Thursday, December 29, 2016

Kings-Men 5: The Peasants Are Revolting

We begin this week’s session moments after the battle with the goblins, wrogs, and the pair of winter wolves. As Baracus skins the two winter wolves the rest of us prepare to press onward along the King’s Road and Caer Leon.


Later, we come to a low rise where Caer Leon was carved out of; inside the gate were paved walkways, ramps and thoroughfares; a well made if not neglected community in the shadows of what our characters learn later are the severed heads of the missing Baron and his court. Also below this gruesome display were ogre and bugbears herding peasants to their enclosures; however when they say us the monsters took up arms and charged at us. We killed them all, took their stuff and liberated the captives.

We take our rest in the Baron’s manor, after speaking with peasant spokeman who explains that most of the larger group of ogres were taken by the leader to one of the border forts to deal with a dwarf infestation. We help ourselves to the Barons treasure as Hannibal reports in, including Ace with a 100 gp gold chain.

Major Garrett amends our mission, now that a goal has been achieved- finding out the fate of the Baron- and wants us to take the fight to the enemy (and help the dwarves) and to visit the other border forts as well. No one here as seen Sir Charles of Baconridge or Glynnis in Caer Leon. We leave directly after eight hours of rest to leave under the cover of darkness.

The King’s Road veers north east, we continue north west to the border fort following a map. Along the road we see recent wagon wheel tracks along the way. We take a short six hour rest and continue. The next day, around a bend in the road, we come to what we believe to be the border fort under siege with the dwarves defending themselves against the ogres and bug bears.

We are awarded 4,000 ex and gain sixth level, we begin next week with the battle for the north east border fort.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Kings-Men 4: Ya'll Fools Need To Go South

We begin the this week’s session moments after the battle with the half-elves in Canton. Ace and Egol gather the dead, bind the unconscious and pile valuables together; Raghnall maintains his disguise and performs reconnaissance; while the rest of our characters announce to the Conton villagers that we are just peaceful travelers.


Hannibal finds a villager and learns these humble folk are just as surprised to see travelers as our characters are to find people in a town that is supposed to be deserted. These people are just trying to survive and they don’t hold the half-elves in contempt; in fact they state Stiorra insured many of them it was safe here while they work the silver mine.

Our characters go to meet this woman and were met with hostility but our characters did not kill them. Instead took them prisoner, took their stuff, and reported them to Major Garrett who would send the Baron’s Housecarl to escort her, her roguish male companion and the people of Canton back to Colechester. Before that our characters learn that Stiorra was taking advantage of an opportunity and that it was not personal against the king. As far as striking out against our characters: simply stated our characters looked like a threat. Later, Hannibal addresses the truth of the matter before an uneventful night.
 
The next morning Ace and Raghnall go hunting and bag their limit, but also find perimeter tracks around Canton about five days old. Around mid afternoon we hear the approach of the Baron’s Housecarl, a total of ten riders lead by Third. Our palaver is brief, and after learning they will bring everyone back to Colechester, our characters decide to leave for points north shortly thereafter. But not before Ace absconds with a box of wine. 

About an hour before nightfall our characters cross the border into Axeminster and to a largely unused road; a couple of hours after that our characters find a dilapidated enclosure suitable for camp. Overnight, during Hannibal’s watch, our characters are attacked by goblins who bore medallions bearing the image of a dragon or lizard.

The next morning our characters expect to reach Caer Leon, however worgs with goblin riders wielding chopper swords and winter worgs would have something to say about it. When the smoke clears our characters realize these also have dragon medallions and they were led by the sinister and intelligent winter worgs. We are awarded 2,300 xp

<<Our ten-hour theme>>

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Kings-Men 3: A Coons Age

We begin the morning after our battle with one-eye Caitlin and her half-elf brutes. Our characters make some minor repairs to the farmstead as we intend to leave behind the livestock and recovered farmstead wares. Our characters bury the dead farmer family. Ace, however succeeds in pilfering a copper pot.

The road to Glendalough was a narrow affair compaired to the King’s Road; nevertheless our characters happen across another farmstead whereby our characters inform them of the death of One-eye and the free livestock just up the road.
 
Glendalough
Pushing on through the hills our characters finally reaching Glendalough in the mid-evening. Glendalough proves to be a welcoming community of less than a hundred buildings with the monastery to Ohgma the major landmark. As per our usual custom our characters look for and find an inn: Bridget’s Fire. The inn had an attached corral outside; inside, there was a warm fire, a trio performing the greats, and a comely woman who was more than happy to accept our character’s coins for two double rooms.

Inside our characters take in the night life, Hannibal overheard half a conversation on the merits against ‘the old way’- an argument that may never be resolved; nevertheless the festivities continue throughout the night.

Early the next morning our characters seek out who the authority figure is to inform them of the farmstead up the road and the death of One-eye and her bandits. Our characters travel to the monastery where we find people working fields and ploying their craft; it is here our characters meet Brother Cromarty who takes our statement and refers us to either the Scriptorium or the library for Father Benetto.

Our character’s first stop was the scriptorium where people worked their fingers to the bone for Oghma; here too was an old map worked into the floor. The map was without Coalchester, but had Caer Leon, a large forest north of Glendalough, the King’s Road past Viklow and beyond to what is now elven lands.

Without Father Benetto, our characters make our way to the library and a private study room where Father Benetto eventually meets us. The old father, loyal to the king, was a stooped man with a penchant for odd socks and a fire in his heart for what he believes. Hannibal reveals ourselves as Kings-men and our search for Sir Charles of Baconridge.

“Baconridge is going for the Book of Life” The book of what? Father Benetto informs the uneducated that the Book of Life is a tome of healing rituals, curative methods and, Sir Charles believes, what maybe the cure for The Plague. It is a golden book and the opposed Book of Death, which is how Father Benetto believes The Plague started. Furthermore Father Benetto believes the treasure still lies in Vicklow, in a secret vault that was never unsealed when texts say treasures were moved during the war. Father Benetto even produced very old blueprints to prove his hypothesis.

He maintains Sir Charles was after the Book of Life and that he, Father Benetto, and Sir Charles with Glynnis in tow, returned to Glendalough for the proof which he was now providing our characters. A crystal revealed a secret room on the blueprints of Viklow that Raghnall saw as worth of taking by the course of the meeting.

We agree that his idea has merit and he asks us to go, but our duties must take precedent. When our characters depart we donate a 2gp brass arm band and purchase new socks for the odd father.

Hannibal later reports in to Major Garrett while some of us sell of loot gathered off one-eye’d Caitlyn and prepare to journey back to Coalchester, the King’s Road and beyond; Hannibal also recommends the One-eye cat as a safe house. Hannibal tells Major Garrett that regardless if the Book of Life is true, Sir Baconridge believed it was, and that may change our mission course. Nevertheless our characters will continue to travel north.

The next morning on the road we pass a traveling pelt salesman who has worg pelts he says came from a man named Riker. The pelts came at a stiff price, but Baracus encouraged us not to buy the flea ridden skins. Our characters press on to Coalchester were we did not have a problem obtaining access, even in the night.

Awoken early at the One-eyed Cat we are taken before Baron McClane who wishes to see is immediately about our travel to Glendalough and our intensions on going north. He begins by asking ‘are we going for the book?’ revealing that he has spies everywhere. Our curt response is that our charter is not to seek the treasure. He emphasizes that our actions will have geopolitical ramifications and Baron McClane wants to make certain our interests ally with his; the Baron does not seem to condone interference with the current status quo. He believes he knows what our mission is, this reveals again the Baron’s distaste for the King. We are shown the door, our horses and then the gate as we are escorted out of Coalchester.

Along the King’s Road, four hours later, near the border to Axebridge we come to Canton and the adjacent silver mine. By all accounts Canton should be abandoned, but evidence disproves this. Smoke rose from buildings, and sounds of a community could be heard. Raghnall sneaks in as the rest of the group attract the attention of a human guard. Meanwhile inside the walled Canton, Raghnall spots half elves and the rest of the night was combat with the half-elf shield wall.


We begin next session after the battle in Canton. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Kings-Men 2: Longsleeper

We begin with our characters rainy approach Castle Colechester where we hope to speak with Baron McClane and his son John Jr. However our character’s late arrival is greeted with a closed door and a referral to a nearby longhouse for shelter.

Ace and Egol find clever shelter for the horses as Face mingles with the others huddled in the longhouse. This, along with Hannibal’s report to Major Garret, reveals some new names who had been in contact with Sir Charles of Baconridge and Glynnis- the two previous Kings-men.

·         Malcolm Donovan, the head of the Baron’s housecarl who commands about twenty swordsmen.
·         Delavan Scott, the court wizard who is never without several aids at his service.
·         Third, one of the Baron’s inner circle; nevertheless, people react superstitiously around her.
·         Brother Martin, a well liked baker who seems to lack the heart behind being the primary cleric of Colechester. He was Opal’s replacement from Glendalough; Opal died a year ago weeks after midwinter.
·         Dubricus D’Ambreville, a spellcaster who has been living here since midsummer (just before Charlie and Glynnis arrived).
·         The Baron McClane

Our characters post a watch, but the grey and rainy night passes uneventful.

The next morning our characters walk our horses to the open doors of Castle Colechester and directly to the stables where two youngins take to our horses immediately. After this, our characters turn to take in the nice community inside the castle walls; a market square, a chapel, and shops that cater to the traveler or the homesteader. Further in was the Main Keep; however its doors stood closed.

Our characters eventually meet up with Devereaux the Castellan who, after seeing our Pegasus Seal, tells us the Baron is unavailable, it was his twenty-fifth wedding anniversary the night before. Our characters call upon the formal hospitality of the Baron as Kings-men and are soon allowed to eat and clean up. When asked about the Baron’s son, we find out John Jr. is not very well liked.

By midday our characters were in the court of the Baron. All the afore mentioned personages were here along with a vexing dwarf named Rory Brightmail. Hannibal states our official business for passing through Axebridge: investigating the disappearance of the Baron of Axeminster and the two kings-men Charlie and Glynnis. (which actually makes us the B-team)

McClane responds indifferently but is polite while he and Rory express the knowledge that nothing comes back from the north (save John Jr.), and that the elves of the north eventually drive everything south from their lands. But as far as Charlie and Glynnis, they spoke to Baron McClane mainly of the mission at hand- their search for the Baron of Axeminster.

Our characters are lead, by guard, to John McClane Jr. in a nearby barracks to hear his account of his trip north. He and Avrim gathered twenty of the best men and about fifty more free-militia and ventured north. As he speaks he gets noticeably nervous, prompting some proactive spellcasting from Hannibal and Egol. John’s tale leads to a recounting of an extended valley and the discovery of Caer Leon, the ancestral home of the McClane’s given to the Darcy’s.

They camped and in the morning everything was on fire. John Jr.’s recount became confused as he spoke of giants, something in the sky, and wolves that walked on two legs. “Avrim said to run, so I ran.” He lost track of time and was sure he was dead, but not alone. This went on until he found himself looking at Castle Colechester.

Satisfied for now, our characters break to reequip with the quartermaster for tomorrow’s departure, find masterwork tools for Face, and find the friendly local watering hole the One-eyed Cat where our character’s find Brother Martin and his apple turnovers and Third enjoying some alone time.

Third, answering some questions from Egol, is with the Sisterhood of St. Maruda and she came here answering a dream that told her to travel until she felt she should travel no further. Brother Martin on the other hand, explained that is was all he could do to keep Glynnis advancements off while Old Charlie visited a man named Father Benetto. Benetto, sent from Glendalough to replace Opal, he had some fresh ideas about The Plague, but soon the two and without preamble took Father Benetto back to Glendalough where he presumably still is. Charlie and Glynnis returned a short time later to continue to Axeminster. Brother Martin does not think Baron McClane was fond of Father Benetto.

After, when the castle was asleep, Ace and Face investigate Colechester with no events. The next morning we leave on the King’s Road, however we don’t head north. Instead we cut across the land and make our direction toward Glendalough to inquire about this new lead in Father Benetto.

About midday we first see evidence of a fire then discover a partially burned farmstead still smoldering with ma and pa Farmer along with their younglings killed in cold blood; their entire farm including livestock looted.

Baracus picks up a trail and we begin to follow it Nnorth east to these murderers which turned out to be old witch one-eye Caitlin and her three half-elf brutes. We kill them to death, gathering what valuables we could find before leaving them to the crows and our eventual return to the farmstead at night fall where our characters work to lay these people to rest.

We are awarded 750 xp and find a Silver Arm Band 10g, Brass Arm Band 2g, Amber Necklace 20g, Silver Earrings 10g, Bronze Torc 10g, and a master work boarspear and a master work suit of studded leather.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kings-Men 1: The Half-Orc Way

The Kingdom has known war for the past forty years against the goblins and other monstrous races, but no warfare like as in the past five years. This was when our characters were drafted into a special unit whereby our characters were successful in thwarting a plot against a Duke who was running the war efforts. Our characters uncovered a plot by a Baron aided by other worldly beings of mythic origins and thus King Baldwin the II awarded our characters Kings-men status. However not enough evidence was produced to bring to justice the Barons accomplices so we were reassigned to a distant location.

In the Kingdom is common knowledge that Halflings are mostly second ‘servant’ class citizens; elves are commonly viewed as an enemy race, a race of thieves; the industrious dwarves are viewed with respect, many are mercenaries; finally the half-orcs, while a new thing, are welcomed for their size and strength.

Our team of A-listers: Hannibal, the capable spokesmen yet skeptic and charismatic one of the group. Baracus and Egol, half-orcs who think they run the show. Raghnall ‘Face’ a master of disguise who can blend into any crowd; and finally Ace, our quiet and deadly Zen Archer.
 
Our character’s first assignment is to report to the Duchy of Gallia King’s office in Hedeby, the capital city. After traveling over sea we find a land wrought by The Plague in the past year, no one knows yet how it is spread but it is not transferred by ingestion. There is only a 30% survivability chance and those who the black boils and death in their sleep, never fully recover. When our characters arrive at Hedeby we see efforts are being made to quarantine areas and the burning of bodies to stem the spread of The Plague. Our characters observe many new soldiers (enlisted during the surge of fighting) in the ranks of the city watch with only 20% having seen battle.

Before our characters arrive at the Crossed Halberds, Raghnall arranges a room at The Three Star under the name of Mr Lee Chang, as a contingency plan. After this we arrive at the Crossed Halberds and are greeted by Halflings and are allowed clean up after the ocean voyage before our last leg to the King’s office first thing in the morning. After dinner and baths our characters are given stately rooms and are advised to rest by Handfast, our host. We seem to be the only guests, however Ace thinks it’s best to reach the rooftop and get the lay of the land. With watches stationed, nothing occurs overnight.

As the city wakes, so too does a stage coach to take our characters to the King’s Office leaving no time for a large breakfast much to the half-orc’s lament. Inside the coach was a man named Garret, Major Garret who treats us to anecdotes from the front lines. When asked about The Plague, he laid blame on the rats. Under the seal of the Pegasus our characters are led to a conference room where it is explained that the Kingdom has lost the Barony of Axeminster to the far north. After the Baron was a no show during a winter gathering and later a spring meet, it raised alarms that something was not right.

Baron McClane of Axebridge sent his son and scores of troops north to investigate, but only the Baron’s son returned and even he was not right and became unsettled when asked what happened. These two Baronies had mixed relations after they were collectively reduced by the King after the war. The Kin gave the Axeminster Darcy’s McClane assets despite being staunch allies to the crown.

A third Barony, is actually one of two monasteries Glendalough is said to be a vast storehouse of knowledge; while its sister monastery Viklow, to the north, was lost in the war. Viklow was said to have a wealth of magical treasures.

It was just after the spring (it is autumn now) when the McClane son returned. At midsummer two Kings men were sent: ‘old’ Sir Charles of Baconridge and Glynnis the other; it was Old Charlie who believed he was on to something about this mystery.

Our character’s mission is to find Charles of Baconridge and Glynnis; find out what Charles believes he discovered; and complete Charles’ mission of possible. It is a four day journey to Colechester and from there a half day journey to Axeminster.

It takes an hour to leave the city to the King’s Road that proves wide enough for two wagons, sloped and well maintained. At the end of the second day our character’s reach Bishop’s Rest, a small town with a mean looking sheriff. Finding little vacancy, Egol leads us to a temple of Lugh which provides us stabling and shelter. While there we discover the ‘miracle’ and that is the resting place of the former Bishop, 172 years interred in a golden sarcophagus with a crystalline lid, not at all decomposed. Over time various people have made the pilgrimage, some have been healed.

Father Brisbane of Lugh shares stories from people coming from the north and while their stories are horrific, speaking of giants and dragons, they all agree there is no The Plague in the north. Our characters later seek out the sheriff (who owns a magic sword); he proves relieved that we are just passing through and not bandits or here to inquire about the taxes that seem light by his estimation. Outside Ace watches the area.

Later we seek out dinner while learning all we can about those traveling south. Our characters pass are told tales of bandits to the north as well as fantastic stories of monsters. People seem to be fleeing in advance of something terrible.

The next day Ace steals a cart as our characters pass leave for points north and around midday we pass into Axebridge; then later that night characters pass rest at a sheltered way point.

The next day our characters pass several abandoned homes until we find people holed up in a couple fortified buildings for safety in numbers. They greet us suspiciously and are not welcoming. They speak of Old Caitlin ‘one-eye’ and her boys raiding them for about a month.

We continue to Castle Colechester which is where we begin next weeks session.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

11/23/16 Virtues Session 68: Gillespie and The Contract Devil

Day 185. We begin this week’s session flying three miles high and over a hastily descending landmass that was the flying Citadel. Gone was the Dragon of Lust and in her place were agents of Hell. Taking stock of our suddenly changed situation our characters become aware that our enemies Gillespie, a mythic contract devil, a bone devil, barbed devil, a pit hag, and a fallen angel had used a time stop to enhance themselves before bringing Hell upon our characters. Devils rained down hellfire and spittle down upon the area as many of our opponents, who had us suddenly surrounded, used their extra time to study us for the first time.

We learned some things as well: devils are immune to fire and poison; they are resistant to cold and acid; they can see in the dark, some here could have enhanced perceptions; they can summon more of their kind, and some here have the ability to gate; they communicate telepathically and know many languages; and their natural weaponry is mythic, lawful and evil.

We start off with a tactical teleport away thanks to Dramen for five rounds to regroup before Syrendross teleports us to Captain Farkus’ ship Fortune. Unfortunately for it and the Adventure Galley these two ships would not survive the battle.

After dispatching Gillespie, the contract devil, bone devil and the fallen angle opponent, many of our characters went into rescue mode trying to save as many sky sailors as our characters could before heading down to recover bodies and items.

Several hours later, after recovering several items, our characters are met by Benevolentia who comes with news. Her and the King’s forces defeated the other flying tower over Trusk and the King has rallied the other duchies to take up the fight. With the flying citadel destroyed and the battle won, the tide of war has turned in the Evening Isles favor.

She also comes with news that the giant drow in Trusk are actively searching for Keltischer Sanger’s soul, a most troubling turn. The dragon asks us to take the fight to them on the Cloud Continent and stop them from finding the Architect’s soul, or find it before Tiamat does. When we start back up we begin on the Cloud Continent.

We are awarded 38,970 xp and another mythic trial which gives our characters thirteen character levels and six mythic tiers. Among the gathered items are- Amulet of Natural Armor +3, Belt of Mighty Constitution +2, Brooch of Shielding 101, Cloak of Resistance +3, Headband of Alluring Charisma +4, Potion CSW, Amulet of Might Fists +3, (2) Winged Boots, Ring of Protection +3, +3 flame burst composite longbow, +3 keen adamantine long sword.


Carry over items from ‘the Battle Continues II’ Unclaimed items: quarterstaff of vaulting (sheds light), pauldrons of the watchful lion, +1 armor/shield with a +1 ability, ring of jumping improved, +1 armor with a +1 ability, ring of the troglodyte, juggernaut pauldrons.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

11/16/16 Virtues Session 67: The Last Battle of Barit Coinmail

We begin this weeks session just as the followers of the Heroes of Virtue ascend to the flying citadel. The flying tower, once it leveled out with the citadel, unfolded in geometric fashion whereby it also narrowed a bit in the direction of where the mythic Guardians at the Gate stood perplexed.  Garsaul, Barlie, Ainu Triskellion, Barit and Lapis, as well as a new comer; a ship mage by the name Emilio Banderas, led the other sky sailors, giants, and giant kin onto the citadel; each fought with bravery and ferocity in the face of such monstrous threats. With teamwork feats such as Out Flank, Paired Opportunists, and Precise Strike, the cohorts and followers won the battle, and disembarked just as the dragon of Lust appeared, but unfortunately lost a great dwarven hero.

Participants gained 1 mythic trial. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Guardians at the Gate

The docking ritual complete, it was a shock for the avatar's friends to discover that the field of entry into the Citadel grounds was narrow and despite appearing wide open could not simply be flown into. Had they attempted to fly the ships into the citadel the flying sloops would have needed to disembark several minutes earlier. Ainau Triskellion quickly gathered a team to secure the rest of their army's entry, knowing that their virtuous avatar leaders were already launching a surprise attack.  Staring across the narrow field of sponge like cloud the fated Ainau paused a moment in awe at the enemies that await her...

Mythic Jotund Troll 10 Headed

Greater Mythic ETTINCLOPS!


Friday, November 11, 2016

11/09/16 Virtues Session 66: The Flying Citadel and The Consort of Lust

We begin this week’s session as the flying citadel reveals itself to our characters. The Citadel, while higher than previously seen, lacked the swarm like presence of the flying minotaur as well as the second flying tower which we know is somewhere above and or around Trusk.

Our characters finalized a plan that included the half-black dragon Kuir joining us, but when our characters used the magical crystal to transport us to the flying citadel, Kuir was left behind. Before that we agree to Ainau’s plan and time our arrival just before the ‘docking’ of the flying tower and the follower’s attack on the bridge.

Arriving in what seemed like a place of worship, our character’s find a wonder. Situated at the center of an open chamber where numerous automated humanoids (robots) toiled about the egg-shaped heartstone that was used to manipulate the flying citadel. Meanwhile, gnomes decided to get gone from the area when we arrive.

Syrendross decides to rise up and get the lay of the land to find a crystalline dragon coiled around the flying citadel’s hillock. Nearby storm giants roamed the terrain in blissful ignorance to our imminent attack.

After some brief exploration of our immediate surroundings, and realizing that the flying citadel is laid out exactly like the flying tower’s inner fortress, we eventually teleport inside to a hollowed out resting place to the consort of Lust. Battle ensued, we are awarded 30,000 xp, and when the dragon was defeated a dark rift opened swallowing the dragon leaving behind a magic Ring and a dragon bone the consistency of adamantine. "She's not going to like this." Indeed. 


Next week our followers battle the mythic ettin for the bridge. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Outflank them !

Kotri drank deeply from a flagon filled with beer given her by the giant Rydin had befriended. That's how powerful the infectious enthusiasm of Rydin's Friendship was. She was drinking giant beer. She shook her head ruefully, and looked around her at the people who had chosen to follow these mythic heroes as she had. Already she had developed a fast close relationship with Barlie, the Ring of Fire cabalist. Kotri understood well her overwhelming reaction to discovering the saving grace of friendship, as it was only weeks ago in a seemingly ageless lifetime that friendship rescued her from a soldiers life stuck in hell. Between studying the opened spell books of the Heroes and practicing linking with the magical crystals, she had been devoted to practicing and training at the behest of Anu. As had Kotri and the rest of the followers. Of the newest ones, Emilio Banderas had caught her eye. Kotri immediately identified his high intelligence, and she kind of adored his Sommenhiem accent. The ship mage proved to be a quick study of the spells in the Heroes' collection, and she knew arcana well enough to be hugely impressed that he could prepare spells with no book and shape his will into spell effects he had never studied before. (These reflect his mythic tier 1 choices).  Her own specialty, the ability to flank opponents to devastating ends, had been the focus of training of late, and she felt good about how well the training took. Essentially she taught her friends how to wait a bit longer in a flank to take maximum advantage of your allies manouvers to increase your advantage in striking (the teamwork feat "outflank").

She liked Anu's approach and hoped the Heroes adopted it into their battle plans. She smiled in Dwarven anticipation of a good old-fashioned Giant fight.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Followers Plan

Ainau Triskellion

Ainau Triskellion was sharing her meal and thoughts with Barit, “Listen, I need your support, you said yourself it’s a good plan, help me present it.” 
“Aye, it’s a good plan, that is with what we know, it’s a lot of responsibility too.  Have you ever lead any men…anyone to their death?” Barit asked, keeping his keen eye on the brash young woman.
“I would rather lead them to die than to cower before these skydogs!” she growled, “The Isles must answer their aggression.”
Barit smiled, grabbed some bread from Ainau’s plate responding, “Alright then, lets go try to convince them to infiltrate the flying citadel before we land.  I’m sure Dolgrin will love having something to argue about.” 
 
Barit Coinmail
One hour later Ainau presented her idea to the avatars

“It was when Barit said told me just how destructive and powerful you are when you have the element of surprise.   Strategically, if you can infiltrate the Citadel before we dock, we should be able to maximize your surprise.  Let us handle the attack forces with the Sky Captains while you take it to whatever leadership you can locate inside.” 
1.       You use your magics to work your way inside the citadel, gaining vital information
2.       Try to time your surprise strike with our docking with the citadel
3.       As our attack erupts outside, we should draw a number of enemies to us.
4.       Based upon whatever you find, you make the best use of your situation
5.       Sky Captains are the air authority
6.      Myself (Ainau), Barit and any other followers you designate have ground authority

“This assumes that you have a means of maintaining communications with us and that you can convince the Ring of Fire & Giants to follow our orders.” 

11/02/16 Virtues Session 65: Four Days Away

This week we catch up with our characters on Day 181 when we unite with the skyfleet from Kriet Oppenshire, albeit ten miles slightly off course. We inter the five flying ships into the flying tower where Dramen and Syrendross had changed to cliff-docks. We are four days out from the flying citadel.

We speak with the five new captains and quickly begin making plans after some study into the mechanics and magic behind the flying ships; breakthroughs by Keltischer Sanger.

Meeting with the Captains and first mates we learn these ships were grounded after the Sundering and the captains are doing the best they can with controlling the flying ships using two people and old world maps. A map that is purported to reveal the original location of the Evening Isles.


Syrendross barters with Captain Karvos on the Adventure Galley for the map in return for magical eyes, a magic weapon and a 'corrected' replacement map.

In the ‘magic room’ our characters investigate the device that operates the flying ships. The Sanger device allows for an individual to become one with the vessel allowing non-mythic individuals to operate the ship (like the suits the drow used to control the flying tower).

Each of our characters come up with various ways to control the flying ships; Kyras, using elemental air to control and to defend the ship; while Dolgrin, identifying Dwarven runes attempts to control the Delight, and Lapis explore other elemental options- Lapis leaving for further research into this. Dramen realizes there is a truename aspect to the ship’s control and later it was Kotri who discovered there is a way for literally anyone to control the ship. Positive/negative energy, ley line magic, even souls could be used; the spellcasters of the ships, unbeknownst to them were expending spell slots to get them this far in the flying ships.

In the following days Rydin and Syrendross work with the captains as well as continue to meet with the giants of the valley. Our characters are treated as Admirals among the fleet as the spellcasters of the five ships offer their services as liaisons between us and the skysailors in training and a vote is held to establish a chain of command.

Later, during meditations, Syrendross realizes when the dragon Concupi La Filia was killed her soul was sucked away as well as her intellect and memories. He breaks from his thoughts with knowing that dragon would become a dracolich.

Rydin, Kyras, and Syrendross meet with Garsaul and the half dragon about the upcoming battle. Garsaul expresses distrust towards the winged minotaurs “they cannot be trusted, only used”. Rydin gives him authority to do something about it, which unsettles the skysailors the next day. Kuir leaves a note behind and asks for help in leaving the flying tower (because he can’t).  

Our character’s followers each earn three teamwork feats during these four days of downtime as Dramen and Syrendross activated the return function of the flying tower as to not have to pilot the flying tower back to the flying citadel.

Four of the Captains, save for Captain Kayla Spriggs (feminist at large), allow themselves to be truenamed and made one with their flying ship (also giving the truenamers control as well).

Drills of off loading of giants and sailors are performed and target practice places cannon range at 1,000 yards and does 100 points of damage as walls of stone are erected only to be demolished into throwing rocks for the giants.

In the final days we find ourselves over a great battlefield over Tier Ne Somenhiem; giants set upon by elves. Kyras hides our passage with an elemental during our last leg of travel.

We pick up next game session with the flying citadel in our sight.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Tiamat's Court in Babylonia: Māt Akkadī

Theophrastus awoke, his thirteenth day of waiting in the Courtyard of Māt Akkadī.  The cool night air had given way to early morning humidity covering the wizard in a sheen of sweat and dust due to his tent flap having blown open.  Despite his long wait, Theophrastus used his cantrips to quickly clean himself knowing he needed to be ready whenever the “Queen of Earth” granted his audience. 
Theophrastus 

Theophrastus had thought the cost to gain access to Māt Akkadī had been expensive before learning from the vast numbers of petitioners living in the courtyard how long the wait could be.  



The Courtyard’s economy mixed with the largess of the dragon blooded nobility had created an outlandish system of social mores designed to show off wealth along with a skill of trade.  Alcippus’ most recent message had assured the wizard that this economy’s cost had been anticipated though Theophrastus noticed that Alcippus no longer referred to him as Theo.  
The Eye wizard Theophrastus stepped out of his tent making his regular trek to the Magnificent Mausoleum to see if his name had been added to the Queen’s daily schedule.  The cost in bribes to see the “publically displayed” schedule was steep enough that some petitioners would run out of money or try to find others with similar problems to share in time and cost.  After paying his daily bribes and viewing the schedule board, the wizard smiled and suspected that he would see a return to the friendlier tones of Theo after his next message, for he was the first petitioner on the schedule, a position that would see him before the Queen shortly after her lunch.  A well sated Queen was certainly a comforting thought to Theophrastus whose magical protections against fear did nothing to assuage his mind.
 
Māt Akkadī

The Wizard was guided into opulent gardens where the immense dragon lay within a massive spring fed pool of water that was said to be enchanted by its physical contact with the god-queen.  It was difficult for Theophrastus to focus on anything other than the great wyrm however his senses told him of several of the Queen’s half dragon guardians.   The Queen was obviously used to the effect her presence had upon petitioners; there wasn’t a discomfort to Theo’s initial silence.  To the wizard’s great chagrin his meeting was interrupted before a word was uttered and he could offer the organization’s solution to Tiamat’s conundrum.  Another great presence was felt and Theophrastus was overcome with irrational desire, a part of his consciousness screaming in terror, a mortal caught between Tiamat and her daughter, Concupiscentia.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Airships of Kriet Oppenshire

The Sloops that made up the previously grounded airships could hold up to 90 men comfortably and had modified eight cannons to the sky environment.    Ship 1 is the only ship of the five that isn’t a Sloop.  The Adventure Galley as it was known was a Frigate that could easily hold 160 men and carried 12 Cannons. Each ship has seventy skilled soldiers all of whom are learning their new assignment on the “fly” so to speak.

Karvos Kidd, Kayla Spriggs, Farkus Low, Cooper T. Clerk, and Howell Bartholomew
Ship 1: The Adventure Galley      Captain: Karvos Kidd Human Male
The Adventure Galley





Captain Karvos Kidd Human Male











Ship 2: Delight   Captain: Kayla Spriggs ½ Elven Female
Captain Kayla Spriggs ½ Elven Female

Ship 3: Fortune    Captain: Farkus Lowe Human Male
Captain Farkus Low Human Male

Ship 4: Night Rambler      Captain Cooper T. Clerk Human Male
Captain Cooper T. Clerk Human Male



Ship 5: Rover      Captain Howell Bartholomew  1/2 Elven Male

Captain Howell Bartholomew  


Thursday, October 27, 2016

10/26/16 Virtues Session 64: No One Wants Any

We begin this week’s session with the battle against the serpentine and shapely cloud dragon daughter of Lust who was alluring despite her draconic aura. Her defeat came as a surprise to her as well as how her body was consumed by fire then sucked away was to our characters. Silence enveloped the inner fortress as we learn the Ring of Fire Cabal was successful in defeating the cloud dragon’s allies in battle: thirty winged minotaur as well as a strangely scarred giant.

Assessing the scene, our characters realize the magical crystal that creates the flying tower force effect took damage setting Dramen’s progress back a day and extending the time it would take to repair the item. However, being the mythic crafter Dramen is he set about fixing the large magical crystal in a day and a half.

Meanwhile Rydin, Syrendross, and Kyras exit the fortress and head towards the slave pens. Outside, in the flying tower’s inner valley the three heroes encounter no resistance. Syrendross is finally reunited with Gazalcia who, along with information from Barlie, expand on our growing knowledge of the Cloud Continent. Gazalcia explains that her blue-skinned giant captor was not from the Cloud Continent but seemed familiar with navigation terms and comfortable with getting to places she overheard; her proximity sometimes allowed her to overhear some things… She at one time heard the gnome warlord mention Castle Mistvale, she assumes it is on the Cloud Continent.

Among the fifty captured individuals was a possible tiefling, catmen, and other exotic races who admit to being treated well despite their situation.
Garsaul

Soon, Rydin, Syrendross, and Kyras are greeted by a stone giant named Garsaul who, after getting our attention outside the fortress, reveals himself and fifty others who recognize the rules of warfare and surrender themselves and their resources to us, the dragon slayers. Twenty giants, ten winged minotaur, and twenty various others including ettins (one being an Eye Member Dramen teleported to Trusk), trolls, ettin-trolls and two unique individuals we meet the next day as we agree to meet each day at this time outside the fortress.

Inside, Barlie expands on what she remembers about the Cloud Continent and its geography. Much of it is featureless with much of the inhabitable areas honeycombed within the billowy layers of clouds. Much of what she explained echoed of the elemental plane of air in that most direction was relative and that one must possess great navigational knowledge to traverse the realm. Terrain and landmarks are rare and sparse with massive deserts proving especially difficult to conquer.

Rydin spends a goodly amount of time with the rune-caster offering her friendship and his spellbook to copy spells. This act of generosity is disarming and overwhelms her personally.

Meanwhile Syrendross prepares a sending to Wood Weist King of the Evening Isles and with a little help from his friends sends this... “Tower captured; is being recalled to the Citadel we believe. Can fleet meet us over This Landmark in Blank days?”

Information: the flying Citadel is 150 miles NW of Naper’s Dawn and 100 miles NE of Somenhiem.

A response comes back: “King’s Ship will meet you. Kriet’s ships will replace our own with better ships and better skills. War at standstill, we are holding.”
Kuir, Half Black Dragon

Day 2 of repair/ Day 178. Garsaul the stone giant returns, meeting Kyras, Syrendross, and Rydin, outside the fortress with two new individuals: a half black dragon named Kuir and a pale ogre named Duz. Kuir is respectful of our power and pledges his double axe and provides us information on the flying citadel. Duz claims to not actually be a ogre, but a humble man from a coastal Dark Continent town.

During the midday Dramen fixes the tower’s crystal stopping the ‘recall’ and giving our character’s full access to the tower’s features. We discover the crystal is the center of the force effect and with the map now projected on the navigation wall, Syrendross is able to determine the second flying tower is near Trusk.

This prompts a second Sending to the King. “Second flying tower, also connected to the Citadel is over Trusk. Ainau is alive and well and we are on course to This Landmark.”

The quick response: “If you have full control then we shall send King's ships to Trusk and Kriet’s ships will meet with you instead.”

We are awarded with 10k exp and 1 mythic trial. We start the next session meeting the skyfleet from Kriet Oppenshire. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

10/19/16 Virtues Session 63: The Battle Continues II

We begin the session moments before a couple of giant rogues, bolstered by outside rune-casters, came down from the west, outside minotaur roared in harmonic fury. Immediately Rydin moved to command the crystal to close all doors about the flying structure. The battle continued, Ring of Fire Cabal, working as a team, aided us as our characters fought and defeated the two giant rogues. Silence dominated the sealed violet crystal control chamber.

We learn that Exander Runethorn, a dwarf of the Ring of Fire, reached out to Dolgrin during the fight and offered aid- inspired by our heroics. Rydin offers his hand in friendship to Barlie, who confirms the work of Keltischer Sanger here and with the crystal. We gather valuables from our fallen enemies and are eventually introduced to the Ring of Fire members by Maradrell. They explain after our previous interactions, they could no longer ignore the rising tide of war and sought our our characters to find allies in the fight.

During our brief reprieve we decide to rest and recuperate. Dramen begins studying the crystal and learns one must attune himself to the crystal and after twenty-fours by expending mythic power and using the use magical device skill the user could control many aspects of the tower much like a mage's mansion. Concentration would be required as would multiple users (a minimum of two). The crystal is a product of Sanger's studies and is also a gate between this flying tower and the flying citadel we are gong to use to eventually transport us and Evening Isles flying ships to the Cloud Continent. Dramen believes it will take him three days to fix the crystal and then begin the process of controlling the tower. While the tower is broken, it is also cut off from the flying citadel.

A total of fifteen hours after the fight a lone 'male' figure walks down, fury in material form. In a female voice, "Interlopers, do you know I had to query my mother for a wish to reclaim what is mine?!"

We begin next session with the fight with a dragon-daughter of lust.


Unclaimed items: quarterstaff of vaulting (sheds light), pauldrons of the watchful lion, +1 armor/shield with a +1 ability, ring of jumping improved, +1 armor with a +1 ability, ring of the troglodyte, juggernaut pauldrons.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

10/12/16 Virtues Session 62: The Battle Continues

The drider who got away. 
This week our characters continue our battle to win the flying tower against huge driders, drow in mechanized suits controlling the flying tower's movements, as well as a gear-smith, a clockwork mage and a host of other golems.

Much resources were expended including several fireballs, the first one originating from Rydin's Staff of Power.

Outside the flying tower's interior fortress, agents from the Ring of Fire took advantage of our attack and waged their own battles against the minions of the slave pits.

Next week the battle continues as more enemies are expected to descend ramps and wide staircases from the west.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Ring of Fire

Maradrell 

Maradrell finished her speech reporting to the other twenty five members of the Cabal. It had been a thorough recounting of her and Markalis Cryssal’s tribulations under the mental domination of the Illithids along with their liberation by the Bouvaldian Ambassador’s. The chamber was silent as the masters thought over a multitude of new information.  No one spoke for several minutes while Maradrell provided the script of her speech to Master Secretary Grintus who would be responsible for entering it into their archives.

Lipton









“Before we discuss this further, do we have any other witnesses among us?” Master Lipson inquired. 

The disturbing rumble of the Catman’s voice responded, “Not yet a member, we have a not only a witness but a petitioner Ornap Caroom to apprentice among us.” 

Master Lipson nodded his understanding, “Before we bring in the petitioner, I think its obvious that we need to discuss the possibility, no , correct that, the probability that our ancient enemies have found us.  Without the heroic actions of the Ambassadors, two of our members would have been stripped of all secrets by the planar wordsmith, Cothar.”
Other voices concurred, one adding, “Even if they hadn’t outright killed Markalis and Maradrell they would have probably ended up in the Jailer’s prison.”

Maradrell shivered and Markalis resonded, his voice dark with dread, “No, we felt the illithid’s desires, he,” Markalis sobbed before continuing, “IT fed on our magical energies…they call our heads apples, our very minds were to be consumed!”

For several moments silence retook the chamber, all members of the cabal considering the Cryssal’s recent suffering and the ramifications to their ancient order.  Fowler, the apprentice Catman that had spoken earlier raised a clawed hand, signaling Master Sevanius who signaled it was permissible to speak, “Masters and fellow members, we have been in hidings for so long.  Our purpose is not served in cowardice.  If we are to die to an enemy let us die in effort not in hiding.  Our original mission is to protect our world from catastrophes like the one that destroyed the ancient world but our thought if not our focus is too narrow.  What protection do we offer if while monitoring volcanoes we fall to protect ourselves and others from the monstrous threats that plague our world?”
Fowler
As was their common practice, moments of contemplation were provided over whatever words were offered.  Fowler knew his words were bold but was confident that the other members would be receptive to honest dialogue.  Soon several masters were nodding and conversations grew in the chamber.


Master Lipson eventually raised his voice, “Let us hear from Ornap Caroom, he too interacted with The Ambassadors and I am in need of a new apprentice.”  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

10/05/16 Virtues Session 61: The Enemy Has An Avatar

Syrendross
We begin this week’s session battling Rune giants, rune-spell casters, the gnome Larosse Se-MarQuay, as well as the great war dogs inside the flying tower’s inner fortress. One by one giants fell to our spells and weapons including Larosse who, when defeated, left behind a shroud of skin like an Avatar would. A gust of air foreshadowed the presence of a dragon; not just any dragon, but a daughter of the dragon of lust.

In the final moments of battle one of the rune-casters, Barlie- a female, surrendered to Dolgrin who promised leniency and freedom in return for information and help. She explains her people are indentured to Caelum Rex for a period of ten years in exchange for training and exotic magic by the Master of the Word.

Kyras notes the chalk maps drawn on the walls, in a giant scale, that seem to indicate nautical maps of the cloud continent’s path and where and when it intersects with the Evening Isles. Rydin flys to where the dragon originated from looking for an advantage to find a chamber that reeked of a feminine dragon. 
Rydin

We regroup and using information from Barlie we magically travel to the first level, as undead appear, arriving in a magically darkened chamber protected by guards and wards, but not before we watch the dragon make calculated passes over the hundreds of winged Minotaur and giant-kin agitating and terrifying them all into a frenzy.

After dispelling the magical darkness and the wards our characters see about in various and adjacent rooms a half dozen gnomes, stone and storm giants, troll-ettins, plus a chamber containing several members of the Ring of Fire Cabal. Then we see in the map/navigation room,  contains a massive crystal hanging from the ceiling, as well as collections of maps and scrolls, surrounded by three giant drow wearing cone head-gear as well as giant driders as large as elephants.

It is here where we begin next session. Recovered from the remains of Larosse Se-MarQuay: Oil of Keen edge, eyes of the eagle, 5 CLW potions, and 5 CSW potions. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

The War Report

Concupiscentia
Concupiscentia,  known as the Consort Tentigo among the giants,  found it difficult to be around any creature that wasn’t overcome with desire for her therefore Duke Amduscias always made her uncomfortable.  Concupiscentia’s time in this world had released her skills of seduction from eons of misuse in her mother’s hellish domain, the respect of mortals a given either through desire or intimidation.  The Duke, a war general with over two dozen companies of Devils at his command, could not be tempted by her variations of danger, flesh, or  fantasy.  It had been many months since their last consultation and the daughter of Tiamat was experiencing a true rarity, someone that could speak contemptuously to her and live.  To Amduscias’ credit, the plan was almost entirely his and brilliant in its execution, however his contempt for her contributions to their partnership was troubling.
Duke Amduscias 

“So far our attacks have not revealed any of the Virtues, save one on the South Central Coast protecting Labiatar, your little gnome trick is working quite well actually” Duke Amduscias explained, never pausing for question or comment, “Our attacks have caught the leaders of the island unprepared and we have been spectacular in our successes, the Virtues will soon be forced to act. Gillespie informs me your little warlord ordered him to move against some of the crusaders who have entered the fight against us, I hope you have more warlords available because I have given Gillespie different orders..”
Gillespie 
At this news Concupiscentia interrupted, “Couldn’t you send him some help? It’s the resources rather than the overall cost that troubles me, I’m sure some of your men would relish the chance to slay some idiot mortals in search of glory before attacking the one Dragon of Virtue we know of?”


Duke Amduscias grimaced but nodded before continuing with his report on the first stages of their war. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

09/28/16 Virtues Session 60: To The Flying Tower

Dramen
Our session begins with Dramen, putting the finishing touches on a magical bow and quiver for Ainau Triskellion, as well as spell gathering for both Dramen and Syrendross before the Heroes of Virtue venture forth.

After outlining a basic plan and casting some preparatory spells, Dramen teleports our characters to the Water-tower north of Naper’s Dawn. It was the last place our characters had seen the flying tower, our character’s would-be Trojan horse.

Arriving, our characters did not see the flying tower at first, we take cover behind a hill where boulders were stacked for ammunition, our characters instead observe giants and giant kin gathering and stacking trees.

Thinking the tower was close, Syrendross appears high in the sky to find the flying tower hovering over Ground Zero where resources were being staged before being loaded onto the tower. Ettins, trolls, ettin-trolls, as well as other true giants, some as tall as twenty-four feet in height, toiled in the shadow of the flying tower clearing trees and gathering building materials. The region came with a sense of loss as we flew closer the screams of the victims of war became more noticeable.
Dolgrin

Closer now, our characters see a northern area of Ground Zero has been excavated revealing a passage. Beyond that a familiar mantiore takes to the air as a drow antipaladin, Shar and Alicia’s infernal son, emerges from the passage. This begins a short-lived pursuit of the antipaladin before our character’s agree that our original plan was to take the tower.

We shift our attention to the tower and it’s magical properties. Outside it took the form of a seventy five foot tower without a base, seemingly able to change its appearance as the master of the tower wishes much like a mage’s mansion. A trap door leading into the tower sat at the top of the tower guarded by winged minotaur flying about.

Kyras
After creating a diversion and using magical device skill (including the name of the sin of lust) we gained access to the tower to find a space inside the size of a small county. A valley rolled out before us populated by giant-kin bartering noisily (including a certain ten foot tall blue-skinned giant) while to the sides hundreds of winged minotaur were stationed in various activities. Farther ahead and at the opposite end of this extra dimensional/ pocket plane was a seventy five foot fortress as well as the presence of a powerful entity. 

Dramen teleports us across the valley to the upper most balcony where our characters find a 300x300 room just inside the fortress with a massive map, rune casters, war dogs the size of elephants, giants and the gnome warlord; beyond this enormous room is a chamber featuring a giant spiral ramp leading to the other levels. Outside the fortress were slave pits and a large well and a military post on a grand scale.

Combat ensues, which is where we begin next session.