The King's Recruits

Session 32: Return to Ravenholm

Session 32: Return to Ravenholm

22/11/2013

Cast- The King’s Recruits: Averlon Blackwood, Edran Laraneth, Fargrim Stoneborn, Horiam and Kriv

Rings of NPCness: Hemingway, Gareth 2.0 Mia and Nimaketh

Date: 27th – 29th Reapdon, 1028

With the last of the zombies dispatched, the Platinum Knights momentarily stop to take their breath and tend to their serious injuries. Their adventure continues deep within the Midnight Marshes in a race against time to return to Ravenholm with the food supplies that are vital to the survival of the 30 militia and engineers left at the outpost.

After catching their breath the party turn and regard the magical swirling eddy and arcane book that lie in the middle of the island.
It appears that the eddy is a planar tear—a fluctuating gateway to the Shadowfell— similar in nature to the portal that the party encountered in Terios’ lair a month ago.
Edran approaches the book and picks it up. He reads the spine discovers that it is an ancient elvish tome titled Volo’s Guide to Using Portals. The textbook is full of information regarding arcane portal theory, and has been filled with handwritten annotations from a previous user. Edran feels a strong arcane source within the pages and as he opens to the middle of the text he discovers an ornate silver-laced wand of wonder+2 of elvish design.

When the party discuss whether to try and shut the unstable portal, Horiam attempts to pray to the Raven Queen. Fargrim Stoneborn walks near the portals and claps his hands twice. In response the chaotic portal cracks with energy and fries the dwarf with lightning. While the party are picking up Fargrim Horiam’s prayers go unanswered, suggesting that the portal has not been created or divinely sanctioned by the Raven Queen. After agreeing, Edran tries to focus his powers on the swirling vortex, but is unable to conquer the chaotic and wild energies.

Edran stops and opts to continue studying the textbook and will return to seal the portal once he has learnt how to master the correct spells. The party agree that it is time to catch up to the others who rode ahead with the food supplies.

The Platinum Knights retrieve their mounts and ride on. After a few hours of riding they successfully return to Ravenholm. They find that the engineers and militia, while a little hungry due to the party’s delays, have not been idle in their absence. The initial settlement fortifications have been reinforced while the foundations of the barracks have begun to take shape. While riding through the gates the party meet one of the chief dwarven engineers, Quenentair. He updates the party on the progress of the settlement, reporting that the hunting party had run out of supplies and game yesterday. While Quenentair looks askance at Kriv, he says that he is glad that the party did not delay in their return.
Fargrim hands over the handy haversack filled with 2 months of food supplies with instructions to set them up in the Temple’s rectory.

Realising that tomorrow signifies the beginning of the week-long Readifest Winter festival, Horiam and Edran organise the payment of the workers and order that the settlers be given double rations for dinner as a fest celebrating the continued supply agreement with the dwarves of Tor’s Reach.
After the festivities, Averlon Blackwood reunites with the shadier elements of the settlement party and strikes up several high stakes gambling games, earning himself a tidy profit in the process.

The festivities continue into the night while the Platinum Knights man the night watches, and discuss Harbourd’s arrival tomorrow.

The Shade

A single, wailing scream awakens the encampment.

The Platinum Knights are woken in the early hours by Jenkins, a member of the militia, screaming in terror. The human has curled himself into the foetal position and points at Averlon, screaming and crying the entire time.
While Horiam grabs Averlon and frog marches him into the rectory, Fargrim and Edran investigate the Temple for any physical or magical reasons for Jenkins to be acting in such a way. Kriv speaks to Jenkins, calming the young Wolf. Jenkins responds shakily that in his dream he saw Averlon, repeating in horror that ”There’s something inside of him.”

Fargrim joins Horiam in the rectory with Averlon, who is now sitting nonchalantly in a wooden chair. Horiam questions Averlon’s actions and relationship with Jenkins, a known member of his gambling circle. During the questioning Horiam points out that Averlon has some shady contacts in the settlement and his behaviour has been questionable at best. Averlon retorts that it is no crime for him to have been a figment of Jenkin’s nightmares.
When Fargrim asks why Jenkins would be suffering from nightmares, Averlon coolly responds that perhaps ”Jenkins is just a wuss.”

At this comment Fargrim steps forward and backhands the shade across the mouth, growling that Jenkins is a refugee from Thedanwald who has lost his family and home to the dogs of Meepo, who fled to Rovnol seeking sanctuary and had signed up for the dangerous mission to tame the Midnight Marshes on the frontier of the kingdom surrounded by the undead—therefore Averlon, a companion by circumstance, had no right to say that Jenkins was a “wuss”.

Horiam changes the line of questioning towards Jenkins’ comment, that Averlon had ”Something inside of him”.
A shade is normally created when a mortal of the Shadowfell sacrifices a part of their soul—essentially something is taken, not put “inside” of them.
Horiam says to Averlon, ”You’re not like all other shade, are you.” The shadar-kai avenger can sense the aura of the shadowfell within Averlon’s soul, but there is something else, something he can’t identify.
When pointedly asked if he is a threat to the war effort against Meepo, Averlon coolly responds ”Directly, no.” He also points of that Meepo wanted him dead as well, having sent tri-kreen after him when he fled the deserts of Zerenthas.

The party convene outside in the Temple to discuss what to do with Averlon. They agree that Averlon didn’t directly attack Jenkins, nor has he directly broken any laws while at the settlement. They agree that Averlon can stay, albeit with a closer monitoring of his activities.
When Fargrim and Horiam return, Fargrim pointedly asks if the shade had stolen any of the valuable supplies while they were gone.
”What? This…rockmeal? No.”
Averlon is cautioned and released. By this time Kriv has calmed Jenkins down by leading him through a series of chants and prayers.
The party return to their bedrolls and try to get some more sleep before the dawn.

The Envoy of the Hobgoblin Clans

Harbourd arrives at midday. Fargrim has arrayed the Wolves into a welcoming committee. Accompanying the dwarf from Sparrows Port is a hobgoblin cloaked in a thick black trench coat. Harboud greets the Platinum Knights warmly, even Kriv. After dismissing the troops, the party withdraw to the Temple break their fast over private discussions.
New intelligence, gleaned from scrying and interrogations has revealed that Meepo may well be preparing for a new offensive, one that would suggest that the war is truly about to break out. Harbourd was tasked to escort Forken and bring word that Ravenholm now stands as a barrier between the Marshes and the eastern frontier of Eralhor. More engineers and masons have been ordered to marshal at Ravenholm to complete and fortify the defences.

Harboud hands a silver-laced scroll case to Edran, which contains magical portal runes that would allow the settlement to magically evacuate to Rovnol only in the “worst-case scenario.” The runic address cannot fall into enemy hands.

Harboud introduces Forken, the envoy from the Red-Eye’s hobgoblin clans located in the Stalkwood Forest. As a gesture of friendship and solidarity during the ongoing alliance against Meepo, Forken has been sent to undertake a scouting mission into the Midnight Marshes.
Fargrim sizes the hobgoblin rogue up and asks, ”You think you can handle the undead, laddie?”
”I do not intend to be into combat with the undead, dwarf,” Forken responds.
”The point of combat is to always prepare for the worst,” Fargrim quips.
”And that is the point of you being with me,” the hobgoblin counters, both chiding and complimenting the skill of the Stoneborn clan, which earns him a begrudging respect from Fargrim.

As night falls, Horiam and Averlon try to accompany Forken on a reconnaissance into the swamps. Forken bluntly tells them that he ”works alone” and disappears into the fogs.

Patrolling the fogs

On the morning of the 29th of Reapdon (First day of Readifest Winter festival), Harbourd makes ready to return to Rovnol by himself. He quietly warns the party to keep an eye on Forken when he returns from his scouting mission, as he suspects that Forken has been sent by the hobgoblins clans for ulterior motives. He suggests that Forken may be trying to find the location of the Kree Kath, a magical tree deep within the marshes that held a position of religious significance for the lizardfolk tribes. It was a burial ground that radiated primal energies, but most significantly it may be that the hobgoblins are searching for another piece of a dwarven superweapon, which could mean long-term trouble for Erahlor after the war with Meepo.

Harbourd finally makes his farewells and gives the party a Scroll of Sending in case they need to urgently contact Rovnol. He quickly departs west.

Armed with the knowledge that the undead may be marshalling for war, the party agree to ride out half a day’s range from the outpost on patrol, to try and intercept any roving packs of undead.

They strike out east along the main tracks of the swamps with Horiam and Averlon scouting ahead.
Eventually they spot a small group of undead shambling near a marsh, visually spotting two chillborn zombies and two undead Accipitridae.

Averlon and Horiam agree to circle around and try to flank two of the undead, while the rest of the party directly charge the rest. Unfortunately Horiam’s boot squelches loudly in the mud, alerting the undead and ruining their chance of surprise.

When a gurgling groan, the undead turn to the party and the battle is joined…

Kriv begins the battle by charging the closest chillborn zombies and accipitridae. As he closes in to swing his greatsword the dragonborn feel an aura of cold sweep over him and chilling his bones. After swinging his sword Kriv unleashes a gout of flame at the zombies, hoping to dispatch the undead creatures soon before their cold aura deals any more damage.

Using his new wand of wonder, Edran launches a scorching burst at the zombies engaging Kriv, and manages to catch two of them in immolating flames.
As the party move in, two more zombies rise out of a nearby lake and draw rotted bowstrings, launching a volley of arrows at Kriv. Fargrim charges to engage two of the chillborn zombies, in doing so he exposes himself to both of their cold auras. He begins swinging his hammer in a rain of steel.

While Horiam abjures one undead accipitridae, the undead vulture shrieks at wave of sonic magic, blinding and dazing the avenger. The second vulture disengages from the rest of the party and swoops down on Horiam, flanking him and ravaging him. Horiam falls to his knees as his blood begins to flow, intermingling with the swamp water.
Averlon runs to nearby tree and begins to unleash a barrage of sly crossbow bolts, managing to kill one of the accipitridae.

As the party struggle to get across the battlefield to save Horiam, the chillborn zombies continue to ferociously attack with their cold magical aura, while the undead husks prepare to launch another volley of arrows. Meanwhile, the murky waters of the swamps begin to writhe and bubble, suggesting more undead forms are awakening from their slumber…

GAME NOTES THIS SESSION

-3 daily rations
- 750 gp from kitty for 2 weeks wages + Readifest bonus to Ravenholm settlers

+50gp (?) to Averlon for gambling winnings
+ Scroll of Sending
+ Ritual scroll of Portal Runes

View
Session 31: The Webbed Path

Session 31: The Webbed Path

08/11/2013

Cast- The King’s Recruits: Edran Laraneth, Fargrim Stoneborn, Horiam and Kriv

Rings of NPCness: Averlon Blackwood, Hemingway, Gareth 2.0 Mia and Nimaketh

Guest Starring: Gonski

Date: 25th – 27th Reapdon, 1028

Deep within the dwarven tunnels of the Underdark, the Platinum Knights begin to clear the corpses of chitines and dislodge the remaining spider webs in order to allow safe passage across the chasm.

The party stop to consider the body of the dwarven King’s Recruit that was nestled within the chitine webs. Horiam asks Fargrim about the appropriate death rites regarding the dwarves of Tor’s Reach. Fargrim responds that it would be appropriate for the body to be interred in the catacombs at the Temple of Moradin.

Before leaving, the party consider the chitine webbing that encompasses the entire ceiling of the chasm, from which the creatures had travelled through.
Fargrim shouts out to the darkness, to any remaining chitins hidden within the webbing, announcing that they have beaten the chitine’s mighty warriors and demanding that they send an envoy to parley their surrender.
There is no reply or movement up above.
Fargrim takes out his warhorn and bellows and long, challenging cry. The horn echoes and reverberates around the chasm. Fargrim is pleased with the sound made, but Horiam arches an eyebrow, insinuating his disapproval—There are more than simple chitins that dwell within the Underdark.

Kriv calls out to the darkness, demanding that the chitins come down and negotiate but his voice echoes and is left unanswered. Edran argues that the chitines, former
Slaves of the drow and worshippers of Lolth, are not to be trusted or parleyed with. He insists that the party have completed their mission, to clear the stone bridge chasm, and that now their immediate priority is to return to Tor’s Reach and make haste for Ravenholm. The party discuss their options and ultimately decide against delving deeper to rid the tunnels of the infestation.
To further deter any surviving chitines from returning, Edran and Gareth 2.0 begin hurling fireball attacks up into the ceiling, destroying the spider web constructions. Fargrim aids by hurling his magic javelin Valkyrie. Soon the party have to make a hasty retreat from the stone bridge, as burning and melting spider webs begin to rain down on them. Edran and Horiam have huge globs of melting web fall on them, burning and singeing their clothes.
After Kriv requisitions the dead dwarf’s Plate Armour or Exploits, Fargrim hoists the corpse onto his back, ready for the return journey to Tor’s Reach. In order to use both hands, Fargrim plats his glowing sunrod into his beard. Happy with the result, he announces that he is ready to return home.

Return to Tor’s Reach

After an hour of travel through the Underdark, the party see the familiar city gates. Fargrim take out his warhorn and sounds out a victorious greeting. The gates are opened and the party make their way back to the King’s Recruits office.
Fargrim speaks with Aveline about the dead dwarf. She thanks Fargrim for returning the recruit back to his home and will make the appropriate arrangements for his burial. Fargrim laments that the dwarf was only a mere 50-years young. Aveline tries to offer the party a 50gp reward for returning the lost recruit, but Fargrim hands it back, suggesting that it should go to the boy’s family.

Aveline informs the party that she had a visitor earlier who had been asking questions about the party. Apparently a gnome resident of Tor’s Reach called Gonski was interested in travelling with the party back to Ravenholm, in order to study the undead residing within the Midnight Marshes. She gives the party the address of the gnome and wishes them a safe return.

Afterwards, the party return to the Guard Barracks to report their success. Fargrim feels weary of having to deal with Selvek Ironblood twice in one day, but is relieved to see a young dwarf on the front desk instead.
”Greetings brother,” he said cheerfully. ”It’s good to see that the city watch has finally got someone competent manning the front desk.”
”Eh?” the dwarf replies, perplexed.
”I was referring to the Ironblood trash who was here this morning.”
”Ah…er, yes. He can be a bit of a prat…”

The party are granted an audience with Eberk, the tall dwarf captain of the guard. He offers them a reward of 500gp for clearing the stone bridge of the chitine infestation.
Following this, the party quickly stop in at a dwarven tannery where they sell the yeti pelts for extra disposable income. Edran takes the time to speak to the smithy about the Valley of Many Names, the location that he saw in his vision.

I Give A Gonski

With the city’s giant sun sphere started to dim in a pale imitation of late afternoon, the party make their way down Copper Street to the address of Gonski, the gnome would wishes to travel with the party.
They almost miss the correct house—an old, forgetful and ramshackled hut. They spot a dim flickering light behind the blotchy, mouldy curtain.
Edran knocks on the door, which slowly creaks open at his touch. ”Gonski?” Fargrim calls out to the darkened empty room.
”And who be you, banging on my door at this time?”

A small flickering light comes bobbing over the dirty carpet, hovering infront of the group, who are still standing in the doorway.
Fargrim says slowly and loudly to the light, ”Are you Gonski?”
Edran recognises the fairy light as a moon wisp, a familial creature of the feywild. ”This is not Gonski, but I believe that we are speaking through it, to him.” he suggests.

The party try to make their way inside the house. As they door, suddenly a small darkened shaped leaps from the shadows and tries to slam the door shut. Kriv places a large draconic foot in the doorway, halting the door’s progress. Fargrim says slowly and loudly again, ”I want to speak to Gonski”.

The darkened shape is eventually revealed to be Gonski the gnome. His suspicion evaporates when he learns that they are the party that he wishes to travel his. The crazed gnome potters about his ramshackled hut, speaking to Kriv and frustrating Fargrim. Even Horiam arches an eyebrow at the eccentric behaviour of the gnome. Gonski scrapes some chitine residue off of Fargrim’s war hammer and agrees to meet the party by the city gates at first light the next morning.

The party, with Gonski the gnome, their handy haversack from the dwarven guilds, now filled with 2 months of supplies desperately needed for Ravenholm. They then make a quick stop at the city stables and purchase some steeds for the return trip. For a price of 300gp they leave instructions for four horses and a camel to be packed and readied for departure at first light tomorrow. Fargrim and Gonski argue over who gets to ride the camel, while Edran tries to dissuade the dwarf from buying a camel, which would be unsuitable for life in the swamps of the Midnight Marshes.

With their business concluded Gonski returns to his house and the party find an inn to rest for the night.

Journey Back Down the Mountains

At 6am on the morning of the 26th of Reapdon, the giant gates of Tor’s Reach open and the party make a quick departure on their new steeds. The descent down the mountain is uneventful and much quicker.
Not wishing to push their new mounts, the party only travel 25 miles the first day and make camp. During the night watches, Horiam hears cracking noises echoing from far away. The party stop and listen to the strange noises. On a hunch, Edran takes out his map case and compare their location and the direction of the sounds to the location of the strange magical eddy that they passed on the way up the Yorgnole Mountains. The two appear to align. The party quickly discuss and agree that their immediate priority is the population at Ravenholm and make plans to investigate later.

On the morning of the 27th of Reapdon, Edran receives a signalling message:
”*Harbourd* here on King’s Business. I will be arriving with another at Ravenholm in two days. Just letting you know. Representative is a hobgoblin.”

The party discuss and agree that the hobgoblin must be an envoy from the Hobgoblin clans, with whom the Knights had, one month earlier, established an alliance against Meepo in exchange for access to some dwarven ruins in the Stalkwood Forest.

After sharing the information Edran replies ”Understood,” and the party break camp.

By midmorning the party have left the foot of the Yorgnole Mountains and plunged back in to the rotting swamps of the Midnight Marshes. Eventually they begin to travel close to the large lake where the magical eddy had formed. Horiam dismounts and offers to scout ahead, weary of the strange sounds they had heard the previous night.
Horiam creeps through the stagnant swamp and begins to hear the sounds of fighting, the gurgled moans of zombies mixing with an unknown animalistic screeching.
When Horiam peers over, he spots a collection of zombie fighting strange blue creatures with mouths that opened in 3-pronged jaws. He recognises the creature as being aberrant in nature. Between the two fighting parties, a magical column of light erupts from a book, firing up into the sky.

Horiam swiftly returns to the party and they discuss the appearance of the aberrant creatures. They agree that the incursion from the Far Realm is the last thing they need in the war against Meepo. Fargrim hands the handy haversack over to Gareth 2.0 and they order Gareth, Hemingway and Averlon Blackwood to make haste back to Ravenholm with the supplies.

The remaining party turn towards the battle and make their way through the swamp.

The Battle for the Book

By the time the Knights arrive at the battle scene, the aberrant creatures appear to be loosing against the zombies. The book, the creatures and the zombies are all fighting on a small patch of mud and dirt in the centre of the swamp lake, while the party approach from the north. When the party appear over the rise, the blue aberrant shriek and disappear with a crack of magic.
The 5 zombies –three lizard folk and 2 humans wreathed in shadowy aura— turn and notice the movement of the party ”Others approach,” one gurgles.

The zombies begin to trudge forward.

The zombies slowly advance towards the party, three of the zombies sinking below the waterline and disappearing. Kriv, Horiam and Fargrim hold a defensive frontline, waiting for the zombies to reach the shore. Edran and Gonski wait behind in supportive roles, preparing their artillery attacks.

As the first zombie begins to limp out of the lake, Fargrim strides forward. He pulls out the vial of volatile explosive liquid that was given to him by Arclem in Rovnol. He pulls back his arm and says ”Reanimate This.”
He hurls the vial into the lake.
An eruption of flame and steam erupts from the lake, accompanied by a shockwave of air that spans 20 feet. The explosion rips through the lake, catching three of the zombies, and Fargrim as well. Horiam rolls out of the way and braces against the shockwave.

Kriv runs forward and deals the first strike of the battle, attacking the shadow aura zombie. Gonski begins unleashing his necromantic magic on the lizard thralls as they breach the shoreline. Horiam begins to slash at his Oath of Enmity. The zombies reach the party and begin to grab Kriv and Horiam, hack and slashing at the immobile party members.

As the shadow aura zombie latches onto him, Horiam reacts by Shadow Jaunting 15ft into the air and drives his sword, Twice Blessed through the zombie’s head, decapitating it instantly.
Edran fires an ice shard, in the shape of an eagle, at a lizard-zombie. When it hits, the ice explodes outwards in a rain of ice daggers, catching two more.

Three of the shadow aura zombies, directly engaged with Horiam, Kriv and Fargrim, create a shadowy aura that blind the three, and also conceals them from light of sight. Just as an attack is about to hit a blinded Fargrim, Kriv intuitively swaps places with his dwarven friend, taking the brunt of the strike.
Fargrim stumbles forward, unknowingly into the centre of the zombies, but he resolves himself and begins swingingly about himself madly in a rain of steel hammer blows.

With the shadow aura zombies still concealed by the magical aura, Gonski sends out his Moon Wisp in an attempt to illuminate the darkness. Seeing an opportunity, he launches a massive fireball of rotting doom. The 15ft wide explosion catches the zombies and Fargrim (still flanked) who, in his blinded state, wildly thinks that the zombies have mastered the ability to conjure fire.

Kriv rallies forth and heals Fargrim and shift closer to the zombies, removing their attention from the dwarf.
Edran begins to fire radiant colour orbs at the shadow aura zombies, which momentarily disrupts their magical aura.

Suddenly, the zombies that had fallen (including the one decapitated by Horiam) rise to their feet and begin attacking once more. 2 Zombies simultaneously grab Horiam and begin ravaging him. The avenger falls to the ground unconscious, but the Zombies continue to hold his prone body and claw him further.

Fargrim regains his sight and smashes one zombie with his war hammer, before being mauled by a zombie-lizard. He too falls to the ground unconscious.

In an effort to free the unconscious Horiam from the clutches of the zombies, Gonski unleashes a magical barrage that cause the zombies to fall prone, dropping the Shadar-Kai, and Fargrim as well.

Edran, his eyes blazing with the fury of the feywild at seeing Horiam fall, steps forward and unleashes a wave of beguiling strands that push the three remaining zombies back. He follows up with a spray of colour radiant energy that kills the last shadow aura zombie.
Kriv kills a lizard-zombie and uses the attack to channel his divine might to revive Horiam and Fargrim simultaneously. Once the eyes of his companions flutter open, he turns and unleashes a breath of fire on the nearby corpses to ensure that they do not rise again.
Horiam and Fargrim get to their feet and rejoin the last of the battle. Fargrim stands, and screams ”Fargrim STONEBORN!” As he smashes a lizard-thrall to pieces and immediately charges into the last zombie that was attacking Horiam, sending it flying into the air in a wave of broken bones and rotted flesh.

With the last of the zombies dispatched, the party momentarily stop to take their breath and tend to their serious injuries. After catching their breath the party turn and regard the magical book that lies in the middle of the island, the arcane column of light still brightly cascading up into the air…

GAME NOTES THIS SESSION

Party members each have 1 day personal ration remaining.
+250gp to kitty as reward for clearing Underdark tunnels
+75gp to kitty for Yeti pelts
-300gp kitty for Mounts

+100gp each for personal wealth.

View
Session 30: Revelations in Tor's Reach

Session 30: Revelations in Tor’s Reach

18/10/2013

Cast- The King’s Recruits: Averlon Blackwood, Edran Laraneth, Fargrim Stoneborn, Gareth 2.0, Hemingway, Horiam and Kriv

Rings of NPCness: Mia and Nimaketh

NPCs of note: Oscar Strakhelm, Selvek Ironblood,

Date: 25th Reapdon, 1028

The sun begins to slowly rise in the east, bathing the snow-capped peaks of the Yorgnole Mountains in a warm light that cuts through the cold winter winds. High upon the summit, the Platinum Knights huddle outside the dwarven city of Tor’s Reach, trying to keep out of the elements until the city gates open.

Pair of dwarven mountaineers slowly make their way up the mountain path. They appear curious to see such a rag-tag group of adventurers and gladly socialise together whilst waiting. Fargrim talks to Derek and Fjorin about the value of the 5 yeti pelts that he procured from his last battle, to which they estimate a worth of 30gp each if offered to a tannery in Tor’s Reach. The party ask whether the dwarven holds have been affected by the undead of Meepo, and Fjorin says that the natural terrain and climate has held back the hordes so far. They also ask about the identification of a fallen dwarven guard that they passed on the mountain path below. Derek directs the party to see the King’s Recruits office about the guard and then Oscar Strakhelm, the guild leader who should be help them procure the supplies and trade needed to feed Ravenholm. While waiting for the gates, Gareth 2.0 takes the time to continue examining the resizing enchantment that was placed upon the dragon egg hidden within his chest compartment.

The giant gates open and the party enter Tor’s Reach. The stone hallway descends deep into the mountains, leading the party into darkness. It has been 80 years since Fargrim has been home to Tor’s Reach and he is keen to educate the party about the city. He points out giant stone statue of Emperor Tor, the expansionist leader who founded the great city. Fargrim explains the naming conventions used in the design of the city, using the names of weapons and rocks to label streets. He points out the giant spire in the centre of the city, atop which is seated a giant magical sun sphere, radiating daylight inside the giant undermountain. Edran enquires about the state of the magical artefact, noting that it is not as bright as it should be for an arcane sphere that large. Fargrim admits that it is not as bright as when he was a boy, and has seen better days.
Kriv seems unimpressed with the surroundings, but manages to keep his mouth closed for the majority of the time. Averlon looks around the jewellery stores as they walk along the streets while the local dwarven populace stare in fascination and curiosity at Gareth, the first warforged that they has seen in many years.

The Platinum Knights make their ways to the guards’ barracks and enter. Fargrim feels despair and unchecked anger when he recognises the man sitting behind the front desk of the guardhouse, Selvek Ironblood.
Selvek looks up from his paperwork, a sly and calculating quirk coming to his lips. He fingers his well-groomed blonde moustache and sits back in his chair as he calls out as the knights enter the room: ”Well, well. Look who’s returned to Tor’s Reach. You’re looking old, Stonborn.”
Fargrim replies, ”I see you’re still ugly as ever.”
”Now, it’s not nice to talk about yourself in the third person,” Selvek said with an acidic smile.
”I’m sorry, how many hammers does the Ironblood clan wield again?” Fargrim counters.
”Well, I’d say that we’re currently able to hold more hammers in our warm hands than yours… last of the Stoneborn.”

The room is quietly tense and charged. The party guess that there is history between the two clans. Only Gareth knows about the history of the Stoneborn clan and the death of Fargrim’s parents.

Fargrim says ”Selvek, we’ve gotten off to a bad start. I need to see your superior. Can you go and get him? It’s urgent.”
”Oh no,” he replies. ”I’m afraid he’s in a meeting with the city council and is far too busy to see you—“
Kriv steps forward, towering over the guard and slams down his Platinum Knights badge. ”Your boss wants to see me. Now.”
Selvek’s eyes boggle, he stumbles from his chair and exits out the back. Kriv looks at Fargrim and adds. ”By the way, I think you totally won that.”

Selvek returns to the room behind a massive 6-ft tall dwarf. Fargrim recognises him as Egbert Lowdar. The party speak about the dead dwarven scout that they found on the mountain pass, handing over the flagon and personal effects of the scout. Fargrim warns Lowdar that it is unwise to have an Ironblood serving at his back and should be cautious, taking the time to berate Selvek one last time before leaving. As they leave, Averlon Blackwood quietly pilfers an expensive phoenix feather quill from Selvek’s desk on the way out.

Leaving the barracks, Fargrim takes the time to apologise for his behaviour. He quickly explains that the Ironblood clan tried to ruin his family years ago, and are intense political rivals to the Stoneborns.

The party make their way to the King’s Recruits Office. They are momentarily shocked when they see a female elf on the front desk who almost the spitting image of Mia, their companion. When greeting the party, Averlon tries to shake her hand and he fumbles over the desk as he tries to _steal a valuable bracelet off of her wrist. The elf judo flips Averlon on the stone floor. Horiam and Hemingway quickly diffuse the situation by apologising and convincing the elf that the rogue thief is working with the party and under their watchful eye.
The elf agrees not to officially report the shade rogue. After providing a sitrep of the construction efforts at Ravenholm, Averline, the cousin of Mia, informs the party that the city has been dealing with Chitines plaguing the mountain tunnel paths connecting Tor’s Reach with the other dwarven holds.
Gareth asks where he might find the dwarven death and ancestral records. When Averline directs him to the Temple of Moradin he quickly excuses himself, telepathically signalling to Fargrim that ”It’s important.”

Honouring the Reth Clan

Hemingway and Gareth make their way down to the Temple of Moradin, a giant ziggurat on the corner of Hammer and Gold streets. Gareth speaks to a cleric about accessing the ancestral records of the local dwarven clans. The pair scours the records for the lineage of the Reth clan that lived 600 years ago. After the hundreds of years the line has diminished and splintered, but they manage to find three living family lines living. Two family clans he is actually familiar with; Harbourd of Sparrowsport, and the pirate clans who had attacked Sparrowsport two months ago. Armed with this knowledge, Gareth takes the time to pay his respects to the Reth clan, his only link to his personal past.

Feeding the Masses

Meanwhile, the rest of the party make their way to the Guild Halls to speak with Oscar Strakhelm. When they meet with the leader, Fargrim and Horiam organise the 2 months of food and sundries and arrange for a monthly resupply. They pay the fee of 1,000 gp and leave their handy haversack with the guild members to package their supplies, agreeing to return later.

The party reunite at the Temple of Moradin. Fargrim prays to the god Moradin, taking out Jawbreaker.

Revelations at Tor’s Reach

Judging by the light of the sun sphere, Fargrim tells the party that it is about 1pm. They agree to go deal with the chitine problem in the tunnels while waiting for the supplies to be organised.
While walking down Handaxe Street, Edran and Horiam become aware of suspicious scaly figures hiding amongst the crowds. Using Gareth’s telepathic link, Horiam asks if dragonborn are common in Tor’s Reach. Fargrim says not, since the dwarven clans and dragonborn kingdoms have little love for one another. The party conclude that the outsiders are following the party.
Averlon slips into the shadows of a merchandise cart and notes that the dragonborn are being led by two noteworthy dragonborn, red and burly and sleek blue physical features respectively.

Fargrim suggests that there is an alleyway on the corner of Handaxe and Igneous Street that they could use as an ambush, to get the upperhand and ascertain why the dragonborn are tailing the party. When they approach, Horiam parkours up the side of a building while Averlon sneaks in the shadows of the crowds. The rest of the party walk up the alleyway. The seven dragonborn stop at the opening of the alleyway, discuss quietly, and then cautiously make their way up the alley.

The trap is sprung.

The party double back and block the exit to the alley. Hemingway demands to know their intentions. The giant red dragonborn informs that party that they are under orders to hunt down and capture Crown Prince Kriv, tyrant of Rothgaren. He spits the title as he points an accusing finger at Kriv.
Kriv replies, ”…No I’m not.”

At the mention of Kriv consorting with necrotic energies, Horiam shadow jaunts from his hiding place to the group. He flatly refutes the claims of the dragonborn, saying that under no circumstances would Kriv, as a noble paladin of the Raven Queen, meddle with necrotic energies.
The red dragonborn scoffs at this, asking how long Kriv has been a ”noble paladin”
Horiam tersely replies “a while,” he also adds that as a divinely blessed paladin, the Raven Queen would never condone a necromancer. The red one searches deep into Horiam’s eyes and senses that this is the truth.

Gareth 2.0 says ”This need not develop into bloodshed.” He requests that both parties restrain themselves so that a neutral and civil discussion can take place. He adds ”You are very far from your mountain kingdoms. What authority do you have in Tor’s Reach to arrest this individual?”
The Red One replies. ”None. What authority do you have to resist?”
”…None.”

The Red One slowly pulls out a scroll. He formally reads out the charges laid against Kriv thus far:
1. Consorting with necromancy. 2. Using necromancy to wage a war against his own family and kingdom. 3. Slaughtering dragonborn and dwarven folk. 4. High treason.
The official writ has the official seals and stamps of the kingdom of Zothguard. Also accompanying the writ is a likeness of Kriv drawn on a piece of magical parchment.

The party is shocked into silence. Edran, having read the writ, quietly turns against Kriv, a deep frown on his face. He silently watches Kriv and takes a step away. Fargrim looks up at Kriv imploringly. ”Kriv, did you really kill dwarves? Did you slaughter my kin? Tell me this isn’t true.”
”We do not have time for this,” Gareth 2.0 sternly says. He quickly explains that they need to return to Ravenholm before 50 men die of starvation. He emphasises that they need Kriv to complete the mission and promise to escort him to the authorities upon the completion of the quest. The Red One flatly refuses.

Horiam offers to take Kriv into his personal custody, to be interred later for his crimes. As a holy avenger of the Raven Queen he would be honour bound to kill Kriv and himself if he fails in that task.
The Red One says that he is willing to allow Kriv to be interred at a later date, but that Horiam would have to sign an arcane oath scroll, officiating the agreement.
This comment almost triggers Horiam into physical violence, interpreting the comment as a slight against his god. He takes out his longsword, twice divinely blessed by the Raven Queen herself. He says that his oath is solid.
Hemingway steps in to the argument. He tries to dissuade the dragonborn from antagonising the shadar-kai. He offers to sign the oath himself.

Kriv has still not spoken at this point. Fargrim continues to look up at him in shock. Edran quietly glares into his eyes, while Hemingway, Gareth and Horiam fight for his freedom. Averlon quietly looks on from the shadows, tense and ready for action.
Kriv suddenly speaks. ”If I am to face these charges, I want a third party. A neutral tribunal.”
The dragonborn regard him suspiciously. ”Would you hide behind the dwarves or humans for salvation? They are no more neutral. The dwarves would gladly tie the noose themselves, whilst you bear the badge of the human king. ”

Hemingway outlines a compromise. Kriv will agree to meet the dragonborn at the elvish clans in the Stalkwood Forest, a third neutral party, one month from this date on the midwinter solstice. Hemingway signs the oath scroll and he feels himself magically linked to the ink lettering. The dragonborn acknowledge the oath that has been given. The Red One regards Kriv one last time before their quietly withdraw from the alley way, leaving the Knights eyeing off one another in a stand off.

”What ever happens,” Hemingway says sternly. ”We do not take justice into our own hands.”

*Clearing the Chitines *

Hemingway reminds the party that they have an important mission to complete. First they must clear the tunnels of chitines and then they need to race back to Ravenholm in order for save the 50 men who are relying on their vital food shipment.
They make their way to the city gate. The doors are unbarred and they descend in to the darkness. Barely a word is spoken after the recent revelations

The party spend an hour of walking down the pitch-black tunnels. Horiam and Averlon scout ahead most of the way. Eventually the tunnel opens up to a massive cavern. The tunnel continues across the cavern as a stone bridge, carved during the expansionist age of Emperor Tor. 30 feet beneath the bridge trickles a river. The bridge has been completely covered in a thick barrier of spider web, cutting on foot traffic, and most of the cavern is completely covered in thick spiders web, a sign of the chitines.
Horiam notices the occasional chitine and giant spider scuttling across the webbing that connects the cavern walls to the bridge. They wait for the rest of the party to catch up and provide a description of the room. They begin to plan the attack.

Making sure to light enough sun rods to operate in the darkness, the party charge on to the bridge. Most of the party cautiously wait with weapons to attack the first enemy they see. Edran and Gareth begin to blast fire magic at the spider webbing, cutting off the most direct routes for the Chitines. Gareth’s burning hands begin to burn back the large webbed barrier. Horiam steps forward onto the bridge ahead of Gareth, he looks up at the cavern ceiling and spots giant arachnid mandibles clicking within the spider webs. Averlon retreats back to the shadows and hides, readying his hand crossbows. Edran begins to blast the small spider swarms that are crawling out of crevices in the ceiling.
Two giant spiders plunge from the ceiling and attack Horiam. He is bitten by one of the spiders as he tries to roll out of the way. Hemmingway swings his sword from a distance and magically slashes the giant spider. Averlon shoots and kills a smaller spider that dropped in behind the party. Fargrim throws his magical javelin Valkyrie, he misses but it magically swoops around and lands lightly back into his hand. Swapping back to his hand axes he charges the closest spider, swinging mightily. Kriv charges alongside him and slashes a giant spider.
Another spider lunges down at Gareth 2.0 and bites into his frame. He retaliates by using a pinioning vortex to suspend the spider up the air out of range. Averlon strikes from the shadows to kill the suspended arachnid. Smaller spider swarms descend and bite vicious poison into Hemingway and Fargrim.

Horiam spots two chitins on the far side of the spider web barrier drawing bows on the party. He shadow jaunts towards them and swears an oath of enmity on one of them. Edran looks up and spots a third chitine hanging from the ceiling, shooting poisoned arrows down on the party. He fires a scorching burst that hits the creature dead on. The nearby spiderweb catches fire and disintegrates, causing the chitine to fall 50ft to the bridge.

Fargrim begins to turn the tide of the swarms by cleaving two spiderlings and delivering a killing strike to a giant spider. Kriv breathes a gout of flame on another pack of spiderlings, reducing them to ashes. Hemingway also kills the third chitine as it was dislodged from its hiding place.
Meanwhile, on the far side of the web barrier, Horiam is suddenly encircled by the two chitine, who both wield a poisoned dagger in each of their four hands. The eight attacks slash through the avengers cloth armour. Averlon races out from the shadows and uses a rapid scattering shot to injury the chitins.
Suddenly, Kriv comes running through the flaming webbed barrier and bellows at the chitine, egging them on to face him in combat. They scuttle away from Horiam to face the dragonborn. Kriv saves his friend and strikes the creatures down.

Within the webbed barrier, the party find the corpse of a dwarven soldier dressed in magical plate armour of exploits. He also was carrying 50gp and a badge of the King’s Recruits.

With the battle over the party begin to clear the corpses and dislodge the remaining spider webs in order to allow safe passage across the chasm.

GAME NOTES THIS SESSION

Party members each have 2 rations remaining.
Debit 1,000gp from group kitty for Ravenholm supplies
+4 gp each
+26gp to kitty

View
Intermission: The Hunt for the Fallen Prince

INTERMISSION: THE HUNT FOR THE FALLEN PRINCE

3/10/13

Cast- Dragonborn of Zothguard—Prince Ewan Fireheart, Lamb, Torrin Negairax, Aydron

Date: 12th Emberturn, year 1023

:::NOTE THE FOLLOWING TAKES PLACE OVER 5 YEARS PRIOR TO THE KING’S RECRUITS MEETING IN SPARROWSPORT:::

High amidst the treacherous snowcapped peaks of the Yorgnole Mountains, above the rich metal veins and mines favoured by the dwarven folk, live the mighty dragonborn kingdoms of Peros.
For hundreds of years the many Dragonborn sovereign states have clung to the peaks and plateaus of the mountain ranges, locked in a constant pattern of peace and enmity with the dwarven folk, who share the mountains, and the other draconic kingdoms.

Strange and alarming news has reached the walls of Zothguard, a small kingdom within the protecterate of Rothgaren, the largest kingdom state of the mountains. The traders bring dire news that Rothgaren has fallen to a sudden and brutal attack some weeks ago. The news and rumors are mixed, leading to much confusion as to the safety of Zothguard, now that Rothgaren has fallen. The Dragonborn community is concerned that dwarves are behind the attack, but such brutal ferocity is not typical of the stout folk. Such a heinous act would lead to a declaration of all out war.

King Severa, ruler of Zothguard, calls a general assembly. He states that in these sad and trying times he must confirm that Rothgaren has indeed fallen and that High King Korvag is dead—not by the hands of dwarves, but by an army of undead. Severa reports that the scattered reports from survivors seem to indicate that the young Crown Prince Kriv was behind the sudden and brutal attack, having turned to necromancy and instigated an uprising. It has fallen to the Dragonborn of Zothguard to make haste to the ruins of Rothgaren to hunt down Prince Kriv, branded traitor to the realms, and return him to face justice. The assembly of volunteers, militia and army are sorted in to small 5 man roving parties, each lead by a banner of the royal family.

Prince Ewan Fireheart, a minor member of the Zothguard royalty, is shocked that his royal cousin Kriv has fallen to the dark arts of necromancy. He is certain that the recent actions of betrayal were not of the prince’s own volition, and is determined to bring Kriv back alive in order to ascertain the truth.
The Dragonborn under Prince Ewan’s banner arrive. Being only a minor lord, Ewan has been allocated the smallest of the assembled parties:
Lamb, a 50 year old Dragonborn, ranger covered in scars, who lives on a farm outside the walls of Zothguard, a quiet and stoic creature who has a reputation for being passive and cowardly (by dragonborn standards). Torrin Negairax, a barbarian noble from the distant kingdom of Nothgairax, an ancient and honourable clan. Finally a Dragonborn magician called Aydron, a travelling arcanist who uses his powers as a mercenary to protect the trading caravans of the mountains.

Prince Ewan reiterates to his party that they are to bring Prince Kriv back alive at all costs. Torrin nods in agreement to the order, while Lamb spits a glob of acid onto the dirt.

The assembled clans depart Zothguard, moving as one large host. Aydron recalls some small goat paths up over the mountain peaks that would allow their smaller roving party to get to Rothgaren while avoiding the nearby dwarven settlements.

On the 13th of Emberturn, the Dragonborn host divides into their respective banners and begin the search for Prince Kriv.
Ewan takes his party to the goatpaths over the mountain. After marching 17 miles the party comes to the base of waterfall, the sheer cliff face rising 70 feet high. The Dragonborn take out their climbing gear and ropes and prepare to climb the cliff.
Lamb, the experienced pathfinder of the group, secures a rope to his body and takes the lead. As he does so, he shows the party the correct way to scale the cliff. Prince Ewan follows Lamb, tailed by Torrin and Aydon, all connected by extra hempen rope.
Aydron struggles to begin the ascent, falling behind the others. At 30 feet, Aydron is still lagging behind the group, and he begins running along the face of cliff. This tests Torrin’s patience, and he snorts lightning at him. At 45feet Prince Ewan slips and almost loses purchase, but is aided by Lamb and Torrin, who brace their security ropes. Lamb reaches the top of the cliff and secures the rope to a rock, and begins to search the immediate vicinity. Ewan and Torrin reach the plateau and pull the struggling Aydron to the top. Lamb returns to warn that they are close to a Bloodhawk nest and suggest they move on quickly.

At nightfall the party realise that they are approaching a dwarven settlement and make efforts to skirt around to avoid unwanted hostilities with the hillfolk. Lamb scouts ahead on the path. He spots a pair of dwarves on patrol, walking in their general direction. Lamb waits for the others to catch up and they being to make plans to hide.
Aydron, without speaking to the party, decides to deter the approaching dwarves by using ghost sound to imitate the sound of an arrow barrage near the dwarves. The sound of pseudo-arrows sail through the air – both dwarves and dragonborn scramble for cover, both believing themselves to be under attack. Prince Ewan realises that they have been duped and calls for the dwarves to parley.
Ewan and Torrin emerge from the rocks to speak with the disgruntled and suspicious dwarves.
Aydron, still hiding amongst the rocks, feels the cold steel of a knife against his throat. He hears Lamb whisper in his ear: ”You ghosting us? I don’t care who you are back in the real world. You give away our position one more time, and I’m gonna bleed you, real quiet and leave you here. You got that?”
Ewan tries to diplomatically diffuse the situation with the dwarves, explaining that their business lies in Rothgaren urgently. When the patrol seem ready to draws weapons, Ewan offers to personally punish the Dragonborn responsible.
Aydron is dragged out of the rocks by Lamb, who ties him up and spits a glob of acid on his cheek in distaste. Ewan take his gauntleted fist and backhands the magician across the snout publically. The dwarves seem appeased and order the Dragonborn to leave their lands immediately before they change their minds. The party does so.

The party make camp for the night outside of dwarven territory. Ewan breaks out his wine and journeybread to share with Torrin and Lamb, leaving Aydron out because of his previous blunder. During the night a zombie tries to attack the campsite, but Lamb leaps from a rock and stabs the creature. Aydron examines the corpse and determines that it is not a complex reanimation, as though the necromancer responsible did not complete control over their craft. Lamb spits a glob of acid on the zombie to decompose the corpse.

The next day (14th Emberturn) the party march out of the snow and climb up to the rocky peaks of Rothgaren. In they distance they spot the gleaming kingdom-city of Rothgaren. Even from this distance Ewan spots the writhing swarm of mindless undead within the city walls. The direct approach to the entering the city has been denied to them.
Lamb suggests that the party make be able to sneak in through the city sewers. Ewan recalls the sewers entrances that will allow direct access to the castle itself. The four Dragonborn pry and force the sewer grates off and trudge through the dried sewers tunnels—having not been used since the city residents died over a month ago. They make quick timing, only having to stop once to destroy some zombie rats lurking in the darkness.

After trudging through the darkness, Prince Ewan stops the party near a drop hole. He ascends the ladder and opens the hatch. When peeking through he recognises the furbished room as being the refuse/kitchens of Castle Rothgaren. The party silently enter the castle, covering the sewer chute behind them. The castle is deathly quiet; the halls filled with the fallen bodies of Dragonborn and dwarves, both mortal and reanimated zombie soldiers having slaughtered one another in a fierce conflict.
The party make their way to the throne room, wherein they find the body of High King Korvag, sitting on his throne, evidently dead by the multitude of rotting sword wounds carving out his chest. The king appears to have had his crown, royal signet ring and other royal garbs stolen off of his body. Without any more leads as to how and why the King was killed, the party begin to check the royal chambers for clues, and possibly finding Prince Kriv in the process.
The party elect to begin with Prince Kriv’s chambers, which appear to have been barricaded shut. They break down the doors and are met with a horrific and confusing sight. Within Kriv’s ransacked room they find that his desk is covered in necromantic tomes, while vivd necrotic runes have been hastily drawn all over the floor and walls. Then, curiously, one wall of the room has a large symbol of the Raven Queen drawn in charcoal, surrounded by the phrases “I’m sorry” hastily scrawled dozens, or hundreds of times. The last wall is particularly strange, given the Raven Queen’s hatred and opposition towards necromancy.
Aydron recognises the books as having been penned by a powerful necromancer who lived over 500 years ago. These are evidently the source of Kriv’s learning and power. Out of the 10 tomes, a set collection, Aydron notes that book number 6 is missing—the most powerful of the magical books. Kriv could still be operating at large with the missing book.
Prince Ewan orders the books to be destroyed. Ayrdon refuses, and convinces the prince that the book need to be protected and returned to the Zothguard, so that others will not fall prey to the temptation of necromancy.

Lamb and Torrin try to gain access to High King Korvag’s war room, but they discover that both doors have been barred shut. Lamb hears muffled movement behind the doors. Initially weary that zombies still reside within the walls, the party are relieved when they hear soft voices whispering within the war room. Prince Ewan begins to bang on the door, attempting to convince the intruders to come out, for their own safety. A strong feminine voice shouts out a refusal, blaming the Dragonborn for the death and slaughter that has occurred in Rothgaren. Ewan tries to barge his way into the room, but he feels multiple bodies brace against the doors, denying him entry.
While Ewan continues to shout at the intruders, Lamb walks down the hallway and goes into the servants’ kitchen. He discovers the servants’ back entrance to the war room. He silently picks the lock and motions for Torrin to follow him. Striding into the war room, Lamb and Torrin discover six female dwarves occupied pushing against the far door, trying to keep Prince Ewan out. Behind the females cower 5 dwarven children. One child squeaks in horror when she sees the two Dragonborn in the room. The females quickly reorganise and put themselves protectively between the Dragonborn and children. Prince Ewan enters the room and attempts to calm the survivors down.
The dwarves confirm that Prince Kriv was responsible for the undead outbreak and for the slaughter of the royal family, but he is no longer within Rothgaren. The dwarves had tried to seek shelter at the time of the attacks, always staying just one step ahead of the zombies, but unable to leave through the main gates. It appears that Kriv has escaped and left his undead thralls behind.

Meanwhile, Aydron wanders up stairs to the servants’ quarters and takes the time look out the windows of the castle. He spots a small group of dwarven men, injured and dishevelled, racing back to the castle, only mere metres ahead of a pack of zombie minions. The magician runs back downstairs and informs the party that they are about to have company.
Prince Ewan, Aydron and Torrin take up positions in the main entrance hall, ready to strike down the zombies as they bottleneck through the main gates. Lamb hides in the kitchette, ready to jump out and flank the zombies once they have engaged in combat.
The doors burst open and the injured dwarven men race into the hall. They are momentarily shocked when they see the Dragonborn, but Prince Ewan barks at them to keep running and get out of the way. They quickly do so and race to the back war room to reunite with their families.
The zombies quickly pour in through the main doors, swarming towards the Dragonborn. The saurians quickly breathe gouts of flame, acid and lightning over the zombies, which rip them to pieces. Prince Ewan hacks away at the undead with his sword and shield while Aydron immolates masses of zombies with his magic spells. Torrin turns into a barbaric whirlwind of destruction, his vicious greatsword chopping down anything that comes close, almost hitting his comrades in his blood rage. Lamb leaps out from the kitchenette and begins to slice through the decomposed flesh of the undead with his twin blades, glinting and hacking through hordes of enemies.
Soon the pack of undead lay around the party. Prince Ewan orders the group back to the secret sewer chute, and tells the dwarves that they can follow or be left behind.
The dragonborn and dwarven folk race through the darkened sewer tunnels, retreating back into the mountains. Although they failed to find Prince Kriv, at least they now have physical and eye witness proof that he was indeed responsible for the murder of High King Korvag and the destruction of Rothgaren. Prince Ewan takes the dwarves back to the settlement that they had passed previously. One of the men, Quanentair, thanks the prince profusely for saving their lives. He says that he is moving to Eralhor to escape the undead of Rothgaren, but he offers a life debt to the prince as way of thanks.

The dragonborn return to Zothguard and make their final reports to King Severa, detailing the fall of Prince Kriv, and the destruction of Rothgaren. These events will have dire ripple effects on Zothguard, which relied on the capital for protection and support.

FIVE YEARS LATER….

Prince Ewan Fireheart attends an urgent summons to the Zothguard Court. A courier has brought a sealed message from Erahlor.

It is from Quanentair

Inside the letter, the hastily scribbled note says that Kriv has been spotted in Rovnol, the capital of the kingdom. Quanentair has been recruited as an engineer and stonemason to help Kriv build a settlement in the Midnight Marshes.

The letter ends with the urgent instructions:
”Find Ravenholme, and you’ll find the Prince”

View
Session 29: North into the Mountains

Session 29: North into the Mountains

13/9/13

Cast- The King’s Recruits: Averlon Blackwood, Edran Laraneth, Fargrim Stoneborn, Horiam and Kriv

Rings of NPCness: Gareth 2.0, Hemingway, Mia and Nimaketh

Date: 24th Reapdon

Construction efforts labour continuously to erect the settlement of Ravenholm deep within the Midnight Marshes.
After a week of construction the dwarven engineers have reinforced the Temple walls and adjoining grounds. While establishing the outpost and training the militia, the Platinum Knights keep a wary eye on the dwindling supply of rations brought from Rovnol.

On the morning of the 24th Reapdon, a young member of the militia sasses Kriv about the food situation, asking ”So…whaddya gonna do about the food?”. The militia seem to be concerned that they have signed on to a doomed expedition. Fargrim gruffly reminds the young Wolf his place ”whaddya gonna do about the food, SIR?”.

Kriv takes the opportunity to talk to The Wolves about the food crisis. He appeases their concerns by sending a hunting party out into the marshes to hunt game. He also tells the militia that the party are going to depart for Tor’s Reach, the closest dwarven city in the Yorgnole Mountains, to establish a trading route for food supplies for the immediate future, until the outpost becomes self-sustaining.
Fargrim assigns one the Wolves to act as his lieutenant in-charge for the duration of their journey. He gives one last intimidating speech to the troops, cautioning them to be vigilant and to ration the food they have left. One anonymous voice calls out from the ranks, making a fat joke at the dwarven fighter. Unable to track the voice, Fargrim suspects that it was one of the shadier members of the militia who was one of Averlon Blackwood’s card mates. Kriv reinforces Fargrim and cows the group into respecting the authority that has been placed over them.

Following the speech, the party pack their bags and depart north through the outskirts of the marshes. According to their maps it will be a rough day and half of trekking through swamp and rugged mountain skirting around the edges of Meepo’s territory.

The miles fall behind the party as they trek through winter-touched bogs and marshes hidden behind a veil of fog and mist. Averlon and Horiam scout ahead of the party for the most part.
Around midday Averlon spots a group of 10 figures trudging through the swamps in the general direction o the party. The Shade doubles back to the party to warn them. Fargrim hopes that they have encountered a dwarven patrol from the mountains, but they elect to hide in the marshlands to observe, not wanting to be intercepted by undead forces. The group recognise the figures as zombies- a collection of humanoid and lizardfolk thralls.
The group continue trekking north through the frozen swamplands, several members succumbing to the cold conditions during the day.

After midday the party begin to walk around the edge of a large marsh lake. Horiam and Averlon spot a mysterious eddy of swirling magic in the centre of the small lake. As the rest of the party catch up, he asks Edran for his opinion of the arcane scar. Edran senses the arcane taint of the Shadowfell emanating from the arcane tear. Hearing this, Horiam prays to the Raven Queen for guidance, but he does not sense her presence or intervention in the formation of the swirling magic.
The party debate whether to detour and investigate the magic, the members all evenly split. Eventually they agree that the immediate and pressing priority is the food shortage at Ravenholm. Edran marks the location in his map case and they move on.

Ascent Up the Mountain

By the afternoon the misty swamps give way to the rugged plains of northern Erahlor. After marching 25 miles the party come to the base of the Yorgnole Mountains. Fargrim announces to the party that they are in his homelands, having grown up in Tor’s Reach. He announces that the path up the mountains would take another 5 hours to ascend, by which time the city gates will be closed for the night.
They elect to break camp and sleep for the night, tackling the mountain in the morning.

The morning of the 25th brings with it a drastic turn in weather. A snowstorm settled in over night. The party wake before sunrise, and while making preparation to ascend, Edran pulls a thick fur coat from his magical cloak to protect him from the elements. They begin the ascent.

After 4 hours of climbing the party begin to hear animalistic hollowing above the snowstorm winds. Fargrim pulls out his war horn and bellows a challenge. The hollowing continues in the distance. He warns that yetis, creatures known to prowl the trade routes in the snow-capped peaks, are most likely tailing them. The party quicken their pace
The sun begins to rise over the mountains, signalling 5am. While trudging along a narrow mountain path, Horiam notices a rocky outcrop ahead that looms over the path. Upon this outcrop he notices a large boulder beginning to wobble suspiciously.
Warning of the danger, the party elect to rush the figures who were attempting to ambush the party.

Battle in the Snow

The Knights run up the snowy hills towards the rocky outcrop to attack the would be ambushers. Kriv spots three Yetis trying to push the boulder. A forth Yeti Howler emerges from the snow and howls at Fargrim, instilling fear in the dwarf. The battle is met.
Horiam engages the Yeti Howler with his sword. Fargrim obliterates one yeti and uses the strike to charge another. Edran unleashes rolling thunder on two of the yetis, cascading them with fingers of electricity. A fifth yeti erupts from the snow and charges Edran, ignoring Averlon who has hidden himself amongst the thick snow. The Yeti Howler tries to push Horiam off the rocky outcropping but the Avenger strikes it down in retaliation.
Edran uses his beguiling strands to blast a yeti off the rocky outcropping, sending it falling 10 feet to the path below. Kriv chases after the yeti, leaping off the ledge and using his fall to drive his weapon into the creature, slaying it.
Fargrim cleaves a yeti with his hammer as it was trying to grab him. Horiam stabs the last yeti.

The party begin picking amongst the creatures. They find the corpse of a dwarven scout, a previous victim of the yetis. They find a magical Handy Haversack, inside which they find a whole barrel of ale, a silver flagon and 260gp.

They continue to trek up the mountain pass. After an hour the party come to the landing of Tor’s Reach and stand looking up at two large ornate carved wooden doors, beside which stand two large dwarven statues, standing silent vigil over the mountains of the dwarvish clans.

GAME NOTES THIS SESSION

Party members each have 2 rations remaining.
Party finds Handy Haversack
260gp//
130gp to kitty
26gp each

View
Session 28 PART TWO: Phase One at Ravenholm

Session 28 PART TWO: Phase One at Ravenholm

30/8/13

Cast- The King’s Recruits: Averlon Blackwood, Edran Laraneth, Fargrim Stoneborn, Gareth 2.0, Horiam and Kriv

Rings of NPCness: Hemingway, Mia and Nimaketh

After four days of marching the expedition arrive at the Temple of the Raven Queen. Hemingway greets them enthusiastically and the company spend a warm and dry night inside the Temple’s walls. Horiam occupies a corner of the temple and begins a quiet prayer group, taking the opportunity to enlighten and dispel the myths and fear regarding the Raven Queen to the interested militia.

As the night draws to a close, Kriv gathers the militia—newly christened as the Wolves— and the stonemasons close and gives an inspiring speech, praising them for making it and pointing out that tomorrow marks the new beginning in the war against Meepo.

Phase One—Extensions to the existing Temple grounds

The next week progresses smoothly, albeit with some interesting events occurring. The masons begin by extended and reinforcing the stone barriers surrounding the Temple while the militia-under the careful eye of Fargrim- formalise patrols and establish a safe perimeter beyond the Temple ground by digging defensive trenches.
Each of the Platinum Knights contributes to the settlement while the dwarf masons and militia undertake the bulk of construction work.
Horiam organises the Temple and uses the time to begin regular study groups of the Codex Corvous, the bible of the Raven Queen faith. He also stores Terios’ preserved head in the Temple’s existing reliquary and assists with general construction work.
Kriv undertakes similar activities to assist with the construction while also being responsible for the training of and execution of hunting expeditions in to the swamps. Eventually the trail ration supplies will run out and the settlement will need to be self-sufficient by then.
Gareth spends the first day looking for hidden tunnels or crypts beneath the Temple, but finds none within the swamps. He spends the rest of the time scribing the history books he borrowed from the Platinum Archives, studying the sparse information about dragon eggs. He also spends significant time studying the egg within his cavity, trying to understand the shrinking and preservation magic involved. While gleaning a rudimentary understanding of both, he decides that a lot more study is required to fully master the rituals.
Averlon wastes no time in beginning to associate with some of the ‘shadier’ members of the militia. He begins to run nightly dice/card games, managing to earn himself 50gp in takings.
Fargrim keeps himself incredibly busy running the militia through drills and basic training. The Wolves have quickly learnt to respect and fear the dwarven fighter and very few dare mention the time he could not afford to buy any of them alcohol.
Edran devotes himself to organising the settlement documents and library, believing that order and systematic cataloguing is vital in order to run Ravenholm effectively. He also takes the time to scry for nearby magical relics and read Terios’ ritual book. He even speaks to Gareth about borrowing his Ritual Book to take notes from.

Dreams Best Left Unseen

On the third night of construction events occur that change everything for some members of the party.
Late in the evening, Edran sits inside the Temple meditating. While in his trance state the Eladrin begins to feel like an outside force is pulling his subconscious. The sensation feels very similar to the effect Nimaketh’s dreamshard, but it does not feel malevolent. Out of curiosity, Edran stops resisting and allows the feeling to overcome him.
Outside on the Temple grounds, Horiam and Gareth are surprised to see Edran sleepwalking out of the Temple, his eyes blazing with arcane light. They are even more shocked to see Nimaketh under the same spell. Both walk over to the nearby fountain and stand looking up at the full moon. Gareth uses his magic to detect that there is a magical link between Nimaketh’s dreamshard and Edran’s red memory gem that he keeps in his pouch. Gareth also detects similar arcane bonds connecting Nimaket and Edran to Fargrim and Kriv, both still in their rooms inside the Temple.

With an eruption of light both Edran and Nimaketh fall to the ground—asleep and unharmed, but unresponsive.
After 10 tense minutes, the two awaken, both visibly disturbed by their dreams, but physically unharmed. While Horiam checks Edran, Gareth runs inside and checks on Kriv and Fargrim.

Edran explains to Horiam that he experienced vivid and potent dreams while he was under the spell.
Gareth speaks to Kriv who acknowledges that he had vivid dreams, saying: “I dreamt about my family. And I don’t want to talk about it”
The warforged moves to the Abbot’s door where Fargrim was sleeping. Through the locked door the dwarf fighter tersely replies ”I’m fine” when queried. Gareth remains at the door and diplomatically speaks to Fargrim, offering to listen. Fargrim thanks Gareth for his concern and says that he needs time to process what he saw.

Back outside Edran tells the group what he saw:
”I saw a vision of myself as I was walking outside, as though I were removed from my body. I stood at the fountain and saw three birds sitting on the fence: A sparrow, a raven and a falcon. I realised that I saw watching myself through the eyes of the falcon. I was the falcon.
Suddenly I took to wing and was soaring north, over the marshes, across the mountains of Yorgnol and suddenly I beheld a valley of rock and sand. I can only assume it was the Valley of Many Names. I saw hundreds of birds flocking to the Valley and I felt compelled to go there.”

The Eladrin pauses, frowns and closes his mouth. He pulls out the red memory shard from his pouch. He realises that the magic within the stone has been recharged, and it is carrying a message. He activates the gem and a simple memory flashes in his mind’s eye: ”Find Me”

The party conclude that something is going on in the Valley of Many Names, and plan that they might detour north to investigate once the settlement is self-sufficient and can protect itself.

h4 Significant Events
Other significant events occur throughout the week that impact and affect the party members.

One day during construction a zombie is spotted by a patrol of militia, just outside the outpost perimeter. It is a lone zombie husk, pacing along the tree line. The zombie is unique in that it has one golden shining eye and the other the colour of ice. Averlon curses in surprise and recognises the zombie as being Rend, the fighter who had accompanied him into the desert of Zaranthas. The zombie appears to be arguing with itself out loud, saying: ”We must go up and talk to them. NO! Shut up, shut up, they’ll kill us!”
Horiam and Kriv approach, the avenger is ready to vanquish the undead thrall. Kriv points out that this zombie appears to retain some cognitive and sentient ability, and opts to talk to it. This action makes Horiam absolutely mortified and suspicious of Kriv, wondering how and why he would know so much about undead. The Dragonborn tries to approach and parley with the zombie of Rend but it curses and runs away. Horiam abjures the undead creature, killing it outright. He stalks back to the Temple to pray to the Raven Queen for guidance, suspicious of Kriv and his background.

Another significant event occurs between Gareth and Fargrim. Days after the dreamscape incident, Fargrim decides to confide in the warforged. He recounts the details of his dream.
Fargrim dreamt that all of the party were stranded on an island, bound by golden chains while he himself was chained in the centre. Next to him was a golden dwarven throne. Chained up on the chair sat Emperor Gotrek, the last great ruler of the Dwarven Empire. He was laughing maniacally. In the dream, Gareth was struggling against his chains and Emperor Gotrek said to Fargrim pointedly ”That is not the machine you should be worried about!”
Fargrim takes the opportunity to tell Gareth about his childhood—how his parents were murdered by a warforged. He explains that this event is why he was so suspicious of warforged, and that the dream has disturbed him. Gareth in turn recounts his past friendship with Reth, a dwarf. The two reconcile their differences and agree to confidence regarding Fargrim’s dream.

GAME NOTES THIS SESSION

Temple grounds are reinforced (walls are now 1 square thick, Temple organised, trench dug on defensive perimeter)
Averlon gains 50gp gambling
Edran is able to control red memory shard

View
Session 28 PART ONE: Convoy to Ravenholm

Session 28 PART ONE: Convoy to Ravenholm

30/8/13

Cast- The King’s Recruits: Averlon Blackwood, Edran Laraneth, Fargrim Stoneborn, Gareth 2.0, Horiam and Kriv

Rings of NPCness: Hemingway, Mia and Nimaketh

Noteworthy NPCs: General Fletcher, Laeroi

The Platinum Knights stand amidst the busy congested streets of the refugee camp. Before them lay the corpses of five Tri-Kreen and the unconscious Shade that they had just saved. The humanoid looks exhausted and dishevelled, apparently on the run for a long time. Fargrim tends to the wounded shade while Edran examines the bodies of the Tri-Kreen, particularly the magical bonds on their arms. He discerns that the magical manacles around the Tri-Kreens’ arms are part of a necrotic ritual that dominated the creatures will—The dark magic had turned them into thralls, compelled to complete an order above all other needs, even the need to eat and rest.

The shade awakens and Horiam opens dialogue between the groups. The shade introduces himself as Averlon, and he is thankful for their assistance. Averlon lived to the far north regions, in the desert of Zaranthas. Two months ago he had gone out with an expedition into the desert and they had encountered a small army led by a kobold in dark robes who had summoned something large and terrible from beneath the sands of Zaranthas. He was the sole survivor of the group and had been on the run ever since. The group surmise that this kobold would be Meepo and all agree that this troubling news should be relayed to General Fletcher and the rest of the Platinum Knights.
Averlon says that he was compelled to flee for Erahlor because of a letter given to him by his friend, Beric, telling him to seek out Fargrim in Rovnol. Fargrim vaguely remembers the dashing and dramatic cleric, recalling that he may have broken his nose at one point in his mercenary career. Averlon regales the party with the tale of his escape to Erahlor and Kriv remains suspicious, believing that he is embellishing certain facts.

News from Zaranthas

The party agree to escort Averlon to the Platinum Spire to give his report to General Fletcher. Fargrim elects to stay behind in the refugee camp and marshal their 30 volunteers—the beginnings of their militia. He gathers the recruits and takes notes of their combat experience and backgrounds. He leads the 30 strong men and women into the industrial district of Rovnol to visit an armourer. Fargrim places an order for 30 sets of leather armour, shields, spears and 10 crossbows and adventurers kits for all recruits. Due to the war and high demand Fargrim is not able to haggle lower than 1,800gp for the lot. He shakes hands with the blacksmith and agrees to return in two days.

Fargrim leads the group of militia to one of his favourite alehouses called the “Trusty Maiden”. He tries to buy two barrels of dwarven ale to share with the militia, to break the ice and foster a good rapport with the recruits. Unfortunately Fargrim realises that his money purse is completely empty, having spent all of his personal funds in the last few days. Embarrassed, Fargrim leaves the alehouse and confronts the disappointed refugees, claiming that the alehouse was out of supplies. This moment is ruined when one of the beer maids from the Trust Maiden calls out ”Bye Fargrim! Come back when you’ve got more money!”
Suddenly under intense scrutiny from the refugees, Fargrim immediately proposes ”I’ll give each of you 1 gold piece to forget this ever happened—“ when he realises that he doesn’t even have the funds to do this. The refugees disband and return to the camps, disappointed, fed up and grumbling about the dwarf fighter.

Meanwhile the rest of the party escort Averlon through the streets of Rovnol to the Platinum Spire. Taking him to General Fletcher’s office, the shade retells his tale once more. Fletcher takes note of the information, grants Averlon his freedom to stay in the capital and a reward of 50gp for the information. The party split to conduct their own affairs.
Horiam and Kriv make a final visit to the Church of the Raven Queen to ask for dispensation to form an order of paladins to serve at the Temple in the Midnight Marshes. They discover the clerics in the middle of celebrations over the news of Ravenholm and Horiam, a struggling alcoholic, is almost tempted to partake in a celebratory wine, but Kriv convinces him otherwise.
Gareth 2.0 and Edran return and make a final visit to the Platinum Archives, loaning out a collection of books on dragonology, arcanic rituals and other tomes of knowledge. Gareth continues to investigate the magic that is preserving the golden dragon egg stored within his body. Fargrim returns to the Spire and speaks at length with General Fletcher about training advice.

That evening, Kriv heads out and buys two barrels of ale and gives them to the refugees, to celebrate the recent events. Fargrim asks Kriv to vouch for his character with the refugees and Kriv makes promises to do what he can.

The Next Day Kriv heads into the city and seeks out war donations to help fund the settlement of Ravenholm and he manages to raise 150gp.

The Secrets of Shadows

Averlon, seeking refuge and anonymity within the capital city, feels as though he is being following in the streets. He ducks into a street alley and climbs onto the rooftops to try and evade any pursuers.
After remaining on the run for most of the day he seeks out the only friendly faces he knows in the city. Averlon returns to the Platinum Spire and seeks the help of the party. Horiam makes plans to set an ambush in the Busty Wench, a gentlemen’s’ club that they had used before to set up clandestine meetings.
Gareth and Edran arrive at the club before Averlon. Horiam sneaks in and hides inside the cloakroom, waiting in ambush. The rogue enters the club and the party wait to spring their trap.
Horiam notices a woman enter the club. As she does so, he notices that her shadow splits in two—one shadow peels off into the cloakroom where Horiam is hiding.
A voice says: ”You keep with interesting friends, Horiam.”

Horiam recognises the voice as Laeroi, the agent of the Hand of Shadows. Laeroi discusses his interest in the shade, curious as to why a creature of the shadowfell has piqued the personal interest of Meepo’s dogs. Horiam is unsure why but states that the shade is no threat and is under his protection. Laeroi, satisfied, says that he will make contact again at Ravenholm. His shadow withdraws from the cloakroom and disappears.
Horiam keeps the conversation to himself, but notifies the party that Averlon is no longer being pursued. He suggests to the shade that it would be safer if he travelled with the party for the time being. With no other alternative, Averlon agrees. The party turn to the Spire and retire for the evening.

The birth of the Wolves

¬_*The Next Day*_ the expedition is ready to depart Rovnol. The Platinum Knights organise the militia and the dwarven engineers. They depart from the main city gates under much fanfare and celebration. Fargrim, eager to redeem his standing with the militia, intimidates the recruits and gets them marching in good order.
The expedition march north along the King’s Road, making good pace despite the cooling weather as winter settles over Eralhor. The march is largely uneventful.
On the second night a pack of wolves attack the encampment. The militia manage to fight them off with only a few scrapes, owing to Fargrim’s rigorous drills. Fargrim orders the four bodies skinned and the pelts delivered to him, thus inspiring the designation of the militia —‘the Wolves’.
The third night proves miserable as heavy winter rains douse the expedition. Edran pulls out a large tarp from his magical cloak but it does little to protect the ragged and wet band of recruits. They realise the effects during morning roll call when several recruits are taken ill and one man suffers the early stages of frostbite. The worst cases are allocated to the wagons while the rest march on.

After four days of marching the expedition arrive at the Temple of the Raven Queen. Hemingway greets them enthusiastically and the company spend a warm and dry night inside the Temple’s walls. Horiam occupies a corner of the temple and begins a quiet prayer group, taking the opportunity to enlighten and dispel the myths and fear regarding the Raven Queen to the interested militia.

As the night draws to a close, Kriv gathers the Wolves and the stonemasons close and gives an inspiring speech, praising them for making it and pointing out that tomorrow marks the new beginning in the war against Meepo.

GAME NOTES THIS SESSION

1,800gp spent from expedition account to outfit and supply militia
Averlon gains 50gp reward from Fletcher

View
Session 27: Audience with the King of Erahlor

Session 27: The Audience with the King of Erahlor

Cast- The King’s Recruits: Edran Laraneth, Fargrim Stoneborn, Gareth 2.0, Horiam and Kriv

Guest staring: Averlon

Rings of NPCness: Hemingway, and Mia

Noteworthy NPCs: General Fletcher, King Kevran Urathdae, Queen Orlais, Advisor Jemek, Marshall Krisalline Fletcher, and Vladshitk Darkfire

The party spend a night in the barracks of the Platinum Knights, located deep within the Platinum Spire of Rovnol.

The party awaken. They meet with General Fletcher and make their final preparations for their audience with the King of Erahlor. After two days of meetings and negotiations the platinum knights are ready to submit their proposal to build a settlement in the Midnight Marshes, a frontier outpost to act as a staging ground for a direct campaign against the undead forces of Meepo. After final preparations, General Fletcher organises to meet them at Court at midday.

Gareth 2.0 reunites with the party. He recounts that he had spent the last two days trying to unravel the mysteries of the magically preserved dragon egg hidden within his chest cavity. The party head into the city of Rovnol to meet with their new lawyer, a tiefling named Vladshitk Darkfire. It appears that the lawyer has not slept much since taking on their business.
They discuss several contractual options how to gain the support of the crown, and in doing so, securing financial support from the realm’s coffers. Darkfire urges diplomacy and caution when appealing to the King for significant sums of money, as the realm with already severely taxed due to the war. After briefly discussing the articles of the colonisation and settlement programs the party depart and leave the lawyer to make his preparations for the audience with the King.

Returning to the Platinum Spire, the party meet General Fletcher in the throne room. He appears more serious and leads them to a hidden wall that he magically accesses. Inside the secret chamber they ride up on a magical elevator that whisks them up towards almost to the peak of the Spire itself. Exiting the arcane lift they are led into an ornate and decorative audience chamber, filled with decorations and mosaics depicting the platinum dragon and detailing the rich history of Rovnol.

Making final preparations and instructing the party on the correct etiquette and decorum within the King’s presence, General Fletcher leads the Knights to a grand doorway and announces them.

Seated at a large and lavishly decorated table sits the King of Erahlor, Kevran Urathdar. Beside him sits an elven woman, the Queen Orlais. On either side of the King and Queen at the royal table stand a human male in rich and official robes with a boil on his forehead and a woman dressed in battle armour with an intense hawkish expression. There are also several familiar faces waiting the Platinum Knights— Arclem the gnome, Harbourd from Sparrowsport, Vladshitk Darkfire, Sir Stephan Fairweather, Arthur from the refugee camps (seated as far away from Fairweather as possible), the Abbess of Bahamut and a cleric from the church of the Raven Queen.

General Fletcher announces the party and they bow and proclaim the traditional oath of the Platinum Knights— “We Stand to Protect Those Who Need Us”

The official man with the boil on his forehead—*Advisor Jemek* opens the discussions. The King wishes to hear their proposal and outline. Kriv, the nominated diplomatic leader of the group, responds and outlines the settlement proposition to the King. Vladshitk distributes scrolls detailing the settlement while Kriv delivers a convincing and inspiring proposal to the royal family.
The woman with the hawkish expression is announced as War Marshall Krisallin Fletcher—the ruthless and cunning marshal in charge of the Erahlor war theatre…and General Fletcher’s ex-wife.
She questions the party’s abilities to effectively counter and combat the undead forces in the Midnight Marshes, the defended territory of Meepo himself. Horiam responds in rebuttal that his quest to found the settlement at the Temple of the Raven Queen was inspired and divinely sanctioned by the Raven Queen herself—even the goddess of death has aided their campaign against the necrotic undead. War Marshall Fletcher scoffs, but appears to accept the merits of his argument, having read the Action Reports herself. At this point Fargrim fist bumps General Fletcher under the royal table, pleased that the ex-wife had been rebuked.

King Urathdar speaks again and raises concerns over the ability to defend such an isolated frontier military outpost that would be isolated from the supply lines of Erahlor for the duration of the war. Fargrim gets out of his wooden chair and counters that they plan to recruit willing volunteers from the refugee camps to found the initial population and would train into an effective militia to safeguard the outpost. Harbourd takes the opportunity to vouch for the Party’s effectiveness and resourcefulness.

At this point the party become aware of a half-elf male walking around the room. Several members recognise him as Prince Wellean, the son of the king. He appears to have taken an interest in the case being proposed.

At this point of negotiations Advisor Jemek takes the floor and questions the party with regard to issues of supply and food—Rovnol is already dealing with food shortages because of the war and cannot afford to supplicate another settlement of hungry souls. Fargrim and Edran rise from their chairs and outline several ways that they plan to supply and feed the growing outpost, their responses are aided by use of the relevant geographical charts and maps they had prepared. This response satisfies the Royal Advisor.

Next, Queen Orlais speaks up. With a calm an soothing elvish accent, she asks how the party plan to contend with the unchecked necrotic energy that plagues the Midnight Marshes. This arcanically-twisted necrotic energy is a magical fuel source for Meepo’s undead army and it is the very reason his forces operate in the Marshes. The Queen is concerned about the safety of the citizen who would populate this isolated settlement. Gareth 2.0 responds, saying that the Temple of the Raven Queen had been constructed in the Marshes originally as a beacon to cleanse and focus the necrotic energies—the goddess of death, winter and fate is a neutrally-aligned god, not a malicious one. The clerics and acolytes of the Raven Queen would be responsible for reconsecrating the grounds surrounding the holy temple, cleansing the land and tending to the well-being of the civilian population. The Queen smiles and is pleased with their response.

When King Urathdar asks how they plan to convince settlers to move to the Marshes settle, operate and sustain an outpost in the inhospitable Midnight Marshes, Kriv initially freezes up and stumbles in his response. He recovers and states that they will hold a rally in the Refugee Camps to gain volunteers. This initial core group of settlers would be trained into engineers and militia. After initial construction was complete the families of the volunteers would be able to move out and claim plots of land while work continued to phase two. The King is satisfied that the group of adventurers have a sound and meticulously planned proposal.

After briefly discussing the issues of wood supplies, the discussion finally turns to the subject of funding and financial support. Sir Fairweather reminds the party that he has pledged 2,000gp to the cause and the King signs an official declaration pledging a loan of 3,000 gp. The King declares his support of the outpost.
Ask Vladshitk Darkfire submits all of his documentation to War Marshal Fletcher, Horiam suggests the name Ravenholme for the new outpost. It is added as an addendum to the documents. With that the audience with the King is concluded and the party leave victorious.

After brief celebrations the party head to the refugee camps outside the Capital Walls with Arthur in order to rally volunteers for the settlement of Ravenholme.
Kriv delivers a speech to the refugees:
“Meepo drove you from your homes, your families, to live off the scraps of the nobles and waste away in the filth of the city.
He think us weak, he expects us to roll over and die. I ask you, is he right?
I’ll tell you what I think.
I think no.
I look amongst you and I see proud men and women, brought low by the mad and the rotting.
That is why I come before you today. A settlement is to be founded at the edge of the midnight marsh. A thumb in the eye of Meepo, a blade to strike at his armies.
We offer land and work to any who wish for it. I will not lie. I never said this will be easy, but it will be worth it.
The king, the soldiers, the priests, and even the gods themselves stand with us. Will you?”

After this motivating and captivating speech about 50 men and women rush to the party and volunteer to join the settlement program. Other express interest in joining the second phase of settlement or reclaiming Til.
At this point a screaming voice approaching, crying out “Help! Sanctuary!”

The Platinum Knights turn towards the sound and see a humanoid creature running into the refugee camp. It appears to be a Shade, looking wounded, exhausted and dishevelled, dressed in desert garb. The shade is running towards them, being chased by five Thri-Kreen. Although shocked to see the desert insectoids this far south in Erahlor, the Thri-Kreen also appeared to be necrotically infused with magic. Gareth 2.0 remains behind to protect and clear refugees from the fight while the other members of the party draw weapons and leap to the Shade’s defence.

As the battle begins, one of the Tri-Kreen hiss that “he belongs to us.” It is an intense and challenging battle as the Tri-Kreen’s necrotic infusion grants them superior strength and dexterity, striking at the party with their long spears. While Horiam, Kriv and Fargrim attack the Tri-Kreen head on, Edran rushes to protect the Shade from one of the Tri-Kreen raiders. The wounded shade attempts to hide behind a wagon but he is struck unconscious by one of the raiders. Using all of their powerful feats of strength and divine might, the Platinum Knights slay the Tri-Kreen one by one while Edran stabilises the unconscious rogue. After the last insectoid is dispatched, the group gather around begin to discuss what to do with the strange shade dressed in desert clothing…

GAME NOTES THIS SESSION

3,000gp contributed by royal coffers (5,000 contributed + group kitty 202gp)

View
Session 26: Negotiations Part 2

Session 26: Negotiations part 2

Cast- The King’s Recruits: Edran Laraneth, Fargrim Stoneborn, Horam, and Kriv

Rings of NPCness: Gareth 2.0, Hemingway, and Mia

Noteworthy NPCs: General Fletcher, Sir Stephan Fairweather, Vladshitk Darkfire, and Arthur

The party spend a night in the barracks of the Platinum Knights, located deep within the Platinum Spire of Rovnol.

The party awaken, break their fast and are summoned to meet with General Fletcher at midmorning.
They descend from the barracks and make their way towards the Training Grounds. While passing through the Courtroom the party are momentarily held up by a large crowd. The King is in the middle of a session of court and the royal halls are chocked with nobility, merchants, guildsmen and refugees.
Pausing to listen in, the special session of court appears to have been convened to discuss the food shortage in the capital. The King has requisitioned food stores from the local merchants and guilds in order to feed the influx of refugees. Passionate spokespeople representing the nobility, mercantile groups and civilian refugees argue and parley vigorously.

While listening to the debate, Kriv is shocked when he sees a Dragonborn kinsman from his old clan. Fortunately none of the party saw his reaction and Kriv avoids being noticed.
Horam wade into the debate to try and curry financial support for their proposed settlement at the Temple of the Raven Queen. They search the crowd and try to recognise the most influential member of the nobility. One man stands out, an older noble man dressed in luxurious silk robes. Fargrim recognises him as Sir Stephan Fairweather, a member of the old aristocracy in Rovnol. Edran takes out his writing kit and pens a calling card for Sir Fairweather, requesting an audience after court today. The King calls a halt to the debate, weary from the embattled parties. As the crowds mingle, Horam suggests that perhaps the refugees could be convinced to help populate the proposed settlement. The party look for a key spokesperson representing the refugees. Spotting the de facto leader of the refugees, Edran pens another calling card and leaves it with the refugee leader.

The party continue and meet with General Fletcher in his office. The Platinum Knight discusses their successful negotiations from yesterday, having secured support from the religious sects and the Circle of Nine. The party make some inquires as to the war updates, specifically regarding the dwarves, the feywild and the sparse and inconsistent reports from the Shadowfell.

At the conclusion of the meeting, a servant from Sir Fairweather awaits to escort the party to tea with the noble. The party agree to split up and undertake separate objectives.

Horam and Kriv go with the servant and travel by carriage to the tended ground of the Fairweather’s estate. They are announced by Jeaves, the intern major-domo of the household. The pair has tea with Sir Fairweather and put forward their proposal. Fairweather agrees to financially back the project and contributes 2,000gp.
Next, Horam and Kriv travel to the business district in search of a lawyer/bureaucrat to run the day-to-day operations of the settlement and to draft the legal documentation. They are directed to the discrete office of one Vladshitk Darkfire. They make an appointment to meet with the tiefling lawyer at 5pm that day.
In the meantime, Horam and Kriv return to the Platinum Spire to receive a message from Arthur, the de facto leader of the refugees in Rovnol. They meet with the Thedanwald-immigrant about recruiting able and willing refugees to form the core of the population of the settlement. The first phase would serve as a militia to secure the land, and the second phase would allow for settlers to move out. Arthur agrees to lend his voice in support at the impending audience with the King.

Meanwhile, Fargrim and Edran head to the guild sector of Rovnol. They plan to meet with the masonry guilds to secure the resources and labour necessary to build the settlement. Fargrim suggests that they first visit the dwarven guilds. He reunites with an old friend Ardek. They outline the proposed layout, the settlement sites and offer first rite of refusal to any mining sites in the area. Ardek takes the proposal and agrees to mention their proposal to the guildmaester.
Next, they meet with Arclem at his workshop. The gnome artificer shows off an arcane pump that he started development. He plans to development the device so that it will be able to magically siphon the swamp water from the Midnight Marsh, allowing for proper settlement of the Temple site. He also gives Edran a book with the ritual “purify water.” Fargrim asks for some explosives. Arclem gives the dwarf a small blue vial—warning him to be careful with the untested magical explosive.
Afterwards, Fargrim and Edran return to speak with the guildmaester of the masonry guild. The guildmaester agrees to provide the materials and 10 workmen for 2 months work for a fee of 4,000gp. Fargrim tries to barter but is rebuked. The three share some mugs of dwarven ale—Edran chokes a little but manages to hold it down.
After a second mug of ale, the dwarf and eladrin wander to the food merchants to try and secure rations for the settlement, but are turned away due to the large crowds of refugees already straining the city’s stores. Fargrim stops by a Hunter’s Guild and discusses the game and harvest located in the vicinity of the Midnight Marshes.

In the afternoon the party meet up and make their way to the office of Vladshitk Darkfire. The tiefling lawyer discusses the proposal and the range of services he could provide to the party. Horam and Kriv split the fee required to retain his loyalty.
At sunset the party return to the Platinum Spire. They compile their notes, agreements and prepare for their audience with the King in the morning, where they will finally put forward the proposition for their settlement.

GAME NOTES THIS SESSION

Horam and Kriv split 200gp from personal wallets to pay retaining fee for Vladshitk Darkfire.
2,000gp contributed by Sir Fairweather

View
Intermission: What Lies Beneath the Zerenthas

Intermission: What lies beneath the Zerenthas

Cast- Avalon the Rogue, Berec the Cleric, Rend the Fighter,Zanthe the Ranger

:::THE FOLLOWING TAKES PLACE ON THE 8TH DAY OF DARYOS IN THE YEAR 1028. ONE MONTH BEFORE THE CURRENT EVENTS IN ERAHLOR BEGAN:::

Far to the North East of Erahlor, past The Midnight Marsh and through the embattled Valley of Many Names, contested over by barbarian tribes, lie the desert sands of Zerenthas….

The small trading township of Quin’tilzen provides a centre of shade and hospitality amidst the scorching heat of the desert planes. It is a trading hub for the desert caravans, specialising in gems and opals mined from the barren sands and rocky ranges.

Mayor Arkif calls a special assembly for all the local residents and merchants of Quin’tilzen. The crowd gathers in the township’s singular dingy tavern, interrupting the Name Day celebration of a young human cleric of Avandra called Berec from Til.
Arkif tells the local tribes that strange outsiders have been noted travelling up the trading routes throughout the desert. These groups seem to amassing and scouring the desert planes. Fearing expeditionary forces from either Erahlor or the Valley of Many Names, Major Arkif requests for any of the locals to volunteer to investigate and scout of the Outsiders’ intentions. Berec volunteers, through monologue, the services of himself and his goddess.

In amongst the irate and vocal crowd a shade rogue called Avalon manages to steal a 100gp gem from a patron.

Berec reunites at the bar with his friend Zanthe Toran, a half-elf ranger who loosely associates with Quin’tilzen as a hunter-gatherer and guide for the trade caravans. Zanthe and Avalon both volunteer their help when Mayor Arkif announces a reward of 30gp.

In the corner of the tavern a man dressed in chainmail sits alone, muttering to himself “Shut up. Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up shut up,” then he screams. “OKAY. I’ll volunteer!Rend the fighter adds his name to the list.

The four men, guided by Zanthe, strike south-west on the trade route, the area where the Outsiders had been seen last. Rend, in a sudden outburst, screams and scares a travelling troupe of children. Berec attempts to calm them down but the others find Rend’s behaviour odd.

The heat continues to bake the desert flats as the party march. Berec manages to tumble down a sand dune, holding up progress. Zanthe and Rend fall prey to a mirage, resulting in Rend hugging a cactus. He promptly uses his Greatsword to cut it down, screaming at a voice in his head.

Berec senses a divine presence residing within Rend’s subconscious, but he cannot determine who or what it could possibly be. They are still uncomfortable with his behaviour, but continue to march.

The hot desert sun sinks behind the dunes and the temperature soon plummets to freezing. The party have an unsettled sleep. In the morning they change their heading and move off the road into unfamiliar territory, where the Outsiders had been seen last.

Zanthe points out a stone pillar jutting out of the sand. They hurry to it and investigate. Draconic runes are etched into the stone object but no one can read the script. Zanthe tries to use his tracking skills but cannot determine any fresh foot tracks in the local area. They momentarily rest in the shade of the pillar and then move on.

After three hours of marching, Berec notices strange and unnatural clouds starting to form overhead. A storm begins to brew in the desert heat. Suddenly a lightning strike hits a mile ahead. Lightning bolts continue to rain down on the same spot, and not rain appears to be falling—this appears to be magically produced, fuelled by necrotic energy.

The party run towards the eye of the storm. They pause at the bottom of a tall sand dune, hidden in cover. Berec sneaks to the crest of the dune. He looks down and sees a gathering of humanoids and creatures—the beginnings of a formidable army.
Closest to them, the lightning strikes continue to impact the same plot of sand, blasting layers of sand and dirt away. Giant Ants and other smaller insect drones are also digging in the sand. A stone altar is being slowly revealed and exposed as the magical ritual is being cast.

Close to the altar stand a small group. On the left a warforged, dressed in desert garb and armour, looks at the altar. On the right stands a tall male humanoid with gray skin. In the centre squats a short kobold in dark robes with black scales and a glowing amulet on his chest. The kobold appears to be chanting and controlling the ritual.

From the sand dune precipice, Berec begins to deliver a monologue decrying the necrotic invaders. With a flourish of his weapon and a battle cry, Berec charges at the army. The warforged points his sword at Berec in challenge. The battle begins.

A small foul the size of a falcon swoops in and attacks Berec. Zanthe recognises it as a cockatrice. He and Rend run forward to join the fight. Avalon uses the nearby dunes to hide, using stealthy ranged attacks to strike at the cockatrice. The party quickly become outnumbered when a Giant Ant and its insect brood erupt from the sand around them.
Rend becomes surrounded, fighting back with his greatsword. Berec is immoblised by the cockatrice and then gripped in the mandibles of the Giant Ant and he falls unconscious. Zanthe kills the cockatrice and tries to stab the Giant Ant, but its carapace deflects most of his sword strikes. Rend tries to shift away from the smaller insect broods but he too was immobilised by the cockatrice’s bite, he is helpless and falls unconscious. The broods swarm over their bodies and begin to devour them.

Avalon, striking from the sand dunes with his hand crossbow, looks in horror as Zanthe’s stone feet immobilise him, unable to run. He is gripped in the mandibles of the Giant Ant and is slowly hauled towards the stone altar. As the blood and life leaves Zanthe, he locks eyes with Avalon, hidden among the dunes, and points in the direction of Quin’tinlzen. He shouts to the rogue in elvish to flee. Zanthe looks towards the warforged and sees something being dug out of the sand. He falls unconscious as his world fades to darkness.

Avalon flees the bloody scene. He stumbles through the desert. Four days later he arrives in Quin’tilzen, dehydrated, delirious and close to death. He recuperates after a few more days, and he presents Mayor Arkif with a written draft of the Will of Rend, Berec and Zanthe, updated before the adventure, leaving Avalon all of their collective wealth. This is a note that Avalon had forged while he rested in bed.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.