Session Forty One
Alex: Lo and behold, the gang is all here!
Kiergath (Alusair): is it?
Alex: well, nick’s DLing.
Kiergath (Alusair): oh, right, he has to DL.
Kiergath (Bobbert): This is probably my favorite of the set.
Kiergath (Bobbert): :P
Alex: Well, yes
Alex: It better be
Kiergath (Bobbert): this isn’t bad either, though.
Alex: Certainly not terrible
Kiergath (Bobbert): h’and number 3!
Dragonling: best char evar.
Alex: Ahoy there, sharkey!
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): Neat, it saved my portrait.
Alex: ‘course. It’s all on my end, mostly.
Alex: Are we all settled in, then?
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): pretty close, just give me 1 more minute
Dragonling: And today’s SPESHUL GEST STAR issssss……
Dragonling: Not me.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): cookies check.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): music check.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): tea heating (for lack of joose)… sec
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): check.
Alex: Cookies for the DM?
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): sure let me just teleport them over.
Alex: Right… First – where do you both remember being when last we left? I’ll fill you in on the details since then.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): I remember a camp in a jungle occupied by the remenant of the sinker keep we had befriended.
Kiergath (Alusair): ….What he said.
Alex: More or less correct!
The Prime Feudal Army rallies with support from the other towns and assaults the Doomguard Fortress, utterly destroying the gatehouse in one blow, directly after Shenvallei was showing off. The fortress falls apart around their ears, while they’re still inside. The party sallies forth to negotiate with the attackers. They then negotiate the release of the remaining 1,500 Doomguard. They are marched to the portal leaving the island. They launch an assault when they reach the portal, and Alusair drives her sword through Jesebel’s heart. They are then rescued and taken off-plane, only to return the next day.
END SESSION RECAP!
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): gods I loved that.
Kiergath (Alusair): wat?
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): uh oh
Alex: Sry. He crashed.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): how do I change my die colors?
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): I need my lucky orange
Alex: Uh – up top, thing that looks like an arrow?
Shenvallei D’ansille: [1d20 = 6]
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): ok
Kiergath (Alusair): ty…
Alex: So, are we comfortable with what happened in the past?
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): What was the name of the doomguard healer we befriended?
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): got it.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): and he is at the camp with us correct?
Alex: Yes, he is.
The camp is quiet, all things considered, and the portal vaguely shimmers, allowing access to the island.
Kiergath (Alusair): I may be about to crash and burn again.
Shenvallei D’ansille walks over to Alusair, “I think we should burn the body… to ashes.”
Kiergath (Alusair): Am I still here somehow?
Alex: Bloody vinegar.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): internet failure.
Alex: Crashing sucks
Alex: So, burn the body to ashes, eh?
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): yes Jesebel’s
Alex: Hm… a curious reaction…
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): Well Shen doesnt want her getting raised.
Alex: No? But she was his apprentice!
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): all a dupe.
Kiergath (Alusair): Sorry, wrestling with my computer.
Kiergath (Alusair): All’s well now.
Alex: Shen! Repeat to Alusair!
Shenvallei D’ansille walks over to Alusair, “I think we should burn the body… to ashes.”
Alusair shrugs, “As you wish. No sense in dragging the bloody thing around with us.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Ill look around for a suitable pyre.
GM: You find one right next to you.
GM: …Really? You’re looking around for a pyre?
Shenvallei D’ansille: I meant a good place for a pyre.
GM: Ahhh… gotcha.
GM: Right next to you works.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Very well, I begin searching for wood/flamables/any spare oil the camp has and inquire for help in constructing it.
GM Jor’un lends a hand, somewhat sadly. You get the feeling he has had to do this a lot in the recent past. A pyre is quickly erected.
GM Jor’un lends a hand, somewhat sadly. You get the feeling he has had to do this a lot in the recent past. A pyre is quickly erected.
GM: There we go
Shenvallei D’ansille: Once it is constructed, I help Alusair in placing the body into the center of the pyre.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Stand back all.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Spell [Prestidigitation] → Performs minor tricks.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Spark on an oil doused bit of flammable material.
The Pyre is set ablaze. Just before the body is covered in flames, you swear you see a smile flicker across Jesebel’s face.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Let these flames cleanse the multiverse of your treachery.”
Jor’un: “Who was she?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “We never truthfully found out. But she has caused suffering to me, to Sigil, and mainly to Alusair.”
Jor’un: “Ah. A shame. Still, she makes a beautiful fire, no? I’ve never seen flames dance quite so lively.”
Alusair cocks her head to the side, “Eh? Whats that about the flames?”
Alusair: Study the fire…
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Dont be fooled. I did not have the luxury of a warning.”
The fire is indeed a roaring inferno, seemingly twisting upwards, pulling into a tight spiral as it grows higher and higher, the flames at the center being almost white hot, impossible to see through.
Alusair: “What in the abyss is going on here?”
Jor’un: “I’ll be damned if I knew… how much kerosene did you douse her in?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “How should I know, Ive never exactly done this before.”
Alusair: “Grand.. just grand.”
The flames burn hotter and hotter, some of the logs spilling off the pyre and onto the grass, igniting small fires. The heat grows in intensity, driving you both back from the flames.
Alusair: Do not back away from the flames…
Shenvallei D’ansille: I do.
The flames are now roaring at a height of 20 feet, nearly blistering Jor’un before he scrambles away. You hear cries of alarm, as it appears that several trees have caught fire in their uppermost branches.
Shenvallei D’ansille laughs aloud.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “So this is how a false god dies?”
Alusair: “False god? What do you mean?”
Jor’un: “She was a god?”
Jor’un: “We’re burning a GOD?”
Alusair: “Not as far as I am aware…”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “She fancied herself to be Oengam, some slayer of the gods.”
Alusair: “Ah, well. This too shall pass.”
Jor’un: “..bloody piss and vinegar…”
Flames are spreading now, throughout the forest, climbing down the trees into the camp. Some unlucky doomguard have been hit by falling branches, still afire, and have been burned quite badly.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Im sorry this happened Jor’un, I didnt know this would happen. What can I do to help?”
Alusair sighs, “And I wonder why I no longer have any friends.”
Jor’un: “…You could try and put it out.”
Alusair: “If I had somewhere to put it, I could at least conjure some bloody water.”
Alusair: Fire still primarily originating from the pyre?
You hear cries of “Retreat! To the river!” from the camp, as soon it is engulfed in vengeful flames, leaving only you two, at the center of the blaze.
Alusair: Nevermind.. no point, then.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I grab what supplies I can from the camp and head to the river.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: – the ""
You make a mad dash for the river, flaming trees and birds collapsing behind you. You make it, barely ahead of the god-fire, and see that at the edge of the river, the water is already boiling. The majority of the doomguard encampment is sitting on the far side of the river, watching the forcest rage.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Careful of the water Al, its uh, bubbling.”
You make it across the river, and sit, and watch, as the flames struggle in vain to reach you, but fail. The forest burns for hours longer than it should, but eventually the smokes begins to clear, leaving behind the smouldering wreckage of what used to be a jungle.
Alusair: “Wonder if we got lucky and it torched some of them blasted gnomes, too..”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Gnomes, right, forgot about them.”
You hear swearing from the nearby troops. You look about and realize that the majority of them are without armor, and only slightly more had the foresight or ability to grab their weapons.
Alusair: “I have a thought..”
Alusair: “Jor’un? I suspect the portal will still be there, yes?”
Jor’un: “I’ve yet to see a god burn down a portal, but it’s possible.”
Alusair: “Think positive, please. Its a mother beautiful portal, and its gonna be there.”
Alusair: “I can’t help notice that most of your people are currently minus their equipment, and I also can’t help but recall that, on the other side of that portal, is an entire battlefield full of arms and armor.”
Jor’un: “A brilliant idea!”
Alusair: “Its not ideal, but it may do for the time being.”
Jor’un relays the message, and the doomguard begin charging the river, towards the still smoldering jungle.
Alusair: “Gents, that water is liable to still be very bloody hot.”
Their progress slows, and some yelps can be heard, but the mass of people pushes people through the scalding water, to shore.
Alusair: Sigh and follow them back to the ruins.
Shenvallei D’ansille: I trail behind.
You arrive back at the camp, finding most of the doomguard already filtering through the portal. The area around the pyre seems… frosted over with ice, and it looks like all of the materials there were consumed in the fire, leaving behind a pile of ice and ash.
Alusair: “Spiteful bitch, wasn’t she?”
Alusair: Follow through the portal
Shenvallei D’ansille: “To the last.”
On the other side of the portal, you see a ragtag group of Doomguard in borrowed, ill fitting equipment.
Alusair: “Next point to make..”
Alusair: “Jor’un, we virtually annihilated that merchant army, yes? Your old fortress is still defendable, with work, and the merchant’s siege lines and camp should still be there and salvagable.”
Jor’un: “A pleasant idea… I shall see to getting it put back together as best we can… hopefully we aren’t visited by another host… we should be able to make due.”
Alusair: “Well, think about it..”
Alusair: “That last army had a whole heap of artillery that we can turn around and dig in, no?”
Alusair: “There should also be food and other supplies, not to mention at the very least tents in abundance.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “They may have left a small occupying force at the fortress.”
Alusair sighs, “You’re right. Lets go take a look.”
Alusair: Start walking towards the fortress ruins.
Shenvallei D’ansille follows behind Alusair.
You hear over a thousand pairs of boots fall into step behind you.
You draw closer to the fortress, and indeed, it is as Shenvallei spake – a new flag is flying above the fortress… several guards are posted out front, but as the force behind you emerges from the forest, they turn tail and run screaming into the ocean.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Victory without bloodshed. I am releived.”
Jor’un: “You both are welcome to spend as much time with us as you feel you need to, but we won’t keep you from anything you need to do.”
Alusair: “Your conscience doesn’t worry about people drowning themselves in a blind panic, then? Good.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “If they are foolish enough to do that, then its their fault.”
The host begins heading towards the fortress.
GM: Do you follow, or turn around?
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I suppose we should decide where we are headed.”
Alusair: “You’re the one with the assignment here. I’m just tagging along and doing my part to defy logic by helping the Doomguard.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Hmm. Well I think then perhaps we should bid our farewells Jor’un. Our fates will probably come together again but for now we need to gather a bit of information regarding my assignment.”
Jor’un: “Best of luck to you, then. I know we’ll run into each other again. Meryt binds our fates.”
Alusair: “As long as she keeps me on a long leash.. but I suspect you’re right, we’ll meet in the future.”
From the fortress, you hear screams of agony and distress. Jor’un doesn’t look worried, however.
Jor’un: “Ah… looks like I’ve got some cleaning to arrange. Looks like the chaos has taken some more today. Meryt guide you on your assignment, wizard.”
Jor’un nods at you both, then strides towards the fortress.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Thank you.”
Shenvallei D’ansille bows to Jor’un as he leaves.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “So…”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Meryt aye?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Ok, well I think we will head… west. Maybe we will have more luck together than I did alone.”
Alusair: “Maybe so.”
GM: You head west?
Shenvallei D’ansille: Yes but down the road, not into the wilderness.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): we dont need to get jumped by any monsters.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): on that note I need a 5 min afk.
Alex: Sure sure.
Shenvallei D’ansille: k
You stroll down the road to the west. The trip is uneventful, and eventually you draw within sight of the village you had fled from some days prior.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Spell [Disguise Self] → Changes your appearance.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Human male in simple clothes.
GM: Very well.
GM: You disguise yourself.
GM: Do you enter the village?
Shenvallei D’ansille: Yes
The village is as rustic as before, if not more so. Quiet light comes from a tavern, and most of the homes seem shut for the night.
Alusair: “Interesting little place..”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Typical of a village. The locals dont seem friendly to outsiders from what Ive experienced.”
Indeed, the bar is set atop the river. There seems to be a ladder leading up from underneath, at which a small rowboat is moored. The bar sits on stilts, keeping it off of the ground, and allowing boat traffic to travel underneath.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Head to the bar.
Shenvallei D’ansille: I look at Alusair how much does she stand out?
Alusair: Probably alot.
You arrive… There are a few lizard men sitting in the corner, an old, graying man sitting by the fireplace with a mug in hand, half asleep, two young girls taking orders to the remainder of the patrons, which, of interest, are two burly looking men in sturdy plate armor and a striking blonde wearing a leather corset and a short skirt. Alusair, in comparison, sticks out like a red leaf in a glass of water.
Alusair: More black than red, really. And a bit of blue.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Seek out an empty table and sit.
Alusair: but your point is taken.
Alusair: Keep following Shen.
You find one. It’s slightly grimy, with a bit of mold growing on a corner, but a barmaid approaches you both, eyeing you up.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “You are a mercenary, Im a friend.”
Shenvallei D’ansille smiles at her pleasantly.
Alusair: “What did you just call me?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Id like a house ale.”
Alusair: “And given what you just called me, do you think its wise to make assumptions like you just did?”
Barmaid: “…so, an Ale… and for the mistress?”
Shenvallei D’ansille turns to Alusair, face abashed.
Alusair: “…wine, if you think you’ve got any worth drinking.”
She whisks away.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “May as well make the best of it.”
Shenvallei D’ansille looks around.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Could be worse.”
Indeed, and it gets worse.
She comes back and sets a mug down in front of each of you… both have some sort of moss floating in it, although the aromas of each are different. Alusair, yours smells somewhat fruity, while Shenvallei, yours smells bitter.
Alusair eyes the drink, then the barmaid.
Barmaid: “First round is on the house.”
Alusair: “Whats the occasion?”
Barmaid: “Some visitors from out of town. Can’t mention they’re here though. Otherwise, I won’t get the money they promised.”
Alusair: “How much did they promise you?”
Alusair: “And whats with the moss?”
Barmaid: “That’s how we make all of our drinks out here. The lizards bring it in from the coast. I’m to get a thousand gold! That’s enough to get the mayor of Rudyk to marry me!”
Alusair: “Ah.. so which group isn’t here, luv? I wouldn’t want to let on I know they’re here if I’m not supposed to.”
Shenvallei D’ansille sips the ale.
Barmaid: “Oh, the pretty lady with the two studs at the table over there.”
Alusair: “Thanks. Thats where our drinks came from, then? Or didn’t come from, if you prefer.”
Alusair: Sip the wine, see if its drinkable.
It is. Quite delicious, but overall, you imagine too much of it is…well… bad for you.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “A thousand gold? Poor girl must be duped.”
Alusair: “That or somebody really doesn’t want us knowing they’re, ahem, not here.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Shall we say hello?”
Alex: (Oh, and on a semi-unrelated note, if you want any information on locales/NPCs, just create a wiki article for that person, tell me, and I’ll fill it in for you.)
Alusair: “I suspect they’ll say hello on their own at some point.. probably after we’re out of town, or at least out of the pub.”
Alusair: What do they appear to be doing?
The woman is drinking from a flask, reading a book, and the two toughs at her side seem to be looking around the bar observantly.
GM: Spot check?
Alusair: Skill [Spot] [1d20+5 = 9]
Alusair: I have no patience for subterfuge. Its official.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Skill [Spot] [1d20+2 = 13]
Shenvallei, you notice one of the toughs, just one, has wet boots.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Alright.
Shenvallei D’ansille: When one of the toughs looks our way I raise my cup to him and smile in cheers.
The man leans over to the woman and whispers something to her.
He then calls the barmaid over and backhands her across the cheek, spinning her around, before returning to his drink.
Alusair: “Why, Shen?”
Alusair lets out a long sigh before returning to her drink.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Sad that simple gestures are taken so negatively.”
Alusair: “Simple gestures? You just deliberately waited for the opportune moment to let someone watching us know that we knew they were watching us.”
Alusair: “I wouldn’t call that simple, I would call that deliberate provocation.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Fine, as soon as we get back to civilization I will submit myself to your finer points of human ettiquette.”
“That’s not just human ettiquette… that’s just common sssssssenssssssse.”
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): wisdom 6 ftw!
Alusair: “I have no idea who you are, but if you’re looking for trouble, I’ve had just about enough of it for the day.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Who said that?
Alusair: “So kindly either keep it civil – by which I mean civil friendly, not civil ’I’ll notify your next of kin after you’re dead’ – or leave.”
As far as you can tell, the table said it.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “My apologies, I often find myself flubbing in social environments. Please just leave us to our drinks and we will cause no further disturbances.”
“Yeah, sssssure. If you can hold off on the disssturbancessss, I’ll give you 10 platinum when you leave. Jusssst don’t do anything sssssstupid like you did lasssst time you were here.”
Alusair: “Oh? Please, do tell. I just love entertaining stories.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “All I did was ask politely for information on where on this gods forsaken island Galen’s residence is! I mean sure I stood up and asked the whole bar but does that warrant my death???”
Alusair: “In most civilized locales.. no.. but a good tar-and-feathering? Public humiliation? Whipping? Stocks? Yes.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I was chased out of here as if I was a drow priestess!”
Alusair: “You say that like all drow priestesses are bad.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “… Dont go there Al.”
Alusair returns to her drink with a slight smirk, periodically glancing at the table with the two goons.
The voice from under the table falls silent.
The goons are glaring at Shenvallei.
Shenvallei D’ansille keeps his head in his ale.
Time passes… do either of you do anything to secure accomodation for the night?
Alusair: At some point, yes.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Yes.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Ill ask the barkeep for a room if he has any available.
Shenvallei D’ansille: And pay for it up front.
Shenvallei D’ansille: I will also give the barmaid that got hit 100 gold coins and apologize for what happened.
She thanks you and kisses you on the forehead.
The room costs you a gold. It’s cold and damp, but it’s the best they have available.
Shenvallei D’ansille: If it gets unbearably cold I will cast endure elements on myself and Alusair.
As best as you can figure, you’re near a room with a fireplace, which has one of the thugs stationed outside.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Should I go try to make peace with them?”
Alusair: “You probably already made up your mind to do so or not, in which case whatever I tell you, you will anyway.”
Alusair: There a window?
Yeah – tiny, no glass. Just a cross of sticks.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I dont know, I figured Id listen to your advice for a change.”
Shenvallei D’ansille smiles and winks at Alusair.
Alusair looks oddly unimpressed.
Shenvallei D’ansille frowns, “Oh come on, cheer up Al. At least we arent in immediate danger.”
Alusair: “No? I was of the opinion thats exactly what we were probably in.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Ill take care of it.”
Shenvallei D’ansille heads back downstairs and pays the barkeep for a breakfast meal for the 2 ruffians and the woman along with a note that reads, “Apologies for whatever infraction I may have committed, safe travels.”
GM: Another gold.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Head back upstairs, curl up with my spellbook then meditate.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Resetting Wizard Powers
Alusair: “That was quick.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Its all taken care of.”
You meditate and rest – you find yourself awaking in a cold sweat in the middle of the night when you are assailed by visions of Taiya. You are able to finish meditating, however.
Shenvallei D’ansille tries to shake away the unpleasant dream.
Morning comes, and a feeling of uneasiness and longing remains with you throughout the day, Shenvallei.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Noted.
Alusair: Head downstairs…
Shenvallei D’ansille: Ask the barkeep if he has any port.
You arrive downstairs, and are promptly laughed at.
GM: By the barman, that is.
Alusair: ..me, or him?
GM: “This is a small village, not a big coastal city. Why would we have a port?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Port wine… never heard of it?”
GM: “Oh, you mean the wine the lizardmen bring in? Is that what you city people call it? Porting wine? Huh.”
GM: Oddly enough, neither barmaid seems to be around today.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): I forgot to mention I recasted disguise self.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Spell [Disguise Self] → Changes your appearance.
Alusair: “On your own today, guv?”
GM: Statement still stands – You’re obviously not a wilder, and you’re not from in town.
GM: “Aye… the ladies went off to Rudyk to try and get married. Handsom dowry for the two of them.”
GM: “Don’t know when as if I’ll ever find replacements.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Alusair here is looking for a job.”
GM: “Sorry… I don’t know as if that’s a jest or not, but I could never afford to pay her, and she’s too pretty to be a barmaid. The customer’s would be scared to talk to her.”
Alusair kicks her sword forward on her belt, planting the tip on the ground and leaning on the pommel. “Yes.. it was a joke, and he’s quite sorry he made it.”
Shenvallei D’ansille raises his eyebrows in mocking surprise, then smiles impishly.
Barman: “There anything I can do for you two, or are you on your way now?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Ever hear of a noble named Galen?”
Barman: “Ech… Noble? That man’s no noble, son. He’s a conqueror… an eight foot demon with the eyes of an angel, and no soul. They say he took one look at this whole island and claimed it to be his, and it’s only by his good graces, such that they are, that we are allowed the existance we got. Others say he crafted it out of the stuff of Chaos, and that we’re all his dreams.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Thats quite a reputation.”
Alusair: “I think what Shen means to ask is ‘where is this sod’..”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Well Im sure one of his power could use another good sword arm. How do we find him?”
Barman: “Three days down, then hook along the southern tip of the mountains, then three days back up, through the Deadlands. Big sodding tower, can’t miss it.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Think you could mark it on this map we have here?”
Shenvallei D’ansille pulls out the map and a quill.
Barman does so.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Thanks pops. You are a good man, well see you again soon one day hopefully.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: "You got anything else for him Al?
Shenvallei D’ansille: "
GM: Spot checks, both of you.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Skill [Spot] [1d20+2 = 17]
Alusair: Skill [Spot] [1d20+5 = 24]
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): nr
GM: Shenvallei, you see a large sack, probably of coin, behind the counter. It looks new.
GM: Alusair, you see, beneath one of the tables, a trap door has been opened, leading to the river below.
Alusair: Anyone else in here?
Alusair: And do I see the gold too?
GM: Nossir, each only sees one.
GM: There’s nobody else in the bar.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Hey I have to ask you, even tho you possibly cannot say, but whats with the lady and the 2 roughies last night throwing gold around and keeping all secretive?”
Shenvallei D’ansille cocks his head at the bag of coin.
Barman: “Look, you can ask all you want, but I’m a man of my word. I said I wouldn’t tell, and I won’t.”
Alusair: “Yes? Thats a shame.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I respect that. But lets say the coin offered you was more than what you were paid to keep quiet?”
Alusair slides “a” dagger out of its place. “Coin, hells. I’ve had just about enough of this miserable little world.”
Barman: “Have you got 2,000 gold on you? Wait, wait, what are you doing, miss?”
Shenvallei D’ansille looks at Alusair.
Alusair: “Now, we’ve been patient. Hell, I’ve even been polite, and Shen’s tried too.”
Alusair: “This is a remarkable little knife, you see. If I even pushed it into your flesh a little, tiny bit, I suspect it would start drinking your blood until I took it back out.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Uh, better start talking pops. You dont want to see her get angrier.”
Alusair: “Now! Two questions. One; what Shen asked you. Two, where did those barmaids really go. And finally, who were those sods that were throwing around all that money.”
Shenvallei D’ansille backs away
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): afk another 2 mins
Barman: “Look, look, I don’t want any trouble. The woman said her name was Milyssa… she’s… how did she put it…a… bounty huntress… The barmaids…well, as far as I can reckon, my daughters did go off to try and get husbands in Rudyk. As far as I can tell, Milyssa was looking for someone… some city dweller, but she didn’t let o more than that.”
Kiergath (Alusair): ….brb….
Shenvallei D’ansille: Keep an eye on the door.
The door remains shut.
Barman: “Look, look, you can’t kill me. I have two daughters!”
Alusair: “Quite. Why would I kill anyone?”
Alusair puts the knife away.
Alusair: “What’s with the trap door?”
Barman: “Some of our local fishermen use it to deliver things to the bar, and the lizardmen use it when they come from the shore.”
Alusair: “Why’s it open now?”
Barman: “Because Milyssa and her friends just left a few minutes before you came down. I hadn’t gotten around to closing it yet.”
Alusair: “I see…”
Alusair: “A bounty hunter and her hired muscle show up.. have drinks sent to us.. and damn near knock out a barmaid when they find out we know.”
Barman: “It wasn’t just you… it was to keep the entire bar from asking questions. We had one chap come in probably six times after he found out there were free rounds…”
Alusair: "Interesting way to keep a low profile.. "
Alusair: “Ah, well. Remember to close up behind us. Sorry about the trouble. And the threats.”
Barman: “…yeah… I’ll even forget that you were here in the bargain.”
Alusair: “Probably for the best.”
Alusair: Leave through the trap door
Shenvallei D’ansille: Follow.
You descend the trap door, climbing down the ladder. You stop just before you hit the river. Down a bit to the south, you see a rowboat with three figures in it. On the side of the river, there’s a small boat tied to a post.
Alusair: “Somewhat conspicuous of us to follow by boat, don’t you think?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Got a better idea?”
Alusair: “Nah, I was just hoping you’d do me the favor of saying we should first.”
Alusair: Climb in, if there’re paddles/oars
Shenvallei D’ansille: Same.
You do so, and find a set.
Alusair: Follow that bounty hunter
GM: You follow her!
It takes you a little while, but you eventually get to a spot where she’s pulled off to the side and gotten out of the boat.
Alusair: Uh, don’t close that much.
GM: But you’ve seen that she’s gotten out of her boat, and is trekking west.
Alusair: Oh. In that case, pull up on shore and follow.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Indeed.
Alusair: “Some times, I wish I had a way to reach out and touch people. You know what I mean?”
GM: You come to the crest of a small hill and see a collection of tents in the middle of some scrub brush, and three figures heading towards the tents.
Do you follow them into the tent-village, or do you wait atop the hill for them to exit?
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Hmm. So, lets wait for them to leave and then confront them aye?”
Alusair: Hang back, take a look at the tent village
Alusair: I don’t like tent villages. I’ve been in one before.
Two hours pass before the trio exit, no longer a trio. The two toughs are “escorting” a man between them.
They begin mounting the hill, and before they get terribly close, you recognize the unmistakable blue eyes of the man they’re carrying between them as belonging to Almach Carr-ai.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “What in the nine is Almach doing here?”
Alusair: “I suspect we’re about to find out.”
Alusair: Get in their way.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Spell [Mage Armor] → Gives subject +4 armor bonus.
Almach Carr-ai: “Oh, fancy meeting you two here!”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Drop my disguise as well.
The group stops.
Alusair: “Been awhile.. a couple days at least, eh? Who’s your friends?”
Almach Carr-ai: “Oh, this is… well, Milyssa. These two? They don’t have names… at least none I’ve ever heard spoken.”
Milyssa: “A pleasure… now, whom might you two be, to be interfering with my private contract?”
Alusair: “I’m afraid I’m an old friend of your contract, miss.”
Alusair: “And, I’m equally afraid, as a celestial, I have a proud heritage of interference.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Dont look at me, Im just an annoying elf.”
Alusair smirks slightly, hands clasped on her sword pommel.
Alusair: “He means that sincerely.”
Milyssa: “I’d advise against that… it would only serve to cause undue harm to your friend, here.”
Alusair: “Almach? Filling us in, please?”
GM: sec. afk
Almach Carr-ai: “I may or may not have gotten careless… I might have gotten involved in a bad business deal, and skipped town… ended up here…”
Alusair: “Not like you, chief.”
Alusair: “So, we have a problem. You darling pikes are trying to walk off with Almach, and I can’t really see myself letting you.”
Alusair: “The question therefore is, is there any point in bothering with the negotiation phase, or should we get right to the violence, screaming, and bleeding out on the grass?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I vote for negotiaton if my vote counts.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Whats your contract worth to start?”
Milyssa: “I suppose there might be something you could offer me to let this criminal go… I’ll even tell my employers he’s dead. I’ll just need compensation…”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Alright, what kind of compensation?”
Milyssa: “My contract was rated at ten thousand.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Ten Thousand what?”
Shenvallei D’ansille laughs aloud, “You expect me to beleive that Almach is worth ten thousand gold coins?”
Shenvallei D’ansille muses, “I wonder how high my bounty was…”
Milyssa: “Thats his value dead. Alive, ten thousand platinum.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Thats more coin than most kingdoms have in their treasuries.”
Alusair: “Where are you from again?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Look miss. I will give you five hundred gold coins for your trouble. Head back to the bar, have a few ales, and drop the contract and we will all be happy.”
Alusair: “Sorry, miss. Is this when I should just apologize for my friend and draw steel?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Skill [Diplomacy] [1d20+1 = 15]
Milyssa: “Five hundred, eh? Really? You’d do that for me?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Well its all I have to my name miss. Im not someone who has the resources to hire out bounty hunters at rates like that!”
Alusair: “With the rates you’d try to pay, I doubt you’d get far – stick to simpler forms of problem solving.”
Almach Carr-ai: “I’m only worth five hundred gold to you, Shenvallei?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Your worth what I have in my purse Almach, Im not a master conjurer who can transmute lead to gold for Corellon’s sake.”
Alusair: “Oh? Thats a shame, you know I have so much lead on hand…”
Milyssa: “Wait…did you say that you had a bounty on you, wizard? Here’s a deal… I’ll trade you the thief for the mage.”
Alusair: “Right. I can see this is going nowhere.”
Shenvallei D’ansille facepalms.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Last chance human.”
Alusair: “This man is no longer wanted by the Court, and was released under my supervision. He is not a bargaining chip.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Skill [Intimidate] [1d20+3 = 17]
Milyssa: “Or what? Your friend dies?”
GM: Spot check.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “And you with him.”
Alusair: Skill [Spot] [1d20+5 = 8]
Shenvallei D’ansille: Skill [Spot] [1d20+2 = 10]
Alusair: I don’t see anything.. I’m standing there with a hand over my face, shaking my head and mumbling incoherently.
GM: Shenvallei – you make out the tiniest sliver of a reflection around Almach’s throat.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Garrot wire?
Milyssa: “You’re sure you can end my life, mageling? Is that why you opted for negotiation first?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Truthfully, no.”
Alusair: “I hate to expect common sense from anyone at this point, but you really aren’t in a good position here. Whether you do or don’t manage to kill Almach, you’ll still end up dead, and I can just bring him back anyway.”
Kiergath (Alusair): Not a lie, for the record, if she can detect such things.
Milyssa: “Oh, a cleric, then? That changes things..”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “It does?”
Alusair: Still engaged in long-term face palm, so nobody would see as I roll my eyes when Shen opens his mouth.
Milyssa: “I’d prefer a bargain… but something worth closer to his dead value then battling it out with a servant of Meryt.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Almach, what do you want?”
Alusair: “I have, to be honest, very little coin on me. If gold is what you want, we’re not going to get anywhere. Farther than Shen’s offer, perhaps, but not nearly enough to be close to his bounty.”
Almach Carr-ai: “I’d love a whore and a steak…”
Alusair: “It so happens we’re out of both, since Jess is dead.”
Shenvallei D’ansille cringes at the mentioning of her name.
Milyssa: “No? How about that stave? That looks valuable.”
GM: brb again
Shenvallei D’ansille: “What? oh this stave?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I cant give it to you, it isnt mine.”
Milyssa: "But you’re carrying it. How can it not be yours?
Milyssa: “After all, Almach is mine, at present.”
Alusair: “May I speak to you, away from these four?”
Milyssa: “…assuming you have something better to offer me than the mageling has, of course.”
Alusair: move away from the group.
Almach Carr-ai: “So, Shenvallei, what have you been up to these days?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Oh just on some foolhardy errand out here. Nothing so much as a simple fetch and bring back contract. I dont mind it though, get to stay away from the cage and I needed a vacation.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “To be quite honest I dont even know where
here is. Any clues yourself or did you just find it convenient to run?”
Almach Carr-ai: “I’ve been here before… the doomguard have a little fortress that I’ve done some dealing with… but mostly it was a convenient place to run to. I have a cousin back down the hill there.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Why did they give you up so easily? Or are you actually going with them of your own free will?”
Alusair nods finally, after a long, whispered conversation. She offers the woman her hand.
Almach Carr-ai: “It was that, or the muscle would torch the entire village.”
Milyssa takes Alusair’s hand and shakes it. “Let him go, boys. We’re going with them.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Would be hard to live with that no doubt.”
Alusair: “Shen, your map please.”
Almach is released.
Shenvallei D’ansille hands the map to Alusair.
Alusair: Our destination is that big tower to our southwest?
Yes. Direct Southwest.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “What was decided?”
Alusair: “It was decided that the good lady and I have common interests on this island and that working together would be to our mutual benefit.”
Milyssa: “In return, your thief friend runs free.”
Almach Carr-ai rubs his neck sorely.
Alusair: “In other news, we are now looking at a four—-err.. six.. way split.”
Alusair looks at the two toughs with some misgivings.
The toughs look at Alusair with a cold, calculated interest.
Alusair: “In other, related topics.. the ‘mageling’ is Shenvallei, and I am Alusair.”
Milyssa: “Milyssa. A pleasure, I’m sure.”
Alusair: Is there, say, a scale on this map?
Milyssa: “I’ve heard those names whispered about.”
Alex: Yes, there is. It’s covered up in the bottom right, at the moment.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Our names? Old news these days Im sure.”
Alusair: “There was the matter of a massive hunt for us or our disembodied heads, yes.”
More or less, it’ll take you three days to get to the bottom of the mountains, then two days back up the coast.
Milyssa: “Shame… I could have made a hefty profit on that.”
Milyssa: “Still, I think I’ll be making a nicer profit with the deal we’ve got.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Well at least you are an easy one to please Milyssa.”
Alusair: “I’m much more pleasant to have around as a friend, I assure you.”
Alusair: “I react poorly when people try to kill me.”
Milyssa: “Most people do. The trick is to not allow them to react.”
Milyssa: “Now then! How do you plan on getting to this tower?”
Alusair: “I’d offer you a bulk deal on Harmonium identification papers, but after awhile I just gave them away.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “South. By foot or mount.”
The two men produce papers with a flash, then they dissapear again.
Alusair: “Sorry, at this point I don’t even bother looting the bodies for less than a mover five.”
Alusair: “I was thinking, though. What if we went southwest and picked up a boat on the coast – it could shave days off our travel time.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “A wise idea.”
Alusair: “Almach, I suspect you know this place better than I.. input?”
Almach Carr-ai: “Are you kidding me? The best I’ve done is crested the peak of that mountain, and visited the nomads… although your route is feasible… I’ve seen the path you’re talking about.”
Milyssa: “We can just have the twins carry the rowboat we came in on, and the one that you followed us in. That should be enough to get us there, at least.”
The two toughs slough off to get the boats.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Depart.
Milyssa: “Well then, lead on, fearless mageling.”
Alusair: “Fair enough.. now we don’t have to set foot in that city on the coast, either, since we have our own transport.”
GM: You trek onward!
Your porters are quiet enough, and Almach seems like he’s almost happy.
Although he seems rather off-put at both being caught and having a deal go south.
You near the coast as the sun dips below the waves.
Milyssa: “Do we make the crossing now, or do we wait for daylight?”
Alusair: How far does it look to be, timewise?
The crossing itself will take you to midnight, assuming calm seas, which they aren’t.
Alusair: “I’d say wait til’ morning. I don’t like the look of that water.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Agreed.”
Shenvallei D’ansille sets up camp
Alusair looks around, wanders about ten, fifteen yards from camp and finds a comfortable looking place to set down.
One of the Harmonium officers sets up a tent for Milyssa, and she heads within. The two sit outside, unmoving, leaning against each other in front of the opening.
Almach Carr-ai falls asleep, exhausted, in a bush.
Night passes uneventfully, fortunately for Almach.
Morning comes, and with it, calmer seas. Milyssa is awake, in brand new garments of slightly different colors, which is strange, as she had no clothing packed with her.
Almach is, rare for him, snoring.
Alusair: sorry, fiddling with spells.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Resetting Wizard Powers
Alusair: “Right.. anyone having second thoughts yet? Once we make that crossing, its a little late.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I think we need a plan.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “We can go the stealthy approach, the subterfuge approach, the diplomatic approach, or the kill all in our path approach.”
Almach Carr-ai: “That’s a lot of options.”
Alusair: “No diplomacy. I’ve gone through too much trouble.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I have nothing against this wizard save for his reputation.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “But I dont have any allegiance to him either.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “So…. hmm.”
Alusair: “I have a great deal against this wizard. He’s the reason I’ve been dragged to this miserable little hole, he’s gotten alot of Doomguard killed, and his island is harboring my enemy. Thats good enough for me to off him.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Thats an odd way to justify it, but it works for me.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I mean I doubt hes holding an orphanage in that tower of his.”
Almach Carr-ai: “…are you sure?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Just a doubt.”
Alusair: “Bloody hell, I don’t care if he has twenty orphans, a herd of cats and a bloody rape victim seminar, I’ve had it with this sodding hole, and somebody’s going to get dead booked for my trouble!”
Alusair stomps off to the coast, carrying one of the boats.
Milyssa: “I’m all for killing him, if anyone cares.”
Alusair: “THANK YOU!”
Shenvallei D’ansille shrugs and follows.
Milyssa tags along after Alusair. Almach is dragged along by the other soldier not carrying a boat.
YOU MOUNT THE SEA!
GM: Can I get a ride check from both of you?
Alusair: Skill [Ride] [1d20+4 = 20]
Shenvallei D’ansille: Sorry fiddling with spells also
Shenvallei D’ansille: Skill [Ride] [1d20+6 = 19]
Shenvallei D’ansille: ok set
You are able to cross the sea without difficulty, or sickness!
As you break past the mountains, travelling across the heaping bosom that is the ocean, you catch a glimpse of the immense marble tower. Sitting atop it’s peak is a slowly revolving massive blue crystal. Both of you feel an immense pang of longing in your heart, feeling drawn to the object, a deep tugging that comes from within your soul. As you hit land, you find yourselves near a giant set of metal doors, easily wide enough to get a cart through. “This ought to be easy to cart everything from the tower out through…” says Milyssa. Almach looks uneasy standing close to doors that size.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Search for a way in other than the double doors.
Alusair: I think you meant “heaving”. “Heaving” bosom.
Alex: Naw… heaping works too. Like a heaping helping of mashed potatoes.
Alusair: I prefer the traditional metaphor. Both in and out of character.
Alusair: Just sayin’.
You search… but unless you have a grapnel, a longbow, a long length of rope, or a trampoline, you can’t get to the highest windows.
Alusair: “Looks like its the front door, unless someone can fly or scale sheer marble walls.”
Almach Carr-ai: “…I can scale the tower, but I’ll be damned if I’m going up alone.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: "I can get up there as well. Maybe throw down a rope if itll reach.
Shenvallei D’ansille: "
Alusair: “Excellent suggestion. I’ll be waiting down here.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Ok.
Milyssa: “You can get up there, mageling? Oh, I’d love to see this.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Please.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Spell [Alter Self] → Assume form of a similar creature.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Wings. Fly up to the window.
Alusair: “Less bickering, you sound like a couple of old women in a fish market.”
You fly… you fly, and for what seems like hours, you feel like you’re making progress, but the window feels further and further away. When you look down, you can barely make out your companions, and realize that your rope can’t possibly reach the ground from where you are.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Tall tower…”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Land.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Not going to work its too high for the rope.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Actually.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Can I take that back?
Shenvallei D’ansille: Before I land Id like to at least fly up and look into the window.
GM: You keep flying upwards.
It becomes hard to breathe.
Stars appear, both in your vision, and in the sky.
Shenvallei D’ansille: And the tower continues on?
You begin to black out with the strain of flying. The window seems like it’s only a few hundred feet higher…
Shenvallei D’ansille: If I begin to feel dizzy Ill glide back down.
Shenvallei, you return to the bottom of the tower.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “No good pant its too high.”
Alusair: “You only went fifty sodding feet.”
Almach Carr-ai digs through his pockets and comes up with some climbing pitons. “Be right back!” he says with a cocky grin, and begins to scale the tower. At 50 feet, he gets stuck in a bizzarre pantomime, where pitons keep slamming into the wall, and he climbs them, but gets no higher.
Milyssa: “…this seems fruitful… I’m impressed, mageling.”
Alusair: “RIght, come on back down.”
Alusair: “Any more objections to the front doors?”
Almach Carr-ai descends, slowly, out of breath.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Let us then step aside and watch how Mistress Milyssa does it then.”
Milyssa: “Very well.”
Milyssa approaches the front door, gives it a tug, and one of the great iron doors swings open easily. She gestures towards Shenvallei to enter, and bows.
Shenvallei D’ansille enters and looks around.
Alusair: “…Wonderful. Somebody who likes the direct approach at last.”
Alusair follows Shen in.
Entering the first room, you find yourself staring at a giant spiral staircase that circles the tower. The floor is adorned with wet slicks of blood in arcane symbols, with sick and twisted altars constructed from humanoid bones. Strange stones glow with blue and red hues, scattered in braziers throughout the room.
Shenvallei D’ansille: How big are the stones?
They’re the size of small daggers.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Are they shaped like daggers?
Alusair: “I love this place already. I can already foresee very few cases where I’ll have to feel sorry for killing anything I find here.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “What possesses an arch-wizard to construct something such as this? Ill never understand.”
Shenvallei D’ansille motions at the altars and bones.
Almach Carr-ai: “Power… the thirst for knowledge.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “This? Looks like sheer sadism and boredom to me.”
Alusair: “Power is a wonderful thing.. I pursue it myself – perhaps not by this route.. but one can never claim it’s a particularly.. clean.. goal.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Well lead the way Almach, no idea what traps are rigged in this deathbox.”
Almach Carr-ai: “…I find it hard to believe that a wizard would resort to the kind of traps I’m capable of handling.”
Alusair: “Ain’t that the truth.”
Almach Carr-ai: “Isn’t this your area of expertise?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Spell [Detect Magic] → Detects spells and magic items within 60 ft.
Alusair: “I hope you’re talking about Shen.. I mostly just kill things and then make up interesting and novel ways to explain that my goddess doesn’t mind, or even encourages my continued actions.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Alright, alright.”
Milyssa: “Typical cleric…”
Shenvallei D’ansille: I study the stones and look for some sort of clue as to their purpose and activation.
The whole place radiates with a faint glow, but the center of one of the arcane symbols is particularly bright.
GM: The stones are indeed magic, and seem like they provide light.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Will any of my skills help in deciphering it?
Alusair: “I take offense at that.”
GM: …the symbol, or the stone?
Shenvallei D’ansille: Both.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Start with the stone.
Lets get a UMD check then.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Skill [Use Magic Device] [1d20+8 = 19]
It seems to be some device designed to illuminate, without the danger of flame.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Can I take it?
It’s loose, yes.
Shenvallei D’ansille: I take it.
GM: You take the stone.
Shenvallei D’ansille looks back at the group with a smile as he pockets the stone. “Treasure.”
GM: Spellcraft to identify the blood symbols on the floor.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Skill [Spellcraft] [1d20+17 = 34]
The rune reads: “He who removes anything from this tower will be cursed with the might of the Blood God, that he might forever walk this earth as his servant after death.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Ill put the stone back.
Almach Carr-ai: “No treasure?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Query: does it read that exactly?
Shenvallei D’ansille: “He”?
Are you questioning my rune translation skills?
Alusair: Apparently yes, he is
I happen to have a PDF on translating runes open right now, and to the best of my ability, that is the translation on the stone floor in front of you.
Shenvallei D’ansille: I recite the rune to the party.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Perhaps it only affects males.”
Alusair: “Fascinating. With a translator like you, we’ll all be fine.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “All Im saying is if you or the guttersnipe want to take a few bits and pieces feel free.”
Alusair: “In religious texts, ‘he’ is a universal term. Its the traditional phrase, ‘he who’, not ‘they who’. Its a holdover from when all the priests in all the faiths were men, and the multiverse was a shambles. We just kept it on because it rhymes better. Carry on the looting.”
Milyssa: “I’m certainly not going to risk it.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Move on to the rune.
…you stand on it?
Shenvallei D’ansille: No I mean look at it and study it.
Alusair: “For sod’s sake, you’re all a bunch of cowards. ‘As his servant AFTER DEATH’ it says. Do you plan on dying here? I sure as blazes don’t.”
Alusair: Grab the bloody rock.
GM: You study the rune some more.
GM: It’s meaning doesn’t become any more clear.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Im sorry I meant that arcane sigil in the center.
GM: That was the arcane sigil.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Great well we are done here then, no discernable traps.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Start heading up the stairs but I let Almach go with me to detect any conventional traps.
From both Milyssa, and Almach, at the same time.
Alusair: “. . . .”
As you climb to the second floor, the stench of sulphur overwhelms you. Although you can count only 64 steps between floors, it seems like it takes you an hour to come up to a level where you can peer out onto the next floor. The temperature continues to rise until you see a massive metal cage, within which is an ancient black dragon, easily several centuries old. In the center of the room is a pedastel with a large golden key resting on it. The dragon barely takes interest in you, aside from a first glance. A second spiral staircase allows access to further up in the tower.
Standing by the access to the stairway are two statues holding metal swords, the whole of each of them radiating magic.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “This has to be an illusion.”
Alusair: “Looks real to me. But you don’t trust my judgement about that sort’ve thing anyway.”
Alusair: “She’s not telling the truth, Al! I don’t care what your spells say, Al! Its unnatural!”
Alusair: Walk over to the dragon.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Al, there is a dragon in a cage for hells sake! What about that seems normal to you?”
Alusair turns towards Shen.
Alusair: “Are you aware of where I first met my goddess, Shenvallei?”
Shenvallei D’ansille takes a step back.
Alusair: “A cage. Not unlike this one. Possibly a little smaller.”
Alusair: “You? You thought she was your familiar.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Luna…”
Shenvallei D’ansille turns away.
Alusair: “Luna?! Luna was never in that cage!”
Alusair turns back towards the dragon.
Alusair: “If I poke you, will you end up being real, or a clever illusion? I’d prefer a straight answer, because frankly, I don’t want to poke you and I doubt you want to be poked.”
Alusair: “I’ll take stunned, amused silence and a quizzical stare, too.”
A giant, reptillian eye narrows at you, and a huff of acrid air emitted from it’s nostrils is sent in your direction.
Alusair: “Good enough, he’s real.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Walk over to the gold key on the pedestal.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Examine the pedestal and key.
GM: The pedestal seems designed for the key
The key seems like it would fit the lock to the cage the dragon is residing in.
Shenvallei D’ansille: I try to remember my mission. I had to steal a dragonling right?
Kiergath (Alusair): Psst. Thats not a dragonling.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): I know. Shen doesnt.
It was the Dragon Familiar of the Archmagus Galen.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Hah! this could be what Im looking for.”
Alusair: “Wait, what!?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “The dragon familiar of the Archmagus Galen.”
Alusair: “I have an idea. Why don’t you ask it?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: I walk carefully over to the dragon’s cage.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Great Wyrm, I humbly ask you of your relation to Archmagus Galen.”
Shenvallei D’ansille kneels before the dragon.
You hear a breif fit of laughter from upstairs. Cackling, really.
Alusair: Walk over to Almach and Milyssa.
Almach Carr-ai: “…wait, this thing is supposed to be the Archmagus’s familiar?”
Almach Carr-ai: “And Shenvallei had a cat?”
Alusair: “Do you think he’d let us go back outside, ditch the Prime, and start over from the beginning?”
Almach Carr-ai: “I’m no maths expert, but I’m not going up those stairs.”
GM: You get no reaction from the Dragon
GM: it just stares at you
Shenvallei D’ansille: Back away slowly.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Look, either Galen has a very sadistic sense of humor, or we are in some real danger here. Either way this looks like a suicide mission.”
Almach Carr-ai: “…I’m no fan of suicide. Maybe you can go upstairs and reason with him, Shen?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Good idea.”
Alusair: “Sorry mate.. didn’t you notice it seemed like a suicide mission when you got put on it?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Why would they take the time, money, and resources to save my life from execution only to send me on a suicide mission? Nothing makes any sense!”
Shenvallei D’ansille runs both his hands thru his hair.
Shenvallei D’ansille makes his way to the stairwell and begins heading up.
As you approach the stairway, the two statues on either side flare to life, raising their swords and taking steps towards you.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Gods!”
Shenvallei D’ansille runs back to the party.
Alusair: “Those don’t look like gods to me, no.”
The Golems continue to approach, malice in their souless, stone eyes.
Alusair: “Didn’t we have a pair of hardheads around somewhere?”
Part of you feels that these might have been men, brave adventurers, who decided to enter the tower.
Milyssa: “…what do you want them to do, distract them?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: Can I make a roll to determine what these things might be and if we stand a chance?
Milyssa: Uh…what skill would you be trying to roll with?
Shenvallei D’ansille: Skill [Knowledge (Dungeon Creatures)] [1d20+10 = 13]
They look like Golems… move like golems… and with six people, you figure two of them should go down easy, if the black dragon doesn’t breathe on you.
Alusair: Thats fine.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Well yes. If the dragon decides to enter we are dead no matter what.
Alusair: Draw sword, circle around to keep the golems between me and the dragon, and attack.
Alusair: See? No more complicated questions, no more silly questions.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Initiative [1d20+5 = 20]
Alusair: Initiative [1d20+2 = 13]
Alusair: Just a series of actions and reactions.
Alusair: You people are going to drive me to join the godamn ciphers.
Milyssa: [1d20 = 6]
Milyssa: [1d20 = 18]
Milyssa: [1d20 = 11]
Shenvallei D’ansille: Target the one Alusair is about to strike with a basic magic missile.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Spell [Magic Missile] → 1d4+1 damage; 3 = 9]
Shenvallei D’ansille: let me look up if its 3 or 4
Alusair: L9 is 5.
Shenvallei D’ansille: right
Shenvallei D’ansille: [1d4 = 4]
Shenvallei D’ansille: add 5 then
Milyssa: One of the golems stops for a second, then continues
Milyssa: [2d20 = 28]
Milyssa: [1d10 = 6]
Both hardheads swing, but only one connects!
Alusair: Bastard Sword 14 = 25]
Alusair: Bastard Sword 9 = 27]
Alusair: Bastard Sword 10 = 18]
Alusair: Bastard Sword 10 = 19]
One of the golems drops like it’s hot.
GM: [2d20 = 9]
Almach Carr-ai throws two daggers, but they both go wide.
GM: [1d20 = 10]
GM: [4d12 = 21]
One of the hardheads intercepts the hit meant for Alusair. The steel blade cuts clean through his head, sending sprays of blood to the cieling.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Same thing seemed to work.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Spell [Magic Missile] → 1d4+1 damage; +1 missile per two levels above 1st (max 5).
Shenvallei D’ansille: [1d6 = 6]
Shenvallei D’ansille: casts as a level 12
Shenvallei D’ansille: [5d4 = 19]
Shenvallei D’ansille: 9 = 25]
Alusair: Bastard Sword 14 = 18]
Alusair: Bastard Sword 10 = 18]
Alusair: Bastard Sword 10 = 16]
The second golem crumbles to the ground, dropping it’s sword.
The path to the stairs is now clear.
Alusair: “Oh, look at that. The direct approach works! Who would have thought!”
Alusair: Look at the swords.
Scimitars, both of them.
Fairly decent, but worn with age.
Alusair: Head up the damn stairs, after making sure the first hardhead is dead
As you ascend the final staircase, you see a formal dining room, surrounded by a massive circular bookcase. On one end of the table set for fourteen, piled high with steaming food, sits a small black cat, reminiscent of Luna. To one side sits a bubbling alchemy set, and near that, a lectern, behind which stands a rather young-looking male human, rather handsome, except for his eyes, which hurt to look at. They seem like empty voids, drawing your gaze, but on looking at them, you feel your soul being drawn from your body. Still, you feel a strong pull upwards, towards the cieling, where the giant crystal rotates freely.
Alusair: “So. Here we are. Should I keep this out, or can I put it away for a little while?”
Galen: “That depends… why have you come?”
His voice is empty, and he reeks of death.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “May as well tell him the truth.”
Alusair: “I’m here because a member of the Fated gave Shenvallei here orders to abscond with your familiar.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I am Shenvallei.”
Alusair slides her sword back into its scabbard.
Shenvallei D’ansille looks at the food.
Galen: “My familiar, is it? What do you have for me that could be worth so much?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “To be precise its the dragon familiar of archmage Galen.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Are you in fact Archmage Galen?”
Alusair: “Honestly, I’d offer you the Prime, but since he’s the one who wants it, it would be laughable on a couple levels. He just demonstrated one of them.”
Galen: “…No, I’m his half sister.”
Alusair: “Really? Are the two of you free later on?”
Galen: “Am I the Archmage Galen? Why don’t you come back in a few centuries, pewling welp.”
Alusair: Sit down nonchalantly in one of the 14 chairs, but don’t impose on his food.
Luna approaches and circles Alusair’s feet.
Alex: Sry…readjusting things.
Shenvallei D’ansille: The cat is a calico that looks just like Luna?
Alusair: …If the cat lets me, try to pick it up.
And it does not let you pick it up.
Alusair: Does it let me pet it?
Alusair: Do so.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Fine. So here we are. And this organization wants your familiar. If I fail they are just going to send somebody else. And so on, and so on until eventually they get what they want. What do you suggest? I am at a loss I dont even want to be here.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “We can make a trade if that suits you.”
GM: “A trade? What do you have that would serve to interest me?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Well you seem to be a mage of considerable power. Would you consider an apprentice?”
Alusair: “Trades imply things of equal value.. you’re just offering him a parasite in return for a thing of immense worth.”
Galen: “Are you presuming that your apprenticeship would adequately replace the value of a five hundred year old black dragon?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “A black dragon cannot carry on your legacy.”
Alusair sniffs the air, “Whats that smell? It smells like.. immortality! Yeah. He’s got his legacy well in hand.” She then goes back to petting the cat.
Galen: “Legacies? What do you know of Legacy…. I am eternal and forever.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Little truth be told. I never saw the point of it. Id be willing to learn. But if that doesnt suit you and items are your forte this is what I posess.”
Shenvallei D’ansille pulls out his items one by one to show Galen.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I have this book of the Chaos Sea War. It is an ever changing story book, quite bleak in its pages.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I have this pen which can draw maps of any location.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “These glasses which can see minute items and imperfections for crafting.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “This staff which talks.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “A magical dagger.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “And a pair of gloves which absorb fire.”
Galen: “…that staff, where did you get it? That is mine.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I found it.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “In a pyramid.”
Galen: “A likely story. You will return it to me at once.”
Galen extends his hand forcefully.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Can I roll an intelligence check to remember the staves name?
Alex: …it’s in your inventory
Alex: I’m staring at it right now
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Iar’an, is Galen your master?”
Alusair: “Sorry, wiz. He’s telling the truth. I would know, I was chained to a wall not far from where he found it.”
Iar’an: “Ehhh…more or less as I’ve ever had a master.”
Galen: “You will return what is mine unto me, or be as a cinder.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Hold your horses Galen, this staff and I have become friends.”
Alusair: “Kind’ve a risky bit of business, that, seeing as he’s holding it at the moment.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Iar’an, do you want to return to Galen?”
Galen: “…I am so glad you’ve become friends with MY property.”
Iar’an: “Want to? No, I’d rather go see the planes.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Been meaning to do that, just you know trying to stay alive.”
Galen: “…touching. Truly, touching.”
Galen ‘s outstretched hand begins crackling with intense negative energy.
Shenvallei D’ansille: "Now dont get hasty. Ive returned with the staff, what say you? I return Iar’an for your familar and everyone is happy?"
Alusair: “You know what would make me happy? Not dying here.”
Alusair: Keep petting the cat.
Galen: “Iar’an for a fraction of my familiar. Or your blood.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Fraction? Explain.”
Galen: “I’m not giving you my whole familiar. I will remove part of my familiar’s soul and imbue it into the cat. None shall know the difference, and I will have my staff.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Hmm, I wonder if that would absolve me of this contract.”
Alusair: “Deal was for his familiar… to be fair, if that familiar changes form, its not your fault.”
Galen: “You are lucky for me to even consider this deal. I could dissolve you into the chaos that makes you up with nary a word.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Chaos makes me up? That is quite a compliment Galen. I accept.”
releases the chaotic energy built up in his hand, sending a beam lancing into the cat, barely missing Alusair’s fingers, causing it to change into a demented dragonling, barely hatched.
Galen releases the chaotic energy built up in his hand, sending a beam lancing into the cat, barely missing Alusair’s fingers, causing it to change into a demented dragonling, barely hatched.
Galen: “I will have my staff. NOW.”
Alusair: Stop petting the cat.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Of course.”
Shenvallei D’ansille walks over to Galen and hands him the staff.
Shenvallei D’ansille: Do I sense any form of control over the dragonling?
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I suppose you will need to bind the dragonling to me so that it may follow me when we leave.”
Galen: “I will do no such thing. Why would I bind any creature to a mage foolish enough to lose his own familiar?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “How do you know about Luna?”
Galen: “I can see everything there ever was about you, past and present. It is no challenge for one such as I.”
Alusair: “. . . That and he probably heard me ranting downstairs.”
Galen: “I am not deaf, this is true.”
Alusair: “Sorry, I get worked up sometimes.”
Galen: “Now tell me, why are you still in my presence?”
Alusair: “Too lazy to move, guv. Besides, Shen hasn’t left yet.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “If you have no further use for us then we will leave. A shame you gain no pleasure from sharing your knowledge.”
Shenvallei D’ansille shrugs and heads for the stairwell.
You leave the tower?
Shenvallei D’ansille: With the dragonling yes.
Alusair: Follow Shen.
You drag the dragonling downstairs with you, and succeed in exiting the tower. When you reach the bottom, you feel a change come over you both, as though you feel more…attuned to the planes.
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Sorry there was no treasure in this for you Mil.”
Milyssa: “…you mean that dragonling isn’t for me?”
Alusair: “I’m not leaving this pitiful little hole until I get to do some looting.”
Alusair: “… by which I refer to this plane.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “Not unless you want the Fated hounding your every step.”
Milyssa: “Hah. I am above the Fated, mageling. When they need something done, they come to me, not the other way around.”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “You are that good? Why Almach then? I mean no offense but hes not exactly a difficult mark.”
Alusair: “Shen? Ten thousand platinum and you’re asking that question?”
Shenvallei D’ansille: “I think Ill quit talking.”
Almach Carr-ai: “No offense? Not a difficult mark? What the hell does that mean?! I’ve been caught TWICE!”
Shenvallei D’ansille follows Alusair.
For your troubles, feel free to take another +1 to any stat for being in such close proximity to a large Planar Shard.
GM: You retreat from the tower, then?
Shenvallei D’ansille: Nice.
Alusair: headed… south.
Alusair: it is glorious scenic route. I need to find a town where I can buy a pillaging shovel.
You trek south, one Hardhead lighter for your troubles.
Alusair: that makes it all worth while
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): I have to go tho, I have to work in 7 hours.
Kiergath (Alusair): a worthy escuse to flee.
You pass through the dead wastes, marking no signs of life as you progress, until you come across a massive stone ruin. The intact arch shows a sigil, long worn by time and weather, of a crossed tooth and claw.
Before returning to Galen’s Island, the party erects a pyre, and sets Jesebel on it to burn, causing the entire doomguard camp to get torched in the process. Back on Galen’s Island, Jor’un leads the Doomguard back to their old fortress to rebuild. Alusair and Shenvallei head west, to a small swamp town. They run across a bounty huntress named Milyssa. They procede to follow her by boat, and confront her when she apprehends Almach. Alusair strikes a deal with the woman, and she accompanies them after setting Almach free. They procede to take a shortcut across the water to Galen’s tower. They enter, and successfully negotiate for Galen’s familiar, and promptly beat a retreat to the south, towards ruins with a strange tooth and claw marking worn into the stone infront of the ruins.
END SESSION DESCRIPTION
Alusair: I’m glad I only promised Milyssa an equal share.
Alusair: Otherwise, I’d be losing money on this run.
GM: LoL… true.
Alusair: but hey
Alusair: she got a stat point out of it!
GM: No she didn’t.
Alusair: she can’t have mine
GM: She doesn’t have a planar shard.
Alusair: neither do I—oh, wait, right, that big glowy rock in my backpack
GM: The first one, not the one you took
Alusair: I know
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): yes
Alex: Just checking if you put your point in, but you did.
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): yup and noted that my shard is +3 int now
Alex: Got it, got it
Kiergath (Alusair): stat adjusted.
Alex: Any comments/suggestions for next time?
Nick (Shenvallei D’ansille): Just keep doing what you are doing, I cant think of anything.
Alex: Alright. I’ma shut the server down. G’night! More planned for next time.