The Destiny Of Dunsany

Session #1

The campaign opens with news relayed by Gastineaux to Drax about two significant recent events.

  1. The elves have come out of the forest with an extremely large quantity of silver dragon scales. Baron Plunkett, Drax’s father, is worried that such a large haul of magical treasure could bring unwanted attention to Dunsany, not the least of which because that many scales represents a strategic asset. If the scales were to be sold in the town Auction Hall, it would be best if the transaction was discreet.
  2. A party of young humans, led by the scion of House Valemar, has managed to enter the town, and has bunked up for the night at the tourist trap hotel. (There are two nice inns in town, the one for visiting wizards who aren’t looking for trouble, and the one for visiting idiots who are). This wouldn’t be so bad by itself, but if the kids managed to buy or even know about the scale cache and reported back to their parents, the results might be catastrophic.

Jamalla the halfling has managed to attach herself as a ‘guide’ to the human group, and is awoken in the wee hours of the morning by a young man named ‘Marc’. It seems the lad is complaining about a case of bad gout, and would very much like to see an apothecary…at 4 in the morning. Jamalla is suspicious of the man’s motives, and so spins him a yarn about how the only medic open this early would be in a rough part of town, and she’d like to bring along some muscle. So, she leads Marc to the barracks, where the shift officer on notice for informants is Harmattan.

Jamalla tells Harmattan about her suspicions, and so he wakes Galeon and prepares his battle dress. Outside, Marc is flabbergasted that two dragonborn in full armor are needed to see the doctor, and subsequently changes his story from gout to syphilis. This revelation doesn’t elicit much sympathy, and as officers Galeon and Harmattan feel honor-bound to take Marc to see the medic to prevent his social disease from spreading. Jamalla leads the group to the town hag, which surprisingly is in a quite nice part of town.

Jamalla, Harmattan, and Galeon wait outside while Marc goes in to the medic’s shop. We…didn’t exactly tell him who he’d be meeting, so after the inevitable retching noises (a hag is, after all, notoriously ugly), Marc is able to unburden his trouble to the apothecary. In particular, Marc is set on purchasing some ‘Red Tincture’. Galeon, on hearing this, is reminded that Red Tincture is a red powder that works best when suspended in a liquid. Also, it is like aconite, in that in certain doses it has a medicinal benefit, but in sufficient strength can kill outright. The hag agrees to sell Marc the substance (but later dutifully reports the sale in the morning). The trio form a plan of action: Harmattan will go and fetch a quantity of cayenne pepper from a restaurant while Jamalla and Galeon will march the young Marc back to his hotel room. Later, Jamalla will perform some officially-sanctioned second-story work, and switch Marc’s Red Tincture with pepper.

Now, the only restaurant open this early is the Red Deer, Dunsany’s resident whorehouse of the strange. Jamalla gives Harmattan a note for a hobgoblin courtesan she happens to know, and he goes off on the errand. When Marc gets out of the apothecary, he is concerned about Harmattan’s disappearance, but is fed quality lies and sunshine by Jamalla. An hour or so later, Jamalla breaks into Marc’s room to make the switch. The transfer is successful, but Marc wakes up anyhow. This time Jamalla’s silver tongue fails her, but Marc is more concerned about the safety of his poison vial. Since the switcheroo already happened, Marc sees that his package appears to be safe, and only chases Jamalla out of his room. Now the only thing to do is to find out who drinks a big glass of pepper juice in the morning. I love it when a plan comes together.

At a suitably social hour, Valemar and his cohorts arrived at Dunsany House for a small get-together with their peer, Drax. During a critical moment, Marc passes a cup of tea to his Lord Valemar, who promptly chokes and gasps from the strong pepper flavor. Marc cries out, ‘Poison! This devil has just poisoned my lord! Guards! Guards!’, and so on. Wise to the conspiracy (having been briefed of last night’s acitivities by Jamalla), Drax allows Valdemar time to recover a little, who pronounces that he is fine, but that he would like a glass of water. Drax then convinces the assembled party that if indeed he is the poisoner (or whatever, by this point), that he should be made to drink a similar glass of tea that Valdemar drank. Drinking the tea, Drax finds that it is indeed poisoned, but only with cayenne pepper, to which his fiendish blood renders him happily immune (resistance to fire 5 and counting, folks!). Drax details the whole plot at this point, going so far as to grab Marc’s cayenne pepper vial and accuses him of being the attempted poisoner. A-ha! Marc grabs for his honor, and the two join in combat.

The two trade blows (Marc with his sword, Drax with a succession of pots and trays), until Jamalla sneaks up behind Marc and deftly removes one of his kidneys with her smallsword. Harmattan and Galeon join the fray, and Galeon subdues Marc with a breath of draconic ice. Harmattan pulls down one of Marc’s friends with a few well-placed punches (eventually), and Jamalla actually wrestles with another. Eventually the conspiracy is rendered harmless, and Valdemar offers his confused thanks. Dunsany is summoned, and he orders the traitors into separate cells in the basement, as well as healing treatment for Marc.

The conspiracy quickly unburdens itself of the following facts:

  1. The group was recruited by a shadowy figure named Avernus following an ill-fated attempt at cheating during gambling. Shocking: alcohol was involved.
  2. The plot was indeed intended to implicate Drax as poisoning Valemar. Marc was intending not to kill Valemar all the way, but he probably would have screwed up the dosage.
  3. The original poison (the one Marc would have used instead of bothering a stranger at four in the morning for gout medicine) was accidently stolen by an innocent member of Valemar’s party.

With those revelations, the session is concluded. Stay tuned!

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Session #2

The session opens with yet another early wake-up call for Galeon and Harmattan. The morning wagon came in with news of a horrific serial murder: six half-elves, dead. These half-elves weren’t a proper family, rather it seems like they banded together at this farm out of necessity. Human parents tend to die young for their half-elf children, and elf parents tend to live too long to care too much about any fast-time offspring. The best name we could come up with for the place was the Half-Elf Half-Hearth. Anyway, it’s gone now.

The two dragonborn wake up Jamalla (at least this time it’s not ‘gout’), and we split up; Galeon and Harmattan to visit the crime scene, and Jamalla will suss out any local rumors. Jamalla’s player rolls a ‘1’ on the Streetwise roll, and so while she learns nothing, she does end up telling every last early-morning rumor-monger about the murder itself. Anyway, the dragonborn take two carriages to the scene. With us are 5 hobgoblins troopers, and an elven priest named Adran to oversee last rites for the fallen. Conditions are brutal when we get there: the house, barn, and surrounding fields have all been hit by magical fire, and all the half-elves were either burned, shot, or run through. It looks like a professional hit (or an invasion), but why? It’s just a farm, plain as any other.

The group canvases the place, looking for clues (Harmattan inspects the scorched chicken coop and the outhouse, to no avail). Jamalla shows up, and we search some more. Eventually the group discovers a chest of recently-used toys in the barn loft. None of the dead include any children, and strangely no one in the surrounding neighborhood has seen any children on the farm in some time. Harmattan leans on Adran for any information relating to elven (or half-elven) recent births, and he tells the warrior that his church doesn’t keep any records of that sort of thing. The basic gist of elven record-keeping is, ‘Go ask the guy who did it, he’s still alive’, which does make some sense. Still, the party strongly suspects that a half-elven child has been kidnapped. The party spends a few hours tidying things up, burying bodies, and selling off the surviving livestock. Adran gets paid for his service (such as it is), and we haul the toy chest back to town in hopes that Baron Plunkett (a known wizard) will be able to magically divine some sense of who the child was, or where he or she is.

When the party gets back to civilization, we find that the baron is sequestered in his chambers with the rest of the town council, and is unavailable. The party tells the baron’s immortal butler Gastineaux about everything we’ve learned so far, and we hand over the cash from the livestock sale (45 gp). At some point the baron’s going to have to organize a land auction, because the grain doesn’t harvest itself, tragedy notwithstanding.

In the meeting, the baron reveals that General Marsden of the Albion military has successfully petitioned the crown to form an ‘Inhuman Legion’ to help with the war effort against neighboring Columbia. He’s planning to march into town in the next few weeks, round up everyone he can find who can hold a sharp stick the right way up, and pretend to hope they don’t die when confronted with a for-real enemy military unit. The way we know about this is from a spying report coming from Blink, the baron’s changeling.

Drax comes up with a brilliant plan: why join the army for free? Let the town form its own mercenary army from its varied citizenry, and then a) when the press-gang shows up, they’ll get chased out of town, and b) if Margulis wants a fighting force, then he’ll get the finest one that his money can buy. The baron succeeds in convincing the council of elders that the mercenary plan is best, and Durgon Forgebender pledges the support of his smithy in getting arms and armor ready for the troops.

Here’s the following exchange:

Drax What kind of armor can you make out of silver dragon scales?
DM Probably magic armor, with some cold resistance perhaps.
Drax Cold resistance, eh? What direction from here is the nation of Columbia?
DM To the south.
Drax I like this plan better and better.

Elven material, dwarven labor, and goblinoid muscle. What’s not to like?) Plunkett tells his son that as a minority among minorities (Drax is a tiefling, and the only one in town), Drax will have to lead the company. Drax agrees, telling his father that it should be only fitting to back up his idea with action.

Anyway, the big meeting breaks up, and we fill in Drax about what happened this morning. Drax comes up with another good idea: are the toys girl toys or boy toys? They are boy toys for certain, and he further discovers that they have been chewed on perhaps more than is strictly necessary. While Drax’s father may be able to make some connections with the toys themselves, Drax instead goes to the dwelling of a noted tracker, the ranger Cyrilia. She seems…reticent about traveling close to or into the fey woods, but agrees to help out the party as long as the town is good about paying her.

That settled, the party treks out to the wrecked farm once again, where Cyrilia quickly picks up the trail of the kidnappers. She says they are a sizable force, mostly in heavy armor, probably human. She tracks the group into the elven woods. There is a quick standoff with a member of the border patrol there (name of Therrous, at least the only one we could see), but we put away our weapons in time. Therrous reports that the kidnappers spent some time in the forest resting, and that quite recently they made a break for the hilly orc country to the north. The elf patrolman agrees to come along as a guide through the fast parts of the woods, and we break out into the hills just in time to pick up the sounds of combat coming about 5 miles to the northeast.

We find the group of kidnappers have been besieged by a large cadre of orcs. A motionless burlap sack lies among the rogues’ possessions. Drax motions for us to wait until the orcs retreat or stop fighting, and contracts with the elves to lob a few arrows at the group on his signal. For now, we wait on the edge of a knoll, watching the scene below.

Stay tuned next week for Ze Beeg Fight!

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Session #3

The party comes upon the human kidnappers and a band of orcs having a big fight. Harmattan argues otherwise, but Drax decides that he’s going to wait for the fighting to die down (as in, the orcs all die), and then send in the rogue Jamalla to grab the kid in the sack, and then beat everyone up. Jamalla manages to sneak up to the motionless bag, manages to quiet the kid down even though she’s never met the kid, and manages to grab the bag without the humans noticing. However, on the return trip Jamalla’s luck runs south, and so we all have to charge in.

Right at that moment Laraven and Vasilisa show up (either through just good woodsman skills or powerful transference magic is not explained), and battle is joined. Galeon the paladin charges straight at the enemy wizard, Drax and Harmattan establish a line in front of the main enemy fighters, Jamalla hustles the kid to safety, and Vasilisa and Laraven work to pick off targets with crossbow and prayer. The kidnappers’ minions go down quickly, but the mercenaries are well-armored and hard to hurt. Cyrilia throws a few arrows down-range, and Therrous just…leaves. Galeon has the wizard in an impossible position thanks to her divine challenge (basically flee, attack Galeon, or take damage). Finally, a few lucky hits from Laraven and Drax down the fighters, and Jamalla puts down the wizard with a finishing shot.

The party works quickly to bundle up the surviving kidnappers (7 of the original 10), as well as to greet the newly-freed Brog. Brog introduces himself as the unlikely King of the World, and Harmattan is inclined to believe this claim, seeing as how 21 people (elves, orcs, and humans) have died so far on his behalf. The group’s more immediate concern is getting out of the orcish wilderness. The direct border between the highlands and the civilized bits of Dunsany are heavily patrolled, so to avoid those we duck back into the elven woods to the southwest. The orcs don’t patrol the forest border so closely, because the elves frankly scare the bejeebers out of the orc tribes. With Therrous missing, Vasilisa acts as our guide and guarantor through the mystic forest, and we eventually make it back to Dunsany-town proper.

Back in town, Drax takes the guards and fighters off to the barracks for interrogation, while the rest of the party takes Brog back to Dunsany Manor to be reunited with his toy chest. We learn a bit more about Brog, where he’s from, who his friends are, and what he plans to do when he grows up. Harmattan speculates wildly about Brog, but about the only remarkable thing about him is his apparent ability to know where certain people (the chief of his tribe, etc.) are at any given moment just by looking at the sun. Also, Brog reports that a group of elves took him from the orc lands to stay at the half-elven farmhouse in the area. Harmattan speculates even more wildly.

Drax gets pretty far interrogating the minions and soldiers. The minions all report that they were recruited for this mission by Warren and Sawyer, and that Bluffington was the leader of the operation. The plan was to grab the kid from the farmhouse, making sure to kill everybody else, and head to a remote border outpost at the very edge of Dunsany’s lands where someone else would take possession of Brog. Drax is just about to start interrogating the ringleader when the session concludes.

Stay tuned next week for exciting interrogation, plot twists, and subterfuge by everybody and their grandmother!

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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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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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #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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