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Completed [Play-by-Post] Magic World/BRP: "In Search of the Sorcerer"

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by nikolokolus, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Learned

    Llywelyn ap Gruffydd
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    Amon moves towards the entrance of Abazion's keep to scout for any other scum bags hiding.
     
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  2. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    ERYFKRAD Dunamir scores a successful strike against Borric with his longsword, make your Dodge or Parry. Then it's Borric's turn to make an attack of his own.
     
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  3. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Done.
     
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  4. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    Borric and the Hyperborean each trade a couple more feints and continue to probe for a gap in their foe's defenses without success, but to the Hyperborean's detriment, Graoll is bearing down on him from across the meadow at full tilt. Moments after turning aside Borric's blow with his blade the Hyperborean realizes that parrying the massive Graoll with his blade is unlikely to work and instead attempts to jump out of the way as a last desperate gambit. Graoll proves to be much more nimble and sudden than the Hyperborean thought and the massive stone fist of the elemental prince comes crashing down on top of his head, crushing him in his armor like a cheap tin can. Graoll withdraws his club-like appendage and the ruin that was once Dunamir, your original tormentor lays on the ground still and half-buried in the turf.

    Looking around the battlefield is a scene of quiet carnage; bodies of dead guards, apprentice sorcerers and the still smoldering corpse of the huge demon, as well as Abazion and Dunamir litter the grounds and the smell of sulfur and thick black smoke hangs over the site like a pall. Marcán, Oona, and Bran continue to free prisoners from their cages and Amon completes his sweep of the half-ruined fortress and finds no more antagonists.

    You each look at one another and heave a sigh of relief; after weeks of trudging through trackless moors, confronting all manners of nightmarish horrors, hellish fiends and otherworldly enemies. You've come full circle and brought the rogue Hyperborean Dunamir to justice and thwarted whatever devious plans Koren Ghul's rogue apprentice Abazion had for his half-complete abomination that still hangs from its scaffolding -- scorched, pulverized and ghoulish.

    Solon totters over with Urash into the meadow and bows solemnly in front of Prince Graoll, "For your service I am eternally grateful. Whatever task I might complete to repay my debt, name it and I will carry it out." Graoll grumbles a bit and picks up some odd bits of rock and root that keep falling away from his "body" (he seems diminished and battered). "I did not expect to face a duke of Hell; that was not in our bargain. But, you did not dissemble with me and you kept your word. I must muse on it, but suffice it to say that in due course I will send you an agent and collect the debt." Graoll turns and nods slightly at the rest of you assembled and as quickly as he appeared he sinks into the ground and is gone.

    In a matter of a minutes you free the rest of the hostages who seem a little bewildered, but extremely grateful for your efforts. Bran is reunited with his father and Oona walks up to Marcán and hands him small holly wreath, implying she accepts his courtship (if he offers it) Some of Marcán's kin smile and whistle, half in jest, but pleased. The village Chieftain and Druids were killed, but some of the nobles and elders attempt to speak for the survivors, they come forward and offer thanks for your actions and ask if there's anything they can do for you. Most seem to want to leave this place as quickly as possible and try to get on the road before it gets dark. There are a couple dozen horses in some recently built stables inside the keep as well as several wagons.

    wrapping up (open)
    Whatever you all want to do, now is the time to do it. We can role-play stuff or I can fast-forward and do a full denouement for each character or if you want to search around the compound that's also something that you can do. If/when you guys are ready to wrap things up and put a bow on this thing I can also go OOC and tie up any loose ends you might have questions about that didn't get answered through play.
     
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  5. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    The prisoners freed, Rhemnyr trots over to check out the demon's weapons and then Abazion's corpse.
     
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  6. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    The sword and whip are no longer flaming, but they are smoldering. The whip as at least 5 meters long and punctuated at the end with embedded blades, the leather of the whip almost looks like its scaled, giving the impression of a serpent or an eel. The massive black-iron sword is at least 8' long and radiates enough heat to make you think that handling it bare-handed would cause some pretty nasty blisters. Beyond that it's rough-hewn and deeply pitted and gives the impression of extreme age You jog over to the base of the tower where the twisted corpse of the sorcerer lies. There's a broken stub of an arrow's shaft protruding from his neck and his face seems to be frozen in a permanent expression of surprise. A few feet away you see a gnarled yew staff graven with strange symbols and runes along its length, and the butt capped in silver. When you pick it up, it feels like an ordinary wooden (if ornate) walking staff.

    Searching the body of the sorcerer reveals a leather scroll case slung over his back with a hemp cord. Uncapping the scroll-case reveals some hastily drawn maps of a city, as well as a regional map of the area. Many of the sites are circled or 'X'ed out. When Marcan looks at them he realizes that the sites are Keltic settlements of southern Getae, and the city map is of Odessos. Given that Kaer Eanyn is one of the places with an 'X' drawn through it, it seems safe to assume that these places are probably villages that were assaulted already -- there are 5 such X'ed out sites in about a fifty mile radius.
     
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  7. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Rhenmyr collects Abazion's staff and scroll case for the others to look over and returns to the others. "Any sign of Sokrates' girl Pelagia or your kin among among the prisoners, Marcán?"
     
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  8. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    No sign of Pelagia or his missing kin with the prisoners . . .
     
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  9. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    "I guess we should search the keep."
     
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  10. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    Entering the keep reveals a partially repaired ruin. There are new timber-walled dwellings built up against the ancient unearthed walls at the base of the tower. Some rooms are clearly barracks for soldiers, with dozens of sleeping racks, footlockers and weapon racks, closer to the tower you find the likely quarters of the sorcerer and his apprentices and trove of apparatuses, scrolls, and a large table with a map laid out on its surface with little clay figurines spread across its surface. There are no names on it, but it pretty clearly seems to be a representation of Odessos, Northern Illyria, and most Southern Getae.

    You break into a private locked room and find a spartan chamber with simple bed, a rough-hewn writing desk and a trove of correspondences (most received and a couple drafts of letters likely to be sent). It takes an hour or so to peruse all of the documents and it seems Abazion was writing with a Hyperborean noble in Odessos, someone who wants the current governor disgraced and removed. From the back and forth it becomes apparent that removing Koren Ghul (who is second cousin to the Emperor apparently) was part of a broader conspiracy, The nobleman however is thoroughly annoyed with Abazion's delays and sent Dunamir to get him back on track. In the last letter to the nobleman (who is unnamed) Abazion complains about the inadequate supply of bodies for his colossus and indicates that he is taking matters into his own hands to secure the number of corpses required to complete his creation. Obviously the letter is unsent.

    A search of Dunamir's room and personal effects produces a locked strongbox similar to the one you recovered from him the first time. Solon and Urash break the wards on it and remove the magical trap laced into it and you find a personal letter from the same noble who was corresponding with Abazion. In his letter, Dunamir is told to spy on Abazion and keep him from doing anything rash, he's also instructed to stop looking for the six trouble-makers that ambushed him at Zelkor's Ferry.
     
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  11. Siveon Bot Patron

    Siveon
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    Marcán accepts the wreath although warns Oona that he's still planning on finding his parents, and settling whatever business this was so that his people isn't enslaved again. To that note, he simply tells the chiefs to rebuild what was lost, and to forgive him for bartering away the village's heirloom.

    --- Later ---

    "Politics. All of this was some petty Hyperborean politics the entire time. We were just caught in the crossfire this entire time, outrageous. I think it'd be prudent to give this information to the current governor. I'd hate to see this man get another mad sorcerer to try and slaughter my people. All of this upstart nonsense will just pull us back in, and I'd rather have this feud ended."
     
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  12. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    The elders seem saddened and maybe a little worried about the loss of the village's Earthstone, but they agree that given the circumstances, it was the right thing to do. Over the next couple of hours the freed prisoners depart for Kaer Eanyn using horses and wagons from the keep to carry the elderly and infirm.

    --Time passes--

    Further investigations reveal a large cache of gold and silver valuables -- jewelry, coins, household goods, etc. Enough to fill two large chests, Marcán with sorrow recovers some objects that he recognizes as the belongings of his father and brother. The thought occurs to you that their corpses are probably already stitched into the ghastly form of the colossus in the yard. Proving this hunch will take a great deal of time; the bodies that have been stiched and sewn together to form the mockery of a giant human body have been hardened and preserved with resins and alchemical substances which has fused them together.

    Meanwhile, Solon recovers Abazion's Grimoire and thanks you for your help in overcoming his master's wayward apprentice. "My friends, I know we didn't start off on the right foot, but I want to thank you. Without your meddl . . . er . . . interfer . . . umm . . . 'help' I probably would have been stuck in that Pictish shithole -- no offense friend Mab -- for the rest of my life. Now that I have secured Koren's book of spells, I'm thinking I might head back to Odessos and do what I can to restore the old sorcerer's tower if I can. My advice with respect to the nobleman mentioned in the letters it to let it drop; you don't have a name and there could literally be dozens of suspects from powerful families in Odessos, but if you came with me, perhaps I could use your help. I will need guards for the reconstruction of the tower, and if you would be amenable to a partnership, I would like to 'hire' you lot to help me administer its restoration. What do you say? There's enough hidden treasure in that old tower to keep you lot sotted, and living in luxury for the rest of your lives. Who knows maybe in time the plotter will reveal himself?"

    Mab shakes his head, "Sorry friends, my time here is at an end. My place is in the northern wilds; cities are no place for me and I'd just become fractious and bored if I went with you. I leave with the sunrise."
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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  13. Siveon Bot Patron

    Siveon
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    Marcán gives Mab a firm arm handshake customary of his tribe. "Let us at least celebrate with a proper feast in our victory."


    He then addresses Solon's offer. "There is some wisdom in those words. I'd rather not drag myself into more politics, and at this point the village will need all the help it can get. I can certainly aid you in any business you need, I have much work to be done. I'll need a new home, everyone in the village might, and perhaps even see to it that your master's other apprentices aren't getting into further trouble, as well as arrange Oona to visit her kin. I'm sure they must be worried about her. A bard's work is never done. I will not speak for the others, however."
     
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  14. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    (forgot to put this above) Bran's father thanks for the rescue and Bran departs with him along with the 350+ other survivors. Oona remains with your troupe.

    Fortunately Abazion kept a well-stocked larder and even after the Kelts depart with most of the supplies, there's enough venison, and other game meat as well as some flour and other odds and ends to roast several haunches of meat and make some simple barley cakes, and enough wine to wash it all down. The night passes pleasantly enough and for the first time in a long time you get good and properly drunk, get a proper night's sleep and wake up feeling rested and at ease, despite the macabre scene outside of the keep.

    Mab says his goodbyes, takes some supplies and with a final wave departs walking into the woods from where you hiked up the hill.
     
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  15. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Learned

    Llywelyn ap Gruffydd
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    "Solon, I agree. I will help you rebuild the tower as long as I can also make use of its resources. I started out learning of the arts. It wasn't until later that I was forced to take up the blade. Although it has served me well. Resuming my studies would be a good respite from the constant traveling the past years. Odessos is in much better shape than my former home at any rate. I still do not know the whereabouts of the book of Al-Hakim, and I would lIke to know how Ikthanabu Xul still lives! I will only gain that knowlege through study."
     
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  16. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Borric wishes Mab farewell, then turns to address Solon. "These riches will buy me nothing in the steppes, and I must return to my people. My friends, fare well. May the winds of fate be good to you. Perhaps we shall meet again."
     
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  17. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Learned

    Llywelyn ap Gruffydd
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    "Mab, farewell. Borric, I wish you well on your travels."

    Show Spoiler
    Amon is willing to sacrifice and take Borric's share to ensure nobody hurts their backs trying to carry it.
     
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  18. Siveon Bot Patron

    Siveon
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    Show Spoiler
    Nice try
     
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  19. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Show Spoiler
    What the hell, take it if no else wants a share.
     
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  20. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    "Does anyone want to try and return the dragon blood to Ghul? As for your proposal, Solon, there was a little run in with the law in Odessos. I have no wish to return there. I wish you well in your endeavors, but please don't overstep yourself. I'd hate to have to get the gang back together and put you down like Abazion. Marcán, if you or your people have need of my services, I'm at your disposal. If not, I think I will catch up to Mab. I'd like to explore more of the north and I may be of use in Crannógmere."

    Rhenmyr checks the demon's weapons after they have had time to cool.
     
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  21. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    Solon shakes his jowly head and he blanches at the mention of the Dragon's Blood, "Overstep myself?! By no means! The city will be in need of magical protection and I am by right the inheritor of Ghul's properties and magic as his last living apprentice. As for the dragon's blood . . . Ghul had his long years, hundreds of them in fact. It's time for new blood in Odessos. Urash and I are going to open a school in fact; a place where any potentiate can be tested and come and learn the art. To the hells with these fussy Hyperboreans and their hidebound ways of secrecy I say! It's high time the this was an age of men. Let these decadents kill each other off and work their schemes."

    Rhenmyr picks up the demon's weapons and find them still warm to the touch the next day . . .

    --Epilogue--

    The troupe remains together for another day, recovering from their wounds, burning the unholy abomination of fused corpses, and leaving the bodies of Abazion and Dunamir to the crows. You each clasp hands, say your goodbyes. Mab and Rhenmyr set off into the wilds, Marcan and Oona stay with Solon, Amon, Borric and Urash long enough to reach the main road where the Keltic Bard and Pictish woman head east for Kaer Eanyn, while Solon and the others make for Odessos and points beyond.

    Borric the Barbarian:
    At Zelkor's ferry the Kurgan takes what little treasure he claimed from the sorcerer's hoard and books passage on a galley bound for the north. Several months later he arrives on the dismal, snow-swept shores of the northern Aixenos Sea and home. Broke and clanless, he bides his time in port towns looking for honest work for several months. Luckily boredom abates when rumors of war start to filter into the dockside taverns and the hammer-swinging barbarian signs on with a band of reavers bound for the shores of war-torn Kimmeria, where the forces of the Golden Emperor of Commorium and the city-state of Kor have broken their truce. Borric makes a name for himself as a reckless boarder of enemy ships. During the short war, tales of a rampaging hammer-wielding Kurgan single-handedly sinking a Commorium war galley is shared in awed tones in coastal watering holes for months after. Borric fights in several more battles and receives great honor and glory, but eventually a treaty is signed between Kor and Commorium, and the hordes of Kurgan mercenaries fighting on both sides are mustered out. Feeling cheated and betrayed a fiery warrior with a big hammer gets angry and rallies nearly 1,000 fellow Kurgan to his flag. The horde ambushes the treaty signing, and the infamous Battle of Three Armies is recorded in the annals. It is unknown what became of the rebel Kurgan leader, some say he was killed in battle, others say he was captured and beheaded, and others say he escaped with a small cadre of retainers and plied the seas as a reaver and pirate. The histories are uncertain.

    Marcán and Oona:
    The Keltic Bard and the Pictish daughter of a Blacksmith share a quick courtship, and marry a season later. With the clan devoid of its Druidic leadership and its chieftain, the charismatic and bold bard is nominated by the elders and nobles to assume the title of Chieftain and Protector. His rule is prosperous and under his direction the Eanyn clan forges ties with several Pictish tribes in the distant north, ushering in a new age of trade and cooperation that causes Kaer Eanyn to boom and reach a place of prominence it had never seen before. He and his bride welcome four strong sons and two well-favored daughters into the world, all of whom share the bright red hair and fiery temper of their mother. Marcán's reign lasts for over 30 years, when he finally steps down and abdicates to his eldest son as arthritis robs him of his former vitality. He dies in his sleep surrounded by his family in his 72nd year.

    Mab and Rhenmyr:
    The two hardy men born and bred for the wilds spend more than a month hiking across the dense forests and rolling moorland of Getae, have several near brushes with dire bears, cave lions and other hazards. Eventually they reach Crannogmere, where the two are welcomed as heroes and they relay the story of their adventures (including the rescue of Oona from Otherworld to her father's great relief). The two winter in the lakeside village, where many repairs are still needed in the wake of their mad chieftain's misrule, while under the curse of Ulfheonar. Despite his wanderlust, Mab agrees to take over the duties of village Drune and remain. The crone/sorceress Ymae/Aphrodisias disappeared without a word but left a note with Oona's father Fidach to deliver to any of the troupe who might return, "If you are reading this message, then I have gone to look for Oona. With my magic she has disappeared from my sight, but I believe she has been taken to the Netherworld -- Annwn. I hope you found what you were looking for, but if not I can only advise you to turn aside from your foolish quest to bring Koren back to life. Whatever geas he laid upon me is lifted so my mind is free and I am no longer bound by his manacles. Let sleeping dogs lie! Good luck and the gods go with you." Rhenmyr decides to head out on his own and tracks the Sorceress's path back to the long staircase at the top of the mountain Mynnyd Torri and its ruined broch. Steeling himself and armed with his ever warm demon sword (that he's been talking to for weeks for some strange reason?) and carrying the phial of "dragon's blood", he enters the long strange staircase and disappears from our tale.

    Amon, Urash & Solon:
    Three three sorcerers go to Odessos to investigate Koren's tower, armed with his grimoire full of secrets, passwords and diagrams. Odessos is barely recovered from the plague, but the beggar problem seems to be almost non-existent now. Koren's tower is still abandoned and shunned by the people of Lowtown, but with a few well placed spells and some judicious bribery the three take possession of it and set about cleaning it out of any remaining hazards. Workers are hired, repairs are made over several months and within a year the three have settled down into a strange collaboration of Master and apprentices. Solon is pompous and overweening (as usual) and after six more months Urash and Amon depart after having their fiftieth shouting match with the difficult and now quite power-drunk Solon. Urash claims to have found clues to the Al-Hakim text buried in Koren's old tomes, and the two set sail for Stygia. What becomes of their quest is unknown.

    Fifty years later . . .

    The immortal God-Emperor of Commorium is slain by a nameless assassin. All anyone can say of the brazen attack is that the man's face was shrouded by a mask and he bore a flaming whip and a flaming sword, he was accompanied by a slim feminine figure in a diaphanous gown. The two opened some sort of gate and disappeared as quickly as they appeared. Chaos erupts across the empire as petty lords, noblemen, princes, and a dozen other Hyperborean claimants all try to seize the Sun Throne. With Commorium consumed by civil war, its human dominated colonies take the opportunity to rise up and within a year the ancient, 10,000 year old "Eternal City" is a smoldering ruin and the few remaining Hyperboreans are either enslaved or have fled for the far corners of the earth.

    A new age has come.
     
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  22. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    The End

    Show Spoiler
    You guys ready to go again? ;)
     
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  23. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    I just wanted to say thanks to all of you guys that participated in the game over the last three years. You guys really made the game fun and I promise that next time I'll do a better job of killing more characters; you guys were really smart (and lucky) and pushed me to be a better GM.

    Shout out to everybody who played at one time or another: ERYFKRAD , Siveon, Grimgravy, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, L'ennui, Wayward Son, Helly, (and a couple of others I can't quite remember without searching old posts).

    Stay tuned in the next month-ish for an invite to a sci-fi game (probably Traveler, or BRP based). Maybe best to kick it off after New Years, once life settles down?

    Sláinte.
     
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  24. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Learned

    Llywelyn ap Gruffydd
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    Thanks for the game man. It was an interesting story and always had me wondering what's next.

    It was great to play with you all and I look forward to the next game.
     
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  25. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Indeed! It has been quite the game. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into running this thing. Next game will be good!
     
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