Arden Est: Goblin Wars!

24 posts / 0 new
Last post
Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02
Arden Est: Goblin Wars!
Arden Est: Goblin Wars Session alpha (Note: Google+ really needs to save drafts of posts.) We were down a player last night, and, except for the killing of a hydra, had important plot stuff to do. So I ran a one shot in Morachi. Jeb and George were down on their luck. Half the population of Threshold was an adventurer, it seemed, so pickpocketing was not a safe profession. But they weren't the sorts to be any good in a fight, either, so dungeoneering was out. That is, unless they found some mooks to do the fighting for them. That was where Reginald and Gilbert came in. Jeb spotted Reginald in a corner of the Wailing Whistle. The imposing paladin was hard to miss, and seemed to be the perfect mark. He sent his younger brother George over to propose a plan. "Pardon sir. My brother and I are experienced treasure hunters, needing only a couple of strong men like you and your manservant to aid us." Jeb had gone to the Sheriff's assistant, Karolina Nmec, about jobs only a few hours before. "The law of this town has tasked us with driving out some goblins who seek to establish a spawning den near this very town! With your aid, this evil will not be able to stand against us." Standing behind his brother, Jeb's eyes glinted with the thought of the treasure they would have once the goblins and the men of faith killed each other. And so the four men (and a mule) found themselves standing in front of a narrow cave mouth, looking inside. The cleric, Gilbert, lit a torch and led the way. The cave, only being recently occupied by the goblins, was merely dank rather than fetid, and fairly dry. The torchlight flickered, and as the group explored it revealed two exits from the chamber. Jeb heard some noise from the right-ward corridor, and the party decided to move that way to head off any trouble that might sneak behind them. The next room was large enough that the torch could not illuminate its entirety. The two thieves fanned out, hoping to catch any potential residents in a flank, when an arrow bounced off Gilbert's armor. Goblins! cried Reginald, and the men of faith charged forward as the thieves lobbed arrows from behind them. The goblins fell quickly before Reginald's blade. Exploring the room revealed nothing more than a set of roughly hewn stairs. The room felt danker and closer near them, and George grew apprehensive. Using his ten-foot pole, he prodded at each step before he would put his weight on it, but each step held. As the party edged into the room below, two arrows leaped from the darkness, and this time the goblins aim was truer -- Gilbert was hit. Fortunately it was only a scratch, and battle was joined. For whatever reason, though, this battle was not as smooth. The first swings of Reginald and Gilbert failed to give the goblins more than superficial injuries. And without the precision necessary to fire into a melee, Jeb and George were forced to engage the goblins in hand to hand. This was when tragedy struck. A massive goblin the size of an average human appeared from behind his minions, and struck George down with a single blow to the head. Reginald turned to face the champion as Jeb and Gilbert tried to winnow the ranks of the remaining goblins. Reginald managed to thrust his blade clean through the chest of the goblin champion, but not before one of the archers put an arrow through Jeb's heart. The last goblin squeaked as Reginald turned towards him, and with a desperate blow, slashed Gilbert across the eyes. Reginald rushed to the side of his friend. Life was leaving Gilbert swiftly, but with a swift prayer to Fayon, Reginald laid his hands on Gilbert, bringing him back from the edge. But noise coming from a corner of the cavern reminded them that these were not necessarily the last goblins here. The two men of faith gathered the goblin's coins and hurried out of the den the way they came.Adidas Ultra Boost
Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

That's brutal.

In game terms, were Jeb and George PCs and Gilbert and Reginald henchmen, or were all 4 PCs?

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

I fudged it. George and Reginald were technically henchmen (so, for example, they took half xp), but everyone was first level. I just find 0th level henchmen cumbersome to deal with.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

So will the PCs continue to play as George and Reginald or was it truly a one-shot.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

I hope so! We're winding up our main campaign, so I'll start this one in about a month or so. I'm hoping the money and potion they have will be an incentive to keep with the same guys.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Session Beta:

Reginald went back to town and brought his friend Gilbert to the temple. Blinded as he was, Gilbert decided to retire from the adventuring life, and Reginald vowed that he would take care of Gilbert for the rest of his life. But he is short on gold right now, so back to adventuring it is. Reginald went back to Karolina, and told her that he had killed most of the goblins, but some still remained. "Well, you had better finish up, hadn't you?" was the law-woman's reply.

That's wasn't all that was going on in Threshold, though. Rumors were circling that a group of gnomes had been ambushed by giant carnivorous flies in the hills northwest of town. And a halfling, the lone survivor of his party, reported on a group of crab spiders that killed all of his friends. Reginald knew however where his duty lay, and searched for companions to return to the goblin spawning pit. He found two -- a barbarian (Huge) and a thief (Snit).

They went to the cave, and Reginald suggested they follow the same path as last time. The antechamber was still empty, but when they went down the stairs, they found four goblins in the breeding room. Three of them were still dripping with goo from the breeding pit! The party killed them without mercy, and then proceeded to the last chamber in the complex, where they were finally able to exterminate the goblins from this set of caves. Returning to Karolina, she thanked the party brusquely and paid them their gold: 100 gp each, and 50 gp for the henchman.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Hugh and Reginald, flush from their recent success clearing out the goblin breeding pit, were relaxing with their friends Devabriel and Honest Mercy when a messenger from Karolina Nmec approached them. Apparently the law-woman wanted to meet with them the next day. Reginald thanked the messenger, and they went to see Karolina in the morning. She got right to the point. Merchants had been complaining of stirges attacking their caravans, and she wanted the party to clear them out. She couldn't pay, but Reginald volunteered the party anyway, since it was their civic duty.

They found the lair pretty readily, and used a tree to clamber into the cave. Once inside, they found a cavern full of trash and bones. Hugh went to poke at it, and what should come crawling out at him but giant centipedes! They were no match for the party, with thuggish henchman Prufrock killing the last one. They continued deeper into the cave, where they stumbled upon a horde of treasure, the sort that would be stockpiled by goblins. There were piles of copper coins, trading goods like salt, and barrels of beer. Also, a sword:

They could not carry the barrels, but the gathered up the coins and went on their way. The next passage they explored led to the actual nest of the stirges. Four were there waiting for them, with more pouring out every round. Reginald, Devabriel, and Honest Mercy all end up having their blood sucked, but thanks to a mighty cleave by Reginald, the party is able to slay all of the blood-sucking fiends.

The party then decides to go back to town to get a wagon with which to retrieve the barrels. The trip to and from the tunnels is uneventful, but when they get back to the caves, they are attacked by goblins! Unbeknown to the party, a small band of goblins had taken up lair in the upper part of the caves, protected by the stirges. Reginald quaffs a potion of giant strength, killing two of them with a mighty heave of a boulder. Hugh manages to shoot one right through the eye, and most of the rest are dealt with quickly until there is one left. He offers to surrender, and Devabriel is on the point of accepting, when Reginald roars out "No peace with chaos!" Reginald charges the last poor goblin, and he passes away.

That was it for living creature in the complex. There's a tense moment when they attempt to see what's underneath yellow mold, but there's nothing, and they manage not to rile up the fungus.They make it back to town safely, where Devabriel decides he's had enough of adventuring.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Goblin Wars Session One (Finally!)
Of the various rumors heard by the party, they decided that the nobleman needing help sounded the most promising. After meeting with him, a Baron Clifton Caldwell, they negotiated for medical benefits in addition to the promised pay. So four brave adventurers headed into the wilderness: Reginald (Paladin 1), his man Prufrock (Theif 1), Hugh (Fighter 1), and Ieho (Dwarven Machinist 1). (Ieho, in an odd twist, was introduced to the party by the man who is now his henchman, Devabriel the venturer, who decided adventuring was not for him.)

They arrived at the castle, and immediately found a group of goblins arguing over who was entitled to what treasure. The party was happy to help them settle that dispute. They also dispatched a group of goblins patrolling the hallway, but that was the end of combat for a while. They found a number of humans who had taken up refuge in the castle, not expecting to be trapped by goblins. They were varyingly unsavory, but no one really wanted to fight, so the party was willing to escort them out of the castle. This included the Chaotic priestess who, as a level one cleric, did not yet detect as evil to the paladin.

One of the remaining combats was against a giant shrew. I let them choose between the modules version (who automatically won initiative) or the ACKS version (who got +1 to hit). They took the ACKS version, wisely as it turns out, as they won initiative and killed it before it could act. The only other combat the first day was against a crab spider. It got the drop on them (literally), landing on Prufrock's back and breaking it. (Also, first official roll on the Mortal Wounds table.) Thus ended a promising career almost before it started. Prufrock lived, thanks to the Paladin's lay on hands and good rolling for the healing proficiency by Ieho, but he would never walk again.

The last combat of the module was saved for the second day. The thief heard stirges behind one of the doors and, perhaps scarred from last week, was reluctant to fight them unless they were at full power. But, when they ripped open the door, there were only three stirges, who fell relatively easily. The party returned to town and received their reward. However, they were curious about a certain door which they could not open...

Back in town, Ieho hired a fighter for a henchman. Reginald wanted a cleric to replace Prufrock, but none were looking for work. Reginald decided to ask the local church, and lo and behold, after a 100gp donation, there was an acolyte willing to join the party.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Missed a few, but here's Session Four:

In which four characters, belonging to three players, die quickly. To goblins.

It started out in the dungeon of the hobgoblin king. Reginald, Dr. Bolyai, and Honest Mercy were all there, Honest Mercy enjoying the company of the wolves he had just met, as they left the barracks where they had slaughtered 14 hobgoblins. To their astonishment, Ieho disappeared, and was replaced mysteriously by Huge. Must be fairies. The proceeded down the corridor to a set of double doors which led into the throne room.

Inside the room were six hobgoblins, two bodyguards, and the hobgoblin king himself. The party charged in, cutting down the hobgoblins quickly, though losing Huge in the process. Seeing his troops dead, the king roared and charged at the party himself, his bodyguard leading the way. The party, especially Reginald, quickly eliminated one of the champions, but the king and his second champion proved to be too much.

The trickster cast an illusion of a wolf which attacked the king, but the king swiped his glaive at it and it disappeared. Then Reginald injured and nearly killed the second bodyguard, but before he can finish it off, the bodyguard kills Dr. Bolyai. The king cheers and promptly stabs Reginald through the chest. Honest Mercy can see the score, and flees. His wolves, smelling failure, abandon him once they are out of the catacombs.

Honest Mercy spends a day catching his breath, then goes out looking for a new party, and a henchman. A promising candidate rejects the hiring offer, but the second one, named John Smythe and perhaps more average, accepts. In addition, two other PCs join up -- Darwain, a first level delver, and Bob, a first level cleric. They spend 2 days returning to the monastery to get the weapons stash back. Some of them also try their luck with the fountain. Darwain receives a +2 to his dexterity, making it a 20. John is not so lucky. He takes a -1 to all stats, and decides that adventuring is not for him. Nevertheless, Bob decides to take a go at it, and is rewarded with paralysis for his trouble.

Back in town, they spend a day looking for the Mad Dogs. They are unable to find them, but leave word regarding the difficulties they had with the hobgoblin king. For their own part, they decide to investigate a goblin warren they heard about outside of town. The entrance the goblins use is apparently an old well. They climb down, and Darwain and Honest Mercy edge forward. Lacking infravision, Bob hangs back. They see some goblins to the right, on top of a sloped ramp, but the ramp is slick, and they find it too hard to climb. Further along, they come to a room featuring two raised platforms with several goblin archers. Showing some sense of foreboding, Bob flees at once.

The party trades arrows with the goblin archers, but the numerical superiority of the goblins proves to be too much. Honest Mercy is shot down, and Darwain is nearly killed, saved only by his nearly superhuman dexterity. Darwain flees, leaving the goblins behind to jeer.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Goblin Wars Session Five: Against the Kobolds
Present at the session were Darwin, Ieho and his companions Geoff and Devabriel, and Bob the Cleric. The session started with the party recovering from last week's debacle. Ieho returned from Faery mostly intact, though his hair turned an unnatural shade of blue. Bob attempted to scout out the goblin warren, but was unable to learn anything new from his attempts. And Darwain relaxed. Ieho wanted to sell his sword +1, but couldn't find a buyer in Solove. Geoff looked on enviously while Ieho debated whether to go to Pechen to sell it. But eventually the party regroups. One of the rumors going around was that the Hobgoblin king was raising an army, and the Do-gooders decided they should take care of that before he can completely regroup from his losses of two weeks ago.

They made their way back into the catacombs, where they used their Dwarven intuition to figure out what passages they had not been down yet. The corridor was largely uninteresting, with two locked rooms to the west. However on the eastern side of the corridor, they found a door leading to an evil shrine. The shrine was dominated by an idol, similar to the grotesque depictions they had seen elsewhere. It had gems for eyes, which immediately led to attempts to remove the eyes for the monetary gain of the party. They looked for traps, but must have missed something, because upon removing the first eye, four carnivorous flies attacked the party! Fortunately, they were dispatched without incident.

Searching the room a bit more thoroughly, now that the obvious treasure was taken, the party found a secret door. Bursting through it, they found an evil cleric who was not only completely surprised, but very quickly dead. They looted his chambers, getting together a pretty nice haul, and just pausing to dispatch a thoul throgrin. Having found all of the chambers in this area of the catacombs, they decided to head for the hobgoblin king, to end his threat once and for all. Hopefully without dying this time. But before they could get to his chamber, they passed over a trapdoor. Geoff was able to pass over it without incident, but Bob triggered it and Bob and Geoff tumbled to an octagonal chamber in the tunnels below.

They chose to go through the northern door, using spikes to mark it. As it happened, this was the door a group of crazy berserkers were about to come through, and a combat ensued. The party won, and they continued to explore the winding corridors, returning periodically to the octagonal chamber. They were surprised by a gelatinous cube, evaded a pit trap, and fought off more berserkers (this time with reinforcements), when eventually they found a stream. The dwarven sense of direction told them that this was the best way to return to the surface, so they followed the stream to level 3.

They see a small group of kobolds here, who immediately run off to warn their compatriots. The party cautiously follows to find a room dominated by a magma flow in the middle. Three stone bridges cross the chasm, and 12 kobolds are arrayed at the other end, javelins in hand. Missile weapons flew back and forth, and both Geoff and Bob made failed sorties, but in the end, despite reinforcements, the kobolds were outmatched. They retreated back out of the range of the missile weapons, and offered to let the party leave for 100 gp. The party responded with another flurry of arrows, and the 10 surviving kobolds retreated back into the cave.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Session Six: Fantastic Slide

Present at the session were Darwin, Ieho and his companions Geoff and Devabriel, and Bob the Cleric. The session started with the party recovering from last week's debacle. Ieho returned from Faery mostly intact, though his hair turned an unnatural shade of blue. Bob attempted to scout out the goblin warren, but was unable to learn anything new from his attempts. And Darwain relaxed. Ieho wanted to sell his sword +1, but couldn't find a buyer in Solove. Geoff looked on enviously while Ieho debated whether to go to Pechen to sell it. But eventually the party regroups. One of the rumors going around was that the Hobgoblin king was raising an army, and the Do-gooders decided they should take care of that before he can completely regroup from his losses of two weeks ago.

They made their way back into the catacombs, where they used their Dwarven intuition to figure out what passages they had not been down yet. The corridor was largely uninteresting, with two locked rooms to the west. However on the eastern side of the corridor, they found a door leading to an evil shrine. The shrine was dominated by an idol, similar to the grotesque depictions they had seen elsewhere. It had gems for eyes, which immediately led to attempts to remove the eyes for the monetary gain of the party. They looked for traps, but must have missed something, because upon removing the first eye, four carnivorous flies attacked the party! Fortunately, they were dispatched without incident.

Searching the room a bit more thoroughly, now that the obvious treasure was taken, the party found a secret door. Bursting through it, they found an evil cleric who was not only completely surprised, but very quickly dead. They looted his chambers, getting together a pretty nice haul, and just pausing to dispatch a thoul throgrin. Having found all of the chambers in this area of the catacombs, they decided to head for the hobgoblin king, to end his threat once and for all. Hopefully without dying this time. But before they could get to his chamber, they passed over a trapdoor. Geoff was able to pass over it without incident, but Bob triggered it and Bob and Geoff tumbled to an octagonal chamber in the tunnels below.

They chose to go through the northern door, using spikes to mark it. As it happened, this was the door a group of crazy berserkers were about to come through, and a combat ensued. The party won, and they continued to explore the winding corridors, returning periodically to the octagonal chamber. They were surprised by a gelatinous cube, evaded a pit trap, and fought off more berserkers (this time with reinforcements), when eventually they found a stream. The dwarven sense of direction told them that this was the best way to return to the surface, so they followed the stream to level 3.

They see a small group of kobolds here, who immediately run off to warn their compatriots. The party cautiously follows to find a room dominated by a magma flow in the middle. Three stone bridges cross the chasm, and 12 kobolds are arrayed at the other end, javelins in hand. Missile weapons flew back and forth, and both Geoff and Bob made failed sorties, but in the end, despite reinforcements, the kobolds were outmatched. They retreated back out of the range of the missile weapons, and offered to let the party leave for 100 gp. The party responded with another flurry of arrows, and the 10 surviving kobolds retreated back into the cave.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Session Seven: Into the Dragon's Lair

While they did not suffer any casualties, the Cobalt Cavers were tired and wounded. They retreated back to the second level of the caves to rest for the night and treat their wounds with some comfrey. In the middle of the night, they were shocked to hear a creature stomping towards them. "So hungry," the ogre cried. The party, not wanting to fight an ogre, were quick to suggest the ogre might find the kobolds downstream better targets for his stomach. The ogre agreed, and left them behind.

Back on level 3, the Cavers came across a rockslide. Darwain went to climb it, and he was halfway up before hearing a rattle. Darwain must have some childhood snake trauma, because he dumped a vial of military oil all over the rockslide and set it afire. Once the fire burnt out, there was no more rattling, and the party continued into a room with a dead fighter. They promptly helped themselves to his gear, and behind him, found a secret door. They cautiously opened the door to see a dragon behind them.

This was not something they had planned on. They quickly shut the door and argued about what to do next. Ieho was not keen on fighting the dragon, but Darwain thought they had a good chance. In the end, they decided to explore some more first. "Maybe we can come around and fuck him from behind," remarked Darwain. This doesn't work so well -- they found a passage that looped around back to the dragon's lair, but from the charred kobold corpses, it appeared to be more of a front door than a rear entrance. After more exploration, the Cobalt Cavers decide the only way they're getting out is through the dragon.

Steeling themselves for an epic conflict, the Cavers burst open the secret door and charged the dragon. Darwain was able to get the drop and inflict double damage with a arbalest bolt to the kidney, and Ieho's bolt to the heart ended the drake's life. Underneath the dragon was a massive pile of treasure, though, fortunately, not so massive that Ieho couldn't fit it all into his bag of holding. The copper pieces they found were placed in a new magical bag. It turned out to be a bag of devouring. Ieho gave Geoff a 1,000 gp bonus in return for not giving him the magical plate armor they found, and everyone got just short of two levels. Darwain sent 5,000 gp back to the dwarves as a sort of tithe.

The Cobalt Cavers decided to head to Pechen to sell some of the magical items they didn't want, after hearing that the Mad Dogs cleared out the goblins on the outskirts of Solove. (The Mad Dogs, incidentally, left a note saying they were on their way back to Threshold to look into some stuff.) Ieho bought a townhouse, but then the party decided to investigate Ishpeming, where they heard there was adventure.

When they got to Ishpeming, they discovered that there was a haunted house, and weird lights off-shore...

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Session Eight: The Sinister Secret of Ishpeming

Having arrived in Ishpeming, Darwain, Vasily, and Vincent spend a week looking for henchmen. While looking, they hear rumors of a haunted house outside of town, and strange lights dancing on the water. They don't find any suitable henchmen, but decide to investigate the manse.

The house is on a cliff overlooking the water, and there are two obvious doors to get inside. So naturally, the party, led by Darwain, decided to rappel down the cliff. At the base of the cliff is a cave which the Cavers decide to investigate. There is a boat beached on the shore inside of the cave, but when the party goes in to investigate, they make too much noise, and men from the next room spill in and attack. The fight is in general a show of incompetence on both sides, but the party manages to defeat them. There is only one casualty on the party's side -- Vincent took an axe blow to the head, leaving him with a scar. The party decides to head back to town to recuperate.

While back in town, the party hears of a missing girl, and decides to investigate. They find out that the girl was named Marlena, and had a best friend named Elsa. Sadly, recent rains ruined any chance of finding tracks. They met up with Elsa, a teenage girl, and Darwain threatened her into revealing her secret. Marlena had recently met a dark handsome stranger, in rich if somewhat out of date attire. Marlena had been intrigued, but Elsa didn't think Marlena would have run off with him. With no more leads, the party decided to go back to the smugglers lair, using the boat they had found.

When the Cobalt Cavers got back to the lair, there were three men on the shore, waiting for them. The Cavers were greeted with a hail of arrows. However, thanks to the cover they had from the boat, none of the arrows hit home, and the Cavers' return fire ended that threat. The party ventured deeper into the lair, finding a number of trade goods. This must be a pirate lair! Exploring further, they fail to notice someone sneaking up behind them and Vincent is charmed by the enemy wizard. The wizard withdraws behind his guards, and combat is engaged. Vincent attempts to tackle Darwain, to prevent his new 'friend' from being hurt, but is not successful. While they struggle, Vasily makes short work of the wizard's bodyguards, and the wizard surrenders.

The wizard, it turns out, is named Sanbalet. The Cavers briefly consider trying to hire him on, but decide that's a bad idea. They let him go after he shows them the secrets of his lair. The party loots the house, and returns to Ishpeming.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Session Nine: Murder Afoot

Vincent, Vasily, and Darwin decided to sell the boat they had found and head to Pechen to reconnect with Ieho. When they arrive in Pechen, it is December 25th, the feast of St. Lucia. Lady Magda Torenescu was chosen by the duke to lead the procession this year, representing the saint in a sedan chair carried by eight members of her house. The Torenescu were some of the most important nobles in Pechen before Mikulas Mathias came to found Pechen. Since then, their fortunes have declined, but the house is still quite important.

As the parade passed by the trio, a fight broke out between the bearers of the Lady Magda and some members of house Radu who were trying to cross the street. The Radu are likely the most powerful house in Pechen currently, but dark rumors dog them. The Raduites accuse the chair-bearers of hogging the streets, while the Torenescu point out that it's for St. Lucia, a fact that does not impress the Radu. It begins to look like violence is imminent, but Vasily intervened on behalf of the Torenescu. The day ended with a visit by the wood-worker Theodosius to Ieho's house, who hinted he might have some work soon for the Cobalt Cavers.

The next day, a widow known to Ieho stopped by. She had heard strange noises coming from her cellar, but the police couldn't be troubled to investigated. She wondered if Ieho and his friends could help. The Cavers look, and they find a series of tunnels underneath the widow's house. There were a few hobgoblins, whipping on a small group of humans who were doing the actual tunneling. The hobgoblins were driven off in short order, and the humans freed. With some further investigation, they found the tunnels to be quite extensive. Not to mention interesting. In a cavern off of the main tunnels, they found two men burying a body. Once they were driven off, the party investigated the body. It was Lucia Vorloi.

The Vorloi are the third major house of Pechen. They arrived with the duke when Mikulas Mathias was looking for Fogelanders to help him turn Morachi into his kingdom. They've become rich through their trading and influence with the duke. The Radu resent them for being their main competition. The Torenescu resent them for not recognizing their obvious nobility. The Cavers went to the constabulary, who immediately subjected them to a clerical interogation. When they were found to be innocent, the police asked for their help investigating.

The next day, the Cavers began their investigation. Lucia lived with her father, Fortunato Vorloi. Fortunato has been on a trading trip for some weeks. Inside there are signs of violence -- a dagger and bloodstains on the floor, broken dishes and furniture, and torn clothing. There are several drops of a brownish liquid among the bloodstains whih Vincent is able to identify as wine. The dagger is crusted with dried blood, and there are a few strands of red hair dried in the blood. There is a signet ring belonging to the Torenescu family near the door to the cellar, and small bits of pitch stuck to the rungs of the ladder.

The Cavers went back into the tunnels from the Vorloi house, and find a group of kobolds holding a support beam. The kobolds cried out for help, and Vasily and Geoff run up to help with the beam. The kobolds laugh and let go of the beam, attacking the party. Fortunately, the party is able to make short work of them. From there, the party was able to follow the tunnels to a small house. The house is a guest house owned by a butcher named Turano. He had rented it to a traveling blacksmith named Skevlos, who left the house on the 24th. There are muddy tracks on the floor leading to the trap door, and a bottle of dark wine consistent with the stains at the crime scene. The bottle has the seal of Tuscan Estates, a Fogelish wine. Inside the desk is a black leather hood with red hairs.

The party went back into the tunnels, but other than fighting a trio of zombies, did not find anything of note.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Having finished their investigation of the murder of Lucia Vorloi (turns out, it was Antonito Radu, who was connected with the Veiled Society), the party looks for henchmen. Darwain finds two, whom he hires: Wyleth, a warlock, and Duggan, a dwarven Craftpriest. They decide to head back to Threshold, due to rumors of undead incursions. On the way there, they run into a large group of 54 bandits. They trade arrows for a few rounds, but are overwhelmed and retreat, leaving their wagon behind with 900 gp worth of textiles. (Somebody should do something about those bandits!)

Once in Threshold, they hear that a necromancer has established two forward bases, one in the hills northeast of town, and one in a swampy areas to the southeast. The party decides to head to the Barrow of the Oathbreakers in the hills, first outfitting themselves with silver weapons. They search the barrow, sadly passing up the chance to drink from a magic fountain. There seems to be nothing in the Barrow, but behind a secret door is a large stash of treasure, with a warning not to take anything. After going back and forth, the Cobalt Cavers decide to heed the warning, and head back. On the way back, they see a lone pegasus flying overhead.

The next day, the Cavers head into the swamp. There's an obvious entrance with several statues, but they look for a back way in, and find it. Just inside the entrance is a corpse infested with rot grubs, which they kill with fire. Exploring further, they encounter a pair of wights. The warlock is able to use his power over undead to control the wights, which comes in handy when they encounter a lieutenant of the necromancer, a spectre. The wights are able to absorb the bulk of the attacks from the spectre, who falls to their attacks. Still, there is nothing to indicate where the necromancer's lair might be.

After taking some time to divest themselves of the treasure found in the Tomb of the Swamp Ghouls, the Cavers receive a note from their old friends and rivals, the Mad Dogs. They are in trouble, with Zanzibar reportedly being held captive by the Sisters of Fire and Water, undoubtedly for nefarious ends. Vincent sneaks around the Sisters' fortified hospital. They find stairs going down, and go to investigate. Darwain is shocked to find a manticore in a large room at the bottom, and immediately flees. The Cavers leave the dungeon to do some research on manticores.

When they return, the Sisters are not happy to see them, but Vincent takes a nun hostage and pushes through. They are able to slay the manticore, but the complex that awaits them is strange. Linoleum covers the floors, and the walls are white and antiseptic. Strange moans fill the air, along with a dank mist. The party chats with a ghost, vowing to return his arm so he can rest. There explorations lead them further to a room with a gore-covered chair. Two grey humanoids, with arms too long for their bodies, lie in wait for them there, their too-long tongues savoring the blood and viscera. They are quickly dispatched.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Continuing their exploration of the doppelgangers' 'hospital', the Cobalt Cavers find a room with two patients. One patient is very positive about his stay at the hospital, while the other is nervous about the constant butchery. The party offers to accompany them out; only the pessimist takes them up on the offer. The Cavers head south then, coming across an operating room with two doctors about to operate on the patient. When they approach, all three turn into doppelgangers. Vincent lets out a girly scream and runs. Darwain fights bravely with his henchmen, but when the patient behind them also turns into a doppelganger, the three remaining Cavers are overwhelmed. Darwain manages to execute a fighting withdrawal, but the craftpriest is cut down.

The doppelgangers pursue Darwain to the stairs, but when it seems like all is lost, Ieho comes charging down the stairs. With the extra help, the doppelgangers are turned back. The craftpriest, it turns out, just has an injured midsection. With a week's rest, he'll be almost as good as new, though he'll have trouble forcemarching for the rest of his life. The only two doppelgangers left were found in a chilly room with piles of body parts. They are dispatched, and Ieho comments, "Didn't we find a dead doppelganger with a backpack full of arms a while ago?"

After returning Zanzibar to Artemis, she rewards them with a +1 arbalest. The Cobalt Cavers then take a well deserved weeks rest. The talk turns to what happened in Pechen. They speculate that it was Vincent who killed Antonito. In any case, they haven't seen him since the doppelgangers. After the craftpriest is back on his feet, they decide to use the treasure map they found in the undead lair to search for some treasure. It takes them six days to find the treasure. The six days are uneventful. On an old battlefield, the mummy general Varnak was laid to rest, together with vast riches for the afterlife. The treasure is so large, the party is only able to take half with them. but it is still a rich treasure, including a ring of wishes! Ieho uses the wish to increase the size of his workshop and library.

The trip back is more eventful. Two lizards attack, but are easily distracted with some scraps of meat. But, horror of horrors, a skittering maw appeared only seven hundred yards away. The party wisely decides against using meat to distract it. (That may have only encouraged it). Instead, they try to stay as far away as possible, and hope for the best. The luck of the Cavers holds, and the beast does not notice them.

When they get back into town, a fighter named Arkerra challenged Darwain to a duel. Darwain accepted, and promptly kicked Arkerra's ass. After Arkerra yields, Darwain heals his wounds. Arkerra left, and the cause of the duel remains unclear.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Since they have a surplus of trade goods left over from the treasure hoard, the Doppelstompers decided to head toward Pechen to try and sell them to the merchants there. But first, they make a detour to visit the local baroness, Lady Miloslava Sved. The Doppelstompers are interested in turning the hospital the doppelgangers had been using into their own base of operations. The baroness doesn't actually have jurisdiction over the city, and is unwilling to use her influence to help a ground of adventurers. The 'Stompers do get the feeling that she does not get along with the mayor, Hosok Tere.

The Doppelstompers are increasingly worried about the bandits that seem to be preying on travelers between Threshold and Pechen. They hired some troops, some crossbowmen and heavy infantry, but they still don't have a large number of people compared with the amount of bandits they've seen.* As they load the wagon up for their trip, a shady figure shows up with the now familiar crates, and asks if they characters will take them to Pechen, and deliver them to Vladimir le Poutine.** The trip does not yield up any bandits, though there is a hydra the party had to sneak around.

When they get to Pechen, the party sells their trade goods without incident and goes to meet with Vladimir. They trade him the crates for 4,000gp. While in Pechen, they decide to look into this wizard who's looking for them. Vasily meets with some low reaction rolls unfriendly townspeople, and gets angry, but Devabriel is able to calm him down. Devabriel, on the other hand, is able to talk to some of his commercial contacts, and learns that the wizard is named Sanbalet. That seems to be a good excuse for the party to leave town, and go loot the abandoned tower they've heard about.

The tower is largely unoccupied. On the first floor, underneath a pile of supplies, is a baboon, which is quickly slept. The Doppelstompers are divided on what to do with it. Ieho argues it is dangerous, and should be killed, but Darwain wants to leave it alive. In the end, Darwain wins, and he carries the sleeping ape outside of the tower. In every room in the tower, there is a pane of broken glass reflecting the contents of the room. In several rooms, there are also signs of violence. Whatever happened to the owner of the tower, it is clear that it was not voluntary.

On the second floor, in a room with yet another mirror, Vasily noticed some movement inside the mirror. Before he could say anything, a large baboon-like creature leaped from inside the mirror to attack him. It was a fearsome beast, but Wylith incapacitated it with a choking grasp, allowing the Doppelstompers to kill it easily. In the next room, an ochre jelly split into five when it was hit by an arbalest bolt, but Wylith's burning hands made quick work of them.

At the top of the tower, the party found a room with four cages. One had obviously been used to free the baboon Darwain rescued, and another was still home to four stirges. Fortunately, when they swarmed, Vasily killed three of them, his sword practically making a snicker-snack sound. The fourth was not a problem for the experienced party, and they left the tower.

*As a side note, while bandits are found in the wilderness in bands of up to 80 men, a bandit camp generally contains several such bands.
**Sadly, the very next day, I saw a local barbecue joint make the same joke, but with cheese curds.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Session Fifteen: Mighty Mighty Goblin Slayers

The Doppelstompers left the tower and went back to Threshold, hoping to find a sage that could illuminate them about the mirrors they found there. They do not find one, so they decide to pursue other loose ends -- namely, the goblin cattle rustlers. They head out to the farms northeast of Threshold to where the most recent heist took place. They learn the general direction, but Vasily botches his tracking roll can't find the trail. They decide they'll head in that direction and see what they can see.

After camping in the hills with no name, they continue. In the distance, the Cavers see three gargoyles. Darwain takes one out with a single shot of his arbalest. As they wing over with dizzying speed, Vasily stabs at the second ineffectually before Darwain takes it out and cleaves into the last one, taking it out as well. The party decides at this point pushing on through the hills is pointless, so they head back to the tower to see what they can see.

At the tower, they meet the Elven Enchanter Aderyn, who is there to investigate the tower himself. Based on the Doppelstomper's description of what they see inside, Aderyn doesn't know anything more, though he has a mentor in Lesnime who specializes in mirror magic. The Cavers shrug and decide to interview more farmers. Vasily finds tracks near one of the farms, and the hunt is on!

The tracks lead to a series of caves. The Doppelstompers easily kill the first couple of groups they run into, and then manage to find the cattle. With their bloodlust unsated, however, they decide to move deeper into the caves. Entering the next room, they see five goblins, which they dispatch easily, but not before the fifth one sets off an alarm. Wave after wave of goblins flood the room, and even the killing power of the Cobalt Cavers cannot quite keep up. But their armor is nearly impenetrable to the goblins, and just as the Cavers are about to collapse from exhaustion, the last goblin is felled.

They return the cattle to Threshold, and are heartily thanked. One of the Doppelstompers thinks to talk to their old friend Karolina Sved about the location of the necromancer's tomb. She suggests that the Abbey of the Returning Sun might know something. So the Cavers make the trip to the Abbey, a three day trip north of Threshold.

There, they are convinced to make a substantial donation to the Order. After the donation, the nuns suggest that Skanderbeg, who was the necromancer's old apprentice, might know something. They hand the party a scroll of speak with dead and wish them luck. On the way to the tomb, they distract some troglodytes with meat. Once at the tomb, they ignore the obvious entrance to look for a back way in. It turns out, a stream leads into the same area, and might be helpful...

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

The Cobalt Cavers continue into Skanderbeg's tomb, using the river to approach via the rear entrance. The first room they encounter has an opening above the river, easily climbable. Up top two carrion crawlers stand watch, but they are no threat to our brave heroes. The craftpriest Duggan nails one and he combines with Vasily to kill the other. They continue to follow the river. One bank appears on the right, but they keep going to the left down the river (sinister bunch!) The next opening, and the last before the river dives deeper underground, features a beach of black sand. Vasily recognizes it as obsidian sand, which is dangerous to crawl on. They head back to the first beach. Off of the beach, they are swarmed by 12 cavern locusts. The locusts' eyes are unused to even the feeble light of torches, and they are unable to hit the Cavers. Our boys in blue, however, have no such trouble. Of course, the sleep spell cast by Wylith doesn't hurt. Darwain takes this opportunity to grab some obsidian to tip some arrows with.

The doppelstompers then head back to the first room that had the carrion crawlers. There they are able to surprise some ghouls, and control two of them. In the next room lies the corpse of Skanderbeg himself, the old lieutenant to the necromancer. They use the scroll of speak with dead, and get two questions to ask the mummy. First, they ask
Where is the tomb?
Skanderbeg replies "In a swamp." The Cavers shrug, and ask their second question:
Where is the tomb in relation to Pechen
Skanderbeg replies "East."
So the party throws the corpse into their bag of holding, figuring the nuns at the Abbey of the Returning Sun can deal with it. Carefully, the group continued on.

They explore the area of the complex near the original entrance. Wights begin to appear in greater numbers, and two of them are controlled by the warlock. In one room, filled with rat tracks, is a magic circle filled with 1,121 cp. As they continue deeper, the assault by wights continues. Eventually the assault is too much. Nearly surrounded by fourteen wights, Vasily is struck and loses a level. The Doppelstompers manage to make a fighting withdrawal.

They head back to the Abbey of the Returning Sun, where the Cobalt Cavers are able to convince the nuns to divine the necromancer's location from Skanderbeg's corpse. They then spend some downtime recuperating and hiring mercenaries. They then decide to use the mercs to stamp out the bandit menace. They find a small troop of bandits which is easily overwhelmed, but the interrogation of the surviving member reveals nothing.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Session Seventeen: Please Mace +2 Don't Hurt 'Em
The Cobalt Cavers finally decided to use ESP on the bandit they captured. Reading his mind, they discovered the location of the bandit camp. However, the bandits commanded a force of 250 men, far more than even the Doppelstompers could take on. So they make a note to come back when they have a larger force under their own command. They then travel back to Pechen.

Vasily decided it was time for him to have his own henchman, and so recruited Celebrian, a former Elven Courtier who left her homeland for reasons yet unknown. While there, Vasily runs into an old friend of his from his days with the Evertine Legion, Arik Pardemain. Arik mentions that the baron of Gdansk, Stephen, has been issuing bizarre edicts, such as a requirement that taxes be paid in beer. The party decides that this is worth looking into, and they make the trip up to Gdansk.

Gdansk is a medium town on the northwest border of Morachi. As such, it is home to a small orcish population who come to trade horses and livestock. In addition, a number of foreign born dwarves reside there. Recently there has been tension surrounding the temple to the orcish god Crom.

The party heads to a local bar to meet with Glenn Danzig, one of the sergeants for the Evertine Legion. He fills the party in on what's going on, and notes that people suspect a curse. Either Draco, the head of the baronial troops in town, or Crom and the orcs, are trying to undermine the baron's authority by stoking resentment against him. No sooner does Danzig mention this, but the town crier comes into the tavern announcing a ban on dwarves! Any dwarves found in the city will be stretched on the rack until they're a reasonable height.

Danzig says that the Legion is going to decamp outside of town and consider heading east. The party decides they are going to head to the baron's palace and ask him a few questions. On their way there, a man dressed like a barber intercepts them, and suggests they might find more interesting information at the barracks -- specifically, in Draco's chambers. The party goes to the barracks, but the guard there won't let them in, so they head to the palace. There the guard won't let them in either, but a well placed charm spell convinces him to guide them towards their true goal -- the temple of Crom.

They search the temple, sneaking in to the back chambers when no one is looking. In the suite of the mage Dervill they find two animated statues, which they kill before driving off the wizard after his polymorph fails. In the library the Cavers find the secret door which leads to the suite of Xanathon, Patriarch of Crom!

The battle is one sided. While the Cavers hit Xanathon plenty, none of their blows seem to have any effect. Wylith polymorphs into a gargoyle, but is still unable to do anything to the prelate. Xanathon isn't terribly effective with his mace, either, but when Vasily disarms him, he turns to his dark magic, annihilating a summoned hero with a finger of death. Seeing this death magic, the Cavers decide that discretion is the better part of valor, leaping through a large window to the street below, led by Xylith. As they flee, Xanathon laughs.

As the party regroups in a pub, the barber approaches them again. He reveals himself to be Eric Forsetti, high priest of Fayon in town. Discussing the situation with Vasily, they are stumped about what to do next. Forsetti says it looks like Xanathon has stored his life force somewhere outside of his body, but they can't figure out where until Vasily remembers a tapestry he liberated from Crom's temple! This tapestry just happens to have a map to a small shrine hidden well outside of town...

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Session Eighteen: Spectre strikes from the shadows
This session saw Darwain, Vasily, and Aderan, with their henchpeople Duggan, Wylith, and Celebrian, head northwest from Gdansk, across the Aquila River, into orc country. The two day trip to an outcropping of hills was uneventful. The map they followed was good, but incomplete as they ran into a split in the trail the map had failed to account for. They decided to go east, since that was the closest to left, and they are nothing if not creatures of habit. As they approach a cave mouth, they are surprised by a manticore erupting from its underground lair, spraying the party with spikes. The flurry of missiles failed to stop the beast, and it landed next to Darwain to get the visceral pleasure from tearing him limb from limb with its own claws. Unfortunately for the manticore, Darwain had reinforced the haft of his arbalest, and bludgeoned the creature to death with it.

The natural cave very quickly gave way to a man-made structure, and the statue inside confirmed the party's suspicions -- this was the shrine of Crom within which they expected to find the life force of the evil high priest Xanathon. The shrine is largely empty of life. The clerics in charge had received a vision from their god that the party was coming, and had prepared themselves in their room. Sadly for them, this was to no avail, and they were cut down. There was also a strangely long corridor which led to a portion of the shrine identical to the portion they had left, but with dead clerics instead of living ones. Shrugging their shoulders, the Cobalt Cavers continued to explore the areas they had not yet covered.

In the southwest corner of the shrine, they came across some barracks. The first six were easily dealt with by one of Aderan's sleep spells, but the next six spilling out from behind them were not quite so easily taken care of. Darwain's arbalest killed two, and very nearly killed three, and the axes and swords of the rest of the party sufficed for the remainder. Finally the sergeants spilled out of a third room, but these too fell to the Cavers.

After this, the party began to suspect there was something odd about the shrine. A long discussion led them to the conclusion that it had to be the strangely long corridor. Once they went there with some chalk, the answer became clear -- there was a teleportation trap that had turned them around. Knowing this, it was easy to circumvent. Behind the trap were stairs leading to the second level, guarded by two gargoyles. Vasily was undeterred, and decapitated them with one mighty swing.

Below, the party came across a room with twelve platforms, and twelve mouldering corpses on the platforms. Once Wylith entered, the corpses animated themselves, but she quickly controlled six and departed with four of them, leaving two to block the exit. The Cobalt Cavers avoided the caves to the south of the level, and very quickly found themselves accosted by a hypnosnake. Two of the zombies died fighting the snake, and another two with supporting missile fire were able to kill the wights they found in a further room.

Finally, in a throne room, the Cavers found a pulsating gem that could only be the artifact they sought. But guarding the gem was a spectre. The party quickly put down the incorporeal fiend, but not before it faded through their lines to put it's icy claws around Celebrian's neck, draining her life force to nothing. After that, the party resolved to explore further, but took that decision back after an encounter with five ogres convinced them that the risk of further exploration was greater than the reward.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Session Nineteen, Or, How to double your mortal enemies without really trying
We find the Cobalt Cavers in the process of heading back to Gdansk after retrieving the lifestone of Xanathon. Back in town, they meet up with the cleric Eric Forsett, who reminds the party that if Xanathon dies without revealing how to heal the duke, all of their efforts will have been in vain. The party nods, and heads off to the temple to confront Xanathon. Rather than go through the temple again, they circle to the window they crashed out of last time. As they discuss their options, a group of barbarians round the corner, yelling, "What are you doing here?" The Cavers respond with a sleep spell and throat cutting.

With their planning completed, they break through the large window into Xanathon's chamber. They have carefully orchestrated their plan -- Duggan smashes the window and Wylith's choking grasp incapacitates the high priest. But this plan goes south when Xanathon resists the spell. A protracted conflict ensues, with the skill at arms of the Cavers preventing Xanathon from casting any spells, while Xanathon and his mace leave few marks on the team. As Xanathon begins to weary from the blows, the Cavers begin to pull their punches to ensure he is taken alive. A couple of key misses allow Xanathon to finally cast finger of death, but saves are made, and finally Xanathon is forced to surrender and reveal the antidote to them.

Xanathon is brought outside town to Glenn Danzig, who promises to keep him locked up. The party then heads to the baron's palace to heal him. The manor is empty until they get near the baron's chambers. Draco, along with his lieutenant and captain, is waiting for the party. A terrible fight ensues, knocking out Duggan and Celebrian. Darwain is driven to withdraw, but his Parthian shot kills Draco, and Draco's men immediately surrender. The baron is in the next room, and the Cavers heal him. In gratitude, the baron offers 2,000 gp to both Darwain and Vasily. However, when they head back to meet up with Captain Danzig, they discover Xanathon is gone! Apparently some illusionist disguised himself as Darwain, and took Xanathon away.

While they are on the great middle road anyway, the Cavers decide to head to Lesnime to talk with Aderan's mentor about the mirror tower. On the way, they are assaulted by a tribe of nearly fifty feral halflings who had been eating some merchants, but the Doppelstompers drive them off and appropriate their treasure.

In Lesnime, they meet with Aderan's mentor, a mage named Kessler. He tells the Cobalt Cavers that about a hundred years ago, before Morachi was founded, a wizard named Skarda lived in that tower. Skarda was a master of mirror magic, and created a magical mirror that linked up with the demiplane of mirrors, the space behind all mirrors. His intentions were not good -- he would take an army into that demiplane, use his magic to sneak into the residence of whatever ruler he wished to supplant, and the army would pour out of the mirror, overwhelming the defenders. Fortunately, a hero named Matamoros climbed the tower and defeated Skarda. But Skarda was not dead. Before Matamoros could land the finishing blow, Skarda lept into his mirror. Matamoros then took up residence in the tower. He kept the mirror as a trophy of his victory, but covered it so that Skarda could not escape the demiplane.

Aderan reasons that the most recent resident of that tower must have lifted the cover off of the mirror, allowing Skarda to escape. With more time, Skarda could take the magic mirror with him, replenish his army, and use it to attack one of the dukes, establishing himself in their place.

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Session Twenty: Ogre, Ogre
The Cobalt Cavers, consisting this session of Vasily and Darwain together with their henchmen, decide to leave Lesnime after learning what they could about Skarda and his mirrors. They briefly discuss Tegel Manor, where the lord is rumored to be a vampire, but decide to head back to Threshold. Shortly after leaving Lesnime, the party encounter an old man in the road, who asked them to help. He is a merchant, and goblins attacked and looted his caravan. He could lead the party to the goblin's lair, to retrieve his merchandise, and they would be richly rewarded.

The party is a little bit suspicious, and so Vasily looks around for the goblin tracks. He sees some tracks, but can't make out what they are. They follow the old man to the cave, and head inside. Once inside, they find that, instead of goblins, six ogres attack! After a massive fight, two of the ogres are killed, and the rest retreat. Vasily and Darwain pursue the ogres, leaving Wylith and Duggan behind.

While Vasily and Darwain chase four ogres in a dark cave, the old man approaches Wylith and Duggan. He attempts to charm Duggan, but fails. Wylith's counter-hex also fails, but Duggan manages to get a hit in. As he does, the illusion fails, and the old man is revealed to be a lamia. Her disguise vanished, she flees, and Wylith and Duggan move deeper into the cave to where Vasily and Darwain are fighting a horde of ogres.

When Vasily and Darwain followed the ogres, they were led into a large cave. The cave has 5 entrances, and fifteen ogres pour out and attack. By the time Duggan and Wylith rejoin them, half of the ogres are dead, but six ogre champions have rejoined them. They fight a bit longer, but it's clear that, eventually, the ogres will overwhelm them. The Cavers retreat, and the ogres do not follow.

Outside of Czerny, they encounter a strange phenomenon -- a swarm of frogs. In unison, the frogs warn the party to stay clear of Koschei's business. They eventually make it to Ishpeming, where they decide they will head to the citadel where the Order of the Golden Fleece has it's regional headquarters

Asaris
Asaris's picture
Patreon SupporterAdventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

Session Twenty-One: Into the vaults of Castle Dregely

The Cobalt Cavers had been worried for some time about the absence of Robi Samdos from the Citadel of the Golden Fleece. They also suspect there may be some connection to the missing women. The Order of the Golden Fleece are clerics devoted to Adreham, god of civilization and order. Robi Samdos was their head in Morachi, but no one had heard from him in some time. When the Cavers get to the Citadel, Dregely Castle, they are greeted by the gatekeeper, Aldo Stanis. He invites them in, but says they probably won't be able to meet with Robi. When they insist, saying they have important information about an acolyte of Crom (Xanathon), Aldo goes to get Istvan Shakashvili, Robi's valet.

Istvan is distinctly unimpressed with the news, telling the Cavers that it sounds like Xanathon is taken care of and on the run. He dismisses the party, but when they ask Aldo if they can stay the night, he welcomes them. When they go to the great hall for dinner, they notice that it is quite empty, a fact that Aldo fails to illuminate.

That night, Darwain goes sneaking around. He's able to find Robi's suite of offices, but all he finds there is a letter, unfinished, from before when the first girl went missing. The next day, Vasily tries to draw information out of some clerics by sparring with them, but this is a dead end. Eventually they explore further, and decide to head for the crypts.

The crypt is dark and dank, and as they enter, they see a rat scurry east. Following the rat, the party comes across a pool holding 4,000ep. Suspicious, they leave the pool be. Further down the corridor, they are jumped by six wights. Duggan is drained of one of his levels, but otherwise it is not a difficult encounter for the party as they kill or control the rest. This passageway is otherwise a dead end, so they head back to the entry chamber and go north.

North of the entry chamber, the party finds a burial chamber where three simple coffins lie in three niches to the north, east, and west. The Cavers open each coffin, and find a pile of dirt inside each. They douse each with holy water, and continue on to finally go left of the entry chamber. Along that corridor, two scythes swing out at Vasily. He totally matrixes them, and the party comes to what appears to be the end of the corridor. They head back into the citadel, and confront Istvan with the evidence of vampires in his basement. He denies everything, and the party leaves him to go back to Ishpeming.

Back in Ishpeming, the party stays at the inn and inquires about Sanbalet. No one has heard anything, so the next morning they head to Pechen. There, Vasily looks up the whereabouts of the girl recently crowned the Queen of Love and Beauty, Cecilie. He brags about all the different things he's killed, but Cecilie is bored by this and insults Vasily, asking him whether the large mace he carries is compensating for something.

Their next destination is the tower. There, a squad of infantry has been placed by the local baron, Bruno Markov. The Cavers talk to the troop, and they are reasonably friendly, and tell them that Markov stationed them because some adventurers were claiming land belonging to him. The Cavers decide that they should meet Baron Markov, and head towards his manor. While on the way there, they see a flock of pegasi overhead.

Baron Markov is pleased to finally meet the party. He tells them he wouldn't mind granting them some land as his vassals, but first they have to do him a favor. A bandit town formed in his lands, and he'd like the party to root them out. He'll even lend them troops to do so. The party says they'll take it up once the necromancer is dead.

The party then leaves for Threshold, but they make a detour to find the pegasi's lair. The party finds it and makes a note of its location. On the way to Threshold, the Cavers encounter a gang of bandits, 28 strong. They are surprisingly brave, and the Cavers kill 25 of them before they flee.