Stombrun's Forge

Session 4-7

Play begins outside town #5, having just defeated a large goblin army. A large group of horsemen is moving at supernatural speed towards us. The party notices that the villagers do not appear to be scared or otherwise panicked by the horsemen; we also notice that the horses are extremely fast and large – thundering along.

We continue towards town and hear some cheers as the remaining soldiers and our party are nearing town. There is also cheering as the horseman arrive at the far end of town. We ask a towns-person who the new horseman are – and he reveals that this group is the prince of this land. His name is Faron, and he has just arrived from town 5 (turns out we are actually in the outskirts of the area – the burbs!). Preparations are underway for a feast.

We move to the center of town, and are greeted by Faron, who apologizes for being too late to aid us in the battle. SKS explains that we are happy to have helped, and come under the banner of Braiden – the true king of this land. Faron accepts the greetings from Jimmue, and invites us to his father’s hall for the feast.

We notice a large ancient tree in town, and inquire about it. The tree showed the way to the people of the area finding a water source.

Brom asks if these attacks are normal and frequent. Faron indicates that they are happening more and more, and that the numbers and organization are surprising. His horsemen are swift and typically come in time. Brom also asks if Faron knows the nature of the ancient in this area – whether that may be driving these attacks? Faron explains that the ancient actually dwells within his father…Braloar. It chooses the next chief by inhabiting him.

We ask if there are any theories of why the attacks are coming with such frequency, but there are none.

We join with the horsemen and travel to the 5th city; our own steeds receive the speed benefits they have, and we are covering a great distance in little time. Darkness has fallen now, the night is clear and cool. There is a light in the distance, surrounded by a temporary camp of huts/tents… the nomadic HQ of this people.

Faron leads us to the central fire; people are enjoying a feast and festival to celebrate the day’s victory. There is a head table that is spread wide. There is a man in the middle who is large and has a commanding presence. As Faron begins to speak, the crowd falls silent and all eyes fall on us. He presents us to his Braloar, as heroes, and asks for his father to address us.

Brom asks Braloar is he would like to fight against the greatest evil in the land! Braloar indicates that as a young man he was likewise asked to join in battle against evil – and no benefit came of it to the desert. He will not ride into battle with us. Brom pleads once more, indicating that the evil we fight will not leave them alone, and may be the cause of the current goblin attacks. It is evident that Braloar is not pleased with the second attempt to get him to roll on our side. The party excuses themselves respectfully, and moves away from the head table.

SKS hears in the distance that Faron and Braloar are arguing in the their native language. Faron is frustrated, asking “why are you denying the young men in our tribe their chance for glory? – you had your chance in the great war, and now you are robbing us our chance to do the same. What if these men have come to ask our help because the spirit would have us be involved in the fight.” Braloar reminds him that he and the spirit are one – and their desire is intertwined. Faron bows his head, acknowledging that this is indeed the case.

The party enjoys the feast, and settles in to rest. Late in the night, Faron approaches us and mentions to the party that there is a strong group of warriors who would ride with Faron and us – if we but ask for his for their help. We ask if there is anything that would sway Braloar in our favor? Evidence of the goblin attacks origins? Faron explains that his father has become hardened with time, and has forgotten the glory of the battlefield. He thinks that the only thing which would sway his father would be the battle coming to them – he would certainly defend.

We rest for the night. An eagle approaches the camp, lands at our feet, and brings the voices of the wood elves – and army has moved into the woods at breakneck speed and will be at Wright’s Ferry by noon. We find Faron – give him eagle paper and our destination, giving him the tools he needs to join the fight if he chooses. He grins and runs off, and the party bampfs to Jimmue/Braiden.

We tell them all that we have done in the past couple of days (fighting fires, dwarves, and the horsemen). Braiden, hearing our full report, exits the room and makes a rousing speech. He asks that everyone come to make a stand against evil and tyranny. WE MARCH! The troops cheer and ready for battle.

It has begun.

We send messages to our contacts throughout the world – meet us post haste at the joining of the rivers to the east of Wrights Ferry…and we prepare for battle.

We bampf to the confluence to meet with whatever troops have responded to our call to arms. We are in the forest, and so far no one is there. However, emerging from our invisibility, some elves and ents reveal themselves. They take a knee and indicate that they await our orders. We request the intel on the enemy force – they reveal that a force of unbelievable magnitude is retooling in Wright’s Ferry and preparing to move NW. The elves have yet to see any of our other forces, but it is perhaps too early for them to have arrived.

The plan is thus: we bampf into the middle of town, drop an earthquake (we pre-wound Balthor) and a hurricane as a 1-2 punch, then bampf back away.

-We bampf to within 45 minutes of town to scout. GPD goes on a scouting mission, and SKS can telepathically see through his eyes. He sees camp and notices a shimmering over the town, potentially protecting the town from magic. SKS can tell that it is a prismatic sphere: which would protect them from our attacks. The size of that sphere is disconcerting – it is much larger than normal and probably means they have some serious magic powers. Plan foiled!

We send word of the status to Braiden with eagle paper… letting him know that we will wait for our forces and attack. He has 2,000 soldiers coming from Port Helsing. We have 100 elves and 50 ents. Eventually we should have around 1,000 people.

We bampf back and Feron is there with 200 riders! So far, no one is here from town 3, 7, or the dwarves. Our force is growing large. We institute a no-fire camp rule to keep as low a profile as possible.

As dawn arrives, an elf approaches Kelrick and let’s him know “they’ve left.” The elves were watching the encampment and everyone all of a sudden vanished! Were they an illusion? The ents do confirm that the army was real – but perhaps they left early and left an illusion behind to get the jump on us.

We decide to head straight west in hopes of making up time instead of going down through town. The horsemens’ speed is astounding. We receive word from Braiden – they’ve engaged the enemy at the edge of the forest, move with haste!"

At the edge of the forest, pirates from town 7 join us. We can now see smoke/haze and the obvious signs of a battle begun. The flag of Braiden is entrenched on some high ground and surrounded. Smaug is on site, and sleeping – not engadged in the battle. There is a destroyed village nearby, and it looks like the enemy had moved through a screening force of Braiden’s. The Isling flag is in the village keep.

Our force is just under 1,000 men. We send Feran at the head of the group, with the horsemen, ents, elves, etc. They avoid the castle as they can to flank to the main force. We move with the pirates from town 7 towards the Isling banner. Smaug awakes, and begins to tear at us with a roar so loud it seems to pause the whole of the battle for a moment. He skids to a halt in front of us and let’s go a mighty roar. Brom is shaken. Smaug spreads his wings wide – and announces “you’ve hurt me, I owe you.”

Balthor holds high his ring and says “hello old friend.” Smaug smiles and explains that the agreement is broken b/c Balthor hurt him!

We notice that Smaug is actually wearing armor crafted by the dwarves. His breath weapon instantly kills SKS and knocks Kelrick unconscious. After the first round, we feel the power of the three ancients we’ve encountered – healing the party and granting awesome powers to all in the party (except Kelrick, who instead gets Rhino Armor for Cody).

A furious battle ensues, ending with a desperate fire breath from the dying Smaug.

Out of a giant hole that has opened next to us – a flaming sword emerges, held by an arm wreathed in flames. We ask who has summoned him, and he responds that a fool has brought him – a vanguard of an army that will come to take this world. We decide that we must go and kill Isling!

Brom rides into the fortress and launches a six-arrow attack – killing Isling and sending the demon back to hell. The force of Isling’s spell explodes outward, knocking the full party unconscious.

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Session 3/24

We travel to the White Hand HQ in town. The WHC has burned much of their papers and fled; the space is looted by the departing soldiers. We do find some items of interest: ledgers, payroll info, etc. No memorable names there. We do find a journal, which belongs to Brom’s father. There are people he finds important, people that he planned to use information on. That includes the Duke, Capt. Morgan, and some other people we’ve yet to meet. He obviously traveled a lot and gathered a good deal of information on even small towns and their power players.

The end of the journal is a to-do list, which includes:
-Have HL meet up with PI agent outside forest
-Secure provisions to restock outpost 6
-Hang a couple of their guys to show good will to the Duke
-Send HL to retrieve drop from PI.

HL strikes Brom as familiar, someone his father knew… Headley Lamar.
The party thinks PI may be Prince Isling…

In addition, we retrieve a portion of a letter written to Brom’s dad, which reads: “I don’t like the tone you’re taking, you know I’ve never been afraid of a good scrap when the gold is good. You sent me here to get a good idea of the situation, and I don’t care how much gold is here – I am not going to be around when they summon that…” The rest is burned off.

The party bampfs to Jimmue’s court to run our idea of going next to town 5. Lance is there! He and his troops are resting after fleeing from their broken defense of Nashkell. Not much remains from the group, since Smaug came and set the town ablaze. Lance reports that the forest has been mostly quiet, but Isling’s forces have been making random raids to see where the weaknesses are in Jimmue’s forces. Braiden has been on the front, but has been pulled back multiple times to prevent his death or capture. Groups of 100-150 will come and attack the walls, or sometimes smaller groups will come in the night to try and catch everyone off guard. Jimmue has tried to stop him, but Braiden enjoys leading from the front – and is difficult to persuade to back off the front lines. Smaug was seen flying East, away from the battle, but left parting fires which are still out of control – leaving the sky red with flames and smoke.

We head with Lance into the court to meet with Jimmue. We notice that the army is weary and looks defeated by being stuck in the castle instead of being out on offense. A lot of preparations are occurring and you sense the energy of a force ready to get a good battle going. Brom, sensing the mood, makes a rousing speech to the troops – which fires them up to shouts of Huzzah!

Entering the court, we see Jimmue and Braiden. Braiden appears different yet again, and he is wearing well-worn armor. He is also wrapped in the cloak of the king, adding to his regal aura. Braiden is pleased with the upbeat change in the mood of the soldiers (they can hear the shouts from outside the court walls). Jimmue is very pleased that the elves are supporting us from the southern woods, along with town 7/8. We describe the potential plan to have town 3 come south, town 8 come north, and the wood elves join together east of the Isling forces, to keep them from joining up. Jimmue mentions that he was blind to the east of the river, and attempts to scout or skrye have been foiled.

We give options: go to Nashkell, to town 5, or to bolster in the south. Braiden chimes in: the time to act is now. He wants to travel SE to just outside of Rite’s Ferry under banner, and draw the troops in Rite’s Ferry out. Then he would have us go to town 5, and then come with all of our friendly troops from the rear of the Isling troops. Braiden wishes to be the anvil, while we act as the hammer – flanking and defeating the troops.

We are concerned that to leave Port Helsing basically under a skeletal crew is too risky, as is having Braiden right under the nose of the full enemy force. We ask permission to go see the Hermit first, to try and determine the size of the force in the woods around Nashkell. Jimmmue urges Braiden to allow it to happen.

Braiden responds that in five days, he marches SE unless we have compelling reasons not to.

After shopping, we bampf into the hermit’s general area. We arrive and the place is fiery and hot. We hear moaning all around us. Kelrick casts a huge rainstorm to try and combat the fires, which begins to have an impact on the fires. The ground around us begins to shimmer, and we recognize the Hermit’s now-familiar valley is beneath our feet, and his dryads appear to lead us to hit home. It is surprisingly quiet, and the hermit look tired and weaker than the last time we saw him. He mentions that he and Smaug did battle. He pushed him from the forest, but at no small cost to himself; he is taking rest as a result. SKS conveys the latest news, and asks for advice. The hermit explains that the forest is confused at the moment, and he is afraid for himself more than for the matters of men. Kelrick asks if there is anything else the party can do to help heal the forest? The hermit thanks us for the rain, he has been too drained to do anything of the sort the forest. He asks that we continue to do that as much as possible. He thinks that he needs about 12 hours to rest and get additional info from the woods.

The party leaves the hermit’s valley, and Kelrick flies in bird form to the next area burning to cast another rain storm. He sees some very specific areas that are burning; there are a few to the west and a few to the east. Using one hour of meditation, he sets a third and fourth storm to help put out the fires everywhere possible.

The party then bampfs to Stonehammer family tomb, deep beneath the mountain. The party goes invisible, and goes up to see if the Blackfoot clan is still in power. Knowing that the ring and axe Balthar carries are recognizable artifacts, the party considers whether he should reveal himself and rally the dwarven troops to our cause, and decides it is time for the king to be revealed.

Shredder Blackfoot is in charge. The party goes invisible and heads to the crowded public square. Revealing himself to the crowd, Balthar challenges Shredder showing him the axe and ring of the Stonehammer clan. “But there are no Stonehammers left. All I see is a dumb kid who is about to meet his end!” The crowd is murmuring at the mention of the Stonehammer, and all eyes are on this scene. Balthar evicerates the leader of the Blackfoot clan, and the crowd begins to shout “STONEHAMMER!” The Blackfoot are quickly routed by the excited crowd.

One of the guards takes a knee before Balthar, explaining that he is the last of the Stonehammers and deserving of allegiance. Balthar asks him what is needed to keep order, and possibly to march south? Balthar requests a force to march in a day’s time; the guard explains that with the coups troops are light, but they will do what they can to prepare.

The party bampfs back to the woods, takes rest, and then tries to rediscover the hermit. The hermit does indeed bring us into the valley again, and he looks a bit better. Still not fully recovered, he does have some new information about the forest. He has had visions; since Smaug has fled the forest has come alive and there has been fighting there. The enemy holds the town of Nashkell, and there is nothing that can be done there are the moment. The force is smaller than the original invading group, but still numbers in the 100s. In addition, the forces are continuing to use fire to repel the forest’s defenders. The party decides to send Kelrick right over Nashkell and start another rainstorm, to aid the troops. The hermit agrees that, at a great cost, the forest could keep a full scale attack from coming from Nashkell to Port Helsing (while mostly undefended).

The party bampfs to just outside town 5 to begin the scouting mission there. The party is utterly confused by the landscape being hexes instead of squares. After routing a large army of goblins, the town welcomes us as heroes? To be continued….

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Session 3/9

The party moves through the woods towards the castle, searching for the vampire. On the way, they notice a few White Hand Company soldiers. During the battle, Brom’s father arrives and is killed. He has two strange swords which the party cannot identify.

We approach the old rundown castle, and notice the faint smell of blood and wood smoke. At some point recently, someone has been camping here. We enter the castle. In the center of the courtyard, a dead tree is standing. There is some standing water in the courtyard as well. The water is the source of the faint smell of blood – as we smell it, we notice that the blood is magically sustained.

During battle, and time blood hits the water, the water appears to react. As the battle winds down, the bodies in the water begin to reanimate. One is beheaded, and the body staked. The head appears to still be alive anyway, and is crushed to pieces. Lighting is cast on the tree, which splits and catches fire. The zombie soldier still alive appears to be afraid of the fire, so we shoot him with a fire arrow.

Brom makes his way to the stables in the corner of the courtyard and finds a staircase leading downward. There are sounds of water and – breathing. The party makes their way down the stairs. There is a small room, but a weak spot exists in the wall where someone has piled stones. Behind the stones, there is a room – full of water – with a crypt in the middle. The breathing reacts to the noise we make entering the room. It doesn’t appear that the breathing noise, which settles back down after reacting to the noise of our entering the room. The breathing seems to be coming from the wall. Kelrick heads for the source of the noise, and the breath appears to be coming in and out of the wall itself.

Brom and SKS remove the lid to the tomb – and inside is the stone body of a man laying there. The breathing stops. In the body’s chest is a hole: Brom puts the stone from the statue in the chest: and the water all becomes blood in an instant. When the blood water reaches the area where the breathing is, a door seems to appear in the wall, and text appears: “When our hearts are joined together, we rest for eternity.”

Heading through the door, there is a path with two ends. One end is a small tomb, and the other is a tree, pulsating, in a deep pool of blood. Beneath the tree, in the blood pool, was a heart. Removing it from the tree, we place it in the open chest of Carmila during combat, then kill her.

As we exit the tomb, it collapses behind us. Carrying the body and head are separate – they sizzle and burn in the bright sunlight (now back as the fog has lifted). Letters we recovered from the tomb are love letters from the Duke to his beloved Carmila, after she had already passed.

After a brief rest, we begin to head back to town. We are approached by a group of elves who had been hiding out in the forest – keeping away from the White Hand Company. The elves had killed the WHC elements after the fog lifted. We also hear a whisper in the wind that says: “you are true friends of the forest, and always welcome here.” The voice appears to be from an ancient.

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Session 2/24

Play begins again in the church. The party searches the sanctuary. It doesn’t appear to be too old; just outside the foyer there is an office. SKS notices there is a book in his pocket; its Van Helsing’s journal. It is pages and pages of his hunt for the head vampire. He believes, according to the writing, that her grave in the graveyard just outside the church. He’s been staking out the area, waiting for her to return to her grave and rest. Some other entries also indicate that Duke Hazard (her old lover) has possibly moved the resting place to another spot from this space…but the final entry also mentions “I need to find the heart before I can kill the bitch.” Apparently the heart and the body would need to be together to be ultimately destroyed.

Some letters we find in the office from Duke Hazard’s estate indicate that some vampires had begun to come into the area – and he vowed to rid the area of them. But then he learned that his beloved Carmilla had become a vampire of her own evil; making him torn about what to do. Overcome with his love for her, he separated her heart from her and moved her body to his castle. The party fails to learn the location of Duke Hazard’s estate.

The party heads back out to the grave keeper’s house outside. He’s skeptical about helping us, but a Charm Person does the trick. There is a boiler in his house, which otherwise has a dirt floor and is run down. There is a small additional room covered by a wooden plank. The dirty room is where he sleeps, and has a run down bed. There are keys on a hook, which Brom takes.

We ask him about Duke Hazard. He knows of a compound in the nearby forest which is abandoned – and cursed. To the NE is an old worn path which leads us to the castle. We rest without event in the grave keeper’s house, which is protected with garlic! Our first rest in days, and SKS’ fatigue condition is removed.

The party searches the graveyard and finds a Duke Hazard statue in the center. There is a crypt with Carmilla’s family crest over it. The keys open the door, and in we go. There are eight stone caskets lining the walls. We open one and behead the corpse. The others we seal with a stone shape spell. In the main area, there is a statue in the corner. There is also a liquid around the center tomb, which gurgles occasionally. The liquid is water with a layer of scum on the top. There is a strong necromancy in the room. The tomb in the center of the room which is Carmilla’s ancestor and his history is inscribed on the tomb. This is her brother’s grave.

There are four statues in the room. Three of them are facing the center tomb. One has been forcibly turned to the corner, and is broken to pieces – and the statue’s head is missing from the room. The inscription reads “Countess Carmilla” – the girl we are after! The other statues all share the same surname – thus they were all representative of different family members. A mother, father, brother, and daughter. The grave in the center is the father’s grave. There are clear scrape marks on the grave.

Backtracking slightly, we return to a door we passed. Inside a room there is a statue of a man either begging or praying. It is noticeably more lifelike than the other statues. The next area is the mother’s grave site, with an inscription.

Finally, we head in to the area where the girl’s grave is located. The gurgling noise becomes louder and more apparent. Raised on the pedestal is her grave. As Balthar cracks her graves, the other three likewise burst open. The party hears laughter and footsteps. SKS kneels unexpectedly, as does Brom. Balthar smashes open the girl’s tomb, and see a letter and the head of the statue inside. An epic battle ensues, and three vampires are killed.

The letter from the girl’s tomb was one from Duke Hazard, expressing his love for her – but he explains that “he has to do what he has to do.” He seeds a tree with her blood, and buries her nearby. SKS replaces the head back on the statue, and as he does the statue crumbles: revealing a chest. It has an arcane lock, which SKS attempts to open – successfully. Inside appears to be a rock. It is the same color and material as the statue which just crumbled. We also notice that the statues which were previously lifelike and stone are now dust (we determine that they were minions of one of the vampires).

The party returns to the grave keeper’s house to rest. An eagle paper arrives with news: an Isling force moved west towards Port Helsing. As it moved through the hermit’s forest, and as it moved through, the advanced guard were getting picked off mysteriously. Nashkell was the target, where the army (led by Lance), was waiting for them. However, just before Lance was able to mount an attack – Smog arrived in town and smashed it, scattering most of the force. Still, the hermit plus the remaining soldiers were able to destroy the first Isling unit. We have been requested by Jimmue to move north and help repel whatever second force they send to the now-defenseless Nashkel.

THE PARTY LEVELS UP TO 13

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Session 2/13/12

Play begins right after we killed the Count in Dragon form… on the edge of town.

We take the skull of the dead dragon, and Brom takes a few claws as well. SKS, in the form of the dragon, writes a message in the side of the partially crushed building (with acid on his claws) – “This is what happens to child rapists like Count Duku.”

The party returns quickly to town to see what is happening. There is quite a commotion in the main square; guards are trying to subdue the crowd, and the building has been closed. SKS and Kelrick and flying, and move invisibly over the walls to see what is going on. There is one carriage missing from inside the compound – the one we expect the Countess to be. The party quickly moves to go along the regular carriage route, and sees it on the move. SKS and Kelrick overtake the carriage, and begin to attack the harnesses on the horses – trying to stop the carriage from fleeing. They succeed, and as the yoke falls it digs into the ground, flipping the carriage and hurting people inside. The four guards riding horseback on the corners quickly stop and turn to prepare the attack.

The Countess has been thrown from the carriage, holding a girl (15-16ish) who is yelling out in pain. Brom yells out that she is her quarry! She stands up holding the girl in her arms, and casts dispel magic on the invisible players. During the skirmish, the girl actually vanishes and doesn’t re-appear. The party kills all the knights, and cuts the head off the Countess after the battle ends.

In the end, the party’s ailments (fatigue/constitution damage) appear to remain – the girl is the real source of evil! She has vanished and not returned.

The party searches the carriage wreckage, and finds a strong box inside. Balthar smashes it, and dark magic is released (requiring a save). SKS attempts to dispel the dark magic, does so, and Balthar opens it with his axe. The box is full of letters on ancient parchment; they are love letters to Carmilla from Duke Hazard (just a good ‘ol boy, never doin’ no harm) – and they are dated three hundred years prior. There is a strain between the families, and the two are forbidden from seeing each other. Carmilla confides some of the things she’s done which are terrible; but she also reveals how passionate she is for him. The final letter is him pleading with her not to go forward with her plans to kill herself. SKS explains that there was a family in this forest with the Hazard name, who used to reside in this general area.

The party sends a note via eagle paper to Jimmue giving him an update and requesting a bit more information (since his late note was simply “It has begun”).

We bampf back to the bar, where there is some excitement because of what is happening. There is still confusion why the fog isn’t gone yet, even though people know the Baron is dead. Folks have seen the note on the wall; there was surprise about the fact that the Baron was a dragon. Brom and Balthar intimidate the guild member, angrily asking why he didn’t mention the girl. He had never seen or heard of her, though. After a brief rest, the party goes to the center of town.

Brom makes a speech standing atop the fountain in the square, explaining that the party has come under the banner of Braiden and tried to free them from the evil/mist. There is a man in the crowd who seems to want Brom’s attention. SKS bampfs away with that guy, and gets the information from him. When the party comes back into the alley, SKS explains that they need to meet this guy and oil him- he was the source of the evil. Detecting a lie from SKS, the party intimidates him to get the true answer. After being intimidated, he says that the guy was in fact a vampire hunter who was searching for the grave/resting place of the main/original vampire. Kalrick notices that SKS is starting to get gaunt, and perhaps is turning a dark corner on the vampiric scale. Confused, the party heads for the meeting place – a church – to see what awaits them.

The party approaches an old church, which appears to be kept up until recently. The building is in good shape, but the grounds are rough. Quite a few of the graves have been overturned. There is a shack with a grave keeper – he hears our approach and comes out to speak with us. We notice that the building with the grave keeper is covered with garlic. We yell to him that we are seeking the cleric. Then we say we’re hunting vampires, and his interest is piqued. He reveals that Carmila is buried in a crypt with her family. SKS teleports himself (alone) to the bell tower when the crypt keeper mentions that the hunter, Van Helsing, spends the nights there.

The party reaches the bell tower and finds SKS standing over Van Helsing’s dead body. The body appears to be dead recently but not this instant. SKS is excited that the traitor is dead, but the rest of the party recognizes this as a problem. Heading back through the church, four vampires attack the party. SKS comes to the vampire’s aid, and continues to attempt to convince the party that the vampires are not to be harmed because they are friendly.

After defeating the vampires, SKS finally saved and beat the domination. He wasn’t really aware of what was happening, and trying to make the peace between the two groups. He explains that his every thought was of the girl who bit his neck…

Pause in the action until next session…

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Session 2/2/12

We resume in the alley speaking to a thieve’s guild member.

We decide to attack the Baroness first. She has an established route past an inn outside of town.
Brom inquires about his father, the leader of the WHC. He put together the merc clan, and they have grown quite a lot – and brought order using thugs/thieves under their control. They have an HQ next to the magistrate office/palace where the baron resides.

Night is falling, so we go to the woods near the Inn – and sleep in a rope trick. Brom takes the form of a tree and guards outside, while a ghost dog guards inside. The sleeping party sees the same terrifying dream of a panther walking in the room, and goring SKS. The ghost dog cowers and is terrified. The party wakes up, and the ghost dog is cowering in real life. The Countess is standing over SKS, covered in his blood. She leaves when we begin to move. Brom swings his blessed sword at her (she changes to mist) – she shrieks but isn’t hurt.

The party finds it odd that she hasn’t killed SKS despite two opportunities. So we change focus to the Baron himself. We head back toward town, in hopes of scoping out the palace grounds. Dawn is breaking… There is a massive fountain in the town square, and past that is a palace, where there is a balcony overlooking the main square. The doors are shut/sealed, except in the corner are a stables. They are readying a carriage (for the Countess!). The guards look very gaunt and lifeless, dead behind the eyes.

The square is beginning to come to life. Kelrick turns into a bird and flies up to take a look, finding the Baron there getting ready. He is readying for the day. We banf to the balcony, smash the door open and enter. The Baron isn’t startled at all. He says to Brom, “I think you need to leave now,” and Brom walks out. As the party threatens the Baron, he vanishes into a mist. Kelrick creates a windstorm, which pushes the mist back together, and a furious Baron reappears. Brom comes back in. As it turns out, the Baron is a vampire green dragon…

Nearing his death, the dragon bursts through the ceiling, but is hit from one more arrow from Brow and begins to fall from the sky. SKS grabs Brom with fly, and they chase it with the fallen angel. The dragon lands on a small building, and crushes it. The dragon is down, but he appears to be regaining his strength. Brom charges the dragon and severs it’s head with Flametongue.

To be continued….

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Session 1/27/12
So... Know Any Vampires?

Session begins in the basement of the Thieve’s Guild in Town 7. We send the GPD to scout the Isling forces. He returns and informs us that their soldiers are readying for an attack. We order our troops to the north to assault the front gate. We head out of town in an invisibility sphere, and as we approach the top of the sea wall, we hear some explosions and see lights in the distance. We banf there since it appears that the battle has begun. The scene is awesome – our soldiers, under banner, are running roughshod over their troops at the fortress. Our captain is there, directing the attack. We appear and startle him, and he stabs Balthar takess 32 damage!

He had done a lot of groundwork and prepared the attack. They are already wrapping things up. We congratulate him on the job well done, and let him know to join with the thieve’s guild but not to let them have total power/control.

We head east to the eleven area of the woods, where there has been racial tension because of the Corleone blame. We travel east and the plain becomes a hilly forest. There is an uncanny darkness over the forest, which covers the expanse of the horizon as far as the eye can see. It is unnatural, and causing much darkness. SKS does detect magic, and sees that it is illusary. Inside the fog, visibility decreases; it is deadly quiet; and very dark even though it is high noon. We don’t notice any negative affects. We don’t have much idea where we would find the elves, but we do notice some paths cut in the woods. We see human footprints, and it appears that it is a well traveled area. We hear some muffled footfalls ahead of us, and we slow to a stop – the footsteps stop as well. Tosie moves forward in stealth and notices about 6-8 human soldiers, some of who are fanning out. We call out again, and let them know we don’t appreciate being flanked – to let them know we have eyes on them. They reveal they are guards from town #8, watching for trouble on the road. We ask for passage, and indicate that we are lost. They approach and appear nervous. They are all emblazened with the white hand company mark on their armor.

They are soldiers in service of the Baron, and they indicate that most people on the road aren’t friendly. Balthar intimidates them into letting us pass. After getting a few yards down the road, our hatred of the white hand party (and these guys have mocked elves openly) overcomes us. SKS mutters “So, know any vampires?” The encounter is on!

It is a long skirmish with multiple White Hand Company soliders/rangers. As the tide turns for us, a figure appears and blows a horn. It signals retreat for the remaining WHC fighters. The figure is clouded by Kelrick, and moves away in stealth. Brom intimidates a fallen WHC soldier into revealing that the man is, in fact, Brom’s father. Brom rages for a while, but Christafaro steps in to kill the WHC soldier first.

The party is unable to track the man, so they continue to head towards town #8. The unnatural fog actually gains strength out of the forest toward the town. We rest for the night. During our rest, we have the same dream – a large panther is pacing in our room; we are unable to awake, though; the panther attacks SKS’s sleeping self and he is defenseless. We all awake and discuss the dream. We are in a panic, but no one knows the meaning of the dream.-

We head into town, a few folks are around but they are avoiding us. The buildings are boarded up. There seems to be a fear present in the town. We question someone, who indicates that the fog has been around a month or so. He says that the fog has adversely affected the crops, kids have gone missing, and it seems to bother people greatly. He remembers that the Baron was wed, which seems to be a trigger for the troubles.

We notice guards/soldiers, and there are a bunch of WHC people in town. We are in disguise, and they take no note of us. We know that there is a pub where we will see the thieve’s guild although they haven’t had contact with those guys for a while. The pub is totally quiet the normal sounds of a happy atmosphere is lacking. Brom ditches his disguise, and is noticed by a guild member. He proposes a meet later, in the alley behind the pub. He warns us that this is a dangerous time; he hasn’t been able to get messages to the Guild b/c the WHC kills his messengers.

The bride of the baron is Countess Mircalla; she is from a faraway land, and little is known about her. And it is well known in the guild that the bodyguards are kidnapping kids to deliver to him. Theres is evidence of that, but the baron’s wealth has a grip on the town. If we kill him, the town should rally around us because of the evidence. The guild member recalls that there was once a vampire problem in the area, but it was rid of that plague by a famous man – Lord VanHelsing. However, it does seem like people in the town are showing those symptoms again. He also says that they have terrifying dreams in which the vampire will bite them and turn them. The party becomes nervous, and wonders if something has happened to SKS.

The guild member mentions that we will have a hard time getting the Baron into a public place, other than his weekly balcony address (with heavy guard). However, the Countess does travel the countryside every day. He mentions that she leaves with a guarded carriage, with 10-12 guards present. We think attacking her may be the course of action.

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Session 1-7-12

We begin the session where we left off- finishing up our conversation with the Thieve’s Guild master. He lets us know that the key in town #7 is to kill Capt. Morgan. The Thieve’s Guild would not be unhappy if the Corleones loose power there. We search the bodies back upstairs, and take their gear. Then we take two weapons (the earthquake axe and flametoungue) to be blessed by clerics in anticipation of future vampire slaying! SKS secretly goes to buy the needed items for a secret spell later on——.

We send eagle paper to our captain (the rogue) in town #7 to move out from town and meet with us upon our arrival. Then we instruct the remaining men in his group to head down after us (a day behind) in small groups – under no banner. They are to camp outside of town, before being in the sight of the Isling troops in the wooden fort outside of town #7.

As we are heading through the first few towns, it becomes apparent that we have gained enough fame to be noticed, and we fear that people will give away our destination. So we cast invisibility on our party any time we are near a townstead to prevent spies from getting ahead of us.

When we approach the fortress Isling troops are in, they appear to give us no notice (we are disguised physically and magically at the time.) Just outside of town, there are three elves in some gallows – and a notice that elves from the nearby woods will be executed. We are approached by a man as we mingle with the priests helping the poor, and he indicates that he is a friend with the Thieve’s Guild, and describes the location of the hideout. We head there, and a man enters and opens a magically sealed trap door in the floor. Downstairs, we see our rogue, seated with a druid named Kelrick. He is a former member of the Corleone gang who has decided not to continue working with them. He knows a secret entrance into Capt. Morgan’s complex through the sewers. Our rogue gives us what little he knows – basically saying that the town doesn’t love the Corleones and would welcome their demise (although he recognizes that the power vacuum will be real – hence our troops heading down). He also says that the Elves have been made scapegoats, and the town will have ill feelings about them regardless of who is in charge, until the economics of the area improve. We send him out of town to go encamp with the coming troops and await or signal to attack the Isling Troops.

We travel through the sewers, which is the backdoor to Capt. Morgan’s area. We have heard that he will be there for only a day or so and then leave, so the window to kill him is limited. In the sewers, we encounter three water elementals that guard the entrance. Then we get into the hideout of Capt. Morgan. He is there along with another man and a sorcerer bodyguard. We hold the door magically to prevent anyone else from joining the party, and then have an amazing every-is-invisible battle royale. Capt. Morgan and the others are killed. Leaving through the sewer, we hear that guards have come down to try and stop us, so we teleport back to the thieve’s guild.

As we regroup in the secret basement, a sheet of eagle paper comes through a pipe into the room – it is from Jimmue and reads “It has begun.”

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Session 12-30

We begin the session in our compound, and head in to see Jimmue. We notice that purple flames are high in the sky – apparently activated when the king is in the castle. Jimmue confirms that to us. We also notice that Braiden’s appearance has changed- he is larger, and has a more confident air about him. Jimmue updates us that Nashkell and Brenton (town 3; pledged in secret) have pledged their support based on our actions and the purple flame evidence.

We discuss town #5 – it is a nomadic area generally. They are fast moving, calvary is strong. Fiercely independent people.

Town #7 is the pirate town, and there is not necessarily a central power there. Our note from our detachment informs us that – “town is worse than usual; we expected to find some semblance of order, but there is terrible poverty here. Isling soldiers have occupied a run down palisade that was once a barrack, and they are obviously trying to influence someone in the town. It seems like they are prepping to leave again, please send our soldiers to come down and kill this contingent of soldiers.” Braiden is concerned that we don’t know what Isling is up to; he thinks it wiser to win the people over before there is open combat.

Town #8 has been silent for quite a while. That is where the child molester is located.

We agree to go to towns 7-8-5 in that order.

Next we head to the Thieve’s Guild at Fisherman’s Wharf. En route, we detect a subtle reaction to us by a guy on the street; he quickly evades us and leaves the scene. At the guild, the Guildmaster is not there – but we try to get some info from other guys we know. They’ve had a long standing contact with District 7 – the Corleone family runs that town. Their leader (captain morgan) runs the town, though the town doesn’t have official leadership. But about a week ago, contact stopped from there. He suggests we wait until the guildmaster returns the next day,

While we are sleeping at the hotel, three assassins come in our room. We are awakened by an alarm we placed on the door, and manage to quickly kill two of them. The third blends into the crowd and we are able to find him out while going through the people at the inn. We end up cutting him in half! The thieve’s guild master has returned and asks what has happened. He appears pissed that this would have happened without his blessing. Brom gives him the notebook he found as part of his backstory. That, combined with the white hand on the assassin’s clothes alarm him. He recognizes that they have some sort of deal (they operate) near town #8. Balthar has been wounded with a constitution wounding blade (a necromancy poison), and he is infected. The Thieve’s Guild master can tell that the blade was coated with a powerful poison- he is impressed at it’s power and that Balthar wasn’t killed by it. The poison is crafted with the blood of a vampire – meaning that they are controlled by or have captured a vampire. The only way to reverse the loss of constitution is to kill the source vampire.

The mercenary group is the “white hand company” – they must’ve had a contract with town #8 and are locking down the area. We head into the guild HQ for more secrecy. He gives us a bit on information on town 7. The people are not necessarily in love with the Corleone family – many would accept rule from the king again if that would mean the end of the Corleone rule. He believes that the Isling people have made a deal with the Corleone family to come to Port Helsing and destroy Jimmue’s fleet. He suggests that we destroy the Corleone family first – since the contract with Isling isn’t apparent yet (we might need to prove it). He mentions that there is a network of tunnels under the town, and that if we can get past the entrance into town – we should go to the Old Boot Inn (first one we’ll see). There, we need to order the most expensive whiskey from the barkeep, and should be met by a friend of ours.

We discuss the idea of sending Jason, our fighter commander, to town #3 under no banner (similar to the way Isling has dispatched men). When we return to our compound before the journey to town #7 – we will send that group of 25 to bolster the strength at town #3.

We ask the guildmaster what ancients he is aware of: he mentions the hermit and smaug, plus another hermit in the south, and one that lives in the winds of the desert (sometimes people hear a voice; but no one has seen that being that he knows of). The southern hermit is even more reclusive than the northern one.

He also lets us know that we’ve been a good benefit for him, and that we can find ways to contact him around. He also urges us to hurry up and complete our mission in town #8… although we aren’t hurting him by beating down the Corleone family in town #7.

We ask about the White Hand Company. He explains that they began as a company of soldiers which fought for the empire in the forest (mostly rangers and assassins). They have special skills in the forest, and are handy in the forest. Town #8 wanted to stop traffic in/out, and they were perfect for that mission.

Level up to 11

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Session 12.9.11

Continuing our dungeon crawl…

The ghost girl beckons us follow and vanishes through the next door in the room. We enter the room, and see a pool of water in the room. The laser is hitting the stairs at the far end of the room, and needs to be raised somehow. Dwarven writing in the pool says “the breath of the stonehammer opens the door.” Balthor enters the pool and says “open” at which point the pool turns to a prism of ice, trapping the hapless dwarf. After a strength check and some party laughter, he breaks out. The prism does the work of raising the beam to hit the door and open it.

In the next room, there is a hole in the ground and a seemingly shallow pool of water. The ghost girl is in the room and says “entertain us.” We are transported to a magical room where we are told by her disembodied voice that only one can leave. So we fight and Balthor lives. He alone is transported back and speaks to her (she tells him to leave). Then there is a shimmer, and then SKS and Brom reappear. We hear a voice say “You must kill the anchor.” The girl becomes enraged, and we roll for initiative!

During battle, we dissipate the water in the pool, and reveal a druid from the temple is alive in the water, clutching a green stone. Brom jumps into the hole and severs the hand clutching the stone, causing the girl to fade. We save the guy, and take the stone into a pouch. The man is someone we recognize from the temple (he is a druid). He explains that after the kobold attacks, he attempted to use the power of the stone and instead it was his master. He had been contained in the well while the spirit of the stone worked it’s evil. We heal the guy, sensing that he meant good by taking the stone to defend his town. Then we hear a voice saying that he wants to meet us, but without the stone. We teleport to the pit in the stone hammer area, leave the stone, and then come back to the forest. Bob (the hermit) reveals that he felt the power of the stone rise when it teleported us to the other room – and the hermit is one who healed us and brought us back. Apparently when they killed him previously, his spirit was imprinted into the stone. The hermit wants us to destroy the stone. We ask how, and he suggests we give the stone to Smaug, whose lawful nature will react with the chaotic nature of the stone – weakening both parties significantly. Then he will likely destroy the stone himself to be rid of the encumbrance.

We leave the temple druid with Bob, who heals him but keeps the hand off as a reminder of his folly. Then we go back to our pit in the volcano and rest, retrieve the heart of the forest, and head to see Smaug. Upon hearing that we have a deal for him, he dismisses all the other creatures around. He is excited by the power of the stone, and asks what exactly we had trouble with in the snow field. Shaking off the dust from his wings, he explodes out of the room and goes himself to go and get the medallion for us. We make the trade, and he pours the small stone into he giant fist which clinches around it. He experiences obvious pain, and then we hear a -crack, and dust from the stone falls to the ground. He roars “treachery,” and lunges towards the party (which teleports away).

We teleport back to our keep, and bring the amulet back to Jimmue and Braiden. While doing so, Balthor mentions his own situation regarding his status of heir to the thrown, and they pledge their support to him.


Our scouts have returned our eagle paper note with a message – tbd by Jeremy *

Back in the compound, we recall that our fruit-freezing wizard needs a visit, and SKS sneaks in to find his spell book – reading the spell we desire. As he touches the spell book, his arm freezes solid! After dispelling the ice away, SKS learns the spell and returns the book without any further action.

We pick up 400gp from our compound as profit from the month we’ve been gone.


Jimmue also requests for us to come see him and discuss what he has learned from the dead king’s spirit.

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