using one of the dwarven recipes. Elhaeltôr used these six days to create himself an Elemental Gem if the group will ever need it. Boghat was silent all the way, only spoke when it was needed or the group talked to him. It was then that Baâ shared her food, one of the rabbits she caught, with him. The orc was shocked that she even thought about him, but was thankful. Boghat was their guide, but the group had better survival sense than the orc, so they followed but not blindly.

    [​IMG]

    The way to the orc lands was very treacherous. The mountains were jagged and raw. The fall made all those weaker spots fall, to create a very rough terrain to travel. There were still some trails, but nothing really helpful. They still had to travel using ropes and climbing gear. When their journey, which was quite uneventful, was coming to an end, the group was guided by Boghat to a ravine where two mountains meet. There they saw a gatehouse with a drawbridge. Ruins. However, Boghat wasn't happy, something was amiss. The bridge wasn't lowered and it always was. He told the group that, so they decided to scout it out. Finn and Baâ would transform into flying creatures and fly over the place. Up above, they saw that they were quite near the orc lands. Before they saw maybe some orc caves and small hamlets, but nothing major. Now it was different. Big camps and villages, all war-themed. However, they saw no fighting, not counting the distance they were from it. They also saw Castra Vetera, the ruined city port. Shaped like a diamond, it stood empty, or at least it seemed so. From there, up to the castle, there were rows of palisades. This place was a battlefield for generations. Maybe the group will change that? For now, they had a gatehouse to check. This place once had walls and maybe more towers, but not it's all gone, maybe fell into the ravine. Only the gatehouse remained. There were signs of life - campfire, but Baâ clearly saw that it was used days ago. Nobody was in the gatehouse. The two birds landed. The drawbridge was "new" as in made by the orcs since the old drawbridge from the gatehouse would be destroyed due to the passage of time. Finn changed back into his halfling form and started to lower the drawbridge. Crude work by the orcs, but it worked. When the group got to the other side, Boghat just noted that if they wouldn't be able to pass through here, they would lose a day. The party decided to rest at the gatehouse and go to the orcs the next day. Also, Elhaeltôr tried to communicate with Lasse'hyanda, the Leaf Blade and even asked others to try too, but the blade answered only once to him with "happy" emotion when he told it they rebuilt it.

    [​IMG]

    When the group went down the mountain, to the Golden Spring Castle, they could see the orc war machine working non-stop. The weaker women, men, and children where behind palisades. Their jobs were simple. Take care of the younglings, get food, repair stuff, and other menial work, while the stronger units fought the kobolds. This last thing wasn't seen by the group, there was no kobold presence around. They reasoned that they are still far from the castle. Boghat had to yet lead them to it. Around there were many orcs, split up into different tribes - small and big. Of ready to fight, there were about one hundred. They also saw a big group of orcs, heading their way. Boghat stopped. That group was indeed heading towards them. They saw these big orcs with giant muscles and arms. Holding flails and giant steel balls. The latter were chained to their big arms, so they could throw them at the enemy or even use it as a ball and chain weapon. It was a group of thirty orcs. When they got about 10 meters near, they stopped and the middle group parted. A big orc female stepped out, holding a giant steel mace.

    [​IMG]
    Ulumpha
    Chieftain of Zuggrom Tribe

    Boghat recognized her as Ulumpha, the chieftain of the Zuggrom tribe. The pair spoke in Orcish, while Finn and Solange listened since they knew this language. Finn due to the magic of his helmet. Ulumpha wanted to know if they really where the Fha'Mausher, Great Butchers, and she even spoke that she fancied the little one - Finn, and told Boghat to let her have him. The orc guide protested and put his hand over the group. For him, these are Crommash's guests and he will decide what to do with them. Ulumpha changes into Common and asks the group what they are here for, which they only answer by saying that is for Crommash to know. Not liking their answer she agrees that they will go to Ur'Goth, but she will take them. She tells them to move aside and they will kill Boghat. The group doesn't move. They tell her that it's his job and they agreed with him. She tries to reason with them, that he is their enemy, that they destroyed his tribe and why would they stand between them. Also, her reason for this is simple - one beast fewer to deal with. The group also tried to reason with Ulumpha to not interfere and one argument stood one - that Crommash allowed Boghat to live, accepted him to his faith and gave him this mission, he must be special to Ur'Goth. The orc woman reluctantly agreed and allowed them passage. When they moved past them, she just looked at Finn like he was a juicy steak. The group now could reach Crommash.

    [​IMG]

    The situation outside the castle looked different than they hoped for. The kobold forces were destroyed, at least those next to the castle. Their tents were still up, but there were orcs there. The siege machinery was gone, as with wyverns and other beasts. They saw a lot of bodies, most of them burned on piles. Mainly kobolds and their lizards. Interesting thing was that the orcs and kobolds had access to the castle not by the main gate but by other means. The group saw that the orcs had access through a hole in the castle, to which they built scaffolding and guarded it. The kobold entrance wasn't on their way, but it was there somewhere on the other side. They did see the stark difference of warfare. The kobolds used tunnels, traps, machinery, and bombs to fight against the orc horde, while the orcs used their brute strength and numbers to overwhelm the enemy. It worked for the greenskins and they not only driven out the kobolds from their camp but also gained access to the main gate. Inside, in the main hall, they saw that orcs already were getting ready for more combat. They cleaned the floors by taking care of bodies, weapons, and weak barricades. They put their own palisades. The group moved past the main hall, about three hallways to a staircase up, where they moved again through more hallways. All of them filled with orcs. Those on the outside might be close to 300 strong. Those inside maybe 200 or more, they didn't see the whole castle. A massive number for them to take care of. The group finally got to the throne room. This was also the place, where the secret entrance was to the higher floors, where Duke Salvatore resided. This room was filled with orcs, maybe close to 50 orcs. They saw the different stripes of orc tribes. The berserkers, wrestlers, maulers, and others. Their leaders were also here, but the group had other things to think of right now. The room was about 30 to 40 meters long and 20 to 30 meters wide. A huge room. You had to descend from the stairs at the entrance, which was guarded, to the lower floor. There you could go to the stairs on the sides, which lead you to the audience spots. If you went further in from that spot or just stayed on the lower floor and went forward, you would get to the stairs to the throne, where the orc leader sat surrounded by more orcs. Shamans, crossbowmen, and others, armed to the teeth. The throne was old, but it wasn't the original throne from the castle. Created by generations of different rulers of the castle lower floors, orc and kobold alike. Skulls and weapons adorned the steel throne. Now, on the throne sat a big orc with heavy plated armor that masked his real features. His helmet that of a wolf, he looked down on the party.

    [​IMG]
    Ur'Crommash
    Warchief (Ur'Goth) of the Orcs
    Chieftain of Eghanhu Tribe

    They couldn't get near him. Just about two meters from the stairs, since at the lowest floor the orcs stood as a wall against those that wanted to ascend the stairs. Seeing Boghat, he told him to come near. He was pleased that he came with them and that his oath was fulfilled, he was awarded a place by his side. Boghat left the party and went to Ur'Crommash. The leader then asked in Common, what the party wanted. Mario stepped out and started his speech. He introduced himself as the rightful owner of the castle, that the orcs and kobolds are here using his castle but that is about to change. That he came here also with a proposition of going after Shuggend. This wasn't going to be accepted by the orc, so Mario challenged Crommash to a duel. The room went silent for a moment. The other orc chieftains - Ulumpha and others, went past the group and near the Ur'Goth, they whispered to him something, but the group couldn't hear. Crommash asked the paladin what were his terms of the duel. Mario told him that the winner will decide the fate of the other. Also, if he wins, Crommash must lead his people against Shuggend. Crommash laughed at this proposal. The human was going to win two things, while the orc leader just one. He told the paladin that he wanted two more things from this duel and since he already offered his life, there is little more he can offer. Mario told him that the shield he has opens a secret area to the castle and will give it to him. That was one. "The force field?" the orc asked, but Mario said that no. The orc then demanded that if he wins, he will give the shield and tell him how to get past the force field, how to gain access to the upper floors. The paladin accepted and the duel was about to start. Finn also interjected himself and persuaded that he will sing, comment and if the Ur'Goth doesn't mind, he didn't. Now, Mario had access to Finn's Bardic Inspiration. The orc took his giant flail, dark in color and went down the stairs. The orcs were ordered to surround the rest and if they see them casting any spells, to kill them outright. The party was in a giant pickle. If they help Mario in any way that looks like magic, it might spell their doom.

    [​IMG]

    The battle started with Crommash attacking first. He used Blinding Smite, a spell that gave you additional damage and could blind an opponent, then attacked twice. He hit both times, added Divine Smite and Mario went to 1/3 of his hit points. This wasn't good. The orc was a 10th level paladin, three levels above Mario. Next, it was Mario's turn. First, he used Lay on Hands to heal himself. It didn't work. His magic worked, but his wounds didn't heal. The group didn't understand until after the battle. It was the orc's flail. It was a weapon of Wounding. I will just amend, that it might not work like I used it, but there's no clarification about it, so let's just say it worked for Crommash since he was blessed by All-Father. Mario was in a big pickle. He had to use all his special cards he gained to hit the bugger. His two hits did some damage, a lot even, but when it was Crommash's turn, he healed it with his own Lay on Hands, then attacked. This time it would be the end, but Finn intervened. Using his Cutting Words, he made the orc miss, but only once. The other hit was huge and made Mario almost fall, he was at 5 hit points. Also, he succeeded on Constitution Saving Throw, which would spell his doom even sooner (the Wounding part allows you to add necrotic damage). It was really a duel of the fates. The next turn, Mario casted Shield of Faith to gain some AC and made his two attacks. The orc reeled back. He was still standing, but almost as dead as Mario. It was the orc's turn. He attacked twice. The first, Finn succeeded in making miss. Very close. The second hit, if it would connect, would be the loss of Mario. He rolled 18 with a modifier. Miss. It was the human's turn now. He hit the orc once, the orc fell. Stood up, so he hit him the second time and this time he was out for good. He won. He beat the orc, shouting that this is Contegoaurum land. It was over.

    [​IMG]
    Crommash
    Without the Armor

    The orc laid on the floor. The other orcs were silent. The group shouted with happiness, they won this battle. The orcs weren't happy that their Ur'Goth was defeated. Ulumpha ordered the shamans to not stand idly and heal the warchief. The group now could see Crommash's face. He didn't have tusks like the rest of the orcs here and his skin was more brown than green. It could mean that he was half-orc, not a full orc. He told Mario that he won and will take his people against Shuggend. When Crommash was going back to his throne, a young orc ran up to him. One of the chieftains.

    [​IMG]
    Zugorim
    Chieftain of Umghar Tribe
    Son of Previous Warchief

    This orc started to shout at Ur'Goth in orcish, so Solange and Finn only understood. He wasn't happy. He told the warchief to kill them. "What are you waiting for? Kill them! Screw this duel!" He spoke about painting the whole room with their blood. Crommash made a swing and hit the young orc on the face. When the orc was on the group, due to the huge strength Crommash still had in him, Ur'Goth spoke to him. "Silence, Zugorim. If you speak like this to me again, you will kill you like your father. Now, ready your men, we are going for Shuggend." After that, the young orc stood up, not saying a word and left the place. His berserkers with him. Crommash sat down on the throne once again and spoke to the group. He told them he will keep his end. He will go after Shuggend, however, the group will need to help him in this. His army can't just cross the river, they will be sitting ducks for the kobolds. It was true. The river was about 300 to 400 meters wide here and more in other parts since a bay was at the bottom of the mountain. This meant, that an army of orcs crossing the river would be seen from afar. They needed fast transport or something else. If they will not get the advantage, the kobolds will prepare for the battle and it will be a slaughter for the orcs. There is a reason there was never a landfall in the medieval times - you would lose it outright.

    [​IMG]
    Nagrub
    Chieftain of Wagharu Tribe

    Elhaeltôr spoke up and told Crommash they will need time to rest up since Mario isn't in a spot to talk about this. He agreed. Crommash told the rest of his chieftains to prepare for war. Ulumpha was ready to leave, but another chieftain looked at the group angry. He didn't speak, but he was furious about the situation. They gathered that this must have been Nagrub, the leader of the Wagharu tribe, another tribe of demon worshippers. When the other chieftains left, the group asked about Mario's wounds and Crommash told them that it was due to his flail called Subjector. The wounds will not heal by magical means, he needs to rest. The group then asked for a place to stay, so they can rest up. Crommash ordered Boghat to go and find them a room. The group was led by the orc once more and he found them a remote room in the castle, after making sure the orcs were shouted away. When they were alone, Boghat spoke to them and thanked. Not because they won, but because they didn't let Ulumpha kill him. They could have done it. They would have one enemy less to worry about. However, the group explained that it's something they would never do and as an orc, he might not understand. There were some comments by Balasar about orcs being uncivilized, but Boghat didn't react to those words - he just accepted them. The group were alone and could think of the next move. Rest up.

    Their plan, for now, is thus - Cleig knows of tunnels under the river and even bigger tunnels where the kobolds transport their biggest creatures, unnoticed by the orcs. These tunnels will be used by the orcs and they will siege Shuggend. While the party, with maybe Lord Magmos and his kobolds, will attack Shuggend from the other side. Their allies from Logemakam, Orth, and Estel'Anoron will lead an assault through the teleportation circle, straight into the castle and take it over, while the orcs assault Shuggend. This way, they will gain all the advantage.

    Two screenshots of the duel.
    Show Spoiler
    Start of the duel
    [​IMG]

    Almost there. Also, you can see how I wrote all the bonuses to the weapon, to remember how to use it, spells and Divine smite.
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. Make America Great Again Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Anybody still reading my spam or it's just spam? I saw only Jaesun brofist stuff, but that's it.
     
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