Thursday, August 27, 2015

08/26/15 Virtues Session 15: The Cult of Orcus

The Inquisitor
You there stop what you are doing in the name of the Duke.” The command came from a tall individual, wise in years with no sarcasm; he was a man of results which is why he brought two score along with him. While the heroes where dispensing with the cultists the sun had set on Bouvaldia.

Oh shit.” Syrendross said below his voice trying to hide his face from the lantern light several of the mounted men had mounted on poles.

What is all this then?” Dolgrin said with a snort weary and bloody from battle.

Ah Hillshade, where you can always find an officer of the law when you need one,” Dramen said in response to Syrendross’ lament, looking guiltily at the three dead orcs and one human but mostly at the sets of armor.

Rydin stepped up at this time next to the paladin in an attempt to salvage this dour first impression. “Men of the Duke, I know how this must look to you good…” tapering his speech.

Zaid Aclair, Inquisitor for the Duke and I am placing you all under arrest.” The Inquisitor announced. “Captain seize them.”

Without a word, the Captain looked to his Lieutenant who selected a dozen guards.

Now wait a damn minute,” Kyras started to protest as guards began to dismount following the orders of the Inquisitor.

Kyras do not,” Syrendross said taking the druid by the sleeve of his earthen brown robe.

There. You see, Captain they can be reasonable.” Zaid said with a sly grin drawing out his weapon. “Or perhaps you would respond to an alternative form of persuasion.” 

Abriana Arcool
Our session begins midday with our arrival back to Hillshade with another prisoner, this one an escaped fugitive, a most dangerous master summoner. Zhor Iendothe, the gnome River Baron, parlays entry into Castle Keirken, but we are rebuffed by the beautiful and regal wife of the Bailiff, a half-elf Abriana Arcool. She is clean and precious. She regrets that her husband cannot meet in person but us busy with security. 

Syrendross asks for a place to recover from our long night of tracking criminals, however due to the pending wedding between Count Keirken and Ardinia Delaway any available space is spoken for. She does however indicate an area of ruins, and with a little work, may uncover a suitable resting place (or grave if one was of a conspiratorial mind).

During this distraction, as the Baron receded into the castle courtyard with Okala, some of our company notice several individuals busy in the courtyard some of who are not of the Count’s men. A large metal palace-wagon, secret service, or perhaps a siege weapon was parked in the yard bearing proud symbols of the Duke of Bouvaldia. The Duke was expected at the wedding!

Before our leave Dramen emphasizes the danger of the new prisoner, to which Abriana reassures us by explaining in detail how severely Okala will be punished for any transgressions- to Okala's face, with a smile. At this instance Dolgrin senses a bit of evil in the woman. However, she comments, that the Inquisitor has arrived and will deal with the summoner. We are owed a debt and will meet with Zhor in the morning at Gretcho’s: Hillshade’s bakery and restaurant. 

A short time later Rydin and Denosia set out looking for the afore mentioned ruins. Seeing individuals along the way our company of virtuous justice seekers find the ruins are actually three separate ruins from three separate eras of history- each build or expanded upon the next and upon fertile ground. (one a temple of Orcus?)

After some clever tracking we see that the main two story structure that dominates the area has been in use; and some searching a trap door that leads to a well-used ladder, and a worked tunnel to a cavernous underground river/lake. Along the way we find caskets sealed along the passage bearing symbols, some with drow iconography that indicates underdark associations.

After a few minutes along the underdark strand Syrendross hears a turbulent splashing sound from around a large stone mound. As this occurs Dolgrin and Lapis find within a hollowed out waxy column a sanctuary dedicated to Orcus that was worthy of destruction.

Dramen cloaks Syrendross invisible and then casts fly allowing the drow to investigate the noise. Around the bend Syrendross finds another deep earth shoreline as well as a dozen sinister individuals disembarking; a few orcs, an unidentified Hillshade man and a woman bearing Orcus symbology, as well as other that were being shown how to operate a unknown metal device.

Syrendross reports his findings and it was decided to lie in wait for the cultists. After a half hour of waiting to ambush the cultists, Syrendross sees the first of them pausing to dawn armor- armor later identified as belonging to the Duke’s house guards. Combat ensues.

When the smoke clears we defeated four out of the five, with one (DFO half-orc) escaping with a potion of gaseous form. After taking inventory (distributed/or destroyed) we begin the arduous task of bringing the bodies and the incriminating Duke’s armor and weapons back to the ruined structure. When we arrive we find ourselves surrounded by forty to fifty guards and are introduced to Zaid Aclair the Duke’s Inquisitor as we are taken into custody. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

THORASS (Auld Common)

Thorass, or Old Common, was an old human language, the direct ancestor of the modern trade tongue. It was a pidgin variant of Chondathan that western Faerunian traders developed to communicate with their counterparts in other lands.

There is a great deal of evidence that Thorass is derived in part form older incarnations of Jotun, the language of giants, along with other unknown influences.

An unknown scribe eventually developed a written alphabet for Thorass. Thorass is considered a dead language, but the alphabet survives, and is still in use today. Thorass has a base 10 numbering system. 

08/19/15 Virtues Session 14: Lapis Uidisset

Lapis Uidisset
Kyras watched the Stone Lord Paladin in quiet fascination. The druid found a calmness at the slow
emergence of the Uidisset earth elemental. The creature responded to Dolgrin’s call like a hesitant but obedient dog, it had a deep expression in its face and gemstones for what Kyras guessed as its eyes.

One by one the companions woke, still a little fatigued from the battle with the carrion claws, to see the amazing elemental bond with its new master.

I remember you,” Dolgrin said between sobs, the emotion of returned memories had overtaken the battle hardened dwarf. “But when I last saw you Lapis you were but a pebble. Bha hahaha!

This is so sweet.” Dramen whispered to Syrendross who promptly kicked the red haired wizard's foot.

Dolgrin, please introduce us!” Rydin sincerely asked the now composed dwarf.

This old friend? May I introduce to you my friends Lapis Uidisset my faithful companion. His clan and my family have a long magical history.” Dolgrin said beaming with love and pride.

7 pm We begin our session leaving with the gnome Zhor Iendothe, the newly appointed River Baron, to hunt down the fugitives from the Fugitive. Dramen was the first to arrive to the stables to overhear Zhor “… haven’t been paid… please calm the nerves of the people… (a name) not to hit on local talent (a different name) no gambling… do you have your gear plus what we discussed? Yes. Keirkin and the Crown.”

As we travel into the night we learn Zhor has an interest in animal husbandry of horses and assures us we are traveling on the best. He shows us a map in case we get separated, there are two locations as we travel west toward the sea.

After an hour we enter a volcano torn landscape when we encounter two carrion claws. They come at us with claws and paralyzing attacks but we are for justice and justice cannot be so easily defeated. In the aftermath Zhor was seen scavenging creature parts for ‘trophy’s’ he says.

We decide to rest in an area of volcanic stones that provide cover and a good vantage point. During Dolgrin’s watch he called to the stone and the stone answered in the form of a companion- Lapis Uidisset. The creature’s clan had a deep history with Balder and therefore comes to Balder’s avatar in response. During the night Dolgrin learns Terran from Lapis.

Okala the twice captured
9am The next morning we are awakened by a giant walking through the blasted volcanic terrain. Fearing the horses may alert the giant to our presence, the druid properly calms the animals. Nice! The giant continues along his westerly meandering course.

9:05 we mount up, cutting across the land allowing us better speed. We soon however came across three of the fugitives we were looking for: Achl, Okala, and the hill giant Oughd. Again the heroes of Virtue prove victorious with the surrendering of Okala the summoner.

We gather valuables: 5,760 xp, +2 corrosive burst greatsword, bracers of armor +3, ring of the sublime, belt of teeth, +1 studded leather, wand of owls wisdom (40x), 6 potions of CMW, 6 potions of CLW, 6 potions of shield of faith +2, 3 potions of barkskin +2, masterwork cold iron machete, a mirror, and thieves tools.

We begin next session at 3pm entering Hillshade with our prisoner. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

08/12/2015 Virtues Session 13: Bad Fellas

“It’s a druid’s grove or my right hand to be sure, argh!” Achl said to no one in particular while taking another bite from an apple.

The three pirate scoundrels and one hill giant had traveled through the night to come upon this placid lake. Moon reflected on its surface disturbed only by the small leisurely boats floating in the water and beautifully tended lake houses dotted the banks atop sandy lake shores.

But the moon reflection was shattered when the hill giant broke the tree line alerting the midnight boaters.

Druid’s grove huh? Make way, I have a way to despoil these waters.” Challenged Roul. Okala and Achl simply stood aside as the large ferration strode forward unlimbering himself as he approached the lake shore.

Hey you out there! AHHH!” Roul said addressing no one in particular laughing all the while. But pirate sorcerer’s screams were cut short when an immense dire crocodile emerged from the lake, grabbed Roul, and death-rolled back into the waters.

Druid grove,” the hill giant said flatly.

Yes, well… me must be off.” Okala said to his remaining companions hoping to himself that he will get out of this alive.

We played this session as four survivors of The Fugitive. It began when Okala (Russ) was contacted by a contact from The Barge. Over time the summoner Okala was able to amass the components needed to summon creatures to enable his escape and eventually on the Barge which is where we begin.

The Fugitive survivors, eleven plus Gaspon Peralia, have been assembled by the Bargemaster, a half-dragon of unknown origin, to break up into teams to create mischief at key locations in order to draw out the heroes that interrupted their vile trade of component trafficking. Aside from the general mayhem we are to bring back any rare metal we happen to recover.

Our mission was to sail a broken vessel north, land and march five miles inland where we are told lies a Dwarven Temple. This temple contains an Elemental Font that flows with water however we are told these are volcano dwarves.
Okala- Half Elf Male Master Summoner
(Okala is informed of a safe house because it seems the half elf is the only one not expendable in this mission.)

Along the way we encounter lights of distant civilization, a road and thanks to the tall hill giant a Dwarf Tower. We attempted to skirt the Tower, after convincing the giant that we will destroy it AFTER the temple, but we were eventually run down by four flaming dwarves upon summoned wolf-mounts.

The battle was over quickly but the loot savaging was faster. Boots of Speed to the giant, Gloves of night to Achl, a +1 weapon/+2 SA and a wand of fireballs to Okala; and Roul a +1 icy-burst rapier as well as some healing potions. But the magical rapier; many of the curatives; as well as the ferration were swallowed whole by a dire crocodile.

Not to be slowed, the three sinister pirates continued to what we eventually learned is a monastery because after a short amount of travel we find dozens of dwarves standing in formation. Okala put the wand of fireballs to use, but alas six volcano dwarves survived to engage us in battle.

We ended the night victorious for the Bargemaster!