The Destiny Of Dunsany

Session #13

The session opens with the party back in Dunsany only a few days after marching off into the Feywild after the Viridian Flower. The baron is hard at work on some blasphemous treatise in the study. Jamalla decides to go visit Madame Ilia for some advice on the loot we snagged from our latest adventure.

The hag explains to Jamalla that identifying things is part of her side business, and to please pay 20 gold per thing identified, potions and philtres a specialty. Jamalla is outraged, but manages to cough up 32 gold to identify the amber flasks and the dagger the party found at the Unmelting Cliff. Ilia refuses to take payment in any of the coins we got from the same chest, however.

Harmattan, seeing as how it’s night out with the full moon showing, is immediately worried about any Lunar Ravagers that might show up. Tiptoeing around Drax’s father in the manor library, Drax doesn’t find anything about ravagers, but does learn a ‘secret-to-be-named-later’ from the journals of the Dunsany family.

In the morning, Jamalla visits the auction house, Galeon and Harmattan patrol the circus, and Drax receives visitors and councilors at his house.

Jamalla pays a visit to Benelaus the auction master, who explains to her (apparently again) that to put an item up for sale in the auction house is to pay 10% of the reserve price up front as a fee for the house. Jamalla is outraged (again) (and broke), but after much soul-searching and whinging manages to get Benelaus to at least keep the beer in cold storage until some rich dwarves show up. At this point we don’t think Jamalla will part with the fey beer for anything less than a duchy. Anyhow, Benelaus also warns Jamalla that her torc is actually quite valuable, and that she should keep it hidden if she plans on wandering around the bad parts of town for much longer. Jamalla takes this advice to heart.

Harmattan manages (in his fatigued state) to browbeat some hobgoblins to act as security in the circus, and he and Galeon wander around. The circus does have some very nice animals, although nothing too carnivorous. The big attraction for Harmattan, however, are the mega-yaks. Hailing from the Cold Lands, these yaks are the perfect thing for a group on the move: they provide milk, they provide yak wool, they haul stuff you can eat the old ones, and you can probably make their horns into a baillsta. The two dragonborn talk with Kruldak the circusmaster about the circus and the yaks.

  1. Kruldak isn’t willing to part with any yaks
  2. He really doesn’t want to join the Silver Dragon Company
  3. He’d like to give a private performance for the baron’s family at some point
  4. Go talk to Vrildak some more for more yak info.

We talk to Vrildak and learn more about mega-yaks. He gives us some fine yak cheese. Jamalla shows up and finds a locked circus wagon, and someone says it’s a broken fortune-telling machine. They don’t let her in.

Meanwhile, Drax meets with his advisors. Soon Cargill, a scout for Marsden shows up. He and Drax exchange pleasantries, and then in private tells Drax that he’s really a spy for the king of Albion. Cargill is going to scout ahead in the elven forest. Drax says that isn’t really a good idea, and Cargill tells him not to worry, look at this big necklace full of dragon teeth of dragons I’ve killed. Cargill takes off.

Back at the circus, Fafnir, Stout-of-Heart shows up, and tells Galeon and Harmattan to quickly hide, because Cargill the Dragonslayer has been spotted in town. He’s the #1 bad guy to the High Castle right now, because he’s killed a whole lot of dragons and dragonborn. There’s a messenger on the way to the High Castle asking for reinforcements, but right now the goal is to sit tight. We sneak over to Dunsany Manor.

There at Dunsany Manor, Harmattan informs Drax of the pressing need to kill Cargill, Drax is vehemently against the idea, and refuses to help. After much back and forth, Jamalla agrees to spy on Cargill for the dragonborn, although Drax asks Jamalla to inform Cargill that the dragonborn are after him.

Harmattan heads to the temple of Corellon to meet with Adran, to try and get word to Friede Garwydion, the mean old elf who hates humans on principle. There are plans afoot, and dark stratagems, and all will be revealed next session!

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Session #12

The session opens with the party standing at the top of the Unmelting Cliff, deep in the Feywild. Standing up there with us is the faerie creature Snow-whistle, and the warrior Victor Mordekar. Also with us is a ‘bud’ of the Viridian Flower.

A thought occurs to Harmattan: is Victor still alive, after standing up here in the blistering cold for so long. Galeon checks for the classic signs undeath, and Harmattan tries to check to see if Victor still breathes. All signs prove positive, and Victor seems to have died waiting for the flower to open. Drax spends some time trying to convince Victor that his quest ended with his death, but to no avail. Jamalla offers Victor her special flower, which is also to no avail.

At this point Harmattan and Drax get into a bit of an argument over whether or not to fight Victor for his ‘right’ to the flower. Harmattan is for offering Victor a melee for the flower (seeing as how apparently he has done this before). Drax is adamant that since he offered hospitality to whoever was at the top of the cliff, that he couldn’t renege on that commitment, even with his father’s life hanging in the balance.

Drax then beings in the Invisible Warrior, and the party kicks around for a bit. Since the current holder of the Oak Throne (Oberon) is currently absent, the only being who could make the Viridian Flower bloom again is the moon itself. Drax begins to cotton to the idea of bargaining with the moon for his father’s life. He and the Invisible Warrior gin up an idea that it might be possible (in the Feywild at least) to visit the moon if one person ‘stopped walking’ while halfway through the transition of a Moonbridge. It is decided that the rest of the party stay on the cliff in case things get hairy, and Drax will try out the crazy moon thing.

Snow-whistle makes a Moonbridge (Drax still can’t pull this off), and the Invisible Warrior cuts the bridge when Drax has made it halfway across. Drax becomes the first mortal in quite some while to make it to the moon.

Drax’s time on the moon.

Drax finds the surface of the moon to be a…void. There’s not much going on. The air seems breathable and comfortable, but the view is of a vast, unblemished expanse. Off in the distance, there is a commotion of some sort, and Drax heads for it. It turns out to be a cadre of moon-people (uh, go here for an idea of a moon-person) riding clockwork horses straight across the featureless plain. They quickly surround Drax with their lances, but Drax convinces them that he is no threat, and gets them to take him to the Palace of the Lady of the Moon. One of the warriors gets off his steed so that Drax can ride, and he finds that he does not embarrass himself on the artificial horse.

Once at the palace, Drax speaks with the moon’s chamberlain, who is very annoyed with him, because he has appeared and thrown off the moon’s schedule. The moon is a very orderly place, you see, for all the chaos that is associated with lunacy is broadcast outward, leaving a land of strict nothing. At the same time, the chamberlain is interested with how Drax got to the moon. Drax sweet-talks his way into a quick meeting with the Lady, in order to get out of the minister’s scheme of things as soon as possible.

The Lady of the Moon: she is rather hard to look at directly. Rather ephemeral, one gets the impression of…’ladyness’, but little else. Extreme, beyond-mortal beauty, that kind of thing. When Drax gets his voice back, he asks the lady for his help in making another flower bloom at the Unmelting Cliff. To her it’s apparently not a big thing, because the moon keeps its own schedule (in the Feywild at least), but she’s going to want payment in return. Not knowing what else to offer, Drax offers the seemingly traditional three favors, and the Lady accepts. The moon lady says that the first task will be to defeat the Lunar Raiders, who cause considerable damage whenever they show up at the moon.

When Drax leaves, the chamberlain gives him a giant scroll which is a ritual book containing a number of rituals related to the moon and to moon travel. The chamberlain ships him back to the Unmelting Cliff via a Moonbridge

The rest of the party (Galeon, Jamalla, and Harmattan)

The other members of the group huddle under the Everliving Pelt. Harmattan addresses the Invisible Warrior, and tells him that he thinks Drax is crazy for trying to bargain with the moon. IW sort of agrees, but admires Drax for that craziness instead of scorning it. IW reveals that those who encounter him will forget about him once they leave the Feywild, because in his pursuit of martial excellence, the Invisible Warrior sacrificed everything else about himself (including fame or infamy). The warrior asks Harmattan what he’s fighting for, and Harmattan really isn’t sure. IW cautions against seeking power for its own sake.

Right on schedule, the Viridian Flower blooms, and immediately everyone goes mad with envy for the flower. Well, Jamalla really. She grabs the flower before anyone else can get to it, and escapes Harmattan’s attempt at capture. Victor Mordekar stabs her with his sword, which causes her to freeze solid. Victor then grabs the flower, nods a hasty goodbye to Snow-whistle, and jumps off the cliff. The party ‘de-tombs’ Jamalla (and warms her up with the pelt. Harmattan scans the area below the Cliff for Victor’s body, but does not find it.

A few minutes later something amazing happens: the moon travel backwards through the sky for a few minutes, and then travels forward again. A second Viridian Flower is born, and a Moonbridge carrying Drax lands at the cliff. Everyone sees the flower and goes mad with envy again, this time affecting everybody. Jamalla is quick enough to grab the flower again. but Drax is surprisingly able to demand the blossom from her. Once everyone regains their sanity, Drax pockets the flower, and we depart the Feywild.

Back in reality, the party finds itself on the outskirts of Dunsany, only a few days after we set off into the woods. First, we forget about all the interactions with the Invisible Warrior (it seems he’s invisible in more ways than one). Second, it seems the circus has come to town! Drax rushes to his father’s bedside, and without looking at it, touches the flower to the baron’s head. Something miraculous (again) happens: the flower wilts, and Dunsany comes out of his coma. The first thing out of the baron’s mouth: ‘The Forgotten Gods! I’ve seen them all, and I’ve learned so much! Quick son, a pen and paper, so I can write this down!’ Drax is unnerved by his father’s unexpected heresy, and retires for the night.

Harmattan makes a point to try and recruit the employees of the Red Deer for the Silver Dragon Company, but nobody’s buying. Thus concludes the session.

Stay tuned next week for…for I don’t know what!

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Session #11

The session opens with the group just underneath a flat ledge on the side of the Unmelting Cliff. Four frost ogres have taken up residence here, and the only way forward is through a cave at the rear of the ledge that the ogres are guarding. We set upon the ogres with grim efficiency, knowing that the longer we wait, the worse the stiff cold will affect the party.

We surprise the ogres, and quickly drive one of their number off the cliff. The other three prove a challenge, and the party fights as best it can against them. Eventually there is only the lead ogre left, and the party surrounds the creature and dispatches it in the end. The beings held nothing of value on their corpses, and even their weapons were just carefully molded icicles.

After the battle, the cold prevents us from resting and recharging our powers. We do find a large chest, overcome with ice, in the rear of the cave. Harmattan and Jamalla work to open the chest, and inside the group finds several treasures (a large wolf pelt, a dagger, and six flasks filled with an amber liquid). The party huddles under the large pelt for warmth for long enough to properly rest for the task ahead.

The cave spirals up inside the Unmelting Cliff. The ground is very slippery, and so the group take the time to chip little footholds into the ground to keep from slipping. Once we get far enough inside the tunnel, Jamalla hears a rumbling noise. Drax recognizes it for what it is, and we all hurry down to the bottom of the tunnel, just in time for a giant snowball to shoot out of the opening. After a few more times trying to climb the tunnel (along with some half-hearted attempts at sneaking up the tunnel by Jamalla), Drax decides to call out to the Invisible Warrior (who actually hasn’t gone anywhere, he’s just invisible). Drax promises hospitality to who ever is up there, and so we get to the top.

At the top of the Cliff are three things.
  1. A faerie, name of Snow-whistle
  2. A we-haven’t-checked-but-is-probably-human, name of Victor Mordekar
  3. A Viridian Flower Bush, about to bloom

Snow-whistle’s job is to, we guess, roll giant snowballs down that tunnel. Victor at first says nothing and does not move an inch, but eventually tells the party that he’s going to take the Viridian Flower. It seems his wife was turned into an undead creature, and the flower can restore one such to life again. He stakes his claim on the fact that he is first in line. It seems that he has been waiting for quite a long time. The Prince of the Oak Throne, Oberon, has gone missing, and either one must wait for the full moon to arrive ‘naturally’ at the Unmelting Cliff, or a faerie cooler than Oberon can come to claim the Oak Throne and make that flower bloom as often as he or she would like.

The session ends with the party in yet another moral quandary, wondering how they can get the Viridian Flower for Lord Dunsany, and still satisfy (one way or another) Sir Mordekar. Stay tuned!

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Session #10

The session opens with Drax kind of concerned that he hasn’t done much of anything to help to train his army recently. He quickly visits with Murgin and Sabb, and basically tells them to train their respective bands. This should get interesting. Jamalla packs up a flagon of mead, in case we run into Donkey again.

This time when we announce ourselves at the forest’s edge and announce our quest, nothing happens. We wander inside. Harmattan manages (somehow) to pick up on Donkey’s trail, and with the party’s help finds a likely place for a faerie circle. It’s not much of a circle, but there’s a very small brown man guarding it. After a tense standoff (in which the brown creature draws his food utensils like weapons, and we engage him in a very brief combat), he allows Drax and Jamalla to partake of his lunch. However, the small man excludes the two dragonborn from the conversation, on the grounds that neither character is questing or bound. Anyhow, after Drax and Jamalla spend a little time getting to know the creature (and eating of his fairy food), the being agrees to ferry all of us into the Feywild proper, so long as we do not engage anybody who knowingly proclaims themselves to be a member of the Pine Court. He also imparts that the Invisible Warrior hangs around a place called the Dueling Grounds. So that’s where we go.

Once at the Dueling Grounds, we watch a rather spectacular (although nonlethal) battle take place between two arcane casters. The party hangs out while this is going on, and when the fight is over, the two participants (and their seconds) leave. Since the party doesn’t really know how to get up to the Dueling Grounds (or, really, who they would duel when they got there), Harmattan decides to try his hand at climbing the pillar in full armor. Harmattan and Jamalla take turns trying to climb the pillar, with Harmattan succeeding on the third try. Once all the party gets up to the top (some aided by ropes), the group encounters the old man in charge of the grounds. He explains the rules (such as they are), shows how the magic elevators work (oop!), and asks if we have a dispute/wish to resolve something. Since nobody in the group has any need to resolve a dispute with anyone else via a fight, Drax tries calling out to the Invisible Warrior.

The warrior is in fact there, and engages in conversation with Drax, although only in Elven. He agrees to show us to the Unmelting Cliff, in exchange that someone serve as his emissary in the Feywild for a year and a day (human time reckoning). This seems agreeable, and besides Drax muses that such service would be good for the Bluffington boy (if he manages to convict the kid of kidnapping and murder).

The Unmelting Cliff happens to be a large spire of ice sticking out of an unforgiving wasteland. Harmattan regrets bringing cold-weather and climbing gear, seeing as how the party knew the name of the place before the journey was started, but no matter. Jamalla begins the party’s ascent of the icy cliff face. Halfway up the spire the pathways up become blocked by a mountain cave, where four frost ogres appear to live. The session concludes.

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Session #9

The party ends up talking to a lot of people this session, so here goes.

  1. The party finds MadEladrin ranting, naked, in the town square. Why does Dunsany allow this again? Anyway, this time he wants to racially segregate everyone in town. Drax, being the lone tiefling, would get the kitchen and part of the library of Dunsany Manor. Weird. We ask him about the blank scroll, and he says that if you whisper the password ‘apiary’ to the bartender of the Raging Pegasus in Southport, that you get to further foster contact with the Avernus organization. Sounds good. Harmattan also asks the madman about the crystalline body parts that Diurna Vastes has asked the party to retrieve. He says that possessing all of them can lead to apotheosis for the bearer. This sounds bad: everyone thinks that Diurna would make a lousy deity. MadEladrin also mentions that the Emerald Eye had a curse on it, and was anyone feeling weird? The curse starts to hit Drax right then, and he shushes MadEladrin, saying the curse doesn’t exist. What curse, there’s no curse really, that’s just a tall tale. We also promise him that he’ll lead the Eladrin Corps of the Silver Dragon Company, which is good because we don’t have any other eladrin yet. They’re apparently not a very ‘groupy’ bunch: if you want an eladrin community’s help, you talk to every eladrin. Sounds like fun.
  2. Drax pays a visit to Valemar, and talks a little bit about the upcoming visit by Marsden, and of the eventual trial of Bluffington’s nephew. Valemar is willing to stick around for the trial, but turns down Drax’s offer of a commission. Valemar has his own troops to lead, after all. He’s really a nice guy after all, and offers to send some of his soldiers to help with the Dunsany effort. Drax sagely turns him down for fear that these men would just be conscripted to try and cut down elven trees.
  3. Drax and Harmattan show up at Sabb the butcher’s house, where he’s training the little orclings how to box. Drax tells Sabb the bad news, that the orcs of the hills will unite to form a horde and attack Dunsany. Sabb takes this surprisingly in stride, but is fascinated to learn that the Forgebenders are working on armor for the company.

‘Orcs with armor made by dwarves are invincible!’

Good to hear it.
  1. Murgin, the hobgoblin dentist, is happy to report that the town’s hobgoblin’s are happy to switch from town guard to mercenary soldiers. Pay them gold and they’re happy.
  2. The party encounters Wuster Bane in the goblin part of town, and he seems to be a mad scientist. Drax gives him a pep talk and asks to see to some plans for some goblin gliders (or giant drill soldiers, or wasp riders, or something), and we beat feet before someone loses a finger.
  3. In the early evening, Harmattan sits down to write a letter to the High Castle, asking for permission to go fight in the mercenary company Drax is forming. He realizes that there’s no one really available to take the letter to the Lands Beyond (Here Be Dragons), and the other dragonborn would see it as a sign of weakness to a) either do Harmattan’s bidding without a good reason, or b) go deliver a measly letter to the Castle. Aria Brightheart asks Harmattan why exactly he wants to fight against Columbia for money in the first place, and Harmattan can’t really think of a good reason. Brightheart pushes further, saying that with all the scummy tidings from Albion, that the town would be better off marching to the capital city as conquerers rather than mercenaries, and Harmattan admits that it might even come to that. For now though, he’s willing to go the middle way (not be in an Inhuman Legion, and not declare war on a major nation from a tiny village) in order to get by. This is a totally human attitude, and Aria is disappointed.
  4. We get some random rumors that the halflings in town are busy setting up a crime syndicate while the important people go away to make war. Just great.
  5. We get some more random rumors that we might be able to recruit some human wizards to our cause if we help tilt the Dunsany Auction House a few favors their way. Such things are possible, apparently.
  6. Lastly, we contact the Hag, and ask if she’d be willing to follow our legion as an apothecary. She would, reluctantly, for the right price. More importantly, she tells us that she might be able to cure Dunsany if only she had a Viridian Flower, a rare plant that only grows in the Feywild. We must travel to the Unmelting Cliff during a full moon (which is mutable), and the Invisible Warrior is involved in some fashion.

A~ha! A quest! With that last bit of news, the session is concluded.

Tune in next time when we wander through the Feywild looking for flowers, and maybe fighting things. And maybe talking to or fighting with more of Dunsany’s fascinating townsfolk.

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Session #8

The scene opens with the party encountering a flaming black ooze littered with corpses. It threatens to engulf and digest the entire party. Drax, Jamalla, Galeon, and Harmattan all engage the creature in battle. Once the monster is sufficiently wounded, it starts manipulating the corpse bones that make up its form to explode when struck. Harmattan is forced to retreat. Finally, after a mighty struggle, Galeon is able to deliver the final blow, and the horrible ooze looses cohesion and its liquid body drains out of the chamber. Jamalla goes to investigate the stinking bones left over from the monster, and finds nothing of interest.

After a short rest, in which the party expresses shock and delight upon learning that they still live, they investigate the pyramidal capstone at the center of the room. Jamalla discovers that there is a kerosene smell coming from underneath the stone, and Harmattan uses a very naughty word to light the substance on fire. The capstone explodes upwards and shatters against the ceiling. Also, once the capstone is removed an iron sarcophagus pops up out of the floor.

Jamalla discovers that while the sarcophagus is not trapped, it does require four people (again!) to open the lid. We do so, and encounter a mummified human body. It doesn’t spring to life. We also find a number of treasures, including an adamantine-alloy torc (necklace), a remarkably well-preserved cloak, a longsword made out of actual iron (which was apparently rare in the era in which Uther’s body was buried), and a necklace with an emerald dangling from the end of it. Magical enquiry shows that the necklace has something of the spirit of the fey about it, and so the party believes it to be the Emerald Eye of Agotta.

The group replaces the mummy in his coffin and closes the doors, and gets out of the underground tomb and replaces the top capstone. The party encounters no other creatures on the way from the orc highlands to the elven forest. Once at the border of the forest, Harmattan calls out to the woods, asking for an audience with Diurna Vastes. Our escort this time is Donkey once again, and Jamalla gives the beast a ration of mead.

Once in the Feywild, Harmattan attempts to discern Diurna’s mood from reading the clouds and the sky, and also attempts to recall the proper etiquette when a dragonborn meets elven nobility. He fails at both tasks.

Diurna is pleased at the recovery of the Eye, and lets us know that we are free to use the silver scales of Estheriax as we so wish. She informs Drax of the dragon’s fate, and assures the party that no recrimination from dragonkind would be warranted from wearing or using the scales. She then sets before Drax another challenge: recovering the Ruby Heart of Rhiannon, which she claims Drax will soon encounter during the course of his travels. Jamalla is suspicious of all these crystalline body parts floating around, and wants to know more. Diurna says that while there are far too many stories about the Ruby Heart to recount in a single sitting, she does mention that her third favor will be the recovery of a particular soul.

Hmmmmm….

With that, the party leaves the Feywild and returns to Dunsany town. Once there Drax learns that a serious attempt has been made on his father’s life. Someone (possibly a halfling) fired a very accurate poisoned crossbow bolt at Dunsany, and that right now he is in a coma. Even the very best healers of the town (the Hag) have been unable to bring the liege around. For now the populace is being told that Dunsany has ‘retreated to his quarters’ while the day-to-day is being handled by the seneschal Gastineaux. Drax reports to him about the various tombs we encountered, and Harmattan pipes up that Drax accidentally declared war on the orc tribes. Gastineaux is most distressed. The construct assures us that the very best…’Hippocratean’ care is being given to Drax’s father, but that Dunsany did not wish for more drastic ‘life extension’ measures be used, due to the circumstances surrounding a deal struck between Dunsany and his demon wife. Dunsany has not left a living will.

The party then speaks to Durgon Forgebender, the leader of the dwarves in town. Drax tells him that he may begin work on shaping the elven scale horde into armor fit for an army. Harmattan also mentions that we discovered the hall of Thorin Weresgard, and at that news Durgon becomes very grim. He declares his intention to unseal the vault and smite the evil that lies therein. Drax argues with him a little bit, saying that the vault is really quite spooky, and that our company would be quite glad to leave it alone. Durgon says that isn’t an option for him. Drax finally agrees that if the dwarves are going, that Drax and co. will have to go too, but for the moment decides against telling Durgon quite where in the orc highlands the vault lies.

Lastly, Jamalla visits the Hag surreptitiously once again, and asks her what the green liquid was that we encountered at the fountain of Uther’s Tomb. The Hag swishes the mixture around in her mouth, and swallows it down. ‘Water, lightly flavored with pond scum’ is the answer. Another mystery solved!

Tune in next time when we
  1. might have a trial
  2. grill Mad Eladrin about the Empty Scroll
  3. quite possibly get into a fight with lumberjacks
  4. attempt to track down the mysterious Avernus
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Session #7

The session opens with Drax giving a rousing speech (in Common) to the assembled orc tribes, where he epically fails a critical Diplomacy check, twice. Grost, the chieftain of the Iron Teeth, approaches Drax and proudly proclaims, ‘We accept your declaration of war!’ Everyone does a face palm. We hand Brog back to his people (the Harl tribe having shown up at some point during the night), and high-tail it out of the area before Drax can cause his hometown any more damage. The eladrin disappear as mysteriously as they arrived, never to return.

The party decides to re-group by visiting the other burial site mentioned in the journal from the Dunsany library. The site appears to be a cavern opening down a hard embankment and across the river from where we are. We cross the terrain without incident, and begin to explore the ruin. Inside we find a large double door that apparently has not been opened for many centuries. We get the door open (and brace it with stones to keep it from closing on us), and head in.

Inside is an enormous underground dwelling. The main tunnel is gigantic, easily larger than our light can encompass. The chamber is held up with large pillars, each of which is covered with the history of the dwarves who lived and mined there. Drax knows the Dwarven runes, and so we read, for about seven hours, about 100 feet into the chamber before the writing ends. Another 40 feet or so and we find a larger-than-life statue depicting the mythical dwarven king Thorin Weresgard. The statue is made of purest marble, and must have been placed here with much difficulty. Flanking the statue on either side are a pair of double doors, both magically sealed. Knowing what we know about the ‘Other’ that plagued the dwarves of long, we decide that discretion is the better part of adventuring, and leave the ruin. Perhaps we’ll get the chance to tell the dwarves in town about this later.

The next day we head back to the ring of dolmen stones. The area is deserted this time, and so we explore. It seems that the capstone is the middle of the ring is a ‘Chinese puzzle box’ of sorts. It requires 4 (at least) people to raise the stone all at the same time, or else a trap will be set off. The orcs apparently had been using the stone for sacrifices and the like. We get the stone off the top after about 2 hours of work, and head inside.

About 20 feet down is a small chamber, where to the right is a dead fountain of clear green water. We play around with the water for a bit, and go in deeper. We find ourselves surrounded by crowded biers holding the long-dead. At which point these dead return to a cruel mockery of life, and attack us. We do battle with the living dead.

During the battle we discovered that certain stones in the passageway are trapped, so that stepping on them would unleash gouts of flame from some very lifelike dragon statues in the far corner. Harmattan and Galeon admire the handiwork of their ancestors (indeed, the trap-statues are engraved with warnings inn Draconic to Get Out), and the party proceeds to cross the treacherous floor. Only Galeon is burned, and then only a little.

The group finds itself at the end of the tunnel, where a curious pyramidal stone serves as a cap, while a stinking pit on three sides of the pyramid seem ominous. The dragonborn break a portcullis leading down to the wretched hole, and Drax throws a candle into a mass of oily corpses at the bottom. Immediately the mass lights on fire and comes to life.

Stay tuned next time for the Battle with The Flaming Corpse Ooze!! Also, what does Drax tell his dad, ‘Sorry pop, I started a war with the orcs, they’re going to raise a horde and conquer every city they can find’. Pure comedy!

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Session #6

The party wanders into the orcish hills and finds a dolmen ring where the first burial site might be. As luck would have it, there are a bunch of orcs from two tribes there, the Iron Teeth, and the We Don’t Know. We introduce ourselves, and get told to sit in the corner.

Throughout this session, Brog entertains the party with stories of the orcs’ rich local traditions.

So, the party lights a big bonfire that attracts two (or so) more tribes to the site. Vasilisa casts the ritual comprehend languages, and figures out that the orcs are going to hunt us down in the morning. Brog says it’s quite the honor. This sounds like no fun at all to Harmattan, and we start a big fight. After beating about a dozen orcs, all the orcs stop what they are doing and stare at us, exeunt.

I have no idea what to say here at this point, but here are some options

  1. Preeeesentinnnng, the King of the World! Ta~Da!
  2. Who wants to join the army?
  3. The aristocrats!
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Session #5

Okay, the session starts off with a laundry list to talk to the elves about (Friede, dragon scales, Brog, lumberjacks). Before we go, Harmattan suggests we check in with the old baron to see if he’s ever had dealings with the elves re: home-team lumberjacks. Dunsany hasn’t, but says that his father might have: go check the library. So, we do. It turns out that Albinese have been trying to get at the lumber of the elven woods for a while, say once every 50-60 years. The records we find indicate an attempt 50 years ago, 120 years ago, and 180 years ago. Every time Dunsany has hewed to an old old pact: stay out of it. Basically, if you enter the forest without permission, all bets are off. We quietly hide the evidence of our town’s history of treason/common sense, and go forth to meet the elves.

The party enters the elven woods. Laraven remembers at the last minute that he personally isn’t an exile, but instead that his parents are (nice save!) Drax blows on a horn. After about 15 minutes a ‘welcome arrow’ comes shooting out of the woods, and into a tree. It’s there to let us know that we’re in bowshot range. After that a single elf comes out and asks us what we want. After some consultation, the nameless warden walked us through a dizzying route through the forest, through the faerie gate, and all the way to Diurna’s castle.

We greeted Diurna in her throne room. There’s some special protocol that dragonborn are supposed to use when they meet an elven princess, but Galeon and Harmattan forgot what it was. Drax raises the first of our concerns, that lumberjacks under the command of General Bluffington are coming to chop down the forest. He wishes to resolve the situation with a minimum of bloodshed, but Diurna is unimpressed. She’d be happy to watch the humans try it and get killed. Galeon offers to take a message to the Albion king, which Diurna accepts. A wrapped scroll appears in Galeon’s hand, with instructions to deliver the message to the human king. This might prove difficult, because Albion does not currently recognize elven nobility. Jamalla suggests (briefly) to send assassins after Marsden and Bluffington, which amuses Diurna. The eladrin princess gifts the halfing with an undying rose, and claims that it will someday prove useful.

As for our other discussion points: Diurna refuses to discuss Brog in any detail, and Friede’s activities in town fall below her notice. On the subject of the silver dragon scales, however, Diurna proposes a deal: three favors, two to be determined later. The first favor would be the retrieval of the Emerald Eye of Agotta, a powerful artifact lost for 5000 years. Supposedly it’s in the tomb of a forgotten human warlord deep in the north of the orcish highlands. Jamalla asks if the eye is at all powerful, and presumably it is, because the Ivy Princess is willing to trade a very large quantity of silver dragon scales for it. We promise to retrieve the object, and proceed to take our leave. We are led out of the Feywild by an irascible talking donkey named, ‘The Donkey’.

Back in town, Drax checks the library for information regarding the emerald eye. A human explorer from times past once made a survey of tombs in the orc lands, and even managed to search one of them before being forced to turn back. The book details two other likely locations where the Eye might be found, but warns that delving that far deep into orc territory is just asking for trouble.

Vasilisa visits with Adran at the town’s temple to Corellon to ask him for legends about the Eye. Adran reports the following, ‘The ancient legends tell us that Corellon once struck an eye from the orc’s deity, Gruumsh. So, Gruumsh was obliged to try and return the favor. A powerful elf named Agata interceded in the conflict, and Gruumsh took one of his eyes instead. In gratitude, Correlon crafted the Emerald Eye as a replacement for Agotta. The eye has been lost for many thousands of years.’

Harmattan, Jamalla, and Galeon go to meet with Sabb, a noted orcish butcher and all-around headman for the orcs in Dunsany. Harmattan tells Sabb that they might have the King of the World on their hands, and at first Sabb is skeptical. Harmattan tells Sabb that around 20 people so far have died because of Brog, and Sabb is much more impressed. Sabb tells Harmattan that although Virgil Bluffington’s plan (trade Brog for orc fighters) might have seemed like a good plan to a human, the orcs wouldn’t see it that way. If you want to deal with orcs, first you have to fight them. A lot of them. Talk and trade may be fine for others, but for true orcs, apparently it’s fighting or nothing. Harmattan seems disheartened by this, but before the group leaves Sabb gives them a braided cord of spiced unicorn meat for the King. Jamalla and Harmattan get into a little fight over the meat, so Galeon takes it, and delivers it to Drax.

As the last sortie of the evening, the party heads out to the old mill on the edge of town to try and meet up with the enigmatic William Stern. We search around the rundown structure for some time, but find nothing of interest. Finally we stumble upon a grave, which yields the body of a middle-aged man, fully dressed and equipped. Drax immediately assumes that Friede killed Stern, and declares the elf to be persona non grata in Dunsany. Stern’s body had a large number of interesting documents on it, the following three being of great interest.

  1. A detailed description of Dunsany and its surrounding environs, possibly useful as an invasion tool.
  2. A fascinating ledger book describing a number of illegal activities, their costs and their rates of return (we think).
  3. A letter, signed Avernus, detailing William Stern’s part of the poisoning plot (Get the humans killed once they kill Valemar and frame Dunsany). It appears that Friede Garwydion took on this job after killing William Stern for an unknown reason.

That’s it for this session (pretty sure, anyway).

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Session #4

The session opens with Drax and Harmattan about to put the screws to the leader of Brog’s kidnappers. Murgin, the town dentist, interrupts, and says that under his tender ministrations Valemar’s cohorts have volunteered a little extra information about their attempted ‘poison-and-blame’ scheme from session #1. Marc and company were supposed to take the young Valemar’s unconscious body to the Rough and Tumble, Dunsany’s skeeziest watering hole. There they would make contact with an alchemist who would reverse the Red Tincture’s effect on the young lord. Murgin further says that the rendezvous was supposed to happen tonight, at midnight.

Drax takes note of the information, and the party floats a few plans around for dealing with the Rough and Tumble. Anyhow, Drax and Harmattan finally confront the kidnapping mastermind. Drax intimates to the prisoner that felons found guilty of capital crimes are used in the recipe of a particularly foul goblin pie, and that pretty much serves to loosen the captive’s tongue. He says his name is Virgil Bluffington, and that he is General Bluffington’s nephew. He was ordered to take his crew here to Dunsany, kidnap the kid, and leave no witnesses alive. Brog was to be taken to the border, where a man with a red cloak would negotiate with the Harl orcs for orc fighters in exchange for the boy. Since he ultimately failed in that mission (i.e. we tracked him down and caught him), he finds himself rather resigned to his fate, although he certainly doesn’t neglect to mention his connection to a powerful noble. Bluffington refuses to sign a confession.

The party (mostly out of character) takes part in a spirited discussion of what to do with Bluffington, now that he has revealed himself and his mission. Drax would like to recruit Warren and Sawyer for the Silver Dragon Company, and no one has any strident objection. The wizard represents a different problem: he is of the Quality. Drax wishes he would slip into the wrong end of the goblin pie machine, but it might be too difficult to keep secret such a fate for long. Harmattan and Galeon favor a trial, although Galeon is disappointed to learn that Bluffington is allowed his choice of trials.

Trial by Combat: We give Bluffington back his wand, pick somebody we think can turn him into paste, and have at it. Nobody volunteers to ‘be the prosecution’, however.

Trial by Jury: This is tricky, as Bluffington would be afforded a jury of his peers (other nobility), which Dunsany has in somewhat short supply. Drax proposes the following jury: himself, Valemar (who owes him a huge favor), and Marsden when or if he shows up. Harmattan argues ‘to heck with protocol’, and use Brog or some elf hotshot as jurist #3. If ‘King of the World’ isn’t a noble title, he doesn’t know what is. The other problems with a public trial: a) it would take a while to conduct, and b) the maximum sentence for a noble killing a bunch of farmers is merely a hefty fine. Also, if word got out in open court that Bluffington was under orders to use dastardly means to secure a small company of orcish troops, Drax and Valemar might be forced to acquit him or be branded as traitors.

Meanwhile, in a seedy part of town, Jamalla meets up with her old ringmaster Melior to talk about old times. She brings up the magic loot we snagged from Bluffington when we captured him (a fire opal ring, a fire opal wand, and a sheet of parchment without any writing on it). Melior doesn’t know a whole lot about this kind of thing, but basically says that such things are good for fencing for a pile of gold, rather than for channeling a particular type of arcane energy. After a few sad exchanges, Jamalla hands him a small bottle of the green fairy, and takes her leave.

The party catches up together, and reports to Lord Dunsany our findings so far. The lord is retiring, and entrusts the resolution of a possible trial to his son, and also begs off of looking at Bluffington’s magical paper, as he has much to do involving other administration and worrying. He does report, however, that his sources tell him that generals Marsden and Bluffington will be in town shortly, and they will be bringing a small legion of lumberjacks with them. It seems that having a large virgin forest so close to Dunsany’s river is a temptation that few admirals could ignore, and Bluffington doubly so. Harmattan inquires after Brog, and Dunsany reassures him by saying that the town barracks are right next door, and also Gastineaux is looking after the lad.

Following up a lead, Jamalla pays a visit to the Mad Eladrin, probably Dunsany’s second most ‘famous’ wizard. The eladrin will only address Jamalla, and then only to speak about the latest juicy gossip. Jamalla artfully steers the conversation over to looking at Bluffington’s magical loot. The loony wizard scoffs at the fire opal gear, but he is interested in the textless parchment. We leave the scroll in his apt but mad hands, and go about our business.

Drax catches up with Valemar, who again expresses his gratitude at being saved from his friends and averting a conflict between his lands and ours. Drax inquires as to Valemar’s plans, and the young lord says that he will join the army as an officer. Drax muses about how to get out of having the fey woods chopped down to make boats. The possible options so far include

  1. Fight the lumberjacks
  2. Let the elves fight the lumberjacks (which is basically what happened 50 or so years ago when the humans previously tried this)
  3. Let the orcs burn down the forest. (was there a good reason for this?)
  4. Get the elves to divert the river into the Feywild for a good stretch, and thus eliminate the elven forest as a viable source of ship lumber.

(Ooh, ooh! I just thought of something! These are elven forests, right? They’re weird, and foreign, and any ships built with such cursed wood will surely run into bad luck as fast as you can spit! Weird sinkings, ships disappearing into mist never to return, carved figureheads singing sailors to their doom, the Flying Dutchman, etc, etc. We need to get the elves on board to start a whisper campaign targeting the buoyancy of their own timber! Oo~ooh! ::bats flapping wings over a moonless night:: ::mad cackling::)

In any case, Drax gets Valemar to use his former lackeys as bait for the Rough and Tumble op.

(I think that covers all the talky bits, let me know if I missed something)

At midnight, at the Rough and Tumble, the seediest bar in town, three young humans enter with blue feathers (the recognition sign) affixed to their cloaks. Jamalla sits at the bar, taking in the scene. There is an elf, which is odd in a place like this, and he sits at a table all by himself. The elf appears to be purchasing disgusting alcoholic drinks and staring quietly at them, never drinking. Two hobgoblin toughs approach the youths, and perform a classic ruse to get their attention. Just as one gob is shaking down Marc and the other is reaching for his dagger, Jamalla stabs one of them severly, and combat is joined.

When Drax, Galeon, and Harmattan enter the establishment (the baron’s son and two dragonborn in full armor), the alarm is quickly sounded. Patrons leap from their seats and start pushing their way out of all available exits. Jamalla and Drax manage to subdue the goons, but not before one of them got one good dagger blow to Marc. As the crowd surges down, Harmatten pushes his way into the mass, and begins to offer first aid to the wounded combatants. Now the only people left in the bar are Brass the bartender and the mysterious elf.

After we resuscitate and bind the hobgoblins, one of them reveals that the silent elf paid them 30 gold to pull a classic ‘bump and dump’ on any humans foolish enough to walk in the door. Suspicion quickly falls to the stranger, who reveals that his name is Friede Garwydion. Drax recalls that it was his clan that warred with human lumberjacks in the past, and that his people suffered many casualties in the fighting. That still doesn’t explain his role in trying to silence the bit players in the poisoning scheme. Friede isn’t particularly forthcoming with his reasons (he does answer three questions), but agrees to be held overnight and be returned to the elves in the morning. He does say that he was asked to perform this mission by none other than William Stern, a human that the party hasn’t yet met. We pass around Friede’s effects for a little while: an elven bow, an elven longsword, and a mummified human hand that Friede was wearing around his neck.

Jamalla pays off the damage to the Rough and Tumble’s custom and furniture (2 gold of the 30 we pulled off of the gobs), and we march the offenders off to the barracks. Jamalla later pays a visit to the hag apothecary, because she’s curious about what an elf, or anyone else for that matter, would be doing with a mummified hand. The hag (with a little help from Harmattan’s player), fills her in on a number of possibilities.

  1. The hand might be a traditional hand of glory, allowing the wielder to turn invisible or walk through walls or other such magical nonsense.
  2. Friede may be holding onto the hand for sentimental or revenge-oriented reasons.
  3. There is an old magic item called the hand of the mage, which is specifically the mummified hand of an elven wizard. If Friede (or any other elf) ever caught someone stupid enough to wear such a thing, one could reasonably suspect Friede’s grisly trophy would be the result of such a meeting.

Anyway, this concludes the session. Next time we’ll revisit the elven forest, for the party has much to discuss with the elders there.

  1. Lumberjacks
  2. Where they got their hands on Brog, why they brought him to the half-elven farm, and whether or not they were in league with Bluffington’s kidnap-and-trade scheme
  3. The silver dragon scales: we want them
  4. Friede Garwydion, and what to do about him. At the very least we’ll ask that the elves restrain him from funding any more barroom thuggery.
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