Author Topic: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword - A Norbayne Campaign Log  (Read 18062 times)


  • Megas Domestikos
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Hey guys,

As you are all aware, I've been working on the Norbayne project for quite some time now. It has been a long project, a labour of love for me and a handful of collaborators over many years. As you guys might already know, we did eventually get around to playing it.

As the GM, I think it went rather well.

EDIT* Table of Contents:
Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
Arc 1: The Ruins Outside Summer Hill
Session 1.1: A Beginning: In which we are introduced to the free township of Summer Hill and our intrepid heroes, who head out into the wilderness, get mauled by bear-wolves and are frightened by a shambling monster of myth and legend...
Session 1.2: Into the Darkness: In which our heroes bravely venture underground, Harold duels an old rival and not all is at it appears regarding their initial quest...
Session 1.3: Exploration in the Black Pit: In which our heroes find themselves taking on the tendrils of a most powerful foe...

Arc 2: Against the Lord of Winter
Session 2.1: Drunken Lullabies: In which Tremor Ironfist is introduced to our party of intrepid adventurers and much alcohol is consumed...
Session 2.2: The Lady in Red: In which our heroes venture forth once more, Harold and Tremor must deal with massive hangovers and the group gains an ally...
Session 2.3: And Now For Something Completely Different: In which Tremor is badly injured, a door is killed and a house ransacked...
Session 2.4: The Infamous Fireball: In which our heroes fight fire, set each other on fire and Harold engages in diplomatic discourse with a Naillish noble...
Session 2.5: Walking Away: In which our heroes regroup to determine their next plan, Tremor takes on a powerful warlock by himself and a twilight meeting turns sour...
Session 2.5 (a): Harold's Midnight Ride: In which Harold heads out to find Dhara, engages in conversations with her and is shot at...
Session 2.6: The Coming Metaphorical Storm: In which our heroes return to the scene of one of their crimes, Breanna proves her worth and Maebh gets angry...
Session 2.7: End of the Line: In which warehouses are ransacked, Tremor gets a crowning moment of awesome and the cult is finally taken down...

Arc 3: The Wolves of Dreven
Session 3.1: Fire, Smoke and Dwarven Catapults: In which our heroes make a daring escape from Summer Hill and find themselves in Dreven, a small village in northern Naille...
Session 3.2: Sleepless Nights and Undead Wolves: In which our heroes find themselves under siege by a pack of ravenous beasts...
Session 3.3: The Lair of the Wolf King: In which our heroes head to the Blackfort to take on the Wolf King on his own ground...
Session 3.4: The Danann Pack: In which our heroes are joined by Therressa Bannimagen, leave the Blackfort and return triumphantly to Dreven, but must contend with a new threat...

Interlude 3.5: New Beginnings: In which our heroes leave the relative safety of Dreven to embark on a voyage north, to rescue a fair dwarven damsel...

Arc 4: Finding the Resistance
Session 4.1: Over The Cold Northern Sea: In which our heroes leave Norbayne behind and travel to Unterguardt in order to save Tremor's sister from her arranged marriage...

Whispers in the Dark
Whispers in the Dark Introduction

Arc 1: Demotion
Session 1.1: We Are No Spies: In which our ne'er-do-wells survive a face-to-face meeting with the shadowy Master, become neophytes once more and are sent on a routine expedition to the town of Torycastro...

Additional Content:
Travellers in the Snow
Session 1.1: Caves and Conundrums: In which Therressa Bannimagen is introduced in the northern village of Snowshard, a mountain is scaled and a degenerate tribe of cave-dwellers are found and fought...

Pirates of Lemaria
Session 1.1: The Sparrow on the Ocean: In which Martialis Ironlaw is introduced onboard the Sparrow, a merchant vessel heading home through the Lemarian archipelago. A storm is weathered, pirates are fought and an untamed land is reached...
Session 1.2: Who Rescues the Rescue Party?: In which Martialis Ironlaw must brave the temple city of the polud-malpa to rescue his missing crew members...
Session 1.3: The Sparrow Gets Her Wings Back: In which Martialis Ironlaw arrives in the town of Bina and must contend with both his own crewmates and the town guard...

The Players

The first player is Duke Dev, a longtime friend of mine. He has a bit of RP experience, particularly with me as a GM, so he knows my "style."

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

My next player was my own sister, Lady Darkmoon, who is a little younger than the rest of the group but seems to fit in well enough. Having GM'd for her before, I knew from the beginning she would pick a "cute" character. 

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The next player is Ladyhawk, my girlfriend, who is new to RP'ing, yet is very much a gamer girl. I ran a short, introductory solo session for her the weekend before the game to see how she would go and I think she handled herself very well.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

And lastly, Sins of Dusk created the last character, Kel'Serrar. I have not gamed with him before, though I count him as a friend.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

EDIT* We picked up another player, Wings of Darkness around Session 1.4 I believe. Another friend from school, Wings is the only one of us without constant access to the forum, so getting in touch with him to bug him about his backstory has been a constant struggle. Finally, we got it. :P

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

EDIT* Around the time of Session 3.2, we picked up one more player, Wings of the Opal Sky, or Opal for short. She's a friend of LD's from school and expressed some interest after LD went and showed all her friends the fun we were having. Opal has some experience in PBP as far as I'm aware, but no prior experience in tabletop play. Therressa finally joined the group in Session 3.3, having already featured in a mini-session.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

So there are the players. Now for the session itself. Back soon my friends.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 04:07:53 AM by Phoenixguard09 »
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  • Megas Domestikos
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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2015, 02:27:07 PM »
Session 1.1: A Beginning

Let us begin.

 Summer Hill is a bustling community, full of little wooden houses and surrounded by a stout palisade perched atop the hill which gives the town its name. The majority of the populace are Midlanders, which fits the location, deep within the Midland forests of Norbayne. Most of the structures have thatched rooves, but some, the older ones, perhaps grander dwellings of the more affluent members of the township, bear tiled rooves, and the buildings themselves are often crafted of grey stone.

 Summer Hill is in an interesting location, sitting astride the borders of Elspeth and Naille, independent of both, for now at least. The Queen of Elspeth, Esmerelda I, has long wanted to claim Summer Hill and its illustrious Weaver’s Guild for her own, but historically, the King of Naille has refused her, not allowing the little town to lose its independence. However, the Naillish King died, just a fortnight past and Elspeth is looking to expand once more while their neighbour is weak and divided. The heir, a young boy named Manden, looks to take the crown without too much difficulty, but he is still very young, and there are many who would use the chaos of succession to obscure their nefarious aims. 

 On a smaller scale however, not all is well in Summer Hill. A complex of ruins was found by a group of children just over a week ago, an underground labyrinth from the times before the ancient Bovus Empire. They brought back tales of unearthly shrieks and moans from deep underground and shadows which darted just on the edge of vision. Some men from the outlying hamlets joined a small band of mercenaries hired by a prominent merchant in town to explore the ruins and to ensure that they were safe, but have not been seen since.

 It would seem Summer Hill is in need of heroes.

 Luckily, would-be heroes are to be found, or at least those who would attempt to be heroes through the promise of gold.
 So it is that Harold Oakenshield, Maebh Raven-Wing, Breanna Blackrose and Kel’Serrar of the Danann find themselves fighting side by side for the fate of Summer Hill and the future of those who call it home.

I was constantly interrupted during this intro by various players, Dev most of all who seemed eager to show off.
 "What would you do without me?" - Dev, questioning the vaguely annoyed GM.
 "Well I probably would have finished this intro ages ago." - the cutting response.

A small black-furred Leathe, clad in unassuming dark grey and black clothes sits, alone, in the back corner of the White Stallion Inn. Her small, furred hand grasps a curved knife of greyed-steel. 

 One by one, the characters are approached by the merchant, Petyr Rangard, a short, slight, well-dressed man with a trimmed, pointed beard and short, dark hair. He’s wearing burgundy robes with gold embroidery and a long knife on his belt. The characters know he is a powerful merchant in both Summer Hill and the surrounding kingdoms. Rangard proposes a meeting behind the Inn of the White Stallion at midnight, promising an interesting conversation and a proposal which would be well worth the characters’ while.

“Sounds interesting. I’ll be there, simply because I like money." - Harold Oakenshield, Invarrian wanderer and old-dog.
“I’d just laugh. *laughter*" - Breanna Blackrose, Leathe assassin. We just assumed that laughter equated to yes.
 "If you’re up for it, I’ll show up but you’re buying.” - Kel'Serrar, Danann archer, ever ready to swindle potential employers out of money.
“I’ll be there.” - Maebh Raven-Wing, Danann mage.

This was just my way of giving the players a bit of a smooth transition from GM monologue into actually directing the game as players. I'll admit, I was hoping for a bit more in-character interaction with Rangard, but this wasn't too bad.

 They agree seperately to meet him and therefore arrive at midnight, meeting each other for the first time.
 Rangard is standing in the middle of a darkened courtyard, leaning against an old fountain and waiting for everyone to arrive.
“Harold has arrived." Cue Jack Sparrow jokes.

“I’m guessing we’re waiting for someone else?” - Harold asks of the merchant.
 "Yes, we shall wait for everyone to arrive and then all will be revealed." - Rangard, quietly whilst scanning the shadows for signs of movement.

 Eventually the four potential adventurers show up and Rangard begins.

“I have summoned you here to help me protect the interests of Summer Hill. As you know, I am the most successful merchant in these lands and am well in pocket. Therefore, I assure you, you will be compensated fairly for your time and efforts.

 I do not know if you have heard of the recent developments just over a day’s travel to the north? A group of children found an underground complex of some description, ruined and, supposedly abandoned. A group of men from Summer Hill itself set out to explore the ruins for themselves. They have not returned and have been missing for over a week.

 I wish to enlist a group to find out what happened to those men. I ensure you that you will be paid. Handsomely.” - Rangard, with a smile, jingling a coin purse temptingly in his right hand. His left, you notice, does not stray far from the hilt of his knife.

“Never trust a guy in a tunic, they look silly.” - Breanna, muttering to herself.

Meanwhile, Kel'Serrar considers the opportunity.
 "We’ve got an old man to use as bait and food to have on the way.” - Kel'Serrar, starting the "baiting" of Harold and describing the Leathe assassin as food.
 "AWWW!" - Breanna, unhappy at the thought of being eaten.
“I’d agree with you there.” - Maebh, happy at the thought of eating the Leathe.
“AWWWWW!” - Breanna doubly unhappy at the thought of being eaten.

Some OOC discussion about respective speeds as the group tries to figure out if Breanna could escape from the two lanky Danann if they get peckish.

“So, provided you agree to my little business venture, who shall be the leader of this company?” – Rangard
 "The old guy." - Breanna pointing at Harold.
 "Why not?" - Harold, smiling because he got precisely what he wanted.

 Rangard hands over forty sulvers to be split amongst the party, along with an envelope, sealed with the crest of a coiled serpent.
“This letter is to be given to anyone you find from the group which Summer Hill sent out. Consider it proof that you are on the same side.

 Now I suggest that you leave some time tomorrow. I do not know if there are any who might be interested in your comings and goings, but you might keep that in mind. Now goodbye, and remember, I’ll pay you well. Very well indeed.” – Petyr Rangard, leaving the party with an almost mocking bow.

 It is almost midnight and the group decides to split up and enjoy their last night in the township. Harold goes to find rum despite the time. Breanna hangs around in the courtyard, trying to avoid the Danann. Kel'Serrar climbs a tree in the courtyard to sleep in it as he is on the run and does not wish for anyone to know his location. Maebh finds a tavern room and locks EVERYTHING as she is extremely paranoid.
 Harold enters the inn, buys a pint of rum and drinks it. He is barely effected.
 Breanna meanwhile waits for the Danann to go away, then climbs a tree herself and goes to sleep.
 Harold has another pint of rum and then curls up in a chair at the tavern’s hearth.

"You’re covered in alcohol, the worst that could happen is when you’re set on fire." - Sins

* * *

 They all wake up in the morning in separate places. Breanna and Kel’Serrar wake in their respective trees. Kel'Serrar leaves to go and avail himself of some arrows.
As I said at the time, this is probably the first time I have ever had to state that in a game I have run. There's a first time for everything.
 Harold wishes to buy himself a bottle of rum and does so. After this, he arrives in the courtyard hoping that the others will get the idea that it is to be considered a rendezvous, seeing as no one thought to organise a meeting place the previous night. He sees Breanna who is already there. Maebh is also there hiding in the corner of the courtyard, avoiding attention. Kel’Serrar finally arrives after purchasing said arrows. Harold then takes charge.
“Shall we... um.. go.. to.... the ruin things? Maybe? - Harold, being wonderfully commanding

 The group as a whole set out from Summer Hill at mid-morning, hoping that their departure might be sort of surreptitious.

 Travel on the road is more or less uneventful for several hours, the group striding north in a more or less companionable silence. The Danann pass their respective Survival Checks and see the tracks of deer and woodwolves along the road.
 Kel’Serrar also passes a Perception Check after about three hours travel and notices a path off the side of the road, one which appears to have recently been smashed through the undergrowth.

 The whole party follows Harold with weapons ready, arguing about the order. Eventually it is Harold in the front with Breanna flanking him and Kel’Serrar and Maebh following at a safe distance. The path turns up an overturned carriage and two horse corpses which have been ripped apart, likely by a marcwolf.

 Harold inspects the carriage and finds a small girl, dead and rotting, clad in finery. Her features however are unrecognisable due to the elements and scavengers. The Danann joke that there appears to be breakfast.
 Kel’Serrar passes a Heal Check and can see that her legs were shattered.
 Maebh passes her Survival Check and sees marcwolf tracks heading into the forest. The party decides to follow it. Breanna passes an untrained Survival Check to follow the tracks.

 Breanna and Harold pass their follow-up Survival Checks to follow the tracks through the green woodland.
 The party find eventually themselves at a natural cave made out of a hollowed out rock formation. There is a marcwolf sleeping outside.
“Oh it’s pretty!” Maebh, on the marcwolf.
 It is suggested that Harold should try talking to it.
 Harold might be the leader of the party, but the rest of them all seem to refer to him as "Bait."
“I can’t talk to it. And if you call me Bait one more time I will stab you.” - Harold, getting peeved, and not for the first nor last time that night.

 Breanna meanwhile is off in her own little world.
“Hush little bear-wolf, don’t say a word...” - Breanna in sing-song.
 She’s a nut.

 Harold decides to attack it with Breanna's support. Unbeknownst to him, she decides to leave him to his fate. As they were taking so long to come to a decision, the decision was eventually made for them. The marcwolf wakes up. And sees all of them. And let’s out a low growl. And another one comes out of the cave.

 Now joined by its mate, the marcwolf charges at the foremost figure of the company, Harold Oakenshield. The male attacks him as Kel'Serrar looses an arrow at the female. Still drowsy, she registers the hit and the pain it causes. This only serves to make her angry, instinctively knowing that the Danann ranger was responsible. However, to get at the ranger, she must first go through Breanna. It attacks her and hits with a single claw attack. Breanna fails her Dodge Check and takes a raking blow from the claws across her right thigh.
“Aww, that’s my favourite leg.” - Breanna, still able to make witty quips with blood spurting periodically out of her leg.
 Seeing the danger, Maebh succeeds in casting Flare. The magical fire blasts a chunk out of the female and sets the beast on fire. Breanna hobbles away in the confusion, attempting to hide behind Kel'Serrar, despite her previous fear that he would eat her. She justifies it by pointing out that he's got problems to deal with and that being eaten yourself tends to make one less hungry.

 After getting away completely unscathed by the male's furious assault, Harold attempts to strike back with sword and axe.
"It's a D100." - Me
 "Uh.... That's my ten." - Dev.
 "That's a 99.... It doesn't matter which is your ten, that's a horrible strike." - Me
“You gave it your best shot.” - Ladyhawk
“Yeah.” - Dev
“Too bad it was a horrible one.” - Ladyhawk
 At this point we had an intermission for food.

Upon the return to the game, we jump straight back into the fray. The male misses completely when attacking Harold. There is much laughter as everyone at the table attempts to re-enact it.

 Kel’Serrar is attacked by the flaming female and Breanna hides behind Maebh this time, seeing that her erstwhile shield is about to be mauled.

 Kel’Serrar hits the female, shooting her in the chest and hurting her badly. The female ignores the flames burning her and proceeds to smash a paw into Kel’Serrar’s head, stunning him. The stun quickly became unconsciousness.

 Maebh succeeds in casting Flare again and blasts another chunk out of the female.
“There won’t be any chunks left!” - Breanna, in one of the most underrated one-liners of the night.
 Breanna continues hiding behind Maebh.
 Harold hits the male with his cutlass and removes its left foreleg with much blood and furious hacking. Harold proceeds to kill the male by removing both its forelegs and letting it bleed out on the ground. The female is badly hurt and, seeing her mate fall, begins howling and trying to maul Kel’Serrar. In her rage, she manages to miss every time. Maebh kills her with another Flare.

 Breanna’s bleeding to death from her leg and Kel’Serrar is stunned to hell and back. Maebh and Harold are untouched. To top it all off, Kel’Serrar was the only one who took Heal. So I gave them a level as the fight was fairly tough and I would like to make them vaguely competent before they reach the ruins.

 Inside the cave the marcwolves were using, the party hears squeaking and mewling. A small investigation reveals two small marcwolf cub-pups.
"Dibs!" - Harold
 Harold and Breanna grab the little cub-pups. It is three in the afternoon, and two of the group are injured. One is bleeding profusely and the other is not really moving.
 "Can I give it a shot?" - Harold, on bandaging Breanna
 Harold fails. Maebh fails too. The first hour passes with the two of them failing horribly at bandaging, while Kel'Serrar writhes in unconscious, marcwolf-induced sleep.
 Breanna gets to the point where she feels she needs to bandage her own leg. She succeeds. Kel'Serrar wakes up not long after.
 They decide to stay in the cave, despite the smell. Kel'Serrar volunteers to take first watch in the face of Harold's... inefficient leadership. Harold puts Breanna on the first three hour shift because she insults him.
 Maebh suggests eating the marcwolf corpses. Breanna decides to hobble outside and cut down some wood with a carving knife.
 Lots of worry about Harold being a potential cannibal. Maebh just eats the marcwolf flesh, butchering the two adults.
"It's not that close to a dog. It's more like a bear." - Me, having planned on introducing a quandry about the morality of canibalism, yet not expecting it from this particular angle.
 "Oh... ok." - Harold, deciding that even that is a bit closer than he would like.

 A fire is lit and night falls swiftly, blanketing the lanscape in a shadowy cloak. During his watch, Kel'Serrar notices movement in the trees, what seems to be humanoid figures in the darkness. He awakens Breanna with a sharp whack to the head. Swiftly, he awakens the other two, except Maebh doesn't get a whack. They swiftly devise a plan to minimise the danger, with Kel'Serrar heading into the woods next to the cave. Breanna is to stay with Maebh in the cave. After deciding this, Harold draws his sabre, dulls the blade with ash and dirt and walks out of the cave confidently.

 "Who's there!?" - Harold, striding towards the interlopers
 "Oh you..." - Maebh, exasperated.
 Harold is answered swiftly by two arrows flying towards him from out of the darkness, each of them whistling on either side of him. In return, Maebh throws off a Flare, hitting one of the swordsmen and setting him aflame. Breanna hobbles stealthily out of the cave to go support Harold, but she falls over and has to resort to crawling. Kel'Serrar shoots at one of the archers, hitting him in the throat. Harold then taunts one of the remaining two swordsmen charging at him.
 "You pansy-ass bitch, come fight me!" - Harold, directing his insult at the swordsman leading the charge
 The brigand roars in rage and attempts to slam into Harold, but the old duellist skillfully evades his blows. The other swordsman makes for Maebh, having not seen the ranger or the assassin yet, both of whom are cloaked in the night's darkness.
 The man on fire tries to put himself out but is unable to do so.
 The archer who lives tries to shoot Maebh, the mage's fires startling him into rushing his shot. He misses in his haste.

 Maebh fires off another Flare, setting her new target on fire. The swordsman running towards her is now on fire, running past Breanna who still hasn't been noticed. Rising from the ground, she fails her optimised Sneak Attack.
 Kel'Serrar shoots at the other archer in the treeline, but misses, losing his arrow.
 Despite his best efforts, Harold misses in combat, and regretfully looks back on not taking Talents which would help to kill stuff.

 The taunted swordsman attempts to hit Harold and is parried easily by the old dog-man. The flaming swordsman attempts to hit Breanna, but fails in the darkness. The archer again fails to hit Maebh.

 Maebh throws off another Flare at the archer and finally does some decent damage, setting the brigand on fire and blowing a fist sized chunk out of his torso.
 Breanna considers hobbling away or trying to hit the man attacking her.
"This is what happens when we don't have a tank." - Sins, reminiscing on how the party handles their encounters.
 Breanna finally attempts to hurt the guy, but in somewhat of a recurring theme, fails to hit him.
 Kel'Serrar hits the swordsman attacking Breanna, killing him with an arrow to the back of the neck.
"We are owning!" - Ladyhawk, on the party's abilities
 Harold makes a called strike to the brigand's neck, missing. The swordsman strikes back, fails, and now is very worried, trying to back off seeing as all of his friends have just died over the course of the last minute or so.

 "Harold, can you move?" - Maebh
 "No, I want to kill him myself!" - Harold
 ".... You're an arse!" - Maebh
 Breanna hobbles back into the cave after deciding that Harold will probably handle the guy by himself, and that she has better things to do than risk her life for the Invarrian. Kel'Serrar fires into the melee, missing both combatants, much to Harold's relief. Just as Harold begins his strike, the brigand falls to his knees, throwing his sword to the ground. Harold's cutlass passes just over the man's head, missing by a hair's breadth.
 "I yield, I yield!" - Brigand, fearful for his life
 "Off with his head!" - Breanna, bloodthirsty
 "Is he human?" - Maebh, always with an agenda
 "Yes." - Me, wondering where this is going
 "Can I keep it?" - Maebh
 "Do you have any rope?" - Harold, channelling Eddie Izzard
"You all neglected to buy rope..." - Me, delighting in reminding them of their foolishness
 "I'll knock it over the head. I want it." - Maebh, delighting in reminding us that Danann are not your normal elves.
 "Off with his head I say!" - Breanna, still bloodthirsty
 "Big thing here, my choice." - Harold, attempting to impose his authority
 "No it's not your choice!" - Breanna, enjoying this far too much

I decide that I must point something out.
 "Yes it might be your choice, but the fact is, if Breanna decides she wants to kill him... Well, you might say, "We're keeping him as a prisoner," and then you turn your back and she goes, "HAHA STABBY STABBY!"
 There is laughter before the game resumes.

 Maebh wonders about the food situation.
 "That's ok, there's a bunch of guys we've killed. Breakfast!" - Kel'Serrar, unrepentently cheerful

 With his cutlass, Harold walks up to the man.
 "By the rights of combat, you are my prisoner." - Harold, before punching the kneeling man in the face with the hilt of the sword, ripping open his cheek on his teeth, knocking out a handful, probably breaking his nose, but not knocking him out.
 "Well that's incapacitated him at least." - Harold, surveying his handiwork
"Yeah, he's on his hands and knees, really regretting yielding at the moment." - Me
 Harold beats the prisoner around the head with the flat of his sword, causing internal bleeding in his ear, giving him a splitting headache, but still not knocking him out.
 "Before you bash it any further, can I have it?" - Maebh
 "Yeah... Why not?" - Harold
 "And when she gets bored with him, cut off his head and give it to our puppies?" - Breanna
 "NO!" - Harold

 The intrepid group has just been attacked by a small group of bandits. They managed to see the brigands off with little to no difficulty, killing them all in a matter of minutes, save for one man whom Harold has taken prisoner. Now, sadly deprived of rope, they debate what to do with him.

"Does anyone have Intimidate?" - Me, trying to give them an out.
 "No." - Everyone.
 "I was going to, but then I didn't, because who would be scared of a possum?" - LD, elaborating on her choice.
 "No I took Charm instead." - Dev
 "Oh you're really showing that now." - Sins, cracking us all up.

 "Oh, I'm gonna use Charm."
 "How are you going to do that?"
 "I'm gonna punch him in the face. LIKE ME OR ELSE!"

 They decide that Maebh can have him as a sacrifice. Kel'Serrar attempts to patch him up so that Maebh can go through with it. After all, sacrifices have to be in good shape, otherwise they're not worthy. But he fails. Hence jokes about bandages made of poison sumac. The whole group decides to give it a shot, but they all fail eventually.

"Let me just get this straight. I'm going to try and bandage his ears and mouth, Breanna's put one across his head, Maebh's cauterised the wounds by setting him on fire and Harold.... Well Harold probably punched him again." - Sins, analysing the situation.
 *whack* "HEAL! *whack* - Ladyhawk, demonstrating Harold's effective healing techniques.

 They eventually decide that it's not worth trying to bandage him anymore. As they have no rope, Maebh watches over him while Harold watches the outside, despite Maebh being able to see in the dark. Because Harold's too stubborn to admit a potential mistake. Breanna and Kel'Serrar, being the two who have been on watch already this night, go to sleep.

 The brigand manages to talk through the bandages stuffed in his mouth.
 "Do you want to know why we were here?" - Brigand, muffled by bandages, trying to barter for his life.
 Maebh nods.
 "We were hired to waylay travellers on their way to Summer Hill." - Brigand, still worried about the length of his life.

Conveniently for the party, he was the leader of the band. This was something which was pure coincidence. The man Harold Taunted was the leader the whole time, as denoted by the fact that he was leading the charge. So this isn't a case of GM fiat.

 "What aren't you telling me?" - Maebh, questioning as her curiosity is roused.

 He's very scared of the mage, who succeeds in the Intimidation check, despite her not having the skill. Being able to hurl balls of fire at people tends to have that effect. He tells her they were contracted by the Queen of Elspeth, and hands her a note which was secreted upon his person.

 "What are you two talking about back there?" - Harold, forgoing his sentry duties to discover why Maebh is fraternising with the enemy.
 Maebh hands him the note.

Quote from: Note
A group has set out from Summer Hill. They intend to visit the ruins.
 See to it they don’t get there.
 The Shadow,

 "Good work. We'll sort this out in the morning."- Harold after reading the note.

 "Who is the Shadow?" - Maebh, whispering as Harold returns to the mouth of the cave.
 "I cannot say.... the camp is a day's travel to the east." - Brigand, desperately trying to seem helpful.

 Wanting to avoid as much trouble during the night as she can, Maebh tries to Intimidate him into attempting to go to sleep. She passes with flying colours and the brigand rolls up and immediately attempts to do as she told him.

 Harold and Maebh fall asleep during the early morning. Kel'Serrar and Breanna wake at about seven in the morning to find Maebh, Harold and the brigand asleep. Kel'Serrar kicks "Bait" while Breanna refuses to awaken Maebh on account of potentially being eaten by an angry mage.

 "What are you going to do with me?" - Brigand, awoken by the sounds of movement in the cave.
 "Lop off his head!" - Breanna, whose bloodlust has not dulled over night.
 "We haven't had breakfast yet." - Kel'Serrar, always has his mind on the most important topics.
"You got to remember you've got your little marcwolf pups." - Me, attempting to let them know that the marcwolves will need to be fed.
 "No! He's mine! I'm going to feed my marcwolf." - Harold, mistaking me and thinking that I was suggesting the party eat the cub-pups.
"You've got people so you can give him a taste for human flesh, or... his parents." - Me, letting Dev know his options.

Don't you love moral dilemmas like this?

 "I'm not going to give him a taste for human flesh, just yet." - Harold, not letting practicality get in the way of squickiness.
 "So you're going to... feed him his parents?" - Maebh, pointing out the alternative.
 "You could voluntarily cut off a bit of your calf." - Breanna, always helpful
 "Or we could kill a possum..." - Maebh, dark and foreboding....
 "Nooo! What is WRONG with you!? Why do you all hate me?" - Breanna, realising her mouth will get her in trouble one day.

Alternatively, someone could go hunting...

 Of course, the two who are capable of hunting really couldn't care less until Harold strikes a deal with Maebh, giving her three sulvers in exchange for her efforts.

 All of Maebh's misadventures will be documented here for continuity.
 She succeeds in finding possum tracks despite the difficulty.
"That's me, the guilty party!" - LD
 She finds what appears to be possum type creatures living in colonies in the trees.
"I breed quickly." - LD
 She may have possibly gone just a little too far there....

 Maebh hurls her spear at one of them, missing it, startling it and losing her spear, which she eventually finds in the undergrowth.
 The unsuccessful comes across deer tracks after some searching, once again passing her Survival Check. She also misses the deer when she throws her spear, startling it and causing to run in panic.
 "I'm just going to throw fire at the next one." - Maebh, exasperated.
 She decides to follow the deer she startled, attempting to catch up with it.

 Harold goes to the bandit and tries to "Charm" him into telling them more. Harold decides to try and Intimidate instead, but the bandit doesn't know any more.
 Kel'Serrar doesn't do anything other than chuckling to himself in the corner of the cave, laughing at Harold's continued attempts to intimidate the prisoner.
 "Would you like to try and bandage him up some more?" - Harold to Kel'Serrar.
 "Do you want me to stuff more bandages in his face?" - Kel'Serrar, efficiently describing the healing process.
 Harold and Kel'Serrar decide to try and "heal" him together. Harold effectively stands over the ranger's shoulder, sprouting helpful phrases like, "I think you should connect that bandage with that one over there."

"What are we using for bandages?" - Sins, in an attack of logic.
 "Basically, this is you guys tearing your clothes apart." - Me, thinking quickly.
 "Now we have no clothes. No wait, I have clothes. You guys don't." - Ladyhawk.
 More jokes about bandages made of poison sumac.

"I'm going to go gather fruit and... pickpocket some possums." - Breanna
"As if we couldn't sink any lower." - Sins, amidst laughter.
 Breanna's still off looking for berries. She eventually succeeds, now deciding that "pickpocketing trees" is far more effective.

 Amazingly, Harold and Kel'Serrar finally manage to fix up the brigand's bandages. And what's left of his face. Just in time for Breanna's triumphant return with various pilfered fruits of the forest.

 "I think I'm going to go have breakfast. I think there's still some marcwolf left." - Kel'Serrar, leaving his handiwork and seeing to his own sustenance.
 There is plenty of marcwolf left. Alternatively there are people.

 Maebh meanwhile is still chasing the deer. She is keeping up with it, but it's proving difficult to catch.

 Harold considers sending Kel'Serrar out to look for the mage, but reconsiders after being reminded that she's only been an out for about an hour.
 "Right then, Kezaar, or whatever your name is..." - Harold to the Danann ranger.
"Kel'Serrar." - Ladyhawk, ever helpful. She had everyone's names written phonetically at the bottom of her sheet. Kel'Serrar for instance as Kell-Sore-Arrrr. Works well enough.
 "Right, you. Do you want to scout ahead and look for this bloody route?" - Harold, wanting to get on with the mission.
 "Eh... Not really." - Kel'Serrar (Kezaar), happy enough to sit around eating marcwolf.
 ".... Right." - Harold, realising that being the leader is tough when the rest of the group has no respect for authority.
 "Let's head back to the road then. You're stronger so you can carry our friend." - Kel'Serrar, making a compromise.
"And I come back to an empty cave." - Ladyhawk, pointing out the obvious flaw.

 Maebh loses her quarry in the end, but soon finds an extensive rabbit warren. She immediately decides to send a Flare down into the warren, blowing apart several rabbits. The smell of cooked lagomorph wafts up from the hole in the ground, and a handful of other holes too. She skewers three of the rabbits on her spear, slinging them upon her belt.
 At this point Maebh heads back to the cave, tossing the rabbits over to Harold when she arrives, who gives the cub-pups a rabbit each and the mage an extra handful of coppers.

"Hey, can I set fires with Create Elements?" - Ladyhawk, discovering the utility of her abilities.
 Turns out that yes, that is what it is mainly for.
 "Then why did I not do that last night?" - Ladyhawk
 "Mainly because you didn't care."

The next bit has been spoilered for adult themes. Read at your own risk...
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Maebh comes onto the road to join the others, covered in much blood. The party continues north and swiftly comes upon the ruins.

 Breanna passes an Intelligence check, deciding it looks a bit like a big temple.
 "We forgot to buy torches didn't we?" - Harold
 A rectangular doorway in front of the party leads to the temple complex itself. Harold sniffs the air and smells old stuff. There's a weird acrid tang on the air. Smells like acid, ants and death. He can smell people, but overall the overwhelming smell he gets is old.

 "Kel'Serrar, could you please set up camp? Please?" - Harold, giving everyone work to do.
 "Okay." - Kel'Serrar
 "Could you do a quick perimeter check?" - Harold, to Breanna.
 "You're asking me?" - Breanna
 "Yeah. I'm asking you to do a perimeter check. And you, could you please guard the door?" - Harold, with little patience.
 "Sure." - Maebh, coolly
 "Thank you." - Harold, learning to deal with uncooperative teammates.

Small silence....
 "And what is Harold doing?" - Me, feeling there needed to be some prodding.
 "I'm doing...." - Dev, scratching for a task.
 "Nothing?" - Ladyhawk, cutting

 "I'm going to go look for firewood." - Harold, finally coming up with something amidst the laughter.

 Breanna heads off to look at the perimeter. She doesn't find much really. Kel'Serrar sets up camp while Harold looks for firewood. Maebh easily sets the fire.

 But they have no tents, nor any real camping equipment.

 Harold looks for a water source while Maebh creates water in her hand. Some discussion about whether drinking from the hand of a murderous, carnivorous wild she-elf is sanitary. It is decided that perhaps bowls and such might be in order.
 "Who wants it first?" - Maebh, vaguely threatening.

 It is decided that rope and other supplies... cups and such might be a good idea. So Maebh is sent back to Summer Hill to go pick up equipment amidst more talk regarding respective speeds. So a shopping list is constructed and Maebh is given money by everyone to go get the equipment.
Shopping List:
 - 4 tents
 - 20 feet of rope
 - 2 torches
 - Tinder box
 - A keen dagger for Breanna
 - Food supplies, dried meat, berries, hard tack etc.
 - Wagon + draught creature

 Breanna shares her conspiracy theory after Harold shares the letter given by the brigand. Her theory seems to be almost matching up.
Not sure how, but Breanna's theory seems to have gone missing. The basic gist of it was that Rangard hired the brigands, for whatever reason.

 The rest of the group starts to explore the outside of the ruins in Maebh's absence. Harold searches the perimeter on the second day, not finding anything of interest. Kel'Serrar also starts to wander around, exploring and such. Breanna decides that looking for berries and other such stuff might be a good idea.

 Maebh picks up a wagon, but is incapable of driving. She decides to hire a driver. She succeeds after some time in finding someone who will drive the cart there for ten sulvers. Maebh keeps him in line by passively threatening to eat him.

 That night, at the ruins, there is a weird shrieking...

Cue both girls emulating the Nazgul simultaneously. It was surprisingly accurate too.
 "They are the Nazgul, the Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead."

 "I suggest we go hide in the woods." - Harold
"Well Breanna's already playing possum." - Sins
 While both Breanna and Kel'Serrar have Concealment, Harold doesn't. So whatever it is will probably not see them and come straight for him.
"The Nazgul will come for you. *screech* - LD
 "Okay, stop that!" - Dev
 "The best you can do mate is to hold your hands in the air and recite, "I, am a tree."

 The three of them start to hide in the trees, all the while Maebh is driving from the south along the road, with the screeching coming from the north. She can hear it in the distance and hopes that she doesn't run into whatever it is.

 Meanwhile, Breanna succeeds on her Concealment check, swathing herself in her cloak and pressing herself into the shadows.
 Kel'Serrar on the other hand...
"Yeah I give up on hiding. Look here, Harold's a tree!" - Sins, trying to draw attention from himself.

 Ahead of them, a shambling mess emerges from the ruins, shrieking and groaning as it stumbles towards them...
"I thought you were hiding Harold." - Kel'Serrar
 "SHUT UP!" - Harold

 The corpsewalker comes gurgling and gargling, fingertips worn down to bone claws. Quick and ungainly, gnashing its teeth, it comes straight for Harold/tree. The walker's flesh is literally rotting on its body.

 The fight with the corpsewalker was interesting with very little damage actually occurring on either side. To the point that Breanna failed so much that despite her repeated efforts, it doesn't even realise she's there. This is partially down to her really good Concealment check and partially due to her utterly failing to do any damage even with the bonuses for Sneak Attacks. Well that, and the thing's Perception is so low that it was having trouble detecting Harold.
"I'm a tree with a knife!" - LD
 "A stabbing shrubbery!" - Sins, who had also managed to avoid detection. In his case it was mainly due to Harold flailing wildly at it with axe and sword.
 Sins ends up suggesting that his attempts to bandage it up might do more damage than his archery.

 Harold finally hits it with his axe, but does only a little damage, however the creature is similarly unable to hit the duellist, with the few strikes which are on target being parried by the Invarrian.
 Kel'Serrar finally manages to set an arrow on fire after at least four attempts. He then misses his shot, blasting a hole into one of the blocks of stone littering the area. Breanna misses again with her knife.
 The group really seems to be feeling Maebh's absence.

"Has anyone managed to hit it yet?" - LD
 "Yep." - Dev
 "I hit in the arm." - Sins
 "... I suck... No, don't nod like that guys!" - LD

 Breanna finally hits. Finally. And utterly fails to do any damage at all.
 Kel'Serrar finally manages to kill it after a very long time. Harold considers hugging Kel'Serrar until the Danann threatens the Invarrian with a thorough stabbing.

And everyone gets another level.

 We left it there, with Maebh likely to arrive sometime next morning.

The corpsewalker fight was an interesting one. A single bite could well have spelt the end of one of the characters as the corpsewalker virus is easily transmitted. Once affected by the virus, the character quickly starts to rot away, losing all conscious thought and becoming animalistic and horribly violent. Not to mention hungry.

 Luckily, while Harold was almost bitten, he managed to get the blade of his sword between the creature's teeth and his skin.

 Don't read this if you are one of my players, which is unlikely if I think about it, but better safe than sorry.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The Wrap-Up: All in all I think it went rather well for a first session. The group seemed to enjoy it and worked together pretty well. As we expected, the lack of a tank means the group seems to suffer against small numbers of tough opponents, but all four characters seem to be decent at dealing decent amounts of damage, meaning that at least four weaker opponents go down very quickly. Well except for Breanna, but Maebh's flair for Flares tends to make up for that.

I hope you enjoyed the read and if there is any demand I will continue to port the stories across over the next few weeks.
Cheers guys,[/color]
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 01:52:13 AM by Phoenixguard09 »
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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2015, 02:38:10 PM »
Session 1.2: Into the Darkness

I just filled everyone in on the location, namely that ahead of them is the expanse of tumbled grey stone, discarded, weathered blocks strewn everywhere. The western edge is being encroached upon by the forest, roots and thick leaf-litter obscuring the rock. There is a rectangular doorway in the centre of the external ruins, which leads underground and into the temple complex itself. Inside it is dark, but there is still a little visibility, or at least there will be during the day.
The group pays the man Maebh hired to drive the wagon, not needing him anymore as she spent the majority of the trip watching what he did and learning.
She picked up the Drive skill upon levelling up
 The hired driver pockets the twelve sulvers with a smile that makes the group think they've been ripped off.
"Look me up if you're ever back in town and you need my help again." - Driver, with a tip of his hat before walking away.
There is much frenzied and somewhat confused discussion about the plan. All I remember is that Ladyhawk only just realised that Dev has a broken nose.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I couldn't tell even with the recording how this came about but I did find Dev's comment here quite amusing.
"I'm a dog-man, I don't have to be illiterate." - Dev, engaged heatedly with Sins.
"Wait a minute, you don't have to be illiterate?" - Me, honestly confused.
 "Yeah, I don't have to be illiterate." - Dev, not realising that this word does not mean what he thinks it means.
 There was much laughter, to the point that Sins nearly went catatonic, becoming "broken," as Ladyhawk put so well.[/color]

"Alright, let's go inside then." - Harold, getting everyone together.
 "Wait, do we want to go inside or do we want to explore the surface first?" - Kel'Serrar
 "Yes, good idea." - Harold.
"Because, if we go in, Maebh will be at the back. And if something sneaks in behind us, they'll hit the mage. And I don't want that." - Kel'Serrar.
They split up to search the outside, spreading out from the centre to cover the four cardinal directions. They all find what appear to be large chicken tracks, which seem to be milling around in random directions. In addition to this, Kel'Serrar finds broken pieces of red glazed pottery strewn about the place. They're old, but still somewhat shiny.

It is still early morning by the time they finish their explorations. Maebh casts Create Element, lighting a fire in the palm of her hand with the slight side effect of temporarily blinding herself as she became suddenly overcome by her sheer arcane might, while Harold lights one of the newly purchased torches. They then head underground, Breanna leading the way with dagger held at the ready, Harold following with axe drawn and torch in hand, Kel'Serrar with an arrow nocked and finally Maebh bringing up the rear wielding both flame and spear.

A little discussion here about how they are similar to the Fellowship of the Ring. After all, Harold has his axe, Kel'Serrar his bow and Breanna supposedly was short and had hairy feet. All she needs is a ring.

Inside it is dark, but as they are carrying light with them, visibility is not a problem. Ahead of the group there is a thick stone door. Next to the door, there are three levers which must be pulled down. Beneath each one, from left to right are three small symbols, a lion in profile facing to the right, a wolf in profile facing to the left and a horse in profile facing to the left.

They also notice that the wall is pockmarked with many fist-sized holes in the wall, which Harold points out are probably ports for spikes.

This was amusing because they, on the whole, didn't really put much thought into the pattern behind the puzzle.
"Maebh, pull the middle one." - Harold, trying to back away from the door.
"No way, I'm way back here. You pull it." - Maebh, not falling for that one.
 "Right. Breanna, how about you pull it?" - Harold, still trying to back away from the door.
 "NO!" - Breanna, fully aware that she's the closest and squishiest person in the party.
 "Could it be starsigns?" - Maebh, inspecting the carvings carefully.
It does relate to the starsigns.
"No, it probably isn't. Pull the lion one." - Harold, not knowing what to do.
Maebh and Kel'Serrar back off to a point where the holes in the wall cease.
"Oh right, I pull the horse one then." - Breanna, not pulling anything Harold suggests.
 She pulls the horse lever and a loud click is heard from within the door itself as the horse lever locks into the downward position, but that is all.
"Um, the lion next." - Breanna, pulling the lever.
 Another click is heard as the lion lever is locked into position.
"And now the wolf I guess..." - Breanna, pulling the final lever.
And the door opens!
 "Hooray!" - Breanna, letting her excitement getting the better of her.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The door swings open and a foul stench emanates from the room beyond. Despite the party's flames, they cannot see much of anything inside. Maebh casts a Flare into the room. With a cacophony of shrieks, the Flare blasts apart one of the room's denizens. The spell lights up the room, showing a number of Tahlun.

Like a three foot tall cross between a rat-man and a lizardman. Sort of like kobolds. Sort of. They're vermin. I should have artwork of the various creatures whihc most would find unfamiliar fairly soon.

Well as soon as I can get Lady Darkmoon to do it.

"Forward!" - Harold, brandishing his axe and torch.
 Maebh and Kel'Serrar remain where they are, trying to eliminate as many of the Tahlun as possible before they mob the Invarrian. Breanna however stays back, quietly cursing to herself about why she opened the door.
Maebh's second Flare blasts into the wall, causing the Tahlun to cower against the walls and scream in fear. Kel'Serrar manages to set his arrow on fire but just misses when he shoots. Harold on the other hand runs towards two of the Tahlun which are huddled together against the wall. He gets a critical hit and utterly butchers one of them with his axe.

The other one grabs its rusty knife and attempts to shove it into the dog-man's ribs. Harold avoids the strike. Three more Tahlun attack the Invarrian, two of them hitting him, but both strikes are parried easily by the old duellist, who counters, killing another.

Three Tahlun remain engaged with Harold, while two more huddle in the corner of the room. Maebh attempts to kill those two with another Flare, but she misses, blasting the stone wall yet again. Kel'Serrar shoots and kills one of those two after Maebh's Flare, transfixing it with a flaming arrow. The other one gives a wild scream of pain and anguish before trying to run past the mage and ranger to escape.

Harold has a lot of trouble hitting the little creatures, obviously used to fighting taller opponents. Of the three Tahlun attacking Harold, only one of them hits, but the Invarrian easily parries. The last one, trying to escape, runs straight at Maebh, who braces her spear and leaves it gargling blood upon the stony ground, leaving only the three on Harold.

"Please don't shoot one with a flaming arrow!" - Harold.
 "Ok then, I'll shoot one with a normal arrow." - Kel'Serrar muttering to himself.
One of the Tahlun falls with an arrow in the back of its head, killing it instantly, leaving only two. Maebh charges into the fray and between her and Harold they quickly account for the two of them, one of which is more or less decapitated by Harold's torch.

We were left wondering whether this fight consisted of Harold wading in with fire and sword like Strider on Amon Sul, striking down his lesser opponents with great skill, or whether it was really a massive six foot tall dog-man swiping wildly at the child-sized little lizard people shouting, "Go away! Go away!" at the top of his lungs.

It can be seen after the battle that the Tahlun are malnourished and ill, their skin drawn tight across their bones. At first glance the room appears empty but the group swiftly finds five crudely fashioned trapdoors built into the floor. Harold opens the first one and out springs a little Tahlun pup which launches up into Harold's face. There is small panic before they realise that it has dropped to the ground and is dead. Inside the cavity in the ground, they can see many dead pups which look as if they've starved to death.

"The pups must be pretty hungry." - Harold, thinking of his little marcwolf with its head poking out of his pack.
Harold and Breanna feed their pups on some of the little Tahlun pups, the sound of brittle bones snapping in the mouths of the marcwolves punctuating the group's efforts to open the other trapdoors. Three other trapdoors contain more dead Tahlun pups, however one contains a small stash of what the Tahlun considered precious items.

The cavity contains:
 Two shortswords which Harold straps to his back leading to the group making comments regarding how Harold is now a walking armoury.
A pair of leather bracers which Harold also picks up.
An old flimsy quiver with 10 arrows for Kel'Serrar.
 12 coppers which are split evenly between the party, excluding Maebh.
 2 sulvers which Maebh takes, threatening the others with flaming death if they argue.

It took a long time to divide the loot as it really did seem as if no one wanted to take the swords.

Maebh makes a harrowing discovery, finding that a fair few of the dead Tahlun pups seem to have been at least partially eaten already, indicating that the adults had practiced cannibalism to some extent in their starved states.

There is a doorway straight ahead which is to be pushed open, which Harold shoves open with small difficulty. Ahead of the group is a large hallway. Over two hundred paces straight ahead, there can be seen a massive stone gateway. To the right there are two smaller stone doors and to the left there is another. The left door has already been opened. They notice that this doorway has been completely blasted open by magical fire, as evidenced by the black charring around the doorway itself.

The hallway is quite bare, likely having been plundered in the past. The walls however are covered in intricate carvings, many of which appear to be the written form of some unknown language, however a few of the friezes are of a pictorial nature. Maebh and Harold inspect the walls and find that, along with the written inscriptions, the pictures tell a story.

"On this side, the wall shows the rise of these people." - Dev, while inspecting the friezes on the left side of the hallway.
The left wall shows what seems to be the rise of a civilisation as the people, who resemble human children in appearance, began to develop metallurgy and magic along with other technologies. Over time, their structures begin to grow greater and greater, reaching to the sky, towering over all else that had come before.

"Right, well this is their fall. It looks like they switched their type of magic from either Spirit or Arcane magic to Black magic." - Maebh, inspecting the other side.
The right wall shows what happened to these people over time, as they were overcome with a lust for power. Many slipped from practicing the safe magics of spirits and the earth, and into the arts of black magic. Inexperienced summoners began to wreak havoc upon their homeland as the daemons which they tried to bind broke loose. The last frieze shows a barren wasteland.
"So this is a cautionary tale against the use of Black magic." - Harold.
The group's debate is interrupted by what sounds like sobbing from within the blown up room on their left. They stride forwards with weapons ready, Harold at the fore. The room appears to have been set aflame, the stone literally melting and running down the walls. At the end of the room there is, what appears to be, a tunnel, crudely hewn out of the rocky walls. The tracks lead into this tunnel. It also seems as if it is the cause of the sobbing. Harold notices the tunnel appears to have been slowly scratched out by bare hands, as evidenced by the caked blood dried around the mouth. What’s more, the tunnel seems to be more of a short cave, the end of it only five feet back from the wall.
At this point a man comes lurching out from the cave towards Harold, growling and gargling, hands outstretched with fingertips worn down to bone claws. He is quick, but ungainly, gnashing his teeth and assaulting furiously. He wears no armour and few clothes, but seems beyond physical pain, his skin badly charred and burnt, almost rotting on his body.

The Corpsewalker misses with all of its attacks before Breanna attempts to attack it with her new shiny dagger, but fails to do much in the way of damage. Maebh throws a Flare at the creature and sets it on fire, blasting it with a ball of fire. Kel'Serrar's arrow flies across the chamber and strikes the opposite wall. Harold manages to cause a fair bit of damage with his axe, striking its left arm off at the elbow.

Breanna fails to hit it after it flails at Harold wildly, and Maebh blasts another chunk out of it with yet another Flare. Kel'Serrar misses again, before Harold is forced to Parry. He does so, but fails. Luckily his mail shirt is up to the task of negating the damage.
In an attempt to blow it up, Maebh loses control of her magic and finds herself temporarily blinded.
In the end Harold finishes it off with two powerful strikes from both axe and torch, the latter of which sends the Corpsewalker’s crushed head flying off its shoulders. It falls to the ground, dead at last.

Aside from the Corpsewalker afflicted, the room is empty aside from the remains of many creatures, including some humanoids, which appear to have been torn apart and gnawed clean.
After a short discussion about splitting the party, they decide its bad idea.
“If we split up the party, it would be a bad idea, cause we’d be splitting up the party.” – Harold, taken out of context for massive laughs.
They decide to go with the door on the right, furthest from the passageway they entered from earlier. The heavy stone door appears to require pushing open. Harold and Maebh attempt to push the door open, both straining against the hard rock. After minutes of pushing, the stone door slowly swings open. The hallway beyond is exceptionally long, with almost one hundred doorways on either side of the hallway. Each doorway leads into a small room, each with a desk made of stone and a large slab of stone in the corner, likely beds. The rooms seem to be little living areas.

The party spends several hours searching the rooms, but come up mainly empty-handed, finding many ancient books written in an unknown language and a small silver chain, set with a grey stone pendant and set with a single blue sapphire.

Maebh’s issues with blindness pass somewhere in here.
Maebh recognises the pendant as a Focus Stone, which will help her attune to her magic more easily.

An extended break where we laugh at Dev’s awful accents until Lady Darkmoon reminds us that we are still recording. Dev, I will put it up on Youtube for the world to laugh at. Live in fear.
Now, early in the afternoon, the group sits down in the main hall and has lunch. Harold lights a fire using the smashed up lids of two trapdoors from the Tahlun nest.

After lunch, they approach the last doorway. Maebh decides to try and blast it open with her magic. Her attempt does not blast them open, but she does knock a hole in them. Inside, they hear a yell of surprise.

“Now would be a good time to display your charming nature.” – Kel’Serrar to Harold.
“You want him to punch the door?” – I can’t resist.
“Who’s in there?” – Harold, yelling inquisitively if it can be imagined.
 “We’re a party from Summer Hill! I take it you aren’t Corpsewalkers?”- The reply from inside.
“No. We’ve been sent from Summer Hill to find you.” – Harold.
 The occupants of the room hurry to unbar the door and-
“DIE!!!!” – Dev eliciting much laughter.

The band inside is made up of three Midlanders, a Feartarbh and a Roanfaille, all of which are armed and at least lightly armoured. The party immediately notice that this sort of equipment is not the kind which one would usually find in the possession of townsmen.
Harold can tell just by the way in which one of the Midlanders is standing that the man is a duellist of some skill. Then he realises as the man steps forward with his hand upon his sword, he knows him.
“Harold Oakenshield, we meet again.” – Barnan MacSilver.
 He immediately draws his sword.
“This is the last time we shall meet in this life Oakenshield. I owed you a debt last we met, but no more. Draw your sword and test it against mine.” – Barnan MacSilver.
 “Can we not wait until we get back to Summer Hill and then sort this all out?” – Harold, remembering he lost the last duel.
“No. This is the last time we meet, Oakenshield.” – Barnan.
Harold looks around the room, taking in the other band.
“Is it alright with you lot if we engage in an honour duel right here?” – Harold.
 The general consensus is a “Yeah, alright. If you have to.”
“If you both stay together, this can still be the last time you meet....” – Kel’Serrar, trying to find a loophole.
“As long as you’re both together, you still haven’t ‘technically’ ended this meeting...” – Kel’Serrar.
 The Northern duellist is not exactly the cleverest of fellows. His expression darkens. He studies Kel’Serrar with a look of confusion before finally,
“Shut up! We fight today.” – Barnan.
 “But-“ – Kel’Serrar.
 “SHUT UP!” – Barnan.
Quite a bit of laughter, probably at my horrendous Scottish accent. I usually try to give the characters different voices but I get a bit nervous with the whole group around. I’d do it if it weren’t for Lady Darkmoon. She has a vicious tongue.

Harold takes up his sword and axe.
Barnan in turn is armed with an arming sword and targe and clad in a leather jerkin and rough-spun woollen garments. He draws his sword, readies his small spiky shield and prepares for Harold’s onslaught.
Both parties stand back to allow the two duellists some room.

Barnan is a character of Dev's creation, mentioned in Harold's backstory as a primary antagonist. Harold spared the man's life after they fought the first time, prompting Barnan to do so in turn as a matter of honour upon winning the second duel. He swore then that the next time they faced each other would be the last.

Somehow, their paths have crossed once more.

I made this character very close to Harold in ability and gave him a nasty weapon combination to deal with to make this quite tough. The plan was to have Barnan replace Harold as Dev's character if he won, but I hoped that would not have to happen.

Both of them are equal for three Initiative rolls in a row, taking a fair bit of time to eventually figure out. Harold finally wins out after some circling.
Using his new Duellist skills after levelling up at the end of the last session, Harold finds himself at a slight advantage.

There’s some discussion as to whether or not the others should help Harold. He doesn’t want any due to it being dishonourable to accept help in single combat. The others are happy to “accidentally” blow both of the combatants up. But they are dissuaded from doing so.

Harold opens up with a tearing cut from his axe across the Northman’s chest, which rips through the leather jerkin and into the flesh. Barnan strikes wildly back with his sword, missing but he follows up with his targe, forcing Harold back a few steps but the Invarrian dodges aside from the spike.

The two exchange blows for several minutes, each having difficulty breaking through the other’s defences. Barnan eventually does so, thrusting his sword into the Invarrian twice. After a few more minutes of frantic fighting, Barnan overpowers Harold, causing him to drop his axe. Bleeding from his stab wounds and taking in ragged breaths, Harold jumps back, holding his sword downwards in the signal for respite.

“I need a break.” – Harold, gasping for breath.
 “How long do you need?” – Barnan, angry and also breathing heavily.
 “Until we stop bleeding.” – Harold, positive towards his friends’ healing abilities, despite all prior experience.
 “That’s a substantial break you’re asking for...” – Barnan, hesitant to agree.
“I’d prefer this duel to be decided by one masterstroke as it were, rather than one of us bleeding out.” – Harold, grimly defiant.
I raise the point that bleeding out is sort of the definition of a duel. Everyone bleeds out. It's just blood. Everywhere. Very messy. I have seen this. I have done this. You do not want this.

Kel’Serrar immediately takes his bandages to Harold’s stab wounds, trying to staunch the bleeding. No matter what sort of bandaging is going on, internal injuries are going to need more than just bandages. Even ones made of poison sumac. The hasty first aid helps Harold out, a little at any rate.

Both combatants having been touched up, Harold and Barnan leap back into the fray, Harold with his two newly acquired shortswords and Barnan with his sword and targe. They circle each other once more before Barnan tries to ram the Invarrian with his shield once more, the dog-man once again side-stepping easily. Harold’s return attack clips the man’s arm, drawing blood but not causing any lasting damage. In return the Northman’s sword cleaves through bandages, chain hauberk and flesh, gashing Harold from shoulder to hip, driving him to his knees. With a roar of pain, the Invarrian drives one of his blades through the Northman’s torso, bearing him to the ground before falling on his side beside him, bleeding profusely. Harold, with the last of his strength crawls over to the fallen Barnan.

“You played a great game my friend. Rest in peace.” – Harold, before closing the dead man’s eyes.

Jokes about how a dying man would be pretty pissed off about having his eyes closed before he dies. “I’m feeling much better!” “It’s just a flesh wound.”
We’re all Monty Python fanatics.

Harold collapses as Barnan breaths his last.

Kel’Serrar prepares to bandage him by dragging the Invarrian off the dead Northman. The other group work towards closing the door up again.

Two groups of murder-hobos locked in a small underground room. This should end well....

The first man they notice is taciturn, tall and seems to be quite strong. He has short black hair of a ragged cut, a short trimmed beard and dark green eyes. He also has a scar which runs from the corner of his left eye to the edge of his jaw and his nose seems badly broken. Bound around his upper right arm is a bloodstained bandage. At his belt hangs a longsword and a bow is slung over his shoulder.
The next is a clean-shaven Midlander, and the leader of the party. His accent betrays a southern heritage, as does his tanned skin. Of middling height, he has long brown hair which is tied back and piercing blue eyes. His nose is prominent, but he seems to be a cheerful and friendly sort of fellow. Clad in grey, he bears a sword and dagger, and despite some rips and tears in his clothing, seems to be unharmed.

They next notice a heavy-set Roanfaille, easily picked as such by his dark skin and prominent red-ink tattoos. Tall, he has long brown hair which is thickly braided and dark eyes. His demeanour screams mercenary, as does his equipment, which is baroque and extravagant. His cheek bears the sigil of a red stallion rampant, which is the mark of one of the clans of the Norbayne Roanfaille. His plate harness is bloodstained, as is the bandage wrapped around his forehead, but he seems to be in little pain.

Lastly, they focus on the massively built Feartarbh. By his shaggy brown coat, it is likely he is from the northern Midlands, so it is possible he comes from around Summer Hill. Built with slabs of muscle on an exceptionally sturdy frame, he bears two massive horns upon his head. These horns coupled with his height necessitate him stooping when inside the ruins to avoid getting entangled or at the very least, making rasping noises as the horns scrape along the bare rock. Despite his size, he seems to be quite gentle, likely at least until his friends are threatened, in which case he would likely put both his horns and his maul to good use.

The other group, who are far more physically impressive. And they seem to be far less stingy with their employer's money.

After some time, Harold manages to fight his way through the haze of pain and finds himself leaning up against a smooth stone wall.
“Who leads you?” – Harold, gasping in pain.
The man in grey steps forward and gives the dog-man and his companions a beaming smile.
“I am Mordra Goldshine, leader of this group. That was brilliantly fought sir.” – Mordra, winking at the grizzled Invarrian.
 “Oh, it’s one of those.” – Maebh, in a far too conspicuous whisper.
 “Thank you. Now tell me, what’s happening here?” – Harold, wincing in pain.
Mordra informs them that they were sent out to look for a special stone, as Summer Hill is in danger of being taken over by the neighbouring kingdom of Elspeth. So, Petyr Rangard sent them out to look for it. Since then, Corpsewalkers have just spontaneously appeared in the area, flooding the countryside, so the group shut themselves in the room, unable to escape.

“But enough of such matters, what of your own story?” – Mordra.
“We set out from Summer Hill in the morning and came across a ruined carriage on the road which had been set upon by at least one marcwolf. We tracked the beast back to its cave, and killed both of the adults, leaving us with the two pups. During the night we were attacked by bandits, but we fought them off. We found this note on one of their bodies.” – Harold, passing the man the note given to Maebh by the bandit leader.
 “I do not recognise the hand, nor the name, but it would probably be to the good to follow it up.” – Mordra, handing the note back.
“The next morning we woke up to the realisation that we didn’t have enough supplies-” – Harold, continuing.
“Shouldn’t that be any supplies?”
 “I’m trying to word this positively!” – Dev
 “That was the optimistic version of events?”

Harold proceeds to inform the Midlander of the ensuing events. When informed of Maebh’s discovery in the living quarters, Harold’s keen eyes notice that Mordra’s fists slightly clench, his eyes widen and his jaw clenches, almost imperceptibly.
An impeccable pass of a Perception Check on Harold’s part there.
“And then of course, we couldn’t get through a door and we had to blast our way through.” – Harold.
 The two share a laugh, if somewhat pained on Harold’s part.

“Kel’Serrar, I want you to keep an eye on him. But don’t shoot him, not yet anyway.” – Harold, to Kel’Serrar on the side after both leaders have gone to their respective parties.
At this point we get helplessly sidetracked for at least five minutes as a long-standing point of contention is brought up yet again. Lady Darkmoon and I have quite strong South Australian accents, which in my own voice sounds quite whiny and annoying, or sexy, deep and masculine, depending upon whom you bring it up with. This is in stark contrast to the others, who are all Queenslanders.

As such, LD and I both say the word, ‘chance,’ like ‘charnce,’ while the others use what I have termed the American pronunciation. It’s mainly Ladyhawk and I who end up discussing how strange we find each other’s accent, but this time we dragged the others into it, Dev in particular who is a master at the art of the cop-out.

They say ‘mandareen,’ we say ‘mandarin.’ Sins informed us that was a language. Dev said something which sounded like mandrill. I informed him that was a baboon. We have fun. But we all secretly despise each other.
We did attempt to get back to it, mainly through Dev’s efforts, but this was in vain as he mispronounced Ladyhawk’s character’s name (Ray-ve instead of May-ve) and then tried to claim that pronunciation was not important anyway. Yes, Gyeorg. (Bonus points if you can actually guess what his real name is from that phonetic iteration of my mangled pronunciation.)
Back to the action.

 “Oh and Maebh, you might want to hide that necklace. Oh and don’t stab them yet either Breanna, we might need them.” – Harold, whispering to Maebh and Breanna.
 “Don’t worry, I’ll probably miss anyway.” – Breanna, muttering to herself.
Harold also gives Mordra the letter Rangard gave him. Mordra breaks the seal and reads the letter in a small shard of mirror he fishes out of his backpack. Whatever he reads, he musn’t like it as he crumples it up and turns back to his own group.
“My thanks.” – Mordra, walking back to his own people on the other side of the room.
 There is furious whispering and many furtive glances being thrown back at Harold and his companions.

After some conversation, Harold decides to catch some sleep, thinking that the more rest he gets, the quicker he will heal. The rest just lounge around, using the time to recover from an eventful past few days.

While Kel’Serrar sits against one of the walls, the other party’s ranger takes him aside.

"I have somewhat of importance to tell you." – Eradan Blackstar, furtively to Kel’Serrar.
"Just a few days ago, as you know, we were almost overrun by Corpsewalkers. They just came out of nowhere. One day the land was quiet, peaceful. The next we were surrounded by scores of them. We cut down a fair number, but eventually we were forced back and barricaded ourselves in here, slowly running out of supplies as they hammered at our door."
 He gives a racking sob which quickly turns into a harsh, thick cough.
 "I confess to you that I went down amongst them in the final moments of that battle. I've been bitten. I can feel it welling up within me. I have not long left to live as myself. I would end it myself, but there is something worrying I must share with you. The Southron over there, he was also bitten. I saw it with my own eyes, yet somehow I doubt he has the conviction to end himself." - Eradan Blackstar with a grim smile
"It is far too great a risk to allow us all to live, for you will not know until it is too late that one of them has deceived you. I will help you put them all to the sword. And then you must kill me. It is the only way." - Eradan, deadly serious
“This is too important for me to make the decision right now. Let me inform the others.” – Kel’Serrar.

The others discuss the situation, trying to discern whether or not Eradan is telling the truth. While discussing it, they decide to observe their erstwhile companions and see what sort of armaments they're packing. The Feartarbh is carrying a big two handed maul and wearing rough leathers. Judging by the feathers and charms hanging off him, he's probably a shaman. The Roanfaille bears a scimitar and a tall, unadorned tower shield. He is clad in a chain hauberk and bloodstained plate. In his turn, Goldshine carries a sword and dagger and wears a chain hauberk.

They discuss their chances taking on the other party head on.
"We can't win, can we?" - Maebh, shaking her head.
"I agree with your assessment regarding our chances of success." - Harold, blinking sleep out of his eyes.
"They're too well armed." - Maebh.
"Yes." - Harold, nodding. "We need more information. Kel'Serrar, you are skilled at healing. They are injured. I think you should offer your services. And then you get to see their wounds."
There's a reason he was elected as leader.
They decide that as a contingency they should run outside. They consider Kel'Serrar conducting his 'check-ups' out in the corridor where its more easily defended, or perhaps outside on the horse-drawn wagon so they can outrun them if there's any hostility. Not that the poor horse could outrun anything in a serious chase while loaded down with four people and their supplies.

They discuss how long they should stay in the ruins as their supplies are running low. They then discuss how long they have before they will need to kill the others. They find out from Blackstar, who might not be a completely reliable source of information on this matter, that they have maybe two days more before the other party starts succumbing to the virus.

Breanna suggests having one of the players offer to take sentry duty for the night and then go kill all of the other group while they sleep, something which makes perfect sense for the assassin, however the others are a bit hesitant, not wanting to kill any innocents.

Maebh then suggests to Kel'Serrar that he should check out Blackstar's wound so the ranger has a good idea what to look for when he checks over the other party.

After a bit more discussion, Kel'Serrar heads over to the other party who are keeping to themselves over in a corner.
"I see some of you bear injuries. I have some skill at healing. Perhaps I may be of assistance?" - Kel'Serrar, guileless as possible.
 The other party looks at him warily, but they can't refuse free treatment. Mordra Goldshine eventually nods.
"Our thanks I guess. Where do you want to do this, friend?" - Goldshine.
"Well, we've set up camp here and leaving might be dangerous. Might as well do it here." - Kel'Serrar.

He gets to work. The Roanfaille refuses to let Kel'Serrar take off his hauberk, so the ranger is unable to inspect his torso and upper arms, however there are plenty of exposed scratches, including a cut on the man's head which looks to be becoming infected, which Kel'Serrar cleans and bandages.

The massive Feartarbh on the other hand is happy to let the Danann at his wounds, and has at least three bites on his body. In addition to this he is covered in scratches and other injuries.

Mordra comes over and seems fine at first, but his bravado dies down once he gets close to the ranger and is forced to remove his armour, revealing a massive bite mark on his shoulder.

While this is happening Harold tries to find a staff to lean on, eventually deciding on Maebh's spear, which she grudgingly hands over.

After the check-ups, Harold then takes Mordra outside the room to the massive stone doorway at the end of the main hall, hoping to have a private word.
"Do you have any idea how to open this? - Harold, leaning heavily on Maebh's spear. His exertions from the duel earlier have taken a lot out of him.

The rest he managed to gather and Kel'Serrar's ministrations have helped considerably, but he's still getting around on very little health. Breanna's has improved somewhat over time, as has Kel'Serrar's, but that being said, neither of them had that much to begin with. Maebh on the other hand, is still running around with minimal burns from her two magical backlashes.

"Actually, I have the key." - Mordra, pulling said key out a pocket.
The key is a small, shield shaped block of stone with an unidentified gem set into it.
"Sparkly?" - Lady Darkmoon
 "Pretty?" - Ladyhawk, practically simultaneously.

 "Can you open it then?" - Harold.
 "No, I don't know what's in there. We've heard some unnatural noises." - Mordra, shaking his head and putting the key back in his pocket.
"Well then, I think I'll go back to Summer Hill with my companions and come back with more men so we can take on whatever is in there. In the meantime, I think you should barricade yourselves again in the room we're staying in at the moment." - Harold.
 "Well now you're with us, we should go back with you! We were only in there because we couldn't risk trying to break through the horde. But they've all disappeared, and now you're all here. We might as well all get out together." - Mordra.
"Uh-oh." - Lady Darkmoon.
 Harold thinks for a bit, furiously trying to come up with a way to stall for time.

I can barely hear what Dev says here because he mumbles something awful, but it sounded like, "Before we leave, we need more information."
"Before we leave, we need more information. My compatriots will take this corridor, and you can take the room. We'll barricade ourselves in and you do the same." - Harold, indicating the abandoned living quarters for his own group.
Mordra agrees to this plan, nodding, and then strides back into the room, leaving Harold to hobble as best he can.

Upon making it back to the room, Harold discusses the plan with his companions, having them relocate to the living quarters. They decide quickly that there is no one in Summer Hill which would be able to help them. They then consider using the levers at the doorway at the beginning to lay a trap, however they soon realise that this is just not possible.
Lady Darkmoon suggests using poison sumac to kill them, slowly choking them to death with their own bandages. The idea is quickly shot down as poison sumac is not available.
"So why not use normal sumac?" - Ladyhawk, with a laugh.

They eventually decide that procrastinating is not getting them anywhere. It is mid-afternoon, when Harold hobbles back to the doorway of the room and asks Mordra to come out, who refuses. Harold demands the key, but the Midlander lays his hand on his sword and tells the Invarrian to take it from him.

Harold walks outside, requesting his group comes outside to the wagon with him. All of them are now outside. Breanna and Harold deposit their marcwolf pups in the wagon, giving them a quick pat on the head and a small piece of dried meat to keep them satisfied.

Maebh considers blasting apart the doorway with her magic in order to cause the whole thing to come crashing down.
"There are footsteps coming from the tunnel behind us." - Maebh, hearing footsteps.

Harold immediately directs everyone into positions. Kel'Serrar stands above the doorway with an arrow nocked to his bow and Breanna and Maebh stand on either side of the door. Harold himself stands, leaning on Maebh's spear, in front of the wagon, the only person in view of whoever comes out of the tunnel.

A running Eradan Blackstar comes racing out of the tunnel, a slight limp barely noticeable in his gait.
"You aren't leaving are you?" - Eradan, gasping with pain.
"No." - Harold.
 "Ah good. I was worried. I can't kill them all by myself." - Eradan.
"Could you possibly tell me the story again please, for my benefit?" - Harold.

So the ranger, bewildered, relates the story once more, detailing his own injuries and the Roanfaille's wound too. He explains that he hasn't killed himself yet, because he can't countenance leaving these lands in such danger, knowing that the others would not have the dignity to kill themselves.

To Harold's eyes, the man is severely stressed, which could be because he is lying, however the story does match up with what Kel'Serrar told him earlier.

"Alright then, Eradan, new plan. Run back in there and tell them I have changed my mind and we are leaving. And then get back out here." - Harold.
"Ok then, I'll be the first one out. I'll make sure." - Eradan, nervous.
He heads back inside.

Maebh readies two Flares, one in either hand. Breanna stands ready with her dagger and Kel'Serrar sets fire to his arrow, holding it ready. Harold meanwhile simply braces his borrowed spear.
They hear running footsteps from the tunnel and Harold can see Eradan running out, looking rather terrified. From inside comes a wild roar and out rushes...
 The Roanfaille. Chasing the Midlander ranger with his sword and shield in hand.

Some discussion about whether or not it is acceptable to call him black. This is the man they are considering blowing apart with fireballs. I personally don't think the fictional character cares whether or not they insult him.

Maebh lets loose with both Flares, one singeing him and the other blasting into his abdomen, putting a great dent into his armour and leaving him smoking and writhing in pain on the ground.

Breanna finally gets to put her backstabbing skills to good use, almost sawing off his head while trying to slit his throat.
"Yay, I'm so happy!" - Lady Darkmoon.
Then out comes the Feartarbh....
"****...." - Practically everyone, more or less simultaneously.

Manius Longhorn comes out of the tunnel and sees the partially decapitated corpse of his friend lying on the ground, with the dagger-wielding Leathe assassin next to him. He hefts his maul, but not before Kel'Serrar looses his arrow.
He misses something awful.
"Can I throw her spear?" - Harold.
 "If you break my spear, I'll kill you!" - Maebh, furious.
 Harold hurls Maebh's spear at the Feartarbh, sending the heavy blade ripping through the shaman's chest. He's not dead. He roars in pain and turns his attention from Breanna towards Harold instead. On the other hand, to do so involves going through the Leathe.

She manages to tuck and roll out of the way. Just.

But now he's really angry and is running towards Harold.
"Oh thank the gods." - Breanna, very thankful.
The shaman tries to use his magic to call down a heatwave in the immediate area, but fails to do so.
Maebh tries to hit him with a Flare, but her magic causes some problems again, burning her slightly, but still hitting the Feartarbh with the ball of flame. It doesn't distract him from his target.

Harold stands his ground before the raging eight foot tall Feartarbh, thinking to grasp the spear in its chest and twist it out of his body.

And then we had to call it quits cause Sins had to go.
So we left it there.
The Wrap-Up:
What a bloody cliffhanger. :D

We played the next session the night after I finished writing this out the first time and had a lot of fun.

Anyway, cheers everyone, hope you all enjoyed 1.2.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 01:54:18 AM by Phoenixguard09 »
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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2015, 03:32:38 PM »


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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2015, 02:55:58 PM »
Is that a good thing mate? :P
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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2015, 03:10:27 PM »
Aye it is. :)


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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2015, 03:31:47 PM »
I've already read it over on the other forum but as you know I think it's awesome :D
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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2015, 06:32:37 PM »
Session 1.3: Exploration in the Black Pit

Welcome back everyone, :D

This session was delayed for almost an hour while we waited for Dev to show up. And once we started Dev tried to jump on BloodBowl for a game and the two girls wouldn't get off their iPods. It all got better eventually and we got into it.

Dev changed his mind regarding what he was going to do with his action. He considers throwing his axe at the Feartarbh, but thinks better of it, deciding throwing Breanna at it might be a better idea. He quickly finds out that she is not close at hand.

As an aside, this might be the first time I have ever been forced to say that the minotaur is between you and the possum you want to throw at it.

Harold takes up his axe and sword and stands ready before it.

He did think about charging it, prompting me to say, "I thought grabbing the spear out of it was stupid."
 "Why not though? He is barking mad." - Sins

Kel'Serrar tries to shoot it but misses from his vantage point on top of the doorway.

Breanna meanwhile just stands where she rolled aside to, despite Harold's frantic requests for help.

Turning around, Eradan Blackstar draws his sword and stands beside Harold, ready to take the shaman's charge.

The Feartarbh crashes into Harold and his new-found friend. Despite a negative to his Agility, Harold manages to sidestep, but Blackstar is not so lucky, taking the Feartarbh's massive horns in the stomach and is thrown to the ground, choking on blood. Longhorn then tries to hit Harold with his maul, but Harold is slightly too quick for the huge weapon.

Maebh blasts two flaming craters into the Feartarbh's back, finally bringing him down.

You need to remember that he already took a fair bit of damage from her earlier attack and Harold's spearthrow.

Thanks to her Talents, Maebh's Destruction spells are now significantly buffed. Flares are now doing D10+ about 5 Damage for Maebh, not including the burning Damage the fire spells inflict.

Maebh strides over to the dead Feartarbh, ignoring Harold's frantic shouts to stay in position. She compromises by going over there anyway and grabbing her spear, but then starting to walk back to her spot.
Failed Perception Checks all round.

An arm tightens in a vice-like grip around Breanna's neck and a swordblade held to her throat.

"Now you're all going to let me go, or we'll all see what colour her blood is." - Mordra, using the Leathe as a shield.
"We've already seen it!" - Maebh, stalling for time as she sees that, critically, Goldshine has not noticed Kel'Serrar standing above him.
"Ok, you want to cut her throat. Why should we care?" - Harold.
 "Hey!" - Breanna, indignant.
"I'm role-playing!" - Dev.
 "So am I!" - Lady Darkmoon.

 "Do you realise you're going to be a mindless walking corpse in a few days!?" - Harold.
 "No I won't be!" - Mordra, in denial.
 "You're in denial!" - Maebh, still stalling.
There is some discussion here where Ladyhawk gets slightly confused regarding in-game and out-of-game relationships and Dev suggests that he, as Harold, doesn't really care about whether or not Breanna carks it.

In the interest of fostering inter-party spirit I point out that they have known each other for about a week now and have fought together.
"Well, he fought and I watched." - LD
 "Not helping!"

Harold tries to subtly hobble over with his sabre drawn.
"No further! I want to get out of here alive. Stand aside!" - Goldshine, frantic.
An opportunity here for Breanna to finally use her magic. We finally get to see the power of Black Magic.

Arm against her throat, Mordra doesn't realise Breanna going slightly limp as she focusses on calling up the daemon within her, nor the subsequent tensing as she starts to squeeze the power out of the daemon she has trapped.

A successful Calling Check to trap a Level 1 daemon, garnering her 6 Power Dice she has available to use until she releases the daemon back into the Otherworld. She uses three of these to power her spell. This was far more than she needed, but she wanted to be sure of getting the required casting value.

A thunderous catamount wailing erupts from the tunnel behind Goldshine.
Lady Darkmoon cast Phantom Noise, asking specifically for the "roar" of a mountain lion.

The wailing shrieking meow startles Goldshine, prompting him to weaken his grip around Breanna's throat. She bites his hand and he lets go of her, letting her fall to the ground. Seeing that Breanna is on the ground at her assailant's feet, Maebh refrains from casting a Flare at him as Harold, standing in front of the wagon and draught horse, considers his options.

"Can I cut the horse and smack it on the arse so it charges forward?" - Dev figuring out what he can do.
 "Excuse me, that's my horse." - Ladyhawk enraged.
"Smack it on the butt with the flat of my blade..." - Dev, not following her point of contention.
 "After you cut it..." - Me, pointing out the obvious.
 "Oh I meant whatever's tying it to the cart." - Dev.
 "But then you wouldn't be able to tie it back up."
 "Fine, untie it then." - Dev.
 "If the horse dies, you're pulling the cart." - Ladyhawk.

Harold manages to free the horse from the yoke of the wagon.

Successful Dexterity Check to do it in time.

"11, I mean 12, I mean 21... 17." - Dev getting thoroughly confused reading out the result of the D100 roll. We all laughed, even Dev.
"I'm just shouting out random numbers by this stage!" - Dev, mocking himself.

The horse stands there and looks at him, as if to say, "Thank you."
"Can I slap it on the arse now?" - Dev.
 Harold smacks the horse's rump with the flat of his blade and sends the draught horse bolting in a straight line towards the doorway. However it is not by any stretch a trained warhorse, so it shies away from the armed man and stands next to the doorway, skittish and wary of both Harold and the dark doorway.

Mordra attempts to attack the prone Leathe who manages to roll away from his wild sword strokes. Kel'Serrar then sends an arrow into the top of the Midlander's head, burying it to the fletching through his skull and into his neck. Goldshine falls to the ground, very dead.

Upon the Midlander's death, Maebh goes to comfort the horse and hitch it back up to the wagon.

And everyone goes up a level! And there was much rejoicing....
The other party is now all dead. The only one which is not completely dead is Eradan Blackstar who is lying in great agony upon the ground not far from where Harold is standing. Harold goes over to the wounded man and kneels beside him.

"Is there any way you particularly want to die?" - Harold, steeling himself for what must be done.
 *Incomprehensible choking noises of pain* - Blackstar, who has, let's face it, been momentarily impaled by about three feet of Feartarbh horn.
"Alrighty then." - Ladyhawk, mock cheerful.
Then follows, in hindsight, what might be the strangest conversation I have ever been part of. Dev puts forward that he should stab him in the chest, something Ladyhawk contests, believing his head should be struck off to make it quick.

Instead of the usual points of contention, namely the desecration of the corpse that course of action entails, Dev counters with the fact that decapitation is not a "big thing" in most cultures, whatever that means. Sins and I then point out that decapitation was in fact, a very common form of execution throughout the ages of our world. This goes on for many minutes, before Dev relents.

Harold takes up his sword and partially decapitates the mortally wounded ranger, leaving the head attached by a scrap of skin as a mark of respect.

In reality a Japanese tradition if my memory serves me correctly, however in Norbayne it seems like a Danann notion.

While he does this, Breanna releases the daemon she has harnessed within her.

It is late in the afternoon and the party then sets about to the main business of the day: Looting the dead.

Harold goes through Mordra's belongings and finds the letter from Petyr Rangard, reading it in the man's mirror.
I know what you planned to do. The deal is off.

"Hey, friends come listen to this." - Harold. He then reads the letter.
"What?" - Breanna.
"That's it." - Harold.
"You're joking. We don't get our money?" - Maebh, despondent.
 "No, no. They don't get their money." - Harold.
 "Oh good." - Maebh, satisfied. She then turns to Mordra's corpse. "Ha ha, we get yours too."
 "Well we've done our job. Our job was to contact them." - Harold, summing everything up.
"So now we just have to find the guy who owes us money, I suppose?"- Maebh.
 "Admit it, you're curious. You want to find out what's behind that big door don't you?" - Kel'Serrar.
"I do!" - Harold. "Okay then, people, let's do this."
 "Well we've got the key now. It's currently in the hands of our assassin." - Kel'Serrar, indicating that the shield-shaped stone was pilfered by the light-fingered Breanna after Goldshine's unfortunate run-in with Kel'Serrar's arrow.
 "So all we need to do is convince her to unlock the door."- Kel'Serrar.
Harold pulls forth a torch from his pack.
 "Let's do this." - Harold. He then holds his torch out to Maebh expectantly, who lights it with a conjured flame from her hand.
He takes a few steps and realises that he needs some extra support. So he finds Longhorn's maul in the tray of the wagon and hacks off the head, fashioning a long oaken walking staff for himself.

"You can even rename yourself Harold Oakenstaff!"

They head inside. Both Kel'Serrar and Maebh halt at the doorway to the Main Hallway, both of them preparing actions. Kel'Serrar has an arrow nocked while Maebh has her Wall of Blades spell readied. Harold and Breanna move forwards until, at the centre of the room Harold stops. With a small hesitation, Breanna creeps toward the indent in the wall where the key needs to be placed.
There is a lot of fear that there's a hell of a lot of Corpsewalkers inside the doorway. So the plan is for Breanna to open the door and then scamper back with Harold behind Maebh who will bring up her Wall of Blades to hinder whatever is chasing them.

In Dev's words, discretion will be the better part of valour.

Ladyhawk raises a good point when Breanna reaches the centre of the room. How is the little Leathe going to open the massive stone doors? They discuss it for a bit before deciding that their best bet is to just place the key into position and see what happens.

Breanna places the shield-shaped key into the indent and gives the gem set into the key a slight press. The doors slowly but surely grind open.

She bolts for it, back to the relative safety of the two Danann.

The massive doorway reveals a huge black expanse before Harold, who walks towards it. Once upon the threshold, the flames of his torch reveal an elevated stone platform almost one hundred yards from the floor with two huge staircases leading down on either side. Almost two hundred yards from the base of the stairs is what appears to be a congregation of people bearing torches. It is unlikely they are Corpsewalkers as they are bearing torches, but Harold can't tell from where he is standing.

"Come over here." - Harold, beckoning the others over to the doorway. Maebh and Kel'Serrar stride over, Breanna a little more hesitantly.

The others suggest that Breanna go in under the cover of Shadowskin and scout out the chamber. With much grumbling, she attempts to call up another daemon and succeeds. She feels the same daemon as before start to well up within her, but it manages to slip free before she can properly get ahold of it. Using the power it granted her, she tries to cast but fails.

"Well you are an assassin. How about you just sneak in and stay out of the light?" - Harold.
"You remember what happened last time she tried that?" - Kel'Serrar. I'm not actually sure what he's referring to here but it was still funny.
"Oh yeah..." - Harold, turning to Breanna, "Go for it."
Shrugging, she tries to call up a daemon once more. This time she goes for a more powerful individual, but she loses control for a split second. A ghastly face made of orange light materialises in the air before her and emits a silent shriek before vanishing.

Panting, she tries once again. In her haste, she calls up the one from earlier. This time she gets a proper hold of him and manages to siphon off a significant amount of magical energy. The daemonic energy courses through her and hides her in a veil of shadows. In the uncertain light, the others lose track of her and Harold feels a light breeze on the back of his calf accompanied by very light footsteps.

"Drop my money now!" - Harold, indignant.
She has not stolen his money, but she specifically tells me she wanted to blow on his calf to freak him out.

With a quiet, unseen laugh she descends invisibly into the darkness.

Once down the stairs and upon the main floor, she creeps forward to see what she can. Staying outside the meagre light afforded by the torches, Breanna hides in the shadows and takes note of what she sees.

There is a ring of people, clad in dark red hooded robes, each bearing a torch in their hands and an identical curved knife at their wastes. They are all chanting in unison. The Leathe listens carefully and she cannot make out the words, nor the language used, but the tone is one of adoration, worship.

After her spying mission, Breanna heads back to the rest of the party, making a weird croaking noise in the back of her throat to try and freak the others out.
"Kill it with fire!" - Harold.
 Before they can swing, Breanna begins to laugh and she reappears between them.

"My response is condescension." - Sins.
 "I am being condescending. Condescension, condescension, condescension." - Dev, with a laugh.
I was sure Dev was going to say condensation. "I will spray drops of water at you!"

We move onwards.

"There was a group of people, not half-dead people, but people-people holding torches and chanting something in a language I could not understand. But it was not aggressive, it was kind of.... worshippy." - Breanna.

"And I do not care if that was illiterate. That is how you use the term illiterate Dev." - LD to much laughter. "Illiterate: To not be literate."
 "PG, how fond are you of your little sister?" - Dev.
 "Very fond. Do not kill me." - LD.
 "Uh... Moderately."
"MODERATELY!?" - LD, enraged.
 "So if I give her a quick death you'd be alright with that?" - Dev, questioning.
"No, slow and drawn out. I want to be able to say good-bye."
We wouldn't hurt her. Not permanently anyway.

Later I brought the matter to LD's attention that her use of the word illiterate was incorrect too. She brought another matter to my attention, namely that she did not care as she got a laugh at Dev's expense and that was all that mattered.

There is some debate as to whether or not it's worth going in there altogether. Eventually they decide to do so.

"Maebh, wait up here by the door with that Blade Wall ready." - Harold.
Maebh nods.
"Alright then, Maebh stay here, Kel'Serrar with me." - Harold. He then turns to Breanna. "You do whatever you like cause you're pretty much useless in a fight."
Breanna smiles and nods sheepishly.

This exchange was quite amusing given what is to come.

And here we go again, the last half of Session 1.3
Harold attempts to approach the group subtly.
The group throws synonyms at Dev for almost a minute here as he tries to describe his manner of movement.
"Succinctly is not the right word..." - Dev.
 "Stealthily?" - Sins.
 "Discretely?" - Ladyhawk.
 "Sneakily?" - Sins, channelling some Gollum.
"Quietly?" - Dev.
This continued for way longer than it had to before he finally settled on subtly. Not that it really mattered, but at least by now I had a really good idea of how he was walking.

Breanna uses the harnessed daemon within her to re-cast Shadowskin. She has to struggle to hold onto it and ends up having to let go of the entity, but she manages to cast. Just.

As she hides herself, both Breanna and Harold hear that the chanting is getting stronger and louder as the cult gets closer to the end of their ritual. There is a massive flash of light in the middle of the congregation.

Failed Common Knowledge: Black Magic Check from Breanna.

Something is being summoned. Whatever it is, it is trapped within some sort of magical cage.

The cultists around it appear jubilant, cheering their success until the entity begins to fight against its bonds. With some panicked shouts, the robed figures dismiss the daemon before it can break through.
Do not read this if you are one of the players.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

After it is dismissed there is some quiet talking between the cultists which cannot be heard by the party. Then many magical doors appear in the air and the cult trickles away, leaving four "priests" behind, who begin to work magic upon where the attempted binding took place.

One is quite tall, one is quite short and the other two are of middling height.

"I'll take the short one, you get the tall one." - Breanna to Harold.
 "I was actually going to suggest that you try and sneak around them as quietly as you can." - Harold in reply.
"Yep. That's good for me." - Breanna nodding in agreement.
"You can shoot them from here I take it?" - Harold to Kel'Serrar.
 The Danann nods and has an arrow nocked and ready.

Breanna meanwhile begins her quiet journey around to the rear of the cultists, knives ready in the darkness as Harold strides confidently towards the group, making sure that if they notice anyone, it will be him.

As she gets closer, Breanna can hear them talking. Two are Midlanders, one is a Northmann and the last is a Selkye, all of whom are clad in the dark red hooded robes of their cult. The Selkye is quite old, his sparse hair and long, drooping moustache are grey with age, while the Northmann is of middling age with a long, dark beard and the two Midlanders are younger.

The Northmann appears to be the leader of this group, but judging by the deference the others show him, the Selkye seems to be a high-ranking member of perhaps a sister cult. However the Northmann and the Selkye seem to have a slightly antagonistic relationship as they have a few minor disagreements.

The four of them continue to talk amongst themselves and Breanna is able to gather that they are planning to destroy Summer Hill from within. As Harold gets closer, one of the Midlanders looks up and sees the flickering torchlight.

"Brothers! Are you there?" - Midlander cultist, fearfully.
Harold's figure becomes more recognisable as he comes closer.

"What the hell are you doing here!?" - Northmann cultist, angry.
 "I thought this was an abandoned cave. Which I could loot." - Harold, trying to talk his way out of it.

I think Dev expected me to roll here to see if he deceived them. But honestly, who the hell would buy that story?
The massive Northmann, who stands at a comparable height to the six foot tall Harold walks up to the Invarrian, his hands crackling with daemon-fire.
"We can't let you leave her now."- Northmann cultist, threatening.
"Dun dun dun duh!" - LD
 "But why? I just wandered in here. I wanted to ask you the way out." - Harold, changing his story in an attempt to charm them.
 "You've seen too much. There's no getting out now." - Northmann cultist.
 "What do you mean? I didn't see anything. I just heard you talking." - Harold, in his panic admitting that he was listening.
"In which case you have head too much." - Northmann cultist, reaching out towards Harold with his flaming hands.

As he does so, his fingers lengthen into "massive-bone-scythe-flaming-claws".
As an aside, try saying "massive-bone-scythe-flaming-claws" five times and really fast. We tried. And generally failed.

Harold leans back and swings his staff at the Northmann but his earlier wound slows him down and the Northmann uses a very interesting parrying technique, namely holding up his "massive-bone-scythe-flaming-claws" and shearing through the wood of Harold's staff, depriving it of about a foot and a half of its length. Harold dodges back as fast as he can but his eyes are confused by the flickering flame passing in front of his eyes and he dropped his torch upon the ground to help him swing his staff better. Even so he manages to evade the cultists' strikes for now.
Hearing the commotion, Maebh rushes in through the doorway and to the top of the stairs, still with her Wall of Blades at the ready. A glowing wall of bluish-purple magical blades grounds itself in front of Harold. Both the Invarrian and the Northmann fall back, desperately avoiding the blades. Ten yards long, it doesn't prevent Breanna from going around it.

Of the other three cultists, the older of the two Midlanders disappears through one of their portable doors, while the younger one stays with the Selkye elder. With a crackling of magic, the elder then begins to mentally fight with Maebh over control of the Blade Wall. It is a huge strain, but the Danann manages to maintain control over it for now.

Breanna can see in the light provided by the cultists' torches that the Selkye is astounded at finding someone who can match him in sheer willpower and beads of sweat are trickling down his forehead from the strain.

Staying in the shadows, the Leathe assassin swiftly creeps around the Midlander and strikes the Selkye from behind, slashing deeply into his throat.

Finally Breanna succeeds in using her insanely buffed Sneak Attack, causing the most damage in a single attack in the campaign so far at a whopping 24.

He falls forward onto the ground with his throat a bloody mess. The Midlander heard the noise of the knife slitting the elder's throat, followed by his gurgling death rattle.

"Master!" - Midlander cultist, running over to the dead Selkye. He then crouches next to the corpse, head bowed and sobbing. Crucially he is doing so right in front of Breanna.

Harold stands on the opposite side of the wall to the hulking, demonically clawed Northmann.
"Are you the child of a man I sliced the head off up in Unterguardt? Cause he was hilarious when he was dying." - Harold, drawing his sword. Not the best taunt he's come up with.
Interestingly enough, this Northmann is not actually from Unterguardt himself, his family having shifted to the Northlands before he was born. Despite this, Harold's remark incenses him. We can never know, but it is likely he had a child who was killed in an Invarrian raid, a common occurrence in the Northlands of Norbayne. It probably had nothing to do with Harold Oakenshield at all, but he is very angry.

The earth beneath Harold's feet begins to shake and rumble.

"Oh ****." - Harold.
"You insulted a mage, genius." - Sins
 "Actually, I believe you have insulted a warlock."
"Oh great. I hate you." - Dev, to me.
 "Hey, you did this. I hate you." - Ladyhawk with a laugh.

They hear a groaning noise from within the ground and Harold makes a split second decision to try and leap to the side. Not a moment too soon as a black, cavernous hole simply rips open in the floor of the chamber.

Focussing her magic, Maebh prepares a Fireball. She must be a bit tired though, for her magic backlashes slightly, leaving Maebh herself smouldering. Her fireball, fuelled with all the power she can give it crashes into her Wall of Blades. All is silent before a blinding magical explosion propels everyone outwards from the centre of the impact.

I described it as a mini-supernova which emitted a pulse of blinding light.
Once again do not read this if you are one of the players.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Of them all, only Kel'Serrar doesn't hide his eyes in time.

Everyone had to get under Initiative to hide their eyes. Failure would mean at least temporary blindness. Kel'Serrar's Initiative is currently 31. Sins rolled a 32.

There was much bemoaning of his bad luck.

I played it out that he managed to close his eyes just before the blinding light burned his retinas out of his face and caused permanent damage. He'd be blinking the after-images out of his eyes for a few hours, but no lasting ill-effects.

Despite this, he doesn't loose the arrow he had nocked, holding on to it despite the shock and blinding light he experiences for the second before he manages to close his eyes.

Both Harold and the Northmann are thrown back a considerable distance, the cultist sprawling against the wall. The Blade Wall now has a gaping hole in it.

Kel'Serrar, half-blind, sets his arrow aflame and instinctively shoots the Northmann through the gap in the Blade Wall.

"The Blind Man sees!" - Dev.
In one of the most amazing shots of his life, Kel'Serrar smashes the arrow into the crazy Northmann warlock's chest. Shaking off the impact and the magical explosion, he gets very, very, very angry.

"Can't you just be very, very, very dead?" - Harold.
It was repeated so many times on the night that I promised it would make it into the write-up. The blind man shot him. Indeed. The blind man shot him.

 There was some suggestion that perhaps Kel'Serrar should go around with a blindfold from now on.

Meanwhile back in front of Breanna.

"Master, wake up!" - Distressed Midlander cultist.

Breanna attempts to slit the man's throat, but he hears a slight rustle of clothing and tries to stand up. In the struggle, the hilt of her dagger gets caught in his throat and he falls to the ground unconscious.

Harold staggers up and starts to lope, limping as he goes to try and attack the Northmann as the warlock gets up. He sees the running Invarrian and attempts to throw a ball of flaming razor-wire. Razor-fire if you will. Dev patted my head condescendingly at this point. I actually thought razor-fire was a good term. It certainly got across the danger involved. The ball unravels as it flies through the air, catching Harold's leg as he dodges to the side, delivering minor burns and lacerations to the Invarrian's calf. Luckily though, the web of fire dissipates into the air behind him, not causing any more damage.

With a great surge of power, Maebh calls up another Fireball and throws it into the Northmann's face, literally blowing off his head.

All that's left of the cult that attempted to summon a daemon minutes ago is two mangled corpses and a single unconscious Midlander.

Harold tries to find his staff and succeeds, avoiding the Wall of Blades and the gaping hole in the ground in the process.
"Go fetch. Fetch the stick!" - Ladyhawk.
Maebh suggests interrogating their prisoner, while unsurprisingly Breanna reckons they should cut his throat while they have the chance.

Together, Maebh and Harold tie him up, but then disagree on what to do next. Maebh thinks that taking him outside where he might be able to run away and hide is too dangerous, while Harold believes that they would have access to more skilled interrogators back in Summer Hill. Kel'Serrar then brings up the point that there are secret doors that lead to this room and the other Midlander escaped. With that, Maebh relents and the Invarrian hefts the prisoner out to the wagon.

Well he attempts to, but without help he has some difficulty doing so, his wounds causing no end of trouble. In the end, the grizzled duellist decides, screw it and just drags the prisoner up the huge flight of stairs and then through the hallway, tunnel and out into daylight where he and Kel'Serrar haul him onto the wagon.

Interesting points from Sins here.

"Coincidentally, has anyone noticed that this is all rather neat and tidy? Bandits, notes. So far we've delivered one note that evidently they weren't all that happy to receive as it wasn't the message they were planning on. Is anyone finding this just a little bit odd?" - Kel'Serrar.
 "I'm finding it very odd, but for now, I just want to leave." - Harold.
 "Feel free to leave, but when we go collect our payment, let's just say, I don't want to be in the room." - Kel'Serrar.
 "Yeah.... I'm going to need you in the room I think." - Harold.
They discuss what to do when they finally get back to Petyr Rangard and tell him what happened here as they climb onto the wagon and head back to Summer Hill. They eventually decide that wherever they meet him, it will either be in an open space where he can't kill them off quietly, or in a place of their choosing with Kel'Serrar covering the meeting with his bow and Breanna hiding behind a curtain.

Night comes swiftly and finds Maebh sitting at the fore driving the horse. In the wagon behind her the prisoner is still drifting in unconscious slumber with Breanna watching him intently while sharpening her knives.
"You're really creepy, you know that right?" - Harold, addressing Breanna before turning over and trying to go to sleep.
"Sharp.... sharp....." - Breanna, crooning to her knives.

I made a joke here about how Breanna was internally thinking, "I wonder what colour your spleen is..." I think it may now be her new threat. She wrote it down on her character sheet. We shall see how that pans out.

Harold gave her instructions that she was allowed to slit his throat if he looked threatening in the slightest. As such, she was alert to his every move. Harold himself slept in the tray while Kel'Serrar sat on the back taking the first watch.

In the middle of the night, the party hears a low growl from the tree line.

And we left it there cause Sins had to go.

The Wrap-Up:
Everyone levelled up halfway through this session. Here's a detailed recount of everyone's choices.

Maebh's Choices
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Kel'Serrar's Choices
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Breanna's Choices
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Harold's Choices
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Along with this, the party looted the other party from Summer Hill and picked up their equipment.
The list:
Maebh picked up Mordra Goldshine's arming sword, claiming it for use in her magic, as a sword is considered a non-essential ingredient in Wall of Blades.
Breanna picked up the same man's dagger, adding it to her collection of little bladed instruments.
Kel'Serrar took Eradan Blackstar's cloak, seeing as the dead man no longer had any use for it. Bloodied an dirty it might be, but that is nothing to a Danann.
Harold added to his portable armoury, taking Worron Radyzor's steel cuirass, greaves and vambraces, adding them to his defences, in turn destroying any hope he might be able to travel quietly. He also takes Eradan's longsword, belting it on. Because he didn't have enough blades already.
All the rest is piled onto the wagon to be sold when they find a merchant who will take it. They also found some money on the dead men and split it, fairly equally.

And that's all I think. Once again we finish it up with a massive cliff-hanger, but this time at least it's not practically an instant before potential death.
Or is it? :D

Please let us know if you're reading this, or have any questions or anything. We love getting feedback. :)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 01:56:15 AM by Phoenixguard09 »
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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2015, 06:39:34 PM »
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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2015, 06:57:04 PM »
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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2015, 07:07:43 PM »
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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2015, 07:17:12 PM »
Please let us know if you're reading this
I'm reading, albeit from what is probably an unusual perspective here: I've never participated in an RPG campaign, so it's interesting to see how they work.


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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2015, 08:11:33 PM »
Ah awesome,

Well they are great fun I assure you. I do apologise for the formatting of the posts though. It's so late over here. (It's actually 5 am, I pulled an all-nighter again.)

I di suggest, if you're interested of course, that you have a look at the full story so far on GitP, only because there's little extras over there that I haven't gotten around to posting here yet. The interviews for instance.

Anyway, hope everyone's enjoying. ;)
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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2020, 01:46:04 AM »
Session 2.1: Drunken Lullabies

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I am sorry that this took so long to write up, but despite being so short, this session took an awfully long time to write up. Probably because the group spent more time actually playing rather than paying Dev out. So let's get to it.

Due to our new player, the party started out split. Oh no! But it's okay, cause I fully intended to have them join up shortly.

The party itself was heading south, back to Summer Hill, Maebh driving the wagon. It was decided that they would like to play out the afternoon again, something I was quite happy to do as it meant we could get Tremor into the action quicker in the long run. I know, you wouldn't think so, but unbelievably I think it did. [/color]

"So how do we want to approach firstly the matter of our payment and secondly the information we have gained?" - Harold, addressing the group from his seat in the back of the cart.

"Payment?" - Maebh.

"Yes, payment from the man who is essentially bankrolling us at the moment." - Harold.

"Perhaps you didn't understand me. I don't want to be in the room." - Kel'Serrar.

"I understand that. You can cover me. You could be across the street with an arrow ready. I'm sure it won't hit, but at least you might get close." - Harold.

"I guess I should find a blindfold." - Kel'Serrar.


"Maebh, I would like you there as my right hand." - Harold.

"And you would like me not to be there." - Breanna, pre-empting an assault on her capabilities.

"No, I would like you to be there and ready to slit some throats." - Harold.

"... I can't do that unless he's short enough for me to reach." - Breanna.

With that, they decided that they had sorted out how they would handle the collection of the money they were due.

Breanna continues her attempts at creeping out the prisoner as they make their way back to Summer Hill in the cart.  The sunlight fades and they find themselves on the road at night. The decision is made to press on through the dark hours, to arrive in Summer Hill as soon as possible.

That night they hear a strange howling from the east. Alert for signs of danger, they press on, sharpening weapons and keeping watchful eyes on the tree line. Maebh contemplates casting a Magical Alarm on the road behind them to warn of anyone following, but they decide not to as she needs to drive the wagon forward and casting the spell would take time.
Harold considers relieving Breanna from her prisoner-watching duties but promptly forgets when they all notice the eerie sensation of being watched by something in the forest.

Meanwhile in Summer Hill, I had Wings take an Alcohol Consumption Check to signify how Tremor was spending his night. This was to make sure that he was doing something while the others were rolling their Perception Checks.

So therefore, for his first action in the story, Tremor Ironfist sits in The Iron Moon Inn, trying hard to drink himself into a coma. He is failing for now, but is certainly putting away a lot of alcohol.

Meanwhile out on the road with the howling echoing in their ears, the group has an uncomfortable feeling they are being watched.

Kel'Serrar did exceptionally well on his Check, going into negatives and Harold tried to use his Invarrian nose to garner some more clues.

On the very edge of his hearing, Kel'Serrar can hear what sounds like very soft footsteps. He's not sure if they're real, but he has learnt to trust his gut instinct by now and he thinks there is something there. The pattern with which they hit the ground seems vaguely familiar to him. His first thoughts are either Corpsewalker or marcwolf.

Harold takes another whiff of the air, but in all the smells he gets, he comes up with nothing out of the ordinary. He can smell horse, Leathe, Danann, Invarrian (drunken dog-man) and the various smells of the forest.

And then it hits him. A very faint whiff of decay.

The whole group starts to freak out and whinge about how it's a Corpsewalker and how mean I am to them. I was incredibly happy with this turn of events as that is precisely the attitude I want towards the Corpsewalkers. I think it means I have gotten just the right balance of fear, enough that they dread taking them on, not enough that they'll run out on the plot.

Maebh drives the horse to a bit more speed now, taking the road a little quicker than perhaps is safe, but none of the others mind as the faster they travel, the further they are from any Corpsewalkers.

Now past midnight, Tremor takes another Check for the alcohol he is consuming. He is still barely affected. It has gotten so late that the barkeep himself has told the taciturn and alcoholic dwarf,
"Look it's getting late. Help yourself, I'm going to bed. Don't set yourself on fire. If you do, make sure it's in the fireplace." - Sleepy barkeep.

Quite a bit of laughter follows this because of the earlier joke regarding Harold setting himself on fire after a night in this same tavern.

Nodding to the barkeep, Tremor accepts the offered key to the cellar and proceeds to help himself.

Back out on the road, it is now early morning and the pale light of the early sun is just breaking through the cloud cover. They have just reached the section of the road where the carriage careened through the undergrowth over a week before.

Perception Checks again.

They can still feel the uncomfortable sensation of being watched and Breanna can hear both a soft padding from the road behind them and once the sound of scratching on the bark of a tree.

Tremor's still drinking in the town, despite the sun coming up outside. Finally, he can feel the effects of all the alcohol, despite having spent at least six solid hours putting away various alcoholic beverages. At this time, some people are actually starting to awaken. Not the many who attempted to match the dwarf drink for drink last night, they're going to be out of it for a fair while yet, but despite this, some people are beginning to stir. Sitting up against the wall with two large tankards of ale, Tremor keeps gulping.

Back on the road they discuss whether they should move past the carriage and back to Summer Hill or whether they should retrace their steps back to the now abandoned marcwolf cave and see if they can find the bandit camp. Kel'Serrar badly wants the brigands out of the way, however Maebh and Harold advise caution, particularly since Harold himself is still badly wounded. In fact the whole party is still a little worse for wear.

Despite all points to the contrary, Kel'Serrar heads out to go check out what he can find on his own while Maebh drives the cart with the others back to Summer Hill.

There is some discussion about whether they should stay to provide him with a quick getaway until it is pointed out that he can actually run faster than the cart would travel with five people in it, plus all of the equipment Harold insists they take with them.

OOC it is pointed out how slow it will be when the Dwergar joins them.

"That's it, I'm getting another horse to go with this one!" - Ladyhawk.
"You could pull me along in a little sled behind you." - Wings.

Kel'Serrar follows the now almost non-existent trail they followed days before and comes across the ruined carriage. It has been completely wrecked by something with a not inconsiderable amount of strength. The girl's corpse, and those of the two horses, have mysteriously disappeared, leaving no discernable trace for the Danann ranger to follow.

Checking more closely, Kel'Serrar finds a small ring which he recognises as being worn by the girl when last he was here, lying upon the shredded remains of the richly upholstered seat. The ring itself is practically worthless, however its presence is unusual.

Looking closely at the scene and the tracks left behind, the ranger determines that the carriage must have been travelling very fast, probably trying to escape from something on the road. Now what could possibly be big enough, hungry enough and fierce enough to lead to that kind of reaction? Just outside a town in the Midlands of all places.

Kel'Serrar considers whether it is worth trying to find the old marcwolf cave they sheltered in several nights ago, and from there scouting out the bandit camp, but his ability to find both of these considering the cold trails he would be following is unknown. With this in mind, the Danann ranger turns and promptly lopes back onto the road, despite the light-headedness which still plagues him, hoping to catch up to the wagon before he faints. On the way he curses his weakness, wishing that he could deal with the bandits now and by himself, but he is smart enough to know that he's just not capable of that. Yet...

Maebh's wagon is only an hour at the most outside of Summer Hill when they recognise the running figure of Kel'Serrar approaching from the north. All of them are half dead from fatigue having spent the majority of the previous night in watchful fear.

Blinking her bleary eyes, Maebh drives her wagon through the western gate of Summer Hill at mid-morning.
"To the drinking hall!" - Harold, to stony silence. "No, okay then."
"Alright let's go to the fountain. Breanna and Kel'Serrar, I want you two to cover us while we talk to this guy while you Maebh, I want you to just be your beautiful self, standing next to me." - Harold, getting the hang of using flattery to get his way.

"Thank you." - Maebh, in such a regal tone that everyone cracked up.

"Please don't eat me." - Harold in an undertone. And we all thought that perhaps he was starting to use his Charm Skill the way it should be used. For example, without punching people in the face.

Meanwhile Tremor is still sitting in a tavern, putting away ales because he enjoys his nights. And mornings.
"And all other times. Provided he's awake." - Ladyhawk.
There's a lot of talking about respective weights. Especially how Tremor is probably getting closer to a blob than a dwarf.

Tremor is approached while sitting in the tavern by a short, slight, well-dressed man with a trimmed, pointed beard and short, dark hair. He is very pale, his skin clammy, but any illness he must be feeling he puts aside in his manner.

"You look like you're relatively experienced." - Rangard, with just a small amount of disdain towards the grizzled Dwergar.

"I need a hand. I wish you to join a group who is currently in my employ. They'll likely need someone of your abilities anyway. But in the meantime at least, I might be in danger from them as I don't know just how much danger I just put them in. So basically, I will pay you a lot of money if you will make sure that they don't just kill me out of hand." - Rangard, looking slightly nervous.

Tremor staggers to his feet, looks up at the man, stares him directly in the eye and pauses for a moment, before nodding his agreement.

Harold leans back against the fountain, finishing off the last of the rum he bought last time he was in town. The rest of his group are waiting in readiness, half of them hidden in the trees and Maebh beside him remaining calm. Walking towards them they can see the figure of Rangard and a short, hairy Dwergar clad in leather and staggering with slight drunkenness. Which after hearing how much he's had to drink over the last twelve hours, is quite an accomplishment.

"I don't know what happened out there, but judging by the look on your faces, that was not what we expected." - A very pale Rangard to Maebh and Harold.

"Can you not tell by the rest of us?" - Maebh, pointing out that her clothing is singed and burnt and Harold himself is nursing several major injuries and is looking more battered than ever. Being savaged by a sword-wielding northerner will do that to you.

Rangard looks at them appraisingly before cracking a slight grin.
"I thought it would be impolite to mention it my lady. Now please tell me, what happened out there?" - Rangard

"Well the first night we came across some marcwolves which were trying to eat us. Then speaking of things which wanted to eat us, there were actual Corpsewalkers! And then even more Corpsewalkers." - Harold.

Rangard flinches at the mention of Corpsewalkers but does not react further.

"And then, when we actually find the group you sent before us, we found out they were all bitten!" - Harold, indignant.
"And now they're all dead." - Maebh, in a far too cheerful manner.
"Yes, cause we were fortunate enough to be there on the day they started to turn." - Harold, sarcastic.
"How was that fortunate?" - Ladyhawk. Dev isn't the easiest person to determine levels of sarcasm in. As in, he always sounds vaguely sarcastic.

There is silence for a short while before,
"I take it from what you say that you put them down?" - Rangard.
"Yes!" - Harold. Political intrigue is not something Harold will ever be good at.
"And there were no survivors?" - Rangard.
"None!" - Harold still frustrated.
"We survived..." - Maebh in the background.
"Except us!" - Harold to Rangard.
"Thank you Mar-ve" - Dev.
"MAY-VE!" - Everyone. Judging by the recording, even Wings.
"Mar-ve, May-ve. what's the difference?" - Dev.
"No because pronunciation doesn't matter does it Gyeorg?"
"Yes, thank you James." - Dev
There is silence....
"I expected Jar-mays."
The war on pronunciation begins anew, with Duke Dev at the forefront, spreading illiteracy wherever he goes.

"I haven't been completely truthful with you-" - Rangard beginning.
"OH REALLY!?" - Harold.
"Yeah we kind of figured." - Maebh.
"I would like to share what I can with you now if that is okay." - Rangard.
"Yes that would be useful. Will it also be sprinkled with more hidden lies and slander?" - Harold.
"I haven't slandered you at all." - Rangard.
"Well not yet!" - Harold. He's a stubborn bastard and tends to get completely off-track in conversations. A trait he shares with his player. In copious amounts.

"I need help. I am for Summer Hill, that's all I care about. That doesn't necessarily make me a good person, but I'm a damn sight better than the alternatives. As you know, the queen of Elspeth has long wanted to claim Summer Hill as her own. Now what you don't know is that, as of these last few months, Queen Esmerelda has been trying to claim us through clandestine means. As you can imagine this is not good for Summer Hill at all. We value our independence, a long-standing gift from a good man and a great king.

I came by knowledge of these attempts and approached one of my friends here in the town in an attempt to put a halt to these events. Though it took us weeks and in some cases led us into extreme peril, we eventually found that there were some ancient artefacts that could give us the strength to fight back, Focus Stones. Imagine our surprise and joy when we found one may have been hidden in this very area! It became an obsession of ours, to find its location and obtain it, to use its power to crush the power of this cult.

My friend was a very powerful mage, easily the best magic user the town could lay claim to, capable of melting the very rock with the heat of his conjured flames, and having no experience in these matters myself I used what assets I could to engage some hirelings to accompany him into the ruins. We told them only that we wanted to explore the ruins and they were to accompany my friend.
I did not know, but at least one of them was in the employ of Elspeth simultaneously and betrayed us. My friend died down there, cut down from behind even as he sent a whisper to me.

Now my investigations have led me to believe that the cult has been using those very same ruins as some sort of headquarters where they come together to plan I imagine-" -Rangard, interrupted in the middle of his spiel.
This is about as close I have come to arrogant GM monologue. :smalltongue:

"Ha, we killed them." - Maebh, triumphantly.
"Well , not all of them." - Harold in an undertone.
"You found the cult?" - Rangard, grave.
"Yes, we killed the head of the cult." - Harold.
Rangard stands in place, taking in this new information. Meanwhile, Tremor, to whom all of this is new, is just perplexed.
"Actually, we killed a really strong one, and there was also a short, old man. Oh and another one who's sitting in the cart whimpering I reckon." - Maebh, thoughtful.
"Have you managed to get anything out of him?" - Rangard, latching on to this new player in the game.
"We have two pieces of information, and we will share them with you. I think I will ask you to go get the prisoner Maebh." - Harold, probably thinking that Rangard and Tremor don't necessarily know that Kel'Serrar and Breanna are in hiding and are therefore unknown observers, elects to send his already revealed ally.

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"Well, before you send your mage away, I have a request I'm afraid I must ask of her." - Rangard, a small trace of desperation leaking into his usual calm voice.
 "Only if you ask nicely." - Maebh, putting her 'haughty' on.
"I will ask nicely, as it pleases you my lady." - Rangard, bowing slightly. For an arrogant man, this is about as close to actual respect one could get from him. He continues.
"Through some means, I know not how, the cult must be aware I am working against them. I have been cursed and I do not expect I have much life left in me. Unfortunately, since my friend died, I have no other mage in this town whom I trust." - Rangard. He pauses.
"I don't even trust you that much, I am sorry. But you're the only hope I have." - Rangard.

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"Ah, not til I get some answers." - Harold cuts in.
"I am sorry, but time is of the essence. Whatever questions you have, I swear I will answer to the best of my abilities once I am cured." - Rangard. Even in mortal peril, he can't help but strike a deal. Must be the merchant in him.
"Alright then." - Maebh, rolling up her sleeves and ignoring Harold as she prepares to cast the spell.

As Maebh observes the merchant closely, she can feel the darkness within him, slowly eating him away. He is likely in rather extreme agony and it's a miracle he's not catatonic with the pain. She can also see that his condition is will worsen within the hour.

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"Okay, looks like a dangerous one. I'm going to need some water someone." - Maebh, playing the doctor for once and holding out her drinking bowl.
Harold takes the bowl and dips it into the fountain, bringing up some water which he carefully carries over to the mage.
Maebh accepts the bowl of water without comment and holds it before her in both hands, channelling some of her power into the water contained in the vessel. A soft green-ish glow emanates from the liquid, which cannot truly be called water anymore. Dipping a dainty finger in it, Maebh draws a runic symbol of the Scribhinn
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[/color] on Rangard's forehead before offering the rest to the merchant to drink. He does so and gasps as the liquid instantly freezes his insides, burning out the dark magic with extreme, purifying chill.

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"Okay then, as you know the group I sent out betrayed us to Elspeth and killed my friend." - Rangard. He takes a deep breath.
"The Corpsewalkers are my doing. I set them upon the other group, hoping to destroy them in a way which would not be traced back to me in any way." - Rangard.

"Okay then, next question. What is it a cult of?" - Harold.

"The destruction of what I hold dear. Failing that, they're trying to find a way to bind a daemon to bring us down from within. There is no religious purpose behind them. It is sheer acquisition of power and gold, nothing more." - Rangard.

"Right. Okay, 'Mar-ve,' could you please go get the prisoner." - Harold, once again mangling Maebh's name.
"First of all it's Maebh, and secondly okay, but only since you asked politely." - Maebh, primly.

Maebh heads off and swiftly returns with the struggling and bound prisoner slung over her shoulder. He must be rather heavy, but the tough Danann mage doesn't seem to notice his wriggling or his whimpers of fear.

Makes you wonder what she usually carries over her shoulder like that....

"I see. Hopefully you don't mind if we deliver him into the care of one of my associates. She should be able to wring some truth from him." - Rangard, with a hard glare at the bound prisoner.
"I want to be there." - Maebh, quick as a flash.
"That can be arranged." - Rangard, nodding.
"So do I." - Harold, with something approaching weighty finality.
There is silence for a moment, then....
"How many people do you wish to cram into this tiny little torture room?" - Rangard, eyebrow raised.
"Just two more than usual." - Harold.
"Right so four already, plus the one being cut up..." - Rangard. He looks at the Danann and Invarrian, sizing them up.
"Okay, I shall see what can be done." - Rangard.

"Good. There is also an issue regarding a bandit camp in the vicinity." - Harold, pulling forth the note given to them by a previous prisoner. Their prisoners tend to meet damn sticky ends.....

"As you can see it's been signed by their leader, code-named, The Shadow. Any clues as to who that is?" - Harold.
"Unfortunately, I don't know, but I would bet it has something to do with Elspeth and their damned Queen." - Rangard, regretfully.
Harold sighs and nods his head resignedly.

"Well, I believe I owe you all a not inconsiderable amount of money." - Rangard.
"Yes, and you'd better pay up now." - Maebh.
"Okay then, let us go to my manor and we shall organise payment and the interrogation of your prisoner." - Rangard, turning to leave. Before he does so, he halts and turns back to the Invarrian and Dannan.
"I don't suppose you managed to find that Focus Stone while you were down there by any chance?" - Rangard, with just a little bit of hope.
"No." - Maebh, lying through her teeth.
"Well, we might have actually. We'll have to got the cart and check it out." - Harold, trying to get a bit of time alone to discuss it with the others.

"Well then, I guess I should give you your money first and we can sort that out later. I'd be very much obliged if you would come with me and I will introduce you to my associate while we're there." - Rangard, a little preoccupied with his own thoughts.

More to come very soon. :smallwink: Right here in fact.

Told you so, here's part 2 of Session 1.4.

The merchant heads off with Harold and Tremor in tow, leaving the Danann with the bound prisoner. Grinning maliciously, she takes the rope and pulls the man after the three men, oblivious to his feeble struggles. After they have left, Breanna and Kel'Serrar drop out of their respective trees and make their way back to the wagon, thinking to guard it while the others are otherwise engaged.

After leading his companions to his household, Rangard takes them to his study and starts the transaction, paying them from his own personal reserves.

Everyone gets their money and there is much rejoicing. Tremor gets a bit less than the rest as really all he's done is act as an intimidating, short, drunken bodyguard.

"Now that is out of the way, I shall introduce you to my associate." - Rangard, rubbing his hands together. He's looking a bit livelier already, but it will take some time before the damage inflicted by the curse is fully reversed.

"Are you talking about the dwarf?" - Harold, pointing at Tremor.

"No." - Rangard, who nods his head towards the corner of the room.

Standing there in the corner, unobserved until now, is a short Selkye woman, clad in dark grey cloth, a deep cowl obscuring her facial features. She stalks over to the group, cold eyes appraising everyone individually before bowing respectfully to Rangard.

"Well met." - Selkye assassin, having straightened once more. At about the same height as Tremor, both Harold and Maebh tower over her, but she still holds herself with an easy confidence.

"Indeed." - Harold, with a raised eyebrow.
Maebh offers a respectful nod in greeting, while Tremor simply grunts.
Rangard addresses the group.
"With your permission, I would like to grant this woman access to your prisoner." - Rangard.
The prisoner starts to try and escape again, drawing only a very sharp pull on the rope from Maebh which promptly cuts into his windpipe. He starts whimpering some more.
"Shut up. Do you want something to complain about? Like my boot in your face?" - Harold.
"So, may I begin?" - Selkye assassin, quietly.
Maebh simply nods.

The small woman reaches down and picks the man up by the scruff of the neck, before physically hauling him out the door and down the hallway, ignoring his panicked struggles and screams. She is very strong for her size, ruthless, and focussed only on doing her job. The others follow her out.

She continues down a flight of stairs, dragging the prisoner as she goes, thinking to exploit the bruised flesh later, before turning right through another doorway. Inside the room are two tables, one bare stone, the other polished wood, strewn with various wicked looking knives.

The Selkye woman ties the man to the stone table while Maebh and Rangard look on and Harold and Tremor lean up against the doorway, getting to know each other through the universal language of betting.
"Three coppers says he lasts no more than three minutes." - Harold, rubbing two coppers together.
"You're on, he'll last longer than that, no matter how good the little lass is." - Tremor.

Ten seconds later....
"I win?" - Harold, grinning.

Within ten minutes, the cultist has revealed everything he knows to the gathered torturers. The assassin gives him some time to talk without the attentions of the steel blades. Those wicked steel blades.

"We were hired to produce something which could be unleashed within the town so that the forces outside can strike while they are distracted. We’re looking to harness a daemon, bend it to our control completely without anchoring it to a physical target. One cannot use the power of the daemons without anchoring it to a physical object. When you use magic, you anchor a daemon within yourself. Necromancers anchor the daemon to a corpse, which is far less volatile than anchoring the daemon to a living being, especially one who is unwilling to be a receptacle. We seek to bind it within an aethyric box, and then turn it loose and although we would prefer to retain some control over it, that control is not necessary to our needs.” - Frantic and bleeding cultist.

"Do you mean that control is not necessary now, but your long term desire is to control it?" - Tremor, interposing himself in the conversation with typical gruffness.

The cultist trembles.
"Well..... AAAAARGH! More or less...." - Cultist, defeated after the assassin stabs him once again, thinking he has gone long enough with pain.

"Well then, that was informative. We will leave Meldith here to dispose of him, shall we?" - Rangard, unconsciously rubbing his hands together as if washing them.
"Fair enough. I'm not really into the disposal of bodies." - Dev.
"I noticed. Like the little girl's body you consigned to the wolves."
"Well.... It was good protein for them!" - Dev.

The three companions follow Rangard back into his study, leaving the Selkye to her grisly task.
"As you can see, I did not lie to you about the cult within the town." - Rangard, grim.
"No you did not." - Harold, nodding in agreement, if perhaps a little grudgingly.

At this point Dev says, "But you did...." and makes a strange whining noise in the back of his throat. The weird thing? So does Wings. Everyone else laughs and ignores the important question.
"What?" - LD.
The fact is, none of us had a clue what the two of them were talking about in their own weird, spontaneously created whine-language.
"We obviously bonded over the gambling!" - Dev.

"Say hypothetically, we continued helping you...." - Harold, leaving the question open.
"Would we be paid more?" - Tremor, finishing it. Those two would become nigh inseparable as the night went on. May all the Gods of men save us all.
"Of course." - Rangard, smoothly.
"Okay then, so in that hypothetical world, how much are we talking, and what would be our next step?" - Harold.
"To answer your first question, however much you feel you are worth. I am a wealthy and powerful merchant. Name a figure remotely reasonable and I shall see it fulfilled." - Rangard, somewhat smug.
"I want one hundred crowns." - Maebh, quietly leaning against the wall.

One hundred crowns is an awful lot. In modern day terms, what she did there was like trying to withdraw seven million dollars from the local supermarket.

"How about ten then?" - Maebh, smiling a little in the face of Rangard's incredulous look. It's still a lot of money, but he's wealthy and he needs them. So he can afford it for now, but in the overall scheme of things, that is likely to break him when combined with the money he handed out earlier that day.

"So two each then?" - Rangard, with a sinking feeling when he sees the Danann mage shake her head.
"No, just for me." - Maebh, cheerful.
Stunned silence. Then,
"Our mage regards herself very highly." - Harold, somewhat sarcastically. Well we assumed so anyway. He might just be the master of understatement. You never can tell with Dev.

"I do. You would all be dead if it weren't for me." - Maebh, haughty, and a little affronted that Harold would take that tone regarding her.
"I am willing to negotiate with you all individually." - Rangard, heading off the argument. After all, he really doesn't want a mage to start flinging fire around inside his expensive manor house. Especially if he's going to have to hand over a significant portion of his money to said mage.

"Well anyway, from this point onward, I want you to be open and honest with all of us. Otherwise, I'm out and hanging you out to dry." - Harold, moving back to the task at hand.
Rangard nods, but crucially, doesn't commit to anything.

"What did you need the stone for exactly?" - Maebh, bringing up the one mystery she had left to her before Harold can demand a commitment from Rangard. The Focus Stone she found, while useful, doesn't exactly lend the wielder earth-shattering power by any stretch.
"Ah, well as you know my friend was a rather powerful mage, and that stone was to be the deciding factor in this struggle. But of course, if you haven't found it then we just need to rely on old fashioned force of arms to get this done." - Rangard, sadly.
"But even if we had it, you'd have no mage to use it." - Maebh, frowning.
"If we had the stone, I might just trust you enough to be happy letting you use it." - Rangard, sighing.

"So what is our next step now?" - Harold, moving onwards.
"So wait, what's the time? In the game." - Wings.
"About eleven in the morning."
"Ah, time for a drink then?" - Wings, to much laughter.

"So would we look at taking out this bandit camp?" - Harold.
"Honestly, I don't think that's much of a problem compared to the cult within the town itself. Now I do have a lead for you if you are willing to investigate. I'd prefer you to do it than any of my other associates. Meldith is unfortunately, a little too well-known around here." - Rangard.

"She had a bit of a tight scrape while observing another person of interest and only escaped by assuming a fourth false identity during the chase." - Rangard, ignoring the raised eyebrows and disbelieving expressions. They all know that Breanna is not capable of anything like that, so it gives them all a bit of an idea regarding Meldith's abilities. That and the fact that whatever ran her off was powerful enough to do so.

"We'll have to get our own assassin to do this by the sounds of it." - Harold, in an undertone while stroking his chin.

"Anyway, there is a man in town, goes by the last name of Shylocke. He's a merchant, one of the more powerful ones in the area. Now I had him followed by Meldith and she found that he frequents the Harvest Wolf, Wilmund Brewer's tavern over on the west side of town. Unfortunately, access to the backroom was difficult for her to access and she was only just able to escape without being compromised." - Rangard, imparting as much information as possible.

"Okay, I take it the dwarf is joining us?" - Harold, referring to Tremor.
"Us and our little band of murder-hobos?" - Sins.
"I would be very much in your debt if you would join them." Rangard.
"Yes. Yes you would." - Tremor, gruff.
"Welcome. By the way we are called the Order of the Stick!" - Dev.
"No we are not!" - Ladyhawk, indignant that she didn't get to propose her name for the party.
"Order of the Beard?" - Dev.
"I don't like it cause I don't have one." - Ladyhawk.
"Order of the Beer?" - Dev. Strangely apt.
"....No." - Ladyhawk.
"Order of the Arrow?" - Wings, helpfully.
"We don't really know each other well enough to have an 'Order' yet." - Ladyhawk.
"How about we just stick with Murder-Hobos for the moment?" - Sins.
"Order of the Murder-Hobo?" - Ladyhawk, laughing.
"Wow.... How noble...."

"Well then, that's settled. Like to go drinking at the tavern?" - Harold to Tremor. New best buds they are.
"Yes!" - Tremor, gruffly.
"Okay then, well we'll do that and Maebh, perhaps you might want to.... um... well..." - Harold, thinking over the best way to use the prickly mage.
"Sneak in the back door?" - Tremor, helpful as ever.
"Yeah!" - Harold. Let's face it, he's probably already half drunk on the mere thought of alcohol.
"We'll cause the distraction lass, you go around the back." - Tremor.
"I've got it! We'll start a drinking competition with EVERYONE in the pub!" - Harold, excited at the glorious bingeing to come.

At some point Tremor did work out rates. The dwarf gets 20 sulvers a week for every full week he stays in service to Rangard. In addition to that he will get 2 crowns upon the cult's destruction.

The rest of the party will also get the 2 crowns each, however they have not come to any conclusion with Rangard with regards to other payment.

They head off in their separate directions after getting instructions from Rangard on how to get to the Harvest Wolf. Tremor and Harold walk directly to the tavern, happily getting to know each other, while Maebh strides back to the cart, a solitary, foreboding figure in the town. She's going to pick up Breanna and let Kel'Serrar what's going on. Hopefully by the time she and the Leathe make it to the tavern, the drinking games will have begun and no one will notice them. Hopefully.

Out on the street, Maebh changes her mind about going back all the way, sending her two companions news of the situation through a Whispering Wind.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

“At Rangard’s house. Prisoner gave away everything, evil queen woman to invade. Going to a pub to find out more, need Breanna here.” – Maebh’s whispered message.

Kel’Serrar and Breanna, after initially freaking out at the noise, recognise Maebh’s voice. Kel’Serrar leans back against the edge of the cart, completely at ease. As far as he’s concerned, it’s not his problem and watching all their belongings is probably the best thing he could do at the moment.

Breanna meanwhile decides that she should go help, and accosts the first person she comes across, asking the townsman where she could find Rangard’s house. She obtains decent directions and knocks on the door of the house matching the description she was given.

A servant answers the knock.

“You’re with the group my master has hired, aren’t you?” – Servant.
“Yes, I am.” – Breanna.
“Would you like me to bring you to him?” – Servant.
“Yes. If you wouldn’t mind.” – Breanna.

The servant shows the Leathe into a sitting room and she waits for barely a minute before Rangard comes in, pale yet smiling.

“I take it you are looking for your friends?” – Rangard.
“They’re not my friends, they’re my cover, but yes I need to find them.” – Breanna.
“They’re at the Harvest Wolf, a tavern on the west side of town.” – Rangard.
“Thank you!” – Breanna, bubbly, trying to freak him out. It seems to have worked.
“Now get out of my house please.” – Rangard, looking worried at the assassin’s sudden and pronounced change in demeanour.

Breanna leaves the house, whistling cheerfully to herself, heading off the Harvest Wolf.

Meanwhile, Harold and Tremor have come to the modest tavern and have ordered a massive amount of alcohol.
“Can I expect that between the two of you, you will drink me out of house and home?” – Wilmund Brewer, owner and barman of the Harvest Wolf.
“We’re an Invarrian and a Dwergar…. What do you think?” – Harold.
“Okay, I’ll just be down in the cellar.” – Brewer, sighing with resignation.
“While you’re down there, make sure you bring enough up. We’re going to having a drinking competition.” – Tremor, gruff but happy.
“And who will your opponent be?” – Brewer, looking slightly happier. After all, someone’s going to have to pay for the beverages.
“EVERYONE!” – Harold and Tremor together. At this point, Brewer knew his doom was approaching.
“….. Let me go put up a sign.” – Brewer. He’s a shrewd businessman and knows that the more advertising he gets in, the better.

The sign reads as follows:
Come test your stomach against two of the world’s most seasoned drinkers! Harold Oakenshield and Tremor Ironfist have come down from the wild lands of the cold north, to partake of Summer Hill’s best ales. If you manage to outlast either of them over the course of the afternoon, you get half your money back!

Despite only being two in the afternoon at the latest, the drinking competition starts off huge, with at least forty of the locals trying their abilities against the Invarrian and the still hung-over and partially drunk Dwergar. The ale is quaffed easily and both Tremor and Harold share an approving glance. It’s good stuff.

Maebh stands and watches outside, eventually joined by Breanna, while round after round of ales come round the table for the next two hours. The two hour’s solid drinking has made the rest of the crowd considerably less enthusiastic, while Harold and Tremor are just getting warmed up.
Drew a comparison to the Legolas and Gimli drinking competition in The Lord of the Rings.

More people are coming in, drawn by both the spectacle and the good mood pervading the tavern and surrounding area, one which makes passers-by really feel like a drink.

Tremor sits in his seat, still downing ales one after the other, with a blood-alcohol concentration swiftly approaching something in the range of 60%. It’s likely one could inject a donkey with that amount of alcohol and kill it outright.

“We’ll go another hour before giving Maebh and Breanna the signal to move in.” – Dev.
“Yeah, we’re trying to drink the whole town unconscious.” – Wings.
“You know, if anyone can drink over two thousand people under the table, it would be you two. You’re sure you want to go another hour?”
“Yeah, we want the concentration to be on us.” – Dev.
“At the moment, the concentration is within you.”
“Alright well, we’ll give the signal to start to head around the side now.” – Wings.

Tremor stands up, stretching his hands into the air, but in his drunken state he forgets about the matter of his height. So he stands on his seat, the crowd looking at him like he’s about to topple over and fall unconscious any second now. They’re to be disappointed.

“That’s the signal, let’s move.” – Maebh to Breanna. The two women start to walk surreptitiously around the edge of the building.

Tremor on the other hand sits down and starts chugging his ale again. Both of them are starting to feel the effects of the alcohol, but neither is looking like falling over yet.
Mechanically, Tremor is looking a lot worse than Harold is at the moment, but neither has suffered a failure by enough to cause unconsciousness. On the other hand, the negatives to their Alcohol Consumption Checks are really adding up, so it’s only a matter of time. Harold almost went down in this third hour, but expended a Luck Point to adjust the roll.

Breanna approaches the backdoor of the tavern with Maebh covering her. The Leathe takes her thin dagger and with supreme skill, picks the padlock. With a small sound of delight, Breanna grabs the door with a small furry hand and swings it open towards herself and walks in.

The small, dark room was lit only by a single candle upon a wooden table, so when the door was opened, letting in the late afternoon sun, the group of men gathered around the table knew about it immediately, noticing the new light source along with the haplessly backlit Leathe assassin standing in the doorway, who is only now realising her mistake. All of them take a look at the diminutive Leathe-girl and bolt. Through her.

The men run out the door, leaving Breanna battered and bruised on the ground as she’s been trampled. Maebh is taken by surprise as well and with a split-second thought, she tackles one of them, slamming the man to the ground. But something feels wrong. She lifts herself off him and sees he is smiling before he just disappears into thin air before her eyes. Maebh scrabbles desperately but quickly comes to the conclusion that he is not invisible, but is in fact not even there anymore.

Breanna eventually picks herself up off the ground, with some difficulty while Maebh walks into the room, still troubled by her recent run-in with whatever she had a run-in with.

Harold and Tremor keep up the drinking, not knowing how things are progressing outside. Tremor finally has had enough and he sinks to the table in an alcoholic haze, probably with more alcohol in his system than any other bodily fluid. And he’s not due to wake up until at least five tomorrow morning.

Unaware of Tremor’s alcoholic collapse, Breanna and Maebh search the room for anything they can use as incriminating evidence. They find very little, a small black candle, lit on the middle of the table and some sheets of blank parchment and pens on a desk in the corner, along with some innocuous books in shelves along the eastern wall and a bottle of fairly expensive wine in a small box.

Leaving the candle where it lies, Maebh walks around the side and back out to the front, letting Harold know that it is time to go.

“Well, that’s it, I’m done. I’d better take my mate here to go get some sleep.” – Harold, swaying slightly as he gets up, before bending over to try and pick up the comatose dwarf.
As drunk and slightly crippled as he is, it’s unsurprising that this doesn’t work. Maebh comes over to help.
“I’ve got it lass.” – Harold, drunk and slurring.
“Fine. I could set you on fire you know.” – Maebh.
With difficulty, Harold manages to lift the dwarf over his shoulder, and manages, just, to carry Tremor to the wagon, throwing him down into it, disturbing Kel’Serrar.
“I’M SO HAMMERED!” – Harold, a drunken apology perhaps?

Maebh on the other hand hires two rooms at the Iron Moon Inn, one for herself and another for Breanna, in a rare show of camaraderie. Kel’Serrar? Sleeps in a tree in the courtyard again, having escaped from the cart and its alcoholic aroma.

Harold and Tremor lie in the cart in a drunken sleep.

Six in the evening and Maebh and Breanna eat together in the tavern, Harold and Tremor are still sleeping and Kel’Serrar sits in his tree, trying to ignore the stench wafting up from beneath him. The two poor marcwolf pups curl up at the base of Kel’Serrar’s tree.

They wake up with the worst hangovers they have ever experienced. Where most hangovers make the head hurt and everything else feel sort of fuzzy, for these two, everything hurts. They drank so much that their teeth will feel as if they are buzzing and every single one of their noise hairs will be burning with agony. They declare vengeance against the birds of the world, who sing as the sun comes up. This is, in fact, an act of vengeance in itself, an attack against those whose alcoholic fumes took the lives of several birds during the night.

Harold and Tremor awaken almost simultaneously to the sound of a keening shriek, one which sets their teeth on edge and fills Harold with fear. Corpsewalker!

And we left it there.

As you can see, despite only playing for half as long as our previous sessions, they really did get through a lot dialogue. I think it was also a good first session for Wings and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Our next game is this coming Friday, hopefully with Wings, though he's quite difficult to get a hold of. But we shall see.

Hope you all enjoyed, sorry for the delay,

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Re: Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2020, 01:46:46 AM »
Session 2.2: The Lady in Red

Okay we started out by allocating dice to everyone as Wings doesn’t have any D10’s and Sins and Dev forgot theirs, meaning that Ladyhawk, LD and I had to split our dice between everyone. It was difficult to manage but we sorted it all out swiftly enough.

We now begin where we left off, with Harold and Tremor awakening in the party’s cart.

Harold and Tremor awaken almost simultaneously to the sound of a keening shriek, one which sets their teeth on edge and fills Harold with fear. Corpsewalker!

And then he looks around and takes in the grins Breanna and Kel’Serrar are trying to hide with varying amounts of success. A look of comprehension slowly begins to draw across Harold’s face, even as the startled Dwergar next to him looks around frantically for the threat.

Breanna secretly used Phantom Noise to emulate a Corpsewalker’s scream in order to freak out the two drunkards. Cue hilarity from Ladyhawk and Sins. Admittedly, after the first few moments of shocked realisation, even Dev and Wings found it distinctly hilarious.

After some time trying to get their bearings, Harold and Tremor get up, with some difficulty and gasping in exquisite agony.

Both Harold and Tremor suffer from a -10 to any Skill Checks until they can get cleaned up and feeling better due to the massive hangovers. Usually it would be a -5 but this was a LOT of alcohol.

The five of them are arranged around in the courtyard where this all began, Tremor having joined their number and assimilated fairly well into the group. On the other hand, with yesterday’s distinct lack of success in finding out more information on the cult, they are no nearer to the core of the situation.

“Food…. Now…” – Harold to himself, face in his hands, trying to force the pounding in his head to go away. Funny how drinking always seems like fun until the next morning when the birds are singing and the sun shines brightly.

There is some semi-out of character chatter here as the others make fun of Harold’s predicament in particular. Dev responds with threats of violence, but Ladyhawk delivers the kicker.
“I have a spell which creates blazing light….. Don’t piss me off.” – Ladyhawk.

“I’m going to go get something to eat.” – Harold, struggling to stand up from his seat on the fountain. “Tremor, do you want to come with me?”

With a groan, Tremor stands and walks with the Invarrian, the two of them attempting to find a tavern they can order a meal and clean themselves up in. As they walk off, Harold whistles to his marcwolf pup, wincing in pain as he does so. Yet the pup perks up his ears and bounds after the two of them, yapping quietly to himself and keeping pace with them with a happy expression.

While Harold and Tremor go on their way, Kel’Serrar finds himself another tavern in the opposite direction, Maebh sits with her horse, looking after it, thinking to herself and enjoying the peace and quiet. Breanna on the other hand picks up her marcwolf pup and sits down in the shade of a tree, playing with it and just resting. After all, you never know when another life or death situation might come up, and a little bit of rest couldn’t hurt.

After some time, Tremor ends up leading Harold to the Iron Moon Inn, the very same establishment Tremor was staying in before he met up with the rest of the group. They open the door and hear a gruff voice from inside.

“No dogs allowed in here.” – Barkeep, wiping a tankard.
He looks up and sees the two walk in, missing the marcwolf pup at their feet and apologises.
“Sorry, I thought I could smell wet dog.” – Barkeep, realising that he can in fact smell mankyInvarrian.

Harold and Tremor order a large breakfast, rooms for the use of the baths and glasses of water and brandy to try and see off some of this infernal pain. They set to it, first washing up to be more respectable, Harold feeling sorry for the state of his clothing as he takes his bath, noticing once he starts to take it off that it’s ripped and bloodstained beyond almost all recognition.

All the same, he has nothing else, so he puts the shredded garments back on, hiding the pup in his backpack again. It’s going to be a far more difficult to do this soon as those pups won’t stay small and young forever.

And for that matter, those pups might be cute and friendly now, but without some proper training, they’re going to be vicious predators with no restraint when they grow up. Lucky Harold and Breanna have Animal Training, not so lucky that neither of them is particularly good at it.

After washing up, both come downstairs to eat their breakfasts and get as much fluid as possible into their systems in an attempt to flush out the alcohol. After some time, the marcwolf pup clambers out of Harold’s pack, sitting on the floor next to the Invarrian who reaches down to give the little creature some choice pieces of bacon, which are set upon with cute, slavering ferocity.

-5 penalties now which will hang around for the next three hours in game. This is instead of the -10’s they were dealing with.

The barman looks disapprovingly at the marcwolf but holds his tongue and lets it slide.

Kel’Serrar manages to find the fourth tavern in Summer Hill, the Golden Arrow and orders water and raw meat, garnering him a funny look from the edgy barman. After all, there’s no one else in the common-room apart from the carnivorous Danann and the barman, who looks confused at the savage meal and the distinctly un-manly beverage.

Kel’Serrar is completely unconcerned. After all, what should he care what the barman thinks?

Some off-topic where Wings asks about investing in a business, The Iron Moon in particular.

Heading back to the cart, Harold and Tremor go through what is left of the ‘loot,’ Tremor taking anything he feels he could use in the future, namely a pair of leather bracers. The rest they gather up and look to take it to the marketplace, hoping to find someone to take it off their hands. Unfortunately for them, finding someone who will take this war equipment off their hands in a relatively quiet town is quite difficult, only managing to get rid of a jerkin and the scimitar. Even with a bit of haggling, Harold is unable to get an amount equal to the armour’s worth. That being said, this particular jerkin was EradanBlackstar’s, who after all, was impaled through the jerkin by a Feartarbh horn. And the jerkin hasn’t exactly been cleaned, nor repaired.

Breanna meanwhile sets her pup to sleep after an intense playing session and climbs the tallest tree in the courtyard, ostensibly Kel’Serrar’s tree, before settling down to take a nap.

The party takes inventory again after heading back to the cart with a little extra weight in the pockets. Maebh claims the tower shield they were unable to sell, figuring it might come in handy as a spell component, if not, perhaps it could be used to deflect arrows and the like. Tremor on the other hand takes a chain hauberk, wearing it under his leather jerkin, plus the pair of leather bracers. Only the head of Manius’ maul is left in the cart with no one claiming it for any use.

A bit of out of character discussion regarding whether or not they should take on the bandit camp out to the north, or try and follow on their failed task from yesterday. Looking back on it I wish I had insisted this be in character, as it really should have been, but I slipped up here.

“Alright, we’re going to sort out these bandits then, because they might have something to do with Elspeth and because the bloody Leathe messed up, we still don’t know who needs to die here.” – Harold, summing it all up.

“Well, it’s about time.” – Kel’Serrar, with grim determination.

“I’m so glad you’re excited, because you’re usually so indifferent.” – Dev, slightly sarcastic. We think. 

Anyway, the party heads back to the courtyard to pick up Breanna, Kel’Serrar spotting her in the highest branches of his tree. There was some talk about throwing objects at her to knock her out of the tree, but, well, thankfully they agreed with me that would be stupid.

As it is, Kel’Serrar climbs the tree and shakes the Leathe girl awake, before pushing her out of the tree. Breanna screams as she falls, cursing Kel’Serrar. Luckily for her, Maebh drives the cart underneath the tree, and Breanna tumbles as she lands on the back of the wagon, diffusing most of the impact of her landing. With a quiet laugh, Kel’Serrar drops out of the tree and strides along beside the cart.

And they’re on their way, heading out of Summer Hill once more and back out onto the north road at about mid-morning. Their journey is uneventful, however, looking behind them, Kel’Serrar spots a lean figure in dark red on the road towards Summer Hill. He brings this up with the others, but only Breanna is in a state where she’s able to see the figure. The whole party seems to be advocating killing their follower, but Harold stays his hand.
“Let’s not just jump to conclusions about killing them out of hand.” – Harold, not wanting to become known as the Order of the Murder-Hobo. Surprising really, considering his usual temperament.

“Whoever it is, it’s keeping up with us, right? What if I jumped off and hid in the bushes and followed whoever it is?” – Tremor, thinking deeply.

“Well, I think she’d be better for it than you.” – Harold, pointing at Breanna.
“Or even him.” – Maebh at Kel’Serrar.
“Actually, I think Breanna could do it better than I could.” – Kel’Serrar, shaking his head.
“No I couldn’t! I’m just shorter, why couldn’t you just bend down!?” – Breanna, realising it’s a dangerous situation and trying her best to avoid it.
“Well, I can hide, but she can turn invisible.” – Kel’Serrar, making his case.
“Technically I don’t turn invisible…” – Breanna.
“Still better than what we’ve got.” – Maebh.
“Bugger.” – Breanna.

Breanna is still bitter about her wake-up call, despite the fact that she came out of it smelling like roses.

“After being so rudely asked to do this, I’ll leap off the side and hide in the bushes on the side of the road.” – LD.
“Can you not jump? Could you maybe… slither?” – Wings, tentatively.
She calms down after a bit.
“Fine, I’ll use Shadowskin before I leap off the cart.”

Breanna tenses slightly as she calls up the daemonic entity, getting a good hold on it and starts to drain its power. She then takes the energy and cloaks herself in shadow before sailing through the air drawing attention to herself with her arcing dive, a half-pike double twist with a squeeze of lime, and losing herself amongst the thick undergrowth alongside the road.

She lies in wait as the wagon trundles on towards the overturned carriage. After almost fifteen minutes of waiting, the Leathe can see their follower. She is a tall, young, slender woman with long brown wavy hair and dark eyes. She is wearing a dark red tunic and tall leather boots. She appears unarmed, but it would be folly to walk out on the roads without any protection. She also bears a long, pale scar running down the side of her neck.

As an aside, through the whole description, Ladyhawk is telling the party to, “Kill it.”

As the woman passes Breanna’s hiding place, the Leathe can see that she is definitely following the cart, looking at the tracks the cart and its heavy load have pressed into the roadway. Breanna’s lucky she is so light and the ground so hard-packed that she didn’t leave any readily apparent traces of her passage. Seeing this, the Leathe decides to follow the woman, daggers held ready in her hands.

Almost an hour after Breanna left them, the rest of the party comes across the place where the carriage careened off the road weeks ago. They quickly discuss whether they should blaze a trail and take the wagon with them, or if they should leave it behind, in which case it might be stolen or ruined.

In the end, Maebh unhitches the horse and takes the shield out of the cart, slinging it over her back. Everyone grabs their equipment and supplies, Tremor grabbing Breanna’s and Harold taking her marcwolf pup, before overturning the wagon on the side of the road.

The party then follows the trail which has changed only little since they passed it last, heading towards the overturned carriage, and then past it and onwards to the old marcwolf cave they sheltered in several nights before. The plan is to leave the horse and marcwolves there and set up camp before Harold and Maebh head back to pick up Breanna.
They don’t end up leaving the animals in the cave, but instead take them with them.

Meanwhile Breanna watches as her quarry stalks along the road ahead, eventually coming across the overturned wagon. The Leathe watches as the tall woman bends down to inspect underneath the cart, probably checking if there is anything in it. Knowing that her Shadowskin has already been in use for almost an hour, she uses the last of the daemon's energy to renew her spell.

"Ummm, uh... Can I ask how tall she is right now?" - LD, pondering her next move.
"Her head is at a lower height than yours at the moment." - Me.
"Awesome! Then I'm gonna go slit her throat!" - LD, cheerful.
"WHY!?" - Dev, in agony.
"Well then, maybe, YOU should have gone and hid. You didn't think this through at all did you?" - LD, unrepentant.
"Ah, well, she'll probably miss anyway." - Dev.
"64!" - LD, happily, still getting the hang of the idea of rolling low to succeed....

The Leathe assassin glides across the ground like a dull grey ghost, silent as the grave, knife at the ready, but at the last her strike goes wide, the woman's shoulder raising accidentally as the Leathe moves in for the kill. Breanna's forearm slams into the red-clad woman’s shoulder, who instinctively rises to her feet, pushing backwards into her invisible assailant. Breanna stumbles back, and darts away into the bushes again, hiding from her target.

The woman, looking around frantically, draws a longknife which she holds in an icepick grip and scans the deepening shadows under the forest canopy for her assailant.

Still shrouded in shadow, Breanna waits for about a quarter of an hour before taking up her trusty carving knife. Hefting the small but heavy blade, the Leathe flips it in her hand so she is holding the blade before running up to her target and swinging the hilt with all of her might into the back of the woman's head.

LD takes her first Strength Check to knock the woman out and rolls an 89 failing by sixty-two. Luckily she picked up the Sturdy Trait thanks to her punctual interview, allowing her to re-roll a single Strength or Toughness Checks every day. She rolled again and this time scored a 16, passing by eleven.

The woman in red sinks to the ground with the solid hit, thoroughly unconscious.

Seeing this, Breanna snatches the longknife from the woman’s fingers and darts down the trail in an attempt to chase down her companions, catching up to them in a matter of minutes.

“Harold, I need you to come pick up a body.” – Breanna’s disembodied voice. “Oh right, wait a second.”
She dismisses the Shadowskin.
"I need you to follow me and come pick up this unconscious body.” – Breanna.
“Okay, everyone, I’m going to follow Breanna. We’ll meet you at the cave. Oh, and Kel’Serrar, can I please borrow some rope?” – Harold.
“Only if I have to give it to you.” – Kel’Serrar, grudgingly handing over his rope.
“Thank you. You are a valued member of the team.” – Harold, sort of sarcastic. We think.

The two of them head back to the unconscious woman, Harold still using his staff to keep moving easily. Within ten minutes they come upon the woman who was following them, still sprawled where Breanna’s strike put her down. Harold quickly ties her hands together behind her back, slings her over his shoulder and carries her onwards to the cave, the whole party back together again.

More to come. :smallbiggrin: It just happens to be here.
Here it is.

Once there, the Invarrian takes some rope and lashes the unconscious woman in a sitting position against a large boulder, specifically facing a direction in which she cannot see the horribly mangled corpse Maebh strung up into the trees almost a week ago. He then takes out his drinking bowl.

“Can I get some water in this please?” – Harold, to Maebh.
Silently, the Danann mage sends some water trickling out her hands and into the drinking utensil.

Taking the now full bowl, Harold walks over to the tied up woman and splashes it on her face, drenching her upper body. She wakes up spluttering, scared and obviously with a massive headache.

Dev considers asking the rest of the group to leave the immediate area here.
“Well, we’re not interrogating her.” – Harold.
“What are you going to do then?” – Maebh.
“Uh, I was thinking charming her.” – Harold.
Everyone cracks up.
“OH FOR THE LOVE OF CRAP!” – Harold, exasperated.
“I’ll get the bandages….” – Kel’Serrar, resigned.
“You’ve tied her to a boulder, how charming could you possibly be?”
“I want to hear this played out actually.” – Sins.

The others back off a small distance, but all of them are within earshot and Kel’Serrar has an arrow nocked and ready.

“I am sorry about my associate knocking you out. I had no choice in the matter. What’s your name?” – Harold, putting on his best ‘I’m a sweet, lovable dog-man, not a vicious killer,’ voice.

“Can you let me go first?” – Red-clad woman, eyes darting from side to side.
Slowly, steadily so as not to startle her, the Invarrian reaches across and unties the ropes. Despite this, he is still somewhat wary, hand on the hilt of one of his swords.

“My name is Dhara.” – Dhara, smiling with just a little more goodwill than before.

A Southlander name.

“So why were you following us Dhara?” – Harold, gently.
“Oh, I saw you in Summer Hill and thought there was something suspicious about the Harvest Wolf. I saw your performance there yesterday and I realised that we were on the same side. So I wanted to come and meet with you, share information and find out what you know about this business.” – Dhara, earnestly.

“Well, why don’t you tell us what you know first, and then we’ll tell you?” – Harold.
“Well, I’m afraid I really don’t know that much. I’ve only recently found an interesting correlation between Morgaris Shylocke and Petyr Rangard. I think they might be working together on something which bodes ill for Summer Hill.” – Dhara.

“Hmm, now that adds up with why Rangard would want that Focus Stone. I mean, they are trying to summon a giant daemon, a Focus Stone would help.” – Kel’Serrar.

“This is true.” – Harold, to Kel’Serrar. He turns back to Dhara. “We were actually hired by Rangard. Unfortunately, we are not sure what is actually happening, but for now we’re just trying to get some information. There is a bandit camp in the area. We’re trying to find it.”

“Ah yes, I know of this bandit camp. A notice was actually put up in the area about a month ago, warning the town as a whole that bandits were in the area. They should be just to north-west of here.” – Dhara, nodding. She’s trying to helpful.

“Breanna, I believe you have her knife.” – Harold, holding his hand out expectantly. Breanna hands it over. Holding the blade of the longknife in his hand, the Invarrian offers the woman back her knife.

“Why thank you. I didn’t think I’d ever see it again when I woke up without it.” – Dhara, sheathing the blade in the scabbard down her leg.

“You’re coming with us to the bandit camp. I think we’d all appreciate it if you would watch our backs for us.” – Harold, using his staff to push back to his feet.
“That’s good, I’m happy to help. I have a feeling you’re all working towards the good of Summer Hill.” – Dhara, also getting to her feet, a little unsteady due to the headache.
“Okay, we’re moving out.” – Harold, to the rest of the party.

The group heads out in a north-west direction, pushing out into the wilds in the vague direction of the bandit camp they know is out there. After some time, Tremor heads off further to the west, thinking to flank the camp. Before he leaves, Harold hands him one of his shortswords.

As they walk, Breanna approaches Dhara.
“You know, I’m really sorry you got mugged by that really weird Leathe guy who just showed up told me I could have his knife. When I asked where he got it from, he said from an unconscious girl down the road.” – Breanna, failing her Deception Check.

“No that’s okay, I know why you had to do it.” – Dhara smiling, though rubbing the back of her head.
“How did you know it was me!?” – Breanna, indignant.

Tremor, by himself, is as wary as he can be, scanning the treeline. He is rewarded for his efforts when he spies a flet in the branches of a tall tree. He knows from experience that this platform would be manned by two sentries as part of the picketline. He looks around for a way further in without alerting the camp, but he finds nothing.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group spots another flet in the tress ahead of them, even in the failing light. Breanna’s keen eyes strain, but as far as she can tell, no one is standing on it.

“Hmm, so you guys can’t see anyone up there?” – Harold.
“No.” – Kel’Serrar and Breanna.
“Okay then, go up there and kill them without them knowing you were here.” – Harold, to Breanna.
She struggles with a daemon and puts her Shadowskin back on while Harold unclasps his cuirass and hides it behind a tree, thinking to allow him to walk a bit quieter.

Breanna, sneaking through the undergrowth, scales the tree silently, a dark and deadly ghost. She clambers up onto the flet and looks around wildly, daggers held at the ready.

There is no one there.

“Roughly what time is it?” – Sins.
“About six in the evening.”
“THEY’RE ALL ASLEEP!” – Wings. The way he said it was hilarious. Might be one of those things you have to be there for.

From her new vantage point, Breanna looks around and can see a few more flets up in the trees, but none of them appear to be in use.

A passed Intelligence Check from Breanna confirms that she knows that the setup of flets is a picket line. But only Kel’Serrar picks up that this is an unusual level of organisation for a woodland bandit camp.

“We should probably all be together for this.” – Harold, quietly. Kel’Serrar nods in agreement.
“I’ll get Tremor then.” – Kel’Serrar, who slinks off into the undergrowth to find the engineer.

Tremor, hunkered down and watching the flet he found, finds Kel’Serrar materialising out of the undergrowth to his right. After a short, relatively cordial discussion, Tremor and Kel’Serrar head back to the rest of the group to find out what Harold wants him for.

While Kel’Serrar’s finding the dwarf, Harold silently beckons Breanna down.

“What’s the situation Breanna?” – Harold.
“There’s absolutely nothing up there. I could see quite a few platforms, but nothing on them. No people, no weapons, nothing. They must all be asleep or something.” – Breanna.

Taking a deep whiff of the air, Harold finds that he can’t seem to pick up any smells which would indicate recent habitation. It looks as if the bandits have moved on.

But there is one smell which does stand out, faint, but definitely there.

I ask Harold to make an Intelligence Check to see if he can put it all together.
“Oh good, I have a good Intelligence score!” – Dev, happily.
Snickers erupt from the group.
“It’s true, I do!” – Dev, indignant.
“What is it then?” – Sins.
“42.” – Dev.
“Wow.” – Wings.
“How….. Are YOU smarter than ME!?” – LD.
To put it in perspective, Maebh’s is the second highest on 36. Tremor’s is still mid-twenties, but he is a level below the others. Breanna has no such excuse.

Suddenly Harold’s mind clicks the pieces of the puzzle together. It’s a Danann scent, but it’s neither of the two he’s been travelling with. This scent is too raw and strong. This is a different smell of death and decay.

As Kel’Serrar and Tremor appear from amongst the trees, the Invarrian prepares to move.
“I want you to stay here please. We’ll come back for you, but this could be dangerous.” – Harold, to Dhara. She nods in reply and silently takes the horse’s guide-rope from Maebh.
Waving the party onwards silently, Harold leads the way along the overgrown woodland track, quietly sneaking past a few more abandoned flets. After a few minutes of this, they reach a clearing.

The centre of the clearing is a blackened circle, roughly six feet across, ringed with stones and filled with ash a charred wood. It would seem to be a rudimentary fire pit. Kel’Serrar walks over to it and surmises it hasn’t been used in at least a week.

There are several bare patches in the grass on the ground where it is likely tents were pitched, but they are gone now.

Aside from those patches and the fire pit, there is nothing in the clearing which suggests habitation, no signs of life in the immediate vicinity.
“Let’s look for tracks, shall we?” – Tremor, rubbing his hands together.

After a short time, they find some old, faint human-ish tracks, milling around. Maebh is particularly lucky, noting a large and very strange paw-print.
“Aww no, not another marcwolf!” – Dev.
“Actually, this is bigger than the average marcwolf’s print….” – Ominously…..
“Oh crap, a grizzly bear!” – Dev….

The party clusters around the print, but none of them can identify the creature. From the facing of the print, it appears to be heading in an approximately southerly direction. Worryingly, the most recent human tracks all seem to be going in the same direction, a beeline straight for the road.

“Maybe we should get Dhara. You never know, she did follow us, she might be good at this sort of thing.” – Tremor.
Admittedly, there is a big difference between following a few minutes behind a loud, noisy group of adventurers in a cart in the middle of the day and following faint, week-old tracks in the undergrowth, but at least he was being logical.
“Fair enough. I’ll go see if she will have a look.” – Harold, nodding in agreement.
Harold heads back to the first flet to go get her.

He fetches her, even in the fading light and brings her back to the clearing. Harold shows her Maebh’s paw-print and even in the darkness can see by the widening of her eyes that she has some sort of recognition.
“I’m not seeing much here.” – Dhara, shrugging ruefully.
“She lied, kill her.” – Ladyhawk.

“Well… Let’s see if there’s any clues to be found back in that cave.” – Harold.
He takes Maebh and Dhara with him, probably not thinking it safe to leave Dhara unsupervised.

Meanwhile the others keep looking around the abandoned campsite, but by now the light is failing and they can’t find anything of use. Tremor swiftly gives up on that and instead looks for herbs and other plants to harvest, thinking to start up an alchemy/apothecary business on the side once he can settle down a bit.

Having climbed into the nearest flet to the clearing, Kel’Serrar peers down at the ground with his keen eyes. While he finds nothing in terms of physical evidence, his predator senses tell him that there is some sort of pattern and control to the chaotic mass of tracks. He sits back against the tree, eyes closed, and ponders the nature of this chaos.

Meanwhile, Harold, Maebh and Dhara are walking back to the cave. Scanning the ground, Maebh notices a single trail of human tracks leading directly into the cave, fairly fresh and light. As far as Maebh can tell, whatever made this did so within the last two days.

As it is quite dark now, Harold asks Maebh to go hunting to get some dinner. While she does so, he gathers up some dry wood to serve as fuel for a fire. Dhara meanwhile just looks lost, staring up into the trees at something. It takes a while for Maebh to remember that she had strung a flayed man in those very branches just a week prior.

While all this is happening, Tremor gathers up some wood of his own and starts a fire in the abandoned fire pit while Breanna gathers up some berries and other fruits of the forest. Kel’Serrar meanwhile continues to ponder.
“I’m just going to do all the important stuff. You know, start a fire, go to sleep, wash clothes…. I don’t think I got the order right.” – Tremor, to much laughter.

It takes him a while, but Kel’Serrar actually thinks he recognises the pattern. His mind takes him back to some years ago, another bandit camp and a certain escapade with an old companion.
“Oh no….” – Sins.
He can tell from the movement of the prey in this instance that this is the hallmark of a predatory tactic he and Chirya worked on together. However, it would only work with more than one hunter, leaving him with a disturbing thought.

She had replaced him.

And on his way back down the tree, he sees the proof he didn’t need for himself, but for the others. In the elegant script of the Danann Cainte, the letter ‘C.’

Harold on the other hand, for some reason, not wanting to go into the cave anymore, starts to head back along the forest trail, bundle of sticks in hand with Dhara and Maebh with a brace of dead rabbits alongside him.

From their right, echoing menacingly through the shadow shrouded woodland comes a deep, rumbling growl.
"Oh lovely." - Ladyhawk.
Maebh immediately turns to her right, peering into the gloom while Dhara positions herself so that Harold stands between her and whatever is in the undergrowth.

"Keep moving, but slowly. And keep an eye out." - Harold, under his breath.
As soon as he takes his first step, an arrow whistles out of the night, brushing so close to the side of his face he feels a slight tingle from its passage. It embeds itself in the trunk of a tree behind him.

Only his sudden sideways movement saved his life.

"RUN!" - Harold, bellowing to the others and dropping his bundle of firewood.
Together, they bolt back to the camp along the trail.
Behind them, they hear a terrifying, thunderous roar. It is so loud that even the rest of the party in the clearing can hear it, causing both Kel'Serrar and Breanna to hide, one in a little more panic than the other. And it wasn't Breanna keeping calm.

Meawhile, Maebh has started to pull ahead of both Harold and Dhara, the Invarrian due to his injury and the Southlander due to simple anatomy. The Danann has longer legs and a predator's body, built like a wolf. 

Tremor stands behind a tree, borrowed shortsword clenched tightly as he prepares to attack whatever his chasing the rest of the party. Obviously Wings hasn't realised that selfless acts are thinly spread in this group.

Breanna meanwhile is hiding in amongst a large clump of berry bushes, nervously eating as she waits to see what is coming down the path. Kel'Serrar stands in his flet from earlier, pressed against the tree and trusting his cloak and the shadows. Looking down the path, Maebh can be seen, running full-pelt towards the fire. She reaches it and turns around, purple threads of magic crackling to life in her hands as she readies herself to face off against whatever was chasing them. As she does so, she can see Harold and Dhara pass Tremor's hiding place almost simultaneously, the Invarrian hobbling now after his initial burst of speed, his injuries having re-opened (again). She also sees Tremor with his sword, standing ready with his back against the tree.

Tremor's heart is racing. He knows that whatever comes down this path next will be the beast that loosed that monstrous roar. He is ready. To fight or to die.

But nothing happens. Silence surrounds them, broken only by the crackle of fire and their ragged breathing.

Hunched over, fighting back a scream of agony, Harold draws his other shortsword over his shoulder and offers it to the slightly built Southlander beside him. She nods her thanks, takes the blade and draws her own dagger with her other hand, her back to the fire. Harold meanwhile, gasps with pain and slowly, carefully draws forth his sabre. It's edge is pitted he has neglected it over the past few days, but it is the best weapon he has. He too stares down the trail, waiting for the monster that was so close to them only moments before.

And then the debate about the pronunciation of dance and nectarine came up again and totally screwed over any tension I had worked hard to develop. Ah well.

Kel'Serrar takes an arrow from his quiver and quietly nocks it to his bow, hoping to remain in hiding.

"Kel'Serrar, do you have any idea what that was!?" - Harold, breaking the silence with his ear-splitting shout.
Kel'Serrar rolls his eyes, but doesn't answer, not wanting to give away his position.
The echo of Harold's shout fades away in the forest and he thinks better of trying to yell out again.

A little bit of discussion about Tremor's background when Wings asks if there's any chance the dwarf has heard of anything like this in his travels. We decided that where Tremor could well have travelled extensively up in the north, there is very little likelihood that he would know very much about the southern lands.

Harold takes a very deep whiff and recognises the smell. Death, decay, wet fur.... He's smelt this before, in the wagon on the way back to Summer Hill, but he was never able to place it.

Where she lies in wait in the bushes, Breanna hears quiet rustling from the undergrowth behind her. And then a low, resonating growl.

Breanna, calling on her magic tries desperately to get her message across without giving away her position. In her haste she loses control of the magic, and suddenly, her fingernails turn black and many of her blood vessels burst. She whimpers quietly in pain, but stifles it swiftly. Sadly, Phantom Noise is not able to deliver anything but two word messages.

The words "CHECK FRUIT!" echo around the clearing in a shrieking, keening tone, one which the party immediately recognises as their Leathe companion in a great deal of anxiety. However the meaning of the phrase is lost on them.... Except Tremor. 

And we left it there....

The Wrap-Up:
Sorry that took so long to do, I was really struggling to find time to do it. So once again, 1:06 in the morning and I have university tomorrow morning.

Not much of a wrap-up this time round, but I can say that the next session is scheduled for the 26th of April, which might just give me enough time to get material sorted out for them. And maybe finish the Engineer advance options. :smalltongue:

Cheers and thanks for reading,

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