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    Canonfire :: View topic - The Knights of the Silver Dawn - Tales From Furyondy [Long]
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    The Knights of the Silver Dawn - Tales From Furyondy [Long]
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:25 pm  
    The Knights of the Silver Dawn - Tales From Furyondy [Long]

    Hello everyone,

    I thought that I would post a campaign journal set in the nation of Furyondy that I run for my girlfriend during weeknights, and sometimes weekends as well. This is a solo game that she is playing multiple characters for to fill out the party, though as of the most recent level I have taken control of a ex-priest of Iuz that the party has managed to redeem that now is a cohort via the Leadership spell.

    In combat she controls everyone save for this newest character. In roleplaying I control both Jaken (the ex-priest of Iuz), and Garek a dwarven cleric.

    Notes
    While I haven't really done much with Greyhawk as far as normal, tabletop games I did do some freeform role-plays set in Furyondy, and elsewhere in Greyhawk. Because of this there have been some changes to the base setting to include these NPC's which means some leaders in the nations around Furyondy, and indeed the current king of Furyondy have been changed around.

    Some of these changes were made due to ignorance of the lore already established, and others just for flavor. I am going to try to include all the changes that I can remember, but I could be forgetting a few so this first post might be changed around a bit as I remember more changes.

    Furthermore since I am playing with girlfriend a number of these characters have romantic relationships with one another, including some odd pairings. I will do my best to downplay these in the journal, but I will point them out where they come up.

    Rulers
    A number of rulers have been changed, or altered from the core rulers found in the LGG. In a previous freeform game, Thrommel (the Black Knight) was freed from his undead state, and has been the ruler of Furyondy since the end of the Great Northern Crusade (Belvor in this version was assassinated.) To make maters stranger the queen of Celene, Yolande fell in love with this passionate young man, and in the end gave her crown to her younger niece named Amainala. Thus the current heir-apparent of Furyondy is in fact a Half-Elf something that has caused quite a stir among the nobles.

    Also another one of our characters, this time from a adventurers band that went through the Shackled City adventure path named Perin is the current Lord Mayor of Highfolk. Also the Principality of Ulek (renamed Kingdom of Highguard, see below) is ruled by two more characters from the Shackled City adventure path, Namir a dwarf paladin, and Sorn a dwarf cleric. Beyond that though I have tried to stay in canon with most of the rulers found in the LGG, and other sources.

    Also there were some changes to the Barony of Kalinstren as well, the character Celeste is the current heir to her house though there are some complications to that (this is talked about in the first post), and her father became as the years went by more, and more insane. At the start of the game he had passed away recently.

    Nations
    I will be honest I never really liked the three Ulek states in their current incarnation, at least their names. Thus in my version of Greyhawk there is currently only one Ulek state (Which is the County of Ulek in the LGG). The Duchy of Ulek has become Calamar, while the Principality as stated above has become Highguard. Beyond that though the fluff for these area's have stayed the same save for the rulers of the Kingdom of Highguard.

    I know little of the lore for these area's save for what's in the LGG so I basically said that Ulek was once a single province that in the years after the rebellion broke apart into smaller nations.

    I am planing on keeping the two Urnst nations, at least for the time being.

    Current Characters

    Celeste Kalinstren [Human (Suel) Female LG Wizard 10]
    The current heir to House Kalinstren, she has become a adventure because of her father's last wishes. Before her adventures she trained under Bigby, and tried to help contain the moods of her lord father. At the start of the game she had never met the Knights of the Silver Dawn.

    Arshea [Aasimar (Oeridian) Female NG Bard 10]*
    Born in the dark, festering pit known as Dorakaa the City of Skulls. She was born as a slave, and was rescued during the Great Northern Crusade by the newly made adventuring party known as the Knights of the Silver Dawn.

    Ahvrania Iiremen'surre'esta [Grey Elf Female LG Paladin 10]
    Born a orphan Ahvrania knows very little about her past, and in truth just about as much about how to 'be' a Grey Elf. While she does currently worship the Seldarine, she does feel conflicted toward her own gods due to her nature as a Paladin. She is currently in a strange romantic relationship with Garek.

    Garek Highhammer [Hill Dwarf Male LG Cleric 10]
    The creator of the adventuring party known as the Knights of the Silver Dawn, Garek was born in the city of Gryrax into a family of loremasters, and priests. Garek is a devoted healer, and worships the Morndinsamman (I stole the dwarven pantheon name from FR) as a whole.

    Jaken Telenstar [Human (Oeridian) NG Oracle DEAD] - Cohort
    Previously a priest of Iuz he acted as a spy within the small band of worshipers of Nurell that infiltrated Delvenbrass. However he was captured by a group of Harpies, and used by them as a mate. Tortured to near death he was saved by the party, and their kindness brought him back from the abyss. He is now a Oracle that primarily gains his spells from Ehlonna. He is now dead, killed when the Scarlet Lord was destroyed by the party.

    *Arshea was originally named Nava, which is in fact the Abyssal word for 9, though none of the party knew this until they met Thrommel, who gave her the name Arshea after a angel of Heironeous.

    Conclusion
    Alright with all that out of the way I can start with the actual campaign, however enough time has passed that I may have forgotten the details to a lot of it. We shall see how good my memory is. Also comments are more than welcome, and if you have any questions please by all means ask! I love comments, even if they are critical.


    Last edited by Iressi on Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:39 pm; edited 8 times in total
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    Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:52 pm  
    Death, and Beginnings in Redoubt

    Fireseek - 591 CY: Redoubt, Furyondy

    Our story begins with the death of Cedric Kalinstren, the previous Baron of Kalinstren one of the two northernmost provinces of Furyondy. For the past 13 years the only daughter of Cedric was being raised to replace Cedric, at least in theory. As Cedric grew older either the death of his wife, the losses in battle, or the inbreeding among his family caused a slow decent into madness.

    This grew ever worse as he approached the end of his life, unknown to his daughter who was in Veluna at that time training under Bigby himself a secret proclamation was signed by her father. Cedric hovered close to death, until the start of the new year. By the 4th of Fireseek he was dead, and Celeste Kalinstren was brought back to Redoubt to attend her fathers funeral.

    She also thought that she was going to inherit her fathers house, but that was not to be. Elric Darmon, who had been in fact a ward of House Kalinstren from years before gave to Celeste the news that she was not to inherit her fathers title, or house. At least not yet. It read as follows:

    "By proclamation of Cedric Kalinstren, fourth of his name, lord of the Fortress Redoubt, and Baron of Kalinstren the issue of Celeste Kalinstren, and her right to inherit the house is to be given the following condition:

    Celeste Kalinstren, second of her name shall only inherit House Kalinstren, its wealth, titles, land, and power if she succeeds on this single task. She must alone or with the aid of others slay or forever bind the Old One, Iuz. Until this is done she can never inherit."

    The document was signed, notarized, and sealed with the symbol of House Kalinstren. For the time being Elric was named to Lord Regent of Castle Redoubt, and he was kind enough to let Celeste stay in Redoubt until she figured out what she could do.

    Finally after talking with Father Marik Vestenburg (the 'high' priest of Heironeous in Redoubt), who Communed with his god to see if it might be possible that she could really kill the Old One. In the end Marik told her that it was best for Kalinstren if she tried to fulfill what her father wanted. So she sent out messages all across Furyoundy, and even more distant lands to gather fourth adventurers to the fortress of Redoubt.

    Their sole goal to undermine, harm, and eventually destroy the Old One.

    Celeste never thought that she was get one person to come to Redoubt, even with all the hatred that the Old One inspired. Nobody could be so crazy to join. However she didn't count on the Knights of the Silver Dawn to come to Redoubt, and offer their assistance.

    Conclusion: Alright that is all for now, that is about half of the first session which was mostly just roleplaying. As I said before I changed quite a bit in regards to Kalinstren. I got rid of the references to the god Trithereon among other things.

    Next time will introduce the Knights of the Silver Dawn (Arshea or Nava as she is called now, Ahvrania, and Garek), and start them on their first adventure which takes place on the edge of the Vesve Forest.


    Last edited by Iressi on Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:51 am; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:12 pm  

    Excellent start, Iressi!

    Looking forward to reading more, so keep it coming.
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    Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:10 pm  
    The Call to Arms

    Lady Celeste Kalinstren's message that she sent out across all of Furyondy (thrown together in a couple minutes during the session):

    To all those with noble hearts whose eyes turn to the north in dread and fear for their loved ones. Fear of what the Old One has taken, of what he may take on the morrow, and of what would happen if the northern walls came down. I beseach you, if you are able, to give of your talent and of your strength in this eternal war, to stand with us in the north, in defiance of the Old One's desires.

    To the precious few who strike out alone rather than with a host of men, I seek companions in the adventures I would have. I am Celeste Kalinstren, daughter of Baron Cedric Kalinstren, the Valorous. I have apprenticed under Bigby of the Circle of Eight, and I would see what my knowledge will help me to do in the war against the Old One.
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    GreySage

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    Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:06 pm  

    Wow! I like it! Happy

    Thanks for sharing that with us, Crystaltears. We're glad you decide to join us. Your contributions are most welcome, as are those of Iressi. Wink

    Gaming together . . . Awesome Exclamation

    This is going to be good. Cool
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:48 pm  

    Iressi,

    Good start so far. How does one kill a god? Well with Iuz their are answers it will be interesting to see what direction your campaign takes. Keep the posts coming.

    Argon

    P.S. Crystaltears welcome to the boards.
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    Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:05 am  

    I left this game somewhat open in what she can do, though it's not a true sandbox. Part of what I did is I wanted to work on my improv so I did very little work on what could be actually found in each dungeon, and what not.

    As far as how Iuz is killed, well that is up to Crystaltears to figure out Evil Grin

    Also as aside I have made a few changes to Orcs, and Goblins for my version of Greyhawk. Since they will come up this post I thought I would go ahead, and explain.

    Beyond the Orogs, and Ogrillions there are three main types of Orcs. The first are the typical greenskin orcs they are known as Sornkar these are the normal types of orcs that you have come to expect. Brutish, warlike creatures that fight among each other as often as against other races.

    Then you have the black skinned Nilkar which look a bit like large, powerful drow to some respect though their hair is as dark as their skin most of the time. These orc's often become powerful sorcerers, and often lead tribes. These are a mutation that crops up among the Greenskin orcs, for every 40 Sornkar there is maybe 1 or 2 Nilkar orcs.

    The last race of orc's are the Tothkar, these orc's just generally speaking want to be left alone. They generally worship Obad-Hai though under a different name, and while they don't often raid on their own they are still very dangerous. They have had to deal with years of hatred from the other races, and now have become xenophobic shamans. They are a separate subrace of orc rather than a mutation.

    Goblins as I said before are also in this adventure. Because goblins breed so often, and in so many area's there are a number of variants that can be found around the world. The most common variant is in fact Hobgoblins. One in 20 births produce a Hobgoblin that at first grows the same as a goblin, but by its 5th year it starts to grow at a much faster rate till it grows up into a Hobgoblin. Further Hobgoblins are fertile among their own kind, and goblins as well so there are entire Hobgoblin tribes in the world.

    Bugbears are also born from goblins, however they are far more rare. Maybe as as rare as one in every 50 goblins born. They also have variants including the dreaded Nightstalker Bugbear which can make itself invisible once per day (or 3/day if they have a feat to improve it) to everyone save for a single target. It can then 'blink' turning invisible before each attack making it impossible without aid to know where the attack will come from. They feed off of the fear this form of attack produces. Thankfully Nightstalkers are rare, and can only do this for a minute a day.

    Fireseek - 591 CY: Verbobonc
    The letters were sent to all of Furyondy, and beyond including the city-state of Verbobonc where we find the rest of the adventuring party. Though before we go into them traveling to Furyondy I want to provide some background to the three of them.

    Garek, and Ahvrania met near the Lortmil Mountains near Celene for two different reasons that stemmed from the same source. There were strange reports of raiding Celene, Ulek, and Highguard that seemed to come from this chain of low lying mountains which was very odd since it had been mostly clear of such monsters in the Hateful Wars.

    Ahvrania accompanied a small band of elven warriors from Celene, while Garek did the same with warriors from Highguard. Both groups met each other with suspicion in front of Mount Kelkarak one of the tallest peaks in Lortmil's however they were attacked by a large band of Sornkar orcs lead by a man in dark russet robes, a metal helm with stag antlers on it, wielding a whip.

    The two groups fought for their lives, but in the end were captured. Working together the two of them managed to escape, and a bond was forged that day that would remain unbroken. However they were unable to figure out what the man with the horned helm was doing there, when they went back to Mount Kelkarak they found the tunnels to be empty save for a collapsed room with a few dead orcs found in the rubble.

    Working together they formed the fledgling Knights of the Silver Dawn, and in the years that followed worked along side the armies of Furyondy, and other nations to fight back the Old One during the Greyhawk Wars, and later the Great Northern Crusade. During the siege of Crockport they discovered a young girl there named Nava who had been the slave of one of the demons that disappeared during the Flight of Fiends.

    Since that point she had been the personal slave of none other than Cryennik the leader of the forces of Iuz in Crockport. They took Nava under their wing, and nursed her back to heath. Though the mental scars of a life under the thumb of the Old One had left its mark on her. Cursed with a stutter, and terrible nightmares her recovery is a long time coming.

    Nava joined the Knights of the Silver Dawn, in part to repay the two of them. The other reason was to hopefully one day conquer her fears born from her terrible childhood. They adventured mostly around the region of Verbobonc, and sometimes in Veluna as well. On a crisp, winter day they heard the message that Lady Celeste Kalinstren had sent, and they decided that was exactly the sort of person they were looking for.

    Someone with the guts to bring the good fight to the Old One, so they set out that day from Verbobonc to the city of Redoubt.

    Readying - 591 CY: Redoubt, Furyondy
    After a long, uneventful journey they made their way to the fortress of Redoubt. After a short wait they were given permission to speak with with Lady Celeste. I forget what Garek said, but after talking with her he was so impressed with the young noble that he said that this meeting needed a oath.

    He bound himself, and the Knights of the Silver Dawn to protect Celeste, and to travel with her to defeat the Old One lest death stop them. With that the full party was finally brought together. That night they talked among each other trying to figure out what to do, and listened to rumors at the small Blackstar Inn that is located inside the castle itself.

    They hear some interesting rumors including diseased animals coming out of the Vesve, orcs raiding the small village of Westwatch near Castle Ehlenestra, undead being spotted in the Razing Line, and the apparent death of a dragon named Blackfang who's treasure was still unaccounted for. In the end they decide to help the village of Westwatch.

    With that they bought some supplies, and set out for Westwatch riding on the famous Kalinstren Draft horse (I let Crystaltears pick something that her noble house was famous for. She decided that they made some of the best horses in Furyondy) that Regent Lord Elric was gracious enough to provide.

    After a few days of travel they arrive at the small village of Westwatch which is located about day or so from the beautiful Castle Ehlenestra. When they arrive in town they discover that the town itself doesn't really think that the orc raids that have been going on are all that bad. They have been able to drive them off for the most part.

    In fact they believe that the paranoid lord mayor overreacted. The people of Westwatch are hardy, independent folk that have lived in the shadow of the Vesve for years. Its night when they finally arrive in town, and they end up nursing drinks at the Westking Inn trying to decide what to do next when they hear shouting coming from outside.

    As they get up to see what the trouble is the doors to the inn are burst open by a snarling, greenskinned monster. Orcs were raiding Westwatch, and not just a few but a large warband. The smell of fire wafts into the room as its infernal lights cast strange shadows as the first battle of the game is joined.

    Conclusion: I thought that I would end this one on a bit of a cliffhanger. Took me a while to get there, but I finally got up to the first combat of the game. I hope you have enjoyed reading it :). I am sure I have missed things, and if that is the case Crystaltears will likely comment about it.

    Again comments of any sort are appreciated, and I will do my best to answer any questions you might have!
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    Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:10 am  
    The Oath Sworn

    @Mystic-Scholar
    Aww, thanks. Smile I had fun writing that up, and I have a lot of fun playing Celeste. I do hope we live up to your expectations of this being good. Happy

    @Argon
    Thanks for the warm welcome.

    ~*~*~

    This rather long post offers a bit of insight on the characters I'm playing for those who care to read it:

    Celeste

    A bit of History:
    Lady Celeste Kalinstren was a bit of a child prodigy, though this was mainly because of her father's quick recognition of the arcane spark within her. Baron Cedric Kalinstren pulled the political strings at his disposal to attain for Celeste a tutor from the renown Circle of Eight. Two choices were offered him, and Cedric chose to send for a representative of Bigby. The representative came out to meet the young girl and found that she did indeed have great potential despite being only eight years old. She officially became the apprentice of Bigby, and was taken from Redoubt to Veluna to learn from the elder wizard.

    Celeste would spend a little over five years in Veluna, hearing only distantly of her father's efforts in Kalinstren. Sent with her was a tutor of her father's choosing to help her keep up her studies of the noble lines, etiquette, and protocol of her station while she learned of other matters from her Master. Bigby was a cautious mentor, and taught her many things. The only good enemy was a dead one in Bigby's mind, but Celeste was of the opinion that a person might not be bad even when following a bad leader. She was soft in the eyes of her Master, who criticized her for learning how to cast her spells mercifully (there's a house rule on how Metamagic feats work, because Merciful Spell is a 0 level adjustment feat, his ruling means she could cast every spell mercifully without preparing it that way; and I'll leave it to him to explain how the ruling works if he cares to), but even in his criticism he taught her something. Casting mercifully would allow the girl to overcome energy immunities because the type of energy in the spell would change. An application of her careful studies that Celeste never would have thought of.

    To Bigby's disappointment, Celeste showed an aptitude for Conjuration magic, particularly Teleportation. Bigby would ultimately determine her prohibited schools (in Pathfinder you choose any two schools to be prohibited when you choose to specialize in one). For her own benefit her Master chose to limit her studies in Necromancy. For his own benefit, Enchantment. Evocation was her most heavily studied school, but despite this she still performed more admirably with Conjuration magic, though she does have a number of Bigby's spells in her spellbook.

    Another curiosity the mage found with Celeste was her strange affinity for scrolls. Unlike most wizards the girl had neither a familiar nor a bonded item, but she could wield a scroll as a sword or shield, turning them into paper mimics of the same whose durability depended wholly upon what spells the parchment held (it's a variant called Scrollmaster). Bigby encouraged her to better understand this peculiar talent of hers on her own since he himself did not possess the same.

    Five years of careful study and tutelage in most every kind of knowledge the girl would need left her armed with information. She knew much of Arcana and the Planes, she was schooled in both the religious texts of Heironeous and in the general principles of religion and the undead that darker Gods were so apt to create. She knew, also, of the monsters in the depths below the surface. Where their weaknesses lie, and the origin of their strange kind(s).

    As her original intent was to be a war mage accompanying the armies of Furyondy, Bigby schooled her in Architecture as well. How certain buildings were crafted and by what hands that she might also know how to recognize the weak points in the structures around her, and through that, where best to hit a base of operations of her enemies.

    Young Celeste had mastered her first spells from the second circle of magic when the dark news of her father's passing reached her in Veluna. Master Bigby released her from her tutelage, not just for the funeral, but entirely. His attention was needed elsewhere, in fact had always been, and while working with someone of her potential was an investment of a sort, it did little to further the efforts of the Circle of Eight.

    Celeste returned home without a teacher, but with a strong foundation upon which to rest her studies. At thirteen she saw her father buried, At thirteen she read his proclamation, and at thirteen she knew that the Eternal War had robbed her of any childhood she may have had. To this end she sent her missive to be read throughout Furyondy, hoping against hope that some noble hearts would be moved to send reinforcements to the northern borders. The war continued raging with her father gone, and now she faced a nigh-impossible task before she was even old enough to be considered an adult in her war-torn land.

    Personality In-Game:
    Celeste is sometimes cautious, usually calculating. She inherited her father's 'rough' personality to a degree, and views an injury sustained on herself a worthy cost if it means she can better place a spell to devastate her enemies. Being a Teleportation specialist affords her a lot of maneuverability, and has allowed her on more than one occasion to enter a hostile room in front of her sworn defenders for just long enough to place a spell in the most devastating way she can and then teleport to safety behind the front lines.

    Through Bigby's tutelage she learned how to overcome interference with her magic most effectively (read-in: Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration at first level courtesy of her bonus feat), and she's no shortage of confidence in her abilities to date.

    Celeste spends the majority of her share of the treasure on scrolls and borrowed time with spellbooks to strengthen the spells at her disposal than on anything else. She believes in being prepared, and often pens scrolls for more 'conditional' spells than those she normally readies. She also bought a Ring of Sustenance so that she could take a turn in the watch, having felt guilty for not being able to really participate through their early adventures because of her need for uninterrupted rest.


    Ahvrania

    A bit of History:
    Ahvrania was born in Celene, and abandoned there. She knows nothing of her parents, and has no hint to why they would have left her. The Gray Elf was found by a half-elven priestess of Corellon Larethian who had only come to Celene on a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts. The half-elf looked for Ahvrania's parents, but could not find them anywhere. In the end she took the baby home with her to Calamar.

    The priestess was named Aurae, and she was a very passionate individual. Aurae fought alongside her husband in the Hateful Wars, and sadly saw her love's demise. Bringing Ahvrania home with her allowed her some company and brought a bit of light into her life.

    Aurae's passionate disposition was most likely inherited from her human parents, but it passed quite readily onto the child she had named Ahvrania, a combination of Elven words meaning 'Protection from the long void'. This name meant two things to Aurae, it represented her wish that Ahvrania never know abandonment again as well as her wish that Ahvrania never survive the kind of loss she had herself with the death of her beloved husband.

    Aurae would later give Ahvrania a last name because the young Gray Elf asked for one. The name was Iiremen'surre'esta, another combination of the Elven tongue, though this one meant, 'Where the wind rests'. Aurae only found Ahvrania as a babe because a gust of wind snatched the cloak from her shoulders and carried it to where the baby had been abandoned.

    Ahvra likes her last name, though she thinks of it in a different light. To her, she is the force that brings the howling gale to a halt in times of trouble, though not literally, of course. Ahvra may be no druid, but she's certainly had her seasons in combat, and come out the better for it.

    Ahvrania stayed with her adoptive mother until the woman's last day on the Oerth. Only then did she take up her meager possessions and travel back to Celene to seek the place of her heritage. She quickly found most Gray Elves had little love for her actions and personality, and she had to teach herself how to charm her way into their sight despite their distant and arrogant nature. Ahvrania sought to serve the church her mother had so loved, the church of Corellon Larethian, and in her service to it she was led to Mount Kelkarak, where her life would take an unexpected turn.

    Personality In-Game:
    Ahvrania is the self-proclaimed leader of the Knights of the Silver Dawn even though Garek was the one to actually suggest the adventuring party be formed. She has her mother's hatred of orcs, goblins, and the minions of Iuz, her people's hatred of Drow, and a personal vendetta against all fiends simply because they are innately evil (Oathbound Paladin: Oath Against Fiends). It helps, of course, that demons have done many works in the service of Iuz.

    Ahvrania is easily one of the two most outwardly friendly of the Knights of the Silver Dawn, the other being Garek. Many a soul has been caught off-guard by her kind and passionate personality because of the color of her skin and the fair hair and violet eyes which so readily mark her as a Gray Elf.

    In combat she seeks to protect her companions, taunting her enemies and proving herself a devastating presence on the battlefield in hopes that they will focus on her rather than on her allies. She's mouthy, forward, and often crude as compared to other elves, going so low as to use crass sayings to rile her foes if the need arises.

    Ahvrania is in conflict with her faith, for she says her prayers to Tel Seldarine, but often wonders how they view her. Her regard for order lies against their love of freedom even though she believes both should be kept in balance. The Elf has considered saying prayers to a different god, but as yet has not found one she connects to on a personal level. She keeps this particular matter entirely to herself.


    Arshae

    A bit of History:
    Arshae, or Nava as she was first known to the Knights of the Silver Dawn, was born in the terrible city of Dorakaa to a bloodline with celestial ancestry. She never knew her mother, not even her mother's name, instead being raised as a slave with no rights at all. In that time Nava learned to be pleasant in her mannerisms because anything else was met with hostility. She learned to lie, to soothe, to fade into the background, and to sing, for she had a beautiful voice and her cruel masters enjoyed listening to it.

    Arshea was broken, shattered in her captivity, and never thought that her existence would change. She had children during this time, to 'fathers' she'd rather not remember, and knew the pain of torture for torture's sake. It's a wonder that Ahvrania and Garek could piece her back together again.

    Arshea's life changed when she was taken to the city of Crockport by Cryennik during the Great Northern Crusade. Her master fled Crockport when it came under siege, and Arshea was discovered by a small group of soldiers being led by a Gray Elf and a Hill Dwarf. They made for odd companions, though the Aasimar gave that little thought at the time.

    The Gray Elf and Hill Dwarf took some time off of their campaigns after the siege of Crockport so that they could tend to Arshea's fragile mind, and slowly, slowly nursed her back to a state of relative health.

    Personality In-Game:
    Arshea still stammers when she speaks, a nervous tremor or fearful shiver making steady speaking nigh impossible if she isn't performing song, but on rare occasion she has managed to show rather forceful speech toward enemies.

    Most of the time if Arshea comes under direct attack she will shriek, wince, cower, or otherwise express the terror that lingers in her soul from her youth. She is a coward, though justifiably so, but faces it every day for the love of her friends and the terror of what her life would have been without them. This courageous willingness to go into combat despite her fears has not gone unnoticed by those who would be allies of the Knights of the Silver Dawn.

    Arshea is, by nature, a very suspicious soul. She never takes anything at face value from those she doesn't know (read-in: she always rolls sense motive and second guesses people), and rarely puts herself in the center of attention. Usually she will only actually do a bardic performance out of combat to draw out other performers and meld back into the background or to tell stories about Garek and Ahvrania - and to a lesser degree about Celeste - since she thinks so highly of them.

    ~*~*~

    Party Dynamics

    The party began with Garek and Ahvrania so I suppose it's only natural that they would be the heart of the actual group. To Ahvrania, Garek is the rock on which their band is built, though if you spoke to Arshea she would say they both fulfill that role. Celeste is now deciding the party's activities (for the most part), but Ahvrania is often the one to lead them into battle and serves as a nigh-infallible moral compass (at least in the eyes of the others).

    ~*~*~

    Something Iressi Didn't Touch on Enough
    (in my humble opinion)


    Character Perspective: Ahvrania, Gray Elf Paladin 3 ~
    Nava's eyes kept roaming over the horizon, like she expected some terrible storm to suddenly form in our path. I felt for her, truly, but once Garek had an idea in his head there was no dissuading him and he was right about the cause of the noble from the north.

    "S-so, we're r-really go-ing to R-redoubt?" Nava asked in her shaky voice.

    "Aye, Lass, got a chance to do some good and with any luck," Garek trailed off as he regarded Nava.

    "W-with any luck?" the bard timidly prompted him.

    "The noble will prove ta be the right sort and yeh'll get a chance ta face yer fears an overcome 'em with Ahvrania and I at yer side," Garek said, a kindness in his eyes that he spared for few outside of Nava.

    I smiled at the bard as well, wanting to reassure her. She was safe with us so long as we stood. We'd do everything to protect her from the horrors of her past. I think she knew this, but even knowing was not enough to keep her nightmares from growing worse as we closed some of the distance we'd put between her and the territories of the Old One. We woke up to her screams on more than one occasion, both springing from our bedrolls to go to arms against whatever foe had befallen us, but we weren't attacked on our northerly travels. We were simply besotted by the ghosts of our companion's past.

    Redoubt was a welcome sight when we finally reached it. Walls that looked as sturdy as those of any fortress I'd laid eyes upon stood before us, row upon row of ballistae watched our approach. More than once I was reminded of why this was rumored to be the safest keep in Kalinstren.

    "Mm, Dwarven-made walls. Those are good, healthy walls right there, Ahvrania," Garek said as we drew near, racial pride shining through in his heavy Dwarven accent.

    I couldn't help a small chuckle as I glanced at my companion, "You'd say that about any Dwarven structure, Friend."

    "Aye, I would, an' I'd be right ta do so!"

    "Hail, Travelers," the guards' voices cut into our merry conversation. They seemed in good spirits despite being in the war-torn lands of the north.

    We kept an even pace as we approached, and Garek readily allowed me to do the talking. "Greetings to you, Gentlemen."

    The one who'd issued their initial greeting blinked in surprise, probably because of my warm and friendly attitude. He regained himself quickly enough and continued, "What brings you to Redoubt on this fine day?"

    "Ah, my good man, I am Ahvrania Iiremen'surre'esta and these are my companions Garek Highhammer and Nava," I indicated each in turn as I spoke, though I kept my eyes on the guards. I didn't expect trouble from them, but a warrior's vigilance rarely falters once it is a learned habit. "We call ourselves the Knights of the Silver Dawn and we're here to answer the summons from your Lady Celeste Kalinstren."

    The two guards looked at one another in surprise, being slow to answer me. Eventually I tilted my head and took a step nearer, "Is she no longer in residence?"

    "Ah, no," one of the guards stammered, "It's not that, Lady Elf, we just, didn't expect anyone to answer. Please, this way."

    They led us through the tall gates of the fortress walls and into the courtyard beyond. The familiar sound of a blacksmith's work reached my ear, as well as merriment from what looked to be a tavern within the fortress' outer walls. Eventually we were led into a chamber within the keep proper and there we waited.

    Considering we were strangers to the city the wait was short. A servant announced the Lord-Regent and Lady Kalinstren and we watched as they approached. The Lord-Regent, an elderly man by the name of Elric Darmon, spoke first, "Please allow me to welcome you to the lands of Kalinstren and to Redoubt itself."

    The young noble, she couldn't have been an adult (Going by D&D Human aging adults are 15, I believe. Celeste is 13 during this scene) by the look of her, spoke shortly after him, "I am Lady Celeste Kalinstren. They have informed us that you came in answer to my... summons?"

    Garek stepped forward, a smile on his face, "Aye, Lady Kalinstren. Anyone who wants to act against the Old One has our support."

    I couldn't help a small smile from curling on my lips. Garek had always been quick to make snap judgments about a person's character traits, but he'd insisted they'd only join Lady Kalinstren's cause if she seemed to prove her mettle.

    "Then you are most welcome here indeed. Forgive me, what are your names?" the young noble asked.

    "Ah, Garek Highhammer, at yer service."

    Garek turned toward me and I stepped forward to stand beside him, "Ahvrania Iiremen'surre'esta, Milady." I inclined my head toward her respectfully.

    I was fairly certain I'd heard Nava step forward in my wake, but it would be Garek who introduced her, "This is our companion Nava. We are the Knights of the Silver Dawn."

    "A pleasure, I'm certain."

    "May I ask yeh, Lady Kalinstren, what is it yeh hope to accomplish in yer... adventures, was it?" Garek said.

    The lady nodded, "You may ask anything you like, for it is quite a proposition I make. My hope is that I will be able to delay him, to hurt him for all the pains he has inflicted upon my family and the people of the Barony of Kalinstren. Of course, I do not think I could act against him directly this day, but my hope is to grow stronger in my ventures, Garek."

    Garek's smile had grown wider by the time the noble finished speaking. She certainly seemed optimistic in her tone, if a bit cautiously so. "Excellent. Let us make an oath then!"

    I blinked, turning my gaze on Garek in open surprise. The look he gave me was one to quiet my nerves as the young noble said, "An oath of what nature?"

    "That we will not rest until we have defeated or bound the Old One, of course, and done everything in our power to hinder him in the interim unless death come upon us before our task is completed," Garek said. I wanted to rub my temples at the rash decision of my love, but I resisted the impulse.

    Lady Kalinstren seemed equally surprised. "You would make such an oath so lightly, Garek Highhammer?" she asked.

    "Our interests are aligned. At the very least this oath will bind us to a common, noble cause in the defense of those who have suffered from the Old One's torments. I see no reason not to make it, Lady Kalinstren," Garek said.

    "I will take such an oath," Lady Kalinstren said.

    An interesting decision, and one I suspected we could come to better understand in time, "Then I will as well," I said.

    Garek held his hand out, palm upward. I placed mine on top of his as Lady Kalinstren closed the distance between us. Her small hand rested over mine gently, feather-light. It may as well have not been there for all it weighed. Nava was the last to put her hand in, and when she did I could see that it trembled a bit.

    Garek must have noticed it too, for he said softly, "You don't have to, Nava."

    The Aasimar shook her head, eyes showing that she was at least a bit fearful of the oath we would swear. She kept her hand in place though, saying, "I-I w-want to, Garek."

    Garek nodded, rested his other hand on top of Nava's, closed his eyes, and intoned, "On this day, the eighth of Readying, 591, do we hereby swear that we will, ta our best effort, hinder an' delay the forces of the Old One in any way we can manage until such time as we are able ta kill him or ta bind him from this place eternally, lest death should fall upon us." After a brief pause he continued, "Furthermore, the Knights of the Silver Dawn do swear that while we honor this oath we shall also do our best to render protection unto our noble charge, Lady Celeste Kalinstren, lest death fall upon us. This we swear in the eyes of the Morndinsamman, Tel Seldarine, and all other Gods of Good."

    A familiar and pleasant sensation filled the air around us after the conclusion of his deep intonation. Garek had cast Bless to seal our oath. "This do we swear," I said softly.

    "This do we swear," the others echoed.
    _________________
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    Last edited by crystaltears on Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:29 am; edited 2 times in total
    GreySage

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    Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:52 pm  

    Wow, you two! That's some fun bit o' reading. Smile

    Keep it up, please!

    SirXaris

    P.S. Iressi, you keep writing "in till" when the word is "until". Wink

    SirXaris
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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:48 am  

    Ahah. Good to know, my mastery of the English language is quite lacking. Partially due to Dyslexia, and partially due to my own laziness.

    I will keep that in mind for today's entry. :)

    Edit: I went in and fixed them all, so no more nasty in tills.
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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:42 am  

    Readying - 591 CY: Westwatch, Furyondy

    The battle was joined by a small band of Sornkar orcs armed with piecemeal armor stolen from many victims. They used the favored curved blades of the orcs in battle, save for their leader a powerfully build orc named Azgar. The first battle of the game was fairly easy to be honest, more so than I had wanted. They fought inside of the tavern while a fire was growing, and getting worse.

    I had hoped that the fire would give some sense of pressure, and time though in the end they killed the orc's far faster than I intended. The fire started in the common room so Nava wanting to check on if there were any people still inside of the tavern tried to sneak out the back, and almost got caught by a pair of orcs. Though in the end she was able to check, and found a man knocked out on the ground outside as Ahvrania, Garek, and Celeste made short work on the orcs in the front.

    Nava managed to save the man as the battle ended in front of the tavern, but the PC's quickly got involved in two more fights. One with a large band of goblin slaves fighting commoners on the streets, and another with a powerfully built worg, and a small band of orcs inside of a warehouse. In the end they managed to help save the town from burning down due to this raid. However the orcs managed to kidnap 12 people, and killed several others.

    Meeting with the Lord Mayor after the battle the PC's decided to pursue the orcs which in truth was quite easy. The orcs left a large, and bloody trail as they left the remains of some of the kidnapped victims they had decided to consume during the trip. They followed this trail into the Vesve Forest, into the skirmish zone between the Badlands, and the area's claimed by the forces of Iuz.

    There they discovered a beautiful grey elven manse built out of a large mound. In the front there were doors on the ground level, and between the doors a large set of stairs that lead to the 1st floor. The ground level entrance looked like the place that servants would have entered into long ago when elves lived in this building.

    Readying - 591 CY: The Elven Manse
    This is the first dungeon that the PC's explore. Though in truth all of it is above ground with no true 'dungeon' level to it. Built on, and inside of a mesa the agriculture is roman like to some degree with pillars, pediments, and what not. It is at least two stories tall with a large observatory on the 'roof' of the mound. There are signs that there was once a larger collection of buildings here, but very little remains save for this large manse.

    The PC's decide to enter into the ground floor, and as soon as they enter they come into combat with a large group of goblin slaves similar to the ones they fought in town. Below is the map of this level of the dungeon.



    After the mass battle with the goblins the PC's start to explore this level discovering the remains of a ancient world of what life was like before the Great Migrations. They find ancient elven pottery, bits of paper, old silverware that Garek makes sure to pocket to sell later. This includes a large dinner gong that the goblins tried to use to alert the whole manse that the PC's were there.

    They traveled to the small, 5 foot door to the north first if I remember right. They discovered a ancient set of spiral stairs that were made to look like they were covered in vines, leaves, and flowers. Though for the time being they don't go up, and instead travel north. I really don't remember much from this first little area to be perfectly honest with you, just some of the encounters.

    I am pretty sure they fought the orcs, and worg that is in the northern room, and they also end up fighting the dire rats in the eastern area. None of the battles are terribly hard at first, so I seem to have underestimated the abilities of the PC's at this point. Oh also I should point out at this point the PC's are level 3, we wanted to start the game off at a level other than 1 for a change. Or at least that is what I wanted ;)

    Anyway's eventually the PC's come to area with a broken wall with signs of digging in the hard packed soil. It is here they fight another group of goblins, and a orc taskmaster who was very well trained with the whip. Though the PC's were too much for him, and Nava who uses a whip as her favored weapon got a new toy. I think it was a Masterwork Scorpion Whip, but at this point I don't remember.

    They also discover something else at this point, the orc here had different tribal markings on him than the ones they had fought before, the goblins also have different markings. It seems that some force is gathering these different tribes together, and I am pretty sure at this point the PC's hear their first hint of who it might be. The orc referred to him as the Horned Lord.

    As to why he was making the goblins dig it seems that the orc was looking for something, though the PC's couldn't figure out what. Finally they enter into the northern most chamber and discover a large stone archway covered in strange writings that Celeste later discovers to be Ancient Sueloise. However the large brutish ogre that is in the room is what catches their attention at first, along with a small draconic creature known as a Portal Drake.

    The small Portal Drake is much smarter than the Ogre, and in fact bosses the creature around giving it all sorts of orders. This becomes the hardest battle in this level by far. The Portal Drake has the ability to forcible teleport PC's into annoying, and dangerous places. I think he starts out with teleporting Celeste into the room which causes her to not only fall, but to be pummeled by the Ogre soon afterwords.

    Nava manages to find the right joke, and uses Tasha's Hideous Laughter (As a aside I find it really funny that a person who suffered so much at the hands of Iuz is using his mothers spell) to put the Portal Drake out of the fight for a while. The ogre who was two stupid to realize what was going on even joined in laughing for a while, not wanting to upset his 'friend' by not laughing at the joke. The PC's took advantage of this, and managed to defeat the odd pair.

    After the battle Celeste realizes through the arcane formulas that deal with conjuration magic, and that this is a Sueloise portal (which is why the Portal Drake was drawn to that location.) From what she could figure out it was among the first built thousands of years ago. Though she isn't sure how it ended up in a Elven Manse or on this side of the Crystalmist Mountains. A mystery the PC's would solve on a later date.

    She even attempts to 'turn it on' though as she tries she realizes that this portal isn't 'keyed' to anywhere so that currently it doesn't work. It would take quite of bit of work to get it to work agian so for now the PC's leave it alone. For now they have explored all of the lower level, gained a bit of experience and treasure. Now they travel up to the second floor, and face the hardest battle they have fought yet!

    Conclusion: I am sure I missed things from this session, it was a few weeks ago like I said. However I am sure my better half will add the details of things that I have missed. Next time the PC's will explore the First Floor of the dungeon, and manage to fight I think three encounters at the same time!

    Will they survive?!

    Well...yes since they are level 9 now, but tune in next time anyways!
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:55 am  

    Seems like two new writers have joined these boards.

    Interesting read indeed. Iressi when I had my homebrew world I had my goblins also with the rare hobgoblin and rarer Bugbear birth amongst them. It seems your a fan of Fallout New Vegas, Nightstalker Bugbears resemble the Nightkin in that game without the stealthboy tech.
    I am also interested in what program was that map made it looks really good. Glad to have you two aboard.
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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:09 am  

    Glad you enjoyed it :)

    As far as programs go that was a quick map I made Dundjinni, its a pretty nice map program. I don't use it all that often because typically I am the only one that sees the map, so it really doesn't need to look 'pretty.'

    I decided to go ahead and use it for the campaign journal though so unless I stole the map from somewhere that is what most of my dungeon maps are going to look like.

    Edit: I never ended up playing the new Fallout Game, that was more based around some of the stories and legends about the Bogeyman. With the Nightstalker Bugbears I wanted to play up the rogue aspect that Bugbears have.

    Most Nightstalkers pray to Skiggaret the Bugbear god of Fear. It is said that Skiggaret himself created the first Nightstalker from a stillborn Bugbear. At least in my version of Greyhawk.
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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:24 am  
    Miscellaneous Tidbits

    @Iressi
    Iressi wrote:

    Will they survive?!

    Well...yes since they are level 9 now, but tune in next time anyways!

    You're a silly one, you are. <3 And the portal drake pulled Nava into the room, and she squealed like the coward she is and wanted to curl in on herself if I remember correctly. She only managed to escape the reach of the Ogre by stunning him and running back.

    @SirXaris & Argon
    Glad to hear you enjoyed the read. Smile

    And yeah, I have envy for Iressi's map-making skills.

    ~*~*~

    Miscellaneous facts I somehow forgot to include:

    Arshea / Nava:
    Arshea was in the presence of the Old One in the flesh in Dorakaa. As a result she suffers a terrible nightmare at least once every seven days. It is the taint of the Old One manifesting itself. Sometimes, often in fact, Arshea is able to shape the dream (she has only one such dream every seven days, on a randomly determined by die roll) enough to gain some insight into the coming nights from it (via a Divination effect), but when she can't shape the dreams they leave her fatigued from the stress of them.

    Arshea hears whispers on the wind on occasion, beckoning her back to Dorakaa or promising her that she will see it again soon. These happen several times a day, and seem to have grown more frequent as she's traveled closer to the realm of Iuz.

    Arshea also hears Iuz's voice when priests of Iuz channel spells through their holy symbols. It's enough to shake her resolve in combat. (Her past is traumatic enough that for certain spell effects I have had her basically leave the combat if she is undisturbed after a point because she's just completely overwhelmed by the memories.)


    Celeste:
    Celeste's father, Baron Cedric Kalinstren, the Valorous, is much more commonly known as Baron Kalinstren, the Mad. His insanity was public knowledge, and the shadow it cast on Celeste is one she tries very carefully to stand apart from. She is incredibly sensitive about people's opinion of her father, for all that he was the man was Valorous and compassionate. He put his people first, but sometimes they don't remember that about him.

    ~*~*~

    Edit: Oh! And there was a large gong in the first room with the goblin scouts. We managed to kill the goblin by the gong before it could ring it, then cut the gong itself from its cords in an effort to be certain no patrols happened by the room strewn full of goblin corpses and rang the gong behind us.
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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:13 pm  
    A Glimpse of Normal Life

    So I decided I'm going to try to describe at least one scene per his plot postings. Certainly not whole stories because I just don't know if my creativity will stretch that far, but a glimpse into the scenes my characters have encountered. I think this one is rather appropriate.

    A Glimpse of Normal Life:

    Character Perspective: Celeste, Seuloise Wizard 3~
    We rode into Westwatch on the Kalinstren Drafts that Elric had been so kind to gift us. The heat of the day was far more bearable with my Breeze spell moving the air for us and Nava's Prestidigitation keeping us cleaner and cooler. Travel like this I really wasn't accustomed to, but in time I surely would become so.

    We didn't take long to spot the Dagger & Rose inn, so we made our way there and saw to the stabling of the horses. I never imagined I would meet someone who didn't appreciate a Kalinstren Draft, but Garek seemed of the opinion that horses were unpleasant. I suppose that's not too surprising from a Dwarf.

    Stepping inside was something I wasn't entirely prepared for. No one rushed to greet us or swept off their hats in flourished bows to me, but the barkeep did bellow a welcome our way and bid us make ourselves at home. I followed Garek and Ahvrania to a table, but my attention was stolen by the fairly steady thunk of metal falling against wood. Three men sat around the next table over, one with his hand splayed over the wood, another with his hand on top of that man's. They had a knife in hand and were stabbing it into the wooden table top between their spread fingers.

    I'd never seen such a game in the Blackstar Inn back at Redoubt, but that likely related to the fact that they usually knew if I was going to be stopping in before I'd been sent to Bigby to learn from him. They were making wagers if the modest sum of coins on the other side of the table was something to guess by. When the knife blade came to a halt I watched as the man whose hand had been on top and the man who'd not a hand below the knife tipped a glass back and drank a shot. When they set their glasses back to the table top I spoke to the one nearest me, "Excuse me, Sir, what is that game you're playing?"

    The man smiled at me, likely a bit more than he would have if he hadn't been drinking, "You've never seen Peg-the-Tom, Little Miss?"

    "No, I don't think I have. What are the rules?"

    He laughed, as did his companions. "Simple enough rules for this game, just don't cut yer hand or the hand on top of it. If you make it, we buy you a drink. If you miss, well, you get a little nick somewhere and you buy us a drink."

    "Oh. How interesting. Can I try?" I asked, figuring I'd do pretty well at a game so simple.

    The man looked at me closer then, and blinked, "You're a tad young for such a game, Missy."

    I felt a bit crestfallen, but nodded. It was only sensible.

    "I'm not though!" Garek said, "I'll have a go at it."

    The man raised a brow at my Dwarven companion, "You sure, Dwarf?"

    "Aye, I'm sure."

    "Alright then, come on over and give us your name." The men shuffled around the table a bit to make room for Garek.

    "Name's Garek Highhammer. What's yours, Human?" Garek was grinning as he asked. Must have been odd for the man to be called human though, for he looked like he wasn't sure what to make of it.

    "Name's Harin. Pleasure to meet you. What will you be wagering on this?" Harin asked.

    "Mm. Five silvers that I can do five in ten," Garek responded, clearly knowing the game at least a bit better than I.

    "Five in ten. Stiff order for a Dwarf, but suit yourself. We have no problem taking your coin or giving you ours in a fair match." Harin tapped the table and Garek laid his hand on it. The human put his hand over Garek's much as he had placed it over the man before Garek, and I watched as my companion lifted the knife.

    The first set was easy enough, Garek moved the blade relatively slowly, touching it to the wood between his fingers. The second set, of course, was slightly faster. Then the third. Halfway through the fourth set Garek hissed and Harin gave a hearty chuckle.

    I heard another hiss from over my shoulder, Ahvrania. She'd apparently moved to my side for a better view of our neighboring table. "Alright," the paladin said as they tipped their glasses, "My turn."

    "That wouldn't be fair," Harin said simply, "You're an Elf."

    Ahvrania shrugged her shoulders a little and said, "Suit yourself. Come on Garek, I've a wager that I can outdo you." She grinned at Garek and they returned to our table, drawing their own knife for their round of the game.

    "So," I said to Harin, "What do you know of the raids going on?"

    "The raids? Ah, they're not that bad. Mayor's overreacting sending for adventurers." He spun the knife to the other two men at the table as he turned to regard me.

    "Not that bad?"

    "Naw, a couple orcs one time, a few goblins the next. We only seen around three in a given raid. Still, they been going on for a few weeks now. Mayor sent word over to Redoubt, but the Baron never saw fit to respond. Guess that makes sense, what with his passing and all." Harin rubbed his chin as he spoke.

    I bristled a bit at that, my father would have responded if he'd been in his right mind during those last weeks. "And you heard nothing back from Lord-Regent Elric?"

    "Nope, not a thing. What are you folk doing here anyway?"

    "We're here to tend to the problem." I caught sight of Nava sitting at the bar on the other side of the room. I couldn't remember when she'd gone over there, but it seemed a quieter part of the establishment than the actual tables were proving to be.

    "And what does someone as young as you care about the welfare of Westwatch for?" He looked a bit perplexed and it occurred to me he must have been wondering at my part in our adventuring band.

    "I'm Lady Celeste Kalinstren, and my friends and I are here because we were concerned when we heard reports of the raiding." My eyes were on him again.

    He was taken aback by this revelation and I saw his eyes swivel to the signet ring on my finger. "My Lady! I, what, shouldn't you be safe in Redoubt?"

    I chuckled at that, a smile stealing across my lips, "I suppose it would be safe in Redoubt, but I'd be little good to you or anyone else there. I'm too young to inherit as yet." There was more to that thought than I said aloud, for my inheritance was blocked unless I managed to somehow slay the Old One.

    "Still, it's dangerous on the road, and you're the only heir."

    "That I am, Harin, but my friends will keep me safe." He nodded slowly at my words and I went on, hoping to change the subject, "So what is it you do for a living here?"

    "I'm a trapper. Been making my way off the game of the Vesve Forest for years, little Lady." He took a drink from a large mug of what was likely a weak ale now.

    "The Vesve Forest? And don't you find that to be dangerous work?" Most of what I knew about the Vesve was, of course, that it was bordered by the Raising Line and the lands of Iuz, neither made for friendly circumstances.

    "It can be I suppose, but mostly I'm dealing with a wolf now and then, maybe a bear or stag. Strange thing though, something happening in the Defiled Glade. I've run into five diseased beasts in the surrounding forest now, each heading outward." He rubbed his chin again.

    "You don't say? We'd heard rumors of activities in the Glade. Whereabouts did you encounter them?" I heard some noise outside, but discounted it as I awaited his answer. Diseased beasts coming from the glade posed a threat to many in the lands of Kalinstren if we didn't discover the source of them quickly.

    Harin went about explaining his encounters with the beasts, giving me rough directions. In the end he had described a semicircle starting from south of the glade and going west. The semicircle he'd encountered ended in the northwest, and the times seemed to suggest these creatures might have been released intentionally at increments as an experiment. Disturbing revelations indeed.

    No sooner than I had opened my mouth to ask my next question than we heard a scream from the outside. Shattering glass and a plume of flame erupted in the back corner of the seating, right in front of the common room door. Harin drew a weapon and I got to my feet, before I could even turn around Ahvrania and Garek were moving toward the door with weapons in hand.

    The doors burst open and what I knew as Sornkar orcs from Master Bigby's tutelage soon rushed to meet Ahvrania's greataxe. Time seemed to slow down and my lessons flooded my mind. There was fire in the corner of the room, and most of the inn's inhabitants were fleeing through a back door, but there might have been people in the common room or up the stairs.

    I had no time to worry about them though, with the savage host of orcs wielding wicked curved blades. My fingers dipped into my spell component pouch as I moved to the base of the stairs. Best to keep a calm mind and be certain my spells fell favorably in my first real combat.
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    GreySage

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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:06 pm  

    Iressi wrote:

    Nava manages to find the right joke, and uses Tasha's Hideous Laughter (As a aside I find it really funny that a person who suffered so much at the hands of Iuz is using his mothers spell) to put the Portal Drake out of the fight for a while. The ogre who was two stupid to realize what was going on even joined in laughing for a while, not wanting to upset his 'friend' by not laughing at the joke. The PC's took advantage of this, and managed to defeat the odd pair.


    Lol! Laughing Very nice.

    Interesting tales, both of you. Keep 'em coming!

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    Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:04 am  

    Readying - 591 CY: The Elven Manse
    The PC's make their way up from the ground level to the first floor after doing all they could do with the portal that they found on the ground level. This brings them to the small secret room located to the west of the main dining hall. Once long ago elven servants would bring food from the lower levels to this main hall using this very set of stairs.

    Below is a map of the First Floor:



    They hear sounds coming from the next room over, voices speaking in the Orcish tongue. It sounds like a a male orc laughing, and telling some other creature to dance. They also hear the sound of a goblin dying soon afterwords, and eventually they burst into the chamber. By the time they came up here they were out of most of the big spells thanks to the Ogre encounter, and because of the direction they took to get here they ended up fighting all of the things that could be found on the First Floor at the same time.

    This room had a black skinned Nilkar orc Sorcerer who was acting as the leader of the orc's, and Goblins found on the first two floors. Guarding him were two Sornkar guards armed with Scale Mail armor, and Halberds if I remember right. The room also had a number of goblin slaves that were moving about the room tending to the needs of the orcs. Battle was quickly joined, and at first the PC's were holding their own. That is in till the secret door to the east opened up.

    Nobody save for Nava saw what terrors that awaited the PC's, a terrifying black furred (with white patches) Nightstalker Bugbear. It was 7 feet tall with black teeth that oozed out bile when he grinned. Which he did for most of the fight, he quickly jumped his way across the three tables in the room which at first was the only sign to the other PC's that there was something going on. He managed to knock over the pile of skulls on the eastern table, and there was a noticeable bulge where he walked.

    This battle dragged out for at least 1 and a half minutes in game (so something like 15-16 rounds), and more than once the Nightstalker was able to knock people out. Its 'Nightterror' power lets it change its target once per round, and in the end I think everyone ended up getting targeted at least once. However they held their own, and in the end one by one the foul beasts were killed off in till the Nightstalker was all that remained. By this point his 'Nightterror' power hand worn out, and he was forced to flee.

    They tried to stop him, but in the end the PC's were too weak to really do anything about him. They quickly looted the corpses, and for the time being fled the Elven Manse. Garek healed the party, and they set watches for the night.

    The rest of the night passes uneventfully, and the next day the PC's make their way back to the dungeon without another random encounter (I think), and they make their way up to the Second Floor where they are greeted with orc archers armed with composite bows, and a trap that has been laid for them! Below is the map of the Second Floor:



    The archers had set up a layer of oil, sulfur, and other chemicals that their plan was to light. They also had a barrier that they were firing their arrows behind that also had oil on the side the PC's were facing. These orcs were lead by a Sornkar orc ranger named Fingarr. This battle was a fun one to me because more often than not these sorts of traps tend to blow up in the faces of the enemies that made them. In the end (I don't really remember how) the PC's manage to get one or two of the orcs on fire, though while two of them burn as well (Garek, and Ahvrania).

    Fingarr was the last to fall, and with that the PC's start to explore this level traveling to the west first. They find some old, expensive elven clothes among other things here but no other encounters. That is till they travel to the eastern door, which is where we first see what will become the signature spell of Celeste. This room is filled with goblins, including a Goblin Adapt named Yazzin. Along with this there is a powerful, if stupid ogre similar to the one they fought in the portal room. They never figured it out but the two ogres were in fact brothers.

    At the start of the battle Celeste casts a spell called Create Pit which as you might guess creates a extradimensional pit that the goblin Yazzin falls into along with a few of his friend which die from the fall. Yazzin is in effect out of this battle now since the fall is enough to make him staggered, and since he has no ranks in Climb there isn't much he can do to get out of this. The Ogre with his 2d8+7 damage is devastating in battle.

    As this battle goes on the door to the south opens up, and the PC's finally get to see who this 'Horned Lord' is. Garek, and Ahvrania find to their surprise that it is the same man that lead the orcs into battle when they first met in the Lortmil Mountains years ago. He is a cleric with a large metal helm on his head with horns (hence his name) armed with a whip.

    This time there is one thing that has changed, they see the grinning skull of Iuz on a silver chain on top of his armor. He was now a priest of Iuz, and when the PC's thought that they had almost killed the Ogre the Horned Lord walks up to him, and heals the beast! The battle drags on for a minute or more (in-game time) which is enough for the pit spell to fade allowing the little goblin adapt to try to escape. He gets I think 15 feet away before something kills him, poor little goblin.

    Finally the PC's manage to bring down the Ogre, and they are able to unmask the Horned Lord. They proceed to question him in detail, and find out a little bit of his backstory. The 'Horned Lord' is in fact named Terrance Findar, and hails from the Shield Lands. He was recruited into the Horned Society when he was very young, and quickly rose up the ranks a priest of Nurell during those days. He found something in the Lortmil Mountains something he hoped would secure his position, and allow him to one day become a Hierarch within the organization.

    He discovered a series of ancient portals that the Suel had hoped to use one day to invade the East, and take over the lands claimed by the Grey Elves. However due to internal corruption, and degregation of the Imperium these plans never came to fruition. They had even managed to Charm a elven lord to placing one in his home (this is the one the PC's found), they also placed them in out of the way places like the Lortmil Mountains (this is the one in Mount Kelkarak, where Garek and Ahvrania met each other.)

    These portals could move massive amounts of bulk goods (or armies), however they had one flaw to them. They burned out after about 6 months, and Terrance was in the end forced to flee his fortress in Mount Kelkarak when his portal failed. He did research, and found another portal in the Vesve forest. He had already done quite a bit for the Horned Society, bringing them much wealth for the six months the portal was working. He hoped that this would at last make him a Hierarch.

    Iuz however had different plans.

    With Iuz's attacks on the Horned Society, Terrance read the writing on the wall, and abandoned his god for the Old One. Joining the ranks of the priests of Iuz he quickly gains power. Holding on to the knowledge of the Vesve forest portal he took a small band of Orcs, Goblins, and a pair of Ogres from Dorakaa to try to cement his place within the priesthood of Iuz. Finding the Elven Manse he set it up as a base.

    His plan was to 'key' this portal to another inactive portal in Dorakaa, but to do this required a number of human sacrifices to activate it. Thus he was forced to raid Westwatch, though his control over the Orc's was poor, and they raided for other things in the weeks before thus allowing the Lord Mayor to send the word of orcish raids before he could even get the portal active. Thankfully the rest of the priests of Iuz didn't know of this portal so he couldn't gain reinforcements without telling others of his plan. Terrance did not want to share the glory, and this lead to his downfall.

    He also hints to something else that is going on in the Vesve Forest, and tries to goad the PC's into traveling to near the Defiled Glade to a place called the Serpent Mound. The PC's see through his attempts to goad them, and through interrogation they figure out that whatever awaits them in the Serpents Mound is far too powerful for them to tackle alone. The Serpent Mound seems to be linked to the strange disease that is spreading through the wildlife of the animals in the Vesve, and they decide that they need to inform somebody about this.

    During this conversation Iuz decided that Terrance was no long worthy to channel the power of the Old One, and before the PC's eyes Terrance lost his connection with his god. He became a sobbing mess after that, but didn't seem to know anything more about this Serpent Mound, and what was going on there. They just knew that it wasn't good, it was beyond their power currently, and it had something to do with Iuz.

    With the threat to Westwatch done the PC's explore the rest of the Elven Manse, and discover the bodies of many of the townsfolk that were captured. Killed by black fletched orc arrows (The orcs were getting impatient with Terrace and killed them early), though they did find two people a woman and her child still alive in the observatory itself. With the two of them, and a subdued Terrance in tow they travel back to Westwatch, and present the 'Horned Lord' to the town. The Lord Mayor gives the PC's the right to carry out the kings justice, and with that Terrance dies under the axe of Ahvrania.

    With that finished they join the town in a small celebration, and then make off to their next goal. Which is to travel to Chendl to tell about what they have learned, and what awaits the people of Furyondy.

    Unique Magic Items: There were two items that the PC's found in this adventure that I made. The first was the Ioun Dagger which had two powers, the first is that it could hold a single Ioun stone in its pommel which allowed the user to gain the benefits as if she was wearing it. The other is that if there was a non-grey Ioun stone in the dagger the wielder could attempt to 'steal' another Ioun stone that she can see. Doing this burns out the one that is already in the dagger, and the stolen Ioun stone appears around the users head. The PC's end up selling this one.

    The other item is the horn that Terrace was wearing. It gave a bonus to Intimidate, and something else that I don't remember...they end up keeping it if I remember correctly so I am sure that Crystal Tears can tell me what else it does.

    Conclusion: Thus ends the first adventure of the Knights of the Silver Dawn. Hope you guys enjoyed reading it, and if you need me to explain anything please don't hesitate to ask. :) The next adventure takes them to Chendl for a time where they get to meet with King Thrommel! Along with many of the other noble lords of Furyondy as they decide what to do with the Serpents Mound.

    Those that know about such things the Serpent Mound is actually a reference to a Adventure in Dungeon Magazine. At first I was planning to use that for their next adventure till I saw what level it required, so rather than just retconning my mistake I made it something beyond their power so they had to go to somebody else for help. I am glad that I did it made for some fun role-playing when they got to Chendl.

    Anyway's since I have my group D&D game tomorrow I might not get another Campaign Journal out till Sunday. Hope everyone is enjoying it!
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    Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:30 am  
    Horned One's Helm

    Iressi wrote:
    The other item is the horn that Terrace was wearing. It gave a bonus to Intimidate, and something else that I don't remember...they end up keeping it if I remember correctly so I am sure that Crystal Tears can tell me what else it does.


    It gave a bonus to intimidate as well as a +1 to trip attempts when made with a whip and a +1 to attacks made with whips. Nava/Arshea is indeed still wearing it. Smile
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    Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:25 am  
    Dungeons ARE Challenging!

    Another note, I think we actually rested after clearing out the ground floor rather than after the horrendous fight on the second floor, but I will adjust my telling of it according to what Iressi has written.

    And, just for fun, if you ever see a scene in particular you'd like to see a character's perspective on, let me know and I'll make a point of trying to write it. Could be fun catering to what people actually are interested in reading. Happy

    ~*~*~

    Dungeons ARE Challenging!
    (reference to GREYchat last night for those who didn't get it)

    Character Perspective: Nava (Arshea), Aasimar Bard 3 (or 4 maybe)~
    My palm was sweaty against the handle of my whip, but that came as little surprise. We fought heavily through the first floor of the structure, one combat after the next, and now were feeling the strain of all our spells. I still had a trick or two up my sleeve, if you will, but I was worried by the bit of Goblin I could overhear from the room with the stairs. How they hadn't managed to notice the clank of armor that accompanied Garek and Ahvrania I will never know.

    Ahvra whispered to us that the Orc was ordering something to dance, and then we heard a Goblin die. Now seemed as good a time as any, so our leader looked back at us all and we nodded in turn. Celeste opened the door with Open/Close. It had become standard procedure by this point. Then Ahvrania moved into the room.

    From my vantage point I could see a group of Goblin slaves. Six in count. Garek followed close on Ahvra's heels, and Celeste closely behind him, leaving me to enter last.

    Droplets of sweat trickled down my brow as I swallowed nervously and clenched the whip tighter. I entered the room with the dread feeling that combat would never be any less harrowing for me. Ahvra had gone along the wall between it and a table. We followed closely.

    Ahvra came to a stop at the edge of the table, axe at the ready, as we came along the wall beside her. The table would provide a nice buffer between us and the orcs, so long as Celeste didn't set it on fire somehow. Celeste readied her wand, her calculating eyes on the black-skinned Orc. Garek hefted his hammer, and I readied my whip.

    It briefly crossed my mind to turn the table up so we could use it as a shield, but I was not strong enough to do that on my own, and by the time I was considering asking for help the fray had begun.

    The orc guards came forward, one immediately met by Ahvrania's axe blade. She didn't land a blow quite hard enough to fell the creature, but she left a large gash in his flesh. The guards were wielding the curved blades we'd seen so much of now. They scored a blow on Ahvrania in turn, and I found myself thinking how lucky she was that three of us could heal.

    The Goblins didn't advance until the black-skinned orc had barked orders at them. I should have known what they were saying, but there was so much going on at once that I just didn't have the focus to really understand the words. What I did understand was that they were abandoning their serving trays and readying weapons. My breath caught in my throat as they approached.

    Blades clashed toward the back of the room as Ahvrania met the swings of her enemies, the leader who'd been on his throne seemed to have his focus on Celeste. Garek moved back, passing Celeste and myself to protect me from the Goblins, and just in time. The distance between he and them was closed as I drew forward. We made a tight little line, Ahvrania, Celeste, myself, and then Garek, keeping the table between us and our enemies.

    I lashed out with my whip and managed to trip one of the Goblins. Soon after Garek brought his warhammer down on the foul creature's skull with somewhat nauseating cracking noise. The sound of a door opening drew my eye, and there I saw a bugbear. It's fur was black like night, white patches in it almost like stars, from it's teeth a foul bile spilled.

    "A-agh, more t-trouble!" I exclaimed.

    Garek followed my gaze, "Where?"

    "Y-you don't, s-see it?" I stammered, tripping another Goblin as the creature sneered at me. My heart sank in my chest and my blood ran cold with fear. "It's c-coming clos-er!"

    Ahvrania fell one of the orc guards, but to little avail. The other moved forward and barred her path. The leader cast Scorching Ray on the Elf, and to my dismay she let out a howl of pain when it struck her.

    The creature had jumped onto the far table, and as I watched the skulls piled on the table scattered and fell off of it. Just then the voice on the winds sound in my ear, the voice of Iuz, "I'll see you soon, Nava."

    A whimper rent itself from me at the words and I cowered into the wall as the bugbear crossed the other two tables, an agent of Iuz sent to collect me. The thud of him landing on the table must have been lost in the din of combat for Garek didn't take notice of the creature even then. Next I knew he disappeared, and then his short sword was buried in my side.

    "A-agh!" I felt tears pour from my eyes as a thrill of panic started in my heart and spread through my entire being. He was going to take me back to Dorakaa, to that hell I'd known in the early years of my life. "G-garek, p-please." I tried to trip the creature, but he was too close and my whip swept broad of him. was fortunate the swing of his sword in reaction missed my arm.

    Garek blinked as he looked at me, "By all that's Holy, there is somethin' there! Look at the table!"

    Ahvra cast a glance behind her and seemed to nod agreement as she saw the bowed in table top, but the sword of the guard soon had her attention again. The creature said nothing as he drew his sword back again, only let the sneer of his thin, black lips grow wider. 'I'm going to die,' I couldn't help thinking it as he swung the blade down, my eyes widened and I cowered, but to no avail. The sword caught me in my shoulder, "N-no, pleas-se!" More tears fell from my eyes.

    I felt Garek's hand on my side and he pushed me past him, taking my place directly in front of the creature. I didn't think it would be enough to distract the enemy, but I was by the door. I could run if I could just survive a few seconds longer.

    I was moving toward it when the Goblins took their swings at me. I panicked when I felt the first blow connect and shrieked again, acting as though the wound had been far more lethal. My eyes fell closed and I let myself fall to the floor, hoping I could crawl away after the enemies repositioned.

    "Nava!" Garek exclaimed in alarm. I heard Ahvrania growl and soon after the guttural howl of an orc below her axe.

    "I see it!" Celeste said. I didn't dare move. "I see it now. It's a bugbear, Ahvrania, on the table!" Celeste's voice was closer with the second statement than the first, but I couldn't look to see what she was doing. Next thing I knew a wave of magic passed over me, and the goblins cried out as it contacted them. Color Spray from the sound of her incantation.

    I was lucky I managed to resist the pull of its effects on my mind. Garek moved closer again, and I heard his hammer crack another goblin skull.

    Celeste cried out in pain from the tabletop, but then I heard her murmur the verbal components for burning hands from the top of the room. She was just too slippery. The air around me grew warmer and the smell of burnt flesh flooded my nostrils. Finally I risked opening my eyes and saw that she'd managed to slay the remaining goblins with her spell.

    I got to my feet in the chaos of the battle, stunning Garek and Celeste as I did, "Nava! Thank the gods you're alright!" Garek said.

    I offered him a meek smile as I fumbled for my wand and touched it to my side. The restorative magic flowed into me and healed some of the injuries I'd taken just in time for the creature to phase back into sight. "Oh n-no. N-not me-e."

    The bugbear moved to the corner of the table and undid all the magical healing my wand had provided with one well-placed swing. I was vaguely aware, as I focused all my attention on getting away from him, that Ahvrania had killed the last orc guard. She stepped forward to engage the caster, whose spell fizzled when Celeste pelted him with a Magic Missile from her wand. Meanwhile I ran to the far side of the chamber, praying the creature would focus on Ahvrania since she was proving a far worse threat. He did delay pursuit for a moment, and I thought perhaps I had lucked out.

    The dark-skinned orc swore at Celeste and moved from the reach of Ahvrania's axe. He threw a Ray of Frost at Celeste and our noble friend laughed in his face. "Is this what you're reduced to? 'Ray of Frost'?"

    The orc snarled a response to Celeste about seeing how much she laughed with his dagger in her heart as the bugbear jumped to the next table, his eyes on me to my horror. 'I shouldn't have gotten up,' I thought, and as I watched he closed the distance one table after the next until he was on the one right beside me. He vanished before my eyes and a squeak escaped my throat as he reappeared and brought the blade into my shoulder again. I only clung to consciousness now, fatigue from combat and terror alike taking it's toll on my resolve (I think she was at 3 hp at this point).

    My flight led me to the northeast corner of the room, where, to my horror, I realized I couldn't run any further. The orc called out in pain from Ahvrania's axe, his boasts toward Celeste all but silenced by it. Celeste ran toward me, but she jumped poorly on the tables and fell to the ground.

    She disappeared and reappeared beside me (Pathfinder Teleportation specialist gets this wickedly useful ability called 'Shift' as a non-provoking swift action. Celeste is very mobile in combat as a result), eyes a bit wide. "Where is it?"

    I pointed toward the creature and Celeste cast Color Spray from a scroll, but he looked unaffected to me. Ahvrania and Garek were slower with their full plate armor, and the creature vanished from sight again, "N-no-" I stammered, shrinking into the wall, but his blade connected and my world soon turned to darkness.
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    Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:55 am  

    Late Readying - 591 CY: Chendl
    Thankfully the road from Westwatch to Redoubt was a easy one to follow. For the time being the PC's decide to ignore the other stories they have heard, and make their way to the city of Redoubt. There they meet with Regent Lord Elric, and some of the other NPC's of Celeste's home town. At this point their trip to Redoubt is somewhat hazy in my mind, I'm not sure what all they did other than speak with Elric.

    Anyway's from there they travel to Chendl which is thankfully a short journey that is also devoid of encounters. They see from the well maintained, and guarded road the beautiful city of Chendl. The districts of each city can be seen clearly thanks to zoning laws that make you have your roof a certain color. They also can see the series of canals that are famous throughout the Flanaess because of how clean the waters are. You could easily drink the water directly if you wanted, however it is against the law to do so.

    When they make their way to the gates the guards ask to see their papers, or to state their business. Since none of the PC's are native to Chendl they don't have any papers to give. I forget now how the guards figure it out, but eventually Celeste convinces one of them that she is the heir to House Kalinstren, and that she is there to see the king. At that point the guards become a lot more friendly, and even flag down a gondola for them to take to the Royal Palace in the center of town.

    With that they are taken to see Thrommel who was currently in court speaking with the representative of the peasants of the Viscounty of the March. I don't remember what the mans complaint was, but Thrommel listened to it intently telling him basically how things were going to play out. This is the first time that all the PC's see Thrommel (Celeste actually met him briefly before the start of game) along with his beautiful wife Yolande, and their Half-Elven son Avarian.

    Celeste, and the rest of the Knights of the Silver Dawn are given a few moments of the kings time. Thrommel leads them from the Throne Room to a beautiful circular walkway that only the king, and his favored subjects can walk across. It circles around the palace grounds, and even at one point passes over a beautiful lake that was created for the palace years ago. They are alone save for the Royal Guards that protect Thrommel, and his family.

    Thrommel asks for all of their names, including Nava. Up to this point the PC's didn't (in-character) realize that Nava was simply the abyssal word for the number 9. She was the 9th child born in that particular area, and Thrommel quickly realized this since he has a working understanding of that foul language. At that point he decided to take it upon himself to give her a new name. Thus her name changes from Nava, to Arshea named after a motherly and kind angel of Heironeous.

    He listens to what they have to say, and decides this threat is important enough for him to gather the Noble's Council in person. He sends out animal messengers to the provincial capitols of Furyondy even sending out one or two of the Chamber of Four (wizard advisers to Thrommel) to help teleport the lords to this meeting. After that point the PC's rest at the Kings Rest Tavern in Chendl, and sell the many treasures they have found along the way. They also reforge the Horned Helm so it wasn't such a obvious reference to the foul organization so that Arshea could wear it.

    Two days pass, and then a fun bit of role-playing happens when all the lords come to the city of Chendl to meet at the Noble's Council. The PC's are invited to come to present their case before the council, and tell them all that occurred. The building that the Noble's Council meets is circular with the main chamber matching this shape. In the center ring (where the PC's are placed) a powerful, permanent Zone of Truth has been placed to help keep things said in the council chamber truthful. Just so we have some idea of the NPC's that talk with the PC's here I went ahead, and made a list:

    Barony of Kalinstren: Regent Lord Elric Darmon, a very old friend of Lady Celeste.
    Barony of Littleberg: Baron Gerald Jemain, his house is known to be the most kind, and are well known philanthropists.
    Barony of Willip: Baron Xanthan Butrain, his house is know for its navy more than anything else. He is a stern, and practical man.
    County of Crystalreach: Count Arthur Jakara, he is a great hero in Furyondy however his concerns are always pointed toward the Shield Lands.
    Duchy of the Reach: Duke Bennal Tyneman, he is a well known gambler, carouser, and information broker. He has a dark reputation because of this.
    The Gold County: Countess Kyaren Rhavelle is best known for her patronage of the arts, the most beautiful works of painting in Furyondy can be found here.
    Viscounty of the March: Viscount Luther Derwent, thanks to the Free Borough, and other reasons the Viscounty is the richest province in Furyondy.

    Alright with that out of the way this is how the meeting went for the most part. Arthur Jakara spoke up the loudest against what the PC's were saying. He mostly came to the Noble's Council that day to try to undermine what the PC's were doing, and pitch a campaign to attack lands claimed by Iuz in his home country of the Shield Lands. However thanks to some bold words on behalf of Lady Celeste they manage to steer the topic toward why they came there.

    The other lords listened in silence in till Duke Bennal Tyneman spoke up saying that he would not pledge soldiers, however he would help foot the bill of any expedition to the Vesve Forest. Baron Gerald Jemain added in his support of this as well, and said that he would also provide money. Gerald also promised some of his own troops as well. Bennal says that he has contacts in Perrenland, and that he will be able to bring some mercenaries to fight in this battle.

    While he isn't allowed to vote on matters the Knight-Commander of the Furyondy branch of the Knights of the Hart says that he will provide troops to fight in this crusade as well. If Iuz is doing anything in the Vesve it is a concern of the knighthood. Elric tried to give troops to this campaign as well, but Thrommel overruled him not wanting to spare any troops from the northern defenses just in case the Old One took advantage of the situation.

    With that the meeting was brought to a close (other things were said, and done I just don't remember what all at the moment), and the PC's spoke with Thrommel one more time. He gave to them a unique job, he wanted them to travel to Highfolk to speak with the Lord Mayor about seeking the help of the elves of Flameflower, and the High Vale. So with a diplomatic missive in hand the PC's after preparing leave the beautiful city of Chendl.

    Since it is going to take a few months for a army to be raise, and make its way to Ironstead the PC's are not in a real big rush to get to Highfolk. They decide it is time to visit the Razing Line, and see what is going on there with the undead infestation that was reported. Which brings us to the close of this 'adventure' in Chendl, and to the start of the Tower of Black Bones.

    Conclusion: This was a fun session, lots of good role-playing was done. The PC's also got to meet all of the high lords of the kingdom of Furyondy. They also manage to make a enemy out of Arthur Jakara after embarrassing him in front of the Noble's Council (I am sure that Crystaltears will tell the tale.) They now make their way to their next adventure which involves a cult of Nerull, and a ancient complex built by dwarven slaves during the Greyhawk Wars.

    Hope you enjoyed it, and I look forward to writing the next adventure!
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    Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:16 am  
    Session Excerpts

    Iressi wrote:
    Late Readying - 591 CY: Chendl
    I forget now how the guards figure it out, but eventually Celeste convinces one of them that she is the heir to House Kalinstren, and that she is there to see the king. At that point the guards become a lot more friendly, and even flag down a gondola for them to take to the Royal Palace in the center of town.


    Hehehe. I loved that particular exchange. It went something like this:

    Chendl's 'Warm' Reception

    Third Person Perspective with focus on Celeste.
    The party of adventurers rode past the line of petitioners seeking entry into Chendl, their Kalinstren drafts carrying them at an easy gait. When challenged by the guards Celeste moved forward and offered in simple response, "We seek an audience with the king."

    There was a momentary pause as the guards looked at each other and back at the seemingly ragtag group of people before them, eyes catching on the Dwarf in particular. Hearty laughter cleared the first guard's throat and was quickly joined by a chorus of laughter from the other guards.

    Celeste felt her cheeks turn pink. Never had she been received so poorly in her visits to Chendl. She spurred her mount further forward, adopting a tone of slight agitation and of very distinct expectation, "I am Lady Celeste Kalinstren and I seek an audience with King Thrommel."

    The laughter weakened as the guard drew breath to speak, his eye falling to Celeste's hand and catching there on her signet ring. Suddenly the laughter stopped completely and he swallowed nervously before dipping into a bow, "Ah, right at once, My Lady. Forgive me, please- We've heard that more than once today, you see."

    The fumbling apology put Celeste at ease for she no longer felt the burn of embarrassment from their mockery in her cheeks. An easy smile returned to her lips as her House was shown the respect it deserved and she nodded, "Certainly, and perfectly understandable I suppose."

    ~*~*~

    The Eyes of the King

    Character Perspective: Nava, Aasimar Bard.
    Chendl was relatively clear of traffic since travel through the city was done by gondola, but the court was another matter. I felt the eyes of the inhabitants upon me as we entered, and couldn't help the nervous sensation that swept through me.

    My eyes must have darted over the face of nearly every person in the room, the last being the king himself, as I walked in the shadow of Ahvrania. It did not escape notice, of this I'm sure, for the king gave me a concentrated stare. It was the kind Ahvrania sometimes gives our enemies, a test of my character.

    I shrank in on myself a little as I realized he was judging me. They all were judging me, us even, in this place. And why shouldn't they? We traveled with Celeste Kalinstren and they knew nothing about us outside that fact. Ahvrania realized what he had done as well, or so I suspect, for she stood a little straighter between myself and Thrommel, likely feeling defensive of me.

    (Just because I think this is humorous, Ahvrania felt slightly offended that he would use Detect Evil on one of her companions as she's a paladin herself, and then remembered he had no way of knowing that. She still couldn't help feeling a bit miffed on Nava's behalf (must have been the Gray Elf in her).)

    ~*~*~

    What's in a Name?

    Third person perspective.
    The eyes of Garek and Nava traveled over the palace grounds as none other than King Thrommel himself led them through the corridor. Celeste walked at the front of the little procession, in step with Thrommel. They spoke of the Defiled Glade for a time, and the others listened. Thrommel seemed quite bothered at the news of Iuz having a presence in the Glade; he shared our sentiment that it was of great concern.

    Eventually the king stopped, and the procession stopped with him. He turned to Celeste and smiled kindly, "Celeste, who are your companions?"

    The noble's cheeks turned pink when she realized she had forgotten to introduce us. "Oh my manners, forgive me. These are the Knights of the Silver Dawn, which I'm a part of as well now, Ahvrania Iiremen'surre'esta of Celene, Garek Highhammer of Ulek, and Nava." Celeste gestured at each of them as she named them, though there was little need with such diverse names involved.

    Thrommel's eyes fixed on Nava with a bit of surprise. "Your mother gave you this name?" The king asked.

    Nava swallowed nervously, casting her eyes to the ground and then to the side, "W-well, n-no, Majesty. I n-never knew m-my mother." Thrommel held a question in his eyes that Nava didn't want to hear, and so she continued, "I-I was b-born in the Empire of-f the O-old One, your M-majesty."

    Ahvrania frowned seeing her companion so shaken. "We rescued her from them in the siege of Crockport, your Majesty."

    Thrommel nodded at Ahvrania's words, though his eyes still remained on Nava, "Why did you not give yourself a new name, Child?"

    Nava trembled slightly under the focus of attention, giving Garek and Ahvrania a somewhat guilty glance in turn before returning her eyes to Thrommel, "I-I g-guess I d-didn't think it m-mattered."

    "Of course it matters," Thrommel said, moving forward. Ahvrania and Garek moved aside to let him and watched as he took Nava in his arms, holding her to him gently. "I'm so sorry for all of the terrible things you must have gone through, Child." Nava sniffled a little, her eyes misting with tears. All the tension seemed to leave her body though as she leaned into Thrommel's embrace. After a time the king spoke again, "Would you like me to give you a new name?"

    Nava blinked and turned her eyes up at the man who held her, clearly taken aback by the gesture that was his offer. She considered it for a time while the rest of us wondered what had prompted the whole discussion, and eventually nodded. "I-I w-would, if y-you don't m-mind, Your Majesty."

    Thrommel smiled. "I don't mind." He released her from the hug and rested a hand on each of her shoulders, with a smile on his lips he said, "Henceforth you shall be known as Arshea, so named for the angel of Heironeous by the same name. May their light shine upon you and their eyes keep vigil over your travels." The king leaned forward and pressed a brief kiss to Arshea's forehead, as a father might do to his child.

    Tears slipped from the Aasimar's eyes, and it seemed all she could do to nod to Thrommel as he returned to Celeste again. Garek and Ahvrania moved to either side of Arshea with a soft smile, though both did poorly at masking their curiosity from their companion.

    Thrommel spoke to Celeste, drawing some of the attention from the scene they had just witnessed, "The news you've brought me is grave indeed, Celeste. I will call the noble's council to hear of it, though it may be some time before the council convenes since we will have to retrieve Lord-Regent Elric from Redoubt."

    "Lord-Regent Elric suspected you would wish to call the council, Your Majesty. He has ridden with us from Redoubt and waits even now," Celeste said.

    "Excellent. In the next few days then. You will need to be present at the Council to present your claims."

    Celeste inclined her head. "Of course, Your Majesty."

    Thrommel nodded and led us through the rest of his private hall. When we reached the exit he cast a brief glance and a soft smile on Arshea before taking his leave of us to set things in motion.

    ~*~*~

    Iressi wrote:
    ...They also manage to make a enemy out of Arthur Jakara after embarrassing him in front of the Noble's Council (I am sure that Crystaltears will tell the tale.)...


    Quite right you are... Though some of the words are a bit fuzzy for me, sadly. Not the important (amusing) ones though!

    Her Father's Brand of Diplomacy

    Character Perspective: Celeste, Seuloise Wizard.
    The Noble's Council. I'd never actually been to the Council before, and didn't particularly look forward to it this day. We had been asked to stand in the center of the chamber, where Zone of Truth was cast to validate any claims we made.

    I stood at the front of the group. Ahvrania and Garek stood behind me, and Arshea behind them. Thrommel had won a place in my heart even more dear when he renamed Arshea, much moreso when she confessed to us the meaning of the 'name' Nava. Pity I hadn't realized what the word was, and how fortunate our king knew the foul language of Abyssal.

    Thrommel and the nobles gathered at the round table that surrounded us on all sides. I knew he wouldn't be speaking in defense of my proposition so as not to appear biased, but I trusted in my own words. Thrommel started the meeting by explaining that he had gathered them here to listen to our tale and decide upon the appropriate course of action in response to the threats we would make prevalent to them, then left us to explain.

    "The matter at hand, Noble Host, is in regards to the actions of the Horned Society in Kalinstren. You may or may not have heard that the town of Westwatch was falling under raids from forces of Orc and Goblin composition-"

    "We heard, but that's hardly cause for alarm," Count Arthur Jakara said. I bristled inwardly at his interruption as he continued, "the Mayor of Westwatch raises alarm bells at the drop of a hat! The real threat is in Crystalreach, where we confront the Old One's forces in the form of the Horned Society on a daily basis. That's where our attention should be focused!"

    I let him speak without showing the same impatience he had, but I knew my father wouldn't have done the same. For that reason I felt little guilt about my next words once his had come to their conclusion, "I see, Count Jakara. I take it you're a close, personal friend of the Mayor of Westwatch?" Arthur's cheeks turned a bit red with anger or embarrassment, but I didn't give him a chance to respond to my barb before going on and making sure to address the nobles as a whole. "This particular cell of the Horned Ones had made an alarming discovery in an Elven Manse that was only a stone's throw from Westwatch; a portal of Seuloise origin. Or perhaps I should say, the remains of a prototype for portals."

    "So you say, Little Girl," Arthur said, "We have no evidence but the word of those gathered here."

    Arthur gestured at us in the center of the room and I drew in a breath to quiet my anger lest I say something less forgivable than the previous jest. My voice was even as I continued, "I've brought a portion of it with us, Noble Lords and Ladies, that you might see what we found in the Elven ruins." I produced the remains of the portal from my bag and handed it to a servant who passed it around the nobles' table as I continued, "From what I can derive the device was not one meant to create a permanent gate, but rather a temporary way-point of sorts. They had not finished reconstructing it, and so it was not operational-"

    "I see a rock!" Jakara said as the portion of the stone archway reached his hands. He let it drop to the table with a thud to prove his point as he continued, "A rock with scribblings on it."

    "A rock with Ancient Seuloise writing on it, Count Jakara. I take it you aren't familiar with the language?" I asked it in the nicest voice I could muster while the image of my father bellowing at Count Jakara ran through my mind. No wonder he'd gone mad. "Those 'scribblings' are the notes of the Seuloise responsible for the prototype's crafting, and they detail the purpose and fragments of the process they underwent. The Imperial School of Magic of Chendl has expressed an interest in studying that 'rock' and will be doing so after this Council concludes."

    I continued before he interjected again, "But the point, Noble Host, is that such a portal was used some months previously to transport goods and forces from Dorakaa to Celene, and to take resources from Celene to Dorakaa. They were attempting to open a gate for the same purposes in Kalinstren soil. We detained the head of the operations, a member of the Horned Society-"

    "Again," Jakara said, "I see no proof that they were involved at all!"

    I drew another breath, my patience being rather tried, and turned to Arshea, "If you please, Arshea, let me see the helm we collected?"

    Arshea nodded shakily and drew it from her pack, the horns protruding from it as clear a sign as any that the wearer was a member of the Horned Society. I took it from her and turned toward Jakara, "I trust, Count Jakara, that you of all people here would be familiar with this?"

    His mouth hung open and his cheeks grew a darker shade of red. I couldn't help feeling a small thrill of victory at his silence. "This was the helm of the leader, the man we interrogated in our travels back to Westwatch and then executed on behalf of the Mayor to deliver the King's Justice." I inclined my head to Thrommel as I spoke, noting that he was leaned comfortably back in his seat with his fingers on his chin and what I thought was a small smirk on his lips. He nodded to me.

    "The man gave us information of the Old One's activities, the most alarming of which is why you are gathered here today. The Old One has a foothold in the Vesve Forest, in particular, he's been active in the Defiled Glade." That news caused a stir in my audience, and I pressed forward while I felt sure I held the advantage, "He also has established a temple to the northwest of the Glade itself, which the leader referred to as The Serpent's Temple. His purpose there cannot be good, and the presence of his plans and forces in a place where so many souls left this life... It is great cause for concern. For this reason I suggest an army be formed to address the threat in the Vesve, before it becomes a threat that has crossed our northern borders into Kalinstren itself."

    The nobles murmured to one another, visibly concerned with the news I had brought, save Jakara of course. I had won though, one offered money, another a small host of soldiers and further funding, and Ahvrania suggested the Elves might be petitioned as allies. The army would muster and the threat would be handled. It felt good to come out victorious, but I found myself wondering as I stood at the center of the chamber, how bitter would defeat feel in the very same hall?

    (This whole scene was just brilliant fun for me. I had a debate with myself about how Celeste would respond to Jakara. She's young, she was trained in etiquette, but her father sent her with Bigby, and 'Diplomacy' was not on the wizard's list of things to teach her. She also has a lot of family pride and many memories of Baron Cedric the Mad's decisions regarding social occasions. She decided to live up to her namesake and act as her father would have... To a degree at least. She's not quite as confrontational as the Baron... yet. Happy

    It's also worth mentioning, in my opinion, that at this line: "I see, Count Jakara. I take it you're a close, personal friend of the Mayor of Westwatch?" Ahvrania, Arshea, and Garek all flinched from Celeste's lack of diplomacy. All three of them are trained in the skill.)

    ~*~*~

    Edit: And with that last one I'm all done. I just had a lot of scenes I wanted to write about for this session because it was so much fun! Smile

    More Edits: I'm being OCD about spelling and phrasing now so I went through and cleaned this one up a bit. Smile
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    Last edited by crystaltears on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:16 am; edited 2 times in total
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:44 am  

    To think at one point Iressi was not sure whether or not to post his campaign journal. What I really enjoy is how both of you place your perspectives on the campaign.

    Both of you should submit something to this site. You can both write as your posts show us. Plus I know CT can give us a story on any character. Iressi seems to be good with locations so perhaps a little place tavern inn dungeons village or city.

    No pressure more of an observation.

    Look forward to the next volume of your campaign.

    Later Argon
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    Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:34 am  

    Argon wrote:
    To think at one point Iressi was not sure whether or not to post his campaign journal. What I really enjoy is how both of you place your perspectives on the campaign.


    Iressi wasn't the only one who was hesitant. I wasn't sure if I should add my bits of story to his journal or not, but he kept telling me the only thing they could possibly do is enhance his campaign journal.. So I decided to add them in. Smile

    I'm really glad you've enjoyed the journal so far. We'll definitely keep the entries coming between the two of us. Smile

    As far as writing something for the site... You mean something like writing out a session in more detail? Or something completely unrelated to our campaign?

    I'm sure we'd enjoy it. We enjoy most things that give us an excuse to collaborate. Smile
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    GreySage

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    Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:21 pm  

    Been busy, as you know. Had to catch-up.

    Sounding great. Keep it coming.
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:53 pm  

    CT and Iressi,

    I meant like an article all articles you'll find here are fan created. I think you two have a lot of insight and great imaginative ideas. Perhaps when Cebrion starts a new post fest you two will be inclined to participate.

    Until the starbreak.

    Argon
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    Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:37 pm  

    Postfest!

    Coming soon . . . I just know these things!

    Muhahahahaha!
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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:17 am  

    Argon wrote:
    CT and Iressi,

    I meant like an article all articles you'll find here are fan created. I think you two have a lot of insight and great imaginative ideas. Perhaps when Cebrion starts a new post fest you two will be inclined to participate.

    Until the starbreak.

    Argon


    Aha. Iressi would probably be better for that than I am. I have to admit that I don't honestly know much of 'real Greyhawk' versus our Greyhawk. I couldn't tell you the differences in the two save that most of the leaders probably aren't anything like the ones in ours since we decided to work in our last adventuring party as racial leaders in the area of Furyondy.

    And on the other hand, I mentioned a concept I originally came up with for Ptolus to Iressi and he thought it could probably fit nicely into some little nook or cranny of Greyhawk, so we shall see.

    *Goes back to eagerly awaiting Iressi's campaign journal update.*
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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:31 am  

    I am going to do my best to include the entire Tower of Black Bones adventure in one post. So this one will likely be a long post. Below is the map I used for this adventure, made by Turgenev on Dragonsfoot. If you haven't seen his stuff before take a look, he is wonderful at making maps.

    Map: http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/campaign/ancient-ruins-dungeon002a-s.jpg

    I wish I could find a copy without writing on it, but beggars can't be choosers I suppose.

    Coldeven - 591 CY: The Razing Line
    The PC's travel from the city of Chendl up north to Redoubt once again with a new mission, to seek out aid from the Lord Mayor of Highfolk. However they decided to visit upon a old rumor they had heard from a few months ago. They decide to travel to the Razing Line first before they head south east to Highfolk. The trip there is thankfully uneventful, and they arrive at the Razing Line on a cold spring day with a storm brewing to the north.

    Traveling from the eastern border to the west they eventually discover hidden in the strange mists that hover around the line a tower. By the time they discover it a light rain is falling, and the day is overcast. The tower is maybe half-finished at this point (construction would have just started if the PC's had come here when they first heard the rumor.) A single bald man with scale armor, black robes, and a unholy symbol of Nerull along with a small host of undead skeletons that he was using to help with the construction.

    The battle here is a rather quick one, and before they can subdue the priest he manages to stab himself with a dagger. The PC's could have saved him I think, but they didn't bother. They explore the unfinished tower, and don't really discover much save for some personal possessions hidden in lock-boxes. This includes some letters, and other personal effects of the cultists here. Nothing much of worth though.

    With that they travel down the stairs that lead to the dungeon level itself. This entire complex was built a orc warlord named Umak the Crusher who forged a small empire here in -45 CY. He had managed to conquer the Grimmkas Clan of dwarves from the Yatil Mountain forcing them to build upon a even older ruin for his capitol. Eventually he was defeated in battle, and his large fortress-city destroyed. However the dungeon level was left mostly intact. Years later a group of priests of Nerull wanting to take advantage of the latent necromantic energy in the Razing Line started building their own site.

    So while undead, and other such monsters live in the depths of the Tower of Black Bones most of the artwork that can be found here depicts orcish deities, and ideals. They come down the stairs to see a series of gold colored runes on the ground, and a collection of skeletal guards with wooden holy symbols of Nerull on. The battle is easy, though the runes which give the skeletons regeneration make it a little more difficult. They then travel to room 8 traveling to the west first, there Arshae springs a trap.

    There are four statues in this room each depicting a ancient Flan warrior king from the past, when the trap is the statues rise revealing the skeletal remains of these ancient kings. This is a battle that proves to show how useful Create Pit can be. Arshae is almost killed here since she is alone in the room when these skeletons first appear. Thankfully though the PC's manage to defeat these foul monsters, and save their little trap finder from certain doom! They also find some 'phat' loot in here in the form of the crowns, and scepters that the ancient skeletons had on them.

    They continue to the west where they encounter a monster of my own creation known as Giant Deathcap Mushrooms which are similar to Violet Mushrooms in that they can move (slowly), and feast upon the flesh of other creatures. Worse the unstable poisons and other chemicals cause these Deathcap Mushrooms to explode when they die, something that Crystaltears learns much to her Chagrin. It almost kills her paladin if I am remembering right. This room has some of the first real magical treasure of the campaign (baring the two items mentioned last time) a converted Quall's Cloak on the body of a dead ranger hidden under some Brown Mold.

    What do the PC's do? They see the Brown Mold, and decide to come back later leaving the treasure behind for the time being. Oh well they do come back for it later at least.

    From there the PC's travel south to rooms 10, 11, and 12 finding ruined chambers with hints of beautifully rendered carvings of horrid things. It is here they see the beginnings of the story of the dwarven slaves of Umak the Crusher. He used the dwarves to create beautiful wall carvings of orcs destroying the countryside, or killing their favored prey in battle. There was even one that showed their chief god Gruumsh slaying not one but all of the Elven Pantheon in a single battle. By himself.

    They then travel down to room 21a, and face a praying priest of Nerull in battle, and quickly subdue him. Though not before he leads them into the next chamber which is covered in severed skeletal hands that grab at the legs of the PC's, and try to trip them. After Garek destroys the undead with positive energy the PC's travel further south to area 22 where they come across a strange room indeed. The room is divided in half by a magical field of energy. It makes the southern half of the room darker, and there are black sparkles in the air. Four (?) ghouls occupy this chamber, and laugh at the PC's when they enter. In front of the area of magical energy is a altar to Nerull with two black candles with white flames.

    The PC's decide to put the candles out to see what would happen, the magical field floods the chamber at that point. The ghouls take that opportunity to attack them. One of the 'gimmicks' of this dungeon is half of it is bathed in negative energy causing any non-undead entering into the field to take 1 point of damage a round. Not much, but it adds up after a while, and it also heals the undead inside of it. After defeating the ghouls they travel south, and are greeted by a sealed portcullis which forces the PC's back to room 12.

    From there they enter into the main hallway of the Tower of Black Bones in area 2. Here they disable the many minor firetraps on the floor, and overhear what sounds like chanting coming from area 3. They decide that chanting isn't a good thing, and avoid it for the time being going back to area 1. From there they travel to the east this time and face more undead monsters in the form of ghouls in area 4. They then travel into area 5 finding a miniature area pit that dates back to when the orcs lived here.

    A haunt (sort of a 'natural' trap that forms kind of like a ghost) tries to force Garek, and Ahvrania to fight one another. Thankfully though since Garek is resistant to spells, and Ahvrania is resistant to Mind-Effecting spells neither is bothered by the haunt. They enter into area 6 at that point disable a pit trap, and travel into a old prison in area 7. Here they face their first incorporeal undead in the form of Lesser Specters formed out of the souls of dwarves tortured by the orcs long ago.

    The undead move through the walls so to surround the PC's, and to hopefully inflict some negative levels on them. I think Ahvrania was the only one to be effected (or it might have been Arshae), but in the end they were able to defeat the foul undead. They discover the 'skeleton closet' so to speak in area between 4 and 6 filled with corpses of farmers, and others kidnapped by the cult. About then the services that were going on in area 3 were over, and the priests started to return to their rooms.

    They discovered the now dead undead, and started to search for the source of the trouble. The PC's barricade themselves into area 4, and wait for the guards to come. They do, and a short battle begins leading to a single priest escaping traveling south to room 30 where he releases one of the harder encounters in this area a four armed Skeletal Champion. One of the swords in fact belonged to the dead ranger in area 9, and is a +1 Merciful Longsword of elven make. They defeat him, but that single worshiper managed to get away. The PC's follow the direction he was heading at that point, though not in a real rush since he has already had plenty of time to get away.

    They explore area 24 discovering more artwork dedicated to Gruumsh here, and a secret door. They discover a room that is done in a very different style than the other rooms in this dungeon. It is made of volcanic rock rather than the granite they have seen thus far. There is a dais with a ring inside a pool of brackish water, and a golden goblet next to it. There is also a inscription along the side of it written in the dwarven script, but arranged so that they make no sense (it is in fact Giant) they leave it for now coming back to it later.

    In area 28 they see a small shrine dedicated to the orcish deity Luthic the orc goddess of Fertility, Medicine, Females, and Servitude. The next few rooms (area 28 to 33) are dedicated to Luthic, and her ideals. Thus this had been the nursery of the orcs once along with where the food was cooked, and the injured tended. They go south to area 31 disabling some lightning bolt traps along the way. In my version of this dungeon there is no room 34 (the stairs leading down) so just ignore that, and all other stairs leading down.

    In area 32 they find the actual chapel to Luthic that had already been defaced somewhat by the priests of Nerull. The PC's finish the job destroying the unholy site there before moving into area 35. Now the artwork depicts another god, in this case Shargaas the orc deity of darkness. However they also notice that the dwarves in the pictures are armed with weapons, though it is very well hidden. It looks like the dwarves were rebelling in their artwork at the very least. Following the trail the worshiper left behind the PC's enter into area 37 discovering another prison this time used by the priests of Nerull however it is already empty. They find a small doll here, and other signs of the people that had been forced into these cages.

    Moving on from there they enter into area 38, and discover the secret door to the south. There they find that the dwarves wern't taken being slaves lying down. Weapons (including a +1 Frost Greataxe), food, and other supplies had been stockpiled here. However it looks like the rebellion never took place. In area 39 the Priests had kept enchanted unholy symbols that protected them from the negative energy field, however the worshiper collected them all lest the PC's use them to sneak into the southern area's of the dungeon.

    The PC's went into area 40 which in my version had three false entrances with traps into the next area, along with a single real one. They found that the real door lead into the room with the negative energy field. Leaving that behind they travel all the way back up to area 1, and down the hallway exploring the rooms in the east, and west. Facing burning skeletons in area 17, and 19 before finally they come into the main battle of this dungeon.

    In area 3 they face the High Priest of Nerull, a advanced Burning Skeleton, a horde of lesser skeletons, and worshipers (including the one that got away). It is a long, and pitched battle in the end though they were too much for the priests of Nerull. They defeat them, and after that point have a easy time exploring the rest of the dungeon at their leisure. They discover a number of bits of treasure, and the way to turn 'off' the negative energy field.

    They also discover a chilling report in the diary of the High Priest. The majority of the Cult of Nerull had left the Tower of Black Bones to travel to the Vesve Forest to explore a site there known as Delvenbrass to use the great treasures there to help build the Tower of Black Bones. The PC's with loot in hand, armed with this knowledge start to leave the Tower. Before they do though they travel back to that strange room with the ring in the pool of water.

    With a comprehend language spell they read the inscription the next day. I forget what it said exactly, but in effect gave them the hint that they needed to drink the water before they can gain the treasure. Avhrania manages to do this after something like 3 days of trying because each time you take a drink you might gain a negative level, and end up having to start over.

    Conclusion: I was surprised that she didn't just leave it to come back later, but in the end she drank all the water down gaining her prize. She found a gold ring with a single red ruby inside of it, a Ring of Three Wishes. Now I know what you are going to say, "Iressi! You are crazy giving her that item at such a low level!"

    Now maybe i am, but this is what my thinking is.

    I gave this to her as sort of a grace in the sense it lets her undo a single mistake of some sort. She doesn't want to just sell it because...well she doesn't want such magic to end up in the wrong hands (wishes work differently in our campaign than vanilla Pathfinder). She has kept that ring hidden, and has yet to use it. It will be fun to see what situation makes her decide to use it.

    Anyway's that took a while, but that is all of the Tower of Black Bones adventure. I might have missed some stuff, which if I did I am sure that Crystaltears will fill in the gaps. Next time the PC's meet with the Lord Mayor of Highfolk, the Knight-Commander of the Knights of the High Forest, and the High Lord of the Elves in Flameflower. From there they travel to the longest dungeon in the game so far, and where they will gain four levels in. Delvenbrass.
    GreySage

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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:42 am  

    Crystaltears wrote: 'Aha. Iressi would probably be better for that than I am. I have to admit that I don't honestly know much of 'real Greyhawk' versus our Greyhawk.'



    Nonsense and hogwash!

    The only 'bad' story is the untold story. And writing is a learning process, so dive in! Show us what you can do! You're doing pretty darn good in the other thread!

    So show us what you've got . . . we'll be gentle.

    Hehehehe

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    GreySage

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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:46 am  

    Iressi, you wrote the Tower of Black Bones like a module and did it well, but try writing it more like a story. You'd be good at it.

    After you put it in story format, you could submit it for posting to the Front Page! Where everyone will see it!

    Mwahahahahaha!
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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:00 am  

    I might try my hand at that soon. Really I wanted to get to the point where I am mostly caught up so I don't keep forgetting things. The Tower of Black Bones was the last major hurdle before the next adventure.

    I might start doing something more story like when Jaken joins the party when they start exploring Delvenbrass, maybe from his prospective.
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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:22 am  

    Iressi wrote:
    ...I might start doing something more story like when Jaken joins the party when they start exploring Delvenbrass, maybe from his prospective.


    Some insight on his perspective would be most enjoyable. Happy
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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:09 am  
    A Lesson About Noise

    Iressi wrote:
    The PC's could have saved him I think, but they didn't bother.


    Nope. He was dead-dead. We tried to heal him because Ahvrania was hellbent on questioning him, but we had no success.

    Iressi wrote:
    They come down the stairs to see a series of gold colored runes on the ground, and a collection of skeletal guards with wooden holy symbols of Nerull on. The battle is easy, though the runes which give the skeletons regeneration make it a little more difficult.


    It should be noted that Arshea had purchased an adamantine dagger while we were in town (I forget why she decided to buy it, but it was her major purchase from our previous adventure). This dagger saw much, much, much use in the dungeon, beginning here... Where after the combat the timid bard hefted the dagger and used it to shred the glyphs, carving slashes into them in the stones. She also shredded all manner of symbols throughout the place that bothered her, be they religious symbols or depictions of orcs with dwarven slaves, etc. We left a long trail of destroyed things in our wake.

    Iressi wrote:
    What do the PC's do? They see the Brown Mold, and decide to come back later leaving the treasure behind for the time being. Oh well they do come back for it later at least....


    Hey now... We had no way of dealing with the mold, and we knew what it did. Celeste wasn't getting near that stuff with a ten foot pole until she had the appropriate spells prepared. Blame it on Bigby if you like, he was the one who instilled caution and preparation into her as I recall! :p

    Iressi wrote:
    ...There was even one that showed their chief god Gruumsh slaying not one but all of the Elven Pantheon in a single battle. By himself....


    Yes there was... And Ahvra took the adamantine dagger to that one, with much-relished glee as I recall. Happy

    Iressi wrote:
    Four (?) ghouls occupy this chamber, and laugh at the PC's when they enter.


    Three.

    Iressi wrote:
    In front of the area of magical energy is a altar to Nerull with two black candles with white flames.

    The PC's decide to put the candles out to see what would happen, the magical field floods the chamber at that point.


    This was funny. Ahvrania saw the ghouls, realized what they were, didn't get why they hadn't attacked her, wandered over t the altar, bristling all the while as the rest of the PCs remained outside the room, and started futzing with the candles. The Ghouls kept making gestures - 'No! Please don't do that!' kinds of gestures - and Ahvra pretty much ignored them... So when they laughed at her for snuffing out the candle I looked at Iressi confused and he explained that it was what they wanted her to do. I was like, "Oh.. Well, she was oblivious to them. Completely focused on her messing around." And we had a chuckle at that.

    Iressi wrote:
    They decide that chanting isn't a good thing, and avoid it for the time being going back to area 1.


    It wasn't so much that chanting wasn't good. Nothing here was good, it was more that we didn't want to go headlong into the chanting and have things come at us from behind... Our solution? We had Arshea start jamming the doors as we went forward, so they'd have to overcome her jam or break the doors to come at us and we would at the least be likely to hear them coming or know if they had gone through a particular door in our absence if we returned and found one open or broken.

    Iressi wrote:
    The undead move through the walls so to surround the PC's, and to hopefully inflict some negative levels on them. I think Ahvrania was the only one to be effected (or it might have been Arshae), but in the end they were able to defeat the foul undead.


    Arshea.

    ~*~*~

    A Lesson About Noise

    Character Perspective: Ahvrania, Gray Elf Paladin.
    We waited for the fires from burning the villagers corpses to die down, Celeste using magic to keep the smoke from overpowering us in the room. That was our second mistake. Our first was leaving a known threat behind us.

    "D-do you hear tha-at?" Arshea asked, her hazel eyes moving to the doors of the hall. We all quieted down, straining to hear what our companion did. I couldn't hear anything though, so I moved into the hall to take a look down it. There was nothing to the east, but I did hear talking from the south beyond the entry chamber.

    I looked at the others a bit worriedly. "Aye, I hear it," Garek said.

    "Well, seems like prayers are over then," Celeste said.

    "Damn. Alright, back in the room, tell us what you hear Arshea." I followed them into the room and considered our options. If we could control the field it would make an advantageous position. Unfortunately they were sure to notice the gashes we'd left in the runes around the circle that had contained the skeletons in the entry chamber and thus would likely not be long in finding us.

    "Th-they're talking ab-bout the t-traps, I do-n't think they've op-pened the m-main doors yet."

    Arshea was looking at me with her hazel eyes. She looked worried, but she often did. Still I offered her a reassuring smile. "Everything will be fine. Garek, you take that side. I'll take this one. We can't let them through." Garek nodded his understanding and positioned himself against the wall at the western door while I did the same at the east. "Celeste-"

    "I've got an idea," the noble said. "I'm going to go back into the previous room and close the door. I'll join the combat when the fighting has already started, and with any luck they won't be expecting me!"

    "Excellent!" I couldn't help smiling. She was quite the clever one.

    "And.. I-I'll t-turn invisib-ble b-before they c-come in," Arshea said.

    "Good. They'll be overconfident and sure to leave themselves more exposed than they inten-"

    "Th-they're in the m-main ch-chamber now," Arshea said, pressing her ear to the door. "Th-they're sc-scared." She giggled.

    I raised an eyebrow at her, "Scared?"

    "Y-yeah. I j-just h-heard one say, 'L-look at the g-glyphs! H-how could they h-have done th-at!?'"

    Garek laughed quietly, and I admit I may have chuckled a little.

    "N-now they're say-ing, 'Sp-spread out. F-find them, qui-quickly.' An-nd- Oh! Th-they tried the j-jammed door."

    She moved from the door then, and it was easy to tell why. They must have tried the eastern and western hallways in close succession because even I heard them moving up the halls. Garek and I leaned against the doors as Arshea murmured softly and vanished from our sight. 'Tel Seldarine protect us in this dark place, see us safely through this despite my foolishness in leaving them behind us when we first heard their noise.'

    Seconds after my silent prayer concluded I heard them try to force Garek's door, and he held strong. "Damnit, another stuck door," a human voice said.

    "Try the other one," a deeper voice responded.

    I drew in a breath and felt them try the door I was braced against, but they weren't as strong as I was. There was some shuffling and cursing in the hall before I heard one say, "Alright then, on three. One, two, three-"

    A heavy burst of pressure against the door caught me off balance and sent me reeling back. "Here!" the first voice cried as he saw me through the open door, "The intruders are here!" I was still catching my balance as they flooded the room, surrounding me and cutting me off from Garek. "There's only two of them in here, an Elf and a Dwarf," the man said more quietly.

    "Well we'll kill the Dwarf and keep the Elf," said another as the first barrage of their attacks fell on me. They were actually taking pains not to do any serious damage.

    As I finally regained my footing I let out a snarl of anger, "Kill the Dwarf, will you? Over my dead body you filthy humans!" I hefted my greataxe and swung it into them with all my might, nearly killing one as it struck home. Unfortunately I miscalculated the momentum behind the swing and missed the man beside him.

    "Ouch! This dog has teeth!" The human I'd struck said as he recovered from the blow.

    "Don't worry, we'll teach her a lesson or two about that by the time we're done with her!"

    I'd lost track of Garek with the line of bodies between us. He was so short, after all.

    "Y-you sh-shouldn't be so-o arrogant." I barely heard Arshea's words in the din of combat, but they did carry to me as she coiled her whip around the leg of the man who'd spoken last and jerked it out from under him.

    "Three! There's-" one of them started shouting, but fell short as the door at the back of the room burst open. Celeste surveyed the scene, unfortunately there was little room for her to maneuver. "Four! There are four of them in here!"

    I saw the familiar streak of a Magic Missile zoom through the air as one of my assailants tried to strike me. The blow was almost wholly absorbed by my armor, leaving me feeling naught but a slight tingling sensation underneath. "You'll have to do better than that to teach this dog, you ugly, warg-kissing curs!"

    My own hubris was rewarded when they did manage to leave a gash in my flesh, but it was the last thing on my mind. The man Arshea had tripped tried to gain his feet and gave me the perfect opportunity to strike, so I did, and chopped his head clear off his shoulders with a triumphant grunt. It gave the other men some pause in their attacks. "Garek, you still standing?"

    "Aye, take more than these little boys to put me off me feet, Ahvrania." The sound of his mace connecting solidly with something reached my ears before his own battle cry, "Ah, yeh liked that, did yeh? Well that's good. Yeh're gonna feel it a lot more 'fore this battle's over!"

    I brought the axe around again, this time connecting with several more of the humans, though not as well as I had the last time. Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone run off down the hall, "COWARD!!!" I bellowed after him, though my attention was primarily caught by the man who had chosen to go after Arshea.

    He took an attack against her and my companion cried out in panic as she moved into the corner. I would have pursued her had Celeste not chosen that very moment to set the room ablaze, missing the three of us completely, but catching several of our enemies in the flames.

    Their screams filled the room and I knew that by this point we had left absolutely no doubt of where we were to anyone remaining in the compound, but such was the price of being taken from behind. "YOU," I said loudly to the man who'd struck my Aasimar friend, "I'm coming for you!"

    Unfortunately they made it very difficult for me to make good on my promise, keeping themselves between me and the others. I'm not sure how Celeste evaded injury, perhaps they couldn't get past Arshea's whip to go after her. All I know is I was stuck against the wall and tangled in combat with the four men around me for the next several seconds before the sound of rattling reached my ears. "What is that?"

    By then I'd cut down all but one of the men, and Garek stepped up to finish him off. "I've no idea, Love," Garek said.

    I moved into the hall, and to my dismay saw a four-armed skeleton wielding four swords charging toward us. "Ready yourselves, Comrades, more devilry is afoot!" I did just as I'd ordered them to do, bringing my axe to the ready as the creature closed the last of the distance between us.

    ~*~*~

    Iressi wrote:
    With a comprehend language spell they read the inscription the next day. I forget what it said exactly, but in effect gave them the hint that they needed to drink the water before they can gain the treasure.


    It said something that made Ahvra unwilling to leave it there because she is a Paladin. I believe it was something along the lines of, "Know that with great power comes great sacrifice." And she was afraid that in the wrong hands (like, you know, the hands of Nerull cultists) it could cause great harm... So she insisted they stay and she drank and drank and drank. Lucky she made all her fort saves to keep the temp negative levels from going permanent.


    Iressi wrote:
    She has kept that ring hidden, and has yet to use it. It will be fun to see what situation makes her decide to use it.


    Ahvrania is wearing it. I almost always forget it's even there. It's on her right hand under her gauntlets so that people can't see it. The party didn't want to let it out of their sight once they figured out what it was. It had too much value and thus too much draw for evil. They didn't want to be responsible for someone getting killed over it, so they kept it. They also don't want some thief to steal it, so she's wearing it.
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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:12 am  
    The Road Before - A Look in the Day of a Evil Priest

    I thought I would go ahead, and do a small little insight into the comings, and goings of a little priest that the party will be meeting soon. I hope you guys enjoy, and please do give constructive criticisms. :)

    Coldeven - 591 CY: Near Delvenbrass

    The Vesve Forest is a unforgiving place, especially if you are hated by all of the various creatures, and monsters that call it home. Small shards of sunlight penetrate the small holes of my tent, awaking me a few moments before the bone-horn sounded awaking the entire camp.

    Mornings are the worst time, with the hard march we have been making through this accursed forest sleep has come easy. However I can never manage to get enough before that blasted horn sounds once a midnight, and again just before dawn. It sounds at midnight for prayers to our dark, and mighty god.

    Well praying to their god at least.

    As I dress my hand wanders over to a small silver necklace with a grinning skull, and a scythe. My eyes however ignore the scythe relief, focusing in on the smaller skull symbol. As a hole this unholy symbol is dedicated to the Reaper of All Life, that ancient enemy that harvests even from the eldest of dragons. However even the the Hater of Life cannot touch my god, the only one to give me power.

    Iuz.

    A dark smile crosses my lips as I don my black armor going out into the camp. By the time I get there it is already half broken, the skeletal remains of the elven patrol from the day before working as laborers. I am thankful for the helm I wore, it hides the contemptuous scowl on my face well. This small band of Nerullites are led by a particularly vile Drow named Reanar Sseerinn a exile from the Vault of the Drow from what he has said.

    While my helm can hide my lips, they cannot hide the disgusted look in my eyes as I look upon him. Reanar relies upon his undead far too much, his bloated body is a testament to decadence. He forces the lesser priests to do his bidding, including the women of the cult. More than one has disappeared during the long nights only to show up the next day as a new undead warrior. I can't help but think, 'Soon...the reckoning is coming soon. Not even the God of Death can save you from the tortures Iuz will inflict upon you."

    Reanar looks up from his breakfast giving me a dark smirk, "Well good to see you up, and about Jaken. I have decided that you will be the one to lead the first assault into Delvenbrass." Panic enters into my mind for a moment, 'Does he know? Is he sending me there so that one of his minions can kill me?' Those, and a million more questions flooded my thoughts, and not a single one had answers. Finally I said in a cool voice, "It is my honor to serve you Deathlord."

    Reanar smiled at me, but I could not divine anything hidden in his fat, dark lips. Taking a bite of his apple he said, "Very good, I have to say Jaken you have served me, and The Reaper well." There was a long pause at he took another bite from the juicy red fruit. My mind wandered for that moment, imagining him like a pig with his face stuffed with that very apple. His voice snaps me back to his attention, "Most of those gathered here screamed during the First Death. Tianna here screamed the entire time." The drows fat hand pet the scowling cheek of Tianna, a young Flan woman from Tenh.

    The hardest thing about convincing Reanar that I was a faithful priest was undergoing the First Death. The last rite of joining the priesthood of Nerull. While my false story had me as already undergoing the First Death with another cell of Nerull in Greyhawk, Reanar insisted on undergoing the ritual again. The First Death is a grisly ritual that binds you, and buries you alive with a small tube allowing you to breath. They leave you there for two days before bringing you back into the light. The promise of Lord Tobais that I could torture Reanar is all that kept me going.

    Even now there is some small part of me that wonders if living a life of hate is worth it. However I push that voice away, as I always have since Tobais brought me into the ranks of the faithful. I am a priest of Iuz now, and I will forever be his agent bringing this world to his knees. Chuckling to keep my voice from shaking i responded, "The Reaper gives me strength, as you very well know Reanar. When shall I strike?" Reanar quickly responded, "Today, I want to have firm control of the keep level of Delvenbrass by nightfall. Take Tianna, Regarn, Vorn, and half of the skeletons with you. This part of the Vesve belongs to the Goblins after all. I am sure they have infested the place." Nodding, I do as he says taking my leave of the small camp.

    Delvenbrass is a beautiful sight, a ancient Baklunish site dating back to the days after the Great Migration. Its tall brass minarets may be broken, but they still hold great beauty. The walls are covered in breathtaking mosaics that are strange to eastern eyes. They hold no true images, instead they are geometric designs. I don't let this distract me from my mission however as I lead my band into the keep. Rather than explore the keep itself we head into one of the broken minarets in till we entered into a guard post overlooking the main gate that leads into Delvenbrass.

    The room carried a horrid stink to it filled with the bloody remains of the 'meals' of its occupants. Ten harpies one of which wielded a powerful bastard sword shaped like a lightning bolt flew upon us shouting, "For the Stone Lord!" Nearby silently watching over the battle was a huge creature made of stone, his eyes pale emeralds. I thought he was a statue at first before his head moved slightly, he was looking at me. However before I could ponder about this the leader of the harpies flew upon me with her bastard sword.

    Her body was covered in filth to the point I could barely see the dark red feathers that covered her. Her face was that of a old woman, haggard with many terrible years of life. I fought her as hard as I could, trying to hold her back as one by one my 'men' fell in battle. While I could care less for them each one falling meant that it was becoming more and more likely that I would not survive this battle. With each swing of her sword I grew more, and more fatigued in till at last I could barely hold my shield up.

    I thought this was the end, that I would wake up as a unholy demon in the armies of my god. However the harpies cackled loudly the largest of them saying in a shrill voice, "Oh don't worry little human, we will be keeping you for a very long time to come!" Their laughter grew again, and echoed throughout the chamber.

    It was on that day that Iuz abandoned me, and my life became a testament of pain.

    That is in till the day that I met the Knights of the Silver Dawn.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:43 pm  

    I can't believe either of you.

    With this thread alone several articles could of been created. I'm enjoying the story so far keep it coming.
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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:20 pm  

    Aw shucks thank's for the response. Glad you liked it.
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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:21 pm  

    Argon wrote:
    I can't believe either of you.

    With this thread alone several articles could of been created. I'm enjoying the story so far keep it coming.


    And just think.. We'll be directing similar energy into your chat-based game come Friday. Happy

    Glad you're enjoying it. We still have yet to catch up to current events, but we're getting there bit by bit!
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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:30 pm  

    Yes, but all of this STILL needs to be converted into stories for the Front Page.

    But don't stop now. :D
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    Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:08 pm  

    I am looking forward to it CT and Iressi.

    It's interesting to see other peoples perspectives on the same campaign.
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    Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:24 am  

    Late Coldeven - 591 CY: Royal Highway
    The PC's decide to make their way back to Chendl to sell some of the goods they found in the Tower of Black Bones. So they travel east first back to Celeste's home of Redoubt. The castle walls, and its many siege engines are a welcome sight to the party. They stay in Redoubt for a time before they are forced to travel south once again to the beautiful city of Chendl. Even though it hasn't even been a month yet, the call for soldiers for the Crusade in the Vesve has gotten results.

    Mercenaries inside of Furyondy, along with soldiers sent from Littleburg have created a camp outside the beautiful city. The party now powerful enough to want to buy magical items end up traveling to the Imperial School of Magic, a sub-organization of the Wizards Council which along with the Nobles Council, and the Knightly Conclave make up the advisory board for King Thrommel. The PC's don't stay for too long though since they are on a mission to speak with the Lord Mayor of Highfolk.

    They follow the Royal Highway from Chendl traveling west passing through the town of Baranford in the Duchy of the Reach though only stay a night there in one of its large taverns. They see that the town is a garrison town for the Duchy however none of these soldiers will be traveling to Ironstead to face the threat from the Vesve Forest. The PC's continue to travel west past the beautiful Velverdyva River following the road in till they were close to the Yatils. From there they finally enter into the wooden city of Highfolk.

    Late Growfest - 591 CY: Highfolk

    The people of Highfolk are in fact happy to see the PC's, and the guards there are very friendly. Almost to the point that Arshae was somewhat suspicious if I remember correctly, one of the guards escort the PC's to meet with the current mayor of Highfolk. A halfling by the name of Perin, who listens to what the PC's have to say. Looking over the missive he tells the PC's that he will send what support he can to Ironstead, he also gives the PC's a introduction to the Knight-Commander of the Knights of the High Forest who protect Highfolk, the Heartlands, and the High Vale.

    The Knight-Commander is a older, and grizzled elf that has been fighting Iuz since he first reared his ugly head. She listens to the PC's and promises that the High Elves of the Knights of the High Forest will be at the battle. She also suggests that the PC's talk with the people of the Vesve to see if they would be willing to join in the struggle. So with that in mind the PC's do travel into the Vesve Forest with two goals. The first is to get as many soldiers to travel to Ironstead as possible, the second is to travel to Delvenbrass to investigate what the priests of Nerull could want there.

    Planting - 591 CY: Vesve Forest
    After Highfolk the PC's travel cross country into the Vesve Forest as summer first starts to rear its ugly head. They travel north seeing the beautiful wildlife of the Heartlands of Vesve their first coarse of action to make their way to Flameflower. They travel through a High Elven village in the Heartlands, and talk with some of the locals about what is going on there. They spend maybe a day or two in the town (I don't really remember at this point) before heading on to Flameflower.

    As they make their way into the 'city' they see namesake of the town. These beautiful red/orange flowers that do produce heat. Stories about them producing fire is a bit exaggerated though. It would take a large number of them to do that, and the elves are very picky about people stealing their flowers. There they meet the High Lord of the Elves in the Vesve, and in fact they go to a lot of trouble to impress him. Since Celeste has ranks in Knowledge Nobility she figures out the proper way to greet a High Elf of his rank.

    To their surprise though Kashafen is a fairly laid back guy, more so than they would expect of a Lord of the High Elves. He is a somewhat difficult place in that while he views Iuz to be a threat, most of the High Elves in the city don't feel the same way. So he is happy to see somebody doing what they can to strike back at the Old One. He tells the PC's that they might even be able to gain the support of the Grey Elves, or at least a favor from them since they are traveling to Delvenbrass. This is also where they first hear mention of Philidor the Blue Wizard, and his love of the Vesve Forest. However for now they will just have to hope that Philidor does what he can to protect it.

    A powerful Grey Elven item has been lost in that ancient fortress for many years known as the Well of Many Worlds that if brought back to the Grey Elves might lend their aid to the PC's in their struggle against the Old One. He also suggests traveling to Quallsten to seek out the Lord Marshal of the Vesve to seek the aid of the rangers. The PC's don't spend much time at all in Flameflower, and instead make their way further north to Quellsten and meet with Lord Marshal Elrenn Walthair. A 37 year old human with short black hair and hazel eyes, Elrenn has friendly relations with most of the other inhabits of the forest save for the Sylvan Elves which almost seem to hate the humans that live in the Vesve.

    He tells the PC's that he will do his best to rally the other rangers to support the cause, and is sure that at least some will rally behind it. Anything they can do to strike back at Iuz they will try. Since talking with the Grey Elves of the Timeless Tree now would be a exercise in futility the PC's make their way from the Heartlands into the lands of the Vesve under the control of the Goblin tribes. On the road to Delvenbrass the PC's end up having a random encounter of a fairly dangerous sort. A behir had hidden itself just below the earth, and burst forth when the PC's traveled overhead. This ended up killing two of their horses, and nearly killed one of the PC's if I remember correctly.

    In the end though the Behir was defeated, and with two less horses the PC's travel down the final leg of their journey to to Delvenbrass.

    Conclusion: They met a lot of NPC's in the Vesve today, most of whom I would be surprised if CT could even remember the names of. Tomorrow we will look at the first few encounters in Delvenbrass, and I will try to start doing these posts in a narrative format from the perspective of Jaken when possible. Hope you guys enjoyed it!
    GreySage

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    Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:02 am  

    Yep! Keep 'em coming!

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    Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:02 am  
    The Walls of Redoubt

    I wrote this because of this campaign so I'm going to quote it here in case anyone reading the campaign journal isn't reading the poetry thread where I originally posted it:

    crystaltears wrote:
    And it would seem the Muse of poetry has decided she wants to catch a bit of air through me. Who am I to argue with a Muse?

    ~*~*~

    It was a quiet minstrel to first tell the tale in a place known as The Red Blade Tavern. The establishment was nestled comfortably in the town of Stalmaer in Gold County.

    The minstrel took the stage with an easy stride, and drew the bar stool resting on it forward. He took a lap-harp from its case and tuned the chords drawn across the glossy wooden frame, listening to the quiet resonance produced from the gentle pluck of his practiced fingers.

    When the sound was to his satisfaction he rested on the stool and strummed a simple chord, his clear, crisp voice cutting through the air in the room with ease despite its quiet volume.

    "Come and listen, if you will,
    To a tale I've yet to tell.
    Turn your mind far from this place
    To lands once bathed in light and grace."

    His fingers graced the strings again, just enough to send a few notes humming through the air. Already he had the attention of the majority of the inn's inhabitants as he continued his tale.

    "The northern reaches of our kingdom
    Rarely thought of so far south
    Have stories to rival what minstrels have spun
    By the telling of a common soldier's mouth:"

    A few more notes graced the air and he could see he'd caught the barmaid's ear. He gave her a small nod of his head as he spoke the introduction in a voice that carried no music.

    "This story, friends, from Redoubt in Kalinstren, is said to have sprung from the lips of an unsung hero who fought on the walls and drank of the tankards of the Blackstarr inn."

    He gave his eyes leave then to find those of the youngest occupant of the room, shining blue orbs which had settled on his form in curiosity. To this young patron her offered a smile as he said, "There, in the war-torn north, they call this The Walls of Redoubt"

    And by now the movement in the establishment had drawn to a minimum, wenches still took drinks to tables, but their eyes were fast upon the minstrel too, who played the cords of his harp so minimally as he began to sing,

    "Come stand beneath the bastion of the north,
    Where Kalinstren banners send her watches forth
    High above restive lands of war,
    And vigil kept is just a common chore."

    And the first verse was one of beckoning, carrying the feel of a call to war, though its tone transitioned in the final lines, lightening a little as it alluded to the enticement in the second stanza's words.

    "You've never seen a sight so proud as this,
    Tall, stone walls glisten in the morning mist
    As the sun shines brightly in the sky over our heads,
    Upon sixty-some ballistae ready in their beds."

    A grin danced across his lips between the prideful words, and were one not sure they rested in Gold County they might have well mistaken the man for a Kalinstren soldier singing of his pride in his duty as his ballad continued on,

    "And never was a siege brought before her gate,
    That left her defenders wondering what would be their fate,
    For granite walls of Dwarven craft are like a promise made,
    They will not crumble before men without a wizard's aid."

    The grin had become a knowing smirk and the bard waggled his eyebrows at the last, accentuating the joke he'd meant to carry in the words. However, as the cords continued they took a somber turn and the humor was gone from his face as quickly as it had come,

    "We know the desperation of a people wrought with pain,
    With loss and heartache, truly, for what would be our gain,
    If nothing came of darkness sewn by the Old One's glove,
    And memories were not held dear of those we've lost and love?"

    More than a single head bobbed in agreement with this sentiment, for loss of a loved one was certainly not an alien concept, not even here in the southern reaches of Gold County. For the next line his voice trumpeted a bit, a subtle change in volume and carriage that turned it from a soft mourning tone to one of determination and fierce pride,

    "And so when we stand in Redoubt we keep our heads held high!
    Our whispered words, each promise felt, a dream that will not die!
    We'll once again to war, my friends, with allies at our sides,
    And tell our enemies once more we will stand against their tides!"

    An energy carried in the air and for a moment it seemed as one or two of the patrons might stand or cheer as though rallied to the needs of which the bard was singing, but no one did, for all wished to hear the song's conclusion.

    "For within the Walls of Redoubt, hope is kindled strong,
    And dreams are kept and losses wept for by all who come along!
    We stand together within the Walls, while attackers break apart,
    Within the walls of Redoubt, lies Furyondy's heart!"

    The last line, musical and enchanting as it was, was a risk to the minstrel, for the people of Gold County could be as prideful as those of the north, but he was a practiced performer and the reception of such a claim was surprisingly good in this far southern corner of the country.

    When the applause had died down and the minstrel was nursing an ale bought him by the patrons he tipped his head to those nearest, "Thank you for your generosity. It's a tale that seems worth telling. Now, does anyone here have any requests?"

    No answers came immediately, though the nearest patron did smile and say, "That was a clever introduction to your last work, Minstrel, to claim it was born of a soldier's lips rather than your own."

    In a hushed voice the performer responded, "Aye, indeed, a clever introduction because it was a true one, though I never claimed, good patron, that my lips were not soldier's lips." The minstrel gave the patron a wink and could see the look of surprise in the patron's eye as he caught sight of the scar normally hidden in the folds of the minstrel's eyelid.

    ~*~*~

    Credit goes to Iressi for furnishing me a tavern name and placing them in that town in Gold County. Smile

    Also, in case anyone would like it, here's the poem without the quotations and narrative bits:

    ~*~*~

    The Walls of Redoubt

    Come stand beneath the bastion of the north,
    Where Kalinstren banners send her watches forth
    High above restive lands of war,
    And vigil kept is just a common chore.

    You've never seen a sight so proud as this,
    Tall, stone walls glisten in the morning mist
    As the sun shines brightly in the sky over our heads,
    Upon sixty-some ballistae ready in their beds.

    And never was a siege brought before her gate,
    That left her defenders wondering what would be their fate,
    For granite walls of Dwarven craft are like a promise made,
    They will not crumble before men without a wizard's aid.

    We know the desperation of a people wrought with pain,
    With loss and heartache, truly, for what would be our gain,
    If nothing came of darkness sewn by the Old One's glove,
    And memories were not held dear of those we've lost and love?

    And so when we stand in Redoubt we keep our heads held high!
    Our whispered words, each promise felt, a dream that will not die!
    We'll once again to war, my friends, with allies at our sides,
    And tell our enemies once more we will stand against their tides!

    For within the Walls of Redoubt, hope is kindled strong,
    And dreams are kept and losses wept for by all who come along!
    We stand together within the Walls, while attackers break apart,
    Within the walls of Redoubt, lies Furyondy's heart!

    -Written 08/31/2011. Smile

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    Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:14 am  
    Strange Decor

    Another point where Celeste was faced with a scene she just wasn't accustomed to. I find these very amusing for some reason. In this particular case it's where the noble is first faced with the appearance and decor of a rustic hunting lodge.

    Strange Decor

    Character Perspective: Celeste, Seuloise Wizard.
    I don't know what I had been expecting from Quallsten, but I know it was not what I got. Highfolk was made up of primarily wooden buildings, but the interior of the ones we visited weren't all that different from things I'd seen in Westwatch, Redoubt, and Chendl. And the exterior, well, it was pretty much the same as a stone building's would have been with flat lengths of wood in place of the stone.

    The structure that our venture into Quallsten had us approaching was very different. The walls appeared to be the trunks of trees which had been cut from the forest, all branches were stripped away and there was some sort of coating over the wood, but you could see the form of the trunks clearly. These 'tree trunks' were interlaced at the corners, like they'd been stacked upon one another with niches cut into each so that there would be no large gaps between them. I'd never seen anything like it and the look on my face must have said as much because Ahvrania had a good chuckle when she caught sight of it and said, "Wait until you see the inside, my noble friend."

    I raised a platinum brow at my Elven companion as I wondered what her inclusion of my station was meant to signify. Perhaps that a structure such as this would appear strange to me because of my station? Certainly I'd never been in such a building, but I had read about them before while under Master Bigby's tutelage. The intersecting corners were a point he had discussed as a potential weakness of such a building and thus a likely place to apply a spell with a decent amount of force behind it if one were trying to destroy one.

    Ahvrania led the way inside, and only when I passed through the doors did I realize why she'd said what she had. The building was long and narrow compared to the halls I was accustomed to. There were two long benches adorning on either side of the hall, both made of freshly-carved wood. I could see rings on the top that had likely resulted from spilled ale or other substances allowed to sit too long. A small table was rested at the back of the room, and behind it sat the Lord Marshall, with his boots resting on the table. I blinked a few times as we approached, suddenly feeling thankful to be behind Ahvrania and Garek. The two fireplaces at the center of either side of the hall hosted cheerful flames despite the fact that only the Lord Marshal occupied the room.

    What most struck me though - aside from his heels resting on the table - was the prominent display of several animal heads. Stags' heads with differing numbers of points on their antlers, bears with their mouths forever opened in silent roars, and wolves that wore eternal snarls all looked down on the chamber. The smell of the wood-smoke and aged wood adding to the scene. Row upon row of weapon lined parts of the walls in the form of bows, spears, and hunting blades.

    I honestly missed the first part of the conversation as my eyes roamed the chamber, but Ahvrania was more than ready to handle the situation. In the center of the room was a large bear's pelt, bigger than any bear I'd heard tell of. I wondered idly to myself if our host had been the one to slay the beast. I don't think I could have ever felt at home amidst such decor, and so it was fortunate I would never need to do so. My home was in Redoubt, and always would be... Or at least, I hoped that would be the case after I had retired and found a husband.
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    Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:37 pm  

    Well Crystaltears just finished her adventure, and is now level 10!

    However it cost her greatly, her cohort Jaken is dead. To make it worse he cannot come back! This will be explained when the CJ 'catches up' to the game (if that ever happens.)

    Anyway's the PC's start exploring Delvenbrass tomorrow, and ironically enough will meet Jaken.
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    Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:47 am  

    Writing from Gareks perspective today, so first I thought I would give a little history for Delvenbrass.

    Around -350 CY a Baklunish Mage-Priest by the name of Vendrake bel'Adiin who worshiped Al'Uzara (Baklunish name for Ulaa), and through her the Archometal Sunnis. He discovered a powerful connection to the Elemental Plane of Earth in the Vesve Forest. He set up a fortress there using elementals to help him build it. However Orgemoch on behalf of the Elder Elemental God did everything he could to corrupt the connection between this plane, and Delvenbrass.

    Eventually Ogremoch was able to corrupt not only the connection, but Vendrake as well. He enslaved the Shaitan (Pathfinders version of the Dao) that was brought there, and used them as a army. Sunnis on behalf of Al'Uzara created a earthquake that devastated Delvenbrass, and in the end Vendrake was killed.

    There are four factions now that are trying to gain control Delvenbrass. Two are coming from the outside; the Cult of Nerull you know about, the other is the the Cult of Iuz. The remaining two are the native goblins that live in the first dungeon level of Delvenbrass, below them are the corrupted Shaitan who now worship Ogremoch.

    Maps of Delvenbrass
    Level 1: http://tinyurl.com/3qgsdtx
    Level 2: http://tinyurl.com/3trv3d9
    Level 3: http://tinyurl.com/3w9o8hm
    Dungeon 1: http://tinyurl.com/3rz7nra
    Dungeon 2: http://tinyurl.com/3wqw7mp

    Planting - 591 CY: Delvenbrass

    'A damn storm is coming in.' was the first thought that Garek Highhammer had on that first morning before entering into Delvenbrass. For more than a month now they have been traveling to this very spot, and now they should reach their by nightfall. Garek made a noise almost like a bitter chortle as he said to himself,

    "That's assuming we don't fight any more Behirs."

    He turned looking over Ahvrania with a softer smile, she was already awake of course getting dressed in the beautiful full-plate he had helped her buy in Chendl. She smiled over at Garek in return, "Come on and get up old man. We have work to do." Get up Garek did, and after praying to his small collection of dwarven idol's the Knights of the Silver Dawn set out.

    Travel was easier than expected that morning, which was a blessing now that they traveled through goblin territory. They had seen signs of it as they delved deeper into this part of the forest. Goblin tribe markers belonging to such clans as 'Rockgut', 'Bloodbath', 'Elfcrusher', and 'Blackfist' along with many more less original names. What made matters worse is that these goblins were 'independent' thus very unpredictable.

    There was no telling when a attack would occur. Finally after hours of travel the Knights came upon the beautiful, ancient fortress of Delvenbrass. Above, the moon was hidden by both the giant Bronzewood tree's of the forest, and the clouds. Garek sighed, "Great...at least the dungeon will be dry." In the distance a thunderclap could be heard as the summer storm moved in closer. As the small band made their way to Delvenbrass they heard the sounds of battle in the distance.

    Ahvrania looked to find the battle, which was located near a large hole in the walls of Delvenbrass. She looked back at the rest of the Knights, "So shall we?" Arshea pointed and stuttered, "Lo-oo-k." The rest of the Knights followed her gaze and saw a large camp that looked to only have maybe 5 or more figures moving about. Garek smiled, "Lets go ahead, and take out the camp. I'm sure they didn't take their food supplies with them." The rest of the Knights agreed, and they made their way as quietly as possible which in truth was quite loud thanks to the two sets of full-plate walking around.

    When Arshea looked at Garek when his shield struck his breastplate he blinked under his helm, "What? Dwarves aren't meant to be quiet." This caused Arshea, and Ahvrania to both giggle as they 'sneaked' up to the camp. Thanks to the battle behind them they managed to get up pretty far before they were noticed. Not before they overheard a brief conversation.

    Four hobgoblins were sitting around a fire with a single orc. The Hobgoblins had dark grey skin, and three of them wore expensive looking Splintmail armor. The other hobgoblin wore dark red, and grey robes and carried a staff made of black bones. The orc on the other hand was wearing beat-up, and old looking breastplate. Azzgoth the hobgoblin said orcish tongue, "You aren't so bad Shazgar, I just wish we could have joined the assault." This made the Hobgoblins in robes to chuckle, "You just want the spoils. I heard that the priests of Nerull brought with them female slaves. That fat #$@% that leads them loves his women."

    Azzgoth chuckled, "Yes well Fingraz you want those same spoils as well. We all know how many slaves you go through in a month. If you weren't such a skilled warmage Iuz would have killed you long ago." Fingraz growled, "Watch your tongue whelp I command this watch detail, and if you want to make it to morning you will show me respect." Azzgoth grumbled at that, and went back to his food.

    Nearby Garek mouthed, "Iuz?" to the rest of the Knights. They had been expecting to find worshipers of Nerull here, not Iuz. Garek sighed to himself thinking, 'This complicates things.' Ahvrania took the initiative making Celeste, and Arshea move so they were out of the way of direct reprisal once the battle was joined. Garek yelled in dwarven as they charged, "For Moridan, and High King Sorn!" Ahvrania gave a similar cry for her own gods as they fought the orc, and hobgoblins.

    The Hobgoblin warmage proved to be a annoying combative in till that is a Create Pit spell neutralized him, and one of his minions. However levitate quickly put him back into the fight, only to be killed as soon as his ugly popped out of the pit. After that killing the remaining hobgoblins, and the orc was easy enough. It just required the right application of force, and Ahvrania's axe.

    Garek grinned at their handy work though only for a moment, "Seems like Delvenbrass is a popular place tonight." He made a annoyed noise as he ripped off a unholy symbol of Iuz from one of the hobgoblins only to throw it in the fire. Ahvrania frowned and looked up the hill to where Delvenbrass's walls could be seen. The sounds of battle had now faded, and by the time the Knights had made their way up to the walls of Delvenbrass the battle was already over.

    They saw a number of dead worshipers of Nerull on the ground and had a choice they could follow the forces of Iuz into Delvenbrass itself or explore the four towers on the outer walls. Garek spoke up, "If we let them fight themselves for a while, we can swoop in afterwords and kill them while they are weakened." Ahvrania quirked a eyebrow, "Swoop in? Are you going to grow wings Garek?" The dwarf laughed, "Aye! While I am at it I'm going to learn to breath fire, and conjure beer!"

    Arshea giggled nervously saying, "Yo-ou shou-ld just le-tt Cele-ste do the con-conjuring Garek." Garek grinned looking over at Celeste, "What do you say Lady Celeste? A few barrels of Dragonbite Bitter would hit the spot." This made Ahvrania chuckle, "Just a few barrels?" Garek grinned, "Well just starting off small." Shaking her head Ahvrania said in a low voice, "Alright alright, lets get started. It's going to be a long night."

    With that they made their way into the south eastern tower which looked to be abandoned. However as the Knights traveled upstairs they quickly realized that they weren't alone. They discovered a blood soaked chamber filled with at least four maybe more bodies of worshipers of Nerull including a beautiful Flan woman. They hear sounds coming from down the hallway (They are currently in room 37) and decide to lay a 'trap' for the creatures.

    Positioning themselves around the door, Arshae makes a loud noise like she had just discovered the bodies. The creatures quickly whooshed down the hallway, and they found to their horror that they were facing harpies in battle. The largest of them which was wielding a powerful bastard sword in the shape of a lightning bolt yelled, "For the Stone Lord!" As she attacked. The battle quickly grew desperate as foul smelling harpies entered into the chamber. The apparent leader of the harpies, a ancient looking crone with a long broken noise focused her attention on Arshae in till one of the blows from her sword struck home.

    It made a large gash across her chest, and she fell to the ground. Garek in pain yelled her name running head long into combat with the Harpies, smashing into them again, and again in till the old crone was dead. The rest fell like wheat before the scythe in a flurry of attacks from both Garek, and Ahvrania. After the last Harpy fell Garek channeled the energies of his god into little Arshae, and by some blessing of the gods she was still here with us.

    They took a few moments to recover from this battle before the Knights pressed on wards to the harpies den. It was in this chamber that they discovered the Stone Lord, and the only survivor of the Priests of Nerull's attempt to take the garrison overlooking the entrance to Delvenbrass.

    Conclusion: Well a lot less got 'done' so to speak writing this way, and it took longer so I don't think I will be doing posts like this everyday. However I will try to interject them from time to time as often as I feel up to writing them. Hope you guys enjoyed it! Next time they will defeat the Stone Lord after a brief conversation, and meet Jaken.
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    Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:32 am  
    Mercy for the Wretched

    Worth saying, this was the first soul Ahvrania felt even the tiniest need to offer mercy to in the campaign so far.

    Mercy for the Wretched

    Character Perspective: Ahvrania, Gray Elf Paladin.
    Celeste had already mentioned rest after the battle with the harpies. She'd managed to set a few on fire, twice even, but between the battle outside and the one in here she was already feeling her resources be taxed. I listened, of course, but we needed to make some progress so I told her we'd clear the towers and then consider resting.

    I led, with Garek at my side, and each step held a bit of apprehension. I'd found this to be normal when I was anticipating trouble. My axe blade was wet with harpy blood as we rounded the corner from the hall into the open doors of a large chamber. Arrow slits lined the walls at the sides of the room, and manacles had been attached to one of the walls. I saw a body in the corner of the room, but more important was the other figure who occupied this chamber.

    The creature was twice as tall as any man I'd seen, and wider too. His skin was stony, his eyes shone almost like gems, and the throne he sat in could have easily held three of our numbers comfortably. My first instinct was to peer into his soul, and so I did, weighing his moral values. To my surprise, no dark aura clung to the creature.

    "Who - are - you?" he asked in a slow, gravelly voice.

    I hesitated, keeping my hands ready on the haft of my axe, but when he made no move to attack us I decided to answer, "I am Ahvrania Iiremen'surre'esta and we are the Knights of the Silver Dawn."

    "Come - closer..." the creature said slowly.

    I looked at Garek and saw my violet eyes reflected on his face plate as he grunted, then back at Arshea. Her honey-crowned head bobbed in a small nod, though she cast a wary glance toward the corner I had seen the body in. I followed her gaze and saw that the body had moved, suggesting life of some form. When I weighed the intent of the creature huddled there I did see blackness clinging to him, attracted to his evil heart. I wrinkled my nose, but stepped forward as I'd been instructed. The others moved with me and we stood together ten feet from the creature's throne. "Who," I asked, "are you?"

    He chuckled at the question, gesturing to the coin and gems that were gathered at the base of his throne, "I - am - the - Stone - Lord. You - defeated - the - winged - ones?"

    "Yes, we laid the harpies to rest." I felt torn, for though he had shown us no aggression, he was the being for whom the vile harpies had worked. On the one hand I wanted to strike out at him, on the other he might make a useful ally.

    "I - protected - them. I - could - protect - you... If - you - worship - me."

    Garek snorted a bit at that and I couldn't help a small smirk. "And what, Stone Lord, did you protect them from?"

    "From - the - others - here... Below - and - above..." His slow, deep voice easily filled the chamber. "From - the - xorn... And - the - Shaitan... And - from - the - goblins - who - came - to - this - place."

    I wasn't sure I knew what xorn were, but Celeste had mentioned the Shaitan earlier. Something about how there were known to be a collection of the elemental folk below the surface of Delvenbrass. I turned my gaze on her, wondering if that was what this creature was, but she shook her head 'no' at my unasked question. "What," I asked as I turned back toward him, "would your protection cost us, Stone Lord?"

    "This ought ta be rich," Garek said.

    "Your - worship... And - tribute."

    "I'm afraid we'll respectfully decline." I tightened my grip on my axe, just in case, but he still made no move to attack.

    "Then - you - will - pay - tribute - for - passage," came his slow response.

    "And what, exactly, do you want for tribute?" I doubted he would ask for anything I was willing to pay, but Celeste had expressed concern over her spells available already so I thought it better to see, just in case.

    The creature laughed, indicating his treasure pile again, "Gems - are - preferred... I - will - accept - gold - though."

    I looked to Garek, and then Arshea and Celeste. When I turned to face the Stone Lord again I said simply, "I'm afraid we've no gems we're willing to offer you."

    "What - about - that?" He asked, indicating Celeste's signet ring.

    "I said we have nothing we're willing to offer you." My voice was harder now, with emphasis on willing since he'd missed that the first time around.

    "Pitiful - mortals! - You - forfeit - your - lives! - I - will - take - ALL - of - your - treasures!" His voice had become a loud rumble now, as he moved to his feet. It was all the invitation I needed.

    I stepped forward, adrenaline pumping, and sneered at the Stone Lord. "Over my dead body! Hraugh!" I swung my greataxe into his side as hard as I could, thankful I'd reacted quicker than he had and gotten to him before he was ready to strike at me.

    The axe bit into his stony hide as Garek came to my side with warhammer swinging. "You'll not get one coin offa this Dwarf, yeh oversized rock!"

    The Stone Lord bellowed loudly as he brought his fists crashing into my mithral armor. I felt a bit winded from the blow, but I wouldn't let that show. The battle soon became a trading of blows between the two of us and the elemental, for Celeste explained to us that that was what he was. We were positioned in such a way that she couldn't take advantage of her pit spells, and so she pretty much stayed out of the combat. Arshea sang for us, heartening us and raising our morale, and we brought the rocky lord to pieces swing by swing.

    I turned my eyes immediately to the creature in the corner whose aura had been clouded by his vile deeds. With ready steps I approached, my greataxe in hand, but when I finally got close to him I saw that he was a human, horribly tortured and pitifully curled in on himself in the rags that were serving as a blanket.

    The sight halted me in my tracks, for while I take the matter of driving evil from this world very seriously, I also know what kind of place a person is in when they look like that. I was reminded of Arshea as she was when we first met her, trembling in fear when we entered the room, and unwilling to meet our gaze.

    Try as I might to set aside these soft feelings, I felt it wouldn't be right to visit more cruelty upon such a wretched soul, and so I put my axe away and approached at a slower pace. He trembled, as she had, when I drew near, cowering from my touch. There was a dark resignation in his eyes as I reached forward with a single hand and touched him. He must have expected death by the silvery gauntlet of my armor, for his eyes widened in surprise as positive energy channeled through me and into him. "There now," I said softly, "that should feel better."

    "Wh-what? Why are you healing me?" Fear and suspicion filled his voice as much as surprise, and my heart wept for the pains he must have suffered. Even an evil soul did not deserve to be driven to breaking.

    "Because it is clear to me that you have known little kindness in your days. I will not visit harm upon someone who has already suffered so much." I offered him a small, sympathetic smile with my response.

    The others had drawn closer to us, and Arshea was smiling at me when I looked at them. "Wh-what will d-do now?"

    I sighed softly, rising to me feet, "Get those bindings off of him if you can, Arshea. We'll press on until the towers are safe, and then we'll rest."

    Arshea nodded softly, moving to the man's side. She knelt and unrolled the leather she had her thieve's tools in. With practiced skill she worked the locks, and soon we heard them springing open and falling with a rattle to the ground. "Th-there y-you go. Wh-what's y-your name?"

    "My name.." he said, looking from Arshea to me and back again, "is Jaken. I'll, I'll h-help you w-with what I can."

    "Good," Garek said. I had the sneaking suspicion he didn't much like granting mercy to the enemy, but he knew it was the right decision.

    "The h-harpies are, d-dead?" He asked. Arshea nodded to Jaken and I saw a few tears slip from his eyes. "Th-thank you."

    ~*~*~

    Edit: Just as an aside... For these story-like excerpts I've posted... I've written 11880 words so far. >.>

    Now there's probably some commentary in parenthesis throughout them here and there that could be culled out to bring the count down a little, but that seems like an awful lot to me for a handful of days... And it's been so fun! Smile
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    Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:11 am  

    That's some awesome and intertaining writing you two. Thanks for taking the time to present it to us here on CF! Happy

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    Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:24 am  

    Glad that you enjoyed it!
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    Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:53 am  

    Alright since I have a lot of things I need to do today I am going to do this CJ in my normal format. Crystal Tears is planning in the future to turn the whole thing into story format, though no telling when we will have the time for that. Hope you enjoy it.

    Planting - 591 CY: Delvenbrass
    After the battle with the Stonelord the PC's end up fleeing Delvenbrass to rest in the forest, and regain their spells however as they make their way through the Vesve that night they end up encountering a large band of wolves feasting upon the remains of some goblins. A minor threat, but still a threat due to the haggard nature of the party at that point. They make camp as far as they can from the battle with the wolves, but that night they end up encountering something else.

    During Arshea's watch the PC's are approached by a small band of Unicorns that ended up befriending her for a time. They even heal her, and she finds out that the two Unicorns are looking for their daughter. The PC's want to go with them, but they need to find the Well of Many Worlds to try and get the Grey Elves to side with them in the upcoming conflict at the Serpent Mound.

    They travel back to Delvenbrass with Jaken in tow who wishes to help the party, they give to him the bastard sword that the Harpy had used before. He becomes somewhat of a help at this point though he does suck up some of the parties XP. They decide to explore the rest of the towers at that point before moving into the keep. They travel back to the room with the harpy only to find human guards loyal to Iuz in the chamber. They fight a pitched battle that is joined by a band of Hobgoblins (I think...) before the last human warrior surrenders.

    He offers to help the PC's pledging his allegiance to Celeste the PC's know however that he will turn on them given a better offer. For now though they let him tag along. Traveling up to the parapet they hear what they saw coming up to Delvenbrass, a large band of orcs patrolling the walls. The PC's start fighting the orcs on two sides (the orcs have archers in area 41 and 39.) and the PC's during the battle manage to even jam the door leading into area 39.

    During this drawn out fight their new 'friend' who's name I can't even remember betrayed them. He pushed Arshae off the sides of the walls which would have been clever save for the fact that she is wearing Quall's Cloak which among other things gives her Feather Fall at will. She lands gracefully on the ground while Garek who is now very angry decides to give the ex-warrior of Iuz a taste of his own medicine. He pushes him over the edge, and the man falls to his death near Arshae.

    Hobgoblins join this battle as well including a cleric of Iuz, and a sorcerer. They manage to avoid the Create Pit spells for the most part though not before casting the spell Sands of Time which for a time makes her feel like she is a few hundred years older than she really is. For those moments she feels her strength sapped away by the rigors of old age. Though in the end it is all for not, they manage to kill the Hobgoblins before they can cause too much mischief.

    After that battle the PC's explore the rest of the tower and discover it to be empty save for what they have already encountered. With that done they move on to their next goal the keep itself!

    Conclusion: A short CJ for today, just wanted to finish up the walls around Delvenbrass before getting into the 'meat' of the adventure. Next time the PC's will fight through the forces of orcs that inhabit the first level of Delvenbrass before they meet the Orc King in battle. They will also find the remains of the cultists of Nerull.

    Till next time!
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    Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:36 am  
    Polling for opinions.

    Iressi wrote:
    Crystal Tears is planning in the future to turn the whole thing into story format, though no telling when we will have the time for that.


    I am indeed and I set up a poll to see what people thought about the perspective for said story. Regardless of how the voting goes, I still plan to put story excerpts here in the main CJ that come from all manner of viewpoints.

    I'm really keen to start the story, but I'm waffling between characters for the 'main' character. To some degree I've always felt it was Celeste, but there's a lot of depth to Arshea and Ahvrania too so I just can't seem to settle. I figured I'd let those of you who read the tale help me decide, so please wander over that way and cast a vote. Happy
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    Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:58 am  
    Blissful Night

    Blissful Night

    Character Perspective: Arshea, Aasimar Bard.
    I sat a ways out from the camp itself, huddled against a tree trunk. Garek's heavy snore was a comfort of sorts. What a day it had turned out to be.

    I cast my gaze on my companions, huddled in their bedrolls. They all seemed to have warmed to Jaken, and I'm sure I knew why Garek and Ahvra had... After all, they'd found me in a similar state. It went a long way with making me feel comfortable with him too. That and the fact that he was fighting at our sides now, wanting to help the people who had given help to him. Maybe Ahvrania was right to show him kindness with no expectations, but I expected our kindnesses to be rewarded with an effort to change on his part.

    Jaken was the other side of the coin, the aggressor in the kinds of acts I suffered. I could see it in his face, could hear it in the tremble of his voice. He'd killed people, forced people into slavery, separated children from their parents, tortured. He'd done all the things a 'good' priest of Iuz should.

    I sighed and leaned my head back against the tree trunk, eyes searching for what glimpses I could find of stars between the dark canopy above my head. It was the darkness that he came from that made me want to see him turn so badly. If that kind of evil could be redeemed, perhaps what I had suffered would not always taint me.

    There was a rustle in the trees, but no further warning for me when a large beast broke through the canopy, paws thrashing through the air. My heart leapt at the sudden noise and movement and I barely managed to choke back my cry of alarm when I realized what I was looking at.

    In the dim light of our low-burning fire a gold sheen glistened on the white coat of the animal. She settled with some surprise, and turned her head so she had me clearly in the sight of her large blue eye. "Y-you're a... a u-unicorn," I said. How stupid I felt. Of course she was a unicorn with the spiraled horn protruding from her proud forehead and the long wisps of golden-white hair that fell to the side of her graceful neck.

    She swished her tail at that. "Indeed."

    More noise came from the trees and as I watched two more unicorns emerged. One was more powerfully built than the first I'd seen, and one was much younger. "And what do we have here?" A masculine voice came from the large one.

    "What are you doing in this part of the Vesve Forest?" she asked me.

    I stood slowly, dusting myself off as I did. Unicorns were creatures of purity, said to only accept virgins as their riders, and standing in the presence of these three magnificent beasts made me feel more sullied by my past than I ever had. I frowned, "I-I'm an a-adventurer. M-my c-compan-ions and I a-are exploring D-delvenb-brass."

    She sniffed the air and cast her attention behind me as I spoke. I was fairly certain her eye caught on Jaken. Unicorns could sense how pure a person was after all. I wasn't left guessing for long as the larger one moved closer in a vaguely aggressive manner, "And why does he travel with you?"

    I swallowed, feeling rather small, "Th-that's J-jaken. He's s-suffered greatly, a-and Ahvrania w-wanted to show him kind-ness." The large unicorn didn't seem to like my answer very much, but I didn't dwell on that long. "M-may I ask you something?"

    The unicorn I saw first nodded. "Of course."

    "We don't have time for this," the male said, "we have to find our daughter."

    "Y-Your d-daughter is missing? That's terrible!" I said.

    "She was taken by some goblins. It's why we're out here," the female responded.

    "W-we saw g-goblins by a creek a little to the north."

    She nodded again, "My mate's handiwork."

    "Hmph. She insists we take turns attacking them. I don't see why," the male said with a toss of his mane.

    The female shook her head at her mate and said, "Because, Dear, we need to conserve our strength." She turned her attention back on me then, "What was your question?"

    I drew in a breath, wondering if I should even ask. It would seem silly to them, I was certain, regardless of their answer, but... A part of me had to know. "Th-they s-say a unicorn w-will only take a v-virgin for a rider. Is th-that tr-ue?"

    I felt like the female was smiling at me even though her muzzle wouldn't make such an expression. She nodded, "Normally, yes, Arshea. However, would you like a ride?"

    I blinked in surprise. I'd not been expecting that for an answer. "I-I... Y-you wouldn't mi-nd?"

    She shook her head at me now and moved forward. "If I would mind I wouldn't offer. Climb upon my back." As she spoke she bent her front knees so she was lower to the ground for me.

    "We don't have time for this," the male said again.

    "Yes," his mate answered him, "we do."

    I climbed on her back a bit shakily, filled with awe and wonderment that she would make such an offer to me considering my circumstances. And as she carried me from our campsite at a gentle pace I felt for the first time since being freed that someday I might truly be whole again.

    When we were away from her mate and their son she said softly, "You've suffered too, haven't you, Arshea? At the hands of Iuz?"

    I blinked, startled by the sudden question and the fact that she used his name. "Y-you... Y-you know?" My fingers were twined into the silky strands of her mane.

    The unicorn nodded her head at that, "I can sense it." She drew a slow breath as she continued her leisurely gait through the forest, and at length spoke again. "Tell me, Arshea, would you... Like to be able to bear children again?"

    "Y-you.. C-could do that?" My voice shook, for I hadn't thought it possible.

    "Iuz has put a mark upon you. It is why he visits you in your dreams and why you can hear him. I can repair the damage they've done to you, Arshea, and make it so that his mark does no harm to any child you bear." She stopped to explain this, turning her neck so she could look at me.

    I felt my eyes mist up and soon was wiping tears from my eyes. "I-if y-you could, and it's n-no t-trouble." I sniffled as I spoke, feeling overwhelmed with emotions I wasn't even sure I could really discern from one another. There was some fear as memories bubbled to the surface of my mind, but also peace at the thought that she could undo some of what they'd done, that she could protect any children I might choose to have for love... There was comfort in that she would carry me too. It meant I wasn't as soiled by him as I'd always feared.

    "It's no trouble at all, Arshea," she said as she pressed her soft muzzle to my knee.

    She twisted her neck a bit further and gently brought her horn into my leg, and when it touched I felt a wave of serenity pass through me and a cool sensation wash over my lower abdomen. The sensation passed on from my abdomen to areas where my skin had been marred by that time, where scars made for a certain testament of my pains, and these too were soothed.

    In the blink of an eye all of the physical evidence of my suffering was gone. Tears started flowing down my cheeks and I leaned forward, laying over the majestic creature's neck. I cried softly into her mane as she walked, whispering words of thanks into the night.

    She set a leisurely pace despite the urgency of her own errand, giving me ample time to recover from my tears. When we returned to the camp I slid from her back feeling as though the entire event were plucked from some dream. "Well, thank you Arshea, for what efforts you and your friends make in the ruins of Delvenbrass. Take care in your venture."

    I swallowed and nodded, and just before they disappeared into the treeline I stammered, "D-do you pray t-to Ehlonna?"

    The female turned back and with that gentle expression that felt so much like a smile. "We do indeed."

    "M-maybe I w-will too."

    I felt as though the smile I could not see had deepened as she said, "Then Ehlonna will welcome you into her fold with open arms, Arshea. May she keep you safe beneath the bows of this forest, and guide you in your journeys from this place."

    I smiled and wiped another tear from my cheek, "Th-thank you. I pray she w-watches over y-you as well, and returns y-your daughter safely to your k-keeping."

    With that the female turned and the family disappeared into the darkness of night. I couldn't sleep another wink for the joy that filled my being, and spent the rest of the night watching over my friends while they enjoyed their slumber.

    (For reference, Arshea was agnostic prior to this event. She believed in the gods, but she felt she was not worthy of any god after being hurt the way she was by Iuz. This event made her a faithful worshiper of Ehlonna, who would not have been my guess as to whose fold she'd fall into.)

    ~*~*~

    More will be added later on today.
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    Last edited by crystaltears on Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:23 pm  

    Going to be doing a post tomorrow for the next CJ :) Just 'took the day off' since its a holiday.

    CT has just started the Great Modron March adventure series, though with a number of changes. Also currently in game it is now 592 CY.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:40 pm  

    CT,

    That was a great post. It reads like you actually felt the experience yourself.
    I look forward to the next installment of the Campaign Journal. Glad to have you and Iressi on board.

    Later

    Argon
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    Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:09 am  

    As promised here is the next CJ today will take them through the first level of Delvenbrass, and then they will be forced to retreat back into the depths of the Vesve Forest.

    Planting - 591 CY: Delvenbrass
    After exploring all of the four towers around Delvenbrass the PC's make their way cautiously into the first area (area 11) where they face the first of the orcs loyal to Iuz. There are three 'tribes' that are organized within Delvenbrass at the moment at least that worship the Old One. The orcs are part of Kazgund Tribe and thus are a small bit more intelligent than a typical Sornkar Orc. They enter into the pillar room were they face what starts out as four orcs led by a fifth powerfully build Orog.

    However this battle quickly grows more desperate as forces from the next room join they fray though in the end the Knights were able to overcome the orc forces. They explore the eastern chambers first, finding little of interest here since they managed to draw most of the orcs into that first chamber. They notice that there are sounds coming from the northern room (area 20) as well, though for now ignore it. Instead they travel to west and find a sealed room to the south (area 13), and decide to investigate it. Forcing they door open they face one of the stranger enemies they have faced thus far.

    A undead swarm made out of the left hands chopped off of many of the bodies here (if the PC's had traveled here sooner they would have faced a number of undead that were missing hands) which try to swarm, scratch, and trip the PC's. This proves to be a more difficult battle than I intended thanks to the fact that the PC's were running out of AoE spells that day, and they had very little they could do to destroy it. They manage to do just that though, and press on to the last encounter on this level of Delvenbrass. They enter into room 20 though not from area 11, but from the side in area 21 a old dining hall.

    Garek's perspective
    He could feel the old aches now, worming their way up his body. It always started in his joints, and spread like Brown Mold exposed to fire. Garek was tired, and while these old aches were usually a sign of a good days work he was not enjoying the feeling. He knew that beyond that door was another battle, likely far worse than any they had faced. In the face of this a lesser dwarf might have balked, or suggested they rest for a time.

    Garek however when the door was pushed open via Open/Close yelled at the top of his lungs causing them to burn, "Gar khaz Morndinsamman! Gar khaz Kaelsag a khaz Farode Helm!" [For the Morndinsamman! For the Knights of the Silver Dawn!"] He charged into the room along with Ahvrania to face their next threat, which in this case was a room filled with not just Sornkar orcs, but a powerfully built Black Orog (Half-Nilkar Half Ogre) that had a half naked drow sitting in the throne next to him.

    The very sight of the ebony skinned drow made Ahvrania's blood boil, Garek could see it in her eyes. Even though this Drow seemed to be a slave her hatred of that race ran very deep just like the hatred his race had for the Orc's. Battle fury took over him urging him to use his warhammer to smash as many of the bloody monsters as possible. He controlled that fury, and used his connection to the Morndinsamman to heal those around him. The serenity that this gave him was like a summer day spent next to his love.

    As the gift of his gods flowed through him was one of the few times that Garek would sometimes feel at peace with the world. It didn't matter that he loved a elf, and was the laughing stock of the dwarves of Highguard, it didn't matter that they were always in a fight for their lives, none of that mattered. He could feel the love of the gods, and angels flow into him as white energy flowed out of his body like a beacon. The Black Orog was killed off first, to make sure that its powerful greatsword would not destroy Ahvrania. With that the 'Orc King' was dead, and the rest of his forces started to splinter.

    The drow who up to this point had been remaining still shocked the orcs around her by trying to cast some sort of spell. It didn't work, and she was struck as a result of this. As the orcs surrounded Ahvrania the little drow made a run for the southern door. Arshae who had always been a little to soft yelled, "We jammed that door!" Garek growled lowly, but didn't let himself grow distracted. He focused on that summer day ignoring the cacophony around him. The drow managed to escape the room tumbling under the legs of both orcs, and Knights. Jaken even added to this fight as much as Garek didn't want to admit. He couldn't help but think, 'The boy can use a sword at least.'

    Garek knew however that she wouldn't get very far, and that in the end Ahvrania would see justice done. The rest of the orcs were easy to scatter in comparison to the Black Orog, however they were spent with very few spells left. Ahvrania not even stopping to rest chased after the Drow. Sighing Garek said, "Bloody woman..." He panted before adding, "Doesn't even let me rest my legs a bit." He started running following the rest of the Knights where they found the cornered drow.

    She muttered under her breath, "Thyr jhondrys..." [Foul Lightborn] she looked from one to the other before saying in common, "Please just let me go, I won't harm any of you." Ahvrania growled lowly at the drow, "You are going to answer a few questions first, what were you..." The drow interrupted her grabbing Arshae yelling, "Just let me go! If you do not I will kill her." Angry boiled in Garek's veins at that, "You have just sealed your fate dum elgi!"

    Garek along with the rest of the Knights of the Silver Dawn used what was left of their magical might upon this single drow, destroying her utterly. With that Garek along with Ahvrania ran over to Arshae hugging her. While Jaken didn't come forward there was a look of concern on his face. With that the Knights of the Silver Dawn left Delvenbrass again to recover in the Vesve Forest.

    Planting - 591 CY: Vesve Forest
    The party manage to make it to a save haven near Delenbrass, and for once make it through the night without any random encounters. The next day however they encounter a strange group of 'people' at first the PC's think that they might be goblins or some other sort of monster. Arshae managed to trip one before they discovered that they were Green Wardens, plant creatures made by the elves.

    Through some diplomacy they manage to salvage the situation, and discover that these Green Wardens were sent to spy on the goblin tribes which seem to be gathering for war. The PC's realize at this point that they have a bit of a time limit now, it seems that the goblins of the Vesve have noticed all the activity going on in Delvenbrass. Now a goblin army seems to be on the move to the old fortress.

    After that they discover that there are orcs manning the towers outside of Delvenbrass again, and the PC's have to face them in battle. This time though they notice that the orcs have very poor equipment as compared to last time. The battles here are easier than before, and before long they can penetrate into Delvenbrass again. This time they enter into fortress using invisibility sphere, and at first the hobgloblins are just confused at what is going on.

    They call forward the 'hobgoblin king' though before that happens the PC's manage to kill the orc slaves, and hobgoblins as well. The hobgoblin king, who is named Erethkar looks upon the PC's and says to them in somewhat poor common, "You face me. In duel. One on One." Ahvrania obliges him after the terms are set if he wins he keeps Ahvrania, if she wins he will give her information. The battle is over very quickly, and they learn that in punishment the orcs were enslaved by the hobgoblins. They also learn the Tobais, the man that is in charge of the priests of Iuz here has a fatal weakness.

    He has a old injury on the right side of his head, keep hitting there are they will be able to kill him easily. In the end they kill Erethkar, and explore the rest of the first level of Delvenbrass again.

    Conclusion: The PC's are now going to face the human priests of Iuz along with what remains of the hobgoblin guards in the next session. From there they will move on to the dungeon levels of Delvenbrass, though not before another random encounter that turns out not to be hostile.

    Till next time!
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    Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:53 am  
    The Cloak of Feathers

    Thanks, Argon. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was a very defining moment for Arshea.

    ~*~*~

    crystaltears wrote:
    More will be added later on today.


    Ha! I am such a liar. Embarassed That's okay. I'll add it today for you to enjoy. Smile

    ~*~*~

    The Cloak of Feathers
    (Excerpt from the 09/02/11 CJ)

    Character Perspective: Arshea, Aasimar Bard.
    We came up the stairs of the tower and into the room that connected to the top of the walls. The grueling battle of the Earth Lord's reclaimed chamber lay behind us and I listened at the doors before us quietly. One was to the west, one to the south, and both had noises coming from them.

    I turned to the others and said in a whisper, "B-both d-doors have n-noise behind them. S-sounds like p-people."

    Ahvrania nodded and looked between the two with a contemplative gaze. After a few moments she gestured at the western door, "Try and jam that one without letting them hear you. We'll go to the southern door first."

    I gave her a nod and set out to do just what she asked. Garek and Celeste went to the southern door with Ahvra and Jaken hovered near the small hall leading to the western door with his eyes on me. Our other 'ally' lined up behind Celeste, though I could feel his eyes on me. The man hadn't taken it well when I'd threatened to trip him with my whip for his bullying of Jaken. I was glad though, he needed to know I didn't plan to broke any insults or cruelty toward the timid in my presence.

    I managed to jam the door relatively quietly, but I think they may have heard something. They didn't have time to react though, before Ahvra threw open the southern door. I quickly retraced my steps up the hall and joined my allies as they poured onto the wall, save Celeste. She remained in the room behind us, with clear sight on both doors. A clever place for a wizard to be.

    Ahvrania and Garek lined up at the front of the thin walkway on the wall. It widened just a bit farther past them, but they intended to hold the line. Hobgoblin forces came to meet them. I stood behind Ahvra, and Jaken behind Garek.

    Ahvra's axe was quite efficient, but she didn't manage to fell the foe that met her on the wall. Garek's hammer slid harmlessly from his opponent's armor. I tried to trip the one with Ahvrania's focus, but couldn't quite do the job. Celeste, however, placed a pit rather keenly so that all of our foes were on the slanted ground around the edge or caught within the pit itself. Some of them kept their balance, but not many.

    I felt the flat of his sword in my side then, and I was being pushed toward the edge of the wall. I lashed out in a panic, but missed the traitorous bastard as he forced me off the ledge. "Arshea!" I heard Jaken cry as I descended.

    A thrill of adrenaline pumped through me, and wild fear made my entire body stiffen before I remembered that I'd laid claim to the Quall's Cloak we'd found so long ago. The panic abated as I slowly drifted through the air along the slanted wall, and then down the sheer side of it. "Ahvrania, Garek, w-watch out! H-he b-betrayed us!"

    I heard the combat continue as my feet gently touched the ground, but I couldn't see any longer. I did manage to pick out the words of Garek though. "Why you! Let's see how yeh like a taste of yehr own treachery!" Garek bellowed at the top of his lungs. I stepped away from the wall, and just in time, for soon after the platemail-clad body of my betrayer collided into the dirt I'd been standing on with a sickening snap.

    He'd survived, for I heard him groan in pain and saw some movement from his broken body. I wouldn't let him be a risk to any of us again, but I couldn't leave him to die slowly. After a few moments of hesitation I ended the traitor's life with a precisely aimed lash from my Scorpion Whip.

    (I had literally forgotten she had the cloak. I was panicked when Iressi told me she got an AoO cause I had a good feeling I knew what was coming. Then he pushed her off and I scanned her sheet to see if she had any tricks up her sleeve that might save her, and there on the back was a list of what the tokens did.. So I started to ask about the floating feather one when I remembered that the cloak itself did an automatic Feather Fall effect if its wearer fell more than ten feet and exclaimed with excitement, "The cloak!"

    To which Iressi said, "Cloak? Oh! Is she wearing that?"

    And I nodded as I pointed to it on her list of equipment and we both had a good laugh at how lucky I'd gotten cause Garek had changed the cloak's appearance to be in the 'theme' of the Silver Dawn. Each of the fifty feathers appeared as a sun that could be plucked off the silver cloak to cause a token effect. There was no way the traitor could have known what it was Arshea was wearing or how inefficient his bull rush attempt would turn out to be because of it.)

    ~*~*~

    My Muse seems to be feeling fickle so for now you just get the late one. More might be added later.
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    Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:57 pm  

    I bet Arshea gave that cloak one big kiss after that encounter.

    Laughing

    Later

    Argon
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    Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:37 am  

    Argon wrote:
    I bet Arshea gave that cloak one big kiss after that encounter.


    Hehe. She was originally going to give it to the inhabitants of Quallsten since that was likely where it was made, but after that little incident she decided to keep it for herself. Happy
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    Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:19 am  
    Secrets

    Iressi wrote:
    They enter into the pillar room were they face what starts out as four orcs led by a fifth powerfully build Orog.

    However this battle quickly grows more desperate as forces from the next room join they fray though in the end the Knights were able to overcome the orc forces.


    I'm sad that I can't remember the details of this encounter well enough to do it justice in story form. What I do remember that's worth mentioning though is that we discovered a minor intelligent item here. The item was 'Ventanis', a +1 Scorpion Whip with quite a personality attached to it. The whip's name translated to 'Lover's Tongue' and Arshea has refrained from asking it where the name came from. She has been wielding him since we found him though, and more than once his healing (he can do a Cure Moderate Wounds effect 3 times per day and can move himself within ten feet of Arshea to do so courtesy of being in a whip form) has proven useful.

    The contrast in their personalities is comical as the whip is loud and boisterous (much like Ahvra and Garek) and being wielded by someone who is very cautious and quiet. She also uses him primarily for tripping foes rather than dealing damage to them.

    Iressi wrote:
    The party manage to make it to a save haven near Delenbrass, and for once make it through the night without any random encounters.


    Iressi and I forgot a random encounter that occurred here when he was writing the CJ entry (He usually asks me to be sure he's covering most of the events of a given day). I've rolled all of these encounters, by the way, with him asking me for my results and not telling me what I roll until the encounter occurs. My rolls have definitely been interesting so far to say the least...

    Let me detail the random encounter we left out for you:

    ~*~*~

    Secrets
    (Excerpt from the 09/06/11 CJ)

    Character Perspective: Arshea, Aasimar Bard.
    We sat around the small campfire we had started. Even the early afternoon sun hardly pierced the dense canopy of the Vesve above us. The forest really deserved a song, and I was sure it had many to its name though I myself didn't know of them.

    Because the battles of the day had been intense and close together we ultimately had a lot of free time to wait through before resting to regain spells. Ahvrania and Garek sat close by, murmuring softly to one another about Delvenbrass and previous exploits, Celeste was sitting on her bedroll and staring into the small, enchanted toy we'd recovered from the Elven Manse, Jaken was near me. It seemed he had taken my instruction to stay close to me to heart, for he never remained far from my side. In all honesty it had become a comfort since I'd seen him wield the bastard sword we'd lent him.

    I lay back on my bedroll and let my eyes drift to the canopy above where deep, rich greens mixed with younger yellow-tinged leaves to make a quilt that shaded the forest occupants from the sunlight. The brown lines of branches and twigs intermingled here and there in the mix of greens, like seams intentionally sewn to be visible in the patchwork masterpiece of nature. Funny how suddenly the natural world that I had walked through on so many of my journeys seemed to hold such plentiful causes for feelings of calm and peace.

    With these thoughts I let my eyes fall closed and my worries began to drift to the back of my mind. Some five or ten minutes passed as I listened to the harmony of the forest around me. The wind rustling through the leaves, the insects, the small fauna that inhabited the area. In some ways the entirety was musical and I found myself wishing I could write a song to capture the beauty I was hearing.

    The musical nature I found in the Vesve was quite possibly the reason that the presence of discord amidst the melody caught my attention so quickly. "D-did you h-hear that?" I asked the others, looking up at Ahvrania as I did.

    The Gray Elf paused to listen before shaking her head at me. "I hear nothing but the usual noises of a forest, Arshea. What did you hear?"

    "I-it sounds like s-someone walk-ing." I turned my gaze to the trees themselves, but whoever was the cause of the noises I was hearing had not yet stepped into sight.

    "Hail, travelers," a female voice sounded, apparently having heard us talking about her. "I am no reason for alarm, I assure you."

    We all got to our feet save Celeste who simply turned her deep blue eyes in the direction of the stranger's voice. "Reveal yourself to us then," Ahvrania said, hand on the haft of her axe.

    "Of course," the female voice responded. The rustling of her steps continued as she approached, and soon enough we could see her between the trees. A tall, lithe Sylvan Elf with a gentle beauty to her features slowly entered the clearing we'd chosen as our camp for the evening. "May I join you at your fire, Travelers?" She had a very friendly quality to her voice.

    Something about the woman before us seemed 'off' though I couldn't put my finger on what. I didn't feel threatened though, so I made no objection when Ahvrania responded with a nod and said, "By all means, Stranger."

    Ahvra's hand left her axe and she, Garek, Jaken, and I all took our seats again as the stranger did the same. "Tell me," said the Sylvan Elf, "what are you doing so deep in Goblin Territory?"

    I'd almost forgotten the goblins as the peace of the forest's song. Their war horns hadn't sounded since we'd settled, though we'd heard them once or twice on our way from Delvenbrass. "We are adventurers. The Knights of the Silver Dawn to be precise. I'm Ahvrania Iiremen'surre'esta and these are my companions, Garek Highhammer, Arshea, and Lady Celeste Kalinstren. Our companion here is Jaken Tallenstar. We're in the midst of exploring Delvenbrass and trying to clear the ruins of the dangers lurking there."

    "The Goblins are on the war path to Delvenbrass," the Sylvan Elf said. "They've heard of all the recent happenings there what with the two cults and the Earth creatures who dwell there all a-stir."

    "We are aware of it, and only hope we can finish our work there before they arrive. Confronting an entire army of Goblins is not high on our list of things we'd like to do," Ahvrania responded softly. "What, may I ask, is your purpose here, Stranger?"

    "Ah," the Sylvan Elf laughed, "My manners! I am Teldecia and I call the Vesve my home. If you truly are ridding the ruins of the evils within it, I may be able to help you."

    I wasn't prepared to accept that while secrets still hung in the air between us, and so I interjected before Ahvrania could respond, "And h-how, may I ask-k, w-would you d-do that?" I allowed an edge of slight suspicion to be audible in my voice, enough so that Garek and Ahvrania cast their eyes upon me, wondering just what I'd made of our new 'friend' and why I'd said nothing about it yet.

    She turned her beautiful green eyes on me, a soft smile on her lips. "I'm curious why the aggression in your tone. Have I done something to offend you?" She asked in her honeyed voice.

    "Y-you're hid-ing something. I d-don't like sec-rets," I said simply, keeping my eyes on her closely lest she try something. I still didn't feel threatened, but secrets had ever been the cause of discomfort with me. Guessing games were little pleasure to me, and knowing where our allies stood had proven to be something worth a little trouble and ruffled feathers in the recent past.

    "Hmm." She nodded softly. "Fair enough, Arshea. If you must know, I'm a powerful sorceress-"

    "Th-that's a lie," I said, interrupting her. The Sylvan Elf looked a bit troubled by that and I felt very uncomfortable now. Anyone with cause to lie to us was surely not someone I wanted as an ally.

    She considered me for a few moments, Ahvra, Garek, Celeste, and Jaken all watching the exchange rather keenly at this point. Finally she did cast a spell, and unfortunately she cast it quickly enough I didn't have a chance to interrupt her. Worse still, I couldn't identify the purpose of the magic, though snoring sounded from Garek and I blinked as I realized all of them had fallen asleep in their places, including Ahvrania who should have been immune to such an effect.

    I was leaping to my feet as she spoke to me, "I can see that you would prove difficult to deceive, and I wish no trouble here, so let me come clean with you, Arshea."

    I hesitated, eyes on her, and swallowed nervously, "A-alright."

    "Very good," she said softly, and as I watched her form changed into a dragon's with wide, white wings and scales of white as well. Ridged horns curled back from her proud, majestic face. Her body was about the size of one of our Kalinstren Draft horse's. Panic ran through me for a few fleeting moments, but then I realized there were other colors in those scales, pale and only faintly present, of blue and gold.

    I blinked as I realized what stood before me, "A S-song Dragon. Oh, I, I-I'm sorry. I d-didn't mean to be t-trouble." I'd never thought I would see such a creature, particularly not in the depths of the Goblin controlled bounds of the Vesve forest.

    The dragon chuckled melodiously at my apology, "It is fine, of course, you only meant to protect your friends. Now, do you understand what secret it is I wish to keep?" There was some mischeif in her voice and I couldn't help a small smile at that.

    I nodded. "I d-do, and I thank y-you for sh-showing yourself to me. I will n-not mention it ag-gain."

    It was her turn to nod. "Good," she said, and her form returned to that of an elf, "Quite correct you are, Arshea, I am not strictly speaking a sorceress, but the powers that I will call upon are most closely associated with those a sorceress commands. Will you accept this explanation?"

    I realized as she spoke that the others were awake again, and seemed to be without any recollection of having been put to sleep to begin with. I nodded with a soft smile, "I s-suppose I will. Y-you seem to mean no harm."

    "Excellent. Then I shall try to delay the Goblin armies for you, travelers, so you may finish your work in Delvenbrass." She stood and took a step back from the fire we sat around before saying, "May all the gods of good smile upon your efforts there. Especially Pelor, whose radiance lights the sky above these aged trees."

    As she spoke the blessing I heard a much quieter voice whisper in my ear, "And may Bahamat watch you and keep you, curious little Arshea."

    With that she left us, and I smiled to myself as I fell back against my bedroll, staring again into the mixed greens of the canopy above us. Ehlonna surely smiled upon us in this forest of hers, for so much good had found us in such hostile territory that there could be no other explanation.
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    Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:28 pm  

    That's a lot of detail for a random encounter. These will make great notes for your story.

    Argon
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    Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:16 am  

    Argon wrote:
    That's a lot of detail for a random encounter. These will make great notes for your story.


    Exactly what I'm hoping for. Smile
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    Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:36 am  

    Most of this CJ will use the second story map of Delvenbrass. They do not rest in between the encounter of the Hobgoblin 'king' and the human priests up above.

    Planting - 591 CY: Delvenbrass
    Armed with that bit of useful information the intrepid Knights make their way up stairs. The heat of the day making Delvenbrass into a sauna in places as they creep slowly up to the second level. There they find a long hallway filled with doors, all of them locked. Arshae carefully makes her way forward searching each door to find that they have all been trapped! It seems that the Priests were expecting them, and have prepared accordingly.

    Arshae returns to report that there is movement coming from the southern door nearest the stairs as the Knights prepare to enter. After a tense moment Celeste prepares to cast Open/Close only for the door to open before hand! The Knights are pitted against a group of howling barbarians armed with powerful greatswords their bodies covered in scars, and symbols to the Old One. Their leader who they would find out later to be Waldur de Grey greets them, "Ah you have finally come! Good to see you."

    The man has a chipper voice that sounds like he might very well be a citizen of Furyondy, maybe even from Kalinstren itself by the sound of it! The owner of the voice is not a barbarian however he was a tall well built knight wearing black full plate with a bastard sword in one hand, and a tower shield in the other. The Barbarians moved up to the door, and faced up against Ahvrania's armor and axe. They were a human tide against a elven rock, and quickly this mans barbarians were being slaughtered.

    However Arshae heard a sound coming from down the hallway, and the Knights day became more complicated. Two underpriests, a handful of human men-at-arms, and Tobais himself entered onto the field to help the Waldur with his barbarians. While the Knights wern't sure before they knew now who this Tobais is, he is Tobais von Redoubt who was once a knight bound under her father who disappeared sometime after she was born. Tobais couldn't help but laugh, "Ah its good to see you Lady Celeste." The sarcasm with the word lady was thick enough to cut with a knife. He went on, "My how you have grown, I remember being on the detail to 'protect' you."

    He turned to his soldiers, "Men keep Celeste alive, but kill the rest." With that the battle was joined, and the Knights were flanked by the Waldur's forces on one side and those of Tobais on the other. This forced the Knights to use every bit of their reserves to try, and kill Tobais who was after all the leader of these men. Blow after blow from magic and sword was cast upon him, though he would not die. Instead he would back off long enough to cast a healing spell upon himself. Finally as his forces crumbled around him he retreated leaving his 'knight' to face the music alone.

    Soon after this the forces in the upper floor were dealt with, and the 'knight' surrendered to the Knights. He introduced himself as Waldur de Grey, who Celeste recognized or at least recognized the family name. Waldur had been a squire to Sir Tobais back when he was a loyal knight in Redoubt, and Waldur filled in the blanks in the story of the disloyal knight. Tobais had fallen in love with the beautiful Lady Galaine though her life was taken from him early in their marriage. Seeing his despair a spy for the Old One offered to bring her back from the dead if Tobais would help him.

    Eventually this deal corrupted Tobais, and he became a faithful worshiper of the Old One. When Galaine was brought back from the dead she was not herself, in fact she wasn't brought back at all instead she was animated her soul shunted back into her body twisted into a ghoul. This is what finally made Tobais snap, and he left Redoubt forcing his squire to go as well. Waldur has fought for Tobais ever since then, though he has only payed lip service to Iuz. However after the Knights last encounter of a soldier of the Old One they were very cautious with those that surrendered.

    Waldur suspects he has joined 'Lady Redoubt' in the first dungeon layer of Delvenbrass along with what was left of the Hobgoblins, and priests down there. With Tobais there were five priests in total which would make in battle that happened be a very long, and drawn out affair if they were to fight together. Spent after that battle the Knights searched the rest of the second level before they decided to rest to regain spells, however how to rest was a good question. They didn't want to leave Delvenbrass at this point, and so they jammed the door that leads from the dungeon level to the first floor.

    During the night however Celeste heard something during her watch, and the door opened to reveal strange if beautiful creatures. There were seven in total all of them wearing clothes of Baklunish features, it took her a moment to realize that these were not humans at all.

    These were Janni!

    She talked with them for a time, and found out that they were servants of the Sha'ir, and Genie-Binder Shaqul bin Aseem from the nation of Ket. He sent these Janni to explore Delvenbrass, and if possible destroy the connection that this place had with the Elemental Earth Node, and Ogremoch. The Janni wish to gain passage to the dungeon, and thus Celeste is forced to wake Arshea to open the door.

    They try to convince the Janni to wait for them to help, but the Janni who are ever arrogant went on ahead as the Knights went back to sleep. When they awoke the next day they readied their steel, and magic to enter into the Dungeons of Delvenbrass.

    Conclusion
    It's funny to me that I gave the PC's a weakness for Tobais and they forgot to exploit it. Oh well it doesn't really matter they were able to stop him, but not kill him (they do that next time). Now the PC's move into the actual dungeons under Delvenbrass which take up quite a bit of time to clear out. So till next time!


    Last edited by Iressi on Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:25 pm  

    Iressi,

    Nice post my only critique would be on the word Knights it is used often and I found myself wondering,who is who?

    Later

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    Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:41 pm  

    I thought the single quotes would be enough to differentiate between the two but it seems not hehe :P

    In any even I edited it so the only reference to knights is the Knights of the Silver Dawn.
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    Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:50 am  

    The ever continuing adventures of the Knights of the Silver Dawn. They now move down into the depths of Delvenbrass.

    Planting - 591 CY: Delvenbrass
    After a good nights sleep we find our hero's replenished, and ready to face the threats that can be found in the lowest depths. However they are bothered by the fact that the Janni have already gone inside, there is no telling what all they have already killed which that in itself isn't bad. However what if the Janni find the Well of Many Worlds? How will the Knights gain the help of the Grey Elves then?

    With those questions in mind the Knights made their way down into the dark depths beneath Delvenbrass which in truth is the heart of the complex. Waldur declines to travel with the Knights for the time being, so he is left in the first level. They travel down a beautifully carved hallway, and set of stairs that are covered in geometric designs along with runes carved in the elemental languages. They come to area with three doors, the one to the east has a number of heavy boxes along with wooden beams making it a very difficult area to explore for the time being. So the Knights decide to travel to the west, and enter into a dark chamber filled with chanting in the foul Abyssal tongue.

    They heard spoken again and again the following phrase, "Krte andha Iuz madiya rati api zazvata" Which loosely translated as 'for the dark one Iuz, my love is eternal.' as they crept forward the Knights entered into a massive hall of worship that once was dedicated to a elemental god however it has been desecrated into the worship of the Old One. Foul tapestries and other signs of his worship were all over the room. Foul men-at-arms all of them Flan with black plate armor covered in spikes, armed with powerful greatswords.

    Near the middle of the room had four undead monsters that looked to have been recently animated. It took the Knights a moment to realize that these were the Janni they had seen the night before, at least some of them. The remaining Janni could be found in the back chamber, along with a horrid looking woman that looked more like a hag than anything else. When the Knights rushed head long into the chamber she yelled in a cruel, undying voice, "You dare disturb this ritual?! You dare tread upon unholy ground! You will all serve Iuz in this life or the next!"

    Garek being his usual self gave a witty retort to this that served to make 'Lady Redoubt' even angrier. The undead Janni had been corrupted into Banedead, specialized undead created by the priests of Iuz. The Knights had their hands full, but thankfully even with Lady Redoubts shrill voice no reinforcements came. In the end she was dust as were the rest of the undead created in this foul place. The Knights went over to the Janni who had been on top of the altar. She was covered in horrid burns all over her body from the spell Boiling Blood.

    They learned from Basira the Janni that they were overrun by the forces of the Old One though not before killing most of the men-at-arms, and causing the hobgoblins to flee deeper into the dungeon abandoning the humans. Tobais is looking for a way out, but is prepared to die for his god if need be. The Knights help Basira and the other surviving Janni out of Delvenbrass to report back to the Sha'ir in Ket. After that they travel once again into the breach.

    They travel back into the defiled chamber, and deface the horrid shrine to Iuz before they discover a 'hidden' hallway behind one of the tapestries that they had put up. The hallway was dark, and the air was very cold as they made their way into the next room. They found nothing in the main chamber, but as they opened the door into east they found themselves in one of the most dangerous battles of their careers. Tobais along with his underpriests, and a large contingent of Baneguard's another type of undead created by the priests of Iuz.

    These foul skeletons use their innate powers to blink in and out of existence to flank the Knights! To make matters worse reinforcements from the west quickly cause the Knights to be outnumbered two to one in this life or death struggle. The last men-at-arms also join in this battle meaning that the Knights are facing all of the remaining cultists of Iuz here. Finally after almost two minutes of fighting the Knights kill the last of the Baneguard, and at last Tobais is slain.

    After this battle they spend a few moments to recover before moving on to face the next major threat in Delvenbrass. The goblin tribes that live in the dungeon. They travel north (into area 21) where they come across a strange sight a pair of foul smelling grey furred creatures. They were protecting a huge looking creature of the same type that looked to be pregnant. These creatures were Barghest's! They didn't waste any time to attack though the mother used its innate power to Dimension Door away as her 'children' fought the Knights.

    The battle as a quick one with one of the Barghest's escaping while the other was slain. Before progressing further to the north they travel down a side passage where they face a horrible Corpsefeeder Otyugh which turns out to be a bit of a non-battle. Celeste simply moved forward and casually cast a Acid Pit which after a minute reduced the creature into a sobbing mess. It in fact surrendered to the Knights rather than be killed by them.

    [Aside: The roleplaying with the Otyugh was a very fun encounter that I did not expect. Otyughs can in fact speak common (though they are not smart) and in Pathfinder part of their communication with their own kind is in fact through scents. This is something that Celeste knew from Knowledge Dungeonering, and when they 'befriended' the Otyugh their 'friend' left a scent on Celeste to denote that she was a friend to Otyughs. Current the Otyugh family is working the sewers of Castle Redoubt, and aid in the defense of the castle.]

    The Knights manage to befriend the Otyugh and discover that it travels through a series of small tunnels that connect various chambers through this place (You can't see them on the map provided), and that there are two other Otyughs in this dungeon. They dislike the goblins, and in fact use them as a food source so they agree to help the Knights in the coming battles with the Goblins.

    They travel north (area's 13, 16, 22, 6) at this point discovering a series of ancient shrines dedicated to Baklunish gods that have managed to survive. Arshea even finds a strange trap in a pit below with a shrine that acts as a division between the fire 'section' of the dungeon, and the water 'section' of the dungeon. Arshea has to escape a Mephit that at first was a Fire Mephit, but after passing through this barrier he changes into a Water Mephit. In the end she escapes up the tunnel, and the trap wears off. Later the Knights travel down this tunnel again, and Arshea finds and disables the trap.

    The knights explore more rooms discovering a bound Earth Wierd which offers to answer a question if the Knights free it, the other Otyugh's, along with a few more traps. Through dedication they overcome every obstacle in their way They then enter into the domain of the Thotha Tribe one of the two tribes* that fight to control the Dungeons of Delvenbrass.

    Conclusion
    The PC's are about halfway through the first level of Delvenbrass, and have now defeated the priests of Iuz here. However they still have a long way to go before they can obtain the Well of Many Worlds. Next time will involve them clearing out the goblin warrens that have infested the place before the Knights travel into the lowest dungeon in Delvenbrass.

    At this point I think this dungeon has been one of the longest I have ever run, by the end I was getting somewhat sick of it to be honest. I don't typically like long dungeon crawls however thankfully Crystaltears rolled a number of 'friendly' random encounters to add spice to it. Along with a few other interesting encounters I added in as well. All in all it was fun ride, though I was glad to get off of it when I did.

    *Area's 44 through 50 are controlled by Thotha Tribe while the Moshhka Tribe which rules the northern western half of Delvenbrass (area's 23 - 37.) More on the two tribes in the next CJ post.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:08 am  

    Iressi,

    I know the feeling when I first started playing it seemed like everyone dungeon crawled. So when I took over DMing duties I kept things on the surface and they loved it. I pitted the local Thieves guild against the Assassin's guild, and the party got in the mix. Well the party sided with the assassin's unknowingly and when all was said and done had both remaining members of the guild as life long enemies.

    Keep the posts coming.

    Later

    Argon


    Last edited by Argon on Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:26 am  

    Very cool. I am still working on writing non-dungeon adventures to be honest. Its a art to some degree, one that I am far from mastering.
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    Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:07 am  

    Iressi wrote:
    ...the Otyugh their 'friend' left a scent on Celeste to denote that she was a friend to Otyughs...]


    They actually left the scent on Ahvrania. This was a really fun encounter and a very unexpected twist. I never thought a a creature that looked so much like a monster and ate corpses would end up being our friends. >.>

    Also, I haven't been able to get my Muse in gear for story excerpts.. I think it's cause I started working on the actual story for this campaign. I'm not sure when I'll post my next excerpt, but I hope those of you who follow our endeavors will enjoy Iressi's contributions to the CJ in the meantime. Smile
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    Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:29 am  

    No CJ today, though I will be posting a new one tomorrow. Muse has been elsewhere as of late. Anyway's tune in tomorrow!
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    Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:42 pm  

    CT,

    I think we can stomach Iressi's take for a while! Laughing

    Later

    Argon
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    Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:44 am  

    Going to try to finish up Delvenbrass today, though we will see how far I get.'

    Planting - 591 CY: Delvenbrass
    The Knights of the Silver Dawn after defeating a series of ancient arrow traps find themselves in the territory of a goblin tribe. Garek notices the tribal banners, and other objects that litter the rooms as a sign to keep away. Though the Knights are not going to follow goblin advice.

    Not today or ever.

    They make their way into a large chamber filled with pillars (area 44) where they face a group of hobgoblins wearing armor that was once adorned with symbols of Iuz, and a few female goblins that were feeding the hobgoblins grapes. It seems that the chief of this tribe was trying to bribe the hobgoblins that were once loyal to Iuz. Battle is soon joined and the Knights discover to their chagrin that the goblin women are in fact magic-users adding to the complex battle.

    To make matters worse more goblins, and hobgoblins pour out from the nearby chambers adding to the din. The battle is a fierce one, but in the end the Knights are victorious. They manage to destroy the Thotha Tribe in one fell swoop. They discover that this area holds the entrance into the second level of the dungeon, but for now decide it is best that they clear out what remains of the goblins.

    From there they travel down the hallway that was once inhabited by the Barghests, and go down the long stairs till they start hearing chanting. As they slowly move closer they hear prayers in goblin to the foul deity Maglubiyet, the chief god of the pantheon. The Knights move forward, and charge into the 'congregation' to give a sermon of their own. They face (in room 23) a large force of goblin warriors that were in prayer at that moment along with a large fat goblin with a huge silver holy symbol of Maglubiyet scratched over the symbol of some other god.

    This battle proves to be harder than the Knights could have imagined, for while the goblin priest looked like he would be a push over he had been blessed with many powerful spells from his foul deity. Including the spell slay living which he happily used against Arshae. She had been very lucky up to this point, more than once had death been narrowly avoided. Not this time however, as the foul black energies caressed her she fell to the ground the life having fled from her body.

    Arshae was dead.

    Then again so was more than half of the goblin 'worshipers' as well. The goblin priest put up a fight, but well before he cast slay living the battle was over. He just wanted to cause as much suffering as possible before hand. Afterwords the Knights were reduced to tears over their lost companion, and had a choice. Should they press on? The goblin armies are getting closer they knew, and the strange 'sorcerer' (see the Secrets except) could not hold off the goblins forever.

    So the Knights took the body of Arshae, and placed her inside of Gareks Bag of Holding after removing some of the treasure. They pressed going deeper into the dungeons of Delvenbrass with one less Knight to help in battle. They faced more goblins in the next chamber along with a trap that Arshae would have needed to be alive to disable, so they just rush past it as fast as possible. Slaying the goblins just as fast. As they travel north east they come to a strange room that is filled with a large pit and a very narrow walk way. The Knights use their Rope of Climbing to help them get across the gap to get to the other side.

    From there they explore the various rooms, and even encounter the Otyugh family briefly before moving on to the last stretch of this part of the dungeon. They find another shrine (area 31) to another goblin deity, Khurgorbaeyag the goblin god of slavery among other things. However it is unguarded. As they enter into the next chamber (area 32) the door is opened suddenly and they face a large band of bugbears! To make matters worse the bugbear leader is quickly revealed to be a Nightstalker the favored 'children' of the bugbear god Skiggaret.

    The battle is fierce, and in a series of unfortunate attacks Jaken who had been a stalwart ally for most of their progression through Delvenbrass falls after a protracted battle with these bugbears. With Jaken dead that leaves Celeste, Ahvrania, and Garek to finish what they started here. They press on in till they meet at last the goblin leader of the Moshhka Tribe along with hobgoblins, a Nightstalker archer, and a massive brood of goblins. There were times that it looked like the Knights were going to be overwhelmed, but they were able to overcome these massive odds thanks to a number of well placed create pit spells that negated most of their numbers.

    After this the Knights are utterly spent, and take the dead along with what treasure they could carry to a safe place to rest that night. Thankfully Celeste has finally mastered (or at least she hopes she has mastered) the spell teleport. Thanks to her Ring of Sustenance she is able to sleep far less, and prepare spells while the rest of the Knights are resting. However she hears to her horror the sound of battle going on above them.

    Is it the goblins? If it is who are they fighting? Could it be reinforcements from Iuz? Find out this and more next time!

    Conclusion: Well I didn't quite finish Delvenbrass, though save for a few more combats it is in effect finished. Next time I will recount the Knights traveling back to Chendl via Teleport to bring back the dead members of the Knights. Anyway's hope you enjoyed it!


    Last edited by Iressi on Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:10 am  

    Well, you two are certainly proving yourselves to be prolific writers. I just hope you don't burn yourselves out!

    Sadly, we've had some who have 'begun with a bang' and then 'faded away.' You and Crystaltears have much to offer and great potential.

    I hope you'll be around for quite awhile.
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    Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:19 am  

    Ah shucks thanks MS :) I hope to be around for a while too. Awesome little community on here.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:52 pm  

    Iressi,

    Impressive as ever CT must have been heart broken losing Arshae, one of her favorite characters. If you want to be a hero you have to be willing to die. Hence the hero tag you only get to wear it if you take the plunge.

    Those are some goblin fighting Knights I know if she rolls up a Ranger the hated enemy will be goblins.

    Later

    Argon
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    Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:35 am  
    Judgment Calls

    Argon wrote:
    Impressive as ever CT must have been heart broken losing Arshae, one of her favorite characters. If you want to be a hero you have to be willing to die. Hence the hero tag you only get to wear it if you take the plunge.

    Those are some goblin fighting Knights I know if she rolls up a Ranger the hated enemy will be goblins.


    He didn't go into enough detail. I should title this excerpt 'Bitter Irony', but I'm not going to.

    Judgment Calls

    Character Perspective: Ahvrania, Gray Elf Paladin.
    It all happened in a blur. Celeste opened the door with Open/Close and I waited to enter the room with the knowledge that she would likely have something up her sleeves. The wizard placed a fireball (I think it was a fireball) in the room near the front, near enough I felt the heat of its force in the air around my bare face (Ahvra doesn't wear a helm. She's a bit arrogant in that in my opinion, but she just sees it as a worthwhile trade for 'a better field of vision'.), and then the fire was gone. I ran in. There was just the priest at the back of the room, but Celeste's fireball had missed four goblins at the front of the rooms and so I veered to a side to bring my axe into the nearest.

    Jaken and Garek moved in behind me, close on my heels. We set ourselves as a line against the four goblins at the front and managed to fell one.

    That was when I heard the Goblin priest's words. I couldn't quite identify the spell he cast, but Arshea was struck with a black beam of what was likely negative energy. She cried out. Sweat beaded at my temples and brow, sliding down my face and stinging in my eyes as I swung the axe again. Another Goblin fell and I carried the force of the blow into the next, dropping him as well. Two left.

    Garek's warhammer came down hard on the skull of the Goblin to my left, smashing it in. Jaken, Tel Seldarine bless him, wielded the bastard sword we'd given him with as much force as he could with a whimper and a battle cry. What a strange sound he made as he brought the blade into the last of the four Goblins.

    I readied myself to move forward. The priest would be next to fall before my axe, but before I could reach him he began casting another spell. One I did recognize. Flame Strike. Just as he was about to finish a bolt of acid shot past my shoulder and caught the cleric in his, but despite Celeste's best efforts the foul creature completed his spell and a pillar of fire engulfed Celeste and Arshea in the hall behind us.

    'Tel Seldarine grant me the strength to protect my allies.' With that unspoken prayer I cast a spell of my own, one my allies had not yet seen me use. The spell was aptly named Paladin's Sacrifice and with the casting of it the fire's damage did not touch Arshea at all, instead searing into my flesh. The wound was grievous, for it hurt me as it would have hurt her, but I did not hesitate even through it in my charge and soon was upon the cleric.

    The battle would end quickly, or so I prayed. Garek joined me as I lay my axe into the Goblin's little body with an angry growl. He uttered words of prayer and touched my side, casting a curing spell upon me. Celeste seemed to be delaying again, likely intent on attempting to interrupt the cleric's casting again. Jaken joined us and swung at the little beast, but his sword barely cut the creature. The crack of the whip came from my left, but Arshea missed his leg. She'd come so close to him and we were not a wall of defenders in our current formation.

    As I lifted my axe to attack him again I could see in the Goblin's eyes that he knew death was upon him. He moved forward while I made ready and touched Arshea. I felt a cold horror pass through my body as a magic missile wound into the goblin's side. He didn't err in the slightest with his words and Arshea screamed aloud as she was flooded with the energy from the spell he'd cast... Slay Living.

    The Goblin cackled in triumph as Arshea crumpled to the ground and the stinging sweat in my eyes was joined with tears as my lips contorted in a snarl, "No! You foul little imp. Your life ends here!" I bellowed as I brought the axe down, and true to my word, claimed his life.

    Garek was at Arshea's side as a wave of positive energy passed through us all, healing wounds and offering us some refreshment from the combat... But Arshea didn't move. Her wounds didn't close. "No-" Garek said, his eyes misting, "No, Ahvra, she's dead."

    I fell to my knees, the axe clattering to the ground beside me, forgotten. "By all the heavens, Garek. I should have saved the spell." My eyes stung with tears as I looked upon my love and the fallen comrade he cradled in his arms.

    "You can't blame yourself," Celeste said, as ever the voice of logic. "There was no way you could have known he even had that spell prepared, Ahvrania." There was a sniffle in her voice though, and I knew she likely thought of things we might have done to find a better outcome.

    "We should leave this place," Garek said after a time.

    I moved closer then, my platemail scraping against the stone floors. With gauntleted fingers I carefully pushed Arshea's honey-colored hair from her eyes. Then I took the gauntlet off for her face was twisted in a look of horror. She must have known what he was casting. Gently I closed her hazel eyes and pet the olive skin of her cheek. At length I said, "We cannot, Garek."

    "What?" He looked at me. "What do you propose? We press on without her?" He sounded dismayed, and he had every right to be.

    "If the Well of Many Worlds is here then we cannot let it fall into the Goblins hands. Especially if it is true that some of the Hobgoblin forces of the Old One have joined with them." I met his eyes and lifted the face plate of his helm so I could touch his cheek.

    Garek didn't look pleased with me, but I could see he would not argue. "Fine," he said.

    Celeste's voice was almost lost to me, for she still stood a short ways apart from us. "Just stay close to me, Jaken."

    "A-alright," Jaken said. There was anguish and fear in his voice too.

    I sighed heavily. "Tel Seldarine keep her until we can have her returned to us."

    "Are you sure we should?" Garek asked.

    I looked at him in surprise. The dwarf was wearing a contemplative expression. "What? Of course I am."

    "What if she's happy, Ahvrania? What if she's at peace?" Garek looked down on Arshea's still body, which now appeared to be sleeping.

    My heart broke for the Aasimar at the thought. She'd had such a long life of pain before we'd found her, and even since then she lived with so much fear. "Then she will choose to stay if she wishes to." I pressed a kiss to Garek's cheek and rose to my feet. "Come, Love. We must make our way through this place. It will not be safe to rest anywhere on the Goblins' levels without Arshea to jam the doors."

    Garek grunted unhappily and took off his Bag of Holding. I watched as he emptied out a few suits of armor and gently slid Arshea's body into the bag. Celeste had a hand on Jaken's shoulder when I turned toward them. I offered Jaken a faint smile and put my hand on his shoulder as well. "She will return to us, Jaken. Do not fear."

    Jaken nodded shakily, but he could not turn away from Garek and the bag, and only after Garek and I had left the room did he and Celeste turn to follow us.

    ~*~*~

    Paladin's Sacrifice, for those unfamiliar with Pathfinder spells, does the following as an immediate action:

    d20pfsrd.com wrote:
    You open up a brief but powerful divine conduit between you and another creature, taking on the damage and any other effects that creature suffers. When a creature in range is hit by an attack or fails a saving throw, you can cast this spell and the wounds and/or effects are magically transmitted to you instead of the target. You are affected as if you were hit by the attack or failed the saving throw, taking all the damage and suffering all of the adverse effects. Any resistances or immunities you have are applied normally, but you cannot otherwise reduce or negate the damage or effects in any way.

    If you use this spell against an effect that also targets you or includes you in its area, you suffer the effects for both yourself and the target you spared, potentially taking damage or suffering other consequences twice.


    So if I had saved it one more round I could have saved Arshea because the way Slay Living works in Pathfinder it isn't just instant death... It's a whole lot of hit point damage. Ahvrania would have survived the damage, but alas, the spell was already spent. You better believe Ahvrania has been very hesitant to use her Paladin's Sacrifice since then, as she's always afraid something worse will be waiting for her allies if she does.
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    GreySage

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    Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:55 am  
    Re: Judgment Calls

    crystaltears wrote:
    You better believe Ahvrania has been very hesitant to use her Paladin's Sacrifice since then, as she's always afraid something worse will be waiting for her allies if she does.


    I do. And, I understand. I was the same way in my youth with potions and scrolls. My characters would end up hording them because I was always afraid that if I used them up, I'd have greater need of them in the future. Exclamation Thus, I almost never used them. rolleyes

    I'm better about that now. Razz

    SirXaris
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    Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:59 pm  

    Second Guessing.

    Problem is if you hesitate to use it harm will definitely come to those you love. Better to utilize what you have when it is needed instead of worrying about what happens next. However careful planning can better prepare you for the unexpected. However you can't plan for every thing.

    Sometimes the inevitable will come. No matter how hard it is we are forced to deal with the outcome either way. Celeste is right you can't blame yourself, you can honor the memory of those that have passed.

    CT, once again you impress me with your story telling skills. I love your narrative, you can feel the emotions behind your story. Keep them coming.

    Later

    Argon
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    Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:36 am  

    Argon wrote:
    Second Guessing.

    Problem is if you hesitate to use it harm will definitely come to those you love. Better to utilize what you have when it is needed instead of worrying about what happens next. However careful planning can better prepare you for the unexpected. However you can't plan for every thing.

    Sometimes the inevitable will come. No matter how hard it is we are forced to deal with the outcome either way. Celeste is right you can't blame yourself, you can honor the memory of those that have passed.


    *Nods* Trouble is that's a lesson I want Ahvrania to learn in character. This was the first time anyone ever truly died on her watch since she became an adventurer. She feels like she could have done something about it if she'd been wise enough to save her spell. In truth it's not her fault. I know that, but I think the passionate Gray Elf needs some experience to push her along to come to that conclusion on her own terms.

    The good news, though, is that she has two 2nd level spells so she has two of them prepared. She's a lot more ready to spend the first one than the second. The lesson may never be required if I'm lucky. But then, it would make for such a wonderful story.

    Argon wrote:
    CT, once again you impress me with your story telling skills. I love your narrative, you can feel the emotions behind your story. Keep them coming.


    Aww, thank you. I always said emotions were my strength in writing. If writing is not emotionally driven I find it much harder. That makes the third person perspective a bit more challenging for me. Mystic-Scholar has the first part of the story of the Knights of the Silver Dawn that I'm writing now. I put a lot of effort into trying to actually physically describe my character in that (Celeste is the only one present in the first part) since I know I've only given you bits and pieces in these excerpts. Hopefully when you read the 'polished' telling you'll get a complete picture. Smile

    SirXaris wrote:
    I do. And, I understand. I was the same way in my youth with potions and scrolls. My characters would end up hording them because I was always afraid that if I used them up, I'd have greater need of them in the future. Exclamation Thus, I almost never used them. rolleyes

    I'm better about that now. Razz

    SirXaris


    Happy It's not so much that I'm hesitant to use them. Iressi can tell you I'm a rash player. It makes controlling a wizard and actually trying to be logical, calm, and planning very difficult for me because my gut instinct is to charge in and deal with the problem before it has time to grow. Not always the best plan, and thankfully we've been doing a lot less of it in this campaign than in the last one (In our last campaign my party literally fought 70% of the dungeon in one big battle two or three times because of their tendency to rush into things unprepared. Their warrior was a barbarian though, and no in the party had an extensive education, so it was rather fitting.).

    Anyway, I am very much a flexible player, and one who uses resources cleverly. In this particular instance I am putting a hold on Ahvrania's willingness to spend that resource because of her past experience.

    That said, I do tend to hold onto potions for some reason. I tear through scrolls (especially in this campaign with my little Scrollmaster (Celeste)), but I believe Celeste is still carrying a single Cure Light Wounds potion she has had since our first adventure with these guys.
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    Last edited by crystaltears on Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:19 am  

    This will be the last post for Delvenbrass! I guarantee it.

    Planting - 591 CY: Delvenbrass
    The Knights are awoken during the night to the sounds of battle above them, and Celeste using her magic sneaks up to take a look at what is going on. As she slowly step by step makes her way up she can hear her heart beating, she knew that there was a very good chance that she might very well die right here and now like Jaken, and Arshae had. Invisible she made her way to the ground level of Delvenbrass, and to outside.

    It was a humid summer night outside, the sun was hidden under a thin layer of grey clouds though you could still see its radiance shining through in places. In the distance through a light fog she could see the battle that was underway. A massive goblin horde had surrounded a much smaller army. Celeste took out her spyglass, and saw a large group of Janni along with a few Shaitan in the back with a massive Efreeti.

    She felt the breath leave her, and she travels back inside as quickly (and quietly) as possible. She finds the rest of the knights and tells them what she saw. Celeste said, "This is likely the work of the Genie-Binder that the Janni had mentioned." The rest of the knights agreed with this, and decided that they needed to teleport back now to bring back their lost friends now lest they be caught unprepared.

    They gathered together, and prepared to crash test her first use of the teleport spell, she set her focus to the beautiful fountain she had seen as a girl outside of the Grand Cathedral of Heironeous in Chendl. In a poof of smoke and a slight shutter in the world around them the Knights teleported to the far away city of Chendl. They appeared more or less where she wanted, though the first thing they heard was the splash as Garek landed into the fountain. Much cursing, and grumbling could be heard as he forced himself out. Garek started to say, "Arshae could..." He trained off at that point sighing softly.

    Arshae 'armed' with her prestidigitation spell often took the time to keep all of them clean, and dry. Ahvrania put her hand on Garek's shoulder before they made their way inside of the Cathedral where they found a yawning acolyte trying to clean the floors of the massive room. The Grand Cathedral had no pews like you might expect, everyone that attended these services were expected to stand (unless they were too old or young in which case they were given a honored position on a few select pews near the High Priest.) The marble floor of this massive room depicted as much as the walls and ceiling the birth, and story of Heironeous.

    Talking with the acolyte they were lucky to find that one of the priests could be awoken, and had a resurrection spell still prepared that day. However he needed the Knights to get the material components something that Celeste could only do because she was a high noble. Even then it took a few hours before they had gathered together the precious diamond dust needed for the ritual. After that had been done Arshae was returned to life into the loving arms of the Knights of the Silver Dawn.

    [Aside: Jaken was returned as well though since he died from injury rather than a death effect Garek was able to cast Raise Dead on him]

    After the proper spells had been cast the Knights along with Jaken returned to the horrible halls of Delvenbrass though by now the morning sun had risen. The battle was over when the Knights arrived, the goblins had been slaughtered or fled the battlefield. The Knights reunited start to make their way down the long passage to the dungeon when they hear noise upstairs. They wait for a moment before going to investigate, when they do the Knights took long enough that whoever was up there was gone.

    [Aside: The genie-binder sent these genies here to destroy this places connection to the Elemental Earth Node, and to Ogremoch. The Janni would have had the PC's help them in this if they had not teleported away, but since they did the PC's never did find out who did so much damage to the forces of the earth elementals in the second dungeon level. They lost some loot, and experience from this though it made finding the Well of Many Worlds easier as you will soon see.]

    The Knights after that decide to travel down into the dungeons of Delvenbrass, and eventually pass into the lowest level which had been claimed according to the stories they had heard by the Shaitan, who now were corrupted by worship of Ogremoch the Elemental Prince of Evil. They traveled down into the main entrance hall and discovered a pitched battle had taken place here. Moving on the Knights discover that one room after another had been cleared of the monsters that were in it, the traps sprung by whatever force had been in here.

    They discover the main 'cathedral' of Ogremoch (in area 14) along with a moat made out of liquid salt, but before exploring that cathedral they make their way through the area's that it looked like the genies had not explored. There the Knights came across a fierce foe (in area 6) a pair of Rock Trolls armed with enchanted Macuahuitl (Aztec weapon, look it up if you are curious) though the Knights were able to overcome them. Exploring this area more they come across earth mephits, xorn, a few traps, and the left overs of what the Genies had left behind. They discover a annoying teleportation trap as well that launches them into the air only for them to fall down hard to the ground to spring the trap again (area 13.)

    Finally they enter into the cathedral itself exploring the ruin that the genies had left behind them in till they entered into the central hall (area 21) which was dominated by a mighty throne along with many dead gargoyles, and two Shaitan. There they discovered the only remains of the high priest of Ogremoch in the form of a ghost that haunted this throne room. Garek tries to figure out what is keeping the Shaitan here, but fails to figure it out forcing them into battle.

    After a long, and painful battle that almost killed Jaken again the Knights discover hidden under his throne a set of stairs that lead down into a treasure room that the Genies had managed to miss. There they find many beautiful carvings, and gemstones along with the Well of Many Worlds. The Knights explored the rest of Delvenbrass finding little of important left here.

    With their mission finished in this place the Knights decide to leave Delvenbrass for the last time, and make their way to the Timeless Tree to meet with the Grey Elves and return the magic item. They had learned much in the dungeons here, and experienced what might very well be their fate, death at the hands of their enemies.

    Conclusion: And its done! Delvenbrass if finished after like two pages of CJ posts. Hope you guys enjoyed the ride. They gained I think four levels inside of Delvenbrass, which so far is the most they gained from a single place. Next CJ will be the Knights traveling south to the Timeless Tree, and then to Ironstead to join the army that is marshaling to destroy the Serpents Mound near the Defiled Glade.

    Tune in next time!
    GreySage

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    Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:27 pm  

    Iressi wrote:
    They discover a annoying teleportation trap as well that launches them into the air only for them to fall down hard to the ground to spring the trap again (area 13.)


    Funny! Laughing

    I'll have to remember that one the next time I DM a party of an appropriate level.

    SirXaris
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    Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:34 am  

    Hehe it was a fun trap, sorry I been so scarce here. I will be posting a new CJ soon enough.
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    Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:10 am  

    Late Planting - 591 CY: Vesve Forest

    The Knights left Delvenbrass, and traveled through the lands controlled by the Goblins with caution. The goblins for the time being seem to have abandoned the idea of traveling into Delvenbrass not that there is much left their to steal. The Knight had managed to make off with most of what could be found in there, including the Well of Many Worlds which was their first stop. The Knights made their way south to the Timeless Tree in truth the last stop on their path back to Ironstead.

    However along the way that night they have a strange encounter, the Knights enter into a glade only to come across one of the protectors of the forests. A Nymph named Tellsondra that lived in a small glade with a beautiful pond. The Knights decide to make camp for the night which results in a terrible nightmare for Jaken. He is given a choice in his dream to either die his soul moving on to a unknown afterlife, or to live with a curse. He chooses to live not knowing if this is simply a dream or not. That night he becomes a Oracle his eyes clouding, and a eternal wound left on his leg that looks like a clawed hand trying to hold on cursing him with a limp.

    Jaken says it is the hand of Iuz, though who can say about such things. All they can say is that Jaken has been accepted into the loving arms of the gods of nature, and he believes that Ehlonna in this sacred place has saved his soul. The Knights after thanking Tellsondra leave reluctantly from the Nymphs glade though not before she gives to Arshae a lock of her hair so impressed was she by the young girl.

    [Aside: In Pathfinder a nymph can act like a muse of sorts for a Bard, giving her bonuses so long as the nymph continues the bond.]

    Setting out it takes them a few days to finally make their way to the Timeless Tree, when they do the Knights are glad to finally be out of the territory of the goblins of the Vesve.

    Flocktime - 591 CY: The Timeless Tree
    The PC's enter into the territory of the Grey Elves of the Vesve, and while there are no border markers or any real sign of the passage into one border from another they can feel it. There is a change to the air, a peace here that the parts of the forest north of here could never know. They were about 30 minutes into the forest when a Grey Elven Patrol found them lead by Lord Vaethorion, one of the most skilled Grey Elven warrior in the lands of the Timeless Tree.

    He demands to know what the Knights are doing in his forest, and threatens to kick them out in till the Knights show him the beautiful cloak known only as the Well of Many Worlds. Vaethorion is taken aback by this staring with some wonder at the item, the first of it's kind made by the High Priests daughter hundreds of years ago. Nodding Vaethorion gives them passage, and escort into the lands of the Timeless Tree. He gives them permission to speak with High Priestess Calandryen of Labelas Enoreth, the leader of the shrine and enclave here.

    She proves to be a hard woman to talk with, it is nearly impossible to tell if she is truly finished speaking as long as it takes her to contemplate one thought to the next, but the Knights do well enough that after a long conversation, and the returning of the Well of Many Worlds she does something that has not been done for many years. She allows a small band of Grey Elven warriors to aid the Knights. With many thanks the Knights leave the Timeless Tree, and make their way to Ironstead.

    Flocktime - 591 CY - Ironstead
    When the Knights arrived at Ironstead the small town is abuzz with activity of all sorts. There are mercenaries from Perrenland, Keoland, and elsewhere gathered alongside the Knights of the Hart, and the Knights of the High Forest. There are dwarven soldiers from Highguard, and even a small detachment of Grey Elven archers from Celene. The Knights meet the leader of this expedition, General Bemedior of Chendl.

    He is happy to see them, and puts them to work right away helping to prepare for the battle to come. He also gives them a job well suited to their talents, it seems that the Serpent Mound is built around a ancient High Elf city similar to Flameflower in some respects. The forces of Iuz there (mostly orcs) have set up fortification on the outskirts of the Serpent Mound. There are four of them in fact, and he wants the Knights to travel to one of them.

    As far as his scouts have been able to report along with what divination magic he has access too they are trying to set up some sort of shield like the one that protected Chendl during the worst days of the siege during the Greyhawk Wars.

    [Aside: The shield around Chendl was me misreading something from the Furyondy Gazetteer, and not bothering to check it. So in my version of Greyhawk the Chamber of Four (wizard council of Thrommel) made a shield to protect the city though it was not a permanent effect.]

    They are protecting the Serpents Mound, and if the four sites are disrupted it will be up before the army is mobilized. Thus there are three adventuring bands that were brought along for the ride, he was going to send a detachment of the army there instead but with the Knights here he is going to send them instead. Giving them a scroll of Deadeye Arrow (which lets you light a signal as one of its effects) when they have finished assaulting the complex.

    They also get to meet the other adventuring parties that night, the first is called the Band of the Hand (a mercenary adventuring band), the Circle of Green (worshipers of Obad-Hai that feel very unwelcome in this forest), and the Windlords (worshipers and priests of Velaeri from Verbobonc) who all talk with the Knights. The Hand acts as rivals toward the Knights, and are antagonistic though not enough to cause too much trouble.

    That next day the four adventuring parties set out for the outlying complex's to face whatever threat has been placed there as the army moves out in preparation to assault the Serpents Mound.

    Conclusion: Mostly role-playing was done during this session, all of the random encounters rolled up were non-hostile something of a tradition it seems with this game. The next adventure is a fairly short dungeon, with a long stretch of down time for the Knights before heading off on their next adventure.

    Hope you enjoyed it!


    Last edited by Iressi on Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:45 am  
    Ehlonna's Blessings

    The Nymph's name was Tellsondra. I actually wrote that one down so you're not fooling me, Iressi. *Winks*

    ~*~*~

    Ehlonna's Blessings

    Character Perspective: Arshae, Aasimar Bard.

    Three days since I’d met the unicorns. One day since I’d died. The morning was plain enough. We struck out to the south from Delvenbras, winding our way through the trees with our two remaining Kalistren Drafts. How was it possible that it had only been a few days since our encounter with the Behir and the loss of Ahvrania and Garek’s steeds?

    Jaken walked near me and I smiled at him. From what Celeste and the others had said he cried with them when I fell and his own death came a short time after mine. The latter, of course, is disheartening. I hate to think of him dying. He’s made so much progress in the past few days… From the ways of the Old One to a reliable ally for us. I wonder though how it’s so easy for me to trust him when I trust so few… Perhaps because of how we encountered him.

    I count my lucky stars that Ahvra, Garek, and Celeste made it through the rest of the Goblinoids without us.

    Morning slowly slips to midday, the heat and moisture in the air made worse by the fairly hard rain falling from the skies. Somewhere in our travels we must have gotten turned around because we saw the same tree with its lightning-scar three times. Progress was slow.

    Lunch was comprised of rations eaten under the shelter of our hoods. The rain soaked through them of course, leaving our skin feeling like it was coated in warm sweat. I felt worst for Ahvrania, Garek, and Jaken as the rain found the cracks in their full plate. At least we had a spare cloak to offer Jaken when Ahvra took the Cloak of the Manta Ray for herself.

    Noontime crept by, and in the afternoon we stumbled quite suddenly into reprieve… A glade as beautiful as any ever dreamed, and the sky above as clear as the driest of summer days. It caught me by surprise and I cast a look around just in time to hear her giggle, like music on the wind.

    My eyes lighted on an elf more stunning and beautiful than any I had ever seen. She sat on the edge of a pond, legs splashing in the water. Her dress was wet and clung to her form as I heard Celeste murmur, “She’s a nymph.”

    “Quite correct you are,” the nymph responded, a smile on her lips.

    We were all silent for a time, shocked at this respite after the trials we’d known in Delvenbras. The world felt safe to me in a way completely different than I’d ever known. It was Celeste who eventually spoke again.

    “May we shelter in this glade?” our noble companion asked in a soft voice.

    “Of course you may,” the nymph responded, rising and approaching gracefully. “My name is Tellsondra,” she said.

    “A pleasure to meet you, Tellsondra. I am Celeste Kalinstren,” Celeste only paused a moment in her introduction, for she’d taken to introducing us as she did herself, but the nymph interjected.

    “And you are Arshea,” Tellsondra said.

    She was looking straight at me with those dazzling eyes and I found my mind racing. Was Ehlonna’s hand in this? Of course. “I-I am. How d-did you know?” My words were broken as they often were, my nerves shaken a little by her attention.

    “The family of unicorns spoke to me of you when they passed through here,” Tellsondra said.

    I swallowed awkwardly. “Th-they did? D-did they f-find their d-daughter?” I’d worried for them so after meeting them.

    “They did,” Tellsondra said.

    “S-so she’s a-alright?”

    The nymph nodded before reaching a hand out and touching my cheek, “You have done so much for Ehlonna in so short a time, Arshea.”

    “I-I have?” My brows were knit in confusion as I regarded her, for all I’d done was stand beside my comrades as we sought the Well of Many Worlds in the depths of Delvenbras.

    Tellsondra giggled, letting her hand fall to her side again. She addressed us all then saying, “Please, all of you, take what rest you would in my care. I will keep you safe.”
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    Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:16 am  

    You two have been busy.

    Your writing styles differ but, complement each other well. Image not too long ago you and Iressi joined us all here. Glad to have you two on board.

    Later

    Argon
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    Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:19 pm  

    It has been a while since I've seen an Iressi or Crystaltear post.

    I look forward to more of your stories soon.

    Later

    Argon
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    Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:06 pm  
    Into The Serpent's Temple

    Details are fuzzy at this point. (Shame in us for our lapse in posting these.) I promise to pry as much detail as I can from my fuzzy mind, but for the most part I'll just be avoiding detail for now. I hope you still enjoy the read. This was.. an interesting adventure for the party.

    ~*~*~

    Into The Serpent's Temple

    Character Perspective: Celeste, Seuloise Wizard.

    We approached the outlying temple cautiously. Arshea led, Ahvrania and Garek were close behind, and I lagged at the back. This was relatively normal for us by this point. Jaken was moving beside Arshea. Protective. Cute. It made me chuckle mentally, though I didn't laugh aloud.

    The temple looked abandoned on the surface, but Arshea took a closer look. She found a secret entry, of course, and we found ourselves facing a rope ladder leading down into an underground complex. Ahvrania led. We shuffled down the ladder and Arshea cut it free, trapping us and anything inside that didn't know some other way out in the complex. I wasn't entirely sure I agreed with that course of actions, but with a vast array of scrolls, a rope of climbing, and our various prepared spells I suppose it wasn't too rash.

    Arshea found another secret door in the entry chamber, but we left it for now. You never knew what lurked behind hidden doorways. Instead we opted to go west through a hallway. Our Aasimar scouted nervously, but she didn't find anything in the hall itself. She did warn us that there was talking coming from behind the door at the end to the west and the sound of eating from the chamber directly beside it to the north.

    Ahvra nodded, taking lead, and burst open the western door. Meanwhile Jaken set himself at the door to the north. We were faced with one of the most horrible things we've yet encountered in the western chamber. Women, nine women... All of them pregnant. They called out to someone for protection and then fired magic missiles, all of them, at Ahvrania. The elf hissed in pain as she moved into the chamber. "Do not kill them," she called to us as she attempted to strike one with the flat of her blade as far from the stomach as she could get. Her caution made her miss.

    I shifted into the chamber then, my stomach turning. I didn't want to harm the women either, or at least their unborn children. What a thing to find in a shrine we knew was working with Iuz... And why? After some hesitance I cast a Fireball into the room, modified to be Merciful. Blue swirling arcane energy burst from the central point of the spell outward, striking all but two of the women in the chamber and knocking them unconscious. 'By the Gods of Good I hope their children are unharmed.' My stomach was thoroughly unsettled, for even a bad fall can steal an unborn child's life away. It was quite possible my Merciful Fireball had done the same.

    Garek moved forward and bludgeoned another carefully. His attack did land and only one of the women was left standing.

    The door to the northern chamber off the hall opened then and Jaken let out an alarmed cry. "What's this?" A chilling voice spoke. "You are taking my food? That's alright, you will make fine meals.. And fine mothers."

    The voice belonged to a demon. I couldn't hear Arshea when she said it's name, but I did catch her words as she stammered, "Th-they gain power as th-they... th-they e-eat innocents. Th-that's what the b-babies are f-for."

    "Quite right," the creature responded as it attacked Jaken. I heard him cry in pain.

    "My staff," Jaken said, "It won't hurt him."

    Ahvrania turned from the chamber of the pregnant women and entered the hall again. "Move," she said to Jaken, who readily obliged. Ahvrania swung her axe at the fiend with a furious cry, "Tel Seldarine grant me the power to overcome you, Demon!" ((And here she used Smite Evil. Iressi and I often joked that the Tel Seldarine wouldn't get their strange little worshiper who traveled the land upholding LAW and good. The good they understood, but order? What madness was this? It amused me.))

    The demon let out a hiss of pain and I turned toward the hall as well. I saw Arshea try to trip the foul creature, but her whip didn't make contact because of the strange angle the door forced her to attack from. Garek was going after the last pregnant woman. I knew why. We couldn't let her go for help. I shuddered to think Arshea was right about their babies as my eyes fell on the hideous fiend. What sort of person could offer their own child up to feed a demon? I could have put a pit in the small room before us, but it didn't seem wise. The demon had wings, so it would only really be good for the first few seconds of falling and the crushing property... And then it would become a hindrance to Ahvrania and Jaken if they wished to enter the chamber. Instead I pelted the creature with an Acid Arrow. Let him feel that sting for a while.

    The demon fell back in the chamber and cackled at us as it attempted to summon aid, "Let's even the odds, shall we?" It asked in its twisted voice.

    Another demon of the same type appeared. The battle was becoming more complicated. I heard Garek cry out in the room to the west after a small bout of fire. He didn't sound seriously injured... Comparatively speaking. I was turning toward the chamber Garek was in when I heard Arshea say, "You're a demon, you should have no trouble betraying your kind... Kill him!"

    There was not even the tiniest stutter in her voice. It radiated anger, aggression. Nothing like the Arshea I'd come to know. "Ha! You think-" the demon started, but then gave a started cry, "What are you doing? Don't listen to her!"

    My brows knit together as I stopped and looked back. Arshea was controlling the extra demon as if she herself had been the summoner. That was a trick I'd never seen her use before. Ahvrania grinned and entered the chamber with the two demons, Jaken close on her heels. I looked through the western door and could just make out the last woman's arm. I cast a Merciful Magic Missile at her even as my stomach sank a little more. It struck true and she let out a brief cry before falling unconscious.

    Garek rounded the corner into the hall looking a bit singed. "Ruddy human cast Burning Hands on me."

    I couldn't help laughing, though the sound was hollow, "And I guess you weren't quick enough to dodge her?"

    "Do I look quick to yeh, Celeste?" Garek asked.

    "Of course not. Arshea's got control of a demon in there. That's where Ahvrania is too," I said.

    Garek nodded as he walked to the door. The sounds of combat filtered into the hallway, but I couldn't really see the battle. That was fine. My spells were mostly useless against a fiend like the one in the chamber. As I stood there in the hall I prepared to cast a pit spell if we attracted unwanted attention. It wasn't long before the battle was ended and Arshea instructed the fiend she still held sway over to heal someone. More combat, though this was not resisted. No blades clashed, rather they sank into the outsider's flesh with wet sounds.

    ~*~*~

    The muse is not with me terribly much today, and no wonder when it's been three weeks since we really played any D&D. I thought I'd go ahead and at least write up the first encounter though. Perhaps Iressi will share more with you.
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    Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:14 pm  

    Where have Iressi and Crystal tears gone?

    I miss your updates on this campaign. Hope all is well!

    Later

    Argon
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    Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:27 pm  

    Argon wrote:
    Where have Iressi and Crystal tears gone?

    I miss your updates on this campaign. Hope all is well!

    Second Argon's statements and support.
    DLG
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    Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:10 am  

    Eep. We've just been busy. We're picking the campaign back up again this Friday, so with any luck Iressi will be up for writing some more journal entries on it. :) I know I'll be planning to.

    Glad we've been missed, and on the same token sorry for disappearing. Life just gets that way sometimes, ya know?
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    Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:40 am  

    No maps for the next few updates sad to say. Lost most of them recently when we moved the room all around. This is likely going to be a short one I afraid, just trying to get back into the habit of writing them.

    Flocktime - 591 CY
    The Knights make their way toward the ancient elven temple where part of the ritual to create a shield was being prepared. It was a ancient building dedicated to one of the stranger of the elven gods Darahl Firecloak. Darahl was corrupted for a time by a powerful artifact created by Lolth and the Queen of Air and Darkness (goddess of the Unseelie fey) the temple itself was a rather small affair when they realized that there was a hidden underground entrance. This lead to the 'true' temple of Darahl Firecloak. The Knights prepared themselves Celeste casting light and made their way down.

    They encountered no resistance at first, though as they traveled north through the temple complex they came across a terrible site. They discover a horrific Nabasu that has been feasting upon slaves that he has kept in the remains of the temple. The Nabasu who is named Barbel is defeated after a long combat at the hands of the Knights. They travel north through the complex and discover a room filled with beautiful young woman all of them having been gifted with the power of sorcery from the Nabasu.

    [Aside: That combat was fun. They were all level one to two sorcerers which in general wouldn't be a big thread to the PC's. However you get enough Burning Hands and the damage starts to stack up pretty quickly]

    They travel through the complex fighting horrific demons that have been called here by someone known as the 'Bog Lord' who is preparing a magical device known as the Throne of Iuz in the Serpents Mound. This device would be able to spread the defilement of the glade throughout the Vesve forest, and soon enough even beyond that. They also discover the remains of a magical forge though decide that it is not worth the time to mess with at the moment.

    They eventually face the demonic worshipers and cultists inside of the temple itself which has been rededicated to none other than Iuz himself. They face hordes of Dretchs, Quasits, and the head of the 'guard' a powerful toad-faced Hezrou named Malfraxis. Though even the Hezrou is not the true master of this cult, it is a Alu-Demon named Trironda who is the wizard that was preparing the ritual.

    They face her along with more demons in combat before finally slaying the terrible creature. In the end they spent less than four hours in the ancient temple, but it was almost as deadly as their time in Delvenbrass. They travel back out of the temple to cast Deadeye Arrow, and move back to the retreat point that the General had told them about.

    They wait and eventually join the army to strike on the Serpents Mound which has built as what defenses they could build in the short time after the failure of the shield. Eventually they make their way down the strange serpent shaped temple to the 'belly' of the beast. They meet Lord Bog, a terrible awakened frog of gigantic proportions. It tries to stall for time as it uses its corrupted druidic magic to finish the throne, but it's orc guards fail to stop the host that had been gathered there.

    Lord Bog was slain by the Knight-Commander of the Knights of the High Forest, and with that the threat of the Defiled Glade was over at least for now. The victorious heroes return back to Ironstead, and eventually back to Chendl itself for some well earned rest.

    Conclusion: Sorry it has been so long life got really crazy there for a time. Should be posting these more often now once the game gets back up and running. The Knights rest for a time before moving on to their next adventure which was a modified version of the Lord of the Scarlet Tide in Dragon 85.
    Paladin

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    Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:47 am  

    Iressi / crystaltears

    I think I speak for all.... glad all is well and we enjoy your posts.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:18 pm  

    Glad to have you two back. Yes life happens was looking for some campaign information to read. Canon Hazen needs to get busy and get rid of all those demons.

    Later

    Argon
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    Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:40 pm  

    Yep, welcome back. Hope all is well. The Canonfire! community is better now that you two have returned to us. Smile

    SirXaris
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    Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:55 am  

    Time flies when your life is in upheaval eh?

    Sorry we vanished again. We never got to pick up that campaign again, and I'm afraid it's so far gone now I don't think we ever will. A real pity, that, since the characters were so strong.

    I still end up skipping by here from time to time to take a read and see what's going on, but not as often as I should, and this is the first time I've signed on in months. I guess I just wanted to say, thanks again for all the support on the campaign journal while it was ongoing. I hope we were able to bring some real enjoyment to those folks who read it.

    We also wish you all the best, and hope Canonfire keeps going strong. Maybe someday when our lives settle down we'll come back around for a while. In the meantime take care and best wishes to you all. :)
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    Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:51 am  

    Sorry to hear that "Life" is interfering is such a major way. I speak for all here when I say that we all wish you the best and hope that things return to normal for you soon.

    Your contributions were much appreciated and enjoyed by all and we look forward to the time when you can get back to it.

    Stay well, Crystaltears and be sure to "drop by" from time to time. Happy
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    Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:04 pm  

    Indeed, while we won't be continuing this campaign I am sure we will get back to Greyhawk sooner rather than later.

    We are planning on running a underwater campaign using the Cerulean Seas book Aeolius put out (at least I think Aeolius put that book out) not the setting mind you but the rules inside of it.

    It's a great book either way, well worth the price.

    Anyway's it was a fun ride and we will be back sometime I am sure. :)
    GreySage

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    Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:22 pm  

    Iressi wrote:
    Indeed, while we won't be continuing this campaign I am sure we will get back to Greyhawk sooner rather than later.

    We are planning on running a underwater campaign using the Cerulean Seas book Aeolius put out (at least I think Aeolius put that book out) not the setting mind you but the rules inside of it.

    It's a great book either way, well worth the price.

    Anyway's it was a fun ride and we will be back sometime I am sure. :)


    I've got the perfect deadly adventure for you, then, just as soon as the Canonfire Chronicle gets published. Wink

    Glad to hear from you two again.

    SirXaris
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    Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:11 pm  

    Iressi, Crystaltears,

    Good to see you both back on the boards. Hope to see some more discussions from you two in the future.

    Later

    Argon
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